Nepal Govt to decide soon on Tibetans

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Kathmandu, Sept 23 : Nepal Home Minister Bamdev Gautam has said that the government would soon decide the fate of Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal as the country would no longer be able to bear the burden they cause.

Talking to reporters here on Monday, Gautam said that the government will soon decide in the matter through review of the existing laws or by giving them the status of Nepali citizens.

He also said that the government would take strict measures to stop the use of Nepali soil against others. Claiming that over 100,000 Tibetans have been staying in Nepal on various pretexts, he said, "If we continue issuing identity cards to every Tibetan, they will double within 50 years. So, it's high time we decided over this as we can't keep them here like this any more."

He also warned the Tibetans not to "misuse" the rights given them as goodwill. Legal action will be taken if they are found misusing their rights while in Nepal.

Earlier, the government had handed over 132 Tibetan protesters to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nepal in order to determine their refugee status after arresting them during three-day long protests outside of the Chinese Embassy visa section.

There are around 14,000 Tibetans here with ID cards and refugee status, which the government conferred on Tibetans entering Nepal before 1985. It has been 13 years since the government stopped issuing such ID cards even as around 2,500 Tibetans have been entering Nepal every year, Nepalnews reported.

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