Authorities said the second coming of the “Code Red” electronic
worm had little immediate impact Tuesday night, but warned that it could
take several more days before its full effect was known.
“Currently, all goverment and private sector watch centers are not
reporting any unusual activity associated with the Code Red worm, but we
will remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation throughout
the night,” Ron Dick, director of the FBI’s National Infrastructure
Protection Center, said late Tuesday.
“While there is no activity now, it does not mean that the storm has
passed. It will take some time before we can make any definitive
Computer operators watched and waited late Tuesday to see what, if any,
impact a second worldwide wave of computer-worm infections may have
online. “Code Red” could bring Internet traffic to a crawl and was
expected to unleash itself beginning Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EDT. But
whether the mutated bug will pack more punch than the original epidemic
remains the subject of considerable debate.
Allan Paller, director of the SANS Institute for computer security, said
it took seven days to fully gauge the worm’s spread the last time it
“This time it’s bound to take less. We just don’t know how much less,”
Microsoft reported that more than a million people have tried to avoid
the Code Red worm by downloading and applying the free patch available
from the Microsoft Web site.
“This should have a measurable impact on the overall effect of the
worm,” an FBI statement said.
Authorities said it may be 12 hours or more before the impact of the
electronic worm is known. The FBI said it would provide another update
within 24 hours.
When the Code Red worm made its online debut earlier this month, the
program swept through hundreds of thousands of computers in less than
half a day, forced the White House to take evasive action and the
Pentagon to take its public Web sites offline temporarily.
The malicious code is designed to spread for the first 19 days of each
month. After that, infected computers flood the White House Web site
with streams of data meant to knock it off the Net. Anti-virus experts
expect infected machines will spark another worldwide infection binge
beginning at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, or 8 p.m. EDT. Some
contaminated machines with incorrectly set internal clocks have most
likely set off the first waves of the invasion already, Internet
Since the original onslaught, two strains of the Code Red worm have been
identified. Computer security experts warn that more virulent variations
could dramatically slow Internet traffic, disrupt electronic commerce
and e-mail communications and even lead to theft of sensitive corporate
or government information.
“Instead of just propagating itself, (the worm) could do something
really damaging. It could delete files. It could erase Web servers. Or
it could send your company’s confidential information out on the
Internet,” said Declan McCullagh of Wired News on Tuesday.
Likewise, the FBI’s Dick warned that Code Red could be modified to “gain
control over a Web server or alter or steal critical corporate and
Dick urged Web site operators to take steps to stop the spread of Code
Red, which is named after a high-caffeine soft drink popular with
computer programmers. Foremost among them — download a free Microsoft
software patch to convey immunity on vulnerable machines.
The rogue application takes advantage of a defect in Microsoft’s
Internet Information Services software. It affects only computers with
the IIS Web server software and Window’s NT or 2000 operating systems.
Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me are immune.
Rebooting an infected machine removes the bug from memory but does not
protect it from further assaults.
Some Internet security experts are convinced that Code Red doomsday
predictions are premature, much as the highly feared Y2K bug turned dud.
“There will definitely be some traffic from this worm this evening. But
I don’t think there will be the widespread damage that’s predicted. I
could be wrong. But I don’t think we’re going to see anything like we’ve
heard about,” said David Perry, director of global education for Trend
Worldwide alerts have prompted hundreds of thousands of computer users
to download preventive patches. Moreover, most home PCs and network
computers cannot be infected in the first place.
“There are about 300 million computers on the Internet (but) the number
of NT installations on desktops is relatively miniscule,” Perry said. “A
lot of people are trying to download the Microsoft fix that don’t need
it at all. There are thousands of people overreacting to this right
now,” Perry said.
Nevertheless, Perry agrees with other computer experts that the new worm
version is more powerful than the original. It randomly scans Internet
addresses instead of known ones in search of new victims, he said.
And when it unleashes its second wave Tuesday evening, the sheer data
volume as the worm spreads and scans for other vulnerable machines could
prove a serious drag on Internet traffic for Web servers all over the
world, warned the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). “Because the
worm propagates very quickly, it is likely that nearly all vulnerable
systems will be compromised by August 2,” warned CERT, a federally
funded Internet security research center at Carnegie Mellon University.
When first identified on July 19, Code Red infected nearly 300,000
computers, anti-virus experts estimated. The outbreak forced the White
House to change its numerical Web address to keep its site online and
forced the Pentagon to halt briefly public access to its Web sites to
disinfect and protect them.
