Rizal urges SAHR to open branch office


Stating that the regime will continue human rights violations until a powerful human rights body starts monitoring the situation, exiled human rights leader Tek Nath Rizal asked the South Asian for Human Rights (SAHR) to coordinate for its branch office in Bhutan.

File photo: Tek Nath Rizal

According to Rizal, SAHR has organized several conferences and published material on Bhutanese refugee issues, and must try its best to lobby with the government seeking permission to open a branch office to monitor the issues of human rights violations.

Presenting a paper at a three-day regional conference, ‘The Challenges FOR SOUTH Asia: Human Rights and Democracy’ ongoing in Kathmandu since Saturday, leader Rizal said, “Bhutan has been blindfolding the international community in the name of democracy and human rights.”

According to leader Rizal, 80,000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, who have been dwelling in the countries for centuries, were denied voting rights during the time of the first general election in 2008.

Lauds media initiative
Leader Rizal said that the role of Bhutanese media in exile has not been recognized by international media organizations.

“The Bhutanese refugee community is proud of the media activism in exile,” he said, “Probably, no refugees have done the work of what our young journalists in exile are doing.”

According to him, encouragement and support for media activism in exile are essential. “We cannot depend on the totally censored media operating inside the country.”

He also asked the forum to pressurize the government to release exiled journalist, Shanti Ram Acharya. “Though his friends and organizations have been advocating for his release globally, I urge this forum to create pressure on Bhutan to recognize his journalistic status and free unconditionally.”

‘Protect citizens’ right to religion
In another context, Rizal said that it is a moral obligation of all powerful nations and human rights defenders to ask the government to find out the whereabouts of two Christian Bhutanese who have left their village for safety as they have been hunted by the security.

He also urged the international community, resettlement countries and Bhutan’s donors to speak on behalf of the Bhutanese Christians and pressurize the government to immediately release Prem Sigh Gurung, who was slapped a three years jail term by Gelephug District court charging him for showing film of Jesus to his village.

He further said, “The government has imposed ‘One Language and One Religion’ policy which has victimized ethnic languages. This policy accepts Dzongkha as medium of communications and Kagyurpa sect of Buddhism as a State religion.”

‘Need of HR Commission’
Chief Commissioner of Nepal Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Kedar Nath Upadhya, opined there must be national level human rights commissions in each country of the South Asia in order to promote democracy and human rights in the region.

Speaking at the seminar, chief commissioner expressed, “The citizens of Bhutan and Pakistan are at greater risk of facing human rights abuses as these countries lack human rights commissions.”

Meanwhile noted Nepali political analyst and writer CK Lal expressed that Bhutan must be understood as the “land ethnic cleansing”.

He further said, “This country has strange existence South Asia,” he said, “The refugee voice should be given high priority in South Asian human rights discourse.”


  1. A commission that honestly gathers facts and encourages a consensus is indeed needed in Bhutan. More so at a time the Bhutanese are struggling to address torture, hate crimes, marriage inequality, army and police misconduct, racial profiling, ban of religion. Bhutan is either absolutely silent or on the wrong side of every major human rights issue. This is because most of these crimes are either carried out according to the wish of the Govt. or are directly imposed by the Government.
    I know so many HRC in many countries are just defunct or inefficient and corrupt let us hope a HRC inside Bhutan can certainly bring some measures to the otherwise unbridled human rights violation in the country. Besides, a Human Rights Commission could also monitor Bhutan’s compliance with the international human rights covenants to which we are a party.

  2. If by chance Bhutan allows space for this forum(HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION)
    Their first job will be to protect the life of young girls in so called Royal Dance of Bhutan.
    These girls are the victim of Drunken Dashos.
    Even I heard from the reliable source that FOREIGNERS AND GOVT.VISITORS are often offered sex.Once they get these type of gift from Bhutan .These people will never ever speak against Bhutan.
    I know a little girl from Tashigang whose brother was a Teacher.Was selected to go for the Royal Dance.She was so pretty and only 12 yrs old.
    All the people were happy to see her getting this chance to be the first one from their village.School as well.
    Shocking news came after few weeks that this little girls were asked to go with drunken Dashos for sex.
    The little girl was raped several times.When she returned home she was half dead.They broke her apart.If you ask anything about Thimphu she just start cries.
    This girl is still alive.I know her village.If I write in Details…this foolish people will kill her to burry their witness.
    For sure I will write a letter to the commission.
    Therefore to have a HR commission is a must in Bhutan.

