Saturday, February 19, 2011

FAITH VINDICATED: Karmapa supporters welcome ‘clean chit’, reiterate “Karmapa for Rumtek” demand

a NOW! file-foto of an impromptu candlelight vigil taken out in Gangtok
some time back in support of the Karmapa. 
GANGTOK, 19 Feb: The Joint Action Committee [for the Karmapa], a representation of 18 Buddhist organizations of Sikkim, and the Karmapa Reception Committee have jointly welcomed the “clean chit” given to the XVIIth Karmapa Ogyen Trinley by the Congress-led UPA government and have expressed their gratitude towards the Prime Minister, the UPA Chairperson, Home Minister and the Home Secretary “for laying to rest all allegations leveled against the Karmapa”. Reinvigorated by this latest development, they have also reiterated the "Karmapa to Rumtek" call.

High Court stay directing Income Tax Office to desist proceedings against two local companies to continue

GANGTOK, 18 Feb: The stay order of the High Court of Sikkim, directing the Income Tax Office to desist from any further proceedings against two local enterprises, Teesta Rangit Pvt Ltd and Envision Pvt Ltd [which had been “surveyed” by the ITO on 23 December 2010], will continue until further orders. This continuation was ordered by the High Court on 16 Feb when the petition filed by Teesta Rangit Pvt Ltd had come up for its second hearing.
The respondents in the case, the ITO, sought four weeks time to file a counter affidavit, which was granted by the Court and another four weeks granted to the petitioner to file the rejoinder. The case has been listed for its next hearing on 18 May 2011.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Visiting academics teach phonetics at Namchi

NAMCHI, 18 Feb: Three Australians, Evelyn Gassard [Coordinator, LEM Phonics, Australia], Rev. Richard Wilson [Coordinator Reforms fellowship of Australia] and Annie Joy [Assistant] were on a visit to Sikkim with the aim of sharing some of their knowledge and experience. During their seven days stay at Namchi they tutored the students and teachers of Newlight Academy on spoken and written English.
Today was their last day in Namchi, and the Principal Newlight Academy, Lopzang Lama, along with the teachers and students expressed their gratitude towards them. They will be leaving for Gangtok tomorrow where they also plan to teach phonetics in some of the schools here.

Sikkim University to enter into academic collaboration with two British universities

GANGTOK, 18 Feb: Sikkim University, the University of Glasgow and the University of Sheffield Hallam have decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding binding them to work together in areas of mutual interest. This followed from two days of intensive interactions and discussions between the Sikkim University and two universities of United Kingdom.
Addressing a press conference today, Vice Chancellor, Sikkim University, Prof Mahendra P Lama, informed that the areas of partnership and collaboration agreed upon are - management, academics, research and technology.

SDF facilitates treatment for 69 patients from Sikkim in New Delhi

GANGTOK, 18 Feb: The Sikkim Democratic Front party has facilitated the treatment of 69 patients from Sikkim in New Delhi. The patients were escorted to Delhi by a seven-member team of SDF workers and were treated there for a variety of ailments. The team returned to Sikkim on 15 February.
An SDF press release informs that among the 69 patients, 11 underwent eye operations, one, a hernia operation, one had a minor leg operation, 34 received eye check-ups and others, special treatment for different ailments.
The party has taken this initiative for underprivileged people of the state from the different parts who were unable to go outside the state for treatment on their own.
Among the members of the team, Vijay Rai of Jorethang and Tikaram Dahal of Ralay-Tumin Lingee also donated blood to the under treatment patients, it is informed.
The team had left for New Delhi on 31 January with the 69 patients.

Sumin-Mangthang celebrates upgradation of village school to JHS level, directs educated unemployed to volunteer services for now

GANGTOK, 18 Feb: In an environment where people at large wait for the government to solve all their problems, welcome example of proactive community participation has came forth at Sumin-Mangthang situated above Nimtar here in East Sikkim. The village has decided that vacancies at its recently upgraded JHS will be met by educated unemployed youth of the area taking classes on voluntary basis.
The School Management Committee, Headmaster and staff, guardians, Panchayat members and villagers of Sumin-Mangthang Primary School, under Namcheybung constituency in East Sikkim have expressed their gratitude and thanks to Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and area MLA Beg Bahadur Rai for upgrading their school to Junior High Secondary level from the current academic session.

