Nagalim.NL News

Wednesday, August 31st

50,000 Nagas pledge for unification


50,000 Nagas pledge for unification: New Kerala
Kohima: Thousands of tribal Nagas here Wednesday pledged to unite and stay under one administrative set-up, giving a big push to a frontline separatist group's demand for unification of all Naga inhabited areas in the region. More than 50,000 Nagas attended a pro-unification rally organised by the Naga Hoho, the apex tribal council, in this Nagaland capital. "The response was overwhelming with the rally concluding with an open declaration reaffirming the commitment for integration of all Naga inhabited areas in the northeast," Naga Hoho general secretary N. Krome told IANS.

Several ministers and legislators from Nagaland and adjoining Manipur attended the rally, as did rebel leaders from groups like the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and the Naga National Council (NNC). "Unification of Naga dominated areas in the northeast is not a demand but a historical right," Mani Charenamai, an MP from Manipur, told the rally. Rally organisers claimed hundreds of Naga tribals from the adjoining states of Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh attended the congregation. The rally assumes significance as peace talks with the NSCN-IM have been deadlocked in recent months with New Delhi virtually rejecting the group's demand for unification. The NSCN-IM, the oldest and the most powerful of around 30 rebel groups in India's northeast, wants the creation of a Greater Nagaland by slicing off parts of Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh that have sizeable Naga tribal populations.

The Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh governments have already rejected the NSCN demand for unifying Naga dominated areas. The NSCN-IM has been holding peace talks with New Delhi following a ceasefire between the two sides since 1997. Although the NSCN-IM was expected to get a major boost from Wednesday's rally, there were signs of unrest in the adjoining states. "We are not going to part with even an inch of our territory," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said. Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh echoed similar views. "We shall not allow our territorial integrity to be affected," he said. The issue of unifying Naga inhabited areas in the northeast has already sparked angry clashes and protests, with Manipur taking the lead in trying to stop New Delhi from conceding to the NSCN-IM demand. "If required, we shall shed blood to prevent the government from trying to redraw the map of the northeast," said T. Singh, a civil rights campaigner in Manipur capital Imphal.

A rival NSCN faction headed by S.S. Khaplang claimed several Naga tribes boycotted the rally and do not endorse the unification campaign. "The rally does not represent the views of the entire Naga community," a senior NSCN-Khaplang leader said. There are an estimated three million tribal Nagas in the northeast, with Nagaland state alone accounting for about 1.9 million of them. Nagaland, where more than 25,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency since India's independence in 1947, is a Christian majority state of two million people.
Naga tribes demand homeland on India, Myanmar border 31 Aug 2005 11:12:30 GMT Source: Reuters By Biswajyoti Das
KOHIMA, India, Ag 31 (Reuters) - A fierce Christian hill tribe took to the streets in India's remote northeast on Wednesday to raise a new demand for a homeland sliced out of areas dominated by them in India and neighbouring Myanmar.
Thousands of tribesmen, many wearing traditional headgear made of bamboo sticks and feathers, and women with handwoven shawls around their waists marched through Kohima, the capital of India's Nagaland state, carrying spears and placards.
At a public rally, Naga leaders reiterated their demand for an expansion of Nagaland to include Naga-dominated parts of neighbouring Indian states, and made a new call for the inclusion of parts of northern Myanmar as well. "No artificial boundaries can separate us, let the world know the Nagas are one and want to live like a family," said Wangyuh Konyak, the sole member of India's parliament from Nagaland at the rally in Kohima, a small town perched on a ridge and surrounded by cloud-covered mountains.
Two million Nagas live in the remote state of Nagaland, another million in neighbouring states and roughly the same number across the border in the forested hills of Myanmar.
Separatist Naga rebels have been fighting Indian and Myanmarese government forces for independence for five decades, after British colonial rulers left the sub-continent in 1947.
The conflict has left more than 20,000 dead, mostly on the Indian side, until the most powerful Naga rebel group signed a ceasefire with the Indian government in 1997.
Since then the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah), has been campaigning for the unification of Naga-dominated territory into a single "Nagalim" or Nagaland.
It is a demand fiercely opposed by other ethnic groups in the northeast and by New Delhi.
The NSCN (IM) and their allies stepped up their campaign in June and July by blockading roads leading to the neighbouring state of Manipur for more than 50 days.
Tensions with the Meitei people of Manipur have risen since Nagas began pushing for an expansion of their territory. Observers say the issue has complicated the search for peace in India's northeast, home to scores of separatist rebel groups. Culturally and ethnically different from the rest of the country, Nagas were headhunters, divided into 32 constantly warring tribes, until the arrival of British colonial troops and American Baptist missionaries in the 19th century. Since then, united by common traditions and by the Christian faith, they have forged a strong sense of nationhood.
"All Nagas want to live together as one people in a unified Naga homeland, and that integration of all Naga areas must be the foundation of any political settlement," Naga tribal and political leaders said in a declaration in Kohima on Wednesday.

Govt, Opp back today’s Integration rally
KOHIMA, Aug 31: The Naga integration rally slated for today is expected to be one of the biggest ever demonstration of the Naga people of the NE region in their cry for unity and integration of the Naga homeland. The rally, which will be held at the local ground here has been organised by the apex body of the Naga Civil Society Organisation, the Naga Hoho, is expected to draw over 50,000 people from and Naga inhabited areas of Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.It will also be attended by elected MLAs from Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, besides the legislators and ministers of Nagaland, Naga Hoho Vice-President Kevisters Khiewhuo said.

Meanwhile, the Naga Hoho, along with the other mass based organisations like Naga Students' Federation (NSF), Naga Mothers' Association (NMA) and Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) are busy to make a fullproof arrangement for the successful of the historic rally.Various tribal organi-sations, civic bodies, traditional bodies of Nagaland have already extended their support for the rally, except the Konyak Union, the apex civil body of Konyak tribe, who refused to join the integration rally. In a release here on Tuesday, Konyak Union General Secretary Y Wangtin said that nagas should work for unity among the Nagas first and then work for integration."How can we talk about integration when there is bloodshed among the nagas," he questioned.

All the schools and other educational institutions of Kohima town have declared holiday on Wednesday in view of the integration rally and president of the All Nagaland Private Schools Association (ANPSA) Mrs Purnima Kayina Yhume wished all the delegation coming to Kohima from outside a warm stay and a grand success of the rally. The Naga Hoho, in advertisements in the local dailies of the state has appealed to all to join the rally. The Nagaland Peoples' Front (NPF), the major coalition partner of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) on Tuesday supported the integration of Naga areas.In a statement NPF president Shurhozelie said the NPF stands for integration of all Naga areas and would continue to support all disseminative moves towards integration of all naga areas. The Naga integration rally is likely to be under close focus of not only the local media, but the national and international media. Top media houses of print and electronic media have made arrangements to cover the rally at Kohima. The district administration has made elaborate security arrangement for the rally as such a mammoth gathering was never witnessed in the state before. (UNI)

Naga Hoho Integration Rally on Wednesday Press Trust of India
Kohima, August 30, 2005 Political parties and various tribal organisations of Nagaland have asked the people to participate in the Naga Hoho-sponsored 'Naga Integration Rally' here on Wednesday to find a lasting solution to the four decade-old Naga problem. The apex Naga social organisation has sought the support of all Nagas in the region irrespective of their political and social affiliation. Leaders of all political parties as well as the Naga MLAs of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have been invited to Wedneday's rally. Certain tribal councils had expressed reservations about the rally but later agreed to participate after a series of meetings between their leaders and the organisers, who visited them to explain the reasons for holding it. All political parties in Nagaland had passed unanimous resolutions supporting the integration of Naga-inhabited areas into a single administrative unit as enshrined in the 16-point agreement of 1960 which culminated with the formation of the state. Political parties have been invited to clarify their stand on the issue.
The ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) has also extended its support to the rally in view of its commitment to act as "facilitator" to peace, unity and settlement of the vexed Naga political conflict. Senior minister and president of Nagaland Peoples Front, a major alliance of DAN, Dr Shurhozeli said in a statement on Tuesday, the Naga people have been expressing their desire to live together under the same administrative umbrella. "For saying so, the Nagas have not said or done anything wrong against anyone, including the neighbouring states." The integration of Naga areas is among the issues discussed between the Centre and NSCN (I-M). Neighbouring Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have opposed it.
Thousands attend Naga Integration rally NET News Network
Kohima, Aug 31: To demand the long-standing need of the Nagas, a Naga Integration Rally was held today at the State Capital, Kohima under the banner “One People, One Struggle, One Solution” which was attended by fifty thousand Nagas from several states. Dignitaries who attended the rally included M.Ps, Ministers, MLAs from Nagaland and Manipur. Different school students, public, NGOs, Church leaders and senior leaders also participated in the Rally. On this historic event of ‘The Naga Integration Rally’ Nagaland’s Home Minister, Thenucho said that the ‘Rights’ of man has been the primary factor that has governed the process and development of human history along with it the issues of ‘Birthrights’ is as precious to man to as any other social, political or economic rights. He also said that today we are trying to define and re-define the different rights like Human, Political, Economic and many other rights of man to live together under one umbrella. The Nagas have asserted the ‘rights’ in various forms of which a few significant events may be quoted as the memorandum submitted to the Simon Commission of 1929, the 9th Point Hydari Agreement of 1947, the 16th Point Agreement of 1960, the Cease Fire Agreement of 1964 etc, the Minister said.
On the part of the Government, the Minister said the DAN Govt. under Neiphiu Rio will uphold the solemn trust of the people and will continue to pursue the cooperation of our own people, till it becomes a reality. Leader of Opposition NLA I. Imkong also addressing the Integration Rally said that the main theme of the Naga Integration Rally is to demonstrate the solidarity of the Nagas to live together and bring all the Nagas under one administrative umbrella. This genuine desire of the Nagas were explicitly expressed in the memorandum of 1929 submitted to the Simon Commission and which is also stated in the 9 point agreement of 1947, and the 16 point agreement of 1960 respectively. He also stated the views of his party and its stand on the issue of Naga Integration and the Naga political problem. He said that most tragic political scenario in Nagaland today is that the people are divided into factions and groups which are in engaged in violence and killings amongst ourselves. He also stated that it is quite difficult to forget and forgive but in the interest of the people one should have to forgive for the past mistakes. He said that Nagas should believe that it is only through unity and solidarity of the Nagas that an honourable solution of the Naga problem can be secured. According to him it will be folly on our part to talk about the future without taking care of the present scenario.
MP Lok Sabha (Manipur), Mr. Mani Charanamei, MP Lok Sabha (Nagaland), Wanyuh Konyak, MLA (Manipur) Samuel Jindai, Naga representative of Arunachal Pradesh, Jawang Sumpra, Naga representative from Assam I. Jeme , Executive Member, World Baptist Alliance, Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, also spoke on the occasion with the same sentiments. The programme was chaired by General Secretary Naga Hoho, Neingulo Krome. The other highlights were welcome address by President, Naga Hoho, Horangse Sangtam and special songs by Chancel Choir, Mokokchung, male voice from Naga Boys, Eastern Theological College Jorhat, traditional melody presented by Vekutalu and Thunonulu.
Tens of thousands rally for Integration Naga Integration Rally Programme Time: 10:00am Venue: Kohima Local Ground Morung Express
Chairperson : Neingulo Krome, General Secretary, Naga Hoho
Opening Prayer : Rev. Dr. Neiliezhü Usou
Blessing : Kevimedo, Kohima Village Elder
Welcome Song : Chancel Choir Mokokchung
Welcome Address: Horangse Sangtam, President,Naga Hoho
Male Voice : Naga Boys, Eastern Theological College, Jorhat, Assam
Speeches : Thenoucho, Home Minister, Government of Nagaland
I. Imkong, Opposition Leader, NLA
Dr. Hokishe Sema, Chairman, DAN
Trad. Melody : Vekutalu and Thunonulu
Speeches : Mani Charanamei, Lok Sabha MP, Manipur
Wangyuh Konyak, Lok Sabha MP, Nagaland
Samuel Jindai, MLA, Manipur
Jawang Sumpa, Naga Representative from Arunachal Pradesh
I. Jeme, Naga Representative from Assam
Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, Executive Member, World Baptist Alliance
Khesheli Chishi, President,
Naga Mothers Association Pushika Aomi, President,
Naga Students’ Federation
Rev. Dr. VK Nuh,
General Secretary CNBC
Special Song : Chancel Choir Mokokchung
Declaration ONE PEOPLE, ONE STRUGGLE, ONE SOLUTION
CM, ANSAM finally talk but without much results to show The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 30: In a significant development, the deadlock in holding negotiations between the agitating ANSAM and the Manipur government have been bridged as the first round of talks between the two sides was held today. The meeting could not however arrive at a logical conclusion but both sides agreed to resume it in the coming few days, the date for which has to be fixed by the government. Today’s talk was held at the Officers Mess, 57 Mountain Division, Leimakhong and both sides ended on a positive note, according to a senior minister of the SPF government who took part in today’s meeting expressing hope that the economic blockade issue would be resolved soon.
Chief minister O Ibobi Singh led the government side and was assisted by chief secretary Jarnail Singh and senior cabinet ministers and MLAs of the SPF government. The talks lasted for only about 40 minutes as the chief minister had to rush to the national capital after he was summoned by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to attend a meeting of the National Integration Council to be held at New Delhi. Altogether seven representatives of the ANSAM including its president and advisors came for the talks, but only six of them attended the meeting, the minister further disclosed.
Developments of today’s talk between the two sides would be discussed in a meeting of the state cabinet which is likely to be held on September 2 and fix the date for holding the next round of talks. Chief minister O Ibobi Singh has reportedly instructed the state chief secretary to make all arrangements for holding the cabinet meeting latest by September 2. Another meeting of the ruling SPF government will also be held to finalize a new date for resuming talks with ANSAM, for which O Ibobi Singh has asked Dr Nara Singh, convenor SPF, to make the arrangements.

As soon as today’s talks ended, the chief minister went directly to Tulihal airport from the meeting venue and boarded a flight for New Delhi. The flight was delayed from normal departure time by about 20 minutes so that chief minister could take the flight.
Today’s meeting was held after establishing contact with ANSAM leaders late yesterday night. The meeting was scheduled to start exactly at 11.30 am this morning after the chief minister returned from Gamphazol after inaugurating a godown of the FCS department. The chief minister, senior ministers of the SPF, MLAs and other government officials arrived exactly two minutes before the scheduled meeting time at the guest house of Leimakhong heavy fuel power project, where the government made futile attempts to change the meeting venue. When the ANSAM leaders did not turn up at the guest house even as the ministerial team waited for nearly two hours, a communique arrived from ANSAM that it would stick to its decision to hold the talks at the earlier agreed venue of the Officer’s Mess, Army headquarters, Leimakhong. The meeting was finally held exactly at 2 pm.

Meanwhile, the All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has accused the Manipur government of lacking sincerety, political will and courage. In a late night exclusive interview with Newmai News Network ANSAM president Paulring Langhu and general secretary Robert T Maram said that today the ANSAM delegation went to meet the chief ministerial team at army headquarter at Leimakhong under Senapati district "with the hope that the state government would not compel the ANSAM to once again seek extreme measures for redressal". The Naga student leaders stated that "ANSAM came forward to explore all peaceful means to resolve the impasse in which Nagas and other ethnic communities can exist with mutual respect and understanding."
They further stated that ANSAM had made it clear that the aspirations and rights of various communities and people must be recognised and respected and therefore considered the declaration of June 18 as state integrity day a direct affront to the aspirations of the Naga people. The student leaders further said, "however, the chief minister's inability to sit through the talks for the full session manifest his (CM) insincerity and his lack of commitment and also political will to resolve the impasse". The ANSAM leaders further stated that it should not be held responsible for the inconclusive talks."In the event of any consequences arising out of the future course of action,the state government shall be solely held responsible." said the ANSAM leaders.
Thenucho, I. Imkong, Mani Charanamei and others to address rally Morung Express Chizokho Vero August 30 KOHIMA (MExN): The stage is set for the Naga Integration Rally here at the Kohima Local Ground on August 31.
The Naga Hoho is expecting tens of thousands from all over Naga inhabited areas at the rally which begins from 10 am onwards. Naga Hoho’s Assembly Secretary Keny Tep told The Morung Express today that the rally will have representatives from Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. So far, Tep said that the Naga Hoho had received a good response from almost all the tribes. "With the support of the various tribes and organizations we are confident that the rally will be a successful one", Tep said.
Speeches will be delivered by Nagaland’s Home Minister Thenucho, Opposition Leader I. Imkong, Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) Chairman Dr. Hokishe Sema, MP Lok Sabha (Manipur) Mani Charanamei, MP Lok Sabha (Nagaland) Wangyuh Konyak and MLA from Manipur Samuel Jindai. Naga representative of Arunachal Pradesh Jawang Sumpa and Naga representative of Assam I. Jeme and Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, Executive Member World Baptist Alliance would also deliver speech at the rally. The rally will be chaired by Naga Hoho General Secretary Neingulo Krome while Horangse Sangtam, Naga Hoho President would deliver the welcome address.
Rio wishes the rally all success: New Kerala
Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is at present in Delhi on an official visit, has extended his best wishes to the Naga integration rally, which will be held here today. In a message Mr Rio said, ''integration of all Nagas is the road to solution of the Naga political problem''. He is of the view that integration was a 'legitimate birthright' of the Naga people. Reminding that integration of all contiguous Naga areas was incorporated as a clause in the 16-point agreement, Mr Rio said the Nagaland Legislative Assembly had passed four unanimous resolutions in support of integration of Naga areas. The last resolution was passed by the present assembly.The chief minister called upon the entire Naga community to come forward to participate and support the rally to make it a success since integration was a legitimate demand of the entire Naga community, the message added.
Senapati gears up for Rally Morung Express
SENAPATI, Aug 30 (MExN): The Nagas living in the present Senapati District, Manipur are gearing up for the August 31 Naga Integration Rally at Kohima, organized by the Naga Hoho. A source said that around twenty buses plying in and around Senapati have been booked for the transportation of participants. It was also informed that all the Schools are to be closed tomorrow so as to enable maximum participation for the rally. Recently on June 16, similar rally on the theme integration was carried out in all the four hills districts in Manipur. Mention may also be made that there are around twenty Naga tribes living in the present Manipur State.
Naga Hoho informs Morung Express
DIMAPUR, Aug 30 (MExN): In view of the Naga Integration Rally, which will be held at Kohima tomorrow at the Local Ground, the Naga Hoho has requested all shops to close down during the period of the rally, from 10 am onwards. However, restaurants and hotels catering to food and refreshments may remain open, to provide readily available eatables to participants coming from far places, the Naga Hoho Publicity Secretary informed. In the meantime, all citizens of Kohima and all participants coming to attend the rally have been requested to remain calm and composed, against any rumours or confusions that may be created by what the statement termed as "anti-Naga elements that may even attempt to sabotage the rally".
Cabinet extends support to rally Morung Express
KOHIMA, Aug 30 (MExN): An emergency meeting of the Cabinet was held today which was presided over by Noke, Minister (RD), in the absence of Chief Minister who is away in Delhi to attend the National Integration Council meeting. The Cabinet re-iterated its earlier decision to support the demand for integration of all Naga inhabited areas and resolved to extend full support to the Integration Rally being organized under the aegis of Naga Hoho at Kohima on August 31. It may be mentioned that today’s Cabinet decision reiterating its support for integration comes in the backdrop of the NPF President Dr. Shurhozelie strongly affirming the ruling party’s support for the rally.
KOHIMA, Aug 31: The Naga integration rally slated for today is expected to be one of the biggest ever demonstration of the Naga people of the NE region in their cry for unity and integration of the Naga homeland...The rally, which will be held at the local ground here has been organised by the apex body of the Naga Civil Society Organisation, the Naga Hoho, is expected to draw over 50,000 people from and Naga inhabited areas of Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.It will also be attended by elected MLAs from Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, besides the legislators and ministers of Nagaland, Naga Hoho Vice-President Kevisters Khiewhuo said. Meanwhile, the Naga Hoho, along with the other mass based organisations like Naga Students' Federation (NSF), Naga Mothers' Association (NMA) and Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) are busy to make a fullproof arrangement for the successful of the historic rally.Various tribal organi-sations, civic bodies, traditional bodies of Nagaland have already extended their support for the rally, except the Konyak Union, the apex civil body of Konyak tribe, who refused to join the integration rally.

In a release here on Tuesday, Konyak Union General Secretary Y Wangtin said that nagas should work for unity among the Nagas first and then work for integration."How can we talk about integration when there is bloodshed among the nagas," he questioned. All the schools and other educational institutions of Kohima town have declared holiday on Wednesday in view of the integration rally and president of the All Nagaland Private Schools Association (ANPSA) Mrs Purnima Kayina Yhume wished all the delegation coming to Kohima from outside a warm stay and a grand success of the rally. The Naga Hoho, in advertisements in the local dailies of the state has appealed to all to join the rally. The Nagaland Peoples' Front (NPF), the major coalition partner of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) on Tuesday supported the integration of Naga areas.In a statement NPF president Shurhozelie said the NPF stands for integration of all Naga areas and would continue to support all disseminative moves towards integration of all naga areas. The Naga integration rally is likely to be under close focus of not only the local media, but the national and international media. Top media houses of print and electronic media have made arrangements to cover the rally at Kohima. The district administration has made elaborate security arrangement for the rally as such a mammoth gathering was never witnessed in the state before. (UNI)
PM assures not to disturb territorial integrity of Manipur: Morung Express Imphal: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has announced that the territorial boundary of Manipur will not be altered without the consent of the people of Manipur. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh gave the assurance to a delegation which called on the Prime Minister in New Delhi at his office at Parliament House yesterday. The Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) has informed that the delegation which called on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in the capital, included the Lok Sabha MP from Manipur, Th Meinya and leaders of the MUSU.

The PM reportedly said, "The territorial boundary of Manipur cannot be changed without the consent of the people of Manipur." The MUSU further informed that the Prime Minister said the territorial boundary of Manipur cannot be changed without the consent of the people of Manipur. "Me and my government are ready for dialogue, as I also mentioned in my Independence Day speech, with all the aggrieved parties in Manipur in order to resolve ongoing tensions in the state," he said. Tension is brewing in the North Eastern states after talks started between the Centre and the NSCN(IM) a proscribed militant group operating in Nagaland. The NSCN(IM) has demanded huge portions of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and portions of neighbouring country Myanmar to form a Greater Nagaland or Nagalim. The NSCN(IM) is pushing forward the Naga integration issue by dropping the sovereignty issue.
The statement of the Prime Minister has brought some relief to the people of Manipur as the Naga Hoho and other organisations are carrying out a rally at Kohima with integration as the main agenda.

The MUSU further informed that the delegation submitted two memoranda, one pertaining to the passing of the Manipur University Bill and the other referred to the ongoing tension in Manipur.

The Prime Minister mentioned that though the Cabinet decided to pass the Manipur University Bill on Saturday, it could not be passed in this session of the Parliament due to lack of time. However, he gave his full assurance and commitment to the promise that he made in October 2004 during his visit to Manipur and mentioned that "It may be promulgated as an ordinance." The Prime Minister also called upon the delegation to give solutions to him and his government to resolve the problem of Manipur. He further extolled the unique civilisation, history and culture of Manipur and referred to the people of Manipur as "India’s First Class Citizens".

The Prime Minister gave his commitment to the delegation that he is ready to give his time to listen to the team and discuss what can be done to bring Manipur back to the path of peace, prosperity and development. He said, "I am ready to meet committed women and men from Manipur to strategise what best we can do for the people of Manipur." It may be noted that the UPA government has announced in the Common Minimum Programme that the territorial boundaries of the north eastern states will not be altered.
Govt, Opp back today’s Integration rally Morung Express
Wednesday, August 31 While reading about this rally on the net, I can imagine the anticipation and excitement in the air. As in most ways, even a wonderful event like this does not go unhitched. It is regrettable that our fellow Konyaks could not join us in this historic event. I hope in their hearts they too nurture the deep desire to bring all Nagas under one geographical and administrative roof.
Opposing is different from abstaining. I understand the Konyaks are not opposed to this event, but wish to abstain in order to convey a message: which is that bloodshed among Nagas should stop.

On practical ground, there can hardly be perfection before achieving one's goal. So even while there is a lot left to be desired among political factions, we need to move on with the greater picture in mind. We face the obstacles and tackle them as we inch toward our common goal. Personally, I am saddened by the decision of the Konyaks not to participate in this great event where most of the people are enthusiastic about. But I also feel their years of frustrations and grievances, as they did not come to this conclusion on a whim. Of course, as Shurhozelie has said somewhere "we are Nagas by blood and not by choice", the Konyaks will always remain Nagas. Therefore I urge all Nagas to extend magnanimity to our Konyak brothers and sisters and show patience and understanding. Healing is what we need in this situation, not anger and condemnation. Even with unity not everything will be rosy for Nagas in their journey to a great society. But a foundation for a peaceful and prosperous State will have been laid. In a building we don't see the foundation as it is buried underneath the ground. But we know it is there because the house is standing and providing shelter and comfort.

When there is respect even in disagreements, when there is no bloodshed even in anger, when there is equality even in diversity, then we will know that a good foundation exist in the Naga society.

God bless Nagaland! New Delhi, Aug. 30: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio made a fervent appeal to Delhi to expedite the process of bringing all Naga-inhabited areas under a single administrative unit on the eve of the unification rally in Kohima. “Integration is the road to the solution of the Naga political issue. It can’t be wished away or avoided and the government will have to address it sooner or later,” Rio said after a meeting here today with K. Padmanabhaiah, the interlocutor in the peace talks with the NSCN (I-M). At the meeting, Rio briefed Padmanabhaiah on the background of the Naga movement and discussed the demands put forth by the NSCN (I-M). He also argued that if Jammu and Kashmir could be given the right to have certain symbols (such as a flag) on account of its special status, there was no reason why Nagaland should be deprived of the same since its case was unique too.
Rio’s submission assumes importance in view of the stalemate in the peace talks between Delhi and the Isak-Muivah faction after more than 40 rounds of negotiations since 2001. The NSCN (I-M) has decided to stay away from tomorrow’s integration rally, apparently to avoid controversies, adds our correspondent from Kohima. The outfit’s kilo kilonser (home minister) R. Raising said the faction was neither invited nor will it join the Naga Hoho-organised rally.
Rio pleads for speedy integration NEW DELHI, Aug 30:
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio made a fervent appeal to Delhi to expedite the process of bringing all Naga-inhabited areas under a single administrative unit on the eve of the unification rally in Kohima.
“Integration is the road to the solution of the Naga political issue. It can’t be wished away or avoided and the government will have to address it sooner or later,” Rio said after a meeting here today with K. Padmanabhaiah, the interlocutor in the peace talks with the NSCN (I-M).

At the meeting, Rio briefed Padmanabhaiah on the background of the Naga movement and discussed the demands put forth by the NSCN (I-M). He also argued that if Jammu and Kashmir could be given the right to have certain symbols (such as a flag) on account of its special status, there was no reason why Nagaland should be deprived of the same since its case was unique too.

Rio’s submission assumes importance in view of the stalemate in the peace talks between Delhi and the Isak-Muivah faction after more than 40 rounds of negotiations since 2001. The NSCN (I-M) has decided to stay away from tomorrow’s integration rally, apparently to avoid controversies, adds our correspondent from Kohima. The outfit’s kilo kilonser (home minister) R. Raising said the faction was neither invited nor will it join the Naga Hoho-organised rally.
PM assures not to disturb territorial integrity of Manipur: New Kerala
Imphal: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has announced that the territorial boundary of Manipur will not be altered without the consent of the people of Manipur. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh gave the assurance to a delegation which called on the Prime Minister in New Delhi at his office at Parliament House yesterday. The Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) has informed that the delegation which called on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in the capital, included the Lok Sabha MP from Manipur, Th Meinya and leaders of the MUSU.

The PM reportedly said, "The territorial boundary of Manipur cannot be changed without the consent of the people of Manipur." The MUSU further informed that the Prime Minister said the territorial boundary of Manipur cannot be changed without the consent of the people of Manipur." Me and my government are ready for dialogue, as I also mentioned in my Independence Day speech, with all the aggrieved parties in Manipur in order to resolve ongoing tensions in the state," he said. Tension is brewing in the North Eastern states after talks started between the Centre and the NSCN(IM) a proscribed militant group operating in Nagaland.

The NSCN(IM) has demanded huge portions of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and portions of neighbouring country Myanmar to form a Greater Nagaland or Nagalim. The NSCN(IM) is pushing forward the Naga integration issue by dropping the sovereignty issue. The statement of the Prime Minister has brought some relief to the people of Manipur as the Naga Hoho and other organisations are carrying out a rally at Kohima with integration as the main agenda. The MUSU further informed that the delegation submitted two memoranda, one pertaining to the passing of the Manipur University Bill and the other referred to the ongoing tension in Manipur. The Prime Minister mentioned that though the Cabinet decided to pass the Manipur University Bill on Saturday, it could not be passed in this session of the Parliament due to lack of time.
However, he gave his full assurance and commitment to the promise that he made in October 2004 during his visit to Manipur and mentioned that "It may be promulgated as an ordinance." The Prime Minister also called upon the delegation to give solutions to him and his government to resolve the problem of Manipur. He further extolled the unique civilisation, history and culture of Manipur and referred to the people of Manipur as "India’s First Class Citizens".

The Prime Minister gave his commitment to the delegation that he is ready to give his time to listen to the team and discuss what can be done to bring Manipur back to the path of peace, prosperity and development. He said, "I am ready to meet committed women and men from Manipur to strategise what best we can do for the people of Manipur." It may be noted that the UPA government has announced in the Common Minimum Programme that the territorial boundaries of the north eastern states will not be altered.
Rally will test NSCN-IM unification demand Wednesday August 31 2005 00:00 IST IANS
KOHIMA: The demand for unification of tribal Naga inhabited areas in the northeast by the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) will come in for test on Wednesday. The Naga Hoho, the apex tribal council in Nagaland, is organising a pro-unification rally in the state capital Kohima, where they expect about 100,000 Nagas from across the northeast to take part. The rally is being dubbed as one of the biggest "solidarity" meets to demonstrate the desire of the Nagas across the northeast to live under one political platform.

"The number of people attending the rally would demonstrate the desire of the Naga people in the northeast for unification," Naga Hoho general secretary N. Krome told IANS. "We are expecting Naga brothers and sisters from Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh to attend the meeting. If the response is good, we expect up to 100,000 people." Hyped as a referendum of sorts, the rally is likely to be attended by lawmakers from Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Nagaland government is backing the rally with the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) announcing its cabinet decision to favour integration. "Some political leaders, ministers and MPs from Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh are expected to address the meeting," Naga Hoho leader Chuba Ozukum said. The NSCN-IM is closely monitoring the rally and the number of people participating in the meet. "If the number of people attending the rally is not encouraging it would be a definite setback to the NSCN-IM's demand for unification. A similar rally in the past turned out to be a flop and so this meeting Wednesday could be a turning point," an analyst said.

The NSCN-IM, the oldest and the most powerful of around 30 rebel armies in India's northeast, wants the creation of a Greater Nagaland by slicing off parts of neighbouring states of Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh that has sizeable Naga tribal populations. The three regional governments of Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh have already rejected the NSCN demand for unification of Naga dominated areas. The NSCN-IM is currently holding peace talks with New Delhi following a ceasefire between the two sides since 1997.
"The success of the rally would reinvigorate the peace process," Krome said.
Many from state leave for Kohima rally The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug 30: A mass rally for the integration of Naga inhabited areas of north east India expected to be participated by Nagas of Nagaland, Assam Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur under the aegis of the Naga Hoho and supported by various Naga based organisations is all set to begin tomorrow, according to reports received from Kohima today. People belonging to different Naga tribes settled in Manipur had proceeded this morning for Kohima. According to reports many people from four hill districts of Manipur reached the capital of Nagaland this afternoon.

Meanwhile, a reliable report from Dimapur said that various NGOs in Nagaland are campaigning for mass participation in the rally from the last few days. There were also reports that the NGOs were campaigning from village to village to send atleast 20 people from each village for participation in the rally. John Kaping adds from Ukhrul: More than 300 Tangkhul social organisation delegates from Ukhrul headquarter have left for Kohima for the Naga rally to be held tomorrow. The delegates under the banner of the Tangkhul Naga Long, TKS, TSL and TMNL left today at 10 am in three passenger buses and many vehicles. When contacted on telephone by the IFP Naga Hoho vice president Keviletou said that the rally will be a ‘historic landmark’ for the Nagas aspiration to live together as one. When asked about resource persons, he communicated that Mani Cheranamei, MP Outer Manipur, Jeme, a senior political leader from Assam, Imkong AO, an opposition leader, Nagaland, Nagaland home minister Hokeshi Sema former CM, Wungyuk Konyak, Naga leader Dr. Wati Aier, executive World Baptist Alliance, Samuel Jendai will be present on the occasion and he also disclosed that 4-5 Naga MLAs/ministers from Manipur are also expected to participate including Henry Paotei who is confirmed to come.
He further replied that more than 1,00,000 people from all the Naga tribes are expected to take part in the rally which aims mainly at “focusing on the Naga Integration to live under a single administrative unit” which can neither be borrowed nor bought or hired by any other sections of the communities but it is the “birthright” given by the Naga forefathers to be the free owners of the land, he added.

Sovereignty first then integration: NNC Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 30: Even as the Naga Hoho sponsored Naga integration rally is set to be held at Kohima tomorrow, the Federal Government of Nagaland of the Naga National Council has urged all the Naga civil societies including the Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers' Association, Naga People's Movement for Human Rights, Council of Naga Baptist Churches and the Naga Students' Federation not to deviate from the Naga National foundation of independence as formally declared on August 14, 1947 and the 1951 plebiscite.

In a statement, the FGN urged the Naga civil organisations not to forget the facts and to be aware of the forces working against the Naga Nation. The rally should not choose to go against the sovereignty of Nagaland, said the FGN and added that Nagas ought to be demanding sovereignty instead of integration as Naga integration will come once India leaves.
An Appeal to our Tribal Brothers and Sisters By: Lt. Col. H. Bubhan Singh (Retd.) Kangla
At the outset, let me offer my sincere regards to each and everyone of our tribal brothers and sisters, through the medium of this article. I intend to do some plain talking. I think, this is better than allowing our pent up emotions to burst into something undesirable. Let us first talk about history. About a week back, Manipur observed "Patriots' Day" on 13th August. To whom did we pay homage and offered floral tributes? We paid homage to Yuberaj Tikendrajit Singh, Thangal General, Kajao, Charai Thangal, Niranjan Subedar etc. We know that Thangal General, Kajao, Charai Thangal were all tribal. This proves that the history of Manipur till all of us got subdued by the British, was a shared history of Meiteis and tribal people.

Queen Nungselchaibi, mother of King Pamheiba alais Garibniwas was a tribal woman from Maram area. Paikhomba was a tribal boy-king picked up by the Royal elephant. He was of Kuki origin. Of course, it is a different matter, that whenever a tribal became king or queen, they soon got assimilated into Meitei fold. But we belong to the same stock. This is a reality, you and I cannot disown. Kabui culture and customs are exactly like Meitei culture. Kabuis worship Sanamahi and Leimaren as household deities. They observe Ningol Chakouba. Koirengs also follow the same Sanamahi and Leimaren and Ningol Chakouba culture. In pre-war 1939, the champion cyclist of Assam Olympics was Arjun Kabui of Kakhulong. The sporsts meet held at Gauhati (now Guwahati) was graced by the presence of His Highness Maharaja Sir Churachand Singh, KCSI, CBE of Manipur. The Maharaja rewarded Arjun handsomely. As a young boy studying in Johnstone School, I had seen Arjun Kabui regaling in the verandah of his Kakhulong house sitting cross legged on a 3'' thick straw mat, smoking hookah through a smoking pipe (tongjei). He looked like any Meitei nobleman. With more than twenty Kabui villages in the valley, whose total population is almost equal to the entire population of Tamenglong district, I do not think the majority of Kabuis of Tamenglong will desire to join the dream will-of-the-wisp Nagalim. My guess is that Kabuis are generally dedicated Indians and are, therefore pro-Manipur integrity. Association of Senapati district with the history of Manipur dates back to pre-British conquest days. Even the name of the district owes its origin to Senapati Tikendrajit Singh. during the reign of Maharaja Chandrakriti Singh, protocol was that Major General Sir James Johnstone, KCSI, as representative of British Crown, was required to be received by a prince of direct royal descent at a suitable place near Karong. Then, the prince was to escort Johnstone up to Kangla Fort, Imphal. That camping place came to be known as Senapati after Senapati Tikendrajit and the district with Senapati as district headquarters is known as Senapati district. So, right from Queen Nungselchaibi, King Pamheiba, Senapati Tikendrajit, Thangal General, Charai Thangal we see that the people of Senapati district are associated with the history of Manipur. Let us now see the Tangkhuls. Ethnically, linguistically and culturally, the Tangkhuls are closest to Meiteis. Most Tangkhul elders accept the view that Tangkhuls were elder brothers of Meiteis. Chief of Hundung at Ukhrul (Head of Tangkhul tribe) said so, believed so, and behaved so. In his residential courtyard at Hundung, there are stone slabs with engravings, which indicated the dates of visits by His Highness Maharaja Sir Churachand Singh, his son Maharaja Bodhachandra Singh, grand son Maharaja Okendra Singh and the present titular Maharaja Sanajaoba Leishamba. Each and every Maharaja of Manipur after British conquest paid visit to Tangkhul Chief's residence. Such closeness, I wish Muivah knows. The present Hundung Chief, whenever he comes to Imphal stays with the titular Maharaja in the palace.

Major Ralengnao (Bob) Khathing M.C., MBE was a prominent Tangkhul, a bosom friend of Captain Maharajkumar PB Singh. In Tangkhul language nao means child. So Ralengnao means son of Raleng, who was Bob's father. In Meiteilon, nao also means child. Inao is younger brother and naorol khuba is quick rate of child-birth. In short, Tangkhul language and Meiteilon are similar by about eighty percent. I do not have to repeat culture of Leirum which is a must-item in the dowry on the marriage of a Meitei girl and also the essentiality of a Tangkhul and a Kabui in the Lai Haraoba function of Meiteis. Since history and tradition said that Tangkhuls and Meiteis were brothers, I will venture to claim that if a DNA test is now performed between any Tangkhul and any Meitei, the chances are that both may turn out to be distant cousins. Dear Tangkhul brothers and sisters, your real roots are here in Manipur with the Meiteis. I have read IFP Mail Box dated 13 August 2005, in which Naga International Support Centre (NISC) praised Government of India (GOI) for trying to find a solution to the fifty years old Naga conflict. The letter praised GOI and called on GOI to withdraw its troops from all Naga areas ........ promote peace in the region .............. that guarantees the Nagas the right of self determination. Here, I will like to comment that the Nagas of India are enjoying right of self determination. The Rio government of Nagaland was installed at Kohima after a democratic election by the Naga public. No one forced this Rio government on the Nagas. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would have liked to see the back of Rio and install a Congress (I) led government of Kohima. But he could not do it as the Prime Minister is also bound by the Indian constitution.

The game plan of NSIC is to do an East Timor to India. But this will fail as India is militarily powerful. In the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, the steaming of American Seventh Fleet into the Bay of Bengal right near the sea ports of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar could not save the erstwhile East Pakistan from turning into an independent Bangladesh. Therefore, it will be better for NSIC to advise NSCN(IM) to shun the path of violence and settle differences with India on a give and take principle rather than resorting to violence and economic blockade etc. In the history of Manipur after Statehood in 1973, the first Chief Minister was Md Alimuddin. Muslims at that point of time constituted about 2% of the population. Despite Alimuddin's immense popularity, such generousity of Meiteis cannot be found anywhere in India. Then, Yangmaso Shaiza, a Tangkhul became Chief Minister of Manipur when the Janata Dal swept polls in India in 1977 under the leadership of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan. Shaiza ruled Manipur for about three years. Then, after some Meitei Chief Ministers, Rishang Keishing, another Tangkhul became the Chief Executive of Manipur government for five terms of intermittent durations. Rishang ruled Manipur for about eleven years though short by a few months. He is the longest Chief Minister of Manipur so far. This post statehood history establishes the fact there were no communal political bias in Manipur. We should not allow NSCN(IM) to divide us by accusing that Meiteis had never developed hill areas. Then, what were the two tribal Chief Ministers doing during their long periods of rule? Present Chief Minister Ibobi Singh cannot make his Khangabok to possess two universities, a medical college, a dance academy, a sport complex etc. like Imphal city. after all, capital cities are special. Similarly, Imphal cannot also be compared with Delhi.

Finally, I will like to tell you frankly that there is no Naga nation or community or even tribe. Naga is just a generic term like Madrasi or Cockney or Mayang. Any South Indian, whether he is a Tamil or a Telegu or a Keralite is referred to as Madrasi by Punjabis. Similarly, cockneys are just British working class like taxi drivers, coalminers, farm hands etc. In Manipur, all outsiders are Mayangs. There are no Madrasi nation, no Cockney nation, no Mayang nation. So are the Nagas after the creation of the Naga concept to unite the Aos, the Semas, the Lothas etc. into a homogenous entity. I am not trying to down play or denigrate Naga concept but riding piggy back on NSCN(IM) on Naga nation has dangerous consequences unless you support their secessionist tendency. Naga concept is like India creating Arunachali identity to hammer unity between the Daflas, the Apa-tanis, the Mishmis etc. of Arunachal. New identities like Jharkhandis, Uttranchalis etc, have come into existence. At least in Nagaland, the Nagas had developed a common language called Nagamese. This is extraordinarily good to bind all Nagas. In Arunachal, their common language or lingua franca is Hindi, which is still better for imbibing Indianness. In Manipur, our tribal chiefs numbering around three hundred, eat and dance on Mera Houchongba every year even now with titular Maharaja at the palace. Our cultural relationships are still very close. Therefore, since our tribal people are historically, culturally, ethnically, linguistically and politically closer to Meiteis, I appeal to you all to work for the integrity of Manipur.
Paradise shattered NORTHEAST ECHOES / PATRICIA MUKHIM The Telegraph
Terror is no longer the proud privilege of a few states in the Northeast. Arunachal Pradesh, which was until a couple of years ago the only peaceful sanctuary, has now joined the charmed circle. Another paradise is invaded and peace is shattered. Three known militant outfits are operating in the eastern sector of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the states of Nagaland and Assam. Of the three, the National Liberation Front of Arunachal (NLFA) has close links with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah). Koj Tara, the NLFA chief, who was recently arrested from Dimapur, the commercial capital of Nagaland, was mentored by the NSCN (I-M) and possibly acted at its behest.
Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh have been safe havens for both factions of the NSCN — one led by Swu and Muivah and the other by Khaplang. The two districts border Myanmar and are thickly forested, thus affording the militants a steady income through timber logging and smuggling. Militancy is never a stand-alone activity. Spin-offs include extortion, drug peddling, arms and timber smuggling and a host of related criminal activities. Lack of employment opportunities within the region attracts able-bodied youth to militant outfits which actually pay the cadres a monthly salary. Militants owing allegiance to various outfits at a surrender ceremony at Tamulpur in Nalbari district last year. Picture by Eastern Projections
Misled ideology Proliferation of militant activities devoid of ideology only goes on to show that the present-day youth no longer question or care about what they are doing as long as they are doing something profitable. Youthful innocence and naivety are today replaced by a cynicism that is frighteningly akin to that of a hardcore terrorist operating in any part of the globe. Ruthless ambition has taken the place of hope and trust in a system which is increasingly seen as insensitive, unresponsive and corrupt. Name any state in the region and you have a litany of grouses against politicians. They care for themselves and their own and of course their party cadres. The rest of the janata be damned! Nepotism has taken a whole new dimension in all of the northeastern states. Naturally, those who do not belong to the clique of influence peddlers are bound to be discontented. And the number of the disgruntled is steadily rising. Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh are, of course, contentious spaces. They are part of the map of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland — that sovereign territory which the NSCN (I-M) is negotiating with the Indian state. What could shatter the peace of Arunachal Pradesh completely and list it among the most troubled states of the region is the operational space it affords to its own militant outfits and also those from other states of the region. Assam’s most virulent insurgent group, the Ulfa, is presently an itinerant pedestrian of the thick forests of Arunachal Pradesh. One advantage that militants enjoy is Arunachal Pradesh’s vast uncharted territory and its difficult terrain, which is a formidable battleground.
Politicians are the most upset lot when militancy strikes. No wonder Gegong Apang, Arunachal Pradesh’s street-smart, astute chief minister, has briefed Delhi about the impending danger. Militancy is the only element of surprise that politicians are apprehensive about. For one, militancy creates too many contenders for that “pie in the sky”. Development funds now have to be shared by more people. While politicians extort through more beguiling tactics, militants do it the crude way. They use potent weapons and do not believe in the polite language of negotiations. No wonder the comfort zone of politicians is disrupted. However, it cannot be denied that a symbiotic relation does exist between the two, especially during elections.
Islamic influence Coming back to another very crucial point, not many would have missed the news item which appeared in several newspapers a couple of days ago, that Ulfa chief Paresh Barua, who was languishing in a jail in Bangladesh, has been invited to Karachi by the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency. Barua is scheduled to visit Karachi in September this year to attend a meeting which is aimed at better coordination between Islamic fundamentalist groups operating from Bangladesh. This is a very alarming development as far as the Northeast is concerned. If the recent blasts in Bangladesh are the brainchild of Islamic fundamentalist groups who ostensibly want that country to become an Islamic state, the echoes will reverberate beyond its borders.
Jaideep Saikia, writing for Dialogue in the chapter entitled “Revolutionaries or Warlords, Ulfa’s Organisational Profile”, says, “One of the most important contradictions in the Ulfa movement and one that symbolises its increasing deviation from its revolutionary character and principles, is the sudden shift in stance that it engineered towards the illegal immigrants (referring to Bangladeshi migrants). Saikia avers that while the Ulfa preamble puts the blame on illegal migrants for “turning the people of Assam into street beggars and minority in their own country”, the outfit took a completely different stance later on. Perhaps the Ulfa’s ambivalence is best illustrated by Udayan Mishra in his book The Periphery Strikes Back, when he says, “There is reason to believe that military needs have compelled the outfit to shed much of its earlier intransigence towards foreigners and outsiders on Assam soil and adopt a position which would ensure support and sanctuary in Bangladesh.” Mishra points out that once safely ensconced in Bangladesh, the Ulfa distanced itself from the AASU-led anti-foreigners movement and from the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and even termed the movement as “emotional”.
ISI missile Military exigencies and the need for extended hospitality on Bangla soil will once again force the Ulfa to shed its sanctimonious self-image as the saviour of the Assamese people and instead lend its shoulders to the ISI to fire its destructive missile. In this emerging scenario, how is it possible for promoters of peace to speak of a dialogue between Ulfa and the Centre? Perhaps the dialogue drama at this critical juncture is aimed at buying time. What happened in Bhutan had dislocated the Ulfa militants and dislodged their money collection circuit. The Ulfa budget for 2001-2002 was to the tune of Rs 31 crore. According to Saikia, out of the above amount, the Ulfa rebels who were at the time not more than 1,200 in number, were paid a paltry sum of Rs 2,000 per month as salary. An amount of at least Rs 28 crore was kept by the top three leaders, Arabinda Rajkhowa, Paresh Barua and Raju Baruah, who invested the money in various business ventures. What is clear is that Ulfa and other militant outfits in the region have a one-point agenda, which is to assume the role of warlords by accumulating wealth and becoming the capitalists that they had derided and even killed when they began their revolutionary journey. Our problem is that the state’s response to this whole challenge has been pretty unintelligent. In several cases, the state has been reactive and thereby reinvented an equally terrifying method of dealing with terror. The saga of secret killings that have now surfaced tells its own story. How is it possible to have peace when there is so much falsehood, corruption and double standards from the terrorist groups as well as from the state? It seems we will have to wait a long time before regaining paradise.
Nagaland sitting on precious metals Morung Express News August 30
DIMAPUR: Nagaland has the potential of raking in considerable returns through the mining of precious metals. According to studies carried out, Nagaland has the latencies of exploiting precious metals belonging to the Platinum Group Elements (PGE). PGE are amongst the rarest of all metals, even costlier than gold, and are widely used as a decorative metal in jewellery, but its principal uses are in industrial applications. In India, two prominent ophiolite belts (areas where PGE are believed to be found) occur: one in the Naga Hills Ophiolite Belt extending over a few hundred kilometers and the other in the Drass Ophiolite Belt situated in the Northwestern part of India. Visiting scientist and Head of the Geochemistry Division NGRI, Hyderabad V Balaram while stating this at the inaugural function of the State Geological Programming Board held at the DGM Office Conference Hall at Dimapur today, revealed that a research project on the Naga Ophiolite Belt (NHO) was jointly carried out by the Geology Department of Nagaland University, Kohima and the Geochemistry Division of NGRI, Hyderabad. Balaram said that the venture had yielded very encouraging results and that further studies would be carried out in the near future. He said that it was necessary to strengthen geochemical laboratories in order to facilitate more exploration studies. Balaram however lamented that concerted efforts in this regard had not been made so far.
In another related development, the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), under the Central Government has, in a letter addressed to the Director of the DGM; Government of Nagaland stated that the ‘State Government may seek for assistance in terms of development of their mines and minerals based industries to IBM with proper justifications and as such sincere participation of the State Government official in various meetings/forums conducted by Ministry of Mines must be ensured for fruitful and meaningful utilization of the special Northeast fund.’ Under the Constitution of India, Nagaland enjoys a special status under Article 371A which states that the regulation and development of the land and its resources including major minerals is solely a look-out of the State government. As such, centrally implemented Acts on mining activities may not be applicable in the State of Nagaland in a strict sense, the IBM further stated. "In spite of this special status, it is however highly desirable in the interest of the nation in general and in particular for the State of Nagaland that a suitable consensus be arrived between the governments of India and that of Nagaland in terms of common interests which will ensure in the near future proper mineral conservation, scientific mining and other related topics," the official letter from the IBM added.
Expedite talks process with NE ultras: AGP Assam Tribune From Our Staff Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Aug 30 – The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) calling for tabling of the Jeevan Reddy Committee’s report on Armed Forces Special Powers Act, today urged the Centre to expedite the dialogue process with the insurgent groups of the north eastern region including the ULFA, NDFB and NSCN (I-M). Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Sarbananda Sonowal today called on the Centre to withdraw repressive laws like the AFSPA as a goodwill gesture. Referring to the BP Jeevan Reddy Committee that was tasked to review the Act, Sonowal said that the Centre should clarify whether the Committee had recommended repeal of the Act.
The people of Assam and North-east have given a mandate to the Government of India to initiate peace talks with ULFA, NSCN (I-M) and NDFB to restore peace in the region. “It is our firm belief that only peaceful dialogue with strong political goodwill can bring out a lasting solution,” he opined.
Sonowal charged that the Centre seems to have no definite policy regarding peace talks with ULFA because it has failed to specify any time frame. It appears that the government is going through the motion of holding the talks. In the case of NDFB also, the Government is showing lack of policy direction. Even in case of NSCN (I-M), the Government has failed to address the question of sentiments of people of Manipur. It has ignored the advice of many intellectuals who have time and again called for autonomy for the Nagas living in Manipur.

Condoms must for armed forces in NE Assam Tribune From Our Correspondent.
SHILLONG, Aug 30 –The Indian armed forces apart from carrying their sophisticated armoury to fight insurgents and terrorists in the North East would also be carrying stocks of condoms to fight another ‘enemy’– the dreaded HIV- AIDS. The North Eastern region has been identified as a “vulnerable and high risk zone” for the men in uniform along with other border areas of the country and peace-keeping missions abroad. The Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services, DGAFMS Vice admiral, VK Singh said, “We have instructed our men to carry condoms and also handed out literatures to prevent HIV- AIDS when they serve in vulnerable areas”.

The North East has a large number of intravenous drug users, which has abetted the growth of HIV-AIDS in the region, the Director General of Assam Rifles, Bhopinder Singh said. Most of the drugs are smuggled through the porous Indo-Bangla and Myanmar border, he added. Singh said that the Assam Rifles, which is permanently stationed in this “high risk environment”, has underscored the ‘real threat’ for his men serving in the Northeast. “We are trying to evolve strategies to defend the defenders of the region for national security.”
Singh added that the most important strategy to combat the disease was in creating “awareness and educating leaders” to help others within the oldest paramilitary force of the country.

Naga Hoho integration rally today Assam Tribube
KOHIMA, Aug 30 – Political parties and various tribal organisations of Nagaland have asked the people to participate in the Naga Hoho-sponsored ‘Naga Integration Rally’ here tomorrow to find a lasting solution to the four decade-old Naga problem, reports PTI. The apex Naga social organisation has sought the support of all Nagas in the region irrespective of their political and social affiliations. Leaders of all political parties as well as the Naga MLAs of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have been invited to tomorrow’s rally.
Certain tribal councils had expressed reservations about the rally but later agreed to participate after a series of meetings between their leaders and the organisers, who visited them to explain the reasons for holding it. All political parties in Nagaland had passed unanimous resolutions supporting the integration of Naga-inhabited areas into a single administrative unit as enshrined in the 16-point agreement of 1960 which culminated in the formation of Nagaland as a state. Political parties have been invited to clarify their stand on the issue. The ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) has also extended its support to the rally in view of its commitment to act as “facilitator” to peace, unity and settlement of the vexed Naga political conflict. Senior minister and president of Nagaland Peoples’ Front, a major alliance of DAN, Dr Shurhozeli said in a statement today that the Naga people have been expressing their desire to live together under the same administrative umbrella. “For saying so, the Nagas have not said or done anything wrong against anyone, including the neighbouring states.” The integration of Naga areas is among the issues discussed between the Centre and NSCN(I-M). Neighbouring Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have opposed it.
Assam Rifles top in AIDS/HIV By: Raymond R Kharmujai
Shillong, Aug 31: Assam Rifles jawans top in the list to have endured with AIDS/ HIV while among the three defence forces Army jawans rank highest to have contacted with this dreaded diseases, said Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services (DGFAMS), V.K.Singh. “The Assam Rifles rank highest mainly because most of the troops were continuously based in the vulnerable international border of this region,” pointed out the DGFAMS while informing that the diseases has come in the three armed forces to 20 per cent less than the national average of nine per cent.
But senior armed forces and paramilitary officers got a breather when Country Representative United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr. Denis Broun eulogized the Indian Armed Forces for the lower prevalence rate (0.062 per cent/ 1000) in the armed forces than among the general population, contrary to most counties in the developed world. “UNAIDS has the greatest respect for the Indian Armed Forces for the quality of prevent, control, care and support and we wished the that the Indian Army’s policy and action be documented to serve as best practice for other armies in the world. Assam Rifles Chief, Lieutenant General Bhopinder Singh revealed that 141 of his jawans have been tested AIDS/HIV positive and presently are undergoing medical treatment while 32 others has died.
Highlighting that the international border in the region is prone to AIDS/HIV, Singh, also a Surgeon Vice Admiral of the Indian Navy said Assam Rifles personnel have contacted the diseases may be due to “Intravenous Drugs Users or social behaviors (sex workers).” He said that every Indian Armed Forces personnel when deployed to any vulnerable place are provided with a condom to ensure that he is not affected from any diseases. “Now we are not only going to tackle militancy but we are also going to fight against these dreaded diseases in this region,” he said adding that aggressive programmes would be organized in every nook and corner of the region to expose the insinuations of this killer disease. As a start to tackle these two diseases, the DGFAMS inaugurated a fifty bed Immunodeficiency Centre for North East at Military Hospital to help in diagnosis, treatment and rendering supportive measures to the troops deployed in the region. Another two-Centre of the same kind would be set up in Dimapur and at Sukhovi village in Nagaland. “We are ready to cater the civilians with conditions that the states government are ready to cooperate with us in our discipline manners,” Singh added. Meanwhile, Meghalaya Governor M.M.Jacob on Tuesday inaugurated a four-day international AIDS/HIV workshop for peer group leaders of the armed forces at Rhino Hall.

Frans on 08.31.05 @ 07:01 PM CST [link]


Monday, August 29th

'No compromise on Nagalim'


'No compromise on Nagalim': Naga Hoho Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Aug 28: In a paradigm shift from the practice of "guarded words and actions", the apex tribal body of Nagaland, the Naga Hoho, on Saturday declared that they would never compromise on a greater Nagaland or Nagalim, and would if necessary come out and fight on the streets for their rights.
"In politics nothing can be achieved through emotions. One has to be decisive and if necessary use force," said Naga Hoho vice president, Keviletuo Angami while addressing a mammoth gathering at a "Martyrs' Day" function held at Mao Gate on the Nagaland-Manipur border on Saturday. The day commemorates the 58 anniversary of the "No Tax Campaign" of 1948 against the king of Manipur.
Keviletuo also hinted that the Hoho could anytime now launch the second phase of agitation on Naga integration. He urged the Nagas to "be ready to come out to the streets to defend their birthright".

Lauding Naga legislators in Arunachal Pradesh for demanding Nagalim, he lambasted their counterparts in Manipur for their lack of courage to project the Naga issue in political forums. Recalling the recent joint memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Naga MLAs and MPs from Manipur, who later denied having done so later, the Naga Hoho leader said, "I don't understand why we keep this kind of leaders". In reference to sitting Rajya Sabha MP from Manipur, Rishang Keishing, Keviletuo said even during the sixties Keishing had signed documents in favour of the Naga issue but later denied having done so, and even went on to sign other "anti-Naga" documents. "His excuse is that he is a Naga by birth but a Manipuri citizen. Nagas cannot accommodate such traitors anymore," the Naga Hoho vice president said.
Peace process in Nagaland spurs development: New Kerala By Neeraj Kumar, Kohima: The value of peaceful atmosphere that has returned to Nagaland, which can only be realised by people who have lived and worked in the State both during peace time as well as insurgency. The peace has replaced fear and insecurity with hope and vibrancy. Families are now getting reunited and people are returning to their normal occupations. Students, human rights and gender activists, tribal elders and political workers, are participating in the reconstruction process. Peace is also helping revival of local handicraft industry.
“Earlier, we used to face lots of problems in working. Now there is peace. We support the peace process. This has benefited us,” P S Puroh, Handicraftsman says.
Exhibitions and trade fairs are organised in the State periodically so that the handicraft and handloom products can be exposed to the external markets. The fact that the industry is flourishing is evident from its 30 to 40 per cent contribution to the State economy. More than a thousand registered small-scale companies are active Even multinational company representatives are coming to the State. Recently, a multinational company had announced its decision to buy Pineapples from Nagaland.
Traders and agriculturist in Nagaland are also determined to ensure that they reap the dividends.

“Lot of progress is there. Lot of infrastructure is being developed, which has developed in the last four to five years and ready to be started. Industrial Growth centre and export promotion Industrial park, that are almost ready. Then urban hut is coming up. Definitely growth is there with the peace process,” says Longkumenu, General Manager, Nagaland Industrial Development Corporation. “When there was no peace process, people were scared to go out and buy something or take venture for their unit. Now people feel free and those interested in going out in their own venture, they have started investment. Therefore there is no fear, people feel free to establish their own unit,” says S Nihoui Chisi, General Manager, District Industry Centre, Dimapur.
Many units are now coming up in the towns as well as cities. Recently, a bottling plant was set up in Dimapur with assistance from an American firm It markets the local agricultural products. Bottled juice, jam and pickles are made here and then sold both in the domestic as well as international markets. Today, Nagaland promotes not only the industries but also the information technology (IT) sector. Recently the State formulated an It policy. As part of this policy, the States first IT institute was set up. Nagaland is gradually regaining its old status as the hub of the North-East . The pace of development that was stopped because of insurgency has picked up. The State is also getting a wonderful opportunity to capitalise on the emerging economic realities due to India’s proximity with ASEAN nations.
Naga rally in Kohima on Aug 31 Kuknalim.com
DIMAPUR, Aug 29 : Leading Naga social organisations have resolved to hold a "Naga Integration Rally" in Kohima on August 31. The Naga Hoho, the Naga Students Federation, Naga Mothers Association and Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights have resolved that the Naga Integration Rally be held saying that the unification of all Naga areas must be the foundation of any negotiated settlement. Meanwhile, the Karbi Anglong (Assam) based United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) has urged individuals to verify the authenticity of any land/patta/permit before purchasing or striking any deal of land at Lengri Tea Estate along Assam-Nagaland border in order to avoid complications in future.
The UPDS made this appeal through a press release issued by its joint secretary (home), L. Ranghang, following reports that many individuals were purchasing land along Assam-Nagaland border areas, especially at Lengri Tea Estate, without verifying the authenticity of land/patta/permit. The Karbi Anglong based outfit took strong exception to reports that some settlers and officials of the Lengri Tea Estate were negotiating for transfer of land to individuals and directed them to immediately stop such activities failing which, it warned, 'stern penalty' would be imposed on them. Blast condemned: In a separate press release, the UPDS (Ceasefire) expressed strong condemnation over the August 17 bomb blast in Diphu, Karbi Anglong, in which seventeen persons were seriously injured.
'This kind of barbaric act is an act of terrorism which the present world is fighting against. This is an act against humanity', the release said adding any problem or differences could be settled only through negotiations. The UPDS said it would leave no stone unturned in tracing those who were behind the blast and give them punishment. [Imphal Free Press]

Hills development committee constituted The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 28: Keeping in view the need for strengthening the infrastructure development programme in the hill districts of the state, the state government has constituted a work advisory committee for chalking out the work programme for the same, an official source said today. The 12 member committeee chaired by the chief minster O Ibobi Singh has eleven members with Dr. Chaltonlien Amo as deputy chairman (SPB). The other members of the committee are MLA RK Theko, Wungnaoshang Keishing, Thangso Baite, Z Mangaibou, Danny Shaiza and DK korungthang, State chief secretary, Jarnail Singh, principal secretary hills, commissioner, finance are also members of the committee with the commissioner planning as the convenor. In this regard, the state government has issued an order constituting the committee on August 26.
Recalling that during this current financial year, 2005-06, the fund allocation in the hill districts is Rs. 1200 lakhs, the source stated that it was reflected under demand no. 30, MH 3451, sub head 19. Further it also stated that out of this total fund allocation of Rs. 12 crores Rs. 330 lakhs had been allocated for Senapati district. Likewise Rs. 165 lakhs for the Tamenglong district, Rs. 450 lakhs for Churachandpur, Rs. 90 lakhs for Chandel and Rs. 165 lakhs for Ukhrul district have been allocated.
In the meantime, the state planning department has demanded furnishing of status of the progress of implementation of schemes and works taken up from all the head of the departments of the state government latest by August 30. The schemes and works it may be noted were taken up under the one time ACA/ Reconstruction plan of Rs. 200 crore and special plan assistance of Rs. 40 crore during the annual plan 2004-05 in the state, mostly in the hill areas.

The intimation in this regard was sent to the pricipal secretary works, commissioners of higher education, school education, power, MAHUD and social welfare in particular and all the head of the concerned departments, the source said. The source also stated that the planning departement in one of its letters on June 10 this year had informed all the concerned to furnish the report on financial and physical progress of implementation of the same. But the departments have failed to furnish them till date. The latest letter of the secretariat, planning department which was despatched on August 23 last also reiterated that since progress of implementation of works/schemes is to be submitted to the Planning Commission of India, the concerned head of departments should furnish the up-to-date and latest information concerning their respective sector or department positively. It may be noted that the reconstruction plan of the state government was approved by the planning commission of India after a proposal was put up to the prime minster during his visit of the state last year. The reconstruction plan approved by the planning commission includes infrastructural development in power, road communication, rural development with priority to the hill areas, education, social welfare activities etc.

'NH-39 should not be used till harassment ends' The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 28: The member of the Manipur Human Rights Commission, RK Rajendra has said that people of Manipur should never use national highway 39 as long as harassment being meted out to commuters and truckers and illegal taxes being levied by underground groups are ceased or people living along the highway make an appeal for using the highway. The MHRC member was speaking at the seventh anniversary celebration of the United Peoples Front, UFP, which was held today at MDU Hall, Imphal. Expressing regret that unity amongst Meitei organisations is lacking owing to egoism and self image, Rajendra called for bringing unity amongst civil society organisations and work together for betterment of the state and for the multi-ethnic Manipuri society. He further stated that the government of Manipur should think twice before declaring Sadar Hills a full fledged district as its consequences could lead the state into jeopardy. Stressing the need for reforming the existing land reform act of the state, MLR Act, which prohibits valley inhabitants to buy land in the hills, Rajendra opined that steps must be taken up to allow valley people to settle in the hills. Stressing the need for reorganization of the existing boundary of nine districts of the state, Rajendra also maintained that safeguarding the identity of Manipur will prove meaningless without involving the land.

In his speech, Professor Dr W Nabakumar, dean of students welfare, Manipur University, said problems confronting Manipur have historical background and this should be clearly understood and action taken accordingly. Regarding the terms Naga and Kuki, Nabakumar maintained that these two words were coined by the British for their administrative convinience. However, the two terms have posed a challenge to the territorial integrity of Manipur. He also stressed the need for bringing unity amongst smaller ethnic groups inhabiting the state. Alleging government of India of indifference to problems confronting the peripheral states of the country like Manipur, Nabakumar said that it is the people who are taking up the various issues rather than by the government as it remains only in name.
K Sethajit, selection grade lecturer, Imphal college, who was guest of honour at the celebration stressed the need for constituting a state integrity council in view of serious threat being posed to the Manipur boundary as is being observed by the activities of NSCN(IM) and its frontal organisations.
The celebration was also attended by Y Devadutta, advocate, RK Ranendrajit, editor, Freedom, David Kamei, social worker, Th Ramani, general secretary, All Manipur Women Social Reformation and Development Samaj apart from representatives of other civil society organisations and invitees coming from Jiribam.
Op Flush Out : Five ULFA cadres held From our Reporter
TINSUKIA, Aug 28: Five ULFA militants —four of which have been identified as Babu Bora, Pituleshwar Bora, Nabin and Subhas Mili —were apprehended from Paglam Ghat in Arunachal’s Dibang Valley after a heavy exchange of fire between the Army and militants in which a jawan was injured yesterday. In another encounter, Rajiv Moran (20), a suspected ULFA militant was arrested while Arunachal Police constable Randeep Mishra was injured yesterday.
The joint operation launched by the Army, paramilitary forces and Arunachal police against insurgent outfits on the bordering districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in the South bank of the Brahmaputra has been intensified, official sources said. Code named as operation flush out, the operation is being carried out in the dense forest areas of Dibang Valley, Lohit, Changlang and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Tinsukia district of Assam.
Kuki outfit cautions GoI Newmai News Network August 28 morung express
Imphal: The Kuki National Front (KNF) has cautioned the Government of India saying that not even an inch of Kuki territories will be given away to non-owner of the land without the consent and mandate of the Kukis. The KNF in a release said that the outfit has been keenly watching the GOI in dealing with NSCN(IM) political talk at any cost adding "the Kukis as far as the history goes were the only people who had fought with the British empire in the so called the North Eastern region in the longest period in history". It then stated "in that circumstances, it will led to civil war if an inch of Kuki territories which our fore fathers had shed blood for the generation be given away by GoI to non owner of the land in the North Eastern Region of India."
ULFA facing reverses in army operations in Arunachal Morung Express Guwahati, 28 Aug (IANS): Separatists in Arunachal Pradesh suffered heavy reverses as the army continued its offensive for the third day Sunday to evict rebels holed up in their bases, officials said. At least 6 militants belonging to the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) have been killed in the offensive so far, with many of them fleeing their camps as troops zeroed in on their bases in four districts of the state. "A final assessment of the damage and reverses faced by the rebels could be ascertained only after the operations conclude," an army commander said. Three soldiers and two policemen were also injured in the offensive. Soldiers of the Madras Regiment are conducting the operations with support from the state police in the districts of East Siang, Changlang, Dibang Valley and Lower Subansiri. "The entire objective of this military operation is to break the sanctuaries of rebels and eject them out of our state. The rebels are under pressure and the operations shall continue until we are satisfied," Arunchal Pradesh police Chief Amod Kant told IANS on the telephone. "We are trying to break the sanctuaries and also those who were harbouring these militants in remote areas," Kant said. The ULFA is one of the frontline rebel groups in the northeast fighting for an independent Assamese homeland in the state of Assam since 1979. The ULFA rebels had shifted their bases to the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh from Bhutan after a crackdown on their shelters by Bhutanese troops in December 2003. According to intelligence reports, ULFA rebels carried out several hit-and-run guerrilla strikes in Assam from their bases in Arunachal Pradesh. There are an estimated 100 rebels, including women, in those bases.
Kuki outfit warns of civil war NET News Network
Guwahati, Aug 28: The Kuki National Front (KNF) today warned of civil war if an inch of Kuki territories is given to non owner of the land without the consent and mandate of the Kukis. “It will lead to civil war if an inch of Kuki territories which our fore fathers had shed blood for the generation be given away by Govt of India to non owner of the land in the North Eastern Region of India,” stated a press communiqué released by the outfit’s publicity secretary Th.Shaddai Lhungdim. The release also made obvious reference about the political talk going on between Central government and NSCN (IM),“ The Front also is keenly watching the GOI in dealing with NSCN (IM) political talk at any cost”. . “The Kukis as far as the history goes were the only people who had fought with the imperialist British empire in the so called the North Eastern region in the longest period in history,” stated the release.
Which will rule — dokhna or churidar Bodo students serve ultimatum against churidar as uniform From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, Aug 28: Reacting to the recent directive to the girl students of BHB College of Sarupeta in Barpeta district to wear churidars, some Bodo students’ unions here have seriously threatened to make dokhna a compulsory dress for the students of all communities the colleges falling within BTC areas. In separate releases, the Gossaigaon College Students’ Union and Kokrajhar College Students’ Union have asked the BHB College authorities to review its order within seven days. Taking strong exception to the directive on the students of BHB College, a major percentage of which are Bodos, the student bodies have threatened to start a mass movement from September 1 to impose dokhna for students of all communities in the colleges of BTC areas. "The BHB College authorities will be held responsible for any untoward incident if they fail to review the decision to introduce churidar as uniform in the college," general secretary of Gossaigaon College Students’ Union Ansuma Islary said in the press release. General secretary of Kokrajhar College Students’ Union Prahlad Narzary said that the BHB College’s step will threaten the cultural identity of the Bodos. "Churidar is neither an Assamese nor a Bodo dress. Hence there is no question of forceful imposition of churidar on the girl students," he said.
It may be mentioned here that the many colleges of the State, including the colleges of the capital city Guwahati, have already introduced uniforms with churidars for the girls. Narzary said that imposition of churidar on Bodo girls outside BTC may slowly lead to extinction of Bodo culture and tradition outside BTC. Stepping into the issue, the Kokrajhar unit of the ABSU also threatened to launch a movement against the decision of BHB College. The secretary of BTC Degree College Forum Prof RN Sinha, who is also the principal of Kokrajahr Science College, in a press release, condemned the move by the BHB College authorities and said there was no such instruction by the UGC to adopt a particular dress as college uniform. Meanwhile, the issue of imposition of churidar on the Bodo girl students of BHB College and the consequent threatening by the Bodo student groups to impose dokhna in the colleges under the BTC region have created sensation among all communities here.

Frans on 08.29.05 @ 01:07 PM CST [link]


Sunday, August 28th

Naga Hoho rings out message loud and clear


Nagas observe "Martyrs' Day" Mao Gate, (Nagaland-Manipur Border), Hindustan Times
Nagas from all walks of life on Saturday gathered at Mao Gate at the Manipur-Nagaland border and observed the 58th Martyrs' Day in remembrance of those killed during the 1948 'No Tax Campaign'.Commemorated as "Martyrs' Day", it was on this day in 1948 that three people were killed in a firing by a contingent of Assam Rifles and the police as they tried to obstruct the security personnel from arresting a Naga leader A Daiho. Several Naga social organisations and Hohos took part in the celebrations. "Instead of appreciating our peaceful and democratic agitation, the Manipur Maharaja had responded with bullets and brute force," said Mao Council president Tosiini while inaugurating "Martyrs' Day". The meeting also prayed for the unification of all Naga areas. Eighty-three year old Mathibo, who witnessed the 1948 "uprising" and was among the injured said, "I am longing to see the dream of the Nagas fulfilled and am hopeful under the present leadership of Isak and Muivah this will happen." "The sacrifice made by our leaders is admirable and praiseworthy," said speaker of Naga Hoho HK Zhimomi. "They are not martyrs' but heroes and they have fought a good fight and won," he added. Naga Hoho Vice President Keviletuo Angami who was the chief guest at the function said that the sacrifices made by the forefathers will go down as an immortal part of Naga history. (By arrangement with Newsfile
Unity rally to dispel doubts OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, Aug. 26: Dispelling misgivings that Naga society is divided on the issue of integration, Nagaland’s apex tribal organisation will hold a rally here on August 31 to press for the integration of Naga-inhabited areas. Tribal hohos and several NGOs, including the Naga Students Federation and Naga Mothers Association, will take part in the rally organised by the Naga Hoho. The decision to hold the rally was finalised after initial hiccups when Naga tribal leaders stepped in. Hoho leaders have stressed that integration is the right of the Nagas “by birth”.
However, the Angami Public Organisation opposed the rally, saying it will not allow any procession or strike in Kohima without its permission. “We have already spoken to the Angami organisation and it has agreed to take back its press release. We will go ahead with the rally on August 31,” Hoho president Horangse Sangtam said over phone from Dimapur. In a declaration in local dailies here, the Hoho said the rally would be a demonstration of “our right and will to live together. All our land must be integrated into a single political unit and we shall no longer wait for things to happen to us”. It said Nagas shall create their future and destiny and shall not rest till their rights are fulfilled. Earlier, the Angami Public Organisation’s release had given rise to speculation that Kohima’s dominant Angami tribe was against integration. The organisation’s president, Mhiesizokho Zinyü, could not be contacted even after several attempts.
The Hoho’s latest move is believed to be a display and reaffirmation that Nagas are all for integration. Recently, the Hoho had expressed concern and disappointment when there was opposition to integration from some quarters. The Naga Hoho has said “reunification of Naga homeland is non-negotiable” and that the issues which have not been addressed so far will be taken up during the peace talks between the NSCN (I-M) and the Centre.
Naga Hoho rings out message loud and clear Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 27 (NNN): In a paradigm shift from the past practice of 'guarded words and actions', the apex tribal body of Nagaland, the Naga Hoho sent a clear message that Nagas would never compromise on their birthright and if need be fight in the street. "In politics nothing can be achieved through emotions.

One has to be decisive and if necessary use even muscle power," said Naga Hoho vice president, Keviletuo Angami while addressing a mammoth gathering of Nagas at the Martyrs Day function held at Mao Gate on Saturday. The programme was organized commemorating the 58 anniversary of the 'No Tax Campaign' of 1948 Naga upraising against the Manipur Raja. Keviletuo also hinted about the Hoho's launching of its second phase of action on Naga integration. He urged the Nagas to be ready to come out to the street to defend their birthright. He termed the steps of the Naga legislators in Arunachal Pradesh as 'bold' but blasted the elected Naga representatives of Manipur for their lack of courage to project the Naga issue in the political forum. Recalling the recent joint memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh by the Naga MLAs and MPs from Manipur, who later denied the same in Manipur, the Naga Hoho leader said, "I don't understand why we keep this kind of leaders".
In an oblique reference to sitting Rajya Sabha MP from Manipur, Rishang Keishing, Keviletuo said not only the recent incident but during the sixties also Keishing had signed documents in favour of Naga issue but later denied and signed other anti-Naga documents. "His excuse is that he is a Naga by birth but Manipuri by citizen.

Nagas cannot accommodate such traitors anymore," the Naga Hoho vice president said. Further, he denied reports and rumours that certain, tribes among the Nagas were not Nagas and urged people to refrain from spreading such rumours adding Nagas would live as one people when they achieved a solution of the political problem. In this connection, Keviletuo sought the contribution of all Nagas. He asked the Nagas to stop using terms such as Nagas of Manipur, Arunachal, Assam, Myanmar or Nagaland. Stating that language is part of integration of a people or a nation, he stressed that the Nagas looked into this aspect. Further, he called upon them to refrain from using alien languages in any gathering of the Nagas anywhere in the Naga area.
Nagas remember their?No tax campaign? martyrs on anniversary Newmai News Network
Mao Gate, Aug 27: Nagas from all walks of life today gathered at Mao Gate at the Manipur-Nagaland border and observed the 58th anniversary of the Martyrs` Day in remembrance of those killed during the 1948 ?No Tax Campaign? uprising. Fiftyeight years back on this day, the first Naga blood was shed for the unification of the Nagas and the Nagas today celebrate the legacy left behind by our brave forefathers, United Naga Council president Puni Modoli ,remarked in his welcome addressed on the occasion. In 1948, on this day three people were killed on the spot, two succumbed to their injuries later when a contingent of Assam Rifles and police indiscriminately fired upon the Naga civilians who tried to obstruct the contingent who came to arrest the then Naga leader A Daiho.

For the first time, the Nagas had observed the occasion in a grand way near the site of the 1948 incident at Mao Gate today where most of the Naga apex mass based organizations and several tribal hoho representatives took part in the grand observation. ?Instead of appreciating our peaceful and democratic agitation, the Manipur Maharaja had responded with bullets and brute force? said Mao Council president Tosiini. He also prayed in the name of God that the unification and integration of the Nagas be fruitful. Similarly, 83 years old Mathibo, one of the living witnesses of the 1948 uprising where he was among the injured unveiled his die-hard aspiration and longing to see the fulfillment of the Nagas before his death. ?I don?t want to die and am longing to see the dream of the Nagas fulfilled and am hopeful under the able present leadership of Isak and Muivah.?

