Two-day Sikkim Summit for Tribal Status concludes

Gangtok, 04 May (IPR):

The two-day Sikkim Summit for Tribal Status 2018 concluded here at Manan Kendra today. The Governor of Sikkim, Shriniwas Patil attended the valedictory function as the chief guest.

The Summit was organized by Eleven Indigenous Ethnic Communities of Sikkim (EIECOS) in collaboration with the Sikkim Commission for Backward Classes and Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim.

Addressing the gathering, the Governor said, “I am happy to see that unity has been formed to achieve the collective goal of tribal status to left out indigenous communities who sincerely deserve due protection and recognition under the constitution. Over the decades Sikkim has established itself as an abode of peace, stability and progress. The harmony and mutual trust among all communities of Sikkim is exemplary. I have seen numerous instances where one community is seen advocating the rights of another community. Sikkimese society has shown exemplary passion and sincerity to foster the peace and tranquility all along.”

“I am confident that by ensuring equal constitutional right to all Sikkimese we can preserve its unique identity and ethos for centuries to come. With the involvement and sincere efforts of all the stakeholders, they will be able to put forth our legitimate demands in a conclusive and logical manner to the union government for its early fulfillment,” the Governor added.

The Governor thanked the organizing committee for inviting him to be part of the convention.

Earlier, Member of Parliament, PD Rai said, “It was indeed a wonderful learning for all of us and I would like to thank the Hon’ble Governor for raising the dignity and stature of this summit. It is with all humility that I stand here to talk on a subject which is very close to our hearts.”

Referring to the address of Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling who inaugurated the Summit, MP Mr Rai said, “The Hon’ble Chief Minister delivered with such clarity that there is historical evidence to suggest that Sikkimese of Nepali ethnicity have had to face injustice at several instances. 1978, without any prime reason, the left out communities and indeed at that time the Limboo-Tamang were dropped from the tribal status. So this historical injustice needs to be corrected.”

He further stated that when more and more aspirations come up, this kind of demand would always come to the fore and it is with this view that the Chief Minister has been pursuing this matter relentlessly for almost over a decade.

He spoke about the difference between Indian Nepalis and Sikkimese Nepalis referring to quotes from various panelists of the summit.

“This particular kind of Tribal Summit was organised to resolve conflicting issues that are there before us. Over the last two days we have indeed seen so many ways and means that we have under the constitution of India within the 371F for the protection of all ethnicity in Sikkim. We are here to build solid argument and justification for proper justification.”

The second session of the Plenary Lecture for the second day was chaired by Principal Secretary of IPR Department, Bhagwan Shanker where Former Speaker of Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KT Gyaltsen, DN Thakarpa and Former Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University, Prof. TB Subba delivered their plenary lecture.

The third session of the second day was chaired by Prof. TB Subba where plenary lecture was given by Supreme Court advocate, Shomona Khanna and Director of Indira Gandhi Manav Sanghralaya, Prof. Sarit K Chaudhuri which was followed by discussion and suggestion by the speakers.

The two-day convention had 7 prominent Resource Persons from various parts of India.

The valedictory function was attended by Chairperson of the Sikkim Commission for Backward Classes, TN Sharma, Sikkim Commission for Backward Classes Department Secretary, HK Sharma, Social Justice and Welfare Department, Secretary, Sarala Rai, EIECOS chairperson, Dr. SK Rai, presidents and members of EIECOS, Officials from various department, faculty and students from Sikkim University, students from different government colleges and schools.

During the programme prominent resource persons were felicitated by the Governor.