Friday, August 8, 2014

Mishandling of college situation leads to 4 suspensions

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Four officers were placed under suspension today for their role in the handling of the student protest in Gangtok on 14 July against the college fee hike issue. The then SP [East] Manoj Tewari, SHO Sadar Thana SR Shenga, the then Director Higher Education at Human Resource Development Department, Deepa Basnet, and Sikkim Government College-Tadong principal, Dr. MP Kharel, were placed on suspension today.
The suspensions clearly come in response to their handling of the college incident and in follow-up to recommendations made by the one-man committee instituted to enquire into the incidents of 14 July. The government is clearly convinced that the situation was mishandled and that individual failures, disinterest and overreaction contributed to a systemic failure which led to a ‘manageable’ and ‘justified’ protest by students snowballing into the anarchic free-for-all that it ended as.
The move, although part of the demands of the students, came as a surprise as not too many were expecting such thorough follow-up. Interestingly, sources inform that the latest development follows from the recommendations included in the one-man committee of Land Revenue Secretary, CT Wangdi, instituted to enquire into the incident and which submitted its report on 02 August.
The committee had been prematurely rejected by both, the Opposition parties and the more vocal group of the protesting students [which later decided to endorse the committee and await its recommendations].
Most of the officials in question, it may be recalled, had already been transferred.
When contacted, Secretary Department of Personnel, AK Chettri, confirmed that the State Government had taken the decision to take action on the basis of the CT Wangdi Committee report. Stating that he did not have specifics of the suspension orders at hand, he informed that the Additional Secretary-I of the Department was handling the matter. When contacted, the Additional Secretary told NOW! that the suspension orders were being prepared and would be issued in the evening.
Later in the evening, the DoP Secretary, when asked to explain what will happen next, informed that the four officers will now be served show-cause notices to respond with their clarifications which will then be referred to their respective ‘presenting officers’ as per established procedures.
The students, it may be recalled, had marched up to the HRDD on the first day of the new academic session [14 July] to protest the near four-fold hike in the college fees. Nearly the entire college had marched up and returned unconvinced from the Department.
When they refused to disperse from the college gates on their return and instead sat down and held up traffic on national highway, the SP-East led a lathicharge to disperse them. The situation collapsed into anarchy after this episode with the students fighting back and the cops fleeing the spot initially.
Although the fee hike was rolled back by evening, the students by then were demanding action against the SP and SHO. The evening ended with another lathicharge. The confrontation played out for two more days with the students getting dispersed with tear gas on day-two.
On day-three, the students stayed inside campus and even as their delegation was in negotiations with the HRDD, their “well-wishers” came down to Tadong, egged along by a circulation of tasteless rumours, and eventually resorting to rioting stretching the entire length of Gangtok town with more than 30 venhicles vandalized and public property damaged. A strong police crackdown returned normalcy and government schools and colleges remained closed for the remainder of July.
The one man committee appointed by the government to enquiry into the lathicharge had submitted a 36-page report to the Chief Secretary on 02 August, reportedly putting on record that the lathicharge [of 14 July] could have been avoided if the district administration had been more sensible and mature in handling the situation.

Search operation continues for three boys feared drowned in Teesta

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Search operations are still on by Sikkim Police for the three students feared to have drowned in the Teesta near Mamring on Wednesday. Bikram Rai, Ramesh Roy and Kishan Rai were swept away by the river when the boys were out for a break near the riverside on Wednesday.

Tendong Lho Rum Faat greetings from Governor and CM

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Governor Shriniwas Patil and the First Lady Rajanidevi Patil have extended their warm greetings to the people of Sikkim on the auspicious occasion of Tendong Lho Rum Faat.
The Governor has said, ‘Tendong Lho Rum Faat’, the ancient and indigenous festival of the Lepchas, signifies the value of nature in the Sikkimese culture. This is the occasion when nature in its varied forms is worshipped and celebrated in Sikkim. The Sikkimese Lepchas paying homage and worshipping the sacred Tendong Hill as ‘Mayel Lyang’ or heaven, gives us the perfect insight into the Sikkimese tradition of revering, preserving and protecting mother nature since ancient times.
On this occasion, let us rededicate ourselves to strengthen our tradition of protecting and enriching our invaluable wealth of natural heritage.”
The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Chamling and Smt Tika Maya Chamling have also extended their warm greetings and best wishes to the people of Sikkim on the auspicious occasion of Tendong Lho Rum Faat.
The Chief Minister in his message has said that the festival is a unique expression of worship and celebration of nature in its varied forms. He added that the festival is highly significant for the people of Sikkim as it deals with protection of nature through traditional custom. Thus this sacred festival also gives the noble message of the importance of preserving nature, he has said.

Buddhist culture and practices safe and protected in Sikkim, SDF counters

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Sikkim Democratic Front has stated that people's representatives should not take false and anti-people issues to the central government and condemned news reports on the issue published in some local dailies as well.
In a press release, SDF spokesperson, KT Gyaltsen has said that news reports suggesting that the Buddhist way of life was somehow imperiled in Sikkim were fabricated and false. He has alleged that taking such false issues up with the central government would lead the people and the society towards darkness and would also tarnish the good image of the state.
It may be mentioned that the Sangha MLA of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Sonam Lama is currently in New Delhi and has been submitting representations to Union Ministers alleging that “our very dharma” is under a “systemized attack and cultural genocide under present dispensation in Sikkim”.
Mr Gyaltsen has further alleged that such anti-social elements would destroy the peace and development maintained by the SDF government in these 20 years. Given Sikkim’s strategic geographical location with three international borders, any communal issue may break the harmony in the society, he adds and warns the people against those trying to sow the seeds of unrest.
The SDF spokesperson further states that the farsighted leadership of the SDF party and its leader Pawan Chamling has been successful in establishing religious harmony in the state. Under the party, the religion, practice, culture of different communities and groups of Sikkim have been protected and have progressed.
SDF has said that for the development and preservation of Buddhist religion and culture, the SDF government has opened monastic schools in villages and helps maintain more than 350 monasteries, 'mani lakhangs' and 'chamkhangs'. The party further states that the world's tallest statue of Guru Rinpoche was constructed at Samdruptse in Namchi, Lord Buddha's statue at Tathagata Tsal in Rabong and the statue of Cherenzig [Singkham] is under construction in West Sikkim, all proving that the Sangha MLA’s allegations are exaggerated and unsubstantiated.

Sangha MLA submits memorandums to President and Union Ministers

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Sangha MLA Sonam Lama submitted representations to the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan today, a press release received from Mr. Lama’s team informs. He also submitted other memorandums to the Union Ministers of HRDD Smriti Irani and Jual Oram of Tribal Affairs on matters relating to socio-political and economic affairs of Sikkim.
In the representations submitted, Mr Lama has demanded the scrapping of the 97MW Tashiding Hydro Power Project slated over the Rathong Chu and the ones at Dzongu in North Sikkim. Apart from this, he has requested for the restoration of seat reservation for the Nepalese of Sikkimese origin in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and preservation of Article 371 F of the Constitution of India and its sanctity at all costs.
In his representation to the HRDD Minister, the MLA has congratulated and expressed gratitude to Ms Irani for conceiving the proposal to include curriculums on the native history, culture and civilization of the North East India and its people.

Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu at Samdong

DIKCHU, 07 Aug: Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu was also observed here at Samdong Mintogang Monastery in East Sikkim on Wednesday. A rally was taken out from the monastery to Raley participated in by a large gathering of devotees after special prayers at the monastery by around 80 monks along with the head lama of the monastery. The organizing committee conveyed deep gratitude towards all the devotees and well wishers for taking part in the ceremony.

