Stop playing games

Walking for what?

I like to walk. And I like to bike. So today, on Thimphu’s inaugural Pedestrian Day, I enjoyed the opportunity to bike from my home (in Taba) to my office (in Langjophakha) to the clock tower square to lunch (in Motithang) to the PDP office (Changangkha) to Karma’s Coffee (Hongkong market) to the archery range (near the Indian Embassy) and finally back home.

The government has declared that, henceforth, every Tuesday will be Pedestrian Day, at which time most vehicles will not be permitted to enter the core area of Thimphu. Other cities are reportedly already following suit.

The intentions behind the Pedestrian Day idea may be good. Many of us, for example, already agree that walking is good for our health, and good for our environment. So many of us would not argue against Pedestrian Day.

But some of us may not like to walk, especially if we have several places to go to, in our ghos and kiras, when it is excessively hot or cold, or when it rains. Some of us may find it difficult to walk, like, for example, the old, the weak, and working mothers. And some of us may simply not like walking at all.

So the intention of starting Pedestrian Day – of forcing people to walk once a week – may be good. But the way it has been handled is not good; it is not democratic. The government has, once again, failed to consult the very people they claim to be helping. To walk or not affects the lives of each and every one of us. So we should have been consulted. And the cabinet should not have taken the decision; it should have been left up to the respective local governments. Instead, the prime minister himself has issued an executive order decreeing that, “… all Tuesdays henceforth, will be observed as Pedestrians’ Day throughout the country particularly in major towns”.

As expected, public reaction after the first Pedestrian Day has been varied and mixed. While some residents clearly enjoyed walking to work and back, others have bitterly denounced the government’s decision as arbitrary and draconian.

So the prime minister should call the first Pedestrian Day a “dry run”. And, based on even a few negative reactions, he should revoke his executive order. Then he should start honest consultations with the people. Better still, he should learn to leave these matters to local governments – it is their job to decide how best to organize community life in their respective areas.

The best course of action would be for the prime minister and the government to lead by example. They could call every Tuesday “Pedestrian Day”, encourage people to walk on that day, and make it convenient for them to do so. But people should not be forced to walk. Instead, the government should revitalize the defunct HEHE walk, and lead by example –  they should leave their cars at home and they, themselves, should make it a point to walk every Tuesday. In due course of time, most of us will follow, naturally and happily.

But there’s growing suspicion that the government’s decision to impose Pedestrian Day may not be all that noble. Some have suggested that government’s unilateral decision was motivated by the fact that Rio+ 20, a UN conference on sustainable development, and one that the prime minister is expected attend, will begin in Rio de Janeiro in barely two weeks.

That may indeed be the case. Pedestrian Day may have more to do with pandering to the west than really helping our own people. For instance, if you Google “pedestrian day Bhutan” you’ll find many dozens of news links from all across the world. This shows that the government has obviously targeted the international media; this shows that the government was more concerned about securing international publicity than attending to any domestic inconveniences.

This will not be the first time that the government’s policies would have been determined by our hunger for international adulation. In 2009 the government signed a promise to keep our country carbon neutral for all time to come. That promise, grandiosely called Declaration of the Kingdom of Bhutan – the Land of Gross National Happiness to Save our Planet, was put into effect, also without public consultations or discussions, hardly a week before it was proudly declared at COP15, the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.

If this is the case, if Pedestrian Day has been timed to simply impress the Rio+20 gathering, the government must stop playing games, they must rescind their decision, and they must apologize to the people of Bhutan.

Photo credit: BBS

 

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Comments

  1. just as many of us expected, this is all part of MR. PM’s agenda for international publicity.matter of fact, a high profile foreigner in the country also asked me- “do you think its just for international publicity”? hell yeah it is!! This is not an initiative nor anything of that sort. it is an executive ‘order’ and a draconian rule imposed by a selfish government. OL rightly pointed out that the rule applies to everyone irrespective of age and physical fitness of citizens!!! An actor was quoted as saying by a newspaper that the govt should atleast consult people before taking any radical decision such as this. Wel this govt has little history of doing that, be it the tobacco control act, the vegetable ‘ban’ or any decision made by the PM on behalf of the people and his ‘own government’ for that matter!!! the cabinet as we hear is dictated by the man, so forget about consulting the general public.
    By the way, the pedestrian day is not helping the environment in any major way except for some additional income for the taxi drivers who burn their tires and fuel in a rush to serve as many passengers as possible.
    if this is just another game played by the PM, we demand the right to decide our daily lives!! The PM may as well stop yapping about GNH abroad and do as he please in the country. Guru Rinpochhe save the poor people of Bhutan from this draconian government.

  2. we need pedestrian bridges, better traffic system and pedestrian friendly roads NOT a pedestrian day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. tsewang dorji says:

    I agree that while such a day may help win some international appreciations, what we really need in all our towns is proper pedestrian bridges, proper traffic system and pedestrian friendly roads.

  4. I too agree that the Prime Minister should be more spending time addressing serious and pressing matters at home. Perhaps, figuring out the Rupee shortage problem would be a start.

    However, I am appalled and more importantly saddened by OL’s constant effort to incite controversy in such a small society as ours. There is nothing undemocratic about the introduction of pedestrian day. You cannot expect nation-wide consultation on every decision that the government takes and especially in this case when it really doesn’t negatively affect anyone.

    Asking the PM to revoke the executive order based on “even a few negative reactions” is completely ridiculous. Of course, there couldn’t be a more ideal situation than having unanimous consensus backing every decision but that would also imply that nothing would every happen then. I hope you that you will be more decisive than that when and if your party every forms the government. Please note that there are many “Bhutanese people” who support this initiative (wouldn’t it be undemocratic to take that away from them as well?)

  5. Sonam Deki says:

    Pedestrian day is much welcomed but like well mentioned, more business for taxis, more fuel burning, thus effect to the enviroment remains the same. The government should have consulted the people, not issue executive orders!!!

  6. When has this government ever consulted its people???? Name one instance in the last five yeas. They have come up with numerous draconian laws and regulations but NEVER EVER consulted the people that elected them. They just pass executive orders and demand that its subservient citizens follow the orders or be punished!!! GNH, what a farce!! GNH in Bhutan is more to impress the outside world than anything else. Look at all the bans this government has imposed on its mute citizens… the hyprocracy of GNH is getting harder to digest by the day.

  7. The Pedestrian day is one more proof that Bhutan is not a real democracy but rather an autocracy ruled by ministers with an old mindset.

    What is next? Will we be giving the Prime Ministers version of the Nazi salute and opening labor camps for the political opponents of this government.

  8. @kesang i agree that it is not viable to cosult the entire nation on all decisions made by the govt.(i mean the PM) but there is no question of ‘undemocratic’ as you mention in revoking the order. Bhutanese people who support the ‘order’ has all the right to walk not only on tuesdays but everyday. Old people, patients, people who are in an emergency and especially people who choose not to walk should be allowed to do as they please. As long as they take the taxi, it doesn’t make no sense about pollution control. And i think the ‘negative reaction’ is not just ‘few’.

  9. Thimphu’s road is unfit – no planning went into to. Disable people have the worst deal. Now, able people too. Pedestrian day without any pedestrian! We only have ourself to blame for bringing in this government and let me say this in advance – they will win again because we are Bhutanese – happy go lucky people.

  10. Tendrel says:

    Despite all his talk of Democracy and freedoms the Prime Minister is nothing but a dictator and despot more suited to regimes like Pol Plot and Kim Un Jung who torture their own people and massacre them when they protest.

  11. Tsencho says:

    The DPT is hell bent on losing in 2013. First it comes out with TCA, bans import of packaged food, bans vegetable and now forces its people to walk.

    There is no opposition party required. At this rate DPT is its own biggest enemy. This decision also shows that either the PM does not listen to good advice or he is surrounded by some of the biggest numbskulls Bhutan has ever seen giving him the worst possible ideas.

    I am about to throw up looking at the sheer stupidity of this govt.

  12. concerned citizen says:

    The best way to evaluate such interventions would be a pilot study of a group of people. checking this subset of peoples reaction both before and after the intervention.

    We can have such piolt study in various areas reprensing people from diffrent socio-economic backgroud.

    I personally feel before the policy is set it is good to test.. more scientic approach…

  13. lungdhar says:

    yes that’s good idea, vehicle free day is mainly initiated to save environment but what about Electric cars its 0 green house gas, if bicycles is yes why not electric cars laaa ?????………,

  14. I am in concurrence with what the Leader of Opposition has voiced here; on the audacity of the Government to force things the way they want and perceive.
    For any law or practice of this kind to be implemented, what we would need is a strong and professional public transport network; in terms of accessibility and efficiency (buses/taxis should arrive at their scheduled stops on time and depart on time). So, I for one would definitely argue against the declaration of such a day with no proper infrastructure in place for us to carry out our daily responsibilities responsibly (by the way, I work in a service sector: our daily job may not be classified as an ’emergency’ but it is definite we need to attend to any complaints we receive). No government (central or local) should have the authority to decide on our behalf without our consent. It should instead have been a voluntary act (which would have gauged our (Bhutanese) actual commitment towards environment protection) and not an executive order.
    From the actions of our existing government and the reactions of the opposition, I for one can infer that, we lack statesmen but have no dearth of politicians! Its high time the government realised the need to confer with the electorate on any national level issues and let the population decide for itself whats best for them and the country. Also, the opposition should know the fact the an opposition body’s job is not to always oppose what the government does, but to suggest improvements and provide a judicious mechanism of check and balance. These are things we have always been wishful for, and from the performance of both the government and the opposition till date, seems we will long remain wishful for.

