BKP, DCT, DNT, and PDP all concerned that DPT President’s statements will harm Press Freedom and Democracy in Bhutan

four logosPolitical parties, cutting across party lines, have expressed concerns that the DPT President Jigmi Y Thinley’s recent statements on the media will hamper a Free Press and Freedom of Speech in Bhutan.

The DPT President started his general election campaign from YDF Hall in Thimphu with a series of threats and warnings to the media.

Warning media house owners and also accusing the media of creating disharmony and spoiling the country’s image, the DPT President said, “I will not leave you.” He said he will see to this, whether he comes back to power or not, as he would use his ‘democratic rights’ to get to the people behind it all.

The former Prime Minister clubbing the news media and social media together said that they were engaged in ‘anti-national activities.’

He said the government, which had tolerated criticism for a long time, could not do so when the ‘country’s distorted image’ is being shown outside. He also said that some media existed just to pull the government down.

Without any evidence, he has accused the media of creating and spreading regionalism in the country. The DPT President repeated the same tirade in his Paro campaign a day later, saying the media was creating regionalism, again without providing any evidence.

All parties disagreed with the DPT President’s remarks on media creating regionalism, and have instead said that the media was fighting against regionalism.

Druk Nyamprup Tshogpa (DNT) spokesperson Dr Tandin Dorji said, “I totally disagree with the DPT Presidents statements and the media instead has been educating the people against regionalism and regional politics.”

Both the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa President Lily Wangchhuk and the Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party Vice President Tshewang Tashi also had similar views on media not promoting regionalism.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice President Damcho Dorji said that he has seen no evidence of the media carrying any content to encourage regionalism. “Instead there is a perception that political parties and some party workers have been creating regionalism and regional politics,” he said.

With regard to his statements against the media the BKP Vice President Tshewang Tashi said, “Media freedom is a part and parcel of democracy, and if you are saying no to media freedom then you are saying no to democracy.”

She said it also depends on who has made such statements. “When such statements are made by the DPT Party President then it is being made by someone who can carry out the threats, and in fact, in the past they have done such things and have also gotten away with it.”

The DCT President also stressing on the importance of media in a democracy said that to promote a vibrant democracy the media should be free and independent, and allowed to work without fear and favor. “These statements are not good, especially with the democratic principles we all are trying to promote,” said Lily Wangchhuk.

DNT’s Dr Tandin said, “Media is very important for democracy, and in fact, because DNT believed in it we wanted to bring in the RTI to help improve transparency and also ensure that the media gets information. Therefore, we are quite alarmed at the statements made by the leader of the party (DPT) that threatened the media. We truly hope that it was not meant in the manner in which it was said.”

He also added, “We hope that media will not be crushed, especially in Bhutan’s context, where the media is dependant mainly on the government for its revenue. We hope that the media will continue to remain independent.”

The PDP President said, “The DPT President is showing his true colors, instead of making wild threats, ranting, raving and injecting fear into the voters just before elections. He should provide specifics, numbers, and facts and pursue anything legally if it is unlawful.”

“Our voters should be wise enough to see this and our media should be courageous enough to understand his strategy which has no legal basis,” said the PDP President.

The PDP President also said that citizens should now realize what would happen if DPT came to power, as the DPT President had already made his intentions clear on the media.

He also said that the DPT President has failed to understand the social media and its enormous potential for good.

The PDP Vice President Damcho Dorji said, “I think it is sad that the ex-Prime Minister is making such statements five years after democracy has been introduced. This only indicates that democracy has not made progress since its inception, and so it needs to be both strengthened and life has to be given to the democratic principles in the Constitution. This is also shows we are at a cross roads from where Democracy can take a path, either good or bad. ”

He said the statements of the DPT President were of concern to all citizens and especially the media, as the cornerstone of democracy is supported by the Constitution under Fundamental Rights like Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press.

“When others make such threats it can be taken lightly, but when a person who has governed the country for five years and is the head of one of the two parties says such things then it is a matter of concern for all of us. This is why new political parties and especially PDP has focused on the need to strengthen our democracy and implement fundamental rights.”

Damcho Dorji said that any party that comes to power should respect the will of the people and the media’s rights enshrined in the Constitution or only infuriate the people even more.

He said that the DPT’ President’s statements was timed just at the start of the General Election campaigns to ensure that the media does not make any noise during its campaign period.

