LETTERS: Bhutanese refugees
Apropos of the news story “One lakh Bhutanese refugees resettled outside Nepal” (THT, Nov. 20, Page 5), I am happy to inform you that the city of Lethbridge in the southern part of the western Canadian province of Alberta is one of the cherished destinations for the refugee population. We now have a big and vibrant ethnic Nepali diaspora in the city of Lethbridge. The community members have formed an organization of ethnic Nepali group named The Bhutanese Canadian Association and is part of a bigger multi-ethnic forum called, Southern Alberta Ethnic Association (SAEA) in Lethbridge, of which we are all members in Lethbridge. SAEA is an umbrella organization representing a wide diversity of ethnic societies and clubs in southern Alberta. It is quite coincidental that the organization is having an ethnic dinner called ‘Taste of Bhutan’ on November 27th (http://www.saeamulticultural.org/) to introduce Bhutanese cuisine and ethno-cultural exposure to Bhutan and the ethnic Nepali society of the region. I am proud to mention that our brothers and sisters have nicely integrated into the multi-cultural Canadian society and have made us all proud through their valuable contributions to building the multi-cultural society here.
Saikat Kumar Basu,
I would like to call upon all repositories of ‘Swabhiman’ in the country to celebrate the upcoming New Year Eve on December 31, 2015 by showing solidarity with the victims of the Great Quake and Murderous Blockade. Able-bodied Swabhimanis can cycle to the epicenters and spend the night with the victims under tarpaulin sheets feasting on chiura-pani, if not roots and berries. Those who cannot (for want of health and wealth) or do not fancy solidarity with the aggrieved victims should form a sea of human mass in public places like Tundikhel for a candle-light vigil at the dot of midnight to protest blockade that has reportedly pushed a great mass of the people below the poverty line.
This night also can be used to warn the independent or institutionalized promoters of black market economy in the country to stop profiting from human misery. It is important to thoroughly cleanse the country of black marketeers who are adding to the people’s plight. On the occasion, we should all go without food for the night or simply chew on roots and berries in front of the TV cameras to show to the world what ‘Swabhimani’ Nepali people are capable of. We should also pledge in front of cameras never to allow black marketeers to hold hostage Swabhimani Nepali people. Such a celebration in the beginning of the Gregorian New Year would send a clear and powerful message to the world and black marketeers in the country. We can repeat this in all other new years like Newari, Tamsaling, Gurung, Rai, Magar and Bikram Sambat.