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Nepal urged to register ex-political prisoners

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Adelaide, Jan 4: Bhutanese Australian community living in South Australia have appealed the Government of Nepal for taking steps in registering people who were released from Bhutanese prisons over different times as refugees.

The letter addressed to Nepalese PM Dr. Baburam Bhattrai contains 30 signatures mostly of community workers, former political prisoners including Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience and community members.

After released from Chemgang prison, which the letter describes as the most notorious prison in Bhutan, some nine Bhutanese are known to be living with their family or relatives in refugee camp who are denied refugee status by the Government of Nepal.They are dependent on the ration and facility given to the host family. According to the appeal, they are having traumatic life and various hardships including insecurity and uncertainty in Nepal.

Although they made various appeals and attempts in the past to get registered, their appeal was turned down each time without satisfactory reasons.

Interestingly, they are recognized and registered by International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) as political prisoners and their ICRC numbers are mentioned against their name in the appeal. The appeal is copied to various stakeholders including Nepalese Home Minister, UNHCR and refugee advocacy groups, among others.

23 COMMENTS

  1. For people who have not yet read this wonderful piece by Drukpa…

    Drukpa Says:
    November 3rd, 2011 at 9:12 am
    The tragedy of the so-called Bhutanese refugee crisis seems to be repeating itself. Those who have failed to understand the true nature of the tragedy now have another chance. Hopefully they won’t miss the irony either. Against a tide of international criticism in the 1990s the government of Bhutan maintained that the mass exodus of Nepalese from southern Bhutan was not a result of government or military pressure on citizens, but was a result of the refugees’ own secret little plan. Leaving Bhutan in droves was Stage I of the Plan. Coming back to Bhutan in force of numbers and on their terms was supposed to be Stage II.

    Many of the refugees-to-be wholeheartedly supported this plan. The concept of a Greater Nepal featured prominently in the delusions of the Nepalese diaspora those days, encouraged no doubt by the successes of the Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Many of them relished the idea of Bhutan going the Sikkim way. Kanak M. Dixit, a prominent editor from Nepal even wrote a cover page article on Bhutan revealingly titled “House of Cards” that seemed to foresee imminent collapse in Bhutan (Kanak Mani Dixit: House of cards: fearing for Bhutan. Himal Vol.7 No 4, July/August 1994.). Such sentiments had to be carefully hidden however and not surprisingly were heatedly denounced as some RGOB bogey.

    Not all refugees were so excited by this delusion and many had to be coerced through threats and intimidation to cooperate. There was a militant wing among the refugees that offered to shorten by 6 inches anybody who did not cooperate. Translated bluntly, this was an offer of a beheading. Since the refugees were shrewdly trying to craft a picture of a persecuted minority, this fact too had to be denied. The refugee leaders cleverly deflected the blame for the exodus on a ‘despotic kingdom’ dabbling in the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of a ‘peaceful minority’. Now which self-respecting headline reader could resist buzzwords as catchy as these?

    Having successfully created the critical mass of refugees and successfully set up their camps in Nepal (which incidentally was made possible only after a Long March and a standoff with the Nepalese police over the Mechi bridge), the plan began to stumble. The refugee leaders had never reckoned with Bhutanese bureaucratic obduracy and for 16 years Stage II has been in limbo. They’ve had to struggle to keep people focused on why they left Bhutan and what the next step was. Sadly for them, international sympathy for their humanitarian situation did not translate into international belief that the refugees were all Bhutanese citizens.

    Finding lessons for Bhutan from the happenings in India and Nepal has been a habit among the Nepalese leaders in Bhutan. Their agitations in Bhutan in 1952 and 1990 following the successes of the uprisings against the British in India and against the monarchy in Nepal respectively bear this out. So it was no surprise that in the successes of the Maoists of Nepal the refugee leaders found inspiration and they promptly created their very own Maoist group. Unfortunately in their excitement they forgot about the US’ penchant for overreacting to anything communist or even the colour red. Not surprisingly the US became unduly alarmed by this and decided enough was enough and offered to clear the camps with a sweeping offer of resettlement in the USA.* Most of the refugees jumped at the offer as they saw it for what it was – an opportunity of a life time.

