Saturday, November 9, 2013


Traffic Police, East District would like to make an appeal to all East District, requesting not to park their vehicle either side of the road during the two days i.e. 10th November, 2013 and 11th November, 2013. We appeal the people to park their vehicle at their convenient location. Parking in front of the open space along National Highway beyond Raj Bhawan to Ranipool and Ranipool to Saramsa (Epica Garden) also not allowed during the visit of VVIP at Gangtok. It may cause inconvenience to the general public during the visit of VVIP. The movement of vehicles of general public could be stopped 10 to 20 minutes for safe passage of VVIP. However, emergency services are exempted for the movement. Further, we appeal to the truck driver's and owners association to restrict the movement of heavy vehicles on 11/11/2013, beyond from Ranipool to GICI.
DSP/Traffic, Gangtok.

GOVERNOR’S GOLD CUP UPDATE ONGC sends Kalighat Club packing

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: ONGC Mumbai edged past Kalighat Club, Kolkata 2-1 in the second match of the 34th All India Governor’s Gold cup Football Tournament 2013 today here at Paljor Stadium. With this win ONGC Mumbai has advanced to the second round of the tournament where it will take on Manang Marshyangdi Club from Nepal on 13 November.
Playing on the offensive from the opening whistle itself, Kalighat Club players kept up constant pressure on ONGC throughout the first half. Soon in the first half, the referee offered a penalty shot to Kalighat for a foul in the ONGC D-box which was successfully converted by Pintu Bakshi and Kalighat finished the first half ahead 1-0.
In the second half, ONGC players bounced back, putting pressure on their opponents. In the 62nd minute, ONGC captain Fanai Lalmuampuia turned a cross from his teammate into the equalizer with a wonderful heading. Again in the 80th minute, Parwinder Singh netted the direct free-kick near the Kalighat D-box into the winning goal for ONGC.
With this 2-1 win, the ONGC has advanced to the second round of the tournament while Kalighat Club is returning home.
On Saturday, Nepal National Youth Team will take on Eastern Railways at 2 PM.

Regularisation of 2,800 temp employees expected in 1st phase

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: Around 2,800 Muster Roll, Work Charged and employees appointed under consolidated pay of the state government are expected to be regularized in the first phase of the regularization process initiated by the State government.
The regularization process, it may be recalled, is to take place in three phases.
In the first phase, temporary employees who have served in the state government for more than 15 years and above will be regularized while in the second phase, those who have served for 10 years and above will be regularized. Those who have served for 5 years and above will be regularized in the third phase.
Chief Secretary Rinchen Ongmu has directed the Department of Personnel to submit a comprehensive list in booklet format along with supporting documents for the regularization process of MR, WC and employees appointed under consolidated pay before the 15th of this month.
The State government had taken a policy decision to regularize services of MR and WC employees appointed under consolidated pay on 01 August earlier this year and also issued a notification on the same.
The Chief Secretary’s directives were issued on 07 November after the government had sought details for the regularization of the temporary employees in the state.
The Department of Personnel has accordingly once again accelerated the process and asked all the departments to furnish details before 14 November in a format that was circulated today. The list of employees who have rendered their services for more than 15 years are to be listed in the first phase.
While speaking to NOW! today, the DoP Secretary, AK Chettri, informed that the Department has set out the norms of the temporary employees who have rendered service for 15 years or more as on 01 January 2013 for the first phase. DoP has also asked the departments to furnish details of financial implications and difference in budgetary provisions.
As per the DoP’s current estimate, around 2,800 temporary employees of the state government will be regularized in the first phase for which the Chief Secretary is expected to submit a Cabinet note to the government on 16 November, informed Mr. Chettri.
The Chief Secretary called a meeting with the Department of Personnel [DOP], Finance and Revenue Expenditure Department and Planning yesterday and discussed the mode and financial implications along with the approval of the total number of posts to be created.
It is informed that departments like Road & Bridges, Irrigation, Power & Energy, Agriculture and Health have not submitted their details of the approved list provided by the departments despite several reminders to expedite the process of regularization of temporary employees after authenticating the supporting documents.
Sources in the DoP inform that it has received an overall list of 9,000-plus temporary employees who have served for a minimum of five years as on 01 January 2013 which has been approved and sanctioned in principle for regularisation.
Time and again, DoP has reminded all the departments to furnish the actual list with relevant documents such as appointment letters and other documents possessed along with Certificate of Identification.

Early snowfall delivers pleasant surprise for tourists

GANGTOK, 08 Oct: The untimely snowfall experienced in some parts of the state has brought added cheer to tourists who happened to be at the right time at the right place. Snowfall began around 27 October giving tourists an opportunity to experience it, some for the first time.
Sayak Chakraborty, from Kolkata, who is here with his family on a vacation, said that he was pleasantly surprised to get an opportunity to experience snowfall for the first time. “It was a lifetime experience and I would definitely like to visit Sikkim again if I get the chance”, he said.
Heavy snowfall had however blocked roads to Tsomgo and Nathula and the Tourism Department had stopped issuing permits for a few days. Traffic to these places resumed today and travel agencies inform that vehicles packed with tourists have started plying. Around 60-70 permits were issued today which is the maximum for a day.
Hotelier Pema Lhaki informs that tourists, especially domestic ones from Delhi and Mumbai, were elated at having experienced snowfall during their visit. “They didn’t expect snowfall at this time of the year so they were overjoyed when their visits to Nathula and Tsomgo gave them an opportunity to play in the snow,” she said.

High Court Lok Adalat settles 2 cases

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: A High Court Lok Adalat was held in the office of Sikkim State Legal Services Authority, near Power Sub-station at Sichey today, presided by Justice SP Wangdi, who is also the SSLSA executive chairman along with DK Gazmer and Geeta Gurung as the “Other Persons” of the High Court Lok Adalat. A press release from the SSLSA Additional Secretary informs that 02 land dispute cases were taken up and disposed of.

South Sikkim prepares for MGNREGA social audit

GANGTOK, 08 Nov [IPR]: A kick-off meeting on Social Audit of MGNREGA works of some Gram Panchayat Units under Gram Vikas Kendra-Namchi, Jorethang, Ravang & Yangang was held on 07 November at the Conference Hall of Zilla Panchayat Bhawan under the Chairmanship of ADC (Development) cum District Programme Coordinator, Benu Gurung. The program was attended by concerned Gram Panchayat members, Gram Vikas Adhikaris cum Program Officer, Assistant Engineers/ Junior Engineers, Assistant Program Officers, Line Department Officials, Gram Rojgar Sahayaks & mates.
Social Audit in the South District is being done by Pacific Club which is the District Resource Institution (DRI) appointed by Social Audit Unit, Sikkim. The DRI presented the Social Audit calendar for 20 GPUs of South District which will be carried out in two phases comprising of ten GPUs in each phase.
The ADC (Development) in her address stressed on the importance of Social Audit and urged all the officials to cooperate and extend all help required for the purpose. The field level functionaries were directed to maintain all the documents as per the check list provided for verification by the team on the given dates.
The date of Jan Sunwai has been fixed and all the concerned stakeholders are kindly requested to attend the Jan Sunwai on the given dates for making the programme successful.

SDF condemns attack on TN Sharma

GANGTOK, 08 Nov:The Sikkim Democratic Front party has strongly condemned the attack on one of its top party functionaries, the chairperson of the Sikkim State Other Backward Classes Commission, TN Sharma, on 02 November at Chittrey in West Bengal by some miscreants. Mr. Sharma was returning from Kalimpong at the time.
In a press release, SDF publicity secretary Churamani Mishra informs that Mr. Sharma had gone to Kalimpong to get his son home for the Diwali holidays. On his way back to Sikkim he was allegedly followed by some miscreants from Kalimpong and attacked at Chittrey, the release informs.
The SDF party has already lodged a complaint with the police in both Sikkim and West Bengal. The party has hinted that the attack could have been planned by a section of the Opposition in Sikkim.
Mentioning that such attacks on SDF leaders have been happening for a while now, the party feels that the lives of its leaders are in danger. Mr Sharma’s vehicle had also been torched by some miscreants in Sichey a few months ago, the release mentions.

Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour to arrive in Gangtok on 24 Nov

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: A precious collection of sacred relics of the Buddha and many other Buddhist masters is taken around the world in the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour. This relic tour is coming to Sikkim this month, scheduled to halt here from 24 November to 01 December at Tsuklakhang monastery here.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is scheduled to attend the opening day of the week-long programme here in Gangtok as the chief guest.
Tashi Dadul, chairperson of the Relics Exposition committee, informs that the relics embody the master’s spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom.
“The relics are clearly visible inside display cases that encircle a life-size, golden statue of the Maitreya Buddha. Visitors can participate in a Blessing Ceremony where the relics of the Buddha are gently placed on the crown of the visitor’s head for a personal blessing,” he informs.
Eventually, the relics will be enshrined in a 150-ft bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha to be built in Bodhgaya. The Relics were collected over many years by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Spiritual Founder of the Relic Tour.
The tour hopes to bring the blessings of the Relics and the experience of loving kindness to as many people around the world as possible by creating inspiring events, encouraging respect and genuine openness resulting in widespread happiness and the conditions for world peace, states KC Nima, the coordinator of the tour when it is here in Sikkim. This is also the mission statement of the Maitreya Buddha relic’s tour of the world, he adds.
For more information on the World Tour and its Sikkim visit, one can contact chief coordinators Tashi Dadul and KN Tamang on 9474522440 and 9434486797 respectively. Coordinator, KC Nima can also be contacted at 9434448617 for any details of the programme for which entry is free. The organizers also inform that the donations collected from the event will be used for the construction of the Maitreya Buddha statue at Bodhgaya.

Sikkim to host President Mukherjee for second time within six months

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: Sikkim will be hosting the President of India for the second time within six months. All preparations for his two-day visit to the state have been completed.
President Mukherjee is scheduled to arrive in Gangtok on Saturday evening, lighting at Libing helipad from Darjeeling after addressing the 125thanniversary celebrations of North Point School.
In Sikkim, the President will inaugurate the 40thJawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition being held at Epica Garden, Saramsa, from 11 to 16 November.
While speaking to NOW!, Chief Secretary Rinchen Ongmu said that Sikkim was lucky to host the President for the second time within six months.
All the formalities and security measures have been put in place on the way to Raj Bhawan, Epica Garden and back to Army helipad. The President is scheduled to leave for New Delhi on 11 November. Special Protection Group [SPG] and Indian Army have also reviewed the security measures, it is informed.
The state police conducted a dry run this evening from Epica Garden to Raj Bhawan and have deployed adequate security along the national highway.
Governor Shrinivas Dadasaheb Patil, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, Speaker KT Gyaltsen along with the Cabinet ministers and MLAs, Chief Secretary and DGP will receive the President here at Army Helipad at Libing.

Not in favor of strike by adhoc teachers, says PG Teachers’ Welfare Assoc

NAMCHI, 08 Nov: All Sikkim Post Graduate Teachers’ Welfare Association, Sikkim has stated that it is not in favor of the ongoing strike called by ad-hoc teachers of the state.
The association conducted a meeting in Namchi to discuss the ongoing pen-down strike by ad-hoc teachers in the state capital. According to a press release the association has however mentioned that it does agree that weightage should be given to the number of years of service and experience.
The association has said that they will approach the concerned Secretary and high level officials for further action in this regard while it has also welcomed the TET (Teachers Eligibility Test) as an essential criterion.
Furthermore, keeping in mind the future of the students the association feels that the academic performance of the students should not be hampered as the session is nearing its end, and they fear that the academic performance of the students statewide has been put at stake due to the strike by protesting ad-hoc teachers.

Awareness on Development of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure scheme

NAMCHI, 08 Nov: NABCON, a subsidiary of NABARD conducted a two-day District Level Awareness Programme on the Scheme for Development/Strengthening Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization on 07-08 November at Hotel Mercury, Bhanjyang Road, Namchi, South Sikkim.
The programme on 07 November was held for farmers and for entrepreneurs on 08 November. The participants included Managers of MPCS (Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies) of South Sikkim, members of Panchayati Raj Institutions and some bankers of Namchi.
Deputy General Manager, NABARD, Gangtok, PK Jha inaugurated the programme and briefed the participants on both the days about the scheme and apprised the house that government officials can play a very important role in popularizing the Scheme for Development/ Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization so that farmers/entrepreneurs can come forward to take the benefit of credit linked back ended subsidy.
Further, he also emphasized the importance of cleaning and grading for getting better prices for agricultural/ horticultural commodities and that the farmers could also create storage along with the cleaning and grading. Mr Jha informed that this scheme is reforms-linked and Sikkim has amended the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee [APMC] Act and as such, all benefits can be taken under the scheme.
While DDM, NABARD, Namchi, JC Biswas made a detailed presentation on both the days on the various aspects of the scheme and its relevance in increasing the income of farmers/entrepreneurs. They were informed that assistance under the scheme is available to individuals, groups of farmers, growers, SHGs, Cooperative Marketing Federations etc.
Under the scheme subsidy at 33.33% of the capital cost of the project subject to upper ceiling of Rs. 60 lakh is available for NE states. Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI), Ministry of Agriculture, GOI is the nodal agency to operate the scheme. NABARD will be administering the subsidy and monitoring the progress of the scheme. The participants were very happy on knowing about this scheme and assured to popularize it so that maximum farmers/entrepreneurs could take benefit of it.

Saramsa to host 400 children along with President for Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: About 400 children and teachers from all over the country are expected to participate in the six-day 40th Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition at Epica Garden, Saramsa, from 11 to 16 November.
A press release informs that about 185 exhibits will be displayed at different stalls at Epica Garden while 50 children from different schools Sikkim will be participating in the exhibition.
The exhibition will be inaugurated on National Education Day on 11 November by the President of India.  The exhibition aims to encourage, popularize and inculcate scientific temper among the children of the country.
This year’s theme for the exhibition is “Science and Society” and it will focus on the utility of science to solve contemporary problems faced by mankind. It is an opportunity for children to showcase their talents in science
and mathematics and their applications in different areas related to our everyday life.
In the run up to the National Exhibition, each State and UT organized a State level Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition from which the best exhibits have been selected for display at the National exhibition. The State level Science exhibition in Sikkim was organized at Palzor Stadium in the first week of October 2013.
The exhibition will be open to school children and visitors free of cost up to 16 November. The exhibition will be closed on 13 Novemberas the participants will be taken for an excursion in and around Gangtok.


Members of the Bihari community of Gangtok gathered at the Thakurbari complex, MG Marg today for the Sandhya Arghya [evening offerings] of the Chhath Puja. On the eve of this day, the entire household goes to a water-body to make offerings to the setting sun. Usha Arghya [morning offerings] is performed the following morning where people make offerings to the rising sun.

Chetna: A Rotary drive to ensure Mothers’ Safety

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: Inner Wheel Club of Gangtok in collaboration with Rotary Club of Gangtok embarked on a project called ‘CHETNA’.
A press release informs that through this programme, the skills of handling emergencies during childbirth and labour will be taught to various technical personnel like nurses, ASHAs, Doctors and paramedical and medical students of various government and private establishments of Sikkim
The first of the programmes was inaugurated by District Chairman, Jayanti Dutta at the nursing school of STNM Hospital on 07 November.
The vision is to take the programme to every possible health related establishment like PHCs, hospitals, colleges, etc. in the coming year and train technical personnel to handle emergencies during delivery with limited equipments and resources. The main aim of the programme is to reduce maternal mortality rate, the release informs.
Along with these, training sessions in various places, parallel programmes relating to mental health, prevention of suicides, sanitation, hygiene, de-addiction, general health check up camps, will also be carried out by the clubs.
The programme was conceptualized following the Rotary Club of Gangtok’s initiative of inviting vocational training teams to the state. A team of seven eminent obstetricians from UK had come to Sikkim six months ago and trained 13 doctors from various parts of Sikkim. These master trainers are now propagating the training to other medics and paramedics till it reaches the grass root level, the release mentions.

Nepali translation of ‘Sikkim: The Wounds of History’ released

GANGTOK, 08 Nov: ‘Sikkim: Ithihas-ka Ghawharu’, the Nepali translation of Biraj Adhikari’s book ‘Sikkim: The Wounds of History’, was jointly released by former Secretary to the state government, KN Sharma and one of the signatories of the 8th May Agreement, DN Tiwari, today here at Hotel Dzong. Mr. Adhikari is the president of Sikkim National Peoples Party [SNPP].
Speaking about the book, Mr. Adhikari informed that his book ‘Sikkim: The Wounds of History’ in English was released some years back and covers the period between 1973 to 1975 when the Indian Constitution was amended twice for Sikkim leading to the Merger. He added that the book talks about issues based on these two amendments and how Sikkim became a part of India.
Speaking about the history of Sikkim, Mr. Sharma said that the Nepali translation of the book would help to reach out to a wider readership. He also gave his suggestions on what could be included in the next edition of the book.
Likewise, Mr. Tiwari also spoke on the political history of Sikkim along with other issues related to the state. He further congratulated Mr Adhikari for taking out a Nepali translation of the book.


