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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP visits Bhutan to discuss plight of refugees

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London and Chair of the European Parliament Delegation South Asia, will head a delegation visit to Bhutan tomorrow to tour vital EU supported livestock projects across the country as well as continue discussions on the situation of Bhutanese refugees [1].

During the visit, the delegation will meet with His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk VIth Dragon King of Bhutan as well as the Prime Minister, Lyonpo Jigme Yoser Thinley and members of his Cabinet. The programme also includes a meeting with the Secretary of the Gross National Happiness Commission [2].

Speaking ahead of the trip, Jean said: “The people in the camps have spent almost two decades in Nepal and India after political problems emerged in Bhutan. We hope to hear of positive moves from the Bhutanese government regarding their return.

“Following the first multi-party general elections in 2008, our visit will also serve as a further opportunity to call upon the European Union to continue to show support for Bhutan as it moves towards the creation of a democratic polity and free and fair elections for all.”

Notes for Editors

[1] It is estimated that there are currently over 89,000 Bhutanese refugees of historical Nepalese origin living in camps in Nepal as well as some 30,000 living in India following their eviction from Bhutan during the 1990s.  The Bhutanese government is currently in talks with Nepal to find a solution which will enable the refugees to return home. For further information, please see the UNHCR figures for Nepal at:

[2] Bhutan is currently the only country in the world to measure happiness rather than GDP as an indicator of societal wellbeing.