?The sacrifice made by our leaders is admirable and praise-worthy and will go down in history as a legacy? said speaker of Naga Hoho H K Zhimomi. "They are not martyrs but heroes and they have fought a good fight and won", he added. Similarly, Naga Hoho vice president Keviletuo Angami who graced the occasion as chief guest said that the sacrifices made by the forefathers and the principle they had given will go down the anals of history as immortal and called upon the present generation to uphold those principles. Meanwhile, in a paradigm shift from the past practice of ?guarded words and actions?, the apex tribal body of Nagaland, the Naga Hoho sent a clear message that Nagas would never compromise on their birthright and if need be fight in the street.

?In politics nothing can be achieved through emotions. One has to be decisive and if necessary use even muscle power,? said Naga Hoho vice president, Keviletuo Angami while addressing a mammoth gathering of Nagas at the Martyrs Day function held at Mao Gate on Saturday. The programme was organized commemorating the 58th anniversary of the? No Tax Campaign? of 1948 Naga uprising against the Manipur Raja. Keviletuo also hinted about the Hoho?s launching of its second phase of action on Naga integration. He urged the Nagas to be ready to come out to the street to defend their birthright. He termed the steps of the Naga legislators in Arunachal Pradesh as ?bold? but blasted the elected Naga representatives of Manipur for their lack of courage to project the Naga issue in the political forum. Recalling the recent joint memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh by the Naga MLAs and MPs from Manipur, who later denied the same in Manipur, the Naga Hoho leader said, ?I don?t understand why we keep this kind of leaders?.

In an oblique reference to sitting Rajya Sabha MP from Manipur, Rishang Keishing, Keviletuo said not only the recent incident but during the sixties also Keishing had signed documents in favour of Naga issue but later denied and signed other anti-Naga documents. ?His excuse is that he is a Naga by birth but Manipuri by citizen. Nagas cannot accommodate such traitors anymore,? the Naga Hoho vice president said. Further, he denied reports and rumours that certain tribes among the Nagas were not Nagas and urged people to refrain from spreading such rumours adding Nagas would live as one people when they achieved a solution of the political problem. In this connection, Keviletuo sought the contribution of all Nagas. He asked the Nagas to stop using terms such as Nagas of Manipur, Arunachal, Assam, Myanmar or Nagaland. Stating that language is part of integration of a people or a nation, he stressed that the Nagas look into this aspect. Further, he called upon them to refrain from using alien languages in any gathering of the Nagas anywhere in the Naga area.

John K Kaping adds from Ukhrul: The first "Naga Martyrs day" was observed at Ukhrul today in commemoration of the Naga freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives while demanding ?No tax? from the then Maharaja of Manipur. Today?s ceremony in Ukhrul was organised by the Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL) at Ukhrul Forest Conference Hall from 11.30 am. The function was conducted by Chansa Luithui, member NPMHR and the key note address given by the president, TNWL and brief background history of the Nagas given by W. Zingkhai, Member NPMHR.

On the occasion, various dignitaries spoke about the genesis, issues and struggle for "Unified Nagalim". Among those, an old man, Machihan Mashangva, hailing from Choithar village recalled and narrated his personal experiences about the movement of the Nagas issues, particularly encountered by the Tangkhuls. He disclosed that on 26th September 1964, a Tangkhul subcommittee, ?Leingapha? was formed by 20 members at Ukhrul, in which late RS Suisa (Tangkhul Political Founder) addressed the people about ?No tax? payment to the then Maharaja of Manipur. The ageing man added that one more signatory of the Leingapha who is still alive is one Shangam of Hundung village.

Mother’s Day , KARTYK VENKATRAMAN Sunday Express
Founding member and first president of the Naga Mothers’ Association Neidonuo Angami, is one of the 1,000 women jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 Sunday, August 28, 2005
IMPHAL: Amother’s love is not reason enough to be one among the 1,000 women worldwide, who have been jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005. But then, Neidonuo Angami is not your regular friendly neighbourhood mom. Born in a state that has given birth to India’s oldest insurgency — Nagaland — Angami (56), among other things, is the founding member and first president of the feared and respected Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA).
Besides demanding that factionalism, insurgency and tribal rivalry don’t rob mothers of their sons, the NMA’s silent ‘Shed No More Tears’ campaign, led by the dynamic Angami, is credited with making different warring factions in Nagaland sit up and think of lasting peace. Finally, the initiative of women was being noticed, especially the powerful NSCN (Isaac-Muivah), thanks to a woman who felt very strongly about empowering women. Due to the NMA’s efforts, the Naga peace process was underway and on strong ground. BORN on October 1, 1950, in Kohima, just as the Naga insurgency was taking shape and flight, Angami had no inkling that she would go on to be honoured with the Padmashri for social service by the government of India in 2000. Or that she’d be nominated to share with 999 other women, what is regarded as the most prestigious among Nobel prizes — the Peace Prize.
‘‘During my youth, there was no state level body for Naga women. At that time Naga society was being torn apart by conflict-driven drug addiction and alcoholism. Since we had to fight social evils, I decided it would be appropriate to make it a mothers’ association; it’s the mothers who lose in the long run, anyway,’’ says Angami. ‘‘No one opposed us, but there were teething troubles of course,’’ she adds. In 1969-70, when the US put, for the first time, a man on the moon, Angami joined the first batch of Nagaland women police, as a sub-inspector. For her time and surroundings, it was about the same in importance. In 1972, Angami left the police force and became a teacher at the Kohima English School (now Mezhur Higher Secondary School). She also doubled as the Girl Guides captain during her two-year stint. In 1975, her nine-to-five days were over, for good, as she jumped in headlong into social work. Her campaign to empower the women and youth of her state had just begun.
Says Angami, ‘‘The nomination is a tribute to women, to all Nagas. The Naga peace talks are on, and the Naga Mothers’ Association is the bridge-builder, among our own people and the neighbouring states
Two years later, Angami co-founded Nagaland Weavers’ Association — an apex body of handloom and handicrafts. This organisation facilitated the participation of Nagaland State in many exhibitions in different parts of India and International Trade Fair, besides being instrumental in sending Naga craftsmen to Punjab, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir in late Seventies, for exposure and training. While being general secretary of the weavers’ body, Angami also held a similar post with the Chumukedima Plain Sector Angami Womens’ Organisation (Kuda Razha Angami Miapfu Krotho). In 1984, she co-founded the NMA, and became its first president. ‘‘I feel that my biggest achievement has been in spreading awareness among women in helping them root out drug abuse and alcoholism. It took time to reach the grassroot level. As we have many tribes in Nagaland, the tribal women’s organisations are our backbone.’’
‘‘Our work is still continuing, and drug addiction is still a serious problem. But intervention by organisations such as the NMA has seen a growth in recovery,’’ says Angami. In her long career of social work Angami has also represented the NMA at various peace and HIV/AIDS related conferences, in India and abroad, and has been part of the Indo-Naga Peace Process consultation in Nagaland, New Delhi and Bangkok. On her Nobel Peace Prize nomination Angami says, ‘‘It is a tribute to women, to all Nagas and I’m looking forward to being among the winners. The Naga peace talks are on, and NMA is the bridge-builder, among our own people and neighbouring states.’’
Integrity call echoes at Mao Source: The Sangai Express Imphal, August 27 (NNN): Nagas from all walks of life today gathered at Mao Gate at the Manipur-Nagaland border and observed the 58th anniversary of the Martyrs' Day in remembrance of those killed during the 1948 'No Tax Campaign' uprising. "Fifty eight years back on this day, the first Naga blood was shed for the unification of the Nagas and the Nagas today celebrate the legacy left behind by our brave forefathers', United Naga Council president Puni Modoli remarked in his welcome address at the occasion. In 1948, on this day three people were killed on the spot, two succumbed to their injuries later when a contingent of Assam Rifles and police fired upon the Naga civilians who tried to obstruct the contingent who came to arrest the then Naga leader A Daiho.
For the first time, the Nagas observed the occasion in a grand way near the site of the 1948 incident at Mao Gate today where most of the Naga apex mass based organizations and several tribal Hoho representatives took part in the grand observation. "Instead of appreciating our peaceful and democratic agitation, the Manipur Maharaja had responded with bullets and brute force" said Mao Council president Tosiini while introducing the Martyrs' Day.
He also prayed in the name of God that the unification and integration of the Nagas be fruitful. Similarly, 83 years old Mathibo, one of the living witnesses of the 1948 uprising where he was among the injured expressed his diehard aspirations and longing to see the fulfilment of the Nagas before his death.
"I don't want to die and am longing to see the dream of the Nagas fulfiled and am hopeful under the able present leadership of Isak and Muivah". "The sacrifice made by our leaders is admirable and praise-worthy and will go down the history as a legacy" said speaker of Naga Hoho H K Zhimomi. "They are not martyrs' but heroes and they have fought a good fight and won", he added.
Similarly, Naga Hoho vice president Keviletuo Angami who graced the occasion as chief guest said that the sacrifices made by the forefathers and the principle they had given will go down the anal of the history as immortal and called upon the present generation to uphold those principle.

24 hrs Chandel bandh called Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 27: The Naga Students' Union, Chandel has called a 24 hour Chandel district bandh from 6 pm of August 28 to 6 pm of August 29 to protest the indifferent attitude of the Government to the memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister on the frequent transfer of Deputy Commissioner of Chandel district. In a statement NSUC president RL Andang Pakan said that the union has been forced to resort to the. bandh after the Government failed to respond to their representation till 4 pm of today. Medical, water supply, electricity, fire service, security forces, educational institutions have been kept out of the purview of the bandh.
The student body dubbed the Government act as a step-motherly treatment which reflects favouritism, nepotism and 'divide and rule policy'. It is pertinent to mention that the union had submitted a memorandum to the CM on August 24 urging him to stop frequent transfer of DC in the interest of "the local populace and threatened to launch a series of agitation if their appeal was not heeded. The student body further said that as part of the agitation it will boycott the proposed Chief Minister's visit to Chandel district. It also warned individuals, leaders, responsible persons of the district to abstain from meeting the CM.
Nagas honor 1948 martyrs; reaffirms integration Chizokho Vero August 27 MAO GATE, (MExN): Several thousands of Nagas cutting across geographical boundaries today offered rich tributes to those who suffered and sacrificed their lives for the integration of Nagas. Fifty eight years ago on this day, five Naga volunteers were shot dead while enforcing the ‘No Tax campaign’ which had been launched by the Nagas in Manipur in 1948 in protest against the annual house tax imposed on the Nagas by the Manipur Government when Maharaja Kumar Priyobrata Singh was the Chief Minister. The Manipur Government in response approved and dispatched a contingent of the 4th Assam Rifles along with the Manipur State Police to Mao Gate on August 27 1948 to suppress this noncompliance from the Nagas. The 4th Assam rifles and the police then proceeded to fire upon the volunteers and student activists stationed at Mao Gate enforcing the blockade. The indiscriminate firing resulted in the death of five Naga volunteers while many supporters including women and children sustained severe injuries. Taking part in the Martyrs Day held under the aegis of United Naga Council (UNC), the Nagas of Manipur reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen the cause for the integration of the Nagas to live together as one people. UNC President M. Puni said the occasion provided a ground to reaffirm and to strive towards realizing the aspiration of living together as one people. Puni also said the council looked forward towards a peaceful, honorable and lasting solution to the Naga issue. The UNC was committed to the ongoing peace process, he said adding that ‘we need to strive until our goal is achieved’.
Attending the function as the Chief Guest, Naga Hoho Vice-President Keviletuo Kiewhuo said many agreements and accords that emerged relating to the Naga political issue were "only a bunch of papers" that brought no solution. "The problem persists because many accords and agreements were not done with the consent of all the Naga people", he said. He stressed on the need to re-dedicate and rise up to enhance the peace process. He also encouraged the people not to feel disheartened on the territories that have been divided "but one should take it as a challenge." Saying that rumors created division, he emphasized on the need to strive to have better understanding, adding "We are one. We are one family." Referring to the martyrs, he said they were not only the heroes of a particular clan or tribe but they were the idols of all Nagas who still fight and aspire to be a nation. Pointing out that tremendous progress had been made in the ongoing peace process, the Naga Hoho Vice-President asked the people not to feel discouraged but to be patient and move forward all the while helping to strengthen the peace progress so that the aspiration of the Nagas is achieved. He also called upon the Naga MPs and MLAs to come forward and play an effective role reiterating on the Naga people’s desire to be integrated and not to live under the dominance of other community.
"We are one. Nothing can divide us", the Vice President declared referring to the forthcoming integration rally at Kohima, while strongly asserting that there was no going back for the Nagas now. He said that in spite of different political backgrounds and different professions, the Nagas were one. Kaisu Mathibo, a surviving volunteer of the "No Tax Campaign in 1948," in his speech urged the Nagas to be united and work for the integration of the Naga people. He hoped that the dream he nurtured would be fulfilled during his life time. Naga Hoho Speaker HK Zhimomi termed the act of the martyrs as "honorable and praiseworthy and said that it would remain an undying legacy of the Nagas. Meanwhile, the President Naga People Organization has made it mandatory for each and everyone within Senapati district to attend the Integration Rally at Kohima on August 31. "Everyone must go if you want peace," he said. Apart from others, the Martyrs Day painting exhibition also marked the daylong function.
Ukhrul observes Martyrs Day Addie Chiphang August 27
UKHRUL (MExN): For the first time, "MARTYRS DAY" was observed at the Forest Conference Hall, Ukhrul under the aegis of Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL) / (The Village Chief Council). Scores of prominent social organizations, intellectuals and former TNL Presidents participated in the function. The day was observed in commemoration and honour of those who suffered and made the ultimate sacrifice for integration of all Nagas, fifty seven (57) years ago. W.Zingkhai, convener NPMHR, who was the resource person at the programme, stated that the Tangkhul Sub-Committee was founded by Ex-MP R.S.Suisa on September 24, 1946 where 20 Executive and Committee members took the oath on the same day at Leingapha, Ukhrul. Its first Chairman was L.Ninghei of Ukhrul, the vice president was Machihan Mashangva of Choithar and Z.Yarnao was its Secretary. The Committee started campaigning for ‘Naga Integration’ and ‘No Tax’ from 1946 and spread their reach to the extent of Somra Track frontier of Burma and Silchar in Assam. In the meantime NNC was also formed in February 1946. Moreover, on the month of September, the same year, the Naga National League (NNL) was born and basically organized to consolidate the Nagas of Manipur in order to bring together the Naga people separated by Colonial boundaries of which Athikho Daiho of Song Song village was President, Ng.Daiso was Vice President and N.Modoli was Secretary. On continuation and adhering to the root of Naga genesis, the Naga Integration Centre Council was initiated in 1970 under the Chairmanship of M.Savineou. Former Chief Minister Rishang Keishing was its General Secretary and Kongsui Luithui was its Joint Secretary. They had decided to meet the then Prime Minister of India and had also submitted an MOU on November 1970. It was learnt that the "No Tax Campaign" was launched when Maharaja Kumar Priyobrata Singh was the Chief Minister of Manipur. The Nagas in Manipur refused to pay the annual house tax to the Government of Manipur and under the aegis of NNL submitted their annual house tax to Charles Pawsy, Deputy Commissioner of Naga Hills of Assam at Kohima. Besides, Budhachandra the then Maharaja of Manipur, in corroboration with Sir Akbar Hydari the then Governor of Assam directed the contingent of 4th Assam Riffles and State Police on August 27, 1948 to fire at residents of Mao Gate where the indiscriminate firing killed 2 students and 2 volunteers. Seven others were seriously injured.
"As the event is a landmark in the history of political movement of the Nagas in Manipur it is befitting that the observation of "Martyrs Day" is being taken up to commemorate the selfless leaders," said Hungyo Hong, Convener, Yarui Long (Public Council).
Army operation on ULFA in Arunachal Morung express
Itanagar, 27 Aug (IANS): At least one rebel was killed and two soldiers were seriously wounded in a military operation against the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) from Arunachal Pradesh. Troops of the Madras Regiment aided by the Arunachal Pradesh Police launched the operation Friday in the Lower Dibang Valley and East Siang districts to flush out the rebels, an Indian army commander said Saturday. "A gun battle is on and reports indicate one militant was killed and two of our soldiers sustained bullet injuries," the commander told IANS.
Police and intelligence officials said there were well-entrenched bases of ULFA in the two districts and it had some 100 rebels, including women cadres. At least three ULFA rebels were arrested while trying to flee. The operation was launched after New Delhi gave the nod to the army following requests from both the Assam and the Arunachal Pradesh governments to flush out the rebels. The ULFA, one of the frontline rebel groups in the northeast, is fighting for an independent homeland in Assam since 1979. The rebels had shifted their bases to the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh from neighboring Bhutan after a crackdown by Bhutanese troops in December 2003.
"The area where the operations are on is very remote and surrounded by dense jungles. The terrain is hostile but we have managed to surround the camps," the commander said. "The ULFA militants were posing a security threat to our state and so we felt the need to evict them from our territory," said a senior police official in this state capital. According to the official, ULFA rebels carried out hit-and-run guerrilla strikes in Assam from bases in Arunachal Pradesh. "After committing the attacks, the rebels would sneak back to their bases in Arunachal as the border between the two states is porous and the area surrounded by thick jungles," the official said. Earlier, the ULFA used Arunachal Pradesh as a transit to enter camps in neighboring Myanmar where the outfit maintains a full-fledged battalion under the patronage of the S.S. Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K).
Naga population scenario and immigration Morung Express U A Shimray The consolidated Naga Hills is located between 93030´E and 95015´E longitudes and 24030´N and 2700´N latitudes in Indo-Myanmar frontier. Naga Hills is sandwiched by Brahmaputra valley of Assam in the west; lower Himalayas in the northern side, Chindwin river in the eastern side and Imphal valley of Manipur in the south. At the different stages of colonial and post-colonial political re-organisation, the contiguous Naga Hills was segmented into different administrative units. Today, the Naga hills fall into the administration of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh (also in upper Myanmar).
Naga Population Naga areas stretches along the Naga Hills of Tirap and Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, present Nagaland State, Hill districts of Manipur consisting Tamenglong, Senapati, Chandel and Ukhrul, and part of Karbi Anglong district and North Cachar Hills district of Assam. There are more than 40 Naga groups. The Government of India lists the following Naga groups as Scheduled Tribes (see the table 1).
In the absence of authentic information and reliable source of data, estimating Naga population is very difficult. Also, problem associated with it is population falls into different political and administration units. The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India publish population figures every decade. The present figures of the Naga population are extracted from the "Special Table for Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes".
It is obvious that the demographic variables- fertility, mortality and migration are responsible for growth of population in any giving region. When there is positive difference between the number of births and the number of deaths- population grows. And the increase of births over deaths is known as natural increase of population. In 1991 population census, the total Nagas living in Indian sub-continent is recorded as 14,54,864 persons (This figure is purely based on the India Population Census’ report. The estimated figure can be underestimated however; 2001 population census will give different picture. Till now, the 2001’s "Special Table for Schedule Tribes" is not available. In the latest census, Nagaland state recorded absolute tribal population of 17,74,026 persons. Nagaland register high decadal growth rate in 1981-1991 and 1991-2001 with 56 per cent and 64 per cent respectively). The decadal growth rate of Naga population in the decade 1971-1981 is 30 per cent. However, in the last decade 1981-1991, population registered a growth rate as high as 63 per cent. The percentage change between the two decades 1971-1981 and 1981-1991 is 33 per cent.
Among the Naga communities, Ao Nagas recorded the largest absolute number of 1,65,893 persons in 1991 population census. The second largest is Sema Nagas with 1,50,780 persons and it is closely followed by Konyak Nagas, 1,36,458 persons and Tangkhul Nagas, 1,07,244 persons. The smallest groups are Makhori with only 826 persons, Koireng 873 persons, Monsang 1803 persons and Chirr 2067 persons. Among the groups, Ao Nagas recorded the highest number of population (1,65,893 persons) with a proportion of 11 per cent to total Naga population. This is followed by Sema Nagas (10 per cent), Konyak Nagas (9 per cent), Tangkhul Nagas (7 per cent). In the last two decades, Nagas experience a high percentage decadal growth rate. Major groups like Ao Nagas, Phom Nagas, Chakhesang Nagas, Konyak Nagas, Sangtam Nagas, Kabui Nagas, and Wancho Nagas contribution to the growth of population is considerable. Though, the smaller groups accounted for high percentage of decadal growth rate like Tikhir Nagas, Makhori Nagas, Rengma Nagas and Monsang Nagas but their contribution to total population in term of absolute number is considerably low.
Sex Composition Sex of the individual holds an important place in a demographic examination. Sex is a biological characteristic that divides human beings into male and female. The sex composition of India’s population shows a shortage of females per 1000 males and this shortage has aggravated over time. A favourable sex ratio to males and the declined in the proportion of female population has been a matter of great concern and is being viewed with serious concern by demographers and several women’s organisation. According to population reports, a considerable shortage of female population has been indicated in the Naga society. The declining trend of sex ratio is more prominent in the last decades. In 1991 population census, there are about 951 females per 1000 males against 995 females per 1000 males in 1981. The highest sex ratio is recorded in Monyon Nagas with 1098 females per 1000 males and is followed by Anal Nagas (1034), Koireng Nagas (1109) and Rengma Nagas (996). The lowest sex ratio is found among the Phom Nagas and the ratio is 858 females per 1000 males. This is closely followed by Maram Nagas (889) and Chang (922).
Earlier Nagas experienced high female population particularly in the year 1971 population census. One interesting observation is that, a high sex ratio is recorded among the smaller Naga groups like Rengma, Anal, Koireng and Monyon. The decline of female population could be attributed to intra-marriage and female migration. Another possible reason is related to the enumerators’ negligence at the same time, people hardly bother about census enumeration due to lack of awareness.
Immigration, Emigration and Migration The increasing trend of population in the region is because of two reasons- (a) the natural growth rate (that is, the different between birth rate and death rate) and (b) the factors of immigration, emigration and migration. In the wake of the Bangladesh liberation war, thousands of Bangladeshi took refuge in India, particularly Assam and the periphery states. All of them did not return even after the creation of Bangladesh. Also, there is continuous flow of migration from elsewhere Indian states and illegal immigration particularly Nepali, Myanmarese and Tibetan. Sanjoy Hazarika caution that- "the Lebensraum is to be the Northeast of India and other eastern states, setting up areas of potential conflict over natural resources, such as water, food, land and competition for jobs in governmental establishments and private enterprise".
Some demographers acknowledge that the influx of outsiders and illegal immigration in the region is gone down due to the insurgency activities. However, the statement is half-truth. The Lebensraum theory is still working and continuous spill of "unwanted number" from cow-belt (BIMARU-Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, famous connotation of Professor Ashis Bose) to the region is still at large. The so-called "Inner Line" and other restrictions fail to check the current infiltration stream. The colonial policy of non-interference to the native soil now interestingly translates as what appeared to be the "unstoppable" demographic transformation. The Inner Line was introduced in the Naga areas in 1873 even some parts of the North Eastern region continues till this day. However, the Inner Line is literally non-functional in the case of Nagas.
The continuous flow of outsiders (may be infiltration is more appropriate) in the Naga areas results bringing tremendously changes in the demographic scenario and socio-economic front. For instance, the most vulnerable areas like Dimapur, Kohima, Senapati (along the track of national Highway 39) and Chandel is one ideal place for the outsiders. There are three types of infiltrators- (a) labourer, (b) traders, businesspersons, and (a) professionals. However, major contribution is labourer and traders. This outsider from plain of mainland India including immigrant Bangladeshi is known in different name. The outsiders are popularly known as "Mayang" in Manipur, "Vai" in Mizoram and "Dakhar" in Meghalaya. Now, the migrants share considerable proportion of population. For instance, the proportion of Naga population in Kohima district account only 67 per cent to the district’s total population. The case is worst in Senapati district registering only 55 per cent in 1991 population census. However, other districts still maintain the comfortable proportion of 80 per cent and above category. The migrants indeed controlled major commercial activities and trading establishments. In other words, manipulate the every economic transaction and the primary motive is profit not for any kind of development. The transaction is dispatch as remittances to the place where they come from.
The increase of outsider population is very conspicuous now. One of the Nagaland newspapers "Nagaland Page" (10 August 1999) writes, "(I)n Dimapur, all the rickshaw pullers are Bangladeshis and they are a highly aggressive lot in a land where the non-tribals are living a second class living. All these are signs of a growing and highly visible problem- the virtual colonisation of Nagaland by Bangladeshi Muslims, locally known as Miyan. But sadly in Nagaland, very little attention is being given to this problem, which is much more serious than even the sovereignty issue". Indeed, increase of migrant population pose a serious threat to the social system, land, natural resources and human resources. Recently, Nagas were experiencing high growth rate of population and high density. The same article in Nagaland page state- "once they obtain ration cards and get their names on the voter list, get married to Naga women, it is impossible to throw them out." One interesting measures taken by the Sumi Naga Hoho (Western) at the general public meeting at Shoxuvi village in 1994 regarding the issue related to immigration. The Sumi Nagas adopted the following resolutions:
1. Resolved that, any person from Sumi community who will marry or married the "Miyan" girl(s) shall be deprived of his right to inherit the movable or immovable property/properties, save the dresses he wears. But in the case of the village Chief(s) his chieftainship shall be stripped off immediately without trail.
2. That, any Sumi girl(s) who will marry or married "Miyan" shall be expelled from the village and shall be treated as the foreign national for the practical purpose.
3. That, no Miyan shall be allowed to exercise his/her franchise in any elections, even he by chance possessed the voter ID card.
Remarks The infiltration problem is more or less encouraged by the Nagas. Sometimes, Nagas emphasize too much as "proud" people and don’t believe in labour activities (though Nagas don’t have labour system but practice traditional barter system). So Nagas invite outsiders for labour- as domestic helper and employed them in different fields. In this case, both "pull" and "push" factors are at its dispensation. Naga pulls them and employ their skill and unskilled resources… and eventually accommodates them in the society. Push is inevitable; infiltrators are mostly entrepreneurs and superior in "know-how" business and also to capture the Naga market. In fact, presence of so many non-Nagas in the Naga areas is a slow cancer. I admire Mizos in this regard. They establish firmly the concept- "Mizoram for Mizos". Institutions are capitalised right from cobbler, saloon to trading and labour organisation. For the Nagas, we depend outsiders even for haircut.
Now, we understand the macro level picture of outsider population in Naga areas. But the important thing here is the detail of the social fabric and it is this that we need to examine. Nagas need cheap and un-organised labour. Without hypocrisy, we need them…however; we need to check the inflow of population. Now, we understand the "inner line" system is total failure instead it gives advantage to the moving people. What need now is temporal work permit system to the labourers for a stipulated period and no settlement or voting will be permitted to those traders and businesspersons. The professional either government servants, Ex-servicemen or NGOs should also have permit. Therefore, certain preventive measures need to be taken up. Now, social backlash is felt in the heart of Kohima, Dimapur and other Headquarters…rape is frequent, smuggling activities are getting bolder and now we are just watching the woe of demographic resilient.
Table 1: Size and Growth Rate of Naga Population
Naga Ethnic Groups Population Decadal Growth Rate Percentage to Total Nagas
1971 1981 1991 1971-81 1981-91 1991
Total Nagas 6,88,180 8,92,356* 14,54,864 29.66 63.03 100
1. Angami 44064 63121 97,716 42.19 55.72 6.71
2. Ao 74016 104578 1,65,893 41.29 58.6 11.4
3. Chakhesang 43438 60771 89,166 39.9 46.72 6.12
4. Chang 16075 22375 30,370 39.19 35.73 2.08
5. Chirr 692 1560 2,067 125.43 32.5 0.14
6. Khiemnungan 14338 18080 21,665 26.1 19.83 1.48
7. Konyak 72319 83652 1,36,458 15.67 63.1 9.37
8. Lotha 36638 58030 82,586 58.39 42.32 5.67
9. Makhori 2501 613 863 -75.49 40.78 0.05
10. Phom 18019 14427 65,339 -19.93 352.89 4.49
11. Rengma 8174 15313 32,368 87.34 111.38 2.22
12. Sangtam 19315 29016 51,975 50.23 79.13 3.57
13. Sema 64918 95312 1,50,780 46.82 58.2 10.36
14. Tikhir 2800 3588 9,177 28.14 155.77 0.63
15. Yimchunger 14146 22054 35,461 55.9 60.79 2.43
16. Zeliang 13883 21085 36,012 51.88 70.79 2.47
17. Pochury 0 0 10,039 0 0 0.69
Manipur
18. Anal 6670 9349 10,642 40.16 13.83 0.73
19. Chiru 2785 3674 6,032 31.92 64.18 0.41
20. Chothe 1905 1687 2,571 -11.44 52.4 0.17
21. Kabui (Rongmei) 40257 26006 62,487 -35.4 140.28 4.29
22. Kacha Naga (Liangmei & Zeme) 13026 12754 33,640 -2.09 163.76 2.31
23. Koireng 458 948 873 106.99 -7.91 0.06
24. Lamgang 2622 3452 4,031 31.66 16.77 0.27
25. Mao (including Paomei) 33379 50715 76,972 51.94 51.77 5.29
26. Maram 4539 6544 9,592 44.17 46.58 0.65
27. Maring 9825 11910 15,698 21.22 31.81 1.07
28. Monsang 930 1139 1,803 22.47 58.3 0.12
29. Moyon 1360 1642 2,081 20.74 26.74 0.14
30. Tangkhul 57851 79029 1,07,244 36.61 35.7 7.37
Arunachal Pradesh
31. Nocte 23165 19606 23,418 -15.36 19.44 1.6
32. Tangsa 6941 9896 9,682 42.57 -2.16 0.66
33. Wancho 28650 32441 45,182 13.23 39.27 3.1
Nagas in Assam 8481 0 12,908 0 0 0.88
Naga (Not Classified) 0 7965 11,962 0 50.18 0.82
* Excluding Assam as no census was conducted in 1981.
Recognised as separate tribal group in 2001. Source: Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner. 1971, 1981 and 1991. Special Tables for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, and Arunchal Pradesh. New Delhi: Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner.
Manipur Nagas express solidarity with Naga integration stir Assam Tribune
MAO GATE (Manipur), Aug 27 – Using the occasion of the annual Martyrs Day today, the Nagas of Manipur expressed solidarity with the Naga unification movement. The leaders of the apex tribal council, Naga Hoho, said on the occasion that all Nagas should support the ongoing peace talks between the Centre and NSCN-IM so that their aspiration to live as one people was realised.

Naga Hoho vice-president Kevilueto Keiwhuo today hinted that the apex tribal council would launch agitation in support of Naga integration in a much bigger scale in the Naga-inhabited areas of the region. Mao Nagas of Manipur’s Senapati district observe this day every year as Martyrs’ Day in memory of those killed by the Assam Rifles under the directive of Maharaja Budh Chandra in August 27, 1948. The Naga Hoho will organise an integration rally at Kohima on August 31 where Naga MLAs from the neighbouring states have been invited. – PTI

Nagaland has 10,000 Missionaries Poised to Take the Gospel to Nearby Lands
BEVERLY HILLS (CA), Aug 27: Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman, NSCN-IM revealed in an interview here that Nagaland had 10,000 missionaries poised to take the Gospel to nearby lands. He made this revelation during an interview before the 85th birthday celebration in Beverly Hills on Saturday, August 23, of charismatic leader, Harald Bredesen, which he was attending.

“We want penetrate China, Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam and Laos and Nepal with the Gospel,” he said, “and we have 10,000 missionaries who are ready to go.” Swu said that what is holding up the outreach is the finalization of peace talks between the Indian Government and the four-million people of Nagaland, which borders China, Burma and Bangladesh, who have been in military dispute for many years. “We want to request the whole world to pray for us so that the peace process with India will be successful so that God will then release us and we can send us to preach the Gospel around the world, particularly in the neighboring countries. “We are not demanding our independence from India, but we do need recognition.”

The soft-spoken Chaiman, who was born on November 7th, 1929 in a hamlet called Chishilimi in the Sumi region of present-day Nagaland, told ANS, that in 1921 my father in was one of the first converts in Nagaland, but he was not converted by preachers but by angels during dreams. He was taught by the angels in these dreams and became a Christian. God used him mightily and he and some colleagues ‘converted’ our whole tribe over a period of four or five years. Before this, our tribe was pagan. “The American Baptists gave missionaries for our people, but when there was political crisis between the Nagas and the Indian government, they were driven away by the government of India. So the Christians in Nagaland started preaching and by the grace of God, we have 95 percent of our Naga people are now Christians out of a population of four million"

Swu said that Westerners can now visit Nagaland again after it had been sealed off because of fighting between the Nagas and the Indian government troops. “Since 1997, we have been having peace negations with the government of India and now they have decided to approach the Naga problem realistically and find a way to solve it. They have recognized the uniqueness of Naga history and so the peace process is going on.

Bhutan rules out presence of NE ultra camps Assam Tribune
KOKRAJHAR, Aug 27 – Bhutan today promised to extend all possible help to the Indian Army in preventing free movement of north-eastern insurgents along border areas. “We will extend all possible cooperation to the Indian Army in uprooting rebels, if any, in the territory of Bhutan but at present there was no specific information of any mobile ultra camps in our country”, Sonam Dawa, Deputy Commissioner, Serpang of Royal Kingdom of Bhutan said.
Dawa, who headed a high-level official delegation to review the law and order situation along the Indo-Bhutan border, told PTI here that as per the policy of the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan all help would be extended to Indian authorities to uproot militancy from the area. Indian security forces recently stepped up combing operation along Indo-Bhutan border in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to crack down on ULFA and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) militants active in the area.
It may be mentioned that in December 2003, Royal Bhutan Army launched an operation ‘All Clear’ to evict the camps belonging to United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) and the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO).

Manmohan to visit Manipur soon Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Aug 27 – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday assured a BJP delegation from Manipur that the state’s territorial integrity would not be disturbed and he would visit the troubled North-eastern state soon. “Singh categorically told that he will not tolerate any vitiation of the law and order situation. He assured us categorically that the territorial integrity of the state will not be disturbed,” former Union Minister and Manipur BJP President Chaoba Singh told reporters after a meeting with the Prime Minister.
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, the BJP leaders alleged that the State Government has “totally failed” to protect lives and property of the citizens of the state.
Charging the State Government with “rampant corruption, gross misuse and diversion of Central funds”, the leaders demanded a thorough inquiry by the CBI.
They also demanded early elections to Autonomous District Councils.– PTI

Frans on 08.28.05 @ 01:50 PM CST [link]


Saturday, August 27th

It is our birthright to determine our own happiness: Naga Hoho # UNI


It is our birthright to determine our own happiness: Naga Hoho # UNI Appeal to all Naga National Workers to join Rally Morung Express News August 26 DIMAPUR: In its continued pursuance for unification of Naga areas, the Naga Hoho in a press communiqué issued by the Publicity Secretary to The Morung Express stated it is "our birthright to self-determine our own happiness and sadness at our own will." While acknowledging the long standing struggle against "Indian and Burmese domination" to live freely as a nation has brought about suffering, it recognized the urgency to have peace. Raising concerns and fears of an uncertain future, the communiqué recognized that "We are thrown into a situation where we have become very unsure of ourselves, very uncertain about our future, whether our homes will burn again, whether the modesty of our womenfolk will be violated again, whether we will be re-grouped again, whether our culture and histories will be distorted again, and whether incivility and killings will take place amongst our brothers and sisters again." The communiqué said that there are "agencies that work tirelessly to divide the people and to instigate "our good age-old neighbours against our rights to live as a people."
In an emotional tribute to past Naga leaders and while sharing its vision for the future, the communiqué affirmed that "We desire to live as free people, to protect our lands, to live together and to govern our own selves. This is not a new agenda. Our wise ancestors had managed our affairs with wisdom. Our great leaders who laid the foundation of Naga nationalism were great visionaries. We respect and cherish that greatness. Many of them had sacrificed so selflessly for our Naga nation. We adhere to the principles they laid down for us – we still will continue our fight to protect and defend what they stood for. The Nagas are not asking much – to live happily and prosperously, in dignity, in our own lands, is a universal birthright."
The Naga Hoho informed that it’s proposed Rally on the 31st of August is a manifestation to "once again uphold our desire and Will to live as free people Together. It is our most urgent Desire that we have peace in our lands. For us peace also means that we live under the same political unit. We will not like to see individual lives and the Naga nation suffer because of territorial differences created and imposed upon us by external and subjugating forces." In its most eager demonstration of reaching out to all, the Naga Hoho said "we appeal to each and every Naga and all the various Naga National Workers including all non-Naga indigenous inhabitants to come forward for the Rally. We want to spread this message strongly and univocally that we will not fail in our times, that we will not allow our children to live in shame tomorrow." The rally is scheduled to take place at 10:00am on 31st August at the Kohima Local ground.
Ibobi offers fresh talks to Nagas
Imphal, Aug. 25: Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh sent a fresh invitation for talks to the state’s Naga student leadership amid frenzied speculation about the resumption of the highway blockade that tormented the state for 52 days. The All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur, which “temporarily” lifted the blockade on August 11, is planning a rally in Kohima on August 31, after which it might block the state’s supply routes again in collaboration with the Naga Students’ Federation. It has accused the Ibobi government of not trying to remove apprehension in the minds of the Nagas over the declaration of the anniversary of the 2001 uprising in the valley as “state integrity day”.
An official source said Ibobi’s offer of talks was conveyed to the organisation yesterday.
Though the student leadership has been requested to come to Imphal for negotiations, Ibobi is expected to be flexible about the venue this time. The Naga leaders had rejected previous invitations to talks because of the chief minister’s refusal to meet them anywhere outside the state capital.
Ibobi today continued his tour of the Naga-dominated districts. A source said he could meet representatives of the Naga organisation in any of these hill districts. “We sent a fresh invitation yesterday and we are hopeful that the students will respond positively this time. We are also hopeful that the issue will be resolved during the talks,” the chief minister told the media this afternoon.

Ibobi yesterday met leaders of the Zomi Students’ Federation in Churachandpur district to work out the modalities for an agreement that was formalised this afternoon. Zomi students were campaigning for compensation to the families of 11 people killed recently by security forces and militant outfits, appointment of adequate number of teachers in schools and colleges and improvement of infrastructure in government offices. The chief minister was scheduled to start his tour of the hill districts with a visit to Chandel, but changed his itinerary to meet the Zomi student leadership. “I will be visiting Chandel, Senapati, Ukhrul and Tamenglong district to assess the extent of damage to government office buildings by Naga students during their agitation. If they come forward to meet me during the tour, I cannot say no. I will have to meet them. If we stick to our guns on the choice of venue, there will be no talks.”
The Naga organisation had begun its highway blockade on June 19, perceiving the government’s decision to legitimise the 2001 uprising as a challenge to the goal of integrating all Naga-inhabited areas of the region. The uprising in the valley was against Delhi’s decision — later reversed — to extend its ceasefire with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) beyond Nagaland. [telegraphindia]
Ibobi, a leader without sincerity: UNC Newmai News Network August 26
Senapati: The United Naga Council ( UNC ) has called Manipur chief minister O.Ibobi Singh as a leader without sincerity saying that the former had taken strong exception to the "insincerity" of the later in finding a solution to the non-cooperation movement called by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur ( ANSAM ). It may be recalled that at the request of the Naga Hoho, consequent to the request made by the prime minister of India and the Union home minister, the ANSAM had suspended their agitation but no visible efforts have been made by the state government to resolve the issue till date, stated UNC president Puni Modoli while informing to Newmai News Network today. The UNC president further stated that the economic blockade had affected every person in the state in a greater or lesser degree in different areas.
He then said, "despite the efforts of the UNC and Naga Hoho, O.Ibobi Singh and his government does not appear to appreciate lifting of the economic blockade but is rather challenging the ANSAM. This attitude has deeply hurt the Naga people and steeled their resolve." Puni Modoli also said that the UNC had held its meeting at Senapati on August-24 and had resolved that "it will fully support the ANSAM if they (ANSAM) decide to re-impose and further intensify the non-cooperation movement which includes the economic blockade till the demands are achieved."
Konyak Union to abstain from rally Shakhai Konyak August 26
MON (MExN): In a major setback to the proposed integration rally under the aegis of the Naga Hoho slated for August 31 at Kohima Local Ground, the Konyak Union (KU), the Apex Tribal body of the Konyaks has decided to abstain from the rally. The decision of the KU was taken in the backdrop of the visit by the representatives of Naga Hoho, Naga Students’ Federation, NPMHR and Naga Mothers Association here at Mon. A joint meeting with the visiting team was held at the KU’s conference hall today. The purpose of the team’s visit was to take stock of the opinion and views on the proposed rally and also to urge the Konyaks to participate. The KU during the meeting reportedly reaffirmed that it had always stood for unity and integration of the Nagas. KU leaders tried to put the point across that it had even proposed for holding a Naga Public Convention when M. Vero was the then President of the Naga Hoho during the previous Congress regime under SC Jamir. The KU also reminded the visiting delegates that through the effort of the KU and the Sumi Hoho during 2003, the NSCN (K) had offered a six month ceasefire without any response from the rival groups.
The KU leaders reportedly expressed the view that seeking a solution without first bringing the warring factions together would encourage more bloodshed. While affirming that the Civil Society remained united, the KU however lamented that due to fear psychosis people at large had reservation to openly express themselves and rather became ‘tools or puppets under the directives of the gun culture’. The KU stated that unity among the over ground without the unification of the factions would be meaningless. The Konyaks also rejected the new name given of Nagaland as used by the NSCN (IM) and the NSF in the expression of Nagalim and sought to know under what circumstances and by whose approval the name Nagaland was changed to Nagalim. On the integration issue, the KU questioned as to the meaning given to it while at the same time pointing out that ‘partial integration was an injustice’. The KU lamented that integration without unity would only lead to further division and disintegration. The KU also highlighted that since underground factions refused to unite; there would be less meaning on the part of civil society to ‘cry for integration and unification’. The KU leaders felt that it did not foresee any achievement without participation from all the factions in the proposed integration rally.
Unity rally to dispel doubts OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, Aug. 26: Dispelling misgivings that Naga society is divided on the issue of integration, Nagaland’s apex tribal organisation will hold a rally here on August 31 to press for the integration of Naga-inhabited areas. Tribal hohos and several NGOs, including the Naga Students Federation and Naga Mothers Association, will take part in the rally organised by the Naga Hoho. The decision to hold the rally was finalised after initial hiccups when Naga tribal leaders stepped in. Hoho leaders have stressed that integration is the right of the Nagas “by birth”.
However, the Angami Public Organisation opposed the rally, saying it will not allow any procession or strike in Kohima without its permission. “We have already spoken to the Angami organisation and it has agreed to take back its press release. We will go ahead with the rally on August 31,” Hoho president Horangse Sangtam said over phone from Dimapur. In a declaration in local dailies here, the Hoho said the rally would be a demonstration of “our right and will to live together. All our land must be integrated into a single political unit and we shall no longer wait for things to happen to us”. It said Nagas shall create their future and destiny and shall not rest till their rights are fulfilled. Earlier, the Angami Public Organisation’s release had given rise to speculation that Kohima’s dominant Angami tribe was against integration. The organisation’s president, Mhiesizokho Zinyü, could not be contacted even after several attempts.
The Hoho’s latest move is believed to be a display and reaffirmation that Nagas are all for integration. Recently, the Hoho had expressed concern and disappointment when there was opposition to integration from some quarters. The Naga Hoho has said “reunification of Naga homeland is non-negotiable” and that the issues which have not been addressed so far will be taken up during the peace talks between the NSCN (I-M) and the Centre.
UNC says CM insincere The Imphal Free Press

Senapati,Aug 26: The United Naga Council (UNC ) has called Manipur chief minister O.Ibobi Singh a leader without sincerity saying that the former had taken strong exception to the "insincerity" of the latter in finding a solution to the non-cooperation movement called by the All Naga Students` Association,Manipur (ANSAM ). It may be recalled that at the request of the Naga Hoho, consequent to the request made by the prime minister of India and the Union home minister, ANSAM had suspended its agitation but no visible efforts have been made by the state government to resolve the issue till date, stated UNC president Puni Modoli today.
The UNC president further stated that the economic blockade had affected every person in the state in a greater or lesser degree in different areas. He then said, "despite the efforts of the UNC and Naga Hoho, O.Ibobi Singh and his government do not appear to appreciate lifting of the economic blockade but is rather challenging the ANSAM. This attitude has deeply hurt the Naga people and steeled their resolve."
Puni Modoli also said that the UNC had held its meeting at Senapati on August 24 and had resovled that "it will fully support the ANSAM if they (ANSAM ) decide to re-impose and further intensify the non-cooperation movement which include the economic blockade till the demands are achieved."
Rio for more seats in Parliament Fromm Pradeep Pareek Assam tribune
DIMAPUR, Aug 26 – Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday admitted that he had faced crisis and division in the party during the downsizing exercise. Some MLAs tried to create chaos and disunity among the party legislators, which Rio said could have led to serious consequences. But in the same breath, he said that it was the “undying support and loyalty” of the party that his Democratic Alliance of Nagaland ministry survived. Now the government has once again become stable and is growing from strength to strength he said, adding, with new amendment, no MLA can jump from party to party like a harlot, the chief minister stated. Rio said Nagaland Peoples’ Council would befittingly reply the Congress’s second booklet, published recently by the Pradesh unit of Congress, on the failures of the DAN government. He was talking to party members at his Metha colony based private residence here. Dwelling on the Delimination exercise the chief minister said that Nagaland should be excluded from the process till the Centre arrive at a long lasting political settlement to the Naga political issue. “Delimitation should come only after political settlement comes”, Rio said.

The Chief Minister also disclosed that he has urged both the Members of Parliament from Nagaland to favour the Women Reservation Bill, but on condition that more Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats are allotted to the State. He pointed out that the neighbouring state, Assam prior to its bifurcation into various small states had 11 seats, and even now they have 11 seats in the Lok Sabha, while with half the size of Nagaland population, Arunachal Pradesh has 2 seats in the Lok Sabha. Talking on the controversial issue of the utilization of the Centre’s one time grant of Rs. 365 crore, Rio said Opposition Congress made it an issue at its each and every meetings earlier, but it was only after he had explained in the Assembly that the money was utilized to pay the “Baki” (deficit) created by the then Congress government during their 10 years rule, the opposition leader has submissively told the media that the topic would not be raised again. Urging the youth to promote Naga culture and heritage, the chief minister said it was time the youth became self-reliant and start becoming entrepreneurs by availing various schemes being provided by the Centre and State.
Rio said, “To march ahead, we need to change from gun culture to work culture.”
People resent wide scale deforestation Morung Express News August 26
Jalukie: Major Tree Felling Operations initiated by Jalukie Town Council (JTC) is drawing criticism from ecologically conscious people of the area, as hundreds of trees are being cut down every day. This major deforestation operation is being launched by JTC on the pretext of cutting down older trees to replenish the area with new plantation. However, some people are of the view that felling of trees on such a large scale will disrupt the ecology. The deforestation will also affect the landscape and the picturesque of the town and surrounding vicinities.
It is learnt that the trees, which was now well over 20 years and above, was planted by the forest department in late the 70s and 80s with the participation of the public. Even as the felling continues, the effects are becoming obvious especially with school students who have to walk for kilometers under the scorching heat of the sun with no protection. These trees had once provided protection and cover from the scorching sun for pedestrians. Many of the people, who met this correspondent, have commented that felling of trees as such a large scale has contributed to the irregular power supply and disruption of telephone connections due to snapping of main line. There is a growing feeling that the unscrupulous felling of old trees may bring about permanent damages to the already disturbed environment of the area and will contribute towards increase in landslides during the monsoons.
Venkiah to visit Nagaland: New Kerala
Kohima: BJP National Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu will visit Nagaland on Septemeber 9 to join the silver jubilee celebration of the party. According to Nagaland BJP general secretary Ato Yepthomi the silver jubilee celeberation is a year long programme and Nagaland will celebrate on September nine at Dimapur town hall where Mr Venkaiah along with the party's north eastern in-charge T C Gehlot, National General Secretary Sanjay Joshi, BJP Nagaland Incharge Narayan Borkotoki, Zonal Secretary in-charge of NE V Satish and others will attend the function.

The BJP Nagaland State Unit will also hold a meeting of the MLAs in Kohima on September eight next followed by the state executive meeting on the same day, Mr Yepthomi said.
AMSU flays Lotha’s statement on state integrity day Newmai News Network August 26
Imphal: All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) has strongly reacted to a statement made by NESO General Secretary, N.S.N. Lotha asking Manipur government not to concretize its declaration of state integrity day on the anniversary of 2001 uprising. The NESO general secretary accused the Manipur government of dividing the people of Manipur by declaring the general holiday on June 18 and said if the June 18 issue is not resolved NESO will be compelled to withdraw the appeal to Naga Students Federation not to reimpose the economic blockade. The statement was published by The Telegraph in the August 24 edition. Reacting to the statement the AMSU, which is also a constituent member of the NESO said that NESO did not take any decision to make such a statement.
The AMSU in a statement charged that Lotha was making his own individual statement and it is an attempt by him to translate into Naga philosophy of Naga unification. The AMSU said it took the remarks made by Lotha very seriously and it would move the chairman of the North East students’ organization to seek a clarification from Lotha. It charged that the statement shows that Lotha has fallen into the trap set by people who want to break up the NESO, which is formed to safeguard the identity of the people in the region and also face the common enemy together.
None of the things said by Lotha was agreed during the NESO meeting held in Guwahati on July 31, the statement said. Meanwhile, AMSU said it would defy the ban imposed on its rally tomorrow to mark Hunger Marchers Day. The district magistrate did not give permission for tomorrow’s rally.For several decades now that AMSU has been observing Hunger Marcher’s Day on every August-27 commemorating the incident where some Manipuri youths had been killed by the security forces in the erstwhile government decades ago.
Fake certificate racket busted in Nagaland Hindustan Times
Seven persons have so far been arrested in connection with the fake Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) certificate racket case. Earlier, the NBSE had filed an FIR against 23 persons in connection with the case. According to police sources, the arrests were made in and around Kohima over the past three days. Those arrested included officials of the Nagaland University whose services have been terminated following the detection of their fake certificates that they submitted to the university. Of those arrested in the past 72 hours, five have been released on interim bail while the rest have been remanded to police custody. The remaining 16 officials of the University against whom FIRs have been filed are still at large.
The university had while cross checking certificates of its staff found that certificates of 27 of its workers were fake. The fake certificates were issued under various Universities, Boards and Institutes, including the NBSE. The ongoing probe is being conducted under the supervision of Additional Superintendent of Police, Kohima. (By arrangement with Newsfile)
Naga Rebels Hold Talks To Preserve Ceasefire Reuters
Indian officials and Christian separatists from the remote state of Nagaland have held talks to preserve a four-year ceasefire, seen as the key to peace in the country's turbulent northeast. The talks were the first formal dialogue between the government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, which has observed a truce with Indian forces since 2001. "They discussed the ceasefire and how to continue talks," an Indian home ministry official told Reuters. "The Nagas had some demands about the ceasefire monitoring group and they will be examined."

The two sides would meet again but no dates were set, he added. The Naga tribal rebellion is India's oldest insurgency, and security analysts say peace with the Nagas is crucial to a broader peace in the northeast - seven states connected to the rest of India by a thin strip of land and home to dozens of insurgent groups. The Khaplang faction of the NSCN is the second most powerful separatist group in Nagaland, a mainly Christian state of two million people on India's far eastern border with Myanmar.

A more powerful group, the NSCN has held repeated talks with the Indian government since it started a ceasefire in 1997. But there has been little progress over the rebels' central demands - the unification of Naga-dominated areas in northeast India and ultimately independence. Both NSCN factions, which split in the late 1980s, have thousands of fighters, and raise money mainly through 'taxes'.
More than 20,000 people have died in over five decades of Naga insurgency.
Cong asks DAN to own up scams: New Kerala
Kohima: The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee has accused the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government of refusing to accept responsibilities for all scandals committed during its nearly three year tenure instead of blaming the previous regime.I n a release NPCC vice-president Nuzota Swuro said the DAN government had been 'fooling' the people through promises of transparency and accountability but was ''functioning in a veil of questionable secrecy''. He said the government claimed that the Rs 365 crore grant from the Centre was used to wipe out the deficit left behind by the previous government in order to begin on a clean slate.
''But within less than three years the DAN government has added a deficit of more that Rs 400 crore,'' Mr Swuro said. The Congress also accused the government of creating more deficit in two and half years than the accumulated deficit of successive governments in 15 years.He also ridiculed the Nagaland Peoples' Front for describing the Congress rule as a 'dark era'. He said the Naga problem was acknowledged as a political problem during the rule of the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. After this 'so called dark era' ceasefire agreements were signed by the government of India and the NSCN factions.
''The current fruits enjoyed by the DAN government are the result of dark era,'' he observed.

Aza draws CM?s attention to Jessami The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 26: The Chingai Assembly constituency MLA A Aza has appealed to the chief minister to intervene immediately into the reports of land dispute and destruction of standing crops of Jessami village by Laphori village and to provide the aggrieved villagers with adequate compensation.
It may be noted that a spate of unpleasant incidents between the Jessami village in Ukhrul district of Manipur and Laphori village in Meluri sub-division of Nagaland?s Phek district over Choka land has been going on for a long time. Though open and direct intrusion by way of land encroachment by Laphori village began around 2000, the dispute between the two villages dates back as far as 1960.

The latest incident was on the July 19, 2005 wherein some 100 armed villagers of Laphori and adjoining villages of Nagaland destroyed the standing crops of the Jessami villagers. The worth of the crop was estimated to be around 1.3 lakhs. On August 1, 2005, the chief minister was apprised about the matter and asked to intervene by the local MLA A Aza in view of the disturbing development and the gravity of the situation. Thereafter a high level meeting comprising the CM, chief secretary, DGP, home commissioner, Chingai MLA, chairman of Jessami village council and village representatives was held at the CM?s chamber. However no action has been taken up.

The MLA, has once again, made an appeal to the CM to intervene and take prompt action before the situation gets out of control. Jessami village, located on the Manipur-Nagaland border, has borne the brunt of attacks and prohibitions from the villagers of Laphori repeatedly. It may be noted that there is a dispute between the two villages, with both claiming ownership over the Choka forest area. Due to possibility of communal clashes, 144 Cr PC was imposed in the area in 2000 and re-imposed this year. Recently the village chairman has alleged that despite the prohibitory restrictions the Laphori villagers destroyed standing crops, worth around Rs 1,30,000, of the Jessami villagers. With the villagers entirely dependent on the annual crop productions, there is fear of food grain shortage too.
Army cracks down on ULFA in Arunachal Itanagar | August 27, 2005 (IANS) At least one rebel was killed and two soldiers were seriously wounded in a military operation against the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) from Arunachal Pradesh. Troops of the Madras Regiment aided by the Arunachal Pradesh Police launched the operation Friday in the Lower Dibang Valley and East Siang districts to flush out the rebels, an Indian army commander said Saturday. "A gun battle is on and reports indicate one militant was killed and two of our soldiers sustained bullet injuries," the commander told IANS. Police and intelligence officials said there were well-entrenched bases of ULFA in the two districts and it had some 100 rebels, including women cadres. At least three ULFA rebels were arrested while trying to flee. The operation was launched after New Delhi gave the nod to the army following requests from both the Assam and the Arunachal Pradesh governments to flush out the rebels. The ULFA, one of the frontline rebel groups in the northeast, is fighting for an independent homeland in Assam since 1979. The rebels had shifted their bases to the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh from neighbouring Bhutan after a crackdown by Bhutanese troops in December 2003. "The area where the operations are on is very remote and surrounded by dense jungles. The terrain is hostile but we have managed to surround the camps," the commander said.
"The ULFA militants were posing a security threat to our state and so we felt the need to evict them from our territory," said a senior police official in this state capital. According to the official, ULFA rebels carried out hit-and-run guerrilla strikes in Assam from bases in Arunachal Pradesh. "After committing the attacks, the rebels would sneak back to their bases in Arunachal as the border between the two states is porous and the area surrounded by thick jungles," the official said. Earlier, the ULFA used Arunachal Pradesh as a transit to enter camps in neighbouring Myanmar where the outfit maintains a full-fledged battalion under the patronage of the S.S. Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K).
Heroin production and trafficking in Indo-Burma border
Today, the Indo-Burma border is the world’s biggest heroin trafficking area and heroin is frequently described as Burma’s most valuable export. Since Burmas military regime, then called the State Law and Order Restoration (SLORC), seized power in Burma in 1988, opium production, from which heroin is refined, has risen to over 2,030 metric tons annually, amounting to 60 per cent of world supply. Heroin from Burma has usually supplied the North America and Australia markets while previously most of the heroin sourced in European originated from the Golden Crescent, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey. Over the past two years, a growing portion of the European heroin market has been Burmese heroin trafficked out of north-west Burma.
Heroin production in northwest Burma is burgeoning and new refineries are appearing. The improvement in drug enforcement in neighbouring Thailand and China since the early 1990s has served to open up new trade routes for both raw opium and heroin from Shan State to the plains around Mandalay, through Chin State and Sagaing Division to north-east India.
According to Images Asias November 2004 report, Most of Burma’s opium for conversion into heroin is grown in Shan State, in the infamous Golden Triangle region. Despite the military juntas claims that they are actively combating drug production and distribution, many areas of Shan State saw massive increases in poppy cultivation after they came under the control of military regime.
The Burmese military has been laying landmines in the border areas where India, Bangladesh and Burma meet since mid-1997 in an attempt to prevent militant insurgency. High-level anti-insurgency authorities from Burma and north-east India have increasingly profited from the narcotics trade, taking bribes not to send Burmese military troops into areas where refineries are located. Large amounts of narcotics are carried through official border crossings in north-east India, including at the Moreh-Tamu border point, as well as across paths over the mountains that form much of the border terrain. In north-western Burma, there are three new drug-related trends, all of which involve the participation of Burmese higher authorities.
(i) Opium production is increasing in the Chin and Naga hills.
(ii) Heroin refineries have been established in the north-western Burma
(iii) Heroin trafficking from the Shan State through north-west Burma into north-east India is increasing dramatically.
The plain areas in north-west Burma are primarily inhabited by ethnic Burmans, while the hills are settled by Nagas, Chins (who refer to themselves as Zomi) and the Kukis. Like the Zomis in Chin State, the Kukis and Nagas have formed armed resistance organizations which are fighting against the Burmese military regime for various degrees of political autonomy. There are also Nagas, Zomis and Kukis in the Indo-Burma border areas fighting for autonomous regions in India. Some insurgents are fighting for independence in territory that includes parts of Burma, India and Bangladesh. The largest Naga resistance organisation, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) split into two factions in 1988. The faction led by Isaac-Muivah (NSCN-IM) has been especially active in Indo-Burma borderlands while the faction led by Khaplang, a Burmese Naga (NSCN-K), has in the past been more focused on fighting the Burma Army. The Zomi Re-Unification Organisation (ZRO) and its armed wing, the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA), and the Kuki National Army (KNA) are also active in Chin State and north-east India.
Cultivation of Opium Poppies
Previously, numbers of Zomi villagers based in the Tedim area of Chin State and in Sagaing Division produced relatively significant amounts of opium. As some farmers under pressure from military extortion, forced labour and relocations find it harder and harder to survive growing ordinary crops the temptation to grow opium has increased. In northern Chin State along the Indo-Burma border, most of opium poppy fields are found around the Tedim township but there are a few optimum cultivation areas in Tonzang and Than Tlangtownships. In the south, in areas such as Paletwa township, the climate is not conducive to growing opium. Opium cultivation also takes place in the Naga hills of Sagaing Division.
Production of Heroin
In the past, mostly opium was trafficked into north-east India. However, since heroin factories have begun to appear in Chin State and Sagaing Division in the early 1990s, locally produced opium as well as opium from Shan State are now refined in the area. According to the Geopolitical Drug Dispatch, Heroin Laboratories and drug export routes have now shifted to the south west (from Kachin State and the Chinese border). Major drug production units are now operation along the Chindwin river near the North-East India Border, under direct protection by the Burmese Army, far from zones controlled by the India North-East rebels and from the notorious Golden Triangle rather than heading up to the Chinese border, trucks leaded with raw opium and heroin began heading down the Central plain to the South around Mandalay. Shortly afterward, other sources in India reported that the north-east region of Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram were flooded with heroin.
As reported in the Geopolitical Drug Dispatch, a string of six new refineries were identified along the Chindwin River, close to the north-east Indian border:
1) North of Singkaling Hkamti, near Tamanthi where the Burma Armys 52nd Regiment is headquartered
2) Homalin (222nd Regiment Headquarters)
3) Moreh and Kaleymyo (89th, 228th and 235th Regiment Headquarters)
4) Tedim (89th Regiment Headquarters)
5) Paletwa on the western edge of Chin and Arakan States.
For the first time refineries are being established in traditionally white or areas where there is no north-east Indian rebel presence and close to major Burma Army installations. Most of the opium and heroin trafficked over these routes from Shan State enters Kalay and Tahan, a Sub-Division of Kaleymyo, where there is a heroin refinery. Observers report that in Kalaymyo, Sagaing Division, Burma Army officials have established heroin refineries inside their main military camp. According to locals, heroin produced from this refinery is sent to north-east Indian insurgents.
Consequences
The consequences for India, Burma, Bangladesh and the international community are extreme. In Burma the addiction rate has increase dramatically over recent years. The World Health Organisation believes there are over 600,000 heroin addicts in Burma, more than 2% of the population, and double this number of users of drugs. Non-government organisations working in the region believe the real number may be two or three times this again. The dire economic situation in Burma is contributing to the rise of an opium-based economy in the areas reliant not only on opium cultivation but on narcotics trade. Addiction to heroin in the north-east Indian states of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland has skyrocketed. According to Bertil Lintner, there were 12,000 drug addicts in Burma in 1989. Two years later, there were at least 25,000 addicts. In the north-east Indian states there are more than 90,000 HIV/AIDS carriers, identified as heroin addicts who shared needles to inject their drugs. Manipur, a state of only 1.2 million people by 1992 had the highest incidence of drug-related AIDS infections in India.
Conclusion
There is a direct correlation between the expansion of military control in north-western Burma and the increase in the production and trafficking of drugs along the Indo-Burma border. As locals in these inter-state borderlands find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet because of extortion, forced labour, and other demands enforced on them by the Burmese military regime, they have become more willing to plant poppies. The payment of bribes to local authorities, happy to supplement their meagre income, ensures that poppies can be grown and heroin produced even in the border areas close to Burma Army bases. Drugs are transported by or with the collusion of Burma Army and intelligence personnel.
Moreover, the military juntas involvement in the heroin trade is being enhanced and facilitated by the expansion of roads in the north-east India along which a growing number of army vehicles are circulating that can carry narcotics without being checked. With no concerted attempts as yet to stem the flow of narcotics through north-western Burma, the twin plagues of increased addiction and rapidly spreading HIV/AIDS continue to devastate the region.
Trafficking Routes
North-west Burma and north-eastern Indian states extend from Sagaing Division to Tamer to Manipur and Kalay/Tedim to Mizoram.
• From the main refinery at Kalaymyo, under the control of a businessman who works with well-known drug-traffickers from north-west Burma as well as the army, there are three major drug trafficking routes:
1) To the north towards Khampat and Tamumoreh and from there to Imphal, Manipur
2) To the west towards Rikhawdar/ Champhai and from there to Aizawl, Mizoram
3) To the south-west towards Lunglei and continuing north to Aizawl.
Other trafficking routes to Indias north-east include:
1) From Khamti area through Noklak to Mokokchung in Nagaland
2) From Tamanthi and Homalin to Somra and from there northwards through Jessami to Kohima in Nagaland
3) From Paletwa to Alikudam in the Chittagong Hills Track of Bangladesh, to Coxs Bazaar and Chittagong.
4) Some heroin is also trafficked over the Arakan State border into Bangladesh, then on to India.
Most of the heroin trafficked to India passes through Tamu to Moreh, Chandel District of Manipur State. Within north-western Burma, heroin is often transported by the police officers, soldiers and prison guards when they are ordered to escort prisoners from their work sites back to towns.
• From there, large amounts of heroin are stashed in army conveys, which travel to the border avoiding inspection at the check points along the way. Moreover, the traffickers pay Burma Army officials a fee for carrying shipments and to pick-up the heroin at border towns such as Tamu. From there it is brought into India both in trucks and by individuals. Drugs coming from Burma into Manipur are mostly sent to Patna, one of the major drug distribution centres in India, and to three other distribution points; Kathmandu, Delhi and Bombay. From their, they are further trafficked on to the international market, which is now overwhelmingly reliant on Burmese heroin.
Can Nagas be Original? Abraham Lotha Last week there were news reports in some of the local papers about the use of the new State logo by the Nagaland government. The mithun has replaced the Ashokan pillar in the new logo, and the word ‘Unity’ depicts the aspiration of the Nagas and the Government of Nagaland. Some, like the write-up in The Telegraph (June 30,2005), have criticized it as politically motivated linking it to the issue of Naga integration. The Nagaland Congress party rejects it a DAN logo with a lame excuse that the mithun looks "sick, not authoritative and majestic" and that the words ‘Government of Nagaland’ should have been above the word ‘unity. However, adopting an indigenous logo is a step in the right direction. The mithun as a Naga symbol of well-being and prosperity is a right choice for an indigenous logo. But the real challenge for the Nagas to be authentic and assertive of our identity is more than the use of the new State logo; we also have to be aware of the unexamined new practices in the society and work towards a political, economic and socio-cultural well-being that represents the authentic Naga society. Let me suggest three examples where the discussions can begin.
Some years ago, I gave a small gift to a cousin for her father. She immediately said, "Oh, this is the perfect time because next Sunday is Father’s Day." I thought to myself, "What is this Father’s Day? Who is celebrating it? How, when and who began it? Why are we celebrating it in Nagaland?" The last two years, I have been a beneficiary of Father’s day celebrations in Nagaland. Two years ago, at a Father’s Day celebration in the Cathedral parish, Kohima, I heard the M.C. read out the history of Father’s Day. Inspired by the efforts of Sonora Dodd who began celebrating Father’s Day in 1910 to honor her father, President Lyndon Johnson, in 1966, signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as national Father’s Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the law making it permanent. As I sat and listened to this history, I asked myself, if Father’s Day was meant to be a national celebration for the people of United States, why are the people of Nagaland also celebrating it? Why are Nagas celebrating someone else’s national holiday? Such thoughts led me to ponder on another recent practice in the Naga society: Mother’s Day. In Nagaland, Mother’s Day has been celebrated in Baptist churches for quite a number of years. Now it is celebrated in almost all the churches in Nagaland even in the remote areas of the State. On a number of occasions I asked people, pastors included, why they were celebrating Mother’s Day but never received a satisfactory answer. A day for honoring mothers has been celebrated in various parts of the world in different ways – form the Greek celebration dedicated to Rhea, the mother of many deities, to Mothering Day in England. In the United States, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day on May 14, 1914. The second Sunday of May has become very popular in the U.S. as a day of honoring mothers by their children in appreciation for their love and motherhood.
So far, both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations in Nagaland have been confined to churches and it may be about time that Nagas become aware of blind celebrations. In the Naga culture parents are respected tremendously perhaps even more so than in American culture. Mothers, like the Naga Mothers Association, are a formidable and positive force in the Naga society for combating social evils. Can the Nagas, then, come up with something original to celebrate and honor mothers and fathers instead of imitating American national celebrations? I am not suggesting that we stop honoring our mothers or fathers. If anything, honoring parents should be a life-long duty. But can the Nagas celebrate motherhood and fatherhood in an indigenous way? The third example concerns the Naga national anthem. Every time I am at a function in Nagaland when people sing, "God Bless my Nagaland", I cannot but feel ashamed that Nagas have to adopt as their anthem the unofficial national anthem of United States. The song "God Bless America" was written by Irving Berlin in 1918, and popularized by singer Kate Smith who introduced the revised version during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. "God Bless America" is a quintessentially American song. This anthem, with its history, is meaningful for Americans, but does not resonate with the Nagas. How can the Nagas stand up and sing with pride a borrowed song? Whenever I hear "God Bless my Nagaland" being sung, I suffer from a feeling of disconnectedness. Where are the prairies of Nagaland? What "ocean white with foam" are we singing about? Our political leaders make so much ado about the uniqueness of Naga identity and history, yet our anthem is a copy of another country’s song that does not relate to the Naga reality. To plagiarize an American song and use it as our national anthem defeats our claims for a rich culture and unique history. It only shows a lack of talents and originality. It is a national shame. Imagine how absurd it would be if Naga festivals like Tokhu Emung, Sekreyni and the Hornbill festival were celebrated in the United States as national holidays? Or, what if a popular Naga folk song was adopted as the national anthem of United States? It might inflate the ego of the Nagas, but to the people of United States, it would be not just stupid but unthinkable.
Is Naga culture a culture of imitation? How can we begin to reclaim our pride? The Nagas are musically very talented people. Can we sing our own original anthem? Can the NSF or Naga Hoho or the State Government initiate a process to have our own original anthem? The real question is: Can Nagas be original? The writer is a Father in a Parish in New York and is also currently pursuing his further studies.
U.S.Department of State Travel Warnings for India By U.S.Department of State Travel Warnings DOSTRAVEL@LISTS.STATE">DOSTRAVEL@LISTS.STATE.GOV India Consular Information Sheet August 24, 2005 An excerpt COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: India is the world's largest democratic republic. It is a country with a very diverse population, geography and climate. Tourist facilities varying in degree of comfort and amenity are widely available in the major population centers and main tourist areas. Read the Department of State Background Notes on India at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn for additional information.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Some terrorist groups are active in India. In recent years, there have been occasional terrorist bombing incidents in various parts of India. These bomb blasts have occurred in public places as well as on public transportation, such as trains and buses, in markets and in other public areas, resulting in deaths or injuries. There were two significant terrorist incidents in northern India in July 2005. On July 5, suspected Islamic militants attacked a disputed religious site at Ayodhya in the state of Uttar Pradesh, resulting in the deaths of five persons, and on July 28, unidentified terrorists exploded a bomb on a train in Uttar Pradesh bound for New Delhi, killing thirteen passengers. In October 2004, over 35 people were killed in separate bombing incidents in a train station and market in Dimapur, capital of the Northeastern state of Nagaland. In 2003, terrorists set off several bombs in Mumbai (Bombay), including on public transportation, at a public market and at the Gateway of India, a popular tourist destination, leaving over 50 people dead and 160 injured. The motive for these blasts has not been clearly established. U.S. citizens were not specifically targeted or injured in any of these attacks. However, U.S. citizens have been killed and injured during past acts of indiscriminate violence. Anti-Western terrorist groups, some of which are on the U.S. government's list of foreign terrorist organizations, are believed to be active in India. Therefore, U.S. citizens should exercise particular vigilance when in the vicinity of government installations, visiting tourist sites, or attending public events throughout India. In particular, the disputed region of Kashmir in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has experienced an inordinate number of terrorist incidents, including several bombings in the capital city of Srinagar. Demonstrations can occur spontaneously and pose risks to travelers' personal safety and disrupt transportation systems and city services. In response to such events, Indian authorities occasionally impose curfews and/or restrict travel. Political rallies and demonstrations in India have the potential for violence, especially immediately preceding and following elections. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid demonstrations and rallies. In addition, religious and inter-caste violence occasionally occurs unpredictably. In early 2002, violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat resulted in at least 950 deaths according to official figures. While such violence rarely targets foreigners, mobs have attacked Indian Christian workers.
Missionary activity has aroused strong reactions in some areas -- usually rural -- and in January 1999, a mob murdered an Australian missionary and his son in the eastern state of Orissa. In January 2003, a visiting U.S. citizen was attacked in Kerala by Hindu activists who accused him of preaching to the local community. The principal risk for foreigners is that they could become inadvertent victims. A similar incident occurred in June 2005, when residents of a Mumbai suburb attacked three American tourists participating in a Christian prayer meeting. During the Dassera and the Diwali festivals, U.S.-citizen travelers to Calcutta and Eastern India should exercise additional caution. Large and sometimes unruly crowds gather on these holidays, especially in the immediate vicinity of the Pandals (elaborately decorated temporary structures). Such concentrations heighten the risk of petty theft, accidental injury, groping, and crowd disturbances. Transportation, even for emergency purposes, is more difficult during the holiday season, and travelers may become disoriented amidst large, flowing crowds. The United States Consulate General in Calcutta is available to assist U.S. citizens in emergencies, should they arise. AREAS OF INSTABILITY: Jammu and Kashmir: The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, with the exception of visits to the Ladakh region and its capital, Leh. A number of terrorist groups operate in the state, and security forces are active throughout the region, particularly along the Line of Control (LOC) separating Indian and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, and are visible in the primary tourist destinations in the Kashmir Valley - Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Since 1989, as many as 60,000 people (terrorists, security forces, and civilians) have been killed in the Kashmir conflict, including approximately 700 civilians in 2004 alone. Many terrorist incidents take place in the state's summer capital of Srinagar, but the majority occurs in rural areas. Foreigners are particularly visible, vulnerable, and definitely at risk. Occasionally, even the Ladakh region of the state has been affected by terrorist violence, but incidents there are rare. The last such case was in 2000, when terrorists in Ladakh's Zanskar region killed a German tourist. The Indian government prohibits foreign tourists from visiting the Kargil area of Ladakh along the LOC. U.S. Government employees are prohibited from traveling to the state of Jammu and Kashmir without permission from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. In 1999, the terrorist organization Harakat-ul Mujahideen issued a ban on U.S. citizens, including tourists, visiting Kashmir, but has not followed up on this threat. In 1995, the terrorist organization Al Faran kidnapped six Western tourists, including two U.S. citizens, who were trekking in Kashmir valley. One of the hostages was brutally murdered, another escaped, and the other four -- including one U.S. citizen -- have never been found. Srinagar has also been the site of a great deal of violence, including car bombings, market bombings, hand-grenade attacks that miss their targets and kill or injure innocent bystanders, and deaths resulting from improvised (remote-controlled) explosive devices (IEDs). In the early to mid-1990s, several tourists, including at least one U.S. citizen, were fatally shot or wounded in Srinagar. The 2002 state elections were marred by multiple terrorist attacks that killed some 800 people, a large percentage of whom were innocent civilians. Some terrorist violence also marred the national parliamentary polls in April/May 2004.
India-Pakistan Border: The State Department recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel to border areas between India and Pakistan, including within the states of Gujarat, Punjab, and Rajasthan, and the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. A ceasefire along the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir began on November 26, 2003 and a dialogue between the two countries aimed at easing tensions continues. Both India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the LOC. The only official India-Pakistan border crossing point is in the state of Punjab between Atari, India, and Wagah, Pakistan. A Pakistani visa is required to enter Pakistan. The border crossing is currently open. However, travelers are advised to confirm the current status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. Both India and Pakistan claim an area of the Karakoram mountain range that includes the Siachen glacier. The ceasefire in Kashmir that took effect in November 2003 has also been in effect on the glacier. U.S. citizens traveling to or climbing peaks in the disputed areas face significant risks. The disputed area includes the following peaks: Rimo Peak; Apsarasas I, II, and III; Tegam Kangri I, II and III; Suingri Kangri; Ghiant I and II; Indira Col; and, Sia Kangri. Northeast States: Sporadic incidents of violence by ethnic insurgent groups, including the bombing of buses and trains, are reported from parts of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, and Meghalaya, most recently in October of 2004 when over 35 people were killed in separate bombing incidents in a train station and market in Dimapur, capital of the state of Nagaland. While U.S. citizens have not been specifically targeted, visitors are cautioned not to travel outside major cities at night. Security laws are in force, and the central government has deployed security personnel to several Northeast states. Travelers may check with the U.S. Consulate in Calcutta for information on current conditions. (Please see the section on Registration/Embassy and Consulate Locations below.)
East Central and Southern India: Left-wing Maoist extremist groups called "Naxalites" are active in the region and U.S. citizens should exercise appropriate caution. The Naxalites have a long history of conflict with state and national authorities, including attacks on police and government officials. The Naxalites have not specifically targeted U.S. citizens, but have attacked symbolic targets that have included American companies. Groups claiming to be Naxalites have blackmailed American organizations, and in one instance a small bomb that exploded at an American corporation's production site was thought to have been part of an extortion plot. Two Naxalite groups, The Maoist Communist Center of India (MCCI), and the People's War Group (PWG) were added to the list of "Other Terrorist Organizations" in the U.S. State Department Publication, "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003." They merged in October 2004 into one organization under one leadership, and regional affiliates are active in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and West Bengal. Restricted Area: Advance permission is required from the Indian Government (from Indian diplomatic missions abroad) or for U.S. citizens currently in India, from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi, to visit the states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, parts of Kulu district and the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, some areas of Uttaranchal, the area west of National Highway No. 15 running from Ganganagar to Sanchar in Rajasthan, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Union Territory of the Laccadives Islands (Lakshadweep). In addition, U.S. citizens who visit the Tibetan Colony in Mundgod, Karnataka, must obtain a permit from MHA before visiting. U.S. citizens may contact the MHA at: +91-11-2469-3334 or 2301-3054 (begin by dialing 011 if calling from the United States). Tourists should exercise caution while visiting Mahabillipuram. The Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Center, Kalpakkam, is located directly adjacent to the site and is not clearly marked as a restricted and dangerous area. The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html. .
Open Chittagong seaport for Indians: NE traders From our Correspondent Sentinel
AGARTALA, Aug 26: Just a week before the talks on river water sharing between India and Bangladesh, North-east traders reiterated their demand for opening up of the Chittagong seaport for Indian traders for enhanced trade and commerce with South-east Asian entrepreneurs. North-east unit of the Federation of Small Industries of India (FSII) took up the issue with New Delhi and asked its central body to put pressure on the Centre for discussion of the issue during the Joint River Commission meeting slated for August 30. Reportedly, the Bangladesh Shipping Ministry decided to consider the long-pending demand of Indian businessmen from September next year, and referred it the Cabinet for approval. Bangladesh Commerce, Foreign and Home ministries had already cleared the matter, the report said. Quoting Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) officials, Indian Intelligence sources here said that Bangladesh would allow India to use the port under certain conditions. Bangladesh, according to the sources, is interested to open a road to North-east India through Nepal. So far, the port is infamous for being used by Indian terrorists for transhipment of arms and contraband items.
FSII’s North-east representative Deepak Sarkar told The Sentinel that due to inadequate surveillance by India, extremist groups had been using the port it since long. "If the seaport is used for business purposes, both the countries will be benefited in terms of export and import, and illegal activities along the border will be contained," Sarkar added. The CPA pointed out that the port would require massive renovation, including the expansion of its area up to 220 square kilometres. At present five to six lakh containers are being transported through the port, but the traffic flow will be doubled as soon as it is used for commercial purposes.

