Kathmandu: On the eve of the official visit to India by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB) has drawn his attention toward the long impending issue of Bhutanese refugee repatriation and the problem of long unresolved Bhutanese political prisoners.
More than 6500 Bhutanese refugees live in the two camps in eastern Nepal after eviction in the early 1990s. Out of them, 2500 of them have been waiting fruitlessly for their return to Bhutan for several decades. The long issue of Bhutanese political prisoners is still lingering unresolved. More than 50 political activists are still serving life sentences in various prisons in Bhutan since the early 1990s and later.
“India’s support is crucial if this grave humanitarian issue has to be resolved as Bhutan listens to India’s concerns and suggestions,” says the statement issued by GCRPPB. The Global Campaign has appealed Nepal PM to raise two important points with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during his bilateral meeting with him. First, seek Indian support for the early repatriation of those willing Bhutanese refugees living in the refugee camps in Nepal. Second, seek Indian support to help release Bhutanese Political Prisoners who have been languishing in various prisons in Bhutan since their arrest between 1990 and 2009 for their political activities.
“The long impending issue of Bhutanese refugees in the camps has created several problems in Nepal. One of the largest corruption scandals rocking Nepal now arose only due to the Bhutanese refugee camps in eastern Nepal. Fifteen times Nepal-Bhutan bilateral talks failed to resolve this issue, and India’s support is necessary for its resolution,” says the statement signed by Ram Karki, Global Coordinator of Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB).