LIVE BLOGGING: ABA Convention; election sees new faces


The third national convention of the Association of Bhutanese in America (ABA) has begun in Atlanta, Georgia. BNS will blog the event live from the convention hall. The live reporting is done by Pashupati Timsina from Atlanta in Georgia while the online update is done by TP Mishra from Raleigh in North Carolina.

9.15 AM: The formal registration process begins. Participants coming from outside of the State Guests are stepping in to register for the convention

Participants of the convention. Photo/
Participants of the convention. Photo/

9.45 AM: The registration process continues. All most all members of the board of directors including chairman DP Basnet seen inside the hall. The Dias is decorated well; the banner containing convention details is seen placed at the back of the Dias. Flags of both Bhutan and USA waves on the Dias. Participants from various States from across the USA continue to step in

10:10 AM: Registration process still continues. By this time, it is reported that participants from at least 11 States from across the USA have entered the convention hall. Informal talks, introduction among each other, among other informal chats noticed in full swing

10:20 AM: Registration continues. At least 50 individuals have formally registered. Organizer expects more registration. The onoing World Cup Football between ‘Germany and Argentina’ have been cited by many as a reason for the delay of participants’ entry into hall from venue-near-by area, Atlanta

10:25: Hari Acharya of ABA informs that the formal program begins after five minute. Participants entry continues

Dr. Dhakal.
Dr. Dhakal.

10: 45 AM: TP Mishra of BNS reaches out to Dr. DNS Dhakal, who is now in North Carolina, for a brief comment. Dhakal says such convention has been proved helpful in establishing our own identity. “It is good to know that our fellow Bhutanese  are trying to establish our own identity,” says Dhakal, adding that as a political activist he is yet to see if such convention or formation of organisations in long-run would be a part of contribution for the establishment of true democracy in Bhutan. Dhakal also comments that division among the resettled refugees, however, have been noticed here in USA

10: 55-11:oo AM: Formal program begins. Chair of Board of Directors, DP Basnet gives opening remarks. Welcoming every participants in  the convention, Basnet said that ABA is the power of self-help. He also mentioned about the activities of ABA. Basnet, who sworned in as Chair in 2008 and whose tenure completes today, also said that he is sad to see the formation of two national-level organisations in a parallel way despite his repeated requests to the executives of Organisation of Bhutanese Communities in America (OBCA) to come forward and lead ABA rather than to declare the new organisation. Click here to read the whole content of Basnet’s speech

11:18 AM: The organisers are displaying ABA’s activity report in a projector

11:20-11:55 AM: Hari Acharya, board of director of ABA briefed the participants about various provisions for getting into ABA. Acharya also informed about their “ongoing” project in Maryland. “ABA will focused on service to the community and development of the community in the days ahead.”  Acharya further urged exiled Bhutanese to take membership of ABA and try to change the working procedures in accordance with their wish

12: 15 PM: Questions-answer session begins. All members of board of directors sitting on Dias infront of the participants to answer questions raised by the floor. Around 100 people seen inside convention hall

12: 50 PM: Participation of 13 different States from across the USA has been just confirmed. The questions-answer session continues

1: 30 PM: At least nine participants raised questions, most of them included about their concern for unity with OBCA. Birendra Dhakal, DP Basnet, Ganesh Subedi and Hari Acharya from ABA answered the questions of the floor. As far the questions regarding unity with OBCA was concerned, the board of directors opine that ABA is always open for unification with OBCA. Participants also raised the questions about the failure of ABA for not being able to come out with “reliable outreach program” to places where Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in USA. A majority of the questions were clearly hinted at “unification” of ABA and OBCA, for which the panelists vowed their committment for possible unity.

1.35 PM: Lunch time begins. We will continue to blog live about the event

1:40 PM: Based on the fact that many wish for the formation of one national level organisation of Bhutanese in USA, and that the concern for the unification of ABA/OBCA is growing, BNS is attempting to reach out to the Chairman of OBCA for his brief comments and thoughts

2.05 PM: Finally, TP Mishra of BNS catches Yam Kharel, newly elected Chairman of OBCA over phone. Before opining on BNS query, Kharel extends his best wishes to ABA for its successful completion of the ongoing convention. “I wish that the convention will come out with a good avenue in according to the wish of the ground-level people,” said Kharel, adding- “The ground voice floating in around is that we should not have two national level organization.

Yam Kharel
Yam Kharel

As an individual and as the chairman of OBCA, I second this demand and thought of the people.” Kharal further opines that his organization is ready for the unification with other organizations. “I have felt that the OBCA/ABA unification certainly will strengthen the spirit of the Bhutanese community in America. The unification will generate wiser ideas, doubtless support and stronger commitment from far and wide.”

“The most important thing that every visible icon on the screen should selflessly and seriously second is that- ABA/OBCA unification will permanently erode all the barriers of dis-unification from the past, in the present and future. Thus, I see if we “truly” want to work for the community, unification is genuine,” added Kharel.

