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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hills get ready for history..... 'We must fight for survival'...... Fingers crossed in Hills ahead of landmark deal.......Break before tigers roam - CM in North bengal, stage set for Darjeeling deal today ....Bijay Bantawa received Kanchanjunga Puraskar..... State to focus on industrial growth in Darjeeling Hills ..... Original inhabitants seek quota

Hills get ready for history
HT, Kolkata, July 17, 2011: A tripartite pact between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), the West Bengal government and New Delhi will be signed on Monday, resolving the long-standing impasse in the Darjeeling Hills with the formation of a new autonomous elected hill council, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration
According to the agreement, to be signed in the presence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Union home minister P Chidambaram at Pintail Village, the GTA will be armed with more powers compared to its former avatar, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, formed in 1988.
As many as 59 subjects and departments including public welfare, urban development, social welfare, land and land revenue, public health andfamily welfare, management of any forest and education will be transferred to the GTA.
"The administrative, executive and financial powers in respect of the subjects transferred will be vested in such a way that the new body may function in an autonomous and effective way," reads one of the governing principles of the agreement, accessed by HT.
Areas of the entire sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and extended areas of Kurseong will be under the GTA’s jurisdiction. The agreement, however, has a provision for transfer of additional Gorkha-majority areas under the council’s jurisdiction.
A committee will study the feasibility of including areas in Siliguri, Terai (plains of Darjeeling) and Dooars (foothills of the Himalayas) in the council, as demanded by the GJM.
The committee has been mandated to submit its recommendations within six months of its constitution. The GJM, however, said it has not gone back on its demand for a separate state. The demand for Gorkhaland covering parts of northern Bengal gained momentum in the 1980s under the Gorkha National Liberation Front. But the reins of the movement were later taken over by the Bimal Gurung-led GJM.
The Left Front has rejected the state government’s invitation.
"The contents of the agreement have not been conveyed to us. We also don’t know the basis on which the treaty is going to be signed," leader of the opposition Suryakanta Mishra said.
People are hoping the treaty will restore peace in the Hills.
"Kalimpong and Darjeeling were out of bounds for tourists because of violence and shutdowns," said Aniket Dutta, a resident of Tollygunge. "I hope this will pave the way for peace."

'We must fight for survival'
TNN, Jul 18, 2011, DARJEELING/MIRIK/SILIGURI: At the busy Darjeeling More, youths were putting up GJM and Trinamool Congress flags. "We are celebrating for a new future," said Dengu Gurung, a Nari Morcha member in Kurseong.
The future, however, didn't hold much promise for the old woman trudging down a tea garden in Phuguri with a bundle of dry sticks that she would sell in the market. "I am a Gorkha too, but what future do I have? I somehow make both ends meet doing odd jobs. No leader ever considers the plight of people like us. When bandhs are called, we go hungry," she mumbled, struggling under her heavy burden.
It was as usual a busy Sunday market at Dudhiya and nobody - neither buyer nor seller - seemed too concerned about the goings-on at Pintail village. "Nothing will change for people like us. We will have to keep on fighting for our survival whether a separate state is formed or not," said Rajib Gurung while loading supplies into his car.
Mirik Raibari, the orange capital of Bengal, remained the sleepy hamlet that it is. Children played on the streets and women washed clothes. Men at a tea stall looked disinterested when Gorkhaland cropped up in the conversation.
Discontent, meanwhile, continues to brew among the sizeable non-Nepali population in the foothills of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri district over the use of the name Gorkhaland in the agreement. While some GJM leaders have claimed that with this they have crossed the first hurdle towards the formation of a new state, several Adivasi and Bengali groups have already started an agitation against the event and some have even threatened to disrupt proceedings on Monday. Security has been tightened throughout Siliguri.
Mamata Banerjee reached Bagdogra airport on Sunday and visited the proposed site for the North Bengal secretariat. In the evening she visited the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and spoke to officials on how to develop it further.  
