Sunday, April 15, 2007

Resettlement to complete in five years, nine more families to fly soon

Kathmandu, April 14: The US ambassador to Nepal James F. Moriarty in his recent face-to-face with Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has made it clear that his government has begun the process of resettling the exiled Bhutanese.

On Friday morning, besides discussing the two countries bilateral relations and Nepal's peace process, the US diplomat informed that his government has reached the final stage to begin resettling the exiled Bhutanese in US.

After his discussion with Koirala, Moriarty while inaugurating a photo-exhibitions told media persons that the process of resettling the 60,000 exiled Bhutanese, which the US has already made a proposal, would be resettled in the US in the next five years.

In the mean time, exiled Bhutanese who wish for third country settlement have begun the race. The newly formed Bhutanese Refugee Resettlement Coordination Committee, they said, would cooperate with Nepal government, UN agencies, Bhutanese organisations in exile and the countries showing interest for resettlement to expedite the process.

The US-Nepal initiation has come forth after Bhutanese government failed to comply with the proposal of the Nepalese prime minister to finalise the issue at the earliest. During the recent SAARC summit, Nepalese PM Koirala had asked Prime Minister Khandu Wangchuk to start repatriating exiled Bhutanese. Bhutanese counterpart escaped from the scene with just word to resume bilateral process for settling the issue.

Politicians and leaders in exile have been demanding immediate withdrawal from the bilateral or trilateral process so as to pave way for involvement of international community in finding solution of this stranded issue.

In another news, at least nine families from camps are making final preparations for flying to west as part of the resettlement programme. 16 families have already resettled in the US with the initiation of the UNHCR despite the denial of the Nepal government to give them permission.

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