Friday, October 19, 2012

CS unveils curtain raiser of 2013 International Flower Show

CHEMCHEY, 18 Oct [IPR]: In a floral and colourful function organized in the courtyard of Indian Himalayan Center for Adventure & Eco Tourism, Chemchey, the Chief Secretary, Karma Gyatso today unveiled the hoarding of International Flower Show Sikkim 2013, as the curtain raiser, for the main event which will be held at Saramsa Garden in East Sikkim from 23 to 27 February 2013.
During the function the Chief Secretary, Mr. Gyatso also released posters of the mega event, which are being designed and developed by the Department of Information and Public Relations and also launched the official website of International Flower Show Sikkim 2013, designed and developed by Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department.
He also launched the social media campaign, from Facebook to Youtube all social networking sites will have information on this mega event. Further he also released a brochure of the International Flower Show Sikkim 2013 on the occasion.
Addressing media persons and the gathering during the function the Chief Secretary highlighted on the objectives of the International flower show and urged everyone involved in this mega project to cooperate and coordinate to make this show a grand success.
Earlier Secretary, Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department who is also the Chairperson of the International Flower Show 2013 Committee, S K Pradhan in his welcome address highlighted on this mega event, which will be held early next year and informed the gathering about how this event is likely to put Sikkim on the world map in the Floriculture sector and at the same time provide a massive impetus in the felid of tourism.
Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department also gave a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation on the Floriculture Scenario of Sikkim with special reference to the mega event during the function.
During this presentation it was informed that about 25 international participants from worldwide are being expected with 30 national participants and 190 participants from the host state. This five-day mega event will not only showcase and exhibit different types of flowers, but will also include conferences, buyer-seller meet and workshops.
It may be recalled that the International Flower Show in the year 2008 had attracted about 1 lakh visitors during the 3 days, and this year the department is expecting it to double in the 5-day event.
Later during the press conference questions and queries about this mega event were answered by the officials of the organizing department. Secretary Information and Public Relations, K.S Topgay during this press meet also appealed and requested both, local and national, print and electronic media to kindly give wide publicity and help Sikkim in making this event a grand success.
The function was neatly punctuated by a cultural show by the students of Namchi Girls Senior Secondary School.
The International Flower Show 2013 is the second of its kind being held in the state after the 2008 show. The main objectives behind organizing the show are to showcase the floral potential and to promote Floriculture industry in Sikkim. It also intends to provide Flower growers of Sikkim international exposure for understanding the global trend of Floriculture Development and Flori-business and to keep pace with the advancement of World Floriculture. The show has also been organized to highlight Sikkim as a Floriculture State / destination and to promote Tourism in Sikkim.

MP urges people to consider why political violence is manifesting only now in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 18 Oct: Lok Sabha MP, PD Rai, in a statement issued yesterday as the spokesperson of the Sikkim Democratic Front, invited people to consider why political violence was manifesting with such unprecedented fury in Sikkim only now even though there have been several opposition parties here all along. His obvious reference is to the 14 Oct incident at Namthang in South Sikkim when a clash between SDF and its dissident MLA PS Tamang supporters left many injured, vehicles damaged, shops vandalised and several supporters from both sides booked for rioting and under provisions of the Arms Act. They are all out on bail at present but the episode is being kept alive with continuing allegations, claims and counter allegations by both sides.
The SDF spokesperson highlights that Sikkim has never witnessed such violence during a politically charged atmosphere and stresses that the situation is especially worrisome because even panchayat elections are eliciting such violence from the new entrant to the political mix in the State.
Reiterating the party’s contention that the Namthang violence was instigated and unleashed by the “Golay camp”, Mr. Rai holds up the episode as a “watershed and a new normal for the political violence that was unleashed in an otherwise quiet town of Namthang”.
“The only thing that has changed is that a marginalised political actor has surfaced with his brand of politics which only he knows. That we call as politics of violence. That is his trademark and signature,” Mr. Rai offers by way explanation of why such political violence is visiting Sikkim only now even though three panchayat elections, all on party basis, have been held peacefully in the past.
Responding to statements issued by former SDF MLA [since expelled] Bhojraj Rai on the Namthang incident, his aggressive rhetoric and reference to having “broken the barricade”, the SDF spokesperson states that such comments were a tacit admission of the said leader’s supporters having resorted to “single-minded” violence at Namthang on Sunday.
The MP has also taken exception to mention of the party vice-president, former Minister GM Gurung, as an absconder. Mr. Gurung, it may be recalled, has been named as an accused by the Golay supporters in their FIR on the Namthang incident.
“He [Mr. GM Gurung], was himself a victim and we condemn the call for his arrest as also calling him an absconder. An absconder will not come to the Party office and give a press conference,” Mr. Rai points out in the press statement.
Comments attributed to SPCC president, Nar Bahadur Bhandari, in media reports which have him speculating that the SDF Government will be brought down by 2013, Mr. Rai reminds him of his previous predictions, dating as far back as 12 December 1994 when he announced that he would bring down the SDF government – first, in three months, then six, then a year, then five; “Now it is already 18 years”. “He ought to be sympathising with the victims rather than making another wild statement,” the statement concludes.

Documentary on Tibetan struggle and music to be screened in Gangtok

GANGTOK, 18 Oct: A Tibetan political rock-u-mentary, a first for the exiled community, titled ‘Journey of a Dream’ will be screened at B.R.E.W, Sichey on 27 October at 6 PM.
“After touring international film festivals, the Tibetan activist, filmmaker and musician Shenpenn Khymsar, who grew up in Darjeeling and now lives in Vancouver, Canada, finally brings his documentary back to the Himalayas, from where he set off on his journey,” a press communiqué announcing the screening informs.
The film begins with a personal narrative, but then goes on to become a powerful and unconventional documentary on the struggle of the Tibetan people. It combines political filmmaking with an ethno-musical study and places its focus on rock music as an outlet for frustration and a means of expression for an entire young generation in these hills and around the globe.
The director Shenpenn Khymsar will be present at B.R.E.W for the screening to answer all questions and inquiries about the feature documentary, the release informs. He will also talk about his new film projects and on ‘Why Tibet matters? And what is our role?’
The event will be rounded off with acoustic live music.

Dog fatalities in Dikchu due to canine distemper

MANGAN, 18 Oct: Increase in the number of dog fatalities in the Dikchu area in the past couple of weeks had got residents here worried that the disease that was causing these deaths might spread to humans as well. However, it has been found that canine distemper is to be blamed.
On 17 October, a team from SARAH headed by Dr. Thinlay N Bhutia who is the programme coordinator of SARAH Division inspected the villages in-and-around Dikchu. The team found that an outbreak of canine distemper was causing the deaths.
All the infected dogs here were treated by the SARAH team with antibiotics and the dogs will be kept under observation for up to 36 to 48 hours.
The team visited all the affected places of Jang, Aapdara, Dikchu Bazar and Dikchu New Market from where dog deaths have been reported. The SARAH team also held an awareness camp for the general public regarding the prevention and control measures of Canine Distemper where Dr. Thinlay gave some important information on the disease.  
While highlighting on the prevention measures, Dr. Thinlay stressed that the dog should be kept in an isolated place and that the food/water bowls, blanket, bedding etc. used for an infected animal should not be reused in general as it is highly contagious. He further informed that proper disposal of carcass either through deep burial or burning should be ensured.  
In case a dog succumbs to the disease, the owners should make sure that the place of death should be thoroughly sanitized and the carcass disposed off properly and no new dogs should be introduced for at least 3 months.
He further informed that it is mandatory to register all pet dogs at the nearest Veterinary Centre.
The residents of Dikchu and surrounding areas extended their gratitude to the concerned department especially Animal Husbandry (SARAH-Division) for undertaking timely action.
Dr. Thinlay while speaking to NOW! informed that Canine Distemper out-break is common especially during the winter seasons and it has been found that a majority of the pet dogs in Sikkim do not get vaccinated against CD, Parvo virus, Influenza, Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis etc with the people opting only for vaccination against rabies.
“We have treated the disease with antibiotics and our team will conduct a camp for five days at Dikchu for proper treatment”, he added.
It may be mentioned here that the common symptoms of Canine Distemper are mild depression, fever, oculonasal discharge, dry cough which may become productive, general malaise, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Prof TB Subba takes charge as new VC of Sikkim University

