The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Refugees get 30 days to decide on resettlement


DAMAK: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee has granted a month’s deadline to Bhutanese refugees who had earlier filled forms for third country settlement, to reconfirm their choice.

Since the process of third country resettlement of refugees began in 2008, at least 83,000 Bhutanese refugees have been settled in eight countries, including US, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Britain and Norway. Now, the UN Refugee Agency has granted a month-long deadline to those who had filled the interest forms for third country resettlement, but could not be contacted later.

The commission has notified all the three refugee camps at Beldangi, Damak and Shanischare, Morang. “We’ve granted extra time for those who had earlier filled the forms but failed to appear in the interview for the same. We have sent them forms to notify us their final wish,” said UNHCR Nepal office External Relationship Officer Nini Gurung, adding her office is now collecting the latest data of those who are willing to settle in a third country.

“I’ve got a form and I’ve written that I don’t have any interest in settling down in a third country,” said Beldangi-2 camp secretary Sanchahang Subba, adding that those refugees who want to return to their homeland were worried after hearing about the latest move of the commission. Harkajung Subba, one of the refugees who wants to return to his homeland, accused the UNHCR of trying to pile pressure on refugees to opt for third country resettlement.

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