Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Early life of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck was born to King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck in Dechenchholing Palace, Thimphu on 11 November 1955 corresponding to the Wood Sheep Year of the Bhutanese calendar. He grew up with the pace of modernization and economic development of the country which his father had set in motion.
Foreign Relations of Bhutan
His Majesty the King is widely traveled and has paid state visits to a number of countries, particularly while attending meetings of the Non-Aligned States and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
The realization of Bhutan’s geo-strategic importance between two Asian giants – China and India – has provided profound and continual impact on its foreign policy.
Empowering the people
The Constitution of Bhutan
“Bhutan must move with the time to ensure that the nation not only overcomes all internal and external threats, but continues to prosper in an atmosphere of peace and stability,” was the address of Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck on 30 November 2001 during the launching ceremony of the drafting of the Constitution.
At the forefront of action
Geographical location of Bhutan provided a safe haven for the militants from across the southern border. The country had been a hideout to the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). These insurgents who were up in arms against the Indian Government had established several bases in the Bhutanese forests. ULFA had 8 camps with 1560 militants, KLO had 3 camps with 430 militants and the NDFB had 9 camps with 1740 militants.
Glimpses of the major contributions of Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck
From the beginning His Majesty has shown a deep understanding of the social, cultural and economic needs of the country. The King redefined the entire economic development policies, plans and programmes and directed them towards the needs of the rural population. In the sphere of domestic policies, His Majesty the King stressed the realization of the following substantial objectives:
* Achieving economic self-reliance and well being of the people.
* Creation of essential infrastructure in all spheres of development.
* Developing human resources.
His Majesty had the following words to say after announcing his decision to abdicate from the throne. “In taking note of the progress that our nation has made over the past thirty four years, I would like to state that whatever we have achieved so far is due to the merit of the people of Bhutan.” His Majesty has also repeatedly reminded that “the future of the nation lies in the hands of the people.”