Getting around the capital city, even for long time residents, is quite a challenge. This is because our address system has not kept up with the growth of the city, especially in terms of numbers of building mushrooming every year. In fact, we never had a street address system, although attempts were made as far as 2001, when the Thimphu structural plan was just taking off.
It is always said that we learn valuable lessons from natural disasters. In the aftermath of a disaster, that is the only positive thing we can look forward to. The massive Nepal earthquake on Saturday, where more than 4,000 people were killed, as of last night, is a timely, even if chilling, reminder to learn from disasters. The focus at the moment is all on relief and rescue measures. The post mortem will start coming when it is time to rebuild, which now looks difficult [... Read More]
Picture speaks louder than words. Indeed. It was one of the most heart-touching pictures that we saw of Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay hugging Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala yesterday. Nepal, our good neighbour and friend, is today going through difficult times. The massive earthquake that hit the nation on Saturday has left thousands dead and many more injured. Rescue operation is still continuing.
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.
If, and if, we care about what would hurt our researchers for all the work they do, we would not be breathing lethal fumes or drinking noxious drinks. It’s a bold assertion, some might say. It is, indeed. What we breathe, eat and drink defines us an individual, as a society.
Education is in the limelight yet again. Not for any encouraging reason, however. Schools in Thimphu are bursting at the seams. Some schools in the capital are forced to convert laboratories into classrooms because of excessive admission pressure. At the same time, schools in rural pockets of the country are experiencing drastic enrolment drop.
Prime Minister has asked the employment task force to create more employment opportunities in the country. The news is welcome. There was the talk of a 100 percent employment and then of full employment not so long ago. These promises have not faded from public memory. Whatever they mean in political terms matter not much to the people. What matters is that unemployment is increasingly becoming a big issue in this our small society.
It was quite a scene at the Zangtopelri complex in Phuentsholing town, as Anti Corruption Commission officials shut down a shopping complex and three other shops, allegedly linked to corrupt practices. A huge crowd gathered at the premises as words spread about the presence of the ACC investigation team. By the time officials sealed the shops, police had to shoo the crowd away. Such activities always draw public attention.
It’s a shame that the education ministry’s most successful programme, the non-formal education, is in dire need of attention. Giving an opportunity for those, who missed out formal education, the programme came as a boon for the ones who could not read and write. Its popularity was evident from the numbers that enrolled. Since it started in 1992, about 160,000 have benefited, which UNESCO recognised with the Confucius prize for literacy.
It is late, but that’s better than never. An association like the recently launched Bhutan Democracy Dialogue was one that was missing in our journey to making Bhutan a strong and unique democracy. The body is a multi party association, which knows well what transpires before, during and after an election. Such a body is crucial in allowing them to work together for the cause of democracy, even if they represent different political parties with different ideas.