Foreign trips

Returning home

The prime minister, in his State of the Nation address, reporting to the Parliament on foreign relations:

My trips to India, Japan and Italy this year were also very useful in deepening our relations with these countries.

I agree. But, the prime minister understated his international travel account. The following, in fact, is a record of his trips outside Bhutan during the 2009-2010 fiscal year:

  1. July 2009: Goodwill trip to India
  2. August 2009: Fukuoka, Japan to deliver address on GNH
  3. November 2009: Itaipu, Brazil to deliver address on GNH
  4. February 2010: Delhi, India to attend Sustainable Development Summit
  5. February 2010: Mumbai, India to attend World HRD Congress
  6. April 2010: Kathmandu, Nepal to attend 13th day ritual of the Late G.P Koirala
  7. April 2010: Kochi City, Japan to deliver address on GNH
  8. June 2010: Trento, Italy to deliver a talk on GNH at the Festival of Economics

Photo credit: BBS


Facebook Comments:


  1. See, he went abroad every two or three months. He made eight foreign trips in just one year! If we consider this as his average trips per year, in five years he will make about 50 trips abroad. Imagine the thousands of dollars he have made and will make from these trips abroad with free travelling expenses,free five star lodgings and foodings, and on top of that, get paid for speaking about something he does not even practice.
    THAT is what I call the ULTIMATE GNH!

  2. He should put his house in order before venturing out.Perhaps then, he can speak with more vigour and conviction.

  3. And , most of the trips were made during the time when NA was in session….. if i may recall….
    i agree that these trips are important.. but what i think more important is also the presence of the PM during these important discussions and the when matters concerning the welfare of the country and people are being addressed. I really hope there’s smoething that we can be proud of in all the visits , esp. those related to GNH…

  4. ps; i don’t like my monster… i prefer something red!!!

  5. I don’t think both the author and those people who have commented are doing any good for the country.
    The Hon’ PM is definitely sensible and responsible enough to choose what is important to do for the country.
    It will be better if you guys could do something useful or at least recite bazaguru instead of writing such foolish stuff on the web.
    Shame on the blog as well as for the people who support such views

  6. Our Prime Minister makes me proud. Going by the list of countries that invited him to deliver keynotes, it is obvious that he is held in high esteem around the world. I cannot recall of any other Prime Minister who gets invited to deliver talks around the world, as often as our Prime Minister does. One other Asian Prime Minister that I can think of who use to be as popular was Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore.

    I think Lyoenchen JYT was being modest in understating his travel account. He has no need to be – it is a national pride that a Bhutanese receives the honor to speak at such important gatherings. This goes to prove that he is counted among the very best in the world. Despite the fact that he has tremendous work pressure at home, he must make time to continue to make these trips, as often as he can and as often as he is invited to. The exposure Bhutan gets from the Lyoenchen’s talks around the world is something positive for the country. As the Prime Minister of the country, he must not shirk responsibility by declining to attend these gatherings where brilliant minds meet. The goodwill earned from these meetings is simply priceless! Let him not worry about what he may be missing out on during his travels. He has 10 competent ministers to take care of things in his absence.

  7. Missing woods for the tress!…The Hon. PM is definitely doing a great favour for this government, the future government and the people of this country by establishing, renewing and maintaining an excellent working relationship with the developed countries. We all know that our internal revenue is only sufficient enough to meet the current expenditures and therefore, all capital expenditures are met from the grants and loans from donor agencies. Therefore, it is necessary for the Hon. PM to embark on as many foreign trips as is required.

    Secondly, I heard that not all foreign trips are funded by the RGoB. Inviting countries funds the trip where the PM is invited to speak on GNH.

  8. You guys are funny. PM getting invited to other countries have nothing to do with him, it has everything to do with our Kings who maintained a country that many countries see as an example of heaven.
    Even if a monkey was elected prime minister, due to our Kings good reputation from the past, monkey would have been invited to a lot of countries.
    Thanks your your majesty.

