We should (not) be proud

I applaud how the prime minister has responded to allegations that he, and other powerful people, were allotted land illegally in Gyelpozhing. He has written to ACC to investigate the allegations, and he has promised that offenders, especially those holding current political authority, will be made fully accountable.

The fact that the head of the government demands to be investigated is a very good precedent. We should be proud.

But I also condemn how the prime minister has responded to the same allegations. He has questioned the motive for and timing of the media’s reporting on the so-called “Gyelpozhing land grab case”. On the one hand, he asked if the allegations had been made “just as people are talking about next round of elections”. And on the other hand, he asked if the allegations had been aimed at “discrediting the government” just as the all-important round table meetings were in session.

That this response smacks of fear mongering, a tactic used by unscrupulous politicians throughout the world, is not a good sign. We should not be proud.

 

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  1. Well,reading through the PM’s clarification on the land issues at Gyelpozhing,i wonder how greedy our leaders can be.He clarified but not enough at all. When native of that area is deprived of the plot, how could the high official manupulate and register plot in their name. IT IS REALLY A SHAMELESS ACT.PRESENT SPEAKER, THEN MONGAR DZONGDA THAT TIME NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE FIRST AND THEN THE REST INCLUDING PM.
    Its EnOuGh…

  2. I agree..but it was neither here nor there..the pm could have been more convincing in coming out strongly against corruption on the lotteries & the land grab scam by putting his money where his mouth is..he appeared agitated, uncomfortable & sheepish- all at once..in fact, he was defensive saying that he was informed there were no takers for the land so he applied for it for his old age..
    he missed an opportunity to thwart the public’s disgust on the alleged corruption cases & their general desire to see that these scams are settled through due process..the message that those found guilty will face the consequences just did not come across..pity that this is the attitude of people who have enjoyed the trust, benevolence & opportunities given them by our kings & the bhutanese..

  3. They preach GNH everywhere, but don’t practice it themselves, which makes them a big hypocrite. Even in one of the most corrupted country like Nepal, the prime minister is setting a good example by refusing luxury vehicle, instead their prime minister opted for a Nepal made Mustang, which is worse than Mahindra bolero. In Bhutan every Tom, Dick and Harry is driving prados, which is costing the national exchequer dearly. There is no reason why the officials in Bhutan cannot drive cheap Indian made cars. Instead of a 45 lakhs prado, they could have opted for 10 lakhs Mahindra Xylo.

  4. tashi choden says:

    seems like on old trick used during the campaign in 2008 and hopefully this time people won’t be eye washed by it.. we have seen the government work over the last 3-4 years and we know what they are capable of…………including.. playing blame games, mudslinging and accusations without basis like this one..
    Anyway, i hope that someday they realize GNH is not about telling people to live in huts when you are building an entire empire, GNH is not about asking people to walk for the health of it when you are driving a luxury car bought by the Govt and have three or four parked in your garage… GNH is not always selling or even getting funding from the donors…its a philosophy that HM the fourth King initiated and wanted the most ordinary people to understand so that they could truly love happy lives…

  5. pema tenzing says:

    What is shocking is that now he is even pointing fingers at the Monarch for the allotment of the land in Gyelpozhing? This is going too much and he needs to be tried for treason.

    He says the 1991 circular of late Dasho dorji tenzin supercedes the Royal Kasho issued in 1987?

    is he saying that our benevolent Monarch authorised the take over of the poor people’s land in Gyelpozhing so that they can be alloted to the people in power at that time? This is sacrilagious, and he should be tried for treason. The powerful people in question – the current PM Jigmi Thinley as the Home minister then, the current MoWHS Yeshi Zimbas as the Finance Minister then, current finance minister wangdi Norbu as the finance secretary then, current speaker as the dzongdag of Monggar then, and so on. OL should make sure that this bunch of power-hungry ministers should regret being greedy.

  6. Motor Mouth says:

    i had a hunch he might use that angle when the news came out. lets see what the results of the investigation are and then wait for lyonchen’s ‘appropriate response’. ah, dont you just love this game of merry go round? takes me back to the good old days!

  7. PM said “The allotment was strictly in keeping with the directives of the secretary, which makes very clear how and what basis in terms of criteria was set for the allocation of the land.”…I am wondering now what are the criteria for the allocation of the land as per the circular issued in 1991… Therefore i would like to request our OL to let us know about that circular as you are only the trusted among the MPs for most of us…. Thanks

  8. Yangka Chojay says:

    Happy to hear the Beautiful news. I was probably waiting for that one……come on………..!