Rs. 1,595 lakh approved for remodeling of electrical installation at Rhenock

New Delhi, 07 Aug [PIB]: The Ministry of Development of North East Region under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources Scheme (NLCPR) and by North Eastern Council (NEC) has approved Rs 1,595 lakh on 27 June 2014 for the current financial year. Out of this, Rs 574.2 lakh  has already been released for remodeling of electrical installation including system improvement works at Rhenock Bazaar and adjoining areas in East Sikkim. This was stated by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North East Region, General (Retd.) Dr. V K Singh in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

I-Day Knock-Out Football tourney kicks off in Namchi

NAMCHI, 07 Aug: The 68th Independence Knock-Out Open Football Tournament was kicked off today here at Singithang playground. Advisor WS& PHE Department, former MLA Binod Rai, was present as the chief guest of the opening ceremony. 12 teams are participating in the tourney being organized by South District Football Association as part of the Independence Day celebrations at the South District headquarters.
Addressing, the opening ceremony, the chief guest said that with the joint effort of District Administrative Center, different schools, associations and general public the Independence Day will be celebrated in a grand manner in South District. Apart from different cultural programmes, the Independence Open Football Tournament is the main attraction of the celebration.
He further informed that the main objectives of the tournament is to encourage the youth to hone and showcase their skills. Mr. Rai said that the SDF government has always encouraged sport persons especially those from rural areas. The government has developed infrastructure and provided many schemes and scholarships for sport persons of the state, he added. He also urged all students to be committed towards their dreams and to become the best human resource of the country.
Two matches were played in the opening day of the tournament where the first matche was played between New Light Academy and Kamrang FC. The former defeated Kamrang FC in a tie breaker and won the match with the final score of 5-4. NLA will now play against Lucknow Army on 09 August.
The second match was dominated by the home town club Siniolchu FC which won the match against State Sports Academy by a huge margin of 5-0. Siniolchu FC will play against Share Football Club of Kalimpong on 09 August.  
The progamme was also addressed by general secretary SDFA Arjun Rai while other guests of the opening ceremony were GTA Deputy Chairman Lopzang Lama, VC NMC NH Ansari, JD SYA Kamal Chettri, ADC Namchi Kapil Meena, NMC Councilors and other officers from different departments.
Two matches will be played tomorrow first match will be play in between SAI Namchi Vs. Namchi Government College and second match will be play in between Sikkim Police Vs. Namthang Football Academy. The winner of the tourney will be awarded with one lakhs cash prize with trophy and runner-up team will be awarded with 50 thousand cash with trophy.  

World Breast Feeding Week at ICDS Centers under Pakyong Rural Project

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: World Breast Feeding Week was celebrated in all the ICDS Centers under Pakyong Rural Project from 01-07 August.
A press release informs that as part of the celebration, the importance of exclusive breast feeding was discussed in the programmes. Various benefits of breast feeding to the mother and child as well as precautions to be taken were also discussed.
The programmes held at various ICDS centers were attended by pregnant women, nursing mothers, health workers, ASHAs and Panchayat members, the release adds.

World Breast Feeding Week at Gairigaon ICDS

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: ICDS Center Gairi Gaon, Tadong celebrated World Breast Feeding Week in a function held today at its premises. A press release informs that, HOD, SMIMS, Dr. VK Mehta attended the function as the chief guest along with Dr. Dechenla Tshering Bhutia, Dr. Sumit Kar, Dr. Nesrin Banu, Dr. Saunalia Roy, Medical Social Worker, Prem Doma Sherpa and social worker, Rupa Newpaney.

Divided in Fear

It is worrying how discussions on communalism keep returning to this section [via the larger public domain] and of how often some sections keep crying wolf, painting monsters only they see and hyperventilating over threats only they perceive. After all, how effectively can a population of barely 6 lakh people be divided? And, into how may sub-groupings? Of course, with some sections, the divisions are a simple two-way process of “us” and “them”, and that is a disturbing condition to suffer because that projects every disagreement as an assault.
To begin with, let us not deny that divisions exist within the Sikkimese society. That much is natural, but what has been exceptionally heartwarming about the State is that the privately held prejudices have not been allowed by the people to pour out in public displays of communal posturing. The State, despite some close calls, has never suffered a communal clash. Its politics and some politicians have succumbed to communalism, but the people have performed much better. The politics of social engineering, of stitching together winning vote-bank combinations have also been tried, and have, thankfully failed as well in Sikkim. But, if people are resistant to communal confrontations, why is the bogey raised so often in Sikkim? Perhaps because it is an easy divide to hack away at and experience elsewhere has shown that the people’s defences eventually crumble in the face of persistent communal posturing. Given that everyone belongs to some community or the other, it is an accepted fact that people are also inherently communal, at least in as much as having a soft corner, if not hate, goes. Also, because we are social animals, this inherent communal streak seldom develops into paranoia or gets directed against other communities. This conditioning of social grooming, however, collapses fast when the leader of a pack smells blood – the possibility of making an issue emotive and convincing a people that they are threatened. Few things move off the counter faster than a fabricated conspiracy theory. The more subtle the fabrication, the more looming is the threat perception. Years of shepherding a disinterested public has honed the skills of these leaders and they are only aided by the blunted perspicacity of the people. People share the blame of allowing space for such voices which keep growing in belligerence because no one holds them to account. One must realise that India has perhaps the best, most detailed Constitution at hand for the protection of its minorities. Ironically, the minorities still feel perpetually threatened. It is unlikely that any minority was ever threatened by the system in the past; it was the majority they feared. As time passed, this suspicion fermented into animosity and now teeters on the brink of hatred. Who allowed this to happen? Surely not the people. Our leaders failed us. This deduction holds as true for Sikkim as it does for the nation.
Those claiming to represent communities started becoming instigators instead of counselors. These leaders forget that democracy offers people the right to self-determination, the right to negotiate, the right to harmonise. Instead, they allowed their supporters only the options of complaint, bickering and suspicion. Someone who speaks for a community should bridge the communication gap between communities. Anyone can spread canards and deal in whispers, but it takes a leader to represent a cause. Leaders of various communities in Sikkim should have been the ones who lobbied support from other groups to address the fears and aspirations of their people. Have they done so? The State needs to realize that while some leaders might keep finding relevance for themselves by seeing monsters in every shadow, the State, which is already a very weak voice at the national level, makes itself weaker by speaking in a babble of incoherent tones and allegations.

Sexual assault on minor

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Jorethang Police has arrested one Amir Rai, aged 24 years, on charges of having sexually assaulted a 7-year-old minor girl on Wednesday. The accused is employed as a security guard under Dans Energy Pvt. Ltd, Chisopani, South Sikkim. A case under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 has been registered against the accused and is under investigation.

Two injured in road mishap

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Two persons were injured when the Maruti Alto they were traveling in met with an accident at Bikchu, below 4th Mile Army Camp, North Sikkim on Wednesday. The vehicle fell off a cliff almost 70 ft. below.
There were two occupants in the vehicle at the time of accident. Both of them were staff of BSNL and were returning to Chungthang after installing BSNL V-Sat connection at Lachung. They were evacuated to Chungthang PHC for medical attention.


Sikkim Boys beat Dzongri Sporting Club 02-01
GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Sikkim Boys outplayed Dzongri Sporting Club in the second match of the ongoing Independence Day Football Tournament for the Chogyal Sir Tashi Namgyal Memorial Cup 2014 today here at Paljor Stadium.
In the well contested match, Sikkim Boys registered their 2-1 victory to advance into the second round of the tournament.
Both the teams played an offensive game to take lead in the match. Dzongri SC scored an early lead with a goal from Tshering Dukpa in the 8th minute but Shishil Karthak of Sikkim Boys scored the equalizer in the 27th minute. The first half ended with the score of 1-1.
The second half started with attacks and counter-attacks by both the teams. Sikkim Boys launched many good attacks on the opponent's goalposts but failed to capitalize any of them until Tseten Bhutia turned a cross from his teammate into the winning goal in the 89th minute of the match. Finally, Sikkim Boys won the match by 2 goals to 1.
In the next match of the tournament on Friday, Siniolchu Sikkim FC will take on Boys Club.

Aadarsh Samaj hosts micro legal literacy camp

GANGTOK, 07 Aug: Aadarsh Samaj of Development Area here, along with the District Legal Services Authority and Taluk Legal Services Committee organized a “Micro legal literacy camp” on Wednesday.
The camp was attended by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Suraj Chettri and resource persons Sonam Palden Bhutia and Sunil Baraily. They informed the gathering about civil and criminal justice, Juvenile Justice Act, Central Motor Vehicles Act, Insurance, Women’s Protection Act and Domestic Violence, a press release states.
The CJM explained that the main idea behind the camp was to bring awareness among the people about legal issues and equip them to deal more effectively with the criminal and civil justice system.
Earlier, president of the Samaj, Hem Narayan Pradhan gave the welcome address while the vote of thanks was proposed by general secretary, Phurba Sherpa.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

PROCESSION FOR GURU RINPOCHE: Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu, the celebration of the birth of Guru Padmasambhava was observed on Wednesday in the capital with a procession - ‘Guru Chenden’ - with a lifesize idol of Guru Padmasambhava from Dotapu Chorten at Deorali organised jointly by Sikkim Buddhist Duechen Organisation and Sikkim Buddhist Association. [foto: JOSEPH LEPCHA]

Approach Lokayukta with misappropriation of earthquake relief funds complaint, HC suggests petitioner RANJIT SINGH

