The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

UN optimistic on respectful return home of Bhutanese refugees

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antnio Guterres Tuesday said that he was optimistic that the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal would return to their homelands in a "respectful" manner.

Talking to media persons upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Guterres, who had arrived here on a three-day visit to Nepal, said that he was confident that with the peace process progressing, the refugee problem will also be solved.

Guterres said that a joint effort from all sides was necessary for the resolution of the Bhutanese refugee crisis.

He further said that the refugee issue was a human issue and all concerned sides must work while keeping this in mind.

"We all need to work together to sort the problem of the people. It is the people that matter," Gutterrez said.

Stating that at present, numerous ways to resolve refugee problems had appeared, the UNHCHR head said that this had created a good opportunity for a joint effort to this end.

He is scheduled to meet high level government officials, UN officials and heads of donor agencies during his stay in Nepal.

Some 105,000 Bhutanese refugees have been living in seven camps in eastern Nepal for the last 16 years.

As many as 15 rounds of bilateral talks held between the two governments have failed to yield any results so far.

Source: Xinhua

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