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Monday, August 9, 2010

CPRM prefer DGHC to GAA...Adivasi conditions to GJMM...Dinakaran sworn in as CJ... Drivers call Kurseong bundh.....Creation of Separate State only true and permanent solution to Gorkha Identity Issue -BGP...Elephant killed....2 murdered...

SNS, KOLKATA, 9 AUG.: The leaders of Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) ~ the largest anti-GJMM political outfit in Darjeeling, are more keen on carrying on with the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) than to accept the “interim” administrative set up for the Hills that the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) is currently pushing for. Interestingly, the stance could further the agenda of the state government, especially that of its urban development minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya, who is apparently desperate to see the GJMM cornered in Darjeeling.
“The ‘interim’ set up that the Centre and the Morcha are talking of is nothing but an attempt to scuttle the Gorkhaland demand. We think, it would be better for the Hills to allow the DGHC to continue than to settle for any set up in lieu of a separate state,” the CPRM general secretary and former MP, Mr RB Rai told The Statesman over phone from Darjeeling today. He threatened that the CPRM would “take to the streets” if the Centre and the GJMM try to “impose” the interim set up on the Hills ignoring public sentiments, which is in favour of nothing, but Gorkhaland. Mr Rai said that the GJMM was going all out for the “interim” set up only to buy a fresh lease of life after losing mass support in the Hills due to its “autocratic” activities.
“The term “interim” is only a tool to mislead the common people in the Hills, whereas in reality, the proposed set up is going to be a permanent arrangement and thus would comprise on the Gorkhaland demand. This is evident from the fact that in its proposal, the Centre has provided for a five-year budget for the set up and the GJMM too has agreed,” he pointed out. Restoration of peace and democracy and the arrest of the assailants of Madan Tamang were the priorities for Darjeeling right now, he said. While political observers find the CPRM stance to be in tune with the state government's agenda, Mr Rai however, lambasted the urban development minister for failing to ensure peace and democracy in the Hills. “Mr Asok Bhattacharya pretends to be an-anti GJMM figure, but in reality he is in nexus with them and always facilitates fresh impetus to the GJMM by his comments,” Mr Rai opined. 
ABAVP replies with conditions 
KalimNews: Adivasis donot want others to be termed as Tribals in their areas. It is clear from the reply of ABAVP to GJMM that it has vehemently opposed the proposal 3 of GJMM in the proposed GAA (  Before the formation of the interim authority ALL THE GORKHAS must be declared SCHEDULED TRIBES to preserve the unique cultural heritage, tradition and ethnicity of the GORKHA community as a whole). ABAVP in its reply to GJMM also has opposed the name of any tribe or race in the proposed body like GAA. It has also demanded that there should be separate reservation of seats in every thing including representatives, jobs and others. It has demanded inclusion of Dooars in either the proposed GAA or in Sixth schedule.
Vehicle burnt
KalimNews: A Gypsy of Rajen Mukhia, GNLF leader of Panighatta was burnt in the midnight near his relative's residence. Mukhia was in Chennai and had kept the vehicle WB 74C 9658 at his in laws home and was lighted by some miscreants. 
PD Dhinakaran sworn Chief Justice of Sikkim
KalimNews: Inspite of objections and protests from the lawyers and BJP of Sikkim Paul Daniel Dinakaran took charge of the Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court. Paul Daniel Dinakaran 60 is  facing impeachment proceedings in the Rajya Sabha> He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court by Sikkim Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh at the Ashirwad Bhavan in the Raj Bhavan complex.The programme was attended by the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, cabinet ministers and top officials of the Sikkim Government.(PIB)
Strike ploy to scuttle ABGL meeting in Kurseong 
KalimNews : Alleging harassment by the local administration on different pretexts the Chalak Mahasangh, GJM affiliated frontal wing of hill drivers, has announced to shut down the Kurseong sub-division on 10th August for 12 hours. It may be recalled that the hill drivers are strictly following the party diktat not to pay any tax to the West Bengal Govt. controlled bodies as a part of non-co-operation movement launched since last three years. It was announced by Subash Pradhan, an executive member of the Sangh. According to Pradhan, the local police authorities have also started harassing the drivers for their vehicular parking. He demanded that the administration should provide parking facility to the local vehicles first. The observers view the proposed bundh as a counter to the ABGL which had earlier decided to hold public meeting in Kurseong the same day mainly to make the general people aware of the ongoing political development in the Darjeeling hills on the wake of murder of its President Madan Tamang.
TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 9: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated transport union has decided to refrain from organising a wheel jam here tomorrow, although its counterparts in Kurseong had given a call for such an agitation across the hills.
The decision underscores the fact that the strike called by the transporters in Kurseong was merely aimed at derailing a public meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League tomorrow.
The Gorkha Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh has not only called a general strike in Kurseong tomorrow but has also appealed to all the transport unions across the hills to organise a “chakka jam”.
The strike call was made mainly to demand the speedy restoration of NH55 that connects the hills with the plains. The highway was destroyed on a stretch of around 500 meters after landslides at Paglajhora in June.
The Darjeeling Truck Drivers Association has also threatened to launch an indefinite strike from August 16 on the highway issue as well, an association spokesman said.
The All Transport Joint Action Committee, an umbrella body of transporters in Darjeeling and also affiliated to the Morcha, however, said they could not go ahead with the agitation.
“There is very little time left for us to communicate to the people about the wheel jam. The agitation will greatly inconvenience the common men and hence, we have decided to only extend moral support to the demands of the Chalak Mahasangh. We will also pursue their demand by submitting a memorandum to the authorities concerned. If the administration fails to provide us with a satisfactory explanation by August 17, we will also start an agitation,” said Narbu Lama, president of the committee.
The Mahasangh had said the agitation had been announced to press for a speedy restoration of the damaged NH55. “It has been more than two months since the highway was damaged but neither the Centre nor the state has done anything for the repair. Prices have escalated in Kurseong and we will appeal to all political parties to support an issue that concerns the general public at large,” Subash Pradhan, general secretary of the Mahasangh, had said yesterday.
The transporters have other demands also.
They want an immediate end to the alleged harassment of hill drivers in the plains for lack of valid documents and a proper parking space in Kurseong town.
“Since government offices are closed in the hills because of the Morcha’s non-co-operation movement, police officers in the plains harass us for driving vehicles without proper documents. This has to be brought to an end,” said Pradhan.
Even though the Kurseong drivers said the decision to call the general strike had been taken “sometime back”, observers believe it was merely a ploy to derail the ABGL meeting, scheduled for tomorrow.
“We had called the strike well in advance and it has got nothing to do with the public meeting,” said Pradhan.
Dawa Sherpa, working president of the ABGL, however, said they had not yet cancelled the meeting.
However, sources said given the strike call, the ABGL was unlikely to hold the meeting in Kurseong tomorrow. In the past, too, the ABGL had been forced to cancel party programmes because of the Morcha. 
Creation of Separate State only true and permanent solution to Gorkha Identity Issue
New Delhi, August 8: The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh is emphatic that the creation of a separate state for the Indian Gorkhas is the only true and permanent solution to the community’s identity problem. At a meeting of a high-level body in New Delhi on Sunday, the Parisangh said that it was committed to continuing the fight for a separate state for the Gorkhas.The joint meeting of the BGP’s Policy Cell and its task force on Gorkhaland in the capital recollected how the Parisangh had revived the call for a separate state for the Indian Gorkhas, having realized that local bodies envisaged under various local agreements were only temporary solutions to the vexed issue of misconceptions about the political identity of the Indian Gorkhas. In the absence of any other alternative to resolve this question, the only solution lay in carving out a new state comprising the Darjeeling district and Dooars regions from the current state of West Bengal, the Parisangh felt.
The meeting felt that with no prejudice to political developments in Darjeeling-Dooars, it has always been the dream of the Gorkhas to have a state of their own in India. “It wasn’t out of whim or without elaborate deliberations that the Parisangh adopted statehood for Gorkhas as one of the seven national issues of the community,” said Mrs Dil Kumari Bhandari, President of BGP, who chaired the meeting. “It is, therefore, very important that the Parisangh continues its struggle to achieve this aim.”After much debate and discussions, the meeting passed a resolution committing the BGP to a firm stand on a new state to be carved out of West Bengal. The resolution said, “The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh has always stood for and believed that the national identity of Indian Gorkhas can only be ensured by the creation of a separate state under Article 3(a) of the Constitution. Therefore, the Parisangh resolves to continuously fight for a separate for Indian Gorkhas.
The Parisangh has called upon all individuals, organizations and establishments to send faxes to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister reiterating the demand for a separate state.
In another resolution passed by the meeting, the Parisangh has demanded that the killers of Shri Madan Tamang, the late president of the All India Gorkha League, be immediately arrested and brought to justice. It also renewed the Parisangh’s earlier demand that the Central Board of Investigation be entrusted with the task of speedily and impartially enquiring into the ghastly incident.
