Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Shabdrung Statue from Asiatic Society in Kolkata, India. An article by Tshering Tashi ( Kuensel issue 31.12.16.

The writer has much  knowledge about so many historic events of Bhutan. One can get so much education from him. I also read more about this statue in the social media.

So Captain Hidayat Alli bestowed his war loot with the Asiatic Society. I thought this Asiatic Society was a legal and respected Institution. Little did I suspect that this society is a safe keeper of war loot. I wonder if Asiatic Society has Nazi war loot paintings. I read of cases where very valuable paintings looted by Hitler people from private individuals/ sovereign nations during WWII have been returned to rightful owners.

Asiatic Society and Government of India know very well that the statue never rightfully and legally belonged to that Captain. He took it as a war loot/ trophy. The rightful and legal owner is the Central Monastic Body of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

If it was returned to Bhutan that is great. But why did Bhutan accept it on loan? How can Bhutan sanctify the wrong doing of that Captain and the Asiatic Society? Are we really so badly short of Shabdrung statues? Is any Shabdrung statue more holier or precious than the Kham Sum Singye that is said to be moulded by Shabdrung himself to represent him after his own mortal death? 

What is a statue even of Lord Buddha without the " zung". It is just a piece of sculpture. One values it for its sculpture and work of art value and monetary price. Not spiritual value.  Does Bhutan need another excuse to bow in gratitude to other powers? Bhutan never acknowledged the late said to be Shabdrung incarnate that Indian  Government took from Tawang during Sino Indian 1962 war and brought up by Government of India. So why hunger over a bronze product that was not even crafted by Shabdrung?

I feel that the management authority of Asiatic Society should examine their conscience and make the right moral and legal decision to return the statue to its rightful owner " The Central  Monastic Body of Bhutan'.  A war looter can never be acknowledged as the rightful owner of war loots. I think both that Captain and Asiatic Society have been amply rewarded. The " zung" of such a statue would consist of at least one golden Chenrezi statue, cat eye, red corals and other precious gems in addition to holy mantras. Asiatic Society acknowledges to be in possession of only the mantra script paper rolls. Damn convenient.

To answer Tshering Tashi's query about a large enough structure to house such a statue at Bhutan Duars. Yes, there was a Dzong. After it fell into British hands, Bhutan built a replacement under Samtse Dzongkgag ( Tendu Sibsoo). And it was called Dzong Sarpu ( meaning new fortress).    

The Dorjilung Hydro Project 1125 MW, the 2nd article by "The Bhutanese".

The final gist of the second article by the Bhutanese ( 30 December, 2016) on the Dorjilung Hydro project is that even after more than a year of Bangladesh, India and Bhutan joint visit to the proposed tripartite project site, India has not formally agreed to activating the project. Bhutan and Bangladesh had signed the MOU in Feburary, 2016 but India is still yet to sign the MOU writes The Bhutanese.

So was it a candy dangled to get Bhutan to fulfill another wish of India? I wonder what was that wish. The project is an important milestone if it goes through. However, it is not worth compromising the larger national interest.

As for power development, India has already backed down on her commitment to fund ( loan and grant) the total 10000 MW hydro projects by 2018. Few Hydro projects among the 10,000 have been rejected already. And by 2018, not even 30% of the committed 10,000 MW will be achieved though costs have escalated beyond financial sanity in the ongoing few projects.

The silverlining about future Bhutan Hydro Project development is that now Druk Green has the capability to conduct feasibility studies and draw up complete power projects of mega size. That is quite a national feat. Thank you Druk Green and Congratulations!

Project Fund and Market are of secondary importance for hydro projects in Bhutan. During dry rainy season, even Bhutan needs to import electricity supply to meet national consumption. So if Bangladesh wants to invest in Bhutan it can be done. If India does not allow transmission of power generated from Bangladesh Bhutan joint hydro project through Indian territory, Bhutan can pay Bangladesh share in currency ( I know Bangladesh needs electricity not money but a head start has to be made somehow for Bangladesh Bhutan joint Hydro Projects).  Also some power intensive Bangladesh industries can be set up in Bhutan. Somehow Bhutan and Bangladesh should go ahead bilaterally if India hesitates further with the Dorjilung Hydro Project. ( My thanks to The Bhutanese for the update. We Bhutanese  should be interested in knowing about such subjects).

Friday, December 30, 2016

President Obama and perhaps his last strategy hits plateau of despair.

An outgoing most popular modern time United States President of 2 terms, Barack Obama would have like to have ended his 8 years term on a high note in international affairs if not in domestic.   Afterall America is the self acclaimed super world leader.

But the last 2 months of November and December, 2016  has been failures at home and abroad. His Democratic Party lost both Presidential Election and Congress Election. The Republican Party under Trump Tsunami swept both Senate and House of Representatives and Hillary Clinton was soundly  defeated in her confident race to the White House.

Middle East turmoil has been American stage for so many decades and both President Bush (Republican)  and Obama ( Democrat)  Presidencies saw wars conflagrate from Iraq to Libya extending to Syria. The influx of refugees into Europe from Middle East troubled nations overwhelmed European Countries. A force known as ISIS over shadowed all efforts of American led Western Allies in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Against this background,  an outgoing American President would have badly wanted to be associated with the peace process going on in Syria. But it is Russia and Turkey that brokered a Truce between Syrian Government Force and the Opposition Force. America was not invited. And unfortunately for Obama,  the Truce has very good chance of paving  the path to permanent peace. And President Trump has been invited in the next round of Peace Talks scheduled deliberately a month hence. On 20th January, 2017, Obama leaves and Trump comes in at the White House. 

Obama Administration retaliated against this Middle East ( more precisely West Asia ) political snub from Russia by following up on  Washington allegations against Russia on cyber attacks to " influence American Presidential Election"( unproven) . A feeble diplomatic sanction has been imposed against Russia through Executive Order by President Obama. The sanction included expelling 35 Russian Diplomats from United States.

However, President Putin outplayed President Obama again. The Russian Leader refused to retaliate in kind. Thus laying a solid diplomatic ground for President Trump to reverse the Executive Order of Obama in 3 weeks time.

Obama's Administration tried to counter the Russian and Turkey peace initiative in Syria by creating one of their own in West Bank. The Security Council passed a resolution declaring Israel Settlements in West Bank to be illegal with United States abstaining and not vetoing the resolution. That, too , backfired somewhat with Israel accusing United States of orchestrating the resolution and President Elect Trump  publicly telling Israel to be strong till 20th January. However,  there is a silver lining in that the UN Resolution cannot be reversed by Trump with an Executive Order. But it's impact can be nullified by a pro- Israel Washington.  

So unless something dramatic happens giving President Obama a parting gift, the first black President is going to create another historic precedent- leaving the White House roundly defeated  in all fields:  Congress, National Policies and International affairs.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Kuensel editorial welcoming increase in electricity tariff. Hilarious!

Kuensel editorial points:

1. The hydropower is economic jewel to achieve socio- economic development.
2. The electricity tariff increase  may hurt the individual pockets but we must not forget the larger national goals.
3. The revision is only 3% while the annual inflation the country experience is about 6% on the average.

My points:

1. I never expected a glowing editorial praising the hike in electricity tariff for Bhutanese consumers.
2. If inflation is 6% then 3% tariff increase makes it 9% more strain on individual income.
The 3% increase in rate every year for the next three years means that in aggregate it will be more than 10% increase in rate  at the end of the  2nd year( 2018).
3. If " larger national goal " and " socio- economic goal" has no place for individual Bhutanese welfare than for whom is Bhutan planning for.

What are facts:

1. When I read the notification on electricity tariff increase, as an individual I was resigned to it like most consumers. But for sure I did not expect a follow up by the Government National Paper " Kuensel" to tell the Bhutanese consumers to be grateful for the increase in tariff because it was not as high as in United States of America. 


1. The authorities can reduce hike in tariff every year by controlling the unnecessary cost escalations in hydro project costs. Maybe if Bhutanese authorities wish to compare electricity Unit price in Bhutan with United States as Kuensel has done then perhaps compare project cost escalations that happens in Bhutan with that in United States.

2. Stop telling the Bhutanese  people that the nation will be better off with completion of hydro power projects if the welfare of every  Bhutanese is not part of that national development goal as indicated by Kuensel.

3. I am grateful to this Government for the direct subsidy of 100 electricity units provided free to the rural village families.

A lot is made about providing electricity to remote part of Bhutan and actual cost that is incurred in so doing. Along with such trumpeting,   the authorities  should also take into considerations the environmental protection rules: restrictions on mining, felling trees to people  and wildlife conflict. The individual Bhutanese do make sacrifices. It is not just Bhutan Power Corporation or Druk Green. Please note  Electricity Unit rate touches lives of all Bhutanese.

Poor people do live in urban cities not just in  villages. It should be possible to do without increasing the electrical rate upto to 100 units in urban cities for all Bhutanese. The benefit derived in cooking on electricity stoves rather than imported cooking gas alone should justify national goal to maintain at minimum the base 100 Units cost in urban Bhutan whilst providing free of cost upto 100 Units in rural Bhutan.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Private Money Lending Rules of RMA and Supreme Court.

First one must thank The Bhutanese for sharing on the social media the Draft Rules being worked out by RMA and Supreme Court.

Second this Draft Rule will definitely kill Private Money Lending.  It is designed to kill the system or at the least, drive private money lending and borrowing under ground. I feel it will go underground. The fallout from the rules, therefore, is even more disastrous. So why bother with the rediculous facade of drafting Rules that choke only the Lenders?  

