Keeping eroding history alive


At a time when Nepal that has failed to convince Bhutan to accept its citizens back home or internationalise the refugee imbroglio even after two decades, is trying to depopulate exiled Bhutanese from the UN-monitored camps, a few dedicated exiled Bhutanese including the camp secretaries and septuagenarian medical doctor Bhampa Rai are struggling to install a Bhutanese museum in Nepal.

Being planned to set up in either Sanischare or one of the Beldangi camps, the museum aims to preserve culture, identity and history of the Bhutanese citizens in exile.

Saradha Adhikari (Timsina)

“Our dream of keeping evidences in Nepal shall clear the allegation of the regime to keep overshadowing international community that we are not Bhutanese citizens,” explains Sarada Adhikari (Timsina).

Like Adhikari Dr Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal, Executive Director of the Punya Foundation,comments that museum, as a concept, is extraordinary. “If this idea would materialize, it will keep our eroding history alive. It will definitely give a space, a space to think and internalise our tragedy in days to come – to us, younger generation and to the world as whole.”

Adhikari, who has a Master’s degree in Finance from the Tribhuwan University, is chairperson of the Organization Protecting Indigenous Culture & Identity of Exiled Bhutanese (OPICEB). Other executives of the organization included camp secretaries, Dr Bhampa Rai as Museum Resource Analyst, and Multimedia and Animation Specialist Tika Ram Timsina.

Based on the permission of the local authority, the OPICEB has its camp-based office in Sanischare camp.

“The struggle to set up a working office in the camp was challenging,” says Adhikari recalling her initial days in the past, “However, we are lucky that aid agencies including the Lutheran World Federation and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees also supported the local authority’s decision to offer the office space in Sanischare.”

Meanwhile, the organization said it has been lobbying with the government authority to obtain legal status for establishing the museum in government land but with a proposed management team from within the Bhutanese community.

A delegation from the organization also met Chief District Officer of Jhapa on August 14. He has instructed all Camp Supervisors of the Refugee Coordination Unit to support OPICEB and its activities in camps. However, the struggle to obtain the organization’s legality is still on.

The Nepal Bar Association (NBA) Jhapa chapter has been providing all legal advises to the organization. “The Bar has formed a three-member body to lobby with the government regarding the land and registration,” says advocate Gyanendra Karki.

There are expectations that the protection of the Bhutanese identity and culture would be well addressed by preserving the copies of documents in the form of metal itched texts along with logbook register where every Bhutanese in future would be able to table their proof of origin of Bhutan.


For political analyst R.P.Subba based in Verginia this kind of museum will always stand (for the Bhutanese regime) as a reminder of the heinous crimes they unleashed on humanity – similar to the concentration camps in Germany, during the Nazi regime.

Analyst Subba further adds that it will be a testimony to Nepal’s failure in sending the refugees back to their legitimate homes; until the refugees have to make museums to preserve their past history.

At present, collection of various materials has been underway. However, the organization said not much has been done in that regard due to fund crisis.

“We expect to garner possible supports from the resettled community to operate and manage the museum,” adds Chairman Adhikari.

But, Dr Dhakal claims that resettled Bhutanese some five years before and now are financially emancipated. In his words, money should not be a problem to take initiative and give continuity to sustainability of any good programs. However, for Dr Dhakal, to have money does not equate to give money.

Dr Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal

Chairperson Adhikari hopes that they (the resettled people) would support the idea by providing the historic materials and belongings of the camps, and extending their helping hands.

The organization is also running bakery training in Sanischare camp to collect some funds for the basic expenses.

In coming days, it also aims to start a multimedia and animation training. “This will be the next fund raising scheme for the museum,” explains Adhikari, who aims to do a large donation drive from the resettled community in near future.

Taking some past examples, analyst Subba opines that the idea of museum will have no problem selling in the diaspora. “In large part, it is in the interest of every body to contribute to something that preserves their own history,” he elaborates.

But, he regards that a clear mission with perceptible objective is a must to motivate the resettled community towards the museum.

Dr Bhampa Rai

According to Dr Rai, the museum might benefit the Government of Nepal in tourism promotion by attracting thousands of resettled fellow-countrymen and foreigners in long run.

