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Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 14 August 2018 - Imphal Times

Manipur’s Independence Day celebrated Leishemba Sanajaoba demands pre-merger status for Manipur

IT News
Imphal, Aug 14,

Titular King of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba has demanded pre-merger political status of Manipur, while speaking on the 72nd Manipur’s Independence Day celebration at Sanakonung, here in Imphal today.
The Independence Day celebration was organized by Coalition for Indigenes Rights Campaign (CIRCA) under the theme - ‘Why pre-merger status for Manipur’ with the motto – “Celebrate The Spirit Of Freedom”
Addressing the large gathering, Titular King Leishemba Sanajaoba said that Kangleipak (now known as Manipur) was once a sovereign state. But after it was annexed to Indian Union post-independence the freedom of the people and governance was systematically subjugated.
The unending socio-political issue which has marred the state of Manipur is the result of annexation of Manipur into the dominion of Indian Union, the Tilular King observed.
While, reiterating that Manipur got independence on 14th of August 1947- A day before Indian, Sanajaoba said that the then colonial British-India government left Manipur as an “excluded state” with the rights of “self-determination” and left subject of joining India or remain as sovereign state to the people of this land.

Further, Leishamba said, due to selfish ploy of some leaders, Manipur was merged into Indian Union in 1947. Following which, a separatist movement existed since 1952.
He also said that the celebration of Manipur Independence Day is not anti-national nor against the nation, but it is against the ill-treatment of Indian government towards the land and people of Manipur; it is to earn self- respect and dignity as paid by British to then independent Manipur.
The titular king also appealed the government of Manipur to review the Instrument of Accession-1947 and grant a special status for Manipur to endow larger authority and rights for self-empowerment of the state governance as well as the people of Manipur. Implementation of the Instrument of Accession- 1947 is the only option to restore normalcy and to get rid from all the menaces, which is being affecting the state.
As part of the celebration, the titular king hoisted a red flag decorated with the image of Pakhangba (Meitei deity) in gold at the centre in the Sana Konung which was also hosted in the history by the Late King of Manipur Meidingu Bodhchandra Singh in August 14, 1947.
The gathering also demanded to amend the Constitution of Indian to provide special constitutional status of Manipur to safeguard the interest of the people of Manipur.

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Arrest VC, AP Pandey and resolve MU issue - Sanajaoba

IT News
Imphal, Aug 14,

The Titular King of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba has demanded to arrest the controversial Vice-Chancellor of Manipur, AP Pandey for causing social unrest in the state of Manipur.
Due to the ongoing demand for removal of the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University large number of students are suffering and causing social unrest. The state government is incapable to act as the hegemonic control of the central government, said the Titular King while addressing the gathering at the 72nd celebration of Manipur Independence Day held at Sanakonung here today morning.

While questioning the state government of not arresting the VC, Leishemba said that law and order is under state subject. Any person causing social turmoil should be arrested immediately and enquiry could be conducted after taking the person into custody.
“VC, Pandey may have connection with powerful leaders of the Central Government, but government could arrest him immediately to ensure normalcy,” said Leishamba, while adding that even if the people of Manipur wanted to arrest the VC or resolve the ongoing MU issue, the state government could not to do so because of the state-centre relationship.
The only solution to long lasting solution to all the problems in Manipur is review the Instrument of Accession and amend as per the wish and aspiration of the people of Manipur, Leishemba observed.

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300 army officers to move to SC praying for protection of their fundamental rights

IT News

Imphal, Aug 14,


Over 300 Army officers are filing a petition to the highest court of the country challenging legal action against on duty army officers. This comes against the backdrop of cases regarding the actions of on-duty Army officers coming under the scrutiny of internal security agencies and the judiciary, around three-hundred serving officers of the Army, in their personal capacities particularly in the state of Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.

Republic TV report says that the petition will be filled on Tuesday seeking protection of their fundamental rights.

The officers are to file a writ petition in the country’s apex court asking a number of questions, among which are, ‘Can the discretion of a soldier be put under legal scrutiny?’ and ‘Can anything be above national security?’

