President of Druk National Congress (DNC), RK Dorji, who is in Nepal after his extradition case was rejected by Delhi High Court, has been asked to lead the democratic struggle of exiled Bhutanese by Bhutan People’s Party (BPP), Bhutan National Democratic Party (BNDP) and Bhutanese Movement Steering Committee (BMSC).
Top brass of these parties and BMSC agreed to go under the leadership of Dorji based on their crucial meeting of August 22, which Dorji has accepted.
The leaders made such an announcement Thursday during a joint press briefing organized here in Kathmandu.
Dorji expressed his hope that India would become ready to support the future imitative exiled leaders would take. “There are some green signals from Indian side for our struggle,” he explained.
He said he is happy and ready to lead the movement since other parties and organisation would always back him.
“We have strategically agreed to go under the DNC leadership,” Dr. DNS Dhakal, chief executive of BNDP expressed, “There is no option for this since DNC has a better influence inside Bhutan.”
Sharing the experiences he collected during his recent visits to the United States, he said that resettled Bhutanese are finding tough to manage their living, but their conditions are far better than what their friends and relatives have in Nepal.
“Resettlement is just a temporary solution since there is no alternative than to return to homeland with dignity and honour.”
President of BPP, Balaram Poudyal, expressed the need to adopt peaceful means in the struggle. “There is no landing with arms since Bhutan has unique geographical pattern,” he elaborated.
Interestingly, Poudyal also said that his party was unaware of Maoist party in the camp which has been reported to be fighting against the regime with arms. He sai, “I have no knowledge where do such cadres live and what they do as carried by various media.”
Poudyal also accused Bhutan of playing foul game in the name of democracy. “We never trust such a democratic system that has placed the King above the constitution.
The chairperson of BMSC, Tek Nath Rizal, expressed that India has a lead role in resolving the imbroglio. “India must understand that we have suffered due to its questionable policy to support the Bhutanese regime and oppose refugees’ initiative to repatriate.”
He also said the issue is no more a “bilateral deal” Bhutan and Nepal since exiled Bhutanese have reached to various countries through resettlement program. “This is a matter of international concern,” he told.
The leaders also demanded reparation of Bhutanese refugees through the national reconciliation.
Rai, Penjore express dissatisfaction
Chairperson of Bhutanese Refugee Repatriation Representative Committee (BRRRC), Dr. Bhampa Rai, and President of Druk National Congress – Democratic (DNC-D), Thinley Penjore, expressed their dissatisfaction over the announcement of such a common strategy without consulting to other parties and leaders in exile.
“It is, indeed, a good initiative if it is materialized,” Dr Rai told Bhutan News Service, “However, I am sad that they even didn’t ask me once though I represent a people-mandated committee.”
Relating to such a decision from some parties and BMSC in Kathmandu far from camps, he jokingly questioned, “How can shepherds decide to remain in Tshirang when their sheep are in Samtse?”
Meanwhile, Thinely said that his party has “evergreen” solidarity for Dorji considering his attachment and sacrifice.
“However, they even did not make a call before announcing such a major event. I was just a few miles away from the place where our leaders decided to empower Dorji with such challenging task,” he said.
He also expressed his surprise over the involvement of Balaram Poudyal of BPP, who also heads National Front for Democracy Bhutan, in the strategic coalition. “We need to sit together to get his position clarified since I am unaware who gave him such a mandate,” Thinley told.