Tibetan exiles suspend protests in Nepal

April 4th, 2008 - 3:19 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, April 4 (DPA) Tibetan exiles in Nepal said Friday they were suspending their near-daily, month long anti-China protests here ahead of a key election of the country next week. “Recognizing the importance of our host country Nepal’s upcoming historic election, we request all individuals and Tibet supporters who have been voluntarily organizing demonstrations to refrain from carrying out any activities that can create inconveniences to the government and people of Nepal during elections,” the Nepal-Tibet Solidarity Committee, the protest organizers, said in a statement.

“The decision to suspend the protests was taken despite the critical situation in Tibet, where human rights violations are taking place,” the group said.

Nepal goes to poll Thursday to elect a constituent assembly that will write a new constitution for the Himalayan country ending the monarchy.

The suspension of the protests in the Nepalese capital came two days after the Chinese government asked Nepal to curb “anti-Chinese activities,” calling the protesters “separatists.”

Chinese Ambassador Zheng Xialing termed the growing protests as “illegal political activities” and called for stringent measures.

Meanwhile, Nepalese police released 71 Tibetan protestors who had been detained for protesting outside the Chinese embassy Wednesday.

It was the first time that the protestors were held overnight. Previously, police released all detainees within hours of their detentions.

Tibetans have been involved in protests around the United Nations and Chinese embassy in Kathmandu almost daily since March 10, the 49th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

They have called for the right for Tibetans to determine their own future and UN investigations into the recent unrest and Chinese crackdown in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital.

The Nepalese government has said it would not allow anti-Chinese activities in Nepal, and police have broken up the demonstrations.

Nepal is home to more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees who arrived in the country in the late 1950s.

According to human rights organizations, nearly 3,000 Tibetans still cross into Nepal from Tibet each year, risking their lives traversing the Himalayas.

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