Bhutanese refugees want to be heard

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Nov 18, 2014-

The Bhutanese refugee community has put forth an ‘open letter’ to the Secretary General of the South Asia Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc) and the Prime Minister of Nepal urging them to prioritise the issue of Bhutanese refugees in the forthcoming summit.

The letter signed by Bhampa Rai, president of Bhutanese Refugee Representative Repatriation Committee (BRRC) based in Damak, mentions that the promise of Saarc to promote the well-being of people in the region remains an illusion since there is lack of genuine interest in resolving Bhutanese refugees’ problems. The citizens of Bhutan, a member country of SAARC, are living in Nepal and elsewhere since 1991 as refugees after their eviction.

“Eviction of its citizens, confiscation of citizenship and property violating our fundamental human rights by our own government are against all canons of international law,” said the statement, adding, “It brings untold suffering to the victims and put unnecessary political, social and economic strain to the host country and the world community.”

“We see the upcoming summit as an opportunity to bring the issue of Bhutanese refugee to the forefront and put pressure on the government of Bhutan to unconditionally repatriate genuine Bhutanese refugees, restore their citizenships and allow them to return to their homeland with a guarantee of their livelihood in safety and security.”

Published: 19-11-2014 09:08

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