His Majesty’s Ad­dress to the Na­tion on the Cel­e­bra­tion of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s 60th Birth An­niver­sary

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Tashi Delek.

11 Novem­ber 2015. Changlim­ithang : Be­fore the for­mal Ad­dress, His Majesty thanked the peo­ple who braved the cold and were wait­ing since 2 am in the morn­ing to en­ter the sta­dium, for an op­por­tu­nity to pay trib­ute to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. His Majesty also men­tioned the nu­mer­ous Bhutanese across the world who had con­gre­gated to cel­e­brate this his­toric oc­ca­sion, and the peo­ple of 20 dzongkhags who be­gan their day with prayers for His Majesty Druk­gyal Zhipa, be­fore par­tic­i­pat­ing in cel­e­bra­tions that they had spent days preparing for.

To­day, we come to­gether as a na­tion to cel­e­brate a spe­cial day of na­tional pride and ju­bi­la­tion, which will be hal­lowed in the mem­ory of all Bhutanese as a day where our past, present and fu­ture con­verge– an oc­ca­sion to re­flect on our past achieve­ments, take stock of our present re- spon­si­bil­i­ties, and pledge our ef­forts in plan­ning for our bright fu­ture.

The tran­quil peace, pros­per­ity, and hap­pi­ness that we enjoy in Bhutan is an out­come of the en­dur­ing sac­ri­fice of our King of Prophecy, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck– our most revered and beloved guardian. From the mo­ment of His Majesty’s ac­ces­sion to the Throne, His Majesty has worked tire­lessly to ful­fill all the as­pi­ra­tions of His peo­ple.

On this truly spe­cial day, the peo­ple of 20 dzongkhags of Bhutan feel for­tu­nate to unite in the ex­pres­sion of bound­less grat­i­tude to His Majesty.

By the para­mount bene­dic­tion of the Triple Gem; the pro­tec­tion of the Guardian Deities; the de­vout prayers of our benev­o­lent an­ces­tors; and the good for­tune of the peo­ple, Bhutan was blessed at the most opportune mo­ment with an ex­cep­tion- al leader whose breadth and depth of ser­vice to His glo­ri­ous coun­try and beloved peo­ple are be­yond our imag­i­na­tion.

This is an op­por­tu­nity for the peo­ple to pay trib­ute and of­fer heart­felt prayers for the eter­nal well­be­ing of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

The cir­cum­stances dur­ing which His Majesty be­came King in 1972

were en­tirely dif­fer­ent from those we are liv­ing in to­day.

As a re­sult of na­tional de­vel­op­ment un­der the guidance of His Majesty, peo­ple across the 20 dzongkhags and 205 ge­wogs have ac­cess to pub­lic ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture, and are able to live in dig­nity and com­fort.

Look­ing back at the be­gin­ning of His Majesty’s reign, I am struck by pre­vail­ing fis­cal sit­u­a­tion. The out­lay for the third five- year plan that was in progress was a mere Nu. 300 mil­lion, con­trasted to the out­lay for the cur­rent 11th five-year-plan of Nu. 213 bil­lion, in ad­di­tion to which, we will spend Nu. 200 bil­lion for hy­dropower de­vel­op­ment. Hy­dropower de­vel­op­ment has been re­garded the most im­por­tant cor­ner­stone of our de­vel­op­ment, and de­scribed as the wish ful­fill­ing gem and pri­mary wealth of the peo­ple. Yet, in 1972, the pro­duc­tion of the hy­dropower sec­tor was barely 1 MW. There were a to­tal of 4 high schools and 15 ju­nior high schools in Bhutan– the first col­lege was set up only in 1983. There were only 16 doc­tors in the en­tire coun­try. The av­er­age life ex­pectancy of 46 years old has in­creased to about 69 years to­day, owing to na­tional progress along many di­men­sions. Road net­work in the coun­try at that time con­sisted of a sparse 700 km. The for­eign re­serve of our coun­try in terms of dol­lars ac­cu­mu­lated was a minis­cule US $ 4 mil­lion.