Traffic Police, East District would like to make an appeal to all East District, requesting not to park their vehicle either side of the road during the two days i.e. 10th November, 2013 and 11th November, 2013. We appeal the people to park their vehicle at their convenient location. Parking in front of the open space along National Highway beyond Raj Bhawan to Ranipool and Ranipool to Saramsa (Epica Garden) also not allowed during the visit of VVIP at Gangtok. It may cause inconvenience to the general public during the visit of VVIP. The movement of vehicles of general public could be stopped 10 to 20 minutes for safe passage of VVIP. However, emergency services are exempted for the movement. Further, we appeal to the truck driver's and owners association to restrict the movement of heavy vehicles on 11/11/2013, beyond from Ranipool to GICI.
DSP/Traffic, Gangtok.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Governor’s Gold Cup kicks off

GANGTOK, 07 Nov: The 34th edition of the All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament was kicked off by the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling here at Paljor Stadium this afternoon. The tournament is being organized by Sikkim Football Association [SFA].
In the inaugural match, Tata Football Academy outplayed Sikkim Football Association XI 4-0. Even as the home team was cheered on by the crowd comprising largely of students, the team failed to score even as its defence crumbled often under the Tata FA attack.
TFA took an early lead in the match with a goal from N Sangij Kumar in the 9th minute. As the home team tried to come back in the match, TFA’s Manash Sarkar extended the scoreline to 2-0 and with another goal from Udanta Singh in the 44th minute, TFA finished the first half with a 3-0 lead.
In the 60th minute shortly after the drinks break, Manash Sarkar completed his brace and extended the TFA lead to an unassailable 4-0. The home team tried their best to come back in the match but could not score.
With this win TFA has progressed to the second round of the tournament, while the home team has been knocked out of the tournament. In the second round, TFA will take on NISA Manipur on 11 November.
SFA-XI, captained by Sishir Karthak, is a team put together by the organisers from players drawn from various clubs here after Sikkim Police, the second local team to qualify for this year’s Gold Cup, could not participate since it is away playing in the All India Police Meet.
On Friday, ONGC-Mumbai will take on Kalighat Club at 2 p.m.
A total of 16 teams are taking part in the tournament. The final match of the tournament is scheduled for 21 November.

Temi Tarku to host 3-day Cherry & Tea Fest -[from YUVRAJ DAHAL]

GANGTOK, 07 Nov: Temi Tarku Tourism Development Committee (TTTDC) will organize a three-day Cherry and Tea Festival from 15 to 17 November at Temi Tarku, South Sikkim.
This was decided today at a meeting held at Temi Gram Vikash Kendra at Temi Bazaar. TTTDC publicity secretary MK Pradhan informed that the objective of the festival is to promote tourism in the area and will be organized every year from now onwards as an annual tourism festival. A committee was also constituted today for this purpose.
The meeting also condoled the sudden demise of former Secretary to the Government of Sikkim, Arun Kumar Pradhan and a two-minute silence was observed in his memory.
“We lost our mentor as he has contributed a lot in the development of tourism in Temi Tarku. The festival will be dedicated to the late Mr. Pradhan as he had conceptualized the idea of this festival. He had contributed a lot in encouragingthe local youth to adopt tourism as a profession and to capitalize on the natural beauty of the area,” said Mr. MK Pradhan.

SRM State University Act notified

GANGTOK, 07 Nov: The Shri Ramasamy Memorial (SRM) State University Bill has finally been notified by the State Government. Governor Srinivas Dadasaheb Patil had given his consent to the bill on 09 October, and the Act was accordingly notified on 22 October.
The SRM State University Bill which was passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on 27 June 2012 was returned to the Sikkim Legislative Assembly by the last Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh for reconsideration of certain aspects. The State government then promulgated an ordinance in August and subsequently the Bill was passed by the House unanimously for the second time.
The SRM State University Bill was proposed for “creating skilled manpower, meet all needs of the industries and other developmental sectors, thereby sustaining the growth and productivity for creation of wealth and prosperity of the nation”.
After the promulgation and establishment of SRM University, the state government aims to “bring  professional education in the state, which would allow for flexible ways of acquiring competencies and qualifications as also enable career exploration, development, job transitions and mobility within and across industries and the developmental sector and also facilitate an open and flexible professional education that was dynamic and responsive to the ever-changing needs and advances of technology, education, the workforce, and the economy, incorporating innovative methods, ideas and resources to keep such professional education and training relevant and contemporary”.

Training on Juvenile Justice Act underway

GANGTOK, 07 Oct: A Sensitization cum Refreshers Training Programme on Juvenile Justice [Care and Protection of Children] Act, 2000 is being organized by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority [SSLSA] from 06-09 November at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok for the Juvenile Welfare Officers, Special Juvenile Police Units and Stake Holders of all the four districts.
A press release informs that the purpose of the training programme is to sensitize the trainees on detailed module with regard to Juvenile Jurisprudence, Child in Need of Care and Protection [CNPC], Child in Conflict with Law and Role of Police. The first day of the training covered subjects such as Constitutional provisions relating to children, Growth of a child’s mind, Fundamental principles of Juvenile Justice, Administrative System and the International covenants, History of Juvenile Justice legislation in India, categories of Children covered under Juvenile Justice Act, competent authorities to deal with Child in Need of Care and Protection and Child in Conflict with Law, etc.
The four-day training is being attended by Police Officers, Special Juvenile Police Units, representatives of Social Justice and Welfare Department, empanelled Panel Advocates for Juvenile Justice Boards, Para-Legal Volunteers, faculty members and staff of Law Colleges and Schools.
The training is being conducted by Founder and Co-Director of HAQ, Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi and Child Rights Lawyer, New Delhi, Anant Kumar Asthana as the resource persons.

Training on Juvenile Justice Act underway

GANGTOK, 07 Oct: A Sensitization cum Refreshers Training Programme on Juvenile Justice [Care and Protection of Children] Act, 2000 is being organized by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority [SSLSA] from 06-09 November at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok for the Juvenile Welfare Officers, Special Juvenile Police Units and Stake Holders of all the four districts.
A press release informs that the purpose of the training programme is to sensitize the trainees on detailed module with regard to Juvenile Jurisprudence, Child in Need of Care and Protection [CNPC], Child in Conflict with Law and Role of Police. The first day of the training covered subjects such as Constitutional provisions relating to children, Growth of a child’s mind, Fundamental principles of Juvenile Justice, Administrative System and the International covenants, History of Juvenile Justice legislation in India, categories of Children covered under Juvenile Justice Act, competent authorities to deal with Child in Need of Care and Protection and Child in Conflict with Law, etc.
The four-day training is being attended by Police Officers, Special Juvenile Police Units, representatives of Social Justice and Welfare Department, empanelled Panel Advocates for Juvenile Justice Boards, Para-Legal Volunteers, faculty members and staff of Law Colleges and Schools.
The training is being conducted by Founder and Co-Director of HAQ, Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi and Child Rights Lawyer, New Delhi, Anant Kumar Asthana as the resource persons.