    In this happy solution however the refugee leaders have found despair. Who will they lead is the main question. What will become of them as leaders? These hard questions have triggered the return of their hidden true nature and despite the risk of losing their hard earned image of peaceful refugees, they have once again resumed their old role of ‘guiding’ the people. According to them, the US offer is simply no good. No doubt being six inches shorter has something to do with it. Reports from Nepal describe a rapidly worsening situation as the Bhutan Communist Party and the Bhutan Tigers’ Front intensified their ‘campaign’ against third-country resettlement.

    Such is the level of fear and intimidation that has gripped the refugee camps that dozens of families have fled the camps for their safety. Many refugees now find safety in the surrounding villages.

    If there is one thing that is worse than becoming a refugee, it is for a refugee to have to seek refuge FROM a refugee camp. Abraham Abraham, the Country Representative of the UNHCR camps in Nepal must answer up to this incredible failure.
    And it is high time that he and the UNHCR organization acknowledge the sinister role played by the refugee leaders in the creation of the refugee tragedy.

  2. I like the article by Mr Drukpa. He must be very inteligent guy. His story is very true, discloses the fact of these bloody refugee leaders. They must be deported back to Bhutan, they deserve those Bhutanese prisons more.
    And these Adelaide Bhutanese Australian group is all corrupt group of so-called leaders who simply use community people for their own benifit of vested interest only, they use intimidation to fulfil their objectives. Otherwise why only 30 people sign out of >5000 Australian Bhutanese, because only those poor 30 servents consider them as leaders any more, others have deserted them! This few people who declare themselfs as leader and consider others as weak will be alone soon, you all will see this. It has started to be seen now actually. This is happening just as predicted by Mr Drukpa in the above comment article that these socalled leaders have no more public support and no one people they can use as their member in the organisation they open. They will soon vanish!So another revolution will soon come where new leaders who r fair, just n impartial, not polluted from previous leaders, western educated leaders will receive maximum vote to lead the Bhutanese communnities around the world!

  3. The so called BPP and its sympathizers should not be left unattended. They are the root cause of the problem and should be punished. The principal leader of BPP was responsible for many illegal immigrants in his native village. He brought in people from near by neighbouring towns charging hefty amounts. Yes we can be ethnically affiliated but does not mean that we should support immigrants that would undermine our own resources, facilities, opportunities. It is high time people should awake themselves! Arise Awake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. As we all know these Lotus Flower and Drukpa are some of the corrupted writers and commenter who are weakening the unity and trust between our fellow Bhutanese in diaspora and here inside the country.

    In fact, these agents are trying to suppress and hinder the movement and cry emerging inside and out Bhutan against the well designed drama of Democracy and GNH.

    I also agree that there are some untrusted leaders in our community here in Bhutan and in diaspora, but that does not mean our movement for freedom and justice in Bhutan is worthless and unnecessary. I too believe formation of Tiger and Bhutan Communist party is the response to the ignorance from JSW and his associates towards our Bhutanese fellows’ demand for real Democracy and freedom. If the rilling body does not hear the peaceful movements and protest, then there is always a need of alternative. That is what it is.

    Bhalay Adhikari, commenter above is no more than another Nalung’s agent, if he is an ordinary fellow Bhutanese, how could he forget the suppression of the brutal army of JSW during 90s? How could he forget the inequality, unjustice, and biasness of JSW and the whole Wangchuck dynasty over other minority like Sharshopas and Lhotshampas?

    What has been done by our fellow Bhutanese from Australia is a step ahead to appreciation, hope this type of appeal would reach to the international courts. Let us hope our people in East, West and in South would get fear treatment in this great country.

    BNS should boycotts these agents of JSW from posting unreliable and inappropriate comments in this precious new media.

    Long live Bhutan’s people movement!

  5. Once I try to publish my article on behalf of Bhutanese refugee in Eastern Nepal in kuensel online, but the editorial team who are implementing a 100% censorship on the topic of Bhutanese refugee denied my article.

