Just as democracy empowers people, mediation gives judicial power to the people, the president of Bhutan National Legal Institute (BNLI), Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck said during the inauguration of the mediation training for the gups at Lamaigonpa in Bumthang on May 22.

HRH said mediation is aimed at maintaining peace and harmony in the society and all have the responsibility to achieve the goal.

“Local leaders should work hard to fulfill people’s expectations as people have faith in the local government,” she said.

HRH said that with this phase, all the local leaders would be trained in mediation. A total of 91 gups from 10 dzongkhags along with those who missed the first phase of training are participating in the on-going mediation training.

The gups are from Bumthang, Trashiyangtse, Zhemgang, Trongsa, Gasa, Dagana, Mongar, Wangduephodrang, Lhuntse and Trashigang.

BNLI’s Director General, Drangpon Pema Wangchuk said dzongkhag thrizins and thrizin wogmas were trained in Thimphu early this month while gups of other nine gewogs were also trained in Samtse. “We have now covered all local leaders including gups, mangmis and Tshogpas,” he said.

Department of Local Government’s (DLG) director general Lungten Dorji said that under the HRH’s visionary and dynamic leadership, BNLI trained the first batch of local government leaders since 2012. “About 130 female local leaders, 144 tshogpas, 205 mangmis with women gewog administrative officers of the first local government were trained,” he said.

He said, the impact of mediation training, which is highlighted in the mediation training impact assessment report, 2016, is that of the 36,250 cases, local leaders have mediated 15,316 cases. The remaining 20,934 cases were litigated.

He said with 4,238 cases, Mongar dzongkhag had the maximum number of cases followed by Thimphu at 3,922 and Paro at 3,623 cases.

“Monetary disputes topped the nature of cases at 11,791 followed by 5,512 matrimonial and 1,514 land boundary disputes,” he said.

The mediation training ends on May 27.

Nima Wangdi | Bumthang