Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Can there be " written understanding " for IMTRAT presence in Bhutan

Dear Dr. Brian C Shaw,

       Subject: Your suspicion of an " written     understanding " during 1959, 60 and 61.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on   my blog " Indo-Bhutan relation after Doklam"  wherein I had shared with fb friends the email correspondence with Dr.Rudra Chaudhuri. I did it to widen Bhutanese comprehension of Indo- Bhutan complexities.

Your comment raised very valid  pertinent points. I decided to respond publicly in this fashion because I am aware that you have conducted much research into Bhutanese history and national affairs. And your observation may have invited attentions from both Indian and Bhutanese Leaders, Bureaucrats, Politician and ofcourse ever boisterous Indian media. Also there are many good caring citizens here who are not aware of many things about Bhutan Government ways in particular with our friendly powerful neighbour.  

I specifically want to address your suspicion about a possible " written understanding " between India and Bhutan on IMTRAT presence in Bhutan.

For your information and to be clear from the onset I wish to clarify that  my phrase " evil secret dealings " in my email, was a teaser to Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri who was boasting about 40 pages notes of Nehru. I do not think any such secret dealing  was there let alone "evil" .  I wanted Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri  to know that those Nehru notes that he flouted so confidently  had to be substantiated by official documents signed by Bhutan. Otherwise such notes value is limitted to only reference for researchers to comprehend larger goals and cannot be considered valid  historical understandings between two nations. I hope he got my point.

It takes two hands to clap. Slapping your own thigh ( the Indian tendency )  is no proof of coupling with a partner. Hope I make myself clear to all Indian researchers and writers on Indo-Bhutan relationship the past 60 years.  

I quote below your comment for updating all readers to the context of my response here.

Quote

" Brian C. Shaw September 11, 2017 at 5:27 PM

Thank you. I don't know about "evil secret doings" but there must surely have been a written undertaking between Indian and Bhutan government in 1959-60-61 (perhaps in the autumn 1960 Tshogdu, proceedings never publicly minuted) concerning the stationing of Indian troops in Haa's dzong and environs. The third king was too alert not to have covered Bhutan's interests. Where is this document, and what are its content? Good reason no doubt *initially* for preserving secrecy in view of the events in Tibet, but that was half a century ago. Have rats eaten it? Does the Indian Archive have a copy? Indian Army's continued presence seems disproportionate to any need except that of a colonial power anxious to keep its flag flying, and the occupation of prime real estate in e.g. central Thimphu, invites a comprehensive review. It would be good for all if the review could also be transparent. Such review could be a sound basis for reassessing the whole gamut of Indo-Bhutan relations. South Block may however have to replace/rewrite some guiding documents: so might academics. (Of course, just my opinion..)"   Unquote

My response to your comments are placed hereunder:

a) In regards to your comment about possibility of " written understanding " on presence of IMTRAT in Bhutan.

I am quite sure that there is no written understanding of any kind between Bhutan and India.  IMTRAT presence like DANTAK and Geoglogical Survey of India  ( GSI ) and other Agencies from  India was of temporary nature to meet immediate need of the hour to train Bhutanese Army. That's why late Bhutanese Prime Minister had provided his own administrative and residential quarters in Haa to meet the temporary requirement of IMTRAT. 

IMTRAT and DANTAK are not to make any establishment structures of permanent nature in Bhutan. And all areas occupied by IMTRAT are registered in the name of Royal Bhutan Army. Thus in my view such  temporary measures did not call for written understandings. The broad unwritten understanding between India and Bhutan was that all Agencies of India requested by Bhutan Government  for service in Bhutan were to return back to India once Bhutan decided the needs were fulfilled or the Bhutanese national Agencies acquired the necessary capacities. That was the way with various Indian Advisors and Institutions who left Bhutan.

The latest  one which departed among Indian Institutions was Geoglogical Survey of India which was replaced with Survey of Bhutan and the last Indian Advisor to leave of all Indian Advisors was the Indian Police Advisor. His departure did cause some friction whereby India temporarily denied admission of Bhutanese Police Officer Cadets into their  welknown Training Instututions. But now India has kindly  relented. I cite this particular incident for the benefit of Bhutanese democratic leaders. There are incidental costs but all of temporary nature if  Bhutanese  leadership can take the strain and possess the will and wisdom.

India needs the good will of Bhutanese  Government and the people in more ways than average Bhutanese or even averagely abled elected democratic Bhutanese  leaders can fathom. A lot of our ill informed citizens were crying out their fear when I opposed Doklam Transgression by India.  Few among among them are ofcourse Indian side cakes. But together it was possible to review a reality political picture of present Bhutan even with Bhutan Governm ent officially maintaining near public silence. I learnt a lot from Doklam transgression. 

The address of His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck to the public of Haa in 1970/71 ( any way it was during the inauguration of Haa motor road )  and His Majesty's refusal to grant a Bhutanese nomenclature to DANTAK are all confirmation of temporary roles of these Indian institutions in Bhutan. So both in practice as outlined above, in words and intention the Indian Agencies were to return back to India once their services were deemed fulfilled by Bhutan. 

His Majesty the Third King  had declined the PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's request that the King give a Bhutanese name to DANTAK with a kind royal reasoning that Bhutanese citizens must recognise the contributions of DANTAK as an Indian Agency and appreciate Indian assistance. Personally, His Majesty had no desire to convert any foreign agency a permanent feature of Bhutan by granting a Bhutanese nomenclature. 

And in the  Public Address in Haa, His Majesty kindly Commanded that Haa Dzong complex belonged to Haaps and that it was not leased or given to IMTRAT. The late Prime Minister had only made a temporary arrangement to meet the need of those years. I am sure that Commandants of DANTAK, IMTRAT and Ambassador of India in Bhutan were present at hearing distance that day at the Haa Dzong Complex when that address was made.   

I myself had humbly raised twice the issue of Indian military assistance and of IMTRAT. Once during an audience granted to students of Ugyen Wangchuck Academy in mid 1970 in the Dinning Hall of the Academy and at another time in the Winter of 1970 with with specific reference to Haa Dzong Complex in a  private audience at Thimphu Motithang Hotel during a semi- official  Party. There was not an iota of doubt about the temporary nature of assignments in Bhutan of all Indian Institutions like Advisors, GSI , DANTAK and IMTRAT. 

Just like the departure of Geological Survey of India and many Indian Advisors including the Indian Police Advisor, I feel when time comes the departure of DANTAK and IMTRAT will be managed by Bhutan with the least grievances exercised by India. As usual some reluctance and unhappiness will get displayed in words and deed but these must be managed with grace and patience from Bhutan side. 

The prolonged presence of both DANTAK and IMTRAT was due to national misfortunes of Bhutan and nothing to do with any Agreement. Bhutan suffered deep national shocks of  losing both Prime Minister Jigme Palden Dorji and His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in rather short period of time in their prime lives in 1964 and 1972 respectively.   Providence had not favoured Bhutan then. We still do not know how or who really are responsible for our national misfortunes. But theories are in abundance. I believe in letting the past go no matter how reluctantly and most dearly. And concentrating on the  present and the future responsibilities of a sovereign Kingdom with both China and India. I hope our Deities guide the thoughts and actions of our King and the Prime Minister towards vital elements of  sovereign goals of the Kingdom.   

b)  I appreciate  your frank summary that IMTRAT role has been reduced over the years. Therefore,  accordingly it's presence should be reduced. And that South Block in Delhi should redraw new guidelines in India's overall dealing with Bhutan.

I fully agree. I feel both DANTAK and IMTRAT should now be more of a liaison agencies rather than pivotal agencies. Their personnel and establishment size need to be reduced. The Bhutanese Agencies like Royal Bhutan Army and Road Department  have developed necessary capacity to bear all responsibilities that were once entrusted to DANTAK and IMTRAT. 

And as you pointed out, Bhutan and India need to relook at their national, regional and international status and accordingly redesign the ways of cooperation and basis of good friends relations to reflect genuine equal respect for sovereignty right and position of each nation. That way Bhutan- India can have lasting trust worthy relationship.

Once again thank you for your sincerity  and affection for Bhutan. It has been quite sometime hearing your voice. Glad that you are in good health and very sharp as always. 

Sincerely

Wangcha Sangey

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sharing with fb friends a frank exchange with an Indian writer on Indo- Bhutan relation after Doklam.

I met Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri at his request.  He had come from India to Thimphu to research on Doklam incident. He was in contact with India House in Thimphu. Later he wrote an article " looking-for-godot-doklam-standoff-india-china-bhutan-neighbours/" in the Indian Express and had kindly sent me the link.
( Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri is said to be a Senior Lecturer at the Department of War Studies and the India Institute at King’s College, London.  But presently he is based in India researching for a book on Emergency Period under PM Indra Gandhi ).

Below are our exchanges of thoughts through email on the article he wrote. He had begun his article with the attempt to provide credence to Indian Transgression at Doklam.  And that I disagreed. Thus my writing to him and his response etc.

I had not thought of sharing with fb friends our correspondences but maybe Bhutanese might like to read into my inner mind. The Public of Bhutan must also get into the habit of comprehending how our authorities are guiding the nation and how India views us.

