Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley arrived in New Delhi on 19 September en-route to Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India where the Prime Minister will attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of Sanchi University of Buddhist and Indic Studies on 21st September, along with Mahinda Rajapaksa the President of Sri Lanka.
Lyonchhen was received at the Indira Gandhi International Airport by the Foreign Secretary, Joint Secretary, Chief of Protocol and officials from the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Prime Minister arrived at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 20th September where he was received at the Raja Bhoj Airport by Ram Naresh Yadav the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chauhan the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and senior officials from the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
In Bhopal, Lyonchhen met the Chief Minister where Lyonchhen conveyed his gratitude for being invited to Madhya Pradesh.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan congratulated Lyonchhen for taking the philosophy of GNH to a global level and said that happiness is crucial for inner peace of every sentient being and that he personally believes happiness will not grow even if GDP does. Mr. Chauhan said the people of Madhya Pradesh is pleased to receive Lyonchhen and the Bhutanese delegation for the foundation stone laying ceremony for a Buddhist University, and fortunate to get all kinds of guidance and assistance for the same.
Lyonchhen also conveyed he is happy to know that Madhya Pradesh and their leaders are aware and trust the philosophy of GNH. Lyonchhen said that economic prosperity alone is not enough for this global world and happiness is. Lyonchhen congratulated Chief Minister Chauhan for the growth and prosperity of Madhya Pradesh ever since he became the Chief Minister and said that this Buddhist University is an opportunity to co-operate in Buddhist studies and further strengthen the friendship and bond between Bhutan and India.
In the afternoon Lyonchhen also met Ram Naresh Yadav, the Governor of Madhya Pradesh at the Raj Bhavan in Bhopal where they discussed issues of mutual interest.
Towards the evening Lyonchhen met the seven Bhutanese students studying in Bhopal and shared updates on the happenings back home. Lyonchhen reminded them that they are fortunate to have been enrolled in such good universities in Madhya Pradesh and reminded them that as India grows economically Bhutan will grow simultaneously. All the seven students are boys studying civil engineering and architecture.
Lyonchhen after attending the foundation stone laying ceremony at Sanchi headed back to New Delhi in the evening.
Lyonchhen will travel directly to New York on the 23 September 2012 from India to attend the High-Level Segment of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which will start from 25 September, 2012 in New York. Lyonchhen will be accompanied by a delegation comprising of Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, the Minister-in-Charge for Foreign Affairs, Dasho Karma Rangdol, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Dasho Penden Wangchuk, Cabinet Secretary, Dasho Yeshey Dorji, Foreign Secretary, Ambassador Daw Penjo, and other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Secretariat.
Lyonchhen will address the United Nations General Assembly on 28 September, 2012. He will also participate in a number of important side events including the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Forum of Small States, where he will deliver the keynote address on “Small States and their Drive to Development”.
Lyonchhen will meet a number of Heads of States and Governments and other dignitaries to seek support for Bhutan’s candidature for the UNSC for the term 2013-2014 as well as pursue other issues of bilateral and multilateral interests such as issues related to sustainable development, post 2015 development agenda and will the Happiness Initiative launched by Bhutan.