Expat Bhutanese activists appeal to UNDP to mediate reconciliation process in Bhutan

Together we are trying to draw attention to the Bhutan refugee crisis while calling for reconciliation between the Bhutanese government and the diaspora.

Suraj Budathoki Oct 09, 2023
Image
Dr. Leong Ying shares his experiences of his recent visit to Bhutan

A year after the Bhutan army arrested Tika Ram Dhimal on 12 December 1990, his family had to get his body from the main hospital in Gelephug town near the Bhutan-India border. Dhimal was a citizen of Bhutan, a Hindu Pandit from the Lhotshampa community who are ethnic Nepalese.

More than 100,000 Bhutanese Lhotshampa, or one-sixth of Bhutan's population, were forced into exile in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to Bhutan's evolving ethnic and political dynamics. Human rights violations were rampant as the then government initiated policies that marginalised the Lhotshampa Bhutanese citizens.

Lhotshampa prisoners, who were in the detention centre with Dhimal and survived and were later released, have told Dhimal’s family of the daily torture Dhimal endured, aimed at extracting a confession about his alleged involvement in the mass protest against the government's "One nation, one people" policy. Under this policy, the Bhutanese government placed cultural and linguistic restrictions upon the Lhotshampa – from replacing Nepali as a classroom language with Dzongkha to forcing all citizens to follow the national dress code of the Driglam Namzha.

PIB members with speakers: Dr. Uzma Gul, Guy Djoken, and Dr. Susan Banki Picture Credits – Peace Initiative Bhutan
PIB members with speakers: Dr. Uzma Gul, Guy Djoken, and Dr. Susan Banki
Picture Credits – Peace Initiative Bhutan

The legacy continues.

Thirty-three years after Dhimal’s death, his son Kamal Dhimal sounded a poignant appeal at a United Nations General Assembly sideline event: “Let the past be a lesson, and let the pursuit of truth be a hope guiding the way toward a more compassionate and just future.”

Dhimal, 40, is president of the Global Bhutanese Hindu Organization in Columbus, Ohio. The organisation aims to provide a common platform to the Hindu Bhutanese/Nepali diaspora to work together towards the preservation and promotion of Vedic Sanatan Dharma through intellectual, spiritual, linguistic, and cultural activities by upholding values of dignity, mutual respect and unity among diverse communities.

Born in one of eight refugee camps in Nepal, 16-year-old Lazza Magar is now a high-school junior in Concord, New Hampshire. She and her mother, Hema Magar, along with Kamal Dhimal, were among the hundred or so persons, including many diasporic Bhutanese and members of the international community, who came together for "Voices of Resilience: Building Bridges for Peace in Bhutan."

Held at the Scandinavia House in New York City on 8 September 2023, the event was hosted by Peace Initiative Bhutan, the nonprofit I co-founded in 2022.

Collaborating for the event were non-profit organisations Team54 Project International and 1000 Shades of Women, both of which work to implement UN sustainable goals. Team54 works in the peace and climate change area, while 1000 Shades works for women's equality globally.

Together we are trying to draw attention to the Bhutan refugee crisis while calling for reconciliation between the Bhutanese government and the diaspora.

The event provided a platform for exiled Bhutanese Lhotshampa to share stories of family separation, including harrowing experiences like the death of loved ones during expulsion and the plight of political prisoners.

Challenges and resilience

There were also stories of resilience arising from situations like facing eviction from the homeland, becoming a refugee, and finding hope in the face of adversity.

Lazza’s father, Bhupal Magar, then barely 23 years old, went from the refugee camp in Nepal to meet relatives in Bhutan before seeking resettlement in the US. While in Bhutan, he was arrested on treason charges.

Magar is one of 37 known Lhotshampa who are considered political prisoners, “convicted under the draconian and vaguely worded 1992 National Security Act,” reports the New York-based rights body Human Rights Watch.  

“Most of them are held separately from other prisoners, in poor conditions, with many suffering physical or psychosocial (mental health) ailments, and are denied regular communication with their families.”

The Nepal Red Cross Society helped Lazza and her mother meet Magar in prison in Bhutan in 2016. They have not seen him since.

He was still incarcerated when Lazza and her mother came to the United States in 2017. Leaving the refugee camp and living far from where Magar remains incarcerated was a hard move.

He was known to support needy families in the refugee camp, helping them build houses, and doing whatever he could for others, Lazza told me.

At the UN sideline event, the teenager called for her father’s release, pleading with the international community and the King of Bhutan to “have mercy” upon Magar. 

