Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bhutan radio goes online

Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Unit (ABU)
Friday 22 Feb 2008: The Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS), the country's national broadcaster, has launched an online radio service.
BBS Radio introduced the Internet service yesterday to mark the 28th birthday of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

The online service is available for 15 hours a day, from 1200 to 0300 GMT. It can be accessed via the BBS website:

Launched in 1973, BBS Radio broadcasts on FM in the national language, Dzongkha, as well as Sharchop, Lhotsham and English. Its shortwave service can be heard as far afield as Europe and New Zealand.

BBS also runs a television service, introduced in 1999, which broadcasts for four hours daily in Dzongkha and English in the capital, Thimphu. It reaches other urban areas through cable services. BBS has been a member of the ABU's daily news exchange, Asiavision, since January 2006.

Nepalese FM stressed on repatriation

Kathmandu, February 23: Nepalese Foreign Minister Sahana Pradhan has said that the third country resettlement was not the durable solution of the issue of exiled Bhutanese since this would not help these evicted people to regain their original status.

She stressed the need to involve India in finding solution of the crisis since India lies in between the two countries.

Addressing a special function organized by Bhutan News Service in Kathmandu on Saturday on the occasion of the first anniversary of airing radio program Saranarthi Sarokar from Nepal FM 91.8, Pradhan said Nepal government agreed to allow the exiled Bhutanese to be resettled in third countries under unavoidable circumstance. “I personally do not believe that resettlement will give durable solution of the crisis,” she said.

She further said the resettling countries have assured of repatriating those refugee who could not be resettled or who do not wish to be resettled.

However, she expressed hope that feelings towards nationality and repatriation would increased further once the exiled Bhutanese are resettled in third countries owing to their strange experiences with new societies.

UNHCR country representative in Nepal Daisy Dell said over 23,000 applications have been registered at her office by the exiled Bhutanese expressing their willingness to be resettled in third countries adding that the international community will continue to advocate for repatriation of the refugee to their land even after their resettlement.

She said the third country resettlement was not the durable solution of the crisis and expressed hope that those unwilling to go for third country resettlement will be repatriated to their original homeland.

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Nepal’s Interim Parliament Romi Gauchan Thakali, who is also a member of the Nepali Congress, said issue of exiled Bhutanese is not a bilateral issue between Bhutan and Nepal. He said humanitarian issues cannot become bilateral by nature, adding that only the political matters are solved through bilateral efforts. He urged the international community to take up the issue more seriously since it is a humanitarian problem.

Chief of Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), a human rights organization, Subodh Pyakurel said the issue has to be taken to the international court of justice and should be raised seriously before the UN human rights council which is scheduled to meet this April to review the human rights situation around the world.

Acting President of Bhutan National Democratic Party (BNDP) Dr DNS Dhakal the resettling countries must ensure to protect the right to citizenship and restitution of looted properties whenever situation proves favorable for repatriation of the exiled Bhutanese to their homeland. He said his party stresses on repatriation but also welcomes the process of resettling the exiled Bhutanese to third countries as part of the temporary solution of the crisis.

Saranarthi Sarokar radio program is being aired from Nepal FM every Saturday and CJMC community radio on every Sunday. The program is produced by Bhutan News Service. It is also aired from Pathivara FM in Jhapa four times a week since three months.