UNHCR: 5,000 refugees resettled in third countries in 2008; PM Thinley visits New York for UN General Assembly; Bhutan’s Ambassador to India: Bhutan and Assam can jointly tap their vast potential in tourism, agro-food processing
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  • The UNHCR revealed that over 5,000 Bhutanese refugees had left their camps in eastern Nepal to resettle in third countries in the current year. The vast majority of them had left for the United States, followed by Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Canada and Denmark. Over 50,000 Bhutanese refugees of had expressed an interest in resettlement. There were nearly 107,000 refugees from Bhutan who live in seven camps in eastern Nepal1. Reports also noted that the total number of Bhutanese refugees who had resettled in the US (about 60,000) were almost equal to the number of refugees settled in the US from Iraq and Myanmar2.

    Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Thinley, in his visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly met with members of the the Bhutanese community in the city and discussed various facts of political development in Bhutan3.

    Bhutan’s Ambassador to India, Lyonpo Dago Tshering, stated that Bhutan and Assam could jointly explore their vast potential in the field of tourism, energy, agro-food processing and handloom and the cottage industries. At the recently concluded 4th North East Business Summit in Guwahati, a proposal to establish links between ASEAN and SAARC countries was also introduced under the larger ambit of India’s Look East Policy4.

    In other developments, Lt. Gen. V.K. Singh, Eastern Army Commander visited Bhutan as part of efforts to establish better understanding and cooperation between the armies of the two countries5. A two-day border coordination meeting was held between authorities of the government of Assam and the Bhutanese government6.