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09/03/2005: "Naga political leaders face the heat"

Naga political leaders face the heat
IMPHAL, Sept 2: The United Committee Manipur taking serious note to the participation of Naga MP and MLA's from Manipur in Naga Integration Rally at Kohima has voice for stringent disciplinary action against them. The committee also demanded a declaration by their respective party’s leaders what sort of action will be awarded to them.
Naga MP from Outer PC, Mani Charenamei, MLA's Samuel Zendai, Henry Paotei of Federal Party of Manipur, Wungnaoshang Keishing of Congress, Danny Shaiza of BJP have attended the rally. Terming the rally as a direct threat to the territorial integrity of Manipur, UCM giving a serious view question the rationale behind MP, Charenamei intension of undermining the contribution of the Meities, Kukis and Meitei Pangals during his poll, while strongly advocating for a single community despite his being a representative of Manipur in Parliament. This sort of attitude will create division among peoples of the state. The UCM observes that all political parties of the state have pledge to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur and in such, failure to provide a statement by their respective parties would culminate declaring these parties as anti-peoples. It also caution the peoples to wary of such politicians and political parties and to defeat theirs sinister design and anyone who tries to sow the seed of hatred among the communities of the North-East will be considered anti- Manipur. (NET)

Hoho's elation/complaint
Dimapur, September 01 (NNN): The Naga Hoho has described the August 31 integration rally in Kohima as “epoch-making event” in the history of Naga people’s cry for justice and freedom where ‘several thousand’ irrespective of arbitrary boundaries and divisions gathered’. A press release issued by Naga Hoho publicity secretary P Chuba Ozukum said apart from those who attended the rally, thousand others failed to make it to the programme on time after they were held up on their way in places between Khuzama and Mao gate by security forces in the name of frisking.
“This itself shows the insincerity on the part of security forces towards solving the age-old Naga political problem,” the release said. The Naga Hoho reiterated its commitment to go deeper and draw out a road-map for Naga integration which “we unequivocally feel the foundation for any political settlement”.
It lauded CM Neiphiu Rio, Home Minister Thenucho and their colleagues, Opposition leader I Imkong and his colleagues, Naga MPs, hoho units and civil societies for their contributions towards successful conduct of the rally. The Hoho also hailed district administration, security personnel, Kohima Municipal Council, volunteers from different tribes, media, non-Naga communities, etc for their cooperation.

Nagaland Congress traps Rio between Lim and sovereignty The Imphal Free Press
Kohima, Sept 1 : The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) ridiculed the statement by Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio during the National Integration Council meeting in New Delhi on August 31 that "integration of all Nagas is the road to solution of the Naga political problem".
Critiquing Rio`s view of integration as the legitimate birthright of the Naga people, a press release issued by NPCC president, Hokheto Sumi, wondered how the chief minister could have two different integrations ? `the one he had participated in Delhi for India`s integration and the other he encourages and claims to be the birth right of Naga`.

