His Majesty addressed the graduates on issues of nation building, education, employment, 11th plan, sovereignty, culture, unity, democracy and equitable development
His Majesty began the Address by sharing two stories: a senior red-scarf official labored for many years
with the objective to achieve success, and refused to be deterred even when faced with the prospect of going to school with 12-year-olds when he was 25; a teenage boy in conflict
with the law admitted to His Majesty that he had ‘given up’ and lost all hopes for the future because of his difficult circumstances.
Juxtaposing these two stories, His Majesty advised the graduates to never give up, and to continue striving for excellence throughout their lives.
“If you set out with good intentions with a lot of courage, you will always achieve great things,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty said to the graduates that we are fortunate to have been born in such a beautiful, blessed country, where our true treasure is our people.
“Our parents and ancestors, the successive Kings, and especially His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, in 34 years of glorious reign, built this country into what it is today. It is the people who will take our country forward.”
“While we take pride in the achievements of the past, we cannot sit back and enjoy the fruits of our ancestors’ labours. We are still the generation of nation-builders, and we still have many national goals to achieve,” His Majesty said.
“I have many concerns about our future, and I want you to be concerned too, because only then will we work earnestly to ensure that we, as a nation, achieve all our objectives,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty spoke to the graduates about the need to assess the quality of education in the country, and to ensure that it endows the youth with the capability to be independent and successful in the future. His Majesty also shared concerns about employment, the need to improve the quality of life of every individual in the country, and to ensure that everyone receives equal opportunities.
Speaking about the doubling of the budget outlay for the successive five-year plans and increasing investments in hydropower, His Majesty shared with the graduates concerns regarding the economy.
“Are we prepared to carry out the increased work that we have planned?Are we prepared to face the new and unexpected difficulties we will face in the future? Are we equipped with better ideas and plans? Will we manage our resources better? These are things we need to give serious thought to,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty also reminded the graduates of some of our most important national objectives.
His Majesty said that our most important goal is to protect the sovereignty of our nation as assiduously as our ancestors have done before us.
Another national goal is to maintain peace through unity. “We must ensure that differences in ethnicity, region, religion, politics, and economic status never divides us,” His Majesty said.
Equitable development and equal access to opportunities, self-reliance, a strong democracy, which would consolidate our future, rule of law and good governance, are some of the other important objectives we have as a nation, His Majesty said.
“Finally, you must look after our cultural heritage, and pass it on to your children, because our sense of national identity is deeply rooted in our cultural heritage,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty ended the address with a message filled with hope and determination for the future, in which, His Majesty said, “We will make the journey, and grow old, together, and retire knowing that the country has done well.”
Tshewang Chogyel, 36, worked in his family business of bronze casting for 15 years before he decided to continue his education. He joined the continuing education programme and then got himself a degree from Sikkim. His Majesty’s address touched a special chord with him.
“His Majesty always inspires me, and today I felt like I was being addressed directly. I want to spread His Majesty’s message of continuing to strive for excellence throughout our lives to the younger generation,” he said.
“It was a privilege to have this opportunity to listen to His Majesty, and His Majesty’s address has stirred all of us today,” Jigme, a graduate from Thailand, said. “I was deeply moved by His Majesty’s words, and I hope to make His Majesty proud in the future.”