On August 2, an Army officer was booked by the CBI in relation to an alleged fake-encounter in Manipur. The central agency was conducting its probe on the orders of the Supreme Court, and the case, which relates to a 2009 incident, had been registered under murder-related sections of the Indian Penal Code. The incident had been termed a fake encounter the SC-appointed commission. Earlier, in July 2017, the Supreme Court had entrusted the CBI with over 40 cases of alleged extrajudicial killings. 

Meanwhile, in Jammu and Kashmir, an FIR had been filed by the police under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC against Major Aditya and his unit of the 10 Garhwal Rifles over the Shopian Firing incident of January 27 when three civilians were killed after Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting 200-strong mob of protestors in J&K’s Shopian district. The Supreme Court is currently hearing the plea of Major Aditya’s father, Lt Col Karamveer Singh, seeking to quash the FIR against his son. Lt Col Singh had said in his petition that Major Aditya was “wrongly and arbitrarily” named in the FIR as the incident relates to an Army convoy that was on bonafide military duty in an area under AFSPA.     

Produced below is the prayer mentioned in the plea as per reported by the Republic TV.

“In light of the submissions made above, the Petitioners pray that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to:

  1. a) issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ laying down specific guidelines to protect the bonafide action of soldiers under AFSPA, so that no soldier is harassed by initiation of criminal proceedings for actions done in good faith in exercise of their duties, as mandated by the Union of India, in protection of sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the Country; 
  2. b) issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing the Respondents to take all  steps to protect the soldiers protecting the Integrity and Sovereignty of the nation from persecution and  prosecution by motivated and indiscriminate FIRs  against the mandate of law;
  3. c) issue a writ of mandamus directing that protection of Soldiers acting in good faith under AFSPA is imperative to protect the soldiers engaged with the direct and proxy enemy and insurgency and cannot be diluted without a specific and categoric amendment in law; 
  4. d) issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing that protection of persons acting in good faith under AFSPA is sacrosanct with the Sovereignty and Integrity of the Nation and that in accordance with the mandate of the Act, no prosecution, suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by AFSPA; 
  5. e) issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing that any investigation, assessment or adjudication qua the criminality, misuse, abuse, negligence, excessive power, judgment error, mistake, bonafide or malafide, of actions done in good faith by Soldiers operating in AFSPA areas, in disregard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of insurgency and proxy war, without taking into consideration the Standard Operating Procedures of Indian Army and operational realities, without the aid, advise, involvement and guidance of persons who understand full dynamics of such military operations, is illegal, unconstitutional and nonest; 
  6. f) issue a writ of mandamus directing the respondent to carry  out a  comprehensive investigation into acts of individuals/ organizations to target and  attack soldiers in exercise of their bonafide duties of upholding the dignity of Indian Flag, by launching mischievous complaints against them;
  7. g) issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing the Respondents to desist from engaging in arbitrary exercises of executive power which impairs the normal and bonafide functioning of the Army in the AFSPA areas; 
  8. h) issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing that adequate compensation is provided to the effected serving personnel and their families, who have been unnecessarily embroiled in malafide criminal proceedings in discharge of their bonafide duties; and/or 
  9. i) any other appropriate writ/order/direction as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.


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Congress slams BJP for not only fooling the people but also the MLAs

IT News
Imphal, Aug 14,

Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) today slammed the ruling BJP government accusing the party of not only fooling the people but also the MLAs. Speaking during a press conference held today at Congress Bhavan Spokesperson of the MPCC , MLA Khumukcham Joykishan said that , spokesperson of the ruling BJP led government Th. Bishwajit had announced to called a special session to discuss the issue of the frame Work Agreement and to make a consensus stand of the MLAs for protection of the state integrity on August 16. However as of now there has been no notification for summoning of the state assembly.
“Today is Aug 14 and tomorrow is the Independence day of the country and till now there has been no notification from the government for summoning of the state Assembly election”, Joykishan said and added that such an attitude is a clear indication of how the ruling BJP led government is not only fooling the people of the state but also the entire elected representative.