Balidaan Diwas on August 25 will be held in Hamiltonganj in the Dooars, where a statue of Martyr Durga Malla would be unveiled. The BGP observes August 25 every year as Balidaan Diwas to honour the sacrifices made by Gorkha martyrs in the fight for Independence and in protecting the territorial integrity of India. On August 25, 1944, Durga Malla, a major in the Azad Hind Fauz, had been hanged in Delhi by the British. At the event in Hamiltonganj, where an elaborate programme will involve the district administration, intellectuals, local leaders and both the Gorkha and Adivasi people, tributes will be paid to Durga Malla and other Gorkha martyrs. An added highlight will be the announcement of the winner of All India Schools Essay Competition organized by the Parisangh. The winning essays on “The Indian Freedom Movement and the Gorkhas” will be read out by the winning schoolchildren there. The winners will later be taken on a tour of Delhi, where they can visit the spot where Durga Malla was hanged. (BGP Media cell)
NH55 closed -Route diverted
KalimNews: Due to massive landslide at Puglajhora, 14th Mile on NH55, the road is blocked. All vehicle were routed through Rohini while heavy vehicles were diverted through Mirik and Coronation Bridge- Mungpo route to Darjeeling.
Elephant killed
KalimNews: A male elephant was hit and killed by a train in the Siliguri Alipurduar route near Chalsa by the side of the river Murti. The 22 yrs old (appx) elephant was trying to cross the railway track near Panjhora of Chalsa  just about 200 meters of NH31C in the early morning of 9th August while a goods train was passing by. It was hit by the train and severely injured later it died. Forest Officials of Tendu Range and DFO Sunita Ghatak said the 15 yrs old tusker was killed by the train in the Chapramari wild life sanctuary during the night time. Wild Life department visited the spot and after autopsy of the caracas of the dead elephant it was buried near the spot. This is the 19th case of death of elephant hit by train of NF Railway in the last four years. 
TT, Alipurduar, Aug. 9: An elephant was run over by a speeding train in Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary last night, taking the total number of the pachyderm to be killed on the tracks in the Dooars in the past four years to 19.
However, railway officials have denied that the adult tusker was knocked down by a train, possibly because the loco pilot did not report the matter to the nearest railway station.
Based on circumstantial evidence, the forest department said a train had collided with the elephant, aged around 22 years, near Murti bridge between Chalsa and Nagrakata stations.
“The elephant was part of a herd that was going from Chapramari sanctuary to Panjhora forest. The tracks were laid around 20 metres above the ground. After the collision, the animal fell on the slope with a grievous injury on the left foreleg. Then, it stood up on three legs and staggered for around 70 metres before collapsing,” said S.B. Patel, chief conservator of forests (wildlife), north Bengal.
The carcass was spotted this morning by the people of Uttar Panjhora, a nearby forest village. After being informed by the villagers, divisional forest officer of Wildlife II Sumita Ghatak and Jalpaiguri DFO Kalyan Das reached the spot.
The officers inspected the spot and collected evidence that suggested that the animal had been run over by a train.
A railway pillar (66/1) was found uprooted. The foresters suspect that the tusker was caught in between the train and the pillar during the collision. There was also diesel on the back of the carcass.
Patel said the train driver had not informed the nearby station about the accident. “There is no doubt that the elephant was mowed down by a train. The driver did not control the speed, though there was a curve at the spot. He did not even stop the train after the accident,” said Patel after visiting the spot.
Sachidananda Singh, the divisional railway manager in Alipurduar, said no train had knocked down any elephant on Alipurduar Junction-Siliguri section last night. “This animal died inside the forest, almost 200 meters from the tracks. The tusker might have died because of some other reasons,” said Singh.
Wildlife activists said with last night’s incident, the number elephants to die on the tracks in the Dooars forest since 2007 had reached 19.
“Trains are supposed to decelerate at several places so that drivers can spot animals and slam the brakes. Trains carrying passengers and goods travel at high speed at night and often collide with elephants,” said Victor Bose, the secretary of Jana Jagaran, a Banarhat-based NGO. 
Two Murdered One Graviously Injured at Namok
Prakha, MANGAN, August, 09: Gangtok, Aug 9: A 25 year old youth, suspected to be mentally unstable, hacked his own father and a married lady to death with a bamphok (sharp traditional weapon) yesterday at a PGMSY road construction site at Rabi Chondong village near Namok, 15 kms away from Mangan, the district headquarters of North Sikkim.
