Around 2,500 to 3,500 Tibetans make the dangerous crossing through the Himalayas into exile in Nepal, and from there to India, each year. In 2006, fewer traveled into Nepal compared to 2004 and 2005, with less than 2,600 registering at theTibetan Refugee Reception Center in Kathmandu. For many, the main or only purpose of their journey is to see their religious leader, the Dalai Lama. A high percentage of the new refugees are children sent by their parents to study in Tibetan exile schools due to inadequate or unaffordable schools in Tibet, and monks and nuns seeking to practice their religion in exile due to persecution in Tibet. Other Tibetans leave because they have been relocated from their land in order to make way for development projects under China’s transformative economic plan for its poor western areas, or because they are unable to develop or maintain a livelihood in competition with increasing numbers of Chinese migrants. In recent years, including 2006, more Tibetans have been traveling with Chinese passports in order to go on pilgrimage in India and to visit relatives, and most of them will return home.
Refugee Report: Dangerous Crossing – 2006 Update
By International Campaign for Tibet|February 12, 2007|