Open letter to NaMo

The Right Honourable Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of Republic of India
South Block
Secretariat Building Raisina Hill
New Delhi, India.

Dear Prime Minister,

Coinciding with your forthcoming state visit to my former country Bhutan scheduled for 17 and 18 August 2019, I would like to draw your kind attention to the following issues that Bhutanese citizens facing since 1990s – following peaceful demonstrations for human rights and democracy. With a great respect and honour of the sacred relationship that has been existing between India and Bhutan and to help further strengthen the existing relationship I would like to put forward the following urgent matters to you with an expectation that these matters could find some space during your meeting with Bhutan’s monarch and political leaders.

1. Despite 15 rounds of Nepal-Bhutan bilateral talks, the issue of dignified repatriation of evicted Bhutanese citizens to their original home could not take place. Even after their resettlement in eight developed countries about 25,000 evicted Bhutanese still live undocumented at several locations in India and some 7000 under UNHCR aided camps in eastern Nepal. They are desperately looking forward to return to their country Bhutan and live a dignified life as citizens.

2. Even after the introduction of multi-party democracy with constitutional monarchy in 2008, over 150 political prisoners are still languishing in various prisons in Bhutan. They were arrested for demanding democratic changes, human rights and converting monarchy to be constitutional in 1990s. Many of them are serving life sentences while their families still hoping for reunion live in the resettled countries. Since the ICRC family reunion service discontinued, the family members have not been able to get in touch with these mates to understand their current situation. As a democratic nation, India must use its good office to put pressure on Bhutan that these citizens must be release and allowed to enjoy the democratic changes that has come to the country. They must be allowed to visit their families.

3. Further some 80,000 southern Bhutanese, who have family relations with those exiled have been rendered stateless by the erstwhile Royal Government of Bhutan during 1990s. There are widespread fear that these citizens will be forced to leave country on pre-text of being illegal immigrants and non-citizens of Bhutan. Their only mistake being relative of someone who was forced to leave the country. 

4. Most Bhutanese evicted in 1990s have now resettled and have obtained citizenship of the host country. They have repeatedly expressed willingness to visit Bhutan as tourist to meet their family members, relatives and friends left behind during separation. Bhutan has categorically avoided issuing visa for them saying ‘former Bhutanese refugees will never be considered for travel visa’. This measures of Bhutan has made it impossible to get an opportunity to meet ailing parents, close family members, relatives and friends and neighbours who are living inside Bhutan. We are hoping for your influence for these unions.

As the Prime Minister of the world largest democracy and Bhutan’s biggest donor and closet ally, I feel that these issues of Bhutanese citizens must become concern for your office. I hope, your Neighbour First policy will incorporate such issues that needed humanitarian solution. That is not only in the interest of Bhutan but that of India too. Consideration of reunion will have economic, social and technical benefit to Bhutan and north-eastern Indian states. And this will further strengthen Bhutan-India relations. 

Can I kindly request to use your good office for positively influencing to get these issues resolved. 

I appreciate all that you have done for peace and prosperity of Bhutan. I look forward to seeing continued support to Bhutan people in need.

Ram Karki
The Hague
The Netherlands.

3 thoughts on “Open letter to NaMo

  • August 12, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Well attempt by Mr. Ram Karki for the general issues faced by all former Bhutanese refugees resettled in 8 different developed countries and some still struggling for dignified repartriation. On one side, it is GNH country, on the other side, even after succeeding in ethnic cleansing program, the resettled former Bhutanese refugees, now the citizens of US, CANADA, AUS, UK, NETHERLAND, NZ, NORWAY, FINLAND, SWEDEN are not allowed to visit their birthplace Bhutan. Is it not a serious human right violation? It is something that international human right watch group and media are missing! Conducive environment should be created, so that every former Bhutanese refugees can visit their birthplace and their relatives as former Bhutanese citizens or Non Resident Bhutanesr BUT not as tourist. This is serious violation of the birthright and human right of Bhutanese from Gross National Happiness country. Please every international media, come up and raise this issue.

    • August 18, 2019 at 12:24 am

      No you have list you right to say fomer citizen of Bhutan……

  • August 18, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Mr Ram Kari… sorry you can’t use our imdo-bhutan relationship in your personal interest…….you can’t claim as former bhutanese as you people are opted to leave GNH country by your own interests…..Our government have never asked to anyone to leave the country in 1990s ……. instead the government requested to be a good citizen of our country… Bhutan…..we the people of Bhutan never except the such heartless people as our citizen…..coz we are living in GNH country…….


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