In a moving speech, Dr Kumar Gurung, a former Bhutanese refugee and entrepreneur, paid tribute to ”the countless Bhutanese citizens who were forcibly exiled, tortured, killed, and who still remain missing or imprisoned.”

“We stand together in solidarity, seeking justice and honouring their memory,” said Dr Gurung, who launched the Triratna Foundation in Nebraska, US in 2021 as a humanitarian Buddhist volunteer setup.

The scars left by the violence of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he added, “continue to haunt our collective consciousness.”

We are here to amplify their stories, demand a fair and impartial examination of their cases, and ensure their fundamental human rights are respected, he said.

The strength of a nation “lies in its ability to acknowledge and rectify past injustices. It lies in the courage to confront the painful truths and to strive for a future built on compassion, inclusivity, and justice for all.”

“We recognise that healing our nation's wounds requires open dialogue, compassion, and a commitment to inclusivity,” concluded Dr Gurung. “The path to peace may be challenging, but it is one that we must walk together.”

At the end of the event, we formally invited the United Nations Development Programme to mediate the peacebuilding and reconciliation process, claiming its credibility and impartiality in the process.

On 21 September, I delivered this invitation in person to the Geneva office of the UNDP.

Keynote speaker Dr Gbujie Daniel Chidubem, founder and president of Team54 Project International, emphasised the importance of peacebuilding and reconciliation. He highlighted the transformative power of dialogue and understanding in bridging divides and fostering a future built upon cooperation and goodwill.

Adaptive approach

Other notable speakers who addressed the urgent need for reconciliation, justice, and building positive peace in Bhutan included Ambassador Didi Dior Fall, Dr Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, and Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay, former Nepali ambassador to India and Bhutan.

Ambassador Upadhyay stressed the need to repatriate the Bhutanese refugees. He said that Nepal “is ready for dialogue” with the government of Bhutan to resolve the issue.

He termed the event “pivotal” in bringing together exiled Bhutanese communities, international thought leaders, and peacebuilders in a collective effort to foster reconciliation and lasting peace.

These powerful narratives and insightful discussions at last month's event created solidarity among our community and hopefully contributed towards cultivating understanding and laying the groundwork for a better future.

Participants adopted five crucial recommendations: seeking “an adaptive approach” to peacebuilding, seeking robust international support, implementing reconciliation initiatives with global involvement, recognising the critical role of trust-building, and pursuing measures to ensure the wellbeing of political prisoners.

Coming together in New York last month underscored and amplified a commitment to peace, reconciliation, and the well-being of Bhutanese communities within and outside the country's borders.

(The author is a Transformative Social Change doctoral student at Saybrook University in Pasadena, California, and is co-founder and president of Peace Initiative Bhutan. By special arrangement with Sapan News )

Post a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Alexandria
Sat, 12/16/2023 - 22:33
Did you check out out 'YouTubeMoa'?
Wager into an area where curated happiness intersects, all thanks
to the latest algorithms.
An abundance of comfortable is there an eye to you, sourced
from the expansive internet, ensuring you're always informed.

Connect with the massive slews who've prominent their hubspot on account
of all things chic.
Protect 'YouTubeMoa' strategic away and protect leading the pack.

The next pleasure to capture your will is honourable on all sides of the virtual corner!
스포츠토토
Thu, 12/21/2023 - 14:12
Incredible story there. What occurred after? Good luck!
사다리게임
Thu, 12/21/2023 - 19:53
This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am in fact pleassant to read everthing at one place.
เว็บสล็อตตรง ไม่ผ่านเอเย่นต์
Thu, 12/21/2023 - 19:56
Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this website.
It's simple, yet effective. A lot of times it's very difficult to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and visual appeal.

I must say you have done a great job with this.
Also, the blog loads super quick for me on Firefox. Outstanding
Blog!
joker388
Fri, 12/22/2023 - 18:29
Hi to every body, it's my first go to see of this
blog; this blog carries remarkable and in fact fine material in favor of readers.
Eps security West hollywood
Wed, 01/03/2024 - 23:06
Hi there, its nice piece of writing regarding media print, we
all be familiar with media is a impressive source of facts.
film-talent-1
Thu, 01/04/2024 - 10:12
An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more about this
subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don't speak about these subjects.
To the next! Kind regards!!
링크사이트
Thu, 01/04/2024 - 13:27
Are you aware of 'YouTubeMoa'?
Wager into an section where curated happiness intersects,
all thanks to the latest algorithms.
A pride and joy trove of contentedness awaits you, curated from the tremendous digital universe, designed to obstruct you in the loop.

