limited that no harm has come to the environment due to these potential polluters.
Visiting the country convinced us that the pristine forests and the amazing visibility are
clear evidence of environmental concern. The work of this poor country to preserve its
animal life is also touching and it is gratifying that somany agencies like World Wildlife
Fund and UNESCO are assisting the country in this endeavor through research and
The Fourth king’s fourth pillar in the creation of a happy and successful society is
the establishment of good governance. His plans for the gradual transition from an
absolute monarchy established in 1907 to a constitutional monarchy with representative
democracy surely constitute “good governance.” That king abdicated in favor of his son
who is currently the uncrowned fifth king because he apparently believed that the younger
man would handle the transition more smoothly than he could. All this change is due to
occur in 2008 with the coronation of the fifth king, the establishment and acceptance of the
new constitution, and the election of a representative National Assembly directly by the
electorate for the first time! We learned from Kelzang on our return home that he has
decided to run for that Assembly to represent Thimphu Valley.
The four of us happy and contented visitors to this magical country agreed that the
Gross National Happiness we observed is real. From our admittedly limited
perspective, the government continues to work diligently towards the realization of
the “Four Pillars of Happiness.” We very much enjoyed our exploration of the Land of the
Thunder Dragon. May it continue to thrive and bring contentment to its citizenry!
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