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Bhutanese Stambha Nirman Samiti Announced

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A committee named ‘Bhutanese Stambha Nirman Samiti’ has been announced on October 3, 2020 for the purpose of constructing a Bhutanese Refugee Memorial Tower (the name yet to be deliberated and finalized), at the site of the first Bhutanese refugee camp at Kotihome, Jhapa, Nepal.

The proposed site for the monument is also popularly known by the name Kankai Maai. The river bank had witnessed the malaise in series faced by the Bhutanese refugees in the early 1990s, and hundreds of lives comprising mostly infants, toddlers and elderlies were lost.

According to a press statement signed by Narayan Phuyal Sharma, spokesperson of the Samiti, the committee is formed under the convenorship of Dr. Bhampa Rai, a medical professional and dedicated Bhutanese social worker for decades serving the Bhutanese refugee community since the inception of the camps in Nepal.

“The committee is constituted with due consideration to the geographic and demographic composition of the Bhutanese Community in the diaspora,” added the statement.

The statement further added that the committee will collaborate with the local Nepalese committee in Kotihome, Jhapa that is executing a larger project of developing Kotihome, the site of the first Bhutanese refugee camp, as a religious and tourist destination.

“The Bhutanese Refugee Memorial Tower is an integral part of that larger development project and has to be erected within the physical space and dimensions agreed upon and allowed by the said local Nepalese committee,” reads the statement, adding- “An agreement specifying all essential details will be soon entered into between the Bhutanese Stambha Nirman Samiti, represented by its members currently based in Nepal and the local Nepalese committee.”

The statement further added that the specific details as to the type or content of the proposed memorial tower are yet to be determined. “The general understanding thus far arrived at is that the local Nepalese Committee will not interfere in the specific details or contents of the memorial tower.”

“The only condition thus far specified by the local Nepalese committee is that the said memorial tower must be physically contained within the bounds of the physical space provided. The proposed agreement between the Bhutanese Stambha Nirman Samiti and the local Nepalese committee shall also mutually determine the height of the proposed tower,” added the statement.

According to the statement, the task of constructing the ‘stambha’ will begin at the designated site as soon as the agreement is entered into.

“The memorial will be a tall symbol of our collective memory of being persecuted and its memorialization in history. Erected adjacent to the East-West highway, the tower, while attracting the attention of visitors, onlookers or passer byers, will perpetually remind that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  The memorial tower will be a solemn reminder of our collective history of being persecuted and evicted and it shall symbolize our shared aspirations for conserving our history,” read the statement.

The Bhutanese Stambha Nirman Samiti has also appreciated the gesture of the local Nepalese committee to allow the Bhutanese diaspora to memorialize their history at a place that provided them hospitality at a time of overwhelming distress in their collective life.

In a virtual press meet with BNS on October 8, where a select few committee members were present, Sharma further clarified that the committee has expected to fund this project with financial support from the Bhutanese diaspora.

It is reportedly learnt that details of the costs involved in this project is yet to be determined.

“The Bhutanese diaspora must treat this as an opportunity to consolidate their history through a physical representation. Being the first of its kind in the history of the diaspora, the committee anticipates a widespread participation and support of the entire diaspora,” said Sharma, adding- “The committee commits to inform the Bhutanese diaspora on the details of the work on a consistent basis as and when progress is made on the matter.”

 

 

 

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. This is a grand idea that all of us in the Diaspora should support. Really proud to be a part of this project of history making. A history of persecution and eviction that was almost getting lost in darkness will now be erected tall by the national highway. It will speak of the excessive repression we faced under the Bhutanese government and the problems we experienced in exile. It will help us conserve our memories and memorialize them for a very long, long time.

  2. Wow wow wow this is true step made by our community leader
    Historical and wise attempt
    We can leave nothing behind our breath, join hand to this project keep you live ever
    Thank you Dr.Sab

  3. Fantastic! I endorse this dynamic idea of forming such a committee and bringing about life to ailing history of the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and the fellow Bhutanese in the diaspora. I humbly congratulate Dr Rai for being the flag bearer for the success of this project.

  4. This project has my solidarity and support. Let every Bhutanese be aware of this great idea and get an opportunity to participate at its inception to feel the ownership. Every Bhutanese in exile, living or dead, has contributed in making this history. Let the names of the people we lost in Kotihome be engraved on the walls. I feel it is a great beginning!