Get onboard with the numberless who've pinpointed their nexus in requital for the aggregate hip.

Highlight 'YouTubeMoa' and certify you're always a in harmony ahead.

That content you're present to adore? Ethical an individual click away!
링크 모음
Thu, 01/04/2024 - 22:41
Are you enlightened of 'YouTubeMoa'?
Jump into a concern where trending delighted gathers, chosen by innovative algorithms.

An abundance of comfortable is there an eye to you, sourced from the spreading internet,
ensuring you're always informed.
Engage onboard with the scads who've pinpointed their nexus after entire lot hip.

Go on increase 'YouTubeMoa' to your favorites and always halt updated.

The piece of content you'll honey next is so join, just
a click!
성인 사이트
Fri, 01/05/2024 - 13:18
Greetings!
Determine a find trove of special subject-matter tailored after discerning
adults at AVJOHA.
Our curated accumulation is vast, catering
to assorted preferences.
In behalf of both newcomers and long-time enthusiasts, AVJOHA provides an special experience.

Obscure yourself in a in the seventh heaven of harsh sensations and pleasures.


Don't scarcely lay hold of my express in place of it ?
yoke the countless satisfied visitors who redress habits
and time again.
Go to AVJOHA and become aware of out what's causing all the buzz.
토토
Fri, 01/05/2024 - 23:45
Necessity expert betting advice?
Discover 토토사이트 ? Wager Smart!
Our 안전놀이터 supplies the latest, incorruptible advice to reform your bets.

Whether you are a novice or a old hand, 토토 steers you to more
up to date, safer wagers.
Weld with our community and remain at the forefront of gambling!
msf security guard
Tue, 01/09/2024 - 09:10
Simply wish to say your article is as amazing.
The clarity on your post is simply great and i could assume you are a professional
on this subject. Fine along with your permission allow me to grasp your RSS feed to keep
updated with imminent post. Thanks one million and please
continue the enjoyable work.
https://penzu.com/p/b31b2681
Tue, 01/09/2024 - 10:23
Definiitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet tthe easiest
thing to be awaare of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilpe people think about worries that they plainly do
not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thig without having side effect ,
people can take a signal. Will likely bee back to get more.

Thanks
출장마사지
Wed, 01/10/2024 - 17:21
Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my web site so i came to
return the desire?.I'm attempting to find
issues to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use
some of your ideas!!
전국 후불 출장마사지
Sat, 01/13/2024 - 21:17
That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
Brief but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one.

A must read post!
секс русский массаж
Thu, 01/25/2024 - 00:15

I am incessantly thought about this, thanks for posting.
My website: <a href="http://google.ro/url?q=https://russkoeporevo.pro/cat-pyanie/">секс по пьяне</a>
русский массаж секс
Sat, 01/27/2024 - 16:07

A lot of blog writers nowadays yet just a few have blog posts worth spending time on reviewing.
My website: <a href="http://morimo.info/o.php?url=https://russkoeporevo.pro/cat-pyanie/">секс пьяных</a>
русский секс 2029
Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:37

Major thanks for the article post. Much thanks again.
My website: <a href="http://stairsociety.org/?URL=https://russkoeporevo.pro/categories/">порно категории русское</a>
порно русское по категориям
Sun, 01/28/2024 - 21:37

Ponto IPTV a melhor programacao de canais IPTV do Brasil, filmes, series, futebol
My website: <a href="http://cage.report/www.php?to=russkoeporevo.pro/cat-pyanie/">пьяные русские порно</a>
бесплатный секс на русском языке
Mon, 01/29/2024 - 20:41

Very good post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.
My website: <a href="http://archive.paulrucker.com/?URL=russkoeporevo.pro/cat-pyanie/">секс по пьяне</a>
порно массаж русское
Mon, 01/29/2024 - 22:54

I reckon something truly special in this website.
My website: <a href="http://www.only-r.com/go?https://russkoeporevo.pro/categories/">порно на руском</a>
руспорно
Sat, 02/03/2024 - 23:47

Respect to post author, some fantastic information
My website: <a href="http://www.google.si/url?q=https://russkoeporevo.pro/cat-porno-s-uchitelem/">порно с училкой</a>
трахает парня страпоном
Mon, 02/05/2024 - 20:09

Respect to post author, some fantastic information
My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-russkie-mamki/">русское порно ебет мать</a>
русское порно выебал сестру
Tue, 02/06/2024 - 12:15

