Date:
Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

Monitor lizard rescued

IMPHAL | July 9

A Bengal Monitor Lizard was rescued from Kumbi of Bishnupur district by the volunteers of Peoples for Animal, Manipur. The animal which is listed in schedule 1 of WLPA will be relocated at a suitable site along with the wildlife department soon.  

 A release said one M. Kuber of Kumbi Terakha and his friend Jenny Khangembam of Kumbi Awangleikai found the animal wandering on the road. They took the reptile in their possession and informed Kumbi police station.

Under the supervision Inspector Hussain Ahamad, OC of Kumbi PS, ASI Premananda, ASI  Rajkumar Abujam and their team took over the  reptile and handed over to PFA Manipur for necessary procedure, it added.

Published in News

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | July 9

Chief minister, N Biren Singh in his statement today indicated he will not be interfering with the decision taken by the previous government with regards to the creation of seven new districts in the state.

N Biren was responding to queries raised by reporters with regards to the tripartite talks involving United Naga Council (UNC), Union and state governments, during an inspection tour of flood affected areas in Kongpal.

He clarified that the tripartite talks due to be held in Ukhrul was deferred as the Joint Secretary Home Northeast in-charge, was engaged with emergency assignment with regards to GST.

Informing that the talks will soon be rescheduled, he informed that cabinet minister has been appointed to participate in the talks including agriculture minister, V Hangkhanlien, education minister, Th Radheshyam, TD minister, N Kayisii. Moreover, additional chief secretary home, J Suresh Babu, will also be part of the team, he said.

The chief minister asserted that the talks would be just a humble beginning of a political dialogue and ruled out any preconditions.

When asked whether the demand to rollback the decision of district creation was in the agenda, he swiftly responded that no such agenda was included although demand has been put forward.

“No government is permanent and it is a continuous process. What the government had decided we will stand by it. But, the government is open to discussion on issues regarding controversy surrounding boundaries and demarcation etc.”, opined N Biren.

As a part of the inspection tour, the chief minister inspected flood affected areas in Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur district.

He said that after making a thorough assessment, the State government had sent a report of the present situation to the Centre yesterday.

However, surveys are still going on as the number of areas and villages submerged under water is increasing every day, he added.

He further informed that the Central government has started providing relief assistance to the State and 12 metric tons of rice has arrived.

Urging the public to maintain calm at this juncture, the chief minister assured that the State government would provide relief materials without any delay.

He also directed the officials concerned to closely monitor the situation and extend all possible help to the affected people.

  1. Biren also said that those people whose houses had been damaged by the recent spate of flood would be adequately compensated.

Apart from inspecting water levels at Khurai Salanthong, Haotal, Khabeisoi, Kongpal Kshetri Leikai, Kongpal Khaidem Leikai, Kongpal Kshetri Leikai, Porompat Thawanthaba, Ayangpalli Road, Kongba Mutum Leikai and Kongba Laishram Leikai, the chief minister also visited relief camps opened at Kongpal Kongkham Leikai, Amateur Athletic Association community hall and Ningthem Pukhri Mapal and Kongba Laishram Leikai in Imphal East district.

Biren also inspected flood affected areas like Nambol Khabi, Nambol Jiri, Konthoujam and many other adjoining villages and areas in Imphal West district and Nambol Phoijing in Bishnupur district.

He was accompanied by parliamentary secretaries L. Susindro, N. Indrajit, Dr. S. Ranjan and top officials of the State government.

Published in News

By Ningombam Bupenda Meitei

I wish that this piece of my writing, wherein the views - which are going to be expressed, hereafter - are all personal, shall not be perceived as a point to either support the former Chief Secretary of Manipur Oinam Nabakishore Singh or criticise the incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur Nongthombam Biren Singh because both know me in person and so do I honourably interact with the two. Both, to my understanding, are honourable gentlemen.

My writing is also not to project any sort of opposition to any civil servant, who intends or desires to be the Chief Secretary of the state in a near future, because some of the senior civil servants – besides being known to me in person - were my maternal uncle’s juniors. My uncle, who was in Indian Administrative Service, retired as Commissioner to the Government of Manipur in 1990s.

