National level orgs slate convention dates


The Association of Bhutanese in America (ABA) and the Organization of Bhutanese Communities in America (OBCA) slated different dates and locations for their national convention.

A media statement sent to BNS by OBCA stated that its second national convention is slated from June 10-12, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Meanwhile, a circular made to Bhutanese individuals by the ABA has stated that their fourth annual convention will kick-off on July 1 and conclude on July 3, 2011 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Click here to see the BNS coverage of OBCA’s first national convention.

“This second convention marks the end of one year formative period transitioning OBCA from an interim period into a full fledge community institution,” reads OBCA’s statement.

According to the circular made by ABA, their convention in Pittsburg will see various programs—both formal and informal including outdoor picnic, sight-seeing tour, indoor meeting, among others. A source at the ABA informed BNS that his organization is involved in an intense strategic planning session – with two days planning session on June 30 and July 1, followed by the convention on July 2.
Click here to see the BNS coverage of ABA’s third national convention.

The OBCA’s statement further stated that the convention will be marked with various formal program segments including election to the National and Regional Executives, Board of Directors and various other committees for a term of two years, honoring local community volunteers, introduction of the newly elected Executives and Board of Directors of OBCA and cultural programs as a part of the organization’s set goal of promoting and preserving the distinctly rich community culture and tradition.

Click here to see RP Subba’s piece on the need of unity among these two.


  1. Best wishes for a successful convention of both the Organisations. This seems more career advancement tactic than taking care of the current needs. The main target of both is federal and local grants.


  2. Relax, Tika. Needs cannot be taken care of by just wishing. Both these organizations need resources to provide services. As the resources are not being provided by you (let us know if YOU are providing themw ith resources- I don’t know), so they do need to look for federal, state and local grants. The main target of both these organizations SHOULD be grants, not only public but private grants too, so they can provide some services. They engage igrant seeking a lot less thanthey actually should. They should get some expert grant writing volunteers, secure funding, hire Bhutanese staff, train them and provide services, instead of just existing in name only.

    And what is wrong with career advancement? A section of the Bhutanese in the US, albeit small, will benefit by career advancement engaged in (if at all) by these organizations. Interestingly you seem to look at career advancement negatively. Any reasons?

  3. it is very nice to hear that these organisation did not die in infancy .This is a positive sign.I am sure they will come up with brilliant ideas for our community .
    I hope they will think internationally and develope a platform where all bhutanese wherever they are are represented.

  4. Tika ji,
    let me clear your confusion.
    One of the best ways to serve community is with grant,federal/states, and to get those resouces is through community organisations.other wise you can try, you as individual for grant.

    Prakask ji,

    seems very much unfortunate to you-ABA&OBCA did not die in infancy.your comment is best suited to those Bhutanese folks who owes greater share of salt to innocent. In fact, I see prematured death in their profession/practice.

  5. dear secular,
    i am really sorry my comment did offend you and any other readers of the article
    Actually i was writing in the happier tone and meaning that the people involved in the organisation have done great job for the first year to be .
    I am really sorry again .This may be just poor writing in my part but no intention to hurt anyone at all

  6. It seems fight is still on between who were self made “leader” and came to USA through different party affiliation and those who came to USA through resettlemnt proces and are crawling to be “leader”.Do you (both) really represent the bhutanese population in exile and accountable to them? We have already used lots of brain, let think from heart…

  7. Heard about organisations and conventions, felt great but i would be more happy had it been just one organisation and not two. This some way reminded me of our so many parties in nepal with all self intentions. It would be more sensible if these two organisations get merged and reach every bhutanese to help them in the way they can.

  8. Bhotangey and Secular,
    You don’t have to get aggravated and its worthless trying to tell us you know A-Z. You both are like a dry leaf floating on the surface and don’t know the depth of water you are already in. You have lot to learn before you start teaching us. Unification of people in the US was felt at the time split was public. People waited for long for a positive result. But at the end people are still made to split because of individual interest. We are not confused where from resources are mobilized, but the confusion is about leadership. ABA’s existence was known while we were in Nepal. How come OBCA got birth?

