Pemagatshel gets new dzong
One of the most remarkable buildings you find when travelling through Bhutan, are the many dzongs (monasteries). In a country that breathes Bhuddism, this is no surprise. The dzongs were introduced in the 12th century to Bhutan, all having their own unique designs. Several of the ancient monasteries are in bad shape, among them the Pemagatshel dzong. Many inhabitants of the village therefore were very happy when the the salang ceremony of the much-awaited new Pemagatshel dzong began. This ground breaking ceremony is the start of not only a new dzong; it will be a model town in Bhuten and will have a positive effect on the prosperity of many in and around the dzongkhag. The government is responsible for the construction of the dzong, which will offer employment and busniness opportunities for many. The new dzong will cost Nu 250 million, funded by the Bhutan government and Inda’s national government. Read more

Government aims at unemployment rate of 2,5%
Bhutan should be able to lower the current unemployment rate of 3,3% to 2,5% by the end of 2012. The country’s prime minister Jigmi Y Thinley stated this, based on the progress currently made in employment of the Bhutanese. A lower unemplyment rate has a positive effect on Bhutan’s economy, and is part of Bhutan’s socio economic development (ABSD). In order to get more people employed, the Ministry of labour and human resources signed an agreement with Bhutan’s leading Construction company. They are already training workers for hydropower projects; one of the country’s strongest tools for an independent, healthy national economy. And more technical graduates who mostly dropped out of highschool before graduation, will be trained for hydropower Construction, the electrical section, mechanical operation, masonry, plumbing and carpentry. Similar agreements are under proces with Hindustan Construction Company and Gammon India. Read more

Bhudist monk convicted for smuggling tobacco
Bhutan wants to become the first fully smokingfree country in the world. And in order to do so, the Himalayan kingdom knows a very strict anti-smoking policy. A 23-year old Buddhist monk was the first to be convicted under this new and very strict Tobacco Control Act. The court sentenced him to three years of prison for carrying 48 packets of chewig tobacco with him. He was arrested crossing the border without being able to show a receit for paying importduties and taxes. The unfortunate monk carried 480 grams of tobacco with him, while people are only allowed to bring in 150 grams of tobacco per month. He stated he bought the tobacco for self-consumption and wasn’t aware of the new legislation. Read more

The right of education
Every research done show that education is one of the main requirements for a bright future and the self development of people. Yet the Bhutan Miltuiple Indicator Survey –covering 15.000 households – showed that one in four children does’nt attend school. To promote the right and importance of education, the government has decided that all Bhutanese households who are temporary residents for a period longer than six months, have to admit their school-going aged children to the nearest school. If poverty is a reason not sending children to school, then the government can provide school uniforms and other necessities. Read more

High school graduates granted audience with Bhutan’s king
Can you imagine graduating from high school and being inveted for a meeting with your king, Queen or president of your country? Yet this is exactly what 161 hight school graduates from all over Bhutan experienced. They were selected for professional course scholarships and had an informal interaction with Bhutan’s king Khesar Namgyal Wangchu at the Lingkana palace grounds. During the audience that lasted for several hours, the monarch congratulated the students ald told them them don’t have to know all the anwers to all questions. ”The most important is your willingness to learn.” He stressed to always be themselves. “It’s about who you are that really matters”. Soon the students will leave Bhutan to start their education at several universities in the United States, Australia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Read more

Relationship between man and woman in Bhutan not equal
A recent study by the National Statistics Bureau has shocked Bhutan. The study shows that a mere 70 percent of Bhutanese women believe that their husbands have the right to beat them when they argue with their partner, burn dinner, neglect the children or refuse sex. The acceptance of wife beating varies from 50% in capitol Thimphu to 90% in Paro. Karma Tshiteem, the government commissioner charged with national commission for Gross National Happiness, was deeply aghast with the results. “The findings are quiete shocking and in in sharp contrast with the Buddhist teachings. Ahimsa (non-violence) is a central creed in Buddhism and most of Bhutan’s 700.000 inhabitens practice this religion. Read more