An Ode to the former PM

Dasho Dr. Lotay Tshering has always been passionate about his work. When he took on the reins of governance as Head of government, there were many skeptics.

But he held his flock and despite challenges navigated the country for five years, guided by His Majesty the King. His tenure was the most difficult one in the 15 years of democratic Bhutan. The COVID-19 pandemic, which spared no country entered Bhutan. And the priority to save lives reigned supreme. People say that Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) blames their shortcomings on the pandemic. But it is the truth.  For years nothing much could be done and due to the pandemic, the government had to sacrifice other development activities. Even if the government had gone on with development activities, there was no one to work – all imported labor had left the country.

Many will not know that the former Prime Minister even slept in his office during the Pandemic. We believe in what is called “Lungten.” A doctor became the PM when a health crisis hit us. It is in many ways “Lungten.”

Very vocal and going beyond politics, Dasho Dr. Lotay took some drastic steps, which he knew would harm his party. The closure of Drayangs is just one example. But for him, it was the Nation first, always.

During the President’s debate, he was equally passionate. He begged a political party to do away with their pledge to give a license to a private television channel. He said that he rejected licenses from two private entities. His reason was simple – it would harm the country. Again, it was the country first.

While people mocked at DNT”s free WiFi pledge, he said that he had done everything possible; wifi is free in almost all institutions and public places. The Internet has reached everywhere.

On “Narrowing the Gap,” he said, “Look at the Gini Coefficient.”

After the provisional results were declared yesterday, he was the first to thank the people and remind those who would form the government of the challenges that lie ahead. Here too, he has not minced words.

“Here, I would like to reiterate that Bhutan is at the most crucial phase. We have come past the intersections of all uncertainties. The road ahead for Bhutan is filled with excitement and prosperity. Which also means, a lot of work remains to be done. Therefore, as this electoral process graduates to the final round, our prayer remains the same. May the party that will truly uphold the critical responsibilities of seeing through the changes – win.”

These are heavily loaded words, and those stemming from an individual who is genuinely concerned about the country.  He is worried about his country, His King’s country and before exiting said the last words.

The former Prime Minister has also spoken about working together. “As we embrace the new beginning, let us continue to work together. We are talking about Bhutan and it is the responsibility of each and every Bhutanese. The members of DNT and I will do our part,” his message reads.

All said and done, Dasho Dr. Lotay Tshering stepped in with grace and gracefully did he exit. He has entered Bhutan’s annals for all he has done.