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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dalai Lama arrived in Kalimpong

His Holiness Arrives in Kalimpong
Inauguration of   new assembly hall of  Tharpa Choeling
Monastry , Photo:
KalimNews, Kalimpong, 12 December: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama arrived Kalimpong in a tight security from Lucknow.His Holiness, the temporal and the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people arrived at about 12.50 pm in Durbin Helipad and received by the Army General and other Officials and security guards. Ranveer Singh IG of North Bengal Police, MK Gandhi, DM of Darjeeling, DP Singh SP Darjeeling and Officials of Sub-Divisional administration were present to receive the spiritual leader. 
After his reception and a warm welcome he went to Tharpa Choeling Monastery at Tripai hill 2 kms away from Kalimpong town. Here the Dalai Lama inaugurated the new assembly hall at Tharpa Choeling Monastery on December 12th, 2010. He will be staying here till 14th. This monastry was constructed in 1937 by the yellow hat of Lamas to which the present Dalai Lama belongs.
Addressing the dignataries he said that at last he could visit his ancestral monastery and expressed his pleasure to meet the people of Kalimpong. Among the devotees were Bimal Gurung, President of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and his wife Asha Gurung along with other party officials. He will address the press on Tuesday. He will give his darshan to his devotees and will preach sermon on Monday and Tuesday.
According to the official details his itinerary he will be teaching on December 13 & 14: His Holiness will give a teaching on The Three Principal Paths (lamtso namsum) on the morning of December 13 and be offered a long life ceremony at Tharpa Choeling Monastery. He will confer a long life empowerment (tsewang) followed by an address to the Tibetan community on the morning of December 14 at the Central Tibetan School Kalimpong Ground. He will leave Kalimpong on 15th for Pemayangtse Monastery in Sikkim.
His other programmess after his departure from Kalimpong are blessing Ceremony in Ravangla, Sikkim, India on December 19. His Holiness will bless a new Buddha Statue being built by the Sikkim State Government in the morning.
He will be conducting a teaching programme in Gangtok, Sikkim, India on December 21 and 22. His Holiness will give two-day teachings. On the morning of December 21 he will teach on Nagarjuna's Commentary on Bodhicitta (jangchup semdrel) & Quintessential Collection of the Mind Sadhanas from the 5th Dalai Lama's Secret Teachings (thukdrup yangnying kundu). On the morning of December 22 he will confer a long life empowerment (tsewang) and be offered a long life ceremony.
The rest of the programme are- Teaching in Salugara, WB, India on December 23 & 24: His Holiness will give teachings on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo's 37 Practices of A Boddhisattva (laklen sodunma) on the afternoon of December 23 and confer an Avalokiteshvera Initiation (chenresig wang) on the morning of December 24 at Sed-Gyued Monastery.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was born on 6 July 1935, and named Lhamo Thondup, to a poor family in the small village of Taktser in the province of Amdo. The name, Lhamo Thondup, literally means Wish-Fulfilling Goddess. Taktser (Roaring Tiger) was a small and poor settlement that stood on a hill overlooking a broad valley. Its pastures had not been settled or farmed for long, only grazed by nomads. He had 16 brothers and sisters of his mother of whom seven survived infancy.

Rajeev Ravidas, TT, Kalimpong, Dec. 12: Thousands of people lined up on the streets here to receive Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who arrived today on a three-day visit.
On reaching Tharpa Choaling monastery after a 5km drive from the Durpin army helipad, the Dalai Lama professed his fondness for Kalimpong to the joy of the local people.
The Tibetan spiritual leader began his visit by taking a quick round of the Durpin monastery located very close to the helipad. As his white-coloured car reached the welcome gate erected at the entrance to a play ground adjacent to the helipad, a group of people broke into the Tashi Chona dance, signifying good luck.
Seated in the front seat of the vehicle, the Tibetan leader greeted the people with folded hands and occasional waves.
