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US citizen Penpa Tsering speaks out after Nepal deportation/ENG

2019. június 30./Tibet Sun/TibetPress

eredeti cikk

By Lobsang Wangyal
Days after his deportation by Nepal immigration officials due to mistaken identity, traumatised Tibetan-American Penpa Tsering said the officials treated him badly and tortured him mentally, in a communication with Tibet Sun.

Immigration officials at Nepal’s only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, deported the wrong Penpa Tsering back to the US on Saturday. They deported him as they saw his name on their list of people to be banned from the country at the request of the Chinese government.

But according to the Chinese embassy in Nepal, the “Penpa Tsering” who is on their blacklist is a different person: Former representative of the Dalai Lama to the US and former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, who lives in India. The Chinese embassy believes him to be working for the Dalai Lama, and considers him to be working against China’s interests.

This Penpa Tsering was in Dharamshala at the time of the other Penpa Tsering’s deportation, where he was attending a court case that he had filed against the president of the Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay and his cabinet.

The deported Penpa Tsering is a US citizen, living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had gone to Nepal in 2013 and had no problems entering at that time.

In an email message to Tibet Sun, he said, “I approached the immigration office at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal, for my entry visa, but to my great surprise, even after knowing that I was innocent, they refused to give me the visa on the ground that I was a blacklisted person restricted from entering Nepal.”

He had a return ticket to Delhi, but the officials deported him to the US. “They forced me to pay for the flight ticket to the US, but they claim that it was at the Nepal government’s expense.”

“This refusal of entry denied me my right to make a pilgrimage to Buddhist places of my ancestral belief, and to meet with my relatives.”

Tsering said that the officials treated him badly and questioned him harshly as if they were talking to a criminal, noting that they seemed to have no respect for Tibetans no matter what passport they carry.

“I was tortured mentally. I felt hopeless, alone, and depressed.”

His attempts to contact the US embassy failed as it was a Saturday and the embassy was closed. As he tried to find a way to contact US officials outside Nepal, the officials snatched his mobile phone, cutting him completely out from the world. His request to contact his wife and two daughters in the US was refused.

“I’m still feeling traumatised because of this eventful experience.”

He was then escorted by five policemen until they put him on an Air Qatar plane. “Basically, all scenes were so frightening and harassing.”

“What I see from my experience is that Nepal is not a free country. The way they act, they seem to have been already occupied by China. I don’t know how much money they get from China for treating Tibetans brutally in Nepal, but what I know is that the US government is giving Nepal $80 million for developing its nation.”

Tsering has sent details to the US embassy in Nepal, and feels there is no doubt that his case is related to the “Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018” signed by President Trump. In his letter he has appealed to the US government to take necessary action against the mistreatment of a US citizen and innocent Tibetan to please the government of China.

According to a report by the Kathmandu Post on 27 June, the US Embassy in Kathmandu has asked for clarification from the Nepal government for refusing an American citizen entrance to Nepal. A formal request was sent on Thursday for clarification from the Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The US Embassy is troubled that the Nepal government deported a US citizen on the basis of a request from a foreign government,” US Embassy spokesperson Andie De Arment told the Post. “We are seeking clarification from the Nepal government about the facts of this specific instance and, more generally, about whether US citizens seeking to enter Nepal will be subject to clearance from other foreign governments.”



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