Wednesday, 09 October 2019 - Imphal Times

IT News
Imphal, Oct. 9

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has said that the State has witnessed considerable increase in economic/business activities and rise in number of micro and small enterprises/industries because of improvement in law and order situation in the past few years.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the 70th Territorial Army Day organised by the State Government at 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles Banquet Hall today. N. Biren Singh said that the State now has 13,000 registered micro industries, which is the highest in the entire North East. There has been constant rise in economic and business activities as well because of improvement in law and order situation in the past few years, he stated.
The Chief Minister also assured that the State Government would extend all support to security forces/agencies to ensure that the security environment in the State continues to improve so that development momentum in the State is maintained.
N. Biren Singh further said that the Territorial Army had unfailingly risen to the challenges whenever it had been called upon to serve the nation. The force continues to provide invaluable support through its commitment, bravery and sacrifice, he added.
N. Biren said that raising of 165th Infantry Battalion (TA) (Home and Hearth) Assam had given direction and opportunity for gainful employment of the youth of the State and their meaningful participation in the development of the State. Since its deployment in the State in 2007, it had become an inseparable part of the security setup in the State, he added. The Chief Minister also congratulated the unit on becoming the first Territorial Army Unit to get the prestigious unit appreciation from the Eastern Army Commander.
He observed that celebrating Territorial Army Day is a proud moment to felicitate the ‘Citizens Army’. 165th Infantry Battalion (TA) (Home and Hearth) Assam is the first and only Territorial Army unit raised purely from the domicile of Manipur. Affiliated to the Assam Regiment, it is the only battalion of the Indian Army with 100 percent domicile of Manipur and hence they truly are ‘The Manipur Terriers’, he opined.
Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar Singh, who attended the function as president, mentioned about the significant roles played by the Territorial Army in violent prone States like Manipur. He said that Territorial Army help the Army and other security forces in gaining goodwill of local population. They also make security forces aware of any particular State or locality for effective execution of operational tasks, he added.
Ministers, MLAs high ranking civil, police, army, paramilitary and Territorial Army officials and personnel and their families also took part at the function.

Published in News

IT News

Imphal, Oct 9

Rongmei Christian Advocacy Council (REAC) has strongly condemned the driving out of Zilathang Pamei and his family by villagers of Maibam Kabui Village.

Speaking to the media at Manipur Press Club, Chairman of REAC, Angan Pamei said that Zilathang Pamei and all his family members grow up as Christian in Maibam Kabui village. He added the village were debating over allowing Christian family in the village.

On October 7 of this month, villagers of Maibam thronged to the residence of Zilathang Pamei and vandalized the place for worship at his house beside destroying his properties, Angan Pamei said and added that family members were thrashed and beaten by the Maibam villagers. He further added that such kinds of action should not be done in a secular country. He appealed the villagers to call back the family of Zilathang Pamei who have been driven out of the village as they are struggling with pains. The family is seeking shelter from one house to another.

Angan Pamei also appealed the concerned authority to look at the matter and compensate the properties destroyed by the villagers. He appealed not to repeat such kind of incident in the near future.

Published in News
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 18:07

ADC member leads villagers in cleaning road

IT News

Imphal, Oct 9

10 Kms long inter village road which is the shortest route to reach Chakpikarong from Chandel district head quarter, that connects Peru village to Toupokpi village was today cleaned by villagers and club members of Kanankhu Youth Club led by ADC Member, Ts.Williamson Anal.

The road was constructed under PMGSY.

The road stretch does not come under the jurisdiction of ADC Member, Ts.Williamson Anal. However as the road side is filled up with bushes and branches of plants which may lead to accident to the people who are passing daily, the ADC member spear headed a cleanliness drive.

Ts.Williamson Anal said that the road has many pot holes which is also a danger to the people passing it. He appealed the concerned authority to look into the matter. The social service was also attended by Social Worker Beton Anal.

Published in News
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 18:04

Difficult days ahead for Muivah

By:  Yambem Laba

The talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) have now entered the 22nd year and are said to have reached a final point. The Nagas are expected to be given the fruits of the final Naga Accord as a Christmas gift later this year. At the outset it needs to be categorically stated here that the NSCN (I – M) had given up hopes of total sovereignty as early as 1988 and this has not been the result of the protracted talks that have been going on.

