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Open Letter to Nepali Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal

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Dear Mr. Khanal,

First of all, please acknowledge my congratulations for being elected as the 34th Prime Minister of Nepal after ending the seven-month long uncertainty and vacuum for a powerful government. With your election to the executive post, all Nepali citizens have started dreaming of the safe-landing of the ongoing peace process and unveiling new statute on time. At this juncture, I am happy to convey to your government that more than 75,000 of Bhutanese refugees, who have been spending their most precious time in ramshackle huts since 19 years in the eastern region of Nepal to which you also belong to and over 40,000 resettled in various countries, have also freshly renewed their hope that their issue would get a due attention in your official tenure.

File photo: PM Khanal reads a memorandum submitted by DNC President RK Dorji/picture courtesy: Karma

Dear sir, when I am writing this letter to draw your attention towards the long-standing Bhutanese refugee issue, I must remind you about your commitment towards the ongoing democratic struggle of the Bhutanese citizens, which you had expressed during a meeting with President of the Druk National Congress, Rongthong Kunley Dorji, in last September at your residence, where I was also present. Therefore, I expect that your government would try its level best to understand expectations and sufferings of the Bhutanese people, who shall ever remain indebted for all possible supports from the government and people level.

Apparently, the ongoing third country resettlement process has transformed the whole refugee-scenario and its related aspects. Those refugees, who have already availed this opportunity, have thanked everyone involved in the process including the Government of Nepal and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. However, it is not that every resettled Bhutanese is doing well or happy to be away from Nepal. Besides, a significant number of refugees want to wait in camps for repatriation, without choosing to get relocated at any cost. They want to go back to their hometowns as dignified returnees from Nepali soil and need a congenial environment for their return. Specifically, this group of refugees expects a lot from you and wants your government to open the actual doors for repatriation either by resuming the installed bilateral talks or internationalizing the issue at the earliest.

It is obvious that every change in government of a host country renews the refugees’ hope to go home with dignity and honour. And, so is the case this time as well. All previous governments assured these people that their issue would be addressed with a top priority. However, the refugees have been forced to satisfy with mere assurances at the end, and without making them feel that the governments have heard their genuine concerns. As what has been advocated by refugee leaders, it would be an appreciating step if your government could form a separate body to handle the refugee problem in Nepal so that the spirit doesn’t fade way as the government changes.

Dear sir, as over 40,000 fellow-countrymen enhance their economic status after resettlement in various resettlement countries, around 3100 asylum seekers from Bhutan have been forced to pass their days without food and facilities, as enjoyed by their friends and relatives, since they lack official recognition due to various reasons. Repeatedly, the local authority assured them of their refugee status and ration, but noting has been turned into action yet. It is well known to you that these people need urgent registration as it is not wise to keep them without any status. They have neither demanded of nationality nor want extra supports. But, they just want their status recognized so that they would be able to enjoy any of the three options –repatriation, resettlement and local integration – independently. There, I pray that your government would immediately start verifying these people and respect their fundamental rights of being recognized by an independent country like Republic Nepal.

Further, I want to inform your government that with the world’s largest resettlement under progress, the donor agencies have started reducing the size of their aid-basket. People have been forced to survive with the minimal facilities, and sometimes the supply is never regular. I must mention here with priority that medical assistance provided to the refugees is far below the expectation and requirement, most of the patients requiring expensive treatments being suggested to fill-up resettlement forms alluring them of better treatment in the resettlement countries.

Lastly, I must avail this opportunity to tell your government that refugee leaders including Tek Nath Rizal, Rongthong Kunley Dorji, and Balaram Poudel among others have been denied issuance or renewal of travel documents. Also, dozens of refugee journalists have been practicing their journalism without press accreditation since a decade as Nepal has not yet recognized their status. Therefore, I request your government to issue travel documents to ease their travel and also explore possibility to recognize refugee journalists on humanitarian grounds.

Thanking you for creating this opportunity to address you an open letter on behalf of the Bhutanese citizens in exile.

