Monday, January 15, 2007
Introducing APFA news portal
www.apfanews.com is one of the largest news portals that provides comprehensive news and analysis on Bhutan.
For a more than a decade, Bhutan's political discourse remained disturbed due to repeated attempts of exiled Bhutanese to return, who were forcefully evicted by the government as early as 1990. With advice and support from Indian government, the delaying tactics of the Bhutanese authority protracted the verification and repatriation of its exiled citizens even after the verification started some six years ago.
On the other hand, the bilateral talks, that began in 1993, between the governments of Nepal and Bhutan have come to a stand still after political instability became vulnerable in Nepal. Nepalese authority saved to time to join the bilateral talks with Bhutan, which the Bhutanese authority wanted to be. Bhutan tried to avoid talks with Nepal while Nepal never attempted to call on the international community for support. Now when the political situation in Nepal has worsened and it government is divulged with internal problem, Bhutanese regime has accused that the repatriation has been delayed due to Nepal's intention not to sit for talks.
Back in Bhutan, the king announced on December 17, 2005 that Bhutan would be constitutional monarchy when he abdicates the throne in 2008 with adoption of constitution, which is under discussion, the first time in its history. The Indian legal experts have supported the constitutional development of Bhutan in later years, for which may critics claim was to save the regime. However, in previous years, the druk regime had not asked any support from its southern neighbor, except while instituting the National Assembly, in which the India experts have formulated the design in Delhi.
In 1999, the 4th king introduced his physical enlightenment philosophy called Gross National Happiness (GNH). It received widespread support from within the country and has been one of the subjects of interest to the foreign visitors and development agencies. Of course, it was political turmoil and increasing instances of insurgency in most part of the world that had attracted the development partners and peace campaigners towards this new philosophy it has been implemented after suppression of opposition forces. There are two important implication that GNH has brought in the Bhutanese people – one ignorance to the international politics and assumption of no opposition in national politics; two, motivate the people to involve in the national development wholeheartedly.
Above all these, Bhutanese regime has been sharply criticized for eviction of its over 1/6 of its total population and denying to get them back even after it was recognized that over 75 percent of the people living in UNHCR camps, after verification in Khudunabari camp, were original Bhutanese citizens.
As such, this news portal shall provide comprehensive news and updates about all these. The news and analysis in the portal shall be balanced, impartial and not motivated by some section of people or government influences. Our aim would be for the development and promotion of democratic principle and values in the country, focusing specially on the issues of undemocratic activities, human rights abuses and implementation of the 'un-guaranteed' but stated press freedom in the draft constitution.
Finally, we shall also welcome critical write-ups about the political leaders and organizations in exile or the Bhutanese king and his government but with assurances that dignified and honorable is language is used in. This is meant for elevate environment for open debates on goods and bads of the rulers and the fighters, with strengthening the procurement of undemocratic policies and state atrocities towards its citizens. What we hope is that this would foster the democratic values and principles in Bhutan.
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