Day 37 of Hunger strike for Lepcha Youth

Day 37 of Hunger strike for Lepcha Youth

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John Ahni Schertow
July 26, 2007
 

For 37 days now Members of the Lepcha tribe of Sikkim, mostly youth, have been on an indefinite fast (satyagraha) demanding the immediate scrapping of atleast 6 of the seven hydro dams proposed for development in the region of Dzongu— the homeland of the Lepcha people. The Lepcha say these projects will “devastate the region from head to toe.”

As noted here, the government of Sikkim has in the past been negotiable; having been one of the first States in India to ban plastic bags, the Sikkim government has also stopped other hydro projects in the past (because of similar hunger strikes by the Buddhist community). However today the government gave 24 hrs for the indefinite hunger strike to be called off, or else it will be deemed illegal and action will be taken against them.

A representative from the government (in a letter) has also begun taking steps to criminalize those involved or otherwise connected to this ongoing protest. He even went so far as to say, in referring to the two youth currently in hospital because of the fast, if “anything happens to the said youth the responsibility… shall rest squarely upon the ACT leadership.”

ACT (Affected Citizens of Teesta) is the group that came into existence to organize this satyagraha.

Please see ACT’s blog, weepingsikkim.blogspot.com for latest news.and videos

If you would like to express your support, you can contact ACT:
Sherap Lepcha,
General Secretary,
Affected Citizens of Teesta.
mobile # 9434174685
email – sherapl@rediffmail.com

And, you can sign the following Petitions:
http://www.petitiononline.com/trb2007/petition.html
http://petitions.aidindia.org/Sikkim/

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