Clear to run(?)

About 6 weeks ago, at a press conference, the prime minister claimed that the Election Commission of Bhutan should disqualify the opposition party from taking part in the next round of elections for failing to clear its debts by the 30 June deadline.

Remarkably, the prime minister also suggested that the two members in opposition should not be permitted to run in the next elections … not as members of their current party, not by starting a new party, not by joining another party.

As it turned out, the election commission, having reviewed the status of the two existing parties, decided that both PDP and DPT continue to enjoy their status as registered political parties. That means that PDP will be able to participate in next year’s elections. That also means that the two members in the opposition will be able to run in the next elections.

Okay, that’s clear.

But what’s not clear is if the prime minister, some of the other DPT ministers, and the speaker will be allowed to take part in the 2013 elections?

The prime minister, the speaker and other ministers have all been implicated in the Gyelpozhing “land grab” case. The Anticorruption Commission investigated the case and concluded that 67 of the 99 plots allotted in Gyelpozhing were “illegal”.

The ACC has already issued a “freeze notice” forbidding any transactions on 75 of the plots.  And they have forwarded the case to the Office of the Attorney General in keeping with the Anticorruption Act, Section 128 of which states that OAG “… shall undertake prosecution of persons on the basis of the findings of the Commission for adjudication by a Court.”

But can OAG prosecute members of the government? Chapter 3, Section 12(a) of the OAG Act states that OAG shall “… represent the Government in civil litigation and criminal prosecution before the Courts of Law …”. Furthermore, Chapter 4, Section 20 of the OAG Act declares that, “The Attorney General shall be accountable to the Prime Minister”.

In fact, the OAG Act does not prevent the attorney general from prosecuting the persons charged in this case, as they are being charged as private individuals, and not as members of the government.

But what if OAG is unwilling to prosecute? What if they feel intimidated? And what if they drag their feet? Then what?

That should not happen. But in the unlikely event that it does, ACC is empowered to conduct its own prosecution. According to Section 128(3) of the Anticorruption Act, the ACC may “… carry out its own prosecution of a person charged with an offense under this Act or take over the prosecution process from the Office of Attorney General when the case is:  (a) delayed without valid reason; (b) manipulated; or (c) hampered by interference.”

So whether it’s by OAG or by ACC, the persons implicated in the Gyelpozhing case will be charged.

But that’s not all. According to Section 167(2) of the Anticorruption Act, “ A public servant who is charged with an offense under this Act shall be suspended with effect from the date of the charge till pending the outcome of any appeals.”

That means that once the prime minister, speaker and other the ministers involved are charged in a court of law, they must be suspended.

But even that is not all. Section 179(g) of the Election Act provides that “A person shall be disqualified as a candidate or a member holding an elective office under the Constitution, if he/she: has been accused of felony in a pending case and the competent Court has taken cognizance and charges have been framed against him/her.”

That means that once they are charged, and if they are accused of felony, they must be disqualified from their offices, not just suspended.

That also means that, unless they are acquitted by the courts of law, they cannot take part in next year’s elections.

The first Parliament will complete its term in April 2013. And according to the Constitution, elections must be conducted within the next 90 days. That means that elections must be conducted by July, at the latest. And that means that, to take part in the elections, the accused must be acquitted by June 2013.

That’s just nine months from now. Nine months for the speaker to prove that he didn’t break the law in the way he allotted land to influential people. And nine months for the prime minister, the minister for works and human settlement and the minister of finance to prove that they did not break the law in applying for and accepting large tracks of land in Gyelpozhing.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Respected OL, don’t take this as gibberish comments on your blog. This is neither to emasculate government nor to belittle Opposition party.
    Gyelposhing land case has become the talks of town and whether it is true or not will depends on how OAG prosecute it. And, OAG is the lawyer of government, the case seems that it will be off the track soon. What transpired few decades ago has nothing to do with the present government and It is easier said than done.During those days if I were the dzongda or some other high level people, I could have done worst corruption than those involved.
    I do not undermine the integrity of the AG, but structurally, the AG is very much directly under the PM. Without PM’s recommendation to higher authority, his extension for next term is impossible. Therefore, how can AG prosecute PM and at the same time expect PM to recommend for his job. There are some technical issues involved here and rightly so, anyone as AG will feel very difficult to prosecute PM. Because of this structural issue, there are scientific reasons for ACC to explore other alternatives without the AG for possible prosecutions of people involved in the HISTORY GYELPOSHING LAND SCANDAL

  2. First of all, congratulation for PDP for qualifying for next round of election. It is not quite clear why ECB issued a deadline with warning when it couldn’t implement its own notice. May be they found legal loopholes later.

    Secondly, all assumptions on PM and those involved as written by OL is what ‘IF’. They are innocent until proven guilty no matter by what acts you think they should be disqualified.
    Thirdly, as far as i can see, as a chairman of land allotment committee, i can see Tshogpoen being qualified.

    Fourthly, you didn’t comment on Royal Family and Je Khenpo. Are they above the law? Does constitution or laws you fervently referred to say anything?

    It is your duty not only to question government but also to question other law breakers and what actions can relevant authority take.

    Lastly, is it propaganda to hit back PM because of what PM said or you are concerned about state of nation?

    • Dear Dorji,

      Yes, the accused are just that – accused – and they must be considered innocent until proven guilty. However, ACC has already announced that the land allotments were “illegal”. That’s not the same as a court verdict, but obviously they are convinced that most of the allotments are unlawful.

      In the Gyelpozhing case, I’m mostly concerned about public officials misusing official position. That’s why I mention only public officials who were, and are, in positions of influence. In January this year, I posted Gyelpozhing: who’s right? in which I argued that beneficiaries should be separated into three categories. The first should be beneficiaries who bribed the allotter. The second, beneficiaries who had nothing to do with the allotter. And the third, beneficiaries who, because of insider knowledge, because of their positions in the then government, and because of conflict of interest, should never have applied for land in the first place.

  3. Dear Hon’ble OL,
    Hope you will not consider my comment as a personal attack but I think you left out Lyonpo Minjur Dorji from your blog post. As per Kuensel (September 13th 2012 issue), he is also involved. Thank you.

  4. WOW! So, most of the DPT members will be ineligible to contest for next election and, looks like, it is sure shot win for opposition!!! so, OL must be preparing to be next PM! All the best!

