Blog on Sikkim.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Subash Ghisingh resigns, Bandh calls back

image Bandh calls back

Darjeeling, 29 February, 6:30pm: Darjeeling hills are expected to be normal from tomorrow onwards. The second round of talk between state government and GJMM has been successful. Bandh as well as entire fast-unto-death (hunger strike) has been called off immediately after the meeting held at Kolkota, effecting from 29 February, 5pm onwards in Darjeeling hills.

GJMM has given 10 days of time to state government to clarify the issue related to Subash Ghisingh. State government is expected to re-delineate the ‘Lalkoti’ or DGHC by next 10 days.

http://www.darjeelingtimes.com/news/News/Subash-Ghisingh-resigns.html
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PFM launched in Head PO

STAFF REPORTER
Gangtok:
The Governor of Sikkim Mr. Sudarshan Agarwal on February 28 inaugurated the Postal finance Mart (PFM) at Gangtok Head Post Office in presence of Major General Mr. KVS Lalthotra, GOC (Black cat Division), Mr. NK Pradhan, Gangtok Area MLA, Mrs. Sashi Salini Kujur, Director for Postal Services, Sikkim, and other personnel of postal services.
Mrs. Kujur in her welcome address said that the Postal Service in Sikkim has completed 150 years and it is one of the oldest postal services in India.
She informed that presently there are 155 post offices connecting every sector of the State. Everything has changed and modernized with the economic development of the country therefore PFM has been introduced to meet the rising expectations of the customers from postal servicesMrs. Kujur said.
PFM is a ‘One Stop Post Shop’ for financial and allied products marketed by the Department. Networked and computerized Finance Mart set up in a specialized ambience with modernized counter will have manifold facilities for the public, like: Instant Money Order (IMO) through which money could be transferred to anywhere within the country in no time, Western Union Money Transfer to receive money from abroad, Postal Life Insurance, Mutual Funds and Bonds of UTI, IDBI, SBI, Reliance and others, Government Securities, Oriental Life Insurance (Non-Life-Partner) etc. The nucleus of Postal Services available in Sikkim is accessible at ease from all corners, the Director informed.
The Governor in his address advised the postal services employees to know their duties and responsibilities and work with dedication and loyalty.
“Always think that I am a serviceman and I have to serve the people since work can be same but manner of thinking differs”, he told the employees. Postal Services are one of the best services provided to the people, he said. He also suggested creating a good, charming and welcoming environment inside the post office.
Mr. Pradhan expressed great hopes for the best services to the people. Mr. KVS Lalhotra also addressed the gathering.

http://sikkimreporter.com//
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Ghisingh Resigns!

People burn Ghisingh effigy in Darjeeling

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Darjeeling, Feb 29: Unconfirmed reports suggests that Subash Ghisingh, the caretaker administrator of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council has sent his resignation to the Chief Minister of West Bengal. However, the news has not yet been confirmed. Writers Building sources corroborating on the GJM Central Committee Members and President Bimal Gurung’s statement suggest that Subash Ghisingh has no option left but to resign. The West Bengal Government and the Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya himself has committed to the removal of Subash Ghisingh, the caretaker administrator of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. “If Subash Ghisingh does not submit his resignation then we will remove him within ten days,” said Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. Subash Ghisingh is meanwhile in New Delhi in a desperate mission to salvage his brain child ‘the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill’. He is said to have tendered his resignation from New Delhi. However, again this has not yet been confirmed. It may be noted that Subash Ghisingh as been personally facing massive resentment and protest back home in Darjeeling Hills. There has been an indefinite strike for more than a week and over 300 individuals have been in ‘fast onto death’ demanding Ghisingh’s resignation and the withdrawal of the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill. His own party members including GNLF MLA from Darjeeling, Pranai Rai have been demanding for his resignation and his commitment to the Gorkhaland Movement.

http://beacononline.wordpress.com/

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Ghisingh effigy being burnt at Ghoom, Darjeeling

Photos by Barun Roy

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Deteriorating condition of the hunger strikers in Kurseong

Photos by Rajesh Pradhan, Sunil Pradhan and Dawa

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http://beacononline.wordpress.com/
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

“False claim by SHRP”


SHIVADEEP RAI
Gangtok:
“Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad (SHRP) is playing a very dirty game of cheap publicity and creating confusion among the people of Sikkim by misleading them”, said Mr. Dorji Namgyal, founder member and former General Secretary of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) Party in a press meet on February 27 at Namnang.
He said that the news of formation of block level women and youth committees of Namnang by SHRP in their meeting at Namnang area, which was published in a local English daily newspaper on February 26, is “totally false” and has created confusion amongst the people of Namnang area. “The so called committee members named in the report are not the residents of Namnang as falsely claimed by SHRP”, Mr. Namgyal said. He clarfied that the names mentioned as SHRP committee members are of the residents of Star Hall premises which is under MG Marg area. “The persons who have been included in the SHRP committee are innocent and unaware of the fact about a dirty game of SHRP”, Mr. Namgyal said.
“The false news is confusing and misleading the people”, he said, adding, “The news in a press release mentions Mrs. Maya Rai, whose name is included in Namnang Block Level Women Committee of SHRP. She is a housewife and a member of SDF Party having membership number 56814 and most of the other persons included in the committee are students. Mr. Sonam Bhutia, who is falsely quoted as the president of Namnang Block Level Youth Committee of SHRP informed that he is unaware of this development”.
Mr. Namgyal also mentioned the inclusion of Dorji Namgyal of Namnang as the Joint Secretary of Namnang youth committee of SHRP. “We searched the whole Namnang area but could not been able to find any person of this name except myself”, he said in astonishment. Humorously he said, “I would like to request SHRP to please assist me in finding another Dorji Namgyal of Namnang”. It is a very cheap publicity of SHRP intended to mislead the innocent people of Sikkim, he said. Other SDF members present informed that this kind of false propaganda was done earlier also by SHRP and the name of a dead person was included in a committee formed by SHRP. In the press meet, those present included some of the persons named as SHRP committee members. This proved that the published “news” is factually wrong and false.

