The shortcomings of the incumbent DPT government that could cost it the 2013 race

The last few months saw the incumbent DPT government highlighting its various achievements during the last five years, like progress in the minimum programs like roads, water, electricity to lowered poverty rates.

This was also faithfully highlighted and reported by all media including this paper. However, there are also several other areas where the incumbent DPT government has either failed to deliver or made mistakes in.

These areas include the economy, corruption, controversies, democracy, foreign policy, relation with the Monarchy, and various other issues. Some of these issues combined, have the capacity to unseat the incumbent DPT government, and bring a new party to power.

 

Economy

While it is true that the better than average chances of a DPT win in 2013 is due to its minimum programs in the rural areas, however, its biggest adversary is also economic in nature. The twin problems of the Rupee Crisis and Credit Shortage- combined with other economic problems could be the main reason for worry.

For example, the public anger over the Prado issue is not so much as the ministers taking their duty Prados- as done in the past, but more so because it is being done during an economically tough time.

Rupee and Credit Crises

Rupee borrowings have reached Nu 21 bn till date, and it is expected to touch Nu 38 bn by 2014 and 2015. However, more important than the figures is the issue of accountability. When the rupee problem first emerged in the latter part of 2011, both the government and the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) responded by saying that it was a longstanding problem, and blamed the Bhutanese citizens for excessive consumption.

However, the government’s own report said, the government spending pushes up aggregate demand in the economy. A Bhutan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) report states, the irresponsible government expenditure from 2009 onwards, and poor reserve management were the main causes behind the rupee crisis. A National Council report held both the government and the RMA responsible.

The Rupee Crisis, more damagingly, for the first time showed a government unprepared and even helpless in the face of a major economic problem affecting Bhutanese households.

A story by this paper found that the cabinet had not implemented most reform measures that were proposed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) to the cabinet about a year ago on 4th May 2012, to deal with the Rupee Crisis.

Many ministries and agencies, on the instructions of the cabinet, were supposed to respond to the proposal by 31st May 2012, did so only over a period of an entire year.

Of around 32 recommendations in the report, only three have been completely done while only six have been partly done.

One major offshoot of the Rupee Crisis was the Credit Shortage, which emerged from April 2012, and in many ways was more damaging than the Rupee Crisis, as a variety of popular loans like housing, car and even business loans had to be stopped. Many businesses, big and small were badly hit, as credit is the lifeblood of any business.

This was accompanied by a host of import restrictions on vehicles and various other goods that had an impact on the flow of business and consumers in Bhutan. The import restrictions in place for more than a year, has failed to stop or solve the growing Rupee Crisis.

Bhutanese, who travel aboard get only USD1, 000 a year compared to USD 3,000 dollars in previous years, for going abroad in order to save the limited dollar reserves.

Both of the above crises combined have led to the private sector shrinking, job layoffs and a considerable economic pain and uncertainty.

EDP and FDI

In line with its comprehensive 2008 manifesto, the DPT government in 2010 unveiled its economic vision and policy for the nation through the umbrella economic policy of the Economic Development Policy (EDP).

The mainstay of the policy was to make it easier and friendlier to do business in Bhutan by reducing the red tape, providing various incentives, and thus promoting investments and creating jobs. The main aim of the policy was to make Bhutan, a hub for various economic activities like medical tourism, financial services, and a services hub in general. One of the key features of the policy was that within 45 days of anyone applying for a valid license, one would get one.

However, three years later, the EDP has been a failure and one of the reasons as to why we now face a Rupee and Credit Crisis.

As per the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, Bhutan, which was ranked at 124 in 2008, has now fallen by more than 24 places to 148 in 2012. This is not very far from the ranking of war torn Afghanistan. The red tape is the same, if not worse, as BCCI members report that it still takes up to six months to get business licenses and not 45 days as boldly stated.

Bhutan has not become a medical hub, financial hub or services hub of any kind. One of the projects to make Bhutan an IT hub, was the IT Park, which has turned into a white elephant with most commercial spaces vacant, and the government still provides budgetary support to it. Two small investors have hung on, despite some early hardships after the government pumped in some more money.

The only limited success has been in tourism, with some rise in dollar paying tourists, but the majority of the achievements have been achieved by cleverly changing the definition of tourists from dollar paying ones to any South Asian flying in through Druk Air.

The Foreign Direct Investment Policy (FDI) 2010 has also not been a success with even the MoEA minister admitting to the same in a recent interview with the media. A study found that the policy was too restrictive and not focused on lucrative areas like, hydropower and mining to attract investment. The government has not done anything to make the policy less restrictive.

With the government’s obsessive focus on promoting GNH, both policies that could have done a lot for Bhutan have failed to deliver.