Some infected Web sites were defaced with the phrase, “Welcome to
http://www.worm.com! Hacked By Chinese!” But eEye Digital Security,
which discovered the Microsoft flaw that the worm later exploited, said
the malicious code spread too quickly for online investigators to
determine its origin.
Unlike conventional computer viruses, which need the assistance of
humans to spread, worms can self-replicate across the Internet.
A relative has confessed to the murder of a migrant labourer whose body was found on Wednesday morning (July 11) in Taba.A suspect apprehended by the police soon after the body was found has confessed to the murder.
According to reports the cause of death was strangulation.
A police spokesman said that the suspect is a relative of the deceased and they quarreled over a family issue.
The case has been forwarded to the court.
The body was found and reported to the police by officials from the Nima High School.
The man was a carpenter employed by the high school.
Five people were injured when a truck driving from Phuentsholing to Thimphu went off the road at 10:30 am last Friday (July 27).According to the police after passing the Chukha check post the driver and khalasi exchanged roles.
While attempting to give side to a scooter coming in the opposite direction on a bend the truck went off the road toppling, narrowly missing an 80 year old cow herder but killing his cow, explained the police.
Three people including the driver and khalasi were in serious condition and have been evacuated to the Thimphu referral hospital.
The fourth passenger has stabilised and the fifth passenger, the driver’s wife accompanied her husband to Thimphu.
On Saturday night (July 28) a Toyota corona over speeding lost control on the swimming pool road and hit a pedestrian.According to the traffic police in Thimphu the driver was intoxicated at the time and was over speeding.
“At the accident site there were no skid marks which indicated he had lost control of his vehicle,” explained the police spokesman.
The pedestrian is presently in the hospital and was serious at the time of admission the police spokesman said.
Reconstructing the accident the spokesman explained that the accident occurring opposite the swimming pool gates showed that the driver probably lost control over the speed breaker and then drove into two culverts as he hit the pedestrian.
The driver is under police custody.
The National Assembly of Bhutan, after a lengthy debate, passed the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code of Bhutan which represents a historic judicial reform initiated by His Majesty the King who commanded that justice must be guaranteed for all the people of Bhutan.
Presenting the bill to the Assembly on July 23 the chief justice, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, said that the code represented institutional, procedural, substantive law and penal reforms. It was a consolidation of different sections of existing Acts and the Thrimzhung Chhenmo (supreme law).
The code contains 44 chapters divided into three major sections: general procedures, civil procedure and criminal procedure.
The general procedures, among others, enumerate the principles of judiciary and its independence, the structure of the courts, jurisdiction and power of the judiciary, and the judicial process.
The civil procedure includes the institutions of a suit, petitions, pleadings, adjudication without proceedings and default judgment. It also lays down the capacity to sue and be sued, class action suit, negotiated settlement and summary judgment, withdrawal and adjustment of suits and criminal prosecution.
The criminal procedure lays down the basis to strengthen the due process of law, safeguard the peoples rights, and ensure the rule of law.
Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, a special invitee of the National Assembly at its 79th session, was called on 19 times over two days to clarify, explain, and justify parts of the code and to respond to the queries of the Assembly members.
The chief justice informed the Assembly that, taking into account the laws of the past and the directions for the future, the code would lead to a meaningful exercise of rights and deter arbitrary decisions. It is the soul of justice, he said. By enacting such a code the National Assembly is responding to the historic procedural reforms envisioned by His Majesty the King to ensure an efficient judicial process.
The chief justice added that the code also mirrored the national soul and reflected the national ethos of a chhoe den ki gyalkhap (spiritual Buddhist nation). We have enshrined in it the major doctrines and principles of our culture and religion, he said.
Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye explained that the rule of law was a basic requirement that must be maintained through an independent and impartial arbiter of facts. The code will facilitate accessibility to courts, transparency, accountability and independence of the judiciary and case management, he said. It will also promote efficient judicial processes and enhance judicial performance through court management, structure and advance certainty.
It will also enhance the separation of power and the independence of the judiciary which is necessary for an impartial adjudication so that it responds to the rising expectations of the people and fulfills the vision of Gross National Happiness, he said.
The chief justice explained that the legal words used in the code, although difficult, were derived from the Kanjur and, therefore, carried profound meanings. Right words guide the future of humanity, shape a nation, regulate the actions of people, and set the standards for their conduct, he said.
