Right to return has been one of the pertinent questions raised by refugee activists for decades. The recent resettlement programme of Bhutanese refugees to countries such as USA, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand was the topic of much discussion with some activists arguing that this resettlement programme cannot be the durable solution. The explosion of two crude bombs in the office compounds of the IOM office, Damak, is seen by the Nepalse Police as an act of those who were opposed to the resettlement programme and have termed it as “human trafficking” in the past. Such attacks while reveal that despite 38,500 Bhutanese refugees registering for the resettlement programme there are concerns within the camps that need to be addressed. The Human Rights Organisation of Bhutan has considered this an unfortunate incident. It has urged every Bhutanese to restrain from any such violent activity. Meanwhile HUROB has also appealed that there should be proper dissemination of information, which still lacks and there should not be psychological compulsion or family and relatives follow up and binding. No one has objection to voluntary resettlement as is the individual rights. In its update HUROB appealed to the international community and Bhutan Government and Bhutanese parties to work on a peaceful and responsible path. It has specially urged the Bhutanese Parties, organizations and individual to refrain from all anti-social activities and respect individual rights and maintain refugee camps a peaceful place.
UPDATE: BOMBS HURLED ON IOM OFFICE
As reported some unidentified group of people hurled two improvised explosive device (IED) socket bombs in the premises of the International Office of the Migration at Damak yesterday at around 7.30pm(IOM) set up in October 2007 to resettle the Bhutanese refugees to USA. Since the US announced to resettle about 60000 Bhutanese refugees and few thousands by other core group countries for Bhutanese refugees as an effort to find comprehensive solution to 17 years old protracted problem, the IOM has been actively working on the process and till date about 1200 Bhutanese refugees have reached to the country of their destination in America, Australia, Norway, Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand. However, there has been from the very beginning, conflict, confusion and controversy over the only resettlement process as majority of the refugees would still like to go back to own home land in Bhutan and have been urging the International community particularly the Core Group for Bhutanese refugees to expedite all three options, repatriation, resettlement and local assimilation as principle of amicable and comprehensive solution justifiable to all the refugees. Despite the incessant concern of the refugees on all options of durable solutions, the core group has so far given importance only on resettlement which in actual repatriation should have been the priority and thus the apathetic stand on repatriation giving respite on the perpetrator, the Bhutan regime has angered most of the Bhutanese refugees, especially the youths. The youths who belong to revolutionary organizations have been vehemently opposing the resettlement process which preceded the repatriation, the first option of the refugees.
The undesirable activities of the revolutionary organizations are becoming gradually nuance in the camps disturbing peace and tranquility. Exactly no one is certain of their motive of action but the trend is unpleasant and there is violation of individual rights and insecurity persists. The attack on IOM yesterday evening is the third time. Before this, twice the IOM vehicle ferrying the refugees were attacked. The incidents are unfortunate and Human Rights Organization of Bhutan (HUROB) is very much concern and wish that every Bhutanese restrain from carrying out such activities.
While denouncing the action of whosoever and whatsoever the motive, HUROB would like to appeal all the concerns to delve deeply into the sentiments of the refugees and try to work out a congenial situation appreciable even by such revolutionary groups and avoid all untoward happenings. Mean while HUROB would like to take the opportunity to express its concern and also not liked by the revolutionary organizations as reported by the camp people and own feeling in the modus operandi of UNHCR and IOM particularly on the motivation of the refugees for resettlement. There should be proper dissemination of information which still lacks and there should not be psychological compulsion or family and relatives follow up and binding. No one has objection to voluntary resettlement as is the individual rights. At the same time the core country for Bhutanese refugees should in equal interest take up the repatriation issue and urge Bhutan government to accept back its people without delay in order to establish permanent peace and stability in the country. Lastly, appeal all the Bhutanese Parties, organizations and individual to refrain from all anti-social activities and respect individual rights and maintain refugee camps a peaceful place.
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