An expert on Bhutanese refugee issue, Dr Tulsi Bhattarai, has claimed that the Government of India is not in favour of resolving the long-standing crisis by its Bhutanese counterpart on various grounds.
Dr Bhattarai claimed so while presenting a paper in a discussion program organized by the Literary Council of Bhutan (LCB) in Kathmandu on Saturday.
“Not only the Bhutanese regime, even Indian doesn’t want Bhutan to resolve the refugee issue,” he said.
Indians, who have already brought major rivers of Bhutan under their control in the name of power generation, want to capture the Bhutanese sovereignty one day, according to his claim.
He also sternly accused the western communities of simply accepting refugees for resettlement instead of pressing the Bhutanese regime for dignified return of citizens in exile.
In another context, he also blamed his own government for not discussing to grant citizens to just 100,000 Bhutanese when it distributed citizenship cards to some 1.5 Biharis of India.
Meanwhile, Norway-based Ramesh Gautam, who edits Bhutaneseliterature.com, asked the Nepalese writers to recognize ‘separate existence of Bhutanese-Nepali literature’.
According to him, Nepalese writers have been ignoring identity of the Bhutanese-Nepali literature.
“We speak Nepali. We write in Nepali. But, we are Bhutanese citizens of Nepali origin, and want you all to acknowledge our existence,” Gautam said.
Chaired by Vice-Chair of the Council, Shiva Lal Dahal, the program saw presentation of other two papers by Dahal himself and Dr Govinda Raj Bhattarai, professor at Tribhuwan University and author of well-read novel – Muglan.
Presenting a major paper on past and present status of Nepali literature in Bhutan, Dahal highlighted the issues from immigration of Nepali speakers from Gorkha in 1616 to their third country resettlement.
He claimed that, among many other immigrant groups, Nepali speakers are only the group settled in Bhutan after signing an official agreement between the two Governments.
Over two dozens of literary figures were a part of the discussion program. Dr Dhruva Chandra Gautam, Dr Kumar Prasad Koirala, Dr Laxman Gautam and Dr Gyanu Pande were among them.