Thursday, August 25, 2016

Idle minds and frustrated ambitious are easily excited with malicious thoughts. Defamation?

Do not feel out of depth or oxygen just because a second defamation case is in the process in Bhutan. GNH is a philosophy that the successive governments  try  to incorporate in developmrnt activities but the nation itself is governed by laws not emotions. And this defamation  case is  just between an uneducated businessman who feels wronged by a journalist strongly backed by fellow colleagues in the same field. 

Bhutan accords same right to all:  a commoner, journalist, an elite or a national Political Party. Do not forget that  the first defamation case is still not over. The Opposition Party ( DPT) sued an elite ,  Dasho Benji Dorji for defamation for his one liner fb comment against the Party. So do not so derisively  think that elites are protected by the Court.  

The law must treat all citizens same. If a citizen  can be subjected to a defamation suit in a court of law  by a major Political Party for his one liner fb comment then certainly a business man has to be given  the right by a court to sue a journalist who circulated in mass media several pages of malicious allegations  against him and his family members. Are journalist above ordinary citizens? They are the pampered lot but laws are for everyone, pampered or otherwise. 

Defamation is worrisome only to those who made false allegations and untruthful accusations. Why are journalist groups (some members of JAB) so worried if they believe all that  they have written or supported are facts beyond any stain? They should welcome such a judicial forum wherein they can crucify the businessman they so hatefully despise and get at the Institutions that they so deeply disrespect.

Now why the attempt to hide behind freedom of speech and fundamental rights ? No body has fundamental right to attack so maliciously another individual in mass social media especially when that uneducated person cannot react in the same manner.

And why are some again maliciously making it appear as if freedom of speech is at stake? And further  attempting  to make this defamation case appear as if to protect the elite. What bullshits!  If anyone genuinely believes that  this is a fight between "honourable" journalists and "intolerant" elites then " Please journalists go all out to prove your characterisation of the businessman in the court of law". You can get all your foreign contacts to share your evidences that you submit to the court. Continue to make it a public trial. But make sure your feet are not in dirty waters and your finger tips not swollen with pus.   

For too long some irresponsible writers under the guise of journalistic profession  have had heydays in social media. It is time that we substantiate in a court of law what we so freely dish out especially when it affects adversely the lives and reputation of others  in a small society like the one we have in Bhutan. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The possible stories of Sonam Wangmo and those other unfortunate absconders.

The last few weeks may have been devoted to a case of one money lender and one money borrower.However, there are others also. One hears about similar situations and circumstances and at times also come across the real people involved. Neither the lenders nor the defaulters are indecent or irresponsible people. No money lender would want to end up in a Court and even more so no borrower would want to default or least of all deny financial obligations. Circumstances and situations gets out of hand. And we are imperfect human beings. So things happen without the intent to let these happen. 

In case of Sonam Wangmo though I do not know who she is, I do not expect Sonam Wangmo to have absconded if she had not issued those receipts. And  I do not think she will deny having issued those receipts.  From 2014 to 2016 she had all the luxury of time to appear before the Court.  And even her family if they really believed she did no such things as borrowing money and issueing receipts, they could have coaxed her to come. You may say anything outwardly but it is near impossible to believe that an innocent person would hide away from such an important life welfare impacting court case for so long. She had to know what has been happening here and her family has to be in contact with her. 

To humour those who still question, let me say aloud the answer you know to the question you raise.  That person is not going to deny that she issued the receipts.

I have talked to people in similar situations. They do not deny that they owe money. They just are unable to pay and they do not want to go to prison. They are not morally rotten  people who think they can get away with borrowed money. They abscond to buy time, hoping to find ways to repay loans and also avoid public shame and imprisonment. They are bankrupt money wise, not basic qualities of a human being. There is decency still remaining in their bones.  

Sonam Wangmo's mother and younger sister on one hand denies knowing what she had been doing and at the same time claims that she did not issue those  receceipts( I am referring to stories in public domain).  Their claim that she did not issue the receipts and their stand that she Sonam Wangmo kept them in the dark about what she was doing just do not mingle well.

By the way, banking in Bhutan started only in the 1960s. Private money  lending was and still is very much part of Bhutanese economy though to a much lesser extent now. Private lending is not illegal. Those who do not have bank acceptable mortgage usually seek loan from private sources. And those who have plots in urban area or buildings go to Banks to get loan. Definitely they will not seek high interest loan from private sources. Banks charge less than 15 % interest annually whilst minimum charge from money lender maybe 36%.

