Their stories bring tears on audience.

By Sumitra Chhetri
(Portland, Oregon)
“When chickens got sick or dead  we used to worry a lot because those were the only way to mobilize resources to buy  books,pencils and other stationery stuffs  for children in the refugee camps”, a  Bhutanese refugee resettled  in Portland expressed his feeling  in a  story telling program organized by Daya Shakya ,the former president of Nepalese Association in Oregon(NAO) last week, in Portland, Oregon.

The audience at the function.

Listening to the  stories and poems based on true experience of life and power point presentation exhibited  in the program  every one turned nostalgic, recalling those trails of  memories  back home and of  painful and pathetic lives as refugee  in the  camps in eastern Nepal which they never  wish to see once again  in their lives.

Kedar Tiwari who  arrived here just a  few months ago wrote his story in Nepali that was  read out by Geeta Khatiwada. His words soaked in sorrow didn’t only evoke old memories but also shed tears in the eyes of the audience present at the function. Tiwari had artistically written  about how he spent four years in the dark dungeon of Bhutan, away from family friends and relatives, after he was arrested by the Royal Government of Bhutan on charge of treason.

Bhutanese  Poet, Moti Rizal recited his poem sharing his bitter experience of  sleeping  in the open field under the canopy of  dismal clouds  in  refugee camp in early Nineties shortly after his  eviction by the Royal Government of Bhutan.

Neutralizing the pangs, another poet, Tika Ram Bhattarai added that the southern settlers mainly the Nepali ethnics had no alternative than to run away in a bid to  escape from being caught, arrested and killed brutally by the armies. “So they ran to save their lives walking down the hills for  several days and  nights”, Bhattarai shared tearfully.

The visual presentation in power point form  by Sumitra  Chhetri and Som Subedi were unforgettable to the audience on  what they have gone through in refugee camps.

The poems and stories were translated into English by coordinator Daya Shakya.  Replying the query as to what induced him to organize such program, Mr. Shakya  said, “I was inspired to do something for them after hearing the heart breaking stories of 80 resettled Bhutanese refugees while interpreting for their needs and wants”.

A bhutanese girl telling her story.

Josh, the case manager at Catholic Charities expressed that it was good to organize  such  programs for the community where one could listen to the unheard stories of the  Bhutanese refugees which can,in many cases, be the sources of inspiration to others,

Ramesh Mukkamala, Portland representative for Sewa International said that his organization has been providing support for this new Community in Portland , Oregon for early integration and will continue to do so in future too. His willingness to provide the transportation expense to those who can’t afford was appreciated by the  youth attendees Group of Bhutanese Youth in Oregon (GoBYO).  Mr. Steve, a  volunteer, helped to pick up and drop  senior citizens from Bhutanese community  helping them to  listen their own stories in program.

Immigrants and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) is working days and nights for searching and providing the jobs and English classes for new arrivals. Catholic Charities and Lutheran community services are also resettling the refugees providing the case managers to apply basic needs for couple months. Almost 250 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in Portland , OR since it began in early 2008.Three members of GoBYO Bhim,Ganashyam and Yamuna have committed to organize the “New Year Gathering 2010” on January 1st.
(Miss Chhetri is a resettled Bhutanese in Oregon.)


26 Responses

  1. Hi Guys,
    First of all i want to know whats happening between John and Som? Y r they so messed up? I doubt if they have personal issues between them!! This is one site where people all over the worls are going to rate Bhutnanese Refugees.If they read all these so called Word War going on……..what wud be the impression? Lets talk of being united & move ahead. My request to JOHN & Som is pls carry on ur war through ur respective emails and not through this public site. U guys are giving wrong impression of all Bhutnanese Refugees throughtout the planet. JUST GET AND LIFE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER. GOOD LUCK!!!

    • i dont know who the john ji is but every one knows SOM SUBEDI (means real name).i acknowledge ur suggestions.i am open,frank,am volunteering in Group of Bhutanese Youth in Oregon(GoBYO).i am always ready to negotiate with the dissatisfaction who ever has.Ready for the negotiation… contact me 24/7 at

  2. Mr David you’ve done 10 spelling and Grammar mistakes in these two lines!!!!! I think I have to give you Grammar and Dictionary both.

  3. hi David
    Practice makes men and women perfect. If we make a deeper analysis of your comment it seems that you too have made a good mistake while commenting.Look at the word ‘Write”,it should otherwise be WRITER. Her raw information might have been edited by some one in the Yet, you said you figured out some errors, what we all have to keep in mind is at least she reported for the first time which thousands of educated Bhutanese women haven’t even tried at least might have earlier comment wearing the mask as David and made mistake.some people need years to be reporter.this is one of the best motivation for all of the Bhutanese women writers.we should motivate rewarding the suggestions and better way of writing doesnot matter Sumitra or X,Y or Z.but the glorious start,the start of the new era in the bhutanese history in writings.keep it up all the Bhutanese ladies around the world.lets be united for the the voice of Women around the world against the messed up mind of “angel” like David.

