Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ignorance is no excuse for any writer for gross misrepresentation.

Kuensel article of 29thNov,14 on Bhutan Denmark, the writer probably a young Bhutanese writes that in 1962 Bhutan had no health services and communication facilities and only 18% of rural Bhutan had reasonable and relatively unpolluted drinking water and administration system was rudimentary. Which caves could he have visited?  But leaving aside the humour please beware there are too many write ups on Bhutan by authors even Bhutanese officials who made too many guess works on Bhutan and therefore not reliable source of reference. 
The fact is in 1962 Bhutan was rural.  There was no urban centres as such. There was plentiful of clean drinking water because the streams,brooks and rivers were clean and bigger. There were medical services though only in pockets. We had then two medical doctors and one veterinary doctor and medical Assistants, few Dispensaries.  A national vaccination programme was also carried out.  And there was a well organised administrative system including National Assembly along with effective communication means though not mechanized. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Civil Service Bench Marks?

The Finance Minister said that those Commissioners meaning those that the present System had nominated were the best out of more than 25,000 civil servants. This is a sweeping view of the Government. No wonder the Government did not think much of the civil servants when the legislators and the constitutional members were granted substantial pay increase. It seems the Government felt that apart from those few who have been now made Commissioners, the other civil servants did not qualify the Government's set standard. It is a difficult call for the civil servants who are required to remain politically neutral and yet qualify the expectation of a ruling political Party.

I have sympathy with pre- retirement aged Commissioners who have been left abandoned after service in the Commissions. It is a kind of fall from the grace through no fault of theirs unless they had earlier lobbied for commission post. I am  sure they are hard working. And definitely capable. But on what basis: academic, experience, examination or loyalty to Tsawa Sum are they the best among the 250000 whole lot? I assume that in the absence of any form of criteria conducted publicly, the yardstick used had to be political to determine the best suitable.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Constitution and the Throne made political wedge of convenience.

It was said in the Parliament that amending the Election Act tantamount to looking the gift horse in the mouth. The Ruling Party felt that the opposition party was acting disloyally in endorsing the changes that a legislative committee had put up to the National Assembly.

On the other hand the ruling party amended the constitutional post holder rule against the objection of the opposition party. Does this mean that when amendment is made by the ruling party the changes are not against the Throne and when amendment is supported by the opposition party the changes are deemed to be against the Throne?

It is also confusing that the opposition party participated in the vote on amendment to election Act and the next day took upon the Speaker's stand made the other day just before the election act vote.

Why participate in the vote if the opposition felt that the Speaker was denouncing the party stand as anti- Throne? Why protest a day later if the Speaker's admonition was untrue. They should have walked out instead of voting.

Why did the ruling party amend the constitutional post holder rules if anything gifted by the Throne must be kept intact and changes viewed as being an act of disloyalty?

Are both parties out to discredit the Constitution and the Throne ? One directly and the other indirectly?

I feel that the path of democracy in Bhutan is being highjacked by party enmity and in the process the constitution and the Throne are being soiled. This trend of dragging the dignity of Throne into party squabbles is most unsettling.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Bhutanese Parliament: Anti social culture and closed closets moral mentality.

Bhutan continues to have the same set of power brandishing and narrow minded Legislators under different tags. When it comes to Consensual Sex, they are even anti- offsprings.

Under Sex Education campaigns the students are taught how to practise safe sex. And when they do, they are prosecuted under spinster administered Laws. This is what is called national entrapment of the young generation.

The law says to the 18 year girl," Its alright to have sex." And the same law silently requires the girl to partner with the choice of the legislators. What really is love if there is no choice whom to love? What really is consensual if to whom you consent to is not acceptable?

We have legislators who take immense satisfaction in persecuting the society and imposing morals they never ever abide themselves. There is that unquenchable desire to dictate for the sake of being in position to dictate. And with democracy the trend is appalling like kids with match sticks.