Inflation

Though the government claims to have halved poverty rate from 24 to 12 percent, what has intrigued the economists and economic experts in Bhutan, is that Bhutan’s poverty rates have fallen so sharply in the face of record inflation. Generally the higher inflation rates leads to higher poverty rates in most economic models.

From 2008 to 2012, Bhutan had an inflation rate of around 40 percent or an average of 10 percent every year, which is the highest ever inflation levels ever experienced in Bhutan. It resulted in Nu 100 in 2008 falling down to a buying power of Nu 75.

Also, contrary to popular opinion the National Statistical Bureau (NSB) found that in 2012 the majority of Bhutan’s inflation was not due to imported goods, but due to home grown and domestic goods and services.

The NSB found that 54.24 percent of inflation in 2012 was caused by domestic factors like house rents, services, etc., while imported food, goods and services made up only 45.58 percent.

The government, in short, could have taken measures to combat the domestic aspect of inflation but did not.

Unemployment

With the youth compromising of 60 percent of the population, and 30 percent of the electorate, the youth unemployment issue could be one of the biggest challenges for the DPT government. Though the official unemployment figure is 2.1 percent, the youth unemployment rate is much higher. The measurement of employed people are also flawed as many educated youth doing some temporary farm work to help their parents, but still looking for a job have been recorded as being employed.

Agriculture

Though the government gave agriculture more focus after the Rupee Crisis, agriculture still remains a largely neglected sector. Bhutanese agriculture is the least subsidized and least supported budget wise, as compared to other nations in the South Asia. The plans for winter vegetable productions, increasing food production, and distribution in a big way have not really taken off. Farmers still complain that even if they do produce food crop, a lot of it either rots before being sold or goes to waste.

One key focus of the government’s minimum programs have been in keeping the people back in the villages, but the unchecked rural- urban migration has shown that only providing basic infrastructure is only half the job, as it is equally important to improve their productive capacity to earn a living.

There are also increasing reports on the poor quality of farm roads, and rural water supply schemes, many of which are showing strain within the first few monsoons showers.

Debt and Trade Deficit

With around Nu 80 bn in debt, accounting for around 80 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and in addition to hydropower loans the government towards the end of its term took a slew of budgetary support loans from international financial institutions furthering the increasing debt burden.

With around 70 percent of the funding of Bhutan’s Nu 700 bn to 750 bn budget for 10,000 MW projects coming from loans, a major chunk of Bhutan’s loans will be the hydropower loans. However, recent and also avoidable cost escalations in hydro-projects have shown that Bhutan’s debt burden will be far more than it’s been forecast.

What makes Bhutan’s debt a matter of concern is that unlike many developed countries, it is primarily external debt, and we are banking solely on one sector, hydropower, to pay off the debts.

Currently, Bhutan’s trade deficit is at Nu 20 bn or this is the amount by which our imports surpass our exports. This is expected to double to Nu 42 bn by around 2014. This figure also reflects the inability of the government to both increase exports by revitalizing the private sector, and also reflects the failure to go for import substitutes.

 

Corruption and Controversy

Apart from economic problems, a second major factor that could affect the chances of the DPT could be the multiple scams and controversies that have dogged it in the last five years. In some cases, past skeletons have come to haunt the government, while in other cases more current developments have posed a problem.

Gyelpozhing

The Gyelpozhing case, which occurred between 2001 and 2003, essentially saw the former National Assembly Speaker Jigme Tshultim and former Home Minister Lyonpo Minjur Dorji allotting plots illegally to a variety of influential people. Some of the recipients were Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba and Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu who served in the incumbent cabinet. The allocation was made in violation of various laws, including the Royal Kashos on land.

Days after the ACC announced that it would look into the case, the Prime Minister’s Office also asked for an investigation. However, the real damage of the case is not so much the actual case, but it was the repeated assertions of the Prime Minister and his ministers, that they were innocent, only to be proved wrong by the ACC report, and the Mongar District Court verdict. What has further damaged the credibility of the government was the blatant use of the OAG to try and discredit, and sabotage the ACC investigation.

Chang Ugyen case

This paper in its first issue brought to light the fact that the former DPT Vice President, in his past capacity as a Gup was involved in grabbing around 10 acres of government and community land in Thimphu. Here again, what became more controversial was the Prime Minister’s astute defence of him, and also the letter from his office to the National Land Commission comprised mainly of government secretary’s pleading Chang Ugyen’s case.

The NLC, in line with a High Court verdict, asked Chang Ugyen to replace the land. However, controversially Chang Ugyen was allowed to replace the land from other Dzongkhags by the NLC.

