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Speech by Ambassador Sonam Tobgay during the community celebration of the 43rd Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King in Canberra on 21 February 2023

Ladies & Gentlemen,

It is most auspicious that the birthday of His Majesty The King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, coincided with Losar this year. This is a good Tendrel for the dawn of a new era for Bhutan under the leadership of His Majesty.

Today, we offer our humble felicitations and celebrate the 43rd birthday of His Majesty, who is the perfect representation of everything that every Bhutanese should aspire to. He is a compassionate and exceptional leader, who is deeply loved by His people, and a symbol of unity for the Nation. He is the bedrock of Bhutan’s sovereignty and our greatest benefactor.

His Majesty has always been concerned for the welfare and wellbeing of the Bhutanese people. And this is visible through all the initiatives and selfless acts He has undertaken for His people.

While all of us as Bhutanese citizens care and have concern for our country, the greatest burden and responsibility is borne by His Majesty. What distinguishes His Majesty from most other leaders is the genuine and selflessness with which He bears this great responsibility. He works tirelessly almost 24/7 for the welfare of His people. We witnessed this even more during the Covid pandemic when His Majesty worked harder than all of us to keep every Bhutanese safe and took care of our needs. It is due to the relentless efforts and leadership of His Majesty that Bhutan was one of the safest countries during the pandemic.

His Majesty is concerned not just for the people who are in Bhutan, but equally concerned for the welfare of all Bhutanese even when they are abroad. Bhutan’s Embassies and Missions, including the Embassy in Canberra, regularly receive directives from His Majesty’s Secretariat to always do our best to take care of the welfare of the Bhutanese people wherever they are living in the world. This is the level of concern His Majesty has for the Bhutanese people. We can only rejoice and feel blessed to have such a guardian for the nation.

Since ascending the throne, His Majesty has undertaken many initiatives for the people. Another significant Royal initiative, which is expected to start in 2024 is the Gyalsung or the National Service Program. 

In essence, the National Service Program is to empower our youth with skills, knowledge and capabilities so that they will not just survive, but succeed and excel anywhere in the world. The main long-term objective is that we will gradually build a nation full of highly capable people, which will translate to a more successful and prosperous Bhutan. Therefore, I hope that the Bhutanese youth in Australia are looking forward to it and your parents are equally excited about the Gyalsung Program.

While His Majesty, the Government and the bureaucracy are working hard to transform Bhutan to an even better nation, we as citizens must also support such change and make contributions wherever possible. With the large pool of experts and qualified people among the Bhutanese in Australia, I would like to make a request and appeal to you to contribute with your expertise and good ideas to our ongoing national efforts in Bhutan. All of our small contributions can help to realize the noble aspirations of His Majesty.

Many of you would have heard that His Majesty The King will visit Australia soon. This is exciting news for every Bhutanese in Australia. During the Royal visit, we can not only pay our respects to His Majesty, we will also have an opportunity to listen to His great vision for Bhutan, and for all of us to receive His wise counsel and guidance.

Let me conclude by joining every Bhutanese citizen, especially the Bhutanese living in Australia, in offering our humble prayers for the continued good health, long life and happiness of His Majesty The King.

Thank You & Tashi Delek!

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