New Bhutan premier's focus is jobs, not 'happiness'

Newly elected Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay.Photo: AFP.

Bhutan's pursuit of "Gross National Happiness" (GNH) has brought it global fame as a model of alternative development, but its new prime minister, Tshering Tobgay, believes the doctrine has distracted from tackling the country's problems.

Saturday, 3 August, 2013, 2:26am

Tens of thousands line up to cast votes in Bhutan

Bhutanese women wait in line to cast their votes at the Changbangdru polling station in Thimphu on Saturday. Photo: AP

Tens of thousands of people in Bhutan lined up on Saturday to elect a government in the tiny Himalayan nation’s second parliamentary elections.

An earlier round held in May eliminated three of five political parties, leaving Bhutan’s ruling Peace and Prosperity Party and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party to contest Saturday’s conclusive poll.

13 Jul 2013 - 3:55pm

Bhutan voters go to polls for second time with simple plea: make us happy

A Bhutanese voter at a polling station in Paro. Photo: AFP

Voters in Bhutan braved heavy rain and treacherous mountain paths to cast their ballots yesterday as the "land of the thunder dragon" began electing a government for only the second time.

1 Jun 2013 - 3:59am

Bhutan elects parliament for second time in its history

A Bhutanese man in traditional attire looks at posters of candidates on the eve of polling to the upper house National Council in Samdrup Jonkhar. Photo: AP

The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan begins electing a new parliament today for only the second time in its history, five years after the Buddhist monarchy gave up its absolute power. Voters will today choose members of the upper house National Council, a non-party body, then in the following weeks will decide which of five parties will form the next government in the National Assembly.

23 Apr 2013 - 2:41am

Bhutan aims to be first 100pc organic nation

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, famed for seeking “happiness” for its citizens, is aiming to become the first nation in the world to turn its home-grown food and farmers 100 per cent organic.

3 Oct 2012 - 5:34pm

Travellers' checks

Travellers' checks

16 Sep 2012 - 3:01am

A happy island of remote isolation where old ways thrive

Money, an old saying goes, can't buy happiness. But that doesn't stop many people from looking for happiness by buying lavish apartments, brand-name fashion items and fancy cars.

Not in Bhutan, though. Bhutan is one of the world's smallest and least-developed nations. Yet it's also one of the happiest.

26 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Beneath Blossom Rain

Beneath Blossom Rain by Kevin Grange Audible (audiobook)

12 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Who said it?

Hong Kong offered just what we were looking for

Fanny Duguet, 41, who has been registered by the French consulate as the 10,000th French citizen in Hong Kong

We face the threats from rising powers, China, India, others that we have to always be aware of

U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, in remarks later clarified by the Pentagon

19 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Radio Shangri-La

Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli Crown (e-book)

22 May 2011 - 12:00am

Dragon Bones

Dragon Bones by Murray Gunn Blacksmith Books HK$136

10 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Saving Shangri-La

Sangay Chamo, a 15-year-old who lives in the rolling green hills of western Bhutan, leads a life remarkably similar to that of her great-grandmother nearly a century ago. The farmer's daughter lives in her ancestral village, reachable only by foot on a narrow dusty track. Here, every house is built in stone and wood and decorated with images of demons and dragons.

31 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Bhutan must nurture and nourish democracy

Bhutan became the world's newest democracy yesterday in the most benign of circumstances. The Himalayan nation's people did not have to lobby, protest or fight for the right. Rather, it was willingly handed to them by their king. There is no more precious gift.

25 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Thimphu, Bhutan

Monks, monasteries, prostrating pilgrims and yaks all come to mind when one conjures up images

of isolated Bhutan. However, the last Himalayan kingdom offers a bevy of desirable finds around its bustling capital, Thimphu.

16 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Bhutan takes happy step towards democracy

A New Year's Day resolution not to talk about politics, just for a day, would be endorsed with relief in most company. An exception is justified today, however, by an extraordinary exercise in democracy in the tiny, secluded Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, sandwiched between India and China.

1 Jan 2008 - 12:00am