Chhimi visits PM’s visits

Chhimi Dorji gets upset every time our prime minister travels abroad. It’s not that he’s against the head of the government visiting other countries. What bothers him is the number of people who see off and receive our PM. This photograph in Kuensel prompted Chhimi to send me this article.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Gee!!! I am really surprise to note above Kuensel article in opposition leadear’s blog. If we start picking on things like Ministers going to paro to see off and receive the most important figure (after HM) then I do not see much hope in a-would-be future leadear of Bhutan. Seeing off and receiving our leader is an age old tradition of Bhutanese and it should remain that way.



    oh… i dont think or feel anything wrong in this issue since its our own old age culture and tradition.

  3. Those of you that are saying it is age old tradition you need to get over yourself. Things change and sometimes we need to change for the better.
    Owning slaves, discrimination against women, , etc were age old tradition too, does that mean that we should have continued with those kind of traditions.
    Bhutan does have lot of good traditions that should be preserved but we also have some traditions that needs to change for good.
    If humans being refused to change, evolution we all would be living in Stone age.

  4. i strongly support my thinley. what mr chimi was doing when even the minister had been given see off and received by much more during previous era.

  5. I don’t know with what intention Mr.Chhimi wrote that article, but to me it does make sense-it really is unnecessary to go so many people to receive the PM.

    • I also VOTE for the grand reception and seeing off of our PM. Nothing wrong in it and we endorse fully. It doesnot matter who the PM will be in future but this tradition has to be maintained. It adds to the richness of our respect for the leaders and it should be continued. If we heed to such calls – soon people would object doing the same thing for our King also. We cannot give in to dilute our tradition and culture just because some individuals feel otherwise. I am all for it. AND long live our King and let him continuously shower his blessings to PM, OL, cabinet ministers and the members of the parliament to uphold the government in a good way for the benefit of the citizens and democracy.

  6. going to be outvoted here, but I like what chhimi says. to and from paro, lots of fuel that we are not producing.

  7. I find nothing serious about it, afterall its the tradition not only practiced in Bhutan but world wide.
    No offense intended though!

  8. pema tshering says

    What security is needed for a PM in a Buddhist country? If we die, we reincarnate, so there is no problem even if one kills us. But, make sure that we do not leave our tasks undone because of the tradition to see-off and receive our most capable bosses.

    • pema tshering, this body and life is special because even with re-birth, what’s true is that we will not be reborn in this body, in which case he will not be reborn as the PM, you will not be reborn as pema tshering and i, not as phuntsho.

      so this life and body is special and it has to be protected with all the security measures available.

      on seeing off and receiving PM, i support it. it’s the tradition world over and we cannot reduce our PM to a diminutive figure just because we are a poor and secure nation. the grandeur that comes along with the post should be accorded with utmost priority and deligence.

      who knows i may end up as PM tomorrow. i would not like to see myself go to sit beside the leaders of the world in world fora, yet back in the country, i am not more than a cow herder, unimportant, insignificant!!!

      we must be reasonable sometimes. without rationality, we will find everything useless.

  9. A small pampering after a hard day of work. Absolutely deserving. I thank Hon PM for the Japan negotiations, hold deep admiration for his hardwork and charisma.

  10. Although most of the commenters here oppose chhimi’s idea but I think he makes a good point here. Remember Mr. Kudrung and his envious(in a sarcastic way though) comments about how the OL has inexhaustable energy and time to maintain his blog and at the same time working as OL. I think one of the reasons why he has time is because he dosnt waste his time like some ministers and mps are doing-like unnecessarirly going to see off and receive pm whenever pm goes out of the country. For God’s sake he’s a PM and such out countries trips are not just once or twice, and imagine ministers,mps etc going to see him off and receive him each time pm has out country trips. And each time those ministers and mps go, I’m sure that they won’t be back in their offices for whole day-imagine the wastage of time,money etc. Sorry I can’t articulate my points well because my English is limitted but I’m very surprised by how very little most of you educated men value the time and the government resources that go to wastages just for receiving or seeing off the pm. I think there should be a speciffic department or people who should do this job of seeing off and receiving of pm instead of ministers,secretaries and mps. Just my opinion.

  11. The problem is an international one. People sucking up to powerful people are universal phenomenon. But in a country like ours, may be, it is good to think some practical measures.

    Chimi’s concern is not a national concern but still it is a concern that might save us some wastes. The officiating PM receiving the PM is okay. But sometimes Paro dzongdag, dranpoen, SP, Druk Air MD, Civil Aviation director are there asked to be lined-up. Definitely not by the PM (I know him well) but by his sycophants.

    Traditions have to be maintained and culture have to be preserved. But denying some basic services to people because the minister or the secretary had to go to see off or receive the PM sounds un-cultured in this age of democracy. Especially when you think that these same people have been voted to their offices to serve the people and the King.

  12. I am glad that the topic has brought in a good number of you to comment upon.

    I truly agree that receiving and seeing off our PM is a part of tradition and culture. We do need to keep it up.

    However, we did not have an elected PM as the head of the state as per our tradition, this is a new post itself.