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CM tells engineers to ensure quality


Gangtok:
“Let us make together Sikkim a paradise on Earth”, the Chief Minister Dr Pawan Chamling told State Government engineers in his inaugural address at the ‘Orientation cum Workshop Programme’ for Assistant and Junior Engineers of the State Government at Chintan Bhawan on February 27. The programme is organized by Roads and Bridges Department, Government of Sikkim under Capacity Building and Skill Development Programme.
Engineers have a significant role to play in the development of the State and in construction of world class roads. He advised the engineers to work in the filed and not on drawings, maps or charts alone. “Working in the field raises your respect and capability. That won’t reduce your value and status. Instead, you will be able to ensure quality as you possess sufficient knowledge of your work”, CM said. “Places where work is not respected cannot attain development”, he observed. He emphasized on the quality of work and directed the engineers not to compromise on quality at any cost. “Make our State’s own brand name in regard to quality of road works”, he told the engineers. He advised the engineers to think differently and change the existing pattern of their work. “Fakirchand Jali has put a milestone in the engineering field of Sikkim and his record is still unbroken. You should work hard and differently to break his record and put a new milestone in the engineering field”, CM told the engineers.
Mr. DT Lepcha, Minister of Roads and Bridges Department, Government of Sikkim also addressed the gathering.
Mr. SK Sharma, Director of Finance and Expenditure Department, Mr. Akshay Sachdeva, DIG Range of Sikkim Police, Mr. C Lachungpa, Chief Conservator of Forest and Wildlife Management Department, Mr. Vishal Chauhan, District Collector (East), CT Tongden, Additional Chief Engineer of Rural Management and Development Department, Mr. TP Bhutia, Additional Chief Engineer (Mechnical), Roads and Bridges Department, Mr. SD Lepcha from Department of Economics, State Monitoring and Evaluation, Government of Sikkim, Mr. Rajesh Verma from department of Information Technology and Mr. DT Lepcha, PCE cum Secretary of Building and Housing Department will address the participating engineers during the workshop, it is informed. deliver lectures during the entire programme. The Programme continues till March 1.

http://www.sikkimreporter.com/

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Peace procession by Gorkha Janmukti Nari Morcha at Kurseong

All Photos by Rajesh Pradhan and Sunil Pradhan
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Morcha firm on demands


Posted by barunroy
Feb. 27: The bandh in Darjeeling will continue till the state removes Subash Ghisingh from the post of caretaker administrator of the hill council and the Centre scraps the Sixth Schedule bill, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders said in Calcutta today. [Inset: Ghisingh in Santiniketan on Wednesday. “This is Kalyug,” he said after a guided tour of Visva- Bharati. “What happened in Iraq? What is happening everywhere? Negative,” he said.]

After a 75-minute meeting with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the Morcha brass said they would stay in the city for a few more days awaiting the government’s response to their demands. “We are happy with today’s discussion. The chief minister said he would discuss our two primary demands with his cabinet colleagues and convey the government’s stand at the earliest,” said Morcha president Bimal Gurung.

“The bandh and the hunger strike (by Morcha supporters in Darjeeling) will continue,” Gurung said.

Asked about the demands, Bhattacharjee said: “We had a detailed discussion but no decision has been taken.”

About Ghisingh, the Morcha president said: “We have heard that he has gone to Santiniketan today, he should remain there.”

Ghisingh has been shut out of Darjeeling since his return from Delhi on February 18. He was holed up in Pintail, on the outskirts of Siliguri, for four days before moving to Calcutta.

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Ghisingh a poison: Gurung - Making most of the 12-hour relief


www.telegraphindia.com

Siliguri, Feb. 27: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung today warned the Bengal government and the Centre that there would be bloodshed if the Sixth Schedule bill is passed in Parliament and the special status “thrust forcibly on the hills”.

Around 30km away, at Panighata in Naxalbari block, six policemen were injured when Morcha and GNLF supporters hurled stones at each other. One of them was shifted to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

“The state and Centre have already committed mistakes by not talking to the common man before drafting the Sixth Schedule bill. This created tension and if the status is conferred forcibly, we apprehend bloodshed,” Gurung told journalists at Dagapur on the outskirts of Siliguri. He arrived there at 11.30am to meet the 31 Morcha supporters who are on an indefinite hunger strike.

The Morcha president appreciated the state’s decision to send him a written invitation for the talks held at Writers’ Buildings this evening. He, however, said Subash Ghisingh would not be allowed entry to the hills even if the two demands — his removal from the post of caretaker administrator of the DGHC and scrapping of the Sixth Schedule bill — were met by the state and the Centre.

“Ghisingh has turned out to be a poison for the hills,” the Morcha leader said before heading for Bagdogra to board a flight for Calcutta, where, however, no decision was reached today. Shanta Chhetri, the MLA from Kurseong, I.N. Pradhan, Deepak Gurung, Gopimaya Gurung and Dawa Pakhrin are some of the other GNLF leaders blacklisted by the Morcha.

“We will not allow them entry into our party at any cost. As for Shanta Chhetri, she is the Phulan Devi of the hills,” Gurung said. He, however, invited the GNLF MLA of Darjeeling, Pranay Rai, to join the Morcha. A few days ago, Rai had proposed a referendum on the Sixth Schedule to find out the people’s opinion.

Although the Morcha president lauded the chief minister’s proposal, he cautioned that the next plan of action would be decided only after the meeting. “The bandh has been relaxed for 12 hours today but the hunger strike will continue till our demands are met.”

“There is no question of compromising,” Gurung asserted. “Moreover, we don’t want urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya to be present at the meeting.” The minister, however, was not there. Bhattacharya’s comment that the Morcha had resorted to “rowdism” and had brought outsiders to create trouble in Siliguri had angered the Morcha.

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Morcha warns govts and rivals - Two decades on, women switch roles


www.telegraphindia.com

Kalimpong, Feb. 27: Thousands of women have joined the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in its agitation for statehood. Two decades ago, the scene was different: women at best were passive participants in the movement for Gorkhaland led by the GNLF.

Conversations that The Telegraph had with a crosssection of women reveal that the sudden show of strength is not a result of the Morcha strategy alone, but a paroxysm of anger against the 21 years of GNLF rule.

