Tuesday, December 25, 2018

What is the take of Royal National Day Address?

To each his or her own seems to aptly describe the conclusion drawn by various agencies and even individuals. Some have taken the speech as praising the political parties and reprimanding the civil service. Thus quite a few have capitalized the occassion to hype their prejudices against the civil servants in social media.  Others are dumb founded by the ratio of 1 public servant to every 13 Bhutanese citizens.  Public servant is a wider term. Whereas,  civil servants are those under Royal Civil Service Commission.

I would say we need not be dumb founded with statistic. The reality is much different. For example not every public servant is directly in attendance to immediate needs of 13 Bhutanese. The area of service is far wider including past, present and future of Tsawa Sum not just 680,000 Bhutanese citizens which form one pillar of the three Tsawa Sum. 

It seems even the Prime Minister and the RCSC Chairman have different takes about the implication of Royal thoughts about the civil servants ( reference an article in the The Bhutanese Newspaper ). One takes it as civil servants needing improvements and therefore changes in civil service organisation. The other takes it as royal trust and confidence in the civil service and therefore the impetus to endeavour harder. I respect both their views because the two are central figures in governance and HM was talking about governance. Also their official positions and proximity to " Gokha " would place them at an advantage over others in interpreting the implication of the royal address.

My own humble take of the royal message is very positive for Royal Civil Service Commission and the civil servants. His Majesty the King have praised the dedication and service of civil servants in the past. And at this jucture, royal faith is renewed in the trust and confidence upon the civil service organisation and its role highlighted.

I have read together not just the words but
the inter- related essence of His Majesty acknowledging the manifestos and goals of Political Parties as ways of nation building  and at the same time highlighting the vital role of civil servants in the service of shaping the nation. Therefore, the national day royal address could also be conveying to political parties that in their pursuit to accomplish respective party goals and ambitions, the elected political party in governance should not make light of the national role and responsibility entrusted to civil servants. By the same token, the civil servants are reminded to not astray from their duty to Tsawa Sum. His Majesty commanded that in 10-15 years down the line if the national interests are found to have been undermind, it will be civil servants who will be held accountable not the gone bye successive governments of elected political parties.

To me the message is clear. The civil service is trusted to serve the Tsawa  Sum above political party goals. Perhaps the elected government must provide room for civil service to function to serve the Tsawa Sum. It would be healthy if elected Political Party formed governments refrained from overhauling civil service organisation to suit their political convenience. PDP Cabinet had  vanquished 3 government secretaries to cower down the line the whole of civil service heirachy. And ill effects will continue to haunt the Tsawa Sum even after PDP government term is long over.  

The principle of democracy is ofcourse a guiding light of governance. However, Bhutan lies in a very sensitive position and age. Our hearalded democracy is getting younger in terms of experience of elected leaders. Thus the danger from a ruling political party of turning civil service to party machinery apparatus and cajoling the Bhutanese media to become party propaganda outlets cannot be under estimated. When fresh leaders are hard pressed in managing affairs through democratic process, it is tempting to bull doze and dismantle established structures and adopt dictatorial trends.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The legal aspect of BEO Agreement with Youths sent to Japan.

It is said that there are two Agreements according to information shared in fb on this much debated and hellish " Learn and Earn programme " sold by BEO in collusion with officials from Labour Ministry.

Usually Agreements are valid if signed by both Parties and witnessed and the terms do not contradict prevailing laws in force. All Agreements must have legal stamps in Bhutan to be considered legally binding. 

However, it is possible to nullify the 2nd Agreement executed between BEO and youths on the basis of it being executed  under " duress " if the same was indeed presented unexpectedly by BEO and compelled to be hurriedly executed by the youths on the day the youths were boarding the flight to Japan under the Learn and Earn Programne.

Based on the 1st Agreement executed between BEO and youths, the youths had taken loans and paid to BEO for Learn and Earn Programme promoted by BEO. In doing so, the youths had also foreclosed all other avenues for seeking different  job opportunities. All their relatives and friends were aware that the youths got employment opportunity in Japan  through BEO. Thus the youths were already fully committed to go to Japan having terminated all ties of job opportunities and other livelihood possibilities in Bhutan their home country.