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: In regard to the allegations of misappropriation and mismanagement of earthquake relief funds by the State government, as leveled in a petition before the High Court of Sikkim, the Court has suggested that the complainant/ petitioner approach the Lokayukta.
While granting the state government four weeks time to file its counter affidavit in relation to the various allegations of misappropriation of funds made in the petition, the Division Bench of the High Court of Sikkim comprising Chief Justice NK Jain and Justice SK Sinha made the suggestion that in view of the subject matter of the petition, the petitioner could also think about approaching the state Lokayukta.
While the petition is still very much before the High Court, the court observed that “…the counsel for petitioners may also seek instructions from the petitioners about approaching the Lokayukta in the present matter in the facts and circumstances of the case”.
It may be recalled that Justice SP Wangdi had earlier recused himself from being part of the bench hearing the matter. The main petitioner is ST Bhutia. The petition accuses the state government functionaries including the Chief Minister, other ministers of the previous government and officials of having misappropriated huge sums of money from the funds released by the central government for Earthquake Relief in the wake of the 18 September, 2011 earthquake.
The allegations include misappropriation by Ministers and functionaries from the disbursed amounts of the Prime Minister’s Special Package Assistance of Rs. 1,000 crore, from the NDRF and State Disaster Relief Funds and also from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The state government has also been accused of presenting to the centre expenditure on dubious and non-existent grounds. The PIL also seeks a CBI inquiry into the matter or the establishment of a Special Investigative Team under the High Court.
Being a basically corruption charge leveled against government functionaries the Lokayukta could also be a possible arbiter in the present case. The state Lokayukta was established some time back and retired Chief Justice AN Ray is the Chairman. Recently the state government also appointed Sirish Chandra Misra as judicial member of the Sikkim Lokayukta. The Lokayukta is empowered to look into all allegations of corruption against government officials as well as Ministers. It remains to be seen whether the petitioners take the suggestion of the High Court and take their case to the Lokayukta.

Sports wins South Sikkim Inter-Departmental Football tourney

NAMCHI, 06 Aug [IPR]: The finals of the Inter Departmental League Football Tournament organized by the South District Government Drivers' Association (SDGDA) was held in Veterinary Play Ground, Namchi today. The Sports and Youth Affairs department went on to win the tournament defeating the team from Rural Management & Development Department (RMDD) by a score of 2-nil.
Advisor to the PHE Department, Binod Rai was present on the occasion as the chief guest. Also present were Zilla Adhakshya (South), CL Gurung; ADM (South), Kapil Meena; SDM (HQ), Samdup Bhutia; ADC (Dev), Benu Gurung alongside the officials and nodal heads of various Government departments and public of Namchi and adjoining areas.
The play-offs which commenced on 21 July had 12 teams from different departments namely DAC/Land Revenue, UD & HD, Roads & Bridges, Buildings & Housing, Forests, Power, PHE, Agriculture & Horticulture, HRDD, Health, RMDD and Sports and Youth Affairs.
Addressing the gathering, chief guest Mr. Rai commended the organizing committee for organizing sporting events of such magnitude which inspires and triggers friendly atmosphere between various government departments. Such events are not just a source of entertainment but also an ideal medium to remain fit and healthy, he added.
Mr. Rai urged the old and the young alike to take keen interest in sports as it brings about positive change in their lives.
The Man of the Match title was conferred upon Diwakar Rai from RMDD team while the Best Disciplined team went to Agriculture & Horticulture. The runners-up trophy and the winner’s trophy along with cash prize were handed over at the end of the tournament by the chief guest.

Singlebong JHS defeats East Point School in I-Day tourney at Chisopani

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Singlebong JHS defeated East Point SSS, Singtam with three goals to one on Tuesday in the inaugural match of the 68th Independence Day Celebration JHS Level Football Tournament organized by Chisopani JHS.
A press release informs that the boys of Singlebong JHS had the upper hand in the match and went on to score two goals in the first half and added another goal in the second half to take their goal tally to three. EPSS boys gave their best but could only manage a lone goal scored in the first half.
Sumendra Rai scored twice while Jiwan Subba scored the other goal for Singlebong. EPSSS team captain Arya Mangar netted the lone goal for his team, the release informs.
Bimal Lamichaney, Panchayat President, Sirwani Chisopani GPU was the chief guest on the occasion. Mahesh Dahal, Headmaster of Chisopani JHS gave the welcome speech. CM Chettri, teacher of the school was the host of the football match.

New SDF appointments

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Sikkim Democratic Front president has appointed CB Karki as the treasurer and SS Bokhim as assistant treasurer of the party.
The SDF president has also appointed members of the Legal Cell of the party. The party president has appointed KT Gyaltsen, DR Thapa, Norzang Lepcha, JK Bhandari, Sarad Kharka, Dev Gurung, DB Katwal, Pritam Rai, Yangze Pinasa [Sherpa], Sonam Bhutia and Bichitra Thapa [Manger] as members of the Legal Cell.

Sangha MLA continues meetings with Union Ministers and officials in Delhi

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Sangha MLA Sonam Lama submitted representations to the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Dr. Najma Heptullah and Union Minister of State (Independent charges) for Environment, S Javedkar, in New Delhi today.
A press release informs that Mr Lama also had the audience of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dodrul Dorje at New Delhi and sought his blessings and guidance. The Karmapa expressed gratitude to all the people of Sikkim for having unanimously adopted a resolution to ensure his visit to Sikkim, the release states. He thanked the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and all its esteemed members to this effect.
The Sangha MLA also called upon Chairman of the National Minority Commission, N Ahmed and discussed several issues relating Sikkim. He also met Member of National Minority Commission, Tshering Namgyal Shunoo and officials of North Block Ministry of Home Affairs at New Delhi apart from calling on several national politicians and leaders.
He placed several memorandums to them and received positive assurances on the demands so placed. Mr Lama is currently in New Delhi and is expected to meet more Union Ministers and other leaders this week to update them on various issues pertaining to Sikkim, the release mentions.

Water pipes distributed at Rhenock and Tarpin

RHENOCK, 06 Aug: Water supply pipes were distributed to beneficiaries of different wards of Rhenock and Tarpin GPU on Monday here at Rhenock GPK, East Sikkim. The programme was attended by Rongli Sub-divisional Agriculture Assistant Director, Ishor S Chettri along with Zilla and Gram Panchayat of both Rhenock and Tarpin GPU. [from BHANURAJ THAPA]

Namchi holds final review meeting for I-Day celebrations

NAMCHI, 06 Aug [IPR]: A final review meeting to discuss and follow up on the progress of roles and duties allocated to various departments regarding the Independence Day celebration 2014 was carried out on Tuesday in DAC Conference Hall. The meeting was chaired by ADM (South) Kapil Meena and also attended by SDM (HQ) Samdup Bhutia, HoDs from concerned departments, principals of schools, NGOs along with representatives from South District Football Association (SDFA).
Thanking the gathering for attending the meeting ADM (South) requested the departments who have been allocated different tasks to collectively work together in making the celebration a successful event and also for solving any problems. Mr Meena spoke about the flow of events during the I-day celebration and the involvement of school students in march past and cultural activities.
Further he also discussed about the Football tournament organized in collaboration with SDFA which will start from 07 August at Veterinary Ground in Namchi. Additionally, he also informed about felicitation of the best employee from different departments during the celebration for which he requested the departments to submit their nominations to DPO (South) Zilla Panchayat. It was informed by ADM (South) the Roads and Bridges Minister GM Gurung will be chief guest of the I-Day celebration at Namchi.
Earlier, Deputy Director Land and Revenue, DK Rai initiated and closed the review meeting for I-Day celebration.

Namchi observes World Breast Feeding Week

NAMCHI, 06 Aug: The World Breast Feeding Week was observed by Nutrition Cell, Social Justice Empowerment and Welfare Department Namchi in collaboration with Community Food and Nutrition Extension Unit (CFNEU) Gangtok.
The programme, which started on 04 August, was observed at Anganwadi Centre in Purano Namchi and was attended by Deputy Director Nutrition Cell, SJE&WD South District, Bharati Basnett along with Demonstration Officer B. Barjolee CFNEU Gangtok, ICDS Supervisor Namchi, Biswa Chandra Rai, Nutrition Inspector South, Sophia Lepcha and members of ASHA, AWW, AWH and mothers from the surrounding areas.
This year the theme for World Breast Feeding Week is ‘Breast Feeding: A winning goal for life’. The Councilor of Namchi Municipal Council, Binod Rai was the chairperson of the programme. During the programme Deputy Director of Nutrition Cell Namchi emphasized on breast feeding which is a must from birth till the age of six months.
The Demonstration Officer B. Barjolee CFNEU Gangtok cooked ‘upma’ a South Indian dish and explained the benefits of ‘upma’ as a balanced diet. Also Nutrition Inspector Sophia Lepcha demonstrated and talked about green omelet and its ingredients which is also a good balanced diet.
The programme also included events like quiz competition along with baby show for babies from 6 months to 2 years, and recipe competition on complementary feeding. The Chairperson distributed prizes to the winners and lauded the efforts of the Nutrition Cell, SJE&WD.