Denchi

In what was a case of conflict of interest, and violation of rules the cabinet gave higher rates for compensation for buying rural land to establish the Denchi town. The maximum land there was owned by the Prime Ministers Aunty. The Prime Minister’s office in defense said that Denchi was declared a Dzongkhag Thromde by Parliament and was eligible for PAVA rates. However, if that was case then people whose land was taken for the township of Duksum in Trashiyangtse were not given commercial rates as per PAVA.  PAVA officials told this paper that the PAVA commercial rates are for commercially developed land like in Thimphu and not buying rural land to make commercial land which was the case in Denchi.

Bhutan Lottery

A special Royal Audit Authority report asked for by the government confirmed the Bhutan Lottery scam. The report found massive corruption and illegalities in Bhutan Lottery and also that Bhutan was getting only a tiny portion of a pie that in around 2007 alone was worth around Nu 260 bn a year. The report also showed complicity by lottery officials. The report also confirmed that the current Finance Ministry had given favorable terms to the Lottery Don and arbitrarily reduced the annual fee from around Nu 400 mn to less than Nu 200 mn. The Prime Minister who had initially promised an ACC probe instead shut down the lottery business and nobody was held accountable.

Trowa Theater

The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement’s Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba’s proposal to sell the Trowa theater land to the in laws of the Prime Minister was seen as a conflict of interest. The National Council forwarded the case to ACC to be investigated as a case of policy corruption. The Land Commission rejected the government’s proposal to sell the land while the ACC report noted serious administrative lapses.

MoH case

Though the Ministry of Health procurement scam was going on for years before the current government the scam was allowed to go on unchecked until the ACC and the RAA stepped in based on the media’s investigative reports.

The RAA report covering July 2008 to June 2009 found Nu 88 mn in irregularities in procurement of drugs. ACC report covering this government’s tenure also found massive corruption in procurement of medical equipment.

The Health Secretary who resigned on moral grounds has joined the DPT as a probable ministerial candidate which could drive the MoH procurement scam tag further into DPT.

City Bus case

The Nu 45 mn city bus procurement was introduced in the backdrop of the Pedestrian day to improve public transport. However, the tender ran into major controversy when the lowest bidder Samdhen who fulfilled all technical qualifications was disqualified by Bhutan Post which had violated the procurement rules in doing so. The bid was then controversially awarded to the son-in-laws of the Prime Minister and the MoIC Minister who had bid jointly.

Domestic Airports issue

Even as per latest and final Audit reports, almost 50% of funds have been misused or over paid. The RAA report says that given the poor quality of the airports the life of passengers and safety of aircrafts are at risk. RAA also forwarded report to ACC for investigation. The MoIC Minister who violated procurement rules to take decisions in the procurement committee has around 7 audit memos pending against him.

Education City

The shaky and ad hoc nature of the project, the involvement of the Prime Ministers nephew and son, and the enthusiastic government support for it lead to questions of conflict of interest in the project. These questions still stand today as the government after pumping in 1,000 acres of land and close to Nu 500 mn for the next three years for site connectivity will not be taking any shares in the project as was originally planned. It will only be collecting a nominal lease fee.

Mining

The Prime Minister in a BCCI meeting took a strong and public stand against mining. He said it was anti-GNH, needs to be strictly controlled and only a rich few benefitted. However, this paper found that his family members had got, expanded and applied for multiple mines under the tenure of the incumbent government.

Prados

Though not a corruption issue, it was a hugely unpopular move as the Prime Minister approached His Majesty the King for Prados for his ministers and a Land Cruiser for himself. Apart from the Prados the ministers gifted themselves office desktops, laptops, i-pads, printers and even phones.

Tenancy Act

One of the main reasons behind the poor implementation of the Tenancy Act came to the fore in 2009, when an investigation by the media showed that the Tenancy Act was being violated in letter and spirit by ministers and secretaries in the government who were actually supposed to ensure its implementation. Notable among them were Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba and Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu.

Foreign family Trips

The Prime Minister’s frequent trips abroad apart from generating its own questions also raised eyebrows when family members, party members and business supporters frequently accompanied him as part of the business delegation.

Democracy

While the government claims that the successful transition to a democracy is among its strong points there are many who would also differ. One of the key weak points of the government was operating in a democratic environment with the mindset of the old system that led to charges of Autocracy. Bhutan is also yet to see the successful evolution of a democratic culture.

Sour relations with Constitutional bodies

The government since its inception has been engaged in an invisible and at times visible struggle with democratic institutions. One visible sign was an open letter from the Prime Minister sent to all media houses publicly berating the Chief Election Commissioner and telling him to do his job. The ACC which saw several of its anti corruption initiatives receiving little or no support even saw its Act being watered down. The government also attempted to undermine the ACC using the OAG in the Gyelpozhing case. The latest was filing a complaint against the ACC for its corruption awareness advertisement. The judiciary was at the receiving end after the tax verdict where the government accused the judiciary of stopping development in its 20 Dzongkhag mid plan tour.

