Veteran Bhutanese leader in exile Dr Bhampa Rai has passed away on Saturday, at the age of 72 while undergoing treatment in Nobel Medical Teaching Hospital in Biratnagar.
Dr Rai was suffering from multiple ailments including abdominal and lung issues. He was referred to Nobel by Lifeline Hospital in Damak after his heart rate showed problematic symptoms. Only a week ago, he had his hernia treatment in Lifeline.
Rai was the coordinator of the Committee for Repatriation of Bhutanese Refugees to Bhutan. Dr Rai also worked as the Consultant Surgeon to the Bhutanese monarch.
Rai voluntarily left the country after the Nepali-speaking community was expelled by the Bhutanese rulers in early 1990. Rai was living single since his wife’s death two years ago.
Damak Municipality had provided him accommodation for free in his honour since last May this year. Dr Rai had been providing free health check-up services to the Bhutanese refugees and people in the surroundings.
His last rites were conducted in Ratua as per Kirat culture on Sunday.
Only a couple of weeks earlier, Bhutanese in exile had lost another veteran Kishor Rai who had closely worked with Dr Bhampa.