Question of one national organization


It is not about you and me
It is not about you and me. It is about the Bhutanese in America. It is perhaps unfortunate that within a gap of few weeks, we Bhutanese are bound to observe two conventions—both of them claimed to be of “national” level. We recently observed the first convention of the Organization of Bhutanese in America (OBCA). The 3-day third convention of the firstly formed Association of Bhutanese in America (ABA) begins from today. Many from within the community are eagerly waiting for ABA to lay out the plans to eliminate this mistrust and avoid the path of division.   

The creation of two different national level organizations will be a blow to the morale of Bhutanese in America and it sends out a ripple effect to the Bhutanese in exile. It will not only divide the people but lose support because most of the people will remain in between reluctant to contribute on either side. How does this impact the future of Bhutanese in America? At this crucial hour, many are interested to know about the practical steps taken by the ABA to open the doors of possibilities to make one national organization in America. The ongoing convention should adequately pave ways towards the formation of a “united” community at the national level.   

When viewed from practical perspective, there arise some questions: Is this convention going to be peoples’ convention with voting rights given to all to determine the future of Bhutanese unity in America or is it just another convention of a group in contention with others, setting the paths toward divisions? What are the proposals to include all those new friends who feel disenfranchised in many ways by the ABA? Is ABA, as a first-born organization, going to opt for specific measures and live up to the expectations of the people?  I trust that there is still time to live up to the promise and deliver it.  

Here it might appear that the writer is turning harsh to ABA’s convention but personally neither I am in support of ABA nor do I favor OBCA. At this crucial hour, I do not hesitate to take the side of many within the community dreaming of a single national level organization giving people progressive and pragmatic opportunities to make a new beginning. This may not solve all the problems but certainly instill the foundation of trust in the community. Together, we might find ways to tackle many basic problems facing at the initial stage of struggles especially in those states where there are no local organization.  

It must be made clear that it is time to think twice about the stakes involved in the unity of all Bhutanese in America. It is time that we all take timely actions to respectfully tell ABA and OBCA to come together as one at this very initial stage before the fire of division spread and engulf us. Honestly, I see an unfortunate fork at the road that if ABA does not recognize, accept and offer a solution now, we all are doomed to divide. This is the time for ABA to lead by offering valuable and varieties of options, giving the people good reasons to follow. We want one organization at the national level without competing among the two but by coming together in understanding as one.  

At a time when the third country resettlement process is gaining good momentum, a clear majority of freshly resettled people in USA have been encircled by various problems including difficulties in finding a job, clearing off the basic bills, among others. Some of the challenges that the resettled Bhutanese are facing might be immediately addressed from within the community. Solving such problems through individual efforts is an uphill battle. Thus, it is the demand of the time that we come out with a strong “one national organization” that can guide the Bhutanese in USA in the right direction so that the people tomorrow will be grateful of the paths we have shown today. It might be too early to say but let’s hope the ongoing convention of ABA will leave no stone unturned to bring unification on the single subject of one National organization for all Bhutanese in America.    

(The author is Chairman of the Bhutanese Community Support Organization in America)


  1. Dick sir,
    Great thought!!! I some where felt that you copied my feelings. The ball is in the hand of ABA whether to come to unity or not. OBCA I think has already tried a lot to work together in a common platform before their convention in June. If ABA tries to show their supremacy, the Bhutanese in America will be not two groups but as many as the number of post crazy so called leaders are. Hey guys today in Georgia in ABA’s convention, please be aware about what Dick Chhetri sir has expressed. You will have no sense of being president or any portfolios if you have no sense of joining hands with OBCA. I dont mean I support OBCA but the feelings of new arrivals are carried by OBCA than ABA. And any holding the position of Presidentship in ABA should immediately come to dialogue with OBCA. If you guys dont listen our opinion, I warn you that I can organised a stronger organisation than ABA and OBCA. Please this is my request.

    Deepak Adhakari

  2. I want to very strongly second Dick jee and Deepak jee. If ABA and OBCA have been formed for the greater needs and interests of the Bhutanese in America, then we Bhutanese want to see these organizations united soon. Regarding this, as Dick and Deepak jee have mentioned, ABA has far more roles to play than OBCA. ABA guys need to come up with a real intention of doing some thing good for the community by extending the hands of unification. You are not going to lose anything by doing this, instead your tarnised image in the community will be at least placed behind the veil. Lastly, please do understand that 2010 is not 1990s.

  3. Dick g Im very much pleased with your flowery statement in your article .I donot think that you will unite all bhutanese in your coat.As we know there are two org in America OBCA and ABA .Bhutanese in America will not satisfy with your org tomorrow .The people will open another org in the name of welfare of bhutanese people in america .In this contest you will unify different org or you will go for the support .If we have strong dedication and faith towards your community you will not need so called organisation.Any how you people are linking towards democratization go ahead you will achieve no things in future .

