Sunday, 27 February 2011

Bhutan - Third time lucky?

Bhutan Lucky Gift 27 February, 2011 - After much controversy and public criticism on the postponement of lottery draw dates, Bhutan Lucky Gift says they will draw, for sure, on March 27 this year.

With A-star and copyright of Bhutanese feature film Lay Namkoe as first prize, Alto car as second prize and numerous other attractive prizes and a low ticket cost of Nu 25, those buying the tickets were excited.

But the organiser didn’t draw the raffle on December 17 as indicated in the ticket. Announcements were made that it would be drawn on February 23, but no results were declared again.

Those, who’d bought the tickets, were getting restless by the day.

According to organiser Cewang Dorji, the failure to draw the raffle was because the committee couldn’t collect the tickets on time, especially those, which were sent to remote areas.

“Moreover, many tickets were given to school students and, since they were on vacation, they couldn’t be contacted,” he said. “I tried collecting the tickets, but time was limited and strikes in northern India made it difficult.”

Despite the low price the sales were slow. “I couldn’t even sell a whole booklet,” said Cewang Dorji. Only 25 percent of the 8,000 booklets with 50 tickets were sold.

“If we’d drawn the lottery then and, if the winning numbers appeared on the unsold part of the booklets, it would have been unfair to the buyers,” he said. “The prizes are all ready, including five televisions.”

The organiser also said bureaucratic process involved in getting approval to sell lottery also affected the draw date. Cewang Dorji said he got approval from home ministry to sell lottery on June 17.

Later he found out he had to seek approval from finance and not home ministry. The home ministry asked him to suspend sale of lottery. He sought approval from the finance ministry, but was refused, and home ministry granted him the approval again on August 13.

“Finance ministry refused saying that home ministry had already approved it” Cewang Dorji said.

Keeping in mind the Bhutan raffle rules, 2004, Cewang Dorji said, the committee decided to draw on February 23. “If it was approved on June 17, I could have drawn on December 17, but my sale was stopped,” he said, adding he started selling again only after August. “And since I could resume only from August, the February 23 draw date would actually be the real draw date.”

According to officials from the directorate of lottery in Phuentsholing, lottery organisers can postpone only once, and for a duration of six months, and only after approval from the finance ministry. “The organiser postponed without asking anyone,” an official said.

“Home ministry’s involvement in approval of lottery sale given to Bhutan Lucky Gift should be looked at,” said another official. “The sale of such raffle was also banned in Bhutan, but still it was approved.”

By Yangchen C Rinzin

Friday, 25 February 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty leaves for Kuwait

Thursday, February 24, 2011

His Majesty the King left for Kuwait today to attend the 50th Anniversary of Kuwait’s Independence on February 26.

His Majesty is making the visit on the personal invitation of the Amir Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Accompanying His Majesty the King are the Education Minister Lyonpo Thakur Singh Powdyel and the Chief Operations Officer of the Royal Bhutan Army Gongloen Wogma Batoo Tshering.

His Majesty was seen off from the Paro International Airport by their Royal Highnesses the Princess and Princesses, Paro Dzongkhag officials, Gups, armed force personnel and officials from the Kuwaiti Embassy in Bhutan.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty’s birthday celebrations in pictures

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck inaugurates a science exhibition organised by Thimphu schools to commemorate the day. Her Majesty also launched ‘Young Bhutan’ – a web universe for the youth, a documentary production entitled ‘Educating the Nation – A Journey Through Time’ and three levels of Darzhung and pocket-sized dictionary. Monks of Dechenphodrang monastic school in Thimphu erect hand written lungta prayer flags. Trashiyangtse dzongkhag and the chorten kora mani dungdrup committee offer Namgay Tongchoe and a thousand butter lamps

Monday, 21 February 2011

Bhutan - New Dzongkha weekly hits stands

Druk Yoezer 21 February, 2011- “Druk Yoezer”, a Dzongkha weekly, hit the stands on February 19, making it the country’s eighth newspaper and the second weekly in the national language.

The newspaper, which at the moment has only two reporters, aims to gradually cover all 20 dzongkhags by travelling across the nation and working the phones.

Executive editor of the paper, Lobzang Dorji, said that, although coverage of news would be more or less the same like other papers, their main objective is to focus more on developing Dzongkha journalism, and make it as active as the English language editions.

“Most of the news in existing Dzongkha papers are translations of the news stories in English,” he said. “We’ll be collecting news purely in Dzongkha.”

He also said that sometimes there was no consistency in the translation of news from English to Dzongkha.

“Nobody pays much attention to Dzongkha grammar, spellings and sentence structure,” said Lobzang.

