Most refugees do not favour US offer

Damak, October 8:

The United States has said it can absorb 60,000 Bhutanese refugees but the refugees want to have none of it. They want to go home.

Refugees said the US proposal was not in their welfare. “We want to return to our homeland where we were born; returning to our country is our priority,” said Tej Bahadur Gurung of

Beldangi Camp No-1. He said the US proposal has created confusion among the refugees.

Bhutan’s political parties should play an active role to clear the confusion, said Rahalman Gurung of the same camp.

He added that most of the refugees want to return to Bhutan at any cost. The US proposal would have a negative impact on the refugees’ agitation, said Gurung.

The outlet to the problem should be sought by holding direct talks among Nepal, Bhutan and the refugees, said a refugee Jung Bahadur Budathoki.

It’s not reasonable to take us to a country where the culture and religion are alien to us, said Naina Kala Rai of Sanischare camp in Jhapa.

Chairperson of the Bhutan People’s Party, Balaram Poudel, said the proposal of the US was not conducive for the refugees. He added that they should be repatriated to their own country.

Meanwhile, some refugees at Beldangi camp in Jhapa welcomed the proposal of the US. Issuing a statement, they said that as no solution had been found to their problem, the proposal of the US was reasonable.

UNHCR has also stressed the need for looking for alternatives to solve the problem of the refugees.

A few months ago, some 3000 refugees had written a letter to UNHCR, demanding that they be accommodated in some third country.