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King announces his intention to marry 21-year-old college girl

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King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck has finally revealed his intention to marry a commoner Jetsun Pema in an address at the opening of parliament, officials said.

The King with his future queen/The Hindu

“The king presided over the opening of parliament this morning and during the ceremony he announced that he would be getting married in October,” a secretary from the ministry of information, Kinley Dorji, told AFP.

“There will be a celebration, but His Majesty has requested that the government not make big plans and big celebrations,” Dorji Wangchuk from the royal press office, told AFP by telephone from the capital Thimphu.

“It is because of the lack of resources (in Bhutan), and secondly to make the celebrations more intimate and personal,” he added.

Not much information has been released about Pema but it is reported that she is a college student. Interestingly, the former king of Bhutan has four wives.

As per the information revealed by the King, 21-year-old Pema is a student at the London’s Regents College.

Media reports during the King’s recent visits said that Pema has been accompanying him during various instances.

36 COMMENTS

  1. Unlike his Dad who married his mother and other three sisters in 1980s after having eight children already. In other words, all the eight children were born illegitimate. The present King was 8 yrs. old when he was publicly recognised as the first son of Jigme Singye. We know Jigme Singye got away with bloody murder. The present King can now be accompanied by his queen by his side without embarrassment unlike his father who would have to travel with four queens, what an embarrassing situation that would be for Bhutanese.

  2. Please leave the embarrassment to the Bhutanese people and have a life yourself. There is nothing to do with illegal immigrants of how many queens our king have.

  3. @ Prem, you dont have to view every thing politically. Learn to appreciate….Marriage ceremony is a personal choice….I think king has done what he likes!

  4. It is a good news to every Bhutanese. Best wishes and cogratulation to His Majesty the King and the would be queen Zetsun Pema.

  5. Sounds pretty goood.. Congratulations in advance to the would-be couple.Hope we can watch the ceremony live on Tv like that of Prince Will and Kate………though it won’t be an important event internationally..

  6. I do hope to be queen Zetsun Pema would bring some adverse changes in royal family of Bhutan.We the forcefully evicted people by your Father in law King Jigme singe wangchuk. Hope that you will bring some rays of hope to the Bhutanese people those who have been staying in nepal as Bhutanese Refugees.

  7. Dear Friends Esp. Prem and Lotus Flower,

    Prem jii, since this is the case of getting married the universal system, lets not politicize every matters. He has every right to enjoy married life as we all do.
    In case of having number of wives or children leave it to him (The King). There lies no politics in having many wives but for the country like Bhutan it plays vital role economically and that the 4th monarch failed to think upon. Let me not elaborate it.

    Lotus Flower, everyone knows you are a paid media defender of Royal Govt. of Bhutan and esp. employed by the present ruling party- there is no doubt on this. Yet, I don’t think you are empowered so much and so that you can label anyone illegal immigrants. This part of your proves that in long run your employer too can question you for being and acting like king himself. Coz. in Bhutan the King is everything. Lets not use every tool every where. Bhutan Study Center should have instructed you on this. Let me not elaborate this too. I will be there with on other issues.
    Lastly, I wish all the best for his married life.

  8. Mr. TP Mishra is a respected journalist, and I think, he needs not to worry if the King would marry multiple women. Even if the King decides to marry multiple women, nothing and nobody would stop the King because in Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the majority of the countries in the world, currently, allow multiple wives.

    Many cultures and religions do not allow a man to marry his wife’s sister, as long as his wife is still alive, and still legally married to him but I do not know for sure if that is acceptable in Buddha religion, and in current society and culture of Bhutan.

    Moghal King of United India (Or Muslim India),”Akbar, The Great” was a devoted Muslim king, but he married many Hindu women, knowing his religion would not allow a marriage between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman. (Muslim religion encourages a Muslim man to convince a non-Muslim woman to convert to his religion before marrying her).

    I read an article somewhere, a long ago that somewhere in a small country in Europe, people felt proud giving their young daughters to the King, even for only one night because they love their King. People have to wait in a long lines, with their young daughters, they want to leave at the Royal Palace for the King’s pleasure and fun for one night.

    Here in America, a very well known and wealthy 82-year old man named, Hugh Hefner, the owner of Play Boy, openly claimed to have two girlfriends, both 17-year olds twin sisters. These two sisters lived in his house for many years. No one said a word criticizing that old man.

    I guess powerful men do not have to follow society’s norms and values and cultures, even in today’s civilized world.

    Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  9. Lhotshampas were never the illegal immigrants. It is a mere power play only. Third King termed these mass as the true son of the soil, and JSW time and again said ‘our lhotshapa community is unique, they neither are alike the people of hills nor like people from Nepal.’
    Things didn’t turn as forecasted and when there exist a deadlock in the opinion, the ruling elites began to allege southerners with different blame in order to win the international sympathy. People showed their disliking, that is it. Southern people are neither illegal immigrant nor the terrorists. Again I’m repeating there has been destruction of lives and properties during the agitation from both the sides and this doesn’t mean that these people are illegal. Government should be more accountable than the activist. And this is the universal theory.
    Understand that each individual lives for their life time only and if someone’s forefathers had been from any part of the world, our generation cannot go to reverse process but have to keep moving forward. No one should raise finger for Ngalung to back to China (Tibet), Sharchops to India and Lhotshampas either to Nepal or India. And I’m sure that none of us have any legal proofs of getting the permission from the previous ones. If communalism flourishes, nation cannot make significant progress. Every developmental activity in the 5 southern districts was frozen and government didn’t invest the penny for 15 long years even to open the schools. This is a real crime but people didn’t blame the government for such unhealthy practice also.
    Southerners have high regards for the monarchy as institution that is set and govern by rules. If things move in a random fashion, expect that people will react. And reaction is humane. And by rule resignation of king is his incompetency, or escaping from the invited problems. See king abdicated his crown; therefore such terminology was used to keep him moving.
    We are Bhutanese either by birth or naturalization, and king as ruler is concern for all. If the king is only a part of Ngalung community (which used to be) then you alone need to shoulder the shameless otherwise your comment is too much Mr. Lotus Flower. Or do you think that supporting the ruler is only the means to become a true Bhutanese. Why there is a provision even at parliament for opposition bench?
    Come on Mr. stand at your feet.

  10. It is a great news for all Bhutanese, either in the Diaspora or in the country. Congratulation Your Majesty, we wish you all the best in your marriage and your leadership of Bhutan as a responsible Head of State. Bhutan has always looked up and relied strongly on the monarchy and you hold lot of responsibility for the people.

    I wish all the best for the younger generation of Bhutanese in recasting a new definition of Bhutan’s philosophy of life and dignity for people under the able leadership of King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck.

    I had the honour of teaching economics to His Majesty at Grade 11 and 12 level at Yangchenphug High School and it was a great pleasure to know you personally for about two years. I have a deep respect for your concern for the people and your dedication to serve every Bhutanese in the best possible way.

    Tashi Delek

  11. Lotus flower, can you prove that Drukpas were there in Southern Bhutan in late 1910 ??? I have the Land Tax receipts paid by my great grandfather to the Government of Bhutan in 1917. It was paid to Raja ST Dorji who used to collect Tax for the Govt. of Bhutan. Receipt is printed in Nepali because there was no language as Dzongkha then. Dzongkha became National language of Bhutan much later. You guys keep calling us illegal immigrants, do us a favour by showing us one Land Tax receipt issued in the name of a Drukpa who were living in Southern Bhutan then. I will send the Tax receipts to display in National museum of Bhutan when you guys come to your senses one day and start looking for authentic record of history of Bhutan. Now you are going to accuse me of forging the document, that is what you guys are good at.

  12. @Prem-you don’t become a landlord for the rent you pay. No matter how many years you live in that house and pay rent, you are still a tenant and not a landlord. The receipt that were printed in Nepalese is to identify you as “non citizen” who were granted temporary stay on humanitarian ground. The government was smart enough to do that even in those old days. Nepalese who hold receipt in Dzongkha are still living in Bhutan.

  13. Lotus Flower et al: Give it a rest. You do what you are good at. We will do what we are good at. Our roads have forked. You make the best of what you have left – a small country with an increasing population, greedy and corrupt politicians, increasingnumber of college graduates and and decreasing number of jobs, an increasingly militant population in exile which lets off bombs in your small cities and a hot balloon of hatred in your heart that seems to increase each passing day. And we will make the best of what we have – new countries with freedom and opportunities, that we will be citizens of in less than four years.

    In the meantime, you go watch the movie “Three Idiots.” When your fury has all ended and you come find us in New York or London or Sydney, we will still be the innovative happy Phungstu Wangudu and you will be that ever jealous guy saying ‘Tofa Kabul Karoooooo!”

