NEWS FROM SIKKIM: Governor’s I-Day message to the Sikkimese people: ‘Let us secure a respectable place for Sikkim in the tourism map of the world’ – with a caution on its ill effects also ?!!
From The Sikkim Express
By SE Reporter
GANGTOK, August 14, 2010: Highlighting the dividends yielded through eco-friendly policies of the State government, natural resources richness and scenic beauty of the State with its unique ethnic diversity, Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh has called upon the Sikkimese people to secure a respectable place for Sikkim in the world tourism map.
“Our efforts towards harnessing the potential in the eco-tourism and adventure tourism sectors have begun to yield dividends. This has opened new opportunities in both salaried jobs and self-employment. I hope the young boys and girls of Sikkim would take full advantage of this prime area of economic activity developing in the State. Let us secure a respectable place for Sikkim in the tourism map of the world”, said the Governor in his message to Sikkimese people on the occasion of 64th Independence Day of the country.
In his address, Singh pointed out that Sikkim is increasingly becoming an alluring State. “More and more people are thronging to Sikkim to experience its enchanting beauty and hospitality. Our natural scenic beauty with a breath taking collection of flora and fauna, our monasteries and stupas, temples and prayer centres, our rich cultural heritage and hospitable nature of our people have immensely contributed to promotion of the tourism industry”.
The Governor also congratulated the Sikkimese people and State government for maintaining thrust on eco-friendly practices which has resulted in two percent increase in forest cover in Sikkim.
Briefing the Sikkimese people about the rapid strides that Sikkim has taken ever since they decided to join India 35 years ago, the Governor observed that formidable challenges of making Sikkim a fully literate and poverty-free State lay ahead. And if we work hard and honestly, it is possible to realize our dreams of making Sikkim a fully literate and poverty-free State and more, he said.
Singh pointed out greater emphasis is being given to development of people living in rural areas with 70 percent of plan funds being earmarked for rural upliftment annually and consequently, percentage of BPL families is steadily decreasing.
Regarding the aim to make Sikkim a 100 percent literate State by 2015, the Governor said that the target can achieved only by enrolment of every child, boy or girl, in the school and by ensuring that they do not drop-out till they pass their secondary or higher secondary examinations.
“We are also conscious of the fact that we need highly trained and motivated teachers. Quality education not only needs caring leadership of the teachers but also continuous involvement of every parent while child is in formative years. I call upon each one of you to take education of the child with seriousness that it deserves”.
The Governor informed the Sikkimese people about the State government’s aim to encourage more and more educated Sikkimese youth to take up agriculture, horticulture and floriculture as an industry.
“We have made notable progress as far as floriculture is concerned. All measures comprising technology transfer, delivery of inputs, pre and post harvest technology and marketing will be systematically organized and judiciously harnessed for better productivity”.
Drawing the attention of the Sikkimese people towards steps taken by State government and Union government to secure reliable connectivity links for Sikkim, the Governor said that there is an imperative requirement to have all-weather roads connecting hills with the plains, a railway line linking Sikkim with Siliguri; an airport and the internet link covering the entire State.
Singh informed the Sikkimese people that the Border Roads Organization has initiated the process for improving and double-laning the NH 31A right up to Nathu LA and work on survey of alternative highway from Siliguri via Chalsa to Gangtok would be soon taken up as soon as the detailed project report is prepared.
“The construction of the Pakyong airport is making steady progress and would be operational by 2012. The work on railway connectivity from Sevoke to Rangpo started recently and is due for completion by 2015. The telecommunication network including the Internet service is being strengthened with the installation of high capacity equipments”.
Highlighting that freedom and democracy are the precious possession of an Indian citizen, the Governor expressed his hopes that the civil society, media and judiciary will act in harmony to help secure fulfillment of the aspiration of the people. “Sikkim is a peaceful and investor-friendly State. And I take this opportunity to urge entrepreneurs within and outside the State to come forward and make investment in Sikkim”, the Governor concluding his address stating that a strong, united, peaceful and progressive Sikkim is in the interest of the State and India.
CM’s I-Day message to the Sikkimese people: ‘Thanks to the wisdom of people at large, the anti-people forces have been rejected for all purpose’ – in all fairness and absolutely ?!!
