Controlling influence

There’s something strange going on.

I have already expressed my concerns that the prime minister’s office may be influencing the media. But what has recently been happening is worse: one newspaper, Bhutan Today, has started carrying every press release that comes out of the prime minister’s office as their own story, word for word, but with their own byline.

Compare the following stories:

My concern is no longer that the prime minister’s office may be influencing a newspaper. I’m now concerned that they could be controlling Bhutan Today.

There’s something dangerous going on. And I’m writing to BICMA about it.

 

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Comments

  1. Do you think BICMA going to take any action regarding these issues? Does BICMA really stand? In 1999 His Majesty introduced internet and Television in Bhutan with a message for parental guidance required.Therefore BICMA already blocked so many channels for cable TV and instead they have now decided to introduce DTH in the country. I dont think BICMA is going to take responsibility against those Private organization.BICMA is just a dead sector good in nothing.

  2. Great that you noticed that…appreciate your vigilance! Looks like Cabinet and Bhutan Today are operating as a single entity. There is no citation and quotation norms followed in how they reported. Can’t make out which news is whose. “It’s Ethics, Stupid” and really dangerously stupid. Something is rotten in the JYT administration. Hope BICMA doesn’t become an accomplice.

  3. dungsamkota says:

    Great Observation Hon’ble OL. It is no surprise. i heard that Tenzin Rigden is related to the owner of Bhutan Today, which apparently is staffed by some non-bhutanese. BICMA may want to check and see if it is allowed under the BICMA Law.

  4. Can you please explain to me the implications of what you are saying? Is there a problem if a paper chooses to be pro-government? Is there a problem if the owners of a paper identifies with the policies of a government in place? Is there a law against it? I genuinely want to understand this before I arrive at a decision.

    If other papers choose to not carry the the press release of the Cabinet, it is there decision. I am happy that these papers are making a stand. By the same token, what is wrong with one of the paper willing to carry those press releases? I am lost and need some direction to decide where I stand on this issue.

  5. kenchosum says:

    This is dangerous and will have some implications. Seems that T.R is related to the owner and has some influence over the paper. Rumor says that T.R is taking over Bhutan Today, therefore, what OL says make sense.
    There is something dangeroulsly brewing between Cabinet, PM’s Media and Bhutan Today. Thank you for keeping us informed.

  6. Media is supposed to be “Watchdog” and “Information Disseminator”. Is it wrong for Bhutan Today to cover up what ever DPT government does? I don’t think Bhutan Today is doing something wrong by informing to the public what is being discussed in cabinet or NC or NA.

  7. mediawatch says:

    Mr OL, are you trying to make a mountain out of a mole? What harm does it do when Bhutan Today publishes the exact press release? How do you think this as an influence?

    Yes, may be to give bylines is not the right thing. However here you should understand that PM’s press office acts like a news agency (AINS, AFP of those sort) that provides news to the media for free. If the newspaper chooses to print the same news or change it as the editor wants, it is up to the media house.

    To insinuate that something fishy is going between PM’s press office and Bhutan Today is absolutely petty and ridiculous on your part.

    As always opposition for the sake of opposition. Mr OL wrote:

    “My concern is no longer that the prime minister’s office may be influencing a newspaper. I’m now concerned that they could be controlling Bhutan Today.There’s something dangerous going on. And I’m writing to BICMA about it.”

    How can you give such a baseless statement? Your concern is fraught with “maybes” which implies that you are not sure. And then you write “they could be controlling” and even this time you are pretty not sure. “there’s something dangerous going on”: specify, what?

    I am not defending PM’s press office or for that matter Bhutan Today. But I feel as the opposition leader of the country, you have a larger role to play and better things to do. I am quite disturbed that OL is making noise at a time when other newspaper (BT) is doing even worse. That would have been a bigger concern and possibly what you should write to BICMA about it!

    But I know you are the opposition,and your job is to oppose the PM!

    GOD BLESS DEMOCRACY!

  8. Guest, Hopeless and Mediawatch.
    Personally I think you guys do make some sense, if Bhutan Today chose to report the press release from the PMO, they do have the authority and freedom.

    However, as someone rightly pointed out, is it even ethical to copy every word from a Press Release and without any citations? Is this part of journalism?

    I do not read BToday, but dont their readers deserve something better. Lets forget that TRigden is there or BToday is run by his cousin or nephew! But, if Kuensel reports some facts about ministers’ Wagon Rs its useless and crap. BTW Lyonpo Jis its information and news for all of us. Finance Ministry and Ministers never told us, we need to know this.
    Yes we need to know press release from PMO, but as a professional media organization, they are required to provide their own inputs, maybe summaries, critics or even praises! not merely copy and paste. If BIMCA’s interference is sought its more on moral grounds. We cannot teach our young journalists to copy paste a press release from the Cabinet in the Newspaper and put their names at the end. This is ridiculous. It should have been brought up by Cabinet in the first place and not any of us. They are not doing it as it serves their purpose. People dont do that even for a class assignment!

    We know radio stations have been fined and penalized for mistakes, this is no better than that. Its not journalism for heaven’s sake guys!

  9. I have long concluded that the OL is a sensible man and a worthy Opposition Leader. I am not going to change my views solely based on this strange charge that he has brought upon the Bhutan Times and the Press Office of the PM.

    OL, please explain to us what you see wrong in the Bhutan Times reporting or printing the Press Release of the Cabinet. I truly mean to understand if there is something we are missing out on.

    If you are trying to infer that the Press Release of the Cabinet is an exercise in Public Relations, what is so unethical about it? I know, and I am sure that you do too, that ruling governments around the world take out pull page ads to glorify the good work they do – and pay huge sums for it. Although you have not said that the DPT government has paid for those articles the Bhutan Times reproduced, you have stated that there is something dangerous going on between the PM’s office and the Bhutan Times newspaper. What exactly is going on? Please tell us so that we may understand.

  10. justdroppingin says:

    mediawatch is right, its free press, therefore it can be copied word for word. the only issue seems to be the bylines.

  11. Firstly, I am sorry but I think this issue is quite pertinent and needs to be thought about. The media is considered the forth estate with the huge mandate to act as a watchdog on the activities of the government as well as the people but when a media organization acts as the mouthpiece of the government, it does warrant some thought about its credibility. How is it possible that a newspaper editorial team shares the same opinion on almost all accounts. Of course the minute probability cannot be ruled out.

    IS the newspaper in question playing puppet to the government?… in which case the credibility of the newspaper has to be questioned and thats where BICMA falls in.