Fingers crossed in Hills ahead of landmark deal
Jayanta Gupta, Deep Gazmer & Pinak Priya Bhattacharya, TNN, Jul 18, 2011,
DARJEELING/MIRIK/SILIGURI: Except for a few pockets in the hill subdivisions, Darjeeling wasn't celebrating on Sunday in anticipation of what Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders believe will be the first step towards the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state
In fact, there seemed to be an undercurrent of fear at many places. People, even those of Nepali origin, seemed apprehensive of what would happen once GJM got additional powers after the signing of the Gorkhaland Territorial Agreement between the Morcha, the state government and the Centre on Monday.
A trader in Mirik pointed to a Nepali cap in his shop window. He had to shell out `170 to buy it when GJM had made wearing it mandatory. "I hated wearing it when they forced us to do so," he said.
The GJM office in Mirik, which has received a fresh coat of paint, was locked. The leaders had all left for Siliguri to attend Monday's ceremony. The man on the street, however, was not sure what the 'ceremony' was all about.
"Oh, yes, I've heard Mama-ta didi is coming to Siliguri from Cooch Behar. There will be some sort of ceremony the-re. For us what matters is a better lifestyle. I shall continue to call out to tourists to have lunch at my restaurant even after the agreement is signed. I won't become a king even if a state called Gorkhaland is formed," a restaurant owner at the busy Mirik market said.
At places like Subedar Bus-ty Hall in Kurseong, though, celebrations started early on Saturday. Women — their faces smeared in abir — danced to local numbers past midnight. Near Salbari, close to Pintail village, where the pact will be signed, women were seen preparing buntings and streamers in yellow and green.
Darjeeling set for historic treaty - amid controversy
IANS, Siliguri, July 17, 2011: The hills of Darjeeling are set to see a historic tripartite pact on Monday between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), the West Bengal government and New Delhi. But the Left Front is against it. "The people of Darjeeling are eagerly waiting for the agreement. This treaty will bring
development in the hills," GJM spokesman and legislator Harka Bhadur Chetri said.
Apart from chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Union home minister P Chidambaram will attend the event at the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) resort in Sukna in Kurseong sub-division.
"People from the Darjeeling hills dressed in traditional attire will receive the chief minister," Chetri said.
After ending the Left Front's 34-year rule, Banerjee opened a dialogue with the GJM to resolve the long pending problem of the hills.
Last month, after a series of meetings with the GJM leadership, Banerjee claimed the Darjeeling issue has been resolved.
The GJM, however, said it has not gone back on its demand for Gorkhaland and called the pact the "foundation of a separate state".
There is speculation that GJM chief Bimal Gurung opted out of signing the treaty due to resentment among a section of hill people that he had scaled down his demand for statehood.
"It is a decision taken by the president that (GJM general secretary) Roshan Giri will sign the pact. More than this I cannot say," Chetri said.
At the core of the pact is the formation of a new autonomous elected hill council, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), armed with more powers compared to its former avatar, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, formed in the late 1980s.
A nine-member high-powered committee, comprising four members each from GJM and the state government and one from the central government, will be formed to study GJM's demand on demarcating the Gorkha majority areas in the Terai (plains of Darjeeling) and Dooars (foothills of the Himalayas) for inclusion in the council.
The Left Front feels the proposed agreement will only aggravate the problem of the hills. Leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra said he would stay away from the function.
Kshiti Goswami, a leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), echoed Mishra.
"We are in the dark about details of the understanding. We oppose the change in the nomenclature of the council. We are also against the formation of the committee to include more areas in the autonomous body," Goswami said.
"We fear this agreement will aggravate the problem rather than solving it. We are apprehensive that inclusion of new areas under the hill authority, which the proposed treaty will consider, will create tension and anarchy," Mishra said.
He said his party favoured the area under the hill authority being the same as that under the DGHC.
