Locals shut down Goldhap refugee camp; bar entry of vehicles, officials


Locals of Ganamani VDC of Jhapa district have shut-down the Goldhap refugee camp by restricted entry of vehicles belonging to the United Nations, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Government of Nepal into the camp and barring refugees to travel outside.

Refugees of Goldhap camp pass their time under the shed of a tree/Courtesy : Alice Verheij

Agitating locals, who have been floating various demands to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and the government before relocating refugees from the camp to three Beldangi camps, have been blocking the main entrance to camp since Thursday.

On Friday, they even closed a government office managed by camp supervisor Pashupati Niraula, who somehow had managed to enter the camp early morning.

Altogether 22 vehicles that reached the camp to carry relocating refugees from Goldhap to Beldangi returned yesterday, informed camp secretary Chiranjibi Rai.

“Refugees have been warned of not leaving the camp save their emergencies. Thus, the situation today is more compelling as locals have even not allowed UN vehicles to get into the camp,” Rai told Bhutan News Service.

Shanta Upreti, who heads the agitating group, expressed that the protest would continue unless their demands are met.

“We may decide to discontinue the ongoing protest if we receive written commitment regarding fulfillment of our demands from the government and the UNHCR,” Upreti said adding, “Otherwise, we will intensify the protest programmes.”

Meanwhile, Chief District Officer Sashi Shekar Shrestha told that negotiations with the agitating locals were underway.

However, Upreti ruled out this saying the group has not received any official call from the government for dialogue.

At least four resettling refugees and several others attending interviews at IOM and UNHCR walked up to Garamani from the camp early this morning to catch buses.

The locals have been demanding a blacktopped road connect Goldhap with Butabari (7 km), Garamani (5.5 km) and Dewania (4.5 km).

“We want the government and UNHCR to set up a botanical garden in the camp settlement area once the camp gets shifted to Beldangi,” Upreti added.

“The locals have also demanded schooling and health services in the VDC.”

The camp still hosts around 2100 refugees. The UNHCR has also relocated 1800 refugees to the Beldangi camps.

Reported by Keshav Timsina from Goldhap for BNS


  1. Shame! Look at the ever demanding, greedy locals. They are are never tired of pouring blame of Nepal’s problems to the Bhutanese refugees – including forest depletion, prostitution, social crimes and unemployment, while they engage in every corruption including faking themselves as refugees to go abroad; in place of genuine refugees.

    The existence of the refugee camps was all in their interest. The refuges are an unlimited ‘Demand Charter’ that they can make use of any time. The present agitation of the locals and their demands clearly shows the tendency of the locals to keep us hostage while they keep adding each demand after other.

  2. It is a demeanour of Nepalese People. It seems like they are more poorer than refugees themselves. They dont wory about dignity because they already donot have any dignity.beggars are always beggars

  3. Once refugees were burden to local people and protested against their living in their neighborhood. Now locals feel that refugees are valuable assets for their live hood and development. Locals dont consider refugees as human beings, rather they think that refugees are their home made toys which can be used by any local community.They want their happiness and development by putting refugees lives at risk. They never know the pain and sufferings of refugees who have lost everything in fire and are spending horrible days and nights under the plastic roofed slums during these scorching heat summer days. This incident is the worst example of human atrocity and selfishness. May god give wisdom to these greedy locals oneday.

  4. This stupid people.I really hate Napala.Aba ta huda hudai refugee ko bato chakna, aaba kaila dekhi hami lai paila bidesh laija ani matra refugee lai bhanna bar chaina..Huna ta na bhanak ta kha chan ra ,daka haru lay.kati dukha bhogako chai dakhanan aaila aarka lay help garna khoda chai aaris lagnu.
    Its really same to see this greedy demands of this greedy pple..

    God help this people to be generous…teach them to do them self..what a inhuman behaviour..

    So stupid, gready, afnai garara khanu ni.Aji afu pani garara khna saknu chaina aarka lai pani gari khana na dina.aarisa haru..

    O god plz provide a wisdom to this stupid mimded nepali..