Monday, 21 October 2019 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Oct. 21

United Committee Manipur (UCM), an apex organisation of civil bodies in the state today re-affirmed its stand to fight against any move that may affect the integrity of Manipur and says ‘No’ to Pan Naga Cultural Body, Autonomous Naga Council or extension of Article 371(A) to Manipur while solving the issues of the NSCN-IM.

 “Through various media reports and government sources we have been informed that the government of India is likely to extend article 371(A) of the Indian constitution to the territory of Manipur whom they claim to be Naga dominated areas by forming an Autonomous Naga Council and also for formation of a Pan Naga Cultural Forum that may subdued identity of many ethnic communities of the state while solving the issue of NSCN-IM”, General Secretary of UCM Athouba said, adding that the UCM and the people of Manipur will repeat 10 times stronger protest than the 2001 June uprising if any such moves were made against the wishes of the people of the state.

Athouba was speaking at the sideline of an emergency meeting held at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai here in Imphal in the backdrop of the India government announcement for signing of the final agreement on October 31. The meeting was organised as a mark of protest against the government of India, over its failure to consult the stakeholders of Manipur before signing of the final agreement with the NSCN-IM.

“On December 28, 2018, the Prime Minister of India had assured that the settlement of the NSCN-IM issue will not affect the interest of the state of Manipur and that the stakeholders will be consulted before signing any final agreement with the NSCN-IM”, Athouba said while adding that it is only 10 days left that the final agreement is to be signed as per the statement of RN Ravi, the interlocutor of the peace talk and that people are apprehensive as no invitation is being made for consultation of the agreement that is to be signed.

The UCM general secretary said that the UCM will now follow the same ‘ignorance’ policy that the Prime Minister of India had followed by not keeping his words he made to the representatives of the CSOs of Manipur and will now begin various forms of agitation by going at ground. He however stated that a final appointment will be sought as last warning to the Prime Minister of India.

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Imphal, Oct 21

President of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Gaikhangam today said that the Congress party will not tolerate any kind of settlement reached between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India if it hurts the sentiment of the people of the state.

Legislature wing leader of the Congress party Okram Ibobi also echoed the statement of the MPCC president and said that the Congress party will stand tooth and nail to any move that may disintegrate Manipur either today or tomorrow or in the future while reaching out any settlement with the NSCN-IM.

Talking to reporters at Congress Bhavan, BT road here in Imphal, Gaikhangam said that the Congress party will work beyond political party line when it comes for the sentiment of the people of the state. He said that two representatives of the Congress party will be attending the all political party meet convened by the Chief Minister tomorrow to discuss the issue.

“Congress party’s stand is clear and we will not accept any decision to disintegrate Manipur either today or in the future”, both Ibobi and Gaikhangam reiterated.

Expressing strong apprehension of potential damage to the interest of the people of Manipur with the proposed final agreement to be signed on October 31, Gaikhangam said that the BJP MLAs or Ministers should be ready to resign from the government if any such moved against the will of the people is made.

“When we were in the government we had played our role for protection of the integrity of Manipur and as opposition we are now doing our duty for protection of the territorial integrity and people of the state”, Gaikhangam said.

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Imphal, Oct . 21

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs K Reddy, who arrived here in Imphal today afternoon, was greeted with slogans warning unprecedented peoples’ uprising if any attempt to distort the integrity of Manipur is made while signing final agreement with the NSCN-IM.

The large number of people was attending an emergency meeting at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai, Imphal when the MoS Home K Reddy passed by the road at around 2.20 pm today after arriving at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal. Apprehensive of unwanted disturbances, large number of police were also deployed at all sides of Tiddim road in between Keishampat to Airport particularly at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai to prevent any untoward incident during the Union Minister’s visit.

As the MoS K Reddy’s vehicle passed along with team of security escort, the people gathering at the site of the emergency meeting convened by the UCM stand up and shouted slogans warning him serious crisis if any move that affect the integrity of Manipur is taken up while solving NSCN-IM problems.

“Long Live Manipur”, “We stand for the territorial integrity of Manipur”, “no divisive policy among the people of Manipur”, etc., were some of the slogans shouted when the Union MoS passed by.

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Imphal, Oct 21

Convenor of the Manipur Democratic Alliance (MDA) Moirangthem Tombi, who is also the president of the Shiva Sena Manipur today urged the chief minister of Manipur to summoned an all political party’s meet in the backdrop of the final settlement of NSCN-IM proposed on October 31 by the Governor of Nagaland RN Ravi, also interlocutor of the peace talk.

