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Tripura to save tea plantations

A Correspondent
Agartala, November 29, 2011: The government of Tripura has warned of action to prevent trend of rubber cultivation in tea gardens. Government says it wants to preserve rights of the workers though several of 52 tea estates are running sick.  

Tea planters are set to land in a rift with the state government on their desire to grow beneficial rubber in their crippled plantations. However left front government seems to be more interested to keep tea estates in original shape more because majority of workers are owing allegiance to the ruling CPI(M).  

“We won't allow rubber growing in tea gardens. We will take action if found the deviation anywhere”, state's labour minister Manik Dey said Tuesday. He said the government has issued stern warning to the growers after complaints were lodged with the authorities.  

The labour department has constituted a team of officials to visit the teal plantation areas from December 10 next. It would examine if things are in shape as per rules and procedures.  

Minister said the officials would also oversee availability of basic amenities meant for the workers like drinking water, power, healthcare, education for children and housing. He chaired a review meeting Monday on various matters concerning tea gardens.  

52 tea estates in Tripura employed a total 12,810 workers and only 7,355 of them are getting benefit of public distribution system (PDS).

Book on world's tallest paddy

A Correspondent
Kohima, November 28, 2011: Nagaland Minister for Urban Development and Higher & Technical Education Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu formally released the book on the World's tallest paddy plant titled 'Naga Paddy man to the world' at Kohima.

Congratulating the author of the Book Okenjeet Sandham for successfully authoring the book Dr. Shurhozelie took prides in releasing the book on the miracle rice plant discovered by Pastor Melhite Kenye. "You have done well" he encouraged the author.

Also congratulating the discover of the tallest paddy plant in the world the Minister said that he considers the discovery as a gift from God and a gift to the Nagas through one of His servants. The author of the book said that the idea of writing a book on a very rare paddy plant which is not found anywhere in the world except in Nagaland struck in the year 2003 when many agricultural scientist and government officials from other States started visiting Nagaland to observed the rare species of the paddy plant.

The discovered of a plant also share his experience on how the plant was discovered on 1st October 1998. Chaplain NHAK Rev. M. Savino proposed the invocation while Convenor Federation of Working Journalist of Nagaland Narain B. Sagar chaired the programme and General Secretary KPC Khriezovonuo proposed the vote of thanks.

Leadership training on indigenous women

A Correspondent
Guwahati, November 23, 2011: The Training of Trainers (TOT) on climate change and traditional knowledge was organized by the Indigenous Women Forum of North-East India (IWFNEI) from November 19 to 22 at Guwahati.

Delegates from five states Tripura, Assam, Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland participated in the training programme. Three northeastern states could not participate due to unavoidable circumstances.  

Ms. Keshely of Nagaland being a Convener of IWFNEI chaired the program and shared briefly the TOT for Indigenous women on Climate change which she attended recently in Chiangmai. And other resource persons were Dr. Gina Shangkham, Dr. Doma T. Bhutia, and Ms. K. Marigold.  

It was resolved that each and every unit of IWFNEI will campaign on Violence against Women across the region between November 24 and December 10. It is also planed to organise a training workshop of Video/Internet media early next year for young girls from the northeast on the issue of 'Women and Media' to articulate their own issues.

All ex extremists in Tripura to get rehab

A Correspondent
Agartala, November 19, 2011: After a long uproar the left front government in Tripura has decided to rehabilitate the former extremists surrendered to the authorities sporadically over the years. However the decision snowballed into a political controversy with opposition Congress accusing CPI(M) government of trying to woo the unlisted extremists eying assembly elections in 2013.  

Some 4,000 extremists from different groups surrendered haphazardly in past one and half decade have been demanding same package as of the returnees in authorised surrenders. They have staged spate of stirs from hunger strike to national highway blockade over issue of rehabilitation and withdrawal of court cases pending against them.  

Resettlement of the surrendered extremists is completely funded by the union home ministry on fulfillment of criteria. This package has been guaranteed to hundreds of extremists who surrendered in groups following signing of agreement with the authorities.  

Official sources said Saturday that the decision to provide relief package was taken after leaders of former extremists submitted memorandum to Chief Minister Manik Sarkar recently. They said it has been decided to allot home under a central government scheme to destitute former extremists, withdraw pending cases excluding that of murder and rape and extend rehabilitation to those undertook self employment training.  

The state government has further assured to arrange government job in families of the extremists who had abandoned government job to join extremist organisation. It is now sending a connected scheme to the union government for financial sanction.

NSD’s second centre in Agartala

A Correspondent
Agartala, November 18, 2011: Thursday was a historic day for Tripura, in context to its cultural aspect, with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar inaugurating camp office of the National School of Drama at Agartala.

This is NSD’s second in the country after Karnataka and first centre in the north eastern region. The Agartala office now started at state music collage known as Sachin Dev Barman memorial collage. Manik Sarkar assured to find a suitable place to create a full fledged drama institution.

NSD Director Dr Anuradha Kapoor said at the opening ceremony that the school going children is their target group. They want to do workshop on drama with participation of the children and the school teachers.

Students should learn their study with drama and they should express their view, she added.

Dr Kapoor expressed her gratitude to the state Government for their very supporting role. Other members of National school of drama were present in the function. The higher education department and the department of information and cultural affairs will help to run this new born institution.

Manik Sarkar in his address opined that drama is a powerful medium of public awareness and public education.

