Tibet´s Pilgrim Refugees

KATHMANDU — The world of refugeedom tends to be divided between political exiles and economic migrants, even though the dividing line between the two is often blurred. However, there is one other type of refugee that is unique to South Asia, the pilgrim refugee.

This term may best describe the Tibetans who every year continue to brave the Chinese military dragnet along the Himalayan rimland, surmount dangerous High Himalayan passes, and get exploited by rapacious middlemen, as they escape harsh conditions in the high plateau for the spiritual embrace of their Dalai Lama.

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Himal Southasian