National Day celebrated in New York
T he Permanent Mission of Bhutan in New York celebrated the 107th National Day by hosting a reception at the International Institute of Education. Invitees included Permanent Representatives and diplomats of several Missions to the United Nations in New York, Officials of the United Nations system, friends of Bhutan, office bearers of the Association of Bhutanese in New York and Bhutanese working at the United Nations.
In her welcome address to the gathering, Kutshab informed that this year’s event is of special significance as it coincides with the yearlong celebration for the 60th birthday of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck that was launched on 11 November 2014 as a tribute to His Majesty’s Selfless Service to the People of Bhutan. She recalled that His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo had assumed the enormous responsibility of the Throne from the tender age of 16, with the promise to govern his country and people with utmost dedication. She said that His Majesty had selflessly held true to that promise during the 34 years of his legendary reign and that in the true spirit of the classic Warrior-Philosopher-King had ushered in an era of unprecedented peace, progress and prosperity for the people of Bhutan.
She informed the gathering that guided by His Majesty’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan has achieved remarkable socio-economic progress without compromising its pristine environment and rich cultural heritage. She underscored that less than a decade after assuming the Throne, His Majesty had initiated a progressive policy of devolving power to the people that gradually culminated in Bhutan’s first democratic Parliamentary election in March 2008.
Stating that a hallmark of a great leader is in giving credit to the people that he or she leads - inspiring them to transcend their apprehensions and empowering them with the confidence to charter their own destinies and achieve results far beyond their imagination, she recalled the following statement from the Royal Proclamation of His Majesty’s abdication:
“Whatever we have achieved so far is due to the merit of the people of Bhutan… I repose my full faith and belief in the people of Bhutan to look after the future of our nation, for it is the Bhutanese people who are the true custodians of our tradition and culture and ultimate guardians of the security, sovereignty and continued well-being of our country.”
Kutshab stated that shouldering the tremendous burden of nation building in a manner that withstands the test of time and leads to lasting benefits to the people has been a time-honored duty of our Monarchs. She said that the people of Bhutan were most fortunate that His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck continues His father’s legacy as a ‘People’s King’. She paid tribute to His Majesty the King for selflessly upholding the noble promise made to the people of Bhutan during His Majesty’s Coronation Address in 2008, which she recalled for the gathering as follows:
“Throughout my reign I will never rule as a King. I will protect you as a parent, care for you as a brother and serve you as a son. I shall give you everything and keep nothing… I have no personal goals other than to fulfill your hopes and aspirations. I shall always serve you, day and night, in the spirit of kindness, justice and equality.”
In concluding, Kutshab said it was an honor for the Permanent Mission of Bhutan to pay homage to the country’s beloved and deeply revered Monarchs, and specially dedicate this year’s reception to commemorate the celebration of the 60th birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Kutshab raised a toast for the long life and good health of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty the King, Members of the Royal Family and the people of Bhutan.
The reception concluded with a cultural performance by members of the Bhutanese community living in New York.