Tag Archives | Nepal

Buddhists in Nepal unite in solidarity against a politician’s condemnation of traditional greeting scarves

April 2, 2019

The Buddhist community in Nepal has reacted strongly to a politician’s attempt to cast aspersion on their tradition of offering scarves known as khata, a tradition they share with other Himalayan communities such as Ladakhis, Bhutanese, Sikkimese, and Tibetans, among others. A Member of Parliament from Nepal’s Communist Party, Khaga Raj Adhikari, asserted at a public event that the use of the khata in Nepal “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” connecting it to Tibet issue and giving political color to a fundamentally spiritual and cultural tradition. The comments made by Adhikari, who is a former Minister, echoes China’s position in Nepal that “pro-Tibet” activities “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.”

In reaction, the Buddhist community, under the banner of the Nepal Buddhist Federation, held large demonstrations by people from different ethnic groups, including monks and laypeople, to challenge Adhikari and called for the protection of their tradition while wearing khatas.

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Photo with Tibetan flag led to Tibetan activist’s 10-day detention in Nepal

March 28, 2018

A Tibetan activist in Nepal was detained for nearly 10 days by Nepalese police and threatened with deportation after he posted a picture of himself with a Tibetan flag on Facebook in early March, and wrote to international embassies in Kathmandu about human rights concerns in Tibet. There are increasing dangers for Tibetans in Nepal as the Nepalese authorities deepen their relationship with China, with rumors of a high-level Chinese delegation visit to Kathmandu soon.

Three days after posting the image, the Tibetan activist, Adak, was near the Boudha stupa in Kathmandu when he was approached by police, he told ICT. They showed him the photograph and when he confirmed that it was his picture in response to their query, they took him into custody. Adak, who is in his early forties, said that he was slapped and kicked in the process but was not further beaten in custody. He said that police threatened to deport him to Tibet. Prior to his arrest at Boudha, Adak had also taken photographs of police at a nearby Buddhist monastery, according to Nepalese human rights supporters who helped to facilitate his release.

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High-level Chinese visit to Nepal highlights difficulties for Tibetan community

August 28, 2017

A visit to Nepal by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang from August 14 to17, 2017 – the highest level Chinese visit to Kathmandu since Premier Wen Jiaobao visited in 2012 – further strengthened economic and political ties with the new Kathmandu government. Combined with an agreement last month between Nepal and China to ensure cooperation in border law enforcement, and Nepal formally joining Xi Jinping’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ plan, the developments point to a contracting space and dangers for Tibetans in Nepal as the Nepalese authorities deepen their relationship with their more powerful neighbor.

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Inside Tibet: children banned from prayer during holy month and intensification of border security

June 12, 2017

  • New ruling bans Tibetan children from prayer during holy month
  • Influx of tour guides reveals political agenda
  • Transformation of Dram on Nepal border to base for troops, strengthening border security
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Bill in the US House of Representatives could provide 3000 visas for Tibetans from India and Nepal

June 10, 2015

US Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act (H.R.2679), on June 4, 2015 to provide 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period.

In a statement, they said, “The bill supports the well-being of the Tibetan exile community as they strive to find a peaceful solution for Tibet; helps the overburdened settlements in India and Nepal; and gives displaced Tibetans the opportunity to flourish as Tibetan-Americans.”

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Earthquake Relief

The impact of the Nepal earthquake in Tibet

May 1, 2015

As the world’s focus is turned to Nepal after the devastating earthquake, little is known about the situation in Tibetan areas close to the border, other than reports from the Chinese state media, due to tight information controls, restrictions on foreign visitors and lack of access to media.

Official Chinese reports refer to the deaths of 25 people in the Tibet Autonomous Region, with four missing; 2,511 buildings destroyed, 82 monasteries damaged (13 seriously), and 20,000 relief workers and 4,100 military personnel deployed (April 30).

The death toll may be lower than would be expected given the number of buildings destroyed because during this time of year many people in the area would be out in the fields carrying out agricultural work. But the figures still appear to be low, given the damage admitted in the state media. There are tight restrictions on information flow in the Tibet Autonomous Region due to the ongoing political crackdown, with severe penalties for passing on news that differs from official representations, and no independent non-governmental organizations allowed to operate there.

