PM resolute on anonymous writers
Describing it as his social message to everyone for the next five years, Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering maintained that anonymous writers causing disharmony in the society and dividing the people is what he does not accept.
The PM made the response after Business Bhutan questioned him on the video which has gone viral in social media where the PM is speaking to a gathering, calling for imprisoning anonymous writers in jails.
In the 29 seconds video clip, the PM is seen saying, “This is not a part of our pledge, but how much money it takes, whatever expertise it takes, we will find it and go after anonymous writers even if it means building a prison in each district. This is the new pledge of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT).”
However, Lyonchhen said the
video was cropped and he had started saying that if there were any people in the gathering who were anonymous writers or were present in the gathering to stop writing so.
“It was my personal message and a causal comment and how can one build a prison just for anonymous writers,” he said.
Lyonchhen added that during the first Meet-ThePress he shared the same message, except the term ‘prison’ to the media.
However, Lyonchhen said he stands firm in his position when it comes to anonymous writers.
“Writing for social fun by anonymous writers is absolutely fine and I don’t care but bringing disharmony, writing blatant lies to pull down people is what I dislike and I mean it from my heart,” he said.
Lyonchhen said he will respect the freedom of expression and speech if it is not an anonymous writer, adding that as far as possible he will be going strong against anonymous writers, who intend to bring disharmony and division among the people.
However, the PM’s response has not gone well with certain writers and people who are active on social media.
A retired journalist currently pursuing his studies abroad said there is a need to classify malicious agendas from critical opinion in the anonymous writing culture. “But will catching everyone and imprisoning be a solution? I don’t know,” he said.
However, he said that it certainly will also come as a breach on the freedom of speech if such an approach is taken. “I think there can be better ways to tackle this then taking this path as a responsible and sensible government,” he added.
A senior journalist and editor, Gopilal Acharya, who writes on politics, said it looked like he was venting his frustration against anonymous writers.
“It was just an opinion of then a party president but of a Prime Minister. I find nothing serious. The serious issue is about the anonymous writers not about what the PM said that everyone is frustrated about the issue. They should be grounded for that matter,” he said.
Another active blogger, Wangcha Sangay, wrote on the issue, describing it as the first public commitment to built additional prisons in all 20 Dzongkhags instead of hospitals or schools, first public commitment to witch hunt fake account holders to fill the new prisons instead of creating job opportunities for jobless people, and revolutionary means of solving lack of employment opportunities.
“Fake accounts and false propaganda posts surged during the elections. Could be political party inspired also rather than only individual doings. DNT Party, too, cannot be totally innocent. But such things do not warrant national governance priority. These malicious winds of politics simmer down naturally if fair and positive governance takes hold after the election,” he stated.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and Home Minister Sherub Gyeltshen offered prayers to His Eminence Kyabje Kathok Situ Rinpoche at the 5th annual Tsedrup that is being presided over by Rinpoche for the well-being of Their Majesties, His Holiness the Je-Khenpo, HRH the Gyalsey, Members of The Royal Family and for the benefit of all sentient beings at the National Memorial Chorten yesterday.