Tag Archives | refugees

High-level Chinese visit to Nepal highlights difficulties for Tibetan community

August 28, 2017

A visit to Nepal by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang from August 14 to17, 2017 – the highest level Chinese visit to Kathmandu since Premier Wen Jiaobao visited in 2012 – further strengthened economic and political ties with the new Kathmandu government. Combined with an agreement last month between Nepal and China to ensure cooperation in border law enforcement, and Nepal formally joining Xi Jinping’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ plan, the developments point to a contracting space and dangers for Tibetans in Nepal as the Nepalese authorities deepen their relationship with their more powerful neighbor.

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Italian Government confirms the right of Tibetan refugees to travel to Italy

August 4, 2017

ICT joined with the Tibetan Community in Italy, the Italy Tibet Association, and the Italian Buddhist Union to reverse some decisions of the Italian authorities to deny visas to Tibetan refugees from India traveling to Italy. We will monitor the correct application of standards and against any inaccurate interpretations such as there have been in these last two months.

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Congressional committee acts to reinstate funding for Tibet programs for FY 2018

July 20, 2017

A key Congressional committee has acted to reinstate funding for a number of programs that support Tibetan communities in Tibet and Tibetan refugees in South Asia in the 2018 Fiscal Year State Department budget.

On July 19, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

In the President’s proposed budget for FY2018, the Tibetan programs were generally reduced and in one case, eliminated.

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Bill in the US House of Representatives could provide 3000 visas for Tibetans from India and Nepal

June 10, 2015

US Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act (H.R.2679), on June 4, 2015 to provide 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period.

In a statement, they said, “The bill supports the well-being of the Tibetan exile community as they strive to find a peaceful solution for Tibet; helps the overburdened settlements in India and Nepal; and gives displaced Tibetans the opportunity to flourish as Tibetan-Americans.”

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Misleading reporting on Tibetans in Nepal

November 4, 2014

A report issued by Asia News gives a misleading impression on the issue of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. Asia News cited Shes Narayan Poudel, chief of the National Commission for the Coordination of refugees, in Kathmandu saying that: “We have decided to no longer provide identity cards to Tibetan refugees. If we continue to recognize them as such, we will face new waves of immigration. And we have no more space.”

ICT has been able to confirm that there is no change in policy in Nepal with regard to Tibetan status in Nepal. The agreement with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees on the transit of Tibetan new arrivals through Nepal still holds, although the number of Tibetans escaping into exile has plummeted this year, in the context of a steady decline each year since China’s crackdown in Tibet deepened in 2008. Under pressure from China, Nepal stopped issuing or renewing refugee identification cards in 1994 to the long-staying Tibetan community in Nepal.

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Nepal’s Shame

Published online April 16, 2014 by US News and World Report.
By Ellen Bork

Nepal is doing China’s bidding by mistreating Tibetans.

In late 2011, I visited Kathmandu to look into the situation of Tibetan refugees. Nepal provides a home to a community of approximately 20,000 refugees who left Tibet after the 1959 departure of the Dalai Lama; in 1989, no longer willing to allow settlement by newly arrivals, it became a way station to Tibetan refugees on their way to India. The 1989 change in policy was made in response to Chinese pressure, and I’d heard that under even greater pressure, Nepali authorities were mistreating Tibetan residents and even intercepting and repatriating refugees to China.

I didn’t have to wait long to see some evidence first hand. While on my way to call on an unofficial representative of the Dalai Lama, my driver got a call saying that the representative had been taken to the police station. He was later released. On the same day, a visiting U.S. official working for an undersecretary of state with responsibility for the Tibet issues portfolio also encountered police at her various appointments in the Tibetan community. Later we were advised that the harassment was probably related to the holding of a Tibetan mourning ceremony for a prominent figure and that Beijing had signaled its displeasure, leading to the harassment of various Tibetans.

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UN Human Rights Committee urges Nepal to register Tibetan refugees

April 10, 2014

The UN Human Rights Committee (HRCmte) urged Nepal to register long staying Tibetans and to ensure that all Tibetans who may have a valid refugee claim are guaranteed access to Nepali territory. This was a part of the concluding observations that the UN HRCmte made when reviewing Nepal’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The UN Human Rights Committee commended Nepal for hosting a large number of refugees and asylum seekers in its territory but said it was concerned “at the restrictions imposed on Tibetan refugee rights should the State party deem any activity to undermine the friendly relationship with its neighbor.” It added that it was concerned that the lack of legislation would not protect against refoulement to China. The Committee’s concluding observations can be viewed here.

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Statement by the International Campaign for Tibet on the Human Rights Watch report on Tibetan refugees in Nepal

April 1, 2014

“Human Rights Watch reports a disturbing development that Nepalese police have forcibly returned Tibetans refugees back across the border of Tibet. The Nepalese Government has an urgent responsibility to investigate the role of its personnel in violating Nepal’s international and national obligations to protect those fleeing a credible fear of persecution, and to take measures to prevent future incidents.”

“ICT fears that Chinese officials are encouraging Nepalese personnel to violate those obligations. The HRW report details cooperative agreements between Chinese and Nepalese security personnel on border control and monitoring, and notes that China has pressed Nepal not to allow safe passage of Tibetan refugees. This interference in Nepal’s internal affairs is wrong and contradictory to China’s stated principles.

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Tibetans Repressed in Nepal, Rights Group Finds

April 1, 2014

Published online April 1, 2014 by The New York Times
By Edward Wong and Bhadra Sharma

BEIJING — Under enormous pressure from China, the Nepalese government restricts the political freedoms of Tibetan refugees living in Nepal, subjects them to abuse and harassment by the security forces, and spies on them for Chinese officials, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.

