Wednesday, August 14, 2019

BHUTAN has someting to cheer about or what?

Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi coming to Bhutan and also inaugurating the space research station unit set up in Thimphu by ISRO ( Indian Space Research Organisation). 

Thanks to Kuensel, we are also informed that United States will be providing $4.5 million for STEM education to support royal effort in the nation's science and technology upgradation. Along with this the Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan who is leading a 8 member delegation from United States also said that United States was looking to implement NASA programme as discussed with His Majesty.

So we have both ISRO and NASA treading into Bhutanese high Himalyan Space. Bhutanese are not planning to go to the moon. But both ISRO and NASA can magnify their  views of the Tibetan Plateau at close range from Bhutan.

Whatever this means, I am happy that His Majesty the King is exploring steps to improve relations with United States. There are quite a number of fellow Bhutanese citizens  working in United States who could directly benefit besides the overall other national interests of Bhutan.

A deep political implication could be in the American Deputy Secretary's declaration " I have come here to underscore the US support for Bhutan and commitment to defend Bhutan as a fellow democratic country- providing support to Bhutan's sovereignty". 

And yet America was mum during Doklam in 2017. And Japan which also act as a political stooge of America in Asia region had supported the Indian military transgression. An indication of American approval of Indian invasion of Doklam which could have spelt disaster for Bhutan but for the grace of Pelden Drukpai Deities.

I just hope that vists of American Deputy Secretary of State with soon to be followed by  Indian PM visit has nothing to do with what United States term as " Asia Pacific Strategy to Contain China ". Imagine green dragon missile against red dragon.

No worties for China. China  seems damn capable of taking on South China Sea policy enforcement  as well as conducting trade war with America and keeping India within sensible parameter in cases of Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan's economic corridor.

It is little Bhutan which must remain alert because a political pawn never wins in the end game

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

To Indian PM Shri Narenda Modi With Respects.

Welcome Hon'ble PM Shri Narenda Modi to Bhutan for 2 days visit 17th and 18th August, 2019.  I reproduce an email ( also posted as a blog ) to former ambassador P Stobdan after he wrote the article  "  India's Real Problem lies in its Foreign Policy, Not Borders " on 14th July, 2017 at the height of Doklam invasion by Indian military. That was 2 years ago during Doklam Stand Off between 3 nations. China and India versus Bhutan.

The feelings and views I have expressed then still stands. India needs to adopt a broader and more enlightened geo- political attitude than just dominating Bhutanese sovereignty from head to toe, from King to Subjects.   In yoga your favourite physical and mental exercise, the mind must be free from evilness.  In Himalayan geo- political strategy, Indian mentality must be free of suspicion and domination.  And India should  honour friendship at genuine equal equation level.   I hope you will kindly take time to read the following reproduced email of 14th July, 2017.

" Dear Sir,

I went through your feeling and views. You are a sincere well wisher of Indo-Bhutan friendship. Hopefully there is room for such understanding and accommodation in the power halls of New Delhi.

I could never fathom why Indian leaders and advisors still suffer from the subjugated trance of British Raj Era ? In almost all dealing with her dependant neighbours especially the two landlocked, India is not satisfied with " Namas-te" greetings. One is required to bow from kneeling position. A copycat attitude of British Raj to Indians.

I suppose you realise that if the push comes to shove as they say,  it is not possible for India to takeover Bhutan without China claiming over half the Kingdom. It's a touch and go situation. Presently Bhutan's status as a buffer nation actually guarantees the security of the oft quoted "chicken neck " of India and her North Eastern Frontier States.  A divided Bhutan can place the whole of Northern India in peril.

However, if India does not obstruct/ hinder Sino Bhutan Border Agreement, this will guarantee the security of all of Northern India. It is therefore,  actually in India's interest to encourage Bhutan to sign the Border Agreement with China. Instead the successive Indian leaders have taken out their British Raj era humiliation upon the only nation and people that they can safely bully. To allow Bhutan to sign Agreement and have relation with China is elevating the national status of Bhutan and Bhutanese people which Indian cannot stomach. It seems that the Indian ego which is so badly bruised under Whitemen subjugation, cannot accept Bhutan as an equal neighbour. Thus it is not Indian national security priority nor the fear of Chinese invasion or competition that prevents India from giving Bhutan the go-ahead to friendlier ties with China. It is the psycological burden of accepting Bhutan as an equal neighbour that haunts the false Indian elitist pride. 

I suppose Indian experts are well aware that what was once part of Bhutan like the Duars and Doklam was wrested away by British India. Doklam may have been originally that of Tibet before Bhutan took over. At one time in Bhutanese history, Bhutan had land in Ladakh , Nepal, Tibet and Sikkim and in north eastern India the Duars. But British India changed all that.  Bhutan was given a yearly cash annuity for the 18 Duars as the tax collected from those domains was important revenue for Bhutanese heiracy. The other domains  had more to do with religious purpose than revenue. So probably these were simply written off.  Anyway British India sold  Doklam back to China.