Not that everybody is ready to admit it. One of them is Urmila Rumba, the convener of the Gorkha Janmukti Nari Morcha. While she agreed that resentment against the GNLF was the catalyst for the current uprising, she rejected the notion that the agitation was entirely spontaneous. “Women’s participation you see today in the agitation is a result of the groundwork done by our core committee,” Rumba said over phone from Darjeeling.

In Darjeeling and its surrounding areas alone, Rumba said, her organisation had formed more than 140 units. “We started from the tea gardens. We explained to women how Subash Ghisingh was fooling us all these years.”

She may have a point, but the pace with which the political tide has turned against Ghisingh suggests that women were waiting for an opportunity to express themselves. Or, it could be, as many analysts said, that the Morcha succeeded in bringing the disgruntled people under its umbrella.

A combination of factors, not least the Prashant Tamang phenomenon, created a situation in which people joined together to vent their anger on the authorities, said an analyst.

The political language of Bimal Gurung, too, seemed to have motivated the women. Non-violence and democratic means of protest had struck a chord with the women. “We found that the Morcha could provide leadership in a democratic movement and play an important role in realising the goal of Gorkhaland,” said Nanita Gautam, the Nari Morcha’s Kalimpong convener.

There were many instances in the past few weeks when women had reined in excited men at the slightest hint of trouble. “As mothers and sisters, we don’t want our sons and brothers to get caught in the circle of violence. Ghisingh did that to an entire generation in the eighties, but what was its outcome,” Gautam asked.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Best Tourism Performing State

Sikkim has done it again. The State has been awarded the Best Tourism Performing State for the year 2006-07. Sikkim shares this honour with Madhya Pradesh.

This recognition and honour has been bestowed on the basis of efforts made for overall tourism development and promotion by the State Government.
The Award will be presented on February 27 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi by the Union Minister for External Affairs, Pranab Mukerjee and will be received by the State Tourism Minister, RB Subba along with Secretary, Tourism GP Upadhyaya.
After thorough research and survey of all the States and Union Territories, the jury comprising of eminent personalities from the Ministry of Tourism and the Industry chose Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh as the States with outstanding contribution towards tourism promotion in the country.
The State has surpassed other States like Kerala, Rajasthan, Goa, to receive this prestigious award.
Tourism in the State has made considerable strides under the leadership of Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling.
Moreover, Sikkim Tourism has been playing a stellar role in promoting Eco-Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Village Tourism and Pilgrimage Tourism.
Sikkim already boasts of having the tallest statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Samdruptse. Presently, construction of statue of Lord Buddha is under progress at Rabongla. The State is also promoting the Buddhist circuit in a big way.
New tourist destinations, trekking trails, adventure activities, more places of historical importance are being explored and created to attract more visitors. Regular camps, Orientation classes, workshops sensitization programmes are being organized at grass root level to inculcate a sense of awareness amongst the people to preserve their cultural heritage and tradition while promoting village tourism.
According to a press release issued by the IPR Department, the Sikkim Tourism Department is hosting the International Flower show in March 2008. Simultaneously, the First Khangchendzonga Mountain Biking Expedition 2008 is being held on March 3, 2008.
The State Government received a Central fund of Rs 60 Crores in the current financial year for the development of tourism infra-structure of the State.

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Book on Tibet and Sikkim



Tibet & Sikkim

By Teo Lempesis

Standard Landscape 10x8 inches (25x20 cm) 64 pages

Published: February 27, 2008

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Brigadier Patyal to take charge of Swastik

Brigadier R K Patyal has been appointed as chief engineer of Project Swastik, Border Roads Organization,(BRO), which is responsible for building bridges and maintenance of NH 31A, a lifeline of Sikkim.

He will take charge of the office on March 3, a BRO official here said today.

Project Swastik has been entrsuted to upgrade the Nathu La road and North Sikkim highway.

The double laning of the Nathu La road would make easier for business people to trade with Tibet Autonomous Region in China.

-- (UNI) --
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Darjeeling: Bandh relaxed for 12 hrs

Darjeeling: Bandh relaxed for 12 hrs | The issue | Blog Enlarge Photo Darjeeling: Bandh relaxed for 12 hrs | The issue | Blog

Wed, Feb 27 03:50 PM

New Delhi: The unrest in the hills of West Bengal continued for seventh consecutive day with the indefinite bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha disrupting normal life in Darjeeling.

Though by afternoon, the GJM announced a 12-hour relaxation in the bandh, the Morcha has said it will decide on its future course of action after its six-member delegation meets West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya on Wednesday evening in Kolkata.

However, economic blockade and the hunger strike called continues.

The GJM is a breakaway faction of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and has been demanding separate statehood for Darjeeling, protesting the introduction of Sixth Schedule status for the region.

The protests turned violent on Tuesday evening when nearly 1,000 women supporters of the GJM clashed with police in Siliguri.

The protests cut off Sikkim from the rest of the country and tourists and vehicles were stranded on the NH-31 Highway.

"The Sikkim government can, by correspondence, request the Bengal government to solve the problem of the state transporters," says temporary in-charge of Sikkim, Transport B M Ramudamu.

The GJM leadership said the bandh would continue till the demands for the immediate removal of Subash Ghising from the post of administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) and the scrapping of the move to grant Sixth Schedule status to the region were met.

The GJM has been joined by several regional parties in its movement for a separate Gorkhaland to be carved out of the Darjeeling hills and certain other areas.

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Darjeeling erupts over separate state issue

Darjeeling erupts over separate state issue | Photo Blog Enlarge Photo Darjeeling erupts over separate state issue | Photo Blog

Wed, Feb 27 09:25 AM

New Delhi: The unrest in the hills of West Bengal continued for seventh consecutive day with the indefinite bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha disrupting normal life in Darjeeling.

The GJM is a breakaway faction of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and has been demanding separate statehood for Darjeeling, protesting the introduction of Sixth Schedule status for the region.

The protests turned violent on Tuesday evening when nearly 1,000 women supporters of the GJM clashed with police in Siliguri.

The protests cut off Sikkim from the rest of the country and tourists and vehicles were stranded on the NH-31 Highway.

The GJM leadership said the bandh would continue till the demands for the immediate removal of Subash Ghising from the post of administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) and the scrapping of the move to grant Sixth Schedule status to the region were met.

The GJM has been joined by several regional parties in its movement for a separate Gorkhaland to be carved out of the Darjeeling hills and certain other areas.

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Sikkim 'the best performing state' in tourism along with MP

The Centre has selected Sikkim the 'best performing state' in the country alongwith Madhya Pradesh for the year 2006-07 for promotion of tourism and building infrastructure in this regard.

A jury comprising representatives of the Union Ministry of Tourism and Industry picked Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh for the award of best performing state in the sphere of tourism on the basis of research and survey of infrastructure development in tourism sector across the country, an official release said today.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would present the award to Sikkim Tourism minister R.B. Subba at a ceremony in New Delhi on February 27 next, the release said.

The Pawan Kumar Chamling government has improved road connectivity to various tourist places across the state which has lured a large number of visitors from the country and abroad.


© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
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1000 bound for Sikkim stranded


Siliguri, Feb. 26: More than 1,000 passengers were stranded today at the Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT) terminus along Hill Cart Road here after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters stopped buses at several points on NH31A, which connects Siliguri to Kalimpong and Gangtok.

“Around 1.30pm, four SNT buses arrived here from Gangtok without any escort. The drivers reported that Morcha supporters had warned them that if the buses returned, they would be set on fire,” said H.B. Bhattacharjee, the assistant superintendent of SNT.

The Morcha had set up blockades at Rangpo on the Sikkim-Bengal border and Rambi, Melli and Teesta in the Kalimpong subdivision.

“After such threats, we could not take the risk of sending passengers in buses and decided to cancel our services to Gangtok for today,” Bhattacharjee added.

The decision forced Sikkim-bound passengers to stay put in Siliguri. In the afternoon, they gheraoed the assistant superintendent of the SNT. “The situation turned so volatile that we had to call the police,” Bhattacharjee said.

Udayshankar, an employee of the Sikkim education department, said he had come to Siliguri on Saturday and was supposed to reach Gangtok by Monday to join office. He had been to his hometown in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, on vacation

“I have been staying in a hotel here since Saturday and don’t know when I will be able to rejoin work.”

In Sikkim, the deputy inspector-general of police (range), Akshay Sachdeva, said some 100 vehicles were allowed to enter Bengal today. Morcha protesters permitted tourists and passengers with train or air tickets, as well as students and patients, to travel after the Sikkim and Bengal police had prolonged discussions with the picketers.

Apart from this relaxation, Sikkim remained cut off from the rest of the country for the second consecutive day because of the indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills. Vehicles with Sikkim registration number were plying till yesterday.

“The West Bengal Taxi Drivers’ Association has now joined hands with the Morcha in Siligrui to stop cars with Sikkim registration from plying. At Rangpo, however, Morcha supporters were to blame,” said Ratan Gurung, a taxi driver in Sikkim. The NH31A is the main link between Sikkim and the rest of the country and almost 60km of it passes through Morcha strongholds.

Sikkim has already taken up the issue with Bengal government and the Centre. The chief secretary of Sikkim has left for Delhi to meet the Union cabinet secretary.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080227/jsp/siliguri/story_8952349.jsp

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DLF & Sarovar betting big on India’s first inland gambling den

Sanjeev Choudhary, TNN

NEW DELHI: India’s great gamblers won’t need to hotfoot it to casino capitals like Macao or Monaco (or closer home, even Kathmandu) for a quick turn at the roulette table or a hand of baccarat or black jack. For that, look to Gangtok, which is set to literally hit the jackpot.

The country’s biggest real estate developer DLF and hospitality chain Sarovar Hotels & Resorts are on course to separately set up the country’s first inland casinos in Sikkim’s capital.

The Sikkim government, which has been looking to turn the state into a tourist hotspot, passed the Sikkim Casino Games Act in 2004, making casino operations legal. And it framed casino rules last year.

Incidentally, Sikkim is the only state to have legalised casinos after Goa, which has a legal casino—Casino Goa—located offshore in capital Panaji. This casino is located on a yacht, anchored on the Mandovi river. DLF offshoot DLF Hotel Holdings has signed an MoU with the Sikkim government to build a five-star resort housing a casino at Panthang near Gangtok.

According to a DLF official, the land for the project, which will be spread over 12 acres, has already been acquired. The resort is likely to be ready by 2010. DLF, which plans to set up over 100 hotels in India, is likely to tie up with a hospitality firm to run its Gangtok hotel.

Sarovar Hotels, which is the master franchisor of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide’s Park Plaza and Park Inn brands, too is ready to roll the dice. The Royal Plaza hotel in Gangtok, run by the group, is set for its casino debut on April 1.

“We saw a big business opportunity in opening a casino,” said Sarovar Hotels executive director Ajay Bakaya. He declined to give any estimate on the kind of revenue he expects through the casino. But the state government will have a 25% share in the revenue generated through the casino. Mr Bakaya hopes to draw tourists from across the country and abroad. “We would target tourists from all locations.

We are the first post of entry into India from China and expect to attract a lot of Chinese tourists. We know Chinese tourists have a great inclination towards casinos,” said Mr Bakaya. Hospitality majors and the government also expect to divert some traffic from Kathmandu in Nepal, which houses the nearest casino in the region and has been a favourite for Indian tourists for years.
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Cleanliness drive


Gangtok:
District Administrative Centre (East) conducted a cleanliness drive from White Hall complex to Ranipool on February 26 with an objective to promote hygiene awareness amongst the people. The cleanliness drive was carried out at different places of Gangtok and Ranippol like Lal Bazaar area, Zero Point area and others.
Urban Development and Housing Department, Forest Department, Civil Defence, NGOs and social workers of Gangtok took part in the drive. During the drive, Mr. Vishal Chauhan, District Magistrate (East), in view of the forthcoming International Florishow 2008 and Sikkim Tourism, appealed to the people having homes adjacent to National Highway to beautify their home surroundings with beautiful flower pots.

http://www.sikkimreporter.com/otherstories.html
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Cleanliness drive


Gangtok:
District Administrative Centre (East) conducted a cleanliness drive from White Hall complex to Ranipool on February 26 with an objective to promote hygiene awareness amongst the people. The cleanliness drive was carried out at different places of Gangtok and Ranippol like Lal Bazaar area, Zero Point area and others.
Urban Development and Housing Department, Forest Department, Civil Defence, NGOs and social workers of Gangtok took part in the drive. During the drive, Mr. Vishal Chauhan, District Magistrate (East), in view of the forthcoming International Florishow 2008 and Sikkim Tourism, appealed to the people having homes adjacent to National Highway to beautify their home surroundings with beautiful flower pots.

