News / Asia

Nepal’s Tibetan Refugees Struggle Under China’s Shadow

Nepal’s Tibetan Refugees Struggle Under China’s Shadowi
X
May 24, 2013 7:08 PM
Tibetan refugees in Nepal say they face increasing restrictions from Nepalese authorities due to pressure from China. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Tibetans who, for decades, have made the Himalayan country their home.
Aru Pande
Tibetan refugees in Nepal say they face increasing restrictions from Nepalese authorities due to pressure from China. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Tibetans who, for decades, have made the Himalayan country their home.

Dolma Lama learned to weave Tibetan carpets from her mother - who fled Tibet and settled in Kathmandu after a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation in 1959.
 
Dolma was born in Nepal and has been weaving since she was 19.
 
“It’s very important [to preserve our culture] because we are in exile and not in our country.  Carpet weaving is part of our culture. We wear Tibetan dress all the time, which is also part of preserving our culture. We eat Tibetan food at home, practice the religion, have a Tibetan flag in our home," said Dolma Lama.

As Bollywood music plays in the background, the weavers at the Jawalakhel Handicraft Center sit for hours each day, tying knots to assemble carpets that are sold at a showroom.
 
The center supports Nepal’s largest Tibetan community, 1,000 people who live in the heart of the capital. The profits go to schools for refugee children and homes for the elderly.
 
Karma Dawa is the center's general manager.
 
“I think it’s very important for the community and the Tibetan people here as well as those in exile to keep our traditions alive so that it can be passed on to our younger generations," said Karma Dawa.
 
Preserving these traditions is becoming more difficult for Nepal’s 20,000 Tibetan refugees.
 
Activists say, in the last few years, authorities here have prohibited Tibetan residents from gathering in groups, whether to mark the birthday of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama or just to picnic.
 
On the day that VOA shot this story, a Nepalese police officer kept close watch.
 
Sudip Pathak, who heads the Human Rights Organization of Nepal, says life is already difficult for Tibetans in the country. In the late 1990s, Nepal stopped issuing refugee identity cards, leaving many Tibetans unable to get a higher education or jobs.
 
He says these restrictions depend on who is in power.
 
"If we have a liberal or democratic government, sometimes the refugees can act their activities, peacefully gather or pray or their economic activities. If the government is more left or a communist government, they cannot do anything," said Sudip Pathak.
 
Activists say China is using aid and investment in Nepal to make sure the country prevents anti-Chinese activity.
 
But Madan Regmi, chairman of the China Study Center in Kathmandu, says there's nothing wrong with Nepal adhering to its “one-China” policy.
 
“If we allow anti-Chinese activity, they will definitely say that you are not abiding to your own commitment, so they have every right to tell us, and we have every right to tell any outsiders not to do anything wrong against our neighbors," said Madan Regmi.

For now, these Tibetan weavers hold on to their heritage and take heart in knowing their work and their story will grace homes across the globe.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid