Thursday, May 28th, 2015 - 1:57 PM
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Google Apps subscription extended

… to allow for a third re-tender for an online office suite to be completed

E-governance: The government has extended its one-year subscription of the online office suite, that ended last week, for another three months.

Following discussions with Google, the government was also able to extend the discounted pricing it acquired for its one-year subscription, at around Nu 158 or USD 2.5 per account per month. The normal cost is around Nu 262.5 or USD 4.2 per account per month.

With 5,000 accounts being subscribed for, this amounts to Nu 2.3 million or USD 37,500 for using Google Apps for another three months.


Restoration works on sacred choeten begins

10408494_732793463500026_4896110340885004620_nUnder Restoration: Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay with the monks and residents of Kawang install relics in the Mani Dangrim choeten at Dodeyna, Thimphu

Culture: About a hundred people consisting of dzongkhag officials, monks and the people of Kawang joined Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay and home minister Damcho Dorji, to undertake restoration works on the historic Mani Dangrim choeten at Dodeyna yesterday. A new sokshing and nangtens (relics) were also installed inside the chorten.

The sacred choeten was built by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo’s 10th reincarnate, Penchen Tenzin Choegyal in memory of his Tsawai Lama Kheydrup Tenzin Dhendup in the 18th century.

During the 35th Birth Anniversary celebrations of His Majesty the King on February 21 this year, Lyonchoen had announced that the government and people of Bhutan would be renovating and restoring chortens across the country to pay tribute to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on the occasion of his 60th Birth Anniversary.


Bringing our posterity well

Our cities and towns are rapidly becoming home to increasing number of desperate young people.

Our young people are our hope, our guardians of peace and leaders of our prosperity. But, how are our young people really growing up?

Youth crime is growing in our cities and our towns. We have records available from certain ministries and government agencies. Alas, records we have access to are way too old and irrelevant! Some of the government websites that are supposed to give us fresh information have materials of 2012 as their latest update.


Burglary cases in Thimphu fall off

20150511_123414On display: The recovered goods at the police station

Crime: Thimphu has seen reduction in burglary cases between the months of January and April this year compared with same months in the past two years.

In 2013, the city recorded 78 burglary cases, and 87 in 2014. In the first four months this year, the police recorded only 65 burglary cases in the capital.

Out of the total reported cases, 28 were detected and 20 suspects arrested.

The police last month apprehended five suspects who were found to have been involved in 21 burglaries in the capital. The suspects were all school dropouts aged between 16 and 19.

The boys had planned to form a dance group sometime in November last year. However, they did not succeed and were forced to resort to an easier alternative.


Dog population management programme wins award

DSC_6218Since 2009 the dog population has been controlled

Over 56,000 strays have been sterilised and vaccinated so far

Canines: Over 56,000 stray dogs have been sterilised and vaccinated against rabies in the past six years in the country.  Another 2,100 cats were also sterilised and vaccinated.

This was done through the catch, neuter, vaccinate and release protocol, as part of the National Dog Population Management programme.  It was the last resort attempt to control dog population in Bhutan after several other initiatives failed in the past.

For this, the department of livestock’s (DoL) National Centre for Animal Health was awarded an “outstanding animal protection award” during the Animal Care Expo 2015 at New Orleans, USA.  It is the second award the department has received.


National squad not yet finalised

IMG_2080Head coach Tsukitate Norio instructs the players during a practice session yesterday

Tickets for Bhutan vs China game available for advance booking

Football: With only a month left for the second round of the FIFA World Cup qualification match against Hong Kong on June 11, three new players are expected to join the national football squad.

Bhutan Football Federation’s (BBF) media spokesperson, Phuntsho Wangdi, said they were changing the squad, because a few players in the national team are injured and would not make it for the first away game on June 11. “The change is not because of their bad performance,” he clarified.  However, they are yet to finalise the list of the 23-man national squad.


Medical team to begin returning tomorrow

11119188_10206098438277438_289451207_nA field unit distributes relief material to residents of Samundar tar in Nuwakot district, Nepal (Photo: Desuung)

Quake: The Bhutanese medical team in Nepal will begin the return process to Bhutan with a first batch of 26 arriving tomorrow.

A second batch is expected on Thursday.

The medical team was dispatched to Nepal on the command of His Majesty the King on April 27, following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country on April 25.

In a meeting with the Bhutanese Earthquake Medical Relief Unit and other foreign medical teams in Trishuli and neighbouring areas on May 9, Nepalese health ministry officials briefed the teams on their plans to return the country to normalcy and take over health services.


Quake fallout on tourist traffic

Operators fear a drop in arrivals, particular among the dollar-paying set

Tourism: The April 25 earthquake in Nepal could lead to a drop in international tourist arrivals in the country, with several trips already being cancelled, according to tour operators.

Following the earthquake, tour operators said they had to accept the cancellations, or reschedule flights from Bangkok to Paro.  Tour operators said most preferred cancellations.

Hoteliers also said that there were several cancellations that were mostly last minute. “In such a scenario, we don’t have a choice but to apply cancellation charges,” a hotelier said. “Those, who come, call the hotels and ask if it was safe to travel to Bhutan.”


ACC shuts more business in Phuentsholing

Corruption: In continuation to the ongoing investigations, the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) has suspended one more business, Chotey Lal Shah grocery in Phuentsholing after finding a prima facie case of corruption.

The commission has now suspended nine business establishments in the town.

A non-national owned the license of Chotey Lal Shah grocery shop. However, Kuensel learnt that another Indian operated the business.


FCB asked to surrender its retail licenses

MoEA has notified the agency to focus on wholesale business instead

Trade: The Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB) has been asked to surrender all its retails licenses by July this year.

The recent notification from the economic affairs ministry comes at a time when FCB has set up a retail shop in Pemagatshel but was refused a trade license to operate earlier this year. Instead the ministry has asked FCB to concentrate only on the wholesale business. The notification doesn’t state any reasons for such decision.