http://www.sikkimreporter.com/otherstories.html
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The Gorkha community is not limited to the Gorkha race only

Kurseong SDO Office, 26.02.2008: The photos and the banners above it speaks for itself,the communal harmony that exsists in Kurseong irrespective of age,caste and creed. [Rajesh/Sunil Pradhan]

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Gorkha Janmukti Marwari Morcha (Marwari Front)
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Gorkha Janmukti Harijan Yuva Morcha (Harijan Youth Front)
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Gorkha Janmukti Bengali Morcha (Bengali Front) & Gorkha Janmukti Muslim Front
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Gorkha Janmukti Students Front

http://beacononline.wordpress.com/
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tourists stranded in Sikkim due to bandhd


Statesman News Service
GANGTOK, Feb. 25: A large number of tourists remain stranded in Sikkim due to the GJMM convened bandh in the Darjeeling Hills. The National Highway 31A, which is the lifeline to Sikkim passes through the Kalimpong sub-division in Darjeeling district. The bandh has affected the National Highway disrupting movement to and from Sikkim. It has also left the tourists stranded.
The stranded tourists today approached several offices including the state tourism department, Sikkim Nationalised Transport and the police urging for an arrangement to reach Siliguri.
“I purchased a tatkal rail ticket to travel from New Jalpaiguri to Surat spending Rs 6,000 but could not leave Sikkim. The ticket is non-refundable, which means I have lost the money,” lamented Mr Ashok Modi a tourist from Gujarat.
Another tourist Mr S R Kale from Pune said: “I have to catch the Darjeeling Mail from New Jalpaiguri on 27 February. It looks impossible now.”
The stranded tourists also approached the police in Gangtok. They appealed to the DIG Range Mr Akshay Sachdeva to arrange for their transport but no help came from that end either.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

“Himalaya Darpan” now available online


The Nepali newspaper “Himalaya Darpan” now has an online version, accessible at:

http://epaper.himalayadarpan.com/login.aspx

This paper is one of the most comprehensive source of local news and information from the Darjeeling Hills.

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hi

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Gorkha Janamukti Morcha Challenges Ghising to Return to Darjeeling


Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) on Sunday dared GNLF supremo Subhas Ghising to return to Darjeeling and said his statement that he could do so whenever he wanted did not carry much weight.
"We dare him to return to Darjeeling with his security men either by road or by helicopter. He will have to cross few thousand women members of Gorkha Narimukti Morcha," GJM president Bimal Gurung told . Ghising's statement to the press about his return and that there was no question of his quitting as the caretaker administrator of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council till his term ends was made yesterday in Kolkata, where he had the support of the West Bengal government, he said.
Lambasting Ghising for his statement that he could enter Darjeeling whenever he wanted but there should be no clash, Gurung, once a close associate of Ghising, said he should be ashamed as 1200 people were killed during the Gorkhaland agitation in the 1980s.
"But GJM would stick to Gandhigiri (fast-unto-death) and never take the path of terror... The West Bengal government should also not dilly dally and keep in mind that there was a limit to the patience of common men," he said.
GJM's indefinite bandh in the hills demanding Ghising's immediate ouster and separate Gorkhaland state entered the fifth day on Sunday.
http://www.tistarangit.com/english/news_detl_e.php?pid=180
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Science Centre a prized possession: CM


http://www.sikkimreporter.com/archive/23%20Feb/index.html
Sikkim

SHIVADEEP RAI
Gangtok:
“Sikkim is a biodiversity hotspot hosting over 26 percent of nation’s biodiversity. Within a distance of 114 kms, we find all the five climate zones from Tropical to Alpine where diverse shades of flora and fauna coexist amid quiet splendor and brilliance radiated by nature itself. We have taken extra care to conserve our environment and ecology while undertaking development works”. This was said by Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling in his address after inaugurating Sikkim Science Centre at Marchak, Ranipool, Gangtok, on February 22.
He said, “Over the decades, we initiated many innovative environmental conservation measures including ban of use of non-biodegradable materials like plastic and poly bags in the State, ban on felling of green trees, ban on grazing, institution of Smriti Ban concept so on and so forth. All the conservation measures are being further consolidated in recent years by initiating the Green Mission spread across the State”.
He further said,”Given the huge concentration of natural resources and the need for protecting its sanctity, more scientific studies and exploration is necessary to sustain human survival in this part of the country. Therefore, you can appreciate that scientific outlook and scientific measures should contribute towards identification, protection and promotion of environmental wealth found in our Himalayas, in the mountain, glaciers, flora and fauna, medicinal plants, among others.”Mentioning the special features of the Science Centre, he said, “I am happy to know that the Centre has a thematic gallery with interactive exhibits, including an outdoor science park, among others”. He spoke of the State government’s initiative to familiarize school students with science and technology. “This Centre will be our prized possession to disseminate and encourage scientific thoughts and rational thinking among our people especially our school children”, he said.
Chief Minister thanked National Council of Science Museum and Birla Institute of Technological Museum, Kolkata, “for their patronage, support and assistance to the e4stablishment of this Science Centre”.
Dr Jayanta Sthanapati, Director, BITM, in his address spoke of the “voyage of science museum in the country.
The first museum of the country was established in 1959 with the initiative of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, he said. Mr. SB Subedi, Minister for Science and Technology Department and Mr. ML Arrawati, Secretary to State Council of Science and Technology also addressed the gathering.
The Science Centre is located at Marchak, about 15 kms away from Gangtok towards Siliguri.


