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Items filtered by date: Friday, 04 December 2015 - Imphal Times - A Daily Eveninger

Truckers to begin steering down strike along Imphal-Jiribam road from tomorrow

All Manipur Road Transport Divers and Motor Workers’ Union (AMRTDMWU) is set to begin indefinite steering down strike from tomorrow along Imphal-Jiribam road in protest against the burning of the 2 loaded trucks at Jiribam yesterday. 
The steering down strike was announced today by the union in a press meet held at its office MG Avenue, Imphal.
Speaking to the media person Maimon Anil Meitei, General Secretary of AMRTDMWU said that the decision of the steering down strike has been taken against the burning of the two cement loaded trucks by miscreants yesterday at around 6:40 pm at Leingakpokpi, near Leingakpokpi police station of Jiribam.  
He further added that frequent incident of looting, burning of trucks are all due to the negligence of the home department. The incident of burning the two trucks is also blamed to the state home department as the incident occurred near the Leingakpokpi police station.

He said that the union had submitted memorandum time and again to provide sufficient security for the protection of the transporters in the National Highways but no any action has been taken up till today.
The transporters’ body demanded proper compensation of the damage in the incident besides deploying adequate security for the protection of the transporters.
The steering down strike is also supported by Manipur Truck Owners’ Welfare Association. The Association also blamed Home department for the burning of the two loaded trucks.

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ILPS movement to encounter roadblock

The build-up for another round of agitation by JCILPS from December 16 over the government’s silence on the three Bills for implementation of ILPS is bound to suffer a setback with the intervention of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
A source with Imphal Times said that the Commission has directed the Manipur Government to furnish Action Taken Report regarding  the turmoil and unrest over the passing of the three ILPS Bills by the Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2015 which cost the lives of 9 tribal protestors at Churachandpur district head quarter. The directive was served acting on the representation submitted by one T. Romeo Hmar, Convenor of Manipur Tribal Forum.
In its directives to the Chief Secretary of Manipur, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes had termed the Bills as Anti-Tribal and directed the Chief Secretary about the need for explaining the details by appearing in person if the action taken report to solve the political problem of the tribal people is not submitted within 15 days. According to a documents available with Imphal Times, the period for submission for the action taken report has been over as the directives of the Commission to the Chief Secretary of Manipur is dated 10/11/2015. But it is not certain whether the Chief Secretary has been summoned by the Commission or not.

Meanwhile, another source said the Government of Manipur has sent detailed report of the proceedings of Manipur Legislative Assembly session which passed the 3 ILPS related Bills without any opposition from any member of the house present on the day. The source added that in the report to the Commission, the state government had mention the details of the MLAs present in the house.
Mention may be made that 18 tribal MLAs including the NPF and the Congress MLAs were present at the Assembly session on the day of passing the three ILPS related Bills namely - The Protection of Manipur Peoples (PMP) Bill, 2015; The Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms (MLR&R) (7th Amendment) Bill 2015 and The Manipur Shops and Establishment (MS&E) (2nd Amendment) Bill 2015.

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MUSU Election postponed; RO submits resignation

Election for Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) scheduled today has been postponed following confrontation between groups of the contesting candidates and the resignation of the Returning Officer of the election. Tension remains high in the University complex as groups of the rival candidates confronted against the approval of a candidate during scrutiny held yesterday whose attendance was alleged by another rival group to have not reached the mark.
The matter was reached to the table of the Vice chancellor even a HOD of a specific department who had submitted the records of the student’s attendance to the election committee. However, the suspension order was revoke today prolong meeting between the VC, election committee, Registrar and student representatives.
A twist in the situation occurred compelling the VC to postpone the election after Returning Officer of the election Prof. M Ranjit of Mathematics Department, submitted resignation before the commencement of the election.
Earlier, in the morning students from Computer Science Department staged protest in front of the office of Dean of Student’s Welfare against the direct suspension of HOD of the Department, Prof Tejmani Sinam. The Professor was suspended late evening yesterday after he failed to turn up on summoned by VC of Manipur University over a controversy over the attendance record of an Independent candidate contesting for the post of Secretary Games and Sports.  
While demanding revoke of their HOD before the voting begins, students joining the protest told media that suspension of the teacher was very unreasonable. Even if have to be suspended, there should be an enquiry before jumping to the decision. The protestors blamed the University authority for exercising over power.
Meanwhile, a large number of students lead by another candidates who came to cast their vote gathered in front of Old Social Science Block which was supposed to be the venue of voting site.
The whole campus remain intense with the confrontations between groups of students till late afternoon, however there was no report of any violent incident. Later, the situation was settled after the University authority and student representatives held a meeting and agreed to revoke the suspended Professor without any condition. The meeting also decided to reschedule the election tomorrow (that is December 5).  