Frans on 08.27.05 @ 03:08 PM CST [link]


Friday, August 26th

Countdown to Naga Hoho Rally


Countdown to Naga Hoho Rally Morung Express News August 25 Preparatory arrangements Kohima
* The Naga Hoho, with regard to the Integration Rally proposed to be held on august 31 at Kohima, has informed respective Tribe Hohos/Public Organizations of the preparatory arrangements to be made for the said rally. The Naga Hoho has convened a meeting with all Kohima based tribal Hoho leaders on August 26.
All respective leaders have therefore been requested to positively attend the meeting which is scheduled to be held at 10 am. All tribal Hohos who will be attending the rally, are to submit their prepared slogans/ placards to the Naga Hoho on arrival, either on or before the morning of August 31. The Naga Hoho has further appealed to all the Naga public not to be swayed by rumors that may seemingly appear to hamper the Naga Integration Rally.
Dimapur * Pertaining to the Naga Integration Rally proposed to be held on august 31 at Kohima, an emergency meeting between the Naga Council, the GBs Union, the DNSU, and the DNWH was today held at the Naga Council office. The House unanimously resolved to participate in the rally under the aegis of the Naga Council, Dimapur. The Naga Council will be providing at least 10 buses for transportation of Dimapur participants. Respective Tribal Hoho Presidents have been entrusted to arrange sufficient members to participate in the rally. The final details of the program for the said rally will be made known through media publication. Instructions to participants:
• The buses will leave the City Tower point, Di mapur at 7 am on the day of the rally. • Participants are to don their respective shawls/ jackets for the purpose of identification. • Fooding and other miscellaneous expenditures are to be borne by the respective participants/ Tribal Hohos. The Naga Council will be provid ing official badges to the participants.
'No agitation without permission': Angami body KUknalim.com
DIMAPUR, Aug 25: The Angami Public Organization (APO) during an emergency meeting held on Thursday reaffirmed that it would not permit holding of any bandh, strike, procession or rally in any part of Angami area if the organizers did not take prior consent from it. A statement issued jointly by APO president Mhiesizokho Zinyu and its general secretary Sapa Kintso said a resolution towards this effect was adopted during executive council meeting of the APO held on Wednesday.
The reaffirmation made by the APO comes on the eve of August 31 integration rally in Kohima which is being organized by various NGOs of the state.
Support Women’s Reservation Bill: Rio tells MPs Morung Express News August 25 Dimapur: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has directed both Members of Parliament from Nagaland to support the Women Reservation Bill but with the added concession of including more seats in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Rio said this at the NPF party meting held at his Dimapur residence today. On the delimitation issue, the Chief Minister said that the Government’s stand was that the exercise should come only after political settlement comes. While exhorting NPF party leaders under Dimapur Division, Rio told them that the NPF-led coalition was in power because of the ‘sacrifice and joint effort of party workers right from the central office to the grass roots level.’ It may be mentioned that the ruling DAN coalition formed the present Government with 19 NPF MLAs, 7 BJP MLAs, 5 NDM MLAs, 4 JDU MLAs, and 4 Independent MLAs. The Congress had secured 21 seats in the last assembly elections.
Efforts on to hold talks with ANSAM: Ibobi The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 25: The state government is making hectic efforts to resume talks with the ANSAM to bring an amicable solution to the months long crisis in the state arising out of the declaration of June 18 as state integrity day. A formal invitation has been served to ANSAM leaders for holding such talks in the state capital. This was disclosed by chief minister O Ibobi Singh, in a press conference called just after striking a deal with the Zomi Students Federation.
Speaking in the conference, the chief minister said a 12 point memorandum of understanding with the ZSF has been signed today fulfilling almost all the demands put forward by the students body. The students body has also called off their agitation with immediate effect, Ibobi said adding that state government is planning to arrive at a solution with ANSAM in similar fashion.

Stressing on the need for bringing an end to the ANSAM economic blockade, which is under temporary suspension, Ibobi said ANSAM is sticking to their stand of holding such talks outside the state, which is not acceptable as the issue is purely an internal affair of the state. The state government has also a concrete decision not to hold such talks outside the state, Ibobi said. Reiterating his plan to visit all the four hill districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Senapati and Tamenglong to physically inspect government properties and offices razed during the ANSAM agitation, Ibobi said his initial plan to visit Chandel today had been deferred as a meeting with the ZSF leaders was scheduled for today. He however is optimistic of visiting the headquarters of all the four hill districts within the next two or three days, either by road or by helicopter. Earlier, a 12 point MoU was entered between the government of Manipur and representatives of the ZSF on the demands raised by the students body and the incidents which occurred on August 9 and 19 at Churachandpur.

As per the MoU, it was agreed that the government will ensure posting of required number of teachers as per need in the hill districts (including District Council Schools). It was also agreed to consider extension of pension benefits to District Council Employees holding regular post and to take up steps to improve the infrastructures of the schools and office buildings in the hill areas without delay.

Necessary instructions will be issued to the DC`s and heads of departments to commence the execution of developmental works without delay, 5MVA Transformer will be installed at Khengjang within 3 months and the construction of Guite Road by BRO from Churachandpur to Tuivai bridge will be done at the earliest, the MoU agreed. It was also agreed that the department of personnel and all heads of departments will be instructed to work out the back log ST vacancies in the state as per rules including 100 points roster and steps will be taken for filling up the backlog ST vacancies immediately. The concerned DCs will be asked to submit detailed reports in this regard and necessary steps taken for issuing rectification orders of names of villages and maps. Apart from these, the MoU also said that the state home department will be instructed to examine these claims immediately and ex-gratia payments will be made in all eligible cases within 10 days of the joining of new DC. The state government will initiate action to sanitize the entire district at the earliest. Provision of financial assistance to those injured in the incidents of August 19, 2005 was also agreed and payment will be made within 10 days of the joining of the new DC. Consequently, it was also agreed that all files and documents taken away by ZSF from the office of the SDO Churachandpur be returned immediately.
Nagaland hits heroin high Dimapur, August 25, 2005 Hindustan Times
Even for a state that neighbors Myanmar, which is believed to be the biggest producer of heroin in the world, Nagaland has set a record of sorts with 1.4 kg of heroin, 116 grams of Brown-sugar, 3,935 kg of Contraband Ganja, 3 kg of Opium and 80,148 banned Tablets and Capsules being recovered by the state police in the month of July alone. The details of the recoveries, according to police sources, have created quite a stir among law enforcement agencies who it seems may be fighting a lost battle. Another such indicator is the growing spread of HIV in the state. Also alarming is the state's drug-gun running nexus - the police seized an M-20 pistol, a second 7.65 pistol with 16 live rounds, an AK-56 rifle, and an AK-47 rifle along with a .22 rifle and 300 rounds of 303 rifle cartridges. Confirmed in a statement issued by the Inspector General of police GK Rengma. Not surprisingly, the month saw the arrest of five underground activists, 10 extortionists and 110 Inner Line Permit (ILP) violators, the statement said. Being a restricted area, most parts of Nagaland require ILPs for travel a system that is now routinely flouted. Also recovered were 19 vehicles, including two wheelers that point towards the haven that the state has turned into for car smugglers.
Dimapur institution, trains hearing impaired but rich in talents: New Kerala
By Neeraj Kurmar, Dimapur (Nagaland): As a group of hearing impaired students attempt to gain communication skills in a voice therapy class, the clatter of their mechanical learning aids interrupts the sound of English syllables. This is the typical scene at one of the learning sessions being held in the Deaf Biblical Ministry, a special school for the hearing impaired at Dimapur in Nagaland. Selected for an award as “the best school for the hearing impaired last year by the President of India, the institution aims at making its students self-reliant by teaching them vocations. Yanger Walling, who set up the school with his wife in 1987, recognised the need for an exclusive school for the hearing impaired in north-east India. Walling says that he believes in the innate strength of the disabled and does not see them as less than normal people in any way.The children are taught the same syllabus prescribed by the State Education Department for normal schools, in the sign language.

“They are called disabled but they are definitely able in many ways. We find it very interesting to work with them. When we work with them, we learn of many talents that remain hidden in them. We try to motivate them. They can’t compete with normal people but in some ways they do much better than normal people,” Walling says. Typing, weaving and tailoring are among some of the vocations that comprise the curriculam taught in this school. The first four batches of students have successfully passed the secondary school examination. We have a weaving unit here. All the workers are our own trained people who are either disabled or hearing impaired. They are doing very good work. We get orders from the Government and high officials. We weave clothes for our own use like bags and cushion covers. We sell them here and have a good local demand for our products, says Walling.
Walling, who has received special training in dealing with hearing impaired in the United States, runs the organisation with the contributions from friends and well- wishers.
Manipur govt- ZSF signs truce NET News Network
Imphal, Aug 25: The agitating Zomi Students Federation (ZSF) has called of its on-going agitation with immediate effect with the signing of memorandum of understanding with state government today. The twelve point charter was agreed between the two after more than four hours of discussion at the chief minister office. From the state government side the signatory was Binod Kispota secretary to chief minister while its president H.Mangchinkhup led ZSF with other four members today. Apart from chief minister O.Ibobi Singh, other minister and MLA’s present includes IFCD & TD minister Phunjathang Tonsing, State Planning Board deputy secretary Dr.Chaltolien Amo, Hills Areas Committee chairman Songchinkhup and MLA Manga Vaiphei.
After the thorough discussion on the item wise demands, decisions were taken that the state government will instruct the state home department to examine claims to the killings of 11 villagers immediately and ex-gratia payment be made in all eligible cases within 10 days of the joining of new DC, Churchandpur. State government will also financial assistance will be provided to those injured in the August 19 incident payment will be made within 10 days too. The state government will also ensure posting of required teachers as per need in the hill district (including district council schools). It was also agreed to consider extension of pension benefits to district council employees holding regular post. Improvement of school infrastructure and office buildings in the hills areas without delay.
It was agreed that instruction would be issued to DC's and head of departments to commence the execution of developmental work without delay. A 5 MVA transformer will be installed at Khenjang within three months time and to execute the construction of Guite Road by BRO from Churchandpur to Tuivai Bridge at the earliest. The department of Personnel and All Heads of Department has been instructed to work out backlog ST vacancies in the state as per the rules including 100 points rosters and steps will be taken for filling up the backlog ST vacancies immediately. Concerned DC's will be instructed to submit detail report in this matter and necessary step for rectifications orders of names and maps. The state government will initiate action to sanitize the entire district at the earliest.
ZSF to return files and documents taken away from the office of SDO, Churchandpur immediately. These agreements are in addition to those arrived between both the parties yesterday at Khuga Dam guesthouse and with the agreement ZSF had decided to call off the agitation immediately.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister answering question has said that the state government is committed to resolve the issue raised by ANSAM like the ZSF understanding resolved today. Fellers for second round of talks will be sent to ANSAM soon. Though ANSAM had shown their willingness to hold talk outside Manipur preferably New Delhi, but these issue being of state concern, the state government has conveyed its decision of holding in the state. Chief Minister O.Ibobi Singh added that he had planned to visit Chandel today as part of his hills district tours and assess conditions of office buildings and other damage caused during ANSAM agitations but was cancelled due to engagement with ZSF today. However he will be touring in a day or two to Chandel, Senapati, Ukhrul and Tamenglong district. On the question of holding talks with ANSAM during tours, CM Ibobi replied if they want to hold out talks in any of these places, he cannot say no to the idea and talk can be arranged if they desired so, while hinting out strong indication that talks are likely during his tours.
AR, truckers escape IED blast at Sangakpham The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 25: A foot patrolling party of 4 Assam Rifles escaped from an IED attack when they detected the bomb planted by suspected underground activists at a spot near the gate of the quarters of the Regional Tarsar Research Centre, Sangakpham along the NH-39 this morning at around 5.30 am.
The IED however blasted after some time forming a pit of around three feet in diameter and 2 feet deep. The windshied of a truck loaded with empty LPG cylinder parked around five feet from the blast site was damaged but the handyman of the truck escaped as he left the truck minutes ahead of the blast when AR personnel told him to leave the place as there was an IED planted nearby. The front wind shield and most of the front part of the vehicle was destroyed. According to the officer of the AR who was commanding the patrolling party, when they come out from their camp at Chingmeirong only around 100 meter from the blast site in the early morning, a personnel informed him of having detected a bomb there. The AR personnel called for the sniffer dog to confirm the presence of the bomb. However, the IED suspected to be devised with remote control blasted before the personnel with the dog reached the spot. The IG of Assam Rifles visited the spot in the aftermath of the incident.

According to the driver of the LPG truck Ningthoujam Thoiba of Nambol Maiba Lokpaching, his vehicle bearing registration no. MN01-4557 had been parked there since yesterday evening after failing to proceed to Dimapur for the day due to non-availability of security escort. During the time they were parked there they did not see anyone planting the bomb or moving around suspiciously. The truck was transporting gas cylinders for Khoriphaba gas service, Nambol. The handyman Leimapokpam Bijen hailing from Nambol said that when he woke up and and was cleaning the truck, the AR men informed him of the bomb planted there. the IED blasted as soon as he left the place. The driver was sleeping in a house near the place the truck was parked. The vehicle has been seized by the Heingang police after registering a case.

UKLF condemns CM?s actions The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug 25 :The united Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) has strongly condemned the chief Minister Okram Ibobi for holding a meeting at Churchandpur with the Zomi Students Federation yesterday. In a press release issued by the front today it was stated that if the CM can hold a meeting with the Zomi Students Federation why he cannot do the same with Naga students (ANSAM) anywhere to discuss their problems on time. Asking the reason the front lamented that Ibobi wanted to divide the community for war and to cause the problems in the communities.
Charging that the CM is playing divide and rule policy for ethnic clash in the state, the UKLF appealed to all the citizens of Manipur to understand this motive and warned that if the CM persisted with such divide and rule policy in the state in the future the front would not take it lightly. The statement said that in Manipur only kukis, Nagas and Meiteis are living and the citizens of the state like to live with peace and harmony, and to love each other like brother and sisters but the state governmrnt is forcing a ethnic clash. It also stated that if any problems of the Kukis, Nagas and the Meiteis have to be solved as different communities but the state is doing otherwise and is searching for more problems.

‘Right to Information Bill will revitalise democracy’ Assam Tribune Correspondent
SHILLONG, Aug 25 – Chief Minister DD Lapang stated that the legislation of Right to Information (RTI) Bill would empower citizens and revitalise democracy and further help accelerate the pace of development. “Transparency and accountability are the essence of a healthy democracy and the legislation of RTI Act would ensure a more progressive, participatory and meaningful governance,” Lapang said at the inaugural function of a one-day workshop on the ‘Implementation of Right to Information Act, 2005’.

Lapang reiterated that the Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance’s (MDA) commitment in implementing the Act before the scheduled date of October 12. The CM stated that there is instruction to all the officers in the state to ‘immediately’ work into the implementation process. The workshop, which was also attended by members from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiatives and other NGOs, brainstormed on common modalities for the smooth implementation of the Act.
Lapang invokes God for peace, indefinite curfew announced By: Raymond R Kharmujai
Shillong, Aug 25: As Meghalaya Chief Minister D.D.Lapang and his cabinet colleagues on Thursday prayed to God at All Saint’s Cathedral to bring normalcy back in the Eastern region of the state, 21 Khasi-Jaintia based social organizations has decided to strengthen its agitational programmes by sponsoring an indefinite public curfew from August 29 next. Chief Minister D.D.Lapang along with some of his cabinet colleagues attended a prayer service organized by the Shillong Khasi-Jaintia Church Leaders Forum (SKJCLF) in wake of the agitations over the mismanagement of the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE). Lapang, himself a senior member of the Khasi-Jaintia Presbyterian church that it’s only through prayers to bring back normalcy in the state, “the government on its own cannot achieve and I request church leaders to continue to pray.”
“For the past two-month, the state has suffered in its economy and developmental activities,” the Chief Minister said adding that to make Meghalaya a mighty state everyone must come forward and work together for a common goal. As they continued to pray, leaders of the 21 Khasi-Jaintia based social organizations under the banner of Civil Society Group (CSG) met at an emergent meeting in undisclosed location reviewing the government attitude towards the charter of demand to solve the state educational Board imbroglio.
“We have decided to intensify our agitation by calling an indefinite public curfew from August 29 from6 PM to 5 AM in the four district,” Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) leader Dino.D.G.Dympep said. He said the decision to call an indefinite public curfew came after the leaders of the 21 social-organizations sees that the Lapang led government is not interested in resolving the Board imbroglio. However, the state government maintained that the government would act on the MBOSE mismanagement only after the State Level Committee headed by Chief Secretary submits its recommendations to the government. This committee is expected to submit its report by next week to revamp and restructure the “disorganized” MBOSE. Meanwhile, the two days office picketing sponsored by the 21 NGO’s evoked fair response even as the state government claimed 30 % overall attendance, however, functioning of Financial Institutions and Central Government Offices were totally paralyzed.
NGOs wonder why Environment Policy is labeled "secret" NET News Network Aizawl, Aug 25: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) seems to consider environmental policy matters “secret”, said a group of environment NGOs among whom is the Aizawl-based Centre for Environment Protection. The group said the MoEF had finalised a draft of the National Environment Policy (NEP) and submitted it for clearance to the Cabinet. However, the document is yet to be made public and this has greatly angered the environmentalists as they would have dearly loved to study it.
"Not only has this document not been made public, it is reportedly marked 'secret'. This is a mockery of the government’s professed commitment to transparent governance, and is a violation of the Right to Information Act, which commits the government to 'publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect the public'," a statement issued today said. Protesting this step by MoEF, over 70 citizens’ groups and individuals from various parts of India have written to the Prime Minister demanding that the document be made public before finalising it. The statement said they had asked for consultations to be held across the country, particularly with local communities and elected representatives. The signatories to the letter to the PM include mass movements, environmental NGOs, researchers and scientists, women’s and human rights groups, mediapersons and others.
"We have pointed out that the first draft of the NEP was riddled with contradictions, and tended to make the environment subservient to narrow economic interests, the statement said and pointed out that the widespread outcry against it had prompted the National Advisory Council to also take it up in two discussions with a number of its members expressing concern about the draft NEP. The environmentalists and other concerned groups have accused the MoEF of showing total disregard for public opinion and in trying to bypass public consultation by labelling the revised draft “secret” and taking it directly to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
"Should the Cabinet pass this document without engaging in gathering public opinion and consultations, we would consider this a serious violation of the Common Minimum Programme of the government and a significant blow to the democratic temperament of our society. It would also be in contradiction to the commitment made by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech to the nation, in which he explicitly mentioned our responsibility to protect the environment," the statement said. The statement is being released country-wide today, said A.C. Zonunmawia, chairman, Centre for Environment Protection here today.
Goswami shrugs off ‘role’ ‘APCC letter’ to ULFA By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 25: A day after the banned ULFA charged ‘some’ political parties and intellectuals of ‘misusing’ its name for personal interests, AGP president Brindabon Goswami today said that it had no intention of maligning the outfit by producing the missive, purportedly written by APCC secretary MH Choudhury. The controversial missive, alleging ULFA-Congress nexus, had created a furore in the recently-concluded Assam Assembly session. Charging the AGP chief of engineering the ‘fake’ missive, the ULFA had demanded an abject apology from him.
Goswami, who arrived in the city last evening after a week-long sojourn in Delhi, told a press conference here that the AGP did not indulge in such ‘cheap’ gimmicks by using seals and letterheads of other organizations or parties, and it was still in favour of a proper inquiry into the letter. Hoping that the ‘issues’ of the ULFA could be solved through peaceful means, he asserted that it was because of the duress from the Opposition that the State Government and the Centre invited the outfit for talks. Meanwhile, the Jatiya Yuba Parishad, Asom (JYPA) today said that Brindabon Goswami should own the moral responsibility on the issue and step down from AGP presidentship.

Frans on 08.26.05 @ 02:08 PM CST [link]


Thursday, August 25th

ANSAM to question CM’s refusal to talk to them in Delhi


ANSAM to question CM’s refusal to talk to them in Delhi The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug. 24: The state chief minister O Ibobi Singh has denied having talked with representatives of the ANSAM at New Delhi during his stay there, even as the students body which is agitating over the demand for revocation of declaration of state holiday on June 18 as “state integrity day” is likely to demand another explanation as to why the CM had refused to have talks with them at the national Capital, a reliable report said here.
The decision to demand an explanation from the CM was reportedly taken in a meeting of the ANSAM held today at Senapati.
The students body has been alleging that the state government is not reciprocating the gesture shown by ANSAM and has threatened to re-launched various forms of agitation including economic blockade along the national highways leading to the state. However, the date and time of the re-launching of the agitation has not been declared by them as yet although there is talk that it may start from September 1. According to a highly reliable report from Senapati, the date of re-launching the agitation is likely to be confirmed after a mass rally scheduled to be held at Kohima on August 31 under the aegis of the Naga Hoho.

Peace grows in thin soil in India's restive Nagaland Reuters REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI By Simon Denyer
KHONOMA, India, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The tiny village of Khonoma in the thickly forested hills of remote northeastern India is littered with war memorials. A memorial to British officers who lost their lives when Naga tribesmen ambushed them in 1879. Memorials to scores of villagers killed in five decades of resistance to Indian rule. Today, there is peace in Khonoma, but there is growing concern that it might not last. Eight years of ceasefire between Christian Naga rebels and the Indian government have brought little sign of a solution.
"We had high expectations when the ceasefire started, that there was going to be a solution after long years," said village council chief Vishulie Mor. "But people are not very confident now. And if the ceasefire breaks we are back to square one."
Outside, children in grey uniforms come home from school, umbrellas up against the drizzle. A massive concrete Baptist church dominates the highest point on the ridge. In the valley below, farmers tend their rice paddies, the bright green terraces contrasting with the dark green of the steeply forested slopes above them. For half a century, Naga tribesmen fought the army in these mountains, before agreeing to the ceasefire in 1997. India's oldest insurgency had cost more than 20,000 lives.
Few places symbolise the Naga independence fight like Khonoma. The village was burned down by the British in 1850, resisted a fierce British assault after the 1879 ambush and was home to the first leader of Naga resistance to Indian rule.
REBELS LOSE SUPPORT
Farmer Lhulie Mayse does not know his birthday. Records, he says, were lost when the Indians burned down Khonoma when he was seven, in 1956. Today, the army is trying to win the hearts and minds of villagers by distributing medicines, the rebels gradually losing support by only showing up to collect "taxes". "In our childhood, we used to hear the sound of the Indian army vehicles and we would run and hide. But we would welcome the undergrounds," he said. "Now it is the other way round."
But Mayse is not quite sure he believes the Indian army's claim, written beside every camp of the Assam Rifles, that they are the "Friends of the Hill People".
"After the ceasefire the Assam Rifles have become friendly, they don't molest our women now," he said. "But we know that if the ceasefire breaks they will go back to being hostile to the people."
In July, the main rebel faction -- the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac-Muivah) -- extended its ceasefire with India for only six months, instead of a year, frustrated by the lack of progress in talks, and India's reluctance to give ground. At the same time, the NSCN-IM has been extending its grip over Naga society, and is recruiting hundreds of new fighters every year.
It is probably the strongest rebel group in northeastern India and a settlement in Nagaland is considered critical for a broader peace in the under-developed region. "Time is running out," warned Neingulo Krome, secretary-general of the Naga Ho-Ho, the supreme tribal council which represents all 32 tribes; three million people in northeast India and Myanmar. "Within these six months something new must come, and I don't know how the government of India will do it."
LACK OF UNITY
But of even greater concern to most Nagas is the lack of unity in the "freedom movement". Three factions, partly divided along tribal lines, claim to represent the Naga cause. Instead of fighting India, though, they often seem to be fighting each other. "You can't really say the conditions for peace have been built," said one Naga intellectual, who declined to be named because of rebel threats in the past. "Violence could happen at any time, and the worst will be between the factions."
In Khonoma, 33-year-old schoolteacher Ronald Meru says many of the younger generation want peace above independence. "I am a Naga," he said. "But those of us who have seen the outside world, seen Delhi and Calcutta, we feel we are just a small part of our country. We don't have so much to boast about, we should just obey the rules and live our lives."
In many other hearts, especially those who have lived through the darkest days of the insurgency, the dream of an independent Nagaland burns as strongly as ever. One thing is sure; the government can ill afford to take the Nagas for granted. "People are fed up with the violence, the killing, the fratricide," said the intellectual. "On the other hand the overall sentiment for independence is still there. Something honourable has to be worked out."
Council chief Mor says his "blood" is Naga: "That is God's decision. That does not mean India is bad, but we are different."
"In 1956 our parents would say freedom first and peace second," he said. "Now in 2005, peace and unity is the first priority, then comes freedom." Mor pauses for a moment. "But if the rebels were united," he added, "I would fight for them tomorrow."

India, Naga rebels hold talks to preserve ceasefire 23 Aug 2005 04:45:39 GMT Source: Reuters
NEW DELHI, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Indian officials and Christian separatists from the remote state of Nagaland have held talks to preserve a four-year ceasefire and resolve a deades-old revolt, seen as the key to peace in the country's turbulent northeast. The talks, held late on Monday, were the first formal dialogue between the government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (S.S. Khaplang), which has observed a truce with Indian forces since 2001.
"They discussed the ceasefire and how to continue talks," an Indian home ministry official told Reuters. "The Nagas had some demands about the ceasefire monitoring group and they will be examined."
The two sides would meet again but no dates were set, he added. The Naga tribal rebellion is India's oldest insurgency, and security analysts say peace with the Nagas is crucial to a broader peace in the northeast -- seven states connected to the rest of India by a thin strip of land and home to dozens of insurgent groups. The Khaplang faction of the NSCN is the second most powerful separatist group in Nagaland, a mainly Christian state of two million people on India's far eastern border with Myanmar.
A more powerful group, the NSCN (Issac-Muivah) has held repeated talks with the Indian government since it started a ceasefire in 1997. But there has been little progress over the rebels' central demands -- the unification of Naga-dominated areas in northeast India and ultimately independence.
Both NSCN factions, which split in the late 1980s, have thousands of fighters, and raise money mainly through "taxes". More than 20,000 people have died in the over five-decades-old Naga insurgency. (Additional reporting by Biswajyoti Das in Guwahati)
Ibobi to hold talks with ZSF Newmai News Network ugust 24
Churachandpur: A delegation of the Zomi Students Federation (ZSF), which has been agitating for the past several weeks, will be meeting the chief minister, O. Ibobi singh at 1 pm tomorrow at the latter’s office in Imphal. The venue and timing of the talk were decided when Ibobi Singh met representatives of the students organization at Khuga Rest House in Churachandpur district during the chief minister’s trip to Khuga to inspect the progress of the multi-purpose project being taken up there.
The student delegation led by its President H. Mangchinkhup agreed to come to Imphal and hold the talk tomorrow after Ibobi Singh accepted the precondition set for the talks by the ZSF. Ibobi, who is also the home minister, ordered the district police to withdraw all the warrants issued against student leaders and cases registered against several of them to fulfill the pre-condition. Students last week burnt four government vehicles including three of the local police station demanding release of arrested students without any condition. The ZSF is demanding payment of ex-gratia to families of 11 persons killed recently by security forces as well as underground groups, sending of adequate number of teachers and improvement of infrastructure of government offices in the district.
Ibobi was accompanied by Phungzathang Tonsing, Irrigation and Flood Control Minister, Songchinkhup, Assembly’s Hill Areas Committee chairman and Congress MLA Charltonlien Amo. After the meeting the chief minister told media persons who were part of the entourage that a delegation of the student organization would meet him tomorrow in Imphal. The students also agreed to suspend its agitation during the negotiation. Ibobi Singh who is facing prospect of another round of economic blockade by All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) may meet leaders of the Naga students during such visits in one of the hill districts. The chief minister said that he is trying to meet the Naga students’ representatives. He said that he finalized a tour proogramme of Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong to assess the extent of damages caused by arsons by Naga students last month. A large number of government offices were burnt by the Naga students during the peak of non cooperation movement sponsored by ANSAM. Naga students rejected Ibobi’s invitation to hold the talk in Imphal. ANSAM is saying that the negotiation should be held outside Imphal and even outside Manipur. Ibobi’s known stand so far is that the talk should be held in Imphal. The chief minister said that he was planning to visit Chandel tomorrow. But the programme has been cancelled in view of the meeting with Zomi students.
ZSF suspends agitation, signs MoU with state government Sapam Aruna and M Kaimuanthang

LAMKA, Aug.24: The Zomi Student Federation, (ZSF) suspended its agitation today following a understanding reached with the government of Manipur during a meeting at the guest house at the Khuga Dam, when the chief minister arrived at the Dam site to inspect the progress of construction works there. A memorandum of understanding in this regard was also signed today between the students body and the state government. All preconditions set by the ZSF for talks with the government including withdrawal of all cases against ZSF leaders and its activists, official invitation and judicial inquiry into the police excesses on unarmed students have been agreed to by the government. A formal meeting between the ZSF leaders and government will however be held tomorrow at the chief minister’s office in Imphal at 1 pm.
Today’s meeting was attended by the chief minister O Ibobi Singh, IFCD minister T Phungzathang, deputy chairman, state planning board Dr Chaltonlien Amo, chairman hill area committee N Songchinkhup, and MLA T Manga Vaiphei from the government side.

Riding on the conducive atmosphere thus created the government and the ZSF leaders will further hold a series of talks starting from tomorrow at the CM’s office from 1 pm. How long the suspension of their agitation will be in effect will depend on the success or failure of the talks, the ZSF president said.

The ZSF has been demanding restoration of school infrastructure, teachers in the hills’ government schools, implementation of ST quota as per rules and filling of all backlogs, rectification of names of places in the hills which have been distorted and payments of ex-gratia for 11 persons and compensation for those injured in land-mine bomb blasts planted by UGs at Thanlon and Singngat subdivision recently.

Earlier, the ministerial team led by the chief minister conducted an inspection of the progress made so far in the Khuga dam construction.

Briefing media persons, the chief minister O Ibobi Singh expressed satisfaction at the progress of the dam construction work made so far saying that some progress has been made since he visited the site earlier this year.

He however expressed apprehension that the dam will not be completed by the deadline of May 2006. He also said that fresh contract will be made with other agency/corporation to assist the current work focus while working hours would also be increased.

Construction of the dam has been hampered since the ANSAM economic blockade began as transportation of some construction materials were blocked, Ibobi said.
It may be recalled that the chief minister, dissatisfied over progress of construction work, returned in a huff during his last visit.

Stating that steps are being taken to hold talks with the ANSAM to bring to an end the economic blockade issue, Ibobi said that he is planning to visit the district headquarters of Senapati, Ukhrul, and Chandel to inspect government offices burnt down recently and to find ways of restoring them. He would visit Chandel tomorrow to begin with and hold consultation with various local leaders for settlement of ANSAM’s problems.
Maintaining that all problems can be settled through discussion irrespective of the venue of such talks the chief minister urged the civil society groups and associations to open the door for discussions to solve their problems.

Centre urged to exempt Nagaland from delimitation
KOHIMA, Aug 24: Associate members of the Delimitation Commission from Nagaland have urged the statutory panel to exempt the state from the current exercise as it could create an upheaval in the ethnically-sensitive state. The Nagaland delegation conveyed to the Delimitation Commission at their meeting in New Delhi yesterday the collective stand taken by the State Assembly, all political parties and the State Government on the issue. The Nagaland assembly had passed a resolution in its just concluded session urging the Commission to exempt the state from the exercise of redrawing assembly segments till a fresh population census was carried out and the Naga issue settled.
In a statement issued here, State Home Minister Thenucho, an associate member of the Commission, said the Nagaland delegation also met Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil yesterday apprising him of the decision of the State Assembly and government. The delegation also urged Patil to take initiative for amending the Delimitation Act, 2002 in order to exempt Nagaland from the exercise, the statement said. The delegation is likely to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Union Law Minister today, it added. –PTI
ULFA warns political parties, leaders NET News Network
Guwahati, Aug 24: The proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Wednesday warned all political parties and leaders to refrain themselves from using the outfit’s name for their own selfish benefit. Reacting to the recent incidents of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) President Brindaban Goswami’s charges against Congress government maintaining links with ULFA and its aftermath, the outfit’s chairman Aurobindo Rajkhowa expressed concern at the recent trend of involving the outfit’s name by various organizations and individuals for its selfish gain and subsequently maligning its image. Taking potshots at section of AGP leaders over their reaction to apology demand from Brindaban Goswami for dragging ULFA’s name into “dirty politics” Rajkhowa pointed out that his outfit has no intention of involving itself with the internal matter of AGP as alleged by a section of its leaders but expressed surprise at the party’s silence after initial enthusiasm at the floor of state assembly over the issue of three Congress ministers paying money to the outfit. Citing this as not a solitary incident, Rajkhowa also accused former ADG (Law & Order) of Assam GM Srivastava and present DGP, P V Sumant of using surrendered ULFA militants for collecting money in ULFA’s name. “ Even contractors procures contracts on the pretext of paying money to us,” pointed out the e-mailed statement of the outfit.
Tension in Manipur-Nagaland border NET News Network
Imphal, Aug 24: Tension is brewing up over the land dispute in Chokha between villagers of Jessami in Ukhrul and Zephoro villager of Phek district in Nagaland. The dispute over Chokha, which has standing crops dates back since 1960. According to report, the latest instances of row occurred on July 19 last when over one hundreds Zephoro villagers armed with dagger swooped down on Choka land and destroyed crops planted by Zessami villager. The crops includes maize, banana etc and damage amounted around 1.3 lakhs. Some of Zessami villagers maintained that the said land at Choka has been under the ownerships of Zessami village and Zephoro villagers have been intruding under instigation of some neighbouring village in Nagaland since 2000.
Reacting swiftly to the matter, the SDO/SDM of Chingai sub-division had clamped prohibitory order on the Zessami, but however there was no indication of such things from Nagaland side, alleged village chairman W.Ayete. The matter has been apprised to Chingai MLA, A.Aza and same has been intimated to chief minister O.Ibobi Singh. For the record CM Ibobi on earlier occasion had visited Zessami on different tour programmes.
Bodo women condemn move, demand AASU intervention
BHB College uniform row From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, Aug 24: The uniform row in BHB College, Sarupeta in Barpeta district has taken a new twist following the condemnation by the All Bodo Women’s Welfare Federation (ABWWF) the new decision of the authorities of BHB College to impose a ban on entry of dokhna-wearing Bodo girls in the college premises. "It is an attempt to distort the cultural identity of the Bodos," the ABWWF said. Terming the decision of the college authorities as an insult to the Bodos, Kanan Basumatary and Mithinga Basumatary, president and secretary of the ABWWF respectively, have said that no one has the right to violate the cultural identity of the tribal people by imposition of salwar kameez as the college uniform for girls. Severely criticizing the college authorities for the ‘unique’ decision, the ABWWF has strongly urged the governing body of the College to refrain from the attempt to distort the cultural identity of the Bodos.
Meanwhile, the ABWWF has urged the ASSU leadership to intervene in the matter soon. It may be recalled that the ABSU has expressed its anguish over reports that Bodo girls have been refused permission to wear the dokhna by the authorities of BHB College. The ABSU has asked the college authority and the government to respect the sentiments and culture of the Bodo society and to allow the girl students to wear the dokhna to their college. The ABSU felt that it was important to nip the problem in the bud lest it might take a turn for the worse. The ABSU cautioned the College authority of grave consequences if it persisted with its rigid stand. However, the ABSU has asked the College to be flexible in its approach towards what they termed as a ‘sentimental issue’.
It may be mentioned here that the authorities of BHB College had recently decided to introduce salwar kameez as compulsory dress for girls. Despite repeated requests for a flexible approach to the Bodo girls on the issue, and submission of memoranda to the college and district authorities in this regard, no solution was arrived at. Even the Bodo girls wearing dokhna with permitted colour were also allegedly prevented to enter the college campus on August 20. They were, in fact, warned by the principal of the college to comply with the college order or to take transfer certificates. The ABSU has condemned this ‘insulting and humiliating’ behaviour of the principal. The student body was of the view that in Assam, colour should be the basis of uniform but not the dress. It also cited the examples of Cotton College and Handique College in Guwahati where authorities have refrained from enforcing any dress code.

Frans on 08.25.05 @ 02:57 PM CST [link]


Wednesday, August 24th

Integration at the heart of Naga freedom struggle: Naga Hoho


Integration at the heart of Naga freedom struggle: Naga Hoho Morung Express News August 23
DIMAPUR: The Naga Hoho has made it clear that the integration of the Naga homeland into a single political unit was an inalienable right of the Nagas ‘by birth’. “Integration is at the heart of the Naga freedom struggle and we are asking for what is ours by birth”, stated a press communiqué issued by the Naga Hoho Publicity Secretary. The Naga Hoho also informed about the Naga Integration Rally on August 31 to be held at Kohima local ground. “This is in affirmation of our inalienable right to live as one people under one political unit and also to demonstrate that we are determined to undo the injustice committed upon us. The reunification of the contiguous Naga homeland is non-negotiable”, it stated on the upcoming rally. “Our children deserve to live as other dignified human beings on earth. We are duty bound to usher in the right future for them. We must reclaim and restore our honor and dignity”, it affirmed and called upon all sections of the Naga people particularly the various Naga national workers to extend their cooperation. “Let’s demonstrate together that we (the) Nagas can create history together” it appealed. The Naga Hoho in association with other mass-based social organizations would be holding the ‘Naga Integration Rally’.
NSCN-K says Centre won’t crack down on its camps Nahvind Times IANS Kohima Aug 23: The central government has agreed not to carry out security operations near designated camps of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang, a rebel leader said Tuesday.A three-member team of rebel leaders belonging to the NSCN-K held a crucial meeting with home ministry officials in New Delhi Monday to prepare cease-fire ground rules. “It was agreed that security forces would not conduct any operations near our designated camps in the future. It was one of the main changes in the cease-fire ground rules proposed by us,” Kughalo Mulatonu, a senior NSCN-K leader who was part of the rebel team, told IANS over the phone from New Delhi.
“In the past security forces often harassed our boys on the pretext of launching operations against other groups and so we sought some changes in the ground rules.” The internal security secretary, Mr Anil Choudhury led the home ministry delegation. C. Singson, the self-styled external affairs minister of the NSCN-K, led the rebel team. “The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere and we are happy at the outcome. We, however, told the home ministry that the NSCN-K would sit for formal peace talks with the government only after negotiations with the other faction (NSCN led by Isak and Muivah) come to an end,” Singson said. The NSCN-K also proposed the name of Major General (Retd) D P Merchant as chairman of the cease-fire supervisory board. Gen Merchant was earlier inspector general of the Assam Rifles based in Nagaland.
“The home ministry team said our proposal for a new chairman would be taken up with the higher authorities and it is very likely Merchant would be the new government appointed head,” Mulatonu said. At present Lt Gen (retd) Ramesh Kulkarni is the chairman of the cease-fire supervisory board. “We have sought his (Mr Kulkarni’s) replacement as he openly supports and backs the NSCN-I-M,” Mulatonu said. The NSCN-K had entered into a cease-fire with New Delhi in 2001 although the two sides are yet to begin formal peace talks. The two NSCN factions are waging a bitter turf war for territorial supremacy in Nagaland since their split in 1988.
Transporters not to ply on NH-39 until threats are ended The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 23: A joint meeting of the civil society groups, transporters and transport agencies of the state held today at the Manipur Press Club has resolved not to ply vehicles along national highway - 39 till those creating trouble along the highway give assurance that no disturbances would be created along the highway. Before the decision was taken, the meeting discussed minutely about hardships and difficulties being faced by commuters and transporters along national highways, particularly along NH-39 in the wake as well as aftermath of the ANSAM economic blockade and threat of a particular underground group to collect huge ‘taxes’ arrears from each and every truck plying along the highway. The meeting was held under joint initiative of HERICOUN, IPSA and UPF and it was also resolved during the meeting that any transporter violating the decision would have to be responsible themselves for any untoward incident that happens to them. The meeting also decided to press upon the government to establish highway protection force as soon as possible and to provide effective protection in Nagaland sector of the NH-39 and reduction of entry check posts in Nagaland state.
In a bid to expedite the process development of the NH-53, the meeting also stressed the need for forming a voluntary monitoring cell so as to mount pressure on concern authorities and government to construction of the road. It was also agreed that the Manipur government be pressurised to deploy security along NH-53 perform their duties and responsibilities sincerely.

Further, it was also resolved that transporters coming from outside into Manipur be appealed to enter into the state through NH-53 and return back by the same route. Rs 4 lakhs looted: In another development, money in cash amounting to about Rs. 4 lakhs was looted by some gunmen from six passenger vehicles plying along the Imphal Moreh section of the national highway 39 at Leingangpokpi area some three kilometers from Tengnoupal police station towards Moreh, a report said. The report said that out of the six vehicles four were moving towards Moreh from Imphal and the remaining two were coming back to Imphal from Moreh. The looting took place reportedly between 9 am and 10 am. The four vehicles, all tata sumos going towards Moreh, were intercepted by the miscreants who forced the passengers to come out of the vehicles first and then took all the money in their possession. The gunmen even did a body search on the passengers and took whatever money they were carrying. The miscreants searched the vehicles also for any money left there. Out of the four ill-fated vehicles the registration numbers of three have been confirmed so far. The numbers are MN-0K/ 4814, MN-01/ 5136 and MN-01 5514. After taking all the money the miscreants let the vehicles go, the report added. The report also said that while the four vehicles were being looted by the miscreants, two vehicles, one passenger bus and one Maruti van also arrived and the passengers of these vehicles were also looted. According to the victims of the two vehicles, the amount collected from them was estimated to be around Rs. 1 lakh.

Jessami land dispute erupts again, crops destroyed Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 23: The land dispute over Choka between Jessami village in Ukhrul district and Zephoro village in Melori sub-division of Phek district in Nagaland has erupted again. Chairman of Jessami village W Ayete informed the press that on July 19, around 100 Village Volunteer Guards of Zephori village raided the Choka land and destroyed the standing crops. The raiders were armed with daggers and arms, added the Chairman.

Standing crops like maize, banana and others were destroyed by the intruders, informed the Chairman and added that the loss incurred in the attack has been estimated at about Rs 1.3 lakhs. The land was cultivated by the inhabitants of the village which has 25 households, he added. Following the attack, the SDO/SDM of Chingai sub-division clamped prohibitory orders under CrPC 144 on July 22 at Jessami village, said the Chairman further.
No such type of restrictions was clamped in the Nagaland village, he alleged and added that the people of Zephori village moved about freely. There is also an injunction to settle the matter peacefully an amicably. The dispute at the frontier area of Manipur and Nagaland, started as way back as I960, said sources. However Choka land has been under the ownership of Jessami all these years, said sources and added that Zephori villagers at the instigation of neighbouring villages of Nagaland have been intruding into this territory since 2000.

The matter has been apprised to Chingai AC MLA A Aza, said sources. The MLA assured the village Chairman that the matter would be taken to the Chief Minister of Manipur to do the needful. Villagers of Jessami have expressed unhappiness over the conduct of the DC in handling the matter and added though the DC has been repeatedly apprised of the situation; the district administration has done precious little to settle the issue.
Centre, NSCN-Khaplang hold talks Kuknalim.com
NEW DELHI, Aug 23: Indian officials and rebel Naga leaders have held talks to preserve a four-year ceasefire. The talks, held late on Monday were the first formal dialogue between the government and the NSCN-K which has observed a truce with Indian forces since 2001.
"They discussed the ceasefire and how to continue talks," an Indian home ministry official said. "The Nagas had some demands about the ceasefire monitoring group and they will be examined."

The two sides would meet again but no dates were set, he added. The Naga rebellion is India's oldest insurgency, and security analysts say peace with the Nagas is crucial to a broader peace in the northeast -- seven states connected to the rest of India by a thin strip of land and home to dozens of insurgent groups. The Khaplang faction of the NSCN is the second most powerful separatist group in Nagaland. A more powerful group, the NSCN (Issac-Muivah) has held repeated talks with the Indian government since it started a ceasefire in 1997.

But there has been little progress over the rebels' central demands -- the unification of Naga-dominated areas in northeast India and ultimately independence. Both NSCN factions, which split in the late 1980s, have thousands of fighters, and raise money mainly through "taxes".
More than 20,000 people have died in the over five-decades-old Naga insurgency.

Bureaucratic reshuffle Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Aug 23: Within a span of four days, Nagaland government has ordered for the second bureaucratic reshuffle transferring and posting a dozen of junior bureaucrats.
According to a notification here on Tuesday Kevekha Mero, Sub-divisional officer, Jalukie, was posted in the same rank at Chizami, while H Singson, SDO Chizami, has been posted as under secretary Cooperation.Mr Avinash Champawat has been posted as SDO Jalukie, Mr C N J Haokip, Under Secretary Finance was posted as Under Secretary Home, while Kovi Meyase, EAC Niuland, has been posted as EAC Zunheboto. Mr Kevekha Kevin Zehol, SDO Kiphire will hold additional charges of SDO Pungro and EAC Kiusam.Mr T Kilemla, Under Secretary Fisheries, has been promoted and retained in the same department, while Dhiren Difoe Under Secretary, Law and Justice, has been posted as under secretary of land resources.
Delhi okays separate truce cell for NSCN-K
‘No more military ops near designated camps’ By Wasbir Hussain
GUWAHATI, Aug 23: The NSCN(K) today said that the Centre has agreed to concede its demand for a separate ceasefire cell to monitor the truce between the two sides and that New Delhi was likely to appoint a retired Major General as its chairman. "The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has agreed to our demand for a separate truce monitoring cell to oversee the ceasefire between our group and the Government. We have proposed the name of Maj Gen (retd) D.P. Merchant, who was Inspector General of the Assam Rifles in Nagaland," NSCN(K) ‘finance minister’ K. Mulatonu told this writer. The Centre, he said, has also agreed not to conduct
any counter-insurgency operations near the designated camps of the NSCN(K). This move is seen as a modification of the ceasefire ground rules between the two sides. "Putting a halt to military operations near the designated camps of our group was one of the main changes that we had proposed to the Government of India during our meeting in New Delhi yesterday. The authorities have accepted this proposal and have said that no security operation would be carried out close to our camps," Mulatonu, who is also a member of the group’s ceasefire cell, said. The meeting in New Delhi, the first since the truce was extended for yet another year on April 28, was headed by Anil Choudhury, Secretary, Internal Security, in the MHA, on behalf of the Centre. NSCN(K) ‘external affairs minister’ C. Singson headed the three-member NSCN(K) delegation. Mulatonu was also in the NSCN(K) team. The NSCN(K) had been extremely bitter about the Ceasefire Monitoring Committee that is currently in place. "We want the ceasefire ground rules to be modified. More importantly, we want a separating chairman to look after the truce matters involving our group because Gen Kulkarni is openly favouring the NSCN(IM). Let him continue to head the truce cell and look after the NSCN(IM) matters, but we must have a separate chairperson," Mulatonu had told this writer last week. "The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and we are happy at the outcome. Both sides agreed to abide by the terms of the truce and not to disturb each other," Mulatonu said.
IM rubbishes K's charges
Dimapur, August 22 (NNN): The NSCN-IM has outrightly rejected the allegations levelled against it by the Zeliangrong Region NSCN (K). NSCN-IM's Zeliangrong Region CAO MK Winning in a statement alleged that Dinkachin was killed in cold blood on August 21 at 1.43 pm near Bungte Chiru village under Bishnupur district by pumping in eight bullets on the head. Winning fumed at the NSCN-K's contention that Dinkachin was killed on August 20 saying that Dinkachin was picked up by the Khaplang group at 2 am on August 20 and was executed the next day. The Khaplang group had gone to the press to highlight the killing of Dinkachin before the actual execution, stated MK Winning and added that he (MK Winning) had never requested or threatened the abductors of Dinkachin.

The CAO's statement questioned the wisdom and agenda of the NSCN-K and observed that the charges levelled at the NSCN-IM CAO by the K group linking him with the newly floated Zeliangrong Revolutionary National Front (ZRNF), were nothing but baseless and unfounded.
Winning further asked "Why the Khaplang group is training its gun on me which is not a profitable task," and then said that the spokesman of the misguided Khaplang group who had been giving suicidal press-notes all these days to the press should come and face the CAO, Zeliangrong Region of the NSCN-IM without any condition. The statement then urged the people "not to fall prey to any divisive forces such as Felix alias Mairiliangbou of Lamlaba village".

The NSCN-IM appealed to all "national workers, Zeliangrong Region to uphold and safeguard the Naga National principle in the face of distress and adversity-'Prepare for the worst and expect for the best'" and then called upon the National workers to reaffirm the Naga national stands by giving their best and the last drop of their blood. The Zeliangrong Region, NSCN-IM fully support the ongoing peace process, said the statement. Meanwhile, NSCN-IM, Zeliangrong Region, has organised a condolence programme to mourn the demise of its Leacy member Dinkachin killed by the NSCN-K under Bishnupur district. In a release, MK Winning, CAO, Zeliangrong Region of the NSCN-IM while condemning the killing of Dinkachin, has termed the action of the NSCN-K, Zeliangrong Region as a dastardly act. It said that the CAO and workers of the outfit observed a five minutes silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul at the residence of the outfit's deputy kilonser Akhuan. The IM statement further described Dinkachin as a faithful servant of the Naga "nation" with no records of malicious activities that may be regarded "anti-national". The release then said that "the Khaplang group had committed gruesome crime upon Dinkachin after he had fallen into the cruel hands of the Khaplang group". [The Sangai Express]
Nagaland drags feet on bill OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, Aug. 22: The Nagaland government has put on the back-burner the mandatory constitutional requirement of reserving 33 per cent seats for women in municipal bodies. The Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government failed to table the Amendment to the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001, under which elections to municipal bodies were held this year. Elections to 16 town councils and two municipal councils were held in Nagaland this year. Over three days of Assembly proceedings that concluded yesterday, no Amendment was laid on the table though the issue was taken up. The Opposition Congress raised the issue of the allegedly illegal election of a new town council chairman for Chumukedima but remained silent on the apparent illegality of all municipal bodies in Nagaland. Governor Shyamal Datta, in a message on July 21, said the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Bill, 2005 did not address a major lacuna in the parent legislation, “in that it fails to make provision for reservation of seats for women”.
Article 243-T of the Constitution makes it mandatory to incorporate the provision of reserving for women not less than one-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every municipality. The state’s Act, on the other hand, provides for only a single woman representative. Noting that municipalities should function better with a fair representation of women, the governor had returned the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Bill, 2005 last month. The parent legislation, now proved faulty, provides for one government-nominated member for every five elected members. The DAN government increased the number of nominated members to one for every three elected members. The government also provided voting rights to nominated members, violating Article 243-R of the Constitution. Congress leaders skirted the issue even as the government apparently wants the present system to continue. Observers say if a court is to take suo motu notice of the issue, elected local bodies may be struck down as illegal. A government official said legal opinion was being sought on the issue.
Trucks to stop plying on NH-39 Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 23: With ANSAM threatening to re-impose the economic blockade any day now, a number of civil societies including UPF, HERICOUN and IPSA and different transporter organisations and drivers union have decided not to ply on NH-39. A joint statement issued by the three civil societies said that trucks will stay off NH 39 until and unless a standing assurance is given that the vehicles will not be targeted and the heavy extortion racket run by an underground outfit along the route is stopped. This decision was taken during a meeting held at the premises of Manipur Press Club today morning, said the statement. Significantly even as the decision to stop plying on NH-39 was taken, the 36 BRTF has started the process of strengthening NH-53.

This comes close on the heels of Union Home Secretary VK Duggal instructing the BRTF to make NH-53 fit for vehicular movement. A task force has been formed to look after the maintenance and repairing work and the force will look after the Jiribam to Barak stretch of the said route. Preparatory works for strengthening NH-53, including recruitment of local labourers have started, informed the CO of 36 BRTF, Mahesh Prasad while speaking to The Sangai Express today. Till date 500 workers from Manipur have been recommended and medical test for the final selection is on, he said adding that another 1500 labourers will be recruited.
On the bridges on the highway, the CO said that three Bailey bridges will be converted to RCC bridges (permanent) and added that construction work for the same will start by the end of this year. There are 26 bridges including Bailey and Hamilton types along this route, said the CO adding that all of them are in good condition.

The only hitch is that goods trucks should not weigh more than 15 tonnes to cross these bridges. On the road repairing and construction work, Mahesh Prasad said that jungle cutting has been completed and widening exercise of the road has crossed the 30 kms stretch, from the Jiribam side. Once the road widening task is completed, black topping of the road will be taken up. Earlier other resolutions adopted at the meeting include asking transport agencies located outside Manipur not to send in any vehicles through NH-39 but to instead take the NH-53 route in future. Any driver or transporter violating the agreed resolutions should be held responsible for any untoward incident, said the statement. The meeting also resolved to exert the necessary pressure on the Centre, State Government and authorities of Indian Oil Corporation and others to build infrastructure so that the essential commodities may be lifted from an alternative site.

Infrastructure should be installed on a priority basis with an eye on the future, added the statement. To ensure protection of drivers on the highways, the meeting resolved to approach the authority to deploy highway protection force, especially on the NH-39 stretch that passes through Nagaland. The number of check posts within Nagaland should also be kept at the minimum, added the statement. To ensure the speedy development of NH-53 to provide it a viable alternative, a Voluntary Monitoring Cell should be set up to routinely check the work progress, mooted the organisations and resolved to exert the necessary pressure on the authority concerned to fructify this. The meeting also resolved to urge the Centre and the State Government to add more items on the Indo-Myanmar Trade Agreement and to allow bringing in the goods freely. Security forces deployed on NH-53 should be made to work sincerely to ensure the security of the vehicles passing through this route, resolved the meeting, further. The organisations also appealed to all transporters not to take the NH-39 route.

Factions fracture Naga dream of freedom from India August 16, 2005 Turkish weekly
By Simon Denyer

KOHIMA, India (Reuters) - Shoukrie says his customers' complain when he has to hike the prices in his small general store in the hill town of Kohima, capital of the Indian state of Nagaland. But, he explains, he has no choice. Rebel "taxes" are simply too high. And if it was not bad enough, there are three factions who each come demanding money.
"We cannot survive like this," says Shoukrie, who like many in Nagaland goes by one name. "Yes, we still believe in independence, but that hope is too far away now." "The situation of Nagaland is becoming a joke. As long as there are so many factions there is no hope of independence or sovereignty."
Here in the remote northeast of India, rebels from the Christian hill tribes of Nagaland fought a fierce insurgency against Indian rule for five decades, until a cease-fire in 1997.

But the Indian government and the Nagas, who are the most powerful of the dozens of rebel groups in the northeast, appear no closer to a resolution of the conflict, which security experts say could open the door to peace in the entire region. Within the Nagas, power struggles and personal rivalries have split the movement. All three factions are observing the cease-fire with the government, but not always with each other. Rebels themselves admit fellow cadres have not always behaved well, throwing their weight around, behaving as if their guns made them something special.
"FIGHTING FOR MONEY"
It all reinforces the impression many rebel cadres "are not fighting for the cause of the Nagas, they are fighting for money", in the words of Lhulie Mayse, a farmer in the small hill-top village of Khonoma. Today, only the main faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland is taking part in peace talks with the Indian government -- so far with little to show for it. Their patience is wearing thin, and they extended the cease-fire on July 31 for just six months, instead of a year. Ordinary Nagas worry the whole process is meaningless without unity, or could even be dangerous.
"It is no use having peace with just one group," said Mayse. "One group will smile, the other group will keep crying."
Before the British arrived in these thickly forested hills the Nagas were headhunters, divided into 32 constantly warring tribes who still speak different languages.
Christianity brought by American Baptist missionaries gradually brought headhunting to an end -- although some villages still keep the skulls of their former enemies. The church today is a major factor forging a sense of Naga unity in a Hindu-dominated country. But those tribal fault lines have not disappeared, and find expression in the rebel factions. Some ordinary Nagas fear fratricidal conflict is not far away, especially if one group of tribes feels excluded from any peace accord. "Reconciliation between Nagas is the only way to reduce this problem to a manageable size," said one Naga intellectual, who declined to be named because of rebel threats in the past. "The effort has to be born here."
Reuters via swissinfo

Outraged Sora womenfolk block NH-39 over killing The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 23: Outraged over the killing of a youth by shooting and injuring of another at both his hands late last night at Sora Chingya by some unidentified gunmen, the residents of Sora, mostly womenfolk, turned out this morning and blocked the NH-39 for sometime disturbing the movement of traffic on this route. However, the distrubance ended when the Kakching police arrived there and dispersed the people. As no hard resistance came from the people there were no any untoward incidents, a report said. Out of the two persons shot at by the miscreants one identified as Feroz Khan, 34, son of Kadir Khan succumbed at the spot and the other identified as Nazir Khan, 28, son of Azir Khan who was shot at both hands was evacuated to RIMS hospital. Both victims hail from Sora village under Kakching police station. According to the injured person at RIMS, he along with the deceased were abducted by the gunmen from their respective homes and shot at Sora Chingya.

Police suspected the underground group PULF to be behind the shooting incident presumably in connection with the traffiking and use of no. 4 heroin. In another development, the Kuki Students Organisation, Chandel district, and Kuki Chiefs Association, Chandel district, have strongly condemned the brutal killing of L Henpao Haokip, of H Kotlenphai village, Pallel, by unknown persons last night. The KSO and KCA, in a joint statement appealed to the concerned organisations and individuals not to repeat such inhuman acts upon public and social workers. The joint statement also made an appeal in in the name of humanity against awarding capital punishments, calling for serving of stern warnings or awarding of other forms of punishment. It also urged those responsible to clarify the reasons behind the killing at the earliest possible time for the sake of justice.
Indian Army well-equipped to guard Arunachal sector From Anujata D Talukdar
TAWANG, Aug 23 – When the Chinese overran a large piece of territory in the then NEFA (Arunachal Pradesh) in the 1962 war, the defeat of the Indian forces was attributed to lack of preparedness as well as the appalling lack of proper equipment with the forces deployed there. It is said that the Indian soldiers were not even equipped with warm clothing to face up to the invading forces as well as the extreme cold weather. Some four decades later, there is a sea change in the situation. The Indian Army is on a modernisation overdrive in the Arunachal Pradesh sector with the best and latest equipment being made available right up to the forward positions in this strategic area. Gone are the days when the soldiers lacked proper food, equipment and shelter. Today, they are being housed in modern shelters where the elements are kept at bay. Regular helicopter sorties from places like Tawang supply the troops located in distant posts with the necessary ammunition, food, fuel, medicines, newspapers and magazines, and even their mail.The most visible sign of the changing face of the Indian Army is the polyurethene foam (PUF) shelters that are replacing the structures made of CI sheets. Imported from Israel, the PUF shelters are low cost and extremely light. The structure is erected with PUF panels that come with windows and doors to allow circulation.

“The panels are light enough to be carried by the men along with their other equipment,” said Maj RS Bhandari of the Tawang-based Korea Brigade. The PUF shelters are being set up in the forward camps in the far-flung areas of the sector as well, he said. About 15 such shelters have already been erected, he informed. Apart from its durability and easy maintenance, where the PUF shelters beat the CI sheet structures hands down is in comfort level. In the cold and windy locations, the PUF shelters provide the soldiers with the maximum possible comfort. Its insulation helps to keep the shelters warm and dry. The PUF shelters are ready for occupation in two days.

The Indian Army is also on an overdrive to network the entire sector, from Tezpur to Tawang and beyond, with optic fibre cables to improve telecommunications. “We are spending Rs 7 crore in this sector to connect all forward posts with optic fibre cables to improve communications,” said Lt Col Narendra Singh, the public relations officer (PRO) of the Tezpur-based 4 Corps. The new lines would ensure reliable communications between all defence units in the area, from the headquarters right up to the forward posts. It would also minimise disruptions due to weather and geographical conditions. It may be mentioned that similar optic fibre cable networks are being installed by the Army on the western frontier also.
The basis of territorial integrity and history: a quest for justice in retrospection Achan Ramsan (From the previous issue)
It appears the Nagas and the Meiteis see the world and history differently, interpret them differently and approach them differently so much so that their perspectives became incompatible. It is an irony that following the cease-fire agreement between the Indian government and the Nagas, pandemonium prevailed in the valley of Manipur fearing territorial disintegration, prompting the Meiteis to seek security in the embrace of the Indian constitution, even to the extend of demanding constitutional amendment to safeguard the territory of Manipur, notwithstanding the fact that many Meitei insurgents are demanding secession from India. Not even one of them condemned such move, which in any secessionist parlance is nothing short of total surrender to India. This is highly damaging to the morale and image of the insurgents as outfits without any ideological stand. The overall interpretation is this: Total recapitulation and reenactment of the instrument of accession or merger agreement signed by their Maharajah Bodhachandra in 1949 in which Manipur surrendered and became part of India. A case of history repeating itself! The point is on what basis the Meitei insurgents are waging the war now, if they indirectly accepted the Indian Union or constitution by tacitly supporting the move made by the Meitei frontal organizations, since their insurgents don’t reject the embrace of the Indian Constitution either. One gets the impression that they are wrangling within the bound of the Indian constitution to achieve their aspiration. But the Nagas realized that within the bound of the Indian Constitution, they would and could never get accommodation to their aspiration and justice would never be done to their quest for freedom to develop the pristine glory of their past social, cultural and political heritage and translate them into the future. To the Nagas, the people come first. Where there are people, there are lands. The two are one unit of the same entity, inseparably linked. Unlike the difficulty of other community in defining their boundaries, which may wax and wane according to the fortune of their kings, the Nagas do not have such problem. The territory of the Nagas consists of a well-defined boundary with each and every village having their own land and landmarks.
Thus, where there are Nagas, there is land as clear as the sky is from the earth. So often, there ensued war when intrusion happened. The occupation of the Naga territory by both the British and the Indian forces have diluted and downplayed the importance, significance and the relevance of such historic ancestral landmarks, bringing in its wake the present imbroglio, which is, but a brainchild of their adventurism. It is unfortunate and a mockery of justice that someone who had never planted a grain of seed in the land of the Nagas would claim it as his own. True, the Maharajah would extort taxes from some of the hills villages against their wishes and much to their chagrin. In this connection, occupation of the hills would be an incorrect term because no forces of the Maharajah were ever stationed in the Naga hill in the way of administration but military expeditions were carried out to extort taxes and exploit plunder. And efforts to extort taxes were with a threat to carry out punitive expedition for failure of compliance. Caste and class system being very much prevalent in the Meitei society, the Hillman were very much looked down during those time. As such the present move of the Meitei for territorial integrity is seen as perpetuation of their hegemony tentacles through sanction of the Indian government. But this in no way legitimized the claim of the Meiteis that the hills belonged to them. For that matter would the land of the Meiteis became a part of England just because they were conquered by the British and paid tribute to them? Let us not forget that once the valley of the present state of Manipur was devastated by the Burmese and laid desolate for 7 years (1819-1825) and given shelter by the hill tribes. The two different poles of fatal departure without any meeting ground between the two communities entailing drastic consequences seem to hinge on two different lines of thoughts -- of perception, approach and practice. The Meiteis advocate the irrevocability and inviolability of the state, and uphold the supremacy and sovereignty of the state without first considering the interest of the people. This perhaps, explains why no frontal organizations of the hills were ever consulted on the territorial issue but instead staged a mass rally unilaterally just after the declaration of the ceasefire in 1997. However, to the Nagas the people take precedence for any issue pertaining to union and there could be no sovereignty of the state unless endorsed by the people themselves. After all, the consent of the Nagas was not exercised in the creation of the state of Manipur, therefore declaring the union of the state as illegitimate, null and void.
To the Nagas, the very creation and existence of the state of Manipur has been perceived as an instrument of suppression of their rights and insult to their dignity. A case in point is the various documents and memoranda submitted to the center for reverting back the tribal land into a union territory or listings in the 6th schedule through the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM). But it was said the Nagas kept the movement in abeyance after becoming hopeful of the positive outcome of the talk between the Indian government and the NSCN (IM). The history of mankind is the struggle against oppression and suppression, subjugation and exploitation of one group of people by another. The rise and fall of a nation is dictated by the assertion of the peoples’ rights to secure social justice and equality in exercise of one’s conscience in pursuit of his/her aspiration. No force on earth is strong enough to bind and suppress the dynamic force of such pursuit of justice forever, because the unyielding spirit of man’s quest for freedom when sustained by justice defies all boundaries and barriers created by man. Otherwise any movement not propelled by a strong and legitimate reason fades away in due course of time. Transcending linguistic differences, cultural barriers, bondage of tribalism and the trap of parochialism, the Nagas today have emerged from the cocoon of their narrow shell to gel into one great family within a well defined parameter of unity of meaning and purpose to weave that common dream of building a nation despite all their differences and despite the bitter rancour of the past smeared with blood. Therefore a consensus union based on mutual benefit and interest, well qualified to live together as one people, ready to mend fences and end fights. This means recognizing and admitting the faults and wrongs in the way of reconciliation, which is to be followed up by amends, thereby paving the process of healing, so that the entire authority and the final freedom of choice is the sole discretion of the victim either to accept or to reject and part ways.
Otherwise forgiveness or friendship for that matter cannot be forced nor forged through a one liner. It takes a lifetime to interpret a word into action, a lifetime of devotion for trust to build up nurtured by the water of honesty and sincerity. The Nagas have long been victim of history be it in the hands of the Meitei, the Kukis, the British or the Indians. Naga villages today bears testimony to this and tell tales of the ruthless intrusion of their lands by such well organized overwhelming external forces beyond them to counter and who controlled their land for a considerable period of time in the form of exorbitant taxes and hostage of their women as ransom in a very desultory manner. All this insult of dignity they have borne taking them as a short passing phase of alien life, but hoping against hope for a better world in which their way of life would find and gain legitimacy in the world and would be left alone without trying to adopt a new way of life in order to adapt to the situation. And all this for their fierce love of freedom and independence, allegiance to their village, clan and family alone, nothing more and nothing less, rejecting any sort of federation or union beyond the village and the village system. They have paid the price dearly for their stubborn act of isolation. Now today, should they not be given a chance to unite? Or is it too high a price to ask for?
The world has come of age to be fooled by any dominant group to rule and dictate over the lesser. The age for empire to shrink or swell based on social justice is here to stay. The integration of Germany, disintegration of USSR and independence of East Timor are a few instances. This indeed is social justice. And social justice only becomes a reality when the aspiration of the people is realized. Let the Naga people too decide their own destiny and give them a chance to shape their own future.
Declare HIV-AIDS a crisis Subir Roy / New Delhi Subir Roy: sub@business-standard.com Indians who take pride in the country being one of the largest producers of so many things from milk to engineers, must wake up to the fact that it has the second-highest number of AIDS- and HIV-affected people. And as this is going up every year by half a million, the first place will most likely come its way soon. There are two particularly disturbing aspects about the prevalence of HIV-AIDS in the country. One, it is most rampant in some of the most prosperous and otherwise successful states in the country like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as also three small north eastern states like Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland These account for 80 per cent of all the victims in the country. As the health status south of the Vindyas is ahead of the rest of the country, the HIV-AIDS epidemic has the deadly potential of striking where national human development has fared the best. The future is more forbidding than the past because the yearly level of fresh infections is not going down, as it has been even in a country like Cambodia
In India now the disease has spread from specific high-risk groups to the population in general and from urban areas increasingly into the countryside. In the states mentioned, the level of HIV infection among women attending pre-natal care centres has crossed 1 per cent.
If India is to remain economically resurgent it will have to recognise that it has an HIV-AIDS epidemic on its hands and fight it on the same footing. The Indian system has repeatedly been able to rise to the occasion during a crisis. While controlling and getting the better of the epidemic, there may well be a great spin-off benefit. The overall effort will most likely take the health care delivery system on to a higher level of capability and effectivenessHIV-AIDS has to be fought not at the national level but at the micro level of dialects and in economically backward pockets, where the message of awareness, prevention and lifestyle changes has to be reachedSo much more than a national government directed project, a grassroots campaign by volunteers is essential. The sheer ignorance and prejudice even among public health care providers, going right up to the heads of institutions, when it comes to treating HIV-AIDS patients, makes this a task that has to be critically energised by volunteers who care and are committed. Other than telling poor people in their own language how to keep away from the disease, the prevention campaign has to concentrate on three specific groups—migrant workers, truck drivers and sex workers. Migrant workers who move for work to areas where they do not know the local language nor have roots or family, turn to sex workers and don’t have the right help to turn to when afflicted. And when they are back home they run the risk of passing on an acquired infection to their wives and future children. According to one statistic, 87 per cent of truck drivers go for frequent and indiscriminate sex but only 11 per cent of them use condoms. Both for them and sex workers, campaigning to make use of condoms a habit remains the only effective means of prevention. The one good news in this regard is the success that voluntary groups have had in Kolkata’s main red light district in raising the use of condoms.
At the organised level, increasingly larger numbers of people have to be screened to detect the HIV positive. Detection till now mostly takes place when patients admitted for surgery are screened without their knowledge. And of course those detected positive are promptly thrown out. The public healthcare system, which will have to fight most of the HIV-AIDS battle, has the biggest role to play in treating the infected. The bad news is that there is no sign yet of an AIDS vaccine but the good news is that with the advent of anti-retroviral drugs, AIDS symptoms can be kept at bay and it is possible to lead healthy lives, turning the deadly scourge into a “remediable adversity”.
But to administer these drugs, mostly free to poor people, you need a health service that works and enough government funding. Neither of them is available in India. This is not for want of a successful model, and that too in a developing country. Brazil has led an exemplary fight against HIV-AIDS so that it has reduced the level of infection to less than half of what was earlier projected.
It has achieved this by not being squeamish in publicly dealing with the subject; handed out condoms, syringes and needles freely; educated sex workers; treated victims freely; effectively fought drug majors and managed to buy generic versions of those drugs cheaply; and spent a massive $1.8 billion on them over six years. India’s tragedy is that Indian companies manufacture a lot of those drugs! But India has neither the mechanism nor the funding to give the same medicine to its own victims.

Heritage Dimasa Kingdom in Barak Valley From Partha Sarkar
SILCHAR, Aug 23– Khaspur, the land of Dimasa Kingdom, just 25 kilometre away from the city, is a remarkable place. It has now become a tourist place as well as picnic spot for the people of Barak Valley. The Dimasas came here as a ‘Royal Group’ led by a king. That was a phenomenon unknown to the other tribal groups of the district. But due to the continuous opposition of the Kachari kings, they took a further western route to migration and got settled in the Jaintia territories. There still exist a few buildings, which the Dimasa kings erected in Khaspur. They are all brick structures mixed with lime and brick powder used to join the bricks. Most of them are still standing in the palace compound, which is now the market place of the ‘Patimara’ near Thaligram Tea Estate. Each of them covers a rectangular plinth area resembling the shape of thatched roofs from front and back. Then there is the ‘main’ ‘or lion’ on whose top stood a stone image of a lion which is now lying on the ground.

There are temples which are still standing erect but in a some what dilapidated condition. A temple is situated about walk from the market place and the ruins of a two-storied building lie near it. There is also a brick-built roofed platform, which have pictures on the roofs but there are no walls. It is situated on the side of the Mathura and is called ‘Snan (Bath) mandil’. The area sar is arounded by Dimasa village which is homogenous in the sense that no person belonging to another tribe is allowed to purchase lands or settle down in that village. The concept of the ‘one-village one tribe’ is more or less a perfect reality in the district. The entire village is run by local self-government. The provision of the Sixth Schedule had given the Dimasas a political institution, which attracts the attention of the budding politicians to the hills and village administration is now under ‘Gaonbura’. The Dimasas being Hindus, their co-habitation with the Bengali Hindu is possible.

The entire Kingdom has been taken up the Archaeological Survey of India recently. There are two projects running in this area. One is the annual maintenance and another one is repair works. Under the project of annual maintenance, the department has already started constructing the boundary wall to protect the monuments. In the repair works, they are giving chemical wash i.e. tepee to the monuments. Nikhil Das, conservation assistant, said that the department has taken up the area seriously to protect the monuments and they are doing research.Briefing newsmen, Kalita, Tourist Information Officer, Cachar stated that the Dimasa Kingdom can become a picnic spot, but it cannot be considered as a tourist spot. So, the Tourism Department of Assam has not taken it seriously. According him there has been no queries about this area expect one or two, although a small park has been made by this Tourism Dept for picnickers.