Most women marry men who are senior in age and vice versa men usually have wives younger in age. Is it so difficult for the Bhutanese Legislators to comprehend as to why 16 or 18 years girls have consensual sex with older partners? The nature and culture has been functioning in this manner for ages all over the world. Being a different nation does not call for Bhutan to be the worst dictator in matters of social and love affairs.

Develop a healthy respect for love and sex. Be normal and let not your degrading harboured inhibitions that you suffered in the past now shackle the growth of a proper society. There is a huge difference in discouraging rape and outlawing love relation. Please stop pushing love couples over the cliff.

Do not wait for someone near to your heart to be jailed or hanged for loving. Grasp the wisdom to amend the Consensual Sex Law. Lead the Fight for youth and right to Love !

The ills of Consensual Sex Clause.

The Consensual Sex Clause under Penal Code needed to be amended to accommodate traditional social and cultural norms and reality of present level of human development in terms of general awareness,physical and intellectual faculties. It should never have been viewed as protecting male chauvinism. And yet that was what exactly happened to the Dagana Dzongkhag proposal for a revisit of the Consensual Sex Clause under the Rape Law. According to reports in the mass media the proposal for an amendment was allowed to be killed with a lone woman MP  voice of dissent in the National Assembly.

People have wondered why women do not generally vote for women candidates. Well this is the answer. Not many take time to consider the welfare of women in general. Rather they simply look across the aisle and see a male raising a sex or marital issue and blindly oppose it as a matter of equality principle.

This is similar to what happened with the issue of the right of a woman with a child born from an affair especially with the husband of a married woman . Women MPs at that time either put themselves in the shoes of the woman engaged in illicit affair or taking vengeance upon the erring man.  They never stopped even for a second to consider about the right and the welfare of the wife and the legitimate children when they demanded and got a legislation that allocated 20 percent of the man's income to the mistress for raising the illegitimate child. A man's income often is the only income of the whole legitimate family.
Yes a child regardless of legal status has rights and needs but what about the plight of the wife and children of lawful marriage. This law has not stopped extra marital affairs.  And lawful family members'  sufferings have multiplied because of love affairs between clever other women married or single and erring  insatiable husbands whose misdeeds are encouraged and rewarded by this legislation backed by women MPs. Today the legal wife pays the price of two other people side affairs through physical and mental torments and financial deprivation. The absurdity is that the same law legislated to protect single mothers favours the married man whose ego may be bruised but income supplemented if his spouse bears another man's child. To give some credit to those women legislators,maybe, in their personal experience of life, only single men had the potential to father illegitimate children. So they did not think of legal consequences to lawful wives and children.

In the case of consensual sex especially among the age bracket of 16 to 24, the law inflicts a heavy toll on young lovers in high schools or colleges.  This law cannot prevent consensual sex because very often consensual sex is not so calculated and planned as deemed by legislators. Love blossoms like Spring flowers as part of natural instinct and consensual sex follows. Why must the claws of law tear away the lives of say a 16 year pregnant mother and 19 year old father.

A re-visit of the Consensual Sex Clause could have alleviated such social dilemma where the young father is jailed for 9 years and the even younger mother abandoned to fend alone and helpless.  But an MP  bent on penalising the man crucified the  plight of the young mother on the floor of the National Assembly. This should not have been the Buddhist legislative mood towards love and life. It is a crime against the young generation.

Bhutan may be a white washed democracy until younger generation are given a fair consideration. In my younger days I was amazed when I read a news piece that related an incident in an American School where a male student of 13 Years was given one day paternal leave to meet his baby and the mother aged 16 at the hospital where the delivery took place. O.K Bhutan is not America but just the thought that historically the Declaration of Independence by American forefathers actually defined Democracy of modern days.

The other MPs of this Parliament also have a duty to correct the deficiencies of a past legislation. Does this law have to bite someone prominent and influential to warrant an amendment? That day will hardly come because mostly the defenceless become the victims since such people possess no paved escape route.

