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Bimal Gurung wishes 72nd Independence Day 15 August 2018
Bimal Gurung
From his hiding location, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung extend the festive wishes of 72nd Independence Day, 15th August 2018 for the public through a press note that was issued on behalf of the party’s Central Committee. In his note, It is written as follows:-

On behalf of all the Gorkhas spread across our nation, I wish you all a very Happy Independence Day.
The commemoration of Independence Day is a very personal experience for all the Indian Gorkha families, as every family has sacrificed a member to uphold the freedom and independence of our nation.
From the very first Gorkha Freedom Martyr Subedar Niranjan Chhetri of Manipur to INA Major Durga Malla of Dehradun. From organizing labourers in the coal mines of Bihar as Helen Lepcha to blowing up British Tanks in Burma as INA Janbaz Dal Martyrs Sabitri Thapa and Indreni Thapa. From giving music to Indian National Anthem as INA Capt Ram Singh Thakuri of Himachal to helping draft the constitution of our great nation as Adv. Ari Bahadur Gurung of Darjeeling and thousands others like them, the glorious Gorkha contributions to the Freedom Movement of India is what inspires the present day Gorkhas to carry on, with the same sense of patriotism and sense of duty towards our nation.
Each day thousands of Gorkha men and women put their life at risk to protect our nation from inimical forces, and they do so with the same pride and joy, with which our ancestors had fought to secure the freedom of our nation from the colonialists.
Today as we celebrate the Independence Day, I request you to take a moment to thank all those brave men and women who are serving as soldiers in the army, navy, airforce, paramilitary forces and police, and their families whose sacrifices make it possible for us to remain independent.

While we are today celebrating the 72nd Independence Day, I want to draw the attention of our nation towards the plight of minority Gorkhas, Adivasis, and Rajbanshis in North Bengal. Today, all our fundamental rights have been curtailed and all the provisions of our constitution that guarantees us to have a say in our nation has been snatched away by the West Bengal government. While the nation is celebrating our Independence Day thousands of Gorkhaland supporters are being hounded, arrested, and threatened for demanding what is guaranteed under Article 3 of our constitution - a new state.
Freedom is an essence for which our ancestors sacrificed their everything, and today that very freedom is being denied to our people. I therefore appeal to every citizen of our nation, to pledge to stand with us in our struggle for justice, equality, and freedom from tyrany, oppression and discrimination that we are facing in West Bengal.
On behalf of the Gorkhas, I once again wish you all a very Happy Independence Day.
Jai Hind, Jai Gorkhaland

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away here on Monday morning. He was 89.

Chatterjee, who was admitted in a private hospital on August 10, breathed his last at 8.15 am today. Doctors said he had a cardiac arrest.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) veteran was suffering from kidney ailment and was put on ventilator support on Saturday. He suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in July.

Born on July 25, 1929, Chatterjee was a ten-time Lok Sabha MP. He was one of the longest-serving parliamentarians in India. He served as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009.

Chatterjee joined the CPI(M) in 1968 and remained its leader, until he was expelled from the party in 2018. He had refused to step down from his position in Parliament after CPI(M) withdrew its support from the United Progressive Alliance-led government over the India-US nuclear deal.

Chatterjee won the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 1996.(ANI)

Sharda Subba, in-charge of Trinamul's Darjeeling subdivision committee
Darjeeling: The Trinamul Congress said on Monday that it had backed six candidates in elections to the managing committee of Vidyasagar Higher Secondary School in Bijanbari to ensure that democratic process started in the hills.
Binay Tamang's Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed candidates won all six seats in the polls on Sunday.
Sharda Subba, in-charge of Trinamul's Darjeeling subdivision committee, said: "After the six candidates (backed by the Morcha) filed their nominations, some guardians wanted to contests against them and so, we decided to back them. However, we did not use the party flag or canvass for the candidates. We only stood beside them to ensure that they could participate in the elections. We wanted backed them to ensure that democratic process starts in the hills."
The victory is being considered significant for Binay Tamang as this was the first electoral victory for the party after he took charge in November last year.

Subba said: "In the past, no elections could be held in the school as the candidates had won uncontested but this time some guardians wanted to fight the elections and we were for their wishes."
But sources said the elections were keenly contested with Morcha and Trinamul leaders present at the venue to hear the results. At one time, there were arguments between leaders of the two parties.
The managing committee consists of 14 members, of whom six are elected as guardians' representatives. The remaining members are the headmaster, assistant headmaster, three representatives of the teachers, a representative from non-teaching staffs, a nominee of the district inspector of school and a representative of a "donor".
Subba, today said: "We extend our best wishes to all the winning candidates and also to the guardians who took part in the election process."
Of the 324 registered voters, 213 guardians cast their votes on Sunday.

The Telegraph

Sonada railway station
Siliguri: Two stations of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which were torched during the statehood movement in the hills last year, have not been repaired yet.
During the agitation, several properties of the DHR were damaged and even the Unesco, which declared the DHR as a heritage site, had expressed concern about the attack at these stations. Sonada station was torched by the agitators on July 8 and the Gayabari station was set on fire on July 13.
Toy Train services was also suspended in the hills for over three months because of the statehood movement.

Along with the stations, a floor of the Elysia Building - the headquarters of the DHR in Kurseong - was also ransacked.

"We are waiting for necessary recommendations from the Unesco. As the DHR is an Unsceo recognised heritage, we cannot take up the repair works on our own. The heritage structure has to be revived through renovation, without making any change in the look and other aspects," said M.K. Narzary, director of the DHR.
Sources in the DHR said in May this year that a delegation of the Unesco had visited Darjeeling and held a meeting with railway officials. "We have handed over the report on present status of the DHR to senior railway officials and also to the Unesco team. We had expected that we would get details of the restoration plan soon, but till date, no recommendation has reached us," said a railway official.
While the stations wait for renovation, Toy Train services between the hills and the plains has been affected this year because of landslides at Paglajhora, located between Siliguri and Kurseong. Since August 1, the services between New Jalpaiguri and Kurseong have come to a halt.
"Initially, it was planned that repairs would be carried out and the services would resume by August 10. But the manner in which boulders are rolling down, it seems the trcaks won't be repaired before this month. Also, repair work is getting affected. Only after boulders and debris are prevented from coming on the tracks, repairs and assessment can be carried out," said a source.
With such being the situation, stakeholders of tourism industry have expressed disappointment, while mentioning the upcoming Durga Puja season.

The Telegraph

P.S. Golay, the president of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha
Gangtok: P.S. Golay, the president of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, on Monday assailed chief minister Pawan Chamling and his government on a number of fronts and even threatened to go on a fast-unto-death if the fifth pay commission was not implemented with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016.
Addressing his first press conference after being released from jail on Friday, Golay dared the chief minister to have a public debate on a host of issues. "We challenge the SDF government and Pawan Chamling to have a discussion on any issue. On organic, we are ready, hydro project, we are ready, revenue, we are ready, employment, we are ready, administration, we are ready, health sector, we are ready," he said.
Asking the government to withdraw the notification implementing the fifth pay commission with effect from January 1, 2017, Golay said the government employees must be given their due.

"We demand that the fifth pay commission be implemented from January 1, 2016, and not January 1, 2017...We demand that arrears be given from January 1, 2016 not in installments, but at one go. If the notification is not withdrawn, we will go on a fast-unto-death for employees," he said without setting a deadline.

The 80,000-odd state government employees constitute a massive vote bank. There are about four lakh voters in the state. The employees, too, have been demanding the implementation of the pay commission from January 1, 2016.
Golay also promised to scrap the screening committee to consider promotions of government employees if his party came to power.
"Where is the need for screening committee? It is there to promote favourtism. If the SKM government comes to power, we will scrap it. There will only be time-bound promotions," he said, while asking the government to formulate a transfer and promotion policy.
Golay dared the government to bring in legislations to reserve seats for the Nepali community and women in the Assembly. "The chief minister has divided the Nepali community to come to power. If the government is really concerned about Nepali community, it should call a special session of the Assembly and pass a Bill reserving seats for the community in the Assembly."

The Telegraph

Labdah Tribal Welfare Association
गत आइतबार लाब्दा विभाग अन्तर्गत पेरूप बस्ति समाज घरमा ट्राइबल वेलफेयर एशोसिएशन लाब्दाको सभा लेण्डप लेप्चाको अध्यक्षतामा सम्पन्न भयो | संस्थाका मूल सचिव सुरेन पाख्रिनले सभा डाक्नुको उदेश्य गाउँका विधार्थी नानीहरुलाई पर्यावरण संरक्षण अनि यसको विकाशमा सचेत गराउनु साथै यसप्रति उत्साह दिनु रहेको बताए | बर्तमान समयमा ग्रामीण पर्यटनको अति महत्व बढेर गइरहेकोले यस प्रति गाउँलाई स्वच्छ र सुन्दर बनाउन प्रथम कर्तब्य रहेको पनि पाख्रिनले जनाए | तिनले यस क्षेत्र जैव विविधता भएको क्षेत्र रहेकोले यदि यहाँ संस्कृति संगै पर्यावरणको विकाश प्रति मानिसले ध्यान दिएमा भविष्यमा आय आर्जनको प्रसस्त सम्भावना हुने कुरामा विश्वास व्यक्त गरे |
सम्बोधनमा छ्युतेन लेप्चाले पनि गाउँलाई स्वच्छ र सुन्दर बनाउन पर्ने कुरोमा जोड दिंदै आफ्नो पूर्ण सहयोग रहेको बताए | तर गाडीको बाटोको व्यवस्था नभएकोले यहाँका जनताले समस्या भोग्न परिरहेको गुनासो पनि पोखे | सभापति लेन्डुप लेप्चाले आफ्नो पालामा जे जति गर्न सकियो अबको पुस्ताले पनि आफ्नै जमाना अनुरुप जीवन शैली अपनाउदै लानुपर्ने सुझाव दिएका छन् | गाउँलाई सुन्दर पार्न वरिपरि जंगललाई संरक्षण दिनुपर्ने कुरामा जोड दिंदै यदि यसो गरेमा विभिन्न प्रजातिका चरा चुरुंगी, किरा फट्यांग्रा आदि आकर्षित भइ आउने आफ्नो अनुभव व्यक्त गर्दै सबैलाई यसको निम्ति सचेत हुने आह्वान गरे | सभामा पर्याप्त उपस्थिति भएको थियो साथै अन्तमा सामाजिक भवन वरिपरि फूल रोपन कार्य गाउँकै उपस्थित विधार्थीवर्गले गरेका थिए ||

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