The GJM leadership slammed Mishra's statement and blamed the Left for not being honest in solving the problem.
"If he says he doesn't know anything about the agreement, then he is not saying the truth. He was present in previous tripartite talks. They (Left) were never serious about solving the situation," said Chetri.
North Bengal, particularly the plains of Darjeeling, saw several shutdowns this week called by political and social groups to protest the proposed pact.
These organisations, which include Amra Bangalee and Rashtriya Shiv Sena, plans to organise protest rallies on Monday.
The demand for Gorkhaland covering parts of northern Bengal gained momentum in the 1980s under the leadership of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) supremo Subash Ghising.
But the reins of the movement were later taken over by the Bimal Gurung-led GJM.
Break before tigers roam - CM in North bengal, stage set for Darjeeling deal today
TT, Siliguri, July 17: Mamata Banerjee today indulged herself in a very Bengali way, spending two hours sightseeing in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary as she arrived here to oversee the signing of a hill peace pact tomorrow.
Perhaps she just wanted a break after a hectic first eight weeks as chief minister, during which she has tried to bell several cats such as Singur, the Maoists and the restive hills.
But there was one big cat she wasn’t taking any chances with this evening.
“Ebaar bari jai, bagh aashbe, kheye nebe (let’s go home now, else the tiger will come and eat us),” she announced loudly after climbing down from a watchtower towards the end of her unscheduled forest tour.
“Jano to, oder disturb korle kheye nay (Don’t you know, they gobble up anyone who disturbs them),” she added to guffaws from the forest staff before returning to the Sukna forest bungalow to spend the night. No tiger has been sighted there recently. Elephants, a tourist favourite, too, steered clear of the chief minister’s path.
Mamata’s aides wouldn’t hazard a guess whether the forest venture was her way of unwinding before tomorrow’s pact, or if it was an attempt to connect with local people on the eve of offering a new deal for north Bengal.
“She has been working without a break for so many years. For the past eight weeks, she has been putting in nearly 9-10 hours every day. At least she had some fresh air in the forest,” an aide said.
Mamata had touched down at Bagdogra airport around 3pm and driven to the Sukna forest bungalow, about 7-8km from Siliguri and located at the edge of the sanctuary. Around 4.30, she set off on the sightseeing trip and reached the watchtower at Gulma forest beat camp 1/4 around 5.40pm, Mukul Roy in tow.
She took the wooden stairs to the top of the tower and soaked in the greenery and the view of the distant hills for 20 minutes.
A three-member Gorkha Janmukti Morcha team called on Mamata around 9pm, party president Bimal Gurung handing her sweets on the occasion of his 47th birthday. “It was a courtesy call. The people of the hills are very happy,” Gurung told reporters.
Morcha sources said Gurung and Mamata discussed the final draft of tomorrow’s tripartite deal on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), to be signed in the presence of Union home minister P. Chidambaram.
With the inking of the pact, billed as the most significant attempt at peace in the hills since the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was formed in 1988, Mamata will be fulfilling one of her key election promises. While her plan to fast-track land return in Singur is in the courts, her peace bid in Jungle Mahal awaits Maoist endorsement.
State to focus on industrial growth in Darjeeling Hills
Pranesh Sarkar, SNS,KOLKATA, 17 JULY: After settling the issue in the hills by signing the tripartite agreement tomorrow, the Trinamul Congress-led state government is set to lay stress on bringing in industries in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling.
For this, the state government is likely to place a demand before the department of industrial policy and promotion of the Union ministry of commerce and industry to include the northern part of the state in the North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) where industrialists are given huge tax relief if they set up industries.
“It is in the roadmap of our government. Chief minister had already taken up the issue with the Centre in the recent past. Now, a fresh initiative would be taken. If our neighbouring states like Sikkim can enjoy the facility, it should be extended to the northern part of our states which has similar topography. At least three hill sub-divisions ~ Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong ~ should enjoy the facility,” the uttarbanga unnayan affairs minister, Mr Gautam Deb, told The Statesman.
