Nepal Today

Monday, April 15, 2013

CPM MAOISTS APPOINTS 151-MEMBER CENTRAL COMMITTEE Kathmandu, 16 April: CPN Maoist central committee meet that began Friday cocludes Tuesday with its expansion to 151 members. Before including , the party that split from UCPN Maoist will discuss issues, including protests against government ad [participation of second national assembly elections possible in mid-December., Responsibilities for members will be made public at a news conference. A general convention four months ago appointed 54 members. nnnn HIGH SUICIDE RATE AMONGST BHUTANESE REFUGEES IN USA Kathmandu, 16 April: There have been 16 cases of suicide among Bhutanese refugees residing in the US as of February 2012, according to a report, The Kathmandu Post reports. The report commissioned by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has shown an increasing rate of suicide among the refugees. It noted that the Bhutanese resettlement process coincided with the global financial recession, ‘making the typical refugee problem of unemployment especially bad.’ The global suicide rate per 100,000 people—how suicide rates are calculated—is 16, and the rate for the general US population is 12.4, says the report. The Bhutanese suicide rate is much higher—20.3 among US-resettled ones and 20.7 in the refugee camp population in Nepal. A handful of suicide cases were reported among other refugee groups, but nothing like the number among the Bhutanese, Danielle Preiss, an American journalist and Masters’ student, wrote for the Atlantic magazine’s April 13 edition. The rate of depression among the Bhutanese refugees surveyed was 21 percent, nearly three times that of the general US population (6.7 percent). In addition to depression, risk factors for suicide included not being the family’s provider, feelings of limited social support, and having family conflict after resettlement. Post-migration difficulties that the victims faced offer clues about their possible motivations, Preiss wrote. Most are unable to communicate with their host communities, while many were also plagued by worries about the family back home and the difficulty of maintaining cultural and religious traditions, she added.“Most of the victims were unemployed, while a few had previous mental health diagnoses and mental health conditions were probably significantly under-diagnosed in the camps where medical care was basic at best.” The International Organization for Migration (IOM) had also noticed a similar trend among the refugees in the camps in Nepal. IOM documented 67 suicide s and 64 attempts between 2004 and 2010. The number was high, but without a statistical comparison, it was hard to know how bad the problem was, IOM said. “Money, money, money,” Som Nath Subedi offers as an explanation, according to Preiss’ article. Subedi, a Bhutanese case manager in Portland, Oregon and one of the first community leaders to highlight the suicide s, says the intense poverty of the Bhutanese refugee population may be a factor. “Iraqis, when they get here, they start looking for a house or a car,” he says. “We start looking for a job, how to pay rent, how to get bills paid,” Preiss quoted Subedi as saying. In the late 1980s, ethnic Nepalis were forcibly removed from Bhutan and they travelled to Eastern Nepal, where camps were eventually established. Many were in the camps nearly 20 years until resettlement to third countries—mainly the US—began in 2008. nnnn


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