Monday, August 28, 2017

Doklam is free from Trespassers. May the Deities of Bhutan always prevail !

My deepest admirations and respects for His Majesty the People's King of Bhutan and the Government of Bhutan for ensuring that the  true and natural sovereign respecting status quo is maintained at Doklam. Small and militarily tiny Bhutan is but courage and wisdom saw the nation through intact. The Indian troops have withdrawn back to Indian Border. There is no shame is doing the right thing, dear Indian Army. Defend your great nation and respect our heavenly Kingdom.

I sincerely thank His Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India for taking the right step and correcting the mis- step of war- mongering politicians and bureaucrats. Please appoint an independant Defence Minister to avoid free rides for war- mongers. Shri Arun Jaitley is over stretched and buried under Note Ban deluge and GST complexities.

Bhutan has been a sovereign nation since time immemorial and a Kingdom since 1907. The Kingdom of Bhutan and their Majesties the Kings have been genuine friends of India. Bhutan shared the joys of India when she received her independence from the British Empire in 1947. And in 1962,  Bhutan sympathised Indian losses and defeat from the Chinese forces  and extended all help to provide safe passage to the fleeing Indian soldiers from Tawang through Bhutan to India. Bhutan always extended a  helping hand to India in times of real need.

India on the other hand,  instigated two uprisings of ethnic group in Southern Bhutan ( 1956 and 1989 ). Flooded Southern Bhutan with Indian militant groups during the 1990s after the unsuccessful 2nd ethnic uprising. Then attempted to hijack Bhutanese democratic Government formation in 2013 and this year 2017, India invaded Bhutanese territory. Please review history. Bhutan did not seek Indian assistance or friendship. 

Only after His Excellency Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru of India undertook the arduous  himalayan trek to Bhutan in 1958 and offered friendship on equal terms and India's respect for Bhutan's sovereignty, the King of Bhutan consented to establish both economic and political relationships with India. Indian bureaucrats, politicians, and media should revisit the speech of Shri Pandit Nehru to the people of Bhutan.  

Those words are as solid and meaningful  as that of his " freedom at midnight" speech heralding the Independence of India. And yet successive Indian Governments betrayed his commitments to Bhutan just like they betrayed Gandhi's dream of co- existence for all Indian races and religions.

Bhutan was never a " protectorate state"  of India nor that of British Raj of India. The clause " to be guided in foreign affairs " in 1949 Bhutan-India Treaty was just a copycat term of Sinchula Treaty that British India imposed on Bhutan in 1865. Further in 1865, Bhutan was following an Isolationist Policy dealing only with Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh. There was no other foreign relation plans. Since 1949, Bhutan never adhered to that term with  independent India.  And reflecting ground reality, this dormant clause was removed in the revised  2007 Bhutan- IndiaTreaty.  Thus eradicating any lingering vintage of overlordship of India in any affairs of Bhutan including external affairs. And this fact must remain imprinted on any cooperation between Bhutan and India.

India must take note of an edict issued by His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck that in summary declared for all within and without that " in the Kingdom of Bhutan, the King of Bhutan shall always be the sovereign ruler and ultimate authority ". This was not a direct reminder to India but it was issued in due course after India offered military back- up to the King at the time of the assassination of the Prime Minister Jigme Palden Dorji of Bhutan by the Brigadier in Command of Bhutan Army Operational aspects. 

His Majesty who was abroad on medical treatment returned to Bhutan to deal with the crisis. The King firmly declined  Indian Government's offer to send Indian Army into Bhutan  " to quell the mutiny " so reasoned India.  Indian Government must have been utterly  dismayed when the King summoned his  Brigadier to the Palace and Commanded him to surrender himself over to the military police for court- Marshall proceedings.

A similar historic event was repeated in 2003. His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck declined Indian offer to send Indian Army to dislodge ( most ironically) militants groups of India who were fighting for their respective state autonomy.  The King declined and led his own Bhutanese Army to crush and expel all such militants groups to the utter shock of Indian Army. Tiny Bhutan Army succeeded where for decades the mighty Indian Army failed. 

This time at Doklam, India did not bother to ask His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck. Indian Army simply trooped into Bhutanese and Chinese territories at Doklam Plateau on the pretext of defending Bhutanese territory.  India thought it would be a piece of cake like the 2013 intrusions in the General Election of Bhutan. Few years ago, the Bhutanese authority was ill prepared for such well orchestrated action and propaganda that various agencies of India enacted. But this time, once burnt twice shy kind of maturity was demonstrated by Bhutan after the initial confusion that resulted in " one namesake demarche and one solitary press release". 

That " Protectorate state " claim of India  shocked the Bhutanese leadership to the danger that loomed over the Kingdom's sovereignty. Thank God this Indian attempt at Bhutanese sovereignty heist occurred when the reigning King had acquired 11 years of experience on the job and the birth of the  Crown Prince to whom the King has the hereditary duty to enthrone later in likened manner of his own enthronement by his illustrious great father the 4th King. There cannot be a future King if the Kingdom is not preserved now.  And above all our Great 4th King is in the best of health and immensely over versed in  all the intricacies and manoeuvres of politics of India. Modi is just another Prime Minister of India whose time has come and whose time will pass. And the Wangchuck Dynasty will flourish along with the Kingdom and the people of Bhutan for many more centuries.