  9. LYONCHEN TRULY HAS THE GIFT OF ARTICULATING THE ISSUES.I AM PROUD THAT HE IS OUR PM. HE ALSO HAD THE BALLS TO APPEAR ON NATIONAL TELEVISION AND CLARIFY ISSUES. ITS BEING BRAVE. THATS A LEADER.

    HOWEVER, NO MATTER HOW ARTICULATE – LOTS OF THE ISSUES WERE KEPT VAGUE AND NOT UNDERSTOOD. BBS DAWA COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IN DWELLING ON THE QUESTIONS UNTIL HE GOT CLARITY.

    ANYWAY, AN EFFORT MADE AND INTERESTING TAMASHA.

  10. Dago Tshering says:

    Hard to beleive!

    It spins around my head when PM said the land were registered since no body was interested. If I have know about this earlier, I would have certainly availed it too.

    Well, what I mean to point here it, at that time when our kings (as always)are struggling to find locations for the kidu seekers, why was this availability not informed to Dasho Zimpons office. By doing so, at least those people on the kidu list would have benefitted.
    The least what we can do now is to ask, if these so called super powers can do away with the land they registered and make it available to genuine kidu seekers.

  11. pema tenzing says:

    Is it our PM’s cunning strategy to shelve this national issue of corruption by the top leaders of this country by saying that the King endorsed this? Shame on him and shame on all his greedy compatriots. In 2008, he said Yab this, yab that, he had been doing the same time. How greedy and shameless can this guy be?

  12. The Business Bhutan report clearly mentions that the plots were allotted on a lottery basis, so why was there a need for a lottery system to distribute land if there were not enough applicants in the first place. BB also reports that many people who did not get land in the first phase were promised that they would receive their plots in phase 2 and phase 3 which never happened.

    So what the PM says about no one applying for land just cannot be true.

  13. STAR,

    PM also has guts to lie infront of the TV. He is already defending the case like he did with the tax raise issue.

  14. pema tenzing says:

    PM is a pathological lier……

  15. Is ACC now scared?

  16. hi it very imp to think twice before we write on this page, especially ol do not please the people this much, you are the one who have made some fullish peoples to go against gov, it is easy to find foul on others, try to be in others shoe also, minimize criticizing our gov.

  17. Truth_is_Buddha says:

    Look here people…our own breed of modern politicians. Misuses with one hand and raises a finger with the other… CLASSIC!

    I say we are headed where some other neighbouring countries are heading to…DISASTER.

    Kencho Sum, save us.

  18. pema tenzing says:

    Read Business Bhutan’s editorial on saturday (10/9/2011) at http://www.businessbhutan.bt which proves that our PM is lying to the Bhutanese people on live TV on Gyelpozhing land grab. It comes out quite claerly that where he obtained the land, it was not even a part of the urban land demarcated to be Gyelpozhing town.

  19. Chokey Ongmo says:

    It is quite crystal clear that land allotments to the so called influential people was illegal and it is now time for the illegally benefitted land grabbers to either return the land back to the government and make their apology based on which the ACC should decide if the case could be pardoned on the ground of humanity as it involves very powerful people from all walks of life.

    The allotment is illegal because it went against the repeated letter sent to the Dzongda (the current speaker) by the then Director General Tshering Dorji of the department of Urban Development and Housing. I am sure Mr. Tshering Dorji who was then the DG must be around who can give clear picture if demanded by the ACC. The PM using late Secretary Dorji Tenzin’s circular as an excuse to get out of the corruption ring will not be appreciated by the public as it doesn’t hold water. Nonetheless, it would be great if OL could get a copy of the circular and put in your blog for the public to look at it as definately it would mean something different than what PM says in his live BBS interview. It would be also great if the names of all the beneficiaries be published for public viewing.

  20. Good editorial!!!

    It demands taht the Speaker should also explain to the nation. That is absolutely correct. The speaker should speak now. That is what he is.

  21. Pema Tenzing,

    Stop acting like a baby, nowhere was the PM pointing fingers at the monarch. Please be more responsible with your remarks, some of which may come to haunt you. I am also not happy with the PMs explanation on the land allotment at Gyelpozhing, but one thing he was not doing was blaming out Kings for the problem there.

