Nepal, under increasing pressure from China, was cracking down on Tibetan refugees despite centuries of shared culture with Tibet, the International Campaign for Tibet said on Tuesday.
Nepali authorities have regularly broken up protests by Tibetan exiles and arrested them for protesting against China's crackdown on demonstrations in Tibet.
Mary Beth Markey, Vice President of Advocacy of the International Campaign for Tibet, said "Nepal’s political leadership is betting that the internal benefits of assuaging China in the cause of oppressing Tibetans will be greater than the costs of abandoning principles rooted in traditional legal and historical concepts. While long-staying and transiting Tibetan refugees bear the brunt of this approach, bending to China on fundamental freedoms and the rule of law presents a real risk to the Nepalese people and their democratic institutions.”
Nepalese civil society activists and human rights monitors who are supportive of the Tibetans’ plight and seek to counter Beijing’s influence stress the close historic, cultural and religious ties between the Nepalese and Tibetans that date back to the 6th century. Himalayan Sherpa, Tamang, Dolpo, Mustang and other Himalayan people share the same devotion to the Dalai Lama and practice Tibetan Buddhism.
Nepal is home to more than 20,000 Tibetans who fled the Himalayan region after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters and ICT.