Bhutan. One of Bhutan’s famous temples, Wangdue Phodrang from 1639, burned to the ground in June for unknown reasons. The fire brigade and private individuals managed to save most of the valuables in the temple, and Prime Minister Jigme Thinley promised that the temple would be rebuilt. Wangdue Phodrang, located in eastern Bhutan, was built at a height of 1,350 meters where two rivers meet. The location of the temple, high up on a mountain ridge, made it difficult to extinguish the fire despite its proximity to the rivers.
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In June, the UN General Assembly decided that March 20 every year should be celebrated as “the day of joy”. Bhutan had run a campaign to institute the Happy Day. It was the country’s former king, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, who in the 1970s introduced the concept of “gross national happiness” because he believed that development should not only be measured in the traditional economic measures that are reflected in the gross domestic product (GDP) but that mental welfare must also be taken into account.
According to countryaah, the population of Bhutan in 2012 was 727,765, ranking number 165 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.210% yearly, and the population density was 19.0958 people per km2.
History. – King ‘Jigs-med-sen-ge-dban-p’yug (Jime Singye Wangchuk), fourth ruler of the country since 1907, continued the policy of modernizing economic structures, centralizing administrative and building a nation state.
The religious authority remained within the Drukpa Kagyupa Lamaist school, but the Je Khempo, the chief abbot, represents the monastic body as a whole, including the monasteries of other religious schools. Financially, monasteries depend on the state. The Dzongkha was promoted to the national language. The last census of 1969 fixed the Nepali minority at 25%. The greater exposure of the Nepals to the influences of the Indian and Nepalese political world posed problems of a political nature, as did the presence of about 7,000 Tibetan refugees, mostly now Bhutanese citizens, who arrived in 1959 and beyond after the unsuccessful riots in the Khams and the Lhasa. Even in the absence of a written constitution, the Bhutan has slowly seen the role of the National Assembly consolidate,, established in 1953 and made up of 151 members in 1989: 100 elected by the people (the village councils), 8 among the monks, 9 members of the Lodoi Tsokde (the sovereign’s council) and the rest members of the government and other officials. At the end of September 1990, according to some sources, the illegal Bhutan People’s Party (BPP), with a majority of Nepalese, organized demonstrations for democracy in the South, brutally repressed by government forces.
From an economic point of view, essential problems remained the insufficiency of infrastructures and the lack of capital and manpower (which are often still faced by means of a system of corvées by the villagers, chunidom). On the other hand, the country receives the greatest economic benefits from the Chukha hydroelectric project (333 MW) used 90% by India and from two other projects also sponsored by India. The development of tourism has been limited to the purpose of protecting the artistic, cultural and natural heritage.
On the educational level, the relevance of a national code of conduct, the Driglam Namzha, which is based on customs and laws inherited from the Buddhist world, especially Drukpa, was emphasized.
In the international field, the Bhutan has tried to expand its autonomy from India which in any case has remained, also in economic terms, the main interlocutor of the country for its development programs, army training and infrastructures. Since 1971 the Bhutan is part of the United Nations, in 1985 he was promoter together with the Bangla Desh of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) which unites the countries of the Indian subcontinent. On the other hand, it does not have formal relations with China, but since 1984 there have been annual meetings in Thimpu and Beijing to settle border disputes. The nomadic Tibetan and Northern Bhutan populations have problems of transhumance, so the question is still open.
Considering the smallness of the territory and the number of its residents, the presence of international volunteers remains high (over two hundred), evidently to balance the Indian presence.