  4. To be nude or naked doesn’t only mean to take off the clothes and show Sex organs, but the real meaning of nudity is to show what you are not supposed to show. You were not supposed to show your reality. Unfortunately you did Mr Som. If you still want to be a beggar why don’t you write a board and stand by the side of streets and beg in the name of god? Why are you using the name of Bhutanese? I don’t mean anything bad to Mr Rizal. No doubt he is great poet, but his art is being used for the wrong purpose and by the wrong person. Doing all this rubbish they think that they are doing good to the people? First time in my life I’m feeling shy for being a Bhutanese because of you guys who publish your own stuffs in the media and give the name of Bhutanese. Shame on you guys

    • John
      you made me laugh alot.i mean i am non-believer.where to go John? you know everything.what will i do after my graduation equavalent at Portland State University land,you know everything.oh my god you are so funny.can i send another poem from portland,OR for publication if it meets the publication standard? than we will have to share the cash earned from the poem.but dont let other know that hidden secret ok john ji.see its in dollar oh my god. hope to have future comments because you know everything.haaaahaaaa

      • I am not talking about the poem posted in I am talking about the story telling session organised by you guys. What was it for and what does it worth? I dont think that is helpful to community in any way. People need helping hands not the story telling mouths. Everyone can guess what it is for dude. You want to win the sympathy of the local people and beg thats it. Miss Sangita this conversation can affect the repo of us but not as much as this story telling sessions and over popularism do. Mr Som I like one thing about you thats you wanted to negotiate, but you should hav said this before conducting those bullshits. Did you ask any Bhutanese other than your wallet Organisation and your God father DAYA SAKHYA.

  5. if they had done the good things for the community we have to apppreciate them , we nepali have the culture to pull the legs of those we want to do any things.if we practice same culture in here then we achieve ALU.

  6. well, to the comments of Mr Som Subedi. I have a question for him, what does he think of himself, telling all the old generation as a rowdies, what right he has, the comment made by him is not acceptable to the bhutanese in oregon. Throgh this note I want to let all the agencies supporting bhutanese should know that we are not responsible for the further Consequences. Please note that Som Subedi is a Bhutanese but not related to the Association. He has been planning to be super hero by pushing the elder generation towards the so called rowdies.

    SOAR. IRCO, LCS, CC BAO, NAO.please note this for your further concern.

    • hi
      yes i really appreciate your comment.this is the best way to go than to phone and warn what i commented.Good Job Man.this is US where freedom of speech and expression are absolutely free and open.this is not Bhutanese refugee camp or Nepal where you used to threaten or take control off what u wanted.change your mind,means stop ur DaDa giri. ALL BHUTANESE dont suppose they have been dominated but you are fueling the fire distorting the fact than to regret the misdeeds.who you are urging to have my name in Black list in the mentioned resettlement agencies? Do you think they gonna listen you? you dont have authority to do that? what and which ASSOCIATION you talking about my affiliation? there will be a great shock if there is any existing or will(unknown yet) Bhutanese organisation except Group of Bhutanese Youth in Oregon(GoBYO). i am totally the member of GoBYO thats it.

  7. Great Job Sumitra,
    We are proud of you.
    Thir Bahadur Thapa
    Hobart Tasmania,Australia

    we know from u about Daya Shakya.what about resettlelment agencies like DHS, SEWA INTERNATIONAL,Chatholic Charities,LUTHERN SERVICES,IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEE COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION(IRCO).arenot they supporting the Bhutanese refugees or according to you are they doing for popularity or dividing the Bhutanese community in Oregon?.i think u have alot of information for them too as u r the known “JOHN”

    • what the cheap mind you hav dude, they are not dividing people, but they are uniting people from all areoung the world. It is the funniest thing that you are comparing that so called Bhutanese Organization. If you are a part of it then you r are the most shameless person in the world. You are just persuading those young kids and showing naked dance infront of Americans.

      • sorry about the misspelled words

  9. I was intimidated and threatened over by phone warning to report the police for comment written in just replied two commenters. lets condemn the tyrant act of those who wants to stop the right to speech and information.please click the link below for solidarity against the blunder act.

  10. great job sumitra. you show that one refugee girl can able to do everything if we wish. kept it up

  11. i’m commenting adding suffixes.(S).
    greatS jobS garisS SumitraS. thankuS forS yourS reportS inS BhutanusaS.comS. keepS repotingS inS BhutanusaS forS BhutanseS aroundS theS worldS. thankyouS agianS forS BhutanseS inS OregonS forS sharingS ourS BhutanseS historyS toS AmicanS andS localS residentS.

