Agitating exiled Bhutanese from Sanischare and Beldangi-II camp, who have been executing hunger strike since Monday demanding refugee status and identity cards, agreed to call back their protest programs as the district authority assured to address their demands within the next 15 days.
All-party meeting facilitated by the Jhapa Chapter of Nepal Human Rights Commission on Thursday evening decided to immediately address the issue of ration and other aid facilities within two weeks time, rights activist Dr KP Siwakoti, who reached Sanischare camp to discontinue the ongoing hunger strike, informed the camp residents and media persons at 8 pm.
“The Chief District Officer of Jhapa has assured all of us in written that demands of the refugees will be addressed within the next 15 days,” Dr Siwakoti said.
Following the agreement at Pathibhara Battalion of Armed Police Force where representatives from the Bhutanese community, government officials, security chiefs and human rights defenders were present, separate groups of officials including Camp Supervisors from the Refugee Coordination Unit reached Beldangi and Sanischare camp to inform the agitating refugees and served juices to those in the protest.
Earlier today, at least two participants of the ongoing hunger strike from Pathri refugee camp were hospitalized as the protest marked the fourth-day.
Sulochana Tamang, 39, and Dhan Maya Bhusal, 35, were rushed to Damak-based AMDA Hospital this afternoon following their referral from its medical attendants.
“Their health condition has been worsening,” Community Health Supervisor, Purba Lama, told Bhutan News Service, “We decided to admit them in the hospital since they have crossed 96 hours without food.”
At least 17 asylum seekers, absentees of official registration conducted in 2006 by the UNHCR and the Government of Nepal, and registered exiled Bhutanese but without identity cards or whose rations have been suspended due to various reasons, have been continuing their hunger strike since Monday demanding registration and refugee status.
Meanwhile, when the local authority was not serious in addressing their demands even after four-days of hunger strike in Sanischare, some seven dozens exiled Bhutanese also started hunger strike from this morning in Beldangi-II camp.
The group leading the protest has been claiming that around 3,190 are in need of their refugee status.
With inputs from Lakpa Tamang from Sanischare, Lok Bahadur Mahara and Tulasi Upreti from Beldangi