Thursday, 26 September 2019 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Sept 26

Simply paying tributes to Lamyanba Hijam Irabot is useless without struggle says Professor Chinglen Maisnam, Department of Economics Manipur University.

Prof. Chinglen was speaking as a resource person during the observance of 68th Death Anniversary of Lamyanba Hijam Irabot on the theme “Life and ideology of Hijam Irabot” at Manipur University Library Conference Hall.

He further said that Hijam Irabot’s death and birth anniversary is being observed every year but there hasn’t been any positive change in today’s society and added that without continuing his works, there will be no significance in paying tribute to the pioneer leader.

Chinglen further stressed that Irabot was a leader who stood for the oppressed people not a leader of specific community. He also said that he was a leader in anywhere he visited, be it during the jail times in Sylhet, or at Myanmar.

Comparing with the Chinese leader Mao he said that Irabot have the qualities similar with the leader Mao who lead a Social reformation and Social Transformation and added that he was also similar with the use of short speech and effective use of words which inspire and influence the masses. 

Highlighting the qualities of leader he stressed that Irabot didn’t stand neutral but sided for the oppressed people. He believed in ideology, organisation and struggle, Chinglen added.

He concluded that Irabot during his times fought both the British colonist and the feudal society of the land.

President of Meetei Students’ Association, Manipur University Chongtham Dipu in his keynote address stressed on the need to continue Hijam Irabot’s work by following his ideology during the contemporary times of distress for an egalitarian society.

He continued that the people need to unite irrespective of the communities they belong to bring social, political and economic independent. 

Dipu also added that there is an urgent need to save the land and its people from the evils of globalisation and capitalism by following the footsteps and ideology of Irabot.

Later Professor Dr N. Sanatomba of Department of Manipuri, Research Scholar of Department of Economics and President of MUSU K. Lebanan talked on the topic – ‘Irabot as a multifaceted leader, Irabot and Merger Agreement and Impact of Irabot’s Ideology on today’s Youth and Society’ respectively. 

Earlier floral tributes were paid to the statue of Lamyanba Irabot erected in front of Manipur University Library. A one minute silence was also observed as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

Published in News

IT News

Imphal, Sept 26

Students of St. Patrick English School, Thangmeiband Meisnam Leikai, Imphal today stage black badge protest near their school and paid floral tributes to the departed soul of N. Babysana, who was found dead in her hostel room on July 18 this year.

JAC formed against the death and the family members of late Babysana has been demanding handing over of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as they have lost faith in the state police department.

Father of late Babysana, Ningthoujam Tomchou while talking to media said that the last rite (Lanna Thouram) of Babysana will only be performed after the CBI takes the case and started investigation over the mysterious death to award befitting punishment to the culprits.

Convenor of the JAC formed against the dead of Babysana while talking to media persons said that as per assurance from the government for handling over of the case to CBI, the JAC has been suspending the agitation for some time waiting the government action. However, as the matter seems to be neglected, the JAC is left with no option but to continue the agitation in an intensified way.

On the other hand, the JAC also questioned the government authority on how the parallel school which does not have proper permission from the government authority is allowed to open.

Published in News

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Thoubal, Sept.26:

A well grown tortoise having a weight of about 10 kg was handed over by Kh. Menjor Mangang the proprietor of K.M. Blooming High School, Khangbok to Thoubal Forests Division which was represented by W. Ramchandra Singh, Honorary Wildlife Warden, Thoubal on the handling over occasion.

The Asian Forest Tortoise, scientific name, Manouria Emys is a Scheduled-I reptile under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.  Asian brown tortoise are also in the list of Critically Endangered as per International Union for Conservation of Nature. This species is endemic to Southeast Asia and is now very rare in its natural habitats. It is believed to be among the most primitive of all living tortoises on the Earth based on molecular and morphological studies.

U/s. 9, 35 and 49A &  49B of Wildlife Protection Acts, 1972, rearing of animals of our country origin is prohibited and is a punishable offence U/s. 51 of the Acts.

Any person who contravenes the above provisions of this Act, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees or with both.

Therefore, W. Ramchandra Singh, Honary Wildlife Warden, Thoubal appeal to everyone who knowingly or unknowingly are rearing any kind of animals in their households without permission to hand over the concerned authorities immediately and otherwise Department will start for search operations to detect any such illegal rearing of animals.

Published in News
Thursday, 26 September 2019 17:48

Loaded truck falls into gorge; driver missing

IT News

Imphal, Sept 26,

A truck loaded with cement coming towards Imphal from Guwahati today falls into a gorge at Keiphundai area in Tamenglong district today afternoon.

