The session begins at a time when the country is celebrating 10 years of His Majesty’s reign on the Golden Throne

Parliament: His Majesty The King graced the opening ceremony of the winter session of Parliament yesterday.

The eighth session of the second Parliament was also attended by members of the Royal Family and representatives of the Central Monastic Body, among others.

Welcoming His Majesty The King, Speaker Jigme Zangpo thanked His Majesty for undertaking various royal initiatives for the benefit of the people and the country.

“On behalf of the Parliament and on my own behalf, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and welcome His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo,” he said. “I would also like to extend my welcome to the members of the Royal Family, representatives of the Central Monastic Body, members of the international community, senior government officials, MPs and guests who have come to witness the occasion.”

The Speaker said that since the last session of Parliament, His Majesty granted land Kidu to 93 people in Gyalpoizhing through HRH Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. His Majesty also granted citizenship to 43 people.

He added that His Majesty The King granted plots for construction of houses to 27 households from Trong residing in Zhemgang throm and also granted land Kidu to 316 landless people in the Merak gewog of Trashigang.

“The Parliament, therefore, would like to express our deepest gratitude to His Majesty.”

The Speaker said that His Majesty visited the affected areas to personally oversee mitigation during flood in Sarpang last summer. “His Majesty has undertaken such selfless act risking his own life out of great concern for the people.”

Furthermore, the Speaker expressed Parliament’s gratitude to His Majesty The King for granting valuable guidance, consolation and support to the victims of fire disaster in the Mongar town. During the fire disaster in Mongar town, His Royal Highness Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck led the rescue team compromising his own personal safety. The Parliament would like to express gratitude to His Royal Highness, said the Speaker.

The Speaker said that His Majesty The King graced the Royal Highland Festival at Laya. His Majesty also met with the people of Lunana after visiting several valleys and mountains, crossing the 5,250-metre Gangla Karchung. His Majesty visited glacier lakes of Thorthomi, Rapstreng and Lugge and met with the personnel operating the flood warning stations. After crossing the 5,290-metre Rinchen Zoe La, His Majesty visited Sephu and granted audience to the people.

The Speaker also thanked Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay for visiting disaster affected dzongkhags and extending government’s support to the victims. The government has identified Shechamthang as the new Throm for Sarpang dzongkhag and allotting plots to the affected business community following the flood disaster.

Speaker thanked His Holiness the Je Khenpo, Dratsangs and Menjong Chothuen Tshogpa for performing numerous spiritual activities for the benefit of the country and the people. His Holiness, the Speaker said, instituted world peace prayers in 18 dzongkhags and performed Moelam Chhenmo in Kuneselphodrang before the statue of Buddha Dordenma. “The Parliament, therefore, would like to express our deepest gratitude to His Majesty.”

The Speaker said Her Majesty the Royal Grand Mother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck dedicated her entire life to religious activities for the people of Bhutan. Her Majesty initiated the renovation of Kichu Lhakhang in Paro, Kurje Lhakhang in Bumthang and numerous other monasteries. Her Majesty has also initiated annual Drubchen at Kichu Lhakhang in Paro and Kurje Lhakhang in Bumthang for continued peace and prosperity of the country.

“The Parliament would like to express our gratitude and offer prayers for the long life of Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck,” said the Speaker.

The Speaker congratulated the newly elected local government leaders and thanked all who participated in the elections. “The Parliament would like to further express its appreciation to the media houses for shouldering their responsibilities in a democracy and disseminating information related to the Parliament.”

MB Subba