Let’s keep aside the differences and work together: DNS Dhakal

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Dr DNS Dhakal, the Executive Chief of Bhutan National Democratic Party (BNDP) is currently in North Carolina (NC), USA to participate in a training program in the capacity of visiting faculty at the Duke University. Dhakal discussed on various contemporary issues with TP Mishra of Bhutan News Service, who also is based in NC. Excerpts:

What is the latest progress with your Non Resident Bhutanese (NRB) concept?
Presently I am focused at lobbying support in Nepal, India and inside Bhutan. NRB is a part of the solution of the Bhutanese refugee problem. In brief, I would say that we should consider NRB as our long-term campaign agenda.  

Now that you are in the USA, you might have been in touch with the resettled Bhutanese folks. How have you been evaluating their challenges, struggle or progress in USA?
Frankly, I am not able to speak with as many of our people as I would have liked. I am here as a visiting faculty to participate in a training program at Duke University. You know well about the work pressure here in the USA. My understanding is that our people, as always, have started realizing that the third country resettlement is not a long-term solution. I have been telling this right from the beginning. Nevertheless, we have no option. We have to make best use of this opportunity and strategize our steps to survive and progress in this corporate culture while not forgetting roots back in Bhutan.

Has the third country resettlement program really weakened the call for democracy in Bhutan, as was assumed initially by many exiled Bhutanese leaders?
I have a clear-cut view on the issue. The movement will not die down following the resettlement process. Our folks have international exposures, will have opportunity to secure their financial back-ups, and the children will have access to modern education. Our support bases will strengthen further.  Their love for the country and the community will deepen, for sure. There is a need to reconnect ourselves and work towards keeping the Bhutanese identity intact. That is our responsibility.

Dr. Dhakal.

Why have the volume of advocacy campaigns from exiled leaders shrunk down after resettlement?
My understanding is that there are no activists’ programs at the moment. We are focusing and consulting with our support groups inside and outside the country. We have two issues at hand: One, repatriation with dignity and honor those refugees who wish to return to Bhutan and second, getting recognition by the elected parliament of Bhutan the resettled refugees, who do not wish to be repatriated, as non-resident Bhutanese. At the least, I expect that the campaign activities will heighten again.

You are in the USA at a time when there are two major conventions of two national level Bhutanese organizations in two different locations. At some point, resettled folks have been voicing for a united, single platform. What is your comment?
Let’s keep aside the differences and work together as one Bhutanese community. There might be a difference in the perception of scope of work but goal should not be different. We should always remember that we are competing with numerous communities that have arrived from around the world. I had said to the Assistant Secretary of State, Ms Salisbury, in my meeting with her at the State Department in 2007, that we do not believe being a burden to the refugee recipient countries. We are a resilient and vibrant community; we will try to compete in education, business opportunities and at work. To achieve this, we need to cooperate and assist each other. We will have to sort out our differences. I hope it will happen sooner than later.

How have you been evaluating the latest political developments in Bhutan?
Bhutan has let the cat out of its bag. At some point, the taste for democracy is deepening inside the country; internet is contributing towards that. It might be little early to say this but the king’s marriage might open up opportunities for genuine political reforms. In the past, the ruling elites diluted potential political threat by establishing matrimonial relationship. This time the King has gone outside the elite circle. It is an interesting time for Bhutan. In the next five to ten years we may see new political alignment for social and economic transformation.

Do you still believe that repatriation will ever take place?
Of course, repatriation is going to take place. The crux of the problem is the number. I am of the view that the international community has not undertaken the third country resettlement program without cutting a deal with Bhutan. The deal in my opinion is to repatriate with honor and dignity those Bhutanese people who will not seek third country resettlement. The caveat is the Bhutan may play its earlier game of categorization, claiming that not all the remaining refugees in the camps are “genuine Bhutanese”. That will be unfortunate for the country. I hope that the present king will seize this opportunity to settle the problem of Bhutanese refugees once for all, addressing the issues that we have been raising.

What is your recently formed alliance, with Rizal, RK Dorji and Balaram Poudel, doing these days? Why again your activities are based in Nepal, a politically traumatized country?
The relationship between Bhutan and Nepal is ancient and unshakable. The people to people relationship continues irrespective of what the state may do. Northern and eastern Bhutanese are as comfortable as any Nepalese citizen in Boudha.  Therefore, there is no question for Bhutanese not taking help of Nepal at time of difficulties.  Our cultural and spiritual heritages are deep in Nepal. We will consolidate our presence in Kathmandu, including the future activities of NRB.

The alliance has established a functional office in Kathmandu. This is to convey a message that we are together and committed for the establishment of inclusive democracy in Bhutan.

Does this alliance has a road map yet?
At present we are working on the four points agenda that we agreed upon. The next step will have to be further consolidation of the movement who are still outside the alliance. In the forum, we have agreed to disagree. Agreeing on a clear-cut roadmap would take time synchronizing modus operandi for political change in Bhutan. Nevertheless, we are committed to maintain one office in Boudha, bring out publication regularly in English/Dzongkha/Nepali and build rapport with the government of Nepal on behalf of the Bhutanese community.

Where do you see our struggle in ten years time from now?
A sustained struggle supported by active and powerful Diaspora spread around the world. Our goal is not only to establish inclusive democracy and dispensing justice to Bhutanese refugees but also to contribute towards socio-economic transformation of Bhutanese society. By default now we are placed in an advantaged situation. The country should not ignore this window of opportunity. 

62 COMMENTS

  1. The headline – Let’s keep aside the differences and work together;

    AND

    The views expressed in response to the second last question – ‘At present we are working on the four points agenda that we agreed upon. The next step will have to be further consolidation of the movement who are still outside the alliance. In the forum, we have agreed to disagree. Agreeing on a clear-cut roadmap would take time synchronizing modus operandi for political change in Bhutan. Nevertheless, we are committed to maintain one office in Boudha, bring out publication regularly in English/Dzongkha/Nepali and build rapport with the government of Nepal on behalf of the Bhutanese community’ …….. do not synchronize well. In the heading part, Dr. Dhakal seems to be quite optimistic but his second last answer only seems to create a veil of optimisim as the parties have agreed to sit together only to ‘disagree’. So far they have only ‘committed’ to maintain an office in Boudha, and bring out one news publication. How great? Soon, we shall expect a list of points of ‘disagreements’ since you all have agreed to ‘diagree’. I hope the report is already building itself.

    And secondly, it is not clear why it is necessary to lobby support in Nepal and India for NRB. If and when time is ripe for the institution of an NRB, I think, it will have more to do with the Bhutanese Diaspora, the Bhutanese Government and the laws of the land where refugees have resettled. Therefore, lobbying support for an ‘X’ entity that does not even exist formally; in ‘X’ countries countries do not connect well here.

  2. yes Dr Dhakal has been trying his best .For me there seems to be lack of stratigies and plans for future.Leaders should come forward with future actions and there needs to be aplan B as well .
    NRB issue should be left for the later date as there are more pressing issues before that to be sorted .

  3. @ RP Subba: I think exile Bhutanese will not be given NRB recognition by RGOB in in an immediate future. For this reasons, our think thank group should start lobbying member states of SARRC for its recognition first and then to Bhutan. Our struggle is a conglomeration of political/human rights issues. So think it tactically

    @ Prakash Subedi: I think “Strategies and Plans” are never published in the newspapers or portal. These are always decided among core group of people and implemented. I think we fall automatically into NRB, so there is no question of early or late…..and the most pressing issue at the moment is to start brainstorming/ advocating for NRB status.

    So good Job Dr Dhakal. I support your initiative.

  4. It is hard to achieve but there is no other alternative than mobilizing the people from inside. I think the modality of federal style governance will be more appropriate in Bhutanese context. There should be three federal states – the autonomous territory for Ngalung, Sharchops and Lhotshampas. When the central cannot share the power and promotes only one community, this is how our approach should be.
    Improve the people to people relation. Things have turned to our favor as West Bengal is supportive due to recent progress. So why can’t the office be set at Jaigoan instead of Boudha?
    To ‘agree upon disagree’ among different organizations may be dangerous and costly too that will invite further crisis. There should be certain degree of trust and understanding.

  5. its not gonna happen. we have seen the leader’s plan and strategies for more than two decades.they are still very young to deal with the political circumstances, however, expert enough to vomit sweet words!all the shame!

  6. It is interesting to read Dr. Dhakal’s comments and his title as RP rightly pointed out is encouraging but I think there is lack of clarity in thinking among our leadership. If we are proposing strongly for unity we also need to demonstrate unity in our deeds. The leaders, in my opinion, should stand together forging one goal for the moment that serves the needs of the time and needs of the people in the Diaspora. Politically repatriation is important and the ultimate goal. Is our united leadership contributing to this goal in a substantive way?