The Nobel laureate’s first public interaction was at Durpin monastery where he asked its head Lama, Chimar Rimpoche, his age. Before the frail and wrinkled monk could answer, other Lamas holding him responded: “Ninety-two.”
The Dalai Lama accepted the monk’s white khada and, in turn, warmly draped the same scarf around his neck. “Stay well,” he told the Rimpoche, before being escorted out of the monastery.
Along the route from Durpin to the Tharpa Choaling monastery at Tirpai, people had lined up on either sides of the road to pay their respect to the Tibetan spiritual leader.
“We have been standing here since nine in the morning. Even though I could not offer a khada to His Holiness, I am very happy. I, at least, could have a glimpse of him,” said an old woman standing on the Main Road, the main thoroughfare of the town.
A group of followers from Mingmachin village in Sikkim were thanking their stars. “We had just arrived and were standing along the road when the Dalai Lama’s car approached us. We bowed to him and he acknowledged us. We were very lucky,” said Pasang Lhamu.
The Sikkim group will stay overnight to take part in the Dalai Lama’s public discourse at the Tharpa Choaling monastery tomorrow. The Tibetan leader will deliver sermon also at the Central School for Tibetans, a little distance from the monastery, on Tuesday. The monk inaugurated the renovated Tharpa Choaling monastery by cutting a ribbon at the gate. He was then given the ceremonial guard of honour by a contingent of Darjeeling police. In a short speech, the Dalai Lama thanked the people of Kalimpong for receiving him so warmly. “I always like coming to Kalimpong,” he said.
A stream of visitors, including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung, accompanied by his wife Asha, paid their respects to the Tibetan leader at Tirpai. Before Gurung arrived, local politicos of assorted hue met the Dalai Lama and together posed for a photograph on the same platform.
When The Telegraph later quizzed senior Morcha leader Norden Lama about the forced bonhomie, he quipped: “It is unification day under the guidance of the Dalai Lama.”
Other leaders caught in the same frame were Lama’s party colleagues Samuel Gurung, Bijay Sundas and Ram Bhujel, ABGL leader Pratap Khati, GNLF-C president D.K. Pradhan and CPM’s Tara Sundas.
Teacher salvo
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Dec. 12: The Janmukti Secondary Teachers’ Organisation has accused Kurseong MLA Shanta Chhetri of trying to derive political mileage from the upgrade of 15 junior high schools in the hills.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated union was referring to the GNLF MLA’s claim on Thursday that she had been raising the demand for the upgrade of the junior high schools in the Assembly for the past 10 years. The 15 junior high school will be upgraded to institutions with classes till X from February next year.
“Shanta Chhetri is trying to derive political mileage from the upgrade of junior high schools. The JSTO takes strong exception to her statement. The hill populace is aware of the persistent efforts the JSTO had made for the upgrade of the schools,” said Bhisan Roka, the media and publicity secretary of the JSTO.
Roka said the Morcha had taken up the problems concerning the education in the hills at the second tripartite meeting in December 2008. “JSTO members even boycotted exam supervision in March this year, after which talks were held in Calcutta and important policy decisions were taken,” he added.
Nepali language tag
CPM Rajya Sabha member Saman Pathak said in Darjeeling on Sunday that Nepali should be recognised as a minority language to meet the identity aspirations of the one crore Nepali speaking people in India.
Pathak, who had raised the demand in Parliament, however, said the matter had not been discussed in the party.

Tepantar All India Salon 2011 awards 
KalimNews: In the 1st Tepantar All India Salon 2010 one photograph of Samiran Paul, official photographer of Kalimpong News is awarded the Certificate of Merit. Out of 1155 images of 163 participants his other photograph is also selected for exhibition in Chandannagar Museum Hall from 25th to 30th December 2010. His award winning image MASKING EMOTION can be viewed by surfing at the other image PEARLS BY NATURE can be viewed at

Freshers' Welcome Programme organised by Hill Students' Association of North Bengal University
Teacher fear jobless, start protest
TT, Jalpaiguri, Dec. 12: Newly appointed primary schoolteachers in the Jalpaiguri district launched a movement today following school education minister Partha De’s statement that jobs of about 340 of them had been temporarily suspended because of irregularities in their recruitment.
