09/08/2005: "Fifth Naga meet at Bangkok begins on positive note"
Fifth Naga meet at Bangkok begins on positive note Kuknalim.com KOHIMA, Sept 7: NSCN (IM) leader Thvingaleng Muivah has appreciated the Centre's commitment for an honourable and peaceful negotiated settlement of the Naga conflict and called for a national understanding to enable the Nagas to move forward in the making of the Naga nation. Inaugurating the 5th consultative meeting of prominent Naga leaders in Bangkok yesterday to discuss the peace process, Th Muivah said the recognition of the uniqueness of Naga history and situation by the Centre has laid the basis for any future negotiated settlement. Asserting that Nagalim does not belong to anyone but to the Naga people alone, he said any solution under the Constitution of India would not be acceptable but a possible Federation of India and Nagalim wherein the Naga people will have the supreme right to decide over their future could be considered. Over seventy members from Nagaland participated in the meeting, which was hosted by the NSCN (I-M). According to press release issued by A Akaho Assumi, Deputy secretary of the ''Ministry of Information and Publicity'' of the NSCN (I-M), Muivah called upon the Nagas to come forward to shape the future of the nation and said a rational understanding be arrived at in order ''to deliberate and come forward to the making of our nation''. (UNI)
Continuation of ceasefire depends on people’s will 5th Naga People’s Consultative Meeting Morung Express News September 7
DIMAPUR: An open statement issued after the conclusion of the 5th Naga People’s Consultative Meeting on the Indo-Naga Peace Process at Bangkok stated that the "will of the people" shall ultimately prevail for any continuity or non-continuity of the Ceasefire. The meet held from September 6 – 7, 2005, in the backdrop of the ongoing Ceasefire, between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM), extensively discussed on the progress made and the challenges to be met.
In an open statement issued after Wednesday’s session the Consultative Meeting acknowledged that much had been achieved during the last 8 years of talks and the fact that Naga leaders have gone all out to demonstrate their sincerity and commitment to resolve the political conflict through peaceful means. The consultations attended by Naga civil society organizations however expressed the firm opinion that the outcome of the Political talks so far, was far from satisfactory. "And should the "talks" continue without making substantial progress, the "will of the people" shall then ultimately prevail for any continuity or non-continuity of the Ceasefire", the open statement pointed out. "Therefore, the Government of India also must accelerate its decisiveness to resolve the Indo-Naga Political conflict by exhibiting its "political will", lest the very purpose for which the ceasefire was signed is negated, which has become a serious concern of all", it stated. Meanwhile, the Consultative Meeting also appreciated the continued efforts of all Nagas towards strengthening the peace process and further called upon every civil society organizations, churches and individuals to re-enforce themselves with greater preparedness and responsibilities towards consolidating peoples collective potentials for nation building and meaningful political settlement.
Naga summit in Thailand sets out to chart a coherent peace strategy Yahoo Dimapur, Sep 8 (ANI) : The ongoing Naga summit hosted by the NSCN (I-M) in Thailand, is expected to draw a broad policy roadmap that will define the nature of positioning that the NSCN (I-M) would take in its future political dialogue with the Centre. The hi-profile meet is also set to discuss threadbare on the aftermath of the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM the powerful Naga students' organization in the Naga hills of Manipur on Manipur and the impact it had in the valley.
While in Manipur the economic blockade obviously did not go down well, here in Nagaland the blockade is widely perceived as a successful legitimate, civil dis-obedience movement which had prompted Manipuri society to rethink on several past offers from Naga groups to engage in dialogue on the Naga integration issue. Over 70 heavyweight Naga delegates from several influential Naga civil society, students, rights groups from Nagaland and Naga areas of Manipur like the Naga Hoho, the NSF, the NMA and the Naga Church have turned up at the summit level Naga meet in Thailand. The meet held under the banner of Naga People's Consultation on the peace process would likely reiterate emphatically that solution to the Naga problem would not be possible without integrating all Naga areas into a single political entity. It may be mentioned that to inject momentum to the ongoing Centre-NSCN (I-M) political dialogue, albeit an uneasy one for New Delhi, the NSCN (I-M) had espoused a hard-line position during the last round of talks in Amsterdam. NSCN (I-M) negotiators had sent a strong political message back home and to New Delhi by reluctantly agreeing to extend the ongoing truce for six months only. The inherent message in its new ceasefire deal with the Centre was quite conspicuous : That it is open to all other options including resorting to armed campaign if there was no tangible progress on its political demands or aspiration on the Naga integration issue.
