China shadow over Nepal
Continuing with its one China policy, Nepal police on Friday arrested Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama's new representative to Nepal minutes after he addressed a press conference in Kathmandu.world Updated: Aug 05, 2011 23:27 IST
Continuing with its one China policy, Nepal police on Friday arrested Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama's new representative to Nepal minutes after he addressed a press conference in Kathmandu.
Thiley Lama, a Nepali citizen who was appointed the volunteer coordinator of the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office in June this year, was arrested from his office in Lazimpat by a police team.
Earlier Lama had addressed a press conference (his first after the appointment) in a hotel urging the Nepal government to ensure rights of nearly 20,000 Tibetan refugees in the country's new constitution.
"Lama was arrested when he reached his office after addressing the press conference," said a source on condition of anonymity.
He is believed to have been kept at the metropolitan range police office and interrogated. Senior police officials when contacted refused to comment on the arrest or feigned ignorance.
There is speculation that he will be released only if he signs an agreement stating he won't indulge in anti-China activities in future.
Lama's arrest comes three days ahead of Lobsang Sangay, the newly elected prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, assuming office in Dharamsala in India.
A high-level delegation led by standing committee member of the Chinese communist party and special envoy of the country's president will be coming to Nepal on a three day visit beginning August 16.
In recent years, China has been pressurizing Nepal to stop anti-China activities on its soil by Tibetan refugees and have started providing monetary and logistical support to patrol the Nepal-Tibet border.
Newly appointed Chinese envoy to Nepal Yang Houlan has also met the almost all political leaders and ministers and impressed upon them to put a stop to activities by Tibetan refugees.
Under pressure from its northern neighbour Nepal stopped issuing identity cards to Tibetan refugees staying in the country in 1998 and recently stopped the Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations.
First Published: Aug 05, 2011 20:03 IST