This essay has been written first as a part of my new novel (in which it is integrated as an extra chapter for reference on the history of the Bhutanese diaspora). But as it is in all aspects a work on its own I’ve decided to publish this essay under the Creative Commons License in such a way that with proper attribution and without changing any of it’s contents it is allowed to use it for non commercial purposes.
The essay ‘A view on the history of the Bhutanese Diaspora’ not only contains my analysis of the history of the exiles from Bhutan but it also states an opinion on what should happen to resolve this still existing humanitarian crisis. In the essay I explain history, politics and roles to partly resolve the unbearable situation that is existing. It’s a personal view that I’ve developed after thorough research, extensive interviews with exiles living in the Netherlands and the camps, journalists, politicians and scholars and many visits to the refugee-camps in the southeast of Nepal.
Currently political pressure on the Bhutan government (and king) to soften their policies and allow repatriation of exiles is building. In the last weeks only both the new prime minister of Nepal, the US ambassador in Nepal and the UNHCR issued statements that Bhutan should allow it’s own citizens to return to Bhutan in dignity. To understand the need for this pressure building to resolve the situation it is important to understand history. The essay I wrote might help with that. But it also tells that a complete solution is not any longer possible as a result of the ongoing third country re-settlement that in effect has re-settled tens of thousands of exiles to the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. After three years of ongoing re-settlements there finally seems to be a response to the situation in the international political arena.
To read the essay, please download it from the relevant publications page on this website, or right-click this link: A view on the history of the Bhutanese Diaspora.