It was painful to go through April 25 issue of Kuensel where the paper’s Dzongkha editor Mr RinzinWangchuk ran a story titled “Why Mongar’s former Councillor didn’t make it”.
It was reported that my son Tshering Wangchen did not get elected from Mongar for the National Council because I did not meet the aspirations of the people of Mongar when I served the country as a Royal Advisory Councillor in 2004-2007. The report was misleading at best and one-sided at worst. I did not expect the oldest national newspaper to fall so low and tarnish someone’s reputation.
My son accepted the result with grace and composure. Although he lost he secured 3,338 votes which is a significant number by our standard. While I appreciate the reporter for his attempt to analyse the result and the reasons leading to it, as a reporter of the oldest and the most credible newspaper in the country, he could have better than simply quoting a vegetable vendor in Chali who may not have been happy with me for reasons other than professional performance and pin it down as the reason for my son’s loss. The reporter failed to analyse why my son secured as many as 3,338 votes if my failure as a councilor was the prime cause for his loss.
While I respect objective journalism, journalists should also earn the respect by being responsible and writing reports that are unprejudiced and without malicious intents against anyone. It is a crass irresponsibility to tarnish the image of a person who has resigned gracefully after serving the country for many years. In my entire career, I have no record of having been accused for any corrupt practice. I have served my country to the best of my calibre.
And now, after my son lost the election, a reporter writes a story accusing the father for being the reason for his loss. Moreover, the reporter writes the story without interviewing my son who best knows the reason why he lost. This makes the report purely one-sided. This is not objective journalism and I am more than tempted to suspect the objectives behind it.
It is not objective and responsible reporting if a reporter who is from Mongar himself is given to cover stories from Mongar since conflict of interest will blur the sense of objectivity.
If we value professional ethics – I am sure Kuensel does – it is only fair that Rinzin Wangchuk should not be covering election news from Mongar.
Since my credibility has been questioned and made to appear as a scapegoat, it is my humble right and obligation to inform the Mongarpas of the truth to avoid misjudgments in future. During my tenure as a Royal Advisory Councillor many memorable and historic events took place as it happened to be a period of transition in Bhutan. Besides representing as the Member of National Assembly and the Cabinet, I was a part of the following noteworthy tasks that were undertaken which have had direct impact on the nation and the common people:
• Under the Chairmanship of Dasho Rinzin Gyeltshen I, along with my colleagues at RAC, took part in investigating hundreds of legal cases aggrieved by the judgments of the High Court that were appealed to His Majesty to ensure that justice was delivered.
• As a member of the Cabinet, I was instrumental in the creation of Weringla Dungkhag in Mongar under the Chairmanship Lyonpo Yeshi Zimba. (I stood up seven times to justify the necessity of a Dungkhag in Weringla to ease the lives of people there).
• As a member of the National Assembly, I was involved in the passing of many legal acts and resolutions for the benefit of the nation and its people.
Prior to becoming a Councillor I worked for the members of the Royal family. Besides, being bilingual in English and Dzongkha, I contributed to coining Dzongkha terms such as Gyalwong Gakid Paldzom for GNH and production of bilingual dictionaries which are extensively used in schools in Bhutan.
As a translator, I have undertaken the following translation works:
• Translated National Assembly Resolutions from 1st to 37th Session from Choekey to English in 1978.
• Edited Dzongkha version of Vision 2020.
• Co-authored Dzongkha-English Dictionary published by DDC in 2000.
• Co-authored Comprehensive Dzongkha Dictionary published by KMT in 2002.
• Translated documents of national importance such as Budget Reports, Yearly Government Reports, Legal Acts & Instruments like Municipal Act, Postal Act, Bhutan Information, Communication and Media Act, GNH, RCSC rules, Good Governance, etc.
• Translated National Council Act of Bhutan.
• Translated memorandum of understanding with GOI on Punatsangchu Hydro Project.
• Translated Procurement rules & regulations.
• Edited and Compiled the RNR dictionary released on 10th August, 2012.
Apart from the formal duties as a Councilor, I in my personal capacity acted as the Secretary and Coordinator of the following social activities for the benefit of Mongarpas:
• Initiated the Installation of Sertog on MongarDzong under the chairmanship of Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji.
• Initiated the making of a chalice to offer butter lamp with 84 tolas of gold (1kg) with Mongar Dratshang as a memorial and tribute to those Mongarpas who lost their lives during militant operation in 2003 under the chairman ship of Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji.
• Installation of Sertog on Drametse and Yonphula Monastery under the spiritual guidance of Venerable Sungtrul Rinpoche and Lam Jigme Tenzin.
• Initiated the Construction of PemaLingpaThongdrol for Drametse Monastery under the spiritual guidance of Venerable Sungtrul Rinpoche.
• Contributed a set of Buddhist Canon (Tenjur) consisting 220 volumes to Drametse Monastery.
• Contributed RinchenTerdzod (collection of precious rediscovered hidden teachings of Vajrayana consisting of 20 volumes) to Drametse Monastery.
• Installed 3 Gyaltshens (Victory Banners) on the rooftop of temples under Drametse Monastery with a tola of gold each.
These religious contributions were made not only for my benefit but more importantly for the country and its people including Mongarpas.
I am a god-fearing, law-abiding, simple citizen who has been taught to regard all compounded phenomena like stars and flickering lamps, illusions and flashes of lightning, dream images and clouds in the sky, dewdrops and bubbles on water. I have no intentions of inflicting pain on anyone. Nor do I have any intention to exchange words with a person whose allegations on events that have long gone are totally baseless.
But when someone tries to tarnish your reputation, it is your moral right to defend and let the people know the truth. Linking my past performances as a Royal Advisory Councillor from Mongar with the recent NC election result is an immature conclusion which any thoughtful and good reporter will not risk drawing.
Making such irresponsible comments and false allegations is unacceptable. Mr Rinzin Wangchuk must not cover election related news from his hometown (Mongar) if unbiased and objective reporting is to be maintained.