GANGTOK, 18 Oct: The Induction Programme for Sikkim University’s new Vice Chancellor Professor Tanka B Subba and the annual awards ceremony was held today here at Chintan Bhawan.
The new VC, Prof Subba, was a Professor in the Department of Anthropology and former Dean of North Eastern Hill University, Shillong and is an honorary Director of Indian Council of Social Sciences North East zone. Prof Subba is a respected academic, well known for his work on sociology and anthropology of the ethnic communities of the Eastern Himalaya.
Addressing the faculty and students at the close of the programme which stretched the whole day, Prof Subba kept his address very brief and outlined the his priorities and approach to the responsibility he now shoulders.
Keeping his address short and witty, Prof Subba thanked the SU faculty and students and the Sikkimese and congratulated his predecessor for the achievements he has secured for the new university, admitting that “the bar” has been set high for his tenure here. However, he added, the evolution will continue and pointed out that everything, systems and institutions, should continue evolving... changing and improving.
He commented that there were some programmes at the SU which were definitely good and will be retained, adding that some schemes/ programmes were not so good and will be reconsidered and rounded up by stressing that some practises/ programmes were unacceptable and will be “discontinued and abandoned”.
Concluding his address with the admission that the process of evolution will require support from all quarters, he qualified his comment by stressing that support will be called in not just from the employees and students of the university, but also the Sikkimese at large, the media and the ruling government.
Earlier, Registrar, Sikkim University, Prof Jyoti Prakash Tamang, presented the achievements of the former Vice Chancellor. “Today is a historical day for Sikkim University since this is the last official address by the founding Vice Chancellor Prof MP Lama, who has faced many hurdles in establishing this university”, Mr Tamang said.
Prof Lama, who also addressed the induction programme, spoke at length about all the university has achieved under his stewardship and delved at length how the university has been denied its campus land at Yangang thus far.
In his a presentation on “Ethos, Vision and Orientations and Achievements of Sikkim University”, he said that “Sikkim University is truly a national university with local ethos”.
“Our mission is to make Sikkim University known for academic and research excellence. Earlier, our colleges did not have proper teachers or even basic infrastructure. You will find a huge difference in the colleges today”, said Prof Lama.
“People say that this university is against the local people which is not at all true, in fact, 58% of the non-teaching staff are from the state itself,” he added. On transparency, he contended that this has been consistently maintained and stated that SU is the only University that has used 94% of development grants; except for the land, he stressed.
Land allocation for the university has been a hotly contested issue between the university, the land owners and the State Government.
On the land issue, he said that many people thought it would not be possible for the university to function without a dedicated campus, “but we showed that without land also we can do everything”.
“We don’t destroy the identity of the people who give their land. In fact we conserve it, as they are giving land for a constructive purpose and not for a destructive purpose. In the next few months the University will definitely get the land as I am now leaving,” he added.
He thanked the visitors, HRDD Government of India, University Grants Commission for their “unstinted support, unflinching loyalty and warm fellow feeling”.
A film on Sikkim University by the Films and Television Institute of India [FTII] was also screened on the day. A book titled “Climate Change and Sustainability in the Mountain Areas: Scope and challenges for regional cooperation and integration” was released by Prof Subba and Prof Lama.
Awards were given to the best teachers, best students, best photography awards while students who have spent the most time in the library and people who have done selfless service till date were also awarded.


This is in reference to letter to the Editor, “SPSC: SOME SAME, SOME COPY?” published in NOW! issue dated 18 Oct 2012. We are also equally aspirants for the upcoming SPSC examination for the post of Under Secretary which is supposed to be the superior service and the top most entry to the bureaucratic setup of the state. As alleged, the pattern of the examination and the format were inspired by UPSC examination. The Department of Personnel which is the parent department looking after the appointment of any level of Government employees of the state has quite conveniently ignored the inclusion of Optional Subjects viz; Bhutia, Lepcha and Limboo this time. As a result hundreds of aspiring tribal candidates were coerced to opt for another subject as Optional Subject in which they have the least knowledge compared to the above subjects. These tribal state languages were included as Optional Subject for State Civil Service examination for the selection to the post of Under Secretary held during 2008. These languages are recognized state languages of Sikkim and are at a developing stage which needs love and care of all sections of the Sikkimese society irrespective of caste and creed which in turn will contribute in maintaining a strong social fabric.
Hence, we, on behalf of the concerned and deprived applicants, appeal to the SPSC and the DoP to reconsider and postpone the last date for the receipt of the application and re-notify the proposal to include Bhutia, Lepcha and Limboo, (the mother language Lho-Men-Tsong -sum ) in the State Civil Service examination, 2012  in the interest of the above deprived tribal applicants.
G. Lepcha & groups on behalf of the deprived students, Rhenock, East Sikkim [recvd on email]

Editorial:There is also a Panchayat Poll Campaign underway

It used to be emotive issues at one time, but now even an incident will do. Political posturing can be expected to get nastier as the political space receives something more immediate and current in the form of the Sunday violence which has attracted more notoriety on the small town of Namthang in South Sikkim than its residents will be comfortable with. The camps still loyal to the ruling party and the group expelled from or disaffected with it had, for at least two years now, been snapping at each other with allegations and counter allegations which were neither new nor different from the exchanges between the ruling and Opposition camps in the past. The dissidence of a sitting MLA leading the anti-party activities added some excitement to the confrontation, but the debate, although more aggressively argued, offered no new insights. But then the patience snapped on Sunday and words turned to blows. The incident happened late in the night so only the parties involved know exactly what happened, but given the scale of the clash, even individuals involved experienced only isolated episodes of the rampage which played out through the town. It can thus be safely vouched that the actual sequence of events will never be reliably known, at least not in the very near future. That said, what becomes worrying is that blood has been let. Some people have been hurt, but none, thankfully, so grievously so as to make a tragedy out of this irresponsible lapse of reason. What is also annoying is that the incident is now being played out as an issue. It was a law and order breakdown, and it was only because it transpired late enough in the night for no innocent bystanders to get caught in the scuffle, that only the involved parties traded blows. Even a couple of hours earlier, and lay people who detest violence would have definitely joined the list of injured. Two police cases, one by each side, have been registered and even though the officials are yet to make, well, an official statement on the episode, both sides have been keeping busy repeating allegation, every day. It would be one thing if these regular relay of statements, claims and counter claims helped in explaining what transpired at Namthang and why, but it is obvious from the tone and approach of the press conferences and press releases that the incident is being leveraged to ridicule, embarrass and challenge. The material arriving in the public domain is only offering more confusing signals than convincing arguments. Also, since the Namthang incident has become the focus of all attention, the panchayat elections have been sidelined, not just by the parties involved, but admittedly, also by the media. Although the ruling party has secured a comfortable number of seats at the ward and Zilla level uncontested, the polling set for 03 November will be the largest panchayat election exercise in Sikkim thus far because never before have so many wards and zilla seats gone to poll in the past. And yet, the poll process has stayed off the news for the entire week now. Although even the campaign trail is essentially a litter of rants instead of reasoning and self-indulgent stances instead of humble lobbying, at least the springboard would have been issues of rural Sikkim. Now, even that attention has been shifted away.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ITBP personnel allegedly rough up Chinese trader at Nathula

GANGTOK, 17 Oct: Should the Indo Tibetan Police Force continue in the fashion that they seem to have adopted in patrolling the international border at Nathula, it will not be too much of an exaggeration to assume that the future of border trade is in serious peril.
Following close on the arrest of a trade from Tibet, Liangki Jiancen, at Sherathang trade mart last week by the ITBP [which handed him over to the Sikkim Police], comes the incredible report of ITBP personnel allegedly manhandling and beating up a Chinese trader at Nathula today.
Soon after the incident there was an adamant and stubborn standoff between the ITBP on one side and Indian and Chinese traders on the other side; the traders threatened to completely shut down trade indefinitely and it was only a written apology forwarded by the ITBP which soothed passions, sources inform.
With the written apology, which is a first of its kind for a paramilitary agency, trade was resumed but is not the same. In fact it only helped strain relations between the two countries and their respective authorities at the border which has been strained already due to several incidents at the border.
What led to the aggression of the ITBP was reportedly a slight delay on the part of the Chinese trader in question to proceed towards the trade mart at Sherathang from Nathula. Traders from the Tibet Autonomous Region of China who come in vehicles are lined up at the Nathula border once they cross immigration. From here they are to proceed in a supervised [by ITBP] convoy to the trade mart at Sherathang near Tsomgo.
What happened this morning was that as the Chinese were lining up in their vehicles there was a hold up as a particular Chinese trader was in conversation with an Indian trader who was getting ready to cross over into Tibet. Both were in the vehicles and the talk between the two was around trade, accounts and stocks etc.
The delay seemed to irritate the ITBP personnel who then caught the Chinese trader by the scruff of his neck, dragged him out of his vehicle and allegedly began beating him up. Even official from other agencies at the border, both from India and China, were reportedly speechless and could only look on stunned. Soon, traders from both sides gathered and threatened to stop trade altogether should the ITBP continue behaving in this way.
The Chinese trader who was beaten suffered some minor injuries and turned back. It is informed that senior ITBP officials soon arrived and offered a written apology and assurances that this would not happen again. After this, trade is reported to have resumed but traders from Sikkim are now apprehensive of being proffered similar treatment on the other side should the Chinese decide to replicate ITBP attitudes.

Ten Action to cover USFC vs Pailan Arrows I-League match live

GANGTOK, 17 Oct: Sikkim and its passion for football is set to go national when the 04 November I-League match between Uro United Sikkim and Pailan Arrows here at Paljor Stadium is broadcasted live by premier sports channel Ten Action.
As per a press release, Ten Action, the official broadcaster of I-League 2012-13 season matches, is committed to telecast at least two I-League matches played by United Sikkim at its home ground. The red-letter date for Sikkim Football has been set for 04 November.
According to United Sikkim co-owner Bhaichung Bhutia, television crew members of Ten Action will start arriving in Gangtok from 01 November and by the match day, the entire crew would have arrived. The kick off time of the match is at 2 PM.
“It would arguably be for the first time in Sikkim that any sports event is being broadcasted live in national television. Sikkim’s image as an eco-tourism destination and football loving State will be introduced to many viewers who don’t know the hilly state as yet. The feed from Ten Action is also available in neighbouring countries and select European nations”, the release states.
United Sikkim was to play against Pailan Arrows on 03 November but with voting for Panchayat elections falling on the same day, the match was rescheduled to 04 November, it is mentioned.  Pailan Arrows, based in Kolkata, is the junior Indian football team and its players represent the country in different age categories in international football tournaments. Pailan Arrows has won both its first two I-League matches.
The team owned by AIFF and sponsored by Pailan Group does not get relegated even if it languishes in the bottom of the I-League heap. However, before taking on Pailan Arrows, United Sikkim has to face five time I-League winners Dempo SC of Goa at Paljor Stadium on 28 October.

