Bhutanese-Australian to advocate in Geneva


By Ichha Poudyel, Australia

June 2: Parsuram Sharma Luitel, a Bhutanese Australian and Project Co-ordinator from Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES), will participate in the UNHCR Standing Committee and NGO Consultations in Geneva from 18th June to 2nd July 2010.

During two weeks in Geneva, the team from Australia will advocate on number refugees issues, including protracted refugees issues of Burmese refugees in Thai-Burma Border, Rohingya refugees from Burma in Bangladesh, and Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.  The advocacy will seek support from UN refugee convention signatory countries to continue supporting the refugee camps in Asia, and increase the facilities for security and safety.

Parsuram Sharma Luitel
Parsuram Sharma Luitel

According to Luitel, the issues of displaced people from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and other Asian countries will be discussed. The main issues in the discussion will include the reunion of family members who are separated for long periods of time from their relatives in the resettled countries and to effectively improve the process and procedure to prioritize resettlement of widows, single mother and women at risk. Although there are already the provisions to address such issues but they are not practiced effectively.

Luitel has been selected by the Refugee Council of Australia to advocate in Geneva on behalf of the refugees from Asia. He has an extensive experience of working with refugees from Asia, Africa and Middle Eastern countries through a number of refugee programs including mushroom production and setting social enterprise in Melbourne.

He is also a volunteer community worker in the not-for- profit Bhutanese Community in Australia Inc. for the people resettled in Victoria and Albury in NSW.

(If you wish to send inputs or suggestions on the issues to be raised in Geneva, please send us email at [email protected])


  1. Dear Parsu Vai,
    Proud to hear your input and engagement in the refugees issues at the international level. I,on my own behalf and on behalf of many well wishers (illiterate)who are equally proud of your contribution, wish you the very best of luck in your team’s collective mission, and for highlighting Bhutanese in Australia.

    Best regards

    Dick Chhetri

  2. Congratualtion Parsu Daju,

    It is the greatest pride for especially the Bhutanese resettled in Australia, to have you represent the people in the international consultation.

    Hope the voice of the people will be well-represented.

    All The Best Of Luck!


  3. Great mind speaks with actions. Congratulations for your big steps! Every victims of politics in the Bhutanese refugee camps wants to resolve the problems as according to their will and ideologies. Some wants to repatriate and some for the Third Country Resettlement(TCR).Hope the intl’community decides accordinly as soon as possible and save everyone from diseases, hunger,scarcity,hatred,pain and every difficulties facing in the refugee camps. We pray for your outmust bravery, faith, wisdom,understanding and everlasting resolution in favor of all the expelled bhutanese from Bhutan and speak in favor of each ones decisions perfectly. God Bless U!


  4. Dear friends,
    Can I request you to send some points that you like to be discussed and submitted to the UNHCR standing committee and NGO forum on behalf of Bhutanese refugees. The points could cover every topic from bhutanese refugees. At the moment we are collecting submission from other countries.
    The points could include from all Bhutanese resettled around the world, anything you wopuld like to see change or improve in the camps, in the process of resettlement and problems and issues arising in every countries of resettlement, or anything you thinkl should be raised.

    There is an opportunity to meet the NGOs and govt reps of all the core groups of countries in Geneva. For example, if there are some issues in US or Canada or other countries, we can hand over your points to the concern NGOs. This may help to improve the services and they may contact your groups on thier return from Geneva.
    If you would like to include the point of repatriation, I would like you to send in writing in my email at [email protected] or to the [email protected]

