Druk National Congress of Bhutan
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MR. GEDUN CHOEPHEL IS ELECTED AS A NEW PRESIDENT OF DRUK NATIONAL CONGRESS
In his inaugural presidential address, he said, “I extends my Tashi Delek to political parties within the country and exile. I will continue good works of my predecessor Kesang Lhendup and late Rongthong Kunley Dorji legacy so that every Bhutanese irrespective of race, sex, religion, politics or other status could enjoy the fruits of genuine democracy. I am hopeful that the people of Bhutan and the well-wisher will continue to extend their support to my endeavor in establishing inclusive and vibrant democracy in Bhutan”.
The election of the president was held in accordance to party constitution.
The new president constituted his team and appointed the new office bearers. Mr. Pema Tendzin was appointed as Vice-President. Mr. Karma Dupthob and Mr. Sangay Dorji were appointed as General Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Mr. Chewang Rixin was appointed the president of Druk National Youth Congress.
The Druk National Congress was founded on 16th June, 1994 in exile by Mr. Rongthong Kunley Dorji demanding the establishment of democracy in Bhutan.
Druk National Congress celebrated the Party’s 23rd Foundation Day
Members of Druk National Congress celebrated the Party’s 23rd Foundation Day at Kathmandu, Nepal on June 16, 2017. The customary suja desi was served to members and guests. The traditional Bhutanese game, ‘Khuru’ was played among members and guests to mark the occasion.
Gedun Choephel, President of the Party, remarked that the ‘democratization’ of Bhutan is incomplete without the participation of exile political parties in Bhutanese political process. The incarceration of political prisoners and our exile status are the living proof of Bhutanese exclusive democratic process.
The exclusiveness of Bhutanese democratic process is further perpetuated by the existing political parties in Bhutan. He urged the political parties inside Bhutan to place common interests over self-interests in their service to Tsa-Wa-Sum.
The Party lighted butter lamps in remembrance of those Bhutanese who have departed this world while working for the establishment of democracy in Bhutan.
BBIN to BIN
Bhutan opt out of BBIN ( Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal ) motor vehicles agreement. It was a sub-regional cooperation and the agreement would allow for the regulation of passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic among the four countries.
Two new Political in fray for upcoming election in 2018
The two new political parties are all set to participate in upcoming election in 2018. One is Druk Gaki Tshogpa, Founded by Chheku Drukpa, a civil engineer and the other is Druk Kuenphen Tshogpa founded by Jigme Drukpa,former civil servant.
In Bhutan, the political parties get active only during the time of election. The regime doesn’t permit the politicking and soliciting of the party membership drive during other times.
If this parties get the registration, the Bhutan will have seven registered political parties for the upcoming election. In 2008, DPT and PDP participate in the election while the third parties was BUDP under Sigay Dorji was denied the registration by ECB. In 2013, four political parties namely DNP, DCT,PDP and DPT participate in the election. BKP was denied by ECB to participate in primary election.
Chairman of DIPRO still imprisoned
The Chairman of the Druk Indigenous People’s Rights Organization (DIPRO), Mr. Tshewang Rinzin still imprisoned since his arrest in 1998. He had formed DIPRO to alleviate the plight of the indigenous population of Bhutan through empowerment of human rights and democracy. He was arrested for raising the voice of democracy and human rights.
The Bhutan has implemented the constitution in 2008 which enshrined the protection of human rights yet the likes of Mr. Tshewang Rinzin and scores of other political prisoner are devoid of constitution protection.
The exile political leaders bemoan that the champion of democracy ideals country like neighboring country India and European are blind to plight of political prisoners. The silence on their part only embolden the regime to suppress the genuine democracy aspirants.
