The problem of Bhutanese refugees and comparison with Tibetan refugees in Nepal
The refugee problem is not new to Nepal. After 1050 when the country opened up for the outside world, several refugee groups have taken shelter in Nepal. Among them the Bhutanese are the latest group of all refugees whereas Tibetans, who largely entered Nepal in 1959, are the first group. With the Bhutanese refugees what is new however, is the scale and the time when more than 50% of Nepalese population live below the absolute poverty level. Apart from these two refugee groups, there are other 'refugees' living in the country, many of whom are not internationally recognised as refugees. Important among them are the Burmese of Nepali origin who were dispatched after the Nationalism Act of Burma in 1964; the Nepalese from the north eastern hill states of India due to the indigenous people's movement there; and the Bihari Muslims from Bangadesh who were displaced after being alleged of allegiance to Pakistani forces during the independent movement of Bangladesh in 1971. In addition some studies also document that Kashmiris and Punjabis are also sheltered in sizeable number in Nepal lately.