Allow Karmapa to Rumtek, demands Denzong Welfare Association

GANGTOK, 18 Feb: Members of Denzong Welfare Association have thanked the Central Government for issuing a “clean chit” to the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje [as national news channels have been reporting for a while now] in the recent controversy and has made an appeal to allow the Karmapa to take his seat at the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek, informs a press release.

BJP wants State Govt to explain delay in reserving Assembly seats for Limboos and Tamangs

GANGTOK, 18 Feb: The Bharatiya Janta Party’s Sikkim-unit has claimed that the scheduled tribe status for the Limboo and Tamang communities was provided by the BJP-led NDA Government and explained that this has shouldered the party with the responsibility to speak for the rights of these two communities as Scheduled Tribes, especially with regard to Assembly seat reservation for them as scheduled tribes.

National conference to improve orchid production and utilisation

GANGTOK, 18 FEB: A national level conference on “National Consultation for Production and Utilization of Orchids” is being organised by the National Research Centre for Orchids[at Pakyong] in collaboration with ICAR Research Complex, Barapani, from 19 to 21 February, at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok, informs a press release.

Arpana and Norden unveil “New Tower of Babel” for Lakme Fashion Week

GANGTOK, 18 Feb: A preview to designer duo Aparana and Norden Wangdi’s Spring Summer 2011 collection [to be showcased at the Lakme Fashion week] was held on 13 March in Mumbai. The theme for their collection this year is, “The New Tower of Babel”, described as a “theatrical manifestation of the ever contracting contemporary world”.
The collection uses alphabetical symbols in different languages in the form of embroideries, digital prints and patchwork detailing. Japanese, Chinese, English, Sanskrit are visible in this collection. The silhouettes are very simplistic in their asymmetry and drape. Colors range from off whites, navy, cobalt blues into greys, blacks into vibrant reds and pink.
The collection is essentially of dresses with drapes and flares are seen along with very easy wrap styles. Immense texturing has been done with screen printing, digital printing and sequin embroidery of characters. The collection has intricate stitching details but the overall effect is minimalistic, the details being visible on close scrutiny.
“We are setting foot in a couple of new European countries this year, as our designs do very well with foreign buyers. We are also developing some exciting ranges of soft furnishings”, inform the designers who also have an outlet in Gangtok – Ollatin, on Tibet Road.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bhaichung to play for USFC in club’s second-division I-League debut

Bhaichung holds up his USFC jersey flanked by club's senior manager, Arjun Rai,
and Renedy Singh

GANGTOK, 17 Feb: Bhaichung Bhutia is all set to revive true football and sporting spirit in Sikkim, a task he hopes to achieve through his club- the United Sikkim Football Club’s [which has him as Director] debut in second division I-League. Not only will he be wearing the USFC jersey himself and playing for the Club this season, he has also roped in two team-mates from Team India [Renedy Singh and NS Manju] to play alongside him.
Bhaichung was speaking at a press conference today on the USFC’s entry into the second division of I-League, which is scheduled to start in the last week of March.
It was informed that the club has signed 30 players, who are presently undergoing thorough training in Kolkata under coach Stanley Rozario to debut strong in the I-League.
The team will be led by Renedy Singh as captain leading four foreign players, nine players from the north-east region and 11 from Sikkim including Bhaichung, one from Darjeeling and the rest from the different parts of the country.
Bhaichung shared that the club is aiming to qualify for the first division of the I-League within 3 years, although, he added, the club is confident to qualify in its first attempt this season itself.
It was also informed that Nike has sponsored the club this year.
He also thanked the national players for joining the club by overlooking bigger offers from other clubs.
He also mentioned that the club had almost also signed Sunil Chettri as well, but could not, due to unavoidable circumstances.
Bhaichung shared that the objective of the USFC is to revive the love for football and sports in the state so that the local people did not only talk about the football and games, but also participated more in sporting activities.
“We aim to promote football in the entire north-eastern region as brand ambassadors based in Sikkim and north-eastern region,” he stressed. The club will be trained by four experienced coaches and has many more big surprises in store for the people in coming days, Bhaichung shared.
He also informed that he plans to stay in Sikkim more permanently from June onwards.
The Indian captain mentioned that he has met the Chief Minister, who has given a positive response to his proposal to start a football academy in Sikkim and even provided the required land in south district.
“We have requested the Chief Minster to provide land at Pakyong or Ranipool for the academy instead and he has given a positive response and has asked us to prepare a proposal for the same and assured to provide all possible help”, he said.
He mentioned that the club will be working in consultation with the Sikkim Football Association and the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs for the development of football and the sports in general in Sikkim.
Renedy Singh, who has been signed for four months, stated that the club has huge potential and now needs the support of the local people.
Senior Manager of the club, Arjun Rai, in turn mentioned that after much hard work, the club has finally secured entry into the second division of the I-League by fulfilling all the criteria and is confident of performing well in the upcoming tournament.
The club has also planned to play few warm up matches before leaving for the tournament.
The second division I-league has a total of 21 teams from around the country, two of whom will qualify for the main I-League scheduled to start in October this year.