    So much for your propaganda of illegal immigrants, one nation one people, the last shangrila, gross national happiness. It is all quite gross from where we sit.

  14. @bhotaney -Yes, I do what I am good at: to protect my country. And I do agree that you are doing your best -instigating refugee youths and creating terrorism to detonate bombs -a recent blast in the border town of Phuntsholing and Gelephu is an example. They are the by-product of what you are good at!

    We are proud that the country is able to produce many college graduates and we are not worried about the unemployment issue. Compared to unemployment issue that surged to as high as 10% in many developed nations, including the USA, Bhutan’s unemployment rate of just below 4% is laudable. And with many projects in pipeline, Bhutan is in a very good shape to address the unemployment issue.

    As far the three idiot is concerned, you should have referred yourself to Chatur Ramlingan because your character and egoism resonates that of Chatur’s in three idiots. And, in your reference above, you failed immensely to recognize that Phungstu Wangdu, who come from Lhadak is a descendant of a Buddhist family who always depicted as an intelligent student and taught good side of human values and potential, as oppose to Chatur who is always housed with ego. Like Chatur, you can’t even speak a national language. Whatever you are writing here is memorized from the text written by someone, like Chatur did when he addressed one of the functions in his college.

    And ya, it is quite gross that you make such a huge hue and cry over issues that don’t have any connection to you.

    Peace out!

  15. Lotus Flower,

    You are a very good ‘sample’ of what the Drukpa mindset generally is – racist, repressive and spiteful. You are straight and exploding. Thank you.

    Your comments at least to me are a great testimony to the ongoing discrimination in Bhutan. The harsher you are the better for us. We need your comments to prove to some of our neighbors here who have so far been mesmerized by the Shangri-La. Keep on, keeping on

  16. Lotus Flower, I feel sorry for a person like you who has no clue of Bhutanese history. On a different note, you guys are bunch of cowards who complain and whine on an online forum like you do on Bhutantimes about the royal pardon of Major Pem Tshering. He embezzled millions of Government money and compromised on the quality of alcohol sold in Bhutan in order to make money. I suppose public health means nothing in Bhutan. Now he is released and you guys keep mum because the King pardoned him. That is the kind of democrazy you guys have.

    Your Court can put people in jail for carrying few packets of tobacco while the people who have made away with big chunk of Govt. money go scot free. ACC is a big joke. ACC is scared to touch the corrupt big shots because rich people in Bhutan are interconnected through marriage.

  17. I do hope to be queen zetsun pema would bring some adverse change in royal family of bhutan. we the forcefully evicted people by your father in law fourth king of bhutan. hope that you will bring some rays of hope to the bhutanese people those who staying outside the country as bhutanese refugee.

  18. What a joke, Bhutan’s unemployment rate is 4 %, do you guys even know how to calculate the unemployment rate ???? You are good at fooling yourselves and the International community, like you did with the census figures for years. Bhutan inflated the census figures for years to qualify for more donation from developed countries. Do you know now we are the donors and you are the beggar. Keep enjoying our hard earned money by inflating the figures which you are good at. Keep increasing the size of your begging bowl ???

  19. LF- Now, come on…. cool down. Take a sip of arra, chew some doma-paan,play some khuru, relax. Why do you get so angry? It is counter productive to the very idea of GNH to be so angry – the GNH measure went down by a notch already just because of you – are you really not patriotic to let that happen?

    I actually can “speak a national language.” Actually, I can speak many ‘national’ languages – Dzongkha of Bhutan, Nepali of Nepal, Hindi of India and English of the UK, America, Australia and a host of other countries. I can do a passable Bengali too, and if I was ever to be stranded in Spain or Latin America, I can survivie, linguistically speaking. What do you speak?

    The ‘national’ up there is in quotes because the world started going by official langauges instead of national languages some time ago, while those blinded by cultural and racial superiority slumbered.

    BTW, Switzerland boasts FOUR national or official langauges – can a nation have more than one national language? India has 18 constitutionally recognized official languages, Nepali being one of them. Messed up India, with no ONE national language, mena?