I am relieved that China stood firm and upheld Bhutanese sovereignty. And the  Deities of our beloved Kingdom stood omnipotent and omniscient. Thank You Triple Gem. Kuenchho Soum is the Greatest !

Despite so many unsavory threats posed by India to Bhutsn's sovereign existence, Bhutanese wish to be friends with Indian people. We cannot choose our neighbours so we choose to be friends with both the neighbouring giants:  India and China. India will always enjoy better advantages than China. But do not squander away such opportunities. Be deserving of Bhutan's goodwill and best of friendship.

Bhutan, China and India have been designed and destined to be neighbours whether the geographical positioning is to our liking or not. So we might as well move forward for sounder peace, greater prosperity and better trust worthy friendships. We cannot be equal in material resources and military might. But as sovereign nations, practise  equal respects. May Bhutan, China and India become better neighbours.

Hurrah for the sacred sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Pelden Drukpa Lha Gyel Lo !

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Corporatisation is no solution for better health services.

In regards to corporatisation of JDWNRH, I support the position taken by the Opposition Party. Here the Government has a larger responsibility than simply finding a way of bypassing RCSC. The very nomenclature " Corporation " corrupts the constitutional mandate to provide health services to the people free of cost. The very theme of Corporation is commercial success. Bhutan needs better health service not better commercial success in health sector. Mind you there are so many ways though to curtail expenditure without compromising service qualities.   

Specialists are indispensable to wholesome health services. So are other general doctors and the many other health professionals like nurses and technical staffs. How would corporatisation affect the morale of these professionals? As civil servants their ultimate boss is the Health Minister and they are part of a nationwide health service fraternity. With the corporatisation of JDWNRH, these professionals suddenly find themselves in a shrunken world. And most probably at the mercy of a politically connected boss who neither possess the quality nor the attitude to serve a corporation. There are only few managers who qualify to serve and not just lead corporations and most such are not politically connected and therefore never considered.  

There is a huge psychological difference between serving the nation and serving a Corporation. Additional Corporation allowance is like an alimony. If possible staying married is preferable in terms of security and social dignity. That's the nearest I can come up in differentiating between the feelings for Government service and that of corporate service. Working condition is not the real criteria. There are always both lazy and hard workers in both Government and corporate services. I have been in both the world. Good and sensible administration in Government and management in Corporations makes all the right difference. 

The solution to retaining specialists lies in innovative management. Let me give an example: How does a reserved car parking space for the doctors at the hospital compound sound? And how about a proper office room with a free internet connected lap top and a mobile phone with free voucher for specialists? How about free alternate Saturdays off duty for very senior professionals unless emergency cases comes up? How about a coffee and tea lounge service after a hectic operation schedule?    Some such perks and privileges that acknowledge the importance, the seniority  and value of the persons and the their golden experiences. Just few examples that demonstrates appreciations.

Money is ofcourse a commercial magnet. But to a lot of senior people who are well past their mid life, there are other things equally appreciated and longed for. I speak from experiences.  And all these example of amenities are permissable within the RCSC and Audit rules and regulations. If it is hard to see, hear or think then reach out for those who have the pre- requisites to help out. The best Manager is one who is all out to get things done and find solutions within the rules of the game. Not changing the rules of the game. Good Luck and better sense of Management at JDWNRH.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

DNT Party is playing the Indian card of destabilising the Bhutanese nation.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa has regretfully become an alien party with dubious design. At a time when the nation is placed in a precarious position by India, DNT is seemingly playing a role of a Dirty National Traitor Party. It is  distracting the attention of the nation from a national crisis precipitated by external forces. In so doing, the DNT is sabotaging national efforts to protect our sovereignty. 

Why did  DNT choose this very crucial national agony time to attack the Government in reign? The Government of Bhutan and the nation is under great stress by the attacks on national sovereignty by India. 

Indian troops are occupying our territory at Doklam.

India has declared that Bhutan is her " Protectorate state ".

India has rubbished the true essence of the revised 2007  Bhutan- India Treaty of 1949. Indian aggression and especially the misconstruction of the essence and true  understanding of the revised Treaty terms has not just transgressed upon our national sovereignty but has insulted our great Kings who negotiated and signed the revised 2007 Treaty with India.  And worse,  Japan a deemed friend of Bhutan and second largest donor to Bhutanese development activities has joined rank with India and has publicly come out in support of Indian effort to dilute Bhutanese sovereignty. Bhutan is isolated. 

