A strong consensus appears to be in the making in
Indications to this effect got reflected last Monday at an IFA-Institute of Foreign Affairs Seminar held in Kathmandu on the topic of “Different Dimensions of Bhutanese Refugee Problems: Implications and Lasting Solution” wherein practically all the learned speakers and the Bhutan experts not only lambasted at the Bhutanese “closed” regime but also took to task the Indian establishment which has been dumping the refugee issue citing that the entire affair were a bilateral issue to be sorted out by Nepal and Bhutan-the two parties now in conflict.
Dr. Gopal Pokhrel, the Executive Director at the IFA in a roundabout manner criticized Indian establishment for neglecting the Nepal-Bhutan conflict over the refugee issue though the refugees entered into this country using the Indian territories.
The UNHCR Nepal Office Chief, Abraham Abraham for the first time perhaps not only disclosed that he was an Indian citizen but also said emphatically that “India had a role to play and India must play its role” in sorting out the refugee issue at the earliest. He however, told that prior to the repatriation of the refugees in third countries, the refugees must be asked whether they would wish to be repatriated to third countries or prefer to return to their own homeland.
“The principle of choice and democracy must prevail in any case for the refugees prior to their proposed repatriation to third countries”, Abraham said.
The acting foreign secretary, Gyan Chandra Acharya bluntly told the gathering that the refugee imbroglio was the creation of
“The refugee issue has been forcibly imposed on
Foreign Minister Sahana Pradhan hurled allegations against
“The refugees were forcibly evicted from
The minister though appreciated certain countries’ fresh overtures which indicate that they were ready in absorbing some of the refugees into their country, however, she also said that the right to return to their own homeland should remain undeterred.
Mr. Thinley Penjore, the President of the Druk national Congress and Vice Chairman of the Bhutanese Movement Steering Committee in his some what appealing remarks said that “if there was any human zoo to be visited, it was
He also lambasted at the democratization process now undergoing in
Mr. Penjore then did not spare the King of Bhutan even whom he describes as the real trouble maker. In his own words, “the King is solely responsible for refugee making and leaving a declining legacy for the new regime”.
He nevertheless, said that
Presenting his paper, noted analyst and columnist, Prakash A Raj said that as the refugees first entered India before reaching Nepalese territory, it should be( read India) a concerned party.
Similarly, Dhruva Joshi in his paper says that the refugee issue so far has not succeeded only because the country’s diplomacy has miserably failed. Mr. Joshi emphatically writes in his paper that “a tripartite issue is being paraded as a bipartite one, and the diplomacy of
He then says, “Had it not been
The ex-foreign minister K.P.Woli in his paper says that the refugees are the victims of what he called “Ethnic Cleansing” process initiated by the Druk regime.