Freedom of Press

The MoIC’s infamous circular of April 2012 against this paper sent the message loud and clear to all media houses that criticism of the government or investigation of its misdeeds would be rewarded with an economic blockade. The MoIC under the incumbent MoIC minister also drafted a Media Bill which enhances the powers of politicians and the MoIC over the Media.

Tobacco Act and Pedestrian day

The draconian Tobacco Act drafted by the Parliament and implemented under a Prime Minister who called it worse than drugs saw dozens of innocent Bhutanese being locked up for three years each. Draconian provisions were only amended after a turn in public opinion though some still remain.

The Pedestrian Day which started in June 2012 like many other decisions, was done without proper consultation generated mixed feelings in the beginning but as its impact was felt on national productivity and convenience, it became hugely unpopular. The government, however, stuck and only changed it to once a month a few months back.

Right to Information

The RTI is an act that not only helps to empower ordinary Bhutanese citizens with information, but also is important to fight corruption in Bhutan. What is more is that it is given in the constitution as a fundamental right. The government which promised an RTI Act before the end of its term failed to fulfill its promise.

Foreign Policy

Among the few bright spots for the government is its claim that it considerably strengthened Bhutan’s international profile and in doing so its sovereignty but here to there are notable misses.

The Security Council Fiasco 

In what became one of the biggest letdowns Bhutan after much time and resources got one of the lowest votes in UN history in its campaign for the UN Security Council. Getting just 20 out of 193 votes Bhutan fell far behind second place Cambodia and the winner South Korea. Matters were made worse when the government stubbornly refused to share the details of the expenses and the OL was called a near traitor for questioning the bid.

Relations with India

Ironically though the government claims that strengthening relations with India was one of its achievements the reality is that Bhutan-India relations which was at its highest peak before the government came in hit rock bottom under the tenure of this government. Aid from India suddenly slowed and there were more excuses then rupees coming from New Delhi.  A rescue act from none other than His Majesty the King brought relations back to an even keel.

Bhutan’s new friends

One of the cornerstones of the government’s claims of foreign policy success is doubling the diplomatic relations from around 21 countries to more than 50 countries. However, a closer look will reveal that qualitatively most of Bhutan’s new friends have no economic, geographical, cultural, social and diplomatic relevance for Bhutan with most of them being irrelevant players on the global or regional stage.

Society and Security

Despite having a GNH policy of governance the government has failed to effectively deal with several social issues

Rising Crime

In what could be the true indicator for employment the last few years have seen increasing instances of youth delinquency. Urban and in some cases even rural areas have become unsafe by night as there are more and more daring cases of crime. Gang fights, vandalism, theft and battery all are on the rise. More seriously the safety of women in Bhutan is under question as rape cases have doubled from 2008 to 2012. In 2008 there were 21 rape cases reported for the year but in 2012 there were 51 rape cases reported.

Unhealthy Bhutan

A 2010 GNH survey found that around 21,000 people are obese in Bhutan with 100,000 being overweight and the figures are increasing every year. There is also Ministry of Health data to show the rapid rise in lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and even cancer. The government which could have promoted healthy diets and lifestyles and also created more public space for children and adults has failed to do so.

Drug and Alcohol abuse

The government has not been able to effectively tackle the scourge of drugs and alcohol abuse. While drug smuggling is one the rise with more addicts joining the group there has been little attention and resources spent on the issue.  Alcohol abuse which is Bhutan’s most destructive social problem also has not received enough efforts and resources from the government. An attempt at taxation did not pass through the National Assembly.

 

Where DPT failed

 Economy  

Rupee and Credit Crises

EDP and FDI

Inflation

Unemployment

Agriculture

Debt and Trade Deficit

 

Corruption and Controversy

Gyelpozhing

Chang Ugyen case

Denchi

Bhutan Lottery

Trowa Theater

City Bus

MoH scam 2008 and 2009

Domestic Airports

Education City

Mining

Prados

Tenancy Act

 

Democracy

Sour relation with constitutional bodies

Freedom of Press

Pedestrian Day and Tobacco Act

Right to Information

 

Foreign Policy

Security Council Fiasco

Relations with India

Quantity over Quality diplomacy

 

Society

Rising Crime

Unhealthy Bhutan

Alcohol and Drug abuse

 

Tenzing Lamsang / Thimphu

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72 comments

  1. That’s a long list of shortcomings. A short list of achievements, or even intentions would be nice too. After all, everything wasn’t lost & I’m sure there may be a few things that you can give them some credit. I like the way you’ve consistently and convincingly pointed out what’s going wrong, but I must admit that you also contribute a good deal to generating a lot of negativity. I don’t believe it serves the nation well.

