Showing posts with label gta news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gta news. Show all posts

Bhanubhakta birthday marks newfound GTA – Bengal bonhomie

4:52 PM

A year after the confrontation over the Gorkhaland agitation, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (BT) and the West Bengal government on Friday buried differences to share the stage in observance of the 204th  birth anniversary of Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya in Darjeeling.

To be precise, there were two separate programmes; one organized by the Darjeeling district administration and the other by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. But, representatives of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha were present in the one organized by the administration and those of the administration in the one organized by GTA.

It was a far cry from July 2017, when, during the height of the statehood movement, West Bengal tourism minister Gautam Deb had gone to Panighatta, in the foothills in Kurseong, to observe Bhanubhakta Jayanti but his convoy was chased back by stone-pelters. As a result Deb had to return to Siliguri and on the way offer garland to the portrait of the Nepali poet on the road-side. The other occasion was in 2013 again during the statehood agitation that Bhanubhakta Jayanti could not observed either by the state government or by the GTA.

On Friday, the district administration organized its own program in Chowrasta, in the upper part of the town, to celebrate the Nepali poet’s birth anniversary. Gautam Deb was present in the company of GTA chairman and GJM president Binoy Tamang. The GTA organized a separate programme at the Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sammelan hall in down-town marketto mark the occasion. The state minister did not attend the programme as he was in a hurry and had to leave for Siliguri, but Darjeeling district magistrate Joyoshi Das Gupta was present on behalf of the state government.

At Chowrasta, the state tourism minister and GTA chairman together offered garland and khaddas (traditional scarves) to the statue of Bhanubhakta and also sat together on the dais indicating that relation between the state government and the hill party was on right track.

Reflecting on last year’s events and disruption in the hills, Deb said: “It is nice that peace has returned in the hills. We need peace and stability so that there is tranquility and development can take place in the region. We (state government and the GTA) are working together.”

In the GTA programme, Tamang did not allude to the past events but assured that henceforth the Bhanubhakta Jayanti programme would be observed in the hills regularly. “Since, the formation of the GTA in 2012, we have been observing Bhanubhakta Jayanti Diwas. I was in-charge of the information and cultural affairs of the council, then. Sadly we could not organize celebratory programmes in 2013 and 2017. I assure everyone that from now on we will organize the programme every year without a break,” he said.

The Bhanubhakta Puruskar was started in 2014 by the GTA, with the aim to honor contributions of personalities in different fields. The award for this year was conferred to Dhan Hang Subba for Lok Sahitya, to Tanka Sharma for cinema and theater and to D.P. Sharma for journalism. On the other hand San Kumar Majhi was conferred with the Master Mitrasen Thapa award for his contribution towards folk-music.

The GTA chairman also announced new awards: Aruna Lama (music), Shiva Kumar Rai (literature), Ganga Prasad Pradhan (education) and D.B. Pariyar (cinema) to be given in the coming years.

[Via: EOIC]

GJM threatened to drag WB government to court for replacing "Gorkhaland" to "Gorkha' Territorial Administration

8:59 AM
Writes: Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, March 28: Bimal Gurung today threatened to drag the state government to court for “wilfully changing the nomenclature” of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to the Gorkha Territorial Administration in official documents.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has cited at least one gazette notification where “Gorkha Territorial Administration” was mentioned three times.

“The recognition of the word ‘Gorkhaland’ is of utmost importance to us. The word ‘Gorkhaland’ was recognized by the President, governor and the Bengal Assembly when the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act was passed by the Bengal Assembly and the assent given by the President,” Gurung, president of the Morcha as well as the GTA chief executive, said today.

“From the time we have started telling our supporters about the official recognition that Gorkhaland has received from the government, the administration has been discreetly working to change the nomenclature of the hill body. We will not tolerate this and will drag the state government to court,” he added.
GJM chief Bimal Gurung
GJM chief Bimal Gurung
“Look at the TMC’s manifesto and some of the government documents. They are replacing the word ‘Gorkhaland’ with ‘Gorkha’,” said Gurung.

The Trinamul manifesto for the Assembly election states: “Under the TMC government’s judicious rule, peace has been re-established in the hills. Our hill brethren have also joined the government in its developmental works. We have already initiated a number of progressive policies. Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) has been established for their welfare. Developmental work in the hills is under process.”

Gurung could not immediately recollect the government documents where the “Gorkha Territorial Administration” was mentioned, instead of “Gorkhaland Territorial Administration”. But a Morcha leader said there were at least three or four correspondences from the state government with “Gorkha Territorial Administration”.

“For example, a gazette notification of the Backward Classes Welfare department, issued on February 19, 2015 has repeatedly used ‘Gorkha Territorial Administration’,” he saud.

According to the leader, a paragraph in the notification states: “In respect of area under Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) in the district of Darjeeling, the Principal Secretary of Gorkha Territorial Administration and in absence of this office, the official performing the duties of this officer or any other officer of Gorkha Territorial Administration to be nominated by the state government.”

However, a senior official in Nabanna said: “The state government cannot change the name of the GTA unilaterally when the accord mentions Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. This must be a mistake.”

