(TibetanReview.net, Jun26’19) – Nepal’s deportation on Jun 22 of a presumably Tibetan man named Penpa Tsering from the USA turned out to be only a rehearsal of what it would do if the real person targeted by China bearing that name comes to the country. The man they interrogated harshly for hours and then deported back to the USA “on suspicion of being an agent of the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama,” was altogether another person. That person is not known to have spoken up or complained to the US government yet.
Nepal called the deportation an act of honouring the “One-China” policy. It spoke of having chosen to ere on the side of caution when deporting the namesake of the exile Tibetan leader.
Reporting the incident, thehimalayantimes.com Jun 25 even published a photo of the Penpa Tsering they presumed the man at the Tribhuvan International Airport to be even published a photo of him with the Dalai Lama in its news story.
The “real” Penpa Tsering, former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and who had stood for election for the post of President of the Central Tibetan Administration in 2016, has, in fact, been in India all along, more recently at Dharamsala. He has been attending an exile Tibetan Justice Commission hearing since Jun 5.
“It clearly shows that the Chinese government’s pressure on Nepal is working,” tibetsun.com Jun 25 quoted Penpa Tsering, who was most recently the Representative of HH the Dalai Lama in New York, as saying.
Nepal had said “We acted at the request of the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu,” according to the thehimalayantimes.com report. It said Mr Penpa Tsering was sent back to the USA after immigration officials found out that in their records a man by his name was the ‘most-wanted’ person by China.
“After consulting higher authorities, including Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, we simply chose to be on the safe side by deporting him to the US,” the report quoted an immigration official as saying.
China is Nepal’s top aid giver and investor and unquestioningly follows its wishes on the treatment of the Tibetan people, even if he or she is a US passport-holder, as it turns out.
Mr Penpa Tsering is an advocate for the resolution of the Tibet issue through a negotiated settlement with the goal of attaining autonomy under Chinese rule, not independence, for Tibet.