Friday, June 24, 2016

The not so smart world leaders and their unnecessary uneducated call ups.

President Obama and Democratic Party Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of United States and Naredra Modi Prime Minister of India called on the people of United Kingdom to vote to stay in European Union. My own comment in social media was " leave it to the people of United Kingdom" though individual outside views have little or no relevance.  But I think it was not just bad politics but stupid leadership to attempt to so publicly intervene in another nation's national referendum and end up alienating the majority of the voters of that nation.

Last night the People of United Kingdom voted to exit European Union. I thought the present British Government Leaders who campaigned to stay within the EU would now accept the majority decision of their people and get on with the task of building the  " independent Britain". But these fellows are still spelling doomsday. Perhaps the Government will now exit if incapable of moving beyond campaign strategy.

Campaigning and adopting strategies  before the votes are cast is altogether a different political ball game to preparing the nation and mustering the political resolve to implement to the best national interest the will of the majority cast in the election.  But such national Leadership ability seem scarce even in a long time democratic Country. No wonder most Political Parties are stuck in perenial election mode to the detriment of progressive national interest.

The Parliamentary decorum. The debate on Speaker and Shemgang Pangbang MP

I was reading through the differing views on this incident posted on fb.  What has occurred is of the past and  probably both His Excellency the Speaker and the Honourable MP of Pangbang have long gotten over the exchange. However, there is a need to understand or rather get used to culture of democracy because democracy is an outside culture that Bhutan imported in  keeping with the national philosophy to preserve what is good in our culture and tradition and adopt what are good culture and practice  of others to foster vibrant development of a nation state.  Stagnation leads to decay, therefore, growth and diversity is a must for the good health of a progressive nation.

Against the back drop of 8 years old democracy inroad in national polity, I am rather surprised at the lack of political comprehension or the unwillingness to accept the ripples of democracy principles. It is kind of rejecting  the reflection in the mirror.

I feel that the Pangbang MP stating the views of the Opposition on the Floor of the Assembly or Parliament and his one time expression of frustration with the stinginess of time/ opportunity allotted by the Speaker to the Opposition (in his perception) is a natural process of Parliamentary democracy. 

There is such a thing as the main Spokesperson of a Party. And in case of DPT,  it is clear that quite articulate MP Dasho Dorji Wangdi former Lyonpo is the chosen Spokesperson of the Opposition. And he will try to seek the opportunity  to express considered views of his Party  on any issue  under discussion on the Floor.  The Opposition has the right to state it's views in the National Assembly and the Parliament.  And it is not out of political forum or  parliamentary decorum to question directly  the Speaker on perceived appearance of prejudiced behaviour of the Chair ( whether such a perception is realistic or is a matter of debate or what majority onlookers think is a different matter).  In a democratic forum,  no Position or Post can demand respect as a matter of unquestionable right (except the reverred Throne and perhaps the Dratsang  though the constitutional secularism factor  may give rise to debate on this  assumption). 

And plain, ordinary, everyday language is not an insult.  It is obiously starkly  different  from the artificial kneel down flowery and flattering  language that has become a new culture in the Parliament after democracy came into being. I think this culture was introduced by the first ruling Party from whose rank the Speaker is chosen,  to intimidate the Opposition. The Speaker has  always been  addressed reverently during the pre -democratic National Assembly that is equalivalent to present day Parliament.  But not to the extent of present profusion.

To wait for one' s turn to take the Floor and to address the Speaker as Honourable Speaker ( Meijay Tsogpon ) is admirable parliamentary decorum. There is dignity in such decorum.  But to thank the Speaker profusely each time one is given an opportunity to take the Floor is rather too much of an endearing act. To me it is a kind of a slavish homage which is certainly outside the  context of democracy. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A necessary Clarification.

Some fb friends may be wondering about the deletion of my blog about the preposterous 83 % unfit youth population.

Just to explain,  I deleted it yesterday morning on my own accord.  I had meant to keep the blog  posted for 3 days only to create awareness of the preposterous assertions by the one person who had the responsibility to be more cautious than any of us.

But it had to be extended because the very person who shared the Kuensel article in social media on 12 the June  ( to which I had responded with the quit education Ministry blog) again wrote a letter to me and after 8 hrs. of posting the letter took the trouble to tag me. Anyway I have responded after my attention was drawn to the letter. And had extended by a day my particular  blog on the subject for reference by those who read the letter. 