Why not simply pass a law banning private money lending? And if RMA and Supreme Court feel that demands of borrowers must be met to some extent then come up with solutions in the financial institutions for meeting demands of such types of would be  borrowers.   

Also I am rather surprised that the two institutions have just one sided view of the private money lending and borrowing problem that is ailing the Bhutanese society. And that view is the incredible compounded  interest rates charged by money lenders. The same view is also shared by many innocent onlookers or those who choose to know no more than what appears on the surface. What about  con persons ( some borrowers)  out to wrest hard earned money of others by offering attractive dividends or interests  that they  have no intention to pay? Such borrowers are not victims. 

What the Supreme Court and RMA totally misses in the Draft Rules is the " pyramid scam" type that quite a many  borrowers are actually engaged in. The pyramid scams  are financial schemes that promises very high returns on investments. In Bhutanese parlance the borrowers promise high interests return.  The initial investors/ loans are paid  high returns and this leads to more people banking their money in such schemes/borrowers. Then the scheme fails or rather the Promoters / borrowers disappear with the investments leaving quite a many high hopeful investors cheated of their money.

This is the other side of the Bhutanese money lending and borrowing  story. Borrowers have led lavish lives in the country and then  absconded the country and few of them possibly enjoying the loot in another country away from the arms of Bhutanese laws. Consequently leaving behind quite a many money lenders without even recovering their initial capital. And not all money lenders are loan sharks. Quite a few elderly pensioners have been duped to invest/ lend their life savings to such unscrupulous borrowers. 

There is a private mony borrower serving prison term as the borrower was unable to pay back to many money lenders. A building owned by the borrower was auctioned off by the Court to settle dues. The lenders had to settle with whatever percentage of money they could recover by dividing the amount fetched from the auction proceeds of the building.

The borrower was supposed to have been bankrupt with the only asset the building being auctioned off. There is now a story going round.  And according to it, the imprisoned  borrower had actually bought the same building put out in the auction through an intermediary. If true the joke was on the Court and the money lenders. And rumours that circulate in the narrow Bhutanese social circles are invariably true.

There would be borrowers who would be prepared to bear some pains so that they and their family members financially benefit. There are also cases where some money  Lenders and Borrowers have caused much pain and hardship upon their own family members because of their ventures of greed.

There are grave eonomic and social ills  that private money lenders and borrowers create through their joint greed. Most of the private money cases that flood the Courts and are sensationalised in both main media stream and social media are related to black market, gambling and speculations of buying now and selling at huge profit later on.

The agreements do not reflect the actual  purposes of the loans. Therefore, the Courts are not legally aware though the judges as individuals would have to be aware of some of the happenings in the social business circles. 

Small time private lenders and borrowers are far away from public and judicial  gaze. The amounts do not run into millions and most borrowers are good people in need of ready cash to override an economic crunch or settle a social debt. The lenders too are people who do not make business out of money lending.

The authorities and the public must exercise caution and differentiate between those high market borrowers  and lenders among  urban communities  and those traditional rural community based lending and borrowing.

Friday, December 16, 2016

High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and rudimentary reality.

You are told that such health problems are due to rich oily diet and lack of physical exercise. These are what medical people state with all the confidence that they learnt from what others wrote. Possible that most illness have some sort of relation to  one's own diet and habits. But what happens in real life experience can also be totally contradictory.

It has never been my habit to take morning or evening walks. I always thought sex in bed was far enjoyable than solo aimless or purposeful  walks  Anyway, never had the luxury of time to walk away from domestic morning and evening tasks to go for walks.   I am not physically inactive though I do not normally engage in  physically strenous task. There is no restrictions in my diet. Growing up in a village, you eat whpat is raised on the farm. And now I eat what I like. I am not crazy about rice and chilli curry is not my favourite dish. But I like meat and taste of chilli. And from western diet, I like  ice cream and chocolate. I do not normally drink alcohol but once in a while in festive mood, I do drink beer or wine during celebrations. I do not as yet suffer from blood pressure problems or diabetic ailments.

My wife is a workaholic. She could manage all house chores, domestic animals care and 8 acre paddy fields. I did help out whenever my professional life accommodated.  Looking after the children and my needs are kind of by the way task for her. She never tired looking after us. So she has been physically and mentally  over active.   She is everywhere and everything. Her taste in food are very simple. If there is rice and ema datsi ( chilli cheese dish), she craves for no other. She doesn't even like cakes that much. And yet today she has both blood pressure and diabetic problems. Still physically active and managing all our home needs.

My dad died at 96 years of age. He was a tough farmer. He was not alcoholic but he did drink and enjoyed it too. He could down a bottle of whisky in a night even at age 90 and suffer no hangover. He had such good health. He died kind of physically young. I remember with amazement that he used to walk from Haa to Paro over the hills to meet relatives or  just to get fresh green chilli supply. He was 86 then. 

My life experiences taught me that death is dictated at the time of your birth. And your illness has more to do with your body constituents gifted at birth than your living  habits.  You will die when your time comes no matter what you do to prevent it. Also  your quality of life may have more to do with your mental state rather than physical exercises.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Donald Trump, Taiwan and Mainland China.

In the present political scenario, one might be tempted to assume that American President Elect Donald Trump would be relinquishing the One China Policy once he takes over the reign of United States Policies.

America is the only Super Power and she is quite powerful. However, now the world has undergone so much changes. So America is like the spider in the world web. The spider weaves the web but it cannot destroy the web without making itself homeless. Thus as President, Donald Trump cannot pursue nor can he achieve two China policy if he attempts.

America could start aggressively arming Taiwan and declare her intention to honour the security pact signed with Taiwan. The consequence of such a foreign policy would only hasten the demise of Taiwanese present national status. There is no way the mainland Chinese Government will give in to American attempt to enforce two China equation. As costly as it maybe, China will march into Taiwan if Donald Trump attempts to break away Taiwan from China. I had expressed the same opinion when some Americans and European politicians called for war to oust Russia from Crimea.

Taiwan will be part of one China whether Donald Trump likes it or not. Presiden Trump will have no choice but to adhere to the one China policy. His present expression of annoyance with China is only to cover up the fiasco of his ill advised direct contact with Taiwanese President. Some political commentators say that Trump is testing China and his present stands as President Elect is a deliberate strategy to weigh out Chinese strength and seriousness. I would disagree. It is too early to have had the  time and energy to devote to such a strategy. 

America, China and Russia cannot afford any direct aggressive confrontation of large consequences. They have much to lose and so little to again. Thus America under President Trump will not be wasting her time and armed forces to make Taiwan a different China. I cannot even imagine a large scale trade war between America and China. Major Cabinet posts under Trump are taken up by known  industrial and Commerce figures not war hawks. So it all points towards better world trade and prosperous economy. Not wars and destructions caused by  the past policies of  American Administrations.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bhutan the last 10 years.

Bhutan the last 10 years.

Today the Nation pays homage to the first decade of the reign of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.  Deviating from general platitudes and tributes in celebration of the occassion, I shall recap what I can  recollect from amongst the happenings that I can sort of retrospect of the last decade ( 2006- to- 2016). My own humble  way of paying respects for peace and good health in the past 10 years.  
1. The signing of the re-negotiated Indo- Bhutan Treaty of 1949 at New Delhi.. Bhutan was  to become  truly master of her own foreign affairs under the new Treaty.
2. The 4th King abdicating in favour of the 5th King
3. The Kings voluntarily empowering the people and abolishing absolute Monarchy system in favour of constitutional  Monarchy.
4. The 1st National Council Election. And the 1st General Election in 2008 and formation of the 1st  Democratic Government under DPT Political Party led by Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley .
5. The adoption and signing of the historic Constitution by the King and the MPs in the presence of Drugyel Zhipa.
6. The Public Coronation of the 5th King  and celebration of the 100 years of Wangchuck Dynasty Reigns.
7. The Royal Wedding.
8. The successful nation wide Local Governnent Elections. And Celebrating 100 years of modern education.
9. The cadastral re- survey exercise of land holdings and grant of land Kidu. Thus empowering national livelihood through land distribution and ownership by the King.
10. The 1st constitutional case review by the Supreme Court on legislative process for taxation.
11. The 2nd National Council Election. And the 2nd  General Election in 2013 and also the first Primary Election contest between 4 Political Parties.  For the 1st time, Bhutan came face to face with direct outside intervention in internal governance process. . (Thankfully the nation seems to have now recovered to some degree of confidence and stability). 
12. The formation of  2nd democracy Government under PDP Political Party led by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.
13.  The National Celebration of the 60th Birth Anniversary of the Triple Gem King the great Drugyel Zhipa.
14. The unprecedented leave of one year absence by His Holiness the 70th Jhe Khenpo. Thankfully His Holiness is now back on active duty.
15.  The 2nd constitutional review by the Supreme Court on matters of Thromde creations and term of office for Local Government  elected officials.
16.  Successful and smoothly conducted Two Bye - Elections and 2 Phases of  Local Governnent Elections by the Election Commission of  Bhutan. 
17.  The demise of original SAARC and introduction of a smaller inner pact of 3+1  regional retrogressive club.
18. Visible progresses in Bilateral relationships with India and  in Border Talks with China since the bleak period  of  2013 General Election. Also contact with America was achieved at the higher level of Secretary of State. Bhutanese Leadership gained a higher state of calibration since 2013 low tide ( my perception).  
19. The Birth of the Crown Prince His Royal Highness Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck. Probably the undisputed biggest national happening of the decade if national ecstacy was measured.

