Broadcasting bad news

Broadcasting service

Broadcasting service

During a recent meeting to discuss the agenda for the next session of the National Assembly, MPs decided that live TV broadcast would be allowed only for the opening and closing ceremonies, the PM’s address, and for discussions related to public accounts and anticorruption. Only two MPs, both from the opposition, argued that the proceedings of the National Assembly should continue to be broadcast live on TV.

I cannot understand why anyone would want to discontinue the live broadcast of the National Assembly proceedings. Consider that:

  1. the Constitution requires that “The proceedings of Parliament shall be conducted in public”;
  2. live TV broadcast enhances the accountability of the members of parliament to the people who elected them;
  3. many people, especially outside Thimphu, enjoy following the proceedings in the Parliament and, thereby, participating in the democratic process; and
  4. BBS, which does not charge any fees for broadcasting the proceedings of the National Assembly, has not said that they cannot, for whatever reason, continue this service;

Unlike in many countries, our people actually like to follow the debates inside parliament. This is good. And we should be nurturing this interest in the democratic process. Not suppressing it.

Our honourable MPs would do well to listen to their people. And to the Constitution


Facebook Comments:


  1. Lampenda Chuup says

    This warrantees a mass protest – a peaceful one. If there is nothing to hide, why such a decision? If there is honesty and confidence in the deliberations why such a decision? This is certainly not good for democracy and good governance. Parliamentary deliberations should be carried out in the full view of the public – we want some entertainment! And the people want to know how their MPs fare.

  2. Another CDG seems to be in the pipeline then.

    DPT wants to stop people viewing MP’s who either talks nonsense or many of them silent. Bhutanese people are paying huge price for being foolish in electing this government.

    I second the two Hon’ble members of the opposition party that we want the NA proceedings to be broadcast LIVE!

  3. Some expected reasons why they want to do awy with LIVE broadcast can be:
    1. They are nor confident to present theit 1 year report.
    2. They don’t want to display their unwanted debate in Parliament to Public.
    3. They fear Talo MP Mr.Parrot may jeopardise the image of DPT with his non stop world record pointless issues.
    4. They don’t want to show some MPs sleeping in hall.
    etc etc etc etc./……..otherwise I don’t see reason why it(LIVE Telecast) is not done,which use to happen in past years…

    Save Our Bhutan……

    • kevin garnett says

      i do agree wit u la ..all the reasons given by u are vry genuine.. n i think all the people should support ur statement…..

  4. Phuntsho says

    disheartening, shocking and alarming!

    i think we cannot let the government we elected become a tyrannical one by letthing it do everything at its whims and fancies.

    what does the government have to hide from the people who trusted it so much and elected them to power?

    if they continue to play with the sentiments of the people, it’s time for the people to rise up. this is too important a call to be ignored. let’s get together. let’s rally peacefully everyday outside national assembly hall until JYT and his unruly men realise that what we are demanding isn’t any favour but the precious right.

    • This is interesting… the MPs who are weary of public views and want to be recluse should not have at all entered the Assembly, “vowing” to represent the same people they now want to elude…

      This is a call to us to ponder if we at all used the invaluable franchise judiciously.

  5. Oh no no no…This cannot be accepted by anyone. YOU MEAN …NO LIVE BROADCAST OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,,how can it be. NO WAY. We are going backwards instead of moving forward. We live in the 21st century and perhaps this is the workings of the few narrow minded DPT parlimentarians. I don’t think Lyonchen will initiate this as he is so good and articulate that we the public like watching him live on TV. However, some of the MPs are terrible on the TV and showing it live will make them prepare well for the session. If it is not shown live, then how are we to gauge the performance of our MPs. We the public doesnot have any direct interaction with them except for seeing them on the Telivision. This is our right to view the NA on live broadcast and we appreciate for Hon’ OL bringing this decision to our notice.


  6. Citizen X says

    Now is this democracy??? and free media as the same MPs had and still talk about. If there is nothing to hide why hide at all.I think it is time for Bhutanese people to wake up from the dreams and start asking questions.Can we start a online petition to the PM? We as Butanese have the right to know what is going on in the NA.

    ps: MPs please dont worry. we will not comment on your dozing, nose picking, yawning and many of those activity which you seem to be scared of getting a national publicity

  7. If they dare not show their capability to the mass from the only means and try to close that window too then the very essence of them soliciting our votes is defeated.

