Elevate China-Nepal Ties to New High: Prachanda

As Nepalese and Chinese officials met this weekend for diplomatic discussions, Nepal’s Tibetan refugees staged their final protests of the Olympic Games. Nepal houses over 20,000 Tibetan refugees, but has sided with the Chinese government against Tibet, and has restrained Tibetan protesters. From the Hindu:

China’s President Hu Jintao met Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda here on Sunday to exchange views on bilateral relations.

Mr. Hu welcomed Mr. Prachanda to the Beijing Olympics’ closing ceremony and expressed gratitude to Nepal for its support to the Games. Mr. Prachanda said the Beijing Games have turned over a new leaf in Olympic history and the Nepalese people feel proud for the Chinese.

Mr. Hu said: “The two countries have established a good neighbourly partnership and enjoyed friendship generation upon generation.” China respects the social system and path of development chosen by Nepal and supports its efforts in safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity, he added.

Mr. Hu thanked Nepal for adhering to the one-China policy and firmly supporting China on the Tibet issue.

The International Herald Tribune covered the protest on Sunday:

About 2,000 Tibetan exiles, including children, monks and nuns, joined a protest rally in Katmandu on Sunday, hours before the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing.

Maroon-robed monks and nuns with shaven heads, some with Tibetan flags and placards calling for independence, were among the participants who walked silently for eight kilometers, or five miles on the outskirts of the Nepali capital.

In Katmandu, the police kept a strict vigil and snatched some flags, but they let the march continue from the Boudha suburb to the ancient monastery of Swyambhu outside the main city.

Reuters India gives a brief description of the protests during the last week of the Olympics:

Nepali police detained about 200 Tibetan exiles who tried to march to the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday protesting against China’s crackdown in their homeland in March, police said.

Protesters, including nuns and monks, shouted “China, thief, leave our country” and “We want free Tibet” as they were picked up by police.

Nearly 10,000 refugees have been detained in Nepal so far. Most are released after a day or so.

See also pictures of the August 19th and earlier Tibetan protests in Nepal from fubu tibetan on flickr.com.