Date:
Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

Bandh and blockade painting competition

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 6

Painting competition for students under the theme “Bandh and Blockade na piba cheitheng” was held today at the on-going trade show organised by Socialists Students’ Union Manipur at Hatta Kangjeibung, Imphal. The trade show which started on August 1 will go on till 14.

Naorem Tanoranjan, information and publicity secretary of the students’ union said that today was the first day for students in the trade show which is to promote the talents, creativity in art, handloom and handicraft of the state.

The competition is divided into two categories, one for classes III to VI and the other for classes VII to X. The first category had 80 students participating and the second category had 30 participants, he stated.

Tanoranjan said that the result will be declared before the show culminates and the prizes will be distributed on the final day of the trade show.

The theme for this competition is intentionally chosen because as young as class three students knows the impact of bandhs and blockades in the state, and every organisations should also know that it does not do good to the public as a whole, he said.

Such agitation should be stopped in the state and instead focus on positive development, he added.

Published in News

Newmai News Network

DIMAPUR |Aug 6

The Naga People’s Front headed by Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu said that “legality is with Dr Shurhozelie and TR Zeliang continues to be the chief minister by blatant aberration of the laws“. 

In a hard hitting press release issued today, the NPF headed by Dr Shurhozelie blamed TR Zeliang for the expulsion of Neiphiu Rio from the party in 2015. The statement also said that Neiphiu Rio’s ministry was reduced to a minority as there was a revolt within the party in 2004 but it was Dr Shurhozelie Lizietsu who came to the rescue of the former.

Neiphiu Rio and TR Zeliang are now joining hands against Dr Shurhozelie. Rio is the “Interim President” of one of the two NPF factions which supports TR Zeliang.

According to the statement, Neiphiu Rio, during Jamir’s Congress ministry, found it “suffocating to remain under his leadership when his ego and ambition ballooned into the size of several football fields and his colleagues found it obnoxious and began to avoid him as best as they could”.

It also stated, “By the fag end of the Congress ministry, Rio found he had landed himself in a not-so-enviable position of possibly being denied even the party ticket for the ensuing elections in 2003. And so, he orchestrated a grand political manoeuvre, hollow though it was to those who were in the know, by resigning from the ministry in September 2002. It was a huge political development at that point of time because he was the then Home minister; and to his erstwhile colleagues, a huge relief as they considered his departure as a very good riddance”.

Further the release said, Rio was reduced to a minority when in the later part of 2004, Z Obed mustered the support of 17 NPF legislators and demanded that Rio be replaced. “But party president Dr Shurhozelie, who was elected to the post at the General Convention of the party in Dimapur in the later part of 2003 replacing Vizol even though he, Dr Shurhozelie was an elected member, extended full support to the then minority chief minister and Rio could overcome the revolt within the NPF party.

It continued Rio is the “disrespected and dejected” President. “Dejected because he is the “interim President” and according to the NPF Constitution, there is no such post as interim, Ad Hoc or work charged president; dis-reputed because Rio will go down the annals of Naga history in infamy as the successor of Noke whose flash-in-the-pan tenure as president of the dissident NPF camp lasted only till the crisis lasted and had to attend the Special General Convention of the NPF on April 30, 2015 donning a skin thicker than that of a rhino, the Mascot of Kaziranga,” it also stated.

The statement then said that, it is “astounding how the expelled NPF legislators” could console themselves with a make-believe “amnesty period” of fifteen days when the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India clearly mentions that the political party can condone defiance of the Whip within fifteen days. “This period is in no way an Amnesty as the erring legislators seem to think. Anyhow, defiance of the Whip issued by NPF chief whip Kiyanilie Peseyie occurred on July 21 and the fifteen day period to condone the travesty had already expired and there is no turning back,” it added.

According to the statement, the “ill-advice” that the chief minister TR Zeliang seems to be receiving has been made conspicuous when he filed disqualification petition against the ten NPF legislators.

“He is not the ticket-issuing authority for the NPF party and he never was. To begin with, he is not the Chief Whip of the NPF party and he would do well to keep in mind that if it was not for the queer action of the Speaker to support him. The whip issued by him ought to have been rejected outright,” maintained the release.

