Bhutanese Refugee Representative Repatriation Committee (BRRC) has sent an appeal to the secretary general of the South Asian Association of South Asia (SAARC) and the prime minister of Nepal to include Bhutanese refugee issue into their agenda.
Signed by its president Dr Bhampa Rai, the letter that the promise of SAARC to promote the well-being of people in the region remains an illusion since there is lack of genuine interest in resolving Bhutanese refugees’ problems. The citizens of Bhutan, a member country of SAARC, are living in Nepal and elsewhere since 1991 as refugees after their eviction.
“Eviction of its citizens, confiscation of citizenship and property violating our fundamental human rights by our own government are against all canons of international law,” said the statement, adding, “It brings untold suffering to the victims and put unnecessary political, social and economic strain to the host country and the world community.”
The letter further reads, “Unfortunately, however, even with so much injustice happening to the Bhutanese refugees, it is disheartening and painful to see that SAARC, as an institution, has failed to address the issue, and the member states, except for the host nation Nepal, have remained mute spectators to this tragic episode.”
“We see the upcoming summit as an opportunity to bring the issue of Bhutanese refugee to the forefront and put pressure on the government of Bhutan to unconditionally repatriate genuine Bhutanese refugees, restore their citizenships and allow them to return to their homeland with a guarantee of their livelihood in safety and security.”