Open letter to Tshering Tobgay


Tshering Tobgay
Peoples Democratic Party
Drizang Lam,
Lower Motithang
Thimphu, Bhutan

Dear Mr. President,

The first and foremost achievement that Bhutan made after one hundred years reign of the system of monarchy is the emergence of democracy with constitutional monarchy having proclaimed by the throne at the crucial hour of continued people’s call for a change in the system of government in keeping with the global trend. We saw the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) sailing with bravery and valor when it confronted with landslide victory of 45 seats in the first ever election ever since proclamation of the democracy in Bhutan. We have since been observing your performance as opposition leader in the parliament and in the performance of your duties in carrying out your responsibilities that convinced the people of Bhutan about the chance that your party would get in the second election. We have closely analyzed the induction of members from phased out parties during primary election and appreciated your careful steps being taken in bringing them into your party and took up mass countrywide campaign.

The campaign slogans and cache points you raised at the most crucial moments like the rupee crunch and lifting of subsidies on petroleum and cooking gas by India are issues that we applauded while also appreciated when your party members did not miss to capitalize on the corruption cases that surfaced from Mongar district court. All these put together helped moving obstacles ahead of you and paved your way into the present moment of success. Further, your well planned wisdom of coining your phrases and bringing about surprising promises to the mass such as helicopter service, bolero distribution at geog level, assurance to help resolve census problems in the south, assuring six ministers from the east, qualified doctors in all rural health centers and ambulances were all those which the DPT failed to mention. Having given these promises amongst others, we humbly express our trashi delek on the landslide victory of PDP under your dynamic and charismatic leadership during this second general election. We are confident that your party will keep up to the assurances.

You will agree that Bhutan’s growth also depends on adequate manpower both in terms of technical and administrative lines besides taxpayers at the grass roots level. Besides having been sailing through controversial status in terms of border talks with the northern neighbor, the former government has since long been going bitter with India with whom Bhutan cherishes the longest and the closest friendly relationship both in terms of economic, culture and technical cooperation. Your party has a heavy responsibility lying ahead of you to patch up the worsened relationship as well as maintaining the sanctity of our country’s sovereignty forever cherished since time immemorial.

The democracy will not be lively unless the government and the people accept that as much as the government has its contribution in the emergence of democracy the people of Bhutan had their vital role played for want of democracy and human rights in Bhutan.

Hence, parallel to the proclamation of democracy, unconditional release of political prisoners would have been anticipated of with general amnesty to others who the former government considered anti- nationals for demanding change in the system of governance that ultimately emerged in 2008. The new government is thus anticipated to resolve the political problem that had emerged for want of democracy ever since 1990. In other words, the issue concerning Bhutanese refugees need to be resolved without any prejudice and show the outside world that the GNH campaigned goes to benefit everyone irrespective of race, religion, language and culture in Bhutan. Otherwise, the slogan of GNH will be incomplete no matter to whatever extent our people benefit from economic progress the government would bring about.

President, you also have great responsibilities of uphill task lying ahead of you with the opposition desk in the parliament, who had served the reign of the fourth monarch. The legacy of their parents who served the third monarch is yet another experience most of them have for a long time. Since you belong to ordinary and common family, the people of Bhutan would anticipate you to understand all the bits of aspirations of the common mass. The purpose of this appeal is to apprise to the would -be new Prime Minster of the government of Bhutan to understand the in- depth problem the nation is facing that actually not only threats to our sovereignty and independence but also the continuous socio-economic development of the country.

This appeal seeks for the following accomplishments while fulfilling all your party’s promises while leading the new government in the first term as Prime Minister:

  • Resolve longstanding citizenship and census imbroglio, which deprived a large chunk of the population to exercise their voting franchise
  • Resolve long standing refugee problem by accepting the repatriation for those who are genuine and willing to return to their homesteads
  • Release all the political prisoners unconditionally

Mr President,this appeal anticipates due consideration of the new government in order to bring about a lasting solution to the long awaited problem that has displaced over one sixth of its population and deprived several thousand from their rights voting franchise.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Thinley Penjore
Druk National Congress (Democratic)
United States


  1. Thinle jee,

    You have stated very valid points and the demands you have made intends to address the very crux of the problem. Your farsightedness is appreciated.

    Bhutan is not yet a democracy. If it is so, why are so many people who fought for ‘democracy’ still in jail? If it is so, why are people disenfranchized and barred from giving their precious votes? Democracy, vote, presence of political prisoners or political refugees are directly co-related. Conversely, if the State is still feeding political prisoners in its jails, then Bhutan could not be a democracy. The credit for leading Bhutan to change and actual democracy should only be given to the one who can negotiate through this dilemma.
    To say that Bhutan has a ‘democracy’ is to give it an undeserved credit. Time honors people by giving opportunities disguised as challenges. Those who understand and respond to such opportunities write their own history, those who do not respond appropriately will miss these opportunities for ever. Mr. Tshering Tobgay is lucky, time has honored him by placing this opportunity in his hands now. We hope he is wise enough not to let it slip away.