I do not have personal issues with anyone including a Minister. But I really wish that the youths our national  promise of tomorrow are not used as tools of never ending Party Politics.

The Kingdom of Bhutan has youth drug problems and malnutrition problems. But it is grossly  incorrect and vicious politics to declare that over 50% of student population are into drugs and 33 % are stunted. This shameful false assertion makes a mockery of Royal statements by both Kings that youth are future of Bhutan and that their Majesties have placed their hopes and dreams of the future of the Kingdom upon the youth. In fact just a few days back His Majesty was addressing a very large gathering of Graduates on the great day of their  convocation.

I have no personal issues with the Education Minister. This is a national issue and I condemn him for such shameless behaviour and false statements. But as long as he is a Minister or MP, all of you will observe that if I ever come across Lyonpo, I will not lack in formal courtesy. After all our King has granted the blue scarf and patang to MPs  and orange scarf to Ministers or equivalent rank. It is our duty to respect the recognitions granted by our Monarch. One cannot claim loyalty and respect to the King and yet not respect the Royal recognitions granted to fellow citizens.  Thank you.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tax Reform Bill, 2016 -

Congratulations to the Finance Minister and the officials of Finance Ministry on getting the annual budget and tax reform bill passed. I would like to interpret the few no votes as supporting the richer class against mineral tax increase rather than being against lower income bracket tax relief in raising minimum PIT exemption limit.

Sorry about Shemgang getting less budget. It is one of the poorest Dzongkhag. Hope Government will consider more in the next turn.

With this tax reform the Cabinet has not just fulfilled their Party's election commitment but has thankfully taken a giant step in providing the much needed relief to the lower income group whether a salaried person or a small shop owner. From providing 100 electricity units free in rural region to this tax relief that will cater mainly to urban low incomers the Government has provided economic relief to the grassroot masses. It is one effective path to bridging the widening gap between poor and rich.

I am in no position to speak on behalf of anyone. But I feel that there would be many who would be thankful for this parity deed of the Government. Thank you.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Muhammad Ali the Greatest.

The eulogies at the final farewell ceremony for the greatest boxer and civil right fighter tells a great deal about a sport man who enchanted the multiracial nation of America and the world.

About his race he said ,"I am black and I am pretty". About his ability and confidence, he said, " I am the greatest". And as a human being he stood his ground against American war in Vietnam and said, " Why should I shoot down people that have done no harm to me or my Country".

Muhammad Ali born an all black American attained the crown of being an absolute character of all of America: black, white and all other multiraces of United States of America.

If one truly wants to measure success of a person in one lifetime, Muhammad Ali certainly comes at the top of the list.

It is not necessary to be a Pope, a Monarch, a President, a Prime Minister or even any type of Political leader to be known throughout the world. And Muhammad Ali has achieved what so many aspire for and that too whilst being subjected to Parkinson disease for more than half his entire age of 74 years. Life of Mr. Ali humbles many others. "Impossible is nothing" he said. And truly not much was impossible for him in his life time. As said at the funeral service , " At the moment of impact it lighted up the whole surrounding". That was what people felt when they were in his presence.

Stars of all races in religion, politics and sports lined up to be his pall bearers and to pay tribute to him.

At the time when he won Olympic gold medal he was " not allowed to eat in the same restaurant as whites " in America  because he was black. And later in life  it became a privilege and honour to be seen in his company for all walks of people. That was the person and personality of Muhammad Ali and the heights he ascended.

Muhammad Ali never apologised for being what he was. Instead he championed for his beliefs and triumphed. He believed he was the champion and he became the champion in every sphere of his national and international life.  It is such a personality that deserves true love and respect. He was a lone revolutionist who achieved his giant goals in spectacular manners.  And not a drop of blood was shed in the process. No colleague or foe died in his fights for social, religious and civil rights. He personally  paid high costs but to him it was all investment for the greater good of Humanity. And as always he proved to be right.

The greatest of the great, the most authentic champion has proved that nothing is " impossible" if you have the courage and faith of Muhammad Ali.