The decade had much ups and few downs. But as in all journeys, what counts is the final lap. The Tsawa Sum is in good health. And may  these 3 Pillars of the Kingdom remain ever so in good health under the benevolent reign of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and the Blessings of Drugyel Zhipa and the Deities.

Pelden Drukpa Gyelo! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

This damned BBIN Agreement and Bhutanese Parliament.

I read with amusing interests what their Excellecies the Foreign Minister and Home Minister said in the National Assembly on behalf of BBIN Agreement.  People must understand that the Cabinet of Bhutan is declaring that salt is as sweet as sugar to get BBIN Agreement ratified. The Bhutanese Cabinet is under regional pressure so it is under duress that Cabinet Ministers take such stand. The MPs must forgive them and scrap the Agreement.

Bhutan is surrounded by China and India. Geographically and therefore,  economically,  India is even more pivotal than China. The recently renewed Trade and Transit Agreement between Bhutan and India takes care of all Bhutanese needs. In case of electricity export to Bangladesh from Bhutan, the same has to go via Indian grid. And that will depend on India and Bangladesh relationship not BBIN Agreement. Export and import of other goods are already happening between Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal without BBIN Agreement and things will be fine as long as India is happy. And if India is unhappy then as in the case of Nepal Blockade, even the Bhutan India Trade and Transit Agreement will not guarantee movement of goods between Bhutan and India. An Agreement is worthless if the larger Party wishes to break it.

BBIN Agreement has only one purpose. That is to snub Pakistan. And it will have tsunami impact on Bhutanese national security, social, economic and political structures. Bhutan just does not have the capacity to absorb and manage the immense and hugely diverse overwhelming influx of everything that BBIN floods into the country.

Bhutanese need not care about Pakistan. India and Pakistan will always be hugging and stabbing each other.  But there is a responsibility for Bhutanese to look out for our self national interests. Forget personal self interest of pleasing your Bosses, your Political Parties and even Bhutanese Trucks and Taxis. Just stand United against regional invasion. 

Bhutan fears India for one reason. Bhutan wants to be the best of friend with India for the same reason. And that reason is Bhutan values her sovereignty and way of national life. BBIN Agreement is one night stand that is going to make Bhutan a life time prostitute. Prostitution is for ecomic reliance. It does not enhance individual freedom or national sovereignty.  Prostitution does not preserve individual or national dignity.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

There are no doomsayers regarding BBIN Agreement.

Our faith in the future is clearer all due to the wisdom of ultimate leadership. Few  fair weather proponents for BBIN have  alleged that those who oppose the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement are being "doomsayers" . I can only think that may be, such vocals are predicting their own personal misfortunes. I feel that with or without BBIN Motor Agreement, Bhutan does not face any kind of "doomsday".

However, the reality is that Bhutan does not have a road network infrastructure to support the implimemtation of BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement. The nation also do not have the necessary immigration and security establishments that can cope with end result more influx of people and vehicles.

It is heartening to hear that few realistic  Diplomats from the neighbouring Countries also understand the logistical and infrastructural shortcomings within Bhutan.

My opposition to BBIN has nothing to do with who is the governing Political Party or who are supporting or opposing it. It is far more substantial and enduring. I do not express opinion to suit personal convenience.

I have heard people complaining about number of cars imported not because of strain on foreign currency reserve but because they say " just too many vehicles ". My position was and still is that Bhutanese especially those who own cars  cannot wish away the desire and necessity of fellow Bhutanese buying cars. New registration of taxis are restricted under Thimphu. To this I felt and still feel that Thimphu is the most lucrative taxi market and it should not be just the monopoly of those already registered taxi owners only.

Regardless of the limitation of road network, I sincerely believe that it must be shared with all Bhutanese citizens. However, when what we have is not sufficient to cater to Bhutanese citizen needs then for sure the nation is in no position to welcome additional foreign vehicles.

I have applauded recent Tourism and Immigration procedural reform on application for visitor permit by neighbouring tourists through licensed travel agents. The hope is that this procedure would decongest lineups at the border and also assist Bhutanese buses and taxis commercially.

Quite sometime back, there was also call for road connection with Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh). Such a connection would naturally strain the Samdrupjongkhar Tashigang highway besides other pros and cons. I did not think it was a prospective venture for Bhutan.

I have personally not suffered transport invonveniences since I hardly travel. Also I am not personally anxious about competition in transport tariff as I am not into transport business. However, I am aware of the road difficulties that travellers and transporters face. The main national highway from Phuentsholing to Thimphu has been brutalised by rain and land slides to the extent that presently high tonnage are still directed through Pasakha which has its own numerous difficulties and disadvantages. So one can imagine the poor  condition of motor roads elsewhere in Bhutan. Also foreign transport will naturally have competitive impact on the in-country taxis and trucks. And so national truckers and taxis will voice their apprehensions. No reasonable person should tag such people worried about their livelihoods as "doomsayers".

Bhutan's only transportation network is the motor-road system. The roads are not just narrow. The road network is simply fragile. Therefore, the problems of rain and land slides and constant floods that wash away bridges during rainy seasons and cause obstructions with ice and snow during Winter will remain yearly ordeals.  Bhutan is hard pressed to maintain the road system to cater to her own vehicular and transportation movement. I suppose Bhutanese especiallly those loud hyperbolic writers are aware that even the present fragile road system is kept in service condition with foreign men, money and management. 

Objection to BBIN Agreement is not based on ultimate doomsday if ever such an event is ever to happen. And it is not that Bhutanese in general are against close relations with Bangladesh, Nepal or India. It is not that those who see the repercussions are " doomsayers" as alleged. Citizens will voice their concerns for various reasons. Some will express support for the Government initiatives  and some would express their opposition. The Government would have its own reasons and obligations in promoting the Agreement. The Government cannot be tagged as "destroyers" just as those who oppose cannot be tagged as " doomsayers.    It is for the MPs in the Parliament to now decide whether the Agreement executed by the Government is to be ratified or not.

Whatever is the ultimate decision, it should not be deemed as bringing about or preventing  "doomsday". The Kingdom has adequate collective wisdom and merit to ward of any such unthinkable unfortunate eventuality. .

Regional diplomats seem to understand that Bhutanese national  infrastructures may as yet not be ready for BBIN Agreement implementation. World recognised Institutions are ready to acknowledge that Bhutan is least corrupted in this part of the Region. However, within Bhutan, few vehemently disagrees and their voices do get expounded as they have media friends in other countries. Perceptions so created by such people may temporarily darken the national image.  However, in the end game, facts matter in national life whether in Bhutan or elsewhere.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Indian money politics. Will BJP benefit?

BJP will derive benefits in both Party funding and political mileage from the demonitisation. However, in political terms BJP may not earn the dividend to the extent that had been planned.

Perception is crucial in a nation where nuances and reading into events correctly are not a practised culture. However, inmediate difficulties that people are made to bear could result in spontaneous negative reactions. That is why tomato and onion shortages during election period are known to swing votes.

Demonitisation was a political coup of mass acceptance but the counter coup was complete liquidity crunch that demonitisation caused. This situation was kind of an imposed starvation in the year of plenty.

The Government not only had printed wrong ATM size new notes of 500 and 1000 Rupees  but they had not realised the necessity to print greater stock of Rupee 100 and 50 notes. The old 500 and 1000 notes were invalidated and the replacements could not be distributed through the existing ATM system. Further people converted their old high notes in smaller denominations and stocked up the same.

Money supply in Indian market took grievous hits from 3 sides. First the sudden banning of old 500 and 1000 notes. Second the replacement could not be distributed due to transportation bottle necks and worse wrong ATM size notes. And third the exiting small notes went out of circulation with black money being stocked up in such notes.

There will be temporary setbacks to fake money printing process and certainly there would be considerable reduction in  the quantity of black cash stock. However, actual black wealth cannot be dented as Government claims. As for political gains, the elections including ongoing  bye election results will demonstrate the impact of the exercise. Whatever the end effect and impacts, there is no doubt that this exercise of demonitisation has turned the Indian economy and way of commercial transaction upside down for all Indians from villagers to urban dwellers. 

I find this Indian scenario fascinating chaos. I do  appreciate the unholy  predicaments that so many people continue to face  especially the common people who knows no other method  than cash transaction and cash just evaporated in the market. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dasho Pema Wangchuk the laughing Buddha.

The man with the GNH countenance has passed away this week. Dasho was already a red scarf officer by the time I met him. He was the Director of Agriculture. There was another red scarf officer Dasho ( Doctor) Yonten who was the Director of Health. Both hugely built and both such mild mannered gentlemen. You get the impression that they never faced problems in life. I guess some are born to be content and provide comfort to others. People like them added prestige to the red scarf and sword that adorn their position and symbolised their dedication to their responsibility and profession.

I remember two things about Dasho Pema Wangchuk. His smile and his doma chechu ( I am not sure whether he gave up doma in later years).  And with the  passing years his white hair.

His is a rare personality and even rarer are the honours he received from three successive Monarchs. The 3rd King granted him the red scarf, the 4th King  entrusted upon him the most crucial and heaviest of task of keeping the international boundaries of Bhutan as it was handed down to us by the great forefathers. It is no easy task when the international boundaries of the Kingdom of Bhutan adjoins that of China and India. And the 5th Monarch bestowed upon him the ' Son of Bhutan ' medal.