4 persons including the driver were reportedly in the truck at the time of the tragic accident. The two were reported to be safe however the driver of the truck and another passenger are still missing at the time of filing this report.

The ill fated trucks Registration No. is AS 01DD 5582. Report said that 5 two Wheeler (Activa) vehicles were also found inside the truck along with the cement.

Published in News

By L.S. Kipgen

Imphal, Sept. 26

Commandant Ngamlien Touthang, the commanding officer of Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajkiran (ICGS Rajkiran) has received Tatrakshak Medal (Gallantry Medal) from Rakshak Mantri (the Minister of Defence) Rajnath Singh at the “Investiture Ceremony” held on 14th September at 1700 hrs at the Coast Guard Air Station, Chennai.

The award has been given in recognition of his heroic act in rescuing 22 crew men from a burning merchant vessel SSL Kolkata on June 14, 2018 in Bay of Bengal, about 90 nautical miles from Haldia.

The decision to honour Comdt. T. Ngamlien with the highly coveted national level award was announced during the 72nd Independence Day held in New Delhi when he was posted at Haldia from where he has been shifted to Port Blair currently.

Prior to his receipt of Tatrakshak Medal, he has also received Commendation from Director General of Indian Coast Guard for his excellent service and impeccable character and integrity.

Mention may also be made that Comdt. T. Ngamlien has also been conferred the ‘Bravery Award’ which comprises memento and Rs. 1 lakh by ABP News at the latter’s annual event called ‘Jhanda Uncha Rahe Hamara’ held at The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi on August 13, 2018. The Award was handed over to him by Union Minister of Telecom, Shri Manoj Sinha and Bollywood film superstar Akshay Kumar.

Commandant Ngamlien Touthang is from Molkon village in Kangpokpi district, Manipur and is the seventh son of late Lunkholet Touthang. He joined Indian Coast Guard in 2006 as Assistant Commandant in General Duty branch. The Commandant is married to Boinu Touthang of Bijang, Churachandpur and has three sons.

Published in Guest Column
Thursday, 26 September 2019 17:45

One-Day Workshop on Plastic Pollution

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CC Pur, Sept. 26

The Siandur Enviro Pvt. Ltd, Shillong and IQAC, Rayburn College organized an orientation programme for teachers and students on theme of ‘One-Day Workshop on Plastic Pollution, Problems & Solution’ at Rayburn College, Churachandpur. The teachers and students from Rayburn College took part in the event, which also saw Prof. N Muhindro Singh, Chairman, Manipur State Planning Board Steering Committee speaking. The workshop was organized as part of an ‘Environment Education, Awareness and Training’ to further strengthen and support on the ban of Plastics and the hazardous impact of Plastic Wastes in the District.

While Thangboi Gangte, MCS, ADC Churachandpur stressed that single use plastics be banned in the beautiful town of Churachandpur. He also deliberated on illicit poppy cultivation in the hills of Churachandpur as it constitute one such environmental pollution where chemicals was used to cultivate the poppy to fertilize the land which in turn pollute the source of water catchment area. He added, if we pollute our environment by destroying the beautiful jungle for cultivating illicit opium then we are not only compromising the future generation to meet their own need but we are compromising this generation itself. He urged the students, as responsible citizens and students to take a stand today and be a torch-bearer in the form of illicit poppy cultivation and large scale deforestation.       

T Paukhanlian, Hon’ble Chairman, ADCC shared that though we are aware of the ill effects of single use plastics but we are not being able to do enough to avoid their ill effects. He invited attention towards the poisonous effects of single use plastics as plastic has toxic pollutants that damage the environment and cause land, water, and air pollution. It can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to break down, so the damage to the environment is long-lasting, added the Chairman. He stressed, the earth that we are living fails to produce enough water to drink, extreme climate because we didn’t nurture our mother earth enough. He expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister and the present State Government in their ideals for a pollution free India. CT Lian, Hon’ble Member, ADC Churachandpur; Kh Tomba Singh, Scientist C, Manipur Pollution Control Board; Vivek Kumar, Environmentalist & Director (Co-Founder) of The Siandur Enviro Pvt. Ltd, Shillong and Khen P Tombing, Principal of Rayburn College were among others who attended the programme as dignitaries.