  9. It is futile to discuss now as to what and how each Organization was formed. The time is however high to raise our voices and shout on our top or our lungs ” Come Together”. I truly believe that we can achieve this if we bring awareness and do soul searching and some community work. Primarily, our exceptions from our leaders is to give us service and help us in our smooth transition to American life and not embattled communities across United States. And, change can only come with some action and little mobilization and furthermore, we are in the losing end, so we have to play hard ball and let them know that they aren’t meeting our minimum expectation. Every Bhutanese wishes for one community organization. And I ask leaders and people in position to make this happen and implore you, the common people to stand up and demand. In our togetherness, there will be a sense of our community and progress. I hope we don’t let this opportunity pass us by.

  10. Not only with organizations, Bhutanese seem to be not united in many other things.

    Why are the Bhutanese opening different businesses? I have seen that, unfortunately, in the same city, a Bhutanese opens a gas station and then another Bhutanese also opens a gas station some miles away. That is very sad. All of them should get together and own the same gas station. Why can’t they work in one business and remain united? Come together, people. I know that those who own diferent businesses are not angry with each other or fighting, but then just having two businesses is making those of us unrelated to the businesses angry and divided. How can they do that to us?If I buy gas at this one, the other gets pissed at me. Well, I think so, even though I have no prof of getting them angry no matter where I buy gas.

    In some cities, Bhutanese work with different resettlement agencies. It would be so nice if all of them worked for the same resettlement agency. And of course those who are working there or those who emlpoy the Bhutanese are just fine, but then those of us who are neither are angry and feel so divided because of this. This will destroy our community.

    In some cities, Bhutanese people are living in different apartment complexes, which is very unfortunate. They should move into the same apartment complex and live in unity like people of the same community are supposed to. Those who live in their partment complexes seem to be happy with it and have no problems but some of us think, rightly, that this is dividing the community. Come together, people!

    Some Bhutanese go to church and some go to temple while some others are not even religious. This divides the community too much. Everybody should go to one place(a church OR a temple), or the churches and temples should merge and be united, so that our community is not broken. I know the people going to church and temple or not going to either are just fine with the situation and are not angry at each other or anything, but some of us really feel that this is destroying our community. Come together, people! May be you should dissolve everything and start a new religion, which will bring all of us together.

    Lately, it has also been noticed that there is another division coming in. Some Bhutanese are buying houses, while others are still living in rented apartments. How dare they do that, dividing the community into home-owners and renters? This is sad and has to stop. Either all of us have to buy houses or rent. Which one should they do? We don’t know, butthey have to figure out on their own. Of course the house owners and apartment renters have no problems with each other and are good friends and neighbors, but some of us fervently believe that this difference must be at the core of the problems we are facing in the community, like the lack of unity. Come together, people.

    Some are applying and getting their US citizenship. How dare they do that, while some are still waiting to get their green cards or to be resettled? Now, we have refugees waiting to be resettled, refugees who are resettled, refugees who have green card and then Bhutanese who have US citizenship. We even have some who came here and applied for asylum! How can we even start to address this division? It is mind boggling. Of course those who just got here know that one day they will become citizens too and those that have citizenship now will help them in the process if necessary. They are happy with each other, but you know what? Some of us know that no matter how happy they may seem, there IS a division here that will destroy our community. Those who have citizenship can travel freely and God knows where they will go and come back while others remain here. This needs to be addressed immediately. Come together, people!

    I think we can begin by dissolving everything and having one single community organization which will address all these divisions and make us the perfectly united community with no divisions whatsoever. We of course have not seen any adverse effects of the existence of two different national level organizations (who said they were national anyway?) but then how can we be sure? There must be horrible differences and divisions, right, for them to be different organizations. There are ten different VOLAGS here in the US and they fight against each other tooth and nail and hurt the refugees in the process. Similarly, OBCA and ABA have been fighting against each other (of course you don’t see it because they are very very clever and ingenous in hiding their fights from others) and hurting the refugees every day. What proof do we have that they are not taking away all the money given to the refugees? Do you have proof of that? I don’t! Do you have proof that they are not conspiring to sell us to the next highest bidder? Do we have any proof that they are not doing evil things? No, you don’t have proof.

