“The failure of the Tripartite movement will be better for us” Bimal Gurung

FROM THE HIMALAYAN BEACON [BEACON ONLINE] BY BARUN ROY

DARJEELING: “After the 7th of November the Gorkhaland movement will be intensifed,” speaking to the people at Chowrasta, Darjeeling on the occasion of a cultural rally taken out by the people of Singla, Tukvar and Lebong Constituency, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President, Bimal Gurung said. “There are plans of deploying Central Reserve Police Force and the Sashatra Seema Bal (Armed Border Police) in the Hills. We will not engage them in any sort. However, I warn the West Bengal Government not to test us further. I request the Women Front and all the people of the hills to remain strong. This is the ultimate struggle for Gorkhaland and we have made that clear to the West Bengal Government. I will show them what will happen if Gorkhaland is not given by 2010. I can do anything for the Gorkha people. If the West Bengal Government does not do what I told them to then West Bengal will be broken into pieces. The Secretaries of Government of Bhutan and Government of West Bengal have been meeting to discuss the status of Kalimpong and the Dooars. The lease amount that the Government of West Bengal has been paying to the Government of Bhutan annualy is now being negotiated to be raised to 1 Million Dollars from 15 Lakh Rupees that the Government was previously paying. Now the Government of West Bengal must think. It cannot hoodwink the people anymore.” [Inset: Bimal Gurung speaking to the people at Chowrasta, Darjeeling. Photo by Himalaya Darpan]

Speaking about the Tripartite Meeting to be held in November he said, “The failure of the Tripartite movement will be better for us. Things may not be that smooth from then onwards. There is a test match going on at New Delhi and Kolkata where I have engaged our intellectuals. However, when the knockout match starts I will personally go there. From today hence all the Government of West Bengal boards must be changed into Government of Gorkhaland. And similarly all boards where address as been mentioned as West Bengal should now have Gorkhaland. Even Banks must have Gorkhaland boards. Only Central Government Boards must not be touched. No laws of Government of West Bengal now prevails over Gorkhaland. We have been requesting the West Bengal Government by wearing Daura Suruwal and Choubandi Cholo. You have forcing us to take poison but you might be in trouble if we survive. There may be a multitude of people resigning from the Police and the Army. Darjeeling Hills and the Dooars is a ‘Chicken neck’ area and the Government must think carefully about it. Our boys are fighting at the borders laying their lives for the nation. We are devoted to the nation and are ready to shred every drop of our blood. But we want our right. Our struggle is with the Central and State Government. We have nothing to do with local organisations like Amra Bangali and Jana Chetna.”

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GJM getting desperate for centre’s intervention

Kolkata, July 4: Intensifying their efforts to hold tripartite talks on their demand for a separate state, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha wrote to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee on Friday asking him to take an initiative in the matter.

“I have written a letter requesting the chief minister to arrange a tripartite meeting with the Centre. The letter is being faxed to CM’s office,” GJM President Bimal Gurung said from Darjeeling.

Bhattacherjee had asked the GJM delegation to communicate the GJM leadership’s views after returning to Darjeeling following the June 27 talks in Kolkata.

The chief minister had offered more autonomy and financial powers to the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council which the GJM has rejected.

Gurung made it clear that henceforth talks had to be held in Delhi and not in Kolkata. “How many times will we be go to Kolkata for talks?” The letter came a day before the GJM central committee is to hold a crucial meeting in Darjeeling on Saturday to decide whether the indefinite bandh would be resumed in Darjeeling hills.

Asked whether there would be further relaxation of the bandh, Gurung said “We will take a decision in our meeting tomorrow.” The relaxation of the bandh would expire on July five.

Gurung said “the Centre is in the dark about many things about the hills. The Morcha will submit all the documents and relevant facts in the tripartite meeting to keep the Centre posted on the Gorkhaland issue”.

Asked to comment on praise for the chief minister by some senior GJM leaders at a rally in Darjeeling yesterday, Gurung said “the chief minister is a gentleman, but it is to be seen how he solves the Gorkhaland issue.”

He said the state government was talking of restoration of normalcy in Darjeeling, but this would return only if Gorkhaland was created, he said. Meanwhile, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said that the chief minister during the Kolkata meeting had agreed to tripartite talks.

“Dialogue on Gorkhaland should be opened and only a tripartite talk can solve the problem,” she said. (Expressindia)

GJM in two minds about reimposing bandh in Hills

Kartyk Venkatraman

Kolkata, July 4 Three weeks into its confrontation, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) appears to be vacillating between a pacifist attitude towards the state and Centre and a hardline stance to retain the masses.

In a statement issued on Friday, party general secretary Roshan Giri said for now, the GJM would not push for tripartite talks involving the Centre, which is caught up in resolving the standoff with the Left over the nuclear deal.

At a public meeting in Darjeeling on Thursday, GJM leaders were full of praise for the “warmth” shown by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee during last week’s meeting in Kolkata.

The Darjeeling district administration, on its part, has indicated its willingness to play down the standoff.

The approach of both sides has changed after the Supreme Court’s July 3 directive, asking all involved, especially the state government, to keep the NH-31A free of blockade.

Senior GJM leader Binay Tamang told The Indian Express that the SC directive will not affect a total bandh again from July 6, if such a decision is taken at the party’s central working committee meeting on Saturday. “It was the Sikkim government that went to the SC over the highway blockade,” he said. “Our bandh, if resumed, will encompass the NH-31A as well. If the government tries to break our bandh and violence erupts, the Sikkim government will be responsible.”

Sources in the party, however, said there is a rethink on the bandh among the senior leadership following the SC directive.

“We think the bandh will not be reimposed. If at all it is, the highways will not be touched, government offices may shut down,” a party leader said.

Issuing a warning about the July 7 deadline for changing all vehicle registration plates from “WB” to “GL” (Gorkhaland), Tamang said: “Any violence resulting from trying to stop vehicles with GL numberplates will be the Bengal government’s responsibility.”

District Magistrate Rajesh Pandey is in Kolkata for a meeting with the CM and senior leaders, said sources in Darjeeling district administration.

“The indications are that there will not be a total crackdown on vehicles bearing GL numberplates, although such numberplates will be violating the Motor Vehicles Act. It could be a way for both sides to save face and avoid a confrontation,” an official said. (Expressindia)