Via: The Telegraph

GTA - Bengal Bipartite Meeting Today

12:03 PM

A four-member delegation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today left for Kolkata for a bipartite meeting with the state government to discuss issues related to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. 

The delegation, led by GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, comprises central committee leaders Swaraj Thapa, R.B.Bhujel and former Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma, will raise issues including the appointment of voluntary teachers, transfer of departments, grant of tribal status to ten hills communities and establishment of a central university in the region, among others. Thapa, who is also a member of the GJM’s study forum, the intellectual wing of the party, said, “We will attend the bipartite talks with state government representatives at Nabanna tomorrow. The GTA principal secretary too will be present. We have about 14 points that need to be discussed so that the GTA is able to function properly and independently.” 

The Home and Hills Affairs department of the state government, through a written communication on October 31, had asked the GJM to attend the talks scheduled on Monday in Kolkata. The state government will be represented by the chief secretary and the home and hills affairs’ department additional chief secretary. 

The agendas pointed out in the stated government’s letter include transfer of departments, rules of business of the GTA, a multi-specialty medical college and hospital in Kurseong and other programmes of the Health Department. The issue of tribal status to the Gorkhas, re-introduction of the three-tier Panchayat System and Implementation of different developmental schemes, hill compensatory allowance to all GTA employees, subordinate service selection board, separate school service commission and college service commission for the GTA will figure in tomorrow’s talks. 

When asked if the delegation would take up the issue of state government interference in the running of the GTA, Thapa said, “When we discuss the issue of transfer of departments, this matter will also be a part of it. It is due to the departments not being transferred properly that interference is being seen in the GTA, we feel.” 

Relation between the GJM and chief minister Mamata Banerjee is at an all time low. The GJM allegation is that the CM is trying to divide the hill communities by setting up development boards and also interfering in the independent functioning of the council body. 

Source: EOIC, file pic

GTA's development works only on paper - Harka Bahadur Chhetri

11:29 AM
Harka questions GTA work in hills
Writes BIRESWAR BANERJEE

Harka Bahadur Chhetri, who quit the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha/GJM, on his return to the hills today said the party was a sham as no development work planned by it was visible in his constituency, Kalimpong.

He dodged the question of which party he would join, but said he would speak to the Trinamul-led state government about the lapses of the Morcha, which controls the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). He added that he would put his best effort to meet the aspirations of Kalimpong residents before the next Assembly elections scheduled for next year.

At Bagdogra airport, while on his way to the hills, Chhetri said: "I am feeling free now and would be able to do a lot of work for people dwelling in the hills, particularly in Kalimpong, which is my constituency."
Harka Bahadur Chhetri at Bagdogra on Thursday. Picture by Kundan Yolmo
He said: "I have thoroughly visited my entire constituency, including several remote areas. During my visit, I felt disappointed as I found that most of the so-called development work announced elaborately (by the GTA) was only on papers. Even details of infrastructure projects were shared with people and funds were also sanctioned for such projects. But the ground reality presented a sharp contrast. I will bring these lapses to the notice of the state government and will seek a comprehensive inquiry to find out why these projects have not been completed."

He said when he had "raised these issues within the party, differences cropped up" between him and the other leaders. "I had enough reasons to quit the party. Whether the party has any clout in the hills does not matter to me. I will keep working as the MLA and this issue will not create any botheration for me," the Kalimpong MLA, who has for now said he would be an Independent legislator, said.

Ever since Chhetri has resigned from the Morcha, there are speculations that he might join Trinamul. Today, some hill Trinamul leaders and supporters were at the airport to receive the MLA who flew down from Calcutta.

Chhetri, when asked about his possibility of joining Trinamul, said: "I have nothing to comment. I want to work as a neutral MLA. Also, I would like to state that maintaining cordial relations with the state government does not mean that I will join the party which is running the government."

On the demand of declaring Kalimpong a separate district, Chhetri said: "I have spoken with the chief minister. She has patiently heard my point and assured me that she would look into the demand seriously."

Source Telegraph

The First Nail in Central University Coffin?

Writes: Upendra for The Darjeeling Chronicle

As Mamata lays the foundation stone for the extension of Presidency University campus offering a handful of courses, we are worried that this may actually be the 1st nail in the coffin of Darjeeling Central University.

Hitler had once said, “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

What is happening in Darjeeling in these past few years is exactly that, gradually through the formation of Development Boards, appointment of Para teachers, non-transfer for departments actually signed out in the GTA Agreement, Bengal is taking away our autonomy, and the hill people need to speak out against these incursions.
The First Nail in Central University Coffin?
GTA agreement Section 5 clearly mentions that all Government
Schools have been transferred to GTA

The same set of "intellectuals" who say GTA is a stumbling block to the formation of Gorkhaland state, do not see any issues with this sly act of subverting our demand for a Central University. It is sad to see that the "intellectuals" have two set of rules, a double standard of sorts, while they decry GTA as being stumbling block (perhaps rightfully so), they are applauding this move by Bengal, which has every chance of diluting the demand for a Central University in our hills.