The Vice President said that if democratic principles and rights were not respected then Bhutanese Democracy would only be a democracy in name with elections held every five years.

He said that whether PDP formed the government or was in Opposition, it would do everything to ensure that democracy is strengthened, Fundamental Rights are respected, democratic principles implemented, and media freedom protected.

Tenzing Lamsang/ Thimphu

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  1. Media is very important everyone knows, but being bias in reporting is not freedom and democratic either. The Bhutanomic reports only about DPT, JYT and his team. Has anyone read anything about PDP and other parties? Isn’t it gross violation, revengefuletc. This the whole nation knows and one day the people behind it should be exposed and justice will be meted.

  2. What a disappointing piece from TL & the presidents & spokespersons of parties. Press freedom is important but nobody has bothered to even hint media responsibility in shaping a vibrant democracy (by this I don’t mean merely criticizing & demeaning the government). God help us because everybody seem to be only concerned with pushing their own agenda of winning and pretending to be smarter. What’s even worse is that they seem to think that they can only prove themselves to be good by proving others to be wrong/ bad.

  3. This article is total nonsense. First of all, DCT & DNT should just mind their business and prepare for 2018. You guys are out of the race. Now when it comes to media; socail media page like “Bhutanomics” publishes articles,  targets DPT and even making fun of JYT and his family, why do we want to give freedom to such things. Is it ethical? if its true, its fine. But the truth is, most of the things posted there are not true. The profile picture and cover pic of bhutannomics facebook page says it all. The people behind it hate DPT and JYT. I’m not a supporter of DPT. As a Bhutanese citizen i’m just putting my thoughts here. Good luck to PDP & DPT in the general elections. Let the people decide. 

  4. Bhutan is not JY thinley’s country. It is a land that belong to the people of bhutan. People of bhutan have the right to speak and express truth. He still thinks in the feudal society format, but paradigm shift of today’s society with laws will not let him go free for what he has said. 
    People elected representative are governed by the principle of truth, understanding, wisdom and law. JYT failed the litmus test of enabling leadership. Such deviation could lead to chaos.
    The method to test the leaders of sticking to the principles and creating enabling governement is press freedom and free expression. Criminalizing without legal due process to prove the truth is a crime. 
    In this case , did JYT commit a crime? A case can be filed against him for threating people and society openly? 

    • I dont think he threaten all the people and society but he did threaten people like you who doesn’t have any respect to leaders. The very value that our society is built on is now questioned by people like you not the citizen of Bhutan.

    • Rado, you need to go and get your head examined.

  5. Media freedom does not mean, distorting the image of the nation….as far as i understand, president was meaning, those anonymous people who are simply writing whatever they wished to bring down the image of our great nation…………..

  6. Crazy JYT Media has right to educate people of Bhutan. You may threaten them when they bring the true stories to light. You wanted all the media to be on your side acting as blind and deaf, so funny.

  7. LYT was not against media as a whole but to “The bhutanese” who is anti DPT and Bhutannomics who is anti-National.  

  8. I know not JYT restricted media , almost all the minister restricted media , like zangla…. we hve right to say anything u do wrong. i don afrad of saying 2 u, even u r PM . the main purpose of democracy is to raise voice ,wen leader goes wrong.

  9. Tenzing Lamsang .. I will kill him if i meet personally .. so be careful i hate you Tenzing Lamsang.. Be carefull

    • don kill him please but beat him without anyone’s notice

      • That’s the kind of thing that happens in your country of crooks and thieves. Here in Bhutan, we hold the highest respect for selfless people like Lamsang, who brings us hope. He has written stories that have been proven correct by ACC and the High Court. He has shown courage and has backed his stories with good research and evidence. Hom and sames are just the people who have been guilty and want to get rid of the only person that is Lamsang, who is bold enough drag them into daylight to expose their deceitful and corrupt ways. Otherwise, why hate a person so much. ACC and Courts do your work now and put such parasites behind bars forever. This country’s clean image is ruined by the evil and corrupt people who grab people’s land without any remorse, who have embezzled funds out of people’s money without any shame, and challenge even the King when they are told they were doing wrong. Such people don’t deserve to be called the citizens of Bhutan. They are parasites.

