Three Nepali journalists are being probed for circulating a
news item on the Dalai Lama, officials said Tuesday, in a
sign of growing Chinese influence on its small Himalayan
The journalists, who work with Nepal’s national news
agency Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), were asked for
clarifications after translating a wire report about the Dalai
Lama’s discharge from a hospital and his return to
Dharamshala in April.
The circulation of the translation coincided with the visit of
Nepal’s president Bidhya Devi Bhandari to China on
invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Hari Adhikari, chairman of RSS, said that a committee has
been formed and the management will decide whether to
take any action against the three after it submits a report.
“As the national news agency, we don’t carry news that is
against the foreign policy of our country and affects the
relationship with our neighbours,” Adhikari said.
Nepal, home to around 20,000 Tibetans, is under intense
pressure from its giant neighbour China over the exiles, and
has repeatedly said it is committed to one-China policy.
China is among the top development partners for the
impoverished nation, pumping in over $58.7 million in the
last fiscal year into developing hydroelectricity, roads and
In May 2017, Kathmandu signed up to Beijing’s ambitious
Belt and Road initiative, a massive infrastructure drive that
critics say is at the centre of the Asian giant’s push to
expand its global influence.
“China’s interest and influence of China has been
consistently increasing in Nepal and our government is also
positive towards addressing their security and strategic
concerns,” said Geja Sharma Wagle, Kathmandu-based
foreign policy analyst.
Once a safe haven for Tibetans, increased police
crackdowns in Nepal have discouraged protests and even
celebrations within the community.
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