    The MPs may be worried about their 5 year tenure but we need to be worried about generations to come. They need to lead us by example, by proving their mettle, by demanding more video cameras to be installed in the hall, by demanding methods to improve the out-reach of their deliberations to the farthest flung nook and cranny of Bhutan. Instead they shut the blinds and cower in the dark like mice. Not somethng, they as Bhutanese, shoud be proud of doing.
    Transparency assures the public of good deliberations. Good deliberations assure the MPs that they need to be well prepared for. Well preparedness assures the MPs’ worthiness. And this worthiness assures future trust and votes. As for the cowering mice, its not the votes but the cats that will be sent after! While throwing ourselves into the battle of votes we shouldn’t forget all of us are in here for a better cause, the well being of our country.

  8. This is a disrespect to our rights and to the constitution. If they proceed with this, it will be setting a bad example for the next generations of politions. We must condemn such act and i say lets protest peacefully outside the NA. Having said that, I can gaurantee no Bhutanese will join me becasue such is our mentality – scared and no confidence on our own constitution. We should blame ourselves to certain extent for letting DPT make fun of the law

  9. By the way, may i ask our OL Tshering Tobgey to enlighten us with the procedures of throwing an MP out of power? please.

    • Members of parliament are elected by the people of their respective constituencies. So, only they can throw them out of power. But only through elections. So, for better or for worse, you are stuck with the present lot till 2013. Then you can–and I hope you will–change your MPs

      • isn’t there a provision for a “vote of no Confidence”

      • Yes, but the voters are the members of the national assembly. With 45 members in the ruling party, versus 2 in opposition, the government can expect to enjoy complete confidence.

      • OL is absolutely correct. When People of the constituencies go to polls, they should not only know what good things the people they elect could do, but also how they could hurt them.

        If you were not judicious, you can only watch them helplessly for at least five years.

        It is a call in deed to think judiciously next time around.

      • Not correct! It is up to the Party to decide whether a particular MP needs to be replaced before 2013.

  10. Now this is a very ridiculous decision from those people whoever decided and supported the decision.
    Looks like DPT is digging their own graves slowly with such illogical decisions

  11. Bhutan is going back from a democracy to a monarchy. Only this time, JYT & his Co. are trying to become the King.

  12. Breach of the Constitution one after another. Maybe, HM should declare a failure of constitutional machinery and dissolve the NA and call for a new round of elections.

  13. IrriTating.. says

    It violates Article 7(3)- A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to information…

    We as a citizen have the RTI…why aren’t the MPs realizing the very fact that we the public appointed them and now its their duty to do everything transparently and fairly and justly…

    And in view of the media I think it violates A 7(5) which guarantees that There shall be freedom of the press, radio and television and other forms of dissemination of information, including electronic….

    Its not just acceptable, things are not going well…

    WE should at least stand up against the government and may them realize that they are doing it wrong……
    all the citizens get together in different regions and stand up….we should fix a date.

  14. student abroad says

    this is really saddening and disheartening on the part of humble bhutanese citizens..
    people its high time to RAISE OUR VOICE..or nothing can be done.Mr.PM is just being so redicule.shame on the ways he handle his government. its just an act of tyranny.
    this is not the first time DPT government have breached our sacred constitution.
    how dare those half baked MPs play their own game when the whole nation is against it.
    one sad mentality of we bhutanese people is that there is one to confront and fight for our own basic rights.
    if it was first time then its fine because people have to learn through mistakes. but here they(MPs) keep on multiplying their misdeeds and make puppet of we humbled bhutanse citizens.
    Its our basic rights to fight for the RIGHT TO INFORMATION and nobody shall bar us from doing that because we are respecting the constitution and most importantly our KINGS.
    thanks to the internet and our OL’s blog.
    we are in track of what is happening in bhutan though we are staying out of bhutan.

