Representation without taxation has ended in Bhutan
. For the first time in its history, the people of this tiny, isolated Himalayan kingdom will be subject to income tax
A largely Tibetan Buddhist
country of farmers and traders, Bhutan's traditional way of life remained unchanged for centuries. Until the 1960s it had no paved roads, no electricity, and no telephones.
Twentieth century intrusions have been deliberately minimal to prevent cultural erosion
. One of the world's smallest national airlines, Druk Air has two planes; the capital, Thimphu
, has no traffic lights. Traditional dress is required by royal decree, and tourism has been strictly limited.
King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
did ease the ban on satellite dishes
a few years ago—a soccer fan, he decided that beaming in the World Cup
was worth the risk of "cultural contagion."