BL organisations raise pressing State issues in New Delhi

BL organisations raise pressing State issues in New Delhi
Mon, Nov 5, 2018

GANGTOK: Individuals representing various Bhutia-Lepcha organisations of the State came together as All Indigenous Bhutia Lepcha (BL) Tribals of Sikkim to press for the issues concerning the twin communities and the State in general during a news conference at Press Club of India in the national capital on Saturday.
Tseten Tashi Bhutia from Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC), Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha of Nationalist Sikkim United Organisation (NSUO) and Phigu Tshering Bhutia of Bhutia Lepcha Protection Force (BLPF) and others shared the concerns of the State and its people during the news conference, a press release informs.
The member stressed on the need to save Sikkim to save India by saving Sikkim’s distinct identity within the Indian union and reminded that the Indian government had committed for faster advancement of the socio-economic and political rights of the Sikkimese people upon its merger into the Indian union in 1975.
The need to respect the sanctity and implementation of Article 371F of the Indian constitution in letter and spirit was also raised by the members. They said all unnecessary Union laws be immediately withdrawn from the State as Sikkim already has parallel laws protected by clause (k) of Article 371F.
“Irresponsible enforcement of these Union laws in Sikkim is against the very spirit of the Indian Constitution and its own Article 371 F. Hence it is very imperative that all the acts and approaches of both the Union as well as the State should be in accordance to Article 371 F in letter and spirit,” they reiterated.
Maintaining the existing Bhutia-Lepcha Assembly seat ratio of 37.5 percent in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly was also raised by the members. They claimed that deliberately and tactical efforts are being made by the Sikkim government to reduce it further down to 30 percent as it has proposed to increase Assembly seats from 32 to 40 seats. We thoroughly insist that status quo of 37.5 percent seats should be maintained, they added. Restoration of seat reservation for the Sikkimese of Nepali origin in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and reservation of seats for Limboo-Tamang tribal communities was also demanded.
Addressing the media, the members stated that Inner Line Permit (ILP) system should be implemented in Sikkim to check influx. “Sikkim has become soft ground for illegal migrants from various controversial regions and neighbouring countries. The rise of influx has certainly added extra burden on our land and economy. It is prerequisite to restore and implement Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Sikkim in the line of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland to safeguard the interest of the people of Sikkim and vitally from the national security point of view,” they maintained.
The members further demanded that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) be implemented in in Sikkimto check the ever-growing and uncontrolled influx saying there already are thousands of people with dubious citizenships on record.
Citing the Sikkim-Darjeeling merger issue doing rounds in the region time and again, the members said it is against the sentiments and terms of merger between Sikkim and India. “We condemn any individuals, groups and political parties who are advocating Sikkim and Darjeeling merger issue,” they said.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi