Home » Activists protest Mapithel Dam on International Rivers Day observance

Activists protest Mapithel Dam on International Rivers Day observance

by williamgurumayum
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The Mapithel Dam Villagers Villages Organization, the Citizens Concern for Dams and Development and the Campaign for Peoples Goals for Sustainable Development observed the International Rivers Day at Chadong Village, Ukhrul District along the Thoubal River on 14th March 2015. The observation was marked by protest against Mapithel dam along with presentation of speeches by environmentalist, human rights activist and cultural presentations.  Wungshangphy Keishang of Riha village and  K.S Marina of Chadong village shared poems, entitled “Save Yangwuikhong” and “Mapithel Valley”. Folk songs were presented by elders of Chadong.
Sakhathan, Chairman of Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organization (MDAVO), in his welcome address stated that Mapithel dam was constructed forcibly without taking the free prior and informed consent of affected communities.  The Government of Manipur adopted forceful construction of Mapithel dam with militarization of their land and resources and further adopted divide and rule tactics among the affected communities.
Thanmi Kashung, Advisor, MDAVO, expressed concern that the Government of Manipur started blocking the Thoubal River to complete the Mapithel dam construction by March 2015. The blocking of Yangwui Kong (Thoubal River) already led to submergence of prime agriculture land and forest areas in Louphoung and Chadong village. He expressed concern that the Mapithel dam will submerge Chadong village in Monsoon season.  Villagers will be forced to become refugees in their own land.  Mr. Thanmi demanded that the construction of Mapithel dam should be stopped and also to stop blocking the Thoubal River.
Aram Pamei, Co-Chairperson, Citizens Concern for Dams and Development shared how the Government of Manipur is insensitive to the land rights and intrinsic livelihood and survival dependence of the indigenous communities on the Thoubal River and their land. She shared that the Mapithel dam is already becoming anti people as the State refused to listen to rightful demands for participatory and rightful development processes. Ms. Sumshot Khullar of Naga women Union shared how the affected communities affected by large scale development projects should remain united to resist all development injustice introduced in Manipur.
Jiten Yumnam expressed that the Mapithel Dam construction already set a nightmarish example for indigenous communities of Manipur. Any development process that victimized communities and destroy their land and natural resources is unacceptable in Manipur and should be stopped. Mr. Phulindro Konsam, Chairperson of Committee on Human rights shared how the human rights of indigenous peoples affected by Mapithel dam should be recognized and given the range of violations, the Mapithel dam construction should be stopped. The current development process in Manipur is marked by increased corporatization.
The participants of the observation resolved to urge upon the Government of Manipur to stop the Mapithel dam construction, to stop blocking the Thoubal River and to let the Thoubal River flow free, and further to resume the Expert Review Committee formed  by Government of Manipur in 2008 with affected communities.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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