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NH Senate Committee discusses Bhutanese refugee issues 

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New Hampshire Senate Committee heard a resolution on the Bhutanese refugee issue in an attempt to recognize the contribution of Bhutanese refugees in New Hampshire, and requested the United States government to work diligently on resolving the prolonged crisis. The resolution also asked requested for an agreement to allow the option of repatriation, and promoting human rights and democracy in Bhutan.

The Bhutanese delegates with NH Senators
The Bhutanese delegates with NH Senators

Testimony in support was given by Senator Dan Feltes of Concord and five other persons. The five persons, who testified included, DB Chuwan, a torture victim and also a long-sering former headteacher, former NH senator Doug Hall, who testified on the contribution of Bhutanese in New Hampshire, Suraj Budathoki, who presented to the committee his personal story, general background and cause of eviction, Travor Hart, who testified his research on Bhutanese issue, and Dilu Chhetri, who spoke on the Bhutanese women’s plight.

According to Suraj Budathoki, New Hampshire State Senators and House of Representatives also registered a resolution in the NH General Court.

Budathoki said, “This resolution has two parts. One asks NH State to recognize our contribution in the state of NH. Another part asks the U.S government to work diligently to resolve the human rights and democracy issue in Bhutan and Bhutanese refugee in Nepal”. He further added, “This resolution is very critical at this time as there is no any voice for our cause”.

The NH Senate committee hears on the Bhutanese refugee issue
The NH Senate committee hears on the Bhutanese refugee issue

There are ten senators and representatives including two Republicans and eight Democrats to sponsor resolution.

In the resolution, New Hampshire general court has been asked to recognize the industry and culture of Bhutanese refugees, who made New Hampshire stronger, and respectfully requests that the United States government work diligently with the governments of Bhutan, Nepal, India, and other interested parties, to resolve the refugee crisis, reach an agreement to allow the option of repatriation, and promote human rights and democracy in Bhutan.

It is expected that the Senate committee will vote to support the resolution and to present it to the full Senate sometime later this year or early next year. If the Senate approves, it will then go to the House of Representatives for a similar process.

After approval by both House and Senate, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate will sign and forward a copy to the President of the United States and to John Kerry, the Secretary for the United States Department of State.

The full text of the resolution can be found on the New Hampshire legislature website::http://gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2015/SCR0001.html

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