Being blunt

One of them is confused

One of them is confused

The cartoon in the last issue of Bhutan Times showed Lyonpo Nanda Lal Rai announcing: “I’m going to be blunt. He (opposition leader) along with other MPs will get the CDG. But he’s creating all this noise to gain political mileage. If people are misinterpreting the Constitution from day one, they’re asking for trouble.”

I take issue with Lyonpo Nanda Lal on four counts. First, I cannot and will not accept the CDG if I continue to believe it to be unconstitutional. My understanding of our obligations to safeguard our Constitution will not allow me do so. In fact that’s what the first part of Tshering Tobgay’s placard says in the BT cartoon.

Second, challenging government policy is not “noise” and is not for “political mileage”. It is our duty. And especially so if government policies risk infringing on our constitution. We’ve raised our concerns through various media – the press, TV, this blog and officially with the government. More important, the National Council and the public have also raised similar concerns about the CDG. But, so far, our government has not offered any explanation as to why they feel that the CDG does not violate certain provisions of our Constitution. So to dismiss constructive criticism and genuine concern as “noise to gain political mileage” demonstrates the complete lack of understanding of the issues. Or it demonstrates outright arrogance. Both are not good for our democracy.

Third, if our government feels that “people are misinterpreting the Constitution” they should explain which provisions of the Constitution are being misinterpreted. This is their duty. Yet our government has not ventured any explanation on the constitutionality of the CDG. So simply charging people of misinterpreting the Constitution without offering any justification is wrong. Prove that the CDG is not unconstitutional and I will stand corrected. That, in essence, is what the second part of Tshering Tobgay’s placard says in the BT cartoon.

And finally, I have absolutely no idea what Lyonpo means when he treathens that “they’re asking for trouble”. We are not asking for trouble. But what we are asking for is an explanation from our government. What we are asking for is the democratic process. What we are asking for is our Constitution.


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  1. I can neither agree with Lynpo Nandala nor with OL whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional till some neutral body, preferably Supreme Court interpret it!!! If OL feels that government is going ahead without even convincing it is constitutional, then why don’t you appeal to high court for interpretation. In the absence of Supreme Court, I feel that is the best alternative option!

  2. Dear H’ble OL,
    Constitution to me is such a sacred thing that no individuals or agencies can interpret the clauses to thier likings. The NC together with the opposition vehemently argue CDG to be unconstitutional but the govt. seems to be unmoved. In the process, we are getting confused. The issue of CDG warrants a very serious debate during the upcoming NA, which I am certain OL will initiate. Only then, we would come to understand which party stands on the right side of the constitution, and I also hope that the government’s intent would come into light.

    H’ble also mentioned somewhere that public are not happy -I don’t know for sure how authentic is this statement. It would be interestingto carry out a survey as to how many people in Bhutan, especially those in the villages support this CDG.

    But for now, I remain confused.

  3. On a personal note; I would say that it might be constitutional. They can twist it and make it mean something of the kind. Even in that case, we all know that it is not at all a proper way of allocating fund and spending money. Do we have excess money in Bhutan, when the whole world is running into economic recession and cutting down budget?

    Therefore, I would say it is improper even if they say it is constitutional since this is not correct. Atleast not at this hour!

    Come on, think beyound Bhutan. What if our donors back up their committments? what if GOI doesnt realease money like few years ago? We need something for ourselves. Save something for the future. Tala of Chukha is not just for MNA’s use or the current generation!! Think wiser and broader!!

  4. deborah deki says

    Do you really care for Bhutan? I hear that you amassed the accumulation of Education welfare scheme money and gave it to lynpo and there was no proper account. On your tour with Lynpo, Lynpo has to be offered young girls and when Lynpo is done you and Rinzin namgayl shared the bounty. How true is it?

    • Dear deborah deki:

      caringyes i do care for bhutan. as do most other bhutanese, including you.

      ESWS Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup, when he was minister of education, wished to start a welfare scheme that: (1) would promote camaraderie among all persons, especially teachers, in the education sector; (2) would provide as sense of security and help during times of distress (especially deaths of family members) of education personnel, (3) would encourage savings (as members would be refunded their entire contribution).