Dratshang Lhentshog must be separated from the state patronage
The 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck entered “Ka Nying Zhungdral” as a state religion when Bhutan entered the United Nation Organization in 1971. In 2008, the Fourth King guided Constitution was adopted with the recognition of ‘Buddhism’ as a spiritual heritage of country. For the first time in history of Bhutan, Constitution of Bhutan, Article 3 section 3 placed, “Religious institutions and personalities above politics”. A separation of state and religion was clearly enunciated. The Election Act of Bhutan section 184 disqualified ‘religious personality or ordained members of any religion or religious institutions’ from participating in electoral process However, the Dratshang Lhentshog were grated state patronage through Article 3 section 7 and it is meddling in the affairs of state. The Dratshang Lhentshog is engage in proselytization of Nyingmap followers. The Constitution of Bhutan Article 7 section 4 doesn’t permit proselytization but government doesn’t view the Nyingmapa proselytization as such. Instead, the Government is aptly supportive of Dratshang Lhentshog’s design.
The sources inside the country suspects that the monarchy Institution might have been blackmailed by Dratshang Lhentshog by revoking of Zhabdrung institution. Only Dratshang Lhentshog can officially reinstate the reincarnated Zhabdrung. Historical evidence suggests that Monarchy institutions’ only rival was Zhabdrung Institution. The seventh Zhandrung Jigme Dorji (1905-1931) was assassinated in 1931 at Talo, Punakha under the order of Second King Jigme Wangchuck for showing political ambition. The Eighth Zhabdrung Jigme Tendzin Chogay (1939—1953) was assassinated at Tashigang under the order of Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The Ninth Zhabdrung Jigme Ngawang Namgyal (1955—2003) had lived in exile since age 5 and died in CMS Hospital at Vellore, India on April 5, 2003. The exile Bhutanese leader Thinley Penjor who is now resettled in US had alleged the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s hand in his death. The tenth Zhandrung Pema Namgyal is living in Bhutan under the surveillance.
DNC holds the opinion that with the adoption of constitution, the legacy and longevity of Monarchy institution in Bhutan is secured and historical episodes after the advent of Monarchy Institution has always favored the monarchy. The Dratshang Lhentshog must be completely separated from the state if the long-lasting peace, harmony and happiness in country were to be prevail in future.
The King Jigme Khesar Namgyal wangchuck in his National Day celebration at Kanglung recognized Corruption as main challenge to the country’s future development. Yet the country is still engulf in corruption and irregularities. Many Bhutanese are unafraid to indulge in corruption practices since the member of royal family member are their inspiration. The Fifth King has not taken any action against his brother-in-law. The hydro Project kickback case of 2014 is in cold storage. In 2014, Mr. Sangay Wangchuk, husband of Her Royal Highness, Ashi Chimi Yangzom and the owner of Bhutan Venture Trading pocketed NU 240 million as commission from Indian Government owned company Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for Mangdechu Project and Punatsangchu II Project for the supply of electro-mechanical equipment worth around Nu 16 billion. The Government of Bhutan prohibits the appointment of any middlemen or agents in the case of tendering in bilateral projects.
The Modus operandi of the embezzlement of public funds are usually the collusion of two parties. Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan’s (RICBL) branch office supervisor embezzlement tune of Nu 141M in collusion with Yoezer Dema, an information technology (IT) assistant with the Bhutan National Bank Limited. The President of Sherubtse College, Mr. Tshering Wangdi in collusion with college accountant is also engaged in corruption practice. He personally handles the college funds and lend money to private business for an interest. The Anti-Corruption Committee exist like an eyewash to international community and domestic gullible public. No elite personnel involved in corruptions are punished. Instead, corruption officials like the former Home Minister Minjur Dorji and Former Speaker Jigme Tshultrum are accorded the highest respects in official functions and gatherings. The lesser Bhutanese will continue to tempt towards corruption in foreseeable future if current trends continues.
Doklam stand off
On 16th June, 2017, PLA troops with Road construction machinery were stopped by Indian Army to prevent the PLA from constructing the road in Bhutanese territory. On June 29, Bhutanese foreign ministry issued the press release asking the Chinese to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March 1959 and refrain from taking unilateral action, or use of force, to change the status quo of the boundary. The standoff was disengage on 28th August, 2017 when China and India army both retreated to their respective territories.
The Bhutan was caught in geopolitics rivalry between India and China. India has a historical military ties with Bhutanese military and hence intervene on behalf of Bhutan. The situation of Bhutan however is precarious. The Bhutan must tread very carefully to protect his sovereignty and national integrity. It is expected that China and India will refrain from military tussle in Bhutanese territory in future.