Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 - 10:34 PM
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The tobacco habit rebounds

We are fighting a losing battle against controlling tobacco, going by reports.  This is after we became one the few countries, and in fact the first one to pioneer tobacco control initiatives.

Five years after a controversial law was passed and many adjustments, we have the highest student tobacco users in the region.  Use of tobacco has increased from 18.8 percent in 2009 to 30.3 percent as of 2013.  The small population may have something to do with the figures, yet the rate at  which tobacco use is increasing is alarming.


Court dismisses charges of bribery and inferior quality of sand

DSC06828The Lhakhang Karpo conservation project site

The defendant was asked to refund the cost of six truckloads of sand missing

Verdict:  The Haa dzongkhag court on May 26 acquitted a 31 year-old contractor from two charges that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had framed against him in connection to the ongoing Lhakhang Karpo conservation project case.

Dismissing his charge of active bribery of public servant, the verdict stated that the proprietor of TNW Construction, Tshewang Rinzin, who supplied sand to the project, had not bribed project manager Tashi Gyeltshen but borrowed from the latter.


Two dead in accident

Accident:Two women, aged 26 and 50, were killed after the truck they were travelling in fell 70 metres off the road at Lawakha at around 4:30pm on May 30.

According to police, there were five people in the truck including the driver when the accident happened.

The driver and a two-year old girl who were injured have been admitted to the Bajo regional hospital.The two-year girl was the daughter of the 26-year old women who died.

A female passenger escaped the accident unscathed.


Collaring elephants to conserve them

Wildlife: In what could be useful input for solving the human-elephant conflict as well as elephant conservation, forestry officials are carrying out GPS (global positioning system) collaring of elephants in wildlife sanctuaries in the south.

The study will help understand the root cause of human-elephant conflict, in particular, by understanding their dietary patterns and their migratory routes.

Sonam Wangdi, chief forestry officer of Samtse forest division, said the study was the first of its kind in Bhutan.  The timing of the movement of elephant population within the country will be recorded, for use as seasonality of the elephant movement across the border between India and Bhutan.


Drug use up in Wangdue

Law & Order: Police uprooted marijuana plants from a two-acre field above Wangdue bridge below Rinchengang village, yesterday.

More than 25 police personnel were involved in the uprooting operation.

Police officials said they uprooted the marijuana plants to mark No Tobacco Day and to reduce use of marijuana among youth in Wangdue.


Yanmar league concludes

_DSC1155Champions FC Terton (Picture courtesy: Pranit Katwal)

Football: Thimphu City FC trounced Drukpol FC 5-1 in the final match of the Yanmar Thimphu Premier League (YTPL), yesterday, ensuring their place in the third on goal difference.

The game started shakily for Thimphu City when an own goal from defender Jigme Tshering Dorji in the 25th minute put Drukpol FC in the lead. However, after five minutes City equalised when midfielder Passang Tshering crossed the ball to striker Ratu who headed it into the top right corner of the post.

City could have taken the lead in the 32nd minute when midfielder Karma Sherdrup Tshering missed a one-on-one opportunity with goalie Khandu Drukpa. Karma kicked the ball straight into the hands of the goalie.


Picture story

Vilasier Khate from Nagaland won the men’s single title during the India-Bhutan Friendship Tennis Tournament in Thimphu yesterday. He beat Abhinansu Borthakur of Kolkata in a straight set, 7-5, 6-4. The week-long tournament saw top players from Bhutan and the neighbouring places of Assam, Darjeeling, Nagaland and Kolkata.

Photo courtesy: Dr. Tenzin Thoesam


His Majesty meets the people of Sakteng

20150529-IMG_1584Visit: His Majesty with the students of Sakteng Lower Secondary School

Visit: His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen spent three days in Sakteng, arriving from Merak on the evening of May 27.

Their Majesties trekked from Merak to Sakteng over the ancient route connecting the two famous villages, over the dreaded Nyakchungla pass, 4,200 metres above sea level.

Having also spent three days in Merak, Their Majesties were seen off by the people who lined up along the trail leading away from their village. As Their Majesties began the strenuous uphill walk to the pass, the villagers sang soulful alo, the song of farewell to loved ones.

Their Majesties were received with tremendous joy in Sakteng, with song and dance, despite the torrential rain.


When all one’s eggs is energy export

The country’s dependence on a single source of income has many critics vocally worried  

Hydropower: The concern that a small landlocked country is too dependent on a single export commodity, electricity, is growing, with critics getting louder that the country is risking its future without diversifying its economy base.

First on the list is the concern on escalating cost in building the mega projects.  The cost escalation of the ongoing three hydropower projects will not only entail longer debt service obligation, but also lead to higher tariff, critics warn.


BOiC’s legality may be subjected to SC scrutiny

Council: The National Council, yesterday, resolved to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion over Business Opportunity Information Centre’s (BOiC) legality, but only after submitting the issue to His Majesty the King, as per the procedure outlined in the Constitution.

Through a majority vote, the Council adopted the special committee’s recommendation to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court, and hence submit the issue to His Majesty the King to decide.