    Coming to the real issue;
    1. First and foremost, one is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law!…What ever reported in media is, finding and interpretation of ACC and, it is certainly not final and binding. Accused have a right to prove innocent. ACC could be right or wrong, but, most importantly, judiciary should play its constitutional role without fear or favor. Ultimately, truth should prevail. Their judgement should neither be under the pressure of ruling government nor succumb to the media pressure.

    2. ACC act came into effect from 2007 and, i wonder whether it should be applied retrospectively or not. it depends with judges- some have applied and some didn’t. This is also one issue which need to be debated in public forms. Even without Anti-corruption act, there were other acts like penal code of Bhutan, land act etc. at that time and, whether those acts were violated or not by the committee.

    3. The other thing is, should everyone involved in this case be prosecuted??? or limit it only to committee members? which act at that time says everyone should be prosecuted? So, there are many questions which need to be answered before disqualifying PM and others by simply quoting some sections from some acts…..

  5. here is an unique opportunity to enforce & demonstrate the rule of law..this system of collusion between those in power, favoring each other at the expense of the common man for their insatiable greed must be broken..and this is the perfect opportunity to strike the fear of god in all of them that have sought self enrichment in the most thievish ways..
    these people who have been named are the same people who swear by heaven & earth to serve the tsa wa sum.. who it is now publicly known & officially are being named in a land grab case..
    these people should be ashamed for disregarding our 4th king’s repeated kashos for personal greed..they should be ashamed for holding public office & breaking the law..they should be ashamed to associate with our kings in public the way they do while all the while they have been scheming & breaking their allegiance & sworn loyalty..
    the criminals must be booked, charged & jailed..bhutan needs to break away from such institutionalized corruption, abuse of power & hypocrisy..
    our kings have always led by example..and i am certain they would want nothing less than the rule of law to prevail..this fact being emphasized in the kashos repeatedly even as all the wheeling & dealings were taking place..

  6. Dear OL, Firstly, you must blame the ECB for their wrong notice on disqualifying the party for failing to clear the debts in time. PM was simply abiding by the notice. Evenn you would have done that if such a notice was issued by an authentic constitutional body. Secondly, if you are realistic about the Gyelpozhing land scam, why do you mention only the PM and his cabbinet colleagues? ACC has mentioned more influential names. I suppose if you were Mongar Dzongda at that time and if you received request from His holiness the Jekhenpo and the royal family, you could not have denied the request. Do you now say that they should be also prosecuted? Let us understand how and why it happened. You said that we must let ECB do its duty without interferrence last time. Similarly, in this case, let the ACC, oag and Judiciary do their duties iwthout your interferrence. It’s then up to ECB again to decide for the qualification of DPT leaders. It seems that all the political parties want the disqualification of DPT leaders because they are scared of being defeated. That’s not not how the parties should show character.

    • Dear Observer: Anyone and everyone who knowingly violated the laws of the land and, in particular, His Majesty the King’s repeated “kashos” clearly forbidding any other persons from giving away government land should be prosecuted. In my opinion, the speaker (in his capacity as Dzongdag and chairman allotment committee), the prime minister (in his capacity as home minister and cabinet member), the works and human settlement minister (in his capacity as cabinet member) and the finance minister (in his capacity as finance minister and cabinet member) should be answerable for allowing laws and rules to be manipulated to favour themselves and other influential people. These people also occupy the highest elected positions today, and so must come under careful scrutiny. That’s why I mentioned them.

      The ACC has already concluded that the allotment of plots were “illegal”. But are the accused guilty? We don’t know yet. That’s for the courts of law to decide. And until they do, as ‘Dorji’ and ‘pakhil’ have stated, the accused should be presumed innocent.

      I have not concluded that any person is guilty. Nor have I rendered any opinion to that effect. However, I have consistently called for a thorough investigation. That investigation has concluded that plots were allotted illegally. Therefore, the case must go to court. And when the case goes to court, the Anticorruption Act and the Election Act both provide clear consequences for any public official or candidate to elected office who is charged in a court of law. I’m just pointing out certain provisions in the laws that I feel may be relevant, given that ACC has forwarded the case to OAG for prosecution.

  7. ECB is a pawn. It will do what it is told. It is a known fact that the dateline for clearing financial liabilities was meant only for DPT and not PDP.

  8. Dear Jigdra,

    The very fact that you stated that you would have committed worse corruption during those days just dismisses the credibility of not only your opinion on this blog but as a person. How can a crime committed decades ago not be taken into account in the present government? So are you saying that if someone is found guilty of any crime and if time passes by then that person is innocent? Then maybe our government should also allow all the ngolops back in our country because their time has passed as well.

    Corruption cannot be ignored just because it was in the “past”. In fact the fact that such illegal transactions took place just exposed the tip of the iceberg.

  9. This means all da actors wants to put up a grand show n serve da people n da nation wen da actual truth is everyone has to put da food on da table… So da stomach started da fire huh…… By da way no body is a Buddha.. Even our kings have to follow da drama… For crying out loud… Rainbows:|

  10. Hon’ble OL,
    It was clearly mention that land were acquired for project purposes but i haven’t seen in any report whether land were acquired for lease or on permanent basis.According to land Act,2007,if land were acquired on lease then it shouldn’t be subleased to any party.The land acquisition process carried out during that time should also be checked accordingly.

  11. tashi choden says

    I really hope that the whether is dealt in the court of OAG or the ACC, they are able to do the right thing in the interest of the larger picture of the nation.
    I can understand the PM’s concern over parties not being able to cover there cost and therefore even disqualifying parties that have bad finances. But why would he say that individuals shouldn’t be allowed to run for offices? why particularly the two members of the opposition party??

  12. This topic and discussion to me by OL emphasizing to only those selected figures seems very much PERSONAL contradicting OL`s recent post on “coment rule” . The topic in question and the investigation findings in anyway is already thrown in the public domain and it is now with the OAG. There is absolutely no more discussions required towards undermining the images of those selected and target figures by OL. The course of its decision will come from the competent authorities within the stipulated time.

    • Dear ‘traaala’, Dear ‘Rangdrel’, Dear ‘Observer’: the provisions of the Anticorruption Act and Election Act that I quoted are relevant to mainly those whom I mentioned, as they currently occupy elected public office, and as they may wish to contest the next elections. The provisions are not relevant to the others.

