Nepalese Government Shut Down of the Dalai Lama's Office

Democracy Alert

[January 31, 2005]

Nepalese Government Shut Down of the Dalai Lama's Office

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On January 21, 2005, the Nepalese government shut down the office of the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Nepal and the Tibetan Refugee Welfare office in Kathmandu, the Country's capital. The Office of Dalai Lama's Representative had been operating in Nepal since 1959 when a number of Tibetans fled Tibet due to the Chinese Army occupation. The Refugee Welfare office, also established in 1959, has been helping to ensure the safety and well-being of thousands of Tibetan refugees crossing in Nepal, many of whom are on the way to India. There are currently nearly 20,000 Tibetan refugees living in various parts of Nepal. The Government's official reason for the closure of these offices is that the offices were operating without proper registration. However, according to Human Rights Watch, Nepalese law does not give Tibetan refugees in Nepal the right to register associations or institutions in their name. Some other information indicates that the government's decision was the result of the the pressure by the Chinese government.

Mr. Tseten Norbu, executive director of the India-based Tibetan Institute and a World Movement participant, urges other World Movement participants to appeal to your nearest Nepalese authority to reconsider their decision and ensure the safety and well-being of Tibetan refugees in Nepal.
Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lodi Gyari, gave a keynote address at the World Movement's Third Assembly in Durban, South Africa, in February 2004. The full text of his speech is available at www.wmd.org/assemblies/third-assembly/opening-session/keynote-lodi-gyari.
 

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