Black Friday

Today, Friday, July 3, 2009, will be remembered as a dark day in the history of our democracy for two reasons.  One, the National Assembly started imposing its ban on live TV coverage of its proceedings.

And two, a cabinet minister refused to report to the National Council for “Question Time”. The National Council had directed the home minister to report to them today, in person, to answer questions. The questions had been sent to him in advance. Lyonpo Minjur, however, did not report to the Council and submitted his answers in writing. The refusal of a cabinet minister to report to the Council undermines the mandate of the National Council and the democratic process.


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  1. What on earth is happening with DPT ministers. Hon Lyonpo Minjur have a very good reasoning as to why he could not make it. This is undermining the rights of the NC. The NC chairman with the support of other NC’s should demand an explanation and it better be a good one. Was he away in paro to receive Lyonchen. Lyonchen would rather have him attend the NC call rahter than coming over to receive him. This is utterly disgusting but I am sure he has a good reason – so will await to hear it out.

    • A very political act by a so called apolitical body! Hope the NC MPs have good arguments to support their action of boycotting the session.

  2. I am happy I didn't vote says

    Opinion: This is a grave insult to the other Council members and and wastage of time. The NC cannot resist such incident. It is not only marring the proper functioning of teh system but making “shit” of the affair of teh state or shud i say the very root of DEMOCRACY which His majesty has entrusted and called a “Vibrant Democracy”. If this is called a Council or the Honourable Lynpo. I am ashemed of calling myself a Bhuanese and living in a democratic society. The minister should answer to the House. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry can stay back home. You put the nation on the peak of your Election deleberations, now its time for action and not give lame excuses. Tomorrow, following you, the kids will say when a Minister cannot go to the Council how can i go to School.

  3. pingpong says

    So pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! helpless, hopeless,,,,,,,,,list goes on….

  4. It is a pity .. I expected so much more from Lyonpo Minjur. Like his party, he too is turning out to be a disappointment.

    DPT has to learn that they can make mistakes … but certainly they cannot hope to get away from doing what they are expected to do.

    I had beleived that the new Ministers were the courageous lot … willing to take risks, do things boldly and with conviction. But this proves that they are no diffirent from the older lot.

    It is a pity … DPT is a party I voted for and now it is disappointing me at every turn.

  5. By the way this is the second time a cabinet minister has refused to report to the National Council for “Question Time”.

    Even in the last session a cabinet minister refused.

  6. Hmmm, did we vote a brood of chickens for the cabinet?

  7. blunt man says

    What i do not understand is whether this is an ego problem between the NC and the Ministers. Or whether the government feels they are accountable to only their DPT followers and not the rest of the country including the institutions of accountability like the NC. Or whether they are shit scared of being stripped naked by the NC. Or maybe a combination of all these factors. In any case, governance without accountability is dangerous and not a good signal for our democracy.

    • Here, i feel that the Honorable President PDP and LO is little too reactive and unreasonable. These small faults of any party (ruling or opposition) or Minister, do not merit to be called with such names ” Black Friday”.

      Country’s security has not been jeopardized.

      Politics does not have to be dirty. What OL could be trying to achieve by such ‘motivated’ conduct could only back fire at him.

      We can fully comprehend the importance of his position and have faith in his sincerity to ensure successful democracy in

      I wish OL very best of luck.

      • Demi,
        please enlighten me as to how the OL was unreasonable in your opinion. For Lyanpo Minjur not to be transparent is setting a very bad precedent and in my opinion it is a big issue.

      • Demi,
        OL called it a black Friday as it happend on a Friday. He wouldn’t have called it that if it happend on a Thursday or any other day. You know what I mean right. But it is the duty of the OL I believe to bring such misgivings to our notice when there will be no one else voicing it out to us. So, OL did the right thing here.

        However, I do agree with you and to some extent of what Lyonchen said during his report on teh first day about TARNISHING THE IMAGE OF THE NATION. I agree 100% on this that we have to be very careful not to spoinl the Shangrila image that we enjoy right now. We cannot do it at the cost of the DPT and PDP fighting and accusing each other on the net or it could be between Opposition and the government. There should be healthy and constructive criticism of one another but please kindly refrain from doing it at the cost of the nations image. We value our country and it is too special to be destroyed by the first two parties of the new democracy.



