Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bhote Kranti

.....means Tibetan Uprising
Kathmandu, Nepal

Turns out there was a Tibetan action in Kathmandu for Tibet Uprising Day, March 10.
The Chinese Embassy was way too obvious, so the marchers started at Boudhanath Stupa and were halted at Chuchchepati. Some 200 people were jailed, but (according to the news) all were released the same day.

The government of Nepal (whoever that is, these days) has become increasingly pro-China in its policies, including those toward the Tibetan immigrants. Just last week the Nepali police raided the Tibetan refugee reception center at Swayambu and "renditioned" a Tibetan man back to China. (According to the Chinese government, he was wanted for assaulting a Chinese citizen. )

There have been numerous recent cases of Tibetan refugees being turned back at the border, jailed just after crossing the border and then repatriated, or harassed within country by Nepali police (due to the Tibetans' fragile legal status. Unlike India, Nepal has given them no offical refugee status).
Meanwhile in Dharamsala, India, the peaceful Tibetan march toward the border was nipped in the bud by a restraining order from Indian Police.

Scenes from the 'hood: Here's one of characteristic Nepali "hitis" or public water fountains. These inverted-pyramid-like structures were built long ago by the Malla kings and still provide water for a great many urban Nepalis. People do laundry, fetch drinking water and bathe publicly in the hiti. Receding water tables and increased population mean many of them are reduced to a trickle. This hiti is down a side street in Thamel. I walked by it again today; The opposite wall (not visible) is now covered in Maoist election posters.



1 comment:

Sarasvati said...

Great photos, as always.
By all accounts, the marchers are going anyway ... they won't be stopped easily. I wonder how far they will get. Lha gyalo!