    But in my personal opinion, whats even more astounding is that you reproduce the same press release article with very little addition, deletion or analysis and then claim to have produced the article by a reporter? Where is reporting ethics, authenticity? Is the news and editorial team credible. Its considered a crime even in a classroom to forge somebody’s work and we do it so openly in a national newspaper????

  12. mediawatch says:

    CHimi, I do agree printing out the same press release with reporter’s bylines is totally incorrect. The newspaper should either refrain or at least give the source of the information.

    Till there, everything is alright. Now, Mr OL plans to write to the BICMA. Why now?

    Chimmi wrote: “If BIMCA’s interference is sought its more on moral grounds. We cannot teach our young journalists to copy paste a press release from the Cabinet in the Newspaper and put their names at the end.”

    That’s fine. But there are issues larger and graver than this. Everybody knows everything about it. And every one knows BICMA has lost its rightful authority as a media regulator. If BICMA tries to act tough on other media organizations, just see how BICMA will get back! It would have been even more morally correct if the OL has done it way before!

    Now it is a bit late and untimely. We can sense why OL is trying to focus on the press office of the PM! And i don’t know how PM’s media officer is controlling or influencing the media, just because Bhutan today and times decide to copy-paste press releases from the cabinet website!!

    Isn’t that STRANGE now!

    GOD BLESS DEMOCRACY!

  13. mediawatch says:

    Me, lets leave out BICMA out of this because any way its a toothless tiger. I don’t understand how a newspaper becomes a government mouthpiece! I have said by giving bylines the newspaper did commit an ethical crime. However, by publishing a press release word after word, i don’t think the newspaper has made a blunder.

    I have earlier mentioned the PM’s press office functions as a news agency for the media. whenever there is something happening related to the PM, press releases and news are sent to the media. Now the media can do whatever with the press release, use it, change it, use it as a back up information, look for newer angles, ….it is up to the individual news organizations. How does this make in any way that the government is controlling or influencing the media?

    And why single out Bhutan Today! Even Kuensel takes a chunk (70%) and one time, even copy-pasted the same press release (just that there was no byline). And of course Bhutan Times does that!

    GOD BLESS DEMOCRACY

  14. HM the King: divine.
    People: handicapped.
    Civil servants: shut up.
    NC: no damn.
    NA: my piece of cake, anything anytime.
    SC: stand on your own feet first.
    The media dogs: all mine.
    Army: no interference, please.
    I am the absolute power.
    I am the first tyrant of democracy in Bhutan History.
    I am JYT.

  15. well…mediawatch..I sure agree with you that the BICMA is a toothless tiger… and for that matter most government authorities or organizations are just that…

    Well I also agree that Government Press releases serve as news sources and also that Kuensel reproduced a press release too. But Bhutan Today’s is overarchingly frequent.

    and as I said earlier, the disgusting and astounding part is the reporters claiming to have written the news when it is copied.

    Well… and as informed as you seem to be, it doesn’t bode well of you to say the Job of opposition is to oppose the PM. and definitely not soemthing that would be expected from someone who claims to watch over the media (mediawatch)

  16. and with regard to Bhutan Times… i would even like to talk about it because I doubt if it is a newspaper at all.

  17. would=wouldn’t

  18. As far as I am concerned, the journalists are immature not to have cited their sources…….Otherwise, everythin’s cool…Media houses recruit any graduate as reporters these days which is progressing towards a weak media as a whole…….

  19. mediawatch says:

    wouldn’t!

  20. naw-tsha-wai says:

    Few years back when we were told that democracy in Bhutan would be functioining differently we were calm and happy. Now there seems to be growing anger, jealousy, competition and suspicion in every corner. We are getting more and more confused as citizens about politics. Are we a happy country proudly showing the way towards GNH, compassion, happy and peaceful living with human values or are we all moving towards anger, depression, hatred, depression, etc? There is still a ray of hope if people as responsible leaders care to show us the right way. I think both the government and opposition should sit together and move in harmony side by side. Only then it will be different to other democracies around the world. Opposition can inform the public on things that are of serious concern but if it keeps on making a mountain out of a mole, then there is something wrong with it. I have not seen any posts on poverty reduction, water and hygiene, farm road construction, community development, sustainability, etc. issues which will benefit the masses and help bring happiness and peace to the people. All we hear is media, media and media. What would media mean to a common man in Laya or Tendu or Shigkharlawri when he/she does not have the basic necessities of life – food, clean drinking water and shelter?

  21. Lyonchhen has taken over the government, his friend Sonam Tobgye is the Chief Justice, his sidekick Thinley Jamtsho is the RCSC Commissioner, the RBP is firmly under MOHCA, ACC is heaped with so many cases that they cant look into issue like education city (poor Dasho neten), the bureaucrcy is under firm control, the parliament is under firm control thanks to a biased speaker.

    The only thing remaining was the media and so who better then a former MD of Bhutan Times Tenzing Rigden. His BT reporters whom he instigated to revolt againts wangcha sanagy when gruff old wangcha was finding faults in the accounts (CICCC scam) are in the Journalist, 2 former employyes staff are heading Biz Bhutan, Bhutan Today is clearly his fronting enterprise due to his cousins link and now he is writing stories for the paper, the Bhutan obesrvoer people are his family friends and he is also the former Kuensel editor.

    The prime minister no doubt is still an ethical person but by surrounding himself with the slime of the 4th estate the stink is only going to goto the heavens and into the nose of the voters by 2013.

  22. By the way media watch’s fratic defence of Tenzing Rigden on ever forum shows that he or she is either Rigden himslef or a reporter from Journalist or Bhutan Times.

  23. I heard some very disturbing news too. I think OL is indirectly hinting or cautioning the nation and the concerned citizens about something fishy going on between Bhutan Today and TR. Like any of us, OL has to be careful. It must take a lot of courage for the OL to even write this indirect post. After all OL is not posting an anonymous comment on a public online forum, and we all know the powerful network that is now behind TR.

    OL has done his job. Now it’s our turn to find out the truth. I think many people know what’s going on (especially people in Bhutan Today), but they can’t talk about it openly.

  24. And I don’t think OL is trying to make a mountain out of a mole. Though OL hasn’t mentioned directly in this Post, I think there is something that goes far beyond cut/pasting the Press Releases of the Cabinet.

  25. Someone with chicken heart showing up as a “Guest” is definitely out of his/her mind. Firstly, this person failed to understand what OL brought forward and secondly, this person in his second comment kept referring to Bhutan Times when the whole discussion is about Bhutan Today and Press Release from PM’s office. What the hell are you trying to say here? You must be out of your mind!!!!!!!

