Bhutan Bhutan is a small, remote and very poor country between two powerful neighbours – China and India. Bhutan is a conservative Buddhist kingdom high in the Himalayas.
BHUTAN & NEPAL
Nepali in Bhutan The first reports of people of Nepalese origin in Bhutan was around 1620, when Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal commissioned a few Newar craftsmen from the Kathmandu (Nepal) to make a silver stupa to contain the ashes of his father Tempa Nima. During the late 19th Century, contractors working for the Bhutanese government began to organize the settlement of Nepali-speaking people in uninhabited areas of southern Bhutan in order to open those areas up for cultivation. The south soon became the countrys main supplier of food. By 1930, according to British colonial officials, much of the south was under cultivation by a population of Nepali origin that amounted to some 60,000 people.
The Bhutanese refugees are people claiming tobe Lhotshampas (southerners), a group ofpeople of Nepalese origin, including someKirat, Tamang, and Gurung peoples.These refugees registered in refugee camps ineastern Nepal during the 1990s affirming to beBhutanese citizens deported from Bhutan.Around 103,000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanesewere forced to flee their homes (many inappalling situations), and ended up in 7 refugeecamps in Nepal.
EXPULSIONS : How & why ? In 1990 the Bhutanese government (monarchy) implemented harsh rules to enforce a depopulation and ethnic cleansing policy. Their aim - one people – one language – one religion – one culture. The Bhutanese had to provide proof of 20 years continuous residence in Bhutan and knowledge of the language and culture of Northern Bhutanese communities. As the Southern Bhutanese were mostly of Nepalese origin and Hindu, they did not fit the criteria. This lead to one of the largest ethnic (People of Nepali origin) expulsions in the world. Most Lhotshampa or Southern Bhutanese came to Nepal.
Reality : Having all proofs
Basic Facts (2007)• Refugee Population : 108,000 (Approx.)• 95% : Lhotshampa or Southern Bhutanese.• Location : Seven Camps in Eastern Nepal.• Arrival in Nepal : Early 1990‟s (most by 1995).• Status in Nepal : Prima facie refugees under UNHCR mandate.
7 Camps in eastern Nepal
Religion and Ethnicity (2007) Hindu – largest group (60-70%) Buddhists – (20-25%) Kirat (indigenous) - (5-8%) Christians – (2-3%) Over 50 ethnic and caste groups in the camps (e.g. Brahman, Dalits.) Populations settled in camps along ethnic/caste lines which play an important role in social and camp dynamics.
So called „Education‟ in camps
Fire in camps : A big problem
History : flight & need for resettlement 1980‟s : Bhutan adopts Bhutanization policies –limiting language, customs, religion, and political parties. 1988 : Census conducted to identify “genuine Bhutanese.” Many of Nepalese descent excluded. 1988- 1990 : Demonstrations and protests in Southern Bhutan against new policies. Leaders jailed. First refugees flee to India. Oct 1990 : Bhutanese army fires upon demonstrations killing & wounding many. 1990-92 : Government closes schools, removes officials, and begins confiscating land. Government forces many to sign “Voluntary Migration Forms” before expulsion. 1993-95 : Refugee population at grows from first group of 40,000 to 80,000 as others flee and join relatives in Nepal. June 2003 : Nepal/Bhutan discussions on repatriation stall after pilot Bhutanese verification process finds only 2% of refugees are Bhutanese.
No where.. Bhutan will not let the peoplereturn because they are not of pure Bhutanese ethnic origin. Nepal will not let them out of therefugee camps and into the country because they are Bhutanese.
As Nepal and Bhutan have yet to implementany agreement on repatriation, manyBhutanese refugees have since resettled toNorth America, Europe and Australia under theauspices of the Office of the United NationsHigh Commissioner for Refugees.
Resettlement in 8 countries Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom & United States of America
More in the US (nearly 87%)
Remaining in … 1. Australia (2nd) 2. Canada (3rd)3. New Zealand (4th) and some in ….. 4. Netherlands 5. Denmark 6. Norway7. United Kingdom
In 2008 : 5 thousand 3 hundred 20 (5,320)
In 2009 : 13 thousand 4 hundred 32 (13,432)
In 2010 : 12 thousand 3 hundred 63 (12, 363)
US ambassador to Nepal, Scott HDeLisi, has revealed that there is nofixed quota for the Americangovernment for the resettlement ofBhutanese refugees from Nepal.“Initially, we proposed for 60,000refugees for resettlement in ourcountry,” DeLisi informed whileaddressing a programme at thetransit camp run by the InternationalOrganisation for Migration (IOM)Monday. “However, there is no capfor the number of refugees to beresettled.” (2010 Dec 13) Scott H DeLisi
In 2011 : 14 thousand 9 hundred 99 (14, 999)
In 2012 : 15 thousand 70 (15, 070)
2008 : 5 thousand 320 2009 : 13 thousand 432 2010 : 12 thousand 363 2011 : 14 thousand 999 2012 : 15 thousand 70 Total : 61 thousand 184*• The U.S. governments fiscal year begins on 1 October of the previous calendar year and ends on 30 September of the year with which it is numbered. (Source : Refugee Processing Center (RPC)/State Department, 2012 Oct)
In more than 40 states
More in .. 1. Pennsylvania 2. Texas 3. New York 4. Georgia 5. Ohio(Source : Refugee Processing Center (RPC)/State Department)
Not in … 1. Alabama 2. Delaware 3. Hawaii 4. Maine 5. Mississippi 6. Montana 7. Oklahoma 8. West Virginia 9. Wyoming(Source : Refugee Processing Center (RPC)/State Department, 2012 August)
Sources : UNHCR. IOM Refugee Processing Center (RPC) / U.S Department of State (DOS) Wikipedia Some other websites. (Thanks to all sources)