Luital selected to represent refugees at UNHCR standing committee meeting


After a successful advocacy on various refugee issues in Geneva in the past, Melbourne-based Bhutanese activist, Parsuram Sharma Luital JP, has been selected by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) to advocate in Geneva as a community representative from Australia.

Supported by the Adult Multicultural Education Services, Luital would participate in the UNHCR Standing Committee Meeting and NGO Consultations in Geneva from June 21-30.

Luital, who is a member of the RCOA’s International Policy Network (IPN) formed in 2009 to create opportunities for international networks and cooperation, would represent various refugee communities including the Bhutanese during Geneva discussion sessions.

Luital with his family members

“The key focus areas of the IPN include Australia’s engagement with UNHCR, issues in the Asia-Pacific region and development and humanitarian aid for refugees and displaced people, and I am going to discuss the same thing in Geneva,” Luital told BNS over the phone.

As a regular participant of the UNHCR’s executive committee and standing committee meetings, its annual consultations with NGOs and the tripartite consultation on resettlement, Luital said that the most significant achievement in the UNHCR meeting in Geneva could be an opportunity to meet the heads of different divisions and the issues that have been impacting the refugees in the camps and resettled countries.

“On personal visit, such opportunities are never possible. If it is not the RCOA, the voice of refugees from the ground will never reach the highest level in UNHCR,” added he.

He also claimed that he would raise many confidential issues that do not become media stuffs. “I am sure, I can raise such issues and help the UNHCR develop better policies for future.

In 2010, Luital was one of the panel speakers in the side meeting of the International Working Group to monitor the implementation of the excom conclusion on women and girls at risk.

Prior to departing for Geneva, Luital would attend the 2011 Refugee Conference: looking to future and learning from the past – a conference to mark 60 years of the refugee convention in the University of New South Wales in Sydney from June 14-17.

“I am in discussion with friends’ circle within the Bhutanese community to acquire as much information as possible so that I can convey the issues to the UNHCR. I hope, I will be able to get ample of issues for my presentation.”

Reported by Teju Chouhan from Melbourne for BNS


  1. Parsu daju, it is amazing to see the progress. It is a pride for all of us that you are established to this height. Would it be relevant to raise an issue on research aspects in Geneva? If yes, we had been brain-storming over this.

    Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal

  2. Congratulations Parsu Bhai on your selection to an important meeting. The Bhutanee refugee community places high hopes through your participation in the meeting. Your representation itself provides a big lift to the advocacy work we are engaged in internationally. Good luck.

  3. I think it would be good if we had representation from each countries where Bhutanese have been or have settled. This would bring into perspective the issues from each of those areas to the UNHCR Standing Committe meeting. There should be some process established to have this selection of those representatives on a fair and equitable manner which is based on transparency and accountability.

  4. Parsu sir,

    Good to know this. I have my best wishes for you. I know you will do something. A good leadership lies within you.

    RCUs are taking all cases granted for money. They have stopped working without money. Tell UNHCR to pay for them so that they don’t take our money from poor people.


  5. Dear Parsu Bhai,

    Congratulation for this leadership role and I am sure you will represent the sentiments and issues of Bhutanese communities not only from Australia but from other countries as well. We would like to wish you all the best in your role and the Bhutanese Diaspora is very proud of you.

    May I suggest that you find out about what is happening with different sections of the resettled folks in various countries in consultation with key individuals so that you represent all critical and top level issues to the UNHCR.

    Good luck!

  6. Parsu Vai,
    Stand up to the plate, build it up nice and articulate the presentation well. We are seeing a leadership in the making, handle it with a reaslistic approach mindful of the world view on our issue. In other words make the best use of the opportunity to benefit our cause. Wish you the very Best and Congratulations to you. It’s great to hear your selection in the UNHCR Committee.

    Dick Chhetri

  7. Hi all,
    Can u please send you points to VP Mishra bhai or email me at [email protected]
    Only generic points of major concern will be discussed. I will be seeking help from Jogen dai in the drafting as he has been helping since last year. I will welcome any points from all of you. I have to put up points for all countries n our issues will be one of such.
    However, on personal basis in the sidelines I will be able raise our issue more specifically. Points of corruption, can you send all eg in my email with the scenario of corruption. Names r not needed but credible points will be enough.
    Thank you Parsu

  8. Congratulations Parsu Dai for being selected to represent refugees in the upcoming event! Not only Bhutanese but refugees from across the world have high hope in your representation in the meeting.
    There is no denying the fact that corruption is at its height ranging from Refugee Coordinating Unit to Nepali Citizen IOM officials at Damak in the refugee screening process for the third country resettlement. Many Nepali citizens have entered the USA as refugees through resettlement program. There could be in other countries too. Similarly, it is reported that officials at Damak are asking for big chunk of money to expedite the process. Likewise, let there be strict and proper mechanism to screen those who have been claiming to be registered as true Bhutanese refugees in the refugee camps in Jhapa and Morang districts of Nepal. Similarly, there would be a small group of people who would neither be able to repatriate not they would accept the third country resettlement. Hence,what is the plan of UNHCR for those?
    Once again, wish you all the best.

    Bhagirath Khatiwada
    Concord, New Hampshire

  9. Congratulation Parsu bhai. Make the best use of this event keeping in mind the injustice done to the Bhutanese citizens and the international obligations on our issue . We will certainly contribute our inputs to sharpen your advocacy. Go ahead with full confidence.
    Your selection as refugees representative in the UNHCR standing committee itself is a prestigous matter to the Bhutanese refugee community and an opportunity to raise the issue in the appropriate international forum .

