Gangtok: Sikkim Chief Minister P S Tamang has sought President Droupadi Murmu’s intervention to ensure tribal status for 12 sub-communities of the state and seat reservation for Limbu and Tamangs tribes in the Legislative Assembly.
Tamang also requested the president to use her good offices so that the devotees in the state could have face-to-face interaction with the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, who has taken foreign citizenship and has not visited the state for a number of years.
‘The UPA govt had denied permission to Ogyen Trinley Dorjee for visiting Sikkim. However, in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reversed the government’s stand and allowed him to come to the state. However, the Karmapa has in the meanwhile taken citizenship of the Dominican Republic. He has been staying mainly in the USA in recent times.
Seeking justice for the twelve sub-Communities and Assembly seat reservations for the Limbu and Tamang tribes, he said: “Subsequent to the 1975 referendum, we (Sikkim) became a part of the great democratic nation, India. After joining the mainstream, the state has been developing continuously. There are different communities and sub-communities in Sikkim, living together cordially. Out of these, the Bhutia –Lepcha communities have been granted tribal status in 1978. Later, in 2003, the NDA Govt of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee recognised the Limbu-Tamang communities as Tribals.
“But so far they do not have any reserved seats in the state legislature. Kindly , grant seat reservation. The other 12 sub-communities including Rai, Gurung, Khas-Chettri, Bahun, Newar, Sanyasi, Jogi, Yakha, Sunwar, Mukhia, Majhi and Thami have been left out as far as granting tribal status is concerned. Justice may kindly be done to them,” said the chief minister.
Justifying the aspirations of the public for tribal status, he said: “Earlier, we the ethnic communities, Bhutia, Lepcha and Nepalese were all equal during the 333-year reign of the Namgyal dynasty. The British in their census had referred to the three as Hill Tribes. Hence, the demand for their recognition as tribals”.
He also mentioned the project regarding the proposed opening of the Chewa Bhanjyang corridor to Nepal, which is expected to improve tourism and trade between India and the neighboring nation.
Tamang expressed gratitude to Murmu for visiting the State and inaugurating seven projects, which he said, will add to the pace of development and progress in Sikkim.