GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Stability is a must – HE Darjeeling Governor MK Narayanan

GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Stability is a must – HE Darjeeling Governor MK Narayanan – on a relaxed holiday,  the art of saying without speaking ?!! Maybe the CPM needs a break too ?!!

 

His Excellency Darjeeling Governor MK Narayanan in Darjeeling (DT) - in need of a rested working holiday, soothes the nerves and eases the mind ?!!

From Kalimnews

 

Sunday, 31 October 2010, 00:17 hrs: Bengal Governor MK Narayanan admitted that Darjeeling hills are situated in a rather vulnerable location so they should be governed by anyone who can restore peace, harmony and stability in the area.

He further said that Darjeeling hills are in an unstable state and need immediate stability.

Governor Narayanan accompanied with his wife, arrived in Kalimpong on Saturday the morning and stayed at the Circuit House and is scheduled to return to Darjeeling on Sunday after visiting Lava and its adjoining areas. He visited Durpin and Delo.

MEANWHILE

GJM to meet party members from outside Darjeeling to decide future of the Gorkha agitation – with no give by Bengal on the territory issue the GJM is doomed, just as Bengal wants it ?!!

From our Himal News Special Correspondent

Darjeeling, Sunday October 31, 2010, 8:14 hrs: GJM is scheduled to meet all their party members from outside Darjeeling – Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, the East & North East to discuss whether the party should accept the Interim Setup for the next two years or carry on with the agitation for Gorkhaland.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 am today.

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BENGAL POLITICS IN DARJEELING & DOOARS: Left wants package for plains

BENGAL POLITICS IN DARJEELING & DOOARS: Left wants package for plains – classic case of the “tail wagging the dog”, why build offices in Siliguri when the weather in Darjeeling or Kalimpong is by far better and would do wonders for the Hill economy – signing of the set-up without “partial territory inclusion” would be akin to a glorified DGHC ?!! Take Bengal’s word for it ?!!

 

Asok Bhattacharya in Siliguri (Kundan Yolmo) - desperate enough to try any ruse possible ?!!

 

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Siliguri, Oct. 29: Darjeeling district Left Front will demand a special package for Siliguri and the Dooars and the strengthening of the administrative set-up in Siliguri after an interim authority is put in place for the hills.

District LF convener and Bengal municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya said the demands would be made before the chief minister ahead of the next round of tripartite dialogue.

“The date for the next round of tripartite talks has not been finalised. But we will urge the chief minister to demand a special package for the development of the Dooars and Siliguri as we feel there are so many areas in the plains which need development,” said Bhattacharya.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has claimed that the next tripartite meeting will be held after Diwali. There are rumours that a deal will be signed at the next meeting at the political level to set up the interim authority for the hills.

“A new bridge at Sevoke for better communication between Siliguri and the Dooars is necessary and the Centre has to sanction it. Education, health, water supply and roads are the other areas which are to be developed in the plains,” said the minister.

Bhattacharya said many government offices would have to be opened in Siliguri subdivision once the hills were brought under the interim authority.

“For better administration and to avoid any inconvenience for the people in the plains, we will demand that offices of the land and land reforms department, regional transport authority and the chief medical officer be opened here,” said the Siliguri MLA.

These offices are in Darjeeling at present.

BRIEFS FROM THE REGION

BRIEFS FROM THE REGION

Good Morning: Hello, It’s Saturday , October 30 , 2010

 

FOR A SOUND-FREE DIWALI: Innocent Schoolchildren take part in a rally in Siliguri on Friday, requesting people to refrain from bursting crackers during Diwali. (Kundan Yolmo) - while the naughty and more adventurous ones rave & crave for it as Diwali is just once a year - can it really be controlled ?!!

From The Telegraph

 

Two held for silk heist

Malda, Oct. 29: Police have netted two members of a gang that shot dead two employees of the Central Silk Board office at Amriti while decamping with Rs 4 lakh last evening.

Englishbazar police raided the homes of Ajmal Hussain and Nehboob Sheikh in Alipur village in Kaliachak last night and arrested the duo. The police also recovered Rs 50,000 from them. There were six members in the gang and they had escaped on motorcycles after the crime. The police found the houses of Hussain and Sheikh, after seizing a two-wheeler the gang had abandoned because of a technical snag.

Blockade

Jalpaiguri: Members of the Yuva League blocked NH31D at Gosala More for two hours on Friday to protest the bad condition of the highway. The agitators have said they will organise a transport strike in the district on November 1 to protest the precarious condition of the highway.

Students hurt

Alipurduar: Five students were injured when they were swept off the roof of a private bus they were travelling on by a passing branch of a tree along NH31 near Dimdima on Friday morning. About 10-12 boys were on the roof of the crowded bus plying the Gayerkata-Birpara route, police said. Satish Bara, 12, a Class VII student, has been referred to the district hospital in Jalpaiguri with head injuries. All the boys were students of Fatema High School in Dimdima.

Fake notes

Siliguri: Officials of the directorate of revenue intelligence arrested Barkat Ali, a resident of Kaliachak in Malda, and recovered from him fake Indian notes with a face value of Rs 10 lakh. He was caught in Bagdogra on Friday.

Docs’ threat

Siliguri: Junior doctors at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital here have threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike if indoor speciality departments are not made functional by November 18. They demand the opening of cardiology, nephrology and neurology departments and the intensive coronary care, paediatric intensive care and neo-natal intensive care units.

Northeast Briefs

Assam reshuffle

Guwahati, Oct. 29: Four Upper Assam deputy commissioners were today transferred by Dispur in view of the Assembly elections. Tinsukia DC K.K. Dwivedi was transferred as DC Dibrugarh in place of G.D. Tripathi, who was shifted as secretary, home and political affairs. Sivasagar DC N.M. Hussain took over as DC Golaghat. Jatin Lahkar, Dhubri DC, will be the new Sivasagar DC while S.S. Menaxi Sundaram the Tinsukia DC. Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Dhubri, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari and Kamrup (metro) districts were also affected.

Rebels held

Nagaon: Nagaon police arrested NDFB cadres Rajendra Basumatary and Haitha Basumatary at Samaguri on Friday.

Bandh

Nagaon: Normal life was paralysed during the 24-hour Dima Hasao district bandh called by the Indigenous Students Forum in protest against the October 27 bomb blast in the Barak Valley Express at lower Haflong railway station.

Leopard

Dibrugarh: Forest department personnel and Dikom tea estate captured a full-grown male leopard on Friday. he leopard was later released in the Joypur reserve forest after a check-up.

Events

Senior Citizens for Society, Manipur, and Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India, Karnataka, to organise a daylong North East Regional Consultation on Electoral Reforms in India at Hotel Imphal at 10am. HIV/AIDS awareness campaign by field publicity office, Dibrugarh, in association with Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre, AMCH, Dibrugarh, at Lahoal College, Dibrugarh, from noon.

Camp

A free homoeopathy medical camp will be organised at Ri Bhoi Emporium Hall, Nongpoh, Shillong, at 11am. Valedictory function of CCRT National Cultural Festival Unity in Diversity at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra auditorium in Guwahati at 6pm.

 

BENGAL POLITICS IN DARJEELING & DOOARS: Extra force plea for GNLF comeback

 

Bengal and the Centre's multiple choices - a), b) or c) till the entire population loses total confidence and the situation goes totally undemocratic ?!!

 

BENGAL POLITICS IN DARJEELING : Extra force plea for GNLF comeback – sinister ruse replayed, all to continue dividing and perpetuating Bengal’s dastardly rule ?!!

 

ABGL members during the formation of Tarun Gorkha (DT / Manoj Bogati) - readying for a bloodbath ?!!

 

FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI

Darjeeling, Oct. 28: Nearly 25 GNLF leaders have decided to return to the hills en masse, prompting the Darjeeling police chief to ask the state government for more forces to ensure their security.