  10. Parshu ji, CONGRATULATIONS you have achieved “big” and you will definitely do your best to represent the voice of the voiceless from across the globe.
    I know you have miles to go before you rest.
    Keep up the good work.

  11. Its a pride for ourselves to know that you are being selected to represent one of the refugee in the events in geneva. Its the right moment to achieve better. we hope you will not let this opportunity to go in vain as our other leaders did earlier.Its a great job.
    Congrats to you.

  12. What change have you brought in refugee community?
    There were still more than 10 thousand refugee who spending more miserable life than normal refugees.

    What advocate you do? there were lot of Bhutanese unregistered women and children inside the camp struggling for a seed of rice, there were more other refugee those are sleeping under the shadow of hot sun.

    I have no idea sir, what did you done for our community ?

  13. Parsu ji congrat for getting that height in your life to be a representative to Geneva for being one of the Bhutanese living outside Bhutan(REFUGEE…Doubtful).Are you hand picked by UNHCR or how did you make it,my question is because you could have referred someone like Jogen/Ratan/Tekbir( to name a few) who have seen refugee life from closer look than you do.
    Nevertheless,please raise voice in favor of repartiation for those who opt for and for us at large to win war(not armed rather moral and psychologiocal)against Bhutan Govt.To bring into your notice,if not you have already gone through media,UNHCR is lobbying Govt of Nepal assimilate remaining bhutanese refugees after resettlement in Nepalese land (my thought).Thank you.

  14. I think it is not wise to elect someone who is not in touch with bhutanese refugees sitution, atleast one should know all ache and pains/sufferings of refugees in a traumtic situation in sattled refugees camps in Nepal. So it is time to mind what is going on, so never comment positive getting some negative thought. You might have enjoyed all the privilages from Bhutan to Australia but think of refugees who has struggled till their last breath for their existance in such a circumtances should get chance to represt their community feelings.

  15. Having had the proud privillage on bivek saying,i strongly support him.Had Parsu luitel ever seen refugee sutation,$ never been to refeguee sutation . I strongly disagree with the people who blindly support him.

  16. Dear my opponents
    Living in a democratic country as an Australian Citizen, I appreciate your questioning on me and my integrity.

    Thank you very much for your concern and leg pulling attitude which perhaps is going to reflect more on your image than mine and people will judge you more than me.

    To answer some of your questions, let me put the following:

    My work in Geneva is to advocate on behalf of refugees communities and NGOs from Australia as a part of my work, and not taking any of your greedy opportunities. It is my approach and initiative to raise the Bhutanese issues taking the opportunities to highlight the issues since I have access to the highest officials in the UNHCR. How many of you-opposing me have this opportunity from your work? If you 5 or so people do not want me to raise your personal issues, I can do that but it is the people like you all who have drag the whole Bhutanese movement to nowhere and you are continuing this even after you have resettled.

    For you all I am not a refugee, but for the whole world and Australian Govt I am a refugee no less than you all where I have been honored for my contribution to all types of people living in the communities.

    If only people living in the refugee camp has to work for refugees, than the whole UN will have to be run by you 5 people and smart fools like you. And all the agencies working for refugees have to resign and let you work for all the refugees. By opposing me, you are opposing the entire NGOs working for refugees, since I am a Australian NGO representative in Geneva.

    What I have done to refugee? Tell me how many of you have done, what you have done and your family except popping up like DUMSI to throw the thorn and go under the hole undergound? For my record, just search my name in BNS and see my direct work starting in the recent fire in Beldangi and tell me how much you have done. I felt necessary to write this for the people like you.

    At the end, I will not further bother but ask you to read the article above and understand before you yap.

  17. Hi Mr 19 Yrs Refugee

    The way you attack Parsu, you are showing that you have personal problem with him. You say 19 year refugee but your attitidue is so bad that u canot stand others doing work for the Bhutanese. What have you done better than him?
    Ome thing I make here to others is the view by this 19 yr refugee is of his and we are not part of this man. I can agree one thing that parsu has not seen the suffering of refugees that is true but what Parsu do not know is peoplelike you who have such a corrupted mind, and can fall down to the level of attacking his private metter of family. You better learn what is right and wrong and better do something and critisig him.
    You have proved that 19 year refugee life has made your mentally sick and u have lost any image as human.

    Others from Australia say is he hard and work hard and play no chamch.
    The worst u are is u even cannot say who are u and hide and a rat.. your r a true rat..
    Please do not include us in ur personal matter and try to learn to know ok


  18. Dear Bidhan,

    First learn throughly and write on the screen. You have no idea and it seems you know no thing about him. Do you know how he is treating to bhutanese who came from refugee camp. I heard that some Bhuta (Drukpa) from bhutan how is act on them. He ignore refugees so how can you know he is such and such. what ever the things written by 19 yrears refugee it is fact and he wrote 5% only. Bidhan my request is to be clear how is any person. How he donate to refugee in Bel II ask to Melbourne people, ask to Albury and wodonga peopel and even Adalede and Sydny known him well. He is not represintive refugee as DB says he has ego and he is doing for his name shake. He has a negative vision on people from refugee camp. Thre are many things I will let you know in details how is deels with his brother, sisters n parents.
    Thanks more will be on next time