Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy

Not to affect Arunachalees: BJP

ITANAGAR | Aug 30 | The Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy (TRP), 2014 would not affect indigenous population of Arunachal Pradesh in any manner, ruling BJP today said reacting to  rising protests against recent cabinet decision to implement the policy.

“The Tibetans are not claiming any citizenship but staying in state’s three settlements in an organized way, unlike the Chakma and Hajong refugees,” state BJP president Tapir Gao said during an interaction with the media here.

He said that the GoAP has no separate policy on the Tibetans but is following central policy, mandatory as India was a signatory to Geneva Agreement.

“The TRP was framed during 1959 when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and took political asylum in India. The policy being reviewed every 20 years is not an act so far. Since we respect human rights, we are obliged to follow it,” he said.

Several organizations like APCC,  PPA, AAPSU and Arunachal Citizen Rights have raised their voices against cabinet move to implement the TRP  and demanded its immediate rollback. They have claimed that it would badly affect state’s indigenous population, particularly  in availing GoI and GoAP schemes besides jobs.

As per the 2009 census, a total of 1,10,095 Tibetans are present in the country and settled in 45 settlements in 10 states – six s in Karnataka, one each in Maharashtra, Odisha and Chattisgarh, three in Arunachal Pradesh, two each in Sikkim and West Bengal, four in Uttarakhand, 16 in Himachal Pradesh and nine in J&K.

Gao disclosed that out of total 7,530 Tibetans settled in state’s three settlements, 935 were rehabilitated in Canada last year. He added that “As per the TRP, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) conducts five yearly census of Tibetan refugees and submit report to the Centre and respective state Govts.”

After finding non uniformity in assistance and facilities given to Tibetans by various state Govts, the Centre had framed the TRP with guidelines to bring uniformity to be followed by the state Govts. Thus, the GoAP should sign a lease document for land occupied by Tibetans for a period of 20 years or till it is revoked or cancelled as per the policy. Moreover, rent tenancy certificate should be issued by respective state Govts and land under their occupation should not be disturbed, he said.

The GoAP  has been advised by the Centre to extend state and central schemes such as MNREGS, PDS, NFSA, IAY, NRLM, RAY and NRHM, infrastructural facilities and basic amenities, like roads, electrification, drinking water and medical facilities in and around the Tibetan settlements, Gao clarified, adding the GoAP has also been advised to permit qualified Tibetan professionals to pursue jobs in any private and non-Govt sectors.

State’s Tibetan settlements are in Miao, Tenzing Gaon, Tezu, Tuting in Changlang, West Kameng, Lohit and Upper Siang districts respectively while Tuting settlement was merged with the Tezu few years back.

Clarifying on Govt jobs to Tibetans when several thousands of indigenous Arunachalees are unemployed, Gao said that they are not entitled for 80% posts reserved for locals but can compete in 20%n open category. (Agency)

Rethink TRP for overriding 1873 Act: AAPSU

The All Arunachal Pradesh students’ Union (AAPSU) asked the GoAP to rethink its decision to implementation Centre’s TRP, 2014 as it is overriding the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations Act of 1873.

Opposing the move, AAPSU President Hawa Bagang, in a press statement, said that the Cabinet has not taken into account aspirations, opinions and sentiments of state’s indigenous people. When the whole state is facing vexed refugee problem with no concrete solution in sight, such hasty decision is unwelcomed by the people. The policy would affect livelihood, demography and violate existing laws of the state, he said.

Moreover, the GoAP had not taken opinions from various sections of people, NGOs, student’s community and all stake holders before taking such sensitive policy. Thus should convene a meeting on TRPA immediately convened, it advocated.

Arunachal being a strategically sensitive state, implementing mainland policies should not be taken for granted, it said and reiterated that its implementation in Himachal, Uttarkhand and Karnataka cannot be matched  with Arunachal, being a restricted state as per the laws, which restrict movement and activities for Indians from outside the state. Thus, adopting policies for refuges that would affect land and socio-economic conditions cannot be accepted as fair and good. Adopting such policy would invite debatable and similar demands  from various sections of people, like Chakma-Hajong refugees, Nepalese, Bangladeshis, who are living in the state, it claimed.

Any policy likely to affect their socio-economic condition or culture of the local people should not be introduced considering the greater welfare of the people, Bagang reasoned, adding interest and welfare of state’s people should be the first priority of governance.

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