Monday, July 17, 2006
NO COUNTRY ONLY CONSTITUTION
Bhutanese refugees formulate draft constitution
Bhutanese refugees have publicized their draft constitution amidst a function in Kakarvitta Jhapa on Monday, on the occasion of the International Day for Justice.
The main features of the draft constitution are Tek Nath Rizal (File Photo) constitutional monarchy, multi-party democracy, guarantee of people's sovereignty, executive power in the elected government, independent judiciary and guarantee of fundamental human rights.
Copies of the proposed constitution were sent to the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and chief justice of Bhutan on the same day.
In March 2005, Bhutan made public it first draft constitution for public debate. The leaders in exile have strongly criticized the content of the constitution which basically encircled power in the Druk regime himself. The king had constituted the constitution drafting committee under the leadership on an Indian legal expert in 1999. The Bhutan king then announced to quit the throne by 2008 and hand over democratic Bhutan to crown prince Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck
Tek Nath Rizal said they proposed a new draft of the constitution for Bhutan as the constitution drafted by the committee formed by king did not include the demands raised by southern and eastern Bhutanese.
Thinley Penjor, vice chairman of the Bhutanese Movement Coordination Committee said the constitution will be made available to all readers worldwide very soon at apfanews.com
The drafting of constitution by the political parties, human rights organizations and legal experts in exile had begun soon after the Bhutanese government made public its draft.
Indian security forces were deployed in the middle of the Mechi Bridge during the function to unveil the draft constitution.
In the meantime, Bhutanese refugees who have been continuing their sit-in strike in front of the UN House in Pulchowk, Lalitpur since June 2, met the European parliament delegation in Nepal visit on Monday and handed over memorandum to delegation chief Neena Gill urging the EU's support for their early repatriation. Rizal said Gill has given her word to support their repatriation efforts to Bhutan. nepalnews.com ia July 18 06