Census team in southern districts


Home Minister Minjur Dorji has indicated that people would raise census and citizenship related issues by the end of this year.

With the intention of digging out the reasons behind why many people were not included in the census earlier, three teams from the Home Ministry have been talking to the people of five southern districts since March.

The team was supposed to conduct the verification work sometimes ago. However, it was deferred due to recent recent local government elections.

The team of officials committed to bring out the truth will be assisted by the village leaders and census officials. The result will be submitted to the Ministry’s census committed members that will do the final review before it will be handed over to the government.

The director for civil registration and census, Sonam Topgay highlighted that the verification is expected to focus on census drop-out cases. The people who have all required documents but were not included in the previous census will be included this time without a fail. Although the department has all required information, the team has been exercised to go to the field to make sure there do not remain any people behind.

The Home Ministry officials stated that people have a false notion that by categorizing them into different categories, they’re put into different boxes, where they are meted with different treatment and opportunities.

According to Sonam Tobgay, there are only three broad categories of people living in the country, Bhutanese citizens, special resident permit holders (SRP) and non-citizens.

SPR holders have two distinct categories. One who got married before June 10, 1985 – if the husband is Bhutanese and the wife is foreigner, the children get citizenship, whereas the wife would be SRP holder. But if the wife is Bhutanese and husband is a foreigner, the husband and children would hold a SRP.

Second case is that of people who got married after June 10, 1985. This case will be dealt with by the department of immigration.

However, the hot topic of discussed form of citizenship in online forums is F5, which basically means SRP holders, and marriage cases after June 10, 1985.

A person who is a SRP holder but not a Bhutanese citizen enjoys the right as any citizens since one of the parents is a Bhutanese citizen. However, he would not have the right to vote.

The SRP holder can be a Bhutanese citizen if they apply for naturalization with the department of immigration.

The census department functions according to the Citizenship Act of 1958, 1977 and 1985, national assembly resolutions, national census records and the constitution.