To protect and to serve

Tashi delek!

Tashi delek!

Yesterday, during the National Day ceebrations, His Majesty the King conferred red scarves to Dasho Sangay Khandu, Dasho Bharat Tamang, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, and Dasho Dr. Tandin Dorji for their dedicated services to the tsa wa sum.


While conferring the important award, His Majesty commanded that their scarves, which represent the Buddha’s garment, must constantly remind them to serve the people with humility and compassion. And, that their swords must remind them to always defend the security of the people and sovereignty of the nation.

This is a powerful reminder to all of us – but, especially to politicians – who enjoy the power, prestige and privilege of the patang and kabney.


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  1. These four men earned the red scarf and patang through years of dedication, hard work and commitment. Tashi Delek to all of them! I am deeply inspired by them.

    Did the politicians earn it? I am not very sure!

    Do they deserve it? Oh oh…I am not very sure!

    Do they live by the ideals befitting kabney and patang? I am not very sure!

    I am confused why they wear patangs! Maybe to protect themselves…

  2. Thinley Penjore says

    I would also with a kind permission of Hon’ble OL take this opportunity to use your blog to join the people of Bhutan in congratulating the 4 Dasho’s for receiving red scarf from HM on a very auspicious day.
    As Phuntso mentioned correctly above, all of them are highly deserving officials whose dedication, hard work and contribution towards nation building is very clear. With the red scarf awarded now by HM recognizing their contributions, the people of Bhutan have now even higher expectations from them and we are confident that they can live up to the expectations.

    These red scarf confered by HM to Engineers & Doctors is an clear indication that no matter where you are, which profession you are in, every one will have the access to such recognization/award if one is sincere, dedicated, hard working, not corrupted, performance driven and humble. It is a great source of inspirations to our young Engineers & Doctors too also to work harder and led by the examples of these officials.

    Tashi Delek to all the Dasho’s.

  3. They deserved it and they will stand by what HM told them in front of the whole nation.

    Dasho Chhewang has been a topper, a great engineer and someone who has a great sense of humility.

    Dasho Bharat is similar to Dasho Chhewang but is sharp tongued. But malice.

    Dr. Tandin is an angel

    Happy that professionals are finally getting recignised.

  4. Historically, the conferring of Bura Marp and Patang has not always been based on straight forward case of merit and service as we, the commoners, understand it. Like the investiture of a Truelku, the selection criterion is fraught with intrigue and mystery and complicated logic and, even tactical and political contrivance.

    Thus, I am happy that His Excellency the OL did not complicate the issue by writing that all of those awardees were deserving of the honor. That would have been grossly simplistic and unfair to the remaining seven hundred thousand of us who serve the Sa Wa Sum in one capacity or the other.

    I too offer my Congratulations to the four Dashos for having been recognized and awarded the esteemed Bura Marp and Patang. In particular, I am happy that Dasho Bharat Tamang and Dasho Chhewang Rinzin have been duly recognized for their professional competence and their, thus far, “un-checkered” career.

    Hmmmmmm …. some long over due maneuvers coming up? I am encouraged!

    Congratulations to OL too —- you are slowly but surely maturing into a very astute politician. Please keep it up.

  5. I would like to know why each one of them deserved the red scarf in more specific details so that we the younger public servants can also work towards these goals in our respective fields.

    This news has been covered by almost all the papers in Bhutan but none of them highlighted their accomplishments, either than to say they served “dedicatedly” and for “many years”.

    I think almost all civil servants serve dedicatedly and they will all have long years of services as they age. So “dedicated” and “long years” should not be the only criteria for red scarf.

    What the newspapers need to cover is how each one of them made significant impact in our country through citing specific examples of their career. I am sure the nomination comittee must have forwarded these reasons to HM.

  6. Sangay Dorji says

    Yes, I agree with Aro Khampa. At least, it would be of a kind of eye opener to other young civil servants who do not know about these Dasho’s if the contributions made by them which has brought significant impact to the country be covered by the media instead of the long years of service. If it is the long years of service which qualifies for red scarf, then, I surely believe that there are many officials who must have served more than these 4 Dashos. I tried to do a little research and could find what Dasho Bharat has done during his career from the BPC website. His contributions were described in length in the website. I could not find about the others. Dasho Chewang as far as I know was the man behind the successful execution and commissioning of the Kurichu Hydro Power, though there are rumours that he also got benefitted through grabbing some plots along with some of our ministers (how far is true, i don’t know). I have not heard anything significant about Dasho Sangay Khandu. The only thing I hear after he was transferred to Land Commission is that the service delivery especially land transactions was made highly bureaucratic because of his personal grudge against Thimphu City Corporation which is not good for the general public.
    I have not been able to meet my colleagues in the Army to get information on Dasho Dr. Tandin. Others can do similar research for the benefit of our readers and to do more of objective research on the criteria for earning red scarf in Bhutan. It could be a good topic of thesis for some studies.

