The Office of Prime Minister took journalists by surprise when it arranged the first “Meet our PM” with the media at the courtyard of the Gyalyong Tshokhang on December 7.

Speaking in the cold and windy afternoon, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering asked the media to refrain from misreporting. One of the main concerns for the government has been the possibility of misinformation to the public.

“The government and media would have excellent relations for the next five years if the media do not misinform. Otherwise, we’ll have problems,” he said.

The government, Lyonchhen said, would meet with the press every Friday at the courtyard for the first three weeks of the month, to make announcements and statements on issues that call for immediate attention. However, he said the government would reserve the last Friday of the month for the Meet the Press session to take broad questions at the National Assembly conference hall.

The last Friday meeting, the prime minister said, could be theme based and detailed.

Lyonchhen said that the government wanted to work with the media to create awareness on its policies and programmes. He said he was not used to handling the media and that he would speak what is right and wrong.

“One of the concerns is that whether I will be able to communicate the message that I have in my mind. The concern also includes whether you all will be able to understand the intended message,” he said.

The main aim of the Meet Our PM with the media would be to inform the nation on government policy and decisions. The prime minister said that the space for opinions in the media is very small and that when they are made, they must be evidence based.

“What we do is for the country. The country should benefit from our decisions and the people should be informed. We are all Bhutanese. Bhutanese must know Bhutan and the government and its policies,” he said.

MB Subba