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Nepal to deport illegal Tibetan exiles

September 12, 2008

By BINAJ GURUBACHARYA - September 11, 2008

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - Nepal's government has ordered police to crack 
down on Tibetans living illegally in the country and will deport those 
who are found without proper papers, an official said Thursday.

Home Ministry spokesman Modraj Dotel said police have so far detained 
106 Tibetans who are being investigated.

"We are screening this first group and those found without proper 
documents will face deportation to where they came from," Dotel said.

Tibetans in Nepal have held months of protests, often near the Chinese 
Embassy, against China's heavy-handed rule in their homeland, and 
Beijing has criticized Nepal for not doing enough to stop the 
demonstrations.

The government has repeatedly told the Tibetans to halt their 
protests, which have often turned violent with scuffles between police 
and demonstrators.

Nepalese officials say protests against friendly nations, including 
neighboring China, cannot be allowed, and that the government must 
protect foreign embassies against attacks.

Police usually remove the Tibetan protesters from the embassy area, 
hold them for a few hours and then release them in the evening. 
Initially, police used force to disperse the demonstrations but were 
criticized by rights groups.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal visited China soon after assuming 
power last month and said he discussed the issue of Tibetans in Nepal 
with Chinese leaders.

Thousands of Tibetans are living in Nepal and thousands more pass 
through every year on their way from Tibet to Dharmasala in India, 
where Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is living in exile.

Since the 1980s, Tibetans who register with local authorities and are 
recognized as refugees have been given documents by the government 
allowing them to live in Nepal. The government suspects that many of 
those involved in the protests do not have documents.
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