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SSUM condemns attack to Umar Khalid of JNU

IT News
Imphal, Aug 14,

“Socialist Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM) expressed strong condemnation to the s attack on Umar Khalid of JNU terming it as State Sponsored heinous attack.
A statement by Bhushan Longjam , General Secy. of SSUM said that the attack is another assassination attempt to kill Democratic voice who are strongly criticizing Hindutva hatred politics and Hindutva Ruling Government.
“ Let us stand not only with Com. Umar but also against such coward attempts to attack the people who stand for Justice and truth”. The statement said that Comrade Umar Khalid was attending a meeting at Constitution Club, against Lynchings that are happening after BJP came into power. While he was having tea outside the Constitution Club gate, suddenly someone from behind held Umar and tried to aim the gun at him. He tried to push away. Meanwhile, other comrades Khalid Saifi, Shariq Hussain and Banojyotsana Lahiri tried to overpower him, he escaped and Shariq chased him. While running away, the gunman turned around and fired but fortunately Shariq was not hurt. The gunman left the gun on the road and escaped. Only a few months back, Ravi Pujari, the infamous ‘underworld gangster’ had also issued death threats to Umar and when the Govt. was approached and demanded police protection, the police and the government have purposely put the matter on backburner and gave encouragement to the terrorists who are after Comrade Umar Khalid’s life, the statement alleged.
This incident of attempting assassination by a gunman reminded the assassination of Gauri Lankesh by Brahminical Hindutva Fascists for standing for Justice, criticality and rationality. Along with Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi were also made silence for speaking truth to power.
“ Truth and reason cannot be killed by with bullets but the struggle for Justice would increase. And if the foot soldiers of Hindutva fascism think that they can silence and marginalize the voices of resistance against oppression, then they are mistaken. So, on this terror attack on Com. Umar Khalid by Hindutva Fascists, SSUM strongly oppose and stand to help radical student movements. Again, Hindutva brigade burnt Constitution in daylight, now they attacked Umar at Constitution Club. Entire Country is going to celebrate it’s Independence Day tomorrow, where people and Constitution isn’t safe in it’s own Capital City”, the statement by SSUM added.

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Manipur history retold on water canvas

Imphal, Aug. 14

In a first of its kind in North East India, The Tourism Department, Government of Manipur, raised the curtain of Kangla Light and Sound Show on 13th August, commemorating the Patriot’s Day.
The event was a part of the Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
The 30 minutes Light and Sound Show at Kangla was staged at the inner moat of Kangla on the North of Ibudhou Pakhangba shrine. The show is aimed to let the tourists know the 2000 years old history of Manipur. Manipur history was retold on a water canvas with lazer light and projection of images. Tri-Colour India is the expert consultant of the lazer and light show.
Present at the Curtain Raiser, Shri Budha Chingtham said that the narration in English was approved by an expert committee after which he translate it into Manipuri. The artist who acted at the short historic narration was also selected under his guidance. This light and sound show will help the tourists know Manipur better, he added.
The curtain raiser of the light and sound show was attended Cabinet Ministers, Secretary of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India Rashmi Verma, Chief Secretary of Manipur, Joint Secretary of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Siman Bila, Assitant Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Bharti Sharma and other high ranking government officials .

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Independence Day; Govt. needs trust to the essence of patriotism to all citizens of India


The ethos of celebrating the nation’s 72nd Independence Day is to provoke the essence of patriotism to all the people of the state. It is already 71 years that the country witness celebration of the Independence Day but the kind of obstacle face by people of the nation in celebrating the Independence Day at certain part of the country from within the citizen showed that there has been something wrong to the building of the nation after British freed us.
Almost every year sensing probable disturbances from the so called unwanted elements but who are in reality the citizen of the country, security has been beefed up across the country particularly in the capital city New Delhi where the main function of the day is going to observe. In the state of Manipur too the state government is working out whole heartedly to celebrate the day. Security has been beefed up across the state to foil any attempt to sabotage the celebration in the wake of the rebel threats to boycott the most important event of the country. The government has logistic reason to take extra ordinary care for grandeur celebration of the day. Having said so failure to keep the mind free to all the citizen who want to celebrate is a sign that proves that India still is yet to become a successful nation.
In the present context there is no guarantee that various anti social internal forces which are being fuelled by external elements will not try to sabotage the celebration of the day. And every action is justified even though it breaches the privacy of some of the responsible citizen of the country.
The search operation being underway at various part of Manipur as security measures to ensure the Independence Day celebration might also have logistic and justifiable reason. It is the duty of the law enforcers to filter the anti social elements which are potential of making disturbances to the Independence Day celebration. But what need to be properly define is that – Are the law enforcing agency disturbed every citizen in the name of searching anti social elements from a specific area. Is the kind of so called cordon and search area at we hour acceptable by the law of the land. Is the law of the land empowered the government authority to harass the citizen by making them stand for hours in the name of flushing the anti social elements? Since the last few days many people , mostly innocent civilians were called out from their homes and make them stand for hours while the police are conducting verification of one after another. Some were reported to have been picked up for further verification but almost every one of them was released the next day. The kind of message which literary means that the search operations were conducted not only for filtering the outlaws but also to prove to the higher authority on the kind of security measures they are taking up. So when the police are all out to their way to please their authority, they are harassing the local people who are preparing themselves to celebrate the Independence Day. While standing in row for hours while the men in khakhi are verifying one after another, the kind of thinking that, “Are we the second class citizen?” sometimes comes to the mind.
When the state government needs to seriously tackle with those civil society organisation leaders who had openly announced to stay away for the Independence Day celebration, one wonder why they have been directing the police to harass the people in the name of conducting search operation. 72 years is a long year to recognise the importance of human rights of the people.
It is time that government of the free India needs to throw away the colonial attitude of the British government, by reconstituting the nation in the right way correcting the wrongs.


