Druk National Congress of Bhutan
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K5 is no longer ‘people’s king’
Religious discrimination is still unabated under Fifth King reign. A congregation or initiation of Drukpa Kagyurpa is promoted by the state. The foreign disciples of Drukpa Kagyurpa were provided free visa and all the logistic support were provided by the government. But when it came to Nyingmpa religious congregation, foreign disciples were strictly filtered by the immigration department and many were turn away from the border check post.
In the east, voluntary labour forces( ZhaptoLemi) is still continued. For the building of Basic Health Unit, Government offices or army barracks, the Villagers are mandatory required to provide the voluntary labour force. Surprisingly, in western Bhutan, people have been exempted from providing the voluntary labour force over a decade. It is plausible, Fifth King is unpopular because of his ‘flaw in human nature’ but desecration of his picture must be condemned if such actions were true. King is the head of the state and people should respect the office.
King disowning the tradition?
King had set a precedent in 2008 when he awarded the orange scarf and patang to the opposition leader on 17tth June. The Prime Minister and cabinet had received their orange scarf and patang on April 12, 2008. This time around, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, the opposition leader is yet to receive the orange scarf and patang.
Is the King trying to disown the tradition and precedent that he himself set in 2008? PDP has been a favorite among the two parties to the King and allegations of King campaigning on behalf of PDP during the just concluded General Election has not gone down well with majority of Bhutanese. King’s action is only providing credence to all the allegations and further creating dissatisfaction among party members.
Right to information
The Druk National Congress demands that RTI bill should have the purview of expenses of Royal Family and the Army. Bhutanese people have the right to know how their tax payers money and grant received on their behalf is being accounted for.
Election Commission duplicity
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) had come under the scrutiny and sanctity of the institution has been affected. The Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi’s discharge of duty is under scrutiny. According to the audit report tabled in the Parliament, the DPT has Nu 0.63M to resolve while PDP has Nu 25.6M that has clearly violated the Public Election Fund Act. Both the parties would not have been permitted to participate in July General election.
Nepal must assist in delivering justice to Bhutanese
“We [Bhutanese] owe gratitude to Nepal for providing refuge and raising the issues of human rights abuses committed by Bhutan in international forum. However, we are saddened at the handling of our issues by the Nepal Government. “ said Tek Nath Rizal, Bhutanese Human Rights leader at the programme organized by the Human Rights and Peace Society to observe the United Nation Day. October 24 is observed worldwide as the UN Day since On October 24, 1945, the United Nations (UN) Charter came into force.
Mr. Rizal was critical of third country resettlement process and warned that Nepal should hold Bhutan accountable in finding the political solution to issues of Bhutanese refugee. He expressed his optimism of Bhutanese issues being in top priority once new government is formed after the upcoming election.
Karma Duptho, General Secretary of Druk National Congress was also one of the Bhutanese delegate present at the Programme.
He had visited Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal along with Shri SatyaPrakash Malaviya, the then President of Indo-Bhutan Friendship society in 2000. He was a friend and a strong supporter of Bhutanese democratic struggle.
President of the society Prof. Anand Kumar and, other office Bearers and members, and Shri Kesang Lhendup , President of Druk National Congress have deeply mourned his death. They condoles his death and prays to the Almighty to grant peace to the pious soul and solace to all his friends and relatives.
Mr. Tshering Gyaltshen, Actor and Film maker and Mr. Tendzin Rigden, former press secretary to Prime Minister are allegedly missing. Accordance to unsubstantiated report by newspaper allegedly owing the loyalty to PDP had published that some people in DPT meeting on 19th July at YDF hall had shouted the slogan, “ Short Live the King”. Many people had allegedly pointed that the duo were responsible for inciting or shouting the slogan. Both had received death threats from allegedly PDP supporters thereafter. It is believed both were held in secret prison.
The Constitution guarantees due process of law. Both are entitled to access the law and the government must release both from illegal detention.
Bhutanese Diaspora sent letter to Bhutanese parliamentarians
Bhutanese Diaspora spread around the globe had submitted a letter to Bhutanese parliamentarians congratulating them and drawing their attentions on issues of justice to Bhutanese refugee and aspiration of Bhutanese diaspora.
Royal Annuities Bill Still Elusive
The Constitution of Bhutan was adopted on the 18th of July, 2008. Article 2, Section 13 of the Constitution states that, “The Druk Gyalpo and the members of the Royal Family shall be entitled to: (a) Annuities from the State in accordance with a law made by Parliament”. Second parliamentary election has concluded and a legislation governing Royal Annuities is absent. Even the Government Budget failed to mention the expenses of the Monarchy. How has the Institution of Monarchy been supported these past years?
The unsubstantiated report stated that sum of Nu 273 million has been spent on the recent marriage ceremony of Prince. Another four marriages is on the card.
China-Bhutan Border talks
An eight-member Chinese delegation had stated that the talks were held in a frank and cordial manner and had provided the opportunity for the two sides to better understand each other’s positions on the issues related to boundary, and in arriving at an early and amicable settlement of the boundary between the two countries. However, a critic argues that settlement of Sino-Bhutan border dispute is unlikely in the immediate future because of Bhutan’s immense respects to India’s concern. India and China is yet to resolve their border.
Non-Resident Bhutanese lost the election
Mr. Birendra Dhakal is the first non-resident Bhutanese who has plunged himself in political carrier in America. More will follow his suit in future. Over seventy thousands Bhutanese diaspora are in America.
Resettled Bhutanese Committing Suicide
Mr. Ram Bahadur Gurung, 73, resettled three months ago in Concord, NH, USA has committed suicide. Six resettled Bhutanese have ended their lives in November, 2013. Over thirty resettled Bhutanese have committed suicide in America in the last five years.
India commits NU 5000 Crore to Bhutan
The new Prime Minister, Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay visited India in September and met the Indian Prime Minister. The Indian government has committed a total of NU 4,500 crore for the 11th Five Year Plan and a separate package of Nu 500 crore for the Economic Stimulus Plan.
HUROB request India for repatriation
The Human Rights Organization of Bhutan (HUROB) submitted a letter to the Indian Prime Minister requesting that the Bhutanese refugee problem be raised with the Prime Minister of Bhutan and in help in repatriation of Bhutanese refugees.
HUROB demanded that the Indian Government should mediate and initiate a dialogue with the dissident leaders and the Bhutan Government for a peaceful resolution of the problem through national reconciliation as 15 rounds of bilateral talk between the Governments of Nepal and Bhutan were a complete failure and yielded no positive outcome.
“The peaceful resolution of the problem is of paramount importance to Bhutan for its long term stability and permanent peace, and to India for stability and peace in the region.” reads the letter further.
Likewise, Santa Bir Ghallay, coordinator of the Elderly People committee For Repatriation, had also submitted a letter to the Indian Prime minister to initiate the repatriation of those Bhutanese refugees who don’t want to opt for third country resettlement.