Police said that the accused, Dawa Tshering Bhutia hacked Pema Bhutia, aged around 35 years, at the site. She died on the spot due to injuries on her neck.Bhutia was the wife of Prem Moktan, the supervisor of the construction works.
Another lady, Hissey Doma Bhutia was injured in the attack when she tried to save Bhutia. She had sustained injuries in her hand and is presently at treatment at STNM hospital here in Gangtok.
After allegedly murdering the lady, accused Dawa Tshering then attacked his father, Phugo Bhutia (52) with the bamphok at the road construction site. The father, who is a monk, was also killed on the spot.
After the local panchayat informed the police, Senior Superintendent of Police (North) BK Tamang and Mangan police rushed to the spot and arrested the accused and recovered the bodies.
Tamang informed that an FIR has been filed by the ward panchayat.A case under section 302/326 of IPC has been registered at the Mangan police station.
The senior Superintendent of Police said that the accused is suspected to mentally unstable. At the moment, no immediate reasons have come up for the murder, he said.
The accused’s mother, Phurzang Bhutia, who is said to be a witness to the murder, is still in a shock and her statements will be taken after she recovers from her shock, police said.

Baton to disperse vehicle workers
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 9: Around 500 transport workers blocking a road in Jalpaiguri to demand the repair of major roads in north Bengal were lathi-charged this afternoon.
The blockade and the police action hampered traffic on arterial roads and also at the Collectorate Avenue, leading to the offices of the district magistrate and the superintendent of police and several other departments.
The employees of private buses, trucks and commercial light vehicles have called an indefinite transport strike in Jalpaiguri district from tomorrow to protest the baton charge.
The workers owing allegiance to four unions formed a Joint Action Committee and organised a 24-hour transport strike today. Private buses, trucks and even smaller vehicles kept off roads.
“Our demands include immediate repair of roads like NH31D and other state highways which are in worse condition and relaxation in the imposition of section 304 of the IPC on drivers after road accidents,” said Ajoy Dasgupta, joint convener of the joint action committee.
Around 1pm today, about 500 transport workers took out a rally under the banner of the committee and went to the district magistrate’s office to submit a memorandum.
They were told by additional district magistrate Doma Sherpa that the district magistrate, Vandana Yadav, was not in office and she could not give any assurance on their demands.
The workers came out of the district collectorate agitated and headed for the PWD More, where they raised a blockade.
“Over several weeks, we have been raising these demands but till date, nothing has been done on the part of the administration. There is no other option but to put up road blockades and launch strikes to achieve the demands,” said a worker.
Tension grew as the protesters stopped some school buses and other vehicles and allegedly hurled stones at them. Soon, law enforcers from Kotwali police station reached the spot. V.K. Singh, the inspector-in-charge, asked the agitators to disperse. But they refused and the police resorted to lathi charge to remove them.
Senior police officers said the lathi-charge had been ordered as the situation was deteriorating fast at the PWD More. “From tomorrow, the police will keep a proper vigil on roads to avert any untoward incident,” said a police officer.
Although the agitators did not clarify whether they would stop vehicles coming from other districts or states from tomorrow, traffic between Siliguri and Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts and even the Northeast is bound to be hit.
Unity in diversity during Pang Lhabsol
Prakha, Gangtok, Aug 9: The unity of Sikkimese cultural enormity and plurality that it’s different indigenous communities-Nepalis, Bhutias and Lepchas- encompasses is set to come alive during the State wide festivities of Pang Lhabsol starting from August 11 and concluding on August 24 at Rabong in South Sikkim..The celebrations are held to pay obeisance to Mount Khangchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim and the common thread for the complete communal harmony here.
Over the years, Rabong has been the hub of Pang Lhabsol festival with the celebration committee straddle firmly with one foot in tradition and the other foot in modern amusements.This year, the Pang Lhabsol celebrations enters into its 27th year and the organizing committee are on a creative streak to add more attractions to the festival while maintaining the traditional ethos of the event which is claimed to be the symbol of Sikkimese unity.“Pang Lhabsol festival has been traditionally an event which depicts the communal harmony in Sikkim since the time of the monarchy. We will continue to maintain this aspect with full enthusiasm and representatives of all communities here will be participating in the event by showcasing their cultural dances, food and costumes”, said former minister KN Rai who is a patron of the celebration committee.
By conducting the festival as per the legacies handed down over the centuries by our ancestors, we also want involve our younger generation to learn about their heritage, while making Pang Lhabsol tourism oriented, said state IPR minister CB Karki who is the chief patron of the celebration committee.
With Pang Lhabsol being synonymous with nature and its worship, the festival organizers shaped this year’s celebrations to celebrate nature and to share the concept of Monsoon tourism.
