Speakers career boost after plot allocation to ministers in Gyelpozhing

In what has been an unexplored aspect of the Gyelpozhing case the current Speaker of the National Assembly Jigme Tshultim enjoyed a meteoric rise in his civil service career after the allocation of plots to influential people in Gyelpozhing.

This happened in the presence of ministers in the cabinet that had received land from the Speaker.

In what some are calling a conflict of interest issue, the current Speaker of the National Assembly Jigme Tshultim after serving from 1998 to 2002 as the Mongar Dzongda was promoted as the first non Foreign Ministry staff to be the Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

It was at the same time when the current Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley was the Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2003. In those days the appointment of officials to senior posts were done on the prerogative of the individual ministers or the cabinet. Even the Royal Civil Service Commission had ministers as its members.

Sources say that the main prerogative to appoint the Chief of Protocol mainly lay with the Foreign Minister.

The Speaker was subsequently sent as the Bangladesh Ambassador in 2004 after serving for a short stint of two years as the Chief of Protocol.

An Ambassador’s post is the most coveted civil service job given to a select few diplomats or senior civil servants and is also the highest paid job in the civil service due to foreign allowances and representational grants which were in addition to the basic salary.

The Speaker subsequently resigned in 2007 as the Ambassador and joined DPT to win and be given the post of the Speaker.

From 2003 to 2004 Lyonpo Jigme Y Thinley served as the Prime Minister of the Cabinet and also as the Home Minister.

Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk had served as the Foreign Minister from 2003 to 2007.

During the Speakers stint in Mongar in a period of 2001-2002 plots were allotted to influential people who were not eligible.

The then Foreign Minister Jigme Y Thinley and current Prime Minister had received a 50 decimal plot across the Kurichuu River in Gyelpozhing. The cabinet consisted of other Gyelpozhing land beneficiaries like Lyonpo Leki Dorji who received plots and Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba the then Finance Minister who received around an acre across the river.

According to sources in the government the appointment of an ‘outsider’ to the prestigious and important post of Chief of Protocol in the much coveted Foreign Ministry came as a surprise. Sources say that this also lead to ‘resentment’ within the then Foreign Ministry staff of breaking with a long tradition of having Chief of Protocols from within the Foreign Ministry.

The earlier Chief of Protocols had been Dasho Tshewang J .Rixin, Dasho Dophu Tshering and Kezang Wangdi (current ambassador to Bangkok) who where all career diplomats. This norm was broken when the Speaker was made the Chief of Protocol.

A precedent was also set after this leading to the speaker being replaced by the Samtse Dzongda Tsering Dorji (now Home Secretary). After that the again the tradition was maintained of having career diplomats as Chief of Protocol like Aum Kunzang Choden and Singye Dorji. However, recently as per the PCS system in an open competition the former Punakha Dzongda Kunzang N. Tshering was selected as the new Chief of Protocol.

According to sources the Anti Corruption Commission in its investigation of the Gyelpozhing case could not legally pursue the angle of conflict of interest and also subsequent possible benefits give to the Speaker in the absence of a law at the time on conflict of interest.

Though the ACC Act now addresses conflict of interest the same Act cannot be retroactively applied then.

Apart from the individual ministers prerogative the cabinet was all powerful in civil service appointments as they also largely made up the Royal Civil Service Commission then.

Conflict of interest, however, is not restricted to what happened after the allotment of plots. Even during the allocation of plots the conflict of interest was apparent as then Communications Minister Lyonpo Leki, in charge of looking after town planning and ensuring that rules were followed accepted land.

Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba who also took land was the then finance minister and in charge of allocating government resources for such projects.

Lyonpo Jigme Y Thinley who already served as Prime Minister from 1998 to 1999 and was Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2003 accepted land.

Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu also accepted land in his family members name as the then Finance Secretary.

Tenzing Lamsang /Thimphu

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42 comments

  1. Your objective to throw malice to the current government is becoming crystal clear by the day

    • What about other common people who benefited from the Gyelposhing land scam apart from the present ruling party Ministers.The  Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Supreme court was one of the beneficiary i believe?At least  the media should be fair for gods sake if not the law. 