Governor’s Gold Cup back after a year’s gap

GANGTOK, 17 Oct: Sikkim Football Association [SFA] has announced that the 33rd edition of All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament 2012 will be held from 30 October to 10 November here at Paljor Stadium.
A total of 16 teams from different parts of the country and Nepal including 3 from Sikkim are scheduled to take part in the tournament. The participating teams are Three Star and one more club from Nepal, Pune FC [U-19], Techno Aryans [Kolkata], Eastern Railways [Kolkata], Langshing SC [Shillong], Mohan Bagan Sail, Dodsal FC [Mumbai], Bhawanipur FC [Kolkata], Calcutta Customs, BSF [Jalandhar], Dimapur XI [Nagaland, Arhima FC [Meghalaya] and Sikkim’s own I-League team, United Sikkim Football Club, Siniolchu SC Namchi and State Sports Academy.
Simultaneously, SFA is also organizing All Sikkim Women’s Football Championship along with the Governor’s Gold Cup, which will have two women’s team each from four districts.
This was announced in a SFA press conference today at Football House, which was addressed by the president, BK Roka, general secretary, Menla Ethenpa and other executive members of the SFA.
Mr Roka mentioned that inspite of having all preparations in place the SFA could not organize the tournament last year due to the 18 September earthquake. However, he added that this time the association has decided to organize this year’s tournament in a grand manner with good clubs of the country participating in it.
Speaking about the participating teams, the president informed that due to norms and conditions of the AIFF the association could not touch first division I-League teams. He further added that the tournament has second division I-League teams and other reputed clubs of the country and the tournament will also have two clubs from Nepal.
It is informed that the SFA has given an opportunity to three local clubs of Sikkim to participate in the tournament which includes Sikkim-League champion, Siniolchu Club Namchi and this year’s Independent Day Cup champion, State Sports Academy and the I-League team, the United Sikkim Football Club.
Mr Ethenpa stated that to encourage women footballers of Sikkim, the SFA has also decided to organize a state-level women’s football simultaneously with the tournament and two teams from each district will participate in this tourney. These women’s teams will be constituted by the AFC C licensed coaches of Sikkim and matches in the women’s football will be played before the match of the Governor’s gold cup every day, he informed and added that the fixture for the tournament is being prepared.
Speaking on the gate fee for the tournament, SFA treasurer, Nanga Tshering Bhutia informed that Rs 50 for hill side gallery, Rs 100 for northern and southern galleries, Rs 200 for western galleries, Rs 300 for VIP gallery and Rs 10 for students in uniform will be charged.  Likewise, SFA is also offering 30% discount on ticket prices for those willing to buy tickets for the whole tournament in advance.
Speaking on the future plans of SFA, the vice-president, Dr Sonam T Ethenpa mentioned that the SFA plans to carry out various activities for the overall development and promotion of football in the state. He informed that SFA’s district bodies will start functioning immediately to carry out its activities in the districts.
A total of 32 teams participated in the second division Sikkim-league but if there is no follow-up on these clubs then the state could lose some good local players so SFA plans to make some arrangements in the near future so that good local footballers could find place in the country’s best clubs, he mentioned.
Dr Ethenpa further spoke on plans to encourage club culture in the state by approaching corporate houses for sponsorships, initiating inter-school football, assist in provision of infrastructure, etc.
The press conference was also addressed by the joint secretary [publicity], Lerap Bhutia.

Couple accuses CRH of incompetence and carelessness

GANGTOK, 17 Oct: A serious allegation has come forward concerning the Central Referral Hospital which is regarded as the premier hospital in the State.
It has been alleged that, Pratima Devi, who had gone to the hospital and was operated upon for induced abortion, following medical complications in her pregnancy, or so she was informed, was in for a rude shock when she was informed by a doctor at the hospital itself, a few days later, that the foetus was still alive!
After having made a payment of Rs. 5,000 and having been admitted at the hospital for 3 days, Pratima Devi had to go to the hospital again as she developed complications only to be told that her child was alive. Her husband, Raj Nandan, says that he is utterly confused as well as angry and has refused the hospital’s “advice” to get his wife operated upon again.
“I will not let them operate upon her again, they cannot be trusted so I have decided to take her to our hometown for the surgery”, he said while speaking to NOW!
Initially Pratima Devi was admitted at the hospital in the Gynecology department on 25 September after she complained of heavy bleeding. She was already 2 months pregnant at the time. Tests were conducted and the very next day she was operated upon.
Doctors informed her that her abortion was successful and in fact asked her to return after 6 weeks to examine why she was having repeated miscarriages. As her husband informed, this is her second miscarriage.
On being discharged on 27 September she soon started experiencing complications and started vomiting and experiencing pain as well. Initially it was thought to be the after effects of the operation but soon these became serious and on 16 October she was again taken to the CRH.
It left her and her husband bewildered when the lady doctor there informed them that their child was actually still alive. An ultrasound conducted on the wife showed heartbeats and movement of the foetus.  Other doctors were called in and the husband demanded to meet with the head of the particular department.
However doctors attempted to sooth emotions saying that what was done was done and that the woman should be admitted again. But according to the husband, the condition of the foetus had become complicated which was also due to the medication his wife was taking. Furthermore there was no telling as to what further complications may arise due to this and such could not be left to the hands of the doctors at CRH.
Doctors of the CRH need to exercise more responsibility as well as professionalism when handling lives of patients, stated Mr Nandan and has decided to take his wife to a more ‘competent’ hospital, as he terms it.

Three Bangladesh nationals arrested for illegally entering Sikkim

GANGTOK, 17 Oct: The Sadar police has taken three Bangladeshi nationals into custody for having entered Sikkim without valid documents and allegedly on “dubious purposes”. While one of the accused was apprehended near the taxi-stand outside the Police headquarters the other two were picked up at Rangpo as they were trying to leave.
It is learnt that the police had gone to ‘examine’ them at the hotel they had checked into at MG Marg here. However by the time the police arrived all three had ‘fled’, leaving most of their belongings behind.
It is informed that they had checked into the hotel on 15 October at around 7:30 PM and booked two rooms. The very next day, the police moved in but they had already absconded. A massive manhunt was then launched and messages flashed to all police stations and checkposts. Confiscated from their hotel rooms were 2 laptops, an ipod, flashdrives, phones and modems.
Not only have the three been booked under the Foreigners Act but also charged under section 420 of the IPC. It is informed that the three managed to get into Sikkim through the Rangpo checkpost with the help of the PAN card of one of the Bangladeshis, Md. Atik Rahman.
It is further informed that the section 420 IPC of cheating has been invoked as the three pretended to be Indians and the PAN card had also been fraudulently obtained.
None of the three have valid documents or Inner Line Permits which is required by any foreign national to enter Sikkim. As per the orders of the central government, foreigners cannot enter or stay in restricted areas without obtaining permits.
Sources inform that the three had initially given false addresses but broke down under interrogation and revealed their original addresses. Sources claim that while Md Islam is from Mohammadpur in Dhaka, Md Atik Rahman from village Charadi in district Barisal and Mir Ali is from village Badra police station Shakira in Bangladesh.

Two-day training for Presiding and Polling Officers concludes at Chintan Bhawan

GANGTOK, 17 Oct [IPR]: Two-day training for the Presiding and Polling Officers of East district concluded here at Chintan Bhawan today.
On the first day training was imparted by Additional Chief Electoral Officer, CP Dhakal and on the second day the District Collector, East imparted the training.
The training elaborated on the basic details of the upcoming Zilla and Gram Panchayat Election 2012. The Presiding and Polling Officers were informed that polling will be held on 03 November and will be conducted from 8 AM to 4 PM. The counting will take place on 05 November.
It was further informed that the polling materials will have to be collected on 02 November from TNA Auditorium hall. The Presiding Officers were asked to report at 8 AM at the material collection centre to collect EVMs and other polling materials and emphasised on checking the materials properly to avoid confusion.
The materials collected are to be returned to the centre after the completion of polling. The DC informed that there are 260 Polling Stations in East district which consists of a Presiding Officer and four Polling Officers for each Polling Station. He also apprised about the final training scheduled to be held on 30 October at TNA School wherein names of the Polling Stations to the polling party will be notified accordingly.
During the training, the District Collector, East spoke in detail on the roles and responsibilities of the Presiding and Polling Officers during the entire polling process. He also asked them to make sure to attend all trainings and be thorough with handbook for Presiding Officers which will be of immense help during the polling process.
The District Collector while imparting the training also asked the Presiding and Polling Officers to be very clear on the aspect of single and simultaneous elections. He also elaborated on the technical aspects of Electronic Voting Machines and proper use of it.
Hands-on training was also imparted to the officers to ensure that the officers are well versed with the EVMs. The officers were also appraised about the importance of mock poll to be conducted before the start of the poll on the polling day in the presence of the candidates or the agents of the contesting candidates in order to maintain transparency and to ensure the proper functioning of the EVMs.
They were also given hands-on training on the proper labelling of the voting compartments in case of simultaneous as well as single election, process of sealing of EVMs in presence of candidates, maintenance of peace and discipline inside the Polling Stations etc.
The vote of thanks was proposed by the SDM East, Dr A B Karki.

