Following China’s occupation of Tibet, over 80,000 Tibetans were able to safely follow His Holiness to exile in 1959. The most important task of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Government in exile was to provide relief to thousands of traumatized and dislocated Tibetan refugees. The most worthy leadership of His Holiness believed that in order to preserve and maintain our distinctive Tibetan socio-cultural ethos and values, the small number of the Tibetans should live, as far as possible, in homogeneous communities with the larger host communities. And with this consideration, with the kind assistance and cooperation of the Governments of India, Nepal and Bhutan, fifty eight Tibetan Refugee Settlements were successfully established.
This phase of rehabilitation and reconstruction would not have been possible, also without the strong determination of the first generation of Tibetan refugees and the timely assistance extended by various International and Governmental aid.
We remain grateful to all of them and to our sympathetic friends, who continue to provide help and assistance to us.
Though the larger number of the Tibetan diasporas live in the settlements, there are also many living outside the settlements including the recently arrived refugees, for whom we are equally responsible.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama often says that we must hope for the best and prepare for the worst. This has been our guiding principle in seeking to make our settlements and the community as viable and sustainable as possible.
Tashi Delek and greetings from the Home Department.
Sonam Topgyal Khorlatsang
Kalon (Minister) for Department of Home