The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) President launched the party’s campaign on Wednesday for the general round of elections taking a particularly strong stand against both the Media and Social Media.
Jigmi Y Thinley said in a democracy, ruling government has to face any kind of criticism, but people shouldn’t make allegations which will harm the country.
“We didn’t react on it, rather we served our country and people with full dedication,” he added.
In his address, he warned media houses who were creating ‘misunderstanding and disharmony’ in the country. He added such reports damage the image of a GNH nation, which has received very positive reviews from the international arena. He said criticism that harmed the nation’s image would not be tolerated.
The DPT President said false allegations through social media networks and criticism from media houses is a major problem that not only hampers the party, but also the country.
“For all attempts to create disharmony among people, between government and its people, the king and the government, I’ll not leave you,” warned an irate Jigmi Y Thinley during the campaign launch. He said that he would get to the people behind all this.
He also accused the media and social media of creating rifts and regionalism in the country though he did not give any specific examples or evidences. In a loaded remark he said that people writing anonymously on the social media on regionalism were neither from the East nor West.
“This is an anti-national activity. Any allegation and criticism that harms the country’s peace and security is unacceptable. We shall look at these issues as a big issue which is intolerable,” he added. He also said that some media was there to just pull the government down.
In what bordered on defamatory accusations against the media according to some practicing media professionals the national broadcaster BBS carried the following as part of its coverage on the DPT President’s speech. BBS quoting the DPT President said, “The DPT president added that many untrue things have been written about the DPT as a party and its performance as the erstwhile government in some media. He said it is the people’s responsibility to carefully examine whether this is true. The president also said the same media and some other people have tried to create disharmony between the eastern and western regions of the country as well and that firm action should be taken against such malicious acts.”
The DPT’s Presidents warning to the media is significant as it come on the backdrop of some loaded provisions with regard to the media in its manifesto.
The DPT manifesto says “We are also mindful of the dangers arising from a misguided or irresponsible media. Just as an independent, professional and responsible media is critical to the flourishing of democracy; it can be the very cause for its destruction.”
It further says, “News or information must never be owned, influenced or manipulated by anyone as are physical structures, equipment and financial assets. The dangers of a corrupt and manipulated media will always threaten democracy, whether in a small and vulnerable economy or in a large and powerful nation. Our media is no exception. Druk Phuensum Tshogpa will strive to create the environment for a truly free and responsible media.”
DPT President also said during the DPT’s term as the government, there have been criticisms, and ‘false allegations’ made by other parties.
The DPT President also clarified on the lines of regionalism drawn by the recent primary elections where DPT turned out hugely dominant in the east, while a huge chunk in the west favored the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“I have been travelling to every remote area of the country having problems and solved it. I won’t forgive those people who are trying to make our young democracy dirty,” he said.
“I didn’t hear any allegation and criticism from the people. Our ideology based on equity and justice is important for us and followed it with the Bhutanese citizen. I am worried about the country which is happy and prosperous. We shouldn’t give the chance to corrupt people and should think thousand times before we take decisions.”
The DPT President also rebutted nepotism and impropriety allegations on him and his party in connection with the education city project where he justified it’s as government land where the education city is being established.
On other topics he said, “People should decide wisely and should think with extra care as this election is very important for all of us, so we should utilize it effectively and intelligently.”
On the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) joining PDP, he said DPT has forwarded the letter to ECB.
“It will be difficult for the people to understand their manifestos. DNT is without party President and Vice President,” he said.
The DPT President also talked about the achievement made by the party during the five years of its tenure as the government.
It is people’s right, he said, to choose a previous government, or give the opposition party an opportunity to assume the role and responsibilities.