    This is only one example; there might be lots of other bitter experiences of other folks too. However, thank you BNS for being the good example to the people and the regime not being bias in any articles.

    I personally would like to advice commenters above Truth, Lotus Flower, Drukpa, to evaluate the situation of Sensorship, suppression, discrimination, unfairness, and biasness practiced by your’s uncles in Thimphu.

    Remember, how would you feel when one day Sharshop people in East kicked your Uncles including you (paid agents) back to Tibet for no reason? What kind of freedom and develpment you are implemending? What kind of attitude are you building for comming generation?

    Atleast, those Sharshop (people for South) have had eradicate the melaria, fertile the southern foothills, and made it a center for food supply. What you idots did? To, be honest, you kicked your own people out, and now hiring Indian, Austrilian and Japanese technicians and manpower there? Are you kidding me?

    Better correct your uncles’ attitude and mind, and then start complening souther Bhutanese.

    If not come to Londan, I will teach you how to be a man!

  6. Down with those filthy comments in the name of revolution,,,,The third country resettlement has been done due to fear of Maoist movement in Bhutan as the result of immense success of Nepalese Maoist movement….India, Bhutan and others have played the role….supported by those anti Maoist leaders of Bhutan….but the fact is that the resettled Bhutanese refugee should not be proud of being in those developed countries as they have no option rather than to become AS A GULAM.

  7. Lets be fair,I mean not to blame JSW and his Govt. We should not forget to recall the past days. I mean how we started movement inside Bhutan ? How our so called leaders forced our people to join the movement ? Yes it is true that, so many innocent people were lost 6″ i.e. beheaded, killed,kidnapped.We destroyed community services like school/health centres/bridges and public porperties.

    In fact it was jsw who personally went to meet the villagers and asked not to leave the country.
    It was JSW who encouraged Drupka and Nepali marriage and reward of RS.10,000/=
    It was JSW who provided fertile land to nepali SUKUMBASI (LANDLESS PEOPLE) at the free of cost.
    It was JSW who helped a dozer handiman (T.N. Rizal.) to become a member of Royal council.
    It was JSW who inducted nepali in his personal body guard.
    It was JSW who promoted nepali officer at the rank of ministers and Dashos.

    But, JSW kind gesture towards nepali was taken as weak lleadership by the handful
    of so called nepali leaders and tried to undermind his Govt. and underestimated his strong and dynamic leadership.

    We proudly talk about democracy,human rights but never realized that we have also voilated human rights of innocent majority people who were forced to leave Bhutan by our nepali leaders in order to increase their numbers.Those who refused to join them were killed,their properties destroyed .

  8. Yes in fact,

    It was JSW who conspired and categorized our own people. ( A, B, C, D,
    and more)

    It was JSW who compelled us to wear his Garments as our National dress.

    It was JSW who enforced his language as our National Language.

    It was JSW who dominated and hinder our Sharshop Language.

    It was JSW who focused the development project only towards his dynasty and Nalungs.

    (What does he ever bring to the East other than compelling our thousands of youths to be monks in his monasteries.)

    It was JSW who banned Nepali Language from being tough in schools.

    It was JSW who introduced the concept of ethnic cleansing.

    It was JSW who ordered to tortured and killed our innocent fellow Bhutanese during
    peaceful protest.

    It was JSW who promote his army to rapped and killed young womens in South during 1990s.

    It was JSW who used middle man (conspirators) to ruins peoples’ movements for freedom and democracy.

    It was JSW who used his spy to jeopardize and crack down the movement for equality and justice in Bhutan.

    It was JSW who made 1/6 of our population to be refugee.

    It is JSW who is paying to agents like you to write articles and comments in all medias and here at BNS to hide his bitter truth, and to introduce his goodies.

    It is JSW who introduced grand designed drama of GNH to hide his brutality and conspiracy.

    This grandson of Tibetan descent- JSW, makes we all Bhutanese shamed to know that our 1/6 % population are living their life of refugee for more than 20 years.

    Shame on you JSW.