State govt constitutes committee to check price rise

GANGTOK, 07 Nov: The state government has constituted a committee to monitor and regulate prices of essential commodities, vegetables and other consumables in Sikkim.
The committee constituted under the Legal Metrology Unit and Consumer Protection division of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department has been set up at the state and district level.
As per the official notification published on 23 October, last month, the state government took the decision in order to control and monitor price rise in the state.
The state level committee shall provide major policy initiatives, guidelines for regulation and movement of essential commodities, vegetables and other consumables and regularly monitor its activities to mitigate the problems of consumers in the State.
The committee shall consist of Minister, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department as Chairman;Mayor, Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Secretary, Urban Development and Housing Department, Secretary, State Transport Authority, Secretary, Building and Housing Department, Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Department  as Members and Secretary, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department Member Secretary.
The State Level Committee shall take all decisions regarding regulation activities related to mobilization, control of prices of essential commodities and other consumable in the state, it shall monitor and coordinate with the line departments and agencies on its progress, shall examine and evaluate the performance of the District Level Committee and all such related activities as deemed fit in larger public interest and also recommend regulatory framework to the Line Departments, agencies and District Level Committee related to the matter.
The District Level Committee constituted for the purpose in all four Districts vizEast, West, North and South Sikkim located at District Head quarter in Gangtok, Gyalshing, Mangan, Namchi, respectively, shall be responsible for implementation of the policies and decisions taken by the State Level Committee and shall submit report to the Chairman and Member Secretary on all such activities undertaken by the respective District Level Committee.
The District Level Committee will consist of District Collectors as Chairman;  Superintendent of Police, Divisional Engineer, Building and Housing Department, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries and VeterinaryServices, Bazaar Officer, Urban Development and Housing Department, Regional Transport Officer, Transport Department, Assistant Controller, Legal Metrology, Food, Civil Supplies and ConsumerAffairs  Department as Members and District Civil Supplies Officer, Food, Civil Supplies and ConsumerAffairs  Department, Member Secretary.
The District Level Committee shall supervise all such activities relating to regulation and management of prices of essential Commodities and other consumables in the District, shall prepare a systematic concept and working plan for implementing the direction from time to time to meet the exigencies as per law established, shall mobilize the resource for mitigating problems related to the subject, shall endeavor to make similar such bodies at Sub Divisional, Block and Gram Panchayat Level in the respective District and monitor /evaluate their performances at regular interval of the time and submit detailed report on the status and arrangement made to the State level Committee on monthly basis and daily during crisis or as may be directed by the State level Committee.
The Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department shall be the Nodal Department. The notification further delegates the power to the committee and states that all official action on Price Regulation shall be governed by law in operation through agencies delegated by the authority in the State.

SKM forms district level committee for South Sikkim

NAMCHI, 07 Nov: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] today formed its district level committee for South district and the committee for Namchi-Singithang constituency at a meeting held in the residence of SKM vice president, Bhoj Raj Rai here.
Addressing the gathering Mr. Rai said, “SKM is a party that treats every member and supporter equally and in this revolution we are all equal. The party has appointed certain people in various posts but every individual supporter also has equal responsibility”.
The meeting elected Milan Rai as the president of South district, Tashi Dorjee Tamang as youth convener, Rabden Bhutia of Ravangla, CS Poudel of Temi Tarku, Santi Niraula of Yangyang, Sashi Kala Basnet as vice presidents.
Tilak Basnett was elected as party general secretary, Suren Tamang, Tashi Rinchen Bhutia Bishnu Adhikari, Lal Bir Subba, Pradeep Tamang and Biswajit Chettri as joint secretaries South District. JB Darnal was elected as publicity secretary, Rudra Swnar as treasurers and Arun Kr. Pradhan as joint treasurer. Similarly Shedew Gurung and Krishna Gurung were elected as organising secretary and Puran Sharma Prashant Rai, Roshan Shilal, Phurba Bhutia and Meeraj Ansari as social media secretaries.
Similarly, the meeting also elected the executive members for Namchi Singithang constituency wherein Basant Yonzen was elected as the president, Kumar Rai as general secretary, Norden Lepcha as joint secretary, Amar Thapa and Aeron Rai as publicity secretary and joint publicity secretary and Prem Raj Gurung as youth convenor for Namchi Singithang constituency of SKM.


In response to the news report which appeared in local dailies on 07 Nov 2013, under the headline “USFC not to play in the Governor's Gold Cup opener”, we would like to state that it is nothing but work of two different “School of Thoughts”. SFA considered USFC as a home team and given the opportunity to field their team in the opener, whereas USFC thought that they are not home team rather they are I-League team and felt insulted to play in the opening match. As per practice in vogue, even in the FIFA World Cup, the host country plays the first match. USFC being a better team as compared to other home side, SFA thought they will be happy to play in the opening day. Moreover, it may be mentioned that just by virtue of being the local S-League champion of 2013, they got the entry in the Governor's Gold Cup.
However, the matter was solved when SFA officials called USFC officials for a meeting in the afternoon of 06 Nov 2013, where USFC’s request not to play in the opening day was considered duly replacing them by SFA XI. Their request for the revision of the match fee was also considered. In turn, USFC agreed to SFA request to field their team on 10th Nov 2013. At the end both (USFC & SFA) agreed to work in close coordination in coming days for the development of Sikkimese football.
Menla  Ethenpa, General Secretary, SFA

LPG cylinder mishap at Bongthing School destroys kitchen

MANGAN, 07 Nov: The kitchen cum dining hall, an RCC structure, of the Bongthing School here at Naga in North Sikkim was destroyed in a fire that broke out at around 2 a.m this morning when an LPG cylinder exploded.
While no one was injured in the incident, 70% of the consumables and fixtures in the kitchen which include furniture, GCI roof, glassware were damaged.
Fortunately, the fire was brought under control by the public including Upa-Zilla Adhakshya North, NT Lepcha along with the ward panchayat. After battling the fire for around two hours, the main school building was saved from the fire.
Chungthang SDM, ST Topgay Dhakarpa, Joint Director HRDD (N), Sonam Lepcha and PI, Mangan along with police personnel visited the spot this morning and took stock of damages. The kitchen shed was a three-room structure.
At the time of the explosion, the Upa-Adhyaksha(N), NT Lepcha and his family members were sleeping on the first floor of the Bongthing School as his residence is being renovated. While the domestic LPG cylinder which was being used for cooking was not damaged, it was the new refilled cylinder which exploded, it is informed.
The Upadhakshya said that LPG suppliers should check all the cylinders against leakage as some of the cylinders might have been in circulation for a long time and might need to be replaced with new ones so that such incidents can be avoided in future.

HRDD agrees in principle to demands of adhoc teachers

GANGTOK, 07 Nov: The Human Resource Development Department has agreed in principle to the demands placed by ad-hoc teachers of the state.
In a press statement issued today HRDD has said that the demand of ad-hoc teachers that the yearly appointment system be removed “is being considered by the government for implementation and is already in process”.
The department states that teacher appointment for primary and upper primary levels is governed by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act 2009).
This Act was enacted by the Parliament in order to give expression to the fundamental right of children to free and compulsory education introduced as Article 21A in the Indian Constitution through the eighty-sixth amendment of the Constitution. Under this Act, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) was authorised to prescribe the minimum qualification for appointment of teacher. The NCTE has prescribed the Teacher Eligibility Test as mandatory for appointment of teachers at primary and upper primary level. This norm has been prescribed by the NCTE to ensure quality education uniformly throughout the country. Under the RTE Act 2009 a teacher who at the commencement of the Act (which came into force everywhere in India from 1.4.2010) did not possess minimum qualification for getting appointed as a teacher was required to acquire the minimum qualification within five years. Minimum qualifications include passing of Bachelor of Education or Diploma in Elementary Education for the different levels of teachers.
On the basis of the above, HRDD has said that the possibility of allowing ad-hoc teachers who do not possess these qualifications to conditionally appear for the Teacher Eligibility Test “is being explored”.
As provided in Section 23 (2) of the RTE Act 2009, only the Central Government has the power to relax the minimum qualifications prescribed for Teacher Eligibility Test. This relaxation will give time to teachers to complete their B.Ed or Diploma in Elementary Education, as the case may be, and enable them to appear for the Teacher Eligibility Test conditionally, it is added.
Regarding the demand for regularization, HRDD has said that it “is to be seen in the light of the provisions of law relating to this”.
It may be mentioned here that ad-hoc teachers have been on a pen-down strike and indefinite hunger strike for around a fortnight now. All Sikkim Ad-hoc teachers had also taken out a rally on Wednesday in the capital.

Hee-Gyathang declared ‘alcohol-free’ GPU

MANGAN, 07 Nov: Gram Sabha of Hee-Gyathang GPU was held on 30 October at Hee-Gyathang Senior Secondary School auditorium which was chaired by Zilla Adhakshya North, Anguli Lepcha. The sabha was presided over by Panchayat President Samroo Ugen Lepcha.
The main agenda of the Sabha was to declare the Hee-Gyathang GPU as an alcohol-free GPU and the panchayats issued a notification on the same.
Other agendas discussed and passed during the Sabha were issue of work permit to non-local labourers, collection of various taxes, inclusion of names of those left out during socio-economic census, 2010. Awarding of meritorious award to class VIII topper of the GPU, preservation of cane, to felicitate Dr. Sonam Rinchen, Scientific Officer DST Gangtok, and farewell to Mingma Tshering Lepcha, retired ACF.

