KuenselOnline

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 - 6:20 PM
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A wasteland of mediocrity?

Many Bhutanese are heading abroad. Scholarships used to be the reason. Not anymore. For a growing number of young, talented and restive Bhutanese, going abroad means opportunity of a lifetime to make some decent money. But why go abroad to make money? The answer is: there isn’t space enough here for them to do so. Some will come back, many will not for a long time.

Make the gambling ban stick

If there is one notable social ill in the country, it is gambling.  Recognising this, it was banned a long time ago, long before some of the victims of, what the former (late) Home Minister Tamshi Jagar described as, an “extortion business,” were even born. They realised that it was bad and that there were no winners.  The issue reached the National Assembly and the activity was banned.  That was in 1977.

Being responsible

Last week, a falling wall killed a municipal worker in Changzamtog, Thimphu. It was a freak accident. The incident could have become big news had media not resorted to the basest and meanest of the roles it could play. But a worker’s or dasho’s, human life is precious.

From tiny acorns do giant oaks grow

We tend not to notice small acts of kindness and appreciate the tiny and often selfless contributions that individuals make in our workaday lives.  We talk big.  At the same time, we are losing sense of our responsibility each to other as co-citizens. That is when where peace once was, discord, mistrust and hostility reign.  That is when a small and harmonious society that once was begins to disintegrate.  We lose our strength.  We become increasingly vulnerable.

Food safety first

On World Health Day yesterday, Bhutan, or at least some Bhutanese, joined the international community is in observing the day.  The theme, ‘Food Safety’ was most relevant at home too. In Phuentsholing, where the event to mark the day was held, food safety was mostly focused on what is cooked and served.  This is important.  As the gateway to the country and a commercial hub, people from all walks of life throng Phuentsholing.  Not many have relatives or friends to pile on to.  Many are [... Read More]

For a bigger and safer airport

It was quite a spectacle for the thousands of people, who visited Paro over the weekend.  The Paro tshechu, the Royal flower exhibition and, to the surprise of many, all the seven aircraft operated by the two Bhutanese airlines were on the ground at the same time.

Digital or cultural challenge?

Google Apps is making the news in Bhutan today. The online office suite was employed to save government resource. Some 4,000 civil servants are taking advantage of it. How much have we saved so far, that is the question. And how? If our ministers and top officials can now keep track of their day’s schedule, we have not been mindful of our duties and responsibilities so far.

The Kopchey artifice

There is something fishy brewing in the hills of Chengmari, Samtse.  Villagers of Kopchey have refused to sign a clearance for a mining company to operate, fearing environmental damage and to their land and property. The mine is not new.  It started in 1997 and the license to mine was renewed in 2007.  In others words, there has been a lot of mining activity going on in the vicinity.  Realising the negative impact, and probably becoming wiser, the villagers have refused to sign the community [... Read More]

Bowing out gracefully

It was a simple occasion, when former judge Ugyen Tenzin surrendered his kabney and patang to the Royal Privy Council yesterday.  But there is more than just handing over a kabney and a patang. The judge is the second senior official to do so, bringing alive the tradition of Zhidu, a tradition where individuals, honoured with symbols of power and position, hand over the paraphernalia to the one who bestowed it.  The honours are bestowed to the position, and it is a wise decision to [... Read More]

Odious comparisons

The ranking of the country’s “best performing schools” is out.  Ten schools have held on to the top positions for the last three years. School management will be proud, parents who have students studying in these schools will be happy, and students themselves will be elated.  But wait!  Do we need such a ranking system to gauge our schools?  Are the methods adopted to assess schools fair?

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