Shortly after Paris-Based Reporter sans Frontier (RSF) published the Press Freedom Index in which Bhutan’s press freedom index is shown to be dropped by 12 positions in 2012, Royal Government of Bhutan completely blocked one of the popular websites, Bhutanomics.com on 15th of March.
It is claimed that earlier this year Information and Communication Minister Nandalal Rai ordered all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to block this site. One of the ISPs, Druknet had blocked this site right away. But other privately run ISPs, Tashi and Samden, simply ignored the Minister’s order. Recently held cabinet meeting criticized those ISPs for not supporting government and decided to ask Phuntsholing Court to pass an order to block Bhutanomics by all the existing ISPs in the country. As a response to Government decision Pheuntsholing Court issued an order to Bhutan InfoCom and Media Authority (BICMA) to block this site completely in the nation. However, the reason for Pheuntsholing court to take up the matter was cited as a ‘complaint filed by an individual for defamation’ charged against Bhutanomics.
The satirical site was in existence since March 17th 2012. Lately, the site became the topic of debate in the country for it continuously prioritized Gyalpozhing Land Scam for its content.Consequently, Mongar District Court on 8th Of March declared the verdict labeling Home Minister Minjur Dorji and the Speaker of National Assembly, Jigme Tshultim, being the main culprits.
Since then, public were asking Bhutannomics to update the nation on Bhutan Lottery Scam and dozens of corruption cases linked to the high ranking government officials and their families. Under its sub-heading Bhutan Anonymous Forum, Bhutanomics has published list of the most corrupt people in politics ranking higher to lower: Jigme Tshulthrim, Karma Rangdol, JYT, Minjur Dorji, Pasang Thinley, Zangley Dukpa, Ugyen Tenzin and Dr. Gado.
The Bhutanomics team stated on 17th March that even after the site is made completely unviable in Bhutan, all new posts are always available in their Facebook page for the readers inside Bhutan and the main site shall run as it is for the readers outside.