Friday, March 27th, 2015 - 4:14 PM
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The parlours of Phuentsholing

Phuentsholing is a happening place at this time of the year.  As the busiest border town, a lot of activities happen and many flock to the town, both from within and outside.  It also makes the city an appropriate place for sleazy businesses. Commercial sex is one such. Containing the sex trade has been a priority in the border town, yet it keeps coming back.  A lot of raids were carried out in the past, with police even knocking on doors of hotel rooms at [... Read More]

Police should regain people’s trust

A policeman in civil attire tried to rape a 20-year-old woman at Changzamtog on December 1. She was returning home from a computer class. She would have been raped and left to die had two men not seen her struggling desperately to break free from the man’s lewd and criminal grip. This is shocking. Heinousness of the crime besides, the fact that a keeper of the law committing such an act has left the people appalled and worried. The policeman was arrested the same night [... Read More]

National Reading Year

If there is one thing most Bhutanese would agree on, it is the importance of reading.  Yet the reading culture is poor. Reading is not our habit.  For some, it is equivalent to work.  We would prefer to gossip or while away our time in front of the television.  Very few find recreation in reading. This may be because we are still emerging from a strong oral society and, for a long time, reading was not encouraged outside the formal setting like a classroom.  A [... Read More]

Economy is sovereignty

Bhutanese in general are not good businessmen. If we were, we wouldn’t be talking about the need to achieve self-sufficiency 50 years since we first recognised the importance of the dream. The dream is simple. We must be able to feed ourselves. But the bigger significance of the dream is that we need to protect our own sovereignty. There is a big difference. Food sufficiency, however it is defined, makes just one sense: We are vulnerable if we have to depend on others even to [... Read More]

Urbanising Bhutan

Bhutan will have 20 thromdes and 20 thrompons.  When and how is not clear, but with Parliament endorsing the Local Government (amendment) Bill, it is resolved that, as per the Constitution, the country will have 20 thromdes. If urbanisation is the trend, we need thromdes to properly manage urban development.  Thrompons will have a critical role in ensuring how we plan and develop our towns.  Looking at how our towns are developing, there is no disagreement that we need good municipal systems and therefore good [... Read More]

Making the budget accountable

The finance minister was at a loss for words after the joint sitting of Parliament yesterday endorsed a change in the Budget and Appropriation Bill.  It completely overturned a clause that will now make it mandatory for the bills, including the annual budget, to be referred to a committee. This is a breakaway from the current norm, where the finance minister presents the budget, which is passed after some deliberations.  The apprehensions are clear.  There are concerns of interference in the allocation of annual budget, [... Read More]

To enable the disabled

It was a high moment for the group of people with disabilities when Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen graced the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Wednesday. It is not often that we hear or see them at celebrations, or listened to, except perhaps during their own functions.  It was a simple celebration.  In the morning, Ability Bhutan Society took the children for a picnic.  In the evening, a cultural programme followed the launch of a documentary and a music video album.  But [... Read More]

It takes just a game to lose it all

The last game of the King’s Cup in Thimphu Tuesday left us with an awakening that compels us to look deeper into our own soul. What we discovered about ourselves that day was shocking. It was sad too. But learning is good, always. We need to understand what stock we are made of. The audience at the final game of the King’s Cup behaved in a way that bordered on hooliganism. Racial remarks were hurled, bottles and cardboard pieces were thrown at the international players [... Read More]

The climate clock is ticking

Environment officials have given industrialists in Pasakha an ultimatum. They are asked to mitigate pollution or close their shops. The government is serious about pollution, and any violation of standards comes with repercussions. This is good not only for the country but for humanity even as we, part of the global village, fight climate change and global warming, largely blamed for the continuous increase in emissions.  As a country located in a fragile ecosystem, and with guidance from wise leadership, our priority is to protect [... Read More]

Making their courage count

It was a difficult decision for the three people, who went public yesterday with their HIV status.  While we can only imagine what went through their minds when they were called to the podium to share their story, we can only laud and thank them for their effort and decision. The reason was simple, but important.  They hoped their story would change how people view people living with the disease.  There was the risk of family, relatives and society looking at them differently from today, [... Read More]

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