Friday, April 25th, 2014 - 10:42 AM

364 held in anti-drug drive

Year ender (Crime) As a part of its ongoing drug bust, 364 people from across the country were arrested for possession, consumption, and trafficking of controlled substances, Thimphu police revealed yesterday.

Of the total, 152 were charged for drug abuse, 145 for abuse and possession, and the rest for trafficking.

The crackdown began since last December. Police seized about 59kg of marijuana, 910g of brown sugar, and 550g of dendrite. Police also found 22,917 spasmoproxyvon capsules, [... Read More]

Dominated by football

Year ender (Football) What could be more exciting than watching LIVE one’s favourite football team thrash the other, whoever that may be? The FIFA World Cup? Of course!

While football dominated the sports arena in the year of the snake, the World Cup was the highlight with thousands lining up at the Changlimithang stadium to get a glimpse of the 18 carat gold trophy, deemed more valuable than its worth in gold.

As Brazil prepares to [... Read More]

A silver lining to the Rupee crunch

Vegetable exports have more than doubled since the liquidity crisis first hit

Year ender (Agriculture) The upside of the rupee crunch was that the agriculture sector doubled vegetable exports to India.

The goal in 11th five-year Plan (FYP) is to halve what comes into the country, and triple what goes out. Bhutan exported 1,563MT of vegetables from January to August in the year of the snake, earning more than Nu 24M.  This was the highest export [... Read More]

Of geological surprises, delays and DPRs

Year ender (Hydropower) The hydropower sector met with one of the biggest problems so far, resulting in delay of the Punatshangchu I hydropower project by over a year, and project cost soaring by Nu 3.5B.

In July, the project came across a ‘geological surprise’, one that halted works on the dam site and resulted in removal of certain installations. The area above the dam site on the right bank of Punatsangchhu slid five metres vertically [... Read More]

Sector in a state of recovery

Year ender (Health) When the Snake Year slithered in, the health sector had claimed to shed some of its old skin, especially the problem of drug shortages, controversies and corruption.

The snake, which appears prominently in the logos of the health ministry, the medical council, and its partner, the world health organisation, is believed to symbolise rejuvenation, and is closely linked with poison and medicine.

While the 226 snakebites recorded in 2013 across the country may [... Read More]

Trial of the judiciary

Year ender (Judiciary)It was a trial of the judiciary, this year of the snake.

This arm of government was criticised, its judgments challenged by the public, constitutional bodies and private law practitioners.

One of the strong criticisms was the retrospective application of law, particularly in relation to the Gyalpoizhing land allotment case that set precedent for Anti-Corruption Commission to prosecute.

Lawyers felt the very institution meant to provide justice through proper application of laws breached the [... Read More]

A canter rather than a gallop

Year ender (Economy) The economy, local economists predict, will not gallop in the Year of the Horse, unless new ideas are injected or systematic changes made.

The economy will continue to ride the slump, although the government has promised to lift restrictions and start construction of three new hydropower projects this year.

Growth in the economy will still be subdued by a lack of investment and economic activity, the result of a liquidity crunch that started [... Read More]

A downward spiral in the snake year

Year ender (Economy Outlook) The serpent, known for its habit of swallowing up entire prey and then going on without food for months, had to be mindful of its gargantuan appetite last year.

Consumption, both at government and at individual levels, had already reached unprecedented heights, spiking up imports and putting pressure on the rupee reserve.

The snake was kept on a strict diet since the dragon bid farewell. Restrictions continued bringing down consumption levels, so [... Read More]

Cross country Moenlam Chenmos

Year ender (Religion) Moenlam Chenmo (great prayer ceremony) and empowerment of Mipham Kabum to the masses were the highlights of the religious activities in the year of the water female snake.

His Holiness the Je Khenpo travelled extensively across the country, and conducted more than eight moenlam chhenmo in Haa, Chukha, Samtse, Gelephu, Trongsa, Gyalpoizhing in Mongar, Trashiyangtse and Pemagatshel for peace, security, and well being of the country and people.

More than 15,000 lams, trulkus, [... Read More]

ACC’s big year

Year ender (ACC ) The year of the snake saw the culmination of the Gyalpoizhing case that, ascending several legal hurdles, made it to the Mongar court for prosecution and reached a judgment.

In the eyes of the public, this was a case involving senior bureaucrats and politicians including ministers, a “big fish” sort of case the Anti-Corruption Commission was whipped to chase.

The commission, on its part, pursued the prosecution as thoroughly as it did the [... Read More]

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