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The 0ther gross side of Bhutan

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Prolonged Statelessness: A Slow Poison

Keeping citizenship and census pending for generations has been deeply ingrained in the system. Civil liberty is not guaranteed by the fledgling democracy of the Kingdom. After one generation of stateless people is bred, it multiplies, and that gives the authority of Home Ministry reason to criminalize these generations of being illegal immigrants who entered through porous border.

Repressive regimes everywhere employ torture on political prisoners to both extract information and to weaken the dissent. From the notorious Abu Ghraib in Iraq to Guantanamo in Cuba, the contemporary politics is replete with torture chambers of many kinds. It’s ironic that a country, which conjures up an image of the Himalayan paradise in the Western psyche, can indulge in such bizarre yet brutal practices of punishment.

Yes, we are talking about Bhutan, and the person upon whom the horrendous torture was inflicted is none other than Bhutanese human rights leader Tek Nath Rizal. Rizal, a refugee leader in exile for more than a decade, has chronicled a harrowing tale of his prison life in Bhutan in his new book Torture Killing Me Softly. In nearly two hundred pages, he narrates his predicament while he was stuck in Bhutanese jails for a decade. The most startling aspect of the book—apart from the routine torture the state metes out to its opponents—is the use of sophisticated mind control devices by the ruling elite of Bhutan. One finds hard to reconcile the image of a pastoral country with its employing cutting-edge torture tools bestowed by modern science.T Rizal Cover final (1)

Rizal claims in the book that his Bhutanese torturers applied light sensitivity, very high sound decibels, and microwaves on him in order to destabilize his mind, induce anomalous behavioral changes and create disassociation. Dr. Indrajit Rai, a security expert and member of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, in the foreword to the book, notes that mind control devices are used on prisoners-of-war. He writes, “Bhutanese government practiced mind-control techniques on Rizal as a means to inflict physical and mental pain in order to destroy his life. With a view to deviating him from his goal of fighting for democracy, the Bhutanese government used these devices on him and pumped out all his thoughts and feelings.”

The book begins with the description of Bhutan’s scenic beauty. But soon, a picture of exploitation emerges beneath the beauty: People who are forced to work en masse on a road construction are stamped on their faces as a proof of attendance. “Such dehumanizing practice reminded me of numbering animals in the heard by tattooing onto their body,” Rizal writes. Then, he goes on to explain the composition of Bhutanese population—Ngalongs (the ruling group mainly living in north), Sharchhokpas (Buddhist inhabitants of eastern and central region) and Lhotshampas (ethnic Nepalese living in southern Bhutan). He notes then existing communal harmony, as he comments, “For centuries, people belonging to these groups have lived in perfect communal, religious and ethnic harmony.”

But the harmony, in the hindsight, began to fall apart in the late 1970s when the newly enthroned king Jigme Singye Wangchuk enacted several laws aiming at the disenfranchisement of Lhotshampas who then represented one-third of the country’s population. The so-called “One Nation, One People” policy, an anachronistic campaign in a country marked by a mosaic of cultures, religion and ethnicity, stripped many ethnic Nepalese of Bhutanese citizenship and curtailed their basic rights. This spawned a series of protests in the late 1980s and early 1990s in southern Bhutan, eventually resulting in the mass exodus of the Lhotshampas. First, they arrived in West Bengal and Assam, in India, and stayed there for a couple of years. But the local governments in those Indian states, in an unabashed show of complicity with Bhutanese rulers, loaded the refugees in trucks and sent them to Kakkarbhitta, an entry point in Indo-Nepal border. As the flocks of refugees started to spill over in Jhapa, some of them taking temporary refuge on the banks of Mai River, the Nepal government invited UNHCR to intervene. Since 1991, around one hundred thousand refugees, the victims of what British scholar Michael Hutt calls “one of the world’s least known ethnic conflicts”, now languish in seven refugee camps in southeast Nepal (Many have opted for third country resettlement initiated by the US in 2008).

During this tumultuous period, Rizal was entrusted with several high-profile designations by the king: he was member of Royal Civil Service Commission, Royal Advisory Councilor, Member of the Cabinet and Coordinator of Nationwide Investigation Bureau. Under the last designation, he was tasked with investigating the corruption that was rampant in Bhutan during that time. But this job cost him very dear after he submitted his report in which he disclosed the involvement of royal members and influential officials in corruption. After a weeklong detention, he fled Bhutan in early 1989. But on November 16, 1989, he was arrested from his apartment in Birtamode, Jhapa, where he was spending his life in exile. He was arrested along with two Bhutanese youth leaders Jogen Gazmere and Sushil Pokharel and handed over to Bhutanese authorities. That happened under the auspices of Nepal’s autocratic Panchayat regime, which was about to collapse.

Torture takes us inside the poorly managed and decrepit Bhutanese prisons where Rizal undergoes inhuman persecution. “As I lay on the floor with my face covered with the blanket, it was as if I was in a comatose condition. I was not able to keep track of time, nor was I able to make any movement,” he recalls. The author quotes Jawaharlal Nehru, first Indian Prime Minister, who described the solitary confinement in Allahabad, India: “It is the killing of the spirit by the digress, the slow vivisection of the soul.” The book’s title seems to be derived from these lines.

At times, the book reads like a novel. The descriptions are vivid which made me wonder how the writer, without any note taking, was able to remember all the details. He even claims that 40 ethnic Nepalese from southern Bhutan were arrested after his interrogators were able to extract information from him using the mind control device. The well constructed narrative focuses on how the prisoners are treated in the kingdom’s jail. In Rabuna jail in Wangdi district, he writes, he had to struggle his hands through a small hole in the room to get hold of the food-platter on the otherside. And this he had to do, with his hands and legs cuffed in chains. He had to rely on other body organs: “Whenever I felt thirsty, I turned the water tap on and off with my teeth, the position of the tap next to the toilet made this an unenviable practice.”

The food was not only detrimental to health but was also adulterated with nails, pieces of glass, fish bones and dead insects. Here too, according to him, the mind control device that was applied on him in capital Thimpu, aggravated the harm. To further exacerbate the matter, he was positioned with the barrel of a gun pointed at him all the time. Once, he narrates, the prison authority allowed him to eat his food only after smoking 40 cigarettes. “This was the worst kind of torture I endured during my incarceration in Rabuna,” he writes.

Then, he was shifted to Dradulmakhang where on Bhutan’s National Day (December 17, 1997), he started his hunger strike. Following pressure from international human rights organizations including Amnesty International, he was released on December 17 1999.

