The government has said that, in accordance with the law, it will protect people suffering from caste inequality by providing legal assistance.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said, “According to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal and effective protection of the law and shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, sex, language, religion, politics or other status”.
He said the constitution of Bhutan recognizes that all people of Bhutan are equal before the law a fundamental right that every Bhutanese citizen is entitled to.
The PM said that Bhutanese citizens also have fundamental duties to foster tolerance, mutual respect and spirit of brotherhood amongst all the people of Bhutan transcending religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities.
“Accordingly every Bhutanese citizen can demand to be treated equally and it is also the responsibility of every Bhutanese to treat other citizens equally,” said the PM.
Lyonchhen pointed out that the Marriage Act of Bhutan points out that a person has a right to marry any other person irrespective of status, caste, wealth or appearance provided the person contracting the marriage thereof has expressly consented to the marriage.
“The government does not stop anyone from getting married. Nor is there any systemic aggression perpetrated by the state towards people who marry outside their caste or religion,” the PM said.
“People can seek government’s support. A victim can appeal to judiciary and the constitution of Bhutan allows a person to do so and the government is always ready to support by providing legal assistance,” the PM said.
The prime minister also said that as an individual and a member of government, “I am appalled that such discriminatory and unfair practices and traditions are still happening in our country where we have always dreamt of equality in everything.”