On April 17, 2008, Nepalese police detained more than 500 Tibetan monks, refugees, and other protesters near the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. The protests erupted in March 2008 in support of Tibetan independence, and began with sweeps of earlier arrests in Nepal and detentions by Chinese officials in Tibet. Although at first peaceful, the protests quickly turned violent. The protests centered around calls for the liberation of Tibet from Chinese rule, with the exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama decrying the Chinese response as a form of "cultural genocide." Conversely, China blamed the Dalai Lama for agitating the situation by facilitating the protests.
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