No talks with refugees: Bhutan minister
A Bhutanese minister has told the National Assembly of the Bhutan that the government would not hold talks with the refugees since all of them are not Bhutanese.
During his address to the 86th session of the national legislature on Tuesday, foreign minister Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, who also holds the portfolio of prime minister, said, "it was not practical for the government to talk to the people in the camps because most of them are not Bhutanese," the online version of the government mouthpiece Kuensel quoted.
Refugee leaders have been demanding that the bilateral Nepal-Bhutan talks must end and the Bhutanese government must start negotiations with the refugees.
Wangchuk alleged Nepal of introducing a new element stating that the problem was between Bhutan and the refugees and not between Nepal and Bhutan, and that Bhutan should talk directly to refugees.
He also claimed that most people in the camps in eastern Nepal are members of the Maoist rebellion force.
"The camps have been infiltrated by Maoist elements and several radical parties like the Bhutan Communist Party, Bhutan Gorkha National Liberation Front and the Bhutan Revolutionary Students Union with the declared objective of carrying out armed struggle to overthrow the government of Bhutan," said the minister.
During the sideline talks with the Nepali counterpart at UN general assembly session, "Bhutan offered to take back those people in category 1 (C1) and category 4 (C4) from Khudanabari camp who choose to return to Bhutan," the minister added.
As per the agreement reached during the 14th bilateral meeting in Kathmandu in 2003, people forcefully evicted from Bhutan are categorized C1 and those who committed crimes C4.
nepalnews.com ia Dec 28 06