The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Upcoming talks will be decisive for repatriation of Bhutanese refugees: Oli

Upcoming talks will be decisive for repatriation of Bhutanese refugees: Oli

Deputy Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli (File Photo)
Deputy Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who also holds the Foreign Portfolio, has said that the meeting to be held between Nepal and Bhutan in November on the repatriation of refugees would be decisive.
After receiving memorandum from a delegation of organisations of Bhutanese refugees in Birtamod, the DPM said, “The forthcoming talks will be decisive. In case of it being otherwise, we will look for alternatives. The government, however, doesn’t want to prolong the process.”
The memorandum, presented by the Refugee Coordination Committee, stated that the recent US proposal of accommodating 60,000 refugees in the US has not only affected the movement of democracy and human rights in Bhutan, but it has also raised questions about the future of the refugees.
More than 106,000 Bhutanese refugees are languishing in seven UNHCR administered camps in eastern Nepal since early 1990's. The 15-round of talks between Nepal and Bhutan failed to resolve the deadlock.
Meanwhile, addressing a Dashain Tihar greeting exchange programme organized by him, the DPM said that the international community was ready to extend all forms of assistance to restore peace in the country.
"Our foreign friends are willing to see peaceful settlement of the present crisis," Oli added.
Commenting on the ongoing peace talks, he said, “It is the government’s duty to make the peace process fruitful by giving an appropriate and respectable outlet to the Maoists,” adding, "As people are already sovereign there is no reason for the Maoists to cling to their weapons." pb Oct 16 06

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