Both keyword redirects and thesaurus can only be updated through the workbench and not through studio/xml files. There is another thread that gives a way to import/export thesaurus entries using IFCR, but that's not salient to your issue.
I can't help but think that the issue is with the publishing to Authoring/Live. When you save a KWR/Thesaurus it will save automatically into the Authoring Dgraph. You should be able to validate this through endeca_jspref pointing to that instance. To see in the Live instance, you need to run the Promote script.
Since you didn't mention this in your thread - are these steps you have already done and you still don't see them in the reference app?
check for your preview settings in work bench for the following for ur app
they should refer some thing as above.
If you run the baseline update after setting up redirect / thesaurus using Workbench, sometimes, the last added entiries are not working.
Try by removing the entries you made in workbench, run the load baseline and baseline update scripts and then add the entries using workbench. Check the application without running baseline script.