His Majesty the King’s 2005 National Day Address
His Majesty celebrated the National Day (17 Dec) of 2005 in Trashiyangtse. Translated from Dzongkha.
" As we celebrate our National Day today, we have only one & a half years left before completing the Ninth Five Year Plan which was started in 2002. During this Plan period we faced serious security challenges but successfully strengthened the security of our nation.
The process of bringing about political changes has been progressing well & the development plans & programmes of the Ninth Plan are being implemented successfully for the well being of our people. Next year, the Tala Hydro-electric Project will be completed & it will bring an annual revenue of more than Nu. 4,000 million. The revenue from this one project alone will greatly benefit the government & people of Bhutan.
The level of economic self-reliance achieved by a nation is one of the important measures of its status in the world as a sovereign, independent country. Achieving economic self-reliance & being able to st& on our own feet is a very important national objective that we have always strived to attain for Bhutan.
I am happy to mention that, by the year 2007, Bhutan will no longer be among the countries categorised by the United Nations as least developed countries. While other countries have taken hundreds of years to reach their present level of development, for us in Bhutan, we have achieved tremendous socio-economic development in every field in the 44 years since we first started implementing development programmes. How much our country has developed & how the lives of our people have changed & improved during this period in our own lifetime is there for all of us to see.
This unprecedented progress has been possible due to the sound policies followed by the government & sustained efforts of our people. The government & people of Bhutan can be truly proud of this great achievement.
While drafting the Constitution of our country we have attached the highest importance to ensuring the security & sovereignty of our nation & the interest & kidu of our people. The highest importance was also given to ensuring that the new political system will be able to serve the national interest of the country & fulfil our people’s aspirations. The Constitution has been framed with the sole objective of ensuring the long-term interest of our country & people.
During my consultations on the Constitution in the different dzongkhags, the main concern of our people is that it is too early to introduce parliamentary democracy in Bhutan. As our people know, Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogdus were established in 1981 when we first started the policy of decentralisation. Thereafter, Gewog Yargay Tshogchungs were introduced 10 years later in 1991. Furthermore, under the policy of greater empowerment of the people, administrative & financial powers were also given to the Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogdus.
During the next two years in 2006 & 2007, the Election Commission will educate our people in the process of parliamentary democracy & electoral practice sessions will be conducted in all the 20 dzongkhags. After 26 years of the process of decentralisation & devolution of powers to the people, I have every confidence that our people will be able to choose the best political party that can provide good governance & serve the interest of the nation. I would like our people to know that the first national election to elect a government under a system of parliamentary democracy will take place in 2008.
I would also like our people to know that the Chhoetse Penlop will be enthroned as the Fifth Druk Gyalpo in 2008. As it is necessary & important for a King to gain as much experience as possible to serve his country to his fullest capacity, I will be delegating my responsibilities to the Chhoetse Penlop before 2008. It is my wish & prayer that during the reign of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Palden Drukpa will remain strong & glorious, that our country will achieve greater prosperity with the sun of peace & happiness shining on our people, that all the national objectives of the country & the hopes & aspirations of our people will be fulfilled & the Bhutanese people will enjoy a greater level of contentment & happiness.
Today, on the auspicious occasion of our National Day, I would like to express my Tashi Delek to our people in all the twenty dzongkhags."