Nepal starts collecting data on Tibetan refugees to control and snoop on them  

A file image of Nepalese police manhandling a Tibetan women activist in Kathmandu.

DHARAMSALA, Feb 28: Nepal is reported to have started collecting data on Tibetan refugees living in the country to keep a tap on their number and their anti-China activities.

In a move aimed at controlling the entry of new Tibetan refugees into Nepal and their anti-China activities, the government has begun collecting details of them and recording them on software, reported, citing a Nepali Daily newspaper Rajdhani.

While the report did not provide further details, it said around 14,000 Tibetan refugees are residing in various places of Nepal.

Pertaining to the condition of the Tibetan refugees in Nepal, rights groups and activist alike have accused Beijing of using aid and investment in Nepal to ensure the government prevents any anti-Chinese activity.

“Beijing is demanding that Kathmandu strengthens its border troops,” reported DW News,  a global English-language news and information channel from a German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) way back in Aug 2016 citing a confidential document from the American embassy in Nepal published by Wikileaks in 2010.

It was also revealed in the document that “China rewards Nepalese forces by providing financial incentives for handing over Tibetans who want to flee across the border.”

Nepal is not among the one hundred forty-seven nations that have signed the United Nations Convention Relating to Refugee Status, which guarantees their refugee populations certain rights. But the majority of the Tibetan refugees in Nepal were born there still remains undocumented and they often face restrictions from Nepalese authorities, particularly around significant Tibetan anniversaries.

As Nepal cosied up to China and the latter’s influence grew in the country, the pressure is mounting on Tibetans living in the region.

Though the Nepali Home Ministry is said to have been working toward a national ID card which may include non-citizens for the sizeable Tibetan refugees in its country to resolve the problem since 2010, nothing has been forthcoming.

Kathmandu’s latest move of compiling data on Tibetan refugees will appease Beijing rather than resolving the problem.

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