When their Majesties the King and Queen of Bhutan hosted their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from England, the common people of Bhutan who enjoyed and admired the sight could not have imagined grassroot benefit from the Royal visit. Now as a result of the Royal visit, a Visa Processing Centre for United Kingdom has been opened here at Thimphu. Thank you Your Royal Highnesses. This is a very meaning full and gift of true friendship.
Australian Visa will also be processed at the same centre.
I look at such a facility as strengthening sovereignty. Somehow when Bhutanese have to travel to another Country to process visa for a third country the pinch is not just more money and time but also inadequacy of our own Kingdom. Fortunately India provides easy access to Bhutanese and Visas of third countries can be processed from Delhi. But it is tiring experience for private Bhutanese citizens.
Visa for Australia is in big demand. Australia has positively uplifted the educational and economic status of many Bhutanese and their families. Sometimes changes in government in Australia has targetted Bhutanese unfairly but in general Australian people have good heart for Bhutan.
I hope United Kingdom, too, offers similar opportunities. Presently the number of Bhutanese in Britain is soscarce as to looking for needle in a hay stack. English speaking Western Countries are special boon to Bhutanese. There are no language or culture barriers. Their ways compliment the carefree and outgoing temperament of Bhutanese. And best is Bhutanese are easy going and hard working and not interested in political activities or social activism.
I feel quite sorry when I hear about Bhutanese youths sweating in Middle East. Different language, terrible climate and alien culture plus not that attractive wage. It is a kind of slavery for little economic gains.
The biggest positive impact to young educated Bhutanese youth will be the opportunity to travel to America to work and study. This will also change our national economy. The attachment of Bhutanese to root is immeasurable. Money will flow back and so will the people in the long run. The nation has to act to meet the basic needs of Bhutanese working away from home.
All RMA has to do is wake up to modern needs. Allow foreign currency accounts for Bhutanese working abroad. The national foreign currency balance will really improve. Black money exchange will dwindle. Presently the unfortunate thing is that RMA has a capable Governor with old ideas. He was there before and many outdated rules perhaps his legacy. And he seems sentimental about it. A good runner stuck deep in old marshland. I had expected some changes for the better when he joined back. But the nation is back to old ways of talking lot and acting hardly. The rupee relaxation was at the Government push and soon it will trickle down because RMA has no forward plan to promote hard currency income.
There are considerable number of Bhutanese working and living in America. Some legally and few perhaps on expired visa. But American authority has been lenient in this aspect.
What Thimphu require is a Visa Processing Centre for United States. Can American Government facilitate Bhutanese to travel and work in the land of dollars? Is it possible to translate the new found American love for everything Bhutanese into real life changing economic benefits for the common people of Bhutan. Can the general Bhutanese people also be part of Act East Policy of United States or is it just the politician and elites?
This is the right time to explore the possibility of opening an United States Visa Office in Bhutan. Right now America and India are on the same wave length. And America has Bhutan in her good radar. The Bhutanese Prime Minister has established close rapport with the American Secretary of State. Convenient access for Bhutanese to United States Visa can solve the youth employment problem in real time. So dear our own Government of Bhutan. Can you arrange for a Visa Office of United States in Thimphu? The protocol and political scenarios cannot be too different for U.K and USA. A real economic and employment boon would be a yearly visa quota . That should be possible. Thank You for any serious action.