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On the occasion of the 105th National Day, it gives me much happiness to address our People of the 20 dzongkhags.

This National Day is of special significance.  The powers offered by our People to the King in 1907, after hundred years of nation building, were returned in 2008 to our People by the Druk Gyalpo.  It was in that year that we held the first elections under democracy and adopted the Constitution.  Today, we are nearing the end of the term of the first Parliament we elected in 2008, and the culmination of the tenth and largest 5-year plan.  So much work lies ahead and such immense responsibilities rest on our shoulders as we approach 2013.

Yet, with capable and dedicated citizens, who have great love for our country, with the guidance of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and with the ever-stronger bonds between People and King, I have great confidence that we shall achieve our goals.

Our People of Bhutan are unique.  We have a sense of family, community and brotherhood that inspires us to come together in times of need.  I have seen this following natural disasters and, most recently, in the way in which all Bhutanese came forward to offer whatever little we could afford to rebuild the historic treasure, Wangduephodrang Dzong.

In other nations, difficult moments in their history are met with strife, violence and conflict, as people sacrifice national interest in order to achieve individual ambitions.  In Bhutan, such acts and events have never occurred.  Our way of life, our heritage, loyalty and values remain strong in the hearts of our People and our People stand ready, even in times of great personal hardship, to place Nation above Self.  I am so proud of our People and offer my deep gratitude for the love you have shown for your nation.

It is during times of prosperity and success that we must remind ourselves of the work that lies ahead.  We have made a good start in our transition to democracy, but much remains to be done.  Our nation has seen great socio-economic growth, but it is more important that we have growth with equity.  We must raise, with all our effort, the less fortunate so that they may, at the earliest, begin to partake in the opportunities brought by modernisation and progress.  The government has provided education to our youth.  But for the nation to prosper for all time, a sound education must be succeeded by access to the right jobs and responsibilities, so that our youth may bloom as individuals and, at the same time, serve their nation well.  The recent Rupee shortage is a serious problem.  I feel it is a reminder that, as a nation, we must exercise our traditional sense of caution, and work even harder, as we address the challenges of the time.  For, no matter what challenges lie ahead, it is only the Bhutanese citizen, who can protect and safeguard Bhutan.

Today, the most important duty for us is the 2013 elections to Parliament.  I would like to say that we – all of us – are new to this democratic transition.  We have all equally acquired four and a half years of experience in democracy.  Experience comes with participation, so I urge you all to come forward as candidates, members of parties and voters for 2013.

Remember, achieving democracy is not the goal.  The real fruits of our efforts should be that democracy brings greater unity, harmony and prosperity to our nation.  Democracy must be able to fulfill the aspirations of our People.

Many hundreds of years ago, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal unified the nation, established the dual system and laid the foundations on which a unique Bhutan was born.  This new nation was then further strengthened over the course of history by fifty-four Desis and generations of Bhutanese.  The last hundred years, the Wangchuck dynasty further strengthened the foundations laid by the Zhabdrung, and handed over a special nation to our People in 2008.  All of this was possible because our People have lived as one small family, true to the ideals of the Zhabdrung and the foundations of a unique and special Bhutanese identity.

As we approach the elections of 2013, we must therefore keep in mind these foundations of our nation and prevent all ethnic, religious or political divisions in our small nation.  We must participate in democracy with the spirit of harmony and fraternity.  In 2008, our democratic transition and the wholehearted participation by the people, including the 80% voter turnout, were lauded by the world.  I urge you all to exercise your right to vote – it comes but once in 5 years – for it is an act of great benefit to the nation.

With the Blessings of the Triple Gem and our Guardian Deities and the good fortune of our People, I am confident we will conduct the second elections under democracy successfully in 2013.

For me, I hold sacred the endeavours begun by my father, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.  I have committed myself to bringing to fruition all the noble endeavours begun in his 34 years of service and sacrifice.  I also hold sacred my duty to ensure the success of democracy, and I shall work to lay the strongest foundations for a vibrant democracy within my reign.

Above all, I believe that the Golden Throne is not a Throne of wealth, power and prestige.  The Golden Throne of Bhutan is a unique Throne of Destiny to serve our People and Nation.

As King since 2006 I have always served with complete dedication and integrity.  Sometimes I may have erred.  Yet, you, my people, have given me even more love and support and placed your complete faith and trust in me.  To our People of the 20 dzongkhags, I offer my heartfelt gratitude, and I pledge that I shall give everything to be of service to you and Bhutan.

