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Tuesday, 11 December 2018 - Imphal Times

Myanmar delegates coming to attend interaction prog. at MU delayed for over one hour at Immigration office of Imphal Airport

IT News

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.

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Education Minister Flag-Offs The Kala Utsav Participants

Imphal, Dec 11,

 Education Minister Thokchom Radhehsyam today flagged-off the participants for the National Level Kala Utsav, 2018 from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Office, Babupara. The Utsav will be held on 12th December, 2018 at Bal Bhavan, Delhi.
The 12 participants are the students of N. Tomchou Higher Secondary School alongwith three teachers as the guide. The team will present the act titled ‘Gandhi Ningsinglubada’. The students won the North-Eastern and Eastern Zone in this one act play competition conducted on the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Kolkata.
Encouraging the participants who will represent Manipur at the Kala Utsav, Thokchom Radheshyam said that hard work and determination are the two magic words to success. He said that the youths of the state are endowed with talents and this has been reaffirmed with the achievement of these young students. He advised the participants to be bound with the purpose of the visit. He wished the students to win the competition.
Kala Utsav is an initiative taken up by the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India to promote art in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talents of school going students in the country. Students from various states will be competing on Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Dance, Painting and Theatre, etc0.
Director Education (S), Shri Thokchom Kirankumar and concerned officials were also present at the flag-off ceremony.

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The day after tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow, a science fiction movie  directed and produced by Roland Emmerich which was based on the book The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber, depicts a catastrophic climatic effects following the disruption of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling and lead to a new ice age.
The Hollywood blockbuster which had successfully spread the message about the deteriorating climatic condition is not the concern of this writer, as the concept of the necessity of being Humanism is also a message of the movie. This writing is a speculation about the fate of the Indians particularly those living in the North Eastern part of the country and Manipur. Like the way that the earth freezes in the movie due to lack of common sense and humanity to human kinds, we the people of this region see sometime see a total disaster of our children in the day after tomorrow. From being Manipuri, we have become Meitei, Naga, Kuki, Meitei Pangal. The concept of Manipuri is fading away slowly and the concept of Meitei, Naga, Kuki, Meitei pangal etc. has already taken its shape.
This writing is not about the probable disaster that the Human Being may face in the coming days depicted in the Hollywood blockbuster movie, but this writing is about forecasting the fate of our children of tomorrows.
After British left India 70 years back, India is yet to complete to sort out a workable policy programme which would make all the citizen – a sense of Indianess. The largest democracy which constitutional expert always pointed out still seem to have left out some provisions that would make all citizen felt that we are Indian. The continuation of the programme and policy that the British had adopted to rule the country making laws in their own conveniences disregarding the tradition and culture of the different ethnic community make the lower class and middle class people felt that “ Are we a Free Citizen”.
70 years the rich keep on earning more, the powerful gets more power , the farmers and lower class people continue to sacrifice unable to bear the atrocities committed the ruling regime. No matter the change of guard in the government make no differences in the country as the system still continue to exercise when it comes to the issue of lower class people. In North Eastern part of the country which was merged to the Indian Union people are treated better by the colonial British ruled. Various acts which lawmakers and activist called draconian law still impose to suppress the poor and harass people in the name of building the nation stronger .
The longer rule by a specific political party make stronger those who stood against their policy. And it was out of the anti –incumbency that another political party comes up and hold power in the center. All things expected did not happen. The people face more alienation from the nation called India as the rule and their policy incline more towards a specific majority community. The government which is running the country is no difference from those of the fascist authoritarian regime of the 19 century.
The need of the hour is a collective move for a change India. Untold stories of Adivasis have slowly come up in the limelight. Story of how indigenous people are slowing absorbing by major community is known by everyone. Quasi federal structure is slowly becoming history with the present regime centralizing all power. And the day after tomorrow may be an India with only fascist Hindu without Muslim, Christian, and Meitei. The logic for this speculation is that when the once upon a time Manipuri started introducing them as Meetei/Meitei, Naga , Kuki and Muslim, the pride of being Manipuri of the erstwhile Asiatic nation, the community will become meager which definitely meant that it will be surely dependable and some critic or activist may come up to take advantage by merging the identity with the majority one.
This was witness in the state of Manipur. Due to wrong; somewhere in the process of making the Manipur Nation, we had seen the NSCN-IM accumulated all minor ethnic community and formulated a Nation like character call NAGA.
Recent development in the Manipuri society is that the Meetei/Meitei now started demanding to become Schedule Tribe. This demand is coming up out of necessities and more likely – a struggle for survival.
The Day After Tomorrow needs to be saved for the children of tomorrow.

Intl Human Rights Day and Draconian law

Will Slapping Draconian Laws such as NSA Act worked for the citizens upholding the values of democratic values and deter the fence sitting Media bodies to towed the lines of Governmental diktats. ???

