United States seeks Nepal’s clarification for deporting its citizen as Dalai Lama agent

Image shows deported Penpa Tsering (left) and a former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, (right) Penpa Tsering.(Photo courtesy: THT)

(TibetanReview.net, Jun28’19) – After deporting on Jun 22 a man for being an alleged agent of the Dalai Lama, as if that, even if true, is any sort of any danger to any country, Nepal has a serious bit of question to answer to the United States: Are US citizens seeking to enter Nepal subject to clearance from other foreign governments?

That was because Nepal said it deported a US passport-holder named Penpa Tsering back to the US after consulting the Chinese government. It was a case of mistaken identity, of course, which Nepal obviously failed to clear up even after hours of questioning the man at the country’s Tribhuvan International Airport. The man was, in fact, of Nepali origin, as it turned out, an easily verifiable fact.

Penpa Tsering, the US citizen of Nepali origin, was mistaken for Penpa Tsering, a former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, a candidate for the exile Tibetan Presidential election in 2016, and, most recently, the Representative of HH the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet in in Washington, DC.

The US embassy in Kathmandu has said it was troubled by the deportation.

“We are seeking clarification from the Nepal government about the facts of this specific instance and, more generally, on whether US citizens seeking to enter Nepal will be subject to clearance from other foreign governments,” thehimalayantimes.com Jun 28 quoted US Embassy Spokesperson Andie De Arment as saying in an e-mailed statement.

The report said Penpa Tsering, born on Jul 1, 1965, was sent back to the US after immigration officials found out that in their records a man by the same name was on China’s ‘most-wanted’ list. The Chinese Embassy had written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to restrict a person named Penpa Tsering from entering Nepal, labelling him a campaigner of the free Tibet movement, as well as a strong advocate of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, it said.

Nepal-born Penpa Tsering had acquired a US passport on Jun 18, 2012 and had visited the country earlier, the report noted.

Penpa Tsering is not an altogether uncommon name among Tibetan Buddhists in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, and India. Hence Nepal’s deportation action would certainly have rankled, if not also greatly worried, a good number of people for happening to bear that name.


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