Chinese embassy urges its citizens to abide by lockdown measures and calls on Nepali side to protect their legitimate rights and interests43 Chinese were released on Friday evening, four are facing indecent behaviour charges for attacking security personnel, police say.
The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu has said that Chinese citizens living in Nepal should strictly abide by the country’s laws and regulations while putting forth their demands and called on the Nepali side to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
Issuing a statement on Friday night in the wake of a clash between some Chinese nationals and Nepali police near Singha Durbar, the embassy said that it has repeatedly reminded the Chinese citizens that they cooperate with the measures implemented to control the spread of Covid-19 and wait patiently for evacuation.
As many as 47 Chinese nationals on Friday staged demonstrations in front of Singha Durbar, a zone prohibited for protests, demanding that they be allowed to return home. When police tried to disperse them, a clash ensued and two Chinese nationals and four Nepal police personnel were injured.
“In consultation and cooperation with the Chinese embassy in Nepal and the Nepali police, the incident has been properly dealt with,” said the embassy.
Those protesting on Friday were carrying placards that read they wanted to go home and that they had run out of money.
Before protesting near Singha Durbar, the Chinese nationals had gathered in front of the Chinese embassy at Hattisar. Police, however, had managed to disperse them.
According to Senior Superintendent Kiran Bajracharya, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, the protesting Chinese nationals then had gathered in front of the Nepal Tourism Board at Bhrikuti Mandap and continued their protests. “Later they marched towards Singha Durbar,” Bajracharya told the Post.
Of the 47 protesters who were taken into custody, 43 were released on Friday evening.
“Four Chinese nationals are facing indecent behaviour charges for attacking police personnel,” said Senior Superintendent Shyam Lal Gyawali, chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range. “The arrested four have been kept at Metropolitan Police Circle, Singhadurbar.”
Immediately after the clash, social media was filled with videos and images of the clash between Chinese nationals and Nepali police personnel.
“Due to the large number of the Chinese citizens stranded in Nepal, the Chinese side has coordinated and arranged temporary flights to take about 340 persons with difficulties back to China,” said the embassy.
According to the embassy, due to limited flight capacity, many Chinese citizens are still stranded in Nepal, especially after the Nepali side announced to suspend regular international flights until May 31.
The embassy said those protesting in front of Singh Durbar on Friday had been making requests through various channels to make arrangements for their return.
The number of Chinese nationals in Nepal has risen sharply in recent times. While some are working with various projects undertaken by the Chinese companies, others are living and working independently, a majority of them in the Thamel area in restaurant business.
According to Superintendent Somendra Singh Rathore of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, the majority of the Chinese nationals who were protesting on Friday have been found to have been working in the Thamel area in various projects.
“We found out that they were working in Thamel for various companies run by Chinese themselves,” Rathore told the Post. “They are, however, stranded now due to the lockdown.”
Nepal has been on lockdown since March 24 to contain the spread of Covid-19, with the latest extension applicable until May 18.
The disease that was first seen in Wuhan of China in December-end has now spread to almost all the countries across the world, with 40,014,500 cases and 276,253 deaths so far.
Nepal has reported 109 cases so far. Thirty patients have been discharged after recovery and there has been no death due to Covid-19 yet.
“At this difficult time of pandemic, we believe that China and Nepal can understand each other and jointly handle various incidents caused by the lockdown measures,” said the embassy. “Meanwhile, we request the Nepali side to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizens.”