IMPHAL | June 15 (DIPR)
Social welfare and cooperation minister, Nemcha Kipgen today met and ardently heard the grievances of the public on the occasion of Meeyamgi Numit at her office chamber at New Secretariat, Imphal.
Most of the issues highlighted before the minister were related to non-payment of old age pension, schemes and job opportunities for differently-abled people, construction of anganwadi centres and some of the concern related to her departments.
The minister expressed deep gratitude in directly reaching out and interacting to the people on this day specially dedicated for the people. She aspires to fulfil all the wishes and desires of the people as a leader and assured for necessary actions.
More than 100 visitors came to meet the minister and all the visitors were given the opportunity to directly interact with her. Officials from the departments concerned also interacted with the minister.
By Paojel Chaoba
IMPHAL | June 15
With the June 18 Uprising observance days away, a Nagaland based organization called Southern Angami Youth Organization has laid claim to the Dzuko Valley as their land. Sixty-two trekkers from the state were allegedly harassed and abducted at gunpoint, a guide from Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) was made to sign a paper stating that Dzuko valley traditionally belongs to the Southern Angamis. The incident occurred on June 6 last.
On June 4, environment and forest minister Th. Shyamkumar had flagged off a team comprising of sixty-two individuals from MMTA. In his speech, Shyamkumar had stressed the need to keep Dzuko valley clean and conserve its natural beauty. The event was part of World Environmental Day observance and is supposed to be a month long campaign to clean Dzuko Valley.
Talking to Imphal Free Press, many of the trekkers said that they were visiting a waterfall area of the valley at 8 am of June 6. Some trekkers of the team had gone to visit Mt. Iso. Some 5/6 persons had approached them and asked with whom they came with and also the name of the organizer. The trekkers answered them without any hesitation.
After some time the unidentified persons sent some signals by shouting and packs of men armed with swords, hunting rifles and small arms came out. They were nearly a hundred strong comprising of middle aged and young men. The trekkers were forced to take out their mobile phones, which was complied.
After holding them, the abductors waited for the team from Mt. Iso. As they came back, the same treatment was meted out to them at the same time threatening with dire consequences if anyone held back their mobile phones.
“They made us wait while MMTA general secretary Y. Surchand was being interrogated. They drank alcohol and gave lewd stares at our women trekkers. We were later herded down to the foothills. It was nearly 5.30 pm by then. They questioned whether we were spies of the government and whether we knew that Dzuko valley belongs to them,” Sanatomba, a trekker said.
Meanwhile, Surchand was forcibly made to sign a paper acknowledging that the valley belongs to the Southern Angamis. It mentions in the last paragraph “we met sir Zakie Trukru. According to his advice, we the trekkers came to know that Dzuko valley traditionally belongs to the Southern Angamis.”
Later, the trekkers were herded into their pickup vehicles and their mobiles were returned at Mao. The harassed team had a meeting to complain in this regard to MMTA president N Ibungochoubi on June 7.
“He did not properly address our grievances but told us stories of his personal trips. He said that a memorandum will be given to the chief minister in this regard and that was the end of it,” a trekker complained.
It was learnt that the MMTA officials did not want this news to be leaked to the media. Surchand himself in a Whatsapp group had given comment that the news should not be carried in the papers. The screenshot is available with Imphal Free Press.
On inquiring why the MMTA tried to block the news Ibungochoubi mentioned that it was in the larger interest as there could be flare-up and it could go out of control and there are still visitors at Dzuko presently.
He said that it is a state problem of demarcating state borders and a memorandum urging the state to intervene in the regard was submitted to the state government.
It may be stated that MMTA takes Rs. 3,500 per person for a two-day-trip to the valley. The trips are also sponsored by the department of environment and forests. The trekkers complained that no proper guidelines were given by the organizers and food was prepared by the trekkers themselves.
With the June 18 memorial days away, the United Committee Manipur who is a responsible civil body sworn to protect the territorial integrity of the state has yet to address the problem.
IMPHAL June 15
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan inaugurated the16th North East Regional Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference (NERCPA-2017) in the premises of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, today.
In her inaugural address, Mahajan said that North East is a window in the national efforts to connect with the East and South East Asia which is playing a vital role in the emergence of a resurgent Asia.
As such, the government is having an ambitious plan to build roads and ports connectivity with the South-East Asian countries through Myanmar for promotion of trade, commerce and tourism, she said.
