Bhutanese refugees long for home

DAMAK: Bhutanese refugees have launched a campaign in all the seven camps of Jhapa and Morang districts demanding repatriation. Some 8,000 refugees from 916 families have been taking part in the campaign that began more than 20 days ago.

Dilman Magar who came to fill a form that would be submitted to UNHCR under the campaign, along with his family in Beldangi camp, said he would prefer to return home rather than settle in another country. "I believe that the forms would be submitted to the UNHCR and the concerned organisations. I hope that we would get to return to Bhutan this time," he said.

Harkajung Subba, coordinator, Civil Society, who has been leading the campaign, said, "As many as 40,000 to 50,000 refugees are expected to fill the forms. We would submit the forms to the UNHCR, the governments of Nepal, India, Bhutan, diplomatic missions and human rights organisations." More than 14,000 Bhutanese refugees have already been resettled in third countries since the rehabilitation process began.

The campaign is led by four Bhutanese organisations -- Bhutan Human Rights Organisation, Senior Citizen Society, Bhutanese Refugees' Nation Return Campaign Management Council and Bhutan Gorkha Rastriya Mukti Morcha.