Tuesday, 3rd March 2015

Govt refutes US-based NGO's report on Tibetan refugees

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The Government has made it clear that it is fully committed to protecting human rights of refugees in the country, and will always remain sensitive and alert towards it.

The government reiterated its commitment towards protecting the human rights of refugees while refuting a report on the Tibetan refugees in Nepal released earlier this week by the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Nepal has provided refuge to about 20,000 Tibetan refugees on humanitarian grounds while every adult refugee is issued with an identity card, which is valid for a year and renewable, Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said while making it clear that these refugees are also ensured basic human rights.

Talking to RSS at his office on Thursday, Minister Pandey said the government does not arrest or suppress any refugee who does not violate the existing laws and regulations of the country.

"Though Nepal is not signatory to the UN convention on the status of refugees 1951 and its optional protocol 1967, refugees are treated well on the humanitarian grounds", he added.

Tibetan refugees, who are taking shelter in Nepal since the past 25 years, are scattered over 20 different districts of Nepal.  

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Janardan Nepal said it is the obligation of the home administration to enforce the policy of the Nepal Government to not allow its territory to be used against any other country.

"The Ministry shall not hesitate in taking action as per the law of the land against those indulging in activities against the interest of friendly countries, in activities that disturb the security sensitiveness of the land and those who cross the boundaries of a refugee", Secretary Nepal made it clear.

The National Unit for the Coordination of Refugee Affairs under the Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible to plan, co-ordinate and monitor the refugee management affairs in the country at the central level while at the field level the Refugee Co-ordination Unit at Chandragadhi, Jhapa works as an operational and implementing agency.

Meanwhile, the government has for the moment decided not to permit establishment of the regional office of the Human Rights Watch in Nepal. A decision to this end will be taken later as per the existing law and in consideration of the needs of the country, Minister Pandey said.

The HRW delegation that was in the capital to release the report had met Minister Pandey and requested for permission in setting up of the HRW regional office in Nepal.



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