Vidhyapati Mishra
Kathmandu, Nepal

40 COMMENTS

  1. Dai,
    I appreciate with your effort for reminding the latest problems of Bhutanese Refugees to newly elected 34th prime minister of youngest republic Nepal, You summarised almost all the aspects. But, I personaly feel that, This is not the right time to remained because prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal himself is in problems in extending his government due to non-cooperatin from his own party and other.I Mean, He may not have time to review our problems. As previous experiences suggest that, government of Nepal never took our problems seroiusly.They just receive our Letters and keep aside.

  2. It’s useless to tell Nepal’s government about your problem. And there are many spies in Bhutan’s political parties and so you will never be able to do what you plan to do because these people by hook or crook drive you away from your plan without your notice. Some names you have mentioned above fall in this catagory. BECAREFUL.

  3. what is the use of pasting this letter in this site? i see no reason. please don’t just give importance to your own people’s writings only. this clearly tells that it is to highlight bidyapati only.

  4. In response to criticism expressed here by “hari”, on February 25th, 2011 that, “what is the use of pasting this letter in this site? i see no reason. please don’t just give importance to your own people’s writings only. this clearly tells that it is to highlight bidyapati only”, I would like to say that it should not be the matter who is saying what, but the matter should be what is being said.

    I have read Mr. Vidyapati Mishra’s open letter to Nepali Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal carefully, and I think Mr. Mishra has raised legitimate issues of Nepal, Bhutan and Bhutanese refugees.

    I support Bhutan News Service for posting Mr. Vidyapati Mishra’s open letter to Nepali leader, because not only Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal, but the whole world needs to learn about Bhutanese refugees issue. Bhutanese refugees issue is not a local issue of Nepal, but it has become an international issue. The Government officials, politicians and the citizens of other countries need to learn what is going on in Bhutan and Nepal. I think people like Mr. Vidyapati Mishra, are helping the world community by presenting their refugees issue to the world community, through Bhutan News Service and other media sources.

    I never met Mr. Vidyapati Mishra, and the only thing I know about him is that he lives somewhere in Katmandu, Nepal, and I guess he is related to a well-known journalist, Mr. TP Mishra. Other than that, he is totally stranger to me. I support and admire that stranger because I can see very clearly that he is fighting for rights for his people.

    “Hari” has accused Bhutan News Service of giving importance to his own people, and highlighting Mr. Vidyapati only. In fact, “Bhutan News Service” reporters, staff members and editors work very hard to serve Bhutanese community. To the best of my knowledge, probably, almost all of them work without getting paid, or getting paid almost nothing. So what is wrong if Bhutan News Service highlights one of its hardworking, honest and sincere reporters or editors writing?

    I suggest Mr. Vidyapati Mishra that he must not feel bad over criticism made by one of his own community members, and must continue his fight for his people’s rights.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  5. Dear Hari,

    Probably, you have never known what is BNS. It is childish to request editor of BNS not to promote Vidhyapati’s article when he is one of the responsible persons of the BNS team. You are resettled and may feel you are secure, but people like me in camp are really grateful to Mishra and his team. His radio programs are equally popular among the refugees in camp. Look at yourself once and comment in such a manner. Can you imagine you without media like BNS ?

    By the way, do you indirectly mean you write better than BNS team? If so, I am eager to read one.

    Ganesh
    Sanischare

  6. Dear Hari
    I think your the power generating body of BNS.Would you write single article based on 5w one H method.After all who hale you are commenting on the article of Mr,Vidhyapati Mishara .He is already highlighted more than you. Empty vessel makes more sound.
    Jay Bhutan.

  7. As a Bhutanese,vidyapati did right with his letter to prime minister khanal.Confussion-Where he prefers to be? politics or media?he is ok if he is a political leader. if he is aN ethical media man,he did blunder in his open letter to mr khanal.His letter reads so..nOT APPROPRIATE IF bns DRINKS/ EAT WITH NOSE.ROLE OF POLITICAL LEADERS IS UNDERMINED.sHAME TO RONGTHONG,BALARAM,dns ,THINLEY AND AND OTHER RADICAL LEADERS.vIDYA IS RIGHT TOO.BIG IRONY

  8. Dear Mr. Pasha,
    I am thankful to you for giving your precious time and attention to our causes and problems.I have gone through your comments and i do support you because Mr. Hari being a Bhutanese, himself feel that he is now Americane. I beleive, even we stay in USA for century and forget our langauge, culture, at the end our identity wil never change, we remain foreever bhutanese.

