Disloyal? Unpatriotic?

The opposition party’s statement on the government’s failed UNSC bid drew a strong response from the prime minster. Instead of clarifying the government’s position, or responding to the our request for a full disclosure of the expenses incurred, he called my remarks “disloyal and unpatriotic”.

We will not engage in personal attacks. But we cannot ignore the PM’s malicious assault which was obviously intended to malign the opposition members and undermine institution of the opposition party. So we felt compelled to issue the following  statement to the press last Friday:


The Opposition Party deeply regrets the unwarranted remarks of the Honourable Prime Minister during the recent press conference in which he labeled the Opposition Leader as “unpatriotic and disloyal” for expressing his views on the failed UN Security Council bid, and for calling on the Government to review its foreign policy.

By calling the Opposition Leader “disloyal and unpatriotic” the Honourable Prime Minister seems to have no respect and regard for the institution of the Opposition Party or the duty of the Opposition Party as enshrined in the Constitution.

The Honourable Prime Minister’s derogatory remarks indicate that while the Government wants to take all the credit for any success, it does not want to be held accountable or face criticism for any of its failures.

The Opposition Party is not surprised that the Prime Minister has gone on record to term the Opposition Leader as “unpatriotic and disloyal”. Such incidences have occurred before, as when the Government demeaned the Judiciary when they lost the Constitutional Case. Similarly the Government has also undermined the institutions of the ECB, ACC and media on various occasions.

We feel that the Prime Minister’s remarks are an attempt to deflect public attention from the Government’s failed UN Security Council bid and from the series of allegations of corruption that continue plague the Government.

However, the Opposition Party will not be intimidated by the Prime Minster’s derogatory remarks. Instead, we shall continue to discharge our duties faithfully – without fear or favour – in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, and in the interest of the country and people.

Accordingly the Opposition Party calls on the Honourable Prime Minister and the Government to take the views and concerns of the Opposition Party constructively, and to recognize that all of us share the common objective of strengthening the nation and fulfilling the aspirations of our people.


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  1. if ever any body had blamed the OL, it cant be interpreted as undermining the institution of opposition party… OL here is trying to gain the sentiments of the citizens forgetting his rude/harsh personal attacks every time and every where…the personal attacks as far as the general public know, dates back to a incident that happened on archery ground at trongsa during a coronation celebration…i didnt see the incident myself but it was spread all over the ears…if it is wrongly distributed am sorry and apologize to all… But the way Dasho damchoe expresses his concerns contains lot of respects and bhutanese values in it….just my views laaa…

  2. Hon’ble Prime Minister’s comment is baseless and he is defaming the institution of democracy. It is in fact he…who is disloyal and unpatriotic

  3. We are all ordinary people with narrow vision suffering from un-diagnosed syndromes typical to our geographic region. When the going gets seemingly good,however superficial and temporary,we get tempted to believe that all’s well and that nothing and no one can foil our moves!That’s the trouble with us. But we must be ordinary enough to accept our shoddy goof ups and gracefully explain to the voters.Showing anger and frustrations publicly is the least of intelligible ways of any leader!

  4. Our OL is doing the great job. Keep it up. Lets all support him. Lets be reminded that we now live in a democratic independent Bhutan.

  5. Hon’ble OL, I do not accept the remarks made by PM either but its only you to be blamed for trying to rub salt in the cut. You have gone on the record describing UNSC bid as ‘ill-conceived and misguided policy’ and in your subsequent press release you have added that it was ill-conceived and misguided since 1999 as a pet project of PM. How petty and skeptic can you get? But you don’t want the government to criticize you.

    The other thing I don’t like about you is that you always try to create rift between the institution of Monarchy, elected government and recently you have gone on the record to creating doubts in the minds of armed forces. I don’t know if you are doing it intentionally trying to divide and fish in the troubled water but this is not the first time that you bickered.

    I am now convinced that you are influenced much by theBhutanese newspaper and its editorial team whoever they may be because the writings, the sentiments and even the language used are similar.

    You claimed that you knew it right from the start, Bhutan’s bid of UNSC seat could be a failure. You have also said that, despite knowing this you kept quiet and cooperated. Why did you do that? I don’t know why any media did not ask you that question.

