All big Bhutan players swear by India

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    THIMPHU: Bhutan may introduce a law or convention to stop its political parties from making its relationship with India an election issue in future.

    After weeks of mudslinging over who "displeased or provoked" India, the kingdom's incumbent party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), and the major opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday hinted at the possibility of a provision to prevent India-Bhutan ties from turning into a political issue.

    "After the July 13 general election, we may review the electoral process and explore means and ways to stop parties from discussing bilateral ties with India during campaigning," DPT vice-president Sangay Thinley Dorji told TOI.

    PDP, too, is keen on the proposal. "We can always have an agreement not to discuss India-Bhutan ties during electioneering. Bhutan's relationship with India is of utmost importance for all Bhutanese," said PDP secretary-general Sonam Jatso.

    Considering Bhutan's great dependence on Delhi for its economic survival, the debate over India seems to have put DPT, which won 45 out 47 seats in the 2008 election, on the back foot. For, DPT prime minister Jigme Thinley is said to have warmed up to Chinese overtures, giving New Delhi a severe heartburn.

    DPT, however, refutes this. "It's during our tenure the India-Bhutan relationship reached its zenith. Anyone can make out this by the number of bilateral visits by leaders of the two countries. Our prime minister visited India nine times," said DPT's officiating president Yeshe Zimba, who himself served as the prime minister twice under the King's direct rule between 2000 and 2003.

    To clear the air about Thinley's meeting with Chinese premier Wen Bia in Rio last year, an event that apparently upset India, Zimba said, "It was a simple courtesy meeting. They met just because they happened to be there at the same time."

    Zimba ruled out the possibility of any diplomatic ties between Thimphu and Beijing. He said, "We will never deviate from our principled stand of not having diplomatic missions of any of the 'Big Five' of the UN in Thimphu. More importantly, we will never have a policy of equidistance between New Delhi and Beijing."

    Zimba added, "We have built our friendship with India as foot soldiers of our Kings over a long period of time. We will never destroy what we have created. Nor will we ever let it come in harm's way."

    Zimba pledged that DPT will never undermine India's security concerns while settling border disputes with China. "We are attuned to India in every respect. For us Buddhists, the centre of the universe is Bodh Gaya. We cannot forget how China overran Tibet, a Buddhist nation."

    Jatso said his party was more concerned about the wellbeing of the Bhutanese people after the Indian media recently reported about the "strain" in India-Bhutan ties. "The recent cut in subsidy for cooking gas and kerosene by India can hit every Bhutanese. We need to know how it happened."

    He refuted DPT's allegations that it was his party that raked up the issue of bilateral relationship during campaigning. "We talked about it only when DPT said it alone could get aid from abroad."

    Zimba, on the other, said, "It is PDP who first said India would be difficult for Bhutan if DPT comes to power again. We feared that people might feel they are being threatened by India. It is very unfortunate that news of the cut in gas and kerosene subsidy reached here around the same time."

    With polls 3 days away, all big Bhutan players swear by India - The Times of India
     
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  3. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    A quick glance doesn't made me understand above news article.

    What is you take on this News update @AVERAGE INDIAN;

    Regards.
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Dated Jul 10, 2013.

    Bhutan knows that annoying India will not be in the interest of Bhutan.

    China will gobble it up!

    The King will become history!

    And Lamas given the raw deal that they get in Tibet!

    And the Lamasa re big deal as far as Bhutan is concerned!
     
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  5. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    The lack of a direct quotation from Thinley, the PM, makes this article a rehash of prior points. Everyone already knows these two players in Bhutanese politics are pro-India.
     
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  6. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    first Maldives then Sri Lanka now Bhutan they will not openly go against India but i believe lot of romance is happening with the dragon in the back ground now a days. my opinion might sound like a dictator but it good to have these tinny places on the leash , well thanks to our shabby foreign policy
     
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  7. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    But one of your comrade @amoy: was confident that India will bend backwards to please Bhutan.
     
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  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Everybody knows that they are pro India?

    With the manner in which China is gobbling unguarded areas in the vicinity will make all anti China.

    Make no mistake about that!
     
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
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  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nope, Comrade Amoy never thinks India will "bend backwards" to please. Instead Comrade's point is India should not overplay the leverage. Suspending fuel subsidy may exert pressure on Bhutan for a while but hey entirely leaving Bhutan out of India's laps is just overdone, not in India's interest, Some sticks, some more carrots!
    [​IMG]
    A few acres of grazing pasture in dispute seems nothing compared to the risk of being dethroned (ref. Sikkim). A tiny sandwiched country like Bhutan need to tip a better balance btwn neighbours to give itself a leeway for its own sake (in a better position to deal with both neighbours). Now Bhutan is still totally relying on India but they should have realized the risk of putting all eggs in one basket through the fuel thing.

    Reference: Mongolia's Third Neighbour Policy
     
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  11. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is time to give some carrots to Bhutan... No association with China!! Please... Not even diplomatic relation…
     
  12. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pls think this way - Cozying up with China (incl. diplomatic relation) is a must to ensure more Indian carrots on the way.

    Otherwise India just takes Bhutan for granted.
     