I do not know what the Indians called him. Someone said the Chinese referred to him as the Laughing Buddha. Such is his nature. Inexhaustibly patient, diligently tenacious and honest to the bone. I often wondered how baffling the Chinese Border Talk Teams initially found him to be. By any known and measured standards,  Dasho Pema Wangchuk would have been the most unlikely person to head the Technical Team on the Boundary Talks with China. However,  His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck had his unique unfathomable ways.

Mahatma Gandhi the most well known Indian national leader promoted the principle of non- violence but no Indian leader ever practised it after Gandhi died. But in Bhutan,  King Jigme Singye Wangchuck who was not even born in Gandhi time , converted that principle of non- violence to fortify the will and means of the Kingdom to deal with the giant neighbours. Imagine the King who is the Supreme Commander of the Security Forces commanding his officers and soldiers to face confrontations with foreign forces at the Borders unarmed. And his troops followed such seemingly astonishing orders in blind faith. That is how till date Bhutan managed to secure her international borders without ever firing a shot. If a shot had been fired that may have been the last shot Bhutan could ever fire against China or India. 

Now we might to some little extent comprehend why Dasho Pema Wangchuk was commanded to serve as Secretary of International Boundaries of Bhutan. We had to have a Buddha personality to compensate for all our physical  weakness when dealing with China or India on international boundary issues. Just wear them down with patience and smiles until we get what we seek and must preserve what is ours. In retrospection,  there is just no other way dreamed by mankind or directed by gods.

Dasho Pema Wangchuk is said to have joined the Royal Government Service in 1962 and till his heart gave in this week, he served the Kingdom. Dasho is one person that we could unhesitatingly declare that he lived and died for the greater glory of our Kingdom. 

I wish he lived just one more year to witness the signing of Sino- Bhutan International Boundary Agreement. All the technical field works and surveys have been completed and agreed upon. The latest China Bhutan Border Talk was held in China few months back.  Dasho was the deputy leader of the Bhutanese Deligation led by the Foreign Minister. I remember reading in Kuensel that the the final reports of the two technical teams were compared and the two nations agreed upon the finalised technical report. So,  in so far as the progress of Bhutan China Border Talks is concerned, I think it has now reached the stage for political decision. The technical agreement is already sealed.

Perhaps it was the Border Talks that somehow kept the Laughing Buddha going. Just last Spring,  Dasho who is in his late 70s lead his Technical Team on the trek of the Himalayan mountain ranges along the western Bhutan China Border on a joint Bhutan China Technical Survey. No wonder his sudden death this week has been a shock. Physically he was very fit so thought many near and dear to him. Maybe we underestimated his will power and overestimared his physical fitness. But thank you Dasho for your life given for the cause of greater Bhutan.

I am deeply sorry for the family  ( his wife, children and grandchildren ) and even more regretfully sorry that we lost such a phenomenal servant of the Kings, the  People and the Kingdom of Bhutan. My own privilege was knowing him personally and keeping myself upto date with the Boundary Talks through following  discussions that took  place in almost every National Assembly/ Parliament Sessions over the many years and from reading summaries that appeared in  Kuensel issues. Once in a public gathering Dasho told me, " You are the only person from outside who seem to have such keen and fair interests ". Dasho had read some of my thoughts on the Bhutan China Boundary Talks. The irony of my humble response was , " Sir,  please conclude it in your time. Do not leave it for another. I have not come across another Laughing Buddha ".  Dasho did not leave his task uncompleted. He has done his service to the Tsawa Sum. It is now for the Cabinet and the  Parliament of Bhutan under the gracious guidance of His Majesty the King to commit the political decision.

The surest tribute to Dasho Pema Wangchuk would be to seal and sign the Bhutan China Border Agreement for  which he had devoted many years of his life to conclude. 

I pray that the Laughing Buddha is now truely where he belongs - the Kingdom of the gods. 


Thursday, November 17, 2016

The necessity to Kill the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal ( BBIN ) Motor Vehicle Agreement.

This Agreement now goes from National Council to Parliament. We need to appeal to the NC members who abstained or voted for the Agreement to please kill the BBIN Agreement. Please do not join the Government on this crucial stake. The Government maybe under heavy tactic regional power pressures. 

National Council is there to resist such foreign pressure upon  national sovereign interest. Please all  25 honourable NC Dashos, kindly stand by Bhutan. In this be with the Opposition Party and vote against the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement. You are doing your duty not favouring the Opposition Party against the Government.

The PDP Party on the whole  must prevail upon the Cabinet to save the Country from Regional Occupation. The road system in Bhutan are already under crushing strain to even handle internal motor traffic. How can our roads handle the onslaught from the Regional Countries? Let us not be drowned under the deluge of people and vehicles from Bangladesh, India and Nepal. This is no time to fool around with politics. The present Trade and Transit Agreement between Bhutan and India can meet all our requirement. We do not need BBIN Agreement. And please note Agreements do not protect Bhutanese vehicle  and life on Indian  roads or any other foreign roads.

I would prevail upon the present as well as future Governments of Bhutan to strengthen national road system. Embark upon the construction of Southern Highway. Speed up progress on the Central East West Highway widening Project.  Improve North South Highways and connect by road the extreme northern inhabitants. The nation needs all the attention to develop the delicate and inadequate national motor road network. We are in no condition to cater to regional vehicles and politics.

This year was a terrible travel year wherein our economy and people movement was strangled by strains caused by very heavy monsoon rain and  floods and road widening activities. Let us not invite more national economic and social agonies. 

I hope our Government will find ways to let our neighbours know that Bhutan just cannot absorb the impact of such an Agreement. We are so small in economy and physical land size. Why do they want to flood us with their human and mechanical population? I see it as modern war and occupation.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

President Obama saves his legacy and Clintons gets washed out.

President Donald J Trump the 45th President of United States will be sworn in on 20th January, 2017.

President Obama did everything to oppose Presidential candidate Trump. He wanted to save his legacy the Obamacare and thought Hillary Clinton would do it. But Trump beat her handsomely to the Presidency.

After the defeat, Hillary Clinton sulked.She was obliged to phone Trump to concede her defeat on the Election night  after a storm of rediculous bewilderment  arose at her attempt to sit out till the next day. Then the next day she addressed her supporters and called upon them to " fight on ", it was a " hard loss " she declared.

So in cities where she won, her supporters started protesting starting with New York and even engaged in looting and rioting.

After the election result,  President Obama came out and he congratulated President Elect Trump on his victory and assured a peaceful and smooth Transition. That speech went a long way to soothe the brutal personal wounds between the two men. Then the next day the two powerful men met for one and half hour in the White House. The two first ladies also met.

The end result was that now President Elect Trump has said aloud that Obamacare will be amended not repealed thus preserving part of Obama legacy.That is a very good sign of good politics. 

In his acceptance speech President Elect Trump had called upon all to pay a debt of over 33 years of Clinton service to the nation by thanking her. The great gesture was warmly receved.  It meant his administration will not be pursuing criminal investigation on her. But ego got better of Hillary and she issued a vield threat the next day in her concession speech. She did not congratulate the President Elect and  called upon her supporters to " fight on ". So now criminal investigation against her is on the balance.

Too bad for the Clintons' image. The protests will go on but for how long?  20th January, 2017 is a long way. Meanwhile the majority will get fed up with those hard core disrupters and blame Hillary whilst by -the -way- people who form part of the protest group will fade away.

Trump Team is already putting their Transition Team together. The media says the next President will also have the opportunity to fill over 4000 Federal posts. And on 20th January, 2017, thousands  of Americans and world leaders will attend the Swearing in Ceremony of the 45th President of United States of America. And millions will watch the event from afar in America and around the world. 

I kind of liked President Clinton and wish for his sake that Mrs.Hillary Clinton practised a better grace in handling her massive defeat. In the end, the protests will have harmed the democratic Party more than the Republican Party. And these demonstrations of bad loser traits cannot in any way impede the progresz of President Elect Transition Team. Also achieving an edge in popular vote though some consolation has no meaningful weight for Hillary. The reason is that only about 60% of eligible voters had cast their vote. Further Women, Latinos and African Americans  did not overwhelmingly endorse Hillary though her campaign claimed to champion for those groups.

Today a new Trump heirachy has taken over the Republican Party and the Democratic Party has been badly wounded. The Clintons have now given way to Bernie Sanders. And the main stream media has been shredded to apologetic pleadings: " We did not know " and " Trump heard voices that none others heard " and " All the Polls turned out wrong ". The usual President Elect Press Corp of main stream media was twice ignored by Trump Team and only a boisterous pleading from the media,  got them the assurance of inclusion the next time. In America the Superman is the elected President.

Donald Trump has triumphed as he said he would. And for the next four years possibly the next 8 years, President Trump will be at the helm of the only Super Power. May the world have more peace and less strifes. And let me again add that Bhutanese in America " go about your work in peace and have no fear. President Trump is largely against criminal illegal immigrants ".

Friday, November 11, 2016

Impact or no impact to Bhutanese individuals and Bhutan economy by recall of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

An fb friend sends a message asking  my views to be shared with other fb friends and all on the rupee thing. 

Actually no impact of substance at all to Bhutanese economy. To Bhutanese individuals unless they have been duped in saving fake Indian Rupee denominations of 500 or 1000, again not much of impact except some inconvenience.

I think there is also a real possibility that at a later date, RMA will reimburse to Bhutanese individuals the old notes with new notes courtesy Reserve Bank of India. Save Your Deposit Records.

