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1,000 Tibetan protesters arrested in Nepal: police

August 17, 2008

AFP
August 14, 2008

KATHMANDU, Aug. 14 - Stick-wielding police in Nepal's capital
Kathmandu arrested at least 1,000 Tibetan exiles as they protested
outside a Chinese embassy building, police and witnesses said Thursday.

The protesters, many of them monks and nuns, said they wanted to
highlight what they say are abuses in their Himalayan homeland during
the ongoing Beijing Olympics.

"The world must open its eyes to the plight of us Tibetans rather
than focusing on the Beijing Olympics," Wangchuk Tsering, 28, told
AFP before joining the protest.

"I will continue to protest unless China guarantees human rights in Tibet."

Demonstrators wore T-shirts and jackets that read "China lies,
Tibetan dies," "Stop genocide in Tibet," "Long live the Dalai Lama"
and other slogans.

Police initially charged a group of about 1,000 Tibetans outside the
Chinese visa and trade section building, hitting them with bamboo
sticks. Half of them were arrested and the others were chased away.

(Photo by Lhuboom/RFA)
The protesters later regrouped, and police arrested more than 500
others throughout the day.

So far, "1,068 Tibetan protesters have been rounded up from around
the protest site. They will be released later this evening," said
Kathmandu police chief Sarbendra Khanal.

"They kept on coming so we continued detaining them because they were
in a place where protests are prohibited."

There have been almost daily pro-Tibet protests in Kathmandu since a
crackdown in the Chinese-controlled region following violent unrest in March.

(Photo by Lhuboom/RFA)
Nepal, which is home to around 20,000 exiled Tibetans, has banned all
pro-Tibet protests as it seeks to maintain friendly ties with its
giant northern neighbour China.

Tibetans began arriving in Nepal in large numbers in 1959 after the
Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, fled his homeland following
a failed anti-Chinese uprising.
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