China tells Nepal to stop Tibet protests


Nepal needs to take stronger measures to prevent daily protests by Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu, China's ambassador to Nepal said in a statement Thursday.

China wants Nepal to "safeguard the dignity of the law, and take severer measures to prevent those political organisations from organising and implementing illegal political activities," Ambassador Zheng Xianglin said.

For the last two weeks, Nepal's capital has seen daily protests by exiled Tibetans outside a United Nations building, and in recent days close to the Chinese embassy.

Nepalese police have detained between 60 and 400 exiled Tibetans daily, with the protesters released hours later and many returning to protest the next day.

The protesters have been calling for freedom for Tibet and for the UN to investigate the deadly unrest that began last month in the Himalayan region.

But the Chinese envoy said they were being manipulated by Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

"What's abominable are the Dalai clique and the organisations for 'Tibet Independence' behind them," the envoy said.

Nepal officially recognises Beijing's "One China" policy that sees both Tibet and Taiwan as an indivisible part of China.

Government officials have repeatedly said that they will not tolerate any protests by the 20,000 Tibetan exiles who live in Nepal out of respect for their giant northern neighbour.

Nepal, sandwiched between India and China, has been criticised by international human rights groups for its heavy-handed policing of the protests in Kathmandu, where protesters have been hit with bamboo poles and beaten while being detained.

Large numbers of Tibetans began arriving in Nepal in 1959 after the Dalai Lama fled to northern India following a failed uprising against Chinese rule of Tibet, a remote Himalayan region.

The protests in Nepal erupted after rallies in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, on March 10 to mark the anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising.

The unrest in Tibet escalated into deadly rioting in Lhasa four days later and spread to other areas of western China with Tibetan populations. (AFP)