  22. I thought best course of action are:

    1. Admit that land allotment at Gelposhing has been messed up

    2. volunteer to surrender the land and redistribute to eligible people or develop it for government purpose

    3. Tighten the future land allotment processes and institute fair and level playing land allotment system

    4. Never ever force lower rung of society to give up land for any purpose without fair compensation or substitute land allotment

    In my opinion these would have been face saving strategy for alleged Galposhing land scam. In any case, I admire PM for attempting to explain the case; and in whatever circumstances land allotment was done and explained, some people will never be satisfied, especially those waiting to score the points.

    Cheers

  23. The so called ‘influential people’ have more than enough land in their own or akins names. If they continue on hoarding the prime-valued lands in all major towns in Bhutan, which present case only reflects only a fraction of the problem, then GNH holds no place to be associated with our country. Even the services rendered by the ‘influential people’ for the people and in the name of HM’s governmnent seem to be flawed.

    I agree with the suggestions that the Gyalpoishing land need to be ‘seized’ and distributed to the local people. It is the local citizens land and government should make policies and provisions to help them to start their businesses for the prosperity of the local fellow citizens.

    May be, just may be, it is to good time to say enough is enough by the ‘influential people’ and stop feathering their own nests. Let the people of the lowest rung of our country also enjoy the prosperity that our beloved Kings have envisaged. Let the GNH shine to all societies in the Land of Thunder Dragon.

  24. All chamchas of PDP led by OL are here on this page trying to create a hue and cry of the issue.

  25. pema tenzing says:

    Dear guardian,

    Please find below the article from Kuensel. The prime minister is quoted by Kuensel based on his live TV broadcast, “I’m talking about government instructions that means royal command issued in 1991,”. I read this as as the PM saying that our King had commanded the land be alloted to powerful people then. Please read the article for yourself produced below. I am saying that the PM had actually said that it was the royal command and by royal I refer to the King.

    To set the record straight
    By staff writer

    PM clarifies land allotment in Gyalpoizhing town as above board
    Land: BBS Live Broadcast 8 September, 2011 – Those people, who own land in the Gyalpoizhing town area, were allotted land in accordance with government rules and regulations prevailing at that time, according to Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley.

    In a live broadcast interview last evening on the national television where the Lyonchhoen was questioned on a number of issues including the Gyalpoizhing land allotment case, he said that the particular rule used as a framework for the allotment was in fact a circular issued by the then secretary for works and human settlement ministry, the late Dasho Dorji Tenzin, who cited a government directive from the highest level that, once the town had been planned, allotment of land may be done by a committee.

    “The plots were allotted by a committee of 12 people, which included the dzongda, dzongrab, land record officer, two gups of Mongar and Saling, the BCCI and the throm representative,” Lyonchhoen said. “The allotment was strictly in keeping with the directives of the secretary, which makes very clear how and what basis in terms of criteria was set for the allocation of the land.”

    Lyonchhoen said the circular was issued in 1991 and that the royal kasho quoted in the media was issued in 1987. “I’m talking about government instructions that means royal command issued in 1991,” he said, adding that he received his land and paid in accordance with the prevailing rates at that time. “There weren’t many applicants that time and, even as of now, I’ve been informed that there are 50 plots still available in the core town area. The government intends to expand it so that when the Gyelposhing-Nganglam road is connected, the people of eastern Bhutan can see the growth of an urban area.”

    Lyonchhoen, who spoke openly about the issue, since media reported about it, said the township was developed entirely on the Kurichu project land that was acquired by the project. “People were compensated for their land and huts in cash and land substitutes were also allotted,” he said. For in- stance, Lyonchhoen said, of the 53 people, who were affected, 16 acres of land were compensated.

    The prime minister also said the entire Gyalpoizhing area on the town side, and on the other side of the river was unproductive agricultural land, and after they (the farmers) were given the land in 1981, most of them had abandoned it. “The land was sandy and people couldn’t irrigate them. The story about hue and cry is untrue.”

    The prime minister said the media was very selective in its coverage, and that 101 people, including himself were allotted land in the Gyalpoizhing town- ship area, core town area and the residential area.On being asked whether the ACC would have the courage to conduct an investigation because it involved the prime minister, the Lyonchhoen said the ACC is an independent organisation and an important institution of democracy.

    “I cannot, did not and will not write any instructions to the ACC,” Lyonchhoen said. “It was a request that I made, because leaders of this government are involved in a matter that was decided 11 years ago and even though it has got nothing to do with this government, I felt we must set a precedent whereby highest members in the government, including the prime minister must make himself accountable when it comes to charges of corruption.”

