Wednesday, February 20, 2008

80,000 Bhutanese of Nepal-origin were preparing to leave for Nepal due to the local government's harsh treatment in recent days

Source: Kathmandu Post

Following the declaration of armed struggle by Bhutan Communist Party Marxist-Leninist and Maoist (BCP-MLM) in Bhutan, Drukpas, the indigenous Bhutanese, have allegedly started unleashing atrocities against Nepali-speaking Bhutanese here, and local authorities are not helping the latter.

According to victims, Drukpa employers are denying them their salary, while local administrators, almost all of whom are Drukpas, are beating them for no obvious reason. Some administrators have even begun threatening to force them into exile.

A bus driver, who is a Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, said one Ekka Drukpa, the owner of local Chima Travels, mistreated him. "Drukpa is close to the Bhutanese King. No one dares speak against him despite his atrocities," said the driver who recently faced Drukpa rage.

In another recent case, local police refused to register a complaint filed by one Ramesh Chhetri, an employee at Rinchen Supply Agency in Phuntsholing, after he was allegedly beaten up by his employer Rinchen Dorjee. "Dorjee stopped giving me my salary. Police refused to register my complaint against him," said Chhetri.

Most Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, who have been issued citizenships of 4th and 5th categories by the Druk government, have been doing low-class jobs for a living, local Tilak Chhetri informed.

"They are deprived of all government facilities," he said. The BCP-MLM recently owned up responsibility for the bomb blast that occurred in the southern district of Samchi on February 3, stating "it was aimed at destroying election related documents of the government and starting a war against the government."

80,000 more Bhutanese preparing to come to Nepal

Meanwhile, Bhutanese refugee leader Tek Nath Rizal said that as many as 80,000 Bhutanese of Nepal-origin were preparing to leave for Nepal due to the local government's harsh treatment in recent days.

Talking to journalists at Maidhar of Jhapa Tuesday, Rizal said, "The government has restricted free movement of Nepal-speaking Bhutanese, apart from denying them opportunities."

He claimed that no matter how many refugees are taken for third-country resettlement, many others will arrive in Nepal and deepen the problem.

He also charged that India was the main obstacle to the resolution of this problem.

He was of the opinion that the Bhutanese refugee problem would be solved only through repatriation.

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