  9. What an empty headed “truth” you are

  10. With all this exposure as a great traveler I don’t know why he doesn’t have a blog like you. It makes us feel close actually. I wonder if he ever reads our blogs, because there are some issues blogger write about that even PM might not have thought over:

    Sorchen’s chronic landslide problem could be solved by half-tunnel (see:…/beating-jumja-and-sorchen.html)

    Before the government foolishly go for electric tarrif they should learn if the people can afford the current rate even (see:

    Price for everything is inflating, taxes are imposed, how is government trying to bring happiness. (see:

    Of course you have the best blog, I know your blog keeps everybody on the check.

    But what is the use if people who should read do not even know how to open a webpage?

  11. i believe a true leader leads by example.. a true leader looks at the root cause before looking to build external relationship. In any case, the trips made were not useless.. we all agree that they were important.. and for all the reasons that the supporters have provided. My concern though is the number of trips made… PM or not, he is still a representative in his constituiency and I would rather he makes at least a few trips there rather than a foreign trip every two to three months…
    Further, I still believe that when the NA is in session, it is important for the PM to be present unless its a emergency. ..

  12. Why our OL is not invited for a talk on GNH else where…??? Can he really deliver the roots of GNH in a way our Hon`ble PM does,who is the author and founder of GNH in reality. I truely feel sorry for our leaders like OL not being offered any initation and foreign trips thereof…..

    Well, the other trips made by PM is not to make his personel money as understood by all officials, public and above all by our His Majesties the Kings…

  13. As our OL is alys with constitution in his office, in his home, in his bed, in his toilet, in his archery ground, in his bycycle, in his prado, he might has to say from the articles of the costitution the number of foreign trips that limits the PM of the country and also if ever PM has to seek approval from the OL to make foreign trips and foreign relations.

  14. transplacement says

    No matter what others say about the prime minister, I feel he is doing a great job by making visits to other countries, especially to Japan and Brasil where they shown more and more interest in the concept of GNH. Japan’s economic growth as of today is in deadlock despite achieving ‘miracle growth’ after the world war 2.Now they are looking for a new concept that can boost the well-being of the people, which GNH answers.

    Moreover, economically and militarily weak and backward countries like Bhutan have no option but to stick to “band-wagoning diplomacy” by cultivating good relations with militarily strong countries. The policy of isolation or in other words “hiding diplomacy” is not feasible for a small country like ours.

  15. pessimist says

    practising what you preach is best…go to a foreign land and boast of fake GNH…i feel shy and akward whenever this comes to my me…noble cause is lost. i remember PM on Al-Jazeera saying the crappiest of crap,” even stray dogs in bhutan seem to smile.” firstly stray is derogatory and people are crying except few bunch of kabney and patang fellows up above.please lets do it first in the country instead of preaching outside. PM is fake and fame lover, an expert politician by indian standards- we need people’s Prime Minister.

  16. Traveller says

    I do agree with Kencho. I think, as a PM of a country he must also be known to others and know others as well. In the modern days with the technology travelling has become easier and shorter without much effect on the normal duties. In fact the PM could be contacted from any where around the world. I do not think that PM travel to make money. He has more money than he will need till he breathes last. So, the point is let us, as suggested by someone chant “Baza Guru” for his long life than talk nonsense, “looking for ends in an agg”. PM is such a wonderful person. He makes us proud as Bhutanese. I have known him for so many years from my school days and I admire and respect him. As long as he lives he will be my PM.

  17. topessimist says

    pessimist Do you know that you are exposing your stupidity here

  18. Traala, what do you mean by the PM being the founder of GNH in reality. That is quite a sweeping statement and you should explain it a little more clearly.
    As far as I know the first words uttered on GNH was our fourth King who told foreign journalists that GNH was a better approach than than just pursuing GDP.
    What our PM did was to capitalize on it. History will judge him on his intentions; whether it is to boost his own ego and other selfish other benefits, or, was it to honour the true author who I sincerely believe did not have the intention of making GNH such a big global issue, save practice a development philosophy best suited to the needs of Bhutan and the Bhutanese people.

  19. yigcho,
    Your statment is loaded with malice rather substance

  20. procycling says

    Yes, I agree that history will judge our PM and it will judge him as a great statesman and as one who put Bhutan firmly on the wrold map. Why does he get invited to so many global events as a keynote speaker? Why don’t they invite other leaders in the region or beyond? To strengthen our sovereignty and strengthen our identity, the PM needs to travel even more than what he is doing now. Yes, it owuld be great if His Majesty could also travel outside as this would be even more effective but you know the protocol requirements as much as I do and that it would be much more complicated. Therefore, let the PM do what he is doing and doing it so well that he makes us all proud to be acitizen of this “small country with big ambitions.”

