Monday, 31 October 2011

Bhutan - Bhutan’s bid at the UN Security Council

The Prime Minister said Bhutan will try everything and explore all avenues to win a berth at the UN Security Council.

A non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council will fall vacant at the end of 2012 when India completes her term under the Asia Group.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of cabinet ministers with the media last week, Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley said the support has been reasonably good so far.

He said though Bhutan faces fierce competition from countries like South Korea and Cambodia, he said the government is doing everything it can to garner international support.

He said campaigning has started in various regional and sub-regional meetings in Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Bhutan voiced its desire to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2013 to 2014 at the 65th General Assembly session in New York last year.

For that, a country must receive the support of at least 129 members.

The election of non-permanent members is conducted through a secret ballot.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Bhutan - Bhutanese students in Thailand flee the floods

Most of the Bhutanese students studying at Rangsit University in Bangkok are returning home as the flooding in Thailand worsens.

The last group of students is arriving in Phuentsholing tomorrow, after flying to Kolkata, taking a train from Kolkata to Hashimara and travelling by bus to Phuentsholing.

The Rangsit University is already submerged under water. The university has been closed till November 14.

According to the Bhutanese student’s coordinator in Rangsit University, Pem Tshering, they have been able to flee only because of the financial support from the office of the Gyalpoi Zimpoen and the Rangsit University.

In Kolkata, the Bhutanese consulate helped the students, providing them accommodation.

Only three students studying at Rangsit have remained back, one because he could not get plane tickets to return home. He will be arriving in Kolkata tonight. The other two have been evacuated by the university to a safer place in the north.

“29 students are already here in Kolkata. We flew in yesterday,” said Pem Tshering from Kolkata.

There are also other students studying in other universities.

They are reportedly not at risk from the rising flood waters as Rangsit University.

Rachana Pradhan, a B.Sc. Nursing student at the Naresuan University, said they “contacted the university authority. They said we are safe at the moment and no one has left for Bhutan.”

“Well, there could be problems regarding food, water and medicine if the problem continues. Supplies were already running out, so as a precaution we bought rice, oil, instant noodles, drinking water in stock to be safe.”

The Bhutanese Ambassador to Thailand, Tshering Dorji, said they are in constant touch with the university authorities. He said the embassy has been helping the Bhutanese students studying in Thailand.

He said the embassy is urging Bhutanese students in Thailand to stay in close contact with the embassy. Altogether, there are over 400 Bhutanese students studying in Thailand.

Students from Rangsit University however said the Bhutanese embassy in Bangkok has not been very supportive.

They said the embassy did provide them with accommodation at the embassy premises but apart from that there has not been much by way of help.

The students were running out of money and stock of food items and spent over a week at the embassy premises.

A few have also posted their frustration on facebook, networking site.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Bhutan - India’s president hosts banquet in honour of His Majesty

The President of India Pratibha Patil hosted a banquet in honour of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen at the Rashtrapati Bavan last night.

Welcoming His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen to India, President Pratibha Patil said it was an honour and a privilege that His Majesty’s first visit abroad after his wedding is in India.

His Majesty said they were humbled by the manner in which they were received.

“Deciding to visit India, a week after our marriage, it came naturally. After all, India has always been a home away from home.”

“Your Excellency, your invitation is an unprecedented gesture of warmth and solidarity towards me and towards Bhutan, a gesture that Jetsun and I accept with great humility and deep gratitude and one that we will over the course of our lives always try to live up to as your closest friend.”

Prior to the banquet, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen met with President Pratibha Patil.

Yesterday afternoon, His Majesty granted an audience to the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankhar Menon.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Bhutan - His Majesty arrives in Delhi

Sunday, October 23, 2011

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen left on a state visit to India this morning.

This is the first visit abroad after the royal wedding on October 13.

Upon arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the royal couple was received by Union Minister for State Deora Milind Murli, Chief of Protocol Ruchira Kamboj and the officials from the Royal Bhutanese Embassy.

They were also greeted by a large number of Indian journalists representing almost every media organisation.

While in India, His Majesty will meet the Indian leaders and discuss matters of mutual interest and cooperation.

The royal couple is accompanied by the Home and Cultural Affairs Minister Minjur Dorji, the Minister-in-Charge of Foreign Affairs Khandu Wangchuk and the Chief Operations Officer of the Royal Bhutan Army Major General Batoo Tshering.