The announcement comes even as the GNLF steps up its offensive before the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha signs an agreement on the interim set-up for the hills. The Subash Ghisingh-led party had already started forming village committees and yesterday announced the formation of a unit in Darjeeling subdivision, almost three years after nearly 40 leaders were hounded out of the hills. It is not yet clear if Ghisingh will be part of the group that is planning the comeback after Diwali.

Darjeeling superintendent of police D.P. Singh said: “We have received letters from 25 GNLF leaders expressing desire to return home. I have written to the state government seeking additional forces to ensure their safety and security.” Singh said no intimation had come from Ghisingh, who had been forced to leave the hills in June 2008.

However, sources in the police said “before Dashain (Durga Puja) they had received information that Ghisingh, too, was planning a return”.

The GNLF, as part of the rival camp, is trying to take advantage of the fluid hill politics before the pact on the interim set-up is sealed with the Morcha. The ABGL, another Morcha rival, had yesterday said the hills would go up in flames if the deal was sealed as people wanted Gorkhaland and not any interim arrangement. In a tactical move, the ABGL while naming its former president Madan Tamang had also mentioned the names of Morcha supporters Pramila Sharma and Akbar Lama — all three were killed — as those who had sacrificed their lives for Gorkhaland and not for any interim set-up.

Ghisingh along with around 40 prominent party leaders were forced to leave the hills after a bullet fired from the house of a GNLF leader killed Morcha supporter Pramila in June 2008. Houses of many of the leaders were torched and vandalised allegedly by Morcha supporters who claimed that the general public had chased the GNLF leaders away.

The only GNLF leader who managed to enter the hills early this year is Dawa Pakhrin. He, however, came back only after resigning as the president of the GNLF’s Kalimpong branch committee. Even Shanta Chhetri, the GNLF MLA from Kurseong, has not been able to visit her constituency since 2008.

On March 4 this year, a National Human Rights Commission directive asked the state chief secretary and the director general of police to provide security to GNLF leaders wanting to return.

Observers believe that the GNLF leaders are confident that they can return home not because of the NHRC’s directive but also because of the “fluid political situation in the hills”.

“The GNLF and the ABGL have been able to make some inroads largely because of the fallout of the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang. The GNLF leaders perhaps believe that this is the right time to return home,” said an observer.

EARLIER

Whiff of interim protest in rival camp – STATE ONLY: ABGL – all so that the territory issue can be sidelined as the “Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas” were not respected by Bengal’s hegemony and never will be ?!!

 

Dawa Sherpa with newly inducted ex-GNLF members - stirring the delicate agitation pot for Bengal ?!!

 

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU

Oct. 27: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is confident of inking an agreement on the interim set-up in the next political-level talks but rival outfits are determined to oppose the arrangement, raising the spectre of unrest in the hills after the pact is sealed.

Today, the ABGL warned that the hills would go up in flames if the Bimal Gurung-led Morcha went ahead with an interim set-up for the Darjeeling hills.

Chewang Bhutia, the the Kalimpong branch secretary of the ABGL, said those who claimed they would sign such an agreement within a month or two should think twice because former party president Madan Tamang had sacrificed his life to oppose such interim set-ups.

“If they (read the Morcha) have the guts, let them do it. The hills, however, will go up in flames. The youths are with us. Make no mistake of treating us like weaklings,” warned Bhutia.

The ABGL reaction was in response to reports that the Morcha is on the verge of signing the agreement on the interim arrangement by as early as the next round of tripartite talks, likely to be held in the first half of November.

The ABGL said over 1,200 people (in the 1980s) and Morcha supporters Pramila Sharma and Akbar Lama sacrificed their lives for the separate state of Gorkhaland, not an interim set-up or the Sixth Schedule.

“Gorkhaland is our birthright. We are not begging before anybody for a state of our own. To agree on anything other than Gorkhaland is shameful,” said Pratap Khati, an ABGL central committee member.

The ABGL’s threat looms on the hills, as the party has been able to mobilise support across the region in recent times. In fact, leaders like Rajen Mukhia, who was solely responsible for keeping the GNLF alive in the Terai, has switched over to the ABGL along with his supporters. Former GNLF leaders like K.N. Subba have also joined Tamang’s party.