2:45 PM: After-lunch session begins. ABA declares the formation of election comission that includes Narayan Katel, Mitra Ghaley and Chimmi Dorji Wangchuk. Discussions on ‘how to conduct election’ keeps going. Number of attendees of the conference has decreased after lunch time; around 60 people seen inside convention hall

3:00 PM: List of the candidate for the board of directors comes out. It include Dr. Purna Chhetri, Khageswar Mishra, Puja Pradhan, Mukti Gurung, TB Bhandari, Jiwan Subba, Bishnu Pradhan, Rabi Gurung and Rajen Giri. It is reportedly learnt that only the members of ABA will be allowed to caste “vote” for the position of board of directors. According to the by-laws of ABA, new directors and current directors to fill the vacant position shall be elected or re-elected by the voting members at the Annual General meetings in accordance with the provision in Article 5.1.2. Directors shall be elected on the basis of maximum votes secured.

3.12 PM: Candidates for the board of directors addressing the convention participants with their short-election-campaign speeches.

3.20 PM: Dr. Purna Chhetri addressing the participants of the convention says that he is in favor of “unification” of ABA/OBCA. He also points out on the need to address the problems faced by freshly resettled Bhutanese in USA

3: 40 PM: Voting begins; voters are casting their vote in a ballot box. It is reportedly learnt that voting was also done through electronic means i.e. email by ABA members

4:00 PM: Voting session almost comes to the end. The election commission is seen busy counting the votes. Participants are eager to hear the result of the vote

RP Subba.
RP Subba.

4:o5 PM: At a time when the vote-counting session continues, TP Mishra reaches out to RP Subba, political analyst, writer and a community leader in Virginia for brief comments. Subba says such convention indicates that we are trying to move forward in an organized way. “It is perhaps sad that we have two national level organizations for the same purpose and established with almost the same objectives,” says Subba, adding that the majority of Bhutanese are neither for ABA nor for OBCA.

“All they wish is unity and a single national level organization.” Subba further opines that this third force can be taken as another organization, which is the strongest one. “I strongly believe that there is no alternative to “unification” at this hour.”

4:25 PM: Election result declared. Dr. Purna Chhetri bagged 54 votes followed by Rabi Gurung with the same number of votes. Jiwan Subba convinced with 52 while Puja Pradhan scores 49 votes.

Newly elected members of the board of directors. Photo/
Newly elected members of the board of directors. Photo/

 Meanwhile, Mukti Gurung bagged 47 votes followed by Bishnu Pradhan and Rajen Giri with 44 votes each and TB Bhandari receives 27 votes. All of these newly elected members of board of directors were welcomed to the Dias by DP Basnet with “khada“. It is reportedly learnt that the tenure for Hari Bangaley and Bahadur Subba, who have been recently nominated as the members of board of directors, has not yet been completed, thus they will hold the same position until ABA’s next convention.

4: 45 PM: According to the by-laws of ABA, Chairman and Executive Director should be elected by the members of the board of directors. Citing this reason, the newly elected board of directors are holding a close-door meeting to disscuss on “when and how” the election/nomination of Chairman and Executive Director should take place. For floor, its a break time

4.50 PM: The close-door meeting finalised that they will publicize the name of Chairman and Executive Director along with four other members for board of directors by 4pm tomorrow. It is reported that extensive discussions from among the newly elected board of directors will finalise the name of the chairman and Executive Director. With a vote of thanks from Birendra Dhakal, on behalf of organising comittee members, to everyone, today’s session concludes. ABA has scheduled a DJ night for the participants at 7PM today.

Live reporting for today closes here!     


  1. Congratulation to all the newly elected board of director.Please do not remain silent and as inocents like previous directors.Previous directors were pulled and asked to take down the position no contribution were seen. Please keep up the organisation’s Mission and Purpose

    Select the Executive wisely.Do not go for seniority mainly who hold government job in Bhutan.Thos folks were appointed upon completion of course without competitive exams by the Bhutanese government and they lack much in the sense of community activities and new leadership.Support the Executive and Review his/her Performance regardless of time and do not leave for one men decission in the metter of community.. For instance unification of ABA and OBCA. Messages were not penitrated through even in the board and chariperson of ABA lied in opening remarks.I was sitting in the front row.Ensure Effective Organizational Planning and keep the paces of organisation in the interest of community folks. Ensure Adequate Resources by mobilizing external access and inviting other corporate members in the organisation.Manage Resources Effectively and check what is going on around the monotory resources because board of directors are liable and accountable for any misuse.Determine and Monitor the Organization’s Programs and Services rendered to the community and look for it’s overal outcome at the end of the day. Please enhance the Organization’s Public Image without which you guys will have to suffer. Be serious you guys are the faces of organisation.

    Lastly i would like to say unification need to be all of your priority and out of your heart.

  2. “DP BAsnet said that he is sad to see the formation of two national-level organisations in a parallel way despite his repeated requests to the executives of Organisation of Bhutanese Communities in America (OBCA) to come forward and lead ABA rather than to declare the new organisation”

    I have the question to Mr.DP Basnet and sole ABA gays that we didn’t hear any formal statement like …………?
    I reqest DP basnet to take back the abave statement because , We read the mail from Mr. Bhakti Sharma “re-invitation” that ABA chair person dam care the dailog.

    Rup narayan kharga

  3. You have done a wonderful job, BNS. I really appreciate TP Mishra’s unique ways of floating new ideas in media—LIVE BLOGGING. I love the way PAshupati jee reported the event live. Job job both jees. Please accept my heartiest appreciations and congrats to newly elect board members of ABA>

  4. Good LUCK for the third ABA Convention.
    ABA holds its third convention.If I am not mistaken Hari Bangalay shared his experiences During OBCA conference(I read in the BNS webpage) and also on the Board Of Directors of ABA,seen sitting on the dias in the picture provided by BNS.I wounder ……..
    1. Was he an official representative of ABA during OBCA conference?
    2.Attending meetings is not a big deal but same person in two different opposing characters could be disasterous.I don’t oppose his involvement in both but if HAri DAi could forge the alliance in good faith that would be his superlative efforts.Else it is like stepping in two boats………Not that we sink and swim together but otherwise…

  5. Congratulations to ABA for successfully convening its 3rd National Convention. A lot of new and young faces have come to take the mantle of leadership – which is very encouraging. I hope the new Board of Directors will steer the organization in the direction which will be most uplifting for the community.

  6. Congrats to newly elected Board members of ABA,hope to be a untilized the name of organization, YES! NO…. ONE MAN DISCISION like ????????. And one thing i would like to mention here, it’s reaally sad to see Hari Bangalay standing in row of Board members. If ABA will like to join him, it is bad for ABA. ????????????????????????????

  7. Thanks BNS for not posting my comment. This proves how fair and unbias your media is. In the same way we have seen Bhutan Govt. also censoring news articles supporting the Just Cause of the refugees in the media hubs.
    Be fair and unbias.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: We once again heartily request you to be logical, creative, respectful and loyal while posting comments. We discourage valued readers to shoot offensive comments. Thank you once again for your attachment to BNS.

    Editorial Team, BNS

  8. Is it that all the new board directors qualify the by-law of the aba to be in the position? I wander and it seems that there is/are king maker in the aba.
    ANyway congrates to u all.
    I was there in the hall yesterday. I was suprised to see Mr Bangale there. It was the same bangale in the obca also. Why?? I think we have to be careful abouy such many bangales. ABA should have kecked him out right there.

  9. Fine to know that convention of ABA is going smoothly. With a total membership of around four dozen, attendence of around 5 dozens is much to the satisfactuion.
    I wonder wether all the new board of directors fulfillthe bylaws of the organization, or simp[ly they are made because they are loyal handy man of the ABA king makers.
    And wonderful it is to see the double standard of Mr Bangale.Keep it up. ?We need more such bangales.

  10. Heartiest Congratulations to ABA’s newly elected board members. I guess “its day dream to all Bhutanese American to aspect 21st century turner in competitive world from the vaccum mineded supervision”.While, minority wisdom and creative construction power in the superstatious majority has dead .I sincerely salute to all voters who cast vote to those who mearly graduate from the higher secondary education in extinct grade.BNS thank you for the space to shot the comments to those extinct grade graduaters.

  11. Well crow will be remain crow no matter how many times he takes shower. There is no doubt their should be unity between all Bhutanese who resettled in united state of America but my problem with those corrupted people who won the race of corruption in back to Nepal. Very few social worker peoples are showed up which is hope for teen like us. Every one is running for personnel references and personnel benefits, I really don’t have problem to blame some people who elected recently that they are not good enough to be a part of this organization.

    So my suggestion to all people don’t trust them completely and don’t let them to sell your name and identity. For BNS I am regular reader of this site after, every time no other news then news about this ABA.

    This is my personnel opinion and no comments are necessarily needed.

  12. A lot of facts didn’t come out. What is the reason behind it??? We the public have at all no trust with the news of ABA convention. TP ji please change the reporter for Georgia immediately or BNS will soon face problem. If you don’t publish my opinion like what you did yesterday, no matter but do what I said otherwise I will start my job to write to other medias to decline BNS. A ofcourse appreciate BNS’s other coverages.

  13. Ego. Attitute. Mentality. Deepak Adhikari have them all.I think BSN did a very commendable job. You don’t need to threaten them. If you have the nerves, have another news service. After all, mushrooming organizations is what we like to do. And your attitute clearly demonstrated that…

  14. I, as the Coordinator of the 3rd ABA Convention Organizing Committee, would like to state that Mr. Pashupati Timsina was not a member of the Committee. He was present at the Convention, but as an independent media personnel. Not only did he decline ABA membership, he even refused to join the ABA team and guests for lunch.

    I think we need such people like Mr. Timsina in our community. We should appreciate his professional ethics and acknowledge his commitment in promoting the Bhutanese media.

    I wish Mr. Timsina all the very best, and I encourage him not to be dismayed by negative comments. It is an inevitable fact that your hardwork will be recognized in the days to come.

    Manoj Pradhan