Golay supporters reiterate innocence in Namthang violence, accuse SP South of bias

GANGTOK, 17 Oct: Golay supporters lashed out against the allegations leveled by the ruling SDF party today in a press conference held here at the Press Club of Sikkim and also accused the SP [South] of displaying bias in how he managed the Namthang clash.
28 Golay supporters led by Jacob Khaling alleged that the Namthang clash was planned by SDF vice president, GM Gurung under the guidance of Buildings and Housing Minister, Tilu Gurung with the support of CB Tamang and Prahlad Gurung. They demanded the arrest of former Minister, GM Gurung and sitting Minister Tilu Gurung for the incident.
While addressing media persons today, Jacob Khaling contended that some of the sections imposed against them were not justified. Referring to the Section 25 of Arms Act 1959, Mr Khaling claimed, “Namchi Police has not found a single lathi from our possession, so how can they impose the Arms Act against us”.
Stating that the Chief Minister also holds the Home portfolio and should act without bias and book Minister Tilu Gurung, GM Gurung, KB Subba, CB Tamang and Nima Tamang for instigating the attack.
SP South, Manoj Tiwari also came under their fire, for not accepting their FIR till the next day and for allegedly meting out “inhuman treatment” to the 29 arrested. The group arrested was kept in a small ‘hazat’ where there was not enough space to sit while drinking water and toilet facilities were also lacking, they alleged.
“It was only after we began our hunger strike in protest that the police tried to provide food and water. But the protest continued till we were sent to judicial custody”, said Mr Khaling.
He further alleged that the injured Golay supporters were not sent for medical treatment till the afternoon of the next day and added that this was proof of the biased attitude of the SP South.
In response to allegations of outsiders being involved in the incident, the 29 Golay supporters presented their Voter’s Identity cards today at the conference.

SDF party workers released on bail

NAMCHI, 17 Oct: Following the release of the 29 Golay supporters yesterday, the five SDF supporters who were arrested on 15 October were also released on bail today. One of them, Prahlad Gurung, is still in hospital undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the Namthang clash between SDF and Golay supporters on 14 Oct.
District Court, South and West, Namchi today granted the bail plea of the five - KB Subba, Chandra Bir Tamang, Subash Tamang and Subash Rai and Prahlad Gurung, all of Namthang, South Sikkim.
After the release, the four released from custody here, were welcomed with khadas at the SDF party office and later left for Namthang where they also received a warm welcome.
They were welcomed at the party office by area MLA Namchi Singithang, Binod Rai, Chairman Tea Board, Gagan Rai, Chairman, Lakpa Ghising, SDF south district leaders Himal Tamang and Balbir Rai along with a good number of SDF supporters. The supporters raised slogans condemning the attack.
“The Namthang incident was a pre-planned conspiracy by PS Tamang and his supporters, and the SDF party supporters became the victims of their conspiracy and got arrested. Those arrested respected the law and co-operated with the police investigation, hence, these brave SDF members were given a warm welcome today”, explained MLA Mr. Rai while talking to media persons today.
On the other hand, SP South, Manoj Tiwari while confirming the release of the five arrested SDF supporters said that, the police is still searching for former Minister GM Gurung who has been named as one of the accused in the Namthang incident by another Golay group in their FIR.      
Further, the District Magistrate, South has revoked the Section 144 imposed earlier on 15 October at Namchi; this will be lifted from 18 October. While talking to this correspondent, DC South, AK Singh said that, since the situation is under control, the section 144 of CrPC imposed earlier will be lifted from tomorrow morning.


I am one of the thousands of hopeful aspirants for the upcoming SPSC examination. But what came as a rude shock to me was the syllabus and the pattern of the examination and the format too which has been inspired or rather copied and pasted from UPSC examination 2012.
The entire format of the syllabus for the Prelims and Mains examination has been copied word to word from the UPSC format which not only makes the examination very difficult for us but also shows SPSC in a very poor light. It appears that our much revered SPSC is either too indolent or just incapable of even lifting a finger to prepare its own syllabus!
I and many like me would appreciate it if SPSC prepared the syllabus in accordance with the need and requirement of the bureaucracy and administration of Sikkim. It should be relevant to Sikkim and not to UPSC. I am not saying that the examination has to be Sikkim-centric but I see no reason why a State Public Service examination should be a mirror image of UPSC! Please give us a level playing field!
When I looked up the syllabus of Civil Service examination of some states, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the syllabus is pretty different from UPSC for most subjects though the outline is similar.
Moreover, many of us are already intimidated by the UPSC format that SPSC has adopted. Preparing for the examination will be a daunting task for working professionals who will have to take out time from work and cover the entire syllabus, unless the wannabe Under Secretaries take long leave or bunk office/ work and study for sixteen-seventeen hours a day. Isn’t that (the long hours of studies) what IAS success stories are made of?
Name withheld on request [recvd on email]

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Golay supporters released on bail, 5 SDF supporters arrested


NAMCHI, 16 Oct: The 29 supporters of Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang [Golay], who were arrested by the police on Sunday night and early Monday morning in connection with the violence which tore through Namthang in South Sikkim on Sunday night, were released on bail today. Meanwhile, five Sikkim Democratic Front party workers were also taken into custody last night in connection with the same case and remain under police custody at the thana here.
The incident in question is the violent clash between SDF and Golay supporters at Namthang late on Sunday night which left many injured, five vehicles vandalised and shops damaged in the South district town. Both sides have accused the other of regressing to violence and both have filed FIRs against each other [leading to arrests from both sides].
Supporters of the dissident MLA began arriving here since early morning and the situation remained tense throughout the day despite the Section 144 imposed here yesterday. The DC South, AK Singh and SP South, Manoj Tiwari conducted a Flag March at Central Park Namchi today as well along with IRBn and police personnel. No untoward incident transpired.
With the Golay supporters booked, arrested and released on bail, the focus turned on their FIR against SDF leaders and supporters.
A South district police team began picking up the SDF supporters named in counter-FIR and at the time of filing this report, five had been taken into custody, with one, Prahlad Gurung, admitted at the Central Referral Hospital in Gangtok receiving treatment for the grievous injuries sustained by him in the Namthang clash.
Among the SDF party workers behind bars at the thana here in connection with incident are Kharka Bahadur Subba, Chandra Bir Tamang, Subash Rai and Subash Tamang, all from Namthang.
When contacted, the SP informed that the search was underway for others named in the FIR as well. The mass arrest of Golay supporters was possible, sources inform, because they were rounded up in an exercise launched immediately after the incident and picked up as they were travelling in groups to Gangtok.
The Golay supporters are demanding the arrest of former Minister GM Gurung, whom they have accused of having led the SDF party workers to the fight. This, even as Mr. Gurung and other SDF leaders have accused the dissident MLA of having led the Namthang rampage himself and named him among the main instigators in their FIR. In earlier statements, the Golay camp had also accused the area MLA, Buildings & Housing Minister Tilu Gurung of having led the attack, but today, no demands were made for action against her, the focus concentrated on the former Minister instead.
Meanwhile, those being booked in connection with the incident are being charged under 147/ 148/ 149/ 447/ 427/ 323/ 506 of the IPC along with Section 25 of Arms Act 1959.

Rang-Rang villagers repair footpath and log bridge across Ghattey Khola

MANGAN, 16 Oct: Around 350 villagers from Rang Rang, Chandey and Ambithang today repaired the damaged footpath and log bridge across Ghattey Khola. The footpath had been extensively damaged by a landslide on 19 September and by incessant rain on 22 September when several houses here were also damaged.
Under the initiative of Nav Yuwa Samajik Sanstha, a Rang Rang based local NGO which has been formed by the villagers of these three villages, the footpath was reconstructed. The villagers here had to establish a new formation for the footpath over the slide along with constructing two new log bridges across the Ghattey Khola.
The villagers here inform that this was the second time that they have constructed the log bridge after the log bridge earlier, also constructed by them, was washed out by a landslide.
The initiative was taken since many students who have to travel from Chandey to attend school at Rang Rang JHS had to miss their classes for several days. Further, around 100 households of Chandey also depend on Rang Rang for all essential supplies.
The footpath was developed today between Upper Chandey to Ambithang.
Later, while speaking to NOW! former panchayat, MB Thapa informed that this was a temporary arrangement and the slide needs to be protected with permanent jhora training and permanent footpath needs to be established with some RCC bridge for which the concerned authority should look into the matter.

Poultry import ban throws up another shocker – 4,000 seized eggs to be destroyed!

