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60 Days of Persistent Tibetan Protest in Nepal: Protestors chain up to prolong arrest

May 13, 2008

Two Tibetans lie on the road while Police try to cut the chain that they used to lock themselves in front of the Chinese Consulate in Kathmandu on Saturday.
By Tenzin Choephel, Phayul Correspondent
May 11, 2008 12:10]

Kathmandu, May 10 -- It has been exactly 60 days of persistent protest by Tibetans against China in Nepal. To mark this day, over 200 Tibetans protestors once again demonstrated in front of the Chinese Consulate in Kathmandu this afternoon for the third consecutive day. Fifteen of them including one 18 years old girl and a woman chained up themselves together at waistline to prolong the immediate arrest by Police. Policemen were able to cut the chain and arrest all of them only after about an hour. However, two men and the girl with a man were still chained together when they were thrown into Police truck. Luckily no one was seriously injured in the scuffle; two nuns were taken to Hospital for minor injuries.

Protestors came in two buses from either side of the Hattisar Road in front of the Consulate gate one after another and started shouting slogans as usual. Today being Saturday and official holiday in Nepal, there were only a dozen Policemen on duty who were caught by surprise as there has been no protest during weekends except once. Police started arresting Tibetans as usual, many were kicked, punched, pulled by hair, dragged and shoved into Police vehicle, however, Police have consistently shown restrain on use of brute force for the past two days.

Even after arresting all the other protestors, those fifteen who have chained up themselves were continuously shouting slogans like “stop killing in tibet”, “long live Dalai Lama”, “china thief, free Tibet”. Some of the young duty officers tried to pull them away jeopardizing the lives of the protestors but the commanding officer quickly ordered them to stop and requested a chain cutter. The protestors did not unlock themselves or gave the keys of the locks to Police. Some Policemen were able to cut off the chain of two protestors with a small metal saw, later the Chain cutter and metal equipments were brought to free all of them but two men and the girl and a man were not separated instead they were carried and thrown into Police vehicle. It took about one hour for Police to arrest and take away all the protestors; the chaining plan did actually prolong the arrest and duration of protest that normally last only about 20 minutes depending upon the pace of the Police.

A total of 148 Tibetans were arrested today, 133 were detained at Metropolitan Police Barrack No.2, 11 at Anam Nagar Police Station and 4 at Kamal Pokhari Police Station. All the detainees were released around 10 PM.

Earlier this morning, Avenues Television broadcasted the daily Tibetan prayer congregation and familiarization talk about the Tibet crisis and Tibetan Movement live from the Tibetan Community Center in Bouda to Nepali viewers. For the first time such a religious and political event of Tibetans in Nepal has been broadcasted live by a private channel for about one hour. During the event Acharya Ven. Jampa Losel of Sakya College familiarized the gathering and TV viewers about Tibet and Tibetans by explaining history and culture of Tibet, aims and objectives of the Tibetan campaigns in Nepal and the current desperate situation in Tibet. He reiterated the stand of Tibetan Government in Exile that they are not seeking independence and are not against the Olympics. He also requested all the Buddhist people of the Himalayan Region to support Tibetans to save their common Buddhist culture and tradition from extinction.

Prof. Kapil Shrestha addressing Tibetans at Center in Bouda. (Photo by Tenzin Choephel/
Prof. Kapil Shrestha, former member of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal also addressed the Tibetans and assured them of his support to their fight for truth, justice and human rights. He said, “Chinese authorities should allow independent fact finding missions and press into Tibet if they are honest”. He also openly criticized China for violating human rights in Tibet and the Nepali Government in handling Tibetan protestors. He said, “I am ashamed and beg your pardon for what our Government and Police are doing to suppress peaceful Tibetan protests here”. He believes that the Truth of Tibet and Tibetans shall prevail.
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