Patriotism has its limit
We have been living in the Bhutanese refugee camps for more than sixteen years and almost rotting our precious life for the sake of our motherland. The physical and mental pain faced by the refugees has no limits and the future of the refugee children is bleak. We want to go back home but repatriation in the present situation is meaningless.
Fighting and shouting did not do anything good and we will not stick to the hollow words of any refugee leaders. India made us refugees and has committed a huge crime against humanity. It is reluctant to let the refugees go to their homeland via India. At least one person has died and many were wounded in course of the scuffles with the Indian army near the Mechi Bridge.
The US proposal regarding third country settlement has raised a ray of hope in our minds. However, the security situation in the camps is worsening and it is becoming an unsafe place for the refugees opting for third country settlement. Every refugee wants to go back home but there is no point to stay in the camps.
Pathri, Refugee Camp
from Letters to Editors, The Kathmandu Post (link)
Today, I voice Bhutanese refugees' outcry again- while the Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankhar Mukharjee holds 'discussions' with PM Koirala on other topics including the refugees' crisis. This is just another Big Brother show- and it's disgusting. The real interest of India in Nepal and Bhutan isn't in favour of Bhutanese repatriation. But only time will tell if the increasing frustration and desire to 'do something' among the new generation of the refugees would lead to any armed struggle in near future...
The Druk monarch should be clear of one thing- like our own monarchy- even his days are numbered. How long can you suppress people's voices with the power of guns? How long can India prevent Bhutanese refugees from returning back to their own country from the Indian soil?
I fear if India doesn't understand the language of love and request- everybody knows what the last option would be. I love peace- but the Buddha's seeds of peace are so weak- and even Indians have already forgotten the teachings of Gandhi that now I see only one solution to settle the refugees crisis- a non-violent movement that mustn't come to an end until the Nepali government, Indian government as well as the foreign governments forces the Druk kingdom to accept their countrymen with full dignity and privileges unconditionally.
Violence and armed movement can only deteriorate the situation and lessen the chances of finding durable solutions to the problem- but tell me if politicians heed to our suggestions lest we do some arm-twisting through the barrels of guns and explosions of bombs...
Every Bhutanese refugees' children knows that India is entirely responsible for their current plight. Unless and until, Indian government understands that the potential threat of barring them their natural rights to enter their country could devastate its own country- it's not going to do anything for the Bhutanese refugees. And, I'm sure now the time has come for the refugees to start their fight- it's the potential to devastate even this country, but I am supportive- and I think every Nepali should support them in their fight to return back to their motherland. We are still living in the shadow of our brave ancestors- it's time to come out of the old shadows and cast our own- for peace, democracy and freedom. New Nepal- and now my heart pumps a dream- buried deep in the heap of grief, exploitation, regression and suffering in a foreign land- that dream of a New Bhutan...
Yes- patriotism surely has its limit.
Note: Please, download this report 'Last Hope' to understand the Bhutanese refugees' crisis, their life in Bhutan and the camps in Nepal- their struggle to survive and their pursuit of 'identity'. Click here (in pdf) or on the picture- and save link (target) as to download: