Tibet policy comes under fire among Tibetan diaspora

KATHMANDU: Two prominent international human rights groups, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), have on Mar 5 issued a joint statement at the 19th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, criticizing Nepal’s policy on Tibetans living in the country as well as Nepalis of Tibetan origin.


“The Government continues to obstruct peaceful gatherings by Tibetans and Nepalis of Tibetan origin, including detaining demonstrators in violation of orders from Nepal’s Supreme Court,” the statement was quoted as saying.


The statement was made during debate on the report on Nepal by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Nepal had ordered the OHCHR to close down its office in the country on Dec 8, 2011.

High Commissioner Ms Navi Pillay has criticized that order and expressed concern on the welfare of the Tibetan refugees in Nepal in the report. The report says: “OHCHR-Nepal continued to be concerned at the manner in which the police, under clear direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs, have prevented members of the Tibetan community from exercising their rights to freedom of movement, assembly and association.


On key ceremonial occasions, including religious festivals and the birthday of the Dalai Lama, the police have prevented the participation of the Tibetan community in peaceful events through arbitrary arrests and other inappropriate methods,” said the report.


“In June 2011, 12 Tibetans were detained for nearly three weeks under the Public Offences Act, after displaying the Tibetan flag. Their release was ordered by the Supreme Court, confirming that their detention had been illegal.


That was the fourth time, at least, over the past three years that members of Nepal’s Tibetan community have been detained under the Public Offences Act or the Public Security Act and subsequently released, following an appeal to the Supreme Court.”


Nepal’s Prime Minister recently claimed to the CNN that under international law refugees cannot engage in political activities.

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