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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Otero raises Tibet refugees ID issue

February 18, 2011

KOSH RAJ KOIRALA

KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Visiting US Under Secretary of State for Democracy
and Global Affairs Maria Otero has expressed concern with Prime Minister
Jhalanath Khanal about the problems faced by Tibetan refugees in Nepal.

At a meeting held at Singha Durbar Monday afternoon, Otero also urged
the government to treat Tibetan refugees as per the international human
rights obligations.

Prime minister´s foreign relations advisor Milan Tuladhar said Otero put
forth the problems faced by Tibetans refugees living in Nepal in the
meeting.

Otero, who arrived in Kathmandu on a three-day visit, said that children
of Tibetan refugees living here for several years had been facing
problems due to lack of identity cards.

According to Tuladhar, Prime Minister Khanal said that they have been
dealing with the issue of Tibetan refugees as per the international
human rights obligations. "We will deal with the issue taking into
account the concerns of our immediate neighbors -- China and India," he
quoted the prime minister as saying.

After the meeting Otero told media persons, "We made it clear that this
is an important issue for us and that we are concerned about. And we
will proceed to look at it very carefully."

The meeting also dwelled on the issue of Bhutanese refugees living in
Nepal. Otero suggested to the prime minister to take initiatives to
resume dialogue with Bhutan to address the problems.

During the meeting, Otero extended best wishes from US President Barack
Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Prime Minister Khanal
and expressed the view that his government will be able to establish
consensus for completing peace process and drafting new constitution.

Otero had inquired about the expansion of cabinet, integration and
rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants and progress made in the
direction of promulgating new constitution.

Earlier in the day Otero also visited Tibetan Reception Center in
Kathmandu and also met with Tibetan refugee leaders to know about the
problems and hardships they face in Nepal.

krkoirala@gmail.com

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