Did India annexe Sikkim ? SNPP questions

What could be music to the ear of China, SNPP (Sikkim National People’s Party) has recently sent memorandum ot Prsident of India Smt. Pratibha Patil terming Sikkim’s merger with India as ‘Annexation’ due to failure by Indian government to implement provisions under Article 371f of the constitution.

Sikkim was merged with India in 1975 after 8th May 1973 agreement between India and Sikkim in continuation with the friendship treaty of 1950 which India signed with Sikkim as well as Nepal.

SNPP memorandum says that, “in 1977, the then Prime Minister of India, Shri. Morarji Desai, had publicly acknowledged that what was done to Sikkim was “wrong”, and it is admissions like these and others -and to rectify which nothing has been done in the last three decades- which bring about a feeling of distrust, especially among the educated young generation, which the party feels shall not be healthy in the long run. The party feels the statement above of the former Prime Minister should be seen in the light of the guidelines adopted by the International Law Commission at its fifty-third session in 2001, regarding the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, and process for reparation of injury as per these guidelines be initiated, so that the self respect of the people is restored.”

Here is the complete text of the letter, posted on 6th Feb 2011 in www.isikkim.com website.

To,
H.E. Shmt. Pratibha Patil,
President of India,
Rashtrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi.

Dated: February 4, 2011

Your Excellency,

The Sikkim National People’s Party, on behalf of the Sikkimese people, would like to draw your attention to the failings of the Constitutional arrangements for Sikkim, as well as the total violation of the Spirit of the 8th May agreement, 1973, which agreement started the process of Sikkim’s association with the Union of India. Despite the fact that the people willingly signed this agreement, the events leading up to the “merger” which took place in 1975 seems more to define an annexation, and it would be an affront to the self respect of the Sikkimese people to continue calling it a merger, without taking concrete steps to rectify the gaping holes in the administrative and constitutional arrangements, which were devised to affect this merger. These arrangements have not stood the test of time and the violation to the spirit of the said agreement is becoming increasingly apparent, with the unchecked exploitation of Sikkim’s natural resources, and the massive influx which is drowning the people in their own lands, despite the special provisions under Article 371f of the constitution, which prohibits such things.

Your Excellency may recall that in 1977, the then Prime Minister of India, Shri. Morarji Desai, had publicly acknowledged that what was done to Sikkim was “wrong”, and it is admissions like these and others -and to rectify which nothing has been done in the last three decades- which bring about a feeling of distrust, especially among the educated young generation, which the party feels shall not be healthy in the long run. The party feels the statement above of the former Prime Minister should be seen in the light of the guidelines adopted by the International Law Commission at its fifty-third session in 2001, regarding the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, and process for reparation of injury as per these guidelines be initiated, so that the self respect of the people is restored.

As Sikkim is a state with international borders on four sides, the party feels these anomalies regarding constitutional provisions have a direct bearing on national security, as they also leave scope for interference by external agencies. Your Excellency may also recall that prior to 1975 relations between Sikkim and the Govt. of India was guided by the Indo-Sikkim treaty of 1950, which treaty has been taken out of the picture by the 36th amendment of the Indian Constitution. Though the party has yet to determine if the Parliament of India had jurisdiction over an international treaty, it feels forces inimical to Indian interests could use this as an excuse to ferment unrest within Sikkim, which again shall have direct consequences for national security.

In view of the points raised above, the undersigned request that Your Excellency direct the Govt. of India to form a committee to go into the violations of the letter and spirit of the 8th May Agreement, and to give recommendations so that the merger of Sikkim with the Union is never questioned again. We would also request that this committee include representatives of the Sikkimese people and that this exercise be started immediately with the seriousness which it deserves .

Yours Faithfully,

It may be an interesting development where Sikkim has added itself to the list of other North Eastern states with grievances against central government.

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