  15. ‘ the prime minister should call the first Pedestrian Day a “dry run”. And, based on even a few negative reactions, he should revoke his executive order. Then he should start honest consultations with the people’

    Do you think PM is as free as you are…stop playing games OL…..that is why in your life you will never become PM. Of course this time you became OL because party president favour you even though most people believe Dasho Damchoe is more capable than you…

    You don’t have other works or what? Please go play another archery match with people of Haa hoping to regain the trust bestowed upon PM by people of Haa…

  16. Its really unfortunate that the Government comes up with some many ideas and policies (and executive orders) to incite anger amongst the public….

    I do not understand why the PM with his “so-called experience” come up with “weird” ideas and “publicity stunts”…. is it a sign that he is “helpless of the situation” OR is he so “obsessed with power”. In any case it is serious concern !!!!

    I completely fail to understand why is he missing the “bigger picture”…. we have a “serious economic crisis” which needs all our attention, yet he comes out with absolutely “crazy” policies and ideas, which indeed gets us to “dislike” and “dis-approve” the Government…

    My only only request to the Government, is to ask them to start solving the “Economic Crisis”, rather then to pretend that nothing is wrong and continue to claim that “happiness is a place” ….”better to nip it at the bud”.

    Government should stop all the nonsense and be practical !!!!

  17. What type of democracy are we having in Bhutan? We need to redefine it, if democracy mean what present government is doing. Its time for government to use brain not kidney..

  18. Pema Yangzom pelga says:

    This is ok. You failed in not bringing the issues of regional imbalance, lottery corruption, Gyelpozhing scam, Chang Ugyen corruption, and many high profile cases to discussion. You are just being a politician, not genuinely concerned. Am not impressed with this show.

  19. constitution says:

    If OL and some of the unhappy people claim that every move that the govt. does need to be consulted with the people, what power does GOVT. have to bring some changes to the nation?
    I’m sure, some day. OL and some people will ask the govt. to disclose to the public and consult with the public what meals they are planning to have in a day……

    When there are different thinking people, obviously some will appreciate it and others not.. so this is the same case………..what is so undemocratic about it…..nothing….rather, we bhutanese people are getting spoiled by the very name DEMOCRACY..while we have been following govt’s order or activities just 4 years back with all heart despite some silent disgruntled people. But, WORD DEMOCRACY is crazy thing if not properly addressed, so this problem is happening in the country where the democracy has just begun or partially.

    I’m highly impressed by this move and extremely proud to see HIS MAJESTY responding to it in profound manner. We people should draw some inspiration from our HM and of course, difficulties will be there ,hope govt. didn’t intend to FINE or PUNISH them if those people didn’t respond to it….otherwise, such initiatives are welcome and if OL and some people feel issuing decree was undemocratic and PM should apologize, I fear, elected govt. will be a man whose arms and legs are cut…or let us not elect govt….and let individual become more important than the nation…without HEAD..

  20. TORISE DRAGON says:

    just want to make sure that did the Lyonchen and other minister walked to their office from their residence???? did lyonchen walked all the way from babesa (near RTC) to his office at langophaka on his foot after decreeing the excutive order?

  21. gachibewmo says:

    OL,
    If your house is on fire, would you consult your neigbours on whether to put it out or not? Since Pedestrian Day is meant for all sections of our society, which particular section would you suggest the government to consult? Every one will have some opinion depending on their age, gender, interest, profession, status and political inclination. And people like you will never make it happen by inciting as many people as you can to block the decision. Right now, your priority should be to put your own house (PDP) in order before it gets burnt down. My advice to you: do not waste time consulting people because outside of this blog,they are all for DPT and will advise you to let it burn!!!

  22. @Mongar: Do not go personally…if you have points to share please do it, otherwise do not just bluff, it make you cheap.

    To me what Hon’ble OL pointed out has lots of meaning….What do you think-Mongar? you say PM has no time for bullshit…then why do you think he is wasting 45 mins times 2 on Tuesday….walking from YHS to office and back….. time is money and we do not want our leaders to waste time just walking for no immease benefit… Forget that, we jujst don’t want a top down decision from our leaders….

    Cheers to OL la..

  23. from BBS website !!

    karma Norbu
    June 6, 2012 – 10:18 am

    I didn’t get the objective of this move, pedestrian day? why do we need to observe this day every tuesday when 98% of our population are walking more than 10 mile everyday. it is truly unnecessary move it is disturb the efficiency of the city life and office work..

  24. constitution says:

    Yes gachibewmo, u r rite, Mr. OL should realize the deficiencies within PDP rather than wasting time in this small forum, filled with few people who thinks only in one dimension: i.e. whatever OL utter is right and malign the govt. that every move the govt. does, very next day, OL will ask for apology from the govt. But our OL seem to be unaware of the world outside this forum………so better start campaigning in the corners of the country..otherwise PDP is perishing forever sooner than later.

    Can we hear Dasho Damchoe’s side of story in the move made by the govt…..would Dasho Damcho Dorji could have made better OL? Otherwise, had enough with the stunts of Mr. OL….

  25. I think people like gachibewmo and others will never understand what Democracy is and what rights we have in a democracy as a citizen.

    Just a simple logic here.I have two kids, one in primary school and other in a day care center. How will people like me manage on this day so called “The Pedestrian Day”. I live in Motithang and my office is in town.
    I spent Nu. 500 yesterday to manage the whole day on Taxi and around Nu. 200 on lunch which other wise would have spent around Nu. 50 for my care fuel and lunch at home.
    I assume that on a average every individual who are FORCED to walk would spend Nu. 400.

    Now, if the whole intention of the government is to save environment and fuel import, I request BBB to do a simple calculation here.
    Visit the Fuel station (BOD) and ask for an average sale of fuel on other days and yesterday ‘Pedestrian Day’.
    If the average sale of fuel on “Pedestrian Day” is less than 50%, I will agree, that government is concern and is on right path. OR else, I will assume that the whole purpose of saving environment and cutting fuel import and saving INR is defeated.
    I doubt if the sale of fuel yesterday “Pedestrian Day” was less than 20% assuming the busy Taxi around.

  26. I stand by the ‘Pedestrian Day’ concept. His Excellency the Prime Minister himself has shown the way, walking to office on Tuesday. I have faith in him. I want to respect him.

  27. Only thing, if he walks to office maybe 15 tuesdays… (max)and let the media know… in his dedication to tsa-wa-sum.

  28. san,

    I am amazed that you had to spend Nu.500.00 on taxis plus Nu.200.00 on lunch yesterday because of the Pedestrians’ Day. I hope that you will have the good grace to take what I have to say as something positive. I do no mean to ridicule you or insult you.

    I think you did not prepare yourself. You did not plan things out properly. Let me tell you what I did. I dropped my children to school (also at two different locations) way before 8AM. My children carry pack lunch to school – so do I to office. So I did not spend a single Chettrum on taxis or lunch. I live in Taba, much further away than Motithang where you say you live. Me and my children did have to bear some bit of hardship, but that is something we were willing to do for the larger good of the country.

    The Rupee crisis is very real. We need to do something to help ourselves out of this situation. Surely you can understand the compulsions under which the government is doing things that they know are not going to go down well with the people. But as responsible people, we need to understand that each of us need to sacrifice a little and do not grumble at the slightest of discomfort and that too arising out of our own incapacity to apply our imagination.

    How can we hope to help ourselves if we are unwilling to do our part? Government is not a miracle worker. Government needs the citizens to do our part. Please, for God’s sake, understand that there will be inconveniences but that is a part and parcel of our fight to get out of the situation that we are now in.

    The Hon’ble OL is a politician and a very smart one at that. As you can see, he has managed to hoodwink some people, at least a few of them, into believing that what the government is doing is undemocratic. That makes him a smart man. We are the stupid ones – who believe in his line of argument. You fail to realize that the OL’s entire focus will be to discredit the government. It is not in his or his party’s interest to sing praises of the government’s actions. He is duty bound to punch holes into every move the government makes.

    You and I need to apply our mind and decide for ourselves and not believe in whatever the OL says. To do that is to accept that we are damn fools without an iota of common sense.

  29. Dear OL,

    The decision by the government? Or PM? [I am not sure whether it is government’s decision or PM’s] certainly lacks foresight. Although, theoretically the concept of having a dry day in a week is a great concept, but practically it needs a lot before implementing such ideas on ground. Before I make any further comment we must see the advantages and disadvantages of issuing such orders in democracy. The questions we must ask is…

    WHY?
    A simple answer to this would be to save the environment. However, the logic is defied when the same day taxis are allowed and that to without having any law in place to control the unjustified fares.