The revised 2007 Treaty  had totally freed Bhutan from Indian dominance and abolished any past British Raj colonial shreds that infringed upon Bhutanese self will.  However this time at Doklam, India has declared that this very revised Treaty as a " Sell out to India " Treaty to suit her hegemonic ambition.  India has misconstructed the true meaning and understanding of Clause 2 of the revised Treaty.

The clause 2 of the revised 2007 Treaty  specifically declared that neither country will allow on their soil activities harmful to the other. And this time at Doklam what did India do? India sent troops into Bhutanese and Chinese territory and militarily bullied us and sabotaged Sino- Bhutan Border Talks.  And  their official Agencies and media outlets engaged in relentless campaign of propaganda to convince the world that  Bhutan is a protectorate state of India.  And to add insult to injury, India shamelessly tells the world that this very clause 2 provides for her aggression against Bhutan.

India has used all the strong arm tactics and superior media and diplomatic clouts at her disposal to achieve her objective. The world accepts what the powerful and the influential dictates. And India, Japan, America trios are powerful and influential.  Do Bhutanese Political Parties care even a little for our Nation?

Bhutan has been humiliated, our land encroached upon and the dignity of our deeply respected Kings guttered. 

The revised Treaty of 2007 further abolished the clause in the 1949 Treaty that required Indian guidance for Bhutanese external affairs. Further it also abolished the clause that required India to pay yearly to Bhutan a cash annuity for the Duars annexed by British India.  The 1949 Treaty was  a copycat of Singchula Treaty between Bhutan and British Raj of India,  Bhutan had signed this Treaty in duress with a superior armed British India.  

Against such a back drop of national crisis, what did Bhutanese Political Parties do to defend the dignity of the nation and the Kings and our very cherished sovereignty?  Nothing. Not a word has been spoken by any damned Political Parties of Bhutan. What fine sleazy excuse did some people make? They said something like,  Oh! Leave it to the wise leadership of the King and the Government.

Don't Bhutanese Political Parties think that His Majesty the King needs public support. We are living in a wide open world. Even the wisest and the most able leaders be it the Prime Minister or the King need public expression of support in a democratic world.  All political parties in  India are backing their Government. The world watches while the Bhutanese Political Parties particularly DNT engages in back stabbing the nation.

DNT has declared that it has the support of all Political Parties and goodwill of Bhutanese media in its campaign against the Bhutanese Government. This is likely to be an act of  treason. And I hope the relevant authority in this case the Judiciary of Bhutan does not shy away from its constitutional duty. The High Court must nib the bud immediately before this blatant anti- nation pro India disrupting move gathers force.

DNT declaration says, " Nation First ". Let me ask which Nation?  Bhutan or India?

DNT says , " almost pinching on the legal Sovereignty of our Nation ". Let me ask " What kind of politics is this"? Who is pinching whom?

And let me bare the truth. The sovereignty of Bhutan was not "almost pinched", it was punched at Doklam. What did any Political Party say or do? All self-serving jackals parading in self esteem and shamelessly engaged in enacting Indian political drama at the High Court.

All innocent members of  DNT Party and responsible true Bhutanese citizens should get together and close down this Indian Front of a Political Party which is jeopardising the sovereignty of Bhutan.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Kuensel Editor fires off a wrong shot. That too about the Constitution.

On the subject of Kuensel editorial ( today the 18th August )  on Fiscal Incentives and questioning constitutionality of the Cabinet request to the Speaker. Perhaps Kuensel has shot itself in the foot this time. A pity after the much appreciated last two prior editorials on " Table tours "

Looks like a " table editorial " meaning a piece devoid of the slightest effort to examine the context and procedures for approaching His Majesty the King  for exercise of Royal Pre- rogative in commanding Supreme Court's review /opinion on constitutional matters.

The editorial maintains that the Cabinet overlooked ( meaning  breached ) the Constitution in making this request to quote  "  the Speaker to consider seeking the Supreme Court's interpretation on Fiscal Incentives granted before May 8." Unquote.

This allegation against the Cabinet is way off the mark. Seeking interpretation of Supreme Court on matter of Fiscal Incentives is a legistive issue.Therefore such a request has to be routed through  the Parliament. The Government cannot directly approach His Majesty the King on legislative matters. Thus the Cabinet request to the Speaker for consideration.

The Cabinet request in no way breaches  the Royal Pre- rogatives incorporated in  the Constitution. If the Speaker deems the Cabinet request worthy of action then he will follow the due Parliamentary established procedure  for approaching His Majesty the King in seeking Supreme Court opinion on the Fiscal Incentives granted prior May 8.  

Many Bhutanese individual and Agencies have been quick on harping about Constitutionalities of many things. And Kuensel jumps into the same fervour blindfolded. Most unfortunate. Constitution is sacred.  Not a tool for expression of everyday grievances. 

I wrote 3 articles on Fiscal Incentives controversies in my blog on 24th June, 27th June and finally on 6th July.  After having heard both the PM and OL live on BBS, I pointed out that the landmark Supreme Court Judgement has to be re- visited again because in so far as I recall that judgement did not take away the authority of the Government to grant Fiscal Incentives.

The Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay maintained that Government had the authority till Parliament endorsed Fiscal Incentives as Money Bill. The Opposition Leader Pema Gyamtsho maintained that Government had the authority ( meaning DPT Cabinet ) till the day  the Supreme Court Judgement was  passed on the 1st Constitutional Court Case " Opposition versus the Government " on taxation procedure.

The present Cabinet's request to the Speaker for Supreme Court's interpretation is similar to my stand that the landmark judgement needs to be revisited to resolve the difference in the proper understanding of the judgement by both the PDP and DPT Parties. Two completely different  interpretation of a landmark judgement is uncommon if not down right rediculous.  This was dealt exhaustively in my article of 6th July, 2017 under the title , " The Fiscal. Incentives the flashing constitutional controversy in Bhutanese Politics."

It is difficult to write 6 editorials a week and I respect the dilemmas between temptations of  controversies and substantive subjects. An Editor of Kuensel unlike other Papers we have in Bhutan, has to pass a different standard that can only come with much collective  experiences on the editorial desk. That's why I miss Mr. Phuntsho Wangdi the very hard working former Kuensel Editor the  quiet unassuming person that he was in personality and a giant that he represented in the field of editorials. He is a man whom any editor could get coaching from.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Paro Airport Parking Fee. Starting a debate. Join in please.

Few facts to lay the ground clear.

1. It is not levied by Druk Air or Tashi Air.
2. It would be levied by Air Port Management under Civil Aviation Authority of the Royal Government of Bhutan.
3. The parking fee seems to have been introduced mainly to generate revenue not
to decongest limitted parking space. The fee is very high compared to Bhutanese minimum daily wage. Therefore lacks rationality.
4. Also the Nu:100 is collected almost like an entry fee. Not a minute is given free for passenger to get out of the vehicle with the luggage in case of drop off. That automatically hikes up taxi fares.


1. Now should airline passengers have the right to be picked up and drop off services  at Paro Airport free of being financially burdened further with parking fee for vehicle that  provide this indispensable service ?


It all depends on why passengers have to pay airport tax? This tax is incorporated in the airfare when the ticket is bought and the same would be deposited by the Airlines with the Civil Aviation Authority.  That tax should cover the use of parking space for reasonable period and purpose.

In my opinion, pick up and drop off at airport should be free of parking fee for the 1st 15 minutes. Or else the parking fee has to be reduced to Nu: 25 for first 30 minutes whichever is convenient to implement.


2. What about  the free parking area provided some distance away? Does not that take care of the those who cannot afford to pay the exorbitant parking fee of Nu: 100 as soon as you enter the area and then keeps escalating after first 15 minutes?


Agree that it is very thoughtful of the Air Port Management to provide free parking space even though some distance away. However, the Management has structured the facility in a way to discourage usage.

According to those using the free space:

a) there is no trolley to transport the luggages. Trolleys are available only at paid parking area.

b) The free parking area is cut off from any information regarding flights.  You are kept in the dark about flight delays or arrivals.

3. There is no restroom facility ( even pay toilet) which is essential.

So it is not just the distance but the overall customer unfriendliness that is designed to discoursge usage but meets the namesake " free parking space " publicity. 


3. Airlines pay fees for use of Airport facilities. There are many others including restaurants who rent spaces at airport to provide services related to passengers.   Does not these direct and indirect incomes plus airport tax on passengers themselves add up to providing the basic need of free parking facility for pick up and drop services for the passengers for at  least 3O minutes?


I feel that 10 minutes for cars and 20  minutes for bus for drop off service and for receiving service 30 minutes for cars and 60 minutes for buses should be free of parking charge. Or the charges should be reasonable at Nu: 25 for cars and Nu:50 for buses for above indicated time period if total free parking is unaffordable for the Authority.


It is not just Civil Aviation but almost all Agencies never take into considerations the minimum wage factor when considering fees or fines. Socio- economic concept like minimum wage is wholely ignored or not understood as a basic parameter for monetary impositions.  Somehow Bhutanese regulators are anti social class and very much for creating / reserving amenities only for the elite class usage. There are many poorer groups who may own cars not individually but as a family and that too second or third hands. Such cars also need parking space and they are majority in number.

Regarding parking issues at Paro Airport, the Ministry of Communication and Information  can give an impartial guidance. The honourable Secretary and His Excellency the Minister could easily decide on an appropriate approach. Airport Parking space need not have to be the gold mine of the Civil Aviation Authority.


Friday, August 11, 2017

An authoritarian India tends to be overbearing upon her neighbours.

Many wise words were spoken by late Lyonpo Dawa Tsering. His Excellency was the Foreign Minister of Bhutan for nearly three decades. A learned leader who encompassed qualities of much  intelligence and stately adroitness.  I particularly recall his explanatory submission as Foreign Minister to the honourable members of the National Assembly of Bhutan who were perplexed and frustrated by many unfriendly acts of the Government of India under Emergency Rule (1975 to 1977). His Excellency said that when an authoritarian Government is in power, that nation also tends to adopt an overbearing attitude towards the weaker neighbours. Bhutan must exercise political skill and fortitude. How so very true! May His Excellency rest in Peace.