Was any kin and kith of prominent and influential jailed under the Tobacco Law?
It took a Royal Decree to end the sufferings of many ordinary humble citizens jailed under the draconian Tobacco Law.  Insensitive and harsh laws makes criminals out of otherwise humble law abiding people.  Now who will and can step forward to stop the legal persecution of consensual sex partners that is driving young couples to commit suicide or face heavy jail term for men and social and economic deprivation for young women? Again the poorer section of the population will have to pray and hope for respite from the Throne.

Do the leaders of today's power structure know that the 1st national highway from phuentsoling to both Thimphu and Paro was built on the back breaking labour taxes imposed  on all people of Bhutan from the Bhutanese lunar age of 15 and above. Three months of compulsory labour contribution tax from every adult member of a family went into laying the lifeline of modern Bhutan. And adult hood was fixed at the age of 15. Now what kind of moral authority is being exercised by the democratic  legislators on the age that was sanctified and taxed not just traditionally but also during the dawn of modern nationhood?

In the world today, the rule of the Kings are not generally favoured. Yet in Bhutan even though democracy was introduced by the King ,the people can be heard saying let's go back to the  old system. Some maybe saying it out of blind faith or loyalty or curry personal favours but many may genuinely be frustrated with irresponsible and unaccountable deeds of democratic leaders who exercise collectively the power of an absolute Monarch. But unlike the individual person of the King the democratic leaders cannot be individually held accountable let alone penalize. The history can record a King being great or cruel or kind but under democracy except for the Prime Minister,the legislators who collectively are more powerful than the Prime Minister escape any historical blemish for their blunders or collective tyranny.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The definition of frankly honest.

The agriculture minister admits the failure to sort out Tsamdro and sokshing grievances and apologised. That is a sign of accountability. Thank you Lyonpo for being frankly honest.

The NC chairman remarks that the provisions of 2007 Land Act that favours the Authority have been implemented and the provisions that favour the people have been with held. Thank you Chairman for being frankly honest and possessing the insight to the grievous wrongs and the courage to name it in public.

It may be possible and it may not be, to fulfill commitments but it is a better person to have the decency and the courage to admit the truth. It may be within one's power or it may not be but it is a conscious leader to point our national administrative flaws.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Man of Bhutanese Judiciary.

Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye had an incredible service opportunity to serve the Kings and the nation. And he spent and dedicated all his heart and resources to fulfill the responsibilities that came with the opportunities. The Royal Civil Service Commission, the Royal Audit Authority and the Judiciary System have reasons to celebrate his tenures and miss his presence hereafter. He is one individual who took pains to learn more to serve better.

The International Agencies like Danida and Indian  Embassey who assisted the Judiciary System of Bhutan with Assistances in human resource development, judiciary capacity and infrastructure developments must have been amazed and impressed with the humility and earnestness of Chief Justice of Bhutan.

As a private citizen I thank Lyonpo for making the Judiciary procedures transparent and easily accessible from application forms and penal codes to guidance to actual Court Hearing procedures and steps. Only someone exposed to earlier traditional Court System would really understand and appreciate the incredible transformation that he sweated and cajoled to bring about. The path to Justice begins the moment people step into the Court Complex and the changes he and his team introduced over the years helped to bring about the friendly and comprehensible court environment.

Another memorable scene for me is Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye as the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee standing day after day on the Parliament floor to carry out the historic task of trudging unknown and uneasy path of the Constitution of Bhutan. He deserved national thanks just for the extra ordinary patience and physical stamina displayed at that august Hall filled with mostly fresh recruits to national powers.  He got the Constitution passed and finally it was signed at a special ceremony at Tashichhodzong  right across the Parliament Hall where he  humbly, patiently and firmly stood to nurse the draft Constitution through the highest National Legislative Body.  Well Done Your Excellency!  And I just do not think its over as yet in terms of your service to the nation.

My respects to Your Excellecy and the legal fraternity you built under the guidance of their Majesties. And my regards to your family. Wish Your Excellency peace and happiness.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vehicle Quota option a thoughtful mind.

The National Assembly on Vehicle Quota  discussion heard a very sensible and equitable suggestion. A product of thoughtful mind ! Option to utilize the Quota in form of vehicle import or take cash incentive of Nu: 160,000. It will take care of economically disadvantaged officers who cannot afford to buy a new car. It is time to practise democracy in administration and end the traditional practice of economic segregation that always favour the better off. For example only an officer who has a vehicle in one's name can claim mileage and not the person in the same grade but poorer. The poorer officer who does not own a car cannot use someone else's car and claim mileage for official tours. I appeal to the well paid MPs to have a heart for the civil servants this time. Please provide this Option and do not convert it into PDP  versus  DPT fight or National Council versus National Assembly. Thank you.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Welcoming President Pranab Mukerjee of India at Paro Airport.

It makes me wonder why the Bhutanese media and forums are engaged in some kind of justifications or is it searching for valid grounds in their Majesties the King and Queen of Bhutan personally  welcoming the President of India to the Kingdom at Paro Airport.

The President is Head of the Nation of India and nearing 80 in age. His Majesty is the Head of the Kingdom of Bhutan and far younger in age and also the host. So if it is unprecedented and out of established protocol of yesterdays, now simply get used to the new set precedent and set protocol as of this Presidential State Visit. How the Indian Delegation viewed the Royal Welcome is beyond the control or influence of Bhutanese media and national forums.

It did not occur to me that the Royal welcome was unprecedented, beyond established protocol or beyond call of duty. The first two things I was ignorant and as for duty, I feel once enthroned whatever a King does or states or commands are all part of being the King and therefore very much the Duty to the Throne of the Kingdom. A King could set precedent or new protocol but to say going beyond the call of Duty is rather a kind of blemish because the interest of the nation is a King's responsibility as well as it is of a common ordinary citizen.
I personally would have been more happy if the President of India also had a Khader in greeting our King and failing that maybe he could have accepted in his hands the offered welcome scarfs. However, I suppose lapses occur with age and protocol surprise. The problems with scarfs started with the visit of Prime Minister Modi. I had then said, maybe, leave out the scarf but then it is our culture and symbolism not that of India. And culture must be practised to preserve as part of national identity whether India or any other Country comprehends or appreciates.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Launch of the 60th Birth Anniversary of The 4th King of Bhutan

The 11th November,2014 scene at Changlingmithang was massive and spectacular. The public turned out in thousands and in spectrum of colours. And entertainments vied in all forms of display,  tradition, culture and variety found in different corners of Bhutan.

His Majesty the King and the Government along with the people of all walks of Bhutanese life had wholeheartedly intended to grandly launch the Celebration of the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck the 4th King of Bhutan. And the 11th November day at Changlingthang was simply that and may be more if the signs of the celebratory blue Thimphu sky is taken into our hearts.

The Launch of the 60th Birth Anniversary of the 4th King was well rehearsed and meticulously managed. Everyone involved in the arrangements and the participants must be as pleased as the the whole nation with the success of the day. I feel gratefully happy that a whole year is dedicated to celebrate the life of the 4th King. Sixty years is a huge part of a King's life ! And the accomplishments the King achieved  are stupendous and the monumental sacrifices he made for his people and the Kingdom are immeasurable.

A larger than life figure, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck is a national hero of different historic dimensions and aspects of national status and life. May His Majesty enjoy many years of happiness and may the flag of Pelden Drukpa continue to flutter high under the reign of his son, His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How old is the 4th King on 11th November,2014?

Some say 59 years and some say 60 years. The difference in thought could be due to different traditions of counting age as well as the publicised celebration of 60th anniversary of Birth being launched today.

By western system, His Majesty is 59 years and one day old today. By our tradition the King is 60 years old and by Lombo of Haa and Paro, His Majesty would turn 61 years on 21st December, 2014. The King would be joined by His Holiness Jhe Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra and Her Majesty Queen Mother Ashi  Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The 21st December is also the Day of Winter Solstice as per western calendar though by Bhutanese calendar,the Winter Solstice Nin- Lok  is on 2nd January, 2015.