The Reserve Bank of India and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan have  a duty to fulfill their mandate and replace to each individual Indian or Bhutanese the old notes with new notes.   Afterall, they had declared in the past those notes to be legal tender. Also these notes,  if genuine notes, bears the committed promise of India. Otherwise people would not have been saving their wealth in the form of those notes. And it is not India as a nation that has gone bankrupt. It is simply a change of tactic by Indian Government to tackle fake notes. So India  is still bound to reimbursing in full and equavalent value any promissory note including the 500 and 1000 rupee old notes.

You may have  read the notice from RMA and I hope readers did not miss the important statement that in 15 days time, RMA may issue further notice on this exchange issue. I hope that the Reserve Bank of India takes the onus of facilitating RMA with the means to reimburse Bhutanese the same amount of rupees surrendered in old notes by new legal notes of rupees 500 and 1000. RMA notice states that all old notes will be surrendered to Reserve Bank of India by 30th December, 2016. So latest by 15 the January, 2017, RMA should physically receive the new rupee notes as replacement from Reserve Bank of India.  I feel those  Bhutanese who surrendered old notes would get new note replacement from RMA quite soon.

I applaud the Government of India especially the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister of India for taking the bold decision to protect their national economy. Fake notes in great quantity can have very unpleasant effect on economy unlike black market or black money. The later two moves economy though tax collection is affected. 

This thing about funding terrorism with fake rupees is rather watery. There must be other very substantial national reasons. A terrorist is a hardened soul but not an immune commercial  fool. Nor can be  those who provide the required terrorism materials. Anyway that is not my concern here.

I am just interested to know  as a Bhutanese how this  Bhutanese Cabinet especially the Finance Minister and Board Directors along with  Governors of the Royal Monetary Authority are going to go about the matter. They cannot claim to have eased the rupee shortage and then colly pocket those 500 and 1000 rupee notes from the depitors in exchange for one 10000 rupee payment and rest in ngultrums. Clowns and Jesters  are laughed at and appreciated only during Tsechu festivals in Bhutan.

I know we Bhutanese will simply walk in hordes to the nearest Bhutanese Banks to surrender such rupee notes if we have them. We  might grumble a little. But we  will never question the Reserve Bank of India, the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan or the Royal Government of Bhutan. Not for lack of courage which ofcourse is in short supply sometimes in real times  but just simple  lack of awareness of implications thereof or nonchalant characteristics about larger issues. 

It is not the people's fault in possessing 500 or 1000 rupee notes considering the low market value of a 100 rupee or ngultrum note. It is also our Government and our RMA which accepts rupee as a legal instrument in everyday business transaction in Bhutan. And that is why Bhutanese would be having rupee notes of 500 and 1000. 

The Embassy of India in Bhutan which represents the Government of India in all matters, thereby,  even Reserve Bank of India and the Bhutanese concerned authorities better come up with satisfactory arrangements in this high denomination issue if they want people to have faith in the close friendships between Bhutan and India. And the  closeness that  the two people share in relationship to rupee transactions in commercial business in Bhutan is to continue.

The 61st Birth Anniversary of 4th Druk Gyalpo.

Today the 11th of November, 2016 is the BirthDay of the King with the Triple Gem qualities. The Kingdom celebrates the Happy  Birth Day of His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck with a national holiday.

This year's most strikingly memorable pictures of the King for me were (1) The King at Punakha attempting to have His Holiness the Jhe Khenpo hold the baby Crown Prince and (2) the King combing the hair of the baby grandson with delicate hesitancy during the same event.

In public or in private, there is a noble human being who loves and cares. And to him each child in Bhutan deserves his love and nuturing. The task is now ably taken over by the King on the Throne but you can bet that affection is still glowing and has its impact.

I am sure His Majesty holds in his arms all his royal grandchildren and comb their hair and do more with equal love and care. That what most  grandparents in Bhutan do. The incidents I quoted happened in public only because it happened at a historic national event and a great Grandpa was being just a normal grandpa unconscious of BBS TV camera. (Thank you BBS).

There are great Kings and Leaders. But I doubt if they were gifted with  one singular honest quality that is natural to  King Jigme Singye Wangchuk. I have studied him in private as a student colleague and observed him in his public strides. This Royal Person is the same person in thought and deed both in private and in public. There is nothing fictitious (put on acts) about this human being. He is mother earth throughout 24 hours of the day and night.

Let me ask fellow adult  Bhutanese or better still the citizens of the world ( if only I could be at such a forum to be in contact with them). How many of you thanked your family members for accepting your love marriage and really meant it?

I wonder if any Bhutanese can even recall the incident. I have a little doubt because people in general are not only blind to nuances but they look at a rainbow in front of them without seeing the beauty of the prism colours.  They hear what they want to hear and they presume what they want to assume.

Well to get to the point. On the very 1st occassion of the draft  constitution consulting day at Lungtenphu, Thimphu ( the beginning of the end of absolute Monarchy rule)  the King of Bhutan thanked his fellow subjects for accepting his marriage to the four Queens. This absolute Monarch hardly did anything without consulting the people and if he did  something on his own,  it was in the larger interest of the nation for the future to come.  For example he imposed the Constitution and the ways of Democracy along with a new King for greater good upon the reluctant and perhaps the confused populace.

During his reign, he made one decision for himself without consulting the people. The decision to crown four Queens. And on that day which marked the historic transition from absolute Monarchy rule to Constitutional Monarchy System, the supposed to be absolute Monarch expressed his royal gratitude to his people for taking in national stride that one royal  personal vice.  That's how sincere, how humble and how great the supposed to be absolute Monarch is.

I just mentioned few above points because people say that the King is great and if asked why,  they cite so many development activities including number of students and schools.  ( As if Bhutan under any other leader would have been put in a time capsule). Sometimes I feel like saying we have more students in more schools today because there are simply more children and so more schools to accommodate them.  Make a little effort and take a peak at the true greatness. That way you might just know and appreciate the King a little more sincerely.

Today I offer my prayers that the Great King live long and healthy and be there in person to bless his grandson the  Crown Prince when he is crowned the sixth King of the Kingdom.

Happy Birthday Day Your Majesty ! May you retain that greek god look and health and share with all your ocean of love and wisdom. Most humbly and respectfully I remain an admirer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A farewell confessional speech from doubly and soundly defeated Hillary.

Some 8 years ago, Hillary Clinton thought she had a chance to the Presidency. But as Primary contest for Democratic Party 's Presidential candidate progressed, she was left trailing by the other candidate Barrack Obama. But that defeat was not too bad because Obama became President and she was appointed Secretary of State.

But the irony is that maybe the perceived lapses by her as Secretary of State have opened her Presidential campaign to distrust by voters including those in traditional democratic states.

This is her second consessional speech and she took many hours to gather the courage to give it. This final defeat was most unexpected and therefore shockingly hard to handle. She did not congratulate Trump for winning the Election in her speech. But earlier,  she had phoned her acceptance of defeat to Mr.Trump.

The Clinton Couple have had both great and chequered journey across the political
spectrum of America and the world. And it is expected that though never any more as President yet they will continue to impact American political and social lives to certain extent.

Today President Obama, too, spoke and called upon Americans to move forward together under the Trump Presidency. May be the generous speech retrieved a bit of his lost dignity in claiming that Trump did not connect with the working people and Trump can never be President of United States because he was unfit. Trump has been voted by working Americans to be the next  President.

Political Analysis is an art of honest estimation without self prejudice and self agenda.

Today Donald Trump won and a lot of Bernie Sanders Democrats went to Trump dumping
Hillary. The stunning result surprised Trump team and shocked rest of America.

My take was that he would be hard to fell. And he had a good chance to succeed and be accepted as President. What Main Stream Media of the world said did not change my take.

Read what I wrote about Donald Trump and American Presidential Election.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Foreign Policy of Donald Trump.
The American President hopeful Donald Trump gave his foreign policy Speech. This is my take.

An olive branch to all. No intervention or forceful regime changes. No threats but strong meaningful diplomacy that benefits America as well as others especially Russia and China. Like everyone else still banking on China to control North Korea ( the hidden or undeclared reason is of course America cannot directly declare war on North Korea. Its too close to China ).

No war for the sake of feeding greedy war industries. War will be last resort and that too to defend American security not ideals of democracy. For home consumption, he said Christians needed to be defended in better ways than that of Obama effort.  And foreign policies to suit international order of peace and prosperity for America. He will not succumb to the in house Washington out dated think tanks who will be tanked for good he confirmed ( this is the main fear of old Republican guards in Washington. Losing their ancient hold on Presidents).

He attacked Iran Nuclear Deal but stopped short of renegading upon it. So the Deal stands but emphasis on ensuring no nuclear weapon for Iran. He maybe against Muslim refugees entering America but he confirmed that he is against destroying Muslim Countries and their system of governance and beliefs. He is against ISIS that successive American Administrations both Republic and Democrat helped to create.

May 12, 2016

American Politics: Donald Trump

I was intrigued by Trump from his early campaign time. Few other billionaires had tried for presidential candidacy before. But this one had no Party backing and no political base to build upon. On 28/4/16, I blogged my take of his foreign affairs speech. Foreign affairs was said to be his weakness. But in my view, he passed rather fairly.

Now that he stands tall and alone in Republican race, he has been declared the presumptive Party nominee as Presidential Candidate. His die hard critics within the party establishment have not died but their hearts are melting with Trump heat. They are gradually lining up behind him. And Paul Ryan the Speaker of the Republican dominated House who declared his opposition to Trump candidacy is changing his tune. He offered to sit out the Convention if Trump so desires and next he could very well declare his support , " for party unity sake " but actually his own survival.  No love and no hard feelings. Simply wisdom of tuning to political climate. It is all politics !

