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Jakarta Post

Bhutan's democracy experiment

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Sun, November 15 2009   /  02:25 pm

Temple: One of the main temples in Paro. The country's first national survey on "Gross National Happiness", Bhutan's homegrown index of well-being, found that spirituality ranked No. 13; the top three factors among respondents were financial security, access to roads and education.Bhutan held a regional conference on deepening democracy from Oct. 11 to 15, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program and the Center of Bhutan Studies. The Jakarta Post's Ati Nurbaiti was assigned to the event in Paro, a fertile valley in the world's remaining Buddhist kingdom. Continuing reforms started by his grandfather, last year the king unexpectedly abdicated, making Bhutan a constitutional monarchy under the new ruler, his 29-year-old son. The following is a report. The clang of a devotee turning the prayer wheel at dawn.Crows swooping into the valley. Dancing archers whooping over ...