My arguments, here, will be to argue that the unceremonious removal of O. N. Singh (Oinam Nabakishore Singh) from the post of the Chief Secretary of Manipur still stands biased as an act of deliberate, discriminatory and unprecedented example in the history of Manipur’s Civil Secretariat. The action might sound politically empowering in a democratic establishment, but it also has sent a message of unnecessary fear of de-motivating environment in the work culture for the young inspired civil servants of the state of Manipur. It is, indeed, a prerogative of the Chief Minister to have his or her own Chief Secretary and Director General of Police; but the removal of O. N. Singh from the said post by the incumbent Chief Minister who, alongside with O. N. Singh as the Chief Secretary, also has celebrated a successful 100 days of his new government - is a question which can’t be swept under the carpet.

The Secretary to the present Chief Minister - who has been the Secretary to the former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh - is not yet replaced while O. N. Singh, who was the Chief Secretary to both the Chief Ministers O. Ibobi Singh and N. Biren Singh, was removed from the post of the Chief Secretary. Why is the former, a non-local, not replaced and the latter, a local, got removed? If the Chief Minister wants to have his own new team in his Secretariat, then why is the Secretary to Chief Minister, who is a non-local, not being replaced/removed till now? Why did not the Chief Minister choose his own Chief Secretary and DGP during his initial days of government formation, as Prime Minister or many Chief Ministers usually practice to have his or her own team in his/her office? What made the Chief Minister remove his Chief Secretary after 100 days of his successful government?

How is the argument ‘of seniority’ - replacing Oinam Nabakishore Singh, IAS, who would retire on 1/12/2019, by the present Chief Secretary who is senior to O. N. Singh - to be accepted and agreed to when there are already two senior most officers of Manipur - Tripura cadre, senior to the present Chief Secretary? Instead of choosing the senior most officer Ameising Luikham, who is also a local and native of Manipur, the present Chief Minister has chosen the third senior most officer who will retire in three months. The question is: Why?

The former Chief Secretary’s tenure was not even for 2 years, while the present Chief Secretary’s tenure can’t even – if not extended -  be for four months. On the directive of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, as well as recommended by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission, DoPT (Department of Personnel & Training), GoI - with the notification under the then UPA government - ordered for at least two years of fixed posting of all India services (IAS, IPS and IFS) officers. In a case of O. Nabakishore Singh, IAS, whose appointment as the Chief Secretary came into effect from the 1st of October, 2015, he was removed from the post of Chief Secretary even before completing 2 years of tenure in the post of Chief Secretary.

It is not a surprise to see an officer, who will retire in three months and despite having other IAS officers of Manipur-Tripura cadre who are senior to him, is being appointed as Chief Secretary - which is nothing but could/might also be paving a way for another new future Chief Secretary of the state with the help of an influence from New Delhi. Why is Ameising Luikham, who will retire on 8/12/2018, an insider and local IAS officer of 1981 batch - senior to the present Chief Secretary, of 1983 batch, not made the Chief Secretary of Manipur, and instead the third (after Ameising Luikham of 1981 batch and Ajay Narayan Jha of 1982 batch) senior most IAS officer, of 1983 batch, in the Civil List of IAS officers of Manipur-Tripura cadre, who will retire on 23/09/2017, has been made the Chief Secretary of the state?

When the entire Manipur Valley is inundated, almost submerged under water, due to unprecedented floods, caused both by man-made and natural calamities, at present, the sudden change of the state’s Chief Secretary is not a matured and wise decision of the incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur. Any IAS officer, who is at the rank of at least Additional Chief Secretary, irrespective of their seniority, as I have been informed, is eligible to be Chief Secretary. Though, the Chief Minister can have his or her choice to be the Chief Secretary, but the sudden removal of the first Meitei IAS officer from the post of Chief Secretary is also a clear sign of a planned dishonour to the entire indigenous people, in particular, and the entire people, as a whole, of the state of Manipur. Besides dishonouring O. N. Singh, a non-controversial and upright officer of gentleman’s qualities and characters, the unceremonious removal of him from the post of the Chief Secretary is undoubtedly biased, discriminatory and unprecedented in the history of modern Manipur’s civil administration in an independent modern India.

Published in Articles

By Amar Yumnam

The Chief Minister of Manipur is emerging as an interesting and consequential political leader. He is showing his determination to prove himself as someone who leaves a legacy to be cherished by posterity. During the short period since he was sworn in he has surely established his hold on the administration; this is imperative and critical.

