Nepalese Question the Logic of Action Against Tibetans in Kathmandu

Nepalese are questioning the logic behind the Nepalese police action against Tibetans in Kathmandu, who were holding their elections on October 3, 2010.  In comments to Nepalese media that have reported on this action, these Nepalese have called for the Nepal Government to assert its independent and sovereign status in providing the Tibetan refugees basic human rights.

Writing in myrepublica.com, Pharta Bhurtel says, “As a democratic country, we should have no problems with them engaging in a democratic exercise by holding an election, which probably has no meaning because the elected person can never hold his post in the real Tibet. It is important for us to question, how a harmless democratic exercise is anti-China? and even if it is, don´t people in a democracy (Nepal) have the right to voice their opinions even if they are against the national policy.”

Bhurtel adds, “We are a sovereign nation, we have to protect the interest of our neighbors but that should not be done by arresting and punishing people without a nation and going against the fundamentals of democracy. The refugees should have the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Nepalese constitution as long as they are living in Nepal. I seriously fail to understand how appeasing the whims of the giants around is going to make us a responsible nation. ”

Reader S. Sherpa highlights the perceived discriminatory attitude of the Nepalese Government towards Tibetan refugees compared to how the refugees from Bhutan are allowed space. Sherpa says, “During the 20 years, Nepal Government in trying to maintain ´one china policy´ has done everything possible from closing the local representative´s office, stopping issue of RC. Banning the celebration of the birthday of the Dalai Lama. disallowing immigration of 5000 undocumented Tibetan refugees to the west stopping community election and now questioning CA members whenever they meet Dalai Lama. On the other hand the country´s refugee policy has a sympathetic view of Bhutanese refugees. They are allowed to immigrate to west, select their leaders and voice their opinions openly in Nepali media. ”

Sherpa ends his comments with a question, “Does Nepal Government have a policy for the 20,000 odd Tibetans refugees, besides being made scapegoats of hypersensitive Chinese undiplomatic overtures ?”

Another reader Karin Joseph says, “Its true that Nepal has to walk the tight rope of balancing its own national interest and universal human rights. Does Tibetan refugees deserve only a sympathy by submitting to every demand Chinese government is making? Its really sad to read your editorial. Nothing could justify this shameful act of looting the ballot papers. I deeply hope that your paper will draw attention on the plight of these Tibetan refugees and urge the government to return the ballot papers to the rightful owners.”

Following are the full text of these comments in myrepublica.
We can not disagree to the fact that we have to appease both India and China. However, we must also remember that we are a democratic nation, even if our political system is in a bad shape. If we as a nation decided to harbor refugees from Tibet, and still recognize them as Tibetans, we indirectly or directly acknowledge that Tibet existed. As a democratic country, we should have no problems with them engaging in a democratic exercise by holding an election, which probably has no meaning because the elected person can never hold his post in the real Tibet. It is important for us to question, how a harmless democratic exercise is anti-China? and even if it is, don´t people in a democracy (Nepal) have the right to voice their opinions even if they are against the national policy. To give refuge to someone, is to accept them and agree to protect them. We are a sovereign nation, we have to protect the interest of our neighbors but that should not be done by arresting and punishing people without a nation and going against the fundamentals of democracy. The refugees should have the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Nepalese constitution as long as they are living in Nepal. I seriously fail to understand how appeasing the whims of the giants around is going to make us a responsible nation. We can however do that, by focusing on many other important issues and getting our house in order. We pride ourselves of having never been conquered, lets maintain the freedom of speech, our responsibility as a host to refugees and our dignity as a nation.
By sabotaging the voting, we are telling China that they can alter fundamental rights in our nation. It is disheartening to see a newspaper of your stature supporting such an act.

– Partha Bhurtel

Dear Editor,
No country has recognized the exile government officially and therefore, technically the electing the exile leaders are at the best a democratic exercise to elect their community leader which has been happening for the last 50 years. Confiscating the ballot boxes by Nepal Government on pressure from China is in a way recognizing the importance of the democratic practice in exile to a new level.

During the 20 years, Nepal Government in trying to maintain ´one china policy´ has done everything possible from closing the local representative´s office, stopping issue of RC. Banning the celebration of the birthday of the Dalai Lama. disallowing immigration of 5000 undocumented Tibetan refugees to the west stopping community election and now questioning CA members whenever they meet Dalai Lama. On the other hand the country´s refugee policy has a sympathetic view of Bhutanese refugees. They are allowed to immigrate to west, select their leaders and voice their opinions openly in Nepali media.

While the Tibetans worldwide understand the fragile political system in Nepal, yet they have faith in the ordinary people of Nepal including the intellectuals who so far remained steadfast in their stand for sovereign rights. While Tibetans do appreciate the sympathy, it is sad when editorials of reputed newspapers echoes the sentiments in such manner. Does Nepal Government have a policy for the 20,000 odd Tibetans refugees, besides being made scapegoats of hypersensitive Chinese undiplomatic overtures ?

– S. Sherpa

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2 thoughts on “Nepalese Question the Logic of Action Against Tibetans in Kathmandu

  1. Pingback: China Highlights Tibetan Democracy - ICT Blog

  2. Pingback: New China Cities | Blog | China Highlights Tibetan Democracy - ICT Blog

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