Except Samtse

You ask a friend of yours. And the question is, “How many dzongkhags have you visited?” He or she says, “All the dzongkhags, except Lhuentse, Gasa and …and Samtse.” Not many Bhutanese have travelled to this low-lying land, hot and humid in the summer and pleasant and dry in the …

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Bhutan has no choice but to regulate regional tourism

One important idea of sovereignty for any nation is its ability to control its borders. This idea gets more important for smaller countries, especially when they are surrounded by larger countries, constantly moving demographics and do not have the absorptive capacity. Bhutan is in an unenviable position with a population …

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The Paradox of Xi’s Power


CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – At the end of the six-day 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the roughly 2,200 delegates decided to add “Xi Jinping Thought on the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics” to the CPC’s constitution. With that, it became official: the era of …

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What to make of the fuel cut

First off, it is important to understand that the dramatic cut in fuel prices by the government is not any largess being given by the Indian government or by the Goods and Services Tax. Simply put under GST the Indian government can no longer collect excise duty on fuel imports …

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Speaking to the Far Right 

NEW YORK – Something many right-wing populists have in common is a peculiar form of self-pity: the feeling of being victimized by the liberal media, academics, intellectuals, “experts” – in short, by the so-called elites. The liberal elites, the populists proclaim, rule the world and dominate ordinary patriotic people with …

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A Royal visit

India’s Foreign Secretary came calling from 2nd to 5th October in Thimphu, two months after the successful resolution of the standoff in August. From the accounts of the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister’s meeting with India’s senior-most diplomat the Foreign Secretary had come to listen more than to talk. The …

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Publicizing the Plight of Journalists


AMSTERDAM – Every five days, on average, somewhere in the world, a journalist is murdered for being a journalist. Nine out of ten times, no one is prosecuted, creating an atmosphere of impunity that extends beyond death threats or violence. Imprisonment of journalists is at an all-time high, and members of the press …

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Views on Public Transportation

I had a revealing experience with public transportation after a long gap. A Bumpa Transport Bus I took from Thimphu at 9.30 am on 21st October to Phuentsholing had a whole window missing in the front. The seat I was supposed to sit in behind the drivers seat had water …

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Public Transport

A major woe facing Bhutan today is the high number of vehicle imports and the resultant outflow of foreign currency, inflated fuel imports and crowded roads. There are also associated problems that come with this like air pollution, noise pollution and limited parking space. This problem will only continue to …

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