Friday, June 22, 2007


Various Sikkim political parties and organisations extend full support to the protectors

GANGTOK, June 21: The indefinite hunger strike called by the affected people of Dzongu against mega hydel power projects in the State led by the Affected Citizen of Teesta (ACT) entered into its second day today.
Three members of ACT, backed by the Concerned Lepchas of Sikkim (CLOS) and the Sangha of Dzongu-Dawa Lepcha, Tshering Ongdup Lepcha and Tenzing Gyatso Lepcha-continued with their satyagraha in front of the BL house here protesting against the arbitrary sanctioning of mega hydel power projects in the State, especially in the protected area of Dzongu in North Sikkim by the State Government.
Three members- of CLOS began their Satyagraha and indefinite hunger strike in front of the BL House, in an effort to draw the attention of the State Government to the long-term implications of mega hydro-electric power projects especially in the Dzongu area of North Sikkim.
This decision to go on this hunger strike has been prompted by total the lack of empathy shown by the State Government towards the concerns of the affected people over the mega hydel power projects planned in the State.
The protestors have demanded a stop to all the projects planned in Dzongu and review all the other projects in the pipeline in the rest of the State.
While there has not been any official reaction from the State Government over this indefinite hunger strike, ACT members informed that KT Gyalsten, legal advisor to the Chief Minister paid them a visit today afternoon and offered an invitation to them to come to the negotiating table.
Later in the day, former Chief Minister and Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) president, Nar Bahadur Bhandari, called on the protectors and extended his “full support” to the cause. Talking to the protestors, Mr. Bhandari said that his party would wholeheartedly support the people of Dzongu in this “injustice” inflicted upon them.
While a steady stream of well wishers continued to visit the protestors, various political parties and organizations have extended their support to the protectors. The newly-formed Affected People’s Association (APA) of Teesta Stage VI has expressed their solidarity in the protests against mega hydel projects.
The Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad (SHRP) and the State BJP unit have also extended their full support to the protestors. The lone Sangha MLA, Acharya Tshering Lama, in a letter to the Chief Secretary, has asked the State Government to arrange for “security, ambulance with a doctor on priority basis for the participants of the satyagraha and hunger strike.”

The Sikkim Bhutia-Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) has expressed their concern over the non-deployment of health team to attend to the participants sitting on a hunger strike protesting over hydel power projects in North Sikkim that started here yesterday.
SIBLAC Convener, Kunga Nima Lepcha said in a press release that the members of Committee held a meeting here today to discuss on the health of the three protesting members on hunger strike since yesterday. It has expressed its concern over the lack of concern shown by the State Government by not deploying any medical team to assess and monitor the health of these protesters