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22 Dec 2014

Morcha to TMC switch

The newly-inducted members of Trinamul at Teesta Bazaar on Sunday.
Picture by Chinlop Fudong Lepcha
Rajeev Ravidas, TT, Kalimpong, Dec. 21: Over 120 members of the Janmukti Himalayan Rajmarg Chalak Sangathan, a union of truck drivers affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, today switched political allegiance to Trinamul, saying the predominant party in the hills was indifferent to their demands.
Among those who deserted the Morcha for Trinamul included the president of the Sangathan, Robin Thapa, secretary Sunil Biswa and chief adviser Kamal Karki. They and others were welcomed into Trinamul by Rajen Mukhia, the president of Trinamul's Darjeeling hills unit, at Teesta Bazar, 16km from here.
"We will try and help address your (drivers') grievances. We know the Morcha will try and lure you back to its fold by making false promises, but don't succumb to the pressure. The Morcha is no longer janmukti, but oonmukti (self seekers)," said Mukhia.
Thapa said this was the first batch of the 2,100-odd members of the Sangathan to join Trinamul and more would follow suit. "Our organisation will be known as the Himalayan Rajmarg Chalak Sangathan, TMC. Despite helping the Morcha for all these years, we have been ignored by the party," he said.
Thapa listed a host of problems faced by drivers of heavy vehicles mainly plying on NH31A.
"Our members ferry goods from Siliguri to different places in Sikkim and the hills in small trucks. However, heavier vehicles from outside with larger carriage capacity are eating into our business. Despite bringing the matter to the notice of the Morcha, nothing has been done. Our demands for basic facilities like an ambulance and land to build our office have not also been met. The Morcha prefers to look the other way even at times of accidents and other emergencies. Our members are fed up with the apathetic attitude of the Morcha towards us and that is why we decided to join Trinamul," he said.
The Morcha, however, sought to downplay the desertion and the allegations.
"Look, we are yet to be informed about the matter by the Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh. However, my personal view is that a handful of them have decided to leave us for their own personal interests, not related to politics of the party," said Kumar Chamling, the spokesman for the Morcha's Kalimpong branch.

GTA push to angling tourism with golden mahseer - Hill body to promote fishing in Teesta and Rangit with help from tour conductors and UK organisation

Vivek Chhetri, TT: The next time you head to the Darjeeling hills you can also pack your fishing kit.
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has taken up an initiative to promote angling tourism along the Rangit and Teesta rivers that flow through the region.
Teesta and Rangit are among the few rivers in north Bengal where the golden mahseer, a fish that can weigh up to 40kg, can be found. 
Tourists visiting north Bengal are not known to try out their angling skills although a lot of local people are into it.
Jyoti Kumar Rai, executive GTA Sabha member in-charge of the fisheries department, said: “We are realising the potential of angling tourism and in the next few days we will finalise the details. We will introduce fishing licence in the area, earmark spots for fishing and create the required infrastructure.”

Chandan Gupta, director of Calcutta-based Rogue Anglers’ Company, that promotes angling in the country, is helping the GTA with the project. “Golden mahseer is known as the aquatic tiger of the Asian sub-continent and is a much sought after trophy fish as it is one of the toughest game fish (fish caught for sport) around. The moment you say golden mahseer can be fished, there will be hundreds of foreigners rushing to the place,” he said.
Foreign tourists prepare for angling near Kalijhora in the Darjeeling hills on the banks
of the Teesta and an angler with his catch, a golden mahseer. Telegraph pictures
A golden mahseer is known to be a strong fish and can it weigh up to 40kg which makes it a difficult catch.
Gupta, who conducts fishing vacations across the country, said in north Bengal golden mahseer is found from Jorethang in Sikkim to Sevoke in Darjeeling district. 
“But of late you can only find those that come to the cold waters for spawning at Tribeni (the junction where the Teesta and Rangit rivers meet) and along the stretch (in the Teesta) till Kalijhora and Sevoke that is in GTA area,” said Gupta.
According to him, there are about 10 lakh registered rod and reel anglers in India. “We also have lot of clients from UK, USA, Israel, Netherlands and Russia. This is basically high-end tourism and we charge about USD 2,000 per person for a short fishing vacation in north Bengal,” said Gupta.
He added that anglers are known to bring equipment worth up to Rs 10 lakh for such holidays.
Foreigners, however, do not take their catch home. “They merely take photographs, measure and weigh the fish (if it is a golden mahseer) and let them off,” said Gupta.
Rai said the GTA was also looking at encouraging anglers to let go of their catch. 
“We will strictly monitor to ensure that the fish caught by tourists is not taken,” he said. 
In India, angling tourism is popular in places like Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. 
“All these places have a practice of issuing licence for a nominal amount,” Gupta said. “We will involve the Mahseer Trust, an international non-profit organisation based in the UK, to promote north Bengal as an angling destination.”