The Thailand meet also assumes added significance because of the fact that such a high profile Naga meet is being held abroad soon after top brass of the NSCN (I-M) left the country in the wake of any tangible breakthrough in its series of political talks with New Delhi during their stay in the country. Non-progress on several outstanding political issues particularly on the Naga integration issue, had prompted the NSCN (I-M)'s top brass to leave the country with frustration citing 'health ground' and 'personal engagements'. Sources said that the NSCN (I-M) had over the past few months shown growing reluctance to hold further talks in New Delhi citing the original precondition of the cease-fire and political dialogue that talks would be held in a third country. New Delhi's own constraints to take a more favorable public stance towards the Naga integration issue in the face of stiff resistance from Manipur, has further distanced the two sides from reaching a final meeting point. The NSCN (I-M)'s influential leader Th. Muivah has used the Thai platform to reiterate the organization's maximal position that solution could not be found within the ambit of the 'Indian Constitution'. The Thailand meet which would be a brainstorming session for the Naga leaders from the NSCN (I-M) and the powerful Naga civil society network, will have discussed these crucial developing issues. It is expected that the meet would discuss on developing a more coherent and co-operative policy between the Naga civil society on such issues as possible dialogue with Manipur over Naga integration issue. (ANI)
NSCN harps on ‘federation’ - Bangkok meet rejects solution under Constitution OUR BUREAU The Telegraph Kohima/Dimapur, Sept. 7: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has reiterated that a solution to the Naga issue cannot be acceptable under the Constitution or within the Union of India. However, during the “5th Naga people’s consultative meeting” held at Royal Rose Bangkhapi in Bangkok on Tuesday, NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah pointed out that a “federation of India and Nagalim”, could be acceptable to the outfit. Sources said Muivah praised Naga National Council president A.Z. Phizo who had given the axiom Ura uvie (Our land is ours). Addressing the more than 70 members from Naga NGOs, Muivah said: “Nagalim does not belong to anyone but to the Naga people alone.” He said in the federation of “India and Nagalim”, Nagas will have the supreme right to decide their future. Chairman Isak Chishi Swu was not present at the meeting attended by Naga Hoho, Naga Students Federation, Naga Council Dimapur and church leaders among others, sources said. In his message, Swu appreciated the concept of consultations and said no mistakes should occur at this “crucial juncture”. The NSCN (I-M) has maintained that peace talks are at a crucial juncture and any mistake could prove costly. Naga Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome was the moderator at the meeting. Hoho leader Keviletuo Angami and other leaders from Nagaland and Manipur also spoke on the occasion, the sources added. The meeting assumes tremendous significance as the NSCN (I-M) has agreed to extend the ongoing truce with the Centre for only six months unlike in the past when the truce was extended for a year. The meet also assumes significance as this is the first time that a high profile Naga meet is being held abroad. The NSCN (I-M) top brass left the country as they found no tangible breakthrough in their talks with New Delhi during their stay. Convener of the steering committee, the highest policy making body of the NSCN (I-M), Qhevihe Chishi Swu, lauded the role played by the Naga people during the recent economic blockade imposed by ANSAM in Manipur and for supporting the Naga integration rally in Kohima.
Nagaland worried about Bangladeshi influx Dimapur, The Hidustan Times
Government of Nagaland is on the lookout for illegal Bangladeshi migrants who may have shifted to the state from Assam after the scrapping of the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983 by the Supreme Court. "We strongly suspect that illegal migrants have taken shelter in Nagaland," State Commissioner TN Mannen has said. A meeting of the border Magistrates of Dimapur, Wokha, Mokokchung, Longleng and Mon has also been called on Tuesday to discuss the issue, Mannen said. "We have also asked deputy commissioners of districts to stay in touch with villages for first hand reports," he said.
