Inaugural session

speaking up

speaking up

I’m posting the speech I delivered in Parliament today. I’d proposed a vote of thanks for His Majesty the King’s gracious presence during the inaugural ceremony of the third session of the Parliament.

The original speech was delivered in Dzongkha. And I spoke from points I had prepared earlier. But I’ve tried my best to translate what I presented into English as accurately as possible.

The photograph shows Tshering Tobgay addressing the National Assembly’s second session in January 2009

Vote of Thanks to His Majesty the King

Welcome His Majesty the King

On this most auspicious day, I, on behalf of the opposition party and with the deepest of respect, offer my heart felt gratitude to Your Majesty, for gracing today’s inaugural ceremony and opening the third session of the First Parliament of Bhutan.

The fact that Your Majesty has put aside all other important work of the State and chosen to attend the inaugural ceremony in person, is a real indication of Your Majesty’s support to Bhutan’s Parliament and, in particular, to the democratic process.

Thank our deities

It has been more than a year since democracy was introduced in the Kingdom of Bhutan. During this period, no untoward harm or misfortune has befallen on our two beloved monarchs, our country, and our people. This is because we continue to enjoy the benedictions of the triple gem, the support of our protecting deities, the combined good fortune of the Bhutanese people, and, most importantly, the supreme powers of our beloved monarchs.

State of democracy

Barely 15 months have passed since democracy was introduced in our country. And already many people, Bhutanese and foreigners, are amazed at how democracy was introduced – gifted from the Golden Throne to the people of Bhutan. And many people sincerely believe that democracy has got off to a good start and that it has already become a vibrant system of governance in Bhutan.

Our people acknowledge that the successes of democracy in Bhutan are solely because of His Majesty the King’s hard work and good results.

We must also accept, however, that not all the people are satisfied with the performance of democracy, our new form of government. This is mainly because the hopes and aspirations that our people have of democracy have still not been realized. And, to a large extent, they are correct.

So, it is our sacred responsibility to fulfill their dreams. But, in order to do so all of us must think and act as one, and work together. When I say “us” I mean the National Council and the National Assembly, the ruling party and the opposition party, civil servants and the private sector, and all other people. Only if we work together will we be able to achieve His Majesty’s vision of a robust and vibrant democracy that will deliver the hopes and aspirations of the people.

His Majesty’s work

Now, when we consider His Majesty the King’s work, all of us know very well that, even before the Coronation, His Majesty had worked tirelessly to ensure that the foundation of democracy was well secured so that, although the people didn’t want democracy, the transition from absolute monarchy to democratic constitutional monarchy would eventually be made smoothly and effortlessly.

And after the historic coronation of the Fifth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty the King has spared no effort to work with even greater force to serve the country and people of Bhutan. So, it is not possible to recount all of His Majesty’s good work today.

But, from among all his work, if I were to report about one, just as an example, we may be better able to understand His Majesty’s complete dedication to his country and his people.

It is no secret that most of our people live in villages, many of which are located in remote corners of our country that have not been visited by officers or civil servants. His Majesty has journeyed to these far-flung places. He traveled by day and night, for many weeks, in the scorching sun and soaking rain, and among leeches and insects. And no matter how tired he may have become, His Majesty insisted on visiting every village personally and, in it, dwelling place, with or without a roof.

He met his people in their villages, in their lands, and in their homes. He listened to their problems. And he personally solved their problems, right there and then.

We all know that the biggest problem our farmers face is the issue of land. Many farmers have “excess land”, land that they have not been able to pay for. Some have too little land. And many do not have any land at all – these are sharecroppers who for generations have slaved on other people’s fields.

In Lhuntse, in one dzongkhag alone, His Majesty the King granted various types of land kidu to a total of almost 5,000 families.  Similarly, His Majesty awarded many kidus to the people of Mongar. And, during the natural calamity caused by flash floods in various parts of the country, His Majesty rushed to see the devastation personally. And he met the victims and granted them kidu.

Monarchy in democratic Bhutan

Before the advent of democracy, our monarchy played a crucial role in the development of our country. And every successive monarch worked exclusively for the wellbeing of the country and the people.

Now, our beloved kings have deliberately given their powers to the people, and started a democratic form of government.  Yet the institution of monarchy, and His Majesty the King, must play an even more important role now to ensure the success of democracy, and the continued stability, peace and prosperity of our country and people.