Tribal tag a plot to dilute state demand: CPRM - ST status won't help fulfil the demand for Gorkhas' identity, says RB Rai

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Dec. 21: The CPRM today alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched to dilute the demand of Gorkhaland by granting tribal status to the majority of the hill people.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had claimed on Friday that Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram had promised that 10 Gorkha communities would be granted tribal status soon and the ministry had started preparing a report that would be placed before the home ministry and the cabinet. The claim was made after a Morcha delegation, along with representatives of the communities, had met the minister in Delhi on December 19.
The 10 communities (Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami and Yakhha (Dewan)) make up around 55 per cent of the total population of the Darjeeling hills.
Addressing a seminar titled "Problems of our community, tribal status and our perspective" on the occasion of CPRM's 19th foundation day, R.B. Rai, the former Darjeeling MP and the president of the party, today said: "This (tribal status) is only a facility but the issue of political security is attached to the demand of Gorkhaland. Even if we get tribal status, the demand for our community's identity will not be fulfilled. The GNLF fooled the people of the Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars in the past and the Morcha is doing the same."
The CPRM clarified that though it was not against the demand for tribal status, the party would vehemently protest any attempt to dilute the statehood issue.
The tribal population in the hills presently stands at around 34 per cent. If the 10 communities are granted tribal status, more than 85 per cent of the hill people would be classified as tribals.
"Unless and until we don't have our own state, our community's identity across the country will be at peril," said Rai.
The proponents of Gorkhaland have always argued that the separate state will be able to distinguish the Nepali-speaking citizens of Nepal from Nepali-speaking people of India. This, the statehood advocates maintain, will help clear the "identity crisis" of the Nepali-speaking people of India.
J.B. Rai, the vice-president of the CPRM, said: "We smell a conspiracy to derail the Gorkhaland demand by providing such facilities (tribal status). We should not get lost in such facilities over the Gorkhaland demand. We are hearing that the government is talking about granting tribal status to 10 communities. We do not believe all the 10 communities will get this status at one go. To break the unity of the Gorkhas and to dilute the Gorkhaland demand, one or two communities might be given the tribal status."
The CPRM's vice-president, however, added: "Our party president had categorically stated earlier that if any community gets tribal status we have no problems. Our only stand is that this status should not be used to dilute the statehood issue."
When the UPA was in power at the centre, the Mamata Banerjee government had sent its recommendation to grant tribal status to the 10 hill communities to the Union tribal affairs ministry. The recommendation was subsequently forwarded to the registrar-general's office under the home ministry.
An RTI query by a hill resident in June revealed that the Union ministry for tribal affairs had withdrawn the proposal of granting the ST status to the 10 communities.
The reason for the withdrawal of the proposal had not been stated. It was only mentioned that the main criteria for determining the ST status are "social and economic backwardness along with tribal characteristics". The Morcha, however, claims that the process was started once again by the NDA government.
Told about the CPRM's apprehensions, Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang today said: "We have supported the demand of granting tribal status to 10 hill community and the Dhimal community from the plains after a lot of thought. The tribal status will not dilute the statehood issue. We would advise the CPRM leaders to go to the Centre to find out the details of the demand, instead of passing comments, confined to their party office in Darjeeling."

19 Dec 2014

गोरामुमोद्वारा कालेबुङ शहरमा पोष्टरिङ

डी.के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 19 दिसम्बर 2014। असममा केहि महिना अघि हतियार सँगै दुई युवक पक्रा परेको घटनाले दार्जीलिङ पहाडको चिसो मौसममा राजनैतिक हावा भने तातिन थालेको छ। उक्त घटनालाई केन्द्र गरेर गोरामुमो पार्टीले आज कालेबुङ शहरको बिभिन्न सथानहरूमा पोष्टरिङ गरेको छ। 
असममा हतियार सँगै दुई युवक पक्रा परेको घटनाको कारण अहिले घरी दार्जीलिङ पहाडमा अशान्ति सृजना भइरहेको दाबी गर्दै गोरामुमो पार्टीले उक्त हतियार काण्डका मास्टरमाइण्ड पक्राऊ गर्नु पर्ने माग गरेको छ। दार्जीलिङ पहाडमा अहिले उक्त हतियार काण्डको घटनाले साधारण जनतामा अशान्ति भएको गोरामुमोले पोष्टरमा दाबी गर्दै मास्टरमाइण्डलाई पक्राऊ गरेर पहाडमा शान्ति वहाली गर्नुपर्ने माग प्रशासनलाई गरेको छ। 
गोरामुमो कालेबुङ ब्राञ्च कमिटिले उक्त घटना सम्बन्धमा मास्टर माइण्डको पक्राऊको माग गर्दै यहाँको डम्बर चौक, सीके चौक, मोटर स्ट्याण्ड आदि स्थानहरूमा पोष्टरिङ गरेको छ भने पेदोङ, अलगडा, गोरुबथान, झोलुङ आदि स्थानहरूमा पनि पोष्टरिङ गरेको जानकारी प्राप्त भएको छ। 
बिगत केही महिना यता असमको हतियार काण्डको घटनाले पहाडका साधारण जनतालाई अशान्ति भइरहेको अनि यस्ता समाज बिरोधी तत्वहरू संग सम्पूर्ण जनता सचेत बन्ने आह्वान पनि गोरामुमोले पोष्टरमा गरेको छ। यस सम्बन्धमा बोल्दै गोरामुमो कालेबुङ ब्राञ्च कमिटिका सचिव कमल भट्टराईले सम्पूर्ण जनतालाई सचेत भएर बस्ने अनुरोध गर्दै समाज बिरोधी तत्वहरूलाई यथाशिघ्र पक्राऊ गरेर कानुनी कार्वाही गर्नुपर्ने माग गरेका छन्।

