Nepal | July 06, 2020

Man labelled Dalai Lama’s agent, deported to US

Immigration officials at TIA did so because a man with his name was on China’s most wanted list

Rajan Pokhrel
Share Now:

Kathmandu, June 24

Immigration authorities at the country’s sole international airport have refused to let an American tourist enter Nepal on suspicion of being an agent of the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama, according to sources.

Penpa Tsering, 53, who arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport from New York city via New Delhi on Saturday, was denied entry into Nepal and was deported to the US after hours of questioning at the airport.

The tourist holding US passport was scorned and mistreated because of his Tibetan origin, eyewitnesses told THT. “Authorities decided to deport him after questioning harshly for hours.”

Penpa was sent back to the US after immigration officials found out that in their records a man by his name was the ‘most-wanted’ person by China. “We acted at the request of the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu,” an official said. Penpa, however, requested immigration desk officers to let him visit Nepal as he wanted to reunite with his friends and relatives in Kathmandu.

According to the official, 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. China also feared that a person with the name of ‘Penpa Tsering’ could accelerate Tibetans’ movement against China in Nepal, he added.

They sent him back to the US via Doha on Saturday evening.

The officials, who believed that their action aimed at honouring Nepal’s one-China policy, however, were not sure whether the same person was wanted 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,” another official said.

Penpa, who repeatedly denied his affiliation to the Dalai Lama during questioning, had already obtained a multiple-entry visa from India for 10 years, an officer who read Penpa’s US passport data, said.

He claimed that Penpa had visited Kathmandu for three days in 2013 also.

Kumar Bahadur Khadka, chief immigration officer at TIA, confirmed Penpa’s deportation but refused to share more information about the incident. Immigration officials can take such action against anyone whose name is in the blacklist, Eshor Raj Poudel, director general at the Department of Immigration, said. “In Penpa’s case, I don’t have more details to share,” he added.

The 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released recently by the US Department of State mentioned that Nepal, which does not recognise Tibetans who arrived in the country after 1990 as refugees, continued its attempts to stop them from celebrating culturally important events, such as Tibetan New Year, World Peace Day and the Dalai Lama’s birthday.

The government has not issued personal identification documents to Tibetan refugees in more than 20 years, leaving majority of this refugee population without recourse to present required documents at police checkpoints or during police stops, adds the report.

A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Greenwood shines as five-star Man United crush Bournemouth

MANCHESTER: Manchester United's three-pronged attack combined to devastating effect as they crushed Bournemouth 5-2 in the Premier League on Saturday to move into the top four and stretch their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions. Mason Greenwood shone with two superb goals whil Read More...

Six killed, one missing in Bajhang landslide

Bajura, July 4 Six persons died in a landslide in Mallesi of Kedarsyun Rural Municipality, Bajhang, last night. One person is missing. A police team from Bisauna of Durgathali Rural Municipality and locals retrieved the bodies from the landslide debris today. According to Kedarsyun Rural Mu Read More...

NCP standoff continues

Kathmandu, July 4 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) postponed its Standing Committee meeting till Monday in an attempt to reconcile differences among party co-chairs Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. The rival faction of the NCP has Read More...

Bayern thrash Leverkusen 4-2 to win 20th German Cup title

BERLIN: Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich kept their hopes of a treble alive after a dominant 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen to lift the German Cup for a record-extending 20th time at the Olympiastadion on Saturday. Bayern sealed their 13th domestic double as Hansi Flick, who took ove Read More...

Fertiliser crunch hits farmers in Siraha district

SIRAHA, JULY 4 Farmers, who have started paddy plantation, are facing shortage of chemical fertiliser in Siraha. Agriculture cooperatives are supposed to sell fertiliser supplied by the Agriculture Materials Company Limited and Salt Trading Corporations. But, farmers are facing paucity of fert Read More...

Govt turns deaf ears to demands of youths staging hunger strike

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 Two youths of ‘Enough Is Enough’ movement have been staging a fast-unto-death hunger strike for the past nine days, but the government has turned a deaf ears to their demands. Iih, 26, of Kathmandu and Pukar Bam, 30, of Kailali, who began their hunger strike from a Sattal Read More...

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) building

Engineer booked for accumulating illegal assets

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority yesterday filed a charge-sheet at the Special Court against Bharat Raj Acharya, an engineer at the Department of Roads. He has been charged with accumulating disproportionate assets worth around Rs 32.2 million. Ac Read More...

More public post holders submitting property details

Kathmandu, July 4 The number government officials and employees furnishing their property details has increased in the fiscal 2018-19 compared to the previous fiscal, said National Vigilance Centre. According to a report released by the anti-corruption watchdog under the Office of the Prime Mi Read More...