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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.
Inside Tibet people have made the decision not to celebrate Losar this year. It appears to be not just an expression of sorrow for those Tibetan shot, tortured and imprisoned in last years uprising, but also an act of defiance against the Chinese government that wants to show the world that Tibetans enjoy religious and cultural freedoms under its rule. In exile there has been some debate on whether or not to celebrate Losar. There are valid arguments on both sides, but then again the logic of revolution is another thing altogether. When the struggle calls we can only obey.
Earlier I had written a cultural essay for Losar, but then I decided on a a more political gift for Rangzen advocates and activists. The following piece is actually a pamphlet to be distributed on March 10 and future rallies and meeting, but I thought that those who believe in Rangzen might enjoying sitting back with a chang-koe and reading it on Losar day. Most of us have a general idea of the facts that have been presented before the UN and the world, to show that Tibet was an independent country before the Communist invasion: treaties, the Shakabpa passport, the flag and so on. I have tried to provide details that are probably not that well known but which I hope will edify and perhaps even cheer and encourage.
I have attempted to be scrupulously honest with the facts and have provided authentic references for nearly every claim or statement made in the pamphlet. Since the pamphlet had to be kept short, all the references, additional material, related documentation, photographs, maps, illustrations, audio clips and bibliography will be on a website http://www.rangzen.net. You can access what you want on the section “Independent Tibet – Some Facts” and clicking on the reference number.
The fully laid-out and illustrated pamphlet can be downloaded (in black & white or colour) at the website and can be printed at home or at a commercial printer. Individuals or organization can print and distribute the pamphlet, and space is provided on the front cover for the organizations credit line. The website will be up in a few days – definitely before March 10.
INDEPENDENT TIBET – SOME FACTS
Compiled by Jamyang Norbu for the Rangzen Alliance
Before the Chinese Communist invasion of 1950 Tibet was a fully functioning and independent state. It threatened none of its neighbors, fed its population unfailingly, year after year, with no help from the outside world. Tibet owed no money to any country or international institutions, and maintained basic law and order. Tibet banned capital punishment in 1913 (mentioned by a number of foreign travelers ) and was one of the first countries in the world to do so. There is no record of it persecuting minorities (e.g. Muslims ) or massacring sections of its population from time to time as China and some other countries do – remember Tiananmen. Although its frontiers with India, Nepal and Bhutan were completely unguarded, very few Tibetans fled their country as economic or political refugees. There was not a single Tibetan immigrant in the USA or Europe before the Communist invasion.
I am so angry with Hillary Clinton. Obama was the only Presidential Candidate vocal about the issue of Tibet, yet his Secretary of State is blatantly ignoring the severity of the issue.
From the Associated Press:
Paying her first visit to Asia as the top US diplomat, Clinton said the United States would continue to press China on long-standing US concerns over human rights such as its rule over Tibet.
“But our pressing on those issues can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis,” Clinton told reporters in Seoul just before leaving for Beijing.
T. Kumar of Amnesty International USA said the global rights lobby was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by Clinton’s remarks.
“The United States is one of the only countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on human rights issues,” he said.
“But by commenting that human rights will not interfere with other priorities, Secretary Clinton damages future US initiatives to protect those rights in China,” he said.
Students for a Free Tibet said Clinton’s remarks sent the wrong signal to China at a sensitive time.
“The US government cannot afford to let Beijing set the agenda,” said Tenzin Dorjee, deputy director of the New York-based advocacy group.
China has been pouring troops into the Himalayan territory ahead of next month’s 50th anniversary of the uprising that sent Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama into exile in India.
“Leaders really need to step up and pressure China. It’s often easy to wonder whether pressure makes a difference. It may not make a difference in one day or one month, but it would be visible after some years,” Dorjee said.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had sent a letter to Clinton before her maiden Asia visit urging her to raise human rights concerns with Chinese leaders.
Before she left, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said human rights would be “an important issue” for Clinton and that she would “raise the issue when appropriate.”
China has greeted President Barack Obama’s administration nervously, believing he would press Beijing harder on human rights and trade issues than former president George W. Bush.
Scuffles broke out between police and protesters at a pro-Tibet demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in London.
The protest was organised to coincide with a state visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.