  6. Plz remove “I”—so that there’s no “ego”!!! People are suffering from “I” syndrome. There is cure for it…that’s….remove “I”….

  7. May be PM’s remark was bit emotive for the leader of his stature.

    OL too must give his myopic views just because he is suffering from vision and leadership deficiency syndrome.

    Many times, he tried to sting PM so hard and when PM stings back, it hurt him so much. People living in glasshouse shouldn’t throw stone. That is what OL should do.

    And your justification against PM’s remark was as divisive as it could be. If you can’t bear the heat,just get out Hon OL bravely.

    When PM attacks you, that is malicious and when you attack PM, that is for the country. Is it a crude joke?

  8. DPT Govt. NEVER took public views/opinions to carry out any of the activities or to frame any good policies during its term till date.
    Now, as demanded by PDT/OP to review the foreign policy and submit the expenses incurred during PM’s frequent trips to foreign countries including campaigning to take part in UN Security Council bid , DPT is deferring the accounts or to face/accept criticism on it. So, who is disloyal and unpatriotic? Certainly “DPT”. AND when public is NOT satisfied with DPT’s performance and the way they are trying to eye wash the general public over numerous allegations, corruption, ignoring the constitutions in many ways…..
    knowing all their mischances openly, DPT cannot deflect my/our/general public’s attention in any ways.

    Very sad … but i am sorry i cannot wish for their future endeavor.

  9. Slightly out of topic: Kuensel 20/11/2012.. ACC issues suspension orders reads that:
    “They aren’t ordinary people, but those within the government, shouldering important leadership responsibilities. “ACC did not consult me,and the copy of the suspension order was delivered to me only on the second day after it was issued,” he said. “If we’d been consulted, we could have considered and worked out the
    best procedure to go about it, without causing such a vacuum in two of the most important positions in the government.”
    Such arbitrary decisions, he feared, might set a precedent for causing serious instability and governance problems in
    future.“The two Lyonpos and their families have been emotionally disturbed,” he said. “Their families are experiencing severe trauma.”

    If they are not ordinary people, who are they? Who doen’t have responsibilities? Who doesn’t have family and children? Do they mean to say that others families and children in such a time/circumstances wouldn’t be emotionally disturbed and experience trauma? Aren’t other people human beings, don’t they have feelings?…will be continued…

  10. PM is getting jittery in the face of mounting pressure on many fronts. He is trying to divert the attention of public to non issue through such unpleasant statement not in keeping with the democratic norms.
    This is simply intolerance and undemocratic.

  11. It is an established fact, the institution of Oppsition has been undermined from the two words. My thoughts as follows
    1. A shock has been created amongst the mass wondering how a noble man can ever make uncivilized labels “disloyal and unpatriotic” loyalty and patriotism does not come only with compliance,check and balance creates transparency
    2. Sovergnity is not at stake but the economy is at stake, thus it was a wrong fight in the security council. Money gone no seat : Wasteful expenditure

  12. Wangcha Sangey says

    Dear Lyonpo Tshering Tobgay

    I address this not just to you but also to the Hon’ble Prime Minister and all other politicians and political parties now coming to birth. In the recent days, there is quite a verbal exchange between the Government and the Opposition. It could be a sign of vibrant democracy at work or boiling over of personal enmity. A matter of personal perception I suppose. Most two controversial topics happen to be Gyalposhing Land Case and Bhutan’s failed attempt at U.N Security Council Non-Permanent Seat.

    Gyalposhing Land Case

    Due to efforts of ‘The Bhutanese’ newspaper and the Opposition Party, the Case has landed up in Mongar District Court. The Government has declared that any land allotted to Ministers and their relatives will be surrendered. Your Honour has correctly maintained that land already under frozen status by ACC Order cannot be dealt with in any manner until and unless so decided by a Court of Law. However, I believe such a stand by the Government does ease the way towards a legally acceptable settlement. Maybe that could be the reason why the Mongar Drangpon seemed confident to bringing about a judicial closure to the Case ( reference Kuensel issue on the subject ).

