With supplies drying up and the indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills entering its 27th day today, all eyes are set on the all-party meeting scheduled to be held today in Mirik area of the hills.The all-party meeting, convened by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), will be attended by all political parties of the hills. The meeting was scheduled to be held on July 18 but was advanced to July 11 following the violence in the hills on Saturday.Many hill parties are in favour of relaxing the shutdown for few days as the supplies of food and essentials have dried up due to the indefinite strike, Jan Andolan Party (JAP) sources said. A section of hill parties want the GJM to sit for the tripartite talks.This is the fourth such meeting in 27 days. The first, second and the third all-party meetings were held on June 20, June 29, and July 6 respectively. The GJM took out huge rally in Mirik demanding Gorkhaland. Incidentally, GJM had lost Mirik municipality to TMC in the last municipal polls held in May. Police and security forces patrolled the streets and kept a vigil on the entry and exit routes.While Internet services remained snapped for the last 24 days, all shops barring pharmacies, schools and colleges remained closed. An Army column, comprising of around 50 personnel, was deployed in Kalimpong last night, defence sources said.Two columns of the Army have already been positioned in Darjeeling and Sonada on Saturday due to extensive arson and violence.
There are opportunities for businesses to expand and figures indicate that a number of operations in Western Jamaica are growing. The Expo, for the first time, will be free to the public over all three days. Business operators urged to focus on employing strategies for growth. Story Highlights President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nathan Robb, has made a call for business operators to focus on employing strategies for growth.He noted that despite challenges in the economy, there are opportunities for businesses to expand and figures indicate that a number of operations in Western Jamaica are growing.“While we might not have…the larger industries such as manufacturing, we do have several business process outsourcing (BPO) companies based here,” he said, noting that the BPO sector is a mass employer in the region.Mr. Robb was speaking at a Think Tank on Thursday, September 26, at the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) Montego Bay Regional Office, ahead of the chamber’s annual Expo slated for the Montego Bay Convention Centre from October 11 to 13.“We must begin to see growth as an incremental step in expanding our businesses, our services, our products…if you are able to employ two more persons, you have grown, and that is what we say, do more, be more,” he said.“If you are able to employ four more persons, the spin-off effects directly to the individuals and the economy is far great,” he added.The Expo, which for the first time, will be free to the public over all three days, is being held under the theme: ‘Services Globalization…Enabling Business Development.’ It will serve as an avenue to showcase products and services that are offered by business persons from Western Jamaica, and other parts of the island.Focus will be placed on logistics, food processing, hospitality, education and training, and the financial services sectors.Mr. Robb said that there will be opportunity for business-to-business interactions and there will be a wide array of exhibitions from local and overseas businesses.He said that the Expo has been successful over the years, as “we have helped to assist businesses to expand their markets, to access necessary goods and services.”“Jamaica, having celebrated 50 years of Independence, stands on the threshold of modernity, and the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is positioned to assist in Jamaica achieving this modernity, so Expo 2013 is an opportunity to showcase goods, services, and all that we would need to ensure that growth is achieved, and the modernity is achieved,” Mr. Robb stated. read more