Tej Man Rayaka, Munich (Germany)
Jan 26: A five- member- delegation of Bhutanese Advocacy Forum – Europe (BAF-Europe), headed by its chief coordinator Durga Giri, held meetings with high level European Union Officials in Brussels on Jan25.
The delegates met Head of Unit for India, Nepal and Bhutan, Christian Remond and his deputy Rensje Teerind at the European Commission.
“We discussed issues concerning 1985 Citizenship Act, right to equal protection of culture, costume and tradition, and establishment of national human rights commission among others,” Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri , who was present in those meets, told Bhutan News Service. “Accordingly, we submitted a memorandum paper to them.”
BAF-Europe delegates also appealed the Commission to pressurize the Royal Government of Bhutan to initiate dignified and voluntary repartition of the exiled Bhutanese.
“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” Karki quoted Remond as saying to the delegates.
EU also restated its priority on repatriation issue in their future meeting with Bhutan scheduled for April this year.
We are 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, Remond said, reported Karki.
Likewise, the delegation held another meeting at the European parliament with Jean Lambert, Head of delegation for South Asia cum member of European parliament from Green Party, London.
Lambert expressed her views that it was a positive thinking towards the resolution of the crisis and would explore the possibility through the European Parliament and the Bhutanese authority.
The delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the Nepalese Embassy In Brussels and met Nepalese Ambassador to Germany.
The delegation comprised of Durga Giri, Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri, Devendra Gautam , Bhakta Man Subba and Hem Rizal.