Sunday, March 29th, 2015 - 12:05 PM
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Finding common ground with the gewogs

IMG_5654SJI officials with the gewog officials

A two-day workshop was held to coordinate, align and strengthen plan activities

 SJI: The Samdrupjongkhar Initiative (SJI) conducted a two-day  Samdrupjongkhar district development strategy workshop for 11 gewog officials, so that they are better able to coordinate, align and strengthen plan activities.

The participants discussed specific needs and priorities, saying there was a need for the gewogs to collaborate with SJI.

Tshewang Dhendup, SJI’s executive director, said collaboration between SJI and the gewogs could be a fruitful partnership.

“The SJI would like to learn from the local government’s experience of implementing projects at the gewog level. We’d also like to explore other areas of collaboration,” Tshewang Dhendup said.

Gups at the workshop said knowledge-sharing among gewogs on agriculture and waste management is lacking.  The participants agreed to allocate Nu 50,000 from the gewog development grant for the improvement of agriculture activities in the gewogs.  The decision was reached after consultations with villagers during the gewog tshogde.


The tshemzo maestro

DSC_1491Guests inspects the textiles on display

Pema Dorji has won, five years on the trot, the annual national design competition in embroidery 

Handicraft: Pema Dorji, 44, from Wangduephodrang, is a prolific embroiderer.  His skills were put to the test when he entered the annual national design competition four years ago.  Since then, he has been winning the prize in embroidery (tshemzo) category.

He proved that he was still the best in tshemzo when he won, for the fifth time in succession, a cash prize of Nu 50,000 in the embroidery category during the 13th national design competition yesterday.

Pema Dorji won the award for the six-foot kuthang of the 21 manifestations of Tara, which was intricately stitched in brocade and silk.

It took more than a year and a half for Pema Dorji to complete the kuthang.  He quoted Nu 300,000 for the kuthang.


Kanglung milk cooperative fighting to survive

The association has been plagued in the main by logistic and management issues

 Diary: Unlike the other milk cooperatives in Trashigang, the Kanglung dairy cooperative has curdled and is struggling to survive.

For three months now, the cooperative has stopped collecting milk from its members, but to keep the cooperative afloat, members are paying Nu 45 a day for the three bottles of milk they were supposed to contribute to the cooperative.

Collecting milk from the members has become a challenge for the cooperative.  Without a collection vehicle, the problem is largely attributed to the 39 members scattered across five villages.

For instance, Ritshangdung is located about 6km away from the collection point, while Yonphula is almost 10km away.


Her Majesty the Gyalyum takes part in earth ramming ceremony

IMG_2761In rhythm: Her Majesty and a Tsalumaphey village elder in the pashing (wodden box to hold earth to be rammed)

Culture: Her Majesty the Gyalyum Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck took part in the earth ramming ceremony of the Training and Resource Centre for Bhutanese Nuns in Tsalumaphey, Thimphu yesterday.

Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF) under the patronage of Her majesty the Gyalyum is constructing the centre.

The ceremony, which started at 6 am with the installation of the doors of the four cottages, marks an important phase in the construction process. The half-day programme included prayers and blessing as well as singing of Om Sangla Mani, traditional songs that are typically sung during earth ramming house constructions.

The song leaders were women from a few different regions of Bhutan, demonstrating how wide spread these construction practices used to be as well as serving as role models for future generations for whom these are no longer the norm.

Her Majesty the Gyalyum, BNF’s visionary Patron, has always encouraged the use of traditional architectural practices and materials.


Tri-series finals tied at one game each

Pepsi ‘A’ league title goes down to the wire on March 25

A-League: Jaguar’s dream of winning the Pepsi “A” league took a huge blow when Jachungs stole the second match of the three-series games 81-77, taking the finals into a third and deciding match at the swimming complex yesterday.

After a comfortable win (87-74) in the first game on Saturday against the number four seed Jachungs, Jaguars seemed to be on top of their game.  Knocking out the number one seed Phojas in the semis, Jaguars were the favourites to lift the trophy this year.

Sonam Tshering, the lead scorer of team Jaguar, said that there was a lack of teamwork between the players. “Our defense was weak today, and we paid the price for that,” he said. “We’ll try our best to win the deciding game on Wednesday.”

In the first three quarters, it was the Jaguars who took the lead, making it seem like another comfortable  Jaguar victory.


Tendering lapse leads to costly contract termination

Two jobs on the 80.58km Dalbari-Dagapela highway are to be retendered 

MoWHS: In what could incur losses up to a billion ngultrums and substantial delay, the works and human settlements ministry (MoWHS) has terminated and would retender two of the three contracted works on the 80.58km Dalbari to Dagapela secondary national highway.

The ministry’s engineers are assessing and compiling the compensation that the government needs to pay the contractors for the work done and other contractual terms and conditions.  Once this is complete, the government would float new tenders for the works, officials said.

The cabinet decided to terminate the works in December last year after the Anti-Corruption Commission wrote to the cabinet to redo the tendering process, according to the works and human settlement minister.


Picture story

Witness hearing: The Haa district court yesterday summoned 14 workers to testify if they were hired to work in the Lhakhang Karpo project. Lhab Dorji, the project supervisor, brought the workers as witnesses to prove they were deputed on behalf of the 19 households that paid Nu 3,000 each for labour.


Defendants claim confessions made under duress

Their defense has it that ACC coerced self-implicating admissions out of them

Update: In the ongoing Lhakhang Karpo corruption case, three defendants claimed that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) had taken their statements under “duress and coercion,” during a cross-examination hearing on March 19 at the Haa district court.

“That’s why our submissions to court and the statements provided to ACC contradict,” the Lhakhang Karpo project engineer, Tashi Gyeltshen, who has been charged with soliciting two bribes, submitted to the court.

The court conducted its second cross-examination hearing, after Tashi Gyeltshen and sand supplier Tshewang Rinzin submitted conflicting statements against their bribery charges, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had framed based on ACC’s findings.


Drukair CEO resigns

Aviation: With more than two years remaining on his contract, the national airline’s CEO, Tandin Jamso, submitted his resignation to the Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) board, this week.

The DHI board has accepted his resignation and will be announcing the vacancy for the Drukair CEO today. Drukair is a state owned enterprise managed by the government’s investment arm.

Kuensel has learnt that the CEO’s contract was renewed in June last month and two and half years of the contract remain. A Drukair CEO’s term is usually three years.

DHI director (Dr) Damber S Kharka said that the CEO is resigning for personal reasons and that it was in no way connected to performance or recent issues concerning the national airline.


April launch for address system pilot project

GIS: Three years after the project was initiated, the city’s addressing system will take off next month with Thimphu thromde and Bhutan Post launching the mail delivery system along Norzin Lam and Chang Lam.

Given the increasing population, and in an absence of a centralised address system, the capital city lacks a common standard of addresses making door-to-door service delivery non-existent.

On government directives in July 2010, the joint project was initiated to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) based city addressing system to provide efficient door-to-door service delivery.