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SVSS serves physically handicapped without any selfish motive: Ghimiray

SHIVADEEP RAI
Gangtok:
The establishment of Sikkim Viklang Sahayata Samiti (SVSS) under the leadership of Ms. Draupadi Ghimiray is a milestone towards the betterment, encouragement and inspiration for the physically handicapped people of Sikkim to live a normal life and to contribute to the development of the society, state and the nation.With the support of the Health Department and other organizations, SVSS (an independent organization) was formed by Ms. Ghimiray and her associates in 1999 for voluntary service to the handicapped.
SVSS was set up at Ranipool in a rented house. Presently, it is located at Zero Point area to continue in voluntary service. In the year 2001, SVSS got registration and started conducting workshops throughout the State at regular intervals. Scores of handicapped people obtained benefit from the workshops.
In its fully equipped workshops, SBSS provides artificial limbs and calipers to the handicapped people free of cost and conducts operation, if necessary, which is also free of cost. Ms. Ghimiray, President of SVSS, said that for operation the patients are taken to Kolkata, Delhi and Jaipur and all the expenses, including traveling, accommodation and food are borne by SVSS through sponsorships. She informed that in a workshop conducted by SVSS at BL House in 2002, more than 167 physically handicapped people from across the State were fitted with artificial hands and limbs. Hundreds of physically handicapped people from Sikkim, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Siliguri and other north eastern states have been so far fitted with artificial limbs, artificial hands and calipers free of cost in camps and workshops conducted by SVSS. Bhagwan Mahabir Viklang Sahayata Samiti in Jaipur has donated equipments to SVSS to successfully conduct the workshops, the President said. In a discussion with this correspondent she revealed, SVSS has also worked to provide employment to the physically challenged people and has given them assistance in earn their livelihood. Initially, four physically handicapped persons were given cameras and sent to villages to take photographs of other physically challenged people who cannot travel and come to towns to get photographed. This way, SVSS helped in providing door to door service to the physically challenged people, offered opportunity to four physically handicapped persons to earn their living independently and also conducted survey of physically challenged people of the State. SVSS establishment comprises six persons for making artificial limbs and calipers, two office assistance and one ambulance driver (physically challenged). The Samiti has also set up a training centre at Pache Samsing in Pakyong where training on Khada (traditional garland) making, dairy, agriculture, horticulture and other gainful occupations are are being imparted to the physically handicapped people with an objective to make them self sufficient, self reliant and self employed. To establish the training centre, one noble physically handicapped person has donated 2.5 acre land, Ms. Ghimiray informed. From January 5 this year, a micro insurance scheme under Life Insurance Corporation of India has been initiated by SVSS to provide financial support to the poor labourers of the State. SVSS has also given scholarships to four physically disabled students for their education, she said. SVSS conducts camps for diagnosis of disabilities and fitment of artificial limbs and calipers throughout the year in different places of the State. The Samiti runs with the help of annual grant in aid of Rs 70,000 from Government and donations from public, mainly the businessmen of Gangtok. “SVSS is a non profit organization which aims at providing assistance to the physically handicapped people in every aspect with best of their ability without any selfish motive”, Ms. Ghimiray emphasized.


http://www.sikkimreporter.com/
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Row over seat reservation


Statesman News Service
GANGTOK, Feb. 24: Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad (SHRP), the lone strong Opposition party of the state lambasted ruling government and accused them of eye-washing the Limboo and Tamang community in the matter of seat reservation today.
However, SHRP strongly feels that the ruling government is trying to divert their attention from the serious issues faced by the Sikkimese people regarding the seat reservation of Limboo and Tamang community, alleged Mr Biraj Adhikari, spokes person. SHRP. “The ruling government has no fixed policy on the said issue” Mr Adhikari said.
While accusing the ruling government he also said that the government had to clear the air by immediately informing the people of Sikkim about what they were going to do with the issue within a month otherwise they would go to the public and expose the lies spread by them. “They always gave verbal assurance but we want the same assurance in Sikkim Legislative Assembly (SLA) with written documents,” Mr. Adhikari said.
The SHRP alleged that since 2003, when Limboo and Tamang got their seat reservation the ruling government has only given verbal assurance and continues to do so even after the President Mrs Pratibha Patil has signed the Delimitation Bill.
While retaliating to the allegation made by Opposition party, Mr BB Goorong advisor to the state chief minister, said that the issue raised by the opposition parties wassimply a political gimmick. “They should clearly understand that the delimitation process and the Limboo-Tamang seat reservation are two different subjects and have nothing to do with each other,” Mr Goorong said.
He also slammed the opposition parties and questioned them as to why they failed to raise their voices when the Delimitation Commission headed by Justice Kuldeep Singh organised a public meeting at Chintan Bhawan in 2005. In a reply to Mr Goorong’s allegation, Mr Tara Shresta,general secretary, SHRP said that no one was allowed to raise the Limboo-Tamang seat reservation issue and even the press was not allowed during the all party meeting with the Delimitation Commission. “Interestingly Mr Gooroong was not present in the meeting so how could he say that the Opposition party had to raise such issues” Mr Shresta said.
The issues augmented in the state after police found some posters on the walls of NH 31A and West districts few days ago. The posters speak about the political rights of Limboo and Tamang community and about their seat reservation, which was written by anonymous “Krantikari Limboo Yuva”. The posters were also found on the doors of MLAs belonging to Limboo-Tamang community, which led to chaos in the state. There have been no arrests till now but the ruling government has directly blamed the oppositions parties.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has at last checkmated itself! It has become GNLF Vista!

By Barun Roy

  1. GJM’s paranoia with Subash Ghisingh could ultimately lead to it checkmating itself.
  2. GNLF and Subash Ghisingh by not offering resistance to the GJM Anti-Subash, Anti Sixth Schedule could land itself in the good books of the tribals with majority in the villages and tea gardens.
  3. GJM should at this very moment should be lobbying at New Delhi against the Sixth Schedule Bill not laying seize over Subash Ghisingh.
  4. ‘Fast Unto Death’ should have been carried out in all the state capitals of India not in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong and if possible abroad.
  5. Indefinite strike has party antagonized people. It should be immediately lifted.
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“What the hell is going on here?” was the question that I was greeted with at the market yesterday by a friend of mine, who had arrived from Germany and along with his wife just wanted to stretch his legs at one of the premier hotels in Darjeeling. “I tried to call you up but as usual you were no where to be found. We have been advised to leave as there could be security problems,” he said, concerned. “Well I think you have been wrongly advised. There simply can’t be any security problems at least for foreign guests in the Hills. Such circumstances have never risen, not even during the Gorkhaland Agitation.” “Ahhhhhh,” saying he waved his big fat hand over my face and embarked on the bus. His wife, Jolene smiled, “In better times, maybe Roy,” she cried. I straightaway approached the DSP Traffic but he was too busy writing notifications. “I have absolutely no time for you. What do you want me to say? I have been overwhelmed by work here. Please call the DIG. He is in Siliguri.” I smiled and thanking him for his much appreciated help left to see my friends. There was nothing I could do to stop my friends from leaving. We had so many plans….

