The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

ट्रम्प नीतिका कारण भुटानी शरणार्थीको अमेरिका पुनर्वास स्थगित

Source:   हिमालखबर 

पुनर्वासका लागि अमेरिका जान गुण्टा कसिसकेको एक परिवार अहिले चिन्तित बनेको छ । तस्वीरः गोपाल गडतौला
अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति डोनाल्ड ट्रम्पले जारी गरेको आप्रवासन सम्बन्धी एक आदेशका कारण नेपालमा रहेका भुटानी शरणार्थीको अमेरिका पुनर्वास स्थगित भएको छ ।
दमकस्थित एकजना पुनर्वास अधिकारीले करिव चार महिनाका लागि भुटानी शरणार्थीको अमेरिका पुनर्वास स्थगित हुने बताएका छन् ।
अन्तराष्ट्रिय आप्रवासी संगठन आइओएमले अमेरिकामा आप्रवासनका लागि १८ माघमा झापाबाट काठमाडौं लैजाने तयारीमा राखेको भुटानी शरणार्थीलाई  १७ माघमा अमेरिका पुनर्वासको कार्यक्रम हालका लागि स्थगन भएको सूचना दिएको छ ।
४१ वर्षीया कलिमाया मगर ६ सदस्यीय परिवारकासाथ अमेरिका जानका लागि बेलडाँगी १ शरणार्थी शिविरबाट १८ माघ विहान काठमाडौंका लागि उडने तालिकामा थिइन् ।
१७ माघमा उनीहरुको अन्तिम स्वास्थ्य जाँच गराइसकेको मगर परिवारलाई काठमाडौंस्थित आइओएमको ट्रान्जिट हाउसमा केहि दिन बसेर २३ माघमा अमेरिकाको भरमाउण्ट राज्यको वर्लिङटन शहर लगिंदै थियो ।
अत्यावश्यक सामग्रीको गुण्टा कसिसकेको परिवार एक्कासी पुनर्वास स्थगन हुँदा समस्यामा परेको छ ।
“खुट्टा उचालिसकेका थियौं” कलिमाया भन्छिन्, “एक्कासी रोकिनुपर्दा मनमा चिन्ता बढेको छ ।”  कलिमायाका बिबाहित छोराछोरी यसअघि नै अमेरिकाका बिभिन्न ठाँउमा पुनर्वास भइसकेका छन् ।
निर्वाचन अघिदेखि नै अमेरिका जान चाहने आप्रवासीहरु प्रति कडा अभिव्यक्ति दिँदै आएका ट्रम्प निर्वाचित भएसँगै शरणार्थी पुनर्वास स्थगन भएको हो ।
यसैबीच शिबिरस्थित पुनर्वास सूचना पाटीमा पुनर्वास सहयोग केन्द्र, अन्तराष्ट्रिय आप्रवासी संगठन आइओएम र अमेरिकी सरकारका तर्फबाट टाँस गरिएको सुचनामा ३ फेब्रुअरीपछि अर्को सूचना नआएसम्मको लागि शरणार्थीको अमेरिका पुनर्वास स्थगन भएको खुलाइएको छ ।
हालसम्ममा पुनर्वासमा गएका १ लाख ७ हजार भुटानी शरणार्थीमध्ये करिव ९२ हजार अर्थात ८७ प्रतिशत भन्दा बढि भुटानी अमेरिका पुगेका छन् ।
सन् २००७ मा शुरु भुटानी शरणार्थीको पुनर्वास प्रकृया मुताविक ४ मार्च २००८मा पुनर्वास शरणार्थीको पहिलो खेप नेपालबाट अमेरिका उडेको थियो । 
गोपाल गडतौला, झापा
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Bhutanese family among last refugee arrivals in Salt Lake as order takes effect

