KuenselOnline

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 - 1:24 AM
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Bhutan breaks plantation record

DSC_1541Warm up: Volunteers who reached Kuenselphodrang as early as 6am gear up for the big event yesterday

100 volunteers planted an average of eight trees a minute to beat the Guinness world record

Anniversary: The clock is ticking. With music blaring from the loudspeakers, the area is filled with commotion as the crowd shouts and sings to cheer the men.

The organiser is anxious.  After every interval, he announces the remaining time left for the men to complete the task.  Clad in white t-shirts and caps, the men shuffle on the hill overlooking Thimphu valley in the scorching heat.

With only about 30 minutes left to complete the task, the men divided into groups move faster.  The organiser constantly reminds them of the task they are here for today. Some groups, who had completed their tasks, move on to help others.

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A green Guinness record

It is official.  Bhutan has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for planting the most number of trees in an hour.  The official record says 49,672 trees planted at Kuenselphodrang, Thimphu, although 50,000 was the number attempted.

This is still a record and we should applaud the organisers, the Bhutan Eco-Green Initiative Network, the agriculture and forest ministry and the volunteers.  Such an initiative on a day to remember the contributions of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo is most appropriate.  The country will be richer by almost 50,000 trees.

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Real estate developer challenges lower court’s verdict

Judiciary: The proprietor of Sambhav Estate Builders has appealed to the High Court to dismiss his conviction, saying all charges framed against him were baseless and irrelevant.

Real estate developer, Dechen Tshering, appealed to the High Court after the Thimphu district court’s bench V in March, convicted and sentenced him to 132 years and nine months in prison for committing various offences, including tax evasion, fraudulent insolvency, forgery and breach of contract.  However, a fine of Nu 5.973M (million) in lieu of the sentence was allowed to be paid.

Of the 132-year nine-month prison term, 66 years and nine months pertained to the non-payment of the monthly loan instalment to the Bhutan National Bank limited  (BNBL) and the issue with the  nine buyers, who bought flats from the appellant.

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At least three fleeced in possible scam

An advertisement on mobile phones published in Tashi Delek magazine turned out to be a scam

Advertising: A couple and a relative of theirs claim to have lost around Nu 122,850 or USD 1,950 after responding to an advertisement for mobile phones published in one of the recent inflight magazine issues of Drukair.

The advertisement, placed by an establishment called the Phone Shop, offers a ‘buy three, get one free’ scheme. The advertisement offers high-end smart phones like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.

The viewer is told to contact an Elizabeth Johnson and two email addresses, one a free Gmail one, and a phone number is provided.

The advertisement can be found on page 75 of the March-April 2015 edition of Tashi Delek.

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Melphey residents concerned over recurrent landslides

20150531_101612The recently damaged drain outlet at Melphey

Disaster: Although farmers welcome the arrival of monsoon, the case is otherwise for residents living below the steep slopes of Melphey in Trashigang.

When Melphey got connected with road few years ago, drainage was also built to channel rainwater across the road towards a watercourse.

Following heavy rainfall on April 22, about six metres of the concrete drain outlet were washed away.  The heavy current of the water caused landslides up to a kilometre away.

Other drains were also damaged and overnight roadblocks occurred around the junction near the dzongkhag court.  Recently, a car narrowly escaped a huge falling boulder at the junction.

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Picture story

Picture story: A three-day long offering of threoma tsokbum (hundred thousand offering) at the Threoma lhakhang that started on May 31 ended yesterday. Hundreds of practitioners attended the ceremony.

   

Constitution of Bhutan Children’s Parliament signed

IMG_0663Children’s Parliament: Representatives of the democracy club in schools sign the Children’s Constitution yesterday

Election to the Children’s parliament  will be held in September this year

Democracy: About 222 student representatives from 153 democracy clubs from schools across the country signed the Constitution of Bhutan Children’s Parliament in the kuenray of the Punakha dzong yesterday.

The signing ceremony coincided with the coronation day of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Bhutan Children’s Parliament (BCP) was initiated to help students enhance leadership skills and facilitate the formulation of opinions, views, hopes and aspirations in real life situations. “The outcome could also be useful for consideration in the decision-making system and processes of the Parliament of Bhutan,” election officials said.

As per the Constitution of the Bhutan Children’s Parliament, the aim is to encourage students to learn about the roles and responsibilities of citizens in nation building and in sustaining democracy.

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Coronation Cup begins with 14 fewer teams

DSC00972Dechen Wangmo of team Tshomens goes for a layup

Basketball: Fourteen teams withdrew from the Coronation Cup that began yesterday because the venue for the tournament was shifted to the semi-indoor court of Thimphu primary school.

The indoor basketball court at the Swimming Pool complex where all basketball tournaments are held is not safe according to engineers who assessed the building that was built in the early 1970s.

The national coach with Bhutan Basketball Federation (BBF), Tenxin Jamtsho said the withdrawal has affected the tournament, but they couldn’t cancel the tournament. “In fact, we are letting the only three women’s team play because we want to promote women’s basketball in the country,” he said.

Asked if the teams withdrew because of the condition of the court, the coach declined to comment. However, teams who withdrew said that it was for safety reasons.

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Has Bhutan gone greener?

DSC_1454All set: 100 volunteers will attempt to beat the current world record of planting 50,000 trees today at the Kuenselphodrang to commemorate His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s birth anniversary celebrations.

Latest assessment shows marked increase in forest coverage, though the jury is still out

Forest: As Bhutan attempts to set a record today and observe the social forestry day, forest coverage in the country in the last two decades has increased to about 80 percent from about 72 percent in the 1990s.

The figure, according to department of forest officials, is based on the Bhutan land cover assessment (LCMP) 2010.  Of the 80 percent, about 10 percent is made up of shrubs, while the rest is tree coverage.

The assessment shows the forest coverage at 31,057.26sqkm against the country’s new area of 38,394sqkm.  This is an increase of about 2,012sqkm from 1995, when the last assessment called land use planning project (LUPP) was conducted, which showed 29,045sqkm of land under forest coverage.

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Judicial interpretation of independence sought

As per the National Council’s good governance committee’s report on the commission

ACC: The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) was inclined to seek the judiciary’s interpretation on the constitutional provision regarding its independence, the good governance committee of the National Council (NC) reported yesterday.

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