“We are integrating the Pang Lhabsol festival with Monsoon tourism concept and have tied up with the State tourism department and other stakeholders to promote the festival. Promotional items and online publicity is already on”, said Rai.
Nature worship by traditional Shamans of various communities will be held on August 22 at Mane Choekerling complex at Rabong town. The same day, a seminar on Buddhism will be conducted for which two speakers from Namgyal Institute of Tibetology based here at Gangtok have been invited.
The festivities will kick-start from August 11 with the commencement of constituency level volleyball tournament organized by the State sports department.
Rabong has been an annual venue for national level volleyball tournament but this time, the organizers are inviting only teams from seven Northeastern States with Sikkim forming the eighth team.
Finals of both the tournaments will be held on August 24, the final day of the festival.
Rabong sub-divisional magistrate Dushyant Pariyar who is also the chairman of celebration committee informed a Thai Expo will be one of the main attractions of the festival.
Earlier, the function used to be concentrated at Mani Choekerling complex only but this time we have spread out the festivities to all over the town and other divisions like Temi, Yanyang and Sikkip under the Rabong sub-division, said Pariyar.Ethnic food stalls and exhibits of traditional items of the local indigenous communities will be placed in the town and visitors can stroll around the town to sample the local delicacies and buy traditional items as souvenirs, said Pariyar.
The SDM informed that 15 delegates from Thailand representing various sectors like hospitality and horticulture will be setting up their stalls at Rabong for the festival. They will be putting up their stall from August 18 and will also be holding a Thai food festival, he said.
Apart from the usual attractions like traditional cultural programmes, rural sports and musical evenings, the staple attraction of the festival is the famed Pangtoed dance performed by monks during the Pang Lhabsol main festival on August 24.
Traditionally, Pangtoed Chaam or the Warrior Dance holds centre stage which was originally choreographed from a dream sequence by Chakdor Namgyal, the fourth Chogyal. The aura of the dance brought alive from a dream is still maintained at Rabong.

Duty skip after assault- Out-patient department closed
TT, Alipurduar, Aug. 9: The doctors at the subdivisional hospital here today began an indefinite boycott of out-patient department to protest an alleged assault on one of their colleagues on Friday night.
The hospital has 31 doctors and all they have decided to refrain from private practice also till authorities give an assurance on their safety while they are on duty.
A meeting between Alipurduar subdivisional officer Anurag Srivastav and the representatives of the Health Services Doctors’ Association in the evening to discuss the matter ended without an agreement.
The doctors later said they would get back to the administration tomorrow.
According to Paran Chandra Tudu, the president of the association's unit here, and a doctor attached to the hospital, around 9.30pm on Friday, Kalpana Das, 45, a resident of Panialguri in Samuktala, was brought to the hospital after being bitten by a snake.
“Madhab Haldar, the doctor on duty, attended on her but she soon expired. Pranab Das, the victim’s son, accused the doctor of coming late to attend on his mother and began abusing him, along with his friends. Haldar was assaulted and manhandled by the mob. They also entered the emergency unit of the hospital and chased the doctors and nurses away,” said Tudu. He added that the police had to be called to tackle the situation.
Pranab said the doctor had come to attend his mother after 45 minutes of her admission. “I have lodged an FIR with police, accusing the doctor of dereliction of duty,” he alleged.
The wildcat strike by the doctors caught patients unawares. Mothers were seen waiting outside the closed out-patient department with their children. Each day, an average of 300 patients visit the department that remains open from 9am to 2pm, said hospital sources. Champa Das arrived at the hospital from Tapshikata, 12km away.
“My son Ravi is running a high temperature. Why should the doctors make poor people like us suffer? I am still waiting to see if they will treat my child,” she said.
Tudu, however, said doctors were attending to some serious cases in the emergency ward of the hospital. “We strongly condemn the assault on Haldar and will not attend the out-patient department and our private clinics till the administration provides adequate security for us at the hospital. We have demanded that a police camp be set up on the hospital premises,” said Tudu.
The superintendent of the hospital, Rudraraj Iswarari, said he had informed the chief medical officer of health about the incident on Friday and the strike by the doctors.
The subdivisional officer said he had sent a report to the Jalpaiguri district magistrate.
Tattooing the legal side
SAROJ GHIMIRE, My Reublica :Piercing for navel jewels, dainty eyebrow rings and chunky tongue studs, and piercing lips, tongues, nipples and genitalia, and tattooing of body parts – these are no longer limited to Western countries. The increasing popularity of piercing and tattooing has become a common phenomenon for the younger generation.