  4. Congratulations Dick Dai for this article. This surely is a great call for unity at a time when we are lost in winning small battles – while we tend to forget the big war infront of us. A certain group may win a battle in its own small ways but over all, the community will tend to lose. Disunity is a ‘race’ to the bottom and it will allow others – pleasure to mock at us. As for ‘unity’ you are a consistent vice. I guess, people will expect you to lay down ideas to work a grand ‘unity’ if possible, in the days to come. It is always worth serving as an ordinary sepoy in a big battalion than serving as an officer in a small platoon.

  5. I am wondering why ABA never listen to the Bhutanese voice.We dont care what they are doing in Maryland.Bhutanese are around they will not get credit only by saying that,they are doing for Bhutanese.I dont have any favor to both organization,but my favour is Unity.I support the voice of Rp sir and Dick sir.I am been saying that if ABA keep on ignoring people will lead Bhutanese unity in to garbage.Not only that it will kill the ABA trust and vision softly.

  6. It is great to know what all of us are calling for the welfare of the Bhutanese community of America at this juncture. All of our notes in this regard sound great and justful. But the right thing to voice at this juncture, according my reasons, is condemnataion of our guys that are messing up with peace and progress of the resettled people in their new homes. Having said this what I would emphasize here is on the idea that the folks at the jerk should calm down and withdraw from being over important, and then let the other people have freedom to gradually find for themselves whether or not they have a need of a nationally serving body for them, and form it through a long term discussion in the community. The current process is hasty-nasty. It is spoiling the precious dignity of the people. My idea, in other words, is letting people settle down well physically and spiritually in their new land along with their building of economic stability for them.
    If the stuffs are about continuing the tussle with Bhutan government that we began in late eighties, I am not there. I beg all of your pardon for this.

  7. I think there is no problem in opening different organizations when the core problem of unity lies due to our traditional social divisions and racial values or religious values.

    While we tend to ponder why can’t we have unity at the national level, in my opinion it is fundamentally important that we discard earlier norms and traditional stigmas. Do that openly, discuss and once that is resolved, there will be further steps to take.

    At the moment local or regionally broad organizations should open and compete. I think it has boiled down to the survival of the fittest. Otherwise Bhutanese people at least have some common sense, that if they don’t unify it is going to affect the common population.

    Do they even care? No. We have seen it is a No.

    If that doesn’t enter the heads of our leaders, then ability and time should show what the outcome will be.

    Jai …local organizations ….and regional organizations.

    I do not see a conflict between different regional organizations if they want to operate in their own separate spheres of ‘region’ or ‘…in their own spheres of personal networks’.

    I should say the media, the Bhutanese advocates should let our organizations develop as fast as they can. Let the process develop faster. When unity is not achieved. They will crumble themselves. And the lesson will be learnt.

    If in the refugee camps, the same thing happened, then the party people will draw an inference, and be confirmed for the second time in their lives, that ‘we should not have done we they did, and we should have done something else’.

    If nothing yet has happened, how will they realize?

    I see we should leave it to time and just watch, and then after everything has dimmed we can put light into the heads of our beloved leaders…

  8. The call for unification is overwhelmingly supported by Bhutanese supporters and well-wishers and most importantly by general common people. Never has the voice been so loud or prominent in our struggles. And having said that it rally dismaying to see that no concrete resolution or a course of action been annouced or charted by the leaders on both ABA and OBCA. The sense of urgency and the commitment to address this with clarity of thought and deeper sense of purpose is what is seen missing and maybe it is about time that we start offering feedbacks about how to achive it.

  9. B’cash ko B’chaar raamro laagyo. The best way to achieve what you are voting for is an easier other. We need the Martial Arts discipline here. In MA, if the existing leader does do the things right a new leader emerges de facto. When this happens the old leader has to subdue to the new, and cooperate and follow the new leader. Does this make any sense to you?

  10. hello every one,
    Why not bsn play this vital role to keep the people openion by casting their vote online ABA VS OBCA
    BNS please create the vote program in your site.
    vote…… vote and vote online..!!!!!
    Santosh Thapa

  11. I am not sure how much there is to this ‘unity’ thing, but there seem to be many who think this is a ‘burning issue.’ I see no smoke.
    How can we achieve this ‘unity?’ – By having ABA fold shop, bow down to every one who thinks ABA should bow down to them, and handing over to them whatever ABA has so far. By looking at ABA, that is not going to happen. Not until ABA is convinced its existence is irrelevant.

    Some of us write about this unity. Some of us preach. Few of us are willing are willing to get down and dirty, take blows, make compromises, agree to be humiliated and insulted for the benefit of the community, and actually make it happen. It would be great if those who speak lofty thoughts would actually get on the ground and make this unity happen.

    Having said that, our community is not divided. Few aspirants to leadership shouting blames at each other is not lack of unity. Those who can provide services and those who need services are united. Those who don’t want either party to succeed are howling green and blue about unity. Relax. Chill out. It is not the end of the world. Focus on efficiency. Inefficiency will fade away by itself.
    Burning issue is the problems faced by new arriving refugees as well as those who have difficulty in acculturation. Unity, or lack thereof, is not. If you think otherwise, prove to us how lack of jobs or lack of language skills, or lack of housing issues can be addressed by spending our crucial time and resources on appeasing a few individuals who want to be leaders, but hate the guts of those who set up viable organizations to meet whatever needs thay can meet.