Wednesday, October 10, 2007

National Tribal body support for Dzongu hydel protest

Gangtok, Oct. 9: The protest against the mega hydroelectric power projects in North Sikkim today received support from Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad — a national body for tribals.
The president of the Parishad, Somjibhai Damor, met members of Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) and expressed his support for the protest centred on the Lepcha reserve of Dzongu.
“Tribals across the country are being suppressed in the name of development. We will come together and voice our protest at the national level,” said Damor, who was elected seven times to the Lok Sabha from Gujarat.
He also stressed on the need for opening a branch of the parishad in Sikkim. He was speaking before a gathering at BL House here on Sonam Gyatso Marg where ACT members have been on relay hunger strike for the past 111 days.
Damor was accompanied by Birsa Tirkey, the president of the Bengal unit of the Parishad, and L.S. Tamang, the president of the Kalimpong-based Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association.
“There are 53 tribal MPs and we will request all of them to raise the issue in the next session of Parliament,” Tirkey said.
The Parishad members will visit Dzongu tomorrow for an on-the-spot assessment