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Hundreds of Tibetans protest in Nepal

world Updated: Mar 28, 2009 20:43 IST
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Hundreds of Tibetans exiles, including Buddhist monks and nuns, protested in Nepal's capital Saturday, chanting slogans against China and demanding an end to its rule over their homeland.

The protest marked the anniversary of the date Beijing crushed a 1959 Tibetan uprising, sending the Dalai Lama over the Himalayas into exile and placing Tibet under its direct rule for the first time.

Police did not stop the 500 protesters _ who were holding candles, waving banners and chanting "Stop killing in Tibet" _
from marching for about an hour on the outskirts of Katmandu. "We are here today to offer our prayers for those killed in Tibet and demand that the Chinese authorities stop killing and torture in Tibet," said Tashi Tshering, 35, a refugee living in Katmandu. "We are also demanding basic human rights and the release of all political prisoners in Tibet."

Nepalese police have been ordered to stop all Tibetan street protests against China, but the demonstrators avoided arrest by staying close to a Buddhist shrine.

Security was stepped up around the Chinese Embassy and visa offices, with traffic diverted from the area to prevent any protests there.

There have been few protests by Tibetans in Nepal this year. Last year, there were almost daily demonstrations against a Chinese crackdown in Tibet that followed anti-Beijing riots. Thousands of Tibetan refugees live in Nepal, while thousands more are allowed to pass through the country on their way to Dharmasala, India, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile.