Friday, October 31st, 2014 - 12:14 AM
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Bhutan-Switzerland sign visa exemption agreement

This means that Bhutanese and Swiss officials may travel freely to each other’s country Diplomacy: Bhutanese and Swiss officials and diplomats will not require visa to travel to either country after the governments signed a visa exemption agreement yesterday. Switzerland is the first country outside the region to sign such an agreement with Bhutan.  Until now, visa is exempted for diplomatic and official passport holders from Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand and India. For Switzerland, Bhutan is the 27th country now exempted from visa. Foreign secretary Yeshey [... Read More]

IT Park to get third int’l company next month

A Bangladeshi software development company, Southtech ltd., will be moving in shortly  ICT: A Bangladeshi software development company plans to establish an office at the IT Park in Thimphu, next month. This would make it the third international company to move into the IT Park. The company, Southtech ltd, specialises in consultancy services and customised software development, according to information available on its website. Southtech ltd CEO, Syed Quader, said that the availability of IT graduates in Bhutan is one of the reasons for the [... Read More]

Living under the shadow of fear

IMG_0616All quiet: Norbugang village near the Gelephu-Sarpang highway

Neither Norbugang nor its now free abductees can breathe easy for the foreseeable future Kidnap: Norbugang village in Sarpang is quiet.  It is not yet dark.  The eerie silence here is heavy and ominous.  The Sarpang-Gelephu highway, just a few metres above the village, with no vehicles, is grey and deserted. Here, the villagers wind up their chores early, have a quick dinner, and go to bed, because it is not safe to stay up late.  Kidnappers could be lurking about. Chauri Maya Tamang, a [... Read More]

Seven arrested for assault and battery

Crime: Sarpang police have arrested seven men in connection with the battery of a 53-year-old farmer of Lhayul village in Chudzom geowg, Sarpang. The farmer is undergoing treatment at the Gelephu regional hospital. The incident occurred on the night of October 4. The accused are the cook of Lhayul school, his two sons, brother and three school students. In his statement to police, the accused said that, on the night of the incident, all villagers had gathered for a marriage party, during which an argument [... Read More]

Marginal growth in apple exports

This despite the fact that the country’s orchards saw a higher yield this year Horticulture: With the last few apple consignments exported yesterday, apple growers in the country this year witnessed a marginal growth in export. About 1,387.42 metric tonnes (MT) of apples were exported to Bangladesh this export season, which is equivalent to 230 truckloads of apples.  Which means, Bhutan exported apples worth USD 0.9M to Bangladesh. The export season, which usually ends by mid September continued till October owing to more yield this [... Read More]

Washed away culvert-bridge to be reconstructed soon

Lorikhachu:  A five-month old culvert-bridge over Lorikhachu that was washed away in August leaving nine chiwogs under Tading gewog in Samtse disconnected from the motorable road will be reconstructed soon. Samtse dzongkhag officials said that the size of the new bridge is likely to increase.  A continuous downpour in August washed away the bridge. Dzongkhag engineer Tshering Wangchuk, said they were waiting for the detailed design and study of the bridge from the bridge division of the department of roads (DoR). “DoR officials will come [... Read More]

Dungsam floats another Nu 700M bond

DCCL: To meet debt obligations and other corporate expenses, the Dungsam Cement corporation limited (DCCL) is raising Nu 700M through corporate bonds. In July this year, DCCL availed a short-term loan of Nu 700M from NPPF to meet the long-term debt obligation with banks in India and Bhutan.  The proceeds from this bond would be used to pay the short-term loan with NPPF. Corporation’s commercial general manager, Tshering Tenzin, said DCCL initially intended to issue bonds straightaway. “But when we go for public offering, the [... Read More]

Doongmanma PS – A school on WFP life support

DSC_5955Food for thought: Feeding program has improved students’ attendance in school

The only way to keep students in attendance is to feed them two square meals daily Education: Students of Doongmanma primary school don’t go to school for education alone. Since 2008, the school started providing two meals a day through the World Food Program (WFP), which, according to school authorities, was a blessing. The meals, besides improving their health, also brought tremendous change in the students’ attendance.  The school is located in Doongmanma chiwog under Lauri gewog in Jomotshangkha dungkhag. Principal Sangay Dorji said, in [... Read More]

The “Imagine Civil Society” dialogue

IMG_0651Participants discuss the role of civil society

Discussion on some of the unanswered questions of what a CSO really is BCMD: Civil society organizations (CSO) in an emerging democracy like Bhutan need to work together for them to play their role of bringing changes and filling up gaps that are left unattended. The roles and need of civil society were discussed yesterday during the “Imagine Civil Society” dialogue that the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy had organised. The dialogue, which ends today, also discussed some of the unanswered questions of what [... Read More]

Cab fare hike in festive season

Drivers though say it’s passengers who offer higher prices due to increased demand Taxis: The sudden hike in taxi fares during special occasions in the country is a frequent complaint among passengers, who mainly depend on public transportation. The recent occasion being the Thimphu tshechu, passengers said taxi drivers demanded almost double the normal fare to various destinations.  People said they were charged Nu 500 to Nu 600 to Wangduephodrang and Punakha, Nu 300 to Paro and about Nu 1,000 to Phuentsholing. The normal rate [... Read More]

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