Nepal Maoists accuse Dalai Lama of brainwashing children

August 2nd, 2008 - 11:59 am ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, Aug 2 (IANS) Nepal’s Maoists have accused Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of brainwashing children as young as seven years after luring them away from Nepal in the name of educating them. This week, 29 young boys, aged between seven and 14 years, were brought to Kathmandu from remote mountainous in Solukhumbu district on the Nepal-Tibet border to be sent to Dharamsala in India, where the exiled Tibetan leader resides, the Maoist mouthpiece Janadisha daily reported Saturday.

The youngsters are mostly Nepali boys of Tibetan origin, the daily said, publishing their names and ages. They come from poor families who are overjoyed by the promise of free education for the children.

“I am going to Dharamsala for education,” 12-year-old P. Bomjan from Baruwa village told the daily. “I want to become a doctor.”

“My mother sent me, my father is dead,” said another boy, 14-year-old Tar Lama.

The Maoist daily said a resident of Helambu village, Sarki Lama, was taking the boys to the Indian town and had coached them to trot out the same answer to all curious passersby.

“The Dalai Lama’s supporters are taking children en masse from remote villages in Nepal,” the Maoist daily said. “The exiled leader, who lives in India, faces allegations of fomenting anti-China protests in Nepal, which are planned by the US.”

The report appeared even as China stepped up its anti-Dalai Lama propaganda in Nepal.

With less than a week for the Olympic Games to start in Beijing, state-run Chinese publications have begun carrying interviews with Nepal’s police officials and reporting them as saying that they were compelled to use force on Tibetan protesters after the latter turned violent and attacked policemen.

China is also on a major public relations drive in Nepal, taking journalists and leaders of major political parties to controlled visits of Tibet to project an image of unprecedented development and prosperity.

Both Maoist Minister for Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara and his son Atom have been taken on such sponsored trips and an invitation has also been forwarded to Maoist supremo Prachanda.

China is asking Nepal’s communist and Maoist parties to unite and form a single communist party that would be able to better combat the anti-China protests by Tibetan refugees in Nepal.

Prior to this, a section of the Nepali media also reported that the Dalai Lama was recruiting a religious army in Nepal, a report denied by the supporters of the Nobel peace laureate.

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