SALT LAKE CITY — To be a refugee is to know uncertainty.
It means not knowing where they will go after being forced from their homeland in the face of war, persecution, natural disaster or political upheaval.It means not knowing if they will be able to be resettled from refugee camps, let alone reunited with kin.
For a Bhutanese mother and her two daughters scheduled for resettlement in Salt Lake City this week, their plans were further unclear in the wake of an executive order by President Donald Trump that bars entry of refugees awaiting resettlement in the United States for 120 days.
When Diki and teenage daughters Monika and Partima (they asked that their last name not be published) arrived in Houston Monday night after traveling from a refugee camp in Nepal, they feared the worst when they met with immigration authorities at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Speaking through an interpreter, Diki said she was nervous and even asked if she and her children were going to be deported.
She was told, “You are going to go to Salt Lake City safely tomorrow,” said Aaron Acharya, a senior caseworker for International Rescue Committee’s Salt Lake City office.
The family arrived in Salt Lake Tuesday, where they were greeted by about a dozen family members and International Rescue Committee staff.
“I’m really happy she is united with other family here," Monika, 19, said of her mother.
The mother and daughters plan to spend the night with family before settling into their own apartment on Wednesday, said Acharya.The first orders of business will be helping Diki obtain employment and enroll her daughters in school.
The family may be the last International Rescue Committee clients to arrive in Salt Lake City before the executive order that halts refugee entry for 120 days takes full effect on Feb. 3, said Natalie El-Deiry, interim executive director of the group’s Salt Lake office.
"We had about 14 cases scheduled between Jan. 30 and Feb. 23. Of those 14 cases, this is the only one that has arrived. Most of those were canceled and those were from Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Iraq, Syria, all over the world where people were ready to board their plane and come to the United States and they have been stopped," she said.
It's not just a hold. "It disrupts the whole process — a process that's been in place for decades," El-Deiry said. "All of these families that are waiting may have to start the process all over again."
Suren Pradhan, who is Diki's nephew, was resettled to Salt Lake City from a refugee camp in Nepal six years ago.
He works as a phlebotomist and said he is grateful his extended family members were able to rejoin their family members in Utah, particularly as resettlement grinds to a temporary halt under the executive order.
"I wasn't expecting they were going to be here. They could have sent them back. They could have deported them," he said.
Pradhan said he worries about the message being sent to the rest of the world by Trump's executive orders on immigration.
"My personal belief is this travel ban won't help," he said, adding that if anything, it will intensify negative feelings toward the United States and "even more people will join ISIS."
Refugees come to the United States to enjoy equality and opportunity, he said. Salt Lake's two resettlement agencies go to great lengths to help refugees settle and start their new lives.
"I'm really thankful for what they do every day," he said.
El-Deiry said International Rescue Committee is conducting advocacy training for refugees and others who support them.
March for Refugees will be held at noon Saturday starting at the Wallace Bennett Federal Building, 125 S. State, and marching to the state Capitol. That group will be joined by a Mormons March for Muslims.
About 1,200 refugees are resettled in Utah each year, half of which are served by International Rescue Committee and the rest by Catholic Community Services of Utah.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, said these refugees would be granted waivers. He said that was allowed for under the order, in instances where refugees were ready for travel and stopping them would cause "undue hardship."
Late Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that 872 refugees will be allowed into the United States this week despite the Trump administration executive order suspending the U.S. refugees program, according to a senior government official.El-Deiry said she hopes the review is conducted swiftly and resettlement of very vulnerable people, many of them children, will resume quickly.
"We're hoping that Congress and the president will revisit this very quickly and make some ratifications so we don't disrupt these people's lives any further," she said.

Arrangements in Nepal for US resettlement of Bhutanese refugees put off after Trump order

Thousands of Bhutanese refugees are still living in the refugee camp in Beldangi. File Photo: Manny Maung/IRIN

Stakeholders, including International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN refugee agency UNHCR, suspended their arrangements to send a new lot of Bhutanese refugees from eastern Nepal to the United States after the suspension of entire resettlement programme by Washington, multiple sources confirmed.KATHMANDU:
 US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order to suspend the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) has sent its ripples to Nepal also. The Nepal-based Bhutanese refugees, who were selected for their resettlement to the United States, have been directly affected by it for the time being.
The US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) corresponded to them apropos to the 120-day suspension via the US Embassy in Kathmandu in the wake of the January 27 executive order, which has drawn flaks from within the US and across the globe.
A notice was circulated to the Beldangi-based refugees a couple of days ago regarding the suspension. Some of them had already undergone medical examinations and were making final preparations to leave their camp.
According to the notice, those who had already received confirmation and were scheduled to fly to their destinations from January 30 to February 2 would continue with the previous travel arrangements, but there would not be any departure after February 3 until further notice.
It could not be verified if anybody departed to the US during the window period. But the US media reported that three members of a family, who landed in Houston on Monday night, were among the last arrivals of refugees who made it to Salt Lake City prior to the full implementation of the executive order. The  mother-daughter trio,  who earlier lived in Nepal, would be resettled in Salt Lake City.
Several people, who were earlier tipped off that they would be taken to the IOM’s transit home in Kathmandu this week on the way to the US, were held back in Beldangi. With support from the UNHCR, the Government of Nepal and the US Embassy in Kathmandu, the IOM had been facilitating the exit permits and making travel arrangements for them.
Though all cases in the pipeline of USRAP have been put on hold for now, other works, including information collection and verification of the cases recommended by the Resettlement Support Centre South Asia, would continue as usual, the notice bearing US flag along with logos of RSC and IOM read.
The US government had considered the UNHCR-registered Bhutanese refugees who were identified as in need of resettlement, and had expressed interest prior to June 30, 2014, eligible for processing in the fiscal year 2017.
Around 1,07,000 Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin, including those who were forced to leave Bhutan and their children born in refugee camps in Nepal, were taken to Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the US after the third country resettlement programme was introduced in 2007. The US alone has hosted more than 90,000 of them.
Expressing concern over the involvement of foreigners including refugees in terrorist activities in the US, President Trump suspended the refugee resettlement programme through the executive order.
“Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program,” the executive order read.
During the 120-day period of suspension, according to the Section 5 of the executive order, the authorities in the US would review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission did not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the country.
The refugee applicants who were already in the USRAP process, however, may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures.
“Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States,” the executive order added.
Meanwhile, officials said as many as 872 refugees would be allowed to enter the US this week, according to media reports.
These refugees were ready to travel and would face “undue hardship” if not able to do so, the Washington Post quoted Kevin K. McAleenan, the Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, as saying. “They will be processed with waivers through the end of the week,” he said.

