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Items filtered by date: Thursday, 16 November 2017 - Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Nov 16

Directorate of minorities and other backward classes has released over Rs. 6 crores as post-matric scholarships for OBC students, said a release.

Names and account numbers of the 9151 eligible students were forwarded to the State Bank of India’s secretariat branch today. The scholarship is for students from the academic year 2014-15, 2015-2016 and 2016-17, it added.

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IMPHAL | Nov 16

Maoist Communist Party said the people of Manipur are fully determined to start the agitations to save the indigenous people from November 18 onwards and continue till it becomes fruitful. 

On the other hand, the president of India will be attending the Sangai Festival on November 21 while the agitations are on its full swing; the people ought to clearly express the magnitude of the agitations on the said date and show that the State is made up by full of brave and courageous people, said a release signed by Coordinator, Standing Committee, Kyonghan Mangang.    

The people of Manipur will begin the agitations from 5 am in the morning of November 18 by ceasing all forms of work and official duties to undergo the agitations, it said. Ceasing all forms of personal work, mainly driving vehicles, going to work places, opening of markets and vendors, offices, schools, colleges, and all other market places are requested to shut down, it continued. Only the hospitals and media related works, emergency services and matters related to faith will be relaxed, it added. 

For how many days or weeks the movement will continue shall depend on the agitations of the people, it further said. It will not stop as long as people cease their work and move forward with the agitations or until a solution is worked out for the people, it continued. 

The main purpose of the agitations that will begin on November 18 is to save the indigenous people of Manipur who are on the verge of becoming a minority group in their own land, becoming less in numbers as compared to the massive influx of non locals that are coming in like a flood, it said. To fight for the rights of the people is also the purpose of the agitation, it added.

The party also appeal the people of Manipur to stand together as one, it said. The movement is not for Maoist but for the people, it said adding the people must raise their voice for whatever they think is worthy. For example, those who consider the demand of ST is worthy can join in the agitations by holding up banners or the residents of Thoubal who considers number of MPs for Thoubal should be increased, can also take part by holding their own banners, it continued. However, the agitations should be in harmony with the goal of saving the indigenous people and their land, and for the rights of the people, it added.  

The movement will be personally led by president, MAFYF Sapamcha Kangliepal and after his self immolation on November 25, the agitations will be handed over to the public, it continued.    

The party welcomes the requests and advices given to change Sapamcha’s decision for self immolation, it said. However, the decisions will be taken as per the strength of the agitations, it added.  Sapamcha may change his decision if the agitations reach a stage where the people of the world start appreciating the strength of the people’s movement, it continued. Otherwise, there will be no change in his resolution to fire up the agitations if it shows signs being defeated from reaching its goals, the release further continued.  

The success or the failure of the movement now depends on the hands of the people, it said. Maoists are ready to sacrifice everything to the public, and request the people to join in without hesitating to sacrifice all and struggle together, it added.

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IMPHAL | Nov 16

Minister of commerce and industries Thongam Biswajit Singh invited investors from across the country to visit and invest in Manipur, terming the state the gateway of India to southeast Asia, said a release from DIPR.

The minister was speaking at the twelfth northeast business summit which was inaugurated in New Delhi today. Themed ‘transforming northeast: the engine for India’s growth’, the two-day summit is organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Manipur is the state partner for the event.

Speaking at the inauguration, union minister of state (independent charge) for development of north eastern region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said that while developed states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra have achieved their maximum potential, northeast has a lot of unexplored potential which will contribute to the making of ‘new India’ and meeting the aspirations of the youth, who make 70 percent of the Indian population.

Biswajit said Manipur will provide good investment opportunities in various industries because railway connectivity is reaching Imphal by 2019 and the trans-asian highways is expected to connect the ASEAN countries. Look East and Act East policies will connect the northeast states to the southeast Asian countries and boost the economy and relationships in the region, he said.

