May 04

Buddha Purnima

ITANAGAR, May 3: Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Lt. General Nirbhay Sharma (Retd) has conveyed warm greetings and good wishes to people of the State on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima. He expressed hope that the occasion will promote Lord Buddha’s messages of universal peace, harmony and brotherhood.

May the sacred occasion inspire us to follow the path of truth, non-violence and compassion, the Governor wished in his message.


Little Rose School student tops BJJCC essay competition

ITANAGAR, May 03: To mark the 2559th Buddha Jayanti celebration the Buddha Jayanti Joint Celebration Committee (BJJCC) 2015 conducted an essay writing competition today at Kingcup Public School Itanagar. The competition was participated by large numbers of students belonging to Class VIII to X from various schools of Capital complex.

The winners of the essay competition were declared on the same day, where Hage Dinsung from Little Rose School, Naharlagun, Samten Lhamo from V.K.V, Nirujuli and Toyum Ngomdir K.V.No 1 Naharlagun bagged the first, second and third prizes respectively. The consolation prizes were shared by Bommie Riram and Tadar Amakaya.

The prizes of the essay writing competition will be given away on May 4 during 2559th Buddha Jayanti Celebration at Thuptan Ga-Tseling Monastery, Itanagar.

The essay writing competition was conducted with the following three topics on Life of Buddha, Buddha Jayanti and Teachings of Buddha, where students were given the freedom to opt for anyone and write.


Kadu HGB dies aged 109 years

ITANAGAR, May 03: Jummar Kadu, Head Gaon Burah (HGB) of Kadu village under East Siang distirict died aged 109 years at Pasighat last month, according to family source.

Born in 1906 at Kadu village, he was the oldest known serving HGB of Koyu circle under East Siang district. He was admired and regarded for his judicious approach in delivering justice to people in local cases under traditional and customary laws. A primary school was established at Saku under his persistent effort and persuasion. The porter track from Saku to Loglu was also surveyed by him first.

He also played a pioneering role for promotion of games and sports and cultural activities in the district by donating shields and trophies. He also helped the administration solve the inter-district boundary dispute with West Siang in Kadu and Zirdo area amicably.

He left behind his wife Kime Dabi Kadu, six sons and four daughters.



ITANAGAR, May 3: Former minister Takar Marde has mourned the demise of social activist AT Kulo.

AT Kulo was highly intellectual, well versed in Hindi and English. He was a very good orator. He was appointed as headmaster in-charge under DDSE Daporijo in Upper Subansiri district and later was offered the post of UC which he did not accept as he wanted to serve the people. His decision was always impartial and just, he shared.

The untimely demise of Kulo, a man of commitment, straight forward with great personality has caused a vacuum not only to the Galo community but also to the state as a whole, the former minister added.

The Karga Kara Area Youth Organization (KKAYO) also conveyed their condolences on the demise stating it is a great loss for the entire Karga Kara area and state as a whole.

Lt Kulo was a socialist and a dynamic leader who contributed his life tirelessly for the betterment of the society, it said.

The organization further prayed to the almighty to give strength to the bereaved family and for the eternal peace of the departed soul.


News Impact

Arunachal bag 4 gold in KAI National Karate C’ship

ITANAGAR, May 03: Arunachal bagged four gold and eight bronze medals in the national karate championship conducted by Karate Association of India at Talkotara Indoor Stadium, New Delhi that concluded today.  

While Mojum Dodum and Sinne Mikhu won a gold medal each in cadet (boys) individual Kumite in below 57 kg and below 60 kg category respectively Johny Mangkhiya and Minam Tekseng bagged one gold medal each in below 68kg and above 54kg Cadet (girls) individual Kumite, informed Arunachal Karate Do Association general secretary L Marik.

The bronze medal winners are Nabam Radhe, Kamku Tallo, Niaimun Mara, Yorjum Sera, Yoisi Tawsik, Raja Yangfo, Tade Bayor, Biplab Devnath. All the bronze medals came from Kumite event.

Arunachal fielded a total 27 players in the championship.

Kakio Siga was the coach (boys) and manager of the team while Tadar Eba was the girls’ coach.



Centre assures to repeal AFSPA: AAPSU

ITANAGAR, May 03: Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh has assured a delegation of All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) to consider and look into the latter’s demand for repealing the Armed Forced Special Power Act (AFSPA) from Arunachal Pradesh.