From Sikkim Express
By SE Reporter
GANGTOK, August 14, 2010: Hailing the ‘wisdom’ of the Sikkimese people for rejecting the ‘anti-people’ forces, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has denounced the ‘usual antics’ of the opposition parties and ‘reactionary elements’ to tarnish the good image of the Sikkim Democratic Front government even as a comprehensive mission is underway to make the Himalayan State a model State in the nation.
“As we are on our onward march to make our State developed, we are again witness to the usual antics of some motley group of disgruntled political elements in the State. They have again reassembled and resurfaced to pose resistance to the State Government’s pro-poor and people-centric policies and programs”, said the Chief Minister in his message to the Sikkimese people on the occasion of 64th Independence Day celebrations.
The message to the Sikkim people by the Chief Minister was peppered with diatribes against the opposition parties, achievements of the SDF government, missions launched to propel Sikkim into developed States league of the country and a clarion call to the Sikkimese people to forever remain partner to the grand vision.
“Thanks to the wisdom of people at large, the anti-people forces have been rejected for all purpose ushering in a new wave of thinking and that essential democratic ideals”, the Chief Minister said.
Chamling asserted to oppose development of a particular area or community is part of a wider conspiracy to destroy the capacity and economic prospects of the people. “However, when the Opposition parties get jittery over the impressive development initiatives with lot of good prospect for people’s future, this is proof enough that they are anti-people and committing crime against the present and future of Sikkim”, he said.
In the process of infusing development dynamism while laying a firm base in the past sixteen years of SDF government, the Chief Minister observed that the Sikkimese people are aware that many reactionary elements are out in the street to tarnish the good image of the State government which have, with great care, nurtured and promoted for years together.
In retrospect, Chamling told the Sikkimese people that the ruling front has consistently strived for achieving their aspirations and the SDF remains committed to respect the unprecedented mandate given for the record fourth consecutive term. “Wading through the murky political atmosphere of acute political vendetta of the pre 1994 Sikkim, marked by intimidation and coercion, we have consistently withstood the challenges to make Sikkim and the Sikkimese secure, protected and self-assured”, he said.
Asserting that the SDF government will stand strong to promote peace in Sikkim and the region, the Chief Minister shared with the Sikkimese people about the assaults faced from opponents no almost all issues over the last 16 years.
Yet, the SDF government will always remain firm on its founding principles empowered by the power of the Sikkimese people despite lack of any meaningful participation of the civil society, Chamling observed.
“Empowered by the power of the people thus bestowed upon us and harnessing that freedom for all the good cause, we will as usual unravel the sinister design of our adversaries and keep the Sikkimese people secure and protected for all time to come”.
While targeting the opposition parties, the Chief Minister also expressed his dismay over the absence of any meaningful participation from the civil society as a shield against the ‘sinister designs’ of the Opposition.
“On different occasions earlier, I have noted with dismay the absence of any meaningful opinions shaping society towards constructive path. The civil society members, on most occasions, have chosen to sound neutral on issues of public importance. What happens in such a situation is that when not many good people voice their opinion, evil and corrupt people would drown the voice of sanity, rationality, reason and practicality”, said Chamling reiterating his appeal to the members of the civil society to stand guard against all anti-social elements.
Briefing the Sikkimese people of unprecedented policies to integrate the marginalized sections of the society into the mainstream, the Chief Minister informed that the tribal communities in Sikkim remain most empowered in the country.
“As per the calculation made by the State authority based on National Survey Sample (NSS) data, the per capita asset value of the Scheduled Tribes (Bhutias and Lepchas) in Sikkim is Rs 71,700 as against national average of the STs of Rs 30,000. The per capita asset value in general of the Sikkimese population is Rs 60,000 as against the national average of Rs. 40,000”.
With the SDF government in its second year of its fourth consecutive term, the Chief Minister highlighted to the Sikkimese people about the dozen missions undertaken to consolidate the solid developments achieved so far and further to herald an all-round, comprehensive and holistic development of the State.
The missions were to make Sikkim a poverty-free, self-reliant, fully-literate and Sikkimese people fully employable by 2015. Other mission statements of the SDF government were on sectors like health, food grains, cooperatives, environment and forestry, eco-tourism, hydro power and decentralization of power.
When all the on-going projects and schemes are fully commissioned, Sikkim will have secured a very self-sufficient future for the next 100 years, the Chief Minster said.
