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Editorial: Tying up loose ends

26 April, 2009 – The creation of an online information security policy has already created a bit of a buzz among civil servants.Chief among these is the issue of privacy, with a policy to put the use of office computers by government employees under an extensive monitoring system. Some believe that such a system could, over time, stifle freedom of expression that comes about with the anonymity of the Internet. How the Internet should be governed and regulated is a controversial topic that has been [... Read More]

Editorial: Impounding – In the dog-house

22 April, 2009 – After spending Nu 27 million to build pounds around the country, which created more problems than any solution, it has finally come to pass that its better to let the dogs out than to let them eat one another inside.Besides, could the government really afford to feed thousands of dogs for their lifetime? In any case, it was clear, from the very start, that pounds were just a stopgap measure. With the outbreak of rabies in the eastern part of the [... Read More]

Editorial: The cut-and-paste culture

18 April, 2009 – The Internet has revolutionised communication and the way we access and use information. At the click of a button, hundreds of references pop up on every kind of information imaginable. Whether searching for meanings of being pooped on by a bird, learning about musical instruments or exotic cultures, the World Wide Web has it all.No wonder it is said, for many people, the world started with the Internet. For our part of the world, where reference material in the form of [... Read More]

Editorial: More traffic is not the way forward

15 April, 2009 – The decision of the road safety and transport authority to restrict for the time being – the rupee one lakh Tata Nano from making inroads into the country is causing discontent. Online discussions are rife with protest.Some are threatening to vote against the present government in the next elections. Others are crying foul. Whatever the government finally decides, it is important that to do so keeping in mind the growing traffic in Bhutanese cities. What is clear is that our city [... Read More]

Editorial: Business, but not as usual

11 April, 2009 -In creating an enabling atmosphere for the private sector, the government has said that it is committed to transparency by way of clear policies, laws and rules. It should be good news for a sector, long touted as the future engine of growth but yet to gather steam as an entity.Lack of transparency has been a dark cloud hanging over the fledgling Bhutanese private sector, still represented by a handful of business houses that existed years ago. In the past decade, growth, [... Read More]

Editorial: The tip of the iceberg?

8 April, 2009 – Its an open secret that drivers, whether employed by the government, the army or the private sector, do a number of things while dispensing their duties to make a little extra on the side.Siphoning off pool vehicle fuel money is one. Some sell it straight out of fuel tanks. Drivers in the neighbouring hills beyond Bhutan do this quite openly. So, when two drivers of a government ministry were nabbed (and terminated) last week for stealing pool vehicle fuel money, nobody [... Read More]

Editorial: Driving home the message

4 April, 2009 – The photograph of several homeless people holding a cardboard inscribed with the words Gross National Happiness is a timely reminder that our development philosophy, which has inspired the world, must be first brought home.Although some people believe that the whole affair was staged for the media, the issue raised is pertinent; GNH must make a difference to the Bhutanese people. This has been the main gripe of skeptics, who feel that the GNH concept is more to do with Bhutans image [... Read More]

Editorial: The Bill of (consumer) Rights

1 April, 2009 – It was a decade ago when trade department officials first talked about consumer rights and protection.By then the Bhutanese market had already become a dumping ground for all kinds of spurious products imported mainly from India. Apart from a few branded stores, finding a genuine product in Thimphu, whether an undergarment, an electrical fitting or a toy, is near impossible. That many people could not tell the difference or were not even aware helped the spurious market flourish. Those, who could, [... Read More]

Editorial: Taking stock – one year on

28 March, 2009 – This week, a year ago, we went to polls, elected a political party to power and got labelled the worlds youngest democracy. When people ask, Hows the first year been like? what comes to mind are the momentous events of 2008. It is impossible to see our transition to a democratic system as separate from the historical events of the past year.It also brings to mind our first election that international observers hailed as a major success. In a manner, which [... Read More]

Editorial: Good governance goes online

25 March, 2009 – That the government plans to reduce red tape in its ministries and agencies is great news. How its going to go about it is though shrouded in mystery. Even then, the government, we hope, is taking into consideration the immense possibilities that ICT today permits to make public administration that much more transparent, responsive and cleaner.The ministry of labours Online Job Portal a website where employers can post vacancies and jobseekers look them up and apply from any place with an [... Read More]