Wednesday, January 15, 2014

OLD But LIVE : को कुप को बेकुप

.....When and where a 'refugee' is expelled from one state, or forcibly dispossessed in some other way, there is often no place to go, even as one arrives someplace, if only in transit (06).â€
This logic makes one realize that refugees remain in transit until they reach their motherland. This conditionality of remaining in transit causes extreme suffering to them. Indeed, this state of existence is a force or position that affirms the refugees' right to reach their homeland in the future. Therefore, the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees on American soil is not the end of their journey to freedom and democracy. By leaving Nepal, they are taking another route, a global route, but they are still in transit to their homeland. We should also realise that they have always and already been in transit since the very day they were forced to leave Bhutan. And since that very moment, they have become a subject of glocal politics........


I respectfully differ with this opinion.

For the resettled Bhutanese refugees, the transit is finally over. They have arrived. As citizens and would be citizens, they will have to look to the countries of resettlement as their new homeland. This does not mean that they should be emotionally unattached with Bhutan. But this emotional attachment will make the transition even more painful. In fact, we will never be able to overcome this pain; as the nature of transition in your meaning is never ending. And it chokes our future as in a situation you describe we will of neither 'here' nor 'there' for ever. And I do not think that is good for any of us.

Rp Subba.
I add that Bhutanese resettlement in west is one of the 3 durable solution of UNHCR.
Thus, durable solution implemented is the end of Bhutanese refugee situation globally as all will/are citizens new country and have to abide by the bylaws of their country.
Emotional attachment to any motherland is all different from what the international books say on durable solution.
Once Bhutanese obtain citizens of these countries, everyone has less authenticity to criticise the other nations that will apply to Bhutan except someone has existence to challenge Bhutan on case by case basis.
Those interested to critic Bhutan should not take any other citizens and remain refugees except otherwise they are authentic members of human rights or any Advocacy group. How many can be refugees in resettled countries to fight Bhutan????
Millions of Palestenian refugees are waiting in Arab and Western countries to return to Palestine once the conflict is resolved with Israel. But Israel is dead against it, just as Bhutan is in our case. So it depends on the individual choice whether transition is over or not. Once uprooted forcefully and violently from the homeland, the diaspora has the right to return, irrespective of legal status, that is my understanding.
Upendra Dahal

Dear all:
The prevailing international Law on Refugees is based on two parallel and competing principles: (a) Constitutive and (b) Declaratory.

According to the former, a person becomes a refugee no sooner s/he is forced out of one’s country of origin based on one or more of the stated grounds, namely religion, nationality, race, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The latter, a narrower principle, states that the criteria set by the constitutive principle is not sufficient. The person that flees the country of origin needs to be “recognized” as a refugee by an agency with competence to do so. Such an agency is either the Host country that either admits or rejects an alien with the exercise of its sovereign prerogative (either to accept or reject an alien) or the UNHCR that has both Convention and inherent mandate to do so. The constitutive principle is broader and refugee-friendly while the latter recognizes the supreme prerogative of a sovereign. It is worthwhile for a refugee to consign with the former.

The issue of citizenship must be used with caution in a refugee situation. One need not be a citizen of a country to be qualified as a refugee, which is why, the terminology used is “country of origin” and not “country of citizenship”. This usage is rather deliberate: to bring into the protection fold innumerable people that face forced/coerced international displacement but are not citizens of any given country at a point in time.

Question is raised in the group on whether resettlement, as in the case of the resettled Bhutanese refugees is a permanent one. The crucial point one must not fail to understand is that known as the imminent and effective link of a person with a country. A pervasive manifestation of such a link is citizenship. Citizenship, in this context must be understood as a mutual relationship between the state and the individual person that is characterized by (a) expressed allegiance of the individual towards the state and (2) protection accorded by the state to the individual expressing alliance. It’s a two way process. While the most effective representation of this symbiotic relationship is citizenship, that however, is not the only legal situation where the relationship exists. Even non-citizens habitually residing in a state qualify for a lesser category of imminent and effective link and are entitled to protection of the state wherein they are habitual residents. Take for instance, the case of permanent residents of USA who may opt not to acquire its citizenship. The quantum and degree of their belongingness as manifest in their rights available must be understood on a comparative analysis of the laws of both the country of origin and the host country. The issue is more subjective and fluid.

In the case of Bhutanese refugees resettled abroad, they establish that imminent and effective link as and when they acquire citizenship of their resettled country. They thereby legalistically forfeit their legal right over their country of origin as the effective link is shifted to their new country. (Those of us that have taken the oath of allegiance during acquisition of citizenship may recall the wordings of the allegiance).

Does the shifting of that imminent and effective link terminate the relationship with the country of one’s origin? It is at this stage the distinction between nationality and citizenship come into operation. Nationality must be understood together with another concept of belongingness, namely “nation”. This expression is more to do with the sense of oneness that people sharing a common origin, language or such other forms of identity express wherever they technically reside at a given point in time. This bond of oneness is indeed very pervasive and does not need the instrument of citizenship for its expression or survival. That said, the issues dealt here are more complex and one wrongs them by making them too simplistic.