That this demand was given up in 1988 itself was told to me by the late S. Khaplang when we had met in Thailand in 1997. According to Khaplang this was the main factor behind the split in the NSCN in 1988. He said that Muivah as General Secretary had convened a decisive meeting that year which was not attended by him and that the late Issac Chishi Swu was away in Kachinland at that time. That meeting which had also lacked the requisite quorum was pushed through and the resolution that was adopted was that the armed Naga movement for liberation which was launched by Angami Zapu Phizo who had raised the issue as early as 1947 and finally took to the jungle in the mid 1950s was going to change its ultimate goal. It was defined as “one step down from total sovereignty and one step up from the Suisha Plan”.

Suisha was a Tangkhul Naga Member of Parliament from Manipur in the second Lok Sabha. He was one of the major ideologues of the movement during the early days.

That split in 1988 was a major setback for Muivah. Many of his followers especially from amongst his Tangkhul tribe were killed and Muivah himself was saved by a timely warning from United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur. RK Meghen, supremo of the UNLF now in Guwahati Central Jail, told me that he had issused instructions to warn Muivah of the impending death threat to him from Khaplang’s followers.

And according to Lukhoi, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Manipur People’s Army (MPA), barely two minutes had passed after he had warned Muivah and he had escaped through the backdoor when the entire cottage where he was holed up was raked by a fusillade of bullets fired by the Hemi Naga cadres of Khaplang.

It however was Muivah’s achievement that he had built up the NSCN (I – M) almost from scratch making it the biggest and most organized armed groups in the North Eastern region earning for itself the sobriquet of being the “Mother of all Insurgent groups” in the Northeast.

Unofficial talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I –M) had begun as early as 1994. That was confirmed to me by the late Rajesh Pilot, who was the then Union Minister of State for Internal Affairs, during his visit to Imphal at that time. Prior to that Prime Minister Narasimha Rao had utilized the services of noted Indian journalist Sanjoy Hazarika to offer India’s olive branch to Muivah and Company. Sanjoy flew to Bangkok and broke the ice. Formal talks between the two began in 1997. The talks hovered from the Hague to Davos to Bangkok and finally to New Delhi and Nagaland.

The NSCN (I – M) hired the services of some of the best possible negotiatiors, people who had been active in South Africa and elsewhere where conflicts were present. The devastating NSCN ambushes on the Indian Army ceased but their taxation on trade and commerce in Nagaland and Manipur has continued till date.

The dynamics of the Naga underground movement must be understood in the complexities of its composition. At best when we speak of the unique history of the Nagas, it can be said to be akin to that of the native American tribes often referred to as “Red Indians” where the Apaches are as different from the Cheyenne or the Cherokees and the Sioux and the only thread binding them was their hatred for the white settlers.

In much the same way, the Angamis are different from the Aos or the Konyaks and for that matter the Tangkhuls of Manipur, the tribe to which Muivah belongs, have more cultural and historical affinity with the Meiteis or the plainsmen of Manipur. And while the Nagas of Nagaland use Nagamese as a means of communication, the Nagas of Manipur use Manipuri or the language of the Meiteis as their lingua franca.

So, the dilemma before Muivah who hails from Manipur, was how he would explain his position to the population of the present state of Nagaland in the post – accord period. It was perhaps understanding this problem that he rushed through the process of signing the Framework Agreement in 2015 on which Issac Swu appended his signature from his deathbed. Muivah knew that no settlement with India could be arrived at without Swu’s signature on it, the latter being from Nagaland and belonging to the Sema or Sumi tribe.

And thus, sans sovereignty, the integration of the Naga areas of Manipur particularly into Nagaland to form Nagalim becomes almost a sine quo non for Muivah’s formal and official acceptability to the Nagas of Nagaland.