The approach to prove the worth of his mettle shows certain significant components. First, he is determined to reverse the adverse trends he inherited from his predecessor. There are many aspects in this. There is the social need for the reversal of the of the mountain-valley divide in Manipur, which particularly marked the third term of the previous regime. There is the accompanying imperative to reverse the valley-trap of development thinking and intervention. There is also the requirement to reverse the rising disconnect between the government and the governed during the period of his predecessor. Further Manipur needed to reverse the casual and personal aggrandizement approach to governance with little, if any, accountability inherent in it. Biren has already put in place interventions to affect these needed reversals.

Second, Biren has displayed his capability to reflect on the biases and frames of mind with which he came along from the political party of his origin and sooner than later the biases and mind-frames of his party of destination. This is a very significant strength of him as a political leader.

Third, there is another significant qualitative character of these reversal and reflexivity approaches. Biren is endeavouring to contextualise every intervention to the realism of Manipur. This is where the relevance would arise and performance and achievement would be the outcomes.

Fourth and in a very significant way Biren manifests incrementalism in his actions and interventions. This is most visible in his deepening of his grip over the administration. His approach here has the needed speed and emphasis; it is robust.

Well it has been good so far. The glass is definitely half full. The ultimate issue is sustaining the good results. The ultimate goal is to generate a kind of relationship between the government and the governed which is based on the rule of law. This would have long term impact on societal functioning as well. A brief on the developmental implications of societal and governance functioning on the basis of rule of law would be in place here. With corruption as an institutionalised issue and issues like mob-delivery of justice becoming widespread, the generation of a culture of rule of law is imperatively paramount. Manipur demands a new mechanism of revealing preferences for socialisation as well as governance – this is the culture of rule of law honoured by both the government agencies and the public. It has to be robust such that it transmits across generations and is not a passing passion. 

The beauty of the rule of law lies in the fact that all are, including the political ruler, subject to “regularised constraints” and the functioning is based on Predictability and Equality. Global development performance and the great transformation of the Asian Tigers have been credited to the rule of law significance. The nature of the relationship between rule of law and development has been one where development has been the outcome and not a precursor of rule of law.

Given the necessity of generating a robust rule of law culture and to make the half-full glass of Biren’s administration perfectly full, there is the need for attending to the needs to achieve this scenario. We need to appreciate the reality so far where the space for rule of law has been hugely compromised and contracted rather than expanded. The government needs to start acting to achieve this within a medium-term time frame. There are two areas where utmost attention is needed to intervene and perform, and which would also have maximum social implications as well.    

The two areas needing urgent attention are the functioning of the various Sub-Deputy Collector offices under the Revenue Department and the various Police Stations. The functioning of these two offices are so aligned with the personal, property and household interests of the public. In the prevailing atmosphere of lack of accountability, these offices have been by and large centres of personal aggrandisements by the officials. In the process, the public have been made to feel the rule of law as an exception rather than a norm. In other words, these offices have been agents for contraction of the rule of law instead of extension of the rule of law. This has made the general public feel the pangs of inequality. This has over the years stunted the emergence of an atmosphere of generalised constraint on official functioning for a predictable and equal governance as well as predictable and equal social functioning. Time is now for action to generate an atmosphere of rule of law for long term social equality, stability and robust economic development.   

Published in Articles
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

Bhutan in eye of storm

Much has been written about the standoff between India and China at the Doklam tri-junction between Bhutan, Tibet and Sikkim, at the edge of the Chumbi valley in Tibet. From the accounts available, China was trying to build a motorable road here well into the Doklam plateau which Bhutan claims is its territory. India is treaty bound to stand with Bhutan, moreover, Doklam plateau coming into the possession of China would compromise its security seriously as the plateau is at the southern tip of the Chumbi valley pointing menacingly like a dagger at the narrow land corridor known as Chicken’s Neck connecting the Northeast with the rest of India. In the four weeks since the standoff became public, there have been much speculations on what may have been the intent of the Chinese. Amongst many other theories, one speculates China’s action as a move to break the diplomatic status quo with regards to Bhutan. Under this status quo, the asymmetry of Bhutanese diplomatic relations is more than obvious. It is close to India, but it still has no diplomatic relations with China although the two also share as long a boundary as between Bhutan and India. India has a special treaty relationship with Bhutan. The two countries inherited a British era 1910 agreement. Since then there have the 1949 Treaty and then the 2007 Friendship Treaty, the last of which called for mutual assistance in defence matters. China according to analysts is seeking to change this status. The uncomfortable question that some Indian observers have also come up with is, what would Bhutan have preferred had it been left to decide on its own? Would it also like to make friends with China just as it is a friend of India? In the past decade, another special friend of India Nepal has undergone such a change. Now, as all are witness, Nepal often plays the China card whenever its relation with India suffers a hiccup. Obviously, India does not want Bhutan to go the Nepal way.