  26. @Guest…… Someone with chicken heart showing up as a “Guest” is definitely out of his/her mind. Firstly, this person failed to understand what OL brought forward and secondly, this person in his second comment kept referring to Bhutan Times when the whole discussion is about Bhutan Today and Press Release from PM’s office. What the hell are you trying to say here? You must be out of your mind!!!!!!!

  27. No, we cant go easy even on this plagiarism issue. The nascent stage of media of our country is no excuse. There are cases that it has cost people their degree (masters and PhD), fame and career. Norms such as acknowledging the source and citing and quoting authors should be strictly followed. For that matter, media is even in a special position to advocate that.

  28. I quote Karma 1, “I heard some very disturbing news too”. Please enlighten us what that ‘disturbing news’ is about? Our people need to know. Our people should know. Our people must know. This is our home. Everyone must know who is doing what in our house.

  29. Dear Karma,
    This “Guest” with chicken heart offer you my most heartfelt apology for confusing Bhutan Today with Bhutan Times. But please, this is a harmless oversight and thus, there is no need for you to get your nose put out of joint so easily. Haha.

    However, I am still waiting for the OL to explain to us why it is such a dangerous thing for Bhutan Today to carry the Press Release of the PM. Mind you, the OL’s objections do not stem from his concerns over the obvious plagiarism of those Press Releases but from some sinister design that he thinks is afoot as a result of the paper printing those Press Releases.

    My understanding is that the PM’s office hands out those Press Releases with the explicit intention of getting them printed in the newspapers. So how does printing them constitute a dangerous act? How is that proof that the PM’s office has control over Bhutan Today?

    I am truly baffled. For the life of me, I cannot see what I do not understand here. Where does the sinister plot lie? I want to know.

  30. I think we Bhutanese are vindictive in nature and we don’t reconcile easily…elections were over long back but our rivalry, suspicious, jealousy is growing day by day….and i am sure some of our colleagues will be very happy to bring down government and create chaos in the country! ….we are being too suspicions in every move government makes…..At times it sounds like everything is going wrong in this country…..BUT I WAS REALLY RELIEVED AND HAPPY TO HEAR 4TH KING’S SPEECH IN MONGAR….IT WAS CATEGORICALLY MENTIONED THAT EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL!….KING IS DOING EXCELLENT JOB AND POLITICIANS ARE DOING SO FAR SO GOOD!!!

  31. Dear Tangba: I appreciate and share your love and concern for our nation. But for the very reason I mentioned in my earlier post, I too have to be careful.

    You said: Our people need to know. Our people should know. Our people must know. This is our home. Everyone must know who is doing what in our house.

    I agree with you 100%. That’s why “Media Independence” is so important. Media’s primary responsibility is to inform the people and the nation the “TRUTH” – nothing but the truth.

    Anyway, let’s wait few more days. I believe a journalist is working on it and we may have the story in one of the newspapers soon (unless…). Also when OL writes to BICMA, I think he will go deeper in explaining why this issue will have serious repercussion on our fragile democracy.

    Some people have indicated that we are being too harsh and suspicious of the government. I disagree with them. This is an important issue. It’s about “Media Independence,” it’s about our fragile “Democracy,” and it’s about our children and our nation’s future. Unless you are a DPT MP or a DPT Minister, as an educated and responsible citizen, you should be concerned. Re-read Tangba and Tashi’s posts above. I think there’s a lot of truth in it. Right now, you may be a beneficiary of the DPT government, but in the long run if our nation goes down the wrong path it will take us all together – whether we are a DPT or a PDP.

    If you have access to DPT MPs and Ministers, instead of opposing people who are expressing concern in this forum and others, try to influence them (people who are in power). Tell them to be transparent, tell them to think long term instead of the next election, tell them to put the Nation first before the Party, tell them to do the right thing. Tell them to safeguard the “Independence of Media and Judiciary.” In the long run this will serve us all and our nation well. Then we’ll have nothing, but positive things, to say about our government.

    I have always admired the far sighted vision of our Kings. But, sometimes, I believe, the higher authorities do not get the correct information. As it is obvious, it goes through a lot of filters.

  32. mediawatch says:

    Tashi wrote: “By the way media watch’s fratic defence of Tenzing Rigden on ever forum shows that he or she is either Rigden himslef or a reporter from Journalist or Bhutan Times.”

    I think I wasn’t defending. I was stating the obvious. For many reasons, the issue has been misunderstood. TR is being made a scapegoat for every other reason. He’s done much more than what he deserves. I don’t say he is a perfect man. he has flaws as all of us do. But can’t he just live his life the way he wants. Now the OL is after him because Mr OL thinks TR as PM’s press officer is influencing the media. BUll SHIT!

    Who else but the opposition would know better to politicize issues. And this one is a clear attempt at one. Yes, he had raised the issue of the appointment of TR earlier in this same forum saying that he had written to the ACC. But to no avail, I guess.

    Let me tell you guys how PM’s press office and the media has been working up till now. TR as the press officer of PM makes press releases available for the media to pick ideas and angles from. If Bhutan Today or times decided to run the same press release, the problem lies with Bhutan Today. And Mr OL insinuating that TR is now controlling Bhutan Today and that something dangerous is going on is a silly public statement from the Opposition Leader of the country.

    I think Business Bhutan is trying to do the story on TR and Bhutan Today taking a cue from the OL’s blog. But i am afraid this will set yet another bad precedent for the media. One media tarnishing the image of the another. Apparently its a intersting piece of news if it is true, but look deeper, it is a can of worms.

    Why would Business Bhutan (BB) do the story? The two editors at BB are former BT editors, and one legally cannot be the editor. The other editor has basically been a proxy editor. That’s altogether another story. Bhutan Today – you guys better send one reporter down at BB to investigate!

    I am wondering how people talk loftily about building an “independent media’ for a vibrant democracy without understanding that media industry itself is in murk! Mr OL if you do care a little for media in the country, without having any political interest, and without trying to gain any political mileage, I would suggest, why did you not make noise all this time, when a newspaper was killed and murdered ruthlessly by a ceo who knew nothing about journalism!

    If Media is so important, who understands the dire financial crisis all most all newspapers are in, except Kuensel. They would not care, because they know as long as their purpose is served, media can go to hell! It’s a petty!

    God Bless democracy!

  33. I too think “mediawatch” is TR himself, or one of his relatives or his close friends, trying desperately to cover up the real story.

    You guys can write well but at the end “Truth” shall prevail.

  34. Instead of blaming the OL, I think it is people like TR who let the media down. TR left the media to fulfill his greed for power, fame, and money. At such difficult time, TR shouldn’t have left the media. As a leader in this profession he could have made a big difference.