      The scheme took quite long to start. in fact, though everyone agreed with and supported the idea, no one came forward to actually start the scheme. so one day, during yet another meeting on the need to start the scheme, i volunteered. so whether the scheme has been useful or not, whether it is good or bad, i was responsible for doing the groundwork and establishing the foundations. i can’t recollect the details, but by the time i handed the scheme to the next manager, ESWS had benefited many members. The scheme earned income from fixed deposits and when i left, i handed over a scheme that was financially sound and already had huge reserves. i left only because i was transferred out of the education department to the national technical training authority.

      i would like to believe that, as ESWS manager, i did amass a lot of money, all of which was well secured and accounted. any talk about giving the money to lyonpo is rubbish. you’ve obviously heard about this from another person. tell that person to report the matter to ACC….otherwise not to make a full of you, because this is a very serious charge.

      young girls. this is utter nonsense. i will not even bother to explain. there’s nothing to explain. but, again, this is a serious charge. so if you harbour as much as a shred of doubt, you should (or the person who told you should) take me to court.

      deborah deki: i didn’t want to post your comment. because it is malicious. and serves no purpose. but i have, only because are entitled to have your doubts. and they seem to be doubts generated by genuine concern. i hope my reply helps.

  5. Both OL and NL are wrong> OL is worng becasue he sees CDG as unduely favoring DPT as it has 45 NAMs and that this would result in cultivating political goodwill for DPT. NL is wrong to accuse the OL of making noise because OL has the right to oppose it and it is his responsibility to oppose the government and make as much noise as he can.

  6. i would say most people (educated lot) are not happy with CDG. The village folks do not understand yet but they will come to understand slowly and realize its implications. It is very clearly not constitutional. lets rationalize and support OL and not tshering tobgay. I think he is right and we must encourage him for the good of our future Bhutan.


  8. Pem Yangzom says

    I am fully in support of OL as I have read and understood the Constitution very well. I also support OL fully because so far the government has not given any response justifying that the CDG is constitutional despite of it becoming one of the hottest issue of debate.
    As suggested by some above, the only way is to have a debate on this during the forth coming NA session and let the public understand who is right and who is wrong. So far what I know for sure is that the educated lots are all against the CDG. Villagers might support if they do not know the implications, but the Local Leaders should definately be against CDG as it is a direct interference into their boundary of roles and responsibilities.
    Lyonpo NL’s bluntless is not appreciated and it clearly displays his lack of knowledge of the constitution.

  9. I am wondering what the present ruling government has done over the past more than one year. Everything is still the same. I have not seen any improvement instead it is worsening. Where is the one stop service center? You go to Thimphu City Corporation, the condition is even worse. How can they afford to take 3 to 6 months min. to approve one drawng? You go to CDB to get license for contract, it is a hell. You go to banks to open accounts, it takes ages and hundreds of unneccessary formalities. You go to banks to get loans, a nightmare. You go to RICB to insure your car, you will land up one whole day there. If you are lucky and if the official attending you at the counter is in good mood, you can get your things done in a day, otherwise, you will be asked to come tommorrow. You go to RSTA to renew your license, it is a terrible experience that one will have to come across. You go to Land Commission for transfer of land ownership, you will get your day spoiled looking at the attitudes of the officials and the way they work. Transfer of land ownership takes couple of months and after having travelled more than 10 to 15 times between TCC and Land Commission. Like wise, there are countless examples which I can not write here. I am only indicating that there has been no tangible change so far with the new government coming into power. Finally, after realizing that they have not done anything for the last more than a year, it is their tactics to use the easy CDG money to do something and at the same time prepare their political mileage for the next round of election.
    Looking to some of the proposals that our MP’s and Minister’s intend to spend the CDG money, I don’t see much light instead I am afraid that a good amount of CDG money will be wasted for no good use.
    Let us all pray that god save us from the prey of these hungry MPs and the Ministers.

  10. good job Lyonpo. Our country has been running on the whims and fancy of a few men that this comes as a shock to most people who are used to making decisions wihtout much thought about the consequences.more importantly without giving as much thought about poeple whoa re going to be affected by these decisions. this is democracy and we should push for it if we need to.
    I don’t know what the problem really is- when His Majesty the fourth King can abdicate his power and allow poeple to decide, why would some want to hold it absolutely. We are offered change and we should and therefore, any decisions made that is unconstitutional requires either a justification or an explanation. i totally agree with Pem Yangzom’s comment.

  11. The Bottom line is, here in the US we use the word “Shit”. and your government is doing a Shitty job. The choice lies on the people of the goverment. Do you people just wanna let your OL write on his blog and you people just write some shitty replies on his blog. Comon if you love your country, come out on the streets and shout, otherewise its not gonna work. What has the DPT done so far. MY son wants to become a pilot but looking at his marks in his studies, I dont think he can even be anywhere near the plane so you government just talks talks and talks. In the Last Assembly if I am not mistaken, I beleive the PM submitted the accheivement of the Government and the main highlight is the completition of the sports stadium and farmers market. This time I do hope that OL will remind them what a shitty job they have done.

