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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Economist doubts pact...... GTA is about Darjeeling Hills only while Gorkhaland is a national issue.-AAGSU .... Absu demand gets Congress support ... CM bid to ally fears over GTA area ... Tribals meet Mamata, say won’t cede land to GTA in Dooars, Terai... Hills pact: ABAVP softens stance... Telangana: MLAs' resignation rejected... Are you Getting old ? Look out for common signs!

Economist doubts pact
SNS, SILIGURI, 23 JULY: Eminent economist from north Bengal, Dr Manas Dasgupta, today asked whether the GJMM general secretary, Mr Roshan Giri, had the right to sign the tripartite Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) pact.
Addressing a convention on GTA, organised by the Darjeeling district Left Front in Siliguri this evening, Dr Dasgupta said: “Is Mr Roshan Giri Indian? Has he rights to sign the pact? Mr Giri has three birth certificates. It was learnt that he was born in Nepal, in Myanmar and then in Assam. Which is correct? Can he sign the pact when a murder charge is framed against him? Is the pact valid?”
Dr Dasgupta requested the former state urban development minister, Mr Asok Bhattacharya, to raise the question about Mr Giri’s original birth certificate and revoke the pact. Mr Asok Bhattacharya said: “The pact is unclear, contradictory and it was signed undemocratically keeping the people in the dark. After signing the pact several problems have already cropped up in different regions.”
“Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has bought peace by allotting fund of Rs 200 crore per year. Miss Banerjee has a tacit political relation with the GJMM and to please them she had agreed to add their proposals, including the name of the new body ~ GTA ~ to the draft, which was settled through several tripartite talks during the tenure of the LF. The CM has called an all political party meeting to change the name of the state. But she did not call an all-party meeting on the issue of Gorkhaland,” Mr Bhattacharya said. The LF would organise a convention on this issue across the state, including in Kolkata, soon, he added.
GTA is about Darjeeling Hills only while Gorkhaland is a national issue.-AAGSU
KalimNews, PR, Guwahati, 23 July: The central core steering committee of All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU) apex students’ and youths’ organization of Gorkhas of Assam has decided to inform the nation that formation Gorkha Territorial Administration(GTA) has no connection to the Gorkhas of Assam and Northeast and it is merely about road, water, education, safety, socio-poltical and economic development of Darjeeling. The agreement nowhere mentions anything about Gorkhas of nation besides Darjeeling hills even 40% of the national Gorkha population who resides in Assam and Northeast doesnot find a  place in it and  have been leftout which is matter for huge displeasure for supporting the Gorkhaland movement from these region and we donot  refrain from condemning the act of keeping us in total darkness on clauses of GTA while the leaders of Gorkha JanMukti Morcha (GJM) have been promising of packages and Special Protected Class (SPC) for the Gorkhas of Northeast region.  
AAGSU is of the opinion that Gorkhaland is not about Darjeeling Hills only, it is about identity and ethnicity of the Gorkhas of this nation. It is not only about the piece of land in the North Bengal region but about emotional and political identity amongst population of the nation. We condemn the activities of leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Northeast Co-ordination Committee who promised the people of NE region of SPC and special grants and reservations and are silent today at the signing of GTA agreement by their central leaders where the word Northeast does not find a place even. GTA agreement totally fails to meet the hopes and aspirations of Gorkhaland and Gorkhas of the nation but in context of Darjeeling, we welcome it. GTA is nowhere near powerful to the Bodoland Terretorial Council or other autonomous councils of Northeastern region so this could just be eyewash comparatively. Neither the ST statuses of some tribes of Gorkhas have been recognized nor any territory for administration is decided, on the other hand Dooars and parts of Siliguri being leftout indicate that GTA is just renewal of existing DGHAC.
“The Gorkha Territorial Administration agreement in itself is a milestone for the development of Darjeeling district of West Bengal and it particularly benefits the population of three subdivisions of the dist, but the incomplete work of ensuring the national identity of Gorkhas across India must continue with bigger mandate by one nationally present organization. We welcome the renewal of development process in Darjeeling dist. Initiated by the West Bengal government Mamta Banerjee and approved by Union Home ministry that shall empower administrators of Darjeeling is not the result of the Gorkhaland movement but central and state governments policy to suppress the nationwide hopes and aspiration of Gorkhaland. The work to concretise national identity for Gorkhas must go on and it will continue and AAGSU will also contribute in every way possible in this struggle for the Gorkha national identity”, said Nanda Kirati Dewan, Information and Publicity Secretary of AAGSU while interacting with mediapersons at Gorkha Thakurbari who have been seeking AAGSU’s stand on GTA.
He made it loud and clear that leaders of GJM Northeast Co-ordination committee have been campaigning for Special Protected Class for Gorkhas of the region which AAGSU had dropped  dissolution of Special Protected Class Demand Committee in a highly empowered delegates session and demanded the formation of legislative decision empowered  Gorkha Autonomous Council(GAC) within the geographical territory of Assam on satellite basis  and formed Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee (GACDC) in 2003 and have been carrying out the movement relentlessly and as and when required have been a part of Gorkhaland movement in a national context. Coming down heavily on L N Subba, Chairman of NECC, GJM; ‘’ Shortsighted GJM leader L N Subba and his team has kept quiet now and this has prompted AAGSU to speak on this issue. AAGSU will not tolerate and hit back if our emotions are not respected. In Assam we are committed for a Gorkha Autonomous Council that is being supported Gorkha organization leaders and intellects across Northeast and more than 42 social, democratic and community students’ organization of the state including the umbrella organization United Peoples’ Federation of Assam(UPFA). “, the AAGSU leader decried.
All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union have welcomed the move of Assam Government to upgrade the prestigious and premier Cotton College established in 1901 to Cotton College State University and have appreciated the thinktank process of establishing one university each in Jorhat, Diph and North Lakhimpur. This will definitely facilitate better higher education and benefit the students of the Northeastern states besides Assam.
Absu demand gets Congress support
TT, Kokrajhar, July 23: The movement for a Bodoland state, which was renewed by the All Bodo Students’ Union recently, today received support from the ruling Congress. The Absu is demanding a separate state under Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Constitution.
Briefing mediapersons here today, president of the Bodoland Pradesh Congress Committee Rajeshwar Brahma, who was the party candidate from Kokrajhar East constituency in the last Assembly election, said more than one lakh Congress workers have extended full support to the statehood demand of Absu.
“The Congress workers of Bodoland area, irrespective of caste and creed, feel and have realised that the time has come to consider the legitimate demand of Absu for creation of a separate Bodoland state,” Brahma said. He added that though the Centre had granted an autonomous council under the Sixth Schedule with more powers than what was enjoyed by the previous council, it was not enough. “This council cannot fulfil the basic needs of the Bodo people and ensure all-round development and welfare of the inhabitants of Bodoland area,” Brahma said.
The PCC leader also countered the support extended by some Congress MLAs for a separate Kamatapur state saying, “Some Congress MLAs and ministers have extended their support and recommended creation of Kamatapur, but they neither have any knowledge of geographical territory of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) nor do they represent any of the Assembly constituencies in the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD). Their main purpose is to bifurcate the BTC area,” he alleged.