Lucknow and Siliguri teams to participate in I-Day Football tourney in Namchi

NAMCHI, 06 Aug: South District Football Association (SDFA) of Namchi is organizing the 68th Independence Knock-out Football Tournament-2014 from 07 August here at Singithang play ground Namchi, South Sikkim. According to the organizing committee, 12 teams will be participating in the tournament and the final match of the tourney will be played on Independence Day.
Speaking with this correspondent general secretary SDFA Arjun Rai said that the new committee of the SDFA is organizing this tournament and they have confirmed the participation of teams like Lucknow Army, Kanchengunga FC Siliguri, Darjeeling Teens RC, Share Football Club Kalimpong, Sikkim Police, Sport Academy Gangtok, Siniolchu FC, SAI Namchi, Namthang Football Academy, Government Degree College Namchi, New Light Academy Namchi and Kamrang FC.
He further informed that the winner of this I-Day Knock-Out Tournament will be awarded with Rs 1 lakh cash award with trophy and the runner-up team will be awarded Rs. 50,000 cash and trophy.

MLA Challenge Cup enters second round in Melli

MELLI DARA, 06 Aug: The ninth day of the MLA Challenge Cup, Melli was attended by Chairman, STDC, RN Rai as the chief guest on Tuesday. The Minister cum area MLA, Tulshi Devi Rai was also present on the occasion. The organizing committee of the 68th Independence Day Celebration felicitated RN Rai for being appointed as the Chairman of STDC and also for his tremendous contributions to the society. Minister Tulshi D. Rai handed over the felicitation letter to Mr Rai.
Mr Rai, in his address, expressed his gratitude to the organizing committee for the felicitation and assured that he will work relentlessly and diligently to live up to the expectations and promised that he will prove that the faith reposed in him by the Chief Minister of Sikkim will not go in vain.
He further stressed that the present government under Pawan Chamling has been student friendly and some anti-social elements are trying to mislead students and encouraging young minds towards violence and anti-social activities. He urged the students to see through this deep conspiracy and implored them to stay vigilant.
Four matches had been scheduled for the day. In the men's category, Turuk FC defeated Melli Police in the first match by 2 goals to 1. In the second match of the same category, Rabitar FC defeated Melli Gumpa Sec. School - B team by 4 goals to nil.
In the women's  match, Turuk Girls' Football Club defeated Melli Dara by 6 goals to 2. In the under-14 boys' category, Kitam Sr. Sec. School beat Melli Gumpa Sec. School by 2 goals.
The 5th MLA Challenge Cup, Melli Constituency started on 27 July and has entered into the second round of the tournament.

Six-room building inaugurated for Ringhim Monastery

MANGAN, 06 Aug: A six-room school building under Multi Sector Development Program Scheme was inaugurated on Tuesday at Ringhim Monastery by  Zilla Adhakshya (N),  Anguli Lepcha in the presence of Chairman Sikkim Nationalised Transport, Pintso Lepcha and Sumitra Subba (Cooperative Society) amongst others.
The Pradhan Acharya, T Dorjee Lepcha welcomed the guests and gave a brief introduction about the Ringhim Monastery and thanked the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling for providing the monastic school building and the promotion of Buddhism teaching in the district.
Further, he thanked the Chief Minister for extending financial assistance for building the monastery that was hit by an earthquake in 2011.The engineering report was then given by Assistant Engineer, HRDD. The newly nominated Chairpersons were offered Khadas by the dignitaries.
The Joint Director HRDD in his address informed the gathering about the construction of 17 school buildings under MSDP scheme in the district. He further thanked the Area MLA Lachen Mangan, TW Lepcha for providing Solar Energy water heaters in the monastery. He urged all the people to actively participate in the promotion of quality education in the district. The Zilla Adhakshya also addressed the gathering.
The SMC Ringhim Monastery School thanked the Chief Minister for all the help extended towards the committee.
Also present in the inaugural program was District Magistrate, TN Kazi (Chairperson MSDP), Panchayat Member Ringhim Nampatam, Joint Director HRDD, Sonam Lepcha, Sr. Welfare Officer, Assistant Engineer, Junior Engineer, School Management Committee Ringhim Monastic School, Officials from HRDD/SSA and local gentries.

Science Library inaugurated in Development Area

GANGTOK, 06 Aug [IPR]: Science & Technology Minister Tshering Wangdi Lepcha inaugurated a Science Library at the UD&HD Minister, Development Area, on Tuesday.
While interacting with officials of Science and Technology along with the teachers of various schools from in-and-around Gangtok, the Minister said that the students should be benefited from the library and they should be motivated by the teachers and parents to visit the library. Although the library is small, it has a good collection of books for people from all walks of life, he said.
He suggested to the teachers to find out newer methods of teaching to make science interesting and exciting for students. He also urged them to motivate the students to visit such libraries and study centers which could help them to develop their knowledge further.  He also thanked the Secretary and his officials for their efforts to reform and establish this library.
The Secretary Science and Technology, P T Euthenpa informed that the library has various types of books in different subjects including research and study materials on the state of Sikkim. He urged the people of the society to use the library to enhance their knowledge and also encouraged students to make use of the library which does not charge any fee from students.
The Special Secretary Science and Technology, Sarala Rai briefed about the background of the library.

1st MLA Challenge Cup Football Tournament at Jorethang begins

JORETHANG, 06 Aug [IPR]: The opening ceremony of the first MLA Challenge Cup Football Tournament was held at Jorethang Playground today. The tournament organized by the Independence Day Celebrations Committee (IDCC) was attended by Minister of Roads & Bridges and Cultural Affairs & Heritage Department, GM Gurung as the chief guest alongside Area MLA cum Minister Health & IPR, AK Ghatani who was present as the guest of honor.
The program was also attended by SDM Jorethang, Tenzing Denzongpa; Joint Secretary of Sports & Youth Affairs (S) Mr. Kamal Chettri; officials of Jorethang sub-division, members of Zoom Salghari and Jorethang Nagar Panchayat besides the senior citizens, public and students of Jorethang and adjoining areas.
SDM Jorethang also the president of the 68th IDCC welcomed the gathering and the guests at the onset of the program. He expressed his gratitude towards the chief guest and guest of honour for attending the function and informed the gathering that the MLA Challenge Cup Football Tournament was being held for the very first time in Jorethang.
The chief guest, Mr Gurung spoke on the significance of Independence Day and stated that the 68th celebration of Independence Day this year would be organised on a grand scale. Talking about discrimination based on caste, creed, economic status and community that exist in the society today, he appealed to the public to go beyond such prejudices and live in unity to make the state and country a better place to live in.
Mr. Gurung also spoke about how the country attained freedom from the British rule and expressed faith in the potential and agility of young minds in working towards the growth and development of the state and country and thereby motivated the youth of today to steer clear of any anti-social activities.
Mr Ghatani also addressed the program where he commended the organizing committee for putting together such an excellent program despite the fact that it was being organized for the first time ever. He underlined the fact that the football tournament is aimed at nurturing the budding football talents from the constituency as well as from the neighbouring places of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and elsewhere too.
Later, Mr. Ghatani also made it known to the public that post the MLA Challenge Cup Football Tournament which will conclude on 15 August, Jorethang will also host the CM’s Gold Cup and assured that the committee will work towards making the tournament a successful one.
The opening match of the MLA Challenge Cup Football Tournament was played between Jorethang F.C against Darjeeling where the latter emerged as the winner in a tiebreaker. The match ended in a 1-1 draw at full time and Darjeeling won the match in a penalty shoot-out scoring 5-4.
It may be mentioned here that 10 teams namely Jorethang F.C, Darjeeling, Bijenbari F.C, Namchi F.C, R Lucknow, Sher Club Kalimpong, Teens Academy, Chakung F.C, Gangtok F.C and Kurseong will be seen contending for the MLA Challenge Cup. The day’s program was also marked by cultural program by students of schools and dance academies from Nayabazaar, Pipaley and Jorethang.

Sang School gets IT Lab

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: An Information Technology Laboratory was inaugurated at Sang Sr. Sec. School, East Sikkim on 05 August 2014. President Byong Phegyong GPU, Ugen Tenzing Bhutia was the chief guest on the occasion. The school SMC, SMDC along with teachers and the students were present for the inauguration.
Later, Principal of the school, Rapgay Bhutia briefed the members regarding the IT Lab provided by the SIBin Group to the school. Also, 18 high configuration Dell desktops have been provided to the school by the SIBin Group.
The computers can be used by the students for IT practicals, Information Communication Technology (ICT) respectively. Apart for the desktops, SIBin has further equipped the IT Laboratory by providing 8 UPS; 3 whiteboards; 40 chairs for the students, 18 tables and 3 sets of tables and chairs for the teachers.

