Saturday, December 17, 2011

National Day Address of HM the King

My fellow Bhutanese, it gives me great joy to speak to you on this auspicious occasion 104 years since Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck ascended the Throne, in 1907. Our nation has been blessed with the benevolent reigns of four monarchs since.

It is exactly five years since I became King. In these five years, we have made a successful transition to democracy. The elected government, bureaucracy and government agencies have implemented important development activities effectively and we have continued to achieve impressive socio-economic growth. Bhutan’s relations with other nations have grown more diverse and strong. I am extremely proud of these achievements and the people and I, are deeply grateful to the government, dratshang, civil service and private sector.

In October, I married Jetsun Pema. I am grateful for the warmth and affection with which, all our Bhutanese people came together to celebrate with me. I deeply appreciate the efforts and preparations made by the government, bureaucracy and volunteers; the prayers of the Zhung Dratshang and religious community; the good wishes and blessings of our senior citizens; the joy and happiness with which the youth embraced the occasion and the wholehearted love and support of the people of the 20 dzongkhags. The strength of your love and kindness towards me leaves me deeply humbled. As a young King, I have not yet been able to serve you as my father has done but my greatest desire is that I must repay your love, loyalty, support and trust. I pledge that it shall be my life-long endeavor to do so.

My dear citizens, while I am deeply satisfied with the progress of our nation, it is my duty as King to contemplate, every single day, on the challenges that lie ahead for our nation. My deepest concerns today are:

·      Democracy – we have made a unique transition to democracy. What makes this transition even more extraordinary is the short span of time within which we have done so. Yet, the true test shall be whether we have the will and commitment to sustain a well functioning and strong vibrant democracy for all time to come. Further, we have a strong, committed parliament today, but my worry is, in the future, whether our best and brightest people will come forward in order to serve the nation through politics. After all, for democracy to succeed, we will always need strong and capable people in parliament.

·      Education – the government over the decades has built schools in remote areas and trained teachers to man these schools. It has made immense efforts to build a strong education system. However, is the education our youth are receiving attuned to needs of the nation?  And once educated, will our children find employment and realize their full potential?

·      Corruption – will we allow it, as in so many developing countries, to spread throughout society and destroy everything? Or will we meet the challenge and overcome it no matter how difficult it might be? In fighting corruption, will we remember to also fight waste, unnecessary expenditure and complacency?

·      Self-reliance – how do we achieve a measure of self-reliance that will make our growth sustainable? How do we overcome our great dependence on imports, for example?

These are my concerns. But our people must be reassured that it is not only I, as King, who seeks the solutions to these problems. We have the government led by the prime minister, the civil service and members of parliament and local government, who shall all work together to address these challenges.

I am confident because our people are unique. Our people are proud citizens who love our country and take it as our sacred duty to serve the nation. As Bhutanese we have so many qualities to be proud of. The manner, in which we all were united in celebration of my wedding, is a symbol of the fraternity and brotherhood among our people. It is an auspicious sign, that we will always come together, in good times and bad, in the interest of our nation. We will always, together as one, defend and protect our nation. If we are able to preserve this strength of unity and harmony, we shall overcome all challenges that may come our way.

Before I conclude, in the spirit of national days past, I will present awards to those who have served our nation and people well.

I end with a prayer for our nation. That the sun of peace and prosperity may always shine on Bhutan – a nation blessed by the teachings of Lord Buddha – a Shangrila blessed by the great Guru Rimpoche  and founded by our revered and beloved parent Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal – a country born from the labour of Jigme Singye Wangchuck and the people of Bhutan.

Tashi Delek!

Bhutanese media were conferred the Order of Merit (Gold)


  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Bhutan? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Bhutan in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and a original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog, where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

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