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Cultural Nationalism, SelfDetermination and Human Rights in Bhutan

Saul, Ben

International Journal of Refugee Law, 2000, Vol.12(3), pp.321-353 [Tạp chí có phản biện]

ISSN: 0953-8186 ; DOI: 10.1093/ijrl/12.3.321

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  • Nhan đề:
    Cultural Nationalism, SelfDetermination and Human Rights in Bhutan
  • Tác giả: Saul, Ben
  • Chủ đề: International Relations ; Law
  • Là 1 phần của: International Journal of Refugee Law, 2000, Vol.12(3), pp.321-353
  • Mô tả: Since 1990, over 96,000 people have fled from Bhutan to refugee camps in Nepal, or were born in exile to refugee parents. The causes of exile remain deeply contested. Refugee leaders claim that they are victims of ethnic and religious discrimination (including torture) arising out of arbitrary, absolutist politics. The Bhutanese Government, an hereditary monarchy, responds that the refugees are illegal immigrants from Nepal, discovered and expelled after a 1988 census. The Nepali Hindu immigrants were also seen as a threat to the cultural autonomy and political order of the northern Bhutanese, descendants of Tibetan Buddhists. The first part of this article places the exodus in the ethnic and cultural contexts that shaped modern Bhutanese society. It then sets out and adjudicates the competing claims made by refugee leaders and Bhutan regarding the causes of exile. It focuses on three interrelated and discriminatory sets of laws concerning nationality, cultural protection, and the repression of dissent. It explains how the mass exodus of southern Bhutanese was immediately caused by the enforcement of these laws. The second part looks at key contested human rights discourses framing the exodus. The ambiguous right of selfdetermination in international law presents positive ways of restructuring the Bhutanese State to overcome the discriminatory and exclusionary impulses built into its power structure and institutions. The paper also deconstructs claims made by Bhutan that (1) first generation (civil and political) rights should follow after second generation (economic, social and cultural) rights; (2) the content of differential democracy in nonwestern contexts need not reflect basic standards of human rights; and (3) collective rights should take precedence over individual rights. The article aims to elucidate the opportunities for peaceful coexistence in Bhutan, by linking the causes of exile with the solutions to it.
  • Số nhận dạng: ISSN: 0953-8186 ; DOI: 10.1093/ijrl/12.3.321

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