The Tibetan community in Nepal, which numbers at around 20,000, faces yet more restrictions during this sensitive period, which saw polling stations being destroyed in recent weeks by Nepali police. On 13th February, police prevented Tibetan community elections, the opportunity to vote for a new Government in Exile. Storming polling stations in full gear, they seized ballots and other election material.
The meetings follow a week of heated discussion in Brussels, focused on Nepali relations with Tibetans seeking refuge in the country. The European Parliament this week called for the rights of Tibetans to be respected in Nepal. With the support of all the major political parties of the house, a resolution was adopted calling on the government of Nepal to respect the democratic and human rights of the Tibetan community living in the country.
The resolution from the European Parliament says that Tibetans have a right to participate in democratic rights, and that this is a "fundamental right of all citizens that must be upheld, protected and guaranteed in every democratic state". There is growing concern for China's influence in the Nepal, and the decision from Kathmandu to deport Tibetans to China highlights a closer relationship between the neighbouring countries.
Humanitarian aid and military assistance from China to Nepal, at an estimated worth 13 million US$, is also bound to strengthen ties. Nepal's economic and trading ties with China have also increased since the fall of the monarchy in 2006. In addition, the rise to power of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal, and the Unified Marxist-Leninist Party has also forged a closer bond with Communist China.
The United States expressed criticism of Nepal this week, when on April 8th it released the ‘2010 Human Rights Report'. During this report, concern was raised over Nepals forcible return of Tibetans attempting to flee Chinese rule. The report highlighted that: ‘For the first time since 2003, there was a confirmed forcible return of three Tibetans from Nepal'.
Despite the rallying call from Europe, and the Human Rights Report released by the U.S this week, the so called Nepal-Tibet border security meeting concluded on Sunday with abysmal results for Tibetans. The meeting, held in the town of Khasa (Zhangmu), located in Nyalam County, on the Nepal-Tibet border, apparently ignored pleas from the West. Led by joint secretary at the Home Ministry Jaya Mukunda Khanal of Nepal, and vice chairman of Tibet Eazy Gaozi for the Chinese team, the discussions led to officials of Nepal and China agreeing to coordinate closely with each other on security affairs in the future. It suggests that there will be an increase of forcible return of Tibetans to China.