    The infrastructure should support the decisions. Furthermore, it is very important to see the long lasting effect of such orders. To start a campaign is okay, but will the PM or MPs (along with all the secretaries and civil servants) be capable of traveling on foot or bicycle when the parliament session is on or when it rains? [FOR HOW LONG]??? What about the documents pertaining to more important issues which they are expected to carry? that The noble concept can and must be implemented in phased manner. If government finds it too difficult to come to public and have their views than I am sure they would have consulted all the people’s representatives. It implies that all MPs should take responsibility for PM’s announcement.

    Another issue highlighted is WHY THIS TIME?
    Is it just to please the West? I really don’t know but I certainly expect a clarification on this from PM and all MPs. This is more relevant when I ask ‘FOR HOW LONG?’. Is it going to be over once the PM comes back from his Rio visit?

    WHO IS AFFECTED?
    Cycling or walking in front of camera [that too only on one inaugural day] and having all the paraphernalia with you to carry your belongings while going to work is one thing and walking/cycling long distances with all your office briefcase/folder+lunch basket+laptops and sometimes even kids in all weather conditions once every week is another thing.

    Just a thought…

  30. ProOL,
    Can you explain us in better and easy manner for most bhutanese are not so educated like you and PM.

    Sacrifices, what sacrifices have you done beside walking for a day.
    That may be a lie too and i can’t believe that you fathering two sons.
    You sound like a young idiot after college and at times you do sound as an over educated ass to join the nexus of DPT forever.

    And please do not start campaigning by calling us to apply our mind. My mind clearly take this as wrong move by Govt. But you being a paid supporters of DPT, you will always accept all that they have to BAN. Soon your Govt. will take us behind the prison, if we drive on tuesdays. God Bless Bhutan.

  31. Govt. of BANs – in fact lots of banning, INR banning (restriction) to imports of machineries and etc. Now, the latest top-down executive order to mark “Tuesday as…”.

    I think we should BAN the Govt to avoid any further banning.

    Come 2013 TO SEE IF WE COULD GET RID OF ANY FURTHER BANNING…

  32. What baffles me most are the people who are supporting the Pedestrian day(Taxi day), saying it helps them get exercise. To those people I would like to tell you that no one is stopping you from walking, do you need government to tell you when to talk and when to drive. You are free to walk everyday if you want to, but please let individuals exercise their freedom of whether to walk or not.

  33. Concerned Citizen says:

    good point “TRUTH”

  34. Yes, people should have been consulted first. 100% correct.

  35. Phuntsho Ongmo says:

    Fully agree with OL. The decision of government to make every Tuesday no vehicle day is absolutely crazy in a country like Bhutan where our infrastructures are too poor to support pedestrians. The decision is also draconian as rightly pointed by many and is also intended to gain international highlights. This doesn’t help the public in anyway.
    Government should consider rescinding this draconian decision immediately as it creates so much inconveniences to many.

  36. that is what DEMOCRAZY is all about

  37. Honourable OL,
    I m not sure whether the gov, who was elected by the people to represent them, needs to consult public every time a new policy is introduced? Public can share their opinion but the gov is not bound to listen.

  38. sssss

    You want me to explain in a manner even easier than I have done? That is impossible. However, there is an easier way out: you grow up and things will begin to make sense.

    The only sacrifice the government has asked of me so far as a citizen of this country is that I walk on Tuesdays and I have done that and will do it every Tuesday, if that rule or requirement stands. I won’t moan like a spoilt brat.

    You probably don’t even know the meaning of nexus but let me assure you that I am not a part of any nexus – whether DPT or PDP. I support the recent moves being made by the DPT government because I believe that they are needed. I will continue to support each and every move they make, as long as I am convinced that they are good for the country. As far as what you believe is concerned, if you are unwilling to be tolerant of a small sacrifice that the country is asked of you, what worth is your belief?

    For those of you who are threatening that you will not vote for DPT in the next elections, do you truly believe that the DPT government is worried about that? If they did, they would not bring out such unpopular rules. They would act the goody two shoes and continue to allow the country to sink deeper and deeper into trouble. The majority of the people of Bhutan have mandated them to do a job and I am happy that they are trying their best to do it – without being mindful that some immature kids cannot fathom the purpose behind their policies.

    Yes sssss, you wait for God to bless you and your like. The government must do what they must do after all, the dogs will keep on barking, but that must not hinder the caravan from keeping on moving.

  39. no doubt, we ve vote them to make decisions on our behalf but certainly not at this level-when to eat, sleep, walk etc….The idea maybe good but it really doesn’t serve the purpose other than causing great inconveniences to the public…in democratic country, people should have a right to chose whether to walk or drive… government has many other better ways to address the rupee crunch and environmental issues….banning should always be a last option after exhausting every other possible means but here, banning comes first…i am just wondering what will be the next ban before ending the dpt term!!…

  40. DO WE REALLY NEED THE GOVT TO TELL US WHEN TO WALK AND WHEN TO DRIVE?
    If DPT government and people like ProOL are so concern about the environment, import of fuel and saving INR, why not they set an example by walking.
    People should be have their own choice whether to walk or drive.
    By the way, ProOL has not walked to office last Tuesday “Pedestrian day” he has not helped govt in cutting down fuel import nor did he help save environment. The only difference is he drove early and left home late afternoon.

    I would like to suggest govt, if they are really concern about environment and saving INR while cutting down fuel import.

    If PM and all his chamchas, Ministers and people like ProOL who support this move set example by walking everyday to office, I would definitely like to follow them. I am sure no one would like to drive to office when we see PM, Ministers… walking on road.

  41. I am with the views from Constitution, Gacheybewmo, ProOL, Orong and others…

    We need to learn how to respect the noble decisions and intentions for a larger good instead of arguing all the time. I will respect such decisions from the government whosoever is on power. There is absolutely nothing undemocratic in declaring a pedestrian day.

    Somebody had raised concerns whether PM and all other minsters had really walked on that day…that can alys checked out and get cleared the ambiguities. Some one had also mentioned whether PM had walked all the way from Babesa to his office and in this, to me, why should PM and any common man for that matter, walk all the way from Babesa? There are jurisdictions defined for core area…..

  42. Rather than enforcing the so called Pedestrian’s Day by decree, the PM should first think about providing better infrastructure for pedestrian’s and cyclists. Let alone cycling lanes, most of the roads in and around Thimphu don’t even have proper footpaths. So if the PM is indeed so concerned about the health of the citizens he should give some attention to this. Instead of putting all his efforts into raising funds for his happiness center Bumthang, he should put at least some effort into making Thimphu a safer and happier place for those who cannot afford to drive. I’m sure that if better infrastructure is provided many more people would choose to walk or cycle.

    And by the way, what is this Executive Order? Does it have any legal basis in the Constitution or some other law? I am no constitutional expert but I have never heard of any Prime Minister issuing an Executive Order. The only Executive Orders I have have read about are those that are issued by the US Presidents who it seems are specifically authorized by the Constitution. Here in Bhutan I have even seen Executive Orders issued by ministers.

  43. constitution says:

    Like some of the mates mentioned here, we Bhutanese mass need to know the political mandate of the Opposition who in this forum only started discrediting a newspaper because that journal has written something bad about his party and claim that paper is followed by very few people including our Honourable OL himself. And he does not see wrong in showing Pictures of PM at bad taste in his own forum for personal or political mileage… What more can we ask from our OL now…..I have just realized he is truly educated as a pure FIT to be in opposition for his generation, if god blesses him with the win the elections in generations to come.

    Because, it is his political Mandate to pull down and find edge of an egg of the govt but proudly claim all is well with him and his party and his supporters in this forum… completely discredit and disown if someone says something is wrong with him.

    So, now… BALL is in our hand, we citizens of the nation to judge. Yes govt. has come up with unpopular issues which certainly will effect yet I applaud them because they are not scared of losing or winning the next election but to SAFEGUARD the NATION…that is courageous. We live in the world of cynicism and bound to have different opinions. Among all these unpopular moves done in the best interest of the NATION, there is concrete proves the changes brought to the nook and corner of the country over the last 4 years….definitely, they cannot achieve cent percent of their promises and make its citizens cent percent happy..yet changes are there to see with our own eye.. and keep going and bit more proper thinking…

    So Long Live PM, Long live DPT and of course long LIVE PDP so that we can have such forum going all the way…..

  44. @constitution – your nickname would be best suited, if only you could look beyond what is on the surface. By the way i aint no supporter of PDP nor the DPT but i think its absolutely democratic and constitutional for the OL to express his views on his blog. Unlike Lyonchen JYT who likes to do it the other way round, OL is making his remarks about a newspaper on public forum. If a newspaper doesnt keep the DPT in good humour JYT launches a coordinated attack from the back- ‘stopping all govt advertising for the particular newspaper’. His ministers are dictated not to entertain the paper. Remember, govt Ads are a major source of revenue for all newspapers. I think it is undemocratic to stop Ads on the basis of a critical story by a paper done in the interest of public. It is democratic and everyone’s right to criticize what one feel is not right on public forum.

  45. constitution says:

    Yet another unfounded truth by @ Dorji but I will not discredit you for this matter because, you and I hold the equal responsibility as a citizen, our hearts may not be following the same path.

