It has been a long and strenuous effort on part of BNS volunteers to make the news agency keep with its effort to inform and interlink the Bhutanese Diaspora. The year 2012 made BNS almost to dip down or liquidate the agency, had it not been for the community volunteers who came up instantaneously to support the media and keep its light flickering. We are in paramount debt to those generous donors who helped BNS breathing to full life.
BNS also had to make unexpected and undesired choices to maintain the integrity and ethical posture of being a media house of all Bhutanese far and wide. There were internal ripples to drift away some useful talents and shape its own course of line in duty. Yet, there is strong urgency felt within to keep the trained manpower in the team spirit.
A lot of the news reporting could not be confirmed and posted on time, due to lack of follow up time. Some news could not be reported at all, because of poor intra-community interaction and communication. A suicidal death case in Wisconsin, reported vaguely by the relatives, could not be posted in BNS and we feel sorry about that. At the time when the status of suicide report among resettled Bhutanese in US was being circulated among the media persons and community leaders, a youth in Cincinnati OH, committed suicide during the great festival of Deepawali.
In camp, the fire victims and the plight of non-registered refugees have been the spotlight of this year’s news report in BNS. Fire in Sanischare and Beldangi camps attracted attention from the resettled folks. BNS volunteers in camp and Kathmandu remained in the forefront to garner support for the fire victims and treatment of hunger strikers, although not the mission of BNS or BMS. UNHCR stopped distribution of vegetables in camps for the people to fend for themselves.
Reporting from within Bhutan has always remained a challenge. This year few places in the southern border got alarmed by the bomb blast and kidnapping. People of Nichula, Gelephu and Sarpang have taken to routine night patrol, as a measure to curb the growing insecurity in the area. Buses plying in Gelephu-Sarpang road in the evening hours are completely shut down for security reasons.
Wangdi Dzong was razed to ashes by fire destroying the valuable antiques. BNS has been making informal contacts in Bhutan to confirm the very hot news, but not always to get positive outcome. BNS had an opportunity to talk to some sources in Bhutan in later half of 2012, updating on current happenings.
Census and fake citizenship became issue in Sipsu where six men and women are taken to police custody on the charge of processing for citizenship cards unlawfully.
The legal battle between the two constitutional bodies, ACC and OAG, dominated fairly well all Bhutanese media. Gyalpozhing remained the bone of contention where ACC findings suggested the high-level officials and Ministers involved to be suspended.
Election 2013 is hot topic in Bhutan, but much of the electorate is unaware of who is who and what comes with 2013 election. News parties beset to register with the election commission are trying to fight the survival battle in the upcoming general election, but have very few political agenda of national importance.
The SAFMA Bhutan chapter released the South Asia Media Monitor 2012 yesterday in Thimpu which described the situation of press freedom in Bhutan not as bleak and threatening as in Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or even in Nepal.
People in the southern districts are enjoying the Puran now underway in Gomtu Bhutan. Residents of Sarpang and Kalikhola and the vicinity had already gathered to listen to the Hindu Puran.