from Anya Schiffrin:

Can Bhutan become like other countries – and should it?

By Anya Schiffrin
June 12, 2012

On our way to Bhutan’s capital earlier this month we drove through a long valley surrounded by tree-covered mountains. This magnificent scene of natural beauty was dotted by the occasional Buddhist chorten. A  river rushed below – spanned here and there by a shaky pedestrian bridge made of planks and wire draped with prayer flags.

from Anya Schiffrin:

The limits of happiness

By Anya Schiffrin
April 3, 2012

Despite being a cynical New Yorker, I was charmed by Bhutan on a visit there a couple of years ago. The beauty of the unspoiled scenery, the rhododendrons in bloom, the mountains and the monasteries — all were uplifting. The quiet intelligence and the thoughtfulness of the people we met were inspiring. Bhutan is  a country of  traditions and pride in local culture. Visiting the villages we saw astounding feats of archery, which is the national sport, and we took long walks with a local guide who also happens to be a serious cyclist and has helped spread mountain biking throughout the country. One scene stayed with me: Walking to a monastery one day we passed a man sitting on a mountainside doing embroidery as he looked out over a dramatic view of cliffs and mountains covered with trees. With him was a friend who peered over the embroiderer’s shoulder as he stitched. We went for a long walk, and when we came back a few hours later, the two were still there embroidering and watching.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan agree to hold more talks: now comes the hard part

April 29, 2010

thimphuAs predicted, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan agreed during a meeting in Bhutan that their countries should hold further talks to try to repair relations strained since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.  Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters at a regional summit in Thimphu that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani had decided their foreign ministers and foreign secretaries (the top diplomats) should meet as soon as possible.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan and India: After Yekaterinburg and Sharm-el-Sheikh; now we have Thimphu

April 25, 2010

bhutanAnother international summit. Another chance for the leaders of India and Pakistan to find a way of getting their countries to talk to each other.

from FaithWorld:

Climatic cracks of doom threaten monastic fortress in Bhutan

December 17, 2009

Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong monastic fortress in Bhutan, 28 June 2009/Singye Wangchuk

For centuries the Punakha Dzong monastic fortress in Bhutan's Himalayas has sheltered ancient Buddhist relics and scriptures from earthquakes, fires and Tibetan invasions.  Now the lamas here may have met their match -- global warming.

from India Insight:

Interview with Bhutan PM

December 16, 2009

Bhutan Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley spoke to Reuters about the country's economy, his government's goals for the next three years and the challenges faced by the "emerging democracy".

from FaithWorld:

Buddhist Bhutan warns felling trees a threat to happiness

September 11, 2009

prayer-flags

Bhutan has warned its citizens over cutting down thousands of young trees every year to make prayer flags, a threat to the tiny kingdom's lush scenery and the government's duty to bring "Gross National Happiness".

from India Insight:

Another Himalayan kingdom tumbles, but will Nepal miss its monarchy?

May 28, 2008

Another Himalayan kingdom is falling, a chapter closing on an ancient historical tradition. But will the modern system of democracy do a better job?