    And speaking of Three Idiots, yet once again, for it is a such a cool movie – what kind of a patriotic citizen are you, watching Indian movies and all? Tut-tut! Should you not stick to Gasa Lamey Sengye? Violating GHN by getting angry for no apparent reason, violating the cultural policy by watching foreign movies, violating the very idea of egotistical brand of patriotism of ‘patriotic’ Bhutanese by refusing to identify with Chatur Ramalingam, and you violate your duty and obligation to the country by sitting behind a computer and not going down to Phuntsholing and Gelephu to find the ‘terrorists’ and defend the country. How could you let the terrorists blast bombs in various parts of the country and just sit in front of a computer getting virtually angry? You are not really doing what you can do best – protecting your country. Get into uniform and get the heck down to the border and defend it. Please, please do so, for I have lots of friends inside Bhutan and who will defend them if not you? Please!

  20. Happy married life the King and to be Queen of Bhutan.
    King’s step at this hour is laudable.He choose to marry a lady whose origin goes to Eastern Bhutan.
    I am of the opinion that king will change his mind set henceforth and treat the easterners and southerners with love and care.
    At least with the marriage king must bring the official who shot gomchen Karma in Gomdar when the uprising in the east took place.
    May the king act in a way to ensure that gomchen karma’s soul rests in peace./

    Lomg live Democratic struggle in Bhutan.

  21. Dear Lotus Flower:

    Are you trying to prove that employment situation in your country, Bhutan is much better than in the United States? I understand you love your country, and you are always trying to defend your country Bhutan and your Government, and I respect that. (That does not mean I agree with everything you say).
    Please research on unemployment issue again before comparing your country with my country. I enjoy reading your comments but I think you need to present the facts only, not what you would wish to see.

    “Illegal immigrants” is your most favorite term. May I please ask your opinion on Dr. Bhampa Rai and Tek Nath Rizal? Do you honestly believe they also are illegal immigrants, and they are not Bhutanese citizens?

    Some day, I would like to visit Bhutan to get their side of story, and I would love to meet you if you live in Bhutan.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  22. @ Pasha -You really need to do a research yourself before poking your nose. The unemployment rate in the state where you live is 7.8%, two times higher than that of Bhutan. It is a fact and not my wish. Perhaps, you are busy making your own ends meet working in an airport.

    I don’t have to report my opinion about Bumpa and Teknath Rizal to you but the general feeling is that, as Osama Bin Laden is to the USA, Tek Nath Rizal is to Bhutan.

    Peace out!

  23. Hey Lotus Flower, money which we earn by working at the airport goes to pay for your children’s School and food in Bhutan through WFP, UNICEF and other UN projects. You guys are getting fat on our, tax payers money. We are happy to work hard to make a living, not like you guys going around the developed countries to beg money to feed your people. Anyways, we are proud to be givers.

  24. Lotus flower
    It is an utter sin to call yourself – Lotus. While the lotus grows from a stingy dirty water to bloom into serenity and pureness, you re doomed to that abyss of preposterous and farcical ideas.

  25. Dear Lotus Flower:

    I am sorry if I made you upset. Attacking my job shows your anger. Look, if you want me to believe your claim that your country, Bhutan is in a better shape economically than the United States, I am willing to accept your claim just to make you feel better. Whole world knows what country feeds the whole world. I do not need to prove things that already are known and proven.

    Did you ever think why Americans are trying to get close to Bhutan, and why so many of Senators, politicians, senior officials and reporters are visiting Bhutan? Do you know why US Government is willing to open its embassy in Bhutan? Do you know why US Government is offering more and more financial assistance to Bhutan? Let me share my opinion with you. I think US Government is working on its plan on bringing some changes in the region. I think it will take some time but I think politics of Bhutan and Nepal will change soon. A super power normally uses the tool of financial assistance first.

    It was the United States that threatened to reduce or end its financial aid to Bhutan many years ago, and Bhutan Government immediately agreed on sending its officials to refugee’s camps to verify refugee’s citizenships, because Bhutan Government did not want to lose US aid. I think US Government does not want to use any threat of cutting its aid to Bhutan or Nepal at present, and that is why it is using a very soft tone, hoping it will work.

    What is your real name? Where do you live? What do you do for living? Do you work for Bhutan Government? (And it is OK if you do work for the Bhutanese Government because I would love to meet a spokesperson of Bhutan Government like yourself). Please post your email address for future contacts and I promise you that I will never reveal your real identity to those you call “Illegal Immigrants”, for your own physical safety.

    I have visited Dr. Bhampa Rai and Tek Nath Rizal, in Damak and in Katmandu, few weeks ago. Both of them have refused to accept any high-rank position if offered by Bhutan’s King, as a result of possible American pressure put on Bhutan Government to find a solution and to form a new national government, acceptable to both Bhutanese citizens and Bhutanese refugees.

