After the enforcement of new guidelines, only 100 Tibetans out of the total population of 1, 27,935 have applied for the passport.
Bangalore, February 1, 2018:
The new guidelines set for Tibetans seeking an Indian passport have caused a decline in the number of Tibetans applying for it, says Central Tibetan Authority.
The new guidelines direct Tibetans to forfeit their refugee card and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) benefits. It also directs them to move out of their settlements.
“What the government is doing is quite unfair. It is wrong to ask us to leave all the benefits we get from the CTA”, said Tenzin, a passport applicant.
The CTA finds the new guidelines to be the reason behind this decline.
“I think it is practically very difficult for the people to move out of their settlements for getting an Indian passport. This has caused a decline in the number of passport applications”, said Chophel La, Chief Representative of CTA.
Earlier, a Tibetan (Lombsang Wangyal) filed a petition against the guidelines, saying that the new rules violate Constitutional Right to Life and Personal Liberty mentioned in Article 21.
“The guidelines issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) don’t violate any constitutional law, as the Article 21 comes with a clause that says that any rules that are formed by proper court procedure are the exception to this article”, said Kaveri Bohra, a lawyer.
It will be interesting to watch if the MEA alters its guidelines, considering the plight of Tibetans.