Materializing the concept of a Bhutanese museum in Nepal is not an easy task considering all the inviting costs. However, the museum team is fully committed in achieving the goal, but remains dependent on the resettled community in establishing and operating the museum independently.

“The Government of Nepal will certainly help us protect our cultural heritages and allow us to obtain legitimacy to our organisation for preserving the left over documents, cultural recipes, dress and etiquettes of the Bhutanese refugee community in the form of museum,” says Adhikari, as she presents her ultimate expectation from the host country – Nepal.


  1. Museum will be a great tourist spot which will help Nepalese tourism industry. I as a resettled individual will support for projects in Education and training. This is the time for us to invest in education, learning centers/libray. We need to produce professionals, business icons, artists and Leaders from our community. We need to cover up our 2 decades lost of time and projects with an outcome to create global human resource is of priority.
    I am not dicouraging the museum project but would like to priotize on education related projects.

    Tika Acharya
    New Hampshire, US.

  2. Sounds good idea. The museum should not be within the periphery of the camps because locals close to camp at any time can destroy and burn it. This act is getting normal to them. Whenever there is clsh between this two party, museum can be target for the oppenent to take revange, this is welknown to everybody.

    Hence, if you are planning to buld a museum build it 15 km away from the camps.

    Gopal Adhikari

  3. It looks like it is great initative to build up museum to hightlight the historical monuments, constant struggle for demacracy and human rights in Bahutan. In the meantime, we need to focus overall sectors to uplift our community in the global competition.
    Research and scientific study are to made in order to bring the actual causes to the outer world.
    Preserve for the fellow man, younger generation and scholar.

  4. Good.great thinking.sarada It is the real thing what we need to do for preserving our culture and the evidence for the forth coming generation.let the government of bhutan, couple of century later, realize its mistake looking the leftover evidence by the thirdcountry sattlers.But SARADA be farsighted of its misuse.Make clear vision but dont worry of fund, thousands of wellwishers are residing in the land of oppertunity. If around twenty thousands able workers in USA makes possitive mind towards our lost evidence
    and contribute a dollor for thirty days than think howmuch will be the foundation money for good I wish u to keep it up.

  5. We often tend to celebrate best situations or best life moments. As soon as one of our such times comes to an end, we are trained to automatically try and cleanse ourselves of every reminder of its sourness and troubles in order to heal our emotional suffering and return to a state in which we may seek out a new situation to enter into. But why don’t we recognize and focus on our traumatic situations and times, instead of trying to make them vanish, especially considering the powerful emotional and damaging effect that such situations rendered us in our lives.

    The founders are absolutely wise and courageous to take this concept to materialize in to a museum, a museum in which the exhibits are all donations from those who have lived through a broken home, broken nationality and broken relationship and one which gives people an opportunity to perform an official farewell to someone, to something, to a time that is no longer. As a result, the Bhutanese people can choose to deal with the emotional hardships of a failed situation by exhibiting whatever it is they once felt the need to hold on to.

    I could not help but appreciate this baronial idea. Great!

  6. Setting up a museum is infact a great idea.Of all the objectives drawn to establish a museum,the single most would be(to me)that it would serve in bringing the truth that the royal govt of Bhutan has been denying all these years.But with the site for its set up,i am a little skecptical.I feel a lot of brainstorming is needed as regards to its site or the materials to be included.Let not the documents/ other materials that would be collected with much difficulties(my supposition)) go in smoke…Infact i am bringing the fear that Gopal Adhikari(a fellow commentator)has expressed….But anyways itz a start,infact a commendable one…

  7. It is highly adorable idea. Thanks to one and all, who have taken initiatives and working hard for our memos. I agree with the idea of Mr. Gopal Adhikar’s idea, it should not be within the periphery of Refugee Camp. Great ideas are always be supported, no matter where we are, but We are Bhutanese in identity, we should preserve our identity. We are solely supportive.

    Devi Subedi (B)
    Bhutanese Community Association of Erie (BCAE)

  8. It is highly adorable idea. Thanks to one and all, who have taken initiatives and working hard for our memos. I agree with the of Mr. Gopal Adhikar’s idea, it should not be within the periphery of Refugee Camp. Great ideas are always supported, no matter where we are, but We are Bhutanese in identity, we should preserve our identity. We are solely supportive.

