60 Bhutanese living in Nepal to settle in US and N Zealand

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Kathmandu, March 9 (UNI) As many as sixty Bhutanese living in refugee camps in eastern Nepal left for the capital city, on way to the US and New Zealand.

The refugees of 17 families from Goldhap, Khudunabari and Timai camps in Jhapa district and Sanischare camp in Morang were selected by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) to begin the resettlement journey to the US and New Zealand, Kantipur quoted officials as saying.

Two newborn infants and over one and a half dozen school children were among those who left for Kathmandu from Bhadrapur airport in two chartered planes of Yeti Airlines, in the presence of IOM officials.

According to sources, 17 of the refugees will be taken to the US and the other 43 to New Zealand, the paper said.

The selected refugees are scheduled to board planes to their destinations from the city tomorrow, the sources informed.

Although the refugees chose third country resettlement, hoping for a good future, many of them broke down at the airport when they had to leave their relatives behind.

''We decided to go to the US for the sake of our children's future,'' Devimaya Rizal of Sanischare camp said, adding, ''But it's really difficult to leave behind all one's relatives.'' ''I was told that we can study in a good school in the US where there are plenty of good books and stationery,'' said an elated Dibya Ghimire, 7, who is going to the US along with her family.

Indira Bhandari of Goldhap camp, attired in a white sari and a matching shawl, is renowned for reciting verses from the Bhagwat Gita at the refugee camps, and said she would not quit her way of dressing or reciting the holy book once in New Zealand.

More than 1,00,000 Bhutanese of Nepalese origin were evicted from Bhutan in the 1990s. The refugees are living in UN sponsored camps in eastern Nepal since then.

UNI XC SKB RK1529

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