So people with quality assets go to private source only for two reasons: a) they have exhausted loan facility from banks on their mortgage and b) The loan maybe for illegal activity like gold smuggling or gambling.  Also quite often people try to pay of financial institution loans on constructions through other means. They are caught between two hard rocks. The rent from building they worked so hard to  construct does not meet repayment instalment. We are not supposed to but we do construct the whole building with loans and that pushes loan capital up and the interest charge  though far,  far lower than that of private lenders, comes to substantial amount because the loan capital is huge. And unforseen delays during construction period adds on liability burdens.

I feel sorry for people like Sonam Wangmo. They must have tried  hard to achieve success for themselves and their family  but may have lacked financial discipline or  just got  unlucky.  Some of them lead  high life styles and they are also generous with family members and friends with the money at hand. And when they go bust, those parasites condemn them instead of showing support and understanding.  Thus in desperation and partly to avoid public shame and other consequences like imprisonment, they leave the country. 

But it is not possible to make past disappear and worse life of an absconder in another country, another strange environment must be very lonely and difficult. A kind of open prison. They would want to come back and unlike some family members they would want to keep their side of the bargain with the money lender if at all possible. I pray that the Courts are lenient in some ways if absconders  return. 

I do not condemn Sonam Wangmo. Circumstances must have caught up and her plans may have gone astray at some point of life. But the way she had borrowed money from two banks and other private people shows she was doing something intensely. I wonder if it was she who was the responsible family member constructing the buildings for which loans were availed. Very often the plots may be purchased during parents' time but it is one of the elder capable child that takes up the onerous task of developing it. House construction is a very tedious task evem if you have money in hand. It ages you considerably. 

In Sonam Wangmo's case, maybe she had to be the field active member. That could be the reason why she was the joint owner along with her mother.  Her father had died earlier ( Shacha Wangmo states they were brought up by a single mother). If the buildings were constructed by the mother or by the late father, the property would be only in the mother's name or all three  ( The mother and two daughters). The fact that Sonam Wangmo is a joint owner along with the mother points to the fact that she was the active one who did the actual work among family members.  And most probably she was given the power of attorney to carry out necessary transactions with banks.

For all such people now in dire  situations  and their family members and  money lenders, I would appeal for support and understanding among themselves. Work out an arrangement so that such absconders  can come back. Money lenders cannot be expected to run at loss because they too would  have financial obligations to banks and others. But it should be possible to reach arrangements  whereby the money lenders  recover gradually over a respectable time period  a substantial part of their investment and the borrowers can avoid prison terms. There is a Bhutanese saying in regards to loans (you cannot run away from an arrow stuck on your back). Loans must be paid back sooner or later. Such ingrained sense of social and financial responsibility helped to maintain order and harmony of traditional community life. .

Integrity was never the monopoly of the rich or the educated or the intelligent. You can be poor and uneducated  but still  rich in integrity and have pride in meeting committed obligation. It is not at all advisable for family members and colleagues to attempt to walk off the loan repayment obligations by gambling upon publicity stunts or performing high social media drama of accusing and maligning all else. In the end those absconding family members who are the  actual borrowers and bears responsibility for repayment are made to suffer more than ever by such facades. Do not create a social or legal environment that makes it more difficult for absconders to ever return to the country and the society that they would want to return to.

Monday, August 15, 2016

To former annonymous Ja Dha Waii now self revealed Kuenga Tenzin Dorji

Kuenga Tenzin Dorji. You sure write a proper grammar piece but as is your character, no substance. Let me tell you and your colleagues what is anti national. A person or a group who subverts the authority of the King.

His Majesty was  approached with the appeal of Sacha Wangmo  and consequently the  Supreme Court was  commanded to judicially process the case. The Supreme Court in due deference to the Royal Command was judicially processing the appeal according to Sacha Wangmo.

And so far,  again according to Sacha Wangmo and Namgay Zam, the verdict has not been issued by the Supreme Court.  This means it is still under judicial process. Maybe since the King had issued a direct Command,  the Supreme Court's 3 Justices  may have to submit their judicial finding to His Majesty.

Then all of a sudden Namgay Zam and Sacha Wangmo and possibly few the likes of you decide to take the matter in your own hands. You subvert the Command of the King and declare that you do not trust Supreme Court to impliment the Command. In other words you indirectly state very loudly by your action that you do not trust the authority of the King.

Namgay Zam and Sacha Wangmo allege that Supreme Court Chief Justice is favouring  his father in law and unlike His Majesty,  they do not trust the Supreme Court to uphold justice.

