Today, we celebrated traditional day of offering.
Today is also exactly one year since Sonam Tshering was detained by officials for illegally possessing Nu 120 worth of Baba khaini. Sonam Tshering has already been in jail for one full year.
So today, on traditional day of offering, I thought about how we, parliamentarians, should offer our services to Sonam Tshering and the many others like him who continue to suffer under the oppressive Tobacco Control Act.
First we should apologize. We should apologize and take full responsibility for arrogantly (and foolishly) passing a law that quickly subjected so many of our people to untold pain and suffering.
Then we should appeal. As soon as the Tobacco (Amendment) Bill comes into force, we – members of the National Council, the ruling party and the opposition party – should collectively appeal to His Majesty the King to grant amnesty to the people who have been incarcerated unjustly because of our foolhardiness.
Sonam Tshering and others like him are in jail because of us. The least we must now do is try our best to get them out.