By - Jiten Yumnam

Often referred to as the mirror of Manipur, the Loktak Lake continues to be embroiled in endless controversies. One will not disagree that the Loktak Lake, a primary source of livelihood, cultures and traditions of different indigenous peoples of Manipur, is currently afflicted with deep mayhem. On 12 October 2012, the Tehelka, a New Delhi based magazine, exposed how the Government of Manipur indulged itself in a ridiculous mismanagement of Loktak Lake colluding with several corporate bodies in a “phumdi”1 clean up contract worth Rs. 224 Crores. 
Tehelka questions how a company, K-Pro Infra Works Limited with only 10 lakhs as paid up capital and existing only on paper with none living in the residential flat claimed to be its office in New Delhi2 received the multi-crores work orders for “Management of Phumdis in the Loktak Lake”. K-Pro also turned out to be a brand new corporate body formed only on 22 June 2009 much after the tender notice of Loktak Development Authority (LDA) on 4 June 2009. 
One wonders how an absolutely unknown company, who have no work experience, manage to get a multi-Crore project within days of its formation. Despite K-pro the lone bidder, it received the work contracts in violation of the Central Public Works Department norms, which requires at least three bidders for such tenders.3 Tehelka further questions the hidden agenda of K-pro teaming up with Progressive Constructions Limited (PCL), based in Hyderabad, which received the initial short term work order for phumdi clearance during 2007-2008, without any tender notice etc? 
In more technical question related to procedural lapses and signs of high favouritism, question emanates as to why K-pro was given an interest free mobilization advance in violation of CPWD norms. Though the LDA attempts to clarify some of the issues raised by Tehelka through its media circular on 18 October 2012, there are no appropriate answers as LDA tries to justify the questionable decisions of the Government of Manipur due to Planning Department’s insistence for speedy cleanup process4 and slow pace of work by PCL etc. The questions still remain open and one hopes, there’s some logical conclusions in days to come. 
The nature, intent and lack of transparency of awarding contracts, issues of favouritism, violations of all norms of awarding contracts etc, the legitimacy and experience of the K-Pro company to clean Loktak Lake, the accountability issues, the community participation in Loktak Lake management etc are some key problematic areas emerged out of the ongoing ruckus. The much hyped up efforts to clean up the Phumdis from Loktak Lake by the Loktak Development Authority with K-Pro company, an unknown company, before the award of the contract in 2009 under the controversial Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 (LPA 2006) has already led to the arsoning of floating phum huts and eviction of fisherfolk communities in and around the Loktak Lake in November 2011.5
The communities depending on Loktak Lake not only received blames as polluters of Loktak Lake but are also subjected to forced eviction and State brutalities. Never has the Government of Manipur so efficient and swift in implementing any activities less for the merciless arsoning and evicting nearly one thousand traditional phum floating huts used for fishing in November 2011. In sharp contrast, the French Government supported Imphal Sewerage Project, which should actually be minimizing the pollution of Loktak Lake, is dragging almost a decade’s time causing enormous inconveniences to the denizens of Imphal. In the case of Loktak evictions, the Government through LDA used all its machineries, the law enforcers, the paramilitary forces in the eviction. One wonders why the contradictions, inconsistencies and also the unnatural expression of full state fury to guardians of the Loktak Lake and for whose interests and gains. 
Communities depending on the Loktak Lake have long experienced sleepless nights and arduous moments ever since the commissioning of the Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric project in 1984. The fate of both Loktak Lake and the communities are increasingly uncertain. The project, not only submerged more than 83,000 hectares of prime agricultural land, displaced several thousands of people, but also devastated Loktak Lake ecosystem leading to extinction of several endemic plant and animal species6. Communities affected by the project are yet to be resettled and rehabilitated.7 The communities also underwent several moments of displacements and human rights violations due to military operations in Loktak Lake, such as Loktak Operation in 1999, Operation Summer Storm in 20088 etc. 
