BREAKING NEWS: Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh expresses satisfaction after Tripartite talks, next official meeting scheduled for 17th August – the path to statehood issue opens ?!!
From Our Special News Correspondent
Darjeeling, 24 July 2010: Although nothing concrete was expected to come out of the 6th Tripartite talks and the 2nd Political Level Tripartite Talks on the Gorkha Issue held in New Delhi today, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha spokesperson, Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the talks.
“The Bengal State,” he said in a telephone interview given to TV channels, “has been directed by the Centre to give in writing a clarification report on their stand on Gorkhaland and the Interim Setup, within the next two weeks.”
Dr Chettri further added that “after this report is submitted, we will require another week to discuss the issues on hand and will then hold another official level meeting on the 17th of August next month.”
”After that.” Dr Chettri added, “once the details have been sorted out, we will hold the final political level talks soon after to bring the whole issue to an equitable closure, sometime soon after the parliamentary monsoon session ends.”
Meanwhile, the office of BJP veteran and Darjeeling MP, Stalwart Jaswant Singh, confirmed this and expressed “over all satisfaction” at the outcome of today’s Tripartite Meeting between the Bengal Government, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Central Home Ministry.
Our Himal News Special News Correspondent had added: Party sources mentioned the names of the 14 member GJM team as:
- Roshan Giri,
- LB Pariyar,
- HB Chhetri,
- RB Bhujel,
- Binay Tamang,
- Raju Pradhan,
- Dr Rohit Sharma,
- P Arjun,
- Santosh Rai,
- Pradip Pradhan
- LB Rai,
- Trilok Dewan, and
- Wilson Champramari MLA, from Kalchini, Dooars
Furthermore, in a TV press interview, Dooars Area GJM President and member of the GJM Central Committee, Samuel Gurung stated that the Adivasi Parishad members had not been included to go to Delhi this time around as they were “still to make up their minds on whether to join hands with the GJM on the ‘separate state’ demand”.
Explaining the confusion over the ‘Gorkhaland’ and ‘Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh’ names, Samuel Gurung explained that because the Adivasi Leadership had earlier expressed some reservations over the ‘Gorkhaland’ nomenclature, in that it would not clearly reflect the broader Adivasi presence, the name had been re-adjusted to ‘Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh’ as announced by the Morcha President, Bimal Gurung in Darjeeling on May 30, 2010.
This was done with the larger concept to win the wider consensus of the people of the Dooars, Mr Gurung explained and added, “whether or not the said name is adopted after developments unfolded, the concept of ‘separation from Bengal’ is the ‘more important issue’ than the finalization of the name itself.
So if the Adivasis want to join our joint constitutional struggle of ‘separation from Bengal’ then we welcome that and look forward to their response”.
SECOND POLITICAL LEVEL TRIPARTITE TALKS ON GORKHA INTERIM AUTHORITY HELD – interesting inference, the proper Central Government viewpoint ?!!
From The Press Information Bureau
Ministry of Home Affairs
Government of India
NEW DELHI, Saturday, July 24, 2010, 19:17 IST (PIB): The second round of Political level talks regarding Gorkha Interim Authority between the Union Government, the Government of West Bengal and Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJM) were held here today.
The meeting was Chaired by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Ajay Maken. The Union Government was represented by Shri Dinesh Trivedi, MoS (H&FW), Home Secretary, Shri GK Pillai, the Government of West Bengal by Dr. Suryakant Mishra, Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Home Secretary Shri Samar Ghosh and the GJM by a delegation headed by its General Secretary Shri Roshan Giri.
The following were decided in the meeting;
1. It was agreed that the Government of West Bengal and the GJM will submit their point wise observation/ reaction to the Union Government’s proposal regarding the Interim Authority within two weeks.
2. A week after that, August 17th was fixed as the date for next official level talks where the proposal will be discussed in detail.
3. Subsequently, after the Monsoon Session of Parliament the third Political level talks will take place after thrashing out the differences in the proposal at the official level.
Second round of tri-partite talks on Gorkhaland held – the 3rd Political Level Talks final, peace at last ?!!
From Sify News
New Delhi: 2010-07-24 20:50:00 (IANS): The West Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) were Saturday asked to file, in two weeks, their observations on the central government’s proposal of an interim set-up in place of the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council to resolve the Gorkhaland issue.
The second round of tripartite talks between the central government, the state government and the GJM was held here Saturday amid demands by the GJM for a separate Gorkhaland state out of the northern parts of West Bengal.
But the central government has come up with a proposal to concede more executive powers to the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council or to replace it with a new body.
‘It was agreed that the government of West Bengal and the GJM will submit their point wise observations and reactions to the union government’s proposal regarding the interim authority within two weeks,’ a home ministry spokesperson said.
