Adverse opinions

Should civil servants be allowed to express adverse opinions about the Government? 93% of those that took the the last poll answered with a resounding “Yes!”

Now our polls are not scientific, and their results may not necessarily represent popular opinion. Still, and particularly on this issue, legislators, the Government and the RCSC would do well to reflect on the results.

The Constitution grants every Bhutanese citizen with the fundamental right to “…freedom of speech, opinion and expression.” And yet, the Civil Service Bill, which the National Assembly passed last year, requires civil servants to “Refrain from publically expressing adverse opinion against the Royal Government.”

The Civil Service Bill will be discussed in the National Council during its next session, sometime in May this year. So if you feel strongly about this issue and if you want to protect the “freedom of speech, opinion ad expression” of civil servants, talk about it to senior civil servants. And tell them to discuss the matter with the Royal Civil Service Commission.

But, more importantly, talk to your representatives in the National Council. And tell the how you feel. Telephone them. Write to them. Meet them.

On my part, I will request the Human Rights Committee to review if the Civil Service Bill undermines the fundamental rights of civil servants.


Facebook Comments:


  1. When you talk of rights, why don’t you also flip the coin and address their responsibilities.The professionalism of the civil service is the cornerstone of an efficient government,with quick delivery services.Why don’t you mention the many committee’s that are in existence and are continuing to be formed to mask accountability and throw ACC and RAA of the track. The people are disgusted with the larger than life bureaucracy which is continuing to expand without a thought to our K4’s policy of small and efficient government.The bureaucrats must first put their house in order and than, we can discuss their freedom of speech and rights being infringed.

  2. no want can give freedom to anyone. we have get our own freedom. it can be any freedom.
    what i am worried is that democracy has provided so many freedom to the people, there is always chance that some people might take freedom of others(innocent people) take their opportunity, deny justice so and so forth.
    government might reflect on the civil service bill about freedom speech to civil servant. but how much of freedom??????? there is no freedom as such in our life. we had to have one through our own expenses. see where we can use our freedom…. like i am always using this blog to express my freedom of speech.
    orphan, yes i agree with you.civil servant is not small and compact- but large and compressed.
    see who are there in civil service- old, who brags and still utilize there 19th century’s tools: ideas,and knowledge. they are like Hitler- always there to insult,and scold if you put new ideas. reason they don’t understand what say and write.
    visit their office they ll not see you for few minutes if you failed to bow down on the floor. they are there to serve the people not to harass the people. need some chances in system not on the freedom of civil servant. first let them know how to serve the people than freedom.

  3. its no one not no want

  4. I would also like to join the discussion on this topic. Well, freedom of speech in several context is fine but as far as national secrets, security, and interest are concerned, we have to excercise maximum judgement and caution. State secrets are well guarded policy in any government system, and i do not expect Bhutan to take exception.

    My own analysis is that since in a small country like Bhutan where cream of society are all in civil service, it is natural for government to expect such elites not to engage in defamation or expression of adverse opinions. Afterall, like it or not, civil servants for long time to come will be defacto government system in Bhutan, and it is improper for those who run the government to defame or express adverse opinion against own self or system.

    I also like to take this opportunity to express my satisfication with the government for not reducing tourist tariff and encourage mass tourism. Similarily, i expect government to excercise maximum precaution, public consultation and judgment before allowing FDI and joining the WTO system. We have more to lose than gain in these two areas.


  5. kezang Tshering says

    Civil servant should be given a freedom to speak their opinion as they are backbone of the country. Without their tremendious and wholesome effort, contry would not have reach to this stage of development. we should respect their views and must consider their opinion……It is very high time to revise those existing Civil Servant rules and regulation.

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