This is the first such disaster unit to be deployed outside the country
Earthquake: Bhutan will dispatch a medical assistance team, comprising of at least 54 members, to Nepal, today, following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country on April 25.
The team is being deployed on the Royal Command of His Majesty the King.
A medical unit of 11 doctors, including both surgeons and medical specialists, and 19 nurses and technicians of the health ministry and the Royal Bhutan Army form the core of the team.
The medical team will be assissted by eight supporting staff, including an electrician.
The ballpark figure is based on an inspection of three truckloads of commodities imported from third countries
ACC: Bhutan could be losing more than Nu 20 million (M) every day in tax evasion at the country’s largest commercial hub, Phuentsholing.
This estimate was based on the physical verification of three truckloads of commodities imported from third countries that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) recently carried out at the regional revenue and customs office (RRCO) complex in Phuentsholing.
Annual budget to be scrutinised and opposition to move motion for discussion
NA: Unlike in the past, the upcoming parliament session on May 8 will see the annual budget being scrutinised by a finance committee, and the opposition moving a motion for discussion in the National Assembly (NA).
The nine-member finance committee, which is yet to be constituted, will review the budget and come up with recommendations after it is introduced in the assembly. The committee will attempt to create a regional balance in budget distribution.
For the well-being of His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty the King and the royal family, and His Holiness the Je Khenpo, the Laggar Choetshog (religious association) is performing a three-day kurim (rituals) at Changidaphu, Thimphu.
Initiated by followers and patrons of His Eminence Gyeltshen Trulku, around 20 tsampas (religious practitioners) yesterday performed Drolma Yuedo, an invocation of Tara.
Today, the group will make a feast offering to three main deities of Zhabdrung, Yeshe Gonpo, Pelden Lhamo and Jarog Dongchen. Coinciding with Zhabdrung Kuchoed, the kurim will conclude with an offering to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Kagyu masters.
The Saturday earthquake in Nepal was a tragic event. It caused massive damage to property. Death toll is rising by the day.
It is an urgent reminder to the Himalayan communities that sit on the major seismic zone.
The reports we get are shifting. We are yet to figure what magnitude of shock hit Nepal two days ago.
Local community feels left out of the loop in govt.’s unilateral decision to defer
Highway: The government’s decision to defer the Nganglam-Dewathang highway for an indefinite period has left people of Choekhorling and Dewathang disgruntled, with people complaining that they were not informed of the decision, although they were equally involved in the project’s preparatory processes.
Villagers said they were left wondering if the project had been cancelled or deferred, as even the gewog offices couldn’t provide a clear explanation. Villagers said the government should have at least informed the local leaders.
Religion: Nuns across the country will start studying a curriculum that has been developed for them, and discontinue the one that was developed for monks.
The Bhutan Nun Foundation’s patron, Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Yangden Wangchuck, launched the new curriculum on April 26 at the Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Choeling in Wolakha, Punakha.
Along with the launch, the Gyalyum also inaugurated the upgrade of the nunnery to a Buddhist College.
The American multinational technology company showcases its security wares
Cyber security: A workshop on cyber security and cloud services was conducted by American multinational technology company, Microsoft, in Thimphu, yesterday.
The workshop, attended by around 60 participants from the government and the private sector, focused on cybercrime and what Microsoft offers to counter it.
Microsoft head of legal and corporate affairs for Southeast Asia, Shalini Ratwatte, said that cyber crime had become the largest criminal activity today, and that it was no more a problem limited only to IT officers but one that now could equally affect the entire operations of an organisation.
She added that it would be a mistake to think that using a free email account in a country like Bhutan meant that a hacker would not be interested. She explained that this was because hackers target IP (internet protocol) addresses on a random basis. An IP address is a unique identifier for a device like a computer.
Waste: Damphu town in Tsirang may have fallen on the blind spot of the Clean Bhutan movement if its state today is anything to go by.
The bus and taxi parking, along with other parts of the town, are strewn with colourful wrappers of candies, chips, noodles and bottles. Residents have called on the dzongkhag administration to tackle the town’s growing issue of garbage disposal.
A corporate employee said that, instead of letting the place be littered, the authority concerned should do something to manage proper disposal.
“I even came across an instance, where hospital waste was thrown near my house,” he said.
The town’s executive engineer, Tshewang Tenzin, said the residents could be disposing garbage irresponsibly, because the garbage collection truck was under maintenance and couldn’t go to collect waste every day.
“We hired a private tractor to collect waste in the town area thrice a week,” he said. “But, the truck is fixed and we’re hopeful that such problems won’t arise hereafter.”
The town is also coming up with five iron mesh garbage bins soon, Tshewang Tenzin said. The bins will be placed at the bus parking, near the bank, near the taxi parking, and one below the town, where residents today are dumping garbage.
Most shopkeepers said that the mandatory black bin they have for waste is not enough. “It’s important for the town to send the truck everyday as our bins gets filled every day,” one of the shopkeepers said.
The town’s waste inspector, Chador, said she didn’t find anyone dumping garbage during the day. “If people are found throwing waste in public areas, they’ll be fined,” she said.
All waste collected from Damphu town is dumped at the Bulke dumping yard, about eight kilometres away from town.
By Yeshey Dema, Tsirang
Bhutan can take some consolation from the fact that it is the happiest in South Asia
Report: Bhutan is 17th happiest country in Asia and the happiest among its South Asian neighbours.
For the first time, Bhutan is listed in the World Happiness Report, 2015, and ranked 79th among 158 countries.
Pakistan is ranked 81st, Bangladesh 109th, India 117th, Nepal 121st and Afghanistan 153rd.