  3. Exactly, Bhutan. When the Royals visited a town in central Bhutan where I was a student then, I knew girls from the school and around the town were arranged for the king and its coterie for their sexual pleasure. This heinous crime has continued until today. But who dares to talk? After all the kings of Bhutan are reincarnations of Gods!!! Does not a god have all the power to do what he likes and wishes for? No less are his Chamchas, who has the power to use their royal privilege to satisfy their beastly hunger for sex with the innocent lives of so many Bhutanese girls.

  4. Iam very much pleased with rizal,being humanright leader he has highlited some important issues ,but there are political prisoner who has been spending their life in chemgang jail without any wrong deed for the government .It is useless to keep those faces in jail in the name of antinational.Please pressurize bhutan to free those sons.
    Tashi delek.

  5. I am not a Bhutanese citizen or Bhutanese refugee, and I have never visited Bhutan or Nepal. However, I have so many of Bhutanese refugees friends, resettled here in America, and I would like to comment on Mr. Tek Nath Rizal’s interesting statements regarding, “Human Rights and Bhutan”.

    First of all, I would like to express my support and admiration for Mr. Tek Nath Rizal, for sacrificing all of his comfort, giving up his high-ranked Cabinet Minister position in Bhutan Royal Government, and moving to refugee camp in Nepal to express his support for his cause and for his brothers and sisters. Previously, I have expressed my suggestion and idea of Mr. Tek Nath Rizal should be appointed as new President of Bhutan, as one step towards resolving Bhutan’s refugees’ issue.

    Not only that, I plan to meet Mr. Tek Nath Rizal in near future. Soon after arriving Katmandu, Nepal, and soon after visiting US Embassy in Katmandu, I intend to go to Mr. Tek Nath Rizal’s large and very expensive home in Katmandu.
    Mr. Tek Nath Rizal has stated in his article that, “…I tried to get treatment in Canada, Holland and America, but noting came out to be fruitful…”

    He needs to learn the fact that Holland is not a country, but it is a capitol city of Netherlands.

    He also complains that resettlement program has created several problems. Mr. Rizal claims, “People are getting lost in search of their identity. When they are far from their religious practices, culture and society, some of them even decided to kill their self. As there are no assurances for their repatriation, they are almost certain to spend their remaining life with uncertainty. Some of the refugees in camp claim that their friends and relatives resettled in various countries have been used as cheap labor force”.

    I think that is simply not true. Here in America, former Bhutanese refugees celebrate their religious and cultural festivals all across America. I have been invited to many of their religious and cultural celebrations and events, and honestly, I enjoyed very much being there. I also totally disagree with Mr. Tek Nath Rizal’s statement that, “…Some of the refugees in camp claim that their friends and relatives resettled in various countries have been used as cheap labor force”. I personally know many of my former Bhutanese refugees who earn a lot more than many of American citizens. Paying someone less than minimum wage is a violation of law, all across America.
    Responding to Mr. Tek Nath Rizal’s statement, “I am very sad to mention here that even during the court procedures, every citizen is required to use Dzongkha as medium of communications. So, those who can’t speak Dzongkha are deprived of justice. Those who are to seek justice and unable to communicate in Dzongkha will have to hire government officials as their interpreters”, I must mention the fact that here in America, English is the only language that is used in Courts all across America. People, who seek justice and do not know English, have to depend on translators. So, what is wrong with using only one official language all over the country? My native country, Pakistan, used two official languages in Courts and offices. In East Pakistan, it was Bengali language, and in West Pakistan, it was Urdu language. Many Pakistanis believe that not having only one official language was the main cause the break away of East Pakistan from West Pakistan. (East Pakistan is now Bangladesh, and West Pakistan is now Pakistan). So, I personally feel using only one official language is good for the country because it keep the whole country united.

    Here Mr. Tek Nath Rizal has statement something that I strongly disagree. He has stated, “Bhutan doesn’t have to be answerable to any sorts of human rights violations in the country. That was why it took a leap by successfully hosting the 16th SAARC summit in Thimphu this year. Presence of SAARC leaders in the summit was, indeed, an indirect gesture of support to the Bhutanese regime”. Obviously he has criticized all of SAARC countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal for attending 16th SAARC summit n Thimphu this year. Mr. Tek Nath Rizal needs to understand international political and diplomatic rules and standards that each member country is entitled to host organization’s meetings. “SAARC” organization cannot deny this right to Bhutan just because Mr. Tek Nath Rizal does not like Bhutan Government. Mr. Rizal is being unreasonable for accusing all of “SAARC” member countries of supporting Bhutan’s current regime’s political policies. Others “SAARC” members’ countries just cannot interfere Bhutan’s internal affairs, and cannot tell Bhutan Government what to do.