  13. Hon’ble OL,
    You cannot deny the fact that if the above DPT members participate in the forth coming election, they are sure to win and therefore the chances for your party to win is very low yet again. There are many other influential people in the ACC’s list and you could think and write only about the DPT members?
    I watched you live on BBS last time and heard you say, 4 years ago people didn’t understand what the opposition meant and today they do. I think I have understood the meaning too – Opposition is concerned only about the ruling members( of course both good and bad) and not about the country as a whole.

  14. Your Excellency,

    First of all, don’t worry about the speaker as the Kuensel headline clearly dictated that “Speaker will bow out of politics.” And he has confirmed it TIME AND AGAIN; for you as well he can do that if you want la.

    While, what you say makes sense I feel that you are undermining the OAG’s integrity. Before they are done anything you are saying that they will not be fair. Such comments from a very respective politician like you doesn’t look very good la.

    There are people who are against the DPT saying that a case like Gyalposhing is very important, it should take time as it will also be a precedence like the case you won. (CONSTITUTIONAL CASE) by writing all this in the media and your blog is putting pressure on the OAG which I feel is politically incorrect. A large section of the people including those in the ACC say that the ACC was under pressure to complete the Gyalposhing case because of media pressure.

    You know that when a lot of pressure is exerted the outcome is not good. “Justice hurried is justice buried” I feel that the OAG will do their job as per the law just like the ACC.

    “”Assumption is the mother of all mishaps.””

    • Dear ‘LastDropOfTheEarthenVessel’: The media can report news and they can analyze events, but it’s unlikely that they can influence ACC. The ACC is guided by the Constitution and the Anticorruption Act, not by media or public pressure. Tshering

  15. Dear Excellency,

    U have done a good research BUT don’t you think you should channelize your potential energy in helping OAG solve the case N for our own healthy politics.

    There is already too much negative energy in the country.

    Your Excellency I think it is time for you to do more research on how to defeat the DPT and become Democratic Bhutan’s second Prime Minister.

    I vote for you- I wrote for you BUT I am sorry I am not in your constituency BUT your party will have my grain of vote.

    Your JOB as the opposition is always appreciated.

  16. Every person who were allotted plots illegally cannot be charged because although illegal they may not have been party to influencing the illegal transactions.

    Only the people who were in Government and in positions that influenced and benefitted from the illegal allotment to their favor should be charged for corruption.

    All illegal allotments should be seized and returned to the local people and allotted to them as per the Royal Kasho and criteria laid in it.

  17. Dear OL, Why only PM, and the DPT leaders. What about other influential people involved? Prosecute all or excuse all! Do not single out some from many.

  18. A good and responsible post by the OL based on facts, evidences and most importantly laws.

    The only question now is if the laws will be respected. If not i as a ordinary Bhutanese citizen will also not follow the law.

    Pure and Simple.

  19. Will this case ever go to the courts? If not, can we trust in the rule of law anymore. If it does, what will be the verdict and the consequences. Thrilling times ahead. Good luck the OAG and the Judiciary.

  20. Haha, I was just beginning to have a little more respect for the OL, but this again, what a joke. How many times do we have to remind him him that what took place happened years ago and under very different circumstances. He of all the people should be more aware of this than any other person.

    By the same token, it is clear that the OL himself went to study at Harvard by misusing funds meant for some other project, so does it mean, that he should also be disqualified for participating in the next elections, we can’t have double standards, can we?

  21. Dear OL,

    Some of us have requested, time and again, that the issue of Gyelpoizhing be put to rest, not because of the involvement of some of the members of the cabinet but because there are others whose names we do not wish to be sullied. But it seems you are hell bent on keeping the issue alive. So be it.

    Firstly, you should be careful about gloating that the PDP has cleared the ECB criteria for eligibility to contest in the next elections. There are issues that have been conveniently swept under the carpet about PDP but that, which could resurrect to haunt your party. It is because of the goodness of the DPT leadership that they are, as on now, not raising the issue that I am referring to. I agree with the DPT – a party does not win an election by slandering the opponent but on the basis of their competence and popularity with the electorate.

    You are pointedly insinuating that the Attorney General may not do his job properly because some of the cabinet members are named as the recipient of land in Gyelpoizhing. Are you trying to say that the Attorney General is a man without integrity? Has the Prime Minister been wrong in the selection of the AG? Has the King been wrong in endorsing the appointment of the AG?

    You cannot assume that the OAG will drag their feet on the case or that they will not prosecute the cabinet ministers – if there is a case against them. Remember, regardless of what you say, the ACC investigation simply says that the allotments were illegal, I repeat, THAT THE ALLOMENTS WERE ILLEGAL. Do not read anything beyond that. And do not interpret it in a manner that suites your purpose.

    With regard to disqualification and framing charges against the Prime Minister, Tshogpoen and other Ministers, shall we wait for the OAG to do so and the Courts to pass a verdict before you write them off?

  22. Great justification…as an opposition leader, you must keep keep in touch and make sure that these corrupt people are…….?????

  23. Your Excellency,

    You have clearly mentioned your stand point as to why the members of the PDP can stand for the next election and you have also explained
    in detail about how the others might not even get an opportunity to stand in the next election.

    You have given me so much knowledge about the scam and the unresolved bureaucratic state of actions going around in simple verses. As an individual i have always thought of Politics as a ‘cesspool’.Individuals change as they join politics.

    So my earnest wishes and in all your endeavors in your next election rather than the other activities.

    Your campaigning style is really intellectual.

  24. ur Excellency, i really appreciated for ur conduct and responsibilities that u hav put on abt Gyelposhing land scam. as Sonam Norbu cited from Kuensel (September 13th 2012 issue), Lyonpo Minjur is also involved, so do let us know about him also. let AOG work on it n bring the clear result but i remind you to interfere time and again. it not bcoz of the sake of party but u too represent the people of BHUTAN to oppose it. Thank you.

  25. When I read all these depressing reports like the Gyalpoishing , Bhutan Lottery, Denchi, Education City, Trowa Theater, Chinese Bus, etc., as a concerned citizen, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Looking at the selfless deeds of our Kings gives me hope but if all the allegations in the above cases and many others we keep hearing are true, I think our country is rotting from inside.

    Like any parent and any grateful citizen, I love my children and my country. I know the consequences of what our leaders do today will not affect me as I am not going to live forever. But it’s going to affect the wellbeing of all our children and the future of our country.

