Forced eviction

The result of the demonstration was awfully disheartening and tragic. It all ended in ruthless government atrocities and forced evictions of the southern Bhutanese. Demonstrations against the government policies in September 1990 were followed by :

  • thousands of arbitrary arrests, torture and detentions without trial
  • village raids and widespread inhuman and degrading treatment of the southern Bhutanese, including gang rape
  • the closure of almost all schools in southern Bhutan
  • the restriction of health services
  • a ban on the movement of essential commodities and people
  • confiscation of citizenship cards
  • termination of employment
  • burning and demolition of houses.
  • For the ruling elite, Lhotshampa became a byword for anti-national. Crackdown and campaign against the southern Bhutanese intensified. The innocent people were thus terrorised by the government forces and some began to flee from the country for fear of arrest and torture, some following evictions by the government forces. People previously classified as bona-fide citizens were pressurised into living voluntarily because they had relatives detained as political prisoners or participated in democracy movement.

    Mass expulsion started in 1991 when the government resorted to forced evictions intimidating the innocent villagers into signing "voluntary migration forms" under torture and threat of life imprisonment. Now the majority of the refugees in the camps in Nepal fall under this category.

    Government circulars and notices directing evictions   |   Testimonies of the evicted Lhotshampas, (now as refugees)