Sunday, 17 August 2008

Bhutan : India community celebrates 62nd birthday

16 August, 2008 - “I’m touched by the thoughtful gesture of His Majesty the King,” said the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, Mr Sudhir Vyas, as members of the Royal Family, Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley and the ambassador cut the cake presented by His Majesty on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of India’s Independence Day yesterday.

India, said the ambassador, was very confident of the friendship and cooperation the two countries enjoyed. “I pray for the betterment of our bilateral relations,” he said.

As the Indian community in Bhutan gathered at the embassy in the morning, the Ambassador hoisted the Indian national flag and read out the president of India’s address to the nation.

President Pratibha Patil dedicated special words of gratitude to the brave personnel of the armed and paramilitary forces who guarded the frontiers.

The president said that the celebration of India’s independence day was a homage to the great national leaders, valiant freedom fighters - both men and women - who made many sacrifices to liberate India from colonial rule.

President Pratibha Patil said that no one should be left behind as the nation progresses. “It is my wish that growth and prosperity reaches every state, every district, every town, every village and every individual of the country,” she said.

The president stressed the importance of science and technology and said it held the key to progress in today’s knowledge based society. The president also reminded the nation of the growing demands for energy. “We cannot let lack of energy become a constraint on our ability to deliver high levels of growth. With the challenges of oil prices and climate change, the question of energy security confronts us,” she said. “We need to look at energy mixes, that are sustainable in the long run and are cleaner sources of energy, gradually making a deliberate shift to renewable energy.”

On the agricultural sector, the president said that the development of the nation would not be comprehensive or complete unless there is development in the rural areas and increased agricultural productivity. “We should aim at enhancing productivity by using better technology and innovative farming practices,” she said.

She also said that India’s effort to build a progressive nation was hindered by social evils that existed in their society. All social evil, whether dowry, domestic violence, discrimination or drug and alcohol abuse should be eradicated from society, she said.

President Pratibha Patil said that India was seeking to engage with the international community to promote peace and development in the world.

The Gyalpoi Zimpon, Dasho Penjore, cabinet secretary, Dasho Sherub Tenzin, foreign secretary, Yeshey Dorji and chief of protocol, Kunzang C Namgyel joined the flag hoisting ceremony in the morning.

Members of the royal family and senior government officials attended a cultural programme at the India House auditorium in the evening.

By Tandin Wangchuk

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