Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - 12:31 PM
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ACC shuts down shops in Phuentsholing

DSC_1018Closed for investigation: The Jatan Prasad Lal Chand Prasad complex was shut down along with other shops in Phuentsholing yesterday

Corruption: The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) closed down three shops in Phuentsholing town last evening for alleged corrupt practices. While details are sketchy, sources said the commission’s team had also apprehended at least 20 people, mostly non-Bhutanese, for interrogation. The ACC team, accompanied by police personnel, zoomed into a busy JPLP, which is one of the biggest complexes in town, located near the Zangtopelri roundabout yesterday evening.  After about an hour long interrogation, the commission team sealed the entrance to the complex. An Indian man with [... Read More]

Court not convinced by OAG’s evidence

The cases against the then Haa dzongdag are looking increasingly untenable Update: The Haa district court was not convinced with the rebuttal submission of evidence by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) against foreign minister Rinzin Dorje, who has been charged on omission, amounting to abuse of function and embezzlement of public property.

Longevity of Bhutan’s glaciers questionable

Though the 2035 Himalayan deadline was deemed wrong, the same can’t be said for the ones here  Symposium: Bigger Himalayan glaciers, like Siachen and Gangotri in India, can survive 300 years even with the current recession rate of 20m on an average a year, according to experts from the Geological Survey of India (GSI). But that is no consolation for Bhutan. The director, glaciology division of the GSI, Arun Chaturvedi, at the recent international glacier symposium at Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment in [... Read More]

Streamlining the environmental assessment process

The idea is to strike a balance between expediency and eco-friendly conditions Environment: To improve the environment assessment process, the environmental impact assessment (EIA) will be categorised and the terms of reference (ToR) simplified. This was deliberated during a dialogue on assessment of projects for environmental clearance (EC) between the National Environment Commission (NEC) and the six eastern dzongkhags, yesterday.

Gasa’s chicken-and-egg predicament

gasa-1Gasa dzong

Without a thromde, there are no people and without people there can be no election Township: While the people of Gasa, the least populated dzongkhag, are excited about having a thromde, it will take more than sheer excitement for the dzongkhag to make the next thromde election happen. According to local leaders, none of Gasa’s more than 100 business license holders have their census registered with the town.  Temporary sheds below the dzong are today functioning as the town. The dzongkhag could not conduct the [... Read More]

Hospitality industry struggles to fill slots

Both high and low-end positions lie vacant as Bhutanese remain either unable or unwilling Tourism: The hospitality industry still finds it difficult to recruit Bhutanese to perform certain jobs that so far are done by expatriate workers, for whom the labour ministry no longer issues work permits. Almost three years ago, the labour ministry made it mandatory for hotels and other sectors to replace expatriate workers with Bhutanese in several categories of jobs like wet sweepers, laundry, and cooks.

Need for school calls teacher volunteers

Education: Six male teachers from Orong Lower Secondary School (OLSS) volunteered to teach on a rotation basis for a year at Pheluma Extended Classroom (ECR) that was reopened a few days ago after ministry’s instruction. The 22 students of the extended classroom returned to their village to continue their education on April 17 after spending more than two months in OLSS. The students were shifted to OLSS at the beginning of the academic session after a miscommunication between parents and the school officials.

Lhakhang finds new home in El Paso

unnamedCurious: People line up to enter the lhakhang

The structure was first made in Washington, DC for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival Heritage: Seven years after first being constructed in Washington, DC for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a lhakhang made by Bhutanese artisans has been permanently installed on the 366-acre campus of the University of Texas, El Paso. The lhakhang, a gift to the university by the kingdom, is the showpiece of a new 16-acre, $22 million park at the centre of the university campus. The Bhutanese ambassador to the United Nations, Kunzang Choden [... Read More]

Court directs DGM to explain cracks

IMG_5409DGM officials inspecting the blasting site (File photo)

Both sides in ongoing case wish to present more witnesses to bolster their pleas Gidawom: Thimphu dzongkhag court’s bench II has asked the Department of Geology and Mines (DGM) to explain what caused the cracks on some 27 houses in Gidawom and Jamdo villages on July 12 last year. In the ongoing case between the Gidawom villagers and the four mining companies, both parties requested the court yesterday to allow them to present more witnesses. A former DGM employee, who was in charge of the [... Read More]

Central school offers child an escape from a life of labour


Education: Eight-year-old Premila, a class-PP boarding student of Dechentsemo central school (CS), was working as a babysitter in Wangdue.  That was three months ago. One evening of last winter, she met a school staff member, who asked her if she wanted to go to school.  Her parents were consulted.  And Premila’s life changed overnight. “I use to frequent the shop that was run by the school staff’s wife, and he saw me carrying a baby all the time,” said Premila.  She whispers more than she [... Read More]

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