Monday, April 18, 2011

China Objects to Tibetan Minister In Nepal Cabinet

Kathmandu : A diplomatic row has erupted between China and Nepal as Beijing expressed dissatisfaction over the appointment of a minister of Tibetan ethnic origin by the communist party-led government of Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal.

Chinese embassy officials in Kathmandu have expressed dissatisfaction over the appointment Lharkyal Lama as State Minister for Finance who is allegedly connected with the 'free Tibet movement,' a CPN-UML party source said.

China is miffed with appointment of Lama who alleged holds two passports - Nepali and Indian - and also an identity card of Tibetan refugee, the CPN-UML party source was quoted as saying by Nagarik daily, a local newspaper.

According to a report in nepalnews online, it prompted Chinese officials to express their displeasure during informal conversations with the Prime Minister and other top communist party leaders.

Lama holds the nationality of Nepal, Tibet and India, according to a formal complaint filed against him at the home ministry six years ago, myrepublica online, the website of Republica newspaper said today.

Chinese officials have argued that Lama’s appointment has raised questions on Nepal's 'one China policy'.

Nepal supports 'one-China policy' that views Tibet as an integral part of China. It has repeatedly assured its giant northern neighbour that it will not allow its territory to be used against the communist nation.

Nepal is home to around 20,000 exiled Tibetans and the capital has been the scene of several anti-China protests since the failed uprising against the Chinese rule on March 10, 1959.

Despite tight security enforced by the Nepalese and Chinese government in the border areas, every year some 2,500 Tibetans cross the border on their way to meet the Dalai Lama in the Indian town of Dharamshala, where he is based since fleeing from his motherland in 1959. PTI


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