But his ordeal did not cease. He claims that the effects of those torture techniques and devices persist in his life and continue to manifest in his health as he lives in Kathmandu or travels abroad.

There is no way to verify Rizal’s claims as the Bhutanese government that considers the refugees ‘illegal immigrants’ will surely brand it as another attempt to tarnish the kingdom. But we also can not call it entirely untrue when the account comes from a leader of Rizal’s stature. It’s evident from the annex under the heading of “suggested reading” that the author has researched a great deal about the use of electronic devices to control one’s mind. The epilogue reads: “The global agencies must verify the tall claims of the government of Bhutan independently whether it is ‘Gross National Happiness’ or the ‘Gross National Sufferings.’” Indeed, the cases of gross human rights violations as documented by Rizal in Torture cast a shadow over the so-called Shangri-La.

The texts taken from Nepalmonitor.com

42 COMMENTS

  1. I am very much sad to read about the story of torture. While Bhutanese Prime Minister is giving lecture and interview in Brazil to teach them about so called “Gross National Happiness”, this book discloses the reality of “Gross National Suffering” taking place inside Bhutan. I think this book should be translated in Nepali, Dzonkha, Hindi, French, Portugese and other major languages of the world to disseminate about the racist and suppressive behaviour of the rulers of Bhutan.

  2. My heart goes out to Rizal who had to suffer so much for being forthright in his views for seeking justice. From my little knowledge of Bhutan which I have gathered from different communities while I worked there as an international employee, Rizal was set up from the beginning. Not much educated but vocal and truly nationalistic, the government did not like the way his investigations into the corruptions by senoir Bhutanese officials came to light including the brother of the then home minister, Dago Tsheirng who was a district officer. This officer was unceremoniously removed by the king and impisoned for his crimes.

    Dago Thsering and the then immigration director or sectretary (dorji thsering, I’m not sure), devised plans to exaggerate the cases of illegal southern Bhutanese and blamed Rizal for trying to harbour them. This way Dago Tshering could take revenge on Rizal for his brother’s removal and also plan provocative measures like the dress, language, census etc. of the southern Bhutanese to make them react so they could be expelled. He fed wrong information to the king as it suited him and the people in advantageous position. It sounds bizzarre, but one version of the story I heard is that the government knew about the demonstrations through intelligence sources in cooperation with Indian authorities and took no measure to stop it.

    The truth may never be known and I feel sorry for those who have suffered within and outside Bhutan. I also believe that the country had to do something about illegal immigrants if the claims were correct though there could have been better ways of tackling the problem. It is a pity that this country which I thoroughly enjoyed had to go through such an unpleasant phase. The people are so friendly and simple and the country a true shangrilla.

    I hope that with the change that have taken place in recent years, the people can heal the wounds and keep the country special for foreigners like me who would like to visit again someday. I wish them well and Tashi Deleg La!

  3. I being one of the tortured affected Bhutanese boys really appreciated the explanation by Mr.Adhikari.Thanks a lot for highlighting such sorrowful and painful life of our freedom fighter.Hope one day International communities would understand the dehumanized behaviour of Bhutanese Government.

  4. This book is available at the bookshops of Kathmandu. It costs NRs. 450, IRs. 300 and Nu 300. Can it be available at Jaygaon of India? Does Government of West Bengal allow it to be sold there?

  5. Sonam Ongmo writes :

    A few years ago when the Fourth King of Bhutan voluntarily stepped down to make way for democracy, there was a spate of articles in the media about Bhutan. Almost all these articles – with a few exceptions – could be grouped into two camps: one glorified Bhutan as the last Shangri-la, the others claimed that it practiced ethnic cleansing.

    The National Geographic aired a documentary which named Bhutan, the tiny Buddhist kingdom as the world’s last Shangri-La. It celebrated its mountains, glacial walls, alpine highlands and misty forests and mentioned “Bhutan is a Living Eden where respect for life, in all its many incarnations, endures like the land itself”.
    Landscape of Bhutan. Image by Flickr user Jmhullot, used under a creative commons license

    Landscape of Bhutan. Image by Flickr user Jmhullot, used under a creative commons license

    Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar at Real clear World said:

    Bhutan has done many things to deserve its Shangri-La reputation. Its forest cover is a very high 72%, and it has pledged to keep this above 60 % for eternity.

    Meanwhile, Nanda Gautam at Ex Ponto countered:

    A new trend in the sphere of human rights violations is flourishing! In contrast to Bhutan’s development philosophy called ‘Gross National Happiness,’ which many delegations visiting Bhutan are proclaiming a ‘good lesson’, Bhutan also offers a bad lesson: strategic violence in the form of ethnic cleansing, a lesson the world powers will find difficult to deal with. The ordeal of Tel Nath Rizal reflects how the state’s violation of one person’s rights spilled over to affect an entire minority. The minority population has already been reduced dramatically.

    Most of these writers, if not all, were not Bhutanese. So how is it that they came to view this small country – the size of Switzerland and a population of 600,000 – in such extremes?

    The first group, the admirers, usually came from the west where capitalism has led to a way of life that may have equipped them with material contents, but left many with a gaping spiritual void. They are people seeking for things they do not find in their own cultures; yet find it elsewhere. Often in places like Bhutan – largely mysterious, exotic and peaceful. So when they find it, they tend to see only the things they want to see and find only the things they want to find.

    But this also applies to the second camp, the ones who hate Bhutan. They have little or no understanding of the country’s geo-political situation. They don’t understand the history or the complex nature of the refugee problem; and they are either sympathizing with the cause, or they just need a cause.

    For the first camp, the search for Shangri-la didn’t just happen; it has been ongoing since 1933 when James Hilton depicted a Shangri-la in his novel, Lost Horizon based on an article by Joseph Rock about his travels to the Tibetan borderlands. But more often than not, it is Hilton’s version that they are after thus refusing to see Bhutan as a country like any other – inhabited by human beings, with its share of problems.

    Bhutan is far from being the Utopia despite its largely tranquil history. As a poor country Bhutan has its share of social problems and challenges and the biggest blight to its good reputation so far has been the issue of the refugees.