ICFAI University Board of Governors meet

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: A meeting of the Board of Governors of the ICFAI University Sikkim was held on Tuesday chaired by the Chancellor of the University, Dr Surendra A Dave. Vice Chancellor SG Tashi reviewed the activities and salient events in the University, informs a press release.
Commending the performance of the University, especially, the Founder, Late Mr NJ Yasaswy’s vision of reaching professional education to the aspirants of the remotest regions of the country, the Chancellor recalled the achievements of the University especially noting the 100% placement of its alumni who had opted for placement in suitable assignments with a reasonable pay package. He exhorted all to enjoy the work in its true spirit since it involves the future of the country and Sikkim.
Simultaneously, a meeting of the Board of Management also took place at the same venue where various events of the immediate past in the State were taken note of  and all present resolved that nothing should let the ICFAI University deviate from its principal mission of equipping the students of Sikkim, the neighbouring regions and friendly neighbouring countries, Bhutan and Nepal, to be usefully employed and help in contributing to the society do that the right kind of development is ushered in.
Director, Higher Education, HRDD, J S Raje (IAS), while reviewing the recent events, expressed his happiness that the students of the ICFAI University had shown discipline and a positive attitude during the recent agitation of College students in the last two weeks of July 2014. He noted that none of the ICFAI University students had been involved in any incidents of violence and arson.
The members of Board later visited the Campus where they informally interacted with the University faculty and staff members. Dr SB Medhi [IAS, Retd and a member of Board of Governors] presented some books to the University Library. He also noted with satisfaction the interest shown by faculty members not only in their own professional development but also the keen willingness to take on any additional tasks towards the development of the students.
ICFAI University Sikkim is grateful to all members of the two boards, Govt of Sikkim (HRDD) and most important, its students and faculty for the initiatives that they have taken, the release adds.

Inter-sectoral meeting on World Breast Feeding Week

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: The National Urban Health Mission, Health Care, Human Services & Family Welfare Department organized the Inter Sectoral Co-ordination Meeting on “World Breast Feeding Week” here at European Hall, STNM Hospital on Tuesday. World Breast Feeding Week is celebrated every year from 01-07 August.
This time the breast feeding week is being conducted on the theme of- “A winning  goal - For life”. This year's World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme asserts the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding - in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) countdown, and beyond.

Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu at Rakdong

DIKCHU, 06 Aug: Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu was celebrated here at Rakdong Monastery in East Sikkim today in a function organized by Guru Thrunkar Tshechu Committee of Rakdong. A motorcade rally carrying the statue of Guru Padmasambhava was taken out from Rakdong Monastery to Phidang Chorten in Lower Dzongu, North Sikkim coming back to the monastery in the afternoon.  Special prayers were performed by around 70 monks from the monastery a day earlier. The general secretary organizing committee, TS Lepcha extended gratitude to all the zindas (Sponsors) and devotees for making the celebration a grand success.

Governor offers prayers on Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Governor Shriniwas Patil offered ‘Jyal Dhar’ and prayers on the auspicious occasion of Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu at White Hall Complex today.
The Governor joined the ‘Guru Chenden’ procession and offered special prayers when it arrived at the White Hall complex seeking blessings for the well being of all Sikkimese people.
Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KN Rai, Deputy Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, SG Lepcha along with other dignitaries, devotees and general public were present on the occasion.

Cobbler Shed opened at Tibet Road

GANGTOK, 06 Aug [IPR]: Minister for Urban Development and Housing Department, NK Subba, inaugurated a “Cobbler Shed” here in the capital on Tuesday. The shed is located in the heart of town at Sonam Gyatso Marg (Tibet Road).
Implemented by Gangtok Municipal Corporation (GMC) and constructed with financial assistance from Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) the Shed has been constructed in an area of 425 sq ft and can accommodate 15 cobblers and is built at an estimated cost of Rs 23 lakh.
After the inauguration, the Minister Mr. Subba while inspecting the shed urged the beneficiaries to use the shed properly and to the optimum.
On the occasion one of the beneficiaries expressed his profound gratitude towards the government and the concerned departments for making them this shed.

Federation of Consumer Associations of Sikkim meets, highlights LPG pricing issue

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Federation of Consumers Association of Sikkim held a meeting at Hotel Mistree Mountain at Gangtok today, chaired by its president, Jayshree Pradhan.
As per a press release, the meeting discussed that the Federation would write to the Minister Food & Civil Supplies requesting for early implementation of the LPG price of Rs. 429.50 statewide which he had announced recently in the assembly session.
The meeting lauded the efforts of Chief Coordinator (State) Suresh K. Lama in raising a voice on behalf of all consumers of the state with regard to the LPG price issue. The book of accounts was submitted in the meeting and approved by the body.
It was decided that the posts lying vacant after the resignation of members who are government employees will be filled up in the next meeting and a statewide massive membership drive will also be initiated. Block level and school level consumer awareness program will also be initiated, the release mentions.
It was informed to the members that the Federation has become a  member of the State Consumer Protection Council. Further, it was added that consumers can now approach the Federation regarding any issue.
The Federation has decided to approach the concerned department for office accommodation. It was also informed to all the members that the Federation had also attended the meeting of the State Price Monitoring & Regulatory Committee on 04 August 2014 and expressed their views and suggestions, the release further adds.

Inspire the Youth

Sikkim now has a Youth Development Board, a progression from the Youth Empowerment Year that the State observed some years ago and the institution of the Livelihood Schools [as part of the capacity building initiative] which are also dedicated to the younger Sikkimese. There have also been such efforts as the CMSES loans and the efforts to ignite a cooperative movement in the State which were also clearly intended for the youth and expected to be powered by them into self sustenance. And yet, while all of these have been excellent initiatives which were earnestly mooted, they have all, let’s accept it, under-performed. Now that Sikkim has a Youth Development Board, it is important that it first figure out why the youth in Sikkim are so uninspired so as to allow what are on paper, wonderful ideas to deliver only token results. Because once that has been worked out, the Board will be able to dovetail all the youth-centric policy interventions into a powerful movement which could gain momentum and snowball into a process which makes succeeding and excelling a habit for the youth here. At present, a dangerous sense of entitlement is making entire generations lazy and unmotivated. This has to be turned around because not only is such lethargy unhealthy, but it is also dangerous because it is only a matter of time before sloth sets in and then failures compound into mindsets which find blame in everything and fester with negativity. The warning signs are already apparent, and course corrections an urgent requirement.
One wonders why the youth-directed efforts have not been as successful as they should have been in Sikkim because youth are clearly a very important segment. The Sikkim Democratic Front party president had announced in his election campaign that he would be grooming his replacement in the new term if he was elected to power. He has led his party to a record fifth term in power since. The Opposition party, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, continues to project itself as a party of the youth. What this proves is that the youth are recognised as an important segment. Policies and schemes aimed for them are thus expected to be earnest because they were already an influential group in Elections 2014 and will be even more so in 2019. At present, the 18 to 25 age-group constitutes nearly 25% of the electorate. In other words, 25% of the voters have known no other government by SDF’s in Sikkim. There is then another slot of 25-40 which is just about as many and is also a club which was barely coming of age when SDF swept into power in Sikkim. For them as well, all the ups and downs that governance, administration or policy decisions delivered on their lives, came courtesy the SDF government.
For all calls on the people to compare how things were in Sikkim before 1994 [the year that SDF took office in Sikkim] and how things have been since will soon be academic exercises because by 2019, perhaps a majority of the voters would have known no other time [being too young in pre-1994 days or having been born since]. This segment, apart from being a political force, will more importantly be the first post-Merger generation in position at almost all levels-  from the decision-making to the executive and the entry-level officials. Ensuring that they are prepared in the best possible manner and inspired to contribute to their utmost level thus becomes a necessary undertaking. And starting from why the youth are already not as idealistic and driven as their age mandates them to be, should be the first understanding that the Youth Development Board acquires.

ASGDA appoints new president

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: A meeting of the central executive body of the All Sikkim Government Drivers’ Association [ASGDA] was held here today. A press release of the association informs that after a long discussion, the meeting passed the proposal to dismiss Chakra Bahadur Rai from the post of president of the association and to appoint the vice-president Ashok Chettri as the new president till the election for the new body of the association is conducted.
The release contends that it was unanimously decided to appoint Ashok Chettri as the new president of the association. The meeting was attended by all executive members and other members of the ASGDA, the release claims.

