Do not entertain illegal Tibetans, says Chinese expert on Tibetology
KOSH RAJ KOIRALA
KATHMANDU, Feb 17: A top Chinese expert on Tibetology urged Nepal not to entertain "illegal migrants" from Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) sneaking into its territory through porous Nepal-China border.
Speaking at an interaction with media persons at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu on Thursday, visiting Chinese expert Wei Gang, who is the director of the state-funded Contemporary Tibetan Studies Institute affiliated to the China Tibetology Research Center, indirectly asked Nepal to take legal action as per the existing laws to Tibetans illegally sneaking into Nepal. “We respect the sovereignty of Nepal. But we do not support illegal migration of Tibetans to Nepal,” he said.
Wei argued that Tibetans who wish to travel to Nepal should find it easier to get visa to Nepal since Nepal is the only country that has its Consulate General´s Office in Lhasa, the capital city of the TAR. “We hope Tibetans and other ethnic groups migrate to Nepal in legal way,” he further said.
The remark of Wei comes at a time when various countries, including the US, continue to exert pressure on Nepal to hand over fleeing Tibetans to UNHCR in Kathmandu.
Arguing that thousands of Tibetans “illegally migrate” to other countries via Nepal every year not because of political repression or other things in the TAR, but due to economic gains that “Dalai Lama clique” in Nepal assure them of, he said, “Since there is a reception center run by the Dalai Lama group in Nepal, they choose to illegally migrate to Nepal to go to Europe and to the US.”
The recommendations of Wei´s think-tank organization are prime considerations for Chinese Central Government while formulating development plans and other activities for the TAR. Chinese envoy to Nepal Yang Houlan was present when Wei, who headed the visiting delegation of Chinese Tibetology, interacted with media persons.
Wei also claimed that western media had tried to tarnish China´s image by spreading false propaganda about Tibet. “Many people listen to one-sided propaganda and know very little about the ground reality of Tibet,” he argued. “They [western media] have a very prejudiced view about Tibet.”
On the occasion, Wei mentioned that TAR had witnessed progress in leaps and bounds under the development plans introduced by the central government of China and that the government had allocated adequate budget for the preservation of Tibetan culture, history, tradition and holy scriptures.