37 NGO’s from Arunachal condemns Student group’s anti-Tibetan protest

DHARAMSALA, July 21: Alarmed by the recent protests of the self-styled group, ‘The Students’ United Movement of All Arunachal’(SUMAA) in Bomdila and its adjoining areas against Tibetans in Arunachal Pradesh, support pours in for Tibetans in India’s border state in the northeast.

Expressing their profound concern, representatives from Indo Tibetan Friendship Society, Tawang unit of Bharat Tibbat Seva Manch along with legislators, former panchayat members, administrative officers, police, representatives of political parties, frontal student unions and market welfare committees of West Kameng district of Arunachal held a meeting in Bomdila on July 19.

Following the Meeting, the representatives of 37 different NGO’s in Arunachal has strongly condemned the protest by SUMAA as ‘groundless charges’, ‘irresponsible’, ‘dangerous’ and a political propaganda that has long sought to portray Tibetans in the state as a threat to the indigenous people of Arunachal, the signed condemnation letter of the NGO’s addressed to the Governor of the state read.

The student group carried out their protest from July 13, in Bomdila, Tenga and Rupa in Arunachal shouting ‘Tibetans to go back’ while demanding the immediate rollback of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy, 2014 and the cancellation of the PR/ST certificates issued illegally to Tibetan refugees; surrender of trading licences obtained by Tibetan refugees; a written undertaking from the Central Tibetan Administration not to claim Indian citizenship and STC/PRC in Arunachal Pradesh; and deportation of Tibetan refugees to the demarcated camps.

While the Self-styled group took measure in their hand and subjected Tibetans to forcible collection, intimidation, and victimization perpetrated during their protest, the representatives of NGO’s has described the Tibetans as most peace-loving and hardworking refugees in the world and further described the protest as an attempt to malign Arunachal’s cultural and traditional ethos.

The condemnation letter signed by the representatives of various NGO’s further urged the Governor to ensure the safety of Tibetans while appealing to the people of Arunachal who supports SUMAA’S protest not to trust the nefarious political propaganda made by them.

“Accordingly, we respectfully but firmly urge you to do everything that is needed for safety and security of Tibetans. We would also like to inform sincerely to our brothers and sisters those who support baseless protest not to trust their leadership with nefarious political propaganda made by them,” the condemnation letter stated.

The copy of the Condemnation addressed to the Governor has also been sent to Arunachal’s Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary, the Deputy Commissioner of West Kameng, ADC Kalaktang, the President of Monpa Mimang Tshokpa and the Tibetan Settlement officer of Tenzingaon.

The Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act was formalized by the Central government in 2014 and it has been adopted in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Karnataka apart from Arunachal Pradesh where it was implemented in August last year.

Arunachal Pradesh has the fourth largest population of Tibetans in India. In spite of assurance from the Arunachal Pradesh government and Chief Minister Pema Khandu that any policy decision on the Tibetan refugees settled in the state would be taken keeping the interest of the local people in mind, SUMAA firmly believes the government has adopted an anti-tribal policy.

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