    Mr. Tek Nath Rizal has never formally been charged with any crime while being kept in custody of Bhutan Government for almost 10 years. He was found innocent and was released. Dr. Bhampa Rai has no criminal record, and even Bhutan Government itself never accused him of being a terrorist. Both Dr. Bhampa Rai and Tek Nath Rizal are being treated by Government of Nepal, UNHCR and US Embassy in Katmandu, as special dignities, and always value their opinion.

    In my honest opinion, these great leaders are true and legitimate citizens of Bhutan, and should have right to go back to Bhutan.

    Time has come to change the politics. Time has come to put an end to sufferings of those old, young, men and women, who are living in very difficult conditions in refugee camps in Nepal, for many years.

    I will do my best to help Bhutanese refugees living in the camps in Nepal. This is my promise to you, Lotus Flower Jee, and it does not matter you like it or not.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.

  26. My wishes and congratulations to the 5th King and would be future queen of Bhutan, Justen. If it was a marriage of ordinary citizen, perhaps the responsibility would be only to bear the common responsibilities as a common citizen. But by virtue of being the future queen of Bhutan, Justen has lot more accountability to shoulder. I hope she is a competent lady to shoulder the responsibilities as the First lady of the US does. There is a saying that every man has women at the back that helps supports and guides the man to achieve the goal.
    Lotus Flower
    You have gone well behind the normal limit of comment on this site. I can’t tolerate comparing Mr. Rizal with the slain Al- Qaida leader. The RGOB’s kangaroo court proved that Mr. Rizal is innocent so he was set free to go after more than 10 years of hard sentence inside the most notorious jail of Bhutan. Now how dear you are to compare with Bin Laden. Mr.Tek Nath Rizal is in fact the Nelson Mandela of the east, given his stand on the Human Rights and democracy issues.
    If you are so courageous then take Mr. Rizal like that of the US SEAL. Do you have any situation room like the one where the top politicians the military and the intelligence group including the President of the United States ,the most powerful man in the universe watched the live happening that transpired in Pakistan? I think to come to this level of development you need to wait another five avatars.
    Men don’t go insane; talk sense so that people will respect your opinion. You have been trying to blow your trumpet when no one is willing to listen it. Come sense, be cool and try to come to term with the southerners especially with the exiled ones who went to extreme suffering in the camps and elsewhere.
    Your govt is only trying to protect the gho and Kira, I don’t know on earth what benefit you gonna get out of this stupid idea of imposing the National dress as a compulsory matter in the public affairs when the majority of people already displayed the resentment by burning it in the open ground. By far the most I think there are still lots of people who do not want to wear it out of their free good will. It is just as it because of forced circumstances. So, man come out of the woods and try to peep the outside world, it is damn beautiful, you will see the lovely world and you will be amazed to see the new beginning and the glorious initiation where all the people are treated equal, and the people of different cast, creed and colour are marching forward hand in hand which will bring true development and peace in the world.
    From US.

  27. Bhutanese residents!!! wake up !!! its time to fight against what you suffered!!!

    IF you could bring public government that’s great achievement and if not You still

    gonna be US CITIZEN after 17 years!!!

    Isn’t it a awesome TRICK??? I suggest to take this ADVANTAGE!!! remember no BAKHU AND KIRA in USA!!!

  28. I suppose we should applaud all of you who have fulfilled your dreams and fooled the Western Countries to mercifully repatriate you. Good for you. Stay there and be happy. It will bring peace for all of us.

    As far as what one commenter said, about visiting “Dr. Bhampa Rai and Tek Nath Rizal, in Damak and in Katmandu, few weeks ago. Both of them have refused to accept any high-rank position if offered by Bhutan’s King, as a result of possible American pressure put on Bhutan Government”, tell them they needn’t worry because there isn’t task of even the lowest sort that we’d want them to do.

    Finally, the United States does not contribute aid to Bhutan, and if hypothetically they did contribute, the measly taxes you would be paying from what menial, mundane job you can grasp will be inconsequential to the US let alone us.

    You know the saddest and most ironic part about it all is that you have to continue living a lie, awkwardly wearing the gho and kira and making a mockery of yourself by performing a meek attempt at a dzongkha dance. I hope you enjoy the charades in exile. We’ll be the last one’s laughing.

    p.s.-If you believe in “karma” as we do, I would stop pretending because everything comes back and one day “karma” is going to come and bite you really hard on your asses, pardon my French.

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