Mobile and internet connectivity in Sikkim disrupted by loss of fibre-optic cables beyond Siliguri

GANGTOK, 17 Feb: Subscribers of BSNL and the plethora of private telecom service providers in the State have been suffering major problems with dropped lines and poor connectivity for the past couple of days.
Almost every mobile telephone service is flashing ‘No Network’, ‘Error in Connection’ or other faults and even the internet service is slow or non existent.
Speaking to different private services providers in the capital today, it was learnt that the present fault is due to the optical fibre cables beyond Siliguri having been cut by some miscreants. The concerned organisation is working on repairs, one is assured.

Lachung chooses new Pipon by draw of lots

MANGAN, 17 Feb: A meeting was called at the Lachung Dzumsa yesterday by the Dzumsa committee and also attended by the DM (North), TN Kazi, Sr. SP BK Tamang, SDM and SDPO [Chungthang], Gumpa Omzey, Pipons and public of Lachung. This followed from issues discussed by a delegation from Lachung with the DM a few days back. [click here for details]
At the meeting, the Lachung Hydel Project related matters were raised again and the DM clarified afresh that no hydel project would come to the area unless the Dzumsa and the public endorse it. He stressed that as things stand, there was no need to raise the issue again because the views of the people have already been conveyed to the State Government.
Also yesterday, the people changed the Pipon-I, CT Lachungpa, who was nominated only recently in December 2010.  Following a lottery draw [the traditional way of selecting the Pipon], Chewang Namgyal Lachungpa of Khedum was nominated the new Pipon-I to replace the incumbent.
A section of the Lachungpas, it may be recalled, had called on the DC recently and protested against the hydel project and the Pipon-I.

New Employment Notice posted

A new employment notice announcing teaching vacancy at Tashi Namgyal Academy has been posted in the Jobs in Sikkim section. Click here for details

New Employment Notice posted

The ICFAI University, Sikkim, has invited applications for the post of Lecturers of Economics. Click here for details.

Dipudara’s hydel woes genuine: SDM

GANGTOK, 17 Feb: After visiting Dipudara village near Singtam, which has been imperiled by Teesta Stage V hydel project of the NHPC, SDM [Gangtok], Dr. AB Karki, today informed that he had found the complaints of the villagers to be genuine. [for background on the Dipudara situation, click here and here]
While speaking to NOW!, the SDM, who was at Dipudara yesterday, said, “There is definite seepage from the head race tunnel and the houses in the area have also developed cracks.”
When asked on the permanent solution demanded by the villagers, he said, “We are now taking steps towards a permanent solution for which the East District administration will be convening a tripartite meeting with the affected people [along with panchayat members] and the officials of the NHPC on Saturday, 19 February.”
On the demand of the affected people that NHPC should acquire their lands, the SDM said, “After the meeting, the area will be jointly inspected by officials from the Mines & Geology Department and the Geological Survey of India.”
He adds, “If the report of the joint inspection declares the area vulnerable, we will direct the NHPC to acquire the affected lands.”
On the complaints that repairs will not solve the problem, he said, “The proposed repair works will be carried out by a team of the technical experts and the DAC will monitor the work to be sure that it is satisfactorily carried out.”