Impressive cultural programme was performed by the local artists at the inaugural programme.

Nagaland donates relief to Thailand

A Correspondent
Kohima, November 17, 2011: The solidarity concert for Thailand in aid of the flood affected people of Thailand organised by Friends of Thailand and Nagaland Baptist Church Councils and supported by the Government of Nagaland was held at the Heritage Old DC Bungalow with Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Kuzholuzo Nienu as the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Azo said that Thailand has always been close to the hearts of the Naga's and called upon all concern to lend their support towards the people of Thailand in times of need.

Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner, Alemtemshi Jamir IAS who also spoke on the occasion said that Thailand has always been a favourite destination for the people of Nagaland.  He said that the Naga's and Thai are similar in many ways and share a very healthy relationship amongst each other. It becomes a bounded duty to help a friend in need, he added.

Receiving an amount of Rs. 1 million generated from the concert and other well wishers, Tharadoi Thongruang, Councilor, Office of the Commercial Affairs, New Delhi thanked the people of Nagaland for their unrelenting help especially when Thailand is reeling under the devastating effects of the flood. Tharadoi Thongruang also gave a picture presentation of the flood affected areas in Thailand.

The solidarity concert saw performances by NBCC Choir, Nise Meruno and the Zowe Madrigal, Elizabeth Chang, Khyochano TCK Ngully, Naro Pienyü and Alobo Naga and the band.

Tribal Affairs' minister wants fund utilization

New Delhi, November 15: The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Kishore Chandra Deo held a meeting with senior administrative officials of states and union territories to address the issues of the important schemes and programmes of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and relating to tribal welfare. The Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Mahadeo Singh Khandela was also present at the meeting.

Read more: Tribal Affairs' minister wants fund utilization

Federation of working journalists of Nagaland

A Correspondent
Kohima, November 14, 2011: With a view to bring together and work for the welfare of the working journalists in Nagaland, concerned journalists working in the field have resolved to come together and form Federation of Working Journalists of Nagaland (FoWJoN).

Read more: Federation of working journalists of Nagaland

CPI(M) rule must end, Rahul Gandhi

A Correspondent
Agartala, November 10, 2011: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi who addressed two public rallies in Tripura state Thursday made an appeal to end CPI(M) rule in the state in next assembly elections slated for 2013. He lashed out at the 'communists' for indulging in massive corruption and siphoning off public fund and failing to eradicate poverty in the state despite being in power for many years.  

“Communists should be ousted from the state for their failure in all fronts. Vote Congress to power for overall progress of the state”, Rahul Gandhi said in his first public meeting at Kailasahar, north Tripura district headquarters. Taking note of party's organisational lacuna in state he urged leaders and workers to get united and reach out people living in rural areas.  

Gandhi highlighted economic reforms and flagship projects of the UPA government to attain development of the country. He said country cannot shine without wiping out poverty and thus the government introduced programmes like MGNREGA that assurances 100 days work for people living in poverty.  

“The UPA government is committed to implement its programmes. Money is not a problem”, he opined but regretted that only problem is money is not properly utilised. “My father used to say if Rs 1 is sanctioned only 15 paisa reaches to people. I don't think situation has changed”.  

Rahul Gandhi arrived at Agartala airport from Nagaland in the morning and addressed a gathering of some 30,000 people at Kailasahar and before flying to South Tripura district headquarters Udaipur where nearly equal size crowd turned up at his rally. In Udaipur he almost echoed his earlier speech to endorse good governance of the UPA government and lambaste CPI(M) rule in Tripura.  

He said the UPA government had gone to the extent to relieve poor farmers from total Rs60,000 crore debt. He said food security bill is in offing and another bill for socio economic development of schedule tribe people has been prepared.  

Rahul Gandhi was successful to rejuvenate the party through his first public rallies in two corners of the state and by lambasting the CPI(M). He said development not achieved and there is a grave dearth of infrastructure development except that some new buildings have come up.  

He said schools are not running properly in Tripura, failures are visible everywhere. He alleged peoples' money is going into pockets of the communists, they are making own future at cost of ordinary people.  

Rahul Gandhi also addressed state's tribal population and said CPI(M) rule for years has not changed their fate. He said they are suppose to get 30 percent share in all spheres of development, but only 15 percent is reaching them.  

He underscored need for the ST, SC, OBC and Minorities to unitedly fight for their rights.  

Senior state congress leaders received Rahul Gandhi in all venues and also spoke at the rallies urging Rahul Gandhi to guide them to win elections in 2013. Massive security measures were in place as per requirements of the SPG for the Congress leader.

Nagaland gets improved state award

A Correspondent
Kohima, November 5, 2011: Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio today attended the Chief Minister's Conclave and the State of the States Awards ceremony organised and hosted by the India Today Group at New Delhi's Hyatt Regency. The event was graced by Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee.  

In the Awards Ceremony, the Nagaland Chief Minister received the award for “Most Improved State” amongst the small states in the category of “Infrastructure Development”. The Chief Minister was accompanied by Members of Parliament C.M Chang and Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Khekiho Zhimomi and Parliamentary Secretary for Law & Justice, Yitachu and senior officers of the State Government.  

The State of the States also ranked Nagaland in the fourth position in most improved in governance and third in most improved in consumer market. The India Today State of the States awards is considered one of the highest and most independent surveys in the performance of the State Governments all over the country.    

This was stated in a press release issued by the Press Secretary to Chief Minister, Abu Metha.