Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 - 5:36 PM
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For the well-being of His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty the King and the royal family, and His Holiness the Je Khenpo, the Laggar Choetshog (religious association) is performing a three-day kurim (rituals) at Changidaphu, Thimphu.

Initiated by followers and patrons of His Eminence Gyeltshen Trulku, around 20 tsampas (religious practitioners) yesterday performed Drolma Yuedo, an invocation of Tara.

Today, the group will make a feast offering to three main deities of Zhabdrung, Yeshe Gonpo, Pelden Lhamo and Jarog Dongchen. Coinciding with Zhabdrung Kuchoed, the kurim will conclude with an offering to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Kagyu masters.


How prepared are we for the big shake

The Saturday earthquake in Nepal was a tragic event. It caused massive damage to property. Death toll is rising by the day.

It is an urgent reminder to the Himalayan communities that sit on the major seismic zone.

The reports we get are shifting. We are yet to figure what magnitude of shock hit Nepal two days ago.


People put off by highway project put on hold

Local community feels left out of the loop in govt.’s unilateral decision to defer

Highway: The government’s decision to defer the Nganglam-Dewathang highway for an indefinite period has left people of Choekhorling and Dewathang disgruntled, with people complaining that they were not informed of the decision, although they were equally involved in the project’s preparatory processes.

Villagers said they were left wondering if the project had been cancelled or deferred, as even the gewog offices couldn’t provide a clear explanation.  Villagers said the government should have at least informed the local leaders.


Wolakha nunnery upgraded to Buddhist College

anims-1Nuns offer prayers and zhudhrel phuensum tshogpa on April 25

Religion: Nuns across the country will start studying a curriculum that has been developed for them, and discontinue the one that was developed for monks.

The Bhutan Nun Foundation’s patron, Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Yangden Wangchuck, launched the new curriculum on April 26 at the Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Choeling in Wolakha, Punakha.

Along with the launch, the Gyalyum also inaugurated the upgrade of the nunnery to a Buddhist College.


A Microsoft defense against cyber crime

The American multinational technology company showcases its security wares

Cyber security: A workshop on cyber security and cloud services was conducted by American multinational technology company, Microsoft, in Thimphu, yesterday.

The workshop, attended by around 60 participants from the government and the private sector, focused on cybercrime and what Microsoft offers to counter it.

Microsoft head of legal and corporate affairs for Southeast Asia, Shalini Ratwatte, said that cyber crime had become the largest criminal activity today, and that it was no more a problem limited only to IT officers but one that now could equally affect the entire operations of an organisation.

She added that it would be a mistake to think that using a free email account in a country like Bhutan meant that a hacker would not be interested.  She explained that this was because hackers target IP (internet protocol) addresses on a random basis.  An IP address is a unique identifier for a device like a computer.


Disposal truck breakdown makes a mess of Damphu

SAM_0882Littered: Residents in Damphu dump their garbage near the bus parking

Waste: Damphu town in Tsirang may have fallen on the blind spot of the Clean Bhutan movement if its state today is anything to go by.

The bus and taxi parking, along with other parts of the town, are strewn with colourful wrappers of candies, chips, noodles and bottles.  Residents have called on the dzongkhag administration to tackle the town’s growing issue of garbage disposal.

A corporate employee said that, instead of letting the place be littered, the authority concerned should do something to manage proper disposal.

“I even came across an instance, where hospital waste was thrown near my house,” he said.


The town’s executive engineer, Tshewang Tenzin, said the residents could be disposing garbage irresponsibly, because the garbage collection truck was under maintenance and couldn’t go to collect waste every day.

“We hired a private tractor to collect waste in the town area thrice a week,” he said. “But, the truck is fixed and we’re hopeful that such problems won’t arise hereafter.”

The town is also coming up with five iron mesh garbage bins soon, Tshewang Tenzin said.  The bins will be placed at the bus parking, near the bank, near the taxi parking, and one below the town, where residents today are dumping garbage.

Most shopkeepers said that the mandatory black bin they have for waste is not enough. “It’s important for the town to send the truck everyday as our bins gets filled every day,” one of the shopkeepers said.

The town’s waste inspector, Chador, said she didn’t find anyone dumping garbage during the day. “If people are found throwing waste in public areas, they’ll be fined,” she said.

All waste collected from Damphu town is dumped at the Bulke dumping yard, about eight kilometres away from town.

By Yeshey Dema, Tsirang

Land of GNH ranked halfway on global happy scale

Bhutan can take some consolation from the fact that it is the happiest in South Asia

Report: Bhutan is 17th happiest country in Asia and the happiest among its South Asian neighbours.

For the first time, Bhutan is listed in the World Happiness Report, 2015, and ranked 79th among 158 countries.

Pakistan is ranked 81st, Bangladesh 109th, India 117th, Nepal 121st and Afghanistan 153rd.


Chukha sweeps taekwondo honours

IMG_1106Winners with BTF officials

Taekwondo: Chukha dzongkhag’s taekwondo association (TA) won the second national black belt senior and junior taekwondo championship that was organised by Bhutan Taekwondo Federation (BTF) at the swimming pool complex in Thimphu yesterday.

The association won eight gold, 11 silver and four bronze medals.

Thimphu Private Club came second with 11 gold, two silver and three bronze, followed by Haa Taekwondo Association with four gold, two silver and four bronze.

A total of 12 teams and 210 participants took part in the two-day championship.


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The national basketball team lost its first match in the Philippines to PNTC central college: 71-79. The team is currently in the Philippines for a practice tour.


Bhutan to dispatch medical team to Nepal

Nepal Earthquake updates:

4:27pm – Upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King, Bhutan will be sending a 37-member medical team assisted by 15 Desuups to Kathmandu to offer medical assistance for the earthquake relief operations.

The medical team coordinated by the Kidu Mobile Medical Unit (KMMU), will comprise of surgeons, medical specialists, nurses and technicians from the Ministry of Health, and Royal Bhutan Army.

The Bhutanese team of 52 will travel to Kathmandu on 27 April 2015, by a special Druk Air flight and bring back Bhutanese stranded in Kathmandu.

4:25pm – Bhutan’s U-14 girls national football team that was in Nepal for a regional competition is back in the country.

Sunday 4:20pm – Kathmandu international airport closed following powerful aftershock. Drukair flight recalled in mid-air to Paro.

Sunday 4:20pm – Bhutanese stranded in Nepal may contact the following Bhutanese officials for information/assistance: Mr. Singye Dorji: +977 9843211248, +977 9843296252 or Mr. Yeshay Wangchuk: +977 9851039671

Sunday 10:30am – Tashi Air also informs that Kathmandu airport open for operations. No word yet on whether government will be evacuating any Bhutanese from Nepal or if any aid is being arranged.

9:50pm – Drukair informs that Kathmandu airport is open for operations tomorrow which means flights will operate.

7:39pm – While media reports of Kathmandu international airport being shut following the earthquake have been published, the national airline Drukair is yet to receive an official airport closure notification. The airline is expected to receive an update shortly.