    Honourable OL.
    with utmost respect we would like to request you to stop them from breaching the constitution atleast.its really really sad to see people kept uninformed of whats happening in their home land only.
    i know nothing can be done because this is not the first time it’s happened.the day will come when we bhutanese citizens play the music and let them dance accordingly.

    my sincere appreciation for your excellency for having brought this issue to the notice of we bhutanese in and around the globe.
    you are doing every bit to keep us informed la..
    thank you

  15. we have time and again heard PM saying his government would like to ensure that they set a firm foundation for the democracy in Bhutan….WOW…are these the principles of a firm democracy? i am sure his government is trying for a newer set of democratic principles….for DEMOCRAZY???? DPT fits for DEMOCRAZY and not for democracy….Damn down PM…you are a cheat…

  16. It should be left up to BBS to decide whether they want to cover the whole session or not. Neither the MPs from ruling party should decided to curtail the coverage nor the MPs from opposition to demand for it. Give BBS the freedom to decide and that is free media!!!

  17. pingpong says

    What the heck? DPT is taking advantage of the Bhutanese people “too” much! This is totally unacceptable. Come on JYT, what’s going on with your government and what are you trying to do?
    Yeah people, we have complete right to demand this and we should speak out and our voices should be heard!!!

  18. The electorate would like to see our elected representative do a good job as promised during the election campaigns. We have put all our trust and confidence in you and, you (DPT)cannot let us down by not allowing us to see you live! Please be confident and do us/nation proud!

  19. zala phorab says

    the reason to cut down the live show would be fear of ministers to face the hot debate on allowances for pvt medical stds,CDG,payment revision,and updating the works they have done in their constituencies..
    pls,,,we need to do better from our side to stand as bhutanse in BHUTAN!!!!


    let me first thank our OPPOSITION LEADER for bringing this issue which otherwise the DPT govt would have never allowed. its damn disheartening to know that coming NA session wont be telecast live which is the only channel linking people n the govt to know what the DPT govt is really doing for the country. Barring the live telecast would mean violating people’s right to information and freedom of media as well.
    should we call BHUTAN a DEMOCRATIC NATION if such vital freedom is not guarranteed for the public? i feel the DPT GOVT should reflect back to the promises they made during election campaigns and also respect the rights of the bhutanese citizens.if such practices continue, democracy will fail in bhutan n this i think as promised by DPT govt is going to set the example as the 1st elected govt to our future.
    i regret for DPT govt winning by majority. i wish there should have been dozen more PDP MPS who would really fight for our rights. if DPT govt want to win another election, they should exercise the rights of the people and not for their own benefit. m sure people now regret voting for DPT.
    we as true citizens of the country must now stand united and never give up in winning our rights of democrcy. also i request our honourable OL to take up this issue seriously at parliament and we hope to have live telecast of the NA session… thanks la

  21. if the government does not allow bbs to cover the national assembly debates. BBS also should not cover the opening , closing and PMs, speech.

  22. Respected Lyonpo,

    Cant we come up with a kind of protest let’s say a protest through mail, where we can send the email to all the Bhutanese who have internet connections and let them sign if they think Live coverage of the BBS is to be allowed in the NA.

    and submit the response to either the Speaker or the PM.


  23. My view is that the DPT is fearful of the lambasting they will receive from the Opposition on the CDG issue and that is why they do not want Live coverage.

    With or without the live coverage, I am hopeful that the Opposition will bring up this issue. It is now clear that all the educated lot are opposed to this CDG.

    The DPT has been committing one stupid mistake after another – I am ashamed that we credited them with intellegence and maturity. How could we have gone so terribly wrong? Or is this an indication that the DPT is now drunk with power that they have lost their touch with reality? I regret that I have voted for them.

  24. Middlepath says

    People, please learn to differentiate between government (executive branch) and the parliament (legislative). The proposal to reduce not curtail live coverage by BBS has come up from the MPs and the Speaker and not the cabinet. If you don’t know the difference, it will not make any difference to you any way whether there is live covergae or not. If you are seeking entertainment, try AXN or STAR channels! Finally, let BBS decide what they want to cover and what value they can provide for broadcasting full time or selectively such as the discussion on ACC and Audit Reports, budget and improtant bills.

  25. pingpong says

    Check out the latest BBS news, they have expressed their willingness to cover whole session if given a chance. But they (MPs) are the hindrance, because Speaker himself struggles a lot inside the NA hall, so he seems to be the one who is most scared of going live!!!


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