    Thanks
    Naresh Bista
    Bel-2, Damak

  9. In my understanding media persons writes about whatever they see/feel. Here by writing this letter it should not mean Vidhyapati is political leader. It is always media persons who raise timely voice and Vidhyapati did so let’s not attack him personally but let’s read the content of his letter and see how he has presented the ideas.

  10. I think it is useless to talk about the issue of our bhutanese refugee. We all are the victim of corrupted and useless leaders. I dont trust any bhutanese leader. Even i dont trust the T N rizal or any organisation from pro demcracy to communist. And it is joke to remind the PM of nepal. what about of the talks between nepal and bhutan government more than 15 times. people are resettling in third country and some people are still crying for repatrition. I can say bhutanese refugee will never repatriate and i dont think our leader will be success to bring change in bhutan. Lets be realistic and think about world politics and powerful country that plays in bhutan. there is no any advantage for powerful country like EU, india and USA by repatriating the bhutanese refugee in bhutan. without the help of these countries it is impossible for any refugee to get back to their own land. It is not only in bhutan or south asia but it is tru for like africa other third world. So Our problem is very very least important card played in the world politics. thats why we didnot get any attention from the international community. even nepal is not interested in our problem. So it is wise to resettle and atleast live better life than in refugee camp. people are talking about the patriotism and love towards the country. but it is more emotional and feeling. there is less reality in the patriotism. in this world economy is more important than patriotism. thats why people are searching for rich countries than land you born.

  11. Great work Vidya,

    Go ahead with any of the work of this type.

    But why do the people bark at the good work sometime?

    For. eg Mr. Hari here with his comment.

    One should at least recognize other’s work if you do not do the work of this tye.

  12. VPM bhai, I read your open letter and it is excellent. I hope JNK will read this letter and do as promised atleast after expanding his cabinet and getting his govt. stable.

    Our journalists are also the victim of political problem and thus has every right to take up political cause with anybody they wish. VPM has done a great work and i wish he could do much more in days to come.

  13. Dear Naresh Bista (From Bel-2, Damak, Nepal):

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel honored being admired by someone from refugee camp in Nepal. It feels great to learn many Bhutanese refugees presently living in the refugee camps read my comments and find my comments important enough to post a response.

    I have a dream of visiting Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal. I also cannot wait to visit Bhutan. In the past, almost everything was ready for my departure, but due to some circumstances, I had to postpone my plan to visit Nepal and Bhutan. Now, I have feelings my dream of visiting that part of the world is about to come true in a matter of few weeks.

    I have written so much on Bhutanese refugees issue in the past. I have been admired for paying attention to this issue, and I have been criticized also for “Interfering” other peoples matters.

    I have no political agenda, and I have no desire to become a leader. All I want is, just spend few hours or few days visiting those camps and meet those lovely, charming, simple and sincere people living in refugee camps. Many Americans have visited refugee camps in Nepal in the past, and their visit never hurt Bhutanese refugees issue or cause in any way.

    Loud and clear: Bhutanese refugees issue is not a matter of one or more than one groups of people, but it has become an international issue, and it needs to be resolved by the world community, to put an end to sufferings of those who are living in small huts in refugee camps, with no electricity and with no running water and without many other basic human facilities and needs, for the last about 20 years. Those refugees are humans like others living here in America. The same Almighty God created those refugees, I worship. Those people are my people, and they are my race, human race, and I intend to continue doing whatever I can to highlight and resolve this human issue, without getting practically involved in the politics of Nepal and Bhutan.

    I hope some day all of those refugees who wish to go back to Bhutan, will be able to go back to Bhutan, and whoever wishes to resettle in any other country, will have his/her wish.

    Naresh Bista Ji; I would greatly appreciate if you would please allow me to visit your home in Beldangi camp-2, during my visit to Nepal, probably in May or June 2011.