Have then resettled Bhutanese permanently forfeited their rights as citizens of Bhutan? Yes, once they have acquired the citizenship of a foreign country. The atrocity that they have been inflicted with by the agency and instrumentality of the Bhutanese state is a matter that remedies may be sought in appropriate forums if they qualify for a cause of action. These are an outcome of positivistic analysis of current international law on the subject in question: an understanding of “what is” rather than “what ought to be” the situation. One can always dispute that this “ought not to be” the situation as an aspirational principal.

A theoretical possibility cannot be trashed completely: what if the Bhutanese parliament determines to repatriate and reinstate Bhutanese citizenship to all those willing? In a situation as this, the imminent and effective link established elsewhere may be shifted at the voluntary determination of the individual concerned. This is a classic situation of politics enabling the law; an exercise of the supreme sovereign prerogative of a state.

One is open to choose between these available options.

Happy New Year 2014.

Thank you:

Narayan Sharma Phuyal

Philadelphia USA

Great explanation !
People should read between the lines. It has real deeper connotation.
Thank you

Parsuaram Sharma Luital
I would second Narayan Sir's opinion on this matter. The intricacies of what he has stated is central to the question of both NRB and the prospects of return to Bhutan. Both appear to be the fruit in the sky that is completely desirable and yet impossible to achieve. Our political history is guiding our move to retreat from it at the moment.

Neither does community consensus nor does a global representative org appear to be anywhere in the horizon to spearhead these recent developments. Making even a suggestion will appear to be too political.

How are we to now educate the common person about these delicate ideas in a long lasting way? We don't??? We can't? We should, but how?

I think nationhood has to be explained further and more deeply until it clarifies our history beyond our petty nationalities and ethnicities. Perhaps then our citizenship will appear more rational than it does now.


Avishek Gazmere

Hi, in this thread of discussion, Upendra has pointed the right way. Palestinians, Iraqis, Iranis(including Baha'i followers), Tibetans, lot many Africans and Latin Americans who are settled abroad and have taken up citizenship and that has not dissuaded them to support for changes in the home country - which we too can do as long as we believe in our cause. And, I also believe everyone has the right to go back or be able to visit own's homeland. So instead of being cacophonous and spatting among ourselves, why can't we all come together dynamically to pave a way so that Bhutan reverses its bigot citizenship acts and notesheet rulings.

As far as I see, everyone of us want to be able to go back home - travel, visit, invest, re-start lost life, recoup lost properties etc. & etc..... - so without squabbling lets all put in efforts that helps to achieve our aims... and not repeat our much (camp like) disillusioned Diaspora for furthering personal ambitions and churning-up new 'begging bowl' organisations/associations.
Regards to all,
C B Dahal
Yes.. Narayan has explained it in the best 'legal' way. We may now be 'citizens' of other countries but no one can dispute our Bhutanese 'nationality'.

C B Dahal
I think, 'returning home' in the sense Upendra is using the term is different from 'visiting' that country as a tourist. All diaspora including refugee diaporas have that sentimental touch and a sense of distant belonging. And they cherish the idea of visiting it. Its a way of re-discovering themselves.
Ratna Subba

सबै जनामा नमस्कार !!

हामीले भूटान, हाम्रो र नेपाली पनको विषयमा धेरै नै बोलि सक्यौ अब । आफ्नो हठका दस्ताहरूले थिचेर अरूहरूको वौदिकतालार्इ नजर अन्दाज गर्ने खेलहरू पनि धेरै हेरियो । हाम्रा अगुवा सदस्यहरूका विद्वान भाका र मत पनि सर्वेक्षण धेरै नै गरियो । मलार्इ त यस्तो पो लाग्न थाल्यो ।

१. कुनै पनि संघर्षको अन्त्य पालयन्ता हैन जबकी हामीले पलायन्ता अपनाएर आत्मसमर्पण गरिसकेका छौं, अधिकांशले । हामीले भूटानका विषयमा वफादारिता संगत हुने हैसियत नै गुमाएका छौं । अबको हाम्रो यात्रा पहिचान तर्फको हुन सकेन भने बेकारको यात्रा हुने छ । NRB को नौटंकी भन्दा भूटानको नागरिक्ताको लडाँर्इं लडौं, कोही तयार हुनुहुन्छ ??