The assurance was given by the Home Minister when a team of AAPSU led by its President Kamta Lapung called on the former at his official residence in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum urging him to repeal AFSPA.

Rajnath, however, pushed the AFSPA ball into his Deputy Kiren Rijiju’s court.

“I will discuss the issue with Kiren Bhai and decision will be as per his wish and interpretation,” said AAPSU in a release quoting the Home Minister.

“As of now, further order pertaining to AFSPA in Arunachal Pradesh has been kept in abeyance,” he said.

AFSPA has been in force in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh since September 17, 1991. It was further extended to nine other districts on March 27, 2015.

During the team’s meeting with the Union Minister, AAPSU President Kamta Lapung made a sincere effort to convince the former that the Army Act was not applicable in a state like Arunachal Pradesh inhabited by indigenous tribal people, who are known for their simplicity and peace-loving nature bounded by all the accepted traditional customary laws. North East Students’ Organization Coordinator Pritam Sonam said that extension of the Army Law in the state just after Kiren Rijiju was inducted as MoS for Home Affairs saddened the people of his state.

The AAPSU team was accompanied by Tagru Tame, former ANSU vice president and Tayuk Sonam, a scholar from RGU.



Itanagar to be developed as Smart City

ITANAGAR, May 03: Itanagar is among the capitals of North East states to be developed as Smart City under the Centre’s flagship programme, according to a report published in Hindustan Times.

The proposal to develop 100 smart cities, which was cleared by the cabinet last week, makes not only cities in the one to four million population range eligible to be developed as smart cities, but also capitals of smaller states which have less than one million people, the report said.

The criteria, urban development ministry (UD) officials said, would de-facto make the capital of all North-eastern states eligible. “Almost all capitals also happen to be the largest cities in their respective states,” the report said quoting an official.

Though these cities will be eligible to get selected in stage one, they will also have to qualify the ‘city challenge competition’ to make it to the final list.

The Centre will give Rs 48,000 crore for five years for the programme. Each city will get Rs 100 crore per year. A matching fund of Rs 48,000 crore will have to be contributed by states from their internal resources/ market borrowing and through private sector participation, the report added.



Tawang Festival concludes

Tuki hails Tawang’s hospitality

TAWANG, May 03: The three day Tawang Festival concluded here today to the beats of traditional music and soul soothing Buddhist hymns with Chief Minister Nabam Tuki attending the cultural evening as the chief guest.

Addressing a huge gathering at the festival venue, the Chief Minister hailed the people of Tawang for keeping the tradition of peace and hospitality alive making the district one of the best sought after destinations for tourists.

Assuring that the Government will leave no stone unturned for development of the district, he appealed all to cooperate with the government in its initiatives. He cited the ongoing hydro power project of the NHPC and said that once the project is implemented Tawang will witness unprecedented development including 24X7 electricity and employment to the youths.

Also present on the occasion were cabinet ministers Chowna Mein and Pema Khandu, Parliamentary Secretaries Karya Bagang, Bamang Felix, Jambey Tashi and Phurpa Tsering and MLAs Dikto Yekar, Pani Taram and Tirong Aboh.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister conducted a review meeting of the preparations for the upcoming visit of His Holiness the VII Dalai Lama Tawang scheduled from November 16 to 26, 2015.

He first visited the Tawang Monastery and expressed satisfaction at the renovation work being carried out in the area around the living chamber of His Holiness and the installation of lift. He advised the renovation committee to ensure that the works are completed a month before the scheduled visit of His Holiness.

The chief minister thereafter visited Yid-Ga-Chos-Zin complex near the Govt. HS School Tawang which has been designated as the location where His Holiness will be delivering his teachings and sermons to the public. He advised the executing agencies to complete the repair and maintenance of the road to the ground at the earliest and also to make the stadium complex ready in time so that the public and devotees are able to see the blessings of his holiness without facing any inconvenience.

The chief minister assured the full support and commitment of the state government to make the visit of his holiness to Tawang and Arunachal Pradesh a grand success.


Copyright © 2008, The Arunachal Times Publications Pvt. Ltd., Siang House, Sector - E, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh - 791111, India

All rights reserved.