The GNLF has also started reviving its activities after lying low for almost three years. With the rise of the Morcha, the GNLF writ was wiped out of the hills and its leader, Subash Ghisingh, went into political hibernation.

A handwritten press release issued by Kusum Ghimire, the GNLF’s president from Liza Hill tea garden, 25km from Darjeeling, said: “The GNLF had supported the demand for a separate state raised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha but since the Morcha started talking about Gorkha-Adivasi Pradesh and now an interim set-up, we have decided to press for the inclusion of the Darjeeling hills in the Sixth Schedule as this would have constitutional guarantee.”

After three years, this is also the first time that the GNLF has issued a media release saying that it has formed a unit in the Darjeeling subdivision.

Recently, the GNLF also held indoor meetings in Kurseong and formed village committees across the hills.

Harka Bahadur Chhetri, a spokesperson for the Morcha, has refused to read much into the rival activities. “The present leadership of the ABGL has no credibility. They only get into the negatives and they themselves have nothing positive to show vis-a–vis the Gorkhaland demand. The interim set-up must be seen as a step towards achieving Gorkhaland.”

About the GNLF, Chhetri said the party was radar-less. “Their leader is in political hibernation. A lot of their leaders have joined the ABGL which clearly shows that the party has no political programme of their own.”

The Morcha is perhaps drawing solace from the fact that the rival camp is a divided house. While the ABGL wants nothing short of Gorkhaland, the GNLF is focused on the Sixth Schedule.

AND JUST LAST MONTH

Ghising’s aide quits his Gorkha outfit – now calling upon CRPF support with the help of Bengal ?!!

 

Rajen Mukhia with the promise to hang himself if a separate state is ever achieved - not quite a united vision nor maturity with the ABGL or the Gorkha majority consensus ?!!

 

From Sify News

Siliguri, Sep 18 (IANS): Rajen Mukhiya, a long-time close aide of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) president Subhas Ghising, Saturday joined the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL).

Mukhiya, who resigned from the GNLF last month accusing Ghising of being “inactive” during a vital stage of the hill politics and Gorkhaland movement, announced his decision to join the ABGL at a crowded media meet here in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.

Mukhiya said: “The GNLF has virtually become extinct. I have pleaded with Ghising so many times to return to the hills and take part in active politics. We also urged him to make his stand clear on the Gorkhaland movement and on ABGL president Madan Tamang’s murder. But he has maintained a stony silence.”

He also alleged that Ghising is maintaining “covert-alliance” with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) which is now spearheading the Gorkhaland movement in the Darjeeling hills. The GJM has been held responsible by its political opponents for the May 21 murder of Tamang, he said.

Accusing the Bimal Gurung-led GJM of fomenting trouble in the hills and ruining its economy, Mukhiya said: “The ABGL is the best platform to fight against the GJM atrocities.”

Along with Mukhiya, the former convenor of GNLF’s Terai branch, hundreds of his followers joined the ABGL. Some GJM leaders like Prakash Subba also announced in the media meet that they were casting their lot with the ABGL.

ABGL working president Dawa Sherpa welcomed Mukhiya and his associates and said: “The downfall of the GJM has started. We will strengthen our movement against the GJM shortly.”

Meanwhile, seven GJM youth leaders have started a hunger strike in front of the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling town, demanding that the administration present Nicol Tamang, the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case, before the public.

Nicol Tamang fled from police custody near Siliguri Aug 22 a week after his arrest.

The three subdivisions — Kalimpong, Kurseong and Darjeeling — comprising the hilly areas of Darjeeling district have been on the boil for years with a section of political parties rooting for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

The GNLF had been in the forefront of the agitation since the late 1980s and ran the autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, enjoying a virtual monopoly over hill politics. However, the GJM overshadowed the GNLF to seize control of the Gorkhaland movement in 2008.

Ghising was practically driven out of the hills and now stays in the plains of New Jalpaiguri.

