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U.S. Under Secretary of State arrives in Nepal to discuss Tibet issue

November 10, 2014

The Himalayan, November 10, 2014 - A senior U.S. official, who is also the United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues, is arriving here in the Capital tomorrow.

The Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Sarah Sewall, will meet the Tibetans in exile and is expected to raise the issues of Tibetan communities and refugees and Nepal's stern policy to deal with them during her meeting with the Nepali authorities, including Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

Sewall is scheduled to visit the Tibetan refugee camps in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Nepal, which has adopted One China Policy and considers Tibet an integral part of China, has been suppressing anti-China demonstrations by Tibetans in the country.

During her stay in Kathmandu, Sewall will meet Prime Minister Koirala, Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and other government officials.

She will discuss bilateral coordination between Nepal and the U.S. on key issues, including Nepal’s progress toward adopting a constitution and completing its democratic transition, the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Spokesperson said in a statement.

Likewise, she will meet civil society leaders, including Judge Tek Narayan Kunwar, who was honoured as a 2014 TIP Report Hero for his efforts within the criminal justice system to combat human trafficking.

From Kathmandu, Sewall will fly to New Delhi. She will meet Kailash Satyarthi, the co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and a 2007 TIP Report Hero, there.

Sewall will visit Dharmasala, where from the Tibetan Government in Exile runs, to discuss the Tibetan refugee issues. Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has been living in exile in Dharmasala. Sewall had met the Dalai Lama soon after she took up the position in February.

"She will announce a new award of $3.2 million for a Tibetan Health System Strengthening Project to universalise access to quality health services, and especially to end preventable child and maternal deaths and create tuberculosis free communities, for Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal," the U.S. Department of State said.

Earlier on September 18, speaking at the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Sewall had announced that she would travel to India and Nepal to meet Tibetans in exile.

“As the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, I work to coordinate U.S. government efforts to promote an end to interference by authorities into the religious affairs of the Tibetan people. In this role, I promote the policy of seeking to assist the preservation of the distinct religious heritage of Tibetans,” she had said.

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