    I personally never subscribed to the past Government policy of taking over farm land for towns or projects and then allotting most of such near confiscated land ( at negligible price ) to the well-to-do in the name of trade and industrial license holders. I hope succeeding governments will not repeat such policies that have widened the gaps between the two societies of have-nots and want more in Bhutan.

    Bhutan and U.N Security Council Non- Permanent Seats

    Personally I never thought Bhutan had a chance. We don’t have diplomatic relations with any of the Five Big ones. And that’s what counts in hard ball international politics. Initially I thought it was an exercise blessed and encouraged by our good friend India. Anyway I feel personally gratified by the attempt even if unsuccessful because it did pay dividends. Bhutan became more familiar to the world at large but that one could say even GNH was accomplishing the same. It is also true. What I feel so gratified is the Meeting between the Prime Ministers of China and Bhutan. I just assume one main reason for Bhutan was to seek endorsement of China. We did not get it but a giant step was taken in Sino-Bhutan Relation. I read in Kuensel that China contributed fund to SAARC Bank based in Thimphu without solicitation from SAARC. This makes me wonder, if solicited by Bhutan, would China help out the rupee and other foreign currency starved Bhutanese economy? We need an understanding and generous super rich donor in addition to our most heart to heart benefactor, India.

    I feel that most Bhutanese would gladly invest tenfold or more the expenses for the U.N failed attempt if Sino-Bhutan relation improves. India will always be our main trusted Ally but a better Sino-Bhutan relation would lighten the Bhutanese burden on India which has been supporting us for decades from maintaining our defense forces to providing cooking fuel. Almost every need I guess till now has been provided by India. We are aware that India has its own economic problems and in addition for geo-political reasons India now has a huge commitment to Afghanistan that would make big demands on her resources.

    I do agree that an Opposition Party is never obliged to pat Government for achievements and remain mute on “deemed wrongs”. The Government on the other hand has the right to answer back tit for tat. Even then describing the Opposition’s unhappiness with the Government’s effort and expenditures regarding the U.N Security Council Non-Permanent Seat as “unpatriotic and disloyal” is definitely harsh and inaccurate. I take it as a momentary flash of frustrations rather than calculated accusation on the part of the Government. I suppose the Hon’ble Prime Minister does regret the undiplomatic outburst.

    I do hope that the Government and the Opposition Party share more cordial exchanges during the remaining term period. After all, we are all responsible Bhutanese citizens schooled under the same system nourished by our illustrious Kings. We cannot be poles apart, all the time, on every issue. As a Government, we cannot keep dictating and as an Opposition, we cannot keep opposing for sake of differing.

    I suppose you and Dasho Damchoe are busy rebuilding PDP. On a personal note I regret that your colleague missed the Supreme Court Boat because he does seem to have the temperament of a judge. But I suppose Dasho Damchoe is happier at where he is now. Wishing you A Happy Lombo. Sincerely Wangcha Sangey.

  13. The Honorable PM must be reminded that he was elected only as the NA representative from Pema Ghatshel and not as PM of Bhutan. He is one of 47 elected representatives. He thinks he was directly elected as PM by the people and shows no respect to all the other peoples representatives including his own DPT party NA members. We do not directly elect the PM as the Americans elect their president therefore all members are equal in the National Assembly. That he is the PM is only the responsibility given by his party members to him during this term and not his birth right.

  14. This time I agree with the OL…questioning the actions of the government when it fails to deliver is the rightful job of the Opposition and as such, those remarks from the PM were uncalled for. The govt simply cannot expect to get away with everything and anything simply by shrouding failures in the guise of “sensitive issues” , “national security”, etc.

  15. I was just wondering what OL would have thought when he remarked ‘ILL CONCEIVED AND MISS GUIDED’ to the goverhnment. Wasn’t it too harsh. OL always feels that he is all the time right and doesn’t realize that he is most of the time wrong. Dear OL don’t think that Bhutanese are tortoise who doesn’t know anything. But they know more than what you assume – and they know who is right and wrong. In your remark after the failure of the contest in UNSC, you said that you kept silent to show unity in the international front. What does this mean? If I am to tell, it purely shows that you are all the time against the government. If the move was wrong you should have raise your voice in the media long time back. Why did you maintain silence? So the conclusion is you wanted to take the credit it the contest was successful and blame the government, as you did, if it was not successful. What a shame it is? AND THE REMARK MADE BY HON’BLE PM, I BELIEVE, IS TO TSHERING TOBGAY AND NOT TO OL OR OPPOSITION PARTY.

