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India: 1) Legal status of Tibetan refugees; 2) Rights of Tibetans to Indian nationality

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 July 1992
Citation / Document Symbol IND11239
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, India: 1) Legal status of Tibetan refugees; 2) Rights of Tibetans to Indian nationality, 1 July 1992, IND11239, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aab124.html [accessed 22 September 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

1) According to one source, in 1959, the Indian government granted political asylum to the Dalai Lama and his followers (Khan 1980, 109). The Dalai Lama and his followers "were regarded as refugees and given all rights and facilities by the Indian Government" (Ibid.). Tibetan refugees are considered to be refugees in India and therefore subject to residency permit regulations. This information was confirmed by the Indian High Commission in Ottawa (20 July 1992). Non-violent and non-political activities, however, were made conditional to the Dalai Lama residing in India (Khan 1980, 109). Refugees in India generally receive a temporary residence permit which is renewable (UNCHR 1992). There was no precision available on the duration of permit's validity.

Another source mentions the "integration of the Tibetans in India" (Zarjevski 1988, 168). Only recently, however, did the Tibetans benefit from an integrated development plan of their settlements (Tibetan Bulletin Mar.-Apr. 1992a, 29). These settlements were granted to the refugee community by the Indian government (Mullin and Wangyal 1983). The refugees set up Tibetan schools and community services in the settlements and formed a government-in-exile in Dharamsala (Ibid.; Tibetan Bulletin Mar.-Apr. 1992b, 30). A visit to India by Chinese Premier Li Peng in December 1991 sparked a wave of protests by Tibetan refugees, which led the government of India to arrest Tibetan camp leaders and agitators, and to send large police contingents to remove the demonstrators (Tibetan Bulletin Jan.-Feb. 1992, 22; U.S. Committee for Refugees 1992, 96). Most camp settlements and Tibetan community organizations were put under strict police vigilance during the visit (Tibetan Bulletin Jan.-Feb. 1992, 23).

2) According to the High Commission of India in Ottawa, Tibetan refugees do not have the right to acquire Indian nationality, even if they were born in India (20 July 1992). Please find attached the Nationality Act of India which provides more details on nationality but does not contain any specific section on refugees (Law of Citizenship and Aliens in India 1962). Additional information could not be found among sources available to the IRBDC at the present time.

References

High Commission of India in Ottawa. 20 July 1992. Telephone Interview with the Counsellor on Political Affairs.

Khan, Rahmatullah. 1980. "India: India and its Refugees," Round Table of Asian Experts on Current Problems in the International Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons. Manila: International Institute of Humanitarian Law, p. 106-110.

Law of Citizenship and Aliens in India. 1962. London: Asia Publishing House.

Mullin, Chris and Phuntsog Wangyal. 1983. The Tibetans: Two Perspectives on Tibetan-Chinese Relations. London: Minority Rights Group.

Tibetan Bulletin [Dharamsala]. March-April 1992a. "First Integrated Development Plan of Tibetans in Exile", p. 29.

. March-April 1992b. "His Holiness Visits Tibetan Settlements in South India", p. 30.

. January-February 1992. "Li Peng's Visit to India Heightens Awareness on Tibet", p. 22.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 1992. Activités du HCR financées par les fonds constitués au moyen de contributions volontaires: Rapport pour 1990-191 et projet de budgets-programmes pour 1992. Geneva: United Nations, p. 46.

United States Committee for Refugees. 1992. World Refugee Survey 1992. Washington: U.S. Committee for Refugees, p. 96.

Zarjevski, Yéfime. 1988. A Future Preserved: International Assistance to Refugees. Oxford: Pergamon Press, p. 168.

Attachments

Khan, Rahmatullah. 1980. "India: India and its Refugees," Round Table of Asian Experts on Current Problems in the International Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons. Manila: International Institute of Humanitarian Law, p. 106-110.

Law of Citizenship and Aliens in India. 1962. London: Asia Publishing House.

Mullin, Chris and Phuntsog Wangyal. 1983. The Tibetans: Two Perspectives on Tibetan-Chinese Relations. London: Minority Rights Group.

Tibetan Bulletin [Dharamsala]. March-April 1992a. "First Integrated Development Plan of Tibetans in Exile", p. 29.

. March-April 1992b. "His Holiness Visits Tibetan Settlements in South India", p. 30.

. January-February 1992. "Li Peng's Visit to India Heightens Awareness on Tibet", p. 22.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 1992. Activités du HCR financées par les fonds constitués au moyen de contributions volontaires: Rapport pour 1990-191 et projet de budgets-programmes pour 1992. Geneva: United Nations, p. 46.

United States Committee for Refugees. 1992. World Refugee Survey 1992. Washington: U.S. Committee for Refugees, p. 96.

Zarjevski, Yéfime. 1988. A Future Preserved: International Assistance to Refugees. Oxford: Pergamon Press, p. 168.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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