Tribals meet Mamata, say won’t cede land to GTA in Dooars, Terai

Members of the Adivasi Vikash Parishad with Chief Minister Mamata BanerjeeENS, Jul 24, Kolkata:The16-member delegation makes stand clear on 400 mouzas of land.
A 16-member delegation of Adivasi Vikash Parishad on Saturday met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers’ Building and reiterated their demand for not including the 400 monzas, demanded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, within the territory of the newly formed GTA. “We will not allow any of these land to be included into the GTA,” they said.
The team also met Gautam Deb, state minister for North Bengal Development. The delegation included 10 members from the Dooars, five members from Terai and one member from Junglemahal. The ABAVP is opposed to GJM’s demand for inclusion of areas belonging to Dooars and Terai region in the new Hill council.
“We today explained our stand to our Chief Minister. She gave a patient hearing. There are laws and the Constitution and the Parliament. A government-appointed committee is looking into it. But we will never allow the land to be included in GTA where our communities have been living for last 200 years. Nobody can take away our land from us. We will never allow the inclusion of the 400 mouzas of Dooars and Terai in the GTA,” said Birsa Tirkey, president of ABAVP.
When asked about the bandh called by the ABAVP on the eve of the GTA agreement being signed, Tirkey said, “We called the bandh for not opposing the state government, but to draw its attention towards our demand.”
Meanwhile, Goutam Deb, said, “The ABAVP had called their bandh prior to the signing of the tripartite accord and they withdrew it after I promised them to hold talks on their demands. As they did not have the copy of the agreement then, it led to a misunderstanding which has been cleared now.”
Deb further said the government would take up several development projects in Dooars and Terai area also.

