The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Arms struggle- A Hobson choice

Frustrated Bhutan Refugees Threaten Armed Move for Rights

Kathmandu, November 13: Frustrated by sustained ignorance of Druk regime to address their plight, sections of Bhutanese refugees in eastern Nepal have warned of resorting to armed struggle as the only to option left for ensuring their safe return to homeland.

An English-language daily published from Kathmandu said in its Sunday's issue that many youth from the Bhutanese refugee community were gradually "gravitating towards arms option."

The Kathmandu Post newspaper quoted a Bhutanese national who recently visited the refugee camps as saying that a party named Communist Party of Bhutan (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) was already formed in Bhutan which has also constituted a "Military Commission" in February "to wage armed struggle."

Indicating that the move is also supported by the CCOPOSA (Coordination Committee of Parties and Organizations in South Asia), which issued a resolution in August, saying, "In Bhutan, the budding Maoist Movement has courageously taken up the task of mobilizing the masses for revolution."

It is claimed that Communist Party of Bhutan (MLM) as well as Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) were among the signatories to the resolution.

"Armed struggle is the only alternative for everyone now," the daily quotes a Bhutanese refugee as saying. It also quotes another refugee who says the armed option is "compulsion" for them.

More than 106,000 Bhutanese refugees, largely Nepali-speaking, are living in eastern Nepal's UN-funded camps. The refugees came to Nepal 16 years ago, when the Bhutan government evicted them under its discriminating 'one country one people' (Driglam Nimja) policy.

Fifteen rounds of bilateral talks have been between Nepal and Bhutan for their repatriation but all in vain.

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