    There is also lack of hesitation among the leaders in working together with the resettled Bhutanese as per Dr. Dhakal’s comments. Unless you understand and work with the people closely there will continue to develop a wider divide among the people and the leaders. Who would the leaders represent then?

    Lets hope that we are honestly moving forward in unity helping to strengthen the community based on people’s assets and capabilities. I wish the leaders and the community good luck and more honest efforts……

  7. It is ironic that some of the commenters above sound so naive and are eager to find nothing meaningful in the interview but very minor word choices! we talk of having a U.S based think tank, were a part of the political movement/political party in the past, could not deliver anything ourself, yet we can’t see a bigger picture/idea coming from Dhakal that carries a huge significance for the Bhutanese diaspora.

    Yes, certainly, the legitimacy of NRB comes only when RGOB recognizes the formation of the organization in the diaspora. However, agree or not, time is running late, Bhutan govt. has been successful in deceiving the international community in the name of ‘Gross National Happiness’ and our plight has been a lost cause. What is the way out?
    To me, the concept of NRB should be a political agenda- a bargaining bottomline to talk with wangchuck-thinley government, or else our future generation will perish in the “melting pot”. It is important to float the concept and get support from the international community- most importantly from India, Nepal and the U.S before anything else. Only when there is a surmountable international pressure, would it be possible to compel the wangchuck-thinley governmet dissuss the idea in the Bhutanese parliament. We cannot and should not expect that RGOB will bow to our cries without huge international pressure!
    Make NRB an agenda, float the concept, lobby the international community, educate the wangchuck-thinley team with the positive side to having a strong bhutanese diaspora for Bhutan(not to say that they dont already know it), work on to develop links inside, we will get there!
    ACT NOW OR WE PERISH!!

  8. the leaders noble deeds had made great changes in the political system of bhutan and now the Peoples life is happy and prosperous! whereas the leaders are still leaving a miserable life! nobody has yet measured the degree of discrimination regarding race and religion here, althouh the government is bluffing to international communities regarding GNH.majority of the people dont know what the DEMOCRACY is? however the government is saying bhutan is a democratic country.(ITS TRANSPARENTS, THE SAME THING GONNA HAPPEN AS LIKE OF 1990S IF THE PLANS AND STRATEGIES ARE SAME AS BEFORE)

  9. One clarity here – the NRB concept never originated from Dr. Dhakal.
    Secondly, many look interested in the topic. But before, you make it your pet agenda, please let me know if you already have a citizenship in the country of your resettlement. If not, you are just having fun. Wait ………

    Second clarity – this is conceptual – which ever think tank it is – please remember, that an NRB concept, if and when it arises – will not be based on political considerations as have been noted by some commentators above,(in fact strictly speaking, it is not political) rather it will be based on economic and commercial considerations of the population in our Diaspora, and the government of Bhutan.

    Clarity is important.

  10. Dear Mr Rai,
    i did not say they have to be published .I just want to emphasize that they have to be there and it is not very aparent if they are there because after so many years of struggle and hard work by Dr Dhakal any of the stratigies have hit the bhutanese goverment hard enough .

  11. RP Subba: Do not go by Dictionary definition of NRB! dont pretend as ignorant as you know it well the importance of NRB. My understanding is that from whosoever the NRB concept has been originated, even if it is from you, or Rakesh Chhetri or Ratan Gazmere or Dr Dhakal, the concept is really good and we all need to be supportive to each other and work towards its formation. Further, my understanding is that Dr Dhakal is not trying to project himself as NRB leader, he is just floating his ideas/ providing guidances to the communities members abraod. So ball is on your court Mr RP Subba! do some thing for it, give leadership on it. Since Dr Dhakal is a citizen of Bhutan, you guys (citizen of USA) should take a prominent role in NRB

    Tikaram Adhikari: I have seen you being active writting emails in the google group email supporting whatever initiatives Bhutanese are doing abraod. Atleast I have my gutsfeeling that you would take a responsible role for the creation of NRB. Keep up your spirit always

  12. Karna jee,

    Well, thank you.

    I really cannot guess how important will a NRB be for us. And I do not think, any one other than a Bhutanese can define what a NRB is – not even a dictinoary. It has not even been conceptualized yet. Conceptualization takes time and process. And , yes, I am playing my part when I point some of the things I know.

  13. Dr Dhakal,
    First of all thank you for regularly appearing at BNS. However, don’t you feel shame of using this Platform for making you popular among the community with your useless agenda? I know you have learnt just to talk. Did you speak a single word when some of the camps got destroyed by fires? How much you and BNDP people donated for those poor fellows? Has a single person from your family resettled in america several years ago donated a pie? Have a ever thought of raising some small funds for Poor BNS or Puniha Foundation? So, stop playing with our people. I donated at least 100 Rs for Goldhap and Sanischare from my Caritas incentive of 1500 Rs per month. BNS please don’t promote people like selfish Dhakal, Rizal and Gazmere brothers who have earned a lot by selling our names.

    I want to see your face if you ever travel to Beldangi camp or Damak. Pls, don’t fool people with unwanted ideas. We have tested your failed leadership. You have no share. Youths will show the right paths in future, not you.

    Sandesh

  14. Dr. dhakal Iam B .N. D. P . Mamber OF USA . my brother your plan is good for the future . but we r unable to attended in this plan or party. because we r diffrent ct in america . thanks for u .

  15. sandesh…..dont say this to poor DHAKAL.he dont have any time to think about REFUGEES.he might have given this statements all of a sudden as to escape from the reporters.be sure he has nothing to do with bhutanese people.

  16. NRB is a theoretical concept at this time as Bhutan has not changed system to allow people from the Diaspora to travel or do business in the country. I agree with RP and others that we have to go by the time and need of the hour. We need to help people settle here, organize and that would certainly be something worth thinking when you become the American or other countries citizens. We also need the capacity in the Diaspora to be able to contribute and invest into business in Bhutan for NRB to operationalize. People in the Diaspora should think about it and initiate when the time comes and it should be suitable to the people. A theoretical concept developed by someone without a first-hand experience of living in the Diaspora and being part of the network in the life of people in the developed countries.

  17. NRB is a premature. Wait untill all the resettled Bhutanese become citizens abroad.
    Does NRB want Bhutan and the world to recognize them as “NRB” in exchange for giving up the struggle for Human Rights and Democracy? If so, basically NRB is same concept as “Live and let live” wanted by the RGOB and the world.
    You must understand whether you become NRB or not, the “Law of the Land” in Bhutan does not grant dual citizenship status. we or the world cannot change that law for the sake of NRB.
    Therefore, go ahead with NRB for economic and social advancement of the exiled Bhutanese. But we do NEED an international platform to campaign for Justice, Human Rights and Democracy to bring out the Truth…the untold stories of Southern Bhutanese.
    Conclusion:
    One international platform (like the UBI I proposed) and NRB must come into existence side by side.
    Thank you
    Dick Chhetri

  18. Mr Dick,
    Are you the same Dick who begged sorry for speaking too much in googlegroup before? If so, some of your words are serious for all to digest. Do you think that all who reached the US would obtain the US citizenship? Thus, be smarter. Otherwise, you need to have the similar fate again.

    It is not good to be oversmart. Learn lessons from young and promising fellows around you. And, it would be good to be friend of RP daju. Daju, can you teach this poor Dick, what is the difference between NRB and UBI?

    Sandesh

  19. @ SANDESH: I think you are just a disgruntle person. We dont know you and you dont represent youth among Bhutanese. Iam also a youth and i am from Beldagi II extention. Now I live in wisconsin and my name is Bhakta Man Rasaily. I am not like you coward who hide identity and do bla bla bla. If you want lets talk in person and meet. My number is 651-112-0021. Next time, please write in this blog your detail adress and contact information in the refugee camps and your current adress. If you dont like the proproposed concept then that is not the writers fault but your ignorance. All of our leaders you mentioned are great persons. The way you wrote above reflected that you are a planted spy of Jigme Thenley.

    @ DICK: You are the most difficult person to undersand. I have a big question mark in your involvement in Bhtuanese refugee circle. What have you done for Bhutanese refugee who suffered in the refugee camps in Nepal? And why Dick and Tika ram are actively against any great ideas proposed by our leaders? And why not real refugees doing this? Does it mean refugees are stupid and only Dick and Tikaram are smart? Wake-up Dick and Tika Ram!

    @ TIKA RAM: We dont know you and you suddenly jump in the Bhtuanese momement.What have you dont for the Bhtuaense refugees who suffered in the refugee camps in Nepal?

  20. Dear Karna Rasaily,

    Good that you exposed everything. However, you forgot to mention that you are BNDP person, or stronger supporter of Dr Dhakal.

    There is no meaning for me to call you. Let others do such cheap works. And, regarding my identity, what more can you expect from me when I am naked? Better call Caritias office at Damak and ask who this Sandesh is.

    Vai, I know you well. It is not strange for me to tell that you also know me. Tara, resettlement changed you, but I am still same.

