Itanagar, Dec 12 – Asserting that due to PM Narendra Modi’s leadership, insurgency in the neighbouring state has ceased to exist resulting in “peace all along our boundary with Assam”, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday said that state government has proposed to develop all entry points, including Balemu and Bhalukpong in West Kameng, with state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities to welcome tourists and make them at home.
“We have proposed to develop all entry points to our state, including Balemu and Bhalukpong in West Kameng district, with state-of-the-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,” Khandu revealed while highlighting the huge tourism potential of the region.
Attending the annual Shar Amartala Torgya Festival at Thegtse Sangye Choi Long Monastery in West Kameng district’s Balemu, a small hamlet located at the tri-junction of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Bhutan, he said, “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, the insurgency has ceased to exist in Assam, and as a result, there is peace all along our boundary with Assam.”
Khandu also mentioned that the inter-state boundary issue with Assam has been almost resolved due to the support of the central government.
“Rooted in our shared cultural and social legacy, Amartala Torgya is celebrated for the well-being of all, reflecting the essence of diversity,” Khandu said in a social media post. The religious festival is being held under the patronage of Padma Shri awardee His Eminence the 14th Thegtse Rinpoche.
Khandu, who inaugurated the Monastery and its Dharma Teaching Stage – ‘Mindrol Wang Thri Khang Zang Gatsalor’, on behalf of all the people of Mon region, expressed gratitude to the Rinpoche for reviving the lost religious glory of Amartala (Balemu) – a place of great religious significance – by initiating to open the study center for the preservation of Buddhist culture.
“We the Mon people have been following Buddhism for centuries. It is our culture. And we have to preserve this culture for posterity and maintain our indigenous identity,” he advocated.
While addressing a huge gathering of devotees from West Kameng, Tawang, and Bhutan, Khandu appreciated all the MLAs of West Kameng and Tawang districts for responding positively to his appeal for generous contributions to the 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 Sciences 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.
Informing that Monpas is the second only indigenous community, after the Khamptis, to have their script, he appealed to the younger generation to learn the script so that it does not fade away with time. The state government, on its part, he said is committed to preserving the indigenous culture and languages of all the indigenous communities of the state.
Also present on the occasion were MLAs Phurpa Tsering, Kumsi Sidisow, Dorjee Wangdi Kharma, Dongru Siongju, Tsering Tashi, and Tsering Lhamu along with officials from district administration, Panchayati Raj leaders, and others.