    A nation-wide census in the 80’s found thousands of illegal settlers along the country’s southern borders. Most of these people were Nepalese people from Nepal and India who came to Bhutan seeking economic opportunities and utilize the large tracts of free agricultural land along porous borders. Free health and educational facilities were also an added attraction. At around this time, some Lhotsampas (Ethnic Nepali-speaking Bhutanese) who were educated by the Bhutanese government in overseas universities like Harvard and Cambridge returned to Bhutan nursing their own political ambitions.
    Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. Image by Sudeshna Sarkar, ISN Security Watch

    Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. Image by Sudeshna Sarkar, ISN Security Watch

    The problem came to a head when the Bhutanese government demanded all illegal settlers, leave the country. This decision was opposed by the ambitious Lhotsampa leaders who sympathized with the settlers and so mobilized protests against the Bhutanese government demanding democracy and overthrow of the monarch. The environment to nurse their political ambitions was extremely favorable. They galvanized the southern people’s discontent with violent protests in which they decapitated heads of two Bhutanese and planted them at a government office. The Bhutanese government who had never experienced anything like this cracked down and arrested many of the leaders while some escaped to Nepal.

    What resulted was a situation where both sides accused the other of what unfolded. Lhotsampas claim that anybody who was Nepali-speaking was forced out of the country. As the Bhutanese Community of South Australia blog mentions:

    From 1988, the human rights situation aggravated, when Royal Government enacted discriminatory policies to depopulate the Lhotshampas – Southern Bhutanese of Nepalese origin, predominantly Hindus.

    The Royal government treats Lhotsampas as second class citizens. They are persecuted, discriminated and denied the most basics like access to education and health facilities. They are deprived of their cultural rights and are forced to adopt the cultural tradition, costume and language of the ruling elite. In the late eighties, the Royal Government adopted retroactive citizenship legislation and started to disenfranchise and depopulate the Lhotshampas. Tens and thousands of them were forcibly evicted, who ended up in the United Nations established refugees camps in Nepal. [..]

    Having failed to see the possibility of repatriation, a vast number of Bhutanese refugees have accepted the offer given by Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway and United States for third country resettlement.

    The Bhutanese government claimed that while some were asked to leave, many citizens left voluntarily under threats from their own leaders. Bhutan’s first democratically elected Prime Minister Jigme Y. Thinley wrote at Bhutannica:

    The situation in the south is not a simple problem. Its causes are complex and perplexing as the resultant human drama that is unfolding before us. Just who is the victim or villain is a valid question. The answer must be sought with a deeper understanding of the problem. [..]

    Among the villagers in’ the south, every day is a nightmare. But their voice is not heard by the media, and their human rights appear not to be of any importance. Explanations by the Government are dismissed as propaganda and plain untruths. Even concrete evidence is seen as fabrications.

    The Bhutanese feel that they have been betrayed by a people they had welcomed, in whom they had placed their trust and with whom they were willing to share a common destiny. But the general attitude of the Bhutanese toward their southern compatriots do not indicate any rancour.

    The adoption of human rights is a convenient banner that the dissidents and the Nepalese supporters have raised before the international community. But their greater aim is to generate international sympathy for the dissident cause, which is to grab political power.

    The story got complicated as the refugees arrived in Nepal. UNHCR set up camps for the Bhutanse refugees in which free food and stipend was given and in a few years the numbers rose from 5000 (1991) to 100,000. The handouts attracted many people other than Bhutanese to those camps as more than half of Nepal’s population live on less than a dollar a day.

    Ethnic cleansing is a very serious charge. People who make that accusation about Bhutan should visit the country and see that thousands of Nepali-speaking people still live and work there; that even before the crisis the Fourth King encouraged integration of the ethnic groups through inter marriage with special cash incentives. Many even hold very senior positions in the government.

    So what is Bhutan? A ‘Shangri-La’ or ‘ethnic cleanser’? Neither, is the answer. And it would be nice if people really stopped imposing their dreams of an Eden, or their disillusionment of failed political causes and ambitions, on this little Country.

  6. There is no single Nepali citizen in Bhutanese Refugee Camps. This is the propoganda of Bhutanese Goverment. Yes, there is poverty in Nepal and the people are poor, but they do not like to be refugees. Who likes to be a stateless refugee and who likes to live in bamboo huts in such a severe condition? UNHCR is not so fool to distribute rice and daal to anyone who just claims to be a refugee. If it had been so, there would be a line of millions of other poor people and beggars of Nepal and India as well.

  7. Dear Ongmo,
    I like to clear just one of your points regarding the false accusation made against the Southern population i,e the term ” illegal settlers”. When there is a standing documents says that the Southern Bhutanese were imported from Nepal by the then Dharma Raja Zabdrung Nawang Namgyel of Bhutan having the legal agreement between the king Ram Shah of Gorkha and Zabdrung himself.
    Despite of this written documents how one can claim that the southern Bhutanese were illegal immigrants.
    The census exercise was conducted only in the southern Bhutan in 80’s targeting to make an lame excuse to implement the ethnic cleansing policy which was orchestrated by the King with the support from the congress led government of India.

    There could have been very few people who could not provide the proof of domicile prior to 1958 but the census officials as directed by the king tried all their best to forcibly make them illegal.
    Only the harsh and ruthless people were deputed to conduct that census exercise who always bothered and troubled the people. These officials were so cruel that they asked to produced the CO (CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN) and when the people went to acquire the same in their earlier place of inhabitant, the other team in the next district denied to furnish the required documents so that they became prove less and hence termed the illegal. It was a planned and systematic nexus of the government to expel the southern populace and they have coercively expelled the people. That was the biggest human disaster ever happened in Bhutan.

    But the other general public in the northern districts believed the concocted story of RGOB and are sympathizing with the government and they write the same version of the repressive govt. without understanding the gravity of pain and suffering meted by the government to its southerners.

    We all joined hands and souls and shed our swat and blood to develop Bhutan, but when there was a time to reap the hard investment, the RGOB shamelessly expelled us with the iron hands depriving our generation long saving.
    One day we might march back to Bhutan where we were born and brought up.

    Devi B Adhikari
    Arizona, US

  8. I can’t believe Sonam Ongmo who writes so much lies about us works for the United Nations in New York. Such controversial person is not supposed to work for UN and get paid by our tax money through our adopted country’s contribution to the UN. She has also wriiten an article on Global Voices with all the craps. We must write to the UN to get rid of such bias person.

