Returning from his independence, Bhutan has had an
obligation to consult with India on foreign policy issues.
It was therefore a problem between the two countries that a
number of Indian separatist movements had set up bases in
southern Bhutan. There were predominantly movements fighting
for a free Assam. Assam is today a state of Inidien. The
Bhutan National Assembly, therefore, passed a law in 2002
that opened up a military solution to this problem, and in
December 2003, Bhutan's military launched an offensive
against the ca. 30 bases that were destroyed. A military
spokesman stated that this second and final phase of the
offensive against the rebel movement was the most difficult.
Paresh Barua who is the leader of one of the moving donkeys,
the United Front for the Liberation of Assam, stated that on
many occasions the military had fallen into ambush with
mines and heavy fire. Also in December, two people from
another of the movements were killed in northern Assam by
Indian military forces, close to the border with Bhutan.
In December 2002, the government announced that it had
finalized the draft First Constitution and that a series of
consultative assemblies would be held to allow the country
to take the first steps towards parliamentary monarchy. The
most important point for further discussion is whether a
multi-party system should be implemented. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how BT can stand for Bhutan.
Following international pressure, in October 2003, the
governments of Bhutan and Nepal signed an agreement aimed at
repatriating Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and the granting of
Nepalese citizenship to those who choose to remain. The
agreement was rejected by 6 NGOs who were observers during
Following pressure from the United States, Bhutan signed
an agreement in 2003 that prevents North American nationals
from being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court,
After 5 years of cable TV, in June 2004, the government
debated the implementation of a law regulating the content
of the broadcast programs. The move was legitimized with
reference to the content of the programs already broadcast.
The majority of programs - and especially for young people -
are programs on violence, war and pornography. To this, the
head of cable TV company Sigma, Rinzi Dorji, replied that
the young people are getting used to the violent programs
and that the students are already far more violent in their
campuses, where there are often serious clashes.
In June 2005, the political coalition in exile, the
National Front for Democracy, sharply criticized the
government's draft constitution. The Front stated that the
proposal was intended solely to divert attention from the
country's refugee crisis. The Front further stated that even
if the constitutional proposal is adopted by a referendum,
there will only be a "limited democracy".
In September 2005, Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup was appointed
In December 2005, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck announced
that in 2008 he would abdicate in favor of his son, but
already 1 year later he abdicated and handed over the throne
to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. This was
subsequently crowned in November 2008. After his takeover of
power, the new king actively entered the process of
democratization. in the parliamentary sessions where
electoral laws and land reform were discussed.
Statements by a senior government official, Bhutan from
2006 could become the largest electric power producer in
Asia. During the period 2005-16, the country will export
5,000MW monthly on a monthly basis. This represents almost
45% of the total export value, and is of crucial importance
to the economic development of the kingdom.