Bhutan cannot get back the Duars or Doklam or the other religious domain in Nepal, Sikkim or Ladakh.  In the revised 2007 Indo-Bhutan Treaty that " annuity clause " regarding the 18 Duars  was taken off and so was the clause " foreign affairs to be guided by India". In other words an exchange was concluded though never highlighted or publicly stated for claim against Duars in exchange for freedom in exercising foreign affairs by Bhutan.   

Can you imagine what such an  "annuity clause " be worth to a mighty nation in the modern era when everybody is claiming something off another?  That may be the reason why India removed it when Bhutan insisted upon self auhority in foreign affairs as a member of UN. You may be aware that India did not willingly back Bhutan's admission to UN. India had no choice when she realised that King Jigme Dorji Wangchcuck was prepared to go broke on that score. 

Bhutan is too small and weak to assert her historical domination and have wisely chosen peace and sovereignty within the physical space that we have as of date. We have no alternative but to choose peace and friendship with India. Likewise we have no alternative but to forget Doklam as we have foregone the Duars and other religious domains and sign the Sino- Bhutan Border Agreement so that what we have now remain ours for eternity. 

There is much affection and respect for India within the larger Bhutanese community. However, there is resentment and fear, too, as you pointed out. I do not know what secret magical  hold India has over the Wangchuck Dynasty but whatever it is, that is wearing rather thin. I feel Bhutanese can accept and live with their King no matter what India may say or reveal about our deeply respected Dynasty.

Democracy has been introduced by the King and the process cannot be halted. And with democracy comes more free thinking and more questions that can be uncomfortable to answer. And as amenable as the last two Kings have been with Indian approach to Bhutan, 34 years and 24 rounds of delay tactics in negotiations with China in compliance to never ending dictates of India upon Bhutan, can wear out the utmost patience of China with Bhutan and that of Wangchuck Dynasty of Bhutan with Indian leadership. Afterall their Majesties are the true son and grandson of the King who once declared, " would rule as a sovereign King or not at all ". And probably the people of Bhutan ,too, would be exhausted in search for a chance for dignified peaceful existence. And take matters off everyone's table. 

I feel for sake of durable genuine love and frienship between the people of India and Bhutan, India should wisely and generously permit Bhutan with adequate leeway in signing the Border Agreement and have diplomatic and trade relations with China. This will not change fundamental basis of Indo Bhutan friendship and reliability. It will only enhance the political status of Bhutan as a more strengthened Sovereign Buffer State and enable a less stressful China and India relationship.

May there be more such thinkers like you and may Indo- Bhutan friendship reach a healthy level of equal love and respect. 

I wish you well Sir. 


Wangcha Sangey "

I Wish Your Excellency pleasant visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan and good health always. Congratulations upon yours and your Party 's stupendous Election Victory.  Respectfully Wangcha Sangey.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Who could have benefit from bringing Sonam Home from Japan?

Not Sonam. She cannot benefit. And certainly Sonam's family who would want her to live and receive the best available medical care cannot benefit from bringing Sonam home. I think only the Japanese Insurance Company under insurance  obligation to foot 70% of Sonam's medical treatment would be relieved if Sonam's case is taken off their liability.

Why are few Bhutanese with some dubious social media influence knowingly or unknowingly serving the interest of a Japanese insurance firm now footing major portion of medical bills of Sonam's treatment in Japan. They want to bring Sonam home. Why?

The Japanese insurance firm is not going to foot the transhipment cost. It is crazy in term of financial cost plus gravely too risky. Sonam could be killed in the process.

If bringing Sonam home is so easy and without liability, our governmrnt would also readily do it. Footing 30% of treatment bills plus all other related expenses in Japan is a huge amount for a resource constraint nation. But the government cannot bring Sonam home because the process entails prohibitive financial costs and worse it could kill the patient.

However,  any  insurance company would be delighted if someone else took the initiative to move medically insured Sonam out of their hand and liability. Infact, if I was the CEO of that insurance company, I would be very grateful to have few Bhutanese social media figures manipulating the  gullible Bhutanese public and raise social media hell to pressure the Bhutanese government to bring Sonam home. Thankfully the Bhutanese PM is a sound medical professional himself and cannot be fooled into taking rash action.  

Why do few Bhutanese want to  bring a seriously brain damaged patient from an advanced nation where medical facilities and professional expertise are readily available (Japan ) to a Least Developed Nation ( Bhutan ) which lacks proper medical facilities and professional expertise to treat such patient?

Why play the role of a Saviour Angel for the Japanese Insurance Company? If Sonam dies in the attempt to transfer her, it is all the better for the insurance company. They are saved from further treatment expenses.

Sonam and her family does not benefit by moving her from well equipped hospital in Japan to Bhutan. What an irony? Bhutan spends millions every year to send patients outside to receive proper treatment because such is not available within the nation. And few Bhutanese who are well aware of the inadeqacies of health facilities in Bhutan are deliberately manipulating  public sentiment and calling for brain damaged Sonam to be brought home to Bhutan. How cruel and sickly motivated?

Why the attempt to kill Sonam? To save financial stress on the Japanese insurance company? Or does the family want Sonam back home dead or alive? Or is it an opportune moment to highlight self grandeur displaying the devil's sympathy for Sonam and her family?