Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On the RTI highway

Monday, June 30, 2008: The first thing that indicates how much freedom you enjoy is determined by how freely you speak and write। To speak or to write, you obviously, need things to read. In other words, you should have the right to information.

Bhutan stands at zero on this issue। But I think, little things are gradually coming up despite the rulers object on people’s right to know. No, this is not solely the responsibility of the government but, practically, the daily behavior of the bureaucrats at all levels of government machinery. Bhutanese bureaucracy descends from traditional thoughts of governance which taught them not to show anything to people on grounds of keeping office secrecy.

South Asia Free Media Association, that opened its chapter in this tiny kingdom, remained mum over its declared agenda for advocacy in favor of freedom of speech and expression and right to information। We criticized enough of its absence-role in drawing laws to promote press freedom, freedom of speech and expression and right to information in Bhutan.

Hopeful we were and are voices for press freedom, freedom of speech and expression and right to information will come to surface when time matures। As I browse through Kuensel frequently or friends from Thimphu send mails on latest situation, I feel happy that voices are coming up.
Tenzing Lamsang has, over the time, raise several questions on right to information bill that remained locked into the government cupboards। I think, unless government bring out clear policy to promote right to information and right to speech and express, democratic transition on Bhutan will remain in half-a-way.

Lamsang, keep on the pace! I have my wishes for your noble initiative.
[The opinion expressed in this piece of the one blogging]

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