Senior officials at Writers’ Buildings said that the Centre gives a package of fiscal incentives and other concessions for the industrialists who set up their units in North-Eastern states under the NEIIPP. The package was announced first in 1997 where the facility was announced for states like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. In 2007, the facility has been extended to Sikkim, too.
Under this policy, industries set up in these states enjoy several facilities, including 100 per cent excise duty exemption, 100 per cent Income-Tax exemption, handsome amount of capital investment subsidy, interest subsidy on working capital loan etc. And these facilities are offered for a period of 10 years.
As per the plan prepared for undertaking development in north Bengal, the state government is eyeing to set up industries in the hills only to generate employment for local youths as well as overall development of the area. “There are several opportunities to set up industries in the hills. Industries like information technology, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology units which are based on medicinal plants and readymade garment industry can flourish in the area. These units would also generate huge number of employment for the local people,” said Mr Deb. The state government is likely to argue that if Sikkim can be brought under the policy, the Centre should consider bringing three Hill sub-divisions under the facility as it has same topography as Sikkim.
Stage set for Hills pact - mixed reaction in hills
Soma Mookherjee, SNS, SILIGURI, 17 JULY: Chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee arrived here today, setting the stage for tomorrow's agreement for the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration that has evoked mixed reactions from the people in the hills and those living in the Terai and Dooars region. The jubilation in the hills from where hordes of people have been coming down to Pintail village here to witness the historic event is in sharp contrast to the anxiety, anger and a sense of betrayal that have gripped the plains.
The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad called off its 48-hour bandh that had begun yesterday, saying that for now it would closely watch what the agreement unfolds and launch its agitation if the Terrai and Dooars region is included in the GTA. But, eight other organisations of the plains, including Amra Bangali and Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee, have decided to go ahead with their 48-hour bandh starting from tomorrow which they will observe as “black day” and burn the effigies of Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha chief Mr Bimal Gurung and its secretary, Mr Roshan Giri.
The Union home minister Mr P Chidambaram will be arriving here tomorrow and the agreement will be signed at 3 p.m. State ministers Mr Manish Gupta, Mr Subrata Mukherjee, Union minister of state of shipping Mr Mukul Roy and chief secretary Mr Samar Ghosh also arrived here during the day and were staying along with the chief minister at Sukna Forest bungalow.
It was learnt Mr Gurung along with Mr Giri, and GJMM MLA Mr Harka Bahadur Chetri were closeted with the chief minister late in the evening.
Mr Khusi Ranjan Mandal of Amra Bangali said: “The government should first identify who are foreign Nepalis before going for the agreement.” Mr Mandal said more than 1.1 million Nepalis are foreigners here. The government should identify the Nepalis who have been in Darjeeling before the 1950 Indo-Nepal treaty. According to him Mr Subash Ghisingh, GNLF chief, is also a foreigner.
Dr Mukunda Majumder, president, Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee, charged the goverment is paving the way for the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state, terming the agreement as “Gorkhaland Agreement Treaty”.
Mr Harka Bahadur Chetri, GJMM spokesperson, said the agreement would be the first step towards formation of Gorkhaland and expressed happiness that the state government had taken the initiative to solve the long-standing problem.
Mrs Bharati Tamang, president, All India Gorkha League, however, lashed out at the Trinamul Congress-led government for having taken “such a major decision after consulting only GJMM leaders.”
“Neither the chief minister nor any other minister has consulted us before taking this major decision. My husband was murdered in broad day light and I am yet to get justice. My husband was murdered for the cause of democracy,” she said.
The Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM), a prominent voice in the hills, accused the GJMM of reneging on its promise to create Gorkhaland by agreeing to be a party of the accord. CPRM spokesman Mr Gobinda Chhetri said the Morcha had betrayed the cause of Gorkhaland which was its poll plank in the Assembly election.