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Misleading reporting on Tibetans in Nepal

November 4, 2014

A report issued by Asia News gives a misleading impression on the issue of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. Asia News cited Shes Narayan Poudel, chief of the National Commission for the Coordination of refugees, in Kathmandu saying that: “We have decided to no longer provide identity cards to Tibetan refugees. If we continue to recognize them as such, we will face new waves of immigration. And we have no more space.”

ICT has been able to confirm that there is no change in policy in Nepal with regard to Tibetan status in Nepal. The agreement with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees on the transit of Tibetan new arrivals through Nepal still holds, although the number of Tibetans escaping into exile has plummeted this year, in the context of a steady decline each year since China’s crackdown in Tibet deepened in 2008. Under pressure from China, Nepal stopped issuing or renewing refugee identification cards in 1994 to the long-staying Tibetan community in Nepal.

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Nepal’s Shame

Published online April 16, 2014 by US News and World Report.
By Ellen Bork

Nepal is doing China’s bidding by mistreating Tibetans.

In late 2011, I visited Kathmandu to look into the situation of Tibetan refugees. Nepal provides a home to a community of approximately 20,000 refugees who left Tibet after the 1959 departure of the Dalai Lama; in 1989, no longer willing to allow settlement by newly arrivals, it became a way station to Tibetan refugees on their way to India. The 1989 change in policy was made in response to Chinese pressure, and I’d heard that under even greater pressure, Nepali authorities were mistreating Tibetan residents and even intercepting and repatriating refugees to China.

I didn’t have to wait long to see some evidence first hand. While on my way to call on an unofficial representative of the Dalai Lama, my driver got a call saying that the representative had been taken to the police station. He was later released. On the same day, a visiting U.S. official working for an undersecretary of state with responsibility for the Tibet issues portfolio also encountered police at her various appointments in the Tibetan community. Later we were advised that the harassment was probably related to the holding of a Tibetan mourning ceremony for a prominent figure and that Beijing had signaled its displeasure, leading to the harassment of various Tibetans.

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UN Human Rights Committee urges Nepal to register Tibetan refugees

April 10, 2014

The UN Human Rights Committee (HRCmte) urged Nepal to register long staying Tibetans and to ensure that all Tibetans who may have a valid refugee claim are guaranteed access to Nepali territory. This was a part of the concluding observations that the UN HRCmte made when reviewing Nepal’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The UN Human Rights Committee commended Nepal for hosting a large number of refugees and asylum seekers in its territory but said it was concerned “at the restrictions imposed on Tibetan refugee rights should the State party deem any activity to undermine the friendly relationship with its neighbor.” It added that it was concerned that the lack of legislation would not protect against refoulement to China. The Committee’s concluding observations can be viewed here.

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Statement by the International Campaign for Tibet on the Human Rights Watch report on Tibetan refugees in Nepal

April 1, 2014

“Human Rights Watch reports a disturbing development that Nepalese police have forcibly returned Tibetans refugees back across the border of Tibet. The Nepalese Government has an urgent responsibility to investigate the role of its personnel in violating Nepal’s international and national obligations to protect those fleeing a credible fear of persecution, and to take measures to prevent future incidents.”

“ICT fears that Chinese officials are encouraging Nepalese personnel to violate those obligations. The HRW report details cooperative agreements between Chinese and Nepalese security personnel on border control and monitoring, and notes that China has pressed Nepal not to allow safe passage of Tibetan refugees. This interference in Nepal’s internal affairs is wrong and contradictory to China’s stated principles.

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Tibetans Repressed in Nepal, Rights Group Finds

April 1, 2014

Published online April 1, 2014 by The New York Times
By Edward Wong and Bhadra Sharma

BEIJING — Under enormous pressure from China, the Nepalese government restricts the political freedoms of Tibetan refugees living in Nepal, subjects them to abuse and harassment by the security forces, and spies on them for Chinese officials, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.

The 100-page report, “Under China’s Shadow: Mistreatment of Tibetans in Nepal,” documents the repression faced by Tibetans who cross into Nepal, often illegally, from neighboring Tibet, which has been ruled since 1951 by the Chinese Communist Party. The report also discusses how some of those refugees might never enter Nepal proper, saying there are “serious concerns that Nepal may at times forcibly return Tibetans to China.”

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“Limited Freedoms” for Tibetan Refugees in Nepal, State Department reports

February 28, 2014

The U.S. State Department reports a restrictive atmosphere for Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal. The findings are part of the Nepal section of the Country Reports on Human Rights for 2013, released on February 27.