These youths would have bid farewell to all including near and dear ones by the time it was the day to board the flight to Japan. Then BEO presents the departing youths with a 2nd Agreement. Unless it was agreed to and signed, the youths cannot take the flight to Japan. Such an ultimatum of no choice can be likened to a bride being presented with a fresh demand half way through the marriage ceremony. There just isn't the fraction of time and chance to look over the terms. One is already chained to consenting position. The storm hits the ship when one is already aboard the ship. To jump overboard is kind of sucide. Only under BEO terms, to cling onto the BEO ship turned out to be a course of gradual sucide.

Thus whatever the financial burden that youths have to bear and whatever profits BEO derived under the terms of the  1st Agreement, such would be legally binding as unholy as it so apoears. But the terms of 2nd Agreement cannot be binding upon the youths as the environmental circunstances governing the execution of the Agreement qualifies the  Agreenent executed under extreme " duress ". Inatead the BEO Partners and colkuders should be charged  for committing a crime of financial and moral rape in forcing such grievous terms upon their caged victims. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Blessings come in abundance when the heart, mind and spirit meets.

This surprising snowfall today seems to be the " Jinlap "  of the happiness and blessings shared with the people by the Lung Ku Chhoe Sum of the Kingdom yesterday at Samtse.

For the first time His Majesty the King and His Majesty Drukgyel Zhipa and His Holiness Je Khenpo graced together in united spirit, heart and mind the National Day Flag Raising Ceremony and Offering of Marchhang to Palden Drukpai ChhoeChhangs. True essence of the Ku Sung Thuk Mendril offering and true form of Pel Luk Nyi Tyen Syi practice of Druk Yul. 

Blessings come in abundance when Palden Drukpa is truly pleased with the pureness of the Marchhang Offering. Great achievement come by when Palden Drukpai ChhoeChhangs are truly pleased.

Now I feel that it is possible for His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to avail the resources of wisdom and fortitude to succeed in the goal of establishing a proper normal  relationship with China and sign the Sino- Bhutan Border Agreement and at the same time develop genuine and  equal close  friendship with India. Hail to Indo- Bhutan equal and genuine Friendship, hereafter.

His Majesty the People's King just needs to love all  his people without reservation and make offering to the Deities in the most open and pureness of heart, mind and spirit. We need to have pure Trust, Love and Confidence within ourselves and in Palden Drukpa ChhoeChhangs. And a King must be at peace within himself and with  the Tsawa Sum to lead a nation in sovereign internal and external affairs. Yesterday on the 111th The National Day the  royal deed and address hearlded such a dawn of national self peace, unity and vision. Thank You Your Royal Majesty.  

The Kingdom of Bhutan may yet be destined to have a greater Wangchuck King who might just ultimately achieve the legacy that both His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and King Jigme Singye Wangchuck aspired to secure " the essence of true sovereign dignity " for the Kingdom of Bhutan and her people. Time is ripe now.

True love, respect and trust within the Kingdom is the absolute strength of our nation and of our King. Words and fine speeches are like glamour without virtue ( just like insincere election campaign rhetorics)  in absence of pureness of intent, heart, mind and spirit. Practice, Deed and Action builds a united society and a formidable nation.

May the powers of Guru Rimpoche bless our King on the Throne. May Lung Ku Chhoe Sum grace the Kingdom. Palden Drukpa Gyel Lo !

Saturday, December 15, 2018

National Day a Unity Day.

National Day is that of every Bhutanese. Not merely a celebration of the crowning day of the Wangchuck Dynasty on 17th December, 1907.  No Dzongda or National Day Celebration Committee should be worried about expenditures for the celebration being held this year at Samtse. Just make sure the accounts are clear and honest. I hear of Dzongdags trying to make expenditures appear less than actuals. No need to do that. National Day Celebration goal is not paying homage to the Monarchy. It is to celebrate our national life and our own national stories of achievements under the Monarchy. Just as generousity from India should not make DNT Goverment switch allegiance so must Dzongdags not forget the overall importance of National Day to Druk Yul. 

Ku- Sung- Thuk Mendey offering should be symbolic offering of gratitude to the Palden Drukpa Deities. His Majesty the King is the symbolic physical representation of our Deities who are invisible except in their protective deeds for the Druk Yul . The event should not be viewed as the Bue Day for the King nor rewarding of few deemed only the loyalists or most sincere servants to Tsawa Sum. Bhutan would be hard pressed if only so few are loyal and sincere.

National day must be viewed as a National Unity Day. Any and all genuine expeneses for the celebration are investment into the future. Do not ask people to contribute in labour or in material. The most precious offer from.people of all walks of life is affection for the unity of one people and one nation under one King.