  9. Against a tide of international criticism in the 1990s the government of Bhutan maintained that the mass exodus of Nepalese from southern Bhutan was not a result of government or military pressure on citizens, but was a result of the refugees’ own secret little plan- the Drukpa of Nov 3, 2011.
    The secret plan against the refugees, as can be traced openly from various news media and the official declarations of the national dignitaries was to make them own the ill that was brought against them under dual pressures of military and local administration. Before anybody decided to leave the country of their “own free will”, tonnes of “free will” emigration application forms were printed and dispatched from the Home Ministry and introduced to the people for their action. This comment writer still remembers writing an appeal on request by a neighbour, to the local authorities in compliance of their verbal orders to leave the country on “own free will”. That applicant was full of tears and chose not to take “fair compensation” of his immovable properties….
    On the part of the refugees, “their own secret little plan” was seen much later being the expression of their desire of repatriation to homesteads with “dignity and honour” that was seen as “anti-India activity” on the Indian soil. That made some Bhutanese to pay the price with their blood while others escaped with wounds on their bodies. May it be said here that all “Bhutanese at home” are proud Indians and those that left are Pakistanis, but without designated country?
    We see that China watches over the security of Tibet against the Tibetan Government in exile and India defends Bhutan against the Bhutanese people, also in exile. When brutal might ascends the height, it tramples down its own moral right. It is like milking the cow completely leaving nothing for its calf and killing it!

  10. <<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Lets forget the past and think about the future. We all know that what our leaders have done and What they will do. only 6 percent in South Australia has got same faith on them. lets be positive and congraz our leaders to get such a great support.
    We should feel lucky to be refugee and credit should goes to our great leaders who burnt the National dress of Bhutan in Bhutan and now encouraging people to wear same dress on public functions.
    Some of us don’t even understand the language of Bhutan “che ge ming gachemo” and still feel proud to the member of Bhutanese in South Australia.
    Some good radio hosts are labouring hard to host the community and some boarding teachers are lecturing on English thinking that all community members are boarding Students. And the slogan is Be positive but they don’t know the computers they are using runs also because it gets both positive and negative charge.
    But the fact is 90 percent of us only wants to know about the Centre link payment. I think we will once again trust our respectful leaders if tell us that they can increase our centre link benefits.
    I am hoping that they will appeal our Australian PM regarding this issue and this time the number of people will be 31 Because I am also gonna sign it.
    cheers

  11. It’s just nothing more than a matter of laugh when I read a comment written by Bhalay Adhikari. Let’s see his part of comment “So another revolution will soon come where new leaders who r fair, just n impartial, not polluted from previous leaders, western educated leaders will receive maximum vote to lead the Bhutanese communnities around the world!”. Who do you think will lead the bhutanese community and why is it necessary? You wrote they are western educated leaders. Do they? Even You, I and all those who were born in Bhutan didn’t intend to repatriate and chose the resettlement, how is the probability that those born in a new country will go and fight in Bhutan. Who do u send there? Your son?

    Your comment is a matter of fun though

  12. What the hell people are writing here; we are concern of those 9 political proisoneers, ….not bla bla bla…all bullshit and waste of shit time, what you guys tlaking about; we dont have time to read all those shit comments. Greedy pigs keep on barking!!
    The question here is that, we need to help those people who sufffer lot in bhutan prisons and now suffering in nepal….
    so…be better and write good.
    cheers..
    rajesh,
    nyc

  13. Most of the above shits are bogus writings in shake of comments. Don;t care for the barking dogs. Go ahead and do good for the suppressed people…..

  14. BHUTANESE RUFUGEE….you are very positive towards these so called leaders….you are great man….these leaders are really trustworthy coz they did wanderful job before..they are very farsighted and well esteemed…you see bhutanese democracy..its all because of their sacrifices from MECHI BRIDGE..They are such a powerful people that they are able to change absolutism to people’s democracy in bhutan even from MECHI BRIDGE, FROM REFUGEE CAMP, FROM KATHMANDU, NEW DELHI AND SO ON…SO refugee..be sure that they will be able to increase your government benefits as well….GOOD LUCK…

  15. I appreciate what Rajesh wrote. We are not perfect in everything. So it is true to accept that we do wrong in some points of our life. Our leaders did the same thing:sometimes right and sometimes wrong in their life. Whatever they might have done in the past, their appeal to the government of nepal to give justice to those poor prisoners is always right. So Friends, this is not actually a matter to bargain, criticize and bluff about but to help the prisoners get justice.

