The Tibetan community is in trouble as slowly various nations of the world are no longer accepting the Tibetan Identity Certificate as a valid identification document.
The Identity Certificate, popularly known as the Yellow Book, is issued by the Indian government. It identifies the bearer as a Tibetan refugee and protectorate of India and requests immigration at the traveller's destination to allow the bearer to enter the country. (www.dorjeshugden.com)
Last year in June 2016 Swedish authorities announced a change in regulations, saying that they will no longer accept the Tibetan Identity Certificate as a valid identification document, which meant that the Tibetan community will not be allowed to apply to enter Sweden. (www.dorjeshugden.com)
This was swiftly followed by Switzerland's announcement in July 2016 that they had revised their immigration policy, and that "Tibetan" will not be considered as a valid nationality. Tibetans in Switzerland were also asked to change their nationality to "Chinese". With more than 4,000 Tibetans living in Switzerland, making them the largest exile community in Europe, Switzerland's change in policy came as a real blow. (www.dorjeshugden.com)
And now Italy has emerged as the latest country which too has stopped accepting the Yellow book as a valid identity document.
Adding to the list of troubles of the Tibetan community, recently the US President Donald Trump has cut down on the amount of financial aid given to the Tibetan leadership.
All problems are being directed towards the loss of confidence that the nations have with the Tibetan leadership. Several Tibetan activists have also taken to social media to start a petition against the rejection of the Yellow Card by Italy.
India, who is one of the major supporters of the Tibetan refugees is also pressing the Tibetan community to give up its Yellow Cards, instead apply for an Indian passport.
Why are the countries withdrawing now?
Most of the nations have suddenly started going against the Tibetans for a number of reasons.
The nations around the world believe that Tibetan leadership has failed to prove itself in the last so many years. Internal corruption and bad governance led the countries to withdraw their validation from the Yellow Card.
Another reason is China's growing importance in the world. Countries want to have good relations with China both politically and economically.
Tibetan struggle and it's connection with India
In 1950, Chinese troops invaded Tibet terming themselves as liberators. The Tibetans across the country continued to resist China's armed forces and China responded with widespread brutality.
During this time Dalai Lama ánd several other Tibetans fled Tibet and came to India for refuge. China India relations got extremely strained during this period and China accused India of meddling in it's internal issues by giving refuge to 'anti-china' individuals.
Soon after the number of refugees increased, travel without any identification for them became impossible. Hence the Yellow Card was introduced to solve this issue.
Yellow Book is an Identity Certificate normally issued to Tibetan Refugees residing in India on the recommendation by the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, New Delhi.
In addition to Tibetan Refugees, Stateless people residing in India are also provided with this yellow card to ensure a hassle free foreign travel.