25 Years of Archives

Shangri-La’s dark spot

Shangri-La’s dark spot

Bhutan, often referred to as “Shangri-la” by the western world has a gory past – it once forced over 75,000 Nepali-speaking people, the Lhotshampas, to leave. They languished in refugee camps in eastern Nepal for over 20 years as protracted talks between Nepal and Bhutan never reached a solution. Meanwhile, their population increased and their difficulties multiplied. Finally, the US and several other Western nations, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, started resettling them in their own countries. This week, the 90,000th refugee resettled in the US. However Bhutan was never held responsible for the genocidal eviction of about 15 percent of the country’s population, which amounts to a ‘crime against humanity’. About 15,000 refugees are still living in two camps in Nepal and are faced with an uncertain future.

Meanwhile, in response to a letter from the US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has ruled out any possibility of repatriation. Premier Tobgay has also ruled out the possibility of allowing refugees to return and reunite with their families still living in Bhutan. While the international media was happy to treat Bhutan as the country with the alternate development model of ‘Gross National Happiness’, Himal Southasian pursued this issue with in-depth reporting.

From the Archives:

Kanak Mani Dixit’s long reportage on post eviction of the refugees. (July 1992)

Kanak Mani Dixit on how the Bhutanese Monarch’s depopulation of Lhotshampas faced the sacrosanct kingdom with dissent. (July 1994)

Bhakti Prasad Bhandari on the struggle of Teknath Rizal, the epitome of struggle for Lhotshampas. (March 1994)

Himal Southasian commentary on how, after getting rid of the Lhotshampas, the Ngalong elites have turned to Sarchops, another ethnic population in the country. (February 1998)

Karin Heissler on the gross inaction of international community to resolve the refugee crisis. (October 1998)

Kabita Parajuli on the state of the Bhutanese refugee camps and their aspirations of a return to their homeland. (January 2006)

Himali Dixit on Lhotshampa’s dilemma of Repatriation or resettlement. (June 2007)

Himal Southasian commentary that, though the Bhutanese government took resettlement as a solution to the longstanding problem, the resettled refugees will raise voice for their right to return. (January 2010)

A C Sinha on how resettled refugees are struggling to ensure the continuation of their unique lifestyle.  (April 2011)

Devendra Bhatarai calling on Nepal to quit the farce that is diplomatic talks over the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. (June 2011)

Aletta Andre’s reportage reveals hopes of the Lhotshampas who remain in the country to get citizenship after the new government following the second democratic election is installed in Thimpu. (October 2013)

 

From our Archive:

Kanak Mani Dixit’s long reportage on post eviction of the refugees (July 1992); and on how the Bhutanese Monarch’s depopulation of Lhotshampas faced the sacrosanct kingdom with dissent;  (July 1994); Bhakti Prasad Bhandari on the struggle of Teknath Rizal, the epitome of struggle for Lhotshampas. (March 1994); Himal Southasian commentary on how, after getting rid of the Lhotshampas, the Ngalong elites have turned to Sarchops, another ethnic population in the country (February 1998); Karin Heissler on the gross inaction of international community to resolve the refugee crisis (October 1998); Kabita Parajuli on the state of the Bhutanese refugee camps and their aspirations of a return to their homeland (January 2006); Himali Dixit on Lhotshampa’s dilemma of Repatriation or resettlement (June 2007); Himal Southasian commentary that, though the Bhutanese government took resettlement as a solution to the longstanding problem, the resettled refugees will raise voice for their right to return (January 2010); A C Sinha on how resettled refugees are struggling to ensure the continuation of their unique lifestyle  (April 2011); Devendra Bhatarai calling on Nepal to quit the farce that is diplomatic talks over the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal (June 2011); and Aletta Andre’s reportage reveals hopes of the Lhotshampas who remain in the country to get citizenship after the new government following second democratic election is installed in Thimpu (October 2013).

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Kishore Dave, the bureau chief of the Gujarati newspaper Jai Hind, was stabbed to death at the newspaper's office in Gujarat's Junagadh district. According to a Press Trust of India report, the Superintendent of Police at the local police station said Dave (53) was attacked by unknown assailants at around 9:30 PM on 22 August 2016. Aaj Tak, the Indian television channel, reported that personal enmity prompted the murder.