October 5, 2010
Pressure from Beijing appears to have led Nepalese authorities to seize ballot boxes in the centre of the country during voting across the world for members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
Below is a statement issued by the Office of the General Secretary of the UNPO:
The Hague, 5 October 2010 – The news that Nepalese officials and police have removed ballots containing votes cast by Tibetans in Kathmandu must be condemned in the strongest terms, the General Secretary of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization declared today.
Reacting to this unexplained development, UNPO General Secretary Marino Busdachin stated that “the Tibetan democratic process is one of the strongest in the world refugee communities – to see it disrupted in this way damages not only Nepal’s reputation but represents a direct affront to the Tibetan refugee community in the world. As a sovereign nation, Kathmandu must not allow itself to be swayed by Beijing’s influence while the international community supports Nepalese democracy.”
The UNPO therefore calls upon the Nepalese authorities to immediately release the confiscated ballot boxes in an untampered state and to permit the counting of ballots in a free and fair manner by concerned Tibetans. Only in this way does the UNPO believe Nepal can recover its standing as one of Asia’s emerging democracies and permit Tibetans living in country to see their democratic rights observed.
While appreciating the people and Government of Nepal for hosting over 20,000 Tibetan refugees in the country, UNPO urges the Nepalese Government to implement the recommendations from UN Treaty Bodies concerning the situation of refugees in the country, including by approving the registration of the Tibetan refugee welfare office in Kathmandu.