Chandmoni site for CM’s Siliguri office
SNS, SILIGURI, 17 JULY: The chief minister, Miss Mamata Banerjee, was so delighted with the scenic beauty of the deserted Chandmoni Tea Plantation beside National Highway 31 that she decided to set up the chief minister's secretariat or mini-secretariat in the area adjoining Uttarayan, a housing complex near the tea garden.
On her way to Sukna forest bungalow today, Miss Banerjee suddenly stopped her convoy in front of Uttarayan, which was set up at the Chandmoni Tea Plantation in the Matigara police station area in Siliguri. Miss Banerjee then called the district magistrate Mr PMK Gandhi and asked him to earmark a five-acre plot and put up a hoarding tomorrow mentioning "site for chief minister's secretariat".
Asked about her decision to set up the office, Miss Banerjee later said: “This is a nice place. We have decided to set up the chief minister's secretariat here. I have asked the district magistrate to begin procurement of land.”
On her way to the forest bungalow, Miss Banerjee first stopped in front of the Army cantonment and held an informal meeting on the road to chalk out her programme with Trinamul and Congress leaders, including north Bengal development affairs minister Mr Gautam Deb, Siliguri MLA Dr Rudranath Bhattacharya, another MLA from Cooch Behar, Mr Rabindranath Ghosh, Siliguri mayor Ms Gangotri Datta and Siliguri municipal corporation chairperson Mr Nantu Paul.
Although Miss Banerjee was scheduled to hold a meeting with top administrative officials, she suddenly decided to visit Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Even though there was a prohibitory order over entering the forest after 5 p.m., Miss Banerjee started her journey for the 1/4 Gulma camp watchtower where an elephant was badly injured after it was hit by a speeding train.
“We held a meeting with the forest officials over the present scenario of the forests,” Miss Banerjee told reporters.
However, after 6 p.m. the chief minister asked everybody, including the journalists who were following her, to leave the forest.
The chief minister also stopped at Gorkha-dominated Khoirani forest village and interacted with the villagers. A senior forest official said she had asked forest officials to provide basic amenities to the villagers.
Bijay Bantawa awarded Kanchanjunga Puraskar

Bijay Bantawa receiving the award
KalimNews: Bijay Bantawa senior journalist of Sikkim was awarded Kanchanjunga Kalam Puraskar by the Press Club of Siikim during its 9th foundation day celebration. Homnath Davari was also felicitated as most promising journalist with the Lagansil Puraskar. Arun kumar Rasaily senior journalist of Kalimpong was also felicitated in the programme.
Bantawa the recipient of the ‘Kanchanjunga Kalam Puraskar 2011 is the editor and publisher of Himgiri weekly newspaper.

Arun Kumar Rasaily is the Kalimpong correspondent of Nepali daily Sunakhari Samachar published from Siliguri. Rasaily , the President of Kalimpong Press Club was honoured for his valuable contributions in the field of journalism.
Homnath Davari is the South district correspondent based at Namchi of Nepali daily Samay Dainik.
Sonam P Wangdi Justice of Sikkim High Court was the chief guest of the programme held in a hotel at Gangtok. Wangdi and the reciepient of the awards addressed the audience.
