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Editorial: Pressing home democracy

2 July, 2009 – Although we proclaim to be the worlds youngest democracy, we have been reminded several times that the act of electing a government does not in itself make us one.The prime minister, in his state of the nation address to parliament last week, served another reminder that it is just beginning. At this stage, all we have is an elected government, certain institutional and legal structures and the Constitution. The challenge before us is imbibing a democratic culture for society to function [... Read More]

Editorial: Responsibility

1 July, 2009 – Throughout his campaign, Lyonchhoen Jigmi spoke of change coming from the bottom up rather than from the top down. This is not about me or DPT, its about you, hed tell the crowd.But we recognise that his positions have evolved since the campaign days – when politicians have to outdo each other in their appeal to party faithful and win the general election. But change of positions is by no means the whole story of the Bhutanese politics in a democratic [... Read More]

Editorial: Summer is here

30 June, 2009 – Theres something about a sudden rush of warm weather that turns a Sunday into a playground, and a Monday into an excuse for a three-hour lunch.The birds are twittering and the grasses and the trees have turned green from gray. The stems of the new bulbs have cleaved their way up through the hardened earth and now frolic among other fresh green buds. Red roses and azaleas look so flourished that they have to be touched to be believed. In the [... Read More]

Editorial: A call to battle the bottle

29 June, 2009 – The prime minister, in his state of the nation report to parliament, stated that the government has not been able to effectively address social ills, of which alcohol was one.This report is not new in itself, though its the first time presented by a head of government to the public. We know that alcohol has been the biggest killer in Bhutan and it still is. We know that Bhutan is one of the few countries in the world with the maximum [... Read More]

Editorial: Not for sales alone

27 June, 2009 – We’d like to thank Lyonchhoen Jigmi for his no-holds-barred criticism of the press in his speech yesterday at the National Assembly. He said the Bhutanese press was negative to a fault and that it hurt the image of Bhutan.Kuensel would like to provide some perspectives. At the heart of our job is to provide the Bhutanese citizenry the accurate information that will enable them to make informed judgments about their elected leaders’ policies and actions, so that they can live a [... Read More]

Editorial: Is there a role for rock?

26 June, 2009 – As some of our youth have said, there is little support and encouragement for western style rock bands trying to make a presence on the local scene.For a lot of people, rocks a turn off, a mere show of being westernised. Nor are parents too keen about their children getting into the band thing, because of its association with drug use and the fact that it may not be much of a livelihood. There is an audience for western rock music [... Read More]

Editorial: Let the sunshine in

25 June, 2009 – When Lyonchhoen Jigmi told the Bhutanese media that transparency and rule of law would be the touchstones of his government, his words provided a burst of executive sunshine that the public and the press, both, badly needed. However, so far, those pronouncements have been largely symbolic.The way live BBS coverage of the two houses and the parliament sessions has been stopped is a glaring sign that it could remain that way. We dont buy Tshogpon Jigme Tshultims preposterous argument that assembly [... Read More]

Editorial: Aging in the Land of GNH

24 June, 2009 – As in most traditional societies, our elderly have always enjoyed a special place in family and community. They represent experience and wisdom – repositories of lifes lessons.They continue to do so even today, helping mediate family disputes, raising grandchildren and serving as pillar of strength to troubled family members. Some even played an important behind the scene role in our first general elections. Without their help, quite a few of our parliamentarians would not have got the jumpstart to their political [... Read More]

Editorial: Public affairs out of the public eye?

23 June, 2009 – Its not the most popular show on national TV but it is the only one that allows every Bhutanese to see and be informed on how business is conducted in Parliament.Now, after three sessions, a majority of parliament members do not want the session broadcast live because they say TV cameras influence their conduct to suit television rather than contribute to a more vigorous debate. In other words, minus the cameras, they would be more comfortable, perhaps more forthright and more [... Read More]

Editorial: The piper calls the tune

22 June, 2009 – When it comes to salaries and perks, everyone believes that they deserve much more. The ministers felt they should get more for newfound political leadership, but public and media outcry derailed its passage. Civil servants, who got a 35 percent raise, expected at least a minimum 50 percent.Now its employees of government-owned corporations grumbling about the 15 percent raise proposed by the finance ministry. Hopes were pinned for a raise at par with the civil service. Corporate heads are already making [... Read More]