“This is the ultimate goal of all our development activities. The people of Sikkim will be able to see the ground impact of our efforts by 2015. That would mean, they would be able to see as well as feel the positive result of our programs more explicitly”.
In his I-Day message, the Chief Minister also explained to the Sikkimese people about the objectives behind setting up a super-specialty hospital, a project whose proposed location and allied issues has been facing protests by the opposition parties and organizations.
Stating that the absence of a super-specialty hospital to cater to the multiple life threatening health problems of Sikkimese people has been a grave concern for the State government, Chamling pointed out that the existing facilities available with the STNM hospital are inadequate to cater to the growing pressure for treatment and medical care.
“With a view to resolving this problem and also for relieving the burden of our people from having to seek treatment outside the State by incurring huge expenses and often having to succumb to loss of lives due to delayed medical attention, we are constructing a 575 bedded multi-specialty hospital within the State capital”, said Chamling. He also informed that a health insurance scheme had been launched by the State government in the last fiscal year to ease the financial strain for the BPL families.
In his message, the Chief Minister told the Sikkimese people that the long cry of connectivity and the distressful sense of physical isolation is today almost a thing of the past with the air, road and rail link issues being addressed in various phases. “Once these projects are completed, the people of Sikkim will get immense relief from prolonged monsoon in the hills and the continuous disruption of the national highway by rains, landslides and other natural calamities”, he said.
Regarding the promotion given to 21st century professions by the State government in the past 16 years, Chamling said service sector will be a part of new profession for the Sikkimese people. The new-age professions will be largely based on organic farming, agro-based industry, tourism and related trades, education and Information Technology, he said.
“This is largely based on the elemental truth that not all the literate and educated Sikkimese will get the white-collared jobs in the future. Therefore, sphere of activities under the service sector and the standard of operations should be systematically upgraded and scientifically updated. This will provide our educated youth honourable economic engagement to progress in life as an independent entrepreneur”, said Chamling.
The Chief Minister also highlighted that Sikkim government have a total of 38,861 government employees with the best range of salary structure, daily wages-who are sponsored for regular training, refresher course. Ample promotion avenues have been created granting promotions to all employees on a regular basis, he said.
Meeting to restore Ugen Trinley Dorjee in the seat of Karmapa at Rumtek – with all community support ?!!
From Haal Khabar
By Prashan Bajgain
Gangtok, August 14, 2010: In order to restore Ugen Trinley Dorjee in the seat of Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery, the same being the strong contender for the vacant post of Karmapa after procuring support from different originations and a larger segment of Buddhist Monk community of the state, the Karmapa Reception Committee along with the Joint Action Committee held a meeting here today at the capital.
Addressing to the press after concluding the board meeting, the four members of the total fifteen members Karmapa Reception Committee namely KT Bhutia representing Rumtek, Gyachen Bhutia from Phudong, NT Bhutia from Ralong and Rinchen Bhutia from Rumtek teached on rally that is to be held at September 26 at the state’s capital Gangtok demanding restoration of Ugen Trinley Dorjee in the vacant post of Karmapa, the same being passed today with absolute majority at the very meeting.
Further it is learned of the rally to be converted into a mass gathering yet the venue for the same is yet to be finalized. The route for the rally is marked from Indira Bya Pass gradually all over the capital wherein almost fifty thousand supporters from all the four district of the state irrespective of caste and religion is all set to participate.
However KT Bhutia informed of new resolutions to be passed for future advancement after concluding down of the proposed rally. The positive impact of the rally may even lead delegations of Joint Action Committee along with members of Karmapa Reception Committee to Delhi for discussing the concerned issue with the high level leaders therein, he added.
The today’s meeting had decided to approach Chief Minister of the state Pawan Chamling along with Governor of the state Balmiki Prasad as guest appearance at the proposed gathering. The Meeting had also decided to submit the memorandum, both to CM and Governor demanding restoration of Ugen Trinley Dorjee as the Karmapa of Rumtek Monastery at the earliest, it is informed.
Upreti iterates Congress charges against RMD minister – who will bear responsibility ?!!
From Sikkim Express
An SE Report
GANGTOK, August 14, 2010: Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) senior vice-president KN Upreti reiterated the party’s demand for ‘resignation’ of RMD minister CB Karki over the Rajesh Jhunjhunwala-Khangchendzonga amusement park lease controversy.