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Bravery award to two Manipuri boys

Two boys from Manipur have been selected for the National Children Bravery Award-2015 by the Government of India.
The selected boys have been identified as Master Maoris Yengkhom of Yaiskul Police Lane and Master Chongtham Kuber of Tera Loukrakpam Leikai. A press statement released by Manipur State Council for Child Welfare, Moirangkhom stated that both the boys have been elected for the bravery award in the category of 6 to 18 years of age.
The prestigious award will be distributed by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India ahead of the coming Republic Day which will be held at New Delhi. Moreover, the two brave boys will also take part in the Republic Day Celebration in New Delhi on January 26, 2016.

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Girl students awarded scholarship

All Manipur Elementary School Teachers Association (AMESTA) distributed “Women in Education 2015” scholarship to 6 female students whose mothers are teachers at a function held at Manipur Press Club today.
Ch. Santakumar General Secretary of AMESTA said that the scholarship is sponsored by Canadian Teachers Federation and All India Primary Teachers Federation to promote women education. T. Rameshwor Singh, former President of AMESTA, Dr Rajendra Singh, Yaima Singh, President of AMESTA, A. Keilyani Devi, Vice president of AMESTA graced the function as presidium members.    

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Festival of gimmicks

If there is one thing that the people of the state can predict without the slightest of doubt, it has to be the knack of the state government to stir up controversies and criticisms; even for the noblest of intentions. Hardly has the dust settled after the Sangai Festival after weeks of frantic arrangements and haphazard touch-ups, the murmurs and rumours of misappropriations, allegations of siphoning of funds and even theories of deliberate stalling of decisions till the last minute to create confusion and omissions in accounts and other financial procedures that would have to be followed otherwise have started doing the rounds. If reports are to be believed, as of today, there are more than a hundred RTI applications seeking details regarding various aspects of the just concluded festival which will very well stir up further dirt and unwanted news later. Perhaps, the clearest and undeniable example of the style of working and administering of the state can be had from the long stretch of green screen which have been put up around the Kangla moat after weeks of last-minute show of efforts which are doomed to prove useless right from the start. It would be naïve for one to think that the state government and all the think tank that drew up the concept of ‘beautifying’ the moat would have expected the job done before the inauguration day, and yet with a show of urgency, the work was taken up anyway, much to the inconvenience and physical risk to the public owing to the littered mud and spewing dust resulting from the work. Now that the event have come and gone, work on the moat has come to a screeching halt. It would no longer come as a surprise to anyone anymore if we are to see the same state of completion of Kangla moat this time of the year next, or the year after for that matter. The management of the event also still leaves a lot to wish for, especially for the old and the infirm who have no chance of witnessing the greatest tourist show in the state. Are they, as well as the differently abled, not part of the consideration in the larger scheme of things? Turned out, the festival is a gimmick to portray a rosy picture of things to the visiting dignitaries and for the amusement for the VIPs and the well-connected, while it continues to be an exercise in desperation for the general public who have to undergo undue difficulties and suffer manhandling by the security who are supposed to be guarding the public. If those who are in charge of organizing and managing the festival have done sincere retrospection,  things could have improved dramatically over each editions, and the fact that that has not happened till now is evidence enough that the enjoyment and accessibility of the general public to the festival is the furthest thing from their minds. One thing is certain though: a few in the inner circle would have made a windfall, and judging by the turn of events, the gimmick is sure to continue without any real benefit or fillip to the proposed development of tourism in Manipur so long as the intent to provide meaning to the whole exercise is absent. 