Now America is in General Election mood. That is between Republic Party presidential candidate Trump and Democrat Party presidential candidate Hillary. Its a tight race but if Sanders is VP candidate on the Democratic ticket, it will really be a toss up. Trump may have to choose a female VP to increase his chance. No not Sarah Palin as VP but if Trump makes to White House, Palin would definitely be part of his cabinet  team. Palin has proved that she possesses a political intuition far superior than her party's traditional kingmakers.

American women voters cannot be crazy about Hillary. She is a man's woman not a woman's woman in her outlook. Only lately she had shed her preferred two piece suit for more feminine attire. But Trump too has a deficit in women and immigrant vote field. Thus a feminine female VP with moderate track records on immigration has a place in his ticket to White House.

Hillary seems to have far more number of voters on her side than Trump. But quite sometimes back, Al Gore won the popular votes and Presidency went to Republican Bush. I look forward to Trump Presidency. Simply because he is less boring and less superficial. And I agree with him on placing America first ( but in America ) and not meddle in the internal affairs of other nations and change governments.

25th July, 2016

Watching Bernice Sanders trying to convince his followers that  Trump must be defeated but without much success. His people are wildly angry with the bias of Democratic Party machinery. He got booed throughly when he said vote for Hillary. Who would have thought that Sanders would take a position to be heckled and shouted down by his own ardent supporters.

30th October, 2016

United States Presidential Election.

Penultimate election shocks for Mrs. Hillary Clinton the Democratic Party Presidential candidate.

1The soaring premium for Obamacare ( heath insurance scheme ) that Hillary favoured so much that she even endorsed it as Hillarycare.

2. The FBI Friday letter to Congress Committee Members that it was investigating emails that are pertinent to Clinton private email server case. This indicates a possible criminal investation against Mrs. Clinton that was previously declared to be closed. 

3. The pro Clinton media overplayed Trump sex to the extent that public has become immune to it. Thus unlikely to influence voters. 

My own thought on the American Election was that after the incredible results of the Republican Party  Primary Elections, , it would be quite a task for the combined forces of the  traditional Republican establishments and the Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton  to over- power the popularity of Mr. Donald Trump.

Remarks: The world stock market tumbled a little with Trump Presidency today. But I found stock market mood that of a crying child. It will recover fast and better in no time..

American Presidential Election today.

It is not a surprise to me that Trump has done  well.  The American political establishments of both Parties, Media and Industralists all ganged up against Trump. But I thought he had a good chance at the Presidency and I had said so in my previous political comments.

That Hillary Clinton may even end up losing  traditional democratic states is proving to be a big shocker to so many self appointed political pundits and core establishment.

The result of this election is embarrassing  especially to Obama Couple, Bush family and Republican traditional stalwarts who threw their whole weights behind Hillary Clinton. President Obama was most unpresidential in his personal attacks on Trump.

For sure lady Gaga will not be singing in the Inaugural Ceremony of the next American President. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Politics and what startling goal of a Political Party.

In politics when people say begging for votes during election, nobody imagines that politicians are roaming streets with  begging bowls.  Actually it means ,  you are asking earnestly for voters' trust. The King of Bhutan has shown no hesitation in requesting for the trust and allegiance of the People when he was crowned the King.

The President of DPT Political Party declared that to quote " I will never beg for votes if people don't understand why they have to vote and appreciate the value of their votes". This was followed up with  supporters explaining that their President was a noble man. So DPT President thinks that he is noble  and people should realise the noble value of voting for him and his Party.

There were charges and allegations  during 2013 General Election and after,  that DPT Party leadership only wanted to Rule as Masters  and not serve as Leaders. I largely took such political statements as election rhetorics. However, this has been now confirmed unequivocally.

I am apolitical. I owe no allegiance to any Political Party but I had respected each Party for their part which I assumed was the strengthing of democratic system. And yes , I have honestly expressed my opinions about the decisions and activities of both the Ruling Parties during the 1st and 2nd democratic Government. And sometimes even on issues beyond the Government.

I have keenly observed this North Thimphu bye election from the day it was declared by the Election Commission. I believed it could give an indication of the existing vitality of the two Parties and also a look into possible 2018 scenario. I felt sorry for DPT when it's initially proclaimed candidate backed out. A Party always has a wider choice of capable candidates during the first round of selection. But when that candidate backs out then the option really narrows because the other initially interested capable candidates may not want to be the second choice. And I was glad for reasons of having a strong Opposition Party that the Party got another candidate. A walk over would have been disastrous for DPT Party and our type of democracy.

I never expected the Prime Minister who is also the President of PDP to put his own credibility on line by personally campaigning with his Party candidates. When that happened, I commented that " this bye election contest has been taken to another level ". I still did not expect him to campaign door to door with his Party candidate but he did. Even then, I was definitely surprised when the PM with his Party candidate knocked at my door.

Most people of Haa rightly look up to him  as the first son of Haa Dzongkhag and feel very proud that he was so soundly  elected to become the Prime Minister of Bhutan. I, too, am proud of him and respect him for his achievement. However, in my political observations, I never ever gave even an inch  of allowance to him or his Party for his birth origin. Among many observations, I crucified the Government on the decision to cancel the South Bhutan Highway and recently steadfastly opposed the new Thromde proposals. I went to him, then to the Speaker of the Parliament, the Chairman of the National Council and the Leader of the Opposition to express my opposition.

The PM came to my home in the responsible role of the  President of his Party.  Not to humour my ego. His Party had got that young man Taba Tshering as their North Thimphu candidate and he was there to give his full support. That was the reason why I told that candidate that he was fortunate to be a candidate in a bye election in Thimphu because the Party President was personally able to campaign with him. In a General Election such privilege would not be available due to time constraints.

It is the customery duty of our home to welcome any visitor as guests.  And in times of elections,  we are careful never to differentiate in the warmth of our welcome to Party candidates. The warmth of our home must never be compromised and like wise the sanctity of our home will be protected at all costs if anyone has hostile ideas.

The fact was that after we greeted them, the first remark of both the President of PDP accompanying candidate Tshering  and the MP of DPT accompanying candidate Kessang upon entering the compound of our home, was so strikingly similar.  Dasho Rinzin of DPT said, " It is so nice here " and Prime Minister said, " You all are living our dream". They were not polishing us up for votes. Many visitors get that impression from our informality and untidy natural sign of homely living. All carelessly  attired, bare feet and basking in the warmth of sun and our happy home.

I am not a registered voter of north Thimphu but my children are. I do not direct who my children should marry or who they should vote for. I expect them to to be capable of making their own decisions. If they cannot do that much then I have wasted my efforts put in nuturing them. But those who I meet outside home and make request for votes, I dutifully pass on each request to them. When Lyonpo Khandu phoned, I passed the request to my children. They know that I have deep respects for Lyonpo. Several DPT ladies made similar requests and again I related the incident during our family dinner. When Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho phoned,  again I passed on the gist our our conversation. My adult children know that Lyonpo has kept an open channel of communication with me. In fact Lyonpo Pema has always sent his regards to me whenever he met one of my children. I dutifully gave to each of my children the name cards of the candidates that each visiting campaign team gave me. I respected Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho's position and damn him for not reciprocating in kind. 

I did think that each young candidate would be more buoyed up  by total endorsement commitment from especially the Lyonpos and  their other  Party stalwarts. And by virtue of their experience and communication skills and the social respect that people hold for them, the Lyonpos definitely would  impact voters.

In my case, I never offered any advice to PDP candidate because he had the best accompanying him. But I did offer my fatherly advice to Kessang. I could not help imaging what if my own daughter was visiting homes of other people like she was doing. I told her not to seek votes just on being a woman but rather be a daughter committed to serving all.  Maybe I should have advised her in the fashion of her Party President. Tell people that they should feel fortunate to have a choice in the bye election. 

I hardly ever met Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho in person but as said earlier there was a open line of communication. And I do respect him as a former Lyonpo and now as the Opposition Leader. I never realised he was so shallow and so haphzardly anxious in finding someone and  anyone to  blame for DPT poor showing.  Maybe at that time,  he was in deep political grief. And considering that possibility and my respects for members of DPT that include school colleagues, I did not respond in kind ( look through the fb exchange between us on the Election night).

What he should know about me is how I treated him as a ruling Party Lyonpo and as the Leader of out of power Opposition Party. I do not get impressed with ranks and I never ignore  those out of power once powerful figures. I never feel less of a man no matter who I deal with. But as a Bhutanese I do try to be the first to greet respectfully all those especially honoured by the Kings.

I will continue to express my opinion. And this time I do honestly believe that PM did win for his Party the seat of North Thimphu Constituency. To bad for democracy that the turn out was low. I call it voter fatigue. Just few days back, it was Local Government vote. And possibly this time money was not the luring candy as it was often alleged in General Elections of 2008 and 2013. 

And if DPT Party Leadership thinks my observation was made on the basis of PDP being the ruling Party and PM visiting my home,  then it's their desperate stupidity ruling their ' noble ego'.   And if DPT does not believe in going door to door with their  candidate when it was so convenient to do so this time to seek the trust of the people, they should never have  lured this sweet innocent daughter of a commoner to save Party face from an election walk over. Shame on DPT greats for feeling out of place in canvassing for votes in the company of their very junior lady candidate. 
The father and the daughter dud not deserve to be put through such pilitical grinding  without the  heavy weights providing her their  shoulders to lean on.  The humble father and his innocent daughter are not serfs of a noble man though the daughter is an employee of DPT supporter. At least some solace in this fiasco in that there is a good chance for the lady candidate to continue in her old job. Otherwise DPT has taken out a fish from water and thrown it in the hot sand.     