    Again, I think MediaWatch is TR himself. He is now trying to intimidate and scare Business Bhutan. He doesn’t want BB to write about this issue. So before pointing your finger to OL for doing his job, look at yourself first.

  35. i think the Prime Minister is a fine and upstanding person but even then one has to take responsibility for one’s choices in this case the press officer Tenzing Rigden.

    There is a dangerous conspiracy to control and try and gag the media between the two press officers of PMO’s office and ROM.

    In both cases also it is withouth the knwoledge or the backing of either the Royal Secretariat or the PM’s office but the machinations of two crooks posing as press officers.

    While ROM is going about issuing incredible circulars dictating editorail policy inspired by none other but Dorji Wangchuk, his dear friend Tenzing Rigden is doing much worse to the media for the Prime Minister’s office by misleading the government of the day and also the fourth estate. His incredibly unreliable past has already been discussed.

    The Prime Minister we know is a wise and reasonable leadear which he demonstrated when he oveturned liberalizing the tourism tariff on the majority sentiment.

    Well from the numerous posts it would be fair to assume that the intellectual majority does not want crookedd cronies as press officers.
    The PM’s office is too important especailly in a young democacay to be so tarnished so vociously by a corrupt and unreliable press officer with hidden agendas.

  36. (This is the copy of an email sent by Tenzing Rigden defending his case sent to all editors and journalist. I am one myself and not at all convinced and infact his defence proves his guilt-read on).

    Dear Editors,

    I am told the opposition leader’s blog carries an article about me. While I have decided that not to respond in the forum, I feel it is my duty to enlighten you on my so called association with BHUTAN TODAY.

    During the day beginning the Losar week, I received a call from the Chairman of TODAY (who also happens to be my cousin) that his paper was on the verge of closure becuase his key reporters had left. The editor, I believe, was also leaving because of a certain defamation case that had been filed againt the paper where perhaps he was unable to put up a reasonable stand and the paper was losing the legal fight.

    Anyway, I decided to help. I put in my people – Ugyen Tenzin, Tshring Chuki, Peky Samal and Khampa – and we volunteered from February 20 to February 28 (free). The job was mainly to put a functional system in place. Whenever I could – which was very little given my prior occupations – I helped.

    My support was along the area of training the reporters. Whenever possible, I taught them about interviews, backgrounding, writing, building contacts, meeting deadlines, maintianing newsrrom environment, etc. If I had time in the evenings, I did help with story headlines, captions and the design as well.

    That is as far as my role did go.

    From March however, the paper needed the aforementioned people as full time reporters and editors. I agreed readily because after I left for my temporary assignment for the govt, our publishing house – Thinley Pelbar – suffered. There was no one to give direction. In fact to pay even January and February salaries was extremely difficult.

    But here is my stand. With due respect to your opinion, I would like to assert the right of those who worked with me before to earn their livelihood any which they can. They have backgrounds in journalism and where could they possibly work apart from the media?

    Secondly, I will never forfeit my right to share the little that I know with those who seek it. I have spent half my life in journalism and if, at this stage, I cannot use it to benefit others, I have wasted that many years of my life. I have always made it clear that my doors are always open to those who think they may benefit from their association with me. Irrespective of which media house they come from, I have tried to help every reporter/ photographer during my short stint in the government thus far.

    Is there a conflict of interest? If I am leaking info to some and depriving others of it, that is conflict of interest. In fact I describe it as a gross misuse of my position. Do I stoop to this? Not without disgracing myself, throwing my principles aside, disgracing my family and relatives and, above all, letting down some people who I really look up to and who believe in my ethical standards. I would be crazy to do it!

    ( i am told the unhappy lot in the editors’ group obtained certain surreptitious info from Bhutan TODAY reporters. Please dare them to point out if I gave them any story idea that compromised my present position. In fact, during a few meetings we have had, I clearly told the reporters – there are usually 8 to 9 of them – not to forget that I cannot let my assistance to them come into with conflict with my work.)

    I have also told most of you that my assignment with the government is short term – until as long as it takes to set up a proper media office and a sytem to go with it. And completing that is may be not very far away. I also said that my priority is to help make the government more transparent, if I can, and not be a spokesperson in the conventional sense of the word. I have received an unequivocal support from the PM on this.

    And I am coming back.

    Thanks for your patience and understanding.


    Tenzin Rigden
    Press Secretariat
    Royal Government of Bhutan

  37. speculationman says:

    TR, as much as i have heard of you, you are an honorable man. just ask yourself if what you are doing is right?

    don’t try to find solidarity by letting your followers like Mediawatch defend you. the whole issue here is not about tenzin rigden or mediawatch or about any person in particular. it is about the person who holds the office of the PM’s press secretariat involving himself in a media company.

    the issue is not who owns the media company. it can be TR’s relative or anybody for that matter but what has the PM’s office to do with that? by involving urself in Bhutan Today’s affairs, you are not only involving urself but also dragging PM into the whole issue.

    i have also heard that you take pride in telling other what they should do. just divide your personality and try advising urself.

    the rightful realm may not be that far.

  38. naw-tsha-wai says:

    Many seem to be blaming one individual for everything happening in the media. To people like me that very man is an ordinary man like many but who unfortunately happen to possess more knowledge of information and communication. I have seen this man for most part of his life and I think he is a humble man with ocean of ocean, as is clearly explained by his very name. If there is anything wrong for having him in that “hot seat, looking at the comments, are people suggesting that he be replaced with someone who knows nothing about media and journalism or are people suggesting that the person in that “hot seat” should be someone from the PDP? I trust the integrity and credibility of media people and I do not think that anyone can bribe them or the sweet words of an outspoken person can change their minds. “Everyone thinks of changing the world but no one thinks of changing himself” (Leo Tolstoy).

  39. naw-tsha-wai says:

    meant “ocean of knowledge”

  40. I agree with naw-tsha-wai. It is strange that most of the commentators here have a whole lot of things to say but not a single post that tells us why they think that Bhutan Today carrying the Press Release of the PM’s office is bad for the country. No one, including the OL, has as yet offered a reason – even a bad one, why printing the Press Release of the PM’s office is tantamount to controlling the media.

    Criticism is good – we must criticize, even against those whom we support. But the criticisms should be constructive and meaningful. The criticisms must be intended to correct some mistakes, bring about some change in thinking and the manner in which things are done. But what is happening here is not very useful. People are just saying things because they have a forum in which they can anonymously write whatever comes to mind. In the process, no one pays heed to what people are saying – the people to whom those criticisms are directed ignore them and write them off as nothing more than empty air. As a result, even those of us who take time out to offer meaningful criticism get ignored and our points of views do not received their just due.

