The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday passed a resolution asking the government of Nepal to allow Tibetan refugees living in the country to enjoy their basic fundamental rights and freedoms.
Members of the European Parliament also reportedly expressed their concern and condemned the growing influence of China in the internal affairs of Nepal and urged the Chinese Government and its representatives in Nepal to refrain from exerting any further pressure on the Nepalese authorities.
The resolution came in the wake of Nepal forcibly banning Tibetan refugees from taking part in an election to elect the new leaders of their “government-in-exile” based in India.
In the resolution, EP has asked Nepal to allow the refugees to vote, calling it a fundamental right that must be upheld, protected and guaranteed.
Tibetan exiles around the world last month went to polls to elect the new Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and also the new members of their Parliament-in-Exile.
More than 82,000 Tibetan exiles, including those in Nepal, were registered to vote.
Nepal, however, did not allow several thousand Tibetans in the country to take part in the elections under increasing pressure from the Chinese government, the EP’s resolution said.
The resolution further said the unique internal election process had existed since 1960 and was important for the strengthening and preservation of the Tibetan identity both inside and outside Tibet.
Accordingly, the European Union High Representative in Kathmandu has been asked to address the concerns about the actions taken by the Nepal government to block the Tibetan elections, with Nepali and Chinese authorities.
The EP also urged Nepal, which has been preventing the Tibetan diaspora from holding prayer meets and celebrating the birthday of their exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, to respect the refugees’ right to freedom of expression, assembly and association as guaranteed to everyone in Nepal by international human rights conventions, to which Nepal is a party.
The EP is also seeking an end to preventive arrests and restrictions on movement and peaceful expression and assembly by the Tibetan community, saying such rights and religious freedom should be included in Nepal’s new constitution, due to be promulgated May 28, 2011.
Stepping up diplomatic pressure on Nepal, the EP said the government should resist the pressure exerted by the Chinese government to “silence” the Tibetan community in Nepal using restrictions “which are not only unjustified but also illegal under domestic and international law”.
It has asked the European External Action Service through its delegation in Kathmandu to closely monitor the political situation in Nepal, especially the treatment of the Tibetan refugees and respect for their constitutionally and internationally enshrined rights.
The EP said Nepal police have repeatedly been reported as violating Tibetans’ basic human rights and the overall situation of many refugees in Nepal, in particular Tibetans, gave cause for concern.