Cabi­net has not taken the is­sue se­ri­ously and do not con­sider it a mat­ter of na­tional im­por­tance: Op­po­si­tion Party

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff re­porter

In the press re­lease of the op­po­si­tion party states that it is clear from the way the gov­ern­ment speak, and from what they have said, that the Cabi­net has not taken the is­sue se­ri­ously and do not con­sider it a mat­ter of na­tional im­por­tance.

In the press re­lease it states that, the gov­ern­ment have also demon­strated to­tal dis­re­gard for the role of the OP and are sound­ing in­creas­ingly reck­less and in­dif­fer­ent to public opin­ion and rule of law.

The press re­lease fur­ther states that the PM as usual, shrugged off his re­spon­si­bil­ity by sim­ply say­ing that the OP’s stand is “mean­ing­less and dam­ag­ing.” Ac­cord­ing to him, our po­si­tion is mean­ing­less be­cause we have be­gun by ap­pre­ci­at­ing the RCSC’s de­ci­sion and im­me­di­ately fol­lowed that by at­tack­ing RCSC and the gov­ern­ment. He fur­ther went on say­ing that the cabi­net has only re­ferred the mat­ter to RCSC and that the OP is at­tack­ing them in say­ing that the sec­re­taries must be re­in­stated.

The PM’s logic has lost any mean­ing and his now well-known habit of rewording and rephras­ing his words to bail him­self and his cabi­net out was in play again. In their Press Re­lease of 12th De­cem­ber 2014, they have made their ac­tion ex­plicit by stat­ing “sur­ren­der the cabi­net sec­re­tary, sec­re­tary of min­istry of for­eign af­fairs and sec­re­tary of min­istry of eco­nomic af­fairs to RCSC with im­me­di­ate ef­fect…” and not “re­ferred” to RCSC as an­nounced by the PM dur­ing the last Meet the Press, states the press re­lease.

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease, if the mat­ter was only “re­ferred” to the RCSC and not “sur­ren­dered” as men­tioned, then the sec­re­taries should have con­tin­ued to work in their po­si­tions till the com­ple­tion of the RCSC’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The OP has in no way at­tacked the RCSC. In fact, it has ac­knowl­edged that the RCSC has sub­scribed to the pro­ce­dures laid out in deal­ing with the case of sur­ren­dered civil ser­vants, which in ef­fect was what they could real­is­ti­cally do within the bounds of their man­date, states the press re­lease.

It fur­ther states that, un­like what the home min­is­ter said, it was not the OP who had stated that the Cabi­net had vi­o­lated the pro­vi­sions of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the CSA and the BCSR, but the RCSC, which through its press re­lease of 29th De­cem­ber ex­plic­itly spelt out that “the RCSC was not able to ac­cept the sur­ren­der­ing of the three gov­ern­ment sec­re­taries in view of the fol­low­ing legal pro­vi­sions which in­cludes: Chap­ter I, Sec­tion 4 and 6; Chap­ter iv, Sec­tion 45 k of the Civil Ser­vice Act, 2010; Chap­ter 19, Sec­tion 19.2.6, Sec­tion 19.2.7 of the BCSR; Ar­ti­cle 26, Sec­tion 1 and 10 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Bhutan.”

To re­cap, what the RCSC had stated was that the Cabi­net in sur­ren­der­ing the se­nior sec­re­taries had not fol­lowed due process of law and vi­o­lated the above laws. The ques­tion we raised was, how and who should hold the cabi­net re­spon­si­ble for such se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tions, states the press re­lease.

Press re­lease says that fol­low­ing their first press re­lease on 19th De­cem­ber 2014, the Cabi­net had ac­cused them of politi­ciz­ing the mat­ter and in­cit­ing dis­cord be­tween the civil ser­vants and the elected gov­ern­ment. While they chose to for­get that they have ac­cused the CoS of run­ning a “par­al­lel gov­ern­ment” and thus alien­at­ing the bu­reau­cracy, they had the au­dac­ity to ac­cuse us of do­ing so.

Ac­cord­ing to press re­lease, to avoid be­ing ac­cused of politi­ciz­ing, when OP sug­gested the NC as an apo­lit­i­cal house of re­view to look into the mat­ter, they turned around and ac­cused us of try­ing to ‘pull in the Na­tional Coun­cil.” Does that mean, nei­ther the OP nor the NC have any role to play in pro­vid­ing the re­quired checks and bal­ance to the rul­ing gov­ern­ment? Surely, the Cabi­net does not as­sume that what­ever it de­cides is above crit­i­cism and be­yond ques­tion­ing.

On the is­sue of the OP not co­op­er­at­ing with the gov­ern­ment, if the cabi­net felt that the mat­ter was of such na­tional im- por­tance and sen­si­tiv­ity, they should have taken us into con­fi­dence be­fore tak­ing the de­ci­sion to sur­ren­der the sec­re­taries, states the press.

Press re­lease also states that while the OP do not see the need to draw in the GoI in what we see as a purely in­ter­nal ad­min­is­tra­tive af­fair, the min­is­ter of eco­nomic af­fairs has once again al­luded that “the most sub­stan­tial charges against the sec­re­taries is that they’d sent a let­ter to the gov­ern­ment of In­dia and to us, that let­ter, in tone and lan­guage weren’t be­fit­ting of the gov­ern­ment of Bhutan writ­ing to its friendly neigh­bour In­dia”.

We have found that the let­ter does not in any way pose jeop­ar­dize our unique re­la­tions with In­dia, ei­ther in tone or lan­guage. While, the RCSC’s press re­lease does not re­fer to this spe­cific charge, it can be de­duced that they found no cause for con­cern, states the press.

Be­sides that, the press also states that, the ex­pla­na­tions given by the min­is­ter for eco­nomic af­fairs on his role in this whole af­fair has fur­ther con­fused us and the public by his chang­ing state­ments. He has clearly mis­in­formed and mis­led the na­tion by first deny­ing any knowl­edge of the CoS’s ac­tion and now ac­knowl­edg­ing that he was aware of the is­sue which was also noted by the RCSC.

Mean­while, in the press re­lease states that the Cabi­net must be held accountable for not fol­low­ing due process and for vi­o­la­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the CSA and the BCSR and the min­is­ter for eco­nomic af­fairs for mis­in­form­ing and mis­lead­ing the na­tion.

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