    Sandesh

  21. Dr. Dhakal has not come to the US to meet any resettled Bhutanese but for his own purpose. He might have met Dr. Chhabi and Mangala and nobody else.
    He doesn’t have guts to meet resettled people and he is not at all interested. Even in camps he did not show his face to the refugees, how can he do that here? He is an INTELLIGENT COWARD.

  22. People who are against Dr.Dhakal in this forum are either really innocent and ignorant animals who in fact have no fully grown humane brain or the ones who are totally against some one who at least have a gut to talk about the future prospect of the community.Not only against Dhakal they are vomiting venom but against all who have been trying to work to help the community get it’s long due justice.I am not telling that the leaders have done very fantastic things for us but they have been trying regardless of the support that you and I are giving them to take the task ahead.The commentators, please keep in mind that hating some one blindly because you are not able to reach up to the level of some one you hate,ultimately destroys you and the community we belong to.If you have Ideas and programs better than the leaders have;why not bring them it to the forum and take the leadership role side lining them or why not inspire them to follow you so that the community as a whole will get the justice.

  23. Dear all well wishers of Bhutanese movement,
    I have been looking all the emails and articles since the inception of different Bhutanese websites, but there are only few people whom we should truly salute for their contributions on the Bhutanese movement. It is very important to understand the movement and the true leaders who gave and are giving selfless contribution for our cause. People are from different backgrounds and different political and human rights organizations, that’s why people are trying to ruin the images of others. Everybody should understand that no one has taken the responsibility for the movement, and it is unfair to give useless comments and thoughts without understanding the reality of it. According to my understanding, every leader played very important role according to his/her capacity, and we shouldn’t blame him/her if we are not contributing anything. Let’s take some responsibilities and share the burden without complaining others.
    My dear Bhutanese friends, we should, we must, and we will understand in the future that if Ratan Gazmer and Dr. Dhakal weren’t there backing our political and human rights movement, we all might have decayed on the soil of Nepal or in India by turning into different phases of movement. One day, the history will tell the reality about them regarding their contribution. It is true that people who haven’t understood and haven’t seen these figures( Mr. Gazmer and Dr. Dhakal)in dept have not understood the Bhutanese political problem seriously.
    We all are Bhutanese whatever the political backgrounds we have, and we have single cause to fight for. Let’s work together without blaming others.

  24. ……………. that means everyone should accept the agenda thats forwarded by DHAKAL and GAZMER? dont be panic,if they have ever done good for the community the history will reflects the truth.everyone should understand that there are some people who dont agree with their agendas…i strongly believe that criticism is the real eye opener for these leaders…………………..

  25. I agree with SIVA. There are mainly two figures namely Ratan Gazmere and Dr DNS Dhakal who can counter Bhutan goverment policies nationally and internationally on Bhutanese refugee issue. They are intelectually, academically matured enough to provide proper direction to exile Bhutanese. So SPY of Bhutan living around the globe are active doing character assasination of these two figures. If some in this comment group has done any thing or have vision to give direction to our cause, please write article and like the one here and provide us an oppertunity to know your vision. Otherwise you guys are… in Digvajaya Singh of Indian congress term…thugs infiltrated in Bhutanese community who are taking advantage of resettlement. You guys should be in Indian boarder or Nepal boarder if you are not for Bhutan and Bhutanese people

  26. Fellas,
    Do not play the blame game and dig the past. It is not going to help any body.

    Listen again:
    1. NRB is automatic and in the making. As soon as the resettlers get the citizenship of respective countries, they become NRBs by virtue of the fact that they were brought in as Bhutanese Refugees.
    2. It is not fair push to fast forward NRB. It would be a lightweight campaign to seek help in pressuring Bhutan to recognize the Bhutanese in exile as NRB, as if we not!
    3. It would be prudent to leave the seed of NRB growing for socioeconomic progress of our people as it grows to bear fruits.
    4. There is a Need, Purpose and a reason to seek justice, elevate our Human Rights Movement into a political cooperation between our adopted country and motherland Bhutan.
    5. That is the reason we need a separate international organization…a platform for all of us to carry out a uniform, consistent campaign. This is the Primary goal, while Dr Dhakal’s endeavor in NRD is secondary, automatic and happening as we are talking, therefore, no need to push. Otherwise it becomes a major distraction, and you lose the sight, the focus unless you want to continue making noise like a flock of birds shitting on each other. Mr. Sandesh is a perfect example in the forum. He should suck it up.
    Dick! Chhetri

  27. I personally feel that, we need to keep identity as Bhutanese whereever we go and what we do.There is no boundaries to govern us to keep our identiy and continue the going bhutanese struggle.The concept of NRB, is only the means or platform to bring Bhutanese from different countries in one single roof.To get international recognisation and attention to our problem – Lets start building NRB as the prime source.

  28. Look, I am not trying to divide Bhutanese in exile into two: NRB and UBI.
    It is the right thing to:
    1. Have the NRB growing by itself as more and more resettlers become the citizens and enter into Enterpreneural ventures for the growth of socioeconomics of our people abroad which will be the sustenenace of the movement in exile. But that is not the priority now. It is secondary. If we try to make it primary goal, it will be a major distraction, And we will lose international support for our cause of seeking justice. Our issue in not dead with TCRP, it is not dying and there is no expiration date for justice to be served.
    2. To raise the level of social service into Human Rights and elevate into Political Cooperation, we need a separate platform to carry out uniform and consistence campaign with realistic goals and pragmatic ideas.
    If we agree on this principle, I believe we can make a difference.
    Thank you
    Dick Chhetri

  29. What I dont understand is why people are in against of Dr.Dhakal.You should all be proud of him for the fact that you have some one who is so great in different respects.You dont realize his importance now but day will come when you will die to seek his political blessings.
    His idea of NRB is just awesome.You should all support him to preserve your identity.I am from Tibet and we are still fighting to regain our lost identity.Why dont you think that day will come when your kids will have identity crisis and they will ask you who you are and whats your original identity?What would you reply? NRB is the best solution and everyone should support it.Other thing is one should not bring personal issues in politics.While I was going throgh the comments and I found that some of us are so immature and innocent.Hello!!! “YOU” should be pround for the fact that there is someone who is thinking about your identity which “YOU” have lost it long back.He has not asked any thing from you all, no nothing.He just wanted you all to think about NRB once Why dont you just think and evaluate whether the concept is right or wrong.Those who think NRB is a wrong concept then you should consider yourself to be a fake Bhutanese.How can you forget so easily that you were kicked out from Bhutan despite being an authentic Bhutanese? How dare you let it go your identity?Remember,self-identity might not be important to ,”YOU” but think about your kids and their future.Any ways it will take time to understnad its importance but I am very sure ,”YOU” will understand one day.
    Any ways broaden your vision…
    Tashi Delek.

  30. Dear Readers please understnd the following:
    1.Thanks Tempa for so passionately talking about our National Identity that NRB might be able to give for exiled Bhutanese. It is very True. But it is also True that NRB leads you away from your “fighting for the justice” towards a different direction. It takes you towards enterpreneurship for mostly economic development of our people upon which other campaign may rest. It is importand, and Dr. Dhakal’s intellect and vision deserve respect.

    2. The other point that I have been trying to make is that in going with NRB now, you will undermine the fight for the cause as it distracts you by pushing NRB; on the other hand, it becomes a lightweight campaign becoz the world has no grounds to support NRB or pressure Bhutan to recoznize it. NRB has to evolve naturally with internal understanding among all exile Bhutanese which is happening automatically.
    3. While the Bhutanese identity must remain, there is a need, purpose and reason to continue the fight for human rights and justice, which NRB as an organization cannot undertake. Therefore the must be another international flatform.
    4. With this two prong approach, we can evolve into NRB, while at the same time continue to show the other face of Bhutanese government, the otherside of Bhutan and untold stories of Lhotsampas driving home the point that Bhutan in last 20 years has been Liars’ paradise because of the crooks and liars at the very highest levels of the government. The world must know that; and we must stand up against the injustice we suffered becasue. “Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere”. Don’t let it dilute with prematures push for NRB, make another international platform and go side by side hand in hand

    Dick Chhetri

  31. Dear Readers please understnd the following:
    1.Thanks Tempa for so passionately talking about our National Identity that NRB might be able to give for exiled Bhutanese. It is very True. But it is also True that NRB leads you away from your “fighting for the justice” towards a different direction. It takes you towards enterpreneurship for mostly economic development of our people upon which other campaign may rest. It is importand, and Dr. Dhakal’s intellect and vision deserve respect.

