Cadastral survey victimizes Lhotshampas


Almost two decades after the mass eviction of 1990s, the land commission has started a so-called digital cadastral survey in all districts of the south.

The survey has finally come to the south as the National Land Commission (NLC) had launched a nationwide re-survey of land holdings, at an estimated budget of Nu 460 million on July 13, 2008.

The Commission said that it decided to go for re-surveying of all landholdings in the country, which number around 100,000, for settling existing disputes related to lands.

The survey would take an accuracy of 10 cm instead of sectoral meters used with the old system, and accordingly the data would be stored in digital form meeting the international standards.

Lhotshampas dwelling in the south have felt that the move is an attempt to capture all land data to victimize them in long run.

Nepali-speaking people in the south expressed fear that the fate would be severe for households, which had to split during mass eviction of 1990s with inheritable landholding or have purchased lands from those who have become refugees.

“The idea itself seems noble, but people in the southern belt are facing yet another burden as some of them own the inherited lands from those who were evicted in 1990s. There are many households that bought lands at low price when their friends had to abandon everything” said a retired civil servant from Samtse, requesting his anonymity.

Several had suffered the same fate in Samtse and Sarpang when the then Home Minister Dago Tshering termed all such landholdings as illegal after learning such kinds of land trade during the eviction period.

“This survey is being exercised to collect actual data of all landholdings in the south, and according declare them illegal to victimize the citizens,” added the source.

The survey officials are even learnt to be demanding citizens to pay a heavy sum for extra land accusing them of illegally capturing the lands and farms inherited to them by their ancestors, who have either passed away or were evicted in 90s.

“The cadastral survey is already in the field even in other places like Thimphu. However, the officials are applying completely different techniques in victimizing Lhotshampas in the southern districts. The reality is different in Thimphu,” the source further said.

Citizens in the south suspected that the survey team has been striking off private and fertile lands under cultivation, likely to be confiscated or allotted to someone in future as kidu by the King.

Several households from Tsirang, Samtse and Samdrup Jongkhar are learnt to have met such a fate already. The survey team was said to have returned following stern protests in Samtse.

According to the existing Land Act, households categorized as F5 and F4 (those people who could produce a certificate of origin proving only one parent had been born in Bhutan where only the certified parent qualifies for citizenship) are not allowed to hold any land properties in Bhutan and with this rules many are deprived of the rights of keeping their inherited lands or buying immoveable properties in their names.

The country’s Land Act was revised in 1979, but just came into implementation from January 1, 2008.

Following the implementation of the revised act, the land commissioned has settled over 6,000 land disputes so far. It is said that several Lhotshampas were made empty handed while settling those disputes, and several cases are awaiting legal clearance from the kangaroo court of Bhutan.


  1. The NLC secretary, who wanted to score points for measuring land and submitting the data HM, he has been doing everything to finish within 2012. In the process poor helpless people in villages are being in the mercy of surveyors. The same land measured 10 times they project 10 different reading each time increase by certain decimal…
    and harrased in the name of ecess land…when can people live in peace from these actors?

  2. A baseless news,in fact it is being conducted to register the unregistered land of people.I mean left by previous survey due to excess land.
    His majesty has kindly issuing land documents to the villagers at the free of cost including extra land.
    Moreover, now southern Bhutan is no more only for Lotshamps (nepali),there are people from all the communities settled down in vacant land of nepalis who left Bhutan long time back.

  3. Total Bullshit. Hello! I wonder who is feed ing this information. Infact things have changed for the better, people can now claim and buy excess from the govt by paying a minimum price or if it is already mention in their previous record the govt updates it in their record…Infact the lhotsampas are now benifitting. such cases are there in the east and the wests, and some unresolved cases r in court so why only mention about the lhotsampas and by the way Kangaroo is not found in Bhutan. I belive it is found only in Australia. Legal cases are to be handled by the court.

  4. This is the same policy that bhuatn government have practice in 1990 ,this is also practice to make more refugee from bhutan who are nepali speaking.WE all the bhutanese who already resettled in third country should raise voice against this great issuse to provide right to our kid and kine .

  5. यो भूटान सरकारको निकै राम्रो योजना हो देशको भविष्यको पक्षमा । यसरी तानाबानाका नाटकहरू जनतामा लादेपछि जनता जाग्छ, दशक लामो स्वतन्त्रताको आन्दोलनले नयाँ गति लिन्छ । देशमा शंग्रामले रडाँको मच्चाउन सक्छ तर भूटानी जनताले सरकारी करतुत बुजे पछि ताना शाह गएर शंग्रालयमा थन्किने छ ।
    अब भूटानी जनताले “जन्मै भरिको पीर खप्नु भन्दा आाजै मरेको नमान्नु धन्दा” लार्इ हृदयंगम गर्न ढिला भइसकेको छैन ।

    तानाशाह नफालेसम्म भूटानमा कहिल्यै शान्ति, शुशासन र जनहितको अमनचैन स्थापना हुनै छैन । जातियताको सन्नटा र पहिचानको भोकले घनचक्करको सडकमा रिंगटाको जिन्दगी बाँचिरहेका हामी तेस्रो राष्ट्रका भूटानीले पनि यसमा सरिक हुनु निक्कै महत्वपूर्ण छ हैन भने हामी पलायनताको अग्नीकुण्डमा पहिचानहिनताको बोको हुने छौं ।

  6. Sonam Lama!!! Yes you are right southern Bhutan is not only for Lhotsampas. You have forcefully evicted them and resettled your community by snatching their land. Now forces of nature is acting against you. The wild animals like elephants are taking revenge on your people driving them back from where they came from north, east part of Bhutan. Your cruelty unjust levied to the innocent people will one day boomerang you, your family, your community. The day is not far. You will see with your own eyes and in this generation!!!! God bless you!!!

