Tibetans in Transit
Tibetans who “remains” in Nepal/India/Bhutan are in transit. Therefore they may use following arguments to seek refugee
status in North America or Europe or in those countries who signed UN conventions of refugees. However,
please read notes at end of this article.
India, Nepal and Bhutan DID NOT sign UN convention of 1951 and 1967 Protocol. Therefore, Tibetans stationed in these countries DO NOT enjoy “refugee” status and benefits as UN conventions requires.
Legal status of Tibetans who remain in India, Nepal and Bhutan are “person on Parole” by The Foreigners Act of 1946 clause 4(2).
RC or the Blue Book
It is a small blue or red cover Booklet ID cum Form issued to Tibetans. It some case, it is just a plain white paper.
It is given under “The Registration of Foreigners Rules 1939” called “Indian Registration Certificate for Tibetans”. Idea being that Tibetans are legally foreigner.
However, many Tibetans who fled Tibet between 1978-2004, almost for 7 years, are not issued Blue book. Here is an official acknowledgement of discrepancy in video.
RC must be renewed every 3, 6 or 12 months period depending on where your registered address is. Failure to do will render him liable for imprisonment or fine or both.
Exit Permit & List of Countries to visit
Mere requirement of “Exit Permit” and List of to countries to travel to shows that Tibetans are legally “Registered Foreigners” and NOT a “protected refugees”.
Surrendering of “Blue Book” to Registration Officer for the purpose of leaving India proves that Tibetan who remain in these countries are “Transient” and NOT on Refugee status.
NORI- No Objection to Return India- A Stamp to return
This is a government of India stamp on Travel Document issued to Tibetans with a expiry date. No visa
is issued to return to India if this stamp date is expired or without it. NORI is NOT issued or
stamped outside India. Travel document should have NORI prior to leaving India.
Tibetans who travel aboard cannot return if visa is NOT obtained to return. This shows that Tibetans who remain in these countries are treated like a “Foreigner” instead of a “refugee”..
UN Article 34 Naturalization reads ”The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of refugees. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite naturalization proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of such proceedings”.
However, Tibetans who remains in India for the past 50 years were NOT Naturalized.
UN Article 17: Gainful Employment meaning Wage-earning employment for Refugee is NOT applied to Tibetans and are not employed in State or Federal/Central government jobs which is a major employer in these countries.
UN Article 26. Freedom of movement reads “ Each Contracting State shall accord to refugees lawfully in its territory the right to choose their place of residence and to move freely within its territory subject to any regulations applicable to aliens generally in the same circumstances”.
However, The Foreigners Act of 1946, India, says “remain in, such area in India as may be prescribed”.
Also “Blue Book or RC” Notice 1(3)(a) says “absent from his/her registered address for continues period of 2 weeks or more….should r
eport to Registered Officer” Also Notice 1(IV) says “if he/she stays for more than 7 days in other then the registered district must report to Registered Officer”.
Since there is NO access to “refugee determination procedure” in above countries there is no legal review or
protection against refoulement waiting to happen to Tibetans.
Arbitrary Removal of Registered Foreigner without judicial review
The Foreigners ACT, 1946 of India under section 3, “Power to make orders” gives “government officials-
any police or politician” enough power to deport any Tibetan who are “Registered Foreigner” without any judicial review or protection.
This power alone can send any Tibetan back to China and hence danger to their life.
For more information, please visit www.itibetan.org under REFUGEE section.
1 US and Canada signed “Safe Third Country Treaty” in dec. 29, 2004: Under this rule only Family members
can enter from US to Canada without visa to claim refugee in Canada. There are exceptions. Please read
for more information.
Burden of Proof is on YOU. YOU have to prove to the Canadian Border Security that you are a Family member of. Also keep in mind
that in case of “refusal” YOU will be returned to US and if your visa in US has expired then you will be detained
2 Avoid using words like “ living in “ instead say “remained in” India/Nepal/Bhutan for the past so many years and NOT as a REFUGEE but as a FOREIGNER. In US legal system Foreigners are called Alien.
3 Claiming Refugee has to do with:
a) risk of persecution as defined in Geneva convention;
b) danger of torture;
c) risk to life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
d) fear of refoulement to China for being a “Foreigner” in countries where you remained in the past.
e) Persecution due to religious or political belief- such as oppose to one child policy ; follower of H.H. the Dalai Lama etc.
4 Claiming refugee has NOTHING to do with economy or being poor.
Gone are days when gentleman’s word is Good enough. Today, you need to prove who you are by providing “documents”.
Following are few.
a) Travel document: On which You have visa stamped
b) Registration Certificate- Blue/Red Book OR white Paper
c) Driving license
d) Ration Card
e) GreenBook-Tibetan Rangzen LakDep or documents from organizations that are NOT violent in nature.
If you more documents with you, it is better than none. Documents issued by recognized organs ( Red Cross, Amnesty international, government of Nepal/India/Bhutan) has more weightage.
However, if you are caught escaping from Tibet, carrying documents on you might prove fatal to your family members who are left behind. This presents a very dangerous and unfortunate situation for Tibetans.
Indian Government has issued a paper saying that Tibetans born in India between 26th Jan 1950 to 1st July 1987 are treated as Indian Citizen under the Citizenship Act of 1955. Here is the statement, “shall process all the pending applications of Tibetan refugee applicants born in India between 26/01/1950 to 01/07/1987, for the issue of passports treating them as the Indian citizens by birth under Section 3(1)(a) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.”
Tibetans who were born within above dates and want to seek asylum in North America/Europe face a challenge. They will have to prove to Refugee Board or Judge that their application for Indian citizen is rejected on such date, place and Indian court. Canadian Refugee Board is aware of such Indian Act and thus has refused many Tibetans the Refugee Status.
Disclaim: I am not a Lawyer. Information is provided “as is” and does not guarantee anything.