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The Reality:

An estimated one-sixth of Bhutan’s population, who are Hindus have been forced to leave Bhutan have immigrated as refugees to USA. Hindu population has essentially been “ethnically cleansed” from Bhutan.

SDF Bhutanese Refugee Assistance Program:

The Goal of SDF Bhutanese Refugee Assistance Program is to empower the refugees in all aspects of resettlement while preserving their unique cultural heritage

Sanatana Dharma Foundation (SDF) is strongly committed to the preservation of the unique cultural identity of the Bhutanese Hindus. For the last 1.5 years (from mid-2008), volunteers of SDF have been actively assisting newly arrived Bhutanese refugees in the following:

1. Financial assistance of a short term nature
2. Procurement of essential basic materials such blankets, clothing, clothes, etc. This has been done in concert with generous volunteers and other Hindu organizations
3. Driving lessons
4. Organization of cultural functions for promotion of Bhutanese Hindu heritage

Bhutanese Refugee Assistance Projects undertaken by until now:

1    

Partnership between Sewa, SDF, and DFW Temple for long term preservation of Bhutanese heritage

Photos Vidoes Coming soon

11/09          
2

Gita Jayanthi function at DFW Temple

Photos Vidoes Coming soon

12/09
3

Rudra Mahotsav at DFW Temple

Photos Vidoes Coming soon

4/10
4

Job fair

Photos Vidoes Coming soon

4/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 htfeaturestoryspreadjan10

SDF's Future Projects

1. Organization of cultural programs for children and adults to foster ongoing awareness of their Hindu heritage

2. Assistance with empowerment of children to foster academic progress and career development

3. Assistance with medical needs on a as needed basis

4. Assistance with job selection and procurement

How YOU can help for this Bhutanese Assistance Program

1. Financial assistance of a short term nature

2. Procurement of essential basic materials such blankets, clothing, clothes, etc. This has been done in concert with generous volunteers and other Hindu organizations

3. Driving lessons for refugee families

4. Organization of cultural functions for promotion of Bhutanese Hindu heritage

5. Help organize job fairs / medical camps etc as needed.

6. Volunteer time to help newcomers settle down in an alien environment. This may include helping new families with day to day issues and making them feel welcome in their new homes.

If you are interested in helping Bhutanese refugees, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Historical Background behind the Bhutanese Refugee Situation:
Bhutan has been ruled by an absolute monarchy since 1907. The fourth hereditary King Jigme Singye Wangchuck shifted power to his heir Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on December 9, 2006. The former monarchy unveiled its first draft Constitution in 2005 which was subsequently accepted by the Parliament which mandated that power remain with the King. Bhutan thus remains a theocratic state dominated by only Buddhist ideals that are enshrined in the Constitution of the nation.

Bhutan has been home to a number of ethnic and religious groups, including Drukpa Buddhists and Hindu Lhotshampas. Although Drukpa Buddhists are politically and religiously dominant, Lhotshampas, who are descendants of Nepalese who moved to the southern lowlands of Bhutan in the nineteenth century, comprised a substantial minority. The Hindu Lhotshampas remained largely un-integrated with Bhutan’s Buddhist Druk majority. However, under Bhutan’s Nationality Law of 1958 they were allowed to hold government jobs and enjoy Bhutanese citizenship.

By the 1980s, however, the Bhutanese Buddhist majority expressed concern over the rapidly growing Lhotshampa population and feared that a demographic population shift would eventually threaten the majority culture. Draconian nationalist policies were enacted that stripped many ethnic Nepalis of their citizenship and civil rights and banned the use of Nepali in the educational curriculum. This was followed by a violent pogrom of intimidation of the Hindu Lhotshampas including arbitrary detention and torture that made tens of thousands of Lhotshampas stateless, forcing them to flee to Nepal and West Bengal (India). It is estimated that one-sixth of the kingdom’s population has been forced to leave (greater than 100,000 people). The Hindu population has essentially been “ethnically cleansed” from Bhutan.

Efforts at arriving at a mediated solution have been fruitless. Resettlement began in November 2007 with the United States accepting the largest share of refugees. It is estimated that there are at least 800 Bhutanese refugees in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

Read more information at http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=5054

 

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Summary: An estimated one-sixth of Bhutan’s population, who are Hindus have been forced to leave Bhutan have immigrated as refugees to USA. Hindu population has essentially been “ethnically cleansed” from Bhutan.

SDF Bhutanese Refugee Assistance Program:
Sanatana Dharma Foundation (SDF) is strongly committed to the preservation of the unique cultural identity of the Bhutanese Hindus. For the last 1.5 years, volunteers of SDF have been actively assisting newly arrived Bhutanese refugees in the following:

1. Financial assistance of a short term nature
2. Procurement of essential basic materials such blankets, clothing, clothes, etc. This has been done in concert with generous volunteers and other Hindu organizations
3. Driving lessons
4. Organization of cultural functions for promotion of Bhutanese Hindu heritage

SDF Supported Events:
Gita Jayanthi on December 20,2009  at DFW Hindu Temple.
Rudra Mahotsav on April 25,2010 at DFW Hindu Temple.

Historical Background behind the Bhutanese Refugee Situation:
Bhutan has been ruled by an absolute monarchy since 1907. The fourth hereditary King Jigme Singye Wangchuck shifted power to his heir Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on December 9, 2006. The former monarchy unveiled its first draft Constitution in 2005 which was subsequently accepted by the Parliament which mandated that power remain with the King. Bhutan thus remains a theocratic state dominated by only Buddhist ideals that are enshrined in the Constitution of the nation.

Bhutan has been home to a number of ethnic and religious groups, including Drukpa Buddhists and Hindu Lhotshampas. Although Drukpa Buddhists are politically and religiously dominant, Lhotshampas, who are descendants of Nepalese who moved to the southern lowlands of Bhutan in the nineteenth century, comprised a substantial minority. The Hindu Lhotshampas remained largely un-integrated with Bhutan’s Buddhist Druk majority. However, under Bhutan’s Nationality Law of 1958 they were allowed to hold government jobs and enjoy Bhutanese citizenship.

By the 1980s, however, the Bhutanese Buddhist majority expressed concern over the rapidly growing Lhotshampa population and feared that a demographic population shift would eventually threaten the majority culture. Draconian nationalist policies were enacted that stripped many ethnic Nepalis of their citizenship and civil rights and banned the use of Nepali in the educational curriculum. This was followed by a violent pogrom of intimidation of the Hindu Lhotshampas including arbitrary detention and torture that made tens of thousands of Lhotshampas stateless, forcing them to flee to Nepal and West Bengal (India). It is estimated that one-sixth of the kingdom’s population has been forced to leave (greater than 100,000 people). The Hindu population has essentially been “ethnically cleansed” from Bhutan.

Efforts at arriving at a mediated solution have been fruitless. Resettlement began in November 2007 with the United States accepting the largest share of refugees. It is estimated that there are at least 800 Bhutanese refugees in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

Read more information at http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=5054

How you can help Bhutanese Refugees in DFW:

If you are interested in helping Bhutanese refugees, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.