Sherpas slam Siblac

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  • Published 29.10.03

Gangtok, Oct. 29: Reacting to the Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee’s (Siblac) demand for amendment of the Scheduled Tribe Order, 1978, members of the Sherpa community have said they are strongly opposed to the move.

The Sikkim Sherpa Association, in a press release, issued by its president D. N. Sherpa said it was strongly opposed to the demand for amendment of the Scheduled Tribe Order. It had earlier made representations to various central leaders including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee against what it termed as the “ulterior motives” of Siblac.

The scheduled tribe order had bracketed eight other communities including the Sherpas as tribals under the Bhutia sub category — which Siblac has been consistently opposing.

The apex organisation of the Bhutia and Lepcha communities had claimed that these communities could not be classified as Bhutias. It had, therefore, demanded an amendment to the order.

Siblac had said they were opposed to the re-opening of Nathula until all rights of the Bhutias and Lepchas were restored.

The association claimed Siblac was trying to resurrect a “dead” issue after three decades had passed since the order. It also stated it was wrong to claim that the Sherpas and eight other communities clubbed together were not Bhutias.