Bhutanese refugees urge Nepal to resolve impasse

KATHMANDU, Jun 21, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Bhutanese refugees residing in eastern Nepal urged the Nepali government to take concrete measures to resolve the 15-year-old impasse, said a petition issued here Tuesday.
In the petition sent to Nepali King Gyanendra, the refugees said 15 rounds of bilateral negotiations between Nepal and Bhutan over the last decade had failed to bear fruits.

"Hence, His Majesty should take some visionary step to resolve the issue," it said.

Abraham Abraham (sic), country director of the office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nepal, said recently the United Nations had opened all three options -- repatriation of the refugees to their home country, local integration or third country settlement -- as a means for the long-term solution to the problem.

Over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees have lived in seven refugee camps in the eastern Nepal for the last 15 years.