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Bhutan

From the moment you land in Bhutan’s Paro airport, a small, traditionally designed building awash with crisp, chilly mountain air, you know that you’ve left Delhi behind. There’s a distinct impression of ease, which insists that you slow down and take in the view.

 

Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world. In 2014, natural disasters affected 80 million people and accounted for nearly $60 billion in economic losses. Economic losses from disasters are rising rapidly, due in part to the increasing number of people living in disaster risk areas and rapid urbanization in the region. Asia-Pacific suffers from a variety of hazards, most recently the fatal earthquake in Nepal killing over 8,500 people.

 

After office hour on Friday, my 10th grade son comes home and says, “mama, did you hear the shocking news today? Bhutan is going to open a slaughterhouse. The news is splashed all over and everyone’s talking about it in school.” I visit a friend’s house and the first thing that I hear is, “Wai, did you hear the disturbing news that Bhutan is going to start a slaughterhouse.” At home, in the office, over lunch, we find ourselves anxiously talking about the subject. At first shock and disbelief and then a dark ominous feeling gnawing deeper and deeper.

 

Teaching may be the noblest profession of all, but it’s certainly not a piece of cake.

 

We live in a paradoxical world of privacy. Govt. agencies, online shopping companies and marketing websites are collecting personal information or personally identifying information about us. 

 
  Jigme Wangchuck knew that sooner or later there would be a democratic challenge to an absolute monarchy  
 

Bhutan’s ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index in 2008 was 45 out of 180 countries and number one in the SAARC region. 

 

The media really took off during March 2008 Parliamentary elections, as for the first time a grueling election process between the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) saw the once mighty pre-democracy ministers going around in the most humble homes and villages begging for votes. 

 
The Bhutanese media’s initial role, like in many small developing countries, was primarily as a tool for development and keeping citizens informed of the government’s plans and activities. The media in Bhutan could have continued to remain as such, like it still does in many countries of the world.
 
Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay launched a website, Bhutan Citizens’ Initiative, which is hoped to bring together the Bhutanese community to help each other.    
 


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