  12. blunt man says

    I agree with you that this statement reeks of arrogance, an arrogance founded on ignorance, double standards and hypocrisy. What LNL is saying is that it’s OK for the government to violate the Constitution, but it’s not OK for others to even “misinterpret” it! As you mentioned, while unconstitutionality will remain debated until the Supreme Court gives its verdict, the government so far has offered no argument to prove that the CDG is legal nor passed a law empowering the MPs to spend public money.

  13. Samchhar says

    I absolutely agree with Linda. Our government has and is still doing only a shitty job and the only way to remind and probably recourse is to come out on the streets and show our frustration. I remember JYT once said the people are happy because they havent seen any kind of strikes on the street. Mr. JYT its not that we are happy with your govt’s performance but because we dont want to set precedence for such an activity but if you test our patience further we wouldn’t mind doing that either. one year and a half is a long time in a five year politics!!!

  14. Linda Wangmo said, “MY son wants to become a pilot but looking at his marks in his studies, I don’t think he can even be anywhere near the plane so you government just talks talks and talks.”
    WOW!!! What can I say? WOW!!! It is so good to have a government to blame, isn’t it? Now people are even blaming government for their own failure. If your son did not have good marks, it is because of your son NOT BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT. I’ve one request for you though: If you’re not even a Bhutanese, please leave US ALONE. You’re not welcome to take part in our internal issues. Whether the government is doing a “shitty” or an “awesome” job, we’ll deal with it ourselves. Just keep your opinions to yourself.

  15. I don’t know enough about CDG and or our constitution, to comment whether CDG is constitutional or not. But I am astonished at Lyonpo Nanda Lal’s blunt statement – “If people are misinterpreting the Constitution from day one, they’re asking for trouble. “ Now doesn’t this sound like a statement made by an egotist? I think OL and the people have the right to question our Govt. and they are responsible for explaining things.
    Good job OL.

  16. LNL is a phathetic man who ***********************used emotional blackmail for securing his votes and Now I am not suprised that he is threatening people by saying “asking for trouble”. How blunt would you say that is? such tactics can work once but not always….. you can’t get away by using such tactics!!!!! beware. Someone who can’t even speak properly don’t even try to preach others.

    The CDG is unconstitutional and all the literate people can see it ….. however the villagers have been brainwashed. But they should be educated on this and rightly informed. Please don’t play with our illeterate people….. tell them what is right and let them decide.

    OL has the right to oppose it as long as it is unconstitutional and the govt.should start feeling embarrased for it bulldozing it or are they trying to defy our Kings.

  17. I applaud the OL for opening up this blog where free opinions can be shared. Although 70% of the population may not be wired, the opinion of so called illerate Bhutanese are heard here. This will go a long way in promoting/ debating issues concerning our tiny poor nation that we all love. So great job, OL.

  18. Do you know that an Indian MP has an annual constituency development fund of Rs 2 crores? Since we sought Indian expertise in drafting the constitution, there is no reason why it is uncosntititonal. There is no clause in the Constitution that forbids it. The articles OL has cited have no link with the issue – if one uses such a rationale, then everything including OL is unconstitutional.

  19. This is my first time seeing this blog. I just wanted to say that it is great to see such an initiative from OL. providing us direct access to him to discuss issues, share opinions and also inform us on the on-going important events in Bhutan. I am a student away from home and I think that this blog is a great initiative, I wish all our other politicians were so easily accessible. Thank you again.

  20. CDG is unconstitutional. It is designed to make the DPT Members look good in the eyes of the poor villagers. However, DPT should know by now that the votes are cast by the villagers .. but they do so on the advise of the civil servants and other educated lot.

    What I fail to understand is this: Why do the DPT think that their members are better than the local government? If the RGoB has so much money to doll out, why don’t they increase the budget proportionately and have the local government implement the projects? What makes the DPT government think that their members are better at the job than those who have been doing it for years?

    OL .. I hope you will bring up the issue during the upcoming NA. I hope you will keep the issue alive until the DPT government justifies why the CDG is needed.

  21. With our PM saying that “the 10th plan outlay has been undercut by Nu 1b” due to the storm i feel the government should use the CDG in the 10th plan.

  22. fds

  23. the quote by lyonpo NL Rai…….was it his actual words, or just something the cartoonist made up?

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