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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Nepal detaining Tibetan refugees, handing them over to China

September 11, 2010

Sachin Parashar
Times of India
September 9, 2010

NEW DELHI -- In yet another sign of increasing
Chinese influence in India's neighbourhood, Nepal
is detaining refugees from China's Tibet
Autonomous Region (TAR) and handing them back to Chinese authorities.

Tibetan agencies in Kathmandu have brought the
matter to the notice of the Indian embassy in
Kathmandu but highly placed government sources
said New Delhi is not inclined to take up the matter officially with Nepal.

According to information available with
government agencies, Nepal intensified patrolling
along its border with China in June and since
then, has been regularly handing over Tibetan
refugees, who were on their way to India, back to
Chinese authorities. While Indian officials
admitted this was another manifestation of
China's influence in Nepal, they said they had no
option but to convey to the Tibetans that it may
not be possible for India to intervene in the matter.

"The Indian embassy as well as some other
embassies in Kathmandu are aware of the matter.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) is trying to help us. We faced a similar
situation in 2003 but it was sorted out. However,
it started all over again in June this year,''
Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office secretary in Kathmandu Trinlay Gyatso told TOI.

The first of such incidents was reported in June
when 33 Tibetans who had crossed over into Nepal
were caught and handed over to the Chinese. These
refugees were on their way to India and by
handing them over to China, Nepal violated its
agreement with UNHCR to allow safe passage to
Tibetan refugees to India. According to the human
right groups active in Nepal, the three were
jailed by Chinese authorities and they continue to languish there.

While New Delhi has its hands full dealing with
the Maoist-instigated resentment in Nepal, China
has quietly worked its way up not just within the
Nepal establishment but also among its people
with Chinese study centres mushrooming all over
the country. China recently pledged $1.5 million
to Nepal to check what it calls anti-China activities by Tibetans.
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