While the Nagaland State Assembly had at least on three occasions resolved on calling for the merger of the adjoining Naga areas of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, it was only in 2001 that the NSCN made its first formal attempt to broach the idea using a Trojan horse. They were then able to convince then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani to extend the areas to be covered by the ongoing Ceasefire between the two sides to all its areas of operation beyond Nagaland by inserting the term “without territorial limits” in its term of reference. While there was muted silence in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, the Meiteis of Manipur smelt a rat and rose up in a manner never witnessed before.

There was a complete breakdown of law and order and chaos reigned for three days during which the State Assembly building, the Chief Minister’s Office all Ministers’ residential buildings were burnt down. Eighteen people lost their lives even as it was rumored that the then Governor had taken refuge in the Army Cantonment in Leimakhong. That day, the 18th of June, is still almost a sacred day amongst Manipuris, who stood for the territorial integrity of the State.

Three days later Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told the media that “a deep misunderstanding seems to have occurred in Manipur”. The term “without territorial limits” was dropped from the terms of reference of the ceasefire between the Indian troops and the Naga militants. Muivah was back to square one.

The second attempt was in 2010 when he arm – twisted the Centre to urge the Government of Manipur to provide him with security and smooth passage during his proposed visit to Manipur. Muivah had not been home for over 40 years then. Instead of just saying that he wanted to visit his home and relatives in Somdal in Ukhrul, where he could have been choppered in, he wanted to make a grand re – entry into Manipur like Julius Ceasar after the conquest of Gaul. He had started his journey to Manipur at the head of a cavalcade and had planned public meetings in Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel and Ukhrul to whip up Naga frenzy towards Naga integration. A highly alarmed Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh declared that Muivah was “persona non grata” in Manipur. He had all the entrance roads to Manipur blocked at Mao and Jessami and stationed the dreaded Mnipur Police Commandos with express orders to arrest Muivah should he dare to enter Manipur, with or without Z – level security cover. Unknown to many Naga watchers in the country, Muivah still remains a “Wanted Man” in Manipur carrying carrying a price of Rs 1 lakh on his head.

Dejected for the second time in ten years, Muivah returned to Hebron after having reached Viswema the last village in Nagaland before entering Manipur through Mao.

By this time it became clear to the Centre that the integration of Naga areas of Manipur and for that matter those of Assam or Arunachal cannot be on the agenda in the terms of reference with or without the Framework Agreement and began clearly stating that the territorial integrity of Manipur would not be compromised come what may. With Naga integration out of the question, Muivah soon propped up the demand for a separate Constitution and Flag for Nagaland in the final settlement and has even gone to the extent that without them he will not be able to ink the final agreement.

The Centre has categorically said “No” to this proposal. Muivah seems to be hemmed in by the fact that the Chief Interlocutor of the Government of India has also become the Governor of Nagaland and if after the accord, Muivah becomes the Chief Minister of Nagaland, he would still be obliged to call him “Sir”.

Even as the debate on a Naga constitution and Flag was going on, the powerful United Committee Manipur (UCM) which was born out of the aftermath of the 18th June uprising in 2001, had on October 1 ‘summoned’ an all political party meeting which included the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress. It had adopted three resolutions.

That the final Agreement shall not infringe on the traditional integrity of Manipur and even if the Government of India assures that the geographical boundaries of the Northeastern States will remain intact, anything which subsequently relates to the ongoing Framework Agreement cannot be taken up inside Manipur without the prior sanction and approval of the State Government and people of Manipur.

It also said no to the proposal of setting up a Pan – Naga or Cultural Provincial – territorial council or any arrangement relating to financial or ethnic – based administrative arrangement or any structural formation in similar fashion. It warned that if any decision by the Government of Manipur was contrary to the above three resolutions, the “People of Manipur shall take its own course to determine the future of Manipur”.

At 85 Muivah knows that his days are numbered and that he does not have the time to return to the jungles or the safe houses in Bangkok or the Hague. And 22 years of protracted talks have taken a heavy toll on his hardy Naga Army boys, they have turned from hungry wolves to fattened bears and have got used on the luxury of constructing and living in palatial villas and travelling in SUVS. The three – month – long gruelling trek to Yunnan Province in China which he had led in the early 1970s is but a distant and dimishing memory. And even if he decides to break off the talks with India and return to the bushes, he has nowhere to go.