Mahajan observed that North East India has an extraordinarily important strategic dimension and is a vital part of nation’s defence architecture. She further said that the strategic location and natural resources make the region a potential power house of India for development and progress. As such, the ‘Act East Policy’ for all round development of North East is the top most priority for the entire nation.
Observing that today policy making has become a highly complex process and there is greater emphasis now on good governance based on transparency and accountability, Mahajan emphasized that in order to perform legislative duties effectively, it is essential for legislators to seek the guidance of domain experts in areas which are specialized and technical in nature.
As a member and now a Speaker, she noticed the problems faced by members in understanding several key issues that confront the nation and come up for the consideration of Parliament. In order to address this issue, it was decided to bring in domain experts to orient members by creating a perspective on various important issues. It was thus the Speakers’ Research Initiative (SRI) was institutionalized in the Lok Sabha Secretariat in July 2015, she mentioned.
Lok Sabha Speaker informed the delegates that SRI focuses on identifying core areas/issues of long term and strategic policy, generate high quality research inputs and devise appropriate mechanisms for interaction with members of both the Houses of Parliament for the purpose of information dissemination and capacity building.
She hoped that a similar mechanism for the North Eastern States would be of great help to the legislators. She encouraged the legislators to be proactive and said that ‘until you spread your wings, you don’t know how far you can fly’.
Deputy chief minister Y. Joykumar Singh said that the Look East Policy initiated in the early 1990s, is largely founded upon the growing necessity for multi-dimensional connectivity. It is a composite policy aimed at accomplishing greater economic and political ties with South East Asian countries.
Welcoming the delegates, Manipur Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh said that Manipur is a land of peace and tranquility. He pointed out that the Act East Policy calls upon all to get prepared and be ready to engage with the rest of the world. The task, he said, is not simple and easy and what we need is collective, comprehensive and coordinated move with strong political will to meet the challenges of the region.
Khemchand said further said that the strategic location of Manipur between India and South East Asian countries underlines the additional expectations of the state to act as ‘land bridge’.
In his keynote address, Meghalaya Speaker and chairperson, NERCPA A. T. Mondal said that CPA has played a major role in promoting the spirit of mutual cooperation and harmony between member countries. Referring to connectivity-related challenges in the region, he said that transportation and communication are the two important areas where special emphasis is required.
Mondal also underlined that the acute problem of education and unemployment need serious attention and alternative job market with the help of private sector should be created to solve the existing imbalance.
Later in the day, the conference took up discussion on the first item on the agenda ‘North East and Look East Policy’. The discussion remained inconclusive and will be taken up tomorrow.
Atul Kaushik, additional secretary, Lok Sabha secretariat, made a presentation on Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI) which has been institutionalized in Lok Sabha in July 2015. He also responded to queries of the delegates.
The Conference adopted a resolution, resolving to request the Speaker Lok Sabha to consider setting up of a chapter of SRI in the North East Region so that the benefits of Speaker’s Research Initiative activities are made available to the legislatures and legislators of the region regularly and at an easily accessible place.
All of us look at the world through different sets of assumptions. Our observations and interpretations are bound to differ from one another. A political view or an opinion that one may have cannot enjoy absolute sacrosanctity. All our views and opinions are subject to conflict with other views with a different ideational base. Yet, it is also important to recognise that these differences are very much part of any social debate. This fundamental understanding has its primacy more so with those who are actively involved in social actions. The vanguards of social organisations who are leading any sort of movement should be able to live and grow with the debate. For this, one must be able to withstand the battle of ideas with convincing reasoning. The tendency of overruling a divergent view through intimidation, as the only weapon, is a brazen sign of intolerance germinating from the poverty of ideas. Any socio-political movement is premised on political beliefs of those leading the movement. It is also important to recognise that movement is a form of collective action in which the motivation to act springs largely from the common aspirations of different individuals, who are united by common beliefs. Their sense of commitment and activism must be guided by those beliefs. It is unfortunate that there have been tendencies to equate social movement with raw street hooliganism, or spontaneous upheaval of public sans any planned action in pursuit of a particular goal. Intolerance and intimidation has apparently become tactical weapons. We have seen this in many of the agitations that rocked the state in recent times.