The party also took noted Rio`s statement during the ANSAM-sponsored economic blockade that a hundred percent security could not be provided to the Manipur-bound vehicles. The party said though it was understandable that anything could have happened at that point of time without the knowledge of the government and the chief minister, yet it amounted to a direct encouragement to untoward incidents hence improper and irresponsible on the part of a legal government?
The NPCC said it did not take up the issue at that point of time as the situation would have aggravated.
Strengthen goodwill, Naga Hoho tells UCM Morung Express News September 2
KOHIMA: Taken aback by the sharp reaction of the Imphal based United Council Manipur (UCM), which had issued a stern call for action to be taken against the Outer Manipur MP and Naga MLAs from Manipur for attending the August 31 Naga Integration Rally, the Naga Hoho has instead advised the UCM ‘not to go beyond the precipice, but rather consolidate themselves, take their community into confidence and help strengthen the neighborly relationships.’
Maintaining that Nagas had always lived together emotionally and physically and were only trying to remove the artificial and geo-political boundaries, the Naga Hoho viewed the latest outburst of the UCM terming it as "one of the coffin nails to the Naga-Meitei bond of friendship" and cautioned that the wound would deepen if it was not corrected soon. "When even non-Nagas were participating in the Integration Rally, why should Nagas not participate, and least of all our leaders", stated a press communiqué issued by Neingulo Krome, General Secretary, Naga Hoho. Describing the outburst of the UCM as unrelenting and obnoxious coupled with deliberate action of contempt against Nagas by the Imphal valley organizations and other elements, the Naga Hoho pointed out that it had never responded with ill feelings or in a way of being intimidated. "Rather, we have always extended our hands of friendship, which were made to "grope in the dark"; although we always appreciated the difficulties they have and patiently continue to look forward to positive reciprocation. But these efforts are seemingly read from very negative perspectives, which now threaten to even disturb the prevailing good-will and neighborly relationship", Krome stated. The Naga Hoho will pursue the manifestation of the Naga people in whatever way possible and imperative", Krome stated while also expressing gratitude to all those who made the Integration Rally a "dream come true" and to the thousands that thronged the Capital City Kohima from every nook and corner of Naga areas in Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and even Burma (Myanmar).
Rare metals discovered in Nagaland Morung Express
UNI Kohima Sept 2: Precious metals of the platinum group element (pge) are present in Nagaland, according to a study. This was revealed by a visiting scientist ,head of geochemistry division of National Geological Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad, Mr V Balaram at the inaugural function of the state geological programme board at Dimapur. He said that pge’s are among the rarest of all metals and costlier than gold. They are widely used as decorative metals in jewellery but their principal uses are in industrial applications. In India two prominent belts where pge are believed to be found are in the Naga hills Ophiolite belt, extending over a few hundred kilometers, and the other in the Drass -Ophiolite belt situated in north western part of the country, he said.
He said that the research project on the Naga-Ophiolite belt was jointly carried out by the geology department of the Nagaland University, Kohima, and the geochemestry division of NGRI, Hyderabad. Mr Balaram said that the venture had yielded encouraging results and further studies would be carried out in the near future. He said it was necessary to strengthen geochemical laboratories in order to facilitate more exploration studies. Meanwhile, the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) under the Union Ministry of geology and mining in a letter addressed to the director of geology and mining of the Nagaland government has stated that the state government may seek assistance to develop the mines and mineral based industries in the area.
Dr Khomdon recounts stirring SA experience Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 02: ‘‘All of my three sons have died of AIDS, followed by two daughters-in-law one after another. So, doctor please tell me what is this AIDS ?’’ These are the words of an old man from Kampala city of Africa’s Uganda, that has haunted Dr Khomdon Lisam for days during his recent visit to South Africa.Talking to The Sangai Express today, Dr Khomdon, the former National Trainer of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and present NACO consultant, alluded to this incident to emphasise the lack of awareness and knowledge among the general people all over the world, Manipur not being an exception, on, what he called the ‘silent killer’, the HIV/AIDS.
Though originally hailing from Manipur, Dr Khomdon has been in the State for the last three months in his capacity as the consultant of NACO to monitor the activities of Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS).
“I consider it very fortunate to be deputed as the NACO consultant in Manipur because I have real concern for the North East region where the menace of HIV/AIDS is taking on the proportion of an epidemic”, Dr Khomdon said.
However, the experienced doctor observed that “Manipur is still a virgin in the matter of HIV/AIDS and there has been no serious research in this area. In comparison with other States, Manipur is also still lacking behind in getting the required fund to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.” On his official visit to the State, Dr Khomdon informed that he has come to review the projects that were taken up by MACS from 1995 to 2005.

Apart from this, a plan would be chalked out for implementation of Global Fund on AIDS/ TB/Malaria (GFATM) in Manipur,” he said, while informing that he has already met officials of MACS and representatives of 32 NGOs in this connection. For implementation of the GFATM project, a detailed study of the existing district level infrastructures has to be taken up. But the process is still ongoing on, he said expressing dissatisfaction over the slow pace of the work. Out of Rs 1 crores sanctioned for taking up the project, Rs 72 lakhs is still remaining and the preparation of the reports of Technical Committee and Executive Committees are yet to be completed, he added. The NACO official has nothing but praise for the Project Orchid being taken up with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation currently being taken up in Imphal, Ukhrul and Churachandpur district.

The project has been entrusted into the hands of the NGOs which have experienced. However, NACO does not direct deal with the activities of these NGOs, he said, while stressing on better co-ordination and understanding MACS and the its partner NGOs for the success of the project. Replying to a question on the alleged pressures from underground organisations in the functioning of MACS, Dr Khomdon prompted replied that there has no report from the side of MACS to NACO in this connection. Nonetheless, the NACO official was critical over the manner of implementing the National AIDS programmes in Manipur. Although distribution of syringes among the drug users is illegal, but the IDU projects being implement-ed in Manipur, of all the projects in the South Asian region, has been found very effective in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS thro-ugh IDUs, he noted.