Bimal Gurung advocates for ST demand of 10 communities

PR, KalimNews, Kalimpong, 19 December 2014: Representing 10 Gorkha Communities a team led by Bimal Gurung, GTA Chief Executive and  S.S Ahluwalia, MP and Binoy Tamang today met Jual Oram, Union Minister For Tribal Affairs at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.
The 10 Gorkha communities was represented by Bharatiya Gorkha Janajati Sangharsha Mahasangh and was headed by Central Committee members Kanchan Gurung,  R.B.Raya, S.P. Pradhan,  Amar Dewan,  B.B. Mangar,  Ratan Khawas, Deepak Mukhia and M.S.Rai.
Bimal Gurung reiterated  that the immediate inclusion of 11 communities from Darjeeling and Dooars region in the list of Schedule Tribes is under the consideration of Government of India, a release and Facebook status of Bimal Gurung Official states so.  
On the basis of the demands from 11 communities namely Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakhha (Dewan) and Dhimal in the List of Schedule Tribes under the Government of India, the status adds.  
It also states that the GJM leaders also placed special demand for ST Status of Dhimal Community.
It also adds that it is reminded that the Government of West Bengal has also passed the inclusion of the above communities in its State Cabinet on 24th February 2014 and the CM had also wrote a letter to the than Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on 28th February 2014 for the same.
It has stated that unfortunately the ST status of the hill communities had come under a cloud after it was revealed in June that the earlier UPA Government's Union ministry for tribal affairs had withdrawn the proposal of granting Schedule Tribe status to the 10 Darjeeling hill communities but the demand was renewed by the relentless pressure of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and GTA Chief Executive Bimal Gurung after the formation of the new Government at Delhi.
It has stated that Jual Oram, Minister for Tribal Affairs  has assured the delegation that the demand of the inclusion of 10 Gorkha communities will be granted soon. He also apprised the delegation that the Ministry has already taken the initiative for processing it  and the report will be placed to the Home Ministry and the cabinet.
It also adds that the Minister further said that the demand for the tribal status was freshly placed by the new Government after repeated appeals by Bimal Gurung and GJM 5 months ago.
The release also states that Oram also said that since the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha was an alliance partner in the present Government, it is ready to cooperate for the inclusion of the 11 communities.

Nepal, Bhutan borders to have revamped intelligence

EOI, New Delhi, 18 Dec 2014: Security along India's open borders with Nepal and Bhutan is set to be strengthened as the designated border guarding force at these two frontiers --SSB-- today unveiled its decision to revamp and bolster its intelligence wing and introduce non-lethal weapons there.
Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Director General B D Sharma said the force has recently sent to the Union Home Ministry an ambitious proposal to "revamp" its intelligence unit and for sanction of additional funds in this regard.
"Intelligence is our biggest weapon when it comes to securing the open and porous borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
These are sensitive borders. We have sent to the government a proposal in this regard as we seek to revamp our snooping infrastructure," he told reporters on the occasion of the forces' 51st Raising day later this week.
"We want to excel in intelligence-related works because at these two unfenced frontiers it is only 'good information' that can help secure the area from illegal elements," he said.
While the Nepal border is notorious for illegal crossing overs of terrorists, militants, arms and fake Indian currency, the Bhutan border has had numerous instances of insurgents and militants operating in the jungle terrain there and undertaking attacks on civilians and security forces.
Sharma said the government has accorded the 70,000 personnel-strong force a Rs 658 crore modernisation budget which SSB is utilising in procuring surveillance and other gadgets and weapons.
SSB officials elaborated that under the intelligence revamp proposal, the force wants to double the number of its personnel designated for this job and it wants to procure a number of gadgets that provide technical snoop data with the help of imagery and biometrics.
The snoop wing of the force, designated as the lead agency on these two borders, has an estimated 4,000 people.
The force, the DG said, will also send a proposal to the Home Ministry soon with an intention to acquire non-lethal weapons to be deployed along these two borders, on line similar to what BSF does along the Bangladesh frontier.
"There are numerous benefits of having non-lethal weapons on these borders as this would better allow our troopers to deal with illegal elements active here. Being an open border, it is not always advisable for our troops to use their standard weapons which are lethal in nature," he said.
The DG also said that the force, along with its counterpart paramilitary in Nepal, has also decided to strengthen mechanisms to curb instances of human trafficking along the 1,751 km Indo-Nepal border.

Girl raped in Car

EOI,SINGTAM, 18 Dec 2014: In a shocking incident on Wednesday night, a 19 year old girl was raped by an unknown person in a car on NH-10 between Rangpo and Singtam. Police sources said the girl took a lift in a car with an unknown person near Ranipool at around 9 p.m. 
She was supposed to get down at Singtam, but the person took her to an isolated place between Singtam and Rango and raped her before abandoning her. The victim reported the incident to Singtam Police on Thursday morning and filed an FIR. It was later confirmed through medical check-up that the girl was indeed raped. She has been sent to STNM hospital in Gangtok for further medical examinations.
The victim could not recognize the type of vehicle the man was driving or could establish any further leads into the identity of the person, since the incident happened at night. However, Singtam police have started an investigation into the case and are on a lookout for the unknown person.

