The Hague, Netherlands
Coinciding with the visit of Bhutanese Foreign Minister Mr. Khandu Wangchuk in the Netherlands, Bhutanese Community in Netherlands organized a day long silent protest in front of the Dutch foreign ministry at the Hague on 6th February 2006. The protest which was participated by more then 50 Bhutanese living in Netherlands was organized to press Bhutan to take back its citizen living as refugee in several camps in eastern Nepal since 1991 and also to pressurise Bhutan's donors like that of Netherlands to put condition of refugee repatration before any future aid is commited for Bhutan.
Bhutanese children, women, students and human rights activists holding banners with " Resolve Bhutanese refugee crisis immediately", "We are Bhutanese and we want to go back to Bhutan" "Stop racial discrimination in Bhutan", playcards with " We are the victim of ethnic cleansing in Bhutan",. Photos of Bhutanese refugee children and elders were displayed during the program. A memorandum was submitted to the Head of South Asia at the Dutch Foreign Ministry Mrs Caro Krijger (see attachment) demanding their urgent attention to the Bhutanese refugee crisis and help resolve it immediately.
Bhutanese Foreign Minister is here to lobby for the Forth coming Round table Meeting of the Bhutan's development partners to be held at Geneva from 15-16 Feb 2006. He was holding meeting with the dutch foreign minister during our protest outside. He has been visiting Bhutan major donor countries Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Brussels and Netherlands since 15 Jan 2006. Before he visited these countries a five member delegates representing Bhutanese community in Europe hold meetings with the concerned officials from these countries and submitted memorandum.
Similar protest program has been planned for the Round Table Meeting of the Bhutan's donor to be held at Geneva from 15-16 Feb 2006.
Attached is the memorandum submitted to the South Asia Division's Head at the Dutch Foreign Ministry Mrs. Caro Krijger: