A former top ranking military officers in exile, who served at Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) for several years, has revealed that even high ranking Lhotshampa personnel in the nation’s armed forces and civil services were uninformed of the then government’s planned strategies regarding execution of “ethnic cleansing” in Bhutan.
N B Giri, a former commissioned army officer, who served in RBA since 1981, has dug out some new perspective of the state-sponsored “ethnic cleaning” that the fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, executed by depopulating Lhotshampa and their well-wishers from eastern and western belts in late 1980s and early 1990s.
“The government’s ‘operation ethnic cleansing’ in the southern Bhutan is a thorough brainwork and well thought out teach work aimed at its well execution by the ruling echelons, the ethnic Tibetans or Ngalungs, their ministers, army chief and the King, keeping the international community at bay by carrying out propaganda drill of economic development in the south with a venomous design at the back of mind,” claimed author Giri in his newly released book titled “Justice to Justice: Bhutan”.
The 130-page book was released earlier this month in Kathmandu, Nepal. This book, the author told Bhutan News Service, is more or less based on his personal observation, especially during years of service as a top ranking officer in RBA and one of the human rights advocators in exile.
According to his analysis, the mass agitation by the people of the southern districts was in retaliation against the government’s detrimental policies and its forceful implementation. “It was not an uprising for democracy but an uprising for basic changes in the total authoritarian rule,” the book claimed.
In a surprising manner, the author has also claimed that RBA deployed to suppress 1990s peaceful demonstrations exploited military power to shoot innocent Lhotshampa, and videotape scenes, especially showing bleeding, suffocation and death of citizens.
His claim is such that those videos and photos became a part of a powerful documentary film produced by giving “desired effects” to falsely prove that the involved scenes were actions against innocent Lhotshampa by their own community members, more preciously the “anti-national agents”. Fully edited still photographs were published in a glossy book and massively circulated among public to terrorize innocent citizens.
Later, both the documentary film and the propaganda book became powerful tools to convince “selected people at selected places” about the so-called “anti-national campaigns”, but in reality they were peaceful demonstrations, according to Giri.
The writer was born to his father, late Shriman Giri, and mother, late Kumari Maya Giri, in Samchi, Bhutan. An alumnus of National Defense Academy (NDA), India, he also earned a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) India and AMIMI, UK.
The author also served at the ministry of development under the road mechanization project as a deputy director before his “unjustifiable arrest”, an attempt to tactfully fire and eventually evict top-ranking Lhotshampa military and civil servants, exercised by the regime during late 1980s and early 1990s.
The book is priced US $20, and will available for purchase through the Bhutan News Service soon.