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World > Asia > Bhutan

   flag of Bhutan
   Bhutan

Introduction:
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 some 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. A referendum date has yet to be named, but should occur in 2008. 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.


Official name: Kingdom of Bhutan
Capital: name: Thimphu
geographic coordinates: 27 29 N, 89 36 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Government type: absolute monarchy; special treaty relationship with India; note - transition to a constitutional monarchy is expected in 2008
Population: 2,327,849
note: the Factbook population estimate is inconsistent with the 2005 Bhutan census results; both data are being reviewed and when completed, the results will be posted on The World Factbook Web site (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook) later this year (July 2007 est.)
Languages: Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Official Currency: Bhutan Ngultrum (BTN)
Currency code: BTN
Area: total: 47,000 sq km
land: 47,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Climate: varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas


Map of Bhutan
map of Bhutan


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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