In a meeting with media persons at its Babupara office here in Imphal the Shiva Sena Manipur president also criticized the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for leaving the state at critical juncture when the state needed him. He said that  it is right for the Chief Minister to leave the state, all he would have done is to consult with the representatives of various political parties as well as with the people of the state. He said that above the issue of final settlement which is proposed to be reached between the government of India and the NSCN-IM there are various issues regarding the introduction of the CAB and also demand of the people for ILPS like Bill in the state. 

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Imphal, Oct. 21

Education Minister Thokchom Radheshyam launched the Comic Textbook on Environmental Studies for Class III at the Conference Hall, Samagra Shiksha, Manipur, Babupara.

The Minister said that the Comic Textbook is the first of its kind in the State. The main purpose for the initiative is to create an easy learning teaching process, enabling the children to learn with ease and efficiency. With the support of SCERT, Writers and Cartoonist of NE Brothers Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, Samagra Shiksha, Manipur, Department of Education (S), as an implementing society took up this initiative of developing the comic version of textbooks.

Th. Radheshyam said that through ideas and analysis of the officials of the Department of Education – S, the initiative to implement the comic textbook is being carried out on trial basis. Examination will be conducted for those students who are prescribed with the textbook to study the effect and the impact of the Comic Textbook. He made an appealed to the ZEOs and teachers present to conduct the exam in a free and fair manner.

He further expressed that if the impact of the comic textbook is positive then the textbook will be implemented to students of up-to Class VIII. Better picture representation of contents will make the learning process more interesting and increase their creativity, he added.

Commissioner, Education (S), T. Ranjit Singh expressed his hope that the comic textbook will attract the attention of the students and help them in gaining knowledge. The comic textbook being carried out on trial basis is intended to bring inclusive ideas to lessen the learning burden of the young children. He also sought suggestions for the innovative idea and also welcomed feedbacks from all stakeholders.

Director, Education – S, & State Project Director, Samagra Shiksha, Manipur, Shri Thokchom Kirankumar, highlighted the importance of the initiative of the Comic Textbook for Environmental Studies, Class III. He said that each story in the comic textbook focuses on the concepts given in the textbooks. The ideas of Comic Textbooks have been conceived to bridge the shortcomings in curriculum, quality of textbooks, shortages of teachers, among others. 

He elaborated that efforts were made to formulate the lessons matching with the concepts in the RTE, 2017 “Learning Outcome” document. The merge of lessons with interrelated concepts has enabled in reducing the numbers of lessons in the EVS Class III textbooks. Utmost care has also been taken to relate the stories to the culture and tradition of different communities in Manipur and is reflected in the book.

Concerned officials of the Department of Education (S), ZEOs and teachers attended the programme. The Comic Textbook developers were also felicitated during the programme.

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Monday, 21 October 2019 18:06

On the eventuality of Framework Agreement

By- Dr. Malem Ningthouja

The ongoing negotiation for a Framework Agreement (FA) between Government of India and Naga based organizations is nearing to a conclusion. The Agreement may be duped a ‘temporary experimental course,’ as the timeframe of some of the ‘packages’ is ten years only. But, it will have tremendous economic, political, and social consequences in Nagaland and adjoining territories. This FA, initiated by Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), has entered a phase wherein Nagaland based organizations have become game changers at the cost of NSCN-IM. It appears that the bargaining power of the NSCN-IM is sliding down and may feel disappointed with the outcome. The Government of India is showing full commitment in it and, with huge money and military strength, it is enjoying an upper hand in the negotiation—in order to speed up its larger economic and strategic goals in the India-Myanmar border regions. To ensure a smooth FA, the Government of India is ready to invest huge amount of money, as reflected the draft contents of the Framework Agreement widely circulated in the social media. It is a winning situation for the Government of India. If the Framework Agreement would be concluded by 31st October 2019, there is very little time left for those who wish to oppose it.
The Framework Agreement, if it will be in its current draft contents, will create disappointment and disillusionment to many. Both the NSCN-IM that holds on the idea of a sovereign Nagaland and those from Manipur who wish to oppose official patronage shown to the Nagas of Manipur (in the form of a grant of Naga Territorial Council) may feel disappointment with the outcome of the Framework Agreement. The Nagas will be divided and it will be difficult a difficult situation for NSCN-IM. It may or may not go back to protracted guerilla war, but had to adopt different tactics to overcome polarizations among Nagas and peace with other communities. In the Manipur valley, there may occur strong agitations and breakdown of law and order. Pro-Manipur may chant anti-Government of India voices and opposition parties will try to destabilize BJP government. There may occur polarization of opinions and communal tensions. But I am sure that the Government of India has foreseen it and is well prepared to face with any eventuality to subdue NSCN-IM and agitations in Manipur as well.
The disappointment of NSCN-IM and those in Manipur will be quite natural. It is the result of a historical blunder; the absence of a common goal and lack of strategic collective efforts for a better society. But history will continue. People can still have faith in creating history in future too. Be prepared to save lives, properties, and for a long lasting peace and tranquility.