  9. Dear Sonam Ongmo,
    I agree that Bhutan, a little Eden is certainly not an ethnic cleanser. But on the other hand, you are a way more than foolish and unethical to tag those writers as non Bhutanese who write the facts based on the living experience.
    The writer in this article never accuses Bhutan, but he, through this fact based story empowers his pen to denounce the Bhutanese government’s injustice. Hence it is the government, not the state.
    I know, you know the sufferings of the middle class ordinary public in Bhutan at present time; how their business are controlled by the RGoB’s strict business policies, how the representatives are nominated by the prime minister in the names of elections and are picked up of their favor, and so on. I know you never would want to publicize these bitter facts, but in response to your false comment, I can’t stop with this. I lived with a bunch of friends from Bhutan during my college life in Darjeeling, who were the victims of this hidden biasness with in Bhutan. Can they truly feel themselves to be a part of the gross national happiness?
    Ongmo, no wonder, you are no more than just a government deployed expert to falsify the truth and thus eyewash the world with your false comments. There are thousands of good statements about Bhutan for its geobeauty. But the truth is that the government is an autocratic monarch administered.
    Your hard worked comment shows that you are too young to understand “revolution”. Such articles (which are not fictions, but are based on the living experience of human rights leader like Rizal) are the weapons to revolutionize Bhutan. Its late, and it might be late, but definitely will happen.
    Yam Kharel

  10. This is for Sonam Ongmo, if you do read what is on this site. I guess you do!

    You and I ran into each other at the Asia Society in New York in 2001 or 2002. I was on a panel discussing Child Rights (this was a few days before the UN CRC). Olara Otunnu, Annan’s Special Rapportuer on Child Righst was also on the panel with me. Remember?

    During the QA session, you posed yourself as a journalist from Bhutan and went on a diatribe to discredit what I said instead of asking legitimate questions. I then offerred to you that, being the nationals of the same country facing a national problem, you and I should talk to each other at length so we can come to understand the truth together. When the panel was over, I tried to talk to you. When I approached you, you kept running away and then left the building altogether.

    You continue to misrepresent the truth. I hope that you genuinely believe what you say; if you don’t, you are less than human. If you do believe, you DO need to speak to us, the refugees, so that you can get the truth rather than contunuing to spread the lies of the government.

    Please contact us, we will be more than happy to sit down with you and explain to you, at painful length, all our stories. We will let you into our pain, the surreal atrocities each one of us went through to try and remain in the homes and villages we were born in. We perhaps love our country more than you do, because we took beatings, torture, insults, injuries, just to see if we could continue to tend to our flocks and lands. But this is not about who is patriotic and who is not. This is about truth.

    We may not fight anymore to return, but we will continue to love our country, despite the lies being spread. We will continue to speak out, perhaps more vehemently now, for the rights of the underdogs inside Bhutan. One day, your descendents may benifit from our advocacy. Once ‘democracy’ starts rolling down the verdant hills of Bhutan, wheels of fortune will turn. No one knows on which rung of the ladder s/he will end up down the line. So, help us tell the truth, help us fight for justice, rather than creating a false idea of a culture threatened. I love the gho as much as you do. You were skimping around in tight jeans when I saw you back then!

  11. Seeta thanks for revealing the identity of Sonam Ongmo. The people of that stature where one has the access of making and breaking the policies should be well aware of the facts going around. It is unethical just to side somebody……

    I like to listen..
    the real drama that took place to evict the lhomphas.

    Thanks
    db adhikari
    USA.

  12. I have one question to Bhutanese in exile.Why the Nepali speaking people who are living inside Bhutan nowadays are happy with that regime. When I try to talk with them about refugee problem and criticise the RGoB, they become very angry. They love their King and the country so much. One can say they have been mind washed, but I talked with some who have been living in foreign countries for many years and have been exposed to open environment. They still support RGoV without any question. Another thing to note is why there is no single event of struggle after the Bhutanese Army cleared those refugees (“Anti National elements” and “criminals” according to RGoV) in 1990?

  13. Dear Biplavji,
    It is obvious, that the guys who are still in Bhutan have their mouth shot by the aggressive regime. They can’t speak out simply because they are born and brought up in the tight circumstance, I mean the controlled situation. They can’t open their mouth even if they wish so because no one likes to risk their life and properties. They are forced not to be vocal, more over they may be thinking that the exiled Bhutanese might fight for the last against the RGoB, which may finally establish freedom for all.
    Bhutan being a small country there is minimum chance to fight with the RGoB because the Govt. can monitor details activities of the people. Moreover, due to the international pressure the RGoB is in intense stress not to treat the Southern Bhutanese otherwise. As such, the Southerners may be in ok position, which will not culminate the agitation against the Govt.

    DB Adhikari
    US

  14. Hey Biplav, you know why southern Bhutanese don’t want to talk about the political problems ??? because they are worried that they might lose their passports and if they open their mouth, their relatives in Bhutan will be punished like the Government of Bhutan did to the relatives of those who have left the country.Don’t forget that there are many southern Bhutanese who do not have NOC at present in Bhutan, therefore no jobs and no other rights as other Bhutanese.You think you can fool others with your crap.

  15. Biplav: Some answers to your questions:

    Why the Nepali speaking people who are living inside Bhutan nowadays are happy with that regime.
    -Wrong assessment. They are not happy. Neither are the northern Bhutanese. That is why the obsession with the search for happiness… remember the concept of Gross National Happiness? Unhappy people search for happiness with a gusto not found elsewhere.

    When I try to talk with them about refugee problem and criticise the RGoB, they become very angry.

    -Because they do not trust you. So, they act. Who knows what affiliation and loyalty you may have? Why take chances with a stranger whose motives one doesn’t know? Why risk what little semblance of life they have by spouting comments that may land them in trouble? Doesn’t the smugness you mention smell of the ‘beloved leader’ brand of patriotism shown by the starving peasants of North Korea? And what has the ‘refugee’ movement given them by way of freedom? They are crushed between the devil and the deep sea, so they stick to what little supply of oxygen they have, by pretending to be happy.

    They love their King and the country so much.

    -Yes, they love their country a lot. No, they don’t love their King that much.
    You seem to imply that the Bhutanese in exile don’t love their country. They do. We love the King too; we just believe that the system of monarchy is wrong, and should be replaced by a democratic system. A real democratic system; not a phony one like the there is currently.

    One can say they have been mind washed, but I talked with some who have been living in foreign countries for many years and have been exposed to open environment.

    -Being exposed to an open environment changes their attitude and outlook, but does not change their situation. They have their families back home in Bhutan who can be persecuted for their openness. Do you know that the last King as well as the current King were educated in the UK and the US? It did change their outlook, hence the pretense at democracy. It did not change their political astuteness, hence the tightening of the government control on all aspects of life.

    They still support RGoV without any question.

    -Yes. They do. Not doing so would mean being the target of a regime that knows no bounds in persecuting its own people.

