Ladakh grieved over Dr Sonam Dawa Lonpo’s demise, thousands join candle light march to pay homage

JIGMET JANSPAL KHUNGRU
LEH, 30 JAN: The whole Ladakh went into shock following the sudden death of Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh, Dr Sonam Dawa Lonpo who passed away on Monday evening reportedly due to cardiac arrest.
As per the details available, Dr Dawa (71) was in his office in the morning and he left for home in the afternoon after having lunch. Later he was found dead in his bed. It is said that as he reportedly failed to respond to his wife’s phone call, she asked a neighbour lady, who used to serve him food during her absence, and the said lady found him dead in his bed. His wife and daughter had left for Delhi two days ago.
Dr. Dawa was a politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party and he was elected to LAHDC from Thiksey constituency in 2015 and took over as CEC after the legislature party elected him as leader of the house. He served as CMO Leh, LBA President and District President BJP Leh.
Bharatiya Janata party Leh unit called a Shoke-Sabha at its party office under the chairmanship of President Tsewang Gonbo to condole the sad and sudden demise of Dr. Sonam Dawa Lonpo, the Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC Leh. Executive councilors, councilors, Mandal presidents and party workers participated in the condolence meeting. Similarly, District Congress Committee also paid tribute to late Dr. Sonam Dawa at the DCC office.
The district administration had requested the state government to declare tomorrow as mourning day as a mark of respect to the departed leader. All the scheduled activities and programmes in entire region have either been postponed or cancelled as a mark of respect to Dr. Lonpo. Several organisations have organized prayers at monasteries and temples.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday expressed sorrow over the demise of CEC, LAHDC, Leh, Sonam Dawa, who passed away in Leh. In her condolence message, the Chief Minister recalled the contribution of late Dr Sonam Dawa in the development of Ladakh region.
She expressed sympathies with the bereaved family members in their hour of grief and prayed for peace to the departed soul.
Minister for Ladakh Affairs and Cooperatives Chering Dorjay has also expressed deep sorrow over the demise of Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC Leh Dr. Sonam Dawa who passed away yesterday at Leh. In his condolence message Dorjay said that Dr. Sonam Dawa has left an indelible mark with his exemplary leadership which had a major impact on people’s life. He expressed sympathies with the bereaved family members in their hour of grief and prayed for peace to the departed soul.
On the sudden demise of Dr. Sonam Dawa Lonpo, Chief Executive Councillor and former President Ladakh Buddhist Association, a condolence meeting of the LBA Executive members was convened yesterday late in the evening in which the members observed a two minutes silence to pay their respect to the departed soul and to express their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. It was decided to appeal to all business establishments to keep their establishments closed today and observe a candlelight march from Leh Main gate to Chowkhang Vihara as a mark of respect. On the occasion Khamtak Rinpochey addressed the people and different speakers spoke about Dr. Sonam Dawa. Thousands of people participated in the candlelight march.
DC Leh, Avny Lavasa, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of LAHDC, termed the demise of Dr Dawa as a big loss for the Council as well as the administration. She confirmed that the funeral will be held on the 6th of February and said that there will be a state holiday on Wednesday besides three days state mourning. “We are still waiting for notification from GAD,” she said. She informed that a condolence meeting was also going to be observed by district officers and other staff at Council Secretariat.
Responding to media query regarding future of the Council she said, “A new CEC will have to be elected within 30 days as per the LAHDC Act”.
BJP District President, Tsewang Gonbo said that the untimely death of the honest, dynamic and dedicated leader is an irreparable loss for Ladakh in general and BJP party in particular. He said Dr Lonpo played a crucial role in taking the party’s image to considerable heights in a short span of time in Leh district. Dr. Sonam Dawa was known for his straight forwardness and honesty. His visionary leadership and good governance is well endorsed at district, state and central level Leadership. Dr Dawa was well known reformer and administrator during his career as CMO, party president and CEC. Under his leadership Leh district made impressive progress in infrastructure development and in ensuring transparency in the governmental set up. His initiative with the motto of zero tolerance against corruption has already made a visible difference. Gonbo further said that the Party workers will rededicate themselves to Party’s set agenda with a pledge to maintain the high standards in public service as pursued by Dr. Sonam Dawa. He prayed that the bereaved family of the deceased be bestowed enough strength to bear the irreparable loss.
District Leh PDP President, Tashi Gyaltsan said, “I am deeply saddened by the news of untimely death of Dr. Sonam Dawa CEC, Leh. PDP, Leh and Nubra express their shock and grief over the sad demise of Dr. Sonam Dawa Lonpo CEC, Leh. He was good human being, friend, and a great personality. His loss has traumatized the entire people of Ladakh. May his soul rest in peace and I convey my heartfelt condolences to the family members and relatives.”
District Congress Committee President, Tsering Samphel said, “The sudden demise of Dr. Sonam Dawa the CEC of LAHDC on Monday evening due to heart attack has come as a shock to the whole population of Ladakh. It is an irreparable loss to Ladakh and he has left a vacuum which is difficult to fill up. Congress party in Ladakh despite being in opposition in Leh Council had issued standing instructions to its five sitting Councillors to cooperate with Dr. Sonam Dawa being a capable and dignified leader. In his loss, Ladakh has lost a very dear and dynamic leader. District Congress Committee unanimously adopted a resolution paying rich tribute to the departed soul and condolence to the bereaved family members and praying that they get the strength to bear the loss.
Chairman J&K Legislative Council, Haji Anayat Ali, expressed profound grief and sorrow over demise of Chief Executive Councilor of Ladakh Hill Development Council, Dr. Sonam Dawa. While paying tributes to Dr Dawa, he said that he was a sincere politician who worked for betterment of the people. “Dawa will always be remembered for his great managerial capacities, broad vision and wise leadership”, he asserted. “In his death I have lost a friend and ally” he added.
The Chairman conveyed condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for eternal solace to the departed soul.
MLA Zanskar, Syed Muhammad Baqir Razvi also condoled the demise of Dr. Sonam Dawa Lonpo CEC LAHDC Leh. He recalled Dawa’s services for betterment of the people of Ladakh. He prayed for peace to the departed soul and conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family.
Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor Kargil Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan while expressing grief over the demise of the late leader said that Dr Sonam Lonpo was a dynamic administrator and astute leader who put Ladakh region on the track of development and prosperity through his visionary leadership qualities and his contribution towards the welfare of the people can never be undermined.
Meanwhile MLA Kargil Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai, Executive Councilor for Education Advocate Muhammad Amir, Executive Councilor for Rural Development Aga Syed Hassan Armaan Mousavi, Executive Councilor for Health Muhammad Hussain, Executive Councilor for Zanskar Affairs Tenzin Sonam, Advisor to CEC Kargil Haji Muhammad Shafi, Councilors of LAHDC Kargil besides former Ministers and legislators of the district have also expressed deep sorrow and shock over the demise of Dr. Dawa.
The political leaders besides people from all walks of life while recalling the noteworthy contributions of Dr Dawa as a distinguished politician and noble soul have expressed sympathies with the bereaved family in this hour of grief and have prayed for peace to the departed soul.
A condolence meeting was also held at Council Secretariat Kargil in which the Executive Councilors, Councilors and the staff of the Council Secretariat while expressing shock and sorrow over the demise of Dr Dawa recalled his contributions as an administrator and mature and responsible statesman who devoted all his life towards the progress and development of Ladakh region.