Heritage: His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo yesterday inaugurated the Ludrong Memorial Garden, a gift to the people of Bhutan from Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, on her 85th birth anniversary, at Langjophakha, Thimphu.
With the historical inaugural ceremony, which was attended by His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, Their Majesties the Queen Mothers, and members of the Royal Family, Her Majesty’s longstanding wish was fulfilled. She had long desired to transform the property into a memorial garden as a gift for those who appreciate the natural beauty of the kingdom.
His Majesty The King planted a cypress tree, while His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother planted a chinar (Platanus orientalis) sapling tree each, to commemorate the auspicious occasion. These saplings were from the seeds of the rare species, more commonly known as chinar in Turkish and English that was originally brought from Kashmir, India and planted in Bhutan by Rani Mayum Choeying Wangmo Dorji, Her Majesty’s beloved mother.
The government has said it will fulfil all the election pledges during its five-year tenure
Assembly: While the discussion on culture and tradition went smoothly in the National Assembly yesterday, the house switched to a tensed mood as it moved on to the next issue – the government’s election pledges.
Opposition MP from North Thimphu, Kinga Tshering, on behalf of his constituents, submitted that service utility vans and power tillers should be provided to every chiwog as promised. He said providing the vehicles alone would not be enough, and that the government should also make budget allocations for fuel.
Misgivings about legitimacy of govt. decision have not been adequately allayed
NC: The National Council still sticks to its earlier stand that the establishment of the Business Opportunity and Information Centre (BOiC) contravenes the existing laws.
During the 14th session last December, the council had recommended the government to urgently take measures to legitimise BOiC and Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts (APIC) so that such agencies are established only after authorisation by Parliament in future. Besides, the council had also recommended the government to ensure that its public policy decisions are backed by an Act.
Crime: Tsirang district court on May 19 sentenced a 33-year-old man from Dagana to nine and half years imprisonment for raping a 14-year-old girl and for being in possession of controlled substances.
The court also ordered him to pay a compensation of Nu 25,000 to the girl.
A member of the opposition reminded the government of the pledges it made and a debate sparked off, almost turning ugly, needing the Deputy Speaker to remind the house of its decorum.
On the agenda for discussion yesterday at the Assembly were issues from local governments, but members of the ruling and opposition parties engaged in a heated debate almost along party lines.
Crime: At the Royal Bhutan Police’s annual crime conference in Thimphu yesterday, superintendents of police (SP) said that there is a need to start past midnight vehicle checking at Chuzom check post.
The police officials said that increasing number of criminals involved in offence against cultural and national heritage, burglary, drugs and sandal wood smuggling are using motor vehicles to get away at night.
Home Minister Damcho Dorji said that if police are doing their duty as per the law, there is no objection from the ministry. Police have the right to inspect if they find anything suspicious at any time of the day.
Wangdue: The National Assembly Wednesday resolved that Finance Ministry should review whether wage rates for carpenters and masons should be increased between Nu 500 and Nu 600.
Nyishog Saephu MP Kuenga submitted the petition from Wangdue dzongkhag to house that due to increase in wage rate for carpenters and masons in some communities, it has affected developmental activities, especially during restoration of cultural and heritage sites like dzongs.
“There is severe shortage of carpenters and masons. And there is a need to increase wage rate for carpenters and masons between Nu 500 and Nu 600,” said Kuenga.
Assembly: To promote the national language, Dzongkha and the national dress, South Thimphu member of parliament (MP), Yeshi Zimba, yesterday asked the National Assembly to create job opportunities for people with Dzongkha-based qualifications.
MP Yeshi Zimba said that, while considering the national language important and introducing it in all schools and institutions, people with Dzongkha qualification have a hard time finding employment. “Except for teachers and clerks, most people with Dzongkha background don’t get appropriate jobs, as per their qualification,” he said.
Enterprise: In a small ceremony yesterday, Namgay, 43, of Septoka village in Baap, Punakha, introduced two wooden winnowers he made at home.
The father of three is perhaps the first to fabricate wooden winnowers at home. One is equipped with a motor and can be used with electricity while the other is run with the help of a gear and used without electricity.
The product is used to separate the chaff from rice (grain) through an air current produced by a fan installed inside the winnower. It takes the machine 10 minutes to separate the chaff from a 20kg bag of rice.
Concerned agencies responds to National Council’s resolution
Mining: Nationalisation of mining activities would breach mines and minerals Act and the mines and mineral management regulation, the ministry of economic affairs has informed the National Council.
In the last session, based on a performance audit, the council expressed concerns on the current policies and practices related to the mining and quarrying sector.
The house had then resolved that all existing mining leases be immediately terminated, if applicable. “This would logically entail the nationalisation of all mineral extraction activities,” stated the last session’s resolution.