Saturday, July 21, 2007

Buddhist monks pray for Sikkim's sake

TimePublished on Thursday , July 19, 2007 at 14:57 in Nation section

Gangtok (Sikkim): It's been one month since the beginning of a hunger strike against the 22 hydel power projects in Sikkim. There's been no response from the government yet, but activists in Gangtok are now getting support from unexpected quarters -- through prayers.

Says a Buddhist monk, Sonam Paljor, "When the river is diverted like, when the rocks are drilled, when the trees are cut, then it is our responsibility as Buddhist monks to pray. Our prayers start: may there be enlightenment of all beings."

These prayers are part of an attraction that draws tourists from across the world, but this , the lamas of Sikkim are praying for an entirely different cause.

These are prayers in the time of crisis, prayers they believe will save the wonderful land called Sikkim.

It's not the first time that Buddhist monks are supporting the cause. They have protested against hydel projects in Sikkim earlier too and successfully.

" We were able to bring a lot of awareness and stop the West Rathonghchu project. Sikkim is a place for meditation," says Sonam Paljor.

This time too, the monks are optimistic that their prayers and smiles will stop the hydel power projects especially the eight projects in Dzongu, the heart of their sacred land in the lap of the Kanchanjunga mountain.

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