    2. The other point that I have been trying to make is that in going with NRB now, you will undermine the fight for the cause as it distracts you by pushing NRB; on the other hand, it becomes a lightweight campaign becoz the world has no grounds to support NRB or pressure Bhutan to recoznize it. NRB has to evolve naturally with internal understanding among all exile Bhutanese which is happening automatically.
    3. While the Bhutanese identity must remain, there is a need, purpose and reason to continue the fight for human rights and justice, which NRB as an organization cannot undertake. Therefore the must be another international flatform.
    4. With this two prong approach, we can evolve into NRB, while at the same time continue to show the other face of Bhutanese government, the otherside of Bhutan and untold stories of Lhotsampas driving home the point that Bhutan in last 20 years has been Liars’ paradise because of the crooks and liars at the very highest levels of the government. The world must know that; and we must stand up against the injustice we suffered becasue. “Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere”. Don’t let it dilute with prematures push for NRB, make another international platform and march forward hand in hand promoting both the issues that are of vital importance.
    Thank you
    Dick Chhetri

  32. “Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it, and if it changes your life, let it.”

    This is the signature quote of one of my teacher. Read and understand the meaning.
    Your life is just yours. Do not rely on other people to do anything for you. For those folks who are now in USA, you got tons of opportunities. Please use those opportunities to make your life better that already is…..

  33. Dear Dick,
    I truly understand your concern regarding the dilution of the main issue in NRB concept. In this regards I would like to reflect on my own moment in which the Tibetan refugee community was divided between the non- violence peaceful movement lead by His Holiness Dalai Lama and the Khampa-led violent struggle to bring about political change in Tibet. His Holiness has always insisted peaceful political transformation in Tibet giving due recognition to security concern of the mainland Chinese.
    Bhutan’s reaction to the protest of the Nepali community in South Bhutan is from the perception of security threat from the Napali Bhutanese community as was the perceived threat in the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim. I don’t think Bhutan’s king is against the Napali community as such. There are indeed smart people in Thimphu; they know well the how politics works. For them the issue was reduction in the percentage of Nepali population in Bhutan. The regional politics did not help; you guys were completed ignored.
    For you guys, who have resettled abroad, taking citizenship of the host country is a priority; nobody should miss this opportunity. Now the issue of returning to Bhutan to make a living is only for those remaining population in the camp, and not for those who have resettled abroad. Your lifestyle in the overseas countries is 100 years jump in the standard of living. The issue however does not die with the resettlement. Bhutan government needs to give to appolize for what it has done, and open up an opportunity for those who want to re-establish connection with Bhutan.
    Therefore the optimum solution for you is to accept Non Resident Bhutanese status that enables you guys to visit your friends and relatives and invest in Bhutan. Most of the refugee resettlement countries have the option to give dual citizenship. If the elected Bhutanese Parliament honors you with NRB status that could potentially uphold the concerns of all stakeholders. This you can achieve by organizing yourselves, doing the international campaign, lobbying the regional countries and persuading your political parties inside the country to promote this idea.
    Incase this option is not your choice, what else you could you have? You might have followed the struggle in Sri -Lanka, and you know the results what happens when regional countries are not in favor.
    I am not asking you to change your decision but I am recommending you all to think about the NRB concept and its benefits critically. The prestige of your family, your community and those who have given support to your struggle depends upon honorable solution of this problem. This is possible only when NRB is successful. It requires in-depth analysis when giving an honorable solution to such a complex problem.
    Therefore, UBI concept that you have forwarded is good but it doesn’t address the political issue which the Nepali Bhutanese are victim of. This is indeed a grand concept for mobilization of Bhutanese Youths living in different countries. UBI does not give concrete agenda, and road map for restoring the pride of Nepali Bhutanese in Bhutan. Unless that happens Bhutan’s problem will not be solved. It potentially opens the caveat for inflicting festering wounds to the country which is not in the interest of Bhutan, Bhutanese people and the international community as a whole. They have paid the price in the up-keeps of Bhutanese refugees for the last 20 years and incurred cost in the resettlement program hoping for a peaceful and honorable solution to all stakeholders. Please give the roadmap if you a concrete plan in UBI!
    Tashi Delek.

  34. Dear Tempa,
    I revisited this site to find your kind words and good thoughts for Bhutanese in exile. We are looking at the same thing but clearly your vision of realities is not mine and mine are not yours. Therefore, I made an attempt to clarify in italics against your statements in Times New Roman in the debate form as follows:

    Tempa:
    Dear Dick,
    I truly understand your concern regarding the dilution of the main issue in NRB concept. In this regards I would like to reflect on my own moment in which the Tibetan refugee community was divided between the non- violence peaceful movement lead by His Holiness Dalai Lama and the Khampa-led violent struggle to bring about political change in Tibet. His Holiness has always insisted peaceful political transformation in Tibet giving due recognition to security concern of the mainland Chinese.
    Dick:
    1. Similar approach as adopted by His Holiness Dalai Lama is the right example for the Bhutanese in exile.
    2. The goals of United Bhutanese International (UBI) is to denounce any violence and elevate the Human Rights Campaign to a level of political cooperation among host countries and Bhutan for a honorable solution.
    3. Meanwhile the NRB takes its own course without mixing politics with the enterprise and investment for economic progress.
    Now let me ask you, being a Tibetan, why did your leaders chose to continue International Campaign for Tibet (ITC) instead of promoting the same concept of Non Residential Tibetans (NRT) like that of NRB? The International campaign for Tibet (ICT) is doing a great job. I think if Tibetans in exile were apt in getting the recognization of NRT without ITC, their fight for their cause would have been a footnote in the history today; the support from west would have been minimal and China would have never invited HH Dalai Lama on the negotiating table without the political pressure created by ICT. Do you agree on this?

    Similarly, if the Bhutanese in exile get distracted prematurely on NRB, Bhutanese in third countries will fade beyond the horizon and remain at the mercy of the future government of Bhutan for its recognition, which is very unlikely, because no third country can pressure Bhutan to give NRB status to the citizens of their countries (as all re-settlers will eventually acquire the citizenship of the host country.) Thus, NRB can give us an identity abroad but dilutes the cause and makes it a second class campaign that lacks international interest.
    Therefore, United Bhutanese International (UBI) which is similar as International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is necessary.
    Tempa: Bhutan’s reaction to the protest of the Nepali community in South Bhutan is from the perception of security threat from the Napali Bhutanese community as was the perceived threat in the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim. I don’t think Bhutan’s king is against the Napali community as such. There are indeed smart people in Thimphu; they know well the how politics works. For them the issue was reduction in the percentage of Nepali population in Bhutan. The regional politics did not help; you guys were completed ignored.

    Dick:
    I think it is wrong to say Bhutan’s reaction to the protest of Nepali Community in the South, because they are ethnic Nepali- Bhutanese known as the Lhotsampas and the protest was in a reaction to government’s forced implementation of “One Nation, One People” policy that was designed to reduce Lhotsampa population using three-prong approach:
    1. Census (denationalization and classification into 7 categories)
    2. Land expropriation (National Cadastal survey)
    3. Cultural imposition (Driglamnamza)
    (The details, modus operandi of these three approaches are overwhelming to mention here)
    You are right that Bhutanese government was concern of Safety, Security and sovergnity of the country. For the very same reason, it was the duty of the government to segregate the right from the wrong, punish the criminals and save the innocent. It was wrong in its part to put all Lhotsampas in the ethnic band wagon and persecute them, brand them and export them in inhumane acts of violence for violence. And then turn around to project itself as unique Homo Sapiens at the brink of extinction. For any government, it is a crime to denationalize its citizens, let alone ethnic cleansing. I think this approach has created insecurity and fear in the long term against the success of the present regime for the short term, because I am afraid India will one day use this acts of the government as tools to genuinely give justice to the progeny of victims or to instigate them to swallow Bhutan

