Nepal police arrested at least nine Tibetans from two areas in the capital on Monday even as they beefed up security around “sensitive” areas to prevent any anti-China demonstrations.
“Five suspected people, including two women, have been detained from Hattisar and four women from Swoyambhunath area today [Monday],” Nepal Police spokesperson Ganesh K.C. told The Hindu. The visa section of the Chinese Embassy is at Hattisar, and Swayambhunath has a famous Buddhist temple and a sizeable number of Tibetans.
Mr. Ganesh declined to say what action would be taken against the “suspected people.” “We have begun investigation,” is all he would say.
Heavy posse of Nepal Police and Nepal Armed Police were seen around the Chinese Embassy, its visa section, Bouddha (which has the largest number of Tibetan population), and the U.N. House, among others. Local TV channels said the police increased their presence around the Tibetan settlement in the tourist city of Pokhara. Movement of Tibetans is restricted on March 10 and July 6, the Dalai Lama’s birthday, near what the police call “sensitive areas.”
Police had intensified patrolling of areas that have sizeable Tibetan population as well as those places that witnessed Tibetan activists’ protests in the past.
Many Tibetans throughout the world mark March 10 as Tibetan Uprising Day as it is seen by them as the start of Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. China, on the other hand, maintains that Tibet has been an integral part for centuries. Protests in Tibet against the Chinese “occupation” in 1959 saw a violent crackdown by the Chinese security forces and led to the exile of the Dalai Lama.
In recent years, Beijing has put Nepal’s government and police under pressure to disallow any anti-China protests. Nepal obliges, citing its adherence to “one China” policy that recognises Tibet as part of China.
Nepal government officials usually react with anger to the Tibetan protests against a friendly neighbour. They maintain that since Nepal allows the Tibetans to live in the country and looks the other way when people flee Tibet en route to the Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh and other places in India, its policy and sensitivities should be respected by them.