09/25/2005: "Rio misleading Nagas:"
Rio misleading Nagas: NPCCKohima, 5:14:52 PM IST webindia
The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has flayed Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for allegedly misleading the people of the state by misconstruing his controversial policy of "equi-closeness" during a party meeting yesterday. NPCC president Hokheto Sumi in a statement here today said Mr Rio, while adressing the CEC meeting of the Nagaland Peoples' Front (NPF), had said that the policy of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government on "equi-closeness" was not in support nor against any underground group, but it was in support of the peace process. "This is nothing but a volte face by Rio. Because he himself had on a number of occasions explained DAN's policy of equi-closeness as the policy of closing in to underground groups," Mr Hokheto said. He alleged that Mr Rio's statement was aimed at misleading the people of Nagaland because at no point of time he had mentioned that equi-closeness was for supporting the peace process. UNI
Therie terms suspension as "political sports" Kohima webindia
Former Nagaland Finance Minister Kewekhape Therie, who was dropped from the Neiphiu Rio ministry and subsequently suspended from the Nagaland Peoples' Front (NPF), described his suspension as "political sports". In a release here today, Mr Therie said he was yet to receive any formal communication from the party and appealed to all his well wishers to take the matter sportingly. He said inner party democracy guranteed freedom of expression which is also a fundamental right of a citizen. He further said, "Expressing opinions within the four corner of party forum for the improvement of the functioning of the party and government is the right of any party member." Moreover, reaffirming continuous support to the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government's Common Minimum Programme and declared policy of equi-closeness, Mr Therie said the certificate for his performance can be given only by his electorate.
The greater Naga problem Their aim may be common but the means KARTYK aren’t. The struggle for sovereignty has pitted various Naga factions against each other VENKATRAMAN Posted online: Sunday, September 25, 2005 at 0000 hours IST Indian Express UNI
KOHIMA: OVER 50 years after the Naga struggle for sovereignty began, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) — currently spearheading the Naga movement and the ongoing negotiations with the Centre — has admitted that immediate and complete sovereignty for Nagaland is not the solution. Rather, the process has to be gradual. As Naga Hoho secretary general Neingulo Krome told The Sunday Express, ‘‘Over the last 50 years, the context of history has changed. We (Nagas) have to live together with our neighbours India, China and Myanmar. So it is important to strike the best bargain.’’
But far away from the negotiating table, a nearly-forgotten outfit that once was considered the sole representative of the Naga cause, is plotting a return to action. The Naga National Council (NNC), which kick-started the Naga movement following 1947, and formed the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) — the first parallel government — still maintains its hardline stance of ‘‘no compromise’’ with the Centre, says Lhouvitsu Kesiezie. Lhouvitsu, a longtime NNC member and now Speaker of the Tatar Hoho (the FGN’s national parliament), says nothing short of total sovereignty will be acceptable to the Naga people. The NNC was pushed to the background in the Eighties with the emergence of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) — a breakaway faction headed by former NNC top brass Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu. ‘‘NNC is the alpha and the omega of the Nagas. Muivah doesn’t represent the Nagas. The NSCN (I-M) has gone astray. They are renegades, and their so-called peace talks with the Government of India is coming to a quick end. Any solution reached by them will not be acceptable to the Nagas,’’ says Lhouvitsu, 60. Admitting that they have no role in the ongoing dialogue between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M), Lhouvitsu adds that the NNC is looking at ways to return to its former glory. ‘‘There have been so many peace talks. Down the years, Naga leaders have met with Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Indira Gandhi among others. A plebiscite was conducted by the NNC in 1951, which saw 99.9 per cent of Nagas vote for Independence.’’