Relations between India and China did not have to be as bitter as now, had the unfortunate cataclysm of the 1962 border clashes not occurred. This is a war that was clearly avoidable, for it served no purpose at all. There were no changes in the territories in possession of the two countries; the Chinese who had the upper hand in the first round of the clashes did not think of occupying the territories they overran; the war also did not continue for more than a month so was far from a full scale war etc. It only ended up quite irreparably souring relations between two Asian giants both of whom are now on the way to becoming economic powerhouses of the world, though it must be admitted China has surged a great distance ahead on this front. Had the 1962 war not happened and the two countries remained friends, or at least neutral to each other, border tussles such as the one over Doklam plateau probably would have been no cause for so much tension.

What actually happened in 1962 that cause the two nations to go to war, and where was it that India blundered, are still contentious questions. In recent times, many blindly blame the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru for his blunder of trusting the Chinese too much. There are however alternate explanations. One of these is by British Australian journalist, Neville Maxwell, a man who was the India correspondent of The Times London at the time of the war, and to whom a copy of the still classified inquiry report by Lt. Gen. Henderson Brooke-Brig. Prem Bhagat into the 1962 war was leaked. In his book “India’s China War” he claims it was India which started the war. We can only presume much of what he has written is based on the Henderson-Bhagat report as this document is still kept classified, though Maxwell in 2014 released the first 100 pages of the nearly 300 page report on his personal website.  It now seems shifting the blame for the debacle to Nehru alone is quite unfair. Although Maxwell is an India and Nehru baiter himself, he too admits in his book that Nehru's hands were to a great extent forced by the then hysterical public and media opinions which verged on calling Nehru a traitor for befriending China and the possibility that he might concede to fresh negotiations of the India-China border as Chou Enlai proposed. These opinions also blindly underestimated China's military strength and resolve by presuming (in hindsight disastrously) that China would only bark and not bite. This assessment was reinforced by a blundering intelligence department which did not bother to get a clearer picture of the preparations on the other side of the border. The same hysteria was gripping the Parliament too, where opposition leaders like Acharya Kripalani and Congressmen like Morarji Desai were continually beating the war drums. Maxwell also grudgingly admits that behind all the cacophony and chaos, India's emotional integrity was strong. Thinking the war would continue after the November disaster, he writes that young men everywhere were lining up to join the army. It seems almost a déjà vu that the public sentiment that prevailed in 1962 seems to be the mood prevailing now again. This is a note for caution. In the meantime, the government must seriously think of declassifying the Henderson-Bhagat Report so as to let everybody know where the roots of the 1962 blunder were, so vital lessons can be learnt.

Published in Editorial
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

CDF to initiate action

IMPHAL | July 9

Citizens Development Forum, Bishnupur informed today that the organisation will initiate action for the improvement of Bishnupur district hospital, demand removal of armed forces and halt firing drills.

Representative of all the wards in the Bishnupur Municipality area and concerned citizens have resolved to take befitting action against doctors, medical practitioners at Bishnupur District Hospital if they continue to neglect the plight of the patients hailing from different parts of the district, said a release.

The meeting also resolved to demand the total removal of Mountain Brigade (Loktak) currently stationed at Loukoipat, adjacent to the hospital, it said adding the armed forces camped in the area have used the location as firing range without considering the fact that many patients are admitted to the hospital every day.

The meeting demanded that the firing practices at the brigade should be halted immediately, it added.

Published in News
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

AMACTA to observe ‘Justice Day’

IMPHAL | July 9

The executive committee of All Manipur College Teachers’ Association (AMCTA) has organised a meeting yesterday at Oriental College, Takyel to discuss about the current situation of Education.

A release said in the meeting, AMACTA expressed that the organisation shares the plight of the people suffering from flood and urged the government to speed up the ongoing flood relief work at the affected areas.

