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85,000 Tibetans reach India since 1980: US cable

December 19, 2010

IANS, Dec 18, 2010, 05.56pm IST

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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