    Tempa:
    For you guys, who have resettled abroad, taking citizenship of the host country is a priority; nobody should miss this opportunity. Now the issue of returning to Bhutan to make a living is only for those remaining population in the camp, and not for those who have resettled abroad. Your lifestyle in the overseas countries is 100 years jump in the standard of living. The issue however does not die with the resettlement.
    Dick:
    That is true. The issue is not dead, it is not dying and there is no expiration date for justice to be served.
    Tempa:
    Bhutan government needs to give to appolize for what it has done, and open up an opportunity for those who want to re-establish connection with Bhutan. Therefore the optimum solution for you is to accept Non Resident Bhutanese status that enables you guys to visit your friends and relatives and invest in Bhutan. Most of the refugee resettlement countries have the option to give dual citizenship. If the elected Bhutanese Parliament honors you with NRB status that could potentially uphold the concerns of all stakeholders
    Dick:
    You should be joking if you believe that Bhutanese government will do so of its own or NRB as an organization can do anything to campaign the above cause in the direction you are dreaming! It is important not to mix economic entrepreneurship of NRB with human rights and political reach that (UBI) inspires.
    Tempa:
    This you can achieve by organizing yourselves, doing the international campaign, lobbying the regional countries and persuading your political parties inside the country to promote this idea.
    Dick:
    Exactly, that is why we need UBI to do International Campaign for Bhutanese in exile, as NRB cannot mix its business entrepreneurship and investment with politics. Please be clear of the differences, and we cannot maintain double standard.
    Tempa:
    Incase this option is not your choice, what else you could you have? You might have followed the struggle in Sri -Lanka, and you know the results what happens when regional countries are not in favor.
    Dick:
    Lhotsampas have never carried out organized arms rebellion (like Sri Lanka) though isolated violence continues to mar the image of Peaceful struggles of the innocent in overwhelming majority. And they cannot do so successfully until and unless India supports or Bhutan gives clandestine help to win a propaganda campaign to project itself at the brink of extinction. The regional countries are right in not supporting violence but they must come forward for the right cause in the spirit of peace and reconciliation, and for regional stability. That is their duty and responsibility, whether they do it or not is their own morality and politics.
    Tempa:
    I am not asking you to change your decision but I am recommending you all to think about the NRB concept and its benefits critically. The prestige of your family, your community and those who have given support to your struggle depends upon honorable solution of this problem. This is possible only when NRB is successful. It requires in-depth analysis when giving an honorable solution to such a complex problem.
    Dick:
    Certainly the prestige of my people and supporters depend on the honorable solution of this complex problem. But how honorable is the solution if we lead the innocent people to believe that NRB is the answer to ethnic cleansing? Where is the justice and accountability? NRB can become an economic force but it is not a political force to begin with, nor will it have the legs to stand for Human Rights and elevate the cause for political cooperation, justice and a solution. NRB is simply a platform to Forget, Forgive and Move on. It is also a bait to heal the wounds. That does not change the history which is very likely to return in decades or hundreds of years to bite back at the children and grand children of Bhutan, because as I said before, justice has no expiration date. UBI wants to correct it before it is too late by addressing the issues now and laying out the options to put to rest the problems for good with political cooperation from the host countries and Bhutan. That is very possible and I am optimistic about it.

    Tempa:
    Therefore, UBI concept that you have forwarded is good but it doesn’t address the political issue which the Nepali Bhutanese are victim of. This is indeed a grand concept for mobilization of Bhutanese Youths living in different countries. UBI does not give concrete agenda, and road map for restoring the pride of Nepali Bhutanese in Bhutan. Unless that happens Bhutan’s problem will not be solved.
    Dick:
    Bhutan’s problem cannot be solved by pretending to hide the pain of injustice or by running away from the reality under the cover of NRB or by keeping the guilt of ethnic cleansing in the lotus of the heart without a jewel. We have to get to the bottom of the problem, make hard choices and compromises in the spirit of Peace and reconciliation and pave the way forward for future generation, security and sovergnity of the country. Anything less than that is temporary just like your life and mine, and also that of those perpetrators.
    UBI is not a grand concept. It is realistic, pragmatic and flexible choice and a platform based on the strong foundation of Truth, but it will not allow Bhutan to erase our history and write its own version based on the lies. Look, even the Hitler’s Holocaust and concentration camps are in between the pages of world history so that the future citizens of the world know what happened to their forefathers.
    Imagine if the government of Bhutan allowed dark side of the Bhutan history to be told from the killing of Garja man Gurung to, drowning of Masoor Basnet to assassination of Prime Minister Palden Dorji to public execution of Namgyal Bahadur to public beating of Tibetan refugees in 1972. Perhaps, that history would have given some clue as to what the Bhutanese government is capable of doing to its citizens Vs showing a completely a different face to the outside world. Even today the world doesn’t know the other face of Bhutan, it does not know the other side of Bhutan, and the world does not know the untold stories of Lhotsampas. So one of the goals of UBI is just to do that, instead of trying to forget it by aligning with NRB enterprises, because today’s history is tomorrow’s judge.
    Tempa:
    It potentially opens the caveat for inflicting festering wounds to the country which is not in the interest of Bhutan, Bhutanese people and the international community as a whole. They have paid the price in the up-keeps of Bhutanese refugees for the last 20 years and incurred cost in the resettlement program hoping for a peaceful and honorable solution to all stakeholders. Please give the roadmap if you a concrete plan in UBI!
    Dick:
    It is not about festering wounds to the country. It is about the wounded citizens as victims of ethnic cleansing by the government which is a crime. Yes, international communities have invested heavily on the sustenance and resettlement. I do not believe most of the resettled people will go back to Bhutan even if the Government was to welcome them today, expect the Bhutanese refugees making such a great sacrifice in the camps. We have the obligation to tell the truth to the world and the world has the obligation to know the Truth upon which the peaceful and honorable solution should be based. Put is simply take back the remaining Bhutanese refugees, accept the crime done unto them and apologize and may be compensate in some cases; draw a treaty of peace and reconciliation, recognize NRB and move on. Any other type of solution will not be permanent.
    With such principle as described above, the strategy and the road map can be developed as UBI evolves into an organization for international campaign of Bhutanese in exile.
    Tashi Delek!
    Tempa:
    Tashi Delek.

  35. Dear Mr. Dick,
    I have been following the debate between Tempa 84 and you. Tempa claims to be a Tibetan refugee while you write as a Bhutanese. I am writing as someone inside the country who is not a victim of the lhotsampa problem but still believe that there is a need for me to express my opinion. The issue involved here is addressing the long term concern of the lhotsampa people while keeping the long term interest of the country as a whole. We all agree that it was very unfortunate development in the 90s because of which the overwhelming majority of the people in the camps had to suffer were proven to be genuine Bhutanese by the verification of the govt of Nepal and Bhutan, and this fact though we may hide at the moment but we know that in the long term it is going to bite the country and the people of Bhutan.
    1) We need to find a long term solution of this problem and that should be acceptable to both the people inside the county to those rehabilitated abroad. I think you will not disagree with me that life in the resettled in the resettled county is far better than in Nepal as well as in Bhutan. Even a well-placed Bhutanese in Thimphu is willing to consider resettlement in the US if the opportunity is availed to him. In that context, the overwhelming majority of the resettled Bhutanese will not return to Bhutan even if we offer them the option to do so at present. Therefore, the concern to the resettled Bhutanese is not as such their own repatriation but repatriation of the remaining population from the camp who will not excise the third country resettlement option. The UNHCR chief in Kathmandu explicitly said in an interview that only 10,000 people will be remaining in the camp for repatriation in the camp by 2015 and their repatriation should not be a problem for the government of Bhutan should they be proven genuine Bhutanese by the verification team. Therefore, let us not debate on the repatriation issue.
    2) Now the question arises on the self-esteem of the lhotsampa people who are denied justice in Bhutan. In my opinion, all politically conscious people will come together and continue to maintain a campaigning issue in the future. To address this problem, the government of Bhutan will have to come with a package solution. Govt of Bhutan cannot give them a voting right if they choose to take the citizenship of another country which in my opinion, the overwhelming majority will do. The only honorable solution the govt of Bhutan could give to them is the non-voting dual citizenship status under which they could travel to the country to visit their friends and relatives and make investment if needed in business and development works. This would be in the interest of the resettled refuges to keep their connection to their birth place as well as beneficial to the country because of the flow of expertise and capital.
    3) The NRB status in addition is going to strengthen the Bhutanese sovereignty in the long run. We know how Sikkim was merged in India and we know the story of Chogyal, how he was frantically trying to connect to the outside world using wireless to convey to the international community about what the Indian military force was doing and to garner a support for protest to that action. Now with Bhutanese community spread around the world, they would always provide solidarity and support to the country should such episode arise. So, in fact, the granting of the NRB is going to strengthen the sovereignty of the country which is the goal of every true Bhutanese.
    4) Now, for any such recognition to come, it will have to have a political support within the country. Two major parties functioning from exile, ie , BNDP and DNC have floated the idea and supported this concept. Though they are not inside the country today, they are going to come back someday in the future. Their election platform will have to take NRB as a campaign agenda, and when this agenda is taken to the Bhutanese parliament by the elected members, the elected parliament will have to pass a legislation granting you all the NRB status including the statement of apology for what has happened to the lhotsampa population in the 90s. That should be the core agenda of your community whether they are living inside or outside the country. In fact this will address your concern of the lhotsampa community living inside the country as well as restore the self-esteem of the resettled people who have always expressed their desire returning to Bhutan as Bhutanese citizen.
    5) What else could you think is a solution outside this? Does your UBI have any support from any political parties? Are you proposing just an idea to dilute the support that is provided by the political parties and confusing the public for the campaign agenda? It is quite difficult for me to comprehend your agenda? You have been telling that NRB itself is not addressing the concern of the Lhotsampa community and you want to do the international campaigning through UBI for addressing the grievances. What is the mechanism for addressing the grievances and what exactly would you like to achieve from it is not very clear.
    For any concrete result to obtain, you need a political support from inside the country. If you are thinking of becoming a nuisance group without any political vision, floating of UBI is OK. However, if you are thinking of achieving some concrete result, NRB seems to be an acceptable proposal both for the people inside the country and outside. The reaction of Bhutan govt will come only after 2015 when the camps in Nepal are dismantled.

