Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Rizal tells US to talk to Nepal, Bhutan and India before resettlement


Chairman of Bhutanese Movement Steering Committee (BMSC) Tek Nath Rizal urged the United States to hold talks with Nepal, India and Bhutan jointly before beginning the third country settlement of the exiled Bhutanese on Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists in the Nepalese capital Rizal said resettlement merely would not give solution of the two-decade long crisis. “Most of us want to return to our country and if the US government is indeed serious regarding resolving the crisis, joint meeting is absolutely necessary as all three countries are involved in the crisis.”

Rizal also promised that he will continue struggling for the respectful return of exiled Bhutanese to Bhutan.

He further said the exiled Bhutanese should be repatriated before the general elections take place in Bhutan so they participate in the election next year.

On Sunday, Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had said he favors return of the exiled Bhutanese for their elections to guarantee their franchise rights.

Thinley Penjore, vice president of BMSC, said that resettlement offier is only a short term solution.

Expressing gratitude towards the US government for its willingness to resettle some exiled Bhutanese, Penjore said, “We will not stop those who want to be resettled in the third country but selection procedures should be transparent.

Nepali human rights Dr Gopal Krishna Siwakoti said resettlement would provide opportunity for the exiled Bhutanese to begin a new life but that would tarnish the democratic struggle in Bhutan. He said wherever they are taken, their national identity must the guaranteed.

Dhruva Joshi of Friends of Bhutan said third country settlement would not help protect the rights of the southern Bhutanese.

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