Bhutan gives cold shoulder to Nepal


In an apparent snub, Bhutan has not responded to a long overdue proposal of Nepal to open its mission in Thimphu.

This is despite the fact that the then prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had himself formally proposed the offer to his Bhutanese counterpart Jigme Y Thinley during their sideline meeting at the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu on April 28-29, 2010.

By forwarding a formal letter to Thinley, prime minister Nepal also assured that Nepal would be happy if Bhutan reciprocates by opening its mission in Kathmandu.

“Two and a half years passed since then, but we have not received any response from the Bhutanese side,” a top official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) told The Himalayan Times.

A report prepared by the MoFA early this year has proposed to open up a residential mission in Thimphu at the soonest, referring to the multiple benefits of bilateral relations and possible areas of cooperation between the two Himalayan neighbours.

Diplomatic relations between the two South Asian landlocked Himalayan neighbours have been mostly lukewarm due to the Bhutanese refugee problems since late 1980s, when ethnic Nepali

speaking people of Bhutan were forced to leave their motherland for Nepal seeking refuge.

“Now, we have to find out new avenues to our ties, beyond the limits of the refugee problems,” Nepal told the media then in Thimphu, adding, “We can develop good relationship and better cooperation in areas of tourism, investment in infrastructure development and hydro-electricity, and share our experiences in forest conservation.”

He, however, went on to say that on normal circumstances any country should have got permission from the host country to open their embassy in another country, no matter how long they are enjoying good diplomatic relations.

The agreement of establishing diplomatic ties between Nepal and Bhutan was signed on June 3, 1983. Nevertheless, both countries have no residential mission in each other’s capitals.

The Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi concurrently looks Bhutan as well. Similarly, the Embassy of Bhutan in New Delhi is accredited for Nepal.

When THT approached for comment, Pem Seden, a senior officer of the Bhutanese Foreign Ministry, preferred not to respond to the question.

In the last two and a half years, Bhutanese PM Thinley visited Nepal twice, and Nepali PM also went to Bhutan. In all these meetings, both sides had

verbally agreed to resume dialogue on the issue of Bhutanese refugees and finding possible areas of cooperation. However, the assurances yet to see the light of the day.

Courtesy : The Himalayan Times


  1. Bhutan always want to extends it’s genuine friendship hands to any neigbours or distant BIG brother countries…..but the situation in some countries are such that it is not offering conducive environment for fostering friendships and diplomatic relations…….eg. Nepal has been under constant political crackdown……and is still yet to set itself as a stable and peaceful country in the SE Asian regions.

  2. When viewed from a neutral and intellectual perspectives, both countries have tremendous opportunities to assist in each other country’s development by opening their diplomatic arms meaningfully. I see very good opportunity for both countries by following a path of reconciliation that originates from the Buddhist philosophy that both countries have deep roots into. When petty politics are shelved away and human hearts are opened there could be miraculous benefit to both sides.

    All well-wishers of Bhutan and Nepal may would like to see this happening and there is tremendous human, natural and technological resources that each country could contribute in each others development following a win-win path of positive thinking. With my knowledge of the system, polity, people and bureaucracies in the two countries I can vouch with confidence that there are ample opportunities for opening the door of possibilities. Leaders need to realize that the current and future citizens of these countries will benefit when they can set the path of working together and opening their arms.

  3. bhutan doesn’t need additonal nepalese, we have enoguh…neither do we need any help from Nepal…they should go work as a chamcha for china, you guys are funny and ignores your own brother INdia. we have nothing in common.