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China treating Nepal as its own?

August 21, 2009

www.TibetanReview.net
August 19, 2009

The Chinese embassy in Nepal seem to have been
issuing orders all around, taking advantage of
the pro-China sentiment in the country, to crack
down on Tibetans at every level. On Sep 17, 2007,
the Chinese embassy wrote a letter directly to
the Supreme Court of Nepal, asking the latter to
pass a verdict in its favour in a case related to
the closure of an NGO working for Tibetan
refugees, reported Republica online (myrepublica.com) Aug 18.

The embassy was reported to have asked the apex
court to uphold an Oct 30, 2006 order of the
Kathmandu District Administration closing down
Bhota.  The embassy said it considered the NGO to be linked to Dalai Lama.

"The Chinese side sincerely hopes that the
Supreme Court of Nepal would adhere to the right
stance and principles adopted by the Government
of Nepal, extend concrete support to the Chinese
Government and together with the Chinese
side...," the letter was reported to red.

The report said the letter was sent directly to
the Supreme Court, with copies sent to Nepal’s
Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the same time, a Chinese company was reported
to have approached a lawyer of the NGO, asking it
not to plead on behalf of the NGO. "The company
offered me to work as its legal advisor if I did
not defend the NGO," the report quoted the unnamed lawyer as saying.

The report cited a senior official at Nepal’s
Foreign Affairs Ministry as pointing out that the
letter was both a breach of diplomatic norms and a contempt of court.

It was not clear whether the court was swayed by
the Chinese move. There has certainly been no
report that Nepal’s Supreme Court pulled up
anyone for trying to interfere with its
proceedings. However, a division bench of Justice
Ram Prasad Shrestha and Tahir Ali Ansari did uphold the closure of the NGO.

It was not clear whether the Chinese embassy
felicitated the court for delivering a decision
which accorded with its demands. However, last
year it did give felicitation letters to then
CDOs and district police chiefs in Kathmandu and
Bhaktapur for thwarting Tibetan protests, the report noted.

The police in Nepal came under severe criticism
from Western governments and human rights groups
even within the country for severe ill-treatment
of Tibetan protesters, including kicking and
beating and even molesting of women protesters.
Nevertheless, the then Chinese ambassador Zheng
Xiangling, in a clear breach of diplomatic norms,
severely questioned Nepal’s handing of the
protests. He was reported to have said at a
function organized by Reporters´ Club Nepal on
May 12, 2008, "the pro-Tibet protesters are
arrested by the Nepali police; however, are
released the other moment. This is surprising."
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