Bhutanese refugees send memorandum to Indian PM

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Kathmandu, May 16 (UNI) Various human rights organisations of Bhutan have requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to help solve the long-standing political and refugee crisis there just ahead of his visit.

Human Rights Organisations including National Front for Democracy, Bhutan (NFD) and Human Rights Organisation Bhutan (HUROB) sought his help.

"Over 108,000 Bhutanese, after being victimized by Bhutan's ultra-nationalist policy, have been forced to live as refugees," NFD memorandum is quoted as saying in the local media.

"The drama of democracy being staged recently has not only failed to address the sentiments of those exiled, but also of those living inside the country." "We request consideration of the genesis of armed struggle by refugee youths, after being pessimistic due to the infernal refugee life for over one-and-half decade," read the HUROB letter sent to Dr Singh.

The organisations also expected the visit to be crucial for refugee repatriation and India's role in the process.

Meanwhile, Bhutanese refugee leader Rong Thong Kinley Dorji , who is spending his exiled life in New Delhi of India, also expressed hope that the visit would be important for establishing real democracy and begin repatriation of Bhutanese refugees who are languishing in various camps in eastern Nepal and India.

Some of the refugees have been resettled in the US and New Zealand. Some EU countries and Australia have also agreed to resettle the Bhutanese refugees. The Bhutanese of Nepalese origin were excluded from Bhutan since early 1990s.

UNI XC NC DS1210

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