Gift from Dragon: ethnic cleansing
Kathmandu, March 20, 2009: Bhutanese recently resettled in US, joined by those already sought asylum, organized a protest program in front of the Asian Arts Museum in San Francisco where Bhutan showcases the exhibition entitled ‘The Gift from Dragon: Sacred Arts of Bhutan’.
The visitors to the exhibition, which schedules to run till May 10, were surprised to see the other side of the Bhutan’s face, against what has been portrayed to this day. They were surprise to note the reality behind the “cultural curtain” of Bhutan.
One of the members of the organizing team Dick Chhetri said the protest was by no means a protest against the magnificent arts of Bhutan but was to make aware the international community that it was wrong in the part of Bhutanese government to use the sacred arts and culture as a political tool to cover its hidden agenda of secret and systematic ethnic persecution that amounts to a ethnic cleansing of a dangerous type because, the highly projected mysteries of arts and culture camouflages, hides and distracts peoples’ attention from the real issue of human rights being trampled in everyday lives of Bhutanese refugees and Lhotsampas in Bhutan.
At least 20 Bhutanese from SF Bay Area participated in the peaceful demonstration with signs and placards and distributed literature to create awareness on ethnic and cultural suppression continuing in Bhutan.
“The response from the visitors was very encouraging; especially they were surprised that such a thing of ethnic cleansing exists in the land of Gross National Happiness. If we continued such simple, honest and straightforward protests, without politicizing it, in a united manner, it is certain the day will come when the good citizens of the world will seek to know whose happiness is Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, and uncover the hidden agenda of the Bhutanese government against the Southern Bhutanese”, reads a statement issued by Chhetri.
It further says, “Our message was clear that we are the victims of injustice, propaganda and political manipulations very well designed the Royal government under the guise of “One Nation, One People” policy, and completely overshadowed by the highly orchestrated international campaign leaving us helpless. However, Truth is on our side, and there are people who are willing to listen to the voice of the voiceless and may provide help to the helpless if we continued our international campaign.”