Golay demands immediate setting up of Civil Service Board in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 07 Nov: The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has welcomed the recent Apex Court order for setting up of a Civil Service Board (CSB) at the Centre and the State within three months to “regulate postings, transfers, inquiries, process of promotion, reward, punishment and disciplinary action against the bureaucrats with a view to insulate them from political interference and put to an end to frequent transfers of civil servants by political bosses”.
In a press release issued today, former MLA, PS Tamang [Golay], has stated that this is a landmark judgment which will minimize corruption and ensure accountability.
“The bureaucrats have been empowered to record in writing oral instructions of political bosses in file, the ultimate aim of which is to ensure govt. policies and programmes reach the poor people. They have been refrained from action on oral instructions of political bosses except in certain special circumstances. Welcoming the verdict, serving and retired bureaucrats have said that the decision would help to ensure good governance and improve functioning of the govt,” he conveys.
Mentioning that Sikkim has a small and manageable bureaucracy, he has said that it need not therefore take it three months to set up the Civil Service Board.
Mr Tamang has demanded that the State Government set up the Board “immediately” and “save the serving bureaucrats from the whimsical decision of the State Government”.
“The extension of services of superannuated and highly pliable dead woods is another classic example of moral subjugation of upright and honest officers in the Chamling administration,” he alleges.

‘Get Inked’ at Café Live n Loud

GANGTOK, 07 Nov: ‘Get Inked’ by Sikkimese tattoo artist Mik Lepcha at the tattoo and painting exhibition underway in the capital. The ten-day exhibition is the first of its kind being held here in the state.
The exhibition began at Chullah restaurant near Krishi Bhawan, Tadong from 01-04 November and then at YOLO at SNOD Complex from 05-07 November. The exhibition has now moved to Café Live n Loud on Tibet Road.
Mik who hails from Namchi in South Sikkim is currently based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is back in the state for a short while to exhibit his talents and promote the art of tattooing here.
Pema C Bhutia who is the organizer of the ‘Get Inked’ event and also one of Mik’s clients says, “I wanted to do this event because he is one of the most promising talents Sikkim has to offer. It is high time we support our own local talents and appreciate them. We have to understand that a government job is not everything. Why can’t we turn our creative talent like Mik into a profession and earn a good living out of it”.
Setting up a tattoo studio in Sikkim is next to impossible as the concerned agencies do not issue license to run such establishments, it is informed. This is the reason why Mik moved to Nepal.
“Tattooing license is allowed everywhere in India except Sikkim. It is even allowed in neighbouring Darjeeling, Siliguri, Kalimpong and Kolkata. People here think that tattooed people are all drug addicts or alcoholic. It is high time people changed their mindsets. We are living in the 21st Century after all”, says Mik.
The organizer, Pema C Bhutia informs that a low scale private event is allowed so they are hosting the event in that manner. “I request the government to help and foster our local talents and set rules and regulations where people can get license to open up tattoo studios which might also help tourism here. And people would not need to travel to anywhere else to get a tattoo”, she added.
Mik’s first client today was Rinchen Thendup who was impressed with the tattoo he got, ‘Yabdud’ a local deity on his left shoulder.
“This is my first tattoo and I thought it would be very painful but it was not like that at all. The only thing you need to have is patience to wait for hours to get the tattoo completed. I saw photographs of his work on Facebook and I was quite impressed. From now onwards I will go to him first if I want another tattoo,” he added.
Mik does traditional, tribal, old school, realistic, dot works, portrait, new school etc types of tattoo & paintings.  His tattoo idols are Bob Tyrrell from US, Kate Von De from California, Nikko Hurtado from US and Mohan Gurung from Nepal. Although the price of a tattoo depends on the design and duration of the work Mik usually charges his clients Rs 2000 per hour.
Anybody interested in getting a tattoo from Mik can go to his Facebook page ‘Mik Ink’ or contact 7872062340.
[fotos and text BISHAL CINTURY]

Protect the Minors More Effectively

What began recently as a disturbing revelation of a primary school teacher having allegedly molested a student in a school in rural Sikkim, snowballed into a much larger fear of the accused having similarly abused more children. It took some sessions of sensitive counseling and what must have been therapeutic recovery for the shocked students for more of them to have opened up and shared their trauma. The case will now be processed and tried and even as the law takes its course and delivers justice, it is important for the rest of Sikkim to return more resolutely to its responsibility towards its children safe. The present case from a school in rural East Sikkim, it is important to realize, even though it is shocking and disturbing, cannot be considered an aberration since reports of the young and the very young being so abused surface too often to be considered rare anymore. And because the young need to be protected more effectively, it is important that Sikkim addresses this issue more often and in more earnest.
When one is told that child abuse is not normal behaviour, it is not the social contempt alone that people are talking about. Child abuse is obviously deviant behavior. In the accused [in the present case and all other incidents], it could have manifested much earlier and he always had access to minors, given his job as a teacher. One can understand the violent reaction of parents and sympathise with them, but as a society, Sikkim needs to learn more from the episode and make more demands than just punishment for the accused. As mentioned earlier, this is not the first time that a minor girl-child has been molested in Sikkim; there have even been cases of rape of minors reported in the recent past. What is scary for every parent is that for every case of molestation that gets reported, there are countless others that get swept under the carpet. This could be for two reasons. One, the child never confides in anyone out of fear and even guilt, and two, the elders refuse to recognise the signs of abuse even when it stares them in the face. In most cases, a child suffers in the hands of someone close, someone they and their families trust. It was a teacher in the present case, but more often it is relatives and sometimes even neighbours and family friends. Disturbingly, festivals, the season of which has now begun, is the most traumatic time for victims since it increases access for their tormenters.
There is little that the society can do to identify all pedophiles in advance. What our children deserve, however, is our full interest in their lives. Parents have to speak to their children, look out for warning signs that they might give out and tell them what kind of behaviour [by elders] is acceptable and what sort of touching is wrong. This, every parent needs to do. And more importantly, they need to take up for the child when s/he musters the courage to report abuse. What is also required is for professional counseling for all victims of child-abuse, molestation and rape. Just booking the culprit is not enough, we need to also heal the scars that the children bear.

Remembering Arun Kumar Pradhan KC PRADHAN

In the passing away of Arun Kumar Pradhan, Sikkim lost one the stalwarts of its bureaucracy. Like a few others, he saw the changes in Sikkim’s history and destiny from very close quarters. At a time when Sunanda Datta-Ray thought it fit to bring out a revised edition of his book on Sikkim [Smash and Grab in Sikkim] after a lapse of 30 years, old memories are being resurrected. His story is one of him and the Jungkhyang-the Chogyal P.T. Namgyal. Besides what he did capture stunningly, there are still many untold stories among old stalwarts who saw history in the making. Arun Kumar was one of them.
He used to narrate his own version, being the scion of pioneer politician Gobardhan Pradhan of Praja Sammelan based at Temi-Tarku with his comrade-in-arms and equally politically inspired Dhan Bahadur Tewari as the joint leader. Kazi Lhendup Dorjee was then a young handsome lad assigned as an Agent to source vegetables to supply to the British troops during the War. His frequent sojourn was Tarku- the Mecca of vegetable growing in Sikkim, with Dhan Bahadur Tewari as the fountain head. Kazi Dorjee later formed his own political party, Praja Mandal, at Chakung. These again with that of Praja Sudharak Samaj led by Tashi Tsering brought about Sikkim State Congress in December 1947. This instinct and having seen the largest Library of books – Manokamna Library - in Sikkim in those hoary days with books coming from various Embassies and High Commissions in loads, so large enough beyond the capability of lone Dakwalla to carry from Singtam – the nearest Post Office, inculcated in Arun Kumar many varied values in life that is truly Sikkimese. Gobardhan Pradhan was one man who used to advocate that Sikkimese of diverse communities, especially the Nepalese and the Bhutias, should live in harmony and was great advocate of mixed marriages. During my stay in Temi as young Forest Officer he used to discuss the issue at great lengths, including designing of dresses which truly amalgamate the communities. It sounded queer to me then, but as I reflect back, I realize how farsighted man he was to bring about a sense of belonging in his own simple ways. Truly he was ahead of our times.
We failed to capture the rich knowledge and experience of Arun Pradhan when he was alive. Likewise there are rich experience and anecdotes among such stalwarts stilling living with us. It will be a tragedy if all these storehouses of knowledge go down in history unknown and unrecorded. The era of fear is over. We are proud to be part of a great vibrant nation with opportunities all round. But it will be matter of shame if the generations yet to come miss all sides of the stories and end up making their own assumptions and have to gulp the history of Sikkim written by some obscure historian alien to Sikkim.
Adieu, Kaka Arun, we miss you as you were the beacon of hope in our community and you were the brainchild of annual Indrajatra Festival at Gangtok with a view to bring the members of the community together to a common venue at least once a year and showcase our rich cultural heritage The community is proud of your farsightedness.
We pray to the Almighty that your soul rest in peace.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Singtam District Hospital acquires generator

