Indian Ministry Suggests a Sharp 43% Decline in No. of Tibetan Refugees

According to the publication in the leading Indian news paper, The Indian Express, the number of Tibetan refugees in India has declined by more than 43% in the past seven years. This report is huge shocker as the number is very much below the approximated count as suggested by the official of Central Tibetan Administration, according to the report.

Indian Government’s Ministry of Home Affairs advisor on Tibet Affairs Amitabh Mathur has suggested a rough estimation of around 85,000 being the number of Tibetan refugees present in the country. This is almost 43% less previous number. i.e., 1.5 lakhs, around seven years back. Although this not the exact number, the MHA official suggested the Tibetan population in India could be around that.

“Their numbers could be approximately 85,000, but we will get the exact figure once all of them are registered online. In the past two years, the government has simplified the process and made everything accessible on the internet,” Mathur told The Indian Express according to their report on Tuesday.

While the report suggested that the decline could be led a large number either migrating to the US or returning to China/Tibet as there has been a lack of national refugee policy. “Tibetans are recognized as ‘foreigners’, not refugees, because of which they cannot own any property here, neither can they apply for government jobs. After 2014, only qualified professionals from among the Tibetan refugees are permitted to take jobs in private and non-government sectors,” added the MHA official.

Spokesperson for Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala, Mr. Sonam Dagpo also explained that there could be a steep decline the number of Tibetan refugees in India, attributed by “number of Tibetans going abroad increased, birth rate among Tibetans (in India) also declined”, besides suggesting that the number of Tibetans in the country could be around 1 lakh.

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TJ editor

Editor at Tibetan Journal

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