Published in News
Thursday, 26 September 2019 17:44

Drought and the drainage issues

It was hardly a month ago that Manipur was declared a drought-hit state when the heavens opened up in fits and starts. While farmers heaved a sigh of relief for what it is all worth, the roads and lanes across the valley welled up with the briefest of spell with some stretches of roads going under knee-deep water. Clearly, the inability of so called town planners and ‘certified’ authorities to learn and adapt from the system of ‘khongbal/n’ or traditional drainage system which has served the valley for so long and with clinical efficiency perfected over the years has been laid bare, yet once again. Perhaps the lure of personal benefits in the process of doling out contracts has blinded these authorities to the importance and necessity of maintaining a systematic and effective drainage system. But no one can escape the consequences of such oversight, especially with a few minutes of rain bringing out the murky wastewater into the roads and breaking up the roads in the aftermath, not to mention the dangers of breeding mosquitoes and other water-borne diseases which pose a threat to everybody.
While the present government might, in all fairness and possibility, put the blame on the inefficiency of the previous party in power, the focus now should be on rectifying such mistakes or blunders and not indulge in blame-games any longer. Another trait that the present government can do without is the constant comparisons being made to highlight its ‘achievements’ vis-a-vis the previous government. The public need not be reminded repeatedly as to why the previous party in power was almost voted out - almost- because despite losing the scramble for power, it still remains the party with a majority win and the present government should do well to remind itself of this uncomfortable fact. And while the issue of drainage or rather the lack of one in the valley might be labeled a non-issue considering the myriad other problems and challenges staring the present government in the face despite its labored attempt to present otherwise, the dream of a smart city cannot be fulfilled without a proper and well-planned drainage system supported by a systematic and efficient waste disposal mechanism which is sorely absent at present.
An effective means towards achieving a well-planned drainage or sewage system could be to evaluate and carry out a comprehensive survey to understand and form a base for drawing up a sustainable plan of action taking into account the topography of the land. The present way of constructing drainage without following the natural contour or slopes should be stopped immediately and concern authorities should ensure proper guidelines and norms are followed by the contractors and workers while taking up such works. While it must be said that the present government is actively carrying out development activities and trying to improve the public infrastructure, there is still a few areas of concern especially with regards to the method of implementation, and if a stricter means of control can be placed in this regard then the positive outcome will definitely be visibly different.
Everything new should not be considered good or better, and tradition should be respected especially with regards to social mores and conventions, as adapting to these age old customs can solve a lot many modern day challenges. It is these small details that will ultimately determine the success or otherwise of grand dreams. A smart city inundated with dank and stinky sewage isn’t a pleasant prospect after all.

Published in Editorial

The issue is sparking fire in the already fractured relationship between the valley (dominated by the community) and the hills (Naga, Kuki and other tribes)

