Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - 12:46 PM
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School reports rash of chickenpox cases

Outbreak: Decheling Lower Secondary School (DLSS) reported 13 cases of chickenpox among students yesterday.

The basic health unit (BHU) in Decheling has been getting a number of chickenpox cases among the students studying in the school since December last year.

Until the first week of March, some 141 reported to the BHU with chickenpox.


Sephu sees a rural-urban migration reversal

Due largely, it would seem, to the boost in income from cordyceps collection

Lifestyle: At a time when villages across the country are seeing an increasing number of people migrating to urban centres, Sephu gewog in Wangdue is seeing an increase in the number people wanting to settle in the gewog.

The gewog is not just seeing an increase in population, but also in the number of households with several new constructions.

Sephu gup Rinchen Penjore said that, from about 265 households in 2004, the number has increased to 314 today.  Except for two households that are frequented by the owners, the gewog hasn’t seen anyone leaving for urban places.


Toedkor chiwog in Laya elects new tshogpa

gasa-tshogpaDorji Lathro

Bye-election: Three months after the death of their last tshogpa, Toedkor chiwog in Laya, Gasa, elected 35-year old Dorji Lathro as their new tshogpa (representative.)

Dorji Lathro, who contested against Lekey Tshewang, 27, won the bye-election on April 6 in Laya by 29 votes,.

Gasa dzongkhag’s electoral officer, S Narayan said the bye-election saw 43 voters  out of the 88 registered voters turned up to vote.

Dorji Lathro was a former monk at the Layap lhakhang. He had also served as Gyaldrung for two years at Laya the gewog office. His contestant Lekey Tshewang is a class VII dropout.


Dreaming of Thromde: A Statutory Obligation!

This is prompted by a recent article in Kuensel titled “Self-Sustenance a Distant Dream for Thromdes” of April 2, 2015 and the BBS news interview with a Ministry of Works and Human Settlement specialist.

Who can deny the wisdom in the sayings that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first single step and Rome was not built in a day? Thimphu was a mere village in the early seventies when I trekked to study in Western Bhutan from remote Bumthang. Changlingmethang was a marshland and commerce in Thimphu was basically a single row of small shops. How these places have been transformed by the will, determination and genius of our leaders, planners and builders over the decades is there for all of us to see!


Pasa Kutshab- Bhutan Agent at Buxa Duar

ugyentseringPasa Kutshab Ugyen Tshering

In 1865, Buxa Duars was one of the 18 Duars that Bhutan ceded to the British government for an annual fee.

Better known as Pasakha, the Duar was situated in the extreme southern borders on the Duar plains. It skirted the lower Himalayan ranges of West Bengal and played an important role in the political and economic history of our country.

The British appointed a Bhutan Agent. In Bhutan, this agent was known as the Pasa Kutshab. We first hear of him in 1910 from British records, “A request from Pem Dorji, the Bhutan Agent at Buxa Duar, to supply him with house accommodation was refused”.

Eight years later, in 1918, Pem Dorji “resigned his appointment with effect from the 6th March 1918. The resignation was accepted and the post has been allowed to remain vacant while the question of continuing to keep a Bhutan Agent at Buxa is considered”.


Brokpa’s origin depicted in a painting

DSC_6076Painter Tshering Tenzin and researcher Robert Dompnier explains the painting to visitors

Art: As Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, India, in Tibet’s Yarlung village, Drag Singmo (a deity residing on cliff) and Triwu Jangchubsempa (Bodhisattva in the form of monkey) had six children.

It is believed that the people of Merak and Sakteng in Trashigang descended from one of the children.  Known as brokpas, the nomadic community before migrating to Merak and Sakteng were living at Yamarong village in Tibet.

A King Dreba-yabu, who was known for his evil deeds, ruled their village. King Dreba-yabu’s palace never received direct sunlight, as the high peak on the eastern side of the palace blocked the light.  One day, the king ordered his subjects to blunt the peak.

A female protective deity of the village, Aum Jumo, heard about the harsh punishment put on the people.  She transformed into a woman with a baby on her back and visited the site where people were trying to cut the peak.


Witness testimony at ‘duress and coercion’ hearing

Haa Lhankhangkarpo: In the ongoing Lhakhang Karpo case, the two witnesses, who were summoned to testify if the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) had taken their signatures and defendant’s statements under “duress and coercion”, said that they were not aware of such conditions.

Kinzang Dorji from Thimphu, and Shashi Maya in Haa, testified in the Haa court yesterday, after the project engineer of Lhakhang Karpo conservation project, Tashi Gyeltshen, alleged that the ACC investigators dictated him to write, and that his statements were taken under duress.


Cine Bhutan – Unifying an industry

DSC_6733Finance minister Namgay Dorji launches the association

The new association was launched to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo

Film: The Bhutanese film industry marked yet another milestone yesterday with the launch of a new film association, Cine Bhutan.

Cine Bhutan was launched to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and consists of five founding members from the film industry.

Cine Bhutan is a registered civil society organisation (CSO).  During the launch, the finance minister, Namgay Dorji, also launched a memorandum of association and service rules, 2014, for the members registered with the association, along with a new logo, website and database of the association.

One of the founding members, Pema Tshering, 42, who has been working as a producer for 17 years, said the association aimed to bring the industry together to become one force for the development of the film industry in the country.

“Through the association, we’ll protect and promote the interest of every form of film, and every profession of the film industry,” he said.


Floodlights to be installed at Changjiji football ground

IMG_0751Workers raising a floodlight pillar

Football: With the installation of floodlights at the artificial turf at Changjiji, football aficionados now don’t have to wait for weeks to play a match.

Installation work began in October last year after the materials arrived in the country and is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. The supply of the resources is funded by FIFA and the installation and ground works is sponsored by Jai Prakash (JP) constructions.

The general secretary of Bhutan Football Foundation (BFF), Ugyen Wangchhuk, said that the installation of the floodlights will help the national teams by giving them more time to train. The ground will also be available for the general public to play during night hours once the ground is free.

The estimated cost of all the equipment including the four 20m floodlight pillars is approximately Nu 4.9 million. The cost of the construction and installation will be fully supported by JP constructions.


PM visits temples and meets Bhutanese students in Sri Lanka


Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka visited the Kelaniya Temple and Gangaramaya Temple on April 9. Lyonchoen also “watered” and offered “cloth” (Namza) to the Holy Bodhi Trees at Kelaniya and Gangaramaya Temples. At Gangaramaya temple , the Bhutanese delegation was delighted to find that the Fourth Druk Gyalpo had laid the foundation stone for the inauguration for the Bodhi Tree.