Try out something new- check out Cafe Culture

GANGTOK: A new culture has hit town, well, not exactly, its “Cafe Culture” - a new food joint located on the way to the Secretariat, on your right if you are going towards the Secretariat, you cannot miss it. With a table set outside the cafe as well, inside it is cosy but not cramped, a place you might want to walk up to and just laze around with a cuppa coffee or tea and a good book to go with. The cafe serves what the owners, the husband wife duo of Anupama Gurung Thapa and Dushyant Thapa like to call ‘Himalayan cuisine’ i.e. a mix of Nepali, Sikkimese and Bhutanese traditional food. So at Cafe Culture you get a sandwich that uses the Tibetan traditional phalay [made out of wheat mind you] instead of the usual white bread, the popular Bhutanese dish Ema Datchi and the all time favourite Alu Dum along with other popular dishes.
The regular momos come in different hues at the cafe, green for vegetable momos which Anupama explains come from the spinach juice that they use in the dough while the chicken momos have an orange tinge courtesy some carrot juice. The cafe serves chicken and pork when it comes to non-veg. The open kitchen ensures that customers need not worry as far as hygiene is concerned.
According to Dushyant, the concept for the cafe sprung out of the need to fill this vacuum in traditional cuisine eateries around Gangtok and to help them survive.
Awishmaran Basnet, a chef by profession working in the US at present helped them out with the concept behind the cafe, says Dushyant. The cafe plans to start a six course meal in the days to come. They will also be getting 6 mountain bikes from TI cycles that enthusiasts can hire for a ride around the area, maybe even work up an appetite after placing the order. The beginning of a new culture, perhaps.

TMI assists formation of Farmers’ Clubs and capacity building of water user groups in rural Sikkim

GANGTOK, 17 Feb: As part of the project, “Provision of safe domestic water through sustainable development and management of water sources in rural areas of East and South Sikkim”, which began in February 2010, and funded by Arghyam Bangalore, TMI-India organized a meeting cum workshop of Water Users Groups at Panchayat Prashashan Kendra for Farmers Club formations of Bering in East Sikkim on 13 February, informs a press release.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SDM visits imperilled Dipudara, villagers reiterate demand for NHPC to acquire their land

DIKCHU, 16 Feb: The Gangtok SDM, Dr. AB Karki, today visited Dipudara, a village near Singtam, perched directly above the Teesta hydel project Stage-V powerhouse, and one which has been imperilled by the NHPC project. [click here for detailed report on the people's complaint]  Ever since the project was commissioned about three years ago, the villagers here have been complaining of seepage from the Head Race Tunnel which has rendered their land unstable.
The SDM was accompanied by the ward panchayat NK Rai and shown around by the affected villagers.
The SDM visited the site from where seepage from the head race tunnel is perceptible and inspected houses which have developed cracks and also visited the Lhazang Khola area where the seepage is continuous and the most persistent.

Gangtok drenched by daylong shower

GANGTOK, 16 Feb: Yesterday’s slightly cold weather almost after a fortnight of warm sunny days was brought down more today when the mercury dropped across Sikkim with most parts receiving light to heavy rainfall. According to the Meteorological department the rainfall experienced today was 11.6 mm where the humidity remained at 92%.
Though there remained only a slight difference of 2 degree Celsius in the maximum temperature compared to yesterday, the rainfall experienced was heavy in the capital towards the night. The concerned department informs of moderate rainfall or the thunder shower tomorrow with the possibility of heavy rainfall in isolated places of North District.

SHRPP meets public at Chindeybong

GANGTOK, 16 Feb: A meeting was convened yesterday by the Sikkim Himali Rajya Parisad Party with the villagers of Chindeybong in upper Lawing ward under Yuksom Tashiding constituency, West Sikkim, informs a press release.
The meeting, presided over by the party general secretary, LM Subba was attended by all the district level party workers, the release informs.
The meeting expressed the party’s dissatisfaction over the State Government’s silence on the Karmapa issue. The Government should solve such problems immediately so that the people do not have to suffer in the future, the SHRP feels.
Highlighting the government’s “tall claims” on the roads being constructed, the meeting drew attention towards the “important’ road stretching from Gerethang Junior High School to Dupdi which remains in poor condition.
The SHRP, general secretary also drew attention to the recent distribution of the spectacles by the area MLA, Dawcho Lepcha and questioned whether these spectacles were as per medical prescriptions or distributed at random.