  2. I don’t think football teams of new parties can do better than what DPT dd. 

  3. if i comment u will never accept so i am commenting on other websites about ur fault

  4. why the DPT/ministers and other news media maintain silence in this matter ?

  5. So according to the “TOOL” Lamsang, the DPT government has not done anything good in their 5 year term. And the most ironic part is that this paper talks about the government curbing press freedom, if this were true, does he really believe that all the stories he came out with, would be allowed to be published.

    Anyway, good try, the reality is DPT will win again and form the next government, while you will have 5 more years of whining to do. 

    • Glorified Clerk

      No body likes the bitter truth, so does you Mr. Good. It is only The Bhutanese who is not toeing the line of DPT and thanks for that truth comes out in the open.

      • I did not say that the “Bhutanese” was wrong in what they have reported, I said, did it mean that the DPT government has done nothing good for the country in their 5 year term, please read carefully and than comment.

        As for press freedom, the Bhutanese has no reason to complain and I have given you my reasons.

    • why other papers are silent as if nothing is happening? that speaks sth on media fredom in Bhutan. 

  6. I agree that the government has pumped in lot of money in building rural infrastructure including gewog connectivity. However the gewog connectivity stands only in paper. My village is connected with feeder road but the feeder road is not worth using. The contractor has siphoned huge funds by constructing  a very steep and narrow road. Forget about summer we can not even use the road during winter as two vehicles cannot pass at a time from opposite direction in most of the places. 

  7. concern citzen

    in next edition i would wish to see the list of dpt good deeds from your point of view although its loudly stated in loyenchen’s report. so that i can weigh the magnitude of both and decide my prospective towards dpt.
    thank you

  8. Great article. Is there a Dzongkha version? For it be effective, there should be a Dzongkha version, mainly aimed as majority of the voters.

  9. Karwang Yohxen

    Dear T. Lamsang, some times your reports are really impressive and read worthy. I feel like giving a few hundred thousands to support your firm.
    but, sometimes, your reports are writing in personal attacking manner. for example, the teacher who used syringe to poke students was one such report which made ur firm less popular. if u did not write that follow ups, we already formed a group of working executives comprising 100 people and collected Nu. 5000 from each person to support. may be in future, if u do ur job sincerely, we would again support you to root out the corruption. if there is no media like yours, Bhutanese gov’t would do like General Mao of china.

    • Druk Highlight

      What about the school children who were at the receiving end of such a gruesome punishment from the syringe-wielding teacher? Such news, as disturbing as it may be, is crucial for checks and balance. What’s more is that it comes from a remote part of Bhutan, where I suppose, worries and concerns were high about the state of the school children’s health and safety. MoE’s own investigation into the syringe use on student issue has confirmed that the teacher did use the syringe on the students as a fear tactic, to get the students to study. A child is supposed to feel safe in school, learn and explore and tap into their potential. How does the jabbing of needles into a child’s body achieve such growth? I salute anyone who is the voice of the voiceless and has the moral sense to stand up for a cause that is noble in nature. Ignoring such problems won’t help Bhutan get its a “clean” image. Thank you for bringing stories that affect the ordinary folks, like the ones in Zhemgang who have had to tolerate and fear the teacher. Thanks to this paper that the children will no longer have to learn under the fear of syringe jabs from the ignoble teacher.

  10. Well done  and Bravo Lamsang!

  11. Hi in order to promote and educate particularly on this issue. I suggest to have exact word to word version in Dzongkha language so that majority people living are rural  dwellers can have access to this publication. I strongly recommend.

    • The majority living in rural areas don’t read Dzongkha and are not educated, that is exactly why they live in our villages. Even many educated people I know living in an urban setting can’t read Dzongkha so this propaganda is not going to work.

  12. hello thebhutanses …why you are after DTP gov. i don’t know where you are heading towards ……..be positive sometime

  13. Hi Lamsang, this is a short effective & true reminder to the civil servants and the educated lot. i hope it is our responsibility to convey & disseminate to all the electorates living in the rural areas. hope many who are in town areas know about their ill tenure. let us begin a new era with true democratic culture.

  14. A totally unfair assessment riddled with malice

  15. We know Tenzin Lamsang is doing all his best to inform the people that DPT is useless and no one should vote for the party. I do not know if a news media is allowed to write against a particular party all the time. However, DPT’s successes are also very much visible and evident which encourage many of us to support the party. I do not know if the people of Bhutan will believe in PM’s words or TL’s words.