The emails are copied hereunder serial wise:

(1)  On Sep 3, 2017 11:49, "Rudra Chaudhuri" <rudy_83@hotmail.com<mailto:rudy_83@hotmail.com>> wrote:

Dear all
>
> Please forgive this indulgence: a piece by me based on a recent visit to Bhutan, and some history.
>
> The longer online version with maps:
> http://indianexpress.com/article/india/looking-for-godot-doklam-standoff-india-china-bhutan-neighbours/
>
> Warmly, Rudra
>
> The print version:
> [image1.JPG]

(2)   > On 4 Sep 2017, at 07:48, Sangey Wangcha <sangeywangcha@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Dear Mr. Rudra Chaudhuri
>
> A quote from your piece
>
> " In matters to do with external affairs and “defence”, as Nehru did not fail to tell his gracious hosts, Bhutan was to be guided by New Delhi."  Unquote
>
> A quote from Nehru's speech at Paro Bhutan. September, 1958.
>
> “ Some may think that since India is a great and powerful country and Bhutan a small one, the former might wish to exercise pressure on Bhutan. It is therefore essential that I make it clear to you that our only wish is that you should remain an independent country, choosing your own way of life and taking the path of progress according to your will.” Unquote
>
> I guess you knew the facts and yet like most Indian writers just went ahead to put your own Government's twisted version.
>
> No matter what or how things are twisted the end cannot be shaped or controlled. Bhutan will remain a sovereign nation. Whether relationships with China or India progresses or de-progresses or whether present Bhutanese leadership can handle or not handle outside pressures, fate of Bhutan and her neighbours will not be decided by few political leaders of Bhutan, China or India. History is clear of one course. The beginner does not decide the ending. Events are not like movie where the producer and director control both ends.
>
> I am sure you saw the pulling down of the statue of Saddam Hussain several years back in Iraq and the recent pulling down of confederate statues in America. And counter attack write ups against Linclon about his own personal track records of his slaves. So you see what was started off by America in Iraq is now haunting back in America. I am sure that was not the ending American leaders planned.
>
> By the way Nehru's trek to Bhutan was not through Toorsa Park though that does not change the fact he treked to Bhutan to offer to  the King of Bhutan India's frienship to an equally sovereign nation Bhutan and in return seek Bhutan's friendship for India. The facts are very clear in his speech to the Bhutanese public.
>
> It was not spoken over radio or at some podium of another meeting. It was a face to face at a gathering of live Bhutanese audience who trekked from one to several days to hear Nehru out. Paro at that time served as the Summer Capital where the King temporarily resided. Majesty the King of Bhutan wanted Nehru to come to Paro and  directly in person tell the Bhutanese people what India's intentions were and then have the Bhutanese people themselves tell their King the forward step. That was the sole reason for making Nehru do the arduous trek instead of the much younger and physically fit King meeting Nehru in Haa   or visit Delhi. Did Nehru lie through his teeth or are you modern lips blackening your mouths?
>
> You are in prime of life and seems capable. As for education so many are in your shoes. Education is a tool of knowledge. Not the foundation of character of an  individual.   In life what really is worth is yourself. Do not tarnish it further for sake of barking with the dogs.
>
>
> Sincerely
> Wangcha Sangey.
>
>
(3)   >On Sep 4, 2017 09:53, "Rudra Chaudhuri" <rudy_83@hotmail.com> wrote:
Dear Wangcha

Am afraid your wrong. The speech in Paro is not the only one he made on Bhutan. Their are 40 pages of notes by him on Bhutan in the archives. And then correspondences with the King, I have access to them all. They are available for any one to access. Any proper researcher would use archives. I don't twist anything for anyone. And well aware of the responsibilities of an educator. Perhaps it's time you should start using the archives before jumping at conclusions that are false.

Rudra

Sent from my iphone

(4)   >On 4 Sep 2017, at 13:05, Sangey Wangcha <sangeywangcha@gmail.com> wrote:

I am sure there are plenty of notes and  versions that suits Indian side. But these will have to withstand the implication of the first public speech of the first Indian Prime Minister who came to Bhutan seeking friendship. I hear that Nehru was critised for that Paro public speech upon his return to  Delhi. However, a speech given in public to the people of Bhutan was one time and that essence cannot be diluted by later corrections.

I am aware that  India did all the opposites but in his visit that was the commitment. So to contend that Nehru did or said differently during that visit from what he publicly told Bhutanese public is beyond any reasonable comprehension. Nehru may not be appreciated by BJP but he cannot be such a double faced guy.

What changes took place or were imposed upon Bhutan after 1962 still cannot refute Nehru's speech in 1958.

I hope you read the note wherein Nehru told his companions that the King of Bhutan was very reluctant to accept offers of assistance by Nehru.  The King of Bhutan was not at all ready to barter away the sovereignty of his nation to India in 1958 and to China in 1962. And he passed that message again to India in 1971whist pushing for UN membership. Since you have access to all records,  maybe you check the record of meeting between Bhutanese Delegation and India in Delhi. Read the outburst and table banging by the Bhutanese Delegation Leader that made India endorse Bhutan's membership to UN.

I do not jump to conclusion. Are you saying  that the  Paro speech is questionable. It was the one and only major speech given by an Indian Prime Minister stating his nation's political position towards Bhutan. The other very similar was given by Rajiv Gandhi to the National Assembly of Bhutan wherein he declared that  India was not a big brother to Bhutan.

India has manipulated and taken much advantage of Bhutan's trust in Nehru's commitment and Bhutan's transit dependence on India.  And even recently India tried to sell a very different version of 2007 Treaty. Only this time it did not work. And henceforth this latest transgression and lopsided aggressive interpretation of 2007  Bhutan and India Treaty will overhang like a dark cloud. 

For sure India has forced Bhutan to take the more difficult path. Changing almost 60 years of way of life is not easy. But for sovereignty sake, I guess Bhutanese leadership will have to take the unenviable route or perish. 

Good day Mr. Educator.
   

(5)   On Sep 4, 2017 14:14, "Rudra Chaudhuri" <rudy_83@hotmail.com> wrote:
Maybe you should get notes from your archives, till then your points in history are more theoretical I am afraid. Also, you have, as expected, misunderstood the entire point of the article.

Hope to stay in touch.

Sent from my iphone


(6)  On 5 Sep 2017, at 08:27, Sangey Wangcha <sangeywangcha@gmail.com> wrote:

I understood you telling your Country to be more neighbourly responsible. But that whole gesture or point of the article was wasted with you indirectly validating that Indian stand " Protectorate state" by saying Nehru had preserved Indian say in foreign and " defence" of Bhutan. You had even put the word defence in inverted comas.

(7)  On Sep 5, 2017 11:02, "Rudra Chaudhuri" <rudy_83@hotmail.com> wrote:
Dear Sir

That was certainly not the idea, and those were Nehru's words, hence commas. I don't think the article was wasted, if I may say, lots of students, officials and others from Bhutan has reached out. Also, we do hope to move government here to look more closely at hydro, roads and areas where change in Indian advance is necessary.

All best

Sent from my iphone

(8)   On 6 Sep 2017, at 13:38, Sangey Wangcha <sangeywangcha@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Mr. Rudra Chaudhuri,

As much as you and many in Bhutan hope, the road to equal friendship with India seems to have been blocked. This Doklam transgression followed with application of " Protectorate status " upon Bhutan must have shaken the very foundation of Bhutanese heirachy. I am just a commoner.

I think common people everywhere and under any authority will mostly remain common and in much the same subordinate role. Therefore, the conflict mostly are inbetween elites. For example if President Xi and Prime Minister Modi agrees on somethings, the majority of Chinese and Indian public maybe OK with the decisions. Likewise if the King of Bhutan gives in to China or India without considering the dignity of Bhutan, the public of Bhutan may never be in position to do anything about the events. The likes and dislikes of common people take time to mature to reality.

Thus disagreements come from leaders most of the time not from the man on the street.

As far as I can see, Bhutan could not have asked Indian Army to step into Doklam. And as far as I can read the implication of the revised 2007 Treaty, it in no way allows India to walk in and claim Bhutan as a " Protectorate ". Now if somehow ( impossible in my view) there was a secret understsnding unknown to Bhutanese public or Parliament, then things could be as it was yesteryears between Bhutan and India. But if there was no such evil secret dealings then for sure things cannot remain as in the past. One will soon come to know the facts through what decisions Bhutan King and Prime Minister take.

As I have written,  basing the transgression at Doklam and this nonsense of " Protectorate state " upon the 2007 revised Treaty is the darkest insult that India could have come up with to the Father and Son Kings of Bhutan. I hope their Majesties have analysed accurately the shock wave caused by " Protectorate state " status. Bhutanese people whose roots go back centuries do not expect their leaders selling them short. And likewise the Wangchuck Dynasty too would take exceptions to be treated so lightly if India's contentions happens to be an ugly surprise to them as these were shock to fellow Bhutanese like myself. 

Anyway, I am a strong believer in the ways of our national Deities. Whatever outcome that follows, hereafter, one must make the best out of it. Regardless of who our friend is, Bhutan is small and weak. So we will be taken advantage of sooner or later. Till now, our strength has been to put a limit to getting bullied.

People do not seek Chinese goodwill because they think China will be gracious. Its just that bullying  by India is becoming unbearable. Maybe China would be less of a bully. It's like second marriage. The first being unbearable the second happens out of compulsion rather than choice of love. 

Well ending here, let me wish you well.

Sincerely

Wangcha Sangey.

I am sure that in the near future there would be communication between us but on this subject there is no further exchange.

Indian Government and most Indian writers will always promote their side of the stand on deciding for Bhutan in affairs of external relations and national defence.  It is upto both the common citizens and leaders of Bhutan to make diligent efforts to preserve our sovereign rights.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The window dressing for Doklam transgression by Indian troops.

Leopards cannot change their spots is the English proverb. The Bhutanese proverb is the stripes of tiger is exterior whilst that of man interior.

The Bhutanese editor has once again made China the belligerent when it was Indian troops that marched into Bhutanese and Chinese territories at Doklam. 

Indian  Army Camp on Sikkim side is just 150 meters from Chinese road extension spot at Doklam. And Bhutanese Patrol camp is away several Kms. And yet  Tenzing Lamsang claims it was Bhutan Patrol that first tried to stop the Chinese road extension activity.

He further alleges that China expressed her respect for Bhutanese sovereignty in Talks but on ground level had kept encroaching into Bhutanese territories. How unfortunate and deluded an allegation at a time when it was India which marched her armed troops into Bhutan and claimed that Bhutan is her " Protectorate state ".

The Bhutanese Newspaper is accused of being an unofficial mouth piece of the PDP Party and this present Government of Bhutan.  I found it more an Indian propaganda outlet during the occupation of Doklam by Indian Troops.

He writes that the Bhutanese Government refused to confirm whether it had invited Indian troops or not to Doklam. That was to keep China off balance he thinks.  And at the same time,  he confirms the fact that Bhutanese Army  did not join the Indian Army at Doklam.