3-day Horticulture shows conclude across Sikkim

GANGTOK, 16 FEB [IPR]: The Horticulture and Cash Crops Development Department organized 3-day Horticulture Shows in all four district headquarters recently.
The show was inaugurated at Namchi on 09 Feb, at Gyalshing on 10 Feb, at Saramsa Garden on 11 Feb and at Mangan on 12 Feb.
The main objective of these events was to showcase the horticultural potential of each district and to motivate the farmers towards it. The show comprised of activities like crop exhibition, crop competition and seminars. During the competition, the farmers exhibited different types of horticultural exhibits like Sikkim mandarins, vegetables grown in pots, cymbidium pots, seasonal flowers, cut flowers, spice crop exhibits like ginger, turmeric and many more medicinal plants. The participation of Self Help Groups and associations added a new flavour to the competition.
The competition attracted large number of participants in each district, totaling 139 participants in South, 114 in West, 171 in East and 51 in North district.
To encourage the local farmers, handsome prize money was distributed amounting to Rs. 4.69 lakhs in South district, 3.94 lakhs in West, 5.33 lakhs in East and 1.99 lakhs in North district.
In addition to these participants, the number of farmers attending the seminar and the event crossed the 1000 mark in the three districts of South, West and East and around 600 farmers in North district.
During the seminar, farmers got the opportunity to interact with departmental officials on various technologies and learnt about the ongoing departmental programmes.

Census urges people to share accurate info

GANGTOK, 16 Feb: The Census office here has appealed to the general public to provide accurate information to enumerators who have already begun making door to door calls as part of Census 2011.
The office has also released contact phone numbers of its offices in the districts for people who feel they might have been left out from the enumeration process.
OFFICE TELEPHONE: 03592-231109
NORTH DISTRICT: 94338-10311, 03592-234234
WEST DISTRICT: 94341-53488, 03595-250888
SOUTH DISTRICT: 98320-33049, 03595-263734
EAST DISTRICT:  99334-50716, 98323-44084, 03592-202922, 03592-202626

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Awareness sessions promote organic farming in South Sikkim

NAMCHI, 15 Feb: Awareness sessions on the “Organic Horticulture Development Programme” in Sikkim have been underway in different parts of South district since 02 February. Organized by MR Morarka-GDC Rural Research Foundation in Sikkim, the programme is supported by the Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department. On 12 February, awareness on the same was held at Assangthang ward, Daragaon, under Assangthang Gram Panchayat Unit with Rabin Mangar, Panchayat Secretary, as the chief guest.

CM convenes interactive meeting with people of Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singhithang constituencies

NAMCHI, 15 Feb: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling convened an interactive meeting with the people of Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singithang constituency today here at the Community Hall. The Chief Minister, it may be recalled, had contested the last Assembly elections from these two constituencies and retains the Poklok-Kamrang seat present. The meeting was held to discuss development issues of the area and to update the people on the various schemes and policies of the State Government in general.

Menglee SHG begins manufacturing sanitary napkins, Govt to set up vending machines at schools

NAMCHI, 15 Feb: A team of government officials visited a unit manufacturing sanitary napkins established by Jyoti Self Help Group at Menglee, South Sikkim, yesterday.
Jyoti SHG members were sponsored in December to train at Swaminathan Research Foundation in Pondicherry to learn how to set up a sanitary napkin production unit. The training was supported by SRDA/ RM&DD, South District, under the SGSY program.

Lachung delegation calls on DM to register protest against hydel project and Pipon

MANGAN, 15 Feb: The delegation of people from Lachung, including Pipon (II) of the Dzumsa, Thendup Lachungpa, called on the DM (North), TN Kazi, yesterday and placed a memorandum with him registering their reservations against the Lachung Hydroelectric power project [to be implemented by Polyplex Himalayan Infrastructure Pvt Ltd] and also making a verbal complaint against Pipon[I] Chedup Lachungpa.
The meeting included the presence of the SDMs of Mangan and Chungthang and SDPOs, Mangan and Chungthang.

ASESE&UA assembles in ‘peaceful gathering’, announces ‘Stop Corruption Mission’

GANGTOK, 15 Feb: Ten executive members of the All Sikkim Educated Self Employed and Unemployed Association [ASESE&UA] stood in, what they pegged as a, “peaceful gathering” in front of different government offices today to press issues which the association has been raising for some time now.
The dharna was led by the association president Nawin Kiran and started from Tashiling Secretariat, moving to Urban Development & Housing Department, Excise Department and concluded in front of the Sikkim Public Service Commission office.
Speaking to NOW!, Mr Kiran, on behalf of the association, expressed gratitude towards the Chief Minister for having reduced the number of government employees on service extension.
This, he informed, had been informed to them by “sources” and was gesture which the association welcomes. The ASESE&UA, it may be recalled, has spoken frequently against the practice of retaining government officers in service even after their superannuation.
Mr. Kiran further stressed that the practice of service extension needs to be stopped completely, arguing that only that would create more employment.
The ASESE&UA also welcomed the recent surprise inspection carried out by the Chief Minister of the District Administrative Centre in Namchi and for having directed appropriate action against absentee officials.
The initiative should be sustained, he said, since there were still many government employees who did not report for duty on time and caused avoidable hardships to the lay people.
The ASESE&UA general secretary, Ritesh Rai, in turn informed that they were now planning to launch a “Stop Corruption Mission” in Sikkim to stem the malaise which has struck deep roots in the State.
This “mission”, he said, will be directed against government officials and contractors against whom relevant information is collected through RTI. These details, he said, will be submitted to the Vigilance Police and the media for action and public record, respectively.

