Branch­ing Out

Southasia - - REGULAR FEATURES -

the re­lease of a gov­ern­ment critic de­tained with­out a war­rant. Anti-gov­ern­ment protests have erupted through­out the coun­try and the me­dia has ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of in­tim­i­da­tion and threats against those re­port­ing on the po­lit­i­cal dis­pute and the judge’s ar­rest.

Nasheed has also faced heated op­po­si­tion from his own vice-pres­i­dent who has ques­tioned whether this was the democ­racy that he and Nasheed, pro-democ­racy cam­paign­ers be­fore be­ing elected to of­fice in the coun­try’s first mul­ti­party elec­tion in 2008, had fought for. Vice Pres­i­dent, Mo­hammed Wa­heed Has­san urged the youth and the ed­u­cated classes to take a stand against the gov­ern­ment’s decision. Ques­tion­ing the con­sti­tu­tion’s checks and bal­ances, For­eign Min­is­ter, Ahmed Naseem also wrote to the UN Of­fice of the High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights ask­ing for a team of se­nior for­eign ju­rists to me­di­ate a stand­off be­tween the op­po­si­tion and the Gov­ern­ment. Pres­i­dent Nasheed has how­ever stated, “As the demo­crat­i­cally elected pres­i­dent of the Mal­dives, I will do any­thing to up­hold the con­sti­tu­tion.”

Drukair, Bhutan’s na­tional air­line and Tashi Air (also known as Bhutan Air­lines) re­cently launched do­mes­tic air ser­vice to two of the coun­try’s ex­otic ar­eas: Bumthang and Tashigang.

Bhutan known for its re­mote and dif­fi­cult ter­rain is al­most un­known to tourists. The coun­try which re­mained pre­vi­ously closed to the out­side world, is now draw­ing on its tourism to raise rev­enue. Bumthang that pre­vi­ously re­quired a day’s jour­ney can now be reached in 25 min­utes from the air­port in Thim­phu. Tashigang is ac­ces­si­ble in a mere 30 min­utes, due to do­mes­tic air routes. Bumthang, ly­ing in the north, is largely known for its val­leys and lo­cal busi­nesses pro­duc­ing cheese and honey. Iso­lated and dif­fi­cult to reach, it is also home to re­li­gious

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