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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hills and Dooars at crossroads.... Left to skip hill signing.... Giri not Gurung will sign Darjeeling pact..... GJM insists on signing pact at Pintail village...No headway yet in release of political prisoners... FIR against intruders in Tadong College..... सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेसको घर झगडा फेरि बल्झियो..... सिहिरापको जनसम्पर्क अभियान शुरु....... Telangana cabinet boycott - Meeting aborted as ministers mount pressure for & against state

Hills and Dooars at crossroads
Deep Gazmer, TNN , Jul 17,DARJEELING/JALPAIGURI: With less than 48 hours remaining for the historic day at Darjeeling, chief minister Mamata Banerjee was busy meeting officials and her council of ministers on Saturday.
The chief minister will reach their by air on Sunday. Finance minister Amit Mitra, planning and development minister Manish Gupta and commerce and industries minister Partha Chatterjee will accompany her. Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and Union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy would also be there with her. Team Mamata will return on Tuesday evening.
The treaty will be signed on Monday, announcing the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, to signal the end of the five-year trouble culminating with the formation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and its statehood movement in 2008.
But no leader in the plains and the Hills seem to be in the know of the historic deal, with barely a couple of days remaining for the tripartite agreement to be signed at Pintail Village near Sukna on Monday. "No one really knows what exactly the agreement is going to spell for the Hills," said a leader in the plains.
Both the state government and the GJM leadership are silent on the issue and have refused to disclose the matter that is in the agreement, leaving commoners as well as observers to speculate on the nitty gritty.
"If all the GJM demands are met, that will draw the wrath of the non-Nepalese population in the plains, giving birth to a communal disharmony in the region. And if the GJM demands are not met, it will ignite the Hills. It will be interesting to see how Mamata Banerjee handles the situation," an observer said.
GJM leaders in Darjeeling are tightlipped. "Everything will be disclosed on Monday. Before that it will not be right to speak on the issue," a central committee GJM leader said.
The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parshad, Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Bachao Committee, Jana Jagaran Mancha and other chauvinist outfits too are keeping a close watch of the situation. The groups have threatened to go an all out if the state government agreed to give any land from the plains to the GJM for the proposed autonomous council.
"The governments, both state and the central, must confine the matter within the three Hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. Anything beyond that won't be tolerated," an Adivasi leader said.

Left to skip hill signing
TT, Calcutta, July 16: Surjya Kanta Mishra today said he won’t attend Monday’s signing of the hill tripartite agreement because the CPM thinks that the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Authority (GTA) was the “first step” towards statehood.
“We have come to know that the state government is considering the inclusion of some mouzas in the Dooars and the Terai in the new set-up for the Darjeeling hills. We have serious objections to this,” said Mishra, whom the state government had invited as he is the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.
“Never had this issue been considered by the Centre and the previous state government. We believe that the inclusion of these areas would create immense problems between the people of the hills and the plains. It appears to be a step towards the creation of a separate state,’’ Mishra told a news conference today.
The deal on the proposed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) will be signed on Monday at Pintail village, 1.5km from Siliguri, in the presence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Union home minister P. Chidambaram and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung.
The state government has not made any announcement on the inclusion of parts of the Dooars and the Terai in the area under the GTA.
Mamata’s government has formed a committee to suggest the territorial reach of the set-up and the panel is supposed to submit its report in six months.
The Morcha has demanded that the Gorkha-dominated areas of the Dooars and the Terai be included in the set-up.
Mishra accused the state government of “not bothering” to discuss the proposed hill accord in the Assembly. He said the government also did not convene an all-party meeting to deliberate on the issue.
“We want a peaceful and final solution to the Darjeeling problem. Our government had also tried to do that. But such a serious issue wasn’t discussed or debated in the Assembly by the new government. The government could have convened an all-party meeting but that too wasn’t done,” he said.
The CPM leader said the Trinamul-led government did not consider the decisions taken in the tripartite meetings of which the Left government had been a part. He also accused the Mamata government of not making the terms and conditions of the deal public.
“The state government is going to sign an agreement with the Morcha in the Centre’s presence without letting the people know about the terms and conditions of the pact. This is unacceptable. So I will not attend the deal-signing programme,’’ he said.
