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Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and  a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]

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Unusual gathering of non Manipuri speaking people seen at Mantripukhri site; Perhaps impact of NRC in Assam

IT News

Imphal, Sept 7

In the aftermath of the announcement of NRC in Assam where over 19 lakhs people have been excluded from the list, an unusual rise of non Manipuri speaking people were reported from Mantripukhri area in Imphal West area.

Talking over phone a resident from Mantripukhri area said that in the last few days they saw many non Manipuri speaking people in between Masjid located opposite to the newly constructed Secretariat building till Mantripukhri Keithel area. He said that the said stretch was mostly cultivable land some years back but now many houses were seen constructed. He however did not said that those new construction are illegal as he have to verify it.

Another person who contacted to Imphal Times, but refuse to reveal his identity said that many big contractors have now stopped worrying about cheap labourers. A person of the area residing near the Masjid controlled all the labourers and any number when asked to him were available any time. But the labourers do not talk Meiteilon and they look like Bengali.

The recent rise of population seems to be impact of the declaration of the NRC in Assam, he said and added that government should immediately check these suspicious person who are seen recently.

“There are even shops in the area where the shop runners don’t speak Meiteilon”, the person who called to Imphal Times said expressing suspicion that even they may have been intruded due to fear of NRC where their names are not included.

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Oppression of expression in Myanmar continues’

IT News

Guwahati, Sept 5

The right to freedom of expression in Myanmar has been declining during the term of present regime, which was otherwise unexpected as Nobel laureate  Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is leading the Union government in NayPieTaw.

Progressive Voice, participatory rights-based policy research and advocacy organization based in Mae Sot of Thailand alleged in its latest weekly highlights (26 August to 1 September 2019) that in respect of criticisms against the government and security forces of the country, the new quasi-democratic regime has shown intolerances.

“Over the past few days a prominent filmmaker and human rights activist Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi was sentenced to one year in prison for criticizing the Myanmar military in his facebook posts. Meanwhile in Kachin State, a military commander has filed a lawsuit against a Kachin ethnic (Baptist) leader for his comments made to the USA President about persecution of Christians by the military,” said the organization.

Similarly, the NLD government in Karenni State has charged six Karenni youths for calling the Karenni State chief minister a traitor over his attempt to place General Aung San’s statue in its capital Loikaw against the people’s will as they believe it ‘a symbol of the dominant role of Bamar majority, neglecting the leaders and history of Karenni people, added the weekly highlights.

Even though the Myanmar military is known for its decades-long oppression against the civilians and violations of the human rights of Myanmar people, especially ethnic and religious minorities, it was expected to get changed once the NLD government took charge after 2015 elections with the promise of democratic transitions.

“Though the first term of NLD government is slowly coming to an end, improved protection of the right to freedom of expression, alongside the right to freedom of assembly is yet to be seen. On the contrary, the military and government have increasingly become intolerant of any

criticism against them”, asserted Progressive Voice.

Mentionable is that Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi has been charged under 505(a) of the Penal Code for his facebook posts criticizing the military which could have been avoided ‘if Myanmar protects the people’s right to freedom of expression’.

Moreover, he is suffering from liver cancer and according to his lawyer Robert San Aung, he continues it be deprived of proper treatments during the detention period. Despite his concerning health condition, the court on 28 August sentenced him to one year in prison

with hard labor.  Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi did not bow down and commented that ‘the military should leave politics and that the 2008 Constitution should be amended’.

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Education(S) dept introduces ‘No School Bag Day’ for all students reading in class I to VIII

IT News

Imphal, Sept 4

The Department of Education (Schools) Government of Manipur has introduced ‘No School Bag’ day for students reading in Class I to VIII. An Office memorandum regarding the matter has been issued by the State Education (S) Department.

As per the office memorandum students reading in Class 1 to VIII in all Government and private school will carry no school bag on every working Saturday.

The decision has been taken up in view of the long term physical and mental effects of carrying heavy School Bags every day by the young students reading in Classes 1 to 8 causing lots of inconveniences, health problems and discomfort to them.