    By the way would you enrich me with your accusation? when was this unfortunate day when JYT did what you are accusing of. I condemn it .but condemn on what? I have not seen it, not even read in any newspaper…I’m sure if there is paper who is interested in writing about one party, there will be other who wishes to dig deep into other party as well. OR you are Tenzin Rigdhen of PDP in disguise as some said about the real Tenxin Rigden favouring DPT.
    Otherwise, all is well, you have your own right and so do I…I do not buy everything done by this govt but I’m also appreciative of what they are doing…that is all….god bless you and all..

  46. @ Constitution haha..its funny that you compare me to the likes of Tenzin Rigden just because i am an ardent media consumer. yes, i read papers and watch tv. hmmm. . if you have not read about it any papers, you may be one of them ignorant fools. Because the fact was all over the media. google it out for yourself. Ask around and compare which papers gets the Ads for now.
    just like you, i donot buy everything the govt does and neither do i support every argument made by OL.
    let me enrich you with another news- soon, there will be a new paper in the market and the current govt will steer its direction. in short, DPT will start a newspaper.

  47. All the commentators can just keep on complaining but at the end you have to follow what the government decides. If you are not satisfied, you can join one of those parties, win the election and do your best. You will only then realize the bitterness and sweetness of your neverending complaints.

    Also bear in mind that the decision of the government for the Tuesday walk is being appreciated by His Majesty as we have seen him tour the city on his bicycle. Pelden Drukpa Gyalo.

  48. I too would like to support, on this particular issue, all others who are in favour of OL. This initiative has caused and will cause a lot of inconveniences to those citizens who have to drop/pick up young school going kids, especially under harsh weather conditions. The initiative, no doubt, is a positive one for saving the environment but then there are lot other actions that have bigger negative impact on the environment that pollution caused by cars; such as mining activities, constructing mansions(Ministers) on hill tops that involves major deforestation while building roads till their main door step.

    Those of you who are in favour of this initiative only on the basis of health benefits and saving the environment; I pity you guys if you need an executive order to do activities related to these reasons; I go for regular morning walks without anyone ordering me to do so (health concern) and i reuse things that could be reused to save the environment; these are self initiatives and no one has to order you if you are genuinely concerned about yourself (health) and the world you live in.

    lastly, DPT government, if at all every Tuesday is to be observed as “pedestrian Day”, please be mindful of how much the taxis, who have been allowed to serve the people in emergencies, charge?..many of us do not get fat salaries like the Politicians and are also not born with golden spoon in our mouth!!!!!!!! Introduce metered Taxis at the least!!!

    God help us …i wonder what sort of GNH values we are cultivating in the nation who is projected as a happiest country!!!!

  49. If DPT govt. wants to save environment and stop flow of INR, then i would suggest DPT government to stop the complete movement of vehicles from Monday midnight till Tuesday midnight. How is the idea????

  50. Pholangkatang says:

    When one voice your concerns, it need to be logical. I think you should be logical and sensible enough to criticize, either OL or those supporters.
    This OL’s blog has now become a insane’s forum. At least learn to respect those good act if even if you dont contribute one.

  51. It seems Ol’s page is now becoming insane’s forum. If not you being a unconstitutionally elected OL, who run’s office as our representative, do not appreciate good initiatives for the country, i doubt if you are worth it. The initiative is even supported by His Majesty, why not you and I?

    Woldn’t it be good for us to learn to do something good rather than bullshith.

    Sometimes be sensible to poke your nose.

  52. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ Jaso
    No one is saying the cause is not good. Every one admits it is good. OL is suggesting the same.

    But when we implement any policy it needs to be studied and evaluated. We cannot stay in dark ages, we need more robust and scientific approach. Evidence to prove effectiveness, cost effectiveness etc and stakeholders opinion etc.

    Just because you think it is good, does not mean other people cant voice their opinion.

    Last but not the least I strogly feel that there should be pilot study before deciding such policy.

  53. Domchosertong says:

    Dear All,

    My only concern is that its should sustain, hope its won’t be like HEHE walk of MoAF, which eventually dried up….

  54. Domchosertong says:

    Dear All,

    My only concern is that its should sustain, hope its won’t be like HEHE walk of MoAF, which eventually dried up….

  55. economist says:

    Here is the thing! If a person has enough money and wants to take a ride while going to office or where he goes, no matter how overweight he is, he has the right to do so. If he becomes overweight by not walking, it is his fault as he is risking his health by not walking. So, is the case with those who enjoy walking; if someone enjoys walking or should have to walk as a result of financial constraints it is his problem.

    That said, it doesn’t mean that the government should arbitrarily mandate that everyone should walk on Tuesdays. This is undemocratic, tyrannical and hypocritical. This has to do with the upcoming Rio plus 20 conference where he will cite this example by saying “hey, listen up guys! we have become so conscious about ill-effects of climate change that we have even decided to declare Tuesdays as Pedestrian Day.” You will get an applause for it. But soon they will find out that you are being hypocritical. So the image of the country and people as a whole will be dented because of one termite in a basket.Where has the “consent of the governed” gone? I think these guys are really deluded into thinking that they have the confidence of the people to do anything they want by bypassing the constitution. Wait, the 2013 election is just around the corner. These guys will face consequences for their ruthless, fatuous and disrespectful actions. Good Bye Jigmi Thinley!!!

  56. frontier says:

    GNH is a beautiful rose designed to hide deadly thorns behind it!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Bhutan rather Bhutan’s State is teaching world about happiness. Noqw it’s world’s turn to teach Bhutan’s elite about democracy,freedom and human dignity.

  57. tsewang dorji says:

    Why limit to only Tuesdays? Lyoenchen should walk EVERYDAY to his office to prove how serious he is with his commitment to the environment!!!!!!!

  58. guardian says:

    These are some of the postive effects of the Pedestrian day as I see it:

    Reduces pollution, both carbon and noise.

    Walking for even one day in a week would make people a bit more healthier and for some who suddnely discover the joys of walking, it just may lead to less use of the family vehicle on other days too.

    The RGOB would save massive amounts of fuel which would otherwise need to be imported.

    Gives people the chance to walk on safer roads which would never be possible if such a rule did not exist.

    Will one day go a long way in instilling our youngsters that it is okay to walk, right now, many children would not be caught dead seen walking or taking a bus.

    The walk to school for the majority of our children who’s parents can ill afford a car would be much more pleasant and safer. With so much traffic on our roads during school opening and closing hours, many parents worry themselves stiff about the safety of their children, at least from now on, for one day in a week, they will have some peace of mind.

    For those who still don’t want to walk, the RGOB has allowed taxis and public transport to ply on Pedestrain days, so they always have the choice of using them.

    And to the guy who said that he is now inconvenienced that his 6 year old daughter would now need to walk to school for one day in a week, I tell him to please spare a thought for school going children in our many far flung villages that walk to school and back home for up to 3 to 4 hours a day, they don’t even have the option of taking a cab or the local bus.

    All in all, the pros far outweigh the cons.

  59. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ Guardian.
    We know theoritically the benefits and I think it is a novel approach.

    However, this needs to be evaluated or quantified. More scientific approach.

    For eg if. 200 people walk x distance how much benefit we get, both in terms of cost effectiveness and effectiveness. This can be quantified. If international media or anyone askes what is the rationale of this project and how do you justify.. we cant just talk about it. We need to be more evidence based and that is what I want in our country. I want our government to commission such evaluation before making any policy.

  60. PM waste people’s money. Earlier GNH made money. Now, PM is spending money to talk about GNH. No body in Bhutan believes in GNH.

  61. guardian says:

    Concerned citizen,

    It’s so easy to quantify and qualify what I have written:

    Fewer vehicles on our roads for even one day means our city is less polluted.

    Fewer vehicles being used translates into roads being more safe for pedestrians.

    Fewer vehicles plying on our roads means less fuel consumption which is a good thing, in light of the constant increase in fuel prices and the larger rupee crunch.

    And the one that cannot be quantified right now is the part about future generations of our children not feeling shy to walk and use public transport, which is a real concern even now.

    As for the example you gave about 200 people walking a certain distance, that should have no bearing on any cost, except that they would become much healthier, what will be required to be done is for everyone to plan their “Tuesday’s” more judiciously from now on. For example, getting up one hour earlier would not cause any long lasting damage to anyone.

  62. guardian says:

    Concerned citizen,

    Though, I concede that the Govt should have made people aware of their plans, instead of just implementing it without any warning, hence the reason for the chaos it did cause many people.

  63. Concerned Citizen says:

    Dear Guardian,
    Thank you for the comments.

    What you said was right.. the impacts is measurable. So we need to measure before implementing.

    Lets talk about Health Benefits for eg.
    For eg. WHO recommends walking for 2.30 hour (moderate intensity) walk to have the health benefits.
    Are we meeting the guidelines, if we are meeting approximately how many people are walking, how long are they walking etc needs to be obtained from a survey. WHO has HEAT tool to calculate the cost and benefits.
    Does the benefit outweight the cost is the question before implementin.

    There is no direct cost as you rightly mentioned in walking, but there would be indirect cost, such as opportunity cost of the workers if they reach their work late etc etc..
    This is just one prospective of health.. likewise for pollution etc we could do..

    So we need evidence based approach before implementing any policy and I would want our country to be as scientifically robust as possible..

    All I suggest that we quantify and produce the result and them implement the result.

  64. Dear OL and the puppets, Whether you accept it or not, it’s up to you. His majesty the king appreciated the pedestrian day by visiting the town on a bicycle. Democracy is all about majority of the people agreeing. If majority did not accept the move, there would have been widespread criticism. For any change, small criticisms will be there. It’s a human nature to act inhumane.

  65. bhutanese says:

    OL, are you serious? what have you done in these last four years that was productive. all you do is write against everything the PM and the govt. does and you try and poison minds of our people.
    why don’t you stop thinking about party politics and try and work with the government for the benefit of Bhutan. You can come up with a million complains but you can’t even give one single solution.

    What do you mean “based on even a few negative reactions, he should revoke his executive order.” What about those who had positive reactions? This reminds me of how PDP gathered up people in front of the Lingka after your loss, asking HIs Majesty to take back democracy when majority of the country voted for DPT.

    Now here you are twisting things saying the “pedestrian day” was to impress the RIO+ 20 gathering.
    Just because you went on a “walk for health” with different intensions, you can’t imagine there are people who do things with no hidden agendas.
    The fact that our beloved Kings supports the “Pedestrian Day”, how dare you try to go against something he believes in and supports.

    I pray our country never gets a leader like you.

  66. I am shocked at the way Bhutanese treat democracy, saying it is the rule by the majority, democracy is also respect of the minority, otherwise why have democracy, if majority can trample the minority, might as well as dictatorship government.
    If we have to accept whatever the majority decides, then why worry about women rights or children rights, or minority rights, just as well, let the majority kill the minority.

  67. Here, almost everyone don’t agree! So gov should revisit their executive ORDER. No body has a right to force someone to walk or ride..let individual chose it on their own…, gov can create awareness n build pedestrian friendly infrastructures to encourage walking…this decision was adhoc, unplanned n certainly dictatorial in nature…decision makers forgot that we r living in 21st century n in a democratic country!

  68. guardian says:

    Concerned citizen,

    Opportunity costs should be the least of your worries, that’s if most of our burueacrats and civil servants were dedicated to their duties once they are in office. The reality is that if you do go and visit a government office for some work, the chances are that the person you want to meet will have gone AWOL.

    I am sorry to say it, but this the sad truth, so getting to office one hour late will won’t have any bearing on opportunity costs.

  69. guardian says:

    A question for OL, after the “Move for Health Walk”, millions of USD in donations were collected, is it possible to update us on how the funds are being used. By the way, I am not insinuating anything, just curious, as we have not heard anything about it for the last so many years.

  70. economist says:

    Drukpa@ Who told you that democracy is about majority? If democracy is about majority and if a majority decides to take decisions under the pretext that they have the will of the people, then it’s is the “tyranny of the majority” In that case, it’s not democracy, it’s is mobocracy. Democracy is not about a group of people bulldozzing everything under the pretext that it has the “will of the people;” it is about protecting the rule of law, which contains individual rights which are inalienable no matter how strong and legitimate the majority is. This means that the government should have consulted the opposition party before making such a rash decision. Accordingly, every Bhutanese has the right to file a case for impeachment against the government for tresspassing on the inalienable rights of the people.
    Just for the record, I am no fan of the OL. But let’s face it! The PM is utterly wrong to make a decision which affects the life of every Bhutanese.

  71. Dear economist,

    However vehemently you may deny it, democracy is all about majority. Rule of majority is what put DPT at the helm of things. If it weren’t that way, it would be PDP who would be running the show. By the way, this is not unique to Bhutan. It is the same everywhere else in the world – majority rules and majority dictates.

    There is no need for the government to consult the Opposition for the simple reason that the majority of the Bhutanese people have soundly rejected the competencies of the Opposition. The Bhutanese people have placed their faith in the collective wisdom of the DPT – we will not renege on our own decision. We have no need to because, regardless of what you say, we believe that what the PM did is utterly correct and needed and in the interest of the majority of the Bhutanese.

    You are right; the rights of the people are inalienable. However, the elected government has every right and authority to suspend those rights during times of national crises. By the way you are wrong that every Bhutanese has a right to file a case for impeachment of the government. I encourage you to go and seek legal opinion as to whether impeachment proceedings against a sitting government can be instituted by an individual.

  72. Pinkponk says:

    It is impossible to consult all the citizen. That is why we have our representative elect in the Parliament. The PM should have consulted them on our behalf.

    With the PM, GNH has become a public money wasting concept – go abroad for GNH preaching.

  73. economist says:

    ProOl,
    The phrase “it is the same everywhere else” and the compound word “national crisis” are used by people as an excuse to rationalize everything, even to the extent of trespassing on individual rights and civil liberties enshrined in the constitution. You said “majority rules” and “majority dictates.” By saying “majority rules” you seem to prop up “mob rule” which is tantamount to espousing thuggish bulletocracies like Burma and North Korea. By saying “majority dictates” you talk about fascism, raising the ruling government to the level of Big Brother.

    How can you make such a frivolous comment that there is no need for the government to consult the opposition merely because it has the majority. If you consent that the “will of the majority” is sufficient enough to do deny the inherent rights of the minority, you are being utterly fatuous. No matter how strong the majority is it has no right to infringe on individual rights by telling people when should they be walking and what not. In this entry I see lots of people who are against this move; so, how can you possibly say “we believe that what the PM did is utterly correct?”
    I am right that every Bhutanese has the right to impeach the government for its decision for the very fact that this is a matter of individual rights and individual rights precede “the will of the people” or “the majority” that you are touting.

    On a different note, like I mentioned in my earlier comment, this move has to do with the Rio-Plus 20 conference in Brazil on sustainable development. The PM is so deluded into thinking that he can use this no traffic day to make his cause of GNH more legitimate and credible during the conference. But the question here is, how can he possibly tout about happiness when he makes decisions which are antithetical to individual rights which include the right to life and the pursuit of happiness? I smell a high degree of hypocrisy and demagoguery.

  74. economist,
    Why don’t you simply say that in your thinking, individual rights must override national interests? What you call “mob rule” I call it national consensus. You can moan and whine as much as you want, but there is no escaping the fact that you are in the minority and there is no way the minority can have its way. You know damn well that it is how it works. Nothing you do or say is going to alter that.

    I still say that there is no need for the government to consult a two-member team of the Opposition. I mean you cannot be serious that a minority view must prevail over the majority view? Where have you heard of such a thing except in the hollow minds of the depraved? National interest is sufficient grounds on which to infringe on individual interests. Individual interests and rights must be subservient to national interest. And everybody is hollering that the nation is in a crisis mode.

    I am not touting anything except the right for the national interest to supersede all other interests. Whether it has to do with Rio-Plus 20 or GNH, as long as it can further the cause of Bhutan, we are for it.

  75. concerned citizen says:

    Dear Guardian,
    Thats not how scientific researchers are done.
    Irrespective of the point you just suggested regarding opportunity cost, we need to calculate that along with all the indirect and intangible cost. Such as loss of productivity, wear and tear due to walking, buying new walking shoes etc.

    From both societal as well as public prospective. This annual cost can be simmulated for next 20-25 years etc. So such policy however novel cannot be devised in 1or 2 days. It needs years of research.

    I hope this explains. scientific research before implementing policy is very important.

  76. economist says:

    ProOl,
    Yes, when I said individual rights precede majority rule-which takes the liberty of defining national interests-I meant individual rights override national interests. There are only few exceptional cases like national defense where the government can downplay individual rights. How can mob rule be national consensus? The ruling government might have achieved a landslide in the past, but that doesn’t make the party has the legitimacy or moral fibre to use “the past confidence of people” to infringe on individual rights. As a matter of fact, declaring the no-traffic day is not even an issue of nation interest. What makes you to presume that I am in the minority? This is not a minority matter; it is a matter of individual rights. I am not exclusively saying that the PM should have consulted the opposition; I am just claiming that it is categorically wrong on the part of the government to impose a law which conflicts with individual rights.

    The Rio conference is good and nobody refutes about the impact of climate change and global warming. Having realized that income has diminishing marginal utility or the Eaterlin paradox, no body refutes the need for GNH. But what I can’t understand is the degree of hypocrisy and demagoguery involved by arbitrarily mandating that Tuesadays will be Pedestrian Day just to make the GNH cause more legitimate during the conference. Soon the outside world will find out his hypocrisy and the image of the country will be dented. Soft power is not about hypocrisy, it’s about credibility.

  77. 1) Hundreds of people living in the core area  like Norzim Lam have to commute out side Thimphu to work everyday. (simtokha, olakha, serbithang & beyond) Are they expected to take a taxi & at who’s cost. What about those who want to travel in their own cars to other dzongkhags & live along Norzim Lam, phenday lam, swimming pool area, hongkong market. In these areas cars cannot move beyond where they are parked. 

    2) Overall productivity of both Govt & busniess entities alike will be compromised. Govt offices have been instructed not to arrange meetings, functions on Tuesdays. Shops will see a decline in sales. Business houses & the general public living in the core areas will have to wait another day to get their work done. A day lost is a day gone by. In a nut shell, the economy will loose more than what little you save on fuel. 