Next you in the guise of " Ja Dha Waii " post a photo of the Chief Justice and demand his removal. You have dictated what the King must do after subverting the Royal Command. I was wondered who the hell was " Ja Dha Waii " until you reacted to my charge of anti national ( it is necessary to build a fire to smoke out the sly fox).  I knew that person will have to react when faced with the crime of his doing. 

I believe that Namgay Zam has been charged with a defamation suit by Sonam Phuntsho. Actually that is the least of her and your worry.  When people subvert the Royal Command and issue public dictates to the King, they need to be charged under the articles of National  Law and Order Act.

Now you can get drunk or plan more anti- national stance.

Defending supposed victim of injustice and calling for removal of Chief Justice says a lot about the depth of characters of the individuals.

It is stated that the verdict has not been passed. So was the posts on injustice an attempt to pre- empt or black mail in acquiring a favourable verdict.

The adversary happened to be the father in law of the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice is not a party to the case. The  Supreme Court has not yet issued it's verdict. Yet the Chief Justice is condemned to be guilty of favouring his father in law.

A photo of the Chief Justice is posted with the demand that he be removed. On what grounds?  Have anyone really come across such similar malicious attack against any Chief Justice and Judiciary of  any Country?

No one has presented any proof/ evidence of nexus in the judicial duty of  the Chief Justice with that of his father in law. You choose your spouse but in laws come as package. And no father in law can be subjected to the likibg of his son in law or daughter in law and vice versa.

It was magnanimous on part of His Majesty the King to order Supreme Court to review once again the High Court verdict. And what gratitude is shown. Even before the Supreme Court has concluded the judicial process, the King is indirectly told to remove the Chief Justice.

This is dangerous both socially, politically and in the callous exercise of freedom of speech. But if it is proven that all along the Chief Justice has been aiding unscrupulously his father in law to deny justice to others then the Chief Justice is guilty of acting against Justice and national interest. However, if he is not guilty then those that cry out for him to be ousted just because they want to ensure their friend/ assumed victim to escape justice, then these people are working against the national interest. The detractors are not prepared to let the Supreme Court  wind up the judicial process of the case and issue the verdict.Why?

His Majesty the King has entertained the appeal of Shacha Wangmo and commanded Supreme Court to re-examine the High Court verdict. But Namgay Zam and Shacha Wangmo do not have the basic human courtesy forget respect for  the  very magnanimous King,  to await the verdict from the Supreme Court. They cried foul and called for removal of the Chief Justice.

Why was the King approached when they had no faith in the working of the King? What is anti national ? Anyone is welcome to define especially the light weight glib writers who have questioned my usage of the term.

I have initially cautioned innocent people from being seduced by sad story. Then there was a post with Chief Justice Photo calling for his removal.

Only then I called for a Open Public Hearing to really get to the bare bone of this huge controversy. Naturally,  Namgay Zam has lot of media colleagues like all other journalists who have the professional power of the pen. They can if they wish create public impression. Thats not to say that there would be seasoned journalists who would not have their own take of the sensational and grave allegations and acted accordingly. It is necessary to determine who is working against the national interests: the Chief Justice or Namgay Zam and her vocal supporters. I do not agree that those who deliberately fuel  controversy and fan malicious allegation can deny responsibility for their deed.

Why are those making cries of justice  not supporting the call for Open Public Hearing for them to substantiate their allegations against the Chief Justice? Afraid that they cannot in person face their own shadows? Afraid that their anti national sentiment will be dug out?

I do not know Sonam Phuntsho. And for that matter I know the Chief Justice only as a public figure. And as for all others you are strangers that I come across in social media. There is no personal likes or dislikes. It's a waste of time.

Let me conclude by asking " Could hecklers for  ' their kind of justice ' awaited,  at the least,  the verdict from the Supreme Court".  Afterall His Majesty the King on behalf of Shacha Wangmo and in the interest of leaving no stone unturned to dispense justice, had magnanimously Commanded Supreme Court to judicially process the case whose appeal had  already been  rejected by the Supreme Court.     

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bhutan Judiciary and Charges made in social media.

Immediate action is called for. The perpetrators  ( The originator and those who shared the link attacking the Chief Justice must be provided with Open Public Hearing by the highest Bhutanese Authority. If there is even an iota of truth, the Authority that appoint Judges must act on impeachment.   And if not, this attack has to be taken as attack against Bhutan and accordingly dealt with. The nation cannot have corrupt Justices and the nation must certainly take to task any and all who subvert the peace and stability of the Kingdom by viciously attacking national institutions on baseless grounds.