GANGTOK, 06 Nov: The Health department has installed a ‘silent’ generator at East District Hospital, Singtam, to back up its power supply.
A press release informs that Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission, Dr. PM Pradhan inaugurated the new generator in the presence of Chief Medical Officer [East], SE Mechanical, Divisional Engineer and other health staff of Singtam Hospital on 02 November, just ahead of the Diwali holidays.
The generator produces 160 Kilo Volt Ampere which is adequate for running existing facilities in the hospital, it is informed.
The NRHM Mission Director also visited all sections and units of the hospital and asked the staff to deliver services with more dedication and commitment. He has also inspected renovated sites within the hospital.
Earlier, the Mission Director made a surprise visit to Rangpo PHC and instructed the staff there to deliver quality services.

Five Sikkim lads selected for AIFF Bangalore FA, join academy today PURAN TAMANG

NAMCHI, 06 Nov: Five under-14 football players of Namchi Sports Hostel have been selected to join All India Football Federation (AIFF) Bangalore Football Academy.
Pratap Tamang of Salghari, South Sikkim, Anil Limboo of Heegaon, West Sikkim, Namgyal Bhutia of Chumbung, West Sikkim, Biswa Kr Darjee of Gyalshing, West Sikkim and Avinash Sharma of Gangtok, East Sikkim left for Bangalore on 04 November and will be joining the academy on 07 November, Thursday.
It may be recalled that Namchi Sports Hostel had won the U-12 & U- 13 All India Football Federation Football Festival organized by the AIFF at Kalyani, West Bengal on 18-24 November 2012. Junior football talents of the Namchi hostel secured 55 points followed by Delhi with 50 points and Maharashtra with 45 points.
Namchi Sports Hostel represented Sikkim in this event where budding football talents from 25 states participated. The Sikkim boys not only won the champion’s trophy but also impressed the organisers with their outstanding performance. Selectors and organisers along with the Chief Coach of Indian Football team and Technical Director AIFF were all praise for the state’s contingent.
The AIFF selectors chose 15 players from the team for the AIFF Academy out of which 8 made it to the final list. Apart from the five U-13 players selected, three U-12 players Surag Chettri, Smiel Diyali and Ritik Rai joined the AIFF U-12 Goa Academy.
With this, Sikkim has set a record of providing the highest number of players from a state to a national academy. The 8 Sikkim players are among the total of 52 players who will be nurtured further in the academy.
Joint Director (SYS) Kamal Chettri said, “We are proud of their performance and for their selection in the AIFF Bangalore Academy”. Congratulating all the boys, he said that this is the platform from where they can realize their dream of becoming the best players of the country and the world. This, he said would be possible only with hard work and discipline during training.
Mr. Chettri informed that Namchi Sports Hostel was established by the State Government in 1999 to nurture raw football talents selected under the ‘Search for more Bhaichungs’ scheme. The products of this hostel have already set an example at the national and international level. Nirmal Chettri, Sanju Pradhan, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Asish Pradhan and Uttam Rai are some of the names that have made it big and there are many other players who are playing for the best clubs and academies of the country.  The establishment of NSH as directed by the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling to “Search for More Bhaichungs" has started bearing fruit and is providing opportunities to young talents from different corners of Sikkim.
NSH coach, Suren Chettri who has trained the boys also congratulated them and thanked Sikkim Football Association for giving NSH boys a golden opportunity to showcase their talent at the national level event. He also thanked United Sikkim FC for sponsoring the boys in the event. “With such collective effort our team came out on top in the event and 8 of our boys got selected”, he said.
“We are leading in the country in scouting for budding young talents in football and if our boys get more facilities at this level, the day is not far when Sikkim boys will dominate all the football grounds of our country”, the coach added.

CS reviews preparations for President’s visit

GANGTOK, 06 Nov [IPR]: Chief Secretary, R. Ongmu convened a meeting today at the Conference Hall of the Secretariat to review the progress of preparations for the visit of the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee from 10 to 11 November 2013.
The President will be in Sikkim to attend the 40th Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics & Environment Exhibition to be held from 11 to 16 November, 2013 at Epica Garden, Saramsa, East Sikkim.
During the meeting, the Chief Secretary sought detailed status reports from all concerned departments, and instructed the officials to make all necessary arrangements in advance to ensure that everything is in order. While discussing the detailed programme of the President, the Chief Secretary took note of the work in progress and the minute gaps to be addressed immediately.
The meeting was attended by Heads of Departments and officers of the concerned departments.

Back to Corruption

editorial :-
If the festival of light can become more about sound and noise, then one could perhaps also speak of ill-gotten wealth because the season is to propitiate Laxmi. Corruption is the use of public office for private gain. The prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 defines bribery as “a public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act; a public servant obtaining a valuable thing, without consideration from the person concerned in proceeding or the business transacted by such a public servant; and criminal misconduct”.
As in India, in Sikkim too corruption has become the most effective shortcut in the journey from rags to riches. A State where industrialization is negligible, where trade and commerce do not generate enough employment, corruption has turned out to be the least risky route to social influence and affluence. Lack of private enterprise has also led those on a treasure hunt to the plunder of the State treasury. It’s actually a catch-22 situation. If the State was to pull away from its current role as the largest consumer of services (by way of contracts and supplies), then there would be no commerce and if it is to continue, then so does the plunder. What one should bear in mind is that it is not just the bureaucrat-politician combine that is corrupt. Also in the nexus are private people. From the truck driver who siphons away bits of consignment to the supplier who inflates the invoice and short-supplies on the order, all guilty of plundering the State treasury. Agreed, there is a much bigger game afoot in bigger projects which one does not even hear of, but the fact remains that the plunder goes on at every level. Every Sikkimese who uses her/ his contacts to win the award of some free GI sheets for his/ her greenhouse is guilty of contributing to the corpus of corruption. In doing so s/he also loses the right to protest against corruption unless willing to also share the blame/ punishment.
It goes without saying that corruption cannot survive without political patronage, but blaming the alone politicians will not suffice. As the electorate which made them powerful enough to sidestep rules and hoodwink due process, it is also the electorate’s responsibility to keep them honest. No politician will continue being corrupt if the voters send out a clear signal that they will not tolerate it. Okay, maybe they won’t turn honest overnight, but will at least begin by toning down the flamboyance with which ill-gotten gains are flaunted at present.  Even that would be beginning and from there could start the process of addressing corruption in more practical terms as against the rhetoric [which inflames passions but does not resolve] or the equally disconcerting chest-beating which speaks of corruption in comparative terms [as if being less corrupt was a virtue of some sorts].

Road-link on anvil for Bringkatam and Mangzing wards of Dzongu

MANGAN, 06 Nov: Power Minister Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, who is also the area MLA for Dzongu, visited the remote wards of Bringkatam and Mangzing under Hee-Gyathang and Lingdong-Borfok GPU of Dzongu on 01 November accompanied by RMDD officials headed by DE (PMGSY), Bidhya Gurung.
The tour was conducted especially for the construction of a new PMGSY road which has been demanded by the people of these two blocks. During the visit, the Minister interacted with the people to learn about their problem.
A short function was held at Mangzing Tar where the ward panchayat Bringkatam, ST Lepcha expressed gratitude to the area MLA and departmental officials for visiting their remote villages. The government has been providing all kinds of facilities to the people of the state but we just want our demand for a road to be fulfilled, he added.
Likewise, the ward panchayat Mangzing, Phuchung Lepcha on behalf of the people urged for the early construction of the road to Mangzing block. DE, PMGSY informed that NOC for land is essential for the new cutting of the road and added that the road to Borfok Mangzing has already been sanctioned.
He urged people to provide land NOC for the road from Hee-Gyathang to Bringkatam and added that the department will definitely give priority to these villages.
“Since the Minister himself has visited the place, the project will be taken up seriously,” he said.
The Minister while addressing the public and panchayat informed that the road to Mangzing has already been sanctioned so now the public have to unanimously decide from where the road should be constructed. He further informed that the survey for the new road to Bringkatam has already been conducted and will soon be sanctioned.