The 100-page report, “Under China’s Shadow: Mistreatment of Tibetans in Nepal,” documents the repression faced by Tibetans who cross into Nepal, often illegally, from neighboring Tibet, which has been ruled since 1951 by the Chinese Communist Party. The report also discusses how some of those refugees might never enter Nepal proper, saying there are “serious concerns that Nepal may at times forcibly return Tibetans to China.”

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“Limited Freedoms” for Tibetan Refugees in Nepal, State Department reports

February 28, 2014

The U.S. State Department reports a restrictive atmosphere for Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal. The findings are part of the Nepal section of the Country Reports on Human Rights for 2013, released on February 27.

“Tibetans continue to suffer a marginal existence in Nepal,” said Todd Stein, Director of Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet. “The installation of a new government in Kathmandu allows for the opportunity for advancing policies to help this community and strengthen the fabric of Nepalese society, such as providing identity cards to Tibetans who have not been able to get legal documentation.”

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Karma Ngedon Gyatso

New information on Tibetan monk who self-immolated in Nepal

August 19, 2013

The disabled monk who self-immolated and died in Kathmandu on August 6 left Tibet because he was not able to practice his religion, according to information published in Tibet Times “Tibet Times, a Tibetan language newspaper published in Dharamsala, India” (ICT report, Tibetan monk dies after self-immolation in Kathmandu, Nepal). The exile newspaper also published images of Karma Ngedon Gyatso and made audio available of him speaking in November, 2011, soon after he arrived in exile (Tibet Times). Thirty-eight year old Karma Ngedon Gyatso died after setting himself on fire at the Boudha stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Karma Ngedon Gyatso (pictured) propelled himself with his arms using two wooden blocks, dragging his paralysed legs behind him. Despite this severe disability, before he left Tibet for exile, he went on pilgrimage to various sacred sites in Tibet, including the sacred Mount Kailash. In one image, he reaches up from the ground to take a bowl of food. In another, he is smiling at the camera, with his hands rested on the wooden blocks and his legs curled underneath him.

In the interview with Tibet Times, translated below into English, Karma Ngedon Gyatso said that due to restrictions by the authorities on numbers of monks at his home monastery in Tibet, he was not able to register officially and was often harassed by officials as a result. He spoke about mining in his home area, and his fears about the extinction of Tibetan culture.

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Boudhanath

Tibetan monk dies after self-immolation in Kathmandu, Nepal

August 7, 2013

  • A 38-year old monk called Karma Ngedon Gyatso died after setting himself on fire at the Boudha stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, yesterday (August 6). Karma Ngedon Gyatso, who was unable to walk due to a severe disability, had arrived in exile from Tibet in October, 2011. Tibetans who knew him describe him as deeply religious. It is the second fatal self-immolation by a Tibetan monk in Kathmandu this year after Drupchen Tsering set himself on fire in February, also at the Boudha stupa.

  • Graphic images show onlookers gazing down on the man’s blackened body curled up in an area inside the stupa, an important pilgrimage circuit, where Tibetans go to prostrate and make offerings. (View images, graphic »)



Before setting himself on fire, Karma Ngedon Gyatso lit butter-lamps in a traditional form of prayer offering. One of the last people to speak to him alive was an employee at a shop selling butter-lamps near the stupa. Lila Maya Moktan from the Butter Lamp House told the Himalayan Times: “’He paid me Rs 1,500 ($15) for the lamps. The Tibetan was alone and was calm. […] About 10 minutes after he visited my shop, I came to know that the man had immolated self.’” (Himalayan Times, August 7, 2013).

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Tibetan immigration measures moves to next stage in U.S. Congress

July 27, 2013

With the United States Senate approving the comprehensive immigration legislation on June 2X, 2013, the effort to enable a few thousand Tibetans to immigrate here has moved to the next stage in the process. The legislation includes a provision to extend immigrant visas to a limited number of displaced Tibetan in India and Nepal.

“Senate passage is a critical step in the effort to enact a comprehensive immigration bill,” said Todd Stein, Director of Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet. “While the Tibet measure is just one tiny provision in a huge bill, it can provide big benefits for Tibetan communities in South Asia and America, as well as advance U.S. foreign policy goals.”

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Ex-President Carter says China pressuring Nepal on Tibetans

China is putting pressure on Nepal to interrupt the flow of Tibetan refugees into the Himalayan nation, former United States President Jimmy Carter said on Monday. Hundreds of refugees from the Chinese province of Tibet cross treacherous mountain passes to reach Nepal each year, but as the influence of China grows in its impoverished neighbour, […]

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Dangerous Crossing 2011

Refugee Report: Dangerous Crossing – 2011 Update

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Dangerous Crossing 2011

New report finds commensurate risk for Tibetans in China’s growing influence in Nepal

A new report by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) examines the increasing dangers for long-staying and transiting Tibetan refugees in Nepal as China seeks to enforce foreign compliance with its own hard line against Tibetans. “Nepal is an historic commercial and cultural gateway for Tibetans and for decades has provided refuge or safe transit […]

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U.S. Government awards $2 million contract for education in Tibetan settlements

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $2 million for the new Tibet Education Project (TEP) to The Tibet Fund, a U.S.-based NGO operating out of New York City, according to the State Department. The TEP is a two-year program to help Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal acquire educational skills and knowledge […]

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FIDH/ICT Report

Human rights violations and self-immolation: testimonies by Tibetans in exile

Download the report raquo; Fifty years after the brutal crackdown that lead the Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of Tibetans to escape from Tibet to India, the self-immolation of a young Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery in Sichuan Province on 27 February 2009 marked the beginning of a new form of protest against the […]

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