The 108th National day celebrated in Paro
His Majesty the King and His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo along with the members of the Royal family celebrated the 108th National Day of Bhutan at the Ugyen Pelri Palace in Paro. The senior government officials, members of parliament and people from Paro also joined the celebration.
His Majesty in his address to the nation said that “The National day is important to us – on this day in 1907, Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck became the first hereditary King of Bhutan , and from that day onwards , the successive Kings, the government , and the people , have worked together in harmony to build our nation. Their collective efforts over the years have resulted in the peace and prosperity that we enjoy today.”
His Majesty while extending His Tashi Delek to all the people across the 20 Dzongkhags said that in 2015 some countries suffered economic crises and others have to deal with internal conflicts, terrorism and natural disasters. But in Bhutan as per the blessings of the Kenchosum, the merit of the people, the prayers of our ancestors and the protection of our guardian deities this year was filled with peace an happiness.
His Majesty said that this year has been an auspicious year as Bhutan successfully celebrated His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo ‘s 60th Birth Anniversary and received the opportunity to express our gratitude and offer tribute to His Majesty.
His Majesty announced that next year marks not only the birth year of Guru Rimpoche who came to Bhutan in 8th century but also marks 400 years since Zhadrung Ngawang Namgyel began the wheel of the dual system of governance in Bhutan.
During the National Day celebrations His Majesty awarded life service award to 45 retired civil servants who has served in the civil service between 1985 to 2011 in recognition of their distinguished and meritorious service to the nation.
The National Order of merit (Gold) was awarded to 6 educators from the Ministry of Education, Royal University of Bhutan and Royal Institute of Management in recognition of their exemplary service to the nation in the field of education for excellence in leadership and management.
The National Order of Merit (Silver) was awarded to 22 teachers in recognition of their exemplary service to the nation in the field of education for excellence in teaching.
The National Order for Merit (Bronze) as awarded to 22 teachers in recognition of their exemplary service to the nation in the field of education for their dedicated long tenure and service in remote and difficult areas..
His Majesty the King awarded National Order of Merit, Gold to Lama Shenphen Zangpo in recognition for his contributions in mentoring Bhutanese youth and helping substance abusers make positive changes in their lives.
Lama Shenphen Zangpo, 58, is a Buddhist Monk from Wales, who has worked with youth and substance abusers in Bhutan for over 7 years. He has counseled many youth, helped them enter rehabilitation programmes, and later find employment.
His Majesty also awarded National Order of Merit Gold to Harald N Nestroy in recognition of his services to Bhutan.
Harald Nestroy, 77, the Executive Chairman of Pro Bhutan, Germany, is a retired German diplomat, who has been a longstanding friend of Bhutan since 1987. Pro Bhutan, Germany has assisted Bhutan in constructing health and education infrastructure and traditional structures, such as the Punakha Hospital, school for hearing-impaired students in Drugyel, and the Punakha Bazam.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit is awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold, in recognition of his services to Bhutan.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit, 61, is an internationally renowned eye-surgeon from Nepal, whose innovation in cataract surgery has enabled thousands of people across the world regain their eyesight. Dr. Sanduk has conducted modern cataract surgery and training in various parts of Bhutan since 2000, and has restored sight to hundreds of patients. Dr. Sanduk has also assisted in bringing HPV vaccines, which help prevent cervical cancer, for young girls in Bhutan.
Four Master Craftsmen have been awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold, in recognition of their services to the nation, for preserving and promoting traditional crafts, and their contributions towards nation building and in defining our national identity.
His Majesty awarded Druk Thuksey to Dr. Arthit Ourairat, 77, President of Rangsit University, Drungtsho Sherab Jorden, 80, retired doctor of traditional medicine, Lopen Nyapchi, 85 and Yanglop Drep Bosokarp, 88, former Yangpai Lopen
Dr. Arthit Ourairat is an exemplary citizen of Thailand and a longstanding friend of Bhutan. Over the years, he has made a significant difference in the lives of many Bhutanese people, particularly in the fields of education and health. Till date, 84 students have completed their education from Rangsit University, and 48 more are pursuing their education through scholarships offered in the University due to his goodwill.
Drungtsho Sherab Jorden entered the Kurseong Dratshang at the age of 8, and began studies at the Chakpori Medical Institute at the age of 17. He was commanded by His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo to set up the first traditional hospital in Bhutan in 1967. He received commands from His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo to ensure that traditional medicine does not disappear from Bhutan. As a result of his efforts, the Kawangjangsa hospital is immensely successful, and there are over 70 dungtshos and over a 100 menpas in Bhutan. The people of Bhutan have immense faith in traditional medicine. This Medal is in recognition of his services rendered to three generations of Kings, and the people of Bhutan.
It is the aspiration of every Bhutanese to receive recognition after having dedicated a lifetime in the service to the Kings and people. Lopen Nyapchi joined the Trongsa Rabdey at the age of 7, and at the age of 13, began serving His Majesty the second Druk Gyalpo. He continued in his service to His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo during His Majesty’s Coronation in Paro, and then served Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother, assisting Her Majesty in her numerous works in the construction of many Lhakhangs across the country. In recognition of his dedicated and loyal services to four generations of Kings, from the time of the Second King to this day, he is awarded the Druk Thuksey Medal.
Yanglop Drep Bosokarp lives at Phajoding today, and at the age of 88, still remains as strong and healthy as ever. He excelled as a student under Je Thrizur, and has been an exemplary member of the clergy, a jewel among lamas. Today, he teaches at Phajoding, offers prayers for the wellbeing of the nation and continues to serve the country.
His Majesty awarded Bura Marp to Dasho Karma Tshiteem, 50, Chairperson of the Royal Civil Service Commission.
Karma Tshiteem has been serving in the civil service for 26 years. Formerly, he served in the capacity of the Secretary of Gross National Happiness Commission for 7 years, and during this time, he ensured that the plans under the 10th Five Year Plan were executed successfully. The red scarf is awarded to him with the expectation that he will continue serving in his new role with the same level of dedication.
In expressing the appreciation to the government led by the Prime Minister, along with the Speaker, the Chairperson of the National Council and the leader of the Opposition, His Majesty said that they have carried out their duties with excellence.
Lastly His Majesty said that his enduring prayers remain that our country of Pelden Drukpa , blessed by Guru Rimpoche and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel grow strong than ever in the coming years and may the sun of peace and happiness forever shine upon Bhutan.