Bhutan. According to
Countryaah, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk said in February that
the Bhutanese would prepare for an armed struggle against
Assam separatists in north-eastern India, which has been
operating in southern Bhutan since the mid-1990s. Since
Bhutan threatened to expel guerrilla groups by the end of
2000, several attacks have been reported on Bhutanese
citizens in Assam. Many Bhutanese travel there to shop or
receive medical care.
In the spring it was announced that the country would
receive its first Internet magazine, published with support
from Denmark, and during the summer Bhutan received its
first mobile phone service.
The issue of the approximately 100,000 Bhutanese refugees
in Nepal was still unsolved, but a process to verify who
would be entitled to return to Bhutan began at the end of
March. The pace was slow, in August only 6,000 refugees had
been interviewed. It was estimated that the process would
take up to five years if not accelerated. Many refugees were
forced to sign papers certifying that they voluntarily
emigrated to Nepal before leaving Bhutan, which is said to
have said that they would not be allowed to return.