Lakshuman Chhetri

Well done

Well done

Yesterday, Lakshuman Chhetri, a senior officer in the National Assembly Secretariat, left his office for the last time. After serving the National Assembly for 22 continuous years, Mr Chhetri left to take up his new assignment as head of BICMA’s media division.

Mr Chhetri, who I met in Sherubtse College (he was an outstanding athlete then), was the first graduate to join the National Assembly. He did so, as a trainee officer, in September 1987. And during the last 22 years, he’s seen the National Assembly Secretariat grow from a small office with only six staff to today’s efficient organization having more than 50 staff.

Yesterday, when I called on him to say thank him for his services to the legislature and to say goodbye, he reflected on his long and successful tenure. He recalled the shock waves that His Majesty’s kasho of 10 June 1998 sent through the National Assembly and the country. In that historic kasho His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo devolved all his executive powers to an elected council of ministers. At the same time, His Majesty insisted that the monarch be subjected to a periodical vote of confidence of the National Assembly.

Mr Chhetri remembered the many important debates over several consecutive sessions of the National Assembly concerning the presence of Indian militant camps within our country, and the threats that they posed to the security of our country and the friendship between Bhutan and India. In December 2003, the militants were finally removed from Bhutanese soil by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo who personally led our armed forces in the operation that lasted barely 48 hours and showcased the bravery and genius of our beloved monarch.

And he recalled the period leading up to the first parliamentary elections, the first session of the first new parliament, the discussions on the Constitution and the signing of the Constitution. All emotionally difficult events for a population that didn’t want democracy but was forced to accept it by Their Majesty the Kings.

Mr Chhetri has enjoyed being part of these historic moments in our country. But now looks forward to a new chapter in his life. I wish him the very best of luck.

Incidentally, the longest serving officer in the National Assembly is Kazilal Rai. Mr Rai joined the NA Secretariat in July 1981 as PA to the then Speaker, the late Lyonpo Tamshing Jagar. Today Mr Rai is the Assembly’s senior administrative officer.