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Manipur Maoist justifies movement to protect indigenous people

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Imphal, Sept 1: Rebel group Maoist Communist Party has stated that the ongoing movements and campaigns against the voice of the people of Manipur to protect the indigenous people and land is not a right protest.
In a press communiqué the rebel group said that the events and activities against the peoples’ movement would merely make the people of Manipur extinct. It is facts that the external forces are backing the barriers in the people’s movements and struggles to identify and safeguard the indigenous communities of Manipur. While saying that various migrants and influx have entered and settled in Manipur, the outfit appealed the people not to conceal the facts.
 The statement further added that many migrants had been entering in many places including Manipur from Burma (now Myanmar) because of the various situations and conditions of the political instability of Burma and Bangladesh since more than the past fifty years.  It said, 18th November has been celebrated as “Khadawmi Operation-1967” by the Kuki’s organisations like Kuki Students Democratic Front (KSDF), Kuki Human Rights Organisations and Kuki National Army (KNA) including Kuki International Forum (KIF) etc.  In 1967, the Burmese Military Junta caused more than forty villages forcibly to abandon their own homes. The Military Junta  oppressed atleast twenty thousand kuki villagers of Napalong, Konkan, Bolten, Tongmana, Tuidion, Wetsophal, Nunkan, Tuijangphaina villages etc. and let them flee away in compulsion. These innumerable kukis took shelter in various places of Manipur. Khadawmi Operation 1967 is still being celebrated in its memory in various different parts of Kuki inhabited areas consistently. These Kukis had been proclaiming to settle
themselves back to their original native places but still Burmese Government hasn’t had any arrangement or plan for their re-establishment and settlement yet. These Kukis (Burmese) who are still settling in Manipur clearly and vividly mentioned in the memorandum of proclamation submitted to various international organizations like UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugee) by the different Kuki organisations.
The Maoist said that such an epoch can’t ever be diverted and denied so easily by concealing it.
The statement also said that many Indian labourers and businessmen were given settlement in Burma during the period of the Imperialist British over Burma. The present Yangong which was known as Rangoon once upon a time was inhabited by lakhs of Indian born people. In due course of time and changes in governance, after the Military Coup in 1962, more than 3,00,000 Burmese Indian fled away as refugees. Those Indian origin Burmese refugees were given shelter in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal by the Indian Government. Again those Burmese Tamil refugees were made to return for their settlement in Burma but unfortunately they were not allowed to enter Burma and so they settled at Moreh. Thus, more than a few three thousands are leaving in Manipur at Moreh. The Government of India made the settlement of the refugees in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Bengal by giving adequate facility of living a life like Housing Loan and land with the eligibility of living there. The Government of Tamil Nadu spent Rs. 3.7 crore in its effort to let them settle till 1975. In this way, the Government of India sanctioned Rs. 15,65,000 to the Government of Manipur for the settlement of 6000 Tamils who had reached Moreh. It was reported by Mr. Anbarason Thiranjan, a journalist of BBC Asia as “The Burmese Indians who never went home” in 4th September 2015. So, such historical facts should not be overlooked and planned to deny or divert or distract in any way. It is also another true account that can’t be avoided that one Journalist called Subir Bhaumik expressed clearly after a thorough observation that those Nepali, Bengali, Punjabi, Bihari and Telugu were also fleeing away from Burma, who have been taking settlement in Moreh now. The only one among these Burmese political refugees who had taken shelter in Manipur because of the Burmese Democracy Movement was  recognized as Political Refugee in its status in 1989 by UNHCR. According to UNHCR and the reports of the Ministry of Home Affairs of India , six thousands two hundreds and twenty-four (6224)Burmese were taking shelter in Manipur because of unstable conditions of Burma during 1988 to 2001 and out them 1245 eligible Burmese were given the status of Political Refugee by UNHCR. Chin refugees were not given the status of Political Refugee since they were significantly Economic Refugees. It’s not fair to try to divert and the fact that such a large numbers of Economic Refugees are taking shelter in the soil of Manipur as if in a settlement. The most prevailing exposition is that the innumerable Burmese Chins were trespassing not only in Manipur but also in Mizoram. The Human Right Watch expressed that approximately one lakh Chin population was taking shelter in Mizoram too. Out of these only one thousand Chins were recognized by UNHCR-New Delhi as refugees. They are known as Economic migrants by Mizoram government. In 1994 a Burmese elected member called Lian Uk pleaded the various relevant NGOs including UNHCR to look into the matter of the efforts of Mizoram government on scrubbing the Chin refugees and discontinue to do so, by submitting written application. Then such challenges and contradictions were broadened, consequently the people of Mizoram launched Quit Mizoram campaign  against the Chin refugees. The joint committee of village council, Aizwal South-iii assembly constituency published an open letter to the Chin migrants in Mizoram to quit Mizoram on 14th Nov.2010. Thus the Chin migrants who couldn’t enter Burma as well as didn’t want to settle