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All agitational programmes suspended to usher New Year

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim

The Pro Inner Line Permit (ILP) groups, comprising of 13 NGOs who have paralyzed the state for about three and a half months, decided to suspend all agitational programmes till the first week of January 2014, to enable all sections of society to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Prince of Peace, and also to welcome the New Year with fun and zeal.
As expected, the general public will surely welcome the decision. This also exposed that the expected patience of contemporary patriotism for the State – Bri Hynniewtrep – is eroding compared to the time of Hill State Movement. The main difference is that  this time we are fighting amongst our self, fighting against the government voted by the masses, at the same time it is the same public who failed to put a proper legislation in place to suit the demands, in this case checking of influx, be it through ILP or the proposed Tenancy Law.

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Meghalaya government should reprehend office absentees like the fine on agitating NGOs

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim

Enough has been said about the lackadaisical attitude of the government employees when it comes to bandh and agitational programmes sponsored by any of the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Meghalaya. The One Day Statewide office picketing called by the Pro Inner Line Permit (ILP) activists on December 13, 2013, does not seem to have any more impact, with good percentage of the employees’ attending the office. Such courage and enthusiasm should be acknowledged by the respective District Administrations, at the same time reprehend the absentees without any proper explanation. Such action will be the first step in streamlining the work culture in government offices.
Putting on records: Attendance of government employees in the different districts was recorded at 55 per cent in East Khasi Hills, 35 per cent in Ri Bhoi, West Jaintia Hills – 82, East Jaintia Hills – 70, East Garo Hills – 10 per cent, South West Khasi Hills – 62 and West Khasi Hills was nil due to holiday on account of Sib Sing birth anniversary.

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ILP agitation dampens Christmas mood in Meghalaya

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim

As Meghalaya Chief Minister, Dr Mukul M Sangma, is contemplating to promote the state as Christmas and New Year destination, cashing on being the Christian state, very little disturbance will be there unlike the pressure in maintaining Law and Order during Puja festivals. If the mass participation could be mobilized, it will not only help to boost the economy of the state, the overall face lift of the state is also expected. On the part of the competition, Goa is way ahead, the nearest will be Kolkata, where the entire Park Streets is the favorite location for Christmas and New Year celebration.
In Kolkata, being a cosmopolitan state, such festivals are jointly celebrated, where every stranger is warmly greeted as the clock strike 12 at midnight on both the occasions, where Male and female equally exchange pleasantry with hugs and kisses in most decent manners. Hence, even the tourists can feel at home in joining the celebration.

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Tobacco to cost 6.5 percent more in Meghalaya

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim

Dr Mukul M Sangma’s Cabinet cleared a decision to increase tax on tobacco and tobacco products from 13.5 to 20 percent on Tuesday. But the cabinet once again failed to clear the desk on a decision to ban sale and manufacture of Gutka in Meghalaya. The Chief Minister justified that the Health Department has sought some more time to further study the matter as the ban should be on mouth-fresheners mixed with tobacco products, as there was some confusion on the composition of the said products.
Earlier, Supreme Court directed 23 states and five Union Territories to file a status report on the implementation of the notification issued by them banning these products and also asked the remaining states and Union Territories to explain the reasons why they have not imposed the ban so far and the time they need to do so.
Several States in the country have banned Gutka as they are said to be food adulterants under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). FSSAI under its rules notified that no food products should contain any health injurious substance, which specifically includes tobacco and nicotine.

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Flaunting Red beacon is style statement in Meghalaya

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim

Most common sight in every nook and corner of Meghalaya is the Red beaconed vehicle. One will never fail to spot them at educational institutions during schools hours, market places on all working days, reception of any kind and church services of all denominations on Sunday. While during office picketing and road blockade, such vehicles become rare display on the road, except few near the Secretariat. The occupants of the red beacon vehicle besides the driver could be just school children or lady for shopping to messenger. The traffic police is expected not to compound such vehicle parked in ‘No Parking zone’ and also clear the traffic for such vehicles even if the only occupant are school children.
The Supreme Court of India on December 10, 2013, said that red beacon lights with or without flashers would be used only on the vehicles of high constitutional dignitaries and blue or multi-coloured beacon lights will be used only on emergency services and police vehicles. The court further said that multi-toned horns would only be used on the emergency services ambulances and fire tenders and police vehicles.

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