Rongthong Clarifies some NRB doubts

Published on Jun 29 2009 // NRB

NRB was a proposal put forth for discussion. In course, we received hundreds of comments and suggestions in online as well as in email. Some sent their verbal messages. The debate is going on. We sought few other parties and organization about their position but we are yet to get their response.

To answer few of the serious questions raised on NRB during the discussions, we have presented R. K. Dorji, chairman of Druk National Congress who was the first to support this idea, to answer our readers. Here it is:

1. Why do you feel the need of a Non Resident Bhutanese network?

R.K.Dorji: It’s not a question of whether I feel the need or not. It is the people who will have to decide whether they feel the need or not. Our people, both from within Bhutan as well as from the Bhutanese refugee community, are going to foreign countries in large numbers and many more could be them joining in the future. When such a large number of citizens begin to reside in foreign countries, the Diaspora coming together to establish an association to further their common interests is but a natural step. So when the idea came forth, we saw all logic in supporting the establishment of such an association.

2. What contribution should it make for strengthening democracy and national unity?

R.K Dorji: The NRB Association is conceived as a welfare organization for non-resident Bhutanese, and not as a political organization. It objectives should be to work for the common good of its members according to their wishes. But I think taking up rights issues is acceptable, because “rights” encompasses a wider field, from human rights to civil liberties and citizens’ privileges and facilities.

3. What are your bases of hopes that northern and eastern Bhutanese living abroad would embrace to this global network?

R.K Dorji: The NRB Association is for all the citizens of Bhutan residing abroad, and not a sectarian organization for northern, eastern or southern Bhutanese. Membership of NRB Association should be open to every Bhutanese residing abroad who wishes to and sees the need and the benefit to be a part of the organization. Membership should be, as with all welfare organizations, by choice and not mandatory.

4. How can we Bhutanese living abroad be able to stay outside NRN and NRI networks?

R.K Dorji: If you are neither a Nepali citizen nor an Indian citizen, I don’t see how you can qualify for the membership of the NRN or NRI. Even as far as the NRB Association is concerned, it’s an individual’s choice to want to be associated or not. One must find benefit in becoming a part of the Association to want to be a member, if one doesn’t, then I don’t see why one should.

5. One of the primary functions of the NRB would be to end bitter relations that exist between Bhutanese inside and in exile. What strategies, do you think, we need to rebuild this relation?

R.K Dorji: It is too premature to delve into this. It is up to the members to decide its mandate and strategies. But if and once people from both sides of the divide start becoming members after they find that it benefits them to do so, and thus come together for their common welfare, the likelihood of relations improving is but logical.

6. To what extent you party offers support for this network? How do you assure that it won’t be politicized?

R.K Dorji: My party has supported this idea of the formation of the NRB Association.  It is for the members of the proposed NRB Association to strengthen it according to its mandate.