In this land, blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and our Fourth Druk Gyalpo, I pray that there shall be everlasting peace, prosperity and happiness.

Editor’s note: The King delivered this speech to the nation on the occasion of the 105th National Day on December 17

12 COMMENTS

  1. Good description of caged democracy .. I think present king might be in mothers lap when southern dewlers were evicted from the county under Ethnic cleansing Policy adopted by his father after taking couching classes from the then indian government . So he forget To address the southern problem . Looks innocent in his speeches but true Bhutan history define him as a tranny and despotic king . I think king is trusty Of love and affection from innocent. People so share a big dreams with praising Words

  2. Some of the actions and deeds being shown by the present king reflect the path of his grand pa, the 3rd king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. He had shown some basic elements need to be in a king.
    The fourth King and his cruel deeds shall never pardon him for generations. Still, he hasn’t let his son become independent king of Bhutan. He is holding the hook!!! His early abdication was neither his desire nor a gift, as advertised. It was his compulsion. His lust for power still hunts. He was compelled to do so because of his own deeds. There are dozens of unexposed conflicts within the family. Pressure is in the offing. Four queens have their own say. Questions were there when the Fourth king officially married in 1988, by then the present king was already growing. Citizens knew only after he got married that he (their king) already had illegal son. No one could question!!!. Yet, debates were in the town. Before the debate take legal turn, the fourth king brought drama of national census and One Nation One Policy – practiced focusing only the people of Nepali origin. Under his command hundreds of innocent women were raped, children orphaned, women widowed. He did that to direct the concentration of all stake-holders towards the south and burry his misdeeds inside the palace.
    It is believed that Buddhists philosophy is one of the religious philosophies that believe in not harming anyone in any regard. (Here it should not mean, other religious philosophies don’t believe in not harming others). But, Buddhist king acted so. Fearing the sin he abdicated the throne so early. At present, corruption rules the nation. In the name of Bhutan study center in Thimphu, the government hoodwinks the international community. No foreigner has access to visit southern part of Bhutan. It was during his (fourth king) tenure net- work of corruption instituted. It was Teknath Rizal, who advised the fourth king about unhealthy practices done by the then cabinet ministers, secretaries and district administrators. Had the advice taken in terms of people and welfare of citizens, Bhutan by now would have become one of the richest countries in south Asia. But, the then cabinet ministers and secretaries turned otherwise and labeled Rizal an anti-national and sent behind the bars. Here I don’t want to praise Rizal for his popularity. But, he did right at that time. It was during the time Rizal was behind the bars, Royal govt. of Bhutan approved the down-sizing the area of Bhutan from 46000 sq Km to 38000 sq. Km. and made it public only after he left Bhutan for exile. Bhutan so easily lost around 12000 sq Km of her land!!! . Rulers remained mute. People had no right to speak. Still no one has right to challenge it in Bhutan. Latter on Late Rongthong Kuenley Dorji from New Delhi voiced against the losing the 1200sq Km of Bhutan’s soil.

    The fourth king began the net-work from his immediate uncle. Jigme Y Thinley (JYT) then very well smelt the rat and made in-law relationship with the royal family (present king’s one of the sisters is married to JYT’s son). It is learnt that series of closed door discussions held among the present govt. and former king to Hoodwink international community in the name of Gross National Happiness (GNH). JYT assured the fourth king to sell the GNH cake in the international market, so he is in the race. In reality, GNH is nothing other than Happiness of the handful of elites.
    This is why- without any hesitation JYT leads the net-work of corruption. Very cleverly the present Home minister and Speaker of the National Assembly took advantage of troubled water. They grabbed the vast land. Popularly known as Gyelpozhing Land-scam. He (JYT)cannot question the present Home minister and Speaker for their misdeeds. They are declared criminals by Mongar district court. Yet, they are holding the posts. What a mockery to the gifted democracy??
    No doubt, fourth king will dictate the present king to grant them the clean chit in the name of Royal decree. In Bhutan one cannot challenge the Royal decree.

    Yet, the present king,– people have faith in you. For in you lie the symptoms of the third king.

