April was a busy month (on the political front), but May proves to be even busier, what with all the political campaigning going on. June will be no less so when Bhutan heads to the polls for a second time. Congratulations to all the NC elects and good luck to all those contending in the upcoming elections. Our hope is that those who are elected to office will not lose perspective of the need for social reform in our society.
There are many deep-seated social issues that need to be addressed. Instead of adding to these problems through ill-thought and un-researched policies it can only be hoped that officials will open up their minds and hearts to issues that affect certain sections of the population more than others. We also hope that they realize that education, awareness, and understanding are important to counter these problems in the correct ways. As a Developing country, there are many areas that demand the focus of the government, but when there is special emphasis made on the social sector, especially in Education and Health, we think it helps uplift the wellbeing of the people in ways that other sectors cannot.

This month The Raven’s focus on another social issue in Bhutanese society is that of sexual abuse of minors in the monk body. Kuensel’s revealing article on the plight of the monks last month gave us some insight into what is happening, but this needs to be addressed and investigated further by all organizations, including the media, that are responsible and beholden to these vulnerable groups.

It is not an easy task when the institution is powerful and has the support of many. We need not look anywhere else for examples – the Catholic Church, Penn State University, and now BBC. These are just few examples in the world of how officials/people have abused the power of their institutions to abuse minors. It tells us that these problems are universal, and not confined to Bhutan.

On another note we have great articles by staff writers as well as strong analytical pieces from our contributors on Information Technology and on problems with Foreign Direct Investment in Bhutan. These are much-needed studies of how the inconsistency of laws and implementing strategies takes away from the end result.

We hope you will write to us and let us know how we are doing and give us constructive feedback on how The Raven can continue to keep the discussion on various issues alive.

Have a great summer and election season. We sincerely hope that together we can bring a government in place that will put the basic needs of disadvantaged Bhutanese above their own.

Sonam Ongmo

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