KUZUZANGPO!

Much has happened in the last month with interesting developments on all fronts– Internationally, politically and socially. To highlight a few, Bhutan’s loss at the UNSC elections was met with many a, “I” or “We told you so,” kind of comments in mainstream and social media. On the Gyelpozhing land case people are awaiting with curiosity to see what the outcome will be after an order of suspension went back and forth. Meanwhile behind the scenes, political parties are busy laying out the groundwork for the upcoming elections in 2013. We hope to bring to you a few interesting new players in this field. News of the Pedestrian-day being moved from Tuesday to a Sunday was met with a big sigh of relief!

On the social front we have seen from two shocking cases that youth and domestic violence need addressing with great immediacy. It should make us Bhutanese – who rarely heard of such violence and crime – question ourselves as to how and where we have gone wrong. It goes against the very image of what we like to think of ourselves– peace loving, compassionate people. We have lived in a secure society where we didn’t have to live in fear, least of all of young people and own family members. In one a mother of two was assaulted so badly by two strangers, she was hospitalized. In another case, a 15-year-old was driven to shoot his own father who allegedly abused his wife, the boy’s mother, and the children. Last month one of our contributors, Tashi Wangmo, wrote a powerful piece about Domestic Violence. Her in-depth analysis of this problem shattered many myths that we had about our peaceful society. The problems of abusing family members, particularly women and children, is much more prevalent than we think, and the youth’s attitude to women and the elderly is getting more disrespectful with time. This problem cuts across all sections of society and is not socio-economic.
What is even more alarming is the media has not been able to access details of one of the cases because the family has allegedly received immunity from the media. A case that allegedly involved guns, drugs and severe violence towards family members, particularly the children, is off-bounds because of the family’s privileged status. Should the media be cherry-picking cases then? And because of such immunity, has it? If the media has been instructed to respect the privacy of some families, but not of others, and the media and law-enforcement respects this then we – media and law enforcement – are guilty of not being fair by treating people equally. Should this happen to a non-privileged person, would they be accorded the same treatment and privacy? The Bhutanese media is pretty respectful in terms of according privacy to victims and perpetrators of crime, so one wonders who has the right to immunity, who can get it, and does this affect verdicts?
Aside from depressing occurrences we have shining examples of people who bring us good news through their work. We applaud the efforts of Loden Foundation and many other Bhutanese people who work dedicatedly to improve society.
Last, but not least, an apology to all our contributors and readers for the errors in last month’s issue. A big Thank you to each one of you who wrote to and about us. Thank you also to contributors, readers and advertisers.

Stay Warm!!

Sonam Ongmo
Editor-at-Large

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