      • Thinley, as a citizen, i am just trying to expect things and presume, as i am allowed…… i may be unreasonable more than i accuse anyone to be… let us take time and think. And see who is right..

        Lyonpo Minjur could have reasons, and i would not conclude that he was not transparent before listen to him. He owes answers to me ann you, we are Bhutanese… the people. .. so, i would not say it was a “black Friday” just by what honorable LO wrote here…

  8. Wang Dungyel says

    Government on shear strength of majority has no right to take people’s freedom to at least watch live proceedings of the NA. This is against the wishes of all Bhutanese who wants to see live telecast of the proceedings. Till today we are patient that government will respect the people’s wishes but betrayed heavily. Ok we will not see.
    Under similar circumstances if government again try to ban other type of issues due to its strength in the NA, I want to know whether there are other alternative to revert the ban. Is there provision to call for a national referendum on the issue if it is importance to the public? And who has the authority to do the same?

  9. Hon’ble OL,
    As much as I understand the Hon’ble Home Minister’s perceptible indifference to the critical institution that the National Council is and the DPT-led Government’s ban on live coverage of the National Assembly proceedings, with all due respect, I’m afraid you’re going overboard. Is it not disproportionate? Is it not too early to brand it as “Black Friday”? It’s my considered opinion that these two incidents in no way merit to be called a “Black Friday”, at least now.

  10. It is shame on the part of DPT government, and especially the ministers for not being available for the question time.

    In Australia, Kevin Rudd is taking his cabinet to the community for discussions and for questions and answers on diverse range of issues. In Bhutan, cabinet minister is not available for NC question time, forget about the common people. Surely we can learn manythings from Rudd and his team.

  11. If the two horns on the head of democracy are in total disagreement with each other always, do they dare us to guess what’s in the offing???

  12. PS: ….do they dare us to guess what’s in the offing for the body?

  13. While i disapprove both the actions taken by the government, i wonder whether it would be right phase as “Black Friday”. It appears as if something disaster has stuck to our nation!!!

  14. Please read the provisions on NC in the Constitution before you accuse the government. OL, don’t misuse the constitution to suit your argument.

  15. When such blatant undemocratic measures are ploughed through by the majority, isn’t there in place a check and balance besides the NC and opposition, some sort of constitutional provision, especially the legal teeth to take these people to task. As far as I know, in other countries, some legal organisation or a civil society challenges the government’s actions in court and the court then decides if anything is as per the constitution or not. Is our High Court (Why aren’t we setting up a Supreme Court yet) ready to interprete the constitution? Do we have a media organisation that can file a case against the govt for obstructing press freedom? There has to be a way to resolve these issues outside the parliament. Obviously, as much as the people are not happy with the govt., we the common people are not able get anything through to these thick-skulled, old-fashioned, half-baked and selfish NA members. The reasons they provide seems like some high school student reasoning his point of view in one of his school essays.

    Can the OL enlighten us on why we don’t have a Supreme Court yet? And what can we collectively do as frustrated common citizen to get our point of view to the government. If you are collecting signatures of disapproval of the govt., count me in and count me in to help to get those. And then may be we can present these thousands of disapproval in black and white to the govt.

    Hon’ble OL, we apppreciate your effort in being the opposition to all these nonsense that is going on in the parliament, despite your number. You have the full support of the majority of common people as far as I know.

  16. Again another minister did not show for NC’s question hour…Agriculture Minister

    Poor NC… so now its the Third minister and counting

    I guess the cabinet is more powerful than the parliment

  17. citizens!!!,

    Bhutan has been the latest if not last country to usher in a democracy but now it has become first country in the world to ban TV live coverage…first democracy in the world. congrats OL!!! for your insistence to put it in live.

  18. after reading all this,its good atleast we keep firing the decision makers wen they do not hear us,which means i believe democracy wud go on right track.coz its the stress that make them fear of taking a wrong path..cheerup la..keep the spirit,lets contribute our true feelings being a true citizen,so that atleast our effort in voting would not leave us with regrets..thanks la

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