According to intelligence reports, meanwhile, between 50,000 to 60,000 illegal migrants have settled in Dimapur alone. The State Government would take up the issue of Bangladeshi migrants with officials of the Assam Government. The two sides are to meet soon though the venue and exact date for the meeting has not been fixed, Mannen said. As for the border dispute with Assam, he said Assam should take into consideration "local and ground realities" for an early and amicable solution to the problem. The State Government, he said, was in constant touch with the peace committees constituted in the disputed belt along Assam-Nagaland border. (By arrangement with Newsfile)
NSCN (I-M) hosts Naga summit in Thailand: Calcutta Telegraph
Dimapur: Over 70 heavyweight Naga delegates from several influential Naga civil society groups from Nagaland and Naga areas of Manipur like the Naga Hoho, the NSF, the NMA and the Naga Church are participating in a summit level Naga meet in Thailand hosted by the NSCN (I-M) to chart future roadmap and generate consensus on policies to be adopted in the ongoing talks with New Delhi. The hi-profile meet termed as the Naga People’s Consultation on the peace process “the 5th such meeting - got underway on Tuesday at the Royalo Rose Bangkhapi in Bangkok. The meet assumes tremendous significance against the backdrop of the NSCN (I-M) agreeing to extend the ongoing truce with the Centre for only six months unlike in the past when year after year the Centre-NSCN (I-M) truce was extended for a full year at a stretch. The meeting also assumes further significance because of the fact that such a high profile Naga meet is being held abroad for the first time soon after top brass of the NSCN (I-M) left the country in the wake of any tangible breakthrough in their series of political talks with New Delhi during their stay in the country.
Addressing the gathering of powerful Naga civil society network, the NSCN (I-M)’s general secretary Th. Muivah rejected any solution within the ambit of the Indian constitution pointing that Naga integration and solution could not be within the ambit of the ‘Indian constitution’. Muivah said that Nagas could only come as close as possible to a sort of federation with India and Nagalim as separate entity where Nagas would have the full right to decide over their future. NSCN (I-M)’s deputy spokesman A. Akaho Assumi said that Muivah also appreciated the role of the founding father of the Naga movement for independence A.Z. Phizo recalling that the latter’s clarion call ‘Ura Uvie’ (Our Land is ours) had laid the foundation for Naga cause and galvanized the entire Naga people to fight for their rights. NSCN (I-M)’s chairman Isak Chishi Swu who could not make it to the meet, in his sober message praised the Naga leaders for holding such consultations. He said that such consultations among the Naga people was contributing to the healthy growth of ‘our community and Naga nation’. Convenor of the Steering Committee, the highest policy making body of the NSCN (I-M), Qhevihe Chishi Swu lauded the role played by the Naga people during the recent economic blockade imposed by ANSAM on Manipur. He also lauded them for supporting the Naga integration rally staged in Kohima. Senior representatives from the Naga Hoho, NSF, NMA, NPMHR, United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women Union Manipur, All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur, Dimapur’s influential organization the Naga Council as well as prominent Naga Church leaders and professionals from various streams of life spoke at the conclave. Among the influential speakers were the Naga Rights activists Neingulo Krome and church leader Rev. L. Bizo.
Naga bridge on Bangkok base - NSCN lines up integration conclave NISHIT DHOLABHAI The Telgraph
Kohima, Sept. 5: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has decided to hold a consultative meeting with different NGOs in Bangkok this week. NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah will meet leaders of Naga Hoho, Naga Council, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and other NGOs on Thursday and Friday, sources said. The move has come a few days after a Naga integration rally was organised in Kohima by several organisations, which was termed as an “epoch-making event” by the Hoho. “Whenever there is some issue, we have to have consultation with our people. This is one of those meetings where we will discuss the future because when we say solution, it should not be detrimental to the interests of either India or the Nagas,” NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser (home minister) R. Raising told The Telegraph.
Several Naga leaders have left for Bangkok from Nagaland and more will leave tomorrow. However, among the prominent absentees will be representatives of the Tuensang Mon Public Organisation. The organisation did not attend the integration rally and is opposed to Hoho president Horangse Sangtam. That, however, has not stopped others from proceeding to the Thai capital. Before leaving for Bangkok, Naga Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome said Hoho leaders would let the NSCN (I-M) leaders know about the “success of the integration rally”.
The Hoho leader said the rally highlighted the aspirations of the Naga people to stay under one administrative unit. He said this should be communicated by the NSCN (I-M) to the Centre. Krome was critical of a recent statement attributed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre will maintain the territorial integrity of Manipur. He said this amounted to playing hide-and-seek with the Nagas as the Centre has maintained that it is serious about resolving the Naga problem. Sources said the NSCN (I-M) was strengthening its units in Bangkok and Amsterdam in order to give a thrust to the Naga issue. As a result, some of its leaders may be “transferred” to these locations. “We have foreign relations and this is known by the government of India and whatever is happening, we are communicating it (to the Centre),” said Raising. Asked if the flurry of activities meant that there was some solution on the anvil, the NSCN (I-M) leader said there was bound to be a solution sooner or later. Both the Centre and the outfit are looking for a solution based on objective reality, he said. “We don’t want violence”. Raising termed the United Committee, Manipur (UCM) a “liar”, making a reference to the UCM’s criticism of the Naga MPs and MLAs from Manipur for attending the integration rally. He said the UCM was not understanding the Naga problem and integration did not mean that the Nagas would attack the Meiteis in Imphal Valley. The Naga Hoho also flayed the UCM’s statement.
Sham slur on Naga govt OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, Sept. 7: The Nagaland government has been allegedly recruiting hundreds of employees to the rank of lower division assistant, flouting all official norms for more than 10 years. Sources said the government has been consistently violating provisions of the Compulsory Notification of Vacancies Act, 1959. An official of the rank of additional chief secretary said every year 300 vacancies arise at the lower division assistant level. “All these are filled up through ministers,” he alleged. Examinations to fill up vacancies at the civil secretariat are to be held by the Nagaland Public Service Commission. While no examinations have been held for the past 10 years, the posts were filled up by successive governments. Even today, the practice continues.
“These backdoor recruits can actually rise to the level of secretary,” the senior official said. Those who have been ad hoc recruits for the past five years feel it is their legitimate right to be regularised and move court if they feel threatened. As a result, the practice continues unfettered. The government does not have an idea of its total number of ad hoc employees. Sources said a notification was circulated to all the government departments to notify vacancies and then recruit ad hoc employees years ago. However, the notification and the law are allegedly thrown to the winds by a nexus of bureaucrats and ruling politicians. “No department informs us before getting an ad hoc employee,” complained an official in the department of labour and employment. It is the nodal department taking care of the seven employment exchanges and two rural employment bureaux. The state has 46,521 unemployed youths registered till March this year. Out of them, 4,806 are graduates and 18,976 under-matriculates. These unemployment cardholders, however, rarely get placements unless they have the “right contact”. From September 2004 to March 2005, the exchanges listed only four persons who got jobs. However, the sources alleged that names of those employed have not been deducted from the unemployment list so that the figures remain high. This helps the government get more central aid, sources said.
No one can dictate the Konyaks: KU Shahkai Konyak September 7 Morung Express
Mon (MExN): Konyak Union President Tingnei and Vice President Naowang in a joint statement stated that no one can dictate the Konyak community whose stand was unshakeable. "The Konyaks know and see the arrogant and dictatorial attitude of some Naga leaders which may prove disastrous and dangerous for Naga unity," continued the KU officials. The KU also maintained that they regretfully see the ‘wrong movements of some responsible Naga NGOs whose aim is shallow and empty’ and are blindly supporting wrong ideologies unmindful of the outcome. The KU termed it as a ‘foolish act’ their participation in the integration rally. The KU further stated that the NGOs, instead of ‘standing to correct the wrong movements of the nation’, had become ‘inflammable fuels which would only add flame to the Naga political movement. The above statement come in the wake of a statement issued in a leading local daily by a person going by the name of Y Konyak. In this regard, the KU has summoned Y Konyak of Dimapur for explanation and justification of his statement wherein he had taken the name of the entire Konyak community in support of the Naga Integration rally which was held at Kohima on August 31 last. The KU has stated that it suspects some people with vested interests for bringing out such a ‘mischievous’ article. Further, the KU has requested the Editor of the concerned daily to produce the statement given by the said person to the KU branch, Dimapur at the earliest for identification of the person concerned.
