Your Excellency the Prime Minister of Bhutan,
It has been a singular honour to have known you when you were a young palace staff many decades ago, then worked with you when you were a young civil servant in many ministries. I never imagined the heights you would reach (I mean you were always destined for greatness, but I could not foresee democracy at that time. Sorry.) Your rise has been rapid from palace staff to director to secretary to zonal administrator to ambassador to minister to PM, all within the short span of 20 years. In the civil service of which you have made me the Chairman, it takes a young man 20 years to reach grade 4 even if he passes the civil service exams. Grade 4 Sir is P1 which is not even in the executive class. So your excellency’s rise is really amazing even by today’s standards. In your fifties and you have been minister for 15 years already and still eligible for another term as PM!
What I find amazing Sir is that while under the Kings we had long serving ministers, we have (apart from Dawa Tshering) never had ministers whose terms were more than 10 years. Under democracy since 1998, we have had the same ministers headed by your excellency. So you have really set the standards for leadership in this country.
While I am an independent minded person in personal life and cannot seem to find friends even within my family, my working style is different. I have been very happy to receive feedback from your excellency on the people RCSC should “nominate” for senior positions in government. Your excellency then uses this “confidential” list from RCSC to nominate the best candidate to the King. In this way we show the King and the people that the elected PM has no problems with the “nominations” of the RCSC and that the PM and bureaucracy get along very well. We have done this trick very well and made democracy a successful story to tell the world.
I have also ensured, as you requested, that the area where we would have had repeated arguments has been wiped clean. Once you have appointed your choice of government secretaries and dzongdas, the new civil service act gives you full control over their careers. This makes it very easy for us to be friendly towards each other and show the world that in Bhutan the PM, elected officials and the bureaucracy are very friendly and have no problems at all. I have instructed my government secretaries of this fact of law, so you see they have given full support when your excellency makes very big changes to foreign policy or bankrupts the country. They have done this even though their fellow bureaucrats don’t agree with the policy changes. They are very good secretaries for PM and the cabinet. Maybe one day when the ministers are weak, RCSC might ask secretaries to be strong. But during your excellency’s rule, we will maintain this status quo of quiet service oriented bureaucrats (service to PM, not to people).
Your excellency, my term will end soon. Would a stint as the Ambassador to Kuwait be possible? Or even Bangladesh since Bap has been there for over 4 years? I personally think I am best suited for India, because my hard and tough approach will keep Indians in line while you negotiate Bhutan’s future with the Chinese. Think about that Honourable Lyonchhen. In fact I only thought about it now, but it already seems such a good idea.
Dago seems to be doing a good job as Special Envoy. If you cannot find a position for me, I will insist on a designation as Special Envoy. After all, Dago made so much money for such a futile effort. And please remember RCSC could have objected to his appointment as Envoy but didn’t. I can be Special Envoy of PM to study the benefits of Pedestrian Day. Or Special Envoy to all the new countries we have established diplomatic ties as otherwise there will be no contact with them. Therefore, I can be called Special Envoy for Countries we have established Diplomatic ties with but have absolutely no links with.
With my deep respects, and continued amazement at your rapid rise and rise and rise,
Lyonpo Thinlay Gyamtsho,
PS: Many will see my above remarks as sarcastic. No sir, I mean every word (after all I must thank you Sir for this job which has brought down unemployment in the country as I was unemployed).
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