Passing the buck

Recent instances have proven how this government is highly allergic to accepting any blame and is also intolerant of criticism especially when the fault lies within.

The OAG, acting on a cabinet letter asking for legal clarification on the ACC’s prosecution and suspension has now even questioned the right of the ACC to prosecute the Gyelpozhing case.

The actions of the OAG demonstrate in full, the government’s real attitude towards ‘zero tolerance towards corruption,’ and also the fact that the government’s alleged support for the Anti Corruption Organization is limited to only when ACC sticks to the small fishes.

The Prime Minister’s brazen claims that no laws were broken and conversely the ACC report that later said numerous laws were broken show, that the current government and its leaders are  not willing to acknowledge any mistakes.

Even on an important issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity, over Chinese passports reflecting Bhutanese territory, the government has adopted an ostrich like approach preferring to ignore the issue and instead blaming this paper for bringing up the issue.

While all international governments, big and small, sharing boundaries with China have either remedied or acknowledged the problems reported by their local press on the issue, the DPT government has decided, once again to shoot the messenger and attack the press for pointing out the obvious.

Ironically under the era of absolute Monarchy, Bhutan’s boundary problems and issues were always transparently discussed in the then National Assembly and also widely reported in the press.

On the rupee crisis the main causes were lack of proper fiscal and monetary policy to rein in reckless lending and spending but the entire blame was put squarely on private spending and the private sector.

In the Chang Ugyen case land was clearly grabbed as shown by a report and subsequent Land Commission decision but the government passionately defended him to the extent of the Prime Minister’s office writing a recommendation letter for him to the NLC.

When youth employment is the burning issue of the times the government has taken a very convenient stand of blaming the youth. Instead of examining our education policies, the state of the economy, the slow and bureaucratic system, and other issues, college graduates who studied to be doctors, engineers, civil servants etc are being blamed for not wanting to be farmers or clean waste.

Critical and investigative stories backed up by concrete proof and subsequent verification by ACC or RAA reports are dismissed as ‘fiction’ or ‘fabricated’ stories while government cheerleaders in the media come up with new terms like ‘bad media’ with no evidence.

There is a virtual great wall built around our government which only lets in praise and sycophancy be it from among its own, the society or elements in media and blocks out all criticism.

However, the government’s problem is not just limited to not listening but it has consistently demonstrated an increasing tendency to hit back.

Unable to accept or deal with a critical media the government came up with a system of economic sanctions to punish critical media houses by misusing advertisement money.

The government branded the Opposition leader a virtual ‘Ngolop’ for asking legitimate questions about the loss of the Security Council bid and asking for the expenditure to be made public.

The government has also used the OAG like a rubber stamp to undermine the ACC and its corruption probes on Gyelpozhing.

There has also been no hesitation to use untruths to blatantly attempt and defame its critics. Fantastic conspiracy theories are flown and defamatory lies spread about its critics.

Bhutanese democracy in this sense is headed down a unpredictable and dangerous path with a government unable to handle criticism in a mature manner and with a habit of lashing out instead of addressing the issues at hand.


“Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit”
Mahatma Gandhi  

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  1. It is very unfortunate that this newspaper uses the word, Ngolop which the government never used. I know this paper has been sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Also the government has been not always right. But, we must be very careful of using terms and phrases. I wonder why this newspaper has absolutely nothing to write about the opposition party.

  2. Now this paper is crossing the boundary.If passport was a current issue,other papers would have written it too.don’t undermine them.all other papers are better than you bunch of….
    this paper does not look like a critical media.Critics research,analyse, confirm and then write.If I were government,you would be summoned to court for writing as Govt. using OAG like rubber better have evidences.It is OAG doing their own and govt is not backing them..

  3. This paper for sure doesn’t know how to differentiate between Absolute Monarchy system and a Constitutional Monarchy system. The editorials have been totally inconsistent the fact that it is blinded by its hatred towards first democratically elected PM. How can the current government acknowledge its mistakes when it had not committed one, especially regards to Gyelpozhing land case. This government had nothing to do with land allotment in Gyalpozhing. This paper has been feeding the public as if land allotment happened during the current government.
    I was afraid that editorial would be about Judiciary bashing but the punch bag is the government as always.
    The word unpatriotic and disloyal doesn’t translate anywhere near ‘Ngolop’ may be it does in the dictionary of theBhutanese. And such deliberate misinterpretations are what this paper has been doing. For instance ‘deliberate misinterpretation of the draft land bill where this paper played with the word Kidu.

  4. matured paper….and the writings. Essential indeed for vibrant democracy.

    • Uselessly bold paper that serve no purpose for the Bhutanese people in general but create lot of rifts between institutions.

      • Hy.Phuntso. Looks like you are inside the country.DO something to stop this paper. They install a notion in general public mind that we are at war against government, which is not true.Multitude of people are happy with the Ruling. Why agitate the people for no cause.i will be right behind you, your stalwart.

  5. corrupted dpt don’t want to see, speek, hear about the shit they have created.

  6. the bhutanese should keep on writing the facts and actions of this govt, whether some people like it or not. We are democracy and freedom of expression one of the fundamental rights.
    Those who think this paper is writing crap, they can take them to court.

    • Yes theBhutanese should endeavor to write facts, inform the public as the news unfold and report things as it happens. Sadly it add too much spices whereby the truth and facts gets distorted.

  7. criticism where criticism is due. it is due here.

    but the language as in past articles in this paper, and this this post does not hide its dislike for the PM… oh wait it is an editorial, so its to be expected from this particular editor. but choosing particular words carefully would be useful advise to also foster a vibrant and healthy media to support democracy in Bhutan, instead of formenting trouble.

  8. Phuntsho wrote: “Gyalpozhing Land Case was not created by DPT government. Please do understand this fact.”

    Phuntsho is right in his/her statement here. The Gyalposhing mess was not the creation of the JYT’s DPT government. This fact must go out loud and clear before we begin our blind bashing of JYT. Like Phuntsho, I also think that the JYT’s DPT government has nothing to do with this land case at Gyalposhing. This matter pertains to a different time period when the bureaucrats had the full leverages of misusing their powers.
    The fact that the JYT as the PM having initiated this ACC lead investigation speaks volumes about JYT’s rock-hard support into fighting corruption. Whether we like it or not, this is the fact and it is going to remain as the fact no matter what. I am also closely watching this episode and if indeed ACC wins here, I think, the major chunk of the credit should go to JYT. This is something the public must understand! If we fail to differentiate the good from the bad, then, I must say that we as citizens will also have our share of regrets at the later stages in life which might come in the form of a lost opportunity when good leaders are in paucity.

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