Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha (GJVM) started a postering campaign in the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong in demand of Gorkhaland on Monday.”The mandate has been given for Gorkhaland. The BJP won both the Parliamentary and the Assembly bypolls in Darjeeling. People voted for Gorkhaland. Now the BJP cannot back out. “For the past two terms the BJP had won the parliament elections in Darjeeling on the Gorkhaland issue. “However, for the past 10 years the BJP MPs failed to do anything for Gorkhaland,” stated Krishna Barmey, GJVM leader. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaMeanwhile, Binay Tamang, president, GJM (Binay faction) has condemned BJP leader Mukul Roy’s statement that the BJP is not in favour of Gorkhaland and the bifurcation of West Bengal. “BJP leader Mukul Roy made this statement in a press conference flanked by the Darjeeling BJP MP Raju Bishta. At the time of elections Bishta and BJP MLA of Darjeeling Niraj Zimba had appealed for votes emotionally blackmailing the Hills in the name of Gorkhaland. Even Bimal Gurung is answerable to the Hills on the wake of BJP’s anti Gorkhaland stance,” retorted Tamang. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersHe stated that not even 18 days have passed since the declaration of results and the BJP has started showing its original colors with the anti-Gorkhaland stance. “BJP leaders, including Dilip Ghosh, Kailash Vijaywargia and Rahul Sinha, have stated in the past that they do not support the bifurcation of Bengal. Only during elections they play with the emotions of the Gorkhas in the name of Gorkhaland,” alleged Tamang. He stated that with the anti-Gorkhaland statement Mukul Roy has once again betrayed the aspirations of the Gorkhas residing throughout India. “Who will take the moral responsibility of this- will it be Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri or Bishta and Zimba or the 17 councillors of the Darjeeling Municipality who have joined the BJP?” questioned Tamang. Tamang further stated that in a few days the BJP and allies will be embarking in victory rallies in the Darjeeling Hills. “What will the victory rallies commemorate — the end of the Gorkhaland demand?” questioned Tamang. Meanwhile, Amar Singh Rai, former MLA, Darjeeling took charge as the Chairman of the Uttar Banga Unnayan Parshad at Uttar Kanya, the mini secretariat on Monday. “We will use this as a platform for public welfare and development. I will visit the districts that come under the purview of the Parshad, talk to people and work according to their requirements,” stated Rai. An office will be opened in Darjeeling (for the people of Darjeeling Hills and Kalimpong) where Rai will hold office twice a week. The other three days he will be at the Uttarkanya office.
According to media reports, the 6.3-magnitude quake has claimed more than 100 lives.Mr. Ban is “saddened by the heavy loss of life and destruction of property,” his spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters, adding that he sends his condolences to the families and friends of those killed.Today’s tremors, which struck the town of Aquila, nearly 100 kilometres north-east of Rome, serve as a stark reminder that Europe is not immune from powerful earthquakes, the UN agency tasked with minimizing the threat posed by natural disasters said today.The intensity of the Italian earthquake matched that of the May 2006 tremors in the Indonesian island of Java, which killed over 5,000 people in the city of Yogyakarta, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) pointed out.The agency underscored that buildings are the main killers when earthquakes strike, which is why constructing resilient structures in quake-prone zones is essential.The deadly earthquake today stemmed from a fault line stretching from the north to the south of Italy, where tremors have wreaked over €20 billion in direct damage over the past four decades, ISDR said.“The cost of investing in structural resilience and proper site selection from the start is minimal compared to the necessary reconstruction when earthquakes have happened – not to mention the devastation of human life cut short,” said Helena Molin-Valdes, the agency’s Deputy Director. “Investment in disaster risk reduction is a must if we want to save more lives and more dollars – and diminish long-term disruption – as more people are now living in cities prone to earthquakes.”For its part, the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) extended its sympathy to the victims of today’s earthquake.“This is a terrible tragedy and the thoughts of FAO staff are with the people who are suffering as a result of this cruel catastrophe, especially those who have lost loved ones or who still do not know the fate of someone close to them,” said the agency’s Director General, Jacques Diouf. 6 April 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his sadness over the heavy loss of life in this morning’s earthquake in central Italy, with the United Nations having alerted the European nation’s Government that it is prepared to provide disaster response support.