I do not know what communications he has with the higher ups in the  Bhutanese and Indian administrative heirachies. But what he has alluded in his article " Bhutan triumphs at Doklam"  is that Bhutan invited Indian troops but cleverly put forth a different face to China by not  having Royal Bhutan Army joining the Indian Army at Doklam. A hide and seek sort of dubious political game?

I have no access to confidential government records or behind the scene political maneuvers or communications with high authorities of Bhutan or India.  I go by past precedents and my down to earth honest respects for their Majesties the Kings and deep confidence in that no King of Bhutan would ever surrender his responsibility of defending Bhutan to another foreign force and that never will a Bhutanese King ever succumb to having his people and Kingdom a slave and protectorate to  another foreign nation even if that nation is India the economic benefactor of past 11 five years development activities of Bhutan.

All I can say to such a gross misformation spread by Tenzing Lamsang under the cover of being  the editor of Newspaper " The Bhutanese " is that Bhutanese people should know better. We have a responsibility to be informed citizens. We should know that Their Majesties the Kings of Bhutan had never shied away from defending the Kingdom of Bhutan. And that the Institution of Monarchy is  respected by the citizens of all ages because Kings of Bhutan never engaged in dubious double political games.  And in matters of national sovereignty, Bhutan never played hide and seek games with China and India. And what Tenzing Lamsang described is all about a hide and seek incident.

Indian troops could never haven been invited by Bhutan. Kings do not have hereditary nature of offering their crown authority bestowed upon them by the nation to another foreign entity. Bhutan has committed for almost  60 years on building Indo- Bhutan Relation. Bhutan just cannot publicly embarrass India for so many reasons. Thus Bhutan was not able to out rightly expose India's blatant aggression for what it was at Doklam.  However,  Bhutanese Government refused to publicly go along with Indian narrative. And the most tale telling  sign was that Royal  Bhutan Army totally  ignored the transgressing Indian troops at Doklam. If Bhutan had asked Indian help, Royal Bhutan Army troops would have been there along with the Indian Army troops at Doklam. 

The Doklam transgression was completey an Indian Army show of aggression against Bhutan. And Bhutan being  militarily weak and economically dependent upon  India was humiliatingly handicapped at Doklam to resist physically at Doklam or verbally in public the shocking Indian transgression.

China was ofcourse defending her interest. There is no doubt about this. But in defending her territorial integrity, China made Indian troops withdraw back to their own Sikkim border. The Sikkim border wherein Indian Army is usually based is   only about 150 meters from Chinese road point at Doklam. So Indian troop retreat requires retracing steps back by 150  meters only. I do not hate China for making such a necessary stand and by default removing transgressing Indian troops from Bhutanese soil too.

Now regarding Chinese encroachments into Bhutanese territories in the past. Incidents have happened and there are roads built in what we call disputed areas. Unlike some recent youngsters who learned to write but are novice to China - Bhutan Border issues,  Haa Valley my birth place was physically exposed to the first incident of " border encroachment" with Tibetan yak herders driving their yaks into what was traditionally Bhutanese grazing land in 1960s. I, too, like most people of Haa felt the wound of aggression at our door steps. At that time, I wondered why His Majesty the Third King did not react more forcefully. Maybe ask Indian help I thought. Yet Bhutan never approached India for military help against deemed Chinese border encroachment acts.   Instead Bhutan informed  India what was happening at the Bhutan - China Border. India had been very insistent on handling the Bhutanese border issues with China. So the Kings of Bhutan having little option, had not out rightly opposed Indian pressure on this score. But that does not mean Bhutan had amicably surrendered to India her sovereign right to discuss her own border issues with China. However, under the circumstances dictated by geopolitical compulsions, a different way of approach had to be found to reject Indian overlordship attitude.

Thus there was repeated back and forth encroachment incidents at the northern border.  When Bhutan protested, Tibetans went back and again re- entered after a lull.  And as usual Bhutan kept pressuring  India who had insisted on taking up the border talks with China for Bhutan to do something tangible.  China kept up the pressure at the border and Bhutan kept up the pressure upon India. But on the other hand, China refused to engage India on matters of Sino- Bhutan Border. China told India that she will only talk to sovereign Bhutan. 

And finally India was taught a hard lesson in international politics. She cannot decide about the border of Bhutan and China even if India in many aspects had tiny Bhutan under her thumbs. India had duped Bhutan into equal nation friendship in 1958 then thereafter, had forced Bhutan into various submissions.

Bhutan surrendered to Indian leads in many peripheral fields ( Non- Aligned, SAARC etc.) but on core national sovereign affairs,  the Kings of Bhutan gently steered away Indian hegemony trend  ( UN membership, recognition of Bangladesh, the Border Treaty with China, the expulsion of Indian militant groups from Bhutan and the team of  National Council and Opposition DPT Party firmly opposing ratification of BBIN Agreement signed by the Bhutanese Government and the recent silent stand against Indian troops transgression at Doklam). 

As highlighted above,  in real crucial national sovereign affairs,  Bhutan somehow over time managed to outwit India. So it was with Bhutan- China Border Talks. After numerous incidents of Border encroachments by China into northern Bhutan, India was compelled to allow Bhutan to represent herself in the Bhutan- China Border Talks. That was how politics of Border encroachment played out. It was not so straight acts of aggression as was narrated by novice Tenzing Lamsang. He should have made some effort to analyse the information from Indian sources ( but then one must recognise the fact that all  mouth piece have shortcomings that invite manipulation by generous powerful Agencies).  But here suffice to say that few border encroachment incidents may have been politics of cajoling India down to her own sovereign affairs and not keep dictating upon Bhutanese sovereign affairs on Border issues with China. 

Now Kulagangri mountain that was once reflected as being part of Bhutan by Geoglogical Survey of India (GSI).  Bhutan did not then have a Survey Agency of its own with the required technical expertise. Thank you GSI but you should have physically set foot there and carried out the ground survey instead of making a guess work on Kulagangri in the comfort of your mapping room.

Unfortunately,  for Bhutan the ground physical reality turned out to be different when Survey of Bhutan finally had the capability to map the national domain physical landscape.  Most Bhutanese even laymen know the story of Tibetan great Saint Milarepa and his nine storey stupa type building somewhere in Tibet.   Well folks, that place and stupa and other Tibetan settlements happens to lie in-between the mountain ranges of North Central Bhutan and Mount Kulagangri which rises on the other side across the Tibetan Plains. 

In conclusion,  I would like for all Bhutanese people to shoulder the responsibilities of being informed citizens. We are not haters of China or India at birth forget being so in the wombs of our mothers. But there are people who hate China from their time in the womb. I am not being racists.  Just realistic about the valid reasons for most Tibetans to hate anything and everything about China. I would too if I am in any way connected to Tibet. I respect the feeling of Tibetans but refuse to adopt it for Bhutanese dealings with China.

Truly concerned Bhutanese citizens must beware that there are people amongst us who knowingly or unknowingly are sacrificing Bhutanese national sovereignty on the alter of personal birth hate for China. At Doklam, it was Indian troops not Chinese troops that occupied Bhutanese territory. So know upon whom to tag the belligerent term at Doklam.

Bhutanese of Drukpa or Lhotsampa forefathers do not have an alternate home. So as His Majesty the Third King once addressed the families of Bhutanese soldiers ( let me roughly provide the gist in english) let us value Bhutan as our only homeland. 

His Majesty addressed thus:

I thank you for the sacrifice of your fathers, sons, husbands and brothers who are camped at Dadhue- Margaa  in Thimphu in preparation to defend our nation. We Bhutanese have no option but to protect our land  We are all farmers nourished by the very soil of our land.  We have no other wealth that we can carry with us and find home elsewhere. So with your blessings and sacrifice, I intent to lead our brave solders to defend our Kingdom.

That address was given at Paro Palace ground where people of Haa joined others to hear the King.  Bhutan thought China may cross into Bhutan from Arunachal in 1962.  Thankfully China never ever aggressively attempted to disturb the status quo of sovereign Bhutan to this day.

There are some who think that my stand for my country arises from some hidden dislike for India or preference for China. Sorry that you suffer from limitations of vision. I can never say what China may turn out to be if China happened to enjoy the same economic, transit and thus the  political clouts over Bhutan as India does now. I have never called for disengagement with India. I have never called for IMTRAT and DANTAK to leave Bhutan. What I have always sought is that India respect the crucial elements of sovereignty of Bhutan.

I have been very honest and substantive in my views. I do not dis- respect Indian or my own Bhutanese authorities. My objective is to express what I truly feel in the hope that the leaders of Bhutan and India make corrective measures to establish a genuine respectable cooperation between our two nations that recognises equality in national sovereign aspirations.

I am not a disruptor and not a happy go lucky individual. I care for national unity and regional peace. I want friendly neighbours not overpowering friends. I respect my Kings and do want to contribute to the preservation of the political relevance and national dignity of the institution of Bhutanese Monarchy. That is why I value essence of being truthful even if some deem it to be against the reverred authority.

I was the first Bhutanese long before Lyonpo Om Pradhan wrote his book " the roar of the Dragon " to talk honestly of Southern Bhutan Uprising. I wanted the nation to heal and our Lhotsampa brothers and sisters to comprehend the national validity of the ways of the Fourth King. I was the first to defend the meeting of Prime Minister Jigme Yoeser Thinley with the Chinese Premier. Not for JYT sake but for Bhutan in the long run. I may be again the first Bhutanese commoner to publicly  seek conclusion to Bhutan- China Border Talks and establishment of diplomatic relationship with China. My feelings have nothing to do with India or China per se. I personally believe that opening up to China consolidates Bhutanese sovereignty status among world commity of nations and expands   opportunities to achieve our development goals.  I am fully aware and also am satisfied that India will remain Bhutan's closest friend and generous benefactor. But unlike few of my countrymen, I do not accept this prevailing " master- mistress relationship " that India politically terms as " Protectorate ".