Piercing is a part of body modification, and piercing the ears and nose is not uncommon in our society. It has been in practice in a variety of forms throughout history. In recent years, along with tattooing, piercing different parts of the body other than the earlobes and nose has become more common with services to do so being available in Kathmandu.
These developments are good news for the industry as it has taken its momentum in the city. However, at the same time, piercing and tattoo parlors need to take great care in the planning and preparation, registration and regulations, maintenance and protection of clients, in order to ensure safe and well-executed treatments.
In Kathmandu, especially in Thamel, one can see several piercing and tattoo parlors. But no one knows how much such parlors earn without paying taxes, how common infections are transmitted in the largely unregulated industry, and what vulnerability it has created among youngsters.
In reality, lawmakers themselves are unaware of this growing scenario. The state is ignorant of the consequences of unregulated body piercing and tattooing market when regulations of body piercing are becoming important issues due to its accessibility in recent years. And in Nepal, we lack proper laws on body piercing and regulations of this profession.
It is fine if body piercing is done at a medical centre or performed by proper trainers. But more often than not, today’s youngsters get body piercing and tattoos at parlors and salons where there are no legal codes and licensing for body piercing and professional training, sterilization of instruments and other proper facilities. There are no punishments for tattoo artists for negligence in piercing or tattooing on minors without the consent of their parents. Therefore, a number of laws can be set for the regulation of body piercing and tattooing businesses in Nepal.
Anyone who opens a tattoo parlor should be required to register the business with the authority concerned. Doing such a business without official registration is illegal.
Piercing and tattooing is very sensitive as it may have adverse effects on a person’s health and body. Parlors should be required to comply with health and safety laws addressed by the Labor Act. They should be required to maintain the place free of dirt, dust and congestion. Proper hygienic disposal of swabs, dressings, and chemicals used in the process should be a priority. The business must ensure that their clients, employees and public should be protected from exposure to blood and products exposed to blood because they may contain blood-borne viruses.
Since piercing is a contract between two parties, their capability is fundamental. As girls and boys under the age of 16 years cannot legally give consent to intimate sexual contact under any circumstances, so can also piercing of nipples and genitalia for both boys and girls be regarded as assault and offence. Thus, such piercing should be avoided, and parlors should always ask for proof of age before further procedures.
In the UK, for instance, the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 states that female genital mutilation – cutting, piercing or otherwise surgically modifying the genitalia – for non-medical reason is illegal. In Nepal, though an increasing number of girls are having themselves pierced, the law is silent.
Further, the one who carries this business must be provided with sufficient information regarding the consequences of piercing or tattooing. Doctors are required to provide information regarding the side effects to patients, as stated by the recent landmark judgment made by the Supreme Court of Nepal.
Tattoo operators should train their employees so they can carry out their jobs safely. In addition, any equipment used in the procedures must be safe and fit for the purpose. Suppliers of the equipment must also make sure that their machineries meet the essential health and safety requirements, and that the equipments are accompanied by manuals for safe use and maintenance.
Nepal’s legal courts have not been asked to rule that tattoo parlors are commercial enterprises. If this sector is not regularized in time, and if tattoo parlors don’t ask the government to do so, courts could classify the business as violent and harmful. Tattoo artists and perforators could henceforth run the risk of being accused of inflicting body harms.

A Way To End Impasse In Nepal
By Dr. Satinath Choudhary, CC: The following has been written with the current impasse in Nepal in mind. However, the same is applicable to Indian union as well as state governments. Particularly when they have a hard time picking an individual to head a government, they should try out governments headed by collective of equals like what they have in Switzerland, as discussed below. It seems that the interest of greater transparency and democratic decision making would be served better if we use flat-top collective of equals for our government rather than pyramidal type led by a Chief Minister or the Prime Minister. Often even within the same party there are more than one individuals vying to be CM. So far the only way of power sharing that have been used in India is for the aspirants to take turns (for the duration of a year or two) in occupying the seat of CM. They should start experimenting with the positions of CM occupied by a collective rather than a single individual – the latter is likely to prove to be much more transparent and democratic.

Current norm of forming a pyramidal government headed by a Prime Minister (PM) or a President in most countries of the world has been derived from our monarchical past. An alternative is a flat-top Executive Committee (EC) like what they have in Switzerland, with equal power vested among each member of a 7-member EC. Such structures exist in other organizations like Election Commission of India, in judicial benches around the world, in various committees working without a formal head and so forth.
