WikiLeaks: 85,000 Tibetans reach India since 1980

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NEW DELHI/LONDON - More than 85,000 Tibetans have arrived in India in the past 30 years and 46,000 of them returned to Tibet, says a US cable put out by WikiLeaks.

The New Delhi American embassy cable of Feb 22 this year and reproduced by The Guardian said that “an average of 2,500-3,500 refugees from Tibet typically arrive in Dharamsala each year”.

It said that most return to Tibet “after receiving an audience with the Dalai Lama”, the Tibetan spiritual leader who is based in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala.

In a bid to hide its source, the cable says: “XXXXXXXXXXXX confirmed that from 1980 to November 2009, 87,096 refugees were processed by the Dharamsala Reception Center and 46,620 returned to Tibet after a short pilgrimage in India. Most of those who do stay in India are children who then attend schools run by Tibetan Children’s Villages.”

The cable said that following the March 2008 uprising in Tibet, “the number of Tibetan refugees markedly decreased, with only about 650 arriving from April 2008 to March 2009.

“XXXXXXXXXXXX was optimistic that (the) flow of refugees will soon go back to normal levels because admission statistics for 2010 are surpassing those from an equivalent period in 2009.”

India is home to the the Dalai Lama and about 100,000 Tibetan exiles. Many of them fled to India with the Dalai Lama in 1959 after the failure of an anti-Communist uprising.

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