From 1970s ( when I pushed for opening  up extrene northern Bhutan to tourists from the western world against Indian Embassy reservations and direct hard currency payment against order issued by Reserve Bank of India to Travel Agencies in India who co- ordinated foreign tourists tours to Bhutan) some people have warned me of RAW action of elimination for those that oppose Indian hegemony.  I never took it seriously. If I had placed my own  personal safety and interest before that of my Country's national interests, I would never have been able to state the truth. People fear not just Indian but our own authority so they claim to choose silence. But that way, our leadership hierachy will never know the truth that lie within  the hearts of the common citizens.

P.S. ( I managed to establish direct links with travel agencies in foreign countries and also secured direct dollar payments for tours to Bhutan before I left Bhutan Tourism. The Chomolhari trek through northern Bhutan is still a popular sought after trek. What I achieved was only in the course of performing my entrusted official duties during those 1970s period.  Today I hope I have succeeded in sensitising fellow Bhutanese to the necessity of having good relationships with both India and China.

And lastly I do not consider any Bhutanese or Indian my adversary. Those who express resentment or throw insults my way are not in my age or experience bracket nor are they free of fear or prejudice. I answer them only to prevent further public deception by their falsehood but I do not consider them to be worthy friend or foe. They are neither below me or above me in terms of race or blood. The difference is where we feel the pain. Bhutanese sovereignty is core existence for many of us and for few a means to barter for personal convenience  or easy livelihood. The difference is not in race, blood or culture it is in thought and attitude). Peace be to all.       
  

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Shri Arun Jaitley loses Defence Ministry Portfolio in the Doklam aftermath.

A rethinking and repositioning of power at PM Modi's Delhi has happened.

An aimless Note Ban by Finance Ministry and a reckless adventurism at Doklam by Defence Ministry cost Shri Arun Jaitley his 2nd in Command Position in the Indian  Government heirachy and his Defence Portfolio.

Shri Rajnath Singh was almost at par with
Shri Arun Jaitley in influence but too many racial and  social disturbances plus continuous security incidents bogged his image down. And now Shri Arun Jaitley too is pushed back but not out. 

Now it is Shri Amit Shah who once again has gained his rightful position. He brought Modi the General Election as well as the following successes in state elections plus political upsets in Goa, Manipur, Bihar and possibly soon in Tamil Naidu. So during this Cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Modi had him selecting new Ministers and rejecting old ones.

Shri Amit Shah is a political genius. Whether he has national leadership in him or not depends, hereafter,  on how India goes about in her dealings with SAARC Countries and the ability to deal with American demands and Chinese reality. His influence should now matter in PM Modi governance of India and India's attitude to the concerns of the neighbours and the region. 

As a Bhutanese, I am most disappointed with Shri Arun Jaitley for sitting on the rupee note exchange regarding old rupee stock with Bhutan as Finance Minister of India. And most upset with him as Defence Minister of India for Doklam transgression. I wanted him to be replaced as Defence Minister. He was either weak or simply a war mongering fellow.

The Punjab election defeat for him seemed to have affected his intellectual bearing. He was quite a promising leader of BJP during the last UPA tenure. Now just an economic jumble bumble and political liability in regional sphere. How could such a brilliant mind and noted politician lose his bearing when he is almost at the summit. Maybe political altitude sickness if ever there is such an illness.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Doklam is free from Trespassers. May the Deities of Bhutan always prevail !

My deepest admirations and respects for His Majesty the People's King of Bhutan and the Government of Bhutan for ensuring that the  true and natural sovereign respecting status quo is maintained at Doklam. Small and militarily tiny Bhutan is but courage and wisdom saw the nation through intact. The Indian troops have withdrawn back to Indian Border. There is no shame is doing the right thing, dear Indian Army. Defend your great nation and respect our heavenly Kingdom.

I sincerely thank His Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India for taking the right step and correcting the mis- step of war- mongering politicians and bureaucrats. Please appoint an independant Defence Minister to avoid free rides for war- mongers. Shri Arun Jaitley is over stretched and buried under Note Ban deluge and GST complexities.

Bhutan has been a sovereign nation since time immemorial and a Kingdom since 1907. The Kingdom of Bhutan and their Majesties the Kings have been genuine friends of India. Bhutan shared the joys of India when she received her independence from the British Empire in 1947. And in 1962,  Bhutan sympathised Indian losses and defeat from the Chinese forces  and extended all help to provide safe passage to the fleeing Indian soldiers from Tawang through Bhutan to India. Bhutan always extended a  helping hand to India in times of real need.

India on the other hand,  instigated two uprisings of ethnic group in Southern Bhutan ( 1956 and 1989 ). Flooded Southern Bhutan with Indian militant groups during the 1990s after the unsuccessful 2nd ethnic uprising. Then attempted to hijack Bhutanese democratic Government formation in 2013 and this year 2017, India invaded Bhutanese territory. Please review history. Bhutan did not seek Indian assistance or friendship. 

Only after His Excellency Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru of India undertook the arduous  himalayan trek to Bhutan in 1958 and offered friendship on equal terms and India's respect for Bhutan's sovereignty, the King of Bhutan consented to establish both economic and political relationships with India. Indian bureaucrats, politicians, and media should revisit the speech of Shri Pandit Nehru to the people of Bhutan.  

Those words are as solid and meaningful  as that of his " freedom at midnight" speech heralding the Independence of India. And yet successive Indian Governments betrayed his commitments to Bhutan just like they betrayed Gandhi's dream of co- existence for all Indian races and religions.

Bhutan was never a " protectorate state"  of India nor that of British Raj of India. The clause " to be guided in foreign affairs " in 1949 Bhutan-India Treaty was just a copycat term of Sinchula Treaty that British India imposed on Bhutan in 1865. Further in 1865, Bhutan was following an Isolationist Policy dealing only with Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh. There was no other foreign relation plans. Since 1949, Bhutan never adhered to that term with  independent India.  And reflecting ground reality, this dormant clause was removed in the revised  2007 Bhutan- IndiaTreaty.  Thus eradicating any lingering vintage of overlordship of India in any affairs of Bhutan including external affairs. And this fact must remain imprinted on any cooperation between Bhutan and India.

India must take note of an edict issued by His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck that in summary declared for all within and without that " in the Kingdom of Bhutan, the King of Bhutan shall always be the sovereign ruler and ultimate authority ". This was not a direct reminder to India but it was issued in due course after India offered military back- up to the King at the time of the assassination of the Prime Minister Jigme Palden Dorji of Bhutan by the Brigadier in Command of Bhutan Army Operational aspects. 

His Majesty who was abroad on medical treatment returned to Bhutan to deal with the crisis. The King firmly declined  Indian Government's offer to send Indian Army into Bhutan  " to quell the mutiny " so reasoned India.  Indian Government must have been utterly  dismayed when the King summoned his  Brigadier to the Palace and Commanded him to surrender himself over to the military police for court- Marshall proceedings.

A similar historic event was repeated in 2003. His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck declined Indian offer to send Indian Army to dislodge ( most ironically) militants groups of India who were fighting for their respective state autonomy.  The King declined and led his own Bhutanese Army to crush and expel all such militants groups to the utter shock of Indian Army. Tiny Bhutan Army succeeded where for decades the mighty Indian Army failed. 

This time at Doklam, India did not bother to ask His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck. Indian Army simply trooped into Bhutanese and Chinese territories at Doklam Plateau on the pretext of defending Bhutanese territory.  India thought it would be a piece of cake like the 2013 intrusions in the General Election of Bhutan. Few years ago, the Bhutanese authority was ill prepared for such well orchestrated action and propaganda that various agencies of India enacted. But this time, once burnt twice shy kind of maturity was demonstrated by Bhutan after the initial confusion that resulted in " one namesake demarche and one solitary press release". 

That " Protectorate state " claim of India  shocked the Bhutanese leadership to the danger that loomed over the Kingdom's sovereignty. Thank God this Indian attempt at Bhutanese sovereignty heist occurred when the reigning King had acquired 11 years of experience on the job and the birth of the  Crown Prince to whom the King has the hereditary duty to enthrone later in likened manner of his own enthronement by his illustrious great father the 4th King. There cannot be a future King if the Kingdom is not preserved now.  And above all our Great 4th King is in the best of health and immensely over versed in  all the intricacies and manoeuvres of politics of India. Modi is just another Prime Minister of India whose time has come and whose time will pass. And the Wangchuck Dynasty will flourish along with the Kingdom and the people of Bhutan for many more centuries.

I am relieved that China stood firm and upheld Bhutanese sovereignty. And the  Deities of our beloved Kingdom stood omnipotent and omniscient. Thank You Triple Gem. Kuenchho Soum is the Greatest !

Despite so many unsavory threats posed by India to Bhutsn's sovereign existence, Bhutanese wish to be friends with Indian people. We cannot choose our neighbours so we choose to be friends with both the neighbouring giants:  India and China. India will always enjoy better advantages than China. But do not squander away such opportunities. Be deserving of Bhutan's goodwill and best of friendship.

Bhutan, China and India have been designed and destined to be neighbours whether the geographical positioning is to our liking or not. So we might as well move forward for sounder peace, greater prosperity and better trust worthy friendships. We cannot be equal in material resources and military might. But as sovereign nations, practise  equal respects. May Bhutan, China and India become better neighbours.

Hurrah for the sacred sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Pelden Drukpa Lha Gyel Lo !

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Corporatisation is no solution for better health services.

In regards to corporatisation of JDWNRH, I support the position taken by the Opposition Party. Here the Government has a larger responsibility than simply finding a way of bypassing RCSC. The very nomenclature " Corporation " corrupts the constitutional mandate to provide health services to the people free of cost. The very theme of Corporation is commercial success. Bhutan needs better health service not better commercial success in health sector. Mind you there are so many ways though to curtail expenditure without compromising service qualities.   