  2. Your articles shud be send down the drain…where is your reasoning power ? 

  3. Dear Lamsang,
    while we appreciate the investigative journalism that you pursue we will also appricate if you can know your limits. You have brough some high level cases in the public domain and the public do benefit from this. However, we will also appreciate if you know your limit to how much further you go. Sometimes it does look like there is political motive in this….

    • There is no limits, as long as you are true……..Can you do this? I guess no, so please you dont have any say. I guess he knows his limit……………..

  4. Lamsang, your intentions are becoming clearer by the article….

  5. This looks and sounds more like a politically motivated write up.
    This is the first time i have felt bad by reading an article written by Tenzin Lamzang….
    You have done Yeoman service to nation but please don’t be selfish..
    I hope you were not paid by somebody to write this article….
    Still i have lots of respect and at the same time lots of expectation from you TL and you re the only few man who can tell truth without fear. 
    good day

  6. Tnezing Lamsang has lost his marbles, of course, I never had any high regard for him any way. He is just a tool being misused by vested interest groups, saying anything further would be giving him too much importance which he does not deserve.

  7. Last desperate attempt to poison the minds of the public. What a dirty article. Pl know ur limit. It’s disgusting!

  8. This type of news paper is dangerous for democracy in long run.

    • Haha, Can you define democracy………How can you say its dangerous? little knowledge is dangerous..

      • It can be dangerous, because if the majority of the people who are DPT supporters can’t take it any more and start to take matters into their own hands, in that way it will be dangerous for democracy.

  9. If PDP wins the coming election, will TL and his team attack the governments like he does now?  While I appreciate this news paper for investigative journalism, i feel it is too biased and anti DPT. I think TL should try to balance and know the limits. 

  10. Tsk tsk- if you consider washing this article down the drain because it  lacks reasoning power, then your comments  deserve  to be flush down the toilet because it too runs short of justification. For aum maya, I would say you are nobody to put limit cap on Lamsang because firstly, it is his fundamental right and secondly if he had made false accusation,everybody has the right to sue him in court of law. But I don’t think anyone will come foward because so far he  has proved that he is telling the truth. so it doesn’t make sense for you to request him keep quite and ask not to wash your dirty linen in public.

    • Landless…don’t u just get it,,,.his intentions are becoming more and more clearer….even a five year old child can think better than u….is it that hard ? May be u need a good shake or u need to be flushed down….

  11. This is not the only case. Why single out the speaker? If you dig into the history of all senior level officials from the bygone days, the facts will stink more than this case. So, I agree with all the commentators that Tenzin should know the limits. In his act of venting out against the current crop of ministers, he is inviting more negative sentiments against his beleaguered paper, and such an act is what many would call suicidal.

    • Mr Lamsang is digging the history of this people because they were holding the highest positions in our new democratic form of government and they are again trying to earn the highest job of this country. We don’t realize how far such corruption and nepotism will go if we don’t highlight such issues in media. Given the chance, who would like to write such articles defaming the ministers and senior public servants but they have crossed the limits in the very first place. Now Mr Lamsang need not limit anything because it is his fundamental right to express. I salute Mr Lamsang for the bravery.

      Now talking about the motives, it is very simple. The motive is to reduce the prevalence of corruption and nepotism in the years to come. I don’t think Mr. Lamsang is being paid by anyone to write because writing is his profession and he was earning and will be earning his livelihood by writing. We are nobody to comment something like ‘negative” to Mr Lamsang’s article. If we ever do so, aren’t we ourselves ” Negative”. When we tell Mr Lamsang to write positive, why can’t we take this article positively and it is in fact the hard core truth.
      Mr lamsang, given the oppurtunity, i would like to join ur esteem media in promoting the investigative journalism.

  12. Why shouldn’t good stories make the headlines in order to make this news firm fairly balanced? Why should the negatives pervade always? I think the chief editor of this paper should clean up his lenses to see positive aspects of life as well.

  13. What Lamsang is doing is what we all should do mena. If we have to root out corruption in Bhutan then we should pursue till the end. Corruption is a disease which will eat up our society. To bring down the tree, we have to cut it till it fall down. Mr. Lamsang I have full support to you and anyone who is like you.
    If i have authority, i would have already given you a medal for your bold and unwavering initiative.