As per the criminal matter concerning Jhunjhunwala is concerned, the RMD minister should resign on moral grounds or should be dismissed and this is the stand of SPCC and other opposition parties, said Upreti in a press statement today.
The SPCC senior vice-president also refuted the charges leveled on erstwhile Sangram Parishad government by the ruling front on education sector. “I was the education minister and our government had separate education cells for adult education, non-formal education and vocational education. Our government had made arrangements for two hours education daily for senior citizens who had missed the opportunity in their early days. We had also opened up education centres at various places for providing non-formal education to those children who could not attend school for various reasons”, reminded Upreti.
Personal Interest of CB Karki in RTV Scam depicted: Yakha
From Haal Khabar
By Prashant Bajgain
Gangtok, August 13, 2010: The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) Government is manipulating the central sponsored fund passed for Sikkim Nirman from earliest and the current example of it is ‘Ranka Tourist Villa Scam’ wherein the Saudabaji and corruption of SDF and its cabinet ministers is being disclosed at large, said Avinash Yakha PCC Member of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC).
A press conference was held here today at Congress Party Office whereinAvinash Yakha condemned and criticized SDF minister and their practices leading to immense corruption at large within state.
These Scams are the medium of corruption for this even more corrupted government. Now when the whole matter is disclosed then what is the cause of blaming one another rather than supporting the investigation, he added.
Further Yakha demanded direct interference of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling in the whole matter relating to Scam. The duty of the CM is to look after the states matter rather than enjoying foreign tours and pilgrimages. It too indicates on the involvement of his party members in the Scam, he expressed.
Counting RMDD Minister CB Karki role in the whole matter Yakha teached on no call of tender for the lease of Amusement Park at Ranka and wherein he lend the same to his close friend and business partner Jhunjhunwala and who is currently facing charges of manipulation of money. It indicates on the personal interest of CB karki at large in the Scam, he further told.
Commenting on the statement of CB Karki on Friday edition of the daily newspaper wherein he criticized the role of opposition parties only limited upto commenting in negative means, Yakha expressed such statement from a designated minister as an act of shame and condemned for the same. If Karki is really concerned for Sikkimese people and if he is a true representative of the commoners he should resign within twenty four hours from now or else CM should come forward for the same, he demanded.
Further Yakha coined SDF as a commission based party and expressed that the very scam had even violated the post of President of India, the same park being inaugurated by the president of India on her visit to state few months back.
Teachers’ delegation submit 9-point memorandum to Minister, Delegation assures to cooperate in Sikkim’s literacy programme – a fully literate state by 2015, how literate ?!!
From The Sikkim Express
An SE Report
GANGTOK, August 14, 2010: A Joint Action Committee of Sikkim Teachers Association (STA) and Sikkim United Teachers Welfare Association (SUTWA) along with nine-member Committee of Pre-Primary Teacher called on State HRD Minister NK Pradhan in connection with the recent transfer orders of Pre-Primary Teachers under various local bodies.
According to a press release issued today by HRD special secretary DP Sharma, the Associations submitted a 9-point memorandum to the Minister for consideration.
Addressing the members, the Minister categorically stated that HRD Department has always been sympathetic and positive in addressing the grievances of the teachers so that they can in turn serve the students of the State with full commitment. He assured the Pre-Primary Teachers that their services are secured and that there shall be no reduction in pay scale. “The ACP shall be as per their present entitlement,” the Minister said adding that they will be considered as vocational staff and enjoys all the benefits which are due to the teaching community.
It was further clarified that even though their services have been transferred to respective local bodies, the Assistant Director, HRDD posted at Block Level will be authorized to deal with all service matters concerning them. Regarding the demands for promotional avenues and change of designation, Mr Pradhan assured that the matter will be taken up with the Government at the earliest.
Later, the delegation assured that they will fully cooperate with the Government in making Sikkim a fully literate State by the year 2015 and will join their respective place of posting at the earliest. The members of visiting delegation expressed their regrets on certain unfortunate events that have taken place in pat few days and clarified that the members of teaching community are always at the service of the people of the State.
The executive members of STA and SUTWA also expressed their gratitude toward the Minister for resolution of this issue and further reassured that they will continue to provide their constructive cooperation in the endeavour of the Government to provide quality education and literacy mission.