Protestors call back hunger strike as govt assures to address their demands

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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.

Protesters at the strike program . Photo/Lok Mahara

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

8 COMMENTS

  1. It is a good news that the geniune refugees will be registerd and get an opprotunity to obtain benefits and to open the door for the third country resettlement.However, how many people who were againts the “refugee” title and who hesitated to call themselves refugees in the past will be entering this group as drenched mice?? Where were these 3,190 people in the past when the refugee life was hard with all scarcities? I know many geninue refugees are deprived of their benefits due to many reasons, but 50% of these protesters are either Nepali citizens or have left camp to live a standard life in the past.

  2. The concerned parties(Nepal Government and UNHCR) have to undertake thorough investigation and should ensure that no any non-refugee get the status and benefits of refugees. There were only about 40 people taking part in the Sanichare Camp hunger strike. Why didn’t all these 3,190 people take part in the hunger strike? Because only these 40 people are genuine refugees from Bhutan, they never hesitated and felt shy of facing the crew of journalists and from Sanichare only these 40 people should get the status of refugees. The same propotion of statistical fact goes in the case of other camps.

  3. Hellow Ram, its easy to verify real Bhutanese man but why you are so narrow? There are lots political prisoner who where released recently; what about them? are they not Bhutanese? who had suffer hell life in Bhutan prison. You ask, where were those refugee? first you ask to yourself! There where lots of refugee living in camps for decades with out identity…..i think you know well this. Seems your frustrated in life.
    Mr. Damber, UNHCR know very well who are true Bhutanese and they can find with in a second while doing interview. Do all 310 million people of USA come to road when they protest for health care system; Its not necessary buddy! Have you seen who else where supporting the people while doing hunger strike…there were lots of among 3190 to raise voice to media and guard the pretest area. So, think twice before you.
    We need be together and raise this issue then pointing one another. This is the main reason in our people that we couldn’t success for going our homeland. We shouldn’t be too narrow in thinking else we are looser.
    Recently, Mr. Rai was released from Chemgang Jail in Bhutan. He had suffer for 19 years; He struggle for us and we need to support those people then talking use less. All those people are true Bhutanese. Always be positive in life and be optimistic then come success to individual.
    God bless my fellow country man

    best wishes
    USA

  4. Bishnu ji, the essence of my comment was not to give Bhutanese refugee status to non-Bhutanese people. It is the duty of all Bhutanese to caution the parties involved when there is an overnight alarming increased in the number of people demanding for refugee status.
    Bishnu ji, I think you have understood more than my assertion, thank you for this.

    Damber

  5. Bishnu, Thank you for your comments on my comments about this
    article. I was concerned about possibility of infilteration of non- Bhutanese into this group which might create problems to the geniune Bhutanse-refugees. I know there are many prisoners who are released recently by the Bhutan government and who came to join the protest for thier identity and benefits, but the question is about the number shown in the article. Do you have the exact statistics of how many prisoners are released recently?
    One for thing, I am not frustated but as a Bhutanese I am concerned about the negative entities defaming the real Bhutansese..
    Hope you got what I am talking about…
    Thank you again!

  6. Hi Damber, thanks for yours response; i agree with you buddy. But my question is that, its very easy to find real Bhutanese with regards to their family and relative.So, i think its not big deal to verify true Bhutanese; they are people who really need immediate concern.
    Ram ji, with regards to political prisoners;We can find names and details of their release and all at ICRC in New Delhi or Geneva. I met couple of them and their heath condition is very bad. We really have to raise voice on this issue; they are true hero of our struggle and now they are neglected. Imagine, how they are feeling now, after coming out form hell prison and torture…..UNHCR knows this well but they turn blind eye, even Nepal govt. Forget about Tek nath n R. Kinley….they too know all of them well but this leaders has done nothing for them. See, tek Nath ji…he wrote book- torture killing me softly…did he mention rest country fellow political prisoner; he look for his recognition. I heard that that when recently release political prisoner try to contact Tek Nath, he never picks up phone.I really feel bad upon them…after spending most of their life in solid confinement; they still have to go through this situation. Every body can make difference in their life…they are the true Hero; I wrote mail to Protection head in Geneva and he is optimistic….. therefore, please everybody try to raise this issue.
    Best wishes

  7. Thank you Bishnuji You wrote the facts.See even today there are the politically imprisoned people are in the refugee camps with out ration and shelter. It is unknown what is their health matter.Let me take an example of Mr. Barma Lal Adhikari one of the political prisones, who was in the next cell with Mr. TN. But see the differences, the one ordinary man the father of two children who doesn’t have education is suffering even without basic needs. The glbal world talked about TN and RKD but there are no any Bhutanese leaders or the nations to talk for the favour of such victims. In this days the prisoners those who were released and are in the camps who are seeking for their living are still naglected by UNHCR, Community, Leaders,and the Organisation. So if any body wants to contact about the details of such victims please we are here to provide the details. If you really interested to do some thing for those detainees still in the black cell, you will be able to get the details from our organisation.
    Lastly again we want to thank to you for writing these facts (they are true hero of our struggle and now they are neglected. Imagine, how they are feeling now, after coming out form hell prison and torture…..UNHCR knows this well but they turn blind eye, even Nepal govt. Forget about Tek nath n R. Kinley….they too know all of them well but this leaders has done nothing for them. See, tek Nath ji…he wrote book- torture killing me softly…did he mention rest country fellow political prisoner; he look for his recognition. I heard that that when recently release political prisoner try to contact Tek Nath, he never picks up phone.I really feel bad upon them)
    Again thank you so much from or side. You wrote only you heard but we are here who experienced.

  8. Kashyap ji,

    i am with you guys;; let make difference in their life….i wrote to editor of this news service and apfanews to publish article with regards to political prisoner( forgotten true hero’s of our struggle). Ya, we can see the difference between TN and RKD.
    I read in news that TN, Bala ram poudel and RKD met various political leaders of nepal; evem PM Madev Kumer N but what they did for them….they simply talk of their work and recognition. Where in same time they forget their cell mate in Chemgang Jail.
    Can you give give me the id of rkd and teknath.
    I think Burma lal ji and Dhan kumar sir spent 19 yrs in hell prison;Still they dont get help form UNHCR nor Nepal Govt. So, my question is why so call leaders by them self dont make this serious issue to nepal govt.
    To verify political prisoner, don’t need any interview; UNHCR can get their details form ICRC, new delhi.
    I urge all leaders to raise voice on them.