Land hurdle to Bagdogra night flights - Airlines unwilling to operate in dark in absence of landing system, says AAI official

Avijit Sinha, TT, Bagdogra, Dec. 18: A senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) today said the Darjeeling district administration's delay in handing over land to set up an Instrumental Landing System at Bagdogra aerodrome was discouraging airlines from operating flights from here at night.
The ILS, a component of which is the Approach Lighting System (ALS), is a ground-based technology that guides an aircraft through a combination of radio signals and high-intensity lighting arrays to enable safe landing and take-off when visibility is poor because of fog, rain, or blowing snow and darkness.
Several flights in Bagdogra have been cancelled in the past week because of fog.
The runway at Bagdogra is maintained by the Indian Air Force.
The airport does not have the instrument landing system (ILS). In its absence, the IAF, which provides all navigational aid for landing and take-off, use the Precision Approach Radar (PAR) system, which can guide planes at night, but in clear weather conditions.
In July 2013, the IAF allowed night landing at Bagdogra.
S. Bhaduri, the executive director (eastern region) of the AAI, told a news conference today: "Officials of the district administration have told us that they will provide compensation to some dwellers and hand over to us 23 acres required for the installation of the ALS. Once we receive the land, it would be handed over to the IAF which would install ILS and ALS at the airport. If we go by the assurance of the district administration, we hope the ILS would be ready at Bagdogra airport by next winter." At present, the runway in Bagdogra is around 9,270 ft or 2,784 metres long and there are five bays for parking flights. For installation of the ALS, the runway needs to be extended for another 900 metres where the approach lights would be put to guide the aircraft.
Though Bhaduri sounded optimistic, AAI sources said the delay on the part of district administration in handing over the land, is affecting services in Bagdogra.
"It is at least a five year old affair and yet, the administration could not hand over the land. The ILS and ALS can function at any time when there is poor visibility and it is only on last week that flights got cancelled due to poor visibility. Added to it is the discouragement among airliners to introduce evening flights. The IAF has increased the watch hour and is ready to install ILS and ALS but due to absence of land, it could not be done. If the land would have been handed over to us, passengers, both locals and tourists, would not have to face the inconveniences then. They could also avail facilities of more evening flights," the sources said.
"Bagdogra airport is the cheapest airport in the country now due to zero fuel surcharge provided by the state government. The growth in terms of passenger traffic is appreciative in past few years but the absence of ILS is posting deterrence in the airport's growth. The entire responsibility is with the state which could not manage to hand over the land to AAI," they added.
According to AAI sources, around 7.50 lakh passengers, among whom five per cent are foreigners, have travelled via Bagdogra airport in the 2013-14 fiscal. "In the current fiscal, we expect the number of passengers will touch the 10 lakh mark, which is a very encouraging trend," an official said. In course of the news conference, The ILS, sources said, is a ground-based technical system that guides an aircraft approaching and landing on a runway through a combination of radio signals and high-intensity lighting arrays to enable a safe landing during reduced visibility due to fog, rain, or blowing snow and at night.
2,784 metres The Approach Lighting System or forms a part of the ILS and is installed on the approach end of the runway. It the regional executive director, said that

DRI seizes gold bars worth over Rs 7.5 crore

The gold bars seized by the DRI in Siliguri on Thursday. Telegraph picture
TT, Siliguri, Dec.18: Two Nepal nationals and two others from north India were arrested by the directorate of revenue intelligence from Matigara last night with gold bars weighing 28kg and worth over Rs 7.5 crore were seized from them.
Officials said the gold bars were being stuffed in chambers built in a car's body when the four were caught.
The youths were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate's court here today and remanded in jail custody for 14 days.
Sources said that acting on a tip-off, a DRI team raided a stretch on NH31 near Uttarayon last night and found the four youths transferring the gold bars, which they had planned to take to Delhi through Calcutta, from one car to another.
"The residents of Nepal carried the gold in an SUV and entered India through Panitanki, 40km here, yesterday. They were supposed to deliver the gold to two others, who are from north India, at Matigara," Ratan Banik, a lawyer representing DRI, said.
"Around 10.30pm, the Indian youths reached a designated spot in a WagonR. While they were transferring the gold bars from the SUV to the WagonR, DRI officials reached the spot and arrested them. The officials also seized the gold and the two cars."
The arrested persons are, Ang Karma Sherpa from Solukhumbu and Sribishnu Phuyel from Kathmandu, both in Nepal, and Shyamsundar Mishra and Sanjay Mishra, residents of Delhi and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh, respectively. All the four are aged between 25 and 30 years.
"In the raid, 41 gold bars of different shapes weighing between 350gm and 1kg and worth around Rs 7.67 crore were seized. There were markings of at least three countries on them," Banik said. The gold weighs 28kg.
DRI officials have learnt that Shyamsundar and Sanjay had planned to take the gold bars to Delhi through Calcutta. "They had planned to take the gold in the WagonR. Small concealed chambers were made inside the car's body where the bars, wrapped in carbon paper and tied with black tapes, were kept. The smugglers seem to have adequate knowledge as by wrapping gold bars in carbon paper one can evade getting caught by X-ray machines," said a DRI source.
"Last year, we had arrested two persons from a train heading to Calcutta from Guwahati and recovered 14kg gold. Sunday, we seized 6kg gold from two others. Yesterday's haul was major, both in terms of quantity and price," the source added.
Such regular seizure of gold suspected to be smuggled into India from Southeast Asian countries, has the intelligence wings worried.
"It seems smugglers are trying to revive the old route on India-Nepal border near Siliguri to smuggle gold into our country. Smuggled gold is assembled in Nepal from countries like Australia, Switzerland and Thailand and taken to India," an official said. "From here, it is smuggled to north India and other parts of the country."

