Monday, July 22, 2024
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The Shillong Times” – The 5th pillar of the Mawkhar Church

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Editor,
At the very outset, we as members (few) of the Mawkhar Presbyterian Church, would like to express our gratitude to this esteemed newspaper ‘The Shillong Times’ for publishing letters to the editor in the last few weeks and also news reporting for the last three years on matters relating to the mishandling of funds by a few church committee members, which has caused debates and discussions amongst the church members. Had it not been for The Shillong Times, this matter would have been ignored and left dormant for perhaps many years to come. The letters to the editor and news reportage have undoubtedly helped to bring justice to the Church instantaneously.
This practice has also led to the church committee putting some serious thought on the matter and addressing the matter on June 23, 2024 by the Secretary. By this announcement, it may perhaps sound that action has been taken seriously by the church committee by seeking audit queries from the defaulters but without setting a tentative date for submission of reply. By asking for an audit reply, it is apparent that there are frauds being committed by the aforementioned members. As we all know, most of the Church Elders and deacons of the Mawkhar Presbyterian Church are bureaucrats of the State Government. We believe they were well aware of the administrative and fundamental procedures, the do’s and don’ts when asking for queries from the defaulters. Could this be another delaying tactic by the Church Committee or is the Church Committee afraid to take a stand against the defaulters or are they being led by the defaulters? Are they protecting the defaulters’ reputation and image?
Church members that elope are suspended from the church as per Church rules, but when church leaders commit a crime against the church itself, no action is taken. If this takes too long, no choices are left but to take a stern and serious legal action by filing a police complaint.
Hopefully, this will be the last and final request and a humble appeal to the Church Committee to come clean on the matter before the congregation, at the earliest.
Yours etc.,
D. Kharwanniang,
M. Sohtun,
(Members of the Mawkhar Presbyterian Church)
Shillong

UK election results: an analysis

Editor,
The editorial, ”Power Shift in UK” (ST 8 July 2024) made interesting reading. Apart from the demographic changes and rise of Indian immigrants in politics in the United Kingdom. The UK election 2024 was a damning result for the Conservatives in 14 years losing more than two thirds of their seats and most went to the Center-Left Labour Party while 63 went to the centrist Liberal Democrats. The Conservative Party has never performed as poorly in an election since the United Kingdom assumed its modern form in 1922. The election was historic in other ways too. The country’s smaller parties have also never performed as well as they did on Thursday. That continues a decades-long shift away from a two-party system, and means that the Labour’s position may be more fragile than it looks on the surface. The Labour Party won one of the largest majorities of seats in Britain’s electoral history on the lowest share of votes of any election winner. A weird election indeed! As a share of votes, Labour barely got 35% of the votes which is only 2 % better than 2019. The tsunami of seats won was courtesy the British Freedom Party. Conservative voters split their votes. The Liberal Democrats were the beneficiary of millions of votes that would have normally gone to the Conservatives, leading to a whopping 71 seats. The Conservatives lost 248 seats. 180 seats to Labour, 59 seats to Liberal Democrats, 4 seats to Reform. Reform won more than 14 percent of the vote but just won four of the 650 seats in Britain’s Parliament. The Green Party also won four seats with about 7 percent of the vote. Labour lost 4 seats to pro-Palestinian independent candidates in seats with large Muslim populations. To win 2029 or whenever Starmer calls a general election. Labour must show significant improvement on every plank of their manifesto.
Yours etc;
VK Lyngdoh,
Via email

Reclaiming mines for greener future

Editor,
The state government had in its earlier avatar came out with a much pro-activeness in bringing reforms in various sectors and most importantly with regards to mining of minor and major minerals. The recent report on the initiative to begin to reclaim abandoned mines in the state is a positive way towards regenerating the environment by way of rejuvenating and converting these “waste lands” into a fertile, green and habitable place fit for human habitations. The blueprint seems promising but will take decades or more for the forests cover to take shape and form. A major part of the mined areas in the state happen to be in East and West Jaintia Hills, parts of West Khasi as well as in Garo Hills. But the question is how far can this entire process succeed without taking the quarry owners as partners or collaborators to give back to nature and whether an exhaustive research study, GIS mapping, baseline survey etc., been conducted to understand whether these places are still feasible or will be just another worthless exercise with a top down approach rather than a bottoms-up action plan is a big question. Another point here is, that if such a process begins then there should be a public discussion with those affected from mining activities with expertise from the state and a list of timelines with the entire cost of reclamation provided in the public domain. Then only will the affected community understand the benefits and impact of this reclamation process.
Yours etc.,
Dominic S. Wankhar
Via email

 

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