    Another thing to note is why there is no single event of struggle after the Bhutanese Army cleared those refugees (”Anti National elements” and “criminals” according to RGoV) in 1990?
    -Because the government has tightened its stranglehold. The south is infested with government agents and informants through the resettlement of lands vacated by the refugees with folks who owe a lot to the government. You can be hauled in for the smallest beep of protest. Makes sense? Additionally, the people inside Bhutan know that being evicted does not guarantee a better life than suffering oppression inside Bhutan. Again, they make choices. Difficult choices. 99% of Iraqis voted for Saddam Hussein in national referendums regularly. That did not mean they were all fine and dandy with him. “All” North Koreans profess unlimited love to Kim Jong Il. That does not mean everything is well over there. Transpose those situations to Bhutan. All is NOT well there either.

    -Bottomline: No matter how much whitewashing and how much public relations Bhutan engages in, it does not right the wrong of evicting its people through torture and intimidation. Nothing less than repatriation of all those evicted forcefully and reinstating them in their homestead with proper compensation will erase the sins committed by JSW and his government and continued by the current administration.

  16. It is wonderful to go through all of your articles, which is a positive sign and patriotic feelings of our fellow friends.
    My mind floats on the lofty Himalayas when I open the sites on Bhutan. There are songs composed and sung to remind Bhutan. I am simply lured towards Bhutan, but I am not sure myself the factors that attracts my mind towards the Himalayan Kingdom. I was not an officer neither an affluent businessman when I was in Bhutan. But I was a simple civil servant in the education Department.
    My earning was not impressive nor I was working in the capitol city but yet the work I had accomplished for the nation was worth remembering, which keeps my mind hunting and reminds me the past glory and the contribution I made to my birth place. How can I say my country when I was ruthlessly forced out of the country without my own fault? My life is better, 100 percent better here, I got what I was craving for, I have all the extravagance, and my children are doing well in their fields. My present earning is worth considering, but my mind is being preoccupied and constantly reminding me of Bhutan. Dear friends is it a kind of prophesy that the God has sent it to the RGoB for the positive mindset?

    Who knows perhaps, Bhutan may be planning to invite all the Bhutanese back again to attain the past glory. The schools days, joining the jobs are all the exciting movements of my life. I always feel that Bhutan is acutely incomplete without our presence. There is some kind of incompleteness in our absence. The king must be feeling of void and emptiness when one fifth of the population are out of the country, the people inside Bhutan are missing us significantly; I myself missed the mountains the elaborate foot hills of the south, the meandering highways, waterfalls and above all the virgin forest of Bhutan.

    It is beyond doubt that US has maintained the highest level of pristine nature and although I am in the midst of the nature. The gentle breeze of the pacific, the Rockies of the west, the shrilling of the Mississippi the Niagara Falls are the unimaginable gift of the nature. I am lucky to be with all the latest gadgets and discoveries. The fighter planes roar in the distance lands, the NASA’s satellites navigates the entire universe even beside our Milky Way galaxy. My little brain is not able to comprehend all that happening here, my adapted country is the lone super power of this world. I am more than proud to be in this great country. I am truly dedicated myself for the contribution and betterment of my nation to make it a historic one. Such is the feeling of mine and of course, of all the Bhutanese fellow friends. But the RGoB was utterly blind to stroke off the southern Bhutanese, despite of having such an unfathomed loyalty and commitment towards the country.

    DB Adhikari; Arizona, US

  17. Thanks Seeta,Hari Acharya and DB Adhikari for your answer. I saw Panchayati Kinship regime in Nepal but people here talked against the government even at the time of autocratic regime. While talking secretly with them they did not show so much support to their King and Government. Illegal books used to be published in Siliguri and Benaras and circulated inside Nepal. USSR and China published and disseminated Marxist literature in Nepali, Hindi and English languages. I think people in Nepal never became so much “disciplined” and “mindwashed” except dark Rana Aristocracy before 1950.At the later years of Rana Period sons of rich Brahmins went to Benaras for study and learned about the freedom fighting of India. Why were not the Bhutansese students able to import democratic movement from Darjeeling, Kalingpong and other parts of India and the world.
    After 1999 internet is widely available inside Bhutan. They can read every news about their refugee brethren from all the online news media available in internet. Even after that they are not found to be changed. They read those news and views and comment on behalf of RGoB. Yes they may be afraid of speaking publicly in Bhutan, but they could do it secretly through internet by underground names. Why is not it possible?
    I am grieved by the feelings expressed by DB Adhikari.
    I am thinking of going to visit Bhutan one day as a tourist. I will look and take photographs of the physical features of Bhutan as I am not supposed to ask anyone about politics there. I will just share feelings about non political subjects with Nepali speaking and Dzonkha speaking Bhutanese people there. While I analyse Bhutan through google earth and youtube I find it very clean and beautiful. Some video clips available in youtube show south Bhutan similar to hilly villages of Nepal.

  18. I am touched by the feelings of DB ji. Many feel the same as you and i can tell for sure that if there is any patriotism, the southerners truly possess it. DB ji i appreciate the service you have rendered to the rural community in Eastern bhutan for the sake of the small poor children and parents. You were a good teacher and good human being.Let me hope like you, that one day, we will be able to go back and once gain serve our nation. Keep upyour hope alive.

  19. THIS IS FOR HARI ACHARYA

    Yes, hello Hari Acharya!

    It is true you and I ran into each other at the Asia Society a few years ago.
    I am surprised at your version of events that I tried to run away when you tried to talk to me. It is funny isn’t it, how people interpret events for their own promotion.

    I remember you gave your talk at the panel. Let me correct you though. I didn’t and don’t have to
    “pose” as a journalist. I am a journalist. I did ask you questions. I asked about your citizenship and the person leading the panel discussion (I will not go into that as it is known she is biased against Bhutan) answered for you saying that you were a citizen because you were born in Bhutan.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in Bhutan (unlike America or other countries). Bhutanese laws, like many Asian countries do not automatically grant you citizenship by virtue of being born in the country. There are many reasons why….
    Not only that, she didn’t want me to clarify what the whole refugee situation was about – maybe worried that someone was going to give the other side of the story – and had the mike snatched from my hands.

    Sure enough, because I stood up to speak one of the audience members also spoke later and said that he was finally aware that there were two versions of this story and that now he would have to check out/research the facts.

    But let me get to the point where you so brazenly say that I was running away from you. You were all smiles when I came over to say hello (with my husband) unlike the couple that was accompanying you who scowled at me. As opposed to your version of events, people had stood up to leave and the passage way was crowded and we managed to say a few words (of pleasantries) before we had to make way for people who wanted to leave and so we decided to leave too. I find it rather amusing that you make yourself sound so “heroic” in front of your compatriat’s that you were trying to corner me while I was avoiding you and running away.

