By Tenzin Choephel
|Tibetans in Nepal offered prayers, candles, flowers and khatas (silk scarves) as a mark of respect for those who died in the recent devastating earthquake in China. (Photo: Tenzin Choephel/Phayul.com)|
Kathmandu, May 15 – Over 200 Tibetans in Nepal offered prayers, candles, flowers and khatas (silk scarves) as a mark of respect for those who died in the recent devastating earthquake in China at Maitighar Mandala in the evening and sent their message of condolences to the families of the deceased. The service was also meant for all the victims of the deadly cyclone in Myanmar.
The Nepali Police briefly interrupted the service forcing many Tibetans to remove t-shirts, head bands and masks with slogans reading ‘Save Tibet’, ‘Stop Accusing the Dalai Lama’, ‘Human Rights in Tibet’ and ‘Stop Killing in Tibet’. Tibetans complied with the police order and the service convened without any further interruption.
Mr. Sudeep Pathak, Senior Nepali Human Rights activist spoke briefly at the service and offered his condolences to the victims but also condemned the recent grave comments of the Chinese Ambassador Zheng Xialing about peaceful Tibetan protestors and Government of Nepal.
|(Photo by Tenzin Choephel/Phayul.com)|
He said, “We are not anti-China and the Chinese Ambassador should know that the Constitution of Nepal guarantees right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly that not only applies to Nepalese but also to Tibetan refugees living in Nepal”.
Tibetans in Nepal who have been protesting Beijing’s crackdown in Tibet since March 10 are temporarily holding their rallies respecting the people of China and particularly family members who have lost their loved ones. This was announced by the Nepal Tibetan Solidarity Forum in a pres release today. The Forum has extended its ‘deep sympathy and prayers to the families of the victims’. They also said that they would be organizing ‘special prayer sessions at Boudanath and Swayambunath Stupas for all victims to observe the first ‘Dhuntsik’ or completion of seven days after death according to Tibetan custom’. The Forum has also requested Tibetans and other volunteer protestors to ‘refrain from doing so for the time being’.
One of the leading volunteers Nima told Phayul, “We are holding our protest for one week to pay respect to all Chinese who lost their lives, as human beings we grieve their losses but we will resume our demonstration after a week and also have different plans”. The last Tibetan protest in Nepal was on Wednesday where 280 were arrested, detained and released the same day.