Nothing personal. Just to set the record straight. Cannot wish DPT the best when the goal is not service through leadership.

I shared my thoughts yesterday at a promotion Party with Lyonpo Khandu who insisted on talking about the issue. I told him I will post my thoughts but he said no call for that. 
I wish I could feel the no call. But this obnoxious attitude of DPT President continuous to irk me. And I also think I have provided adequate time space for him to get over his political grief period. It is better that for the peace of our minds or tempers that we lay it out in the open for whatever useless debate may  follow between fanatics. I will not be a party unless legally forced where a neutral authority can decide whether he is a noble person and he can find out what I really am-  a political chamcha as he alleged or my true identity.  The absurdity of some political characters. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Deep Gratitude to His Holiness Trulku Jigme Choedra the present 70th Jhe Khenpo of Bhutan.

Despite Election Commission Pressure through Dratsang Lhentsog Secretariat to cancel the Moenlam Chhenmo yesterday, His Holiness conducted it. It was done in such a way that a national " Varkem " may have been averted and at the same time the devil's thirst was quenched to some extent ).  It seems His Holiness not only  shares with the Fourth King the same year of birth but  also the great political acumen of the Kings in the way that Their  Majesties the Fourth and the Fifth share with His Holiness the highest quality of spirituality.

The response to Election Commission  was that religion was outside politics, therefore, the Dratsang will continue performing the Moenlam Chhenmo (I guess it was to let Election Commission know in clear constitutional terms that Dratsang was not under the purview of Election Commission). However, it was announced in the Moenlam Chhenmo congregation that Dratsang will be performing Moenlam Chhenmo but civilians need not attend it( that was to quench the devil's thirst for national disasters to happen). However, quite azsizable number of devotees did attend it. (The nearest translation of the announcement made on behalf of His Holiness to the congregation, from Dzongkha to English has already been posted by me ).

Let me give a background picture in layman term what it means to interrupt an ongoing religious event. In villages almost every household conducts an annual Chhoku. And the day before the Chhoku, the tormas are made. Unless a family member dies, the next day Chhoku cannot be cancelled once the tormas are installed on the Chhoetri. It spells out what misfortune needs to strike to cancel an ongoing religious Prayer event. Every Bhutanese Buddhist family has to be aware of it. And I am told that the Election Commissioners are Buddhists.

For the Central Dratsang led by His Holiness to cancel an ongoing religious activity specially the greatest of Dharma Prayer ' Moenlam Chhenmo ', the nation would have to be struck  with any of these griefs: War, Natural disaster of huge magnitude or Death of national figure. Such griefs would cause the attendees of Moenlam Chhenmo to meet the immediate challenges that burden the nation and for Central Monastic Body and His Holiness to return to their Seat of Dharma ( Tashichhodzong or Puna Dewachen Phodrong ) to intercede with the Deities of the Kingdom to come forth to alleviate the misfortune of the Kingdom.

Under any other circumstances, I cannot imagine the cancellation of promised offerings to the already invoked Kasung  ( at Thimphu Moenlam Chhenmo Neten Chudrug till afternoon and evening Dramar). Prayers need to be blessed and consecrated by such holy forces to have desired impact. All required religious arrangements had been made for nine days of continuous Prayers from 6: 30 am to 7pm. How does anyone suddenly break the flow of prayers and invocations without suffering undesirable consequences? If anyone does not appreciate what the monks and Lopons and His Holiness have to undergo ( for the well being of the nation)  just the physical part forget the spiritual strain, take a hike to Kuensel Phodrong at 6am and 6pm at this time of the year and sit still. Experience the icy chill and fierce skin scrapping wind.

The devil is not the Election Commission.The devil is the unseen and unknown evil forces that want to harm the Kingdom. Election Commission became a convenient tool of medium to belittle and humiliate the very Central Monastic Dratsang and His Holiness who with the Deities protect the nation from unforseen  ' Varkem '.

Now let me explain why I used the terms  "rude" and "collision" when I described the decision of the Election Commission to forbade the performance of Moenlam Chhenmo by the Central Monastic Body and His Holiness the Jhe Khenpo.

If for any inevitable reason the Commission felt the Moenlam Chhenmo need to be put on hold, why could not the Commissioners seek an audience with His Holiness and explain whatever the situation was? Are they so egoistic with their constitutional ranks  that the communique must be restricted with a notice/ request to the Dratsang Lhentsog Secretariat.  I do not believe the Moenlam Chhenmo would have been  put on hold but a more personal approach could have prevented the high temperature and sacrilegious offence.  It was so blatantly rude and offensive. 

Collision of evil and good forces is bound to happen if civilian authorities are so callous and aggressive towards the Central Monastic Body and the Holy Person of Jhe Khenpo. And some people with evil intents  even alluded that Election Commission had consulted with other " stakeholders "  and also  Election Commission on its own did not possess "  the courage " to take such a drastic step.

I think Election Commission was over zealous and hasty.  And it definitely did not consult any worthwhile stake holders or authorities. Someone would have pointed out to  the Commission it's boundary of jurisdiction ( North Thimphu not South Thimphu where there is no election and therefore,  under the overall authority of Central Government but under immediate administration of Thimphu Thromde ). His Excellency the Prime Minister would have handled such an issue so tactfully and in the best of decorum under the circumstance if he was consulted. Just the other day the honourable Prime Minister had come to Kuensel Phodrong to humbly pay his respects to His Holiness and the Dratsang. 

I do not think Moenlam Chhenmo would have affected the voter numbers. Whether Diwali or Moenlam Chhenmo both pacify and make people happy not raucous.  Those registered voters I happened to sit nearby were already asking friends to look after their seats durng the next day because they themselves would be  be absent to attend to the voting. Those who want to vote,  they would have come from far and wide just to vote and those who do not want to vote will not vote even if the voting booth is placed on their door step. By now we have a fair idea of the behaviour pattern of our voters and non voters.

Thankfully we have the Royal Family and other Agencies to steady our ship of the state. Today Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and their Highnesses the Princess and Prince Trulku graced the Moenlam Chhenmo. Among many other notables the Royal Bhutan Army and a Constitutional Body the ACC offered their respects and offerings at the Moenlam Chhenmo. His Majesty the King is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and also the Supreme Head of Constitutional Bodies. So their presence made me very happy. 

I thought it was the most auspicious day to silently thank the Deities and the King  and take my leave of the Tsawai Lam. I do not ever want to be a witness in person  another black day. I was so shocked to tears when I heard the announcement that evening of 3rd November, 2016. I am still shocked because I have so deeply believed that come what may the two main Pillars of the Kingdom:  First the Institution of Monarchy and Second the Dratsang could survive any unforseen defaults of democracy.  How wrong? The seemingly permanent and deemed indestructible Institutions are so frail at the stroke of a pen. On 3rd November it was the Dratsang which was prevented from performing it's state duty. When will someone strike next?

To think that 2016 the  year of Male Fire Monkey began so beautifully and was heading towards a golden finish line.  The much prayed for Crown Prince arrived; the Local Elections happened so smoothly, Their Majesties celebrated and shared  with the nation their greatest happiness of  Wedding Anniversary ;  A great Dharma Prayer begun in the Capital for the very first time; the nation happily greeted the Coronation Anniversary and soon the BirthDay Anniversary  of our Triple Gem King to be followed by the National Day.

Prayers and Prayers.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A mixed bag of pseudo journalism !

In the last few days, many who is who plus social media watchers in Bhutan are being maliciously bombarded by a trio  and by fb enthusiasts who love sharing everything seemingly  destructive. A sensationalist woman, a disgusting  chameleon foreign character and an anonymous therefore dubious  character  who claims to know all behind the scenes,  are fuelling a non-issue.

This week to my surprise even the Prime Minister had passed his " neutral" views which have been carried over by national paper Kuensel,  on a matter that in my opinion is " a stunt of dark sensation ".  I term it such  because it is an act of desperate nowhere that proves nothing and feeds dark spirits. I did not think this ongoing deserved a mention but now it is official so might as well discuss it for the sensation. 

Namgay Zam seems to have rested from shacha fronting and has directly come out to continue her unfathomable attack upon the Chief Justice. She has written to all MPs and Prime Minister to investigate the Chief Justice. Till date only the PM has reacted.

Looks like the Chief Justice had taken the onus to express his view to a gathering of fellow Justices on  allegations levelled against him in a letter disseminated through  social media by Namgay Zam. That same letter is the basis of an ongoing defamation case at Thimphu Dzongkha Court between three people including Namgay Zam.  And she thinks the Chief Justice was wrong to express his opinion on the allegations she herself had posted in fb. Maybe because the allegations are the crux of ongoing defamation case or she is disappointed that now she cannot say " silence is an admission of guilt" about the Chief Justice.

I feel it is judicially prudent on part of the Chief Justice to make his position clear to fellow Justices about the allegations levelled  at his person. The Chief Justice is the Head of Judiciary and he does owe a clarification to those who look up to him as the epitome of judicial integrity. Simple as that. There are ofcourse so many jurists and lawyers who would have their own takes. I just used ordinary common sense to determine the issue.