Frans on 08.24.05 @ 01:39 PM CST [link]


Tuesday, August 23rd

Q&A: 'Nagas were never part of India'


Q&A: 'Nagas were never part of India' Times of India
What is Naga Hoho?
Formed in 1998, it is a cultural organisation that is the only common platform of different Naga tribes — 15 each from Nagaland and Manipur and three from Arunachal Pradesh. Each of them sends two representatives on the Hoho that has 16 executive council members elected on a three-year term. Six tribes of Tuensang district of Nagaland and the Konyaks have kept away, but we represent their aspirations as well. What are Hoho’s relations with the two factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) and how does it view their differences that often take violent form?
The NSCN (Isaac-Muivah) and the NSCN (Khaplang) represent the same cause. While Hoho is the umbrella organisation, they are the political arms. Hoho’s orders are not binding on the two. But we do try to intervene when violence between the two exceeds limits. We have succeeded to some extent. Our role is to see that the Nagas of all tribes articulate their views and express them without fear.
The NSCN split mainly because of personal rivalry among its leaders. S S Khaplang, himself a Heimi Naga and Myanmarese, represents the Burmese Nagas, although he has support in Nagaland too. It is really difficult to assess their relative strength. But roughly, it is 60:40 with NSCN(I-M) being the stronger one. Although we tried to reconcile their differences, we have not succeeded. However, violence is much less now. Earlier, they would shoot at sight. Now it erupts only when there is encroachment of turf. I tra-velled to Myanmar in 1999 and met Khaplang. He told me that if Isaac (Chishi Swu) and (Thuinglang) Muivah can bring peace and justice to the Naga people, he would support them.
How do you view the peace process?
There have been positive developments in the last eight years. Our ultimate demand for sovereignty and independence remains, even though it is misunderstood as being secessionist. But Nagas were never part of India. Integration of territory that Nagas inhabit becomes our first target. I would say the peace process is slow; it should be more proactive. There is repetition since a new team of people is talking to us. That it is headed by three Union ministers is a positive sign since, after all, the settlement has to be a political one, acceptable to all parties in Parliament.
India, Naga rebels hold talks to preserve ceasefire 23 Aug 2005 04:45:39 GMT Reuters
Source: Reuters NEW DELHI, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Indian officials and Christian separatists from the remote state of Nagaland have held talks to preserve a four-year ceasefire and resolve a deades-old revolt, seen as the key to peace in the country's turbulent northeast.
The talks, held late on Monday, were the first formal dialogue between the government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (S.S. Khaplang), which has observed a truce with Indian forces since 2001. "They discussed the ceasefire and how to continue talks," an Indian home ministry official told Reuters. "The Nagas had some demands about the ceasefire monitoring group and they will be examined."
The two sides would meet again but no dates were set, he added. The Naga tribal rebellion is India's oldest insurgency, and security analysts say peace with the Nagas is crucial to a broader peace in the northeast -- seven states connected to the rest of India by a thin strip of land and home to dozens of insurgent groups. The Khaplang faction of the NSCN is the second most powerful separatist group in Nagaland, a mainly Christian state of two million people on India's far eastern border with Myanmar.
A more powerful group, the NSCN (Issac-Muivah) has held repeated talks with the Indian government since it started a ceasefire in 1997. But there has been little progress over the rebels' central demands -- the unification of Naga-dominated areas in northeast India and ultimately independence.
Both NSCN factions, which split in the late 1980s, have thousands of fighters, and raise money mainly through "taxes". More than 20,000 people have died in the over five-decades-old Naga insurgency. (Additional reporting by Biswajyoti Das in Guwahati)
Slender was the thread at Naga talks Swati Chaturvedi
Ceasefire extension wasn’t easy A TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE New Delhi, August 22
The prolonged Amsterdam talks, which have just ended were a nerve-wracking exercise over the extension of the ceasefire in Nagaland. The talks remained hanging by a slender thread. With Mr T.H. Muivah, chief of the NSCN, proving to be recalcitrant at the talks between the government and the NSCN in the Dutch city, the government was forced to hold out the threat of breaking off negotiations and calling off the ceasefire. Mr Muivah initially offered to extend the ceasefire only by a month. The government team, however, retorted by asking whether the NSCN(I/M) was joking, according to reliable sources here. The two-member team of negotiators was led by the interlocutor K. Padmanabhiah. Also available on the sidelines was an undeclared and political emissary, the Union Minister, Mr Oscar Fernandes, who was present in Amsterdam at the behest of the Nagas but who did not join in the negotiations. Mr Fernandes went to Amsterdam on some vague official pretext but, was actually there to back up the government team.
Sources revealed that with the Nagas hanging tough after marathon meetings, which on an average lasted six hours, the wires between the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Amsterdam remained live. The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the National Security Adviser, Mr M.K. Narayanan, were at times had to keep awake at night while the negotiations were on. Sources said that the team in Amsterdam was all for calling off the ceasefire. The NSCN(I/M) was upset with the Manipur Government decision to celebrate a “Unity Day’’. Mr Muivah told the government negotiators that there was no point in carrying on and he would have to consult his cadre as well as the Naga Ho-Ho (a Naga consultative body) if further talks were to continue.
With Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh continuing to remain problematical and with the growing Naxal menace, Mr Narayayan was learnt to have directed the team that the seven-year ceasefire must be extended. With this brief the government team went back to the negotiations. This time Mr Muivah offered a three-month extension. Sources said Mr Padmanabhiah, a former Home Secretary, then lost his cool and asked the NSCN not to link the extension of ceasefire with the Mainpur question. Mr Muivah finally relented and offered six months beyond which, he said, he would not budge. The government team wanted a year. Eventually after burning plenty of midnight oil a six-month extension with the provisions for “further extension after mutual negotiations’’, was agreed to. Having secured the extension which ensures peace in the North-Eastern state, the government has to put together a serious package to placate the NSCN.
As reported earlier by The Tribune the eventual package is likely to be a “Kashmir-type settlement’’. Mr Muivah and his top leadership are expected to come to India in a couple of months for what could hopefully be a “breakthrough round of negotiations’’ but, sources said “now it can be told that that peace in the North-East was hanging by a rapidly fraying thread.’’
The ceasefire, held for seven years by now, has been brought about by several rounds of negotiations, some of them as many as eight to nine a year. NSCN leaders Muivah and Issac Chisi Swu have been mostly living abroad, their coming to India for negotiations is regarded important as talks with them might bring about a breakthrough eventually. The actual solution could be based on devolution of powers slightly more than those listed in the Kashmir settlement earlier. The Nagas have almost given up the demand for sovereignty, but in return are insisting that a greater Nagaland be created by including Naga-dominated areas from Manipur. This, however, remains a volatile issue in Manipur and it remains to be seen how the Centre and the NSCN (I/M) group will overcome this hurdle. The Correspondent, who is an anchor with SAB TV, regularly writes for The Tribune
Court hears blockade woes Manipur,
Delhi face notices for not stopping agitation New Delhi/ OUR BUREAU The Telegraph Imphal, Aug. 22: The Supreme Court today issued notices to Delhi and the Manipur government, seeking an explanation for their failure to prevent the 52-day highway blockade by a Naga student organisation. The court’s move was in response to a public interest litigation by Manipur resident Jibon Singh, who contended that the blockade was unconstitutional and impinged on the people’s fundamental rights. The notices, issued by a division bench consisting of Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and Justice C.K. Thakker, are returnable in eight weeks. Singh cited judgments of the apex court and a few high courts to drive home his argument that no individual or organisation has the right to “call or enforce a bandh that interferes with the exercise of the fundamental freedom of other citizens”. He contended that the blockade had caused “national loss in many ways”.
Describing the step taken by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur as “illegal, unconstitutional and uncalled for”, the petitioner said the blockade choked the state’s supply lines and led to people being denied food, fuel, clothes and life-saving medicines. He pleaded with the apex court to issue a directive to law-enforcing agencies across the country to prevent “economic blockades, bandhs, strikes and other similar actions by any individual through mobilisation of masses or organisation or any body or party or group to ensure the citizens’ right to work, trade and live with dignity”. In Manipur’s case, Singh’s petition said, the blockade by Naga students violated “Article 14 (right to equality), Article 19 (right to trade and commerce and free movement) and Article 21 (right to life)”. The blockade was launched on June 19 in protest against the Okram Ibobi Singh government’s decision to observe the anniversary of the violent uprising in the valley in 2001 as “state integrity day”. The uprising was against Delhi’s attempt to extend its ceasefire with the NSCN (I-M) beyond Nagaland and the Naga community saw the move to legitimise the agitation as a challenge to its goal for integration of all Naga-inhabited areas.
With the spectre of another Naga blockade looming large, Ibobi today said he was keen on fresh negotiations with representatives of the Naga student organisation. “We are trying hard to resume negotiations with the students as soon as possible,” Ibobi told the media after he gave away Rs 2 lakh as ex gratia to the parents of Leishichon Shaiza, the Ukhrul girl who was killed in Mumbai earlier this month. Ibobi’s statement, coming after a threat by the Naga students to resume their agitation, is seen as an attempt to pacify them.
NSCN (IM) condoles death of its cadre at Loktak The Imphal Free Press
Dimapur, Aug 22: The NSCN-IM, Zeliangrong Region, organised a condolence programme on the death of its member Dinkachin who has killed by the NSCN-K in Bishenpur district. The date of the killing is still under dispute as one group said that the NSCN-IM cadre was killed on August 20 while the other group said that it was on August 21 that Dinkachin was killed. In a release, MK Winning, CAO, Zeliangrong Region of the NSCN-IM while condemning the killing of Dinkachin, has termed the action of the NSCN-K, Zeliangrong Region as a dastardly act. It said that the CAO and workers of the outfit observed five minutes silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul at the residence of the outfit`s deputy kilonser Akhuan. In the condolence message, the NSCN-IM, Zeliangrong Region prayed that Dinkahin`s soul rest in peace.The message also consoled the bereaved family members of the deceased and prayed that the Almighty bless them. The message said that "may the merciful God bestow constant blessing and goodwill to the beloved of Dinkachin and that the Zeliangrong region shares the sorrow and grief of the beareaved family with uneasiness in our hearts."
It also stated that the sacrifices and services rendered by Dinkachin shall ever remain as a shining example to his fellow "comrades and his name will find a place in the revolutionary struggle of the Nagas which is a sacred cause." The mesage further stated that Dinkachin was a faithful servant of the Naga "nation" with no records of malicious activities that may be regarded "anti-national". The release then said that " the Khaplang gang had committed gruesome crime upon Dinkachin after he had fallen into the cruel hands of the Khaplang gang."
New Delhi agrees to no crackdowns near NSCN-K camps: new Kerala Kohima: The Indian government has agreed not to carry out security operations near designated camps of a tribal separatist group in the northeastern state of Nagaland, a rebel leader said Tuesday. A three-member team of rebel leaders belonging to the S.S. Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) held a crucial meeting with home ministry officials in New Delhi Monday to prepare ceasefire ground rules. "It was agreed that security forces would not conduct any operations near our designated camps in the future. It was one of the main changes in the ceasefire ground rules proposed by us," Kughalo Mulatonu, a senior NSCN-K leader who was part of the rebel team, told IANS over the phone from New Delhi. "In the past security forces often harassed our boys on the pretext of launching operations against other groups and so we sought some changes in the ground rules."
Secretary (Internal Security) Anil Choudhury led the home ministry delegation. C. Singson, the self-styled external affairs minister of the NSCN-K, led the rebel team. "The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere and we are happy at the outcome. We, however, told the home ministry that the NSCN-K would sit for formal peace talks with the government only after negotiations with the other faction (NSCN led by Isak and Muivah) come to an end," Singson said. The NSCN-K also proposed the name of Major General (Retd) D.P. Merchant as chairman of the Ceasefire Supervisory Board. Merchant was earlier inspector general of the Assam Rifles based in Nagaland.
"The home ministry team said our proposal for a new chairman would be taken up with the higher authorities and it is very likely Merchant would be the new government appointed head," Mulatonu said. At present Lt. Gen (retd) Ramesh Kulkarni is the chairman of the Ceasefire Supervisory Board. "We have sought his (Kulkarni's) replacement as he openly supports and backs the NSCN-IM," Mulatonu said. The NSCN-K had entered into a ceasefire with New Delhi in 2001 although the two sides are yet to begin formal peace talks.
The two NSCN factions are waging a bitter turf war for territorial supremacy in Nagaland since their split in 1988.
As for now, 'No reservation for women in Municipal bodies' Kuknalim.com KOHIMA, Aug 22: The Nagaland government has put on the back-burner the mandatory constitutional requirement of reserving 33 per cent seats for women in municipal bodies. The Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government failed to table the Amendment to the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001, under which elections to municipal bodies were held this year. Elections to 16 town councils and two municipal councils were held in Nagaland this year. Over three days of Assembly proceedings that concluded yesterday, no Amendment was laid on the table though the issue was taken up. The Opposition Congress raised the issue of the allegedly illegal election of a new town council chairman for Chumukedima but remained silent on the apparent illegality of all municipal bodies in Nagaland. Governor Shyamal Datta, in a message on July 21, said the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Bill, 2005 did not address a major lacuna in the parent legislation, “in that it fails to make provision for reservation of seats for women”.
Article 243-T of the Constitution makes it mandatory to incorporate the provision of reserving for women not less than one-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every municipality. The state’s Act, on the other hand, provides for only a single woman representative. Noting that municipalities should function better with a fair representation of women, the governor had returned the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Bill, 2005 last month. The parent legislation, now proved faulty, provides for one government-nominated member for every five elected members.

The DAN government increased the number of nominated members to one for every three elected members. The government also provided voting rights to nominated members, violating Article 243-R of the Constitution. Congress leaders skirted the issue even as the government apparently wants the present system to continue. Observers say if a court is to take suo motu notice of the issue, elected local bodies may be struck down as illegal. A government official said legal opinion was being sought on the issue.
Ibobi to hold talks with ANSAM, ZSF NET News Network
Imphal, Aug 22: Talk with the two warring groups of students including ANSAM and Zomi Students Federation with state government on their demand will be held very soon, most probably within two or three days from today. This was stated by chief minister O.Ibobi Singh at his office chamber today. Denying his recent tour to New Delhi as pressure call, the chief minister said he was never summoned by the central leaders for having talks with ANSAM, but it was a routine tour to call on UPA leaders on the present situation at the state. He further said, as the central leaders understand that ANSAM issue is a state subject, he will try to sort out things with ANSAM and ZSF. On the question of ANSAM venue stricture for talks, he said, “ Let us see where we can work out for an appropriate place”. It can be mentioned that, ANSAM has warned to re-impose economic blockades on highways and have asked transporters/agencies whose goods/materials have been confiscated by its supporters during the blockades are asked to collect the same from where they have confiscated within 6pm of August 24. This indication has been seen by many as the likely signal of re-imposition of blockades.
On the other hand the Zomi Students Federation (ZSF) have threatened the state government if condition agreed between ZSF and ministerial team are not fulfilled by August 24, then it will resume agitation much more aggressively than earlier from August 25. The conditions agreed were to stop arrest of ZSF volunteers, invitation from Chief Minister to solve the impasse and judicial probe in connection with August 9 and 19 incidents. Mentioned maybe made that ZSF had been on agitation demanding ex-gratia payment for 11 innocent villagers killed by security personnel and militants at different parts of Churachandpur district, better infrastructure and posting of adequate teachers in all educational institution and development of the district. Pressing their demand, The ZSF had burnt several vehicles including police and imposed bandhs but relent to relax once minister’s team assured to look into the matter.
Nagaland occupies 54,150 hectares of State’s forest land From Upen Dutta
GOLAGHAT, Aug 22– The people of Nagaland have so far occupied 54,150 hectares of forest lands of Assam it was revealed by the forest department sources. In the border areas of Doyang-Merapani within Golaghat district, the Neutral force (CRPF) has been allegedly working- against the non-Naga people. It becomes an open secret that in Merapani the Nagaland government virtually dominates the entire area of Merapani which is situated in the disputed area of Assam Nagaland border.In ‘d’ sector where Merapani is situated no borders magistrate is appointed till now to look after the border activities of the Assam government. The BDO of the Gomariguri block had been assigned duty as border magistrate as additional responsibility. After declaration of the disputed border area the farmers of the Doyang-Merapani area were deprived of getting permanent land pattas by the Assam government while on the other hand, the Nagaland government have started development works and gradually the Nagas were allegedly encouraged to encroach forest lands of Assam. Besides the forest lands of Assam– the lands under revenue department too had been occupied by the Nagaland government, it is alleged. It may be mentioned here that in a letter sent to K K Benugopal, senior advocate, Supreme Court, had mentioned the sources Memo No. BD 129/04/62A dated Dispur the 20th April, 2005. It may be pertinent to say that the NSCN are extending support to the people of Nagaland for inclusion of Merapani area in the greater Nagalim. The seed-farm with 375 hectares of land situated at Doyang belonged to Assam Government. But now the Nagaland government claimed it as their own area within Nagaland. Earlier the Assamese farmers of Doyang were using the seed farm as their cultivated land, but now they have to pay taxes to the Nagaland government. The Nagaland government had formulated several policies regarding the Assamese farmers following which the farmers were to compelled to sign an agreement with the government of Nagaland. Even the farmers of the disputed area have to pay against their products to the Nagaland government.
The people of Doyang under Golaghat LAC have been spending their days with fear psychosis it was expressed by the local people. The population of the whole area consisted of 112 villages, 11 gaon panchayats, and a population of about 1,30,000. But the people here are facing threat now due to lacks of security. Even the police and neutral forces have also failed to work properly. The law and order situation are been looked by the CRPF regularly, but in the name of neutral force they are favouring the Naga people living in Doyang-Merapani area it is alleged by the local people. The unsocial activities like looting taxes from the non-Naga people have been continuing. But the neutral force is doing nothing to stop it. In January 2004 the Nagaland government had installed RCC posts in the Assam soil and when the Assamese people prevented them from installing the posts, they were threatened at gun point, it was alleged by the farmers of Doyang Merapani-Kasomari areas.

In Doyalpur area within Doyang area under Sishupani Panchayat is the border area of Assam-Nagaland where there is a market. The Nagas built several houses for business activities– without getting any permission from the Panchayat. The Nagas have now increased their construction illegally and forcefully. Even the Naga extremist roaming with modern sophisticated rifles same time threatened the Assamese people. When contacted several businessmen, shopkeepers of Doyalpur market told this correspondent that they informed to the police and neutral force against the encroachment of the Naga businessmen and to stop construction of houses but the CRPF and police personnels failed to take proper action against the Nagas. Due to the inactiveness of the neutral force and the police, the Nagaland government have been continuing their-encroachment on the lands of Assam. In Doyang area of Assam a Naga Armed Police (NAP) camp was also installed recently. But no protest note was sent to the Nagaland government by the district administration of Assam. It is quite surprisingly that the Nagaland government had already created three sub-division in the soil of Assam, namely ‘Jizit’, ‘Newland’ and ‘Kohabato’. In 1984-85 the Nagaland government created Tizit sub-division in Avoipur reserved forest. In 1991, the office of the additional Deputy Commissioner, Forest Office, revenue office etc. were also installed in the sub-division.
In 1987 the Nagaland government had created ‘Newland’ sub-division at Harese village within Rengma reserved forest of the Golaghat district. But this area belonged to Assam government and it was mentioned in the topsheet No. 83 of the Survey of India under Central government of India where this area was included in Assam government. In November 28, 1991, the Chief Minister of Nagaland had laid the foundation stone of ‘Kohobota sub-division. This sub-division was founded at a place which was illegally encroached by the Nagaland government from Assam. This sub-division was included at Diphu reserved forest. The Nagaland government had already established high schools, ME schools, block development office provision of supply drinking water, electrification. Meanwhile, the conscious people of the border areas feel that both the Assam government and Nagaland government should solve the longstanding border dispute.
Is India a failed State? By Mohan Guruswamy Tuesday, 23 August , 2005 Sify Column
The term "failed state" entered our lexicon, initially, in the context of Somalia, Afghanistan, and now, increasingly, for Iraq. State authority and power are often confused as being the same. Authority derives from constitutional legitimacy and respect for the institutions such as the judiciary, Parliament, permanent bureaucracy, and the press, whereas power is really the power to coerce and enforce the will of the State. Authority is abstract while power is physical. Discuss: India is not a failed state. Let's focus on the positive for a change!
This is not to say that in a failed state the power to coerce or enforce does not exist. In Somalia, there are more guns in the hands of the various warring clans than a legitimately constituted state would have ever required. Ditto for Afghanistan. Ditto for Iraq. In these countries, the symbols of statehood are much in evidence. There is a currency and people trade with each other. Goods are imported and exported. Services like electricity, water, and transport are still available. Schools and courts function. There is even foreign representation. Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq have embassies in New Delhi.
Yet, we call them failed States because the people who call the shots, or more often fire the shots, are without any constitutional, legal, moral, divine, or civilisational authority. They are in a state in which societies existed before the advent of the modern state. That they are nationalities or even States is not in doubt, but the point is that they have failed to be states where constitutional authority reigns and power does not grow from the barrel of a gun. In mediaeval times, the State mainly existed to enrich the king and the durbar, and increase their power and area of domination. Not so the modern State, implicit in which is that the State is tasked with not only providing order, but also improving living standards and transform society. Thus, while the ability to provide order is important, to judge whether a state has failed or only partially passed, one has to judge it by the other broad parameters. India is certainly not in the Somalia league. It is not even in the Pakistan league, where the internal situation is so appalling that many western observers have taken to calling it a failed State. Yet our own performance is not something we can be proud of. Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, and significant parts of Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are anarchic. Even in the states where we consider there is some order, what is the record of the police? Recorded crime in Delhi was up by 55 per cent last year. In Mumbai and Delhi, the police have had to resort to extralegal methods, euphemistically called "encounters", to curb criminals. The press and society, generally, laud this, not realising that such activities have a tendency to go out of hand and start devouring the innocent. Instead of exposing the essential criminality of “encounter specialists”, the media entertains us with stories of their unidirectional close encounters. We never hear of a policeman getting even a scratch in these encounters. Only about a third of major crimes like murder and dacoity are solved, and less than 10 per cent end with convictions. On a more mundane level, not many people stop at red lights anymore. At the half-year point, nearly 800 persons have perished in Delhi from automobile-related accidents. It has been a steep descent from Sardar Patel I to Sardar Patel II, and then some more now. Discuss: India is not a failed state. Let's focus on the positive for a change!
The institutions from which our State should derive authority are in a poor way. The quality of justice, particularly in our lower courts, is suspect. Cases are routinely rigged. There is the case of Sanjay Dutt, a man caught with two AK-47 assault rifles, and he is set to be excused because his late father wanted it. More importantly, Shiv Sena boss Bal Thackeray wanted it. In Kashmir or Manipur, just the possession of such lethal weapons will invite an "encounter". Not just this, Sanjay Dutt gets to have dinner with former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in New York. Several million cases clog the higher courts, which has had a devastating impact on orderly civil and commercial transactions. Delays in justice routinely lead to broken contracts and agreements. Even the State has joined in exploiting this. Witness the manner in which government departments and companies routinely hang on to properties where the leases have long expired. In fact, it is so accepted a practice that not to do it is to invite suspicion. We have created a system which encourages distrust. It is small wonder, then, that after politics, law is the most lucrative profession. A friend who lives in Haryana was recently relating a harrowing story of how he had to pay an inspector of police to get a case of theft registered. It is not surprising that common people without the wherewithal to get expensive and slow justice seek other avenues. In Mumbai, they go to godfathers like Arun Gawli, Member of the Legislative Assembly; in western UP, they go to the caste panchayat; in Bihar, they go the caste mafia leader; and in Telangana and Bastar, they go to the Peoples War. The supreme irony is that more often the quality of justice delivered by the informal system is considered to be superior to that offered by the Constitutional legal system. Even policemen seem to prefer them. Corruption is so well entrenched and accepted that one is not required to dwell upon it. The phrase "to enjoy power" has acquired an entirely different dimension. The critical thing is that no action of the State, however highly placed the decision-maker, escapes suspicion. Corruption, as Indira Gandhi once self-servingly pointed out, is a worldwide phenomenon. Compared to the scale on which the Suharto, Marcos, and Bhutto families prospered, the activities of Indian political families, real or adopted, were small change. They can even be condoned as inevitable and a small price to pay in a country where sycophancy and flexible notions of morality are inherent cultural traits. But the record of the Indian State in improving the living standards of the majority of its people is abysmal. India languishes among the bottom five of the World Bank's annual Development Report. Discuss: India is not a failed state. Let's focus on the positive for a change!
Almost 70 per cent of the Indian nation lives below a poverty line that would factor in balanced diet, shelter, access to education and healthcare, and basic civic amenities. Nearly 60 per cent of Indians are illiterate. Infant mortality is 137 per 1,000 births. On all infrastructure indices we are well below — forget China — even that failed State, Pakistan! The Central government earmarks less for health and education than the cumulative pay raise the bureaucracy got last year — Rs 9,000 crore. The State spends much more on the bureaucracy — a whopping Rs 170,000 crore for all Central and state government employees each year. That is a good 10 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and is growing. The service sector is doing so well because public administration is growing at 11 per cent each year. If we remove this growth from the annual growth of 5-6 per cent, about which all our sarkari and pink paper economists crow, you will get a real growth much closer to the “Hindu growth rate” of 3 per cent we used to deride. The bureaucracy has a self-serving methodology to determine poverty — 2,200 and 2,400 calories, respectively, for urban and rural areas. Given the rise in foodgrains production and the State's ability to make much smaller food subsidy investments, every successive regime is able to crow that poverty levels are coming down. In Dr Manmohan Singh's last year as finance minister, the government reported that poverty was down to 19 per cent, and tried to make us believe that its industrial liberalisation policies were percolating down. An Oxfam report and studies by leading economists like Suresh Tendulkar revealed that due to inflation and contraction of the economy in the initial years of "liberalisation", simple economic logic says that poverty levels actually went up. At that time, the BJP said that it would use more parameters to determine poverty. Such a step would have resulted in targeting poverty alleviation differently. Rather than focus on providing foodgrains, the State would also have to focus on education, health, water, work, transport, sewage, and so on. We would see more investments in the rural sector, where the war on poverty has ultimately to be waged. On the basis of this parameter, after 57 years as a modern state and with very clear non-realisation of the Founding Fathers' dreams of a modernised state, we are clearly a failed State. The failures of the first 50 years set out the task for the BJP, India's first truly non-Congress government. When the BJP came to power, the Congress truly symbolised corruption, venality, and an uncaring leadership. Discuss: India is not a failed state. Let's focus on the positive for a change!
But, instead of change, we got five more years of the same, the same monumental corruption, the same concentration of powers, the same uncaring attitudes to the real problems, the same kind of statism. Liberalisation became Suhartoism instead of an all-encompassing reform process. The two United Progressive Alliance budgets have made no significant alteration in the general direction of the previous decade. There is a decline of spending on critical sectors. The Central government spends less on agriculture and irrigation than on civil aviation. About 70 per cent of our people are dependent on agriculture, which accounts for 23 per cent of the Gross National Product, whereas there were only 12 million air-passengers last year. Today, Delhi has the highest level of air pollution in the world. The Ganga is so polluted that health experts say that exposure of even a small wound to it will lead to infection. All urban, human, and industrial wastes flow into waterbodies, and thence into the groundwater or rivers. All over the country, groundwater tables are falling alarmingly as the State has abandoned its responsibilities to provide for water harvesting and irrigation. Forest cover is rapidly dwindling. Felling of forests takes place with the connivance of forest officials and politicians. On a recent visit to the forests around Srisailam, which are part of the biggest tiger reserve in the country, I could not spot a single teak tree in forests that once abounded in them. They have been selectively cut. The tiger population in this reserve has fallen by half in the past four years. Admittedly, there will be some price to pay if we have to develop and advance industrially. But have the people benefited by any of this? Over-centralisation is not without its costs. Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen showed that famines in Communist China have killed more than 20 million people, because the people at the top get to know about what is happening on the ground very late. Having a free media in India should help highlight our plight and compel the regime to react. But what is the media focused on? Less on real people and their issues and more on Paris Hilton. Who is Paris Hilton anyway?
Northeast India puts forces on alert along the border with Bangladesh.
From M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune from New Delhi New Delhi, 23 August (Asiantribune.com): India’s northeastern states particularly Assam and Tripura have put the police on high alert along the border with Bangladesh. While Tripura has a ‘volatile border’ with Bangladesh, Assam’s 272-km long land border and 90-km long river border has been relatively peaceful. Official sources here said that the ‘maximum alert’ is a precautionary measure in the wake of serial blasts in 63 of the 64 districts of Bangladesh last week at as many as 400 places. The blasts are attributed to the Islamist terrorists, who, intelligence sources claim are active across Bangladesh with some official patronage. Besides the state police, the India’s Border Security Force (BSF) has also reinforced the border with additional companies to prevent attempts by Islamic militants to enter the northeast.
Almost all vulnerable border entry points have been sealed with troops using night vision devices guarding the area, BSF officials said. On the West Bengal side of the border with Bangladesh, BSF reached a ceasefire with the Bangladesh Rifles after two days of firing in the Malda sector.
The decision was taken at a flag meeting of top officials of the Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles. The flare up on Saturday came in the wake of construction of concrete embankment in a disputed river stretch. - Asian Tribune –
(After completing her BA Honors degree in History & MA in International Relations from New York (USA), An Indian Journalist and writer Fatima Choudhury began her career as a freelance writer. She has lived in India, Europe and North America, each unlocking a new world diverse in tradition and culture. The different perspectives and experience has allowed Fatima to better explore and address varied global issues that are important to the human existence. So far, Fatima has been very fortunate to work with good editors and newspapers in India as well as overseas).
The Northeast: Seeking unity in diversity By Fatima Chowdhury The concept of “unity in diversity” has been a great pillar of strength for the Indian philosophy of nationhood, in which every state has a unique culture and tradition of its own yet unifies as a nation. Theoretically, it is an optimistic phrase that simplifies a multifaceted aspect of a nation diverse in culture, tradition and beliefs. However, in reality India embodies a struggle that strives to create a harmonious mosaic of various cultures and traditions bound by a common thread of understanding and a feeling of belonging. The Northeast is a clear example of this where the failure to genuinely integrate has led to serious and damaging consequences by destabilizing the national unity and development. At the end of 2003, we saw escalating violence with a series of bombs and gun attacks in Nagaland and neighbouring state of Assam, which had left as many as 73 people dead and several others injured. The grenade attack in February 2004 by Separatist rebels in a busy marketplace in Assam left one person dead and another six injured. Though the conflict to a large extent has remained confined to the Indian Territory, the Government has sought the help of its neighbours for cross border operations to quell the strength of the rebels. Ironically, some of the groups on basis of ethnicity have found sympathizers across the border in remote areas of Bangladesh, Burma and Bhutan. The new wave of violence in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur is a clear indication for the government to re-evaluate its methods of combating the growing movement and becoming more introspective of its policy for the region. Perhaps, there is a need to go beyond military force and repressive laws to seek peace and stability.
The premise of conflict in the Northeast begins with sense of alienation and almost abandonment. These states have over the years remained impoverished with high unemployment rates, poverty and lack of opportunities. Evidently confining them to the fringe of assimilation and to a large extent disengaged from the rest of the country. Thus, it is not surprising that the social, economic and political fabric of the state has deteriorated, as government funds are misused and corruption becomes rampant at all levels. It is this atmosphere of frustration and political mismanagement that have given rise and support to separatist feelings in Northeastern states of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and Mizoram. This has led to an emergence of separatist groups posing serious challenges for the Indian Government with demands for independent homelands or greater autonomy.
Unfortunately, the response of the government to use military force to weaken the rebellion has only escalated the violence without a viable political solution. There have been some initiatives which have not quiet materialized effectively. For instance, the government is currently in dialogue with many of the separatist groups like The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN). However, there is a need for a time-frame and tangible results, where words translate into actions. Of course this does not trivialize the fact that the government has with time tried to ease the rigid attitude with greater flexibility to negotiate with separatist groups in the region. It is important to note that political dialogue must be combined with social and economic upliftment to be effective. It is not about how much effort is being made to bring peace in the Northeast but rather the kind of initiatives being taken to improve the day-to-day life of the people in the area. It is evident that most importantly there is a need to break the barrier of alienation being created in the region, which has made the entire Northeast somehow feel detached from the rest of the country. Thus, until there is a conscious and genuine effort to create better understanding, respect and sense of belonging, the region will continue to be in turmoil. The economic degradation and poor governance has allowed divisive sentiments to emerge and given the separatists the opportunity to take advantage of the prevailing mismanagement. There is no optimism but a sense of helplessness and discontent among the people and separatist groups alike. Therefore the government needs to change that by putting its own house in order and getting its act together by giving importance to the needs of the people in the region. If we are to succeed in defeating separatist forces it is important to have the support and confidence of the people on the side of the Government. The battle lies in wining the hearts and minds of the people by making them feel part of a system rather than outside of it. This can only be done through effective governance which will create better infrastructure to bridge the region with the rest of the country. There is a need to have a better understanding of the ground realities that breed contempt and have an economic planning that yields opportunities to improve the lives of the ordinary people. But the burden lies not with the government alone. Civil society along with greater media coverage of the region must aide the government in its endeavour to make a difference. The extended disregard of the region has led to much discord among the people that must be reconciled through dialogue and interaction. The violence in the Northeast is a response to the existing grim realities that we need to address by changing our perception of the region and giving it much deserved attention.
There has to be greater determination and perseverance to initiate the peace process in the Northeast. We should not let the violence abandon our hopes for peace but strives even harder for unity amidst so much diversity. It is disheartening when the influential separatist group United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) rejects an offer for peace talks by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh because the vicious cycle of violence is bound to continue without peace being given half a chance. There is delusion when grenades are thrown and guns are fired. But the path must not be abandoned for there will be challenges along the way and even gaffes that could well have been avoided. At the end we must remember the past is all but gone leaving lessons that we need to keep in mind as we take the next step towards the future. We have inherited a rich and contrasting mosaic of culture and tradition. Its preservation depends on our commitment to be united by our aspirations than divided by our differences. Acharya Rammurti. published in freeindiamedia:
‘India today needs a creative revolution’ By Ajit Patowary Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Aug 22 – The existing approach of the rulers to lead the country onto development is a state-oriented one. It is not people-oriented, said noted Gandhian Padmashree Acharya Rammurti, who is now 93. He was speaking to The Assam Tribune here recently while on a visit to the State in connection with a Mahila Shanti Sena function organised by the Tamulpur Anchalik Gramdan Sangha (TAGS). The Mahila Shanti Sena Movement is aimed at making the women the vanguards in uniting the country’s people and creating a new culture for the purpose. The Acharya, regarded to be a living encyclopaedia on Gandhian thoughts, was also critical of a uniform economy for initiating development in the country. “Why should there be uniform economy,” he grumbled in the face of the pointer that the rulers of the country were betraying lack in dexterity in matters of development strategy needed to head out development in the diverse regions. Arguing that the uniform economic approach was harming development, he held that development was basically meant to solve problems not to create them. But today, our development is creating more problems than solving them, he said making his observation on the unrest being confronted by the NE region.

There are diversities. Eastern part of the country is having an agro-industrial economy, the NE part is having an agro-forest economy. These should not be ignored, said the Acharya. Moreover, he said, “Our approach is burdened with the thought of developing the industrial sector alone. It ignores the basic masses. And hence, it is not correct. Lord Buddha used to say— Sammek Ajibika Sehi Sammek Jeevan Banega— right livelihood alone can lead to right life. His view was antithetical to the often-heard brags of the country’s rulers that the country was moving fast towards self-reliance. The Acharya observed that self-reliance could be attained only after meeting the basic needs of the people. The basic needs like food, clothes and shelter. These things should be kept out of competitive market. Otherwise, the poor will be the worst sufferers, he said. “If you don’t give the poor what they need, you ask them to take up arms. And that is a dangerous game any country can afford to play. The test of any economy is the fulfilment of the basic needs of the poor, not the possessions of its rich,” said the Acharya. What is more, about 80 per cent of the country’s foreign investment has been along the western coast from Gujarat to Karnataka, he observed. He has also a criticism against the middle class, which is spreading a wrong notion of technological advancement in the country. “Economist Gailbrath used to say that middle class people were very clever. They present their own self-interest as that of the nation’s. This is what has been happening in our country,” said the Acharya. All such incongruities in the name of development have kept a lot of problems unsolved. And the unsolved problems are now expressing themselves in violence. If people have the problems, give them a chance to solve their problems rather than approaching the ‘experts’ for the solutions, he said. “What we in India need today is a creative revolution,” he said putting forward his thesis for the resolution of the problems facing the country. Elaborating his concept of the creative revolution, the Acharya said, “We need to understand our country better and to rebuild it, redesign our lives in the light of science and traditional wisdom,” he said. On who could bring about this revolution, he said that the people should be trusted. They will have the solutions to the problems facing the country. Besides, he said, Indian women are the most creative social force. They should be trusted and a situation should be created so that they come forward and rebuild the local life.
“We must trust our mothers to look after us. Ask every panchayat to redesign and re-plan its own life and train the women to be the vanguards. If this is done, soon we will see India getting a new face,” said the Acharya, who is also regarded to be the guiding light of the Mahila Shanti Sena Movement.
Bodos have failed to live up to Bineswar’s ideals
5th death anniv of Bineswar Brahma From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, Aug 22: The fifth death anniversary of Subungthini Thandwi Bineswar Brahma, former president of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS), was observed with a day-long programme at his burial place Chandmari near Gaurang on August 19. Ms Puspa Rani Brahma, wife of Bineswar Brahma, paid floral tributes on her husband’s portrait while Bodo leaders and intellectuals from BSS, ABSU, ABWWF, ABEF, DUBAA, DUBMA offered flower wreath to the departed leader. A silent procession from the burial place of the former BSS president was flagged off by the president of the ABSU Rwngwra Narzary where BTC chief Kampa Borgoyary, Emannuel Mashahary, Hitesh Basumatary, Derhasat Basumatary, Lwmsrao Daimary, president of BSS Brajendra Kumar Brahma, secretary Gobinda Basumatary and other ABSU and ABWWF leaders, students, guardians, among others took part. BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary inaugurated the function in connection with the memorial lecture on Bineswar Brahma. In his speech, Mohilary said that the late Brahma was the doyen of the Bodo society who devoted all his life trying to unite the Bodo leaders like SK Bwiswmuthiary, Premsingh Brahma, Garlabatha Basumatary and Simbla Basumatary in the greater interest of the Bodos. Mohilary said that late Brahma’s contribution towards Bodo literature and unification of all Bodo races is unparalleled. He rued the fact that such a visionary had to die at the hands of ‘cruel and short-sighted people’. Pradyut Bardoloi of Dainik Asom and Gobinda Basumatary, secretary of BSS presented papers on the life and work of late Brahma. A souvenir Subungthnini Thandwi was released on the occasion by the Deputy Chief of BTC Chandan Brahma while EM of Forest Khamfa Borgoyary inaugurated the programme on plantation of saplings in the compound.


Frans on 08.23.05 @ 02:03 PM CST [link]


Monday, August 22nd

Naga rally in Kohima for reunification on Aug 31


Naga rally in Kohima on Aug 31 IMPHAL FREE PRESS
DIMAPUR, Aug 21: Leading Naga social organisations have resolved to hold a "Naga Integration Rally" in Kohima on August 31. The Naga Hoho, the Naga Students Federation, Naga Mothers Association and Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights have resolved that the Naga Integration Rally be held saying that the unification of all Naga areas must be the foundation of any negotiated settlement. Meanwhile, the Karbi Anglong (Assam) based United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) has urged individuals to verify the authenticity of any land/patta/permit before purchasing or striking any deal of land at Lengri Tea Estate along Assam-Nagaland border in order to avoid complications in future.
The UPDS made this appeal through a press release issued by its joint secretary (home), L. Ranghang, following reports that many individuals were purchasing land along Assam-Nagaland border areas, especially at Lengri Tea Estate, without verifying the authenticity of land/patta/permit.
The Karbi Anglong based outfit took strong exception to reports that some settlers and officials of the Lengri Tea Estate were negotiating for transfer of land to individuals and directed them to immediately stop such activities failing which, it warned, 'stern penalty' would be imposed on them.

Blast condemned: In a separate press release, the UPDS (Ceasefire) expressed strong condemnation over the August 17 bomb blast in Diphu, Karbi Anglong, in which seventeen persons were seriously injured.' This kind of barbaric act is an act of terrorism which the present world is fighting against. This is an act against humanity', the release said adding any problem or differences could be settled only through negotiations. The UPDS said it would leave no stone unturned in tracing those who were behind the blast and give them punishment.

ANSAM likely to start agitation any time after Aug 23 IMPHAL FREE PRESS
Senapati, Aug-21: While the All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has asked all its volunteers to remain alert as it is all set to announce anytime the re-launching of its indefinte non-cooperation movement against the state government, the Naga student body has asked transporters and passengers to come and collect their goods/materials from the student body which had been seized during the peak of the agitation. ANSAM spokesman Ngachonmi Chamroy has said that the goods/materials should be collected at the respective places where they had been confiscated.
The spokesman also said that goods/materials should be colleted by the respective owners before 6 pm of August 23. This announcement of the ANSAM has more than enough indicated that its non-cooperation movement would be relaunched anytime after August 23.

SC issues notice on Manipur blockade NDTV Correspondent Monday, August 22, 2005 (New Delhi):
The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Central government and the government of Manipur over an economic blockade of the northeastern state.
The notices were issued on a Public Interest Litigation, demanding an end to blockade in the state.
The All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) barricaded two National Highways on June 19, in protest against the Manipur government's decision to observe June 18 as state integration day.
Contentious issue
This was the day when the Central government in 2001 decided to extend the ceasefire with the NSCN (IM) beyond Nagaland into areas in Manipur. The two highways are the main supply routes to the state. The ANSAM decided to lift the blockade when it started causing hardships to the people.
But ANSAM has one again threatened to enforce the blockade unless talks are held with the Manipur government. The Nagas are demanding that Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur be integrated with Nagaland. (With PTI inputs)
NSCN-K talks in Delhi with no formal agenda for peace New Kerala
Kohima: A Naga tribal separatist group Monday said it would not hold formal peace talks with New Delhi until the central government resolves the issue with a rival faction with which negotiations were on. The S.S. Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) had entered into a ceasefire with the Indian government in 2001 although formal talks are yet to begin. A group of NSCN-K leaders will Monday meet senior home ministry officials in New Delhi to prepare ceasefire ground rules and to have a new government-appointed 'chief' of the Ceasefire Supervisory Board.

"The present chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Ramesh Kulkarni is openly supporting the NSCN-IM and so we want a separate chief to monitor the ceasefire with us," Kughalo Mulatono, a leader of the NSCN-K, told IANS over the phone from somewhere in Nagaland. "During the meeting we shall be asking the home ministry officials to let us know the status of the talks with the NSCN-IM as the outcome of the negotiations was not transparent."
The three-member NSCN-K team is being led by C. Singson, the outfit's self-styled external affairs minister, while Rajiv Agarwal, special secretary in the home ministry looking after the northeast, will lead the government side.
"We are not interested in starting political negotiations as we want the Indian government to first settle issues with the Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN," the rebel leader said. The two NSCN factions are waging a bitter turf war for territorial supremacy in Nagaland since they split in 1988. The NSCN-IM had entered into a ceasefire with New Delhi in 1997 and the two sides are currently holding talks although the negotiations are currently deadlocked over the rebel group's demand for unification of all Naga tribal inhabited areas in the northeast. "There is no point in starting the talks as the Indian government after eight years of negotiations with the NSCN-IM is yet to come to any solution. We want the talks with the NSCN-IM come to an end," Mulatonu said.

CM back after Delhi mission June 18 is a State subject, solve it: PM to CM Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 21: Chief Minister O Ibobi who was in Delhi for the last few days to apprise the Central leaders of the situation arising out of the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM returned to Imphal today after meeting the Prime Minister, AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and the Union Home Minister. During an exclusive chat with The Sangai Express at his official bungalow today evening, the Chief Minister said that the Prime Minister advised the State Government to resolve the matter at the soonest possible. "The Prime Minister told me that since the blockade involves an issue which is a State subject the Centre has no business to interfere.

His advice was to resolve the matter soon in the interest of the people," said the Chief Minister. The Prime Minister also indicated that he may visit Manipur in October this year, informed the Chief Minister and added that since it was the Prime Minister himself who handed over Kangla to the people Manipur and laid the foundation stone of the capitol complex, he wants to come here and review the work progress of the capitol project as well as the beautification drive at Kangla. On the development of NH-53, the Chief Minister said that the Prime Minister assured to release all the required funds, once the State Government submits the relevant proposal.

“The Prime Minister assured that fund will not be a problem," added Ibobi. "I was also assured that the Government of Nagaland will be advised by New Delhi to provide adequate protection to the trucks bound for Imphal on the NH-39 stretch that passes through the State," said the Chief Minister further. On his meeting with AICC president Sonia Gandhi; the Chief Minister said he gave a detailed report on the June 18 declaration and explained that this date has been observed as a State holiday from 2002. Sonia Gandhi also advised the Chief Minister to resolve the matter soon as it is a State subject.

ANSAM to free confiscated goods Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 21: The spokesman of All Naga Students' Association Manipur, Ngachonmi Chamroy has informed that all the goods that were dragged down from vehicles during the economic blockade by ANSAM supporters are lying intact. Speaking to The Sangai Express Chamroy said all the owners may collect their goods from ihe respective places where they were confiscated by 6 pm of August 23, failing which the student body will bear no responsibility for any damage or loss of the goods. Meanwhile, president of ANSAM, Paul Langhu informed The Sangai Express that the State Govt has not yet reciprocated to the gesture shown by ANSAM and warned that the student body may be constrained to re-impose the economic blockade.
Towards this end ANSAM has asked all its volunteers to remain alert as it is all set to announce the re-imposition of its indefinite non-cooperation movement against the State Government anytime now. The deadline of August 23 set for the goods owners to claim their possession is indicative that the non co-operation movement may be re-imposed anytime after August 23. According to another source, ANSAM refused to the proposal to hold a talk with a Ministerial team on August 18 at Senapati as no solution can be worked out without the Chief Minister.
The student body suspended its economic blockade on August 11 following intimations from the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to a delegate of the Naga Hoho. Apart from the intimations from the Centre, the decision of the student body to call off the blockade was taken in the backdrop of the immense hardships faced by the common people. ANSAM had launched the agitation to protest the declaration of June 18 as State Integrity and State holiday. The student body had demanded that the Chief Minister roll back the decision before any talk is held. A condition was also set by the student body that any talk with the Government should be held outside Imphal at any of the four hill districts of Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglong and Ukhrul. Earlier a Ministerial team had met the student body at Senapati.
NISC questions GoI’s sincerity Morung Express News
Dimapur: The Naga International Support Center (NISC) based in Amsterdam has called on the Government of India to withdraw its troops from all Naga areas, stop funding divergent forces and promote peace in the region by entering into an agreement that guarantees the Nagas the right to self determination. The NISC has declared through a press release that unless the Government of India, representing all Indians, has a public policy to achieve peace in Nagaland, there is no plan for such peace. The center has further reminded of media reports in 1995 wherein military generals had advised the Government of India, "The war can only be won with the annihilation of the Nagas." According to the NISC, the honourable solution sought by both the Nagas and the GoI is in direct contrast to this unwritten plan of genocide and annihilation proposed by the Indian military in 1995. In this context, the NISC has questioned, "Can the decade of good intentions to achieve a peaceful solution of the Indo-Naga conflict by the Government of India be taken seriously?"
Law and order under control: Naga CM NET News Network
Kohima, Aug 21:The Home Minister, Thenucho and the Chief minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio has reiterated that the law and order situation in the State has been brought under control since the DAN Government had taken over the reigns of the State Government. Giving the reply to the allegation of the opposition bench that the law and order situation in the State is not as good as made out to be by the Government on the floor of the House today, both the Chief Minister and the Home Minister cited several events, facts and figures to negate the allegations and stress how the situation in the State is now normal with developmental activities taking place everywhere. Rio stated that the Nagaland’s problem is unique which even National leaders and former Prime Ministers like Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee have accepted and declared publicly during their visits to the State. He however admitted that killings and armed clashes occasionally take place in the State, but pointed out that these are political in nature rather than mere law and order problems.
He also lamented that such incidents are taking place in spite of the appeals from the Government and Civil Societies to desist from such self-destructive killings. The Chief Minister further announced that the Consultative Committee on Peace is also contacting the various groups and factions to bring them together and maintain brotherly and cordial relationship. Neiphu also cited the unprecedented response of the people in the celebration of the just held Independence Day all over the State as an indicator of the peaceful atmosphere in the State. Earlier, the State Home Minister, Thenucho also cited the many instances of killings and intimations even in the capital Kohima and district headquarters a few years back, saying that compared to those black days the situation today is normal.
North East insurgents may quit Dhaka By: Rajesh Das Guwahati, Aug 22: Bangladesh could shortly ask North East insurgent groups to shift their base from Dhaka to the borders of the country, exiting all cities and towns, but they may be permitted to remain in the country. This is one of the recommendations of Bangladesh’s national security intelligence agency in a report submitted to government, which also says that Islamic militants often use operational logistics provided by Indian insurgent groups. The agency says this relationship poses a threat to Bangladesh. While Indian outfits often rely on Bangladeshi extremists for arms and armed training, Bangladeshi militants depend on Indian insurgents for money and operational assistance. So far, Bangladeshi security agencies were tolerating their relationship, since both sides met their requirements for anti-India activity, but after the four hundred serial blasts last week, they are alerted to the dangers of Indian and Bangladeshi extremists coming together. Therefore, Indian insurgent outfits could be asked to vacate Dhaka, and it is likely they will be pushed to the border areas of Bangladesh, and security agencies may also put restrictions on their movements within the country. Bangladeshi security agencies have also reported the misuse of mosques by extremists, not only for storing explosives and providing shelter, but also as a rallying place for anti-government activity, and henceforth, Friday prayer meetings will be closely monitored.
Non merit vs merit in Nagaland TOP DRAW Limatemjen Morung Express
Merit is the criteria for any competitive examination and on the basis of merit, selections are done on former. Quality manifest effectiveness and efficiency, but off late the state seems to be in deep sleep as it has failed to come out with a comprehensive policy towards appointments of lecturers to higher education. It is imperative to come with a policy, on appointment of lecturers so that quality of education is not compromise with quantity at any cost. However there are instances in various departments, under Nagaland University, where large scale appointments are done through informal relationships and without proper conduct of written examination. Such characteristic is very much visible in the state university, the rule of procedure is in total collapse and appointment is done mere on marks and interviews, such irrational policy of selecting the candidates sends a wrong order of precedence to other departments. It is indeed a serious matter that needs quick response and remedies for meet quality education in Nagaland.
Lecturer’s appointments to higher education needs a serious revamp of policy to meet future challenges and goals and to upgrade the quality of education but state seems to be acting in a very despotic manner, where people are not given enough of opportunity to proof their caliber, and large sections of people are deprived of their rights and opportunity. The state, so talked of "Good Governance" seems to be contradicting itself! The problem lies, with the lack of comprehensive policy on conduct of examination for such post. I would like to remind to the state, that as per the Honorable Supreme Court order; even PhD holders have to pass the NET (National Eligibility Test) exam which is conducted at the All India Level to be eligible for appointment as lecturer. Notification dated July 31, 2002 UGC said that, "NET shall remain the compulsory requirement for appointment as a lecturer even for candidates having a PhD degree, however, the candidates who has completed M.phil by 31december 1993 and has submitted PhD thesis to the university in the concerned subject on or before 31 December 2002 will be exempted from appearing in the NET examination in such cases, candidates who fail to obtain their PhD degree, they shall have to pass the net examination".
The guidelines clearly mentioned that all appointment should be done on the basis of NET, but strangely the state government is failing to follow this guideline, as most of the lecturers in their respective departments are teaching without clearing the NET, so their caliber is highly questionable?. As the basic notion should be not to compromise on "quality to higher education", there are large numbers of unreported cases where lecturers are without NET qualification. Another area that needs to refocus is the selections of candidates were and are done on marks and this clearly compromise on quality of candidates. Such irrational decision by the government is very disturbing! My argument is, how can you judge a person only by mere marks and interview? So it mandatory for the Nagaland University headed by vice chancellor to look upon the matter seriously and come to a consensus soon before higher education comes to a total collapse. It must be noted that our country does not have a uniform grading system at all levels Schools, Colleges or post graduate level so the present selections of candidates for lecturers is very irrational, secondly it must be noted that as compare to north Southern states are know for their liberal marking system that even a mediocre students touch the Heaven, so "Marks" is the very basic criteria, for appointment of lecturers to higher education, so the question is? Who is more qualified? Nobody knows the answer!!
The answer lies for an "Open field Competition" so that quality candidates are appointed but it seems to be in a reverse way, where candidates without NET are being appointed in most of the department which the Nagaland University is clearly violating, the University Grant Commission (UGC) norms, which has been prescribed to all the university in India. There is lack of accountability and transparency as large sections of candidates are at the mercy of Nagaland university autocratic policy of elitism, they should realizes that they are sections of people in the society where they wait for such opportunity to aspire their dreams in teaching profession but such irrational policy has been at large and finally aspirants pays the brunt. Here are some of the recommendations that would create a uniform system for appointments of lecturers to higher education:
1) There should a common entrance test for appointment of lectures for any higher education, and the pattern should be of descriptive in nature of their respective subjects, minimum eligibility should be of 50% as at all India level minimum qualification is 50% for ST/SC and OBC. 2) NET should be the basic requirement for any appointment in higher education, as the exam is conducted at all India level, if appointment is done for other reasons it should be on ad-hoc basis, until they clear the NET examination. It is not merely for the sack of getting job but whether you are passionate about the subject and art of teaching. 3) New departments such as Mass Communication which was recently opened, needs to maintain quality control on the teaching faculty as there are such appointments where candidates without NET certificate are being appointed. Such blunt appointment deteriorates the quality of teaching and these are more professional jobs which needs professional experiences. Quality should not be compromise at any cost.
I believe, that such steps would enhances transparency and effectiveness in quality of lecturers, it must be realized that competition adds to quality of higher education. At the end of the day, there should be clear procedure of law, as all rules are guided by law and no one is above "the rule of law". Political interference on appointments should not be tolerated at any cost and higher education should be of quality to meet global level if not at all India level. Who would want to be taught by an unqualified lecturer, who has failed to clear the basic criteria of passing the NET? Not ME!! And any right thinking students would think likewise, nevertheless let’s hope on a positive note, that the state of machinery, realize these issues that, concerns every citizens in the state and it wake’s up from its sleep of incompetence, irrationality and sensitivity. The writer is an MA (Political Science), New Delhi
Opposition BJP demands Apang’s resignation Assam Tribune
ITANAGAR, Aug 21 – Opposition BJP in Arunachal Pradesh has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Gegong Apang on moral ground in connection with the news items carried in some Assam newspapers alleging his involvement in a multi crore public distribution system scam and that he was “patronizing” militant organisations. Addressing a press conference here, BJP state unit president Bosiram Siram and Leader of Opposition Kameng Dolo said “those news papers are not owned by the BJP and when there is smoke there must be some fire.”
They alleged that the Chief Minister remained silent on the demand for greater Nagaland of the NSCN(IM) which sought to include two Arunachal districts - Tirap and Changlang - in it. Refering to Apang’s recent statement alleging conspiracy against him by BJP in connivance with some dissident Congressmen in preparing a memorandum addressed to the President with fake documents, the BJP leaders denied the party’s involvement in it and said because of his wrong policy Apang was facing revolt from his own party lagislators. However, as a responsible opposition party BJP would continue to oppose his wrong policies as it had affected the financial health of the state seriously.
Giving example they said when NCERT books were available in plenty, private publishers were given orders to supply books in the state without any transpareant policy. The students were suffering as the private parties could not yet supply books which were also found to contain wrong information. Similarly, sub-standard medicines were also dumped in district headquarters. –PTI

Two striking tea workers die of starvation’ Assam Tribune
AGARTALA, Aug 21– Leader of the Opposition in Tripura Ratan Lal Nath today alleged that two striking tea workers of state-owned estates have died of starvation at Sidhai in West Tripura district. In a press statement issued here, Nath claimed Krishna Bhim of Laxmilunga tea estate died on August 15 and Lalu Orang of Tufanialunga died on August 19 due to starvation. A delegation of opposition Congress led by Nath had visited Sidhai yesterday to see the condition of the agitating tea labourers. Tea workers of Kalacherra, Mohanpur, Laxmilunga and Tufanialunga tea estates were on an indefinite strike since August 8 to press for their ten-point charter of demands. They are demanding that the State Government should not hand over the tea gardens to the tea workers without creating resources, plant at least one lakh seedlings in each garden every year and sensitise the labourers about cooperative system before handing over the gardens to them.

The Leader of the Opposition alleged that earlier these gardens were privately owned but the owners deserted them in 1986 following which the government took control. But recently the Tea Development Corporation Ltd, a public sector undertaking, had announced that the labourers themselves have to own the gardens because the government was incurring a heavy loss in running them, Nath said. Nath supported the demands of the agitating tea workers and also urged the government to rush medical teams to the tea gardens. –PTI
Tension prevails over ban on Bodo dress NET News Network
Kokrajhar, Aug 21: Tension run high in the Surupeta BHB College in Barpeta district following the college authority banning the entry of Bodo students wearing the traditional Bodo ‘Dokhna’ dress in the college premises. The Bodo students wearing the permitted colour Dokhna on Saturday were not allowed to enter in the college premises. Tension started when the college authority introduced ‘churidar or ‘salwar kamij’ as the uniform for the girl’s students beginning this academic year which the Bodo students refused. The college union bodies started boycotting the classes when the Bodo students refused to obey the dress code and continue attending the class wearing dokhna. The Bodo students alleged that they were warned by the principal of expel from the college and of giving forceful transfer certificate if they do not come wearing churidar.
The college authority when contacted refutes the allegation saying the students were just requested to obey the order for peaceful atmosphere. ‘There was no warning as such. It was just a request, the authority said. Different Bodo organization including the influential All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS) and All Bodo Women Welfare Federation (ABWWF) has expressed serious concern and anguish over the issue saying its humiliating that the Bodo girls students are not allowed to wear the traditional dress Dokhna even though they put the same colour the college authority has adopted. In a press release the ABSU said in a state like Assam with diverse ethnic group colour should be the basis of uniform but not the dress. “The ABSU has nothing to say about the colour uniform but lawfully it would strongly oppose the senseless decision of the college authority for adopting the churidar as the only option for uniform dress”, the release stated.
“Churidar is not the dress of the Bodos and it cannot be the dress of Assamese people either”, added ABSU secretary Goutam Mushahary. “We have got full right to preserve our own culture, custom, language and tradition as being the indigenous community. If we cannot have the right to protect and preserve our own culture in our own state then where lies the meaning of freedom and respect of indigenous tribal culture”, the release stated. The Bodo organizations has appealed the college authority to think consciously, carefully and farsightedly ‘if they are really concern about Assam in particular and tribal culture in general. The organization has also urged the Assamese intellectuals including the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Sahitya Sabha to come up with helping hands and give a meaningful thought for peaceful solution of the problem and for peaceful future of Assam.
ABSU warns of retaliation, says dokhna would be made compulsory in BTC
ABSU-college in dress row From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, Aug 21: The ABSU has expressed its deep anguish and humiliation over reports that Bodo girls have been refused permission to wear their traditional dress — dokhna — despite colours matching that prescribed by the authorities of BHB College, Sarupeta in Barpeta district. The general secretary of the ABSU Gautam Mashahary, in a press release, has asked the college authority and the government to respect the sentiments and culture of the Bodo society and to allow the Bodo girl students to wear dokhna to their college. The ABSU felt that it was important to nip the problem in the bud lest it might take a turn for the worse. The ABSU cautioned the College authority of grave consequences if it persisted with their rigid stand. However, the ABSU has aksed the College to be flexible in its approach towards what they termed as a ‘sentimental issue’.
The ABSU also appealed to the college authority to think in terms of respect to the Assamese culture in particular and the tribal culture in general. The release said that the college authority had recently decided to introduce salwar kameez as compulsory dress for girls. Despite repeated request for a flexible approach to the Bodo girls on the issue, and submission of memorandum to the college and district authorities, no solution could be arrived at, the release added. Even, the Bodo girls wearing dokhna with permitted colour were also prevented to enter the college campus on August 20. They were in fact warned by the principal of the college to comply with the college order or to take transfer certificates. The ABSU has condemned this insulting and humiliating behaviour of the principal.
Mashahary said that salwar kameez in no way represented the greater Assamese culture and hence cannot be made compulsory. The ABSU said that it was of the view that in Assam colour should be the basis of uniform but not the dress. He also cited example from Cotton College and Handique College in Guwahati where authorities have refrained from enforcing dress code. The ABSU said uniform in schools is a matter of discipline but should not be imposed in College. It said that the freedom of college students must be protected and respected. It said that the Bodos have a constitutional right to protect and preserve their own culture and tradition and added that "exploitation" and "oppression" of the cultural coexistence of the State would not be tolerated.The ABSU has also warned of retaliation by making dokhna compulsory in BTC area.
I'll not apologise on fake letter case: AGP chief Zafri Mudasser Nofil, Indo-Asian News Service New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Brindaban Goswami Monday ruled out an apology as demanded by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), saying he was in no way involved in the letter that incriminated three Congress ministers. ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa had Saturday accused Goswami of masterminding a missive to the outfit, stating that three Congress ministers of Assam - Gautam Roy, Anjan Dutta and Himanta Biswa Sarma - had agreed to pay Rs.500,000 each to the group per month. It also demanded a public apology from Goswami saying that his political career would be in doldrums if he failed to do so. Goswami has denied the charges and said the whole episode was nothing but a 'dirty ploy' adopted by the Congress to tarnish his image. 'The mastermind of the letter was Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) secretary M.H. Choudhury who had even confessed to me that he had done so. He had become secretary by forging letters of support from MPs,' Goswami alleged.
'How can I be involved when I on behalf of my party raised the issue in the assembly? This is nothing but a game by the Congress. 'After the letter created a furore in the assembly, the Congress acted innocent by saying on the floor of the house that it was fake and should not be entertained,' Goswami told IANS. 'Now with Choudhury confessing, the veil over the controversy has been lifted,' he asserted. Regarding ULFA's threat that he would meet the same fate as former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, whose political career nose-dived after allegations that he had masterminded secret killings in the state, Goswami said: 'There is no question of apology as I am in no way involved in the case.'
'I'll always remain a faithful soldier of my party and continue fighting for the people's movement.'
The Congress has, meanwhile, denied involvement of any of its members in the case. Tourism and Cooperation Minister Misbahul Islam Laskar said Goswami had been cornered and there was no way he could prove his innocence. 'Goswami's pseudo-regionalism image has certainly received a setback as people have come to know of his actual intentions,' Laskar told IANS. He said the Congress had issued a show-cause notice to Choudhury to which the latter had replied and later stepped down from his APCC post.
New Muslim front ahead of Assam polls Morung express
Guwahati, August 21 (IANS): Prominent Muslim groups in Assam led by the Jamiat Ulema and Jamat-e-Islami have decided to join forces against the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in next year’s assembly polls. A group of 12 Muslim organizations wants to provide a new front to fight for the rights of the community in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to repeal the controversial Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act. "The main aim of the front will be to narrow the gap between the majority and minority communities and to work for communal harmony in Assam," Muslim leader Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury told IANS. The name of the new front is yet to be formally announced. The consolidation of Muslim groups could make a significant impact, given that Muslims comprise 30 percent of Assam’s 26 million populations and hold the key in at least 40 of the total 126 assembly seats. "The Congress betrayed the minorities by allowing the repeal of IMDT Act, and BJP has always been the enemy of minorities," said Badruddin Azmal, president of the Assam chapter of the Jamiat Ulema. Leaders of the new front said religious and linguistic minorities in Assam were facing harassment from authorities in the name of identifying illegal migrants from Bangladeshi under the Foreigners Act that has replaced IMDT Act. "We cannot afford to loose the support of Muslims and other minorities," an Assam Congress leader admitted. The state government has called for amendments in the Foreigners Act to prevent the harassment of innocents. A group of Bengali-speaking and Muslim legislators and ministers from Assam have been camping in New Delhi to press for amendments in the Foreigners Act.

Frans on 08.22.05 @ 02:47 PM CST [link]


Sunday, August 21st

Naga problem political: Rio


Naga problem political: Rio OUR CORRESPONDENT Kohima, Aug. 20: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio today said inter-factional killings cannot be seen as a law and order problem as they arise out of political problems. Rio was replying to the Opposition Congress’s accusation that the state was turning lawless, as factional killings were on the rise along with harassment of innocent people through intimidation and extortion. He requested Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie to call a meeting of all former and present legislators to discuss the Naga political problem. Earlier, Opposition members walked out and protested when home minister Thenucho referred to violence during the Congress regime. Rio said former Prime Minister, late P. V. Narasimha Rao had admitted that the Naga problem was a political one.
Rio said Nagaland has a political issue to address, which is different from law and order. He said the Opposition took everything as a law and order problem. To prove his claim, Rio enlisted events from the submission of a memorandum by Nagas to the Simon Commission in 1929, through the plebiscite of 1951, to the signing of ceasefire agreements with the NSCN factions in 1997 and 2001. Rio almost shrugged off the Congress issue, saying that since there was no ceasefire between the rebel factions, they were fighting among themselves.
Senior leader Chinwang Konyak said villagers in Mon district were of the view that the ceasefire agreement of underground groups should not be extended. Imkong said Nagaland had lost the trust of the Centre and other states due to fake gun licences in the state. “They suspect Nagaland state government is being run by underground activists (rebels),” said Imkong. More than 23,000 gun licences have been issued in the state since 1999, most of them to applicants from outside Nagaland. Rio argued that his government had issued very few licences and passed the buck to the Congress. Opposition leaders said the government was shielding chargesheeted government officials in Dimapur and asked for their immediate suspension.
ANSAM warns blockade resumption Source: The Sangai Express
Senapati, August 20 (NNN): The All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has warned that it may resume the non-cooperation agitation including re-imposition of economic blockade anytime. In an exclusive interview somewhere in Senapati district, ANSAM spokesman Ngachonmi Chamroy informed this Network today that since the Manipur Government has not reciprocated to the gesture shown by the agitating party (ANSAM and NSF), the date to resume the economic blockade may be announced any time. Chamroy, accusing the State Government for the present turmoil contended that "on the request of the State Government ANSAM had indicated a date to hold a talk on August-18 with some terms and conditions but to our dismay the Government has decided to betray us by buying time".
The ANSAM spokesman also blamed the State Government saying that the latter was not creating a conducive atmosphere whereas the agitating party had, in good faith, suspended the indefinite economic blockade in the interest of the general public. The ANSAM spokesman, has also appealed to the public and civil organisations to lend their support and cooperation in our quest for justice".
ANSAM then said that it condemned the incident where Zomi Students' Federation (ZSF) leaders and volunteers were arrested; tear gassed or shot at by the Govt machineries. The ANSAM spokesman said that the Naga students would extend full support to the movement launched by the ZSF in CCpur.

RB flexes muscle for come back Source: The Sangai Express Imphal, August 20: A sea change in the political scenario of Manipur is likely to take place with former Chief Minister Koijam Radhabinod and a battery of other ex-MLAs and Ministers 'on the verge' of joining Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). In an exclusive chat with The Sangai Express, Koijam, who is also the former general secretary of North East People's Forum said “all my workers, sympathisers and well-wishers particularly from by Constituency have unanimously endorsed me to join NCP and a meeting in this regard was held recently".
The 68-year old political heavyweight had taken semi-retirement from politics and de-linked himself from any political parties since September, 2003. But with the next Assembly election just two years away, he exuded confN dence of setting up a strong political force to capture power in the Assembly election. 'Now, I intend to join politics full time again and am likely to join NCP which I think is the best way of serving the State and the people'', he said. Hailing from Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency, Koijam entered politics in the late 70s and got elected as a member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly as an independent candidate and later joined the Congress party. He has served as Minister for five terms and became the Chief Minister of the State in 2001 under the flag of Samata Party. Elaborating on his application of mind to join NCP, Koijam said PA Sangma, who floated the NCP and later joined Trinamool Congress is likely to return to the NCP fold. The party's national secretary Tariq Anwar has also been asked to visit the State to assess and consider the desire of many heavy weight politicians of the State to join the NCP, he added. "We may go to New Delhi to attend a meeting in this regard on August 21," he disclosed. He said that over 10 ex-MLAs and Ministers are also on the verge of joining NCP and some of them have even resigned from their respective political parties. However, he declined to disclose the names of the would be NCP members. Apart from this, a host of sitting MLAs are also likely to join NCP as soon as their present terms expire, he said, adding with optimism "I can foresee our team capturing power in the next Assembly election".

Meanwhile, former Minister Kunjo Singh and treasurer of the Opposition Federal Party of Manipur (FPM) disclosed that he along with his party workers have resigned en masse from the party. "I have already submitted the resignation letter to the party president. The en masse resignation followed a meeting of all my workers and well-wishers recently", he said. However, Kunjo, declined to spell out to which party he would join saying spell out to which party he would join saying 'I'll inform you definitely within a short time and there might be a sudden political development by that time. Efforts to contact NCP State unit president V Hangkhalian for his comments on this political development drew blank.

TNWL clarifies Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 20: Reacting to the statement of MLA A Aza in a Nagaland based newspaper, wherein he dubbed all the signatories of the MoU on August 13 as betrayers, the Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long today said that it stuck to the MoU which said that Independence Day will not be boycotted. In a statement, TNWL said that it stuck by the MoU and did not boycott Independence Day and added that more than 30 members of the TNWL participated in the Independence Day Celebration on August 15. After the MoU was signed it was decided that the Independence Day will not boycotted, said the village chiefs but added that in a sudden development the president of TKS with the consent of the president of TNL announced that the boycott of Independence still stands. However TNWL did not toe the line of TKS and participated in the Independence Day celebration, added the statement.

Congress rejects State logo, white paper
KOHIMA, Aug 20: Opposition Congress today rejected the recently adopted Nagaland state logo and the government white paper on utilisation of special central grant of Rs 365 crore.
“We are not opposed to a state emblem but we reject this DAN logo because it was adopted by the state cabinet without any transparency and procedure,” Opposition leader I Imkong told newsmen here after the end of the three-day monsoon session of the Nagaland Assembly. The CLP leader pointed out that instead of the Chief Minister himself choosing the artist and the logo, the government should have appointed an expert committee to finalise a state emblem taking all into confidence.
Moreover, in the present logo the ‘mithun’ or bison was “sick, not authoritative and majestic and the words ‘Government of Nagaland’ should have been above the word ‘unity’,” Imkong observed.
He said, “It might be the DAN government logo but it cannot be a state emblem, hence we cannot accept it.” The Nagaland Government adopted the state logo on August 15. Imkong said his party rejected the white paper on utilization of Rs 365 crore special central grant tabled by Chief Minister Neiphu Rio on the floor of the House as it was “bereft of details on fund spending”.
Terming the publication as “an empty white paper”, the Congress leader alleged that during the reign of DAN “corruption at all levels surpassed all previous records and it was the most weak and confused government”. – PTI

Peace rally staged in Manipur From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
IMPHAL, Aug 20 – Demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, Amnesty International India in association with many social and students bodies, staged a peace rally in Imphal today. The rally, which kicked off from the Thangmeiband Athletic Union ground in Imphal West at around 12.30 pm, passed through the main streets of Imphal before it converged at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre, one of the biggest open air theatre in the North-east India in Imphal East for a public meeting. Security forces deployed in the state committed many crimes and atrocities in the name of counter-insurgency operations under the banner of Draconian laws like Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 which was imposed in Manipur since the past few decades. People of this region had been protesting the repeal of such laws from NE.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh also constituted a committee to look into the matter and the committee had already submitted their report to the government. Thangjam Manorama, a 32-year-old Manipur girl was raped and killed by the Assam Rifles after she was picked up from her residence in Imphal east last year June which evoked widespread protest in Manipur.

No political talks until Delhi tackles NSCN(IM) issue: Mulatonu
NSCN(K) wants new truce chief By Wasbir Hussain
GUWAHATI, Aug 20: The NSCN(K) has made it clear today that it would not enter into political negotiations with the Centre until New Delhi resolved the issue with the rival NSCN(IM). The NSCN(K) has also expressed its ‘lack of trust’ on the current chief of the Ceasefire Monitoring Board in Nagaland, Lt Gen (retd) Kulkarni, and has demanded the appointment of a separate chairman to monitor the prevailing truce with the group. Talking to this writer ahead of a crucial meeting with the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi, slated for Monday, NSCN(K) ‘finance minister’ K. Mulatonu, said: "We have decided on not starting any political dialogue with the Government of India before the close of the chapter with the NSCN(IM). If New Delhi cannot solve the NSCN(IM) problem, how could it possibly resolve the issues raised by our group, the NSCN(K)."
The NSCN(K)-MHA meeting will be the first direct interaction between the two sides after the ceasefire between the rebel group and the Government was extended on April 28 for another year. The NSCN(K)-Government truce has been in place with yearly extensions since 2001. The MHA team will be headed by the Special Secretary (North-east) Rajiv Agarwal while the three-member NSCN(K) delegation will be led by C. Singson, the outfit’s ‘external affairs minister.’ Mulatonu said that his group would make a number of things clear to the Centre and press for their implemention in ‘accordance to our wishes.’ He said: "We would like the Government of India to state and declare the outcome so far of the eight years of negotiations that it had with the NSCN(IM). There has been no transparency in the dialogue and that’s not acceptable."
But, the NSCN(K) has been extremely bitter about the Ceasefire Monitoring Committee that is currently in place. "We want the ceasefire ground rules to be modified. More importantly, we want a separating chairman to look after the truce matters involving our group because Gen Kulkarni is openly favouring the NSCN(IM). Let him continue to head the truce cell and look after the NSCN(IM) matters, but we must have a separate chairperson," Mulatonu said. Gen Kulkarni could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Delimitation exercise: Centre urged to exempt Nagaland Assam Tribune
KOHIMA, Aug 20 – Nagaland Assembly today unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to exempt Nagaland from the current delimitation exercise till a fresh population census was carried out in the state and finding a political settlement to the vexed Naga political problem. The government resolution said the census of 2001 was erroneous and redrawing of Assembly segment at this juncture would create trouble in ethnically sensitive state when the Nagas were longing for peace and permanent setlement of the Naga issue.
In another resolution passed by the House on the closing day of the brief monsoon session, the government urged the Centre to increase the size of the state Assembly from the present 60 to 80 and hike seats of Lok Sabha MP from one to three and Rajya Sabha from one to two. Earlier during Question Hour, members expressed serious concern over delay in disbursement of post-matric scholarship to students. But the government explained that the delay was caused by the fresh rules and guidelines framed by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Ministry of Tribal Affairs and now the scholarship money would be released from this month itself. – PTI

ANSAM likely to re-impose economic blockade NET News Network Imphal, Aug 20: After a temporary respite, the woes and difficulties associated with economic blockade on NH 39 and 53 threatens to come back again giving sleepless nights to Manipur government. According to a reliable source, All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) is likely to re-impose blockade on the highways after failing to receive possible response from the government. “ They are most likely going to announce the exact date of recommencement of the blockade on Sunday,” informed the source. Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi who accompanied Union Home Secretary B K Duggal to New Delhi on August 17 had a series of meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
It may be recalled that ANSAM on August 11 last temporarily lifted the 50 day old economic blockade on humanitarian ground and expressed hope that Manipur government would revoke its decision regarding June 18 Integrity Day. The Manipur CM too during his Independence Day speech promised to find an amicable solution to the ANSAM issue. Meanwhile, the Union government in its bid to minimize difficulties during future economic blockade on NH 39 sanctioned an amount of rupees seven crores for development of NH 53 and other communication networks
NSCN (K) shoots IM cadre at Loktak Project The Imphal Free Press
Imphal, Aug 20: A mobile team of the NSCN-K killed a cadre of the rival NSCN-IM today at the Loktak Project area under Bishenpur police station. Informing this to Newmai News Network a spokesman of the NSCN-K, Zeliangrong Region, Lishi, said that a member of the NSCN-IM, Dinkachin Dangmei hailing from Dalon village of the Loktak project area was killed today by the NSCN-K of the Zeliangrong Region at Loktak project area after arresting him. The NSCN-K spokesman blamed CAO, Zeliangrong Region, MK Winning of the NSCN-IM for the killing saying that the threats and warnings from the CAO of the Zeliangrong Region, NSCN-IM to the NSCN-K had prompted the kiling of the NSCN-IM member today.
Chronicling the events which led to the kiling of the NSCN-IM member today, the NSCN-K spokesman said that Dinkachin Dangmei was arrested at 2 a.m today from a place in Loktak Project area by a mobile team of the NSCN-K. Following the arrest various Zeliangrong based social organisations including Zeliangrong Union, Zeliangrong womenfolk, LNC and social workers of the community approached the outfit (NSCN-K) appealing for the release of the arrested NSCN-IM cadre from the custody of the NSCN-K, narrated the NSCN-K spokesman. The spokesman further said that even the family members of the arrested NSCN-IM cadre requested the outfit to release Dangmei. After a thorough discussion and consultation among the leaders of the Zeliangrong Region of the NSCN-K, the outfit was ready to release the NSCN-IM cadre on humanitarian ground and also paying heed to the appeals from the various quarters,said the NSCN-K leader.
He said that when the mobile team of the NSCN-K was on the way to release the arrested NSCN-IM cadre, threats and warning came forth from the NSCN-IM, Zeliangrong Region CAO, MK Winning that the NSCN-IM cadre should be released immediately without any delay or the NSCN-K would face dire consequences. The NSCN-K leader said that Winning's warning and threats had prompted the killing of the NSCN-IM member. The NSCN-K leader also accused Winning as one Zeliangrong leader whose actions and dealings would definitely destroy the Zeliangrong society if he continues to remain as a leader. He further said that a government should treat another government with respect but the way Winning dealt with things were not right. Giving more accounts of today's incident, the Zeliangrong Region of the NSCN-K spokesman said that just after the arrest the NSCN-IM member was thoroughly interrogated by the NSCN-K's mobile team. The NSCN-IM member disclosed that he joined the NSCN-IM in 1999 and on September 15 the same year he was party to the killing of a lance corporal of the NSCN-K identified as Kaguigai Kamei hailing from Longjang village under Nungba sub-division in Tamenglong district. Dinkachin Dangmei also disclosed that he had ordered to bury alive one arrested member of the NSCN-K. however, the NSCN-K cadre had escaped, he added. .According to the spokesman of the NSCN-K, Dinkachin Dangmei, as per disclosures during the interrogation, was incharge in serving notice in the Loktak Project area that no tax should be given to the NSCN-K, all family members of those cadres who join the NSCN-K would be killed and anybody who gave shelter to the NSCN-K would be chased away from the area.