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  13. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Bhutan is not a donkey, contrary to what shown in the image in your post…
     
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  14. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sir, If Bhutan wants to cozy with countries, we are fine with it, but with single exception of China... China is a no go area. :)
     
  15. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Certainly not a donkey is Bhutan. But what motivates a country to completely tilts towards ONE of its only TWO neighbours?

    It's India who has to justify that, by providing "bread" & "butter" for Bhutan!!
    I even give a reference MONGOLIA, also landlocked btwn 2 giants, but it has gone to the extent of devising a THIRD neighbour policy. Bhutan even hasn't started to make use of its SECOND neighbour (read China) as a balancing power, as leaves itself in a ultra vulnerable position, i.e. India assumes Bhutan is totally at India's disposal, so India waywardly cuts off fuel subsidy without considering any repercussion.
     
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  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Bhutan is not at the disposal of India.

    India is totally committed to Bhutan remaining a Kingdom and not a part of the hegemonic and imperialist dream of China.

    Who knows one day, China will flaunt a fake map to show that Bhutan was a part of China from 'ancient times', as they want the Dailai Lama to state about Tibet.

    China already is flaunting the fictitious claim line of Nine Dashes for the SCS.

    [​IMG]

     
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  17. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why should Bhutan obey India on this point? By what right, treaty, or law?
     
  18. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Because Bhutan doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds it.

    If Bhutan had nothing to gain from India, Bhutan wouldn't have gone on a salvage mission.
     
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  19. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Because Bhutan is a dear dear friend of India... There is saying that is "a friend in need is friend indeed" ... Inda always been a friend when in need to Bhutan... :)
     
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  20. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The geopolitical realities dictate that India and Bhutan have good relations amongst them. It is not the question of obey or disobey! Bhutan is required to have good relations with India or hegemonistic and expansionist, territory hungry China will gobble it up...

    You understand that. China should also have good relations with Bhutan else the Bhutanese Buddhist may provide on division of Buddhists monk soldiers for the liberation of Tibet, a cause close to their heart. Therefore China must accept all territorial claims of Bhutan.
     
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  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Bhutan is not expected to 'obey' India and that is why there is this 19

    Half of the Indian MEA budget goes to Bhutan and that does not include the hydroelectric projects.

    Here is what Tandi Dorji, a member of the Bhutan Parliament has to say:

    ******************************

    A fledgling democracy’s flaws shouldn’t hit ties

    Tandi Dorji

    Media articles in the two countries (many of them in TOI) have focused on Bhutan's foreign policy changes by previous PM Jigmi Thinley and the subsequent — or coincidental — subsidy cuts by India. On Thursday, there were alarming reports of India planning censuring measures.

    In these discussions a key issue has been overlooked. How does the blame of one person fall on a nation? On closer look, India will see that Bhutan is still her closest friend. The fledging democracy's imperfections allowed an individual PM to cause this uncertainty in bilateral ties.

    In a democracy, consultation and consensus are needed on issues. This is provided for in the Constitution, which says that other than the Cabinet, institutions have a role in policy (particularly in international relations).

    Article 20(3) says, "... (Cabinet) shall aid and advise the (King) in the exercise of his functions including international affairs, provided that the (King) may require the (Cabinet) to reconsider such advice, either generally or otherwise." And Article 20(7) says, "The (Cabinet) shall be collectively responsible to the (King) and Parliament." Such provisions limit the Cabinet's authority to take decisions unilaterally.

    The Constitution outlines steps for appointing a secretary or head of a district administration, Bill-passing procedures, taxation, etc, combining the need for checks and balance with the procedures culminating in assent by the king. Bhutan decided decades ago to place India as the cornerstone of its foreign policy and combined this with a commitment to refrain from diplomatic ties with the UN Security Council P5. Bhutan wanted stability and predictability in its relations with the world.

    It wanted partnership with India as it brought rapid socio-economic growth, political strength and maturity among its people. Bhutan's foreign policy was the foundation for her development. How was it that an individual PM, without due process, so easily altered the roots of foreign policy? Is it possible that the Constitution limits the powers of government in appointing heads of district administrations but grants powers to determine issues affecting national security?

    The failing can be attributed to the odd start we had to our democracy in 2008, where the new elected Cabinet was dominated by former Cabinet ministers in the King's council. The system changed, but people remained the same. With the same people in power (now with greater power), institutions (bureaucracy, judiciary, constitutional bodies) were inhibited in establishing a new democratic system of working. Had less overbearing individuals been in the 2008 Cabinet, procedures would have evolved for decision making, implementation and accountability. Instead, the Cabinet's supremacy saw institutions lose autonomy.

    The blame for faults in the foreign policy changes of the last five years must fall on those who made these decisions. The dangerous weakness of the system that allowed foreign policy to be determined by a few, jeopardizing stability, must fall on the institutions that failed in their constitutional duty.

    It also falls on the India which neglected its long-time counterparts in the bureaucracy , army and civil society, choosing to deal with individuals with limited tenures and mollify them. India must wait as we address the fundamental failing in our new democracy.

    As long as Bhutanese foreign policy is determined, not by individuals, but by an established system of checks, balances and consultations, there'll be little room for politicization by any side or country. This is in Bhutan's interest, and the next government must make it a key task.

    Tandi Dorji is founding member Of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) Party

    A fledgling democracy’s flaws shouldn’t hit ties - The Times of India
     
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