One wonders who is actually monitoring the processes and impact of the cleaning up of Phumdis by K-pro. And if so, whether it’s done in a participatory and transparent process and as such, the Loktak Lake cleaning up processes by K-Pro, PCL and LDA involves a big accountability issues. K-pro is supposedly earning Rs. 44 Lakhs every day even if it does not work. Communities depending in Loktak Lake are already witness to the dubious means used by K-Pro companies for Loktak Lake clean up. Explorations in interior areas of Loktak Lake inaccessible to JCBs and machineries of K-Pro would reveal that bamboos are extensively used to hold phumdis, which are fast proliferating too. Will K-Pro and LDA hold this phumdis with bamboos till final release of funds from Planning Commission in March 2013? 
The blocking of the Manipur River which drains the waters from Loktak Lake down to Chindwin and Irrawady Rivers in Myanmar by the Ithai Barrage of Loktak Project and the rapid urbanization in Imphal and unchecked sewage and sewerage discharge from Satellite towns around Loktak Lake are key reasons of phumdi proliferations in the Lake. Earlier communities regulate phumdis by cutting and discharging excessive Phumdis through Manipur River and now it’s impossible as Ithai Barrage blocks the Manipur River perennially. Has the Government ever taken seriously what natural Loktak Lake cleaning processes has been disturbed and what new factors led to proliferation of Phumdis in the lake. The irony is phumdis will continue to fast proliferate so long as the natural processes of cleaning itself continue to be disturbed. This natural process needs be revived, no temporary solutions will work. 
One needs to seriously introspect why the need for phumdi clearance and whether phumdis can actually be cleaned up from Loktak Lake. And is it really possible for Loktak Lake to be free of Phumdis? Communities in Loktak Lake has long maintained Phumdis are key to maintain the health of Loktak Lake, contributing in the biodiversity of Loktak Lake, and that there has to be a balanced approach in the management. Has there been any participatory process and consultations with the communities in Manipur to manage the phumdis in Loktak Lake?  Can phumdis be cleared only with JCB’s, water masters and heavy equipments from the vast expanse of the Lake? Has the Government ever and actually thought of alternatives? Has the LDA or the government ever studied the existing various traditional community practices of cleaning up the Lake? Ultimately, how sincere is the government and the corporate bodies to clean up Loktak Lake. One wonders what’s the next multi Crores cleanup plan of Loktak Lake after March 2013, where the current controversial cleanup project is envisaged to end?
The efforts to clean up the Loktak Lake are also fraught with misinformation and failure to address the root cause of the deteriorating condition of Loktak Lake. For instance, the challenges and issues arising out of the much condemned Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project has never been acknowledged. The findings of academic or scientific communities hinting the multifaceted problems emanating from Ithai Barrage of Loktak project never been responded. There is no effort to understand the intrinsic interrelationship of the communities with the Lake, which transcends beyond mere physical relationships. 
The cleaning up process of K-pro is also problematic as communities living in and around the lake who’s been engaging themselves in cleaning and maintaining the Loktak Lake through their traditional knowledge and practices are excluded and their role and responsibilities undermined. Rather, communities are blamed for the deteriorating condition of Loktak Lake. There is heavy politics of blame games and deep within such politics, there are people who indulged in broad day light robbery. There is strong correlation between the phumdi cleaning drive and the eviction drive of communities. The fisherfolk communities in and around Loktak Lake are one of the most vulnerable and most marginalized communities of Manipur. However, they are forced to suffer for the benefit of just few. 
