Nepal disrupts Tibetan fasting for compatriots in Ngaba

Daharamshala, April 19: A group of Tibetans fasting in protest of Chinese authorities’ siege of Kirti Monastery in Tibet’s Ngaba County were disrupted by Nepali Police on Monday.

Around 41 Tibetans are fasting in a 24-hour relay hunger strike organized by Nepal’s Regional Tibetan Youth Congress under the direction of Central Tibetan Youth Congress based here. All the regional chapters of TYC around the world are holding parallel hunger-strikes, according to a statement by TYC on Sunday.

President of the RTYC Ms. Tsewang Dolma said the sit-in hunger strike is in solidarity of Phuntsok, a 20 year old monk from Kirti Monastery who self-immolated himself on March 16 and condemned the continuing blockade of the entire monastic campus by armed Chinese security forces and complete restriction imposed on the monks’ movement and terming it a “gross violation of human rights.”

Several Nepali policemen arrived at the scene as soon as the hunger strike began on April 17 and later plain-clothed policemen interrupted the fasting in the afternoon. The police forces removed the Tibetan National Flag and other ‘Free Tibet’ banners from the scene.

Tibet Express correspondent said a participant identified as Sonam and several other women in the fasting were forcefully removed of their shirts which carried ‘Free Tibet’ slogan messages and rendered them half-naked by the police.

An elderly woman named Yulho said the hunger-strike protest is both timely and significant to express their solidarity to the compatriots in Tibet but regretted lack of participants specially the younger Tibetans in the fasting.

Nepal subscribes to ‘One China Policy’ which regards Tibet as an integral part of China, its giant northern neighbor. China regularly donates to the impoverished nation which in turn prohibits any anti-china activities on its soil by Tibetan refugees.

More than 20000 Tibetans live in Nepal. In October last year, Nepal disrupted Tibetan election of Prime Minister and Members of the parliament.

The organizer of relay hunger strike has reportedly sought the help of Nepal Human Rights Commission for permission prior to the hunger strike from the local authorities but it is not immediately known if permissions were granted.

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