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China blocks Buddha rally for fear of fresh protests

July 23, 2010

Phayul
July 20, 2010

Dharamsala, July 20 -- China has blocked a car
rally from Lumbini, the Buddha’s birthplace, to
Shanghai Trade Expo for fear that the rally
routed through Tibet may trigger fresh anti China protests in Tibet.

Implementing Experts' Group (IEG), a Nepali
organisation specialising in trade expositions,
had planned the Buddha car rally, Indo Asian News Service reported.

The IEG said the rally was to take "Peace Lamp",
lit in Lumbini, for display at the Nepal Pavilion
at the Shanghai expo which began on May 1 and will conclude October 31.

The IEG said it asked for permission for the
rally two months ago. China, however, refused to
allow the rally to go through Tibet, for fear it
could spark fresh "Free Tibet" protests in the
restive Himalayan region that saw massive anti-China protests in 2008.

China has invited Nepal's President Ram Baran
Yadav as well as Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda to the fair.

In the past, China blocked mountaineering
expeditions to Mt Everest through Tibet to ensure
there were no Free Tibet protests during the 2008 Olympic Games.

China and Nepal recently announced that they will
work closely to boost tourism in both the
countries, reported the state run Xinhua. "To
start with, we'll jointly launch day tours along
the China-Nepal border," said Wang Songping,
deputy chief of Tibet's tourism administration,
at "Welcome to Nepal," a briefing on Nepal
tourism in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

Tibetans exiles staged some of the most dramatic
and sustained demonstrations in the Nepalese
capital Kathmandu in 2008, targeting the Chinese
embassy, its visa office and the United Nations
after unrest against Chinese rule in Tibet faced Chinese military crackdown.

Following the "massive" anti-China unrest in
Tibet in 2008, China has been sending a flurry of
high-level official delegations to Nepal to
ensure it effectively curbs "Free-Tibet
activities" on its soil. In return China promises
to increase assistance to the crisis-ridden country.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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