JUST IN: 7th Tripartite Talks end positively – all major secretarial level points conceded effectively – more sensitive political points to be discussed at next Tripartite Talks on 7th September 2010

JUST IN: 7th Tripartite Talks end positively – all major secretarial level points conceded effectively – more sensitive political points to be discussed at next Tripartite Talks on 7th September 2010 – making steady progress the non-violent way ?!!

By our Special News Correspondent

Darjeeling, Aug 17, 2010: GJM Secretary Roshan Giri, who led the 7th Secretarial Level Tripartite Talks with the Bengal Government in New Delhi today, speaking to newsmen on the phone after the meeting in Delhi said, “the 7th Secretarial Level talks today went very positively with the Bengal government conceding effectively most of the legislative and financial powers the GJM had requested.”

“The more sensitive political  points,” Mr Giri explained, “like the Territory Issue, the 5 year term for the Interim Authority that Bengal is proposing when we are insisting it be till the end of 2011, the moving of the Police Commissionerate from Kolkata to Darjeeling, etc … would be discussed in the next round of talks on the 7th of September” he said.

Union Home Secretary GK Pillai, State Home Secretary Samar Ghose were present from the Bengal side and from the GJM side, besides Roshan Giri who led the GJM delegation, there were 6 other members from the (Gorkha Adivasi) Study Forum, namely Trilok Dewan, L.B Pariyar, S.N Pradhan, Mesha Sauriya from Dooars and Ratan Thapa. Retd Col Ramesh Allay President of the Indian Army Gorkha Ex Servicemen’s Association was also present to represent the security aspects of the region and also participated in the talks.

Explaining that the talks were held in a very cordial and co-operative manner, Mr Giri said “the Bengal Home Secretary Samar Ghosh had been very co-operative” and added “the mood of the entire talks had been very positive”.

When questioned on the problem areas, another Study Forum member said, “the West Bengal Government has been proposing that our Legislative Assembly have only 20 elected members when we have suggested at least 50 or more are needed to cover all the vast areas that also need representation.” Speaking on the request of anonymity, he continued, “When the DGHC already has 28 members, how can the new ‘Interim Authority to be’ with larger powers and more territory, have less representation ? This is indeed ridiculous. These need to be thoroughly discussed in the next round of talks,” the source concluded.

Meanwhile in Darjeeling the ABGL, following the arrest of GJM Darjeeling Youth Central Committee member Nicole Tamang yesterday, has also demanded the immediate arrest of  Aloke Kantamani Thulung (President GJYM) , Kismat Chhetri (President GJVM), Keshavraj Pokhrel (Secretary GJYM), Puran Thami, Dinesh Gurung and Tenzing Khambachey.

However, according to the Darjeeling police, all the abovementioned are still absconding.

The ABGL has also reiterated its demand for the arrest of the entire top GJM Leadership starting with the GJM President Bimal Gurung, GJM Secretary Roshan Giri, GJM VP Pradip Pradhan, GJNM President Asha Gurung, GJM Press & Publicity Chief Dr H.B.Chhetri, GLP Chief Ramesh Alley as co-conspirators in the murder of their leader Madan Tamang on 21 May 2010 when FIRs were filed in the name of the above mentioned GJM leaders after the brazen daylight murder. “This request,” police sources say, “borders on very sensitive and political issues”.

MEANWHILE

Bandh affects life in north Bengal – rather nervous about steps ?!!

FROM THE PRESS TRUST OF INDAI
BY PTI STAFF WRITER

Siliguri (WB), Aug 17, 2010 (PTI) 12:32 HRS IST: A 24-hour Bengal bandh called against the tripartite talks with GJM affected normal life in Siliguri and major parts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts today.

The call for bandh was given by anti-GJM party ‘Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Samiti’ in protest against today’s tripartite talks among state, the Centre and Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leaders on the Darjeeling issue in New Delhi.

The president of the Samiti, Mukunda Majumder told PTI that today’s tripartite talks, aimed at taking a decision to make an interim arrangement upto December 31, 2011, by giving more autonomy to the existing hill council was “nothing but a step towards statehood”.

“We oppose this move as it is unnecessary and illogical at the moment. The Centre should talk with all political parties, including us, which are active in this region,” Majumder said.

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