The chief justice said that His Majesty the King had commanded the high court to draft the code to introduce procedural reforms which would greatly strengthen the rule of law and also confer legislative authority on the National Assembly.
In early 1995, a high-powered cabinet committee was commissioned to deliberate on a proposed Civil and Criminal Procedure Code. The draft code was consequently discussed and refined by the Lhengye Zhungtshog. Thus the Civil and Criminal Code of Bhutan was a result of nine years of research and review by Bhutanese judges and scholars. By enacting the code, the National Assembly formalised a milestone in the history of Bhutans judiciary system.
Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye said that, over the past decade, Bhutanese courts had been modernised, the judicial quality and the efficiency of the administration of justice greatly improved, and the accountability of the judicial staff enhanced. Rules of procedures were reviewed to expedite the judicial process and clear the backlog of cases
The civil and criminal code is a public document, enabling the people to know their rights, to understand the judicial procedures, and to give them easier access to justice.
During the debate the people’s representatives expressed their concern over the credibility of today’s certified jabmis (legal counsel). Chimis said that the jubmis were not as well informed as the village elders who traditionally played this role. Many also said that the fees charged by the jabmis were too high for the people.
The civil and the criminal procedure code of Bhutan, which distributed to the members last year, was reviewed and discussed over a period of two days, and was endorsed by the National Assembly.
The chimis agreed that the Civil and Criminal Procedure code of Bhutan would greatly benefit every Bhutanese citizen and others residing in the kingdom by ensuring the rule of law.
A three-day auditors conference decided that the annual audit report will be published and made widely available to the public. The entire details, including names, of audit findings will be published and also posted on a web site which the RAA is developing.In his annual report to the conference the auditor general, Dasho Kinzang Wangdi, reminded the audit staff that Bhutan was blessed with a political leadership that was genuinely committed to fighting corruption and safeguarding integrity.
He called upon all auditors to follow the zero tolerance approach – not to leave even one Chhetrum unaccounted for – to ensure that government and public funds are not misappropriated.
He announced that the RAA would now issue two annual reports, the Auditor Generals Advisory Series and the Annual Audit Report.
The conference, conducted on the theme accountability: a collective responsibility, also discussed the inadequacies in the management of contracts – including construction and purchases, supplies – and concluded that there was a need to draw a comprehensive contract document and implement it in a correct and fair manner.
The conference agreed on the need to conduct audit along the concept of value for money, which basically means performance auditing. We will ask not just what was done but why something was not done, the auditor general explained. The purpose was to enhance the accountability of the executive agencies by providing information to the decision makers in the government.
Opening the conference on July 21 the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, said that while corruption was not a pressing issue in the country at present it would not remain so for long. He added that corruption was not confined only to money but also included nepotism, misuse of government property and use of power and authority for personal gains.
Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba informed the audit conference that Bhutans ability to solicit sustained assistance from donors was a result of the effective and transparent resource use and good service delivery by the government.
Officials and staff of the RAA, including trainees from the Royal Institute of Management, who attended the conference, were administered an oath of good conduct, ethics, and secrecy by the Yangbi lopon of the central monk body in the presence of the chief justice, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye.
The Annual Audit Conference was held to enhance the knowledge of auditors in modern auditing techniques, update them on rules and regulations, get their feedback in the formulation of the next five year plan programs, and create a forum for better interaction among themselves to build a strong team spirit for better audit results.
By Tshering Gyeltshen
The bio-physical researchers of the ministry of agriculture will now assess the economic profitability of technologies before they are introduced to the farmers.As a step toward this direction, a two-day training on economic analysis of farm enterprises and technologies was conducted at the Renewable Natural Resource (RNR) centre at Khangma for about 20 research officers and research assistants.
The same training had been conducted in the RNR centres at Bajo, Yusipang and Jakar, and for the NRTI students and farm managers.
An agricultural economist, Dophu Drukpa, said that the agriculture ministry had not conducted economic analysis until the arrival of a group of agricultural economists in 1998. So the degree of economic benefits to the farmers was not known.
A study conducted in the eastern region of the country by the ministry has found that the cost of maize production (from three different zones), on average, was Nu 6.5 a kilogramme. In contrast, maize was sold for about Nu 5.00 a kilogramme in the market, indicating that farmers get less returns for more work.