  7. it is learnt that the number is being increased in the royal family there fore they need more land to adjust, they r trying to locate a new home for them. No.2> It seems govt is providing training to the survyors .

  8. In a flash it seems good move, but it is no other than another conspiracy theory to evict and to harass Nepali Speaking fellow Bhutanese in South.

    Hope, Bhutanese around the globe would aware the international communities about ongoing conspiracy over South in the land of GNH.


    Deepak,must be a foreigner, in fact,damage of crops by the wild animals in the southern part of Bhutan has gone down by many folds comparing to past record of 20-100 years.

    Moreover, it is not only happening in southern Bhutan but adjoining tea estates, kalimpong,Darjeeling of India as usual.

  10. Sonam, your Fourth King will need all the land of Bhutan for his twelve children and their families. Can you imagine, how many Royalties u guys will have in next few generations. Common Bhutanese will stumble upon them in every corner of Bhutan. Bhutanese can hope that the present King will not follow his Dad’s footsteps and marry Jetsun Pema’s sisters, then you guys will be in real trouble.
    How about the monetary allowance each Royal family member receives from the Government. I bet there is almost hundred of them who are entitled.
    Your Fifth King is a puppet of his father anyways.

  11. Hey!! Sonam, by the way what’s going on with Phobjikha and Gyelposhing land scam ???? Most of your Ministers including the PM are involved, your NA Speaker is the ring leader. Even Jey Khenpo, the highest person of the monk body and Royal family members are involved. Land was snatched from the poor farmers in the pretext of development project. Now the land is in the hands of rich and powerful of Bhutan who will make money out of poor farmers ancestral land. This is how your Government people loot land from the poor and voiceless people of Bhutan. So, don’t try to justify what happened and happening in Southern Bhutan. I feel sorry for a person like you if you don’t belong to rich and powerful group of people of Bhutan. You better try to save whatever little land you have or they will be gone before you know. Good Luck !!!!!

  12. Purnima,
    Name is purnima but your thoughts are AOW-SEE-KO are in dark.
    Please find out whats happening in refugee community right below your nose ?
    The clever and cunning foxes including people of Nepali origin from kalimpong,Darjeelin,sikkim and nepal are enjoying every thing in the name of Bhutanese refugee and poor fellow refugee are suffering in the refugee camps in Nepal for the past 20 years.
    Please remember.. pointing one finger towards other.. the rest fingers are always pointing towards you.
    So bring equality and justice to the poor fellow refugee at camp,give a good example and talk proudly.
    Just shouting from NOW-SAGAR-PAR(THIRD COUNTRY SETTLEMENT) will make all of us joker in long term.

  13. Sonam, how come out of blue your heart is beating for Bhutanese refugees. Don’t worry about them, majority of them are well settled in the developed countries, most of them have bought houses and enjoying the same rights as the fellow citizens of the host countries. Rest will follow later, some elderly might chose to stay back as they are torn between the family in Bhutan and western countries, they should be Ok as they will get financial support from their families. Now, there is a section of people who want to stay in the camps, they rather live on hand outs than work hard to earn living in the western countries. I hope u don’t fall under the later category.

  14. Purnima ji,

    Is it true..the relatives of our refugees presently living in Bhutan are also started going out of Bhutan to join refugee relatives in third countries at their own will impressed by western life style and making good money.

    Regarding poor people living in the camp in Nepal, the people like you betrayed them badly.

    Please recall the past days on 1990 agitation in Bhutan. What our so called leaders assured poor innocent villagers. The said, Hami ak Huw (we are one) Saat ma ladnay, saat ma basnay ani sad ma madnay (we will fight together,live together and will die together.

    Now clever people like you enjoying luxury life in foreign country leaving behind poor genuine Bhutanese refugee in pathetic condition in Nepal.

  15. Sonam lama, what a arrogant are you? You still think what Bhutan did during 80s and 90s to Southern is acceptable?

    See my brother, keep yourself in the shoes of Southerners, who have their own language, dress-code, values, believes, though, I am Buddhist, majority were Hindus. But, our 4th King (Jigme Singye Wangchuck) in the name of maintaining one nation one country, restrict their rights and freedom to practice these aspects.

    With the conspiracy to evict Southerners from Bhutan, Jigme, introduced the policy of one nation one people by highlighting and enforcing his ethnic language, dress-code, culture, values, and religions over other ethnicity, (not only Lhotshampas, and Sharshops, but also to other minorities) which is completely against Human Right and Freedom of Citizens.

    So, if you are matured and have a sense of Humanity on you, please do not ignore the bitter truth,our nation of GNH hidden. If you feel shamed, it is not your problem,it is the Jigme and some of those conservative Nalongs!


    Naan GA, Tshering Zangpo