APFANEWS

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The next big thing (is a long time coming)

At a time, when new newspapers are rolling off the presses one after another, applicants for private television stations are wondering why it’s taking so long to get their licenses. 

The five applicants have been waiting to hear from the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA) for about a year now. They had applied to […]

Published on Aug 06 2011 // Media Monitor

Our demography and strategic planning

When we discuss about the worries of population explosion, should we not also try to ponder upon, how the processes of increase of population reached to the present extent, which is illusive, uncertain and of no transparency. We need to understand the following aspects of the history of demography for the purpose of educating the future generations, creating adequate awareness on the topic and possibilities of any degree of misinterpretations. Sooner the so-called democracy manifests into a real democracy, the better it will be for both the people and the palace, as the prosperity and happiness akin to the sun and the moon will be shone on the palace and the people of Bhutan alike […]

Published on Aug 01 2011 // Opinion

The game behind the curtain

The much-hyped LG Election is now completed, which is claimed to be held in the “best satisfaction”, where the King expressed his gratefulness to the Election Commission of Bhutan, all civil servants, teachers and armed forces, and the dratshang. “With your hard work and prayers, we have conducted the historic first local government elections under democracy,” said the King. The so-called young democracy headed by the King with the Prime Minister behind the steering wheel is extremely careful to hold all the elections apolitically. It is because the palace gifted democracy cannot accommodate the civil supremacy in the democracy, which is claimed to be functioning under the farsighted leadership of “His Majesty”.

As rightly quoted by the “Kuensel”, which reads, “Gups are important, as they deal with people every day, and know the needs of the people well”, as having said by the King […]

Published on Jul 21 2011 // Opinion

Don’t take the media for granted

The 14th monthly meeting of the cabinet with the press last week was full of sound and fury. An emotionally charged prime minister led cabinet made their case to the press and it did signify many things. Commenting on the controversial Bhutan lottery issue, the prime minister, in a fit of anger (which he usually […]

Published on Jul 14 2011 // Media Monitor

Crew to blame for Nepal plane crash: investigator

A mix-up in the cockpit and pilot error was to blame for an air crash in Nepal’s eastern hills late last year that left 22 mostly Buddhist pilgrims dead, an investigator said Monday. The Tara Air plane bound for Kathmandu carrying 19 passengers crashed in dense cloud in December shortly after taking off from a […]

Published on Jul 14 2011 // Human Rights Monitor

LG election post mortem

Road through democratisation is not smooth as the rulers in Bhutan had predicted. When this best governance model was projected in semi-demon form three years back, royalists took enough opportunities to publicise that democracy was the gift from palace despite public refusal. Characteristically, had that been the circumstances, post election results would not have created […]

Published on Jul 14 2011 // News Analysis

Unfolding the recurring tale

It was in the summer in 1990 that our father was coerced to an unknown destination by a group of four men who claimed to be the cadres of Bhutan Peoples’ Party (BPP). We were completely unaware whether he was actually being kidnapped. We consider ourselves lucky that we made to the border without facing casualties on the way. It was a terrible journey, but the physical stress was not bothering us any more. After we arrived at the Mudhey, a small Indian town at the border, the police helped us reserve a truck to travel to Nepal. We cried and cursed Bhutan government for being unkind to us. We sorrowfully looked at Bhutan as long as we could, as long as the hills were on our sight […]

Published on Jul 14 2011 // Untold Story

Real game of democracy begins now

To expect an overnight shift in Government policies under the prevailing situation will be naïve. I however hope that the recently elected grassroots leaders will be resolute and firm in their stand in discharging their democratic duties.

The Local Government Act stipulated that candidates must be apolitical. As of now only the elections have concluded. The real challenge lies ahead. The apolitical credentials of local leaders will be put to the test in the 2013 General Elections. There we will have our answer.

Democracy in Bhutan is young. The institutionalization of a vibrant democracy takes time. I hope the people’s whole hearty participation in democracy at the grassroots level will educate and ingrain a democratic culture in our citizens. It is however, sad that a large majority of Bhutanese exiles were not able to participate in the election. We hope it will be different in 2013 […]

Published on Jul 11 2011 // Opinion

Bhutan’s atrocities vs resettlement

It sometimes traumatizes people who were the eyewitnesses and victims of the oppressive regime that launched the merciless crackdown first on the Lhotshampas followed by Sharchops community. The resettlement program has given the community not only relief from the throbbing life under bamboo huts, but also gives an opportunity for their children to be educated in the western world and equip themselves for a better future both in terms of political and economic strength so that they could be well equipped to shoulder the greater responsibility of carrying out the mission of true democracy and development in Bhutan.

It is a matter of high appreciation to the core countries […]

Published on Jun 30 2011 // Opinion

Tobacco affects Bhutanese leaders, not alcohol

A month after the finalising the draft regulation to control the alcohol consumption in the country, the government took steps that in fact encouraged people to increase it. The government officials say alcohol consumption among educated lot has gone down while the numbers among young people are growing. The production and consumption of locally brewed […]

Published on Jun 28 2011 // Commentary