Fortunately, by the infinite Grace of our Deities, the leadership our Great 4th King His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck and wise counsels, Bhutan warded off the fate that befell upon Sikkim just before Emergency rule in India.  It was closer than a dangerous state of affairs. I think His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk had an apt description of that state in the 1970s  during the public constitutional consultations in 2007. The King put it as , " like a leaf tossing on a swollen river ". His Majesty who was not born then, must have learned of the crisis of the 1970s from his illustrious father.

India is once again ready to flex her national muscle in the region. And each time that happens, the testing guinea pig is Bhutan. This is what happened at Doklam.The NDA Government headed by BJP is at its zenith of power in India. The Indian Prime Minister His Excellency Narendra Modi is sweeping the whole of India under his charismatic personality backed by the Merlin type of political wizard Shri Amit Shah. The combination of the two is recording astonishing  political history in India. To the historians later, it might be a period of dusk black or dust gold.

This time India decided Doklam as a pretext to declare Bhutan a "Protectorate state"  and attempted to establish complete hegemony over our Kingdom.  China was not the ultimate objective of Indian military adventurism at Doklam. It was Bhutan. Fortunately, China stood firmly against Bhutan being converted into solely an Indian buffer cushion and protectorate state.  Thus when so definitely and decisively  confronted by China, India had to decide to withdraw and await perhaps another favourable day to overwhelm Bhutan.

In public domain,  Bhutan stood stoically silent this time. The behind the scene had to be rather frenzy. Our Kings ( both the Majestic Son and the Father ) had to be  engaged in some feverish survival diplomacy whilst our Monastic institutions were in deep Prayers. The two Royal and Spiritual  Institutions together are responsible for peace, happiness and security of Bhutan and her people. The democratic Government main task  is to implement successfully the 5 year development plans and ensure economic prosperity and fair governance.

The Indian Army withdrawl has be done in an acceptable public drama so as to freeze verbal attacks by the Oppositions in the Indian Parliament.  So Indian Army  plans to withdraw on the basis of Bhutan Army taking over their role. But on the ground, it is not possible for Bhutan Army to replace transgressing Indian troops on Chinese controlled Doklam.  Further, to even theoretically agree, is placing Bhutanese sovereignty in grave future danger. As that will make it appear that India secured an area at Doklam for Bhutan. An act of what India claims protecting Bhutanese territory from China.

My humble advice to India is to withdraw and acclaim publicly that Bhutanese Army is taking over the role. And Bhutan continue her public silence. China would be happy with the retreat. And no one is going to be wiser at the  ground level. Remote Doklam is away from prying eyes. It is two days hard trek through mountain ravines from the motorable road point on Bhutan side. In hindsight, if only China so generously continued the road extension into our land  for our use. 

The true political picture is that  Bhutanese land is not needed to be protected by a third power and India winds up her adventurism of the century. This time, Bhutan retains her status quo of a sovereign Kingdom. May the people of Bhutan, China and India be blessed with compassionate and sensible leaders though not necessarily in alphabetical order as I try to maintain fairness.   

Many years after Emergency Rule in India, when Her Excellency Indra Gandhi was shot down by her security guard, an Indian Army General was supposed to have exclaimed, " how bloody lucky for Bhutan ".  So it's possible that such scheming Indian leaders do not give up easily upon clutching Bhutan in their claws. Still I do not wish them the fate of India Indra. But for Bhutan, I pray that the our omniscient powerful Deities keep under the radar of their thunder bolts those who pose danger upon the " Land of Pelden Drukpa."

Pelden Drukpai Lha Gyel Lo !

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Strategy behind India's Doklam transgression: Here is the Ugliness.

On 29th July 2017, an article on Doklam Standoff was published in OneIndia News. The writer Vicky Nanjappa a senior Correspondent quoting " highly placed sources" wrote.  To quote : 

1. " For Bhutan, India guarantees its security through the 2007 Friendship Treaty." 

This statement is a reiteration of the recent Indian Government stand that Bhutan is a " Protectorate state " of India.
Not at all acceptable to Bhutan and far from ground realities.  

2 " Bhutan has allowed access to Indians on its territory."

This statement alludes to the forceful encampment of Indian troops on the Bhutanese side of disputed Doklam Plateau after confrontation with Chinese construction party.

Now one can understand why India claimed first that they " were requested by Bhutan Army"  and later changed to " in coordination with Bhutan Army " and possibly after my blog which rubbished such ludicrous claims, India declared that they were " protecting the security of their so called chicken neck". India has no right of whatsoever to station Indian Army combat troops on Bhutanese side of Doklam or the disputed area.