Specialists are indispensable to wholesome health services. So are other general doctors and the many other health professionals like nurses and technical staffs. How would corporatisation affect the morale of these professionals? As civil servants their ultimate boss is the Health Minister and they are part of a nationwide health service fraternity. With the corporatisation of JDWNRH, these professionals suddenly find themselves in a shrunken world. And most probably at the mercy of a politically connected boss who neither possess the quality nor the attitude to serve a corporation. There are only few managers who qualify to serve and not just lead corporations and most such are not politically connected and therefore never considered.  

There is a huge psychological difference between serving the nation and serving a Corporation. Additional Corporation allowance is like an alimony. If possible staying married is preferable in terms of security and social dignity. That's the nearest I can come up in differentiating between the feelings for Government service and that of corporate service. Working condition is not the real criteria. There are always both lazy and hard workers in both Government and corporate services. I have been in both the world. Good and sensible administration in Government and management in Corporations makes all the right difference. 

The solution to retaining specialists lies in innovative management. Let me give an example: How does a reserved car parking space for the doctors at the hospital compound sound? And how about a proper office room with a free internet connected lap top and a mobile phone with free voucher for specialists? How about free alternate Saturdays off duty for very senior professionals unless emergency cases comes up? How about a coffee and tea lounge service after a hectic operation schedule?    Some such perks and privileges that acknowledge the importance, the seniority  and value of the persons and the their golden experiences. Just few examples that demonstrates appreciations.

Money is ofcourse a commercial magnet. But to a lot of senior people who are well past their mid life, there are other things equally appreciated and longed for. I speak from experiences.  And all these example of amenities are permissable within the RCSC and Audit rules and regulations. If it is hard to see, hear or think then reach out for those who have the pre- requisites to help out. The best Manager is one who is all out to get things done and find solutions within the rules of the game. Not changing the rules of the game. Good Luck and better sense of Management at JDWNRH.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

DNT Party is playing the Indian card of destabilising the Bhutanese nation.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa has regretfully become an alien party with dubious design. At a time when the nation is placed in a precarious position by India, DNT is seemingly playing a role of a Dirty National Traitor Party. It is  distracting the attention of the nation from a national crisis precipitated by external forces. In so doing, the DNT is sabotaging national efforts to protect our sovereignty. 

Why did  DNT choose this very crucial national agony time to attack the Government in reign? The Government of Bhutan and the nation is under great stress by the attacks on national sovereignty by India. 

Indian troops are occupying our territory at Doklam.

India has declared that Bhutan is her " Protectorate state ".

India has rubbished the true essence of the revised 2007  Bhutan- India Treaty of 1949. Indian aggression and especially the misconstruction of the essence and true  understanding of the revised Treaty terms has not just transgressed upon our national sovereignty but has insulted our great Kings who negotiated and signed the revised 2007 Treaty with India.  And worse,  Japan a deemed friend of Bhutan and second largest donor to Bhutanese development activities has joined rank with India and has publicly come out in support of Indian effort to dilute Bhutanese sovereignty. Bhutan is isolated. 

The revised 2007 Treaty  had totally freed Bhutan from Indian dominance and abolished any past British Raj colonial shreds that infringed upon Bhutanese self will.  However this time at Doklam, India has declared that this very revised Treaty as a " Sell out to India " Treaty to suit her hegemonic ambition.  India has misconstructed the true meaning and understanding of Clause 2 of the revised Treaty.

The clause 2 of the revised 2007 Treaty  specifically declared that neither country will allow on their soil activities harmful to the other. And this time at Doklam what did India do? India sent troops into Bhutanese and Chinese territory and militarily bullied us and sabotaged Sino- Bhutan Border Talks.  And  their official Agencies and media outlets engaged in relentless campaign of propaganda to convince the world that  Bhutan is a protectorate state of India.  And to add insult to injury, India shamelessly tells the world that this very clause 2 provides for her aggression against Bhutan.

India has used all the strong arm tactics and superior media and diplomatic clouts at her disposal to achieve her objective. The world accepts what the powerful and the influential dictates. And India, Japan, America trios are powerful and influential.  Do Bhutanese Political Parties care even a little for our Nation?

Bhutan has been humiliated, our land encroached upon and the dignity of our deeply respected Kings guttered. 

The revised Treaty of 2007 further abolished the clause in the 1949 Treaty that required Indian guidance for Bhutanese external affairs. Further it also abolished the clause that required India to pay yearly to Bhutan a cash annuity for the Duars annexed by British India.  The 1949 Treaty was  a copycat of Singchula Treaty between Bhutan and British Raj of India,  Bhutan had signed this Treaty in duress with a superior armed British India.  

Against such a back drop of national crisis, what did Bhutanese Political Parties do to defend the dignity of the nation and the Kings and our very cherished sovereignty?  Nothing. Not a word has been spoken by any damned Political Parties of Bhutan. What fine sleazy excuse did some people make? They said something like,  Oh! Leave it to the wise leadership of the King and the Government.

Don't Bhutanese Political Parties think that His Majesty the King needs public support. We are living in a wide open world. Even the wisest and the most able leaders be it the Prime Minister or the King need public expression of support in a democratic world.  All political parties in  India are backing their Government. The world watches while the Bhutanese Political Parties particularly DNT engages in back stabbing the nation.

DNT has declared that it has the support of all Political Parties and goodwill of Bhutanese media in its campaign against the Bhutanese Government. This is likely to be an act of  treason. And I hope the relevant authority in this case the Judiciary of Bhutan does not shy away from its constitutional duty. The High Court must nib the bud immediately before this blatant anti- nation pro India disrupting move gathers force.

DNT declaration says, " Nation First ". Let me ask which Nation?  Bhutan or India?

DNT says , " almost pinching on the legal Sovereignty of our Nation ". Let me ask " What kind of politics is this"? Who is pinching whom?

And let me bare the truth. The sovereignty of Bhutan was not "almost pinched", it was punched at Doklam. What did any Political Party say or do? All self-serving jackals parading in self esteem and shamelessly engaged in enacting Indian political drama at the High Court.

All innocent members of  DNT Party and responsible true Bhutanese citizens should get together and close down this Indian Front of a Political Party which is jeopardising the sovereignty of Bhutan.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Kuensel Editor fires off a wrong shot. That too about the Constitution.

On the subject of Kuensel editorial ( today the 18th August )  on Fiscal Incentives and questioning constitutionality of the Cabinet request to the Speaker. Perhaps Kuensel has shot itself in the foot this time. A pity after the much appreciated last two prior editorials on " Table tours "

Looks like a " table editorial " meaning a piece devoid of the slightest effort to examine the context and procedures for approaching His Majesty the King  for exercise of Royal Pre- rogative in commanding Supreme Court's review /opinion on constitutional matters.

The editorial maintains that the Cabinet overlooked ( meaning  breached ) the Constitution in making this request to quote  "  the Speaker to consider seeking the Supreme Court's interpretation on Fiscal Incentives granted before May 8." Unquote.

This allegation against the Cabinet is way off the mark. Seeking interpretation of Supreme Court on matter of Fiscal Incentives is a legistive issue.Therefore such a request has to be routed through  the Parliament. The Government cannot directly approach His Majesty the King on legislative matters. Thus the Cabinet request to the Speaker for consideration.

The Cabinet request in no way breaches  the Royal Pre- rogatives incorporated in  the Constitution. If the Speaker deems the Cabinet request worthy of action then he will follow the due Parliamentary established procedure  for approaching His Majesty the King in seeking Supreme Court opinion on the Fiscal Incentives granted prior May 8.  

Many Bhutanese individual and Agencies have been quick on harping about Constitutionalities of many things. And Kuensel jumps into the same fervour blindfolded. Most unfortunate. Constitution is sacred.  Not a tool for expression of everyday grievances. 

I wrote 3 articles on Fiscal Incentives controversies in my blog on 24th June, 27th June and finally on 6th July.  After having heard both the PM and OL live on BBS, I pointed out that the landmark Supreme Court Judgement has to be re- visited again because in so far as I recall that judgement did not take away the authority of the Government to grant Fiscal Incentives.

The Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay maintained that Government had the authority till Parliament endorsed Fiscal Incentives as Money Bill. The Opposition Leader Pema Gyamtsho maintained that Government had the authority ( meaning DPT Cabinet ) till the day  the Supreme Court Judgement was  passed on the 1st Constitutional Court Case " Opposition versus the Government " on taxation procedure.

The present Cabinet's request to the Speaker for Supreme Court's interpretation is similar to my stand that the landmark judgement needs to be revisited to resolve the difference in the proper understanding of the judgement by both the PDP and DPT Parties. Two completely different  interpretation of a landmark judgement is uncommon if not down right rediculous.  This was dealt exhaustively in my article of 6th July, 2017 under the title , " The Fiscal. Incentives the flashing constitutional controversy in Bhutanese Politics."

It is difficult to write 6 editorials a week and I respect the dilemmas between temptations of  controversies and substantive subjects. An Editor of Kuensel unlike other Papers we have in Bhutan, has to pass a different standard that can only come with much collective  experiences on the editorial desk. That's why I miss Mr. Phuntsho Wangdi the very hard working former Kuensel Editor the  quiet unassuming person that he was in personality and a giant that he represented in the field of editorials. He is a man whom any editor could get coaching from.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Paro Airport Parking Fee. Starting a debate. Join in please.

Few facts to lay the ground clear.

1. It is not levied by Druk Air or Tashi Air.
2. It would be levied by Air Port Management under Civil Aviation Authority of the Royal Government of Bhutan.
3. The parking fee seems to have been introduced mainly to generate revenue not
to decongest limitted parking space. The fee is very high compared to Bhutanese minimum daily wage. Therefore lacks rationality.
4. Also the Nu:100 is collected almost like an entry fee. Not a minute is given free for passenger to get out of the vehicle with the luggage in case of drop off. That automatically hikes up taxi fares.

Question. 

1. Now should airline passengers have the right to be picked up and drop off services  at Paro Airport free of being financially burdened further with parking fee for vehicle that  provide this indispensable service ?

Answer:

It all depends on why passengers have to pay airport tax? This tax is incorporated in the airfare when the ticket is bought and the same would be deposited by the Airlines with the Civil Aviation Authority.  That tax should cover the use of parking space for reasonable period and purpose.