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: Should the government destroy 4,000 eggs just because it insists on continuing with an ill-advised ban on entry of poultry products into the State? There are three notifications issued by the central government including a press release by the Press Information Bureau, the latest having been issued in August 2012, that India is bird flu free. But the Animal Husbandry Department is adamant that bird flu exists and Sikkim needs to be protected against it with a ban. And on this basis [of a ban on entry of poultry products in the State] the authorities today confiscated 4,400 eggs brought into Sikkim by some traders on the grounds that a particular and arbitrary notification of the state suggests that only two government agencies exist that are capable of bringing “non bird flu affected” eggs into the state.
Today, the Sadar police, invoking the notification directing that no one else is authorized to bring in poultry products into Sikkim, raided two shops in Lall Bazaar and seized around 4,400 eggs and handed over the eggs to the Animal Husbandry Department. It is informed that the department will be destroying these eggs.
Ridiculously enough, a few days back eggs seized from Lall Bazaar and in all probability sourced from the same market in Siliguri were let go by the authorities on the grounds that they had been authorized by the department. When approached earlier with a query on where the Department had ‘authorized’ the last purchase from, it was admitted that these were lifted from the open market in Siliguri. However, now eggs from the same market purchased by a private entity become contraband! This is double standards.
What seems to be escaping the attention of the concerned officials is that the illogical ban is forcing a shortage which is spiking the price of eggs in local markets, at least in Gangtok. Where eggs cost Rs. 4 per piece at the most in Siliguri, in Gangtok, securing one for even Rs. 7 is difficult [due to limited supply].
The department of Animal Husbandry here continues to believe – and forces us to believe that the centre has not lifted the notice of bird flu. To put the record straight the central government has issued three notifications, dated 04 July 2011, 29 December, 2011 and the latest, 31 August, 2012 declaring India to be bird flu free.
When approached earlier this week, officials at the department, however, stated that the centre had not yet declared the country bird flu free; this was given as the reason behind the continuing ban on poultry products in Sikkim.
So while the state government continues on in its self-induced slumber the general public is getting a rude shock for its daily breakfast. The inflated prices pinch every time but the department continues with the arbitrary ban.
It is clear that Lall Bazaar, the major commercial hub in Gangtok, is failing to meet the demands of the day-to-day consumption of poultry products and in order to meet this growing demand, the local traders and hawkers require even more substantial and sustainable supply of eggs and poultry products in the market.
Statistics shared by traders suggests that Gangtok’s demand for eggs is approximately 200 crates or 6,000 eggs per day. This is for purely domestic consumption and the numbers will jump up susbstantially with tourist season.
With various major factors such as the tourist season and other small scale industries catering to the rising demand of poultry products in the state’s major market, the need for additional supply is a necessary and important requirement.
There are 25 traders doing business in poultry and eggs at Lall Bazaar.
As things stand, an additional 800 crates of eggs are required per week for Gangtok. The increase in supply shall guarantee that no inflation takes place and will also curb black-marketing to a huge extent.

Sribadam’s Lako Phuti picked for Indian squad to Asian Football Confederation championship

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: Lako Phuti Bhutia has become the fourth woman from Sikkim to play international football following her selection in the U-19 Indian Women’s football team.
Pushpa Chhetri, Anuradha Chhetri and Nima Lhamu Bhutia are others from the state who have represented the country in the international arena.
A release from Sikkim Football Association informs that Lako is part of the India U-19 National Women’s Team which is to participate in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) championship to be held in Malaysia.
After attending a coaching camp at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat for one month, the team will leave from Mumbai to Malaysia on 17 October. As per the release, the Indian team will play two matches in the qualifying round. On 20 October, they will play against Bangladesh and on 24 October they will play against Uzbekistan.
Lako hails from the remote village of Sribadam, West Sikkim and is the daughter of Mikchen Bhutia and Late Pem Lhamu Bhutia.
General secretary, Sikkim Football Association [SFA], Menla Ethenpa has expressed that SFA is very happy with her performance in the international arena. Mr Ethenpa called upon other Sikkimese women soccer players to follow the foot steps of Lako Phuti, the release mentions.
While talking to SFA from Gandhi Nagar before her departure to Mumbai en-route to Malaysia, Lako thanked SFA for giving her an opportunity and also thanked her Coach at Mangalbaria Football Academy, Palden Bhutia for nurturing her talent.
President, SFA, BK Roka has also sent a message congratulating her and wished her all the very best.

Festival of Indigenous Storytellers in Darjeeling this December

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: The 3rd Confluence, Festival of Indigenous Storytellers, 2012 is being organised at Darjeeling this year from 07-10 December. The 3-day event will showcase various storytelling traditions (including shamanic oral traditions) and will include storytellers from various tribal communities across the country, alongside professional storytellers.
This festival is the flagship event of Acoustic Traditional which brings our vanishing indigenous storytellers, every year, from across the country with a view to share and celebrate the different oral storytelling traditions and indigenous folklore and to support a growing outreach platform through which the voices of mountain and forest tribal communities can not only reach a national audience but also find relevance in urban India (through their stories).
As per a press release, this year, the festival focuses on the oral history and folklore of the Eastern Himalayas. With Acoustic Traditional’s ongoing One Tribe tour based on the documentation of the folklore of Jhamphey Mung (or the legendary snow creature in the region), the event includes a special highlight on Lepcha storytellers from Lingthem, Lingdem and Tinvong villages of Dzongu (the sacred land of the Lepcha tribal people) alongside Kiranti storytellers from across Sikkim and Darjeeling.
The festival includes various activities, workshops, special sessions, field visits, etc., to help enrich our understanding of this vanishing aspect of indigenous communities, vis-a-vis their cultural, spiritual and scientific linkages and importance, apart from the idea of keeping this ancient tradition alive.
With storytellers from across Manipur, Nagaland, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerela and from the mainstream storytelling arena, the 3-day event will showcase a diverse range of ancient storytelling traditions from across the country, the release mentions.
Initiated in 2010, with support from Sikkim State Culture and Heritage Department, Confluence, has been moving spaces over the last two years to include a larger participation of local communities.
The last date of registration for participants is 20 November. For more information you can contact

Navratri celebrations begin at Thakurbari

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: Navaratra Shree Durga Bhawani Puja cum Vijaya Dashmi celebrations began here at Thakurbari Mandir by Gangtok Thakur Bari Durga Puja Committee [GTDPC]. The said puja will continue till 24 October.
The puja has been organised at Thakurbari for the last 80 years, informed the president of the organizing committee, Kiran Rasaily during a press meet today.
“This Mandir occupies about 1 acre of land which was donated by Sir Tashi Namgyal and earlier the puja used to be organised by Late Rashmi Prasad Alay accompanied by his colleagues like Chatur Singh, BP Rai, Raj Pradhan and others here in the same premise”, informed Mr Rasaily.
This time Mr Rasaily will be donating a statue of Maa Durga which is being crafted by Krishna Nagar artists.
He added that this time the residents of the town itself have organized this puja and the funds generated will be used in organizing the puja next year.
Today, a ‘Jamara’ [maize sapling] was also placed in the mandir. The arati is held between 10:30 AM-11:00 AM in the morning and in the evening between 7:00 PM-7:30 PM. The bhajan will begin just before the arati.
On the 9th day, that is Nawami, a bhog will be organised and 9 under ten year old girls will be worshipped. They will also be offered clothes and some offerings of money.

‘SDF disciplinary committee has taken note of Golay’s dissidence’


GANGTOK, 16 Oct: The paradox of the current political scenario in Sikkim, where the only political engagement on ground is between the ruling party and the disaffected from its ranks marshaled under a leader who continues to be an SDF Legislator, was rubbed in today when senior SDF office bearers commented at a press conference that the party’s disciplinary committee was closely watching the “anti-party” activities of its Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang [Golay].
The party is seriously considering disciplinary action against its Upper Burtuk MLA especially after his name has been attached to the direct unleashing of violence against supporters of his own party at Namthang on Sunday, informed SDF vice president and South district in-charge former Minister GM Gurung today.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken at the appropriate time, he said.
Meanwhile, the party spokesperson, Lok Sabha MP, PD Rai reiterated that Mr. Tamang was the “mastermind” behind the Namthang attack on SDF party workers on 14 October and remarked that political violence was Mr. Tamang’s signature style.
About the incident, Mr. Gurung informed that he along with the area MLA, Minister Tilu Gurung, and some other party workers were at the Namthang party office on Sunday evening discussing the next day’s panchayat election campaign at Katang. It was then that they were informed [at around 7.30 p.m.] that a mob of Golay supporters were headed towards Namthang. “We decided to remain in the party office to avoid any direct confrontation on the streets,” he said.
Meanwhile, SDF party supporter Prahlad Gurung confronted the motorcade of Golay supporters and told them that while they were free to raise slogans in support of their preferred leader [PS Tamang], they should not raise derogatory slogans against his leader [Pawan Chamling] and party [SDF].
“The Golay supporters responded with unbridled violence instead,” Mr. GM Gurung stated. Prahlad Gurung was grievously injured in the incident and is undergoing treatment at CRH here at present.
The SDF vice president went on to contend that at least 20 of the attackers were “trained fighters” and definitely not from Sikkim. He further alleged that the inebriated [on drugs and alcohol] mob was instigated by the dissident MLA.
He added that SDF supporters displayed strong self-control and reserve in not retaliating to the attack with the same fury and remarked that had this restraint not been displayed, the clash would have ended much worse.
“Our politics is not based on violence and we respect the peace and tranquility which SDF party and the government have maintained here for the last two decades,” he said.
The SDF party leaders also agreed that the ferocity of the clash was so sever due to administrative slackness, pointing out that the administration could have arranged better security in the area and also checked vehicles more diligently at the checkposts, a procedure which would have led to the confiscation of several weapons from among the Golay supporters, the contend.
The SDF has officially appealed to party workers and supporters not to get drawn into violence being instigated by the dissident MLA and urged the people to approach the ensuing Panchayat elections for development.