  26. It is obvious that the 1991 circular you mention superseded the Royal kasho which had been issued in 1987.

    So if the committee had been authorized to allot land as per the circular issued by Dasho Dorji Tenzin, then I don’t see how it is illegal. While it maybe morally wrong, unfortunately, in a court of law, there is no room for such sentiments.

  27. pema tenzing says:

    Dear guardian,
    The circular that Dasho Dorje Tenzin issued has criteria for issue of urban land and does not in anyway supercede the Royal Kasho. The land allotment committee did not follow the criteria and that is why the MoC’s DG’s letter warned the Dzongdag that they were going against the rule.
    Thanks

  28. Sonam Tshering says:

    It’s a very interesting case involving the highest authories. And I appreciate the media for bringing out this critical case infront of the public. This will serve as an example and also as a warning to all those future leaders. So those in guilt must be brought to justice. And I am confident enough that the OL will not let the issue slip by just like that. MAY JUSTICE prevail in our land!!!

  29. Are we this slimy now? Blaming the dead, because they cannot defend themselves. If I am family of the late Dasho Dorji Tenzin, I would be hurt and angry at the same time. We all know the dead cannot defend themselves. Shame on blaming someone who cannot reply.

  30. pema tenzing says:

    Exactly the point. If you refer to the circular of the secretary of MoC, it does only lay the clear criteria for the urban land allotment and one of them is the requirement of business license which none of the powerful beneficiaries had.

  31. Dear OL,

    You know that Bhutan’s past is full of stories like the one Business Bhutan published on the Gyelpoizhing land grab. The logic is that do we go about digging our history.. stories behind every individual and organization.. just because we are a democracy now and that the media has got a freedom? Were we waiting to become a democracy to punish those who misused their powers in the past? Tell me if you, as a civil servant, have never misused any of your authority.

    As to the present case, things might have happened as it is reported or might not have.. If at all it has happened, please let the concerned agencies prove it under due process of investigation… then go about barking as much as you can…

    But just because you see a shadow in front of you, please don’t be so petty as to take it for real.

    When you go on saying that “crime is a crime” whether it is done in the past or present, you don’t just doubt but declare that what has been reported is true. Tell me if the Opposition Leader of a country has the authority to declare some one guilty even before the concerned agencies have proven it. And please give whatever evidence you have behind your claims to the media if that is really true.

    Now, tell me if Lamzang had not been used in writing this article. Did the article contain both sides of the views? Did he do a follow up on that? How could anyone believe that a reporter can report something that has happened decades ago correctly?
    was the information not fed by someone with personal motives.. call it even.. a political motive…? How credible is the article?

    Dear OL, i know that you are a smart guy.. i know that Lamzang as a reporter is formidable… But please don’t get so petty and narrow as to reject the other viewpoints out rightly… that is not befitting of a person of your stature.

    And please don’t accuse our PM of fear mongering just because you are afraid that he could convince thousands by a few minutes of talk.

    God gives power to someone as powerful as Jigme Yoezer Thinley… For you to be as powerful as him or even more powerful… please stop getting so narrow… I will then applaud you with all my heart

    No hard feelings…

  32. pema tenzing says:

    So analyst, what you are saying is condone what our PM has done in the past?

  33. Analyst,

    Hope there is only you of your type. Otherwise, we are all doom for worse. Don´t say that there are many corruptions done in past because of which the Gyelposhing case should be ignored. Reasonable or not, you are a person who will support PM and such people are dangerous to everyone.

    TL has writen about Gyelposhing which you say it to be one sided. Why not the Speaker and other come give their side of facts for which we are all waiting?

  34. Dear Analyst,

    It’s very clear how much you admire PM. We all do too because he is gifted with all the best qualities that we would do anything just be little bit like him.
    But now saying that we should forget the wrongs of past and then ofcourse accusing the reporter of being used is way outrageous.
    By the sound of it you seem to have lived a very lavish life for being born in that generation of PM…but now times are changing, resources are getting exhausted and we can’t afford to be lavish and wasteful like those days. even if not for future generations, atleast lets stay well for another 50-100years.

    Bhutanese people by far are not being very unreasonable, they are just asking for the truth to be known and then only to accept if it is proven…nothing beyond that.

  35. Sonam penjor says:

    For samdrup’s information, I am not a fool from any angle but if you feel that the writers here is fool than you are no less for you are one among us. Leave us in this forum, we do not care who is driving what in todays situation, but we are disturb when such issues are brought to lime light.
    You better get off from this forum.