बंगाल सरकार नै गोर्खाल्याण्ड बिरोधी - विनय तामङ

राजेश शर्मा, कालिमन्युज, जयगाँउ 18 दिसम्बर । जब –जब पहाड़का नेताहरु पहाड़देखी समतल झर्छन तब जनताको चासो बड्छ भने यस्तै क्रममा गोजमुमो प्रमुख बिमल गुरुङको समतल भ्रमण बिषयमा दुरभाषमा गोजामुमो वा का सहसचिव एंव गोर्खाल्याण्ड क्षेत्रीय प्रशासंनका सुचना एंव संचार बिभागका सभासद बिनय तामङ संग जानकारी लिन चाह्दाँ तिनले भने गोजमुमो आज आफ्नो मांगलाई अघि बडाउन गुप्त रुपले काम गरिरहेको छ। 
गोर्खाजातीको मुलमुद्धा गोर्खाल्याण्डको सफलता एंव पहाड़ी क्षेत्र लगायत समतल क्षेत्रमा शान्तिको निम्ति नै गुवाहाटीको कामख्या एंव कलकत्ताको कालीघाट, बनारस र अन्य मन्दिरहरुको यात्रा गर्दैपुजा गरि गोर्खाको सपना पुरा गर्ने एउटा धार्मीक विधि अपनाएको तिनले बताए । तिनले भने बिरोधीले अहिले गोर्खा जातीलाई पहाड़मा बिभिन्न रुपमा अफवाह् फैलाइरहेको छ पत्र पत्रिकामा के पुजा गर्दामा ने गोर्खाल्याण्ड प्राप्त हुन्छ भन्ने प्रश्न गर्दै धार्मिक् आस्थामा चोट पुर्याउनु राम्रो होइन । 
गोजमुमोले पहाड़देखी समतल लागेपछि संचार माध्यमसंग किन केही टाडा बसेको भन्ने प्रश्नको उत्तर दिदै तिनले भने कि गोजमुमोको आन्दोलन गर्ने पध्दती बेग्लै रहेको छ अनि अघिबाटै संचार माध्यमले हाम्रो रणनितिको कसैले पनि थाहा पाए आन्दोलनमा बाधा हुने संभावना छ यसैले टाडा बसेको तिनले बताए । 
बंगाल सरकारनै हाम्रो गोर्खाल्याण्ड आन्दोलनको बिरोधी हो यसैले हाम्रो रणनिति गुप्र राख्न हामीलाई जरुरि भएको छ। 
डुवर्स अनि सिलगड़ीको बारेमा प्रश्न गर्दा तिनले भने कि डुवर्सलाई हामीले छोड़ेको छैनौ , सहि समय आयो भने डुवर्स अनि सिलगुड़ीलाई कसरी तताउन पर्ने वा नपर्ने त्यो हामीले सोचेको छौ । 
तिनले अझै भने कि डुवर्स अनि सिलगड़ीको अंतर्भुक्तिको निम्ति गोजमुमो प्रमुख बिमल गुरुङले दिल्लीका केन्द्रिय नेताहरुलाई बारम्बार जनाइरहेका छन । पहाड़मा आउदो 26 देखी 28 सम्म पुजा अर्चना गरि गोर्खाल्याण्ड्को मांगलाई धार्मीक पध्दतीले थप बल पुर्याउने अपिल राख्दै आगामी महिनामा दिल्लीमुखी आन्दोलन हुने पनि तामङ्ले पुन दोहोर्याए ।

18 Dec 2014

Darjeeling gets seasons first snowfall

Brinda Biswas, SNS, Darjeeling, 17 December 2014: Tiger Hill, the popular tourist haunt located 11 km away from Darjeeling town and at an altitude of 8482 feet, witnessed moderate snowfall today, making it the season’s first spell.
Places like Nathula, Changu Lake, Meghma, Sandakphu, Phalut and Tonglu in North Sikkim also received heavy snowfall, resulting in a severe cold wave sweeping the region.More than 2000 tourists who had gone to see the majestic sunrise from Tiger Hill failed to see the sun rise today, but they returned with gleeful smiles on their faces after experiencing the snowfall.
The snowfall was followed by icy-cold winds and sleet, and the result was obvious, a steep fall in the temperature from -2 to 0 degree C respectively. “It snowed for around 30 minutes, from 4:15 am to quarter to 5am in the morning,” said the manager of the Tiger Hill Pavilion, Pradip Lama. “This was the first snowfall in Tiger Hill this season,” he added. Mr Lama also said that since it was a moderate snow, snow could not accumulate much.When asked, a tourist, Chetna Rai, said “today was a memorable day for me.”
“It was a little disheartening for us in the beginning as we could not get a glimpse of the sunrise, but the experience of the snow made me happy 10-fold and we completely forgot about the sun-rise,” she added.
Another tourist, Ashwyn Kharel, said: “It was freezing cold. I could not even capture photos properly.” “But I did enjoy,” he added.
While it rained in the morning, the weather was warm as the sun came out brightly in Darjeeling later in the afternoon. “The view of the Kanchanjunga from Darjeeling was as beautiful as the day itself,” one tourist said.

