Witness to excesses
As an independent Australian journalist covering news in Nepal for the last two years, I was also a witness to the Tibetans’ protest outside the UN building at Pulchowk “Tibetans take to protest against China’s crackdown” (THT, March 16). However, the 200-odd protestors,
demanding religious freedom in their country, were not disrupting traffic as was reported in the Nepali media but were sitting on the sidewalk opposite the UN building. Secondly, the protestors at no stage “attacked security forces” but were chanting slogans against the Chinese government and holding placards when the Armed Police Force tried to move them away. Police pushed and slapped protestors, and hit them repeatedly with lathis. The APF commanding officer appeared to personally lose control over his emotions as he pushed and screamed at the protestors. He refused to explain why his men were ordered to attack a peaceful rally. The UN has since expressed concern about reports of excessive use of force. As a fellow journalist I encourage Nepali journalists to uphold their commitment to accurate reporting, especially on sensitive issues.
Liam Cochrane, via e-mail
This is in reference to the news report “YCL cadres misbehave with former
minister” (THT, March 15). The attacks carried out by the Maoists’ youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL), to disrupt the poll campaigns indicates that the Maoists are still reluctant to change their violent ways. If the Maoists really want to retain public confidence, it’s high time they demonstrated their willingness to participate in peaceful politics as they have signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Prasun Singh, via e-mail
Apropos of the news report “Tibetans take to protest against China’s crackdown”, (THT, March 15), it is distressing that at least 10 people have been killed in unrest following protests by Tibetans against Chinese government. The demonstrations, which were staged in India, Nepal and several world capitals are the largest since the 1989 protests that led to the
imposition of martial law in Tibet’s capital. The demonstrations have led to sympathy protests
elsewhere and have embarrassed China ahead of the Olympic Games.
Following the protests, the Dalai Lama called for an international inquiry into China’s crackdown, accusing it of a “rule of terror” and “cultural genocide”. China should come forward to solve Tibet issue adopting what Dalai Lama has proposed as the “Middle Way Policy”. The Chinese government should stop using force against protestors and address the long-simmering resentment through peaceful means.
Nyima Gyalpo, Pune, India
Apropos of the letter “Midnight din” (THT, March 17), I would like to clarify that Tibetan refugees never chanted slogans at midnight in the first place, though we took out a candle-lit rally to protest the killings. As for the writer’s suggestion that we should instead stage our protests in front of the Chinese embassy, we are planning one very soon.
However, I would also ask our Nepali authorities to sympathise with the plight of the refugees.
Jampa K M, Boudha