Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Moriarty Should Take His Offer Directly To The Bhutani Refugees
The 100,000 Bhutani refugees in Nepal are not a property of the Bhuatani government, of Tek Nath Rizal, or the Nepali government. These are human beings. Human rights are universal. You never forfeit your human rights. Not never. You might get kicked out of your country, but you continue to have all your human rights.
It has been over a decade. The same chauvinistic thinking among the Nepali elite that has kept some five million Madhesis deprived of citizenship papers for decades worked among the Bhutani elite to kick these people out of Bhutan. As far as the Bhutani king, his henchmen and the powers that be in Bhutan are concerned, these 100,000 people are Nepalis who migrated to Bhutan like Mexicans go to America, and now they are back where they belong. That king has now announced he is abdicating to make way for his son. He has also announced democracy for 2008 and after.
Moriarty's offer is mind-boggling. I never expected it. This is so totally out of the box, and I have said as much before. He has offered that the US will take 40,000 of those refugees, and other countries have lined up to take the rest. If this were to be carried out, this would be a novel experiment in international politics.
We are all free individuals.
Say Bhutan becomes a democratic republic, and Tek Nath Rizal becomes president of Bhutan, and if the US were to offer 40,000 green cards to Bhutanis as part of its diversity program, should that Rizal have the powers to block that offer? Would he? I don't think so.
Similarly the two Nepali Bahuns GP Koirala and KP Oli have never had the powers to prevent similarly situated Nepalis from flying off. If you win the diversity lottery and get a green card, you go off if you want.
But with the Bhutani refugees we have a curious situation where Tek Nath Rizal, GP Koirala, KP Oli, and the seven party leaders in Nepal have all come out hostile to the Moriarty offer. What is going on?
The first thing I notice is these people do not seem to understand the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, that they do not have the powers to reject the Moriarty offer on behalf of the Bhutani refugees.
And then there might be plain jealousy. I have known of Nepalis in New York City who have been state minister in the past, and now work odd jobs in the city. A former Nepali MP working at a gas station in Texas made news when he was murdered a few months back by petty criminals. Working at below minimum wage in America seems to outdo some pretty important offices in the Nepali context for some people, looks like.
And suddenly you have Moriarty trying to put these hapless Bhutani refugees on the fast track! What about the well-connected Bahuns in Kathmandu? Did Moriarty ever think of them? Perhaps the ministers in the Nepal government have relatives who would like to go. Will Moriarty cut a deal? For every 1,000 Bhutani refugees you get, you have to take along one such relative. How about that?
The whole idea of democracy is that the state should be beneath the individual. Democracy is about protecting the individual from the state. This offer has to be about the individual.
Nothing prevents Moriarty from taking his offer directly to the refugees. He should go through the UN, or perhaps directly even, and make his offer. The Bhutani refugees did not go through the UN, before they streamed into Nepal.
A census has to be taken. And each refugee has to be explained what the offer is. And each has to be given the choice. If they decide they want to take up on the offer, Moriarty should go ahead and deliver. He should make arrangements and ship them out.
So, yes, first and foremost it is about individual choice. Bhutani and Nepali politicians may not get in the way.
Then it is also about the democracy movement in Bhutan. These people are going to form the nucleus of the force that will turn Bhutan into a republic. A monarchy is a feudal institution no matter where it is.
Nepal needs to do for Bhutan what India did for Nepal. If Nepal can not actively help the democracy movement in Bhutan, it needs to at least get the hell out of the way.
The thing is if you can do a Nepal repeat in Bhutan, you can do a Nepal repeat in Burma, and Burma is a rather big prize. Politicians who stayed home or were in jail during the magic of April and are now in power in Nepal do not seem to appreciate the importance of exporting the April Revolution. April was magic. The message is that the people of a poor country on their own can get together and get rid of the most ruthless dictator. All they have to do is come out into the streets in large numbers, and shut the country down totally until democracy dawns. Golley, that is a powerful message.
So what I am saying is this. Moriarty may not pretend that he made this wonderful offer, and Tek Nath Rizal, GP Koirala, KP Oli and the rest of them got in the way. If Moriarty really means to make his offer, nothing stands in his way. He should go ahead and deliver.
If this goes through, this will add a new dimension to international politics and peace making in general. This could end up having repurcussions in far corners of the world. This could end up having repurcussions for Middle East peace.
So push it through. Send them to New York!
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Solve The Bhutani Refugee Crisis: Send Them West
Zimbabwe: The Constitution Is Faulty
The First Major Revolution Of The 21st Century Happened In Nepal
Democracy Spreading Mechanism
The Demosphere Manifesto