What face?

I was alarmed to read Kuensel’s story “Bjemina volte face” in which Gup Tenzin was quoted as saying that he heard from a tshogpa that: “… PDP supporters went from house to house talking to people and convincing them.”

This is a serious charge. So, I telephoned Gup Tenzin. He denied having said anything of that sort. I then called the reporter, Tenzing Lamsang. And, he claimed that Gup Tenzin repeatedly confirmed that PDP supporters did go from house to house convincing them to support the stone quarry.

I don’t understand what’s going on. But, I must try to get to the bottom of it.


Facebook Comments:


  1. LAUGHING GAS says

    lol…. Sorry la…. I can’t help laughing.

    The people of Bjemina saying one thing here and one thing there.

    The Gup saying one thing here and one thing there.

    I hope Tenzing Lamsang is not saying one thing here and one thing there. It is possible though.

    This is a game of politics in its cheapest form, not a game of democracy.

    And did you read the Dzongdag Lhap Dorji’s comments? It was the Joke of the Day.

  2. The dzongdag or OL has no business interfering with this case as it is sub-judice. Please respect the law and let it take its course and stop crusading…..Let the ACC and Judiciary complete their work or did ACC or Judiciary ask the Dzongdag to take over?

  3. The Jemina mining controversy appears to have more twists than a tapeworm.

    I hope that PDP supporters did not go from house to house “talking to people and convincing them” (this can be construed by some as intimidation). I am a PDP supporter and I strongly feel that PDP should not be involved in such activities as it will only cement an image that PDP desperately needs to shed.

  4. I don’t mean to suggest that Gup/ journalist is lying – but what did OL really expect? A man of your position makes a direct phonecall to a ‘lowly’ Gup or journalist, did you really think they would admit to doing such a thing whether they had or not?
    I’m surprised a man of your intelligence and experience could forget the intimidation that accompanies such confrontations, whether intended or not.

  5. I find it very interesting about Dzongdag Lhap Dorji saying, “I thought the people may not speak frankly, so I gave them the opportunity to write down their thoughts and give it in.”

    Are all the residents of Bjemina literate? Were they able to write down their thoughts by themselves? Wouldn’t they feel intimidated if they had to say in front of someone and because the mine operator is none other than Singye?

    It would be even interesting to know why Singye is providing free medical care, scholarships and even assistance to families to perform the final rites of the deceased. Isn’t this a form of corruption?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Singye went from house to house convincing and bribing the residents.

  6. Aue Karma

    it’s interesting your point on Singye Group’s ‘investment’ in the community. Now, if the method that they assign these benefits is not transparent or equitably done, then yes – I would say it is a form of corruption. But conversely is it a form of Corporate Social Responsibility? If they have a formal company policy that states that they will ‘give back’ to the community where they operate outlining clearly who is elgible and how the schemes work, then I think it is fine.
    But this does not excuse them from breaking the law – environmental, business or labour laws. CSR is still ‘just’ an add-on and cannot be used as a bargaining chip to trade for poor quarry management.
    The question you rightly make is -do the villagers know and understand this or do they feel it is a form of blackmail?

  7. The Bjemina mine runs deeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

  8. Tenzing Lamsang says

    To reconfirm again yes the Gup said it and three times at that. After the Honourable Opposition leader approached the gup my understanding is that he panicked since he had no evidence which he admitted to me later when i met him again.

    Please check there is a clarification from Gup Tenzin in Kuensel saying he has said it but that his source of information is a secondary source and that he has no evidence.

    I also got other comments of a similar nature but people were too sacred to be quoted except for Gup tenzin.
    I guess we all need to get to the bottom of this whole business one day whoever is right or wrong.

    Tenzing Lamsang
    Chief Reporter.

    • Tenzing Lamsang, I would like to commend you on the excellent reporting you are doing – without fear or favour. We need more, many more, journalists like you who will contribute to strengthening democracy in Bhutan. Keep up the exceptional job you are doing.

  9. Kurtep Tenzin says

    Singay Group may have done whatever it was done why drag PDP into this quagmire?

  10. Wang Dungyel says

    Does Jamina Mining Industry belong to PDP? The way issue are debated here gives an indication! but to my knowledge it is not, it belongs to Singye Group of Companies. Honourable, OL please confirm and clear off the issue. The problem of Jamina Mining are investigated and taken care by the ACC and let us wait and see what comes at the end. May be it is the fault of SGC or NEC or Department of Geological & Mines or Jamina public. The law will take its own course.
    We should not ponder too much to this. Logically it is OK there is no harm in going house to house, explaining the issue and gathering support. People will understand more and will decide accordingly. It is a good way and please note in the public meeting the decision generally are left to the mercy of few outspoken people who even take wrong decision as right decision and vice versa. This is actually affecting the system.

  11. Dear OL,

    I read a comment by Tenzin Lamsang, Chief Reporter. Is it possible to verify that he is really the real Tenzin Lamsang? Is there some Nick registration process whereby one’s nick is secured?

  12. Kurtep Tenzin says

    My only problem with Tenzin Lamsang’s reporting is differentating between Singay Group and PDP. What is the relevance of saying that representatives of SGC and PDP were going from house to house gathering support?

  13. pema tshering says

    We have much better things to do in Bhutan than just talk about these quarries and that quarries. Citizens of Bhutan must wake up by now and realize that all the powerful 1 or 2 percent people and sometimes not authentic citizens have been operating all the huge businesses throughout the country. Why picking up only on a single quarry in Jemina? There are many other bigger issues that needs to be informed to the people which all need to be corrected sooner before we find Bhutan’s entire minerals and other products consumed by these few powerful families. How many people in Bhutan own more than 25 acres of land, and how did they acquire them? How many people and companies in Bhutan earn more than 500,000 in a year, and who are these people? How do they run their businesses?

  14. dorji thongja says

    I have no words. I can sense the foul smell. Oh honesty! where are you gone? Come to save this world.

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