I want to express my hope that “Seeking Happiness: The Kingdom of Bhutan,” a Princeton Journey to be led by Professor Jonathan Gold, will include awareness of the travesty of the Bhutanese ethnic cleansing, and a visit to the refugee camps there. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, 100,000 ethnic Nepali Bhutanese experienced degradation, torture, murder, and expulsion. Thousands still suffer, for multiple generations now, in destitute Bhutanese camps, with no rights. This ethnic cleansing was carried out by the glamorous former king of Bhutan, seeking national purity for his “utopian” vision. His Western-educated son, who became king in 2006, and his wife have not accomplished anything toward justice for their people. Yet this number accounted for a substantial and ancient percentage of Bhutan’s population.
Some of us, fortunate enough to know Nepali refugee families resettled in our towns by Catholic Social Services and other groups in nearly every state and many other countries, have been made acquainted with the double injustice of their stories and the deafness of the world to them.
The king and queen of Shangri-La must be held accountable by the world until they restore human rights, if not ancestral property, to their own people.