The study also found that the cost of producing potatoes, on average, was Nu 2.2 a kilogramme while its market price sometimes dropped to Nu 2.00 to Nu 3.00 a kilogramme.
Maize is the most important crop in eastern Bhutan. The variety of maize called Yangtsipa, introduced in 1992, has become very popular today because of its high yield. But, in the beginning, the ministry had to convince the farmers of its quality before the farmers would accept it.
So the economic factor plays an important role whereby it has become very important to study the economic profitability of the crop variety or new technology before it is released to the farmers, the official said.
After the training the participants are expected to be able to use various economic analysis tools to assess and compare the costs and benefits of farm enterprises and determine their profitability for farmer investors.
Among others, they are also expected to be able to calculate the costs of production of farm enterprises and use economic tools to study the additional costs and benefits of new technologies to determine their attractiveness to the farmers.
The training module has been developed for non-economists staff of the ministry who are responsible for looking after farm enterprises and new technologies, including managers of the input supply agencies, RNR research staff and RNR extension staff.
By Tashi Gyeltshen
With Thimphus population expected to reach 150,000 in the next 25 years, urban planners and residents see an urgent need for a comprehensive master plan to cope with the rapid and complex urban growth.A consultancy firm hired by the government met with officials and Thimphu residents this week to brainstorm the start of a detailed structural plan for the capital. It is expected to incorporate, among others, adequate provisions for parks, pedestrian space, control of vehicle traffic, and the need to create a unique image for the capital city.
While the plan is expected to take eight months to finalise, the City Corporation announced that it has initiated a number of smaller plans to be implemented in various pockets of the capital.
An immediate plan is to stop vehicle traffic in the clock tower area from the first week of August and convert it into a pedestrian space with the clock tower square re-developed. A vacant plot around the lhakhang behind the Swiss Bakery will be converted into a childrens park and the area behind the swimming pool complex will be turned into a botanical garden. Similar plans have been made for vacant plots near Chubachu and Motithang.
Apart from the construction of a river walkway along the Thimchu, many other local projects are already under implementation, according to the Thimphu Thrompon, Phuntsho Wangdi. This includes a ring road through Changzamtog and parking facilities near Yangchenphug High School and one behind Norzin Lam.
Hejo, Langjopakha and Taba were included within the municipal boundary in 1994 and the TCC, with the approval of the council of ministers, have already demarcated Dechencholing and the Ngabi Rongchu area (below Babesa) for proper planning and development.
This is expected to check random constructions and unchecked growth of the city.
The main aim of the TCC, according to the Thrompon, was to make Thimphu a culturally vibrant, economically sustainable and environmentally friendly city. We can make Thimphu a model city with support from all sectors and adequate resources at the right time, he told Kuensel.
By Kinley Y. Dorji
Phuentsholing residents have taken the fight against HIV/AIDS from the streets directly into their living rooms.
In cooperation with the local cable TV operators, they have started posting ads on-screen in a bid to build a strong and widespread public consciousness in a town where prostitution has cast an ominous shadow in recent years.
The idea of using the audio-visual medium came in April this year when the towns multi-sectoral task force (involving the government, public and private sectors, and local communities) decided to intensify efforts to to combat the HIV/AIDS scourge.
According to a member of the task force, G.P.Sharma, attractive and effective STD/HIV/AIDS awareness messages supported by appropriate pictures and cartoons had been designed and displayed through the cable operators to all the TV viewers in the town.
Since most of the residents switch on during the news hour, the ads are relayed just before the BBS dzongkha and English news, he said.
Another task force member, Dr. Deki Choden, said that the initiative was already popular. TV has been most effective, she said. We are getting good responses.
She added that the ads would be further improved to hook more viewers.
Tshela Cable Service, one of the two operators in the town, relays three hours of HIV/AIDS messages every day, free of charge, from 9:00 am to 10:30 am in the morning and 6:00 pm. to 7:30 pm in the evening.
From our service, the least we could do is caution and prevent people from getting infected, says the cable owner, Karma Jigme. This fatal disease is here to stay and spread unless concerted efforts are made and we are ready to help in any way possible to stem the tide.
Meanwhile, the task force has also stepped up direct campaigns. Heads of educational and training institutions had been asked to promote the awareness among students through co- and extra-curricular activities while doctors and members of the task force regularly visit the high-risk areas in the lower market to counsel sex workers and their clients.
