Harald N Nestroy

In recognition of his services to Bhutan, His Majesty The King awarded the Executive Chairman of Pro Bhutan, Germany and Bhutan’s longstanding friend, Harald N Nestroy the National Order of Merit, Gold.

Harald Nestroy, 77, is a retired German diplomat, who has been a longstanding friend of Bhutan since 1987. Pro Bhutan, Germany has assisted Bhutan in constructing health and education infrastructure and traditional structures, such as the Punakha Hospital, school for hearing-impaired students in Drugyel, and the Punakha Bazam.



Dr Sanduk Ruit 

In recognition of his services to Bhutan that has helped restored the sight of hundreds of Bhutanese, His Majesty The King awarded Dr Sanduk Ruit a National Order of Merit, Gold.

Dr Sanduk Ruit’s innovation in cataract surgery has enabled thousands of people across the world re-gain their eyesight. An internationally renowned eye-surgeon from Nepal, Dr Ruit has conducted modern cataract surgery and training in various parts of Bhutan since 2000, and has restored sight to hundreds of patients. Dr Ruit has also assisted in bringing HPV vaccines, which help prevent cervical cancer, for young girls in Bhutan.

“It’s great to work in a country like Bhutan with wonderful people, good government and Kings,” he said calling the moment one of honour and privilege. “I’m privileged that I’ve been invited here more than 15 years ago to work.”




Lama Zhenphen Zangpo

A Buddhist monk from Wales, Lama Zhenphen Zangpo was awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold, in recognition for his contributions for the past seven years in mentoring Bhutanese youth and helping substance abusers make positive changes in their lives.

The 58-year old has counselled many youth, helped them enter rehabilitation programmes, and later find employment.

“It is a great honour to meet His Majesty and to be awarded this award but personally I don’t think I deserve it,” Lam Zhenphen said. “I don’t know if I’m doing any work, I just like hanging out with the addicts and I’ll continue to do that.”

Tshering Palden


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