The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, November 6, 2006

Oli to seek clear answer from Bhutan to take refugees

Oli to seek clear answer from Bhutan to take refugees
[ 2006-11-5 ]

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs K P Sharma Oli has said, taking back Bhutanese refugees by Bhutan Government is the solution to the problem.

Deputy Prime Minister Oli was speaking in an interaction programme on the theme of ?What would be the future of Bhutanese refugees?? organised by Center for Alternative Media, Nepal, here today.

Informing about his planned visit to Bhutan on Nov 21 and 22 to solve the problem, Deputy Prime Minister Oli said he will seek clear answer from Bhutanese Prime Minister on taking back refugees.

Stating that refugees have been staying in various camps for last 16 years, he said Nepal Government desires to see the problem solved at the possible earliest.

Deputy Prime Minister Oli, said he will consult with leaders of political parties, intellectuals and human rights activists before he heaves to Bhutan and stressed the need of helping hands to solve the problem and guarantee the fundamental rights of refugees.

?If Bhutanese Government disagrees to take back refugees other option must be sought,? he said. ?There has been proposal to resettle 60 thousand refugees in The United States of America and other countries have also shown the similar interests,? he added.

He said, Nepal, however, has a clear stance that they should be resettled in groups and not in parts by selecting among them.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Chakra Prasad Bastola said problem of Bhutanese Refugees has been gaining interest, in these days, and it has created a better opportunity to expose democratic movement in Bhutan.

He asked Deputy Prime Minister Oli to raise the issues of human rights and present political situation in addition to the refugee problem in talks with Bhutanese Prime Minister.

Human Rights Activists Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti said all the national and international communities should put due influence on Bhutanese to take back refugees, stressing the need for Nepal to advocate for their movement for democracy and human rights.

Chairman of the Center Prajwal Chapagain, Bhutanese refugee leader Dyaso Thinle Benjor, Radha Adhikari and Raghunath Lamichhane also spoke in the programme.

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