CTA assures Tibetans in Arunachal are safe

Jamphel Wangdue(L), Chairman of Religion and Cultural Affairs of Arunachal Pradesh, CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay(C) and Tsewang Dolma Shosur(L), Additional Secretary of Department of Home

DHARAMSALA, July 31: Expressing regret over the anti-Tibetan protest by a student group in the state, the Chairman of Religion and Cultural Affairs of Arunachal Pradesh has assured support to the Tibetans in the Northeast state.

Jamphel Wangdue, the Chairman of Religion and Cultural Affairs of Arunachal Pradesh expressed disappointment over the anti-Tibetan protest in his state at a press conference held at the Kashag Secretariat here in Dharamsala.

The Arunachal Minister is on a visit to Dharamsala, the exile headquarter of the Central Tibetan Administration(CTA), for a joint exchange program to promote cultural exchange and ties among students.

Jamphel Wangdue, Chairman of Religion and Cultural Affairs of Arunachal Pradesh

The Chairman of Religion and Cultural Affairs of Arunachal Pradesh further stated that majority of the tribal communities in Arunachal have co-existed peacefully with the Tibetans and that the people of the Mon community are in solidarity with the Tibetan refugees in the State.

“The people of the Mon community are disappointed by the anti-Tibetan protest and stands in solidarity with the Tibetans in Arunachal,” Jamphel Wangdue said and added that a meeting on on the issue will be held on Aug 12 to avoid and prevent such uncalled for protests.

Jamphel Wangdue was accompanied by the CTA President, Dr Lobsang Sangay and Tsewang Dolma Shosur, the Additional Secretary of the Department of Home at the press conference.

While President Sangay thanked both the state government of Arunachal and the central government of India for their unwavering support to Tibetans refugees in Arunachal Pradesh, Additional Secretary Tsewang Dolma Shosur stated that CTA’s Secretary of Department of Home had visited the Tibetan settlements in Arunachal and that the Tibetans in settlement were not affected by the protest as widely speculated on social media platforms.

The self-styled student group, ‘The Students’ United Movement of All Arunachal’(SUMAA) 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 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 students group subjected Tibetans to forcible collection, intimidation, and victimization perpetrated during their protest, many NGOs and local legislatures within the state have condemned the anti-Tibetan protest.

Further, two SUMAA leaders detained by police on extortion charges were later remanded to judicial custody and sent to the district jail in July.

The Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act was formalized by the central government of India in 2014 and 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. Despite assurance from Arunachal 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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