Mishra said there should have been an “open discussion” in the Assembly on the use of the word “Gorkhaland” in the name of the set-up.
Giri not Gurung will sign Darjeeling pact
Subrata Nagchoudhury, IE, Jul 17 2011, Kolkata: Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung will not be a signatory to the Memorandum of Agreement on formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) for Darjeeling, to be signed on Monday, though he will attend the ceremony. Instead, the party’s general secretary, Roshan Giri, will sign the MoA.
According to GJM sources, Gurung is not only opting out of the signing but will not be directly involved either with the board of administrators that will run the interim set-up in Darjeeling hills, till election to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration is held.
Gurung’s move follows the criticism levelled at him for dropping the demand for a separate state and for accepting the interim arrangement. Like a previous tripartite agreement, this MoA too would have a written assurance from the GJM leadership not to raise the separate statehood demand.
By not signing on the dotted line, Gurung appears to be sending a message to the Gorkha people that he is keeping the option of a statehood demand open.
Many in Darjeeling have compared the GTA to the earlier Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, barring some cosmetic changes.
In various interactions in the past couple of weeks, Gurung has been emphasising that the GTA is a step forward towards achieving the ultimate goal of a separate state and not a “sell-out”, as many allege. Incidentally, in 1988, the Gorkha National Liberation Front chief Subash Ghisingh had signed the MoU that led to formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.
GJM spokesman Benoy Tamang confirmed that Giri and not Gurung would be signing the pact. The Home Secretary will sign the document for Bengal while the Centre will be represented by the Union Home Secretary.
Tamang said the final touches were being given for the momentous event at a village near Sukna and expected not less than 50,000 people to attend. Home Minister P Chidambaram will be present along with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
Oppn leader not to attend the ceremony
Kolkata: Leader of Opposition and CPM leader Suryakanta Mishra has declined Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s invitation to attend the ceremony of signing the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) pact on Monday. “We are still groping in dark over the contents of the pact,” said Mishra. He said the Left is against the inclusion of both the Dooars and Terai region under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
Left to stay away from signing of Hills accord 

TNN, KOLKATA: Left Front has decided to stay away from the signing of the tripartite accord at Pintail village near Siliguri on Monday.
The leader of the opposition in the assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra, on Saturday turned down the invitation from parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee to attend the ceremony in presence of Union home minister P Chidambaram. Mishra fears that the proposed expansion of the territory of the new body, as it has come out in the media, would incite feelings in the Hills, foothills and the plains, instead of sorting out the problem.
Mishra blamed the Centre for "changing its stance" on the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
"I had been to some of the tripartite meetings held earlier in Delhi as minister of the Left Front government along with Asok Bhattacharya. The Centre had prepared a draft for discussion that proposed setting up of an autonomous body, sharing of powers and other issues. But the draft specifically mentioned that the geographical area of the new autonomous body will be the same as that under the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Autonomous Hill Council. But now I find that the Centre and the state have changed their stance and have included the territorial expansion clause as part of the draft tripartite agreement. We have not been formally communicated about this development, neither was there an all-party meeting or a reference in the assembly about this. I fear that such a move would open a Pandora's box in view of the developments elsewhere in the country and further complicate this sensitive problem," he said.
Former minister and CPM leader Asok Bhattacharya, who sat beside him at the press meet at the party state headquarters, flaunted a letter from the Union home minister to the Left Front government January 21, three days ahead of the tripartite meeting in Delhi. "The Union home minister in his letter named the autonomous body Gorkhaland Autonomous Authority (GAO) and stated that the area would be the same as those under the DGHC. Accordingly, we discussed about the sharing of powers in the meeting on January 25. The Gokha Janmukti Morcha representatives were amiable to the contents before they came back to the Hills and decided otherwise," Bhattacharya said.
Mishra also took exception to the CM's haste in signing the accord. "The CM could have called an all-party meeting as the Left Front did when it was in power. It is another matter that the Trinamool boycotted the meet. However, there was a unanimous resolution over the territory of the new set up. The proposed name of the council Gorkhaland Territorial Administration is another point of controversy. I admit that differences over the name should not be the breaking point of discussion.
But then, there is a feeling that Darjeeling should have been accommodated somewhere in the name. Even the initial name of this new set up proposed by us under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution was Gorkha Hill Council, Darjeeling," Mishra said.
He, however chose to dissociate himself and the Front from the recent bandhs in Siliguri. "We want peace in the Hills and the plains. We are concerned with the recent showdown in the plains and Dooars and fear that the trouble might spread to the Hills.
If the accord is itself provocative, the responsibility lies with the Centre and the state government," Mishra said.
GJM insists on signing pact at Pintail village
Jayanta Gupta, TNN , Jul 17: KOLKATA: The state government was taken aback when the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership insisted that the tripartite agreement be signed at the heritage Pintail village instead of Sukna. It now seems the GJM leadership, including Roshan Giri, wanted to use this occasion to score a point.
In 2008, when trouble was brewing in Darjeeling, GJM leaders were asked to move out of the village that belongs to the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) and was the brainchild of GNLF leader Subhas Ghishing.
The Pintail village is on the outskirts of Siliguri and was planned as a heritage enclosure for tourists and a stop-over point for students and others travelling from the Hills to the plains on work. According to sources, it never served its original purpose but turned into a sort of resort for the GNLF leadership.
It was alleged that GNLF leaders and DGHC officials would spend their weekends at Pintail, which has several cottages and other facilities.
As the GNLF's clout dwindled, the GJM started using the location as an unofficial headquarters. Leaders would hold meetings and press conferences there. Some of the leaders would also stay overnight at the heritage location.
In 2008, after the GJM began its agitation in the hill districts, questions began to be raised on how the organization can use the DGHC property for political purposes. The DGHC officials said that the GJM was making use of the 'situation' and trying to encroach upon Pintail village. Finally, DGHC caretaker administrator B L Meena took up the matter with the GJM leadership and urged them not to use the property for such purposes.
"This may not have affected the organization's activities but it was certainly an insult. This was clearly the GNLF's doing which considered itself as the 'ruling party' in the Hills just as the CPM did elsewhere in the state. They didn't bother to think that the GNLF was fast losing ground in the Hills. While GNLF leaders were allowed to misuse the property, we weren't even permitted to use it for meetings. It is only right the agreement is signed at this location," a GJM leader said.
Work is already on to spruce up the property in anticipation of chief minister Mamata Banerjee and union home minister P Chidambaram's visit on Monday.

FIR against intruders in Tadong College
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok, 16 July: On behalf of the students of Sikkim NSUI president Binod Chhetri had filed an FIR against the person who illegally entered into the Tadong College auditorium and gave lectures against the Sikkim University VC. NSUI has demanded immediate action against the intruders so that they will never dare to repeat similar activities.
It has also demanded full cooperation from the Dean of Tadong College regarding the matter and wanted to know the reason of the incident that took place in his presence. It has also asked whether entry of outsiders and addressing the students within the college campus is permissible. It has also requested the Dean to be transparent regarding the permission if taken by them. 
It has challenged the College staff alleging them of sitting as onllookers when such incident took place. Demanding a strong action against the responsible authority from the department NSUI also has demanded resignation from the authority alleging them of neglecting the security of the students and the peaceful environment of the college.
सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेसको घर झगडा फेरि बल्झियो
भण्डारीले कंग्रेस पार्टीको हितको निम्ति राजीनामा दिनुपर्छः उप्रेती
प्रविण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक, 16 जुलाई। सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेसलाई राज्यको वैकल्पिक विपक्षी दलको रूपमा खडा गर्ने पार्टीको चाहनाको विरोधमा अध्यक्ष तथा पूर्व मुख्यमन्त्री नर बहादुऱ भण्डारीले कार्य गरिरहेको बताउँदै पूर्व मन्त्री तथा वरिष्ठ उपाध्यक्ष के एन उप्रेतीले पार्टीको हितमा भण्डारीले राजीनामा दिनुपर्ने माग गरेका छन्‌। यहॉं एक होटलमा आयोजित पत्रकार सम्मेलनलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै उपाध्यक्ष उप्रेतीले भने, कंग्रेस पार्टी राष्ट्रिय दल मात्र नभएर यो असल पार्टी पनि हो यसकरण दिल्ली हाइकमानको पनि कुरा सुन्नु पर्छ तर अहिलेसम्म भण्डारीले पार्टीलाई फाइदा हुने कार्य कहिले पनि गरेनन्‌। 
यसले गर्दा पार्टीको हितमा न भएर सिमित व्यक्तिगत स्वार्थको निम्ति कार्य गरेकै कारण कंग्रेस पार्टीबाट दिनहुँ नेताहरूले छोड्‌दैछन्‌ जसले गर्दा कंग्रेस पार्टी खोक्रो बन्दैछ, यसकारण भण्डारीले अब रिटायर बसेको राम्रो हुनेछ,पार्टीको हितमा, तिनले भने। यसैगरि तिनले केही दिन अघि कंग्रेसबाट दुइ नेता सत्तारूढ़ एसडीएफ पार्टीमा सामेल भएको खबरलाई भण्डारीले पार्टीको हित विपरित कालो जान्छ गोरो आउँछ भन्ने मन्तव्य जारी गरेर अहिलेसम्म जति पनि राम्रा नेताहरू थिए सबैले एक एक गरेर पार्टी त्याग्दा पनि आफ्नो लेढेढिप्पी नछोडेकोले कंग्रेस पार्टी खोक्रो बन्दैगएको छ।
तिनले सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेसको यो दूरवस्था बनाउने मुख्य कारणहरूबारे खुलासा गर्दै भने, सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेसलाई भण्डारी, अनिल लाचेनपा,कुङ्गानिमा लेप्चा, मेजर टी ग्याछो अनि प्रिमुला भण्डारीले आफ्नो स्वार्थसिद्धि र दोकान चलाउने माध्यम मात्र बनाएको छ। भण्डारी र ग्याङ अफ्‌ फोरले पार्टी क्याप्चर गरेर जनताको चाहना विरूद्ध कार्य गर्दै पार्टी विगार्ने उत्तरदायित्व लिएको तिनले बताए।
अर्कोतिर तिनले राज्यको जनताको हितमा कुनै पनि राजनैतिक दलसित मिलेर कार्य गर्न सकिने मन्तव्य व्यक्त गरेका छन्‌। यसैगरि उनले भने, पार्टीको हितमा राम्रो पार्टी बनाउऩ भण्डारीले जनताको चाहना पनि बुझ्नु पर्छ तर त्यसो नभएको कारण अहिले कंग्रेस पार्टी खोक्रो भएर जॉंदैछ। यसैगरि तिनले भने, सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेसबाट निष्कासित 8 पीसीसी सदस्यहरूलाई पार्टी हाइकमानले पुनःबहाल गरेको पत्र भण्डारीको हातमा पुगेर पनि अहिलेसम्म हाम्रोमा चिट्ठि नै आएको छैन्‌ भन्दै हिँड्‌दैछ यदी पार्टीको हितमा कार्य गर्ने हो भने पार्टीमा मेलमिलाप हुन जरूरी छ तर भण्डारी व्यक्तिगत स्वर्थलाई प्राथमिकता दिएर पार्टीलाई प्रयोग गर्नमा व्यस्त छ। 
यसैगरि केही दिन अघि कंग्रेसका सिक्किम प्रभारीको सचिव डॉ. जय कुमारको जनसभामा भण्डारी पन्थी कंग्रेस कार्यकर्ताहरूले विरोध गरेको भए पनि कांग्रेस मुख्यालयबाट दिल्लीमा प्रतिवेदन भने उप्रेतीगुटको मान्छेले गरेको भन्ने गलत वयान उल्लेख गरेर अखिल भारतीय कंग्रेस समितिलाई पोल हालेर गलत कार्य गरेको बताए। सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेस पार्टीमा आउन धैरे नेताहरू इच्छु रहे पनि भण्डारीकै कारण पार्टीमा प्रजातन्त्र नभएको बताउँदै उनीहरू भण्डारी बिनाको कंग्रेसमा भने आउन चाहेको बताए। यसकारण भण्डारीले पार्टी र सिक्किमे जनताको हितमा राजिनामा दिएर सही निर्णय गर्ने समय आएको छ।
सिहिरापको जनसम्पर्क अभियान शुरु
हामी सरकारमा पुगे एक सालमा सबै बेरोजगारहरूलाई नोकरी दिनेछौंः डॉ. एडी सुब्बा
प्रविण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक, 16 जुलाई। सिक्किमको राजनीतिमा केही समययता सुस्त रहेको सिक्किम हिमाली राज्य परिषद्‌ पार्टी (सिहिराप)-ले आफ्नो जनसम्पर्क अभियान मार्फत पुनः अस्तित्वमा रहेको उजागर गर्दै विगत र वर्तमान दुवै सरकारले सिक्किमे जनताको हितमा कार्य गर्न नसकेको तथा युग सापेक्ष जनताको आकांक्षा पुरा गर्न नसकेको बताउँदै हिजो सिंगताम बजारबाट जनसचेतना अभियानको घोषणा एक जनसभा आयोजन गरेर गरेको छ। पार्टीका महासचिव तारा श्रेष्ठले दिएको जानकारी अनुसार पार्टी अध्यक्ष डॉ. ए डी सुब्बाले आफ्नो सम्बोधनमा भने, राज्यवासी जनताको सुरक्षा औ चौतर्फी विकगासलाई एउटा नयॉं प्रोजेक्ट वा दिर्घमियादी अभियानको शुरुआत गर्न आएका हौं। 
युगानुकूल र समय सापेक्षित कार्यक्रमको बारेमा बोल्दै तिनले भने, कार्य क्षमतामा आधारिक औद्योगिक राज्यको रूपमा सिक्किमको विकास गरेर सबै बेरोजगार युवा जमातलाई वर्षदिन भित्रमा रोजगार दिलाउऩ सक्ने क्षमता पार्टीमा रहेको छ तर यसको निम्ति सिहिराप पार्टीलाई सरकारमा पुऱ्याएर सो कार्य गर्न जनताको सहयोग चाहिन्छ। यसैगरि पार्टीका उपाध्यक्ष तथा पूर्व उपमुख्यमन्त्री पीटी लक्समले भने, जसरी 1992-93 सालमा पवन चामलिङले भूमिगत हुँदा एसडीएफ पार्टीलाई डोहोऱ्याएर सत्तामा पुऱ्याउएको थियौं , त्यसैगरि अब सिहिराप पार्टीलाई पनि सरकार बनाउन दत्तचित्त भएर कार्य गर्नेछौं। तिनले अहिले सत्तारूढ एसडीएफ पार्टीको योजना र कार्यक्रम सिद्धिएको बताउँदै 1999 साल देखि मुख्यमन्त्री चामलिङले आफ्नो मनमा जे आयो त्यही कार्य गर्दै जनतालाई दुःख दिएको तर सिक्किमको निम्ति केही कार्य नगरेको बताए।
अर्कोतिर महासचिव श्रेष्ठले मुख्यमन्त्रीको गाउँ-गाउँ भ्रमण कार्यक्रम षडयन्त्र रहेको बताउँदै यसमा सबै मन्त्री, पञ्चायत, विधायक र सरकारी अधिकारीहरूलाई जनताको सामु दोष्याएर आफूमात्र इमान्दार र चोखो नेता बन्ने प्रयास गरेको बताए। यसैगरि आगामी 2012 सालमा हुने पञ्चायत चुनाउ भन्दा अघि नै विधानसभा बर्खास्त गरेर आफू कार्यवाहक मुख्यमन्त्री भएर पुन मध्यावधी चुनाउ गरि पुनः सत्तामा बस्ने जाल लिएर गाउँ पसेको बताए। राज्यको विपक्षीहरूको मौनताको फाइदा उठाएर मध्यावधी चुनाउ गराएर पुनः सत्तामा पुग्ने षडयन्त्र लिएर गाउँ पसेको आरोप लगाए। यसैगरि जनसभामा सिक्किम विश्विद्यालय जस्तो पवित्र विद्याको मन्दिरलाई पनि मुख्यमन्त्री पवन चामलिङले राजनैतिक अखडा बनाएकोमा श्रेष्ठले घोर विरोध जनाएको बताएका छन्‌। यसका साथै पार्टीका विभिन्न जिल्लाका प्रभारी अनि कार्यकर्ताहरूले पनि सम्बोधन गरेको उनले जानकारी दिएका छन्‌।
Telangana cabinet boycott - Meeting aborted as ministers mount pressure for & against state

G.S. RADHAKRISHNA, TT, Hyderabad, July 16: Andhra Pradesh’s ministers today mounted pressure for and against a Telangana state by boycotting the cabinet’s scheduled monthly meeting, which was aborted perhaps for the first time in the state’s history.
Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had been informally told about the boycott two nights ago when he hosted a dinner at his residence. Only half a dozen among his 38 cabinet colleagues turned up, and they informed him that none would be attending today’s monthly meeting.
The 12 ministers from Telangana (out of 15 from the region) who have handed in their papers to press for statehood have anyway stopped coming to the secretariat. But the readiness of the 23 ministers from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra to boycott today’s meeting signifies a rise in the “united Andhra” pitch.
Seven of these ministers were in Vijayawada today, attending a meeting of the Samakya-Andhra Forum with 30 Congress lawmakers and demanding action against “separatists who are fanning hatred among Telugus”.
The boycott would have seemed particularly unpleasant to the chief minister, a stickler for protocol who never misses even a minor meeting even if it gets delayed by three-four hours.
Reddy had received a clear message yesterday when only two of the cabinet sub-committee’s 10 members had turned up at a meeting he had summoned to discuss the agenda for today’s full cabinet sitting.
Eventually, the chief minister’s office did not send to the ministers the cabinet notes and agenda that had been prepared for them. “There is no need to suffer further embarrassment in the already vitiated environment,” an aide of Reddy said.
Many of the Seema-Andhra ministers, though, attended to work at the secretariat yesterday and today.
The last monthly cabinet meeting was held on June 15. After today’s development, a cloud hangs over future meetings. But the state government, advised by senior bureaucrats, has already taken steps so that urgent business will not be held up even if the boycott continues.
The government has passed an executive order giving “green channel” clearance to all financial decisions relating to welfare and development work for a year.
“This way, most of the strategic expenditures need not come to the cabinet for quarterly clearance and can be addressed in a routine manner,” a finance ministry official said.
As ministers willingly relinquish their grip on the administration through resignations and boycotts, governor E.S.L. Narasimhan seems to be tightening his.
Narasimhan, long accused of being too proactive by many politicians, returned from Delhi yesterday and briefed the chief minister for two hours on how to tackle the statehood agitation, especially an impending strike by government employees.
Sources say the governor has established a direct channel of contact with top bureaucrats and regularly summons them to explain government decisions. He holds daily phone conferences with senior policemen and weekly meetings with the state police chief on the status of intelligence on the Telangana agitation.
School syllabi panel
TT, Calcutta, July 16: The Mamata Banerjee government today formed a 19-member committee that will review the state’s primary, secondary and higher secondary education curriculum.
The panel is headed by retired college teacher Sunanda Sanyal and its other members include artist Jogen Choudhury and former director of the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, Marmar Mukhopadhyay.
“The main task of the panel is to overhaul the syllabi at all the three levels of school education,” said a senior official in the school education department.
This is the third education panel set up by the Mamata government since it took charge on May 20. Earlier, the government had set up a nine-member advisory committee to review the state’s higher education, and a mentor group for Presidency University chaired by Harvard professor Sugata Bose with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as adviser to the chairman.
“The panel on school education will suggest detailed recommendations on overhauling the school education syllabi,” the official said. The state government will frame its policies on school curriculum on the basis of the suggestions.
“The restructuring of the syllabi will be done with a view to reduce the burden on the students. Emphasis will also be laid on making the exam system stress-free at all levels,” the official said.
This is the first time a school education review panel will have an artist as a member. Choudhury has been included in the panel as the government plans to incorporate the study of modern art and theatre in the school curriculum, a source said.
In order to ensure that the syllabi are examined thoroughly before the revised structure is drawn up, the heads of all the three state education boards — primary, secondary and higher-secondary — are on the panel.
It also includes Kumar Rana of Amartya Sen’s Pratichi Institute, Sister Cyril of Loreto Day School, Swami Tatwaswarananada of Ramakrishna Mission and Rathin De, the director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training.