The state has recently developed four industrial estates in Imphal West, Imphal East, Toubal and Bishnupur districts, with five more in other districts in the pipeline, Biswajit added. The thrust areas of industrial activities in the state would be food-based agro-horti industries, medicinal and herbal aromatic plant industries, bamboo and bamboo products processing industries, coffee, tea and rubber plantations, spices processing and mineral based industries, he continued.

Manipur also has huge potential in the tourism sector, he said citing its natural beauty including the Loktak Lake and Keibul Lamjao. He continued that people of Manipur are specialised in hospitality and tourism and the state has many English-speaking youth.

Stressing that more than 2000 patients came to Manipur for medical tourism from Myanmar and other neighbouring countries last year, he said the state can also initiate medical tourism.

He invited the investors attending the event to also visit the Manipur Sangai festival and the business development summit both of which begin on November 21.

Union minister Jitendra Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi accords high priority to the peripheral states. If one region of the country is underdeveloped, the country cannot be developed, he said

He also suggested that the thriving business sector of bamboo should be taken out of the purview of the forest sector and every district should have a post office and passport kendra for facilitating business in the region. A northeast industrial promotion policy is also in the pipeline, he added.

DoNER ministry is exploring the introduction of a helicopter-based dispensary or OPD service in remote areas where no doctor or medical facility is available, he said, adding that the first such experiment will be done in Imphal and Shillong.

The event was also attended by Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma,  DoNER secretary Naveen Verma,  ministry of external affairs secretary (east) Preeti Saran,  union government’s principal scientific advisor R Chidambaram,  ICC northeast regional committee and tea board chairman PK Bezboruah, additional chief secretary at Assam government’s department of industries and commerce Ravi Capoor, IRS Secretary IWAI Shashi Bhushan Shukla, ICC President Shashwat Goenka and ICC Director General Rajeev Singh, the release added.

Published in News
Friday, 17 November 2017 00:00

On the Naga Framework Agreement

Noted in personal diary

By Dr. Malem Ningthouja

Prologue

Open invitation is circulated through social media, inviting people to attend One Day Open Dialogue on the topic “Possible Outcomes of the Framework Agreement in the Context of Manipur”. The programme scheduled for November 18, 2017, proposed to be held at Lamyanba Shanglen, Imphal is jointly organised by All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO), Committee of Civil Societies, Kangleipak (CCSK) and United Committee Manipur (UCM). Prelude to the circulation of the open invitation, I have noticed private TV Channels in Imphal, hosting several discussion programmes on the matters connected to the Framework Agreement that was entered into between Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (IM), dated August 3, 2015. I have seen and listened to some of the opinions presented by the leaders of the organisations mentioned above. Having noticed the open invitation, I presume that the dialogue will be attended mostly by those who stand for the unity of Manipur and there will be an emotionally charged situation. I am afraid that they do not fall into the trap of blind propaganda that merely ends up with another round of communal tension, where the real culprit would escape away without exposure and effective challenge. Although I am not in a position to attend the programme, it is for my personal record that I make the following statement.

What is the Framework Agreement?

The ongoing clandestine Framework Agreement (FA) negotiation between the Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (IM) is a matter of serious concern in India, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. But the genesis of this FA is more than two decades old. It is worth reminding that the NSCN-IM was formed in 1988 to fight for the complete sovereignty of the Naga peoples. It worked in parallel with other militant groups such as Naga National Council and NSCN-(K). Very soon, within few years of its existence, since around 1995, it began to enter into peace-talk with the Government of India, which was finally materialised in the Ceasefire Agreement of 1997. Therefore, from around mid 1990s, NSCN-IM had stopped from pursuing a common revolutionary agenda for India-Burma regions. It naturally shivered strategic alliance with other militant organisations who would continue to wage war of liberation.

