Nepal steps up security to stop Tibetan protests
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Police broke up a small Tibetan protest in Nepal’s capital and detained the protesters on Monday’s anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.
The two men and three women waved Tibet flags and chanted “Free Tibet, get out of Tibet, we want justice” near the Chinese embassy visa office in Katmandu before police in riot gear quickly stopped them, loaded them on a truck and drove them to a detention center.
Separately, four more Tibetans refugees were detained from another part of Katmandu for questioning and another one from the resort town of Pokhara, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Katmandu, said police spokesman Ganesh K.C.
Hundreds of riot police had stepped up security on Monday to stop any possible anti-China protests in Katmandu and attempts by the Tibetan refugees to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule over their homeland, K.C. said.
Police officers in riot gear guarded all the roads leading to the Chinese Embassy and its visa office in the center of Katmandu.
Police are also keeping a close watch on the Boudhanath area in Katmandu where most Tibetan refugees live. The area has many Buddhist monasteries and shrines and two people self-immolated in the area last year to protest against China.
Tibetan refugees in Nepal regularly demonstrate against Chinese rule over their homeland, but Nepal does not allow protests near the Chinese Embassy and key areas, saying it cannot allow activities against friendly nations.
In the past, Tibetans in Nepal have attempted to storm the Chinese Embassy, while the Chinese government has repeatedly pressured Nepal to stop the protests. Protesters are generally removed from the areas and detained for few hours.
Thousands of Tibetans refugees live in Nepal, and many travel through Nepal on the way to Dharmasala, India, where the Dalai Lama lives and the self-declared exile government is based.