Saturday, February 6, 2016

The confusions and divisions that could result from perplexing signals from the Bhutanese Cabinet.

1. Every Minister has adopted two Dzongkhags. That was a public declaration at Pema Gatsel about a month back.

2. Today the Govetnment decision is 4 Cabinet Ministers from the Eastern Region of Bhutan has formed a special Committee to babysit Eastern Dzobgkhags people interests.

2. The Yongfula airport is to develop the East. So not really for overall national connectivity ?

3. The Klongchu hydro project is not a national venture but a eastern Bhutan economic push lobbied by the 4 cabinet Ministers. When was the project conceived?

4. The East West Highway expansion would in reality benefit the whole nation. But it is declared to be built only for the East according to 4 minister task force.

5. The additional schools planned in the East could very well house students from all over Bhutan. But politically these investments are only for the East so declares the 4 minister task force.

In retrospection, maybe the south high ways were deemed to be only for the lhotsampas in the south and therefore was cancelled. I believed the highways would serve the whole national purpose and therefore had lamented the cancellations.

In retrospection, maybe better relationship with China and  embassy level relation with Japan was determined to be only in the interest of Foreign Ministry officials' posting opportunity and so was concluded to be irrelevant. Perhaps a thought about national benefit would have resulted in a much more worldly polity awareness decision.

The people may not speak out or maybe they will speak but only what superiors want to hear. How and what will people of the East, South and West view the 4 cabinet minister committee for the East. In it's endeavour to project a pro East image, the Government is raising the stake in political gamble. Every political party must look after its own welfare and promote future party prospects. However, could confusion and divisions achieve political party goal in a sustainable manner ?

When PDP defeated DPT in 2013 , my comment was that there may be many reasons put forth for DPT loss but ultimately their leadership has to realise that PDP was politically more smart and that PDP President simply played his cards well. A man's outer image may change with transition from opposition leader to the Primeministership but in 3 years duration, he could not have misplaced his political direction. So the political acts till date maybe only represent half the Act. That's why these appear confusing and divisive to me and possibly to some others also. The whole picture would emerge by 2018 !

I respect the diversity of the East, West and South. Also since East have more population and more educated population and more employed population, the migration trend would naturally be more in the East. There are gungtongs in all rural areas of Bhutan and where the migration movement is more, there will be more empty village houses. In Haa Dzongkhag for example all the hill top village settlements have disappeared. The famed Gompas are reduced to just the Temples and that too because Central Monastic Body kindly took over the management. Education, economic opportunity and population integration have changed traditional social fabrics. . In Paro the gem of western Bhutan, the souls that vibrate today  are Sharchops the people from the East. Thimphu Thromde the capital of Bhutan will have major Lhotsampa voters within a decade.

As a Bhutanese, I do not think we need to have special cabinet steering committee for East, West or South. Bhutan belongs to all Bhutanese and so freedom of migration and residency must be respected and comprehended in socio economic plans. The eastern Bhutanese will understand that west-east highway or Klongchu hydro project will not be exclusively theirs to enjoy. In the west, the western people are out numbered by people from the East and South. Exclusivity is unheard of  and not even expected. There are almost 100000 people living in Thimphu Thromde and there are less than 5000 original Wang people voters. A revolution have taken over in the national demography and our political leaders are still stuck in the mud pool of regional politics. A four Cabinet Ministers task force for the Eastern people may serve some purpose if the objective is to consolidate their constituency influence but then four MPs cannot gain a Government. So PDP needs another 5 task force comprising of balance Ministers and other MPs.

By all means, please take development to all corners of the Kingdom but do it in the name of national prosperity and benefit for all Bhutanese. We can get excited about 20 Dzongkhags, several Dungkgags and over 40 proposed Thromdes of various sizes. But reality is that all of Bhutan put together is still a pigmy size compared to the West Bengal State of Republic of India. So dividing Bhutan by region wise, ethnic wise or culture wise cannot sustain long term national goal. The geographic and population size of Bhutan is too small to be divided in such political manner.


  1. Hope that neighbouring country may not take advantages and may not happen like Russia and Crimyea.

  2. We know that east is least developed compared to western Dzongkhags and developmental activities are also required to be focused in Eastern Dzongkhags as well for regional balance to curve the rural urban migration, but way these MINISTERS declare it may send wrong messages to the people. Just as Wangcha Sangay mentions, if should realized how small is our country and we cannot afford to divide ourselves like that. Support the developmental cause but not like that.

  3. Thats what happens when you have immatures running the country