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US Raises Stateless Tibetans' Issue in Nepal


The US has expressed concerns over the handling of stateless persons in Nepal, the US embassy said in statement Monday.

According to the statement, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Kelly Clements appreciated Nepal for its commitment to ensure the safe transit of new Tibetan arrivals to India and raised concerns of stateless persons in Nepal during her two-day visit, the US embassy said in statement Monday.

Clements, the statement said, conveyed the Obama government's appreciation 'for Nepal's commitment to ensure the safe transit of new (Tibetan refugee) arrivals to India and to respect the basic rights of Tibetans in Nepal'.

Nepal and Tibet have a common border of 1,414 km with 34 major passes between the two. Each year, thousands of Tibetans refugees try to cross over, both via road and the snow-clad passes, facing grave threats to their lives.

Approximately 2,500 Tibetan refugees escape into exile annually, travelling through Nepal en route to Dharamsala in northern India where their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile are based.

However the number of the Tibetan refugees escaping from Nepal has decreased in the recent years following China’s growing influence in Nepal. Since 2008, Nepal has hardened its stance on the Tibetan refugees, a trend observed in the Himalayan country’s increasing ties with China.

Nepal's major parties adhere to the 'One China' policy, regarding Tibet as an integral part of China and keeping Tibetan refugees in Nepal on a tight leash.

Some information for this report was provided by IANS and US Embassy Statement.

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