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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Overseas Tibetans invited to return home

July 1, 2013

June 25, 2013 - China’s top legislator for Tibet autonomous Region (TAR), the western half of ethnographic Tibet, has invited Tibetans living abroad to come back and settle down, saying there was religious freedom while promising help in participating in the region's development. Padma Choling, vice secretary of the Party Committee of the TAR and director-general of the Standing Committee of the Tibet People's Congress, made the offer at a symposium in New York at the end of a two-week trip to Canada and US, reported China’s online Tibet news service Jun 23.

 The report said the Chinese leader told the gathering of “renowned overseas Chinese leaders and local Tibetans in New York” that a Tibet Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese had been set up on Jun 8. It quoted Lin Jun, chairman of All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, as saying the federation’s aim was “to provide access for returned overseas Tibetans to ask for help and pursue development abroad, and built a major platform for them to get information about and participate in Tibet's development."

Padma Choling has said many elderly overseas Tibetans had come back to live in Tibet and that the door was always open for more to return.

 He has said there were about 200,000 Tibetans living overseas, mainly in Canada, Switzerland and the US. He obviously had his figures wrong. The total number of Tibetans living in those three countries cannot be more than 20,000. The bulk of exile Tibetans live in India, at around 85,000, with Nepal hosting the next highest number at around 20,000. They are not likely to return without a negotiated settlement of the issue of Tibet with their leadership based at Dharamsala, India. 

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