South Asia’s water and energy crises are deeply intertwined. Growing energy demand drives water shortages and lack of water fuels power outages. Regional cooperation – such as power trading between countries – could ease tightening resource constraints but such solutions have been largely scuppered by political suspicions.
Bhutan’s ethnic minorities have suffered profound mistreatment. The country is at the start of a long path towards democracy. It is too early to predict if that path, even if straight and smooth, will permit a space for reflections on the wrongs done to Nepali-Bhutanese and other ethnic minorities and, even more importantly, ways to remedy them.
Considering how often the fear of looming water wars is perpetuated in the media and blogosphere, you would be forgiven for not knowing that 2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. But cooperation is not merely the absence of conflict, and indeed conflict and cooperation coexist in every relationship, be it between individuals or states managing trans-boundary …
There had been a minor celebration that afternoon at Raj’s house in central Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. A few relatives had gathered to eat cake together – the remains on small plates were still visible in the kitchen when I joined them for dinner in the evening. The reason for their shared joy was a small, off-white card, resembling …
The forces of nature have overwhelmed some farmers in western Bhutan. Within one week, their hope of a good harvest was turned into despair as the clear skies at the beginning of the week gave way to heavy rains last night (October 14). Farmers were so close to reap the fruit of a year round hard work, when they laid …
The government, during its monthly meeting with the local media recently, said it is exploring the possibility of providing 100 units of electricity for free to the rural poor. It is also studying the possibility of providing partial or full subsidy on electrical appliances such as rice cooker, curry cooker and water boilers to the same section of the population. …
The new government will be addressing poverty in Bhutan with a different and a broader approach. This is a welcome initiative given that poverty reduction has been the central theme for the last many years and yet we still have a significant number of people under the poverty line. Going by the 11th Plan report presented in the National Assembly, …