KuenselOnline

Monday, November 24th, 2014 - 9:40 AM
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There’s no gettin’ away

During the recent election campaign, a few foreign journalists, who were in the country to follow the elections, asked whether the political parties were campaigning on Gross National Happiness (GNH). For western journalists, this was a natural question to ask, because Bhutan was known for and synonymous with the concept of GNH, which proposes a more holistic approach to development than the existing economic paradigm that has the globe by the hip. It was also only natural for the visitors to expect political parties to [... Read More]

The proprieties of resignation

Druk  Phuensum Tshogpa president’s wish to resign from the Parliament has generated much discourse among the public. While there is no question of disallowing him from his choice to resign, should he be allowed, what procedures should be made so it could serve as a standard for similar cases in future? Like in any organisation, government or corporate, if employees put in their resignation, there are certain rules penned down for it to follow and formalities to fulfill. For instance, having to refund certain amount [... Read More]

The flaws in the laws

What the verdict on the Gyalpoizhing land case showed was that Anti-Corruption Commission can prosecute cases it investigates. A precedent has been set. As some legal experts pointed out, what the verdicts of the case also showed was that the provisions of a law drawn from the Constitution prevail over those of the Constitution itself, the country’s supreme law. Although the anti-corruption Act endows the commission with the power to prosecute the very cases it investigates, the Constitution specifically delineates the specific roles among constitutional [... Read More]

Getting in the groove

It’s been more than three weeks since the second general elections that elected PDP to form the new government. The ministers and speaker of the house have been chosen, the cabinet formed and at least one cabinet decision taken so far – to put an end to the once a week, later once a month, pedestrian day initiative of the previous government. What next?  What is the government or zhung up to?  By now, the new cabinet must have gotten used to the new robes [... Read More]

The burden of a troubled border

That the situation in the two Indian states of Assam and West Bengal, bordering the southern foothills, is likely to get more disruptive is not good news for Bhutan. At a time, when it looked like things had calmed down to a quite an extent, the mood to agitate and disrupt normal life in the two bordering states has been sparked again by the Indian government agreeing to the creation of the Republic’s 29th state, Telangana. As soon as word was out last week that [... Read More]

Scrutiny begins at home

Gathering during the weekends around the capital city was all about the conducts of new ministers. Some were said to have already begun bossing around, others were trying to loosen up some of the disciplines and office decorum, while a few have begun looking up trips abroad. It seems civil servants have already begun putting their leaders under the radar. Personal attributes aside, it apparently seems the party has itself drawn up some code that sends stern warnings to ministers, to be wary of losing [... Read More]

We are family

With the election of National Assembly speaker and deputy speaker by the members who donned on their new kabney, the house is complete. This indicates the need for the members to put aside all differences, whatever happened in the lead up to the day and forge on to do what they were elected to. If it is truly the feeling for the country and its people that the members, including those of the opposition ones partook in this election, the country needs them to hold [... Read More]

Rupee was, is and will be a challenge

The country’s economy and the rupee shortage it faces are two immediate issues people wish to see straightened out in the next five years of the new government’s reign. During its campaigns, some candidates of the party that forms the government today had said they would not borrow any more money, and that they would instead look at reviving some of the businesses, which would bring the country revenue, in rupees. It would be interesting to see how, without borrowing, the country could satiate its [... Read More]

Seeking alternatives

What the lifting of subsidies on cooking gas showed was, better than the country’s complete dependence on its neighbours, its people’s ability to adapt to alternate sources of energy. Many homes, across the country had switched to electric cookers, electricity being the country’s main source of energy and its economy. Jokingly as it might have been, but some people in Pemagatshel, a few days after the subsidy on gas and kerosene was lifted, said perhaps they should ask the government, whichever party formed it, to [... Read More]

‘Sharper than a serpent’s tooth …’

Of  all the cruelty in the world, the ingratitude of one’s own child, it’s said, is the most painful. This is something all parents today, deep down in their hearts, fear most and stories of children abandoning their parents, clothed in rags, wandering from one place to another, seeking shelter and food, only reinforce that fear. All these years of modernisation and the country’s stride towards development might have brought the country and its people much wealth and prosperity but, in accumulating all that, we [... Read More]