By : Rajesh Khongbantabam

The pertinent question that normally pegged citizens in a local hotel for a morning tea has of late been a hot topic for discussion although a sympathetic tone is being observed in every conversation.
“Yes, he did use the 4 letter words which is totally uncalled for, could’ve been avoided but then, NSA detention is too harsh”.  Manipur, a land not new to Civil unrest, Insurgency, Arbitrary detention, Fake encounters, and with gross violation of Human Rights summing it all up, have some or the other in a locality having this nasty experience of being incarcerated under the same inhumane act or a narration about some of their near and dear ones having to through this traumatic detention - What exactly is this so much dreaded NSA Act.?
Simply in a laymen terms, the same NSA provides for the detention of a person for three months at a time and for a maximum period of 12 months and still sub-section (3) of section 3 provides that a detention order may be amended, if felt necessary by the state government,  “To extend such period [of detention] from time to time by any period not exceeding 3 months at any one time” – Effectively implying indefinitely. Further, Section 14 (2) explicitly provides that “The revocation or expiry of a detention order shall not bar the making of a fresh detention order under section 3 against the same person”. And the grounds for making such a fresh detention order need be nothing more than the fact that the “Central government or state government or any officer mentioned in sub section (3) of section (3), as the case may be, is satisfied that  such an order should be made”.
Living aside the technical legalities, what actually is the implication of a Citizens’ discussing over a cup of tea and snacks is all about?
“It’s meant for hard core insurgents, who’re quite a problematic for Authorities such as having the liberty of taking bail too frequent or of someone who is amongst the leadership too important for the authorities not to let go off the hook”.
“After all, even then not all the outlaws insurgent are detained under the same act”.
Well then, what exactly has this preventive detention been at the center of issues that’s left, right and center? Is it merely to act as a tool against “Dissenters” to dissuade the same others from following the trends or trails?
Looking back towards the historical episode, Sardar Vallabhai Patel introduced the preventive detention act in 1950, and thus started the saga of colonial measures in post colonial India. Sanctified by the very constitution meant to protect the citizen from the whims of those in power, Laws like NSA provide the executive tools to escape the scrutiny of the judiciary.
 More often than not, preventive laws are used by the Ruling party against their Opposition. Personal Liberty is the mainstay of Dissent and Dissent is the bed rock of the democracy. If we desire the democracy to survive and thrive, it is time we do away with preventive detention laws. These are supposed to be war measures and today, at least there is no war – except the one the government is waging against anyone who is dissenting, criticizing and showing distastefulness.
Rather, it is used as an unconstitutional measure to deprive an individual of their constitutional rights violating the basic jurisprudence; the accused must be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, and the onus of the prosecution to prove the guilt remains the same.
The National Security Act (NSA) – which was first promulgated as an ordinance and few months later legislated by the parliament in 1980 – is a preventive detention law which has been used time and again to deprive an individual of their constitutional rights violating the basic tenets that the accused must be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, and not the other way round.
Tracing the preventive detention to the early days of colonial rule, the then enactment of Bengal State prisoners’ regulation III of 1818 allowed detention without trial. Later on it was extended to other provinces and finally taking the shape of Defense of India acts of 1915, justified as World War I measures. It was a measure of indefinite detention, incarceration without any provision for trial or judicial reviews which again were indefinitely extended under the Rowland Act of 1919.
The Jallianwalla Bagh massacre ordered by General Dyer was against the “dissenters” flouting the Rowland Act.
Recently, on September 14, Chandrasekhar Azad, the 31 years old lawyer and a firebrand Dalit leader walked out of Saharanpur Jail after spending 15 months behind bar under the same NSA Act, slapped by the U.P. Chief Minister and his stint in Jail under NSA, “Preventive Detention” as it were, had led to a widespread agitation garnering international headlines, despite the Allahabad High Court granting him bail on November 2, 2017 and terming his arrest as “Politically Motivated”, Chandra Sekhar Azad was again slapped with charges under preventive detention by the BJP administration of U.P. under the National Security Act on the next day and was kept under detention for 10 months, only to be released on September 14. After his released, he said – that he had become an eyesore to the BJP after he prevented a clash between the Dalits and the Muslims orchestrated by the ruling BJP.
A few days ago, Journalist Kishorechandra AKA Wangkhemcha Wangthoi was arrested under the provision of the same National Security Act for a Face Book video post abusing or accusing (it’s all about perception) the Manipur Chief Minister N.Biren Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and their party by questioning the relevance of Rani of Jhansi in the context of Manipur. This came just days after he was set free by a court from charges including sedition for the same crime – but it’s not the first time, the same Journalist has found himself in trouble for a social media post, in August 2018, Kishorechandra had been already arrested for inciting hatred between communities (At least that’s what the Authority perceived) after expanding BJP as “Buddhu Joker Party”. And it’s still not clear which community might have felt offended by this terminology, sometimes pondering if indeed Buddhu Jokers are an Indian community. ? The Misuse/Abuse of draconian provision of Law – including the charge of sedition and the National Security Act – for something as relatively minor as a Facebook post abusing or criticizing a couple of politicians is something one associates more with regimes such as North korea, China, Saudi Arabia than with India, the nation that pride itself as the World’s largest Democracy. If abusing or criticizing politician on social media is a threat to national Security, then a few lakhs of supporters of different parties, including the BJP, would need to be arrested everyday and the prison has to be as large as the planet itself. And in any case, the bulk of online abuser is in any case spewed by so called Right Wing handles on Twitter. Right Wing leaders such as Subramaniam Swamy, routinely and consistently calls rival politicians as Buddhu, Jokers and worst. None of them ever ends up in Jail for sedition leave alone an FIR – And that’s how it should be in a Democracy that promotes Freedom of Speech and Expression.

