U.S. Under Secretary of State Maria Otero, who also serves as the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues, visited the Tibetan Refugee Reception Center in Katmandu Sunday with the American Ambassador to Nepal, Scott DeLisi.
Under Secretary Otero talked with some 172 newly arrived Tibetan refugees at the center about the problems Tibetans face inside Tibet. The new arrivals from Tibet also spoke of the reasons why they chose to leave their homes in Tibet, the perils of transit and their anticipation of meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Reception Officer Dorjee Dadul says Otero was moved by what she heard from the refugees and expressed the United States’ continued support for the safety and welfare of Tibetan refugees in Nepal, and said she would carry their message back to Washington.
The Tibetan Refugee Transit Center in Kathmandu was established in the early 1990s in response to concern in the U.S. Congress that Tibetans fleeing oppression need urgent assistance and protection after what was typically a dangerous crossing through the high mountain passes that separate Tibet and Nepal. The
Under Secretary Otero also met with Tibetan community leaders to hear of the challenges they face in Nepal. Her visit to Nepal is part of a trip to South Asia that included a visit to the Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement in south India on February 8-9.
Some information for the report wasprovided by the International Campaign for Tibet.