कञ्चन्‌जंघा कलम पुरस्कारद्वारा पत्रकार विजय बान्तवा पुरस्कृत
पत्रकारहरूले सकारात्मक समाचार प्रेषण गर्नुपर्छ- न्यायामूर्ति वाङदी
प्रणय लामीछाने, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक, जुलाई 17: यहॉंको एक स्थानीय होटेलमा नवौं वार्षिकी स्थापना समारोहको आयोजन गर्दै प्रेस क्लब अफ सिक्किमले वरिष्ठ पत्रकार विजय बान्तवालाई सातौं कञ्चन्‌जङ्घा कलम पुरस्कार 2011 द्वारा अलङ्कृत गर्यो।
सिक्किम उच्च न्यायालयका न्यायमूर्ति सोनाम पी. वाङदीले पत्रकार बान्तवा लगायत कालेबुङका वरिष्ठ पत्रकार सुनाखरी समाचार-पत्रका सम्वाददाता अरुण कुमार रसाइलीलाई अभिनन्दन साथै होमनाथ दवाड़ीलाई युवा प्रवीण पत्रकार पुरस्कार प्रदान गरे। 
Homnath Davari receiving the award
पत्रकार बान्तवालाई तीन दशक अघिदेखि अंग्रेजी र नेपाली विभिन्न राष्ट्रीय तथा राज्यका समाचार-पत्रहरूमा योगदान पुराउँदै दीर्घकालीन सेवा पुराए वापत्‌ प्रेस क्लब अफ सिक्किमले यो पुरस्कारले सम्मानित गरेको हो। पुरस्कारको रुपमा सम्मान-पत्र, स्मृति चिन्ह, अंग-वस्त्र र नगद राशि पत्रकार बान्तवालाई प्रदान गरिएको थियो।
त्यसरी नै पत्रकार रसाइली र दवाड़ीलाई पनि प्रशस्ति पत्र तथा स्मृति चिन्ह प्रदान गरिएको थियो।
आफ्नो सम्बोधनमा समारोहका मुख्य अतिथि सिक्किम उच्च न्यायालयका न्यायाधीश सोनाम पिन्छो वाङदीले भारतमा सिक्किम विलय हुनु अघि र पछि कस्ता समाचारहरूको स्थिति र सम्वाद प्रेषण हुन्थ्यो त्यस कुराको उल्लेख गर्दै सिक्किममा अहिले पत्रकारितामा पहिलेको तुलनामा धेरै प्रगति आइसकेको कुरो बताए। उनले मिडिया एक शक्तिशाली माध्यम हो भन्दै तर यसले दायीपूर्ण कार्य पनि बहन गर्नुपर्दछ भनी न्यायमूर्तिले जनाए। मिडिया देश तथा राज्यका चौथो स्तम्भ हूनाले धेरै जिम्मेवारी पनि पत्रकारहरूसित हुन्छ भन्ने कुरो बुझ्नु आवश्यक छ। 
राज्यको धेरैवटा समस्याहरू छ, ती कुराहरूमा संवेदनशील रहेर पत्रकारहरूले लेख्नुपर्दछ। पत्रकारहरूले निष्पक्ष भएर कार्य निर्वाह पनि गर्नु पर्दछ, आफ्नो नाता गोतालाई म आफै न्यायमूर्ति भएर निष्पक्ष न्याय दिनु पर्दछ त्यसरी नै पत्रकारहरूले पनि निष्पक्ष भूमिका खेल्नुपर्छ। अति अग्रगामी पत्रकारिता पनि गर्नु उचित होइन, यसले नराम्रो प्रतिक्रिया जन्माउँछ, त्यसैले उचित र सही पत्रकारिता गर्नु आवश्यक छ।
A.K.Rasaily receiving the award
समाजमा आज धेरै मुद्धाहरू छन्‌, जस्तै ड्रग सेवन्‌, एच्‌आइभी, एडस्‌, यौन कर्मी, नारी तस्करी आदि समस्याहरूबारे पनि संवेदनशील भएर आज पत्रकारहरूले लेख्नु पर्दछ। राजनीति त जसले पनि बोल्न र लेख्नु सक्दछन्‌, तर यी मुद्धाहरूलाई आफ्नो सम्पादकीय र लेखहरूबाट पत्रकारहरूले उचित प्रकारले प्रकाश पार्नु आजको आवश्यकता र समयको पुकार हो। उपभोक्ता संरक्षण र अधिकारबारे पनि जागरुक गराउनु तथा आफ्नो कलमबाट गाउँका टाड़ा टाड़ा कुना काप्चाका मानिसहरूलाई जागरुक गराउनु पर्दछ। 
जनता राजमा जनतै राजा भन्ने तथा प्रजातान्त्रिक अधिकारबारे गाउँका मानिसहरूलाई अवगत गराउने र जागरुक् गराउने काममा पनि पत्रकारहरूले गहन भूमिका निर्वाह गर्नुपर्दछ भन्दै यी यस कुरालाई पत्रकारहरूले प्रकाश पार्नु पर्छ भन्ने आग्रह गर्दै कानूनी सम्बन्धी कुनै पनि सहयोग चाहिएमा सहायता प्रदान गर्ने प्रतिश्रुति पनि वाङदीले दिए।