Responsibility of parliamentarians

We, however, must also do our share of work. In order to enjoy benefits of a healthy democracy we must all work together. That includes parliamentarians, civil servants, private sector, farmers, the youth and all other citizens.

But, if we look at the situation today, many people feel that democracy has not given them what they want. And what do our people want from democracy? Our farmers want their hopes and aspirations fulfilled; our business community wants a much more stronger private sector that can contribute to a growing economy; our youth want quality education and job opportunities; and, overall, our people want GNH. GNH not just in words or on on paper, but real GNH that translates to improvements in their lives.

So, to fulfill the expectations of our people and of democracy, we parliamentarians must accept the biggest responsibility. The National Council and National Assembly, the ruling party and the opposition party, all of us have a collective responsibility to ensure that democracy succeeds.

As far as the opposition party is concerned, we will engage our body, speech and mind to serve the tsa-wa-sum, and we offer our pledge to do so here, in the incomparable great hall of the Parliament of Bhutan.

Conclusion

In conclusion, on behalf of the opposition party, I offer my sincere gratitude to Your Majesty the King for inaugurating the third session of the Parliament, and for making our democracy strong. Tashi delek!

 

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Comments

  1. Lobxang says:

    Honest words in plain sentences! I smell GNH! Way to go Lynpo La!
    Tashi Delek!

  2. Well said,your Excellency. Please keep up the good work done by both you and your colleague.
    For my satisfaction, Lyonpo la is it ok for the government to take credit for the centenary and coronation celebrations. Things like the construction of the national stadium, the vegetable market, Thendrel thang, centennial park..etc Projects started before the new government was formed. Please enlighten me la

    • JYT mentioned about the national stadium, the vegetable market, Thendrel thang, centennial park..etc last year as an achivement about the new government and i know he will mention that through the next few years. There are lots of development done by the new government but Lyonchen had only limited time to explain so he highlited the important works like the national stadium etc, which have been done before our fourth king stepped down, and hey guys the new government has more work in their hand, the stadum and the farmers market badly needes repair. What about the new Hospital, is it also the acchivement by the new government. Did JYT mention.. Something fishy….. JYT had only little time so he had to use the time explaing the pillars of GNH.

  3. I am not happy to note that the PM reports all the past results as results of the new government. Why not HM 34 years achievement include in the report?
    Sorry

  4. Phumzor says:

    Well done Lyenpo

    We wish you would have highlighted little bit on unsatisfactory ruling of DPT government expressed by innocent citizen of our country.

    We hope you would defend for the right and keep us inform on all the discussions.

  5. Thank u so much for posting ur speech la
    its good for us students who are away from home. Please do keep posting as we can find out what is happening in the country as the media does not cover everything

    thanks u once again la

  6. AS i read the Bhutan times article “Lawmakers don’t want live telecas”. There are reasons mentioned about why MPs don’t want live telecast of the MP and for most part it is very lame and doesn’t make sense and I am surprised that these reasons were even mentioned. If I to interpret it correctly , one of them is having the camaras will allow MPs to focus more on the appearance. Well, our MPs should be very professional people who know thier responsibilities and would seperate thier personal and professional life. I think they should be able to do thier jobs even if there were hundred more cameras. if the cameras made them feel like actors i believe they don’t derserve to be there at all. unless ther are actors and not professionals who are now MPs. I don’t why udnersatnd why they would feel like actors? I have worked in front of cameras and the idea is to focus on the issue at hand. I really doubt the capabilities of the MPs.

    As far as BBS resources are concerned this is an investment, in educating the people. People might not understand right now and thaat’s because democracy is new but they will. Reports aren’t good enough, we need to see people talk, sleep or grow roots for a day on thier seat, But we need to see it. In fact every effort has to be made by the Govt. to educate people about decision making, debates. Anything that is important enough to be discussed in the NA is important enough to be watched or listened to. People should never be kept out of that.

    There are more chances of misguidance if only press releases are allowed. And more rumours ( ugly) once will be made about the proceedings of the NA is there are no documentations. This is not good for the future and for democracy.

    It is very sad that when all over the world people use very high tech technology for information disemination ( even langauge translators and sign langauges so that every one in the society is included)- in our country we want to ban the only source we have of knowing how our leaders are making decisions that are going to change my life, and the lives of my children in the future.

    It is very sad and many of us are very disappointed with similar decisions that are made by the Govt. since thier power.

