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Items filtered by date: Friday, 17 November 2017 - Imphal Times - A Daily Eveninger

Fast-unto-death by SSUM and MPPDU leaders enters 2nd day; police picked them

Imphal, Nov 17: Fast-unto-death protest by two leaders of Socialist Students’ Union Manipur (SSUM) and Manipur Proletrate Peoples’ Union (MPPDU) enters 2nd day today.
Naorem Tonaranjan, Convenor of SSUM and Nameirakpam Meghachandra, President of MPPDU began the fast unto death protest since 3 pm yesterday at their office premises at Tiddion Road Keishampat Laishom leirak.
They are demanding the government for framing of a legislation to safeguard the indigenous people of the state; constitutional protection for the integrity of the state and also to punish all those responsible in the hijacking of public properties.
Tonaranjan, while speaking to this reporter said that they will continue the fast unto death untill the demands are fulfilled. When asked on who actually are those hijacking the public properties, Tonaranjan said that they are demanding to make available the share of rice and other items which are to be distributed under the Public Distribution System.
“The rich people can afford, but the rice and other items under PDS are very important for poor students like us”, Tonaranjan said and added that our share are being hijacked by some government authority and these people should be punished at any cost.
Noarem Tonaranjan is a 1st year BA student of Nambol Sanoi College. He is the son of Naorem Ranjit and Naorem Ongbi Ranjta of Nambol Thiyam.

Nameirakpam Megahchandra, President of MPPDU while speaking to this reporter said that the government of Manipur had asured the people to frame a legislation which will be accepted by all communities for protection of the indigenous people of the state, however, nothing is done  regarding the matter. On the other hand, he also expressed about the need for constitutional protection of the territorial boundary of the state.
Meghachandra said that the two had sought permission from the district administration to allow them proceed the democratic form of protest but as the permission was not granted they began the fast-unto-death protest at the office complex.
Showing solidarity to the two protestors, large number of Meira Paibis from Leimajam Leikai yesterday joined them.
Today another group of meira paibi from Sapam Leirak and Sayang area came to show solidarity to the two activists. Later, both the fast-unto-death protestors went at Keishampat Leimajam Leiak Community Hall continue their protest. The meira paibis too showed solidarity by joining the protest.
Meanwhile, a team of Police picked the two protestors at around 3. pm

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Looking out for possible measures

Two activists- a student and one civil society leader have begun fast unto death protest since 3 pm yesterday. Their demands – 1) framing of a legislation to safeguard the indigenous people, 2) Constitutional protection for the territorial integrity of the state and 3) Punishment of those responsible in the hijacking of common peoples’ share. Of the three demands, the last is under the purview of the state government while the other two – that is legislation regarding indigenous people and about constitutional protection for the territorial boundary of the state is beyond the limit of the state government.
The apprehension of the two leaders about the future of this state need appreciations from all sections of the people but as Manipur is presently at the cross road with threat perception from the Frame Work agreement which has been nearing solution between the government of India and the NSCN-IM, a sentimental protest will be not enough. On the other hand the issue of protecting the indigenous people of the state is a long pending one. Already the then government of Manipur had attempted by passing three bills in the state assembly under the pressure of the civil society organization of the state. However, not everything went well as sections of peoples from Chirachandpur district upraised against the passing of the bill. After all the Bills could not be converted into Act until it gets approval of the President of India.
About the demands for punishment of those responsible in the looting of public property, it is in the hand of the state government. The demand is genuine, If the Chief Minister of Manipur is not under political pressure to protect those culprits, there is no need for putting up this specific demand. After all Imphal city has witness many hoardings with promises of Chief Minister and the Prime Minister of India to make the country free from corruption.
What is needed is to produce some specific documents or evidences that prove that the peoples’ properties are being hijacked by some vested interested people.

