The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Underground outfit warns against third country refugee resettlement

At a time when the alternative of resettling the Bhutanese refugees to third countries is being seriously considered, an outfit named Bhutan Tigers Force (BTF), a group said to be active in Bhutan in an underground manner, has warned the refugees against going for that option.

Posters and pamphlets said to be pasted by the outfit on the walls, trees and makeshift shacks in the refugee camps of Jhapa and Morang yesterday night warned that if the refugees opted for third country resettlement strong action would be taken against the agencies facilitating the resettlement.

However, the group didn’t explain why it was against the idea.

Resettling the refugees in a third country would only make the respectful return of refugees more difficult, hinder the movement waged for refugee repatriation and would be considered a conspiracy to wipe the identity of the refugees, it has been stated in the pamphlet.

An estimated 106,000 refugees have been living in Nepal since 1990 after being forcefully evicted from their homes by the Bhutanese government. U.S, Canada, Australia including few Nordic countries had proposed to take certain number of the Bhutanese refugees to their countries as part of the third country resettlement option after 15 rounds of bilateral negotiations between Nepalese and Bhutanese governments failed to resolve the refugee stalemate.

Refugees as well as their leaders remain divided over the third country option. ag June 07 07

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