    • DPT’s successes and PM’s words can be seen like clouds in the sky as big as mountain, but doesn’t hold water to shower down to relieve from the drought for five yrs. Instead, DPT has become the foundation that allows SAMSARA of CORRUPTION to exist from top level. TL’s words, I’m sure he must be having evidence to prove, otherwise.

    • Druk Highlight

      PM’s actions have spoken thunderously loud. Your repeated attempt to get us to see you side will work when PM practices what he preaches. GNH is not his pie alone.

  16. One day all the journalist in this paper will have to pay a heavy price for being so unethical and bias in reporting all the time and in creating only negativity. At least there should have some encouragement or reinforcement for everybody to do better in future. A small good that they have done. No matter who they are. We are also not a barbarian that is coming out off the cocoon just now.   

    • Druk Highlight

      Please tell that to your bosses too.

    • sorry Tlingpa DPT cant do any thing to this paper coz of their guilty. DPT cannot prove in the court. if they can prove in the court they would have done many years back on this paper. you did not see Speaker and Home minister fighting for baseless point still. and they may say they dont want to drag media house to court coz they want to promote media right. which is actully they cannot prove in the court

    • sorry Tlingpa. DPT cant do any thing to this paper coz of their guilty. DPT cannot prove in the court. if they can prove in the court they would have done many years back on this paper. you did not see Speaker and Home minister fighting for baseless point still. and they may say they dont want to drag media house to court coz they want to promote media right. which is actully they cannot prove in the court

  17. DPT has DONE nothing; Nothing good for CITIZENS, other than serving enormously for themselves. SHAME on DPT members. You name it; they made for themselves. Land, prados, corruptions, tax evasion, business enterprise, mining and PM family bringing full druk air load of goods from Bangkok for furnishing his house along with previous druk air MD, now I dont know where he is. 
    They have killed the very root of a chance for development and growth for every citizen, village, districts and the country, the nation state, by putting uncountable, known and unknowns, restrictions in place.  
    Bhutan is still in the same locus as it has been for last 100 years. Damn poor!
    We voters have delegated our responsibility and authority to them and they have misused so much that it will take over 1000 hundred years to correct their misdoing. We citizens have done wrong by placing our responsibilities to these un-trustable MPs  and ministers. They have placed restrictions all over the place for every citizen other than for themselves: DPT MPs, DPT relatives, DPT ministers, DPT aliens and DPT atoms and molecules through corruptions from escalating costs by relocating dams, confiscating poor people land like gyelposhing and also restricting people from buying cars for efficient travel.
    People we don’t have to delegate our responsibility to these DPT members again. If we do entrust them, we are pure stupid. This would be like trading our soul with devils for nothing in return.  We will regret. We need to terminate this devilish institution. Else, we will lose this 700K people and rest of the nations will not trust us and we will be taken over.
    This time, please do not give in to the rhetoric of the DPT. We dont want to lose my, myself and I as well as the country to crooks like DPT.

  18. A through researched article…great job.

  19. If DPT supporters having something good to say about their accomplishment in the last five years, please bring forward. If you just assume that they have done good then it is a void statement. What is good in building farm roads to every villages when most of these roads remain unaccessible throughout the year? What is the good of building many airports if runways start cracking after few months? What is the good of building IT park fortress when it still remains empty? What is the good of GNH conferences abroad when those very preachers do not practice it, instead filled with insatiable greed back home? What is the good of paying huge amount of dollars to McKenzie for mere advices, if the very publication document is not available for public scrutiny? What is the good of spending money on unnecessary UNSC campaign, when the very money if spent for Wangdiphodrang dzong fire hazard protection could have saved our lost historic tressures? What more do you want to hear…..Let us know if you have something good, please. Otherwise donot just bullshit with the people of Bhutan.

    • I mean AMEM.. You spoke out my heart

    • It is not our job to write about the achievements of the DPT, rather it is the job of the journalists to write about both the positives and the negatives of any party. As journalists, they need to provide the general public with news which is unbiased, which, unfortunately this paper does not. Anyone with half a brain would have realized this by now.

  20. All sly characters of JYT and his greedy followers are succinctly stated in such a fine article. Bravo, and not more to DPT.

  21. Actually the list can go longer, but for the sake of brevity, this list is enough to make one decide which button to press during the primary round. Kudos to TL for his crusade against the greedy and double-faced people. 

  22. What Doji wrote above is just the views of few urban dwellers. There are so many who think otherwise. For us, What DPT did in five years is greatly commandable. I can drive home now instead of walking. I can get NOC, Audit Clearance and other documents online within short period. There is no drug shortage in the health system. Farmers are able to increase their product and income. The lists go on.