  36. I agree with analyst totally except for the line which reads OL is smart
    He is the chief chamcha giri of Sangye Ngeedup, and its for all to see how he has benefitted in life coz of his expertise in chamcha giri business. These things are all blatant corruption

  37. If we dig past for undesirable doings concerning land and other corrupt practices majority in Bhutan (except landless and powerless) will not escape probe and legal scrutiny. My question is: Is there a way out from misdeeds of the past and start fresh chapter to build a less corrupt society?. Or, do we still insist on digging out cases and built vindictive society???

  38. I don’t know maybe we should ask the Nazi victims, maybe we should ask Egypt about Mubarak, maybe we should ask Rajiv Gandhi killers, maybe we should ask Osama Bin Laden, maybe we should ask genocide victims of Africa, maybe we should ask slavery victims, if the past matters.

  39. Everybody keeps targeting the PM, while corrupt Ministers like Lyonpo Zimba are left alone to keep getting more corrupted. Does anyone know how many acres have been acquired during his ministership and that he is the only Minister who is worth in billions in terms of shares, real estate and other interests. Just because, he is mild and keeps telling people yes to everything while doing nothing does not make him a nice guy.All show and no go is not good enough. I think he is much more corrupt and devious than the PM.

  40. Dear Ol
    PM declare that land case at Gyelposhing was a corruption during live interview with BBS. PM said “i got offer” offer of land in bhutan is corruption. In bhutan land free land from government is kidu by King only. so, now the ball is in your court
    all the best.

  41. BITTER TRUTH says:

    OUR JOURNALISTS TRY TO FIND FAULT WITH THE GOVERNEMENT IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. THAT IS GOOD. BUT THEY( ALL THE NEWS PAPERS) ARE HIDING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REPORT IN THE KUENSEL & ITS EDITORIAL ABOUT THE DRUG ABUSE CASE OF AN PRIVATE EDITOR AND OTHER EDITOR ADVISORS OR SOME THING LIKE THAT. IF OUR MEDIA IS FAIR WHY NOT NAME THEM LKE THEY HAVE DONE IN THE SO CALLED LAND SCAM CASE. THOSE WHO PROTECT & SHELTER SUBSTANCE ABUSERS ARE NO LESS THAN THE ABUSERS THEMSELVES. CAN WE STILL BELEIVE IN OUR PRINT MEDIA & JOURNALISM? I BELEIVED THE SENSATIONAL NEWS ARTICLES BUT NOT ANY MORE…. WE ARE HEADING FOR A MASALA JOURNALISM AND THE SO CALLED FOURTH ESTATE IS ON A SLIPPERY FOUNDATION DUE TO BIASED REPORTING. OR WAS THE KUENSEL REPORT & EDITORIAL JUST A PART OF THE MASALA WHIRLPOOL? WE ARE MORE CONFUSED THAN INFORMED.

  42. pema tenzing says:

    Latest flagging of the Big Lie on Gyelpozhing land scam at

    http://www.businessbhutan.bt/?p=7537

  43. Tenzin penjore says:

    Someone in journalist told me – editorial advisor is tenzin rigden, PM’s media advisor
    and the editor is Jurmi Chowang.

  44. I totally agree with Analyst here. And I have been waiting for our OL to repy him but looks like he chose not to. Did not OL misuse his authority as a civil servant?

    Where shall we draw our lines?

    At least in this case, PM tried to explain things and had also requested ACC to do its own independent investigation.

    Who is going to dig out and report on other various land scams that certainly happened within the close and far times of Gyelpozing land scam?

  45. Rang ded cheng gi chang khi nam, kay wa loen ru ded mi sim´, Hungry dogs will never be satisfied even after their rebirth. To hell with all these hungry dogs, many of whom are now preachers of GNH, and in the government. PM=permanently mad is really a mad dog now. I am scared…

  46. Tenzin penjore says:

    We are having one of the biggest earthquakes and our PM Jigmi Y. Thinley is busy globetrotting. Is his New York and other cushy trips more important than our poor people suffering aftermath of the earthquake. His government has conveniently blocked a very popular site http://www.bhutantimes.com after it was filled with several damaging stories of the PM and his gang of unscrupulous leaders having been involved with acquiring lands from poor farmers and having alloted to thelselves. Our GNH country has so many rape cases and incidents of crime and umemployment.

    What is OL doing on this?

  47. Mr I M concerned says:

    This is just the tip of the iceberg wait a little more and you will find the true depth of the level of corruption existing in this land of GNH it,s a crying shame and it will be totally uncharecterstic if the after such exposure as the gaylposhing land grab case Bhutanese people do nothing about it

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