Attended the State Level Sonam Lhochhar celebrations held at Tindharey Bhasmey in East Sikkim. Earlier in the day, I visited Sangha Choeling Gumpa and offered prayers.
Following are some of the highlights of my address:-
1. In the 23 years long tenure of our Government, the State has witnessed a resurgence in socio-cultural sphere. Our Government has been a secular government in letter and spirit. No individual has been discriminated on the basis of caste, creed or religion.
Construction of numerous religious institutions and pilgrimage centres of all faiths by the Government is testimony to this fact.
2. It can be said that it is only after we formed the Government, all the communities of Sikkim got their rightful respect and recognition. Today, Sikkim stands as the most peaceful and the most secular State in India. We as Sikkimese people, must accept each other’s religion and faith. Only then can we maintain the peaceful environment and the communal harmony prevailing in the State.
3. It may be recalled that the Tamang community had to struggle for a long time to get due recognition. Earlier, the festival of Sonam Lhochhar was not celebrated as it is done today. We declared the festival as a State holiday and today, Sonam Lhochhar is celebrated across the State as one of the significant festivals of Sikkim. Besides, we have recognized Tamang language as a State language and it is taught in schools. Recognition of Tamang community as Scheduled Tribe and subsequent seat reservation in higher education and jobs have been made possible by our Government. Moreover, literature and language of Tamang community would soon be taught at College and University levels.
I made the following announcements:-
1. Sanctioned in principle Rs. 2 crore for re-construction of Sangha Choeling Gumpa at Tindharey.
2. Required fund to be provided for completion of Tribal Bhawan at Tindharey.
3. Construction of Kyungthang Primary School building.
4. Construction of Tashi Chorling Maneylakhang.
5. Public demands for establishment of Home stays to be granted.
6. Pem Dorjee Meme Statue cum Tamang Study Centre to be constructed.