One key concern with Loktak lake management is increasing corporatization of the process. The Loktak Development Authority is increasingly serving the corporate interest of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), the project proponent of Loktak Project. The terms and agreement between government of Manipur and NHPC continues to be shrouded in mystery. The Lake is increasingly converted into commodities for corporate bodies to exploit and gain maximum profits at the cost of the communities depending on it for survival. 
The Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 clearly outlined the need for maintaining both quantity and quality of Loktak Lake for NHPC to reap profits from Loktak Project. It’s becoming clear that corporate bodies, such as NHPC, the K-Pro, PCL companies has assumed full ownership of Loktak Lake while forcefully evicting the communities out from Loktak Lake, in a clear disrespect and dishonoring the intrinsic relationship of communities with their land, wetlands and nature, all unaccountability for the devastations and violations to communities rights. Unfortunately, corporate bodies like the NHPC, PCL etc enjoys full political, bureaucratic and military patronage as communities are victimized and pauperized. 
Loktak Lake is already a designated as Ramsar Protected Site under the Ramsar Convention and one of the key obligations of the Government is to ensure that communities depending on Loktak Wetlands are fully involved in all management process of the Lake as also endorsed by the resolution VII.8 and VIII.19 of Ramsar Convention’s Conference of contracting parties held at Costa Rica in May 1999 and at Spain in November 2002. Notwithstanding these resolutions, fisher folk communities of Loktak Lake are evicted and their intrinsic survival dependence on the Lake curtailed. The efforts of the Loktak Development Authority are more to ensure government control of Wetlands and not for its conservation. True conservation would begin with the communities living with the wetland for generations.
With diverse positions emerged on the controversial cleanup process, it’s absolutely important to establish all facts and circumstances of the decisions, all procedural violations and impacts on communities. It is high time for the Government to commission an inquiry by an impartial and credible body to investigate the scandalous phumdi clearance process in Loktak Lake, including processes of awarding contract to K-Pro Infra Works Private Ltd in 2009 and the role of Progressive Construction Limited and the Government of Manipur in such scandals. The nature of awarding contracts, the trend of work implementation, the overall impacts of the works implemented till date, the correlation of Loktak Lake clean up and eviction in Loktak Lake must be fully investigated. The investigation should also cover the correlation of phumdi clearance by K-Pro and arsoning of floating huts, forced eviction and displacement of several thousands of fishing communities from Loktak Lake. 
Special investigation is also needed to ascertain as to how the physical health and integrity of Loktak Lake is deteriorating after the commissioning of the Loktak Hydroelectric Project and after enactment of the Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 (LPA) and suggest appropriate action, including to decommission the Ithai Barrage and implement the recommendations of World Commission on Dams, 2000. The LPA Act, 2006 is more focused on control and administration of wetlands by the government, which is very much evident by the trend of violent arsoning of floating huts in Loktak Lake in end 2011. And as such, there should be consideration for repeal of the Act and instead formulate the Manipur Fisherfolks Rights and Welfare Act.
The government should take appropriate steps to formulate a comprehensive Wetlands Management Policies in Manipur with community participation as per guidelines of Ramsar Convention for Community participation and also in accordance with UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which outlined indigenous peoples rights to manage and control their land, territories and resources and also to participate in all decision making process affecting their land and resources. It is also high time to stop all forms of corporatization and privatization of Loktak Lake. It’s too risky for a wetlands of international importance like Loktak Lake to be left to the clutch of profit mongering selfish few groups of people and corporations in complete inconsideration and insensitivity of the delicate symbiotic relationship of peoples and wetlands. 

