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BHUTANESE COMMUNITY CONFERENCE IN OHIO

Fate of 9000 refugees goes uncertain

OHIO: Organization of Bhutanese Community in America OBCA held its sixth Annual convention in Cincinnati, Ohio in a grand manner.

OBCA is the umbrella Organization of Bhutanese Refugees repatriated from the Nepal Refugee camps in Jhapa and Morang districts to the US under its Third Country repatriation programme.

Of the 104,000 Bhutanese refugees resettled from Nepal to third countries, over 88,000 refugees have been resettled in the United States.
The three day convention discussed at length about the entire Bhutanese movement and expressed deep concern over the state of the remaining refugees in Nepal.

The participants held discussion on the series of sufferings, challenges and hardships facing them starting from Bhutan and ways to save their identity and raising voices further for securing Human Rights of the Bhutanese of Nepalese origin living a horrible life in their homeland.

Tek Bir Chhetri, chief guest of the inaugural session of the convention presented a concept on ‘Community Economic Empowerment’.

He pointed out the need for a greater and consolidated unity among the Bhutanese refugees resettled in the US to take the Bhutanese movement to a logical conclusion.

He stressed that Bhutanese community should now be effortful to make their presence in US market to making individuals, families and community economically prosperous.

OBCA President DB Rai urged all to keep the unity of all of the community intact.

He said all should rise above partisan, lingual, and ideological interest and come and work together in the resettled country to attest their identity in the country.

OBCA Vice President Dilip Dahal said saving the Bhutanese community’s identity is a challenge and urged the community leaders to be serious on the matter.

And for that, Dahal said time has come for all of us to unite to the cause of paving the way for economic prosperity.

Community leaders should play a genuine leading role for this, added Dahal.

Bhutanese 1Presenting the situation of the camps in Nepal Journalist Gopal Gadtaula spoke on the problems facing the remaining Bhutanese Refugees still languishing in camps in eastern Nepal.

Gadtaula further stated that the basic ration the refugees were receiving has reduced and there is insufficient level of health care facilities
He called upon the US re-settled refugees to extend hands of assistance and friendship to them to promote their status.

On the second day of the convention, UNHCR senior resettlement officer at Washington DC Larry Yungk updated the convention on the state of refugees’ around the world and Bhutanese refugees in particular.

Larry added that nine thousand of the remaining 15 thousand refugee in camps in Eastern Nepal canot be repatriated under third country resettlement programme due to various problems.
The fate of those 9000 refugees is likely to go uncertain.

He further said UNHCR Nepal is working closely with the core countries and the government of Nepal in finding an amicable solution.

He said no other countries than USA is showing interest in the proper resettlement of the Bhutanese Refugees.

After Larry’s view on the remaining refugees in Nepal, OBCA put forth three options to address the problems facing them.

1.There should be a graceful return to the Refugees to Bhutan
2.Proper management and adequate opportunity for those who want to stay in Nepal.
3.Request other countries to accept the refugees under third country resettlement programme.

Different cultural events were also organized on the occasion.

On the occasion popular singer Ambar Subba, Arjun Rasaili, Balaram Gurung, DB Baraili, Dhakal Brothers, NK Brothers and other singers entertained the audience with different cultural performances.

Two music albums from within the Bhutanese communities in the USA were also released-one that of NK Brothers’.

Community leaders from Pittsburgh PA, Columbus OH, Richmond VA, Des Mones IA, Cincinnati OH, Atlanta GA, Phoenix AZ, Houston TX, Denver CO spoke in the convention participated in by delegate leaders from 25 states.
The convention was organized under the auspices of Bhutanese Community of Cincinnati.

Published Date: Friday, July 29th, 2016 | 09:23 PM

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