By Jyoti Dhakal, KATHMANDU:– Every other day, news reports of brutalities from police and other security personnel from Chinese and Nepalese side against the Tibetan refugees surface in the media. The Tibetans are, first of all, not allowed to cross the Chinese border into Nepal. Even when they cross, they are beaten ferociously, arrested and then sent back to China.
Nepal’s border police force of the armed police and other security forces in particular have been arresting the supporters of the Free Tibet movement and allegedly murdering them, too, in the custody.
Every year, thousands of exiled supporters of Free Tibet movement are handed over to Chinese security personnel only for them to live either a torturous life or to die in the custody.
Nepal has set up various refugee camps for the Tibetans, but has allegedly provided an access to Chinese side upto the refugee camps, where the refugees are threatened almost on a regular basis.
For their service to the Chinese side, Nepalese security officials have been allegedly receiving monthly financial assistance, residential facilities in Hong Kong and scholarships to their children for a free medical studies in China, according to people in the know.
It is believed that China won’t protest when India builds a road in Lipulekh and Kalapani areas of Nepal for connectivity to Mount Kailash area of Tibet. Likewise, India won’t protest when China and China-backed political parties in Nepal attempt to foil the US-Nepal project of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
“China and India do not want that the US project of MCC be implemented in Nepal. The only main reason for them is to minimize the US role in Nepal and South Asia,” said the sources.
“Further, they do not want to lose their influence in Nepal, for example, India’s influence in the southern Nepal and China’s influence in northern Nepal.”
In the meantime, various reports have pointed that Nepal’s close ties with China are only weakening the situation of human rights in Tibet.
“Tibetan refugees who have arrived in Nepal since 1994 have no legal status and often face unequal treatment and restrictions on their rights,” the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet and the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights were quoted as saying at the UN by a media report, ahead of a review on Nepal’s human rights record.
“While a previous system of Refugee Identification Cards (RCs) recognized Tibetans’ legal status to reside in Nepal, the Nepali government ceased issuing the RC in 1994. All human rights issues faced by Tibetans derive from this basic lack of legal recognition,” the report further said.
In absence of these cards, Tibetans are deprived of earning a living, setting up a business or even going to a school.
In particular, the treaties recently signed by China and Nepal on border management system and criminal matters are a cause for particular worry for the Tibetans, according to the experts.
“As per these treaties, if the Nepalese authorities send Tibetans back into the hands of the Chinese authorities, that may lead to their persecution, torture or imprisonment,” Kai Mueller, head of ICT’s U.N. Advocacy Team was quoted as saying by RFA’s Tibetan Service.
Nepal is believed to be hosting more than 20,000 Tibetans, who fled violence and threats to live a peaceful life in Nepal. The Tibetans started arriving in Nepal in 1959 when China forcefully took over Tibet and Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama had to flee to Dharmashala in India for a refuge.
Meanwhile, Nepalese media is getting hints from political sources that considerations are going on for the change of government in Nepal.
“Prime Minister KP Oli’s first priority is implementing the US-Nepal MCC project and keeping up with Nepal’s alliance with America. His opposition leaders within his political party, however, do not want to see the MCC be implemented. In this situation, a split of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is also possible,” said the political sources in Nepal.
“PM Oli is actually trying to remove Chinese monopoly in Nepal through the MCC, but that is not acceptable for India as well China. In this situation, India and China are probably heading towards facilitating a new government formation,” the sources further said.
“The new government is likely to be led by yet another NCP Chairperson Prachanda and could be joined by main opposition party Nepali Congress and Madhes-centric Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP),” the sources added.
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