Jandhobi, Bedangjungla pass MuayThai Exams from MuayThai North East Press Service
Bangkok, Sept 7 (NEPS): L Jandhobi of Manipur and Bandangjungla of Nagaland have successfully passed International MuayThai Exams that were recently conducted in MuayThai Institute, Bangkok. Three Thai Masters---Mr Chu Deng, Mr Jae Panom, Mr Let---and, one Canadian Master--- Mr Kirbi Thibeault---had trained both of them with other trainees from other parts of the world in the MuayThai Institute, Bangkok. Jandhobi and Bangdangjungla became the first Indian ladies who had
successfully passed MuayThai Exams from the internationally renowned MuayThai Institute, Bangkok. It may be mentioned that Jandhobi had already fought in World MuayThai Championship in Almaty, Kazakstan in 2003 and got bronze medal while Bandangjungla in World MuayThai Championship in Bangkok in 2004 with bronze medal
Cong whip on Naga MLA OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Imphal, Sept. 7: After the Opposition Federal Party of Manipur (FPM), it is the turn of the ruling Congress to target one of its legislators for attending the recent Naga integration rally in Kohima. A memorandum was today sent to party president Sonia Gandhi, seeking action against Wungnaoshang Keishing for “joining forces against those who are trying to break up Manipur”. The Kohima rally had been billed as the biggest show of Naga solidarity. PCC treasurer Sagolsem Achouba Singh, who presided over the meeting that decided to move the Congress high command against the legislator, described his participation in the Naga rally as a betrayal of Manipur. The Wangoi Congress block committee later submitted a copy of the memorandum to the PCC.
There was, however, no word from the PCC on the subject. A Congress leader said Keishing’s presence at a rally espousing the integration of all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas of the region was against the spirit of the UPA government’s common minimum programme, which states that the existing boundaries of the northeastern states will be safeguarded. “It has caused confusion within the party,” he said. Apart from the Congress MLA, four Naga leaders from Manipur attended the Naga Hoho-organised rally in Kohima. They are Lok Sabha member Mani Charenamei, FPM legislators Henry Paotei and Samuel Jendai and BJP member Danny Shaiza. Charenamei has always been vocal in his support of the campaign for Naga integration. The FPM cracked the whip on its “errant” duo following a diktat from the United Committee of Manipur, which came into prominence while spearheading the June 2001 uprising in the valley against Delhi’s attempt to extend its ceasefire with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) beyond Nagaland. Manipur is one of the three northeastern states — the other two being Assam and Arunachal Pradesh — that stand to lose parts of their territories in the event of Delhi acceding to the Naga community’s demand for integration. The UCM has warned political parties that they will be declared “anti-people” if action is not taken against the legislators who attended the rally in Kohima and spouted pro-integration slogans. The FPM, which is the largest Opposition party in the state, has asked its two legislators to reply to the showcause notices within 10 days. The BJP leadership is expected to meet in a day or two to discuss what kind of action should be taken against Shaiza. A party leader said the central leadership had been apprised of the issue.
India to boost horticulture in North East states Fresh Plaza A Centrally sponsored scheme on technology mission for integrated development of horticulture in the north eastern region has fixed an outlay of more than Rs 85 lakh (€ 155.356) for the tenth plan.
Among the eight NE states, Mizoram recorded the highest percentage of increase in area brought under horticultural cultivation, followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, official sources said. Citrus fruits like orange and lemon occupied the largest area cultivation followed by banana, passion fruit, pineapple, apple and litchi. Since horticultural products are perishable, immediate marketing and sales or alternatively storage, processing, packaging and preservation are required for the states' economy, they said adding these measures are expected to solve to a great extent this technology mission. Under this scheme, suitable infrastructural facilities were created for the production of crops and women farmers were being given support through technical training to make them self reliant, they added. Among the spices, there was an increase in ginger cultivation, followed by large cardamom, black pepper and turmeric. Besides, medicinal and aromatic plants and flowers were also cultivated, the officials pointed out. It is expected that the programme drawn for horticultural expansion will immensely benefit the fruit producers in Mizoram, they said.