    Traditionally in the past, as I wrote in the article, our Kings or Penlops/Regional Governors so to speak, traveled out of the country/region only few times in their lifetime. So we cannot compare that travels with the current travel of our PM almost 4-5 times a year out of the country for any visit.
    As I was saying, if he/she is going for the UN General Assembly or the SAARC Summit thats understandable. But please not for every visit to India or Japan or Europe.

    If I were the PM, I would only have my Cabinet Secretary come and see me off or receive. It doesn’t make sense at all to have so many people in the Airport every time we go out of the country or come back as if we are going for a WAR. I will definitely go without all the huge expenses and rather let my ministers work on their duties.

  13. Wang Dungyel says

    Chimmi you are vocal man, you does use democracy value and raise your concern for the interest of the country! Good points. I like it and deserve putting in these widely viewed OL blog. I am not against anybody please! Resources should be managed intelligently. Wastage should be avoided. Unnecessary reception is not necessary these days. May be yes, if PM or minister gives briefing at the airport about the visit. But that was not done.
    Even our Fifth King reminded the coronation celebration committee to make celebration simple to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Learn from it.
    Look at what our great neighbour India is doing these days, Austerity drives! Sometime learn from them as well. Bhutan needs to really cut unnecessary expenditure.

  14. The kuensel photo doesn’t give you a true and complete picture. Many officials on ‘seeing off’ and ‘reception’ trip are not in the frame. Most conspicuous are the Drangpon and Dzongda of Paro Dzongkhag. They are usually seen seeing off and receiving officials.

    If something is not healthy, we should not use our tradition as an excuse to continue such practices. Just imagine the financial implications of such seeing off and reception programs. And more importantly, these officials (on receiving and seeing off trips) are not in office to carry out their duties. This makes ‘ordinary’ and ‘insignificant’ citizens like me wait for weeks/months to get the work done, which would otherwise have been done in 2-3 days at the maximum if all people sincerely do the work that they are paid for.

    • Wang Dungyel says

      The best thing will be to put one protocol officer permanently at the airport to do the job. Dzongkhang Officials have to do lot of public work in their dzongkhang and should be left aside for their designated task.

  15. please read “conspicuous” as “conspicuously missing”.

  16. I agree with Chhimi’s views and concerns.

    Time is the most precious resource we all have. If we want to see our government perform and make progress, we have to make sure that our limited time is not wasted in this manner (especially people in public service).

    But we all know, “Service with Humility” is not DPT’s promise. So I guess, as usual, they will continue to ignore people’s voices.

  17. i think something is wrong with chimi or he might be having inherent hatred for pm andour culture…. Next timehe may say pm should not accompay any other officers and pm should travelby taxi…hahaha

    • Dude,
      I respect His Excellency a lot. Indeed he is an idol for me.
      We need not be sycophants by pleasing the PM when we do not agree with something he does.
      As I wrote above, I will totally point out wrong actions in any system with anyone. If it make sense to travel by Taxi compared to a Prado, I would ask for that too. And believe me, I do that myself.
      when I fly in and out of Paro, I do not ask my office vehicle or wife to pick and drop me. To me it doesnt make sense to drive 100km to pick up someone.
      I go in a Taxi and pay 100 to the happy taxi driver, avoiding to pay 2-300 to fuel my car or the time for someone to come and pick me!
      I think we need to think out of the box dear!

  18. Congratulations!

    To Chhimi, first of all, for speaking up. Questioning the norm isn’t easy at best of times. More so, when the question affects powerful people.

    To all others, too, for a healthy debate. It is far, far, better to have disagreements out in the open like this.

    I am certainly not laughing at anyone, and that includes hahaha who is entitled to his views.

  19. I think we should follow the middle path. While I respect Chhimi’s views as he has justified in his own way. Chimmi sees the glass half empty. I like the idea of the respecting our leaders but it should come from the heart. I think PM is elected by the people and he represents Bhutanese people when he goes out and people should have the courage to show the respect he deserves. I am for the customs and traditions as long as they don’t cost much.

  20. “Cultural instituation have to protected or preserved, but if we are to modernise our country as an economy as one impt. pillar, we may have to bring down/reduce adm. burdens, thereby reducing cost substantially.

    This can be an example an established leader….


    Through the use of 400 bicycles during working days, we’ll be able to reduce carbon emission. The idea is to make Thimphu a bicycle city,” said Lyonchhoen.


  21. Jackpo (name from Later W. Mickey) says

    Simple way out is that there should be a legislation this month on how to treat a Bhutanese prime minister for the departure and arrival.
    The present form is a nonsense and utter waste of resources. The reason is that people who makes lines and bends their back at the ninety degree level at Paro airport every time our prime minster leave and arrive are paid salaries and provided with parks from the taxes collected from people and the revenues generated from common resources of Bhutan.
    Salaries, parks, prados are given to these people, including the prime minister, so that they could perform their jobs in their job descriptions for the benefit of the people and the country, and not to say hello when PM arrives and say Bye when he leaves the country.

    Can the present Prime Minister promise to the people that he will draft a legislation and table during the current on-going NA to stop this nonsense once for all. We elected you.

    People look at Bhutanese people as lazy and power hungry.


Leave a Reply