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18january20101Nepali authorities on Friday detained 10 Tibetan refugees, accusing them of attempting an illegal entry to Nepal. The arrests were made at Lamabagar in Dolakha, near the Tibet-Nepal border.

The arrests came in the wake of mounting Chinese pressure on Nepal to curb what the northern neighbor terms, “anti-China activities exerted by Tibetan dissidents in Nepal”. The Maoist government of Nepal has long maintained a “One China” foreign policy.  

“We are questioning the Tibetans. Probably, we will submit them to the Embassy of China in Kathmandu for deportation,” Madhav Raj Regmi stated on Friday, the Director General in Dolakha. Human rights groups say hundreds of Tibetans undertake a dangerous trek over the Himalayas on their way to Nepal each year to escape Chinese rule.

Nepal is home to some 23,000 officially recognized Tibetan refugees, the second largest Tibetan exile community outside of India.

Nevertheless, the Nepali government recognizes Tibet as an integral part of China, and bans “anti-Chinese” activities within its borders. Tibetan exiles in Nepal do frequently protest “Chinese rule in their homeland”, however.

The 10 Tibetan refugees -- eight men and two women -- were arrested in the Dolakha district, 150 kilometers east of Kathmandu, on Friday and handed over to the Department of Immigration on Sunday, according to the district's Deputy Police Superintendent Dhiraj Pratap Singh.

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