In and around SNT terminus in Siliguri on Monday

SILIGURI, 15 Feb: Following an announcement by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri in Gangtok on Sunday, it was clear to all that vehicular traffic to and from Sikkim will not be disrupted by the indefinite bandh underway in the Darjeeling hills.
Till Sunday, only SNT vehicles were making the journey to and from Siliguri, and while this was a relief, even with 25 buses pressed into service, it was not adequate. Starting Monday, however, the jeep services were back in business, and in what has become routine now, a section of the operators were leveraging the bandh uncertainty to fleese commuters, demanding and pocketing as much as Rs. 500 per seat [against the prescribed rate of Rs. 140].

GJM student’s wing calls on students here to condemn Sibchu killings

GANGTOK, 15 Feb: The Gorkha Janmukti Vidhyathi Morcha, the student’s wing of the GJM, has appealed to student associations in Sikkim to publicly condemn the Sibchu incident in which 3 GJM supporters were killed in a police firing and extend support to the Gorkhaland demand.
GJMVM has also expressed its gratitude towards the Chief Minister and the State government, different political parties if the State, organizations and the people here for supporting the statehood demand.

ASGEA elections called for April

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: The Central Executive Committee of the All Sikkim Government Employees’ Association (Group C & D) was dissolved through a resolution of State Working Committee of the association at a meeting held on Sunday, a press release informs.
Elections to select the new CEC have now been called for 09 April with the results scheduled to be declared the next day. Candidates are required to file their nominations between 28 to 30 March, with the scrutiny of the nomination papers scheduled for 31 March, it is informed. Nomination papers can be withdrawn on 01 and 02 April.
The Sunday meeting, on the request of the association president, also declared a 50% discount to the D grade employees on renewals and new memberships from 14 Feb to 19 March, the release informs.
Meanwhile, a 7-member group from the former committee will continue as caretakers of the CEC till the new body is elected.

North District nominates Zilla Adhyaksha

MANGAN, 15 Feb: Zilla panchayat members of North District yesterday nominated Khamsoom Lepcha, the zilla panchayat representative elected from Chungthang, as the new North Zilla Adhakshya.
The nomination procedure was overseen by DM (N), TN Kazi who is also a Returning Officer and the programme was also attended by Up-Adhyaksha (N), PD Bhutia. 15 of the 20 Zilla members from the district supported the nomination.
Later, the DM officially declared Khamsoom Lepcha as the Zilla Adhyaksha (N).

SFA welcomes inclusion of two Sikkim clubs in second division I-League

GANGTOK, 15 Feb: The Sikkim Football Association has thanked the Asian Football Confederation and the All India Football Federation for having given provisional entry to United Sikkim Football Club and Denzong Boyz in the forthcoming 2nd Division I-League Football Championship [scheduled to begin in mid-March].

Candlelight rally in Gangtok condemns Sibchu killings

GANGTOK, 15 Feb: People from all walks of life, including politicians, joined the candlelight rally called by the Sikkim Nagrik Samaj in Gangtok yesterday [Monday] to condemn the 08 February police firing at Sibchu in Dooars, West Bengal, which claimed the lives of three Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters. Carrying candles, this rally walked from the Private Bus Stand to Zero Point, registering their condemnation of the incident and paying homage to the three young lives lost.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Horticulture Show-cum-Awareness camp at Mangan

MANGAN, 14 Feb: A Horticulture Show cum Awareness camp has been underway here at the Community Hall complex since 12 Feb. The display, scheduled to conclude today, has been organized by the Horticulture & Cash-crop Department and was inaugurated by PHE Minister, TT Bhutia.

NSS cadets complete Winter Adventure Camp at Chemchey

NAMCHI, 14 Feb: The 7th Winter Adventure Camp for National Social Service cadets of Madhya Pradesh concluded here at the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Eco-Tourism (IHCAET) at Chemchey near Namchi in South Sikkim yesterday.
This camp, taken by 22 NSS cadets, was sponsored by the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs.

