OPINION

So What is the Secret ?

Cost of living in Thimphu is extremely high. No doubt about that. How do we ascertain it? When mid-level office-goers find it difficult to survive. But then it makes me wonder how those people who live on the daily national minimum wage of Nu 215 a day make their ends …

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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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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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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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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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A Very Un-Neighborly Interest Rate?

India recently inaugurated the start of work on their 508 KMs Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project that is expected to be completed by 2023. The project was initially estimated at Rs. 63,000 Crores but it now stands at Rs.110,000 Crores (about US$17 billion). This is 8 times Bhutan’s GDP! But that …

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The Two Backlashes Against Globalization

NEW DELHI – When I left India for graduate school in the United States in 1975, the word “globalization” was not in use anywhere in the world. Back then, crossing borders was still a big deal, and getting a US visa was no easy feat. When I did arrive in …

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The Dangers of Demographic Denial

LONDON – Across emerging economies, the benefits of a “demographic dividend” have become a familiar refrain. Politicians and business leaders alike – be it in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, or Tanzania – talk glowingly of how a fast-growing and youthful population will create huge investment opportunities and fuel rapid economic growth. …

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