    • Any government could have done that. They have done nothing great. DPT always think they are right, they have no trust on other institutions. They were unwilling to accept the decision of Supreme Court on taxation, accused judiciary of many things. They are stubborn…..way too stubborn. 

  23. Only blood n bone bhutanese wil lov bhutan.

  24. Jdea this paper will die a pathetic death soon. I would say you are the best english writer in bhutan but ur reporting which is essence of journalism ruins it

    • Tenzing Lamsang the best English writer, my foot, he doe’s not even know the meaning of curbing press freedom, haha.

  25. Wow guess this is the publication of the Part 2 of PM’s State Address to the Nation. People need to be informed and that’s what you seem to be doing. All ministers security personnel  should now be providing security for TL. 

  26. what a ironic statement that there is no press freedom and yet this paper has been writing consistently against the government without any interference. And, this paper called itself writing balanced view while it projects only negative views. Anyway, i know for sure that our people are not fools to be fooled. Despite all negative campaigns, i am sure dpt will win, not probably majority like 2008 but win is sure and of course dpt should win at least one term. 

  27. lets think over and over again and analyze if DPT worth our vote. i spent so long to do that and decided that it is better to change my direction. the DPT candidates are there in the system for so long and this never removes their age-old intention and opinions. researches and studies did not guide them to implement policies any time in their last 5 years. corrupt people settled in the corrupt party. if people are still willing to vote for DPT, we never know when former PM would own what portion of Bhutan and her wealth. we the mass need our share as well.
    dear readers lets make intelligent choices this time and ask the village folks to vote out DPT do ourselves favor.

    great bhutan n great place to live in………..

    • Druk Highlight

      Our voice and aspiration must be heard loud and clear. For that we must use our votes. Let’s all make a difference. Let’s have some good change. We need to elect leaders who know they are only in for a 5 year term and those years must count. We can’t afford to have people who cling on to their scarves and entitlement as though they have been born with it. Change is Good.

  28. AFTER READING SO MANY USELESS COMMENTS, THE BHUTANESE SHOULD NOT ALLOW ANY COMMENTS TO BE POSTED. THIS PAPER IS NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED. GOING THROUGH SILLY COMMENTS THE BHUTANESE SHOULD STOP UPLOADING ANY OF THEM WHATEVER WHO EVER WRITES.

    • Who ever think its wrong should dig their own truths. And whoever thinks its right should dig their own truth. 

      LET PEOPLE THINK AND WRITE FREELY. DON’T SUPPRESS. 

  29. Hmmmmm…. I am an ardent supporter of DPT but after reading this article I’m doubtful if I’ll support DPT.

    Still 4 more weeks to go before I punch the button. Plenty of time to make my decision.

  30. TL and TheBhutanese team members should also bring articles about other political parties and their credentials. We will soon be voting for them to be the ruling government. It is important to inform the general public about their characters and credentials of those Party Presidents. Please do some inquires/ research about them and bring summary as soon as possible. Thank you

  31. Dear Future, Villagers know better than you about politics and they will never make wrong decisions. Don’t you know that it wrong to influence votes? Voting is a sacred and secret act and no one should influence no one.

  32. @Future
    There is no future for you. Why ask county folks?

  33. u mean DPT has done nothing for the past five years? Please try to feed in both positive and negative thoughts rather than being heavily bias… Whatsoever, i appreciate the DPT Government and i wish them all the best for the upcoming election.

  34. If one has to comment on all the points, there will be no end to it as much as TL has listed. Let us select two or three points and ponder over it.
    1. Unhealthy Bhutan.
    What can govt. do on Diabetes, Hypertension etc. All the available technics like awareness campaign are conducted every year viz World TB day, Hand Washing Day, World Diabetes Day are observed and people are informed. Special clinics are also conducted. Padestrian day once a week was introduced but people with vested interest did not want it. It had many positive impact economically as well as ecironmentally and from health point of view.
    1. Drugs and alcohol.
    Tobacco Act was enacted at the heights of few interest groups’ uproar.
    In a nutshell, whatever this paper pointed out as failure of the incumbent Govt., seem all the more achievements- because if one does not do anything one does not commit error or mistakes. Errors are committed only when something is attempted again and again which is not possible. In fact, Us is the most developed country in the world, so many things are happening-shooting of innocent school kids, rapes,drugs, tensions etc etc.

  35. The Bhutanese has come up with the shortcomings of DPT for their 5 years tenure but not their achievements. It would be better if their is balance on this regard.

    • if DPT does not win the election, it is the indication of degenerating merit of the people of Bhutan. May Past, present and Future bhudhas and Bodhisatova from ten direction blessed the DPT and will this election for the everlasting true democracy of Bhutan.

