Attention drawn towards plight of refugees

Kathmandu, June 29:

A four-member delegation of the National Front for Democracy (NFD) of Bhutan made an appeal to the European Parliament and European Commission in Brussels about the plight of the Bhutanese in exile for the past 17 years.

NFD in a statement today said the team led by Durga Giri separately met Robert Evans, member of the European Parliament for London and Chair of the South Asia Delegation, and Jean Chriatian Remond, head of Unit for India, Nepal and Bhutan issues.

The team also submitted memos and appealed to them for an amicable solution to the imbroglio and the establishment of democracy in Bhutan.

“The delegation had long and separate discussions with both the teams. The delegates found Evans concerned about finding a practical solution to the problem of the exiled Bhutanese. He expressed his willingness to put pressure on the Bhutan government for a true democratisation process and persuade India for its involvement in the process to find a solution,” the statement said.

During the meeting with Remond, the delegates raised the issues concerning the Bhutanese in exile in Nepal and Bhutan’s democratisation process. “The time has come for a political solution to the (refugee) problem,” Remond told the team. NFD said the team also paid a goodwill visit to the Nepali embassy in Brussels and met Durga Prasad Bhandari, the first secretary and Ambika Luitel, the acting ambassador.

They expressed gratitude towards the Nepal government and the Nepali citizens for their untiring support and solidarity to the Bhutanese democratic movement.

The delegates also sought international attention for the fair trial and safety of the political prisoners of Bhutan and informed the dignitaries that over 80,000 people have been excluded from the official records and declared non-eligible to caste votes in the 2008 elections.

The other members of the Bhutanese delegation were Ram Bahadur Karki, Nandi Kishor Neupane and Tej Man Monger. The meetings with the European Commission and Nepali embassy were also attended by two other Bhutanese Jamuna Karki and Bhakta Man Subba.