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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05KATHMANDU2487 2005-11-15 11:10:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

UNHCR REGIONAL DIRECTOR CALLS FOR ACTION ON

Tags:   PREF PHUM PREL NP 
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9127
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 3650
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0332
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RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0166
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RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU PRIORITY 0242
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RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 002487 

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SA/INS
DEPT FOR PRM
NSC FOR RICHELSOPH

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2015
TAGS: PREF PHUM PREL NP
SUBJECT: UNHCR REGIONAL DIRECTOR CALLS FOR ACTION ON
BHUTANESE REFUGEE SITUATION

REF: KATHMANDU 2415

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty. Reasons 1.4 b/d.

Bhutanese Refugees: Urgent Action Required
-------------------------------------------



1. (C) Janet Lim, UNHCR Director for the Bureau of Asia and
the Pacific, emphasized to the Ambassador on November 13 that
she believed there was great urgency in finding a solution to
the Bhutanese refugee situation in Nepal. She noted that the
worsening security situation in the camps, which she had
visited the previous day, necessitated an immediate solution.
She explained that countries that might accept refugees
today might not want to accept Maoist-indoctrinated refugees
in five years. The Ambassador assured her that we continued
to push Nepal to move forward quickly. However, the
Ambassador cautioned, Bhutan was adept at delaying progress.
For instance, Bhutan had taken advantage of the frequent
government changes in Kathmandu, approaching each new
government with the same proposals as if they were new.
After each Cabinet change, the process would start afresh.

Visit of Resettlement Working Group


--------------------------





2. (C) Lim informed the Ambassador that the small
resettlement working group in Geneva (reftel) would likely
visit Nepal and Bhutan to discuss ideas with the governments
following the December 5 meeting. The Ambassador supported
this effort by resettlement countries (Norway, Denmark, the
Netherlands, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.) to meet the
governments in Kathmandu and Thimphu to push for action. He
suggested including New Delhi on the itinerary -- an idea
that Lim readily agreed would be beneficial.

UNHCR Continues to Push for TWS Registration


--------------------------





3. (C) UNHCR Resident Representative Abraham noted his
continued efforts for the registration of the Tibetan Welfare
Society (TWS). He said that UNHCR was working with current
implementing partner Lutheran World Federation to speed
construction of the Tibetan Reception Center (TRC) extension.
He noted that the number of Tibetans at TRC waiting to
transit to India was up from a low of 22 people at TRC in
early September to 656 people on November 13. He explained
that Nepal and India were continuing to process refugees, but
the recent Nepali holidays had kept some refugees at TRC
longer than usual.

Comment


--------------------------





4. (C) Increasing international focus on the Bhutanese
refugee issue is perhaps the only way to push this problem
towards a resolution. Absent outside pressure, the Bhutanese
seem disinclined to accept the return of any refugees, and
the Nepalis too distracted to come up with a coherent,
constructive policy. We should capitalize on the current
increased international interest to push for a comprehensive
solution.
MORIARTY