Bhutan: Mocking Democracy

Bhutan: For a Democracy on mocking democracy. “Thousands of people from the east have been denied citizenship and right to vote in the upcoming mockeries. People may not like voting to legitimise the terrorism of the Jigmes but our concern is they need to be treated as citizens.”


  • Sonam Ongmo

    Well if you are not a citizen, surely you will be denied citizenship and the right to vote. You people want Democracy but look how your Democracy runs. This whole thing is a facade, wanting democracy, look how you have destroyed your own country – but to begin with you also had a king that added to the destruction. Just don’t be so jealous and mock our process.

  • Raja

    What a [expletive deleted] ( excuse my language). Bhutan government is playing double standard game with it’s citizens and as well with international communities. How can the absolute monarchy, dictator regime, where there is No freedom of Speech, where there is No religions rights, where the present govt. discriminates the nepalese speaking Bhutanese, Where freedopm means for the royal palace not for the people, Where more than 7,000 childrens are denied schooling in Bhutan. What kind of democracy we expect from these government.
    Thousands of citizens are denied of voting rights, what kind of democracy are we looking for?

    (Note from the editor: This comment was edited to remove an expletive, in keeping with Global Voices’ state guidelines on commenting.)

  • snm

    Pardon me but what the (expletive) are you talking about. There is no press freedom? Just because the Bhutanese journalists don’t write any rubbish that comes to their minds does not mean that there is no freedom of speech.

    No religious rights? Just because Christianity and other religions don’t do well (can’t get enough converts) then that doesnt mean there is no freedom to practice other religions.

    Talk about discrimination. I think the Nepalese have no idea what it really is to be so badly disciminated like the blacks were and are or the way the muslims are being dicriminated around the world. And why ? sometimes people bring it on themselves.

    I am married to an outsider, my kids don’t have citizenship and I should have every reason to complain about the policies of the Bhutan government but I don’t. Why? because sometimes minor individual discomforts are not as important as the overall concerns of the country.

    While you can point fingers and criticize the process of Bhutan you should analyze the actions of those who instigated this whole southern problem – leading even those who were citizens out of Bhutan with promises of democracy (which was only a ruse because once the king would have been overthrown then Dhakal, Teknath or which ever leader would have made his political ambitions come true) then left these people languishing in the camps while they themselves resided overseas.

    Now, they want to kill those who wish to resettle in the US, threaten to behead them. All that uproar and all that violence. PLEASE do not come back and bring that kind of behavior and influence to Bhutan. We certainly do not want that. Be at peace go live in Canada and the US where life will be better for you and you can make all the noise you want.

  • Shabdung

    Jigme Singye has to be tried in front of the international criminal court at the Hague, for his notorious policy of ethnic cleansing. He has successfully cleansed 150,000 Bhutanese citizens from the country and is still in the plan of evicting around 80,000 southern Bhutanese. He is still using his absolute power to suppress and torture those opposing his despotic rule. He has been discriminating people on the basis of religion, race and region. He used his armies to rape the helpless citizens after arresting male members who dared to vioce for justice in the country. Now Jigme Singye resigned from the power to escape from the direct fallout of his repressive rule but he cant escape and one day or the other he will be facing the same fate that Saddam Hussein faced for his genocide.

  • Sonam

    The supporter and Japa Nepalese consider Bhutanese regime as a dictator regime, but we bhutanese consider the regime as a gift from heaven to the people of Bhutan. Japa Nepalese does’t find freedom of speech in Bhutan, because they are Nepalese and in Bhutan we speak dzongkha. However we Bhutanese are proud of our regime.

  • Every story has two sides. The problem with the premise of ‘Global Voices’ is that the Bhutanese do not have a culture of writing. What you read online therefore is mostly just one side of the story. The real questions to ask are:
    – were these ‘refugees’ really citizens in the first place? Or were they illegals deported?
    – is there really discrimination in Bhutan or is it that the rest of the Nepalese population in Bhutan are going about their lives like ordinary people?

    and there are hundreds of other questions that need to be asked. Journalists who believe the first sad story that they hear are failing one of the most important tests, the test of holding a neutral point of view.

    visit our news portal for other points of view.

  • The Truth

    The truth is that Bhutan implemented a systematic ethnic cleansing. The trick they did was to appease India continuously by feeding bundles of money and always praising them. But the fact is that NONE of the northern Bhutanese really like Indians – they spit on them literally.

    Now the folly of Bhutan is coming into light adn they are being cornered. Bhutanese have been brainwashed for a long time by their leaders adn its not fault of people like Sonam Wangmo to say like that. Bhutanese are bluntly racist otherwise why would they give citizenship to Tibetians who came a 100 years later, a number of Sikkimese – in the 4th King himself is half Indian.

