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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 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.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 2,327,849 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Bhutanese (singular and plural)

Nationality (Adjective): Bhutanese

Official Language(s): Dzongkha

Major Languages Spoken: Nepali, Tibetan, Dzongkha

Map of Bhutan

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Kingdom of Bhutan

Country Name (short form): Bhutan

Country Name (local long form): Druk Gyalkhap

Country Name (local short form): Druk Yul

Name of Capital: Thimphu

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Bhutan: China, India

Land Area: 47000 sq km

Comparative Area: about half the size of Indiana

Total Land Boundry: 1,075 km

National Holiday: National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)

International Phone Code: 975

Currency Code: ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)

Internet Country Code: .bt

US Embassy Location: the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although informal contact is maintained betwe

US Embassy Mailing Address: none


Bhutan flag

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