GANGTOK, February 16: Monks under The Denjong Lhadey on Thursday afternoon concluded their two-day foot rally from Rangpo to Gangtok covering a distance around 41 Km. The rally ended at BL House, Tibet Road here at around 4.30 pm.
The rally was undertaken to highlight the pending demand that the 17th Karmapa is allowed by the Union government to visit and bless Skiikm. The monks under The Denjong Lhadey are already on an indefinite realy hunger strike at BL House since August 6, 2016.
Addressing the gathering, Sangha MLA Sonam Lama said criticism of his involvement in the Karmapa demand is irrelevant considering the religious importance of the cause.
“There are sections of people who criticise my involvement in the Karmapa demand but dharma stands as the most important aspect for us monks,” said Lama.
Lama said the monks would now take the demand directly to the Prime Minister. We believe that the state government is not giving us the right response, he said.
The monk had halted at Sangkhola yesterday night and resumed their march today morning.
Some of the elderly monks collapsed due to tiredness and weakness at Samdur, 7th Mile enroute to Gangtok. Traffic movement was disrupted for around 40 minutes till the monks were rushed to the STNM hospital in ambulances. It is informed that some of the monks were discharged from the hospital by evening.
The Sangha MLA, in his address, claimed that Chief Minister Pawan Chamling did not stop at the national highway to enquire about the monks while he was on his way to Gangtok. The monks were marching along the highway near 32 Number area.
Our hope on the State government died yesterday when the Chief Minister chose to ignore the marching monks, said lama. We understand that as our Chief Minister, his schedules are tight but sparing a mere three minutes with the marching monks on the way is not a big deal either, he said.
We were positive that the Chief Minister would make a brief stopover and give his advice on our dharma demand, said The Denjong Lhadey in a press statement. However, the marching monks were ignored, it said.
Meanwhile, SKM president P.S. Golay met the monks in the morning hours at Sangkhola. Former SDF minister Ran Bahadur Subba also met them at 5th Mile, Tadong.
According to a SKM release, Golay said it is a serious matter that monks have to come out on the streets to highlight their demand. He reiterated the support of SKM to the monks and their demand.
The State and Union governments should take proper steps to fulfill this long pending demand, he said.