Saturday, August 25, 2007

Now, Kalimpong Lepchas launch hunger-strike

GANGTOK, Aug 24: In a bid to express their solidarity with the Affected Citizens of Teesta, eight members of the Lepcha Youth Association started an indefinite hunger-strike at Tricon Park in Kalimpong town yesterday. The Lepcha youths are protesting against the upcoming hydroelectric power projects at Dzongu in North Sikkim. They believe that the hydel power projects will disturb the sanctity of Dzongu. “We have written several letters to governors and chief ministers of West Bengal and Sikkim, prime minister, president, and UPA chairperson Mrs Sonia Gandhi, but to no avail,” said Mr Ajuk Tamsangmo, chief coordinator of LYA.

The LYA is planning to stage similar hunger strikes in Darjeeling, Kolkata and Delhi, Mr Tamsangmo, added. “First we will organise peace rallies in Kolkata and Delhi. If our demands are still not fulfilled, we will sit on indefinite hunger-strike in these places,” he said. “Dzongu is a holy place and we will not allow the Sikkim government to disturb the sanctity of the area by setting up hydel power projects there,” he added. The LYA president, Mr Dorjee T Lepcha, claimed that members of the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association are also supporting their indefinite hunger-strike.“The ILTA president has already left for New Delhi to discuss the issue with Mrs Sonia Gandhi,” Mr Lepcha, said.