In my opinion, pick up and drop off at airport should be free of parking fee for the 1st 15 minutes. Or else the parking fee has to be reduced to Nu: 25 for first 30 minutes whichever is convenient to implement.

Question.

2. What about  the free parking area provided some distance away? Does not that take care of the those who cannot afford to pay the exorbitant parking fee of Nu: 100 as soon as you enter the area and then keeps escalating after first 15 minutes?

Answer.

Agree that it is very thoughtful of the Air Port Management to provide free parking space even though some distance away. However, the Management has structured the facility in a way to discourage usage.

According to those using the free space:

a) there is no trolley to transport the luggages. Trolleys are available only at paid parking area.

b) The free parking area is cut off from any information regarding flights.  You are kept in the dark about flight delays or arrivals.

3. There is no restroom facility ( even pay toilet) which is essential.

So it is not just the distance but the overall customer unfriendliness that is designed to discoursge usage but meets the namesake " free parking space " publicity. 

Question.

3. Airlines pay fees for use of Airport facilities. There are many others including restaurants who rent spaces at airport to provide services related to passengers.   Does not these direct and indirect incomes plus airport tax on passengers themselves add up to providing the basic need of free parking facility for pick up and drop services for the passengers for at  least 3O minutes?

Answer.

I feel that 10 minutes for cars and 20  minutes for bus for drop off service and for receiving service 30 minutes for cars and 60 minutes for buses should be free of parking charge. Or the charges should be reasonable at Nu: 25 for cars and Nu:50 for buses for above indicated time period if total free parking is unaffordable for the Authority.

Observations:

It is not just Civil Aviation but almost all Agencies never take into considerations the minimum wage factor when considering fees or fines. Socio- economic concept like minimum wage is wholely ignored or not understood as a basic parameter for monetary impositions.  Somehow Bhutanese regulators are anti social class and very much for creating / reserving amenities only for the elite class usage. There are many poorer groups who may own cars not individually but as a family and that too second or third hands. Such cars also need parking space and they are majority in number.

Regarding parking issues at Paro Airport, the Ministry of Communication and Information  can give an impartial guidance. The honourable Secretary and His Excellency the Minister could easily decide on an appropriate approach. Airport Parking space need not have to be the gold mine of the Civil Aviation Authority.

 

Friday, August 11, 2017

An authoritarian India tends to be overbearing upon her neighbours.

Many wise words were spoken by late Lyonpo Dawa Tsering. His Excellency was the Foreign Minister of Bhutan for nearly three decades. A learned leader who encompassed qualities of much  intelligence and stately adroitness.  I particularly recall his explanatory submission as Foreign Minister to the honourable members of the National Assembly of Bhutan who were perplexed and frustrated by many unfriendly acts of the Government of India under Emergency Rule (1975 to 1977). His Excellency said that when an authoritarian Government is in power, that nation also tends to adopt an overbearing attitude towards the weaker neighbours. Bhutan must exercise political skill and fortitude. How so very true! May His Excellency rest in Peace.

Fortunately, by the infinite Grace of our Deities, the leadership our Great 4th King His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck and wise counsels, Bhutan warded off the fate that befell upon Sikkim just before Emergency rule in India.  It was closer than a dangerous state of affairs. I think His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk had an apt description of that state in the 1970s  during the public constitutional consultations in 2007. The King put it as , " like a leaf tossing on a swollen river ". His Majesty who was not born then, must have learned of the crisis of the 1970s from his illustrious father.

India is once again ready to flex her national muscle in the region. And each time that happens, the testing guinea pig is Bhutan. This is what happened at Doklam.The NDA Government headed by BJP is at its zenith of power in India. The Indian Prime Minister His Excellency Narendra Modi is sweeping the whole of India under his charismatic personality backed by the Merlin type of political wizard Shri Amit Shah. The combination of the two is recording astonishing  political history in India. To the historians later, it might be a period of dusk black or dust gold.

This time India decided Doklam as a pretext to declare Bhutan a "Protectorate state"  and attempted to establish complete hegemony over our Kingdom.  China was not the ultimate objective of Indian military adventurism at Doklam. It was Bhutan. Fortunately, China stood firmly against Bhutan being converted into solely an Indian buffer cushion and protectorate state.  Thus when so definitely and decisively  confronted by China, India had to decide to withdraw and await perhaps another favourable day to overwhelm Bhutan.

In public domain,  Bhutan stood stoically silent this time. The behind the scene had to be rather frenzy. Our Kings ( both the Majestic Son and the Father ) had to be  engaged in some feverish survival diplomacy whilst our Monastic institutions were in deep Prayers. The two Royal and Spiritual  Institutions together are responsible for peace, happiness and security of Bhutan and her people. The democratic Government main task  is to implement successfully the 5 year development plans and ensure economic prosperity and fair governance.

The Indian Army withdrawl has be done in an acceptable public drama so as to freeze verbal attacks by the Oppositions in the Indian Parliament.  So Indian Army  plans to withdraw on the basis of Bhutan Army taking over their role. But on the ground, it is not possible for Bhutan Army to replace transgressing Indian troops on Chinese controlled Doklam.  Further, to even theoretically agree, is placing Bhutanese sovereignty in grave future danger. As that will make it appear that India secured an area at Doklam for Bhutan. An act of what India claims protecting Bhutanese territory from China.

My humble advice to India is to withdraw and acclaim publicly that Bhutanese Army is taking over the role. And Bhutan continue her public silence. China would be happy with the retreat. And no one is going to be wiser at the  ground level. Remote Doklam is away from prying eyes. It is two days hard trek through mountain ravines from the motorable road point on Bhutan side. In hindsight, if only China so generously continued the road extension into our land  for our use. 

The true political picture is that  Bhutanese land is not needed to be protected by a third power and India winds up her adventurism of the century. This time, Bhutan retains her status quo of a sovereign Kingdom. May the people of Bhutan, China and India be blessed with compassionate and sensible leaders though not necessarily in alphabetical order as I try to maintain fairness.   

Many years after Emergency Rule in India, when Her Excellency Indra Gandhi was shot down by her security guard, an Indian Army General was supposed to have exclaimed, " how bloody lucky for Bhutan ".  So it's possible that such scheming Indian leaders do not give up easily upon clutching Bhutan in their claws. Still I do not wish them the fate of India Indra. But for Bhutan, I pray that the our omniscient powerful Deities keep under the radar of their thunder bolts those who pose danger upon the " Land of Pelden Drukpa."

Pelden Drukpai Lha Gyel Lo !

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Strategy behind India's Doklam transgression: Here is the Ugliness.

On 29th July 2017, an article on Doklam Standoff was published in OneIndia News. The writer Vicky Nanjappa a senior Correspondent quoting " highly placed sources" wrote.  To quote : 

1. " For Bhutan, India guarantees its security through the 2007 Friendship Treaty." 

This statement is a reiteration of the recent Indian Government stand that Bhutan is a " Protectorate state " of India.
Not at all acceptable to Bhutan and far from ground realities.  

2 " Bhutan has allowed access to Indians on its territory."

This statement alludes to the forceful encampment of Indian troops on the Bhutanese side of disputed Doklam Plateau after confrontation with Chinese construction party.

Now one can understand why India claimed first that they " were requested by Bhutan Army"  and later changed to " in coordination with Bhutan Army " and possibly after my blog which rubbished such ludicrous claims, India declared that they were " protecting the security of their so called chicken neck". India has no right of whatsoever to station Indian Army combat troops on Bhutanese side of Doklam or the disputed area.

Actually India's real goal was to engulf  Bhutan because they used the Doklam intrusion to declare:

1. That Bhutan is a " Indian protectorate state ." That's what India said of Sikkim before submerging her.

2. India chose to brandish the 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty wherein it was stated that Bhutan's foreign affairs was to be guided by India. That clause was removed in the 2007 revised 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty. Bhutan opted to conduct her foreign affairs independently and had never sought Indian guidance.  However, this time during Doklam crisis, India refused to recognise Bhutan' s right to her own independent foreign policy. 

3. India made claims about a "security pact" with Bhutan.There is no such pact. Nothing in the knowledge of the Bhutanese Parliament or the people. 

The Royal Bhutan Government or the Royal Bhutan Army whose Supreme Commander is His Majesty the King would never have agreed to India's interference  into the Bhutan- China Border Talks especially by use of military force. Bhutan is a small nation. We have to find peaceful means. Involving Indian Government or Indian Army is the shortest route to national suicide.

Let me relate following historical decisions of the Kings of Bhutan to demonstrate how wary Bhutan had always been of silent takeover by the  powerful neighbourly friend called India. 

1. In 1962 during Sino- India war, the 3rd King of Bhutan granted safe passage to Indian soldiers fleeing Arunachal through Eastern Bhutan to India only after the soldiers surrendered their rifles at Tashigang Dzong. This demonstrates that Bhutan does not welcome armed combat troops even that of India. .   

2. In 2003, India offered combat troops to Bhutan to fight Indian militant groups.  There is already IMTRAT the training wing of Indian Army in Bhutan.They are supposed to be unarmed and therefore, not in the category of regular fighting force.

His Majesty the 4th King was not sure whether his own force could expel the militant groups. After all, the greater numbered militants were also battle hardened and well armed.  But His Majesty was sure of one reality. That was if he accepted combat troops of Indian Army into the Kingdom, that would be the end of sovereign Bhutan. So the King took the less evil option. The offer of Indian Army was declined. And His Majesty decided to lead in person the Royal Bhutan Army to expel the various groups  like ULFA ,  BODO and  KLO Indian militants camped in the thick jungles of Southern Bhutan.

The People and the Government of Bhutan was fearful for the personal safety of the royal being and tried to dissuade the King. But His Majesty's response revealed how deeply he had pondered. The King said, " If I am not there in the field to look after my brave soldiers, the slim chance that we have in defeating the militants is lost. And a defeat in the battle field means the lost of Bhutan. Therefore, the danger to the Bhutanese nation and the throne is more imminent if I stay behind."  Thus began the " Operation All Clear " under His Majesty's personal command.  And all militant groups were successfully cleared out from Bhutan by the Bhutan Army. The defeat of the Indian militant groups by the Bhutanese Army stunned the Indian Army to silent reverence.The feat surpassed all dictates of art of army war- fares.

