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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Martyr Pramila remembered...Tripartite Talks ended - Official level talks on 17th August-- PIB release- GIA not GAP... ABGL opposed Interim Setup

KalimNews: Pramila Sharma a GJMM supporter killed on 25th July 2008 was remembered today by GJMM in Gymkhana Hall at Darjeeling. A special   martyr memorial  programme was organised by Nari Morcha of GJMM in which Asha Gurung  President of GJNM and other frontline GJNM leaders from Kalimpong , Kurseong and other areas attended the programme and paid homage to the martyr. Her family were also honoured during the programme.
(Wounded Pramila Sharma being taken to the hospital File Photo: Himalayan Beacon)
A rally of GJNM was stopped at Clubside  by Police force and their route to Gymkhana via Chowrasta was diverted via Clubside road. As the relay hungerstrike of ABGL continued for the third day at Chowrasta CRPF diverted the GJNM rally through the clubside road.   Pramila was shot dead  allegedly by GNLF supporters  from the residencial building of the then Councillor and GNLF Darjeeling Branch Committee President Deepak Gurung. Later Deepak Gurung along with AR Dewan,  NK Kumai, Tika Khati and other 13 GNLF leaders and supporters were arrested.  Sharma was declared the first martyr of GJMM.
darjjul7100(File photo of Pramila: Darjeeling times) The killing of late Sharma had been the last blunder by the GNLF camp. Its reaction resulted as a wildfire in the entire hills in which houses of most of the GNLF councillors and leaders were ransacked and they were forced to flee from their places. It completely shifted away the existence of GNLF from the Darjeeling hills, repeating the history of GNLF agitation.
Tripartite talks held
 KalimNews: Sixth round of Tripartite  and second political level talks between the Centre, West Bengal Government and the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJMM) ended here in Vigyan Bhavan, North Block of Delhi with a promise to meet on 17th August for the ongoing process of agreement in the Official level.(Above Photo source: PIB)

According to Home Ministry sources, the issue of setting up Gorkha  interim authority in Darjeeling for the Gorkhas was discussed in the meeting. Both the State Govt and GJMM was asked to study the draft proposal of GIA submitted in the meeting by the center and submit its remarks on it with other required data. There was no mention of its territorial jurisdiction and GJMM delegates commented regarding the inclusion of some parts of Dooars and Siliguri to it. But both the ruling Left Front Government and the center stressed upon limiting the proposed Gorkha Interim Authority to just the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. The chairman informed the GJMM that it may include ts proposal of inclusion of areas of Siliguri and Dooars in its submission.  GJMM was also requested to keep a peaceful and congenial atmosphere in the hills for the talks. (Photos: PTI)

West Bengal and GJMM will submit   their observations and proposals about the proposal of Gorkha Interim Authority forwarded by the center and placed during the talks within two weeks. After the receipt of the reaction , proposals and observations from both the state and GJMM an Official level talks will be held on 17th August for finalising the draft of agreement. Third political level talks will be held after the monsoon session of the parliament that ends on 24th August, in which probably the MOU will be signed.
Speaking to the reporters GK Pillai Home Secreatry said that the talk was conducted in a congenial atmosphere, Dr.H.B.Chhetri said that the talk ended with a good gesture for a solution. Roshan Giri commented that it was cordial with positive  indications but we expressed this time also that we are more or less adamant to our demand. Jaswant Singh MP also expressed his satisfaction on the outcome of the talks.
It is reminded that the first talk among the center, state and GJMM was started on 8th September 2008 and the second talks was held on 29th December 2008. The third round was held on 11 August 2009, the fourth round on 21 December 2009 at Darjeeling. From the fifth round, the talks of secretarial level was turned into political level and it was held on 18 March 2010 and the sixth on July 24th.
Ajoy Maken  the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Chaired the meeting, while Dinesh Trivedi the Union Minister of state for health and  the Union Home Secretary GK.Pillai ,Dr. Nirmaljit Singh Jt Secreatry(Home Affairs) and Yashovardan Ajad Special Director of HomeMinistry  represented the Center in the talks and Health Minister Suryakanta Mishra and state Home Secretary Samar Ghose represented the state. GJMM team  led by Roshan Giri consisted of HB Chhetri, Rohit Sharma, RB Bhujel, LB Pariyar, Raju Pradhan, Santosh Rai, DK Pradhan, Triloke Dewan, LB Rai, Binay Tamang, Pradip Pradhan, P Arjun and Wilson Champramari. 
 Second political level Tripartite Talks on Gorkha Interim Authority Held
The second round of Political level talks regarding Gorkha Interim Authority between the Union Government, the Government of West Bengal and Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJM) were held here today. The meeting was Chaired by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Ajay Maken. The Union Government was represented by Shri Dinesh Trivedi, MoS (H&FW), Home Secretary, Shri GK Pillai, the Government of West Bengal by Dr. Suryakant Mishra, Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Home Secretary Shri Samar Ghosh and the GJM by a delegation headed by its General Secretary Shri Roshan Giri.
The following were decided in the meeting; 
1.       It was agreed that the Government of West Bengal and the GJM will submit their point wise observation/ reaction to the Union Government’s proposal regarding the Interim Authority within two weeks.
2.       A week after that, August 17th was fixed as the date for next official level talks where the proposal will be discussed in detail.
3.       Subsequently, after the Monsoon Session of Parliament the third Political level talks will take place after thrashing out the differences in the proposal at the official level.
Tripartite talks held

IANS: The West Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) were Saturday asked to file, in two weeks, their observations on the central government's proposal of an interim set-up in place of the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council to resolve the Gorkhaland issue.
The second round of tripartite talks between the central government, the state government and the GJM was held here Saturday amid demands by the GJM for a separate Gorkhaland state out of the northern parts of West Bengal.
But the central government has come up with a proposal to concede more executive powers to the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council or to replace it with a new body.
'It was agreed that the government of West Bengal and the GJM will submit their point wise observations and reactions to the union government's proposal regarding the interim authority within two weeks,' a home ministry spokesperson said.
The state and the central governments want to include only the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in the proposed interim set-up while the GJM is seeking inclusion of the Terai and Nepali-dominated pockets of the Dooars.
The proposal will be discussed 'in detail' on Aug 17, the spokesperson said
'The third political level talks will take place after the monsoon session of parliament and after thrashing out the differences in the proposal at the Aug 17 official level talks,' he said.
The meeting was chaired by the Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken. Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai also attended the meeting.
West Bengal Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra represented the Left Front government and union minister of state for health Dinesh Trivedi represented the Trinamool Congress.
The GJM delegation was led by its general secretary Roshan Giri.
PTI, New Delhi, Jul 24 : The issue of setting up a regional authority in Darjeeling for the Gorkhas and its territorial jurisdiction came up for discussion at a tripartite political- level meeting here today.
Representatives of Central and West Bengal governments and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha discussed the modalities on how to carry forward the dialogue process on the demands of the GJM.
"The meeting was very cordial. We hope that the government will soon come up with a concrete proposal for Darjeeling to bring a lasting solution to the problem," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters after the meeting.
An official level meeting will be held on August 17 where the West Bengal government and the GJM will give their views on the Centre's proposal for an interim authority for Darjeeling.
ANI: The West Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will submit their point wise observation/ reaction to the Union Government's proposal regarding the Interim Authority within two weeks, a decision to this effect was taken during the second round of political level talks held here on Saturday.
The tripartite talks regarding Gorkha Interim Authority between the Union Government, the Government of West Bengal and Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJM) were held in the national capital.
During the talks, it was further decided that a week after that, August 17th was fixed as the date for next official level talks where the proposal will be discussed in detail.
It was also decided in the meeting that subsequently, after the Monsoon Session of Parliament the third Political level talks will take place after thrashing out the differences in the proposal at the official level.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken presided over the meeting.
The Union Government was represented by Dinesh Trivedi, MoS (H and FW), Union Home Secretary GK Pillai, the Government of West Bengal by Dr. Suryakant Mishra, Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Home Secretary Samar Ghosh and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) by a delegation headed by its General Secretary Roshan Giri. 
TNN, NEW Delhi: The West Bengal government and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday agreed to submit their point-wise observations within two weeks to the Centre's proposal on the interim authority for Darjeeling, which pertains to both territorial jurisdiction and power. Subsequently, the matter will be discussed at an official-level meeting on August 17.
This agreement was reached during the political-level tripartite talks chaired by Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Maken and attended, among others, by Union home secretary G K Pillai on Saturday.
"The meeting was very cordial. We hope that the government will soon come up with a concrete proposal for Darjeeling to bring a lasting solution to the problem," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters after the meeting.
Giri said the GJM delegation has conveyed that the situation in the Darjeeling Hills was peaceful, as promised by them, and it was now up to the government to fulfil their demands.
Asked whether Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang's murder figured in the meeting, Giri said no such issue was discussed.
ABGL had accused several GJM leaders of being involved in Tamang's murder in Darjeeling on May 21. The anti-GJM outfit, under the leadership of Bharati Tamang, had also protested against the Morcha's involvement in the talks.
Sources said both the Centre and state government were in favour of limiting the proposed Darjeeling regional authority to the three Hills sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. However, GJM has pitched for inclusion of the Siliguri sub-division in the plains and contiguous Nepali-speaking areas in neighbouring Jalpaiguri district.
"Another round of political-level talks is expected to take place after the monsoon session of Parliament," said an official. 

