August 27, 2010


 [It seems India’s foreign policy  is  inspired  by 'Sinophobia' – fearing Chinese advancement, since it lost the Himalayan war in 1962, which  is also termed among the elite Indians, as the Himalayan Blunder.  This is why India always  likes seeing  her neighbours  remained at a distance from China.  Can that be possible for independent and sovereign countries like, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh etc. in the 21st century ? No, it can’t  be so, at any case.  Being herself the biggest democracy in the world, India surprisingly seems to be favouring Burmese oppressive military junta regime instead of democratic governance so that she could have fine relationship with Myanmar which is under huge Chinese influence. With its four different states - Arunchal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram in the north east, India shares 1643 kilometer long, strategically important border with Myanmar, which is now facing tough international isolation for its non acceptance of democracy and human rights. India certainly hopes to contain those separatists  taking Myanmar on her side.  India believes Yangon (Rangoon, which is now called Naypidaw) offers shelters to Naga, Mizo, Kuki separatists, who are launching separatist movements in her north eastern provinces.

Likewise, India carried on her  back  the Nepalese Maoists grown up in New Delhi South Block backyard  and unleashed them to wage a ten year ‘people’s war in Nepal as the result of  which the Himalayan country is in a complete mess now. These Maoists have now become a headache of  the Indian leaders, who oriented the former to uproot the monarchy. Now, uprooting the monarchy, India virtually wants to ‘institutionalize and strengthen’ democracy in Nepal. But she less likes Bhutan becoming another full-fledged  democratic nation in the Himalayas. The Bhutanese government repression of southern Bhutanese [Lhotshampas]   and the subssequent refugee  problem is one of the  other undesired burdens Nepal is still carrying on her back. India does not say anything about it. It is a mute observer of the suffering of Nepali speaking, southern Bhutanese peoples. Of more than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees, some 60,000 are receiving relocation in  different parts of the world. Still there are thousands of Bhutanese refugees  languishing in  different camps in eastern Nepal.  Will this kind of international relocation programme resolve Bhutanese refugee problem ? Or does the international community want Bhutan remaining a monolithic ‘Shangrila or paradise’ for ever ?

“Why would India stand aloof and indifferent towards Bhutanese people’s aspirations for democracy and constitutional monarchy ?” - has become a question since the early nineties when Thimphu began repressing Nepali speaking southern Bhutanese  and chasing them away from Bhutan. Known also as the last Shangrila,  Eldorado of the east and the botanist paradise, Bhutan presently houses 683,407 (2008-2009) people less than Kathmandu's population, therefore, whose GDP stands US $ 1,300.00 - highest among the South Asian countries.  By ethnicity, Bhutan’s population comprises of Bhote, Ngalops and Sharchops 50%, Nepali 35%, indigenous or migrant tribes 15% of whom  75% people are Buddhist and 25% Hindu. India seemingly does not want to disturb the ‘demographic balance and social harmony’ in Bhutan as one of its foreign ministers, Pranav Mukharjee, on June 9, 2007 said, “if the refugees in Nepal get back to Bhutan, there will be demographic imbalance in the region.” Had Mr. Mukharjee any answer where those refugees would have gone to settle ? Those refugees in Nepal have  again announced a unified move from Kathmandu.   This movement is expected to bring on ‘real democracy’ in the last Shangrila. Editor]

Bhutanese Refugee Leaders Announce Unified Move For Democracy In Bhutan      
Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:39
Major political parties of Bhutan - Druk National Congress (DNC), Bhutan People's Party (BPP) and Bhutan National Democratic Party (BNDP) - and Bhutanese Movement Steering Committee (BMSC) Thursday announced that they would move ahead under the leadership of DNC's chairman Rongthong Kunley Dorji to consolidate democratic struggle of Bhutan.

Refugees' parties and BMSC leaders made the announcement as per the decision taken at their "crucial meeting" of August 22, according to a joint statement circulated today.

"We decided to go under the leadership of DNC since it has better hold inside Bhutan," said Dr. DNS Dhakal, chief of BNDP. He mentioned that resettlement package of refugees is just a temporary solution of the prolonged refugee crisis and that there is no option to repatriation to the homeland with dignity and honour.

Dorji expressed hope that India would support their democratic struggle in Bhutan. "India being the largest democracy in the region must listen to our concerns," he said.

According to Dorji, whose confinement within the Delhi territory was recently removed by Delhi High Court after 13 years, there are some "green signals" from the Indian side for their struggle.

Another exiled leader, Balaram Poudyal, the chairman of BPP, said that nothing could be expected with armed struggle since Bhutan has a different kind of geography.

"I am unaware of existence of Communist Party of Bhutan and its scope," he said refuting media reports saying that this party has been trying to fight against the Bhutanese monarch with arms.

Poudyal, who also heads National Front for Democracy (NFD) Bhutan that comprises three parties including his BPP, spoke out that his party would never trust the so-called democracy in Bhutan since the country's constitution places the King above it.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of BMSC and senior human rights leader, Tek Nath Rizal, said that it would never be possible to achieve political changes inside the country unless India becomes ready to listen to problems and rights of refugees.

"The refugee issue is no more a bilateral deal between Nepal and Bhutan," Rizal said, "Since refugees have scattered to various countries, the problem is a matter of international concern."

The refugee leaders also demanded reparation of Bhutanese refugees through national reconciliation to involve them in political activities and establish inclusive system of governance in Bhutan.

Related Links:
Call of National Front for Democracy in Bhutan