HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
DAMAK: Bhutanese refugees, who have been on hunger strike in Damak of Jhapa for the last five days, today decided to continue with their strike despite the government’s assurance of addressing their demands even as their health condition are deteriorating.
Six refugee women led by Durgadevi Bista had started the hunger strike at the Damak-based Beldangi camp No 2 from Tuesday demanding that the government register 3,749 refugees of the camp who have not received different facilities including relief entitled to them as they were missed out during registration.
Though the government formed a committee led by an Under Secretary of the Home Ministry to deal with their problems, the agitated lot denied calling off their strike, demanding that the government start the registering process of the refugees first. “As many deals in the past were not implemented, we are doubtful about the government’s fresh assurances,” said Bista.
Yagyaraj Sharma, Chief of the Area Administration Office of Damak reached the refugee camp with the Home Ministry’s letter on Saturday but to no avail. The camp management committee has, however, welcomed the government’s move to form a committee.
Meanwhile Chandramaya Khadka and Renuka Magar – who were on hunger strike for the last five days – have been sent to Biratnagar for treatment after they fell ill. According to sources, the health conditions of the rest are not satisfactory either. Different human rights organisations urged the government to be serious over the refugees’ concerns.