Friday, December 19th, 2014 - 2:57 AM
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The drying of Phangkhar

An MoH pilot project since July 2013 to reduce alcohol consumption in the gewog   Alcohol:  It used to be normal for visitors to wake up with a cup of ara (locally brewed alcohol), instead of tea, on the bedside in Phangkhar gewog. Not anymore. That tradition is gone.  Guests are not served alcohol, not even at night.  The gewog has banned the sale and brewing of ara.  Seven villages in the gewog even agreed not to serve alcohol during rituals, a rampant practice not [... Read More]

Proposed railway dropped

DSC_5319Lyonchhoen interacts with Indian journalists

Transport: While the two proposed railway routes that would have connected Bhutan to the Indian railway network have been dropped, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that another route would be welcome. The Golden Jubilee railway line, announced by the former Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh during a visit to Bhutan in 2008, would have connected either Phuenthsholing or Toribari to Hashimara. However, President Pranab Mukherjee, in an email interview with this paper, pointed out that both routes pass through tea gardens or forest, and that [... Read More]

Lab blood tests confirm ‘very low’ thiamine levels

A random sampling of three of the Gomphu LSS students stricken by beri beri show these results  Nutrition: Public health laboratory reports confirm that thiamine content in the blood samples of students, who fell ill in Gomphu lower secondary school last month, was way below the normal range. Of the 35 samples collected, only three were randomly selected for tests.  Public health laboratory officials, who investigated the case, said the three samples were tested to present the results to the prime minister after the health [... Read More]

Wanted revenue assistant still on the lam

JDWNRH: Investigations are still on to trace the revenue assistant of Jigme Dorji Wangchuk national referral hospital (JDWNRH) who went missing since September 3, after allegedly embezzling more than Nu 5M. JDWNRH’s medical director, Dr Sonam Phuntsho, over a telephone interview, said that they were yet to receive any updates from police after a filing a missing complaint the same month. “Police informed us that investigations are still on, and the revenue assistant is suspended from work, as of now,” Dr Sonam Phuntsho said. The [... Read More]

Apologise or prove: DPT

The plaintiff presented in court a 26-page rebuttal  Libel case: Druk Phuensum tshogpa representative asked Dasho Paljor J Dorji to publicly apologise that the comment he made on Facebook was not meant to accuse the DPT of ‘robbing the country blind’, or else to prove each of the allegations made against the party. DPT’s representative, Ugyen Wangdi, said, “The plaintiff remains prepared, to this day, to consider an apology, because of our respect for him and in the larger interest of the nation.” Otherwise, the [... Read More]

Throwing cold water on notions of CDM status

Environmentalists take exception to certifying hydropower projects in Bhutan as run-of-the-river Workshop: Hydropower projects in the region, including those in Bhutan are not run-of-the-river schemes and cannot be certified as clean development mechanism (CDM) projects. A group of environmentalists from a non-profit organisation, International Rivers, India, with decades of experience in environmental governance, conveyed this during a knowledge-sharing workshop on hydropower this week. The group was in the capital to discuss various ecological and environmental impacts of hydropower projects.  Unfortunately, the workshop saw poor participation, [... Read More]

A knotty timber issue

The demand, to the detriment of forests, is for standing trees while depot stockpiles decay FRMD: Meeting timber demand for construction and repair of dzongs, temples, and monasteries remains one of the main threats to forest resources in the country, as most of them go for standing trees and not those from the timber depots. Last year alone, the forest resources management division (FRMD) issued more than 200,469 cubic feet (cft) of timber permits for repair or construction of 53 temples, monasteries, dzongs and institutions. [... Read More]

Regulating political finance

The charter for Bhutan Democracy Dialogue to facilitate democracy will soon be finalised ECB: To understand money in politics, political finance and its roles among others, member of Parliaments, candidates, senior party executives and treasurer of parties participated in a workshop on political finance regulation in Paro from November 4 to 6. The ability to explain Asia’s main challenges and priorities to address them; to identify and compare ways in which political finance can be regulated and to discuss the options available in regulating political [... Read More]

Safeguarding Sarpang

The foreign minister has informed the people of a possible wall to secure the area Border: If walls or fencing could prevent cross border infiltration, Gelephu and Sarpang would have safer times ahead, with the foreign minister, Rinzin Dorji assuring residents of a wall along the Indo-Bhutan border. The minister, during a recent visit to Sarpang, said that the government is holding talks with the Indian government regarding the construction of the wall in the border areas for the safety of the people living there. [... Read More]

Nursing student’s body flown in today

Suicide: The body of a 20 year-old nursing student, in Mangalore, India, who committed suicide on November 6, will be flown home today. She was a second year student of Indira Nursing College in Mangalore, India. A male friend who was watching over her at the apartment had gone out to a shop when the incident occurred. President of the Bhutanese students’ association in Mangalore, in a telephone interview said the student had been dealing with depression for a while. Sources said the college had [... Read More]