Monday, 21 July 2008

Bhutan : Hundreds witness history unfold in the Tashichhodzong

July 19: Hundreds of Bhutanese from all walks of life gathered in the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong yesterday to offer their prayers on the occasion and look at the appended Constitution.

On 17 December 1907, the people of Bhutan met at the Puna Dewa Chenpoi Phodrang and unanimously elected Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan. They signed a genja or an agreement declaring their allegiance and pledged to serve him and his heirs loyally and faithfully for all times to come.

100 years later, history came full circle as His Majesty the King handed the power back to the people.

The historic day began with the unfurling of three sacred Thongdroels of Guru Rinpoche and Neten Chudru at the Tashichhodzong. Hundreds of Bhutanese, young and old, rich and poor gathered at the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong.

By 8 am in the morning there were long queues of people entering the Tashichhodzong. About an hour or so later, as His Majesty the King arrived, the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong was packed with people who had come to witness history unfolding in front of their eyes.

The ceremony which was broadcast live on BBS TV was watched by tens of thousands of people across the country who could not make it to the dzong in person.

Speaking to BBS on this solemn and emotional occasion, the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye said as history unfolded, all Bhutanese came together united in mind, speech and body to express their gratitude to their Majesties the kings for 100 years of unprecedented peace and prosperity and pray for greater prosperity and success of democracy in Bhutan.

BBS also spoke to some of the people. They said the day is highly significant and will remain forever in the minds of the Bhutanese people for generations.

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