Tibetans mark Dalai Lama’s birth anniversary

KATHMANDU: Braving government’s order to refrain from anti-neighbour activities, hundreds of Tibetan exiles today marked the 74th birthday of the Dalai Lama with much fanfare and enthusiasm.

As many as 900 Tibetans, including monks and nuns, attended a special prayer service held at Bouddhanath Stupa this morning surrounded by dozens of baton-wielding riot police.

The government yesterday issued prohibitory order against all kinds of demonstrations against Chinese rule in Tibet.

Tashi Lama, a Tibetan monk, said the special ceremony lasted for two hours amidst the fear of police

intervention. The government had poured in extra security forces across the Valley to coincide with the Dalai Lama’s birthday to prevent Tibetans from taking to the streets to protest Chinese rule in Tibet.

Meanwhile, Tibetan exiles organised a sparkly cultural programme at Swoyambhunath Stupa to wish the spiritual leader long-life. Migmar Lama, an activist of Free Tibet Movement, said police did not intervene in the programme.

Security was heightened at a time when Beijing had warned the government that exiled groups may seek to destabilise Tibet from across the border in Nepal.

A senior police official at Bouddha said extra forces had were mobilised to maintain law and order as directed by Ministry of Home Affairs.

“The higher authorities have ordered us to use all resources to ensure public security,” said the official.

Plainclothes security personnel were also deployed in Bouddhanath Stupa, Baluwatar, Hattisar, Swoyambhunath and Ekantakuna.

The government yesterday had maintained that it was committed to maintaining proportionate and friendly relationship with its neighbours — India and China — in consonance with the UN Charter and foreign policy adopted by the country.

Issuing a press statement, Ministry of Home Affairs said, “Nepal stands firm not to allow any external forces to use its soil against its neighbours and it sticks to its One China Policy”.