उनले सिक्किममा अहिले घरेलु हिंसा पनि गम्भीर विषय रहेको र अदालतमा यस्ता धेरै मुद्धाहरू आइरहेको कुरो पनि जनाए तथा मद्पान र कतिपय सामाजिक अव्यवस्था र विसंगतिका कारणहरूबाट हुने यस्ता हिंसा आदिबारे पनि समाधानका पहलहरूबारे पत्रकारहरूले प्रकाश पार्नु तथा जनजागरणलाई जागरुक गराउनु आवश्यक रहेको कुरो जनाए।
उनले गाउँका मानिसहरूले बुझ्ने भाषा सरल भाषामा प्रकाश पार्नु पर्ने र समाचार प्रेषण गर्नु पर्ने आवश्यकतामाथि जोर दिए।
उनले अन्तमा पुरस्कृत पत्रकारहरूलाई बधाइ दिए तथा प्रेस क्लब अफ सिक्किमको यस प्रकारका कार्यक्रमको सराहना पनि गरे।
विशिष्टि अतिथि तथा पूर्व मुख्य मन्त्री बी.बी. गुरुङले भारतमा अहिले पत्रकारितामा आइरहेको विविध् परिवर्तनहरूको व्याखा गरे। त्यसरी नै सभाध्यक्ष सी.डी. राईले आफ्नो वक्तव्यमा प्रेस क्लबका कार्यकारी सदस्यहरूले गरेको विविध कार्यहरूको प्रशंसा गरे।
कञ्चन्‌जङ्घा कलम पुरस्कारले अलङ्कृत व्यक्तित्व वरिष्ठ पत्रकार श्री विजय बान्तवाले आफ्नो सम्बोधनमा पत्रकारिताको अनुभवहरू पेश गर्दै अहिलेका नयॉं पिंड़ीहरूलाई धेरै सुविधाहरू उपलब्ध भएकोले तरक्की गर्नु तथा शिक्षा लाभ गर्नु र तालिम लिनु सहज भएको जनाए तथा त्यस दिशामा अघि बढ़्‌ने र सिक्किममा मात्र सीमित नभएर राष्ट्रीय स्तरमा पनि उत्रिनु पर्ने आवश्यकतामाथि जोर दिए।यसका साथै निष्पक्ष रहेर सॉंचो समाचार प्रेषण गर्ने र उदाहरण पेश गर्ने आग्रह गरे।यो क्षेत्र चुनौतिले भरिएको क्षेत्र हुनाले सबै सजग भएर कसैको बहकाउमा नपरी अगाड़ि बढ़ने कुरा गरे।
वरिष्ठ अरुण कुमार रसाइलीले पनि पत्रकारको पेशा चुनौतिपूर्ण रहेको जनाउँदै ती चुनौतिहरू र खतराहरूदेखि निर्भय भई काम गर्नु पर्ने कुरो जनाए।यसरी नै युवा पत्रकार होमनाथ दवाड़ीले अहिले गान्तोक केन्द्रित मात्र नभएर ग्रामीण पत्रकारितामा पनि सिक्किमका पत्रकारहरूले ध्यान दिनु पर्ने कुरो जनाए।
यस अघि प्रेस क्लब अफ सिक्किमका अध्यक्ष श्री भीम राउतले आफ्नो स्वागत भाषणमा विविध क्षेत्रमा प्रेस क्लब अफ सिक्किमले काम गरिरहेको जनाए तथा आउने दिनहरूमा पनि पत्रकारहरूको हित र अधिकारको सुरक्षा विषय लिएर क्लब कटिबद्ध हुने जनाए।
कार्यक्रमको सञ्चालन पत्रकार निर्मल मंगर र कविता शर्माले गरेका थिए भने धन्यवाद ज्ञापन महासचिव जोसेफ लेप्चाले गरेका थिए। सम्मान-पत्र र अभिनन्दन पत्र साथै परिचयहरू पेश गर्ने क्रममा अर्जुन पीयुस, अर्जुन राई, बब्बु तामाङ, बालिका छेत्री, युवाराज दाहाल आदिले आफ्नो दायीत्व वहन गरेका थिए।
सो समारोहमा उल्लेखनीयरुपले सिक्किम अकादमीका अध्यक्ष सानु लामा, पूर्व मन्त्री थुकचुक लाचुङपा, नेपाली साहित्य परिषद्का अध्यक्ष बी.के. रोका, पूर्व सचिव किरण रसाइली, च्याम्बर अफ कमर्सका अध्यक्ष एस. शारदा, बार काउन्सिल अफ सिक्किमका अध्यक्ष डी.आर.थापा, आइपीआरका संयुक्त निर्देशक ग्याल्छेन टी. लामा, वरिष्ठ पत्रकारहरूमा सन्तोष निराश, सुवास दीपक, अशोक च्याटर्जी, अन्जन उपाध्याय, प्रेस क्लब अफ कालेबुङका प्रतिनिधि लगायत स्थानीय धेरै पत्रकारहरूको उपस्थिति रहेको थियो। 
Original inhabitants seek quota
RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, July 17: The Lepchas, acknowledged as the original inhabitants of the Darjeeling hills, have demanded reservation of seats in the proposed Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) to ensure that the community remains an integral part of the political system in their homeland.
