Bhutanese definition of human rights

Published on Feb 24 2009 // Main News

Thimphu, February 24, 2009: In less than a year they adopted the democratic pattern of governance, which was in demand since 1950 in this country, the ‘experts’ who dined under the absolute rule of monarchy have defined what human rights is called in their terms. 

Southern Bhutanese work as laborers in Punakha road

Southern Bhutanese work as laborers in Punakha road

Not awesome than usual twittering, these ‘experts’ said on Saturday that Bhutanese society has long embodied the principles and values of human rights that are enshrined by Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Bhutan signed the declaration in 1971 when it joined the UN. 

According to the ‘experts’ Buddhism has values that promote human rights and selflessness, respect to others, non-discrimination and objection to any form of violence. Buddha’s teaching on the biological unity of the human species, denotes a common humanity,” said director of institute of language and cultural studies, Lopen Lungten.

Principally, all religions in the world encompass these values for welfare of human being. Human rights is not what is enshrined in religion but is rather manifested in culture and practice of a society.

The experts did not explain whether the human rights of Bhutanese Buddhism forces people of other ethnicity adopt the Drukpa culture and tradition, allows people to say what they feel and provide adequate opportunity for self defense in legal proceedings. 

The Saturday’s discourse on human rights in Thimphu looked to be another gathering for sermon on Drukpa Buddhism where the experts talked about life and death and brotherhood of all human being in world and that all sentient being need to be loved and cared. Interestingly, no one answered whether two brothers can live together or one has to expel other. 

 There were no issues such as torture in jails, domestic violence against women, ethnic suppression and religious restriction imposed in this country since decades. Whether respect to feelings of other, right to assembly, right to organization, right to religion, right to oppose, right to criticize and right to nationality, the fundamental principles of modern human rights instruments, are part of Buddhism, the experts did not speak.