Friday, November 16, 2007

DECLARATION De EXILE (pdf, easy to read)

OR HERE (May be uneasy to read)

1 ‘Together We Make it Happen’
Declaration dé Exile
Jointly by
Bhutan Press Union (BPU)
Third World Media Network – (TWMN) Bhutan Chapter
Association of Press Freedom Activists – (APFA) Bhutan
On Press Freedom and Freedom of Speech and Expression in Bhutan
Focus: Bhutan has not done enough for press freedom
Press Freedom and freedom of speech and expression were never incorporated into national
policies of Bhutan all through the ages. Fundamentally, freedom of expression and speech
was termed anti national approach and access to media was regarded an attempt to destroy
the long preserved culture of closed society. The Bhutanese rulers never prescribed that media
would be the best means to educate people and a good partner for the good governance. Despite it
signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the rights conferred by this international
legal instrument, Article 19 we stress, were ignored by Bhutanese authorities.
TV was banned until 1999. All media outlets were strictly controlled and censored by the
government until recently when it opened up way for private media as part of the king’s
efforts to democratize his regime.
When the struggle for human rights, democracy and equality began in early 1990s, the
political parties formed at that time to lead the movement included press freedom in their
demand list. Subsequently, the deployment of the military force in southern districts silenced
the voices for freedom of speech and expression and freedom of the press. Those supporting
this justifiable demand were called anti nationals and were evicted. Thus led the
strengthening of the fight for freedom of speech and express and the freedom of the press.
Thus, we support, in broader sense, the demand for establishment of democracy and human
rights in the country considering that press freedom is impossible in their absence.