Kathmandu: Peace Initiative Bhutan (PIB), a non-governmental organization, based in the United States of America has urged the CPN-UML chairperson KP Sharma Oli to include the Bhutanese refugee issue in the common minimum program of the new government.
Writing a letter to Oli, the organization has requested him to make proactive efforts to resume diplomatic communication with the government of Bhutan, and help resolve the protracted Bhutanese refugee issue.
“It is our fervent hope that you [KP Sharma Oli] will take personal interest to Include Bhutanese refugees issue as one of the prime agendas in order to resolve this issue permanently,” reads a letter signed by Suraj Budathoki, founder-member of PIB. “Over 7,000 Bhutanese refugees are still languishing in two refugee camps in Nepal.”
When we heard that you have been unanimously elected to formulate the common minimum program of the new Government, we were elated and motivated to communicate with you because we believe that you are the right person to include “solving the Bhutanese refugee issue” as one of the objectives of the new Government in Nepal, reads the letter.
We are well aware that you played a crucial role in dealing with Bhutanese refugee’s issue when you were the Prime Minister, Home Minister, and of course, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the letter addressed to UML chairperson KP Sharma Oli states. “It is evident that the majority of the Bhutanese refugees were/are languishing in makeshift camps in your constituency in Eastern Nepal.”
Budathoki has further appealed to him to take initiative to address the issue. “You have met several Bhutanese refugee members, visited these camps numerous times, and offered your solidarity, which gives us strong conviction that no one is more capable than you to address this critical issue and help find an amicable solution,” adds the letter.
“Currently, the remaining Bhutanese refugees are stagnating in two refugee camps in Jhapa and Morang districts without adequate humanitarian assistance.”
The letter further reads: “It appears that the international community has relinquished its responsibility to respect the rights of these people solely to the government of Nepal.”
Peace Initiative Bhutan (PIB), a non-governmental organization, based in the United States of America, has been working hard to garner global support and solidarity to initiate the process of reconciliation with the government of Bhutan based on mutual trust, understanding and cooperation. The organization believes that resolving the refugee problem can open a harmonious avenue between the governments of Bhutan and Nepal so that the bond of friendship between the two Himalayan countries flourishes harmoniously.
PIB has assured to work with the governments of Nepal and Bhutan to ensure no individuals are left in refugee camps in a state of statelessness.