    Let’s be honest. It’s no secret that many people in power through their influence, inside information, and “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” networks engage in many forms of corruption and nepotism. This time, the whole nation is watching. If those who are guilty manage to get away easily, it will encourage others to follow their example. The concerned organizations and leaders have a great opportunity to turn a page on corruption and really prove, in word and deed, that there is no place for corruption in Bhutan’s future.

    I sincerely want this government to do well. They have the mandate to govern and it’s only through them that we can move forward as a nation. Unfortunately, with all the controversies floating around, I am totally confused. Most often it seems like all their important decisions are based on “what’s in it for me, my family, and my party” rather than what’s good for the long term future of our nation.

    I also worry a lot about our judiciary. In hushed voices, we often hear stories of growing corruption in Judiciary. If there is any truth in what I hear, then we, as a nation and a young democracy, is really in a big trouble. So, before it’s too late, I BEG the concerned leaders in Judiciary to conduct an under-cover study of what’s really going on, especially with the younger Drangpons. In the short run, we may face a shortage of Drangpons, but in order to save our young democracy and our nation’s future, we must take drastic action against the rotten apples in our basket.

  26. OL, The ACC and ECB must be surely knowing about their duties, whether to qualify or disqualify the apparently accused ones. As you mentioned last time that It’s is ECB’s duty, not PM’s duty to qualify or disqualify the PDP, the same should apply here. You are just making us think the PDP cannot win against the present DPT leaders.

  27. ACC’s statement on “fair”, “equity” etc. are very broad which anyway is not there in our system and one cannot be prosecute based on such broad parameters. However, it also state “rule of law has been undermined” and, i am interested to know which specific section of the act that time were violated by the committee and buyer…Meanwhile, lets make it very clear that everyone bought the land after paying the price fixed by the committee. The real issue is, how committee broke the law in framing guideline to allocate those plots.

  28. If the OL wants to get downright dirty, we just have to ask him how much his course at Harvard cost the RGOB and how much money land at Gyelpozhing costs. You will find that his course at Harvard costs much more.

    My point is, if one is corrupt himself, they should not point fingers at others.

    • Dear Guardian,

      Please go to DHR, MOLHR and RCSC. Ask them for the documents on how the one-year masters course I attended was processed. Better still, since you suspect corruption, please ask ACC or RAA to investigate me.

      If you can substantiate your allegations, I will gladly publish them here, on this blog, even if they are not related to the issue being discussed.

      Otherwise, I cannot longer allow you to make such baseless allegations.



  29. sonam penjar says

    Lets face it ! Our PM has done wonders for our country. He has the ability, capabilities and the untiring will to do more for the country. I believe it will take a long time before another guy like him comes along. Man of his caliber for Bhutan to produce may take another century. But having said all the above he is only human and past 4.5years have proved it to the hilt. As great as he is, Constitution violation happened under his leadership. Rupee Crunch which affected all the people in all walks of lives has happened. P Day however unpopular with public, he has no listening ear. DPT prefer to patch up P Day with another drastic move (mothers working from home on Tuesday). Now the ghost of Gyelposhing haunts top DPT leaders. However forgiving one wants to be, it is a bloch in multifaceted, talented guy like our Lyonchen. We have to question ourselves, are we seeing the leeward side of PM, has he attained his zenith, has Bhutan extracted the best from our finest man of our time. Do we live to see the other side of the coin? remember our Buddhist philosophy, the element of impermanence? Also we need to ask does a great man knows not when best to quit? As much as I admire PM, I hate to see or read the down side of him. Hope he comes out clean because he is clean not because he knows how to come out clean. We need guys like him around but he must be worthy of leading us, he has a much bigger cause to be a model (remember his zero tolerance to corruption). He has set very high bench mark and that is more important than our beloved PM himself. last note to be fair to OL, it must be said OL has presented the case well on this issue here.

  30. When the name list of people (and their relation) was first published in the allotment of Gyalpoizhing land it was clearly evident that there was definitively some problem in the allotment process. Just imagine if Bajothang town allotment had so many influential people from the East. Last thing we heard was ACC was looking into it and then it was all silence.

    After a prolonged period of silence we see a brief ACC report in the Kuensel. In our fight against corruption this is a major achievement – things can get swept under the carpet but not LAND.

    Anyone joining politics must realize our democracy is being nurtured by our Kings and any wrong doings in their past will haunt them in the future. For our democracy to survive we must have CLEAN POLITICIANS and many of us plan to make that the 2013 Election theme. Ultimately in a democracy it is in the hands of every citizen to make the correct choice through the ballot.

  31. Do you know what the common man,the man on the streets and the villages of our country refer to you august bunch of nincompoops ?
    P e r f o r m e r s.
    Proud of yourselves?I am not and so are a few who can’t stomach your obvious pitiable thirst for power.
    What is in question is where a poor country like ours is headed?
    While the world is shaking with fear for it’s economy we are playing power games.
    If you ask me , it would be Shame on all of us for taking a Great Country ,Bhutan and relegating it to the dusbins of history!

  32. Dear all,

    I do believe that OL has a hidden agenda here.

    However, I have a question to you all.

    Is our country so dependent on few influential people, that even after confirmation of their involvement in corrupt practices, we still want to give them a second (or I don’t know which number) chance to contest for a seat of power?

    If we are willing to accept these individuals (big criminals) despite their crime and disrespect to the Royal Kasho, then how can we strengthen our law enforcement agencies to fight the petty criminals?

    Where are we heading to??? Our’s is a new democracy and the entire world has its eye on us. This is for us (the common men) to come forward and support our law enforcing agencies and set example to the world. We must not allow any criminal (big or small) to contest for a seat of power and spoil the image of our country in world politics.

    I repeat that I know that OL has a hidden agenda here. But I want OL and all others (who have confidence on themselves to break free from the blind faith on the seasoned corrupt politicians) to come forward and make their hidden agenda open. Our agenda should be to select a clean and trustworthy leader. Our agenda should be to portray Bhutan as a country where corrupt politicians are shown the exit door, no matter how seasoned they are. Our agenda should be to strengthen democracy by not remain dependent on few familiar faces. Our agenda should be to come forward and support the truth.

    Just a thought…

  33. Dear OL,

    Please don’t waste your efforts responding to people like guardian or so. If you keep responding to the allegations, you are acting the way these people want you to.