    Devi Subedi (B)
    Bhutanese Community Association of Erie (BCAE)

  9. We are already exhibited in a special museum. We are none the less at open laboratory, functioning as a guinea pig, scholars around the globe study about us, feed us for mere existence, when need be dissecting us, and at the end dump us. They get their academics and our epics are blueprinted. Any impact so far?
    Do we have the artifacts with such significant value that need to be conserved for the museum? People shall visit Bhutan to see the Bhutanese nationality card, revenue receipt and other testimonies if one is interested to enrich. Do we have the manuscript of any treaties that speak on our behalf which are on the verge of disappearance? Or do we consider the utmost value of camp environment where we cultivated more unwanted practices (gambling, robbery, drug abuse, mugging, rape, murder, etc) that need space and continuity in the future? So I do not see any need for such sophisticated dreams.
    I too think that such museum needs to be of apolitical stature but the way that the honorable chairperson expressed her feeling is too colored.
    Or for the time being thought to invent a begging bowl as per the time and capitalize the emotional aspects in the name of preserving culture, history and identity of exiled Bhutanese.
    Idea is perfect and it sounds so sweet, but how doable will be the things? And I do not have any bad feeling with the undertakers.

  10. We must propose the un proposed as it sounds new idea to everyone but having unpredictable outcome! It seems the spirit of political mission has gone in vain or ashtray and just to end it,new programs are highlighted. We should eat what we can digest or cut your coat according to your cloth. One who is initiating has to start it first but not just the media of collecting funds and again bring lots of bloody results like int camp where our so called leaders of social worker got murdered by collecting funds in the name of community. It doesn’t make sense of such dream rather than finish the process of resettlement,assimilation or repatriations! Those who are still identity less needs more focus for their immediate settlements and live as human. Our so called social workers or leaders made innocents or community works as a medium of begging bowl with no positive results! Lets pray and help to those still linger with no identity in the camp or outside and think of other secondary things. It seems that our main mission is absolutely failed and trying again to grasp funds in the name of Meuseum which is worthless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  11. King and their agents are working dam hard to eliminate us from all pages of the history from Bhutan; however, history is not one sided. This types of museum would be one of a great everest to represent the evil did of JSW.

    We the people in diaspora are ever ready to expose the conspiracies, and kicked out the false allegations that had been evil minded by JSW. We all are aware who the hell is this “Tortola”, to discourage this honorable idea. The answer is- King’s agent.

    In fact, museum should reflect our history, not only the life in camp.

  12. I would Like to express my earnest respect,courteous greetings, sincere gratitude to BNS and all those who contributed comments to OPICEB. I on behalf of of OPICEB would like to thank all who has given us feed abck and we are selecting carefully the feed backs and comments in a positive ways.Your ideas and enthusiasm give us courage as well as warning regarding what to do and what not to do.Iam sorry I cannot disclose my original name due to security reasons, vulnerable issues of structure and functioning of OPICEB(which we perceive due to past experiences and history where Royal Bhutan Regime has time and again subdued history to bring in their favor), fear from being thrashed even before conception of idea of historic achievements of Bhutanese community to establish museum. Never the less Iam afraid of what happens and or be it I should give up my life to only option avaialble to keep up our history . We have been doing research and gathering potential eveidences of our existance in bhutan where majority of the internatinally accepted standard of proofs have been gathered which simply says Bhutan is a country of mixcultural migrants and even the ruling clan is found to be migrated from elsewhere just recently i.e. 1905 which is shocking news for Bhutanese refugees. Our emblem ” tracing genesis of origination has been keept to do this job. We are looking forward for active and catalytic support from all intellectuals of Bhutanese origin to strengthen ourself first before we form our organization a complete and registered entity only then we will be able to tackle our challenges ahead. Museum we are speaking is of the international standard and of the internationally accepted standard where our rights and dignity to be part of Bhutan will be addressed well. We are team of dedicate Bhutanese who studied these problems since 1996 and are tabling forward the research works of so long years to turn into practicality and are slowly transforming changes anticipated. Due to security reasons we cant for some reasons disclose the core working team now. Although external supporters are pronounced well in this report our educated and trained resource personals will remain undisclosed till we set up museum building and get accomplished our objective. We are aware of the fact that Bhutan and Nepal has both entered UNESCO convention in 2009-2010 year under His excellence Mr. Mohan Krishna Shrestha and His excellence Mr. Hishey dorjee and we were waiting for this long years to come up as an OPICEB because of that reason we came lately. As per UNESCO convention we have full right to protect our culture and identity in country of any soil which respects UNESCO and is member country of it. Our struggle will last till then ….that …either we will get the venue and place of Museum to prtect and preserve our culture and identity or we will have to ask government of respective country Bhutan and Nepal to withdraw their membership from there If we are not allowed to continue this struggle.With the aim to tackle the challenges we are committed to struggle with your valuable support and gudance under your kind consideration and sympathetic action. We are commencing a spataha maha yaga Puran in Maidhar from 21st Mangsir where shri-shri-shri-Jagad Guru Balsanta Mohan sharan Devacharya is scheduled to be inaugurating the mahayagya Puran to perform pitresti of death incidents of past at Maidhar. I Hope all the concerned sections of society would support our idea in the areas of their possibility and make this programme a grand success.
    Tapas Chintan
    OPICEB member