    • Our King, people and nation are poorer for having a person like you in Bhutan. Keep your perverse nature to yourself. You bring shame upon the very group of people you are trying to defend – including yourself. Kill off your evil thoughts and actions instead. A voice can never be silenced by threats or intimidation. Look for examples in the Great Gandhi, Mandela, Aung San Suu Ki and so many brave hearts around the world who stand for truth and justice. Don’t give Lamsang the reason to write about you. Don’t give him the chance to gather evidence to back up his stories. Don’t give the watchdogs the chance to sniff up such stories. Just don’t do anything that is against the law, rules and regulations, and you won’t be corrupt. And that way you won’t have to kill anyone. And you can rest in peace like a good Buddhist.

  10. JYT is dying to lose this time in election…he can’t be a dictator forever!

  11. I think JYT, the most wise and capable man in Bhutan is equally patriotic as others who claim to be. Therefore, it is under such situation that he sometimes speak so strong. Freedom of expression does not mean speak anything. Nation comes first before anything. So if anyone has spoken something baseless with proper evidence and analysis, then that person should be fixed. With the coming in of democracy people try to speak and question everything. Sometimes it is too much and just hampers the smooth working atmosphere. No decisions can be good and agreed by all. Someone will be not happy but we need to see that it benefits the larger interests. Sometimes, the way things are happening, I feel that democracy has not come at the right time.

  12. the simple solution to the present scenario is – jyt and club has to go for good. 

    • JYT may be a devil, TT is threefold Devil. Hence, in the name of democracy people can not defame others because others too have right so called Human Rights.

  13. JYT thats too much of saying. When media has brought so much bad of ur ministers u r threatening them mo la? Thats too bad JYT

  14. this is indeed ironic to the bhutanese newspaper who indeed define themselves and bark to be patriots. Its funny how we see the afformentioned media house The  Bhutanese, is criticizing the ruling government  creating disharmony and feeding misinterpretations to the general public of bhutan. Ruling government has done fine in their tenure terms and deserve another chance to prove what’s been promised and to set media house’s prejudice upright. 

  15. Those of you writing fictitious and malicious articles without any evidences must be anxious about it. Those of you writing evidential and constructive criticisms should not worry because democracy backs you up. Our nation known for GNH cannot tolerate destructive criticisms and baseless assumptions. The freedom of speech does not mean you can dsay the snow is black when it is not. These types of authors are no worse than criminals.

  16. The once mighty DPT, that captured 96% of seats in the National Assembly in 2008, is now humbled. Some of its heavyweights, including the South Thimphu candidate, might have tough time winning from their constituencies. What went wrong with this once mighty party? Below are my analyses:
    1. When something goes wrong, someone has to take responsibility. The main problem with DPT is it does not want to take responsibility. When the DPT lost the court case to PDP, some demanded the resignation of the Finance Minister. The DPT leadership responded that it was collective decision and the entire cabinet threatened to resign. When DPT threatened to resign, many lost respect and confidence in the party.
    2. We have to do what is good for our people and country. What our people think about our country is more important than what outsiders think about us. DPT is obsessed with the idea to impress the world and DPT did many things to draw the attention of the world. The draconian tobacco law was passed to draw the attention of the world. In the process many poor Bhutanese suffered by this law because the punishment was not at all proportional to the offence.
    3. The DPT leadership thought DPT as invincible and those who did not agree with them were branded as anti-national. The DPT government selectively targeted those media who were critical of the government. This was a sign that the DPT government was getting increasingly authoritarian.
    4. When the Gyalpozhing land scandal was exposed, JYT went to the extent of saying that those officials did not break the laws and pitted OAG against ACC, creating disharmony in our Constitutional bodies. The DPT leadership would have served the country better if it distance itself from corrupt party officials. The way DPT leadership blindly supported corrupt party officials damaged its image and many thought that DPT is corrupted. To add insult to injury convicted Sr. Jigme Tshultim was replaced by convicted Jr. Jigme as party candidate to contest in the general election, confirming the perception of the people that DPT is corrupted.
    5. JYT said we have a “strong and efficient judiciary”. Is it really true? He also said we have a strong Anti Corruption Commission. Of course we will not forget that DPT tried to weakened ACC by using OAG.
    6. For its poor performance in the primary round, DPT is looking for scapegoat and obviously media critical of DPT seems to be the target. The greatest enemy of DPT is the ego of its leadership.
    7. Sometime ago the DPT government said that the rupee crisis is temporary. Many did not believe it. Recently during his campaign in Thimphu, JYT said that rupee crisis “was not the doing of the DPT government, but that of every Bhutanese citizen.” His comment is unpalatable. It is the DPT government that has to take responsibility for the rupee crisis. If the government does not take responsibility for its failure, how can it address the problem?
    Finally do not vote for party that refuses to take responsibility. Long live PDP. Vote for change.

