Ladakhis to fight till last for UT status
27 June 2000
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Venerable Lama Lobzang, Ladakhi leader and Member, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, has expressed deep anguish over the greater autonomy resolution adopted by the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Monday. He has stated that this development will have very serious repercussions in the entire region of Ladakh which would never agree to remain a part of J&K State if the Central Govt. even partially conceded the demand of the National Conference Government for greater autonomy. Ladakh is determinded to free itself from the clutches of the National Conference Government and carry on its struggle for Union Territory status forthwith, he said in a statement here. Lama Lobzang informed that Ladakhi people including Govt. employees met at Leh today to protest against the resolution adopted by the Assembly. The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council is also going to hold a special session tomorrow to deplore the said resolution and express its solidarity with the people of Ladakh in their demand for Union Territory status. Lama Lobzang has appealed to the Prime Minister and the Centre not to be hoodwinked by Dr Farooq Abdullah and to adopt a firm attitude towards anti-national elements of all hues. The Government of India must stand by the patriotic people of Ladakh and concede their legitimate demand for Union Territory status in the present situation without any further delay. He said it must be realised that Ladakh can no more be compelled to remain a part of the present political arrangement which has consistently proved to be disastrous for the people of Ladakh. The Buddhist Ladakhis do believe in peace and non-violence but their creed should not be put to further strain. To the last man Ladakhis will never agree to the so-called greater autonomy demand by Kashmiris-a euphemism for secession from India and will fight till the last.