Along the trend of ‘peace’, on August 3, 2015, NSCN-IM formally signed for a FA with the Government of India. It articulates idea of ‘shared sovereignty’ of the Nagas with the Government of India. Practically, it had to be based on some adjustment within the structure of the three tiers power sharing system prescribed in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Seen positively, the FA had some positive aspects. NSCN-IM is no longer an enemy to the Government of India. It is now elevated to the position of an importantly ally in mechanising joint strategic control of territory, market and natural resources in the Indo-Myanmar border regions. Unfortunately, most of the Naga public are dark about the proceedings and contents of FA, though the negotiating parties make elaborate publicity about (or on) every occasion of ‘talks.’ Many suspected that, under FA, NSCN-IM, particularly the top leaders, enjoy special favour manifested in display of power and elegant and luxurious livelihood.

The suspicions add to pre-existing sectarianism and conflicts amongst Naga peoples in general and among contentious stakeholders in particular. The Government of India, being internationally exposed of its one sided collusion with one militant organisation, devised new tactics of inviting other Naga groups on the pretext of joint stakeholder consultation programmes. However, frustrations, dissentions and factional armed conflict are not coming to an abrupt halt. In the meanwhile, to subside all these, NSCN-IM intensifies the propaganda of Nagalim integration, with the objective to strengthen its strategic control in all the Naga inhabited areas in Northeast. Though this propaganda could not materialise Naga consolidation immediately, it invokes community sentiments and diverts attention of those who could be easily won over psychologically. On the other hand, this propaganda adds to the apprehension of territorial disintegration in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur. Fifth columnists, composed of sectarian and chauvinist forces take advantage of the situation to mislead the people into genocide. The Government of India studies the situation to act on opportunity to exert strategic control. It is doing the job quite well!

I have the following opinions in regards to the FA:

Short and long terms benefit for Government of India

Firstly, the FA enables the GoI to find a loyal ally with the NSCN-IM and other militant groups who had either followed or will follow this model, to effectively regulate the activity of other armed groups. This is the rule of tactics!

Secondly, after regulating the activity of armed groups, the GoI can without restraint build up several layers of funded loyal groups who will subsequently control the instruments of government. This is strategy!

Thirdly, the GoI can pursue without restraint its agenda of ‘capitalist growth’ model in Indo-Burma regions. The ‘capitalist growth model’ includes extension of railway networks, grafting in of alien population forces, construction of hydro electricity projects, mining and extraction of carbon reserves, minerals and other natural resources, expansion of market and tourism, and etcetera. This is governance!

In short, FA is a strategic success of making further inroads of finance capitalism. What do you expect more?

NSCN-IM has short term boom and benefit

Firstly, the ‘shared sovereignty’ enables NSCN-IM to outdo other Naga groups in the balance of power. It will also enjoy the favour of joint military tactical alliance vis-à-vis other non Naga armed organisations. Through its show of strength, propaganda and a vast network of middle class over-ground civil society organisations; it will enjoy virtual reign of power for some years in the Naga inhabited areas. This is welcomed!

Secondly, NSCN-IM organisation and its higher officials will get trapped in the violent whirlpool of capitalist constraints. It can’t protect the Nagas from the onslaught of finance imperialism. It can’t prevent from the relative break down of tribal unity due to ‘consumerist’ opportunism among contending parasitic forces that would fight for short cut accumulation of wealth. However, the organisation and its higher officials will benefit a lot from the ‘capitalist growth’ model through various channels of revenue extraction. Any Naga who is in good terms with the powerful functionaries of either the GoI or NSCN-IM will benefit a lot. There will also be trickle down benefit at different lower degrees depending upon the hierarchy of contact. Everyone has a share of the loot!

In short, the cosmetic delivery of FA will make majority of the Nagas completely oblivion of the long term destructive tendency of capitalist onslaught by the alien forces. The short term boom will bring few decades of temporary laurel, which will be blindly construed as golden period in the annals of Naga history. But this is going to be the ‘dark period’ that will be marked by perpetual subjugation, exploitation, oppression and marginalisation of common Naga population whose number will grow tremendously. In the competition for larger share of capitalist cake, NSCN-IM will become a divided house compounded with severe challenges from other competing forces. Its involvement in bourgeoisie electoral politics will further jeopardise internal conflict, disillusionment and dissention. Gradually revolutionary or progressive force will emerge; who will search for fraternal support beyond their fallen community. No sectarian and communal force can prevent them from uniting with other like minded groups. One had to wait for them to emerge!

