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Thousands of Tibetans in Nepal protest China

August 25, 2008

AP
August 24, 2008

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Thousands of Tibetan exiles gathered in the
Nepalese capital on Sunday to protest against Chinese rule in their homeland.

Police allowed the estimated 2,000 exiles, many of them women and
children, to demonstrate without incident on the outskirts of
Katmandu. In the past, police have used a heavy hand to break up or
block Tibetan protests.

Police official Pramod Pandit said they allowed the demonstration
because it was not in a restricted zone or near the Chinese Embassy.

Tibetan exiles have regularly protested near the Chinese Embassy and
visa office in the heart of Katmandu since March, and police have
regularly detained the protesters. Nepalese officials say they cannot
allow any protests against friendly nations, including China, and
have to protect diplomatic missions from attacks.

Tibetan exiles in both Nepal and India have been staging frequent
demonstrations to protest China's response to the unrest that erupted
in Tibet's capital in March.

The March protests in Lhasa were among the biggest in almost 50 years
of Chinese rule. Many Tibetans insist Tibet was an independent nation
before communist troops invaded in 1950, while Beijing says the
Himalayan region has been part of its territory for centuries.

Thousands of Tibetan exiles either live in Nepal or pass through en
route to India, where their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama lives in exile.
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