Docs force Kawtal take glucose, UN is mute spectator

Published on Mar 06 2009 // Main News

Thimphu, March 6, 2009: Bhutanese doctors have forcefully administered glucose to N. L. Kawtal who has been in fast unto death in the Chamgang Central jail, Thimphu since last week.

On Thursday, the doctors administered glucose to his body after his health condition deteriorated since he denied taking any food until demands are met. 

The national media and the UN agencies in Thimphu have remained mum over the humanitarian issue. It is not surprising to see that UN offices in Thimphu shut their lips to this event because they have never talked or raised the issue of forceful eviction, discrimination against the certain ethnic groups, closure of schools in southern district, census categorization and discriminatory laws that Bhutan has.

Obviously, the media running under self censorship are not expected to write news about a person whom the government has clamped the tag of terrorist. Interestingly, the country does not have any laws that authorize government to impose a terrorist tag to certain group or person.

There are no human right groups in the country and international human rights groups are restricted from sending delegation or assessing situation in the country. 

Katwal has been in indefinite hunger strike since February 26 demanding the unconditional release of political prisoners and the dignified repatriation of Bhutanese refugees among others.

Katwal, a central committee member of the Bhutan Gorkha National Liberation Front, was among more than 50 people arrested during a demonstration in Phuntsholing in April 1999.

Ugyen Tenzing, a member of the Druk-Yul Peoples Democratic Party, was reportedly arrested in Samtse district in June same year and taken to Thimphu police headquarters.

The Druk National Congress in New Delhi has condemned the DPT government’s callousness attitude. “Even the Bhutanese media complete silent on hunger strike news proves that the Bhutanese media inside Bhutan are far from being independent,” president of the party Rongthong Kunley Dorji said in a statement.