Monday, February 3, 2014

Of Bhutanese Labour Law and Its Toothless Bite

Last week, the National Council Members debated on ways to give Labour Ministry the teeth it required by instituting a tribunal to look at the cases and resolve it amicably.  This comes after seven years of having Labour Law passed in the parliament.

The National Council Reasoned in Kuensel, “Without a labour tribunal, the labour and human resources   ministry (MoLHR) is confronted with serious challenges in ensuring adherence to laws with regards to labour issues . The labour tribunal was expected to offer quick, informal and inexpensive way of settling disputes between employees and employers.”

Out of the many cases that was left unresolved, my father’s case was one of them. The Regional Employment and Labour Office, Phuentsholing, made every effort to get it resolved. After through investigations, they issued letter to Chief Executive Officer of   Food Corporation of Bhutan to pay all the benefits.

However, it only took one call from their Director to mess up everything. This shows that there is no need for Tribunal or Set procedures if months of investigations and law at hand is not put to proper use. The Labour Ministry made mockery of themselves in the eyes of people like me who have been seeking justice for the past many many months. My analysis about the labour Ministry is that, it is more of stumbling block than the solution. If the Labour Ministry, as custodian of Labour Law cannot uphold the Labour, it has little meaning in its existence. So the concept of Labour Tribunal may be another layer of bureaucratic procedure that will act as  stumbling block to delay justice.

I believe that Law is not an invention of the strong to chain and rule the weak, nor is it an invention of the weak to limit and hold back the strong. It has two objects: to define and restrain wrongdoing, and to guide the simple.

To guide those who are unfortunately lacking in this positive morality, and to protect society and our freedoms, we have developed over the centuries a system of rules. These rules, the outgrowth of man's experience with life, respect the right of men and women to live their lives as they desire, provided they do not trespass on the rights of others.
From the earliest days of mankind, we have sought justice, and generation after generation has started the search anew.
What seems wholly just to us today is likely only the merest pinpoint of what we should see if we were to shift our point of view. Our justice would appear full of faults were we to climb a little higher so that we might compare it with what we shall call justice tomorrow.
There is nothing in the law which we cannot understand if we seriously desire to do so.
There have been irrational things done in the name of building a code of law, but one cherished theory running through all attempts is that law tries to achieve justice.
"Under shelter of the law" are key words. Our greatest danger is crime, which is made up of breaches of law and order, offences against individuals, and offences against families, communities and country. If we have no security of life, liberty and property, built upon a firm national structure, we run the danger of our democracy falling in pieces.
While one of the virtues of law is that it shall be constant, so that what was right yesterday shall be right today, there are great numbers of jurists giving attention not only to what the law is but also to what the law should be. Law must be considered in relation to the circumstances within which it operates.
Our social progress, due to many factors such as technology, increased population, and rising standards of living, demands that the law shall not lag too far behind the changing conditions that accompany it. Our law represents what we consider proper at this moment, and a half—century from now the law of Bhutan will likely be substantially different from what it is today. Perhaps we are like the Athenians of whom the great law—maker Solon said when asked if his laws were the best: "I have given them the best they were able to bear."
 The justice we mean is not the kind that refers merely to the treatment given a person who breaks the law. We are not going to look down a narrow corridor of legal thought to where a cold marble Justice sits blindfold, with a sword in her right hand and scales in her left.
Justice is more than an instinct for preservation, more than a product of our reason, more than a sentimental force. Once in a while we startle ourselves when our unconscious thought brings us face to face with a revelation of justice.
The precepts of legal justice are these: to live honourably, to injure no other man, to render to every man his due.


  1. This is such a wonderful thought coming from refined education and intellectual brainstorming.

  2. So true. If labour ministry cannot implement their own law,then who can. Like author say, what use is tribunal and other machinery if what is right in front of you is not utilised?

  3. Bhutanese are good at making laws but when it comes to implementing...the author has given whole panaroma of Bhutan's law. well done article.

  4. Wonderful thoughts.

  5. A sublime thought. I think Rashid Devkar is right in saying that Bhutanese are good in making laws and not implementing it.

  6. Fucked up FCB CEO. Don't worry about the consequences Tshering. I think FCB CEO will have lots of things to answer very soon.

  7. law will take its own course so have patience till than young man. so long you have all the papers with you, what the hurry?

  8. This fight should be story of David n Goliath. Well done Tshering. I like the way you manage FCB CEO.He is psycho.He shud go n have himself medically checked.

  9. there is neither rules nor law when it comes to fcb ceo. just wondering how he is running the company/

  10. be careful about the sangay wangdi guy once again. he is the mastermind of all the problems that has come out.

    1. is that bastard still there???

    2. all the bastards are still there...not just sangay wangdi including ceo, ugyen chedup, pema wangchuk and others

    3. aw...karma nidup should have resigned on moral ground by now before it goes to court. this is problem with bhutabnese leaders. other places, u first resign and then case starts. how can he be there when he is the subject of interrogation.

    4. karma nidup is there basking his ass. he doesnt even know what he is doing also. people across minsitry of agriculture and forest are all abuzz with what he has done at fcb.

  11. I appreciate the courage and patience you have in fighting FCB. Take it cool and see that all things are exposed in open.

    1. dont leave that pema wangchuk, sangay wangdi, ugyebn chedup and karma nidup. the son of bitches should be treated with what they deserve.they should go to Chamgang jail and see their types there. and also dont leave sfo kezang. he is also not bad when it comes to manuipulating.

  12. Wonderful article. Can we publish it in our Educational Journal this year?

    Lhakpa Tshering
    Education Ministry

  13. Great though, great people. Like the way you write things. It is reflection of our society and people. Do continue to contribute and provide thought provoking ideas.

  14. Tshering, good that you presented FCB to Gedu College as case study on ethical behaviour. The case study was very well received by the students and faculty alike. They were impressed with the amount of evidences you collected and investigations you conducted. This is what we expect from Bhutanese intellects like you. We look upon breed like you to show examples.
    Very well done.We look forward to more session like this in future and we also hope that you will get to present this paper in places like Sherubtse and other institutes.

    Kezang Phuntsho
    Gedu College of Business Studies

    1. I think other lecturers should come up with real life situations like FCB case study which is very relevant to our study. FCB case study showed us how corporate scandal happen even in small country like Bhutan.

      Activist and intellect should try to prevent such scandal because it involves huge fund and resources.

    2. it feels great to learn from sir about corporate culture and risks. this is the first time we are taught ethical behaviour and it really meant so much to us. thank you sir for live examples and case study on FCB. We will keep track of the developments and updates.

  15. Law is the ultimate shelter under which innocent can take refuge. That is the reason why there is so much clamour for legilation. If people like FCB CEO do not take heed of the law being passed from the highest body, it is time to question the need for law and all these election hallla bullu.

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