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<-Back to WTN Archives Canada, Bhutan establish diplomatic ties
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Thursday, July 17, 2003



4. Canada, Bhutan establish diplomatic ties


NEW DELHI: WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2003 (AP) - Canada has become the 22nd
country to establish diplomatic relations with the once-isolated Himalayan
kingdom of Bhutan, officials said on Wednesday.

Squeezed between India and Chinese-ruled Tibet, Bhutan is a small country
with mountains soaring to 6,600 meters (22,000 feet), and a population
estimated at 600,000 to 2 million.

The Buddhist country, which recently began opening up after decades of
isolation, has six embassies around the world. In the past five years, it
has established relations with four countries, including Australia and
Thailand.

"Formal diplomatic relations will mean more official interaction in both the
business and political sectors," said Peter Sutherland, Canada's High
Commissioner to India and Nepal.

"This is an auspicious day for us," said Lyonpo Dago Tshering, Bhutan's
ambassador to India, at an official function after the decision to establish
ties was announced. He said Canada was the 22nd country to establish
relations with Bhutan. The officials were speaking in New Delhi, where
Bhutan has its largest embassy.

The two countries established in 1963 when a Canadian Jesuit priest, known
to the Bhutanese as Father Mackay, set up a school and a college in the
capital, Thimphu. "It's as if Canada and Bhutan have been living together
for years, and are now officially married," said Nancy Strickland, a
Canadian who lives in Bhutan and heads the Canadian Cooperation Office
there. The country jointed the United Nations in 1971, she said.


Articles in this Issue:
  1. Nine Tibetans arrested in southeast Nepal, handed to UNHCR
  2. Kailash-Mansarovar yatra reaches Tibet
  3. Bhutanese lama's new movie set to leave audiences spellbound
  4. Canada, Bhutan establish diplomatic ties



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