The objective behind the success of celebration should be directed towards brightening the nationhood. Do not worry about the Royal mood. The King has to be happy if the nation has bright secured future. Do not expect invidual rewards for collective efforts though the past trend was in rewarding the individuals.   Few individuals do not make a nation. Together the people of Druk Yul make the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Everything and all Gifts for India prior to Bhutanese PM Lotay Tshering's visit to India.

1. " With our hands stretched out to India for alms,  Bhutan cannot dictate ( Kha tala ma laap ju- mey tub )  " declared the PM in the 1st Friday Meet the Press session.  Bhutanese Print Media was so silent about it. Pehaps the significance could not be registered with dormant minds. Thank you BBS for airing the clip. BBS camermen   have a way of zeroing on beauties from amongst a crowd and BBS News producers have a knack of selecting video clips that conveys the crux of issues.  

Actually no Bhutanese leader has ever dictated terms upon India. Except maybe by the Third King of Bhutan in His Majesty's  absolute pursuit of UN membership for his Kingdom. And His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck achieved the goal. And yes the same King was not thrilled about seeking alms from India. Indian PM Pandit Nehru had it on record upon his return to India after his visit to Bhutan " The Maharaja of Bhutan is reluctant to accept offers of assistance ". 

2. " No further relationship development  with China " says Foreign Minister Dr. Tandin Dorji. 

3. " BBIN Transport Agreement ratification will be considered "  declares the new Government.

Read all these policies against the background of:

1. " External affairs of the Bhutan will be guided by His Majesty the King " the PM elect had declared before DNT cabinet was sworn in.

2. The DNT Political Party publicly announced that the " Party was submitting to His Majesty the list of all DNT elected MPs for the King to appoint the Cabinet Ministers ".

The message from DNT Party was clear. That His Majesty the King is in charge of foreign affairs like relationships with India and China. And that Cabinet Ministers are chosen by His Majesty. So it is pre- democracy Royal Government and therefore,  pre-democracy status quos with India and China will be maintained.

If His Majesty is really in direct charge of governance especially in matters of relationsips with China and India and the PM and FM are simply announcing  royal decisions, there is nothing to comment about. Any expression of different views can be construed as an act of sacrilege. Baby Bhutan better be left in the secured comfort of Indian arms suckling Mother India Breast if that is the Royal Majestic desire.

Let me only repeat here an old famous Bhutanese  proverb of caution. 

" Not advisable to predict the weather and the ways of a King "

My own thought is that the institution of Bhutanese Monarchy, too,  has all the compelling reasons to wrest away the Kingdom from day to day domination from India. A vision that many ordinary Bhutanese may also be  harbouring. I am one such humble subject of Druk Gyalpo.

Great friendship with a long time development Partner India  is desirable and important. But total subordination spells doom for national sovereignty if not for the welfare of common Bhutanese people and the leaders. And if PM Lotay has priority for alms over sovereignty " laab fa chang dey, kha ta lama laap ju- mey - tub ",  then Sikkim is an outstanding example to follow.

Let India take care of Bhutan. Why does Bhutan even need a namesake Royal Government, a Prime Minister or even a King? Just a situation of overburden of pile of bosses over Druk nation which seems to be  ultimately at the mercy of New Delhi.

PDP cabinet spent 5 years to push BBIN supremacy over Druk Yul and now DNT government's 1st priority is to pursue the same goal. Both PDP amd DNT Prime Ministers said that they are guided by the same King. If His Majesty the King is behind the push for " BBIN Supremacy " and " No Deal " with China then BBIN Transport Agreement should have been a Done Deal by now.  And Bhutanese Army  should have also  joined Indian Army at Doklam to invade China. But both did not happen.

So who is masterminding the affairs of Druk Yul? Is Bhutan an open prison captive of India,  having the right to move only within an allotted parameter? This could explain the dithering and withering policies of the not so majestic Royal Governments of Bhutan since 2013. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The status of the nation during this Lombo.

Relieved to learn from "The Bhutanese " Paper that:

i) Royal Bhutan Government intends to stick to Rs.45 billion aid from India in the 12th Plan. The amount is similar to the 11th Plan.

ii) Also it seems the Bhutanese Cabinet will adopt the 12th Plan and the 5 year budget after the draft finalisation by GNH Commission before our Prime Minister visits India.

iii) Also I learned from a Samtse resident in a chance meeting that the National Day Celebration arrangements at Samtse is being supervided by the last Interium Government. In absence of Interium Goverenment the next time, it will be advisable for Royal Secretariat to be fully involved in National Day Event, hereafter. Because with Bhutanese Political Parties leaderships under Indian captivity, there is the possibility of Tri- colour ( Indian national flag ) flying above the Triangular orange and yellow colour national flag of Bhutan on 17th December.

