KATHMANDU- Bhutan Peoples’ Party Chairperson Balaram Poudel appealed to Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyal to return home Bhutanese refugees by adopting the policy of national reconciliation.
Poudel, after being exiled from Bhutan in 1990, has been living as a refugee at Birtamod, Jhapa. He sent a letter to the Bhutanese King on July 30 with an appeal to consider returning the Bhutanese refugees. In a press meet organized at Birtamod on Sunday, Poudel shared that he sent the letter to the Bhutanese King as, according to him, the political problems within the country could only be resolved through the policy of national reconciliation.
Also, considering the crisis raging in Bhutan putting nationality and democracy at risk, he appealed to the Bhutanese King for the same, he informed. According to him, over 200 political prisoners were put behind the bars in various prisons in Paro, Chamgang, Rabuna, Mongar, Samdrup Jongkhar among other places in Bhutan at present.
At his backdrop, Paudel pleaded before the Bhutanese King to release them unconditionally who, he added, were living a harsh life in prison for participating in human rights and democracy movement. According to him, some three decades ago, over 150,000 Bhutanese were unjustly evicted from Bhutan while raising their voices for their language, culture and democratic rights.
“We would like to appeal to the current Bhutanese King to adopt the national reconciliation policy and release all those prisoners unconditionally.” Poudel shared that he reminded the Bhutanese Monarch that about 20 per cent of the Bhutanese refugees deported from southern part of Butan were resettled in the third country so far and around 7,000 Bhutanese refugees were still living in difficulty in refugee camps of Jhapa and Morang districts. He also urged his monarch to create an enabling environment to release all the prisoners held for their involvement in democratic and human rights movement and for all Bhutanese refugees to return home.
“The government of Nepal ensured our basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. However, we are not happy because we want to return our home-Bhutan. We will not be happy until we can return Bhutan,” he asserted. Leader Poudel also requested the government of Nepal to facilitate for the returning of the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal by holding dialogue with the Bhutanese refugee. Furthermore, he appealed to the government of Nepal to renew the identity card of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and register those missing out in record.