Semtokha Dzong: History Lives On

FIRST BUILT TO LAST – Semtokha Dzong, restored and consecrated

If walls could speak the Semtokha Dzong would tell fascinating stories of the days when the Bhutanese polity was established, when fact and mythology merged to form Bhutanese history.

On October 14, His Majesty the King, His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, the royal family, Bhutanese and international dignitaries, and the people of Thimphu, attended a simple and profoundly spiritual ceremony to consecrate the restored dzong.

The ceremony was conducted by His Holiness the Je Khenpo, invoking the blessings and essence of the wisdom of dragmar, dedicated to the wrathful form of Guru Lohita Rudra. Continue reading Semtokha Dzong: History Lives On

Taiwan’s TITV Weekly Reports on Bhutan

Since September, TITV Weekly, Taiwan’s first indigenous and budding broadcast news program in English, has been doing a special report on “one of the happiest countries on the world, Bhutan.” The report is a series of TV broadcasts introducing “Bhutan’s culture, education, tourism, and a new, modernized Bhutan.”

Preservation of Bhutanese Culture

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Continue reading Taiwan’s TITV Weekly Reports on Bhutan

Effective Delivery of Kidu to the People

Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck

In the course of His Majesty King Khesar’s many tours around the country, His Majesty has granted kidu to the most vulnerable sections of society including, among many others, the disabled, aged, destitute and also students needing financial aid to attend school. In order to ensure the effective delivery of such kidu to the beneficiaries, His Majesty has instructed Their Royal Highnesses the Princesses to constantly travel and work in various dzongkhags. While Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck is based in Thimphu, Ashi Dechen Yangzom Wangchuck lives in Mongar and Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck in Bumthang.

Their Royal Highnesses live with the people in order to evaluate and monitor welfare kidu programmes for destitute individuals and students, both from the perspective of improving the well being of the recipient as well as the system as a whole. Their Highnesses undertake regular visits to remote villages in all gewogs in the dzongkhags in order to interact with the youth and rural communities on behalf of His Majesty. Continue reading Effective Delivery of Kidu to the People

Wake Up! PM Tells the World


Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, just six kilometers away from the collapsing stock markets of Wall Street, Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley called the world leaders to break away from the shackles of the powerful market forces.

“Economic wellbeing is not human wellbeing,” he told the Assembly on Friday, as heads of nations listened to a voice asking the world to cooperate and not compete.

Standing behind a marble podium bearing the UN logo as the first democratically elected prime minister of Bhutan, the small Bhutan flag pin shone in contrast to the simple black gho he wore.

“We need to wake up from our narcissistic slumber and self-indulgence,” he told the 63rd session of the Assembly. Continue reading Wake Up! PM Tells the World

Museum at Dodedra Shedra in Thimphu Inaugurated

October 01: A meuseum was inaugurated at the Dodedra Shedra in Thimphu yesterday. The shedra is located about three hours walking distance from the Samtenling roadhead.

The museum was inaugurated by the Venerable Drabi Lopen of the Zhung Dratshang and the Director of Dratshang Lhentshog Karma Penjor.

Speaking to BBS the Principal of Dodedra Shedra Khenpo Sangay Dorji said the museum is a tribute to the monarchs of the kingdom and is to celebrate the coronation of His Majesty the King.

Continue reading Museum at Dodedra Shedra in Thimphu Inaugurated

The Aiela – A Grandmother of Goddesses

Monpas believe in appeasing local deities before seeking medical treatment

30 September, 2008 – Dewlemo, 55, has been bedridden for almost a month. She suffers from joint pains and complains of pain in her chest. But she never thought of visiting the nearest Basic Health Unit, about a four-hour walk from her village in Phumzur.

It was not the distance that kept her in the corner of her old smoky house. She had offended Aiela, their local deity, an astrologer had said. Continue reading The Aiela – A Grandmother of Goddesses

Operation Sight Restoration

GLAD TO SEE YOU AGAIN – Thimphu eye team brings light to the Layap vision-challenged

30 September, 2008 – For eight years Kinley Om lived in the dark, deprived of her vision and unaware of the dramatic changes taking place around her.

She is 73 years old and lives in Laya. At an altitude of about 4000 metres above sea level, Laya is one of the coldest places on earth. It is a five-day walk from the nearest road.

Laya embodies the mammoth task Bhutan faces in taking services to remote areas. That difficulty is symbolised in the form of Kinley Om, who has been blind for eight years and, given the distance and her age, had given up hope of ever seeing again. She had though prayed to god. Continue reading Operation Sight Restoration

Resort Business Boom in Paro

Tashi Namgay resort – New resort opposite Paro airport

29 September, 2008 – The resorts business in Paro has gained steam with more than 30 percent of the country’s resorts and hotels for tourists already in the valley and about 19 more under construction.

But do they have enough customers to survive? Many of these resort and hotel owners are private individuals and families who already own properties in Paro. Some of them manage to survive with a limited number of tourists coming in a year, say one of the resort owners. Of the 101 resorts and hotels approved by the tourism council this year, Paro has the highest number with 30. Continue reading Resort Business Boom in Paro

MDGs – Bhutan’s progress report is good but…

…there is an urgency to secure long term sustainable financing arrangements and capacity building

Baby blues – Inadequate levels of skilled birth attendance affect maternal mortality

29 September, 2008 – Bhutan has made significant and sustained progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is potentially on track to achieve them all. As world leaders gathered for a high level event on MDG at the UN Summit in New York, a technical report prepared by UN agencies in Bhutan and the government stated that several targets had been realised in the country’s commitment to achieving the MDGs by 2015.

“Bhutan’s progress in reducing poverty from 36.3 percent in 2000 to 23.2 percent in 2007 keeps it well on track to achieve the MDG,” stated the report. This has been matched by reductions in human poverty, as measured by the HPI-1 index, which declined by 19 percent over the same period, largely on account on improvements in enhancing access to improved drinking water sources and reducing child malnutrition. Continue reading MDGs – Bhutan’s progress report is good but…