Gelephu prepares for the Choeshey Layrem Ceremony

The otherwise moderately quiet Gelephu will transform into a melting pot of thousands of people across Bhutan and some from outside the country, in the coming month.

The dungkhag is a beehive of activities at present with preparations for the Choeshey Layrem which will be presided over by His eminent Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche from 16 November till 28 December.

Gelephu Drungpa Pema Wangdi said “for the ceremony we are expecting about 30,000 people across the country”.

The Ceremony, ‘Rinzin Jigme Lingpai Kabum Kashey’ will be conducted at Gelephu’s play ground, near the Buddha statue.

As of now preparations have started for the painting of the lam’s seat and bamboo fencing the boundary of the campus and so on. Almost a month’s preparations and it is yet to complete in few days.

The event is sponsored by Kencho Tshering, Lobzang Tshering and Tshering Dorji.  Lunch and tea will be served to the people attending the ceremony.

Devotees who plan to attend the ceremony have already confirmed bookings for hotels and guest houses in advance for the day. Some people plan to pitch tent for their nights at the ground while others have discussed lodge arrangements with their relatives in Gelephu for their stay.

For the not-so-well networked, the people who don’t have the options of relatives or paid lodge facilities, the place near the Buddha’s statue will serve as a decent place for a night camp. The place is roofed with CGI sheets and can accommodate about 5000 people.

“For systematic and smooth conduct of the ceremony, everything is put in place,” said the Drungpa.

Health, water and place are the most important thing to be provided to the people attending the Ceremony, I along with Dasho Dzongda, Thrompon, Superintendent of Police (SP) and other officials are working hand in hand for the systematic ceremony.

He said for the health of the people, if anyone falls sick Health Assistants (HA) will be available, while for their hygiene separate toilets for male and female are being constructed.

Moreover for the purpose of clean drinking water which is must for hygiene with the huge crowds, water connections would be made available, he added.

For the cleanliness of the campus, an additional five sweepers have been employed along with the existing sweepers of the Thromde. Shops or stalls around the campus are not allowed in order to maintain the cleanliness of the campus except for the Sangzay and Sungkey.

With regards to the security arrangement the Drungpa said, “We will have a discussion with the police force, the Superintendant and other police officials for all the things that need to be done on the day.

The police would be alerted if anyone happens to come across ‘strange persons’ around the area.  The Drungpa said we will even call the armed forces if we feel the need for that.

The officer-in-charge of the Gelephu police said that they are working on the security grounds for the upcoming moenlam chenmo and are also planning to have meeting with the stake holders.

“As of now we are working with the available resources to ensure safety and success of the moenlam chenmo,” said the Officer in Charge.

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