Nepal carries out heavy crackdown on media, arrests Tibetan activists during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 16 Oct 2019

Photo courtesy: Nepal President Website

Kathmandu: The Nepal government has carried out a heavy crackdown on the media, which include those that had been critical about the Chinese misdeeds, during the recent visit of President Xi Jinping to the Himalayan nation, sources said.

"Several other media who had been critical of Chinese misdeeds including exposing human trafficking, ATM robbery by Chinese as well as hacking of govt sites by Chinese.. were all kept in preventive detention," sources said.

Sources further said, "Four journalists from Napalpana were arrested during this period. In addition arrest warrant was issued against Madheshwani media."

Apart from the crackdown on the media, the government also arrested scores of Tibetan protesters at a time when Xi visited the nation over the weekend.

The Himalayan Times newspaper of Nepal earlier reported that police have arrested 22 free-Tibet movement campaigners and human rights activists from Kathmandu over the past three days.

They were planning to hold protests during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal, reported the newspaper.

According to Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, five persons were arrested from Swoyambhu, nine from Bouddha, six from Pharping and two from an undisclosed location in Kathmandu.

Meanwhile, sources said during this period political leaders like Sunita Shah and human rights activist Balram Poudel were arrested.

"They are still in jail," sources said.

"President of Nepal Foundation Bikash Thakur was also arrested," sources added.

During his visit to Nepal, Xi had said that anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will be crushed.

“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones. And any external forces backing such attempts at dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming,” he was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post during his visit to the Himalayan nation.

Xi was the first Chinese leader to visit the country in 23 years.

Xi visited Nepal after completing his two-day informal summit with Indian PM Narendra Modi in Chennai.

Xi's visit to Nepal thus stands to be crucial as the Himalayan nation is strategically positioned as neighbour of both India and China.

During the visit, Nepal and China signed 18 memorandums of understanding and two letters of intent.

The major pacts include the MoU between the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport of Nepal and the Ministry of Transport of China on Feasibility Study of China-Nepal Cross-Border Railway Project and the MoU between the Ministry of Finance of Nepal and China International Development Cooperation Agency on Tunnels Construction Cooperation, reported The Himalayan Times.

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