Hills pact: ABAVP softens stance
SNS, KOLKATA, 23 JULY: Following a meeting with chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee, the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad (ABAVP) today apparently toned down their opposition to the new tripartite agreement but the memorandum submitted by them iterated their objections to the inclusion of any mouza from the Terai and the Dooars into the territory of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA).
The state government, meanwhile, has began the process of forming the committee for conducting the survey in Dooars and Terai to identify the Gorkha-dominated areas, if any. The recommendations of the committee, which is likely to be headed by the retired Chief Justice Mr Shyamal Sen, will be followed by the state government to decide on the demands of territorial expansion of the GTA. The GJMM has already sent the names of their four representatives for the committee. Miss Mamata Banerjee today met the representatives of the tribal organisation along with the minister from north Bengal, Mr Gautam Deb, and senior officials of the state government in order to placate them. The organisation had given call for a bandh prior to the signing of the tripartite agreement. Mr Birsa Tirkey, a member of the ABAVP, said: “ We did not have the copy of the agreement. We gave the bandh call because we wanted to draw the attention of the state government to our demands. It is quite true that the previous regime neglected us a lot.”
He added that the tribals were living on that land for the past 200 years and they cannot be evicted in any way. However, the memorandum that was circulated among the media listed “strong opposition towards inclusion of any mouza of the Dooars and the Terai region to GTA”. Mr Deb said that his party wanted peace, unity and development in north Bengal and the chief minister had keenly listened to the demands of the ABAVP members and considered the various development issues of the area.
CM bid to ally fears over GTA area

Pinak Priya Bhattacharya & Ajanta Chakraborty, TNN , Jul 24, JALPAIGURI/ KOLKATA: The process of bringing parts of the Dooars and Terai under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) faces two hurdles - the population composition of the area is heavily in favour of tribals and the protections that tribal land enjoy.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee sought to overcome the first hurdle on Saturday by assuring the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad that the interest of the adivasis would be protected. She succeeded in dissuading ABAVP leaders from going to Delhi to meet Union home minister P Chidambaram with the demand that the proposed survey of the Dooars and Terai for inclusion in GTA be scrapped.
The CM assured ABAVP members that they need not feel threatened by the formation of a high-power committee to identify areas in the Dooars and Terai which could be included in GTA. A 17-member delegation led by ABAVP state president Birsa Tirkey met the CM for more than an hour at Writers' Buildings on the issue of GTA's jurisdiction.
"The CM has assured us that her government would do nothing detrimental to the interest of the people of Dooars and Terai. We would be a party to any decision-making on the inclusion or exclusion of the plains in GTA. The job of the four representatives from the government in this nine-member committee is to hear our views and convey them to the government," Tirkey said.
"After meeting the CM, we don't feel the need to meet the home minister. She told us not to panic. The 330 moujas being claimed by GJM will not be transferred to GTA. The CM told us today her government is very much on our side," ABAVP general secretary Tej Kumar Toppo added. ABAVP had called a bandh in the Dooars last Monday when the GTA accord was being signed because it was not aware of the contents of the accord. "Now the CM has given us a copy of the agreement."
Promising to "flood the area with development activity," the CM also asked ABAVP to drop the demand for a sixth scheduled status to the Dooars-Terai region, much more than VIth Schedule would ever bring. "The CM said it would become irrelevant once development activity starts," Toppo said.
Tirkey said, however, that adivasis have been living in the Dooars for the past 200 years and they would resist the inclusion of their land in GTA. And, going by research, figures are with the adivasis. The population of Oraons alone in the Dooars tea belt is much higher than the total Nepali population in Jalpaiguri district. There are 39 other tribal communities there, like Munda, Santhal, Ho and Kheria. "So, you see, the experts' committee cannot just suggest inclusion of Dooars and Terai under GTA," a researcher said.
Besides, 315 moujas in the Dooars and 250 in Terai are included in Integrated Tribal Development Project. Their status cannot be altered without the concurrence of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. The areas in the tea belt come under assembly constituencies reserved for scheduled tribes." It is going to be a difficult task for the experts' committee to recommend inclusion of these moujas under the GTA," an expert said.
Adivasis, however, have a problem. Tribals living in the North Bengal tea belt do not have the title on the land they have their quarters on. If the survey is done on the basis of holdings the assessment could be wrong, feel observers. "It should be done on the basis of linguistic and ethnic majority. The percentage of population has to be checked as well," one said.
Eminent researcher on tribes Bimalendu Mazumdar said the government should formulate suitable developmental packages for the area. "Every separatist movement is a result of underdevelopment and continuous deprivation. This cannot be solved by meeting the separatist demands. Groups will keep on forming if deprivation and underdevelopment reigns. This needs to be confronted with developmental works," he said.
CM's Day 31 tour

Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok 23rd July: On the 31st day of the village to village tour the Chief Minister while talking about the various demands received from the public during the tour and sanctioned in principle on the spot by him said that the ‘PEOPLES DEMAND’ shall be brought before the coming assembly and get it passed in the house in the interest of the people. The compilation of the demands shall be brought in a book form and sent to the Gram panchayat, the Chief Minister said.
Giving a strong message to the departments the chief minister said that the present system of the field officers of preparing estimates without knowing about the field requirement should be strictly avoided. The field officers should personally visit the field and study about the actual field requirements and feasibility of the projects before preparing the estimates. In this way estimates as per the field requirement will be prepared which will solve the purpose for which projects are implemented. Further talking about the implementation of the projects the Chief Minister emphasized on the preparation of Social estimates and public hearing of the schemes in the Gram Sabha before implementation of the projects. The project implemented should be transparent in every aspect as the people have every righty to know about the schemes being implemented in their areas. Public hearing of the projects should be made mandatory before starting the work in the field, the Chief Minister said.
Talking about the present education system to the students and visa vis its impact on the society the Chief Minister said that the system of education which has become a medium of producing doctors, engineers and professionals from a human being has ceased to be value based. The prevalent education system which is not value based in creating problem in the world. So, my dear students, the education should be value based and it should produce not only successful people but also good citizens, he added. In this regard he gave the example of Gandhi, Nelson Mendela, Abrahim Lincon and many others who were good citizens and changed the world for better and are remembered and revered throughout. But at the same time the Chief Minister also gave the example of Hitler, Osama Bin laden etc who were successful people but were not good citizen and were terror for the world and destroyed the world for their interest. In this regard he asked the students to differentiate between these people and learn from their lives.
The Chief Minister also declared that inorder to see the problems faced by the people in nook and corner of the state and to see for himself the ground reality, this village to village tour will be made a yearly event of the government.
At Saku the co-operative societies of West Pendam GPU felicitated the Chief Minister.
At Duga the Chief Minister was felicitated by the beneficiaries of chief minister Rural Housing Scheme who were allotted houses under Kutcha House Free State Mission.
At Saku the Gram Panchayat Sachiva of West Pendam Gram Panchayat Shri Pratap Rai declared to donate house site measuring 30ft x33ft each to four poor villagers of the GPU for the construction of houses under Kutcha House Free State Mission. The land documents were handed over to the four beneficiaries through the hand of the Chief Minister at a public function.
During the day long tour the Chief Minister addressed the people at Duga, Pachak, Central Pendam and Saku.
Telangana: MLAs' resignation rejected

101 MLAs from Telangana region submitted their resignations en masse on July 4 demanding that the central government immediately create Telangana state.
PTI, Jul 23: 101 MLAs from Telangana region submitted their resignations en masse on July 4 demanding that the central government immediately create Telangana state.
Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar on Saturday rejected the resignation of 101 Telangana MLAs cutting across party lines, saying legislators act was driven by emotion.
In all, 101 MLAs from Telangana region, including 12 ministers of the state cabinet, from different parties submitted their resignations en masse on July 4 demanding that the central government immediately create Telangana state.
The Speaker is believed to have taken the decision to reject the legislators' resignation just before leaving for London to take part in the Commonwealth Speakers' conference, Legislature sources said.
The Speaker, they said, noted that he was rejecting the resignations after examining them and ascertaining the circumstances in which they were tendered.
"Resignations submitted in an emotion cannot be accepted," Manohar reportedly noted.
Are you Getting old ? Look out for common signs!

PTI, London, Jul 23: Men, if you are falling asleep in front of the television or sprouting unsightly hair in all the wrong places, then it could only mean that you are getting old, says a new study.
For women, the first tell-tell signs include turning up for meetings in outfits chosen for comfort rather than style. They will also have arrived in the coat they never leave home without, according to the study.
Once there - having eventually found misplaced car keys/handbag/glasses and then driven very slowly - they will probably find they can't remember everybody's name, it says.
These are among the 50 most common signs of ageing revealed in the study based on a survey of 2,000 Britons aged 18 to 65, the 'Daily Express' reported.
The respondents were asked what they believed were the signals that showed someone was "getting on a bit". The research was carried out by insurance firm Engage Mutual to gain the public perception of age.
Other points to watch for: You are likely to tell people exactly what you're thinking, even if it is not polite. You will be complaining about the "rubbish on television" when they are not screening shocking racy music videos.
Surprisingly, the poll found that a third of people who took part believed they felt the signs of ageing between the ages of 21 and 29 - although the majority felt 60-plus is the age at which people can be classed as "old".

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