The emergence of factions in Nagaland, mainly the NSCN (I-M) and the NSCN (Khaplang), has led to Naga killing Naga in years of infighting and power struggle, he adds. ‘‘Muivah is not the Naga nation.’’ WHILE expressing dismay at the infighting, Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) president Khesheli Chishi (44), who was also a delegate at the 5th Naga Consultative Meeting held in Bangkok on September 6-7, says the NMA makes it their business to meet all factions and iron out their differences. ‘‘The NSCN (I-M) is spearheading the Naga movement and the peace talks now, but the cause is not the NSCN (I-M)’s alone; it belongs to all Nagas. In that light, the Bangkok meeting was positive. What we ask is that the NSCN (I-M) maintain a good relationship with the public at all times,’’ she added. Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) president Phushika Awomi says that ‘‘difference of opinion is bound to arise among brothers. They may fight, but in the end they are brothers.’’ Krome says ‘‘the core issue is the same among all factions, but the leadership issue is a problem.’’ ON the other hand, the contentious issue of integration of all Naga-inhabited areas in the region, including parts of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh under one political system — a long-standing demand of the NSCN (I-M) — meets with different reactions. Dissent within the NSCN (I-M) on this demand came to the fore when the NSCN (I-M)-supported Government of People’s Republic of Nagaland’s MIP Kilonser (Minister), A Z Jami, defected to rival faction NSCN (K) in May. Jami, who had also served the faction as Kilo Kilonser (deputy prime minister) and executive secretary of the steering committee, is quoted in news reports giving differences with the NSCN (I-M) leadership over the territorial integration issue as the main reason for his defection. According to him, territorial integration of Naga areas had assumed too much importance. ‘‘The point is that the sacrifice made by the people during the three quarters of the century is not for integration only.’’ A senior academician in Kohima says the Nagas of Manipur, excepting the Tangkhul Nagas, are originally Kuki tribes who have been brought under the Naga banner. ‘‘Many living in Nagaland don’t recognise the Kukis as bona-fide Nagas,’’ he says. Lhouvistsu is more blunt. ‘‘The NNC desires no other’s territory. It’s not difficult to say who is a (bona-fide) Naga: All Nagas live in Nagaland; those who live outside Nagaland are not Nagas,’’ he says.
GPRN to conduct digital crash course Morung Express News September 24 DIMAPUR, SEPT 24 (MExN): The Ministry of Information and Publicity, GPRN, will be conducting a crash course on Video, Still Photography and Computer Editing commencing from September 28 up till October 14 at the Hebron camp (CHQ). This informed by Ghukato Assumi Deputy Secretary MIP, GPRN. All battalion/Units of the Naga Army, Regions and Departments under the Secretariat of the GPRN have been informed to depute at least one official/cadre from their respective Unit/Department to undertake the aforementioned course without fail. The trainees were also informed to bring along with them their equipments i.e., Video Camera (still) and other related items at their disposal as well as a light bedding and report to the MIP office at the venue of the training on or before September 28 without fail.
KSU reiterates unity first; appreciates Iralu Morung Express News September 24 DIMAPUR SEPT 24 (MExN): The Konyak Students Union (KSU) has reiterated their stand that unity should be the first priority and solution next to solve the Naga political issue. The stand was made in a press release issued by the General Secretary of KSU, Mon Khongjah Loungs. The KSU expressing gratitude to Kaka D Iralu, a well-known Naga writer, for visiting Mon district on September 23 and interacting with leaders and NGOs of the Konyak community stated that he had appreciated the display of unity among the Konyaks. According to the release, issues on the Naga political problem were discussed at length during the 3rd session at the KU conference Hall. Meanwhile the KSU condemned the September 15 incident at Silonijan where late Peter imchunger was killed by the bodyguards of the ADC (J) Mokokchung. The organization urged the Government to immediately book the culprits so as to avert any unwanted situation before it was too late.
IM man axed Sangai Express
Dimapur, Sep 24 : The GPRN/NSCN (IM) has dismissed its deputy secretary, ministry of defence, Pungti Jobson, from ‘national service’ with immediate effect for his direct involvement in smuggling ganja. A press release issued by NSCN (IM)’s MIP deputy secretary, Ghukato Assumi, said a decision towards this effect was taken during a joint meeting of the Steering Committee Executive and the Cabinet of NSCN (IM) held on September 16. It may be mentioned that police had arrested Jobson along with three others, including one Daniel Poumai, in Dimapur recently for smuggling 14,000 kgs of contraband ganja worth Rs 4.2 crore. During interrogation, Daniel claimed to be a first class Government contractor in Manipur. NNN
IMPHAL, Sep 24 : Sounding an ominous warning, the Kuki Liberation Army has stated that it will hit out at TD Minister Phungzathang Tonsing any moment without any warning. In a statement, the outfit said that the Minister has been running the TD Department like his personal fiefdom and all the funds released for the development of Manipur are being misutilised. No money is released without 10 pc to the Minister, charged KLA and added that works are given to only those deemed close to the Minister. For this act KLA will hit out at Tonsing any moment, said the outfit.