Hail to such a great Soul of Humanity! Great Life. Great Shine. The Greatest of the Great!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Haa Moenlam Chhenmo and it's distractions.

SOn 3rd June evening, BBS2 showed an hour long interviews with few personalities of Haa Moenlam Chhenmo Organisers.

1. I thank venerable Lam Neten and Haa Dratsang. And I thank Dasho Dzongda. Both venerable Lam and Dasho had such positive attitude towards the Moenlam Chhenmo.

2. I thank both Seniors Dasho Nob Gyeltshen and Aue Dori Desang for their concern on the toil placed upon the common folks for construction of Moenlam Chhenmo Shed. They were requesting Dzongkhag help to construct a permanent Hall.

3. I wish to humbly remind the Moenlam Chhenmo Thrizen Dasho Nim Tshering that cheques are not supposed to be signed by Thrizen and his deputy. It was unfortunately done during Dasho Dr. Gado's time as Thrizen. As per approved Chatrim, the General Body   approves  the advance and then the Executive Committee is to operate the specific Moenlam budget/ advance through an account specially to be opened for the occasion. The advance is to be transferred from the main account to such a subsidiary account  Ofcourse the Thrizen and Deputy have full authority and responsibility to supervise everything. There is the Audit Committee to check and verify all accounts. There is also a stakeholder group to register all contributions. 

4. I drafted the Chatrim when people of Haa requested that Haa Moenlam Chhenmo fund had to be protected from some forces who were in the process of hijacking the fund for other purposes. All of you are well aware of the background.  The Chatrim was approved by the General Body for Moenlam Chhenmo comprising of Haa Dratsang, Dzongkhag Administration, the Gups, the initiators of 1st Moenlam Chhenmo and Chundu Tsokpa. And was even submitted to His Holiness who appreciated it not just in words but by deeds.

5. For record I had nothing to do with initial 1st Moenlam Chhenpo and the subsequent ones managed by Chhundu Tsokpa and others. That's is why I always acknowledged the vital role of original three persons who initiated and then Chhundu Tsokpa who consolidated the process. And I am always thankful that Chundu Tsokpa have such good reverential relation with His Holiness that later encompassed all of Haa people in the Good Will and Blessings of His Holiness Trulku Jigme Chhoedra the 70th Jhe Khenpo. The Moenlam Chhenpo fund is also due to all contributions from mainly people of Haa origin.

Our deepest  gratitude must be to His Holiness for always fitting Haa Moenlam Chhenmo in his busy and tight schedules. Due to respect and reverence for His Holiness, people flocked to Moenlam Chhenmo and made so much monetary contributions as well as overwhelming rush to serve meals to the congregation. The fact is without the people of Haa even the Nu: 3 lakhs capital  as considerable as it was at that time it could not finance a Moenlam Chhenmo. There was so much contributions that at the end several lakhs were left over to start the real fund when Chundu Tsokpa was asked to manage the second Moenlam Chhenmo.

6. I would like to inform the Gups that it is not necessary to rotate Geog wise to manage annual Moenlam Chhenmo. There is the Executive Committee to do that. But if Gups want to do that then do it under supervision and budget from the Executive Committee. All of you have a role in the General Body to elect post holders of all Committees and Thrizen and his deputy for three years term. If people trust you you will be elected. So do not look to create different avenues to seek extraordinary roles. And please do not call for compulsory labour contributions and monetary contributions from village people of your Geog.  They are not your slaves nor your purse. You are not saving Moenlam Chhenmo fund. You are creating sources for individual corrupt practice. 

Moenlam Chhenmo of Haa is especially to benefit the souls of the departed and make it possible for those people of Haa who cannot travel out to get such Spiritual Blessings. It is not supposed to be an opportunity for local leaders to boss around the simple folks. People of all walks of life in Haa are to receive Blessings thanks to Haa Moenlam Chhenmo and not toil to make possible Moenlam Chhenmo. People are always toiling in their daily lives. They just do not need another glorified reason to toil and get bullied in the name of good deed.

7. There is more than sufficient fund to meet any and all expenses.  Just spend on what is necessary. And not lavish upon individual inspirations and pet activities. I have throughly examined the income flow. It is always far more than expanses. This is why there is considerable fund that we do not even have to touch.