No headway yet in release of political prisoners
IE, Jul 17 2011, Kolkata: Human rights organisations are divided over the modalities of the process set by the government. Around 10 days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that urgent steps would be taken to release 46 political prisoners and that the list containing their names would be released in a couple of days, confusion has prevailed over the matter.
The human rights organisations are divided over the modalities and over the terms of reference set by the government for releasing the political prisoners.
On July 8, Mamata Banerjee announced that 46 political prisoners, three of whom are reportedly senior CPI (Maoist) leaders, would be released within the next three days. The three Maoist leaders likely to be released are Chandi Sarkar, Sushil Roy and Patitpaban Halder, said a member of the committee set up to review the cases of political prisoners.
A senior member of the review committee said, “We recommended 83 names for the status of political prisoners. Of them, Chief Minister selected 46 for early release. The list has been prepared and the names will be disclosed before July 21.”
However, the split among the rights organisations became prominent after two conventions on the release of the political prisoners were organised in a gap of three days. Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and 22 other rights organisations organized their convention on July 11, while Bandi Mukti Committee held a convention on the issue on July 14.
Several senior rights activists tried to bring the two groups together. At a time, when Nabarun Bhattacharya, author and son of Mahashweta Devin raised doubts over the “intention” and “hidden agendas” of the new government regarding the release of the political prisoners, Mahashweta Devi, on July 14, urged to have faith in the new government and asked the rights organisation to let the government decide on its policy.
“We will not be able to win if we are not united,” she said at a convention.
Significantly, a senior naxalite leader and a member of APDR said, “This is for the first time, when we see a government is becoming successful in dividing the naxal-minded people. Apparently, this divide is a great setback for us.”
According to statistics available with the department of Correctional Services, a total of 267 political activists including 193 persons having alleged connection with the CPI (Maoist) and 43 Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association (GCPA) members are languishing behind the bars in different correctional homes. Of them, 83 have been declared as political prisoners. But according to human rights organisations like Bandi Mukti Committee and APDR, the number of political prisoners in the state is about 430.

Historic tripartite treaty
KalimNews: Anything is possible in politics but it needs an amicable mentality with a positive vision for a solution. Mamata Banerjee proved that left Front government had a negative vision over the matter of Gorkha problem and TMC government within 3 months made the 3 year 10 months agitation solved on 18 July 2011.
After the tripartite agreement made on 23rd August 1988, LF government used GNLF for its political gain. It had promised to empower the then DGHC with more power for its upgradation but it always blamed DGHC as failure and GNLF of its inability to use the power to run the DGHC.
Mamata knew that the demand of Gorkhaland is more sentimental than political and she played a motherly sentimental trick honouring the sentiment whick impressed the GJM leadership. It was not harsh, hostile and negative as previous LF government and Mamta's attitude was not contrary to the expected and needed sympathy.
Subhas Ghising in 1986-88 indeed made a history by forming DGHC and keeping the Gorkha word in it and also let the whole world know about the movement of Gorkhaland.
GJM in the leadership of Bimal Gurung has also made another history by adding the word land to Gorkha of DGHC. Gurung made the India and Bengal knew that there are Gorkhas and if they are deprived of their rights then there will be problem.
During the onset of the Gorkhaland movement in 1986 Ghising didnot know that Gorkhaland is just a dream later he realised that it is wise to demand for powers other than a statehood.
Bimal while starting his new party GJM too didnot know that Gorkhaland is nothing else than a sentimental demand and later came to know that there is nothing to make a statehood dream come true.
There are Gorkhas who still believe that Gorkhaland can be achieved and the dream will come true but the present government is not in a position to agree to the demand.
This time the tripartite treaty will be signed at the Pintail village a heritage resort and brainchild of Ghising the then Chairman of DGHC within the DGHC area and also in the state of West Bengal.
The treaty to be signed by three secretaries of Union Home, State and GJM for the formation of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration with more power and money than DGHC will have 45 elected and 5 nominated members. Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram and Chief Minister of the state Mamata Banerjee along with GJM President Bimal Gurung and state ministers will be present during the treaty.

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