Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - 7:44 PM

PM Modi’s two-day state visit starts tomorrow

DSC_2988Welcome: Banners are up along the Expressway to welcome the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first state visit to the country tomorrow

Diplomacy: At the invitation of His Majesty the King, newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in the capital city, Thimphu, tomorrow on a two-day official visit.

Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay, cabinet ministers and senior government officials will receive Prime Minister Modi and his delegation at the Paro international airport.

After his arrival in Thimphu, Prime Minister Modi, who will be accompanied by the minister for external affairs, Sushma Swaraj, national security advisor, Ajit [... Read More]

The ball is back to NA’s court

Whether or not the NC recommendations are taken on board is entirely up to NA

Money: With deliberations on both the government’s pay revision report and the budget appropriation bill 2014-15 that proposed tax measures completed in the National Council, all eyes are now on the National Assembly whether it would consider any of the recommendations from Council.

However, it is up to the National Assembly whether or not to accept the recommendations.  Council’s resolutions [... Read More]

Paro, a gold smuggling route?

Question arose after four cases, three in a month

Customs: After four gold seizures at Paro airport involving Indian citizens this year, Indian authorities have asked government officials here to curb gold smuggling through Bhutan, according to Indian media reports.

The revenue and customs department did not confirm these reports.

The four incidents, the first occurring in February and the rest in May, have raised concerns on whether Paro international airport is being used as a [... Read More]

Picture story

Thousands of Thimphu residents thronged the courtyard of the Trashichhodzong to receive blessings from the Neten Chudrug (16 arhats, those who had extinguished all defilements) Thongdroel, which was unfurled to celebrate the Duechhen Ngazom or Lord Buddha’s Parinivana yesterday.


The water-starved chiwog

DSC04591A farmer transfers the collected rainwater into her drinking water bucket

Rinchenzor in Norbugang, Pemagtshel depends on rain for its needs

Monsoon: Unlike the rest of the chiwogs, villagers of Rinchenzor in Norbugang, Pemagtshel look forward to the monsoon every year.

For decades, the villagers have depended entirely on rain to meet their water needs, including drinking water. Which is why, as soon as it starts to drizzle, villagers place empty buckets and containers outside to collect rain water.

The gewog under Nganglam dungkhag is about 23km [... Read More]

Ownership transfer fee fetches almost Nu 30M

Collected over the last six months, except for Thimphu and Paro (for May) and Gelephu

RSTA:  In the last six months, the royal safety and transport authority (RSTA) collected Nu 29.98M from vehicle ownership transfers.

The amount was collected from ownership transfer of 2,207 vehicles across the country.  Of that, Nu 27.78M was collected as vehicle property transfer tax.  The property transfer tax is charged at five percent, applied at the depreciated value of the [... Read More]

Open-air prisoners join reconstruction team

IMG_1993Workers on break: Current work involve dismantling of structures and collection of stone

This first batch was selected from those who’ve served more than half their sentence

Heritage: The first batch of open-air prisoners, 52 in total, are working on the reconstruction of Wangduephondrang dzong.

For a 40-year-old open-air prisoner, besides gaining merit he can also earn an income by working on the reconstruction .

The group was sent to the work site on June 9.  The open-air prisoners were selected from among those who had spent over 50 [... Read More]

Renovation work on Trashigang dzong begins

The GoI-funded project is the first refurbishment of the structure since the 1930s

Heritage: As preparation for Trashigang dzong renovation work begins, dzongda Lungten Dorji is worried if the allocated Nu 180M would be enough for the entire work.

Workers have been deputed at Godi since February to extract timber and collect stones for the major works.

Dzongda Lungten Dorji said the former government approved the dzong’s renovation project to be carried out in the 11th [... Read More]

Dechheling tshechu redux

photo2Two decades later: Mask dancers relearn the routines

Extinct for 19 years, the religious festival is being brought back to life by the community

Tradition: At 54, fo gomchen Lungten, who has not performed a mask dance in the past two decades, it takes effort and determination to practise the routines each day from 8am to 5pm.

His joints are stiff and sore from the practice, but that’s the least of his worries, for all the aches and pain are worth what’s at [... Read More]


All dressed up but no party: Perils of unemployment

The questions that probably hitting every undergraduate student in Bhutan – will they get the jobs, let alone, the desired jobs? Also, when? All have dressed up for the graduation day but where to go from there, is not certain, or, may be, certain that nowhere to go.

Unfortunately, there are no certain answers. Rising youth unemployment and elongating wait periods is arguably one of the most critical problems faced by Bhutan.

Even the higher growth of [... Read More]

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