Anxiety in Beldangi camp
JHAPA: Kalimaya Thapa and five members of her family expected to reunite with their kith and kin,  who were already resettled to the US, in the second week of February.
They were scheduled to board a flight from Kathmandu on February 5 en route to Burlington, Vermont. But they were asked to stay back in Beldangi on Monday, a day before they were set to fly to Kathmandu, due to the US President’s controversial order.
The suspension of refugee resettlement programme and the subsequent message conveyed to the refugees left the Thapa family and many others in the Beldangi camp anxious.
“We were all set to fly to the US but have been been stopped here. This is worrying us,” the 41-year-old woman said.

WFP promises to provide support to Bhutanese refugees

KATHMANDU: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Nepal said that it would continuously provide food grains to Bhutanese refugees living in the vulnerable condition in Nepal despite its compulsion to reduce the support owing to financial crunch.
The WFP said that it was compelled to reduce the quantity of food grains provided to Bhutanese refugees in Nepal due to the acute crunch of financial grants from the beginning of this year. There are around 11,000 Bhutanese refugees in Nepal now depending on the humanitarian support.
A press release issued by the WFP Office on Friday stated that the WFP, however, would continue its support to around 3,100 refugees including elderly, disabled persons and single mother.
The WFP Nepal Communication Officer Shitashma Thapa said that the WFP had been providing food grains to Bhutanese refugees living since 1992.


Refugee students demand food, stage protest

Published: January 31, 2017 3:48 am 
Students from Bhutanese Refugee Camp at Beldangi, Jhapa, today staged a demonstration in front of camp management committee office demanding food.
Beldangi Camp Secretary Sanchahang Subba said that volunteers had halted distributing  food from the camp management committee for the past eight days.  Volunteers have stopped distributing food saying that World Food Programme had cut off food for meant for the camp.
Baldangi Camp has almost 2,500 students. Of them, almost 35 student representatives today staged a demonstration.
Secretary Subba warned that the situation might turn violent if the situation continued. “Refugees are making their ends meet through borrowing and lending. If this situation continues for a week, things might go out of control,” Subba warned.
Volunteers have started an agitation not to cooperate, saying that WFP had stopped giving pulses, cooking oil and salt to the refugees from six to 60 years of age and reduced the rice quantity to 335 grams an individual per day. WFP is preparing to provide full food items to the crisis prone 2,904 refugees and slash the food items to the remaining 7,361 refugees from Jhapa and Morang from this year itself.
Refugee Representative Repatriation Committee Chairman Bhampa Rai said that people, including children, might suffer from different diseases due to lack of food and they might get into wrongdoing to make their ends meet. He asked the Nepal government to take necessary steps to resolve the problem soon.
Jhapa CDO Uttar Kumar Khatri said that DAO was informed about the crisis facing the refugees that had resulted from cuts in the food items to refugees. “The government is working to solve the problem,” Khatri said.

90,000th Bhutanese refugee flying to US from Nepal for resettlement


bhutanese refugee-nepal-us-resettlement
Bhutanese refugee Sahri Maya Thatal (left) and her children pose for photograph along with the US Ambassador to Nepal, Alaina B. Teplitz, International Organization for Migration’s Paul Norton, and UNHCR’s Kevin Allen, in Kathmandu. Photo: US Embassy in Kathmandu

US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B. Teplitz bid farewell to Sahri Maya Thatal at the US Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday, on the eve of her departure to New Hampshire, where Thatal will live with her children. Paul Norton, the chief of mission of International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Nepal, and Kevin Allen, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative, were also present on the occasion.KATHMANDU
: The 90,000th Bhutanese refugee, living in Nepal, is all set to fly to the United States along with her four children for the third-country resettlement.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Korea needs to open its doors

Korea needs to open its doors

South Korea has shirked one of the vital responsibilities that comes with its new status: admitting refugees and asylum seekers

U.S.: Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery

U.S.: Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery

Human Rights Watch Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee