Monday, September 1st, 2014 - 1:28 PM
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Ground realities

The discussions on the state of mining in the country and its apparent shortcomings, one of the first issues to be taken up by the new council, are expected to continue today. Last Friday’s deliberations went on for four hours, where councillors debated on who had the final authority, the relevant ministry, or the people that might be affected by the presence of a mine. There were also other issues, of relevant government agencies not sharing information, as far as some members of the council [... Read More]

Still going strong

When the Tendrelthang tshechu ground was planned about seven years ago, it was expected to solve the overcrowding problem during the three-day annual Thimphu tshechu. With the tshechu crowd increasing every year, the courtyard at Tashichodzong couldn’t accommodate the crowd.  But going by the gathering at the tshechu ground yesterday, it looks like the crowd is going to fill another Tendrelthang.  There was a large number of people, who could not even get into the ground at one point of the day. There were also [... Read More]

Actions speak louder than Acts

A mending and revising the Tenancy Act gets only one mention in the agenda for the first session of the National Assembly, which began on September 11. Yesterday, the relevant minister moved the motion to revise the legislation, but members, who stood up to express their views, said nothing was wrong with the legislation that was passed in 2004 to protect the rights and spell out the responsibilities of both tenant and house-owner. The problem was with enforcing the legislation.  The relevant minister has now [... Read More]

Time to move on

The leader of the opposition party on Wednesday spoke out the mind of many Bhutanese, who were neutral, and even of those, who were affiliated to either of the two political parties that contested the general round. By submitting to His Majesty and the people of Bhutan for forgiveness for “disturbing the peace and harmony”, and calling for reconciliation and cooperation, the opposition leader would have helped the political dust to settle.  Like, he said, parliamentarians should forget and forgive, and do what the country [... Read More]

Happy, now?

Whoever thought a concept that was conjured up in the early ‘70s would catch on in the world with so much conviction today, the very concept it once looked at with cynicism. The country may not be reflected among the list of happy nations in the recent World Happiness Report, but it is encouraging to learn that many nations across the world have begun giving the alternate index a serious thought that it merited to measure human progress. What has become the country’s guiding philosophy [... Read More]

Under a cloud or two

In recent days, official statements made by important agencies have confused quite a lot of people. First, it was land commission officials saying the education city project, which envisions making Bhutan an international education hub, is illegal. This is because the commission has not yet approved the 1,000-acre area, which will be developed by foreign investors.  The project came under scrutiny, with allegations that members of the previous government had vested interests. But the project itself has faced numerous challenges from finding foreign investors to [... Read More]

Fill in the blanks

The sort of blasé attitude among education ministry officials about Indian teachers in some of the schools in the capital city leaving makes many parents ambivalent about the situation. It is quite difficult to interpret the indifference, with which they consider the issue of many Indian teachers, most on contract, leaving for their own country, where they have been offered better perquisites and salary. Just as Indian nationals have been key players in literally building the nation, in terms of roads connecting the various parts [... Read More]

The GAO has come of age

A group of 11 gewog administration officers  (GAO) has left for Japan soon to hone their skills in resolving issues, while also learning and experiencing technologies and skills. This is not the first time the government of Japan has invited GAOs through the technical cooperation scheme.  Some groups had already been to Japan and back.  This is a welcome initiative, as the GAOs, who are always in the gewogs, will have good exposure and learn from the similar local government experience in Japan.  If there [... Read More]

A work plan

Was it full employment or 100 percent employment the new government promised?  That’s the question quite a few people are asking, including those looking for jobs. During the election campaign earlier this year, the present ruling party, on several occasions, did explicitly mention it would ensure 100 percent employment, and make sure that everyone looking for work finds a job. At the same time, the present ruling party, then in the opposition, hotly contested the official figures of the previous government, which put the unemployment [... Read More]

The Thai honeymoon is over

Bhutanese have been involved in coordinated trafficking of illegal substances for a while it seems, gauging from the recent case of the woman being caught in possession of ketamine at Bangkok airport. What this case did bring out was the discussion among some Bhutanese business people in Phuentsholing and Thimphu of some friends they knew who had engaged in such activities for quite some time, and how they were today living posh. Thai customs officials have said most drug smugglers to the country in the [... Read More]

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