With Myanmar already shutting its doors on Indian insurgent groups and China a lost horizon now, Muivah seems to have been trapped. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi may even be tempted to look at a Kashmir type of solution to the Naga problem and simply surround Camp Hebron where entire who’s who of NSCN (I – M) are holed up. In the evening of his life, Muivah’s new Nagaland may not quite see the dawn he once dreamt of.

(The writer is The Statesman’s Imphal based Special Representative.)

Published in Guest Column
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 18:03

Something is still not right

Just like the pieces of a frustrating zigsaw puzzle that has eluded solution for so long finally starting to fall into place, the real reason for the protracted sufferings and often unnecessary social and communal strains that have so far defined the life of the people of the state have slowly started to emerge.
 Allowing for doubts of political conspiracy or fallacy, if the statement issued by the BJP Manipur media secretary regarding the absence of any formal communication for assistance from the centre by the state government in connection with the economic blockades along the national highways connecting the state with the rest of the country contains even an iota of truth, then the people of the state as a whole have a very big issue to deal with, and soon.
The startling disclosure by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh of the lack of any concrete proposal by the Ibobi-led state government despite the two having met on more than one occasion and the Chief Minister even submitting a report on the economic blockade to him have more to it than meets the eye. What should one infer about the nature of administration and governance when the headlines of newspapers and trending news even on social media are about the schedule for distribution of Petrol or LPG Cylinders in the state? While the situation might possibly sound ironic and even comic for those residing outside the state, for the people in the state, the question is all about survival. Perhaps the advertisement offering a litre of petrol as incentive for buying a laptop a few years back sums up the situation beautifully.
Successive governments have waxed eloquent about their achievements and stressed on the extra efforts they have put in to bring prosperity to the state, and yet the unfortunate truth remains that in this age and day, the general public still have to scramble for the barest minimum of facilities for survival. Half the year or more is still lost to bandhs, blockades, general strikes, public curfews with unfailing regularity year in, year out. The smoothest roads, the widest highways or the ‘most modern bridge’ over a nullah holds little excitement for those who constantly have had to worry about the next petrol pump with enough stock or the grocery with the required provisions on offer.
The phenomena of ‘Economic Blockade’ is nothing new or strange, and despite the u told hardships and innumerable frustrations still continuing to be borne by the people of the state, yet the visible lack of a sustainable plan of action or initiative from the state government to put an end to the menace is a clear indication that for those in power and connection, the present predicament of the public over the availability of basic and essential commodities is of little concern or consequence.
The state government owes it to the people of the state to come out with the truth regarding its inaction on the economic blockade issue. Half-truths, concocted situations and ad-hoc measures will not cut ice with the informed public anymore. The incumbent government and any other following that will be holding the reign in the state will do well to keep in mind that the people of the state is more resilient and resourceful than they can ever imagine.
The way the general public see it, economic blockade is but a few incorrigible souls holding the state government by the balls rather than being strangled by the scruff of the neck as these souls would have everyone believe.

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 18:02

Army Recruitment Rally

IT News
Imphal, Oct . 9

Army Recruitment Rally would be held at Bongaigaon (Assam) on December for enrolment of youths from Manipur only.   
The online application has already started and will remain open till
18 Nov 2019. For registration online login to  Candidates who have registered in the previous rally can login directly and check eligibility and apply fresh. The Army career offers Professional Advancement, Job Satisfaction, Job Security, Economic Stability, Social Status, Quality of Life and Variety & Adventure.
The vacancies is for Soldier Nursing Assistant (10+2 / Intermediate exam pass in Science with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English with 50% marks in aggregate and 40% in each subject) and Sepoy Pharma (10+2/ Intermediate exam pass and qualified in D Pharma with Min 55% marks in aggregate and registered with State Pharmaceutical Council/ Pharmacy council of India. Individuals qualified in B Pharma with Min 50% marks and registered with State Pharmaceutical Council/ Pharmacy council of India) are also eligible.  CEE will be conducted at Bongaigaon on 19 Jan 2020.
For any other query contact on phone No  03862-248845 & 8974958673 from 0830h to 1400h on working days for the entire duration.  Last date of registration is 18 Nov 2019.

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