Arunachal Civil Society protests against Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, August 23: Arunachal Civil Society (ACS) has condemned the Arunachal Pradesh state government’s decision of adopting the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act.

21015614_1633959333315137_138533125_nThe ACS condemned the decision as injustice towards the indigenous tribes of the state. “When Mon area is receiving numerous benefits from all corners of the world then why the government is spending extra funds for Tibetan refugees while neglecting the needs of indigenous tribes of the state,” President of ACS, Pate Tayum said at a press conference held earlier today.

Arunachal Pradesh adopted the Tibetan Rehabilitation policy act following a cabinet meeting on August 12. The central government of India formalized this act in 2014 and the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Peman Khandu informed about his government’s decision in a letter he wrote to the President of Central Tibetan Administration, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay.

The President of the society further clarified that they are not against Tibetan refugees and their settlement in the state. “But what irks us most is that without giving importance to the development and progress of our indigenous community, which is still lagging behind in development fronts, the government implemented the policy that too without any consent from tribal populations,” he added.

“Once it is fully implemented then one day all the benefits which are meant for local tribes will be diverted to refugee areas which will disturb the state’s ethnic balance, resulting in communal tension in near future,” he stated.

The Chairman of the ACS was more vocal about the act and called it a slap on the face of the indigenous people in the state and demanded the Arunachal government to revert its decision. “The move is a slap in the face of indigenous people,” Chairman of ACS, Pinku Basar said and further added that such kind of policy will become a threat to the very existence of the local populace.

Earlier in August last year, ACS has claimed that many Tibetan refugees settled in Arunachal Pradesh have obtained Scheduled Tribes certificates and demanded the state government to cancel all those certificates.