Monday, February 17, 2014

Kateng hosts grand Sonam Lochar celebrations

KATENG, 16 Feb: Sonam Lochar was celebrated in grand manner on Saturday here at Kateng village in South Sikkim with Chief Minister Pawan Chamling present as chief guest accompanied by area MLA, Buildings & Housing Minister Tilu Gurung.
Sonam Lochar, the traditional new year of the Tamang community, was declared a state holiday in Sikkim by the SDF Government, and addressing the gathering yesterday, the CM underlined that the individuality of most communities were neither nurtured nor promoted in Sikkim until the SDF Government was formed in 1994. Apart from extending state patronage to festivals and special occasions of different communities, the State Government, the CM said, has also consistently supported cultural aspects of different communities.
With regard to the Tamangs, he pointed out how their language was now accorded state language status despite opposition from some sections which argued against such recognition since the Tamang language did not have a script. He also underlined the Scheduled Tribe status that was secured for the community thanks to the consistent pursuit of the demand by the State Government.
This support for communities was being misrepresented by the Opposition camp as attempts to break up the society, the CM rued, stressing that such criticism was counter-productive because safeguards for individual communities made society stronger, not more fragmented.
“We cannot merge one caste with another but we can work for the welfare of each and every caste and community. We believe in the security and identity of every individual in the state,” he added.
“Following this policy of the party, every community has been given tickets to contest the assembly elections and the same will be followed in the upcoming polls. We dropped a senior party candidate from Chakung constituency and gave the ticket to a Tamang candidate. The SDF government was the first in the history of Sikkim to make a Tamang Minister,” he highlighted.
While urging the youth to seize the several opportunities now opened for them in Sikkim, the CM also announced a mega tourist centre at Namthang Nagi Dara in the constituency.
Performing artists from Nepal Tulasa Waiba, Indira Yonzon, Bishal Kaldang, Devika KC, Deep Sagar and Fauda Singh from West Bengal, Carnival Band from Darjeeling led by Chandan Lumjal entertained the people during the evening.

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