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<-Back to WTN Archives Nepal Police Relent, Celebrations Go Ahead
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Sunday, July 6, 2003



2. Nepal Police Relent, Celebrations Go Ahead


Robbie Barnett
Kathmandu
1130am, 6th July

Attempts by Nepalese Police to enforce a ban on Tibetan celebrations of the
Dalai Lama's 68th birthday in Kathmandu were abandonned today amid cheers
and revelry after hundreds of Tibetans defied the government order and
gathered at the stupa in Boudha to burn incense and chant songs in honour of
the Tibetan leader.

Tibetan woman, many in tears, argued with police and after about 30 minutes
of high tension, eventually persuaded them not to break up the celebrations.
Police leaders, accompanied by a small force of only about 20 men, gave up
ordering the Tibetans to leave, and did not order a baton charge or call in
reinforcements. Sherpa community leaders helped to mediate between the two
groups.

The incident ended in harmony and good humour, with Tibetan nuns throwing
barley flour over laughing police while hundreds of women in Tibetan dress
danced and sang around the stupa, with up to a thousand others watching..

Tibetans avoided provoking more serious reactions from the police by not
displaying prominent pictures of the Dalai Lama, and not showing the Tibetan
flag, practices which Nepal has banned for several years on sensitive
anniversaries such as the 6th July birthday. The Tibetans also did not
attempt the traditional practice of holding a procession around the stupa.

The Nepalese goverment also backed down at the last minute on one of the
three events it banned late on Friday night. After coming under heavy
pressure from Himalayan and Nepalese Buddhist Associations in Nepal who
protested the ban, the Nepalese government agreed to allow the Tibetans and
other Nepalese Buddhist groups to hold a celebration at the Sherpa monastery
in Boudha on Saturday morning, currently taking place. But a ban on an
evening reception for diplomats and other dignitaries is still believed to
remain in force.

One elderly man, believed to be a Tibetan, was apparently detained by about
15 police in Boudha earlier in the day, before police gave up trying to
enforce the ban, and his situation is still being checked.

Celebrations are still continuing in the streets of Boudha.


Articles in this Issue:
  1. Dalai Lama celebrations blocked
  2. Nepal Police Relent, Celebrations Go Ahead
  3. Old rivals search for common ground
  4. IS TIBET A LOST CAUSE
  5. Tibetan journalist seek permission to cover Tibet
  6. SEEING THE TIBETAN WORLD:



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