Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Medical Seat in Sri Lanka

In 1999 I had moved into the newly established Chang Bangdu Primary School in Thimphu. I was in class II. It was the times when fixed landline telephone was a luxury where mostly it used to be kept in a box and often locked. Television sets were a luxury item too and video cassettes were priced possessions. There used to be one cassette parlour near the famous Cypress Tree in Changzamtog and a bigger one at Osang, below the main traffic. Often the reels inside the cassettes of popular movies would be changed.

Second June 1999 was a big day. The celebrations at Changlimethang stadium gathered huge number of people. There were three huge balloons that were released at the end of the celebrations. Those days, the stadium only had a small area for stands, the rest were grassy slopes, the area towards the archery range. I was seated in the crowds with my parents when His Majesty walked through the crowds and that was the only time I got a near glimpse of His Majesty.

The celebration that day was broadcast on Bhutan’s first and so far the only television channel, Bhutan Broadcasting Service. It was a one hour broadcast from 7 to 8 pm. Almost half the time was for news, the other half songs and programmes.

Ten years down the line in 2009, I finished class XII and made the decision to study medicine in Colombo. It was later learnt that Bhutan had been sending its students to study in Colombo and it had been made possible through His Majesty’s personal request to the then President of Sri Lanka. To provide seats in medical college is a task that needs to be balanced with its cost and local and political demands in Sri Lanka. It is an honour that at this stage we take up the opportunity in the form of medical education, created through the effort of His Majesty. 

On the historic Silver Jubilee celebrations, His Majesty had said the future of our nation lies in the hands of the youth. The small children and youth then are now in the economically productive age. I am glad that soon I will be able to come back to Bhutan and be at the service of our people.

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