Saturday, April 19th, 2014 - 3:25 PM

Samtse seven make their pitch …

samtseNCThe first speaker conveys his intention to run for elections while the other six wait their turn

… at a sparsely attended public debate in the high school auditorium

About 60 people attended the public debate in Samtse on April 4, where the district’s seven council candidates, the maximum, did their best to explain their intention for wanting to contest.

The live audience, occupying only a quarter of the Samtse higher secondary school auditorium, appeared to be listening as candidates tried their best to make their stand in the 10 minutes allocated to them.  [... Read More]

“Our final objective is to form the government”


With a focus on building a “strong and prosperous middle class family, starting from the grassroots”, Druk Chirwang Tshogpa was the second of the new political parties to seek registration in November last year.  Lily Wangchuk  became the first woman to lead a political party, by formally becoming its president.  Kuensel spoke to her to learn about the party and its developments.

Q Why should anyone vote for DCT?

It’s a people-centric party, offering newer ideas, newer solutions and [... Read More]

To vote or not to?

Some indications are that voter turnout will be higher this second time around

Holding her three-month-old on her lap, she hitched a bus ride from Thimphu that cold winter morning.

With her husband, who was working as a driver, staying back for work, there was no one to help her with the baby, who cried almost throughout the journey.

On reaching Samdrupjongkhar, she managed to get a ride on a local truck until her village in Pemagatshel.

Despite being [... Read More]

Bhutan steps up but still below

The country’s human development index is still below the regional average

Bhutan ranks 140 in human development in 2012, a step up from the previous year out of 187 countries in the medium development group, the Human Development Report, 2013, which was launched yesterday in Thimphu stated.

However, its human development index (HDI) of 0.538, which is an increase of three percent from 2010’s 0.525 (an annual increase of about 1.2 percent) still places Bhutan below the [... Read More]

Debate helps voters decide

forumNews Break: Bumthang’s NC aspirants sit down to chat while they wait for the common forum to resume

The public debate yesterday in Bumthang helped many voters to decide on whom they should vote for in the National Council elections.

During the debate at the Wangduechholing school auditorium, all four candidates made it clear that it was not their responsibility to make promises but to make laws and bring changes in the existing ones.

Tang gewog’s candidate Nima spoke confidently and said making laws and amending the existing ones is not child’s play and that [... Read More]

EJG will speed up seven upcoming projects

The Empowered Joint Group (EJG) will speed up clearance for detailed project reports (DPR) of the country’s upcoming seven hydropower projects.

Four of the seven projects are under joint venture model and three inter-governmental.

EJG comprises ambassadors and other senior officials from both governments of India and Bhutan was formed to facilitate hydropower projects and to overcome difficulties projects faced.

This decision to step up the projects was taken during the 11th EJG meeting held on April 3 [... Read More]


Tongue twister

As one observer aptly commented, the biggest opponent for most of Samtse district’s seven council candidates during the TV public debate on Thursday was the language.

What grabbed attention of viewers were not those, who rattled off their speeches and rebuttals in fluent Dzongkha, but those who struggled to even read what they had put on paper.

At least one of them appeared to be have broken off in a sweat, while the camera panning the live [... Read More]

India-Bhutan Plan talks review projects

The governments of Bhutan and India reviewed the progress of projects funded by India in the 10th Plan at the ninth round of plan talks yesterday in Thimphu.

Of the Rs 34B committed to Bhutan in the 10th Plan, the government of India has released Rs 29,798.66M to date, which is almost 88 percent of the total committed fund.

A press release from the foreign ministry stated that Rs 20B of the total committed fund is being [... Read More]

Project employee gets 3 years for smuggling cigarettes

Gelephu dungkhag court has sentenced a 27-year-old machine operator to three years in prison for bringing in cigarettes four times beyond the permissible limit.

Police at Serzhong checkpost arrested Padamlal Thapa, who was working as a machine operator with Mangdechu project, on January 31, while returning from Trongsa with 131 packets of flake cigarettes.

He told court that he bought the cigarettes from Dadhgari, India, concealed it in a sack of biscuits and took it to Trongsa [... Read More]