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Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and  a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]

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MPCC have also been not invited to discuss on CAB by the Union Home Minister

IT News

Imphal, Nov. 29,

Even as the Congress legislatures of the Manipur State Assembly have been campaigning against the passing of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee has not been invited to the consultative meet called by the Home Minister to discuss the issue of the CAB.

Civil body of Manipur, MANPAC yesterday said that the organization has not been invited even though other civil organization of the North East state has been invited. The meeting is scheduled today.

President of the MPCC, confirmed to Imphal Times that they have not received any communication in connection with the proposed consultative meeting convened by the Home Minister to discuss CAB.

Meanwhile, report reaching here said that Assam Congress leaders have decided not to attend the meeting called by Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday to discuss the proposed amendment in the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

Earlier Congress MP’s from the Northeast and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) protested in Parliament against the CAB.

Home Minister’s office had invited all the political parties, ethnic groups of the Northeastern states and civil society groups except those from the state of Manipur.

The CAB intends to make it easier for the non-Muslim immigrants from India’s three Muslim-majority neighbours — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become citizens of India. Though the Bill does not spell it out clearly, but the fact is that it entitles the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians facing religious persecution in the three countries to seek Indian citizenship, and highlights the exclusion of Muslims.

This amendment is to The Citizenship Act, 1955 which requires the applicant to have resided in India for 11 of the previous 14 years. The amendment seeks to relax this requirement of 11 years to 6 years for the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the three nations.

It is not only the opposition parties which are opposing the CAB, but many Northeastern states fearing that the Bangladeshi immigrants will be settled in their areas, which they think are a threat to their ethnic identity.

In the run up to the 2019 General Elections, almost the entire Northeast, mostly ruled by the BJP or the NDA, had registered their protest.

As a revamped bill is all set to be reintroduced by the Modi government, the provisions for “protecting” the indigenous people of the Northeast are said to have been included.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had said during a media interaction in October, “We trust and have confidence that Central leaders will be there to protect the indigenous people of the Northeastern region.”

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Getting to play pony here a unique experience: Jorge Vasquez

IT News

Imphal, Nov 26

Team USA has been part of the Manipur Polo International tournament since 2013 when it participated for the first time and their association has continued uninterrupted to this 13th edition of the tournament. The team this time is lead by Jorge Vasquez who was here two years back. The other members of the team are: Tommy Huber, George Krabbe and Ben lynch. Let’s get to know them a little better.

First up is the captain Jorge Vasquez who is a professional polo player with a handicap of two goals. Besides playing polo, Jorge coaches the University of Kentucky polo team and gives polo lessons to high school kids. He plays for the Gainesway Farm Polo as also manage the team.

Jorge started riding a horse when he was barely 5 years and started playing polo around the age of 17. What Jorge found the most exciting about the game of polo is the freedom to do anything in the field, riding at high speed, coming to an abrupt halt, changing directions, among other things.

Recalling previous experience of playing here, he said it was an honour to play in the oldest living pologround in the word. He found it amazing how spectators got behind the home team cheering them every moment of the game. He also found the tournament very competitive and liked the idea of swapping the horses, which gave both the teams a level playing field. He is also trained in breeding horses.

The US team, Jorge feels is a lot more prepared and team members are gelling well as a unit, there is better understanding between them, and they have a fair idea as to how to go about improving their game.

For George Krabbe also it is the second time he is participating in this tournament and he is happy to be back again.

George Krabbe,30 years of age, is from Connecticut, about 45 miles from New York city. His father Dave Krabbe is a famer and mother Sherrod is into finance consultancy. As with many other polo players, George started riding and playing Polo at a very young age. At present he is a one goal player and has represented the University of Connecticut. George also owns nine polo horses .

Having trained himself at horse shoeing school, George shoes horses for clients. He has also learned about breeding, nutrition and treatment of common diseases of horses.

On playing polo here, he feels the Manipuri pony is very different from the horses he is used to, but he also added that one must not think too much about the horse, “you need to just ride them and play polo”.   On his experience so far this time around, he said had a tough start “but will get better and better as we go along”.

Tommy Huber, 21 years, three goals handicap, from Maryland, is a third generation polo player and interestingly his grandfather Jim Huber is still playing polo. Tommy’s father Thomas Huber is a two goals polo player, mother Anne rides horses and foxhunts while younger sister Louisa Huber, 19 years represented University of Kentucky in polo.

Tommy learned the about the techniques and intricacies of polo from Cindy hall at the Garrison High School where she is a polo coach. At present Tommy, father Thomas and Sister Louisa play for the Maryland Polo Club. Besides playing polo, Tommy is pursuing accounting from Kentucky University and will be graduating in May next year.

“Getting to play here is a unique experience,” said Tommy considering the historical legacy associated with the place. He found the Manipur pony “very tough, reliable and with lots of endurance power”. He also feels that he is getting used to the kind of polo played here and the team will get more organized and prepared.