    Our is a democratic country and if anyone has some solid evidence against anyone, then he should have that much faith in our law that he should bring the perpetrator to the court. If someone has the evidence against a corrupt leader and he is holding on to it (bringing out the matter in an insignificant forum without giving out evidences, is as good as holding it), then in my opinion his act is equal to treason. So, please, if anyone is using this forum to lay allegations, please do your duty to nation by bringing out the evidences also…else keep your mouth shut…

  34. OL, If your conscience is clear, so be it, but can you let us know why a technical person like you went for a course in politics at Harvard, don’t you think that the course you did at Harvard had absolutely no relevance to your job back home. This itself tells us that there was some manipulation on your part.

    • Dear Guardian,

      My conscience is clear. But that’s not what’s important. What is important is to make sure that the system was not manipulated to send me for my further studies. What’s important is to make sure that laws weren’t broken, that there was no corruption.

      Yes, I did a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. But I never practiced engineering. Instead, throughout my service in the bureaucracy, I worked in administration, first in TVES, then TVED, NTTA and finally DHR. So when, after 15 odd years in the civil service, I had the opportunity to continue my studies, I chose to study ‘public administration’ like many other mid-career civil servants. I did not study ‘politics’.

      The course was expensive. But because it was just 11 months, it would have worked out cheaper, much cheaper, than most regular 2-year masters courses.

      If you have any other questions on my studies, I invite you to meet me in person, to telephone me, or to send me an email. However, I would like to respectfully suggest that we discontinue the discussion here. That said, my earlier offer to publish here, in this blog, substantive allegations, if any, still stand.



  35. Guardian,

    In all your past posts, not once have you been able to deny the allegations against the PM or the Government and once again you try to defend them by comparing the Gyelpozhing case with OL’s masters degree.

    Are you telling us that OL’s masters course was more expensive than the land at Gyelpozing therefore it’s OK what happened there. No it isn’t.

    If OL is guilty in anyway for manipulating the sponsorship for his masters degree he must be bought to task and held accountable just as all the accused for land grabbing at Gyelpozhing must.

    DPT is in government and have access to all the information and documents and should expose OL if he is guilty.

    Two wrongs don’t make one right.

  36. Dear Guardian

    I agree with the OL. Let us not get personal. We all know that no single person is without a skeleton in his/her cupboard. Bhutan is so small and the people so gossipy that your darkest secret which you think is safe is actually not so. One way or the other, the truth gets out and people know. It would be foolish for people to believe that nobody knows.

    Particularly for those in power, they better know that their secrets are safe only because those who are privy to them are honorable people who look at the larger picture and for the good of the country.

    I am here because not everything the OL writes is the truth or meaningful. He has an agenda behind what he writes. I am here to offer a counter view to what he writes. The rest is up to the readers to decide whose view has remit.

    The OL knows that it is risky business to throw stone at others when he himself is caged in a glass house.

  37. Dear OL,

    Maybe I did cross the line in accusing you of the above, if it is not as I assume, I would like to apologize to you. I admit that whatever I have written are just things that I have heard and I cannot substantiate anything that I have written.

    My point is, what happened in the past should be forgotten, it is now time as Bhutanese to look to the future, so that we can better our lives and not dwell on things which we had no control over.

  38. Hi Guardian,

    That is the spirit!

    Precisely my point too .. we have too many problems in our today and tomorrow. Please let us move forward. Those who keep distracting us from doing what needs to be done, their motives have to be questioned.

  39. Guardian, you are being very unfair to the OL. I think your goal is to distract and take the readers away from an important discussion. OL has now directly challenged you to take him to ACC and RAA. So let’s see if you have the courage to do that. It is easy for someone to post such baseless allegations against OL under anonymity. If there is no truth in what OL writes, the government can (and would) easily take him to the court.

    With regard to non relevance of the course the OL took at Harvard, here again you are being unfair. If you look at the RCSC’s HRD record, you’ll find an endless list of technical people who undertook courses in non technical fields. In fact, I personally know a number of technical people like Engineers who did MBA (Management)& MPA (Administration) courses in the USA. And again it’s no secret that a large number people in senior government position attend seminars, conferences, study tours, and workshops that have no relevance to their job.

    So unless you have a personal agenda or grudge against the OL, we don’t understand you.

  40. Good to see someone admitting. This is first time I am seeing a man listening to his conscience and admitting in open forum…

    Thank for keeping the spirit of healthy discussions alive…

  41. I am a young blogger. I regularly visit Lyonpo Tshering Tobgay’s blog, though I do not comment. I go through the debate going on. Today I felt that I would speak out something. Freedom of speech does not mean we are free to speak out whatever comes in our mind. Just before in this page, Guardian was accusing OL without any substantive truth in it. Lucky that Lyonpo defended himself against it, what if Lyonpo didn’t clarify it, people would find him corrupted. This is a public domain where all people read and when baseless accusation are made, we would believe it and have bad impression on somebody. But ultimately Guardian withdrew saying that it was just that he heard like that. If there is no prove and evidences we should not speak it out. It will do no good than to cast bad image of the particular person.

    Let us engage on healthy debate and keep the youth like us aware of what is happening in our country.

  42. Drukpa,

    I have made my stance absolutely clear, the Gyelpozhing case happened way before we were a democracy and hence my belief is that the present DPT government must not be held responsible for it. I understand that the allotment committee did no one any favors by not following the criteria laid down for allotment of plots and hence only they themselves and no one else can be held responsible.


    You and I are in the same boat, we are sensible enough to realize that dwelling in what happened in the past is not helping our country at all, rather it is making it difficult for everyone to move forward. The need of the times is to look forward so that we can make Bhutan a country which we are all proud of, right now, we seem to be going backwards.

  43. OL, if you did your Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, how did you land up in administration? Were you that influential at that time? it sounds quite strange.

  44. enough_is_enough says

    Prool, guardian, observer:

    There are so many criminals languishing in our prisons who committed their crimes much before democracy came to Bhutan. Some have been persecuted for much lesser crimes. Should we free all of them? It would be better for the nation as well. It will substantially cut down prison expenses, prison manpower, etc.

    Going by what these three people write on every post OL writes, I can safely assume that these people have a hidden agenda themselves just the same way they allege the OL of having one, only their’s being larger and more sinister.

    OL, you should outright ban these three people, who lack any objectivity, throw wild accusations (OL’s masters degree) just to distract people away from the main topic in discussion and who try to use fear tactics.

