Monday, April 21, 2008
Memorial of martyrs inaugurated by CM
Gangtok: Chief Minister Dr Pawan Chamling inaugurated the ‘Water Shed Memorial’ at Sherathang on April 19. Those present included serving and retired Army personnel and their families, cabinet ministers, government officials and civil guests. The Memorial has been erected to honour those soldiers who became martyrs dom in defence of the State of Sikkim at Sheratheng, in close proximity of the famous Nathula pass on the Sino-Indian Border.
The Memorial site is the old Army Training Area and Golf Course at Sherathang which is easily accessible by road so that the brave martyr soldiers’ comrades, family members, friends and other visitors to pay homage. The site also presents a grand view of the famous Natula pass at the towering heights on the Sino-Indian Border, where the brave soldiers of the Indian Army stand to guard the frontiers. Black granite and grey Kota stones have been used in building the Memorial to blend with the surrounding grey and black rugged terrain. The Canopy above the inverted rifle, depicting the unknown soldier, has been made in Sikkimese design. It stands magnificently etched against the skyline like a brave soldier. The plaque ‘Amar Jawan’ at the base of the Canopy is a luscious tribute to the soldiers.
Maj Gen KVS Lalotra, GOC of Black Cat Division in his address assured that the Indian Army will always defend the State and the Nation. He said that Indian soldiers are recognized by the whole world for their bravery but the coming young generation does not have much knowledge of the brave soldiers of our nation which they should know. “I believe that the brave martyrs of our nation would be honoured and recognized by the people and this Memorial will inspire the young generation of Sikkim in realizing their responsibilities towards their mother nation. It is a pilgrimage where a nation pays homage and tribute to the brave soldiers”, he said.
“Sikkim is a small State where we work like Jawans to safeguard our land even being civilians. Sikkim is a very peaceful, safe and terror-free State which has set an example in the country and other States of India should learn from Sikkim in this regard”, Chief Minister said. He said that Sikkim is a tourism State and its natural beauty and environment comprise the wealth of the State, adding, defense has a significant role to play in protection of the State and development of tourism. He underlined that the State Government is always prepared to help the Army in its needs.
Dr Chamling emphasized on the need of people’s awareness about national integration. He focused on support of Army for maintaining law and order in the area. Saying that Changu Lake is the most significant tourist spot in the whole country, he urged on shifting army quarters and civilian houses from the lake area to Thegu, for conservation of the lake.
CM felicitated retired brave soldiers of Indian Army and family members of the martyrs. On the occasion, GOC in behalf of Indian Army presented a 100 mtrs Russian Gun to Sikkim Government which is cited in the Memorial area. The Russian Gun was used in the Second World War and came to the possession Indian Army in 1967.