A town together in grief Indian Express
Leishichon Shaiza left Ukhrul in Manipur to find a job in Mumbai. A month later her coffin came home. The town remembers its favourite daughter, murdered one mad evening at the Gateway of India ARTYK VENKATRAMAN UKHRUL, MANIPUR: OVER a month ago, Leishichon Shaiza left her cloud-covered hometown of Ukhrul, about 90 km from Manipur’s capital Imphal. When she set off for Mumbai to seek a new future, she was carrying with her Rs 18,000 that her father Yangchan — a class-IV government employee — had given her, and of course the hopes of her family. For them, she was the next bread-winner in the family. On the evening of July 13, Leishichon’s dreams came to an end when she was brutally stabbed to death by a man the police claim is mentally deranged. She was feeding pigeons and clicking photographs with her cousin Ngahuimi Raleng near the Gateway of India when the attacker struck. On November 23, Leishichon would have turned 23. On Wednesday, when The Sunday Express visited Ukhrul, it was already 24 hours since she had been accorded a funeral that went, for the first time, against the tradition of her Baptist Church. The funeral service was held in the church and not at home as per custom. It was attended by the largest crowd of mourners Ukhrul can remember. FOR her parents Tharawon and Yangchan, the time for inconsolable sorrow had passed. That had been on Independence Day eve, when the coffin had come from Imphal airport. Today, it was about trying desperately to come to terms with reality. For her parents, Leishichon was no ordinary child. Her three elder brothers are school dropouts. And unemployment for such comes easy in this hill town that has a population of 10,000. Both her younger sisters are married.
‘‘Leishichon was the only one among our children who wanted to study. She had to drop out in her second year of undergraduate studies (from Guwahati) owing to ill health, in 2003. She stayed at home and while she recuperated, she would give Sunday School lessons at the Church and was also a distributor for a marketing agency,’’ says Yangchan, whose monthly salary of Rs 5,200 sustains the family. By July this year, Leishichon had recovered and wanted to make up for lost time. ‘‘She went to Mumbai to complete her education while working part-time to support herself. We were hoping she’d do well,’’ adds her mother. Not able to afford a flight ticket, Leishichon took an arduous, circuitous route through the ridge-backed hills of Manipur — changing three buses via Imphal, Dimapur in Nagaland and on to Guwahati, before boarding a train to Mumbai. ‘‘I accompanied her till Dimapur, where I put her on a bus to Guwahati; that’s the last I saw her alive,’’ adds Yangchan. LEISHICHON’S body was accompanied to Ukhrul — by her cousin Augustine Shamray. Augustine, a freelance DJ and tattoo artiste in Pune, heard about Leishichon’s murder on a TV news channel. ‘‘I couldn’t believe that Leishichon was the Manipuri girl attacked at the Gateway of India. I called her cellphone, which was answered by a policeman. He confirmed it was indeed my cousin.’’ Augustine remembers his cousin as someone who loved music and having loads of fun. ‘‘I saw her killer at the police station in Mumbai. He didn’t look crazy to me. He looked like a petty thief and very much sane. Our Oriental features seem to make us soft targets in mainland India,’’ he says. Ukhrul district, which goes by the same name as its biggest town, is dominated by the Tangkhul Naga tribe which comprises around 90 per cent of its population. Leishichon belonged to this community. Meanwhile, Leishichon’s cousin Ngahuimi Raleng, who was injured when she tried to stop the attacker, is improving according to updates reaching her family in Ukhrul.
‘‘I had planned on going to Mumbai, but Ngahuimi’s Delhi-based brother has reached her side. Once she is discharged, the family will decide whether to bring her home or not,’’ says Ngahuimi’s mother Kahaola. Her husband passed away several years ago, and Ngahuimi has been sending money home since almost a year now, she adds. For the residents of Ukhrul that’s perched some 2,600 metre above sea-level, the stunning splendour of their town seems to have dimmed. But life has a way of going on. The air of stunned disbelief persists though. The blue-green hills of Ukhrul, it seemed, were remembering a favourite daughter who tried, by all accounts, to rise above the odds.
PM speech fails to strike a chord Hari Shankar Vijas The Pioneer
People who had hoped that Manmohan Singh's speech from the Red Fort would be vibrant and inspiring were disappointed. This year's speech was mostly a repeat of last year's theme - education empowerment of women, adivasis, ports, highways or relations with Pakistan. The PM did talk of converting quadrangular highways into six-lanes but did not say why the ongoing construction of four-lane expressways had been left in the lurch. The speech shows that Dr Singh is unable to come out of his bureaucratic mould. Many people feel that his address was a bureaucrat's routine stereotyped speech. A review of the tenures of different governments during the last three decades shows that the first phase is of honeymoon. In the second tenure, people become sceptical about the Government's sincerity and give it only benefit of doubt. During the third phase, frustrated people declare the Government worthless and start thinking of its removal. The Manmohan Singh Government is at the fringe of the second phase. Incidentally, the Left and some other allies have started viewing the Government with scepticism or uselessness. It is a fact that during the past 15 months, the PM has not taken a decision or made a speech that could be described as spectacular. Yet, of course, it must be said that Dr Singh tendered a heartfelt apology in the context of the Nanavati Commission Report. It had the desired impact on the people and cemented his image of a well-intentioned person.
Neglect of N-E
It is tragic that neither the Government nor the country is bothered about the north-east. This is why certain ominous development took place there on the Independence Day. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced that Bangladeshis who migrated to the State before 1971 would be granted citizenship. The question is, when was the constitutional right to grant citizenship transferred to the State Government? Only the Home Ministry can confer the citizenship. On August 15, Khasi students' union and women held a rally in Shillong. Students burnt the Tricolour in front of the Meghalaya Chief Minister's house. Manipur is already observing bandh for sometime. The Congress Government feels helpless. Despite Nagaland having a 44-member Naga National Front Government, Congress leaders are trying for the transfer of Governor Shyamal Dutta to oust the present regime. Arunachal PCC chief Mukul Mithi has launched a war against Chief Minister Apang which has caused political uncertainty. Yet, no one in the Home Ministry is bothered.
Lalu in trouble
Reports suggest that RJD is in trouble in Bihar where Assembly elections are due in a couple of months. Ram Vilas Paswan and CPI leaders know this. As compared to the Congress and CPM, Paswan and the CPI or CPI(ML) are well-entrenched among the people. They know the bureaucracy will not be forced to help the RJD. The way chief secretary Kang challenged the authority of Governor Buta Singh and the RJD supremo, one can expect the administration to work against RJD with vengeance. The Election Commission is seized of the machinations of the RJD boss and his musclemen. This is why Paswan had decided to forge the Third Front. Lalu has tried to cajole and even intimidate Paswan to fall in line. His last weapon would be to see him out early September and bring in Ajit Singh.
Left returns
Left leaders would attend the UPA coordination committee meeting. They changed their mood after P Chidambaram changed his stand on disinvestment. At the behest of the Prime Minister, Chidambaram announced the decision not to disinvest certain PSU and Navaratnas. Now that the diesel and petrol prices are expected to be raised again, the Left would get another opportunity to pressure the Government
Next CBI chief
Hectic lobbying has begun for the post of CBI's next director. The list of names include CRPF's Jyoti Kumar Sinha, Delhi Police Commissioner K K Paul and Tilak Kak from UP. While Sinha may find himself out of the race for his own reasons, Paul and Kak have their own base.
Lobbying for CVC
Two CVC members Janaki Ballabh Khandelwal and Andhra Cadre police officer H D Dora are retiring in October. Hectic lobbying has begun for the two posts. CBI director U S Mishra is said to be eyeing the position held by Dora. Mishra is due to retire in December but he can get a few more years to work if he gets into the CVC. Kohli, a former chairman of Punjab National Bank, is lobbying for the position to be vacated by Khandelwal.
Ajit Jogi in trouble
At last, Ajit Jogi had to take Ram Jethmalani's help. Jogi took him along in a special plane to Raipur where the lawyer appeared in a court to seek bail for Jogi's son Amit. However, the bail was not granted. The fact that CBI did not show any laxity in pursuing the case dashed Ajit Jogi's hopes. He is now cursing the UPA Government for not extending the desired help. Jogi is facing heavy odds at every stage. This time, no crowd of Congressmen turned up to receive him at the Raipur airport. His lobbying for getting into the Manmohan Singh Cabinet has failed. Jogi is a former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister but is not being consulted about appointment of the next PCC president. In the first place, PCC president Moti Lal Vora is not vacating his post. If he quits, Mahant Charan Das appears to be the consensus candidate. It is not surprising that Jogi is claiming to be a victim of the Brahmin clique consisting of Vora, Shukla brothers, Suresh Pachauri and CBI director Mishra.

Rally rings out anti-AFSPA stand Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 20: Kicking off the campaign of Amnesty International against the prolonged imposition of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in the North Eastern States, a» mass public rally was taken out in Imphal today. The rally sponsored by Amnesty International, London was organised by its New Delhi Chapter in association with various social organisations of Manipur. A large number of people including representatives of Meira Paibis, clubs, organisations and student bodies converged at THAU ground, Thangmeiband to take part in the rally right from early morning. However, the rally was finally flagged off only at 12.30 noon. The rallyists carried placards inscribing the names of the persons who have been killed, raped and disappeared after being picked up by security personnel since the imposition of the draconian Act. They also carried banners/festoons with slogans like 'We want peace', 'Down with racist law', 'Give us food not boots and bullets', 'Justice delayed is justice denied', etc while shouting slogans demanding repealing of AFSPA, j ustice to the people and decrying the excesses of the security forces.
Heading towards the north from THAU ground, the rally snaked through Thangmeiband Lilasingkhongnangkhong, Chingmeirong Khongnang Ani Karak and arrived at Lamlong Bazar. From there, the rallyists proceeded toward the Minuthong Telipati road and New Checkoh and converged at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre where a public meeting was held. Chairman of Manipur Human Rights Commission Retired Justice WA Shishak and senior member of Amnesty International India Babloo Loitongbam occupied the dais as chief guest and president respectively. Noted female Manipuri writer MK Binodini was also present at the occasion as guest of honour.

Prof Riyajuddin Choudhury, former MHRC member Yambem Laba and retired Lt Col Sarat were among the host of dignitaries who spoke on AFSPA during the meeting. Campaign Assistant of Amnesty International, India Ksh Onil was also present at the occasion. In his address as chief guest, Shishak said that AFSPA has been imposed in Manipur and other North Eastern States long enough and now it would be removed. People should continue to launch Anti- AFSPA campaign relentlessly until the Gov of India repeals the Act not only from Manipur but also from the whole North East region, he said. In his presidential address, Babloo Loitongbam observed that the rally taken out today had shown to the world of the solidarity of the people against imposition of black laws.
Although AFSPA imposed for the purpose of counter insurgency, but it has failed to serve purpose. Instead has given rise to more number of underground outfits and the people are being subjecting to various atrocities in the hands of the security personnel, he said.
Who are the Nagas By: Akendra Sana Kangla on line There was little Kevichituo in 1966 in Class Two. He had a bigger brother named Ahu who was a good footballer as seen through our small eyes then. They were Sakhrie and Angami from Kohima, we later learnt. I cannot remember how we communicated to one another. It must have been some smiles, some Manipuri, a little English if at all. Life was simple then. Then there was stong Thoiba Maram, who later became Thoiba Angelus. Maram Khunjao and Khunou meant something to us later because of him. I can also recall Borpha , Dearson Moyon, Indrajit Moyon and Daso Mao and Ngale Mao in that Class. Dearson later preferred the complete name Dearson David Chara and Indrajit became Michale, Komlathabi and Chandel became familiar because of Borpha, Dearson and Michale. Daso was the delight of the Class. He could draw well from a very young age and could keep everyone happy with his wit and drawings.

Friendship with Tillwealth Jajo began in Class Three and continued till his death in very unfortunate circumstances in Class Eight in 1972. He always had Athem and Grinder, the well behaved Muivah cousins for company on his way to and from school during those years. Adin Panmei completed the foursome in their walk to and from the school. And Somipam Lungleng was always alive with his pranks. And there was small Shangreihao, ever the willing friend. Stylish Daniel Jajo added colour to our lives. He was into long hair, boots and bell bottoms long before anyone of us had long hairs and bell bottoms. There were also Shymyo Shaiza and Maranchan Luikham, the quiet cousins who used to come to school together. There was also Pelevituo Francis Solo from Kohima Village. It was a delight to renew old ties in Kohima many years later. I also recall Vikui Emerson, the ever-practical fellow patrol leader in our Boy Scout days who now runs a school in Senapati. Pius, Titus and John Murray Lotha made all the way from Wokha in Nagaland to join the boarding school in Imphal. John is better remembered amongst many of his schoolmates for his skills on the guitar and as a vocalist. Small boys that they were then probably did not comprehend how far they had come for schooling. But then those were innocent days. Dr. John Murray is today a leading light in the Naga Hoho after a stint as a Nagaland Government doctor.
One of my best friends in those formative years was Lorho Mao who is now Dr. Lorho Pfozhe. He along with his wife, Apinao is doing wonderful work in the field of rural healthcare in the Mao area of Manipur bordering Nagaland after working as a Manipur Government doctor and as an entrepreneur for some years. Incidentally, I may add that Lorho speaks better Manipuri than most whose mother tongue is Manipuri. And there was Sokho Mao who is today Sokho George who we later were told is a Poumai and not Mao. After college at IIT Delhi, Sokho has been an Assistant Engineer with the Manipur Government for more than twenty years now. This is a situation he appears uncomfortable to be in because of the sheer length of service in one rank. But then we all know him for his other skills and talents. A passionate and brilliant speaker, there will definitely be better things in store for him.
I am happy to treasure their friendships in our growing years and later. I am happy to have known them well. Imphal must be a distant past for many of these friends today.And I am today happy that I do not have to know instead those individuals who obstruct traffic in our highways. How unfortunate that obstructing traffic on the highways has been developed into something of an advanced form of a performing art. Victim of the innocent sounding “Economic Blockade” is not the economy but the society itself, the social fabric that binds us all, irrespective of what names the ethnic groups address themselves. Whenever I used to drive between Imphal and Dimapur, I would always imagine that I would meet some old friend on the way. And indeed on many occasions, I would invariably come across at least one of them particularly in the Senapati - Mao stretch on such drives. On many occasions, I would train my eyes towards the door at that bend at Mao whenever I cross Dr. Lorho’s house. I know that I would halt or wave if I saw anyone at the door.
Thousands take part in Amnesty rally in Imphal for total repeal of AFSPA Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 20: A mass rally organised by Amnesty International India as a part of their one day campaign to press for the repeal Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 passed off peacefully with the participation of thousands of people of different age groups and without any untoward incidents amidst tight security today. The mass rally kicked off from THAU ground in Thangmeiband at around 12.30 pm and reached the Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre at Palace compound around 4.30 in the evening where a meeting was held with many prominent human rights activists of the state present on the dais. The chairman of the Manipur Human Rights Commission, WA Sishak and renowned writer, MK Binodini were the chief guests of today’s meeting. Other dignitaries included the former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, Yambem Laba, human rights activists Babalu Loitongbam, social worker, Liyauddin, Retired Lt. Colonel Sharat and human rights activist, Onil.

Speaking at the meeting, WA Sishak said that as men we have to protect our rights. That is the spirit behind what we are doing but as a chairman of a human right commission he himself is in a condition where he is not getting pay from the Manipur government. This is the condition of human rights in the state, he said. Talking about the present condition of the commission, he went on to say that the commission which was established with the objective of protecting the rights of the people is now suffering from shortage of finance. I feels ashamed of the condition of this commission, he added. Reiterating that even as the people of the state are demanding removal of AFSPA from the state for such a long time there seems to be no movement forward. This has made the people of Manipur feel like foreigners within the Indian union, Shishak lamented. Yambem Laba, former member of the MHRC and founder of the human rights movement in Manipur, narrated the development of the AFSPA - beginning from the British colonial 1942 Armed forces Special Power Ordinance.
He also spoke on how the Human Rights Forum, Manipur had in 1980, challenged the constitutional validity of the AFSPA in the Supreme Court of India and how after 17 years, the Supreme Court had delivered its verdict in 1997. The former MHRC member also highlighted the developments following the death of Th Manorama and the storming of AR gate by the meira paibis resulting in the national movement for the repeal of the act. Earlier, the rally proceeded from THAU ground toward the Dingku road and passed through Lamlong bazar then turning towards Minuthong and Konung mamang entering Palace compound and finally concluding at the BOAT. Along the entire route the rallyists shouted various slogans like ‘repeal AFSPA, 1958 from the state as well as from the entire northeast India’, ‘Give us food not boot’, ‘We want just peace’, ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ etc. the rallyists also held placards displaying the names of the victims of the security forces since the imposition of AFSPA in the state. In a leaflet distributed to the people during the rally Amnesty International India demanded the repeal of AFSPA, 1958 stating that the act empowers security forces to arrest and enter any premises without warrants and gives the security forces power to shoot to kill in circumstances where members of the security forces are in imminent risk.
Drawing attention of the Government of India, Amnesty International stated that any legislation should comply fully with international human rights and humanitarian law treaties to which India is a party, especially the ICCPR and the four Geneva Conventions as well as taking into account more detailed standards including the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the UN Principles for the prevention of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions and the UN Declaration on the Protection of all persons from Enforced Disappearances they also demanded for the repeal of the Act saying that the main provisions of the Act violates international humans rights law and facilitated grave human rights violation. Reiterating the difficulties face by human rights defenders, the statement stated that they suffered increased isolation as their activities were frequently branded as “anti-national” by the state and non-state actors, and further said that this happened in particular when they sought to raise human rights concerns through debates about security.
About the AFSPA, 1958, the leaflet said that it facilities impunity because no person can start legal action against any member of the armed forces for anything done under the Act, or purported to be done under the Act, without the permission of the Central government. Security forces continue to enjoy virtual impunity for human rights violations as a result of provisions contained in Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958. Political protection, as well as the frequent non-implementation of recommendations issued by various commission of inquiry, strengthened this trend, it added. Amnesty International India is deeply concerned about reports of grave human rights abuses perpetrated by armed groups and government forces in areas where the AFSPA is in force. In both Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast human rights abuses have become a feature of daily life, the leaflet stated. Expressing concerned about abuses perpetrated by armed groups, Amnesty International’s statement also stated that armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast are responsible for gross human rights abuses, including torture, hostage taking, extorting and killing of civilians. Amnesty International condemns abuses by armed groups and calls on such groups to respect minimum human rights standards and principles of international humanitarian law and to immediately halt killing of civilians, torture, ill-treatment, hostage-taking and other abuses, it further said.

Khalistan groups holds demonstration in Washington
Sunday 14th August, 2005 Anoop Singh - Panthic Weekly Staff Washington-DC, USA (KP) - According to a press note published by the Council of Khalistan on August 12, 2005, Sikhs from around the East Coast will gather by the Gandhi statue at the Indian Embassy on Q St. between 21st St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW in Washington, DC on Monday, August 15, 2005, at 9:15 a.m. to protest the celebration of Indian Independence Day. In case the celebrations are held at the Indian Ambassador’s residence, the demonstration will move there. According to the information recieved by the Panthic Weekly, the demonstration will be held to commemorate the Sikhs and other minorities murdered by the Indian government since Indian independence, to demand the release of all political prisoners, and to demand a sovereign, independent Khalistan. "India has murdered over 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, according to figures compiled by the Punjab State Magistracy and human-rights groups and reported in the book 'The Politics of Genocide' by Inderjeet Singh Jaijee. It has also killed over 89,000 Kashmiri Muslims since 1988, more than 300,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, and thousands of Christians and Muslims elsewhere in the country, as well as tens of thousands of Assamese, Bodos, Dalits , Manipuris, Tamils, and other minorities," the press release stated. According to a report by the Movement Against State Repression (MASR), 52,268 Sikhs are being held as political prisoners in India without charge or trial. Some have been in illegal custody since 1984! Amnesty International reported that tens of thousands of other minorities are also being held as political prisoners. Indian police arrested human-rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra after he exposed their policy of mass cremation of Sikhs, in which over 50,000 Sikhs have been arrested, tortured, and murdered, then their bodies were declared unidentified and secretly cremated. He was murdered in police custody. His body was not given to his family. The police never released the body of former Jathedar of the Akal Takht Gurdev Singh Kaunke after SSP Swaran Singh Ghotna murdered him. Ghotna has never been brought to trial for the Jathedar Kaunke murder. No one has been brought to justice for the kidnapping and murder of Jaswant Singh Khalra. “Although Sikhs gave 80 percent of the sacrifices for India’s independence, India has massacred Sikhs since achieving independence,” said Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President of the Council of Khalistan, which is leading the demonstration. On October 7, 1987, the Sikh Nation declared its independence from India, naming its new country Khalistan. “Only a sovereign, independent Khalistan will end the repression and lift the standard of living for the people of Punjab. We are here to demand freedom and self-determination, rather than the genocide that has been inflicted on us for so many years,” he said. “Democracies don’t commit genocide.”
The Kohima-Kalina express Renu Savant finds Manipur, Nagaland and Assam in Santacruz Express Features Service Mumbai, August 20: You can call this, says Nobert Khayi, his hands creating a horizontal arc, ‘‘Mumbai’s mini North-East.’’ Twenty-eight-year old Khayi’s ‘this’ is the Kolovari Colony in Kalina, a typical East Indian settlement in Santacruz with winding lanes and little cottages. If Matunga is considered a South Indian enclave and Vile Parle, a Gujarati suburb, Kolovari Colony is home for a majority of people who hail from the North-East. More than 500 youngsters, most of them Nagas, live in the area around the Kalina market. According to Khayi, who is vice president of the Mumbai’s Naga Students Union and a student at the Mumbai University, the first lot of students and job seekers came here around 10 years ago. What attracted them were the low rents. ‘‘You also didn’t have to pay deposits here,’’ says Khayi, who shares his flat with room mates Apam Ramror and Ningsem Shimra. Ramror, 20, has just come down to Mumbai to join the merchant navy. Shimra, 19, is a commerce student at the Elphinstone College. Word soon got around and every potential job seeker and student from the North East knew that he could, at the least, be among his own in Kalina. Aboli Awomi from Nagaland was one of them. ‘‘I came here through an uncle of mine, who knew the place and the people here,’’ says the 22-year-old who works in a five-star hotel and keeps late working hours. ‘‘I feel safe because there are people from my community.’’ Most of the people living in Kalina, says Awomi, are from the Naga tribes. Which means that when Khayi walks through the lanes of the colony, he meets at least ten people from his tribe. Khayi says that the elders take care of the youngsters and conduct surveys to keep track of people new to the city. While last week’s murder of Leishichon Shaiza caused much concern, Awomi, Khayi and their friends say that what it really brought to the fore was Mumbai’s lack of awareness about the North- East and its people. ‘‘After last week’s incident, there has been a lot of writing on our community,’’ says accountancy student Jurist Chithung, 22. ‘‘Half the newspapers have not even got the murdered girl’s name right,’’ says Khayi. Why, Apam is always called ‘kancha’ (Nepali for boy) though is a proud Naga. ‘‘People think we are all Manipuris. The Nagas have many tribes, who are spread across three or four states in the North East,’’ says Chithung. Even in Kalina, says Chithung, conversations between people of different Naga tribes happens only in English or the common Nagamese language, since most Naga tribes have their own ialects. That is also the reason why Naga and Manipuri people in the Kolovari colony have different groups. ‘‘Each tribe has it own rules.” Awomi sums it up best: ‘‘To outsiders we are one, we are from the North-East, but we have as many cultural differences between us as the different states in North and South India.’’

Goswami framed APCC letter’ ULFA demands prompt apology as Brindabon denies charge By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 20: In a sensational revelation, the proscribed ULFA today charged AGP president Brindabon Goswami of masterminding the missive, supposedly written by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee secretary MH Choudhury, to the outfit stating that three Congress ministers — Gautam Roy, Anjan Dutta and Himanta Biswa Sarma — have agreed to pay Rs 5 lakh each to the outfit per month besides the payment of Rs 30 lakh made earlier to it. The ULFA also demanded a public apology from Goswami saying that if it was not forthcoming Goswami’s political career would go the Prafulla Kumar Mahanta way. In an e-mail missive to media houses, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said that a ULFA probe has proved that it was Goswami who had forged the letter written on the APCC letter head. The ULFA said that the letter was meant to discredit the ULFA chairman and his unequivocal patriotism. The ULFA chairman also accused Goswami of carrying out casteist politics in the State and casting aspersion on the revolutionary ethics of the ULFA leader. The ULFA, in a reiteration, said that the way former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s political career has been sent for a toss for masterminding the secret killings in the State, Goswami, too, would face the ULFA music if a public apology does not come through. It is worth mentioning here that the letter had created a furore in the Assam Assembly with the AGP and BJP even staging a walk-out. The Congress, on its part, had said in the floor of the Assembly that the letter was fake and should not be entertained, failing which a bad precedent would be established in the State. For the record, the Congress had also issued a show-cause notice to MH Choudhury to which the latter had replied. Even Transport Minister Anjan Dutta had asked the city SSP for a thorough probe into the affair. Reacting on the development, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the ULFA letter had vindicated the Congress’ stand. On the other hand, State observers have termed the ULFA allegation as the biggest political challenge for AGP leader Brindabon Goswami. The party has, of late, been weakened by splits at all levels. With elections round the corner, Goswami needs to prove his political mettle, they said. Meanwhile, Brindabon Goswami, who is in New Delhi, said when contacted that neither he nor his party was involved in the episode. He said that the party had raised the issue in the Assembly session based on media reports and wanted the Congress to clarify on the authenticity of the letter. On being asked as to why the ULFA has singled him out, he said that upon his arrival in Guwahati on August 24 he would be in a position to comment in details.
Governor visits affected areas, assures peace Unrest in parts of Karbi Anglong From our Correspondent
DIPHU, Aug 20: Assam Governor Lt General (Retd) Ajai Singh made an official visit for verification of the prevailing situation in the Shyampathar area under the Howraghat Police Station where some Hindi-speaking people were killed by the miscreants recently. Earlier the Governor held separate discussions with the authorities in the KAAC, Karbi Anglong district administration, representatives of the Adivasi and the Hindi-speaking communities at the Forest Inspection Bungalow, Dokmoka. Later, he held a joint meeting with the leaders of both the communities in presence of the representatives of the Karbi Anglong district administration and the KAAC. After the joint meet, Governor Singh assured the people of revisiting the district on August 24. Sources informed here that Lt Gen (Retd) Singh will constitute a peace committee with local people of the trouble-torn areas to maintain peace in the district. The Governor also asked the district administration to allow only the representatives of the KAAC and the local administration to organize peace rallies at Bokulia and Rajapathar areas of the district and not the outsiders. Later, accompanied by Mongal Singh Engti , EM, KAAC; Sum Ronghang, local AMC and EM of Shampathar area, SS Surin, EM, KAAC and Ramsing Munda, EM, KAAC, the Governor made a visit to the affected Ghanapath village of Shampathar area. During his visit he also interacted with the representatives of both the Adivasi and Hindi-speaking communities. Later, the Governor assured the people that the administration would take necessary steps to maintain peace and tranquillity in the areas. Meanwhile, the Karbi Anglong Hindi Bhasi Chatra Sangha and the Karbi Anglong Hindi Bhasi Chatra Sanstha submitted a joint memorandum to the Governor of Assam demanding immediate installation of a CRPF camp at Shampathar Ghanapathgaon, arrest of the culprits involved in the incident, allotment of houses under the IAY schemes to those whose houses were torched by miscreants, proper rehabilitation of the victims and payment of compensation to them. It may be mentioned here that both organizations have also demanded of the Governor to institute a high-level inquiry into the incident. The Assam Bhojpuri Students’ Union, Karbi Anglong unit also submitted a memorandum to the Governor in this regard.


Frans on 08.21.05 @ 03:01 PM CST [link]


Saturday, August 20th

Office of the N a g a H o h o Press Release


Office of the N a g a H o h o

Press Release

A Co-ordination meeting of the Naga Hoho, Naga Students’ Federation, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights & Council of Naga Baptist Churches was held at Kohima Japfü Hotel on the 19th of August 2005, to discuss the prevailing state of affairs in the Naga society, and also to take stock of the Peace Process that have surpassed 8 years of hopes but coupled with resoluteness to find a political settlement to the Indo-Naga political conflict.
The meeting noted with deep concern, the underlying currents that continue to disturb the minds of the general public with various interpretations on the shape of things to come for finding a political solution. It also acknowledged the existing high degree of fear and suspicions amongst the various Naga political groups and the subversive activities that continue in one form or the other, to discredit and even derail the peace process, for many obvious reasons.
However, barring all internal differences, the co-ordination meeting willfully expressed its commitments that whatever may be the nature and terms of negotiation, “the unification of all Naga areas must be the foundation of any negotiated settlement”.
Therefore, to re-affirm and demonstrate to the Government of India and the world at large, that Nagas will under any circumstances fight for our birthright to live together as One People, the meeting resolved to organize a “Naga Integration Rally” on the 31st of August 2005 at Kohima.
Neingulo Krome General Secretary Naga Hoho.
Dated Kohima the 20th August 20, 2005

Government denies stalemate in Centre-NSCN (IM) talks Kuknalim.com
Posted on Saturday, August 20 KOHIMA, Aug 19: The Nagaland Government on Friday denied any stalemate in the ongoing talks between the Centre and the NSCN (IM).Replying to a starred question from NPF legislator, K Therie, Home Minister Thenucho said, "there is no stalemate at all in the talks".

The Minister made the assertion following Therie’s observation that there had hardly been any breakthrough in the political issue after the slew of talks held between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM). Replying to another starred question from Therie on implementation of DAN’s policy of equi-closeness, Thenucho claimed the government was maintaining its policy of equi-closeness in letter and spirit adding that "we are continuing to maintain equi-closeness."

NSCN(IM) wants referendum TIMES NEWS NETWORK [

GUWAHATI: The NSCN (IM) has demanded a referendum on the Greater Nagalim issue in Naga-inhabited areas of the northeast if the ongoing talks with the Government of India failed to break the deadlock. The talks between the Centre and the outfit had not inched forward as both sides were unable to resolve the contentious issue. While the NSCN (IM) insisted on its demand for integration of contiguous Naga-inhabited areas of the region, New Delhi rejected the demand.

The NSCN (IM) has now alternatively called for a referendum in Naga-inhabited areas to find out whether Nagas living in other states wanted to live under a single administrative roof, or in plain words merge with the present Nagaland. Though the peace talks are in progress, "if something goes wrong and the situation demands, we will go back to the people and seek a referendum on the issue,"said NSCN (IM) information kilonser (minister) Karaibo Chawang.

The Greater Nagalim demand has created bad blood between the NSCN (IM) leaders and the central team, which is negotiating with the outfit. Besides neighbouring states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh opposing the demand, the UPA's common minimum programme at the Centre gave its commitment to preserving the existing territorial boundaries of northeast states.
In the recent talks at Amsterdam, NSCN (IM) had even threatened to pull out of the ceasefire over the issue, but was convinced by the central team to maintain a congenial atmosphere for the peace talks to progress. However, the outfit only agreed to extend the ceasefire by six months, unlike previous years where the ceasefire was extended for one year. Earlier this month, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio also favoured a referendum in Naga-inhabited areas on the issue of Greater Nagalim.

Rio promises CBI probe 'if necessary' Kohima, August 19, 2005 hIndustan Times
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has assured the state assembly that if his government was not satisfied with the findings of the Vigilance Commission in the ongoing probe into Nagaland Public Service scam, it would not hesitate to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Rio has also informed the Opposition that the Vigilance Commission has already charged-sheeted eight persons, including six government employees, for corrupt practice in the NPSC case. Deputy Secretary (NPSC) Takachila is among those charge-sheeted, he said. Defending his government, Rio has reminded the Opposition that the administration had constituted a one-man inquiry headed by Benjamin Newmai to probe various allegations of corruption in the NPSC. The chief minister however regretted that there were hardly any witnesses in the case. Rio also denied having received any complaint stating specific allegations of corruption in the NPSC. He, however, agreed that the investigation had been delayed due to lack of cooperation by officials of the NPSC. Lauding the Vigilance Commission for its work so far, leader of the Opposition I Imkong said the NPSC should be the collective responsibility of the state. He said that efforts should be made by political parties to cleanse the NPSC of all corruption.
Therie doubts Rio’s sincerity OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, Aug.19: What the Opposition Congress did not do, former finance minister K. Therie has accomplished through his outburst against the Neiphiu Rio-led DAN government. Speaking from the Treasury benches, Therie voiced doubts about the government’s sincerity on its “equi-closeness policy”. Rio had declared that he believed in maintaining equal closeness with all the Naga rebel groups as opposed to ex-chief minister S.C. Jamir’s “equi-distance”.
Therie asked how the government planned to carry on its policy of equi-closeness when factional clashes continued in the state. “We have to talk to all groups of Naga national workers,” he told the Assembly. The former finance minister was divested of his portfolio two months ago allegedly due to pressure from the NSCN (I-M). The Isak-Muivah faction had perceived Therie as leaning towards the Naga National Council (Adinno) which does not consider integration of the Naga areas as a major demand. Today’s Assembly session saw a new low in the relationship between former friends Rio and Therie. The arguments began after Therie asked a starred question on the progress of the peace talks between the Centre and the two NSCN factions. Home minister Thenucho’s reply that it was unwise to reveal details did not satisfy him. Pouring cold water on Rio’s earlier statements that the peace talks had progressed, Therie said, “We are no closer to a settlement than we were in 1997.” He continued to badger the government, stunning his party colleagues into silence. He claimed the peace talks had ended in a stalemate. The legislator pointed out that the government’s consultative sub-committee for peace submitted its report last November. But contrary to the suggestions made in the report, the government did not call a consultative meeting of all legislators and the two Nagaland MPs. “We need to have a broad consensus (on the Naga political problem). If the government is sincere, then the approach discussed in the CCP should be followed,” said Therie.
WRITE WING The muffled sound and fury of corruption R. T. Chang Morung express
In the uncoded social norms of our State, corruption and scams has become the rule of the day and is becoming the fertile ground for political corruption. In the past decades there were many scams and scandals that have come and gone and none seems to get even a scratch on its skin. Loud talks and vociferous agitations have been heard all around but everything comes back to square one. It has become inevitable part to our democratic polity that lawbreakers have become law makers and the ‘bad coin’ is driving the good coin out of circulation. Recently, two news that made the headlines were the NPSC Bribery scam and NPCC booklet on DAN’s reign and failures, which has given opportunities to every citizens to talk and debate about the issues in every walk of life. No wonder the seeds of corruption and scams have already been sown in our State. It has become a difficult task for every Naga citizen to judge who is right and who is wrong and who is to blame for playing an active role behind this scene.
The administration, high ranking officials, ruling party and opposition were all sailing on the same boat and all were weighed in equal balance and their every answers and each others feed back published seems to be right. For instance, few months back Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had sacked his finance minister K.Therie for not producing the white paper for misutilisation of Rs.365 Crore. It is difficult assignment for the mere public to calculate and analyse the big amount where it has been ingested and digested. If that huge amount be utilized as a productive means, at least some of the district would have been shinning and the Government would be busy in developmental progress. It has also been known that the Director of Horticulture was suspended due to misutilisation of more than Rs 1 crore. If atleast a few lakh were utilized in a transparent and accountable manner, it would have been a great help to the Naga farmers and could have created employment opportunities to the local unemployed youths and could have also improved the socio-economic conditions of the State in general.
Our state is facing a great problem in lack of jobs and employment opportunities, where thousand of educated youths are unemployed whereas some of our political leaders and high ranking officers were busy in making their own nest by selling jobs to non-nagas. Thus, it creates social problems that frustrate the minds of the educated youths exposing them to a danger of being attracted to unwanted and anti-National elements. In our state, the trends thus far have been that the small fish has been caught in the net while the big ones have slipped away and out. That is why, the general perceptions have gained ground that all this ending of corruption and scam is just a tall talk and it is ‘sound and fury’ signifying nothing. If these things continue, then the moral fiber of the state would turn into tatters and there will be no hope left for the Nagas.
Blockade lull gets first joltANSAM warns Manipur Government over CM’s remarks Morung Express News August 19 Morung
DIMAPUR: The All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) has condemned the remarks of the Manipur Chief Minister ridiculing the Non-Cooperative movement of the Naga Students Federation (NSF) and the ANSAM as undemocratic and calling it as an intention to harass the common people of the State. In a joint press statement issued by the President of ANSAM Paul Langhu and Daniel Tep, Assistant General Secretary, the organization said the remarks instead of creating conducive atmosphere, would only compound the already volatile situation of the State. While lambasting the remark made by Okram Ibobi Singh as irresponsible unbecoming of a head of a state, the ANSAM cautioned the Manipur State Government not to go against its impartial constitutional obligation to direct the Chief Minister to find an acceptable solution.
Referring to the Chief Minister’s desire to hold talks to find a solution to the issues raised by the organization, the ANSAM said that it had considered the "hardship and suffering of the common public of Manipur, heeding the appeals of various organizations and valuing the request of the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India", the economic blockade was relaxed to create a conducive for a constructive resolution on the prevailing issue. However, the manner in which the Manipur Government was handling the tense situation explicitly indicated the government’s "insincerity and unworthy motives" it said. Stating that "The response of the state government to send a Ministerial delegation including the Additional Chief Secretary is an insult to the Nagas and a betrayal to their assurance made to the Nagas on the 3rd August", the ANSAM warned that both the organization and the NSF would not tolerate such insincere attitude of the Manipur Government.
Alternative route Source: The Sangai Express Kolkata, August 19: The Centre is planning an alternative route to Imphal because of frequent disruptions on the National Highway which passes through Nagaland and Naga-dominated areas of Manipur, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.

"We are working on an alternative route to Manipur, though many political questions are involved," Mukherjee told reporters here. For this a number of fragile river bridges would have to be strengthened, he said. The Centre's decision is in. view of the recent prolonged blockade of NH 39 by All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) in protest against Manipur Government's decision to declare June 18 as Integrity Day. Manipur witnessed a serious shortage of essential commodities including petrol and cooking gas following the blockade which had begun on June 20.PTI

Cong should thank us for wiping their ‘sins’: Rio The Imphal Free Press

Kohima, Aug 18: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday attempted to put at rest Congress accusations that the DAN government misused Rs.365 crore received as peace bonus in 2003 from the then Vajpayee led NDA government. To this effect, Rio tabled a White Paper on utilization of the amount saying that the government was doing so in deference to the wishes of Congress leaders. He was giving a written statement on the floor of the House on the first day of the three-day Assembly session. The amount was received by the state only to wipe off the accumulated deficit of the same amount, the chief minister said.

However, Rio opposed the Congress allegations that the DAN had not explained the expenditure as untrue. He said that the opposition should not have raked up the issue after unanimous resolution appreciating the receipt of Rs.365 crore from the Centre. The chief minister said that while getting money from New Delhi for specific projects entailed submitting of utilization certificates, in this case even the Centre did not ask for an explanatory note. “Let me make it very clear that the whole of Rs.365 crore grant received by the state government on 31st March, 2003 was automatically adjusted in the state's RBI account, to offset the deficit or overdraft of the state government at that time, this was precisely the purpose for which the grant was sought by us, and given by the Government of India. So, there is no question of misuse of the grant by the DAN government,” Rio argued. Countering the Opposition, the chief minister said that in fact, the accumulated deficit of more than Rs.365 crore was created during the ten years of Congress rule.

“Therefore, I am of the opinion that the Congress party now sitting in opposition should be very grateful to the DAN government for wiping out the hang-over of their past mismanagement, sins, instead of asking us questions on how the grant has been utilized. I am also surprised that the Congress MLAs had jointly submitted a memorandum dated April 9, 2005 to the Prime Minister of India on this very issue, asking that the Government of India should not make further releases to the state without first investigating into this matter. I expect and request the Congress party to play the role of constructive opposition and not otherwise,” the chief minister added.

Naga Battalion takes on Naxalites Kuknalim.com
DIMAPUR, Aug 19: The Union government's decision to send in the elite 9 IR Battalion of Nagaland to battle Naxalites in Chattisgarh seems to have paid off, with the forces meeting with significant success in its first encounter. In its first encounter with the Naxalites at Vijaypur on Saturday, the IR Battalion neutralized two Naxalites, while injuring a third and arresting 11 others, sources confirmed.
According to officials of the 9 IR Battalion in Nagaland, the operation lasted for two days. The officials said that the 9 IR Battalion launched the attack after the Naxalites attacked them. There were no casualties on the side of 9 IR Battalion, the sources said. The battalion was recently shifted to Chattisgarh to contain the growing Naxalite problem in the state.

SSI PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES IN NORTH-EASTERN REGION
Rajya SabhaThe Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) under the Ministry of Small Scale Industries and Agro & Rural Industries has undertaken various promotional activities in the North-Eastern Region. Under the Integrated Infrastructural Development Scheme (IIDS), two proposals, one each from the States of Assam and Tripura, were received in 2004-05. Both the proposals have been approved and are under implementation. Another proposal from Nagaland has been received in July 2005 which is under examination.
This information was given by the Minister of Small Scale Industries and Agro & Rural Industries , Shri Mahabir Prasad in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. [PIB]

Plan to develop alternative route to Manipur Assam Tribune
KOLKATA, Aug 19 – The Centre is planning an alternative route to Imphal because of frequent disruptions on national highway which passed through Nagaland and Naga-dominated areas of Manipur, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today, reports PTI.
“We are working on an alternative route to Manipur, though many political questions are involved,” Mukherjee told reporters here.
For this a number of fragile river bridges would have to be strengthened, he said.
The Centre’s decision is in view of the recent prolonged blockade of NH 39 by All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ANSAM) in protest against Manipur government’s decision to declare June 18 as Integrity Day. Manipur witnessed a serious shortage of essential commodities including petrol and cooking gas following the blockade which had begun on June 22.

The blockade and after Assam Tribune
The Centre’s assurance to enhance food and fuel storage capacity in trouble-hit Manipur and strengthen the security cover along the highways should allay the fears of people who are apprehensive of recurrence of economic blockade-like situations in the State. The possibility of such prolonged agitations in future indeed looms large because the decision of the All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ANSAM) and the Naga Students’ Federation to suspend the blockade has come with a terrifying rider. The students’ bodies have made it clear that they would be forced to resume their agitation if the government failed to resolve the issue. In this backdrop, the Union Home Secretary VK Duggal’s announcements during his recent visit to Manipur were pretty comforting for the people. Duggal earlier this week announced that Central officials had already taken up the matter with the Indian Oil Corporation for initiating a larger facility for storing fuel in Manipur in case of any such eventuality in future. He also spoke of deployment of more security forces to foil any attempt to disrupt normal flow of traffic along the lifelines of Manipur. Duggal’s announcements are suggestive of the Centre’s uncompromising posture as regards agitational extremes of the kind that held the people of Manipur to ransom for nearly two months since June 22 last.
With the decision to lift the blockade, good sense seemed to have finally dawned on the agitating Naga organisations in Manipur, although it took them 51 days to realise that their inexplicably prolonged agitation brought untold miseries to the people. While announcing their decision to suspend the agitation, the Naga student unions said that the decision had been taken “in view of the sufferings of the people”. Nothing can perhaps ring as hollow as this, for these organisations had all along remained absolutely indifferent to the people’s miseries caused by the acute food and fuel shortage and skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. They had also failed to take into account that the people whom they wanted to use as pawns included infants and the diseased. Above all, the very fact that they were unhappy over the Manipur government’s decision to include June 18 in the State holiday list does not call for stretching the agitation beyond tolerable limits. On the other hand, Naga organisations of both Manipur and Nagaland throwing their weight behind ANSAM had only complicated matters. Theirs was an unnecessary meddling in the affairs of a neighbouring State, which was certainly avoidable as they are expected to concentrate more on fostering unity among the Naga people in Nagaland and offer unstinted support to the Naga peace process. It looked like a deliberate attempt to use the agitation to further emphasise the aspiration of the Naga people to live under a common administrative umbrella, which is in accordance with the NSCN(I-M)’s blueprint for ‘Nagalim’. All in all, the blockade was reflective of a self-absorbed attitude that remains immune to other people’s woes.
It is in this backdrop that Duggal’s assurances assume significance. The people of an entire State should never be allowed to become victims of such prolonged agitational extremes. All possibilities should be explored in order to prevent recurrence of such crises. The security forces should be strengthened immediately along the Imphal-Silchar NH-53 because danger looms even though the blockade has been lifted. As ferrying goods along National Highway 39 is also fraught with danger as it passes through Nagaland making vehicles vulnerable to militant ambush and extortion, the proposal for facilitating an alternative route should be taken up immediately. Hopefully, the meeting between the Centre and Chief Minister Ibobi Singh in New Delhi would be able to hammer out an amicable settlement to the impasse to let peace and harmony prevail among all communities living in Manipur.
Move to uplift under developed areas by DAN Govt. NET News Network
Shamator (Tuensang), Aug19: To uplift the women and the backward region, the DAN Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has created the Department of Development of Under Developed Areas and Women Development, informed MLA, T.Torechu. Mr. Torechu said that DDUDA is implementing various special programmes for the backward areas such as Development of Backward Areas Programmes (DBAP), Border Areas Development Programme (BADP), Under Developed Areas Programme (UDAP) and Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY). The Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana, with an outlay of Rs. 45.00 Crores was launched in Mon district on March 1last.
He also said that the State Government has decided to declare 2006 as the ‘Year of the Farmer’ and disclosed that the first ever North East ‘Agri-show’ in Nagaland sometime in February 2006. On self-employment to the youths sector, Mr. Torechu said that the State Government have declared both 2004 and 2005 as the years of Youth Empowerment and informed that rupees 7 Crores was earmarked under the CM corpus fund during 2005-06. On the health front, he added that under the revised National TB Control Programme, testing facilities for TB have been extended in some districts and positive registered cases are being provided with medicines free of cost. While in the education front, Torechu said “The Communitization of Elementary Education and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan are the major programmes and opening up of 1,715 primary and elementary schools in the State have been covered under communitization through 1,278 villages/ward Education Committee under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, 989 villages and 35 towns have been covered benefiting 19,428 children.
Rio presents white paper NET News Network
Kohima, Aug 19: State Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, today at the eight session of the tenth Nagaland Legislative Assembly session laid on the table a white paper on utilisation of one-time grant of Rs. 365 crore received from the Central Government on March 31, 2003.
Rio said that since 1989-90, when the Government of India had discontinued the earlier system of fully covering Nagaland's Non-Plan Resource gap by additional Central assistance, the state had been passing through a perpetual resource crunch and each subsequent year closed with large deficits. He said that the unfavourable award of the Eleventh Finance Commission which was not of any help in improving the State's financial position. The budget estimate of 2002-03 projected an estimated closing deficit of Rs. 188.62 crore. He said that many other factors came into play during the course of the year, which effectively increased the closing deficit to Rs. 366 crore, details of which are indicated as follows: Details of revised estimate of Budget Deficit of Rs. 365 crore for the year 2002-03
Sl. Item Amount (crore)
1. Projected budget deficit of 2002-03 as per R.E. 188.62
2. Shortfall in the receipt of State Share in Central Taxes 38.87
3. Shortfall in State's own Revenue receipts 3.74
4. Money kept in Civil Deposit during previous years 36.98
(up to 2001-02) to be released)
5. Backlog of CSS/NEC, State Plan/NLCPR etc., pertaining 41.65
to previous years (up to 2001-02) to be released
6. Additional cash outgo on account of debit raised by RBI 15.00
Against unadjusted Non-Banking Sub-Treasury transactions
of past years
7. Shortfall in provision for Work-charged salary under 15.00
State Plan
8. Additional inevitable expenditure on maintenance of law 8.68
And order (Civil Police and Police Project)
9. Shortfall in GPF surplus 16.46
Total: 365.00
Govt committed to Naga peace process: Rio Therie suggests meeting of all NLA member Chizokho Vero August 19 Morung
KOHIMA (MExN): Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today asserted that the DAN Government was sincere and committed to the Naga peace process. Informing this in the State Assembly on the second day of the monsoon session, Rio said his Government was very serious on the issue and no member should question the sincerity of the DAN government on this front. “Members from DAN have met different factions and we are doing our best to bring all the faction together”, Rio said. He also reminded the Assembly session that the DAN government had carried a vision statement under the Common Minimum Program to secure a negotiated settlement of Indo-Naga political problem acceptable to the people. In a conciliatory gesture, the Chief Minister also accepted members’ suggestion that the Speaker should call a meeting of all MLAs and Naga MPs to discuss all issues pertaining to the Naga peace process and then take up with the Government of India to help find a lasting solution to the vexed Naga political problem.
Earlier, former Finance Minister Kewekhape Therie suggested that the government should hold a meeting of all members of the assembly and Naga MPs with the Speaker’s initiative to discuss important issues like ceasefire implementation, reconciliation among groups and the role of neighboring States in the Naga peace process. He pointed out that although the Consultative Committee for Peace (CCP) had entrusted this task to the apex tribal council Naga Hoho, it failed to do so, but the elected members could initiate such a move to make the peace process more meaningful. Replying to a query by Therie, Home Minister Thenucho said that there was no stalemate in the ongoing talk. Thenucho said the DAN government declared a policy of equi-closeness and it was the duty bound to talk with the different groups to stop fighting among each other. The Home Minister also informed that a group of ministers had 12 rounds of discussions with NSCN (IM) leaders during February to May 2005. The talks he said were inconclusive and it was not in public interest to disclose the outcome of discussions at this stage.
Therie wanted that the policy of equi-closeness be implemented in letter and spirit and at the same time more sincere efforts was called for in order to promote better understanding and trust among all the underground groups. He also suggested that a scheme be developed which was acceptable to the people and possible to present to the Centre. Opposition leader I. Imkong also questioned the achievement of the DAN government on the Naga peace process.
Mamoni: Free Anup, 9 other ULFA leaders our Correspondent Sentinel
NEW DELHI, Aug 19: Noted writer Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami requested Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to release the top ten ULFA leaders who are languishing in different jails in Assam and Bangladesh. In a letter to the PM, Dr Goswami said that it would be a good gesture on the part of the PM, who is a nominee from Assam, if he released the 10 top leaders of the banned outfit. "It will break the deadlock between the Centre and the ULFA if the PM responds positively to my prayer. The people of Assam are tired of bloodshed. They want peace. I personally feel that the Government should forgive the leaders of the banned outfit who are languishing in different jails in extreme conditions, and release them keeping in mind the sentiment of the Assamese people," said Dr. Goswami. Assam Government said that it was ready to release the six leaders who were in different jails in the State. Now the Centre has to take a positive step in bringing Anup Chetia, who is languishing in a Dhaka Jail. She also said that she had got feedback from the people of Assam favouring her peace bid. Dr Goswami also reminded the PM that no untoward incident had happened in Assam on the Independence Day, which was a positive sign from the rebel group.
NDFB changing mode of ‘struggle’ ‘Ceasefire not an end of our movement’ ‘We are firm to regain rights of Boros from Indian colonial exploitation’ From our Correspondent Sentinel
KOKRAJHAR, Aug 19: The self-styled "secretary general" of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), Gobinda Basumatary alias B Swmkhwr, has said that the outfit stands firm on its stand to regain the rights of the Boros from the clutches of the ‘dominant Indian colonial exploitation’. Reiterating that the outfit has been struggling since last 19 years for the cause of the society with a view to liberating ‘Boroland’ from ‘Indian colonialism’ and to establish a democratic socialist society to promote liberty, equality and fraternity and to uphold the integrity and sovereignty of ‘Boroland’. Basumatary was addressing a meeting at Jargajuri under Gossaigaon subdivision here recently, where he claimed that the entire Brahmputra valley initially was under the direct control of the Bodo kings. "Gradually, the Boros lost its glory and it was all over in the northern part of Brahmputra during British rule," he claimed.
The secretary general further said that freedom of the Boro people has been taken away by the "Indian colonial rulers" for which the NDFB has been fighting for almost two decades. It may be mentioned here that the banned NDFB is in truce with the government. " The struggle of the NDFB has not come to an end after the ceasefire with the government. We are simply changing the mode of our struggle to achieve our much awaited goal," Basumatary said, adding that intellectual underpinning was an important factor in achieving success. Referring to the fratricidal killings among the Bodos, Gobinda Basumatary said, "These killings were the result of the communication gap between the BLT and the NDFB leaders."
The senior NDFB leader further said that the NDFB alone can not achieve its goal without co-operation from the ABSU and all other organizations. He also appealed to the masses, the intellectuals, the members of various democratic organizations to extend support to the peace process initiated by the NDFB with the government to achieve the desired goal.
Secret killings ‘Gogoi Govt protecting secret killers’ Staff Correspondent Sentinel
DIBRUGARH, Aug 19: ‘‘An impartial inquiry should be made into the secret killings that took place in the State 1990’s,’’ said Ponakon Barua of Asom Gana Parishad, Dibrugarh unit. In a statement, Barua alleged that the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress Government has hatched a deep-rooted conspiracy to protect the secret killers. Referring to the victims of secret killings, including Dinesh Barua, brother of ULFA ‘c-in-c’ Paresh Barua, noted journalist Parag Das, Prof Bimal Bhuyan, Dimbo Rajkonwar, brother of ULFA ‘chairman’ Arabinda Rajkhowa and the family members of ULFA ‘publicity secretary’ Mithinga Daimari, Ponakon Barua urged the Government to identify all the killers and bring them to book as early as possible. Criticizing Sharma’s inquiry report on secret killings, Barua laid stress on the need to institute a fresh inquiry and publish all those who were involved in secret killings.



Frans on 08.20.05 @ 03:11 PM CST [link]


Friday, August 19th

State govt. urges Centre to exempt Nagaland from Delimitation Act


State govt. urges Centre to exempt Nagaland from Delimitation Act
Govt calls for increasing seats in State Assembly, Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha Chizokho Vero KOHIMA (MExN): Leader of the State Legislature Assembly and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today moved the House for passing of a resolution for exemption of Nagaland from the Delimitation Act 2002. In his address during the first day of the monsoon session, the Chief Minister strongly urged the Union Government to pay heed to the voice of Naga people as represented in the August House and implement the resolution of the NLA passed in this regard on earlier occasions. The Chief Minister also urged the Union Government to order a fresh Census for the entire State of Nagaland or at least in those areas where higher growth rates than the State’s average had been detected. The government also asked the Union Government to impose a moratorium on all delimitation exercise by suitably exempting Nagaland from the constitutional provision relating to delimitation and thereby from the Delimitation Act, 2002 till the fresh census was concluded and until a political solution acceptable to the Nagas was arrived at. The Chief Minister lamented that the earlier resolutions of the State legislature urging for the exemption of Nagaland from the delimitation exercise remained “unheeded despite the State government’s best efforts”.
The Delimitation Commission constituted under the Delimitation Act 2002 is likely to have its first sitting on August 23 to discuss the delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in Nagaland. The government observed that the security situation in Nagaland was “very delicate” and any attempt to stir up the inter-tribal relations by reorganising the assembly constituencies would gravely affect the ongoing peace efforts. It also stated that serious anomalies in the population figures for Nagaland as projected in 2001 census reports had been detected, in particularly the steep growth rates in several areas, which was more than the State’s average thus rendering the 2001 census of Nagaland as completely “unreliable for any constitutional exercises including the delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in Nagaland”.
The government also observed that any delimitation of assembly constituencies in Nagaland on the basis of this faulty census of 2001 would lead to aggravation of the existing anomalies.
The government also argued that Nagaland also enjoyed special status under article 371-A of the Constitution of India qualifying for the same exemption as had been granted to t Jammu & Kashmir.
In another significant development, the State government today moved for increasing the number of seats in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) from 60 to 80, the number of Lok Sabha seats from the present one member to three and for the Rajya Sabha from one to two seats.
Reiterating the earlier resolution passed in the NLA, the Leader of the Legislature, State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that such a step was necessitated keeping in view the emerging proposals for proportionately increasing the number of representatives in Parliament and State legislatures to accommodate 33 per cent reservation for women in the National and State legislatures.
The State government urged the Centre to forthwith act on the resolutions of the August House passed in this regard. Further, the House also urged upon the Centre to enact a law in Parliament at the earliest for creation of a Legislative Council in the State of Nagaland under Article 169 of the Constitution of India.
Manipur: Between the valley and the hills Tehelka Full article on subscprtion
Nagas have felt discriminated against for long but they have been emboldened to voice their bitterness openly after the Centre-NCSN(IM) talks. Now, the common man is giving vent to the Nagalim idea, and the Manipuri is apprehensiveBy Nitin A. Gokhale Senapati, Ukhrul and Imphal They say Chinmi Tammi Amatani (hill and valley people are one) but in reality treat us like foreigners,” Th. Thaiko Peter says in a dingy hotel room at Senapati, the headquarter of a district by the same name in the hills of Manipur. NEW DELHI, AUG 17 (PTI)
Manipur CM in Delhi to defuse crisis From our Staff Correspondent Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Aug 18 – Under pressure to resolve the crisis in Manipur, Chief Minister, O.Ibobi Singh has rushed to Delhi to talk to the Central leadership in the wake of the demands by All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) to hold negotiations in Delhi. A harassed-looking Chief Minister called on Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil this afternoon and is waiting to call on the Prime Minister. The Centre, which is not pleased with his handling of the situation leading to the economic blockade, has reportedly given him an earful.
The economic blockade that lasted for over 40 days was called off temporarily by ANSAM to pave the way for resolution of problem. ANSAM wants the talks to take place in the capital in presence of the Central Government officials. However, Ibobi prefers to hold it in Manipur.
The Centre is now planning to depute a representative to the talks to satisfy the agitators. With time fast running out the Centre is unwilling to let go of the opportunity to broker a peace deal. But it may be easier said then done because both the State Government and ANSAM are holding on their stand.
Centre to set up Road Protection Force for Manipur Outlook India
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured a Manipuri delegation that Government would set up a Road Protection Force for ensuring smooth movement of essential commodities through national highway to the state which was recently blocked by agitated students.
"The Centre will set up a Road Protection Force for smooth movement of essential commodities to Manipur," CPI National Secretary D Raja, who was leading a Manipuri women delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, told reporters after a half-an hour meeting. The Centre has also agreed to set up railway link from Jiribum on Assam-Manipur border to Imphal for overall economic development of the state "The Prime Minister also assured us that the Government would set up a railway link from Jiribum to Imphal for speedy economic development of the state," he said.
The delegation apprised the Prime Minister about the sufferings they had to face during the economic blockade after All Naga Students Association of Manipur blocked NH-39 to protest against the Ibobi Singh Government for declaring June 18 as "Integration Day". The blockade continued for nearly two months from June 20 and the Government had to throw open NH-53 which passes through insurgent-affected areas of Nagaland and Manipur. NH-53 was virtually closed for nearly eight years before being thrown open for traffic on August three under heavy security. The Prime Minister also assured the delegation of providing adequate funds to repair both the highways of Manipur for economic growth and prosperity.
Konyak Union Seek Clarification from NSCN-IM Morung Express Mon, AUG 18 (MExN): The Konyak Union Advisory Board convened a meeting on August 17 at its conference hall. The emergency meeting was called by the KU in light of the NSCN-IM press statement in a local daily where the outfit had reportedly claimed that it had sanctioned ex-gratia to the families of Lt. Panglem and Lt. Chahtai who were murdered by its cadres near Leangha Village about 11 km away from Mon on March 18 last. Wangtin Konyak, General Secretary, Konyak Union said that the meeting deliberated at length on the statement. The KU has decided to ask the NSCN-IM authorities to clarify their statement as the Konyaks want to know who accepted this ex-gratia. They also wish to be specified on the time and amount of ex-gratia the outfit had reportedly given. The K.U. further substantiated that it had never asked for any form of ex-gratia or compensation. The K.U. reminded that it had not demanded amount or ex-gratia but justification for the inhuman action initiated by its cadres against innocent public, during its meeting with Th.Muivah, Ato Kilonser of the NSCN - IM on May 14 last. It also maintained that it was against Konyak customary law to accept any form of ex-gratia. The K.U. further lamented that the NSCN-IM could have expressed their regret and apologies at an earlier time instead of offering different reasons and throwing the blame on the Konyaks.
NESO decries speech of ‘adopted NE MP’ Morung Express News August 18 Guwahati: The North East Students’ Organisation, while taking strong exception to the avoidance of issues pertaining to the North East in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech, has questioned Delhi’s honesty and intention as to what hidden agenda it has for bringing about peace in the NE region. Accusing the Central Government of a ‘systematic and well- planned exploitation and discrimination of the NE region ever since India got independence,’ the influential student body has stated that rulers of India provide lip service to the people only with a view to keep the region within the Indian union. The organization has further queried as to how other Indian rulers could be expected to contribute towards the development of the region when the Prime Minister- dubbed as ‘an adopted MP from the NE,’ by the NESO- failed to put the map of the NE correctly in his speech. The NESO has further articulated that the most important concern of the people of the NE was to bring about honourable solutions to the different ongoing political dialogues and ceasefires being held by the Government of India with various armed groups of the region. In this regard, the organization has expressed disappointment over the omission of the Prime Minister in including this issue in his speech. Meanwhile, the NESO has also condemned the inhuman attack on the lives of two Naga girls namely Leishichon Shaiza, who succumbed to her injuries and Ngakuimi Raleng who was seriously injured by a reportedly deranged person at the Gateway of India, Mumbai on August 13. The NESO has, in this context, asked for a proper investigation into the incident.
Nagaland govt demands fresh census in State Assam Tribune
KOHIMA, Aug 18 – Nagaland Government today adopted a resolution urging the Centre to carry out a fresh census and exempt it from the delimitation process on the lines of Jammu and Kashmir considering its complex demographic composition. Moving a resolution in the Assembly, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said there were serious anomalies in the population figures of Nagaland in the 2001 census which depicted “very high growth rates in several areas”.
In several areas, the growth rate was much more than the state’s average, rendering the 2001 census “totally unreliable for any constitutional exercise”, including delimitation of Assembly constituencies in Nagaland, Rio said on the opening day of the monsoon session. Alteration of boundaries of assembly segments involving transfer of constituencies from one tribal area to another would surely “upset the tribal balance, co-existence, peace and tranquility, creating another cause for unrest” in the region already surcharged with tension due to various reasons, he said. Like Jammu and Kashmir, which was exempted from the delimitation exercise, Nagaland also enjoys special status under Article 371-A, making it qualified for the same exemption, he said. Security situation in Nagaland was delicate and any attempt to stir up inter-tribal relations by reorganizing the assembly constituencies might affect the on-going Naga peace process. Delimitation of Assembly segments on the basis of the ‘faulty census’ of 2001 might lead to aggravation of the existing anomalies in the state, he said.
The first sitting on delimitation was scheduled on August 23. –PTI

Congress should thank us for wiping their ‘sins’: Rio
KOHIMA, Aug 18: Chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday attempted to put at rest Congress accusations that the DAN government misused Rs.365 crore received as peace bonus in 2003 from the then Vajpayee led NDA government. To this effect, Rio tabled a White Paper on utilization of the amount saying that the government was doing so in deference to the wishes of Congress leaders. He was giving a written statement on the floor of the House on the first day of the three-day Assembly session. The amount was received by the state only to wipe off the accumulated deficit of the same amount, the chief minister said. However, Rio opposed the Congress allegations that the DAN had not explained the expenditure as untrue. He said that the opposition should not have raked up the issue after unanimous resolution appreciating the receipt of Rs.365 crore from the Centre.
The chief minister said that while getting money from New Delhi for specific projects entailed submitting of utilization certificates, in this case even the Centre did not ask for an explanatory note.
“Let me make it very clear that the whole of Rs.365 crore grant received by the state government on 31st March, 2003 was automatically adjusted in the state's RBI account, to offset the deficit or overdraft of the state government at that time, this was precisely the purpose for which the grant was sought by us, and given by the Government of India. So, there is no question of misuse of the grant by the DAN government,” Rio argued. Countering the Opposition, the chief minister said that in fact, the accumulated deficit of more than Rs.365 crore was created during the ten years of Congress rule.
“Therefore, I am of the opinion that the Congress party now sitting in opposition should be very grateful to the DAN government for wiping out the hang-over of their past mismanagement, sins, instead of asking us questions on how the grant has been utilized. I am also surprised that the Congress MLAs had jointly submitted a memorandum dated April 9, 2005 to the Prime Minister of India on this very issue, asking that the Government of India should not make further releases to the state without first investigating into this matter. I expect and request the Congress party to play the role of constructive opposition and not otherwise,” the chief minister added.

Home secretary in Manipur to assess blockade fallout Naga Realm
Imphal, Aug. 17: Union home secretary B.K. Duggal today made a whistlestop tour of Manipur to assess the stock of essential commodities and the condition of the state’s supply lines, six days after the All Naga Students Association of Manipur lifted its 52-day economic blockade temporarily. He made an aerial survey of the condition of the Imphal-Jiribam highway, reopened last month after the Naga students blocked the Imphal-Kohima highway. He held a series of meetings with governor S.S. Sidhu, chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, chief secretary Jarnail Singh and senior officials of the security forces. The home secretary, who was rushed to Imphal by home minister Shivraj Patil, was accompanied by officials from the ministries of food, surface transport, petroleum and border roads organisation. Talking to mediapersons before leaving Imphal for Delhi, Duggal said the Centre would provide Rs 7 crore to Rs 8 crore immediately for the improvement of National Highway 53, which links Imphal with Silchar. Funds would not be a problem and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) would be responsible for its maintenance, he said.
Though the security threat on this highway is now much reduced, combined forces of the army, Assam Rifles and the CRPF would take care of the security problem. The state chief secretary would soon convene a joint meeting of the security forces and the BRO to chalk out strategies for road improvement and security. Nearly 100 supply trucks are moving along the Imphal-Silchar road on a daily basis. The number of trucks is restricted in view of the bad road condition.
The home secretary suggested to the government that the number should be increased to 120 and also the weight of the trucks from the current 10 tonnes to 15 tonnes. Noting the scarcity of fuel in the state, Duggal said the petroleum ministry and Indian Oil Corporation have agreed to enhance the stock capacity in Imphal as a long-term plan. He said a situation similar to the Naga students’ blockade would not recur. “Even if such a situation arises it would be dealt with properly,” he said.
Duggal, however, said the onus was on the state government to resolve the blockade as it was an internal matter. “All groups must understand that the common man should not be made to suffer while asking for one’s rights.”
The governor and the chief minister today left for Delhi along with Duggal. Ibobi Singh is likely to meet representatives of the Naga students in the capital in an attempt to find a solution to the blockade.
Naga students are demanding the revocation of the June 18 general holiday and warned that they would suspend the blockade only after weighing the response of the government. Supply trucks stopped plying following a five-day bandh called by Sadar Hills District Demand Committee in the Sadar Hills areas from midnight last night. Both National Highways 39 and 53 pass through Sadar Hills. [telegraphindia]

Plans lined up for State to tackle blockades.... Nagarealm
Imphal, August 17: Laying bare a number of plans to help the State tackle economic blockades in the future in the backdrop of the recent economic blockade imposed by ANSAM, Union Home Secretary VR Duggal who arrived at Imphal today said that plans are on to increase the storage capacity of fuel in the State. Addressing a media conference at the banquet hall of Raj Bhawan today, the Union Home Secretary said that he has already held talks with officials of the Indian Oil Corporation and they have endorsed the idea of increasing the storage capacity of fuel. "The IOC officials have agreed with the suggestions of increasing the storage capacity of fuel in the State and they will expedite the work for the same after studying the current holding position of fuel," he added. Other than this the Centre will also take up all necessary steps to ensure that the State is not starved of essential commodities and the Imphal-Jiri line will be developed, promised the Union Home Secretary.
On the developmental plans of NH-53, Duggal said that the Centre is ready to sanction Rs 7/8 crores to convert the highway to a double lane route. The development work of the highway will be entrusted to the BRO, said Duggal and added that work will be taken up in full swing as soon as the post Monsoon season sets in.
"Fund is not a problem. It can be sanctioned either from the Ministry of Road Transport or from the Home Ministry," he informed media-persons.
The Home Secretary further said that the Border Roads Organisation has already informed him that about 60 kms along NH-53 are in bad shape with numerous pot holes. The weak bridges on the route have now been strengthened and goods laden trucks weighing 15 tonnes can pass over the bridges, he added. The BRTF will also be entrusted with the task of maintaining the route on a daily basis, said Duggal and added that adequate security force would be deployed on the highway to provide security and foil any attempt to disrupt the smooth flow of traffic.
"In this regard I have held talks with the top brass of Army, Assam Rifles, CRPF and the State police and I also conducted an aerial survey of the route today," informed Duggal. Security forces have been pressed into service to sanitise the route, he said and added that the situation has improved considerably. Replying to a question from the media, the Home Secretary replied that efforts are on to make NH-39 safe and secured.
The matter has already been discussed with the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland; he informed and added that the Centre has already instructed the State Governments to provide adequate security along the highways. To another question, Duggal said that the demand raised by the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee will be discussed at the appropriate level. On the economic blockade launched by ANSAM, the Home Secretary minced no words and said that political issues should not be used as a tool to make the people suffer. To meet any suffering in the face of such blockades, the Centre has held minute talks with the State Government, informed the Home Secretary.
On the primary objective of his visit to the State, Duggal said that he had come to Imphal to review the security measures taken up on the National Highways, to ensure adequate stock of essential commodities including petroleum products. "In this connection I have held talks with officials of the State Govt," informed Duggal. [The Sangai Express]

Bid on Apang's life foiled; conspiracy alleged ITANAGAR, AUG 17 (PTI) Outlook The Arunachal Pradesh Police have foiled a conspiracy to kill Chief Minister Gegong Apang in a grenade attack on August 15 here by arresting five persons. Disclosing this at a press conference today, the Chief Minister said that a policeman was also found to be involved in the conspiracy and investigation was on. Apang said police came to know about the plot by intercepting telephonic conversations among militants belonging to National Liberation Front of Arunachal (NALFA).
They had planned to launch a grenade attack during his travel from his residence to Indira Gandhi Park to unfurl the national flag on the Independence Day, he said. The Chief Minister also claimed that opposition BJP and dissident Congress leaders "jointly hatched another conspiracy" to dislodg him with "fake" documents to prove that he had lost majority. "I survived on both the occasions as police intercepted telephonic conversations of militants in time, and fellow party leaders explained the origin of the fake documents," Apang said
Top level security meeting approves four additional posts on NH-53 The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 18: A joint meeting of the top brass of central security forces deployed in the state and state forces was held today with the state chief secretary in chair. It was decided at the meeting to open additional security posts at four different places along national highway 53, an official source said.The meeting was called after the Union home secretary VK Duggal, who came to the state for a brief one day visit, had instructed the convening of the same to discuss the security shortcomings on the said route for the safety of the BRTF workers and truckers moving along this way. During his visit to the state, Duggal along with his entourage of officials of the ministry of home affairs had consultation with the top officials of the state home department and the top brass of the central security forces in the state about the latest security position of the national highways in the state.
In the consultation meeting which mainly discussed the co-ordination between the state and central security forces deployed in the Manipur section of the national highways, the state police had reportedly put up a complaint to the home secretary of not getting cooperation from Assam Rifles and Army deployed at different posts and the police, commandos, IRB and MR being left on their own while moving on the highways for escorting the vehicles. After hearing the police complaint, the home secretary had directed the holding of a meeting to find out ways for better co-ordination between the said forces. In the meeting today, it was decided that four new posts of CRPF at Barak, Makru, Kaiphudai and Oinamlong along the NH-53 be established from tomorrow. At each post there will be one company strength of CRPF with anti-riot weapons and wireless installations, the source disclosed.

Mention may be made that the state government had recently put up a proposal for the opening of security posts in seven different locations along the NH-53 viz, Sehjang, Awang Khul, Ramgailung village, BRTF camp near the Irang river, Irang, Rengpang and Kambiron. The meeting also discussed in detail the threat from underground elements to the security forces deployed on both the highways. The bandh of the Sardar Hills District Demand Committee was also discussed and it was decided that state personnel from 1st, 2nd, 3rd IRB would escort the vehicles passing through the Sardar hills areas and ROP conducted by Army and AR will be tightened so as to insure safe passage to them at any time through the national highways.

Naga Republic celebrates its Independence Day Hindustan Times Dimapur, August 17, 2005
A day before the Independence Day celebrations, the "Government of the People's Republic of Nagaland" celebrated the 58th anniversary of "Naga independence" at Camp Hebron, off Dimapur, on August 14. Education Kilonser (minister) Tongmeth Wungnao presided of the celebrations, receiving the 'national gun salute' of the Naga Army. According to reports received here, the celebration commenced with unfurling of the "Naga national flag" by the chief guest followed by the presidential address read out by the chief guest. A number of members of the underground were declared promoted by the "Defence Secretary". The celebration also included a two-minute silent prayer for "those who had laid their lives for the cause of the Nagas".
Speaking at the meeting, Keeya Kilonser (defence minister) Zarsie said the ongoing peace process was in a crucial stage adding "at any cost we should not mingle the political cause with party issues" which Nagas struggled for over fifty years. The celebrations were carried out by various battalions of the NSCI-IM, including the Kiutsumong Battalion, the Naga Army, JC Battalion and Hevuto Battalion. The celebrations at Camp Hebron were followed by a cultural programme.
Khalistan groups holds demonstration in Washington
Sunday 14th August, 2005 Anoop Singh - Panthic Weekly Staff Washington-DC, USA (KP) - According to a press note published by the Council of Khalistan on August 12, 2005, Sikhs from around the East Coast will gather by the Gandhi statue at the Indian Embassy on Q St. between 21st St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW in Washington, DC on Monday, August 15, 2005, at 9:15 a.m. to protest the celebration of Indian Independence Day. In case the celebrations are held at the Indian Ambassador’s residence, the demonstration will move there. According to the information recieved by the Panthic Weekly, the demonstration will be held to commemorate the Sikhs and other minorities murdered by the Indian government since Indian independence, to demand the release of all political prisoners, and to demand a sovereign, independent Khalistan. "India has murdered over 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, according to figures compiled by the Punjab State Magistracy and human-rights groups and reported in the book 'The Politics of Genocide' by Inderjeet Singh Jaijee. It has also killed over 89,000 Kashmiri Muslims since 1988, more than 300,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, and thousands of Christians and Muslims elsewhere in the country, as well as tens of thousands of Assamese, Bodos, Dalits , Manipuris, Tamils, and other minorities," the press release stated. According to a report by the Movement Against State Repression (MASR), 52,268 Sikhs are being held as political prisoners in India without charge or trial. Some have been in illegal custody since 1984! Amnesty International reported that tens of thousands of other minorities are also being held as political prisoners.
Indian police arrested human-rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra after he exposed their policy of mass cremation of Sikhs, in which over 50,000 Sikhs have been arrested, tortured, and murdered, then their bodies were declared unidentified and secretly cremated. He was murdered in police custody. His body was not given to his family. The police never released the body of former Jathedar of the Akal Takht Gurdev Singh Kaunke after SSP Swaran Singh Ghotna murdered him. Ghotna has never been brought to trial for the Jathedar Kaunke murder. No one has been brought to justice for the kidnapping and murder of Jaswant Singh Khalra. “Although Sikhs gave 80 percent of the sacrifices for India’s independence, India has massacred Sikhs since achieving independence,” said Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President of the Council of Khalistan, which is leading the demonstration. On October 7, 1987, the Sikh Nation declared its independence from India, naming its new country Khalistan. “Only a sovereign, independent Khalistan will end the repression and lift the standard of living for the people of Punjab. We are here to demand freedom and self-determination, rather than the genocide that has been inflicted on us for so many years,” he said. “Democracies don’t commit genocide.”
A. Soni comments on a Convention on Human Rights in South Asia held in London, July 24 this year
The Indian subcontinent, now perhaps more commonly referred to as ‘South Asia’, is a region of the World that is plagued with poverty, illiteracy, corruption and strife. Political conflict however is not limited to the bitter animosity between neighbouring nuclear powers Pakistan and India, in fact, the most severe and brutal conflicts, in the case of India, exist between the government and civilian populations. More specifically, the brutal conflict exists between those peoples who wish to exercise their internationally recognized human and legal right of self-determination and the Indian government’s refusal to recognize the legitimacy of such demands. India’s utter disregard for human rights and human dignity in the pursuit to crush such movements and pummel into submission those who talk of freedom from India and justice for the crimes the Indian state and security forces have committed has resulted in a deadlock for which there seemingly is no end to the atmosphere of fear, violence, bitterness and suffering for the oppressed peoples.
Self-determination as a human right and its applicability to the Sikhs was the theme of the speech given by Ranjit Singh Srai, a lawyer and co-ordinator of the Human Rights Advisory Group of the Panjabis in Britain All Party Parliamentary Group, at the World Muslim-Sikh Federation convention on Human Rights in South Asia held on July 24 in London. There were many speakers at this event including two special guests, Justice Ajit Singh Bains (Punjab Human Right Organization) and Inderjit Singh Jaijee (Movement Against State Repression) who had flown in from Punjab especially to attend. Both Justice Ajit Singh Bains and Inderjit Singh Jaijee have outstanding reputations as defenders of human rights in Punjab making their presence at this convention highly appreciated by all who attended. A broad range of human rights issues affecting the subcontinent were covered by the speakers, who were all in agreement that the subcontinent is a region that has a poor track record and respect for individual human rights. Women were said to be among the most at risk from this apathy towards human dignity and suffering prevailing in that part of the World. However, what was later brought into the limelight was the underlying causes of conflicts and the denial of the collective human right that is self-determination. It was this issue that was first raised by Ranjit Singh Srai, who touched upon this crucial yet grossly overlooked issue in human rights.
What Ranjit Singh Srai argued, based on an analysis of relevant international law, was that self-determination was not just a basic human and legal right but that it is actually the most important human right under the UN Charter and foundation for which all other human rights depend upon. Self-determination as a concept therefore is not simply a case of politics, but is a fundamental aspect of International Law and human rights. Self-determination as a human right is given prime importance in the UN Charter and features prominently in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). India is a signatory to these Covenants but it has formally entered a ‘reservation’ to the effect that it does not accept that self-determination applies to ‘peoples or nations’ within its borders. The UN treaty monitoring body responsible for policing compliance with the 1966 Covenants has requested India to remove this ‘reservation’ on the basis that it is not consistent with international law and is not acceptable. But India has ignored this request and continues to refuse to recognise any nations such as the Sikhs, Kashmiris and Nagas who are seeking their internationally recognized legal and human right of self-determination. India refuses to engage in any dialogue that raises the demand of self-determination and when such demands are raised they are suppressed by force.
It is extremely important to understand this legal and human rights dimension to demands of self-determination in Punjab and elsewhere. For it would be a huge blunder to ignore these and see the movement for Khalistan or Nagalim in purely a political context when in reality, this is far from the truth. These are movements founded on rights enshrined in international law and the freely expressed wishes of the people themselves. Genuine peace and justice in South Asia depends on the free exercise of those rights. The Sikhs as a nation freely determined, at the Sarbat Khalsa held at the Akal Takht Sahib in Amritsar on 26 January 1986, to exercise their right of self-determination and establish a sovereign Sikh state of Khalistan in the Sikh majority Punjab. This remains the legitimate and lawful goal of the nation despite the terrible oppression India has carried out to silence the voice of Sikh freedom. The human rights aspect to calls for self-determination in the north-west and north-eastern regions in India was confirmed by three other speakers, Justice Ajit Singh Bains and Inderjit Singh Jaijee who spoke largely on the human rights violations against the Sikhs of Punjab and Dr Mukul Hazarika of Assam Watch who spoke about the dismal human rights situation in the “seven sister” states of the extreme north-east, most notably Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
Dr Hazarika spoke very passionately about the plight of the entire north-east, a region that is colourfully diverse in ethnic, linguistic and tribal identities, yet suppressed ruthlessly by the Indian state. The people of the entire region live in the grip of fear from the Indian security forces who have been given tremendous powers under a number of black laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that virtually enables the Indian army to detain, shoot dead and raid peoples houses with impunity and immunity from the law. Such unwarranted detention of civilians, extra-judicial killings and molestation of women (including gang rapes) by the Indian forces are a frequent occurrence in the “seven sister” states of the north-east protested Dr Hazarika.
Justice Ajit Singh Bains and Inderjit Singh Jaijee presented speeches on the human rights violations against the Sikhs. Abuses that have remarkable similarities to the traumatic experiences of civilian populations in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. However, what both speakers from Punjab were able to touch upon that Dr Hazarika was not able to do due to time constraints was the fact that not only are individual human rights frequently abused in India but the political freedoms of the people are also subject to violations that are contrary to the spirit of democracy and where no one is ever held accountable. This was backed up by Dr Jasdev Singh Rai who spoke of how closely the current Indian Constitution resembles the British legislation imposed on the region in colonial times where the emphasis was not on ruling on behalf of the people but imposing illegitimate control over the people. The example of the Indian constitution (which it was noted has been amended over 100 times) being used as a weapon by the central government against the states was high-lighted by Justice Ajit Singh Bains. Justice Bains lamented about how the elected governments of the states have no real power or autonomy from the central government. Centre-state relations in fact are completely one sided and on numerous occasions the central government has dissolved elected state governments and imposed President’s Rule when there happened to have been a conflict of interests between New Delhi and the state in question. Under such circumstances, political freedoms and the legitimacy of Indian democracy is seriously questionable.
Much of this was confirmed by Inderjit Singh Jaijee who in addition had pointed out that over 200,000 Sikhs have been killed in India since the 1980’s. Inderjit Singh Jaijee went on to regret that the Indian government has treated the people worse than the British colonialists did in terms of abuses and that the Punjab is a police state which has the highest number of police men per capita and where human rights abuses are apart a system for which there is no redress. It was further commented by Inderjit Singh Jaijee that the Sikh struggle is one of self-determination and he agreed that self-determination was a basic human right, something that had been expressed earlier by Ranjit Singh Srai and supported by Dr Mukul Hazarika, who had voiced support for an independent, sovereign Assam based on same the provisions granted in international law.
As part of his speech, Ranjit Singh Srai had read out a message by Lord Nazir Ahmed, a member of the British Parliament who was unable to attend the convention. Lord Ahmed in his note had called for the need of the Sikhs and Muslims of the subcontinent to work together in upholding the human rights of the people and expressed his hope that the conference would develop a stronger understanding between those who were peacefully engaged in struggles for self-determination, what he called “the most crucial human right of all”. Lord Ahmed reaffirmed his support for the establishment of Khalistan at a time when Sikh leaders in India are being targeted for calling for independence. He criticised India’s militarization and forceful suppression of self-determination movements in Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab and the state terror unleashed on the people of these two regions. Lord Ahmed’s message was well received. It carried an appeal for those concerned with the region to make common cause: “Durable peace, justice and the rule of law in South Asia is vital to the greater security of the world; we must work together to defeat those that threaten these ideals.... until India reverses grotesque challenges to civilised standards, we will work together to help ensure there is no UN Security Council seat for India.” wrote Lord Ahmed. The Convention on Human Rights concluded with the passing of a number of resolutions calling for peace and condemning all forms of terrorism, including state terrorism. One of the Resolutions condemned the recent arrests of Sikh political activists and politicians in Punjab such as Dal Khalsa leaders Kanwarpal Singh and Sarbjit Singh Ghuman along with Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President, Sardar Simranjit Singh Mann, all of whom had done nothing but call for the right of self-determination in a peaceful and democratic manner which was in accordance with International Law. A further Resolution appealed to all those who are oppressed by India and that are peacefully struggling to exercise their right of self-determination to forge an alliance and to co-ordinate their efforts on a political front.
Manmohan Singh Khalsa and Nazar Lodhi, officers of the World-Muslim Sikh Federation, thanked speakers and guests alike and pledged to carry forward their work to promote human rights in South Asia. (A. Soni is Associate of Dal Khalsa International. Can be mailed on
Mahanta fires salvo on Govt, AASU Secret killings By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, Aug 18: Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who is being placed under the harsh limelight in the wake of the controversial JN Sharma Commission report on the secret killings, today brushed aside allegations of his involvement in the episode. Rubbishing charges that the secret killings had taken place at the instance of the erstwhile AGP Government, Mahanta told a press conference here that the killings had, in fact, taken place during the earlier Congress regime. "Who can forget the instances when Assamese youths were burnt down," he said.
Firing salvos on the AASU, the expelled AGP leader said that the student body is up against the interim report of the Commission because it does not fall in lines with its agenda. "Subsequent rejection of the Commission’s report by the State Government and the AASU shows how much respect they have for our local judges," he added. Coming down heavily on ‘some’ of the AASU leaders, Mahanta, who was also accompanied by former Assembly Speaker Ganesh Kutum, said, "Nowadays what the Chief Minister says in the morning, are in the lips of some AASU leaders towards the evening." Terming the AASU’s allegations of his connivance with Justice JN Sharma as ‘unfounded’ and ‘concocted’, the two-time chief minister said, "If the AASU leaders had any information contrary to the report, why did they not provide the same to the Commission?" As for the State Government, he said, "it sabotaged the inquiry as it wanted the Commission to linger till the next elections and keep the issue alive and public in the dark."
‘Make NE an industrial region’ From our Reporter Sentinel
DIBRUGARH, Aug 18: Citing the specified industrial areas as one of the reasons for industrial backwardness in the north-eastern region, Dibrugarh MP Sarbananda Sonowal has demanded the Centre to allow the whole north-eastern region to be used for industrialization by removing the constraints of the heavy tax structure under the North East Industrial Policy, 1997. The MP raised the demand in the Parliament yesterday in a petition, for the implementation of the North East Industrial policy, 1997, in the interest of the rapid development of the industrial sector in Assam. Sonowal mentioned that if a larger area is included on the basis of the Policy, it would encourage the setting up of more industries not only in Assam but also in the entire North-east.
It would go a long way in solving the unemployment problem in the region, he added. He also pointed out that the proposal of the State Government to include more sectors has not been approved yet. It may be noted here that the State Government, along with the region’s entrepreneurs’ forum FINER and NEDFi, has been raising the demand for the amendment of the North East Industrial Policy, 1997. The MP also demanded a rise in the subsidy on the ‘term loan’ and ‘working capital’ from 3 per cent to 5 per cent. Besides, he wanted enhancement of Central financial assistance to industrial investment in the State from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 2 crore

Frans on 08.19.05 @ 12:12 PM CST [link]


Thursday, August 18th

State govt will not be left out of any settlement with ANSAM Patil


State govt will not be left out of any settlement with ANSAM Patil Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 17: A six member delegation of the North East Peoples Organisation along with Lok Sabha MP, Dr T Meinya called on Union home minister Shivraj Patil today and apprised him of variaous issues confronting Manipur besides detailing the situation arising out of the recent ANSAM economic blockade in Manipur. During the meeting, the NEPO delegation told Patil that the government of India should not bypass Manipur while resolving with the ANSAM the issue of declaration of June 18 as state integrity day. The delegation also warned that bypassing Manipur government while resolving the issue could lead to another incident similar to the one that took place on June 18, 2001. After giving a patient hearing, Patil assured the NEPO delegation that the government of India would never bye pass Manipur while resolving the current issue with ANSAM, according to a informed source from New Delhi. Apprising him of various kinds of extortions being carried out along the national highways in the state, the NEPO delegation told the minister that the NSCN(IM) has been collecting huge amount of money from truckers originating from Manipur. The delegation also asked whether extortion being carried out by the NSCN(IM) is included in the agenda of the peace talk between the outfit and the government of India.

