Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan: Statesman Extraordinary in a Nation Extraordinary

“Please spend a little time to watch this incredible talk with a lot of messages on the environment for Sri Lanka too. Our constitution makers should take this remarkable constitution as an example. The King and Government have enshrined in the Constitution that at least 60% of the land will forever be under forest (it is 70% now) and that the rights of all denizens including trees will be forever respected. Corridors have been left between all forested sections so that all animals can reach all parts of the country if they so wish! Our power hungry peoples representatives might be amazed that the King has imposed a  clause that he has to retire at 65. The previous king voluntarily retired at 51!……. Rohan de Soysa in Colombo

TT Pic from www.bbc.co.uk

SEE https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/153d0e58535171ae?projector=1

Tshering Tobgay stressing how Bhutan focuses on “Gross National Happiness” … in his TED lecture

But see http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-23545641 = “Bhutan PM casts doubts over Gross National Happiness,” 2 August 2013

New Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay has cast doubt on the country’s pursuit of Gross National Happiness (GNH). The concept is overused and masks problems with corruption and low standards of living, Mr Tobgay told AFP news agency. GNH aims to measure quality of life in more complete terms than gross national product (GNP), striking a balance between the spiritual and material. The term was coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

It has been at the heart of government policy since then, although recently some critics have taken to referring to GNH as “Government Needs Help”.

 Mr Tobgay was elected in July after his PDP party won 32 of the country’s 47 parliamentary seats. He has projected himself as a reformer, rejecting the trappings of power including an official limousine and luxurious prime ministerial accommodation. Mr Tobgay, 47, said that while he supported the notion that “economic growth is not the be-all and end-all of development”, GNH should not distract from tackling Bhutan’s pressing problems, including chronic unemployment, poverty and corruption.

“If the government of the day were to spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about GNH rather than delivering basic services, then it is a distraction,” he said. “There are four issues that can compound to make matters extremely bleak: our ballooning debt that if we’re not careful will not be sustainable; the big rupee shortage; unemployment, in particular youth unemployment; and a perception of growing corruption. These four combined can make a lethal combination.”


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