Saturday, October 25th, 2014 - 9:27 AM
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A shot in the arm for Art

Voluntary Artists’ Studio of Thimphu (VAST) – Bhutan getting registered as a civil society organisation (CSO) is another feather in the cap worn by the art community. It should be so for the nation as well, for without art, what is life? This is not a random statement, for what truly is a society and its culture, tradition and values, if not for the creative processes and products to reflect, document and share it? For the art community, which extends beyond VAST, its studios, galleries [... Read More]

A second bash at building Bhutanese

A World Bank specialist, expressing his impression of Bhutan, wrote that Bhutanese are not valuing our traditional buildings.  That was quite a statement, but rightly so, if we look around, especially in Thimphu. Except for few buildings constructed with strict architectural conditions and with government or donor fund, there is not much to be proud of when we talk of traditional architecture in housing these days.  This is after decades of enjoying almost legendary fame of how we built our dzongs, lhakhangs and even houses. [... Read More]

The tricky business of official travel

Are our civil servants paid too little to travel around the country?  Rather, are they paid too much, beyond what they actually spend, while on tour? Civil servants in Zhemgang are not happy with the dzongda for doing away the pony charges, unless he approves their use while officials propose tours.  The civil service rule entitles an official both porter and pony charges while on tour to places without motorable roads. This rule is very clear.  If officials use porter or pony and pay them, [... Read More]

Bodybuilding makes it big

From just a hobby for a few fortunate ones, who had exposure and the infrastructure to work out in, bodybuilding has hit the Bhutanese sports arena as one of the most popular sports. Notwithstanding its late entry, the popularity and success has led to athletes representing the country at both regional and international tournaments.  Medals are now starting to accompany them home. The latest were two athletes, one a woman, who won bronze competing at the 48th Asian Bodybuilding, Fitness and Physique Sports championship held [... Read More]

Exploited labour exposure?

Labour officials in Samdrupjongkhar have taken a bold decision.  They have warned companies in Samdrupjongkhar and Pemagatshel for not regularising temporary workers, who had been working for more than six years. While we wait for the follow up actions, it would be interesting to know what will happen to the companies and the workers themselves.  The rule is clear.  Companies, which employ workers on a temporary basis, should regularise them after six months. This will have repercussions.  The worker would gain in many ways.  He [... Read More]

Tackling cyber crime

A midst a growing concern for cyber crime, the government has decided to clamp down hard on these new age criminals.  In the next few weeks or months, we will see some developments, be they in legislation or infrastructure set up, to tackle the growing problem. While cyber crime encompasses any criminal act, basically all crimes that are conducted online, what prompted the government to get tough, perhaps, was the recent incidents of distributing amateur pornography materials, mostly on the mobile network. Lyonchhoen has instructed [... Read More]

The high stakes of a low kidnap

Family members of the four people, including two students, kidnapped from Sarpang almost a month ago, are in dilemma.  The poor farmers cannot arrange the ransom amount the kidnappers are demanding, even the reduced amount. One member apparently told a reporter that he has not seen Nu 100,000 in his life.  The farmers are reportedly looking for money, frantically.  Nobody will lend them, not even the banks, because they need mortgage.  But ensuring the safe return of their loved ones is the priority.  No amount [... Read More]

A big boost to small business

If small business is the lifeblood of an economy, the Bhutanese economy, riddled with problems, is going to get a lot of impetus with the launch of the Business Opportunity and Information Centre (BOiC) yesterday. The centre with a deep pocket is targeting to facilitate the establishment of 6,000 small and cottage industries in the next five years.  If entrepreneurship is one of the most important forces underpinning economic growth, the establishment of the centre will help solve the economic problem the country is currently [... Read More]

The rub of the (gender) green

At the tender age of 19, in 1992, Kinley left school to marry a husband chosen by her single mother.  She had been in class VII.  She failed the final examinations and wanted to repeat, but that was her last chance. An average student, Kinley had already failed the then class VI board examination and repeated.  She convinced her mother that she would quit school if she failed again.  When she did, the happiest person was her would be in laws – as they wanted [... Read More]

Selling the country short

Listening to Aum, rather Dasho, Neten speak, whether face-to-face or at forums is interesting.  It is not the speed at which she speaks, or the gestures as she mixes English, Dzongkha and Tshangla in response to questions, but her honesty and bluntness as she drives home the message. The chairperson of the Anti Corruption Commission made some bold statements in a recent interview, which is worrying.  Following the suspension of 12 immigration officials and 21 commercial licenses of foreign workers agencies in Phuentsholing, the chairperson [... Read More]

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