To this, Patil said that the government of India will look into extortions in Nagaland and it is the responsibility of the government of Manipur to look into such extortions being done within its territory. The delegation also told the home minister that people of north east in general and Manipur in particular welcomed the peace talks between the government of India and several underground outfits of the region. The people expected that peace would return to the region with such talks, but the seven years long peace talk between the GOI and the NSCN(IM) has created communal tension in the region owing to NSCN(IM)’s demand for greater Nagaland, the delegation told Shivraj Patil. The delegation also asked the home minister to fulfill the long cherished demands of the Sadar Hills people who have been demanding a full fledged revenue district of Sadar Hills in Manipur for the last 30 years, the source added.
Meanwhile, the International Peace and Social Advancement, IPSA has demanded a white paper on the ongoing peace talk between the government of India and the NSCN(IM) alleging that the peace talks have only created communal tension amongst communities inhabiting the north eastern region.
In a statement, the IPSA further appealed to the Manipur government not to take any hasty decision while negotiating with the ANSAM. Stating that revocation of Manipur government’s order declaring holiday on June 18 as state integrity day is like granting permission for disintegration of Manipur, the IPSA maintained that the matter should not be compromised at any cost. Expressing strong concern over extortions by the NSCN(IM) along the national highways, the IPSA also asked whether the government of India permitted the NSCN(IM) to collect taxes or whether it is part of the agenda of the peace process.
NPF questions PM’s silence on peace process, blames State Cong Imkong refutes allegations, demands for apology Morung Express News August 17
KOHIMA: The Nagaland Peoples’ Front (NPF) has expressed consternation over the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech. The ruling NPF party was quick to issue a statement of regret over what it observed was the Prime Minister’s non-inclusion of political, economic and developmental issues and problems of Nagaland in particular and the North East region in general during his Red Fort Independence Day speech. Mentioning that the Centre was engaged in political talks with both factions of the NSCN, Press Secretary of the NPF, R Paphino, in his press communiqué stated that the ‘pin drop silence’ exhibited by Singh on the Indo-Naga issue in his marathon speech was, “a sheer manifestation of indifferent attitude and insincerity on the part of the United Progressive Alliance Government towards finding a concrete solution to the Naga political problem which remains elusive for more than half a century.”
The NPF has further stated that the ‘well-planned side lining’ of the Naga problem was due to the fact that the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee had earlier misled the UPA Government on the Naga political problem. The NPF has also indicted the NPCC of pressing for non-release of committed funds by the Central Government for development works meant for the people of Nagaland. Reacting to the above mentioned allegations against the NPCC, Leader of Opposition I Imkong said over telephone that such a claim made by the NPF was a figment of its imagination. He further said that the NPF had no locus standi on the issue and challenged the ruling party to either come out with hard evidence to support its claim or apologize to the NPCC. Regarding the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech, the Congress veteran had to say that it was Singh’s responsibility to include matters pertaining to the North East in his address.
Blockade fate to be decided at New Delhi talks with state govt UNC The Imphal Free Press
Senapati, Aug 17: The United Naga Council (UNC) while ridiculing Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh's ethical move in a parliamentary democracy, has said that whether to discontinue or resume the indefinite economic blockade along the national highways leading to Manipur would depend on the much hyped New Delhi talks between the ANSAM representatives and the Manipur government. Talking to Newmai News Network this morning somewhere in Senapati district UNC president Puni Modoli came down heavily on the Manipur chief minister saying that because of the incompetent handling of the issue things had gone to the present stage where the general public in Manipur had to face immense hardship. The UNC president explained that in a parliamentary system any leader whether big or small has to step down from his chair once he said he was wrong.
Dwelling more on this point the president of the apex body of Naga society in Manipur elaborated that ". O Ibobi Singh had expressed regret on the floor of the Manipur Assembly for declaring June 18 as Manipur Integrity Day which became a state holiday,so the matter should have ended there itself for the chief minister--i.e. either to revoke the June 18 declaration or step down as chief minister".

Puni Modoli then quoted senior cabinet minister Th Debendra saying that the latter had disclosed in the Manipur assembly that June 18 declaration decision was taken by the chief minister himself and was not the decision approved by the cabinet. "For this reason there are only two options for Ibobi Singh - one, he should revoke the June 18 declaration or step down from his present post, because this is the only way in a parliamentary style of functioning," stated the UNC president.Heaping more blames on the Manipur chief minister, the UNC president said that economic blockade had created so much hardship both for the valley and the hill people of Manipur "which was the creation of O Ibobi Singh." "Inspite of the hardship faced by the people, Ibobi is still playing dilly dallying tactics with the issue and in the process the chief minister has made the venue of talks more important than the core issue," stated the United Naga Council.

Centre sanctions 1400 km road under ‘Look East policy’ From Tage T Tara Assam Tribune
ITANAGAR, Aug 17 – The Centre has sanctioned 1400 km road to connect the border areas under its "Look East policy" to boost the border trade with China, Bhutan, Myanmar and Tibet, said Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Gegong Apang after unfurling the Tricolour here on August 15. Addressing people on the occasion of Independence Day, Apang said his government is taking all steps to accelerate development in the border areas, modalities for which are being finalised for opening border trade at Blitting (China), Bumla (Tibet) and Pangasu Pas (Myanmar). "This would provide trade routes not only for limited trade but of goods coming from all over the country as an alternative to sea and air transport," he added. As an Independence Day gift to the work force, Apang announced hiked wages at the rate of Rs 57 for unskilled, Rs 62 for semi-skilled and Rs 67 for skilled workers. To address the problems of government officials, Apang said his government has decided to merge DA equal to 50% of its existing basic pay from April 1 next. In the partial exercise of devolution of power to the Panchayati Raj bodies, Apang said that the State Government also decided to give cheque drawal power to the Chairpersons of all the Panchayati Raj institutions.

Having realised the tremendous scope for hydro-power generation in the state, Apang informed that his government announced its eco-freindly power policy to encourage private investment in the field. However, he reiterated that all care would be taken to ensure power generation without causing dislocation to the state's fragile eco-system. In view of state's ill financial health, Apang exhorted its major revenue earning departments to make all out efforts to augment the states revenue so as to meet the precondition to impress upon the Planning Commission to enhance the normal plan allocation.

On the controversial ST status to Mishing community residing in the state, Apang while expressing his sympathy said, the government was aware of their problem. Chief Minister appealed to all the customers of Arunachal Pradesh Co-operative Apex Bank to have faith on the bank and patronize it for the over all development. However, he admitted that the Bank requires some resstructuring to make it more effective. Earlier, Chief Minister took salute from the impressive march past of ITBP, IRBN, APP Bn amd Scouts and Guides, while the colour troopes from various tribal communities performed the traditional dances and songs marked the day long celebration here.

Plans lined up for State to tackle blockades: Duggal promises bigger capacity fuel storage for Manipur, development of NH-53 Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 17: Laying bare a number of plans to help the State tackle economic blockades in the future in the backdrop of the recent economic blockade imposed by ANSAM, Union Home Secretary VR Duggal who arrived at Imphal today said that plans are on to increase the storage capacity of fuel in the State. Addressing a media conference at the banquet hall of Raj Bhawan today, the Union Home Secretary said that he has already held talks with officials of the Indian Oil Corporation and they have endorsed the idea of increasing the storage capacity of fuel.
"The IOC officials have agreed with the suggestions of increasing the storage capacity of fuel in the State and they will expedite the work for the same after studying the current holding position of fuel," he added. Other than this the Centre will also take up all necessary steps to ensure that the State is not starved of essential commodities and the Imphal-Jiri line will be developed, promised the Union Home Secretary. On the developmental plans of NH-53, Duggal said that the Centre is ready to sanction Rs 7/8 crores to convert the highway to a double lane route. The development work of the highway will be entrusted to the BRO, said Duggal and added that work will be taken up in full swing as soon as the post Monsoon season sets in.

"Fund is not a problem. It can be sanctioned either from the Ministry of Road Transport or from the Home Ministry," he informed media-persons. The Home Secretary further said that the Border Roads Organisation has already informed him that about 60 kms along NH-53 are in bad shape with numerous pot holes. The weak bridges on the route have now been strengthened and goods laden trucks weighing 15 tonnes can pass over the bridges, he added. The BRTF will also be entrusted with the task of maintaining the route on a daily basis, said Duggal and added that adequate security force would be deployed on the highway to provide security and foil any attempt to disrupt the smooth flow of traffic.
"In this regard I have held talks with the top brass of Army, Assam Rifles, CRPF and the State police and I also conducted an aerial survey of the route today," informed Duggal. Security forces have been pressed into service to sanitise the route, he said and added that the situation has improved considerably. Replying to a question from the media, the Home Secretary replied that efforts are on to make NH-39 safe and secured.

The matter has already been discussed with the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland; he informed and added that the Centre has already instructed the State Governments to provide adequate security along the highways. To another question, Duggal said that the demand raised by the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee will be discussed at the appropriate level. On the economic blockade launched by ANSAM, the Home Secretary minced no words and said that political issues should not be used as a tool to make the people suffer. To meet any suffering in the face of such blockades, the Centre has held minute talks with the State Government, informed the Home Secretary. On the primary objective of his visit to the State, Duggal said that he had come to Imphal to review the security measures taken up on the National Highways, to ensure adequate stock of essential commodities including petroleum products.
"In this connection I have held talks with officials of the State Govt," informed Duggal.
Union home secy disappoints Manipur Statesman News Service
IMPHAL, Aug. 17. — Union home secretary Mr VK Duggal today said the 40 tons of essential items air-lifted to Imphal by Indian Airforce aeroplane in the wake of the 52-days long economic blockade by All Naga Students Association of Manipur and Nagaland based NSF on Manipur’s two lifelines the NH-39 and 53 was “ symbolic.”
The secretary, making a whistle-stop visit to Manipur which just came out of unprecedented economic blockade, had little to offer the people of Manipur except an effort to open the NH-53.
On being asked about the blockade of NH-39 that effectively cut-off Manipur from the rest of India, he said the matter was an internal matter of Manipur, forgetting that NH-39 passes through Nagaland where major activities took place. He also said he trusted that people would not play mischief with talks going on. He said that though the central action came 52 days late, it should not be construed that the centre was sitting idle. “There was a lot of negotiation going on and he was meeting chief secretaries and police heads of the states involved, to diffuse the situation,” he added.
Mr Duggal also said he made an aerial survey of the NH-53 and added that for immediate relief, Rs 7 to 8 crore was being released to undertake major repairing work post-monsoon to make the road traffic fit. In the long run the highway will be made double lane. He said he had brought with him key officials of Border Road Organisation, Food Corporation of India and IOC to review the highway, food-stock and petroleum products. He said there was a need to increase capacities and build-up stocks of petroleum products and food grain to make the people self-sufficient.
Mr Duggal further said the carrying capacity of NH-53 has been increased from 10 tons to 15 tons and it can now handle 100 vehicles per day. On the security along the NH-53 he said he would like to see a situation where they would not be needed and the police can take over. On the non-availability of essential items in the market he said the state has now enough stock and the government has to ensure that they are available in the market. Mr Duggal arrived here today from Guwahati and later left for Delhi. During his brief stay he met the chief minister Mr O Ibobi Singh, Governor Dr SS Sidhu, chief secretary and heads of security forces to take stock of the situation. Both chief minister and the Governor left for New Delhi today where there will be a negotiation with ANSAM leaders over the state government’s decision to declare 18 June as holiday and State Integrity day over which ANSAM launched the economic strike. Mr Ibobi Singh goes to New Delhi with a strong warning from frontline Manipur organisations against any step to retract his government’s decision on the holiday. United Committee of Manipur has strongly warned that it would launch a massive agitation if the state government does a U-turn on the holiday decision.
Bill on municipal act denied assent kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Aug 17: Chief minister Neiphiu Rio’s Independence Day announcement of empowering municipal bodies has suffered a setback with governor Shyamal Datta refusing to give assent to the Nagaland First Amendment Bill, 2005. The government will now have to “rectify the bill in the Assembly session beginning tomorrow. The Nagaland First Amendment Bill, 2005, was an amendment of the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001, under which elections to 18 municipal bodies in the state were held early this year. Following the governor’s decision to send the bill for reconsideration, the municipal bodies are now “technically illegal”. Elections to the 16 town councils and two municipal councils were held early this year and the bodies constituted. “If we strictly go by the law, the municipal bodies are illegal and unconstitutional,” said a senior bureaucrat.

The government has violated Articles 243-R and 243-T of the Constitution in constituting these civic bodies, a source said. The violations were allegedly on two counts. One, the Constitution makes it clear that the municipal bodies may have only elected members, but there are nominated ones here. Two, it is mandatory to have one-third of the seats reserved for women. There are hardly any women in any of these local bodies: the government said women did not come forward to contest. The government, however, argued that as this was the first time that the municipalities had been formed, such “errors” should be condoned. The Chumukedima town council was constituted even after the governor’s refusal to give assent to the bill. Six Congress members had staged a walkout in protest against the development but the ruling party went ahead with the election of a new chairman.
“There is a court case pending, but they are unwilling to listen,” said state Congress president, Hokheto Sumi. Sources said members of the Chumukedima town council were today summoned to the Raj Bhavan to provide a clarification

Monsoon session of Nagaland Assembly begins Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Aug 17 :Opposition Congress is all set to raise issues of corruption, anomalies in school textbook distribution, appointment of teachers, on-going probe into NPSC and present law and order situation in Nagaland when the monsoon session of the State Assembly begins here tomorrow. Congress Legislature Party (CLP) at a meeting here yesterday discussed strategy to be adopted during the three-day session of the house after the party published a “white paper” enlisting failures of Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government in 20 areas recently. Besides laying the usual supplementary demand for grants, the government is likely to introduce the Nagaland Money Lending Bill 2005 and amended Nagaland Municipal Bill during the session. The municipal bill, earlier passed by the house, was returned by the Governor recently pointing out certain anomalies. According to sources, DAN legislators also held a meeting ahead of tomorrow’s assembly session. –PTI

NH-53 double laning to begin by Sep-Oct this year: VK Duggal Imphal Free Press
Imphal, Aug 17: There will be no shortage of funds from the central government for construction, maintenance and development of National Highway 53. An amount of Rs. 7 to 8 crores will be made available to upgrade the route to double lane and a long term plan is being worked out to have the Border roads organisation handle its upkeep. The plan is to see execution by the last week of September or first week of October after the end of the rainy season. The visiting Union home secretary VK Duggal said this after arriving this morning at Imphal on a brief one day visit. He also stated that the Union ministry of petroleum had assured to increase the stock of the petroleum products in the state from the current quantity. Speaking to mediapersons at a press conference in Imphal, VK Duggal stated that he had a view of the national highway on his way to Imphal from Guwahati and the actual situation of the road after briefing by the state chief secretary.

Stating that the condition of a stretch of about 60 to 70 kms on the NH-53 is not good he expressed that after taking stock of the situation on the NH-53, the union ministry of home affairs had taken three decisions giving emphasis to the said road in particular in the larger interest of the people. Elaborating the three decisions, Duggal said the border road organisation will ensure day to day maintenance and construction of the road regularly. The present condition of the road having only the capacity of bearing only upto 10 tonnes will be improved soon and increased to 15 tonnes. The required upgradation work is on. The present restriction to 100 numbers of trucks in one trip will be increased to 120. Regarding this he had informed the concerned authorities, he disclosed. Stating that the centre is looking for a long term project for the development of the NH 53, the home secretary added that for improving the road, a fund of Rs 7 to 8 crores will be provided by the centre.
On the security question, he said that adequate number of security posts have been opened for the swift flow of vehicles on this road. He stated that to review the present security set up on this route, the state chief secretary who is also in charge of the home department will hold a meeting with top officials of the security establishment to assess the security requirement on this route for full protection from anti-social elements. Regarding a query about the scarcity of food in the state he said that as there was enough foodgrain stock in the state according to his assessment there nothing to worry about. Moreover, atleast 100 goods carrying trucks were also coming into the state every day an the average with security escort, he added. Conceding that there is a shortage of petroleum products in the state, he said he had consulted the related ministry and the ministry had agreed to find out ways to relieve the shortage at the earliest by increasing the quota for the state.
Talking about the problems faced along the NH-39, Duggal stated that he had a talk with the top officials of Nagaland about the matter and had directed them to take up all the necessary measures to insure safe passage of the truckers passing through their territory. the home secretary, it may be mentioned, had come to the state for a brief one day visit to take stock of the situation regarding security measures on the national highways and other related issues arising out of the recent ANSAM economic blockade on the national highways. The team of the union home ministry had arrived at Imphal by a special aircraft of the ministry this morning. As soon as they arrived at Imphal the team directly proceeded to Raj Bhavan and called on the Governor of the state, Dr. SS Sidhhu and chief minister O Ibobi Singh and discussed the problems that the state is facing now in the aftermath of the ANSAM economic blockade including the food shortage as a result of the prolonged blockade.
The team also held a meeting with top officials of the state including the state chief secretary and the DGP along with the top brass of the central security forces deployed in the state to review the security measures taken up by the state along the NH-53 for the safe passage of truckers. The visiting team along with the governor and chief minister of the state left the state capital for New Delhi concluding their brief visit to the state.

Questionnaire on Naga issue raise eyebrows Morung Express News august 17
Imphal: In what could be seen as an act that could have far reaching effect on the political process for a settlement to the Indo-Naga issue, security forces in Manipur have reportedly been distributing questionnaires to the public in some selected areas in the hill districts of Manipur. The intention behind this scheme is yet to be ascertained, but it comes at a highly significant time, especially in the wake of recent developments centered around the issue of unification of Naga areas.
A copy of the questionnaire was reportedly made available to an Imphal based newspaper by a Kuki student body. The questionnaire is said to have been distributed to village chiefs of the Saikul area in Manipur. At the time of filing this story, it is learnt that the questionnaire is being distributed only in the non-Naga areas of the hill districts of Manipur. The questionnaire comprises of the following questions:
Is Nagalim practical reality?
Should Naga dominated districts of Manipur merge with Nagaland?
What will be the status of other ethnic minorities in Naga dominated hill districts be if merged with Nagaland?
In case Nagalim becomes a reality should it remain part of India or seek independence?
Is the economic blockade of the Manipur State by ANSAM a right step towards bringing the Naga cause in the forefront of State and National politics?
Do you support burning of district administrative offices as part of the economic blockade/non-cooperation movement?
Will resignation of Naga MLAs help the Naga cause in Manipur?
Do you feel you will be better off as part of Nagaland?
Do you support the extension of ceasefire between the security forces and the NSCN (I-M)?
Do you support the ethnic cleansing of non-Nagas from the hill districts of Manipur?
ANSAM appeals to M’rashtra CM Morung Express News August 17 Imphal: The All Naga Students Association of Manipur has appealed to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Desmukh to provide necessary security arrangements for the Nagas in Maharashtra State in general. The student body has also called for the immediate dispensation of justice and compensation to the families of the two Naga girls who were assaulted in Mumbai recently. It may be mentioned that the assault resulted in the death of one of the girls and injury to the other. The ANSAM has further stated that the Association would not tolerate such kinds of heinous crimes being perpetrated upon innocent Naga citizens residing in different parts of India.
Secret Killings report embarrasses Gogoi GOVERNMENT rejects Sarma panel report GUWAHATI, August 17 (Agencies): It has been Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s summer of discontent. First it was the repeal of the IMDT Act and now the Commission on ‘secret killings’ set up by Gogoi has absolved Prafulla Mahanta and BJP President L K Advani of all charges. The two leaders have been alleged by Gogoi to have masterminded the killings of families of ULFA cadres during the AGP regime. The State Cabinet also decided not to accept the report of the Justice JN Sarma Commission probing the incidents of secret killings. The Cabinet also decided to wind up the Commission. Addressing a press conferenc, Gogoi said that the Government found lots of glaring discrepancies in the first report of the Commission and decided not to accept its findings. He said that the Commission relied more on the reports of the police than on the reports given by the families of the victims and the report was full of contradictions.
The Chief Minister revealed that the Government is planning to form a new commission headed by a Supreme Court Judge to inquire into the secret killings. When asked whether the Government is keen on instituting a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the secret killings, he said that a CBI probe would take years to complete and a judicial probe can be completed in a shorter period of time. It may be mentioned here that Justice Sarma submitted his first report to the Government on three incidents of killing including, the killings of Jyotish Sarma, Dr Dharanidhar Das and his family members and kidnapping and missing of two youths from Tezpur on August 12. The Chief Minister said that Justice Sarma, in his report, contradicted himself. He admitted that in one part of the report, he had admitted that there was a definite conspiracy behind the secret killings, but later in the same report, he contradicted himself, the Chief Minister said. He further pointed out that there was a massive public outcry in the entire State against the secret killings and "we instituted a judicial probe into the incidents to find out the conspiracy behind such killings and to find out the persons behind the conspiracy." Reacting to the demand by BJP leader Pramod Mahajan for an apology by the Chief Minister for accusing BJP president LK Advani for his alleged involvement in the secret killings, Gogoi said, "Let the AGP and BJP claim that no secret killings took place in the State. Former Chief Minister P. Mahanta had once admitted in a meeting of his party that the Government, during his tenure indulged in such killings as per the directive of the Central Government. Mahajan is now claiming that no secret killing took place."
Bring secret killers to book: AASUGUWAHATI, Aug 17 (Agencies): Lambasting the recent JN Sharma Commission report on secret killings in the State, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) demanded that the State Government treat "the sensitive issue" in a sincere and serious manner. "The people of Assam wanted justice, they wanted the JN Sharma Commission’s report to be fair, which did not turn to be the case," said AASU president Shankar Prasad Roy, in a press conference on Aug 16. "It is a fake investigation which did not identify a single secret killer, even though so many secret killings took place across the State for such a long time" he noted. Welcoming a cabinet decision of the Assam Government not to accept the JN Sharma Commission report, Roy, however, warned that any new investigation must not be swayed by political compulsions. Roy said that the Union would launch a State-wide protest march on August 22 against the Government’s failure to identify the perpetrators of secret killings.
India’s Look East policy a non-starter column Morong Express
It’s an idea whose time has not come yet. On November 22 last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flagged off the first ever India-ASEAN car rally in Guwahati amidst much fanfare. The non-competitive rally, organised by CII, is supposed to have emphasized India’s newfound stress on the ‘Look East’ policy signifying new trade initiatives with the country’s eastern neighbours and ASEAN countries. In a space of a fortnight, the rally passed through India’s North-east and eight countries starting with Myanmar and ending in Indonesia covering a distance of over 8,000 km. Sitting in New Delhi, mandarins of the Ministry of External Affairs and the CII patted themselves on the back for the grand rally. The rally was supposed to have emphasized India’s “Look East,” policy bringing in multiple benefits for the seven states of the north-east and its immediate neighbours like Myanmar. The high and mighty of CII was present in full force at the photo-op in Guwahati.
We in the media lapped up the event giving out reams of newsprint and television time but even nearly eight months after the grandiose ceremony, questions are beginning to be raised about the real gains of the event, especially for those who live in the north-east. The facilities on ground are so abysmal even now that it would perhaps take years before big time trade can really take off. I had an occasion to get into Myanmar ahead of the car rally by traveling between Imphal and Moreh last year.
Eight months later last week, I traveled the other stretch between Dimapur and Imphal via Kohima and Senapati on NH 39. And I am sorry to say nothing has changed. To begin with, the road is not ready for any heavy traffic. At most places, the NH is a katcha road. There is no infrastructure worth the name on ground. I remember on the rally days last year, on the stretch of NH 39 in Nagaland and Manipur, all normal traffic had to be shut down; heavily armed security personnel had to escort the participants throughout the journey. The threats that existed then are present even now. Most people know that different underground groups have divided the highway into their own exclusive territories where they extort money (militant leaders prefer to call them taxes!). It adds to the cost of transportation by at least about Rs 2,000 per vehicle in ‘taxes in each trip.’ New Delhi and Yangon have talked big about trading through the Moreh-Tamu border. But the ground reality is far removed from the grand intentions. Very few Myanmarese customs or immigration authorities understand English, which is a major impediment. Then there are physical constraints to overcome. Tamu, a fairly big border town inside Myanmar, has very poor communication facility with capital Yangon as we discovered last year. Not that Moreh is any better. Telecommunication from Moreh is still very primitive. Moreh will not become a throbbing trading point unless government policies change on either side. The intentions are certainly grand. Rajiv Sikri, Secretary (East) in the MEA had said in Guwahati: “We hope to soon see a road connecting Guwahati to Hanoi to Singapore. Efforts are also on to have a railway link established between the northeast and Myanmar. A feasibility study has been undertaken. Airlines of major Asian nations have also agreed to fly through Guwahati on an unlimited basis, raising hopes for boosting trade in the region. “When all these plans get fully effective, trade and commerce between India and the other Asian nations would increase and the northeastern region would get the maximum benefit,” Sikri had prounounced. After having resurveyed the road and other facilities agains, it is clear that there is a major disconnect between policy and implementation. None of decision makers in Delhi seem to have taken into account hurdles such as security concerns, poor infrastructure facilities, including the state of the road network and disturbed conditions on the border areas. There are certain other questions that disturb me even more. For instance, will India’s Look East Policy by-pass the north eastern states? Will the seven states of the region remain an underbelly of the bridge between ‘mainland’ India and South-east Asian countries? Or the more relevant question: is the region ready to take advantage of the grand opportunity that the “Look East” Policy may offer. There are no clear-cut answers yet but one aspect stands out at this moment. Neither India’s north-east nor Myanmar, its immediate neighbour on the east and an important component of the grand trans-Asian highway, are ready for any serious trade or tourism. Clearly, despite all the hype and hoopla over “Look East,” New Delhi will have to look within before trade can flourish on India’s eastern border.
(The writer, currently Associate Editor of Tehelka, The people’s paper, has been a media practitioner in the northeast for the past 22 years)
WRITE WING NPSC as I see it Sentimongla Morung Nagaland has always been portrayed as a state ravaged by its vexed political problem and the ugly head of corruption which has time and again protruded out and made its presence known everywhere. At every point in time for the right thinking citizens it has been a ceaseless struggle to paint this distorted picture otherwise and as everywhere else their concerted efforts has always been met with indifference and callousness and many a times resisted by individuals and groups with shallow thoughts and self interest. Looking at the current trend in which the state of affairs is heading one cannot help but question that somewhere down the line something is terribly wrong and today Nagaland stands at a crossroad between the devil and the cliff. 2005 has seen many unfortunate or rather shameful incidents in the Naga calendar year. The most recent being the alleged tryst of NPSC and the bribery scam, which has made infamous headlines nationwide. This incident has shaken the pillars of the Naga society to its very core. Over the decades, this institution has been held in the highest esteem for the constructive part played by it in the progress of the State. It has almost been revered and referred to as the pinnacle of success for thousands of youngsters in Nagaland. It has been the very epitome of the civil society and is synonymous to the modern and progressive culture that we all live in today. It has rendered great service to the people, but time and again there have also been talks about the prevalence of corruption within its folds. It is no secret that many youngsters have been disappointed and disillusioned by such tales making the rounds. There were of course denials and hand washing from every quarter in this high power drama. A contract LDA of NPSC office approaches the Controller of examination of NPSC with Rs 10 lakh in his hands to buy the selection of two “aspiring” candidates for the preliminary examination 2005. The Controller however rejects this proposal and reports it to the bigwigs of the Commission office who promptly terminates the LDAs service and bars the other from appearing in the examination. This comes to light only on May, whereas according to fact findings it took place in the month of February. The whole matter was hushed up because it involved some very powerful people in this highly charged drama. The feeble excuse that was later given by the Commission was that it was done so to preserve the sanctity of the office. When this episode came to light there was uproar all over Nagaland and many at last found the voice to express personal grievances against the office. For most part, the state government remained a mute spectator, and when the matter became too hot to handle, the case was handed over to the Nagaland vigilance department. For many, the investigation made by the vigilance department is a no show, and demands only a C.B.I probe. Time only will tell who or what is the rotten apple in the whole basket. But for now every anger is directed towards the NPSC and unless the truth unfolds (if it does) the question of the sanctity and sanity of the Naga society is at stake, not forgetting the serious repercussions that it will have on the mindset of the Naga youngsters in the future.


Frans on 08.18.05 @ 01:53 PM CST [link]


Wednesday, August 17th

KOHIMA, AUG 17 (EMN) Eastern Mirror


KOHIMA, AUG 17 (EMN) Eastern Mirror

Prof. GD Sharma, harangued Vice Chancellor of Nagaland University (NU) appears to be headed for another controversy, this time for taking an academic trip to militarily ruled Myanmar (erstwhile Burma) reportedly to help build a university there. “He cannot represent the Nagas,” Phushika Aomi, president, NSF told Eastern Mirror over the current boss of NU taking such an official trip considering, what he called, the ‘highly sensitive’ nature of the Indian and Burmese diplomatic and military collaboration vis-à-vis the numerous struggling groups, including that of the Nagas.
He declared the NSF would not have any problem if Prof. Sharma was in Myanmar as a “good Indian”.

But, he said, there are a number of pointers that have led Nagas to believe he has been placed in Nagaland with a purpose and recalled the controversy of the human genome studies by collecting blood samples from three Naga tribes. He was the one who sanctioned the project, he went on.
Another senior Naga leader, preferring not to be identified, said he believed there was a covert move by forces and that the VC’ship is only a cover. Such revelations only lend legitimacy to the allegations of the student and teaching community, he said. He said it is something when a VC can resign three times and still come back. Last year, Federation of Central University Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) during it general meeting held for the first time in Kohima, demanded that Prof. G.D. Sharma step down pending an impartial inquiry.

Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. RP Kachhara told this correspondent that he knew about the trip only a few days before the scheduled trip, though it is confirmed that the project was in process even before the fact finding committee of the UGC and MHRD last visited Nagaland.
A senior member from the teaching community who has raised the issue of VC earlier too, queried how he could leave the University at such a crucial time. He said examinations were taking place, discrepancies in the results declaration have surfaced and Prof. Sharma has left everything to develop another university in a country that is feared for its military stranglehold.

Sources say there is a section of the university fraternity that has won the confidence of Prof. Sharma.
Vice Chancellor of a Central University enjoying enormous clout in securing funds for developmental works, he has initiated quite a few significant moves to stabilise and strengthen the infrastructural base of NU. Prof. Sharma expected back in August end and is bound to face uncomfortable questions here, as the Indian team would have confronted the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the supreme military command.
NSCN-IM calls for referendum if talks fail Indo-Asian News Service Dimapur (Nagaland), Aug 17 (IANS) The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) has expressed doubts over New Delhi's intentions to integrate tribal Naga inhabited areas in the northeast and called for a referendum if peace talks fail.

"In case the government of India cannot take concrete steps, the matter (integration) cannot be stopped there. It should be referred back to the Naga people for a referendum," chairman of the rebel outfit Isak Chishi Swu said in a statement.

Both Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, general secretary of the NSCN-IM, have lived in self-imposed exile in Southeast Asian cities for the past 38 years.

NSCN-IM, a rebel group in Nagaland state, is engaged in peace talks after entering into a ceasefire with New Delhi in August 1997.

The oldest and the most powerful of around 30 rebel groups in India's northeast, it wants the creation of a Greater Nagaland by slicing off parts of neighbouring states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh that have sizeable Naga tribal populations.

The three regional governments of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have already rejected the NSCN demand for unification of Naga dominated areas.

"The suppression of rights of the Nagas is similar to planting a time bomb and the prolonged and forced disintegration is dangerous," Swu warned in the statement.

NSCN-IM leaders said the patience of Nagas was being tested with New Delhi unable to take bold steps.

A rival NSCN faction headed by guerrilla leader S.S. Khaplang is meeting senior union home ministry officials in New Delhi next week to redraft ceasefire ground rules.

The NSCN-Khaplang has been operating a ceasefire with the Indian government since 2001 although the two sides are yet to begin peace talks.

"We shall not start formal talks until and unless the ongoing negotiations with the NSCN-IM come to an end," NSCN-Khaplang leader K. Mulatonu told IANS over the phone from the Nagaland capital Kohima.

The two NSCN groups have been waging a bitter turf war for territorial supremacy since their split in 1988.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphio Rio, meanwhile, has called for patience and urged the Naga civil societies and militant groups not to take any hasty steps. "The gun is not a solution to the Naga political problem," Rio said.

Nagaland, where more than 25,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency since India's independence from Britain in 1947, is a majority Christian state of two million people.
--Indo-Asian News Service

Governor, CM to leave for New Delhi today The Imphal Free Press

Imphal, Aug 16: The state Governor Dr. SS Sidhu and chief minister O Ibobi Singh will leave for the national capital tomorrow after the centre intimated them to come to New Delhi to discuss the law and order situation in the state arising out of the economic blockade of ANSAM which is now under temporary suspension.
An unconfirmed source said that during his stay at New Delhi the state chief minister is likely to have talks with the representatives of ANSAM in connection with the declaration of June 18 as “state integrity day” thereby a general holiday.

The ANSAM is demanding revocation of the same arguing that by declaring the day as a holiday, the government hurt the sentiments of the nagas in the state who are demanding integration of the naga inhabited areas of the state into Nagaland.

The chief minister had called on the governor this evening at the latter’s bungalow. A reliable source said that during the meeting the two heads of state discussed matters relating to the prevailing situation in the aftermath of the long economic blockade in the state were discussed.

It may be noted that the Union ministry of home affairs has sent a communiqué on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office to the state Governor to come to New Delhi to discuss the security situation prevailing in the state. The state chief minister has also been reportedly informed to come to the national capital.

The Governor is scheduled to leave for Delhi on August 17 along with the team of the ministry of home affairs and National Security Guards which will be visiting the state to review the law and order situation in the state in the wake of the recent economic blockade by ANSAM.

The chief minister will also accompany the visiting team on their return journey to New Delhi, an official source added.

11 vehicles defying UGs’I-Day boycott burnt down The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL,Aug. 16: At least eleven vehicles were set on fire by some unknown persons dressed in camouflage suspected to be cadres of KNF (P) at various locations along national highway 39 for defying the general strike called by various underground organisations operating in the state as a part of their boycott of the Independence Day yesterday.

Out of the eleven vehicles set on fire yesterday seven were loaded trucks coming from Dimapur side yesterday morning towards Imphal, two were empty trucks going towards Dimapur from Imphal, one tata sumo with goods from Imphal for Mao and one NV scooter.

According to eyewitness accounts from the spot, at around 6 am yesterday morning, the miscreants forced the goods carrying trucks towards the Keithelmanbi river bank at Keithelmanbi Khunjao. After reaching the river bank, the truckers were called out from their respective vehicles and fuel siphoned off from their oil tanks. The miscreants then poured the fuel on the vehicles and set the vehicles on fire without saying anything except disclosing that they were burning the vehicles for violating their warning not to ply on the Independence day.

Among the trucks burnt down, three bearing registration no. MN01-6276, MN01-5831 and AS 01M-8328 were loaded with fertilizers, one with no. NL01A-9816 was cement loaded, two with nos. NL01A-3819 and NL01A-4740 loaded with pulses, and another one with no. NL07A-0135 with sintex brand water tanks coming from Dimapur side.

The two empty trucks bearing registration no. NL0A-4575 and NL07A-0695 were coming from Imphal side. The tata sumo and the NV scooter bearing registration no. MN01K 5727 registration no. MN01-2924 respectively were also going from Imphal towards Mao.

The report also said that all the goods carrying trucks were burnt down in Keithelmanbi area except the sintex carrying truck which was burnt down by the miscreants in Gopibung area. All the documents of the vehicles like the RC books were also turned to ashes.

The empty trucks, tata sumo and the scooter were set on fire at Gopibung area under Kangpokpi police station at around 9.30 am yesterday.

Villagers who witnessed the scene stated that some of the miscreants wearing camouflage dress had guns in their hands and were talking to each other in Hindi. The villagers also lamented that such kind of arson of trucks amidst the inhabited areas is condemnable.

On getting the information of burning down of the vehicles, the Kangpoki police stopped all the trucks coming from Dimapur side at Kangpokpi bazar for some time and only when a security escort team from Imphal arrived they were allowed to proceed further with the escort.

Around 126 loaded trucks reached Imphal late in the evening yesterday along with security escorts.
Govt rejects inquiry report, fresh probe likely Secret killings By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 16: In its sitting today, Assam Cabinet has decided not to accept Justice (retd) JN Sharma’s interim report of the inquiry into the ‘secret killings’ that took place in the State during the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) regime, and is contemplating to conduct a fresh inquiry into the whole episode (secret killings) by appointing a retired Supreme Court Judge. The reason for rejection of the inquiry report, as cited by the State Government, is ‘discrepancies’ between some of the findings which are ‘self-contradictory’ in nature.
Talking to newsmen in the city today, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that it was known to all that during the AGP regime a number of people had been killed, and the commission had been set up to find out the person or persons behind those killings. "In this count, the commission failed to serve the purpose of the inquiry," he said. The Chief Minister, however, fell short of clearly stating what exact mistake the commission had committed by exonerating politicians and bureaucrats against whom Justice Sharma had found ‘no evidence of involvement’ in the killings during the course of inquiry.
"During his inquiry, Justice Sharma gave more importance to the statements police officials of that time than those of the kin of the victims," Gogoi said, and added: "Even former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta had reportedly told his partymen in a meeting that the killings were because of an instruction from the then Government at the Centre." Gogoi said that the AGP and the BJP should make their stand clear on the inquiry report of the secret killings as if his Government had ordered the inquiry at the advice of the two Opposition parties.
What surprised the Chief Minister was that even before the inquiry report was thoroughly gone through by his Government, the findings of the report got leaked to the press. He accused Justice Sharma of not maintaining official secrets. He was also agitated at Justice Sharma’s statement that the Government had not provided necessary facilities during the course of inquiry. He said that Justice Sharma should have informed him of the matter of facilities during the course of the inquiry, and not while submitting the report. It may be mentioned here that inquiry had been ordered into as many as six cases of ‘secret killings’ and the report of three of them were submitted after almost four years. Now, if all the six cases are to be probed by a Supreme Court judge, it may take another six years.
Centre rejects ULFA demand for release of jailed leaders By Indo Asian News Service Guwahati, Aug 16 (IANS) The central government has rejected demands by the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to release some of its jailed leaders as a precondition for holding peace talks.
'They (ULFA) have to first start the talks without preconditions and then one can consider other things. They are our own boys,' Home Secretary V.K. Duggal told reporters in Assam's main city Guwahati Tuesday. ULFA had offered to hold peace talks if the central government released at least 10 of its top leaders currently held in jails in India, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Duggal said the internal security situation in Assam had improved and there had been a qualitative change in the modus operandi of militants. 'Today there are less casualties compared to incidents in the past,' he said.
Duggal is on a visit to the northeast to review the internal security situation following a stepped up offensive by rebels in Assam and the disturbed situation in Manipur.
He will visit Manipur Wednesday. Meanwhile, Assam Chief Secretary S. Kabilan said ULFA was outsourcing terror by hiring 'agents' to carry out explosions and other attacks on vital installations and security forces. 'This is because of the sharp decline in ULFA's cadre strength in the region,' Kabilan said. Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit Assam in the third week of September to take stock of the security situation. He will also visit the India-Bangladesh border to oversee the construction of a barbed wire fence and chalk out strategies to check the influx of illegal aliens.

Frans on 08.17.05 @ 05:16 PM CST [link]


Tuesday, August 16th

Press Release:The Naga International Support Center lauds former President of the United States of America, Jimmy Carter, for praising the Government of India in its efforts to come to an honourable solution to the India Naga Conflict


A Naga International Support Center, NISC
www.nagalim.nl
A human rights organization

Press Release

Amsterdam, Thursday August 11 2005

The Naga International Support Center lauds former President of the United States of America, Jimmy Carter, for praising the Government of India in its efforts to come to an honourable solution to the India Naga Conflict

While the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in the United States, President Carter, the 39th President of the United States of America (1977-1981), sent a letter to the PM and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) through the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. In the letter dated June 18, 2005, he said:

"I am pleased to have this opportunity to address you and to commend your wise and courageous leadership as the Prime Minister of India. For years I am aware of the Naga people and their struggle and hopes for a future that is secure and that I have followed with interest in the current dialogue between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, NSCN. I am writing today to you and the NSCN leaders to express my appreciation to both parties for the initiative being taken towards a peaceful and lasting resolution. I encourage you to move ahead with your conversation to present an acceptable solution that will assure the rights of the Naga people and the security of India. Great progress has been made in the formal talks called for by the joint communiqué issued from Amsterdam July 11, 2002.”

The Naga International Support Center praises former President Jimmy Carter for his encouraging letter to both parties who have been engaged in this long-standing conflict that has raged since the inception of India. President Jimmy Carter’s commitment to the cause of Peace and Humanity is highly commendable. A man of such commitment deserves the highest praise from all sensible peoples all over the world.

NISC lauds Carter, for he has been courageous enough to propel the legacy of the American Baptists with the Naga Peoples back into their attention. It is commendable that a renowned Baptist has come forward to encourage both parties to end this disastrous conflict. Former President Carter especially deserves this praise because of the long bond that exists between the American Baptists and the Naga Peoples. He did so without showing signs of vindictiveness towards India, which expelled Baptist missionaries almost 50 years ago at a time when the war claimed thousands of victims, including ordinary villagers who fled the onslaught of the Indian Army, which burned their villages.

The Government of India's special representative-cum-chief interlocutor K. Padmanabhaiah and NSCN (IM) General Secretary Th. Muivah issued the Amsterdam Joint communiqué Carter refers to following peace talks in Amsterdam from July 9-11, 2002. The significance of this communiqué was the New Delhi's recognition of the unique history and situation of the Nagas and the NSCN-IM leadership expressing its willingness to hold peace talks within India.

Carter is renowned for his efforts to resolve conflict, promote democracy and protect human rights and prevention of disease. The Carter Center has been engaged in conflict mediation in a number of countries including Ethiopia, North Korea, Liberia, Sudan and Uganda. The Carter Center also hosted the Naga Atlanta Talks in 1997 during which member of NNC, NSCN-K, Naga Church leaders and some Naga individuals participated.

Carter, a Baptist Christian received the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

Later, Carter became a University Distinguished Professor at Emory University and founded The Carter Center. President Carter and his wife Rosalyn Carter volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. He also teaches Sunday school and is a deacon in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains.

For more information visit our website www.nagalim.nl or email us at nisc@nagalim.nl">nisc@nagalim.nl

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Frans on 08.16.05 @ 04:22 PM CST [link]



Factions fracture Naga dream of freedom from India


Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:30 AM BST KOHIMA, India (Reuters) - Shoukrie says his customers' complain when he has to hike the prices in his small general store in the hill town of Kohima, capital of the Indian state of Nagaland. But, he explains, he has no choice. Rebel "taxes" are simply too high. And if it was not bad enough, there are three factions who each come demanding money.
"We cannot survive like this," says Shoukrie, who like many in Nagaland goes by one name. "Yes, we still believe in independence, but that hope is too far away now." "The situation of Nagaland is becoming a joke. As long as there are so many factions there is no hope of independence or sovereignty."
Here in the remote northeast of India, rebels from the Christian hill tribes of Nagaland fought a fierce insurgency against Indian rule for five decades, until a cease-fire in 1997. But the Indian government and the Nagas, who are the most powerful of the dozens of rebel groups in the northeast, appear no closer to a resolution of the conflict, which security experts say could open the door to peace in the entire region. Within the Nagas, power struggles and personal rivalries have split the movement. All three factions are observing the cease-fire with the government, but not always with each other.
Rebels themselves admit fellow cadres have not always behaved well, throwing their weight around, behaving as if their guns made them something special.
"FIGHTING FOR MONEY"
It all reinforces the impression many rebel cadres "are not fighting for the cause of the Nagas, they are fighting for money", in the words of Lhulie Mayse, a farmer in the small hill-top village of Khonoma. Today, only the main faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland is taking part in peace talks with the Indian government -- so far with little to show for it. Their patience is wearing thin, and they extended the cease-fire on July 31 for just six months, instead of a year. Ordinary Nagas worry the whole process is meaningless without unity, or could even be dangerous.
"It is no use having peace with just one group," said Mayse. "One group will smile, the other group will keep crying."
Before the British arrived in these thickly forested hills the Nagas were headhunters, divided into 32 constantly warring tribes who still speak different languages. Christianity brought by American Baptist missionaries gradually brought headhunting to an end -- although some villages still keep the skulls of their former enemies. The church today is a major factor forging a sense of Naga unity in a Hindu-dominated country. But those tribal fault lines have not disappeared, and find expression in the rebel factions. Some ordinary Nagas fear fratricidal conflict is not far away, especially if one group of tribes feels excluded from any peace accord. "Reconciliation between Nagas is the only way to reduce this problem to a manageable size," said one Naga intellectual, who declined to be named because of rebel threats in the past. "The effort has to be born here."
Armed men set trucks on fire on Manipur highway PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Posted online: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 at 0138 hours IST
IMPHAL, AUGUST 15: Some persons in military fatigues today set on fire 12 vehicles in Manipur where militants had called for a boycott of the Independence Day celebrations. Armed men set on fire six trucks at Kopibung on Imphal-Guwahati highway, about 35 km from here in Senapati district. The trucks were coming from Dimapur in Nagaland, sources said. The group of miscreants stopped six other vehicles, including three trucks going in the opposite direction and set them afire.
Later, a caller who identified himself as a spokesman of United National Liberation Front (UNLF) condemned the incident. Meanwhile, the Independence Day celebrations at the parade ground of the First Manipur Rifles were held amid tight security in view of the boycott call by the Manipur People’s Liberation Front. Imphal wore a deserted look. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, after hoisting the National Flag, appealed to the insurgents to shun violence and join the mainstream.
Nagas renew call for freedom from India Web posted at: 8/15/2005 2:50:10 Source ::: Reuters


A Naga rebel watching the 58th anniversary of unilateral day of independence ceremony at Hebron Camp, in the northeastern Indian state of Nagaland, yesterday. Fifty-eight years ago, just hours before India won independence from Britain, Christian Naga separatists declared they did not want to be part of the new Hindu-dominated nation. Every year they renew that call.
CAMP HEBRON, Nagaland: A folk singer in army fatigues sang of God and the Naga nation, with a trace of Neil Young in his voice. Soldiers marched past stiff-legged, splashing in the slush of the grassy parade ground, marking “independence day” yesterday for the Naga hill tribes of northeastern India. Fifty-eight years ago, just hours before India won independence from Britain, Christian Naga separatists from these lush hills declared they did not want to be part of the new Hindu-dominated nation. Every year they renew that call.
In Camp Hebron, headquarters of the main rebel faction, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, traditional dancers in shawls, beads and extravagant head-dresses chanted and jumped close to a bamboo and thatch Baptist church. Two young Naga women in green fatigues and blue berets stood to attention, rifles and bayonets pointing up at the sky and the sky-blue Naga flag fluttering above them, emblazoned with a rainbow and a star. “How can Hindus control us?” asked 22-year Sergeant Woreishang Shinglai, the cross and olive branches on the lapels on his uniform a reminder of his faith. “We have the right to be a separate nation, and I am prepared to fight to my last drop of blood.”
For five decades Naga tribesmen fought the Indian army in these thickly forested mountains, before agreeing to a ceasefire in 1997. By then, India’s oldest insurgency, in its remote northeastern arm, had cost more than 20,000 lives. Eight years on, the Naga rebels are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in peace talks with New Delhi, which they suspect of playing for time. In July, rebels extended the ceasefire for just six months, instead of a year. It was a clear signal. The government of India would not be allowed “to slumber for six or seven months and only wake up when the ceasefire was about to expire,” said Lieutenant-General V S Atem, the most senior rebel living in India.
“A ceasefire cannot just go on permanently, it is meant for finding a solution to the problem,” he warned. The Nagas are ready to return to the battlefield if they have to.
Eleven vehicles set ablaze in Manipur NET News Network
Imphal, Aug 15: Breaking lull on the I-Day, suspected militants burned down eleven vehicles including nine trucks on NH 39 in Manipur on Monday. According to report received, militant set ablaze nine trucks and two Tata Sumo near Kuki dominated Keichelnpi village under Senapati district this afternoon. It may be recalled that State Chief Minister during his I-Day speech this morning assured of renovating NH 53 and 150 very soon. Manipur was in dire straits after ANSAM imposed economic blockade on NH 39 forcing the government to find an alternate lifeline through NH 53.
Meanwhile, the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee has called for five days bandh starting from August 16 till 20 demanding declaration of Sadar Hills as revenue district. The SHDDC wanted the state government to announce Sadar Hills as full-fledged revenue district status on the historic occasion of India Independence Day observation. According to SHDDC president Haokholian Guite, if the state government does not make a positive response within the stipulated time, then an indefinite bandh with more volatile nature will be enforced in Sadar Hills areas along NH-39 and 53.
Gun culture will not bring permanent solution: Rio Chizokho Vero August 15 Morung Express
KOHIMA (MExN): State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today asserted that the use of gun culture could not bring about permanent solution to the long protracted Naga political problem. “With the ceasefire in place and the ongoing Naga peace talks between the Centre and NSCN, people have now come to the realization that they can prosper only when there is peace and the gun culture is not a solution to the Naga political problem”, Rio said in his Independence Day address here at the State Civil Secretariat, Kohima on Monday.
Rio declared that the State Government remained steadfast in its commitment to play the role of a facilitator in the ongoing peace process, adopting a policy of equi-closeness with the under-ground groups.
The Chief Minister also acknowledged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in the Centre for having taken forward the peace process and constituting a ministerial team for the purpose of continuing the political dialogue with the NSCN.
Welcoming the recent extension of the ceasefire agreement between the Centre and the NSCN, Rio was optimistic that New Delhi would take steps to impart fresh momentum to the peace process.
He also reminded that the Indo-Naga peace process was complex one and asked all concerned people to remain patient and committed to the process of peaceful dialogue. The Chief Minister also made a fervent appeal to all Naga underground groups to maintain peace amongst them and to forget their differences and past bitterness. “The situation requires them to show enough courage and wisdom to come together and work unitedly for the common Naga political cause and bring about a permanent settlement”, Rio said.
Referring to the law and order situation, Rio said that the situation remained by and large peaceful except stray incidents of factional clashes and the unfortunate incident at Tobu sometime back. In this regard, Rio said the government would leave no stone unturned to find an amicable solution to the Tobu issue through non-violent means. The Chief Minister appealed to the Changs and Konyaks to help maintain peace while seeking cooperation and assistance of the Church and Civil societies in finding an amicable solution to this vexed problem.
Assuring the DAN government’s commitment towards the welfare of the people, Rio said that progress and prosperity would be achieved only when Nagas changed their mindset and march ahead with grit and determination to take up the challenges of life. “I can assure you that the government will continue to work with full commitment and sincerity to meet the people’s expectations”, he said adding that the government would spare no efforts in translating the collective dreams into a reality nd make Nagaland a prosperous State.
Later, Rio inaugurated exhibition stalls put up by various departments. He also released the Coffee Table Book at Durbar Hall.
UGs-Public must honor each other: Zeliangrong Hoho Morung Express News August 15
LAMHAI DUNGKI: Zeliangrong Baudi (Hoho) on Sunday urged both the public and armed underground cadres to reciprocally honor one another, while acting their part out in the long drawn Naga freedom struggle.
Speaking on occasion of the 58th Naga Independence Day celebration at the headquarter of the Ashalu Block GPRN (Zelianrong Region), President of the Zeliangrong Baudi, Dennis Elung said that the armed underground cadres should understand the sentiment of the public, while performing national duties. Stating that the price of freedom was not cheap, he also called upon the general public to honour the uniform cadres.
"The Nagas must unite in this fight for freedom. Unity and discipline of all Nagas is a must, because the strength of a nation depend on its unity", said Dennis.
Zeliangrong Baudi also appreciated Isaac and Muivah for bringing the Naga National movement to such prominence and for extension of the ongoing cease fire with the Government of India by another six month.
Hulang, former Angh of the NSCN, who also spoke on the occasion spelled out the need in recruiting more educated youth for the Naga national struggle. Calling upon the people to support the movement, Hulang assured that the time for freedom was at hand.
The celebration was attended by several public leaders, village elders and public and undergrounds.

Frans on 08.16.05 @ 04:21 PM CST [link]


Monday, August 15th

Tangkhul meet envisages political solution


Tangkhul meet envisages political solution
Ukhrul, Aug 13: A two-day 12th consultation meeting of the Tangkhuls with 12 top level representatives of NSCN(IM) from Dimapur including kilo kilonser (home minister) Rh Raising, deputy kilonser V Horam, C-in-C Naga army Hanshi, Brigadier Naga Army Living Stone and several other ranks on August 12 and 13 concluded today in a jam-packed hall at Ukhrul Union Baptist Church. The participants were from over 300 village authorities, government officers, public leaders and church leadersOn the first day of the consultation meeting under the theme, “Ngakheikhang kahai (uniqueness of Naga History” the moderator was Dr. YL Mingthing, Director TTA( Doctorate confirmation from Germany).
Rh Raising in his speech emphasized that there are 42 Naga recognized tribes and 25 regions so far. He further added that Nagas were a community oriented people much before the birth of Karl Marx and the theme of socialism is not borrowed from Karl Marx. During the public interaction he said that NSCN is solely a cultural and collective political decision making organisation and recalled what was once said by the GOI, “since the Naga issue is political, solution will be political”. He also stressed that “peace for the Nagas will come only when there is a mutual recognition of Naga identity and its political roots is honored”
Dr. M.Horam also presented a paper on the “uniqueness of Naga History” under the sub-title, “The Nagas future and the role of the Tangkhuls”.
Retired C-in-C, convenor steering committee VS. Atem’s paper was read out by Brig. Living Stone due to the ill health of the convenor. The present C-in-C Naga Army Hanshi gave a brief history of Nagas’ struggle quoting his life experience, the hardships and pain, the fire, the deadly fighting, the toil and the sinister design of the GOI. Narrating his personal life story, he said that while in school he used to bunk the classes always and never tried to learn anything. but fortunately with the grace of God he has been serving almost 32 years with the political inspiration initiated by Th Muivah, now the prime minister of NSCN(IM). [Imphal Free Press]

Amnesty appeals for mass participation in anti-AFSPA rally The Imphal Free Press
A mass anti AFSPA rally and concert is being organised by the Amnesty International India on August 20. The rally will be flagged off from THAU ground and will proceed through Khoyathong, Minuthong and Checkon and conclude at BOAT. A meeting will be held where eminent leaders of civil society organisations and human rights activists will address the gathering. The programme will end with a concert by popular band Tapta and lighting candle and praying for peace and justice. This was conveyed in a press conference called at the office of Human Rights Alert by Amnesty International India (AII).

Giving details of the upcoming mass rally, Ksh Onil, campaign assistant, AII, told media persons that more than 180 names of victims and perpetrators will be displayed. He appealed for public support for the cause which has affected almost all the people, one way or the other. He further stated that AII members from other parts of India are expected, including the national director K T Suraj. Expressing fear that the 5-day Sadar Hills bandh might create problems for the participants coming from far away places, Munindro Waikhom, member AII, appealed to the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee to allow free movement of those who have Amnesty papers with them on August 20. Furthermore it was conveyed that no charges will be taken for the concert though donations are welcomed. In this connection, Babloo Loitongbam, member Human Rights Alert, requested all the believers of the anti-AFSPA cause not to call bandh or general strike from August 18-20 since there will be people coming from different parts of India. He also requested the civil society organisations to lend support to the rally. Asserting that the upcoming mass rally will be a significant step in reviving the AII, the organizers appealed to the people to come out voluntarily for an issue which is close to everyone’s heart. Onil explained that 5 countries – Denmark, France, New Zealand, UK and US – have already expressed solidarity to the demand for repealing AFSPA and anti-AFSPA campaigns are underway in these countries.
Naga groups observe I-Day Morung Express News August 14
Kohima/Dimapur: The Federal Government of Nagaland, observed Naga Independence Day at Kohima Village. Kedaghe (President) of the FGN, General (retd.) V. Metha unfurled the Naga National flag and took the presidential salute. The President acknowledged all former national workers of both civil and army components for their supreme sacrifices, indomitable spirits and endurance in defence of the Naga nation. Metha, in his speech, asserted that the FGN would not yield to any ill design of India in compromising the independence of Nagaland neither now nor in the future. "India must realize the fact that its invasion and occupation of major portions of Nagaland has not yielded any better result than 50 years ago when it started," he added. The FGN leader further remarked that the solution to the Indo-Naga conflict did not lie in the integration of Naga territories under the Indian Union. "Let us learn to put our energies and resources together so as to drive away the invasion forces from our land," he advised. The message of the Naga National Council’s President Adinno Phizo was also read out during the occasion.
"We are now entering nine years since the talks started. Our people are growing impatient on seeing the Indians’ inability to take up bold steps for finding an honorable solution to the long drawn out Indo-Naga political issue." This statement was made by the Yaruiwo (President) of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, Isak Chishi Swu in his Presidential address on the eve of the 58th anniversary of Nagalim’s Independence Day. The President’s message was relayed by the Education Kilonser (Minister) of the outfit Tongmeth Wongnao at the Independence Day programme held at Hebron, the Council Headquarters of the NSCN which is a good 46 kilometers from Dimapur. Tongmeth was the Chief Guest for the occasion. Swu accused Indian colonial agents of working ‘covertly or overtly’ in every nook and cranny of Nagalim to win over ‘those spineless people with money or status.’
Swu likened the issue of integration of all Naga inhabited contiguous areas with that of Vietnam’s. The leader informed that the Vietnamese people had to undergo a revolution in order to unify the North and South of the country. He cautioned the Government of India by saying, "Indians should realize that prolonged forced disintegration of Nagalim is dangerous for them." Swu further invited suggestions, ideas and formulae from individuals or organizations in matters pertaining to infrastructure building of social, political, military and economic systems related to Nagalim. Swu further added, "The Naga people have reaffirmed the leadership of the NSCN and mandated it in the fourth consultative meeting to continue the negotiation with the Government of India for bringing lasting solution. On our part we shall never betray the trust reposed in us, nor the cause we are wedded to." A cultural presentation was presented by a Chakesang troupe in the course of the celebrations. Songs were also performed. The Zeliangrong region also observed Naga Independence Day at Nganting Headquarters, Guiling, Tamenglong district. The Chief Guest for the function was by G. Akhuan, Deputy kilonser, GPRN. Aking Daimei, the Secretary of Zeliangrong region attended the programme as chief guest.
NSF observes Naga I-Day Morung Express
Kohima, AUG 14 (MExn): The Naga Students Federation observed Naga Independence Day at Naga Solidarity Park, Kohima today. Speaking on the occasion, NSF President V. Pushika Awomi said that the occasion invoked and reminded fellow Nagas of their status as a free people and that the Nagas were still struggling for their birthright. Members of various other NGOs such as General Secretary of the Naga Hoho Neingulo Krome, Naga Mother’s Association President Khesheli and representatives of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and the All College Students Union, besides Dr. John Murry delivered short speeches. NSF General Secretary K Elu Ndang chaired over the function while Finance Secretary Kapani Krichna tendered the Vote of Thanks
Nagas renew call for freedom from India Source ::: Reuters the peninsuala
CAMP HEBRON, Nagaland: A folk singer in army fatigues sang of God and the Naga nation, with a trace of Neil Young in his voice.
Soldiers marched past stiff-legged, splashing in the slush of the grassy parade ground, marking “independence day” yesterday for the Naga hill tribes of northeastern India. Fifty-eight years ago, just hours before India won independence from Britain, Christian Naga separatists from these lush hills declared they did not want to be part of the new Hindu-dominated nation. Every year they renew that call. In Camp Hebron, headquarters of the main rebel faction, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, traditional dancers in shawls, beads and extravagant head-dresses chanted and jumped close to a bamboo and thatch Baptist church. Two young Naga women in green fatigues and blue berets stood to attention, rifles and bayonets pointing up at the sky and the sky-blue Naga flag fluttering above them, emblazoned with a rainbow and a star.
“How can Hindus control us?” asked 22-year Sergeant Woreishang Shinglai, the cross and olive branches on the lapels on his uniform a reminder of his faith. “We have the right to be a separate nation, and I am prepared to fight to my last drop of blood.”
For five decades Naga tribesmen fought the Indian army in these thickly forested mountains, before agreeing to a ceasefire in 1997. By then, India’s oldest insurgency, in its remote northeastern arm, had cost more than 20,000 lives. Eight years on, the Naga rebels are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in peace talks with New Delhi, which they suspect of playing for time. In July, rebels extended the ceasefire for just six months, instead of a year. It was a clear signal. The government of India would not be allowed “to slumber for six or seven months and only wake up when the ceasefire was about to expire,” said Lieutenant-General V S Atem, the most senior rebel living in India. “A ceasefire cannot just go on permanently, it is meant for finding a solution to the problem,” he warned. The Nagas are ready to return to the battlefield if they have to.
Naga apex body welcomes extension of ceasefire
By Neeraj Kumar, Kohima: The apex body of the Naga society, Naga Ho Ho has welcomed the extension of the cease-fire between the central security forces and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or the NSCN (IM). The representatives of the Naga civil society have stressed the need for peace in Nagaland at a press conference in New Delhi. The Naga Hoho leaders wrapped up their recent weeklong visit to New Delhi by holding a press conference to inform the media about their interaction with the Central Government. The group was in Delhi to brief the central leadership about the situation in Manipur. They also discussed the Naga peace talks and how to take it forward despite hitting a rough patch over some sensitive issues. However they reiterated their desire for peace in Nagaland.
“The ceasefire is very important. For all our life we have been in conflict, and violence is the only thing we experienced. So peace is very important to us than others who have been living in normal situations. For us who have been living in abnormal situation peace is very important. We want peace based on justice,” said Neingulo Krome, the General Secretary of the Naga Hoho, Apex Body of Nagas. It is with this expectation of peace that the people of Nagaland welcomed the NSCN (IM) leaders, Isac Chisu Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah when they visited Nagaland few months ago. Five decades of separatist violence has deprived the Naga people of a normal life. The new generation wants to live in an atmosphere where they have freedom to live a life free from violence.