  13. Getting approved this museum itself is a way to find out why we came from Bhutan and how we should go back to bhutan . It takes time but hope our generations will be surely geting that golden opportunity to find their paternal and materanl soil. I still have a handkerchief full of soil of Bhutan which i pray and keep in shrine room with the hope that we will be back one day some how.

  14. The people who always depends on others hardship ,,,,suck like parasite and habitual on fooling always one with new idea and mind to fool ,,,, they fool us when we were in camp and the people who came here they are doing Same thing since corruption lies there remeber the donation and hand we let them when they said thy want to do something but , All went on vain ,,, museum is great idea but I don’t trust any one since there lies selfishness and politic ,,, and I just think this as just a idea that leader don’t want to see those who resettle live there life in peace and happy since every time they get idea but ask for help and can u do something and makes feel us u did this things without asking hand ,,

  15. Sabina, is a fake name of some individual’s who have been advocating in behalf of king and its power. In fact these people are playing foul game to make confusion in between we all Bhutanese refugee.

    They always write a crap, and would discourage our mission by creating huge confusion. We found in some sources that these idiots are compensated by king for their writeup.

    Friends lets be aware with these craps.

  16. Dear well wishers ,
    I Thank you all for supplementing comments and feedback to organization coming up with this concept and idea which I believe will ultimately land us in dignity and honor. We have been constantly reading your suggestions and comments and it has been felt that we would look forward for further feedback and suggestions. We welcome you all in this platform where we can collectively exercise our brain to give a concrete look of the historical museum we are looking forward to set up.
    Sarada Adhikari

  17. Editors,authors,commentators,readers and well-wishers,it has been fashion in our community proposing new programs having no fixed or permanent shelter or ideology. The source of ideas is not at all from our community but just borrowed and scare to highlight at the first beginning. Universal truth and commitment for the fellow refugees in the camps,resettled abroad,dwelling in Bhutan,India and elsewhere as well as local community in Nepal or Nepal Govt. or any other Govt.would really give helping hand financially or share ideas if its mission is for peace,progress,a sign of continuity of our agitation culturally or politically on the basis of UN mandates. On one of the commentators above doesn’t want to highlight any concrete framework or groundwork but suddenly request for fund which brings conflicts and misunderstandings. First step would be the main mission statements and open debate with everyone and work openly doing more in practical then theory. Anyway it would be the hinge of all virtues if taken very carefully and professionally creating more jobs!


