Bhutan will be hosting in 2010 the South Asian association for regional cooperation (SAARC) summit for the first time since the regional body was created in 1985.
“It will greatly enhance Bhutan’s international image as a sovereign, independent, responsible and equal member country,” said the prime minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley.This will be the first time that Bhutan will hold a conference where 8 heads of governments from Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Maldives will be attending.
Bhutan had skipped the opportunity to host the SAARC summit three times on the ground of the country’s infrastructure. The summit will be in Thimphu with the currently proposed dates being from April 28 to 29, 2010.
“We are now prepared in terms of the administration, infrastructure and the foreign ministry being ready to host the summit,” said the Lyonchhoen.
The summit is also important for Bhutan since it is actually obligatory for each member state to host the summit. The 2010 summit was actually Maldives’s turn to host.
He said that the meeting would also allow for bilateral meetings with all the leaders of various countries, including India.
On his meeting with the Indian prime minister and other heads of state during the summit, he said, “We will discuss all matters of mutual interest, bilateral matters, relation, review, appraise each other of global and regional issues.”
He said that the summit would promote good neighbourly relations among SAARC countries, as different countries could meet and discuss.
“It is also like a coming of age for Bhutan,” said the prime minister. He said the leaders would be visiting a country that had successfully and peacefully made a transition to democracy inspired by His Majesty the King.
By Tenzing Lamsang (Kuenselonline)
Adding to an already rich biodiversity are 21 new species of amphibian, insects and an equal mixture of both flowering and non-flowering plants discovered in Bhutan.
These have been clubbed in a book, “The Eastern Himalayas: where the world collides,” launched by WWF on August 10. Also included in the discovery list are 7 species of grass root parasite, commonly called lousewort, and a unique frog species, Scutiger bhutanensis.
A total of 353 new species have been discovered in the eastern Himalayas – the whole of Bhutan, parts of India and Nepal – from 1998 to 2008, that amounts to an average of 35 new species every year. The list includes 244 plants, 16 amphibians, 16 reptiles, 14 fish, 2 birds, 2 mammals and about 60 new invertebrates.
Although the book boasts of the new discovery as a result of the richness of bio-diversity in the eastern Himalayas, it pointed out that these species were threatened by forest destruction, shifting cultivation, illegal poaching, pollution and poorly planned infrastructure. Continue reading Bhutan’s rich biodiversity just got richer
By Tim Girivin (www.girvin.com)
I recently toured Bhutan. And it was a long-held dream for me. Some 40 years earlier, in teaching classes on design, calligraphy and illustration to support tuition in college, I referenced some imagery from Bhutan in our exploration of design strategy. The idea of the power of writing, in prayer wheels, as a device of spiritual magnitude was part of that study – the wheel turns, the prayers unfold, visions emanate, dreams emerge, answers are found. There is profound power in that concept – and I’ll never forget that time, nor my firsthand experience of seeing this in Bhutan, finally, after all these years.
The beauty of this premise is found everywhere in Bhutan; the wheel of prayer – it’s at the heart of the spirit of this amazing land. And that’s what I came looking for – to find the spirit of the people and the vision of this explication in every detail of their lives. And this can be found in the simple, honest character of the food, the music, poetic refrains, mysticism, the deeply enriched and symbolically profound nature of the arts, the potent structures of the dzong and the stable siting and earthbound permanence of the villages. While there are surely plenty of examples of the power inherent in the cultures of the Himalayas, these characteristics are distinct to Bhutan. Continue reading The dilemma of progress!Finding the middle path
|GUINNESS RECORD PROSPECT? – Once operational, Yonphula airport may qualify as the highest of its kind
Will Bhutan have its first domestic air service by October this year? As far as the civil aviation department is concerned, they have not as yet received any proposals.
Drukair, however, is doing a feasibility study on operating a domestic air service within the country.
Drukair’s managing director, Tandin Jamtsho, said that the present aircraft could not ply in domestic airports because of shorter runways. Operating from a place like Yonphula requires smaller aircrafts and special pilots.
“We’ll have to look into the cost of operations,” said Tandin Jamtsho. The feasibility study would be done by June this year, which he said would determine if Drukair could participate or not. Continue reading No takers yet for domestic air service
The annual Punakha Tsechu begins today following a three day domche. The Punakha Domchoe ended yesterday with Norb Chu Sha Ne or the symbolic immersion of the sacred relic into the Mochu River.
Decked in colorful ghos and kiras, the people of Punakha and other nearby dzongkhags flocked to the Punakha Dzong to witness the final day of the Domchoe. The highlight of the final day of the three day Domchoe was the symbolic immersion of sacred relic into the river.
The ceremony brings to life a historical event which took place about 400 years ago. An invading Tibetan force had come to forcibly take back the sacred Ranjung Khasar Pani. The Zhabdrung hid the sacred relic in the sleeve of his robe and threw a fake one in the river. The Tibetan force believing that the relic has been lost for ever went back home. Continue reading Punakha Domchoe concludes
Top 10 Places to Go in 2008
The destinations that rank on our list include renascent cities like New Orleans and emerging countries like Bhutan that are fast becoming the world’s next travel hot spots. Get there now, before the crowds do.
By Shermans Travel Editorial Staff
Choosing the world’s next big travel destinations is never an easy feat, especially when there’s seemingly so little left of the globe to discover. But when our editors got into a room to hash out our top picks for 2008, we realized that we could have done a Top 13 this year, as all eyes will be on Beijing (when it hosts the Summer Olympic Games), and there’s never been a better time to visit Quebec City (which celebrates its 400th birthday in 2008) or Liverpool (the year’s European Capital of Culture). Here’s the remainder of our list.
Cradled by the majestic Himalayas in a remote corner of Southern Asia, the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” has long held steadfast to its rich culture and Buddhist heritage. Though an isolated locale and high tourist entry tariffs (of up to $200 per person per night) keep crowds at bay, these factors have also permitted this last Shangri-La to keep its traditions intact. If the lush valleys and snowcapped mountains, ancient temples and monasteries, and expansive markets full of cheerful locals haven’t lured you to Bhutan yet, reconsider in 2008, when the 101st anniversary of the country’s monarchy will be commemorated by a yearlong celebration. Continue reading BHUTAN: Ranked Among Top 10 Travel Destinations in 2008