FA and messages for Manipur patriots

Land and natural resources belong to the State/ government and that citizens merely enjoy some temporary proprietorship. The question of integrity or disintegration of territory is a State matter; and that people must remain loyal to the State who alone could defend their sentiment of territorial integrity. Be obedient and you will be awarded!

The armed groups from Manipur are being cornered now to the level of demobilisation. Other than few instances of sporadic armed ambushes, they are politically ineffective. Militarily, they can’t hit and run easily as the vast tract of hilly regions are now covered by various forms of FA, CA and SoO. They should become loyal like the NSCN-IM so that a new mechanism of power balance could be created to regulate the activity of those who would disturb the established territory of Manipur. Negotiate or get lost!

The progressive mass organisations are being exhausted from pursuing any consistent and successful resistance to the negative impacts of militarisation and destructive projects. They are being indirectly suggested not to challenge ‘capitalist projects’, so that their concern for territorial integrity is positively considered by the State/ government. Any threat to the ‘capitalist project’ would be subdued through various means of internecine conflict by raising sensitive issues. Support capitalism and you can rest for now!

The question of integrity of Manipur

Yes, there is a danger to integrity. Can you imagine?

Firstly, Manipur is no longer the property of the peoples of Manipur. The peoples are no longer the owner of this territory. The people and territory are the spoils of colonial war and capitalist loot. There is reign of alien capitalist regime that controls everything ranging from land, over ground and underground resources, knowledge system, human capital, market and culture. When the people lives in colonial bondages the territory itself is being alienated from them as they merely enjoy temporary proprietorship through payment of taxes in various forms. Where is your land?

Secondly, the material foundation upon which the political community of Manipur was established in 1947 was destroyed after 1949. The unity evident in the democratic election of 1848 was the material manifestation of the psychological unity which had developed over centuries of economic formation. Until and unless there are efforts to build up self-reliant material foundation of unity; the campaign for unity cannot be materialised among the lumpen population—that is largely composed of opportunist individuals who are blindly misled by the cosmetic services of capitalist looters. A revolutionary programme, independent of the support of the regime is essential to encourage people to live with dignity and cooperation. This had to be the viable common agenda. What do you wait for?

Thirdly, identify the main enemy, expose it clearly so that people would realise whom to hit hard against at any emotive outburst. It is currently untimely to target the puppets; whose injury will be misinterpreted and ignite communal tension to the advantage of the main enemy. Control the mouth of the integrity CSOs whose spectacular propaganda in the Valley merely contributes to communal media browbeating. Keep a check and control of communal and chauvinist forces who in the name of integrity spread the venom of sectarianism and communal mistrust. Do not focus on 2000 years old past history but convey the vision of “why unity of the oppressed peoples is essential in order to achieve brighter future.” Be a revolutionary!

Choose your goal

From divisions people can unite for common goal. Respect differences and initiate common progressive economic and political programme with longer vision. You do not need political dialogue with anyone to do this. You just act on progressive economic programme for the masses and political training of selected capable teams. You have to purge out counter revolutionary forces from your groups; demobilise them and overtake them in constructive mass work. Do it before you grow old!

Revolution neither comes nor waits anyone. It has to be created through the activity of men in action. Are you ready?

Published in Articles
Friday, 17 November 2017 00:00

Pre-board examination

IMPHAL | Nov 16

All Manipur Recognised Private Schools’ Welfare Association, Imphal will be conducting pre-board matric examination from November 22 till December 4, said a release.

It said, the examination will be held as a preparatory in view of the upcoming class-X board examination conducted annually by Board of Secondary Education, Manipur.

The release further mentioned that more than 10000 students from both the hill and valley would be sitting for the examination.