Sen & Mukherjee produced in Siliguri, Kalimpong courts

SNS, Siliguri/Kurseong, 17 December 2014: The prime accused in the Saradha scam, Sudipto Sen, and one of the directors of the Saradha Group, Debjani Mukherjee, were produced in the Siliguri additional chief judicial magistrate’s court and the Kalimpong ACJM court, respectively, today.
Mr Sen was produced in the Siliguri court on the basis of an FIR lodged with the Siliguri police by a Siliguri resident, Uma Pal Majumdar in April last year. Ms Pal has accused Mr Sen of cheating her after she deposited Rs 1 lakh with the group.
Assistant public persecutor in Siliguri, Sudip Roy Basunia, said a case had started on the basis of the FIR.“However, the court could not transfer the case to the trial court for non-production of Debjani Mukherjee in the court today. The court ordered them to be produced after 14 days,” Mr Roy Basunia said.
Sources said Mr Sen was sent to the Alipore Central Correctional Home today. Both Mr Sen and Ms Mukherjee were brought to Siliguri. However, Ms Mukherjee was produced before ACJM, R Charkrabarty, in Kalimpong.One Uttam Bhujel had filed a complaint against Ms Mukherjee at the Kalimpong police station on April 22, 2013. Mr Bhujel has accused her of cheating under Sec 420 of the IPC.

Agitation threat on tea wages

TT, Siliguri, Dec. 17: The Joint Forum, a front of 23 tea garden trade unions, today threatened to resume the agitation for minimum wage saying it would not let the state "impose" a draft agreement on the pay on workers.
Yesterday, labour minister Moloy Ghatak had placed a draft proposing a daily wage hike of Rs 42.50 for tea garden workers in the hills and Rs 37.50 for those in the plains. Labourers in the hills and the plains earn Rs 90 and Rs 95, receptively, daily. Planters and trade unions had been asked to look into the draft and give suggestions in five days.
The Joint Forum had already said it would not sign the draft.
Chitta Dey, convenor of Coordination Committee of Tea Plantation Workers representing the Joint Forum, said: "Representatives of the government cannot place a draft during tripartite talks. According to the Industrial Dispute Act, the state can act as a mediator and cannot compel either side, trade unions or planters, to sign the draft agreement. During the talks in the past two days, we were surprised to see the labour minister insisting on signing the draft."
He iterated that none of the constituents of the forum would sign the draft. "The workers are disgruntled over the state's lackadaisical attitude to resolve the minimum wage issue. We want to make it clear that there is no question of signing any agreement for the next three years," Dey said.
"If the state forces us to sign or moves ahead with the draft, we would be left with no other option but to launch a movement to demand minimum wage. There will be rallies, meetings on estates, conventions and even industrial and general strike. The government should understand the problem cannot be resolved through coercion."
The forum held demonstrations last month and called a 48-hour tea strike and a 12-hour general strike in north Bengal.
Trinamul trade unions today said they had started consolidating support. "We are distributing copies of the draft among workers. Our leaders are visiting estates and telling workers that a section of unions under the Joint Forum is playing politics," Alok Chakraborty, working president of Trinamul Tea Plantation Workers' Union, said.

CID links accused to Gurung backyard - Morcha wants 'impartial probe' in 27th Mile arms recovery case

Bimal Gurung
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Dec. 17: The CID has said in its FIR that seven of the 14 people accused in the recovery of arms and documents, which call for a violent agitation to achieve Gorkhaland, from 27th Mile were staying at Darjeeling's Patlabas, the place of residence of GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung.
Asked about the police’s claim, Morcha assistant secretary Jyoti Kumar Rai said: “Let police conduct the investigation. We just want an impartial probe and common people should not be harassed.”
Police sources told The Telegraph today that the FIR filed by a sub-inspector of the CID at the Ranglee-Rungliot police station had categorically stated that six of the seven accused who had stayed at Patlabas were residents of different parts of the Darjeeling hills and the Dooars. 
A rifle, 22 rounds of live ammunition and five leaflets of the Gorkhaland Liberation Army (GLA) had been recovered from an abandoned building in 27th Mile, 45km from here, on December 6. 
The FIR was filed on the same day. 
The FIR mentions that the accused — Raju Gurung, a resident of Kalchini (Dooars), Sher Singh Rai of Gorubathan, Milan Subba of Bhutabari busty at Lookson (Dooars) and Ram Singh Rai of Gorubathan —were “A/P”, meaning at present residing at Patlabas.
The CID in the FIR has not given the original addresses of two other accused, Manish Tamang and Mikki, but it has mentioned that they were “A/P” residing at Patlabas. 
Sanjeev Gurung was the seventh accused man to stay at Patlabas, which is on the outskirts of Darjeeling town. The FIR alleged that another consignment of arms brought to Darjeeling had been kept at his house. Those arms couldn’t be recovered.
The arms seizure at 27th Mile was made after interrogating Umesh Kami, 29, and Ganesh Chhetri, 53, who had been held from Chirang district of Assam with a huge cache of arms and ammunition on November 8. 
The names of both Kami and Ganesh Chhetri figure in the FIR filed at Ranglee-Rungliot police station. The FIR shows Kami as a resident of Lankapara, Birpara in Jalpaiguri district, and Ganesh Chhetri from Dhansripur in Assam’s Baksha. The duo are currently in police custody, while all other 12 accused are yet to be traced.  
Sanjay Thulung, an elected GTA Sabha member, and his brother Bijay Rai Thulung, who are among the accused, are residents of Glenburn, Takdah, but their present addresses were not mentioned in the FIR. 
The other three persons named in the FIR, Sanjay Chhetri, Rahul Chhetri and Diku Chhetri, have been stated as residents of Dimapur and members of militant outfit NSCN (Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim). 
The three Chhetris had allegedly supplied the weapons to Kami and Ganesh Chhetri. 
The leaflets in the name of the GLA allegedly call for an armed rebellion to achieve the separate state of Gorkhaland. 
“The police are trying to track a vehicle bearing registration number WB-74-V, 7116, which had been used to bring consignments of arms to Bengal,” said a CID source.
This vehicle is different from Tata Safari (WB-74, AE-4788), which was seized by Assam police when they arrested Kami and Ganesh Chhetri. 
On November 17, the police had allegedly conducted raids on the house of Jaspal Gazmer and Dinesh Theeng at Patlabas. The police had, however, claimed that they had only patrolled the area after receiving inputs that the elected GTA member, Sanjay Thulung, was present in the area. The names of Gazmer and Theeng, however, do not feature in the CID FIR. 
The CID said in the FIR that 15 members of the Gorkhaland Personnel, a voluntary force raised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, had undertaken arms training from the NSCN in Nagaland last year. 
GTA Sabha member Sanjay Thulung was also accused of providing Rs 13.3 lakh to the NSCN to supply the arms. 
The Morcha has refused comment on the FIR in which the 14 accused are charged with various offences, including waging or attempting to wage war against the state and sedition.