    Please provide your advise and suggestions
    Thank you
    Melbourne Australia

  5. Dear Parsujee,
    It is important that you are presenting the refugee community to participate and raise the refugee issues on such platform. And obviously, it brings happiness being the ambassador for the complete representation of sub-continent.
    The refugees are man-made disaster. The refugees are victims of all walks of life.
    As per my capability, our first struggle should be to prove ourselves as BHUTANESE. This is very challenging. Even the democratic present government of Bhutan says people at camp, not the Bhutanese refugees. Govt. time and again claims the people at Bhutanese Refugee camp in Nepal are the agglomeration of people from India and Nepal. So let us campaign a mass movement to prove ourselves as Bhutanese.
    I critically think, the state that produces or creates refugee should be made to pay the fine by UNO so that it will be regulated well. Such amount collected should be used to run the refugee camp by the GOs or NGOs. Such practices will keep the state in moral responsibility to atleast feed their own population. Had Bhutan been made to pay the expenses of its refugee mass, the problem would not have lasted for more than a year or two. 20 years period is a generation in history and we have lost a generation without any accountable deeds. Had govt been made to pay, some % of its developmental budget had been reduced and they would have been more serious. Government of Bhutan is not serious to resolve the issue as they had the cake on their hands.
    I don’t know the scope and limitation of the representation as whether or not you are supposed to raise internal and external issues. It will be wise to sort out in each aspects of field like social, religious, cultural, educational, health and hygiene, political, economical, etc fields.
    I personally feel it as a paper presentation and limit your scope as per the target.
    Best of Luck.

  6. Dear Parsu jee,

    if is is or would be possible discuss about family reunion process with them.Because of TRC family is divided. People are suffering.UNHCR can atleast think about missing families and try for their reunification.

  7. Parshu,
    I always knew that you could start making a difference. This is already a big one to start with. I dont know if my suggestions will be worth a cent amongst the many relevant amd signiuficant issues you might be already compiling with but I will be in touch with you soon with a few more.

  8. Parshuji,
    Congratulations for your selection on representing the refugees from Asia.Hope your engagement with the UNHCR in Geneva give much needed relief to the community members globally.
    In my opinion some of the serious issues needs to be raised and addressed in the upcoming session.

    1. Many Bhutanese refugees in Nepal are still not registered as refugees ,still survive on dole outs from their relatives/neighbours.The children of such families are deprived from getting education and health facilities.The re-gisteration process is to be reopened and these families should be given refugee status,not for TRC purpose (as people think)but for recording and accounting all refugees from Bhutan.Although the datas of number of non registered refugees was submitted to UNHCR several times in the past ,I think it is important to update given the number of changes in the famil;y structures.Also the Camp Management Committees do have the records.

    2. Many of our people are divided,some being in Nepal/TCR and some members being in Bhuttan.Many of those still in Bhutan have difficulty in getting citizenship/NOC even after almost 20 years.What measures/options Do UNHCR have for the re union of seperated families.
    3. Many of our people from the camp are imp
    risoned in Nepal.Some of them are court convicted depending upon the gravity of crime they had commited and the law had taken its course.But some of the innocent are also imprisoned,no court hearing for them due to lack of support from their families or these people were not able to make the payments for their court hearings.What can UNHCR do for the release of such innocent lots from the prision.

    3. Some families have their relatives in jails in Bhutan without trials/Punishment on fake allegations.Some people willing to get resettled are still undecided with the love for thei near ones in jail in bhutan.What can be done to secure the release of those people.Any thning UNHCR can do??Is there any guarentte for those jailbirds that tey get the right to live within Bhutan upon their release??
    with the resettlement in progress many of our folks are under constant intimidations from some anti social element groups.Many have to leave camps even?Any measures taken by UNHCR to control crimes in the camp and security measures for such people.

    4. With the dry season in th onset,the clustered housing system are very prone to fire as experienced in the recent days.Any measures for controlling such trees …….in the camps.

    It may sound vague for some of the issues but these I think have been haunting every Bhutanese in the camp.

  9. Dear Parsu Jee,
    A Heap of Tashi Delek and Congrats for being nominated to represent the Asian Refugees in Geneva. I wish to suggest making this opportunity in the best way possible. Main thing is to understand ourselves clearly that the problem in Bhutan is neither racial, religious nor language, but a political issue that needs addressing collectively, which everybody should agree. My suggestion is a piece of a sprinkle of the ocean drop. Rest, all the best.

  10. Mohan g ,i really apprecite with your four points that you highlighted in .Wether it is possible or not i would like to add one point.
    1)Our piggy leader/camp secretares of census time involved to sold the name and identity of bhutanese sisters and brothers to Nepali and Indian people in the term of money .The identity sold bhutanese are fetching problems in camps .