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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

East Sikkim authorities issue 32 passes for Nathu La traders

May 12, 2009

Zee News (India Edition)
May 11, 2009

Gangtok, May 11: In order to encourage the Indian
traders to participate in the annual border trade
at Nathu La, the East Sikkim district authorities
have issued passes to 32 traders against a total
of 100 applications in this regard, a senior official said on Sunday.

"We have issued 32 passes to the Indian traders
so far to enable them to take part at Nathu La
border trade, while six more passes are ready for
distribution to the traders after obtaining
clearance from security and intelligence
agencies," East Sikkim District Collector Vishal Chauhan said.

A total of 100 Indian traders have applied for
passes for participation in the Sino-India border
trade that commenced on May 4 last, he said,
adding all applicants will be issued passes in due course of time.

Chauhan denied reports in a section of local
media charging the district authorities for
handling the issuance of trade passes in a
"hamhanded manner" which prevented the Indian
traders to attend the inaugural function last
week and said that 27 trade passes were ready for
distribution among the traders prior to the resumption of the border trade.

"The district authorities cannot be faulted if
the traders failed to turn up before the district
authorities to take their passes," he said.

The District Magistrate, at the same time,
clarified that the issuance of trade passes to
the traders was a cumbersome process involving
scrutiny and clearance from various state and central government agencies.

With the election process on in the state, the
government agencies, both the central and the
state, have had pressing issues to deal with
which delayed the issuance of the trade passes to the Indian traders, he said.

The fourth edition of the border trade at Nathu
La had resumed on May 4 last and a ceremonial
inauguaral function was held at Sherathang Mart.

Ironically, no Indian traders could make it to
Nathu La on that day as they did not have the
passes with them causing embarrassment to the
organisers even as a contingent of 60 traders
from Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China led
by a senior commerce department official Kesang Diki had attended the function.

It may be mentioned that the Indian traders are
issued a mandatory trade pass and the
Import-Export Code Number (IEC) to enable them to
participate in the annual border trade.

Bureau Report
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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