Monday, June 16, 2008

IOM sends non-Bhutanese under resettlement to US


Amidst reports that non Bhutanese are being processed for third country resettlement identifying themselves as Bhutanese, Bhutan News Service (BNS) has identified a case of that kind.

A non Bhutanese has been sent to US after completing resettlement process at the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in the name of Padam Lal Poudel, 52, from Beldangi II, Sector D/2 Hut No 24.

"Other families processing together have already left but we are still waiting for the DHS interview", said son of the victim who went to IOM, Damak office to know the reasons of delay Monday morning.

"The inquiry section of IOM confirmed that someone matching my father's information already got resettled in the US", he told BNS.

"I was just returned from the reception without letting to talk to senior officials" said he adding two persons at the reception in just said, "It is not only yours, there are several such cases''.

According to Poudel's son, his family has already got two special numbers assigned by IOM, and there are five members under his father's group. In April, IOM split his family into three groups for easy processing.

An IOM staff at Damak told BNS that no information through telephone is entertained to any media. She said, "Sorry I cannot help you", and added "Better talk to Kathmandu office".

When BNS contacted IOM office in Kathmandu, they simply directed to contact the US embassy for verification. However, the US Refugee Coordinator was out of reach, when BNS attempted to seek clarification.

On repeated calls to IOM Kathmandu office, one of the officials said "Media matters related to IOM are to be discussed with either United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or the US embassy in Kathmandu".

UNHCR office in Kathmandu also denied providing information on status of the person being resettled as Bhutanese in US, citing reason of protection according to its policy.

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