    We cannot move forward without dealing with our past and coming to terms with it, and forgetting it (as conveniently suggested by these three people) is not an option!

    This case should move forward, and lets not cast doubts on the OAG. Whether they falter in their job, only time will tell. People are watching!

    Gross miscarriage of justice & different laws for the powerful and the common man are what makes a bad corrupt nation. There is only so much people can endure, after which it leads to rebellion, ngolops, demonstrators, etc. We don’t want that in our country now, do we?

  45. Dear OL,
    I think at this point the more pertinent question is not whether some leadership of DPT will be clear to run in the 2013 elections but whether PDP will be able to come back stronger and more gallant as before. Especially when candidates are leaving to join another party, some of us supporters are getting worried. So it is just my personnel opinion that it is time to make PDP stronger rather than try to discredit DPT, which is not going to help if we can not even be there to contest in 2013.

  46. enough-is-enough,

    It is exactly because of people like you that we as a country will not progress, people who want to extract their pound of flesh, no matter what. I am not sure what cases you are referring to that happened way before 2008 for which many people are still languishing in our jails, if you care to make those cases public, then, maybe we can comment on them. As for the Gyelpozhing case, I have given you my views on it.

    As for our agenda, it is clear, we want a better and brighter future for Bhutan and its people, constantly bickering about what happened in the past with no basis is not going to help that cause at all. If you find this sinister on our part, than so be it.

    As for the OL, he needs to be cautious as many of his so called supporters are leading him in to uncharted waters.

  47. tashi choden says

    well, at least some one is making use of the education provided to him by the government… there are hundreds of us who just go to study .. just in as expensive schools and come back without any further knowledge….. or skills. . How many people go for further studies, short trainings or even conferences every year from the government. and how many actually use the skill to do better work in their jobs? anyway, as mentioned that’s not the point of the discussions here.
    I think the point is if it was anybody else right now being accused, in the name of law, in the name of justice and whatever they call it, the people involved would have been accused. there’s no denying that. the stories would be published on every issue of the papers to teach everyone else a lesson in trying to discourage others to follow the same path. just like the tobacco act. there has to be a bait. Just because the law makers were involved here, things take a different turn. it is sensitive and it is not polite. Hello, that is what we call “NOT FAIR” and no matter what the government has said in terms of ‘equity and justice’ we know, they are not in a position to provide that because then it would mean resigning from their current positions- just like other civil servants do when they are involved in something ‘illegal’ and losing all their perks and losing everything just like the others. How many people have been convicted in similar cases?
    Can they do that? Who are we kidding?

  48. According to Guardian, if I committed murder in 2007 and was caught only in 2012 then, according to his logic, I should not be prosecuted because I committed murder before democracy was instituted in our country or before this government came to power. What logic!!!

  49. Whether PM is found guilty or not, the fact of the matter is that he is the most capable, experienced and knowledgeable leader of the present generation at least in our country. I’m hopeful that he will be clear to rund the party again for the sake of this nation. We already understand from the evidence that other senior officers are simply not daring to lead other political parties at this moment.

  50. sonam penjar says

    There is a saying if you have committed the crime then you must do the time. So no matter who you are, what capabilities you have, you got to do the time if you have committed the crime. No two ways about it. Other wise people become “YAMI” if the top notch can get by and not the common guys. You have to see the bigger picture not the small picture. System must be protected not individual. That said I am not saying PM is guilty. If he is, then can’t spare any one is what I am saying.

  51. drangnam dha drangdhen,

    Obviously with your level of comprehension, you would think so, on the contrary, that is exactly why I have asked enough-is-enough to provide us details about people who have been locked up for crimes committed much before democracy was ushered in.

    The Gyelpozhing case has nothing to with the RGOB, the allotment committee at that time had full powers to allot land under certain guidelines, the fact that they did not do so is the only crime committed and only the committee members can be prosecuted for dereliction of their duties.

  52. I propose a simple exercise –

    Lets stack all the allegations against JYT on one side and all his achievements and capabilities on the other.

    Then lets do the same for all likely leaders. This, I think will force us to examine all potential candidates and give us a logical basis for who are worth voting for and who shouldn’t even think of standing.

  53. Quote “That’s just nine months from now. Nine months for the speaker to prove that he didn’t break the law in the way he allotted land to influential people. And nine months for the prime minister, the minister for works and human settlement and the minister of finance to prove that they did not break the law in applying for and accepting large tracks of land in Gyelpozhing”. Unquote,

    Put simply, the above argument is exactly like this, for example, a candidate applying for a vacant position in a company knows that it is morally wrong to influence the interview committee in selecting him for the post if there are other more deserving candidates. All the same, because of his influence on the selection panel, he is offered the post when others who are more qualified have not been selected. A hue and cry is made(just like like in the Gyelpozhing case) by some candidates saying that the selection committee had not been fair and after a thorough investigation, it is proved that the selection committee were indeed biased.

    Now in this case, who gets punished, the candidate who influenced the committee members or the committee members or both.
    The answer is simple, that it is only the committee members can be held liable, the candidate himself has no case to answer.

    I would like to believe that this would certainly be true of the Gyelpozhing case too and any other line of thinking would be thrown out by the courts.

    And that is exactly what I have been saying all along.

  54. Respected Hon’ble OL and my colleagues,
    With due respects, I would like to lay few suggestions. I am sorry it may not be practical or acceptable or soothing to hear but such issues has embedded in me as one of the biggest national concern.
    What I am noticing is the conflict between democracy and GNH. Sometime I feel GNH is out of question in democratic country when each individual fights to push their opinions.
    We our now overwhelmed by media that Gyelpozhing land scams includes some political leaders, some royal members, speaker etc. We are also acknowledged that the OAG is responsible to prosecute the issues submitted by ACC.
    Now I as a civil servant, what concern me most is we are fighting and arguing for our rights. We are not in line with what GNH wants us to do.
    Ofcourse the lands are under the name of stated people, I don’t think those lands are used or occupied or sold. I don’t think those lands are non-reversible. Why can’t government simply take the land back from those individuals and forget the accusation?
    I think the individual should be accused only if they fail to surrender the possessed land. If they surrender immediately back to the government, I think we must accept it although the land was illegally alloted or else we are seriously against the concept of GNH.
    Lets not argue to create problem. Lets argue to settle things.
    Thank you la.