“A leader must experience the life of everyone… That is sensitivity”

CM Speaks:-
Intro: The seventh phase of the State Green Mission commenced officially from the premises of Dentam Senior Secondary School on the 15th of June, 2012. Dentam Senior Secondary has been recently awarded as a Green School at the national level. The Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, was the chief guest for the programme. His speech is reproduced below:
I am here to place my views in front of you all. We have not had our lunch yet. Let’s have some food for thought today. There is an acute dearth of mental contemplation in Sikkim. Let’s look at ways to address this problem. I want you to understand what I am going to say without any prejudice.
Today I am going to focus more on students. I am going to talk on the aims, dreams, environment and responsibilities. Religious teachers and science have different theories about the origin of the earth. Some scientists advocate the Big Bang Theory while Darwin proposed the Theory of Evolution. We are regarded as children of Adam and Eve while some consider humans to be the off springs of Manu and Satrupa. But we must accept the fact that we live on earth. The earth is our mutual home. Sikkim is situated in one corner of the earth. Whatever happens on earth has both direct and indirect impact on us as well.
We all talk about global warming. But nobody makes any effort to understand the reasons for global warming. The Vice-President of America, Al Gore received the Nobel Prize for his work on global warming. He received the Nobel Prize for having for his efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"
We cannot expect only two or three people to work miracles to counter global warming. The efforts of all seven billion people on earth are required to save the earth from the ill-effects of global warming. We must live in unison with the environment. It is only then that we can save the earth.
We started Green Mission as a baby step towards conservation of the environment. We declared 1996 as the Green Revolution Year. We gradually took this programme to the people. But there was a lot of opposition from the people. When we banned grazing in forests, irresponsible politicians instigated the people and herders even formed associations! People protested against such environment-friendly initiatives. But people gradually understood and accepted it. Today, masses have become more conscious about the environment than people in the Government.
After that we started the Green Mission. Today is the launch of the seventh phase. This initiative that we have taken will find a place in history. Man will have to live in harmony with Nature. May be Sikkim will provide inspiration for love of the environment. I found Los Angeles city barren and dull. May be it is because of the season. We humans are an inseparable part of Nature so we like to live in harmony with Nature and live in flow of Nature. When this flow breaks, then people become monotonous like the monotony that is caused by the same season throughout the year.
We have four seasons. Spring is lively while winter is dull. But it is different in Los Angeles. We are interdependent and interrelated in Nature. We are living on earth because of the sun, water and air. I love trees. We give carbon dioxide to them. They give us oxygen. If we harm the environment, we will also suffer. We launched Ten Minutes to Earth programme to spread the message of living in harmony with nature. This is our pavitra kranti. In the past there were tree huggers in India. We should not sacrifice our age old principles. If we do this, our civilisation will come under threat. We must retain and protect our identity. We have a wonderful tradition of revering our elders.
Sikkim perhaps is the first State in the world to ban grazing and killing of wild animals. We banned the use of non-biodegradable materials. We banned the felling of trees. We started the concept of Smriti Van. We all must keep our premises clean, whether it is our houses, offices or schools. This way the whole of Sikkim will become clean. Nowadays, we look for safaikarmacharis to clean our houses. This is an irony. Sikkim is ours. We must take its responsibility. There has been a demand for a peon for this school. Keeping peons is a trend in third world countries. We must do our work by ourselves if we want to make Sikkim better and richer. We have started Green Fund. We have done this to make people responsible. We want a scientific mind to develop in Sikkim. You are the owner of this earth and you must protect it as well. We are the pioneers in many green initiatives. I have bagged the Greenest Chief Minister Award. Sikkim has been rated as the ‘most sustainable State.’ You all deserve congratulations for this. This is development. Anything that brings name and fame for Sikkim is development.
This world runs on knowledge and science. We have started organic farming. This is an environment-friendly activity. Organic farming is pavitra kranti for us. A floriculturist can teach about flowers but he cannot say for whom the flower blossoms. Does a flower blossom for itself? Flowers follow the law of nature. Bees come and pollination occurs. We pluck flowers thinking that they blossom for us. Every creature in this world has its own purpose. I agree with what Einstein has said. Einstein has said that there is infinite power in nature. Scientists can make flowers out of flowers but they cannot make a different kind of flower. We have to live in harmony with nature.
There has been an increase in the forest cover of Sikkim in 1994, it was 44.2 percent and now it has increased to 59 percent. This kind of increase has not happened anywhere in the world! I am a responsible Chief Minister. I work for both the present and future of Sikkim. Our society must be debatable. I want to tell the teachers and students to know us through the work we have done. And please work responsibly.
I came across two students who were selling totola flowers. I was startled to see this! We are giving all kinds of support to the people since the last 18 years!  Where are the resources going? Why are people still in pitiable condition in villages? In the first Assembly session in 1994, we had announced that 70 percent of the budget would be spent for rural development. Other States in our country does not have such a policy. In accordance with this policy, 70 percent of the budget has to come to the villages no matter what.
Injustice is injustice, whoever does it. We must protest. There are some people in villages who deprive the masses of development. We must not be hypocrites. Outer beauty and inner beauty should go hand in hand. A person who can speak the truth is great! He Who Knows Himself Can Alone Speak the Truth!
Buddha became God. We don’t ask for his Sikkim Subject. Nobody says that Tenzing Sherpa was a citizen of Nepal. But people say that his children are from Nepal. Apart from Lord Buddha, his children are considered to be from Nepal. A successful person is a global citizen. That is why we must acquire the ability to become global citizens.
I will fulfil all the demands that have come to me from the school. This is the third generation of educated lot in Sikkim. When we formed the Government, the literacy rate of Sikkim was 57 percent. Today it has increased to 86 percent. You must be able to give continuity to the work that we have started in Sikkim. You must take things to a logical conclusion. The per capita debt in our country as of now is Rs. 33,000. America is the country that takes the highest amount of loan. The per capita debt on every American is $ 55,000. This is the state of affairs in the world. But Sikkim is doing well. The per capita income in Sikkim is Rs. one lakh. When we came to power, the per capita income was Rs. 9,000.
The rate of development has trebled since the Second World War. But there has not been proportionate increase in our happiness. Material development alone does not provide happiness. A man becomes happy only when he becomes responsible. But our people do not become sad when Sikkim becomes spoilt or when Sikkim becomes better. The Government provides free education. Health and education are very expensive in America. But people are becoming educated and knowledgeable. But it is an irony that students here do not study well despite getting education for free. We have so many schools and colleges.
Dentam School has fared well in the Board examinations. I congratulate the teachers, students and everyone for this feat. We are starting a new degree college in Gangtok. Sacrifice is a prerequisite for success. It is difficult but not impossible to become successful. We must take life as a challenge and not as a liability. You are born with a lot of potentials. You can become Einstein. You can become Pawan Chamling. I am successful but I try to be a good human being. Ravan and Hitler were successful but they were not good human beings. Ram, Buddha, Jesus, Abraham Lincoln were good human beings. The philosophy of Abraham Lincoln is held in high regard even today. He gave the idea that rule should be by, for and of the people.
Politics is an intellectual competition to determine which competitor can run the society, State and country in the best possible manner. Politics is guiding those who are lost. Students must understand politics. Our students must be like Grace Bedell. America is what it is today because of students like Grace Bedell. Sikkim must also become like America. Students must keep an eye on politics and politicians. They should not stay away from politics saying “politics is a dirty game.” The quality of politics in Sikkim has improved and we are enjoying democratic dividends.
Students also have a responsibility to ensure that Sikkim is not spoilt. You see Nepal and Darjeeling. These places have not developed because the leaders are irresponsible. We work in coordination with Delhi. We have not switched parties or flags. We engage in responsible politics.
I am a living history. I am the person who shouted “we want democracy” in Singtam on 5th April, 1976. All three communities had reservation in the Sikkim State Council before Sikkim merged with India. After the merger, in 1978, Bhutia-Lepcha communities were given recognition and seat reservation. The rest became General. Four communities got Scheduled Castes statues. After we formed the Government, we accorded OBC status to all the left out communities. We gave Tribal status to Limbu-Tamang communities. But they are yet to get Tribal seat reservation because there is no reservation of Tribal seat in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. There are twelve seats for Bhutia-Lepcha communities. They have special protection. We have constantly demanded seat reservation for Limbu-Tamang communities in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. We have also demanded Income Tax exemption for the old businessmen of Sikkim. We must have the feeling that we are Sikkimese and we are Indians.
Development, wealth, knowledge, wisdom, everything is for man. Life is the most precious asset in this world. Knowledge, religion, law, rules, politics are for humans and not vice versa. But we are misusing a lot of things in this world. You must first confirm things before you believe in them. There is no alternative to education to alleviate poverty. Education gives knowledge and knowledge gives power.
There is a lot of competition in the world.  You don’t get jobs easily. You must become your own masters. The Government has created a lot of opportunities and people need to avail of them. We are opening SRM University in Sikkim. Tenzing Hillary Park is coming up in this place. A road is being connected to Nepal. Tourism will flourish here. We must make Sikkim a State of clean professions. To earn a livelihood by working hard is a clean profession. The airport will be ready by 2013. A skywalk is coming up in West Sikkim. This will enhance the image of Sikkim.
People are welcome to do politics and float new political parties but they are not allowed to mislead the people. They must be able to provide alternative solutions to the problems of the people.
We have opened Agriculture College, Pharmacy College and NIT. We will open model schools in every district. We will conduct aptitude test for students from next year. We will make health check up for students mandatory. Please run the Literacy campaign in schools properly.
The world is going from bad to worse. We must keep Sikkim pure. Today, around 30 percent of children in the world are born out of wedlock. Barrack Obama has endorsed gay and lesbian marriages. A leader must work to save mankind. Politics is the job of giving happiness, peace and security to the people. This is science and this is the truth.
Students must think how their homes and villages should be like. The Greeks thought 25 thousand years ago about how their country should be. Greece is considered to be the Mecca of knowledge. Plato was born in Greece. He has said that a leader should be philosophical. We become what we think. Winston Churchill had once said “never, never, never give up.” I have not politicised students. students must not jeopardise their career and studies by joining political associations. You must keep your studies untouched by such things.
I have a lot of respect for teachers. But I request you to be responsible. Please be exemplary. You can ask for my help whenever you are in trouble. I am for you.
The Plan budget of Sikkim is just Rs. 1700 crore out of which Rs. 247 crore is spent on pension, Rs. 13,00 crore on salaries, Rs. 100 crore on fuel and travelling allowance of employees. The total expenditure is around Rs. 1347 crore. Government employees must understand this and make more contribution to the development of Sikkim. If the people of Sikkim don’t understand, then a day might come when we will not have money to pay salaries. Some people talk about change. But change has to be for the better. Reactionaries don’t let us work for the people. They create hurdles for us at every step. But sadly people do not speak up.
If a person is poor at heart, he cannot do anything. A leader must be honest. I request all Government officials to spend every rupee for the work of the people. We started the Co-operative movement to help the poor. Natural calamity work should be done properly. Our work should be qualitative. Our teachers, engineers, students, leaders, opposition parties and everyone must be like that of Switzerland. We have made the action plan for tomorrow and people must make it successful.
We have done a lot for the policemen. We have made a provision to make them ASIs and upgrade them. Police must be for the people. You should not be caste or religion police. We will do the same for Forest and Excise Departments. A leader must experience the life of everyone. That is sensitivity. That is pavitra kranti. All of us must come together to save our society from afflictions like drugs, AIDS, MDR etc.
Thank you!