So, of the three, the two is not in the purview of the state government. Saying so it is the state government that has to stand firm with their commitment of protecting the boundary of the state as well as saving the indigenous people of the state.
Well every Manipuri felt it their duty to protect the boundary and emotional integrity of the state. But at the moment it is late to demand amendment of constitution of India. Every literate individuals knows that Article 3 of the Indian Constitution allows redrawing of existing state by bifurcating it . If the people of the state demands for amendment of this article it would be definitely opposed by many sections of people from across the country. So something that will get support from other fellow citizens of the country need to be considered. For example, the division of Manipur between hills and plain by incorporating article 371 C in the constitution of India can be amended by not affecting the rights of the tribal people. A provision that would grant special autonomy to NSCN-IM can be challenged with the kind of mistakes that is seen in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Any modification under Presidential order without presenting it on the floor of the parliament should be objected as it would become an obstacle to the strengthening of the Indian nation. This we have seen from the case of Jammu and Kashmir and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will never want another Kashmir in North East India.
As for protection of the indigenous people of the state, it is the need of the hour as there are evidences of people from Bangladesh and neighbouring country already occupying the region. It is a threat to not only Manipur but also to India. So India government should immediately prepare a legislation for the indigenous people or the Meitei people who has been protecting the prestige of the Indian Nation.
Government of Manipur should properly explain the Union government about the outcome if it felt that India should be strong nation.