    Please visit my Face book page, to keep in touch. My ID is, “Shahid M. Pasha”.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  14. “One action is better than thousand words” – and “barking dogs seldom bites”. It has been proved by our seniors and so called leaders. Journalists duties are just to highlight and discuss matter relating to various incidents or events in the community or country. Vidya has good literature and expression which limits within itself and secure good marks if attended some grade level examinations.In this very downfall of economy and sensitive most sensitive and advanced political market around the world and most competitive and dominated by some powerful nations like US,European nations,etc.our national level politics not even counted as local level political problem as it is not solved politically nor discussed in the international lebel but consoled the victims by humanitarian grounds. We did in action long time back and tried a lot phisically and we should not even dream that it’ll be solved electronicaly by some exciting stories in the screen where we have wasted our precious 18 years. We never try to give peace to innocent rather try to put legs in two different boats. As we know a defeated ox have diarrohea….During so long stay in the camp we never developed the culture of appreciation but rather pull eachothers leg in positive development. We need a brain like Abrahan Lincoln,Dr.King Martin Luther, Mahatma Gandhi,etc..to fight in this situation as we’re just a drop in the ocean compared to other world community.Lets share practical knowledge of everything as it said do in ROME AS ROMANS DOES but not just beat in the bush and misguide our innocent people. We must study how NEpal itself decline in everything due to dirty game fighting eachother for chair. We need to refresh ourselves and give our full time to ourselves anf families and work for better future rather than making our brain poisonous with unsuccessful diryt politics with full of jealousy,selfishness,etc.Long live resettlement process and thanks to all the agencies and sponsoring nations!

  15. Dear Mr.Shahid M. Pasha,
    My pleasure to welcome you in our Huts in Refugee Camp.Truely speaking we need atleast moral support from outside world and from people like you and we hope awareness regarding Bhutanes Refugee crices will flourish and relay round the globe. so that we would be encouraged to fight against cruel ruler of Bhutan.
    Shaihid M. Pasha I went through your facebook but i could not confirm. nareshbista@yahoo.com is my id . here we can have good conversion. Again I say, to make you visit in our frail huts in camp will be our great pleasure.
    Naresh BIsta
    bel-2

  16. Dear Mr. Pasha,

    I wonder at first who you are?
    There were many questions like this. But your comment one after another are answering them in one way or the other.

    I do not understand what makes the people take interest upon the new topic and issues as our cause should be completely a new one for you.

    Still if you are truely working, there must not be a single Bhutanese who does not welcome you. But it is very hard for the people to believe, as we have been a victims of the second and third person so far.

    Anyway, if your work is worth proving, I salute you.

  17. Vidya Ji,
    Well written.
    Could you also send a copy to PM’s secretariat, through post office.
    You have covered most of the urgent matters.

    We should keep telling our pains and woes time and again.

    Thimphu’s feelers are swelling and spreading all over Nepal

    See you in KFC again
    Take care

  18. Naresh Bista Ji (From Beldangi-2, Nepal
    and
    Sushil Niroula Ji(From Adelaide, SA)

    Thanks so much both of you for your kind words.

    Bhutan News Service never uses the country’s name, Austrailia in brackets when posting a news on Adelaide or Queensland, Austrailia. “SA” could be used to refer to South Austrailia Or South Africa, South Atlanta, South Arkansas, or South Asia). If the word, “SA” indicates South Austrailia, I would like to know why some people living in Austrailia use the world “South”, with their country’s name? It is just as people living in southern part of Bhutan, add the word “South” with Bhutan.
    I think people living in Austrailia, should use “Austrailia” only, to show to the whole world that all Austrailians are united in Austrailia, and that South Austrailia and North Austrailia are not two separate countries.

    Sushil Niroula Ji, please use your city, state/province and the country name when posting your comments in the future to make it easy for readers around the world to know Adelaide is a city that is loctaed in Austrailia.

    Naresh Bista Ji: I already have added you in my Facebook’s friends list.
    “Shahid M. Pasha” is in fact my real screen name/ ID, and any one can access to my Facebook page by typing “shahid M. Pasha”, in the search window of Facebook.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  19. i am really very much confused why bhutangey in america are so happy to know about the letter given to prime minister by just bidyapati, his letter makes no sense in the ministries. it would have been at least, better , if he is someone whose name is known to every one in the camp and to international level. dasho rizal and other leaders, who are, at least known to some countries have written and appealed number of times for to the different gov. and ministers. but have we ever seen any changes so far? no never. i do not see any reason to show happiness on this letter by bidyapati.