    So wake up Bhutan and see what went wrong to your Shangrila. The world is only grinning now, very soon everyone will Laugh at you and your funny policies.

  • ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’ is how I would describe the current situation. Some of the people in the camps in nepal were citizens of Bhutan once, but they gave up their citizenship and left for nepal not because they were discriminated in Bhutan, but because their leaders like rizal brainwashed by the concept of ‘Greater Nepal’. In the history of mankind, as far as I know, no ruler had gone to the local villages and pleaded with the villagers not to leave their country, but that is what our king did, he took the trouble of visiting every village in the Southern region of our country and talked to the people, requested them not to give up their citizenship with the lure of easier money and hope of integrating with the hope of ‘Greater Nepal’. These people refused and left voluntarilly.

    We still have a lot of Bhutanese of Nepalese origin in Bhutan. Only a fraction of them left. The ones in Bhutan are enjoying the fruits of their loyalty and can be called Bhutanese.

    In any country of the world, once u migrate there, you are expected to follow the laws of that country, same in Bhutan. Nepali immigrants settled in Bhutan are expected to follow the laws of the land and when they found out that some of the immigrants did not qualify for citizenship, they instigated the southern bhutan problem.

    Most of the people in the camps in eastern nepal are those who have committed acts of terrorism ( such as blowing up public infrastructures), crimes ranging from murders to rape and theft and if these people do want to come back to Bhutan, we the Bhutanese would want them to tried for their crimes.

    Neha wrote, “Thousands of people from the east have been denied citizenship and right to vote in the upcoming mockeries. People may not like voting to legitimise the terrorism of the Jigmes but our concern is they need to be treated as citizens.” This is absolutely not true. Every individual in Bhutan is a Bhutanese citizen except for the expatriat community working there and every Bhutanese has the right to vote as enshrined int he constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. I would suggest that Ms. Viswanathan take a lesson in Bhutan Geography, History and Political system before throwing blatant accusations around.

    I would also like to point out that the freedom to post any item on the web does not absolve one from the moral and ethical responsibilities of doing so.

    Bhutan is a peace loving, happy nation, let her be what she is. Pelden Drukpa Lhagello!!!!

  • Tenzing Zangpo

    Southern Bhutanese now living inside Bhutan has to face a gross discriminations on every aspects of their life in Bhutan. They are denied their right to education by refusing admission in the educational institutions on the plea that they possess no “No objection Certificate” notoriously called NOC. Almost all the scholarships are allocated to students of nothern Bhutan without seeing the merit of the candidates. They are denied their right to equality by refusing jobs in the government sector, passport is never issued to the southern Bhutanese and they can never travel abroad. Those southerners who were in the high posts were either demoted or terminated. Tourist or the foreigners who visits Bhutan are never allowed to visit southern Bhutan. This was done to make an impression that Bhutanese are only those who lives in the north, west and some in the east. Southern Bhutanese were recently denied their political rights by denying them to vote for the so called mock election. They are always kept away from the mainstream and are indirectly tortured for the reason that they are of different religion and race.
    Bhutan as projected by its ruler is not at all a paradise but it is a suffocating hell for its citizens. This true face of Bhutan is being hidden by its ruler since decades by not allowing visitors to move freely and interact with the common masses, by denying freedom of press and expression and as a whole by keeping the country always isolated.
    Now nobody can hide anything any longer because today is the world of internet and mobile telephone. One way or the other those suppressed people could express their decades old grievences to the outside world.

  • sangay dorji

    This is an additional comment based on Shabdung’s writing. I don’t know where Shabdung is from, so here is a history lesson for you.

    Lesson 101. The name that you have adopted, if it has any relation to the 17th century religious ruler of Bhutan, should be spelt as Zhabdrung.

    Lesson 102. His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk has not done any of the things you have accused him of. Rather he has been the most distinguished protector of the people of nepalese origin in Bhutan. He has been the voice of moderation when the National Assembly wanted drastic action taken against the criminals in the camps.

    Lesson 103. When the entire world loves the direction and leadership of the king of Bhutan, how can u compare him to Saddam Hussein, u r sick.

    Lesson 104. Bhutan is on the path to democracy decreed from the golden throne and not fought for by the people. Ask any Bhutanese on the street wheter they would like Democracy or Monarchy, the answer would be Monarchy. This is because we have been blessed with wise, just and benevolent kings since 1907 and we are what we are because of them. Thank you Your Majesties.

    Lesson 105. Democracy is not for all countries and so far democracy has just proved to be beneficial for the rich in most of the third world countries.

    Lesson 106. There is already a rumour circulating that His Majesty has been nominated for the Noble Prize in Peace…so you dream on Shabdung!!!

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