  36. Tsangla Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Dear Mr. Dick,
    I have been following the debate between Tempa 84 and you. Tempa claims to be a Tibetan refugee while you write as a Bhutanese. I am writing as someone inside the country who is not a victim of the lhotsampa problem but still believe that there is a need for me to express my opinion. The issue involved here is addressing the long term concern of the lhotsampa people while keeping the long term interest of the country as a whole. We all agree that it was very unfortunate development in the 90s because of which the overwhelming majority of the people in the camps had to suffer were proven to be genuine Bhutanese by the verification of the govt of Nepal and Bhutan, and this fact though we may hide at the moment but we know that in the long term it is going to bite the country and the people of Bhutan.
    1) We need to find a long term solution of this problem and that should be acceptable to both the people inside the county to those rehabilitated abroad. I think you will not disagree with me that life in the resettled in the resettled county is far better than in Nepal as well as in Bhutan. Even a well-placed Bhutanese in Thimphu is willing to consider resettlement in the US if the opportunity is availed to him. In that context, the overwhelming majority of the resettled Bhutanese will not return to Bhutan even if we offer them the option to do so at present. Therefore, the concern to the resettled Bhutanese is not as such their own repatriation but repatriation of the remaining population from the camp who will not excise the third country resettlement option. The UNHCR chief in Kathmandu explicitly said in an interview that only 10,000 people will be remaining in the camp for repatriation in the camp by 2015 and their repatriation should not be a problem for the government of Bhutan should they be proven genuine Bhutanese by the verification team. Therefore, let us not debate on the repatriation issue.

    Dick says:

    Whether you call yourself Tempa, Tsangla or Dhangla, I can see through your writings that you are most probably the same person which I care less but the this debate must not undermine the understanding of the matter in discussion. Whether a solo NRB is enough for international Bhutanese or a separate platform is necessary for the international campaign for exiled Bhutanese remains to be seen. General public should know about it.

    By the way, I asked a question in my last reply: why International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is being successful in garnering international support instead of Non Resident Tibetans? We have lesson to learn from ITC which inspired UBI.

    It is evident from your views expressed above that you believe that the Bhutanese in exile got a bargain in third country resettlement, therefore we should be rather grateful, forget about the past injustice and move on. However, I happen to believe that TCRP is a temporary solution of a permanent problem that our country has ever faced. Therefore the long term solution must be based on the foundation of justice, not business.

    You may well be right to assume that the last 10,000 Bhutanese refugees will be repatriated in 2015. That is 9 percent solution of the problem. If you are happy with that result, I don’t know what kind of visionary you are!

    Also defective vision lies in the sense that Bhutan, after taking in 10k refugees will declare as “Bhutanese Refugee problem solved” as it is already being touted by people such as Dr. Bunting of Bhutan Foundation. What will be the basis of NRB then from the perspective of international communities? We don’t want to become extra-NRB! Can you see where this thing is headed without an effective international campaign? Please also note that Bhutan has said before, “there may be less than ten percent Bhutanese who went in collusion with illegal immigrants and gave it a political color”…..mark the words.

    Tsangla says:

    2) Now the question arises on the self-esteem of the lhotsampa people who are denied justice in Bhutan. In my opinion, all politically conscious people will come together and continue to maintain a campaigning issue in the future.

    Dick says:

    For the very reason you mention, I said, “we need an international platform to elevate the fight for Human Rights to political cooperation between the host countries and Bhutan”. Otherwise how will the conscious people come together to maintain the campaign issue in future? By the way, it is not about the self-esteem of Lhotsampas or their grivances. The issue of ethnic cleansing and government version of history should concern the sovereignty of the country for the future citizens.

    Tsangla says:

    To address this problem, the government of Bhutan will have to come with a package solution. Govt of Bhutan cannot give them a voting right if they choose to take the citizenship of another country which in my opinion, the overwhelming majority will do. The only honorable solution the govt of Bhutan could give to them is the non-voting dual citizenship status under which they could travel to the country to visit their friends and relatives and make investment if needed in business and development works. This would be in the interest of the resettled refuges to keep their connection to their birth place as well as beneficial to the country because of the flow of expertise and capital.

    Dick says:

    It is quite naïve in your part to depend on the Bhutanese government for a package solution. There has to be a dual approach where UBI coordinates human rights/political efforts between host countries and Bhutan to get to your functional NRB. And it cannot happen without Bhutan recognizing and accepting the facts on the ground. Imagine this: from a manual laborer to an expertise with flow of money, who is the working horse here for whose benefit and why? For example my personal concern here is that my village, Surey has become Jigmecholing under Bhutanization policy. When my children/grandchildren go to Bhutan under your NRB plan, probably the officials will make them stupid saying that there was no such place called Surey in Bhutan, therefore, your father/grand father was not a Bhutanese or he was just a liar. Now you tell me Mr. Tsangla, who is the liar?

    NRB should be clean and should not dirty its hands by going along with the lies.

    Tsangla says:

    3) The NRB status in addition is going to strengthen the Bhutanese sovereignty in the long run. We know how Sikkim was merged in India and we know the story of Chogyal, how he was frantically trying to connect to the outside world using wireless to convey to the international community about what the Indian military force was doing and to garner a support for protest to that action. Now with Bhutanese community spread around the world, they would always provide solidarity and support to the country should such episode arise. So, in fact, the granting of the NRB is going to strengthen the sovereignty of the country which is the goal of every true Bhutanese.

    Dick says:

    That was true in case of Sikkim. Now we live in high tech world of communication. With regard to sovereignty in case of Bhutan it is a wishful thinking because you as an insider Bhutanese is dreaming of the fruits when you do not know the roots are already cut. Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to brand Lhotsampas as illegal immigrants that pushed Bhutan to the brink of extinction and then again welcome them as NRB for the sovereignty of the country? Unless there is a political solution of the human rights problems, its acceptance and forgiveness, I am afraid NRB will be viewed as an accomplice of the crime itself because you are helping bury the history, sufferings and the Truth with the lure of business and investment. Dual citizenship is a very far cry because it has to starts withacknowledging Bhutanese refugees as “Bhutanese” first (not as “the people in the camps”!)

    Tsangla says:

    4) Now, for any such recognition to come, it will have to have a political support within the country. Two major parties functioning from exile, i.e., BNDP and DNC have floated the idea and supported this concept. Though they are not inside the country today, they are going to come back someday in the future. Their election platform will have to take NRB as a campaign agenda, and when this agenda is taken to the Bhutanese parliament by the elected members, the elected parliament will have to pass a legislation granting you all the NRB status including the statement of apology for what has happened to the lhotsampa population in the 90s.

    Dick says:

    Wow! You may also be waiting for the DNC and BNDP to become majority ruling parties in Bhutan. Your analytical vision is same as Birbal’s Khichari that eluded Bhutanese refugees for 20 years. How many years are you thinking next? My guess is that even if the exile parties found a place inside Bhutan, they will remain small for a long time to come because their supporters have become NRBs who cannot vote for them.

    Tsangla says:

    That should be the core agenda of your community whether they are living inside or outside the country. In fact this will address your concern of the lhotsampa community living inside the country as well as restore the self-esteem of the resettled people who have always expressed their desire returning to Bhutan as Bhutanese citizen.

    5) What else could you think is a solution outside this? Does your UBI have any support from any political parties? Are you proposing just an idea to dilute the support that is provided by the political parties and confusing the public for the campaign agenda? It is quite difficult for me to comprehend your agenda? You have been telling that NRB itself is not addressing the concern of the Lhotsampa community and you want to do the international campaigning through UBI for addressing the grievance. What is the mechanism for addressing the grievances and what exactly would you like to achieve from it is not very clear.

    Dick says:

    First of all it shows how shallow thoughts you have about the ethnic cleansing and worst human rights abuses in the history of Bhutan. You have reduced the issue to self-esteem and grivances of Lhotsampas. That is an insult to the injury.

    Bhutan does not want international campaign of Bhutanese in exile because, slowly the Truth is coming out and it is becoming increasingly difficult for Bhutan to keep the truth covered without the help of such slogans as GNH and other PR campaigns.

    The host countries do not support political agendas of the resettled Bhutanese because the purpose of resettlement is purely humanitarian (though it results to be a political reward for the Bhutanese government.)

    NRB by definition is for social and economic progress and hopes to get help from Bhutanese government and political parties in exile after they establish influence inside Bhutan.

    There is something missing in the middle: who is going to campaign for the Human Rights and elevate the human rights cause to political cooperation between the host countries and the Bhutanese government?

    I am not saying NRB is a bad idea. But it is not sufficient enough. It remains at the mercy of the Bhutanese government and its political parties. That is a long long shot. UBI has to help NRB to become a reality. In other words, our destination is same but paths are different; and on the way, sense of justice for your people and responsibility for your country are different too.