“Tibetans continue to suffer a marginal existence in Nepal,” said Todd Stein, Director of Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet. “The installation of a new government in Kathmandu allows for the opportunity for advancing policies to help this community and strengthen the fabric of Nepalese society, such as providing identity cards to Tibetans who have not been able to get legal documentation.”

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Karma Ngedon Gyatso

New information on Tibetan monk who self-immolated in Nepal

August 19, 2013

The disabled monk who self-immolated and died in Kathmandu on August 6 left Tibet because he was not able to practice his religion, according to information published in Tibet Times “Tibet Times, a Tibetan language newspaper published in Dharamsala, India” (ICT report, Tibetan monk dies after self-immolation in Kathmandu, Nepal). The exile newspaper also published images of Karma Ngedon Gyatso and made audio available of him speaking in November, 2011, soon after he arrived in exile (Tibet Times). Thirty-eight year old Karma Ngedon Gyatso died after setting himself on fire at the Boudha stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Karma Ngedon Gyatso (pictured) propelled himself with his arms using two wooden blocks, dragging his paralysed legs behind him. Despite this severe disability, before he left Tibet for exile, he went on pilgrimage to various sacred sites in Tibet, including the sacred Mount Kailash. In one image, he reaches up from the ground to take a bowl of food. In another, he is smiling at the camera, with his hands rested on the wooden blocks and his legs curled underneath him.

In the interview with Tibet Times, translated below into English, Karma Ngedon Gyatso said that due to restrictions by the authorities on numbers of monks at his home monastery in Tibet, he was not able to register officially and was often harassed by officials as a result. He spoke about mining in his home area, and his fears about the extinction of Tibetan culture.

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Tibetan monk dies after self-immolation in Kathmandu, Nepal

August 7, 2013

  • A 38-year old monk called Karma Ngedon Gyatso died after setting himself on fire at the Boudha stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, yesterday (August 6). Karma Ngedon Gyatso, who was unable to walk due to a severe disability, had arrived in exile from Tibet in October, 2011. Tibetans who knew him describe him as deeply religious. It is the second fatal self-immolation by a Tibetan monk in Kathmandu this year after Drupchen Tsering set himself on fire in February, also at the Boudha stupa.

  • Graphic images show onlookers gazing down on the man’s blackened body curled up in an area inside the stupa, an important pilgrimage circuit, where Tibetans go to prostrate and make offerings. (View images, graphic »)

Before setting himself on fire, Karma Ngedon Gyatso lit butter-lamps in a traditional form of prayer offering. One of the last people to speak to him alive was an employee at a shop selling butter-lamps near the stupa. Lila Maya Moktan from the Butter Lamp House told the Himalayan Times: “’He paid me Rs 1,500 ($15) for the lamps. The Tibetan was alone and was calm. […] About 10 minutes after he visited my shop, I came to know that the man had immolated self.’” (Himalayan Times, August 7, 2013).

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Senator Dianne Feinstein

US Senate Committee recommends 5,000 visas for displaced Tibetans; measure faces long process in House and Senate before enactment

The Senate Judiciary Committee has adopted a measure to provide immigration visas to 5,000 displaced Tibetans residing in India and Nepal. The amendment, offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), was passed by voice vote and incorporated into the immigration reform legislation being crafted by the Committee. “The Feinstein amendment serves American domestic, humanitarian and foreign […]

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Ex-President Carter says China pressuring Nepal on Tibetans

China is putting pressure on Nepal to interrupt the flow of Tibetan refugees into the Himalayan nation, former United States President Jimmy Carter said on Monday. Hundreds of refugees from the Chinese province of Tibet cross treacherous mountain passes to reach Nepal each year, but as the influence of China grows in its impoverished neighbour, […]

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Dismay over hasty secret cremation of Tibetan monk who self-immolated in Nepal

The body of Tibetan monk Drupchen Tsering (Druptse) who set fire to himself in Kathmandu on February 13 has been cremated in Kathmandu late at night without Buddhist or any religious rituals being carried out, despite appeals from the Tibetan community for monks to be in attendance to offer prayers. The cremation in the middle […]

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Further self-immolation in Tibet despite harsh legal measures to deter protests; Tibetan who set fire to himself in Nepal dies

A Tibetan father of three set himself on fire and died in eastern Tibet yesterday (February 13), the third day of Tibetan New Year (Losar), according to Tibetan exile sources. His self-immolation came on the same day as a Tibetan in his twenties set fire to himself by the Boudha stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. The […]

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