butterlamps-7At about 3:30 AM last Monday, seven boys, all of them students of Tshimasham lower secondary school, lost their lives in the Wangchu.

Tomorrow, a group of concerned citizens will participate in a solidarity walk to demonstrate their support to the families of the seven boys. They will also petition the government to conduct a thorough investigation into the tragic incident that claimed the young lives.

I join the nation in mourning the loss of the innocent lives, and offer my condolences to the grieving families and friends.


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  1. I just wrote an email to you on the tragic incident. Since you put it here, let me post a copy on your blog.

    Dear OL,
    I was much pained to read in the news the tragic loss of seven promising kids in the Wangchuck River. My deepest respect and prayers goes to the lost souls and the bereaved family. I read again and over again every piece of information that I could find on the net. I am deeply pained at first, and now I am angry, very angry.

    Seven lives are lost. This is a national loss. His Majesty the fourth King always said; “Our children are the future of the country.” Now here we are, mourning the loss of our future, our own kids.

    From what I read in the news on that tragic night, I picture some perfect chaos with nobody knowing what to do. It’s my understanding that the river did not just ‘swell up’ and swallowed the innocent victims. There was enough time to save every one of them.
    Let’s question ourselves. Do we always have to learn the hard way? Why can’t we be smart and act proactively? Why do we still not have some well trained rescue team?
    Kuensel editorial rightly pointed out; We have helicopters flying in and out to rescue a single tourist who is sick. Let me add, we even have guides who are well trained to perform CPR or give out SOS signals in case of a mishap. Now there was a whole team of police and officials watching the kids drown that night. No body seemed to have known what to do. This is madness. They could pass on a mobile phone but they could not send in a single expert swimmer to secure the ropes around the kids. Where were the helicopters? Do we even have a single life jacket in the whole country? How about some life savers or floaters? We know very well our rivers are fast and good for hydropower but we also know it’s threats. It’s not for the first time a life has been lost into those torrential rivers. Watch my words, many more tragic events will follow if we do no wake up now.

    Whom do we blame? What do a young active kid do on a sunny sunday afternoon? How long will he line up at the lone basketball court in school? Swimming is not just game and fun. It’s a survival skill. How many swimming pools do we have in the country?

    Mourning alone is not enough. Let’s pay a tribute to the lost lives. Let’s have rescue teams in every community. Let’s have diverse recreational facilities in schools. Let’s be aware and learn how to act in tragic calls of mother nature.

    Do something please. I lay my thoughts.

    In Grief,


    New York

  2. the pm requested parents and teachers to not let their children go swimming in the rivers. In an interview, lyonpo thakur said that we must take care of our children and keep a tab on where they are.
    The seven children were from loved families.
    Three parents went downriver, and risked their own lives trying to save that of their children’s. One parent, in paro, hearing the news, tried desperately to go to tsimalakha, but had to wait for morning to get a vehicle. An aunt broke down when she heard that her nephew had come second in the mid term exams. They cared.
    To sit somewhere and say “This should have been done” and then to go and do something is different.
    I was in a town called Malmo in Sweden in June. There was a skateboarding park there. I was told that children loved to skateboard, but since it was risky on the road, the park was built for them to skateboard on. And they did. Children are not lawbreakers by nature.

  3. Phuntsho says

    my prayers for the victims and wishes for the bereaved family.

    however, i don’t support this idea of “solidarity walk”.

    did this loss of lives occur due to inaction of the government? i don’t think so. therefore, the solidarity walk is totally uncalled for.

    i hope those people organising this event is not trying to advance their personal interests in the name of the victims.

    i only wish that people dedicate their energy for some other productive work.

  4. Solidarity walk to demonstrate ‘support to the families of the seven boys’ is nothing but a veiled attempt to disrupt the peace and harmony of this country. All those who patronise such a political action in the aftermath of a national tragedy ought to be ashamed of theselves.

  5. kikisoso says

    If a picture could tell a whole story … the picture is a silent scream into the great void …

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