Bhutan has sufficient civil servants: PM

Enlightened Leadership

Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay’s inspiring talk at Chulalongkorn University

Prime Minister (PM) Dasho Tshering Tobgay’s address on ‘Enlightened Leadership’ at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on June 27 received a stimulating response from attendees. In his thought-provoking talk, the PM emphasized that the ultimate purpose of academic excellence, research and innovation, cultural transformation, enhancing global partnerships, community engagement, and promoting sustainable development is to cultivate leaders.
Professor Surakiart Sathirathai, the chairperson of the Chulalongkorn University Council, welcomed Lyonchhoen. Expressing his honor, Lyonchhoen conveyed the greetings of His Majesty the King, noting his frequent visits to Thailand and his long-held curiosity about Chulalongkorn University. He shared a poignant observation about the weather upon his arrival: simultaneous sunshine and rain, a phenomenon considered auspicious in Bhutan, symbolizing flower showers from the heavens. This, he said, made him feel warmly welcomed and reminded him of the deities and the significance of the university.
Greeting the attendees with a warm “Kuzuzangpo”, Dasho Tshering Tobgay emphasized the honor of representing his king, country, and people. After signing the university’s visitor book, he interacted with the university council chairperson, acting president, and other dignitaries.
In his speech to faculty, students, and dignitaries, the PM drew an analogy between the qualities of leaders and the Bodhisattvas or Jangchusempas. He highlighted three Bodhisattvas—Jampelyang (wisdom), Chanadorjee (courage), and Chenrizee (compassion)—as embodying essential leadership qualities. “Wisdom, courage, and compassion are the attributes of what I call enlightened leaders,” he asserted. “To be an enlightened leader, you must practice these attributes.”
He elaborated that true leadership involves understanding the current situation, envisioning a better future, and guiding people toward that future, despite the discomfort of leaving their comfort zones. This journey requires wisdom, courage, and compassion, driven by selfless service.
Lyonchhoen emphasized that in a world facing multiple crises, the role of leaders is more crucial than ever. He praised dynamic institutions like Chulalongkorn University as ideal breeding grounds for such leaders. He reiterated that an enlightened leader possesses wisdom, courage, and compassion in equal measure, as one without the others is insufficient.
In his closing remarks, the PM urged Chulalongkorn University to focus on producing leaders as they continue to strive for academic excellence, innovation, community engagement, global partnerships, sustainability, and cultural preservation. “As you nurture innovation and research, partner with communities, enhance global partnerships, and protect your cultural heritage, don’t forget to produce leaders. Don’t forget to produce enlightened leaders—leaders who are fearless, wise, and compassionate, who practice the attributes of Bodhisattvas.”
Reflecting on the greatness of Chulalongkorn University, Tobgay praised its commitment to academic excellence, research, innovation, partnerships, global community engagement, cultural preservation, and sustainable development. He reiterated that the grand purpose of the university is to produce leaders—leaders who see beyond the status quo and strive to achieve a better future.
The PM concluded by taking questions from the audience, addressing topics ranging from his visit to Thailand to the role of artificial intelligence in leadership. He also interacted briefly with Bhutanese students at the university, encouraging them to study diligently to serve their king and country. The university hosted a reception in his honor.
Meanwhile, Anita Bose, an author, artist, independent researcher, speaker, and language trainer, described Dasho Tshering Tobgay’s speech as “mind-blowing and heart-touching,” expressing her appreciation for the rare opportunity to hear him speak.

By Tashi Namgyal, Thimphu