/ buːtæn /
Prevedi Bhutan na: nemački
A principality in the Himalayas northeast of India.
Mountainous, landlocked country in the eastern Himalayas (SE Asia), bounded N and W by Tibet (China) and to the S and E by India.
Bhutan is a hereditary limited monarchy in which the king (assisted by the royal council) consults the council of ministers, national assembly (Tsogdu), and the monastic head of Bhutan's Buddhist priesthood. The 151-member Tsogdu, which includes 106 representatives directly elected for three-year terms, is required to pass a vote of confidence in the king by a two-thirds majority every three years and has the power to replace the monarch. In the absence of a written constitution or political parties it is in effect an absolute monarchy. There are, however, certain written rules governing the methods of electing members of the royal council and Tsogdu.
Bhutan was ruled by Tibet from the 16th century and by China from 1720. In 1774 the British East India Company concluded a treaty with the ruler of Bhutan, and British influence grew during the 19th century. A short border war in 1863 ended with a treaty in 1865, under which an annual subsidy was paid by Britain to Bhutan. In 1907 the first hereditary monarch was installed, and under the Anglo-Bhutanese Treaty, signed three years later, Bhutan was granted internal autonomy while foreign relations were placed under the control of the British government in India.
After India's independence 1947, an Indo-Bhutan Treaty of Friendship was signed 1949, under which Bhutan agreed to seek Indian advice on foreign relations but not necessarily to accept it. There is no formal defense treaty, but India would regard an attack on Bhutan as an act of aggression against itself. In 1959, after the Chinese annexation of Tibet, Bhutan gave asylum to some 4,000 Tibetan refugees, who in 1979 were given the choice of taking Bhutanese citizenship or returning to Tibet. Most became citizens, and the rest went to India. In 1983 Bhutan became a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
In 1952 King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk came to power, and in 1953 a national assembly was established. In 1968 the king appointed his first cabinet. He died 1972 and was succeeded by his Western-educated son Jigme Singye Wangchuk.
In 1988 the Buddhist Dzongkha ethnic minority, headed by King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, imposed its own language, religious practices, and national dress on the divided (although principally Hindu-Nepali) majority community and suppressed the Nepalese language and customs. Hundreds of thousands of non-Bhutanese were deported, beginning 1989. As a result, tension between the Buddhist Dzongkha and Hindu Nepalese communities increased and the Nepalese illegally formed a number of political parties to protest against Dzongkha policies. Several hundred people were reported to have been killed during security crackdowns on prodemocracy demonstrations.