Among its latest activities, the task force organized a large scale awareness campaign on July 24 where pamphlets and condoms were distributed to the public.
The impact is already visible, according to one resident. Reading Kuensel about the status of HIV/AIDS in Bhutan has really scared us, he said. Now with the cable ad and other campaigns, most of my friends have stopped seeing prostitutes.
Sex workers are perceived by many in the town to be the main carriers of HIV/AIDS. But, on the other hand, it is not easy for a sex worker to suddenly turn conscientious and work towards safer sex or stop the practice trapped as they are between life and livelihood.
Phuentsholing which has a rough population of 20,000 has been long considered as one of the most sexually transmitted disease-prone areas in the country. It houses most of the 60 prostitutes under the health divisions active surveillance.
Residents estimate that as many as 90 percent of the hotels are directly or indirectly involved in the flesh trade. In 1999, 40 percent of the towns flesh trade, once the domain of foreigners, was taken by Bhutanese girls. An increasing number of girls are from rural parts of the country, come to seek fortunes in the new urban world.
Facilitated mainly by its proximity to the neighbouring Indian town of Jaigaon, prostitution in the town began more than a decade ago. It has flourished ever since because of a large mobile population as Phuentsholing is kingdoms business hub.
The sex trade here continues to be vibrant with more than 50 percent of it propped up by students and youth besides businessmen, government employees, drivers, and even farmers.
By Kencho Wangdi
You can take a tear-jerker for only so long. Eventually its going to chew on your adrenaline, and your love affair will end.
The third film which is being screened in Thimphu this summer, the two-hour long kangyel (hardship), offers just that recipe. Produced by Mila Communications, kangyel opens with a promising burst of effervescence but quickly goes flat.
The scene opens with a glimpse into the life of the lead character. With a job, a car and newly married, he appears headed for a comfortable life until a small oversight sows tragedy in his family.With 10 children in 13 years, he learns the hard way that happiness, as adherents to population planning are wont to put it, comes with a small family.
Once in the clutches of poverty, tragedy strikes the family one after the other. The mother soon dies of complications arising from numerous child births leaving the children to fend for themselves. The eldest son abandons the family after availing education and a good job. The eldest daughter works as a part-time baby-sitter and her younger brother in a hotel. One of the younger daughters tends other peoples cattle although she nurses a dream to go to school one day. The children, in the process, cope with inhuman treatment from their employers.
In the final moments of the film, a kind teacher offers to put both the sisters in a boarding school and even buys school uniform for one of them. The film suddenly ends with one of the daughters singing a moving song about her lost mother at her schools cultural show. What happens after the show, in which the teary-eyed father attends, is entirely left to ones imagination.
The film would have benefited if it had not dwelt too much on the tragic aspects of life. The vulnerability of children is no doubt a subject that invites maudlin excess but, here, the children trapped in harsh circumstances elicits not recognition but only pity.
The film asks its viewers to identify with a father and his children forced to make a living in harsh circumstances. But what it fails to highlight on is the fathers professional life. Since he is the familys chief breadwinner, the films refusal to visit his workplaces and explore what he does is a significant gap in the story sequence. <P.
The acting, on the whole, is good making the film appear spontaneous. The father, played by the director and the scriptwriter, Tobgay, portrays a figure of simplicity, kindness and tolerance while the two younger actors Kinley Dem, nine, and Pema Lhaden, eight (both studying in primary schools in Thimphu)have also done justice to their roles. By far the most endearing character is Kalden, the youngest son played by a seven-year old, Karma Thinley of Zilukha Junior High School. Kalden, certain only that his enrollment in the monastic body would lessen his familys problem, volunteers to be a monk and goes away. He bares his soul in crisp dialogues that lend the film much of its freshness and emotional depth.
In every scene of the film in which the family members are together, you can feel love bursting out of them. Their sad but nurturing home is a refuge from an outside world that tends to see things (and people) in terms of being rich and poor.
Kangyel is Tobgays debut venture as an actor, director, and scriptwriter. The scenes were shot at Lobesa, Punakha, and Gaselo. My main aim is to portray family planning as an ingredient of happy life, he says, adding that he will take his film, and therefore its message, to all the 20 dzongkhags.
Someone once remarked that a film lives the lifespan of a butterfly. With a good storyline and strong performances from the cast, Kangyel could flutter a little longer.
By Kencho Wangdi