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With the statement about the initial points of agreement that was signed between the representatives of the Government of India and the leadership of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim led by its general Secretary Th. Muivah on August 1, 1997 at Bangkok in Thailand, it appears that the group had morally defeated and that the journey which has started by Th. Muivah and Isak Chi Swe, at the cost of thousand Naga revolutionaries are yet another fail chapter in the history of Nagas.

Government of India is keen in ending the over 2 decades old peace talk by the end of this month (October) and the solution now is shrewdly handled to finalise at the wisdom of the Government of India. The outcome may be a catastrophe with unexpected upraise in three states of North East India, as the only possible agreement that the government of India may reach with the NSCN-IM or Naga Political groups is more autonomy presumably granting of a state within a state like structures. Perhaps this might be the reason for the Union government to sent MoS, Ministry of Home Affairs K.Reddy here in Imphal today. As even the government of Manipur is set aside from all preparation to bring a final solution with the NSCN-IM and the Naga Political groups, a serious meeting of all state legislators was convened by the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. The apprehensive node to even the legislators of the state showed that something that might be unexpected may happened and there is also nothing wrong for the people of the state to prepare for facing any eventuality coming out of this political solution.

Well, Hutovi Chishi, the Convenor of the steering committee of NSCN-IM in a statement said that the initial agreement reached out between the two in August 1 , 1997 was that the talk should be at the highest level and without any preconditions and that it should be in a third country. When the talk is nearing its final stage now the so call highest level mentioned has been reduced to talk with the governor of Nagaland and that it has been continuing now in the country particularly in the state of Nagaland or at New Delhi with the condition that the solution should be done within the framework of Indian Constitution.

The idea of a sovereign nation by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland  (NSCN) which was formed n January 31, 1980 due to differences with the NNC started igniting its first failure in 1988. The unity of Nagas started crumbling with the attempt to find short cut by Th. Muivah by starting talk with the Government of India. As per record bloody clashed took place between cadres of NSCN after a group of the rebel group attempted to assassinate Th. Muivah on April 30, 1988. The clashed was still coined as the bloodiest internal clash in the history of Naga insurgency. It was this clash that the NSCN split and two groups – one led by SS Khaplang and another led by Th. Muivah and Isak . The group led by Muivah and Isak had started initiating talk with the government of India by that time. The political aspiration of the Naga martyred who had dream of a united Nagaland was again failed with the split.

Another setback of the NSCN-IM could be the bloodiest communal clashed between the Naga and the Kuki that happened in early 90s. Using its frontal body the United Naga Council (UNC) the NSCN-IM served ‘quit notice’ to the Kukis on November 22, 1992 to leave the so called Naga dominated villages of Manipur. But the outcome is that Moreh, a border town of Imphal is now Zero Naga populated zone and with many of the Forced emigrated Kuki village resettled at Kangpokpi area, Kangpokpi eventually solidifies as Revenue District today. The sad part is that the unity of the Hill peoples has been distorted and divided. Multiple ethnic based militants were given birth adding more obstacles to the journey for a sovereign nation.

If one takes a look to the journey of the NSCN-IM, it is no wander to imagine the kind of politics that they had been playing with the people of the North East people. In the name of fighting for a promise sovereign nation, the integrity of Nagas in Nagaland has been distorted, revolutionary fighters of the Naga have been forced to sacrifice due to internal clash of the NSCN, multiple ethnic based militant groups have been borne, and the love bondage among the various ethnic communities of the state of Manipur has been sabotaged and besides the trust of the people in demanding right to self determination has been thwarted with the latest development. Above all the political identity of the erstwhile nation called Manipur, now a state of Manipur is in the verge of extinction if the RN Ravi’s statement regarding the Framework agreement (published in our yesterday’s issue) is accepted as the final solution.

It is still early to say , but somewhere the game of NSCN-IM being played for decades turn out as a tactful divisive politics for distorting the unity of the entire north East people, that will never come true.

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