    Don’tS laughS haiS.
    MonS ChhetriS(TiwariS)

  12. Dear Joshua Mead
    Thank you for your comment for the program. I think most of the resettled Bhutanese in Oregon don’t know SOAR. you mean resettlement agency for other refugees too? My family case manager from(will tell later…….) Resettlement Agency hasn’t visited them since 15th months. is he or she helping the clients very hard? They are unknown about their application process for Permanent Resident Card. who is helping them?
    Bhutanese people are always united. some raodis are always there in a family who disturb and does not allow the progressive people or group to nudge forward. What you mean “key Bhutanese leaders”. I don’t think Bhutanese in Oregon have good leaders or having basic quality to be that. Its immature analysis to have those words. i respect them only as aged seniors,not as a leader. i don’t want to be lead or controlled by so-called leaders from Bhutanese in Oregon(a little fingers). All Bhutanese are waiting them to regret their discriminative,selfishness and non transparent deeds realize first. then after we can sit together as mass meeting and discuss about the feasible unification(what is accused of) of the Bhutanese community in future. Its not worth value of uniting without the regrets. it will be temporary and dangerous move to unite unless the misdeeds are corrected and acknowledged by self declared or door closed picked leaders. regarding the turnout of the program. its the organizer who had sole responsibility to invite in the program. i too read in Asian Reporter Newspaper, Flyer, Facebook, Internet,emails and from the meeting with the organizer a week prior the program.

    For John Ji
    thank you for your comment. its you I remember suggested GoBYO in its premature stage. thank you for that too. its GoBYO not (GOBYO). Yes,Oregon Bhutanese Youth are getting popular a lot every where, everyone around the globe(Bhutanese community) talk about it. we have greater responsibility for now but I don’t know If any MIRACLE from feasible Bhutanese organization in Oregon. its your drawbacks or lack of information for the uncertainty around as Daya Shakya was already the President for NEPALI ASSOCIATION IN OREGON(NAO) for couple years or prior Bhutanese Refugee resettlement in Oregon

    Som Subedi
    503 839 8791

    • what are you talkin about dude? I know this lady is your sister and I know how are being popular. You are taking your own pictures and posting in this blog that’s not popularity that’s popularism. A group of 15 people doesn’t represent the whole Bhutanese community living in oregon. I am asking you what did Daya Sakya do for the Bhutanese community? he did not even talk to any Bhutanese before this so called Bhutanese Organisation.

  13. Its funny that,Mr Daya Sakya wants to do something for Bhutanese!! he has already done a great job of creating disputes between Bhutanese. The other thing , where was he before GOBYO was stablished? I dont think any Bhutanese had seen him when they were in real problem? They are doing these all for their self popularity thats it.

    • Aye!!!! john wazz sup?wht r u talking about.As per ur comment it sounds like ur from other planet.kept it up john from pluto.

  14. Sumitra,

    Great job in writing this! The City of Portland Youth Corp team are very proud of you.


  15. The article was well written and covered the event well. I would like to point out some missing facts about refugee resettlement and areas that are incorrect about the process. First, there is another organization in Portland, OR that also resettles refugees, SOAR, and they also deserve credit. Second, we do not serve refugees for a couple of months, instead we provide services for 8 months. We assist in providing access to basic services but also provide access to services that address more advanced needs. All cases are closed at 8 months but for some we provide additional assistance if they have significant or severe needs, such as a very severe medical condition. We work very, very hard for our clients. We are the only state that has a special state refugee program that is 8 months. Other states have a 3 month program and then refugees are referred through the state welfare system. Lastly, while this event was good, I observed that many Bhutanese were not present, including key Bhutanese leaders. If the Bhutanese community is going to be successful, they need to be one, in solidarity and self-led by solely Bhutanese people. They can be assisted by non-Bhutanese people, but their success will come from leadership within their own community. Please be United! Thank you for inviting me to the event.

  16. hello sumitra. i appreciate your good job. you really did great job sumitra.keep on reporting for bhutanese refugee cause from Oregon.
    saru chhetri

  17. Its good that a lady writer is seen for the first time in Is she the reporter of Bhutanusa or just writes at your request. I am asking the Bhutanusa team. What happens if you guys include lady writers too we have many females who have such skills.
    (Dear Ram ji, She is not our reporter.But she can be if she wishes. Well, we are trying to include our females too but the problem is that they all say they are BUSY. Admin.)

    • How can she be a write of Her article is full of spelling error.Nonsense. Let me give her dictionary.

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