  7. OL, you ought to fight for the BBS to be there live. we want it no matter what.

  8. Live telecast ban made us all suspicious about everything now. Though there are just two in the opposition, opposition means the other half!
    Well thank for posting the speech here, for you sure knew WE are not watching BBS anymore…not so long as there is no Live telecast of the whole session…After all we know how the Introductory process goes…thanks here and thanks there…

  9. Kuensel forum says:

    Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:41 pm Post subject: Bravo! Miss Namgay BBS

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    Bravo! Miss Namgay BBS (Re: Live talk show – BBS Tue, 23 June, 2009).
    It was a great show. The OL also did put forth his concerns about the people being deprived of the live coverage of the NA sessions. On the other hand I felt our Hon’ble Speaker mumble and fumble for words to justify the stand that the majority of the MPs were taking. The reasons put forth by the speaker were not at all convincing. What resource constraint is he talking about? What does he mean by; all the people will not be able to view it because of the timings? Please speak more worthy things to be called our most honoured NA speaker, for we feel the embarrassment even you seem to have become immune.
    Namgay, it was great, “30 years wait is a risk”. You outwit our speaker and now I am beginning to understand still more why live coverage is unwanted.
    Kindly, understand that what I said is, “All for the good of the democracy”.
    APA

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    CitizenX
    Newbie

    Joined: Apr 07, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:16 pm Post subject:

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    DPT Government is scared of the forth estate,no wonder the ban on live coverage……DPT party doesn’t want the public to view them getting thrashed by the 2 opposition members..what else?

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    ta-ma-shig-pa
    Primary

    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 46

    Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:39 pm Post subject:

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    I want to congratulate her too. She is so open and unassuming and has no hidden agendas other than to inform the public. The Speaker giving a very unsure and hesitant interview over telephone while the Opposition Leader made himself available live I think will speak volumes. It is obvious the Parliament has no excuse here whatsoever. I wonder what the PM’s position is. If they do not allow live tv telecast, I think DPT is doomed!

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    Pangtsedorma
    Primary

    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 67

    Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:01 pm Post subject:

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    I too support the author about it. Its disgusting to have such an excuses by Ho’ble Speaker for not allowing Live show for this time’s Assembly. When it was done Live telecast in the past sessions why this time it is being decided not to allow the Live coverage? Is it becoze this time they have somethings more secrets that needs utmost secrecy from the public to be aware of and to be discussed or deliberate in the House. May be they something which they don’t want to be known by the public for them in this up coming session I feel it in that way. If not why no Live coverage then.
    The simple reason that this time they have nothing to deliberate on socio-economic developments serve the purposes why no Live coverage is needed?. Its not fair at all and its a kind of mere or lame excuses to do away with it. Something is trying to keep hidden this time I guess rather than exposing to all general public this time about their session…………………..

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    gandula
    Newbie

    Joined: Feb 17, 2009
    Posts: 8

    Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:24 pm Post subject:

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    congratulations Miss Namgay of BBS.. you did a great job..keep it up

    well i guess DPT is not allowing BBS to live broadcast for the following reasons:
    -don want public to see their silly arguments.
    – don want public to see half of them sleeping
    – don want public to know how they frame some crazy laws
    -don want them seen being thrashed by the well versed Opposisition leader.
    -don want public to know some of the hidden agendas they may be having and so on….

    dont know where we are heading under the DPT………only god can save us!

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    Umax
    Newbie

    Joined: Jan 27, 2009
    Posts: 15

    Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:37 pm Post subject:

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    It seems that National Speaker is not neutral and defending DPT… a good case study! What do you all say?

    Sad that I missed the program!

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    Semlhadar
    Newbie

    Joined: Apr 02, 2008
    Posts: 12

    Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:25 pm Post subject: Helo! I agree!

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    Well…whateva be the grave conspiracy in the NA Secretariat…trust me the Hon’ble Speaker is running out of justifications for such an un-holy ban on live telecast of the Assembly sessions….the only important occassion the BBS gets to cover annually.

    I suggest that hon’ble speaker should give up his faltering stand and take up his second strategy…as he slightly mentioned earlier in Bhutan times that he may consider allowing the Live Telecast…if there is need to consider. Trust me sir! The present session is “THE MOST IMPORTANT” session of the Parliament so far. you need to open the window that we have been waiting till date, to watch through and see our democracy in action.

