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Saturday, March 28th, 2015 - 6:14 PM
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3-day old forest fire rages on across two dzongkhags

DSC01414The blaze, which began on Sunday night, has razed over 100 acres of chirpine forest so far

Disaster: The local community and forest officials are still trying to contain a forest fire in Yangnyer gewog, Trashigang that has razed over 100 acres of chirpine forest, including community forests, since February 15. The fire, which started from Khachikhar village in Durung, has also spread to neighbouring Narang gewog in Mongar. Yangnyer gup, Karma, said that the fire started around 8pm on February 15.  Without any forest officials arriving until yesterday, about 60 villagers from the two chiwogs of Durung and Lephu took up [... Read More]

An authoritative tome about Bhutan’s premier treasure discoverer

Peling-Namthar-cover-page-2015.2

The Autobiography of Terton Pema Lingpa by Lopen (Dr) Karma Phuntsho will be launched at 1.30pm on February 21 at Tarayana Conference Hall in Thimphu Review: History is a curious thing.  What’s more important, however, is the inquisitive nature of the people with whom the stories are indelibly linked.  Otherwise, narratives have a wonderful tendency to turn to shapes amorphous and meanings incomprehensible. Terton (treasure revealer) Pema Lingpa, the greatest of all five terton kings, according to some accounts, is the face of modern Bhutan.  [... Read More]

Fire razes almost entire Sarpang town

10929947_878922472130144_8736819972895172489_nTragedy: The remnants of Sarpang town that was until the day before

Prime Minister to personally expedite new town plan  Disaster: In less than an hour, 81 shops in Sarpang town were razed to the ground by a fire on February 15. The remaining 51 shops escaped the inferno because a parking space separated them from the row of shops that caught fire. Most of the shopkeepers at Sarpang Taar, located about a five-minute drive away, had closed their shops and left for home when the fire broke out. Of the 81 shops, 49 belonged to Indian [... Read More]

Uncertainty about new trekking routes

IMG_3030-2-copyJomolhari trek is one of the most popular treking routes

Tour operators recommend improving existing trails rather than investing in new ones Tourism: The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) is not yet sure where the 11 new trekking routes, announced by the Prime Minister recently, will be located as part of the Visit Bhutan year. TCB officials said they have not received any instructions from lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay, who is also the chairman of the council’s board and that new trekking routes are not in the plan either. Even the 11th Plan document on tourism [... Read More]

Stonemason homes for Monpa community

IMG_0836The Tarayana Foundation is assisting families to build such stonemason houses

22 households in Phumzur and Jangbi are beneficiaries of this phase of the foundation’s housing project Tarayana: The remote Monpa village of Phumzur in Trongsa is seeing a lot of constructions lately. A father of two, Ngenthi, is digging the foundation to construct a new house for his family.  He is planning to add a double storied stonemason house to the existing wooden shingle hut where the family currently resides in. The nearest road to Phumzur is over four hours walk and the village still [... Read More]

Shopping for further studies in India

IMG_4891Students wait to register during the career fair

The ninth career fair saw some 36 Indian universities/colleges offer more than 200 courses  Education: About 1,700 students attended the ninth career fair in the capital over the weekend, where some 36 Indian universities and colleges offered more than 200 courses to those wishing to pursue their studies in India. The standing of universities, fee structure, number of courses and safety and security were some of the factors that students and parents looked at in choosing a college for their undergrad studies. A parent said [... Read More]

The ‘power tiller’ tshogpa of Goenpang Shali

IMG_7203The power tiller has eased the burden of farming especially for the elderly

The only one in the village who knows how to ride the machine is willing and able to help  Agriculture: With the maize cultivation season on, villagers of Goenpang Shali in Shumar, Pemagatshel are not looking for workers this time.  They wait for their tshogpa Cheki Gyeltshen. Cheki Gyeltshen is the only one in the village, who knows how to ride the power tiller they received from the government recently.  Since then, the tshogpa has been making rounds, using his skills to help farmers till [... Read More]

A tradition keeps a community alive

IMG_7223Tenzin Drakpa has been making trumpets for 20 years

The trade is so lucrative, that almost every household here is involved in the business Craft: The fields are getting fallow, roads have reached almost every chiwog and children are getting to schools. But in Tsebar, the tradition of making duung and jaling (traditional ritual trumpets) is flourishing. Villagers are not only keeping a strong tradition alive, and the tradition has helped the village generate employment both for young and old, including women. The prospect of leaving the village to work at construction sites or [... Read More]

Piggery on the decline in Trongsa

IMG_0319Many have turned to piggery to supplement their low incomes

Villagers are dissuading those in the occupation on religious grounds  Farming: Sukmati Rai in Marshing, Langthel gewog in Trongsa has taken up piggery to supplement her cash income of Nu 5,000 that he earns as a National Work Force (NWF) member. With four children, all attending school, Rai’s family is facing tough financial times. “One of them studies in a private school in Gelephu,” Sukmati Rai said, adding that the rest of her  children attends a government school. To Sukmati Rai, becoming a pig farmer was [... Read More]

The bamboo alternative

bamboo-houseCompleted bamboo community center at Pakpay, Samtse (photo courtesy: SFED)

To take pressure off the forest, a study suggests the viable use of this tree in constructions   INBAR: Bamboo could be an alternative to timber and save it from the pressure it’s under from increasing building and temple constructions within a few years, say forest officials. A 2014 study by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) stated that the bamboo construction sector is viable economically, socially, and technically in the country. Using bamboos for constructions of houses or its parts could provide [... Read More]

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