The vehicles left with Police escort and with them left a score of genuine lovers of Darjeeling who vowed to come back again. I wearily rushed to the District Magistrate’s office. The roads were abandoned only to be ruled over by hordes of fledgling Tendulkars, Dhonis and Dravids. How come no body played football in the streets today? And where do all the vehicles suddenly disappear? Questions, that I don’t have any answers to. The scene at the District Magistrate’s office however, was more serious. 22 individuals lay on ‘fast unto death’. They were young and old, male and female. The first group of 11 had already been without food and water for 96 hours and the second group for 50 hours. 11 young Darjeeling Government College lads and members of Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha joined in. A young girl from a tea garden, Miss Sarmila Shah was so determined on playing her part in the Gorkhaland movement that she had threatened to commit suicide if she was not allowed ‘fast unto death’. Conspicuously, Mr. R. B. Rai, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Revolutionary Marxists arrived to ‘cheer up’ the hunger-strikers and offer his support to them. I tried to ask him a couple of questions, but he refused, “Barun, I am here just to offer my support. This is a great thing that they are doing. We will have our victory,” he said. In his refusal to answer my questions he had indeed answered them all. There were leaders from other opposition parties including D. K. Pradhan of the GNLF (C). But of course, none would talk only perhaps smile when caught by a camera. The entire press fraternity brimming with statements of the leaders and lay were happy with the day’s enormous catch. Disinterested I returned back home. At around 4 pm, my cousin called me up and cried, “Dada there are clashes going on. I am at the Sukna – Siliguri barricade. There are GJM on the other side, the police in the middle and CPIM protestors on the other.”

What’s going on?

Darjeeling / Kurseong / Kalimpong: The three subdivisions of the Darjeeling District is completely shut down with no news of relief. The schools and colleges have been lifted from the purview of the strike but there have been no takers. Parents are afraid of sending their children to the schools while college students have been caught with the procession and the responsibility of reinforcing the agitation down at Sukna and Salbari. The students who are appearing for their Madhyamik Exams are effected severely. They can’t even buy pens and other stationeries if needed. The phone lines and the internet services are intermittently working, no one knows when the entire of the hills could be blacked out. Of the 60 metric tons of Garbage that Darjeeling produces everyday, 240 metric tons already lies on the streets. There has been no water supply for last six days.

Pintail Village/Siliguri/Sunka: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has started ‘fast unto death’ at the Pintail Village. The place has been converted into a war zone with barricades on both sides. The Pintail Village has been surrounded by the newly raised elite Combat Troops of the West Bengal Police. And they in turn have been srurrounded on one side towards the Sukna by the hundreds of supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have also created blockades at all the entries leading towards the hills while the West Bengal Police have erected blockades and check up posts on the other side towards Siliguri. All in all the Siliguri-Darjeeling border has been converted into a South Korea-North Korea border, where a small stone hitting on the helmet of a Combat Troop could lead to a blood bath. And if that was not enough, the CPIM cadres lead by Mukul Sengupta, mayor-in-council (conservancy) of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and party leader, CPI-M himself asking his supporters not to allow the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to march into Siliguri. The Siliguri administration has also arrested 44 GJM supporters and not allowed anyone to sit on ‘fast unto death’ at their Mahukma Parishad Office.

GJM strategy:

  1. Indefinite Strike all over the Hills
  2. Fast unto Death
  3. Pintail Village Gherao
  4. Economic Blockade of Timber, Tea and Cinchona

GNLF strategy:

  1. Wait and watch

ABGL and other opposition parties:

  1. No activity
  2. Wait and watch

CPIM

  1. Procession against the incorporation of Siliguri and adjacent non DGHC area in Gorkhaland agitation programme by the GJM
  2. No activity in the Hills
  3. Wait and watch

West Bengal Government:

  1. “We view this entirely as Law and Order situation. We are worried about the situation in the Hills. We are committed towards doing everything in our power to maintain peace,” Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Chief Minister of West Bengal
  2. Sending elite Combat Troops newly raised under the auspicious of the Indian Army. Armed with Insas and Ak-47. High trained and highly motivated!

OBJECTIVES:

GJM

  1. Withdrawal of the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill
  2. The formation of the state of Gorkhaland under the provisions of the Indian Constitution
  3. Removal of Subash Ghisingh

GNLF

  1. The Implementation of the Sixth Schedule status as soon as possible.

CPRM

  1. Against Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill
  2. “We morally support GJM on the issue of Gorkhaland,” R. B. Rai General Secretary, CPRM
  3. “We will contest the Sixth Schedule Election if the status is implemented,” R. B. Rai, General Secretary, CPRM

ABGL

  1. Against Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill
  2. “We do not support GJM because this is not the right time for the Gorkhaland Movement,” Madan Tamang, President, ABGL.
  3. “We will contest the Sixth Schedule Election if the status is forcefully implemented,” Madan Tamang, President, ABGL.

CONGRESS

  1. “We are strictly against the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill, it is anti people.” President, Darjeeling Zilla Pardesh Congress
  2. “Speaker, Sir, we introduce this Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill, to usher Darjeeling Hills into an era of happiness and prosperity,” Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patel and the All India Congress Committee leader.

What has happened in New Delhi?

  1. The Parliamentary Standing Committee has submitted its report to the Parliament on the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill
  2. The Bill will now be placed in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session.