The na­tional wealth was mea­ger, and the hard­ships of the peo­ple con­sid­er­able. Still, the Bhutanese peo­ple en­joyed a de­gree of tran­quil­ity and peace, even though the rest of the world was rife with un­cer­tainty. While some na­tions were be­ing formed, oth­ers were be­ing de­mol­ished– it was a pe­riod of war, strife and dis­pute. His Majesty be­gan His reign dur­ing such a time, and with saga­cious strat­egy, steered our coun­try to an age of peace and pros­per­ity.

His Majesty pri­or­i­tized above all else, the pro­found task of na­tion build­ing, and en­sured the sur­vival of our coun­try.

With ev­ery pass­ing year, His Majesty safe­guarded peace and har­mony, and thus con­sol­i­dated the sovereignty and se­cu­rity of Bhutan.

Rec­og­niz­ing the im­por­tance of ca­pa­ble cit­i­zenry in na­tion build­ing, His Majesty em­pow­ered an en­tire gen­er­a­tion of Bhutanese through ed­u­ca­tion, and en­abled them to stand tall in the world.

With the en­light­ened de­vel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy of Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness based on our Bud­dhist val­ues, His Majesty en­gi­neered a sys­tem free of cor­rup­tion, mis­man­age­ment and dishar­mony, un­tainted by in­equal­ity and dis­par­ity in liv­ing con­di­tions and de­pri­va­tions and tragedies for the peo­ple, as was seen in many other coun­tries.

His Majesty’s prin­ci­pal ob­jec­tive through­out His reign was to ease the trou­bles of His peo­ple, ful­fill their as­pi­ra­tions, and em­power them so that the fu­ture of our na­tion would be in­vin­ci­ble. In th­ese en­deav­ours, His Majesty suc­ceeded be­yond imag­i­na­tion.

His Majesty ac­com­plished all this, and at the same time, tended to our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment in such a man­ner that Bhutan re­mains to this day, a haven of beauty in which beings of all realms may de­light in.

His Majesty al­ways said that our sovereignty is up­held by our cul­tural her­itage, and as a re­sult even to­day, Bhutan is suf­fused in our age-old val­ues of self- dis­ci­pline, re­spon­si­bil­ity and spir­i­tu­al­ity.

Through­out His Majesty’s reign of 34 years, His Majesty, as the Dharma King, ex­tended un­wa­ver­ing sup­port to re­li­gious or­ders, and al­lowed the pre­cious teach­ings of Guru Rin­poche and Zhab­drung Ngawang Nam­gyel to flour­ish.

The range of His Majesty’s vi­sion for the well be­ing of the peo­ple and se­cu­rity of the na­tion stretches far into hun­dreds, in­deed thou­sands, of years.

With the au­gust pres­ence of His Majesty the Fourth King among us, we are shielded from any con­cern about sovereignty and se­cu­rity of the na­tion. This is our pre­cious in­her­i­tance. I, and the new gen­er­a­tion of Bhutanese, are fully com­mit­ted to shoul­der our own re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with the great­est dili­gence.

His Majesty has in­tro­duced in­sti­tu­tions for democ­racy, good gov­er­nance, and rule of law, with such firm foun­da­tions that the peo­ple of Bhutan would con­tinue to de­rive their ben­e­fits in per­pe­tu­ity.

This is His Majesty’s great­est legacy.

It would be im­pos­si­ble for me to enu­mer­ate in this short time, the vast ocean of achieve­ments of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. I take this mo­ment to in­stead re­flect on some of His Majesty’s deeply held be­liefs, which I have had the op­por­tu­nity to study closely over the years.

His Majesty has al­ways em­pha­sized on the es­tab­lish­ment of the rule of law. It is said that the fail­ure of jus­tice per­se­cutes an in­di­vid­ual, but the lack of ad­her­ence to rule of law per­se­cutes an en­tire na­tion.

Rule of law brings about dis­ci­pline in peo­ple and or­der in so­ci­ety. If there is or­der in so­ci­ety, there will be peace and trust amongst the peo­ple. His Majesty has al­ways main­tained that if there is peace and trust amongst peo­ple, the na­tion will achieve un­told pros­per­ity.