  21. Linda Wangmo says

    Pro Cycling… Yes you are right. PM has been invited to Japan and was gifted with 100s or so bicycles for the Bhutanese people. What I have heard is that these bicycles were mostly of no use or are beyond repair.. so what do you think… was the prime Minister invited to pick up the Garbage… dont you think such waste would add up more garbage’s to Bhutan

  22. Linda Wangmo,

    Please allow me to point out that if you were capable of positive thoughts, you could interpret the matter in a completely different way. Two of the following come to my mind:

    1. The PM could not have checked to verify that each of the gifted bicycles were road worthy;

    2. Even if the PM knew the state of the bicycles, he couldn’t have refused to accept the gift simply because it is not in our nature to insult our hosts.

    Trust me, there is no shame in the PM having accepted the gifts. On the contrary, the shame is on the giver that they have given an unworthy gift.

    Have you heard of the hostess who drank the water from the finger bowl because the chief guest next to her did so?

  23. I think we should look from broader perspective concerning the PM’s foreign trip. In my opinion, he should make as many trip as possible if they are useful to the well being of our country. Thus far, his trips have yielded lot of good will and substantial assistance for socio-economic development of Bhutan. Foreigners or foreign countries have now good understanding of Bhutan and we should be proud of that. I think our PM is doing good so far, and i pray he keeps high spirit for years to come.

  24. interesting! I think we should be careful with the kind of gift we accept otherwise everyone will want to dump their outmoded/outdated technology/thrash here.

  25. Linda Wangmo says

    But what do you think that the Japanese might have thought.They would be thinking that ahhh at last we got rid of the waste… Few years back I was in Korea on a business Strategy course and a Korean asked me where I was from and, I said Bhutan and he replied oh thats where our E waste is dumped. Comming back to Bhutan, I knew the truth there were lots of computer supplied around the schools, but old old and useless.

    By accepting these gifts, do you think we can afford making Bhutan a Dumping soil. You are right the PM cannot Inspect the Bicycles personally but he could have asked if they are new or old. Japan is a Hi Tech country and they would not say no if the PM could request them to re condition the by cycles.

  26. Traveller says

    Linda Wangmo,

    I think you must know about how much worth of agriculture machinery we have received from Japan so far and how many bridges on which we travel have been built by Japan. The bicycles could have been broken in transportation. I do not think that 500 bicycles will solve such a big waste in their country.

  27. YES… of course the PM might as well move abroad to build relationship with the world….the foreign ministry could be dissolved and the ambassadors to different countries could be called back home…

  28. These travels have already happened. We can’t do anything. Expressions in this forum is not going to decrease the frequency of foreign missions in 2011. There may not be any substantial outputs of the missions. However, the outcome and impact of such visits will be tangible in future.

  29. Linda Wangmo,

    What you are insinuating is that the Japanese actually gave those bicycles because they couldn’t find a place anywhere else to dump them? I think the Japanese are not such uncouth people.

    On the other hand, it wouldn’t have been right for the PM to ask if the bicycles were new. Looking the gift horse in the mouth is not considered polite – at least not in Asian society.

    I am willing to accept that the Japanese genuinely believed that we are so poor that they could pass off their second hand bikes to us.

    The E waste story that you are narrating is something else and you are not fully aware of the real truth behind it. Suffice to say that it is not entirely true that they were dumping E waste on our soil. The real story is something else.

