Dhasa: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has expressed concern over the action taken by Nepal to repatriate three Tibetan refugees in June earlier this year, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has revealed. The move has violated the "Gentleman's Agreement" between Nepal and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which secured safe transit for refugees from Tibet as they travelled through to India. Established in 1989, when Nepal ceased to provide Tibetans with refugee status, this is the first violation of the pact since May 2003.
In early June Nepalese police detained two Tibetan monks, 20-year old Dawa and 21-year old Dorjee, and a 22-year old woman called Penpa, in Nepal's Helma district before they were taken back via helicopter to the Tibetan border at Hilsa. Here they were collected by Chinese security personnel, and whilst one of the monks was permitted to return to his monastery, the other two refugees have been imprisoned.
"The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is extremely concerned over the forcible repatriation of three Tibetan refugees," a UN official said yesterday, in response to the Nepalese contravention of international law. It was also announced that the UNHRC had written to the Nepalese Government regarding the violation.
The incident appears to be in response to increasing pressure from China, one of Nepal's major patrons, to rein in pro-Tibet activity within their territory.