Hint of thaw in hill tangle
TT, July 24: The Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today inched closer to setting up an interim hill authority, both agreeing to send within two weeks their final observations on draft proposals drawn up by the Centre.
The development, which the Morcha dubbed a “breakthrough”, came at political-level tripartite talks in Delhi, chaired by junior home minister Ajay Maken.
The Centre had proposed that an interim set-up called the Gorkhaland Autonomous Authority, which would report to the Bengal governor, should replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Delhi also said the new authority would have “legislative” powers along with the executive authority the DGHC now enjoys.
While none of these proposals is new, the day’s positive development was that both the Morcha and the state government said they would submit their final observations within the deadline so that the interim authority could be formed soon.
“We told the Centre the interim authority has to be time-bound and without any prejudice to our primary demand, which is a separate state,” Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who led his party’s dozen-strong delegation, said. “The meeting was very cordial,” he added.
The Bengal government has conveyed to the Centre it is in agreement with the proposals, but has some reservations on the financial powers and transfer of officers to the interim authority.
Although the Morcha spoke of a “breakthrough”, fears remained that the authority’s territorial jurisdiction could come in the way of a settlement.
Both Delhi and Calcutta have been insisting that the territorial jurisdiction stay confined to the hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, but the Morcha has said it must include Siliguri as well as Nepali-dominated areas of the Dooars.
The next round of talks, which will be at the official level, will be on August 17, a little over a week after the deadline for the Morcha and the Bengal government to submit their observations.
“Subsequently, after the monsoon session of Parliament, the next round of political-level talks will take place after thrashing out differences over the Centre’s proposal at the official level,” a home ministry spokesperson said.
Sources said the Morcha appeared more accommodating today, realising that any delay in reaching a consensus on the interim authority might jeopardise the plan.
The authority needs to be in place by early December. The Bengal elections are due in May, but any day after December 10, the Election Commission can decide on its own when to call elections. Once the model code of conduct kicks in, it would be difficult for the state government to put in place the authority.
Others present at the talks included Trinamul leader and Union minister Dinesh Trivedi, Union home secretary G.K. Pillai, Bengal health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, state home secretary Samar Ghosh and joint secretary N.S. Kalsi. 
ABGL Opposed GIA 
KalimNews: Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (AIGL) vehemently opposed the proposed Gorkha Interim Authority proposal of the center and to be accepted by GJMM. It has openly rejected and said that it is a conspiracy to fool the Gorkhas and their aspirations. It has further said that now it is evident that GJMM is the killer of Madan Tamang its leader who opposed the idea of the setup instead of Gorkhaland till his death. It has also warned the GJMM and branded it as the agent of Bengal.
GJMM has failed to fulfill the promises it has made and now it is time for the hill people to decide whether they had really started the agitation for another Council like body or a separate statehood.
Several posters of ABGL were seen in the Kalimpong town and Main Road in the morning but after a few hours most were torn by some unknown boys. ABGL alleged tat GJMM supporters torn their posters.
MIG crash 2 killed
Mangled remains of the crashed MiG-27 in Jalpaiguri. (Biplab Bashak)
TT, Siliguri, July 24: A MiG-27 fighter today crashed in a field in Jalpaiguri, burst into flames and skidded into huts nearby, killing two persons and injuring at least 20.
The pilot, Saket Verma, survived but was injured.
Officials said the IAF plane was on a routine sortie. It took off from the Hasimara Air Base in Jalpaiguri at 10.30am and crashed into the agricultural field in Dakshin Gurudebpur village 15 minutes later.
Bholen Roy, 55, was killed after the plane smashed into his hut. His younger brother Ranjit is in hospital with 100 per cent burns.
The MiG-27 also ploughed into the hut of Sunil Roy, injuring his wife Jaya and three children. Four other kids who were playing with the trio in front of Roy’s home were also injured. Later, one of Roy’s three children, Latika, died of her injuries in hospital.
“We were working in the field close to our house when we saw the plane crashing down with a deafening noise. We ran for our lives,” said Prabir, another of Bholen’s brothers.
Suresh Chandra Bhowmik, the superintendent of Jalpaiguri District Hospital where the injured were taken, said most of the 20 had severe burns.
Twelve MiG aircraft have crashed in north Bengal since 2002, including three this year. 
3 footballers of Sikkim suffering from Swine Flue 
KalimNews: 3 footballers of Sikkim state team were found to be infected of Swine flue. Sagar Rai, Sanjay Chhetri and Bikash Jairu were having high fever and admitted in a city hospital of Kolkata where they were diagnosed to be swine flue victims.t They were in Kolakat with the team to play for Santosh trophy. They are under treatment but recoering said the team Manager Somnath Chatterjee. Rabin Gurung too had the similar fever but was released as he was found to have been suffering from common fever. 
Singapore tour operators to promote Sikkim Tourism
Any destination promoted by Singapore is well received: NATAS