As such,
GTA agreement Section 5 clearly mentions that all Government Schools have been transferred to GTA, so how is the state government usurping school lands?

How long will we allow Bengal to dictate terms to us?

Source The Darjeeling Chronicle

GTA and Sikkim To Work Together for Gorkha Cause

7:30 PM

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and Sikkim To Work Together for Gorkha Cause

A five member team of Gorkha Territorial Administration(GTA) led by Shri Bimal Gurung, Chief Executive, GTA called on the Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling at his official residence Mintokgang, here in the capital yesterday.

After the meeting a press conference was jointly addressed by Shri Pawan Chamling, Chief Minister of Sikkim and Shri Bimal Gurung, Chief Executive, GTA.

During the press conference Shri Pawan Chamling while welcoming Shri Bimal Gurung in the state said that the meeting between the two decided to jointly take up the issue of Tribal Status for the entire Nepali Speaking Gorkha Community of the Country.

He also stressed that the duo will also collectively work upon protecting the dignity, self respect, political right of the Nepali Speaking Gorkha Community of the country.

In this regard the Chief Minister urged the think tank and intellectuals of civil society to come forward and cooperate, coordinate and make collective efforts and join hands for the cause of the community.

He further added that Nepali Speaking Gorkha Community from all around the country will be brought together to discuss this issue in order to prepare further strategy for this cause.

On Gorkhaland issue the Chief Minister said that Tribal Status to this Community will support the cause of separate state of Gorkhaland.

The Chief Minister further stressed that the state of Sikkim will support the Gorkha Territorial Administration in its various developmental activities by providing intellectual support and provide technical inputs for Capacity Building activities.

Shri Bimal Gurung, Chief Executive, Gorkha Territorial Administration, while addressing the joint press meet stated that Tribal Status to this Community has been a long standing demand of the community.

Shri Gurung also informed that the Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Pawan Chamling has been pursuing this issue of Tribal Status at the National Level and his vast political experience will play a major role in accomplishing this task.

Hence, my visit to Sikkim is with a motive to have a collective joint effort for the Tribal Status to this Community of the country, he added.

Further, Shri Gurung said that Gorkha Territorial Administration has a lot to learn from Sikkim and the meeting also dwelt upon various initiatives where we can take the help of Sikkim in the development activities of GTA. Special focus was also given in the Skill Development and we have requested the Chief Minister for technical inputs for which the Chief Minister of Sikkim has given a positive response, he added.

[Via:  The Voice of Sikkim]

Gurung Sceptic Over Transfer of Land Reform Departments to GTA

11:18 AM
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung on Wednesday asserted he would not accept the Land and Land Reforms Department if it is not fully transferred to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration by the state government. On Monday, the state government issued a government order directing the Darjeeling district magistrate to place the services of the officers and employees of the Block Land and Land Reforms Office along with the Sub-Divisional Land and Land Reforms Office within the GTA area under the jurisdiction of the hill body as soon as possible. However, the District Land and Land Reforms Office has been kept out of the purview of the GTA.
Bimal Gurung and Mamata Banerjee
Gurung Sceptic Over Transfer of Land Reform Departments to GTA
The GJM president, who is also the GTA chief executive, today expressed scepticism over the transfer saying he would first go through the details.

“I will first minutely study the government order. If we are not satisfied with the way the department is being transferred, we will write to the state government to rectify it. And if nothing happens even after that, we will not accept the transfer,” said Gurung today speaking on the sidelines of a programme to welcome TMC supporters from the Rungbull-Dhotrey constituency into his party. More than 200 TMC supporters from Dhotrey and Balasun under Kurseong sub-division joined the GJM today. The GJM wants 57 departments transferred to the GTA. The state government has complied to most but only in principle.

Important departments such as the PWD, transport, social welfare, fire services and information and cultural affairs and forest and panchayat are yet to be transferred to the GTA.

The SDL&LRO and BL&LRO have been transferred to the GTA, but the DL&LR has been left alone, which is one of the factors behind Gurung’s scepticism.

“Even though some departments have been transferred, we are still facing problems of dual jurisdiction. Under such a circumstance, we want the entire directory of the Land and Land Reforms Department to be brought under the hill body from the district magistrate’s office, as only then will it ensure the GTA’s independent functioning,” he pointed out.

During the days of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council too, some departments had been transferred, but the transfers had been for namesake as the state government had the final say in almost all of them.

This time, however, the GJM does not want a repeat of the farce.

Gurung said he would talk to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to pursue the demand for the full transfer of the entire department and also seek compensation for the victims of the recent landslides that claimed 32 lives.

Banerjee is slated to visit Darjeeling on August 24 to attend a government programme, but the GJM chief will not be meeting her.

“I will be in Sikkim on August 23 and then leave for Delhi the next day to conduct a puja. But I will take up the issue with the CM on my return,” he said.

Gurung is expected to meet Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling to seek his support for the ongoing demand for granting tribal status to 11 Gorkha communities.

 
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