The balance of Power in the Union Parliament

Those in favour of the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill:

  • Indian National Congress
  • Rashtriya Janata Dal
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • Nationalist Congress Party
  • Pattali Makkal Katchi
  • Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
  • Lok Janshakti Party
  • Kerala Congress (J)
  • Indian Union Muslim League
  • Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party
  • Republican Party of India (Athvale)
  • All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen
  • Communist Party of India Marxists
  • Communist Party of India

Those concerned about it about it:

  • Bharatiya Janata Party
  • Shiv Sena
  • Janata Dal (United)
  • Biju Janata Dal
  • Shiromani Akali Dal
  • Nagaland People’s Front
  • Jammu & Kashmir National Conference
  • Indian National Lok Dal
  • Lok Jan Shakti Party
  • Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • Pattali Makkal Katchi
  • Rashtriya Lok Dal
  • Indian Federal Democratic Party
  • Trinamool Congress
  • Telugu Desam Party

It may be noted that L. K. Advani has been in record saying that BJP is not strickly against the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill but against the way the Bill was placed in the Parliament without being first submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Those against it:

  • None

MEMBERS OF XII LOK SABHA

(Party Wise)

S.No.

Name of Party

Members

1

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

182

2

Indian National Congress (INC)

139

3

Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))

32

4

Samajwadi Party (SP)

20

5

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)

18

6

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)

17

7

Samata Party (SAP)

12+1(Nominated)

8

Telugu Desam Party (TDP)

12

9

Communist Party of India (CPI)

9

10

Biju Janata Dal (BJD)

9

11

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)

8

12

West Bengal Trinamool Congress (WBTC)

7

13

Independent (IND)

6

14

Shiv Sena (SS)

6

15

Janata Dal (JD)

6

16

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)

6

17

Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP)

5

18

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)

5

19

Republican Party of India (RPI)

4

20

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK)

4

21

Haryana Lok Dal (Rashtriya) (HLD(R))

4

22

Tamil Manila Congress (Moopanar) (TMC(M))

3

23

Lok Shakti (LS)

3

24

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK)

3

25

National Conference (NC)

3

26

Arunachal Congress (AC)

2

27

Muslim League Kerala State Committee (MLKSC)

2

28

Forward Block (FB)

2

29

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimmen (AIMIM)

1

30

Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWPI)

1

31

Haryana Vikas Party (HVP)

1

32

Janata Party (JP)

1

33

All India Rashtriya Janata Party (AIRJP)

1

34

Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF)

1

35

All India Indira Congress (Secular) (AIIC(S))

1

36

United Minorities Front, Assam (UMFA)

1

37

Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC)

1

38

Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) (SJP(R))

1

39

Kerala Congress (M) (KC(M))

1

40

Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP)

1




Nominated Members

1


Vacant

2





Total Members

545

Future Predictions:

  1. The Sixth Schedule being an Official Bill could be passed in this session of the Parliament.

Why:

  1. It is an Official Bill – An Official Bill not being passed amounts to a No-Confidence Motion in the Parliament. The Government would fall in such instances.
  2. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha could be helping in speeding up things for the passing of the Sixth Schedule Amendment Act.
  3. The Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India Marxist is the strongest lobby in the UPA Government.

What then

  1. In the even of the rectification of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution by the Indian Parliament Gorkha Hill Council Darjeeling could be formed with an IAS to look after the administration of the ‘Tribal Areas’ until an election is held. The election could be held three to six months after the rectification of the Constitution.
  2. Every political party could be forced to contest the Gorkha Hill Council Darjeeling election.
  3. This could lead to the fading away of the Gorkhaland Movement.

Mistakes Committed:

  1. GJM’s paranoia with Subash Ghisingh could ultimately lead to it check mating itself.
  2. GNLF and Subash Ghisingh by not offering resistance to the GJM Anti-Subash, Anti Sixth Schedule could land itself in the good books of the tribals with majority in the villages and tea gardens.
  3. GJM should at this very moment should be lobbying at New Delhi against the Sixth Schedule Bill not laying seize over Subash Ghisingh.
  4. ‘Fast Unto Death’ should have been carried out in all the state capitals of India not in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong and if possible abroad.
  5. Indefinite strike has party antagonized people. It should be immediately lifted.

Summary:

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has the majority of the People’s support. And since the majority rules in a democracy the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today is the People’s voice. Gorkhaland is the ultimate aspirations of the People. However, in the four months of the coming up of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the enigmatic Bimal Gurung, the mistakes that the party is committing in implementing its programmes could ultimately backfire. For instance, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s call of indefinite closure of the hills smells of its desperation to stop Sixth Schedule. Secondly, the fixation with Subash Ghisingh has lead to waste of time, strategy and manpower. The removal of Subash Ghisingh today or tomorrow should have been on no consequence. By stopping Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill from being passed in the Parliament, Subash Ghisingh would have ultimately been defeated. The ‘fast unto death’ instead of being organized in Darjeeling hills should have taken place in all the state capitals of the nation and abroad if possible. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha should have reached out to the Gorkha communities over the Globe. India should have been affected and ashamed before the national and international communities. Instead Darjeeling Hills have yet again been brought to her knees. When we are fighting for the freedom of our mother, why are we raping her instead? The leaders be it Bimal Gurung, Amar Lama, Roshan Giri or the rest and the intellectuals behind them, they will have to understand that by gheraoing Subash Ghisingh, calling for indefinite strike in the hills, ‘fast unto death’ which basically remains uncovered by the media, unnoticed by the world and least bothered by Bengal should have been done at their doors, in their capitals, where the national and the international media would have caught on. If the Tibetan can fast at Time Square why can’t we fast unto death before the United Nations in New York, before the Western embassies in New Delhi, Kathmandu, London, Hong Kong, Singapore etc. Sadly, we are stilling fighting the same old agitation, same old khukuri welding rowdies, short sighted leaders, indefinite strikes, no water, no electricity, no garbage disposal, no education for our children, no freedom of expression for our intellectuals. In this 21st Century we are stealing fight for Gorkhaland with weapons of 16th Century. Perhaps, it is will still take another twenty years for the real Gorkhaland movement to be fought by the people and for the people, Only! For this once instant let me also raise a cry, even if it goes against my ethos of being a journalist – Jai Gorkha! Jai Gorkhaland!

http://beacononline.wordpress.com/

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When i started my blog on Sikkim way back in 2007, i had it clear on my mind that this blog shall help people look out for knowledge on Sikkim. I always wanted a knowledge house about Sikkim, its past, present and future. I do not know over the years how much did i succeed but my determination to let other understand my Sikkim is always giving me a push. with regards Shital Pradhan (himalayanreview@gmail.com)

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