By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 23: Tibetan refugees residing in India may soon be without the hassles of ‘exit permit’ when traveling abroad, according to a senior official from the Home Ministry in New Delhi.
The official document is essentially a checklist for any pending criminal or legal cases and background among other things, by the Indian government for any Tibetan who has already secured a visa to travel abroad. Instead, Tibetan refugees would be provided with a NOC (no-objection certificate) at the time of issuance of identity certificates, the document in-lieu of a passport for Tibetans residing in India issued by New Delhi.
“The present rules are such that a Tibetan refugee has to apply for an exit permit every time he or she has to travel abroad. Since identity certificates are issued after carrying out due diligence and background check, the exit permit is an unnecessary requirement,” the official told Hindu.
The official also said that the Home Ministry would soon get approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) followed by notification by Ministry of External Affairs to all foreign missions.
Based on a CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) survey from 2009, 127,935 Tibetans were registered in the diaspora with 94,203 of them in India although Edward J. Mills who conducted extensive medical research in the Tibetan refugee settlements estimated the figures to be close to 150,000.