  20. mr. hari is right. when he gets resettled in america, he becomes american reagrdless of waht race you belong to or what surname u have. likewise when you have your census in india, u r indian or when u have ur census in nepal. u r nepalese. teknath rizal, rangthong kinley dorji and poudyel aren’t bhutanese. once you have left a country by willingness, u r no longer the citizen of that country. i know you all will claim that you are forced/expelled just because u r ethnic nepalese but there is a living proof here. 1/3rd the bhutanese are ehtnic nepalese. thay are not expelled/forced out of bhutan and there are people of ur race from the farmers level to the minister’s level here in bhutan.

    when it comes to vidhyapati mishra’s concern over the refugees in jhapa, please dont be carried away by his falttery words, i am sure he will pretend to be fighting for the refugees and will abondon them in the halfway, leading the refugees from the frying pan into the oven.

    it is better to let people choose to resettle in the third countries bcoz repatraition is not going to take place. there is reason which you all must be knowing why? nepal governemt, be it republic or communist cannot push the issue an inch ahead bcoz they are already in thick soup concerning the disagreement among all the parties that have candidates in the assembly. international communities and human right organisations have tried the repatriation and have even forced delegates from bhutan to jhapa came for this reason. but you must be knowing what happened to them. mr. mishra’s open letter to the new nepal pm reflects his character. the pm isn’t ur fren so that u can send anything you like. it is the duty of the rightful refugee leader, if thre is anyone, to do so.

  21. Mahesh Ji:

    Please come visit my “Face book” page to see my pictures.
    Bhutan News Service should not be used to send or receive personal correspondence or pictures, so you should not expect from me to send my pictures to post here on Bhutan News Service.
    Some day I would like to write an article and will send my article to Bhutan News Service with my picture, but I do not know when I will do that.

    If you live in the United States, you are always welcome to meet me. All you have to do is, contact any of Bhutanese refugee leader or even an ordinary Bhutanese refugee resettled here in Massachusetts, USA and ask for my contact information. I am sure you will be given information on how to and where to meet me.

    And if you are living in any refugee camp in Nepal, or even in Bhutan, just send me your invitation with your home address, and I hopefully will visit you there, in near future.

    My life is an open book, and I have nothing to hide. I use my real name as my ID when posting my comments here on Bhutan News Service. I have recorded almost 100 videos of Bhutanese cultural/religious gatherings and shows, in last about 3 years, and posted them on my “You tube” and “Face book” pages. Please visit my “Youtube.com” page by typing “usamassusa”, or “Shahid M. Pasha”, in the search window, and you will be able to watch me in one of those videos.

    Does any one of former or current Bhutanese refugee out there still suspect I am an undercover agent of Indian intelligence agency, “RAW”, or an agent of Bhutanese Government, whose secret mission is to get close with Bhutanese refugees to divide them, to hurt their cause, and to keep an eye on them and send information to Indian and Bhutanese governments?

    Trust me, I am not against Bhutanese refugees but I am with them. I also feel that I do not have to dislike or hate Bhutanese citizens or Bhutanese Government officials to be friends with Bhutanese refugees.

    I am for LOVE, PEACE and FRIENDSHIP, and I just cannot hate anybody, even Bhutanese citizens and Bhutanese Government officials.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  22. i do not if BHS has any informations about the appeal made by camp secretaries to the prime minister jhala nath khana of nepal about the refugee issue.
    i am looking forward to view this news on bhutan news services, since we have seen bidhyapati’s, i also like to view the letter made by camp secretaries.
    i believed it is more important than bidhyapati’s. since they are representing the camps where thousands are leading a miserable life which has no hope of going back to homeland so far.
    all people have their different choices, they should be allowed to choose of their own ideas. for everyone from every corner of the world try try try.
    it is not always true that resettlement gives true life and livings.
    voices of unheard should be heard by the efforts of you me and by themselves

  23. Bhutan News Service
    and
    BNS Readers:

    I would like to clarify that I am not the one who posted a comment by the name of “M. Pasha”.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

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