Nepal has again asked Bhutan to take back nearly 85,000 refugees who have been living in the Himalayan nation for past two decades since their expulsion from their homeland.
Conveying this during a meeting with Bhutanese finance minister Lympo Khandu Wangchuk here on Wednesday, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said that third country settlement of refugees is not the best option.
Wangchuk, who is in Nepal to invite the Nepalese Prime Minister for the 16thSAARC summit in Thimpu in April, assured that he would convey the message to his government.
“The Nepal delegation would raise the issue of Bhutanese refugees during interaction with Bhutanese counterparts in Thimpu,” said Bishnu Rijal, press advisor to the Prime Minister.
Nearly 100,000 Bhutanese refugees (mostly of Nepali origin) have been living in camps in eastern Nepal under UN supervision since they were forced to leave their country due to changed policies of the Bhutan government.
After Bhutan’s refusal to take them back, nearly 25,000 of them have been settled in several western nations including US.