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150 units donated on blood donor’s day

DSC_5261About 200 residents registered to donate blood

Medical: Around 150 units of blood were collected in a blood donation drive in Thimphu on June 13. More than 200 people registered to donate blood. Organised by the health ministry and Bank of Bhutan (BOB) at its main office in Thimphu, the event was held to commemorate the 12th World Blood Donor Day. This year’s theme was “Thank you for saving my life.” Health minister Tandin Wangchuk awarded certificates to 15 donor organisations, three donor motivators and seven individuals who have donated blood more [... Read More]

Regional land transport agreement to be signed today

IMG_20150614_100313The transport secretaries of the four countries discuss the agreement

Connectivity: In what should transform the way travel and trade is conducted in the region, the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) will be signed by the transport ministers of the four countries in Thimphu today. In brief, the agreement will set the stage for bilateral or trilateral agreements to be made between the four countries so that vehicles, both personal and commercial, and their occupants or cargo, can pass through the borders of the four countries more seamlessly, similar to [... Read More]

Special patrols net fishermen and illegal vendors

IMG_2120Seized fish

Punatsangchu: More than five illegal fish vendors (shops) and eight illegal fishermen in Punakha and Wangdue were caught and fined by the Wangdue forest division  during special patrols it conducted in the last two weeks. The patrols, which started on May 25, have netted fines worth Nu 126,500, seized fish and various fishing equipment as of June 10. Assistant divisional forestry official with Wangdue division, Tashi Dendup said the special patrolling was necessary because Punatsangchu was one of the most important river basins, in terms [... Read More]

Devil in a van that doesn’t really exist

_MG_3420The van

Our reporter Jigme Wangchuk goes to Debsi to find out whether there is truth in a ghostly story surrounding a possessed van It is raining. The mud track that winds through the deep thickets below Thimphu Gate a little away south from Babesa is all slushy and slippery. I am not at all in best of dress for the job, but I must grab the devil lording thereabout by the neck this day and show him some terror that I am capable of.

Fewer Chinese Supporters expected

10290708_579604675513340_7749402674894081706_nThe other dragons arrive (Photo courtesy: World Cup 2014 Druk Gyalkhab, Facebook page )

The April 25 earthquake in Nepal and daily tariff may have deterred them  World cup: Of the 2,000 anticipated Chinese supporters only around 200-300 Chinese are now expected for the first Bhutan-China game to be held at Changlimithang tomorrow. More than 80 percent of the Chinese supporters who had reserved tickets for the match with local tour operators have cancelled their trip. Choki, the general manager of Happiness Kingdom, one of the local tour operators in the country said that they had bought 300 tickets [... Read More]

Directive on LPG cylinders leaves depots vacant

DSC_0012Expired: All empty and old cylinders in the depots of Phuentsholing have to be re-qualified by the end of this month before circulation

IOCL has stopped filling cylinders from Bhutanese dealers at their LPG bottling plants LPG: The department of trade’s letter asking the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to not refill expired LPG cylinders from Bhutanese dealers has left the depots in Phuentsholing with no LPG cylinders to issue. With the need to inspect and re-qualify LPG cylinders as per the best international practice, the trade department’s June 9 letter had urged the oil corporation to adhere to statutory testing of the due cylinders, stating that such [... Read More]

More study needed to understand child labour

IMG_0623Participants at the workshop make a list of activities that needs to be done first to draft an action plan on child labour

Workshop: Bhutan first needs to define child labour and have adequate data on its prevalence before an action plan is drawn to eliminate child labour in the country. The only data on the status of child labour in Bhutan is that of the 2011 Labour Force Survey, which found that about 4,400 Bhutanese children between 13-17 years were found working outside their home.   Coinciding with the World Day against Child Labour, representatives from various agencies involved in child care and protection met yesterday in [... Read More]

Free internet in the pipe line

IMG_20150612_150715The information access centre is expected to be set up towards the end of this year

ICT: An information access centre which will allow any individuals of the public to use the internet for free will be established at the Royal Institute of Management (RIM), later this year. “Providing free access to individuals who want internet at any point of time,” Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT) director, Phuntsho Tobgay said. A memorandum of understanding that will see the centre established was signed between the government, the National Information Society Agency (NIA) of the South Korean government, and the RIM, [... Read More]

Electricity Act to be amended

DSC_1029Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk

Legislation: The National Assembly yesterday unanimously decided to amend the Electricity Act 2001 in a future session, based on the Assembly’s economic development and private sector committee’s recommendation. A report presented by the committee in the House pointed out a number of sections in the Act that are inconsistent with other Acts and government policies. Although, the committee recommended that the Assembly come up with a recommendation in the next session, economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk said the government needs time to do a thorough [... Read More]

The depopulation of Dewung

20150605_123214More than 60 percent of fertile arable land is left fallow in the village

Rural to urban migration has evacuated a once thriving farming village  Lifestyle: The rain has stopped.  It is almost noon.  Sixty-year-old Sonam Tobgay quietly sits at the balcony of his old traditional house in Dewung village in Khaling, Trashigang.  His rather peculiarly large head is all grey.  His face is dark and wrinkled. Metres away from his place, houses are all empty.  There has been movement or migration out of the village for some time now.

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