    I hope people will realize that we are spoiling our chances to be heard and be taken seriously. We contribute to the success of democracy by offering useful criticism where due. If we cannot make it meaningful, then we are wasting out time. We might as well give up participating in the discussions.

  41. A lot of papers copy a major chunk of the press release, simply because it has been written by rigden who himself is a journalist, and they have little time or inclination to change the articles majorly. I am not saying this is a good thing, because we notice, obviously that the press releases paint a glowing picture of the government, highlighting the great things, or making every government decision sound like a great idea. Cant really blame TR for this, it is his job to ‘improve’ the public relations of the government. But the media needs to be more careful, and deleting some of the glowing adjectives should be in order. Also, I think, papers, especially the two dailies compete to get their stories in first, and if the press release comes in rather late, then i am thinking they dont do much of a research. In such cases, maybe the papers could run a breif story without any opinions imported diretly from the press release, and write a piece with more research and inclination to comment the next day. If a paper blindly copies every press release, there is an issue of plaigarism if rigden himself chooses to complain which he definitely wont. but i think the OL is rather concerned about how seasoned journalists have the talent of writing a piece that may not explicitly condemn or praise someone, but can still make a very loud statement, and when it is copied word for word in a paper, this statement obviously gets carried over too.

  42. Six newspapers are in the market competing for news, ads and readership. 4 are weeklies, and although 2 call themselves dailies they are not in the real sense as they do not publish on Sundays.

    When such a competition is on, there is reason for disgruntlement when TR involves himself in the affairs of a newspaper. Not that he is the dominant media figure he believes he is, but just because of the fact he is in the PM’s Media Secretariat.

    His position there gives the newspapers he is closer to, easy access to news. Today it is just news articles but tomorrow it could be govt ads and notifications. All of us know newspapers thrive on ads, and TR could easily squash the media organizations he despises.

    And it is a concern because his track record does not really show much integrity and honor in his character. Perhaps the other media have a right to show concern.

  43. I don’t know whether we can say there is a conflict of interest or whether it goes against the ethics of media/journalism, but as a matter of principle, to have PM’s Press Officer and his team of reporters edit, report and write articles for a private media firm may not be the right thing to do.

    Therefore, I think the issue goes beyond just copying press releases from PMO.

  44. What little credibility BICMA had went down the drain the day they appointed Sonam Phuntsho as its new Director. Guess what, the first thing he did was to order the cable service operators to provide only 40 channels to their clients, actually in my case it’s only 39 channels because Etho Metho insists that out of the 40 channels one is the Etho Metho channel which we actually would rather not have.

    It is rather baffling as to how he was appointed as the head of BICMA, when he was embroiled in a defamation case not too long ago, which he lost if my memory is correct.

    Then we keep on hearing things like good governance.

  45. Tenzing Rigdens appointment is also a sympton of the malise in the PM’s mind. The PM comes from an autocratic and aristocractic background and will largely do what he want’s which is okay to a certain extent if he is responsible since we need strong leaders.
    However the PM letting his press officer get away with such unethical and dangerous actvities is certainly not good for the country or national interest.

    This is becasue till now the political establsihment is quite new with no prior experience in dealing with the media in a democracy. If left to themselves the past cabinet press officers were doing a pretty okay job giving some info but not intefering much.
    However Mr Tenzing Rigden is a guy who very much knows all the weak points of media houses, kind of a Trojan Horse actually who knows each media person and how to deal with them or even fix them if need be for his political masters.

    For that reason the media fraternity should be very scared and concerned for genuine media freedom in the country.

    There is already disgruntlement within the media community on Rigden’s way of functioning and favouritism to reporters that are close to him like in Bhutan Today.
    The next obivous thing will be controlling the advertisements from the government departments to media houses. Who knows it may already happening.
    The way he gives his press reports is unprecedented in the history of journalism of press officers.
    This is because he not only dictates the article word by word but also puts in quotes and suggests the ‘angle of the story’.
    His inteference in the rooms of editors and reportesr is now becoming legendary and unprecedented across all news organizations.

    So if Rigden is behvaing like the Joseph Gobbels (propaganda minister in Nazi Germany) what does that make the Prime Minister of Bhutan?

    While all this happens it seems the 20,000 civil servants, 10,000 corporate employye, 27,000 business families and farmers are fast asleep not knowing that the highest office in the land that governs them is getting corrupted or maybe they don’t trust the media anymore to come out and say it outright. Who would blame them now.

  46. It intrigues me to know why the discussion is focused on only BO when even kuensel has done the same thing.“SAARC summit: preparations in full swing”
    http://www.cabinet.gov.bt/index.php?option=com_content&id=358&Itemid=144
    by the Cabinet http://www.kuenselonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=14805
    by Kunsel

  47. I urge at least one newspaper to cover this. The readers deserve it.

  48. mediawatch says:

    Going by the debates here, a majority of pseudo-intellectuals believe one man is influencing a whole lot of the media in the country.

    A few do seem to debate on the lines of argument but many just have been badmouthing. The issue here is not about TR as a person per se. Lot of people here accuse him of being a man of lesser integrity, character, a very flawed opportunist, greedy and hungry for power. I am surprised why would any one say so when the talk of the issue is altogether a different one. Except if that person has some settles to score with TR.

    Lets look at the issue:

    1. TR works for the PM (people have problem with that? People think he’s not the right person. Why? This can be explained. A man like TR gets singled out to work with the PM, who wouldn’t envy him? All dorjis and tashis in this forum would be.)

    2. TR is controlling media: How? Just because OL thinks that Bhutan Today and a few other media copy-pasted the press release TR wrote.

    3. TR is helping Bhutan Today – The editor (was asked to leave) and a few senior journalists of Bhutan Today resigned. TR runs a publishing house too (MIND YOU!) and he sent four guys from his office to Bhutan Today. The editor is the recent guy who made news by winning a gold medal. Others are journalists who at least have a minimum three years of work experience in media.

    4. There is a problem with that too – TR is influencing Bhutan Today. How? Is TR openly voicing the government’s views, manipulating media? How can the OL say blatantly this is a dangerous thing?

    I am not defending TR, nether am I TR. He has given his justification to the editors of the media, which I personally think wasn’t needed. Misgivings are there but that does not mean he needs to explain to every Tom, Dick and harry!

    I just feel there is a malicious attempt at slandering some one on the grounds that to me are futile. keep harping. OL should be explaining a lot things by now!!

