DSA wants Sherpa land sold to other communities returned

Denzong Sherpa Assoc reiterates Land Protection Bill rejection, wants inclusion under Revenue Order No. 1

Rabong, 19 Aug:

Denzong Sherpa Association (DSA) convened a coordination meeting at Kewzing, South Sikkim, under Rabong constituency today.

"The Sherpa community of the state rejects the Land Protection Bill passed by the Legislative Assembly and demands that our lands be brought under the protection of Revenue Order No. 1. We also demand that 5,000 acres of Sherpa land sold to other communities be returned to the Sherpas," said Pasang Sherpa, the spokesperson of Denzong Sherpa Association.

He stressed that DSA reiterates its single-point demand of inclusion of Sherpa lands under Revenue Order No. 1 like the Bhutia-Lepcha lands.

He termed that Land Protection Bill, Sikkim Regulation of Transfer of Land Amendment Bill, Bill No. 18 of 2018 passed by the Assembly on 12 July as a “forceful implementation of an unwelcome Bill” and and rejected it as being against the interests of the Sherpa communinty of the State.

He further stressed that as per historical facts and evidence, the term 'Bhutia' was not a single caste or community, but a group of communities which includes Sherpas, hence the Sherpas are also part of the Bhutia community and entitled to Constitutional right being enjoyed by the Bhutias.

He also alleged that Sherpas party representative had failed to speak up for the community in their time of need and warned that if the state government tries to alienate the Sherpa community, a greater movement would be launched.

Mr. Sherpa also added, “In a move to bring friction, hostility and animosity among Sherpas in Sikkim, the ruling SDF has planted one or two docile and submissive Sherpas to speak against the inclusion of Sherpas under Revenue Order No. 1 at the Centre. Such nefarious activities of SDF seem to have the hidden agenda of wiping out the existence of Sherpa community in Sikkim. Therefore, SDF government and party will be held responsible if any animosity or violence erupted out of their sinister design.”

Sonam Gyatsho Sherpa, chief convenor of Sherpa Protection Forum (SPF), in his address, claimed that conspiracies to exclude the Sherpa community from the definition of BL was being hatched and a demand to alienate the Sherpa community from BL has been placed with the central government.

He added that the organization will approach the Central government very soon with a demand seeking quashing of the Bill.

Lha Tshering Sherpa, the DSA president, in turn said that their movement is for protection of Sherpa lands and that DSA was an apolitical organisation and if some forces tries to give their movement a political colour, then DSA would field its own candidates in the upcoming election.

He contended that the Sherpa community has been denied their rights for the past 100 years in Sikkim and it was time for the Sherpa community to unite in their fight for their rights in a democratic way.

The DSA will approach different Central government agencies regarding the issue, he added and that no one can stop the community from getting their constitutional rights.

Also today, advocate Yanji Phinasa was officially appointed the legal advisor of Denzong Sherpa Association.