In my life experience, the age of 61 is a pivotal period in the life of a person especially for the man. If one can afford, offer prayers at holy sites or have prayers performed on behalf. Otherwise trust the recitation of Bratsa Guru to see you and your beloved ones through. Lams may retire to the practice of meditation for several months or the whole year. According to sage sayings the changes to life for men occur usually at the early stage of the year whilst for women the later months.

One offer prayers so that changes that occur may be on the brighter side of the life. And for Bhutan as a nation it is important to pray for brighter side for the Kingdom on the triple occasion of the three national figures turning 61 on 21st December,2014. May the Triple Gem Bless His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, His Holiness JheKhen Trulku Jigme Choedra and Her Majesty Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. And may National Deities watch over this year of 60th Birth Anniversary Celebration of the 4th King.

Pelden Drukpa ! Lha-Gyel- Lo !

A tribute to 4thKing the Triple Gem.

The King of Bhutan has dedicated the whole year duration from 11th Nov,2014-to- 11th November,2015 for celebration of the 60th Birth Anniversary of his father the 4th King. I am sure many would compose in beautiful eloquence their words of love, appreciation, admiration and gratitude to His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Such words of  expressions and outpourings are inevitable.

I just wonder if as citizens one could take a forward step in life to practically commemorate the role of His Majesty the 4th King as the ever patient and loving Father. Be a shade better father, mother, spouse , son and daughter as a genuine and meaningful  tribute to the 34 years of reign of the 4th King. Such an effort would enhance our own family happiness and collectively bring the Country closer to national Happiness.

On the 60th Birth Anniversary, I wish for His Majesty to be blessed with the enduring occasions to enjoy the happiness of his loving family members and the peace and prosperity of his beloved Bhutan.

With deep gratitude and respects. Humbly Wangcha Sangey.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

State Mining Corporation.

The Government has decided to weed out rat hole miners and protect good private players. This declaration made by the Economic Ministry was reflected by Kuensel in its front page Mining story on 4th November,2014.

It's now out in black and white. This Government will protect the rich resources of the powerful Private Mining Corporations and will nationalize small private mining enterprises

Several large Mining Corporations face closure of their lucrative Mines with the expiry of their leases. So the Government has come up with this State Mining idea to over ride the concerns of the Dzongkhags and renew the Mining Leases of the large Mining Corporations. If renewal is warranted why not just do it instead of obscuring the process through the grand delusion of State Mining Corporation. The proposal guarantees total leeway to large Private Mining Companies by removing even the present small scale competitors and circumventing the policy of local governments.

If nationalization was done without exception or segregation into so termed Good Private Players and Rat Hole Miners, one would be tempted to think that the national leadership is serious about enabling all Bhutanese to share national wealth from mining minerals in a sustainable manner. But this policy to encourage large private mining enterprises to go ahead and terminate the leases of small mining parties simply highlights the trend of the affluent trampling over the lower rug of the society. Such national scale corruption cannot be controlled by the Anti-Corruption Commission. 

Please do not compare income from sale of minerals with that of electricity. The investment in  hydro- Projects are highly inflated by system corruption and the export price is dictated by India. Water used for producing electricity simply will flow away to the Bay of Bengal even if not harnessed. Bhutan cannot retain river water so advisable to beneficially use it on its way out of the Country.  Also water comes from snow and rain and protecting our hills instead of demolishing for onetime export of minerals would preserve our water sources. Large scale mining will cause environmental degradation that the young Himalayan eco-structure cannot endure. The southern part of Bhutan is already sinking in many areas and major land slides occur every year. Mining will make such natural disasters more prevalent. Major mining activities in the north will destroy the rain catchment hill ranges and cause water shortages not just for hydro- projects but for irrigation and sanitation and drinking water supply.

It is a pity that for all the talks of future of the Nation as a whole, the policies expounded are for benefitting few to reap ill gotten wealth from monopoly of exploiting national  mineral resources.  The selfish greed of the few could cause national grief for the majority if not wisely restrained.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Would India disrupt Bhutan China Border Negotiation?

