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Real sense of human rights is absent

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New Delhi-based President of Druk National Congress (DNC), Rongthong Kuenley Dorji (RK Dorji), who was 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). The 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.

Coinciding the 62nd Human Rights Day, Dorji talked to TP Mishra, Editor of Bhutan News Service, on various contemporary issues including the situation of human rights in Bhutan. Excerpts:

BNS: How do you evaluate the ‘state of human rights’ in Bhutan especially aftermath of 2008 general election in the country?
The real sense of human rights exists only on paper post 2008. The regime applies human rights discriminately. The human right is upheld if it pleases. However we have to admit slight lee way is granted in terms of freedom of press. The real sense of democracy is absent, so the real sense of human rights is also absent.

BNS: Why do you think Bhutan has been always successful in convincing the world communities that there is ‘improving situation’ of human rights and democracy despite the truth being the otherwise?
In modern world economic motives determine the nature of relationship. Outsiders have so far only observed the good thing in country. This must have shaped their flaw picture of country. The army, state machinery and money are with king so he seems successful. In addition, international communities have to deal with him whether you like it or hate it for the larger interest of Bhutanese citizens. His success is temporary.

RK Dorji.

BNS: In one sense, whatever the comments from exiled groups, parties or individuals be, the situation in Bhutan is little different. People inside the country are silent and that they are happy with what’s been prevailing there. Why it concerns so much to exiled Bhutanese when it comes to ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in their country?
The grass root people are ignorant of democracy and human rights knowledge. So far some fifty thousand people who enjoy the state privileges believe that democracy exist in the country. As the democracy knowledge is ingrained into Bhutanese society, people will automatically come forward to campaign for genuine democracy and Human rights.

Exile people are fortunate to have experience the democratic cultures in their refuge country. Because of these exposure and experience, to exiles, the democracy is a basic requirement to lead the respectable life.

BNS: Of late you have been consented to lead the ‘struggle for democracy’ by three major exiled forces—Bhutanese Movement Steering Committee, Bhutan People’s Party and Bhutan National Democratic Party. Tell us about your new road map.

Our road map is illustrated in five points that we have announced during joint press conference. Our objective is to hold meeting with Government of Nepal, Bhutan and India in realizing the five points which are as follows:
Five points are:
–  The exiled political parties and the exiled Bhutanese must be permitted to participate in the forth-coming elections.
– The Bhutanese refugees must be repatriated with honour and dignity, and must be allowed to participate in the political process. To call upon the international community to pressurize Bhutan to take back its citizens.
– The immediate unconditional release of all the political prisoners in Bhutan who have been in prisons since the early 1990s.
–  To promote and strengthen the existing bonds of friendship at the people to people level among the citizens of Bhutan, India, and Nepal, which hasn’t been promoted to the desired level thus far.
– To extend thanks to the international community and all well-wishers of the Bhutanese democratic struggle and seek continued support and solidarity.

BNS: The exile activism for genuine democracy in Bhutan have never received convincing support and solidarity from the international communities. What is your logic that now your leadership will gain momentous support and solidarity so that the struggle takes a good height?
Our demand for democracy is genuine. Besides the international community also want to see genuine democracy taking roots in Bhutan. I therefore expect India and Nepal to counsel Bhutan to resolved exile Bhutanese issues.

Bhutanese have now spread throughout the globe. All wanted genuine democracy to take deep roots in Bhutan. We need to work together to realize the aforementioned five points. Besides, we are hopeful that international communities will support our initiatives to utilize of small opening that we saw in Bhutan since 2008. We will take the confidence of India in our works. For that, we will meet the government functionary and political leaders in India. Our country and India enjoys special friendship and each other destiny in 21st century is intertwined. My main thrust of work involves India.

BNS: But, in one sense you have even failed to garner government support and solidarity from India, where you have been taking shelter for years?
The atmosphere of 1997 and 2010 is different. You have failed to observe my nature of shelter in India. I was undergoing trail and the open support to me was inappropriate.

But in retrospection, I see that India had supported me. I owe gratitude and indebtedness to India. I was not extradited to Bhutan. Now I am able to campaign for democracy and human rights. The support is one thing, working is another. We all must work towards genuine democratization of Bhutan. We must cook food ourselves for our own eating.