  30. Linda Wangmo says

    Traveler… I would credit Late Dasho KG Nishoka and our fourth King for the help we get in the field of agriculture. They have started it and its still continuing because its in the system. Our PM traveled to Japan and got that 500 or so bicycles which till date has not been used and just like the agriculture machinery I am sure that Bhutan will continue receiving bicycles and just calculate the amount of waste within next ten years.We cannot say no because we have to be polite as a Bhutanese and an Asian. Hey guest let me know where you live so that I can gift you my old TV and Destop. I hope you would be as a Bhutanese and an Asian be polite to accept it. I cannot dump it in the Garbage bin because although very old it is still usable. Its time for me to buy new one for the kids so I shall gift it to you. By the way what is that real story…

  31. Linda wangmo,

    What a stupid and irritating arguments. Be urself the PM anf then argue

  32. Linda Wangmo

    This is another example of the presumptive nature of your arguments, yet again. What makes you think that you are actually in a position to gift me your old TV and “Destop”? Have you considered the possibility that you could actually be the Bhutanese and me, the Japanese? Any way, thanks but no thank you – from all indications, your TV is most likely the CRT class from the time of the Mahatma. By the way, when you do muster up the courage to buy a new TV, let me know, I will consider it an act of chivalry to give you a few pointers on what makes a good TV. You will probably end up showing off by buying a 50” plasma or LCD at Nu.40,000.00 but one that displays images like smudges of cream.

    The real story is something best left buried. History is strewn with inaccuracies and deliberate misinformation. No useful purpose will be served by retelling a forgotten story that is no longer relevant in the present context.

  33. Traveller says

    Linda Wangmo,
    I think you can donate your old computer to the school where you studied. I think there are still many schools in Bhutan without a computer and your donation will go a long way. If you say that it will cost you more to transport to that school, then think of the same problems the Japanese would have had to reach the bicycles to Bhutan. Then you will realise whether Japanese would have preferred to recycle those 500 bicycles or send all the way to the Himalayas.

  34. Goalie, I don’t see any malice in asking Tralala to explain what he meant by the PM being the “founder of GNH in reality”.
    And by the way I have no problems in our PM visiting foreign country’s, so long as it positively contributes to Bhutan’s image and economic development.

  35. I dont see any problem in PM making foreign trips…
    1) He is the head of the Government as such he is ought to boost the diplomatic relation between Bhutan and the rest of the nation,
    2) And as scholar who is attributed for his work in promulgating the very essence of GNH (an initiative of His Majesty the Fourth King). I dearly wish him in his endeavour!

    Traala, given a chance you can also give a talk on GNH, the consequence of which would leave me racking my brain all day but cant for the life of me,figure out what is that you are trying to say.

    OL is a respected figure in Bhutan but when it comes to GNH, there is no book or paper on GNH credited to his name. I hope our OL comes up with a paper on GNH with his own perspectives.

  36. Well, i hope everything is for a good!

  37. This Linda Wangmo lady is very funny, very very funny. She croaks like an old toad in a drying pond. I guess she has all the rights to do that.

  38. Linda Wangmo says

    Whatever it is guys, there is definitely some connection between bringing in old bicycles home and taking our sacred nangtens abroad for some money makers like Honolulu projects. Here ate home Tourist are not allowed to take pictures inside Lakhangs and on the other hand our government sends these sacred relics to be showcased.

  39. guardian says

    Can you please tell us what the connection is?

  40. connection is that Japaness govt. will provide Bhutan with more ambulances, more agriculture machinaries, construct more bridges, provide more waste carying trucks, construct more telecommunication towres, provide more life saving medical equipments, provide more micro hydro powers, rural electrification funds and bla bla…Hope guardian will bear with me for answering on behalf of Linda Wangmo coz she is not aware of all the above.

  41. block headed Linda wangmo. You better start attending primary school again

  42. Linda Wangmo

    I agree with you on the sacred artifacts being sent out. But that has always been the case. The important guests of important people in Bhutan has easy access to photographs everything that is out of bounds for Bhutanese. Hopefully this strange treatment of our own people will change under the democratic system. Look at all the books authored by chilips. They have all the photos that are not supposed to be photographed.

  43. Linda Wangmo says


    You are a true student of MP Tshering Penjor.. Keep it up

  44. Linda,
    I think you are one of those PDPians who were living in a different world before the 2008 elections

  45. Truth is true! Our PM is definitely a good leader who leads our country to get further developed. Does’nt matter how much dollars he spend by travelling other countries, but the important thing is that he should bring out the development in our country. How dare somebody say lyoenchen is getting paid for speaking about something what he does not even practice.From my opinion i can convey that nobody talks, out of what he does not practice,thoughts are converted to practice and then finally to the speach that is what i think.