Opening Roads Kangla on line By: Akendra Sana It is difficult not to think about roads whenever Manipur is mentioned in recent times. It is a difficult terrain in the best of times. Landslides and mudslides on the arterial highways are most common in the long rainy season the region experiences. It has thus always been man with nature, with nature asserting itself of its dynamics on many a rainy season. The difficulties have therefore been seasonal. But for more than a decade now difficulties have been more manmade and adding to the already known hardships caused by nature. And they have become more unpredictable for most road-users. The difficulties can no longer be said to be seasonal. Geo-politics have now taken over.
“Build a road to get rich”, Chinese leader Deng Xiao Ping had said. For China however to grow and get rich from the very depressed and impoverished China when Deng was rehabilitated in 1977 and subsequently rose to the supreme power a lot more than roads must have been needed. And indeed, roads and other infrastructure developments are some of the things for which Deng is remembered. The economic growth of present-day China owes a lot to this leader, the 1989 Tianniamen Square crackdown notwithstanding. However, the most significant contribution of Deng can be said to be of lifting more people out of poverty than any other world leader anytime, anywhere.
We, in our circumstances certainly as well know that roads mean much more. So what are roads after all? Should they not lead to destinations? And does not one destination lead to another? For the British Raj, the railway was the unifier in India. For landlocked Manipur and no railways, only roads connect its various parts. And as of now the roads between Imphal and Dimapur and Guwahati, Imphal and Moreh and Imphal and Silchar are there as effectively physically connecting to the outside world, although airlink is the other means. Even though many roads, including sections of our highways are little more than flattened dirt tracks which turn into mud after heavy rain and to dust clouds in the dry season, all the stakeholders, the road-users and the habitats along them know what they can deliver.
Driving a car from Imphal to Mao or from Imphal to Moreh is common for many. But rarely anyone must have driven from Mao to Moreh at a stretch, a distance of a little over two hundred kilometers via Imphal unless one is a commercial vehicle driver and in very compelling circumstances. This drive is bound to enrich any sensitive person and would enable one to experience better the cultural mosaic that is Manipur. Imagine the sheer number of communities you are likely to come across on this route. There are the Maos, Poumais, Marams, Thangals, Kukis, Meiteis, Monsangs, Marings among many others on the way until you reach Moreh filled with Tamils, Kukis and Meiteis among several others.
And is it not ironical that while very few must have done the shorter Mao-Moreh stretch, many of us have driven the Imphal Guwahati road of about six hundred kilometers at a stretch in a day passing through Mao in Manipur, Kohima and Dimapur in Nagaland, Shilonijan, Numaligarh, Bokakhat, Nagaon in Assam among many other townships before reaching Guwahati?
A straight drive from Mao to Moreh, starting at about five o’clock in the morning at Mao can mean morning tea at Lairou Ching. You can get the best tea, made with the very fresh milk here. Breakfast, or should we call it the first meal, can be at Pallel and then on to reach Moreh at about noon. From there on you may enter Tamu for a good Chinese lunch. But unfortunately you cannot think of all these possibilities together in these parts of the world. This is because the two hundred odd kilometers drive from Mao to Moreh can never be made at the time of your choosing, what with checks and convoy formation at Pallel, and can therefore not be made in six to seven hours, even if you do not think of all the other possible disturbances, sometimes of the most heinous kind on this highway. Road travel has its own magic. It always conjures up images- both the pleasant and the ugly. One now wonders what kind of images the highway from Mao to Moreh in Manipur brings to a road traveller. The Imphal-Mao section saw a lot of action in the past during the Second World War. And then of the present whether it is on the Imphal Mao section or the Imphal Moreh portion we are all too familiar of the difficulties, both seasonal and non seasonal. The images unfortunately are largely of these difficulties. And as we traverse our roads, we also need to remind ourselves that there are other infrastructure matters we need to take equal care – the airport(s), the communication channels, the telephone lines, the transmission towers to open ourselves for freer flow of goods and information and above all to be able to share our concerns with others. These are as important as much as opening roads because they will help us at opening minds to get rich and much more as much as the Chinese wanted under Deng.