During the last few days, I have simply cautioned fb friends not to act brashly and in haste unless they are very certain. And restricted myself to removing from fb list those that spread what seems to me  unfounded allegations and vicious charges.

But now I think it is time that the nation looks into this issue very,very seriously. There must be  no corrupt Justices in Courts  and certainly no anti national forces/ individuals among Bhutanese citizens. This issue cannot be taken lightly because either way the Kingdom is being gravely hurt.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The illness of education in Bhutan begins with ill prepared text books.

Please read Lyonpo Sonam Kinga's work on correcting the social studies text book for class V. 

His  Excellecy Chairman of National Council has made a lasting impactful contribution towards providing the right education to our children. Any others doing the same work cannot have the same weight and positive impact because Bhutanese Agencies have enormous ego. But here that shield of  ego has to come down. Moreover the Education Council has just got a new mandate after the recent merger of that particular curriculum Division/ department with a long  name based in Paro with it.

I think both Lyonpo Thakur and present new Secretary of Education Karma Yeshi were involved at different times with the curriculum division. I am not sure of Lyonpo's role but Secretary Karma Yeshi was heading that curriculum Division. However, if Lyonpo Thakur had any say in the drafting of text books, even if he was drunk or in any other stupor His Excellency just cannot make grammatical mistakes. Lyonpo is the prefect of english language as far as Bhutan is concerned. And Secretary Karma Yeshi should be far more well informed and responsible and so  cannot be so unqualified to have  absorbed so many factual errors if he had taken some practical interests in the drafting of the text books. Otherwise why is he now heading Education as Secretary ? So what was wrong may be in the organisational structure and line of distribution of tasks in the preparation and production of school text books. 

Now among the comments made on Lyonpo Sonam Kinga's commentary,  a person has said that  we must begin by fixing accountability. That to me  is not constructive contribution. Dedicated Bhutanese should not waste time in penalising past. We move forward like Lyonpo Sonam Kinga did.  We immediately correct the text books. I am relieved that Education Council stands ready to begin the task of making proper and correct text books according to the impression that Lyonpo Sonam Kinga got.

My request to Education Council please, please:

a) Do not begin by setting up a committee.

b) Make adequate payment for necessary correction and even improvement of the text books. Please realise competent authors have no time to retype the text books. They need to hire assistant. Moreover one has to pay for their knowledge and time. Leave it to them to consult or make cross reference but provide the finance. Their social contribution lies in making themselves available to execute the task, somehow finding the needed time and required effort. 

So do not be stingy with purse in producing good text books. Please realise why His Majesty the Third King had Kangjur and Tenjur hand written in gold letters. The Teaching are so valuable! So must our school text books be as valuable as gold.  Do not print in gold letters but have the information in the school text books worth gold in the weight of the text books. Why build school physical structures at great cost if students are given fictitious and worse wrong lessons? Good text books are worth substantial investment.

Give one text book to each different qualified individuals with urgent request to work upon it immediately. Rope in Lyonpo Thakur, Lyonpo Sonam Kinga, few Sherubtse professors and other sound academic people. The new improved  text books should be there in schools in the month of February, 2017.

Bhutan has to have a very good pool of such qualified people among Bhutanese citizens to carry out this task immediately and on time. And it has to be Bhutanese correcting the text books especially history,  social studies , geography ( anything related to Bhutan proper ). Please get Kuensel Printing Press to print and bind the text books. Do not waste good product in cheap prints and binding. Negotiate bulk rate with Kuensel but insist for quality as Kuensel's social responsibility to Eduction and do not expect subsidy in cost because budget wise Kuensel is a commercial enterprise.   

c) Meanwhile request school teachers to make all out efforts to teach the right stuff and not blindly follow the incorrect text books as they have been dictated to do in the past. Teachers have incredible enthusiasm and good will if only you recognise their contributions  and goodwill for the overall development of their students. This request must be humbly and sincerely made  by the Education Minister and the Secretary of Education because school administration is not the mandate of Education Council.

d) Set up a two person cell to get feed backs from teachers who teach the subjects on errors in the text books. Collect these crucial  information  and pass them on to the roped in qualified persons entrusted to correct the text books. It will speed up correction progress and also identify all needed corrections. And do not forget to pay  back in monetary form for the correct feed back. Electronic messages cost money and schools do not have adequate Internet connection. Individual teachers have to arrange their own Internet access. Advisable if every school Vice principal for academic collects the feed back from subject teachers and after proper consultation and verification among themselves,  pass on the information to the Education Cell. This way both communication cost and too many mail confusion can be avoided. Also this  way , every feed back to the Cell would be filtered and authenticated for inclusion in the new text book.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Caution! Please be Cautious!