Snow thaws over Nathula, trade resumes

GANGTOK, 06 Nov: Trade at Nathula border resumed today after heavy snowfall last month had forced traders to suspend trade. According to Nathula Border Traders Welfare Association border trade at Nathula had been suspended for more than two weeks.
On 05 November the association with the help of Chief Engineer, Project Swastik cleared ice deposits at Sherathang Trade Mart, Parking yard and along the road upto Nathula Gate to clear the way for trade vehicles, it is informed.
A press release from the association informs that the O.C. GREF, Mr. Chettri of Thegu, East Sikkim helped a lot in clearing the way for smooth trade and vehicle movement.
The road and parking yard on the Indian side have been cleared but due to heavy deposits of ice on the other side of the border, trade will resume only from Wednesday, the release informs.
The association has expressed gratitude to the GREF especially the Chief Engineer for all the help extended.

USFC upset with SFA’s unprofessional conduct …WILL NOT PLAY UNTIL SFA PAYS AND TREATS IT BETTER

GANGTOK, 06 Nov: United Sikkim Football Club [USFC] will not be playing the opening match of the 34th All India Governor’s Gold Cup of 2013 which begins on Thursday at Paljor Stadium. USFC, which was scheduled to play the opening match against Tata Football Academy, has been replaced by SFA XI. The move was forced by a standoff between USFC and Sikkim Football Association [which is organizing the Gold Cup] over SFA’s unprofessional attitude towards USFC.
USFC earned a place in the Governor’s Gold Cup by winning the Sikkim League earlier this year. It was in I-League last season.
USFC has reportedly taken up these issues officially with SFA in letters written to it on 22 October and 02 November demanding that it be treated at par with other I-League teams in tournament since it is fielding national-level players like Nirmal Chettri and Sanju Pradhan to make Governor’s Gold Cup an interesting tourney. It was when SFA took so long to respond that USFC took the step of refusing to play until the matter was resolved.
The home club refused to play the opening match [which is a qualifying round match] as it is unhappy with the match fee of Rs 10,000 per match offered for the tournament and also for having to play qualifying round matches even as lower ranked teams have been allowed direct placement at pre-quarter or quarterfinal rounds.
USFC co-owner Bhaichung Bhutia said today that the club has not been given its due status and should have been offered match fee at par with other I-League teams.
USFC Senior Manager, Arjun Rai, added that teams like Mohammedan Sporting are reportedly being paid Rs. 8 lakh to participate in the tournament while the home club has been asked to settle for Rs.10,000 per match.
“USFC has been placed in the qualifying round by the Sikkim Football Association. We had a meeting with them today and have objected to it. Teams which have never played even the I-League have been placed in the quarterfinals. We should be given similar placement also,” said Mr. Rai.
“Some of the teams like Mumbai Tigers have not even played second division I-League and have been placed in the pre-quarter round. USFC has already played I-League and Durand Cup, for which only the top-16 teams of the country are selected,” he added.
When contacted, the SFA general secretary, Menla Ethenpa, told Sikkim NOW! over the phone that since USFC was a home team, SFA, following common practice of having home teams play from the very start at such tournaments, did so with USFC as well.
As for the issue of match-fee, Mr. Ethenpa informs that today’s meeting discussed his issue as well and SFA has assured that it will be amicably settled.
As per new fixture, USFC is now scheduled to play a qualifying round match on 10 November against Kanchanjunga FC of Siliguri. The Club has reportedly written to SFA again, reminding it of the professional courtesy due to it in light of its seniority and past record.

Ad-hoc teachers continue protest, rally in Gangtok

GANGTOK, 06 Nov: Ad-hoc teachers of schools from different parts of the state came together today to join the rally called by the All Sikkim Ad-hoc Teachers here in the capital in pursuit of their demands.
The ad-hoc teachers, carrying banners and placards, started the rally from the venue of their dharna in front of the District Administrative Centre [East] and walked to Hospital Dara, on to Tibet Road, Tashiling Secretariat Road, ending at Guards Ground, Tathangchen.
An executive member of All Sikkim Ad-hoc Teachers informed that ad-hoc teachers from different schools across the state participated in the rally. He stated that the rally was peaceful and successful with encouraging participation from ad-hoc teachers.
Such activities along with the ongoing dharna and hunger strike will continue till the HRD Department takes appropriate action regarding the various demands of the ad-hoc teachers, he added. The protesting teachers are seeking, among others, an end to the annual ritual of appointing the teachers afresh with no regard to their past years of service as teachers on ad-hoc, 50% reservation for ad hoc teachers in Teacher Eligibility Test [without any qualifying criteria] etc.