    Therefore, it is not either/or, but both must work hand in hand. This Two-prong approach will be effective, pragmatic, justifiable and perhaps more acceptable to the victims and palatable to the perpetrators with pressure of transparent world.

    Tsangla says:

    For any concrete result to obtain, you need a political support from inside the country. If you are thinking of becoming a nuisance group without any political vision, floating of UBI is OK. However, if you are thinking of achieving some concrete result, NRB seems to be an acceptable proposal both for the people inside the country and outside. The reaction of Bhutan govt will come only after 2015 when the camps in Nepal are dismantled.

    Dick says:

    For any concrete result to obtain, you need a uniform and consistent international campaign to tell the Truth vs the RGOB’s propaganda campaign based on lies. We must be mindful of the sovereignty of the country, liberty of its people and a reconciling factor of the third party mediator is required. The host countries will act as the mediator in the case of UBI and the government of Bhutan. This help can be drawn by signature collection for a Senate and/or Congressional Hearings to unfold the truth.

    We are looking at the same thing but your vision of reality is not mine; and mine is not yours. Therefore the people without vested interest must weigh on this discussion. Finally the kinds of accusations you made above do no give any benefit to the people you want to serve. We just have to be clear and tell the Truth in a professional manner.

    I have taken this stand for a long term solution based on the true history of Bhutan, for the sovereignty of the country and happiness of the people. Any other type of solution based on propaganda campaign and lies will be temporary. Imagine Bhutan after 50, 100 or 1000 years from now! Lies cannot sustain that far but Truth will.

    Satyamev Jayate (May Truth Prevail)

    Dick Chhetri

    Tashi Delek.

  37. Non-Resident Bhutanese? This is the long term strategy? Maybe Dr Dhakal has begun to lose his grey cells. The basic problem with the entire ‘southern bhutanese’ movement is credibility. For sure, the leaders have been able to fool a lot of the people for a long long time, but they have not fooled everybody. Discerning observers, including those with political clout, have not been satisfied with the argument that all the people in the camps are Bhutanese or even from Bhutan. The UNHCR never had a satisfactory solution for sifting through the claims of people claiming to be from Bhutan. Instead they took just about everybody who applied. The Nepalese government couldn’t say no to the millions they were receiving every year in the name of the ‘refugees’.

    However, the international community did recognize a humanitarian problem in this problem and therefore supported the refugees from that angle. That support was never truly political as that would have required a lot more proof to prove one critical fact: that these people were Bhutanese to start with.

    And the NRB solution faces the same problem of credibility. So you claim you are non-resident Bhutanese. So where’s the proof of your origin? What if a whole bunch of Nepalese from Darjeeling, the overpopulated former hill station join the bandwagon to claim being NRBs? You have no way yourselves even, to distinguish the so-called genuine NRBs from these bandwagon jumpers.

    And the worst part of it, for you that is, is that having settled abroad, you would have lost the lone advantage you had of garnering international support, which is your ‘humanitarian condition’ of being refugees. That problem has already been solved by the United States and other generous countries. Your cause is now lost. You are now settled with support, by these developed countries. You have achieved the dreams of millions across the world.

    You can continue your ‘campaigns’. All you are going to achieve is to sully Bhutan’s image, and thereby strengthen Bhutan’s resolve never to forget the treachery of the day the Nepalese rose to take over Bhutan, on 29 September, 1990.

  38. Dick and Dorji,
    It is good to know that Dorji is taking a hard-line as it was the case of the
    regime who was responsible for depopulating south Bhutan with repressive
    regime. That is expected from people who inherit the repressive agenda.
    Not everybody in Bhutan thinks that way. Even if it is taken legally that the
    Joint Verification Team of Bhutan and Nepal has established 77% of the
    Kudanabari camp population were genuine Bhutanese. The records of numerous
    researchers and academicians have established that the refugees in the camps
    were from Bhutan. This fact will always remain there. Bhutan will have to
    recognize the truth and seek a solution that will be beneficial to all
    stakeholders.
    The present generation of confused refugees, who are ready to dump the blames to
    leaders, who sees no reason to support political works in Bhutan, are helping
    the hardcore repressive regime in Thimphu, and supporting their agenda.
    Nevertheless, there might be even small number of people among the resettled
    community who sees reason in NRB and support the agenda set by the two
    political parties.
    The issue for us, who are interested to find an amicable solution, is to
    recognize the atrocities done to Lhotsampa communities in the 1990s and seize
    the opportunity provided by the international community to solve the problem
    once for all.
    In fact, the government has already started the correction process. It has
    lifted the discriminatory policy in Bhutan, some of the cabinet ministers are
    Lhotsampas and the Lhotsampa inside the country have realized that their future
    is tied with the future of the country. They have seen what India could do at
    the time of crisis. There could be outside agents inciting problem, as was the
    case in the 1990s, but they would never come to their rescue at the moment of
    crisis. That was a hard lesson, and it is good for everybody we have kept the
    Indian out.
    Now, the second correction Bhutan government needs to do is to take-back the
    remaining population and resettle them well with their land and properties. Let
    all the political parties in exile also return and start participating in the
    political process. That will sheild Bhutan from outside manipulation. Whether
    or not Dick or Dorji think, who seems to be extreme on their own analysis, it
    is going to happen soon since not everyone in the decision making level are
    dumb.
    One the repatriated refugees are settled, once the political parties are in, the
    last step would be to recognize the atrocities done on the Lhotsampa population
    and according them then non-resident Bhutanese status, those who are interested
    to keep link with Bhutan.
    Frnakly, Bhutan cannot take a stiff stand against the Nepali diaspora. If there
    are any close friends for Bhutanese, they are people of Nepali origin people.
    We know very well if Bhutan does not correct this aberration, it will have to
    face long-term struggle, in which nobody is going to be the winner.
    So have a reason and think carefully what Dr Dhakal has been saying. Only
    history could evaluate his statement…

  39. To Dick Chhetri:

    I wonder how many things you want to do? You are everywhere from googlegroups to online forums!! Not sure if we should consider you a concerned Bhutanese or a disgruntled individual. Please don’t take it otherwise, this is mere out of confusion. Stick to something and be clear about it. Your concept of UBI is vague even to you in the sense that you are not clear about what it is that UBI will be doing if such an organization comes into existence – international campaign, political advocacy, working with youths, preserving bhutanese identity? Take it easy brother!

  40. Tsangla Says:
    In fact, the government has already started the correction process. It has
    lifted the discriminatory policy in Bhutan, some of the cabinet ministers are
    Lhotsampas and the Lhotsampa inside the country have realized that their future
    is tied with the future of the country. They have seen what India could do at
    the time of crisis. There could be outside agents inciting problem, as was the
    case in the 1990s, but they would never come to their rescue at the moment of
    crisis. That was a hard lesson, and it is good for everybody we have kept the
    Indian out.
    Dick says:
    Yes, there are some positive forces working inside the country. Yet, despite the onset of democracy and concept of GNH there is no liberty and the Lhotsampas are treated as second class citizens. There are grivances from Sarchops and other minority groups. In democracy, equality is its sacred duty.
    Tsangla says:
    Now, the second correction Bhutan government needs to do is to take-back the
    remaining population and resettle them well with their land and properties. Let
    all the political parties in exile also return and start participating in the
    political process. That will sheild Bhutan from outside manipulation. Whether
    or not Dick or Dorji think, who seems to be extreme on their own analysis, it
    is going to happen soon since not everyone in the decision making level are
    dumb.
    Dick Says:
    You have misunderstood me. I am a pragmatist and practical with a vision for a permanent solution based on Truth of the issue, not a temporary fixes. I agree with you that taking back the remaining Bhutanese refugees with dignity and honor is a prudent thing to do. But without any international campaign, Bhutan will not only take its own sweet time but pick and choose to do and not to do the things required under universal law.
    Tsangla says:
    Once the repatriated refugees are settled, once the political parties are in, the
    last step would be to recognize the atrocities done on the Lhotsampa population
    and according them then non-resident Bhutanese status, those who are interested
    to keep link with Bhutan.
    Dick says:
    We cannot depend on the perpetrators to accept their own crimes and become hypocritical in the face of the world. Therefore we need a sustained international campaign much like international campaign for Tibet(ICT) to keep the truth in right perspective under which, Bhutan will have to realize the things that you are talking of.
    Tsangla says:
    Frnakly, Bhutan cannot take a stiff stand against the Nepali diaspora. If there
    are any close friends for Bhutanese, they are people of Nepali origin people.
    We know very well if Bhutan does not correct this aberration, it will have to
    face long-term struggle, in which nobody is going to be the winner.
    Dick says:
    You just have to compare theory Vs practal. But appreciate your optimism.
    Tsangla says:
    So have a reason and think carefully what Dr Dhakal has been saying. Only
    history could evaluate his statement…
    Dick says:
    He is right. And he is wrong. History will not only evaluate but prove it.
    By the way for those Confuse/confused….. they just have to see the things in right perspectives with greater intensity of light; and as the intensity of light increases, so does the circumference of the darkness. That is the Truth and they should stick with it and keep their allegations/accusation to themselves. No petty politics here. It is a straight talk of important issues. If they want to derail this debate, they should bend down kiss their own a…

    Remember Truth is omnipresent including google group and BNS. We should help to make it immortal.