    • He is only telling things about the DPT, what about the scams PDP people are involved in, why don’t you question him on this. If we are to praise him, he needs to show that he is fair. 

  14. This editor and team  from thebhutanse is really getting crazy and nut now!!! Please remember speaker got RED SCARF from fourth king in 1998 when he was Samtse Dzongdag. He doesn’t have to pleased anyone!!!! By then he was already recognized!!!! And, please remembr one thing for clear, forget even those days when it was monarchy system, even today ambassadors are appointed by king….This paper is really just looking for short term political gain and not about their long term credibility. It is high time now this paper should sued or else this paper is getting crazy!!!

  15. Lamsang is doing good job, but he should be fair in reporting. He is vindictive. Just because he was once ridiculed by the outgoing govt. he was always after the Ministers.There were many areas where he could have reported, but he only singled out the govt.and he will continue to do so untill next election is over.

  16. “The Speaker subsequently resigned in 2007 as the Ambassador and joined DPT to win and be given the post of the Speaker”.

    This guy even doesn’t know how he joined politics…After his resignation, he did not join DPT. This party “DPT” was nonexistent when he resigned. It was rather he who along with some other members formed the party called “Bhutan people united party”, which later merged with “ALL people’s party” and then became DPT.  Lyonchhen and other joined politics much later. So, try to get facts corrected before pointing your finger to someone. 

    If i were unbiased media, while pointing shortfall, i will also not forget to mention positive sides as well. Whatever maybe the case, official misconduct or procedure lapses,  these guys too the decisions and development of mongar town and gyelposhing town came faster while other towns like bajo, chamkhar and others were languishing. It is everyone to see and judge. But this so called”unbiased” reporter/editor can’t see with his “negative eye”.  

    Forget about balanced reporting, they don’t even follow their own so called “editorial policy” of get fact from both side when the story is “controversial”. Where is the opinion of RCSC, Government and from speaker??? Anyway, i know all readers are not fool to be fooled by this kind of reporting.

  17. Speaker received RED SCARF from fourth king in 1998 when he was Samtse Dzongdag!!! So, his work and contribution was already recognized and he didn’t have to please anyone.  

  18. Hats of for exposing these jackals riding the wave of political powers..

  19. PCS is not going to select the best people to join the foreign service or any other post for that matter, especially at higher levels. Chief of Protocol job is not traditional driglam namzha  protocol job.

    RcSC standard  for PCS only requires management experience for higher level posts and the skills for the post is relegated to “knowledge” and no real knowledge or actual experience in the relevant field is necessary.  Lot of people in the foreign service are quite usel…   lot of these are those who have transferred in at mid to higher level.

  20. no surprise about this article from Lamsang.

    Im no fan of DPT, but Coincidence is not correlation. ACC was unable to investigate, not for legal, but links like here are always hard to prove.

    the allegations of lamsang may be true, may not be true but what is coming out clear with each article is Lamsangs motivation to bring down JYT and the DPT. 

    is Lamsang bringing out the dregs of the gyelpshing story for the election season. Un-satisfied that the gyelpshing case, UNSC, etc did not net JYT?

    Using logic of this story on conflict of interest, election commission should check the conflict of Interest with the management, staff and owners of the Bhutanese against the political parties or individual ministers. 

  21. JYT preaches GNH to the people of Bhutan while he accumulates wealth for himself and his associates. JYT’s GNH should be flushed in the toilet too.

  22. Haha, I wrote the truth and my post has disappeared.

  23. Glorified Clerk

    Good job. Career advancement through favouritism, nepotism and corrupt practices should not have any place in Bhutan.

    • If JYT cared only for his family and his supporters and gave a shit to supporters of PDP, please have a second look.

      1. DGPC, 2IC is a former PDP candidate.
      2. PCAL MD is a former PDP candidate.
      3. Bank DMD is a former PDP candidate.

      I am sure there are some other too.