“It is for the first time we are seeing the opportunity. Naga people have not had normal life for the past fifty years. Three generations have seen conflict. They were not able to think creatively. With peace we hope that our generation can lead a normal life. The children can grow up like normal children in other places, who watch cartoon movies or spend normal life. That is why we have so much faith in the peace process, though there have been some setbacks,” said Gam, a Naga. But despite the slight setback in the peace process the Centre is focused on resolving the five-decade-old problem. This can be gauged from the fact that the Home Minister is taking personal interest in the peace process. Even the Naga people and their representatives are looking forward to a permanent peace and they have reaffirmed their commitment for political solution to this vexed issue.
“When you talk about the peace, it cannot be possible without political solution. Actually when there is political solution, we can expect peace with justice,” said Yaromsho Ngaling, a Research Scholar from the Jawaharlal University, New Delhi. So far twelve rounds of talks have been held between the Central Government and the NSCN (IM). The main contentious issue to be resolved is the issue of Greater Nagaland.
People defy I-Day boycott call by rebels in northeast Indo-Asian News Service Guwahati, Aug 15 (IANS) A 17-hour strike called by separatist guerrillas to boycott India's independence day Monday in three northeastern states failed to evoke much response with hundreds joining the national celebrations.
Four separatist groups called the strike from Sunday midnight in Assam, Tripura, and Manipur.
Police and witnesses said people made their way to the main parade grounds in the three states, defying the rebel boycott. However, school and college students were conspicuous by their absence in Assam, where a blast at an independence day parade last year had killed 20 people, including several students. A high security alert has been sounded across the northeast with an estimated 100,000 troops deployed to thwart possible attempts by militants to sabotage the celebrations.
In the states of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, where militancy is virtually absent, people in thousands made their way to the parade grounds to take part in the festivities.
Fear still grips Manipur truckers, villagers relieved:- --Indo-Asian News Service National Highway 53, Manipur | August 15, 2005 6:23:47 PM IST
Truckers in northeastern Manipur, where tribesmen were fighting for a separate homeland till last week lifted a two-month blocked on roads and supplies, say they still fear for their lives and many have refused to the take supplies to the far-flung regions. The truckers, carrying essential commodities say they prefer travelling on National Highway 53, which has been cleared by the security forces. NH 53 connects Manipur with the rest of the country via Assam's barrack valley and Meghalaya. Last week, rebels ambushed a convoy, a group of army and civilian vehicles enroute to state capital Imphal, killing four people and wounding six others on the National Highway 39, which passes through Nagaland. "We have been facing so many problems on NH39. We want to ply and operate on NH 53 only, as it is a part of our state. On the way there are lot of disturbances on NH39 -- several incidents of looting, extortion, paying of illegal taxes and even killings by the so-called different groups of militant outfits take place. Frequent shutdowns and blockades also affect us a lot. So, we have determined to quit NH 39," said Itocha, a truck driver. Fearing violence, the soldiers are on guard of the civilians and are accompanying them and the critical supplies. Villagers said they were relieved after the blockade was lifted.
"We are so happy that the economic blockade has been lifted. The resumption of transport on this highway is also very relieving. We will guard here and are ready to protect the transporters from any eventualities, which may arise due to any kind of disturbances by militant outfits. The starting of transport operations is a welcome move. Due to blockade many poor villagers had suffered a lot. Now we are relieved," said Angousana, a villager. While Nagas are demanding that all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast be united in a "Greater Nagaland", some Manipuri groups are fighting for an independent homeland for them. Manipuris strongly oppose the division of their state. The blockade led to severe shortage of food and fuel in the state's capital Imphal forcing New Delhi to airlift tonnes of eatables and medicines.
The Nagas have been fighting for freedom since 1947, when India got independence from Britain. More than 20,000 people have died in nearly 60 years of Naga insurgency before a ceasefire with the main Naga rebel group came into effect in 1997. (ANI)
NE CM urge ultras to join mainstream NET News Network
Guwahati, Aug 15: The 59th Independence Day passed off peacefully amidst boycott call by different militant groups in Northeast India today.
Most of the Chief Ministers in the region on their I-Day speech gave clarion calls to militants to come forward for talks and join mainstream. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced a 3 crore package for widows and children of insurgency effected families under Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Trust. Gogoi also urged ULFA and other militant groups of the region to shed path of violence and join the mainstream. He also urged the Central government to expedite the peace process with ULFA. Chief Minister in another significant declaration said that territorial integrity of different NE states would be maintained according to constitution. However, the official I-Day celebration in Judges Field witnessed very thin attendance with mainly men in uniform and politicians gracing the occasion.
In Meghalaya, Chief Minister D D Lapang urged the HNLC to follow the path of ANVC and come to negotiation table. Speaking on the burning issue of MBOSE, Lapang said a committee has been formed to look into the matter. Meanwhile, thousands of men, women and children today poured into the streets of Shillong to participate in the public rally at Malki Ground organized by Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO) on MBOSE issue. Manipur which recently got respite from a 50 day economic blockade by ANSAM celebrated Independence Day peacefully in spite of boycott call by ultras. Chief Minister O Ibobi appealed to various underground outfits to come forward for dialogue. He opined that talks can sort out prevailing differences. Ibobi also held insurgency mainly responsible for the economic underdevelopment of the state. The Chief Minister also expressed his commitment to solve the ANSAM issue as per schedule. He further informed that developmental work in NH 53 and 150 is progressing full swing and work for double lanning of NH 53 will begin soon.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today appealed to the Naga underground groups to maintain peace amongst themselves, to forget their differences and past bitterness. “This situation requires them to show enough courage and wisdom to come together and work unitedly for the common Naga political cause and bring about a permanent settlement” he urged whiled addressing the 58th Independence Day function here. In his address, which lasted about 40 minute, Rio also said that the situation remained by and large peaceful, except stray incidents of factional clashes. Rio said that the government would spare no efforts to translate the collective dreams into reality and make Nagaland progressive state. On the employment front, the minister said to promote employment and capacity building the state government created “Youth Corpus Fund” and stated that the government earmarked Rs. seven crore during the year as against Rs 5 crore in 2004-05.
He also said that the Nagaland State Transport (NST) was able to ad 30 news buses to its fleet and introduced 12 new rounds during 2004-05, adding more service will be added this year. The minister also informed that mobile tracking devices on long distance night service buses and breath analyzers in all major stations are being installed for better. On the Tobu issue, the minister appealed to the Chang and Konyak brothers to maintained peace and also sought cooperation’s and assistance of the church and civil societies in finding amicable solution to this vexed problem. Tripura government has launched a new self-employment scheme Swavalamban for the educated unemployed youths and announced creation of two new sub-division in South and West Tripura district.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in his ceremonial speech after unfurling the national flag on the occasion of Independence Day said the new scheme Swavalamban would enable self employment of the educated unemployed youths with bank lone and government help. He urged the youths to take advantage of the scheme as scope for job is becoming difficult. Announcing creation of two new sub-divisions at Teliamura in West Tripura district and Santir Bazar in South Tripura district Chief Minister said these are part of the government’s continuous afford to decentralize the administration. He hoped that creation of two new sub-divisions would help the administration to reach to the common people of these areas. The Independence Day was passed off peacefully in Tripura as no untoward incident reported so far despite boycott call by two insurgent outfits the ATTF and NLFT. However, there are repots of hoisting of black flag in some interior areas by these outfits but police removed these immediately.
People defy I-Day boycott call by rebels Monday August 15 2005 10:07 IST IANS
GUWAHATI: A 17-hour strike called by separatist guerrillas to boycott India's Independence Day on Monday in three north-eastern states failed to evoke much response with hundreds joining the national celebrations. Four separatist groups called the strike from Sunday midnight in Assam, Tripura, and Manipur. Police and witnesses said people made their way to the main parade grounds in the three states, defying the rebel boycott. However, school and college students were conspicuous by their absence in Assam, where a blast at an Independence Day parade last year had killed 20 people, including several students. A high security alert has been sounded across the northeast with an estimated 100,000 troops deployed to thwart possible attempts by militants to sabotage the celebrations. In the states of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, where militancy is virtually absent, people in thousands made their way to the parade grounds to take part in the festivities.
People defy rebels; governments offer peace talks (LEAD Indo-Asian News Service Guwahati, Aug 15 (IANS) Hundreds of people defied a rebel boycott call and joined India's independence day celebrations Monday in the northeast as state governments offered peace talks with militants to end decades of insurgency. Four influential separatist groups called a 17-hour strike from Sunday midnight in Assam, Tripura and Manipur and asked people to boycott the national celebrations. But police and witnesses said people in large numbers participated in festivities despite the boycott call in the three states. Police official D. Das in Assam said: "The response of people was very encouraging although the number of children and students was not very high in most public celebrations."
In Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, where no major militant group is active, people in thousands took part in the celebrations. There were no reports of any violence Monday from across the region, police said. Meanwhile, chief ministers of the northeastern states offered peace talks with rebel groups.
"Violence and killings cannot solve the problems. It is through talks and negotiations that grievances can be settled," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in his speech in the state's main city Guwahati. Chief ministers of other states echoed his views.
"Our doors are open for talks with any militant groups that shun the path of violence," Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said in Imphal. An estimated 100,000 troops were deployed across the northeast after militants stepped up their offensive in the run up to the celebrations. There were at least 30 explosions and attacks in Assam that killed five people and damaged oil and gas pipelines, rail tracks, bridges and power facilities. In Manipur, militants killed four civilians in an ambush last week, while rebels triggered at least four explosions, police said. Militants in the insurgency-hit northeast have for years boycotted the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations to protest New Delhi's rule over the vast region rich in oil, tea and timber. At least 30 rebel groups operate in the northeastern states, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination. --Indo-Asian News Service
High alert in State for I-Day today By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Aug 14 – The State is preparing itself to celebrate the 59th Independence Day tomorrow amidst tight security because of the boycott call given by four militant outfits of the region including the proscribed ULFA. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will hoist the national flag at the Judges’ field here on the occasion at 9 am tomorrow, while other Ministers have left for different district headquarters of the State for hoisting the national flag. Following the tragedy last year at Dhemaji, in which an ULFA blast killed 13 persons including 10 schoolchildren during the Independence Day celebration, the district administrations have been taking all the possible measures to prevent such tragedies. In the city, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration has ploughed the entire Judges field to negate the possibility of the militants planting any PTD- like devices in the field. A PTD device had led to the Dhemaji tragedy, while two such devices created panic at the Judges’ field here during the Republic Day celebrations this year. Police checking at vulnerable points and also the vehicles has been geared up as a pre-emptive measure to check infiltration of the militants into the city following all such developments in the past and also the recent warning of the ULFA to target the venues of the Independence Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, several journalists, including veterans like Dhirendranath Chakaravorty, Editor of the Dainik Asom and Dhirendranath Bezboruah, the former Editor of The Sentinel, today made an appeal to the people of the State to celebrate the Independence Day tomorrow in a befitting manner defying the boycott call of the terrorist outfits. They have also announced a function to hoist the national tri-colour and to commemorate the contributions of the martyrs of the freedom struggle at the Guwahati Press Club here at 11 am tomorrow. It is the responsibility of those who love their motherland to remember the sacrifices made by the martyrs and other freedom fighters for freeing the country from the colonial rule. The State also has a number of such martyrs like Kanaklata, Mukunda Kakati, Bhogeswari Phukanani and Kushal Konwar, who sacrificed their lives for making the country free from colonial rule. The signatories of the appeal reminded and condemned the terrorist organisations for their call to boycott the Independence Day functions.
Govt examining AFSPA Committee report: PM NET News Network
Guwahati, Aug 15: The Centre is examining the report of the Committee which had been set up to review the provisions of the Armed Forces Special Powers' Act (AFSPA), 1967, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today. Addressing the nation from the historic Red Fort on the 59th Independence Day, the Prime Minister said the government would take all necessary steps to ensure that there were no violations of the Act.
''The report of this Committee is being examined in detail and we will take all necessary steps so that there are no violations of human rights under this Act,'' the Prime Minister said. Admitting that complete peace and tranquility did not exist in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir, he said many regions were victims of violence and terrorism. Wherever conditions deteriorated, assistance was taken from the Armed Forces and whenever their assistance was taken, they had shown patience and perseverance.
City hub of al-Qaeda in NE ‘City agents had role in IA plane hijack to Kandahar; plan afoot to blow up IAF radars at Shillong, Tezpur; hand in many blasts in Assam, M’laya’ THE SENTINEL Exclusive By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 14: Has the al-Qaeda managed to spread its tentacles in Assam and other States in the North-east? The answer will be an emphatic ‘yes’ if the disclosures made by a man who claims to have had a short stint with an ‘al-Qaeda network’, albeit unknowingly, are to be believed. The source has further claimed that the al-Qaeda network, which is active in Assam, had a direct role in the Indian Airlines plane (IC-814) hijack from Kathmandu to Kandahar. What is more serious now, according to the source, is that the network is planning to blow up the radars at Shillong and Tezpur Air Force bases, and install al-Qaeda’s missiles in Meghalaya.
According to the allegations, one Khan, staying at Ulubari in the city and engaged in cash capital investments, is the kingpin of the al-Qaeda network in the North-east. Khan, who has allegedly been working for the NSCN-IM, HNLC and other militant groups of the region also, had gone to Kathmandu along with his son Islam a few days before the hijack of the Indian Airlines plane. The two returned to Guwahati a few days after the plane hijack, and soon after their arrival in the city, Islam left for Afghanistan, the source claimed, adding that Khan had also been involved in August 13 blast on a BSF vehicle at Machkhowa in the city last year. Among the allegations levelled by the source against Khan, one which seems to hold water is that the scooter that was blown off in a blast in Hatigaon police station in the city last year was that of Khan, who, along with one Mukhtar, had gone to the Hatigaon area riding on the scooter on that very day. The source has also indicated the involvement of Khan and his network in the recent blast at Gate No. 2 in Ninth Mile area in the city. According to him, an autorickshaw of one Ayesha Khatun, driven by her husband Karim, took Khan and Mukhtar to trigger off the blast.
Among the latest subsersive activities, the source has linked Khan and Mukhtar with the recent Boko blast in which as many as four persons were killed. According to the source, on that day, Khan and Muktar left the city for Boko at 4 p.m. and came back to the city at 7 p.m. while the blast occurred at 6. 55 p.m. It may be mentioned here that among the recent series of blasts in the State, the ULFA denied its hand in the Boko blast. The most sensational allegation against Khan and his network is that a survey of the Air Force radar at Shillong has already been conducted and a team has already left for Tezpur to conduct a similar survey of Tezpur IAF radar while another team is supposed to leave for Tezpur on Tuesday or Wednesday. One Choudhury, a broker of DTO office, hailing from Sonapur, had handed over the map and other documents of Tezpur IAF radar to Khan, the source alleged, adding that the al Qaeda network was behind the Rilbong police station blast in Meghalaya last year. It may be mentioned here that one Rabia Begum (sister of Ayesha Khatun) and one Mr Mazumdar have been investing the cash of Khan. Another member of the network, Manju Begum was currently conducting the survey of a hydraulic plant of the IOC at Digboi, the source added.
"The network is also involved in the smuggling of uranium from Meghalaya. Recently, a consignment of two kg of uranium was sent out via Assam from Meghalaya, and the consignment was carried by one of Khan’s nephews," the source said, and added that Khan had good relations with a number of coal mafia of the city. Of late, Khan’s another son, Nizam has come to the city, and it is suspected that Khan may leave for Afghanistan soon. When contacted, top officials of the Assam Police have confirmed that search operations have been conducted to nab ‘one Khan’ for his alleged links with a number of blasts in the State but he could not be traced.
Twenty-five houses torched in Karbi hill From our Correspondent
DIPHU, Aug 14: Thousands of Hindi-speaking people went berserk and torched as many as 25 houses of Adivasis in Sampathar area of Bakulia under Howraghat police station in Karbi Anglong district late last night. The Adivasis too, in a feeble counter attack, torched about four houses before the police could bring the situation under its control and arrest a number of people from either of the two communities. It may be recalled here that on July 18 last six Hindi-speaking people, including women, had been killed besides the burning down of a large number of houses in an attack by the Adivasis in the area, and the attack by the Hindi-speaking people last night is a retaliation.
According to reports, at around 11.30 p.m. last night, the Hindi-speaking people came out in thousands and gheraoed an Adivasi village in the area and started to torch houses for about two hours. In their retaliatory attack the Adivasis too torched four houses before the security forces reached the area and brought the situation under their control. There was no casualty till the filing of this report. More forces have been deployed in the area and the affected Adivasi village cordoned off so as to prevent it from further attack by the Hindi-speaking people.
Cong has ULFA link: Mahajan BJP-AGP tie-up ruled out From our Correspondent
NALBARI, Aug 14: Senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan alleged that Congress leaders in the State have links with ULFA activists and huge amount of money has been ‘paid’ regularly to the outlawed organization to avoid extortion notices. Addressing a meeting held at Sankardev Sishu Niketan, Nalbari recently, he said that he would definitely raise the issue of illegal way of giving money to ULFA cadres in the next Lok Sabha session. "The BJP MPs will also draw the attention of the Lok Sabha to the link of a few ministers of Assam with the ULFA", Mahajan said.
Expressing serious resentment over the "misuse of government money in the name of minimizing extremist problem" Mahajan lamented over that fact that no positive impact of the "peace schemes" has been noticed as yet "rather many innocent people have been killed" during the tenure of the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress Government in the State. Comparing the insurgency problem of Assam with some other States — Kashmir, Punjab, Nagaland and Manipur — Mahajan said, "Killing of innocent people will not solve the insurgency problem".
"Ballot not bullet will bring peace back to the State", Mahajan hoped. Replying to a question of mediapersons, he said that there was no possibility of his party having any tie up with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in the next Assembly election in the State. On the Bangladeshi influx problem of the State and the recent repeal of the Illegal Migrants Determination by Tribunal (IMDT) Act, he said that the BJP was the only national party which raised its voice against the "draconian" Act in the Lok Sabha. Earlier, a meeting of BJP workers was held on Nalbari Law College premises which was presided over by Narendra Chakrabarty, president of Nalbari District BJP Committee.
Addressing the meeting, Mahajan urged the party workers to work hard for strengthening the organization at the grass-root level. Sailen Bhagabati explained the objective of the meeting while Narayan Barkatoki also spoke a few words to the party workers.
People defy rebels; governments offer peace talks By Indo Asian News Service
Guwahati, Aug 15 (IANS) Hundreds of people defied a rebel boycott call and joined India's independence day celebrations Monday in the northeast as state governments offered peace talks with militants to end decades of insurgency. Four influential separatist groups called a 17-hour strike from Sunday midnight in Assam, Tripura and Manipur and asked people to boycott the national celebrations. But police and witnesses said people in large numbers participated in festivities despite the boycott call in the three states. Police official D. Das in Assam said: 'The response of people was very encouraging although the number of children and students was not very high in most public celebrations.'
In Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, where no major militant group is active, people in thousands took part in the celebrations. There were no reports of any violence Monday from across the region, police said. Meanwhile, chief ministers of the northeastern states offered peace talks with rebel groups. 'Violence and killings cannot solve the problems. It is through talks and negotiations that grievances can be settled,' Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in his speech in the state's main city Guwahati. Chief ministers of other states echoed his views. 'Our doors are open for talks with any militant groups that shun the path of violence,' Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said in Imphal. An estimated 100,000 troops were deployed across the northeast after militants stepped up their offensive in the run up to the celebrations.
There were at least 30 explosions and attacks in Assam that killed five people and damaged oil and gas pipelines, rail tracks, bridges and power facilities. In Manipur, militants killed four civilians in an ambush last week, while rebels triggered at least four explosions, police said. Militants in the insurgency-hit northeast have for years boycotted the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations to protest New Delhi's rule over the vast region rich in oil, tea and timber. At least 30 rebel groups operate in the northeastern states, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination.



Frans on 08.15.05 @ 07:01 PM CST [link]

Sunday, August 14th

Restless Nagas renew call for freedom from India


Restless Nagas renew call for freedom from India 14 Aug 2005 Source: Reuters By Simon Denyer
CAMP HEBRON, Nagaland, India, Aug 14 (Reuters) - A folk singer in army fatigues sang of God and the Naga nation, with a trace of Neil Young in his voice. Soldiers marched past stiff-legged, splashing in the slush of the grassy parade ground, marking "independence day" on Sunday for the Naga hill tribes of northeastern India. Fifty-eight years ago, just hours before India won independence from Britain, Christian Naga separatists from these lush hills declared they did not want to be part of the new Hindu-dominated nation. Every year they renew that call. In Camp Hebron, headquarters of the main rebel faction, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, traditional dancers in shawls, beads and extravagant head-dresses chanted and jumped close to a bamboo and thatch Baptist church. Two young Naga women in green fatigues and blue berets stood to attention, rifles and bayonets pointing up at the sky and the sky-blue Naga flag fluttering above them, emblazoned with a rainbow and a star.
"How can Hindus control us?" asked 22-year Sergeant Woreishang Shinglai, the cross and olive branches on the lapels on his uniform a reminder of his faith.
"We have the right to be a separate nation, and I am prepared to fight to my last drop of blood."
For five decades Naga tribesmen fought the Indian army in these thickly forested mountains, before agreeing to a ceasefire in 1997. By then, India's oldest insurgency, in its remote northeastern arm, had cost more than 20,000 lives. Eight years on, the Naga rebels are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in peace talks with New Delhi, which they suspect of playing for time. In July, rebels extended the ceasefire for just six months, instead of a year. It was a clear signal.
FIERCE FIGHTERS
The government of India would not be allowed "to slumber for six or seven months and only wake up when the ceasefire was about to expire," said Lieutenant-General V.S. Atem, the most senior rebel living in India. "A ceasefire cannot just go on permanently, it is meant for finding a solution to the problem," he warned. The Nagas are ready to return to the battlefield if they have to. In Camp Hebron, rebels mill around with smart new uniforms, carrying automatic rifles and sub-machine guns. But there are also signs of wealth, cars and comfort which make some ordinary Nagas wonder if the cadres are going soft.
"We are ready for any hardship," counters Sergeant-Major Aphung Khamrang, her pink nail varnish and warm smile in contrast to her words.
"When I was a child I saw my father beaten by the Indian army for giving shelter to the undergrounds. Our parents suffered a lot and we are prepared to sacrifice also."
It is not an idle threat. The Nagas have a fierce reputation as fighters, and were headhunters before the British arrived in the 19th century with American baptist missionaries in their wake.
The British, Nagas say, divided their lands unfairly. A third of the three million Nagas now live outside the Indian state of Nagaland, in neighbouring states and in Myanmar. Today, the rebels are demanding the reunification of all Naga-dominated territory into a single "Nagalim" or Nagaland.
Eight years of peace have allowed the NSCN to extend its control over Naga society, but in a sense the long ceasefire may have also backed it into a corner. With little to show from the negotiations, the movement may be losing focus. Many, many Nagas still support the dream of independence, but not necessarily the fighters who claim to represent them but only show up to demand "taxes".
More importantly, perhaps, the rebels are divided into three factions, and their popularity has plummeted as a result. Some see a return to war as the only way out.
"Most of my friends don't want the ceasefire," said Sergeant-Major Sangchiu Shiu. "They have just joined to use arms, and they want to go and face the Indians. "But we cannot build our nation from the extremist point of view. I believe political dialogue can liberate us."

UCM cautions Naga NGOs The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug 13: Asserting that problems confronting Manipur is entirely an internal affair, the United Committee Manipur has cautioned Nagaland based NGOs participating in any talks to bring solution to the ANSAM’s demand. In a statement, the UCM also maintained that Manipur’s problems should be resolved by the Manipuris alone and there is no need for outside interference.

“The ANSAM was forced to suspend their 52 day long economic blockade following losses being incurred by the NSCN (IM) while collecting taxes from truckers originating from Manipur,” the UCM charged and asked all concerned not to interfere in democratic decision of the drivers who have decided to ply along NH-53 as they could no longer afford to travel along NH-39 due to innumerable taxes and harassments.
Taxing times for Manipur truckers Yumnam Rupachandra in Imphal
Aug. 13. — The nearly two-month-long economic blockade imposed by Naga student organisations, the Ansam and NSF on two National Highways 39 and 53 has been briefly relaxed but the truckers are unlikely to ply on NH-39, the major lifeline, following huge demands made on them by NSCN(IM). According to reports reaching here suspected NSCN(IM) cadres have demanded Rs one lakh each per truck as payment for “evaded tax” that is tax not paid while traveling with escorts during the blockade period.
At least 5 Imphal bound trucks have also been hijacked by an unidentified armed group between Dimapur and Kohima. According to Naharolgi Thoudang a local daily, the trucks are said to have paid Rs 4000 each before the further demand for Rs. 1 lakh were made. Earlier before the blockade each truck had to pay anything between Rs 2500 to Rs 15000 as goods tax. A receipt under the banner GPRN- political wing of NSCN(IM) used to be issued to trucks for passage through Nagaland and Senapati district in Manipur. However post-blockade the amount has been abruptly increased and no receipts issued, said drivers.
According to drivers they were told that NSCN(IM) has the license numbers of the trucks which plied during the blockade from the Nagaland police which makes entries in their log books. The drivers had smeared their number plates with grease to escape being marked while plying during the blockade period. Following the report no trucks were willing to go through NH 39 today. In another report Assam Rifle troops manning the Kotlen post on NH 53 has turned back several Jiribam bound trucks saying NH 53 was closed and the trucks should go through NH 39 and blockade has been lifted. Some trucks were however allowed to ply on that route later in the evening.
BJP organisation secretary, North East-in-Charge Mr V Satish has in the meantime demanded probe into allegations of Assam Rifles aiding the blockade supporters.
Is Sadar Hills reserved for Nagas, asks SHDDC Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 13: Demanding to know the reason why the State Government is unwilling to concede to the demand to upgrade Sadar Hills to a full fledged revenue district, Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) has wondered whether it has been kept reserved by the Government for the Nagas. Addressing mediapersons at Keithelmanbi today, SHDDC president Haokholen Guite said Sadar Hills has adequate infrastructures required for upgradation to a full-fledged revenue district.
A Mini-Secretariat has also been constructed and the only thing that is missing now is the appointment of a DC and an SP. In the light of these facts, the State Govt should make its position clear on whether it would declare Sadar Hills as a full-fledged revenue district or not, so that the people of the area can start looking for other possible ways, Guite said. Maintaining that the demand for creation of Sadar hills district is purely for administrative convenience and has been pursued by the people since 1972.
Guite reacted strongly to the remarks of the Chief Minister who had said that there is lack of consensus on the issue. If at all the Govt of Manipur has kept aside the Sadar Hills reserved for the Nagas, then we would go and request the Nagas for handing over the same to the people of Sadar Hills, he said with bitterness. On the total bandh being called by SHDDC for five days in Sadar Hills area with effect from midnight of August 16, he said all the Government offices, educational institutions and private institutions would remain closed during the bandh. No vehicular movement would be allowed along the roads and those who defy the bandh should face any eventuality that might happen to them, he warned. However, he added, the services related to Medical, media, Fire Brigade, Water Supply and Electricity would be exempted from the purview of the bandh, and appealed to the transporters' organisations and the general public to extend their support to the bandh.

Guite made it clear the people of Sadar Hills would relentlessly pursue their demand and continue to launch various forms of intense agitations until it is met. Even after the 5-day total, bandh, if the Govt did not give any positive response, a total bandh would be launched in all the hill districts, he said.
While pointing out that Sadar Hills comprised of three Assembly Constituencies of Saikul, Saitu-Gamphajol and Kangpokpi, Guite recalled that the State Cabinet in its January 10, 2000 sitting had approved the boundaries of the three said Assembly Constituencies as the boundaries of the proposed Sadar Hills district. If Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Senapati which comprised of three Assembly Constituencies each and Chandel which is made of only two Assembly Constituencies have been declared as districts, why should not Sadar Hills which is comprised of three Assembly Constituencies be upgraded as a full fledged revenue district, Guite reasoned.
ISadar Hills bandh from Aug 16 midnight From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
KANGPOKPI, (Manipur) Aug 13 – After getting a break from the indefinite economic blockade on the two National Highways, another round of bandh for five days in the Sadar Hills area wherein the two highways are passing is on the cards. The bandh will be effected in the Sadar Hills area under the Senapati district from the August 16 midnight till August 21 midnight. This was conveyed to this correspondent by the information and finance secretary of Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) Lunthang Haokip today. The SHDC has been demanding the upgradation of the Sadar Hills area into a full fledged revenue district since the early part of seventies.
The demand was also discussed in the recently concluded Manipur Legislative Assembly session. Like the previous governments, the ruling Ibobi-led Secular Progressive Front Government also gave the assurance to fulfil the demand of the district demand committee. Representatives of the committee had also called on the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi on Friday last, and discussed the declaration of Sadar Hills as full fledged revenue district. However the meeting ended with no agreement between the two sides, he informed, adding that Chief Minister could not even fix a time frame for the declaration during the meeting. In view of the development, the demand committee decided to resume their earlier suspended agitations in the Sadar Hills area.
“Our Chief Minister sticks to the issue of delimitation process-but the declaration of upgrading the area into a revenue district would not clash with the said process” he observed. Supporting the statement, president of the Kuki Mothers Association Rose Mangshi said that creation of the Sadar Hills into a full fledged revenue district is for the integrity of Manipur. The Kuki and Thadou tribes-dominated Sadar Hills area consists of three blocks – Kangpokpi, Saikul and Saitu – Gamphazol which are presently under Senapati district. The United Naga Council, an apex body of Naga tribes in Manipur had been opposing the creation of the Sadar Hills into a full-fledged revenue district, by slicing the three blocks mentioned above. Reacting to the stand of the Ibobi Government over the report of taking ‘consensus’ among the different communities, the Kuki leader said, “The proposed district is not a district for a particular community,” adding, the demand is for the convenience of the district administration. If there is any obstruction from any community over the creation of the district, let the inhabitants of Sadar Hills have talks with the communities concerned, the leader added.

M leaders interact with Ukhrul people Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 13: The 2-day Consultative meeting of the Tangkhuls attended by 12 representatives of the NSCN (IM) concluded today at Ukhrul Union Baptist Church.
Besides. participants from nearly 300 village authorities, public leaders, NGO representatives and Church leaders, 12 representatives of the NSCN (IM) led by its Home Minister Rh Raising, deputy kilonser V Horam, C-in-C of Naga army Hanshi, brigadier of Naga army Living Stone attended the consultative meeting. On the first day of the consultative meeting held under the theme, "Uniqueness of Naga histoiy," Dr YL Mingthing Director of TAA moderated. Addressing the gathering Rh Raising emphasised that there are 42 recognised Naga tribes and 25 regions.
He added that Nagas are a community oriented people and the concept of socialism the Nagas believe in is not something borrowed from Karl Marx. Raising further said that the NSCN is a people's based Government and hence any matter or issue is always introduced in the Morung or the Tatar Hoho (Assembly) for a collective decision to be taken. It is on this basis that the political dialogue with the GoI is being taken up, he added. The Home Minister added that peace for the Nagas will come only when there is mutual recognition of Nagas' identities and its political roots are honoured.
Former Minister in the State Government, Dr M Horam presented a paper on the topic, "The Nagas future and the role of the Tangkhuls". Since the Convenor of the Steering Committee VS Atem was indisposed, his paper was read out by Brig Living Stone. C-in-C of Naga army Hanshi regaled the gathering with his stories and how he set out for China by foot onFeb 13, 1974.
All Nagaland night trains cancelled
Dimapur, August 13, 2005 hindustan times Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Dimapur Railway Station on Friday night after the Chief passenger transport manager from the NF Railway headquarters in Maligaon in Guwahati relayed a lightning message to the station master of Dimapur to cancel all night passenger trains till August 15. The cancellation of night trains to stations in Assam comes in the wake of rampant violence by various northeastern militant groups that have called for a boycott of the Independence Day celebration in the region. According to railway officials at Dimapur, the information about the cancellation of the passenger trains was first received around 4 pm, followed by a second message at 7.50 pm. All night trains have since then been rescheduled for day operations. However Goods-trains have been permitted to run even during the night. Meanwhile, security personnel from the General Railway Police, Indian Reserve Battalion, Railway Protection Force, and Assam Rifles, along with officials from the special branch have been deployed at the Dimapur railway station to prevent any outward incidents. (By arrangement with Newsfile)
Mokokchung District JD (U) joins BJP en bloc North East Press Service
Mokokchung, Aug 13 (NEPS): The JD (U) in Nagaland suffered a major setback following its Mokokchung Unit resigning en bloc from it and joining the BJP at a grand function held here at Town Hall on Friday. In a grand “Facilitation program” held here at new Town Hall on Friday, over 300 JD (U) members led Mokokchung District JD (U) President Moameren and State JD (U) Vice President Aosanen after resigning from the party (JD-U) had formally joined the BJP in presence of BJP Ministers Dr TM Lotha and Imtilemba Sangtam. Welcoming the office bearers and members of Mokokchung district JD (U) to the party (BJP) fold, Dr TM Lotha, who is also deputy leader of the Nagaland BJP Legislature Party, said BJP was a big political party in the country and therefore “your joining the party is joining the largest family.”
Describing the development as “a moment of pride,” the Minister stated the BJP was a political party where likeminded people came together and worked for the interest of the people. As such the Naga people had accepted the party (BJP) as a responsible political party today, he pointed out. Hoping the Naga people would continue to repose their faith to the party in the next election too, Dr Lotha informed that the Prime Minister’s economic package given in Atal Behari Vajpayee’s time was now being implemented. “Unfortunately, the present UPA Government at the Center has not given any package till date,” he rued. He also mentioned the present DAN Government in Nagaland was doing a lot of developmental works and further added people were there to witness all these. Minister Imtilemba, Mokokchung BJP District President Watimeren were among other who also spoke on the occasion. Welcoming the leaders and members of the Mokokchung JD (U) for coming to the BJP mainstream, State BJP President MC Konyak, who failed to attend the “Facilitation program” on health ground, assured that there would be no discrimination on the new comers. “Once you join the party (BJP), you are all same like us in all respects,” the Nagaland BJP Chief affirmed. Challenging the BJP workers in the State to “work hard and make the party viable for the next Government formation,” Konyak lauded those Mokokchung District BJP leaders and workers and also BJP Ministers Dr TM Lotha and Imtilemba Sangtam and other party colleagues for successfully organizing the “Facilitation program.”
Nagaland approves new logo of mithun new karala com Kohima: The Govenement of Nagaland has finally approved the new official state logo bearing a picture of the majestic mithun and the word 'Unity'. An official notification by the state chief secretary P.Talitemjen Ao said the Nagaland Cabinet had approved the adoption of the state logo, which depicts a standing mithun on the hills in a circular frame, with 'Unity' and 'Government of Nagaland' written above and below it respectively. The notification said the logo would come into effect from August 15 and would be used within the rules relating to the state logo of Nagaland. Earlier, initiatives of the state government to introduce a new state logo had run into controversy after the Opposition Congress criticised the design. The mithun was the subject in the earlier design as well. Official sources said the new logo has been approved after prominent artists submitted a number of designs to the government for final selection and screening. The government discussed with memebrs of the Opposition before the final approval. The people of the state will get to get a closer view of the logo on Independence Day as the speeches of the dignitaries on Agusut 15 would carry the logo in colour, the sources added.
Tangkhul meet envisages political solution The Imphal Free Press

Ukhrul, Aug 13: A two-day 12th consultation meeting of the Tangkhuls with 12 top level representatives of NSCN(IM) from Dimapur including kilo kilonser (home minister) Rh Raising, deputy kilonser V Horam, C-in-C Naga army Hanshi, Brigadier Naga Army Living Stone and several other ranks on August 12 and 13 concluded today in a jam-packed hall at Ukhrul Union Baptist Church. The participants were from over 300 village authorities, government officers, public leaders and church leaders. On the first day of the consultation meeting under the theme, “Ngakheikhang kahai (uniqueness of Naga History” the moderator was Dr. YL Mingthing, Director TTA( Doctorate confirmation from Germany). Rh Raising in his speech emphasized that there are 42 Naga recognized tribes and 25 regions so far. He further added that Nagas were a community oriented people much before the birth of Karl Marx and the theme of socialism is not borrowed from Karl Marx.
During the public interaction he said that NSCN is solely a cultural and collective political decision making organisation and recalled what was once said by the GOI, “since the Naga issue is political, solution will be political”. He also stressed that “peace for the Nagas will come only when there is a mutual recognition of Naga identity and its political roots is honored”
Dr. M.Horam also presented a paper on the “uniqueness of Naga History” under the sub-title, “The Nagas future and the role of the Tangkhuls”.
Retired C-in-C, convenor steering committee VS. Atem’s paper was read out by Brig. Living Stone due to the ill health of the convenor.
The present C-in-C Naga Army Hanshi gave a brief history of Nagas’ struggle quoting his life experience, the hardships and pain, the fire, the deadly fighting, the toil and the sinister design of the GOI. Narrating his personal life story, he said that while in school he used to bunk the classes always and never tried to learn anything. but fortunately with the grace of God he has been serving almost 32 years with the political inspiration initiated by Th Muivah, now the prime minister of NSCN(IM).

BJP takes pot shots at SPF Govt Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 13: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has charged the ruling Congress led coalition SPF Government with doing nothing to ameliorate the problems of the people despite lifting of the economic blockade and playing politics in Public Distribution System (PDS) thus denying the basic essential commodities to the people. In view of this, a high level delegation of BJP Manipur Pradesh would be going to Delhi sometime in the third week of this month to submit a memorandum to the President of India besides organising dharna along with other Central BJP leaders at the National capital. Talking to mediapersons at the party office here this morning, National BJP organisation secretary in-charge of North Eastern States V Satish said that the attitude of the SPF Government towards the problems being faced by the people while the ANSAM-sponsored economic blockade was in force as well as after it has been lifted is condemnable.

Despite the lifting of the economic blockade, the people and especially the truck drivers who are ferrying essential commodities for the people are still encountering numerous hardships, he maintained. If the 52-day old economic blockade was lifted after the agitators met the Prime Minister, then the deadlock could have been resolved much earlier without subjecting the people to such hardships for a long time, he pointed out. Alleging that the State Government has not taken up any steps for re-construction of the Railway Ticket Booking Counter at; Imphal which was burnt down some months back, Satish said BJP will bring up the matter to the notice of Parliament.

Satish informed that he would be personally going to Kohima on August 16 to ensure that the ruling DAN Government of Nagaland extend its co-operation and provide adequate security to the Imphal-bound goods laden trucks while passing through Nagaland along National Highway 39. State BJP unit president Th Chaoba who was also present at the occasion disclosed that investigation has been started on how Rs 2.25 crores sanctioned by the North East Council (NEC) and Youth Affairs and Sports for setting up over 200 playgrounds in the State had been misused. If the Government failed to take up action against any of the persons who are found to be involved in the case, then BJP Manipur Pradesh would be go to the extend of filing a PEL in the law Court, he warned. BJP MLA M Bhorot said that his party would also start exerting pressures on the Government to bring out a white paper on the alleged misused of a large amount of money meant for development of the hill people without having executed any development works.

CM hums unity tune on Patriots' Day Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 13: Stressing on the importance of unity amongst the people, Chief Minister O Ibobi today said that the territory of Manipur and the freedom of the people can be safe guarded only when the people learn to live in unity. Speaking at the Patriots' Day function at BT Park today, the Chief Minister said that disunity amongst the people will only add to the advantage of external and unfriendly forces. Recalling the political situation and the Palace intrigues in 1891, which paved the way for the British to invade Manipur, the Chief Minister said that the lack of unity amongst the people and those in positions of power gifted away the independence of Manipur to the British. It is therefore important for all to ensure that such a condition is not recreated again, observed the Chief Minister. The people should come forward to pay respect to the brave sons of the soil who died fighting the British force, said the Chief Minister and added that people of different communities should learn a lesson from the incident and come together to ensure that divisive tendencies are not given any room to bloom.

Unity is the only answer to protect the territory of Manipur, said the Chief Minister and urged all the different organisations to shed divisive tendencies and work for the betterment of all. Agriculture Minister Ph Parijat who attended the function as president said that though Manipur is a small place, it is like India, which is home to a number of different communities. The real challenge before the people are the instigations from outside forces to disintegrate Manipur, said the Minister and added that if the agenda of the outside forces are allowed to materialise, the only losers will be the people. The bitter fruits of disunity during the period of 1891 continue to haunt the psyche of the people, said Parijat and urged the people not to forget the lesson. The function of the day started from the morning with the paying of floral tributes at Hicham Yaichampat and at the memorial site of Thangal General at Palace Gate. Before the main function at BT Park was held, floral tributes were paid at Kangla. The Patriots' Day was also observed in other parts of the State paying homage to those martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the Independence war of 1891 against the British.

At Senapati district, the Patriots' Day function was held at Thangal General Ecological Park, Mayangkhang with Deputy Commissioner of the district Dr Prem Singh and president of Thangal Naga Union Khangba Anth as chief guest and president respectively. Offering of floral tributes, gun salute and rendering of devotional songs of various communities are the main highlights of the function. In his address, Dr Prem said noted that besides paying homage to the patriots, we should also emulate the ideals and follow their footsteps. At the Patriots' Day observance function held at Chandel district, SDO G Budhachandra Sharma led the people as chief guest in paying floral tributes to the martyrs who have laid down their lives for the cause of the motherland. A contingent of the 8 Manipur Rifles stationed at Leikhun offered gun salute and observed two minute silence as mark of respect to the martyrs at the occasion. Top civil and police officials and village chiefs were also among those who were present at the occasion. At Thoubal district, the main observance function was held in the office complex of DC Thoubal with DC P Vaiphei as chief guest and SP Thoubal NK Ujjwal as president.

Besides offering floral tributes to the martyrs devotional songs of various communities were also sung at the occasion. At Bishnupur, the district administration organised the Patriots' Day observance function at the ground of DCs Secretariat. DC Bishnupur Norbert Disinang led the people in offering floral tributes to the martyrs.

SP Bishnupur, Army officials, employees of Parishad, Municipality, and many public leaders attended the function. At Moreh, Meitei Council Moreh, Kha Nongpok Apunba Nupi Lup, Moreh and AMSU, Chandel district Committee jointly observed the Patriots' Day at Kondong Lairembi Haraobung, Moreh wherein nearly 500 people attended the programme. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Imphal Union organised the 'Patriots' Day' observance function with Lecturer, Imphal College, Ng Gopaldutta Singh as president, Chief Librarian, RIMS DrNGiridhan as chief guest and Branch Manager Co-operative Bank Ch Birchandra Singh and Senior worker ABVP Y Tomba Singh as guests of honour. Huyen Lallong Manipur Thang-Ta Cultural Association, Irilbung, observed the Patriots' Day and paid homage to the martyrs during a function at its auditorium.

Youth Welfare Organisation Sinyjamei Thokchom, Leikai, Imphal also celebrated the Patriots' day at the premises of the club today. Janata Dal United, Manipur State Unit, Khuyathong Bazar also observed Patriots’ Day today at its office in which State Returning Officer Bhuban Singh presided the function. Bharatiya Janata Party, Manipur Pradesh, Federal Party of Manipur, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, Congress Bhawan, Imphal, Arapti Young Learners' Club, Lilong and Kairembikhok Youth Sporting Union, Kairembikhok Thoubal also organised the Patriots' Day function at the respective office premises and pay homage to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the sake of the mother land.
State pays rich tributes to its heroes The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 13: Heroic forefathers of Manipur, Bir Tikendrajit, Thangal General, Niranjan Subedar and Charai Thangal, who made the supreme and selfless sacrifice on the gallows for the cause of freedom of their motherland were remembered today on the occasion of the 114th Patriots’ Day, which was widely observed throughout the state today. Apart from the state capital, Imphal, the observation was also held at various places throughout the state and at all the district headquarters where people from all walks of life paid floral tributes to portraits of the state’s great heroes.
Observation of Patriot’s Day began early in the morning with chanting of Yakairol in several places.

The main and official observation was held in Imphal in which chief minister O Ibobi Singh lead the people in paying floral tributes to the heroes at their memorial sites. The chief minister lead his council of ministers and people in laying wreaths at Hicham Yaichampat, Kangla, Thangal General temple at Palace Compound and Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of Imphal. Speaking at Bir Tikendrajit Park where a public function was held to mark the occasion, Ibobi said he is very much pleased to pay respect to the state’s heroes who fought for safeguarding the freedom of our motherland. There may be difference amongst ourselves in past, which could be due to misunderstanding or accidentally, but such differences should be buried in good faith, Ibobi said appealing to the people remain united so that no enemy can take chances on us. Calling upon underground organisations to shun their secessionist movements, Ibobi also urged to them to unite and work together for the betterment of the people and for the state. The chief minister later conferred the distinguished police medal to Subedar Mangkhojang Kipgen of Manipur Police Training School, Pangei in recognition for his devotion to duty. The function was among others attended by state arts and culture minister Ph Parijat, IPR minister Gaikhangam, works minister Th Debendra, FCS minister Ngamthan Haokip, MOBC minister Abdul Salam, other ministers and MLAs of the SPF government along with top ranking civil and police officers. In his presidential address, arts and culture minister Ph Parijat said Manipur’s integrity has been challenged repeatedly since the British period but was unsuccessful.
Asserting that some forces have been making every possible means to disintegrate Manipur, Parijat also expressed fear that there is danger of a communal clash in this part of the country with instigation from some quarters. Asking people to remain vigilant from the sinister designs of evil forces trying to separate the state, Parijat also called upon people make every effort to avoid such a communal clash.
Asem Lalit from Moreh adds In a historic manner, the 114th Patriot Day observation was organized today at Moreh town jointly organized by the Meitei Council Moreh (MCM), AMSU Chandel District committee and Kha Nongpok Apunba Nupi Lup at Kondong Lairembi Haraobung. The observation marked a unique unity in diversity with the participation of the various communities inhabiting the border town. The function had ADC Moreh Th Chothe as chief guest and was presided by L. Imobi Singh of Meetei Council Moreh as president. Around 300 people of various communities of Moreh town attended the function and paid floral tributes to great heroes of the state. Speaking on the occasion, Th Chothe stressed the need for common understanding and dedication by every individual to bring a unique and remarkable integration which could not be broken by any force.

L Imobi in his presidential speech stressed the need for mutual understandings between communities in every aspect of development. Several renown social activists including Mutua Bahadur, director, Mutua Museum, N Indramani of Manipur State Archives, Kamini Kumar, president, Cultural Research Academy Moreh, O Jugeshore, SDO, Telecom Kangpokpi, Sanjoy Meetei Secretary MAFYF and other resource persons from the Imphal attended the function.

ULFA infighting led to Jyotish’s killing By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Aug 13 – Justice (retd) JN Sarma One-Man Commission on Secret Killings has found prima facie that Jyotish Sarma, brother-in-law of ULFA leader Subhash Sarma, was a victim of ULFA infighting. The Commission also found involvement of two surrendered ULFA (SULFA) men Bibek Nath and Krishna Hazarika in the missing case of two Tezpur youths Rajesh Mishra and Rajiv Koch.
However, in the case of murder of Dr Dharanidhar Das of Barama (elder brother of the ULFA publicity secretary Mithinga Daimari) and his family members, the Commission was not able to draw any conclusion. All the 17 witnesses deposing before it in this connection did not provide anything substantive enabling the Commission to arrive at a conclusion. The Commission submitted its first report to the State Government yesterday. According to Justice (Retd) Sarma, there was no lapse on the part of the police or administration in connection with the cases his Commission was probing. The Commission is also inquiring into three other cases – murder of Dipak Chowdhury (the brother of ULFA foreign secretary Sasa Choudhury) of Belsor Police Station in Nalbari district, Dwijen Haloi and Phulen Haloi of Nalbari Police Station and Dimba Rajkonwar (brother of ULFA Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa) of Dibrugarh Police Station. Some progress in these cases has already been made, said Justice Sarma. Justice Sarma was appointed in November 2002 and he started functioning since June 2003. Earlier, the Commission was headed by Justice (retd) Mira Sarma. The Commission examined altogether 35 witnesses at various places of the State to dispose three cases.

Talking to The Assam Tribune here today, Justice Sarma said that according to the materials available before the Commission, it was found that Jyoitsh Sarma’s killing was a revenge killing resulting from the infighting between two groups of ULFA. While one group was led by Subhash Sarma and Raju Barua, the other group was led by Ramani Kalita. During the last part of 1999, about seven boys from Bhutan came down to Bongaigaon. They were directed to proceed to Nalbari for organisational works of the outfit by Subhash and Raju. Reaching Nalbari, these ULFA boys decided to surrender before the authorities and when this came to the knowledge of Subhash and Raju they threatened these boys with dire consequences. Subhash even threatened to kill the boys along with their family members. The seven boys also issued a counter threat of similar nature and warned that they would hit first. When these boys did not find Subhash at his native village, they searched for him at his brother-in-law’s residence in the city. It needs mention that Subhas used to come and stay with his brother-in-law now and then. And on one such occasion, in 1994, there was an encounter in the city house of Jyotish Sarma. In the encounter the son of Jyotish Sarma received two bullet injuries but the ULFA cadres fled away. Ramani Kalita and his group came to Jyotish Sarma’s house and when Subhash was not found there, Jyotish Sarma was picked up and killed at Ganesh Mandir near Nalbari. It came to light during police enquiry when the then Additional SP of Guwahati PK Dutta arrested an ULFA cadre Pratap Deka at Fatasil Ambari.
Pratap told all these to police and led the police to the pistol used in the incident. The pistol was found at Rangiya. The Forensic Science Laboratory confirmed the assertion made by Pratap Deka by testing the pistol and the empty cartridges recovered from the body of Jyotish Sarma, Justice Sarma said. Another ULFA cadre Krishna Nath of Sarbhog who was arrested at Barpeta also made similar statements before the police on Jyotish Sarma’s murder, Justice Sarma said, adding all these led the Commission to conclude that it was an ULFA infighting that led to the killing of Jyotish Sarma. In connection with the Tezpur incident of missing of Rajesh Mishra and Rajiv Koch, the Commission found that following a land dispute SULFA men Bibek Nath and Krishna Hazarika abducted Rajesh and Rajiv when they went to Madhav Dham on a scooter to hire an ambulance for carrying Rajiv’s sister-in-law to the Gauhati Medical College Hospital. They were waylaid by two Maruti Gypsies and were picked up by the occupants of the Gypsies. They were traceless since then.
There was a serious public uproar following this incident at Tezpur and the people ransacked the house in which the SULFA men along with some other SULFA men were staying near the Ananta Talkies. Some of the items belonging to the SULFA men were burnt down and some others were handed over to the Deputy Commissioner of Sonitpur. A magisterial enquiry into the incident of abduction of the two youths indicted Bibek and Krishna. Krishna later re-joined the ULFA and was killed in an encounter with the police near Jorabat, while Bibek was arrested and kept in custody, Justice Sarma observed. Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Asam Unnati Sabha and Asam Sena have described the report of Justice Sarma Commission as a product of the leniency of the Tarun Gogoi Government towards the secret killers. They warned against any attempt at providing protection to those involved in the cases of secret killings, which shook the social life of the State during the reign of the Prafulla Mahanta Government. In a joint statement, these organisations said that the assertion made by the Commission that no political leader or bureaucrat was involved in such incidents of secret killing was not acceptable. For, they said, without involvement of the political leaders and the bureaucrats it was impossible for the secret killers to kill hundreds of innocent people. The murder of the family members of Uma Gogoi in Sivasagar district and the miraculous escape of Ananta Kalita from the clutches of the secret killers are only two tips of the iceberg. Prafulla Mahanta knew who were involved in such incidents and hence the AASU is alleging with firm conviction that he was the kingpin of secret killings, said the organisations in their statement.
They also alleged that the Tarun Gogoi Government had not made any arrangement to provide security to the witnesses. Nor there was any intensive publicity to motivate the people to come out in large number to depose before the Commission. The failure of the State Government to extend all sorts of support to the Commission in carrying forward its activities has denied the people justice in this connection. The Government should extend all sorts of support to the Commission to go into all the cases of secret killings, they said. The Asam Sena warned of dire consequences if the secret killers were not awarded stringent punishment.
Security alert in northeast ahead of I-Day By Indo Asian News Service Guwahati, Aug 14 (IANS) At least 100,000 security personnel were deployed in India's northeast ahead of Monday's Independence Day celebrations with separatists stepping up attacks and calling for a boycott of the event. 'Our soldiers are on maximum alert in the region to foil attempts by rebels to sabotage the celebrations,' said an army commander. At least four separatist groups in Assam, Manipur and Tripura have called for a 17-hour general strike beginning Sunday midnight to boycott the Independence Day festivities. Of the other northeastern states, Mizoram does not have any rebel group, while two militant outfits in Nagaland and Meghalaya are operating a ceasefire with New Delhi. A ragtag rebel group in Arunachal Pradesh has not given a boycott call this year.
In the run up to Aug 15, militants in Assam triggered a series of explosions killing at least five people and blowing up oil and gas pipelines, rail tracks and power facilities.
'There were about 28 explosions and two attacks on security forces during the past week,' Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said. As precautionary measures, authorities have suspended running of all trains at night until Monday. Intelligence reports indicate that militants might target passenger trains.
In Manipur, four civilians were killed in an ambush by militants this week, while rebels triggered at least four explosions in separate incidents. Militants in the northeast have for years been boycotting India's Independence Day and Republic Day (Jan 26) celebrations.
The run up to the events has always been violent, with rebels striking vital installations besides targeting security personnel. 'We are carrying out aerial surveillance over government installations,' the army commander said. At least 30 rebel outfits operate in the northeastern states, their demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination.
I-Day terrorists
The pattern is sickeningly familiar. As Independence Day draws closer, the cadres of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) reach for their guns and grenades in order, presumably, to over-awe the Indian state and strike a blow for Assam’s liberation. Last year the outfit’s list of activities included targeting schoolchildren gathered at a Dhemaji school for the Independence Day ceremony. On that occasion, six children and several adults paid the price for the ULFA’s egregious pathology.
That attack provoked even those who normally sympathise with the outfit to come out in condemnation. Yet the wave of revulsion that greeted the Dhemaji massacre, and indeed the talk of engaging with the Government of India, does not seem to have forced a change of strategy for these criminals masquerading as liberators. Last year, they had declared a general strike in the state and then went on to target cinema houses, gas pipelines and railway lines. This year, they have called for a general strike on August 15 and have already caused a great deal of damage and fear. A tea garden manager has been gunned down, pipelines have been destroyed, the railways have been targeted.
The onus is now on the Tarun Gogoi government to ensure that Independence Day passes by without event in the state. It must ensure that Assam is not held hostage to a bunch of lumpens on this important national occasion. The state government and chief minister needs a reality check. The time for adopting resolutions in the assembly “appealing to the ULFA to shun violence” is over; and the time to urge the “Centre to expedite negotiations with the banned outfit for lasting peace” has not come. These are desperate men who have well demonstrated their levels of barbarism. There can be no negotiating with them.
‘We Serve the Prince of Peace’ Former US President Carter tells Hazel Southam about his faith and work for peace When former President Jimmy Carter stands up and begins a Bible study class, there is likely to be a queue round the block to hear him. In 1977, James Earl Carter Jr blew into Washington DC ‘like a Southern breeze’, and the 39th President of the United States symbolised a bright new future. He had emerged from the obscurity of a peanut farm in his native Georgia, as a man of honesty. He served just one difficult four-year term. Since then, President Carter’s slogan of ‘Trust me’ has rung ever more true. He has become a trusted elder statesman around the world, working tirelessly as a peace negotiator, election overseer and mediator in’ world crises. And he has held a weekly Bible study class at the Baptist church in Atlanta that he attends. He did so throughout his presidency and does so today, nearly 30 years later.
‘I have a deep commitment to my faith,’ he says. ‘I happen to be a Baptist and the BWA represents a global effort for different Baptist groups to co-operate with each other to serve our Saviour: ‘I have been very disturbed by recent decisions in the Southern Baptist Convention to withdraw from the BWA. I think the Alliance acted properly in their decision to include the Conservative Baptist Fellowship in its membership and I wanted to do what I can do to minimise any permanent damage to the BWA.’ Mr Carter’s studies reflect the realities of today’s world, its problems, with biblical texts. And anyone attending his class should expect the same. ‘I hope that I will be able to deal succinctly and clearly with the teachings of the Christian faith with the current considerations of the general populus in the secular world,’ he says. ‘Whether we are talking about Old Testament or New Testament texts, I always relate them to the lives of the people who are listening, to modern day life and events. ‘I will certainly be talking about the rich/poor divide. We worship the Prince of Peace, not war.There is no doubt that Jesus Christ reached out to those around him who were in most need, not just to the wealthy or the afiluent. It has been his ‘vocation’, says Mr Carter, to work for peace, both during and after his presidency. His explanation. is simple. ‘Each person has to set priorities in their life. Each nation sets priorities. ‘I realised that I worship the Prince of Peace and I believe that there are times when war might be justified, but it must be a just war, unavoidable, as a last resort. It must minimise the suffering of innocent people. ‘I have tried all my life to avoid conflict. I want to promote peace for others. It has been my vocation. Human rights, that people I should live in peace, to be free, avoiding unnecessary suffering, living in an environment where you can feed your family and take care of their needs - that is peace, freedom. The former President says that prayer is a very important part in his peace negotiations both the ones he’s involved in today, and those he conducted in the past. ‘I pray every day and in moments of crisis I find an opportunity to assure myself that my motivations are proper, that my ego is controlled, that I have a benevolent understanding towards others and that we can find some common ground.’

Frans on 08.14.05 @ 02:31 PM CST [link]


Saturday, August 13th

Don’t sleep over demands: ANSAM to Manipur govt The Imphal Free Press


Don’t sleep over demands: ANSAM to Manipur govt The Imphal Free Press

Senapati, Aug 12: The All Naga Students' Association, Manipur ANSAM has reminded the Manipur government today not to sleep over the June 18 declaration issue although there is no pressure on the latter at the moment.
ANSAM spokesman Ngachonmi Chamroy told Newmai News Network today that "now there has been respite in Manipur" following the lifting of the economic blockade on the two national highways leading to Manipur but the government should not take advantage of the situation.
The Naga students' leader declared, " now the ball is in the court of Manipur with regard to the issue."
He also said that the Manipur government should have a political will to resolve the June 18 declaration as soon as possible.
ANSAM had lifted its indefinite economic blockade on August 11 which had been imposed since June 19 midnight in protest against the Manipur government decision to declare June 18 as "Manipur Integrity Day" which was a state holiday saying that the declaration was against the interest of the tribal communities living in Manipur particularly the Nagas.
Greater Nagaland issue receives boost NET News Network Guwahati, Aug 12: The people of Sadar Hills of Nagaland are contemplating to back the Naga’s common vision of Greater Nagaland with utmost zeal if no positive and concrete steps are taken before the ensuing independence day regarding the creation of the Sadar Hills as a full fledged revenue district.
A press release issued this evening stated that the genuine aspirations of the inhabitants has ignored whenever the issue was brought to the notice various successive Government which forced the Kuki people to take such a step and the people will never compromise for the blood shed of the martyrs for the cause of the community. Dwelling on the tribe relationship, the release informed that the Kukis are more close to the Nagas then the Meetei and there is no point living with people who are not like-minded and the decision are always suppressed. “We share common tribal traditional ways of life-styles and in religious aspect we both belong to Christianity”, added the release.
Ansam's wake up call to Govt Sangai Express
Senapati, Aug 12 : The All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur has reminded the Manipur Govt not to sleep over the June-18 declaration issue although there is no pressure on the latter at the moment, reports NNN. ANSAM spokesman Ngachonmi Chamroy informed Newmai News Network today that “now there is a reprieve in Manipur following the suspension of the economic blockade on the two national highways leading to Manipur but the government should not take advantage of the situation.” Chamroy then declared “now the ball is in the court of Manipur Govt with regard to the issue.”
He also said the Manipur government should have a political will to solve the June-18 declaration impasse as soon as possible. ANSAM had suspended the econo-mic blockade on August-11 since the agitation came into force on June 19 midnight to protest Manipur government's decision to declare June 18 as “State Integrity Day” and holiday. The blockade is in pursuit of demand for revocation of the declaration on ground that the declaration affronts the interest of the tribal people in general and particularly the Nagas.
Rio for more Naga youths in Army New Kelara
Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has appealed to the Centre to increase Nagaland's percentage in recruitment to the Army and other forces from the present 40 per cent. Speaking at the inaugural function of Sainik Bhawan at Dimapur yesterday, Mr Rio asserted that many Nagas had fought and died while defending the country.
''Nagas are known for their bravery and discipline and are keen to join the security forces. But lack of basic training to get through the different recruitment tests is restricting them from achieving their aspiration,'' he said. Mr Rio also appealed to the Assam Rifles to conduct more pre-recruitment training in the interior areas of the state, so that more youths could benefit. The Chief Minister, himself the son of an ex-servicemen, said that his government would continue to extend help through various welfare schemes to 3804 ex-servicemen to enable them to be self-employed.
''During 2004-2005, Rs 45.58 lakh was alloted to the Rajya Sainik board and in the current year Rs 30.35 lakh had been alloted for the welfare of former servicemen,'' he said. The state could re-employ some ex-servicemen in the Nagaland Armed Police, Mr Rio said. ''But cases of re-employment are still under study,'' he added.
Security beefed up for I-Day
KOHIMA, Aug 12: Security has been beefed up in many parts of the region, especially in sensitive areas, ahead of the Independence Day celebrations across the country on August 15 amidst boycott calls by several underground groups in North East.

In Kohima, albeit there is so far no security threat to the celebrations of Independence Day in Nagaland, the State Government has geared up the security measures throughout the State fearing sneaking of ultras from the neighbouring states due to pressure from the security forces.Official sources said the State police, Indian Reserved Battalion (IRB) and the Assam Rifles have intensified the patrollings in all vulnarable points of the State. In Manipur, suspected militants have launched a series of attacks on security personnel even as the State Government were making elaborate preparations for celebrating Independence Day.A CRPF jawan was killed and 11 were injured in a blast late on Thursday night at Lamphel in Imphal West district.
Calm despite the storm By Pradip Phanjoubam The Statesman
The indefinite economic blockade of Manipur by the All Naga Students Association Manipur, ANSAM, supported by other Naga organisations such as the Naga Students Federation, NSF and the Naga Hoho, has been relaxed. But let nobody be fooled, even if the immediate flare-up over the mistimed holiday declared by the chief minister, Okram Ibobi, is resolved, the core conflict of the ideas of Naga integration and Manipur’s integrity remains. Hence, the current problem would only be going into an incubation to resurface again another time in another form, perhaps the next time the NSCN(I-M) peace talks run into another roadblock. It is unfortunate, too, that as far as it is foreseeable there are only roadblocks ahead, the biggest ones being the concept of Greater Nagaland (Nagalim) and Naga sovereignty.
Naga unification, as the NSCN(IM) has made it clear is only the first major step to a sovereign Nagalim. A few other things are also clear. Economic blockades cannot make Manipur submit. This is on several considerations. First, the valley is a rice bowl and because of it, the state can hold out the worst sieges. Second, the airways cannot be blockaded. Third, the commitment of some of the state’s basic services, such as its truck drivers, will always make sure that no blockade is complete. If there ever was a time Manipur could thank itself for not having been blessed with any industries, it had to be during the blockade. The 54-day siege would have caused havoc, incurring heavy losses, setting off panic in the market, but the state was spared this trauma at least because it does not have any industry worth the name to be destroyed.
It also proves that life in Manipur is not sophisticated and its luxuries only superficial. Hence, even in the most adverse circumstances, there is never too much that its people have to give up.
People were worried about inconveniences during the blockade but did not panic as it was not life-threatening. Visitors to the state were disarmed by the composure with which the people were coping with the scarcities. They were also impressed by the public discipline of a people known for its passionate intensity.
The chaos also brought out some of Manipur’s strengths. Predictions that the state would be plunged into a communal strife because of the blockade were proven woefully alarmist. The society proved its enormous capacity to absorb shocks and provocations, much like during the June 2001 upheaval. On that occasion, too, despite fears of an imminent communal mayhem, despite 18 people losing their lives protesting against a Government of India decision, and despite the inferno that important institutions and symbols of the establishment, including the Assembly building and national flags, were thrown into, not a single individual became an intended victim of communalism. It is true that a number of Naga residents of the Imphal valley fled to safer distances, quite understandably fearing violence in the midst of the explosive situation. But the fact is, none of the dark scenario painted ever became a reality. In the current imbroglio, too, all with intent to provoke a communal backlash would have ended up frustrated. Life went on. People did have to queue up overnight outside petrol pumps but they took the bad times in its strides and did queue up outside petrol pumps overnight as if this was only a bad patch in their life. The abnormal times also threw up common man heroes. The commitment of the truck drivers was phenomenal. Repeated damage to vehicles, repeated personal injuries, repeated exposure to threats and dangers, repeatedly being stranded on highways for weeks, all failed to deter them from doing what they were supposed to do.
Just as America honoured its firefighters after 9/11, we for one would be happy if “Drivers Day”, as a symbol of all the state’s basic services, were to be celebrated as Integrity Day, instead of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi’s choice. There are other reasons for the calm that has surprised outsiders. All these years the state has been so used to extended blackouts, water shortages, bad roads, frequent but less severe bandhs and blockades, that its people have become somewhat immunised to effects of even extended blockades.
A serious question posed by the state of affairs in Manipur is, can democracy be translated literally as “rule by the people”? People often forget freedom and democracy mean very different things when they are not bound by limits that discipline them. This being so, there are in Manipur today “democratic” blockades, human rights have also become sectarian. Very soon it may be “democratic” lynching and “democratic” ethnic cleansing. The Manipur question has revived a disturbing question: what if the people begin wanting these things? Would democracy still be comfortably defined as rule by the people? How else can an indefinite economic blockade be “democratic?” Many eminent democracy scholars, including the well known scientist-turned-philosopher, Karl Popper, came to the conclusion that the spirit of democracy, if it is not routed through the formal system of representative government can only amount to anarchy, or in modern journalese, “mobocracy”. Manipur is proving his theory. It may be recalled, ANSAM had called the blockade to protest against a holiday declared on 18 June, the day in 2001 when a revolt against the non-territorial extension of the NSCN(I-M)-Government of India ceasefire, peaked in Imphal, leaving 18 dead. (The author is Editor, The Imphal Free Press.)
Communal tension highlighted to Centre By Our Staff Reporter Sangai
IMPHAL, Aug 12 : Highlighting the communal tension generated by the peace talk between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) amongst the people of North East, representatives of the North East Peoples' Organisation met Union Minister Oscar Fernandes and urged him to take up appropriate steps to counter the tension.
Oscar Fernandes is heading the Group of Ministers constituted to hold parleys with the NSCN (IM).
During the meeting with Fernandes yesterday at about 10.30 pm at Sadar Patel Bhawan at New Delhi, the NEPO team made it clear that they are not against the peace process but are opposed to any design to whip up communal tension in the region due to the demand of the IM group to bring all Naga inhabited areas under one adminis- trative unit. Three States of the North East have made a clear stand against such a demand, informed the NEPO team to Fernandes. Even though the NSCN (IM) is engaged in a cease fire pact with the Centre, that has not stopped it from extorting lakhs of rupees from the vehicles plying on NH-39 at Dimapur informed the NEPO representatives and urged Fernandes to stop such activities. The NEPO team also urged the Union Minister to shift all the godowns located at Dimapur to Jiribam and also to provide adequate security along NH-39, NH-53 and NH-150. During the meeting Fernandes assured the team that efforts have been taken up on a war footing to develop NH-53 and suggested that a viable alternative route be charted out with an eye on the future. Earlier the team also met Union Minister of Heavy Industries Santosh Mohan Dev to develop NH-53.
The 58th Anniversary of Naga Independence Declaration - Naga National Council
LONDON, Aug 12: As we celebrate the 58th Anniversary (1947 - 2005) of the declaration of Naga Independence on 14 August, let everyone pause deeply for a moment to reflect on how our nation survived the unremitting evil designs of the enemy and thank our Heavenly Father for His unfailing love in time of trials and tribulations. ..
We pray for His blessings upon our nation in the days ahead and ask Him to lead our people always.
International perception on conflict has shifted inexorably against aggression and terrorism in recent years. At the same time, the arrival of the internet now instantly connect Nagaland with the rest of the world. Under the current political climate, Nagaland stand on the right to exist as an independent nation become much more compelling than ever before.

How the Naga People became a Nation: After the Second World War, the Naga Elders, representing their Communities, and led by A.Z.Phizo, declared to the world on 14 August 1947 that the Nagas will stay independent, a day ahead of the independence of India granted by Great Britain. It was followed with the historic voluntary national plebiscite held on 16 May 1951 that indelibly affirm Naga national identity and Naga nation by a resounding 99.00 per cent return. Thereafter, NNC was immutably entrusted with Naga mandate on upholding independence. Furthermore, NNC President reached out our people in the East, the then "unadministered areas", to persuade them to join with the then "Naga Hills district", on a Constitutional framework. Thereupon the Two Part hoisted the national flag and inaugurated the Federal Republic of Nagaland on 22 March 1956. The Nagas will never yield to India's evil designs to annex Nagaland.
'Political Foundation of Nagaland' - A.Z.Phizo: "The political foundation of Nagaland is firm and strong as it is based on the consent of the people as a whole, and it has proved from hundreds of years experience that we have perfected what we needed and that we need nothing better or higher a system than Pure Democracy.
Since Nagaland is ruled by the people's authority, land belongs to the people as private and personal property which inspires man to have greater confidence in themselves for self-reliance and it gives one a sense of joy and happiness that you are your own master.

We are thankful to God for all what we have because we are free and equal in every respect and that from time immemorial.
And, we are thankful to our Forefathers who had laid the foundation for us to stand upon with dignity and without fear and we look forward to the future without worry and anxiety. We know that we have reached our goal for our nation to continue to live in real Human freedom without giving offence to any one in the country and this freedom nobody can take away from us."

The conundrum of Naga politics? As a nation Nagaland has a Constitutional authority, namely, the Federal Government of Nagaland. How then could we explain that at times a section of muddle Nagas can be seen either blissfully ignorant or politically naive as to behave in a manner totally oblivious of their responsibility and limitation. Remarkably, in time of active war, our nation had unity of purpose and our people fully stood behind NNC and the Federal Government in upholding Nagaland independence. In contrast, following the suspended state of war since 1975, we have witnessed proliferation of self-proclaimed "leaders" meddling in politics motivated wholly by selfishness and greed. The false national image it projects to the world in collusion with India clearly has been a significant factor in choking the progress of Naga stand on freedom. All right-minded Nagas know that any attempt to steal Naga history and hijack national mandate entrusted with NNC and the Federal Government of Nagaland is in grave breach of the pledge given by the Nagas on 16 May 1951.

The conflict with India in perspective: There is a point of reference on every subject that provide information on fact and fiction. Naga sovereignty is not a dream since the Naga people did not share a common history with India at any time. Moreover, our ancestors were never subjugated by foreigners. Whereas, in the current protracted conflict with India, the core issue always has been Indian flagrant aggression against Nagaland in 1954 and the subsequent unremitting occupation of Nagaland. In self-defence, NNC and the Federal Government of Nagaland led our people in resisting the Indian aggressors. The Naga people will always be immensely grateful to the many thousands Naga patriots who gave their lives for our freedom and passed unto us a legacy of an unbroken history of independence. It takes two to make peace but hitherto the same India that sell itself to the world as champion of peace has hypocritically shun the non-violence policy of NNC and the Federal Government of Nagaland. Nevertheless India cannot stop political dynamics that increasingly detest bully and state sponsored terrorism.
The Present and Future Outlook: The resilient Nagas have earned the respect of the world for their unflinching resolve not to yield to Indian bully. Unfortunately, a few self-serving Nagas appears unable to resist the lure of spoiling our nation's tremendous achievements in thwarting the enemy's evil designs. Those elements who drag the good Naga name backward for sheer lust of power or collude with the enemy to undermine our national stand and bring discord among our people should first ask themselves who is their enemy and how they would like to be remembered by the future generation.

The Nagaland we love has been denied peace by India for over fifty years without any justification. We adamantly oppose the unremitting Indian occupation army militarised tyranny and state sponsored terrorism in Nagaland. To fulfil our mission to be a nation among nations, it is imperative that we remain true to Naga traditional values, particularly, in honouring our national pledge. Every Naga has a duty in upholding our nation.
Nagaland will not condone Nagas as individuals or as NGOs to interfere in the internal affairs of neighbouring Indian states. As much as Nagaland is against India meddling in our internal affairs, it is wrong and irresponsible for any Naga to indulge similarly. Whether Nagas or others, should resolve problems as politically mature societies through mutual respects and understanding without resorting to violence.
We have come a long way and we hope sometime soon India will fall in line with recent international perception strongly against bully. Meanwhile, the world has radically changed and no nation is safe from international scrutiny. Image conscious India know its reputation of waging the longest international war in modern time against Nagaland will not go away and untenable. Only the leaders of India can answer whether they have gumption to take the bold step of complying with international norm to open dialogue with the Naga establishment NNC and the Federal Government of Nagaland for a final solution based on mutual trust.

May God bless Nagaland. Urra Uvie
Adinno PhizoPresident
THE NAGA NATIONAL COUNCIL Urra, Nagaland

Legal highways Road blockades are not merely a political issue Financial Express
The Supreme Court notice to the Union home, defence and road transport ministries on politically-inspired road blockades is the latest indication that our policymakers and political parties need to discuss the issue. We had the two-month-long blockade of both national highways into Manipur by a Naga students union, with the Centre and both state governments sitting on their hands, even as Manipuris starved. And now comes the SC notice. This one is on a public interest suit, seeking an end to the increasing bandhs called by political parties in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, blocking National Highway 31A, the main road link to Sikkim. The two state governments have also been asked to state their position. This will not be easy, given how complex the situation is. What are the respective responsibilities of Union and state governments on such stretches? Police and law and order are a state subject. And what about the constitutional right to assemble and protest peacefully?
There are grey areas here, which many a prudent administration may legitimately not wish to rush to resolve. Are protests on national highways a central responsibility? How is that to be enforced? Manipur and Nagaland are teeming with troops: it wasn’t considered wise to use them. Remember, there is no concept of a federal police in India: the CRPF is strictly for law and order support, when requested by a state. And using the military for policing civilians imperils democracy. Nor is it necessary to step on or even be close to a national highway to stop traffic from coming on to it. More broadly, do workers in or on the road or rail sector have less of a constitutional right to strike than, say, workers in a factory?
These are issues on which we need debate. The Inter-State Council (ISC), for instance, should be seriously used to discuss options: in fact, this is one of the questions put to the Union in the SC notice. The ISC is a wasted constitutional forum: its meetings are very occasional and there is almost no action on even the points where it has reached a broad consensus. These are issues where a discussion is very necessary, especially given our federal structure. The SC notice is the first call to parties and policymakers to start thinking more seriously on the issue.

NH-39 truckers now told to cough up a lakh each as “evaded tax” The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug 12: There is apprehension that the relief from various disturbances to the movement of truckers along the NH-39 with the temporary relaxation of the economic blockade may be shortlived as one particular underground outfit is said to be preparing to collect huge amounts of money fraom the Manipuri truckers on the charge that they were travelling along with security escorts during the economic blockade and had escaped from paying their taxes to the group. Even as state based students organisation ANSAM and Nagaland based NSF have lifted their economic blockade imposed on the national highways on temporary basis, the truckers who usually ply on the Dimapur route are yet to start moving freely on NH-39. More than 80 trucks carrying goods coming from Guwahati side are stranded at Khatkati once again. A highly reliable source said that the truckers were stranded there as they were unable to pass through Dimapur after the particular outfit had imposed a heavy tax upon them. The source also said that the outfit had demanded an amount of Rs. one lakh from each truck transporting goods into Manipur. The authorities of the outfit have hardened their stand that unless their demand is met the trucks now stranded at Khatkhati and its adjoining areas will not be allowed to proceed further for Imphal.

The outfit’s leaders also further threatened that if any of the truckers failed to heed the warning they would themselves be responsible for any dire consequences. The receipt acknowledgement, issued by the outfit to the truckers regularly for goods transportation on the NH-39 and loading from Dimapur, which has been an open secret for a long time has not been issued for the outfit’s current demand. The truckers knowing the consequences to be faced on the way anywhere from Mao to Senapati if they are asked to produce the receipt acknowledgement are now stranded. In the meantime, reliable information said that at least five Imphal bound goods laden trucks coming on the NH-39 had reportedly disappeared near the Patkai bridge, some 30 kms from Dimapur towards Kohima this morning. There was suspicion that the said trucks were hijacked by some unknown persons on the demand of Rs. one lakh each from them and non-payment of goods taxes due from them during the economic blockade and defying their prior warning not go with the escorts. However there was no official confirmation of the report on the hijacking of the trucks. Meanwhile, truckers at Imphal talking to IFP lamented that during the blockade they were protected with the security escorts but now they had to bear the burden of providing huge amount from their pockets. Although there is nothing new in this the only difference this time is that the heavy monetary demand will be hard to negotiate.
NSF suspends stir against NPSC New Kelara
Kohima: The Naga Students' Federation (NSF) has suspended its agitation against the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC) till the main examination, which is scheduled for August 20 next. In a release issued here today, the NSF said it decided to suspend the first phase of agitation following the appeal of the state government and the decision of the NPSC to set afresh question papers for the main examination. Reiterating its demand for a CBI probe in the NPSC scandal, the students' body, nonetheless, said it will not obstruct the vigilance team currently investigating the scandal, but keep a close watch on the investigation and any undue interference from any quarter.

Welcoming the government decision to strengthen the vigilance commission by creating two new posts of senior Superintendent of Police and one post of Additional Superintendent of Police and four posts of Constables, the NSF, however, said it was skeptical of the officials executing duties in an impartial manner due to limited judicial powers and urged the government to give full autonomy to the commission to wind up the inquiry within the shortest possible time. Seeking cooperation of the public to unearth corrupt practices, the NSF also assured that the identity of anyone passing information would be kept a secret.
Ukl bodies target I-Day Sangai By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Aug 12 : Tang-khul Naga Long, Tangkhul Shanao Long, Tangkhul Wungnao Long, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong and Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long have jointly appealed to the people of Ukhrul district not to participate in the forthcoming Independence Day celebration as an expression of anger and displeasure against the alleged step-motherly treatment meted out by the Chief Minister and the unruly behaviour of Deputy Commissioner, Ukhrul. In a joint statement, the Tangkhul bodies decried the indifferent attitude of the Chief Minister to the demand to transfer the Deputy Commissioner despite serving numerous memoranda and ultimatums highlighting the misdeeds of the head of the district administration. The joint statement alleged that during his posting at Ukhrul, several crores of rupees of Centrally sponsored schemes have been intentionally allowed to lapse. The opening of a new branch of State Bank of India (SBI) and setting of FM Station of All India Radio (AIR) at Ukhrul have been delayed willfully by him despite repeated efforts by the Bank and the AIR authorities for early opening and setting up, the joint statement further alleged. He also made several physical challenge to social leaders and often use abusive language against the three MLAs from Ukhrul district, the Tangkhul bodies charged, adding that his irregular office attendance and running administration from his residence ever since his posting has infuriated the people besides causing serious problems to the public.
The Rani Of The Nagas Described thus by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937; given a tamrapatra as a freedom fighter in 1972; awarded a Padma Bhushan in 1981; honoured with a stamp in her memory in 1994. Who's she? PRITAM SENGUPTA on Rani Gaidinliu Special Issue: Independence Day Special Outlook
Described by Jawaharlal Nehru as the ‘Rani of the Nagas,’ in 1937; given a tamrapatra as a freedom fighter in 1972; awarded a Padma Bhushan in 1981; honoured with a stamp in her memory in 1994. Who’s she?
Chances are 99 out of 100 people across India will not be able to name her. Rani Gaidinliu’s fame after all dates back to 1932 when--as a 16 year old--she evaded the British forces for a year before being captured and sentenced to life imprisonment. She was freed only after India became independent. Today, her name is a faint memory even in the Northeast, thanks mainly to the Hindutva brigade which claims her as their own since she opposed the ‘Christian’ Naga separatists in the early 1960s. It will however be an insult to confine Gaidinliu to any particular camp or ideology. She was first and foremost a champion of her own people, the Zeliangrong tribe comprising Rongmei (Kabuis), Liangmei and Zemei (Kacha Nagas) groups, inhabiting the Tamenlong district of western Manipur.
Third daughter among eight children, Gaidinliu was born on January 26, 1915 in Nungkao village in Tamenlong district. Lack of schools in the backward area meant that Gaidinliu never had a chance to get formally educated. But she was a born leader. Even before she entered her teens she came under the influence of her cousin Haripau Jadonang, who had started a socio-political movement to drive out the British.
Jadonang, who was barely 10 years older than Gaidinliu, had conceived a new religion that was described as a ‘blend of Christianity and Hinduism grafted on to a Naga animist stock’. His objective, Gaidinliu, has been quoted as saying, "was reformation of old religious practices in order to strengthen the political movement aimed at ousting the British". Such was Jadonang’s popularity that within six years of launching the movement, the British perceived him as a threat to their supremacy in certain parts of Northeast. He was arrested and after a mock trial, hanged on August 29, 1931 at Imphal.
The mantle of leadership then fell on Gaidinliu. She was barely 16. Calling all Zeliangrong people not to pay taxes to British, Gaidinliu reaffirmed the call for freedom given by originally by Jadonang. The people rose as one and refused to assist the British in any way. Repressive measures were adopted by the police and the Assam Rifles; collective fines imposed on villages. But Gaidinliu and her band of dedicated followers continued to evade arrest, moving from village to village across the present day Nagaland, Manipur and Assam.
Alarmed by her growing defiance, the British authorities decided to send a special Assam Rifles contingent under one Captain MacDonald to try and capture Gaidinliu. Acting on an intelligence report that Gaidinliu and her followers were based in a village called Pulomi, Captain MacDonald, sent a large force in the opposite direction to hoodwink the rebels. Lulled into a false sense of security, Gaidinliu and her followers were caught completely by surprise when Capt. MacDonald raided the village on October 17, 1932. Gaidinliu was captured without any resistance. Handcuffed and humiliated, she was taken to Kohima on foot and later to Imphal for a trial. Most of her close associates were either executed or jailed.
Gaidinliu’s trial went on for over 10 months. Sentenced to life imprisonment, she was still in jail when Jawaharlal Nehru was on a tour of Manipur in 1937. Later he wrote: "…and now she lies in some prison in Assam, wasting her bright young womanhood in dark cells and solitude. Six years she has been there. What suppression of spirit they have brought to her who in pride of her youth dared to challenge the Empire…And India does not even know of this brave child of her hills.But her own people remember her their ‘Rani Guidallo…and a day will come when India will also remember her…" Nehru spelt her name wrong but was correct in calling her the ‘Rani of Nagas.’
Gaidinliu indeed was a legend in her own lifetime. After her release from jail, she continued to work for the uplift of her backward people. The brave warrior once again went underground in 1966 organising a resistance movement against the Naga National Council (NNC)-led insurgents. Today none of the Naga underground groups is willing to even acknowledge her since she was considered close to the Government of India. Although she was hnonoured as a freedom fighter and also awarded a Padma Bhushan, Rani Gaidinliu died disillusioned and bitter in 1993 since the Government did not keep any of its promises made to her. Not many remember her anymore anyway.

India takes up issue of ultra camps with Bangla Our Staff Correspondent Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Aug 12 – Conceding that number of violent incidents has gone up in the North-East though the number of killings have declined by 28 percent, Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil today said that India has taken up with Bangladesh the issue of existence of militant camps in the country. Replying to a Calling Attention Motion regarding terrorism in the country including attack on Ram Janam Bhoomi Complex at Ayodhya raised by Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra in Lok Sabha, Patil said that though External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh had gone to the neighbouring country on a bilateral visit, he raised the issue of illegal immigration and presence of militant camps.

