China officials object to MPs participating in Tibet-related event

Published On: May 15, 2019 07:22 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, May 15: Chinese officials have voiced serious objection over the participation of two Nepali lawmakers in an event in Latvia related to the ‘free-Tibet movement’. 

Chinese embassy officials in Kathmandu expressed their objection to Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Tuesday over the participation of Samajbadi Party Nepal (SPN) lawmaker Pradip Yadav and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) lawmaker Iqbal Miya in the Tibet-related event. The Chinese officials cited the government’s commitment to the one China policy. 

Lawmakers Yadav and Miya have claimed that they decided to take part in the event because they were unaware of its link with the Tibet movement. “We were told that it was a meeting of parliamentarians from various countries. As soon as it came to our notice that the event was linked with the free Tibet movement we left,” Yadav told Republica. 

The Kathmandu Post reported on Tuesday that the event was organized by the Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet and the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet. It was attended by the Tibetan president in exile Lobsang Sangay. 

According to the website of his government in exile, members of parliament from Australia, New Zealand, France, Romania, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, India, Nepal, Chile, Latvia and UK were present at the gathering held between 7-10 May. 

Mahara summoned SPN chief whip Uma Shankar Agariya and RJPN Chief Whip Laxman Lal Karna on Tuesday to inquire about the visit of their lawmakers to Latvia without informing the parliament secretariat. 

According to Karna, RJPN lawmaker Miya furnished his clarifications to the party claiming that he participated without knowing about the nature of the event. “Our party inquired with Miya about the trip. He said he didn’t know about its connection with the free-Tibet movement and also reiterated his commitment to the one China policy of Nepal,” said Karna. 

According to the parliament secretariat, the office was also in the dark about the purpose of the visit as they had sought letters from parliament for personal trips. Lawmakers need to clear their foreign trips with the speaker, but according to the parliament secretariat they didn’t clear their Latvia visit, stating it was personal travel.

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