  49. Tenzing Rigdens appointment is also a sympton of the malise in the PM’s mind. The PM comes from an autocratic and aristocractic background and will largely do what he want’s which is okay to a certain extent if he is responsible since we need strong leaders.
    However the PM letting his press officer get away with such unethical and dangerous actvities is certainly not good for the country or national interest.
    This is becasue till now the political establsihment is quite new with no prior experience in dealing with the media in a democracy. If left to themselves the past cabinet press officers were doing a pretty okay job giving some info but not intefering much.
    However Mr Tenzing Rigden is a guy who very much knows all the weak points of media houses, kind of a Trojan Horse actually who knows each media person and how to deal with them or even fix them if need be for his political masters.
    For that reason the media fraternity should be very scared and concerned for genuine media freedom in the country.
    There is already disgruntlement within the media community on Rigden’s way of functioning and favouritism to reporters that are close to him like in Bhutan Today.
    The next obivous thing will be controlling the advertisements from the government departments to media houses. Who knows it may already happening.
    The way he gives his press reports is unprecedented in the history of journalism of press officers.
    This is because he not only dictates the article word by word but also puts in quotes and suggests the ‘angle of the story’.
    His inteference in the rooms of editors and reportesr is now becoming legendary and unprecedented across all news organizations.
    So if Rigden is behvaing like the Joseph Gobbels (propaganda minister in Nazi Germany) what does that make the Prime Minister of Bhutan?
    While all this happens it seems the 20,000 civil servants, 10,000 corporate employye, 27,000 business families and farmers are fast asleep not knowing that the highest office in the land that governs them is getting corrupted or maybe they don’t trust the media anymore to come out and say it outright. Who would blame them now.

  50. Mediawatch, there is no malice. There is no slandering. The issue here is about righteousness, not TR. I have no personal enmity with TR. I do not know this guy at all. Most people here like myself are neither PDP fanatics nor ardent DPT followers. We are citizens of this country and we ought to speak out what is right and what is wrong in the country. Consider the following facts without prejudice and assumptions. You will hear what people are really talking about.

    WE WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD THIS ISSUE…

    1. IF our supposedly wise Lyonchen chose another guy as his spokesman in the first place. It was impossible two decades ago in our country to find someone like TR but not these days. We have so many other capable and highly qualified people suitable for this post. Nobody is wiser or more capable than anyone. Given a chance, my uneducated neighbor can make a better prime minister than our current Lyonchen. No doubt.
    2. IF the appointment for this post was done through a fair and an open competitive selection as it is done in case of all other government posts. This post in the PM’s office is also paid by the government and using people’s tax money. It is not paid by DPT and it is not a political party affiliated post. It must follow the PCS system. It didn’t. Why? That’s the whole issue.
    3. IF TR is strictly a Government Spokesman and he does not get himself involved, directly or indirectly, with any of the newspaper companies and other public media. Given his prior connections, it may be a hard thing to do but it can be done and it must be done for the sake of the nation, at least as long as he is holding that post of the Government Spokesperson/ PM’s Press Officer.

    What do you say?

  51. Dear Tangba,

    You say; “Mediawatch, there is no malice. There is no slandering” and then you go on to say; “Given a chance, my uneducated neighbor can make a better prime minister than our current Lyonchen. No doubt”.

    Now, I ask you this: Suppose your neighbor, in addition to being uneducated as admitted by you, is also deaf and mute, will he still make a better prime minister than our current Lyonchen? What kind of statement are you making? Tell me truthfully, when you make such a statement, what am I suppose to think of you? Although it does not take the brains of an Einstein to judge the state of your mental health, it is also clear that it would be futile to engage you in any discussion on the subject, or anything else. So I won’t attempt it. For all I know, if you believe that your uneducated neighbor can make a better Prime Minister than the current one, there is absolutely not a shred of doubt in my mind that you will turn around and tell us that you will make a super Prime Minister.

    Coming to the appointment of Tenzin Rigden as head of the Press Secretariat in the PM’s Office, don’t you think that you and I do not have the wherewithal to decide whether he is competent, whether he is suitable, whether he has the integrity, whether he has the necessary experience, whether he has the required influence and sway over the media fraternity to enable him to successfully push through the Cabinet’s and the government’s objectives and aspirations? The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) needs to be manned and staffed by people that the Prime Minister can trust and rely on – implicitly. The reason is simple: with the introduction of democracy, the power of governance has now shifted from the Royal Courts to select arms of the government of which the PMO is the most dominant. The Prime Minister is the head of the elected government and thus he is the principal appointee of the people of Bhutan.

    Now, if he has the trust of the entire nation, can you not trust him to make a simple choice of his own Press Officer?

    People allege that Tenzin Rigden is immoral and cannot be trusted. That is a matter of opinion and, in any event, that is none of our business. In making a wrong choice, the Prime Minister knows that he stands to loose the most. Therefore, although you believe that your uneducated neighbor would make a better Primer Minister than our serving one, on the contrary, it is my belief that the Prime Minister would have fully considered the capabilities and weaknesses of Tenzin Rigden before he was offered the job.

    I don’t think you have an open mind to absorb any useful facts of life. Regardless, let me share a piece of history with you – this should benefit other readers as well.

    Late Lyonpo Dawa Tshering was the biggest scoundrel and opportunist going around during his time. The whole nation knows about it. And yet, he is one of the only two persons in Bhutan whose name is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records – as the longest serving Foreign Minister in the world. The other name was that of His Majesty the IVth Druk Gyalpo – as the youngest ruling monarch of the world. So you see Tangba, you don’t need a Buddha to qualify as a Press Officer.

    From your point #3, it is pretty obvious that you have no inkling of the job description of a Press Officer. Why the hell would the Prime Minister appoint a Press Officer so that he can remain aloof and uninvolved with the media people? The very purpose of appointing a Press Officer is so that he can interact with the press and the media; disseminate information about the government and its functioning, its plans and programs etc.

    The fact that Tenzin Rigden is among the senior most journalists, the fact that he has cousins heading and owning some sections of the media, that most of the newspapers’ editors are his colleagues, friends and protégé, that majority of the journalists hold him in high esteem is something positive. It means that he will be able to do his job better than any one else could have. Therefore, TR is a good choice.

    The thing is that I am not bothered whether PM has made a wrong choice in appointing TR as his Press Officer. That is a decision that he alone has to make and he has made it. As the highest authority in the government, I dare say that he has the power and the authority to decide on such an important appointment that concerns his office. What I am concerned is the fact that I am unable to understand why Bhutan Today printing the Press Release of the PMO is dangerous to the nation. May be there is a side to the coin that I am not seeing.

    I am still pleading with the OL to explain to me how he sees that issue which escapes me totally. My request is genuine.

