Friday, April 18th, 2014 - 4:34 PM

A mobile royal court

Travelling with Their Majesties around the kingdom is a unique memorable experience

When His Majesty the King begins a journey across the country, the people of the court do not try to estimate when they will arrive at a destination.

The purpose of the travel is not to arrive, but to organise what is perhaps the most unique royal court in the world – a mobile one.  It is not uncommon to reach the end of the [... Read More]

If I were the government …Part I

A New Year, a new government and a new Five-Year Plan surely could use a new thought process.  Thus in the guise of devil’s advocate, I submit as such.  If I were the government, I would implement the following to ensure wholesome, equitable and cost effective development of our economy and the country.  Rupee shortage, current account deficit, unemployment, self-reliance, corruption, trade imbalances and host of other challenges and ills in the country would be [... Read More]

Google Apps: Not the thriller it sounds like

On the surface it was exciting reading this weekend’s media reports. Two newspapers picked up a press release from one of our political parties and gave us images of scandals of Wikileaks proportions, of Edward Snowden’s revelations and of Bhutan possibly getting embroiled in global state sponsored technological espionage with at least one superpower.

We welcome the debate but, unfortunately, like the five blind men who went to see an elephant, we did not get a [... Read More]

How to be at peace with ourselves

The trick, the writer reveals, is to know oneself, warts and all, and not seek to be another 

People often ask how to overcome lack of self-confidence.  They say that they are shy to approach a member of the opposite sex, or are unable to talk in front of a large number of people.

I tell them that they should just do the best they can without expectations.  That is enough.  I also narrate the story of [... Read More]

Year of the horse – gallop, trot or stumble?

As we move into the Lunar New Year festivities, IMF Managing Director Christine Largarde is signaling that “optimism is in the air”.

In a speech on January 15, she claimed the global growth momentum could be strengthened further in 2014, mainly due to advanced economies, but it is still stuck in low gear.

The good news is the US economy is recovering confidence, helped by housing recovery and private demand.  Consequently, the Fed will begin its tapering [... Read More]

Bhutan’s big leap into future

There is a saying, “Home is where heart is”. I have been to Bhutan several times and whenever I go there I feel at home as I have many friends and well wishers who always receive me with open arms.

In December, 2013, I got another opportunity to visit Bhutan to attend the National Day celebrations in Thimphu. It was the first time I was invited, along with my wife Arti to attend this mega event.

The [... Read More]

A 12-year-old ban that’s yet to take hold

Tuitions that were meant to be taboo since 2001/2 are thriving more than ever

With debates pondering over the recent sprawling of ‘tuitions’, mostly taking place in Thimphu, and the ministry of education (MoE) repeatedly curtailing tuitions to be eliminated, I must say that I don’t know who is right? Whether it is MoE placing restrictions, as per the pros and cons on the need and necessity of tuitions, or is it the students, mostly the [... Read More]

Like cordyceps, Tokay Gecko was once protected

1391665_557752664278022_643565691_nThe rescued Tokay Gecko in Gelephu range office (File photo)

Cordyceps sinensis or yartsa guenbup was a protected species before 2004 and its picking and possession was illegal.

While it fetched high price across the northern borders, locals within the country were subjected to questioning, property search and heavy fines. A field study in 2003 noted that a family was fined Nu 90,000 for possession of it and this family had to sell three yaks and a horse to pay off the fine.

Cordyceps was among a [... Read More]

Pay raise implications on inflation, entrepreneurship

Yesterday’s headlines announced that the promised pay raise for civil service is anything but certain. If the government is serious about kick-starting the private sector and encouraging entrepreneurship, giving indiscriminate handouts to civil servants will be a counterproductive measure.

The Pay Commission, which has been established has a carefully worded remit with some clear guidelines. Among these, commissioners are cautioned that “Increases should largely be met through cost cutting and other measures by streamlining government expenditures.” [... Read More]

No GLOF in winter, a wrong Siren

Untitled1Fragile moraine holding Tshokar of Singye Dzong, Lhuentse

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international scientific agency, in its successive research reports, is confirming climate change from historical anthropogenic emissions. The intensity and pace is said to be accelerating. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes mountain ecosystems as vulnerable areas. The Seventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) of the UNFCCC held in Marrakesh, Morocco gave opportunity to Least Developed Country (LDC) members to develop and [... Read More]

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