Health minister Tandin Wangchuk, who attended the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva on May 20, highlighted Bhutan’s vulnerability to natural and climate-induced disasters and urged for health systems’ strengthening and global health solidarity. On sidelines of the Assembly, lyonpo had bilateral meetings with Heads of Delegation of Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Norway and Australia. Areas of mutual interests in health development and the upcoming Bhutan Health Trust Fund event were discussed. Lyonpo also met with representative of Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and international Atomic Energy Agency. Lyonpo also addressed a special session on Water and Sanitation in Healthcare Facilities organised by the World Health Organisation and WaterAid.
The absence of a bridge over Taklai River is one of the main reasons
Gelephu: Although it’s decided, a majority of local leaders from gewogs in Gelephu dungkhag are not satisfied with the decision to relocate the dungkhag administration to Umling. The fifth dzongkhag tshogdu had decided on the relocation last year.
Umling is about 32 km from Gelephu. Umling, Serzhong, Taraythang, Jigmecholing, Chuzagang, Samtenling and Gelephu are gewogs under Gelephu dungkhag.
A stretch full of rocks is holding up progress from one side
Roads: Although the completion deadline for the Nganglam-Gyalpoizhing highway has been revised to mid-2015, the project officials based in Nganglam said progress on a particular stretch from the Nganglam side has been very slow.
Officials said that this was because of rocks at the stretch that contains dolomite.
After the Department of Roads took over the work on the stretch last year, it has been able to do only about 150m of formation cutting.
Thinley Tenzin, project manager, said the formation cutting was completed within the span of six months after taking over from the contractor November last year, but 150m is too less in terms of performance.
Agriculture: There is an acute shortage of vegetables in Lhuentse.
Sangay Chozom, 54, who runs a shop in Phaling town, Lhuentse, said the situation is very difficult. Farmers bring vegetables to the market only about twice a week.
Jigme Zangmo, a housewife, said the vegetable market above Phaling town remained empty most of the time. “I don’t understand why there’s no permanent vegetable sellers.”
Khandu Zangmo, 29, said that getting fresh vegetables has always been a problem. In the absence of local growers, vegetables are imported, but even that is not enough for the town.
Karma Choden, 37, said that it would be a lot easier for everyone if there were permanent vegetable sellers or vendors in one place.
Tennis: To promote tennis in the country, the first India Bhutan Friendship Tennis Championship began in Thimphu yesterday.
Top Bhutanese tennis players along with players from Assam, Darjeeling, Nagaland and Kolkata are taking part in the weeklong championship that’s organised by the Bhutan Tennis Federation (BTF) with support from India-Bhutan Foundation.
BTF’s general secretary, Ugyen Wangdi, said the tournament was organised to give the local players exposure to the international level of the game. “This is our first move towards regional tournaments and we would like to take it further,” he said.
82 people implicated for bribery in illegal entry and exit of foreign workers
ACC/OAG: The department of immigration suspended 18 more immigration officials from the Phuentsholing regional office for their alleged involvement in bribery and illegal entry and exit of foreign workers in 2013 and 2014.
They were suspended after the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) registered a case with the Phuentsholing dungkhag court last week. A total of 82 people, including 30 immigration officials, three police personnel, five taxi drivers and 23 license holders of foreign workers recruitment agents (FWRA) in Phuentsholing were implicated for bribing public servants, tampering of public documents and forgery.
Deficit narrowed by about Nu 100M last year compared with 2013
Statistics: The country’s trade deficit, excluding trade in electricity, is estimated at around Nu 9B (billion) between January to March this year. Balance of trade with India alone accounts for more than Nu 7B of deficit.
This was as per the provisional trade statistics for the first quarter, 2015. Bhutan imported commodities worth of over Nu 15B, while its export value was recorded at around Nu 6B. During the same period, its import bill from India accounted for Nu 12.6B, and exported goods worth Nu 5B to India.
A team of surgeons from Australia has carried out reconstructive plastic surgery on a number of patients
Interplast: A 12-year old boy was brought to the hospital recently, after he was hit by a car and dragged for about 10-20m. The skin on the side of his face and ear had been scraped off, leaving behind a gaping wound.
In another incident, a young hotel employee in Paro had suffered an electrical burn, which could have led her fingers to be amputated.
But when a team of surgeons from Interplast Australia along with doctors at the JDWNRH operated on her recently, she became the first patient to get a finger joint replacement in the country.
Members of the National Assembly yesterday offered a thousand butter lamp and, prayers at the Kuenrey of Tashichhodzong for the two late former Members of the Parliament (MP).
Former Dophuchen- Tading MP Prahlad Gurung passed on February 27. He was 68 while the former Gelephu MP Prem Kumar Gurung, 57, expired on April 4.
Prem Kumar Gurung has three children, while Prahlad Gurung has four.
Family members said they were ill for over six months.
A press release from the National Assembly stated that they had both personified everything that is good about political affairs during their tenure as MPs.
The Second Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development with the theme “Strengthening integration, implementation and review for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific” was held in Bangkok on 21-22 May 2015 to deliberate on the evolving post 2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals. Ambassador to Thailand, Kesang Wangdi and permanent representative of Bhutan to UN ESCAP led the Bhutanese delegation, composed of officials from the GNH Commission and Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Bangkok.