Taplejung folks disapprove of renaming Suketar Airport

Published On: May 30, 2021 04:35 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

TAPLEJUNG, May 30: The Taplejung-based political parties, civil Society representatives and the locals have urged the government not to rename Suketar Airport also known as Taplejung Airport as Late Rabindra Adhikari Airport.

The government in the budget speech for fiscal year 2078/79 BS (2021/22) on May 29 announced to rename the airport as ‘Late Rabindra Adhikari Airport’. 

Similarly, the government declared to change the name of the Chuhandanda Airport to ‘Ang Tshiring Sherpa Airport’.

The locals here have expressed unhappiness over the decision to change the names of these airports. They, through social media sites, have advised the government to roll back the decision.

Member of the dissolved House of Representatives (HoR) and CPN (UML) leader Yogesh Bhattarai stressed the need for acquiring permission from the local communities before deciding to rename the airports. “Before deciding to rename any place/site well known due to its historic importance or other distinct features, it is necessary to take permission from the local stakeholders concerned and people’s representatives after sitting for broader discussions with them so as to prove the relevancy, necessity and results of implementing the decision,” suggested Bhattarai, warning, “Otherwise, any action taken with a good intention may spark controversy and end in unnecessary tensions.’’ 

Disapproving of the decision to rename the airports, outgoing chairperson of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Rajendra Shrestha took to his social networking site and said, “Hello government! We are proud to have Suketar Airport. Let’s reconsider renaming Pokhara’s Airport after Late Rabindra Adhikari, instead.” 

Similarly, CPN (Maoist Centre)’s Province 1 parliamentary party leader Indrajit Aangbol has protested against the government decision. He commented that by renaming two airports after the late Rabindra Adhikari and Ang Tshiring Sherpa, the state had interfered with the culture, history, and identity of the airports. 

CPN (Maoist Centre)’s Taplejung Chairperson Bijaya Kirat shared that they have summoned a meeting among the stakeholders and political parties to discuss the issue of renaming the Suketar Airport. Seven people including the then Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari and Yeti Airlines’s chairperson Ang Tshiring Sherpa were killed in a helicopter crash in Taplejung district on February 27, 2019.


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