People please think with calm mind and analyse cold facts. Do not jump into something just because your school friend shares supposed sad story of injustice.  Those who gamble and mortgage property to raise money for gambling  from private sources are not innocent. It may appear to be out smarting the law by absconding to avoid law/ repayment obligation ( a character of con man). And it may appear totally right on the part of other family members of the gambler cum absconder to protect the family property put on lien by the gambler through  insinuating so many unproven charges against the money lender and even relatives of such a lender. Then worse  social media known personalities  may get involved to settle their own  personal scores of love or hate using this charade ( sad story) as a shield. Inciting social  malignancy and character assassination is the lowest form of personal vendetta whether you are a past lover or present enemy.

If you have thought over things and you still want to join the what appears to you a social crusade then the field will always remain wide open. I take this trouble  only to caution against haste. When you directly or indirectly attack a personality by name or institution, then you are on the path to destroy that personality and the institution. So you better not base your public support/campaign  on heresay or school/ college friendship. You are not playing inky minky ponky in school. You are no more that carefree student. You are an adult with family and responsibility. So act responsibly without fear but not in haste or on some young school days sentiment. You are legally 100% responsible and yes your have all the human rights. Just do not be so brash as to stomp upon  the name of innocent and the respected ( and I mean just respected not feared or powerful).

Do not sign online petition because most of the time the objective of the initiator/instigator is not laudable though the subject may be catchy like the tune of a popular song. Poison taste sweet.So beware. You have a problem, you raise it under your name. Do not dupe friends and do not use someone else as your tool to settle your personal hates/ jealousies/ grievances.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Just who is the lawful authority over Local Government apart from the King in his duty as the guardian of the Kingdom?

1. Until the Royal Intervention by way of referring the issue to the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of Bhutan refused to respect the Constitution which required Local Governments to sit the full 5 year term. This constitutional body shamed the Constitution by exercising extra constitutional authority.Therefore,  the Election  Commission has disqualified itself from any other role than enabling election process after every 5 year term of elected bodies unless premature term ending is declared by the Supreme Court or the  Parliament and an election must necessarily be held earlier.

2. This time the Home Ministry issued a belated order on 2nd August,16 to the Dzongdags to have the Local Governments whose 5 year term had expired on 28th July,2016 to handover their Charges. Does that mean that Local Governments are administratively subordinate Agencies of  the Government/ Cabinet?

3. The Local Governments must function in close coordination with the Dzongkhag Administrations and Technical Ministries. However, the Local Governments are not subordinate Agencies of the Dzongkha Administration or the Cabinet. The officials of Local Government are elected by the public whilst the Dzongkhag Administration officials are appointees of RCSC and the Government. Moreover, His Majesty grants the Dhar to the Gups and Thrompons in like manner to other elected MPs.

4. The appropriate lawful authority in so far as ordering the handing over after the term expires seems to be the Parliament Secretariat. The Speaker though elected from the ruling Party is a non political entity. And perhaps the most appropriate lawful authority to issue such orders under intimation to the Royal Secretariat for the Local Governments to take charge or relinquish the same . And the interim Incharge of Local Government should be the Geog Administrative Officer assisted by the Gedrung.

I feel that the order for any  election should also originate from the Parliament Secretariat to the Election Commission with due intimation to the Royal Secretariat.

These are food for thoughts. My own thoughts were provoked by the belated order of Home Ministry. How does someone whose term has expired be asked to handover charge? Handing over must be completed on the day or before the constitutional term ends. And under what constitutional provision does the Dzongdag or the Home Ministry could exercise such authority of power transfer?  Therefore, it led me to  think the delay may have  happened because there is no clarity as to whose lawful authority it was to issue necessary orders within the proper time frame. The delay certainly could not be that no one really respects or refers  to the constitutional provisions except when such served their self political interest.


Monday, August 1, 2016

The height and depth of illness of Wangdue Dzongkha.

The local administrators and business people there want to upgrade the Bajo High School to College for the purpose of ensuring commercial  prosperity of few of them.  They feel that after Punatsangchu Projects,  the college would sustain the building owners and thus the Bajo town.
How so selfish and brazen!

The existing High School should never be turned to a college. Good school is the foundation of education. The Kingdom has committed to providing schooling to all Bhutanese children. The Government can build a new college or better still the business people can build a college if they feel there is good prospect.