Considering such super human sacrifices made by the people and Kings of Bhutan, it would be crazy to seek Indian intervention at Doklam. Indian Army had simply bull dozed in  unannounced. An invasion at Doklam happened.

Initially it seemed that Bhutan was duped by Indian action at Doklam. Maybe Bhutan just  meekly succumbed to Indian aggression on the border front and diplomatic arm twisting on the foreign affairs front. Bhutan complained to China and even issued a Press Release that 
were in line with political ploy of India.Thankfully Bhutan, ultimately, recognised betrayal signs and decided to stand her ground. Bhutan refused to condone Indian transgression at Doklam. If she had , next thing Thimphu, Paro and Haa would have been flooded with Indian combat troops and war machinaries on the pretext of enevitability of Chinese invasion. From the day one of transgression at Doklam, vociferous Indians and even few treacherous pro-Indian Bhutanese voices were crying aloud about the danger posed by China from Doklam to the  northern Valleys of Haa, Paro and Thimphu. Doklam is actually part of Samtse Dzongkhag in the South.  Most Bhutanese did not even hear of name of the remote mountsin Plateau till then. And ironically if such evil people had their ways, before China or even most Bhutanese woke up, Bhutan could have been another Sikkim.

Bhutan is weak and small to physically  challenge the might of India.  However, by all international standard, Bhutan should have cried " foul" against India for the transgression into Bhutanese controlled Doklam territory by armed troops of India.

This is the reason why China has been  demanding that Indian Army withdraw from the present positions or there will be an all out war. China had declared in no uncertain term that this transgression was very different in nature and intent from all other China- India border skirmishes. India was defying China from a third country territory. Therefore, China is threatening to attack wherever Indian Army is. Which means all of Indian land, sea and even Bhutan the unwilling host of Indian Army at the Tri Junction. I feel that any nation not just China, has the sovereign and moral rights  to take firm and effective retaliatory action against such treacherous conduct. 

But even in her deep humiliating state of silent distress and perhaps in dismayed betrayal confusion, Bhutan found the political sanity not to cower down to the level of condoning Indian transgression into Bhutan as well as into the Chinese Doklam. And that stumped the Indian touted position " protecting Bhutan from China "  that India tried hard selling to the international community. India is not protecting Bhutan. India is trying to engulf Bhutan on premeditated pretext.  

I had earlier said that Doklam incident may be the working of our Deities. And strangely it might turn out to be  just that. India did not bargain upon China's determination for an all out war in 5 fronts for this Indian act of treachery at Doklam. India it seems was planning for a limitted war.  However, to the Chinese, a limitted war restricted to Doklam only, would in any case sabotage the Chinese goal of One Belt Road Initiative and further compromise the buffer status of Bhutan in India's favour. If a war must happen with India, it made more sense for China to have a full scale war at all 5 fronts ( Bhutan-Sikkim, Arunachal, Kashmir, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal).  That would be a decisive war worth risking.

It seems that both America and Japan have no appetite for such a large scale war stretching from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean. During the recent Malabar naval and air war exercises conducted concurrently with Doklam crisis by America, India and Japan, China sent 13 war ships plus submarines to convey a definitive message to the tiresome three. In addition the new aircraft carrier of China was docked at Hong Kong to get Japanese attention. Personally, I hope Japan had nothing to do, even remotely, with Doklam venture. Bhutan and Japan enjoy the highest of regards between people and the Royal Houses.

A short limitted war between India and China suited Western armament industries and American policy of containing China. Or at the least distracting China from One Belt Road Initiative and South China Sea.  But an all out global war where even Russia could get involved was a No No. Thus it appears that India left on her own, has been forced to capitulate after the sneaky transgression.

India had quietly amassed huge forces at Sikkim and Siliguri Chicken neck in preparation for a limitted war at Doklam to quote an Indian writer, " to give a bloody nose to China " who was caught off guard at Doklam. India wanted to establish full and complete hegemony over  Bhutan through a short brief war at Doklam.  Not a full scale five front war.  
 
The same correspondent Vicky Nanjappa also revealed how India was now going about to resolve the Standoff at Doklam. To quote him :

" It is a complex situation and India at best would withdraw troops on the pre-condition that it is replaced by the forces from Bhutan."  Similar political view has been again repeated in The Indian Express by Sushant Singh on 4th August ( today) .

What this means is that the Indian Security Advisor Ajit Doval had conveyed to Beijing the willingness of Indian Army to withdraw from Bhutan and China Doklam. 

Nanjappa's above statement is couched in diplomatic face saving graceful language.
China would never accept Bhutanese Army in place of Indian Army in the Chinese controlled Doklam territory. So it had to be a reference to Indian Army vacating Bhutan controlled Doklam territory which would subsequently leave only Bhutanese patrolling contigent behind. Naturally that would suit Bhutan. 

But simple withdrawl from Doklam would not have appeased the most infuriated Chinese PLA. So the offer had to be accompanied by the  commitment not to interfere into the Sino- Bhutan Border Talks as well as never again encroach into Chinese controlled Doklam or attempt to station Indian combat troops on Bhutanese territory at the Tri- Junction or other Sino- Bhutan Borders. Some hints are already reflected in The Indian Express article today.

I just hope and pray that Bhutan signs the Border Agreement with China and establish diplomatic relation, too. That would be a fitting Majestic response from Bhutan to the blatant Indian arrogance and aggression.  I do not care for China but for Bhutan such an Agreement would elevate Bhutan amongst the international community. And Bhutan will never be so readily trampled over and alleged to be a " Protectorate State" under India.

India twisted the friendship language of  the 2007 Treaty that distanced Bhutan from India to that of further subjugation and proclaimed Bhutan as her " Protectorate state". Such stands have wounded both Bhutanese national status and caused lasting damage to the golden Throne. In one single stroke, India callously blackened the legacy of the 4th King who got the 1949 Indo-Bhutan Treaty  revised in 2007 and the reigning King who signed the Treaty. In doing so, India explicitly implied that the Kings of Bhutan are her surrogates reigning Bhutan under the Indian guarantees. Not as sovereign Kings of a sovereign Kingdom.

The established historical fact is that Wangchuck Dynasty of Bhutan was established in 1907 exactly 40 years before India even got her independence from the British Raj. Now Bhutan has to find a dignified way to stand up and regain lost honour. No need to ask IMTRAT AND DANTAK to leave. We hold genuine friendship for Indian people and real  appreations for economic aids and transit passages.  Let's simply elevate Bhutan to equal neighbourly status and realistic friendship terms with both India and China. Time and events are calling upon Bhutanese leadership to act with courage and speed. Bhutan needs to sign the Sino- Bhutan Border Agreement and open embassies with China. All can then rest easier with recovered dignity.

Pelden Drukpa! Gyel Lo!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The status of Doklam and other disputed areas on the Sino- Bhutan Border.

There is Doklam Tri-Junction in South Western Sino-  Bhutan Border.  Then there is at North- Western Sino- Bhutan Border places like Sha-kha-Toe, Drama-na, Singchu-Lum etc. and at North-Central Sino- Bhutan Border Passa-Lum. 

In the last several weeks since the Doklam Transgression, few Indian media print houses and political analysts, some even quoting Bhutanese sources,  have been propagating a deliberately fabricated narrative about Doklam.

The fabricated  narrative states that at one time, China had offered a large area concession at disputed North-Central Sino- Bhutan Border in exchange for smaller area concession by Bhutan at Doklam. This is a blatant lie. It is a  propaganda material developed among China and Bhutan haters. 

I presume that this fabricated narrative is propagated with the intent to cast doubts on China's claim at Doklam and at the same time to support India's false claim that Indian Army was protecting Bhutanese interest. For true Bhutanese hearts, the decision of the Indian Army to transgress into the Sino- Bhutan Doklam territory was far more alarming and a deliberate act of under-mining Bhutanese sovereignty.    

I am not that worried about the road repair or extension by China though big and powerful that she is.  Afterall, both nations are engaged in reaching a concensus on differing claims through numerous rounds of cordially held Talks.  That's what negotiations are all about. And if final demarcation puts the road area under Bhutan then we have a ready road for use. If not then it is Chinese road.  

But definitely, Bhutan does not have to accept India's derogatory attitudes like their rediculous claim that " Bhutan Army asked Indian Army help " and the Indian boastful  proclamation of Bhutan being " Protectorate state "  and thereby  insinuating that Bhutanese King is reigning under Indian wing of protection. All directed to humiliate and shred away  Bhutanese sovereignty as part of the Indian strategy of Doklam transgression.      

For the record, the talk of " land swap " during early Sino- Bhutan Talks ( 1989-1992 ) was related to China offering the much larger  disputed area at North-Central Sino-Bhutan Border for the  smaller disputed area at North-Western Sino- Bhutan Border. Many senior Bhutanese people especially former National Assembly Representatives may recall place names like Shakha Toe, Drama-na and Singchu- Lum at  North-Western Sino - Bhutan Border ( north of Haa Dzongkhag ) and Passa-Lum at North- Central Sino- Bhutan Border (northern of  Bumthang Dzongkhag).

Based on geographical water shed features and naturally the closeness to strategic Chumbi Valley, China was prepared to accept the smaller disputed area at North- Western Sino- Bhutan Border region and have Bhutan take the doubly larger disputed area at the North-Central Sino- Bhutan Border region. However, Bhutan preferred her share of each disputed region.This was not opposed by China and accordingly negotiation have been progressing smoothly.

Actually, I was most relieved with that decision of the Royal Government. As a Bhutanese, I guess larger chunk of land is more preferable but as a Haap, my sentiment is deep for the smaller chunk. As a child, I remember my soldier Dad telling us that the real un- negotiable enemy at the border post at Singchu-Lum was the freezing icy wind not the Chinese soldiers. I have not been there but Singchu-Lum is part of my growing up unforgettable memory. I am willing to fire a bullet or take a bullet for my memory.