    3) It seems tourist will now be permitted to move freely on Tuesdays.
    Why not me? Am I, a Bhutanese, any lesser than them. I too have to commute, get work done, dead lines to meet & obligations to fufill. Yes, tourist pay dollars & contribute to the economy but so does every Bhutanese in the form tax, BIT, BST, PIT, Land tax, health Contribution etc.

  78. gamingumin says:

    My point on this subject is not about whether walking is goo, or democracy, or majority rule, or Rio+20 or even about GNH. It is simply about the rule of law. Does our constitution or some other law give the executive branch of government the power to make and implement rules at its discretion? My understanding of parliamentary democracy is that all laws are passed by parliament and the government can only frame rules and regulations that are necessary to implement these laws. So my question is on the basis of which law, or clause in the Constitution did the government issue this “executive order” mandating Tuesdays as Pedestrian Day?

  79. economist says:

    gamingumin,
    you are right on! The crux of the matter is about the rule of law and due process, not “rule of man” or hysteria that the PM and his deluded bootlickers like ProOl lavish in. They have to follow the rule of law, the constitution, which does not provide much leeway or circumscribes arbitrary, despotic and Machiavellian undertakings like this through checks and balances and whatnot.

  80. You know what Benjamin Franklin said, Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  81. economist,
    All right then, go ahead and exercise your individual right. Go file an impeachment case against the government, as you believe that the constitution empowers every Bhutanese with the right to do so. Also, in your petition, do not forget to mention that the constitution prohibits the government to implement rules and regulations that is good for the country and protect the interest of the larger group of people over those of the individual; that as per the constitution, every single rule and regulation to be implemented by the government has to be passed by the Parliament.

    I could give you a few pointers on the issue of hypocrisy and credibility you talk about but you seem like a person incapable of seeing beyond the less that mediocre understanding you have of the issues involved, so I wont waste my time.

  82. guardian says:

    Concerned citizen,

    I nominate you to do the scientific research or whatever you call it.

  83. Hi economist,
    If democracy is not about the rule of majority, why should we vote? The word demo itself means majority. So, just a few opposing comments in this OL’s personal-driven blog won’t make any difference whatsoever.

  84. economist says:

    Drukpa,
    As far as I know, the Greek word “demos” means “people,”not “majority,” and the word “kratos” means “rule.” Hence, the definition of democracy:”rule by the people.” We the “demos” have to vote them, by giving up a part of our freedom, so that that they can protect the individual rights, such as, the right to life, liberty and so forth. Put another way, the role of government should be like a referee and we like football players; the duty of the government, as a referee, is to set the ground rules and stick to them so that we can play the game to the fullest, meaning the duty of the government is to protect or go by the rule of law.

    ProOl,
    You are being so partisan. Your main intention is to discredit the Ol by inventing rationalizations. What you call “good for the country” seems more like a mere figment of your imagination as a result of a delusion perpetuated in you by JYT.You cannot even make a good point and keep sidestepping by giving rationalizations. Hence, it is you who can’t rise above the mediocrity and fatuity and it should be I who should stop wasting my time pouring gold water over inverted iron pots like you and spend quality time making love with my hot girl friend. hahahaha!
    Bye!!

  85. economist,
    You are such a self-centered idiot without an iota of understanding or knowledge no wonder you have a need to make love with, and not make love to, your girlfriend. Poor girl must certainly be desperate to have to live and survive a person of demented logic and distorted views such as you. Or, she must be hot, as you say, and nothing much else.

    As to discrediting the OL, I have never done that and I will never do it. I have already admitted a number of times on this blog that the OL is duty bound to discredit the government, his opposition, as much and as often as he can. So I understand his need. I am not as naïve as you or as stupid, that I will waste my time arguing with him or fault him for posting ridiculous things on his own blog about the government. As far as he is concerned, that is the only way he can hope to stand a chance in the next election – by being able to create distrust in the minds of the people. He knows damn well that there is no dearth of idiots out there who can be fed any bullshit and they will take it for gospel truth. But I will not stand idly when nincompoops like you come carousing in here and propagate the preposterous idea that individual interest supersedes collective national interest; that the constitution prohibits the government from framing rules and regulations that are good for the country; that every rule or regulation that the government implements must be debated in, and approved by, the Parliament. My reaction stems from a sense of disgust that we have among us such ill-informed people who harbor dangerous beliefs such as those you do. I am disgusted at the level of your illiteracy. And you wonder why public consultation isn’t a norm?

    I am an inverted iron pot because the water you are pouring is sullied and unfit for retention. Is it any wonder?

    By the way, regardless of how hard you yell, at the end of the day, the government is not bound to be deterred by the views of some half-baked economist. The rule is in and it will be enforced. So let us end the discussion here because if you haven’t noticed, it is so terribly futile. hahahaha!
    Bye!!

  86. economist says:

    Going by the way you write about the OL, it is you who is such a self-centered moron. Your moronic thinking is unequivocal when you write “the OL is duty bound to discredit the government, his opposition, as much and as often as he can.” If you wanted to immune yourself from my accusations of moronic thinking, you should have wrote that the duty of the OL is to revoke tyrannical decisions like this which is at variance with the inherent rights of the individual or the general welfare of the citizenry, instead of saying he is duty-bound to discredit the government.

    You are so deluded into thinking that Pedestrian Day is a matter of national interest. How did you reach this conclusion? It is you who is making hell of a lot of illogical statements. You are blindly accepting JYT’s categorization of issues of national interest at face value. You are just lauding his good intentions without taking them with a pinch of salt. Intentions are just intentions; what is more important is the results of these intentions.
    If you are being disgusted by my illiteracy, i am so ashamed of your naivety and no wonder the word “bootlicker” suits you. You seem to have this deluded belief that simply because a party has a majority, it has the right to do define morality, by pigeonholing which things are to considered matters of national interest or not, disregard the rule of law and due process, and the opposition, and individual rights and so forth. At the end of the day, everything boils down to the individual; it is the individual who defines what is right and wrong. You certainly are one hardcore fascist at worst!!

  87. economist,
    I already told you that you and I are not going to get anywhere by arguing with each other. You said Bye and I said Bye .. so we should have stopped but you won’t. Fine, even if for nothing, let us continue so that this post is propelled to first place in its ranking as the Most Read Posts on this blog. Rite now it has climbed to # 3 spot after “Free Media’s other ace” and “Act against corruption” ☺

    I don’t have to “immune” myself from your accusations because the accusations you make against me are those of a self-centered, uncaring, selfish moron who cannot think of others but of himself and his own good.

    You think the OL wouldn’t try and revoke the rule if he knew there was the slightest chance that he could get away with it, if it was unconstitutional, if it was not for the good of the country? He may make feeble noise here and there but at the core of his heart, he knows that given the crisis the country is going through, we need to clutch at every bit of straw we can lay our hands on. He is not a damn fool like you – he knows to what extent he can go and not beyond. He realizes that one day, if he plays his cards well, he could be the Prime Minister of this country. Then the tables would have been turned on him and he will have to face what he says or does now. The OL may allow his sense of duty to be clouded over to a certain limit in his drive to discredit the government but don’t forget he is part of the government and thus has a role to play – a constructive role.

    You are so dumb that you seem to have missed it. The OL has already called for the rescinding of the rule. Now if he is serious, let him take the government to court on the grounds that it is anti-national, that it infringes on the individual rights of someone called economist, on the grounds that the constitution prohibits the government from framing rules and regulations. If he does not do that, you have to accept that you are being the bloody fool to pursue the line of reasoning that you have been so far.

    Do you accept that challenge?

    Yes, I believe that the enforcement of the Pedestrians’ Day is in the national interest because I believe that it is one of the many measures that the government has to put in place in order that we can salvage ourselves from the problem we are in. For someone who grandiosely calls himself economist, it is pitiful that you cannot understand this. But I am not going to humor you by painting the picture for you. A man who believes that his individual interest must come above that of the national interest would be incapable of understanding that there is such a thing as selflessness, the need for an act of chivalry for the benefit of others.

    You are stupid to believe that everything boils down to the individual. Which jungle have you emerged from? In the evolved human society, the individual is only a miniscule part of the whole. Individual is dispensable – for the good of the society.

  88. concerned citizen says:

    @Guardian.

    Who does what is not the point of the discussion at all. So lets not get carried away. Stick to the disscussion of the topic.

  89. Why does PM have to issue an executive order to declare as a pedestrian day? If people are health conscious, concerned about environmental pollution and so forth, they will take the initiative themselves, why is PM dictating the lives of general public by issuing an order like this? It appears to me that PM is trying to assert his power by issuing such executive order at his whims and fancies. No one is disputing the fact that walking and reducing pollution is a good thing, but this is a choice an individual citizen should make, and PM has no business in meddling in individual citizen’s life. Come on PM, you got to let go of your dictatorial mindset, and let people make their own decision. A lot of educated and intellectual Bhutanese are making fool of themselves trying to support your policies like this, and it’s a pity to see them doing it, regardless of the fact that they know clearly how undemocratic and naïve it is.

  90. Hi economist, I know demo means people but it also means the view of people in majority. In a democratic setting, the majority must always win. You know the losers will always complain. So, go on.

  91. ProOl,
    I am dying to see you in person man.
    You have always been defending Govt. so good that the definition of a loyal dog is understood.