Meanwhile one of the editors of the other Dzongkha newspapers said that Druk Yoezer’s maiden issue had more feature stories and their focus appeared to be on business news.

A regular reader of other Dzongkha newspapers, Nima said that, while the layout and design were satisfactory, content could be improved. “The headline on the front page itself is like a greeting on a wishing card,” he added.

The editor of Druk Neytshul, the first private Dzongkha paper, Chimi Dorji, said that it was quite difficult taking care of everything from content to marketing.

“Since their main aim is for Dzongkha development, I hope they’ll get good readers,” he said.

The 16-page Druk Yoezer printed 2,500 copies this week which was distributed free. It will be regularly available for Nu 10 every Saturday.

By Nirmala Pokhrel

Friday, 18 February 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty meets De-Suung volunteers

His Majesty the King today met with the volunteers of the De-Suung training programme in Tencholing, Wangduephodrang. The training programme which is unique and first of its kind is another milestone in the history of Bhutan. It was conceived and created by His Majesty the King.

Upon arrival at the military training centre in Wangduephodrang, His Majesty the King inspected the guard of honour. After that, His Majesty was presented a parade by the Tencholing army. Addressing the 125 volunteers of the De-Suung training programme, His Majesty thanked the volunteers for taking part in the programme. His Majesty said the De-Suung volunteers must espouse certain universal values.

“If you are De-Suup, which means you are a responsible, conscientious and committed citizen of our country. You must have certain universal values, the idea of justice, service, duty and compassion,” said His Majesty the King.

His Majesty said the future of the country will be a mirror image of who we are and what we can achieve. His Majesty reminded the De-Suung volunteers that we have to base our role as citizens on our courage, capabilities, intellect, perseverance and commitment towards ensuring that Bhutan has a bright future. His Majesty said he expects that they have the most wonderful time in their life.

“You have to use this time to develop strong friendships, unshakable, indestructible, eternal friendships, first of all between yourselves, second of all between you and I and then lastly your relation with your own country. Now, based on friendship, duty, based on our intellect, our determination and the tenacity, that we will show, this is the only way that we can build a great nation. So it’s up to you to decide whether you want a good nation, a bright future or very bright future and a great nation that we can all feel proud of,” said His Majesty.

Later in the afternoon, His Majesty the King interacted with the volunteers over a lunch.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty grants audience to Director General of Military Operations

His Majesty the King granted an audience to the Director General of Military Operations of India Lieutenant General AM Verma at the Tashichhodzong today. Lt. General Verma arrived in the Kingdom on a six day visit on Sunday.

He was commissioned into 2 Rajput in 1972. He has held various prestigious instructional command and staff appointments. These include the command of 27 Rajput in operation RAKSHAK in Jammu and Kashmir for which he was awarded the Sena medal for his gallantry service and vishisht seva medal for distinguished service.

Lt. General Verma was also in command of a mountain division in operation RHINO. He was also awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva medal on the occasion of the Republic day in 2010.

Later, he called on the chief operations officer Major General Batoo Tshering. Lt General Verma has a Master’s degree in management studies from Osmania University in India.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty spends Losar with needy citizens

As people across the country celebrated the beginning of the Iron Female Rabbit Year with friends and family members, His Majesty the King spent the new year with a group of citizens in need. His Majesty also offered prayers and butter lamps at the Puna Dewai Chenpoi Phodrang earlier this morning.

His Majesty was escorted to the Puna Dewai Chenpoi Phodrang by the venerable lopens of the Central Monastic Body. At the Machen Lhakhang, His Majesty offered prayers and nyengdhar. His majesty also offered flowers at the Dukhang. His Majesty the King was seen off from Punakha by His Holiness the Je Khenpo and the lopens of the Zhung Dratshang. Enroute, from Punakha to Thimphu, His Majesty met and granted soelra to a nun who has been prostrating in Punakha Dzong for several years.

In the capital Thimphu, the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the National Assembly Speaker, the Chairperson of the National Council and Chiefs of Armed forces offered Tashi Khadhar to His Majesty the King.

Later in the afternoon, His Majesty met with a group of citizens comprising of the elderly, the destitute, students from remote schools, civil servants and taxi drivers.

His Majesty wished them a happy, prosperous Losar and interacted and spoke with them about social and personal matters.

Most told BBS that the year ahead will be filled with happiness for having started their year in an auspicious way. A civil servant who has been working for the last 36 years said that this is his first meeting with His Majesty the King and said that this year will mean a year filled with joy and luck.

A 74-year-old woman from Paro said that she will not have regrets even if she were to die soon. Likewise students and taxi drivers expressed joy for having got this rare opportunity to spend time with His Majesty the King on Losar.

The group went home with Losar soelras from His Majesty the King.