२. हामीले सुनारेले सुन कुटे जस्तै गरेर हाम्रो विषयलार्इ धेरै कुटिसकेका छौ, अब अगाडि ल्वारेले जस्तो गरी फलाम कुटौं कोही तयार हुनुहुन्छ ? यदी हुनुहुन्छ भने संसार भर समय मिलाएर एकै चोटी हजारौं जना आमरण अन्सनमा बसौं र भूटानको नारिक्ताको माग गरौ? कोही तयार हुनुहुन्छ ? मेची पूलको तगारोमा भूटानी शरणार्थी समस्यलार्इ विज्ञापन गर्नुको अब सार्थकता छैन् र यसको विकल्प NRB हुन सक्तैन ।

३. यी पिटिसन, विभिन्न पार्टी, गुट र हल्लाका समूहगत पहलहरू मात्र स्वभिमानका भएर असफल भइसकेका छन अब पनि यिनै नौटंकीहरू फलाक्नुमा के अर्थ ? हामीसँग हिम्मत भए अब हामी नागरिक अभिमानका निम्ति उठौ !! किन भने अब हामी बोलि बिक्ने ठाउँमा पुगेका छौं । अब हामीलार्इ भारतको इच्छाले रोक्ला त ? हामीले विश्वभरिबाट एकै चोटी आमरण अनसन घोशणा गरेर हजारौं बस्ने हो भने कसको के पिताम चल्छ ? हामी यसका लागि तयार छौं ? कि फेरि पनि dear students water doesn't boil at 70 Degree Celsius !! हो हाम्रो नीति ?

४. मलार्इ लाग्छ हाम्रो व्यबारले भूटान भित्रका नागरिकहरूलार्इ पनि प्रतिकुल असर परिरहेको छ । अब पनि हामी अरूको चामलको भन्दा आफ्नो पीठोको मूल्य ज्यादा भनेर बाजी मार्ने घृष्टतामा कतिसम्म जाने ? हामी एक लाखलार्इ प्रतिनिधि गर्ने मात्र ३० जना नमिल्दा हाम्रो सानो समस्या एउटा सिसिफियन डेडलक भयो । अब हामी जो पालयन्ताको खास्टोमा फसिसकेका छौं भूटानको नागरिक्ताको लागि लड्दैनौ भने पाहिचान बनाउनु थालौं र यो लालचि त्यागौं । हामी पलायन भएको ठाउँमा पनि समाजहरू छन, समस्याहरू छन, आवश्यकताहरू छन तिनीहरूको समाधान तर्फ लागौं । ओविसिए, एबिए ब्ला ब्लाका नौटंकी हेरे हामी भूटानका विषयमा युयुत्शु बन्न खोज्दै छौं भने हामी नैतिकताका आधारमा वर्तमान बाँच्न पटि लागौं । हाम्रो खोलिएको सपनाले अब कहिल्यै चल्ला काडने छैन, यो सत्य छ । अब अगाडि सपनाका बतासे डिम्मा कोरल्नुको पनि धरातल फितलो छ । त्यस कारण अब हामीले हिड्ने बाटो हेरेर, आफ्नो बाटो हिड्नु उचित हुन्न र ?

६. माननीय विरवलज्यूहरू !! अब भूटानभित्रका नागरिकहरूलार्इ आकासे चुलोमा बसाएको खिचडीको कथा भूटानी समस्यामा रूपान्तरण गरेर पुन सुन्न छैन । माननीय भान्सेज्यूहरू !! अब चुलोमा पोल्न हालेको लोरोले हाम्रो धैर्यता रोक्न सक्न छाड्यो । त्यसो भएको हुनाले अब केही गर्न भए निर्णायक गरौ नत्र आदरणीय ठिन्ले पेन्जोर र नारद अधिकारीज्यूले सिकाउनु भएको पाठ सिकेर यो काउछाको मालाबाट मुक्त भएर विलासिऔं, यसैमा हित छ ।

यसमा भएका नराम्रा कुरा सबै मेरा निजीहर र राम्रा कुराहरूले समुहगत धरातल पाउन मेरो निवेदन छ ।

जदौ, जय भूटान

चिराङ भूटान

हाल कोलोराडो ।

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bidding Beldangi goodbye

‘Alvida Beldangi’ launched

‘Alvida Beldangi’ by Shivalal Dahal, a poet, writer and an editor, was launched at Mandala Theatre, Anamnagar on Saturday. The book, published by Discourse Publication, centers on the stories and struggles of Bhutanese refugees and discusses the subaltern issues.

The event proceeded as the main guests and speakers talked about the book and the refugee issues and presented their paper on it. Dr Abhi Subedi, a well known literary figure; Gita Tripathi, a poet and literary critic and JB Biswokarma, a researcher and freelance journalist, presented their analysis and opinions on the story of the book, along with other books concerning the subaltern studies published by Discourse Publication. 

YN Chaulagain and Dr Taralal Shrestha, both writers who have ventured on the subaltern studies in Nepalese contexts in their books ‘Sakshi’ and ‘Shakti, Shrasta ra Subaltern’ respectively shared their experience of Bhutanese refugee camps in the country. 

Dr Shanta Karki and Dr Govinda Rijal, also present at the event, spoke about their experiences of the refugee camps and living as resettled Bhutanese. 

*Beldangi is the name of a place in Bhutan. Dahal is a resettled Bhutanese who is currently living in Kentucky, America and who previously resided in Beldangi. In an audio tape representation of the writer, he thanked the guests, presenters and the audience for discussing on his book. 
The book is priced at Rs 200


Please note: *Beldangi is one of the Bhutanese camp in Jhapa and is not in Bhutan.