    Anyway m proud of what he is, responsible, has goodwill,and i hope our democratic country to get developed further…

  46. Another own goal scored by the OL.

  47. Linda Wangmo,
    You are a true student of OL…keep it up!

  48. pem tshering says

    Let the PM (post master) be on foreign trips as many times as he possibly can. His days as the PM are already numbered, and God knows if he has become any happier himself by talking on GNH to other people. He is increasingly becoming a preacher now, and not much of a practitioner. Pemagsthelpas are eagerly waiting to see him again in his Demkhong.

  49. Do you mean to say that pemagatshelpas are going vote in the singer Jigme Drukpa, are you serious or what!

  50. No matter how rudely you all may argue, but considering the larger benefit that our PM had done and for having the spirit and potential for casuing greater accomplishments further, Lyonchen JYT is still our LUNGTEN CHEN GI LYNCHOEN and he is my PM as long as he is alive.

  51. If the present PM is not elected, the PM from the other party would have made a weekly basis foriegn trip on the expense of the Governmnet for no good cause like GNH. At least PM JYT is concerned of the nation’s resources and therefore, most of his trip’s expenses are borned by the host country.

  52. we will never get a PM like Lyoenchen JYT.

  53. PM doesn’t keep his words!!!

  54. I do agree that our PM should visit other countries to foster bilateral or multilateral diplomatic relationships.

    But, I think he is doing a great disservice to GNH Philosophy by preaching the world about a concept his government hardly follows.

    Online discussion blogs and forums are flooded with people’s discussions about his government flouting environmental laws, engaged in corruption and injustice, non-existence of the rule of law in most instances, engaging in partiality, favoritism, nepotism, etc. etc.

  55. Remember guys,

    Don’t underestimate the ability of our Opposition Leader and any other person. As one famous writer said, “Ability is of little account without opportunity”, there are many people who would do far better than our PM, provided they are given the same opportunity and he has the humility to accept this.

    We Bhutanese as so good in underestimating the capacity of our fellow Bhutanese. This is evident in our hiring consultants every time. We get easily sold out to a nice eloquent writing and speech without much concern about substance and relevance.

    I think people of Pema Gatshel and Bhutanese at large are paying their price for listening to a nice speech.

    Great majority of our civil servants hardly work and read. Look at piles and piles of field reports gathering dusts in many offices. And suddenly, when there is some one who can give a nice bullshit eloquently and with some emotion, everybody jumps and makes unanimous decisions. I getting tired of seeing this many times.

  56. lobaychenbo says

    all of u r rite in ur own ways. so do keep debatin’.

  57. Hi every body, it is clear that most of the comments are from elevated minds. Lets make it easier, consult me for 2013 election lets work together. May heaven show u your strength, may your mind enlighten our land. Glory glory for thy shall be the land, may god be in mind and heart at your hand.

  58. Thinley Jamtsho says

    well Lyonchen is LUNGTEN CHEN GI LYNCHOEN and he is my PM as long as he is there, long live JYT
    Our countery is ruld by 4 lungten chen gi Jigme, are Jigme singay wangchuk,Jigme Kheser Namgay Wangchuk,Jigme Chodra and JYT

  59. We should have respect for our pm. He doing evrything for the country, i have no doubt about it. We are previldge to have him as our first PM.

  60. Dustbin of ngolops are pouring out all your rotten and anti-loyalist thoughts to disturb people. I encourage you to continue doing this. People should be judging you more closely!!!!!

  61. i strongly feel our PM is doing a great job…Bhutan is indeed blessed to have JYT as the first ever democratic PM. We the poeple of Bhutan has entrusted you with the responsibility cos we believe in u n we are proud to have u as our PM. Belive me, there are a lot of us who appreciate and acknowledge your hard work.

    Thank you.

  62. tshering wangdi says

    The Hon’ble Prime Minister should work hard to be recognized by his people instead by other countries. “Charity begins at home”. i will never advise others on the issues which pinch me as well.

  63. maymay haylay haylay says

    I always wanted to go out but how can it happen ?


  1. […] surprised at the number of comments generated by “Foreign trips”.  And I’m surprised that many of them are by first-time commentators. But, somehow I’m not […]

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