Imphal, Dec 11,
Victor Biak Lian, a leader of a one time insurgent group waging war against Burmese Military Junta and presently a leader of a group supporting the peace process with various armed rebel group of the Myanmar today highlighted the unforgettable relationship between Manipur and the Myanmar students.
“Manipur is a home for the Myanmar students who were victims of the 8/8/88 democratic uprising”, Victor said while speaking at the two days Interactive session organised by the Myanmar Studies at Manipur University Court Hall with the State Constitution Coordinating Body , Myanmar.
33 delegates including leaders of various armed groups operating different states and region of Myanmar presently ensuing in peace talk after signing of the cease fire agreement with the Myanmar government attended. Leaders of political parties , civil society organization of Myanmar were also present.
An indirect slap to the hospitality of the Indian immigration staffs was noticed while Victor said that for reason best known to the authority they were detent for about an hour at Imphal Airport which make them late in reaching the interaction programme.
Prof W, Vishwanath, Vice Chancellor (i/c), Manipur University , Prof N.Lokendro singh , Director Centre for Myanmar studies , Manipur University and Dr. Saioo, Director, Pyidaungsu, Myanmar, Victor Biak Lian, leader of Myanmar Delegate and Prof MC Arun Coordinator, Centre for Myanmar studies attended as dignitaries on the dais on the inaugural session of the interaction programme.
Prof MC Arun, Centre for Myanmar studies, while welcoming the Myanmar delegates and other participants stated that Manipur University is the only centre in India for Myanmar studies.
He said the Centre for Myanmar studies at Manipur University is the brainchild of the scholarly collectivism of the academia of Manipur University which came into existence in 2005 under the area studies programme of the University Grant Commission with a broad vision of understanding Myanmar from the multi-disciplinary perspective. The centre has started PG diploma course on Burmese/Myanmarese Language consisting 8 papers from 2014 with a view to imparting basic knowledge of Myanmar language, besides the normal seminars, conference, workshops and interface series organised by the centre.
The centre has so far completed 13 Research projects. The centre has carried out Indian Diasporas studies in Myanmar and Borderland studies as the specially focused area with a view to providing inputs to the policy markers of the state and the country. The centre has presented papers and invited talks on Indo Myanmar Relations, Internal security, Borderland lives etc. organised by Research and Think Tank institutes such as ICWA,MAKAIAS,NIAS,IGNCA to highlight India view point on Myanmar and different regional issue of southeast and Asia. Myanmar today is a deeply divided society along ethnic and religious line. Ethnicity and ethnic mobilization has always been part of its political set-up structure and growth. Successive Govt in Myanmar since 1948 have pursued policies of racial chauvinism. In 1947 a negotiation between leaders of ethnic minority groups and the Burma majority resulted in the Pang long Agreement that agreed to jointly attend independence from the British colony and embraced the principals of peaceful co-existence and equality among all different ethnic groups. Foremost, the country’s constitution promulgated in 1948 was create on a unitary state instead of t federal union as agreed at pang long .In 1974 the country’s military regime adopted a socialist program and highly centralize constitution that completely denied the political rights minority groups’ political rights and further marginalized them. The country’s’ current constitution that took the military regime more than 13 years ( 1995 -2008) in drafting, officialised the military’s domination in Myanmar’s politics. Today the military has a permanent guaranteed representation in the country’s law making assemblies from provincial to national level. Ethnic minority groups in Myanmar have been struggling for their right and self determination since 1948. Many of them have chosen armed struggle for many years .However, federalism has long been perceived as the most fitting struggle solution to the deep rooted ethnic issues. In 2001 a number of ethnic organization from CSOs, Political parties and armed group alike ,gathered together and lunched a state constitution drafting process call the national Reconciliation program and formed a state constitution supporting committee.by2008,after a series of consultation with various stakeholders, eight states constitutions were drafted, however Myanmar’s political environment at that time did not allow that state constitution drafting process to realize its goals. The current Myanmar’s peace process began in August 2011.It has paved new ideas and ways for searching the answer to future federalism in Myanmar. A key principal in the National wide ceasefire Agreement signed in October 2015 where eight ethnic armed organizations agreed to enter political dialogues, to build a federal union base on equality and self determination for all ethnic groups. In 2016 the National League for Democracy (NLD), the political party leads the current Govt. in Myanmar, reaffirmed its commitment to federal system and self – determination for ethnic groups.
Mind while Mr. Victor Biak Lian, leader of the Myanmar Delegate introduces all together 33 delegates from different state of Myanmar’s. some are Myanmar CSO and some from the Kachin state , Mon state . Armed group which has ceasefire and Kayah state Democratic party, federal Tanning teams, Arakan national party. They visited Mizoram, Assam and in Manipur this morning.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.