  18. I don’t really understand y r our folks always cynical about everything.We are really good at accusing people,Has somebody tried to think for a moment what he/she has done for common motives?Many of we(i know I may b over-stressing)are flying in third floor for we are in west.But the honest point is still we are stateless and we are searching for our identity.
    Museum for me is great concept.I don’t know about US and other big settlements but here in the part where I am living history matters,people respect their roots culture and ancient heritages, Copenhagen which is considered as most liveable city in the world has more buildings from 19th century then new ones,The school I am going to was build in 1645 and it still stands rock solid, History is preserved
    The greatest lesson this country taught me is to respect past and try to get inspirations from history, no matter how modern we are,My dear frens come to Medieval festivals organized in European cities and you will say wow.
    I diverted a little but point I am trying to make is clear, Tomorrow when my children ask about me, my history and my past I should be able to explain them.I may be Danish by papers may b a rich man but my past cannot be erased neither I want it to be,For me life I spent in camp is inspiration that is making me to work hard.I know almost nothing about Bhutan for i was too young to remember I know a lot about camp life and want to do what I can to help that memory be fresh cause I know that will always help me.
    We can work two ways One trying to act to be Americans Australians Danish or whatever and being what’s called successful and another being what we are and becoming happy.
    You will at times feel like you don’t belong in these countries ,you can simply ignore that and be successful or search for belongingness risking your future.I really wonder if all Pakistanis and Indians could have thought another way round and gone back to their motherland, where those countries would be?
    I need museum.
    People who never have contributed are most reluctant to contribute

  19. “United we stand divided we fall” is the most popular saying. Its really easy to say but more difficult to commit. We would have been back to our motherland if we would have such sacrificial commitments without any selfish motives and would not repent anymore in terms of identity or citizenship. The way,ideology,mission and lack of techniques of political strategies and lack of mutual understandings and co-operations and lack knowledge and weak leadership qualities and personalities made us scattered all around the world which itself is a great blessings and peaceful solution for all in such a needy situation for thousands of innocents. However we still try to put other poison of culture,culture and disturb the ongoing peace and tranquility gaining day by day in the name of culture. However we try to decorate a pig with precious ornaments,it still loves dirts/feces,as we know. We’re completely out of hell and our mission is to get rid of all those who still lingering there and help directly or indirectly by encouraging them for the betterment of our future generations with better education,medical facilities,proper housing,etc. We would still think and make better solution for the proposal of museum in our own domestic countries where we are resettled rather than wasting time there. It can reflect our own cultures or remind our past by establishing what we need where ever we are. We evaluated 100-101% the motives of our fellow nepalis brothers and sisters including all leaders and community workers,in what motives the projects is proposed or going to be established. You all are the double standard players for using innocents who just got rebirth or got out of hell. The definition of culture is never understood in our community,do we deeply study the culture of international community. Who proposed the resettlement process,all international entities and big organization to help eradicate homelessness in the 21st century irrespective of any region,caste,ethnic background,languages,color ,etc,but what the hell our leader want to suck from everyone? We physically escaped for any political businesses but still making us the goat of sacrifice(bali ko boka). We try our best to establish charities,chuch,temple,educational institutes,pathsalas,etc,where we are resettled first and then help our needy friends and fellows abroad. The place where we live is our home now and we re treated with great hospitalities and as one family or citizen of the country. We have to struggle anywhere we live but remaining within the periphery of the law and order. We need the rule of law not the rule culture which needed to be modified as according to the situation or circumstances. We have no cows here in abroad,so how we do the ritual if somebody is dead but we’re used with all scientific and time saving techniques. We are be totally and completly betrayed by our fellow leaders and social workers. We still need counsellors and guardianship of pure at heart and having great commitments and trust!


  20. Just Curious…what different things will be displayed in the museum? Are these things in the possession of the committee? or is someone donating them? Will the govt of Nepal or the local body, easily give this committee a piece of land without bribing them? How will this museum run after its establishment? will the villagers be interested to go in and see whatever would be displayed? How would the museum collect revenue if its built in the middle of a small town or village? What would be its importance if no one shows up?
    Good luck with your misson.