The Indian Newspaper The Telegraph carried a front page article on the forth coming  visit of the Indian President to Bhutan in its issue of 28th October,2014. It says that the visit is about Indian anxiety on the progress of China Bhutan Border Talks. President Pranab Mukerjee arrives on7th and leaves on 8th November.2014. Would he demand Bhutan to obstruct border negotiations with China?

India had been controlling the Sino Bhutan international boundary Talks through its iron grip on Bhutan's economic and communication dependence on India. The writer Charu Sudan Kasturi cites the case of India withdrawing subsidies in 2013 to warn Bhutan against normalising relation with China.

The China Bhutan Border Talks have been going on for decades. China has been quite sincere and mostly positive in conducting the international boundary negotiation with Bhutan. And Bhutan on the other hand has been trying to delay the progress for many years at the insistence of India. How long can Bhutan defy the patience of China and to what national benefit? The next step after signing international boundary agreement with China would be normalising relationship between the two Countries.

And that is what India wants to stall or prevent. A diplomatic level relationship with China would forever consolidate the sovereign status of Bhutan. Bhutan would no longer be easily available to act as political pawn or  surrogate for India in  sensitive international politics. That is a fact. However, Bhutan's corner stone foreign policy of friendship with India will not alter. India will remain Bhutan's most desired benefactor. Geographical access, language and social behaviour naturally bring Bhutan closer to India. So India will be more dominant than China in Bhutan's priority. At the other end of the scale it would be suicidal to keep snubbing friendly overtures from China.

Unfortunately India and many other Western Nations and their Allies in South East Asia including Australia and Japan do not want China to develop progressive relationship with Bhutan. On the other hand these same Countries have gone all out to develop their own political and economic ties with China. So they are not containing the influence of China in international affairs but they are curtailing the progress of Bhutan. It is necessary that Bhutanese Leaders counter the isolation of Bhutan from China by vested interests of India and other pro Western groups of nations. Bhutan cannot be " A Tool of Irritant ' for anti- China forces.

The Telegraph article on the eve of the visit of President of India to Bhutan is a deliberate political attempt to misconstrue the facts about China Bhutan international boundary Talks. The article alleges that China is offering more land to Bhutan at certain point of Sino-Bhutan border in exchange for some adjustment at the Tri-junction border of India, Bhutan and China. This is a a desperate strategy on part of India to thwart Sino Bhutan progress in boundary Talks.

The actual fact is that India wants Bhutan to demand more land from China at the Tri-junction.  India is very well aware of the historical facts of British Raj days in India. As much as the Kings and the Kingdom of Bhutan want to comply with Indian dictate,historical facts cannot be changed by Bhutan. The British Raj grabbed the Duars from Bhutan and made the Duars part of India. The Tri-junction  is part of annexed Duar region and part of it was sold by British Raj to China Tibet after it was annexed from Bhutan.

Now how could Bhutan reclaim this portion of land from China when she cannot reclaim her Duar regions from India? The Tri-junction is a strategic point and neither India nor China would surrender even a square inch of their land to each other or to Bhutan . If Bhutan continues to postpone the finalization of international boundary with China,the King of Bhutan has to be aware that the Kingdom will not get the relaxation that China had so far accorded on the disputed Sino Bhutan border.  And history will reflect badly on the legacy of the so far much admired Wangchuck dynasty for testing, at the behest of India, the extreme limit the benign policy of China towards Bhutan.

President Pranab Mukerjee is an accomplished leader of India. No one can cast doubts on his nationalistic insight and foresight especially on China and India border dispute. He and another notable Political  Leader of India  late hon'ble Shri Basu of Communist Party could have been the Prime Ministers of India but for the obstructions from their own respective Parties.  So he is of the highest political calibre to understand that even without coming to Bhutan that Bhutan is in no position to take Chinese land to enhance the strategic interest of India.

