Monday, January 12, 2015

Convicts and Informers

Thanks to cash reward, an Informer made it possible for Royal Bhutan Police to catch the Convicts from Bey Langdra. Few days back the life-sentenced 3 Convicts who had carried out thefts of religious items from Stupas had  managed to escape from Wangdue Phodrang Police lockup.

This would be a big relief for the Police. I hope the successful rearrest would provide some relief to the 3 Police personnel under whose watch the break out happened. Many prisoners all over the world do attempt to escape and some are successful though most are rearrested sooner or later. Few such break away prisoners even volunteer to return to prison because of free shelter, food, clothes and possibly company. However,  possibly only in Bhutan, the prisoners who make a break away are substituted by their Police keepers. And the services of  Jail Superintendents can be even terminated. How is that for human rights logic or professional sense of responsibility?

In matters of religious theft,  as bad as it is both morally and spiritually, I feel that it is now time for Bhutan to have a re-look at heavy handed laws that hands out life sentences to Chorten ( Stupa) robbers. The laws were passed  based on emotional and spiritual passion during those bygone days when Buddhism was the State Religion. It was then rightly construed as an insult to the State to rob Temples and Stupas.

Now the national political character has undergone dramatic changes. There is freedom of religion. Buddhism is no longer the State Religion. Therefore, robbery especially of unguarded Stupas should be offence of similar nature as that of shoplifting. The sentencing need to be value based. The Nation need to be more humanly conscious and must gradually discard the role of devil's advocate.

I would continue to condemn all types of theft whether Chorten robbers or Public Fund Embezzlers. But life imprisonment for Chorten robbers? Come on Kingdom of Bhutan ! Wake up from religious fanaticism and dark age feudalism!


  1. I totally agree with u regarding penalty for chorten/lhakhang robbers! It is absolutely disproportionate!!! Perhaps, this law must be one of the most draconian laws in the world. It is almost like a sharia law!!! Our parliamentarians should really think of amending this law---unlike tobacco law whereby most of the media fraternities were directly affected, this law doesn't affect them and there won’t be pressure in media. However, all concerns must voice to change this law...let there be no Buddhist or cultural fanatics in Bhutan!!! thought!

  2. i surely agree that the times have changed and so should the laws. But when it comes it burgelary of the Lhakhang and chorten nangtens, it should not be narrowly tied with the changing acceptance of religious beliefs. we have to remind ourselves that Bhutan sandwiched between the two Asian giants existed and continued to exist soley due to the uniqueness of our traditions and culture. what will become of Bhutan if we relax the penalty for Chorten and Lhakhang vandalism, i'm afraid that may only encourage the miscreants to get more bolder. Just sharing my personnel thought.

  3. Opinions will differ but well thought out opinions are always appreciated and valued regardless whether one is persuaded or not.

    Life sentencing can even be more cruel than death sentencing to the affected family in that one can never really move on and way with life and bury the past because what exist cannot be considered as that of belonging to the past.Again it is not to say death sentence is preferable.

    As a Buddhist I do not like the law that enforces life sentence in the name of Buddhism or for preservation of Buddhist heritage. Unlike Islam and Christianity, Buddhism was not spread by the power of the sword therefore life sentence law in the name of protecting Buddhist heritage is not compatible with the fundamental principle of the passive religion.

    Chorten robbery is an act of sacrilege and desecration but those that commit the acts are not heathens or anti Buddhist. They are very much practising Buddhist who are swayed by financial greed and tempted by easy target like chortens that exist in wilderness almost like part of landscape.

    It is important to preserve and protect the cultural and relugious heritage and value sentencing can be more effective and certainly more socially and religiously acceptable.

    The Law of the Land cannot be drafted and applied for selective citizens. If Chorten robbers are automatically sentenced to life imprisonment for act of sacrilege and desecration then what penalty awaits those members of Constitution Crafting Committee members and the 1st Parliament for adopting a Constitution that removed Buddhism from its age old position of State Religion. If Buddhism cannot be state religion of a Buddhist Kingdom why continue perpetuating a law that demands life sentence for Chorten robber in the name of preserving national Buddhist heritage.

  4. You say Buddhism is not the state religion of Bhutan? What is it then?

  5. Ap Sanja just came out of the madrassi in Pakistan so he cannot recollect what is the state religion of Bhutan.