---- Editorial ----


Very important suggestion

In recent month series of union ministers are visiting Arunachal to oversee the development activities undertaken in the state. Just days after union minister for road, transport and highway Nitin Gadkari visited state and laid down the foundation stones of various road projects, yesterday defence minister Manohar Parrikar made short trip to Itanagar. Parrikar held meeting with Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and Governor Lt. General Nirbhay Sharma (Retd). Chief Minister Nabam Tuki placed 10 points memorandum to the visiting defence minister. Some of the main demands include creation of two more Arunachal Scouts Units, Liaison Offices of Ministry to be established in Arunachal Pradesh, relaxation in height norms for Arunachalee boys and girls in the Army recruitment and so on.

 However it was Governor Lt. General Nirbhay Sharma (Retd) who raised a very important issue of the potential role of defence personnel in the development of border areas. Governor Sharma told Parrikar that Army and Air Force units deployed on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) can play significant role in the implementation of developmental projects besides securing international boundary. He has made a very pertinent suggestion which should be taken seriously. Army should contribute their bit for the development of border villages. Especially in the field of education and health care they can play a critical role. Army should open schools and hospitals in the border areas. They should allow the local citizen to make use of such facilities.




---- Readers Forum ----


Pul is our God Father

Dear Editor,

Apropos the news item published in your daily dated 25th April, 2015, alleging former Finance Minister K Pul of massive corruption, we the public leaders of Anjaw district would like to bring the facts to light without giving any reply to some baseless allegations made by some politically motivated persons for their selfish interest.

We the public of Anjaw regard Pul as a ‘God Father’ in our district for his tremendous effort for all round development of backward Anjaw district. Under his able leadership, the people of Anjaw witnessed a tremendous development as compared to other old and newly created districts. But still, some selfish minded people are making fabricated and politically motivated allegations just to malign the dignity and prestige of our leader.

The allegation on fund misappropriation for C/O ‘4' wide CC path from Chaglagam to Roncham was just sanctioned on 13.03.2015. No fund has been released yet for construction of the same. So there is no question of any fund misuse.

The C/O FSB at Glotonglat Patrol route was sanctioned in 11th March, 2015, the construction of huts for Jawans at Roncham BOP was sanctioned on 16th March 2015. The schemes were sanctioned but no LOC has been given yet to the executing department. The construction of Halai Pani Hydro Project is almost complete with ninety percent work being done. All the required machinery items brought for running the Hydro Project have already been procured, but sudden and unexpected cloud burst changed the main course of the river and washed away the power house completely damaging other portion of the project.

The state government had promised to sanction additional funds for completion of the project during the CM visit at Hawai on 2.01.2013.  But no fund has been released so far for the same. The construction of motorable Manchal suspension bridge has been carried out by M/s TK Traders for construction of Anchor Blocks (both left and right bank), abutment portion has been done by Arunachal Agency, earth cutting work by M/s Sangrila Trade Agency, launching done by Damodar Rope ways, a Kolkatta base company.

The name of Muhilum Pul has been unnecessarily dragged into controversy just because he is the brother of K Pul. Our leader never makes any payments or bill or does any contractual works in the name of his family members. The executing department has got the list of contractors which can be checked at any time by anyone.

We consider Pul as the most patriotic leader in our state. No corner of Anjaw district has been left out by Pul. He along with his workers travels on foot to interior villages of the district to take stock of the development activities. There are no rivers, streams, culverts, bridges and schools in the interior villages where he has not visited. There are more than hundred foot suspension bridges in Anjaw district. No stream or river is left without a bridge. We the people of Anjaw get 24 hours light with our own Mini Hydro Projects.

He is also the only minister, who always raises the issue of Chinese intrusion into the Indian Territory. On many occasions, whenever he meets the central ministers, he always highlights about the practical problems being faced by the local people living in border areas and the also problems faced by our Indian Army due to lack of proper road communication.

We sit together along with Gram members, ASMs and ZPMs for distribution of any contractual works Anchal/area wise and decide accordingly with the consent of all, then prepare the list of contractors and send to all concern departments.

We the public leaders of Anjaw demand a SIT or CBI probe into all the schemes sanctioned in different district of the state along with Anjaw. We are proud to say that our leader has done so much for us which no other has done in whole of Arunachal Pradesh.