    However, I appreciate the way Hon’ble Dasho Damchoe speaks in every forum and the way he reacted to the PM’s comment. And this is what I understand as professionalism and the quality of a good leader. So I applaud Dasho Damchoe and request everyone to look up to Dasho Damchoe. And at the same time, i would like to request oL to look before you leap…

  16. Dear OL,

    Hope you will not moderate my above comments since it is mostly directly to you and put it in your forum for all people to see.

  17. Pro democracy says

    Here we are.. We reached till here.. Your hon’ble OL is doing a great job. He is merely asking the shortcomings, mistakes etc.
    And, yes.. Hon’ble OL might have sound harsh to the Hon’ble PM.

  18. OL,
    As the wise and seasoned politician that you claim to be, what is your take on DMT dissolving to become DMYT? What kind of animal is this? A political party, a civil society or a potential gang? What are the laws that govern such a body to give it a legal standing? Please don’t mice words.

  19. Dear Drukpa,

    I could not resist but to answer your thread. Are you looking for regionalism? If any political party fail to associate, affiliate or relate themselves to the people of eastern Bhutan, the party will never have a chance to form the government. Whether you like it or not, this is the fact.

    Yes PM was elected from his constituency but remember people would have voted for a DPT candidate even if it was not a human being. Why do you think all the PDP big guns who were considered better candidates lost to DPT freshmen? That is because they voted for JYT.

  20. tshering wangdi says

    why does Hon’ble Prime Minister always reacts instantly that too with much anger and emotion. i am not able to understand. my definition of a Prime Minister is strong in action and calm in personality. i am ashamed when top level Bhutanese leaders like the PM resorts to personal attacks…

  21. what happened to the kuensel forum? Where did it go?

  22. It is absolutely disloyal and unpatriotic if any Bhutanese citizen feels that Bhutan’s bid for UN SEC seat was misguided and illconceived. Whether Bhutan can succeed or not, it a great priviledge and honour to give a try for such a prestigious seat. I must also remind OL that it is clearly written in our history texts that given the size and population of Bhutan, its security can never rely on its military strength. That’s why we promote our culture, maintain our unity and raise our international prestige. This is not to undermine our armforce, but support them.

  23. Dear OL,
    So sad to see that some people like the elected PM does not know how to handle positive criticism.

    But at the same time we should always remind ourselves that PM is not enlightened. He is one among us : made of flesh, breathe air and a rational human being. It is just that the people of Bhutan has thought otherwise. Sometimes it is not good to give all trust and faith to one person / one govt. like the current one.

    But Honble OL, you play your role and keep rocking.

  24. Dear Blackboard,
    You have your views. That is alright. We are democracy now. That is our rights t express. But getting personal is bit too much. Here everyone have their views, right or wrong no problem. The issue is between the PM and the OL, between the Govt and the opps.
    However you trying to separate OL and TT as well as praising Mr Damchoe and trying to belittle the OL, is too personal. I as a neutral person and a concerned citizen of this beautiful country Bhutan has appreciation to both the PM and OL leader for doing their job. I can also see great potential in the OL to be PM in future. He is young, articulate, clever, media savvy, energetic, sporting and so on. Never under estimate someone just because you are not in favour of that person or have personal grudge or for party reasons. We are all Bhutanese with similar needs and aspirations. Democracy is a reality. It is a system we must adopt, adapt to and learn to live side by side with tolerance and patience.
    The father or mother in the family must carry bigger responsibilities and show love and respect to their sons and daughters or younger generations and lead with example with diligence and patience. That way they will earn respects and appreciations and not through scare tactics or harsh words which is no longer working.

  25. However you try to act smart by putting good points about you,i still hate you and your tricks..

  26. If there is only one person i am against,it is Opposition Leader.

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