On ARV/ART, Dr Khomdon said that NACO is keeping the target of providing the said drugs to all the infected/affected people who are under 200 CD4 counts. But whether there are physicians in all the hospitals of the districts is not known, he said. He also pointed out that absence of Gynaecologists in the hill districts is also posing a serious problems toward implementation of the PPTCT project being taken up to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS from mother to child. Since no project has been taken up under UNAIDS in the North Eastern States like Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya, a new project related especially to womenfolks is likely to be taken up very soon in these States, the NACO official disclosed.
Rebels apprehend teachers in Imphal Newmai News Network Morung Express
Imphal: The underground Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) has pulled up two teachers including a headmaster on charges of tampering of service book and misappropriation of school funds today. The headmaster has been enforced to retire while the other is canned and ordered to pay up the amount. The two teachers in question are Md. Sikander Ali, headmaster and Asst.teacher Md.Abdul Halim, both belonging to Lilong Haoreibi village in Thoubal district,Manipur. According to report, the charges brought up against Sikander by the outfit is on tampering of his service for extension of service by six months while that of Abdul Halim is misutilisation of school funds and selling off rice meant for mid day meals. For theirs crime, Md.Sikander have been asked to return the salary withdrawn after his exact retirement age and also been asked to take forced retirement. As for Abdul Halim, the outfit will canned him and asked to return back the fraudulent withdrawn of Rs.15, 000 and the same will be utilized to buy books and pencils for students , the KYKL statement said.
The outfit further said, in connivances with AI’s and DI’s concerned, Md.Sikander Ali had tampered his date of birth from March 1, 1947 to 1949 to avail two years service extension while in actuality he was to retire February this year. The outfit statement further added that this is an ample proof that senior officers in the Education department ranging from Director to AI’s and DI’s can be bought anytime and service book can be altered for a price. This has set bad examples and particularly the students mind will have a big impact by such sort of malpractices. The KYKL further warned even if may take 10 years or so on to probe corruption/scandals in Education Department, the outfit will keep a strict vigils to the functioning of it.
Guwahati protestors arrested Morung Express Newmai News Network
Guwahati: More than 1000 bandh protesters were arrested and reports of group clashes poured in from different parts of the state during the 12-hour Assam bandh on Thursday called by Lok Jagaran Manch, with also gained support from BJP, RSS, Bajrang Dal and the ABVP. The Mancha called the bandh to protest against the killing of a RSS leader in broad day light by miscreants at a place in Nalbari district of lower Assam on Tuesday morning. A joint operation launched by police and army later on Tuesday killed one of the miscreants who killed the RSS leader Sukleswar Medhi. The slain miscreant was later identified as Digamanda Rajbongshi and his father informed that his son left home about one year back. Barak Valley alone witnessed the arrest of 1000 protesters with 400 in Karimganj, 247 in Cachar and 317 in Hailakandi. Twenty two people were injured in different places; some in groups clash and some after police lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to lathi charge in Kalain area in Silchar as protesters blocked the busy traffic at the NH 44.
A total of 15 people in Tezpur after people from two communities clashed at 5-mile area at around 12:30 this afternoon. Two persons received serious injuries in the clash. Sixty one agitators were arrested from various parts of Guwahati alone while trying to block road communication in areas like Maligaon, Bhangagarh, Basista, Beltola, Jalukbari, and Adabari. The bandh paralyzed the life in al most everywhere in the state and all the educational institutions, government offices recorded a thin attendance during the day.
Nagas of NE States hold integration rally Assam Tribune
KOHIMA, Sept 2– Leaders of ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland, Opposition Congress and Naga legislators from Manipur yesterday held a joint rally here along with leaders of various Naga councils, ngos and churches to reassert their demand for a single administrative unit for all Nagas. Besides Nagas from the state, a large number of people from nearby Senapati and Ukhrul districts of Manipur also attended the Naga Integration Rally to express their “solidarity to live as one people” to restore permanent peace in the troubled region. Addressing the rally, state Home Minister Thenucho of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government, alleged the Nagas were divided by the Britishers for their administrative convenience without the ‘consent’ of the people, but the Nagas now wanted to come together under one administrative umbrella.

