Posts Tagged ‘ Bhutan News Service ’
The leaders in Kathmandu gave faint assurance to vote for Bhutan; political instability complicates assurance, as who may be at the power at the time of election is unpredictable. Asian nations’ vote to select Bhutan to represent them and later through an election in the UNGA to the UNSC membership will shape Bhutan’s image and build a affable trend of peaceful coexistence of big and small nations in Asia.
On the part of Bhutan, the leaders must intensify their diplomatic lobby. On the human rights ground, Bhutan should do two things—accept all the Bhutanese people, evicted by the former regime, from exile to create clean human right records, and avail more democratic liberties to the people in the country.
Prime Minister Thinley’s fluctuating remarks, from labelling all refugees as ‘illegal immigrants’ to his recent statement that some are indeed genuine Bhutanese, also reflect a nebulous approach. In 1992, at an international conference on Bhutan in London, Thinley, then home secretary, presented a paper in which he defended his government’s position against southern Bhutanese, labelling them as illegal immigrants. During the recent visit, Thinley’s delegation in Kathmandu was accompanied by Khandu Wangchuck, minister for economic and foreign affairs, who in 2006 called the refugees ‘readymade terrorists’. Such backgrounding certainly makes one wonder whether, instead of waiting for another round of talks to materialise, refugees should ponder third-country resettlement, launched by the UN’s refugee agency in 2007 […]
BY S. B. SUBBA: The Prime Minister Jigme Y Thinley speaks of equity and just in his every addresses. But, his ruthless treatment with injustice and unfair social welfare to the laborers who are in fact the back bone of the infrastructural developments could be easily interpreted. When the salary of the government employees and the MPs were revised two times in the span of three years, the wage of the laborers remained stagnant to Rs. 100 per day with hard labour from 7 am till 5pm. Although the labour Act 2007 enacted probably sans economic welfare as if the escalating price does not affect the poor. The constitution says that Bhutan is a secular country and the king is the custodian of all the religions. The Buddhist philosophy and principles of respect, tolerance and co-existence is the fundamental guiding factor and pivot that GNH revolves on […]
BY DHRUVA MISHRA: Political discrimination and ethnic victimization by the Bhutanese feudal system is not new. In fact, the rulers so cleverly formulate the laws and statutes that criticism of government policies is automatically prohibited. The rise of people’s voice has always given them fear and insecurity and put their ambitions at stake. From the arrest of Tek Nath Rizal in 1988, to the recent arrest and imprisonment of Prem Singh Gurung, a Christian activist; incidences of arrests and inhuman treatment to the minorities in Bhutan, on the basis of political or religious beliefs, has remained routine. Gurung was arrested for screening movies on Christianity and has been sentenced to three years’ in prison by a District Court; on charges of attempting to promote a civil unrest […]
On my way to Gelephu, I was arrested at Sarbhang at 9 pm on 9th December 1990 by Police Officer, Chandra Gurung. When I explained my family situation and asked the reason of my arrest, the officer blabbered and gave no reason. I was taken to the Sarbhang Police Station and confined in a room for two nights and a day – not allowing me to drink water for the whole period. They interrogated me – but I had nothing to say. In reply, the officers would suggest that I knew why I had ended up in detention and that I should confess in specific detail, why I wanted ‘democracy’. As ordered by Chandra Gurung, I gave a written statement about myself to him.
Following the offer of third country resettlement program, even BNS team members had to agree to a dispersed living across the world, within the parameters set by resettling countries. It is perhaps, what we like to call, a ‘choice from a choice-less choice’. As you all do, we are also struggling for both personal and family’s existence in the new setting. Nonetheless, we are truly committed towards devoting our time to safeguarding your right to information through the steady existence of BNS. Of late, we started to fear that we might have to lose emerging writers due to our inability to remunerate their efforts.
There were 105 prisoners at the Damphu jail. The jailers began to threaten us, that if we wanted to stay in Bhutan then our prison term would prolong, or alternatively we could opt to leave the country. When I was asked what I wanted to do, I used to answer, that as three generations of my family had lived on the same land, why should I leave the country, when I haven’t done anything wrong? Enraged with my answer, they use to beat me heavily with sticks or intimidate me showing a piece of hot iron to change my statement and leave the country.
Out of 105, 24 prison inmates were released after they signed Voluntary Migration Forms, to leave Bhutan permanently. The rest of us were transferred to Chemgang prison near the capital, Thimphu.
While I was listening to my uncle’s story, my subconscious mind started flying with lost hopes of despair; I could clearly realize my future distorting and my mind went blank for a couple of minutes. I collected strength and started talking again. I tried from my end to convince them to withdraw the form, but the type of situation they were in –that does not need a mention here – I think I was too young to understand the depth of it. We set the date, for it could not be before the 18th of December, as it took some time for my transition and more over I was leaving permanently everything.
Very desperately, we have to say that mainly India and the western world persuaded king Jigme assuming his steps as sacrifice to the people of Bhutan. The western world might have taken king Abdullah of Saudi Arabia as a role model. But, king Jigme and Bhutan can’t be compared with such a Middle East power block in politico-economic terms. Bhutan remained aloof for dozen of decades from the outer world and so was the political structure, economic activities, civic life and issues of government-citizen relations. For decades, the kingdom home to only six hundred thousand people, has been the adobe of interest by social scientists, independent journalists and even the natural scientists.
In the prison, Captain Tandin and Captain Ugey took away all my clothing and started charging ruthlessly with wooden baton. Next, they started to beat on the soles of my feet. At first, I screamed in agony. Due to nonstop beating, I began to lose the sense of touch. My entire body started swelling up and nerves began to numb. Slowly, I began to lose my sense of place and time. They stopped beating. One of the officers leaned towards me and said, “Tomorrow, I am meeting the King and what do you think I should tell him for the resolution of the problem?”