    I also strongly disagree with Mr. Tek Nath Rizal’s statement that, “The next thing is the regime’s decision to set a minimum education level of Bachelor’s degree as the required criteria for those who wish to file their candidacies in the election. This prevented several capable ones from filing their nominations. The next restriction was requirement of speaking Dzongkha language by the candidate”. I disagree with him because I know for the fact that in today’s world, many countries have adopted requirement for a Bachelor’s degree. How can an uneducated lawmaker make laws for the whole country? I personally believe all lawmakers must have Bachelor’s degree, in every country in the world.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  6. Confused Ji:

    Thanks for correcting me. I realized my mistake after posting my comment that Amsterdam is the capital city of Netherlands, not Holland, as I stated in my comments. I am sorry for that innocent human error.

    It is absolutely necessary to be aware of the fact that Holland and the Netherlands are not two names for the same country, but rather that Holland is the former name for part of it.

    Mr. Tek Nath Rizal was still wrong by using an unofficial and former name (Holland) for Netherlands. I think he has insulted the people of Netherlands by calling their country as “Holland” and he needs to offer an apology to the Government and people of Netherlands. If he ever calls “Bangladesh” by her former name “East Pakistan”, the Bangladeshi citizens will become very angry, and probably will chase him with stones and sticks in their hands.

    I wish to withdraw my suggestion and support for my own idea that Mr. Tek Nath Rizal should be appointed as new President of Bhutan. Now, he has shown his true colors, and after reading his recent remarks he made in Katmandu, I do not feel he is a best candidate of being head of Government/President of Bhutan.

    I still admire Mr. Rizal for his devotion and love for his motherland, and still intend to meet him, Dr. Bhampa Rai, Prime Minister Thinley of Bhutan and the King of Bhutan.

    Some people who laugh at my idea of meeting the King, just do not know me well-enough, but I know it can happen, if some American officials at the Department of State, Washington, D.C., and officials at the US Embassy in Katmandu, Nepal support my idea. And if they do not support me, I simply cannot meet the King of Bhutan.

    I visited Srinagar, Kashmir, many years ago, when it was nothing but a war-zone and battlefield between India and Pakistan, and the Indian Government had to give me a “Special Treatment”, during my three-day visit to srinagar, knowing very well that I was born in Pakistan, because I had a serious talks with American Embassy officials in New Delhi, India, before flying to Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. I will never disclose confidential information on website, just to prove something to those commentators who think I am nothing but an ordinary Pakistani. They can think of me whatever they want to think of me. I know I am not a Pakistani citizen, but I am an American citizen.

    Some of those commentators use fake names to hide their true identity, and probably think they are completely safe, hiding behind the computer, and they can get away by posting anything they want to, but they need to know that the Government officials can learn almost everything about them, in matter of minutes.

    I have visited refugee camps in Bangladesh, in the past, and have met refugee leaders in those camps, and I will visit refugee camps in Nepal, whenever an appropriate opportunity presents itself.

    Freedom of expression is an “American Way”, and I have right to express my opinion on any issue, including Bhutanese refugees issue. American Government is directly involved in the resettlement of thousands of Bhutanese refugees, here in America, and there in Nepal, and some commentators who probably still are receiving food stamps and financial assistance from my Government, just cannot tell me that I should not talk about Bhutanese refugees issue.

    Bhutan News Service and readers should be thankful to me for taking some interest in Bhutanese refugees issue, and spending my precious time on reading and writing comments here on this website.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  7. TN SIR LAY feri aarko tala bichargarnu bha ho ki???
    Bhutani aandolan lai asha garya jasto tewa purauna saknu bhayabna,Netajue lay janta haroo lai manche jasto mannu hudaina…..kamsay kam janta haroo ko neta bhaya pachi janta ko pani sujav ani salla linu parcha ki??

  8. Mr M.Pasha,
    Who are you to suggest us?whats your real intention?Better not to speak on our issues.You mind your own business.You maintain double standards…. Instead of writing comments on our issue,work to earn some more dollars that can be used to do your mental treatment.Its seems that its already late for you to join a mental hospital. still hurry up.you may improve.