Nepal tightens security ahead of Tibetan Uprising Day

Kathmandu, March 9: Security has been tightened around major Tibetan refugee settlements in Nepal ahead of Monday’s Tibetan Uprising Day anniversary, officials said Sunday.

This would be the 55th anniversary of the uprising.

Police said hundreds of security personnel in uniform and plain clothes have been deployed in Kathmandu’s Boudha, Swoyambhunath and Jawlakhel areas where Tibetans have been living in camps since their exile.

Security has been tightened in and around the Chinese embassy and its consular office, and also in Pokhara city outside the capital, where a small refugee camp is located.

Police spokesperson Ganesh K.C. said Nepali territory will not be used against any neighbouring countries.

“In the name of refugees, we will not allow any activities targeting our friendly countries,” he said.

Nepal is home to more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees who have been staying here since the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959.

Earlier March 5, the government stopped a cultural show organised by the Tibetan community in Kathmandu.

A police officer said authorities conducted a raid Saturday inside a refugee camp amid threats of self-immolation.

Last year, a Tibetan man immolated himself in Kathmandu and security agencies fear that such attempts could be repeated.

According to media reports here, police have kept fire trucks on standby to thwart any self-immolation bid. They have also installed 15 CCTV cameras to monitor the activities of refugees.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan administration in exile is based in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala.