BAF- Europe meets EU Officials.

BAF delegates with Mr. Jean Christian Remond and Mrs. Rensje Teerink(photo: Ram Karki)

A five member delegation of the newly formed advocacy forum of the Bhutanese in Europe, BAF-Europe, met with the EU officials yesterday in Brussels. The delegation led by its chief co-ordinator, Mr. Durga Giri that included forum’s  representatives and coordinators  for Netherlands, Belgium and Germany held an hour long meeting with Mr. Jean Christian Remond and Renseje Teerind, Head and deputy head of the Unit for India, Nepal and Bhutan at the European Commission respectively.

According to Forum’s press statement, they discussed issues concerning 1985 Citizenship Act, Right to Equal protection of Culture,Costume and Tradition, Language and Script, Religion, Establishment of Human Rights Commission, Ratification of the UN Convention, Inclusive democracy and Governance, release of political prisoners,  dialogue and repatriation,EU Aid and Human Rights in Bhutan with the officials in the meeting.

Submitting a memorandum to the officials, the forum delegates also appealed them to pressurize Bhutan to initiate repatriation of thousands of its citizens languishing in Nepalese camps,with full dignity.

In response to the issue of repatriation raised by the delegates, Mr. Remond said, ““We are not satisfied with Bhutan government for its unsatisfactory cooperation with regards to the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees willing to go back to Bhutan”.

BAF delegates with Mrs. Jean Lambert at European Parliament at Brussels(Photo:Ram Karki)

The commission officials expressed their happiness on the formation of first ever advocacy forum of Bhutanese in Europe and assured possible assistance to help institutionalize the advocacy forum. It has also assured the delegates that the advocacy forum can act as a bridge between the Bhutanese human rights movement and European commission and its door will always be opened for future meetings.

Similarly, the delegates also held a separate meeting at the European Parliament with Mrs. Jean Lambert, Head of delegation for South Asia cum member of European parliament from London’s green party. Besides the issues raised with European commission they also appraised that the crux of the problem is the implementation of ethnic cleansing policies like “one nation one people” , citizenship act of 1985 and other discriminatory policies in the late eighties.

During the meeting, the delegates appealed the EU to see the possibility of mediation with the RGOB for initiating political dialogue with the dissident groups to achieve the lasting solution to the crisis.

The delegation also paid a courtesy visit to Nepal’s Embassy in Brussels and held talks with Ambassador Pramesh Kumar Hamal and Minister counselor Mr. Deepak Dhital. The issues of Bhutanese refugees and their resettlement issues were discussed on the occasion.

Please, find their press release below, sent to us by one of the delegates, Mr. Ram B. Karki, from Netherlands, for details:

Press Release

( Date 26th Jan 2010)

Five members delegations of Bhutanese Advocacy Forum – Europe (BAF-Europe) headed by  its chief coordinator Mr. Durga Giri has concluded  successful meetings with high level European Union Officials  at Brussels on 25th Jan. 2010.

The delegates had meeting with  Mr. Jean-Christian Remond and Rensje Teerind , Head  and deputy Head of Unit for India, Nepal and Bhutan at the European Commission respectively .   The meeting lasted for one hour during which detail issues concerning 1985 Citizenship Act, Right to Equal Protection of Culture, Costume and Tradition, Language and Script, Religion, Establishment of National Human Rights Commission, Ratification of UN Conventions, Inclusive Democracy and Governance, Release of Political Prisoners, Political Dialogue for Lasting Peace, Repatriation, EU Aid and Human Rights in Bhutan were discussed. A memorandum was also submitted by the delegates.

On the occasion the delegates appealed the European commission to pressurize The Royal Government of Bhutan to initiate the repartition of those Bhutanese refugees willing to return back to Bhutan with dignity and honor at the earliest.

“We are not satisfied with Bhutan government for its unsatisfactory cooperation with regards to the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees willing to go back to Bhutan” said Mr. Remond in response to the issues of repatriation raised by the delegates. Inspite of such non cooperation the EU shall continue to give its top priority on repatriation issue in their future meeting with Bhutan that is scheduled for April  this year.  They assured the delegates that EC is closely monitoring the status of around 80,000 Bhutanese who were deprived of their various rights including their right to vote in the last general election of 2008 in Bhutan.

Concluding an hour long meeting EC officials expressed their happiness on the formation of first ever advocacy forum of Bhutanese in Europe and assured  possible assistance to help institutionalize the advocacy forum. It has also assured the delegates that the advocacy forum can act as a bridge between the Bhutanese human rights movement and European commission and its door will always be opened for future meetings.

Similarly another meeting was held at the European Parliament with Mrs. Jean Lambert, Head of delegation for South Asia cum member of European parliament from London’s green party. Besides the issues raised with European commission the delegate also appraised that the crux of the problem is the implementation of ethnic cleansing policies like “one nation one people” , citizenship act of 1985  and other discriminatory policies in the late eighties.  “The govt should accept the flaws in its policies instead of diverting the issue of Human Rights to the issue of Illegal Immigrants and come for negotiation with the dissident political forces” stressed Mr. Giri.

To accomplish this the delegates appealed the EU to see the possibility of mediation with the RGOB for initiating political dialogue with the dissident group to achieve the lasting solution to the crisis.

The parliamentarian expressed her views that it is a positive thinking towards the resolution of the crisis and would explore the possibility with the European Parliament and the Bhutanese authority. She was appraised about the pathetic situation of Bhutanese prisons and brutal tortures to the political prisoners in various prisons in Bhutan. To this issue Mr. Hem Rizal, a delegate member who is also a former Bhutanese political prisoner narrated his bitter experiences in Bhutan jail.

She was also briefed that RGOB terms Bhutanese refugees as Illegal Immigrants (who have been living and contributing in its nation building for generations in Bhutan) to divert the attention of the international community from the real issues of Human Rights and justice in Bhutan. A memorandum was also submitted.

In her response she assured the delegates about her full support towards Bhutanese advocacy activities in Europe and expressed her happiness for being able to interact with Bhutanese refugee delegates and getting first hand information on Bhutanese refugee situations and overall human rights situation of Bhutanese inside the country.

On the occasion the BAF delegates extended their gratitude and appreciation through the European parliament to those countries who raised the queries and  put recommendations to Bhutan during the UPR session in last December in Geneva

The delegation also paid a courtesy visit to Nepal’s Embassy In Brussels and held talk with Ambassador Pramesh Kumar Hamal and Minister counselor Mr. Deepak Dhital. The issues of Bhutanese refugees and their resettlement issues were discussed on the occasion.

The delegation comprised of BAF-Europe Coordinator for The Netherlands Mr. Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri, Its founding member Mr. Devendra Gautam from Germany, BAF Europe Belgium coordinator Mr. Bhakta Man Subba and BAF active member from The Netherlands Mr. Hem Rizal.

Sincerely yours,
Ram Bahadur Karki, Chhetri
Country co-ordinator for The Netherlands.
BAF-Europe.

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14 Responses

  1. Dear madly assertive minds!!

    Stop hauling what was wrong in the past. Now, you seem bold at haunting the international community. Rather than woodwinking the international areneas please bring the programs that transform Bhutan in to newer era.

    In reply don’t say that water doesn’t boil at 70 degree celcius.

  2. Hey Bhumiputra, Savdan !!
    A real bhumiputra is the one who unites the people from his praiseworthy action to fight against the tyrinical and unjust administration of the government. Besides, A bhumiputra shares his aims and objectives to achieve victory. Your criticism for the good job of your own daju bhai is meaningless. So, I wish,let you be called as “Bhumimutwa” instead of Bhumiputra.
    BAF guys- Good job! carry on !!! You guys are appreciated and honored. We all are here to support and salute your hard-earned work. Go ahead unless and untill you acieve victory. God bless you guys.
    Have just faith on us.
    Pardeshi Tara
    Pardeshi Tara

    • Yes Tara you are to the point and correct. But how can I unite who all are …….,who only cares for their own future.People who are bhutanese are always united in action and feeling.My heart bleeds when I recollects the promises made by 95 per cent of names appears in the News.They resettled before the process started.Still people are hunting them back in Nepal and India.

  3. Great Job guys ! Carry on !!!
    I feel, you are heading towards the victory now.
    I wish, let Bhumiputra appreciate you guys here.
    God bless you all.
    Pardeshi Tara

  4. hey BAF,u r doing great!!! do keep such work ahead,surly everybody will sooner or later support u. I personally,have a full support in such a good deed.

  5. Bhai Ghana Sharma
    No, I am not Bhutanese ? Now I am Austrialian…! I am enjoying life in Australia in the name of Bhutanese refugee.I have land and relatives in Nepal and India.Do you know me now.

  6. Hi Bhumiputra,
    Are you real Bhutanese. You mean they have die with those who lost there life. Don’t try to split and us from doing the good jobs. Congratulations for Europe advocacy fourm. We all are with you. Bhumiputra is Jigme’s man.
    Good luck European friends
    Thanks
    Ghana
    Australia

  7. Mr.Rup Naryan – I know you all guys because I worked with you all.Your all are the active member since 1989.You all are the people to run away at the first from the country .Where innocent people shouldered the heavy torture .Still people in the Jail are crying.People who sacrificed their beloved as martys thinking that their life worth.But its a cowardice act that you even fled from Nepal to …..?I know you have gone third country because to built the future of your family , NOT the future of Motherland?If you were really son of the soil you could have stay back along with the blood and sweat of the people to fulfil the aspiration of the Martys and People in the jail.
    You are now encouraging the moles who all had gone to third countries in the name of conference and meetings.They did nothing only sending money to their near and dear ones.If you go to their relatives in India ,they are better than what they were before.

  8. Well done durga, ram, deven, bhakta and Hem. We must fight till those willing to return home are allowed to return to their homestead with dignity.

    Bhumiputra- You might be a dangerous mole that always sabotage our movement against jigme’s injustice. Heard Jigme has sent people around the world specially in europe in the form of scholarship and later taking asylum as Bhutanese refugee. Such people are tasked to react against those people who are struggling against discrimination and ethnic cleansing in Bhutan.

    Hosiyar everybody with such moles. Be alert and never allow them to infilterate in our community and divide us to fulfill jigme’s objectives.

  9. Jaganath mishra,
    Are you really bhutanese ?

    • hey bhumi putra what a hell you are taking about….?
      try not to kill ur self………..

  10. Great Job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Its the great news for Bhutanese in exile around the world ….good job BAF..Europe….keep on going we support you,,,,,,,good bless your mission …we are with you..
    America

  12. Congratulations europe advocacy forum. Keep your work going. We in america have lot more intellectuals and hope such adocacy works begin here as well.

    Good luck european friend.

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