April 2 - Former United States president Jimmy Carter calls on China not to pressure Nepal into blocking the flow of Tibetan refugees into the Himalayan country. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION)
China is putting pressure on Nepal to interrupt the flow of Tibetan refugees into the Himalayan nation, former United States President Jimmy Carter said on Monday.
Hundreds of refugees from the Chinese province of Tibet cross treacherous mountain passes to reach Nepal each year, but as the influence of China grows in its impoverished neighbour, their passage is becoming increasingly difficult.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER, SAYING:
"There has been, as you know, a tacit agreement in the past that refugees coming out of Tibet will not be abused when they arrive here, and there is quite a large population of Tibetan refugees here. Lately, I understand that at the border there has been some harassment of people coming from Tibet to Nepal. The Chinese government is putting pressure on Nepal to interrupt this movement of people. I think they should have right to go where they wish."
In the past, Tibetan exiles captured by Nepali police were handed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for their onward journey to India, where the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama lives in exile.
Sandwiched between emerging giants China and India, Nepal has been courted by both its powerful neighbours as it tries to find its feet after a decade-long civil war that ended in 2006.
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