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Government

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Transportation

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In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of over 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the government's draft constitution - which would introduce major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007, India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to allow Bhutan greater autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers of Bhutan's 10-member cabinet resigned to join the political process, and the cabinet acted as a caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the country's first parliament were completed in March 2008. The king ratified the country's first constitution in July 2008.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 182
27,500 (2011)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 164
484,200 (2011)

Telephone system
General assessment
Urban towns and district headquarters have telecommunications services
Domestic
Low teledensity; domestic service is poor especially in rural areas; mobile-cellular service available since 2003
International
Country code - 975; international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (2009)

Broadcast media
State-owned TV station established in 1999; cable TV service offers dozens of Indian and other international channels; first radio station, privately launched in 1973, is now state-owned; 1 private radio station began operations in 2006 (2007)

Internet country code
.bt

Internet hosts World Ranking: 126
14,714 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 173
50,000 (2009)


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  Bhutan (Thimphu):


  GPS points from Bhutan (Thimphu)

Shemgang Zhemgang Dzongkhag

Black Mountains Bhutan (general)

Tashigang Trashi Yangste

Chhukha Dzong Chhukha Dzongkhag

Lingshi Dzong Thimphu Dzongkhag

Ta-hsi-su-tun Thimphu Dzongkhag

Thimbu Thimphu Dzongkhag

Shabling Lhuentse Dzongkhag




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