Saturday, January 24, 2015


Who? Where? The Kingdom of Bhutan lies not far from Shangrila, and is just as remote and inaccessible, at the eastern end of the Himalayas, squashed like a pickle in a sandwich between layers of Chinese salami and Indian cheese. It calls itself Druk Yul, which means "The Land of the Thunder Dragon”, has phallus-worship as its unofficial and Buddhism as its official national religion, and has been ruled by the hereditary Wangchuck dynasty for the last hundred years.

After elections in March 2008 Bhutan became the world’s best representative of the confusion that besets all our politics: history records that it became a two-party parliamentary democracy (a landslide victory was achieved by the pro-monarchy Bhutan Harmony Party under Jigme Thinley; though the opposition People's Democratic Party also supports the monarchy.)

What makes it the world’s best representative of...etc?

First, a state with only two parties is not a democracy; it’s a competitive oligarchy (the USA is the world’s best example of this).

Second, a political system in which all parties support the monarchy is not a democracy, it’s a monarchy with a parliament (the UK is the world’s best example of this).

Third, a two-party system in which both parties hold the same views on fundamental constitutional issues is not a 2-party system, it’s a 1-party system pretending to be 2-party and as such is radically undemocratic.

Fourth, landslide victories on the scale of Jigme Thinley’s don’t happen in democratic countries.

Fifth, the Buddhists of Bhutan have been violently suppressed for the last three decades, just as they are in neighbouring Burma and Tibet, a strong indication that Bhutan is really a puppet-state of China (a statement endorsed by the Maoist tendency of the monarch, who spends his time promoting a philosophy, or is it an economic ideology, called "Gross National Happiness" (GNH).

About 100,000 Nepali speaking Bhutanis are living in refugee camps in Nepal, having been chased out by the Bhutani xenophobes and then refused asylum by the Indians; these camps have now become the base for various Marxist-Leninist rebel groups, and bombings in Bhutan are not uncommon.

Gorgeous mountains though, amazing scenery, staggeringly gorgeous architecture, as the photograph above demonstrates. Even more staggeringly gorgeous national culture, as per the photograph below.

Marks For: 3

Marks Against: 5

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

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