Rijal to lead Bhutanese refugees’ agitation

Biratnagar, March 3:

Bhutanese political parties and organisations related to the refugees yesterday formed a common platform to continue their 15-year-long agitating to return to their homeland.

Bhutanese human rights activist Tek Nath Rijal has been given the leadership of the platform — the Bhutanese Movement Steering Committee.

The first meeting of the BMSC, that concluded in Jhapa yesterday, dissolved the umbrella organisation of the Bhutanese refugees, Bhutanese Refugees Representative Repatriation Committee (BRRRC).

Earlier, the BRRRC had led the agitation programmes related to the Bhutanese refugees but some parties and organisations used to launch separate programmes. The refugees in the camps used to claim that the repatriation programmes could not become effective in the absence of the unity among the Bhutanese political parties and their other organisations.

In the press release issued yesterday, president of the Druk National Congress, Thinley Panjor said that Rijal’s leadership would be effective and that his party would lend a constructive support to the agitation.

Similarly, secretary of the Human Rights Organization of Bhutan, Kishor Rai, also welcomed Rijal’s leadership and said the future agitation would be effective.

Meanwhile, addressing to a meet in Damak, today, Rijal thanked all the refugees for providing him opportunity to work and added that he alone cannot do anything in their effort for repatriation to the homeland and for that everyone need to cooperate with him. “We can achieve our goals if we work together. Be assured that we will definitely go back to our homeland,” Rijal said.

Head of an NGO, the Caritas, Father Bharkey said it is significant that there is unity among the refugees.

The president of the Bhutanese People’s Party, Bal Ram Poudel, expressed his confidence that the future agitation programmes will be effective.