• Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

Pema Khandu today attended the annual Shar Amartala Torgya Festival at Balemu

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today attended the annual Shar Amartala Torgya Festival here at the Thegtse Sangye Choi Long monastery here at Balemu, a small hamlet at the trijunction of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Bhutan in West Kameng district. The religious festival is being held under the patronage and blessings of Padmashree His Eminence The 14th Thegtse Rinpoche.

Addressing a huge gathering of devotees from West Kameng, Tawang and Bhutan, Khandu expressed gratitude to the Almighty for being able to attend the third celebration of the festival at Balemu for the second time.

He appreciated all the MLAs of West Kameng and Tawang districts for responding positively to his appeal for generous contributions in construction and development of the monastery that he inaugurated earlier in the day.

“Being Monpas it is our duty to contribute in whatever possible way to develop a monastery especially in a place that has a religious significance for us. I appreciate all Monpa MLAs for their contributions. However, my special thanks go to Union Minister for Earth Science Kiren Rijiju, Buragaon-Thrizino MLA Kumsi Sidisow and Bomdila MLA Dongru Siongju for their generous contribution who though hail from West Kameng district are non-Monpas,” he said.

Khandu, who inaugurated the Mindrol Wang Thri Khang Zang Gatsal or the Dharma Teaching Stage of the monastery, on behalf of all Mon people, expressed gratitude to Thegtse Rinpoche for reviving the lost religious glory of Amartala (Balemu) by initiating to open the study centre for preservation of Buddhist culture.

Amartala (Balemu) is a place of great religious significance.

“We the Mon people have been following Buddhism since centuries. It is our culture. And it is our duty to preserve this culture for posterity and maintain our indigenous identity,” he advocated.
Informing that Monpas are the second only indigenous community, after the Khamptis, to have their own script, he appealed the younger generation to learn the script so that it dose not fade away with time.

The state government, on its part, he said is committed to preserve the indigenous culture and languages of all the indigenous communities of the state.
“Khamptis and Monpas are lucky to have their own script, which are now being taught in the schools. We are working along with community based organizations of rest of the communities to evolve their own script if possible or use the Roman script to teach indigenous languages to our young kids so that we always remain connected to our roots,” he informed.

Khandu also informed that for the Mon region, teachers are being recruited to teach the Bhoti script (script of the Monpas) in schools.

Delving on developmental projects in Balemu area in particular and Kalaktang subdivision in general, Khandu said the area, being the gateway to Arunachal Pradesh from the western-most part of the state, it has a huge tourism potential for growth.

“Balemu, like almost all foothill areas of the state, remained under-developed due to one main reason – insurgency. We all know Bodo insurgency, when at its peak, affected the growth of Balemu. All thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, insurgency has ceased to exist in Assam and as a result there is peace all along our boundary with Assam,” he said.

Khandu also mentioned that the inter-state boundary issue with Assam has been almost resolved due to the support of the central government.

“We have proposed to develop all entry-points to our state, including Balemu and Bhalukpong in West Kameng district, with state of art infrastructure and facilities to welcome tourists and give them a feeling of awe for the treasure trove that is waiting for them further into Arunachal Pradesh,” he revealed.

Referring to the serpentine road with several twists and turns from Balemu towards Kalatang and beyond (OKSRT road), Khandu informed that the road by BRO was built on the old alignment of the yesteryear’s NEC road.

“We have taken up with the BRO and have proposed a new alignment that will start from the Balemu bridge-point and go along the river to Kalaktang. This will be about 25-26 kms shorter than the existing road and would be a huge relief for travelers going to Kalaktang, Shergaon, Rupa, Bomdila, Dirang or Tawang,” he said.

Responding to a request by the Rimpoche, Khandu assured sanction for installation of a 100KVA distribution transformer in Balemu, a 63KVA generator set and high-mast lights for the monastery, fencing for the Cultural Center and a Guest House. He also assured extension and upgradation of the Festival Ground.

Present on the occasion were MLAs Phurpa Tsering, Kumsi Sidesow, Dorjee Wangdi Kharma, Dongru Siongju, Tsering Tashi and Tsering Lhamu along with district administration officials, panchayati raj leaders and others.


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