According to 3rjewelry, Bhutan is a country in Asia. Colonized by the Tibetans (17th century), it was imposed by the lama Ngawang Namgyal, who unified the country with both temporal and spiritual authority, the religion of the Kargyud sect (Mahayana Buddhism), which is still the official religion today. Considered by China as its own natural tributary, Bhutan became, after various struggles in the sec. XVIII and XIX, a kind of protectorate of Great Britain that, in 1910, with a treaty recognized its internal independence, sanctioning, at the same time, the closure to European travelers and maintaining the management of relations with foreign countries. Formally independent since 1971, Bhutan continues to live in a dimension of isolation, conditioned by a particularly difficult mountain environment and centuries-old traditions. The country owes its current name, Druk Yul, “land of the thundering dragon”, to the Tibetans; the same dragon occupies the central part of the Bhutanese flag, whose two colors, yellow and orange, represent the temporal power of the monarchy and the religious power of Buddhist monasticism, the highest authorities of the country. The secular isolation of Bhutan is however giving way to a general opening, thanks also to the innovation policies desired by the sovereign: his idea of spreading the concept of “gross national happiness”, the slogan of a reform program conceived in perspective of sustainable development, respectful of traditional cultural values.
The substantial isolation caused by an impervious territory, which also includes a stretch of the great Himalayan range, has allowed Bhutan to maintain a certain balance of relations with its impending Indian and Chinese neighbors. In the sixties of the twentieth century, the country slowly began to emerge from isolation, creating economic infrastructures and becoming part of the UN. Both to keep the cultural identity intact and to avoid presences dangerous for the stability of the monarchy, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, in power since 1972, pursued a policy of restricting immigration and expelling foreign residents. This took place, however, within the framework of an overall effort to modernize the country which was based on a more rational use of water resources and aimed at creating infrastructures capable of improving the quality of life of the population, in particular by promoting education and health and bringing electricity everywhere. In this context, the development of social legislation aimed at guaranteeing the poorest classes also appeared significant, such as the provision that established (1988) minimum wages. The aversion towards foreigners, on the other hand, it became even more evident in the mid-1990s with the expulsion, in three years, of about 100,000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanese. A measure indicative of the king’s fear that his reign could retrace the events of his neighbor Sikkim where the Nepalese opposition groups, appropriately supported by India, had brought about the end of the monarchy in 1975 and the annexation to the Indian Union.
A fear also reinforced by the conflict present in particular in the southern regions where the Hindu minority since 1988 was developing a persistent guerrilla warfare. However, this did not prevent the tourism sector from developing within a rigid system of controls, which ensured an important resource for the country. Signs of the sovereign’s “enlightened” policy were also found in the slow but progressive relief of the governing bodies that flank the monarchy: the assembly and the consultative council (1998). In recent years, bilateral agreements with the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and others to develop new economic programs. In 2004 the king decided to abolish the death penalty, provided for by the 1953 Constitution. In March 2005, a draft Constitution was published which provided for the establishment of a bicameral democracy, and during the year the king communicated his intention to leave the throne to his son and allow the first political elections. In December 2006, Jigme Singye Wangchuk abdicated and his son Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk took the throne. With the legislative elections of March 2008, the historic transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy took place, in which 80% of those entitled to vote voted. In November, the king’s coronation ceremony took place, according to a traditional Buddhist rite. With the legislative elections of March 2008, the historic transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy took place, in which 80% of those entitled to vote voted. In November, the king’s coronation ceremony took place, according to a traditional Buddhist rite. With the legislative elections of March 2008, the historic transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy took place, in which 80% of those entitled to vote voted. In November, the king’s coronation ceremony took place, according to a traditional Buddhist rite.