By Tej Man Rayaka, Germany
Munich (Germany), Jan 22: Europe-based Bhutanese including those who participated in the Geneva campaign last December have declared Bhutanese Advocacy Forum Europe (BAF Europe) to raise the issue of human rights and democracy in the international forums.
Bhutanese living in various parts of Europe have come under such a platform following serious need to raise a single voice against atrocities of the regime.
According to chief coordinator, Durga Giri, the forum was formed on December 4, 2009 when dozens of Bhutanese demonstrated against Bhutan in front of the UN building in Geneva, and Bhutan presented its Human Rights Report 2009 for the first time. However, the formal announcement came following its legal registration and other technical reasons.
“The Bhutanese in Europe have come together to give continuity to such advocacy programs in the international forums to make the Bhutanese regime realise the moral obligation to respect the human rights instruments and civil liberties,” said Giri in the statement.
Based on working guideline of human rights and democracy in Bhutan, BAF Europe will take decisive steps to internationalize the Bhutanese issue from Europe.
All the 16 Bhutanese who participated in Geneva demonstration has remained as founding members of the forum led by Giri in Germany.
Likewise, Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri, Suren Ghalley and Ramesh Gautam have been elected as country coordinators from The Netherlands, Germany and Norway respectively.
“The forum has received commitments for active participation from many Bhutanese across the European countries,” said Giri adding, “It shall supplement and compliment the Bhutanese advocacy works in all the other continents.”
Supported by exiled leaders, rights defenders, academicians and youths, the forum works towards the creation of a global platform of Bhutanese before it gets merged into the main stream of international campaigns as and when the global platform comes into existence.
The forum is working for the 13th Human Rights Council meeting scheduled for March 2010 in Geneva where Bhutan is responding to the queries raised by various country representatives in the last December.
Forum is beginning its international campaigning in Europe scheduled to start from early next week.
The BAF Europe is also organizing awareness programs in Europe to garner solidarity from the European people towards the long-standing refugee imbroglio.
It also expressed its deep sorrow on the unfortunate fire incidence that took place in Beldangi I this week.
It has called upon the entire Bhutanese community to stand as one Bhutanese with the fellow citizens of Beldangi-I camp at this hour of grief.
“We thank the fire fighters and relief agencies for providing emergency support to the fire victims,” said the statement.
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