For Bhutan, strategic value is same and grazing pasture land which is our main concern for our yak herders, would be achieved if we went for the " land  swap". But yak herders of Haa would lose out to yak herders of Bumthang. However, I guess for our supposed friend India, any land near Chumbi Valley is very strategic. I do not know whether Bhutan based her final decision on Indian security interest or the interest of Yak herders of Haa. I would like to think that the welfare of Haaps mattered.

Traditionally the Kings of Bhutan always paid extra attention to the welfare of the people living at high altitude Valleys like Haa, Gasa and Bumthang known as Laa-Gang-Sum. Those days even special concessions were built into the tax structure of the nation to favour such Dzongkhags. 

Doklam Tri-Junction was not even part of the Sino-Bhutan Border Talks when the " land swap" was out on the table. Bhutanese must differentiate facts from fallacies. Let others with dubious intentions play with imaginations and falsehoods.  

I am of the opinion that even at Doklam,  after the 24th round of Talks, concensus had been reached between Bhutan and China. We common citizens have duties to voice valid concerns. And as always, place our faith in the Government and especially our People's King His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck to protect our hereditary land along with the concerns of the people. Bhutan's priority would be " to protect and preserve " hereditary land. Not engage in meddling or shaping security interests of China or India. 

As always we must pray that the Triple Gem Bless our Kingdom and the national Leadership especially our King at the helm with good health and great wisdom and fortitude.  Pelden Drukpa Lha Gyel Lo !

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Negotiating from the position of strength.

American offical policy towards North Korea: 

"Axis of Evil " declared President Bush. 

"We are not your enemy" confirms Tillerson Secretary of State.

What caused the change in American policy towards North Korea ? The answer is ICBM. It is always better to negotiate from the position of strength. That was American maxim which North Korea adopted to the hilt.

After the second ICBM tests, America tells North Korea. To quote:

"We do not seek regime change. We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula. We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel,"

"We are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us and we have to respond," Tillerson said, speaking to North Korea directly. "We would like to sit and have a dialogue about the future."

May the Pacific Rim realise the dawn of permanent peace.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

To all within and outside Bhutan and India the truth of Bhutan- India Relation Status.

It  all began with Indian Prime Minister His Excellency  Pandit Jawaharlal  Nehru's arduous journey to  Bhutan in 1958.  I often wondered why a 68 year old PM of India had to trek on foot, on horse back and ride Yaks to come to meet the King of Bhutan. The King of Bhutan much younger in age 29 years and mountain fit physically could have travelled to New Delhi.

Then much later I came across a book by an Indian author who travelled with Nehru's party. In his book, he related that Nehru was surprised that the King of Bhutan accepted so little of what Nehru had to offer. It seems that the Dragon King was not that enthusiastic about opening up to India. No wonder the King did not choose to visit New Delhi. He was quite comfortable with the way things were both socially and politically within his Kingdom. The King had come upon the Throne in 1952. And immediately had shifted the Capital to Thimphu. Then constituted the  National Assembly to give voice to his people in the administration of the Nation. He also did away with the heavy taxes both material and labour. The King had already mapped out his reign.  He did not fear China or India.  But Prime Minister of India felt that he had to meet the King because the Kingdom of Bhutan was the vital  buffer state between China and India. And India needed the goodwill and friendship of Bhutan. 

In 1956, both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the Panchen Lama of Tibet visited India to celebrate the 2500 years Buddha Jayanti. It was outwardly a religious visit but may have been a planned political visit though not that well  planned. (  I say " not so well planned " because it was during this visit that His Holiness the Panchen Lama lost faith in the Indian Government due to protocol insult ).  Between 1956 and 1958, development in Tibet did not go in the way India and her Western Allies had envisioned. And Prime Minister Nehru may have realised that with Tibet gone, India had to have Bhutan on Indian side or else whole of North Eastern States would fall into Chinese hand. 

It seems Nehru's trek to Bhutan had two purpose. One was that the King of Bhutan was not prepared to travel to New Delhi. So Nehru had to trek to Bhutan.

His Majesty the King of Bhutan was too shrewed a politician to take the Indian bait. The King was not going to publicly take sides in a regional tussle between China and India by going to Delhi. His Majesty may not have felt any urgency to seek Indian friendship or goodwill let alone  ( now much hyped ) protection as Indian of all shameful brand want the world to believe.

And the second purpose may have been to study the geographical layout of  Sino- Bhutan Border. ( The Indian PM was accorded a Chinese reception after crossing Nathu La probably in the vicinity of Doklam ).  Also Nehru would have wanted to study the strength and base of the Dragon King who refused invitation to New Delhi and who had nothing to discuss with Indian political emissaries including the Indian Political Officer in Sikkim.

There is an incredible scene documented by Indian documentary team.  One is of the King of Bhutan substituting his Bhutanese translator assigned to translate Nehru's speech to the Bhutanese public at Paro Ugyen Pelri Palace ground. The raised traditional  podium for Nehru's address to the Bhutanese nation is still preserved in its original form. His solemn commitment though has vanished with the wind. His Majesty had very good command of the Hindi language. In fact during his visit to India,  he addressed the Indian nation over All India Radio in Hindi to the astonishment of Indian heavy weights. 

Another scene that really got my adoring attention was the King hitting the target with both his arrows as PM Nehru watched on at the archery ground. Bhutanese believe that such domineering display of skill at such an occassion  demonstrated the dragon spirit of the Druk Gyalpo. The King was superbly confident and it seems Shri Pandit Nehru got the silent message. The Indian PM took pains to assure Bhutan that India was seeking friendship with an equally sovereign Bhutan. Size did not matter. I invite Indian political hawks to re- read the speech of their Prime Minister to the Bhutanese nation.

His Majesty died in 1972. Till then though the 1949 Treaty was not revised, the ground reality demonstrated that Bhutan only considered India an equal friend who sought Bhutanese friendship and goodwill  to secure her north-eastern states. Bhutan herself never seriously feared any Chinese invasion. Chinese troops did not follow the Tibetan refugees into Bhutan in 1959. And in 1962 again the Chinese troops at Arunachal did not violate the Bhutanese sovereign land at her Eastern border.

Diplomatic relation was established between India and Bhutan. The embassies were named Mission to illustrate close friendly ties. Not because of uneven relation between the strong and the weak.  It was in line with the nomenclature of  High Commission instead of Embassy nonemclature between former colonies of British Empire to illustrate closeness.  The Head of Missions in New Delhi and Thimphu were named  Represententatives with Plenipotentiary powers similar to High Commissioners and Ambassadors. Yet after His Majesty passed away, India started down grading the status of the Mission. And it took much effort on part of His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk to change the Mission  to Embassy nonemclature to silence any further Indian political maneuvering. 

Today during Doklam crisis, Indian Agencies, Media and Analysts so freely declare that Bhutan is a " Protectorate of India". And this is happening in the reign of the Fifth King. India is repeating history to test the Dragon King on the Throne.

They have refused to acknowledge the status of 2007 revised 1949 Indo-Bhutan Treaty that reflected ground realities and the  demands of modern  political relationship between two nation states. The 2007 revision of 1949 Indo - Bhutan Treaty was hammered out between His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and His Excellency Prime Minister ManMohan Singh.  Indians now  claim that  the old clause of India managing external affairs of Bhutan still applies though the same was done away with in the revised Treaty.  I wonder what is the actual take of the two honourable Signatories of  the revised 2007 Treaty? The two Signatories were the the King of Bhutan His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck the Fifth King of Bhutan and His Excellency President Pranab Mukerjee of India in their official capacities as the Crown Prince of Bhutan  and Minister of External Affairs of India in 2007. The two eminent negotiators are still in good health and very much present in the political scenes of Bhutan and India.

How did Nehru's trek of 1958 solicitating the good will and friendship of Bhutan for the sole purpose of protecting the security of North Eastern Plains of India  change into that of the  Kingdom of Bhutan seeking protection and economic assistance from India? Who are responsible for such distortion of Bhutan- India Relationship? Why does Bhutan accept such distortion of historical events ?

The ongoing silence of Bhutanese leadership is not necessarily a cause for Bhutanese public to be anxious . But I hope we as a nation is gathering the courage to sign the Border Agreement with China and establish long awaited diplomatic relationship. Not that we do not value friendship with India. Not that we need the goodwill and protection of China. But to remove once and for all times this stigma of being called and treated by India as a " Protectorate State ". It is an insult to the Tsawa Sum ( The King, the Bhutanese nation and the Bhutanese People )  to be so off handedly humiliated to protectorate status.

India has slashed  the hand of friendship that His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck extended  to His Excellency Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when he treked to Bhutan solicitating friendship and goodwill in 1958. As Defence Minister of India Shri Arun Jaitley  said, India is no longer the old India.  In her new found wealth and power, India forgot Bhutan of 1958 who befriended a desperate needy India.  

I have heard few Bhutanese people wondering about whether  Bhutanese national  Democratic leadership and Political Parties are ready to stand up to this onslaught upon Bhutanese sovereignty or simply are readying to ask for more Indian money to fill their personal coffers.  I have no idea what is going on in the silence of political darkness.  However, the Constitution has entrusted the security of the nation and the welfare of the citizens to one Institution- The King of Bhutan. So I guess all are awaiting in respectful silence.

I feel that India should not interpret this silence and lull in the Bhutanese polity as a sign of meekness. Sure Bhutan would hesitate a great deal because we had genuine friendship for  India. But no friendship warrants self suicide. The King of Bhutan owes it to the Throne, to the forefathers and to the solemn oath to protect and serve the Kingdom and her people to stand up to such blatant political aggression.  Accepting  " protectorate status quo " is only for people like late Kazi Lhendup Dorji of Sikkim. And he lived in hell whilst on this earth for his betrayal of the Kingdom of Sikkim.

Pelden Drukpa ! Lha Gyel Lo! May Triple Gem Bless our great King with the gift of good health, indomitable spirit and ocean of wisdom.