DPT: We are deeply saddened by the fact that the Soelra from His Majesty the King is being made an issue before the elections. This is a deliberate, willful distraction that the people of Bhutan cannot afford at this juncture.
Rejoinder: Land Act Amendment Bill was a major issue. It made the people wonder whether the time had come in Bhutan where royal powers were being curbed and usurped. It created an enormous sense of insecurity and unhappiness. Rural poor awaiting their land Kidus after survey suffered great anxiety. A Kasho reminded the DPT that Bhutanese citizens and their right to land and shelter in Bhutan was a sacred duty of the King to protect. This attempt to take land powers and its likely misuse (like Gyalpoizhing and Trowa Theatre land) was not taken well by the people but the DPT was willing to take the brickbats because of the larger gains to be made for the DPT if they could dole out land.
The Prado issue is not anywhere at that scale. In fact, ex-OL returns his Prado, DPT ministers and NC Chair can decide what to do on their own and live with it. After all it is soelra as they claim. Why fret because you look greedy for having so many cars gifted from the government? You have the cars. Don’t want to look greedy? Return them. Simple.
DPT: Soelra is not new but rather an integral part of our culture; in fact, it is a hallmark and symbolism of gratitude and appreciation that exists between the ruler and those serving him, a proud tradition that Bhutan has had for centuries. If the Opposition Leader has surrendered his soelra, so be it; the Opposition Leader may have his own reasons why he is not accepting His Majesty’s Soelra.
Rejoinder: Soelra demanded is not Soelra. It’s called graciousness and benevolence of the King. The one receiving such demanded soelra is called greedy. Ex-OL returning it is politically motivated (to some extent). No doubt. But it is still a big decision for someone who doesn’t have the wealth and power of ex-PM and ex-ministers.
DPT: We are rather more worried that some of our people are stooping to the lowest common denominator to sow discord and discontentment. The divulging of incomplete and un-finalized public documents has compromised the integrity of so many civil servants and now it has not even spared the palace. If indeed any information has come from a source within the highest office in the land, it is deeply worrying that the security of His Majesty the King himself may have been compromised.
Rejoinder: This looks like something the ex-PM drafted. He jumbles up his words and thoughts trying to be wise and compassionate but harbouring immense anger and ego within. It says “some of our people stoop to the lowest common denominator to sow discord… ” and then few sentences down, “if indeed any information has leaked from… highest office in the land.”
That is a mind numbingly disrespectful accusation reflecting the make-up of the DPT leadership’s mindset. That they are at par with the throne. The REAL tradition of Bhutan is to keep the Throne sacrosanct whatever your personal circumstances and ambition.
It would seem that His Majesty’s security is compromised by DPT highhandedness, not people seeking to return government property.
DPT: Sincerity is everything. The fact that the Opposition Leader came to the Cabinet Secretariat with reporters in tow, dramatically kept the car key on a table and left makes it crystal clear that the intention was not so much the concern for the nation as it was to gain political mileage. Above all, we wonder what precedent such an action may have set, returning a soelra that has been granted by none other than His Majesty the King.
Rejoinder: As we said above, the ex-OL may have done it for political mileage but it is still a sacrifice on his part. He doesn’t have access to land giving powers or businesses among his family members. It should be easier for ex-PM and older ex-ministers to do.
Ex-OL’s action setting ‘precedent’ is not bad at all. It’ll be a good precedent. The former ministers like ex-PM Jigmi Y Thinley and Yeshey Zimba, etc. have set their own precedent since 1998. They set the precedent of taking cars, building boundary walls around their homes including excess land, garages, approach roads, security guard houses which later become small houses themselves, scholarships for kids and so on and so forth. DPT’s version of Soelra is actually “THOBTHANG”. They like to act like they got the soelra for great service to the nation but the reality is if they didn’t get it they would have done what the NC and NA MPs did for their patang and kabney. Hint, hint louder, pass snide remarks, act hurt and righteous and finally beg.
It is quite unsettling to hear (in one week too) the words “pure” and “sincere” from ex-PM’s mouth or mouthpiece. The term “pure” and “sincere” DPT is fast becoming an oxymoron.