The United States has called for the implementation of the agreement reached between the Government of Nepal and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR made the request to the Government of Nepal after the both parliament of the US passed the Tibetan Policy and Cooperation Act, 2020. Earlier, the United States had verbally and informally urged Nepal to create a favorable environment for Tibetan refugees. Now they are preparing to put pressure on Nepal by making a law.
Article 6 of the Tibetan Policy and Assistance Act, 2020, in addition to the amicable agreement, urges Nepal to provide legal documents to allow Tibetan refugees living in Nepal to engage in economic and social activities.
According to the Tibetan Policy and Cooperation Act, 2020, the US Secretary of State shall request the Government of Nepal to implement the amicable agreement with the UNHCR and provide legal documents to Tibetans fleeing Tibet for a long time to participate fully in Nepal’s social and economic activities, coded in article 6.
According to US officials, Nepal reached a gentlemanly agreement with the UNHCR in 1989 to allow those fleeing Tibet to return to India safely. “The issue they are raising as a gentleman’s agreement is to allow Tibetans who have crossed the mountain to use Nepal as a transit point to go to India’s Dharmashala.” US law also appears to be in conflict with Nepal’s legal cooperation arrangements with China.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal last year, the two countries agreed to cooperate legally. During the visit, preparations were also made to sign the Nepal-China extradition treaty. However, Nepali officials have said that the signing was stopped after US officials objected.
The Americans had been objecting that the treaty between Nepal and China would be used to the fleeing Tibetans. China has been holding the view that Nepal should return the fleeing Tibetans to Tibet.
Through the Tibetan Policy and Cooperation Act, 2020, the United States has set a number of policies regarding Tibet. The United States amended the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 to address issues related to Tibet’s human rights, environmental rights, religious freedom, and the Tibetan government in exile.
By law, the United States has given the current Dalai Lama, Tibetan religious leaders, and the Tibetan people the right to decide the rebirth of another Dalai Lama. However, the United States has acknowledged that the political representatives of the Tibetan people are the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, India, and its chairman, Lobsang Sange. The Dalai Lama has been living in a hospice reached 85 years.
According to the law, China will not be allowed to open an additional consulate in the United States unless it allows the opening of a US consulate in Lhasa, Tibet.
China has strongly criticized the law. China says US law interferes in internal affairs.