GM Gurung main culprit behind Namthang clash, alleges Bhojraj

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: The 29 Golay supporters released on bail today were welcomed at their leader, PS Tamang’s residence at Tinzir Namchi by a huge gathering of supporters. Raising anti-SDF and anti-Chamling slogans, the gathering was addressed by former MLA Bhojraj Rai, MK Subba and Jacob Khaling. The dissident MLA, PS Tamang [Golay] was not present.
Bhojraj Rai lauded the police for ensuring that the same section of the Indian Penal Code as filed against Golay supporters were charged against SDF supporters as well. Condemning allegations of having using “outsiders”, Mr Rai said that they will soon hold a press conference to prove that this was false.
While speaking to media-persons at the court premises here awaiting the bail of the supporters under judicial custody, he said that their ‘movement’ will continue until GM Gurung is arrested for his involvement in the Namthang incident.
“We are not in the government so law and order is not our responsibility”, the former MLA said, adding that they should not be held responsible if delay in taking action against GM Gurung led to any untoward incident.
He accused former Minister GM Gurung of being the “main culprit” behind the Namthang incident and added that the arrest of 5 SDF supporters has reassured Golay supporters that the administration and police were doing their duty.
Continuing with his allegations against GM Gurung, Mr Rai said, “Being a former Minister and MLA, GM Gurung should act responsibly and not as the leader of goons. I am ashamed to say that I also am a former MLA after GM Gurung’s irresponsible behaviour on that day”.
If the police does not arrest him and take necessary action, the real movement will then begin, added Mr Rai.
On behalf of the released Golay supporters, Jacob Khaling said that they had cooperated with the law and police after the incident and GM Gurung should also follow suit. As for their arrest, he said that the episode has reinforced their resolve to continue with their movement for change.

Proprietor of Adampool lounge & bar refutes SUSA allegations

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: Refuting allegations leveled by Sikkim United Students’ Association [SUSA] recently, the proprietor of Adampool-based Bo lounge & bar, Neeknor Pradhan today urged people not to mix his business with politics.
It may be mentioned here that SUSA had demanded Neeknor Pradhan’s father, the HRDD Minister, NK Pradhan’s resignation contending that “Morf” discotheque has been reopened as Bo lounge and bar. Te association had protested that the permission given to start a discotheque so near a school [Adampool JHS].
“I want to request all not to mix my business with politics as my father has nothing to do with my business. I am an adult and responsible for myself,” said Mr Pradhan.  
Stressing that all criteria as laid down by the concerned department had been fulfilled, he said, “Bo is simply a restaurant with facilities for band performances, music and a dance floor and is totally different from a disco or a pub. We got the license only after a thorough checking by the concerned department”.
On the allegations, Mr Pradhan maintained that he has not been running his business illegally and that it is situated at more than 200 feet away from the school. He added that the building was also totally sound proof so there was no chance that the sound could have escaped outside. He further claimed that Bo has provided employment to 25 local people.
Responding to media queries, he clarified that he himself shut down Morf following various complaints by the people and the department did not renew the license after that. He further mentioned that they did not receive any notice from the concerned department to shut down Morf.
At the same time, Mr Pradhan also said that non-renewal of Morf’s license by the concerned department was an “injustice” since according to him, they have not broken any laws or rules and stressing that he has the right to run this business being an unemployed youth.
“The license for Morf was provided after checking by the concerned department otherwise the license should not have been given in 2010”, he said.
The press conference was also addressed by Bo manager, Birendra Subba.

Two suicides

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: Two suicides were reported in the past 24 hours. In Temi, a 62-year-old man committed suicide by hanging. He had reportedly gone missing from his home on the morning of 15 October and when he did not return his daughter-in-law went out in search of him. She found him hanging from a tree.
Another suicide was reported from Sombaria where an employee with the state Public Works Department reportedly committed suicide. The deceased was a muster roll employee at Sombaria since 1997 and committed suicide by hanging.

One booked under SADA

GANGTOK, 16 Oct: One person has been arrested by the Rangpo police for being in possession of drugs. The accused, Ganesh Rai, a resident of Gangtok was apprehended at the Rangpo check post as he was entering into Sikkim in a vehicle at around 9 PM on 15 October. Acting on suspicion, the police searched the possessions of the accused and recovered 60 tablets of N-10 and 720 tablets of Spasmo-Proxyvon. The materials were seized and the accused booked under SADA.


I was in line at the State Bank of Sikkim counter for “BR” at the SBS main branch Gangtok. It was really hard to stand for more than forty-five minutes in a single queue. It was time consuming for me and others who were standing as well.
A long row of people were standing in this queue for the whole day. I just want to suggest to SBS authority of main branch Gangtok to have at least two or more counters for issuing general BR, for the general public’s convenience. There were people who had come from far-flung villages of West and North Sikkim and for them wasting so much time for a simple Bank Receipt will force them to spend the night in Gangtok incurring further expense and time.
In the age of internet connectivity, technologically it should not be difficult for SBS to set up more counters and fasten the pace of work. If there are more counters, precious time can be saved.
Bikash Basnet, Yangang, S, Sikkim [recvd on email]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Namthang clash between SDF and Golay supporters leaves 7 injured, 29 behind bars

NAMCHI, 15 Oct: South District administration imposed section 144 CrPC in Namchi bazaar today as the South district headquarter town simmered with tension in the wake of the clash between SDF and Golay supporters at Namthang on Sunday night. Eleven persons, 7 SDF and 4 Golay supporters were injured in the scuffle which occurred at Namthang at around 9 p.m. last night. Before dawn today, 29 Golay supporters, including some of the leaders, had been picked up in connection with the violence and have since been placed under judicial custody at the district jail here. The Sunday night episode was among the more violent of the confrontations between the two groups and also registered damage to public property and vandalisation of vehicles. It was a tense beginning of the week here and the district authorities, in an obvious move to discourage further deterioration of the situation, imposed Section 144 of the CrPC here this afternoon and also took out a flag march through town to reiterate the presence of adequate forces and the will to dissuade any law and order violations.
following a clash between supporters of dissident SDF MLA, PS Tamang and SDF supporters last night.
Supporters of Upper Burtuk MLA PS Tamang [Golay], it is learnt, were returning from Namthang towards Gangtok when they clashed with SDF supporters near the SDF party office in Namthang. Tension has been simmering here for a while now and reports of a possible conflict had reportedly started coming in before the actual confrontation happened, it is informed. The strain snapped at around 9 p.m. and a violent scuffle ensued, ending with many on both sides sustaining injuries.
A total of 5 vehicles, all belonging to SDF supporters including a private car belonging to area MLA, Minister Tilu Gurung, were severely damaged in this clash and one shop vandalized.
SP South, Manoj Tiwari, while speaking to the media persons here at Namchi today informed that, he received telephonic information about the situation at around 8:45 PM following which prompt action was taken to bring the situation under control.
Since Namthang is nearer to Rangpo than Namchi [under whose jurisdiction it falls], assistance was sought from Rangpo Police and similarly, personnel from Melli PS, Namchi PS, Singtam PS were also called in to bring the situation under control, he informed.
Detachments of IRBn were also called from Ranipool and Pipaley. With the co-ordination of these Police teams headed by their respective OCs, the situation was finally brought under control and the injured were taken to the hospital, the SP informed.
Along with SP South, SDM Namchi HQ Karma R Bonpo, SDPO [Namchi] Gegee Norbu and SDPO Rangpo were also involved in the operation.
Following an FIR lodged at Namthang Polcie Outpost by one Nima Chandra Tamang of Lower Karek, Namthang, against PS Tamang, Nima Theeng, Nuk Tshering Bhutia and others, Police intercepted the Golay supporters and a total of 29 Golay supporters were arrested from Mamring and its surrounding areas by around 4 AM this morning.
Later in the day, all the arrested persons were presented at the District Court, South and West, Namchi from where there were sent for 15 days Judicial Custody at the District Jail here. Police has registered the case under sections 147/ 148/ 149/ 447/ 427/ 323/ 506 of IPC along with Section 25 of Arms Act 1959 at Namchi PS and the investigation has been begun.
The SP further confirmed that the Police has also received an FIR against Minister Tilu Gurung, former Minister GM Gurung and others from the other party. In this regard, the SP said that Police has registered that case against the supporters of ruling SDF party as well and action will be initiated against them.
Police acted upon the FIR which was received first and will now act upon the second FIR, he explained.
Meanwhile, vehicles from both the sides involved in the clash have been seized.
Out of the 7 SDF supporters injured in the clash, two have sustained grievous injuries while 5 have suffered minor injuries. Prahlad Gurung and Subash Rai are more seriously injured and are under treatment. They were allegedly attacked with khukuris and iron rods by Golay supporters.
The situation has normalized now to the extent that there have been no further breakdowns in the law and order situation. The flag march here was led by the DM [South], AK Singh, and the SP and included a troop of IRBn, SAP and South District Police personnel.
Stating that the situation is totally under control, the SP informs that, one platoon of IRBn from Pipaley, one section of SAP from Pangthang, 2 sections of IRBn from Ranipool and 1 section of SAP attached with Namchi PS has been deployed to check the law and order situation at Namchi and Namthang.