8. I must thank so many of our notable figures especially among  business people for always generously contributing both money and time to Moenlam Chhenmo. And only expecting spiritual blessings in return.

9. Today I hear you are looking to institute new rules. I hope such rules are not for sanctifying the wrong doings of few. If Chatrim that was approved by all is respected to the letter even  if not in spirit there is no need for new rules. Please for your own good health do not look towards self benefit from Moenlam Chhenmo activities.  The Miriphuensum is always watching. You have seen what can befall those who treat public religious fund as their own biefdom. 

10. At BBS reporter prodding,  the Dzongkhag Tsogdue Thrizen who is also the Deputy Thrizen of Haa Moenlam Chhenmo declared that  after banning the traditional Soelkha sacrifice to Ap Chhundu in 2013,  there has been no earthquake and no wind storm. He is wrong.  There were but not so impactful.  And that applies to all parts of Bhutan not just Haa.

Also we have to be careful to draw quick conclusions of goodness in altering traditional offerings. Let me illustrate:

a) You can say that after the banning of one single yak offering to Ap Chhundu in 2013, the Prime Minister of Bhutan was elected from Haa. Next if we ban meat diet for all Haaps  then the 7th King will be born in Haa.

b) To this great goodness, one can counter by saying that national  political storm happened  in 2013. And later even His Holiness decided for whatever reasons to take a leave of absence for one year from his religious throne. Such a leave is unimaginable and unheard of in our Dratsang history.   So it is a matter of our capricious and fluid mind and spirit conjectures  to claims things as we want to see.

c) Ap Chundu is not just a deity of Haa. It is said that all dwelling that raise a flag on the roof are his households and all men are his soldiers. He is not meant to be controlled He must be respected in his fiery form so that we are protected by such aura. And frankly it is too early to state for sure the consequences of banning his offering and  taming Ap Chundu.

And please do not use Moenlam Chhenmo to totally upset the animal husbandry livelihood before you can deliver an alternative to the folks. I too cherish life so much so that not just killing animals I do not even cut a down a tree for a prayer flag pole. But I have no right to stop people from rearing a pig to meet their livelihood necessities unless I can provide a decent economical alternative. Try not to dictate but rather provide solutions so that what is less preferable can be gradually abandoned. 

I never wanted to be the Chairman of Haa Moenlam Chhenmo. But I was obliged to when members refused to budge. So we compromised on one year term instead of usual 3 year term. Then I handed over to Dasho Dr. Gado. Unfortunately some were not happy though I have no complaints. Again I was approached by many to take up the post and the only way to avoid it gracefully was to avoid the General Body Meeting. I have avoided attending Moenlam Chhenmo itself  because I want to avoid knowing details.  As long as it is held every year I am grateful. But today I hear some national declaration from some of you. And I think it is only fair that once outside Haa,  the opinion/facts must be balanced. So you have had your say on BBS and I who might be representing more than just me or few have decided to say it in social media. We all have our own responsibilities to our beloved Valley, in our regards for our community and reverence for Ap Chundu and Miriphurnsum. Let us honestly and sincerely fulfill such duties in the best possible intent of general goodness for the majority. Thank you and warm regards.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

2nd June the Day of Humanity and Nature.

Today is the 2nd of June and  I am in a celebratory mood- a big holiday mood actually. I am on holiday all days- physically relaxed and mentally open. But 2nd June is just special.

The Coronation Day of the great Fourth the Triple Gem King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and his Mother Earth Love.

The Day to celebrate the spirit of good conservation of mother earth and all her resources. In Bhutan it is called social forestry day. We plant trees! Bhutanese people of all ages and walk of life understand what it means to plant trees though many do not understand what  all the high flying carbon talk is about.  Preservation and Promotion of Natural Environment was a key policy of the great King. And this noble intent and effect is transmitted and translated in the form of planting a tree. What better more illustrative way to enhance the culture of environmental preservation and promotion can anyone else think of. This is revelation of grass root knowledge of your subjects.

To this same King,  GNH task is simply increasing the number of  simple  and loving families in Bhutaese society with shelter and food for the day and who make the offering of water chhoeba in the morning. It represent the sum  total good heath in spirit and body. No fancy countless pillars and branches. Those are created by Bhutanese agencies for Western fanciful sophisticated  minds. Western experts need big confusing theories to feed their ego. They have long departed from simple basic realities of life.

