Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - 12:47 PM
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Dhapar quartzite mines operational for two years with interim lease awards

dhaparThe Dhapar quartzite mines in Chengmari, Samtse

Kopchey people’s unwillingness to give ‘public clearance’ had no effect on operations

Mining: The people of Kopchey’s refusal to give their “public clearance” have not stopped the Dhapar quartzite mine (DQM) in Chengmari, Samtse from operating.

Kuensel found that the mining has been in operation for the last two years because of an “interim lease award,” that the department of geology and mines (DGM) has continued to issue to the company.

The mining company has been waiting for public clearance for the last two years after its five years lease term expired in December 2012.  The mines had to shut down for about six months between 2012 and 2014.


What will it take to civilise us?


A four-part tongue-in-cheek attempt to ferret out the distinctive features that validate an educated person

Part IV

A civic being has not an anti social bone in his/her body 

PARDON the French but, if you’re at all au fait with my oeuvre, you’ll twig on double quick that what comes next is nothing but an old bête noir of mine.

To whom it may concern, among you buildings dwellers, here’s my two-bit advice: stop both breaking bones and/or firewood on the premises.

(The rhythmic one-two thud of a back loom is better but only just.)

Such goings-on may be fine back in the boondocks, but in an urban setting, not to mince words, they’re a damned nuisance, and fall under a class of misconduct once known as ‘disturbing the peace’; now it’s called noise pollution.


Focus point

Pilgrimage to Bodhgaya: An experience

I returned from a 10-day pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, the holiest pilgrimage site for Buddhists. I have been fortunate to be able to visit this holy place a number of times in the past. I would like to share my experiences and observations from then and now. The juxtapositions have been quite enriching as well as revealing.

The number of Bhutanese pilgrims going to Bodhgaya has gone up exponentially. Some days almost half of the people circumambulating the sacred choeten were Bhutanese. Many were proudly in our national dress, some young men, apparently college students, even with kabneys.


Retiring judge ceremoniously surrenders kabney and patang

DSC_4526Ugyen Tenzin hands over his kabney and patang to the chairman of the Royal Privy Council

Zhidu: Ugyen Tenzin, 60, former drangpon (judge), surrendered his kabney (scarf) and patang (sword) to the Royal Privy Council yesterday as he formally retired from service to the nation.

Zhidu is a traditional system, whereby individuals, who received positional paraphernalia, should hand over the symbols of power and position to the one who bestowed the same upon them.

Ugyen Tenzin walked away from the office of the Royal Privy Council with white kabney with fringes without patang.  He is the second person from the judiciary to follow the old tradition of Zhidu.

Dasho Sangay Wangchug, a member of the Royal Privy Council, said that only individuals, who received decorations from His Majesty for outstanding contributions to the nation, can keep and make use of them.


Bringing attention to autism

20150402-907A1659The Autism Advantage: Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen graced the commemoration of World Autism Awareness Day yesterday in Thimphu and launched the Ability Bhutan Society Strategic Plan Document, and an animated video on autism awareness.

As part of the event, the memorial chorten and the clock tower square among others were  lit in blue, the colour for autism. 

Occasion: The family rejoiced when Ugyen was born.  He was the family’s first grandson, first son and the only brother to his sister.

Today, he is 11 years old and attends The Early Learning Centre thrice a week.

As he turned four, his family started noticing that Ugyen would not have eye contact and became sensitive to light and sound.  He was in his own world and remained fixed at a single activity for hours.

Ugyen was diagnosed with autism, a complex disorder of brain development characterised by difficulties in social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviour.


Ministry to respond to audit memos today

The authority has opened a can of worms vis-à-vis the accounting practices of MoIC

RAA: The ministry of information and communications (MoIC) will today respond to the 14 audit memos that the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) has issued with total financial implications aggregating to Nu 7.09M (million) last month.

Of the 14 memos, 10 were issued to the ministry’s secretariat and four to the department of information and media (DoIM) amounting to Nu 4.43M and Nu 2.66M respectively, after the RAA’s initial findings revealed some issues involving possible elements of fraudulent practices.


Bowing out gracefully

It was a simple occasion, when former judge Ugyen Tenzin surrendered his kabney and patang to the Royal Privy Council yesterday.  But there is more than just handing over a kabney and a patang.

The judge is the second senior official to do so, bringing alive the tradition of Zhidu, a tradition where individuals, honoured with symbols of power and position, hand over the paraphernalia to the one who bestowed it.  The honours are bestowed to the position, and it is a wise decision to hand them over when they retire from the position, whether they are retiring after superannuation, or getting transferred to other positions.


A plan to keep water clean

A valuable tool for thromdes to ensure that every household receives safe supply

WSP: Officials from the ministry of works and human settlement (MoWHS), 14 participants from Thimphu thromde and a WHO consultant are developing a Water Safety Plan (WSP) for Thimphu city.

Tshering Choden, executive engineer with MoWHS, said the Water Safety Plan was a valuable tool to guide the thromde to ensure that every household received safe drinking water supply.


Bhutan Telecom introduces fee to lessen B-Wallet congestion

Tech: In a move that has irked some Bank of Bhutan (BoB) B-Wallet users, BT will charge a Nu 10 fee for every third-party transaction done using the mobile payment system.

This means that while mobile recharges, fixed line phone and broadband bill payments will still be free, other services like fund transfers within BoB accounts will now be Nu 10 dearer. A B-Wallet electricity bill payment facility was already Nu 10 extra.

BT introduced the fee for two reasons, to alleviate congestion of the B-Wallet service and to create uniformity on fee for third-party services.