NSCN-IM imbroglio revealed by three scholars - Aheibam Koireng, Sukhdeba Sharma Hanjabam and Homen Thangjam

Produced here is the notes from the editors of the book called “Claims & Refutations: Compilation on Naga Political Movement, Published for: Centre for Manipur Studies (CMS), Manipur University (MU) & Conflict and Human Rights Studies Network, Imphal

The underground political movement of the Nagas has traversed a long way. Along the way it left innumerable milestones, which are the stuffs of legend and history, and created many a friends as well as foes. One remarkable achievement was that it could forge a political unity of identity amongst the racially varied and linguistically diverse tribes inhabiting different realms of territorial spaces in Indo-Myanmar territory practicing different ways of lives. The identity, or more so, the development of political identity of the Nagas is the major source of conflict in Northeast India. The mission for the cultural identity has been a non-starter even today. In Manipur, Naga identity is largely a post-independence (sic. India’s) phenomenon fuelled with the formation of NSCN (IM) contradictory to that of the Naga Hills which was a pre-independence one. So they developed a historical narrative as a strategy to meet their political needs. The taming of the NSCN (IM) has a corresponding effect to the political project of Naga identity. Similarly, communities under Naga fold have been fluctuating. Simply with the revelation from the statement of Isak Chisi Swu about the Naga identity, it brings to light that the story of “Unique History of Nagas” is just a political response of the Government of India (GoI). Aspirations of the Naga political movement for territorial expansion took shape in the agreement on boundaries (No 6) of the 9th point Agreement signed between the representatives of Dominion of India and NNC in 1947. However, the agreement could not be implemented. But, it was crystal clear to the NNC leadership of those times that there was no Nagas in Manipur. AZ Phizo visited Manipur with a proposal to initiate a collective movement against India. Though, it could not concretise, it nonetheless decided to have separate movement but support each other. Thus, on the part of the NNC leadership, Manipur was never in their cartographic imagination. NSCN (IM)’s recent territorial assertion in Manipur, irrespective of community belongingness is an unpopular claim in the state. With no option, they have even tried with attempted manoeuvring of electoral politics, but their unpopularity remains the same. UNC then initiated the demand for Alternative arrangement from July, 2010 onwards, primarily demanding, among others, severing of all political ties with Government of Manipur.  It is a failure in the initiation itself as none of the member of UNC respected the resolution. Despite all their movements proving to be misadventure, it has created intra and inter-community confusion and tension in Manipur. The first and the second demand was observable but the third demand was mostly through official channel as it is one of the demand of NSCN (IM) based in Manipur. The fourth movement was initiated under the banner of Alternative Arrangement. When they try to co-opt and extended their proposal to Chin-Kuki-Mizos particularly the KNO, both sides being fully aware of each other’s ploy tried to outwit each other. So, the proposal was reportedly not materialized.
The only and core demand for the Nagas during NNC was the sovereignty of the Naga Hills. However, with the formation of NSCN and later NSCN (IM), the demands multiplied with fluctuating priority and intensity. 
The Manipuri Naga of NSCN (IM) has constructed the Naga territory with no foundation and merely on painting/drawing/cartography disregarding the existence of other communities in the areas so claimed by them. This was the root cause of ethnic conflict in Manipur. Even after NSCN (IM) has entered into political dialogue with the Government of India, leadership of the outfit maintains that their demand includes sovereignty, integration and Cultural Council. This is in contrast to the documents that are circulated by the NSCN (IM). The situation drifted to a level that it is culminating to bargaining than a process for honourable settlement. The GoI has ruled out sovereignty and integration of contiguous Naga areas to hammer out a solution. It has reportedly offered greater autonomy to Nagas living in states outside Nagaland, an arrangement that has been opposed by non-Naga organisations in Manipur. This has initiated the silent demand of the Manipuri Nagas of NSCN (IM) to the GoI to settle their case as they are quite aware that the GOI has now succeeded in separating Manipur and Nagaland for giving separate solutions. NSCN (IM) with the help of RN Ravi is lobbying with the Government of Manipur to create a space for honourable exit as the Manipuri Nagas has and will have no place in Nagaland. This was revealed time and again during interactions with public intellectuals of Manipur and RN Ravi.
