Visiting Chinese official on Thursday asked Nepal to control possible anti-China activities in the upcoming months on its soil, according to media reports.
March 10 this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising, which forced Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans to flee into exile in 1959.
In 1959, anti-Chinese and anti-Communist revolt erupted in Lhasa leading to the deaths of 86,000 Tibetans and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee into exile, according to figures of the Tibetan government-in-exile in India.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue arrived arrived in Kathmandu with a 13-member delegation on Wednesday. The delegation met with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, and other senior government officials and urged them to curb possible anti-China demonstrations.
During the meeting with Nepali officials on Thursday, Zhengyue said that the year 2009 was a “sensitive year” for China and urged increased surveillance to curb anti-China activities on Nepali soil, ekantipur.com reported.
During the visit to Nepal in December, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had also expressed concern regarding possible “Free Tibet” protests in Nepal in 2009.
Prime Minister Dahal reaffirmed Nepal’s commitment to adopt strong measures to control anti-China activities, media reports quoted his Press Advisor Om Sharma as saying. Defence Minister Thapa also reportedly told the delegation that the government would beef up security along Nepal-China border to prevent the “Dalai Lama’s supporters from entering Tibet.”
“We are committed to addressing the national security concerns of China,” Thapa told reporters after meeting the delegation. He, however, maintained that the matter was “more than a bilateral issue” between Nepal and China. “The issue of Tibet is a tripartite issue between Nepal, India and China. So the three countries must work together to solve it,” Thapa told reporters.
According to media reports, the delegation also met with Home Secretary, Chief of Nepal Police and Chief of the Armed Police Force jointly and held an hour’s discussion on ways to control anti-China activities.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister described the development as being “regular and normal exchange” of the visits.
As usual, the exchanges have, however, come not without Beijing’s favour to increase its aids to the economically-starved landlocked Himalayan country. The Chinese envoy reportedly told the Nepalese counterparts that his government was going to increase its assistance to Nepal in various fields.
Nepalese foreign ministry spokesman Suresh Pradhan said Prime Minister Dahal will make an official visit to Beijing by the end of April or the first half of May.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Dahal also reportedly requested the Chinese side to fund the construction of the 400 MW Narsinghgad Hydropower Project in Jajarkot as a “gift project.”
It is also reported that during the Nepalese prime minister’s trip to Beijing, both governments would finalise a landmark Peace and Friendship Treaty, which would redefine the relationship between China and Nepal.
The Chinese delegation is scheduled to leave for New Delhi on Friday, media reports said.
Tibetans in Kathmandu and elsewhere in Nepal staged some of the most sustained and regular anti-China protests last year after unrest against Chinese rule in Tibet faced brutal Chinese military crackdown.
A group of self-proclaimed Tibetan activists on Wednesday, which marked the first day of Tibetan New Year, hoisted a Tibetan National flag on the wall of Chinese Embassy’s visa office in Kathmandu and painted “Free Tibet” on its main gate.
The district administration in Kathmandu, which last year witnessed continuous protests by Tibetans for almost eight months, has prohibited all protests near the Chinese embassy and its visa office from Saturday, IANS reported today.
According to the report, the indefinite curb extends to all areas within 200 metres of the Chinese embassy.
Nepal had come under international criticism last year for its brutal treatment of Tibetan protesters, and was accused of acting under pressure from China.
Nepal police this week arrested twelve Tibetan nationals, including four women, who entered the country through Nepal-Tibet border and were handed over to authorities in kathmandu.
Every year, many Tibetans escape via Nepal to India, often after undertaking incredibly risky journey across the harsh Himalayan terrains.