Challenges before Media: A glance from the hills of Manipur

By : Sothing Shimray
About 20 years ago radio was the most important source of information media for the  hill people. As in the valley also, what was informed through radio was like ‘God’s voice’ seemingly devoid of any flaw. Of course, the outlooks still prevails as more than 70 percent of villages in the hill districts still do not receive News papers. A copy of News papers in the village were read and discussed by almost all the literates for over a week. Illiterates come to know of the happenings around the world through such discussions. Frankly, I do not know about the situation in the valley, but this is the situation at the hill areas.
This year I happen to came across an interesting situation of news crazy citizens at Tamenglong town. It was around 12 noon I saw more than 20 peoples, old and young, sitting at a makeshift bench near one book store. My curiosity pricks and I was told that it is a usual scene at Tamenglong every day. What surprise me as it will be to all of you is, they were waiting for the arrival of news paper from Imphal. This clearly reveals their thirst to read the news papers publish from the State capital. They were waiting for the news papers expectantly. Well, What do they expect from the contend of that day’s issue? This is a million dollar question indeed.
The concept of media is now more or less well defined comparing to those days 20 or 30 years ago. Those were the days where prefixing or suffixing the name of their respective community were common phenomena i.e Mr.X Paite, Mr. Y. Tangkhul, Mr. A. Meitei and so on. Those days the contents of news in the news papers and radio were dominated by outside happenings. Even the very mention of one’s village name in the media was the ‘talk of the town’. Those were the days of ‘one way traffic’ where the consumers or listeners just listen without any feedback.
Gone are those days of silent listeners and readers. Now, every listeners and readers are very reactive and the challenges before the media has also increase by leaps and bound. The speed of technological development s in the field of communication has no doubt changed the face of media and society i.e from simple to complex. In fact the developments are so fast that even journalists are finding it difficult to access, assess, assimilate, understand and interpret.
Amidst this adaptive inability every citizens has now become more rationalized and sensible as well as sensitive. Manipur is a multi-community and multi-religious state. Every community and religion has their own interest. Of course, understandably it is a hard task for the Editors to maintain a balance role.
To me the biggest challenge before the media in Manipur is the inability of media people to understand their greater social responsibility, their inability to come out of their respective family tradition, their community influence and so on. Of course, they are all human being and I am not blaming any one in particular. Frankly speaking, lakhs and lakhs of Manipur population are dancing at the tune of some hundreds of journalists. Experience has clearly shown that hyping an issue by the conventional media, forget about other social media viz facebook, WhatsApp etc, is very common in Manipur. Any slight issues involving different communities were sensationalised and hyped in favour of their respective communities. Ethical journalistic guidelines usually take a backseat when it comes to communal tone. This is a serious betrayal of Journalistic profession and to the social fabric of the State. As the code of ethics is usually a moral issue, the breach of which does not attracts legal remedies. That is why the regulator like the Press Council of India can’t take any legal action, and that no journalist is seemingly doing wrong even when the state is burning. Standardizing the profession of journalism is the key here, but no doubt a hard task, as this involved many factors.
Talking about principles and ethics of journalism, there are some people swerving from one media house to another or form one media organization to another in an effort to escape from their unethical or anti social practices. I am aware that every media houses have certain code of conduct against bribe or paid news so is also the media organization. But there are some journalists who openly take bribes or indulge in anti social activities. And when confronted those person just quit and joins another media house and media organization. Unfortunately, he or she was readily accepted by the other media house or media organizations. This shows that media houses and media organizations don’t give a damn to principles and ethical codes of journalism. This is very sad. Media houses and media organizations in the State need to have a common understanding in this issue.
Journalism has come a long way in Manipur but most us are yet to know whether we are really informed or manipulated. To me the people of Manipur are being controlled by the media. And this is where, I think the media has overstepped. This is another big challenge to the future of media and its relationship with the society.
There has been lots of talk about media’s from mainland India sidelining the happenings of North eastern states. It’s a fact. I am sure you agree. Similarly, the hill districts fumed a lot about being sidelined by the mailand Manipur media. This is also true. I hope you will also agree with me too. How do we bridge this gap is also another big challenge. In Manipur, apart from the vernaculars, all the major media houses are located at the State Capital area. In respect of staffing pattern also 95 percent are from the one community (I am not questioning  about the staffing pattern at all the but just showing the configuration). But over 70 percent of readership of the popular English dailies are from the hill Districts (correct me if I am wrong).
The gap has been appreciably largely bridged these days with every media houses keeping Correspondents at the respective District Hqrs – a Correspondent with a consolidative meagre salary of Rs. 4000/5000 or even less a month with about 5000/6000 sq.kms geographical area as his or her beat. How on earth do you think will the Correspondent perform his or her duty? In fact this is sheer unimaginable. Irrational payment of salaries, behind the Majithia wage board, is big challenge for District Correspondents. In most case also, the Correspondents are simply kept aloof as non-accounted staff except the story they filled. As they are seemingly non-accounted, their mistakes were left uncorrected, they failed to accustom with the in-house style of writing too. And they continue to grow old with the same mistakes without reaching the mark. This gives bad reputation to the media house which he works. At the same time his chance to grow in the profession was suffocated.
In democracy, right of the majority prevails, but how do we determined this majority is another big challenge for the media. Does it mean media has the right to sideline the minority? In a true sense of term here comes the question of empathy. Lack of empathic exercise amongst the various media persons in Manipur is a big challenge to the sanctity of journalism as the most neutral body on earth. Looking at social issues from a seemingly pre-determined view point of one’s interest only usually results ‘hurt feeling’ the so-called most dangerous emotion on earth, to another.
In Manipur there are many instances of portraying non issues as main issues. We all know that communal harmony is the most important need of Manipur. But reporting on such activities was given a back seat while militant ambushes were giving a front seat. Rather, we should be exploring stories of those people which work hard to mend the broken threat, the activities of those neighbours which continue to maintain friendly atmospheres amidst the conflict. We need to remember that it is not everyone which are firing the guns or pulling the trigger.
Instead of giving front page to car thieves, smugglers, rape accused etc. It will be much better to focus on the adoption of a village by our MP and MLAs and so on. In other word we need to focus more on positive things rather than the negative things.
Manipur government being a welfare government has indeed been very benevolent to media. This is indeed a laudable effort of people’s government. The government through DIPR has also been giving out government information everyday at Imphal. However, failure of District information offices at the respective District Hqrs is a great set back. Almost all the Districts have vernacular dailies.
To conclude I would like to come to term that it is easier said than done, I myself being a journalist understand the ground difficulties, may be who knows I am the worse, but what I meant by this presentation is to call on every journalist to start practicing the positive, to cut down our ego, to learn on walking the tight rope, to have more empathic sense and to maintain the sanctity of journalistic principles and ethics.
Let us all work to make journalism for solution and not for problem.
(This paper was presented by Sothing Simray, Ex-President, Manipur Hills Journalists’ Union, on the seminar organised by DIPR on occasion of National Press Day, at 1st MR Banquet Hall on Nov. 16, 2017)