In the context of Manipur, it is indeed unfortunate that those in the helms of a movement seem to have ignored the fact that not everyone sees the world with the same eyes. Looking at the current trend of organisational behavior, it is apparent that those in the movement have shut themselves off from any divergent views. Alone and isolated, without the support of the people, a movement is vulnerable to alienation and disillusionment. Besides, the conduct of the activist in many spheres demand a serious introspection on their part. The activists have failed to understand that their actions, their words and their efforts towards a goal are part of a larger organisational mechanism. There are also indications of sheer deficit in terms of inducting energetic individuals as activist into the organisational fold, who would selflessly commit to a cause. Perhaps the unguarded habit of the activist of breathing down on the people, which is in many ways similar to the conduct of the state security forces known for their arrogance, implies many things. One clear implication is their obvious lack of ideological moorings. With all due respect to their commitments and sacrifices, a true dialogue particularly on their conduct with the general masses is called for. If not, the historical task of democratic mobilisation of any movement will remain an impossible task. The beginning of action in that direction should be through self-introspection. That should be the core dimension of any organisation that wishes to build a better future. Having said this, ideological foundation should be the guiding light in every step of an organisation. And in this very aspect, a question may be posed, whether our social organisations have surrendered their ideology or not. We believe they have not; the need is to replenish it by accommodating dissent views for it to grow.
Leader Writer: Senate Kh.
IMPHAL | June 15
HIV Laboratory (NRL & ICTC), department of microbiology, RIMS, Imphal which is one of the 12 National Reference Laboratories (NRL) in India has been granted NABL accreditation by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories in the field of medical testing.
A release said its lab carries out HIV testing by rapid tests and western blot tests to detect antibodies against HIV. RIMS, Imphal is the only government medical institute to get such accreditation in Manipur.
NABL is a third party organisation which checks for quality of testing, competence of staff, proper infrastructure etc. for overall correctness of the test reports for the benefit of the patients as well as the treating doctors, it added.
IMPHAL | JUNE 15
The Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) extended its deepest sympathy and condolence to the bereaved family of “Baba” SS Khaplang, chairman NSCN-K) and the NSCN-K revolutionaries, on the demise of the Naga rebel leader.
A statement issued by ZUF chairman, Jenchui Kamei, said that a tragic event has silenced a dynamic leader, “Baba” SS Khaplang and the vacuum he left behind will never be able to filled.
“The loss will be deeply mourned by all who knew you. But the example of your leadership and your accomplishments will remain as a lasting legacy for all your people for whom you worked so hard”, said Kamei.
The memory of your brilliant leadership will, however remain a source of inspiration and encouragement to all the revolutionaries, countrymen and fellow citizens, he said.
“Our thoughts are with the family members and the NSCN-K revolutionaries in this moment of grief. We pray God may give you the same strength and courage that earned Baba SS Khaplang the esteem of his countrymen,” added the ZUF chairman.
Newmai News Network
SENAPATI |June 15
The United Naga Council (UNC) has announced today 12-hour ‘total shut down’ on June 18 in ‘Naga territories’ in Manipur from 6 am onward in support of the Indo-Naga peace process.
A release said the move is to press for taking the ‘historic Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015 in New Delhi into a logical conclusion at the earliest based on the unique history of the Nagas and situation.
According to the publicity wing of the UNC, the Nagas have been defending their land against any forces attempting to intrude and decide upon them without consulting the Naga people since time immemorial.
It further said that it is the obligation of every generation to uphold this position ever while adding that the UNC has decided to call the bandh, “As our land, identity, history, tradition, culture and time-honoured institution are not secured under the present political system.”
However, on the day, religious programmes, water supply, electricity, telecom, medical and media will be exempted, it informed.