Semsemlum Ngi

Khopey Thalai

Bakhetso Tawsik

Barum Massong

Bakimso Tawsik

Sohal Ama

Dohailum Awailiang

Chaikhulum Mai

Buglelum Tega, Anjaw




My experiences of travelling in your state

Dear Editor,

I am writing this open letter to you, the readers of your newspaper and the government of Arunachal Pradesh, hoping to highlight my experiences of travelling in your state.  I am a freelance travel journalist and I have travelled in Arunachal Pradesh twice in 2013 and 2015.  I specialise in Independent travel that focuses on indigenous peoples and wildlife experiences, so initially I felt that Arunachal Pradesh could be the perfect destination. During both visits I was asked by many people in Arunachal Pradesh whether I would be recommending the experience of travelling in this state in any future articles.  Unfortunately I feel unable to recommend Arunachal Pradesh to foreign travellers for the following reasons, and I feel its only fair to place these reasons on the public record in your publication.

Firstly there is my experience in trying to acquire a permit to travel in Arunachal Pradesh.  Whilst personally I am not against permits or extra charges for foreign tourists, the system devised by your state government is open to corruption and mismanagement.  For a start it openly discriminates against independent travellers.  In my 40 years of travelling to over 70 countries, I have never been discriminated against for travelling independently, except in Arunachal Pradesh.  For example, the state of Sikkim provides a straightforward permit on arrival for Rs1500/- per person. A permit for Arunachal Pradesh (minimum two persons) can cost an individual between Rs3000-Rs9000/- per person, depending upon the whim of the agent and the ‘administrative costs’ he/she feels like charging.  When the federal government is moving towards visas on arrival for independent travellers as well as groups - I find this system discriminatory, old fashioned and open to abuse.

The second reason is the fees the state charges for visiting National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.  Now that the state’s camera and park fees per day are Rs2000for a foreign tourist, I feel that this is prohibitively expensive when compared to other countries and states.  State permit aside, many parks in India offer good value such as Bharatpur with a total tourist charge of Rs 400.  As a benchmark the Taj Mahal is a total of Rs770. However a more meaningful comparison (with entrance and camera fees) in the context of this letter is with the following famous international parks.

Manu NP in the Amazon, Peru is Rs3000/- (47 US$) for seven days,

Etosha NP in Namibia, Africa is Rs400/- (6 US$ )per day,

Okavango Delta NP in Botswana, Africa is Rs130/- (2 US$) per day

Kalahari National Park in Botswana, Africa is Rs130/- (2 US$) per day

Kakadu National Park is Rs1200/- (19 US$) for a max of 14 days in Australia.

The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador is just one charge of Rs7500/- (US$120) and after six or more days offers substantially better value for an international visitor.

All these fabulous National Parks offer far better value for money and a more developed infrastructure. Consequently I am duty bound to my readers to recommend these parks for their wildlife experience.

Finally, it has been my unfortunate experience that tourists are further actively discriminated against in Arunachal Pradesh unless they are from India.  During my two visits, I have been pulled out of a Tata shared Sumo travelling to the scared lake behind Tawang because I was not Indian.  The armed forces made me wait while the Indian tourists visited the lake and then get back into the taxi on its return.  All on the pretext of ‘safety’.  Surely if it’s safe for mainland tourists, us foreigners are no different!  On the same visit I had my camera taken from me in Tawang Monastery during a courtyard ceremony when Indian tourists have been photographing the ceremony and using their videos.  No explanation was given by the army, despite a plea on my behalf by the monastery monks.  On this visit, I also wanted to visit Tirap, yet I have been told by the travel agents (with whom I sourced my permit) that this is only possible if I am an Indian citizen.  This form of discrimination I have only encountered once in other countries and that was during the Apartheid era in South Africa.

Consequently I feel most sorry for the citizens of this state who are involved in the tourist business or who are investing their money in this industry.  This state could be one of the most desirable places to visit in the world yet the problems detailed above show that Arunachal Pradesh needs to change if it wishes to attract more tourists.  Currently better value is available in other parts of India, Nepal and (most excitingly) South Western China and Burma.  All these regions or countries operate a fairer, non-discriminatory and more value orientated approach to their tourists.

I hope in some small way this letter will instigate a change in the government’s thinking.  Of course I may have mis-understood their strategy and the Arunachal Government may only be interested in a premium low traffic volume of tourists (such as the small number currently visiting the state).  In this case I stand corrected.


Rupert Dean

Freelance Travel Writer





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