The University of New England has long enjoyed a rich and varied partnership with Bhutan, sharing academic resources and executing mutually beneficial education practices with the tiny kingdom known for its unique development philosophy of Gross National Happiness.
The partnership took on deeper significance when Dr Tom Maxwell, Adjunct Professor in the School of Education, contributed to a definitive book on His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan.
“Jigme Singye Wangchuck, a visionary leader who ruled the country from 1972 to 2006, led the nation into the 21st century both in terms of international exposure and political reforms, without compromising its sovereignty, environment, and unique cultural and spiritual heritage,” Dr Maxwell said.
“As a tribute to His Majesty the Great Fourth, his mother Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden released The Bodhisattva King: His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck of Bhutan.”
The book provides rare insights and a comprehensive record of the life of the great King.
Several contributors, including the Je Khenpo, the Head Abbot of Bhutan, distinguished personalities such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, state officers, politicians, civil servants, scholars, diplomats, simple citizens, both Bhutanese and foreigners, contributed to this exceptional volume coordinated by Tshering Tashi and Dr Thierry Mathou.
The collective work is both an academic endeavour and a vivid testimony giving a unique perspective and a thorough overview of the achievements of one of the most discreet and yet inspiring world leaders of the last and current centuries.
Richly illustrated and featuring never before published photographs the book is a rare document that will appeal to all who wish to know more about the ‘Dragon Kingdom.’
All proceeds from the sales of this book go towards Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck’s efforts in reviving one of Bhutan’s national treasures, the Tashigomang or portable altar, a unique tradition that the Fourth King is keen to preserve as part of the rich cultural heritage of his country.
The Bodhisattva King: His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck of Bhutan coordinated by Tshering Tashi & Thierry Mathou and printed at Amarin Printing and Publishing PLC, Bangkok, Thailand.