US Tibet Coordinator Visits Bylakuppe

The United States Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero visited Bylakuppe Tuesday to look at the situation of Tibetan refugees in the region. She met with local refugee officials and held interactive session with students, monks and nuns.

Maria Otero will visit India, Bhutan and Nepal this week to discuss bilateral issues and look into the situation of refugees in the region, the State Department has said.

As Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero oversees and coordinates U.S. foreign relations on a variety of global issues, including democracy, refugees, migration, and the environment. She also serves as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues.

Following her visit to India, Otero will travel to Bhutan from February 11 to 12 to discuss global issues as well as the protracted situation of the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal, the statement said.

Otero would also have a bilateral meeting with the Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigme Thinley and other senior officials, besides civil society leaders.

In her final stop, Under Secretary Otero will visit Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
During the visit, among many other things, Otero will hold “meetings with senior Nepalese officials and civil society representatives and engage on Tibetan refugee and trafficking in persons issues”.

According to a US-based Tibet lobby group the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), the act is an “indication of the United States' commitment to a negotiated resolution on Tibet that preserves the distinct religious, cultural and linguistic heritage of the Tibetan people.”

Some information for this report was provided by Phayul and Tibetnet