China calls on Nepal to go tougher on pro-Tibetan groups
China terms groups’ daily protests as illegal political activities and asks Nepal to prevent them from operating.3 April 2008
KATHMANDU - China has asked the Nepalese government to prevent pro-Tibetan groups from operating in Nepal, official media said Thursday.
Terming the growing protests by Tibetans in Nepal as "illegal political activities," China asked Nepal to take stringent measures to prevent anti-Chinese activities, the official Rising Nepal newspaper reported.
China has sought to quell Tibet-related demonstrations in the region, which have proven an embarrassment as it steps into the international spotlight as host of the Summer Olympic Games in August.
Human rights groups have criticised both China and Nepal for their handling of the Tibet protests. Rights groups charged them with violating protesters' basic rights, including the right to assembly and freedom of speech, and with using excessive force.
The Chinese reaction followed Tibetan protests on Tuesday and Wednesday in Kathmandu during which demonstrators tried to march on to the Chinese embassy in the latest of nearly daily protests in the Nepalese capital since 10 March.
"The ringleaders of Tibetan organisations here, some of whom are plotting behind and some are conducting protests, urged the Tibetans demonstrators to storm the embassy," Chinese ambassador Zheng Xialing charged, according to the newspaper report.
Zheng claimed anti-Chinese forces were operating in Nepal camouflaged as Tibetan protestors and were attempting to sabotage relations between the two countries.
"We hope the Nepalese government adheres to a one-China policy and does not allow anti-China forces," Zheng said. "Our long-term friendly relations should not be undermined by these forces."
Zheng alleged that most of the protestors in Kathmandu were associated with the Tibetan government in exile and described them as "separatists," a charge China has long levelled against the exiles.
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader and head of its government in exile, has insisted he does not seek independence from China, only greater autonomy for Tibet within China, although some Tibetans involved in the recent protests have called for independence.
Nepal's government has said there is no change in its policy of recognising Tibet as an integral part of China and would not allow anti-Chinese activities despite coming under growing criticism from the United Nations and human rights groups.
More than 1,500 Tibetan demonstrators have been detained since the beginning of anti-China protests in Kathmandu.
Rights groups have charged the Nepalese authorities with threatening the refugees involved in demonstrations with deportation back to Tibet, a charge denied by Nepalese authorities.
[dpa / AFP / Expatica]