Police high-handedness highlights Xi’s India, Nepal visit

DHARAMSALA, 14 Oct: Amidst police high-handedness that saw scores of Tibetan activists and students being kept under preventative detention and house arrest in India, Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that threatening China will end in ‘crushed bodies and shattered bones on his arrival in Nepal.

“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” Xi Jinping has reportedly told Nepal’s prime minister, KP Sharma Oli, during their meeting on Sunday, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

“And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming,” Xi has added.

Xi Jinping on Saturday became the first Chinese president to visit Kathmandu after Jiang Zemin’s visit to the country in 1996.

Meanwhile, Nepal police is reported to have arrested 22 Tibetan activists in Kathmandu as the country hosted Chinese president for the two-day visit over 112-13 Oct, reports the Himalayan Times.

Police have arrested 22 Free-Tibet movement campaigners and human rights activists from Kathmandu over the past three days. They were planning to hold protests during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal, the report noted.

The report stated that five persons were arrested from Swoyambhu, nine from Bouddha, six from Pharping and two from an undisclosed location in Kathmandu citing the Metropolitan Police Range, Teku.

According to the report, the police have alleged that from Bouddha were wearing tracksuits with ‘Free Tibet’ slogan. Others were carrying Tibetan flags and bags with ‘Free Tibet’ slogans.

Tibetans living in Kathmandu have told us about a heavy presence of police patrolling every section of the country inhabited by Tibetans over the days leading up to the Chinese President’s state visit.

“We were made to feel like we were living in Tibet under Chinese occupation, threatened and intimated since way ahead of Xi Jinping’s arrival in Nepal,” a source from Bouddha told Tibet Express.

Nepal is not among the 147 nations that have signed the United Nations Convention Relating to Refugee Status, which guarantees their refugee populations certain rights. A large majority of the Tibetan refugees born in Nepal still remain undocumented and they often face restrictions from Nepalese authorities, particularly around significant Tibetan anniversaries.

As Nepal cosies up to China and the latter’s influence grew in the country, the pressure is mounting on Tibetans living in the region.

Meanwhile, Nepal started collecting data on Tibetan refugees living in the country to keep a tap on their number and their anti-China activities in February this year. The Nepalese government also opened a probe over the participation of its two members of the House of Representatives at the World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet in May under Chinese influence.

The MP duo later said in a joint press statement that they “happened to inadvertently attend the conference” due to wrong information.

The Chinese President arrived in the landlocked country in South Asia from India after holding an informal summit with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu over 11-12 October.

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