The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, June 4, 2007

Koirala discusses Bhutanese refugee issue with Indian envoy

South East Asia News.Net
Monday 4th June, 2007 (ANI)

Kathmandu, June 4 : Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala held a meeting with Indian Ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherjee on Monday morning on the Bhutanese refugees' agitation at the India-Nepal border.

The two also discussed the current political situation in Nepal.

Last week, thousands of Bhutanese refugees gathered at the Nepal-Indian border wanting to cross over into Bhutan to participate in the second mock elections, but were stopped by Indian border security personnel at the Mechi Bridge.

One Bhutanese refugee was killed in police firing at Mechi while trying to cross over.

Meanwhile, Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) Standing Committee member Bharat Mohan Adhikary has left for New Delhi to join party members -- General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and Standing Committee member KP Oli -- to hold talks with Indian leaders on the Mechi unrest.

In New Delhi, the UML leaders are expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees have been living in south-eastern Nepal since the early 1990s, when they were forced out by the Bhutanese authorities.

The Bhutanese refugees are demanding their right to return to their places of origin.

They want to be allowed to cross into India to reach Bhutan from Nepal. The Indian authorities have objected to this.

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