“The DAN government under the able leadership of Neiphiu Rio will, therefore, continue to pursue the aspiration of our people till it becomes a reality,” the Home Minister said. Opposition Congress leader I Imkonge, said the State Assembly had already passed resolutions four times in support of Naga integration and his party had become part of these steps.

Imkong maintained that they must formulate their political aspirations in concrete terms in view of the changed circumstances in the global scenario. The local ground witnessed the largest gathering of people in the recent memory when they thronged the venue to attend the Naga integration rally jointly organized by Naga NGOs under the aegis of the apex tribal council Naga Hoho to reassert their aspiration to live as one people in a single administrative unit. – PTI

86 ultras lay down arms in Tripura Assam Tribune From Prabir Shil
AGARTALA, Sept 2 – A large group of insurgents belonging to two banned outfits, National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), today surrendered before the police. Eighty-six ultras, including four women, gave themselves up before Director General of Police Ghanashyam Murari Srivastava at Arundhatinagar Police Lines here and deposited their arms and ammunition. They took an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and that they would eschew violence.

The ultras deposited one light machine gun, 13 AK-47 rifles, 11 self-loading rifles, two Chinese rifles, seven revolvers, 23 grenades and a huge quantity of ammunition. This is the largest surrender by insurgents, since 322 militants gave up arms last year, the DGP said. The NLFT (Biswamohan group) militants who laid down arms were led by Mantu Koloy and Kamini Debbarma, he said. A large number of insurgents had come overground due to concerted anti-militancy operation by the state police and central and state paramilitary forces, he said. Srivastava said that there was frustation in the rank and file of the insurgents following internal dissension and disparity in the living standards of cadres and leaders in their camps in neighbouring Bangladesh.
The DGP said the Ministry of Home Affairs had formulated a new surrender-cum- rehabilitation package which provided sufficient incentives for those surrendering. Those who gave up arms would be rehabilitated after a year’s vocational training.

Steps taken to resolve ethnic clashes Assam Tribune From Our Correspondent
DONGKAMOKAM, Sept 2– Several steps have been taken to resolve clashes between Adivasis and Hindi-speaking people which took place at Shyampathar Ganpatgaon under Howraghat police station in Karbi Anglong, Assam Governor Lt. Gen (retd) Ajay Singh, said in a press conference held at Diphu circuit house recently. Talking about the developmental activities, the Governor, said he has been personally monitoring all the schemes sanctioned by the government and added that the district is improving in all respect. Regarding the shortage of teachers in Diphu Govt College and doctors in the hospitals of Karbi Anglong, General Singh said the entire State is facing the problem. Meanwhile, both the communities have signed an agreement for the peaceful solution of the problem.