By : Richard Kamei 

Manipur is currently experiencing demands for inclusion of Meitei in Scheduled Tribes (ST) list, led by the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (SDTM). A mass rally was organised at state capital Imphal on March 3 this year with an objective to pressure the state government to reach out to the Centre over the matter. Keeping in mind the general elections around that time, the protest was put on hold.
The month of September witnessed some forms of protest and demands again, and support from civil societies including Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) to strengthen the momentum of the protest. On the other hand, organisations like People’s Action for National Democratic Movement (PANDM) and Indigenous People’s Association of Kangleipak (IPAK) expressed that the impending Naga Framework Agreement inching towards its solution, and the possibility for granting ST status to Meitei cannot be seen in isolation.
They observed this to be more of a strategy in pacifying the people. In response to the ST status demand, the All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum, Manipur (ATRPFM) issued a statement on September 11 that the Meitei community is known to be the most advanced community in the Northeast region in terms of their socio-, economic and ethnic status. In presenting the situation of tribals in relation to the Meiteis, they wrote that “when we see the percentage of representations in public employment of all departments, representation of Meiteis is already high”. It added that there is already a reservation of 10% for economically backward upper caste if job opportunity is one of the concerns for ST status demand.
The recent ST status demand for the Meiteis came about with the STDM memorandum addressed to the then Governor Gurbacharan Jagat on November 30, 2012. The ST status demand sparked fire into the already fractured relationship between the valley (dominated majorly by Meitei community) and hills (Naga, Kuki and other tribes). The valley witnesses an opposition from Meitei community itself but over the period the chorus is growing stronger for ST status demand.
The primacy around this demand points towards the depletion of resources, vulnerability of culture and traditional practices, and the rise of unemployment and individualisation. Then, with the presence of outsiders, the sense of insecurity in reference to Tripura sits largely on the minds of people, and the ethnic politics prevailing in the state. These factors framed the Meitei ST status demand, and through this they feel that lands can be protected and also elevate their socio-economic status through reservation available to scheduled tribes. In similar measure, the Inner Line Permit (ILP) movement, which took place in Manipur’s valley few years ago, captured the mood of people from the fear, anxiety and insecurity surrounding the present and future socio-economic and cultural landscapes.
Meitei, in relation to neighbouring communities and its history from the past, remains a dominant community. This can also be inferred from the way how the Manipur and the hills (of present Manipur) came to be administered (separately) from 1891 till 1947. The tribes and their lands which were never a part of Manipur from before found themselves directly under the Manipur state after its annexation to India in 1949. In fact, in the year 1948, the Naga people waged a protest at Mao Gate in their opposition to include their lands into Manipur state but the demand was denied and included into Manipur.
Three people were killed and 14 people were injured in the protest. Mention can also be made of the distinction of the hills from the valley of Manipur in terms of culture, tradition, customs and religious practices, keeping this in mind their lands and customary laws, and interests were protected under the provisions of Article 371 C and Autonomous District Councils (ADC). The tribal people, however, feel that these provisions are far from fulfilling its objectives.
After Manipur became a part of India from 1949, the unequal relationship between the valley and hills became more pronounced under the arrangement of the nation-state. Meitei community is accrued with various means to continue their stronghold in political representation; yielding fruits of development; access to education, health, employment opportunities etc. These features accorded them a stronger unequal relationship with the tribes in the hills.
On the other side, the lands which have been protected in the hills suffer from the gaze of the MLR and LR Act from its attempts to dilute communitarian value attached to tribal lands. The tribes have been demanding since 1978 to put ADC under the Sixth Schedule Provisions. The tribes feel that the existing provisions do not protect and empower their interests and aspirations. The demand for Sixth Schedule stands till today.
The conditions in the valley in regards to its interface with the hills indicate that the design of the state is skewed in a sense that it privileges and empowers one community over neighbouring communities from the hills. This complicates the existing unequal relationship between the valley and hills from the past. It is largely on this ground that the communities in the valley find themselves in a better situation in terms of socio-economic well-being and in having a larger share in political representation in the state assembly; 40 seats for the valley, and 20 for the hills.
It is on this ground that the Meitei community must give a thought and reflect upon how the demand for ST overlaps or infringes into the interests and rights of tribal people. One can ponder as to how a historically dominant community without bridging the gap between the hills and valley, can take recourse to ST status demands. This at the moment looks more like it shall take away the minimal protective measures and provisions available to tribal people in the hills. It will rather empower the Meitei more at the cost of the tribal people in the hills.
The demand for inclusion of Meitei into ST list goes against the notion of affirmative actions provided under the Indian constitution for the scheduled tribes. These measures to uplift socio-economic status of scheduled tribes is a means to rectify and correct the historical injustices meted out to them, and protect their vulnerabilities from appropriation, exploitation and discrimination. Reservation is never the end in itself. This is where it becomes all the more important to engage and dialogue on issues which overlaps the interests, concerns, and rights of the tribes in Manipur. A move as such can pave way for trust and peaceful living.
(Richard Kamei is a PhD candidate at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Views expressed are his own. The article was also published in Eastmojo)


Published in Guest Column

IT News
Imphal, Sept. 26

The 6th edition of the State Level Archery Championship organised by Keithelmanbi Battalion of 9 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) concluded yesterday at Keithelmanbi garrison.
The event was organised to promot and encourage archery in Manipur. A total of 115 archers (82 male and 33 female) from 16 archery clubs from across Manipur participated in the competition which was held in three different categories namely Indian, Recurve and Compound rounds.
Col Siddharth Chandra Officiating Commander, 9 Sector Assam Rifles was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony held yesterday. The special guests for the event were Mangisana Sharma and GA Ebopishak Sharma, Vice President and Secretary of Manipur Archery Association, respectively. The Manipur Archery Association appreciated the initiatives of the Assam Rifles especially in the sporting arena and advised the archers of the State to work harder so that they can bring laurel to the State and the Nation as well.
Medals were awarded to the winners of the competition by the Chief Guest and the special guests of the event.  In the Individual Recurve (Men) A K Amarjit clinched Gold medal, while M Malemnganba got Silver medal and N Parithoi got Bronze medal. In the women Recurve event L Seema clinched Gold medal while Jenifer P got Silver medal and Lumilla PH got Bronze medal. In the Individual Compound (Men) S Ramakanta lifted Gold medal, while M Bikram got Silver medal and N Malemnganba got Bronze medal.  In the women Compound Sh Manorama clinched Gold medal, L Dulina got Silver medal and T Suchitra got Bronze medal. In Indian Round (Boys) L Milon clinched Gold medal, M Bikash got Silver medal and S Robert got Bronze medal. In the women category M Baby clinched Gold medal, Abesana Irom got Silver medal and L Sophiya got Bronze medal. In addition to the medals the winners were also awarded certificates and cash award. Consolation prizes were also distributed to all the participants during the event.  

Published in Sports

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