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ZUF gives warning gunshot to NSCN-IM for leaving Noney area

Imphal, Nov 17: Officially, the government of Manipur still denies existence of any undesignated camps of the NSCN-IM in the soil of Manipur, but rival group of the NSCN-IM today open fire near crowded Noney market area warning the NSCN-IM to vacate their camp from Noney area.
Report reaching here said that some cadres of Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) fires 3 rounds of gunshots in the air near Noney market under Noney police station at around 10.25 am today. Source says the ZUP cadres fires the gunshots as a warning to the NSCN-IM if fails to vacate their undesignated camp from Noney area.
State security agencies seems to be clueless about the presence of NSCN-IM camp at Noney even as there are many complaints from the public about the kind of harassment given by the NSCN-IM cadres at Noney and adjoining area. Interestingly, the source added that the ZUP cadres started attacking the NSCN-IM just to make sure that they dominate the Noney area so that no organisation stands as obstacles while extorting money from the area, which they called as tax.
With the strength of ZUP cadres rising in the area people of the area expressed apprehension about factional clash between the two if non retreat. Meanwhile, security force presence in the area is silent over the matter.

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Centre releases Rs 106 crore for Imphal Smart City

Imphal, Nov 17: Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD) and Town Planning Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar today said the Centre has released Rs 106 crore for the Imphal Smart City Mission.
Addressing the media persons at his office chamber in New Secretariat, he said that his department targets to complete 90 percent work of the Imphal Smart City Mission within 3 months. Stating that the Chief Minister will be consulted for the work related to the Mission, he appealed for the support of the general public to make the Imphal Smart City Mission successful.
MAHUD Minister further said a year-long cleanliness drive in all the Municipal areas will begin from tomorrow in view of the upcoming Manipur Sangai Festival 2017 scheduled for November 21-30. He said the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) staffs led by the Mayor will conduct cleanliness drive from early morning tomorrow in different areas of Imphal. He said similar drive will also be conducted in the areas under Municipal Council such as Moirang, Bishnupur, Kakching, Yairipok and Thoubal. Th. Shyamkumar appealed to the shopkeepers of Imphal core zone area including Thangal Bazar, Paona Bazar, Uripok road, Kwakeithel road, Yairipok road, Keisamthong road, Singjamei road and others to keep dustbins near their respective shops. He said legal action will be taken against those shopkeepers who are found littering the surroundings.
MAHUD and Town Planning Minister said legal action will also be taken against street vendors and mobile hawkers in case found violating the instructions. He appealed to the general public to support the State Government in keeping the Imphal city and the surrounding areas clean.

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DFO Thoubal campaign to welcome Migratory Birds

Thoubal, Nov.17: In its effort to protect the migratory birds which started arriving in the state Divisional Forest Officer of Thoubal District RK Amarjit today launched a Loud Speaker Campaign for Welcoming the visitors.
The campaign aims to spread message to all the villages in the periphery of the wetland and lakes within the jurisdiction of Divisional Forest Officer Thoubal district.
Speaking at the launching function of the campaign, RK Amarjit said that on November 10, a cycle rally was organised to spread the message for protection of the migratory birds. This campaign is also to spread the message about the importance of preserving and safeguarding the migratory birds visiting from far of places”, Amarjit said.  
Wild Life warden Thoubal W. Ramchandra and Forest Range officials were also present in the launching function.

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CM attends to about 500 complaints on Peoples’ Day