  3. He just does what his father JSW tells him to do so nothing good can be expected from him especially for communities other than followers of Drukpa faith. Monarchy already became redundant in Bhutan since it failed as an institution of unification of diverse ethnic groups in the country. It has proved useful only for Drukpa followers. It must be abolished since it failed its mission of protecting Bhutan as a nation of people with diverse cultural, religious and lingual backgrounds. Only one king, late Jigme Dorji Wangchuck was the true monarch who kept Bhutan as a strong, peaceful and united country with its rich and diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. All his policies were destroyed by JSW who believed and listened to people like Jigme Thinley, Dago Tshering and host of others who had thier own vested interests to fulfill but at the cost of communities other than drukpa followers.

  4. Anti Bhutan, anti King comments will not work to defame Bhutan and its leadership due to following reasons :-

    * We so called refugee are not united, we are divided in all respect like rich and poor, cunning foxes(leaders) and poor innocent people( caste, religion, society, community) and finally corrupt practice every where in the name of refugee. So we should not forget that , when we try to point index finger to some body, the rest fingers are always pointing towards us.Therefore, need to bring our house in order before coming out to teach others.
    *It needs to be mentioned that, 50% of our people can not read and write English comments and rest 50% qualified people never support anti king and anti Bhutan activities.
    *Finally, Majority people are happy with the present system of governance (King, Country and People) and world community are aware of facts about the Bhutan and its genuine people .

  5. First, I want to make you sure I do totally discourage generational power like this Monarch here in Bhutan.

    But next, I as like many other Bhutanese youth here in Bhutan were anticipating that- Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk would be able to address the possibilty of introducing diverse cultural, religious and lingual backgrounds.

    As well we were assured that he would be able to bring back our fellow Bhutanese who are still struglling in refugee camp, but our hopes become unreal.

    Atlast, Khesar announcement seems completly directed and edited by his evil father (JSW, a monarch, who ruined the history of our great nation).

    It would be a different story if educated and wise Khesar would be able to address situations of this country on his own vision and being indipendent. But being guided on the principle of his father would make him not only fail but eventually whole monarch would loose the respect and hope from Bhutanese folks.

    Hope one day he would make matured and independent decision which we youth of Bhutan are anticipating.

    Lets make this beautiful nation a land of diversity and harmony.

    Peace!

  6. Monarchy has no meaning for a small and poor country like Bhutan in present day. It is just a white elephant spending millions on maintaining king and his royal family members. If king were the symbol of national unity and integration then JSW would have never introduced anti-Lhoshampa policies destroying their langauage, culture and traditions and turning them as refugees. Basically the present king has followed the same policies. Where is the liberty and freedom in a democratic Bhutan? Why teaching of Nepali is still banned whereas during rule of late ling Jigme Dorji Wangchuck it formed a part of school curriculum. JSW must furnish a reasonable argument why he deprived tens of thousands of Bhutanese children born in Bhutan their legitimate rights to learn their mother tongue and present king must explain to the people in democratic Bhutan why is he continuing this anti-Lhotshampa policy. Why they think Dzongkha is the only language people should learn and speak? Why not making efforts to give equal respect and protect other languages spoken by majority of Bhutanese people, Sharchhopkha, Nepali, Kurteo, Kheng, Doya etc.

  7. Present King sounds innocent, he is in reality, he could not do what he want until his father die. in his speech he does mentioned diversity of language, ethnicity and religion. He will become the best king of bhutan after his father become totally in active.

  8. Everywhere around the world knows what a Kingcraft is. It can be read in the history of Nepal about Shah Dynasty, France for Luis Kings, and England for the Queens and the Kings of Great Britain. Also, it can be axiom from those pretty solid desperate examples, that, what will happen when what happens. I would say the fact was: lot of inhuman annihilation, and prosecutions were rampant in Bhutan in 1990s. However, people of Bhutan then were uneducated and did not know what was going on. They rather saved their lives fleeing from their century’s long residence with no destinations in mind and with a deep wound of detachment from their heart (the Motherland Bhutan). King is a human being like anyone else around the world, and has no divinity of any kind to uphold the rule over the people. JSW’s GNH is a refined part of Monarchy and is more a rhetorical philosophy very ineffective, abstract, and impossible to achieve. It is completely against GDP and generally accepted principle of economics. This means a sure failure. No happiness can come before economic prosperity. For instance, a hungry man cannot be happy, a child without proper clothing cannot be happy, a woman daily beaten up by husband who has economic hardship cannot be happy, an alerted youth from fear of prosecution cannot be happy. Thus, “Bhutan has no democracy yet.”

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