Major breakthrough in ULFA peace talks From Our Staff Correspondent Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 – In a major breakthrough in the ULFA peace process, the outfit has conveyed its willingness to nominate an eight-member delegation of eminent citizens from the State to prepare the ground rules for the negotiations. The development has granted a fresh lease of life to the peace process that was deadlocked over the core issue of sovereignty. The process of negotiations is formally expected to get under way by the first half of October. An early morning call by ULFA Commander-in-Chief Paresh Barua to Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami today led to a flurry of activities that is likely to set a new course in the peace process. Barua conveyed that the ULFA was willing to nominate a group of “like-minded” people to sit for preliminary talks with the Government of India.
The chairman of the outfit, Arabinda Rajkhowa, later called to confirm the decision and requested Dr Goswami to get in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Desperate calls were made to National Security Adviser, MK Narayanan, who was busy with Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit.
Later in the afternoon, the professor managed to talk to the NSA Adviser and conveyed ULFA’s offer. Narayanan was said to be positive about the developments and reportedly conveyed that the process could be started formally only after the Prime Minister returns from his US visit later this month.
“I got an impression that the talks between the group and Centre may start by the first week of next month,” said Dr Goswami. ULFA leaders reportedly said that they are not going to come for the talks initially and instead the group of prominent citizens would hold talks with the Government of India to explore the feasibility and prepare the ground for direct talks between the two.
Dr Goswami said that she has conveyed to Narayanan that the outfit has met the pre-condition set by the Prime Minister that it has to shun violence before coming for talks. The Outfit has not indulged in any violence in the State including bomb blast during the Independence Day Celebrations in Assam, which indicates that they have kept their word,” She said. The talk process is expected to get underway only after the ground rule for the ceasefire is prepared. Dr Goswami however said that she was not in a position to say right away the terms of reference set by the Outfit for the group of citizens.
What is clear, however is that ULFA members would not be present in the initial rounds of negotiations. The deputed group would prepare the ground before formal negotiations gets underway.
The ULFA has requested Dr Goswami to be part of the delegaton. She has accepted the offer but at the same time, she said that she would like to disassociate herself from the process in the next stage, that is when the formal talks begin. However, a clear picture is yet to emerge, as the outfit is yet to clarify whether they still insist on release of 10 of their detained cadres languishing in prison. They have not mentioned about the core issue either.
ULFA mulls 8-member ‘team’ for talks with Centre Staff Reporter & our Correspondent sentinel
GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI, Sept 7: The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has decided to form an 8-member team for talks with the Central Government soon. But interestingly, the team will consist of ‘like-minded’ people who are not attached to the outfit. This has been disclosed by Dr. Mamoni Raisom Goswami who is acting as the mediator between the banned outfit and the Centre. Speaking to The Sentinel, Dr. Goswami said that ULFA Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah and Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa today talked to her over the telephone and requested her to discuss the ‘proposal’ with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). She also said that the 8-member team would be hand-picked by the ULFA. Dr Goswami said National Security Advisor NK Narayanan has told her that the discussion for setting of the ground rules for the talks would be held in the first week of October. She is hopeful that she will be able to talk to the Prime Minister directly tomorrow. "This is the last chance to solve the problem once and for all. The Government will not get a better opportunity than this as the outfit has itself expressed willingness for talks. The Government should grab it with both hands. It has to take things very seriously now. It is not only a matter of the talks, but it also involves the sentiments of thousands of people back home who have seen enough of bloodshed," said Dr. Goswami. She also said that the ULFA has not carried out any violent activities on the Independence Day this year, which is suggestive of a positive sign on their part. When asked whether she was requested to join the talks, Dr. Goswami answered in the affirmative and said that she had not taken any decision regarding it.