  52. mediawatch says:

    Mr OL You got to do some explaining here! We are not convinced. TR has given his explanation and made his stand clear. Now Mr OL you need to put a brave face and give your reasons. otherwise we are going to take this as one of your several political gimmicks!

  53. Dear Dolma,

    You have helped so many of us to know Tenzin Rigden’s stand by posting his mail that he wrote to the other editors in your comment. Here’s what I have to say in reply to certain points that he mentioned:

    Tenzin Rogden wrote: “The editor, I believe, was also leaving because of a certain defamation case that had been filed against the paper where perhaps he was unable to put up a reasonable stand and the paper was losing the legal fight.”

    I say: Here he is actually talking about the managing editor because the paper never had an editor (officially though) after Mr Yonten Gyeltshen left. And the fact is that the ME didn’t leave himself, he was asked to leave by the management in a manner that, I heard, was seriously unprofessional. The chairman, had the guts one morning to call up at the ME’s residence, where the ME’s little daughter answered the call. She was directly told to inform her father not to come to office from that day! Look at the unprofessional, coward manner that they implemented when taking a decision of such a great interest. Yes, the defamation case was filed against one of the reporters for which even the ME strolled several times with a kabney to the court, trying to save the reporter- the MD and the chairman never took their stand to support the reporter. Even if they did, it was just verbal without any crucial stand. However, the ME didn’t leave because of this case.

    Point to be noted:
    Now it seems like, since the father and son duo had already planned to keep TR as the editor, they threw the ME out and that too without any benefits or explanations!
    Tenzin Rigden wrote: “Anyway, I decided to help. I put in my people – Ugyen Tenzin, Tshring Chuki, Peky Samal and Khampa – and we volunteered from February 20 to February 28 (free). The job was mainly to put a functional system in place. Whenever I could – which was very little given my prior occupations – I helped.”

    I say: “Things as these come out in open one day or the other. Even if they want to lure others in believing their stand, things that are true always come out, somehow or the other. According to my sources, though TR maintains that he just helped whenever he could, I would like to interpret that as “helped all the time.” I don’t think that coming to the office in the morning and assigning the reporters plus going around with them to sort of use his influence to make it easier for the reporters and doing the final editing himself means helped when ever he could given the very little time.

    Points to be noted:
    Tshering Chuki, the ever blabber mouth, who after leaving BTimes, is somehow spending her times for the stupid BYCA project and has been writing for Bhutan Today. I don’t know much about her role in BToday as I heard that she is hardly seen in the office.

    Peky Samal got into the field of journalism almost at the same time or even later than some of the reporters in BToday but now she tells the reporters sometimes what story to work on and she also does the preliminary editing of their reports.

    Khampa certainly does not write the editorials and have a say at the final editing though he is the official editor of BToday. He actually looks after the internet stories that cover 70% of BToday every day. He can actually be termed as the curtain that covers TR!

    Ugyen Tenzin- God knows who he is!

    It’s good that TR and his team are helping BToday, as they say. But, how can a bunch of people who failed ruthlessly in BTimes bring success for BToday?

  54. mediawatch says:

    Mercury has done some interesting backgrounding on the new BToday team.

    1. Tshering Chuki: She worked with BTimes for years and broke some of the interesting stories. She is a hurricane of words, but she does a good job at reporting. BYCA – is a youth association that raises awareness on environmental issues. She took the step, and she deserves the applaud for all we do is blabber – now haven’t she proved she can blabber as well act!

    2. Peky Samal: She also worked with BTimes earlier. Why is she assigning stories to reporters and sub-editing the stories? Obviously because she is a better writer, because she has picked up the trade faster than her colleagues. And of course because she has a good grasp over language.

    3. Khampa: He is a gold medalist. He worked with BTimes too. He is the editor because definitely he is way better than any editors Btoday had before. He may not be writing the editorials all the time but he does a fine job of editing. And taking out internet stories is part of every editor in any newspaper organization. You should know that!

    4. Ugyen Tenzin: AS you don’t know him, let me profile him briefly. He is quite senior than the rest. He has masters in Arts and had worked with the government before. His language is splendid and he helps in editing too.

    I am surprised Mercury has the guts to say these people failed ‘ruthlessly” in Bhutan Times. A group of them are successfully running a weekly newspaper The Journalist. A few are in Business Bhutan. And the rest in BToday. Indeed BTimes produced some of the best media professionals in the country.

    who failed BTimes, every one knows that for a fact. So Mercury, I don’t see why this bunch of former BTimes employees cannot make Btoday a success. Already, they have proved that they can. Can’t you see the difference?

    Truth will prevail.

  55. OL, what you are doing is right. TR should not have been appointed as the spokesperson in the first place and he was appointed without any interview and competitive selection. This is blatant corruption. That is the first reason. The second reason is, a government spokesman DO NOT interfere with the newspaper companies and public information media anywhere in the democratic world expect in the communist nations and countries run by the dictators. Yes, the government spokespersons do speak for the government about their policies, plans and strategies and they are the sole mouthpiece of the government’s opinions on anything, but they do not dictate the newspapers what to write and tell the TV companies to broadcast it. This choice of what to write and what to broadcast must be left soley to the media themselves. Here, we see that TR has his dirty nose in every media companies. That is outright interference in media independence.
    Mediawatch is perhaps TR himself,I can bet on it. Mercury, Guest and a few others are just some media dogs who have no brains in their cranial vaults.

    WE ARE NOT DPT OR PDP FOLLOWERS. WE SUPPORT ANYONE WHO STANDS FOR THE RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THIS COUNTRY.

  56. Guest,
    Enlighten me what you are trying to convey here when you say,”Late Lyonpo Dawa Tshering was the biggest scoundrel and opportunist going around during his time. The whole nation knows about it. And yet, he is one of the only two persons in Bhutan whose name is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records – as the longest serving Foreign Minister in the world. The other name was that of His Majesty the IVth Druk Gyalpo – as the youngest ruling monarch of the world.”

    My request is genuine. I honestly couldn’t understand and find connections with the issue we are discussing here.

  57. Very simple my dear drups. Ask yourself this: How come the man survived as the longest serving Foreign Minister even while he was recognized as an established scoundrel? The obvious answer is that being a scoundrel can be ignored as long as you do your job well. Similarly, our PM choose to ignore TR’s unsavory qualities, if any, in the face of his more important and useful qualities that will serve the objectives of the PMO very well.