Trade resumes over Nathula

GANGTOK, 15 Oct: In the wake of a potential Chinese boycott of border trade between India and China over the arrest of a Chinese national by Indian authorities last week, Nathula today saw trade return, albeit tentatively, after last week’s hiatus. But this is still being seen as a positive sign and trade is expected to pick up in the coming days.
The Custom Official posted at the border for monitoring the border trade between the two countries informed that border trade resumed today.
However what thawed the ice cold Chinese attitude towards the Indian action of arresting one of their citizens was the initiative reportedly taken by the Sikkim Police to explain their position to the Chinese. Sources inform that a personnel of the Sikkim Police today went up to the border at Nathula to interact with the Chinese authorities to explain how the Indian legal system works and further assure that there was nothing out of the ordinary in the arrest of Liangki Jiancen, the Chinese national by the police here.
Following this there was a trickle of trade at the border. There were only 12 Indian traders who crossed over into Tibetan Autonomous Region and about 21 Chinese traders crossing over into Sherathang when the normal figure is around 70. However trade is expected to pick up again in the following days.
Liangki Jiancen was picked up last Wednesday after the ITBP posted at the Nathula border picked him up for taking photographs of restricted areas there. He has been charged with espionage and the chargesheet of the police was submitted on Friday itself. Tension spiked with the arrest and trading ground to a halt until it thawed today.

Stray dog fatalities worry Dikchu

MANGAN, 15 Oct: There has been a rise in the number of dogs dying in and around Dikchu for the past couple of weeks. Street dogs as well as pets have been succumbing to some mysterious disease.
In Dikchu New Market, around 7 dogs have died so far while there have been deaths in Dikchu Old Market, Jang and Aapdara village in East Sikkim as well it is learnt.
According to locals, prior to the death, the dogs suffer from 5-6 days of illness during which time they seem to lose their appetite and cannot move around. This, one of the locals said, has been happening after the dogs were vaccinated against rabies less than a month ago. However, it is too early to say if it is because of this vaccination, he added.
Meanwhile, the public here are afraid that their children might get infected by this disease and have requested the concerned department to look into the matter.

Mt Thingchinkhang expedition establishes Camp-II

GANGTOK, 15 Oct: The 12-member team of mountaineers have opened the route to camp II at an altitude of 5510 mtrs. to Mt. Thingchinkhang 6010 mtrs. after eight days of recce and load ferry from their base camp at Lamuney at 4310mtrs. The expedition had started from Yuksam on 29 September.
A TAAS release informs that the expedition to one of the notified climbing peaks by the state government is jointly organised by Himapathik and North Bengal Explorers’ Club based in Siliguri with the approval of Indian Mountaineering Foundation and the Government of Sikkim.
The expedition was flagged off by TAAS president, Satish Bardewa at Yuksam where local people had also gathered to offer their good wishes to the expedition team led by Asit Kr. Paul who has ten expeditions to his climbing credit and six peaks under his leadership namely Mt. Gorichen II (6488m) & Mt. Gorichen East (6422m),  Mt. Matri (6721m), Mt. Tharkot (6099m), Mt. Indrasan (6221m), Mt. Deotibba (6001m).
During his brief speech at the flag-off ceremony, TAAS president offered thanks to Chief Secretary of Sikkim, Karma Gyatso and also to DFO/KNP, for supporting this expedition by way of concession on expedition fees and environment fees and also for supporting sustainable tourism activity into park and sanctuaries.
Such a generous approach by the officials will take tourism promotion in Sikkim towards greater heights, said Mr Bardewa. The TAAS president also urged local people to support the tourism plans and policies of the Government in making Sikkim the ultimate adventure and cultural destination.
As per the release, the other climbers are - Ayan Pyne, Babla Dey, Borisan Chakraborty, Chandana Biswas (who is the lone female climber), Dipankar Dey, Dr. Swarup Kr. Khan (also the doctor on the expedition), Nilanjan Bhowmick, Sandipan Dutta, Santanu Guha Roy, Sukanta Baidya and Tapas Kangsabanik.
Mt. Tingchenkhang (6010m) has a unique geographical location in the Sikkim Himalaya in the vicinity of Mt. Khanchendzonga. It lies at 27’32’10” N, 88’13’19” E just south of Mt. Pandim(6662m) on the same ridge in Sikkim Himalayas. The first ascent was made by an Indo-British army team, led by Maj. M.N.R Panwar in 1991.
Adventure activity especially trekking and mountaineering requires a large local support, the ratio of employment generated is 1 to 9 which brings new jobs, increasing the financial gains to local people in that location. Mt. Thingchinkhang has received most of the expeditions so far amongst these alpine peaks which also include the expeditions organised by some members of TAAS, the release mentions.
Mountaineering as an adventure activity in Sikkim has become popular among mountaineers especially after the state government declared five alpine peaks open for mountaineering expeditions in Sikkim; two of them lie in North Sikkim and three of them in West Sikkim. The Liaison Officer to this expedition has been supported by Sikkim Amateur Mountaineering Association, the release adds.

Election Commission declares names of panchayats elected uncontested

GANGTOK, 15 Oct: The State Election Commission has declared the names of candidates elected uncontested to the Zilla panchayats and Gram panchayats 2012; all these candidates belong to the Sikkim Democratic Front and have been declared uncontested from their respective territorial constituencies and wards in the state. They have been declared under Sub-rule (2) of Rule 39 of the Sikkim Panchayat (Conduct of Election) Rules, 1997.
The SDF has swept 38 of 110 Zilla Panchayat seats; in another interesting fact emerging from the declaration by the SEC is that the SDF has also swept 33 of the 174 GPUs all over the state.
From West District, 5 Zilla panchayats have been declared uncontested to their respective territorial constituency seats; besides another 181 SDF candidates in the Gram panchayat wards have been declared uncontested as well.
In addition another piece of interesting information emerging is that there are a total of 9 Gram Panchayat Units (GPUs) in West district which have been swept by the SDF; in other words, 9 GPUs in West will see no contest as no candidate of any other party or independent candidate has filed nomination from these GPUs.
In South district, 13 Zilla panchayats have been declared uncontested out of a total of 28. In the Gram panchayat wards 172 have been declared uncontested by the SEC out of a total 271 seats; among these uncontested figures there are a total of 11 GPUs which have no opposing candidate to the SDF; so these 11 GPUs have been swept by the SDF.
In East district, the SEC has declared 6 Zilla panchayats, all SDF members as uncontested out of a total of 32 seats. Among the total of 290 Gram panchayat wards 133 have been declared uncontested and among these wards there are 6 GPUs which will not see any contest.
In North district, out of a total of 20 Zilla seats 14 have been declared uncontested, all from SDF. Another 80 Gram panchayat wards have been declared uncontested out of a total of 109 wards. Among these wards it emerges that there are 7 GPUs which have been swept by the SDF party and so will not see any contest.


Golay supporters accuse Minister Gurung of instigating violence, demand her arrest and resignation
GANGTOK, 15 Oct: Supporters of the disgruntled SDF MLA, PS Tamang [Golay], have demanded the arrest and resignation of the Buildings & Housing Minister, Tilu Gurung, alleging that she led the attack on Golay supporters at Namthang bazaar last night.
Addressing a press conference here today, former SDF MLA, Bhojraj Rai, alleged that the Minister along with former Minister GM Gurung, KB Limboo, Prahalad Gurung and other supporters, all armed with rods and khukuris, attacked the Golay supporters while they were returning to Gangtok from Namthang.
Mr. Rai was joined at the press conference by MN Dahal, Kiran Chettri, Sonam Bhutia and former Minister Phuchung Bhutia.  
Addressing the press conference, Mr Rai informed that the MLA along with his supporters was at Namthang to attend an Antheyesti Kriya after finishing a public meeting at Assam Lingzey. He further informed that after that he along with the MLA and other supporters left for Namchi, the rest of the supporters returned to Gangtok.
According to Mr Rai, vehicles returning to Gangtok were stopped by the Minister Tilu Gurung, former Minister, Mr Gurung and targeted with stone-pelting near the SDF party office at Namthang after which the vehicles were attacked. The Golay supporters fought back to save their lives, he contended further.
“This attack was not just on our supporters but was actually meant for Mr Golay as they targeted just the first vehicle thinking Mr Golay was in that vehicle,” Mr Rai alleged today.
He went on to allege that when Mr Golay’s supporters went to Rangpo Police Station to report the attack, the police refused to file an FIR saying that the area where the incident occurred did not fall under their jurisdiction. In the meanwhile, the SP [South] with his team arrested 27 supporters including Nima Theeng, Jacob Khaling and others at Namchi Police Station.
Mr Rai further informed that their FIR filed at Namchi Police Station against Minister Tilu Gurung, former Minister GM Gurung , KB Limboo, Prahlad Gurung and others had not been registered yet.
At present the 27 Golay supporters arrested are on a hunger strike and have placed two demands; first to register their case and second to arrest the people listed in their FIR. Mr Rai also demanded that their case should also go simultaneously as they were attacked first.
He also accused the South District Police of being biased and blamed the SP South for the incident. He argued that the South District administration should have been better prepared and prevented such an incident when the code of conduct is in force in the state.
They also demanded the immediate transfer of the SP South by the Election Department.
On allegations that they were getting people from outside and using West Bengal vehicles, he challenged the ruling party to identify the outsiders from among the 27 persons arrested. He further mentioned that many of them have vehicles with WB registration numbers due to the high taxes and harassment in applying for a Sikkim number.  

