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Written statute for Bhutan soon

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI DEC. 6. The Kingdom of Bhutan is now close to having its own written constitution.

A 39-member drafting committee, commissioned by a Royal decree in September 2001, will submit its report to King Jigme Singye Wangchuk next week, according to the Bhutanese Ambassador to India, Lyonpo Dago Tshering.

Mr. Tshering, who was the Home Minister of Bhutan for over seven years, was here to inaugurate the Chennai chapter of the India-Bhutan Friendship Association.

The committee, comprising members from the National Assembly and eminent persons from different walks of life, would ensure a working constitution suitable to the current requirements, said Mr. Tshering.

It is part of the continuing decentralisation process, which started in 1981 when the King introduced a programme of administrative and political decentralisation.

He also attributes the occasional dissenting voices against the monarchy to the disgruntled immigrants from Nepal, and says, "no country is free of disgruntled elements. Even a family has its share of feuds''.

He said Bhutan was not in a hurry to exploit its forest and tourism potentials.

"Unless absolutely necessary, we do not exploit our forest wealth. And, we welcome only tourism of value not that of volume. Paying tourists are welcome, while back-packers are not,'' Mr. Tshering said.

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