GNLF leaders join(ed) ABGL – more likely to follow – so now that Ghising is toothless, old and alone, what’s Bengal’s next move ?!!

 

Subhash Ghising in Jalpaiguri - name still conveniently used by Bengal for their personal power ruse, only for Bengal's mass consumption ?!!

 

From KalimNews

19 September 2010, 08:54: Ex-Councillors of DGHC – K.N.Subba of Gorubathan and Rajen Mukhia of Panighatta, leaving GNLF, joined Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League. In a programme held in Kalimpong ABGL announced that these two top brass GNLF leaders were inducted in ABGL. It was also indicated that Dawa Sherpa of Kalimpong, Tshering Sherpa of Kafer along with Tika Khati an Ex-Secretary of DGHC are also likely to join ABGL.

Addressing a press conference Dawa Sherpa Working President of ABGL announced that the two with their supporters resigned from GNLF and membership of ABGL was granted to them.  Sherpa said that ABGL has no enmity with GJMM and it wants peace in the hills as such it will continue its agitation for the creation of a separate state. He further said that their agitation will be Delhi based. He reminded that ABGL has filed a suit in Kolkata High Court demading proper enquiry on murder of its the then President Madan Tamang. He said that the party’s demand for CBI enquiry of the murder is likely to be started by the center.

ABGL Subdivisional committee too was reconstituted today. Tribhuan Rai as President, Kamal Chhetri as Vice President, Tshewang Bhutia as Secretary, Santa Bdr Chhetri as Asst Secretary, Udin Rai as Treasurer along with 9 executive members were  elected in the Committee.

MOUNTAINEERING: Aussies eye peak after charity

MOUNTAINEERING: Aussies eye peak after charity – bringing out the best in humanity ?!!

 

(From left) Barap Namygal Bhutia, Michael Bishop, Dana Najedly and Robert Fletcher in Gangtok on Thursday. (Prabin Khaling) - an adventure of noble minds ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

 

Gangtok, Oct. 28: Three Australians today set off on an expedition to scale Mt Joponu in West Sikkim after weeklong community services in Siliguri.

Michael Bishop, 50, Dana Najedly, 60, and her husband Robert Fletcher, 63, left Gangtok for Yuksom, 140km from here, today, along with state government-appointed liaison officer, Bhaichung Yonzon.

While Bishop and Najedly are doctors, Fletcher is a civil engineer. Their target is 5,930-metre high Mt Joponu, a favourite peak for foreign climbers visiting Sikkim.

The expedition to Joponu is a short break for the Australian trio from their community work in the slums of Siliguri.

“We had been organising free medical camps in Siliguri for the past one week. We are also working towards upgrading facilities at a sports club at Bidya Chakro colony there. In between, we decided to come to Sikkim to do some trekking and climbing and explore the beautiful wilderness and mountains of this state,” said Bishop.

“After the trip, we will return to Siliguri on November 11 and continue the work for one more week,” he said.

According to the itinerary prepared by Sikkim Holidays, which is organising the expedition, the Australian team would be reaching the base camp at Thangshing at 3,960 metre after five days of trek from Yuksom.

“The team is expected to summit Joponu on November 4. But we have kept one day extra in case there is bad weather,” said Barap Namygal Bhutia, the managing director of Sikkim Holidays.

The most experienced climber in the team is Bishop who scaled Goechala in West Sikkim in November 2009 and in April 2010. The peak is over 10,000 feet high.

‘The route (to Goechala) was beautiful with lots of wildlife, spectacular scenery and friendly people and I decided that I would go climbing there again,” he said.

Bishop said he had scaled peaks in New Zealand and Australia. “The peaks in New Zealand are of lesser height, around 3,000 metre. Here we want to climb a peak which is double the height of those in New Zealand and it will be more difficult,” he said.

But for Najedly and Fletcher, the expedition to Joponu will be their first experience of mountaineering. But the couple said they had undergone physical training in Australia for the trek.

Bishop said they would return home in April and planned to come back with more people.