According to current norm for formation of a government in India and in many other countries, the President is supposed to invite leader of the largest party to try and form a government. This leader basically tries to cobble a coalition with majority support in the parliament via quid pro quo arrangement in distributing various important cabinet positions among the leaders of other parties. Portfolios of smaller importance are also handed out to the supporters of various party leaders per “negotiations” leading to the agreement on dividing up the “booty” that the governing power represents – it sounds a bit cynical, however, the process described above is not very far from the truth.
Flat-top structure of Swiss government, mentioned above, has been functioning all the way back from 1848. Here is what the Swiss do to form a government (EC): They have a 7-member EC with equal power vested in all its members. The EC does have a position of chair, which is rotated among its members every year. The chair has additional responsibility to receive foreign heads of state and represent Switzerland in international forums; however, during a meeting of the EC the chair has a weight that is no more than that of any other member of the EC. For the last 60 years or so they have had the golden rule of electing two representatives each from the largest three parties and one from the fourth largest. Together the four parties generally account for more than three fourth of the parliament. With a population of 75% German ancestry, 20% French, 4% Italian, and 1% Romansch, they also make sure to elect one Italian representative, two representatives with French mother tongue, and four have German as their mother tongue. The 7-member EC divides up various governmental departments among themselves; however, they meet every week to discuss all important things and try to reach consensus as much as possible.
As for the choice of heads of various governmental departments, the USA appears to have a better way of doing the same. In the US, after a President gets elected, s/he nominates top few layers of his/her bureaucracy after a national search, to be approved by the Senate. This makes people of national reputation available for heading various departments of the government. To allow for a similar process to pull in individuals with nationally reputable standing, we could envision the EC to function as a Presidential collective. Since it is elected by the parliament, it would be more appropriate to call it Prime Ministerial Council [PMC], rather than Presidential Council [PC]. This PMC, instead of distributing various departments among themselves (as is done by the Swiss EC), could pick out individuals with national stature to head various departments. However, the PMC could go a step further in democratizing the departments by nominating collectives of reputable persons to head various departments (to be approved by the parliament), instead of hierarchies consisting of secretaries, deputy secretaries, assistant secretaries, and so forth – flat top structure instead of a pyramidal structure at the top of various departments.
As for the formation of the PMC, one could use a sort of Proportional Representation (PR) election among the MPs. The smaller parties that would not be able to elect one of their own may form coalitions to be able to elect some of their own for positions in the EC. MPs not associated with any of the parties or coalitions will be declared as independent. The MPs would be free to cast as many votes as they like for any of the MPs to elect them to PMC, but each of the recipients will get a fraction of her vote – a recipient’s vote divided by the total number of votes cast by the voter. For example, if an MP_0 is casting two votes for himself, one for MP_1, 3 for MP_2 and 1 for MP_3. MP_0 has cast a total of 8 votes and s/he is essentially casting 2/8th (=1/4) of a vote for himself, 1/8 vote for MP_1, 3/8 vote for MP_2, and 1/8 vote for MP_3. Votes in favor of each of the candidate MPs would be added to their affiliated parties. The number of seats in PMC won by various parties or coalitions would be determined in proportion to votes collected by them via their MPs. Highest vote getters of each party or coalition would fill the PMC-seats won by the parties. If any of the independent candidates gets enough votes to win a seat, s/he would also become a part of PMC.
Unified CPN-Maoist (38.1%), Nepali Congress (19.1%), Communist Party of Nepal (UML) (18%) and Madheshi Janadhikar Forum, Nepal (9%) together account for 84.2% of the total number of seats in the Constituent Assembly (CA). If the CA agrees to form a PMC of about 10 members, the above mentioned four parties would have 4, 2, 2, 1 members respectively in the PMC. If most of the remaining small parties could agree to coalesce together, they could be given the tenth seat; otherwise the CA could leave the PMC as a 9-member body. If the CA would like the PMC membership to be about 15, the said parties would have 6, 3, 3 and 2 members, respectively, with one or two additional seats going to the remaining small parties if most of them could form a coalition. In the interest of reducing the dominance of the largest party/parties, the smallest parties may well decide to form a coalition and get their due share of seat(s) (power) in the executive body.
If the parliament were to elect a (7-15)-member collective of equals (PMC) via secret ballot, as described above, a position in the PMC would depend more upon the “esteem” which various members of parliament command among their peers by virtue of their past performance, ideas and vision, rather than the ability to climb ladders of power they have managed to creep up to in their respective parties by virtue of familial relationship, loyalty, sycophancy to leaders and other such means. In fact, secret ballot may well propel a lower level leader(s) above the existing party leadership. This is because many MPs may not really like the incumbent leadership because of their dictatorial attitude, but are afraid of coming out openly against their current leaders for fear of not getting party ticket in the next election.
