Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Bhutan - Weaving a new way of life

Weavers from Kheng Gongdu and Silambi Geogs in Monggar are learning how to use Mechi loom. The Mechis are a tribal people in Assam, India. Like our weavers from Kheng Gongdu and Silambi, they are known for the nimbleness of their fingers and the dexterity in weaving. The textile designs are also similar. There is only one difference. Their looms are much larger and reportedly easier to handle.

Weavers from Kheng Gongdu and Silambi use the traditional back-strap looms which is also used by weavers all over Bhutan.

Forty five-year-old Sangay Dema from Silambi is one of the 20 weavers who are attending the month long training. She said “it is easier and faster than our back strap loom. We don’t get back ache.” She now plans to use the Mechi loom and also teach other weavers in her village.

Twenty one-year-old Leki Chozom is from Khen Gondu. She is learning how to weave for the first time. “I learnt tailoring first and then weaving. One month is not enough for me to learn everything. I am lagging behind my friends. We started together.”

The training is being conducted by Monhini Sageer-ri. She is happy with the progress though the training has to be conducted in sign language.

“They can’t speak Hindi or Nepali and I don’t speak their language so we communicate through sign language.”

The experienced weavers are learning faster than the new ones. She also believes that one month may not be enough for new learners.

“Maybe in two months, they can learn everything there is to learn. The older weavers pick up faster than the younger ones”

Organised by the weaving center at Turlling in Monggar, rural women attend the training in the morning and NFE learners in the evening.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty arrives in Bangladesh

His Majesty the King has arrived in Bangladesh on a four day state visit.

His Majesty is visiting Bangladesh as the Guest of Honour at the 40th Anniversary of Independence and the National Day of Bangladesh.

His Majesty was received by President Zillur Rahman at the Shahjalal International Airport and presented a 31 gun salute followed by a guard of honour.

His Majesty the King is accompanied by the Works and Human Settlement Minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba and Major General Dhendup Tshering.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Bhutan - Bhutan chips in

Japan Earthquake 19 March, 2011 - Bhutan has contributed USD one million to Japan as an assistance to the relief efforts, following the recent earthquake and tsunami in the country that killed thousands and rendered many homeless.

A three-day Dolma Jigpa Gyedchob ceremony also started in shedras, drubdeys, lhakhangs and goendeys across the country yesterday for the deceased and affected families.

Yangpai lopen Chimmi said the ritual will benefit and promote deliverance of the departed souls. Dolma (Tara) meant one who protects, and Jigpa stood for fearsome calamities and sufferings. Gyedchob referred to someone, who protects from eight forms of disaster and sufferings.

Home Minister Minjur Dorji said the prayers were conducted in hope that they would help those, who left the world and those, who are still suffering.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Japan,” he said. “We are as bereaved.”

On March 13, His Majesty, members of the royal family, cabinet ministers and senior government officials joined in a special prayer session and the lighting of 1,000 butter lamps at Tashichhodzong.

By Tashi Tenzin

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty graces Paro Tshechu

Thursday, March 17, 2011

His Majesty the King today joined thousands of people from Paro and the neighbouring districts and camera totting tourists at the Paro Tshechu.

The Paro Tshechu, an annual event, is one of the most popular festivals in the country and attracts thousands of people every year. It also draws thousands of tourists from all over the world who time their visit to coincide with the tshechu.

Today’s highlights were the Wochupai Zhey, Durdag, Tungam, Pholay Molay and Shaw Shachi mask dances.

His Majesty also visited the Goenkhang of Paro Rinpung Dzong and offered prayers and met with the geog leaders of the dzongkhag. The tshechu will end on Saturday with the unfurling of Guru Thongdrol.

Tag : bhutan,paro tshechu,tshechu,King of Bhutan

Monday, 14 March 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty sends condolence for Japan

Sunday, March 13, 2011

His Majesty the King offered his condolence to the Government and the people of Japan following the disastrous earthquake.

The 8.9 magnitude quake day before yesterday killed hundreds, injured many others and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Inside the Kuenray of the Tashichhodzong, His Majesty the King offered prayers and a thousand butter lamps.

The JICA Resident Representative and 60 volunteers were also present. Monks of the Zhung Dratshang also performed prayers.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bhutan - Butter lamps lit for victims in Japan

12 March, 2011 - His Majesty the King and the Japanese community in Bhutan offer Karmi Tongchey (a thousand Butter lamps) and prayers at the Tashichhodzong this evening for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and Tsunami that hit north Japan on Friday.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Bhutan - Bhutan telecom disowns message

SMS Scam 10 March, 2011 - Whether it was a prank or a dig at the Bhutan Telecom, the prankster, who started a message on the B-mobile service requesting to forward the message has done more good than harm to B-mobile.