Published in News

By Amar Yumnam

The happenings in Jammu and Kashmir, cow-vigilantism, recent responsive killings in Kerala, Gorkhaland related violence and counter-violence and such similar events cannot be without history. There must be something in the dynamics of socio-politico-economic aspects of Indian polity – in both aggregate and segregated aspects – over the decades such that India is now in a situation of strong government and rising violence. Whereas rising violence and strong government should be mutually exclusive, there are palpable signs of coexistence scenario prevailing in India today.

Now let us introspect first on what are the historical factors – factors defining path dependence - that could be the underlying reasons for the contemporary political economic scenario in India. The understanding of this process calls for examining the character of the Indian polity since the first day she started adopting universal franchise as an instrument for moving towards a robust democratic country. There are certain contextual realities relevant for a proper appreciation of the process of democratization in India so far. First, it is a fact in India even today that the majority of the population have an asset base and an income inadequate to enjoy meaningful quality of life. Second, this inadequate livelihood base is also characterised by irregularities that certainty of livelihood sustenance is rather an exception; the margin of decline has a higher probability than that of rise. Farmer suicides are still a happening phenomenon in this country for the Indian part of India. For the North-Eastern part, particularly for Manipur, even the little possession of assets being sacrificed to counter immediate threatening impacts of decline of livelihood sustenance is a common phenomenon yet.

It is in such a socio-economic context that India adopted the adult-franchise route of establishing democratic polity. There is every merit in this collective decision. The devil is however in the details. The political route to achieve a robust democratic polity was not founded on any salient social or economic strengths which could serve as a strong foundation for a healthy polity in turn. The political elite – in the sense of those forming the core of the political party in power, their coteries and their blindly supporting group for personal benefits – was not interested in broad-basing the access to benefits of developmental schemes sponsored by the government and thus lay a foundation for long term socio-economic transformation of the country. The members of this political elite had the overriding objective of continuing their political hold over the political administration instead of generalising the benefits of governance among the masses. Naturally they had no intention and no policy for equalising the opportunities for advancement for the citizens of the country. This naturally led to an atmosphere of political clientelism; vote-bank and communal politics are familiar terms in India. The majority of the masses had only one route to escape from the uncertainties of low income and consequent dangers to sustaining livelihood. This was to blindly support the members of the ruling political elite. Further, the cultural and the geographic diversity of the country were not taken as the strength of the country but were rather exploited as a convenient milieu for practising client-generating politics. Even worse, the clientele base was not founded on the relative qualitative strengths but surely on the non-questioning character of the clients. This was a surest way to perpetuate the hold of mediocrity on the polity of the country in all its dimensions. The result is there for all to see. The shared economic strength did not improve. Naturally poverty did not go away and equality drifted away farther in the horizon.     

It is in this context that the composition of the ruling political elite experienced a change three years back. Since the people by and large have already borne the burden of seven decades of political clientelism and the non-improving scenario of economic uncertainties, the country is genuinely interested in appreciating the unfolding socio-politico-economic dynamics. Is the country moving towards broad-basing the coverage of the access to the benefits of state-sponsored programmes of development? Is the country moving away from an atmosphere of political clientelism to one of shared political participation and equalisation of opportunities for advancement? Is the diversity of the country now treated as a positive strength rather than as a convenience for practising political favouritism? 

These are very critical issues which the polity of the country today should address. Well the doubts arise exactly here. The significance of the recent happenings lie here. In the earlier periods we saw the despicable approach to maintain political power through political clientelism and thus allow the inequality to continue. But in the changed circumstances, there definitely is an attempt to broaden the base of the clients. This however comes at a very heavy price of shrinking the democratic ambience in the country. This is visibly accompanied by an imposing homogenisation of the clients. While the earlier weakness was political clientelism, under the present one this is coupled by imposition of group homogenisation. This is where the challenge of Manipur also lies.

