‘Sachhi’ becomes fourth book on Bhutanese refugee issue to arrive in bookstores within one year


At least four books on the Bhutanese refugee issue have arrived in bookstores in less than a year with the Y.N. Chamlagain’s book, Sachhi, officially launched on Saturday in Jhapa.

Freshly published books on the Bhutanese issue

Of the four, two books are authored by the Dutch writers  Alice Anna Verheij and Eveline van de Putte. The ‘Headwind, Laxmi’s Story‘ is a novel by Alicej, while ‘Unforgotten‘ is a photobook by Eveline and Alice. A Dutch NGO Empowerment Foundation has published these books.

The ‘Sapanako Samadi‘ is a research-based fiction by Dr Tara Lal Shrestha, a lecturer at the Tribhuwan University from Kathmandu.

While, ‘Sachhi’ is a reminiscence of the true history, narrated by Chamlagain, a Nepali-speaking Bhutanese in exile.

Presenting his views earlier today during the book launching program organized at Damak, author Chamlagain said the book was his first attempt to narrate various sufferings and situations of the thousands of fellow citizens that he witnessed from close quarters.

Chairperson of the Jestha Nagarik Pratisthan of Damak, Bhawani Dahal, chaired the program, where  Sapanako Samadi’s writer Dr Tara Lal Shrestha was present as chief guest. Dr Shrestha has edited the Chamlagain’s book.

From left, Dr KP Subedi, Bhawani Dahal, author YN Chamlagain, and Dr Tara Lal Shrestha during the book launching program (Picture : BNS)

Rights activist Dr K P Subedi and lecturer from Damak Multiple Campus Dhananjaya Baskota critically reviewed the book during the program, also attended Dr Bhumpa Rai, and 100 plus participants.

The speakers have even claimed that ‘Sachhi’ could be the first significant book on capturing the firsthand history of Bhutanese refugees’.

Reviewing the ‘Sachhi’, Baskota said the scenes of the Maikhola of Jhapa, where the first four families arrived and stayed there as Bhutanese refugees and their pains, depicted by author Chaulagai were no less than the sterile land and situation presented by T.S. Eliot his poem ‘The West Land’.

While, Dr Shrestha expressed his joy for getting such an opportunity to edit the book, published by the Discourse Publications.

The 239-page book is priced Rs 275 in the Nepali book market.

According to Chamlagain, arrangements to distribute books to interested readers around the world would be channelized very soon.


  1. Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. And, for sure, KN Chamlagain who has witnesses the atrocities must have divulged the unseen and unspoken the other side of the state sponsored barbaric terrorism of the then Jigme regime.
    Hopping to having one copy soon.
    I got to read the other three books. They do have done justice in speaking the Bhutanese cause.

  2. I think RP Subba is still unaware of our situation. He is asking when and why did he leave Bhutan. It is same on you! It seems you are not a Bhutanese guy. There is nothing new to the issue to the outside world people too. If you don’t know the writer and the problem, there is doubt that you also came in the US in the name of Bhutanese refugee.

  3. Congratulation YN Juwai for the contribution of this book on Bhutanese refugees. I have not had the opportunity of reading the book yet but is a good effort in narrating the story of the Bhutanese who had suffered in the last two decade or so now. You have a first hand knowledge of political developments in the 1990s leading to the mass exudes of one-sixth of Bhutan’s population. I would look forward for the opportunity to read the book. Evidences such as this are necessary for narrating the history of the movement and share the injustice that Southern Bhutanese had suffered.

    I wish the book was in English so that a wider audience could read the content but time may come when even that may be available.

  4. YN would definitely have indepth knowledge of the plight of first exodus of the Bhutanese refugees. Truckloads of people exhausted from the long travel faced with uncertainty, mostly from Chirang would arrive in his doorsteps in Birtamod. Look on their faces said thousand words. Some were expressionless, some overwhelmed with emotions of having forced to leave the only homeland they knew, most faced with uncertainty in a foreign land which was only mentioned by their grandparents or great grandparents,some lost in the sea of people who were also in the same boat They would arrive in his doorstep in Birtamod seeking for guidance as to where to go for food and shelter. He would then direct them to the camps, reassuring them that there are many like them being looked after by the International organizations. Camps were in the initial stage of being established then.
    We must thank Redd Barna, Save the Children, Norway for making available the fund to feed the first group of refugees in Maidhar. They were the very first Aid organization to come to our rescue .
    Thank you, YN for taking time and effort to come up with the book. This may be the only of its kind book from a person who is not political, who would put events in record as it happened. It is a true account of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal without a political motive. Can’t wait to read the book.

  5. Indeed a pound for pound chronicle of all the sufferings of innocent Bhutanese has been covered in the book. And it has been done without any prejudice, motive or agenda. This is a poignant and true depiction of exactly what happened in the early 90s.

    As for Mr. Tikaram Adhikari’s comment (and others wondering) about the book being available in English – please be assured that the book WILL BE AVAILABLE in English in the not so distant future because we agree with your premise that an English version would reach a broader audience. And this true and poignant piece of history is certainly worth bringing to the world at large!