Open doors for repatriation

Published on Dec 11 2011 // Opinion

The Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal,
Singhadurbar, Kathmandu,

Subject:  Repatriate Bhutanese Refugee 

Honorable Sir,

Two decades have passed since we the victims of the despotic Royal Regime of Bhutan landed in Nepal as refugees. During this period of time many things have changed in the world where Human Rights, Democracy, Peace and Justice have evolved for better way of human life. Many countries with totalitarian rulers, tyrant monarchs have been replaced by popular Democratic system with Human Rights. Irrespective of different ethnic backgrounds and origin of the people the world has become a ‘united homeland’ for all the people in the world. Though a lot remains to be done to uplift the poor and deprived people, the modus operandi to achieve equality, human rights and justice have prevailed for the people. But, in the same world the people of Bhutan have been deprived of these universal changes.

Exiled children demand dignified repatriation of Bhutanese citizens back home by displaying a banner

The Government of Bhutan mercilessly evicted its citizens and still the world has not effectively challenged its inhuman activities. It is an insult to United Nations as Bhutan has openly abused the ‘Human Rights’ as declared by UN on this day of 10th December. It is equally regrettable to realize that the Bhutanese citizens are compelled to struggle for the most basic human values even form the 21st computerized century. We are mercilessly evicted from our country and made refugees simply because we appealed for human rights and justice. In short, most flagrant and widespread human rights abuses have been committed in Bhutan. Barbarous inhuman corporal and capital punishment still exist in Bhutanese legal system when the same is almost non-existent or rectified elsewhere in the world in conferment with the legal rights of the people. Physical, mental and psychological torture is being used still in the prison cells and dungeons by the law enforcing agencies and human values are being defied and personal interest cultivated at the expense of whole value system, culture and social ethos. Except for the ruling community there is no democracy no human rights no security and no justice for the people of Bhutan.

Your honor, we are almost neglected by the world in the matters of our voice for Human Rights and Justice. Being a small nation sandwiched between India and China our plight to Human Rights and Justice have been unheard. We feel it as an insult to state that the largest democratic country of the world India, the most closer and vital neighbor of Bhutan has distanced herself to support the aspirations of the people of Bhutan for Democracy and Human Rights. In view of that, on this day the December 10th ‘World Human Rights Day’ we again most humbly and faithfully endeavor to make our appeal audible and reachable through Your Honor, all the political parties of Nepal, Human Rights Institutions and the International Communities that Bhutanese refugee be repatriated and help us that Human Rights and Justice established for the people in Bhutan.

 For more than two decades of sufferings in the refugee camps the exhausted refugees are compelled to accept the option of Third Country Resettlement because Bhutan did not want to repatriate its citizens instead Bhutan wanted annihilation of the refugees from the refugee camps. Similarly, the UNHCR on its hand did very less to open the option of Repatriation under its ‘Durable Solution’ plan. It was more interested to vacate the camps rather than oblige Bhutan to acknowledge for its Human Rights violation and repatriate its citizens. Bhutanese refugees have accepted the option of Third Country Resettlement to protect from further sufferings in the refugee camps but, ‘Resettlement’ is not going to end Bhutanese problem. Bhutan is without restraint assaulting its disliked citizens, making them difficult to live in the country and evicting them slowly. Those citizens of Bhutan supporting true Human Rights and true Democracy and Justice in Bhutan are slowly but surely made to leave the country and it is operational today. Bhutan has totally abused Human Rights; in practice Bhutan is opposed to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

We want to reaffirm that the troubled Bhutanese people in Bhutan and the exiled Bhutanese people in the refugee camps in Nepal and elsewhere are certainly integral citizens of Bhutan where peace and normalcy means to open the door of repatriation for Bhutanese refugees and establishment of true democracy and human rights in Bhutan.

Your honor, we hope our voice will be heard and the Bhutanese refugee issue will be seriously considered for amicable solution. We appreciate the initiatives taken by The Government of Nepal to solve the Bhutanese refugee problems through bilateral meetings. But, the last 15 rounds of bilateral talks between Nepal and Bhutan could not be successful due to double dealing policy of the Royal Regime of Bhutan to its citizens. It is our sincere request that the Bhutanese refugee issue be seriously raised in the coming Bilateral meeting between Nepal and Bhutan.  And let this memo on ‘World Human Rights Day’ of 2011 give courage and inspirations to all the Governments in the neighboring countries, International Communities and to the Institutional Heads of the World Human Rights Bodies to initiate successful measures to solve Bhutanese problems.

We hope this letter though it contains fewer words has been able to appraise Your Honor for its magnitude. With earnest anticipation we once again request Your Honor to compel Bhutan to open the door of repatriation and give us justice.

Yours sincerely,

 1. Dr. Bhampa Rai

2. Nar Bahadur Giri

3. Narad Muni Sanyashi

4. T R Regmi

5. Santabir Ghaley

6. Harkajong Subba

Copy To:

  1. Human Rights Commission, United Nations Organization, Geneva. For necessary action.
  2. All the Political Parties of Nepal. For necessary action.
  3. Ambassadors of different countries in Kathmandu, Nepal. For necessary action.
  4. Human Rights Institutions and Civil Society, Kathmandu, Nepal. For necessary action.
  5. Media Institutions. For necessary action.
Editors’ note : This is the unedited letter addressed to the Nepalese Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai by the above signatories.