  36. Piece of article is worth to read but sometime I feel the writer lack some media literacy in his journey of journalist… The site always dump all negative n destructive ideas which is little and more of threatening to the society and the young democracy…. The author gives all ideas in blunt n unpolished manner….this can cause disharmony to the society and all working governing activity…. though media have freedom to write but writing with respectable manner can be highly respected….in sense writing with thorough research with all pros and cones so that house become more powerful and have some good aptitude towards media house….. being said that, I would like to inform I belong to neither of party but m humble citizen, just got concern with proactive of media that gives many misinformation to all the citizens…. lets try to work forward to mend our country in good track by acting in our own way than pointing useless finger without doing anything……

    • Druk Highlight

      Maybe we shouldn’t give writers or reporters the chance to write the ‘negative n destructive ideas’. So, maybe it’s time that leaders learn to lead, and practice what they preach. Maybe it’s time for corrupt officials to bow out of the public domain as the skeletons in their closet are bound to come out. Such corrupt leaders breed the negative and disharmony in our nation by bending rules to suit their need and greed. Why should the humble citizens go easy on such blatant abuse of power? There are plenty of forums and talks, and prime time on BBS and front pages on other papers, that speak of the mighty achievements of the leaders. It’s about time that there is a media source that balances that ratio, and I get that from this paper.

  37. If there was a better party than DPT with a better leader, I would have changed my heart. However, currently, we cannot hand over our country to Tshering Tobgay’s broken team, Am Dorji Chedon’s pompous team, Sonam Tobgay’s inexperienced team and Am Lily’s football team. Remember, our country depends so much on international donors and only the current DPT team has the knowledge and experience to win the hearts of donors.

    • This is wrong, we as a Bhutan have knowledge and experience to win the hearts of donors, not DPT. They support Bhutan not DPT. I am not DPT but I have been doing this work. 

    • Where is this donors fund going???
      No doubt, DPT has experience how to win the hearts of donors like they did in 2008 to win the vote with their melody words ‘Zero tolerance to Corruption’ & ‘Equity & Justice’. Just winning heart doesn’t suffice to call them better leaders.

    • Were the DPT members born with knowledge and experience? They started from some where. Didnt they? Making their own share of mistakes and having share of opportunity to serve the tsawasoom. Shouldn’t we give chance to the younger generation? 
      How can we undermine the other parties if we want a vibrant democracy? How can we not have faith in other human being other than our own kith and kin? If given chance people can be capable beyond your or their own expectations…after all people become what you expect of them. Lets be positive and give all 5 parties a chance to offer choice to the people for a clean democracy.

  38. Why to blame government. As fa as i concern i feel that DPT government has done enough for the people of bhutan. Instead of give support and feedback our people tend to blame and drag down and try to create bad image in order to lose faith and trust from the people. God know how much DPT Government has done. Our desire has no limit and we can not blame the Government. I support DPT and wish all the best.

  39. Oh! Great Guy, who are you? I guess you are Land Cruiser No. Plate DORJI. However great you are, you belong to GAGAGE only.

    • Weighing all pros and cons, strengths & weaknesses would do better for all when deciding our votes. All what medias reported may not be all the time true as all human beings are bound to attachments and inclinations. Voting with good intentions, faith and trust will definetely accrue positive outcomes for sure as ones action depends for opposite and equal action. So lets not make any fuss to any political parties. Let people judge themselves.

  40. Of course DTP has done something good to nation as a whole but for rural poor never!!!!….most of their developmental activities such as safe drinking water, farm roads etc are temporary-in fact just name sake of bringing development in rural areas in the eyes of poor and unfortunate rural villagers who were really fooled by the DPT government! In my rural village-still there is no sign of electricity!!!! Of course they constructed farm roads & supplied water once, but without proper plan and design!!….now no sign of roads and water supply..it was just temporary to fool the rural villagers. Regarding connectivity of electricity-they never gave a thought to connect our village with electricity nor provided solar panel facilities thinking we villagers were very poor and powerless as well as thinking they can able to fool us or do anything just giving their lips services! We villagers time and again visited gewog offices & Dzongs regarding the damage of farm roads, water pipes as well tanks by soil erosion & connectivity of electricity….but no concerns or responses received. But for influential ppl..they didn’t mind spending huge expenditure to connect electricity erecting numerous poles just for 1 hh. but for us despite havin more than 10 hhs…no electricity…..reason no budget & its very remote! Now we are fade up with politicians..no more voting..all are same at the end of day….

  41. Some people are talking as if they can gurrantee that other parties will do better than DPT. How do we really know that a particular party can do better than DPT? Some are simply making assumptions. For the want of diamond, we may end up losing gold and live with dust. If you are not happy with what the ruling government has done, it partly your own problem.

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