By last afternoon, the message, which claims to be from a third year student of Sherubtse college, Sonam Diki, requesting people to forward the message, as she would get a 10ch cut from every message forwarded, has circulated to hundreds of subscribers. The message says that the money would be used to transplant an eye, which she lost in an accident and would cost her about Nu 0.8M.

Yesterday, B-Mobile officials rubbished the claims of the college girl and said it could be the work of a prankster. “It’s fake and we’ve never entered into any kind of agreement,” said a B Mobile official in charge of SMS services.

Director of Sherubtse college, Singye Namgyel, confirmed that no college girl had met with any accident or lost an eye, although the college had a girl with the same name. A faculty member received the message yesterday and the college authority quickly carried out an investigation. “There is a girl by the same name, but she didn’t start the message nor did she meet with an accident,” said the director.

B-Mobile tried to trace the origin of the main source of person but failed. “Many people have already started forwarding, so it was difficult to find from where the message originated,” said the official. They said it was started by an individual subscriber, which was impossible to trace. “We tried to call, but the subscriber switched off after we questioned,” the official said.

Officials of Tashi Cell said the number referred in the SMS didn’t exist. A TashiCell said they don’t support such an initiative but said they would definitely try to find out the source if asked. B-Mobile immediately sent an alert message to its customers yesterday not to respond to the request. “This is the only way we can help customers from being fooled,” official said.

Each short message cost 0.45 and the B-Mobile official explained that if anyone proposes them for such help, they would first investigate the matter, review it and finally draw an agreement based on cost sharing. But they didn’t have any record of such a proposal neither initiated one.

Without a proper tool to record the numbers of message exchanged, the numbers of SMS forwarded was not available. Each SMS costs Nu. 0.40.

Meanwhile, general manager of B Mobile said it was difficult to define this as a crime at the moment. “Although such practice is not allowed but the individuals have right to send any message they like. Even if we catch the person we don’t know what penalty to impose.”

Official from the regulating authority, BICMA said the authority cannot hold anyone accountable, but if a person is found, then the service provider should discuss the matter together. “The penalty can be a misdemeanour or violation,” official said. “They could be charged under the specific provision of the Act.”

By Yangchen C Rinzi

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty meets scholarship students

His Majesty the King with students selected for professional scholarships in various countries at the Lingkana palace yesterday

8 March, 2011 - “You’re not expected to know the answers to all the questions. What’s more important is your willingness to learn,” His Majesty the King said to students, selected for professional course scholarships, at the Lingkana palace grounds in Thimphu yesterday.

The 161 class XII completed students will soon be leaving for various professional courses in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia, Thailand and USA.

His Majesty congratulated the students for doing well in their studies. “You’re going to good universities. Take upon yourselves the challenge of competing with the best minds. Represent your country well,” His Majesty said.

In an informal interaction that lasted several hours His Majesty reminded the students to always be themselves. “It’s who you are and not what you appear to be that is important,” His Majesty advised the students.

His Majesty also expressed his concern over their safety, and advised them not to put themselves in a situation that would jeopardise their future. “Look after yourself,” His Majesty said.

By Yangchen C Rinzi

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bhutan - Monk sentenced for smuggling tobacco worth Nu.120

The Thimphu district court yesterday sentenced a 23-year-old monk to three years in prison for smuggling tobacco. He is the first man to be convicted and sentenced under the controversial tobacco act.

Sonam Tshering was caught at the Chunzom checkpoint carrying 48 packets of Baba or chewing tobacco worth Nu.120. He confessed that he bought the chewing tobacco from a shop in the border town of Jaigaon for his own personal consumption.

As per the Tobacco Control Act, a person found smuggling tobacco or tobacco products shall be punishable with a minimum of three years and maximum of five years and below.

Consumers may bring an approved quantity of tobacco products for personal consumption but only after paying the customs duties and taxes.

Sonam Tshering who studied only up to class IV and was a monk at the Semtokha Shedra did not know about the act and did not bring the contraband products after paying the taxes.

His arrest on January 24 generated a lot of public debate with some people calling the act draconian.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty arrives back from Kuwait

2 March, 2011- His Majesty the King arrived back in Capital today after a successful trip to the State of Kuwait.

His Majesty the King was on a special visit to Kuwait invited by the Amir of Kuwait to grace the celebrations of the country's 50th Anniversary of Independence and 20th Anniversary of Liberation.

While in Kuwait, His Majesty met with numerous world leaders and visited prominent landmarks and places of cultural interest.