There is already confirmation that this  Bhutanese Government will kowtow Indian wish to keep relationship with China at bay and also get further sucked into Indian orbit by pushing BBIN through Parliament.

So instead of Sino- Bhutan International Border Agreement and diplomatic ties, BBIN Agreement will be ratified during DNT tenure. The Bharat strangle hold tightens further.  

Should I be disheartened? Not really! Whats beyond is futile to be anxious about. Anyway, it was not my forefather who solely  accepted the task of maintaining sovereign dignity of Bhutan. Sorry thats no solace to most Bhutanese. But even in despair, I shall continue to pray and invoke the Deities of Palden Drukpa and the Triple Gem. Prayers are powerful force though not immedeiate or outright visible. 


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Lombo is here again! Happy Lombo!

For Haa and Paro, the year of  Dog of earth element ends on this Thursday the 6th of December, 2018 and simultaneously the New Year of Hog begins. I guess ( not sure ) the element maybe water. The Bhutanese calendar date is 29th of the 10th month. The New year period of 3 days is 29th and 30th of 10th month and 1st of the 11th month. Happy Lombo to all Families of Haa and Paro.

In all 20 Dzongkhag Dratsangs, venerable Lam Netens lead a week of Prayers to thank all the local and national Deities for the concluding year and to seek blessings and guidance for the coming new year. The Prayers conclude in the forenoon of   the 29th day ( this year falls on Thursday the 6th December)  with effigies of different Deities led out in a formal procession from the Dzong to an outside designated place for the final fire ritual ceremony.

At Thimphu Tashichhodzong, the annual Lombo Prayers are held at the Dhue- Khang. Those who are aware of the religious ritual, come to offer their nyndhas during Prayer days.

Wishing all readers a very Happy Lombo!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Facts about Bhutan- Japan relationship

1. Many senior  Bhutanese  identify Japan with a person known as Japan Saab ( Nishoka San ) and hold deep affection for the man and his country.   Dasho Nishoka was a Japanese born with a  Bhutanese heart. And there are quite a few such friends of Bhutan among the Japanese people. My deep respects to them.

2. Japan is the 2nd largest development partner of Bhutan. We are now into the 32nd diplomatic relationship. Quite remarkable!

3. The goodwill and honest friendship between the Imperial House of Japanese Emperor and the Royal House of Wangchuck Dynasty is incredibly genuine and trust worthy.

4. The goodwill between the two people of Bhutan and Japan is also durable.

5. The political relationsip is unfortunately very opportunistic from the Japanese Government side. His Excellency Kenji Hiramatsu  Ambassador of Japan to India is also accredited as non- resident Ambassador to Bhutan. And he has to know what I mean.

During Doklam transgression by Indian troops  from June to August, 2017, only the Ambassador of Japan to India publicly backed Indian aggression upon Bhutanese sovereignty. No other nation in the whole world  endorsed the Indian troop transgression upon the disputed territory between Bhutan and China. Even United States of America  which is competing with China in Asian region did not publicly stand with India because it was a known fact that India was not challenging China at Doklam. She was only trying to overtake Bhutanese claims at Doklam.

I pray and hope that the Japanese Government would be more sensitive and sincere in following a policy of goodwill and genuine friendship with sovereign Kingdom of Bhutan in attune with the spirit of  friendship between two people and the two Royal Houses of Bhutan and Japan. 

Happy Japanese Week Celebration in Bhutan.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Dreams and Visions.

Dreams and visions share a common trait known as hope. These live on even if the original dreamer and vision setter  are no more. These  are like souls floating around until a mass is found to be lighted up again. It is alright to dream and to set a vision. Such is the wonder of human nature of hope and destiny of a society.  

Many things can be accomplished in one life time. However, the truth of history is also that great accomplishments take place over several life times with dreams and visions of hope carried over bridges and vales through different time periods and by several successive individuals and forces until such are transformed into deeds.

Leaders die out and societies undergo changes but dreams and visions live on until fruition. Such is the durability of  flame of hope.