A senior State Department official has spoken about the plight of Tibetans in Nepal and the efforts the United States is making to encourage an improvement in their situation.

In his testimony to the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the United States Congress, which held a Hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 15, 2006 on “Internal Unrest in South Asia: Recent Developments in Nepal and Sri Lanka,” Donald Camp, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, said, “We are also focused on ensuring the protection of Tibetans transiting Nepal to India. In November, the Government of Nepal suspended issuance of exit permits to Tibetans for their onward travel to India. The situation left hundreds of Tibetans stranded in Nepal, and exacerbated severe overcrowding at a shelter for Tibetans in Kathmandu. Funding from the U.S. Government is supporting an expansion of the center to ease overcrowding. We have repeatedly pressed the Government of Nepal to end the exit permit suspension, but the situation is unresolved. We have also pressed the Government to permit registration of the Tibetan Welfare Society, an organization posed to provide assistance to vulnerable Tibetans in Nepal.”

The Hearing was presided over by Congressman James A. Leach, Chairman of the Subcommittee.