By A Staff Reporter IMPHAL | JUNE 15 One Assam Rifles jawan was killed and four others sustained injuries when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was exploded by militant suspects in the wee hour today in Kamjong district under Chasad police station. According to reports, the IED blast was triggered when a team of Road Opening Party (ROP) of 17 AR of Kasong Command Operation Base (COB) was carrying out their routine patrol duty. The blast inflicted injuries to at least four Jawans who were later airlifted to Leimakhong military hospital. The deceased has been identified as one Havildar Luhit Gogoi, (50), of Avipura village, Sibsagar district Assam. The injured have been identified as Y Zungkhum (28), of Penkim village, Kiphere district, Nagaland, LH Thanglensem (28) of Haotak Phailen village Churachandpur district, Nicky Chettri (31) of 17 Jhalupara Cantt village of East Khasi Hill, Meghalaya and Amit Kumar (27) of Hussenpur Ballia district, Uttar Pradesh. It is yet to be ascertained who was behind the attack as no militant groups operating in the state has claimed responsibility. An Assam Rifles release said in continuation of the highest traditions of the defense forces, Havildar/ General Duty Luhit Gongoi of 17 Assam Rifles made the supreme sacrifice of his life in a dastardly act by insurgents at Kamsong in Kamjong Dist. Luhit is a resident of Avipura village, Sibsagar district, Assam and is survived by his wife and two children. His valiant efforts and sacrifice will not go in vain. Luhit was part of the patrolling party of 17 AR which came under an IED attack at Bungdung, 1 km North East of Kasong at 1115 hrs. In this incident, Hav Luhit got martyred and four were seriously injured. The injured are being treated at Leimakhong military hospital. Their condition is stable and they are out of danger.
IMPHAL | June 15
Frequent flash floods in Manipur is ‘man made’, due to the blockage of the natural drainage system. One of the main reasons for this disaster is the closure of the flood gates of Ithai dam, charged the banned Maoist Communist Party of Manipur.
A release by the outfit said the additional reasons are deforestation, systematic and continuous destruction of wetlands due to various projects and contract works, unplanned developmental activities that have destroyed traditional man made drainage systems, illegal encroachments, etc.
The imperialist corporate has only profit motive and does not care for the welfare of the people, it said adding the people of Manipur needs to be informed that any of the dams being built in Manipur does not benefit the people in any way.
It said Mapithel dam has benefitted private companies, contractors, bureaucrats and politicians who have collusively looted the construction cost and compensation money. The beneficiaries of these dams are the private corporate and local bourgeoisie who get to steal some portions of the construction and compensation money, it added.
The release continued the promise that Mapithel dam will provide drinking water is a lie only to legitimize the illegal project, and it does not make sense why water should be impounded at this dangerous level only for providing drinking water to the people.
Further it said the Loktak project has submerged and destroyed over 80,000 hectares of the most fertile cultivable land. The people of Manipur need about 517,00,000 tonnes of rice annually but the present annual production stands at about 420,00,000 tonnes only, it said, adding if the 80,000 hectares of agricultural land destroyed by Loktak multipurpose project were available, we would not have needed to import additional quantity of rice today.
The dependent economy could have been provided a breather. But, this being against the interest of an expansionist imperialist India, the Loktak project has served corporate India while destroying a huge portion of our traditional economy, displacing thousands of lives and destroying the Ramsar site, it added.
The so called developmental projects and activities of the state are mere cosmetic terminologies to advance the interests of the few against the collective interests of the people of Manipur, it maintained.
The release appealed to the people of Manipur to stand up against the construction of dams and destructive projects collectively in future.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 15
The Flood Effected Victims Welfare Association, Borayang G.P, (FEVWAGP) 2015 appealed to the state government the release the compensation equally to all the 2190 houses under Borayang G.P.
Addressing a press meet today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal the convenor Chungkham Tomba said that around fourteen villages under Borayang GP were affected by the flood that took place in the year 2015 but till now compensation which was announced by the government has not been given.
Taking the chance some of the people were trying to take out the compensation from the deputy commissioner claiming that only 100 houses were affected during the flood, which is totally false, he added.
He asked the state government to investigate the matter and take up action against those people who are trying to take the compensation of the needy people.
Tomba further asked the state government and the authority concern to release the compensation considering the suffering of the 2190 families.
Md. Nasir Khan, organisation secretary of United Development Organisation Borayangbi gram panchayat demanded compensation to victims as approved by the District Disaster Management Authority, Bishnupur at the earliest.
Speaking to the media today at Manipur Press Club, Nasir said in 2015 due to flood in Borayangbi area many houses were submerged and properties destroyed. District Disaster Management Authority, Bishnupur approved to sanction a sum of Rs. 28,86,000 for payment of relief to 555 persons whose houses were partly damaged by the flood occurred between July 29 to august 8, 2015. The order also mentioned that the consolidated sum should be distributed as Rs. 5,200 to each houses.
Nasir further appealed to the branch officer (account), DC office, Bishnupur to make the payment to the victims by account payee on their respective accounts weather in instalment basis or fully.