President Pranab Mukerjee was the then the  Minister of External  Affairs of India when the 4th King of Bhutan pleaded with India in 2006 for renegotiation of 1949 Indo Bhutan Treaty. What concession did he consider for Bhutan? Why was the clause regarding the Duars annuity payable by India to Bhutan removed from the renegotiated Treaty? The Kingdom of Bhutan was obliged to forgo its past losses in the bargain to regain authority over its present and future Sovereign Affairs. But in realty Bhutan lost out on the Duars annuity and India still insist on directing Bhutan's external affairs. India even took the unprecedented step to intervene in the General Election of Bhutan in 2013 as recorded in the Telegraph article.

When will India and Bhutan respect the spirit and the letter of the re-negotiated Indo Bhutan Treaty that was in fact signed by the present President of India and the present King of Bhutan in 2006.

Their Majesties the 5th King and the 4th King have all the respects and obedience of the Bhutanese people but how does India expect the Kings to overlook the security interest of their own Kingdom and people and continue delaying the settlement of China Bhutan international boundary.

India is an old and dear development benefactor of Bhutan. No Bhutanese can discount this fact. However can any Bhutanese put his head in the mouth of the lion in the north at the roar of the tiger from the south? My own answer is no even if the tiger does pose danger to my assumed secure position. Actually without real sovereignty there cannot be secure position for anyone in Bhutan; only a deluded sense of hanging on borrowed time and position.

The international Sino Bhutan boundary is being demarcated by two technical survey teams of Bhutan and China. The Indo Bhutan international boundary in the west and south of Bhutan was demarcated by the Survey General of India.

Bhutan and India are yet to resolve the international boundary in the East of Bhutan primarily because the Survey General of India could not arbitrarily demarcate the boundary of Arunachal State which is also claimed  by China.  According to Chinese map of Bhutan, substantial land area of Bhutan is presently occupied by the  State of Arunachal. Would India be prepared to give back Bhutanese land?

The paradox is that there are three maps of the Kingdom of Bhutan. One is Indian version,the other is Chinese version and one that Bhutan adopted several years back at the later stage of the reign of the 4th King. The ideal solution would be for China to give to Bhutan whatever the Indian map shows as being Bhutanese land along the Sino Bhutan boundary. And India should also give to Bhutan whatever land the Chinese map shows as Bhutanese land along the Indo Bhutan boundary. As a gesture of goodwill to Bhutan's two neighbours, the King of Bhutan could advise the Bhutanese Parliament to sanction joint patrolling with China along Sino Bhutan international boundary and joint patrolling with India along Indo Bhutan international boundary. That way both China and India would not be aggrieved for accepting both the version of Bhutanese international boundary maps prepared by their own national Survey Agencies.

I invite the three nations to consider the ideal solution. Both China and India could return the whole of ancient Bhutanese land to Bhutan. And participate with Bhutan to patrol the respective border regions. That way the land China returns to Bhutan cannot be used by India and the land India returns to Bhutan cannot be used by China. A real politics of status quo put in actual real life practise could provide for peace of mind of all three neighbours.

I urge Bhutan to finalize the Sino Bhutan international boundary. The issue has been  straggling over three reigns of Wangchuck dynasty since 1970. Also as successive leaderships of Bhutan have reiterated, the friendship with India must remain the corner stone foreign policy of Bhutan.  However, China has the vast potentiality to also assist Bhutan to economic prosperity and economic development must be the central goal of a least developing nation like Bhutan. Right now Bhutan is the only SAARC Country and maybe the only UN Member which does not pursue an  internationally respectable status relationship with its immediate northern neighbour China.

India under Shri Modi leadership has gone  all out to woo Chinese investment in India. Prime Minister Modi of India accorded a huge welcome to the President of China even whilst Chinese and Indian troops stood at close hostile encounter positions on the line of disputed Himalayan border.  This is one lesson that Bhutanese leadership could put in practise in Bhutan's relation with China. After all , is not the new Indo Bhutan Big Brother Theme : Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan  copycat Bharat?

Pelden Drukpa !  Stay Vigilant !