Thursday 11 October 2007
I believe that beyond the environmental aspect of the protests, there are also constitutional guarantees for the lepcha people, and indeed, also for the Sikkimese people under artcle 371f of the constitution.
For example, as per the constitution, old laws of Sikkim shall carry on being in force. One such old law prohibits any other sikkimese, or outsider from anywhere, from buying land in the Dzongu reserved area, they were infact even restricted from moving within the territory of Dzongu without valid permits.
If the laws are so stringent, how come private companies are romping all over the place buying land? Dont these laws apply to them? To delve into the constitutional justifications and guarantees accorded to the Sikkimese people during merger, we have formed a group to enquire into stuff like this so visit us at http://www.emeraldnova.com/cc371/ for more.
Citizens for Clarity on Article 371F
Here are some ideas from the World that is watching:Lets get some REAL numbers.How many local people are employed by the current Hydro projects? Are they skilled or unskilled labor? How many people are working at one site? Can they vote? How many people are we talking about bringing into make these dams? Are we talking about a huge demographic shift? Has a study been done on how long they expect the Dams to last? If they only last 35 years...there is a problem right? But remember, it is ONLY in their interest to build them to last as long as they are get the major profit.
How many Hydro projects already constructed are non-functional? Why are they non-functional?What is the exact feasability for so many projects on one river? I understand that the government funded projects might just be for "show" but the private companies want to make money...so perhaps they need to be told that not everything is as it seems here. This might be a VERY bad investment. If the shareholders hear about it...there will be problems.
When you think about it...dams in earthquake zone, lots of flooding, look what happened to that Dam near Siliguri...you bet that company is going to take a hit. Are the risks worth it? Go to the private sector and go to the public. Forget the government. We know what they want.Do a survey of tourists. Will they come if the road is treacherous? Will they come to see the dams? Why do they come to Sikkm: climate, religion, scenery?...this would be crucial in convincing the Tourism Sector of Sikkim (why they are so silent is beyond many of us)...that the dams are just NOT in their best interest. Not at all.
You need powerpoint presentations and a little four page flyer to explain the REALITY behind what is going on. The flyer should be easy to read and pretty, simply stating the facts: The Dams mean the Death of Sikkim. Dam Death.
It looks like you have a lot of young people with you. Use them. Working on this project to Save Sikkim, Save Dzongu and Save the Teesta is a once in a life time opportunity!>Ok...those are the thoughts of the moment. I imagine you guys have your hands full and I think you are doing just awesome. You are taking risks and learning from them.
You are being VERY VERY brave. Keep up the civil disobedience. It is very inspiring. It looks like you have a lot of young people with you. Use them. Working on this project to Save Sikkim, Save Dzongu and Save the Teesta is a once in a life time opportunity!Ok...those are the thoughts of the moment. I imagine you guys have your hands full and I think you are doing just awesome. You are taking risks and learning from them.
The Watching World.
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 for an on-the-spot assessment.