By Tenzin Dharpo
SUMMA members on the änti Tibetan refugee movement_ in Itanagar in Oct. 2017. Photo- The Sentinal
DHARAMSHALA, July 11: Self-styled group “The Students’ United Movement of All Arunachal” (SUMAA) has reportedly submitted a memorandum to the West Kameng deputy commissioner on Monday, demanding an immediate rollback of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy, 2014 within three days against threat of retaliatory action.
The students group has also called for Tibetan refugees to be moved to demarcated camps and revoke trading licences obtained by Tibetan refugees. A written undertaking from the Central Tibetan Administration not to claim Indian citizenship and STC/PRC in Arunachal Pradesh for Tibetans, has also been demanded.
Last year, the same group initiated the “Anti Tibetan Refugee Movement” calling for ousting of Tibetan refugees from the state. Spokesperson of the group has alleged that with the implementation of the TRP 2014, benefits such as MGNREGA, PDS, Indira Awas Yojana, and National Rural Health Mission provided by the Centre for “our people will be snatched away” by the Tibetan refugees.
The group in October 2017 also released a list of all the shops owned by Tibetans with their names in the Capital Complex area threatening that the Tibetans will be targeted individually and “forcefully evicted”.
The Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy assures welfare to Tibetan refugees in India on matters concerning land lease, extending central and state government benefits, relevant papers/trade license/permit for economic activity and legal permit to pursue any professional career such as nursing, teaching, Chartered Accountancy, medicine, engineering etc, depending upon the qualification.
Till date, Karnataka government has been the only state to begin implementation of the policy. In Dec 2016, the Tibetan refugee settlement of Mundgod became the first settlement to be handed over the land lease agreement by Karnataka State.
Arunachal Pradesh has the fourth largest number of Tibetans in India, with four settlements in Tezu, Miao, Tuting, and Tenzingang. However, the number of Tibetan refugees has dwindled to just 7500 with Canada accepting 1000 Tibetan refugees in 2016 and many youths venturing to bigger Indian cities for livelihood. In India, the total number of Tibetan refugees is close to 90,000, according to a 2009 CTA census.