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Friday, 10 March, 2000, 18:28 GMT
Nepal police break up Tibet protest
Nepali police
Nepal bans political activity by Tibetan refugees
By Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu

At least half a dozen people were injured in Nepal when police used force to stop a rally by Tibetan refugees demanding independence for Tibet.

Police baton-charged a crowd of about 3,000 Tibetans near a Buddhist monastery in the capital Kathmandu.

The Tibetans had assembled there for prayers to mark the 41st anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day.

The day marks the anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet that forced the Dalai Lama to flee to India in 1959.

Petition

Following prayers at one of Kathmandu's most famous Buddhist monasteries at Boudhanath, 20km (12 miles) east of the capital, the Tibetans chanted slogans demanding the independence of Tibet.


Tibetan refugees
Some 20,000 Tibetan refugees live in Nepal
They then tried to march towards the Chinese embassy to present a petition.

But the police baton-charged the refugees and stopped them from leaving the premises of the monastery.

A spokesman for the Nepal-based Tibetan refugees, Samdup Lhatse, expressed regret over the incident.

Some 20,000 Tibetans are estimated to be living in Nepal since they fled their homeland after the uprising against the Chinese take-over.

While offering them asylum, the Nepalese Government does not allow the Tibetans to conduct any political activities for fear of antagonising relations with China, the Himalayan kingdom's northern neighbour.

China considers activities for the independence of Tibet as hostile.

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See also:

09 Mar 00 | South Asia
China woos exiled Karmapa Lama
18 Feb 00 | South Asia
Dalai Lama's appeal for Tibet
16 Feb 00 | South Asia
Nepal's first ever Oscar nomination
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