Snub to dam remark
Gangtok, Nov. 20: The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front has warned National Commission for Minorities member Spalzes Angmo to be “careful” about her objection to the mega-power projects on the Rathong Chu and her statements on the Karmapa’s entry into the state.
Angmo, who visited Sikkim last week, had said the state government should “stop, think and review” if such projects were at all necessary on the Rathong Chu in West district, a river considered sacred by the Buddhists.
Angmo, who looks after Buddhist interests on behalf of the panel, had also said the Centre was positive about allowing the Karmapa to visit Sikkim but chief minister Pawan Chamling had to meet the Prime Minister on this demand. The SDF felt that the remark showed the state government in poor light — as if it was not doing enough for the Karmapa’s entry.
SDF spokesperson and Lok Sabha member P.D. Rai said Angmo “ought to be careful in her utterances as it might not be taken well in several circles including those in New Delhi”.
The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Orgyen Thinley Dorji, has been recognised by both the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government as the head of the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism with its highest seat in Sikkim’s Rumtek monastery. But the 26-year-old, who has been staying in Dharamsala since he fled Tibet evading the Chinese soldiers in 1999, has never been allowed to visit Sikkim by the Indian government.
“Sikkim is a peaceful place….A border state like ours can do without the extreme provocation that Angmo unwittingly, I understand, has meted out,” said Rai. He reminded Angmo that the SDF is a member of the UPA. “Hence, we have our responsibilities to nation-building especially in meeting national targets of power generation.”