His Majesty strongly es­poused in­tegrity. From time im­memo­rial, there ex­ists an adage from Guru Rin­poche: ‘ With in­tegrity, all our en­deav­ours will bear abun­dant fruit.’ If the sa­cred com­mit­ment of in­tegrity ex­ists be­tween King, coun­try, gov­ern­ment and peo­ple, it will ben­e­fit the coun­try man­i­fold.

Fi­nally, as the pro­tec­tor of the wel­fare of all His peo­ple, His Majesty has been a just King, act­ing in com­plete fairness to all the peo­ple. Nonethe­less, His Majesty rec­og­nized the value of mer­i­toc­racy, lead­er­ship, and tal­ent in tak­ing a small na­tion such as ours for­ward. To evoke im­agery, Bhutan, small and rugged, placed be­tween the two most pop­u­lous and pow­er­ful na­tions of the world, is like a small an­i­mal in a vast for­est. Such an an­i­mal will need skills in or­der to sur­vive. In a sim­i­lar man­ner, to ful­fill our na­tional goals and as­pi­ra­tions, it is im­por­tant to get the ser­vices of the best and the bright­est of the peo­ple.

In my years of ser­vice to His Majesty, I have had the op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve closely, His Majesty’s tire­less work for the peo­ple and coun­try, of­ten sac­ri­fic­ing His own per­sonal com­fort in do­ing so.

In spite of His Majesty’s mon­u­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, His Majesty was al­ways at­ten­tive to minute de­tails and in­di­vid­ual con­cerns.

When­ever He came across an in­di­vid­ual, His Majesty in­quired into their health and well­be­ing. If some­one were to sub­mit that they were un­well, His Majesty would send His per­sonal physi­cian, and Him­self or­ga­nize ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal care.

On one oc­cas­sion, while in­spect­ing the ren­o­va­tion of Trongsa Dzong, His Majesty was dis­mayed to find that con­crete and iron rods were be­ing used, and Com­manded that as af­flu­ence grows, many mod­ern struc­tures can come up, but if age old tra­di­tion is lost, it will be dif­fi­cult to re­vive. As a re­sult, the ren­o­va­tion was car­ried out in a tra­di­tional man­ner with stone ma­sonry, and the dzong re­tained its in­her­ent beauty.

At an­other time, His Majesty no­ticed that an im­mense tree had dis­ap­peared. His Majesty was greatly pained to learn that the tree had been felled to make space for an of­fice, and Com­manded that a tree that takes mo­ments to fell has taken hun­dreds of years to grow– such trees are part of our na­tional trea­sure, and should be cared for

and handed over to the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Al­ways watch­ful, His Majesty would ob­serve litter that blights our pris­tine en­vi­ron­ment, and ex­press con­cerns on the growth of waste and their proper dis­posal.

Dur­ing His trav­els across the coun­try, His Majesty would look back with dis­ap­proval at the length of the en­tourage, and would send back half the ve­hi­cles in or­der to cut back on fuel use. His Majesty’s con­cerns arose from a deep sense of value for na­tional wealth, hav­ing seen at young age how dif­fi­cult it was to even buy two jeeps for the coun­try dur­ing His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo’s reign, and hav­ing painstak­ingly ac­crued what­ever wealth we have to­day. To His Majesty the Fourth King, even a sin­gle Ngultrum was valu­able, to be used most ju­di­ciously for the ben­e­fit of His peo­ple.

We all rec­og­nize in His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, the con­sum­mate Bod­hisattva. But we must re­al­ize that it was not His Majesty’s in­fi­nite com­pas­sion alone that de­liv­ered such tremen­dous suc­cess for our coun­try.

In His work, His Majesty was un­yield­ing and stern. His Majesty’s Com­mands were re­garded as pre­cious and weighty, and it was well known that half­hearted ef­forts and medi­ocrity met His Majesty’s dis­ap­proval.

His Majesty did not tol­er­ate dis­hon­esty, in­com­pe­tence, and malfea­sance when it came to mat­ters of na­tional im­por­tance.

This was be­cause His Majesty con­sid­ered gov­er­nance to be no triv­ial mat­ter– the re­spon­si­bil­ity of a na­tion was, for His Majesty, ex­act­ing be­yond mea­sure.