Imphal, Nov. 17: Thousands of people turned up on the joint Hill Leaders’ Day and Meeyamgi Numit to highlight their grievances to the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh at CM’s Secretariat today.
The Chief Minister attended to as many as 500 complaints and personally met nearly 1500 people from 8:00 am to 3:15 pm.
On the occasion, the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) screened various documentaries highlighting the achievements of the new government and Chief Minister’s visit to various hill districts of the State.
 Speaking to the media persons, Chief Minister said that the government is focusing on action oriented policies and programmes for the welfare of the people and State. He affirmed that the new government is right on track towards bringing development in the State. Seeking people’s support and co-operation, Chief Minister said, “I am doing my level best to serve the people of the State.”
Refuting the allegations made by the Opposition parties, he said that people are witnessing the recent progress and development in the State and what the new government is tirelessly working for its people. He stated that the new government didn’t announce any false promises to the people, everything has been put before the public. He said that since its inception, the government is maintaining complete transparency to achieve good governance in the State. He asserted that the new government is trying its best to resolve the misdeeds/issues done by the previous government. As of now, there hasn’t been a single protest/agitation against the present government by the people of the State, he added.  Stating the grievances of differently-abled persons, widows, and old-aged persons, Chief Minister said that the government is conducting assessment camps in various districts for the identification and issue of disability certificate and assessment of nature of disability for providing appropriate aids and appliances for persons with disability living in the State.
Mentioning some of the developmental projects being taken up in the State, he said that the Tamenglong-Haflong road is upgrading to National Highway, construction of Water Supply Scheme estimated cost of Rs 40 crores at Tamenglong etc.
Chief Minister further stated that the health insurance scheme for BPL families which would provide financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh for medical treatment would be launched on 1st January, 2018. He mentioned that to ease the financial burden faced by widows, the application form for the Health Care Insurance Scheme for widows is being issued here today.
Mentioning about hosting the North-East Development Summit during Manipur Sangai Festival 2017, Chief Minister said that preparations are almost complete for the upcoming Sangai festival. Various National and International investors and companies are expected to participate in the North-East Development Summit to be held on 21st-22nd November, 2017, he added. He said that till now, Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have confirmed to attend the Festival. A media team from Myanmar would visit the State and interact with the media persons of the State during the festival. An exhibition football match will be played between Women football team from Mandalay and Manipur Women football team under the theme “Connecting through Sports” in the Sangai Festival, he added.
He said that he will inaugurate the Curtain Raiser of the Manipur Sangai Festival 2017 at Keibul Lamjao on 19 November 2017. And the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will formally inaugurate the Manipur Sangai Festival 2017 and North-East Development Summit on 21st November, 2017.

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12TH NE business summit

Imphal, Nov 17:  Textiles, Commerce and Industries, Works, Power, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Administrative Reforms and Information and Public Relations, Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh has invited investors from across the country to visit and invest in the State saying that Manipur will be the gateway of India to South East Asia. He said Manipur will have good opportunities for investment in the various industries because railway connectivity will come to Imphal City by 2019 and with the Trans Asian highways expected to connect the ASEAN countries.
The Minister was speaking at the 12th North East Business Summit “Transforming North East: The Engine for India’s Growth” at the The Lalit, New Delhi today. He said the initiative of the Look East Policy to Act East Policy will connect the entire North East States of India to South East Asian Countries to boost the economy and relationships in the region.

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CNPO not satisfy with the presence of state force in Chandel district

Imphal, Nov 17: While condemning the November 13 blast at Mahamani Village in the strongest term and while assuring to extend fullest cooperation to the police department, Chandel Naga Peoples Organization (CNPO) expressed strong resentment to the presence of unwanted state forces in Chandel District HQ or elsewhere.
A meeting of the Presidential Meeting convened by Chandel Naga Peoples Organization (CNPO) yesterday alleged the presence of the large number of state force in Chandel district considered as policies and programmes of state Govt. to create problems in order to solve another one.
2 AR personnel were killed injuring some in a  bomb blast on Novemebr 13 at Mahamani village in Chandel district. “The blast is barbaric act” said a statement of the CNPO.
However, the CNPO statement said that the presence of large number of state force in the district creates mental torture and harassment to the people of Chandel. The meeting of the CNPO also appealed any group(s) to restrain from such inhuman acts in future that pollute clean atmosphere of Chandel District.
“As a valley base UG has claim responsibility of the said blast, we urge the state Govt. and state forces to divert their attention towards them and not to Chandel District. We will not accept/tolerate any mechanisms of state Govt. or forces which will be detrimental to the people of Chandel”, the statement added.
It further appealed the govt. to withdraw all the surplus state force from the district in the interest of the common people.

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