After an arbitrary census was held in Bhutan (1989), the government of Bhutan displaced approximately 100,000 Southern Bhutanese (Lhotshampas) out of Bhutan. There are several explanations for the expulsion/displacement as well as the conflict between the Lhotshampa and the Northern government, such as a series of protests held within the country against the government’s repressive ‘One Nation One People’ policy; illegalising non-Bhutanese cultural practices under the social code of conduct - Driglam Namzha


After the initial civil unrest in 1991, thousands of Lhotshampa Bhutanese arrived at the boarder of in Eastern Nepal from the West Bengal, India. By the mid 1990's these Bhutanese refugees had increased to rough estimates of 100,000 individuals. As a response to the crisis, Bhutanese officials claimed these individuals were opportunistic economic-migrants rather than vulnerable refugees they self-claim, thus the Bhutanese government has not repatriated the refugees. 





Since, their exodus, individuals have reports of torture, murder, arrests and rapes during the late 80s to early 90s in Bhutan. Ultimately, many of the individuals have remained as refugees for over two decades to look for repatriation or simply to find peaceful residency, whereas many resettled into 3rd nations to find a better life from their traumatic experiences.


As of today the Bhutanese government has not repatriate the displaced group in totality and continues to deny the legitimacy of their refugee status and vulnerability. Due to the lack of international recollection caused by the unavaiability of video, photo or audio records there is little evidence of the events that lead to the exodus, and it remains a serious question of Bhutan's dark past in isolation from the rest of the world.