Chinese embassy faces protests over bribe row

By Sudeshna Sarkar,IANS,

Kathmandu : The Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu came under protesters’ fire Tuesday, a week after a scandal broke out in Nepal over the opposition Maoist party allegedly seeking money from China to bribe MPs into voting for them.

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While Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda fought a result-less election in parliament for the post of prime minister, nearly 200 people under the banner of Free Youth Organisation led a rally to the Chinese Embassy, asking for an end to Chinese and all foreign intervention in Nepal and an inquiry into the audio tape scandal.

Last week, the media in Nepal received copies of an audio tape in which former minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara purportedly asks a “friend” in China for 500 million Nepalese rupees to woo 50 MPs from ethnic parties into voting for Prachanda.

“It is not right for a neighbour like China (to offer to help buy MPs),” a protest letter handed over by the group to the Chinese Embassy said. “Such acts will adversely affect diplomatic ties between Nepal and China. The embassy should stay within its diplomatic mandate.”

The protesters called for an inquiry into the tape scandal and for the perpetrators to be exiled.