Exiled Tibetans in Nepal clashed with Nepal police Thursday as more than a thousand Tibetans marched on the streets of Kathmandu to mark the 52nd anniversary of the national Tibetan Uprising Day.
At least 11 Tibet protesters shouting pro-Tibet slogans were arrested and many were injured following scuffles with officers.
Every year Tibetans mark March 10 as the 'Tibetan Uprising Day' in remembrance of a 1959 failed rebellion in Lhasa against Chinese rule which forced their spiritual and political leader the Dalai Lama into exile. He was followed by some 100,000 thousand Tibetans to its neighbouring India.
Nepal Police have mobilised 1,500 personnel, including Armed Police Force in the Capital city and increased surveillance in and around the Chinese Embassy, Consular Section, Swoyambhu and Bouddha to prevent Tibetan exiles from turning up on the streets, reports the Himalayan Times. The local administration has issued prohibitory order on sit-in, assembly and demonstration in the areas according to the report.
Last month, police seized ballot boxes in Kathmandu, preventing Tibetan exiles from electing a local leadership. Last year, Nepal police under the direction of Home Ministry of Nepal confiscated ballot boxes filled with thousands of ballots from several polling stations in Kathmandu, disrupting the preliminary election of Kalon Tripa-prime minister and Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile
Nepal is home to about 20,000 exiled Tibetans who began arriving in large numbers in 1959 after the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama fled Tibet following a failed uprising against the Chinese delegates.
Nepal's major parties adhere to the 'One China' policy, regarding Tibet as an integral part of China and keeping Tibetan refugees in Nepal on a tight leash.
Approximately 2,500 Tibetan refugees escape into exile annually, travelling through Nepal en route to Dharamsala in northern India where their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile are based.
However the number of the Tibetan refugees escaping from Nepal has decreased in the recent years following China’s growing influence in Nepal. Since 2008, Nepal has hardened its stance on the Tibetan refugees, a trend observed in the Himalayan country’s increasing ties with China.