in Burma took shelter by the boarder of Mizoram at Churchandpur district in Manipur. Thus it’s a fact that those Chin migrants have been taking shelter entering Churchandpur and some of them returned to Burma leaving Mizoram because of weariness and sufferings caused by the impact of frequent tumultuous challenges in Mizoram. Still, merciful and sympathetic Manipuris have never tried to launch any campaign against such equal race economic migrants to quit Manipur even though their so called brothers in Mizoram like many organisations including YMA, MNF etc. have not been stopping Quit Mizoram campaign till today by sending written notices frequently many a times to scrub the Chin migrants. So it’s not logically reasonable to try to divert and deny such Historical facts in this crucial stage of giving hard efforts to protect and safeguard the indigenous peoples of Manipur, interfering such a big effort in need. Chin migrants have been sustained and brought up by the people of Mizoram very lovingly, sympathetically at first. In 1988 when they fled away from Burma they were provided utmost sustainable helps and supports with kindness in their land by the Mizos. Forgetting that they were refugees and sheltered in other’s land of peaceful co-existence, the peace of the land was broken by the migrants disturbing the stability of Mizoram, for instance though the selling of wine was banned and not permitted in Mizoram the Chin migrants who were taking shelter in the areas like Phunchawng village and Rangvamual village started preparation and selling of wine without a stoppage; such ungrateful and headstrong acts caused YMA to issue them Quit Notice. A Chin migrant in Lunglei, Mizoram kept his views to Human Right Watch “We need protection. We can be deported back at any time by Mizoram government or YMA (Young Mizo Association). Most of us will be killed or permanently jailed if we are deported to Burma. We are refugees, but we are not recognized as such.” This fact was reported by HRW.
Based on the reports of UNHCR and Ministry of Home reports of India, it is clearly mentioned that many Economic Refugee mainly Chin refugee are settled in Manipur. India is also well aware that due to unsettled situation of the Bangladesh Government during the then war period of Burmese Democracy Movement, the war refugees migrated towards Manipur at that time and took shelter. A report on Relief and Rehabilitation of Displaced Person in West Bengal was also published by the West Bengal Government in December 11, 1957. As per the report, it was stated that more than two thousand Bangladeshis had entered Manipur during that period. The people of Manipur has been continuously providing love and support and taking part in the movement of these people who are unfortunately deprived of settling back in their home countries. It would be improper wisdom and unfairness to forget that the people of Manipur had laid support to the war refugees of the Burmese Democratic Movement by conducting a rally in Moreh at that time. The people of Manipur very well pay sympathy, respect and support to the Political Refugee at utmost level and welcome them whole heartedly at all times. Due to the turbulence of the Political Refugee, and with struggles and agitations to meet the political objectives, it can be well trusted that the organizations shall never work against the desires and objectives of the people of Manipur. The people of Manipur also need to provide all possible support to the Political Refugees. All love and humanitarian support have also been consistently laid upon the Economic Migrants till date and there is no issue in living with them in peace and harmony on humanitarian ground until and unless they do not hamper any peaceful settled position of a vibrant Manipur supported by all the people of Manipur. However, if they tend to shutter the dreams and wishes of the people of Manipur, they shall be considered and treated as an enemy of the people of Manipur. It is time for the people of Manipur to think if the hindrances lying in front of the movements to safeguard the indigenous people of Manipur are being backed by the Economic Migrants  or not. The people of Manipur now need a broader heart and a farsighted approach. The movements also need to expand within and beyond the boundaries of Manipur. First, it is necessary to create voices and movements in support of the war refugees of the Democratic Movement of Burma that is upon the deprived Burmese Kukis and Chins migrants so that they can settle back in their home country Burma. The voices of the Burmese Kuki and Chin to settle back in their home country is very much true in nature for it favor the Human Rights. In this regard, it may be mentioned that it is the duty of the people of Manipur to undergo various movements and make the voices heard to the concerned persons in support of the displaced people of Burma who fled their home country post 1967 period due to the unbearable atrocities of the Burmese Military Junta and took shelter in Manipur. These movements shall, in fact, benefit the indigenous peoples of Manipur as well as the unfortunate and deprived Burmese Kukis and Chin migrants. This will, in return, make it possible to protect and re-establish a well settled Manipur for the indigenous communities of Manipur. On the other side, the unsettled Burmese Kukis and Chin migrants shall also be able to settle back in their home country Burma. Since Democracy has been restored in Burma, the people of Manipur should remind the People’s Leader of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi to work out strategies for resettlement of their unfortunate Burmese Kukis and Chin migrants back in their country. In this regard, it would also be wise for the people of Manipur to raise voices in all international forums and platforms and make it be heard to the concerned individuals.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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