Actually India's real goal was to engulf  Bhutan because they used the Doklam intrusion to declare:

1. That Bhutan is a " Indian protectorate state ." That's what India said of Sikkim before submerging her.

2. India chose to brandish the 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty wherein it was stated that Bhutan's foreign affairs was to be guided by India. That clause was removed in the 2007 revised 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty. Bhutan opted to conduct her foreign affairs independently and had never sought Indian guidance.  However, this time during Doklam crisis, India refused to recognise Bhutan' s right to her own independent foreign policy. 

3. India made claims about a "security pact" with Bhutan.There is no such pact. Nothing in the knowledge of the Bhutanese Parliament or the people. 

The Royal Bhutan Government or the Royal Bhutan Army whose Supreme Commander is His Majesty the King would never have agreed to India's interference  into the Bhutan- China Border Talks especially by use of military force. Bhutan is a small nation. We have to find peaceful means. Involving Indian Government or Indian Army is the shortest route to national suicide.

Let me relate following historical decisions of the Kings of Bhutan to demonstrate how wary Bhutan had always been of silent takeover by the  powerful neighbourly friend called India. 

1. In 1962 during Sino- India war, the 3rd King of Bhutan granted safe passage to Indian soldiers fleeing Arunachal through Eastern Bhutan to India only after the soldiers surrendered their rifles at Tashigang Dzong. This demonstrates that Bhutan does not welcome armed combat troops even that of India. .   

2. In 2003, India offered combat troops to Bhutan to fight Indian militant groups.  There is already IMTRAT the training wing of Indian Army in Bhutan.They are supposed to be unarmed and therefore, not in the category of regular fighting force.

His Majesty the 4th King was not sure whether his own force could expel the militant groups. After all, the greater numbered militants were also battle hardened and well armed.  But His Majesty was sure of one reality. That was if he accepted combat troops of Indian Army into the Kingdom, that would be the end of sovereign Bhutan. So the King took the less evil option. The offer of Indian Army was declined. And His Majesty decided to lead in person the Royal Bhutan Army to expel the various groups  like ULFA ,  BODO and  KLO Indian militants camped in the thick jungles of Southern Bhutan.

The People and the Government of Bhutan was fearful for the personal safety of the royal being and tried to dissuade the King. But His Majesty's response revealed how deeply he had pondered. The King said, " If I am not there in the field to look after my brave soldiers, the slim chance that we have in defeating the militants is lost. And a defeat in the battle field means the lost of Bhutan. Therefore, the danger to the Bhutanese nation and the throne is more imminent if I stay behind."  Thus began the " Operation All Clear " under His Majesty's personal command.  And all militant groups were successfully cleared out from Bhutan by the Bhutan Army. The defeat of the Indian militant groups by the Bhutanese Army stunned the Indian Army to silent reverence.The feat surpassed all dictates of art of army war- fares.

Considering such super human sacrifices made by the people and Kings of Bhutan, it would be crazy to seek Indian intervention at Doklam. Indian Army had simply bull dozed in  unannounced. An invasion at Doklam happened.

Initially it seemed that Bhutan was duped by Indian action at Doklam. Maybe Bhutan just  meekly succumbed to Indian aggression on the border front and diplomatic arm twisting on the foreign affairs front. Bhutan complained to China and even issued a Press Release that 
were in line with political ploy of India.Thankfully Bhutan, ultimately, recognised betrayal signs and decided to stand her ground. Bhutan refused to condone Indian transgression at Doklam. If she had , next thing Thimphu, Paro and Haa would have been flooded with Indian combat troops and war machinaries on the pretext of enevitability of Chinese invasion. From the day one of transgression at Doklam, vociferous Indians and even few treacherous pro-Indian Bhutanese voices were crying aloud about the danger posed by China from Doklam to the  northern Valleys of Haa, Paro and Thimphu. Doklam is actually part of Samtse Dzongkhag in the South.  Most Bhutanese did not even hear of name of the remote mountsin Plateau till then. And ironically if such evil people had their ways, before China or even most Bhutanese woke up, Bhutan could have been another Sikkim.

Bhutan is weak and small to physically  challenge the might of India.  However, by all international standard, Bhutan should have cried " foul" against India for the transgression into Bhutanese controlled Doklam territory by armed troops of India.

This is the reason why China has been  demanding that Indian Army withdraw from the present positions or there will be an all out war. China had declared in no uncertain term that this transgression was very different in nature and intent from all other China- India border skirmishes. India was defying China from a third country territory. Therefore, China is threatening to attack wherever Indian Army is. Which means all of Indian land, sea and even Bhutan the unwilling host of Indian Army at the Tri Junction. I feel that any nation not just China, has the sovereign and moral rights  to take firm and effective retaliatory action against such treacherous conduct. 

But even in her deep humiliating state of silent distress and perhaps in dismayed betrayal confusion, Bhutan found the political sanity not to cower down to the level of condoning Indian transgression into Bhutan as well as into the Chinese Doklam. And that stumped the Indian touted position " protecting Bhutan from China "  that India tried hard selling to the international community. India is not protecting Bhutan. India is trying to engulf Bhutan on premeditated pretext.  