The chameleon disruptive foreign  character goes by the name Arora or  Tenzin or whatever he choses at different occassions to call himself.  He has been taking up the cudgel for Namgay Zam since the beginning.

The involvement of a foreign sympathiser is a worrisome angle. Now who is backing or paying that foreign mouth piece who foul mouths Bhutanese institutions? Maybe he is just fighting for his bread with spicy sour stories on Bhutan. Possibly an attempt to instigate social distrust.

Then there is an anonymous character who goes by " sergi dawa ". This anonymous character whose tale was shared by Namgay Zam in her fb post,  alleges that a Dasho but "  not a red scarf " within the Judiciary is teaming up with Namgay Zam. A Dasho but not a red scarf seems to be  be an allegation directed against a Drangpon because he states that Dasho is " a senior lawyer". Further he alleges that the same Dasho drafted the letter that Namgay Zam circulated in her name? A rather serious charge of perjury, I feel.

Namgay Zam has dared the anonymous to come out in the public. There I support her. Reading through his spicy tale reminded me of The Bhutanese the  News Paper that somehow managed to get first hand sensational happenings over the last several years. Turned out to be true though at times seemed politically designed.  However,  credibility of sergi dawa is largely undermind by the nature of anonymity. There is always something shady, something fictitious and malignant motive woven into anonymous characters. I do not think sergi dawa will surface in the open or the name of the " senior lawyer " revealed. So no defamation case here.

We should refrain from feeding the dark hungry spirits  of human nature. Such could lead to more undesirable and unfathomable consequences to both the guilty and the innocent. It is like undressing in a glass pavilion. One ends up  exposing  more than intended about oneself. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

The reality of both India and China as Bhutan's border- sharing giant neighbours

There seem to be different takes on Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay recently  shaking hands with Chinese Presiden Xi Jinping in Goa.  Some forces allude to a possibility of replay of 2013 political explosion and interference in 2018 General Election. The primary reason being Indian clout and PM Tshering Tobgay's own  vehemently expressed opposition against  Prime Minister Jigmi Yoeser Thinley holding the first ever Summit with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Rio in 2012. My own take is positively different. The year 2013 was not something most Bhutanese can recall with genuine national or individual pride. Politicians are said to be animals. I do not know too much about that. But for sure politics is a deep dark jungle and you can never really know what is there to discover or what comes out from the under growths. That's a chance I leave to Triple Gem to absolve.  

Timing may be differ and style may vary. However, Bhutanese leaders can never really shun the wisdom of having friends. India is and will remain Bhutan's staunchest friend and benefactor. Geographical features, religious and linguistic factors bind the two countries. Both India and Bhutan need to exercise deeper faith in these crucial social common factors that unite us.

Economic reliance  is an important consideration but not the most critical criteria when one deeply analyse it. Though our nervousness do us the devil I must admit. Actually,  Bhutan is not largely populated and physically spread like Nepal. Therefore, an economic blockade cannot have the same devastating effect. And even a small help from another quarter can make survival difference for Bhutan.  Nor do Bhutan need to fear direct military invasion upon its  sovereignty. Neither of the giant neighbours would want an all out war that would come about if Bhutan is invaded by any Army. However, our sacred institutions must remain alert to any types of  subversion. And the wisest course to avert subversion or terror-mail (more compelling than black mail) in the near or far future,  is to pursue an open goodwill neighbourly approach with India as always and begin the same with China.

China and India may have many regional and international reasons to cooperate or mainly compete. The Kingdom of Bhutan is just a boat admist two vast adjoining oceans.. We have no reasons to compete or choose between India or China.The two giant neighbours are two oceans between which our Kingdomship must stay sovereign-afloat. Bhutan and Bhutanese must not unrealistically dream away from the natural  geographical position and reality of our situation. It just is not possible to pretend that China does not exist in our sphere of worldly existence. Visionary leadership cannot be devoid of real true vision that confronts Bhutan. 

Therefore, the people and political parties of Bhutan must move beyond internal Party Politics when it comes to relations with both India and China. I for one  remain grateful to India for all the assistance and good wills and plead with India to be tolerant towards honest China- Bhutan relation which can never match the deep bond of India- Bhutan friendship built over six decades since Indian independence from British Empire.

I stood by Prime Minister Jigmi Yoeser Thinley when he held the first official meeting with the Chinese Premier in 2012. I as a Bhutanese could never condemn  him for his selfless act on behalf of the nation and the sovereign institution. I am in no position to judge the timing but I thank the 1st democratic Prime Minister for formally  breaking the ice with China. This was something I had, even as a young student, submitted to the Third King. Personally for me, no timing was too early. 

And today , I stand steadfast by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shaking hands with Chinese President and thus solidifying the path opened by his predecessor. Neither of the two Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Bhutan have acted against the Nation. the King or the People in their forward approach with China.

We have many detractors within ourselves and outside of our small nation.   Some do it ignorantly and some with intent to cause disharmony.  But I sincerely believe that  both the Triple Gem and our Kings have always had and have visions for Bhutan to be surrounded by friends.

Bhutan may be a buffer state in the eyes of the world.  And  for the two giant neighbours,  Bhutan may represent a prize to be vied for. However,  unto ourselves , we are a Kingdom. We are no one's buffer or pawn or trophy. And as a Kingdom,  we must continue strengthening Indo- Bhutan friendship whilst pursuing the inevitable goal of better and more sensibly  realistic  relationships with China. We cannot play  our two giant neighbours against each other and hope to reap benefits. We cannot be a mistress who feels obligated into having a public lover and a secret yearning.

We must be a Kingdom with the will and capacity to establish respectable relationships with both India and China. Intimacy and respectability are two different equations.  We always had Kings who had enlightened sacred visions for the Kingdom. The Dragon Throne was never bartered away for solace or assurance of any powerful neighbour:  be they Britisn India, Republic India or Communist China.

We have had Kings who have been willingly to lay down their lives with fellow Bhutanese soldiers to defend our sovereignty and dignity. King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck was ready in 1962 when danger loomed in the north. And King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was ready when danger loomed in the south. And from whateverdirection danger may loom in his reign, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel  Wangchuck would be ready. The nobleness of leadership runs in the blood not in rhetorics.

Therefore,  dear beloved Bhutan and fellow Bhutanese, vanish your narrow  politics and selfish moral. Deny outside detractors. Rise up for the King,  Kingdom and People. Stand by our nation as we navigate our national vision to co- exist in the most friendly and realistic  manner with both our cannot- be -wished- away permanent neighbours India and China.

May Triple Gem guide and bless us. Pelden Drukpai Lha Gyalo for the Bhutanese nation- hood! 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

India and Pakistan versus BRIC and BIMSTEC Countries.

An interesting political meet is happening in Goa, India. India is hosting BRICS Summit and at the same time,  there is an outreach to other members of BIMSTEC Countries. In so doing, host India is playing her game of isolating Pakistan. China and Russia would not at all mind playing along  with India and thus BIMSTEC. Pakistan may not be involved but Bay of Bengal is strategically crucial to both China and Russia. The irony, maybe,  United States could be more aggrieved than Pakistan with India playing the BIMSTEC card. 

BRICS is mainly an economic pact. However, India being the host and chairmperson have included terrorism a part of the agenda on the justification that terror is direct threat to economic prosperity. Indian Media likes to make out as if the main BRICS Summit agenda is terrorism. But it is not so. Terror is just one of the  5 or so topics. And though the Indian  media points at Pakistan, during the Summit even Prime Minister Modi could not mention Pakistan by name whilst talking of terrorism. He said " mother of terrorism " on the sideline. Now " mother of terrorism "  can mean different countries or organizations to different members of BRICS. 

India may term Pakistan as mother of terror. And Pakistan may term India as mother of regional hegemony. However, the members of BRICS or BIMSTEC or SAARC would have their own internal thoughts on India and Pakistan.

Since the humiliating attack at Uri, India has upped her tempo to condemn and isolate Pakistan. However, India is in a very dicey position. URI is in India occupied Kashmir in the view of Pakistan and maybe some other greater powers in the world. Terrorism that India is grieving about are incidents that occur in Kashmir occupied by Pakistan and India. And India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India. Not an issue to be discussed at United Nations or involve any third Country. Therefore,  how can India succeed in isolating Pakistan at international level on an issue  about Kashmir that India does not want other Countries or Agencies to get involved?

Prime Minister Modi is a shrewd political leader. In a way he is to BJP what Trump is to Republican. The old guards had to be pushed aside for Modi to assume leadership. He understands that this life long feud between Pakistan and India is only weakening the two nations and adversely affecting their regional and  international clouts. But for the time being he has to play the populist drama of making a wave to crush the international goodwill for Pakistan. It cannot succeed but the Indian public would be satisfied. And politics is politics. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The great King passes away in Thailand.

Life and death and in betweens are complex to comprehend and difficult to digest.

You announce your birth with your own cries. The cries of others mark your death. And in between, there are happenings of joy and sadness interspersed with  humbling and prideful occassions. But never so consequential events as birth and death over which you have absolute no say.

Today the Kingdom of Thailand lost their most reverred King. He must have possessed great compassion and his share of benevolence for His Majesty is much loved and adored. The loss of Thailand and her people is infinite. During such national distress, one has to turn to the Dharma for solace. I wish the reverred Royal Family and the friendly people of Thailand great courage and fortitude. In the passing away of His Majesty the King of Thailand, Bhutan has lost a great benefactor and our Royal Family a very dear and respected senior friend. May the great soul rest in peace.