The focus at the moment, according to the CID, is on the GLA, whose leadership is not yet known. The FIR states that a number of secret meetings were held and the accused were “working together under the leadership of Sanjay Thulung.” 
According to the FIR, the five seized leaflets read: “‘GLA is fighting to get Gorkhaland. Join GLA to fight to get Gorkhaland. We want Gorkhaland. We will fight till death. Join your hands. We want Gorkhaland. Join GLA in Arms Rebellion.”

Why is Near Term Human Extinction Inevitable?

Robert J. Burrowes, KalimNews, kalimpong, 17 December 2014: If you hadn't previously heard the expression 'near term human extinction', you have now. And you will get used to hearing it soon unless you insulate yourself from reality with greater effectiveness than you are doing by reading this article.

The expression 'near term human extinction' is relatively new in the scientific literature but, unlike other truths that have been successfully suppressed by national elites and their corporate media, this one will keep filtering out until you start to hear the expression routinely. Why? Because this truth is simply too big to suppress permanently and the planetary environment delivers its feedback directly to us in the form of catastrophic environmental events, climatic and otherwise, whether or not these are reported by the corporate media.
It is now widely accepted that we are living through the sixth mass extinction in planetary history. The last one occurred 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs vanished. We are now losing biodiversity at a rate similar to that time. But this mass extinction is driven by us. And we will be one of the casualties. The only real debate is when. And this debate is predicated on the unstated and highly problematic assumption that we can continue to avoid nuclear war.
So what does the expression 'near term human extinction' mean?  In essence, according to those scientists who use the term, it means that human beings will be extinct by about 2030. For a summary of the evidence of this, with many references, listen to the lecture by Professor Guy McPherson on 'Climate Collapse and Near Term Human Extinction' http://www.globalresearch.ca/guy-mcpherson-on-climate-collapse-and-near-term-human-extinction/5386102 Why 2030? Because, according to McPherson, the 'perfect storm' of environmental assaults that we are now inflicting on the Earth, including the 28 self-reinforcing climate feedback loops that have already been triggered, is so far beyond the Earth's capacity to absorb, that there will be an ongoing succession of terminal breakdowns of key ecological systems and processes – that is, habitat loss – over the next decade that it will precipitate the demise of homo sapiens sapiens.
Now, it should be pointed out, many scientists disagree with this timeframe. For example, science journalist Scott K. Johnson endeavours to explain 'How Guy McPherson gets it wrong' here:http://fractalplanet.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/how-guy-mcpherson-gets-it-wrong/ And, just recently, Dr Piers J Sellers, acting director of earth science at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, stated that 'It is almost certain that we will see a rise of two degrees Celsius before 2100, and a three-degree rise or higher is a possibility. The impacts over such a short period would be huge. The longer we put off corrective action, the more disruptive the outcome is likely to be.' See 'Wobbling on Climate Change' http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/opinion/wobbling-on-climate-change.html?_r=1
But even if Johnson and Sellers are right, and McPherson is wrong about the timeframe, there are still many scientists who are keen to point out that we are ongoingly breaching 'tipping points' that make human survival increasingly problematic. In 2009, for example, Johan Rockström, James Hansen and colleagues explained that three of nine interlinked planetary boundaries – in relation to climate, biodiversity loss and biogeochemical cycles – had already been overstepped. See 'A safe operating space for humanity' http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/full/461472a.html
And, in 2012, Prof Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director of the UK's premier climate modelling institution, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/, warned that emissions are now out of control and we are heading for a world that is 6 degrees hotter; he pointed out that even the International Energy Agency, and conservative organisations like it, are warning that we are on track for a 4 degree increase (on the pre-industrial level) by 2040. He also accused too many climate scientists of keeping quiet about the unrealistic assessments put out by governments. See 'What They Won't Tell You About Climate Catastrophe' http://www.ecoshock.info/2012/11/kevin-anderson-what-they-wont-tell-you.html
And what these assessments do not necessarily take into account is the synergistic impact of our combined assaults on the environment including those unrelated to the climate. These include the devastating assaults on the environment through military violence (often leaving vast areas uninhabitable), rainforest destruction, industrial farming, mining, commercial fishing and the spreading radioactive contamination from Fukushima. We are also systematically destroying the limited supply of fresh water on the planet which means that water scarcity is becoming a frequent reality for many people and the collapse of hydrological systems is now expected by 2020. Human activity drives 200 species of life (birds, animals, fish, insects) to extinction each day and 80% of the world's forests and over 90% of the large fish in the ocean are already gone. Despite this readily available information, governments continue to prioritise spending $US2,000,000,000 each day on military violence, the sole purpose of which is to terrorise and kill fellow human beings.
The point is simply this: you are welcome to analyse the scientific evidence for yourself and make your own assessment of the timeframe and the degree of severity of the threat. Perhaps human extinction will not occur until next century. But whether we define 'near term' as 2030, 2040 or even next century, human extinction is now a distinct possibility. And after 200,000 years of our species, calling this 'near term' seems reasonable.
So is near term human extinction inevitable?
In my view, human extinction is the most likely outcome. But not simply because we are inflicting too many insults on the planetary environment. Extinction is inevitable because of human fear and, specifically, unconscious fear: The fear in ourselves and others that is not experienced consciously but which often drives three capacities that are vitally important in any context: the focus of our attention, our capacity to adequately analyse the evidence (if we get our attention focused on it) and our behaviour in response to this analysis. For example, if you do not know that your fear is making you screen out unpalatable information, then you won't even notice that you have turned your attention elsewhere and have now forgotten what you just read. Or your fear might prevent you adequately analysing the evidence and/or responding intelligently to it. See 'Why Violence?' http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence and 'Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice' http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/
So, if you are one of the people still reading this article, you are probably less frightened than most people. The others gave up before they got to this paragraph. So let me now tell you the primary problem with the fear. It distorts the mental focus, capacity for analysis and the behaviour of national elites, that is, corporate owners and their political, military, media, bureaucratic, academic and judicial lackeys. In essence, corporate profits cannot be maximised in a world where environmental constraints are taken into account, either through sensible consideration or legal requirement, so fear will drive dysfunctional corporate activity irrespective of its environmental cost. And corporate executives will ensure that their political and other lackeys do not get in their way because the fear that drives profit maximizing behaviour is deep-seated and far outweighs any fears in relation to the environment. For a fuller explanation of this point, see 'Love Denied: The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War'http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1305/S00186/love-denied-the-psychology-of-materialism-violence-and-war.htm/
This is why lobbying elites to change their behaviour in the direction of environmental sustainability (or peace and justice, for that matter) is a complete waste of time. It is their fear that locks them into what they focus on, what they are 'thinking' and what they are doing, and arguments, no matter how sensible or evidential, cannot work.
In essence then, it is fear that drives dysfunctional environmental behaviours. And, history tells us, fear will prevent us taking sufficient action in time.
So is there any point doing anything given that we are dead on track for near term human extinction?
Well, if you are like me, you are one of those people who does not intend to go down without a fight. A big fight! So you might consider joining those of us participating in 'The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth' http://tinyurl.com/flametree: a fifteen year strategy to address all of our environmental challenges systematically in a way that undermines the elite fear that would destroy us all. You might also like to sign the online pledge of 'The People's Charter to Create a Nonviolent World' http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com
The Flame Tree Project was inspired by that great environmentalist, Mohandas K. Gandhi, who identified the environmental crisis nearly one hundred years ago and, having done so, subsequently lived his own life in extraordinary simplicity and self-reliance, symbolised by his daily spinning of khadi: 'Earth provides enough for every person's need but not for every person's greed.'
Extinction might be howling outside our door but, if you have the courage, you can still fight. There is no downside in trying. But we need to fight strategically so that we defeat elite fear. How long do you want to wait before joining the fight?
Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of 'Why Violence?' http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is athttp://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com

17 Dec 2014

Bhutan party in exile seeks Indian ‘shelter’, writes to PM

TT, Siliguri, 16 December 2014: Druk National Congress (Democratic), A Bhutanese political party in exile, has sent an application to Prime Minister Narendra Modi , requesting him to grant people “ousted” from Bhutan ‘diplomatic shelter’ or political asylum in India.
In the letter sent on 3 November, party president Rinzin Dorji says that there are gross human rights violations in the “next door neighbour, Bhutan.”
“The newly established democracy (in Bhutan) has remained a mere window-dressing process to eyewash the international community. In absence of true and inclusive democracy, a large number of its citizens of diverse ethnicity and religious background had to flee into exile and continue their quest for true democracy,” the letter says.
The vice-president and spokesperson of the party, Karma Chhoejay, said in a press release issued here that the DNC (D) is advocating for a true and vibrant democracy in Bhutan for the past two decades.
“I would like to request your Excellency to kindly grant us diplomatic shelter in India,” the letter to the PM says. 
“Our forefathers entered Nepal and established a political party in 1994, and (the Nepali-speaking Bhutanese) took the refugee status in camps for survival. However, by virtue of many apparent reasons, especially for non-Nepali speaking Bhutanese, India is a right place or country to seek shelter,” it adds.
It says that the party’s aim is not to harm the relationship between Bhutan and India, “but to educate and create awareness on the values of true democracy among the Bhutanese people.”
Mr Dorji further says that he would like to earnestly appeal to the government of India “to grant us diplomatic shelter, comprising the basic survival necessities and security, and bestow upon us your Excellency’s moral support and solidarity, which will go a long way in our efforts to usher in true, vibrant and inclusive democracy in Bhutan.”