60 Bhutanese refugees leave for US, New Zealand

March 9th, 2008 - 6:08 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, March 9 (Xinhua) As many as 60 Bhutanese refugees from camps in eastern Nepal have left for Kathmandu, from where they will take flights to the US and New Zealand for rehabilitation, The Himalayan Times reported Sunday. Bal Krishna Ghimire, a refugee at Goldhap camp, said the refugees belonging to 17 families seemed happy at the chance of rehabilitation in a third country.

The US has offered to accommodate 60,000 refugees.

Laxman Prasad Hamal, an official of the Jhapa district, said 150 refugees were given the clearance for third-country settlement. Of these, 60 left for Kathmandu Saturday, he added.

According to the report, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is handling the third-country resettlement programme. The International Organisation for Migration is interviewing other refugees.

Some 106,000 Bhutanese refugees have been living in seven camps in eastern Nepal for past 17 years.

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