    So what do we do? We have to force them to stop fighting, dissolve everything thay have set up so far and start from zero. The fact that they remain divided despite our repeated demands means that they don’t really care abnout us. So, what would be the use of having the same people who don’t care about us start a third organization or be united? We should have fresh people leading fresh organization. So, yes, let us dissolve these two organizations (we can dissolve them, can’t we, even if we are not the ones who started them? Let us check if we can do that.) and start a new one without these selfish “leaders.’ Come together, people! Let us do some national unity stuff!

    There is some salt of sacrcasm in this post. Please take it with a grain of pepper.

  11. The state organizations and national organizations needs to realize that it needs to change and evolve with the community. A mindful organization functions with the best interest of its constituencies at its heart and continues to include and encourage the whole segment of society to participate in decision making process. Social change will thus be affected.

    To affect unification:

    1. The Organization/Association should publish a memorandum stating and exemplifying their dialogue initiated since the last conference. The progress of the talk and the barriers to unification ought to be highlighted.

    2. A commitment by the new board members should be to try to bridge the differences that has arisen in the past and find ways to successfully overcome it.

    3. Press release about the outcome and the road map created to successfully achieve unification should be made public.

    Let us all try and give our best to see this manifest.

  12. To begin with, can we perhaps pick up the phone and call up the executives of these organizations and see what is keeping them from being united? Do they ever hear from real people? Or do they hear only from handles of online posts? Should they seriously consider these posts here with fake names and consider that these are the unanimous views of the entire community?

    Do we, who wax eloquent about unity and blame these organizations for dividing the community, have the guts to actually step in and make things happen? I understand that OBCA is having an election in June – you unity-lobby have a great chance to get into leadership role and change things. I know some of you say that you will join neither of these groups until they are united. That is just like you – you will want to come onboard AFTER other people do the difficult task of uniting them. If you do not want to do the hard work, do not demand the same of others.

    For those who are wondering what the fuss is all about, here it is:
    OBCA and ABA are not fighting against each other. They continue to talk to each other. I understand that they have invited each other to their conventions. They have made offer to each other to continue the conversation. They both want to provide the services to the community. Instead of adding fuel to this non-existent fire, people concerned about the welfare of the community should assist these organizations as well as the local groups to do what little they can to serve those who need services.

    It is the few people who are really trying to make the rest of the community believe that we are divided as a community. So, there is no fuss, and nothing to worry about.

    If you do want to make a difference, participate in either of these organizations and try to inch them more and more towards each other – that will help speed up the process of making unity a reality. Just blaming these organizations will eventually alienate you from both these groups. Not that you will care much, but I guess that would be adding to the disunity that you seem to worried about.

  13. WE are all for Unity and yet Unification eludes us. It vexes me and I am yet to discover the sentiments behind the discord.

    The underlying speculation that few people are at the helm in fostering disunity is perplexing. I wonder how long can “individuals’ have a sway over the entire Organization/Association. Common good will always take precedence over personal motives.

    It is doubtful that executives of both ABA and OBCA are not in the know about the sincerity of call for unification. How they choose to listen is up to them. After all , they are answerable to themselves. Perhaps, an open letter (press release) from either of them for invitation to dialogue with the conditions for unification will pave the way for reconciliation. Lobbing individually for the Unification is advisable however the impact of concentrated effort will yield better result.

    Being a part of the solution is always commendable. And I am all for action. But when one’s actions hurts either of the two very good friends than one seeks to tread a middle path in the hope of making peace.

    And I am convinced that Unification will happen because we don’t really have a choice.

    Our comments are getting very personalized therefore I request you to write to me at [email protected] if you want to continue our sharing. I appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you.