Frechette - Chapter 01
Swiss intergovernmental organizations were among the first to extend
assistance to the Tibetan exiles in Nepal. They first became involved
with the Tibetan exiles in the 1960s. They were still actively
assisting them in the 1990s, throughout the period of my research.
Swiss intergovernmental organizations were instrumental in helping the
Tibetan exiles to resettle in Nepal. They built the first four Tibetan
settlement camps (setting the model on which other settlement camps
were based). They started the first Tibetan carpet factories and carpet
export companies in Nepal. They trained the first generation of Tibetan
carpet factory managers. Many of the Tibetans who now control Nepal's
carpet industry started their careers in the Swiss-Tibetan factories or
otherwise under the direction of Swiss intergovernmental officials.
Throughout the period of their involvement, Swiss officials have
transferred responsibility for assisting the Tibetan exiles from one
Swiss intergovernmental organization to another, yet they all have
maintained the same narrative about the Tibetan exiles. They discuss
the Tibetan exiles as humanitarian concern. They promote market
mechanisms as a means for resettling them. Their goal is Tibetan
self-sufficiency through the production of carpets for the
international carpet market.