The last member of team, Ben Lynch, 22 years, a one- goal polo player, is also from Maryland.  Father Garyb Lynch is a physio while mother Susan Lynch is a nurse but sister Susan, like his brother. is into riding and plays arena polo for West Shore Polo Club. Tommy will be graduating in Finance, Equine science and management in May 2020 from University of Kentucky.

Starting to ride a horse at the age of five, he began playing polo by time he turned 10. He initially learned polo from Kelly Wells at Baltimore Polo Club and later came under the tutelage of Cindy Halle at West shore Polo Club.

Tommy came to know about the tournament here, the history associated with the place, as the oldest living pologround in the world from Cindy Halle who had been here. Talking about the Manipuri pony, Tommy revealed that it took him some timer adjusting but he is now much more comfortable with them. “ They have a lot of endurance and are willing to continue all day long”.  Tommy finds the people here hospitable and very supportive of the home team

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KBZ Airlines’ Imphal-Mandalay Flight Service commission

IT News

Imphal, Nov. 23

In a historic move to boost air connectivity between Myanmar and India, Myanmar’s private carrier Air KBZ started its chartered flight service between Mandalay and Imphal today. The inaugural flight which departed from Mandalay landed at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport at around 11:30 a.m. The maiden flight was welcomed with the traditional water cannon salute.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare L. Jayantakumar Singh, Minister for CAF&PD Karam Shyam, Minister for Education Th. Radheshyam, Chairman of Tourism Corporation Manipur Limited Dr. Sapam Ranjan, Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary P. Vaiphei, Director of Transport Department Mercina Panmei and others received the passengers with traditional lengyan(shawl).

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Education Th. Radheshyam said that launching of such chartered flight service would enhance the air connectivity with neighbouring countries especially with Myanmar. The chartered flight will be operational thrice a week, he added. The Minister further maintained that the State government is persuading the Ministry of Civil Aviation for granting regular Imphal-Mandalay flight service.

Th. Radheshyam informed that the first Air KBZ flight carried around 72 passengers from Myanmar and the return flight will depart Imphal with 48 passengers including 5 officials. He appealed to the people of Manipur to support such noble initiative from the Government of Manipur.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh earlier announced that the Imphal-Mandalay flight service would be available from Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal from23rdNovember 2019 onwards.

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Quami Ekta Week observed;  Issues can be resolved through dialogue: Chief Minister

IT News
Imphal, Nov. 19

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that any issue can be resolved through dialogue and the government opens its door to everyone to resolve any misunderstanding and issue. This was stated by him at the observance of ‘Quami Ekta Week’ held at Banquet Hall of 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles today.
Speaking as Chief Guest of the function, Chief Minister said that the State government is constantly urging the Centre to invite CSOs and stakeholders of the State for consultation on the Indo-Naga peace talks soon. He mentioned that the government desires to meet the representatives of COCOMI to have thorough discussion before Central government’s invitation. He further appealed the representatives of COCOMI and MANPAC to come forward for talks with the government.
Regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Chief Minister asserted that the Union Home Minister has already assured that the interest of the people of the Northeast India will not be affected by the Bill. Elaborating on the negative impact of bandhs and general strikes, Chief Minister said that bandhs adversely affect the normal day to day lives of people at grassroots. We must resist the diktats and whims of some particular section of the society for unacceptable reasons, he added.
The Chief Minister also stated that we must think for the collective good rather than thinking for individual and community interests. We must join hands together so as to have inclusive development in the State, he added. Stating that the present issues are sensitive, he appealed to all the panellists who are invited for discussion in electronic television channels to have healthy discussion under the purview of the given topic and should not speak anything that can hurt the sentiments of any community living in the State.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister stressed the significance and relevance of observing the ‘Quami Ekta Week’ by remembering the courage and indomitable spirit of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to uphold the integrity of the country. The importance of such function is to instil the feeling of Nationalism among the people of the country, he added.
Mentioning that Manipur is progressing in various sectors including economy in the last two and half years, he announced that Manipur bagged ‘Best State on inclusive development’ Award given by India Today group. Manipur got such award for initiating various schemes and programmes for the welfare of the people of the State, he added.
Later, the Chief Minister administered the National Integration Pledge to the gathering.
The function was presided by Minister for Agriculture V. Hangkhanlian.
Minister for CAF&PD Karam Shyam, Minister for Tribal Hills and Affairs N. Kayasii, Minister for PHED Losii Dikho, Minister for Education Th. Radheshyam, Chairman Manipur Pollution Control Board L. Radhakishore, MLAs Th. Satyabratra, O. Lukhoi, Ngamthang Haokip, DGP, Additional Chief Secretaries, Commissioners, Secretaries, HODs, top civil and police officials also attended the function.

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