22 June 2015

Letter to Thimphu Thrompon: What's the Worth of a Poor Man's Life in Your City?

Dear Thrompon Kinley Dorji, Thimphu,

I have very high regards for you. You have been the biggest and the nicest surprise we had out of the voting machine. I applauded you every time I saw you on TV; for your work, you honesty, your fairness and your fearlessness. But this time I am thoroughly disappointed with you.

I want to ask you, what’s the worth of a poor man’s life in your city, Thimphu? The way you handled the death of your 63-year-old employee was very insensitive as the employer. He died in the line of duty and it was your duty to give him an honorable funeral and compensate his family as per the company policy. But you have reduced his life’s worth to Nu.40,000 that’s not even worth the smart phone in your hand. You have left the rest to the fate of the case against the building owner who is busy blaming the ambulance.

Amidst this shameless and endless blame game the sentiments of the poor family is sidelined. The family’s sole bread earner is gone, widow is in her sixties who now has to look after several children, some of whom are disabled. The family is not even worried about car or phone, they are running out on food supplies. Why should the family suffer for so long? The family needs support now and the company compensation should have reached them already. You as their leader should have at least managed to comfort the family with normal compensation.

The building owner who built that burial wall should be held responsible for death of a public servant on duty due to their negligence. This case should be fought with all your might and come out with a landmark victory that will pave way for all Bhutanese to understand their right and to respect other’s right, regardless of social status. Whatever you can draw out from them can be paid to the bereaved family as additional compensation. Yes, additional compensation, the real compensation should not depend on this.

And if the wall owner thinks Nu.200,000 is huge and wants to keep blaming the hospital for not sending a health worker along with the driver, then they should perhaps read the story of a widow who won a $23.6 Billion Lawsuit against tobacco company R.J. Reynolds. In this case, her husband died of lung cancer and not killed by their company truck.

Personally, today on father's day I miss my father who was killed in a bus accident. The bus company should have been responsible, the driver should have been responsible, or the house owner who kept debris on the narrow road should have been responsible but only my father paid the price. My family alone suffered. This should not happen to anyone at this time and age. 

So, dear Thrompon please pay the compensation first and then pursue the case with the wall owner. In your city even a pet dog gets more respect, he was a human being, he worked for the city, don’t let this happen.

Still Very Respectfully Yours


  1. Thimphu Thromdey must act according to " Labor and Employment Act 2007". They cannot turn their blind eyes to the victim's family. At least treat them as another human being.

  2. I agree with your letter, Passu. I think Thimphu Thromde is being insensitive towards handling this case. I know less about the law, but still I feel the compensation be made already and rightly as the deceased died while on duty. This is one case of the employer's mistreatment on its employee; however, there are many. Not severe as this though. I hear that many people (employees) are not paid their salary for 3-6 years. This is one reason why young people hesitate to join private firms. Another case, I see many labourers (both Indian and Bhutanese) being mistreated by the contractors and owners and at the end they are not paid their payment. Also, there are cases where supervisors/bosses abusing and exploiting subordinates. Back to the Thim Throm employee's case, his family will keep on grieving their fate and waiting for someone like you or media to intervene to get justice. But in this case, if we only blame the Thromde, it's not correct. The bigger share of blame/fault should be taken up by the labour ministry. For, they are the main agency who should be protecting the rights of the labours/employees in Bhutan. They should have advocated well on the importance of Labour and Employment ACT so that people would know about their own rights and responsibilities. Most importantly, we need to have a proper reporting system where people can file their complaints/case.

  3. It is so thoughtful of you to write this letter. I hope TCC will seriously revisit their earlier statement and get due justice delivered to the bereaved family of their ex. employee who served them till his last.

  4. Poor family:'( I couldn’t watch wife of a victim.crying and waiting for the justce. Passu sir is right, Nu. 40,000 is just a cost of a smat phone... Paying Nu.40000 for victim's family is not fair. Justice will only be served when wife of a victim smile wide out off satisfaction. Please have justic on them #ThimThromde #MOLHR...

  5. You are absolutely right, Passu Sir. It's really sad that TCC has handled this case so insensitively. I hope they would revisit their earlier decision and provide justice to the victim's family. Where's MoLHR in this case. They should intervene with regard to the compensation and work safety standards. This shameful blame game must end. As you have said, the pet dogs get better treatment in Bhutan...

  6. We have a writer who speaks from the heart of poor and vulnerable section of our society!! well written ...keep writing and raising such crucial issues...

  7. What a sad incidents that family of the deceased has to go through this alone.
    This is just another failure in Government's part to do their job and I blame them without regret.
    I agree with Riku Sir that every employee needs to know their rights and responsibilities. A life time wound cannot be compensated with material value.

    p,s, EVERYONE MUST KNOW their rights as a citizenship and government should act accordingly. No loopholes. No under the table. Just follow the ACTS and GIVE JUSTICE TO PEOPLE WHO DESERVES IT.


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