    • You are absolutely correct. There are still some fools supporting the corrupt incumbent govt.

      Lets vote for a change this time

      • Yes, PDP has start cheating and playing with laws even before they come 2 power. Lets not be fool by voting for people who wants to gain power by anymeans possible..


  18. I think JYT is loosing memory

  19. Lousy JYT in the campaign talk about DPT’s manifesto and not about the PDP’s manifesto.
    whether that can be achieved or not is none of your business.

  20. I know exactly why other parties feel like that because the media, especially this newspaper, have never gone against any of the parties nor have written any articles reflecting shortcomings of these parties. Instead they have always gone against DPT and always DPT. Its a gamble for this newspaper. If PDP wins, you are lucky; If DPT wins(which is more likely) , we will see how you survive.

  21. catchmeifyoucan

    Warning the media is not going to work. Indeed Bhutanomics is somewhat biased some of the stories it published is true. Even this very newspaper came out with the story of Gyalposhing Land Scam which the PM denied saying it was done all legally until otherwise proved so by Mongar court’s verdict which was also upheld by High Court. If the media is to play fiddle to the one who is heading the Govt.,, God help us. 

    I bet the definition of “Democracy” in the dictionary and the one JYT intends to practice is opposite.

    For the people, By the people, Of the people seems to mean like “Fool the people,Buy the People, Off the people ” now. (Note: somewhere already had coined that quote.)

    Godspeed till then my fellow citizens..

    May the best Candidate win..

  22. I am not a supporter of DPT, yet i will pass on my true judgement about  Bhutanomics…….
    Bhutanmomic is somebody who is totally against DPT and pm JYT, its fine if you get some finding about the party but posting such images is really bad and a very wrong way of letting somebody down. 

  23. I do not know the fact of this but the very interview with DCT president and her answer was very questionable….please refer her answer of freedom and her accusation of the then Bhutantimes.com during her times as BMF ED.

    So, I do not really know what she is trying to say…this double faced monger.

  24. Wherever the PM goes officially to different Dzongkhags, he always mentions of 0 corruption. Now the illegality of Gyalposhing land scam is established, therefore all those mentioned in the scam list of ACC should be brought to Law whether it is the highest or the lowest.  
    Jigmitsultrim the speaker is very very intelligent as his name is not there whereas other over 60+ are mentioned. He must have given the land to his relatives & artalas.
    In the ACC’s list we see the name of PM & YZ but surprised to see that Jigmi tsultrim’s name is not there though he gave the land during his tenure.  How clever.
    In fact Lonpo Minjur is “white living Buddha”. He is not corrupted. I don’t know why he has to be in the court. Pleae allow him to contest in the General Election. 


  25. Readers know very well which newspapers and social media are biased and destructive to the nation. Readers know which papers are politically motivated. Readers know how media should be ethical and responsible in. Readers are the mirrors of all forms of media. So, all readers do not blindly believe in all the articles that appear on social media and newspapers. Readers know where our media is going wrong.

  26. Who the hell gave Dr.Tandin the platform to air his views on the media, the bugger does not even have a party. Next time, please don’t waste our tax payers money by crooking the nation.

  27. I am truly shamed by the DCT, BKP, DNT and PDP, the ex PM warned only media that was being irresponsible and Tezning Lamsang’s ass is going to be had by JYT once DPT forms the RGOB. None of them even mentions that some media houses are going a bit too far in their negative reporting and that they should be more responsible.

  28. Lily Wangchuk and the BKP lost a perfect opportunity to put the record straight. I did not mention the joker Dr.Tandin because as far as we are concerned DNT as a party is finished. They should just PDP where they rightly belong. It is painful to watch people like him giving there views, next time, please don’t waste our time with people like him.