A lot of blog writers nowadays yet just a few have blog posts worth spending time on reviewing.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/anal-porno/">анальное порно видео</a>
порно бдсм машина
Tue, 02/06/2024 - 16:19

Very good post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.
My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-gruppovoi-incest/">смотреть семейное порно</a>
вебкам порно онлайн
Wed, 02/07/2024 - 10:02

Thanks-a-mundo for the post.Really thank you! Awesome.
My website: <a href="https://pornobomba.top/categories/volosataya-pizda/">лохматая пизда</a>
японский секс порно
Wed, 02/07/2024 - 22:18
I’m extremely pleased to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/anal-s-negrami/">негры рвут анал</a>
русские проститутки порно
Thu, 02/08/2024 - 16:27

This site definitely has all of the information I needed about this subject
My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-krasivoe-porno/">самое красивое порно</a>
нарезка окончаний
Fri, 02/09/2024 - 15:37

I got what you intend,bookmarked, very decent website.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/svyazannie/">смотреть грубое порно</a>
порно с мачехой
Sat, 02/10/2024 - 06:26

As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/minet/">секс сосет</a>
русское порно с рыжими девушками
Sat, 02/10/2024 - 10:09

Thanks-a-mundo for the post.Really thank you! Awesome.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/anal-porno/">порно русское анал молодые</a>
порно фильмы зрелые лесбиянки
Sun, 02/11/2024 - 00:18

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog post.Really thank you! Much obliged.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/gruppovoe-porno/">жесткое групповое порно</a>
порно видео бдсм
Sun, 02/11/2024 - 17:29

As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me.
My website: <a href="https://pornobomba.top/categories/porno-tolstih-zrelih/">порно толстые зрелые</a>
русская милфа мастурбирует
Mon, 02/12/2024 - 07:31

Respect to post author, some fantastic information
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/porno-s-brunetkami/">порно брюнетки</a>
порно зрелых с волосатой пиздой
Mon, 02/12/2024 - 14:53

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/kamshoti/">кумшот</a>
смотреть секс нд
Tue, 02/13/2024 - 04:54

A round of applause for your article. Much thanks again.
My website: <a href="https://pornobomba.top/categories/porno-orgazm/">порно оргазм</a>
растянутый анал девушек
Tue, 02/13/2024 - 14:25


My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-sperma/">порно сперма</a>
отлизал попку
Wed, 02/14/2024 - 07:40

Major thanks for the article post. Much thanks again.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/bdsm/">порно бдсм связанные</a>
жесткое порно мжм
Thu, 02/15/2024 - 20:07

Thanks-a-mundo for the post.Really thank you! Awesome.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/malenkie-siski/">ебут с маленькими сиськами</a>
отец выебал дочь
Fri, 02/16/2024 - 09:28

Thank you ever so for you blog. Really looking forward to read more.
My website: <a href="https://narodnoeporno.pro/categories/arabskoe-porno/">арабское порно смотреть бесплатно</a>
анал с азиаткой худой молодой
Fri, 02/16/2024 - 14:03


My website: <a href="https://pornobomba.top/categories/femdom/">фемдом раб</a>
порно кастинг жесткое
Sat, 02/17/2024 - 06:43

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you
My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-mama-i-sin/">мама сосет сыну</a>
Отчим и падчерица
Sat, 02/17/2024 - 11:25

Very good post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.
My website: <a href="https://pornobomba.top/categories/femdom/">фемдом страпон</a>
жена дает в анал
Sun, 02/18/2024 - 02:55

Definitely, what a great blog and revealing posts, I definitely will bookmark your site. Best Regards!
My website: <a href="https://pornobomba.top/categories/pyanie/">пьяная порнуха</a>
порно видео латекс
Sun, 02/18/2024 - 12:44

Respect to post author, some fantastic information
My website: <a href="https://pornobomba.top/categories/porno-s-uchitelem/">порно учитель и студентка</a>
секс bdsm
Mon, 02/19/2024 - 02:56

Thank you ever so for you blog. Really looking forward to read more.
My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-lizhet-pizdu/">лизание пизды</a>
домашнее порно
Mon, 02/19/2024 - 13:29

Thank you ever so for you blog. Really looking forward to read more.
My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-bdsm/">порно бдсм пытки</a>
порно раком в жопу
Tue, 02/20/2024 - 04:07

As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me.
My website: <a href="https://theporndude.in/cat-dvoinoe-proniknovenie/">порно бесплатно двойное проникновение</a>