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Private ‘porn’ petition gets PM’s consent

Lyonchhoen said the govt. was seized of the matter and that the BICMA Act would be amended accordingly Campaign: The Prime Minister, yesterday, accepted the petition on ‘specific and strict laws against the non-consensual distribution of sexual materials.’ The online petition, put forward by freelance journalist, Namgay Zam, received support from 2,282 people.  The initial target was to get 10,000. The petition is against the sharing of Bhutanese pornographic videos through social media as occurred a few months back. The petition also calls for those, [... Read More]

Watershed moment for Punatsangchu II

DSC_0136Final moment: Dasho Sonam Tshering on the button that would blast the final chunk of rock

The first major event for the water conduct system between power intakes has been completed Hydropower: The Punatsangchu hydropower project authority II yesterday completed the first major event for water conduct system between power intakes that is connected to the de-silting chambers and head race tunnel (HRT). In a simple ceremony, the secretary for economic affairs ministry, Dasho Sonam Tshering pressed a button that blasted the final chunk of rock and connecting the de-silting chamber and the HRT. The water conductor system is 18km long, [... Read More]

Civil service vacancies cut down by 27

RCSC: Reprioritising its intake, the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has reduced the number of this year’s vacancies in civil service by 27 seats, all of which are from the technical category. In August, the commission had announced 436 seats. There are 1,238 bachelors’ degree graduates appearing the civil service examination that begins today.  These graduates are the ones who got through the preliminary examination last month. Six of the 27 slashed slots were for architecture, which is the highest.  Five slots have been slashed [... Read More]

Cabinet approves proposal to ratify UNCAC

Bhutan has been a signatory to the convention against corruption since 2005 ACC: The cabinet, on October 7, approved the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC)’s proposal to ratify United Nations Convention against Corruption. Known as UNCAC, it entered into force in 2005 to serve as a legally binding document with a comprehensive set of standards, measures and provisions, expected to prevent and counter corruption in public and private sectors. ACC’s commissioner Kezang Jamtsho explained that Bhutan had been a signatory to UNCAC, but had not ratified [... Read More]

Nationwide consultation on education underway

DSC_0091Sherig consultation: Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay and education minister Mingbo Dukpa launch the nationwide consultation to evaluate the country’s education system

As part of an ongoing review process in preparation for an Education Blueprint 2014-24 Feedback: In what could perhaps be the biggest to date, the education ministry yesterday launched a nationwide consultation that’s expected to galvanise the people in evaluating the country’s education system. The comprehensive month long consultation which will be done through field surveys, focus group and panel discussions, online forums, social media, interviews and zomdus is expected to reach more than 20,000 people across the country. After almost an hour long meeting [... Read More]

Border talks today

Diplomacy: An eight-member Chinese delegation from the People’s Republic of China is in the country for the technical Expert Group meeting on the Bhutan-China Boundary, which starts today. The two governments will meet for three days, from October 9 to 12. The Bhutanese delegation is be led by secretary for International Boundaries, Dasho Pema Wangchuk, and will include officials from the foreign ministry and the International Boundaries office. The Chinese delegation is led by the Counselor of the Asian department of the Chinese foreign ministry, [... Read More]

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]