Prakha, GANGTOK, July 25: A three member team of National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) headed by its chairperson (outbound) Susan Teng is presently on a seven day tour of Sikkim to understand the tourism potential of this hilly State for promoting Sikkim Tourism from Singapore.
The other members of the Singapore team were Cathy Thang and LB Ale. They had arrived at Gangtok on July 22 and will be touring several parts of East and South districts of Sikkim before leaving on July 28. The NATAS had been invited by State tourism minister Bhim Dhungel during his visit to Singapore in February earlier this year. 

Yesterday, the delegation had an hour long interaction with the members of Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS) at Gangtok during which the visiting team was briefed on various aspects of Sikkim Tourism.
“We have come with an open mind. This is our first visit. We came here to understand how to promote tourism at both ends. We need to understand the needs so we can create packages”, said Teng to reporters after the meeting with the TAAS.
Teng said that NATAS is aiming to promote Sikkim which will benefit both sides. Singaporeans love to travel and we are always looking for new destinations, she said adding the destinations promoted by Singapore are always well received.

“Singapore is a real jump off point for Europeans who stop there before visiting other Asian countries. We are at a central point and a lot of people can be re-routed to Sikkim. Any destination promoted by Singapore is well received”, said the NATAS chairperson.

Teng also highlighted the rich biodiversity and peaceful environment of Sikkim as tourism attractions. “We can encourage tourists to visit the farms and pluck the fruits or visit the tea garden to learn how to brew a cup of tea. They can also be attracted towards the local cuisine and how to make local handicrafts”, she said.
Regarding the timeframe for Sikkim Tourism to benefit from Singapore help, the NATAS chairperson pointed out that a tourism destination takes time to be accepted.
“There has to be constant promotion of a product. Stakeholders here also must consider the carrying capacity. Can Sikkim cope with a larger volume of tourists? Infrastructure must be in place. If you over-promote without matching infrastructure, then you will be a flop”, said Teng. TAAS president Lukendra Rasaily said that the Singapore travel agents will be the Buddhist pilgrimage tourism and biodiversity of Sikkim. “Singapore is a favoured destination of the Europeans. They can further market Sikkim to the Europeans. They will be our partner”, said Rasaily.