    Satyamev Jayate (May Truth Prevail)
    Dick Chhetri

  41. Dear Dick,
    You are doing well in responding my mails. I wanted to let you know again that
    the solution to the problem is in the interest of all stakeholders including
    the international community.

    1.In my opinion the international community has rehabilitated the refugees from
    the camps not only on humanitarian grounds but also on the consideration that
    the problem of Bhutan will be solved once for all. Do you think that the
    international community is going to listen to the resettled people, who are
    having a better life than in Bhutan, to create political instability in a
    peaceful, Buddhist country in the Himalayas? Your undertaking international
    campaign will not lead you anywhere. You will be wasting your time and
    resources and receive ire of the international community and they know well how
    to do it. Try until you get that response…

    2.GNH is the concept floated by k-4 and supported by the country as a whole. GNH
    has numerous components, and human rights is one of the issues. Bhutan
    government knows well how to take care of the people who are Bhutanese citizen
    whether they are ngalongs, sarchops and Lhotsampas. In my opinion you should be
    proud of GNH if you think yourself a Bhutanese. It is your country’s
    contribution to the world community. Please don’t bring transitional politics
    in it!

    3.You want to play divide and rule politics between Sarchops and Ngalaongs. This
    is not going to work. As a Sarchop I am equally concern as the Ngalaongs, that
    should be the case with the Lhotsampas if they are true Bhutanese. Don’t try to
    do that. We know well what is the position of Sarchops in the country, their
    contributions in the country. We will sort it out, if there are any
    discrimination, once the political problem is solved once for all. Lhotsmapa
    issue is our priority.

    4. You Lhotsampas have no respect for your people who have worked hard to reach
    the crisis situation to this stage. It is unfortunate. If your proposition is
    different than what Dr Dhakal has said, let it be so, and continue with the
    struggle as you wish! Giving vague comment on such a serious issue does not help
    to anyone. The Asian political theater is changing. Bhutan is no more in the
    laps of India. China and US are also equally interested. Any fire crackers from
    your side will raise ire of all these major players, and you will be crushed like
    flies as was the case of Tamil Tigers. If you want to continue making noise, who
    cares, go on spending money and time..

    5.We in Bhutan are not dumb as you may think. Nepal is important for us because
    of our deep cultural connection. We are surrounded by ethnic Nepali people and
    we will have to live together as neighbors. The rhythm of music, language and
    value system are similar to ours. The government reacted strongly to the
    protest movement of 1990 because it felt that the Lhotsampas were colluding
    with external forces to create merger situation. That phobia is over now.
    Bhutan will evolve its own policy how to handle country’s key issues including
    dignified solution of the Lhotsampa problem. Outside dictation will not work at
    least in BHutan.
    Thank you for the response!
    Tsangla

  42. Dear Tsangla,

    After all this debate, what you are telling me is that if I am a true Bhutanese, I should:

    1. Help Bhutan by helping the Bhutanese in exile forget their history and property in Bhutan.
    2. Let the crimes and injustice committed by the Bhutanese government against its ethnic citizens be allowed to wrap and camouflage under such slogans as “GNH”
    3. Be worried of international communities’ backlash if I told the Truth about Bhutan and its atrocities that resulted Bhutanese diaspora all over the world.
    Your psychological threat against International Campaign for Bhutanese in exile is becoming more evident. You may worship Dr. Dhakal and his NRB because that is the most convenient path to least resistance and the end of Bhutan’s problem regarding Bhutanese refugee crisis, Human rights (ethnic cleansing.) Also it will allow the well orchestrated campaign of lies continue to supress the Truth.
    BUT THAT IS NOT JUSTICE. AND IF YOU ARE A TRUE BHUTANESE, YOU WANT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS PERMANENTLY BASED ON THE FOUNDATION OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE, not by moulding the people like me to navigate away from the heart and soul of the very issue. Confront the issue and find a fair solution.
    Mr. Tsangla, I want to send some armies to your home at 4 am in the morning, arrest you and your male members of the family at the gun point, tie you all up, put you at the back of the truck, bring in the market and beat you in the public until you are profusely bleading. Then release you. Then strip you of your job, take away your property and kick you out of the country so that you can come to America through some external help. I stay back in Bhutan and warn you if you campaign of what I did to you, the world will not be happy with you because I have told them enough lies to cover up what I did. It would be in your best interest to keep quite and remain as NRB, if you love your country. How does that sound? Please look a the inherent right of a human being with greater intensity of light; and as the intensity of light increases, so does the circumference of the darkness. For example, if the Hitler’s gas chamber and concentration camps were hidden from the history, and if the jews kept quite as NRJ, they would have never got their Israel. If there was no ITC (International Campaign for Tibet), Barack Obama or Chinese Premier would have never met HH Dalai Lama. Therefore, a sustained, international campaign for Bhutanese in exile based on foundation of Truth must remain in place for the greater good of the country and permanent solution of its ethnic cleansing that took place in 1990s. Things have changed now in Bhutan but what guarantee is there that it will not repeat in future?? I don’t trust you.

    Satyamev Jayate
    Dick Chhetri

  43. I have worked with DNS Dhakal and have no high regards for the way he operates. In my opinion Bhutanese will be better if such personally motivated person remain away from duping people any more.
    I stand to say that Dhakal is a fraud.

  44. CB Dahal alias Chindu. I know you very well. You have duped people in St George Pakyong, Sikkim. If I go Sikkim and mention your name, I shall have really hard time even to find a place to stay a night. First of all what have you done for the refugee cause? You are one of the most unsuccesful disgruntle person in the Bhutanese educated circle. Your days are gone; if you are capable enough, if you have guts, show us teaching at Harvard university like Dr DNS Dhakal. After that your comment will accepted. otherwise just shut your big mouth and mind your own bussiness!
    Tashi doma

  45. Hello Dr Dhakal, don’t you feel shame to still say that all resettled Bhutanese including children will have deeper and deeper love to Bhutan?? You’re 100% wrong ok because all resettled Bhutanese have work pressure and settling pressure on them more than you are facing ok, remember this! And more than 95% of the kids born in refugee camp don’t know their country of origin is Bhutan, they say it Nepal, This is the ground reality . Mr Dhakal stop telling just what you think from didtant is true. Many things have changed now , please try to be more realistic and matured.
    No more Bhutan. Bhutan is only propaganda for so-called fake leaders like you to earn and fulfil your vested interest!!

  46. Dear Brother Dhakal,
    I read your above display of thought very late but, I am sure still I can write my comment that I want to say ‘you spoke accepted wisdom for going ahead to contribute for our nation’.

    I hope all Bhutanese will discard egoism and differences and come together to move ahead unitedly. You can be one of our guiding intellectuals and a leader to our requirements. Here, I should add and say that it is always necessary to be sincere and loyal to achieve good goals.

    With Regards.
    N B Giri

  47. Still these cheaters are hoping something!
    They are very poor indeed! poor in every aspects!
    They don’t know how much they are hated by the people. baat karta hai! you will do nothing Mr. Dhakal. And you know that very clearly!

  48. I don’t think that any of our past leaders can do anything for the resettled refugees or the refugee in the camps. Neither the refugee can follow them any more. Its just the wastage of time to argue on this matter and worshiping them for our solution. Some of the people who are paid in the past to fulfill their vested interest are still accepting them as their only sole savior. So, I request all of you not to waste your precoius time by even talking on their favor or against. Dhakal never brought any useful ideas for the refugees. You might have heard about the formation of exile government…. Where is that now? Just to be highlighted in the media he speaks something in dream thats all. Don’t worry about what he says its just a sleep talk.
    Thanks

  49. “Mukkhi Choos Netas” always change the colors like “Chipkalis” according to the change of time & situation (scenario). Silent Lover of BHUTAN, the country of birth, silently dying in exile recollecting his/her footprint left in BHUTAN. None of the exiled Bhutanese have ever thought of being “Just Bhutanese” and worked for the prosperity of BHUTAN & the BHUTANESE. All exiled Bhutanese are thinking of their best “How to become self-sufficient & wealthy”. Only in their leisure time, they think and talk of Bhutan & the Bhutanese politics. I being the silent observer & an innocent viewer of the resettlement scenario, can boldly say that this is a “Hereditary Sickness” of our people who always like “Migration” to find out pasture land and become happy. None of the so called exiled “Leaders & the Bhutanese” have commitment to show their genuiness of being BHUTANESE and work together for Bhutan and the Bhutanese in solidarity. Keep quarreling; this is our inborn quality and hereditary gift.