  24. GNH is not JYT’s baby but HM, the 4th King’s wisdom. Health is wealth and vice-versa!

  25. Dear Lamsang,

    why only political leaders and why dont you screw other retired Ministers they too have bad records i would say servere than the above if you really investigate. If you are not politicised then you should bring up theirs too. For example Lyonpo Kuenzang Dorji has constructed a 10 unit five storey building near India House in the year 2003. That particular land was govt land in the year 2001. How he has acuired that land in the prime area that is also at Phuentsholing. I think that will also come under corruption why dont you bring those issues,why only PM,LYZ,Speaker,home Minister,Minisrter MOIC.

  26. Dear Lamsang,

    What made you crazy to write always against DPT Government. Do you think what ever you write here will benefit our ccountry? or Do you have some back up service to face if you are proved worn? I have been following your news but till date almost 99 percent of your news were totally against the current Government and members of the DPT government. Do you only see the wealth accumulated by the members of the DPT government? These are some of the questions you need to analyze carefully before you try to create problem between the people and the government. If you have the desire to oppose the government’s decision then why not you join a political party. Ofcourse, the political parties may not give you a ticket due to fear in their mind that you will further bring disharmony in the party and also country as a whole. Seems you haven’t got a chance to work for the people of our country instead you are trained to create more damage of Bhutanes people and policy makers.

    If you think your genune bhutanese citizen, then why don’t you bring some issues besides DPT government at least criticising some other former big shots or you are paid by some one to write only against DPT government. Never mind, I am sure majority of bhutanese love DPT despite you are trying to create problem.

  27. Another story in a long line of stories that has back fired, how can such a smart ass be so stupid. But of course he has to stoke the fires of some ignorant PDP followers.

  28. Lets be fair, Lamsang was very critical of the PDP and had a field day in attacking both PDP supporters and its candidates. Now, by the same token he is pointing out things that citizens should know the Party that is ruling us. Yes, some exaggeration can be detected, but it was always close to the truth. I hope he will continue to tell the truth when a new govt. comes to power and if negative actions or inactions warrant it.

    • So you mean to say, that as a member of the fourth estate it is absolutely okay to target only DPT because earlier he targeted PDP members, what a stupid argument. Don’t you believe that this paper is going a bit too far in their reporting.

  29. In my opinion this newspaper did its bits. It brought so many critical information to the public domain, which no other newspapers could do, that made people essentially aware of the simple fact that even the government can make mistakes and people should remain watchful. Because the faulty decisions and practices of the government could cost the country and its people very dearly. This newspaper triggered a trail of prosecutions following its investigative journalism. So many high-profile scams, estimated in hundreds of millions of ngultrums that could have been easily buried off and remained dead, were exposed by this paper. The flaws of the government, that people like us would never have the guts to point out, were thrown open into the public space setting off public discussions, and creating awareness among people of the flawed but avoidable decisions and practices of our government. While the rest of us can never come out of the cocoon of our “Yes Sir” syndrome and go on throwing praises to our corrupted officials even when we know the truth about their wrong doings, this paper with its resolute courage and strength, even risking its business, brought very significant stories to the fore in the past years for the public to view. What this paper has contributed so far is more than what all other newspapers combined together could not do. Thanks to thebhutanese for bringing the public information closer to the public.

  30. rubbish site……. just rubbish…… no ethic of media n personal respect too……….

  31. I don’t know what we are hearing and reading is true or not. Whether tenzin lamzang has ultrior motives or his intentions are clean and green. But what i know from the kuensel report is that the concern individuals accused in gyelpozhing land case never said that they didn’t break any law and their intentions are clean and green. Even the legal exparts who are watching this show didn’t say that.
    I think we as humans should learn something from this.
    When opposition leader was questioned by one of the MPS in the national assembly session regarding his masters studies outside he clearly said that if any body thinks that something is fishy there they may take up the matter with ACC or royal court of justice, but none did. The big question y still lingers in my head.

    It is a common prtactice in bhutan, if one becomes an influiential person in an organization, be it arm force, judiciary, projects, pvt. companies etc, half of his family will follow the line. They become good posts holders and professionals in that organization by any means.
    This is bhutan we have to accept if for next 10 to 20 yrs.

  32. Bhutan Sucks Now

    GNH my ass….
    it’s GROSS NATIONAL HELLISH.

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