Dirty Angels pray at Tharpa Mani Lhakhang on Guru Thrunkar Tshechu

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Dirty Angels Motorcycle Club [DAMC] visited the Tharpa Mani Lhakhang situated at Tathangchen today on the occassion of Guru Rinpoche Thrunkar Tshechu.
A press release informs that the club headed by its president, Kinchok Tshering also extended financial support for the provision of lunch to all the devotees present. The Tharpa Mani Lhakhang committee is organising an Eye check up camp on 10 August 2014 from 9:30 am onwards and DAMC members will be assisting the Mani Lhakang committee in this initiative, the release mentions.

Chogyal Sir Tashi Namgyal Memorial Cup kicks off in Gangtok

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Ten teams are participating in the Independence Day Football Tournament for the Chogyal Sir Tashi Namgyal Memorial Cup 2014, which kicked off this afternoon here at Paljor Stadium. This knock-out tournament is part of the state-level Independence Day Celebration and is being organized by Sikkim Football Association on behalf of the Home Department, Government of Sikkim.
The inaugural match was played between Sikkim Himalayan Sporting Club [SHSC] and Share Football Club [SFC], Kalimpong. The match ended in a 1-1 draw at full time. In the extra-time of the match, Share FC  edged past SHSC with 3 goals to 1. With this Share FC has now advanced to the next round of the tournament.
Apart from SFC, Kalimpong and Kanchenjunga FC Siliguri, the other eight teams are from Sikkim which includes SHSC, Dzongri SC, Sikkim Boys, Siniolchu Sikkim FC, Namchi, Boys Club FC, United Sikkim Football Club, State Sports Academy and Sikkim Police.
On Thursday, the second match will be played between Dzongri Sporting Club and Sikkim Boys at 2 PM.
The inaugural match was witnessed by SFA president, BK Roka, general secretary, Menla Ethenpa and other executive members and officials of SFA. The first day of the match saw a good number of spectators cheering for both the teams.

15 CAEPHT-Sikkim students clear JRF exam

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Central Agricultural University, Imphal having constituent colleges in six states of North Eastern Hill Region bagged the 2nd position amongst the 65 Agricultural Universities in India for securing Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) on the basis of Common Entrance Examination conducted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
As per a press release, Vice-Chancellor, Central Agricultural University Imphal, Dr SN Puri received the award from Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on the occasion of celebration of the 86th Foundation Day of ICAR on 29 July, 2014 in the presence of Union Minister for Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, Radha Mohan Singh and Minister of State for Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan.
33 students from CAU secured JRF and 104 students have been admitted to different PG courses in various National Institutes & State Agricultural Universities (SAUs). From the College of Agricultural Engineering and Post Harvest Technology (Central Agricultural University), Ranipool, Sikkim, 26 students appeared in the JRF common entrance examination: 2014 of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
Out of this, 15 students have qualified in the examination including 01 with fellowship grant for post graduate studies. However, 12 JRF qualified students have taken admission in different state agricultural universities for Masters Degree programme, the release mentions.
This is the second time that the university has been awarded for its students performance at the national level. In 2012 Central Agricultural University, Imphal had been conferred award from ICAR for attaining 2nd position among all the SAUs in India.

BTT and BFAC meeting held in Gangtok

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Co-ordination Meeting cum Orientation Programme of Block Technology Team (BTT) and Block Farmers’ Advisory Committee (BFAC) for the preparation of Block Action Plan (BAP) for Gangtok Block, was organized by Agriculture Technology Management Agency, (ATMA) East under Food Security and Agriculture Development Department, here in the capital at SAMETI Hall, Tadong on 05 August.
The overall program was presided by Block Technology Manager (BTM) of Gangtok Block, Pratima Silal. In her welcome address she highlighted on the importance and functions of BFAC and BTT. She informed that the number of farmers in each BFAC should be at least 20 to 25 for the period of two years and after the completion of the term, a new set of farmers will be chosen for the next two years of BFAC.
The Resource Person, Subject Matter Specialist, Horticulture, KVK-East, Boneyfus Lepcha, briefed the participating farmers about the importance of adaptation of scientific technology in agriculture and allied sectors. He mentioned that to get a bumper harvest one must learn the use of technology. Further stating that some farmers are casual about the programmes and trainings he urged them to be serious and learn and apply the same in their fields.
Deputy Director, ATMA-East, Bina Rai highlighted on various ATMA activities and its importance in all the allied sectors. She added that ATMA does not work in isolation but works in coordination with all the line departments.
In the meeting, the core team of BFAC and BTT was formed where a progressive farmer from Assam Linzey, Ratna Bhutia was nominated as the Chairperson of the BFAC. HDO, DK Rai was nominated as the Convener of the BTT with the consent of all the members present in the meeting.
During the meeting the newly formed BFAC members took charge of preparing the Block Action Plan (BAP) in coordination with BTT.

BMCs of West Pendam and Martam-Nazitam GPUs reconstituted

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: The Mountain India in collaboration with the Sikkim State Biodiversity Board is in the process of re-constituting new Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in different Gram Panchayat Units such as West Pendam GPU, Hee-Pechreak GPU, Lingee GPU, Payuong GPU, Martam-Nazoitam GPU, and Kitam-Manpur GPU. These BMCs were formed during 2009-2010 by TMI India while their legal recognition by the State Biodiversity Board was pending.
A press release informs that two BMCs, one at West Pendam GPU and another at Martam-Nazitam GPU were reconstituted in the Gram Sabha on 11 June 2014 and 01 August 2014, respectively.
In West Pendam GPU, the Panchayat President, Sonam Tshering Lepcha was unanimously nominated as the Chairperson of the BMC while TR Sapkota was nominated as the Secretary. The other members are Ambika Dahal, Pushpa Pokhrel, KB Biswakarma and Om Prakash Gurung (BO of the Forest Department posted at Rangpo).
Likewise the Panchayat President of the Martam-Nazitam GPU, Sonam Palzor Machungpa was chosen as the Chairperson and Manish Chettri was nominated as the Secretary of the BMC formed there. Other Members chosen are Geeta Sharma, Bandana Chetti, Shanti Lohar and Passamg Lhamu Bhutia.
The release informs that as per the Biological Diversity Act 2002, and the Indian Biological Diversity Rules 2004, every local body shall constitute a Biodiversity Management Committee within its area for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and microorganisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity.
The functions of the BMC is to prepare, maintain and validate People’s Biodiversity Registers in consultation with the local people, advise on any matter referred to it by the State Biodiversity Board or National Biodiversity Authority for granting approval, to maintain data about the local baidhyas/Dhamis/Jhakris and practitioners using the biological resources, and levy charges by way of collection fees from person(s) accessing or collecting bioresource for commercial purpose from its territorial jurisdiction.
The People’s Biodiversity Registers shall be maintained, authenticated and validated by the Biodiversity Management Committees with the assistance/guidance of the local Technical Support Committee, a copy of which would be made available to the State Biodiversity Board. BMC shall ensure the protection of the knowledge recorded in the People’s Biodiversity Register principally in the matters of regulation of access to agencies and individuals outside the village limits. Access to registers need to be recorded in writing and maintained in consultation with SBB/ Technical Support group.
Since June 2014, TMI India has initiated to carry out a series of general awareness campaigns in different parts of Sikkim. During the awareness the important point enumerated in the Indian Biodiversity Act of 2002, Indian Biological Diversity Rules (2004) and Sikkim State Biological Diversity Rules (2006) are mostly discussed with the local people. Additionally, preservation of indigenous knowledge, innovations, and practices of indigenous and local communities are critical issues to be addressed. Thus, awareness raising, training and documentation the details of genetic bio-resources and associated Traditional Knowledge (TK) in a Peoples Biodiversity Register is an effective way to avoid bio-piracy of future misappropriation of genetic resources or associated knowledge. The State of Sikkim has a Biodiversity Board under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister of Sikkim.

