Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 - 2:20 PM
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Ensuring security

As family members of the truck drivers still held in captive by kidnappers across the border in Gelephu remain in shock, and try to come to terms with what has happened to them, there is an air of optimism on security prospects along the southern border. A 30-kilometre wall is being planned to secure the border from Gelephu to Singye gewog.  The porous border and the thick jungle provided a safe haven for miscreants across the border to come and rob or kidnap innocent villagers.  [... Read More]

Visits that bind ties

Iis not often that a country gets to host a President and the Prime Minister of the same country in the same year.  Rare is it to receive them within months of each other.  The two-day state visit by the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, six months after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, therefore makes it a special year. We need not doubt the reasons for top leaders from India visiting the country.  It signifies the importance the two nations attach to one other.  As [... Read More]

Compulsory contributions

Bhutanese are fairly generous when it comes to contributing to a good cause.  That’s why we have many coming forward, some even donating their entire month’s salary, to renovating monuments, or when disasters strike. Contributions are also made, big and small, during fund raising campaigns, like the now yearly Move for Health walk campaign.  When the walk was first initiated, there was widespread support for it.  The smallest local community got involved in one way or the other, even if they didn’t have cash to [... Read More]

More to the convenience of voters

Druk Nyamrup tshogpa is pointing out a pertinent issue on the minds of many Bhutanese.  The party has explicitly, backed by facts and figures, assessed the need for change in the election Act related to voting. The party is recommending absentee in person voting facility.  In other words, voting from the place of residence.  This issue came up several times, mostly after elections, but didn’t go beyond the discussions.  The party’s effort is laudable.  They have a comprehensive report that looks into almost every aspect [... Read More]

Reservations about reservation for women

The Assembly’s legislative committee will propose a minimum of 30 percent seat reservation by all political parties for women, when the election Act is put up for amendment. But even as we rationalise the clauses and sections to be amended, what would be a new clause, the 30 percent reservation, could be a bone of contention when it is deliberated in Parliament.  The debate is already starting, with some calling it a bold move and others, a big gamble. The intention – to improve women [... Read More]

Making civil service attractive

Some manner of glamour and security.  That’s about all our civil servants have had so far, even as their contribution to the making of the nation is immense.  They are paid by far less compared to professionals in the corporate and private sectors. This is one of the main reasons why some of the best and the brightest we have in the civil service are leaving today.  Time was when the government provided the best job opportunities.  The allure of the zhiyops is fast fading.  [... Read More]

Making too much of a good thing?

A word that kept coming back at the morning session of the E3 conference was the need for dialogues.  The discussions revolved around investments in hydropower. Are we overinvesting in hydropower?  Are we drowning in hydropower?  Can we absorb such huge investments in a short span of time?  Are we neglecting other sectors?  These are questions emerging.  Given the investment made in hydropower, a prospect, which we are riding on to a prosperous future, discussion and discourse are indeed the need of the hour. There [... Read More]

Rational response is the key

It is indeed a very good piece of news that the Ministry of Health has formed a task force for the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) that is sweeping fast across the globe. The task force will develop a strategic plan to respond to the epidemic that the World Health Organisation has declared a public health emergency. The ministry, therefore, deserves all our gratitude, praise and prayers. But even as we are setting out to develop our own strategic plan to combat the raging disease, [... Read More]

Thrashing out the trash issue

Thimphu hosted the most relevant conference in the recent times.  The two-day sustainable solid waste management conference, where stakeholders participated and thrashed out ideas with authorities and implementers for a better waste management, was a good idea with the problem of solid waste mounting. It has been long overdue. It was a fruitful conference in the sense that participants were vocal and candid about a problem that seems to be getting out of hand.  Planners, implementers and non-government organisations who attended the conference were well [... Read More]

A wake up call

The small Bhutanese community in Perth is a bit shaken; with most of them receiving numerous calls from home inquiring if the Australian immigration authority has cancelled visas of two Bhutanese dependents. Last night, members of the Association of Bhutanese in Perth confirmed that authorities questioned four Bhutanese and no visas were cancelled.  This comes as a relief to parents, relatives and especially to hundreds of Bhutanese waiting to go to Australia to study. It would have been  a big blow had the authorities cancelled [... Read More]

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