First project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme ‘The North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom’ in Manipur inaugurated today

Imphal, Aug.14

Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, Hon’ble Governor of Manipur inaugurated the project “Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom” implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in the presence of Shri N Biren Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri K.J. Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism,State Ministers of Manipur and Smt. Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary in Imphal today at a function held at the historic Kangla Fort. The above project is the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.
Speaking on the occasion the Governor of Manipur drew the attention of Government of India on the huge potential of the tourism industry of the state which comes in the form of culture, sports,arts,eco,history , handloom and handicrafts.
A message from the Prime Minster of India Shri Narendra Modi was read out by the Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism Shri K.J. Alphons stating that tourism will bring the people of the country together and it will serve in cultural growth and prosperity to the country. In his message the Prime Minister further said that tourism is an engine of growth through job creaton which will ultimately eradicate poverty.
Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism Shri K.J. Alphons in his speech congratulated the Government of Manipur for their commendable work in tourism sector of the state and suggested to come up with even more brighter projects and express his willingness to be generous on the projects to be taken up in North East.
The Chief Minister of Manipur Shri N Biren Singh in his remarks has proposed for 3 more projects for development and strengthening of eco, ethnic and sports tourism at Loktak Lake, Mapithel Dam and Shadu Chiru.He also expressed his happiness on the progress of Kangkhui cave tourism project. It may be added that Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship scheme of Ministry of tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 70 projects for Rs.5708.88 Crore to 29 States and UTs under the Scheme. 30 projects / major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year.
The project under inauguration was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in September 2015 for Rs.72.30 Crores. The project covers two sites i.e. Kangla Fort and Khongjom. Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological site of Manipur located in the heart of the Imphal city.  It served as the seat of Manipur’s power till 1891.  Kangla has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Manipur. The old Govindajee Temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur.  Under this project Ministry has carried out works like Restoration & Improvement of Outer & Inner Moat and Rejuvenation of Sacred Ponds; Reconstruction of Old Rampart; Sound and Light Show, Construction of Rock Garden, Utility Block; Audio Guide, Eco Friendly Conveyance, Development of Crafts Houses and Parking on Naga Nullah; Polo Gallery; Reception and Ticket Counter.  The above work has been carried out at a cost of Rs. 63.90 Crore.
Khongjom is the place where the last war of resistance of Anglo Manipur War of 1891 was fought.  Under the project a Pedestrian bridge and rejuvenation of Kombirei Lake has been carried out for Rs.4.89 Crore.
Development of Tourism in North Eastern Region is prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the region.  The Ministry is developing the tourism infrastructure in the region under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD). Together under both the schemes Ministry has sanctioned 15 projects covering all North Eastern states for Rs.1301.47 Crores.
The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the region.  The efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the Foreign tourist arrivals in the region has shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The Domestic Tourist Visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists in turn has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.
A number of facilities like Tourist Facilitation Centres, Interpretation Centres, better last mile connectivity, heliports, wayside amenities region, SEL Shows, Eco Log Huts, Rope Way, Golf Course, theme parks etc. are being developed up in the region under the above schemes to enhance the experience of tourists when they visit the region.  Ministry is also dedicatedly promoting North Eastern Region by showcasing its varied attractions, uniqueness in terms of natural beauty and culture in international and domestic markets. The Ministry organises International Travel Mart every year in one of the North eastern state with objective of providing platform to these sates to showcase its tourism potential to perspective international and domestic buyers and opportunity to interact with them. This year the 7th Edition of ITM is scheduled to be held in November 2018 in Agartala, Tripura.

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CRPF organises blood donation camp

IT News
Imphal, Aug 14,

Manipur & Nagaland Sector CRPF, Imphal organised a blood donation camp on dated 13th August, 2018 at Lions Service Centre, Sangaiprou, Imphal in co-ordination with Lions Club of Imphal. Rajesh Kumar, IPS, Inspector General of Police, M&N Sector, CRPF addressed the august gathering and highlighted the benefits of blood donation. He appealed the young generation to come forward for such social and noble cause and said that blood donation actually not only help the needy patients to save their life but also give inner satisfaction to the donor. CRPF has been instrumental in keeping open NH-2 and NH-37 which is life line of the state and CRPF also owes the social responsibilities. On the eve of Patriot day of Manipur and ensuing Independence day celebration, organising blood donation camp jointly with Lions Club of Imphal is a reflection of our secular and rich democratic values. Chief guest also assured the such social and noble work will be continued for the people of Manipur in coming days also by the CRPF. On this occasion, Lion H.Mani Kumar Singh attended as guest of honour. Total 50 volunteers including 23 personnel from CRPF donated the blood during the camp. Dr. H.C.Lingraj, DIG Medical of CRPF and Dr.Deepak Kumar CMO CRPF also attended the blood donation camp.

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