The Trinamul Congress announced blockades from tomorrow, demanding the scrapping of all 1,091 appointments.
The district primary school council had appointed 1,091 teachers after conducting exams and interviews to fill up 1,411 posts. The Opposition parties had embarked on an agitation, alleging that most of those granted appointment were either linked to CPM leaders or the members of the district primary school council.
A committee formed by the new teachers held a meeting at Kadamtala Girls’ High School and set up a road blockade from 1pm to 2pm today.
The secretary of the committee, Partha Sarathi Chakrabarty, said all of them had got the jobs based on merit. “The minister has not made anything clear to us as yet and has only been talking to the media. We are yet to know whether his statements are true or false. If they are true, then he has to withdraw the decision to block the jobs of 340 teachers as none of us has taken recourse to unfair means to get the appointments,” he said.
Chakrabarty threatened that if a single teacher was sacked, there would be demonstrations and meetings across the district. “If any untoward incident takes place during our agitation from tomorrow, the entire responsibility will lie with the government.”
Contacted over phone, the minister made it clear that the decision to temporarily bar the 340-odd teachers from carrying on with their jobs had been taken after an departmental inquiry. “There is no question of reversing the decision. The inquiry committee has proof of gross irregularities in the appointments. If someone wants to carry out a movement, they are free to do so. We will also send show-cause notices to a number of examiners,” De said.
Student strike call after clash
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 12: The Chhatra Parishad has called a student strike at all educational institutions in the subdivision tomorrow after a clash with SFI supporters at Surya Sen College yesterday over the collection of nomination forms for election to the student council.
However, the authorities of the college said the campus would be open and nomination forms would be distributed as usual tomorrow.
“The dates for collection of nomination forms had been fixed for December 11 and 13. There was a clash on the college premises yesterday after which the form collection was stalled for some time. We will keep the institution open tomorrow so that those who have not picked up the forms can collect them,” said Subrata Debnath, the teacher in charge of the college.
The SFI had yesterday alleged that the Congress’s student wing and the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad were preventing its supporters from collecting nomination forms. The rivals, too, had levelled similar charges against the CPM student wing. In the clash that followed, seven persons from both sides were injured, police said.
“We have called a strike in all educational institutions in the subdivision tomorrow barring the ones which are conducting exams…to protest the manner in which our candidates were beaten up by the SFI and the outsiders they had brought. We will ensure that the strike is enforced at Surya Sen College,” said Raju Majumdar, the general secretary of the Siliguri Town Chhatra Parishad.
Banker and pradhan ‘rob’ BPL man 
- Repay loan notice shocks villager unaware of existing SBI account

TT, Islampur, Dec. 12: A day labourer has complained to court that a panchayat pradhan in cahoots with a bank manager has thrust a loan of Rs 30,000 on him for which he had never applied, the allegation exposing how beneficiaries of village schemes are left at the mercy of influential rural leaders.
Additional chief judicial magistrate Manoj Rai, after criticising the police role in the investigation, asked the Islampur subdivisional officer yesterday to inquire into the complaint filed by Mohammad Baisago, a BPL card holder.
Baisago had approached the court in September after repeated appeals to police for justice went unheeded. The pradhan had apparently used Baisago’s voter I-card and two passport-size photos, which he had submitted while applying for funds under the Indira Awas Yojna, in the scam.
The SDO has been asked by the court to present his report on December 27.
Sources in the court said Baisago had brought serious charges against the Congress pradhan of Goalpokhar’s Pokhria gram panchayat, Hemlal Hembram, and the manager of the Panjipara branch of the State Bank of India, Saikat Kumar.
The labourer, who earns Rs 80-100 a day doing odd jobs whenever he gets them, has alleged that without his knowledge an account was opened in his name at the bank and Rs 30,000 was deposited in it as agricultural loan. Only when he received a notice from the bank on June 26 this year — asking him why he was not re-paying the loan after withdrawing Rs 25,000 from the account on October 24 last year — did Baisago realise that he had an account.
“I went to the bank and was told Rs 25,000 had been withdrawn by me. I was startled and when I contacted the bank manager, he refused to listen to me. However, a bank employee sympathetic to my plight, told me that the account had my photograph and that the loan had been approved on the recommendation of the panchayat pradhan. The employee had also told me that everything would be clear if I contacted the pradhan,” Baisago said in his complaint to the court.
In the case of agricultural loans, documents related to the farmland also had to be deposited. “But banks often waive this part of the process on the recommendation of the pradhans,” said a villager.
The day labourer, who has to support a family of five, then remembered that Hembram had taken his photographs and his voter identity card when he had approached the panchayat for funds under the Indira Awas Yojna last year.
The voter card had been returned but not the photographs.
When Baisago confronted the pradhan, he admitted to opening the account and told him that the bank manager had also taken some of the money.
“In a salisi held in August in the village, the pradhan offered to repay Rs 15,000 to the bank. However, he did not keep his promise and I contacted the Goalpokhar police station but they refused to record my complaint and it was after that I turned to court for justice,” said Baisago.
Sources in the court said the ACJM had ordered the police to investigate the allegations and submit a report. However, when the cops failed saying the manager has been transferred to the SBI in Malda’s Gajole, an angry ACJM ordered the SDO to personally investigate the case.
When contacted on his cellphone, bank manager Kumar said: “I have been falsely implicated in this case, I am not involved in any way.”
Hembram said there had been a misunderstanding. “The matter had been settled but later on I do not know how the court became involved. There is a political conspiracy behind all this,” the pradhan said.
One hurt in jumbo attack
TT,Alipurduar, Dec. 12: A resident of Malgoni Tea Estate near Jaigaon was injured when a wild tusker attacked him last night.
Argho Toppo and his friend Andin Munda were returning home from work when they came across the elephant. The animal attacked Toppo, but Munda managed to escape and inform the foresters of the nearby Nilpara range about the incident. The forest staff fired three rounds in the air to scare away the tusker. Toppo has been admitted to the Jalpaiguri district hospital.
Tea meet
TT,Siliguri: The Progressive Tea Workers’ Union has announced that it will not participate in the International Tea Day celebrations at Malbazar on December 14 and 15. Sukra Munda, chairperson of the union affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, said: “Thousands of workers in the gardens across the Dooars and Terai are not getting basic health, education and housing facilities. We have requested the state and central governments to upgrade their condition which went in vain. There is no justification to take part in the event.”
TT, Siliguri: The Darjeeling district police will felicitate Durga Puja organisers with sharad samman and the organisers of Muharram with shera tajiya at a programme here on Tuesday. Inspector-general of police, north Bengal, Ranvir Kumar, will be the chief guest at the event scheduled to be held at a hall on Burdwan Road.
Boy body
TT,Siliguri: The body of an unidentified boy aged about two years was found by police of the NJP outpost on Sunday. There were no external injury marks on the body, police said.
Shop looted
TT, Alipurduar: Burglers fled with Rs 30,000 from a shop on Alipurduar Station Road on Saturday night. Owner Kalu Pal said the thieves had entered the shop after breaking the tin roof. An FIR has been lodged with the Alipurduar police station.
Jawan kills colleague commits suicide
TH, Tinsukia: A jawan shot his colleague dead and injured seven others before killing himself in an Army camp in upper Assam's Dibrugarh district on Sunday.
Jawan Balbir Singh had an altercation with Lance Nayak Chandrabir at around 9 a.m. and shot him dead, official sources said.
Balbir then fired randomly injuring seven others in the camp before allegedly shooting himself dead.
The injured were admitted to a hospital.

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