Published in Articles
Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

AFSPA repeal promise

Of the many things the chief minister N. Biren Singh said during the course of the recently concluded Budget Session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly which caught the imagination of the people by and large was that of his promise to look into means to have the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, AFSPA-1958 repealed. While the people are curious to know how the BJP chief minister would try and convince the Union government, also under his party, by and large they are not hopeful of a favourable outcome. This is based on many counts. For one thing, such promises are not new in Manipur. The state, and indeed the rest of the Northeast and Kashmir, has even seen the hopes of a reworked legislation by which the AFSPA would be repealed after certain provisions of it has been incorporated into the civil law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention and Act, UAPA, died a silent and unceremonious death. This, if we recall was part of the initiative by the then Congress government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in response to widespread and extended violent agitations against the AFSPA in Manipur following the rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama in 2004 by the Assam Rifles. The government had then formed a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Jeevan Reddy, with the mandate to look for reforms to be introduced to the AFSPA to “humanise” it. The recommendations of this committee seeking a way out for repealing the AFSPA was what was shelved and this was on account of objections from the Army.  Within Manipur, the same agitation had compelled the then Congress government in the state headed by Okram Ibobi to repeal the AFSPA from seven Assembly segments in the Imphal municipal area, much against advice from the Congress high command and the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre. But Ibobi prevailed. Under the circumstance, it is reasonable to believe chief minister Biren’s current promise seems be coming not so much from any optimism that the AFSPA can wholly be removed easily, particular in the face of the ultra-nationalistic outlook of the BJP government and the consequent consecration of the Army. What he may have in mind is probably a replication of the limited 2004 repeal of the AFSPA from Imphal area where there is an adequate concentration of state police force to handle law and order.

Whatever the case may be, if the chief minister is serious about his promise, he could also begin by not extending the Disturbed Area Act when its current term ends in about five months from now. It may be recalled, the DAA was extended by this government only a few weeks before the chief minister made his promise. Without the DAA, the AFSPA cannot be promulgated. In all probability the Centre will compel the state government to continue with the DAA but at least a moral disapproval would have been made known. This has been done in Nagaland, where the state Assembly had repeatedly drawn up the resolution that the state does not any longer need the AFSPA as peace is being negotiated and the insurgents and the state have put their fights in suspension. It is anybody’s guess that AFSPA ghost has still not been exorcised from Nagaland either despite this collective stand of its lawmakers. But the fact is, Nagaland has made it known in no uncertain terms that the AFSPA is there in the state not because it wants it. Biren Singh’s government could also send out a similar message, if at all he is serious about his promise to work to have the AFSPA repealed from the state.

Alternately, he could also begin sending requests for prosecution sanctions from the Central government in cases of human right violation by the Army and other Central forces covered by the AFSPA if and whenever they happen. Quite surprisingly, in the last two decades, the state government has made no such request to the Centre, probably in anticipation of the mind of the Centre and the dread of going against it. How we wish there was a strong enough government in the state capable of standing up against this pathetic patron-client relationship between the Centre and state and look to a healthier relationship defined by a Centre-state partnership in a working federal polity. But, as they say, there can always be a beginning, and Biren can begin the process of redefining this relationship in the spirit of the latter. His AFSPA removal promise, if he is serious, can be the platform this campaign can be launched from. Our best wishes will be with him should he decide to embark on this path.

Published in Editorial
Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

DRDA employees demand pending salaries

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 6

The government must release the pending salary for the last two years said spokesperson of All Manipur District Rural Development Agency Co-Ordinating Committee, Mutum Okendro during a press meet held today at Manipur Press Club.

Speaking to the media persons, Okendro said employees of DRDA of different districts of the state are facing immense hardships due to the pending salary since the last two years. Pending salary for Churachandpur district is 19 months, Ukhrul-24 months, Chandel-20 months, Thoubal-17 months, Imphal East-15 months and for Imphal West the report is still pending.

He said the employees of DRDA are conducting cease-work strike since August 1 demanding to release of the pending salary. Okendro urged the present government to sanction the pending salaries at the earliest, adding that the strike will call off at once if the demands are fulfilled.

He said regarding the matter the committee had submitted a memorandum to the minister concerned and the committee had already met the chief minister on the pressing issue. Till now no response has come from the government, he lamented.

Published in News

JIRIBAM | Aug 6 (JNN)

A conglomerate body of Linguistics minority peoples of Jiribam, All Jiribam Linguistics Minority People's Organisation (AJLMPO) organised a mass protest meeting against the reservation demand of Jiribam assembly constituency by the Kangleipak Students Association (KSA) today.

The mass meeting was held at Lalpani Government High School ground where people of different communities of Jiribam attended the meeting.

The meeting unanimously resolved to question the appropriate meaning of the word "Meetop" and "Indigenous" from the Kangleipak Students Association.