BNS: What positive and welcoming changes have you noticed so far in Bhutan since the country stepped into ‘democratisation process’ beginning 2008?
The positive change is that we see an absolute Monarchy being replaced by Constitutional Monarchy. The democratic institution of parliament, Supreme Court, etc has been displayed to world community. However, the intrinsic power continues to rest with King.

BNS: What needs to be changed further then?
The institution of democratic set up has up in Bhutan. We irrespective of our stay in exile or inside country must struggle together to bring genuine changes tearing current façade of ‘democracy’. Change is inevitable in life. But we must work together to bring this inevitable changes favorable to us.

19 COMMENTS

  1. What these old fox like, RK,Rizal,Bhim,Raney Basnet,Budathoki,Pudel etc have achived for the refugees so far ?

    They were divided before and have been playing divided leadership till date because of BIG EGO PROBLEMS.

    Finally we innocent people are suffering today.In the camp we poor people are living,in the camp schools childern of poor people are studying,in the camp health unit poor are treated. All the facilities are name seek only, no proper materials and systems.

    Have we ever seen these people staying over night in the camp and have we ever seen their childern suffering and studying with our childern in the camp till date ?

    Answer is no no no….They lives in luxury house, they get special medical treatment and their childern reads in international english schools away from our camps in the name of refugee leaders.They enjoy the money we are supposed to get equally.

    It is too late to come united at this old age , suffering with many health complications like diabetic,pressure,lever/kidney problems etc. …. and still keeping doubts on each others motives and plan .

    So foundation of our refugee building and bridges are very weak..even if young generation takes up it may not last and may collapsed any time due to poor foundation.

  2. RK ji i think you are still small in poltics.Do know we Bhutanese appeal more than 19 years for INDIAN GOVT.and NEPAL GOVT. to act our problem.I dont think our internal problem will solve by other fellows so far.however i think you are the best leader so far among the other and prision in INDIA for more then 10 years and still hoping to struggle for the welfare of Bhutanese people,bhutan soverginity and bhutanese land.so i think it is your time to play vital role to establish full flaged democracy in bhutan which is fruitfull to all.no one can give simply nothings else so as to do some things other to get their righst.now time to carry revolutionary philoshopy which is appreciate by all.i think there is already one which is struggling.it is your time to give them support and supervise them to go in right tract from back.i dont think india and nepal can do any things for us because it is our bhutanese problem with bhutanese government.it is our guineue political problem.so RK ji better join hand with underground party and struggle there which may fulfill your future to become prime minister or president in bhutan.since you are the person to resettle SHARPOS(NORTHEN) in our home steed.HAVE YOU EVER QUESTION THIS IN ANY MEDIA?You have good relationship with RGOB for bringing this people n resettle in south.

  3. Is it true ? Rizal and RK ,Raney,Bhim,thinely,subba,Adhikari(most of them, so called themselves leader)are Govt. agent,they played major role to sent out 100 thousand innocent nepali from Bhutan and still playing active rile to close the Chapter of Bhutanese refugee for ever. They are hamdsomely paid and will be back to country in future?
    The testmony of fact is …we are here today at the same place and the same condition …even after 20 years of pain and sorrow.Some of our fellow refugee, realized the mistake we made 20 years ago and decided to take own way in the search of bright future.
    I recalled that,….(sorrry I must not ) our/my life was far secure and better in Bhutan than during this past 20 years.Today I understood that,our leadres were not capable,not properly planned to take care of so called refugees,lack of fund and lack of supports from other countries at that time.
    Some time I feel that,our demands were/are not genuine comapring to rest of the Bhutanese, thats why even international community is also not serious to support our demands.
    Is it also true..,act against the royal Govt. was idea of handful of nepali officers on their vested interest to take revenge against the handful of senior Durkpa govt. officials due to conflict of interest. Our nepali leaders tried their best to misguide the king by reporting against the Drukpa officers..but king’s investigation revealed that, Drukpa officers were innocent..therefore suspious arised against the nepali officers led by Rizalji.Finally no option left behind in their mind and they felt guilty …so Rizalji and team compelled to revolted againt the King and Govt. policy.

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