First Nepal buckles to Chinese pressure and deports Tibetan refugees, and now HMG is banning celebrations of the Dalai Lama's birthday? What's happening to the democratic, religious and press freedom that Nepalis have fought so long and hard for over the past 50 years? As a great admirer of Nepal over the past 40 years, and having lived there for 13 years, I appreciate the pressures this small nation is under, sand-wiched between India and China and subject to both external forces from the global community. I also understand the enormous internal stress Nepal faces from its rugged environment, poverty and still-emerging political and social institutions as they grapple with the extremes of tradition and modernisation. But in the face of all this Nepal has usually stood proud and firm in resisting these forces, whether from India, China, Pakistan, the US, EC, Japan, UN, or the World Bank, for example. Now Nepal seems to be buckling shamelessly to China's infantile denial of the prestige and respect the world holds for the Dalai Lama, as well as the adoration he commands by millions of Nepali Buddhists and their Tibetan guests.