35 youth complete training in Newari dance forms and music

NAMCHI, 14 Feb: A 30-day training on Newari dance and traditional musical instruments concluded yesterday at the CM Pradhan Memorial Auditorium at Melli in South Sikkim. Organized by the Sikkim Newar Guthi’s Melli-Dara branch, the training was taken by 35 Sikkim Newars and was imparted by Kul Ratna Manandhar and Bal Mukhand Prajapati from Kathmandu as resource persons and had Ganesh Ram Lachi, also from Kathmandu, as the special resource person.

Hydel-affected in Dipudara lose faith in NHPC

The Sikkim NOW! edition of 07 Dec
2009 on the cracks reported at
GANGTOK, 14 Feb: A meeting of the affected residents of Dipudara above Singtam here in East Sikkim, held yesterday to address problems faced by them due the construction of the Teesta Stage-V hydel project, deliberated over their common problems and future course of action.
The meeting had the panchayat secretary, Nanda Kidhore Rai, in attendance and was held at Dipudara, Lower Khamdong, informs a press release issued jointly by Mr. Rai and nine affected families.
The meeting discussed threats created to the village due to seepage of the water discharged from the Stage-V power house site and deliberated on possible solutions for it. The water, the release states, has severely affected the village by rendering the land unstable. The problem has been a continuing one for the past three years, ever since the project was commissioned.

Subcommittee formed to oversee implementation of National Mission on Education through Information & Communication Technology

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: The State Government has constituted a State-level subcommittee under the chairmanship of the Human Resource Development Department Secretary to oversee proper implementation of the ambitious centrally-sponsored-scheme (CSS), “National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT)” in the state.
As per a notification issued recently by the HRD Department, other members of the said subcommittee are Vice Chancellors of Sikkim University and Sikkim Manipal University, the BSNL [Broad-Band] General Manager, Sikkim Government College [Tadong] Principal and with the Director NIT, Calicut, Mentor Director, NIT, as Convener Member.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SPCC rails against Govt on bandh-induced shortage and price rise

GANGTOK, 13 FEB: Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee, in a press release issued today, has questioned the claims of the SDF government about all round development especially in agriculture, horticulture, poultry and the successful implementation of organic farming.
The press release comes in light of the GJM bandh underway in neighbouring Darjeeling which has cut off regular road access, and thus supplies, to Sikkim, and the subsequent shortage of food supplies in the market. The highway, it may be recalled, was declared open for unhindered Sikkim traffic by the GJM today, Day-5 of the present round of bandhs.

Sikkim Nagrik Samaj to hold candlelight rally for slain GJM supporters

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: The Sikkim Nagrik Samaj has decided to take out a candlelight rally in Gangtok on Monday to pay homage to the three Gorkha Janamukti Morcha supporters killed in a police firing at Sibchu [in Dooars, West Bengal] on 08 Feb.
The candlelight rally is scheduled to be taken out at 4:30 p.m. on Monday at MG Marg here.
An SNS press release explains that the candlelight rally was to pay Sikkim’s respects to the sacrifice of Bimla Rai, Vicky Lama and Nita Khawas, the 3 GM supporters killed in the police firing.
Meanwhile, an 8-member delegation of the organization also visited Sibchu yesterday.
The SNS has urged members of different organizations and the people of Sikkim to participate in the candlelight rally.

GJM in Sikkim to build bonds, not play politics, Roshan Giri assures

GJM general secretary, Roshan Giri, addresses the first general meeting of the GJM-Sikkim
held here at a local hotel on Sunday

The GJM-Sikkim's general meeting began with the
observation of a minute's silence in the memory of lives
lost in the police firing at Sibchu in Dooars
GANGTOK, 13 Feb: “We are here not to interfere with the politics of Sikkim or to indulge in any activity which will disrupt the peace and tranquility here; we are here to strengthen the ‘blood relations’ and ignite the spirit of brotherhood to stand united for a separate state of Gorkhaland. Unity is our only and strongest weapon,” stated Roshan Giri, general secretary of the central committee of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, at the first general meeting of the Sikkim-unit of the GJM held here at a local hotel this evening.
While further clarifying that the GJM has kept NH-31A out of the purview of the bandh for Sikkim traffic and that no disruptions will be made, Mr. Giri explained that picketing had also now stopped along the highway and that no untoward incident had been reported since the first two days since the Sibchu incident [09 and 10 February]. The first couple of days when traffic was disrupted was a spontaneous and emotional response of the people to the killing of three GJM supporters in the police firing at Sibchu, he explained.