All Manipur Recognised Private Schools’ Welfare Association has requested all the organisations in the state and the general public, not to call any strike or bandh during the period of the examination, said the release.

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Friday, 17 November 2017 00:00

Phungcham locals praise AR

UKHRUL | Nov 16

In pursuance of its efforts to light up the villages located in extremely remote areas, 27 Assam Rifles under the aegis of 10 Sector Assam Rifles today presented portable solar lamps to the villagers of Phungcham, Chingai block, Ukhrul district.

The presentation ceremony was held at the village community hall, and it was attended by village authority, village development councils, Phungcham Shanao Long, youths and elders of the village.

On behalf of the villagers, acting headman of Phungcham village, Kazaching Horam, extended gratitude to the AR for their welfare oriented gesture.

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From Our Correspondent

JIRIBAM | Nov 16

After 10 days long fund drive to help a child leukaemia patient, United Meitei Society of Assam (UMSA) has handed over a cheque of Rs. 75,001 to the parents of the child patient today.

The 10 years old child, Chinglemba  Lamabam, son of Gangadhar Lamabam of Jora village, Cachar, Assam has been suffering from leukaemia since the past two months. A fund drive was initiated by UMSA to help the treatment of the child, for which around 97 persons have contributed money.

General secretary of UMSA, Ronel has expressed his gratitude to persons who have donated money during the fund drive and also appealed the people for further contribution to help the child in the treatment.

The parents of Chinglemba also extended their heartfelt thankfulness for the kind contribution made by the people.

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IMPHAL | Nov 16

Manipur minorities and OBC economic development society has invited applications from principals and head masters of government schools which are willing to conduct remedial coaching classes under the chief minister’s ‘Lairik yengminasi (let’s study together)’ programme 2017-18, said a release from MOBC department.

The classes will be held for english, mathematics and science for students from sixth to tenth standards and for English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology for students of XI and XII standards.

Institutes applying for the scheme should submit a list of teachers who are willing to conduct the remedial classes on payment of extra-remuneration. The application can be made to the member secretary Kh Dineshchandra Singh. Details are available with the project director or MOBEDS, said the release.

Published in News
Friday, 17 November 2017 00:00

Miss Manipur contest on Dec 9

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Nov 16

Miss Manipur Organisation today notified that the Miss Manipur contest will be held on December 9 at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT) and for which the audition will start from November 26 at Hailey Bistro, Keishampat.

Manager of the organising committee, Sonia Phairenbam said in a press meet today held at Protection and Preservation Committee Manipur (PPCM) office at Waheng Leikai Imphal that the committee is set to have its second edition of Miss Manipur contest.

She said the audition will be held at Hailey Grooming Studio in Haobam Marak and to get application forms from Jenny Beauty Parlour at Khurai and Hailey Bistro at Keishampat. She said that there will be no difference of culture and traditions and ladies from any community can take this opportunity to promote and preserve their own culture.

She also urged the public and civil organisations not to impose any bandhs and blockades on these important dates.

Sponsoring partner of the contest, Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL)’s vice president, Lourembam Nganbi said that participants should compulsorily use their traditional attires in the contest. “This will be a way to promote our indigenous rich culture of our state to a bigger level, she said”.

It may be recalled that in last year’s contest, Phapha Gachui of Tangkhul community was crowned Miss Manipur.

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From Our Correspondent

JIRIBAM | Nov 16

Youth president, Darkhumlien and ward member, Vanlalcham of Zarolpokpi village have stated in a press conference held today that the people of the village have been facing various hardships due to interruption of electricity supply by Manipur State Power Company Limited (MSPCL), Jiribam district.

Vanlalcham has stated that the load shedding in power supply has disturbed the study routine of school students in hilly areas, who will be writing examinations in the coming few months.

Darkhumlien also stated in the press conference that the load shedding for duration of four hours starting from 5 pm to 9 pm everyday has brought many inconvenience to the locals of the village. He further appealed the authority concerned to take care of the ongoing issue faced by the villagers at the earliest.

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Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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