Positions of Bhutan, Nepal and India


The government of Bhutan initially presented the refugees registered in the camps in Nepal were not Bhutanese people. However, following Nepal Bhutan bilateral talks, it maintains that maximum of the refugee population in the camps are migrants that voluntarily left Bhutan after signing "voluntary migration forms" and they have no claim to Bhutanese citizenship. Although the Bhutanese government has agreed to take full responsibility for any Bhutanese found to have been forcefully evicted from Bhutan, no steps appear to have been taken to identify these people.

The Bhutanese government insists that the best way forward is through continuation of bilateral talks with the government of Nepal, which began in 1993 and has as yet yielded no result. It resists the notion of involving international mediation. It refuses to deal directly with the refugees and has so far ignored appeals by the refugees for their early return.


The government of Nepal maintains that the refugees in the seven camps in Nepal are Bhutanese citizens. It proposes that field verification of the status of the refugees be undertaken with the assistance of an impartial organisation or agency with proven competence on this area. It proposes to make appeals to the international community to intervene in the promotion of a resolution of the crisis if bilateral talks fail.


The government of India maintains that the refugee crisis is a bilateral matter between Bhutan and Nepal and declares its reluctance to intervene. However, it seemed to help the government of Bhutan in the process of evicting these people from Bhutan by transporting them across India in Indian trucks to Nepal border in 1990-1991, and intercepted attempts by Bhutanese refugees (Peace Marchers) to pass through India to petition the King of Bhutan during 1996, thereby tacitly supporting the position of the government of Bhutan.

According to a special agreement signed between Bhutan and India in 1949, India guides Bhutan in matters related to foreign affairs and defense.

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