While the parliament happens to be a rainbow, with various colors present in it, why must the government derived from the same (and led by a single individual) be monochromatic? A PMC elected in the manner suggested above would preserve rainbow characteristic of the parliament and the people at large in the government. In a rainbow colored government various political colors would tend to minimize the excesses of power at the hands of a monochromatic government in the name of majority. When it comes to policy making, majority will continue to win in the parliament as well as in the executive. It is in the process of implementation of the policies by the executive that the adverse effect of power manifests itself – the presence of opposition in the executive is likely to check the corrupting effects of power. We must remember that power corrupts and absolute power (in the hands of single individuals) corrupts absolutely.
Protagonists of parliamentary government with treasury and opposition parties claim that the opposition presents itself an alternative to the incumbents. The presence of the opposition minority in the executive bodies is likely to give them more rather than less opportunities of presenting their alternatives to the current way of doing things. In fact, they will do so more forcefully when they are present in the executive bodies. Presence of the opposition within the PMC would not entail giving management of a few governmental departments to the opposition. It would simply mean presence of ears and voices of opposition within all deliberations of the PMC as well as collectives heading various departments.
Discourse among “equal” members of a collective can be expected to be more democratic compared to the discussions among cabinet members with a pyramidal structure headed by a single PM or President. A single person in such a position is bound to experience enormous pressures and temptations towards improper use of his/her power compared to the situation wherein everything has to be done with the consent of at least majority (if not by consensus) of a collective of equals. All these seem to suggest that the interest of greater transparency and democratic decision making would be served better, if no position of power is held by a single individual or a pyramidal structure, and all positions of power are handled by collectives of equals.
In a situation when an MP gets to be chosen as a PM and s/he picks other MPs to fill various positions in the cabinet, most MPs are likely to feel “why not me” syndrome – why did I not get a portfolio, else why did I not get a better portfolio? One or more of those not satisfied, may promise others a better position in a new cabinet if the current one is pulled down. This “why not me” syndrome is one of the main factors contributing to instability of incumbent government under this system. On the other hand, MPs not elected to a position in a PMC would not be able to hold any grudge against any one or two individuals for not being selected to be a member of the PMC. They (the members not elected to PMC) were not held in high enough esteem among their peers. More importantly, any individual would not be able to ‘promise’ any of the others a position in a future PMC. Hence there would not be any instability due to “why not me” factor. Persons not elected to an PMC would just have to work harder to improve their esteem index among their peers for a position in a future PMC.
One may ask as to what would happen to the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers, or similar other civil service officers, if various governmental departments were to be headed by collectives of reputable people? Well, these efficient people (at least efficient in taking written and oral tests) will have to work under people of reputation picked out by the PMC search team.
For all of the above mentioned reasons and many others, it is apparent that a system in which flat-top PMC that appoints flat-top heads of various departments is far better than current pyramidal system in which a PM or President is elected, who in turn creates a pyramidal cabinet and bureaucratic structures for governance of a country.
As for the impasse over the future of PLA (People’s Liberation Army), the best way to deal with it would be to reach an agreement to dismantle all permanent armed forces. Country’s security should be managed with armed forces conscripted from among people in general for temporary period of time. Permanent volunteer armed forces are nothing but soldiers of fortune (mercenaries) seeking comfortable life or those who can more money by being in the armed forces than they would have made otherwise. Any time one finishes his or her studies, or reaches the age of 21 (whichever is later), s/he should be required (conscripted) to serve the country (in civilian duties, including teaching or in armed forces) for a period of at least three years – and no more than five years in armed forces, though could be longer in civilian duty with appropriate remuneration, if they want to continue their civilian duties, and if they are needed. First year should be spent in training, followed by two years of service for which s/he underwent training.
I wish, UML, which is insisting upon the formation of national consensus government, would demand the formation of a government as described above.
Dr. Satinath Choudhary was a social and political activist almost all through his life, including his student days and while teaching Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the USA. He took part in various movements for various causes in the USA, including those against Vietnam War, and for Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, nuclear disarmament and conservation of environment. Since 2001, he is spending major part of his time in India and have been involved as a social and political activist in Delhi.He is most keenly interested in improving the transparency as well as method of election; as election system is the foundation upon which democracies are built.He is also keenly interested in fostering development and education for all.

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