On November 20, the Kathmandu Post ran an opinion piece by Scott DeLisi, the American Ambassador to Nepal. He writes about Nepal’s obligations to protect Tibetan refugees transiting through Nepal not only as a matter of international law, but as “one of the strongest and clearest and of most consistent examples of the values of this nation and its people.”
Ambassador DeLisi piece responds to the growing Chinese interference in Nepal in regard to Tibetan refugees. For example, in September the Chinese Embassy wrote to the government of Nepal asking that a group of Tibetan refugees be returned to Chinese authorities in Tibet, claiming inaccurately that all in the group were minors and making a false accusation that they were being trafficked. He writes that ‘[t]hose who seek to portray our position on Tibetan refugees as anti-China fundamentally misunderstand US policy and the importance we place on upholding universal values, rights, and principles.”
It also comes amidst signs of progress in the effort to draft a constitution for Nepal. If implemented, such a step could set the stage for reforms, including the adoption of a national refugee law to codify legal protections for refugee populations in Nepal.
Rights of refugees
By: Scott H. DeLisi
Originally published in The Kathmandu Post on November 20, 2011. Please read the full article here »
For more than five decades the government and people of Nepal have shown tremendous generosity toward refugees, including the Tibetans who have sought refuge in Nepal and safe passage to India. The United States of America applauds Nepal’s record of steadfast support, even in the face of pressure to change its policy. I am pleased that the current government has demonstrated it will continue to protect refugee rights and allow Tibetans seeking asylum to present their case to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and, if found to be legitimate refugees, to transit through Nepal to India.