 The meeting resolved that AMACTA will also observe ‘Justice Day’ in the state which is going to be organised on a national level by AIFUCTO on June 12, it said adding the present scenario of Higher Education and matters on 7th UGC Pay will be discussed during the observation.

Published in News

From Our Correspondent

BISHNUPUR| July 9

Large areas of paddy fields in Kwasiphai, Bishnupur district have submerged under the flood water caused by the incessant rains.

The president of Gram Panchayat, Khoijuman Kwasiphai, N. Ibopishak have inspected the submerged paddy fields at two villages which lie under the gram panchayat. He said, “Since the past two days, many vegetable farms and fish farms got submerged by the flood that came after the Thongjaorok River breached at Kwasiphai Mamang area.”

A farmer from the area said, “No reliefs are provided by the government so far.  When the flood came last year, it severely affected us, poor farmers whose life are dependent on agriculture.” He urged that the government must act urgently to prevent the flood from happening again in the future.

Meantime, many houses at Ishok, Nambol assembly constituency, are waterlogged by the flood and the people are facing extreme hardships. The people are at loss about the many hectares of paddy fields and fish farms being submerged under the flood. Many diseases like diarrhoea, flu and other contagious diseases are rampant in the area.

Published in News
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

Drug user attacks rehab member

From Our Correspondent

THOUBAL | July 9

One Sorokhaibam Ojit, acting president, education welfare association (Liwa) from Lamding Cherapur made a narrow escape from an alleged knife attack by a drug addict, Moirangthem Ronelkumar (39) son of Ranjit from Wangjing Khabakhong Leikai.

The incident happened today around 9:30am when Ojit was bringing the alleged attacker back to the rehabilitation centre he had earlier escaped from, by digging through a wall. On July 7, Ronelkumar was handed over to Thoubal police station earlier by members of Liwa club and later lodged at the rehabilitation centre.

 After he escaped from the rehabilitation centre yesterday at around 1 am, his father M. Ranjit informed Liwa club about his escape. The workers of the club caught him again and were bringing him back to the centre on a car.

On the way, he assaulted Ojit with a knife, which he had kept hidden along with him. Another worker Kh. Manikumar who was present there saw the attack and stopped him from stabbing Ojit. Ronelkumar was charged with life attempt and handed over to the Thoubal police, a case has been registered. 

Published in News
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

Adim Pamei takes stock flood situation

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | July 9

With the occurrence of flash flood in the state, vice-chairman of department of Relief and Disaster Management, Adim Pamei visited four flood affected areas of Imphal East and Imphal West today.

One of the most affected areas in Imphal East is Mayai leikai Wangkhei Loumanbi and Mamang Leikai of Bashikhong. More than 200 houses of the area are affected by flood and many domesticated animals like cattle, swine and poultry are taking shelter at streets including temporary shelters for the people.

Works minister, Th. Biswajit gave financial support to the flood affected people of the area along with rice, dal, edible oil and drinking water. According to locals of Bashikhong, SDO, Imphal East has not done any survey at the flood affected area till now.

Addressing the complaint of the loclas, Adim Pamei assured to supply relief material for the needy people of the area, especially rubber tubes for transportation in the local streets.

He further said that he has instructed to meet the SDO concerned to ensure supply of all the essential commodities from the department.

Speaking to IFP, Upa Pradhan of Bashikhong Gram Panchayat, Manaoton Meitei demanded the state government to supply more essential commodities for the needy people at the earliest as they are facing lots of problems by the impact of flood.

Adim Pamei also visited the flood affected paddy fields of the Lamlai Sabam Lamyai area. For the flood affected farmers new seeds will be distributed from the side of the department concerned, Adim said.

In Gaipuinam flood relief camp which is organised by Gaipuinam Youth Club of Dewlaland, around 82 households are taking shelter at the relief camp located at Inter states bus service campus including people staying at rented houses.

Adim Pamei gave financial support with a sum of Rs. 10, 000 to the club.

For the relief camp of flood affected people of Moidangpok and Sajirok of Patsoi area, Adim distributed relief materials to 200 houses with 10 kgs of rice per house. Meanwhile, Lilong-Thoubal Municipal Council chairperson, Ibemcha distributed relief materials at Lilong Awang Leikai relief camp in collaboration with Thoubal DC.

Published in News
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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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