The government has turned down a request by Rinpoche Thaklung Chyatul, a Buddhist monk from the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, to be allowed to address a public function to be organized in Mugu village of Mugu district, some 35 kilometers south of the Tibet border.
Senior officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) said that the ministry took the decision some three weeks ago against the backdrop of the Rinpoche´s active involvement in the Free-Tibetan movement.
The government also declined to issue a visa to the Tibetan monk to travel to Nepal, officials said.
About a month ago, the 86-year-old Tibetan religious leader requested to be allowed to attend the inaugural ceremony for an 18-foot idol at a Buddhist monastery in Mugu village.
CPN-UML lawmakers Mohan Baniya and Dhan Bahadur Budha (who are from Mugu and Dolpa respectively) had approached Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam to allow the Tibetan monk to attend the function in Mugu. Baniya and Budha held a separate meeting with Home Secretary Surya Silwal.
Following consultations with senior officials at his ministry, Home Minister Gautam decided not to grant permission.
A top official at MoHA requesting anonymity told Republica, “We don´t allow any kind of anti-China activity in the bordering areas and other parts of the country, in keeping with Nepal´s long-standing One-China policy.”
Spokesman of MoHA, Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, informed that the ministry rejected the request made by the Tibetan monk to attend the function to be held near the Tibet-Nepal border. “The lawmakers were persuaded during the meeting not to invite him to Nepal,” Dhakal added.
Talking to Republica, lawmaker Baniya said the home ministry refused to grant permission to the monk to take part in the function, stating the monk had been involved in the Free-Tibet campaign for a long time.
“As the Tibetan monk has already travelled to Nepal three times in the past we requested the home minister and the home secretary to allow him to attend the function in Mugu,” Baniya added.
According to Baniya, the Tibetan monk came to Nepal last year and addressed a function in Solukhumbu. Chyatul came to Nepal from India on the invitation of Nepali Congress leader Jip Chhiring Lama. Tibetan leaders in exile are believed to be residing in Dharmasala, India. Nepal doesn´t allow any activities of the Free-Tibet movement inside Nepali territory.