I had earlier said that Doklam incident may be the working of our Deities. And strangely it might turn out to be  just that. India did not bargain upon China's determination for an all out war in 5 fronts for this Indian act of treachery at Doklam. India it seems was planning for a limitted war.  However, to the Chinese, a limitted war restricted to Doklam only, would in any case sabotage the Chinese goal of One Belt Road Initiative and further compromise the buffer status of Bhutan in India's favour. If a war must happen with India, it made more sense for China to have a full scale war at all 5 fronts ( Bhutan-Sikkim, Arunachal, Kashmir, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal).  That would be a decisive war worth risking.

It seems that both America and Japan have no appetite for such a large scale war stretching from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean. During the recent Malabar naval and air war exercises conducted concurrently with Doklam crisis by America, India and Japan, China sent 13 war ships plus submarines to convey a definitive message to the tiresome three. In addition the new aircraft carrier of China was docked at Hong Kong to get Japanese attention. Personally, I hope Japan had nothing to do, even remotely, with Doklam venture. Bhutan and Japan enjoy the highest of regards between people and the Royal Houses.

A short limitted war between India and China suited Western armament industries and American policy of containing China. Or at the least distracting China from One Belt Road Initiative and South China Sea.  But an all out global war where even Russia could get involved was a No No. Thus it appears that India left on her own, has been forced to capitulate after the sneaky transgression.

India had quietly amassed huge forces at Sikkim and Siliguri Chicken neck in preparation for a limitted war at Doklam to quote an Indian writer, " to give a bloody nose to China " who was caught off guard at Doklam. India wanted to establish full and complete hegemony over  Bhutan through a short brief war at Doklam.  Not a full scale five front war.  
The same correspondent Vicky Nanjappa also revealed how India was now going about to resolve the Standoff at Doklam. To quote him :

" It is a complex situation and India at best would withdraw troops on the pre-condition that it is replaced by the forces from Bhutan."  Similar political view has been again repeated in The Indian Express by Sushant Singh on 4th August ( today) .

What this means is that the Indian Security Advisor Ajit Doval had conveyed to Beijing the willingness of Indian Army to withdraw from Bhutan and China Doklam. 

Nanjappa's above statement is couched in diplomatic face saving graceful language.
China would never accept Bhutanese Army in place of Indian Army in the Chinese controlled Doklam territory. So it had to be a reference to Indian Army vacating Bhutan controlled Doklam territory which would subsequently leave only Bhutanese patrolling contigent behind. Naturally that would suit Bhutan. 

But simple withdrawl from Doklam would not have appeased the most infuriated Chinese PLA. So the offer had to be accompanied by the  commitment not to interfere into the Sino- Bhutan Border Talks as well as never again encroach into Chinese controlled Doklam or attempt to station Indian combat troops on Bhutanese territory at the Tri- Junction or other Sino- Bhutan Borders. Some hints are already reflected in The Indian Express article today.

I just hope and pray that Bhutan signs the Border Agreement with China and establish diplomatic relation, too. That would be a fitting Majestic response from Bhutan to the blatant Indian arrogance and aggression.  I do not care for China but for Bhutan such an Agreement would elevate Bhutan amongst the international community. And Bhutan will never be so readily trampled over and alleged to be a " Protectorate State" under India.

India twisted the friendship language of  the 2007 Treaty that distanced Bhutan from India to that of further subjugation and proclaimed Bhutan as her " Protectorate state". Such stands have wounded both Bhutanese national status and caused lasting damage to the golden Throne. In one single stroke, India callously blackened the legacy of the 4th King who got the 1949 Indo-Bhutan Treaty  revised in 2007 and the reigning King who signed the Treaty. In doing so, India explicitly implied that the Kings of Bhutan are her surrogates reigning Bhutan under the Indian guarantees. Not as sovereign Kings of a sovereign Kingdom.

The established historical fact is that Wangchuck Dynasty of Bhutan was established in 1907 exactly 40 years before India even got her independence from the British Raj. Now Bhutan has to find a dignified way to stand up and regain lost honour. No need to ask IMTRAT AND DANTAK to leave. We hold genuine friendship for Indian people and real  appreations for economic aids and transit passages.  Let's simply elevate Bhutan to equal neighbourly status and realistic friendship terms with both India and China. Time and events are calling upon Bhutanese leadership to act with courage and speed. Bhutan needs to sign the Sino- Bhutan Border Agreement and open embassies with China. All can then rest easier with recovered dignity.

Pelden Drukpa! Gyel Lo!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The status of Doklam and other disputed areas on the Sino- Bhutan Border.

There is Doklam Tri-Junction in South Western Sino-  Bhutan Border.  Then there is at North- Western Sino- Bhutan Border places like Sha-kha-Toe, Drama-na, Singchu-Lum etc. and at North-Central Sino- Bhutan Border Passa-Lum. 