This morning, His Majesty King and Her Majesty the Queen were seen off by Their Royal Highness the Princes and Princesses and the Paro dzongkhag officials.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Bhutan - Thousands celebrate in Paro

Thousands of people in Paro celebrated the royal wedding yesterday.

The celebrations in Paro were organized specially for the working committee headed by the Prime Minister which organised the royal wedding celebrations.

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Their Majesties the Queen Mothers, and members of the royal family also graced the celebrations.

The Ugen Pelri Palace ground where the celebrations were held was packed with people by 8am in the morning. Many of the spectators had come as early as 4am.

As the celebrations continued, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen interacted with the public shaking hands, holding children and hugging the elderly.

People offered tashi khadar and students received autographs from the royal couple.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Bhutan - Royal Couple undergoes Hindu marriage

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen yesterday visited the Durga Mandhir, located near the Thai Pavilion in Thimphu. The royal couple offered prayers and exchanged garlands as a part of a Hindu marriage.

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen were greeted by the members of the Hindu Sambodhaya of Bhutan, its chairman Dasho Meg Raj Gurung and the members. The royal couple then entered the temple in a procession called Naumati Baja which is performed during Hindu marriage. A long queue of excited people greeted the royal couple outside the temple.

Once inside the temple, His Majesty and Her Majesty the Queen lit butter lamps and offered prayers. The royal couple then exchanged flower garlands known as Soyambar mala as part of the Hindu marriage ceremony.

The Hindu Sambodhaya of Bhutan offered a Ramayana book and the statue of Vishnu and Laxmi to His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen. Hindus believe kings and queens to be the incarnations of Vishnu and Laxmi.

In return, His Majesty donated money for the construction of the new Hindu temple below Kuenselphodrang and for the development of the Hindu Sambodhaya of Bhutan.

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen then met with the people who had gathered at the temple to meet them.

The Chairman of the Hindu Sambodhaya in Bhutan said the royal visit to the temple was of great significance for the Hindu Sambodhaya of Bhutan and the temple.

“We are deeply touched by His Majesty’s visit to the temple on the happy occasion of royal wedding”

The pundits and hundreds of people who gathered at the temple also offered Tashi Khadhar to the royal couple.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Bhutan - Thousands celebrate in Changlimithang

Tens of thousands of people packed the Changlimithang stadium as the nation celebrated the royal wedding of His Majesty the King to Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Jetsun Pema Wangchuck today.

Many had come as early as 2 am in the morning to make sure that they will be not left out and miss the opportunity of catching a glimpse of their King and Queen.

Long before the royal couple, the dignitaries and the guests arrived and the celebrations began, the stadium was literally overflowing. After sometime, police had to deny entry for the safety and comfort of the spectators who were already inside the stadium. Many returned home to watch the celebrations live on BBS TV.

The only noticeable outside guest at the celebrations was India’s Congress General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi, a longtime friend of the Bhutanese royal family.

The celebrations began with His Majesty unveiling a Guru Thongdroel, roughly the size of a 12 storied building, by far the biggest Thongdroel to be made in history, and Their Majesties the King and the Queen lighting butter lamps and offering prayers to the Guru Thongdroel.

Midway through the celebrations, His Majesty made a brief, impromptu speech, to thank the people and the organisers for the seamless celebrations. His Majesty began by talking about how happy he was for being able to celebrate his wedding with his people.

His Majesty thanked His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo for the socio-economic progress Bhutan has made and the continued peace and prosperity it enjoys, the Royal Grand Mother and Their Majesties the Queen Mothers for their support and tireless service to the nation and concluded the brief, informal speech by pledging to serve the nation tirelessly with Her Majesty the Queen.

Before His Majesty began his speech, he surprised the nation by planting a kiss, first on the cheek and after a moment’s hesitation on the lips of Her Majesty the Queen in full public view which was received by thunderous clapping and cheering by the crowd.

The celebrations were majestic with one entertaining cultural programme after another. The highlight of the celebrations was the presentation of the Wangzhey performed by His Majesty the King leading a team comprising of the Prime Minister, the opposition leader, cabinet ministers, and members of the parliament which they performed with grace and panache.

The Wangzhey was first performed by the people of Wang Tshochen Gay at Pangrizampa for the reception of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen spent a good part of the day walking hand in hand among the people, stopping every now and then to talk to them, asking them whether they are enjoying themselves, to hold their hands, or lift a child a child to plant a kiss on its cheek.

