Make friends with the PM
26 August, 2011 – Looking to add a new friend on popular social networking website – Facebook? Why not add the prime minister of Bhutan.
Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley is currently accepting friend requests.
On Tuesday morning, Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley’s Facebook ‘like’ or fan page, which is maintained by the prime minister’s office (PMO), broadcast to its 1,700 fans that they could now also access Lyonchhoen’s personal profile page. PMO also pointed out that Lyonchhoen “will interact with you directly.”
While Lyonchhoen may have created his personal profile page as early as December last year, he has only begun using its features since Tuesday, according to information available on his profile.
Since Tuesday, Lyonchhoen has accepted friend requests, posted statuses, commented on other people’s walls and statues, and even “liked” his own ‘like page’. Lyonchhoen was also added by a member of his media relations team to the Amend the Tobacco Control Act group page, which was welcomed by some of its members. As of last night, Lyonchhoen was still a member of the group but had not yet commented on the issue.
A member of the prime minister’s media relations office confirmed that it is in fact Lyonchhoen himself on Facebook.
A request for an interview with Kuensel regarding a past event was promptly replied in the affirmative. But questions on why he is now active on Facebook were not answered by Lyonchhoen as of last night.
But a media relations officer for PMO, Phuntsho Choden, said: “He just wants to be progressive as any leader should be, and get a feel of the social network world.”
As of last night, Lyonchhoen had 451 friends. Lyonchhoen joins a small group of Bhutanese politicians using or exploiting social media platforms. The other politicians include communications minister, Lyonpo Nandalal Rai, a few MPs, and the opposition leader Tshering Tobgay.