    You are very good at imagining and fictionalizing the real version of events.

  20. Ongmoji,
    It is not the issue of running or leaving the scene, but it is a billion dollar question about the fair dealing/treating of Lhomphas by the RGoB for the matter of their life and be grooming in the nation where one was born and brought up.

    What special explanation can you offer for not granting citizenship to the one who are born in Bhutan. What about the people holding citizenship Identity Cards? All of us are holding the citizenships but still we were thrown out of the country with out the heart. Can Bhutan still remain in isolation? When globalization is at it’s peak. You still want to be different and aloof? Can that be possible, if you have to, even buy needles from India or elsewhere.

    What do you mean by Bhutan has different version of citizenship and laws? Can you tell what are your laws? Is it the same sets of Zhabdrung version of code of conducts from the 17th century? How can you say so, when the government is not able to protect the innocent children and letting them to be the testing object for the drug companies.

    Thank you
    DB Adhikari, US

  21. dear sonam,
    I appreciate that you are a journalist. would you as a journalist bring out the unbiased facts here regarding the Southern Bhutanese not being bhutanese? thanks.

  22. Adhikari ji

    as of now, I am discussing being accused of trying to run away from this heroic person who alleges indirectly that I am a wimp so it is “the issue” for me, although it may not be for you.

    If you want to talk about your “billion dollar question” ie. the issue of citizenship, I am not the one who made the rule so don’t ask my why because my own children, who are born from a foreign father (and one of them born in Bhutan) don’t have citizenship. I wish I had a special explanation for you as I could for myself.

    I was trying to explain to Acharya then that by virtue of being born in Bhutan you don’t get citizenship. Again, this is the law of the country and AGAIN don’t ask me “tell” what are the laws because that is the law.

    If you hold a citizenship card and are still out of the country, you should blame none other than your own leaders for causing the political upheavels, their greed in usurping power from the king, and then causing this mess that you are now in.

    I am not the one who made the policies so don’t ask me. But I am attempting to explain that there is also fault on the people who created the mess you are in – which has been hard coming or even being acknowledged from your side.

  23. Sonam:

    Let us leave the details of the incident/’encounter’ those many years ago as two different versions, yours and mine. There were quite a number of people there who could satisfy the curiosity of those that have it, including the Asia Society. But that is immaterial. And my ‘compatriots’ don’t bother about me as much as you think they do. Frankly, many of them just about tolerate me anyway, especially the leaders, as I am mostly in their face about the ego-infested idiocy of theirs. Again, that is immaterial. However, I write what follows not to vindicate my version of events, but because it is relevant to the point I am trying to make.

    You say you “didn’t and don’t have to “pose” as a journalist. I am a journalist. I did ask you questions.”

    No, you did not ask me questions. You started on a long speech, and had to be stopped by the moderator. You did not ask me whether I was a Bhutanese citizen. You TOLD the gathering that I was NOT a Bhutanese citizen. If you are a journalist, you might have investigated by now, and found out, that generations and generations of my family had lived as BHUTANESE citizens, in a remote hamlet called Denchukha in Samchi (yes, it was called Samchi). I hope you do know where it is, now that you have a minister from that place. Let alone be non-citizens, we rarely stumbled out of our village. Mostly, we made four days long trips to Samchi once or twice a year to buy salt! Much of all I knew until I was evicted was Dorokha and Samchi, and the high school/college (Khaling/Kanglung) I attended.

    I did want to respond to your unwarranted assertion about my citizenship at that meeting, but the person moderating the panel tried to not let me. (Remember the huge Pakistani lady? She was some kind of a honcho at the UN.) She almost succeeded, but, I did answer you and invited you to talk in detail. The invite still stands. In my understanding, a journalist listens to various versions of a story, investigates and writes. A journalist does not come to events to air ‘other’ versions of the story. However, you were there as more of a Bhutanese government’s spokes-person, judging from the passion you spoke with. I did not see a detached, objective journalist in you then, nor do I see that now in your writing.

    You say “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in Bhutan (unlike America or other countries). Bhutanese laws, like many Asian countries do not automatically grant you citizenship by virtue of being born in the country. There are many reasons why….” Well, what is just “unfortunate” for you was a catastrophe for others, especially children. There are many reasons, I agree. And one of them is the pure political calculation on the part of the government, and pure vengeance by those Rizal had rightly “wronged” during the audit he chaired.

    Just so you know, not many of us were evicted because we failed to satisfy the requirements of the citizenship laws. In fact a very small percentage of refugees fall into the category (which the RGOB calls F-7). People were evicted on many different pretexts, some of which would be funny were their consequences were not so tragic. For example, I and my family were evicted because my father complained to the Dungpa that the Mondal (gup) was harassing women in bed checking whether they were wearing the kira or not, and confiscating citizenship documents of people who sold their millet at a higher price than set by him. Funny, isn’t it? But we staggered from our village after twelve days of being forced to sign the voluntary migration form. Why? Because we believed that other people’s mothers and wives should be left alone at least when they were in bed, and that the punishment for exceeding the price of millet by a puny ngultrum should not be punishable by confiscation of citizenship. And then all along the three day journey on foot to Samchi, we participated “willingly” in creating a “different version” of the story: we posed with bundles of cash on our arms while we were video-taped. We smiled into the camera while our skulls burned from the impact of rifle butts , and then we lived in tents at the ‘dham-dhum bagar’(again, ask Mr. Powdyal if you don’t know where that is) for 12 days because we had to ever so willingly ‘apply’ for a permit to ‘leave’ Bhutan. There is your other version. ‘They left on their own. We begged them to stay, but they wouldn’t! And they were so glad about it, we have the signed documents and video to prove it.’ And we have our own version, a version of those who actually were at the receiving end of it.

    Coming back to citizenship laws, the concern is more about the justice in the laws (I hope you know there is a difference between legality and justice), and their implementation. I am sure you know the first one was enacted/implemented in 1958. That means that it would not be applicable to events that transpired before then, right? So, why did people who had lived in Bhutan from the 19th century and who were given the National citizenship cards were evicted? You say Bhutanese laws do not grant citizenship to people for just being born there. Where do you think they should go? Would Nepal or India where they were not born, where their parents were not born, where no one from their recent past had a connection, be obliged to accept them? I don’t care if you evicted people who arrived in Bhutan after 1958, but you just had to figure out where they would go and where they will be accepted. US deports people too, but it ensures that some country or another is willing to accept them. Your government evicted thousands of children who were born in Bhutan, had lived their entire life in Bhutan and knew nothing other than Bhutan. Where did your compassionate government expect them to go? How did your King look in the faces of his eight children in the evening without thinking about the lives of thousand similar kids he and his government had jeopardized? If you ARE a journalist, ask him those questions. Now THOSE would be tough and right questions to ask.

