Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Open Complain

Calling upon media and other authorities for a serious look into this  issue in deep....

Why was this drain, what was the reason?
Did it in any way harm anyone to do this? 

It was a great news and a welcoming one as I read this story ‘Preserving social, spiritual and agricultural landscape,” in a kuensel issue this week. 

But what is a reality in Ura under the very watchful eyes of Thrumsingla park authority is something different.

The place, which was once stopped from excavation for stones, is now once has opened for excavation. The area known as Khe-Kharti (White water) located above Pangkahr village in Ura is a proven spiritual site with documents before the authorities by Sumthrang Lam (My father) who objected to excavating stones from this area some years ago. This area is not only the sacred spiritual place but was once a marsh wet land, a source of water. 

It is proven a spiritual heritage site listed in the sacred sites of Bumthang collected by National Library of Bhutan. It was recorded by a biological account which says the source of the water for the marsh area is nine spring waters  that appeared when Terton Pemalingpa’s Grand father Tenpi Nyima (Father of Dondrup Zangpo) was born at Sumtrhang.

Sumtrhang lam takes a special concern in protecting this sites since  Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Choden Wangchuck, then the His Majesty's representative to the ministry of agriculture had a written command to protect the spiritual site around Sumthrang which has significance to the Kingdom as a whole.

“I can not leave it for things to go on under my watch since it is a Gongmi Ka unless an authority tells me that this written command is nullified,” Sumthang Lam, my father tells me. “I regret the present authorities that do not care much for this heritage sites nor respect this written command of Her Royal Highness. ”

Even if this royal command is not anymore relevant, it should still be relevant to be guided by the kingdom's environmental and cultural policy which focuses on preservation and conservation. The competent authorities were notified of this un-mindful action in respect of constitutional responsibility. 

The process of excavation in the area was also quite questionable. First of all the dzongkhag authorities a few years ago when the same person who is excavating now did the same, my father objected with proof of being spiritual site and is being stopped from the excavation. But now under the watch of the same management authority, it ignores this issue while trying to make my parent's life difficult for informing the authority about their irresponsibility.

Secondly even to excavate from one’s own land, people need approval from local government and then the permit is being issued by forestry, in this case the Thrumsingla Park. But this excavation seemed no such systems followed.

Thirdly the environment conservation act strongly emphasizes the protection of marsh wetlands and this area was once a beautiful marsh wetland now totally destroyed. How do we ensure the rules are being implemented when the implementer turns a deaf ear and blind eyes to the issue in its own personal interest? Nepotism may be in practice?

If preserving social, spiritual and agricultural lands are important, taking such misguided authority outside law needs a better dealing and a tough action. Else anyone will be encouraged to do the same. I may be interested to dig and excavate anywhere too!

When my father complained of allowing this excavation in the area we consider a heritage. The park manager has sent a team to investigate the work site of my father who was constructing a toilet for the temple from woods and stones already available.
Stones were pulled from a garden wall and wood borrowed from a relative whose house construction was delayed whereby the timber is becoming useless in sun and rain.

The park manager tells my father that the fine for using timbers for a house in Lhakhang will range from Nu5000 to Nu50,000 which he will decide while he says the fine to the person who is illegally excavating and destroying the heritage site may have to pay only Nu16000. I don’t understand, what is and how the rulebook reads for this matters?

I am quite amused with what this park authority is up to? I call upon national media and other concerned authorities to do a constructive and thorough investigation on this matter. In the similar matter, the park also allowed to dig out a stone bed, which can be a natural heritage of the community. A rocky terrain, which was never touched until now, is being destroyed just because of management failure of the park, while there are plenty of stone available in all other places, even in private fields which can be good for  farming as well as for stones. 

I wonder if the situation of stone supply in Ura is facing any acute shortage that the park has to allow excavation in areas of environmental and cultural importance, which actually needs protection for future?


  1. it is a sad that the quest and hunger for wealth is not even sparing the neys and other heritage sites. sadder still when authorities turn blind eyes and allow influential people to have their ways. keep the fight for the right going, enjoyed reading too.

  2. Thank you for reading and spreading the news, I have no personal reasons with the park manager nor I know him. But I have the reservations on what he is doing as a competitive authority meant for protection.... He should be protecting!

  3. It is a sad to know such cultural sites are being excavated. More saddening that despite repeated reminded they're adamant, even to the extent of disrespecting our own beliefs.You've made your voice. It should be protected. Thanks.

  4. Samten, its a good initiative for awakening the people on such unwarranted activities. as much as i and you know, Ura geog is always filled with controversies. however, if this is a sacred Nyee site as mentioned by you ( with documentation proof by you father), i think we as the educated lot of Ura Zatsang should wake up before its late to stop the work from further destroying the site. your attempt with this blog may work but may not necessarily bring the result to expected conclusion. so i suggest you share this blog on face book. i strongly believe we the educated lot from Ura area will come together as was done for Shingkhar Golf course and prevent such untoward activities at the cost of our spiritual sites.

  5. karseldawa, Thank you for your inspiring words but as you said Ura is a society of controversies, now it is more politically divided, I am of the thinking Ura zatsang will not come together on this case. Most of the Uraps think this issue is personal to my father since it is associated to the history of Sumthrang monastery. But to think wholesome, it also is a natural and cultural heritage of Ura, and so the national heritage, it for sure can be a tourism attraction if promoted as a whole with other cultural sites around sumthrang but this particular place is purposely destroyed by the same man just because he wanted to challenge my father who put heart and soul to protect this places around sumthrang. And Karseldawa, as you have mentioned, I have already shared in various FB groups and if you feel so you can also share among your friends for awareness.....