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Assam Rifles Conducted Medical Camp in Old Samtal

IT News
Imphal, Dec. 11

Sehlon Battalion of 28 Sector, Assam Rifles under aegis of HQ IGAR (South) organized a day long medical camp in Old Samtal village of Khengjoi sub division, Chandel District on 10 Dec 2018 under OP SADBHAVANA initiative.
The aim of this initiative was to provide free medical treatment and consultation to the remote villages of Old Samtal and neighbouring village of Sejang and S Bonjai. Sehlon Battalion understood the medical needs of these villages, where not even a Primary Health Centre (PHC) exists and even if, there is any, they are located far away from the reach of these villagers. Further due to poor road infrastructure along the Indo Myanmar Border (IMB), in these areas majority of the villagers do not have access to hospitals or PHCs for treatment. Hence the team of Sehlon Battalion took initiative to provide requisite medical facilities to maximum villagers of these remote and inaccessible villages and conducted the medical camp.
The medical camp received overwhelming response from local populace where ARMO of Sehlon Battalion alongwith staff provided medical treatment to 218 people and distributed free medicines.
Village Chief of the village expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Sehlon Battalion for this initiative and appreciated this gesture immensely. The battalion’s continuous efforts in increasing the bonhomie between the Security Forces and local populace have resulted in strengthening of relations between the locals and the Security Force.

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Popular Front condemns Andhra Police abuse at minority educational event

IT News
Imphal, Dec. 11

Popular Front of India General Secretary M Muhammed Ali Jinnah has strongly condemned the disturbances created by some police officers at a scholarship distribution programme in Andhra Pradesh organized by the Popular Front and the arbitrary unjust arrest and torture of its zonal secretary and district leaders on false charges. He demanded the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu to immediately intervene in this issue of minority rights violation in the state.  
What happened today at Punganur, in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh was sheer abuse of police power on students and innocent people at an educational event. It was a scholarship distribution programme at Sumaiya Hall, a full day event with different motivational, counselling and skill development sessions for the beneficiary students. When the Sub-inspector and Head Constable from Punganur Police station tried to disturb the programme and intimidated the participants by taking their photographs, the organizers intervened and informed the police that it was a public event and that they were happy to give photographs taken by themselves, which they did. While the matter should have ended there peacefully, the officers were not ready to let go. To the shock of the organizers and the students, officers came back after a little while and defiled the hall arrangements and arrested innocent people.  The arrested include Popular Front Zonal Secretary Muhammed Arif Ahmed and Popular Front Punganur district president Fayaz Ahmed among others. They are presently under judicial custody under false charges of obstructing police duty.
Popular Front Scholarship is unique scholarship scheme in the country and it is in existence since more than a decade. Thousands of poor meritorious students belonging to the Muslims and other deprived sections have benefited from it. This kind of police hooliganism on an education programme can only be viewed as attack on the efforts for educational empowerment of backward sections in the country. It is shameful for a civilized society and for a government that claims to uphold secular democratic values. We call upon Chandrababu Naidu government to take action on the officers who are responsible for the abuse and take necessary steps for the unconditional release of the four innocent people arrested. Popular Front will continue the struggle against the police high handedness through democratic and legal efforts.  We appeal to the civil society to come out against this police excess.

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Blood screening report confirms, Guwahati scribes maintain good health

From our Correspondent
Guwahati, Dec 11,

The city based scribes maintain good health as most of them have performed well in a recent blood screening camp conducted by Assam’s celebrated healthcare institute Dispur Hospitals. Nearly 80
scribes, age limit from 30 to 60 years, participated in the free camp, where their blood samples were collected to test thyroid, haemoglobin and sugar.
Only 11 scribes were diagnosed with high thyroid stimulating hormone (more than 7 milli-international units per liter or mIU/L), where four participants were with low haemoglobin (less than 12 gm/dl) and five with high random blood sugar (more than 140 mg/dl), said a statement from Guwahati Press Club, where the camp was organized last week.
Dr Jayanta Bardoloi, managing director of Dispur Hospitals offered free consultations to the participating member-journalists, so that they can start medication in need. Interested scribes may arrive at his hospital in Ganeshguri locality of the city for necessary consultation and medications.

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