    You say “Not only that, she didn’t want me to clarify what the whole refugee situation was about – maybe worried that someone was going to give the other side of the story – and had the mike snatched from my hands.” But even today, you do not know what the refugee situation is about because you have not really bothered to understand what it is. You have looked for answers in easy places. You have looked for answers that suit your world view, your pre-conceived opinions. Have you spoken to any ‘refugee’ at length? Have you interviewed any refugee for a piece? Would you? I know you don’t believe everyone in the refugee camps is a Bhutanese. But your own government has established that some are, after the verification in one of the camps. They even found that an eighteen month old baby was a terrorist-but-Bhutanese! Be a journalist: Speak to, in the least, those that your government has classified as Bhutanese. Again, if you were a journalist at the event we discuss, you should have been there to hear the different versions of the story. You should not have been there to “give the other side of the story.” You were there as the mouthpiece of the government of Bhutan, that is why I say you ‘posed.’ Nothing wrong with that though. It is just a statement of fact.

    “Sure enough, because I stood up to speak one of the audience members also spoke later and said that he was finally aware that there were two versions of this story and that now he would have to check out/research the facts.” And I am sure he did research the facts, and thus the validation of the refugees’ claim, and the lack of willingness among the international community to even try to nudge Bhutan: they know now that there is not much compassion in that compassionate country after all. They know now that we the refugees will NEVER stop speaking out against those policies, atrocities your government perpetrated on us, no matter how affluent and comforting a resettlement offer is made to us.

    You say “But let me get to the point where you so brazenly say that I was running away from you.” So, THAT is the most important piece in the whole argument? That does not need to be argued. I can accede to your version on that right away. What is important is your unwillingness to check out/research facts and get down to the truth. You have been writing about this issue, and taking us to task whenever you get a chance, but as a journalist, again, shouldn’t you be talking to us in the process? Or, if you think we only spun yarn, shouldn’t you speak then to the common, illiterate refugees? Now, you don’t need to go to the camps; the refugees are here, all around you. (In fact, we have a huge gathering of Bhutanese refugees gathering in Atlanta on July 3-4, 2010. You are welcome to come and speak to us. We will give you the typical hospitality unlike the one your government showed us.) We don’t have issues with you! What we have issues with is what the government and those acting on behalf of the government did to us, and the lies they continue to propagate. What we detest is the total lack of desire on the part of the perpetrators to take responsibility for their actions. What we oppose is the attempt to brand the refugees as criminals, while they have been victims all along. What we are very concerned about is the hatred spewed out by those who seem to think that the whole refugee issue is a manufactured one. You are wrong. You have less than half of the story. Talk to us, sincerely, with an intention to really understand what went down in southern Bhutan in 1990-93, far away from where you were.

    The most stunning and most scary thing for me has been this: If people in your station in life, as well as those rabid refugee haters who spew anti-refugee venoms on online sites and blogs, do actually believe, sincerely, what they say, and decline to actually make some effort to dig for the truth, then it may be a good idea for any sensible human being to stay away from them. On the other hand, if people in your station actually know the truth (the truth can not be different for you and me, can it?), and still choose to do and say what they do and say, then again, the refugees perhaps should be glad that they are away from them.

    You say “ I find it rather amusing that you make yourself sound so “heroic” in front of your compatriat’s that you were trying to corner me while I was avoiding you and running away.” But my compatriots (if I have any) don’t give much of a damn about my contributions or lack thereof. This does not raise me or lower me in their eyes. And it does not matter either. Those who care will find out in their own ways. What I would still say to you is, for once, be a journalist that you claim to be and write some facts for a change. Write about the gleeful eviction of your own countrymen by the Bhutanese government. Write about the blatant exploitation of the refugees by their self-appointed leaders. Write about the uneducated, illiterate farmers from villages as remote as the one I was born in who would give up anything to set foot once before they die in the terraced hills they gave life to. Write about the contributions people made to the country for a change, even though they have been evicted now: contributions of people like Bhim Subba, Tsering Penjor, RB Basnet…. Government servants who worked hard under the King. Write about the risk they took in bringing to light the corruption in the government, like Rizal, who chaired the infamous audit team. Be a journalist, for once, that you claim you are.

  24. I don’t understand politics and governance system too. But I know the then government of Bhutan expelled me from the country of my birth and nationality.
    I never uttered my opinion regarding the national catastrophe with any indiduals.
    When I began to understand the good vs. bad I realize that Bhutan Govt has 1 mouth with 2 tongues. King ordered to evict the people through royal orders and command and he himself pretended that his men forced the people to leave. Our innocent people feared the same fate of Mr. Rizal may befall on them too while raising the injust to the authority as the person equivalent to Rizal during that time from southerners were counted on fingers.
    Hero of the Ethnic Cleansing during 90s is Mr. Jigme himself and others are just the actors. They take their part and depart. His road map is to finish Nepalism.

  25. Adhikari

    Sorry I did not bother to read your comment further than the first few lines since its now boiling down to he said/she said about the events. (you should’ve kept it short)

    I am bemused at how people interpret things to their own advantage. I can see why many – as you say so yourself – ” tolerate ” you.

    Good luck to you

  26. Sonam,
    May be u mean Acharya ji! I am still waiting. It would be really enlightening to read your true independent version as a journalist regarding the expulsion of the Southern Bhutanese.No doubt, the biggest fault after the bhutanese Governmnet lies with the so-called imature and pompous leaders; could you please rein your journalistic briddle for a while and bring the truth out as it really was if what Hari Acharya above said is a lie.( here i mean with journalistic essence and conscience) By the way, I read through the lines of Hari Acharya. How true! this had exactly happened to my parents and family members though we come right from the other end of Bhutan.

  27. Tek Nath Rizal’s story reads like a novel because it is one. It is similar to one of James Frey* (Author of a Million Little Pieces) who unfortunately got exposed (shamefully) but had been proudly endorsed by the likes of Oprah Winfrey even. People are suckers for stories like that and I am sure Tek Nath Rizal has done a good job with his fiction.

    There is a saying that while the truth is putting on his socks, the lies have already run a mile.
    But remember truth eventually catches up.

  28. Ahh! That must have been ‘Acharya,’ but Acharya, Adhikari.. all of the are same from where you stand, aren’t they?

    That long comment was less for your reading pleasure and more for the ‘shifting-through’ pleasure of some unfortunate spook for Thimphu, but thanks for reading nonetheless.