‘Exclude Bodo villages from MAC’ From our Correspondent Sentinel
KOKRAJHAR, Sept 7: The undivided Lakhimpur district committee of the ABSU, BSS, ABWWF, Ex-BLT Welfare Society and local intellectuals have demanded exclusion of Bodo villages from the Mising Autonomous Council (MAC). The group of Bodo organizations also threatened launching of a movement in case the State Government fails to fulfil their demand. In a fax message to local media here, the president of undivided Lakhimpur district ABSU, Damburu Daimary, said that the ABSU and its allied organizations, including ex-BLT Welfare Association, through a joint meeting held on Monday last at the premises of Bordoloni Primary BSS, discussed at length the maximum autonomy to the Mising Autonomous Council. They felt that maximum autonomy to the Council will be beneficial only for the Mising population while the Bodos, Sarania Kacharis, Deoris and Tengal Kacharis will be deprived of all facilities.
The press release, issued by the president of ULD/ABSU, said that the Mising leaders were trying to gain support from the Bodos and other tribes of the Council for consensus on maximum autonomy. Daimary, in the release, said that the undivided Lakhimpur district ABSU, BSS, ABWWF and Ex-BLT Welfare Society had already submitted a memorandum to the North Assam Commissioner through the Lakhimpur DC against the inclusion of Bodo villages in the MAC. They said that they have no objection for the maximum autonomy concept to Misings but the interest and safeguard of other tribal people of the Council need to be protected.
ULFA, Centre get set ready for dialogue NET News Network Guwahati, Sep 7:In one of the most significant developments in the recent history of Assam, the biggest militant outfit of the state, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is likely to meet Prime Minster Manmohan Singh in mid October to initiate peace dialogues. Informing this to northeasttribune.com, noted assamese litterateur Mamoni Raisom Goswami said that the delegation would comprise of 8 members and the outfit’s C-in-C Paresh Baruah and chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa would jointly do the selection. It may be recalled that one of the preconditions laid down by the outfit to initiate talks was that the 10 of its jailed members of the 16 member central executive council should be released so that they can participate in the outfit’s central executive meeting to discuss Centre's invitation for talks.
Free legal cell for HIV/AIDS patients Sangai Express By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 6: With the main objective of ensuring justice to people affected/infected with HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Law Network and Manipur Network of Positive People have jointly set up a free legal AIDS cell during a function held at the conference hall of the Manipur Network of Positive People today.
The legal cell would be catering to the need of the HIV/AIDS infected/affect-ed people to ensuring that justice is done to them on issues related to discrimination in society, denial of property inheritance in the family, right to education, negligence in treat- ment either at hospital or at home and other basic human rig-hts. The legal cell would also act as a platform for spreading legal awareness among the HIV/AIDS infected/affected people.
The cell would function from the office of the Mani-pur Network of Positive People located at Yaiskul Hiruhanba Leikai. Rakesh Meihoubam of Human Ri-ghts Network and Manipur Network of Positive People president L Deepak Singh spoke on the topics of ‘Human Rights law network’ and ‘Need of kno-wledge on human rights’ during the inaugural of the legal cell.
AIDS workshop: Asha-ngba Communication, Wa- ngkhei Ashang bam Leikai, Imphal would be organising a 2-day workshop on HIV/AIDS awareness among media personalities on Sep 8 and 9 at the conference hall of Manipur State AIDS Control Society, Lamphel-pat. The workshop is being organised under the sponsorship of MACS Experts in the field of HIV/AIDS and mass communication wo-uld be reso- urce persons of the workshop.
Tri-nation gas pipeline might help disable northeast insurgency Nagarealm
Dimapur, Sep 7 : The brief visit of the articulate Union Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to Dhaka to further explore possibilities to give shape to the proposed multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project to import natural gas from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh, will go down well in the insurgency-stricken region of the northeast. The perception among policy analysts in the region is discernible and unanimous: that the project could help positively reverse the current fragile ties between India and Bangladesh and boost prospects of reducing and containing, if not annihilating for good, the capability of various insurgent groups in the region to wage their violent campaign in the Northeast from safe shelters across the border in Bangladesh. India and Pakistan's shared goal to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, notwithstanding several internal and external constraints, have to a great extent demonstrated the force of trade and commerce to positively influence and consolidate peace processes. This happened because of the growing realization both here and in Pakistan that such a mega project with tremendous financial spin-off for a state like Islamabad and similar benefit for New Delhi would inevitably act as a catalyst to further consolidate the improved relationship between India and Pakistan. Similarly, the growing consensus here among the strategic community is that Bangladesh should be brought under the growing net of Indian sphere of influence with optimism that it would be more co-operative in addressing India's concerns despite its often-irritating transgressions and complicity hurting Indian interests. The pressing need for such a 'reaching out' policy is imperative because of the long-term security stake for the northeast region: Dhaka has often been accused of having covertly or overtly hosting swarms of insurgents from the Northeast, the most infamous being the ULFA of Assam and Bodo militants and encouraging poor Bangladeshis to cross over to the greener pastures in India's northeast. Secondly, while India's relationship with China is on the upswing there is also growing security concern over China's stepped up engagement in diverse areas with and efforts to rope in Dhaka under its sphere of influence through Myanmar.
