By Devi Ghimire and Guna Majhi:
Across the Bass Strait, off the southern coast of Australian mainland and to the other side of Melbourne, there stands a small island of Tasmania which is now home for a small number of Bhutanese from the refugee camps in Nepal. First of November, 2009 came as a good day for Bhutanese at Hobart, the capital, on which they assembled to discuss the possible formation of an organization of the Bhutanese resettled there. This left them with a temporary member committee that will work to formulate constitution and give the group a permanent entity.
The discussion took place at the residence of Meg Nath Adhikari, who chaired the meeting, at 8 Charles Street, Moonah in Hobart, the capital city of the island province.
Mr. Thir Bahadur Thapa as the president for the time being, the group finalized some of its aims and objectives. To work with community to form constitution and to incorporate it; to represent common interests of the people of Bhutanese origin and to promote and facilitate the settlement of the Bhutanese in the area are few of the points discussed in the meeting that the new group will shoulder.
The gathering also elected Mr. Chandra Chhetri as Vice President, Mr. Bhim Khatiwoda as Coordinator. Mr. Indra Khadka is chosen to act as general secretary with Hari Adhikari as his assistance. . Similarly, Arjun Niraula will coordinate the activities related to youths and sports while Mrs Meena Khadka will work as cultural coordinator.
The advisory board of the ad hoc committee comprises Mr. Meg Nath Adhikari, Mr. Krishna Dabadi, Mrs. Kishori Thapa, Mrs. Laxmi Khatiwoda, Mrs. Goma Koirala, Mr. Ambika Sharma, and Mr. Chandra Khadka. The board brought out its immediate programs for formally implementing other policies of the committee and decided to find a right name for the group in the near future.
Approximately, 53 Bhutanese from 12 different families have been resettled in Hobart,Tasmania. It has been understood from the reliable source that 18 more Bhutanese will be brought in for resettlement by December 2009.
Australia has proposed to resettle 5000 Bhutanese refugees in about five years out of which around 960 people have already been resettled in different parts of the nation.
(The duo report from Melbourne, Australia)
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