    It is funny you want to ignore the ‘he said-she said’ stuff. That has been your brand of journalism. If you want some semblance of truth, you got to read stuff you don’t like, you need to dig a little deeper than a few sentence.

    And yes, they tolerate me while you would love to see me in Dobji. There is a difference between tolerance of differences and eviction/imprisonment on suspicion of dissent. There is a difference in telling your own story, and falsifying somebody else’s.

    But fine, let us give it a rest. The invite still stands though, if you ever change your mind and decide toactually do a real unbiased feature on the refugees.

  29. http://krishnasvisit.blogspot.com/ Krishna who was studying in Hawaii on govt scholarship says he is very proud of his country. He told his class:

    “The government of Bhutan is unique in that it cares more about the well-being of the Bhutanese people than in increasing its wealth or power. Therefore, until recently the government regulated foreign influences and limited the amount of tourism in Bhutan. The economy in Bhutan is more based on the Bhutanese culture and spirtiual values than in accumulating vast amounts of wealth and competing with other countries. “

  30. Mindwithaview: Krishna’s profile at the link you posted yields http://www.blogger.com/profile/07286908726809659771 Talk about authencity!

    And no. Rizal did not write fiction. He does not have the mental capacity to do that. He wrote about what exactly happened to him. Some of the strange-sounding mind-games episodes are exactly that: the torture was severe enough to induce those. When survivors of torture tell their story, you ridicule them. When they don’t you discount the wrongdoings of torturers. It is a sad world for the underdogs either way.

    Call him lukcy or uncluky, his life has been a pretty sordid novel. So was Ann Frank’s.

  31. Hi Ongmo,
    I think the same way, the other two guessed for miss- matching the person you mean to address. Whatever, it may be I really feel great sympathy towards your feelings for your children.
    Ongmo, it is biased, totally biased for not admitting your child as the inborn citizen of the country. Bhutan is always contradicting the international laws and ethics. That is what always Bhutan is.
    This is the time we can challenge Bhutan and its illegal legalities. I see you are deprived of your rights; similarly Bhutan had snatched the rights of tens and thousands of people including mine and Hari Acharya’s.
    The pen of the journalist is powerful than the sword, so why don’t you use your pen without misuse.

    DB Adhikari, US

  32. I really appreciate the clear cut comments made by Mr. Hari Acharya.

    I read your entre passages. Indeed very enlightening in the way you have added to every Bhutanese’s bag of refugee experiences. Very clear messages. I see what you have said. And i understand why leaders never appreciated what you said. But that could be a different story.

    Time has made us tolerate and endure anthing. While people like Sonam will never possess the qualities of patience with struggles. It is pointless for people like you Mr. Hari Acharya ji to waste so much time on them.

    I had been looking around for intelligent beasts like you who can drink dry the brains of people like Sonam Ongmo.

    She did not have anything further to say and could not tolerate because she is scared to her freaking bones. She is not a journalist for sure, but an actor worthy of some Bhutanese Actor award. While the life time achievement award must go to Mr. Jigme Singe Wangchuk for his lifelong acheivements. He is not worthy of being called a King. Because he the most frightened person alive in Bhutan. Not even the Southerners are so concerned about their fears as he is.

    The power of a population suppressed and oppressed has always been feared….

    There must be a way out of this. Journalism is only part of the answer. There can be no freedom without bloodshed. Bhutan is soon to become a battefield. very soon….

  33. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/world/asia/26nepal.html?ref=world

    I think everyone commenting on this site should read this story and hopefully realize what angry, disgruntled people (like yourselves) do to their countries.

    The writer says: ” In five short years, Nepal has discarded a feudal monarchy, converted from a Hindu kingdom in a secular state, created a new Constituent Assembly and declared itself a democratic republic.”

    I would’ve said, “In five short years, Nepalis have taken the country from bad to worse.”
    Do you understand that if you had worked with the monarch to constructively bring changes in Nepali society, the country would have been better off? Instead they have thrown the country to the dogs and the maoists.

    We know you were trying to do this in Bhutan with your subversive activities but God Bless the King, people like Tek Nath Rizal were caught!

  34. hi!
    am entering this site for the first time.
    was happy to know of all the antecedents of tek nath rizal and also delighted to read that he has written such a book based on all the facts and no fiction at all.
    it’s so wonderful mola, that somebody who had been tortured with all the mind control devices could have such a vivid memory… TNR could really put all the intelligence agents of any country to shame with his kind of powerful memory and resilience… this man sure has a bright future with the CIA, MI6, MOSSAD.etc.etc. ha!ha!
    and yes, i am sure that this article would never see the light of day, but that is precisely what i am trying to prove about this site.
    tashi delek!!!

  35. go on and on…. with ur sob story. we the real bhutanese will always stay united and love our king and country unlike many of u here.

  36. All the writers in this forum are just jealoous of bhutan’s emerging socio-economic development which is taking place very rapidly.
    And to talk about the king, he is one of the kindest and most humble person ever born on this world, and rececntly the 5th king of bhutan has been Young Leader of the world.
    Unlike other leaders around the world, his holiday is niether in Hawaii or switzerland, his holiday destination is in the remotest villages of bhutan so that he can know thier hardship. And he is the first person to reach to the scnene whenever there is natural disaster to console the victims.
    our kings are not what some of the writers think—- they are the peple prophesied by the buddhas of the past to be born in this world to help the people and bring justice to society. And accordingly, those who threatens the harmony and peace of the mass are justly punished for the betterment of the society.
    The fourth king is the only king in the world who personally led the army to war in the thick jungles of bhutan when the illegal millitant in india threatened the soverignty ofof bhutan. Would any ordinary leader do such a stunt? He did it not to show off to the world, but to protect his subjects. but he expressed his sadness after the war for loss of life on both sides. The victory of the war was not celebrated but instead prayers were conducted for the dead soldiers and millitants.
    It is not true that people of bhutan are oppressed by the leaders. We the people of bhutan are enjoying freedom like a free bird in the blue sky. this has been made possible by kindness and greatness of our king.

  37. Before I used to feel sorry many people were forced to leave the country…..now i Understand why. they dont deserve to stand on our soil….
    long live the king …may peace prevail and the let people like TNZ be continously tortured more…if possible in a increased magnitude.

  38. TN Rizal -a remarkable leader who scarified his royal privileges in the name of poor Bhutanese.

    Hope one day Jigme Singye Wangchuck(4th king of Bhutan) would be interrogate and charged by Amnesty International.

    Long live Bhutan, long live people movement.

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