Friday, July 14, 2017

Dear concerned journalists of Doklam conflict.

I do not engage in fostering media hype of a situation. For this reason I do not accept  interview requests or answer questions sent to me that are out of the context of my article. But I am ready to sit down with any reaaonable entity and at appropriate place in regards to the content of my article. I can defend what I wrote. However, please do not ask me to guess how all Bhutanese think or who likes or dislikes whom and what is to happen, hereafter, to Doklam and Bhutan and consequences with her neighbours. I was and am only interested in clearing air about Royal Bhutan Army alleged role in the Doklam standoff between India and China.

For many media houses and journalists, the objective could be to create more controversies and thereby more news rather than reveal just facts.  My article on Doklam dealt with one fact. That was that Royal Bhutan Army would not have asked Indian Army to intervene. And I provided substantive reasons backed by past events to base my stand. Simple. Not supporting India or China. And not questioning any relationships. Just demonstrating that the reason for Indian Army entering Doklam a disputed area between China and Bhutan cannot be attributed to Royal Bhutan Army.

And to a degree the article was validated.  Since then Indian sources have stopped playing up that Bhutan Army angle and stuck to Indian security concerns. And Chinese did not readily accept the blame put on Bhutan Army.  However, I take no credit. Looks like few Bhutanese fb friends shared my article and their journalists friends saw the opportunity to translate it into Chinese language and had published the translated version along side my original article in english. That caught attention of many in the world. And Indian media representative offices in Beijing also noticed. So attention of both Indian, Chinese and others including scholars and analysts were drawn to my article. Whoever translated and published the article was responsible for getting the facts out for a wider audience to scrutinise. 

My article " Understanding Sino-Bhutan Border issues at Doklam. Search for truth "  was intended to reassure our own people that Royal Bhutan Army was not a messenger boy of the Indian Army as was implied by the allegation. I had no idea that my article would find wider audience and impact those in China and India. I blog on many  issues of both national and international nature.  In Bhutan some  people pay attention because they find me forthright and also often I was proved right by turn of events. But outside media never noticed what I wrote. It suited me fine. I seek no publicity or popularity like a journalist. I am quite self comfortable  in my individuality within Bhutan.

Just two examples to illustrate my point to outside journalist/ media that what I wrote never mattered nor noticed by them till now. Therefore, I had no reasons to assume that this time it would be any different.

When Rahul Gandhi tore up the Ordinance whilst PM Singh was in Washington,  I wrote that his action signaled  the beginning of end of Congress Party  because he was challenging the old guards who actually constitute the backbone of Gandhi Family Congress Party. 

During American Primary Election Phase, I wrote that Trump was the one to watch out. And I think I was among the few political watchers who concluded that Hillary would lose. I also expected the backlash of old political establishment of both Parties Republican and Democrat against President Trump.  Not initially with the aim to oust him but to tame him to their interests also. American Presidency is more of a high stakes within American political and corporate establishments than to the world at large. Maybe same in other nations also.

It really does not matter to Bhutan which Political Party comes to power in India or who becomes American President. Generally, these two nations operate within the same set foreign policy parameters towards Bhutan. I wrote about these simply because  comprehending political developments accurately is good mental  exercise. And sharing the same with fellow Bhutanese can be of mutual benefit.

At Doklam whoever wins whether it is China or India, for sure Bhutan cannot  have it. Even if China gives Doklam to Bhutan, it is clear from recent developments that India will takeover for her strategic purposes.  Unless a totally new arrangement is feasible, under prevailing circumstance, either way,  Bhutan is out.  Whether Bhutan can move forward and seal the Sino- Bhutan Border Agreement depends on the political acumen capacity of Bhutanese leadership. I do not for sure know how strong is Bhutan's claim on Doklam since our history is more oral based than documented in writing. And India's contention is in worse shape  as she was under Britain until 1947. And it was British India who sold out Doklam to China.

But for sure whatever comes out of Doklam conflict, Bhutan Army will remain for Bhutan to keep and Bhutanese to trust. Thus my expression of confidence in the integrity of our own Army.

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