Govt yet to respond to request for clarification

MoFA says home ministry looking US embassy plea

Kathmandu, July 1

The government has yet to respond to the US embassy’s request for clarification regarding the June 22 deportation of a US citizen on suspicion of being an agent of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

A senior diplomatic source said the US embassy had not yet received an official response from the government, and that the ‘US will be further pursuing an official response’, said the source.

The US embassy had forwarded a ‘diplomatic note’ to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeking clarification about whether US citizens seeking to enter Nepal would be subject to clearance from other foreign governments.

A high-level official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, without confirming the receipt of the ‘diplomatic note’, said the matter was being looked into by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

However, MoHA officials were not available for comment. In both the attempts to reach him over phone, MoHA Spokesperson Ram Krishna Subedi said he was in a meeting and could not talk.

THT broke the story on June 25 that Penpa Tsering, 53, who arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport from New York City via New Delhi on June 22, was denied entry into Nepal and was deported to the US after hours of questioning at the airport.

Penpa was sent back to the US after immigration officials found out that in their records a man by his name was black-listed by China. 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.