Ailing ULFA leader to reach Delhi in 48 hours NET News Network
Guwahati, Sep 3: Perturbed by the repercussion of Robin Handique’s death, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today announced his decision to send another ailing ULFA leader Ramu Mech languishing in Guwahati jail with severe eye problem to Delhi’s AIIMS within the next 48 hours. Gogoi however denied Handique’s death forcing him into taking the decision. ULFA meanwhile has slammed 12 hour Assam bandh on September 8 protesting against the death of its political advisor. The outfit in its latest edition of mouthpiece “ Swadhinata” accused government of “food poisoning” 68 year old Handique. Gogoi when queried about denial of proper medical attention to Handique replied that instructions were given to attending doctors to provide proper and timely medical care to the senior ULFA leader. However, if lapses are detected than action will be taken against the defaulting doctors. Expressing confidence that Handique’s death will not affect the ongoing peace initiative with the outfit, chief minister added that talk process is still in the corresponding stage. ULFA has been repeatedly accusing the government of procrastinating the peace process and giving more importance to military solution rather than political solution to the Assam conflict. Meanwhile, Gogoi who has recently returned from New Delhi admitted that detractors after the scrapping of IM (DT) act were trying to dislodge him and even gave wrong information to party high command Sonia Gandhi about alienation of Muslim community from the Congress party in the state. “ Mrs Gandhi has expressed confidence in me and I’ve assured her that Congress will come back to power in the state with more seats this year,” informed a confident looking Gogoi.
Assam students draw CM's attention By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Sep 2 : the All Assam Manipuri Students’ union and All manipur Students’ Union have submitted a joint represen- tation to Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh today urging him to initiate favourable action in solving the Bishnupriya issue, development of NH-53 and proper maintenance of a students’ hostel located at silchar among other important issues. Detailing on the contents of the joint memorandum at AMSU head office this afternoon, AAMSU general secretary Laishram Satyajit Singha said the CM has been urged to initiate proper and necessary action to solve the Bishnupriya case currently pending at the Supreme Court. regretting that a committee constituted under the chairmanship of then Education Minister Maniru- ddin Sheikh has not been able to function purposefully, the student bodies conveyed to the Chief Minister and insisited that he personally intervene to find a favourable solution at the earliest. The Assam students’ body leader stated that the CM was further urged to take necessary measures to improve economic and social status of Manipuris settled in other States. The representation also emphasised on the need to properly develop and maintain Imphal-Jiribam route so that the connectivity between Manipur and Assam States can be ensured through NH-53, expressed Satyajit and AMSU president Sinam Sanjoy. Reminding the CM of assurance given during the January visit to construct a Manipur Bhavan at silchar for which site inspection was also personally assessed the joint student delegation desired that the CM execute into action promises made to the manipuri settlers. Highlighting financial constraints of Silchar based Manipuri Benevolent Society hampering smooth function of Manipuri Boys Hostel at the 1.5 bigha plot of land, Satyajit conveyed of the memorandum highlighting to the CM of urgent need to develop the said hostel as a center for manipuri students of the North East region under State Government patronage. the delegation desired that Manipur Government construct an additional block to increase its capacity.
On the ANSAM led economic boycott with support of NSF on both the NHs, Satyajit expressed that reimposition of the blockade would prompt AAMSU to resort to counter-blockade at Assam areas.
June to Aug, 2005 Sangai Express
From the mid night of June 19, 2005 till August 31, 2005, Manipur has been on tenterhooks. If the latter part of June and July was about the suffering of the people due to the prolonged economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur, then the month of August saw the attention of the people diverted to the development of NH-53 as an alternative route to connect the State to the rest of the country. This was followed by the growing crescendo for the unification of Naga inhabited areas under one administrative unit capping off with the Naga integration rally held on August 31 at Kohima, where four MLAs from Manipur and the Outer Parliamentary Constituency of Manipur Mani Charenamei were present. The focus of attention of the people is now two fold. It has shifted from the economic blockade, and now all eyes on whether trucks should ply on NH-39 or not and the participation of the four Naga MLAs from Manipur at the Naga integration rally at Kohima. The United Committee Manipur has already made its mind known and demanded the political parties, to which the four MLAs belong, to come out with a public stand on the territorial integrity of Manipur. So far the State Government has not said a word about the participation of the four MLAs in the integration congregation, but we can expect pressures piling up in the coming days from different quarters on the Government on this point. What course of action Speaker TN Haokip takes up will also be watched with interest for the four MLAs are members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly and it is this Assembly which has already passed numerous resolutions to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur. And lest we forget, it was on becoming members of this Assembly, that the four MLAs took their oath of office and secrecy.
The other area of keen interest is the development of NH 53 and developing alternative routes so that the State and the people are not held to ransom by any organisation whose writ runs large on NH-39. Already a number of social organisations and drivers and truck owners' associations have announced their decision not to take the NH-39 route until and unless the imposition of the atrociously high rate of taxes by underground outfits along this route is stopped. We can understand the sentiments behind this stand, for so often we have heard stories of drivers and their helpers being harassed and at times kidnapped for ransom by some gun toting lots who have come under a name espousing a cause or two. There is no guarantee that NH-53 will provide foolproof security to the drivers along the way, but at least the morale of the decision to take this longer and more arduous route should not be lost on anyone. In as much as the desire of the drivers and the transporters to take the NH-53 route should be respected it is also true that gunmen forcing trucks not to ply along NH-39 is an unhealthy precedent and it could have a negative impact in the long run. Let the decision rest with the drivers and the transporters and the civil societies without any interference from armed groups.

The Indo-Naga Peace Talk Naga realm

By now it is quite a well known thing to all as to how the "Naga uprising or movement" was originated and how ultimately it turned to a "revolt in arms" against the Government of India under the leadership of A. Zaphu Phizo which resulted to heavy bloodshed and loss of lives on both sides, and how the insurgency so began had escalated in very alarming proportions in the four hill districts of Manipur, namely Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Chandel, and also how the armed uprising induced others who form several of such revolutionary parties in the valley area of Manipur, Assam and other northeastern States with their insurgent activities ever on the alarmingly increasing proportions. The Naga uprising launched in the early 50s under the banner of Naga National Council headed by Phizo was aimed for an independent and sovereign country of Nagaland of their own.

