border review | 31 January 2012

Tibetan pilgrims, soul-searching in Nepal

More reports come in about the difficulties Tibetan pilgrims face on their way back to Tibet from the Kalachakra ritual that took place in Bodhgaya (India) earlier this month. An estimated 8,000 pilgrims from Tibet attended the initiation given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They are subjected to harrassment at Chinese airports as well as along the Friendship Highway. The Tibetan Review reports:

There were as many as twelve heavily secured Chinese checkpoints the Tibetans had to pass through between the border Tibetan town of Dram (Chinese: Zhangmu, Nepalese: Khasa) and Tibet’s capital Lhasa. Police and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police Force personnel were reported to search all the returning Tibetan pilgrims. […] The security personnel were reported to confiscate all medicinal and religious items possessed by the returning Tibetans, subjecting them to verbal abuses and threats of physical violence in case any of them tried to complain about such unwarranted and illegal search and seizure.

Furthermore, Zeenews reports that another group of 65 returning Tibetans were arrested in Nepal:

The Buddhist monks and nuns, who were travelling in a bus, were detained at Nagdhunga on the outskirts of the capital as they failed to produce valid identification and travel documents, police said.

Meanwhile, a good amount soul-searching is going on in Nepal about the implications of Wen’s short visit. Some the deals Nepal had hoped to secure remained, well, promises and the way in which the visit took place caused some irritation. N. P. Upadhyaya for Telegraph Nepal:

Premier Wen’s meet with the Nepali leaders in “multitude” must have been well understood by Nepal’s august leaders. He made all Nepali leaders to queue themselves and granted “audience” in series.