No to plebiscite, yes to AFSPA repeal: Gurudas The Imphal Free Press
Imphal, Sep 24: The proposal of an underground group for holding plebiscite for bringing an end to the problem of insurgency in the state could not be agreed to in the present circumstances in Manipur by the All India Trade Union Congress. However, the union supports the demand of the people of the state for the total repeal of the Armed forces special powers act from the state of Manipur. This was stated by general secretary of the AITUC and sitting MP Gurudas Gupta today in a discussion on "The present political development in India and stand of the left" organised by All India Trade Union congress (AITUC) Manipur state committee at the conference hall of the state guest house.
The sitting MP who is now in the state to participate in the 12th All India trade union congress meet reiterated that Manipur is an integral part of India and will remain so. He also said that as Manipur is a small state it will not survive independently even if it got independence from the Indian union. So the slogan for an independent Manipur is destroying the state and is inspired by the foreign countries. Asking if the state is separated from the Indian union and from where the essential commodities will come, Gurudas said that the present economic condition of the state will improve only when Manipur remains as a part of India. The MP also lamented that the security forces` harassment of the people of the state is a matter of shame and said that the demand of the people for total repeal of AFSPA is a rightful demand. the union also supported the demand, he said. He also said that the left parties wanted judicial inquiries to be conducted into the killing of innocent people by the security forces.
Talking about the stand of the left in the present UPA government he reiterated that the left is supporting the UPA government from outside without taking any ministership and closely watching the activities of the congress led government. He said the support was on the basis of a common minimum program agreed with the congress. Stating that in democratic India there were many governments according to the people`s mandate and changes were brought from time to time, the leader went on to say that if the people of Manipur wanted there could be great changes in the state too. Speaking about the role of the AITUC, the MP stated that the union has been focusing on the grievances of the common people and the labour in the country. He also reaffirmed that as a general secretary of the union he will work for the common people and the labour by putting their grievances before the parliament.
Lapang to take up border fencing issue with Centre Assam Tribune
SHILLONG, Sept 24 – Meghalaya Chief Minister, DD Lapang has assured a delegation from Meghalaya’s Indo-Bangladesh border that he would take up with the Centre the ongoing problem of fencing the international border. Talking to members of a combined delegation of the Federal Council of War Mihngi War Jaintia, Hynniewtrep National Youth Front and Federation of Khasi and Federation of Khasi Jaintia Garo People (FKJGP) at his residence here on Tuesday, Lapang also took note of the affected villages on the Indo-Bangladesh border in East and Jaintia Hills districts. Meghalaya legislator who represents an Indo-Bangladesh border Nongskhen constituency, KK Khan, who also met the Chief Minister along with the delegation, told him (Lapang) that they were appreciative of the Centre’s fencing the border but requested the Chief Minister’s intervention to save Meghalaya’s land. Khan asked Lapang to take up the matter of the ongoing Indo-Bangladesh fencing with the Centre and immediately stop all construction work till a fresh demarcation was made.
He said if the fencing continued in the present situation, people would lose their lands. Khan also informed Lapang that the border fencing was an outcome of the Assam accord in which the Centre initially intended to fence only the Assam’s Indo-Bangladesh sector, but later extended the fencing to Meghalaya. – PTI
K’taka move Centre for Naga battalion Sentinel BELLARY, Sept 24 (UNI): Karnataka has urged the Centre to deploy a Naga battalion to curb Naxalite menace, Chief Minister N Dharam Singh said today. Talking to newsmen here, he said a Naga battalion on the lines of the force deployed in Chhattisgarh should be deployed to the State to put an end to Naxalite activities. Singh said the main reason for rise in Naxalites activities in the country is socio-economic problem and hence the Centre has been approached to sanction permission for distribution of forest land to the tribals. Terming as far from truth the reports that Naxal groups are using forest brigand Veerappan’s erstwhile jungle as their headquarters, Singh said no such activities have been noticed. However, strict vigil has been maintained on the Naxal activities in the jungle.
Border fencing to affect 30 M’laya villages? Our Staff Correspondent Sentinel
SHILLONG, Sept 24: At least 30 villages in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills districts are feared to be affected with the fencing work of the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) along the Indo-Bangladesh border from Dawki to Jaliakhola. The people of this area fear that once the fencing work start they will be at the receiving end. Speaking to The Sentinel, a group of villagers said that they will have to let go their ancestral lands if the fencing work is taken up. "We had lost a lot of our land during partition. We will be losers this time too," they lamented. There are thousands of Khasi-Pnar families in Sylhet, Sonamganj and Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh who have relatives living in the Indian side. These families will lose touch with them if the fencing is completed.