The armed revolt so launched assumed a very serious and highly alarming situation initially which could not be dealt with effectively by the local Administrations of the then District of Naga Hills and the Assam Government under whom the former was a district and therefore the services of the mighty Indian Army were immediately pressed in to assist the civil administration who (the Indian Army) soon brought the highly alarming and extremely critical situation under control forcing the revolutionary members of the NNC to go underground who were then known as Naga Hostile Groups (NHGs) and their leader, Phizo to escape out to London where he lived as an English citizen under the care of one Reverend Michael Scott till he died there. Since the Naga people of the District underwent many untold sufferings due to the armed uprising the moderate group of the Nagas under T. Shilu Ao etc. ultimately realised the impossibility of achieving the goal of having an independent country of their own outside the Indian Union from all points of view and therefore they came out immediately over-ground and negotiated with the Government of India as a result of which the latter very seriously granted the Naga Hills District a full fledged State within the Indian Union which came into being with effect from 1st January, 1963 with Shilu Ao as the first Chief Minister of the State.

However, the NNC under some of their staunch leaders continued their armed insurgent activities vehemently sticking to their original aim of achieving the total independence of their own even by having gone to the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and China and received guerilla fighting training and sufficient quantities of sophisticated arms and ammunitions, who also however later on in the year 1976 came to an agreement of a cease-fire pact and deal, a shrewd move initiated by the then Governor of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura combined, Lalan Prassad Singh (LP Singh), a brilliant retired ICS officer and former Home Secretary to the Government of India and accordingly an accord under the name, Shillong Peace Agreement or Accord was signed in between the members of the NNC and the representatives of the Central and State Governments. The agreement was however straightaway rejected by a group led by Issac Swu, Khaplang, Thuingalen Muivah etc. who thus walked out from the NNC group pioneered by Phizo and formed a new Naga Revolutionary group called the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in the year 1980 and continued their armed rebellion in demand of an independent and sovereign State of Nagaland, this time much preferred to be called as Nagalim, the former two personalities as the chairman and vice-chairman respectively and the latter as the general secretary of the newly formed factional organisation. The Issac Swu group rejected the Shillong accord challenging the leadership of Phizo and his diverted policy saying that it was some sort of a surrender and "sell-out" of their stand for a full fledged sovereign independent Naga country. The splinter group was however fractured again soon into two groups - one known as NSCN(IM) group under Issac Swu and Muivah as the chairman and general secretary respectively, and another as NSCN(K) group under the chairmanship of Khaplang, an Homi Naga of Burma border area as their opinions regarding having of a peace talk again with the Government of India proposed by Issac-Muivah suffered dissension from the Khaplang group. However, an agreement of Peace-Talk in between the Government of India and the NSCN(IM) group was agreed upon soon when the two leaders of the faction, namely Issac Swu and Muivah met the Prime Ministers of India, P.V. Narashimha Rao in Paris earlier and later on in New York in 1995, H.D.Deve Gowda in Zurich in February, 1997, Atal Behari Vajpayee in Tokyo in 2002 and as such Peace-Talks between the two parties had since been going on with all their hostilities against each other totally suspended.

The Indo-Naga Peace Talk which thus had been going on since last 8/9 years is aimed for finding a solution or formula between the Government of India and the NSCN(IM) group for keeping a permanent PEACE in Nagaland and its adjoining states, and the same is claimed by both the leaders of the Naga Revolutionary faction, the NSCN(IM), namely Issac Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah being weary of remaining further as revolutionaries and insurgents have now agreed or prepared to give up their more than five decades old demand for a sovereign independent Naga State ceasing all their hostilities against the Government of India, instead they now prefer to the creation of a Naga State of a much bigger territory with more autonomy within the ambit of the Indian Union.