  55. Let’s not make the rule of law as per convenience similar to what is happening with PCS and the RCSC.

    The former NRDCL MD is behind bars and many RICB employees have lost their jobs because of what they did in the past. At that time no one came forward with such logic as let the past be bygones. Why now???

  56. Friend or Foe says

    All said and Done. Whats Next? Lets wait and See. Guess Every body know this simple Adage” God sees the truth but waits. Expect that…

  57. ACC has submited its findings. Now, let the OAG and Judiciary do their duties. Can’t we wait and see? Is this blog the court of law? If they are clear to rn the party again, so should they and if not, they will not. We cannot decide or influence the decission.

  58. Guardian
    My level of comprehension or your level of stupidity? Just because a crime was committed before the powers that be came to power does not absolve them from the crime, whether they are DPT or PDP members. According to you all DPT members who committed crimes before democracy are suddenly not guilty after 2008 but PDP members such as Sangay Gyaltshen are guilty for committing crimes before 2008 and are in Jail. Then Sangay Gyaltshen should also be set free according to your logic.
    Further, this is not about DPT but about individual citizens that committed crimes before or after 2008 and must be dealt with as per the laws. How can one citizen (Sangay G)be imprisoned for committing a crime before 2008 but another citizen (PM or speaker etc.)be excused on the grounds that his crime was committed before 2008? Justice and equality???
    If you want details about people who have been locked up for crimes committed much before democracy was ushered in then go to the courts or police station. FYI there are hundreds of people languishing in jails for crimes they committed before “DEMOCRACY” was ushered in. I am sure that they would love to have you as their lawyer since you are convinced that they are not guilty if the crime was committed before 2008.

  59. drangnam da drandhen,

    The genuis you are, I knew you would not understand what I was trying to say. Please read again, where have I ever mentioned that people who committed crimes prior to democracy being ushered in should not be punished, show me. The people that you mention have been prosecuted and are languishing in jail because they are criminals, if they were not, they would be free. The cases you refer to were not dug out like the Gyelpozhing case, rather it happened because of an audit report here or there and there was no witch hunt as is happening in the Gyelpozhing case. Over here to, I have never said that we should just forget it, I have maintained all along that the allotment committee were responsible and therefore should be made responsible for their actions.

    The Gyelpozhing case is also completely different from the other cases, while you and OL would like to believe that the PM and the other two ministers are guilty, I on the other hand believe that only the land allotment committee headed by the present Speaker should be held responsible for what happened. I agree, that, in hindsight, what the PM does not look morally right and they should now surrender the land that they were allotted, but to assume that they are criminals is preposterous at best.

    So please tell me what crimes the PM and the other two ministers named by the OL should be prosecuted for and kindly spare me that ridiculous argument of that they are guilty because they knew that it was illegal to apply for land as they were in the government and should have known it was illegal but still they applied for the land.

    That line of argument will not stand up in a court of law, ask any lawyer and they would agree with me, because, while I am certainly no lawyer, I use common sense, unlike some others here.

  60. enough_is_enough says

    Guardian, do you know what insider information is? It is no ridiculous argument by any means.

    Wikipedia says this:

    “important information about the plans or condition of a corporation that has not been released to the public; use for personal profit is illegal”

    Our PM clearly had knowledge of all the Kashos and rules, yet he let his greed overcome it.

    When the PM, the great orator(with a twisted mind) fails to fool us, don’t expect us to be fooled by you, a mere pet of the PM.

    And to talk about witch hunts, the PM is the master of it all.

  61. Hon’ble OL,

    Don’t you think it is too early for you to comment and suggest that the PM and his cabinet ministers involved will be ineligible to run for upcoming election? Don’t you think PDP’s eligibility to contest for 2013 might get revoked and make your party ineligible if other parties complained? PDP certainly did fail to comply with ECB’s notice.
    Don’t you think you are undermining the integrity of OAG and Courts just in line with theBhutanese newspaper? Are you therefore trying to influence these institutions (though you claim it will have no effect) through such statements?

    Do you say, or recommend that we should investigate all the land problems of the past? Do you have any solution to these problems?

    Of course people including you and I were (and are) corrupted the fact that there was a need to establish ACC. Have you therefore done any study as how far back should we investigate and how effectively the problems can be solved?

    I will not buy the argument that there was no corruptions in the past. Do we have solutions so that it merits to be investigated and brought to the present?
    I will not buy the argument that the current government is responsible for all the problems of the past, as we are made to think by theBhutanese newspaper and sometimes by you. Don’t you think the paper is questioning the leadership and the system then? Or are we forgetting that we just celebrated 100 years of Monarchy?

  62. enough-is-enough,

    Good luck with your insider information argument angle, mark my words, it is not going to work in a court of law. But even when this thing is done and dusted there will still be some people who will then blame the judiciary for being biased and our Mr.enough is enough will be one of them.

  63. Simply put, the statements in the blog “As it turned out, the election commission, having reviewed the status of the two existing parties, decided that both PDP and DPT continue to enjoy their status as registered political parties. That means that PDP will be able to participate in next year’s elections. That also means that the two members in the opposition will be able to run in the next elections.”

    To me it appears that the status of the two political parties have been mentioned and I don’t know if this will apply to their members. I feel this will be determined when the list of candidates for 2013 is submitted to ECB, and it will be the responsibility of the ECB to scrutinize the candidates as in 2008 elections.

    OL would be one way wrong for having to doubt on the eligibility of PM, Speaker, FM ….and others who assume higher responsibilities in the government and who are named. The time has not come for ECB to tell the public that he or she is ineligible as OL has quoted as….”But even that is not all. Section 179(g) of the Election Act provides that “A person shall be disqualified as a candidate or a member holding an elective office under the Constitution, if he/she: has been accused of felony in a pending case and the competent Court has taken cognizance and charges have been framed against him/her.”.

    But I for one presume that OL is trying to inform the public on the specific provisions under different acts and rules, I may be mistaken.