The office memorandum signed by T. Ranjit Singh Commissioner, Education (S) Department said that the students in the categories of Classes 1 to 8 are found to be always engaged with the routine works related to school curriculum/syllabi, additional home work assignments thereby finding hard to find any quality time for life skill activities including games and sports, extra co-curricular activities, etc which can help in their holistic personality development and growth.

“The Department of Education (Schools) is of the considered view the focus as on date will be more on the areas for providing a holistic development of the students by making Schools a joyful place for learning and considering the above circumstances and with an objective to reduce the excessive stress created amongst the students on the one hand and also to make schools a more conductive and joyful place, the Government have decided to declare every working Saturday as “NO SCHOOL BAG DAY”.

“The “No School Bag Day” shall be enforced in all categories of Schools including the Governmnet, Government Aided and Unaided/Private Schools for students in Classes 1 to 8. On all working Saturday, the students shall not carry any school bag and Schools shall ensure taking skill activities including extra co-curricular activities , games and sports, recreational activities, etc and make schools a more joy place of learning”, the office memorandum added.

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Mockery of the legislation

Without exceptions or let-up across parties that has ruled the country since independence, a continually disappointing and very prominent feature that has been the bane of progress of this country is that legislations framed by successive governments to protect the rights of the common people are often a mockery as the authorities entrusted with their proper implementation has never bothered to put the required efforts to ensure the same, let alone the thought of following up and improving upon them. There had been countless instances where government authorities turned a deaf ear to the cries for justice and relief as per the innumerable provisions provided in the legislations passed by the governments for the protection and safeguarding of the rights of the common people. Almost every single legislations framed by the government ultimately ends up as a convenient tool to protect and further the interest of the rich and influential people as the system is, in practice, no different to a monarchy where those in power and position treat laws and legislations as their weapon of choice for personal and political advantage.
However, with the advancements in information technology, the people today have access to information about the muzzling of the Manipur Private Schools (Registration) Bill, 2017 which got the assent from the governor due to pressure from a highly influential Private School body. In this regard the ruling government till today has not given a clear picture or explanation as to why the legislation passed by the state Legislative Assembly has not been implemented. Notably, the Manipur Private Schools (Registration) Bill, 2017 and the Manipur Coaching Institute (Control and Regulation) Bill, 2017, were passed unanimously in order to streamline the education system and to have proper control over the mushrooming of business oriented private schools and coaching centres. The speculation of the public about the pressure given by the private educational body and the probable nexus between the Education Minister and the body is assumable.
It is not only the Private School regulation and registration Act, but the Manipur Conservation of Paddy land and Wetland Act 2014 that was passed to conserve the paddy land and wetland and to restrict the conversion or reclamation thereof in order to promote growth in the agricultural sector in the state of Manipur that has been violated by the same private educational institution  in blatant disregard of a standing order of the concern SDO issued to the pattadar to stop any construction activity on the agricultural land and restore the land to its original position immediately more than a year back.
Such flagrant violations of government legislation by wealthy and influential persons are nothing new or extraordinary- and therein lies the real concern of the common people. The evident impotency of the state government to enforce its own rules despite overwhelming evidences of violations is a clear indication of a compromised authority and corrupt system. Ironically, the present government is crying hoarse about its intention of uprooting corruption by marshalling support and evidence from the general public, while such a high-profile and clear-cut case has been deliberately overlooked. It is also a given that lawsuits are also being used by the wealthy to defer judgments or buy time to make ignoble arrangements, and the same may very well be taken up by the violator/s to wear out any protests or prohibitions.
If the state government is sincere in its intent to bring about development and efficiency in its administration and governance, it need to dispense such high profile and clear-cut cases swiftly and in a manner that will send out an unmistakable signal of its intolerance for violators of laws and legislations. After all, action speaks louder than words, and for long the people have been looking out for any signs of decisive actions. Hope the wait should not continue else the rot in the trust and belief that was once bestowed by the public might very well erode beyond repair.