DAMAK: The World Refugee Day gives Yadav Neupane, a Bhutanese refugee staying in Beldangi camp of Damak, Jhapa, a secret reason to celebrate. Neupane, who celebrates the day with unmatched fervour every year, continued the ritual this year by inviting guests to join in his celebration.
Neupane, however, has doubts if he would celebrate the day next year. “Representatives of several donor agencies join me in the celebration. But, none of them seems to have the solution to a refugees’ plight,” he rued. Nevertheless, he takes solace in the fact that they are qualified for third country resettlement. “I would no longer remain a refugee once we are resettled in the third country next year.”
Kabiraj Nepal of Goldhap camp said, “I think the tradition of celebrating the Refugee Day should be discontinued. What good has it done, while we have been forced to live a wretched life all these years?” Nepal said the memory of his homeland would continue to haunt him wherever he went.
“We will have to lose our identity, if we are resettled in Western countries,” he said.
The Bhutanese refugees who have been resettled in the US also marked the day. Arjun Subba, who has resettled in the US, wrote in an e-mail: “How can I forget the day, which we used to celebrate in Nepal as refugees. I regret, however, that no such programme was organised to mark the day in the US.”
“The day is a reminder of the unfair treatment meted out to us in our homeland. It motivates us to continue our fight for repatriation,” TB Gurung, secretary of a Beldangi camp, said.