Bhutan is not turning north: DPT

DPT--Press-ConferenceDruk Phuensum Tshogpa’s letter to People’s Democratic Party says Political Parties should not allow domestic and foreign media to abuse Bhutan-India relationship. The statement was in reference to a recent article by the Times of India, titled “Bhutan’s road to democracy leads to China?”

In a press conference held in Thimphu today, DPT’s officiating President, Yeshey Zimba, said the implication that Bhutan is turning to north is not true. No Bhutanese should let any politically motivated articles or debates come in the way of Bhutan-India relations.” He added India will continue to be the closest neighbor and largest development partner.

However, he said, the wording in the newspaper looks familiar to what they have heard here before. “In any case, when there is so much of news in Bhutan and in media and in the political discussions about Indo-Bhutan relationships, about where Bhutan is heading, what is not going right, obviously becomes news and therefore is only natural that will be covered by the Indian newspapers.”

But, Yeshey Zimba said the article does not reflect the views of the government of India. “It reflects only news as seen by some people and have put it as the news item.”         

Don’t make Bhutan-India relations electoral subject

The DPT’s letter to PDP also stated that Parties should not allow domestic and foreign media to abuse Bhutan-India relationship.

Yeshey Zimba said, in their letter to PDP, they have requested People’s Democratic Party not to drag Bhutan-India relations into electoral subject. “Relationship between Bhutan and India must be kept beyond and above party politics at all times,” he said.

He also said the debates during most of the common forums are portraying Bhutan-India relations at the lower edge and that people have been told that Indian Government is no longer going to support Bhutan’s developmental activities.

“We have excellent relationship. The government of India has assured us time and again that friendship is something that will be there for all times to come. They have assured us that they will give us support during the 11th plan as they have done in the past.”

Yeshey Zimba said India has played a critical role in socio-economic development of the country. He added that mutual beneficial bond between the two countries must be nurtured and sustained by all Bhutanese and political parties. 

“But when we have repeated coverage in the media as well as common forum or at the debates, where the candidates… sow seeds of fear and distrust in the minds of the Bhutanese people, as well as in the minds of the Indian government, they are not doing any favour to anyone.” He said instead, this is a serious mistake. “It is a very dangerous step that they are taking which may damage the excellent relations between India and Bhutan.”


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