The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Saturday, June 9, 2007


Indian media reports providing reference to a meet between the West Bengal Chief Minister and the Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee reports that during the meet Mr. Mukherjee said that the Bhutanese refugee problem in Nepal is an international issue.
Talking to reporters Mr. Mukherjee said “The Bengal chief minister has urged me to initiate a dialogue with these two countries. We are in friendly terms with both countries. The issue of Bhutan refugees cropped up 11 years ago and as far as I know there are about 100,000 refugees in the camps.”
Mukherjee giving a fatherly support to Bhutan further said, “The population of Bhutan is just 600,000. If these 100,000 people enter Bhutan it would create a demographic imbalance.”
“However, we are trying to work out a solution”, said Mukherjee adding,“It is an international problem.”
Lately, the Indian security forces had intervened into the proposed “long—march” to Bhutan by the refugees to their original homes in Bhutan. The Indian security recently while stopping the refugees heading for their homes resorted to indiscriminate firing. A refugee who was injured by a gun-shot fired by the Indian Security force inside the Nepali territory was declared dead.
Similarly, the BSF had arrested a Nepalese journalist at the Mechi Bridge (along Indo-Nepal border) on 29 May, who was covering the event of the foiled “Long-March” by the refugees. The Indian government also filed a writ petition against the Nepalese journalist on charges of border encroachment.
Later, the Indian authorities in West Bengal had assured the refugees to convey their message to the central government and work out a dialogue with the Bhutanese Authorities. June 10, 2007.

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