  58. Guest, a scoundrel is always a scoundrel and he will always be remembered a scoundrel no matter how good he had been. History is full of such people: Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Saddam. All these people thought and did well for their own country in their own opinions and, they didn’t listen to others. There were people who supported them and happy with them BUT THAT WAS WRONG and history tells it all. Yes, he was the longest serving foreign minister in the world. More than taking pride in this, I think we should be sad that it was so. Have you ever asked why we lost Jomolhari to China? Have you ever asked why we had to cede some areas in Tawang to AP, India? And have you ever asked how these people could own hills and mountains in Bhutan? Whose term as a foreign minister did all these things happen? Anyway, let’s not speak of those old days. They are gone. It’s burried. Let’s not dig it. It will only stink. Let’s speak of today. If today is right, tomorrow will be right. If today is not right, tomorrow will be disaster.

  59. Guest,
    With your above statement,you admit that TR is a scoundrel.

    This is my personal opinion. I definately would not feel safe entrusting the welfare of my country and its future in the hands of scoundrels like TR,no matter how good he is at his trade.

    What happened the last time we entrusted the welfare of our country in the hands of a scoundrel? The Bhutanese people had to cede a chunk of our cherished land to India and China.

    This time,however,with scoundrels like TR dominating the Bhutanese media,I feel Bhutanese people might have to part with the freedom of press,which I think is the very essence of democracy.

  60. Tangba, it is obvious that the implications of what I am saying escape you completely. However, I am not inclined to decode the facts of life to you. I am sure you will get it in due course provided of course that you are willing to open up that closed mind of yours.

    Please do not condemn history because if it were fashioned any differently, you wouldn’t be here making delusional statements and sounding like a hopeless romantic far removed from the realities of the real world.

    So you condemn Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and Saddam for what they did? How much do you know about what they really did? You have no idea how positively they contributed to their individual nations and to the progress of human race. You only know what the propaganda machinery put out for consumption by moronic people such as you. You cannot fathom the impact they made that shaped the way nations think and conduct themselves. How safe the world became because these anomalies of history (Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and Saddam) happened at the times they happened.

    The systematic annihilation of 6 million Jews by Hitler was a brutal and inhuman act but consider the fact that a miniscule Jewish state called Israel is today influencing the foreign policy of the US. They hold the entire Middle Eastern nations to ransom with the aid of their staunch ally – the US of A. Can you imagine the present day Jewish population (and the direction of world politics and diplomacy) if the Holocaust hadn’t slaughtered 2 out of 3 Jews in Europe? Can you imagine the state of world population if Hitler hadn’t started WWII? Would China be anywhere near where they are today, without the iron hand of Mao Tse Tung and the draconian laws and rules he enforced on a perpetually hungry nation of close to 2 billion people? Can you imagine the US Middle Eastern policy without Saddam being a constant thorn on their rib cage?

    Tangba, trust me, people such as Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and Saddam are not accidents that happened in history to merely cause misery. Their comeuppance is nature’s way of delivering a balancing act without which we would choke this mother earth to such a point that it will be unlivable!

    Coming back to our scoundrel late Lyonpo Dawa Tshering and his tenure as the Foreign Minister, how do you know that we wouldn’t have lost more that just Jumolhari – if it hadn’t been for him? Have you considered that? Think about it buddy.

    Drups, you are a complete idiot if you really believe that a single person such as TR can hold complete sway over the entire media organizations in Bhutan. The OL is only suspecting that TR may be doing some hanky-panky with Bhutan Today. But you know that Bhutan Today isn’t the end of the world.

  61. Guest: You are a rare species!

    We have all studied world history. I don’t think there are many people in this world who are really proud of what Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and Saddam did.

    No matter what, I don’t think killing 6 million Jews and bringing the world almost to an end by Hitler can ever be justified. Similarly, Saddam killing millions of his own people and bullying small neighboring countries like Kuwait can ever be justified. And I would never want to live in a country like Mao Tse Tung’s China where ordinary citizens live in perpetual fear of their own government.

    Do you also mean to say that the world history was written by the wrong people and there is no truth in it? Wow!!! Perhaps you should try rewriting the world history.

    You must be arguing why it’s okay for TR to infringe on Media Independence by the same logic (Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and Saddam).

    NO WONDER!!!

  62. Guest: As noted above, I disagree with you. But I enjoyed reading your perspective. You write well.

  63. Dear Karma 1

    Thank you

    History does not alter your present or your future but your present is the outcome of what has taken place in history well before you were even conceived.

    We all have our own perspectives. We can see only as much as we are capable of. But if you tread off the beaten path, and if you dare for a moment to think logically or illogically, if you prefer, you have to accept that each of the horrendous personalities named above may have caused great misery in a great variety of ways but the outcome of their barbaric acts have been positive in many ways. You have to accept that their acts have, without their intending to, given a fresh lease of life on this earth and the earth itself. Trust me, countries like China and Singapore succeed and shine because they are led by ruthless but visionary leaders with a cause – such as Mao Tse Tung and Lee Kwan Yew. Without a dictator named Lee Kwan Yew to provide leadership and direction, a pigeon-hole sized Singapore would be nothing more than a malaria infested backwater crowded by rickshaw pullers and bisexuals parading the sidewalks of Bugis Street.

    I did not say that the world history was written by wrong people but I know that historians only recorded history as they were being made. Now, the interpretation of history will depend on each individual and how each of us sees it.

  64. The RGOB send people like mediawatch and guest to study abroad spending thousands of dollers from our tax money,and come back to Bhutan becoming stunch propagators of the idealogies of Hitler,Mao,Saddam etc. I have no word to respond to people like guest who justifies the most heinous acts of humanity by Hitler and the like. The very thinking that we have people like mediawatch and guest working in important positions in the government and media gives me creeps.

  65. drups,

    The RGoB does not send people like you abroad because you are dumb and incapable of objectivity. Have you thought of that? Think deeper and you might yet get what the guest and the mediawatch is saying. I am glad they did not respond to your stupid outburst.

    Cheers.

  66. WILL THE BEE BUZZ AGAIN?

  67. The writer says:

    I in particular am not really happy about it. If it is true it is very unethical and worth condemning. If it is not, its a mere blaspheme. I really do not want to delve into it because no one here in Bhutan Today seems to agree. The past however, is history. Look out for whats to come ahead la.

  68. OL,please enlighten us the drawbacks of BToday
    reporting the pressrelease.

  69. Whatever may the comments, i genuinly feel OL is doing great job by highlighting the issues and giving platform for concerned citizens to debate. These debates would definately do good to the country.

    I beleive that media and govt.’s colloboration is very dangerous since there is high chances of misleading and manupulating information in party’s favour.

    Therefore i sincerly appeal to concerned agency to take the matter seriously and do some work.

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