  29. It is a big shame that the three parties(PDP+DNT+DCT) formed by eX- PDP are all joined together to throw DPT. Those parties has fooled the nation and misleading the Voters.Such people should not be trusted and Vote for them because they had betrayed the people/their unsuccessful candidate.People had so mush faith on them as an Individual Party. WIth Grouping/forming a gang will be a very unhealthy one/Unconstitutional.The worst is that the three parties after their Low Voter Turn out,they glorified the regionalism which not healthy one for Bhutan.Mr. TT&D(DRUK PRADO/KABNEY RETURNING PARTY,Aum Dorji Choden,Jigme Zangpo(Who will be another Jigme Tshultrum of PDP having the HC Construction Case and Norbu Wangchuk  and DR LOday who is supposed to be serving the Hospital  is indication that they are all power Hungry person . In every word they are begging for the power in common forum and will not get the vote as they are begging like Jaigoan begger(APA NAGLU WANG TSHEY ZHUNG CHONNEY Go KAB NANG).They are not even deserved to be in 2018 Election.Hope Strong DPT and a new Civilised Parties will emerge so that we public have good choice to vote without making controversy and confusion to the Public.

  30. Drangnam, i agree what you have pointed out and the nation will decide the decision the fate of the cheater group(DNT,DCT,PDP).The nation wasinitially  happy that the parties are emerging as seperate entity.Those Tawa are dumped in dustbin and joined another Tawa. How can the public will be benefitted if the decision are changing every now and then.Bye  BYe.How is CECB eloborating the constitution of Coalition Govt and Do we want the unstable GOVt Like India and Nepal.

  31. It seems Mr Good is the strongest supporter of dpt. He really hates tenzinlamsang amd other parties. It seems his brain is totally brainwashed by the party he likes. It will take atleast several aeons to rebrinwash and make his brain normal from hatred against lamsang & other 3 parties.
    De-bay-mabay-wai, Charo. We should be happy that lamsang is writing facts. He is using his name at the end of artilce. He is bold & does not fear as he possesses facts & figures. Otherwise he will write articles and use anonymous names. He is a deep analytical journalist. He can go deep, deeper into issues to find status of achievement or facts. I am sure he will write same thing if TT or PDP supporters have committed blunders. Frnkly speaking, so far they have not created any major scams as they are the ruling party. In case PDP gets ruling party this time, some of them might get involved in scams.  At that time i am sure tenzinlamsang will same artilces like he is writing now.  Just wait & see. But it seems our people are brainwashed with steriotype, ancient, thinking, so they will not chance for PDP to win.

    Since Mr Good writes lamsang’s ass will be fixed by dpt when it forms next Govt, so I request lamsang to be very careful and start writing articles always praising dpt. Always say “lasola, lasola, lasola, lasola, lasola, lasola, kadinchela, kadinchela,kadinchela & kadinchela” until an empty sack is full.
    When ruling Gvt is always praised, there can be more mistakes, blunders intentionally & unintetionally, more policy corruption etc.  Therefore, i think someone should find out the depth and expose it before more corruptions & mistakes are made. In this way Govt can be corrected & learn.  If someone is not critical & write only positive things, what is the purpose of investigative journalism.
    Govt should not restrict journalism. If any member of ruling is not involved in corruption, then it is lamsang’s 100% mistake. He should be sued in court and fined and imprisoned. If his artilcle contains some truth then that person whoever he/she may be -either PM or minister, director, secteraty or peon chowkidar should be fixed and same law should apply. So we cannot blame for writing truth -i think there may not be 100% truth but it seems there is some truth in it. Otherwise he will not write. And at the same time ruling and supporters will not be so angry like a bujanga(cobra) if there is no truth. Since some form of dirty truth is exposed, so people are very angry since public might know and votes might reduce. Please accpet it if there is some truth. If totally wrong then then sue it.  When sued, lamsang might have his lot of explanations and again dpt might lose in the court. 
    For example everyboday said lamsang is wrong with gyalposhing. What not were said of him. But later ACC proved he is right. Court also proved culprits were wrong. So is lamsang writing tpotally false article. I don’t think. So even if dpt gets govt, better not to sue him otherwise things may boomareng. He may write same thing as before BUT he will not write anything critical if govt is running efficiently and without corruption.
    I am not supporter of dpt or pdp but as a citizen writing facts.

  32. There are only two men with balls in Bhutan…Tenzing Lamsang and Dasho Neten.  The rest are shit scared of NYT and his chamchas.  By the way, that includes me, of course.

  33. I meant JYT, not NYT, in my previous post, as the smarter among you would have figured out.  Reading your views, I’m not sure many of you will have, that’s why I had to quickly clarify.  

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