World Breast Feeding Week celebrated at Baluwakhani ICDS

GANGTOK, 06 Aug: Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department celebrated World Breast Feeding Week on the theme “A winning goal-for life” at the ICDS centre at Baluwakhani from 05-08 August.
A press release informs that the celebration was attended by Mission Director ICDS, BB Subba as the chief guest along with former ICDS Director, KK Subba and other officials. The function was addressed by the chief guest, Nutrition Cell Joint Director Samita Thapa, B Bardalai and ICDS supervisor Meena Subba where they highlighted the importance of ICDS centres, proper nutrition of mother and child, importance and benefits of breast feeding, etc.
More than 50 pregnant and nursing mothers attended the function.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

9 Mile acts up again and jams return to national highway

RANIPOOL, 04 August: For almost a fortnight now, commuters headed out of Gangtok on the National Highway invariably battle not just humidity and heat once they cross Ranipool, but also drive into a traffic snarl at the notorious trouble-spot of 9th Mile, which, like it does every monsoon, has sunk again.
Persistent rainfall and heavy traffic along the Gangtok-Singtam stretch has disrupted traffic to such an extent that jams last for almost an hour at times. Commuters and drivers alike have to face severe inconveniences with many deciding walk across the trouble-spot and catch vehicles on the other side.
Heavy rainfall is also making efficient road repairs and restoration works being conducted by the BRO difficult. Sikkim Police meanwhile monitors the ‘snail-paced’ movement of traffic at the stretch.
Traffic jams are reported to stretch as far down the road as Ranipool School, Namli Bhir and further upto 12 Mile towards Singtam. Similar traffic snarls are also reported from areas like Gaidhara where an alternate road work is being undertaken by the BRO.
With the persistent rains and the BRO having to manage more than five trouble spots along the Ranipool-Singtam road, work progress is slow and traffic jams are back on the highway.

In Singtam, where ATMs won’t dispense Any Time Money ANAND OBEROI

SINGTAM, 04 August: Mohan has a stressful job. And not just because he is a guard at an ATM [SBI Singtam]. His stress comes from having to deal with a march of unhappy customers everyday who come to avail ATM services but cannot because the automatic teller machine will not deliver on its Any-Time Money commitment. Often times, the customers barrage him with complaints even though everyone knows there is nothing he can do about the situation.
And this is just one ATM counter we are talking about, with almost 9 ATMs belonging to different banks here at Singtam bazaar, this is a similar reaction from almost all the security guards on duty at the booths here.
The problem behind the erratic service on offer here is that most of the ATMs here are either out of cash or their respective ‘services’ are down. An official from a bank informs that this is not a case of Singtam alone and that Rangpo, Namchi and most of the towns in the state except Gangtok have been similarly hamstrung because of the internet services [or rather the lack thereof] being provided by BSNL.
“BSNL has failed to deliver efficient and effective service to the banks since most of the time the ‘Server is Down’. Until and unless BSNL delivers better service, this trend of unsatisfactory ATM and banking services in Singtam and other towns will remain. Monsoons means that the server is down for almost five to six hours at a stretch most times,” complains the bank official.

Youth murdered at home in Sichey

GANGTOK, 04 Aug: A youth was found dead in a pool of blood at his home this afternoon here at Sichey in the outskirts of Gangtok slightly ahead of the District Administrative Centre towards the Helipad. The murder of Mohan Subba, the youth who was found dead in the kitchen of his brother’s house today, has confounded and shocked all and has offered no leads on the culprits thus far.
The victim, aged around 22 to 23 years, had recently returned from Chandigarh after completing a civil engineering course, it is informed.
From what evidence the police has been able to piece together thus far, the murder took place between 2 to 3 PM. The victim was alone at home at the time. His sister-in-law, who works in the Sikkim Police, had left home at around 1 PM for duty, it is informed and the murder was detected shortly after 3.
The victim’s cousin is reported to have found him lying in a pool of blood in the kitchen and then raised an alarm informing the neighbours and then the police.
The kitchen was found all tossed up leading the police to believe that there was fight before the murder. The bruises and cut marks on the face, neck and hands of the victims further confirm this speculation. The nature of the wounds suggest that the victim was attacked with a knife.
The investigators have found no signs of forced entry into the house as the lock and key were found hanging on the grilled gate of the house. This, the police believes, suggests that the assailant was known to the victim.
After the murder came to light, the neighbours are [tenants of the house and other people] reported to have stated that they heard some commotion like a fight.
As things stand, there are no suspects in the murder but the people around have given some descriptions about people seen in the locality at around the time of the murder.

12 ft Longchok to be installed at Tendong summit on 08 Aug - REBYNA RANA

GANGTOK, 04 Aug: A 12-foot tall stone [Longchok], brought all the way from Yuksom in West Sikkim, will be installed at the Tendong hill summit in South Sikkim to mark the Tendong Lho Rum Faat celebration this year on 08 August.
This was informed during a press meet by the Tendong Lho Rum Faat Celebration Committee 2014 today. The annual festival of the Lepcha community will begin with prayers on the evening of 07 August and the main function will be held on 08 August at the summit, informed president of the celebration committee, former MP, OT Lepcha.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is scheduled to attend the function as chief guest.
Mr. Lepcha informed that a two-hour walk [around 18kms] from Namchi to Damthang will also be organised as part of the celebration.
He further called upon all Sikkimese to celebrate the festival and come together to explore and preserve this rare culture and tradition for the coming generations.
The press meet was also attended by the general secretary of the celebration committee, Norzang Lepcha along with other members.

SKM fact-finding team to look into Organic Mission claims

GANGTOK, 04 Aug: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has set up a fact-finding team to look into the claims of the Organic Mission in Sikkim. The team is headed by Martam-Rumtek MLA, Dr Mechung Bhutia, who has been challenging the Organic Mission model and procedures.
An SKM press release informs that this was decided at a meeting called by the SKM party president, PS Tamang [Golay] at the party head office today. The team has former Gangtok Mayor, KN Topgay, as member secretary, Nabin Karki [retd Joint Director, Horticulture/ Agriculture Department] and PK Subba [retd Deputy Director, Horticulture/ Agriculture  Department] as technical experts along with Dilip Rai [general secretary, Press and Publicity] and Bikash Basnet [secretary, Press and Publicity] as members.
“The party’s contention is that the SDF led government has deliberately misguided many of the central government agencies regarding its organic mission which, in fact is an eye wash to siphon off funds which the Central government provides to promote organic farming,” the release alleges.

SFA president and gen secy dismiss calls for resignation

GANGTOK, 04 Aug: Sikkim Football Association convened a special general body meeting at Football House here on 02 August 2014 to discuss at length the ongoing impasse in Sikkim’s football scenario with the football clubs ganged up against it and calls having been raised for the resignation of the association’s president, vice-president and general secretary. The meeting, an SFA press release issued jointly by the president BK Roka and general secretary Menla Ethenpa informs, “witnessed a full house attendance”.
After a three-hour deliberation, the special General Body of SFA unanimously resolved that there was “no question of the president BK Roka, vice president Karma Yougyal and general secretary Menla Ethenpa resigning  since they were elected to the respective posts with the full mandate and confidence of SFA members to govern the body till the next election”.
Football Club Association of Sikkim [FCAS] had earlier demanded the resignation of the three SFA office bearers for “failing to deliver anything concrete for the development of football in Sikkim”. FCAS had also demanded that SFA conduct football tournaments for Under-14, U-16 and U-19 at the district and then at the state level immediately after 15 August. The association had threatened to boycott Second Division and Senior Division Sikkim-League and Governor’s Gold Cup if these two demands were not met.
The SFA meeting, meanwhile, “once again resolved” to give membership with voting rights to all the eight SFA Premier Division Football Clubs viz. D’zongri SC, Boys Club, Sikkim Police FC, State Sports Academy of Sikkim, SAI Namchi, Siniolchu FC, Sikkim Himalayan SC and United Sikkim FC.
However, the clubs will automatically cease to be members of SFA once they are relegated to 2nd Division. Likewise teams promoted from 2nd Division to Premier Division every year will automatically gain membership and voting rights. This will require a constitution amendment in the next AGM, the release adds.
SFA, vide its letter [no. SFA/ADM/142/2013-14/532 Dated 28th Feb 2014] had written to the clubs offering membership and advising them to nominate their representatives. Only two clubs viz. Sikkim Police FC and SAI Namchi responded positively, the release states.
SFA once again, on 14 June, reminded the clubs of the offer, the release adds, stating that FCAS president, Bhaichung Bhutia had proposed in a meeting held at Paljor Stadium Conference Hall chaired by then Sports Minister, NK Pradhan, to give membership to those clubs only who have participated continuously for the last five years in SFA-organised Senior Division League.
Subject to ratification in the next AGM of SFA, the meeting unanimously resolved to appoint Bhaichung Bhutia as Chairman, Technical Committee of SFA and that granting of membership with or without voting right to any other clubs etc. will be taken up in the next Annual General Meeting of SFA.
It was also decided to hold a meeting with all these clubs at 2 PM on 10 August 2014.
SFA, meanwhile, also declared that the Independence Day Football Championship for Chogyal Sir Tashi Namgyal Memorial Cup will be organised from 06 August 2014 at Paljor Stadium, Gangtok.


