February 12 2014, Tashigang: His Majesty The King granted an audience to the students of Sherubtse College in Kanglung just as they began their new academic session.
His Majesty spoke to the students about the importance of knowing our history to better understand where we stand today, so that we get a clearer picture of where we are headed in the future.
"Bhutan has navigated the uncertainties of a volatile geopolitics in the past, and emerged a strong proud nation. It was built by the united efforts of our forefathers, on their sweat and toil. We cannot take our sovereignty for granted," His Majesty said.
His Majesty pointed out that our greatest advantage is that we are small - it opens up all kinds of possibilities for us, and others admire us because they see our enormous potential.
However, His Majesty also reminded the students of the increased challenges and responsibility we are faced with today, with the rupee shortage, inflation, and negative balance of trade.
"Hydropower is the bedrock of our economy, a jewel for our people. We have concentrated all our efforts in building it, with the hope that it will be of great benefit to our people. But hydropower alone will not be sufficient. We need to diversify our economy," His Majesty said.
His Majesty asked the students to reflect on whether 3 to 4 years in college will be sufficient to see them though the rest of their lives.
"Sherubtse will give you a head start. But what you can achieve while you are here is learning how to keep learning for the rest of your life, which will provide you with the framework to help you address any challenges that you face in the future," His Majesty said.
His Majesty told the students that we have to work even harder to consolidate past achievements, and ensure that our children inherit a wonderful country, where they can achieve the things we could not, and live by certain standards that we can only dream of.
"My eternal prayer is that you will become strong and capable citizens of our country. I have great expectations from you, and I give you all my support," His Majesty said.
Sherub Dorji, a final year student, said he was deeply inspired by His Majesty's address. "I was touched by His Majesty's description of the difficulties that our forefathers went through. It made me realize the enormity of our responsibility today," he said. "I will not forget it for a long time."
His Majesty The King also granted a separate audience to the members of the faculty of Sherubtse College.
Later, His Majesty and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen visited the Oygen Dogna Chokorling Gomdey in Yonphula, where hundreds of people gathered to offer Tshogchang to Their Majesties.