Speaking for the community, the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Forum, which is the political arm of the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association (ILTA), said reservation was necessary given that since Independence, the political, cultural and social issues of the tribe had not been addressed at all levels of government — local, state and central.
“All these issues are very vital to the existence of the Lepcha tribe and the preservation of the historic background of the region as a whole,” said Paul Simick, the forum president.
He said the Lepchas constituted about 20 per cent of the nearly nine-lakh hill population and they should be made an integral part of any political settlement.
“During the chaotic political agitation in the 1980s, the indigenous Lepchas were totally ignored in the overall development process. The indigenous Lepchas have felt left out for nearly a quarter of a century because of the apathetic attitude of the DGHC and the state government. There was no thought of their well-being and no attempts whatsoever to conserve their culture, customs and traditions,” said Simick.
The forum also demanded that the Lepchas be officially declared the indigenous tribe of the hills and certain exclusive provisions like quotas in jobs, colleges and universities be provided for them.
“As the indigenous tribe of the Darjeeling hills, the Lepchas deserve space to breathe,” said Simick.
He also reiterated the long-standing demand for inclusion of the Lepcha language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and said it should also be immediately introduced in schools and colleges in the hills.
“During British rule, Lepcha was one of the official languages of the region. Sadly, in our very own Bengal, successive governments have not taken any step to teach this old language in schools and colleges in the hills where there are enough Lepcha tribal students,” Simick said.
In an effort to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Lepchas, the forum also demanded the setting up of a Lepcha cultural institute.
“The rich cultural heritage of the Lepchas is being sustained only through verbal and written communication by the Lepchas themselves, some interested individuals, scholars and the Kalimpong-headquartered ILTA. The Lepcha cultural heritage, however, may not be able to withstand the onslaught of multi-cultural invasion in the 21st century if immediate steps are not taken to preserve and advance it,” added Simick.

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