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Bhutanese exiles from Nepal seek India’s help

August 16, 2012

NEW DELHI: Representatives of Bhutanese refugees from Nepal and human rights group Human Rights Defence International (HRDI) on Saturday urged India to help 1.3 lakh people allegedly forced to leave Bhutan.

Speaking at a symposium organised by the HRDI at Indian Law Institute here, Bhutanese Refugee Representative Repatriation Committee chairman Bhampa Rai said that India has a moral responsibility to help secure justice for the refugees who were forced to shift to Nepal from Bhutan in the 1990s. According to Rai, the refugees, mostly ethnic Hindus called Lhotshampa in Bhutan, originally came from Nepal and settled in the southern parts of Bhutan in the early 20th century but the government termed the Lhotshampa as illegal immigrants and anti-nationals.

“The inhabitants of eastern Bhutan, the followers of Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism, have also been suppressed and deprived of their social, economic, cultural and traditional rights,” he said. daily times monitor

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