The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, October 30, 2006

Other countries also interested to take in Bhutanese refugees- Abraham Abraham

Other countries also interested to take in Bhutanese refugees

At a time when the United States government has already stated that it would be willing to take up to 60,000 Bhutanese refugees for resettlement, other western countries, too, have shown interest for the same.

According to Abraham Abraham, chief of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Nepal, countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and other EU countries have inquired about 'quota' related with resettlement of Bhutanese refugees.

He added that the UNHCR was not in a position to right away determine number and quota of refugees. Abraham Abraham, talking to Kantipur daily, said that as per the 15-year-old data, there are 106,000 Bhutanese refugees languishing in Nepal. He said the new refugee census, which will be carried out from November, will reveal the exact situation.

The US offer for resettlement has already been welcomed the UNHCR, which considers it provides a real hope for resolving one of the most protracted refugee crises in Asia.

Meanwhile, unlike many other Bhutanese refugee leaders who have criticized the US offer for resettlement claiming that would only help the autocratic Bhutanese regime, a leader of Druk National Congress (DNC), has welcomed the resettlement plan.

RK Dorjee, general secretary of the DNC, speaking in New Delhi, said, "We welcome the US view on Bhutanese refugees." He, however, trashed statements by Bhutanese King that he will establish democracy in Bhutan by 2008. sd Oct 29 06

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