Wanted: live TV

The poll on the National Assembly’s decision to ban live TV coverage for most of its proceedings attracted considerable interest. But with 292 of the 315 participants (that’s 90% of them) disagreeing on the National Assembly’s recent decision, our readers’ views are clear. Only 23 voters (7%) supported the ban. And 10 people admitted that they really didn’t care.

The public outcry against the National Assembly’s decision is obvious. And I’m not just referring to our poll. BBS has shown many people, from various walks of life, all denouncing the restrictions imposed on BBS TV’s live broadcast. Yet, the National Assembly shows no sign of reconsidering its decision.

This is a very serious matter. And we cannot just ignore it. But what can be done? To begin with, write to your member of the National Assembly. Tell them that the ban is not good for democracy. And that you expect them to reconsider their decision.

The media also needs to do something. If they feel that the ban undermines free media, and that it is illegitimate, then they must demand that BBS be allowed to continue with the live telecast. And if their demands are not met, they should be ready to take the matter to the courts.

I’ll meet with the media to seek their views.

Our next poll is on the performance of our government. On the first day of the Parliament’s third session, our PM spoke extensively on the successes of the government. I wish to know what you think.


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  1. SPEN ROONEY says

    Hon’ble OL,

    I really appreciate and fully support your initiative.

    During the pre-election debates, I thought people like Dawa and Co. from BBS were bold and direct in questioning the aspiring MPs (which I appreciated. I was with the notion that the anchors and journalists of BBS ( I totally give up on Kuensel) were going to help our country a big deal in building a sucessful democracy. However, at this point of time, these vocal and “bold” people’s voices cannot be heard also. Have they been subdued or are they afraid.

    As for the Hon’ble PM’s comprehensive speech on so called achievements, all achievements are spill over from the past regime. They havent done anything new (or good. Infact, its always difficult for the first elected government, specially for countries following development plans(FYP) to achieve anything in the first term – 99% percent are activities planned earlier or brought forward. Its a shame the PM claims its their achievement.

    GOOD LUCK Hon’ble OL

    • Dear Hon’ble OL,
      I am a civil servant and I don’t even get to watch this LIVE telecast. Similarly, many of my fellow civil servants would have the same problem. The question however is not about whether one gets to watch the proceedings live or not, but it is certainly about my right, your right and the whole Bhutanese citizens’ right to information, being taken away.

      Well, good luck to Hon’ble OL and Dasho Damcho for rest of the sessions.

      The fact still remains that despite the DPT government’s attempt to justify their stance, no convincing reasons have been recorded as yet, at least to me. What intrigues me is the fact that some MPs including the speaker had taken it for granted that public wouldn’t understand the bills. Some even stated that the general public won’t be interested in viewing the mechanical processes of passing the bills. But the question is how a few of them can represent the views of all the Bhutanese without doing any survey/research. I presume that people would appreciate if whatever they said is evidence-based and not intuition-based.

      However, to the least, I vouch that people would appreciate your effort even if nothing came out of it because of their sheer majority. As I have said, I can only applaud what your little team is doing. And I think those little things done genuinely in the interest of the general public would save your day, come 2013. Just being ‘real’ is good enough I guess!

      Mr. SPEN ROONEY, for your information, Dawa (BBS) is currently doing some training abroad; otherwise he would have been the first person to do something through BBS I suppose.

  2. Phub Dorji says

    Stopping BBS from live telecasting of the National Assembly Proceeding by the democratically elected government is not a good sign. It creates some sense of suspiciousness of the decisions that is going to take place in closed chamber. I doubt in the years to come, some other form of the Medias will also be banned from reporting. Government is already building tussle with the media? We general public wants to see how issue are raised and debated? How Honourable speaker takes the final decisions? Are decision taken correctly in the interest of the country? How bills are debated and passed? How our elected MPs taking part in the decisions? We want know their performance for re-election in the second term. This is democracy. Public are showing some concern that their representative are not vocal or never spoke in the Assembly other than during tea break and may be lunch time. Is this the reason to stop the coverage? The media coverage will surely give them opportunity to revamp themselves. It will portray good image to the public they are representing. One good thing we have noticed in most of the cases is all MP discusses individually representing their constituency and not as a member of DPT party. Otherwise with a weak opposition party conveying of NA will look like formalities. Bhutan is unfortunate to have weak opposition party, otherwise things will change completely. I promise, it will be a different story in the next election. If we can’t watch the proceeding these time, maybe we will watch after three years!!!

  3. give us the email address of the MP’s

  4. hey 2009,

    visit http://www.nab.gov.bt/showmp.php if u want the email addresses of the mps

    • Thank you, zimmy

      • unlike you, our member of Assembly do not seek opinion from the constituency, we cannot send e mail.

        there must be reason for this:
        either they think they know everything or
        they don’t give a hoot for what you think

        they feel smiling and talking to the public and shaking the farmers hand is good enough.

        like it or lump it, we are stuck with our elected leaders for the next few years, I hope we survive till then.

  5. Hon’ble OL, btw why are you soo quiet on the corporate pay revision or DIVISION by MOF? You r the only hope for the unmotivated, demoralized employees..

  6. Its good the know that MPs have NAB email address. I dont think they will check their mails or at the least reply them. I would be surprised if they do.
    Friends let me know if anyone of you get any response. No need to name them though.
    Good luck!

  7. dear Honb’le OL.. Thank you soo much for the link. You proved me right. I always guessed Honb’le OL is there at our rescue! DPT is defaming their very ‘Dra Nam and Dra Then’. While the corporate employees work on an average 42.50 Hrs per week vs 38.33 Hrs per week for civil servants, at least extra hours of working need to be compensated for corporate employees even if DPT fails to understand the reason behind corporations!

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