  7. Bhutanese media coming up with a coverage of each Dasho’s is a real good idea. Let’s see which paper is bold enough to dig something on them and inform the general public of the recent appreciation. I don’t mean to dig out the negatives on them but concentrate on their positive acheivements so that the public can be infomred as to how they achieved it.

    I am personally impressed by Dasho Bharat Tamang and his ideals in terms of work in the Bhutan Power sector. He is candid, hardworking and cares for his employees and moreso to the nation. He deserves a special congratulatuion. Dasho Tshewang is young and received this honor and I pray that he follows the footsteps of Dasho Bharat. I don’t have any idea of the other two, I recall some incidences of Dasho Sangay when he was the Druk Air MD.



    • Who said BPC is a private sector? When was it privatised?

      • BPC is not a private sector but Dasho Bharat is a Private Sector individual. He was appointed to BPC after he resigned from civil service – I think….

      • Sangay Dorji says

        Yes, Dasho Bharat and for that matter even Dasho Dr. Tandin is from private sector because Dasho Dr. Tandin also is a retired personnel.

        Awarding red scarf to Dasho Bharat is a great inspiration to the staff of BPC and other corporate employees because they now know that red scarf and recognization from HM is open to private sector too and not only confined to civil servants like in that past.

  8. As we know many of the MPs in our National Assembly and the National Council never deserved the blue ‘kabney’, so we know that all the people who got ‘bura marp’ are not the people who deserved it. We also know that all deserving people do not get ‘bura marp’ in our country. As someone said, “it’s not so straight forward”. It takes more than what it seems to get the ‘bura marp’. There are many people in our country who you will not believe how in the world they got the ‘bura marp’ in the first place! It is common knowledge that some unseen hands and influential connections are “must-haves” and are definitely involved in the process of recommendation and nomination of candidates to His Majesty the King for the ‘bura marp’. Only a very few people are personally selected by His Majesty the King on his own. I personally respect the ‘bura marp’ more than the person who is wearing it because it was conferred by our King. The person really deserved it or not is another issue altogether.

    However it is not uncommon to see that these guys often disgrace the ‘bura marp’ they proudly show off on their shoulders and on their car seats. In the age of zonal administration in our country, we had many ‘bura marp dzongdags’ who were entrusted to be His Majesty’s representative in the dzongkhags but they betrayed him by engaging themselves in socio-political movements that undermined our King and destabilized our nation. They were convicted for their crimes according to the law of the land. The government confiscated their properties and sentenced some of them to prison in the Dobji Dzong. Many others were terminated from civil service without any benefits. The most outrageous thing is to see that these ex-convicts after serving their sentences in the Dobji Dzong and the other traitors can still be seen swaggering around with the ‘bura marp’ on their shoulders and enjoying to be called as a “dasho”! Many of the ongoing corruption cases in the ACC involve these ‘bura marp’ guys and I am sure even if these people are convicted of the crimes, they will still walk around with the ‘bura marp’ and people will still call them a ‘dasho’.

    It is the great compassion and trust to his people that His Majesty the fifth King bestows medals and ‘bura marp’ more generously and frequently than our fourth King but I think it is very high time that we should also enact laws to revoke the decorations and the titles bestowed by our King from the people who have dishonored it. It is humiliating to allow these people who betrayed His Majesty’s trust to continue wearing the ‘bura marp’. We must revoke the ‘bura marp’ and the title ‘dasho’ from the people who are charged for corruption by the ACC and found guilty by our Courts. Firstly, they have betrayed His Majesty’s trust in them to serve Him and His country with utmost dedication, sincerity and honesty. Secondly, they caused great harm to our country by not just embezzling hundred of thousands of government funds and budgets but more so by impeding the development processes and even obstructing justice in some cases.

    What do you say?

    • I asked that question to the Honorable OL. What do you say about enacting laws to revoke the decorations and the titles from those people who have humiliated it?

      • Tangba: I agree. Will you help me with some research? Do you have the time? If so, please look for other countries’ rules and laws that safeguard the honour of national decorations. Let’s study their systems. and then take it from there.

        Incidentally, I’m still very interested in public opinion about MPs (including ministers) and their ‘patang’ and ‘kabneys’.


  9. Well! I used to envy those handful of people wearing blue scarfs when they used to be few in numbers and well deserved. Now that it’s a common sight and worn by every Tom, Dick and Harry, in my personal opinion, it has lost it’s significance and the real charm of the colour. Worst, when people inside that scarf act against the will of people. We then begin to visualize them to be no distinguishing figure than a man wrapped in a blue shawl on a cold winter day. The respect and honour attached to it is rapidly vanishing.

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