The impasse in Bhutanese refugee movement has led many of its top notch leaders of the Dignified Repatriation Movement to take the route of third country settlement. The most recent example is Narad Adhikari, spokesperson of Bhutan National Democratic Party.
Many active leaders of 'Dignified repatriation' movement including Tekbir Chhetri, Subhash Acharya, Ganesh Subedi, Chhabilal Timsina have already settled in third countries. Adhikari, along with his family, headed to America on 3 August. He now lives in Hampshire.
Talking to Kantipur, Adhikari said that the growing rift among Bhutanese leaders led him to take the decision. He said, "Dignified repatriation movement has lost momentum owing to the internal rift."
Adhikari asserted that the repatriation movement will still be taken forward gradually from America. United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has resettled the refugees in eight countries including America and Australia and the movement is expected to begin from all eight countries at the same time. "We have been consulting about it, but the date hasn't been fixed yet," he said.
According to UNHCR about 51,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in its three-year long program. The number of refugees applying for resettlement increased sharply since 2008. 36,000 among them have been resettled in America, the highest among all countries.
Bhutan People's Party president Balaram Poudel, Bhutan National Democratic Party's DNS Dhakal, Teknath Rijal of Bhutanese repatriation movement's committee and other Bhutanese leaders had announced the repatriation movement a year ago. However, the movement has made no progress.
President of Bhutanese Refugees Repatriation Committee Bhampha Rai has said that the refugees' repatriation movement has lost momentum because of political reasons. Rai says that the leaders who once were ardent supporters of democracy in Bhutan are now working as labourers abroad. Rai says: "Nobody is interested in repatriation any more."
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