  5. Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us, and only for those who were willing to fail are the dangers and splendors of life.

    What is so good about pouring money to Stambha that neither speak nor fight for justice? It is like statue of so-called Gods that never relief.

    Rejoice failures, highlight you lackluster?

  6. A very farsighted and a visionary initiative from our leadership and intellectual community.
    Promoting and preserving our history in this manner should be one of our top priorities.

  7. The Bhutanese refugees’ life would not have been any hopeful without Dr. Bhampa Rai’s contribution since the crisis’s inception. He invested his entire life for the innocent refugees from Maidhar to date. He is the living legend now and survives ever in the immortal history of Bhutanese Refugees. I always have profound respect, admiration, and believe in his extraordinary abilities and noble personality. Therefore, I want to endorse Dr. Bhampa Rai and his team members for the leadership to build “Bhutanese Stambha,” a Bhutanese Refugee Memorial Tower at Kotihome, Jhapa. It’ll be an iconic monument for Bhutanese refugees in the diaspora. Kumar Gurung from Omaha, USA.

  8. Dr. Bumpa Rai can give the right leadership to erect the “Bhutanese Stambha” in the kotihom area. This proposed tower can be a significant item to the future generations in the diaspora to Remember and revered how Bhutan unfairly created refugees in the late 80’s . I like the idea to construct the Stambha to remember how we remain consolidated and continued the freedom struggles despite odds at every step until we were relocated in the third countries.

  9. Dr. Bumpa Rai can give the right leadership to erect the “Bhutanese Stambha” in the kotihom area. This proposed tower can be a significant item to the future generations in the diaspora to Remember and revered how Bhutan unfairly created refugees in the late 80’s . I like the idea to construct the Stambha to remember how we remain consolidated and continued the freedom struggles despite odds at every step until we were relocated in the third countries.

  10. I have high appreciation to this dynamic idea. Such an iconic monument shall preserve the history of our evection and persecution. I shall take it as an opportunity to work in this project and contribute my best in whatever ways possible.

  11. Amazing workout to establish the memorial history. Best wishes to the team ahead to make it success!

    The memorial tower will help future generations to keep the diaspora to remember as how Bhutan unfairly treated, compelled and created refugees in the late 80’s that sit in the footprints of the freedom struggles done by all. Thanks to all again who brought up the amazing concept to make it happen.

  12. Its a noble work. Hope it shall symbolize all aspects of our history of atrocities and struggle as a whole. I suggest all, lets take a deep breath, think in depth and try making it a profound one. No rush is appropriate for such a humongous job.

    Durga Giri daju’s motive to bring this agenda in the community is highly appreciated. I salute Dr. Bhampa Rai and all other seniors for thinking and agreeing upon this noble work.

  13. A great Noble work. Let us not missed anyone. Nothing can be carry out after our death . Our name and fame will remain forever. Crtiics make stronger. we need to move keeping vision. One day God will only appreciate for the good work for the good cause.

  14. This was long overdue. A dark stambha would tell our generations of the dark days we had at Maidhar where almost every family lost their loved ones.

  15. A great idea indeed. Keen to see this being materialised. It will help memorialise the sacrifices made by our people and the plights we suffered in the refugee camps. It will also speak loud the post resettlement successes we have achieved collectively in diasporas. Keep up the good works.

  16. Wow.
    It is a great idea.
    It is time the planners, designers, engineers, diplomats, workers, philanthropists, donors, well-wishers, supporters, looser and survivors get a role and an opportunity to manifest their excellence. May the committee members have the strength to generate support and endure the drudgery in a long way.
    I wish Dr. Rai and Narayan Sir the best of all luck.

  17. No doubt about the importance of this stambha for all of us as Bhutanese born in Bhutan and in the camps, and having Dr.Bhampa Rai, as the convener, it won’t be enough to say how virtuous it is going to be. I want to express my solidarity with gratitude.
    I believe the Nirman Samitee must have thought out how it would serve the locals as well. Its permanence depends on how it is beneficial to the locality over time. For instance, developing it into a tourist site where local businesses are established to serve tourists, even on a small scale, will largely contribute to the stambha’s longevity.

    Ashok Gurung

  18. The idea is fantastic and we have already seen enormous support of encouraging words. Now it’s our duty to turn this imaginative project into a reality. I strongly support & proud to be a part of the team in making “Bhutanese Stambha”

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