Nepal Deports Two Tibetan Refugees at the Border

Nepal handed over two Tibetan refugees to the Chinese border guards at Samikot in Humla district of northwest Nepal near the border with Tibet, according to Nepal’s ABC news channel broadcast on Wednesday morning.

Dorjee Damdul, the head of the Tibetan Reception Centre in Kathmandu said he had brought the matter before the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which confirmed the deportation. He said there are no details available currently on the identities of the two Tibetans.

Tibet support groups have criticized Nepal's violation of actions that run counter to established procedure under the "Gentlemen's Agreement" which assumes cooperation among Nepalese police and government officials with the UNHCR in providing for the safe transit of Tibetan refugees through Nepal and onward to India.

Approximately 2,500 Tibetan refugees escape into exile annually, travelling through Nepal en route to Dharamsala in northern India where their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile are based. However the number of the Tibetan refugees escaping from Nepal has decreased in the recent years following China’s growing influence in Nepal.

Nepal is home to about 20,000 exiled Tibetans who began arriving in large numbers in 1959 after the Dalai Lama fled Tibet following a failed uprising against the Chinese.