  16. The initiative taken by resettled Bhutanese in South Australia to appeal the PM of Nepal for registraion of former political prisoners deserves high appreciation.
    The prisoners who are appealing for registration now in Nepal have experienced the same hardship and sufferings as the then jail inmates who are now resettled in different countries of the west and are in the camps. It is a injustice that the prisoners during the democratic movement have been denied registration as refugees.Their family have been disoriented and many are victims of post traumatic disorder.
    We hope that the Nepalese PM Dr.Baburam Bhattarai will take up the issue seriously as a genuine humaniterian concern and provide them with refugee status and protection.

  17. Hi, sunman,sunmaya aka sonam,

    Please do not hope Nepal Governments’s help, Nepal and genuine Nepali people is facing similar problem like Bhutan and genuine Bhutanese .
    Bhutan with migrants of Nepali origion and Nepal with migrants of Indian origion.

    Nepali migrants living in the southern part of Bhutan is called Lotshampa and Indian living in the southern part of Nepal are called Terai Madeshi.These medashi people were deprived of most of the fundamental rights from many decades by the democratic Government of Nepal including the votings rights.

    They are still prevented from joining Nepal Security Forces and holding important posts.

    Now king is nomore…it is shame to Nepali leaders who failed to elect the genuine Nepali citizen as the first President and vice president of Nepal.

    Just to achive their goals of vested intrest, they handed over important ministerial berths to Madeshi people today.

    You just ask to genuine Nepali against the Madeshi and their active role in present Nepali politic .Then you will realize being a refugee and claiming to be a genuine bhutanese.

    You must say Thanks to JSW. for providing all the rights including joining Security force,holding important post in the Government.

  18. Very positive on what our 30 members has done. I guess Every comment made is meaningful and
    I understand that its now almost impossible to see every individual but they could have still send emails through many on-line groups and inform people about the matter.
    the only reason to comment is to tell that Jesus!!!…we missed the chance to sing for our people.
    I am hoping that our fellow leaders will let us know and give us chance to do something for our patriotic people. I am quite sure our self made leaders will learn some common things. JESUS!!! will help.

  19. Not only nine, still more to be released from the darkest prisons of Bhutan and they should be given refugee status unless they seek for the same. What has been doing in the name of justice is always been appreciated.

  20. Berdewa first of all u said that madhasis people living in terai belt of nepal are facing the similar crisis like the Southern Bhutanese of Bhutan and cited the example of Madhasi people assuming the highest and the most honorable post like the first ever president of the nation from the medhasi community.

    U even don’t have any right to compare the southern Bhutanes with the Madhasi of South Nepal. Did the Govt of Nepal kicked their ashes like RGOB did to u and to me?
    The madhasi were working in the most honorable position before even your father was born. Don’t give such unrelated example which forced me to say that you have incomplete knowledge of the situation in Bhutan and in Nepal.U know the madhasis are pushing the Pahadis against the mighty Himalayas with the latent support of India.It is India who created this situation to us and India is sidelined all the neighbor to promote their vested interests.

  21. Dear Tulasha,

    You have rightly pointed out the facts saying that, nepal govt did not kicked out Madeshi like bhutan did to nepali.

    Do you know why ?.. answer is.. majority bhutanese sre united and belives in ONE NATION ONE PEOPLE.. so handful of disgruntal people with their vested intrest forced our innocent people to go out of bhutan.

    Secondly, our bhutanese leaders are united and pople love to live in peace.Where-
    as in Nepal leaders are divided and complled to use all the tactic to fullfill their goal.One day they may sale Nepal to china/India like Nepali of Sikkim sold SIKKIM to India.

    Due to wise and dynamic leadership in Bhutan, India remain our good/close and trusted neighbour/friend for the past 61 years with out any doubts.

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