Bhutan will review participation in BBIN but growth-wellbeing balance also important, new...

Journalist Gopilal Acharya spoke with Bhutan’s new Prime Minister Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering on behalf of the South Asian Monitor. Tshering’s party, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), swept the polls on October 18, winning 30 of the 47... More

Bhutan refugees in Nepal rally for help to go back home

The Bhutanese refugees, who have been languishing in Beldangi Camp, Jhapa, Nepal, for the past 26 years, have urged the human rights bodies to take initiative for their repatriation. On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day... More

Bhutan benefits most from SAARC development fund

The board project appraisal committee has approved Drukair’s project to buy an ATR aircraft worth almost USD 13 million as the first project under the economic sector. The project would be considered at the board meeting on December... More

Cabinet endorses 12th Plan in principle

In the first Meet-the-PM programme in Thimphu yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering announced that the draft 12th Five Year Plan was approved. Prime Minister said that the government met with the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) on... More

Bhutan govt. to reconsider BBIN

The government will reconsider the motor vehicle agreement involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN), which was deferred indefinitely by the previous Parliament. Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji told media persons in Thimphu yesterday that Bhutanese trucks were... More

India’s Bhutan hydel project ready

India is expected to commission a major hydropower project in Bhutan in the coming weeks, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Tuesday. Delivering a speech on India-Bhutan relations, the top diplomat said cooperation in the hydropower sector was... More

Bhutanese refugee issue resurfaces after provisions dry up

Nepal faces renewed diplomatic and internal challenges in coping with 6,500 Bhutanese refugees who remain in two camps in Jhapa as the World Food Programme suspends its 26-year-old support and the third country settlement scheme draws to... More

Bhutan needs energy efficient homes

Due to poor design and almost non-existent insulation in the homes, the energy consumption reaches its peak during winter in the country. There is a need to construct energy-efficient buildings to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This was... More

Bhutan receives record high tourists in 2017

Bhutan received 71,417 international visitors last year, the highest number of visitors since 2012, according to Bhutan Tourism Monitor 2017 report. The international tourists arrival in 2017 contributed revenue earning of 79 million U.S. dollars, which is also... More

Bhutanis wedged between India and China’s competing strategic interests

In the autumn of 2017, Bhutan was the centrepiece of a standoff between China and India. A dispute arose when China sought to occupy a small piece of land at Doklam on the Tibetan plateau. Indian troops rushed... More

Border Trade Centre: Volume of trade between Assam and Bhutan crosses Rs...

It is speculated that the supply of beef and pork could have treble the present volume of trade which is on hold due to lack of infrastructure like a government approved slaughter house In what can be termed... More

Bhutan imports less food items from India this year

The country’s import of food items from India decreased by a little over Nu 400 M between January till June this year. The import worth stood at Nu 3.2bn for the same period in 2017. The Agriculture... More

Bhutan’s hydropower loan forms 94 percent of INR debt

Hydropower loans, which account for 94 percent of rupee debt and almost 70 percent of the total outstanding external debt of Nu 172B as of March this year, is bloating the country’s debt. The 12th Plan targets to... More

Women in Bhutan politics still negligible

The Bhutanese women are closing the gender gap in other areas but when it comes to politics it still persists. At present, there are 11 women Member of Parliament (MPs) against 61 men MPs, an increase from... More

Bhutan PM expected to visit India next month

Bhutan’s Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering is expected to visit New Delhi, India before the end of this year or the first Parliament session. The date government has proposed to the Indian government is sometime towards the end... More

Bhutan govt. plans to align Plan period with electoral cycle

Even as the 12th Plan is being finalised, the government is planning to align Five-Year Plan cycles with each government’s term so that the electoral cycle does not affect development activities. In an interview with Kuensel, foreign minister... More

Bus-and-market signal to Bhutan

New Delhi will build a bus terminus and a market complex near the Bhutan border at Chamurchi in Jalpaiguri district, signalling its intent to engage with the new government of the Himalayan nation by developing infrastructure at... More

MHPA deadline pushed to December end

The deadline for the commissioning of the 720MW Mangdechhu Hydropower Project Authority (MHPA) in Trongsa has been now postponed to December end. The MPHA had earlier said the project would be commissioned by the end of this month. The... More

Bhutan’s first-ever economic census begins next month

The first economic census of Bhutan begins next month. In preparation, the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) is training enumerators and supervisors who will conduct the census. A total of 85 enumerators, all graduates, have been recruited to carry... More

Latest World Bank report warns Bhutan of economic risks

The World Bank’s Bhutan Development Update Report November 2018 warns of several economic risks. The risks include further delay in hydro power construction, scarce donor financing, policy uncertainty and unfavourable weather patterns. It is feared these risks would... More

Winter session of Bhutan Parliament to commence on January 2

A meeting of National Assembly members held last week decided to delay the winter session until the end of , the inauspicious month in the Bhutanese calendar. Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel said the upcoming winter session of Parliament, which... More


The sorry state of Pakistan’s police

The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More

Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index. CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... More

How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More

US withdrawal from Afghanistan showcases India’s hollow Afghan policy

When Donald Trump recently mocked India for building a library in Afghanistan, it signified a lot more than the fact that India is not fighting the Taliban as a US ally; it showed the actual limited presence of India in Afghanistan, although the Indian government has, as of lately, been busy responding to Trump’s jibe by listing its many projects in Afghanistan worth billions of dollars. But there can... More



The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More