The elected representatives in Manipur particularly the cohorts of NSCN (IM) have so far not antagonise anyone in Manipur politics. They become adept in circumstantial politicking. The Nagas have represented as member of Lok Sabha (Outer) continuously from 1952 till 1967 and out of the 19 representatives elected so far; nine of them belong to the Nagas. What is interesting is that the first representatives are Tangkhul from Ukhrul district. Besides, at no point in time, the Naga have not contested in any election of Manipur. However, after NSCN (IM) gained prominence in the hill areas of Manipur, they started dictating their mandates to the elected representatives (sic. Nagas) and they supported the movement openly by submitting memorandums to the GoI. But as their hold weakened, the elected Naga leaders are also withdrawing from the movement. This is enough indication of them becoming insignificant. Muivah, then, in consultation with Nephiu Rio attempted to expand the NPF in Manipur by amending the constitution of NPF which jurisdiction was limited to Nagaland alone. However, they could not make much influence. This is in addition to the resolutions taken by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), demanding integration of all contiguous Naga inhabited areas under one administrative umbrella, and to urge the GoI to fulfil the same. The Manipur Legislative Assembly also had taken resolution to safeguard the territorial Integrity of Manipur. The resolution taken by the NLA was taken as a continuation of the 9th point agreement signed between GoI and NNC, where the territorial aspiration or contiguous Naga inhabited areas was towards Assam only. However, with the formation of NSCN (IM), the resolution was misinterpreted to include the territories of Manipur. This is necessary as the Manipuri Nagas of NSCN (IM) including Th Muivah is well aware that they are considered outsiders or Katcha Naga (Impure Naga) and they could never have a space in Nagaland. The resolutions of NLA may not be considered seriously by the Nagas of Nagaland, Manipuri Nagas and by the GoI as in spite of the numerous resolutions in the last few decades, the government of Nagaland is recognising only the 16 tribes of Nagaland and are not ready to give any recognition to the Nagas which they claims as Nagas in other areas or territory. Dissent and controversy over recognition to ‘Rongmei’ and ‘Mao’ and opposition to glorifying ‘Rani Gaidingliu’ as the spiritual leader can be cited as an example. The interesting part in the resolutions of Manipur Legislative Assembly that the Manipuri Nagas which submit memorandums to GoI in support of NSCN (IM) at different points of time is now part of taking resolutions to safeguard the territorial Integrity of Manipur. Many of the present former MLAs, MPs and sitting Naga MLAs are off and on to the issue to survive their political career. The latest being the resolution passed by All Political Parties held on 17th August, 2015. Participating in the Indian electoral process is a symbol of acceptance of the Indian system. It is on this ground that NNC boycotted it in the Naga Hills. However, in Manipur, Nagas were elected to the Parliament. NSCN (IM), in its early days denounced the Indian election. However, in contradiction to their earlier stand, the Manipuri Nagas who earlier opposed the Indian elections started to participate in the Indian elections (from the respective Parliamentary and assembly Election of 2004 and 2007) with the support of NSCN (IM) through UNC by forcing a Naga People Mandate appealing to elect only those candidates with no party affiliations and who endorses the NPC Declaration. NSCN (IM) inevitably meted out atrocities as the foundation of their movement. The voluminous unreported cases of involuntary disappearance and the ethnic cleansing of 1990s is enough to illustrate the atrocities committed by NSCN (IM). The Tangkhul society has been under siege since the split of NSCN into the Khaplang and Isak-Muivah factions in 1988. To achieve its Manipur project, the highest number of crimes is committed against its own people, killing the maximum number of Tangkhuls during “peace time. The killing of Yangmaso Shaiza, the first Tangkhul Chief Minister of Manipur by Naga rebels in 1984 stands out because he stood for the territorial integrity of Manipur. Similar stories of atrocities are also reported in Nagaland. However, justice is a far cry for the victims. If the present peace process with NSCN (IM) does not consider the issue of justice and reconciliation similar to that of Truth and Reconciliation Commission with locally adapted version, then this may not be a process to bring peace.Territorial aspirations and claims find manifestations in the form of maps.  