Creation of a Naga State of a much bigger territory is possible, as is well aware to all, only by "slicing-off" the areas of the adjoining states, namely Manipur, Assam and Arunachal inhabited by indigenous hill tribes some of whom ostentatiously or under great threat opt for coming under the coverage of the umbrella of the so called generally applied appellation "NAGAS" (which is actually a misnomer being a name borrowed and applied only very recently) including a large chunk of areas of Burma (Myanmar) inhabited by such people. According to the history written by many learned historians all the indigenous tribes and people who migrated from outside and settled in the region in the early days belong to various groups and clans who sprang out from the same Mongoloid stock, many of whom still prefer to be called or known by their own indigenous tribal names. In Manipur, there are as many as 50 different types of such peoples of indigenous origin and by now a good number of all these sections of people of the hills have settled in the valley living side by side quite peacefully in full communal harmony with the Meiteis even with free social intercourse amongst themselves disregarding the very strict "barrier" that was there once during the very recent past on the grounds of untouchability, religion etc. - the majority of the Meiteis being orthodox Hindu and almost all the hill tribes Christians. Thus there is an inseparable and very close relationship amongst all the sections of people of Manipur that had been existing since very ancient days, particularly in between the Meiteis, the Tangkhuls, the Kabuis, the Anals, the Chothes, the Chirus, the Koms, the Koirengs, the Thangals, the Mao-Marams, the Marings, the Kukis etc. The indispensability of such a close and ancient relationship arose from the factors of having many affinities and similarities in their cultural and indigenous habits and fashions of living and also in many other aspects, in particular of economic relationship.

According to the traditional belief of the Tangkhuls it is said that in an early period of Tangkhul left his home for the valley who became a king there and who later on came to be known as PAKHANGBA, who is a dynastic god or deity of the Manipuris still worshipped ardently by all of them - this belief has no doubt some relevance regarding the appearance of Pakhangba in the valley, as according to the puyas (purans) of the Meiteis, Nongda Lairen Pakhangba (Jabista), the great is described to be a "heaven born" person. Since there is actually no such a thing as "heaven" in the high space physically the above proverb should have meant only to a high place i.e. a hill or mountain.

Considering all the above facts it should now therefore have no hesitation to say that all the indigenous tribes, who during the primeval days had settled in this most ancient and sacred land, Manipur, sprang out from the same primitive Mongoloid stock and had been living as the inseparable "brethren" of a big and one family since last so many thousands of years in full "communal harmony" from the beginning till date very much unlike that of the serious communal-disharmonies frequently occurred due to "communal feuds" and "head-hunding encounters" amongst the tribes of Nagaland against each other on account of land-disputes etc. during the very recent days. Such an extra-ordinary feature of Manipur is really a very unique thing that one finds in her as quite a peaceful state despite her subjects are woven by conglomeration of so many different types of groups or sections of people speaking different dialects of their own, Meiteilon, the dialect of the majority group, the Meiteis being their "lingua-franca" for binding them as ONE people living in the same motherland.

Despite having been and is an unique land where the people of all sects had been and are presently living very harmoniously and cordially as mentioned above, it is indeed very unfortunate that a great unrest and feeling of anxieties have been created in the minds of all the people by the staunch move of the NSCN(IM) for tearing away almost all the portions of the age-old territory of Manipur and the same for merging with the neighbouring State of Nagaland for which the revolutionary group has very stubbornly put as the main agenda of their peace-talk that is being carried out currently. The move of the NSCN(IM) group in this regard is considered as ONE very much diverted from the main aim and object of the Naga Revolution as a whole, and such a diversion adopted by them now at this very much late stage is also seen as a very "flagrant move" and very much against their accusations made earlier against the NNC and the grounds on which they had defected from them.

However, the sigh of great relief that one gets is to find that the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the Home Minister, Shivraj Patel have given their firm assurances, to the delegates from Manipur who met them just recently, of not disturbing the existing areas of the north - eastern States, particularly of Manipur and that the question of "unification" of all the Nagas for the purpose of disintegration of the areas has been rejected outright by the Government of India. Such a firm decision taken now by the Government of India is considered by all as a very wise, bold and correct stand on their part which could be said to be a decision not deviated at all from the one that was already taken earlier by the former Prime Minister of India, late Jawaharlal Nehru who stood very firmly against such an early demand for disintegration of the areas of Manipur for forming a greater Nagaland put up by a delegation of Naga leaders headed by late Phizo describing the demand as "impracticable, unacceptable and unwise" when he announced his disapproval of the move in the Lok Sabha. In fact, such a move has been seen by many as a very dangerous one which is very likely to end only with disastrous results as, any act of redrawing of the existing geographical boundaries of the northeastern States, particularly of the State of Manipur, on the basis of "demographic" and "ethnicity" is definitely "fraught with grave dangers" of bringing more "troubles" and "turmoils" of very very serious and unprecedented nature, greatly affecting the already existing peaceful "communal harmony" amongst the people, particularly in the State of Manipur where the majority of her people, both the sects, the Meiteis (including Pangals, the Muslims) and the Kukis have started feeling great unrest because of the persistent great pressure being put in by the NSCN(IM) group adopting all sorts of tactics, inducements and threats for materialising their "hypothetical demand".

