Friday, September 12, 2008

UNHCR to verify Tibetans in Nepal

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Nepal is set to verify the identity of the Tibetans arrested in course of demonstrations before Nepal-based Chinese embassy, consular section and other places, state-run newspaper The Rising Nepal reported on Friday.

The understanding to this effect was reached at a program organized Thursday at the Home Ministry to discuss the circumstances after the police arrested 106 Tibetans during demonstrations and handed over to the Immigration Department for necessary legal actions, said Home Ministry Spokesperson Mod Raj Dotel.

Urging the demonstrating Tibetans in Nepal to stop such activities some days back, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam warned that those undeterred would be sent back to heir country.

The UNHCR made it clear that those verified as Tibetan refugees would only be allowed to take shelter in Nepal and rest others would be sent back to their destination.

Tibetans have long been taking shelter in Nepal. They have been staging demonstrations around Chinese diplomatic offices and other areas in Nepal for the last few months.

"Nepal has been sticking to one China policy," the report said.

Another local newspaper The Himalayan Times quoted government sources as saying those activists failing to produce Tibetan refugee status would be sent to India through UNHCR, as in the past.

The Home Ministry of Nepal has received what officials said was reliable intelligence that some European and American NGOs are supporting the protests by the refugees, according to local newspaper The Kathmandu Post.

"We are going to take action against as well," Home Ministry sources said on condition of anonymity. He did not name the NGOs.

Nepali Home Ministry officials, on the basis of intelligence reports, concluded that the protests have been coordinated by someone outside Nepal.

"We tolerated the protests to date but we will no longer stand for it," a senior Home Ministry official said.

"Such protests are not allowed in India though a large number of them have been staying there," the official said.

Taking advantage of the special transitional period Nepal is undergoing, the so-called "Tibet Independence" activists instigated demonstrations outside UN and Chinese diplomatic offices mainly in Nepali capital Kathmandu since March 10.

The activities often went ugly, leading to disruptions of city traffic and clashes with police injuring some Nepali policemen even by use of stones and injections, etc.

Source: Xinhua

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