3 May, 2010 – For the past week Bhutan was literally crawling with journalists from the region and beyond almost 300, perhaps the largest number the country has ever seen at one time.While many came to cover the 16th SAARC summit and attend the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) summit, there were others, who had come to cover specific stories about an isolated and conservative society that is steeped in tradition.
To many journalists [... Read More]
1 May, 2010 – It has been a hectic week in the capital, with Bhutan hosting its first ever SAARC summit that ended yesterday.But at the end of it all there is a deep sense of satisfaction with everyone involved that all went well if not perfectly.
This sense is not only shared by those, who were directly involved in some way with the summit, but also by their friends and family members in the capital [... Read More]
30 April, 2010 – The south Asian association for regional cooperation (SAARC) may be a useful talking shop, but it does not get much done.The message was clear and it resonated at the grand assembly hall during the 16th SAARC Summit, as heads of member nations grew bolder, taking turns to point out the weaknesses of the association.
It echoed outside the assembly hall, as a caravan of Toyota prados and land cruisers parked along the [... Read More]
29 April, 2010 – Notwithstanding the numerous criticisms meted out at the south Asian association for regional cooperation, it is always a major event for the region when the SAARC summit is held.Amidst the colourful decorations and green surrounding of Thimphu, the 16th SAARC Summit opened in grandeur. Stories of achievements made by member nations and new commitments leaders made at the summit reverberated from the Bhutanese hills, raising hopes and expectations for the [... Read More]
28 April, 2010 – For members of the Bhutanese media who attended yesterdays inaugural session of the South Asian Free Media Associations (SAFMAs) fifth Summit in Paro, what the Bhutanese prime minister had to say sounded familiar.It was, as expected, centred around Gross National Happiness and on the role of the media through the GNH lens. While large parts of the address felt like it had been heard many times before, there were some lines [... Read More]
27 April, 2010 – The group of teenagers in Paro town who initiated a signature campaign to build a basketball court, in a way, indicates that our youth are taking responsibility.The silent Paro campaign may be driven by the lack of a sporting facility in the most developed dzongkhag outside Thimphu but, from a broader perspective, the youth are sending a strong message. Much had been said and talked about youth in the country. [... Read More]
26 April, 2010 – What we learn through difficulty and pain we never forget. That can be said about children studying in remote schools vis–vis the value of education.Walking for hours to schools more than ten kilometres away, learning lessons in classes, paying only half attention, the other half giving in to somnolence.
Taking home loads of assignments, which they struggle to complete under the flickering dim kerosene lamp, their weary eyes often succumb to [... Read More]
24 April, 2010 – Thimphu is looking all clean and tidy. And it took the 16th SAARC Summit, happening here next week, to bring about the makeover.No wonder, some people are saying that Thimphu should have a summit every month just so that it maintains the clean look that is being welcomed by both citizens and visitors alike.
Getting there was a collaborative effort by the authorities and residents alike. It took several cleaning [... Read More]
23 April, 2010 – All is well as far as preparation for the 16th SAARC summit next week is concerned. At a press conference yesterday, at the refurbished National Assembly hall where the two-day summit will be held, journalist joked about the confidence brimming on Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinleys face.The prime minister described the 16th Summit as a historic occasion. It will be a historic summit not only because it is the [... Read More]
22 April, 2010 – Seventy two percent is the magic number that is constantly used at regional and international seminars and with visitors to highlight Bhutans forest cover.The underlying message is to indicate Bhutans successful environmental conservation policies. Some officials have even gone on record to say that forest cover actually increased in recent decades. How they arrived at that conclusion is not very clear.
But, like most data in Bhutan, forest cover data [... Read More]