The state and the central governments want to include only the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in the proposed interim set-up while the GJM is seeking inclusion of the Terai and Nepali-dominated pockets of the Dooars.
The proposal will be discussed ‘in detail’ on Aug 17, the spokesperson said
‘The third political level talks will take place after the monsoon session of parliament and after thrashing out the differences in the proposal at the Aug 17 official level talks,’ he said.
The meeting was chaired by the Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken. Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai also attended the meeting.
West Bengal Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra represented the Left Front government and union minister of state for health Dinesh Trivedi represented the Trinamool Congress.
The GJM delegation was led by its general secretary Roshan Giri.
Govt holds political-level talks on Darjeeling – this should include Siliguri in Darjeeling District ?!!
From DNA India
New Delhi, Saturday, July 24, 2010 21:34 IST (PTI): The issue of setting up a regional authority in Darjeeling for the Gorkhas and its territorial jurisdiction came up for discussion at a tripartite political-level meeting in New Delhi today.
Representatives of central and West Bengal governments and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) discussed the modalities on how to carry forward the dialogue process on the demands of the GJM.
“The meeting was very cordial. We hope that the government will soon come up with a concrete proposal for Darjeeling to bring a lasting solution to the problem,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters after the meeting.
An official level meeting will be held on August 17 where the West Bengal government and the GJM will give their views on the Centre’s proposal for an interim authority for Darjeeling.
Giri said the GJM delegation conveyed at the meeting that the situation in Darjeeling hills was peaceful as promised by them so it was now the duty of the government to fulfil the demands of the GJM.
Asked whether the issue of killing of rival Gorkha leader Madan Tamang had figured in the meeting, Giri said no such issue was discussed.
Several GJM activists were allegedly involved in the broad daylight murder of Tamang in Darjeeling on May 21.
Sources said both the central and the state governments were for limiting the proposed Darjeeling Regional Authority to just the hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.
Since its inception in 2007, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, has been demanding a separate Gorkhaland state, to which it has added the demand for the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district in the plains and contiguous areas in neighbouring Jalpaiguri district.
Today’s meeting was attended by minister of state for home Ajay Maken, Union home secretary GK Pillai besides others.
AND THEN, THE BENGAL SPIN – BUT NATURAL ?!!
Hint of thaw in hill tangle – Bengal finally melting in the right direction, but sadly still stuck with interpreting the Central stand and the Nepali issue and losing out on the Indian Gorkha Identity – parochial and non-secular ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU
July 24: The Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today inched closer to setting up an interim hill authority, both agreeing to send within two weeks their final observations on draft proposals drawn up by the Centre.
The development, which the Morcha dubbed a “breakthrough”, came at political-level tripartite talks in Delhi, chaired by junior home minister Ajay Maken.
The Centre had proposed that an interim set-up called the Gorkhaland Autonomous Authority, which would report to the Bengal governor, should replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Delhi also said the new authority would have “legislative” powers along with the executive authority the DGHC now enjoys.
While none of these proposals is new, the day’s positive development was that both the Morcha and the state government said they would submit their final observations within the deadline so that the interim authority could be formed soon.
“We told the Centre the interim authority has to be time-bound and without any prejudice to our primary demand, which is a separate state,” Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who led his party’s dozen-strong delegation, said. “The meeting was very cordial,” he added.
The Bengal government has conveyed to the Centre it is in agreement with the proposals, but has some reservations on the financial powers and transfer of officers to the interim authority.
Although the Morcha spoke of a “breakthrough”, fears remained that the authority’s territorial jurisdiction could come in the way of a settlement.
Both Delhi (*?!! – what a spin) and Calcutta have been insisting that the territorial jurisdiction stay confined to the hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, but the Morcha has said it must include Siliguri as well as Nepali-dominated (Indian Gorkha ?!!) areas of the Dooars.
The next round of talks, which will be at the official level, will be on August 17, a little over a week after the deadline for the Morcha and the Bengal government to submit their observations.
“Subsequently, after the monsoon session of Parliament, the next round of political-level talks will take place after thrashing out differences over the Centre’s proposal at the official level,” a home ministry spokesperson said.
Sources said the Morcha appeared more accommodating today, realising that any delay in reaching a consensus on the interim authority might jeopardise the plan.
The authority needs to be in place by early December. The Bengal elections are due in May, but any day after December 10, the Election Commission can decide on its own when to call elections. Once the model code of conduct kicks in, it would be difficult for the state government to put in place the authority.
Others present at the talks included Trinamul leader and Union minister Dinesh Trivedi, Union home secretary G.K. Pillai, Bengal health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, state home secretary Samar Ghosh and joint secretary N.S. Kalsi.