His Majesty King Jigme Singye  Wangchuck of Bhutan was born a prince who chose to be simply a Bhutanese at heart and in his living ways. He lives closely to the natural environment that still nourish the majority of Bhutanese that live in rural Bhutan.

Anyone  in high political posts can have grand ideas and make great prouncements of such. But only one human being was able to grasp the basic essentialities of earthly life and the means to achieve it. The philosophy of happiness for the majority and the goodness of natural environment. And the simple paths to acquire and develop meaningful sustainable livelihood for the entire nation which if duplicated sincerely can be for the whole world. He is one person that I have critically watched and when opportunity presented frankly shared my thoughts aloud. And so I have some basis of understanding the Royal personality..

This Kingdom of Bhutan is blessed with the Buddha of this earthly life. The other most reverred Buddha taught the path to heavenly life in the next phase. King Jigme Singye  Wangchuck taught his people the path to better living here on earth within the span of our life time.  And like the Teachings  of Lord Buddha the paths that this Buddha King taught will stand in good deed for centuries to come Bhutanese. 

Your Majesty,  You are humanely a great God.  2nd June will always be a celebratory day for me personally and I feel it will be the same for many who have benefited from your philosophy of life whether Bhutanese or otherwise.  Thank You for the Happiness Reign.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Are we already there at the next General Election of Bhutan?

The controversial suggestion by the Bhutanese Newspaper about the out of Parliament  3 Bhutanese Political Parties teaming up for next national election.

I went  through the initial responses to the  Bhutanese News article shared by Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho the Leader of the Opposition. Then reading the responses in the social media  after the BKP President denied his knowledge of such a talk. And again the follow up explanation/ justification by  the Bhutanese chief editor in the social media. I add up all these and gets the following conclusion.

Looks like DNT did not approach BKP. So possibly it was an idea between two tenzings  ( Tenzing Lekphell former general secretary of DNT and Tenzing Lamsang of the Bhutanese ) and the Bhutanese Newspaper  was used as a tool to sound out the other Parties. Seems BKP President had already reacted negatively to the feelers from the Bhutanese. And he was possibly  unhappy that in spite of his rubbishing  of such an idea  the Bhutanese Newspaper went ahead anyway  printing such a news story that did not happen.  Thus his direct rejection in the social media which was followed up by many accusing  the Bhutanese for false representation of national political affairs.  So the issue is not about reading or not reading fully the first article by the Bhutanese as made out by Tenzing Lamsang.  It seems  the shared feeling of the respondents is that the  Bhutanese Chief editor Tenzing Lamsang in collusion with Tenzin Lekphell of DNT  may perhaps had created the idea of the 3 political Parties joining hands and put it out as national news.

Now what conclusions the silent readers have drawn is anyone's guess.

But for sure Tenzing Lamsang has made his political move for the next General Election. Is it going to happen before 2018 or the Bhutanese making a Trial Run rather early? He is usually ahead by miles of others in the Bhutanese Media.

And personally I would not rule out Political Parties teaming up at some stage of the next national election. It happens everywhere. In Bhutan the precedent has been set by DNT and PDP during the last General Election and approved by ECB despite the unconstitutionality of such merger. And what happened in the last  General Election is enevitable in true practical practise  of open democracy.   So it will happen again. Thus Tenzing Lamsang may be foretelling future News rather than presenting present News. Good Luck Readers.

Our reverred Constitution lays down  principles of what I feel a controlled  democracy in that there are enshrined set criterias  for political candidates' academic qualifications , maximum age limit eligibility for election participation and particularly  what the Opposition Party role is in the Parliament. Open democracy would not be having these set criterias. The choice would be left entirely to the eligible Voters. For the present it is the chosen Bhutanese way to progressive development of full  democracy in the near future. Such constitutional guidance may be deemed essential to nurse our national capability to handle and more importantly digest democracy free of chaos that may follow from sudden indigestion of political change from absolute Monarchy to Democracy. I therefore, try to understand the inbuilt precautionary measures and also try to  comprehend the forces of democracy gradually over riding the constitutional restrictions to accommodate popular trends in other nations with Democratic governance.