The TAAS president highlighted that Sikkim is trying to promote quality tourism and hence are looking towards Bhutan and Singapore to set up quality tourism in Sikkim.

Culture promotionthrough song- Bhutan stamp on Sikkim CD

Prakha, Gangtok, July 25: Efforts of two Sikkimese individuals to promote their culture and importance of Yuksom and Tashiding-two pivotal axis of Sikkimese history-in form of an audio-visual musical album have paid rich dividends with the Royal government of Bhutan releasing two postal stamps, one containing the cover of the CD and the other showing the coronation site of the first monarch of Sikkim at Norbugang.
The two postal stamps of Bhutan Postal Corporation Ltd were released on the second week of June. But Nima Lhamu Bhutia and Phurba Tshering Bhutia, the two individuals behind the CD ‘Yuksam Drayang’ (Melody from Yuksom), came to know about their feat only on July 20 when a letter posted by a friend from Thimpu containing the two separate postal stamps reached them. “We had been receiving calls from our friends in Bhutan about the postal stamps. We did not believe at first but then the letter with the two postal stamps arrived. It was informed to us by our friends there that the stamps had been released on the second week of June”, said Phurba to reporters here on Sunday.
Phurba is an assistant professor teaching political science at Namchi government college while Nima Lhamu is a teacher at Yuksom secondary school in West Sikkim. Both the stamps of the Bhutan Postal Government Corporation Ltd are available in Bhutan currency Ngultrum (Nu) 15, Nu 10 and Nu 5. The first Bhutan Postal Government Corporation Ltd stamp is the cover of‘Yuksam Drayang’ CD which shows the two Sikkimese individuals between an image of the Eight Lucky Signs of Buddhism. The ‘Yuksam Drayang’ is an audio-visual musical CD which has a narration six minutes narration in Bhutia language with ‘subtitles’ in English about thehistorical and cultural legacy of Yuksom and Tashiding areas of West Sikkim.
There are five songs in Bhutia language and a music track in the album. The second postal cover is the coronation site of the first monarch of Sikkim is known as the ‘Throne of Norbugang’ at Yuksom, the first capital of ancient Sikkim.
In a certificate from the Bhutan Postal Corporation Ltd faxed to the duo here, the Royal Government of Bhutan states that ‘Yuksam Drayang’ album has been well appreciated by all the Bhutanese people in terms of its contents and quality.
“Such a product has brought in tremendous effect on cultural unity among the peoples of Bhutan and Sikkim. The CD is distributed to schools, community centers and even foreign tourist as the contents portrays purely cultural aspects of Sikkim”, said Tseten Geltsen, managing director cum chief executive officer of the Bhutan Postal Corporation Ltd in the certificate.
The Bhutan Post, Royal Government of Bhutan, would like to extend our appreciation to Nima Lhamu and Phurba Tshering for bringing out masterpiece of high quality content product, said Geltsen in the certificate. Speaking to reporters here, Nima Lhamu said that she was inspired to take out an album on Yuksom and Bhutia culture after she was sent by the State HRD department to attend a cultural training programme at Assam last year.
After Nima Lhamu came back, she came in touch with Phurba, a friend of her smaller brother. The duo sit down together and worked on the album from October and when to Thimpu for recording the album. The visuals of the album have been extensively shot in Yuksom and Tashiding and the CD was finally released on December 9, last year.
Phurba has directed the album and while Nima Lhamu has written the lyrics. She has also produced the album at her own expense of Rs. 3 lakhs. Highlighting the importance of Yuksom in the history of Sikkim, the duo said that Yuksom is not only the first capital of Sikkim in the 17th century but is also a holy place of Sikkim as it had been blessed by Guru Rimpoche in the 8th century. We have also focused on Tashiding, a holy place and a centre for Buddhist pilgrimage, they said. “We will like to thank the Royal Government of Bhutan for honouring us. It is an honour for Sikkim”, said Phurba. He said that they will be going to Bhutan in October to personally the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Phurba said that the album has done well in Bhutan and now lot of Bhutanese people have started coming to Yuksom and Tashiding after understanding the importance of these areas from the culture and Buddhism point of view. The album has promoted the Buddhist pilgrimage potential of Yuksom and Tashiding, they said.

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