  21. Unity titled above is a fake Bhutanese king’s agent who has got nothing to do with the culture and identity of anyone but gets paid by Bhutan government to deteriorate refugee community and alienate them in the Local Nepali society. Such comments need to be ignored and not only refugees of lhosampas origin but also refugees of Bhutanese origin and non refugee exiled Bhutanese evicted by government of Bhutan has keen interest and dedication to build up museum in the place where refugees lived for so long and in any world refugees do not donate they receive donations instead so refugees should understand that some one is simply trying to make you people who cant think much as fool by saying so many things above which is titled as unity.It means that person even do not dare to give the name but comments!Imagine what a coward is he/she?
    Thanks for the noble idea who ever have initiated it need to respected and applauded.
    Tashi delek
    Lekshyoum be ra in di

  22. I always thought that your culture is well preserved by your government in Nepal. If at all a museum is built, it should preserve the decapitated head of Kailash Dahal and Balaram Giri by the cadres of Bhutan peoples’ Party; and the remains of innocent people buried semi-alive in the grounds of Gharganda. Those victims of Gharganda manslaughter who lost their precious lives in their fight against the vicious campaign of cruelty by BPP, deserves to be honored.

    By and large, your culture is not lost. You are Nepali, you live in Nepal, you practice the culture and tradition like all Nepalese do in Nepal. The history of Bhutan is well preserved in Bhutan and there is no need to have one in third country. Identity? The Nepalese government gave everyone enough space to consider yourself Nepali, which is your identity. So, the museum is needless.

    Meanwhile, if any one of the readers have paid a closed attention, you can see an irony in itself. A person who considers herself hailing from high caste and always dominated other minor religious, cultural and ethic group is a chairperson of an organization to protect indigenous culture. It is an insult to the intellectual capacity of those Rais, Subbas, Sherpas, Lepchas, Tamangs, Gurungs, Monger and Dimals who have their own unique culture, tradition and religion and are capable of initiating their own effort to preserve their identity and culture.

    Lastly, as someone has said above, these people who think themselves godsend leaders of the so-called refugees are parasites. They suck the blood of innocent refugees. Refugees have become a milking cow for these leaders when they were in the camps. Since many of the refugees have left for third country resettlement, their milking cows have decreased. so they are changing their strategy to continue sucking the blood of those innocent people in the name of building museum.

    But the good news that it seems that people have opened their eyes. The poor response, from which the architects of the museum thought would bring most of the dollars in their pocket, is rather interesting to observe.

  23. @Yeshen Tenzin Drukpa: Simple comments and statements do not bring disunity or fraction but it purify our opinions and discuss deeply with farsightedness rather than vomiting on this site. We are far more civilized and understood the meaning of community,human values and dignity as well as one identity. There are various ways to signify our culture and we do pray one day our children or future generation will definitely visit Bhutan and help in various fields rather than acting as vengeance. We are not really the curse of Bhutanese regime but a great blessing to the most advances nations and community. Hatred is death and love generates more loves and lives to everyone which generates progress and prosperity. We are denied for Bhutanese citizenship but we have the intention to hold international citizenship by encouraging,helping and building this earth. Human beings makes mistakes but we need to learn from our past experiences and help everyone one in the social development without any personal motivies without the discrimination of any background or faith!


  24. Mr.Tenzing,you can underestimate anyone and level anyone. Righteousness is in our heart and soul. One cannot be a hindrance nor only one can commit alone but need positive criticisms and constructive suggestions before accomplishing any projects or programs. A family or community is not made by a single person nor a nation. And nor were the refugee camps made by one family. The project signifying ones culture,community or anything cannot be made overnight and nor making hindrance on it. We have thousands of solutions for any problems. But before that we may have in numerous programs or projects where we are during this resettlement phase. Faraway valleys looks green. We know the value of dollar which is highest in the world and before investing it we need to clearify everything so that it may not be our so called agitation started by our leaders which was in the good sense but without any plan or strategies. We do hope everything we commit would not be a song to be sung by the oppositions.


  25. This lotus flower is just a parasite of the society who is injecting poison in the mind of people who is leaving in peace and harmony since years together in bhutan and in refugee camps.

    If you really think you have capacity to accomplish this task we brahmins and chhetries are always with you to support you.

    Your version signify, you are a person cursed by the goddess of education. I personally don’t think you have a capacity to give single cent to your child! who the hell will expect you to give anything for the respected and historic monument.
    The forth coming monument the the house of the dignified and respected bhutanese. The man like you will never understand the value of it. You better be away from this.