  64. Citizen's concern says

    Dear OL,
    Comments are genuine and informative. Many saddening cases of the influential people are arising and will just keep on being the serial show for our media houses. As of now, let us just wait and see the verdict of OAG. However, it is sad to hear that our revered elites are committing such illegal things besides huge trust and faith from our humble citizens. They should not be facing ACC and OAG….i just feel…

  65. Foontsho:
    You have a very clear ulterior motive to encourage corrupt act and cover those even if ACC has been convinced that there was/is and will be miscarriage of justice with the Gyelposhing land scandal, if proper care is not taken. You are asking same questions as you have done in the “The Bhutanese” just trying to twist it. Such kind of Laloo’s strategy will not work in Bhutan. This is a land sanctified and blessed by Guru Rimpoche and all other great saints. Twisting and bullying is not they preach in this land. It does not mean that we are all perfect. What I am saying is, we as human being could be trapped as like anyone as in the case of Gyelposhing land scandal. But then, we should be responsible and accountable for it. There is no excuse for it. How can you take land like this?
    On your questions of “Do you say, we should investigate all the land problems of the past? Do you have any solution to these problems?
    It is not your problem. But if there has been miscarriage of justice and if the ACC has been convinced to investigate, they will do it. You do not have to strategise to cover up the corruption case. People involved in the sandal have to face the music.

    Our farsighted Monarchs crafted very clear criteria, Rules, framework for allocating land. These people have just taken the land in Gyelposhing without much concern as if anything can work for them, as if they can acquire any land from any Dzonkhags.

    On the issue of people holding accountability and drawing the line: when the case is backed up by evidences of having blatantly violated the Rules, criteria, Kahos, Laws and the very Land which we can see having transferred in their names – what else (you need) more than this naked TRUTH. WE WANT TO SEE JUSTICE AND FAIR AMOUNT OF PENALT YAWARDED . If there are cases of scandals/misuse with concrete evidences leading to miscarriage of justice as in the case of Geylposhing – this is where the line is being drawn, irrespective of when it happened- they deserved to be brought to the justice. Like the AWP, AWP, AWP, AWP ?????????????. Like the Gelephu case, Like the Samtse mining?

  66. Now, after reading OAG’s response in the Kuensel, OL must have understood that DPT is clear to run and PDP must face the political upheaval. If PDP or any party wants to win, it cannot be done by weakening the other party, but it can be done only b strengthening one’s own party. Whatever land scams associated to PM will have no bearing in his leadership because they are simply baseless.

  67. Sunmoom,

    Hell with your ulterior motives. I have had enough discussions with you on the theBhutanese website. Please do not just copy paste your labored statements every where. Don’t pollute every site with your tantrums of no substance whatsoever.

    Its you, who has an ulterior motive of destabilizing the country by hitting right at the Monarch. You don’t have to play a cynic, you don’t have to be a sly fox, do not pretend you have so much respect for the Monarchs and the system we had. If you really respected and cared for the heritage you won’t dig in, out of proportion and rush into blues.

    Now the OAG says there is no legal basis to prosecute. Hope you had read their whole document. I know you have the capacity to shout foul at OAG. Well that will not help your mind I know, rather don’t you think, you concentrate on pressuring ACC to prosecute the accused themselves? Otherwise, its high time you and I keep mum, for I know I can not definitely put up.

  68. I was denied Security Clearance for a long time because someone reported to the authorities that my father was supposedly was an old friend of Rongthong Kinley.

    So now OL are you asking if these people will clearance from ECB to run?

  69. Tshering,
    my understanding on GNH is limited and going through your post makes me even more confused. GNH according to you is -if a a influential person for personal gain attain it through illegal means, let him undo it and not make noise about it because it is not going to be peaceful and so not GNH. On the other hand common people like the teachers who were expelled from their jobs because of mismanaging a few thousands, the rule of law must be applied strictly, so that they are silenced ( no chaos-peaceful) . This is your meaning of peaceful and GNH?

  70. Let the tamasha begin!

  71. The answer to why we can not forget the past doings especially now that we are a democracy is clear from the conclusion made by OAG on the ACC report on Gyalpiozhing land grab.

    The Gyalpoizhing land case involves ministers in the present government and since the OAG is the legal arm of the government they will be short sighted.

    In future when other governments get their turn to rule their OAG will have a different opinion of the Gyalpoizhing case and like the NRDCL case action will only be taken then.

  72. wellwisher says

    Hon Lyonpo,
    I have seen and heard too much to believe in the present govt. I don’t know much about politics and not much abreast with current affairs but I heard all negative stuffs about the DPT govt.
    Therefore, come next election and I am going to cast my vote in favor of your party la, the PDP. I don’t care who’s contesting from my constituency but my vote goes for PDP. During the last election, I wasn’t in the country so I did not vote for anyone and thank God I didn’t vote..
    You have the personality and the attitude to become the 2nd PM of the Democratic Bhutan so best wishes. I hope your party wins this time. You may count on my vote.
    Yours well wisher.

  73. Dear OL,
    I am sure you have the best intentions .but when you identify a few people(all of whom are popular members of society)and magnanimously decree that the”others” may not be implicated is making me jittery.
    My regard for you and your ability to oppose is being shaken to the core.there is no justice if it is selective.
    Let us therefore be very clear in our objectives and not confuse ourselves with the purpose of this “moral neighing”

  74. Attitude is the greatest disability of a man. If you are against DPT, you will only believe that Gyelpozhing Land scam was illegal. If you are a DPT supporter, you will only think it is lega. But, now be neutral and pass your judgement.

  75. Please do not address Hon’ble OL as Lyonpo, for God’s sake he is not the minister. And OL himself must demystify this before it gets established and corrupt the meaning of the word Minister.

  76. I am so sick and tired of hearing that current Lyonchen is the most knowledgeable man in the country and that his the only man most fit to run the country. Such a glorification turns blind eye to potentials hidden in other persons and directly shuns the opportunities of other potential leaders to run the country.

    “Ability is of little account without opportunity” is the famous saying that I keep saying. Please give chance to others who are desirous of becoming the prime minister of this country. Who knows, they might prove to be much better than JYT.

    In a country with many qualified and well exposed (internationally and nationally) individuals, I don’t think we are running short of capable leaders. Just show some respects and try motivating them to take up the position of the PM.

    Sometimes, I am so confused with the mentality of our fellow country men. On one hand, people clamor for democracy and the democratic rights, and on the other hand, many like be rather shooed like sheep in a big farm by the same master for ages.

    Are we afraid of change that we fear change in leadership? 2013 election is approaching fast and we are yet to see another episode of glorifying a person and voting for party president, not constituent members. A sheep mentality in deed and a reality that we are sucked into.

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