Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for November 13th, 2011

Bhutanese Refugees in the US: Pawns of Imperial Interests

Posted by redpines on November 13, 2011

While in Nepal, I heard a lot of discussion about the situation of Bhutanese refugees who had been resettled in the US. People were outraged at the fact that the US would only accept these refugees on the condition that they repay their airfare and other costs. In an economy where real unemployment is more than 20% in some places, it is not clear how this resettlement plan is different from a state of indentured servitude. It is a grotesque example of the way the US immerses the world’s people in debt and subjugation–even within its borders. 

There may be sinister political reasons for the US deal to accept Bhutanese refugees. This embassy cable from 2007, exposed by Wikileaks, shows the US government’s concern over Maoist organizing in the Bhutanese refugee camps, as well as the potential for communists to gain power in Bhutan itself:

“…each confirmed that the Maoists could pose a significant threat. Rutland alleged that the BCP openly threatened to use the refugees in the Nepali camps to overthrow the monarchy and the new government.”

Revolution in South Asia also reported in 2008 that two Maoist groups did emerge within the refugee camps. Whether or not there is a direct connection between the resettlement scheme and the potential for strong communist organizations in Bhutan, it seems impossible to believe that the US is involved in this situation for altruistic reasons. The following piece from Lancaster Online gives a brief introduction to the refugees’ plight.

A Primer on the Plight of Bhutanese refugees

Oct 30, 2011

by Jeff Hawkes

Why are there refugees from Bhutan?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bhutan, Nepal Background, Nepal News | 1 Comment »