A Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) patrol exchanged fire
with a group of militants in Lower Dhanessey in Tsirang. The militants,
who had come from the camps in Nepal, escaped into the forest
but the patrol found their camp, which had three sheds stocked
with some clothing and rations.
The first general elections to
choose 47 candidates for Bhutan’s National Assembly, the lower
House of Parliament, will be held on March 24, 2008, the Election
Commission announced. Two parties — Druk Phuensum Tshogpa and
People’s Democratic Party — will contest the elections that will
formally end absolute monarchy in the country.
RBA personnel arrested a militant, Dal Bahadur
Tamang, who informed them that there had been 26 militants in
the camp in Tsirang (in which there was an encounter on January
16) and that the leader's name was Boli Bhawan. He also revealed
that they belonged to the Bhutan Tiger Force, the militant wing
of the Nepal-based Communist Party of Bhutan, and that they had
entered Bhutan in December 2007, from Kachugaon village in Assam
in India's Northeast.
Four bomb blasts occurred in four
different districts, including one in the capital Thimpu. The
first blast occurred near the vegetable market in the Samste district
while the second one took place in Thimphu town, behind the SNS
restaurant. A third blast occurred near the gate of the Tala Guest
House at Gedu in the Chukha district in which a woman suffered
splinter injuries. The fourth blast occurred at Dagapela in the
Dagana district, behind the house of one Passang Tshering. A second
device which did not explode was found in the same area.
A spokesman for the Royal Bhutan
Police said that one of the three militant organisations based
in Nepal, the Bhutan Tiger Force, the Bhutan Maoists Party, and
the Communist Party of Bhutan was suspected to be behind these
A bomb blast occurred in the Samtse district.
According to a press release from the Royal Bhutan Police, the
bomb exploded behind the Renewal Natural Resources (RNR) office
in Ghmauney gewog after midnight. The police also found two unexploded
bombs, one behind the RNR office and another behind the gup's
office, in the same compound. No casualties were reported. An
unnamed police spokesperson said that they have recovered leaflets
of the Communist Party of Bhutan based in Nepal from the scene
threatening to stop the National Assembly election in March.
BBC quoting Bhutan police sources reported
that the Police have killed at least five suspected Maoists in
various operations over the last week. Police officials said that
17 suspected Maoists have also been arrested in the recent raids.
An unnamed senior Bhutanese police official said that in February
they had raided two small Maoist camps in the jungles in the south
of the country and arrested at least eight Maoists, including
a 'commander', along with weapons.
Royal Bhutan Police said that a civilian Bik Bahadur
Subba of Dagana was killed whle handling an explosive device,
which was kept at his house by a militant cadre, Ramesh Subba
of the Communist Party of Bhutan based in Nepal. A police spokesman
said that Ramesh Subba, along with three other militants, were
responsible for planting two bombs in Dagapela on January 20.
Two explosions destroyed the foundation stub at
the base of a 400 KV electric tower in Ahley village in Chukha
. The tower transports hydropower from the Tala project to India.
The United Revolutionary Front of Bhutan left leaflets claiming
responsibility for the blasts.
An explosion near a fuel station in the industrial
town of Pasakha injured an Indian worker.
The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), led by former
Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley, won the first ever National Assembly
elections winning 44 of the 47 seats. The DPT won all the seats
in the eastern, central and southern constituencies. The People’s
Democratic Party’s (PDP) won in Gasa, Chukha and Haa. The PDP
president, Sangay Ngedup, lost in his constituency, Kabji-Talo
under Punakha, to DPT’s Tshering Penjore. According to the Election
Commission of Bhutan, the voter turnout was close to 80 percent.
Jigmi Y Thinley, president of the Druk Phuensum
Tshogpa (DPT), that won a landslide victory in Bhutan's first
parliamentary elections held on March 24, has been unanimously
endorsed by the party as the country's Prime Minister-elect, The
Hindu reported. The endorsement came at an executive meeting of
the DPT in Thimphu on April 5, said spokesperson of the party,
Palden Tshering. The meeting also discussed the names of those
to be nominated to the Cabinet of the country's first elected
government. The Cabinet will have 10 Ministers, besides the Prime
Minister. Thinley will be receiving a congratulatory scarf on
being elected Prime Minister from King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
on April 9.
Four Bhutanese foresters were killed and two others
injured after their tractor was blown up by an improvised explosive
device planted on the road about four kilometres west of Singay
village in the Sarpang District. The six foresters were going
from Sarpang to their camp in Phibsoo when the device exploded
at about 3.00pm (BST). The attackers then fired at them killing
the four on the spot and burned their bodies using the tractor
tyres. One forester who escaped with two bullet injuries to Singay
village informed the Police, while another injured forester hid
in the jungle until he was rescued by a search team at 10:00pm.
The militants took away two SLR rifles with 40 rounds and a motorola
handset used by the forest personnel. A Police spokesman said
that militants of the Communist Party of Bhutan based in Nepal
were believed to be responsible for the incident.