While it is understandable that Bangladesh had tried to inject new conditions on New Delhi like request for transit for trade with Nepal and import of hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan during the latest discussion to concretize the gas pipeline project, there is a strong current of opinion in the region that sooner than later Bangladesh will have to make way for the tri-nation gas pipeline because of the anticipated financial spin offs involved which could be worth several hundred million dollars for Dhaka in the first few years itself as transit fee. Besides, it will only be at Bangladesh's economic disadvantage, if not peril, to force New Delhi to explore the costlier alternative option of laying the pipeline through the other Northeastern states " India has already expressed its intent to bring gas from Myanmar in the near future for its growing energy need no matter whichever way the pipeline is laid and however daunting, longer and costly the alternative option might be. Infact, Indian oil giants are even exploring for increasing its activities in Myanmar to meet its growing energy needs.
The proposed gas pipeline, espoused by a group under the banner of Mohona Holdings in 1996, was given the go ahead in principle by the governments of the states of West Bengal and Tripura as well as Myanmar. The proposed pipeline would enter Bangladesh through the Brahmanbaria border from the northeastern state of Tripura and reach West Bengal through the Rajshahi border. Political and defence analysts in the Northeast concur that if India should engage in trade offs with Dhaka to give life to the tri-nation gas pipeline project then it too should ask Dhaka to seriously and effectively address other non-economic but more serious issues like its security concerns and influx problem in the region.
It is quite clear that the Northeast particularly the states of Assam and Tripura had been victim of protracted violent campaign waged by proscribed armed groups using Bangladesh's territory for logistics and as staging ground. India has repeatedly raised the issue of several top leaders of the ULFA including its top brass Paresh Baruah taking shelter in Bangladesh. The Indo-Bangla relationship had slumped to one of its lowest points recently when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to keep away from the proposed SAARC summit in Dhaka on security grounds which led to abrupt cancellation of the meet. The fall out from the deteriorating Indo-Bangla relationship had been increased skirmishes between the border patrol forces of the two nations, often unprovoked, and allegations of inciting violent campaigns in each other's territory by the other. Union minister Aiyar's talk in Dhaka to explore further to give life to the tri-nation gas pipeline should be carried forward for reasons other than meeting India's growing energy needs. Observers in this part say that if New Delhi could progressively inspire Dhaka to address its security concerns and link it with incremental incentives like addressing Bangladesh's concern on trade imbalance against it and going ahead with the gas pipeline project, the mutual benefits would be mutual particularly loaded in favour of Dhaka.
For Bangladesh, the minimum initial tangible steps that it could take to forward its immense potential to benefit from improved relationship with India, is to sincerely listen to India's repeated accusation that forces within its establishment or some powerful extremist groups inside the country are harboring armed groups like the ULFA to wage violent campaigns in India's northeast. Any concrete step by Dhaka to dismantle the camps of these militant groups or actions to prevent these armed groups to operate from its territory is certain to go down very well in India. On the back of improved relationship between India and Myanmar leading to talks at strategic level, both sides are co-operating to contain cross-border violent militant activities. And the opinion among the policy analysts in the region is that it is inevitable that Indo-Bangladesh co-operation on such critical issue as security would inevitably have to be addressed to the benefit of the northeast if hi-visible, mega projects with massive financial stake for all the parties concerned such as the proposed gas pipeline project, takes off. [ANI]