Prices spike for limited stocks at Lall Bazaar

Stalls, stocks and shoppers, all were thin for the Sunday haat at Lall Bazaar today

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: Sunday, haat day at the Kanchanjunga Shopping Complex [Lall Bazaar], but business was not as usual. As is custom during bandhs, the people who came out to shop today went home with a little less in their shopping bags as a result of the low supplies and the resultant escalated prices.
While speaking to NOW!, Siddhiram Chettri, who was manning the SIMFED counter, said, “We have been

GJM assures free transit for Sikkim traffic on NH 31A

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary, Roshan Giri, who is in Gangtok to attend the first general meeting the GJM in Sikkim [held today], assured that National Highway 31A was open for Sikkim traffic and out of the purview of the Darjeeling bandh underway in the neighbouring State.
In fact, Mr. Giri contended today that the GJM had never extended the bandh to the highway to begin with. It is another matter that vehicles coming in from the Darjeeling district to Sikkim on 08 Feb were pasted with posters announcing that the bandh had been extended to Sikkim traffic as well, and on 09 Feb, GJM picketers at Rangpo [on the West Bengal side] had turned back all vehicles except SNT buses and trucks.
Now, however, with Mr. Giri’s assurance made in Sikkim today, traffic from Sikkim should receive unhindered transit on the highway on portions passing through Darjeeling. This should come as a huge relief to all since supplies had already started running low in markets here and commuters who needed to travel had only the option of travelling in West Bengal police escorted convoys which journeyed from Rangpo to Siliguri only once a day. Mr. Giri also asserted today that its cadre has not indulged in any arson on the highway and accused the West Bengal State government of creating tension in the Hills.
Also today, Janmukti Chalak Sangh, Sikkim-unit, had petitioned the GJM high command through Mr. Giri to exempt Sikkim from the purview of the bandh since such a gesture would further strengthen the bond between the people of Sikkim and the Darjeeling hills.

Clothes distributed to Tintek ICDS Centre children

MANGAN, 13 Feb:  Chief whip Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia, who also happens to be the area MLA [Tumin Lingee] distributed clothes to children enrolled at ICDS Centres under Tintek Block, yesterday at the BAC.
The distribution was also attended by the BDO Khamdong KL Lepcha, Zilla member Saraswati Regmi, Panchayat members, Aaganwadi workers and the general public.
Addressing the function, the area MLA pointed out that the government has provided an ICDS Centre in every village to ensure that toddlers received sound initial education near their homes and appealed to Aaganwadi workers to approach their responsibilities with the utmost dedication.
The MLA also informed the gathering that a Kisan Marketing Centre will be opened soon at the BAC complex.

Civil Society of Darjeeling and Dooars condemns Sibchu firing, wants century-old aspirations of people fulfilled

“Condemn this act of Desperation and Violence”
Issued by: Prof MAHENDRA P LAMA, a concerned citizen, on behalf of the Civil Society Members of Darjeeling district and Dooars

We write this note to vehemently condemn the killing of two innocent persons from Dooars and Kalimpong by the state security agencies at Shibshu and also those who instructed to carry out such brutal act. In a democratic country like ours, protests, strikes and resentments for any reasons are both common and very normal. It must be more so in a state like West Bengal where the ruling party and the govt themselves have called for several bandhs and strikes in the past. Has anyone calculated the losses and damages triggered by these govt sponsored bandhs?
The duty of a responsible state is to look for and provide a durable solution to such kind of protests which have hit the hills of Darjeeling for almost three decades now. A civilised society like that of Bengal would never celebrate the use of guns against  hapless, unarmed and innocent human beings. Given the history of inquiries and their revelations in the aftermath of such killings in West Bengal no one would even have faith on such inquiries let alone asking for the same.

Day-5 of Highway Bandh: 94 vehicles leave in convoy from Rangpo for Siliguri

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: A convoy of 94 vehicles left Rangpo for Siliguri today, Day-5 of the indefinite Darjeeling bandh which has been extended this time to Sikkim traffic on portions of the National Highway 31A passing through Darjeeling district. The convoy left at around 10:15 a.m. from Rangpo under West Bengal police escort.