Diaspora keeps live

Published on Jan 24 2010 // Main News
By With Damber Dhungyel in Sydney, Madhavi Timsina in Tasmania
The newly elected Executive Committee

The newly elected Executive Committee of ABA

January 25, 2010: Despite hurdles and challenges posed by new experiences after the resettlement program, Bhutanese Diaspora tends remain lively, organized and widening for rights. The latest updates are Europe and Australia.

The Bhutanese in Europe have recently announced the formation of Bhutanese Advocacy Forum Europe, with representatives from all European countries where Bhutanese reside.

This is the first continental level organization in Europe formed by Bhutanese. A statement issued reads, “Bhutanese living in various parts of Europe have come under such a platform following serious need to raise a single voice against atrocities of the Bhutan regime.”

Durga Giri, the forum’s coordinator said, “The Bhutanese in Europe have come together to give continuity to advocacy programmes such as one they did in Switzerland last month when Bhutan presented its first human rights report in the international forums to make the Bhutanese regime realise the moral obligation to respect the human rights instruments and civil liberties.”

Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri, Suren Ghalley and Ramesh Gautam have been named as country coordinators for The Netherlands, Germany and Norway respectively.

“The forum has received commitments for active participation from many Bhutanese across the European countries,” said Giri adding, “It shall supplement and compliment the Bhutanese advocacy works in all the other continents.”

The statement further reads, “The forum is working for the 13th Human Rights Council meeting scheduled for March 2010 in Geneva where Bhutan is responding to the queries raised by various country representatives in the last December. Forum is beginning its International campaigning in Europe scheduled to start from early next week.”

The BAF Europe also plans to organize awareness programs in Europe to garner solidarity from the European people towards the long-standing refugee imbroglio.

Similarly, the Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA) in Sydney held election to name new executive committee. The association formed on August 26, 2007 has now expanded with more resettlement taking place.

The election held on January 23 named Om Dhungel as its new chairman with Tulsi Ram Katel as the general secretary and Dukka Pokharel as treasurer.

Similarly, Dr. Om Dhungyel and Dr. Naresh Parajauli have been elected as advisor of the association, Damber Kumar Dhungyel as youth coordinator. Yadhu Pati Dhungyel as public relation officer, Narapati Dhimal as cultural coordinator, Pabitra Kafley as women coordinator and Hari Khatiwoda as welfare coordinator.

The association currently has 169 members. It has formed Kirtan Samathi (members meets last Saturday of every month from 5pm to 8pm at Alpha Hall Blacktown that is given free by Blacktown City Council for hymns) and a soccer club named Druk FC (Players meet every Saturday morning at 7.30am for practising and usually play the game with other Nepalese community soccer teams).

The executive committee has two-year tenure.

Further, reports from Tasmania say the Bhutanese resettled in that part of Australia have celebrated their resettlement anniversary with festivities.