Most Bhutanese against repatriation.

Kumar Luitel
(DAMAK)
Twenty-thousand Bhutanese refugees want to return home, a survey conducted at the refugee camps has shown. A group of senior refugees had urged the compatriots to fill out a form, asking them to indicate where they wanted to return to their homeland. Their campaign started on May 4 to pressurise concerned bodies for the refugees’ repatriation.
Campaign coordinator Harkajung Subba said the survey had been over at all the seven camps. Claiming that the bid was the first of its kind, he said the data was being processed, suggesting the figures could slightly vary.
The campaign was supported by Bhutan Human Rights Organisation, Bhutan Refugee Repatriation Programme Management Council and Bhutan Gurkha Rastriya Mukti Morcha.
In the seven camps located in Jhapa and Morang districts, some 107 thousand refugees live in a deplorable condition, ever since they were chased away by the Druk government in 1990s. Their livelihood is largely dependent on various donor agencies’ support.
As many as 18,000 refugees have so far been settled in the the third country. The UNHCR started the settlement programme last year. USA, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Australia have accommodated the refugees. UNHCR claims to have allowed the refugees to either return to Bhutan or take shelter in a third country.
The campaigners are planning to submit the signatures to the UNHCR and the governments of Nepal, Bhutan and India, including other bodies concerned. Subba demanded that the UNHCR help them return home as it facilitated the third country resettlement plan.
Subba dismissed the allegation that only old refugees had filled out the forms and said everyone had participated in the campaign. Dilman Magar of Beldangi camp said, “I am hopeful that we will soon return to our homeland, Bhutan.”
(Source: The Himalayan Times)

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4 Responses

  1. If you ever travel to east and south
    You’ll see ithad been there
    Long before the north ruled
    Woith a beastly uproar.
    I ask who defined and protected
    The country that you live
    Who set up those roads and the orchards
    That u greadily seize.

    You are simply brewing
    A revolution in the womb,
    That tells of a revenge
    Of the beastly Ngalongs in their tombs

    We’ll sheter in the jungles
    We’ll shelter in the rocks
    You keep telling lies
    You Ngalongs nasty frogs

    I’ll tell you the east
    the south the mid
    Are coming to a head
    Before you finish telling lies.

    Next time you go come to Bhutan- come to south and east and have a carbon dating. Remember Ngalongs can easily cook a story that onece they lived in the east and the south but were badly beaten by the immigrants and moved to the North.

  2. How Milan can evaluate the situation of Bhutan before and after 1989? He may not the citizen of Bhutan. Just on hear say he wrote this respond. We are the real people who know the real situation of the then Bhutan.
    How he dare to write that Bhutan gov. didn’t enforce the Bakkhu and Kira to the people of south even ploughing the agriculture field. Southern Bhutanese didn’t hate the national dress of Bhutan but they opposed the way of implementing the policies R.G.B. It is not the propaganda of southern Bhutanese , now also if you go there do the study you can find the same situation. Bhutan does not allow the independent body to go there and find what had happen in early 90’s. May be the Sonam is the government agent to falsify the international society about the real issue of
    Bhutanese evicted from the country. How he wrote the eastern Bhutanese oppose the policies of GOB though they used to wear the national dresses and everything is match with ruling elite of Bhutan. Now it will be the challenge for Bhutan to show the independent investigation about the situation of Bhutan in 90s.

  3. Bhutan’s population of about 600,000 comprises two broad ethnic groups, the Drukpas of the North, the original inhabitants, and the Lhotshampas of the South, who are recent immigrants of Nepali origin.

    The first influx of Nepali immigrants into Bhutan took place in the first half of the 20th century. In 1958, these immigrants were granted Bhutanese citizenship for the first time, and as a one-time measure only. Over the past three decades, a continued influx of illegal economic migrants has raised the number of ethnic Nepalis in Bhutan to almost a third of the total population.

    Bhutan became aware of this serious threat to its stability and security when agitation by ethnic Nepalis for a separate state was launched by the Gurkha National Liberation Front in the mid-1980s in neighboring areas of India.

    A nexus of illegal immigrants and a section of the southern Bhutanese people with vested interests bitterly opposed the efforts of the government to curb illegal immigration. This is the crux of the problem in Bhutan today. The tide of illegal immigration, if left unchecked, will reduce the Bhutanese people to a minority in their own land.

    Having failed to achieve their objectives through violence and terrorism, the dissident groups devised a novel strategy: to entice as many ethnic Nepalis as possible, from Bhutan as well as from other areas, to come to camps in Nepal and register as “Bhutanese refugees.” Their thinking is that once a serious humanitarian problem is created, both the Nepalese government and the international community will apply pressure on Bhutan. They would then be able to return in triumph and dictate terms to the Bhutanese government.

    It is in response to such propaganda that some of the people in southern Bhutan have been leaving the country in recent months. They are not being evicted, as Kunda Dixit claimed in the article you published. Those southern Bhutanese who refuse to be taken in by this propaganda are threatened and targeted for terrorist raids. As a result, many of them have sought refuge in the North. If the Bhutanese government was really evicting ethnic Nepalis, they would hardly seek shelter in the North.

    There is no “cultural cleansing.” There has never been any campaign to “force all citizens to wear the national dress and speak the Dzongkha language.” The policy of promoting the national dress and language was endorsed by the southern Bhutanese people in large public meetings.

    As to the claim that “up to 50 truckloads of Bhutanese pour into Nepal every day,” they do not average more than 30 truckloads a month.

    SONAM T. RABGYE.
    (source: Nytimes)

    • Sonam T. Rabgye needs more information about the unification of Bhutan and the basis of the present trumpet that Bhutan blows in terms of Gross National Happiness. It is absolutely biased point to say that Bhutan had immigrants recently. It is a serious issue when Ngalongs try to brand the Sarchops, Khengs and the lhotshampas as recent immigrants. This is fasle and to know the truth you have to travel far into Bhutnan’s east and south-go deep through the jungles upto panbang. Why did the king himself hush an issue that was brought before him in 1991 by Dorji Wangdi from Singkhar Lauri during a meeting at Sherubtse College. Why did they imprison Khumsar and destroyed his family? Do you mean that Bhutan Government has not been exploiting? I will bust it with evidences. Do you need? How many sarchops were evicted in the 50s? Do you have the record? I have it. Bhutan will have a revolution and thereality beneath your Ngalong cover will be exposed. You have sucked the nation and you tend to be philosophers. You master plan your strategies in the west. We seriously question- Does Bhutan really have east, south and central parts. Let’s find out Rabgye. I know how evil you were at school.

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