Nepalese police Friday broke up an anti-China protest in the capital Kathmandu and arrested over 150 Tibetan exiles. The Tibetans, including Buddhist monks and nuns, were arrested near the Chinese embassy in central Kathmandu.

Police in riot gear stopped the protestors about 200 metres from the embassy’s consular section. Minor scuffles then broke out as the protestors tried to breach the police lines.

The protestors were dragged into waiting vans and police trucks to be taken to detention centres.

“More than 150 Tibetans were arrested after they tried to march on to the Chinese embassy’s consular section,” Kathmandu district police office said. “We expect most of them to be released by Friday night.”

Many Tibetans carried placards and Tibetan flags and chanted slogans including “We want a free Tibet” and “Long live the Dalai Lama.”

The protest was the latest in a series of demonstrations by Tibetan exiles since 10 March.
Nepal has more than 20,000 Tibetans concentrated mainly in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara in the west.

The figure does not include Tibetans who arrived in the country after 1990, when the Nepalese government stopped registering them as refugees.

Estimates said about 3,000 Tibetans arrive in Nepal each year crossing dangerous mountain passes and risking their lives to flee Chinese rule.

The Nepalese government has repeatedly said it considers Tibet to be part of China and will not tolerate anti-Chinese activities.

International human rights organizations have criticized Nepal for its handling of the protests and accused the government of cracking down on the refugees under Chinese pressure.

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