In the last several weeks since the Doklam Transgression, few Indian media print houses and political analysts, some even quoting Bhutanese sources,  have been propagating a deliberately fabricated narrative about Doklam.

The fabricated  narrative states that at one time, China had offered a large area concession at disputed North-Central Sino- Bhutan Border in exchange for smaller area concession by Bhutan at Doklam. This is a blatant lie. It is a  propaganda material developed among China and Bhutan haters. 

I presume that this fabricated narrative is propagated with the intent to cast doubts on China's claim at Doklam and at the same time to support India's false claim that Indian Army was protecting Bhutanese interest. For true Bhutanese hearts, the decision of the Indian Army to transgress into the Sino- Bhutan Doklam territory was far more alarming and a deliberate act of under-mining Bhutanese sovereignty.    

I am not that worried about the road repair or extension by China though big and powerful that she is.  Afterall, both nations are engaged in reaching a concensus on differing claims through numerous rounds of cordially held Talks.  That's what negotiations are all about. And if final demarcation puts the road area under Bhutan then we have a ready road for use. If not then it is Chinese road.  

But definitely, Bhutan does not have to accept India's derogatory attitudes like their rediculous claim that " Bhutan Army asked Indian Army help " and the Indian boastful  proclamation of Bhutan being " Protectorate state "  and thereby  insinuating that Bhutanese King is reigning under Indian wing of protection. All directed to humiliate and shred away  Bhutanese sovereignty as part of the Indian strategy of Doklam transgression.      

For the record, the talk of " land swap " during early Sino- Bhutan Talks ( 1989-1992 ) was related to China offering the much larger  disputed area at North-Central Sino-Bhutan Border for the  smaller disputed area at North-Western Sino- Bhutan Border. Many senior Bhutanese people especially former National Assembly Representatives may recall place names like Shakha Toe, Drama-na and Singchu- Lum at  North-Western Sino - Bhutan Border ( north of Haa Dzongkhag ) and Passa-Lum at North- Central Sino- Bhutan Border (northern of  Bumthang Dzongkhag).

Based on geographical water shed features and naturally the closeness to strategic Chumbi Valley, China was prepared to accept the smaller disputed area at North- Western Sino- Bhutan Border region and have Bhutan take the doubly larger disputed area at the North-Central Sino- Bhutan Border region. However, Bhutan preferred her share of each disputed region.This was not opposed by China and accordingly negotiation have been progressing smoothly.

Actually, I was most relieved with that decision of the Royal Government. As a Bhutanese, I guess larger chunk of land is more preferable but as a Haap, my sentiment is deep for the smaller chunk. As a child, I remember my soldier Dad telling us that the real un- negotiable enemy at the border post at Singchu-Lum was the freezing icy wind not the Chinese soldiers. I have not been there but Singchu-Lum is part of my growing up unforgettable memory. I am willing to fire a bullet or take a bullet for my memory.

For Bhutan, strategic value is same and grazing pasture land which is our main concern for our yak herders, would be achieved if we went for the " land  swap". But yak herders of Haa would lose out to yak herders of Bumthang. However, I guess for our supposed friend India, any land near Chumbi Valley is very strategic. I do not know whether Bhutan based her final decision on Indian security interest or the interest of Yak herders of Haa. I would like to think that the welfare of Haaps mattered.

Traditionally the Kings of Bhutan always paid extra attention to the welfare of the people living at high altitude Valleys like Haa, Gasa and Bumthang known as Laa-Gang-Sum. Those days even special concessions were built into the tax structure of the nation to favour such Dzongkhags. 

Doklam Tri-Junction was not even part of the Sino-Bhutan Border Talks when the " land swap" was out on the table. Bhutanese must differentiate facts from fallacies. Let others with dubious intentions play with imaginations and falsehoods.  

I am of the opinion that even at Doklam,  after the 24th round of Talks, concensus had been reached between Bhutan and China. We common citizens have duties to voice valid concerns. And as always, place our faith in the Government and especially our People's King His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck to protect our hereditary land along with the concerns of the people. Bhutan's priority would be " to protect and preserve " hereditary land. Not engage in meddling or shaping security interests of China or India. 

As always we must pray that the Triple Gem Bless our Kingdom and the national Leadership especially our King at the helm with good health and great wisdom and fortitude.  Pelden Drukpa Lha Gyel Lo !

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Negotiating from the position of strength.

American offical policy towards North Korea: 

"Axis of Evil " declared President Bush. 

"We are not your enemy" confirms Tillerson Secretary of State.

What caused the change in American policy towards North Korea ? The answer is ICBM. It is always better to negotiate from the position of strength. That was American maxim which North Korea adopted to the hilt.

After the second ICBM tests, America tells North Korea. To quote:

"We do not seek regime change. We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula. We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel,"

"We are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us and we have to respond," Tillerson said, speaking to North Korea directly. "We would like to sit and have a dialogue about the future."

May the Pacific Rim realise the dawn of permanent peace.