Lastly but not the least, the very pertinent question that may be asked very seriously and frankly is that - when the lawlessness problems created by the insurgency originated from the Naga Revolt in the north-eastern region are on the ever increasing trend, especially by the terrorist activities of other various ETHNIC groups of insurgents operating rampantly making the State administrations quite helpless and ineffective to deal with them how it could be assured of "heralding" a really peaceful and normal situation by fulfilling the aspirations of one group only, namely, the Nagas by conceding to their rather hypothetical demand of forming a greater Nagaland or Nagalim State at the cost of other neighbouring States? Also it is no denying the fact that despite the restrictions imposed under the cease-fire agreement rules between the Government of India and the NSCN(IM) group they are reportedly still carrying out rampantly the highly illegal acts of extortions of money in terms of lakhs and crores of rupees from the civilians and the Government establishments.
It is in the context of the very pertinent question mentioned above that one fails to fully appreciate the goodness, in wider interest and scope, of the ongoing process of the so call "Indo-Naga Peace Talk" - a well advocated and publicised, no doubt, but very tricky and knotty move that has been taken up by both sides with great venture(risk). [Waikhom Damodar Singh]
ULFA’s violence affects common people Sentinel
It is painful to see that the ULFA has not only shown its expertise in use of arms but has also become adept in use of subterfuse. These have affected the common people. The organization is sensitive to anyone calling it a terrorist outfit and even has issued a grim warning to all those who called their violence terrorism. This itself shows that the ULFA is an organization which believes in terror tactics. It has come in the US watch list, which is significant, since it means that its terroristic activities have attracted international attention. Its attempt to show its activities not as acts of terrorism but freedom struggle is a subterfuge. So far, the organization has proved its existence only through acts of violence. On the one hand, it sends signal to the people of Assam that it is ready for talks, on the other hand, it continues to cause violence targeting innocent people least bothering about the people’s reaction. It sent letters to the Central Government expressing willingness for talks, but immediately launched into operations using bombs on people and property alike. It first set one condition demanding discussion on the issue of sovereignty and then set further condition demanding release of its jailed leaders.
It appears that the ULFA’s main aim is to get its jailed leaders released rather than sit for dialogues. Assam Governor Ajai Singh has a point when he suggests that the Government should facilitate only free movement for the jailed leaders to meet their colleagues but not release them, since in 1991 when a few top leaders were released for talks they escaped to Bangladesh. Lt. Governor Ajai Singh reiterated his views in the Governor’s conference held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on June 15 last. The ULFA’a past conduct only caused such apprehension. Shrimati Mamoni Roisom Goswami, the eminent writer and Jnanapith winner, reportedly urged the Assam Governor to release the jailed leaders but could not get his consent. She has not analysed the situation neutrally and appears to have been carried away by her good intention of facilitating a dialogue. With the ULFA continuing to perpetrate reckless violence, there is no congenial atmosphere to start a dialogue. Even if a dialogue is started, the people of the State have to know what the organization wants to discuss, since it is the people’s fate which is at stake.
From the recent statements of the ULFA, it appears that it wants sovereignty to be transferred to itself. How can this be done without the consent of the people and why should the people allow their destiny to be shackled by an outfit which has learnt only one language, the language of weapons and bombs? The people want peace and economic welfare. They (the people) will consider themselves to be sovereign if they get peace, economic well-being and an atmosphere of mutual trust and harmony. Why can’t the ULFA promise these things instead of asking for sovereignty repeatedly in a monotonous language? If there is freedom, it has to be for all people which the country's people already earned under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Freedom cannot be for a few people who want the reign of power in the name of a revolutionary government. Who knows whether the revolutionary government turns out to be a reactionary government, since the ULFA has learnt only one culture i.e. gun-culture. The Government has to restrain its security forces, but for the Government to do so, let the ULFA also restrain its gun. In stead of asking for freedom, let it create a free atmosphere and ask for durable benefits so that the people of Assam can live with dignity. For the people, that will be freedom in the real sense. Shakuntala Choudhury

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