“We want to bring doctors and professionals from Australia to Sikkim for trekking and climbing and at the same time, engage in community services. We will return to Australia in April and hope to come back with a bigger team for expeditions and community work in Sikkim and probably in Kalimpong,” he said.

Asked whether such idea would be appealing to other Australians, Bishop said: “Australians like to do charity and help the poor and at the same time, visit beautiful places and do some adventure sports.”

HMI to take mountain rescue class – probably the only few institutions untainted by Bengal’s ineptitude ?!!

 

- soaring above the rest ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BY VIVEK CHHETRI

 

Darjeeling, Oct. 27: The Darjeeling-based Himalayan Mountaineering Institute will train the personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to undertake rescue operations during calamities in mountainous regions.

The HMI has been selected to conduct the training given its international standing following its enrolment as a member of the Switzerland-headquartered Union Internationale Des Association D’Alpinisme (UIAA).

Col Neeraj Rana, the principal of the HMI, told The Telegraph: “We will be training the NDRF personnel from November 18 onwards. The training for eight battalions of the NDRF will be conducted in batches of 50 and each session will be of a month’s duration.”

 

NDRF personnel during a rescue operation after a landslide in Darjeeling last year (TT) - Bengal forgetting or deliberately ignoring the vital role played by the GLP rescue team during Cyclone Aila & other landslides ?!!

The NDRF, which conducts search and rescue operation during disasters, has jawans drawn from the Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force.

 

“The training will revolve around search, rescue and rehabilitation when natural calamities strike mountainous regions in the country,” said Rana.

At the moment, the battalions are stationed at Arrakonam (Tamil Nadu), Mundali (Orissa), Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), Chandigarh, Barasat (Bengal), Guwahati (Assam), Pune (Maharashtra) and Gandhinagar (Gujarat).

Over 6,500 personnel will be trained over a period of time at the HMI. “We are being paid Rs 8,000 per a jawan for the training by the NDRF,” said Rana.

The HMI now conducts training in basic and advance mountaineering, along with method of instruction training. These courses are of 28-day duration and candidates have to pay Rs 4,000 per course.

The training of the NDRF is expected to boost the institution’s revenue which was around Rs 1.8 crore in the last financial year.

The HMI is also gearing to receive the first set of evaluators from the UIAA in March 2011. “The evaluators will go through our training procedures before certifying our standards for a period of five years,” said Rana.

The UIAA, also known as the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, is a body that governs climbing across the globe.

The UIAA sends experts to member federations to certify their courses and also lays down training standards to be followed worldwide.

“As we have been made a member of the UIAA, certificates issued by the HMI will be recognised across the world. Till date, we have trained around 1,600 foreigners and we can now expect more people from abroad,” said Rana, who recently returned from Italy after attending a UIAA meeting.

During the meeting, the HMI was formally declared a member of the UIAA. “There was a secret ballot and the HMI received 39 votes in its favour, while two members, the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and an Iranian federation, abstained from voting,” said Rana.

BRIEFS FROM THE REGION

BRIEFS FROM THE REGION

Good Morning: Hello, It’s Friday , October 29 , 2010

 

Bhanita Mahanta, Dabur Gulabari Miss Fresh Face of North East, flanked by first and second runners-up Hanna Partin (right) and Rajkannya Barua, pose at a beauty pageant in Guwahati on Thursday. (PTI) - God's gift to the North, for Beauty is what beauty does ?!!

From The Telegraph

 

Northeast Briefs

Rebels surrender

Imphal, Oct. 28: Three cadres of the Kangleipak Communist Party and two cadres of the Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak urrendered before the IG (South) Assam Rifles and director-general of police Yumnam Joykumar Singh today.

Gutted

Namrup: Property worth Rs 40 lakh was gutted in Namrup in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district in the wee hours of Thursday. Police said the fire engulfed the entire business establishment and adjacent residence of Atul Saha, a prominent businessman.

Suicide

Jorhat: Kuton Dutta, 50, killed himself by jumping in front of Ledo Tinsukia Express at Digboi at 8am on Thursday.