His Majesty al­ways said that He bore this most oner­ous re­spon­si­bil­ity with the one thought, that death would be a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive to fail­ure– and achieved phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess pre­cisely due to the grav­ity with which His Majesty re­garded His du­ties.

With such un­par­al­leled de­ter­mi­na­tion, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo achieved in 34 years what would have oth­er­wise re­quired the ef­forts of two life­times.

Dur­ing this rare mo­ment that will re­main for­ever im­printed in the mem­o­ries of the peo­ple, I would like to ex­press the deep sense of grat­i­tude that we feel to­wards His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo and Her Majesty Ashi Ke­sang Choe­den Wangchuck, for hav­ing gifted the peo­ple of Bhutan such an ex­tra­or­di­nary leader– a jewel among men.

Sim­i­larly, I also thank Their Majesties the Queens of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, for their tremen­dous love, sup­port and devo­tion to His Majesty, while His Majesty was pre­oc­cu­pied with the is­sues and con­cerns of the na­tion and the peo­ple in a sin­gle minded way.

I ac­knowl­edge the stead­fast fealty and ded­i­ca­tion of the gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, civil ser­vants, and armed force per­son­nel serv­ing His Majesty.

Our grat­i­tude is also due to the peo­ple of Bhutan, who re­posed their un­wa­ver­ing con­fi­dence in the lead­er­ship of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Fi­nally, the clergy have car­ried out im­por­tant re­li­gious events over the decades, and con­tinue to of­fer prayers for the longevity and well be­ing of His Majesty, for which I ex­press our heart­felt grat­i­tude and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

His Majesty as­sumed the man­tle and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of King­ship at the age of 16, when or­di­nary peo­ple are still grow­ing up. By the age of 51, when most peo­ple are still striv­ing to achieve their life­long goals, His Majesty, at the height of His golden reign, ab­di­cated the throne af­ter hav­ing ac­com­plished prodi­gious feats. Where or­di­nary peo­ple crave wealth and power, His Majesty crowned a new King, in­tro­duced democ­racy and handed over the re­spon­si­bil­ity of gov­er­nance to His peo­ple. Such an act of su­perla­tive al­tru­ism was un­prece­dented in the history of the world.

In all His ac­tions, His Majesty was a far­sighted vi­sion­ary, a bene­fac­tor of His peo­ple, whose strate­gies for the coun­try demon­strated im­pec­ca­ble clar­ity of thought, and whose re­al­iza­tion of na­tional ob­jec­tives be­spoke of unas­sail­able de­ter­mi­na­tion and ex­cel­lent states­man­ship.

This is why we re­vere His Majesty as the Fa­ther of the Na­tion.

On this most aus­pi­cious of oc­ca­sions, as we cel­e­brate the 60th Birth An­niver­sary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, I am deeply pleased to an­nounce that Jet­sun and I look for­ward to the birth of our son in the com­ing Losar. We are over­joyed to of­fer this news as a gift on His Majesty’s Birth An­niver­sary.

As a son, I feel for­tu­nate to of­fer prayers for the well­be­ing of my Fa­ther. I take it as a spe­cial bless­ing to also have the op­por­tu­nity to of­fer prayers as a fa­ther, for my son. Since he will carry for­ward our fu­ture, the prince will be a son to all Bhutanese.

I con­sider my son ex­tremely for­tu­nate, be­cause he will be born in our blessed coun­try. We owe our good for­tune, our peace, pros­per­ity, and se­cu­rity to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

To­day, we are gath­ered here to of­fer our grat­i­tude, trib­ute and re­spects to His Majesty. But for His Majesty, there can be no greater trib­ute, ex­pres­sion of grat­i­tude and re­spect, than our whole-hearted pledge that we will hand over to the next gen­er­a­tion, an even stronger, even more pros­per­ous, and even more suc­cess­ful na­tion, and serve our coun­try in such a man­ner that thou­sands of gen­er­a­tions af­ter us will con­tinue to reap the fruits of our labours.

His Majesty the King and His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in­spect­ing the guard of honor at the Changlimethang Sta­dium on the oc­ca­sion of the 60th Birth­day An­niver­sary Cel­e­bra­tion of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo

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