Leaders call on Nepal to address refugee issue

Published on Jun 23 2006 // Main News

Katmandu, June 23: Human rights and political leaders from Nepal and Bhutan have stressed that there is not enough homework done and initiation taken by the Nepal government for repatriation of the exiled Bhutanese.

Speaking at an interaction organised by South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) entitled ‘Loktantra in Bhutan now’ in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Friday, a senior human rights activists Dr Devendra Raj Pandey said, Nepalese civil society has been extending possible support to exiled Bhutanese from days they entered Nepal. He said that the issue has to be dealt as the case of human rights violation. He further said refugees have right to return homeland with honor and dignity.

Thinley Penjore, vice chairman, Bhutanese Movement Steering Committee (BMSC), presenting concept paper highlighted the concerns of exiled Bhutanese for the delay in the repatriation process. He said Bhutanese anticipate SAFHR to continue their noble mission for the cause of Bhutanese people in particular. He urged Nepal government to help refugees assess the values of the properties left behind.

In a public appeal, BMSC sought attention of Nepal government towards diminishing consumable facilities and international community towards indefinite sit-in protest staged in front of UN complex since June 2. 

Chairman of the BMSC Tek Nath Rizal said ‘It was compelling for us to leave the country as government exercised perverted form of inhuman acts’ he added. Rizal strongly opposed resettlement package proposed by the UNHCR.

Menuka Nepal, Parshu Ram Nepal, HUROB Chairman S. B. Subba and Bhutanese leaders in exile addressing the program stressed the possibility of devastation in camps if the problem is not addressed at the earliest possible. CPN (UML) standing committee member Jhala Nath Khanal, journalist Bharat Bhurtel, INSEC Chairman Subod Raj Pyakurel and other speakers assured their possible help for repatriation. Bhutan News Service/Desvakta Mishra