    This is submission of a concerned Citizen…who feel deprived of his fundamental right to get access to the greatest information i.e. Parliamentary Proceedings and resolutions through BBS Live-telecast. Thanking hon’ble speaker in anticipation of reasonable action in the interest of the public.

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    Laxi
    Primary

    Joined: Apr 08, 2008
    Posts: 44

    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:39 am Post subject:

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    There should be live coverage, it is very bad that speaker has no good reasons to block the live coverage and he supports that.

    We want to see how our people are reacting on the things going inside the ” HOUSE OF RULES”

    Laxi in Europe

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    666xyz
    Newbie

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009
    Posts: 14

    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:08 am Post subject:

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    I have a suggestion to BBS and other media – BOYCOTT the whole National Assembly Proceeding(both opening and closing ceremony) and if possible all the DPT propaganda.

    Because, media is totally under DPT control they command you to show Number 1,4 & 5 but not 3.
    Are You Media DPT’s servant? [/b]

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    cat-and-mouse
    Newbie

    Joined: Jun 19, 2005
    Posts: 26
    Location: thimphu
    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:01 am Post subject:

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    Yeah…loads of Kudos to Ms Namgay…great job. I have also heard that Honorable Speaker did not expect such questions from the presenter. Well there is something know as “freedom of expression”. Now Bhutanese people should follow Ms Namgay’s lead and speak up what is required and to the point instead of trying to polish or speak (sugar coating) what our boss want to hear.
    I am now waiting for Mr Dawa’s program on this issue, another personality who do not beat around the bush. I am sure he will have something up his sleeve. Honorable MPs better learn to “expect the unexpected”.

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    Zhogpo
    Newbie

    Joined: Sep 06, 2005
    Posts: 22

    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:02 am Post subject:

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    Kudos for Miss Namgay, not only for the interivew with OL and NA Speaker but also for other shows that you host. Just would like to suggest that sometimes you tend to murmur and eat up words towards the end of the sentences…so speak at constant pace and clearly… especially while reading news. Sorry dear, hope you take positively.

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    tobden
    Newbie

    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 9

    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:20 am Post subject:

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    No TV facilities so missed the live telecast but a great feeling to go through the forum and learn what had transpired. Well, my simple guess why no live NA session this time? is because I believe DPT will not have any points to favor the civil servants as they discuss the civil service bill while at the back of thier mind they very well know that they are too much indebted to the civil servants. Come on DPT! we can already guess the kind of support you have for the civil servants so please do not compromise with the right to information of the general mass.

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    samchan
    Primary

    Joined: Jul 13, 2006
    Posts: 49

    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:07 am Post subject:

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    To Hon’ble Speaker,

    Your Excellency, can you please justify clearly and tell us in figure how much loss is incurred to the government by allowing live BBS broadcast? You should do serious homework before you give such lame excuses to cover up hidden agenda.

    MPs of DPT are pathetic, i feel sorry for the nation.

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    Quest2009
    Newbie

    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 1

    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:06 pm Post subject:

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    CONGRATS MISS NAMGAY AND HOPING TO HAVE MORE OF YOUR LIVE TALK SHOW

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    mcwang
    Newbie

    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 16
    Location: trongsa
    Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:41 pm Post subject: liv NA

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    the DPT s trying to buldoze their way into our country without even giving a second thought to what Opposition/NC/public say. DPT will never listen to any one..they are the only one….its not peoples govt. it s but theirs.

    infact all work for the good of the contry…NC/Opposition also works for the country….they dont speak of destroying or depriving people from their rights but DPT will never listen…

    speaker says that he is in the middle…but what ?? he is also party to DPT mena…speaker s elected from dpt only tey..thats y we feel he sides DPT.he dont hav good reason to say…just mumbling…and at the end he was just trying to show his authority to bbs wai…he also says he didnt hear what opposition said when he can hear what bbs asked him.

    MP might hav argued that Live TV costs more…but it should not be their worry?? oposition leader rightly pointed out that budget to cover liv session of NA is BBS’s problem but BBs dont hav budget problem and there r donners who want to help bbs!!!

    in fact…DPT s trying to make up for Constituency Dev. Grant.
    no one liked the idea of CDG but DPT buldozed….nxt time we dont want such buldozers…

    dpt s also afraid of making the fact known that most of its party members r not speaking in the assembly. they might not win again.

    o god…dpt sucks….

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