SDF points out how Organic Mission was making the whole nation proud
GANGTOK, 04 Aug: Sikkim Democratic Front has reiterated its appreciation of the Organic Mission launched by the State government in Sikkim and highlight how, despite detractors in the Opposition camp, the mission continued to earn praise not only for Sikkim but also emerge as a matter of pride for the nation as a whole. In this regard, an SDF press release draws attention to the pride with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed Nepal [in his address to the Nepal Parliament yesterday] about the Organic Mission spearheaded by Sikkim.
In his address, the Prime Minister invited Nepal to adopt the Sikkim Model of Organic Mission with the latest scientific technologies and even offered assistance in helping Nepal go organic.
In a press release, SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal, who is also the Press Advisor to the Chief Minister, points out that the Organic Mission was catching attention at the international level and received rave reviews and positive endorsement. This boost to Sikkim’s image, he adds, while it was beneficial for everyone, was proving a big jolt to opposition parties which continue to oppose the Sikkim model.
Reiterating the continued praise that Sikkim has received for its developmental model and for its Organic Mission, Mr. Dahal has called on political parties of the State to rise above party lines and accept the fact that the SDF government was honestly committed to transforming Sikkim into an Organic State by 2015.
He also reiterated that at a time when the nation was importing electricity from neighbouring countries, the main opposition party of Sikkim was opposing the harnessing of hydro power in the State and demanding that hydel projects be scrapped.

Sangha MLA calls on MoS for Home; Welcomes enthronement of Penor Rinpoche’s reincarnation

GANGTOK, 04 Aug: A delegation led by the Sangha MLA, Sonam Lama, called upon Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, and MHA officials in New Delhi today. He placed several memorandums during the meetings and received positive assurances on the demands so placed, a press release informs.
A pres communiqué received from the MLA’s office further conveys his jubilation and greetings on the enthronement of Pema Dorje of Dhagpo (Tibet) as the ‘Yangsi’ of His Holiness the late Pema Norbu Rinpoche (Penor Rinpoche) and as the 12th lineage holder of the Palyul tradition. “I express my humble greetings to all the monks and people of Sikkim,” the Sangha MLA conveys, highlighting that the passing away of the Penor Rinpoche in 2009 had left a huge vacuum, five years after which, has come the moment to ne joyous in his reincarnation having been enthroned.
“The fortune followers of the dharma in this degenerated era are highly indebted to our Supreme Protector HH Kyabgoen Chadral Sangay Dorje Rinpoche for his unparallel wisdom, enlightenment and prophesy in ensuring early and smooth arrival of the precious ‘Yangsi Rinpoche’.  I further submit my eons of positive virtue accumulated, if any, towards the benefit and long life of HH Kyabgoen Chadral Sangay Dorje Rinpoche, HH Kyabje Dodrubchen Rinpoche and Kyabje Lhatrul Domang Terchen Rinpoche of Sikkim,” the release concludes.

Late Shivalall Memorial Open Football tourney kicks off at Rorathang

GANGTOK, 04 Aug: Late Shivalall Memorial Open Football Tournament started from 03 August at Rorathang Secondary School. 22 teams are participating in the tournament.
As per a press release, two matches were played on the first day where 4th Mile Bhasmey (A) defeated Taza Football Club by 6 goals to 1 while PKG. GFLTDA beat Thumpsup Kumrek by 4 goals to 3.
East District Zilla Panchayat Upadhyaksha, Kalpana Moktan was present as the chief guest for the inaugural function while Social Worker of Pakyong, Nakul Chettri was present as the guest of honour. Zilla and Gram Panchayats of Chalamthang-Pacheykhani GPU, Member of Sikkim Commission for backward classes RN Baral, former Chairman MB Bagdas, Organising Committee, HM & staff and students of Rorathang Sec. School and the general public were also present.
The release also informs that the 68th Independence Day celebration committee has Deo Kumar Pradhan as president, Pranesh Pradhan as secretary, Man Bdr. Bagdas as advisor along with members Head Master TR Chettri and all teachers along with Pratiksha Ghimeray, Adita Subba, Kishor Thapa (Maila Daju), Aitaman Gurung, Zigmi Bhutia, CK Tamang and Dawa Tamang.

Minister chairs Price Monitoring committee meeting, calls for wider collaborations to regulate prices

Gangtok, 04 Aug [IPR]: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, NK Subba, chaired the first meeting of the Price Monitoring & Regulating Committee here in the capital today. The meeting, organised by the Legal Metrology Unit and Consumer Protection Cell of the FCS&CA Department, was also attended by the Zilla Adhayakshas and Upadhayakshas, Gangtok Deputy Mayor, Secretaries of the Government of Sikkim, District Collectors, Managing Directors of SIMFED and Denzong Agriculture Cooperative Society, officers from various government departments, President of Federation of Consumer Association Mrs. Jayashree Pradhan, representatives from STCS, NABARD, NERAMAC and IOCL, and officers from the Legal Metrology Unit.
The meeting saw detailed deliberation on issues concerning prices of essential commodities, vegetables and other consumables, ways and means to monitor and regulate them, and factors that act as constraints in the process, avoidance of intermediaries/ middlemen in the production-supply chain, prevent hoarding of commodities, ways and means to enhance supply, and enhanced role of district level authorities in price monitoring and regulation.
The meeting was individually addressed by representatives from each of the concerned departments, District Collector (East), representatives from organisations such as SIMFED, DACS, NABARD, IOCL, NERAMAC and president of Federation of Consumer Association.
In his address, Minister Mr. Subba stressed that laws and rules alone do not ensure price monitoring and regulation. He maintained that the concerned departments and stakeholders have to collectively take responsibility to create enough awareness about pricing and consumer rights so that there is transparency in the market. He laid emphasis on creating a strong monitoring system to ensure quality of essential commodities, vegetables and other consumer goods and services.
Acknowledging constraints like inadequate storage facilities, unethical practices like sub-letting of trade licences and delay and discrepancy in service delivery of essential goods like LPG, the Minister informed that the department is making visible efforts to eradicate these bottlenecks. He reiterated that the onus also rests on line departments to collaborate and create a systematic approach in this direction.
He appealed to the Labour Department to carry out proper verification of individuals before issuing labour licences for trade to avoid duplication and unethical practices. The Minister informed that space would be created for outlets and storage facilities for organisations like SIMFED and DACS in the premises of Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex.
In the meanwhile, the Minister took the opportunity to congratulate the Chief Minister and the officers and concerned stakeholders for the special mention received by the State in the field of Organic Farming from the Prime Minister of India in his address in Nepal. He added that such recognition calls for enhanced level of dedication from all concerned departments and the public at large to sustain the progress that Sikkim has made in organic farming. “It is a matter of great prestige, but at the same time it is a huge challenge to the State to live up to the expectations of the global community,” he stressed.
The Minister also informed that the Government will strictly ensure that only organic produce is kept in the upcoming Kisan Bazars. He called on the Agriculture department and other concerned departments to devise strict monitoring systems to avoid illegal entry of inorganic produce in the Kisan Bazars. He further added that farmers practicing organic farming should be paid the actual amount for their produce and the department should refrain from discouraging the farmers by reducing/regulating the prices.
He called for proper verification of these products in the testing laboratories established by the Government to differentiate between organic and other products. The Minister also mentioned about a recent directive of the Chief Minister to create adequate space for storage and outlets for Self Help Groups to keep their organic produce, and assured of positive outcomes in near future.
The Minister also made a mention about the recent introduction of the SMS system for booking and refilling of LPG cylinder in the State, and called for support and cooperation from the Panchayati Raj Institutions to take the message to the rural population. The Minister informed that the Government will make efforts to enhance the level of awareness about consumer rights through awareness programmes.
The Minister also called for implementation of the National Food Security Act on priority and appealed to the panchayat representatives/local authorities to create a systematic mechanism of selecting beneficiaries.
Earlier, Secreatray Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, DP Sharma, gave a brief report on the functioning of the Committee and informed that the premise for today';s meeting was provided by the National Conference of State Ministers of Food & Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department which was held on 04 July 2014 at New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Arun Jaitley. He informed that the Conference which was attended by Minister for FCS&CA Mr. N.K. Subba, provided a platform to draw up an action plan to take specific preventive measures to arrest price rise particularly of vegetables, pulses and other food items of common consumption. Mr. Sharma also highlighted some of the salient points discussed in the Conference.
The Secretary informed that the Legal Metrology and Consumer Protection Cell of the Department has been working in the areas of checking over prising, weights and measures, packaging, expiry dates and cash memos, with the help of district administration, police, commercial tax and NGOs. He further informed about the establishment/existence of a State Consumer Helpline that has been setup at Tashiling Annexe II Gangtok which receives consumer related complaints of various natures relating to price structure, weights and measures, etc. In addition to this the Government has also setup the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in the State and District Consumer Redressal Forum in the districts, he informed. He also informed about a recent Government notification which constituted a State Level Committee and District Level Committee for monitoring and regulation of price of essential commodities, vegetables and other consumables in the state.