The meeting decided that the nationality and identity of individuals could not be judged on the basis of language, caste and religion and such unconstitutional activities was strongly condemned by All Jiribam Linguistics Minority People's organisation.

It further resolved that AJLMPO will not remain as silent spectators if any so-called authority gives harassment in the name of identity to the linguistics minority peoples of Jiribam, who are the permanent settlers.

Further, the AJLMPO distinctly mentioned that they have no objections to identify foreigners by the government in the light of Indian Constitution without any biasness among the communities of Jiribam.

The mass meeting of AJLMPO was attended by senior citizen of Latingkhal, Jiribam, Bishombor N.S, social activist of Barak Circle, Gunadhor Das, assistant secretary of AJLMPO, Taj Uddin, pradhan of Sonapur Gram Panchayat, Haider Ali, president of Barak Brothers Union, Rajesh Singha and general secretary of Barak Brothers Union, Lomsang Duhlian as the chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

Published in News
Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

Awareness programme for labourers held

From A Correspondent

THOUBAL | Aug 6

An awareness programme for labourers was organised by Labourer Welfare Association, Kakching district today at library and information centre, Kakching where labour cards were handed out to labourers.

MLA of Kakching assembly constituency, Y. Surchandra attended the programme as chief guest, chairperson of Kakching municipal council, M. Inakhunbi as president and deputy labour commissioner, labour and employment department E. Tomba as the guest of honour, respectively.

Surchandra highlighted the need of the labourers to be informed about the advantages available under the labour department. Various schemes have not reached the public due to lack of information and this must be avoided at all costs. The advantages provided by the labour department must be utilised to make progress, and become a peaceful and abundant society, he said.

He further said regarding Kakching assembly constituency that his dream is to bring progress in Kakching and requested the people not to be confused regarding Kakching district headquarters.

He lamented about the existing issues about Kakching super market, stating that since all are concerned about the future of Kakching, they should sort out the matter together and bring a mutual agreement to solve the issue.

Inakhunbi said that the contractors working under Kakching municipal council will readily provide assistance to labourers who are in need of paperwork while applying for labour cards. The labourers are invited to visit office of the council, she added.

  1. Tomba and R.O of labour welfare board, L. Ibomcha also relayed about various benefits and advantages available for the labourers.

It may be mentioned that a total of 300 hundred labour cards were handed out today.

Published in News
Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

Accused arrested

IMPHAL | Aug 6

A team of Senapati district police arrested an alleged accused person identified as Mary alias Leishiapm (18) daughter of David Thank of Takamei village along with alleged co-accused namely, younger sister of Mary in connection with assault case of one minor girl namely, Maifiphonlui (14) daughter of Widinvamang of Lanka village, Senapati district at present Angkailundi, said a statement signed by PRO.

Published in News
Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

New KSA unit

IMPHAL | Aug 6

Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA) unit of Chaoyaima Higher Secondary School was opened yesterday for smooth functioning and development of the student community and appointed office bearers of the unit following a meeting held at the college. A release signed by publicity secretary, N. Arpan said that M. Keny Meitei, L. Umakanta, S. Nongthong Meitei, Anjali and Ishorechandra has been appointed as the president, general secretary, finance secretary, publicity and deputy secretary respectively.

Published in News
Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

Health camp on YVO foundation day

IMPHAL | Aug 6

Young Voluntary Organisation, Wangkhei (YVO) organised a one-day medical camp in collaboration with Maipakpi Maternity and Child Hospital in connection to its 38th foundation day celebration at Wangkhei community hall, Wangkhei Pujah Lampak, Imphal today.

A release said that the medical camp was administered by Dr. L. Basanta and Dr. Sachikumar of paediatric while for dental, Dr. Ratna Yumkham, Dr. Mangangleima Irom and Dr. Angom Gopilal and for Obstetrics Gynae, Dr. Khoirom Tomba Singh, Dr. Sanjenbam Sangeeta Devi, Dr. Girindra CHingthen, Dr. Khoirom Siddharta Singh, Dr. Nirma Gurumayum, Dr. Priyanta Adhikari and Dr. Chingakham Tamphasana.

Altogether 439 individuals were provided free health check-ups and medicines during the health camp.

Published in News
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About IFP

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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