The celebrations ended with Tashi Lay-bay.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Bhutan - The Royal Matrimony, The Queen is Crowned

The Royal Wedding ceremony of His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck took place in the Puna Dewachen Phodrang in Punakha. Jetsun Pema was sanctified as the Queen of Kingdom of Bhutan by His Majesty the King.

The ceremony began at 4 am with the initiation of soong-chhoe prayers at the Marchen Lhakhang and Kuenra of the Punakha Dzong. His Majesty the King, escorted by the sacred retinue, arrived at the Dzong from the Royal Lingkha and lit a golden lamp and offered prayers before the Thongdroel of Zhabdrung in the first courtyard of the Dzong.

The Royal Bride was led in chhipdrel procession into the Dzong, where she lit a golden lamp before the Thongdroel, and exchanged Tashi Jel-Dhar with His Majesty the King.

The Raven Crown and the crown for the Queen of Bhutan were brought out from the Most Holy Macchen Lhakhang, along with a Golden Bumpa and the sacred five coloured dhar.

The Fourth Druk Gyalpo bestowed the sacred dhar upon the Royal Bride, sanctifying the Royal Wedding.

In the Kuenrey, The Royal Bride offered the ambrosia of eternal life, signifying her devotion to the glorious continuity of the Wangchuck Dynasty, from the Golden Bumpa, to His Majesty the King.

His Majesty then bestowed the crown of the Druk Gyal-tsuen to the Royal Bride, and Ashi Jetsun Pema, now as Druk Gyaltshuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, ascended to the throne of the Queen of Bhutan, to the left of His Majesty the King.

The ceremony at the Kunrey ended with the offering of Tashi Nga Soel, symbolic offerings to their Majesties the Queen and King of Bhutan. His Holiness the Je Khenpo, The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and members of the Royal Family and guests offered tashi khadar to the royal couple.

Their Majesties the King and Queen then joined the people of Punakha and guests in a public celebration outside the dzong.

His Majesty granted tokha to the people gathered at the celebration ground.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Royal Wedding - LIVE on BBS

The Proceedings of the Royal Wedding at the Puna Dewa Chhen-poi Phodrang, Punakha will be broadcast LIVE on BBS TV from 7am

Bhutan - Banknotes and Coins to Commemorate Royal Wedding

The Royal Monetary Authority has printed commemorative banknotes and minted silver coins to commemorate the Royal Wedding.

The notes and the coins will be available in Bank of Bhutan, Bhutan Development Bank Limited and in the BOB counter at the Paro Airport from October 13th till 4th of November.

The note will cost Nu. 500 and the silver coin will be Nu. 5,000.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bhutan - Royal Wedding stamps launched

To celebrate the World Postal Day, Bhutan Post launched eight different stamps portraying His Majesty the King and the royal bride today.

It was launched by the venerable Dorji Lopen of the central monastic body.

The Deputy Managing Director of Bhutan Post said the office will remain open during the holidays coinciding with the royal wedding to provide free postal service.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bhutan - Buddha’s tooth relic arrives in Bhutan

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Their Majesties the Queen Mothers, and Their Royal Highnesses the Princes and Princesses offered prayers and received blessings from the sacred tooth relics of Lord Buddha and his two chief disciples.

The relics of Lord Buddha, Sangay Shacha Thupa, and his two chief disciples, Sharibu and Mougelgibu will be displayed at the Tendrey Thang from tomorrow till Wednesday.

The relics will be kept in the country for a month. They will also be displayed in Punakha, Tsirang, Trongsa, Monggar, Trashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar.

The relics arrived in the Kingdom today with the Prime Minister who was returning home after attending the 66th UN general assembly in New York.

They belong to the Maha Bodhi Society which has its headquarters in Kolkata, India. The Prime Minister is the president of the Maha Bodhi Society.

Arriving at the Paro Airport, the sacred relics were received in a chipdrel procession by the Tsugla Lopen of central monastic body, cabinet ministers, and senior government officials, monks of the Paro rabdey, dzongkhag officials and local leaders.

They were brought to Bhutan on the request of the Prime Minister. They will remain in Bhutan for one month.

This is the first time that the relics were brought to Bhutan.

On his way back home from the UN general assembly in New York, the Prime Minister attended the Maha Bodhi Society’s 114th Annual General Meeting in Kolkata, India.

Lyonchen Jigmi Yoeser Thinley made offerings and prayers for the wellbeing of all sentient beings and protection from natural calamities. He also offered prayers for the victims of the recent earthquake in India.