Road mishap

Jorhat: Manowara Ali, a truck driver, was killed at Kohora police outpost in Bokakhat when two trucks collided at the place on Thursday morning.

Book release

Guwahati: Pratibimb: Mann Ka Udgaar, a book on Hindi poems written by N.D. Sharma will be released at the Guwahati Press Club on October 31 at 1pm.

Jatinga festival

Three-day International Jatinga Festival, 2010, at Jatinga village playground in Dima Hasao district, Assam, 10am.

Workshop

Water workshop at Bethany Society campus, Lady Veronica lane, Laitumkhrah, from 10am to 1pm.

Seminar

Submit papers for National Seminar on Social Exclusion and Conflict in Northeast India, to be held on January 8-9, 2011 at Institute of Tai Studies and Research, Moranhat. Contact 9435132505 and 9435132027.

Food fest

Innovative Youths’ Society to organise a one-day Chinjak Festival, a food festival, on Chaoyaima Higher Secondary School grounds at Thoubal from 2pm.

Fair

Childrens’ Book Fair from October 28 at Chandmari Assam Engineering Institute playground, Guwahati. The fair opens at 10am.

Exhibition

Participate in the 7th Northeastern States’ Painting Exhibition at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra. Contact 0361-2332665. Last date to submit application forms is October 31.

Prayers

Guwahati prayer festival on October 29 and 30 at Veterinary College Sports, Khanapara, Guwahati from 4.30pm to 8pm.

OCCULT INTEREST: Paul, the WCup predicting octopus, dies at 2 ½

OCCULT INTEREST: Paul, the WCup predicting octopus, dies at 2 ½ – a natural death but what an extraordinary life ?!!

 

Paul, the World Cup Football oracle - RIP

By NESHA STARCEVIC, AP Sports Writer

 

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Oct 26, 2010: Paul the Octopus, the tentacled tipster who fascinated soccer fans by predicting results at the World Cup, died Tuesday.

Paul had reached the octopus old age of 2 1/2 years and died in his tank on Tuesday morning at the Sea Life aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge said.

Paul correctly tipped the outcome of all seven of Germany’s games. He made his predictions by opening the lid of one of two clear plastic boxes, each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag.

The octopus seemed to be in good shape when he was checked late Monday, but he did not make it through the night. He died of natural causes, Vieregge said.

“We had all naturally grown very fond of him and he will be sorely missed,” Sea Life manager Stefan Porwoll said in a statement.

The aquarium has not yet decided how best to commemorate their most famous resident, he said.

“We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds, and erect a modest permanent shrine,” Porwoll said.

After rising to global prominence during the World Cup in South Africa in June and July, Paul retired from the predictions business after the final between Spain and the Netherlands—correctly picking Spain—and returned to his primary role of intriguing children who attend the aquarium.

The invertebrate was stepping “back from the official oracle business,” Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life, told AP Television News at the time.

“He won’t give any more oracle predictions—either in football, nor in politics, lifestyle or economy,” she said. “Paul will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh.”

After his World Cup soothsaying skills were revealed, the English-born Paul was appointed as an ambassador to England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. He had English roots, having been hatched at Weymouth Sea Life Center on England’s south coast in 2008.

Imitators sprang up all over the world, including Mani the Parakeet in Singapore and Lorenzo the Parrot in Hannover, Germany.

The latest was a saltwater crocodile named Dirty Harry, who predicted Spain’s World Cup final win and called the result of Australia’s general election by snatching a chicken carcass dangling beneath a caricature of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

“El Pulpo Paul” became so popular in Spain that the northwestern Spanish town of O Carballino tried to borrow him and made him an “honorary friend.”

Paul, who had an agent, got hundreds of requests to go to Spain. The Madrid Zoo asked Sea Life if it would be willing to make a deal to bring him in as a tribute to the Spanish soccer team’s victory, either temporarily or for good. But the German aquarium turned down that offer, too.

Paul’s name will live on the Greek island of Zakynthos, where a permanent sea turtle rescue center funded in part by donations generated by the famous octopus is being established.

(Associated Press writer David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.)