Many have posed the question: Can cartographical drawings precede sovereignty? This happened during the bloody ethnic cleansing undertaken by NCSN (IM) in Manipur in 1992 and subsequent years and also during the massive unrest in Manipur when the “cease-fire agreement” was extended without territorial limits. One finds the rigorous attempts to put forward demands through maps in the 1990s. For instance, maps of Nagalim was drawn by NSCN (IM) became to be available. So, inspite of the internalisation of the movement, they rely solely on their invented map as they could not locate or find any evidence anywhere in the world including Naga Hills or areas that they claim as Nagalim. This is vividly reflected in the “Bedrock of Naga Society”.
Just as Isak Chisi Swu felt the urgency of developing a Naga identity to gain legitimacy of the Naga cause, the inevitability of possessing a map became significant so as to garner support through this vision as well as to gain legitimacy in the international community. However, the attempt so far has been futile not only from the perspective of competing visions in the forms of maps (sic. Kukiland and Zalengam). But, also, because such maps were in collision course with the age-old boundary of Manipur which had gained international recognition. Naga issue and the Manipur issue are highly emotionally charged sentiments. If the solution comes in a package of secrecy as it is happening at the moment, the solution is bound to create more problem than peace. The issue has the potential to disturb the ethnic relations in Manipur and Nagaland. The apprehension in Manipur is valid as the same government (BJP) was responsible for the mayhem on June 18, 2001 and its subsequent fall-outs. The ‘historic’ framework agreement of between the GoI and NSCN (IM) is presented in such as manner that it has the answer to the aspirations or ‘sentiments’ of the NSCN (IM) as well as the people of Manipur. However, a cursory peek into the earlier claims and trajectories as well as the currently secretive yet unfolding dynamics of the framework agreement indicates that instead of bringing about lasting peace, it is likely to burn down ‘sentiments’ of both the Manipuri Nagas and Manipur into ashes. The question then arises is, has GoI been able to dissuade NSCM (IM) to give up its claim for “Nagalim” or Greater Nagaland thereby make the party abandon its demand for inclusion of the 4(four) hill districts of Manipur into the pan-Naga politico-administrative structure. Further, in reaching such an historic agreement, has the GoI been able to unruffle the edgy Manipur’s historic demand for territorial integrity, and thus, respect its history. In such a perplexing state of confusion and secrecy, it remains to be seen what the framework agreement of August 3rd, 2015 in fact holds for the fate of Manipuri Nagas, the states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Considering the situation, it is difficult to understand the reality as the text of the agreement has been concealed so far. Moreover, from whom the text is concealed is also a big question.
This present volume is being brought out to bring into notice the relevant and related landmark incidents, archival and cartographic materials, treaties and accords. The book has fifty eight compilations including eight Maps and is clubbed under nine sections such as I: On Identity; II: Territorial Aspirations; III: Review of the Aspirations; IV: Demands; V: Review of the Demands; VI: Intervention by Elected Representative; VII: Politics of Election; VIII: Atrocities; and IX: Maps. Hope, this brief highlight of the contents in the book will invite the curiosity of the potential readers who want to better comprehend and understand the Naga movements, the narratives and claims of the Nagas vis-a-vis Manipur’s territory in its totality.

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