Namthang violence a result of hatred being ‘carefully spread’ by Golay camp: SDF

NAMCHI, 15 Oct: The Sikkim Democratic Front has accused its Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang [Golay] of having himself led an attack on the SDF party office at Namthang and instigating his supporters into a violent rampage which left shops vandalized, vehicles damaged and many injured on Sunday night. In a press communiqué issued today, the party spokesperson, Lok Sabha MP PD Rai, states, “This violence laden fury is a result of the hatred that is being carefully spread by the Golay camp. Earlier in the day they had made several unparliamentary references to the SDF Party leader, Dr. Chamling, alleging that he is now down and under. Campaign of slur and vindictiveness by a man who has no mature political agenda has to be condemned in the strongest of terms.”
Meanwhile in Namchi, before Section 144 which disallows large gatherings was imposed, the SDF took out a huge protest rally through Namchi against the “Namthang Rampage”.
The rally was led by Namchi- Singithang MLA Binod Rai and began from the party office here and marched up to the public ground at Singithang through the Central Park and then back to the party office. Even though no slogans were raised in this silent protest rally, there were tense moments when the rally passed by Golay supporter, former MLA Bhojraj Rai’s house here. No incident however transpired.
It is learnt that the SDF sought permission to hold a public meeting at Namthang today, but this was denied by the district police in light of last night’s incident and the still unsettled mood in the district.
While addressing media-persons later, the SDF South District in-charge cum party vice president, former Minister GM Gurung contended that the Namthang clash erupted when they asked Golay supporters to stop raising slogans against the SDF president, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.
He stressed that the SDF party workers at Namthang told the Golay supporters that they could raise slogans in support of their leader but should desist from heckling the SDF or its president. “The other side responded by unleashing vandalism and violence,” Mr. Gurung contended.
Earlier today, SDF leaders from different parts of South and West districts also met at Namthang where they condemned yesterday’s incident. The meeting was attended by Minister Tilu Gurung, who also happens to be the area MLA. A similar meeting of the SDF Namchi unit was also chaired by its South District in-charge of the Panchayat Cell, Girish Chandra Rai.
Unanimous in their condemnation of the Namthang episode, the party has countered that a paucity of issues was leading the dissident MLA to “play politics” at funerals and other social occasions with an agenda to disturb the law & order situation in the State.
Meanwhile, the SDF spokesperson conveyed the party’s official response to the incident in these words: “The SDF Party condemns, in the strongest of terms, the Namthang incident when the supporters of Golay, led by him, went into a rampage in what has become their signature at 9 pm Sunday night. They attacked the office of the SDF in Namthang where Mrs. Tilu Gurung, the area MLA and Minister were holding a party meeting discussing the program of the next day. This is according to reports received from party sources.”
The party has also alleged that among “the miscreants were in a WB vehicles and many of the persons were from outside the state.”
Recognising that Namthang violence was “huge by any standards”, the SDF spokesperson reiterates that the violent mob was led by Mr. Tamang himself and adds that the personnel at the police outpost at Namthang “were helpless in the face of the number of violence perpetrating mob.”
The party has held up the Namthang violence as a “clear signal” from its dissident MLA “that he means to reduce this State into one which will be counted amongst those that are highly disturbed”.
While contending that Mr. Tamang will continue with his “politics of violence”, the SDF spokesperson has conveyed the party’s confidence in the people of Sikkim, who, “will reply in the best possible way they know - The SDF will be given an overwhelming mandate and he will fall flat face down in the court of the people.”
“For a person who was made three times Minister and four times MLA by the SDF party this turnaround is nothing but not being given the posts he so desired. Hence he is has been reduced to doing exactly what he is best capable of – fighting a losing battle that too with violence as his tool,” the release states.

SHRPP condemns Namthang incident

GANGTOK, 15 Oct: Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad party has condemned the Namthang incident as unfortunate and blamed that the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front on having incited the incident with its threats to the common people and independent panchayat candidates.
“The clash between two groups from within the SDF has create havoc among the common people before Dasain and has not only created a law and order situation but also spread fear among the people. Sikkim being a border and peaceful state, such clashes may create law and order situation,” SHRPP’s Tara Shrestha states in a press release.  
Mr. Shrestha further contends that the incident was obviously pre-planned with the agenda to threaten the people and voters who are supporting independent candidates against the ruling party candidates in the Panchayat polls.
SHRPP has demanded an independent investigation into the clash airing fears that otherwise, the common people may become scapegoats of a one-sided administrative action.

Food Secretary dismisses allegations of scam in PDS sugar supply

GANGTOK, 15 Oct: Food and Civil Supplies Department Secretary, Jemima Pradhan, today dismissed allegations of a scam in the supply of sugar under the PDS published in some local media on 13 October.
Addressing a press conference today, Ms Pradhan reiterated that the allegations against the department were false and baseless.
“In fact the department, in its effort to bring good quality sugar of fresh stock, sought permission from Government of India to directly lift levy sugar from the mill and transport it to the state by road. Accordingly, Government of India agreed to our request and changed the status from FCI operated state to direct allotee state w.e.f. March 2006”, informed the Secretary.
She explained the pricing structure wherein it was mentioned that the state has to bear the cost of transportation and allied expenses of around Rs 526 per quintal [out of the total wholesale price of Rs. 2,565 per quintal] to bring sugar from the mills to the 27 state godowns.
The allegation that the Department is probably lifting lesser than the allocated quota of sugar which is 3910 qtls per month for the state and black marketing the balance is totally false, said Ms Pradhan. The monthly allocation of sugar for the state of Sikkim is 3910 qtls based on the number of Ration card holders in the state is being fully lifted every month and distributed in the state, it was further clarified. The Government is making all efforts to ensure that all the PDS items are made available to the consumer on time, she further assured.
“We have vigilance committees at the village level also but till date we have not received a single complaint regarding sugar supply. They have also provided details of sugar prices in Sikkim which is Rs 26 per kg”, the Secretary added.
The media reports being challenged by the Secretary were based on a report featured in some national dailies on the Union Cabinet was mulling over a proposal to raise price of levy sugar from Rs 13.50 a kg, fixed since 2002, to Rs 24-26 a kg but a decision has been deferred more than once. To cut the subsidy under PDS for sugar to the states, the central government had asked states to raise the price of sugar for the PDS without waiting for its own decision. Only Sikkim has done so while some other states have just stopped lifting sugar for the PDS.
Earlier, there was not much difference between the market price and levy sugar meant for the PDS but the difference has been rising over recent years. Since the states are reimbursed to the extent of Rs 13.50 per kg and the market price was around it, supply was not a problem for the PDS. The situation has since reversed and the lifting of sugar under the PDS from mills has come down to 60-70 per cent of the stock as against 90-95 per cent earlier, Ministry officials were quoted as saying. Subsidy is given to states against receipts of distribution of sugar under PDS at the levy price of Rs 13.50 per kg only. For instance, the Bihar and Chhattisgarh governments have almost stopped lifting sugar from mills for the PDS.

Editorial: Only Citizens Can End Political Violence

In a democracy, politics is the weapon devised to replace violence as the medium of engagement – engaging not just the constituents, but also each other. Unfortunately, this remains a tool seldom deployed and political violence remains a frequent recourse. What the political players obviously blindside when they relapse to violence is that even though ‘politics’ might not be getting any cleaner in the country, the voters are growing more expressive in their thumbing down of violent tactics [as the election verdicts in Bihar and UP bear out]. The incident at Namthang on Sunday night was one of the larger violent confrontations between the Golay and SDF camps. Both sides will blame the other for having instigated the violence and both sides will have their believers among the lay audience, and even as their repartees continue, it can be safely said that no one in Sikkim is comfortable with political violence. This worry gets more acute in light of the fact that violence was the first worry in most people’s minds when dissidence broke in the SDF ranks as it began its fourth term in power.
Political violence is a direct fallout of the general perception, acceptance in fact, of ‘politics’ as being ‘dirty’, implying unfair means and exploitation. It is not necessarily so, but till such time that this perception prevails, political aspirations will continue to be mounted on muscle power. One must also bear in mind that political players usually stoop to violence when they cannot secure the desired results through the non-violent means of campaigning, lobbying or debating in the public domain. Also, since politics has been reduced to power, it tends to deviate towards violence more often than is healthy. It is also obvious that politicking tends to occupy leaders and supporters so completely that they can lose focus of the larger picture at times, and it is then that it becomes important for the people at large to pull the debate back on track. Politics should not be allowed to get reduced to a personality clash because that is when violence and intimidation become part of the process. The lay citizens, whose attention and patronage every politician seeks, should demand a debate of ideas and policies because that is when the leaders will need to directly engage them. This, in contrast to the politics of power in which case they can attract attention and convey popularity on the basis of crowds and muscle and lung power. None of these serves the interests of the people because in such cases, politics, when it is not being violent, is show-boating. On a more sinister note, its continuance perpetuates a nasty, vicious cycle leading political leaders and their immediate supporters to believe that the only answer to violence is greater violence. There can be no justification for violence and in episodes such as the one which transpired at Namthang on Sunday, there will always be as many versions as there are raconteurs. This is a headache best left to the police to work out, but for the people, this presents a chance to put their foot down and demand decorum.
The fact that neither side is admitting to having instigated the incident, and both are accusing the other of having drawn first blood, proves that [since both sides cannot be right] leaders are unsure of how the lay people will respond to news of political violence. The citizens need to play on this uncertainty and convey clearly that they will not endorse violence. They do this forcefully enough and soon the politicians will realise that they have been isolated to their islands of immediate supporters with the lay people, the numbers which make up the electorate, maintaining their distance. The moment this message goes out, so will violence from politics.