Vice Chairman of the Organization of Bhutanese in America (OBCA), Manorath Khanal, has said that his organization is ready for unification with another national organization, Association of Bhutanese in America, if the latter accepts the offer. According to Khanal, parleys between the two national level organizations have been underway, but none of them were serious. At a time when both the organizations are convening in Phoenix of Arizona, Vidhyapati Mishra of the Bhutan News Service has talked to Khanal on OBCA’s efforts towards unification and other contemporary issues:
As you are convening from June 15, how far has the preparation reached?
As the chief organizer of the third convention of our organization, I must inform the community through your media that preparations are almost completed. We are expecting some 400-800 individuals from across various states of America. We’ll definitely make this a grand event in our best capacities.
What are the convention agendas this year?
Various agendas connected to social upliftment of the resettled community are the key discussion issues in our convention. Our focus will primarily be on community supports, media, literature, culture and music, among others. The community must understand that our organization is dreaming of a vibrant Bhutanese society in America in near future.
There have been demands from everywhere that OBCA and ABA should unify as a single entity. What do you say?
Like others, I do feel that there should be a single national level organization for all Bhutanese in America. I am proud to mention here that we have been conducting regular parleys with executives of ABA for materializing a single organization out of the two. However, we have noticed some technical problems, as we have always failed to physically sit for a discussion. Even the OBCA wanted to convene with ABA in Arizona. Sadly, we are holding our conventions separately in the same place. This will definitely give a wrong message to the community. But, OBCA is always ready for unification if friends at ABA accept the principle and importance of one entity.
Indeed, forming an organization has been a bad trend in America. Even community in Phoenix opted for two organizations. With tedious efforts, finally we were able to erase one organization from its existence, giving a lesson of unification for Bhutanese everywhere.
I am of the opinion that community must support national organization, and allow it to operate its branches in various states. This will create avenues for serving the community in the best manner. We should not go for quantity. We need to hunt for quality. In actuality, a powerful national organization of the Bhutanese community in America is enough. And, this should be our motto.
What community works has OBCA been doing since its establishment?
It is difficult to say how much community works we have done so far since we lack a measuring kit. But, I must say that we have done a lot of works to make our existence meaningful in just three years. We are having a premier show of our movie Suruwat during the convention. Our Nepali-language magazine, Bhutan, reaches to some 2500 families in the U.S. We are helping people during emergences.
We have helped people find jobs, and assisted many who were kicked out from their apartments by finding some donors or support agencies. We expect to broaden our working areas. But, as a non-profit organization, we have some limitations to political activities here in the U.S.