Friday, March 27th, 2015 - 11:13 AM
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India & Bhutan: All-weather friends, Ancient Bonds – New horizons

It’s set to be a unique year in the annals of the all-weather friendship between India and Bhutan. As President Pranab Mukherjee heads on his maiden trip to the strategically located Himalayan state on 7th November, the timeless and exemplary relationship between the two fraternal neighbours will once again be in the spotlight. The presidential visit underlines a confluence of civilisational, economic and geostrategic imperatives that grounds special ties between the world’s largest and youngest democracies. 2014 is, therefore, set to be a watershed year [... Read More]

For a purposeful scrutiny

A suggestion to consider when legislators have a second look at the Election Act Only one of the five political parties would have been eligible to take part in the second parliamentary elections in 2013, had the scrutiny of candidates been done right at the outset of the process. A bold statement it might sound like today, but if indeed the scrutiny of candidates were done before the primaries through examination of papers candidates are required to submit, four political parties would never have made [... Read More]

Efforts must continue until polio is eradicated

The World Polio Day, observed on October 24, is a reminder of our monumental victory over polio. A victory that came through extraordinary efforts leading to polio-free certification of WHO’s South-East Asia Region in March this year. But as we recall our victory over this crippling virus, we must remain mindful that the risk of polio persists and we need to continue our efforts until polio is eradicated globally. Countries of the Region are maintaining vigilance to rapidly detect any case of importation through sensitive poliovirus surveillance systems. And we are prepared to [... Read More]

Dasho Shingkhar Lam (1928-2014)

The last of the Second King’s consummately gifted officials died on October 16, aged 86. Obituary: Shingkhar temple and village atmosphere shaped the formative years of Kunzang Wangchuk.  Reciprocally, Kunzang Wangchuk as Dasho Shingkhar Lam lifted it out of its obscurity during the heyday of his career towards the end of the reign of HM the 3rd King, getting bestowed the highest honours of orange scarf and Heart-Son of Bhutan award. The land where a Bhutanese was born tempered the character of its inhabitant in [... Read More]

Incredible Expectations? 

Why Modi Needs Well More than 100 Days to Bring Change to India With the young democracy of Bhutan so closely tied to India, how fitting for the world’s largest and perhaps most free-wheeling democracy that with only 100 days having passed since Narendra Modi was sworn into office as Prime Minister of India, critics and supporters alike, in Bhutan and elsewhere, are already vocally weighing in on his performance. Hope remains high that Modi will bring change to this traditions-bound nation, but as Russell Green, [... Read More]

Governments can play a pivotal role in preventing suicides

As a global health problem, the phenomenon merits prioritisation on the national agenda Every 40 seconds, a person commits suicide somewhere in the world.  The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far-reaching. Suicides accounted for over 800,000 deaths in 2012 alone, according to a new global report of the World Health Organisation (WHO).  The estimated suicide rate is the highest in WHO’s South-East Asia region, as compared to other WHO regions.  As suicide is a sensitive issue—and even illegal in some countries—many [... Read More]

Are we becoming selfish or penny wise?

The Kuensel story “Zhemgang dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) ‘pony rule’ puts civil servants off” in the September 3 issue impelled me to ruminate over and over again. The Zhemgang DT decided to require getting approval from dzongda to use pony or forgo the claim. Why do we require such a rule when the BCSR 2012 sates that one is entitled to claim the porter and pony charges if one is travelling to places without road network? This would just increase the burden of bureaucracy and red-tapism. [... Read More]

Why not ban doma!

The areca nut is the seed of the areca palm (Areca catechu), which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Asia, and parts of east Africa. It is commonly referred to as betel nut, as it is often chewed wrapped in betel leaves (paan). The habit has many harmful effects on health. The International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that chewing areca nut is carcinogenic (cancerous) to humans after reviewing the published medical research. Various compounds present in the nut, most importantly arecoline, contribute [... Read More]

Time to Adapt to Climate Change in South Asia

Climate change will sow confusion and concern as it unfolds across South Asia in coming decades. Home to a quarter of the world’s population, this vast region will be hit harder than just about anywhere else. Sudden flooding, storms, droughts and other hazards will upend lives, livelihoods, and economies. As this grim future takes shape, the price of global inaction is rising each year. Up to 9% will have been stripped annually from South Asia’s economy on average by 2100 if no further action is [... Read More]

An Open letter to the Home Minister

Seeking common-sense archery regulation and its strict enforcement to prevent further archery-related tragedies Dear Lyonpo, There is considerable public disquiet about the serious safety risk our national sport poses today. Frustration is seething with no end in sight to the arrow menace. The concerns are valid and our people have long clamoured for a solution. I write to you since public safety falls under your care, and more importantly, because the issue deserves an objective assessment of the systemic factors that are causing it. Our [... Read More]

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