Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Outlawing Making a Statement Of Fact, Or Expressing An Opinion

Something is terminally wrong with the Ministry of Agriculture, Royal Government of Bhutan. How can any one institution bungle so many times on so many issues?

Now they are once again in the news – this time for terminating their officers on the grounds – of all things – for breaching the BCSR’s Clause 3.3.16 that, according to the Kuensel reads:

“A civil servant shall refrain from making any statement of fact or opinion in the media (broadcast, print and online) or in any document, which may have adverse effects against the policies or actions of the royal government”.

I am not sure that the Kuensel has got it right – but if they did, then it seems like a case of shooting the messenger for the message.

I was muzzled by BBS TV for speaking the truth during a BBS group interview in 2012: https://yesheydorji.blogspot.com/2012/05/too-much-unrestrained-freedom-recently.html

Since when did it become illegal or an act of crime in Bhutan, for making a statement of fact or expressing an opinion? Notwithstanding what the BCSR’s Clause 3.3.16 reads, what does the Article 7.2 of the Constitution of Bhutan say about a citizen’s right to freedom of speech, opinion and expression?

You shall not speak the fact or express an opinion!

It is sad and perhaps I am proving to be wrong in having fought tooth and nail – the introduction of the Right To Information (RTI) Act in Bhutan. I fought because I was convinced – I still am – that we are a country where making a statement of fact or speaking the truth, or expressing an opinion is legitimized by our Constitution.

I know of not a single case where a citizen has been victimized for “making a statement of fact or opinion”. Why are the Foresters victimized just because the civil service wants to usurp the right of the individual, that is sanctified by the country’s Constitution?

I pray that justice and fairness will prevail so that those of us, who place our faith in the system, are encouraged to continue to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone should be entitled to voice their opinions! This is crazy!