Friday, July 25th, 2014 - 2:00 AM

Gold rush

With two more Indians caught at the Paro international airport yesterday, attempting to smuggle gold into the country, some of us are a little bit startled. There are enough reasons to be surprised. It was the third case in a row in three days, and the fourth in five months. It seems smugglers are becoming bolder because the news of the two arrests, the first one on Monday, appeared in the media, and the airline carrying copies of the newspaper didn’t deter them. Apart from [... Read More]

A stitch in time

Our health officials know lifestyle diseases leave a deep dent on the government’s coffers because in absence of expertise within the country, patients have to be referred abroad. Referrals have also increased over the years, an indication of more and more Bhutanese suffering from various lifestyle diseases. What development has brought with it is change in Bhutanese lifestyle, in that less manual work is required of them compared with what they were required to do some decades ago. What has not changed, however, is the [... Read More]

Better safe than sorry

Six people have lost their lives and another six are still missing in the tragic boat accident on Saturday in Panbang dungkhag. There is a sense of loss and helplessness as details of how the accident happened and the victims start to emerge, although it is not talked about as much as other accidents in recent months or years. The mishap happened in broad daylight when the rope that secured the boat and assisted it across the river snapped and the current washed the boat [... Read More]

Promoting local produce

The idea of selling local farm produce to local consumers, like schools and institutions was not new. It existed much before the previous government, triggered by the issue of Rupee shortage, began emphasising the need for locals to produce and consume locally. What that did was help people take the initial steps. Perhaps it is time the idea translate into, should we say, an all-out effort, especially with farmers having proved they can produce vegetables in quantities large enough to supply to schools and institutions [... Read More]

Our values are alive

Thousands of people thronging monasteries and dzongs across the country yesterday to observe the death anniversary of Zhabdrung Ngwang Namgyal spoke volumes about our society. Like during many other auspicious days, a good part of the crowd was youth, mostly students.  This is quite encouraging because, despite the country and people undergoing unprecedented change, it is reassuring that basic tenets of our core values are still intact. On the way to Taktsang monastery yesterday, where the path was crowded with tourists, ponies and devotees, youth [... Read More]

A way around the weather

It is often difficult to fathom the fears and misgivings of farmers in relation to their fields. Until one takes part in the daily toils of growing and nurturing crops on a vast barren land, it is difficult to identify with farmers, for whom it is a means of livelihood. This is the fourth time since 2008 that farmers of various parts of Trashigang have had to face the dry spell that threatens to damage crops that have been grown and their paddy and maize [... Read More]

In-country inflation

Aum Zam is known for her sense of humour.  But when she said she nearly collapsed on hearing the price of fresh local chili, she was not joking. She saw a Changyul farmer in Punakha get off a taxi with a sackful of fresh chili in Lobesa.  Before she could get to her, a vendor in the vegetable market in the small Lobesa town had bought all the chili for Nu 250 a kilogram.  Within minutes, the price increased by Nu 100.  Aum Zam waited [... Read More]

Untold wealth

If not declaring asset in the stipulated time is a crime, we already have a huge group of top ranking officials, including ministers, secretaries and executive directors of various organisations, who have committed one. The nature of the crime may not be serious, but when officials, especially in top positions, do not heed to rules, it will leave room for others to question, and encourage them to follow suit. It is not a good example. Declaring asset is a good mechanism to ensure transparency, and [... Read More]

We are what we speak?

On the far east of the country, on the island nation of Australia, Bhutanese studying there have initiated a program for their children to learn Dzongkha. Being brought up in a different culture and learning environment, the fear was of their children losing touch and interest in the national language. How true, therefore, that we begin appreciating what is ours, especially in terms of values and identity, when we begin living in another country for a while and begin comparing cultures. Language is an indelible [... Read More]

Climate change’s spiritual hope

Talk of climate change and most Bhutanese would not understand what that is or relate directly its effects on them and the resources they depend on. Every year farmers in the east have been experiencing dry spell, which delays their cultivation works and that in turn affects their harvest time. For quite sometime, paddy harvests in the east have been affected by unexpected rain. It spoils the pattern villagers have been used to following, that of seasons, movement of the sun, the wind, basically all [... Read More]

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