Dreams are not always true

Published on Jul 31 2009 // Opinion
By I . P. Adhikari

When resettlement started in February 2008, most exiled Bhutanese had expected their life to be luxurious with clear destiny in the new homes they are flying to in the western countries. Though offer for resettlement initially brought some irksome response from the refugee community, in later days, it was whole heartedly welcomed.

In a recent survey conducted by a team of repatriation advocates also revealed that only less than 20 percent of those in camps wish to get back to country. It is in fact the reflection of the distraction of willingness for return by the tough conditions unveiled by the Joint Verification Team in Khudubanari some years back, not just luring to western life.

The life in west, primarily in United States has not been well, as reported, though there are complains in terms of other countries as well. In the last few months, resettled Bhutanese in US were attacked, robbed or misbehaved. In many instances, news are not written by individual reports say the resettling agencies even threaten to leave providing support to those who fail to get job in three or four months.

This is a panic, the US government and the resettling agency must understand. Exiled Bhutanese had not gone to the US under black route, nor did they first appeal for resettlement.

The first statement that US government said while proposing resettlement was ‘on humanitarian ground’. Leaving people without any support is not a humanitarian act. When the country faces history’s highest rate of unemployment, it is natural that new people unknown of the new society and practices find hard to get job in the prescribed time.

The latest news is murder of a young man – Hari Lal Adhikari. What can I do more than expressing my condolences to the departed soul? It is the local authority in Florida who should ensure security to this newly resettled folks and lend hand to them to adjust with new circumstances.

This is all for the US matter. In other countries like Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway, lives are going well. There have not been any reports of untoward incidents or any such complaints. People have complaints on Australia and Canada. These two countries have delayed the resettlement process in such a way that some nearly turned psychologically unsound. There are people who waited one and half years after facing the interview – which they called the final one.

The discrimination UNHCR staffs in Kathmandu and Jhapa do while selecting case is other hindrance in resettlement of illiterate or simple refugees. There are reports and open talk how the IOM staffs get bribed for speeding up the case. IOM has not taken by initiative towards solving this issue. There is urgent need to launch campaign in camps telling the refugees facing interviews not to bribe any officials for resettlement. And UNHCR should act fairly in forwarding the case to countries for resettlement. There are reports that initial commitments for first come first service are not perfectly implemented. Let it come to true.

Sorry, I deviated from my position where I started his blog. I intended that life in west is not always well and resettlement process is not only a chance to each and live a respected life but possible trap into death. I heard Texas, Florida, New York, Arizona, Los Angeles are most dangerous places to go in terms of being attacked by armed men without reasons.