Nepal halts Tibetans from holding Dalai Lama’s birthday celebrations

Kathmandu: Authorities here have stopped the Tibetan community from holding events to commemorate the 84th birthday of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, over security concerns.

The Nepal government beefed up security in areas inside the Kathmandu valley, where Tibetan refugees and people of Tibetan origin reside, ahead of Dalai Lama’s birthday, The Himalayan Times reported.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Lhamo Thondup, who was born on July 6, 1935, is known for his messages of unity and compassion. He has exiled himself in Dharamshala in India ever since the rebellion against the Chinese rule in 1959.

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To mark his birthday, Tibetan refugees and people of Tibetan origin planned to hold several events in the valley in the weekend.

One of the places where the programme was scheduled to be held was Mustang Gumba in Swoyambhunath, according to high-level security sources. “But police have been dispatched to the place to halt the programme,” a security source was quoted as saying.

The programme, according to security sources, was to be attended by senior diplomats from western countries, including the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.

“These diplomats have expressed serious concerns about the forced cancellation of the event, which is a severe violation of rights of people of the Tibetan community,” a western diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

The Nepal government generally intervenes in events organised by the Tibetan community stating Nepal is committed to ‘One China Policy’.

“We stop any event that goes against this policy,” Spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ram Krishna Regmi, said.

This, however, does not mean people of Tibetan community cannot celebrate the occasions, the source added.

“They can do so privately at their homes. They are only barred from organising events in public places, including hotels,” he said.


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