    You even have the **** to say that Govt. does not need to consult Opposition in their decisions, may be that was the reason your party DPT was dragged to court. Can you share us any moment that your party ever asked for public’s view.

    You **** man. And so do your party.

    What ever i do not want to have any discussion with you like economist because i don’t debate with Dogs like you.

  92. economist,
    You are doing a great job trying to explain this bootlicker ProOl about so called pedestrian day (HEHE) .
    but remember my friend that he is simply trying to do his job.

    we need people like them in a society to complete the society.

    Please carry on the discussion, lets see what else this bootlicker have to say, hahaha. cheers mate.

  93. economist says:

    “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”
    -Ayn Rand

    Right now, she must be rolling over in her grave observing the utter fatuity and credulousness involved in the thinking and reasoning process of JYT and his moronic bootlickers like ProOL and Drukpa.

  94. economist,
    Now I get it! You are an apologist of Ayn Rand. As you would know, she was an atheist who promoted the idea that the pursuit of one’s own happiness is the highest moral purpose of ones life. In her view, society can be functional without a shred of humanity in it. This is totally in conflict with the Bhutanese philosophy.

    Ayn Rand’s written words were powerful but their appeal was in their none-conformist stance rather than in their practicality or relevance in the real world.

    Some called her a philosopher of choice for self-entitled pricks ☺

    By the way, you have called me PM’s “bootlicker” three or four times. Notice that I did not call you OL’s bootlicker, not even once. I believe that one does not have to be a bootlicker to hold an opinion. Only people who have run out of convincing arguments succumb to accusing others of such a tendency.

  95. guardian says:

    I support what Prool says, as the Pedestrian day was introduced with good intentions, so no matter what, it just can’t be wrong. As citizens, we are required to make sacrifices for the larger good of the community and it is obvious that this rule requires us to come out of our comfort zone so society at large benefits. We understand that initially many people will be inconvenienced, however, if we pampered people living in our urban centers can’t get off our fat asses and walk for just one day, then we are really in dire straits.

    For people blaming the PM that this move was geared towards the Rio summit, even if it were so, I don’t see anything wrong if Bhutan would in some way gain from it.

    In regard to the moral question as to whether the RGOB had the right to introduce such a rule, the answer is “YES”, if people are not happy with it, 2013 elections are around the corner, so you guys can exact your revenge on the DPT.

    And lastly, I really don’t like to mention our Royal Family in any discussions as it somehow dilutes the debate, however, in this case, it is appropriate to mention that “His Majesty” himself supported and embraced the “Pedestrian Day” wholeheartedly, so who are we to complain.

  96. gamingumin says:

    If two wolves and a lamb decide to vote to see what to have for lunch would that be democracy?

  97. guardian says:

    Your logic has no place in this discussion, here we are talking about human beings, not animals.

  98. economist says:

    ProOl,
    Now I see how parochial, myopic and disturbed your thinking is. Don’t bring in the issue of religion here. The constitution promotes religious tolerance and secularism and unlike countries like Sri Lanka Bhutan’s constitution doesn’t claim Buddhism to be the state religion, lest people like you would make horrendous undertakings based on it. I am a Buddhist too; so, let’s not bring in religion here.

    Yes, she was a firm believer of one’s own pursuit of happiness which is in sync with the ideas of the likes of Locke, Adam Smith and Thomas Paine. I don’t think you and your Big Brother JYT are much smarter than these intellectuals. If you think otherwise, falsify me by giving some factual evidence; don’t succumb to excuses and hysteria. She was an atheist; so what? Simply because one is an atheist, it doesn’t make one less of a human being. Atheists like her don’t resort to sellf-abnegation and hypocrisy because they know that morality is not derived from religion, it lies within the individual. We think as individuals; we don’t groupthink. Government is merely a group of individuals and when it comes to deciding right or wrong it boils down to the individual.

    Your argument is utilitarian; you seem to argue that if it is for the benefit of the masses it is OK to deny the alienable rights of the individual. Individual rights cannot be denied except in a few exceptional cases; that’s why they are called “inalienable.” Think deontologically!! Inalienable rights precedes majority rule. Period!! You wrote “A man who believes that his individual interest must come above that of the national interest would be incapable of understanding that there is such a thing as selflessness, the need for an act of chivalry for the benefit of others.” One doesn’t need a government to dictate the individual to be selfless towards others; that’s against his will. If he wants to be benevolent or selfless to others, he can do it. It’s out of question on the part of the government to tell the individual when to walk and when not to. Benevolence, after all, arises out of selfishness. Adam Smith in his Magnum Opus wrote; “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.” Get it!!

    You told me a half-baked economist simply by looking at my name. I am no economist but by merely calling me an “economist” you made one of the fallacies of economics, the fallacy of composition. This only buttresses the fact that you take the lofty rhetoric and claptrap of JYT at face value without questioning them; this had driven you to pose yourself as a troublemaker in this blog. You seem to prop up the government’s undertakings like Pedestrian Day in light of the Rio conference because they, according to you, are issues of national interest. But, correct me if I am wrong, isn’t reckless spending by the government one of the reasons why we are in this current economic debacle? So if you keep the government do stuff at its whims without going by the rule of law, do you think all the decisions they take are at the best interest or the general good of the public? Adam Smith wrote, “Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its surpluses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.” If the government keeps dictating things under the guise of the happiness or general interest of the people without giving the slightest attention about the horrendous results they produce, we are all dead in the long run. That’s why the rule of law is the greatest check against the madness of the government.

    Somebody wrote “the pedestrian day was introduced with good intentions.” Intentions are just intentions. What use do they have if they do not produce good results? Remember, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions? No wonder, JYT and his ass-kissers like ProOl are fans of serfdom and fascism. In the long run, we are all dead because of these guys! And the good news for ProOl is JYT has found Keynessians like Stiglitz and Sachs who are fans of ever bigger and centralized government.

    I rest my case with this quote of Thomas Paine: “Government at its best is a necessary evil, and at its worst, an intolerant one”

  99. economist,
    Now you have gone and confused atheism with religion. This is the extent of your confused state. I rest my case and, economist, R I P!

    You can continue to draw inspiration from people such as Ayn Rand, Locke, Adam Smith and Thomas Paine. As for me, I have enough inspirations within the country such as our Kings, present Je Khenpo, HRH Prince Namgyel Wangchuck, Prime Minister Lyonchen JYT, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, Late Finance Minister Lyonpo D. Tshering, Late Home Minister T. Jaggar, ACC Chairperson Dasho Neten, and the many civil servants and office goers who, I am told, have very recently started growing vegetables in small patches of gardens, in an effort to contribute to curtailing Rupee outflow. These people inspire and encourage me to place national interest before my own.

    Finally, now that this post “Stop playing games” has topped the charts at 99 comments, I have achieved my goal of elevating it to the most read post on this blog. I will no longer respond to you.

    Bye and good day to you!

  100. guardian says:

    Economist,

    Please tell us exactly what you so despise about the “pedestrian day”, I have given you a few reasons we should sacrifice some of our comforts for the larger good of the community. You on the other hand have not given any genuine reasons for opposing it, apart from it somehow infringing on your individual rights, which is absolutely selfish.

  101. Hi all, Introduction of pedestrian day does not compulsurily mean that you have to walk. You can use taxis or city buses. It’s just to minimize the traffic and give opportunity for the people to walk. So, stop complaining and make your own choice. Walk if you like or take a ride otherwise.

  102. My dear friends, just wait and see and then we will come to know how many support the pedestrian day and how many do not support the pedestrian day. I will be not surprised if it falls into the footstep of hehewalk initiated by Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho few years ago. Only time will tell if we have done the right thing or not. Just wait and see my dear country men.

  103. What Rio +20 – this is what i would call shaping up for the 2013 Elections!!! Lots of walking will have to be done then.

    If it was truly for the environment then why allow only TAXIS and not electric and Hybrid cars.

    The good part of it is we are able to help HALF our taxi community and many of our lower income civil servants. many of whom owns a taxi, once a week.

    I hope our Election Day in 2013 is not on a Tuesday!

  104. that the pm needs to order such a measure..that he needs to engage the police to back up his initiative..that they call it pedestrians’ day, while the public call it taxi day..that taxis do twice or thrice their normal rounds..that tourists can ride in cars while bhutanese themselves cannot..that the plight of school children & nursing mothers has been ignored..that the total impracticality of such a move has not hit him & his stooges..that the carbon emissions of bhutan are insignificant..that he knows it will give him the international attention he craves..that it is another attempt to lay the groundwork for an international career..that it could deflect attention from the real crisis of rupees..that the public are ignored as partners & only seen fit to be dictated to..
    these all point to the ambition, hypocrisy & dictatorial style of governance of bhutan’s pm & the current government..

  105. guardian says:

    All those guys who are not happy to support the RGOB for a good cause have the opportunity to vote out the DPT government in 2013. And I am surprised that they are all cribbing, if I were in the PDP camp like Tobden and all, I would be happy that the ruling party has introduced a rule which is not supported by the majority, as assumed by the opposition. This should actually be a time for them to rejoice, instead of cribbing again.

    Anyway, best of luck for 2013, I hope it is not the same sorry tale of 2008 for the PDP.

  106. Judging from the posts, it appears that this move is not popular with the writers in this forum. As said by Guardian, it should be reason to celebrate At least they can rest assured that DPT does not have its eye on the 2013 elections. DPT has made it clear that they are not populist and will continue to make unpopular decisions, if necessary, even on the eve of the elections.

  107. guardian says:

    The OL can even put it in the PDP manifesto that he will revoke the following rules if the PDP comes to power:

    The Tobacco Act.

    Pedestrian day.

    Land Act etc.

  108. The fact is, other day I drive my car to the best of my convenient. And on these two Tuesdays I traveled by taxi.
    Other day my car burns the fuel and on Tuesday I let the Taxi burn the fuel on my behalf.
    Other day I spent Nu. 50 for my car fuel and on Tuesday I spent Nu. 400 to nu. 500 on taxi + inconvenience.
    The decision to DRIVE or WALK should be left to the PEOPLE.
    WE do not want people to dictate on our behavior.

  109. Can anyone provide a copy of the executive order circulated by PM.I want to see the content of the order because the Police and the RSTA people are not allowing vehicle movement even in remote places forget about towns and cities. I was on the way to Dagana from Dagapela and they stopped my car and said that I cannot go to Dagana. When I asked why I can’t go, their reply was that there is executive order from PM to restrict all vehicle movement on Tuesday. So, its really confusing for the general public. I thought the executive order applies to Dzongkhag towns and cities only.

  110. My_voice says:

    The second tuesday. I agree that the government should be supporting and not ordering a “pedestrian day”. Let those who want to support, walk, and let those who don’t want to walk, drive. No government should have the right to force it down it’s people’s throat especially with the monsoons approaching. It violates the very fibre of democracy.

  111. fuentsho says:

    We are living the promises of democracy and we are just getting better though at infancy. How democratic it is for the people to voice their opinions on the decisions of the government. We know our government and bureaucrats were never questioned before the introduction of democracy. How privileged are we to have a visionary King The Fourth Druk Gyalpo who gifted democracy to us. And of course we are living it. Opposition is always critical and always have something against whatever government does, and that is a very positive thing. We are thus doing well.

  112. Happy Pedestrian Day- Anyway! says:

    Today as I started to walk to work religiously following ‘Pedestrian Day’- not out of interest though because most of us walk anyway and even my parents walked almost their entire life and required no (pedestrian paths which we don’t still have a proper one today) rules or policing to walk:

    I came across a number of BPs and BGs wheeling and I thought -this isn’t policy friendly,

    and suddenly a taxi came zooming over 80kmph and almost knocked down a women with a child walking past by the road to hospital- and I thought -this is ALSO a ‘Taxi day’ – make hay while the sun shines and this is the time.

    A while after I kept plodding, I overheard a few ladies grumbling over about how expensive it is to take a taxi to go and feed their babies – and I thought -this is pedestrian day and they should be walking and why take taxis ?, but then they will have to walk in the heat of the sun or the drench of the rain- it affects the women the most- then I thought this isn’t Gender Friendly.

    Well all sorts of things are going in my mind- feeling bit exhausted (physically), sympathetic (for that mother and kid) , grumpy (with those cars zooming by) and angry (on that taxi)- I met an old friend of mine on the way and he was so excited to see me , as much as I am to meet him- and we shook hands and updated about our work, friends, family and then had to take some speedy recovery steps to complete 1/2 the pedestrian day- thought i will have to take the same adventure back again and I am certain that the scene will be same if not worse.

  113. The PM could save the environment by getting rid of his convoy of police pilots excorting his car every where he travels within Thimphu. There is no threat to life in the land of GNH.

  114. guardian says:

    drukpa,

    Why don’t you refrain from making such idiotic allegations, by virtue of he being the PM of the country, whether he wants it or not, he has been provided a police escort to protect him and it not just a simple question of whether hewants police protection or not. Even if the PM were to say that he did not require any police escort, as the head of government, the security forces responsible for his safety will refuse to listen him. So lets just say that the security apparatus that is visible where ever he travels comes with the job.

    As for there being no threat to his life, I would not be very sure, with nut cases like you around.

  115. I feel the real motive of this pedestrian day is going down the drain. I will explain as below
    1) Most of the office goers take their cars and go to office before 8AM
    2) Parents drop kids before 8AM on cars- the problem is the kids are left at school with no activities untill the class starts. I have a friend whose kid is 3 and half yrs old is left at school st 7:30 AM and the class starts at 9 AM only.
    3) Those who need to move after 8AM use taxis and does not walk.
    4) office goers wait till 6AM to go home and wait to rush home at exactly at 6 AM at the check point. the 1 Hr time is wasted at office using the office internet and electricity.

    So finally who is walking…they are the leaders who have all the time in the world to get to office to shed off all the old age weight they have gained and the singles who walk as a date.

    After seeing in bbs PM leaving for RIO i feel what OL said is right. Coz as i have mentioned there is more negative affect rather then positive.

    If you really want us to walk, let there be no movement of all the cars for the whole day except for the ambulance…why taxi and armed force vehicles ?? Do they not emit pollution?

  116. drukpa is very stupid in commenting about PM’S security.Here, i agree with guardian..

  117. guardian,

    Yes he is head of government that’s why he should stop behaving as though he is head of state. There is no requirement for such heavy security and I don’t believe the people responsible for his security wouldnt scale it down if he so wanted.

    I’m commenting on this because it’s not consistent with his policy of saving the environment by saving fuel and pollution.

    Practice what you preach.

  118. guardian says:

    Your a real basket case, after explaining everything to you, you still don’t get it.

  119. How can Bhutan soar like an eagle when most of her so-called educated citizens are behaving like a bunch of buzzard???? Tone and depth of arguments on this particular topic goes to prove my theory that we are generally petty minded and argumentative, and do not see beyond our own comfort–let alone saving environment and solving current economic problem we are embroiled in.

  120. gamingumin says:

    Is it just coincidence that whenever Parliament is in session the PM has to go for some international conference somewhere? Just wondering

  121. Hi gamingumin,

    Why do you wonder? As you can see, it is indeed a coincidence that important international events are taking place during the time our Parliament goes into session.

    Perhaps the answer is in asking the world leaders to stop everything when the Bhutanese Parliament is in session? Or perhaps our PM is slyly conspiring with the world leaders to convene all the important international events when his Parliament goes into session?

  122. From Above. says:

    OL blog now seems akin to the erstwhile bhutantimes.com where our pseudo Bhutanese linguists exchange barrage of unfounded howlings under the guise of proxy servers…. May Lord Buddha save Bhutan from further calamities.

  123. Gomezzz says:

    I too agree with few of the blogger’s in this forum. Though our OL has brought & locked horns with the govt on many issues which affect we the commoners but he failed to raise the voice on many pertinent issues. He as silent as dead. May be worried about getting into bad books of……… we all know who.
    Even if I wanted to respect Mr. Prime minister i have lost faith in him. When he talks of tsaw wa sum, i feel guilty to hear those words coming out of mouth. In the name of tsa wa sum he done many wrong. Not only him many many high official have done. It’s a ring formed by them & they all happily do things up there without the knowledge of common people.
    If Mr.PM ever say to serve tsa wa sum, tell him go to hell……

  124. guys Prool seems to be a hardcore ********** of JYT/DPT should teach these bunch of egomaniacs- just boot them off
    really really fed up with these donkeys

  125. Pedestrian Day is one more arrogant attempt by Bhutan to impress the world.
    But remember, Bhutan is a small nation with less than a million people living in it. What can a tiny nation do to save the planet by introducing the Pedestrian day when on the other hand giants like India and China have refused to reduce pollution-they fear that the initiave would jeopardize their economic progress.
    No matter what we do in Bhutan to fight the global warming, there won’t be any effect if big industrialised nations refuse to drastically reduce their carbon emission level.

  126. choose the right party next year…..every1 will be de winner of bhutan…not like 2008..n we have no option to choose either of the one…but now we are going to have lots..around 5-6 parties..so take opportunity to choose the concerned n most reliable people whom u can trust..who is never money minded n do not put GNH in their pocket but rather tries to c whether GNH is taking place in the heart of all the people or not..especially the poor people…no 1 is concerned about the poor people….GNH? but where is that right now..do u people know..i guess u do mosh…..so take chance n vote next time mai charo chu…

  127. Pedestrian day, TCA, land issues, tuesday dry day..n wat not..but do u think these things have affected the heads..ofcourse not…its all implemented to the low income people…its just like mosquitoes sucking blood from the people….like some suggested in the beginning its better not to have govt den if all rules n regulations are meant to be implemented to the poor people only..

  128. It is quite meaningful for the lazy people but it is impediment for the busy and greedy people. Whether one is walking or cycling, it is not required to be noticed by all for such a small thing. There are uncountable ideas and the study of ideas is never exhausted. The acceptance and rejection of ideas should be left with individuals based on their choices.

  129. After all that ,sigh,we are truly innocent !
    Can’t say Naive because every now and then brilliance peeks out but innocent because we still believe!

  130. DPT won unanimously.It translates that government and the people are unanimous in most decissions.No arguing about that. Good public health can only come from collective scarifices, not from profits from few busniss thrusholds. They may wish 8 days a week and 30 days for February to make their profit margin.

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