Patil said that there were complaints of illegal migration of people from the country. The issue has also been raised at the official-level and also at higher level. The Home Minister was responding to questions whether the Government of India has asked Bangladesh to launch joint combing operation to flush out militants from the country. However, Patil side stepped the issue and merely said that the issues were discussed with Bangladesh. However, he added that the fencing in the Eastern border which has been half completed is targeted to be completed by 2006. Earlier, Patil said that though the number of violent incidents in the North-East last month increased by 0.7 percent there was no rise in the number of killing. The situation in Assam, Tripura and Nagaland is under control though the situation in Manipur was disturbing.
Is NH-53 the answer to Economic blockade? Sangai Editorial By Dr KN Singh
Manipur is linked with the rest of the country through National Highway No-39 which runs through Nagaland. National Highway No 53 which links the State of Assam with Im-phal runs through Jiribam and the hilly Tamenglong district. This highway is in a dilapidated condition with many bridges not in pliable condition. Successive Governments have neglected the importance of the National Highway No. 53 which directly links Manipur with Assam. The economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) supported by Naga Students' Federation (NSF), Nagaland for more than one and half month starting from 19th July 2005 has put the entire population of Manipur at ransom. The scarcity of essential commodities and life saving drugs had caused untold sufferings to the general public and the poorer section of the society in particular. Only now, the State Government feels the urgency of developing NH-53 as an alternative to NH-39, and has to exert pressure to the Centre for developing it on war footing. Now, the pertinent question is - “Is the development of NH-53 the solution to the economic blockade along NH-39?”
Right, when the buses, trucks ply over NH-39 from and to Manipur through Nagaland taxes are levied by the NSCN to the tune of crores of rupees per annum. This is with full knowledge of the Indian Army, State security forces. These taxes become the perennial source of income for NSCN. In the name of peace talk, they are free to collect taxes fixed by them from buses and trucks of Manipur. Further more, the passengers are often looted and drivers harassed for no fault of theirs by the anti-social elements along NH-39. Had ULFA collected taxes from each and every bus or truck of Nagaland passing through Assam, how the Naga people will react. This introspective question is put to NSCN and NSF also. They stand for the Naga civil society, for their autonomy, for their liberation from the yoke of Indian rule and for unification of all Nagas in the neighbouring States. When the same treatment is meted out to the drivers of trucks and buses of Nagaland and the passengers travelling therein, how will the Government and people react?
Within the territory of Manipur, in the hill districts of Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong, NSCN is operating without any hindrance, collecting taxes from contractors, buses, trucks etc. State forces which caught NSCN cadres, captured arms and ammunition were forced to return the same by the Centre. It is anybody’s guess what the State security personnel will feel when one is insulted for discharging his duties courageously instead of bravery award. Such treatment has only emboldened the NSCN cadres to carry out their agenda/programme within the State of Manipur. Since ceasefire is confined wi-thin the territory of Naga-land, and is not extended to Manipur, it is quite natural that the State security personnel take the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the State. The Centre and the State Governments should take a clear stand about NSCN cadres with or without fire arms within the State of Manipur. If the arms and ammunition captured from underground elements are to be returned as was done earlier in Manipur, will the Central Government apply the same yard stick to other underground organisations in Manipur and elsewhere in the country?
Antisocial elements in Senapati district and Chandel district loot the passengers in broad day light as if there is no security measures to save them from these barbaric acts. Trucks have to pay heavy taxes per month to the underground elements as if it is a legalized one. If this goes on unhindered and if this is a regular feature, as it is now, what guarantees the people when they travel by NH-53 through Tamenglong which is also infested with Naga underground and antisocial elements. The need of the hour is to tighten the grip of law and order in the hill districts of Manipur with the full support of the Central Government. Any highway, No. 39, 53 or 150 will not be safe until and unless the underground organizations of the hills and the valley are made to feel that the disruption of highways will cost them dearly. One wonders how the Central Government was in deep slumber when the entire population of Manipur cries for want of essential commodities following the indefinite economic blockade by ANSAM and NSF for one and half month. It is a pity to see thousands of people queuing up from 2 am to 5 pm for 2 litres, 3 litres or 5 litres of petrol at the oil pumps which start issuing petrol from 6.30 or 7.00 a.m. Only when BJP pulled up Congress led State and Central Governments for failing to discharge its Constitutional obligation, in the backdrop of the indefinite economic blockade by ANSAM & NSF for the last 45 days, Home Minister took the measure to air-lift the following day 40 tonnes of life saving drugs and some other essential commodities which is far below the one-day requirement of the State. We do appreciate the initiative taken by Home Minister, even if it is too late.
However, as a matter of policy, one cannot but question the wisdom of Home Minister. Will the Central Government be able to provide by airlifting the essential commodities for 25 lakh people of Manipur daily? It is absurd. Further if a student organization in UP or Bihar imposes similar economic blockade on all the National Highways passing through their State for one or two months to press their demand, shall the Centre adopt air dropping measure for the people of the State and the States beyond. A definite absurdity. It is nothing but an exposure of the weaknesses on the part of Central and State Governments. I am of the opinion that such attitude of the Government will surely have a negative effect on the internal security of the country.
In the State of Manipur, one witnesses the failure of the Govt on so many fronts, particularly on the law and order front. Not a single day passes without bandhs/blockades/general strikes, killing or shooting of somebody by somebody. Some organisations take the decisions themselves and give punishment which they think fit. Many persons are killed or rendered unfit for life as if the value of human life in Manipur is cheaper than a chicken. Nobody is punished for such heinous crime by the Govt. The State Govt seems to be a helpless spectator of these killings of somebody by somebody else almost daily. On the other hand free medical camps at remote villages in Manipur are arranged at the instance of student and social organizations but not by the Government. This exposes the impotency of the State Government.
The security of the individuals is at stake. Underground organizations of around 20 numbers operating in the state are busy in collecting funds, demanding huge sum of money from businessmen, contractors, officers, teachers, doctors, public establishments, private establishments etc. Apart from this, contract works or Government supplies in almost all the departments are executed by individuals or groups sponsored by the underground elements. Sometimes, the same work programme is being pursued by two or three underground organizations and the authorities often become helpless in deciding to whom the work order is to be issued. The recent publications by college student unions of Manipur in the local dailies expressing displeasure for taxing on the teachers by underground elements and for stalling the construction works of the college because of struggle for execution of the same work by two group is enough proof of rejection by the student bodies.
The Government is blind to all sorts of malpractices in the Education Department since the last two decades or so. A good number of fake appointments, illegal withdrawal of pay and pension, misappropriation of fund etc are brought to light by social organisations. Govt fails to take up appropriate actions unless an accusing finger is raised. Every now and then, the attendance of the teachers specially in the rural and hill areas are checked by the student organizations. This is because of two main reasons - (i) lack of responsibility on the part of the teachers (ii) Absence of mechanism in the Government set-up to check, monitor and rectify the lapses. The student bodies regularly carry out inspection of schools, find faults of teachers and other employees and publicize it. The moral of the teachers is given a death blow. The existence of a representative Government becomes quite irrelevant as it fails to discharge the Constitutional obligations. It is likened to a situation of giving orders to his parents by his son but not by the elders of the parents. This happens when guardians are worthless, irresponsible and when there is no order in the house. This pitiable picture is what we see in Manipur. In the name of some organization, the workers/cadres use filthy languages towards the elders for failing to meet their demands which is very difficult to swallow by the ageing people who spent the best part of their life in a very disciplined and orderly way.
The voluntary retirement of many reputed senior doctors, engineers, tea-chers, officers etc. under the Govt. of Manipur is a testimony of the hostile environment in the State. We must not forget 'Discipline is the backbone of any civilized society'. Punishment is given for lapses or irregularities on the part of the Govt employees by the underground organizations but not by the employer i.e State Govt. Shooting at the leg if not killed by the underground elements for alleged negligence of duty, offences/ malpractices by the teachers, doctors, officers etc has become the order of the day. The abduction and subsequent shooting at the legs of the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar of Manipur University is still fresh in the minds of the people. In a nutshell the security of the people is not at all guaranteed nor there is proper mechanism to check the irregularities in the Govt set-up.
When the ‘people of Manipur are reeling under the impact of indefinite economic blockade, some underground organizations of the valley are busy in collecting money from the people as if they have nothing to do for the welfare of the people at the time of distress. Any movement without the ta-cit support of the mass base will not last long. When people have to pay heavy taxes towards the underground elements for fear of security of life over and above the legalised taxes paid to the Govt, nobody is willing to earn money through hard work by pious means. Nobody is willing to discharge his/her duty faithfully, be it in the teaching profession or in medical profession, when a good amount of his/her hard earned money is confiscated. The ultimate result will be a very slow pace of development in all fields. I sincerely appeal to all the brothers and sisters of social organizations that any action taken up by them should not be anti people, for, in the ultimate analysis, they stand for the good cause of the people within and without the State. Manipur has multi-ethnic society from time immemorial and as such we have to think and act for the welfare of the state as a whole leaving aside the sectarian egos and ethos.
We need a strong, effective and efficient Government which rules, a Government which protects the life and security of the people. We want to see a bright and prosperous Manipur free from bandhs, blockades and strikes. If law and order is not properly maintained in the State, this will not become a reality. Solving the insurgency problem in the North-eastern States including Manipur will be a key to the progress of these States.
The main land India should also understand that the neglect of these north eastern States by the Centre for the last five decades has created the present state of anarchy in this region. Political solution is the best option as we have seen in the case of Mizoram, although problems do differ from State to State. Even though initiative for political solution of Naga problem has already been taken up for Nagaland, and of late for Assam, unfortunately no serious effort has been made in this direction for Manipur by the State and the Central Governments. A concerted effort will be in the best interest of the people of the State.

Frans on 08.13.05 @ 02:29 PM CST [link]


Friday, August 12th

Patil welcomes lifting of economic blockade of Manipur


BLOCKADE-PATIL Patil welcomes lifting of economic blockade of Manipur
NEW DELHI, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today welcomed the lifting of the 52-day old economic blockade of National Highway-39 in Manipur by Naga students.
In a brief statement, Patil welcomed the lifting of the economic blockade of Manipur by All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga students Federation. Patil also appealed to all the concerned parties to resolve their outstanding issues in a peaceful and understanding manner through dialogue, an official spokesman said here. The All Naga Students Association Manipur, which had called the blockade together with the apex Naga Students Federation in Nagaland, at a meeting in Kohima yesterday said it was being 'temporarily suspended' in view of the appeal by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Patil. ANSAM had blocked the NH-39 since June 20 after Ibobi Singh government had declared the day as a state holiday last year in memory of 14 people who were killed in "integrity agitation" of June 2001 in Imphal.
The NH-39 connects Manipur with rest of country and passes through Nagaland and higher reaches of the state before entering Imphal valley. Following the deadlock with the ANSAM, the Government had attempted to open NH-53 which connects Manipur through Silchar in Assam to Imphal passing through Naga-dominated Taminglong district in Manipur. Besides the highway has presence of insurgents and the condition of highway was bad as it was reopened after eight years.
NH-53 receives Centre's blessings with promises of funds and security The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 11: Taking cognizance of the 52 days crippling economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur on the two National Highways and the need to develop a second lifeline for Manipur, the Centre has assured the State Government that it will pump in all the necessary funds for the development of NH-53. The Centre has also agreed to deploy the necessary Central security forces to provide protection along NH-53 and to over see the situation in the State, Union Home Secretary VK Duggal is scheduled to arrive here on August 17.
Speaking to The Sangai Express an official source said that the Centre has agreed to pump in the required funds to convert NH-53 to a double lane National Highway and make it fit for free movement of traffic. The Centre has also agreed to deploy the necessary security force on this route to provide security, said the source and added that to see the situation in the backdrop of the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM, Union Home Secretary VK Duggal will arrive at Imphal on August 17.
Some days back, the Union Home Secretary had summoned Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh and DGP AK Parashar to New Delhi to discuss the situation in the State following the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM and actively supported by the Naga Students' Federation. The Chief Secretary and DGP of Nagaland were also present at the meeting convened by Duggal. During his visit to Imphal the Union Home Secretary is scheduled to meet the Governor, Chief Minister and other officials concerned. Other than promising the required funds and security deployment, the Centre has also asked the BRTF to speed up the developmental works of NH-53, added the source.
Even as VK Duggal is scheduled to arrive here on August 17, ANSAM had decided to withdraw its economic blockade with effect from 12 noon of August 11. Meanwhile the two officials from the Prime Minister Office, who arrived here yesterday to over see the situation at the instructions of the Prime Minister visited Churachandpur today to get a first hand account of the sufferings faced by the people. The two officials are the Joint Secretary Sanjoy Mitra and Director Sanjoy Krishna. The Joint Secretary and the Director are scheduled to leave Imphal tomorrow. The officials from the PMO on arrival yesterday met Governor Dr SS Sidhu at the Raj Bhawan. They also met the Chief Minister at his Babupara official residence and held in-depth discussion on the situation, said sources.
The meetings centred on the situation arising out of the indefinite economic blockade imposed by ANSAM since June 19.

PM hails lifting of economic blockade Sangai Express
New Delhi, Aug 11 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday welcomed the ending of the 49-day long economic blockade of Manipur. In a message to the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) and other organisations, the Prime Minister said that he “appreciated and welcomed the gesture to voluntarily lift the blockade in Manipur from today keeping in view the difficulties being faced by the ordinary citizens of the State and the sentiments expressed by the Home Minister and the Prime Minister.”
The message further went on to say that the “Prime Minister appeals to all groups and parties to settle all grievances, perceived and real, through a process of dialogue and discussion, in a peaceful manner and in a spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation.”
The economic blockade of Manipur was suspended temporarily from 12 noon on Thursday.
The decision to suspend the blockade was taken at a joint meeting of the ANSAM and the NSF in Kohima on Wednesday, informed sources said. The NSF and ANSAM had consulted NGOs before taking the decision, the sources said. The ANSAM had organised the economic blockade since June 22 in protest against a Manipur Government’s decision to declare June 18 a holiday every year to observe “State integrity day.”
The blockade, however, did not affect movement of trucks along the Silchar-Imphal NH 53, official sources said. The ANSAM also responded to the invitation by Manipur Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh for talks and added the State Government should create a conducive atmosphere for a dialogue.
In the event of the failure of the Manipur Govt to resolve the issue, the Naga students would be compelled to take an appro- priate course of action for which the Ibobi Singh administration would be held responsible, the sources said. Sources close to Ibobi Singh have welcomed the decision of the ANSAM. ANI

Temporary lifting of blockade keenly observed
IMPHAL/MAO, Aug 11: Various organisations of Manipur have welcomed the temporary lifting of economic blockade on the two National Highways by Naga students' Federation (NSF) and All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) from noon of August 11. Passengers coming towards Imphal on NH39 were checked throughly by strike supporters at Mao, Manipur-Nagaland border. The highway was yet to see normal traffic as most trucks were stranded at Jiribam, Silchar and other parts of Assam. Food and Civil Supplies officials said it would take sometime to restore normalcy. Petrol, Gas and Diesel continue to be rationed at selected centres by the government. Under heavy escort over 100 trucks were brought to Imphal carrying essential items last evening through NH53.

Secular Progressive Front (SPF) spokesman Gaikhangam said the lifting boycott was a positive step. The government would discuss the matter, he assured. The United Committee Manipur (UCM), United People's Front (UPF), Manipur Forward Youth Front (MAFYF) and other bodies have welcomed the lifting of blockade. The CPI (M) hailed the move as the 51-day old blockade had affected the people to a great extent. UNI

NPMHR condemns atrocities in Manipur Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Aug 11: The Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) has condemned the Thangathel incident in Manipur in which four Naga women were physically abused by some youths on August six last. In a release here today, NPMHR Secretary General Nepuni Piku said on August six last four women of Maring community from Lanlong Khullen were physically and verbally abused by two Meitei youths, while another woman Teshangphum, a mother of a child, was seriously beaten up by the youths. The woman was from Langathel area under Kakching police station.
The NPMHR has appealed the concerned community to deter from such provocations which can further spiral-up tensions instead of resolving the existing conflicts. It also cautioned the concerned authorities to immediately book and punish the perpetrators or the situation could worsen, he said.

Patil welcomes lifting of Manipur blockade Kuknalim.com
NEW DELHI, Aug 11: Home Minister Shivraj Patil today welcomed the lifting of the economic blockade of Manipur by the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) and the Naga Students Federation (NSF). The Home Minister appealed to all parties concerned to resolve their outstanding issues in a peaceful and understanding manner through dialogue. The ANSAM and the Naga Students' Federation had yesterday announced suspension of the 49-day-old 'economic blockade' on national highways in Manipur following appeals by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Union Home Minister. The blockade had severely affected movement of trucks, particularly on the Guwahati-Imphal NH-39. The ANSAM had called the economic blockade on June 22 in protest against a Manipur government decision declaring June 18 a holiday every year to observe ''state integrity day.''

Economic blockade ends, but no movement of trucks on NH-39 Assam Tribune
IMPHAL, Aug 11 – Although the crippling ‘economic blockade’ by a Naga student organisation on national highways in Manipur was suspended from noon today, there was no movement of trucks along the Imphal-Guwahati NH 39 in Senapati district, official sources said. No official reason was given, but sources close to transporters said trucks, carrying essential commodities to the State, which had faced shortages because of the 50-day blockade, could not run along the vital NH 39 because of extortion demands by militant outfits. Official sources said 178 trucks loaded with essential items left the border town of Jiribam this morning and were expected to arrive here this evening via the Silchar-Imphal NH 53.
The trucks had crossed all weak bridges along the NH 53 and so far no problem was reported, the sources added. The blockade in protest against a decison by the Ibobi Singh government, was suspended ‘temporarily’ from noon today. The All Naga Students Association Manipur, which had called the blockade together with the apex Naga Students Federation in Nagaland, at a meeting in Kohima yesterday said it was being “temporarily suspended” in view of the appeal by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. – PTI

Student bodies welcome ANSAM decision The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 11: The three students’ organisations – MSF, AMSU and DESAM – which spearheaded the movement against the 52 days old economic blockade imposed by ANSAM expressed that the decision to lift the blockade temporarily is “a welcome move” and appealed to the people of the state to take full responsibility in future incidents too.Further the three student bodies made it known that the decision to boycott government offices on August 12 and to boycott the Independence Day on August 15 is also temporarily suspended in view of the lifting of the blockade. This was conveyed to media persons in a press conference called jointly by MSF, AMSU and DESAM. Speaking to the media persons, DESAM president L Romesh Meitei expressed that since the real reasons for the abrupt understanding reached between ANSAM and government of India was not clear, there were still widespread apprehensions among the people of possible hidden agendas.

Since the blockade was not lifted in spite of repeated appeals from all sections of the Manipuri population and the government but after talks with the Central government, we need to know and investigate “what happened behind the scene”, Romesh pointed out. ANSAM has already made it clear that if there is no positive response after holding talk with the Manipur government the blockade wouild continue. Asserting that if the state or Central governments decides to take any decision against the common interest of the people of Manipur they should remember that the people as well as civil society organisations and student bodies would readily for agitate. Further the three student organisations warned the state government that “we are ready to teach the government a new lesson” if decision is taken in favour of ANSAM. Romesh stated that the 52 days economic blockade left enough evidence that it was controlled by the government of India. The president said that if the Indian government continue with its divide and rule policy, different movements against it, even movements for independence by the different races to safeguard their interest will begin.
The state government was urged to continue with the developmental works on other national highways even if the blockade was suspended temporarily and to continue with the survey for finding the shortest route that go out of the state. Moreover the truck drivers were appealed to continue using NH 53 since the blockade can be resumed anytime. The student organisations also expressed displeasure over the dirty politics played by the government of India in Manipur. Making reference to yesterday’s incident in which 4 people were killed and 2 injured, the student groups said that the AR has started to create problems and misunderstandings among the people just after the blockade was lifted and appealed the people to stay alert. An appeal was collectively made to the civil society organisations to work unitedly and not to be “issue-based” united temporarily.

AMSU president S Prakash said that the motive for lifting of the blockade was not clear and the exclusion of Manipur, the victim of the economic blockade, from the talks was very suspicious. He said that since the blockade was suspended temporarily “we need to keep an eye on the agreement that will be reached between government of Manipur and ANSAM in the time to come”. However he asserted that holiday should not be revoked under any circumstances. MSF president S Sanjoy said that stronger agitation will follow if the blockade suspension is revoked. He said that during the 52 days blockade called by ANSAM no representative from the UPA government came to assess the situation. Officials from the PMO are coming only after the blockade was suspended temporarily. He stated that this is self evident of India’s divide and rule policy in Manipur.

AMSU, DESAM and MSF drop stir plan By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Aug 11 : Putting a hold on the proposed agitations in view of ANSAM suspending its economic blockade, presidents of three student bodies, AMSU, DESAM and MSF today emphasised on the need to speed up the developmental work of NH-53 which connects Imphal with Jiribam.
In a joint press briefing held this evening at the MSF office premises, the student leaders maintained that people should still remain alert as the reason cited by ANSAM for lifting the blockade lacks clarity. ANSAM had yesterday stated that it was lifting the blockade in view of the sufferings faced by the people and taking into consideration the intimations from the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister. Elaborating, Desam president L Romesh contended that the sudden turn around of Ansam, ostensibly following intimations from the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, needs a clear explanation especially in view of the arrival of two PMO officials soon after the decision to suspend the stir was taken. Stressing on importance and significance of establishing additional surface transport routes, Romesh said the student bodies would not remain silent spectators if Central and State governments neglect NH-53 as well as other available road links. In fact the need of the hour is accelerating the developmental works of Imphal-Jiribam road as well as stressing on NH-150, he said while stating that relying on NH-53 only during emergency situation amounts to lack of vision.
Romesh also appealed to the driver community to ply on this route inspite of facing inconveniences as lack of interest from the drivers would ultimately lead to the Government taking the matter for granted. He also assured that AMSU, MSF and Desam are strongly committed towards the development of NH-53 and added that they will take up appropriate course of agitation if the Govt abandons the ongoing plan to make NH-53 fit for vehicular movements.
Blaming the Govt for failing to solve the ANSAM problem which inconvenienced the people no end, Romesh S Sanjoy announced keeping in abeyance proposed closure of Government offices and boycott of Independence Day celebration. joining the press briefing AMSU president S Prakash cautioned that involvement of Assam Rifles in the economic blockade is clear warning to the people to be vigilant in foiling attempts of vested interest to create dissension amongst various communities.
He also warned of intense movement in case the state government takes anti-people decision or revokes the State Integrity Day declaration.

Manmohan apologises for ’84 anti-Sikh riots Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Aug 11 – Seeking to assuage the sentiments of the Sikh community, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today apologised for the 1984 anti-Sikh violence, saying he was not standing on any “false prestige” and bowed his head in shame, reports PTI. Describing the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a “great national tragedy”, he said “what happened subsequenty was equally shameful”.
Intervening in a discussion on an Opposition-sponsored motion in Rajya Sabha on the Nanavati Commission’s report, the Prime Minister said he had seen statements by Opposition leaders that he should seek forgiveness of the country. “I have no hesitation in apologising to the Sikh community. I apologise not only to the Sikh community but to the whole Indian nation because what took place in 1984 is the negation of the concept of nationhood enshrined in our Constitution,” he said.
The Prime Minister said “I am not standing on any false prestige. On behalf of our government, on behalf of the entire people of this country I bow my head in shame that such a thing took place.”
Singh said he had accompanied Congress president Sonia Gandhi to Harminder Sahib (Golden temple in Amritsar) some five or six years ago and “we together prayed that give us strength and show us the way that such things never again take place in our country”.
An emotional Singh said while one cannot rewrite the past “but as human beings we have the will power and we have the ability to write better future for all of us”.
The Prime Minister said 4,000 people were killed in the tragedy and it should be an occasion for introspection, how working together as a united nation, new pathways could be found to ensure that such ghastly tragedies never again take place.
“I respectfully submit that this is not achieved by pursuing partisan goals, apportioning blame,” he said. He charged the Opposition with trying to separate the Sikh community from the great traditions of Congress party, but said he did want not to quarrel with anyone of them on this occasion. Pointing out that no Akali Dal members were present in the House, Singh said he did not want to score any point. “But, it is also a fact that when that glorious chapter in the history of Punjab was being written, the Akali Dal was busy dividing the people of Punjab on communal lines.”
“There were lapses in 1984. Several commissions have gone into this matter. We all know that we still do not know the truth, and the search must go on. This present commission is no exception to that,” he said. Hitting back at the Opposition, Singh said the Nanavati report conclusively stated that “there is no evidence, whatsoever, against the top leadership of Congress party. That lie, which has over the last 21 years been used to poison the minds of the Sikh youth, stands nailed conclusively”.
Referring to some individuals mentioned in the report, he said the commission has not come forward with conclusive conclusions. “These are in the realm of probabilities.” “...whosoever figures in the Nanavati report – and the commission has in its wisdom found it necessary to draw an adverse inference about their conduct or behaviour – we will reopen those cases,” he said.
ULFA goes red with Op Red ListCRPF jawans patrolling on the Brahmaputra in the city on Thursday. A Sentinel photo.By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 11: The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has been carrying out an operation code named ‘Operation Red List’ since the second week of July ostensibly to avenge the killing of as many as 24 of its cadres by security personnel in, what the outfit calls, fake encounters at a time when its peace overture to the Centre, involving Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami, was at an advanced stage. According to Intelligence sources, a big ULFA gang entered Meghalaya where it was divided into three teams, one each for upper Assam, central Assam and lower Assam. Each of the three teams was again sub-divided into smaller groups comprising two or three cadres who are carrying out subversive activities at random. Since the groups are smaller in size, it is difficult on the part of the police to identify them. According to the sources, a five-member group led by senior ULFA cadre Mamoni Chetia is still at Garoghuli along the Assam-Meghalaya border. Two of the group are bomb experts and the other three are sharp shooters.
ULFA network busted in Jorhat From our Correspondent
JORHAT, Aug 11: The Jorhat Police today claimed to have busted the network of the proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom in north-west Jorhat. In the last couple of days, the police have arrested 10 people believed to have been the conduits of the militant outfit. The breakthrough came on Tuesday when an activist of the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS), Benudhar Hazarika, a resident of Abhayapuri village under Borholla police station in Titabar subdivision, was apprehended. On the basis of the confessions made by Hazarika, the police launched a manhunt in the Charigaon and Koronga areas today and arrested six people believed to have close links with the banned ULFA. The arrested included a college teacher and a gaon panchayat member. The police said that Gopal Dutta, Samiran Dutta, Haren Dutta, Rajesh Bora, Hemen Saikia and Manas Pratim Gogoi, who were arrested today, aided and abetted the activities of the ULFA in a major way.
It may be mentioned here that Saikia, a resident of Naoboicha village, is a teacher in Mariani College and the assistant general secretary of the Jorhat unit of the CPI. Haren Dutta, a resident of Kolkhua Gaon, is a Congressman and a gaon panchyat member, the police said. Rajesh Bora is a teacher in Koronga LP School. According to the police, Bora owned a WLL phone through which he contacted Hazarika to facilitate the activities of the ULFA. Both Bora and Gopal Dutta, a resident of Malow Khat and a MASS activist, used to attend the meetings of the ULFA, the police said. The police further revealed that more arrests were likely following the interrogation of the ULFA linkmen apprehended today. A source said that vital clues to the gruesome murder of a Congressman, Amrit Dutta, at the Dhekorgorah Block office in May might be established as well. Dutta was the president of the North-west Jorhat Anchalik Panchayat. It may be mentioned that the police had yesterday arrested an ULFA cadre, Haren Chutia, a resident of Torani Village under Borholla PS on the basis of the information provided by Hazarika. Two more persons were arrested on the same day on charges of giving shelter to ULFA militants.
Blast kills one in Assam By Indo Asian News Service Guwahati, Aug 12 (IANS) At least one person was killed and six seriously wounded in a powerful grenade blast in Assam, the latest in a series of attacks ahead of Independence Day, officials said Friday. A police official said tribal rebels lobbed a grenade Thursday evening at a crowded market in village Dokmoka, 150 km east of Assam's main city of Guwahati. The blast took place around 8.45 PM. 'Seven people were injured in the attack and were shifted to hospitals with multiple wounds,' the official said. One of the injured died in hospital early Friday. Police suspect the blast to be the handiwork of a local Karbi tribal rebel group fighting for more autonomy in eastern Assam.
There were two more separate grenade attacks in the same area although there were no casualties, police said. There have been at least 30 explosions and attacks since Saturday with militants blowing up rail tracks, oil and gas pipelines, power facilities, besides a blast at a market Sunday that killed four people and wounded nine more. Police has blamed all the explosions and attacks on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979. The ULFA had claimed responsibility for blowing up gas and oil pipelines and other installations, but denied its role in the market blast Sunday that killed four. Militants routinely step up attacks before India's Independence Day on Aug 15.

Four die in attack on civilian truck at Umathel: Handiwork of KYKL cadres, say police, Army authorities; families blame security forces The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 11: Four civilians were killed, and two others were injured in an ambush allegedly carried out by underground cadres last night around 9 pm at Umathel Sandumba Achouba, under Sugnu police station, right at the gate of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Umathel. The victims were travelling in a Tata 407 vehicle which was heading towards Kakching Khunou to recover goods carried in another mini-truck which had suffered a breakdown. Police and Army authorities both said KYKL cadres had carried out the attack, having apparently mistaken the vehicle to belong to the security forces. On the other hand, the wife of the vehicle’s driver, who is among the injured, insisted that security forces had fired upon the vehicle. A team of mediapersons visited the spot this morning were told by the SDPO, Kakching N Satrajit, that a armoured Casper vehicle of the 33 Assam Rifles coming from Sugnu was travelling ahead of the civilian vehicle at about half a kilometre’s distance. After the Casper vehicle took the Kakching Khunou route, the civilian vehicle was fired upon by the suspected KYKL cadres mistaking it to be a security vehicle.

A large number of fired cases, three magazines and a live lethode bomb, apparently left behind by the attackers, were displayed to the mediapersons. The SDPO said the attackers carried out the ambush from the elevated terrain on the western side of the road, within the Navodaya Vidyalaya compound.
The ill-fated Tata vehicle was completely riddled with bullets on all sides. Mediapersons were also shown the escape route believed to have been taken by the attackers, which leads towards Wangoo or Kakching Lamkhai. Police sources further said around 20 to 30 UGs may have been involved in the attack. The live lethode bomb, and an IED said to be have been found in the vicinity were detonated by the 33 AR personnel in front of mediapersons. A PIB (defence wing) press statement also said the AR troops travelling ahead of the ill-fated truck as part of an area domination patrol reacted immediately to surround the UGs, but they escaped under cover of darkness.

Reports said four of the six victims, including the driver were seated in the cab of the mini-truck, while the remaining two were seated in the back. Among them, two of those riding in the front and the two in the back were killed, and the rest were injured. The deceased are identified as Angom Ibomcha Meitei, 20, of Sugnu Awang Leikai, Angom Sadananda, alias Inao, 25, of Sugnu Mayai Leikai, Wahengbam Gouramohan, 40, of Sugnu Awang Leikai, and Paokholal, 25, of Sugnu Zou Veng. Among the injured, Moirangthem Rojit, 29, of Sugnu Makha Leikai, who is the owner and driver of the mini-truck, received two bullet wounds, one at his left shoulder and another in the right side of the abdomen. Huidrom Biren, 36, received two bullet wounds in the buttock, which penetrated from the right side. The two are reported to be in serious condition. In the meantime, Moirangthem ongbi Thoibi, the wife of Moirangthem Rojit, told mediapersons that her husband, before losing consciousness, told her that the incident was the handiwork of security personnel. The incident happened when the security Casper overtook the mini-truck at Sandumba and finding it full of youths, fired upon them, she insisted. Residents of Sugnu area further deplored the attitude of the security personnel, who detained the injured persons along with their attendants on the way to hospital for around two hours at Kakching Lamkhai. On the other hand, police sources have pointed out that the empty shells and lethode bomb found at the site are not issued to police or to the security forces.

In connection with the incident, the residents of Umathel and neighbouring villages held a meeting today, in which a joint action committee was formed and a set of demands drawn up in connection with the incident. With the initiative of the local MLA, K Ranjit, a meeting between a JAC delegation and governement representatives was held this afternoon in the presence of the chief minister, where an MoU was signed. Under the terms of the MoU a magisterial inquiry is to be held by the DC, Thoubal into the incident within one month’s time , the government would extend ex-gratia to the families of the victims, and provide medical assistance to the injured. The government has also undertaken to take up necessary action for the security of Sugnu Assembly segment. The JAC and family members on the other hand agreed not to file any court cases with regard to the incident, and to receive the dead bodies for performing the last rites.



Frans on 08.12.05 @ 02:12 PM CST [link]


Thursday, August 11th

Can the decade of good intentions to achieve a peaceful solution of the Indo-Naga conflict by the Government of India be taken seriously?


A Naga International Support Center, NISC
www.nagalim.nl
A human rights organization
Press Release

Amsterdam, Thursday August 11 2005

Can the decade of good intentions to achieve a peaceful solution of the Indo-Naga conflict by the Government of India be taken seriously?

The Naga International Support Center, NISC, praises the Government of India for its intentions to achieve a peaceful solution to the more than 50-year-old Indo-Naga conflict. All its successive Prime Ministers have conveyed this message repeatedly since 1995 when they realized that a military solution was not possible.

Ten years have passed since 1995. The eight years of cease-fire and peace talks have made minimal headway:

• The divided Naga areas remain fully occupied.
• Thousands of Indian soldiers keep the Nagas captive in their own land.
• Through the Armed Special Powers Act of 1957 and other restrictive acts, the Indian military is not held accountable for their actions against civilian Naga people.
• The Naga people are restricted in their movements, decision making, facing a life without prospect.
• The Government of India under the Home Ministry deploys the Assam Rifle to both maintain the siege and to conduct psychological warfare.

Consequently, the Naga people are bereft of their basic human rights, which are to be secured rather than flaunted in a genuine democratic nation. Because they lack the confidence to determine their future, the younger generations are being disoriented and as a result flee into drugs and alcohol. Corruption is rampant. The Government of India has not stopped the policy of divide and rule, but has intensified that campaign by showering those with vested interests in the status quo with money and other incentives, even while the peace talks are on. Some recipients of these enticements to adhere to the will of the Government of India live in luxury. Others are funded to strike among and against each other.

On paper, the peace talks between the Government of India and the Nagas are conducted as negotiation between equal partners and two nations. The reality is that the powerful military machine of India has the Naga peoples by the throat. Moreover, for the mouse, Nagaland, there is no escape from the giant, the elephant, the Government of India.

The Government of India categorically states that it desires a peaceful and honorable solution to the age-old conflict with the Naga peoples. This statement is praiseworthy; however, NISC seriously questions the sincerity of this desire, for the Government of India makes no genuine move to advance. Unless the Government of India, representing all Indians, has a public policy to achieve peace, there is no plan for such peace.

The media reported in 1995 that military generals advised the Government of India “the war can only be won with the annihilation of the Nagas.” This attitude led to the cease-fire and eventually to the opening of peace talks. The honorable solution sought by both the Nagas and the Government of India is in direct contrast to this unwritten plan of genocide and annihilation proposed by the military in 1995. To show it is serious, humane, sincere and determined, The Naga International Support Center calls on the Government of India to withdraw its troops from all Naga areas, to stop funding divergent forces and to promote peace in the region by entering into an agreement that guarantees the Nagas the right to self determination.

For more information visit our website www.nagalim.nl or email us nisc@nagalim.nl">nisc@nagalim.nl



Frans on 08.11.05 @ 05:33 PM CST [link]



Manmohan calls for dialogue to end Naga grievances


Manmohan calls for dialogue to end Naga grievances Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday welcomed the end of a 50-day highway blockade by Naga students that had triggered an acute shortage of food and medicines in Manipur, and appealed for dialogue. In a press statement, the prime minister appealed to all groups and parties to settle grievances -- perceived and real -- through dialogue and discussion, in a peaceful manner and "in a spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation".

Manmohan Singh lauded the All Naga Students Association of Manipur and other organisations for voluntarily lifting the blockade from Wednesday in view of the difficulties faced by citizens and the sentiments expressed by himself and Home Minister Shivraj Patil. The Nagas in Manipur want areas inhabited by them to be merged with Nagaland to create Greater Nagaland, a homeland being sought by the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), a rebel group that is engaged in peace talks with the central government. The Manipur government and the state's majority Metei community have rejected the Naga demand. --Indo-Asian News Service
India-Assam-Naga POL Angry Nagas end 50-day old blockade in northeastern India Islamic Republic News Agency
Guwahati, Aug 11 - Tribal Naga groups Wednesday decided to lift a 50-day old highway blockade that triggered acute shortage of food and medicines in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur. Several Naga student groups had called the highway blockade beginning June 20, preventing trucks carrying essentials from entering Manipur, reports IRNA correspondent. All vehicles from the rest of India have to pass through Nagaland and Assam to reach Manipur.
"We have decided to lift the blockade to facilitate talks with the Manipur government for meeting our demands," Naga Students Federation leader P. Aomi told IRNA by telephone at Nagaland's state capital Kohima. The blockade was enforced by an estimated 500,000 Nagas residing in Manipur, a state of 2.4 million people, which want tribal dominated areas in the state to be merged with `Greater Nagaland', a concept mooted by the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), a rebel group active in adjoining Nagaland state. The Manipur government and the majority Metei community in the state have rejected the demand by the Nagas. "We shall have talks with Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh on our main demand for integration. We shall resume the strike if the talks fail at a later stage," Aomi said.
Nagaland police crack down on Arunachal militant outfit Navhind Times
UNI Kohina Aug 10: The Kohima police have arrested the chairman of a newly-formed underground outfit from Arunachal Pradesh and recovered a huge cache of explosives and incriminating documents.
Official sources said acting on specific evidence about the existence of a clandestine outfit, the police in a search operation yesterday arrested one Gante Tugung, chairman of the earlier unknown outfit named the United Socialist Council of Arunachal. Tugung also known as Indica, alias Lokar, alias David Yanger alias Anini, is a resident of Gante Fai village of Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal and belongs to the Nyishi community.
Tugung was arrested from the High School Colony here yesterday along with a huge quantity of incriminating documents, including writing pads and seals, with USCA letterheads. Demand note booklets, receipts, demand letters addressed to MPs, ministers and MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh, with the amounts demanded ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, nominal rolls of the outfit’s cadres, pamphlets on the principles and objectives of the outfit were also recovered from the spot.
Following Tugung’s arrest, the police carried out search operations in four other places in Chedema near Kohina and recovered huge quantity of explosives from the Keyakie colony residence of one Shikheye Sumi, a retired BSF jawan. The explosives included one two-inch mortar shell, 39 gelatin sticks, five grenade detonators, electronic detonator and four packets believed to be containing PK/PETN, high-powered explosive substance, 200 grams of gunpowder and about 2 kg of detonating cable wire. The police also recovered the official seals of some government officers belonging to the Kohina district administration and health department. During interrogation, the police found out that Shikheye was a close aide of Tugung. The police also seized a van belonging to Shikheye, which had no documents.
The sources said that Tugung was wanted by the Arunachal police in a number of cases of robbery and extortion and was reportedly involved in a PWD dacoity case involving Rs 28.5 lakh in Arunachal Pradesh. The Nagaland police first received information of the group’s operation from the Arunachal Pradesh police, who discovered the outfit’s existence about a month ago with the arrest of a half a dozen of its cadre and the police maintained secrecy with a hope of more findings.
The sources said it was not immediately known if there were connections with other armed groups, but it was revealed that the USCA cadres received arms training from Bodo militant outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland.
The group is suspected to have entered the state during the end of last year and investigations were on to arrest the other members of the USCA. Following the highway blockade, Manipur was reeling under severe food shortage with stocks of essentials drying up and patients at hospitals with serious ailments forced to suffer with medicines and other drugs running out of stock. New Delhi last week airlifted tons of food and medicine with the highway blockade leading to shortage of essentials in Manipur. The decision to call off the blockade comes in the wake of tribal Naga leaders holding a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday in New Delhi. "Even the Prime Minister told us to resolve the crisis through negotiations," N. Krome, leader of the Naga Hoho, the apex body of 24 Naga tribes in Nagaland, said. The Manipur government welcomed the decision by the Nagas to lift the blockade. "Let us try and resolve the crisis amicably," a Manipur government spokesman said.

SCA chairman taken into custody Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Aug 10: A team of Arunachal Pradesh police, led by Superintendent of Police, today arrived here to arrest chairman of banned outfit United Socialist Council of Arunachal (USCA) official sources said here today. The sources said interrogation of the self-styled chairman of the USCA Gangte Tugung revealed that the USCA was formed in 2004 with 17 active members.
At present it was at the receiving end following the arrest of almost all its members. He also denied receipt of any money from any ministers, MPs or MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh so far, although Nagaland police recovered some demand notes from his possessiom demanding money from the VIPs ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 25 lakhs. He informed that he had come to Kohima in January this year and since then had been operating from there. He disclosed that they had links with the bodo outfit NDFB. It has no link with any other underground faction of the region.
Police was able to arrest him after thorough monitoring for the last over last fortnight after Arunachal Pradesh police announced Rs 50,000 for information leading to arrest of the USCA chairman. Now police is likely to handover Gangte to Arunachal Police for further investigation.
Gangte was arrested on Monday last from High School junction of the capital town along with several documents from his possession which followed the arrest the retired BSF personnel one Shikheye Sumi from whose house police recovered one two inch mortar shell, .39 numbers of gelatin sticks, five 38 grenade detonators, electronic detenators, four packets of PK/PETN highly explosive materials, 200 grams of gun powder and two kgs of detonating cablewire.

Four NE groups call I-day boycott The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug 10: The Manipur People’s Liberation Front, MPLF, in association with three other underground groups of the region, have given a call to boycott and prevent the celebration in any manner of Independence Day on August 15 next as a mark of solidarity against Indian colonial occupation. The four groups, including the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, Tripura Peoples Democratic Front and the United Liberation Front of Asom, apart from the MPLF, have also called a region wide general strike, to be observed from 1 am to 5:30 pm on August 15. The four organisations, in a joint statement issued in this connection, took a clear stance against the ideology of ethnicisation, and made an earnest appeal to the entire peoples of the region not to play up emotional ethnic issues that create negative divisions among them.
Such divisions will only prolong the sufferings of all our peoples under “ruthless Indian colonial occupation”, the statement said, maintaining that their future can be secured only when the colonial rule is overthrown to restore their sovereignty and independence. The statement, in this context, also observed that the limitations of ethnic-exclusive armed struggles seeking isolated sovereignty and independence have been fully exposed in the context of the region’s reality of interdependence.
Fifty years of armed struggle has shown that such struggles cannot achieve the promised goal, it said, adding that the dynamics of liberation have also proved beyond doubt that sovereignty and independence cannot be achieved through dialogue with the Indian government by a few leaders, however powerful. The process has also established that the life-span of ethnic-exclusive struggles terminates in a compromise within the Indian union. This is inevitable given the inherent ideological limitations of such struggles, it said. While observing that these struggles have succeeded more in dividing the liberation forces on narrow ethnic lines rather than uniting them for a common goal, the statement acknowledged that the ideology of ethnicisation has weakened the inner strength of the region’s national liberation struggle. Therefore, the historical responsibility of the national liberation struggles in the region is to consolidate the unity of their respective people, while sincerely taking into consideration the emotional aspects of genuine ethnic aspirations, it said.The statement however maintained that the basic strength of the national liberation struggle has been firmly consolidated in Assam, Manipur, Kamotapur and Tripura, noting that India has directed all its resources to militarily suppress the struggles in these states.
The objective of the Indian campaign is to compel the liberation forces to submit to the Indian agenda for dialogue, of compromise within India, it said, and reiterated the firm determination of the four groups to continue their struggles till sovereignty and independence is restored. However, we would welcome positive initiatives intended to bring about a satisfactory resolution of the politico-military conflict through peaceful means, the statement said.
Campaign launched against NSF interference By Our Staff Reporter Sangai,
Aug 10: All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) and National Identity Protection Committee (NIPCO) has launch- ed mass campaign against the support of the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) to the ANSAM-sponsored economic blockade in Manipur at different parts of Upper Assam and Jiribam.
The volunteers of AMSU and NIPCO travelled through Imphal- Jiribam Road to reach Upper Assam for launching the campaign. Informing about the outcome of the campaign, the team of AMSU and NIPCO volunteers who have arrived at Imphal told media-persons at AMSU head office today that a strong counter campaign would be launched with the help of the people of Upper Assam area against NSF if it continued to extend its support to ANSAM.
It is very unfortunate on the part of NSF to give undue interference in the internal affairs of Manipur and extending its support to the economic blockade of ANSAM. ANSAM is imposing the economic blockade to air its grievances against the State Government just like an individual sometime protested against their parents in a family to put forward their demands. So an outsider like NSF should not interfere in the internal affairs of a family, they said.
The campaign team against the sinister design of NSF comprised of members. The two campaigners are AMSU representative and NIPCO general secretary K Gunil and NIPCO vice president Y Nabachandra. Gunil and Nabachandra made it clear that although the campaign was targeted against the action of NSF, the main motive behind launching the campaign was to spread the message of harmony and peaceful co-existence among Mani-puri people and other communities living in Jiribam and Upper Assam area. The campaign was conducted in 10 districts of Assam namely Cachar, Hailakand, Nagaon, Diphu. North Cachar district, Golaghat, Jorhat, Shivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. Apart from these Assam districts, similar campaign was also launched at Jiribam sub-divisions of Imphal East district of Manipur, they informed.
The people of Assam and Jiribam strongly denounced the action of NSF and resolved to take up counter measures if the NSF continues to support to imposition of economic blockade by ANSAM which is becoming like committing a serious crime against the people of Manipur in cutting off their main supply line for almost two months by now, the campaigners said.
Cachar border put on high alert From our Correspondent Sentinel
SILCHAR, Aug 10: "All the police stations and outposts on the border with Bangladesh in Cachar have been alerted to foil any attempt by the Manipur-based ultras to sneak into Bangladesh," Satyendra Narayan Singh, SP of Cachar, told The Sentinel here. According to Intelligence sources, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak), the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) and the Konglei Yawai Kamba Lum (KYKL) are in tight corner with contingents of the CRPF, the Assam Rifles, the Indian Reserve Battalion and the Rashtriya Rifles on hot chase of the militant groups to clear the insurgency infested NH-53 between Jiribam and Imphal. These militant outfits which have their safest hideouts in the upper reaches of Cachar-Manipur border have been encircled. The rough and hilly terrain, however, provide them enough room to escape, the sources added.
The economic blockade of NH-39 via Dimapur since June 20 by All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ANSAM) in support of their various demands including integration of Naga inhabited areas has created extremely strangulating situation for Manipur with scarcity of essential consumer items. This has necessitated airlifting of food and fuel to the State. In order to wriggle out of the situation on the SOS of Ibobi Government, the Centre directed the BRTF to repair NH-53 via Silchar closed since 1997 as it had virtually come under the control of the militant groups. "The Meitei ultras have also come under pressure of the NSCN(IM) and the NSCN(K) who are backing the ANSAM," the sources further said. The Meitei extremists finding it difficult to retreat to the interior Imphal Valley and beyond are moving towards NC Hills to take the Barail-Cachar route to escape to Bangladesh. This infamous route had often hogged the limelight in the past. The legendary Naga National Council supremo Phizo used this corridor down Meghalaya Hills for cross border movement between Nagaland and the then East Pakistan. In 1998, 150 extremists belonging to different groups had crossed over from Bangladesh in broad daylight and had used the route through Cachar-NC Hills corridor. The Meitei groups have their camps spread over at Kullora, Sylhet, Sherpur, Barlekha, Chunarughat, Kamalganj, Moulvibazar across Cachar-Karimganj border. In the meantime, 9 Para Regiment based at Jiribam in East Imphal, on a tip off, laid siege of a house at Ban Tarapur, 20 kms from here, and recovered arms and ammunition which included one Russian made pistol, 4 detonators, 35 rounds of cartridges, 3 magazines and wireless set. The house-owner Nilmoni Singh, who was nabbed, admitted that these arms were kept at his house by ‘group commander’ of UNLF and his three cadres who were on the run.
Blockade to be lifted today, temporary respite for Manipur Assam Tribune From Sobhapati Samom
IMPHAL, Aug 10 – The economic blockade impasse between the All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and the state government which entered into its 51st day today will be temporarily lifted at midday tomorrow “in view of the suffering of the people”. The message was conveyed by ANSAM spokesperson Ngachonmi Chamroy to this correspondent over the telephone from Senapati district headquarters this afternoon. “Seeing the hardships and the suffering faced by the common people we have decided to lift the blockade temporarily from midday tomorrow,” the student leader said. In the meantime, both ANSAM and the government will try their best to create a conducive atmosphere and talk for an early settlement to the issue, he added. A joint meeting of ANSAM and Naga Students Federation (NSF) leaders was also held at Kohima in this regard.
ANSAM had launched its non-cooperation movement and indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways passing through Manipur over the declaration of June 18 as a state holiday as “Integrity Day” in the memory of 18 persons who were killed in retaliatory police firing in the June 2001 mass uprising sparked off by the extension of the ceasefire between the NSCN-IM and the GoI “beyond territorial limits”.
The imbroglio stretched despite repeated invitations by Ibobi as ANSAM insisted on Senapati or any of the hill districts as the venue for the talks. However, preliminary talks was held between the students’ body and a four-member ministerial delegation led by state Industries Minister N Mangi on August 3 last at Senapati district headquarters, a hilly station 60 km north of state capital.
Centre urged to expedite peace talks By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Aug 10 – The Opposition members of the Assam Assembly today stalled the Question Hour on the issue of law and order of the State, even as the House requested the Government of India to expedite the process to bring the ultras to the negotiation table for a political solution to the problem. The House also called upon the ultras to stop acts of violence. As soon as the House assembled for the day, Brindaban Goswami (AGP) demanded that the Question Hour should be suspended to discuss the law and order situation in the State as the ultras are still triggering off a series of blasts all over the State. He said that they were not satisfied with the statement given by the Government yesterday on the situation. Bimalangshu Roy (BJP) supported the demand. He further demanded that the Barak valley of the State remained cut off from the rest of the State for days due to disturbance in Meghalaya and this issue should also be discussed by the House.
Dilip Kumar Saikia (AGP) asked whether the Speaker would allow the Question Hour to continue if a blast takes place in the Assembly premises. He also asked whether the Barak valley is a part of the State or not. He also alleged that there was no justice in the House. The Speaker, Prithibi Majhi disallowed the demands and the opposition members rushed to the well of the House to disrupt the proceedings, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for ten minutes. As soon as the House reassembled, the Opposition members raised the same demand. Zoii Nath Sarma (AGP) said that there was no point of sitting of the House if the volatile situation of the State is not discussed. Hitendra nath Goswami (AGP) said that the law and order situation in the State is presently the most important issue facing Assam and this should be discussed. He pointed out that the Speaker has the discretionary power to suspend the Question Hour to allow discussion on the situation. However, the Speaker said that the notice given by the AGP in this regard was defective and refused to suspend the Question Hour. The Opposition members again rushed to the well of the House and some of then even squatted on the well. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that the Government was ready to discuss the issue but at the same time, he alleged that the Opposition members were trying to gain political mileage out of the issue. As the opposition members continued to stall the proceedings of the House, the Speaker adjourned the House for 25 minutes. The second adjournment meant that the Question Hour was totally lost. As the House reassembled for the second time at 10 am, the Opposition members once again demanded a discussion and the members of the AGP and BJP staged a walk out. Interestingly, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who has been expelled from the AGP recently, remained in his seat when the members of the AGP and BJP staged the walk out.
Meanwhile, later in the day, Pabindra Deka (Ind) requested the Chief Minister to give a statement on the progress of talks with the ULFA and in response, Chief Minister admitted that the State Government is not directly involved in the process. He said that the State Government has requested the Centre to expedite the process to bring the militants to the negotiation table. He said that the militants are not willing to involve the State Government in the process and letters are exchanged directly between the Central Government and the ULFA. He also said that the Centre sometimes expressed doubts on the sincerity of the ULFA on the issue of talks because of the involvement of the outfit in acts of violence. He further expressed the view that the ULFA should stop attacking innocent people and the House should also appeal to the militants to stop killing innocents. Pabindra Deka also said that the House should request the Centre to expedite the process to bring the ultras to the negotiation table. Premadhar Bora (TGP) also said that the House should appeal the militants to stop violence and the Centre to expedite process to bring the militants to the negotiation table. The House later requested the Centre to bring the militants to the negotiation table and called upon the militants to stop acts of violence.

The last 52 days Sangai editorial
After 52 days of crippling economic blockade the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur has finally decided to call off its agitation, ostensibly after the Centre intervened. The last 52 days have opened our eyes to many hitherto unstated characteristics of the people of Manipur. The resilience demonstrated by the people was something note worthy and it will make an interesting topic for research students to conduct a sociologicl study on this point. What are the factors that have made the people of Manipur so resilient that they managed to cope with the situation without kicking up a storm. Is it the outcome of the culture of taking everything quietly without registering any complaint or is it dictated by the political and social need of the time ? Or is it because the people of Manipur are today immune to such inconveniences as they have experienced years of bandhs, blockades and general strikes or is it because the need of the people are minimal that the blockade failed to hit them where it hurts ? Or is it because the people of Manipur have been hardened by the years of Governmental neglect which translates into erratic power supply, no provisions of drinking water, bad roads, bad communications, in fact nothing to suggest that there is a Govt in place ? The probable factors are many, but we will not be going too far if we say that the real victor in the face off between the Government and ANSAM has been the people. It is not ANSAM which has won the battle nor the Government nor the Chief Minister but the people who showed to all those who matter that it will take much more than an economic blockade to cripple their spirit and it is this that all should acknowledge.
One face of the Government also appeared during the 52 days economic blockade and that is significant progress can be made if the Government and its official babus are sincere enough about doing a job. The manner in which the Irang bridge was opened to traffic after a few days it was dismantled on NH-53 goes to prove that if the Government is sincere and shows its willingness to do something, it can do it. The manner in which NH-53 was opened to traffic after 7/8 years of Government neglect is another standing example of what the Government can do if it really sets its eyes on doing something. Looking back, all those talks of problems faced to develop this route now appear like some juvenile lies to cover up the failings of the Government to do the needful. The character of New Delhi also became that much more clearer during the last 52 days. The air lifting of essential goods by Indian Air Force planes was a classic example of the propaganda stunt adopted by the Centre to show to the world that it is doing something for the beleaguered people of Manipur. Forty tonnes for 24 lakh people was something like a poor joke played on the people. Now that ANSAM has called off or suspended its economic blockade, the Government and the people need to look to the future. One lesson that should not be forgotten from the economic blockade is the plain fact that Manipur can no longer rely on only one route to connect with the rest of the world. Continue the developmental work along NH-53, blockade or no blockade. The Chief Minister and his Ministerial colleagues should not relax and confine NH-53 to history but ensure that the developmental works are taken up on a war footing without any hitch.
ULFA LAUNCHES “OPERATION RED LIST” Kills tea garden manager NET News Network Guwahati, Aug 10: ULFA’s “Operation Red List” has put the security agencies in great confusion as the outfit has divided itself into groups of 3-4 and penetrated into different parts of the state including Guwahati. An intelligence source informed that before dividing into smaller groups the outfit sneaked into the state through Meghalaya’s Tura area in a big group subsequently getting divided into three groups and slowly spreading into different parts of the state in smaller groups. The source further added that one of the smaller groups is presently stationed in Garoghuli area in Assam-Meghalaya border under the leadership of dreaded woman ULFA cadre Mamoni Chetia. Mamoni’s five-member team is reportedly equipped with two bomb experts and three sharpshooters.
“ These smaller groups are creating lots of confusion as there are reports of movements of 2-3 member groups in city areas like Basistha, Birubari and Sonapur also,” informed the intelligence source. Meanwhile, suspected ULFA militants shot dead Suresh Limbo, manager of Rongmola Tea Estate in Brahmajan under Pengeri police station in Tinsukia district at around 7 this evening. In another incident, militants lobbed grenade at Sonari police station in Sibsagar district at around 8:30 pm injuring two constables. The injured have been identified as Dipak Tungkhungia and Jibanjit Mili. The militants fled from the site firing in the air. Earlier on Tuesday night militants exploded a bomb on railway tracks between Tihu and Kaithlakuchi stations in Nalbari. The railway track was damaged but there was no report of any casualty as no train was scheduled to pass through the area during that time. Trains along the line were stopped at several places and repair of the track began immediately, the sources added.
Expedite peace bid with ULFA: House to Centre ‘Stop violence in State’ Police inspecting splinters and wires after the blast near the Railway track at Bonda on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday. A Sentinel photo. By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 10: The Assam Legislative Assembly has taken a major decision today, albeit in absence of the AGP and the BJP, to adopt a resolution urging the Centre to expedite its peace overture with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and all concerned to stop violence in the State. The important decision was reached when Independent legislator Pabindra Deka drew attention of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on the Government’s peace process with the ULFA. Deka wanted to know as to what was the actual development in the peace process with the outfit which is currently on a killing spree in the State. He said that it would be impossible on the part of the administration to stop the current violence in the State till peace talks were initiated with the ULFA.
In his reply, the Chief Minister said that the State Government was not a party in the peace bid with the ULFA which wanted direct talks with the Centre. "We can only appeal to the Centre to have talks with the ULFA, and we are doing that with sincerity," he said, adding that violence activities like blasts etc., by the ULFA made the State Government to face questions from the Centre regarding the sincerity of the rebel group in the peace process. The Chief Minister’s reply prompted Deka to propose the Chair to adopt a resolution urging the Centre to expedite its peace overture with the ULFA and all the parties concerned to stop violence immediately for the greater interest of the State. Taking the consent of all the members the Chair took the decision to adopt a resolution towards that end.
Rebels attack rail tracks, northeast cut off (LEADS By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service Guwahati, Aug 10 (IANS) Separatist rebels Wednesday blew up two railway tracks in restive Assam, cutting rail links between the northeastern region and the rest of India, police said. Police and railway officials said militants damaged two 'vital sections of railway tracks' in separate incidents early Wednesday. One of the explosions took place on the rail track near Bonda on the outskirts of Assam's main city of Guwahati and another near Tihu, 70 km west of here. This disrupted train services between the rest of India and the northeast, a railway spokesman said. 'Repairs have begun but the complete restoration of the tracks is expected to take at least 24 hours,' he said.
'Several long distance trains have either been rescheduled or postponed. Efforts are on to divert train services using an alternative route.' Rebels also blew up a gas pipeline and attacked three power facilities overnight, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.
Police have blamed all the explosions and attacks on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979.
The ULFA had claimed responsibility for blowing up gas and oil pipelines and other installations but denied its role in a market blast Sunday that killed four people and injured nine more. The militants routinely step up attacks before India's Independence Day, Aug 15. This year there had been about two dozen attacks since the weekend. Four rebel groups in the northeast have also called for a 17-hour general strike to boycott Independence Day. These include the ULFA, the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation, the Tripura People's Democratic Front and the Manipur People's Liberation Front. On Tuesday two policemen were seriously injured when suspected militants attacked a road patrol outside the Nalbari police station in the west of the state. Militants also blew up a state-owned Oil India Limited gas pipeline in eastern Tinsukia district and damaged three power transformers in separate attacks, police said. 'There was a massive fire soon after the blast and since it was located in a remote area it took some time for fire fighters to reach the spot,' said an official from the police control in Tinsukia who wished not to be identified. The blaze was brought under control after about two hours. 'There have been about two-dozen explosions targeting innocent civilians, vital installations, and security forces since Saturday,' Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.
'The militants want to create panic but people are coming forward in our fight against militancy.'

Frans on 08.11.05 @ 05:32 PM CST [link]


Wednesday, August 10th

Manipur blockade suspended


Manipur blockade suspended NET News Network

Kohima, Aug 10: The All Naga Student Association Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga Student Federation (NSF) in a joint statement informed that the 50 day old economic blockade on NH 39 and 53 have been temporarily suspended from 12 noon of August 11.The joint statement signed by the president of ANSAM, Paul Langhu and President of NSF, Phushika Aomi cited the sufferings and hardships of Manipur people as the main reason for the crucial decision. The statement added that the decision for the temporary suspension has been taken after proper consultation with Naga Hoho and other civil societies. The statement, however warned that in the event of state government’s failure to resolve the issue, the Naga people would be compelled to take serious actions for which Manipur government will be responsible for any unwarranted consequences.
The student organizations apart from humanitarian reason also cited Prime Minister and Home Minister’s requests to Naga civil society delegation comprising of Naga Hoho, United Naga Council and outer Manipur MP’s to suspend the blockade as one of the reasons for the decision. The other reasons cited by the statement include Manipur Chief Minister’s invitation for holding talks on the issue as early as possible to create conducive atmosphere by both the parties. It may be recalled that a delegation of Manipur government met ANSAM leaders in Senapati to resolve the impasse. The meeting decided to carry on the process of discussion in future also to find an amicable solution to the problem. Both the student organizations also appreciated the role played by North East Student Organization (NESO), All Assam Students Union (AASU) and MZP in finding a solution to the impasse. It may be mentioned that ANSAM imposed economic blockade on NH 39 and 53 in protest against Manipur government decision to declare June 18 as Integrity Day. In the meantime, the United Committee Manipur (UCM) has reacted positively to the temporary lifting of the economic blockades terming it as a positive step. The UCM president in-charge Konsam Langamba while talking to media this evening however expressed doubt about the understanding behind the decision. He added that the nagging issue of territorial integrity would be solved once and for all if the matter is struck off completely from the agenda of the talk between GoI and NSCN (IM).
ANSAM lifts 49th day old economic blockades from tomorrow noon Oken Jeet Sandham

Kohima, Aug 10 (NEPS): The 49th day old economic blockades which had been imposed on two national highways of Manipur---39 and 53---by All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) in protest against the Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi’s declaration of June 18 as “State Holiday” will be lifted from 12 noon tomorrow. Disclosing this to a press conference held here at the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF)’s office today, NSF President Pushika Awomi and ANSAM President Paul Langhu said they took the decision of lifting the 49th day old economic blockades imposed on Manipur’s two national highways after consultations with the Naga Hoho, and other Naga Civil organizations keeping in view the immense hardships faced by the people of Manipur.

It also stated various central leaders including Prime Minister and Home Minister had already requested the delegation of the Naga Hoho to lift the economic blockades when the latter visited the former. The student leaders however pointed out that the Manipur Government should try to resolve the controversial June 18 Holiday Declaration and further cautioned the blockade might be resumed if the Government did not attempt to find solution to the problem. It may be mentioned that the ANSAM launched the economic blockades on the two national highways of Manipur---39 and 53---connecting the State since June 22 in protest against Chief Minister O Ibobi’s declaration of June 18 as “State Holiday.” The student organization took the matter as an insult to the aspiration of the Naga people who are fighting to live under single administrative unit. The student body had however did not object the offer of talks by Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi to end the blockade impasse but venue of the talks became the main hurdle throughout. The student body said any talks should be held in four hill districts of the State where Nagas were majority whereas Ibobi Government explained such talks could only be held in Imphal, the State capital. Both sides remained non-committal to their demands thereby the blockades continues for 49 days till date.

The Manipur has been undergoing unprecedented hardships during this one of the longest economic blockades on their lifelines and the Chief Minister for the first time was forced to utilize the abandoned national highway 53---Imphal-Silcher road---to bring in essential commodities. For the record, the Union Home Ministry had used the services of the cargo planes of the Indian Air Force (IOAF) for airlifting essential items including life saving drugs from Guwahati. During the 49th day economic blockade, the ANSAM activists also launched non-cooperation movement with the Manipur Government in the hill districts---Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong---following some of their volunteers were fired upon by Manipur IRB personnel. They had also destroyed over 20 Government offices in the four hill districts during this period. Meanwhile talking to NEPS over phone from Imphal, Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi expressed his happiness on the student body’s decision to lift the blockade and further hoped this would fast return normalcy in the state and restore confidence the love and affection amongst the all sections of Manipur. 00
Nagas to temporarily lift northeast India blockade 10 Aug 2005 12:05:06 GMT Reuters
Source: Reuters DIMAPUR, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Naga tribesmen campaigning for a separate homeland in India's troubled northeast said on Wednesday they would temporarily lift a road blockade that choked supplies to Manipur state for nearly two months. The blockade would be lifted on Thursday afternoon but the move should not be seen as a sign of weakness, said Paul Langhu, a Naga student leader.
"We have temporarily withdrawn the blockade due to the hardships faced by the common people in the area," Langhu told Reuters by phone. He did not say for how long the blockade would be lifted but urged the Manipur government to address the problem at the earliest.
"The Naga people will (otherwise) resort to a more intensified agitation for which the government will be responsible," Langhu said. Naga tribesmen living in Manipur began the blockade on June 19, leading to a severe shortage of food and fuel in the state's capital Imphal.
The Nagas are demanding that all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast be united in a "Greater Nagaland". A third of the three million-strong tribe live in Manipur and two other northeastern states, and the rest in neighbouring Nagaland. Manipuris strongly oppose the division of their state. The blockade had forced New Delhi to airlift tonnes of food and medicines after the state sought federal help. The Nagas have been fighting for freedom since 1947, when India got independence from Britain. More than 20,000 people have died in nearly 60 years of Naga insurgency before a ceasefire with the main Naga rebel group came into effect in 1997.

Economic blockade in Manipur to be lifted NDTV Correspondent
Wednesday, August 10, 2005 (Imphal): There are reports that the over one and a half month long economic blockade on the two main highways leading to Manipur may be lifted tomorrow.
This is being done apparently on the assurances given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM).

The ANSAM launched the economic blockade on June 22 in protest against the Ibobi Singh government declaring June 18 as a holiday to observe 'Integrity Day'. The government has been declaring a holiday on June 18 every year since 2002 in commemoration of 18 persons killed during the agitation against extension of the Centre-NSCN (IM) ceasefire beyond Nagaland in June 2001.

Delhi Nagas cry for justice
GUWAHATI, Aug 9: The Naga Students’ Union, Delhi (NSUD) and the Nagas living in Delhi have unequivocally condemned the assaults on a Naga Woman by the Meitei youths and reiterates its stand once again in support of the civil non-co-operation movement launched for Integration of all Naga areas in the Naga areas by the Naga Hoho, NSF, ANSAM, Naga Mother Association and NPMHR.
In a press communiqué released by NSUD, the student organization has condemned the assault on a 40 year old woman Teshang Phun belonging to Maring Naga community by Meitei youths on August 6 last while she was shopping at a vegetable market in Langathel, a Meitei dominated sub-division under Thoubal District, Heirok Constituency in Manipur State accusing her of supporting the Economic Blockade called by the All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM).

The statement while holding Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh’s “ Dictatorial and unilateral declaration of June 18 as “Manipur Integrity Day” responsible for the present crisis added that “ Nagas had launched the civil non-co-operation movement with dual objectives i.e., to impress upon the Government of India for expediting the 2nd Indo-Naga Peace Process and to express the Nagas’ disagreement against Ibobi’s communal declaration because it is directly going against the interest and spirit of the Nagas’ aspiration to live under one political administrative system or Integration of the Naga areas”. The student organization also questioned the commitment of Union Government to the ongoing peace process for not directing the Manipur government to revoke the declaration of Integrity Day. “ The Manipur and the Union Governments’ inaction and indifferent attitudes towards the situation even after 50 days of blockade had taken an ugly turn considering the highly charged up and tense environment prevailing in the State,” NSUD pointed out. Finally the statement fervently call upon the democratic people in South Asia and the World to look into the problem in earnestness so as to save the Naga people and the tribals from the attack of the majority in the Northeast. NNN

Foolproof security for NH-53 mooted Source: The Sangai Express
New Delhi, August 08: While not ruling out the possibility of intervening in the Manipur crises, the Centre today reviewed the law and order situation and maintenance of essential supplies to the State following the blockade of National Highway 39 by Naga students. “I am going myself either this week or early next week to ascertain the situation in Manipur. I will personally monitor what is the situation of essential supplies,” Home Secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal told reporters after chairing a high-level meeting in which Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam participated. Asked whether he would intervene in the talks process between the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) and the Manipur State, Duggal said “If I am required, I will”.

He said the essential supplies were being maintained in the State though the stocking of petroleum products and LPG was bare minimum. Referring to the opening up of alternate National Highway 53 for continuous supply of commodities to Manipur, he said Army and other para-military officials had been asked to provide adequate security to Border Roads Organisation people for repairing the bridges on this highway. NH-53 is dominated by insurgent outfits including NSCN (I-M), NSCN (K) and UNLF.

“The Highway is being opened after nearly seven to eight years and there will be some problems. But all the problems will be overcome,” Duggal said. Senior Army officials and personnel of BRO were also present at the meeting. PTI
Our Staff Reporter adds from Imphal: Carrying forward the agenda of the State Government, the meeting convened by Union Home Secretary VK Duggal at New Delhi today stressed on the need to provide foolproof security on NH-53 and make it fit for traffic. Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh and DGP AK Parashar took part in the deliberations held today. The Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Assam and Nagaland, top officials of the CRPF, Assam Rifles, BSF and BRTF were present at the meeting.

Officials of the Indian Oil Corporation and Food Corporation of India were also present. When The Sangai Express contacted DGP AK Parashar at New Delhi today, the senior police officer said that the meeting took note of the situation prevailing in the State and stressed on the need to speedily develop NH-53 as well as provide foolproof security. Officials of State police, CRPF, Assam Rifles and BSF mooted the proposal of closer co-ordinations between the security agencies on the highways as well as to increase the frequency of ROP, said Parashar. The officials of Indian Oil Corporation and Food Corporation of India were also instructed by the Home Ministry to make sure that fuel and food items are available to the people of Manipur. The Centre also assured the State delegates that air lifting of food will be done as and when the State Government asks for such help. The meeting also mooted the proposal to provide adequate security cover to the BRTF which has been entrusted with the task of developing NH-53. All maintenance work and developmental works along this route have been stopped for the last 7/8 years due to the uncertain law and order situation on NH-53.

The BRTF had demanded adequate security. At the moment, hectic developmental work is being taken up on NH-53 to make the bridges along this route strong enough to bear the weight of the loaded trucks. Even as the meeting at Delhi mooted the idea of developing NH-53 and provide foolproof security to make it fit for vehicular movement, Governor SS Sidhu today left Imphal to oversee the works being taken up along this route. The Governor will stay the night at Jiribam and come back to Imphal tomorrow by air. A team of Ministers and MLAs led by Power Minister Gaikhangam also left Imphal to get a first hand account of the work progress along this highway today. Only yesterday, the Imphal East DC had issued an order spelling out certain norms for traffic along this route in the light of the heavy rainfall during the last few days.
NSCN condemns killing of cadres Morung Express News August 9
Dimapur: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has out rightly condemned the killing of two of its cadres in ‘cold-blood’ by personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force and the Assam Police. It has also termed as ‘callous and indifferent’ the subsequent delay on the part of the police authorities in handing over the dead bodies to the organization. The two cadres were reportedly killed on August 6 at Lumding, Assam. However, their bodies were recovered from the Assam Police only today. Sources have also indicated that the Police had refused to hand over the dead bodies earlier. The slain bodies of the two cadres, now in the custody of the outfit, are reportedly beyond recognition. "Maggots have already enveloped the corpses," an NSCN source said.
Speaking to The Morung Express, Brigadier Phungthing Shimrang, Convenor of the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell said that the cadres were most probably killed in a pre-meditated ambush. He termed as unfortunate the action taken by the police at a time when the ceasefire between the Government and the NSCN was being observed. Shimrang further termed the incident as a direct violation of the ceasefire. While labeling the incident as ‘total disregard to the ceasefire,’ the NSCN leader said that it was time for the Government of India to ‘think’ carefully over the issue. He added that the incident would be taken up with the GoI.
ANSAM's bandh leaves many stranded Source: The Sangai Express
Dimapur/Imphal, August 08 (NNN): Imphal bound passenger buses coming from Guwahati and other parts of the region plying along NH-39 were left stranded at various parts of Nagaland and a large number of buses were seen at Dimapur main bus parking today following the lightning 12-hour bandh called by All Naga Stusents’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM).The bandh was called to protest the assault of a Maring woman by some youths in Thoubal district on Saturday.
Though the tourist buses did not exactly cancel today’s routine the scheduled timing of departure were delayed for several hours. Not knowing about today’s sudden bandh, Imphal bound buses coming from Guwahati and Shillong which normally arrive in Dimapur in the wee hours got stranded in the Nagaland commercial hub an began to proceed in the late afternoon to match the bandh-end timing which has been fixed at 6 pm. Reports from the four Naga dominated districts of Manipur said that the bandh was strong but there have been no reports of any untoward incident.
Mention may be made that a woman identified as Teshangphun Maring, (41) wife of Madaphun Maring of Langathel Lamlong Khullen was assaulted by some youths on Saturday in Thoubal district.
Offices, educational institutions and business establishments in the four hill districts of Tamenglong, Chandel, Ukhrul and Senapati came to a grinding halt during the 12-hours bandh.
Inter-district passenger buses also did not ply today.
NNC ridicules IM's integration mantra Kuknalim.com
IMPHAL, Aug 09: Describing the cry of Isak-Muivah group and its supporters for integration of Nagas under the Indian Union as ‘nonsense’ Naga National Council (NNC) and Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) stated that integration of Nagas under the India Union can never be a solution but a capitulation of the aspiration of the Naga people. In a joint statement, NNC member Shepoumaramth Region RS Samuel Poumai and general secretary, Wing (Tangkhul) region, FGN AS Mashangthei said that the present cry of the Isak-Muivah group and its supporters for integration of Nagas under the India Union is nonsense for the Nagas and an act of anti-Naga nation. Thus the recent slogan of ‘No integration, no solution’ by the Naga Hoho following the cry of Th Muivah is a shame for the Nagas.

Indeed for the Nagas, the integration of Nagas under the India Union can never be a solution but a capitulation of the cause of Naga people, the joint statement said, adding that withdrawal of all foreign occupational forces from Nagaland and recognition of Nagaland’s sovereignty by the United Nations will be a solution to the Indo-Naga conflict. The joint statement said that Nagas are inherently sovereign, independent and a free nation since time immemorial.

‘We have been living in our own land and its sovereignty is always protected by God our Lord.
Therefore, our nation had never fallen into any nation by conquest or consent except intrusion or aggression which our forefathers relentlessly fought against to defend the sovereignty of the land’, the joint statement. However, the joint statement went on to say, it was unfortunate that the British had arbitrarily drawn the imaginary boundaries between the Naga families during 19th and 20th centuries without the knowledge of the Naga people. Again when the Burmese and Indian invaded Nagaland in 1950s, they accepted these artificial boundaries and placed Nagas in different places without their consent. But the Nagas did not accept and recognised these boundaries made by foreigners for the simple reason that the foreigners have no right to draw a boundaries or boundaries within the heart of the Naga nation, the joint statement added. The land occupied by the Nagas came to be known as Nagaland since the formation of NNC and FGN and Nagaland is a sovereign nation, the joint statement asserted, adding that when the sovereignty of Nagaland is recognised by the world, the artificial boundaries drawn the foreigners would disappeared automatically. TSE

NSCN-K not to hold talks with Centre Assam Tribune From Our Correspondent
DIMAPUR, August 9 – The NSCN-K has declared that it will not hold any talks with New Delhi as long as the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio led government in Nagaland is in power and also till the Government of India does not reveal the outcome of its ongoing talks with the NSCN-IM. While registering astonishment over the further extension of the ongoing ceasefire in between GoI and NSCN-IM for another six month, the outfit’s Kilonser (minister) Kughalu Mulatonu has asked Th. Muivah, the NSCN-IM general secretary to clarify before the Nagas why his outfit agreed to extend ceasefire once again, when he himself during his stay at New Delhi declared not to extend the ceasefire if the demand for integration is not met.
"He (Muivah) should tell Naga people why the ceasefire with New Delhi has been extended despite the Government of India's denial of integration of Naga areas,” Mulatonu insisted. Accusing Government of India of planning more terrorist activities in Nagaland in connivance with the NSCN-IM in the days to come, he maintained, “This is ridiculous because on the one hand the Government of India is unleashing terror in Nagaland and on the other hand, it is trying its best to get a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council”.
Substantiating its stand to not to have any link with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio-led ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government in the state, the Kilonser making a scathing remark said, “They wanted to meet us many a times but we refused because they are sponsoring the NSCN-IM with crores of rupees”.
How can we meet a government when its chief minister himself is funding terrorism in the state,” the NSCN-K Kilonser questioned. Meanwhile, the NSCN-IM has said that the reduction of the period of ceasefire from the usual one year to six months was done to pressurize Government of India.
NSCN-IM Deputy Kilonser (MIP) Kraibo Chawang disclosed that it was necessitated as since the beginning Government of India has kept on promising many things, but failed to implement its assurances. “We want to see GoI in action, not only make assurances,” Chawang said. – PTI

On indefinite economic blockade By Prof. N. Mohendro
No body in Manipur wants disarray, disintegration and depression. But development brings with itself the seeds of various forms of instability. The most difficult question is “How to manage the contents of change” and maintain the solid foundation of integration. This definitely calls for a long- term-strategic-thinking; unlike thika-supply-politics. Road is important; but more important is the standard of people who are using the road. There must be some areas of activities which need undisturbed and sustained priority - the areas identified to grow with distinctive core¬competence as a mark of socio-econo-mic advancement through which the community enjoys self respect and a pla-ce in arena of diversities. This is “core area”. Has Manipur identified this?
Secondly, every policy announcement should have its “announcement effects” - social effect, economic effect, political effect, short-term effect and long-term effect. The policy announcement is normally guided by the “vision” - a clear-cut blue-print of possible changes, effects and reactions so that the Govt should make sufficient preparation for built-in pro-active plans to address the fallouts and emerging concerns. Time-factor is very important in any policy¬initiative. Otherwise, the structural irritants would land us into a new trap of uncontrollable chain of frustration, more so in a state like Manipur where geo-politics has made its calculated appearance. Any civilised society is governed by civilised rules and regulations and happily abide by a sense of tolerance, discipline and integrity. The old world of traditional thinking and conservative approach is no longer valid. We have to think globally and act locally. The long queue of vehicles (1/2 km.) under the scorching heat for just 5 litres of petrol speaks volumes of high tolerance inspite of soaked and socked sentiments. But there is a limit. Every body has right to love his birth place. My birth place is my motherland and other country is my fatherland. Both mother and father must live together in harmony and mutual respect as partner of development. Please don’t except mother only. Well, let us look at the economic blockade (June 19, 2005 till date) on National Highways - 39 (Imphal - Dimapur) from three perspectives:
— Economic aspect — Social aspect — Political aspect
Economic aspect:
The present economic blockade on NH-39 is bad for the region and worse for the smaller States. In terms of anything and by any standard, because of this blockade, we are putting blockade on development process, while the region requires a new model of growth triangle - involving all neighbouring States in one way or other. Better transport and communication confers three inter-related benefits: (a) higher production, (b) innovativeness and (c) larger market linkages. We remain deprived of these distinct benefits for more than 40 days. The pheripheral markets look dull and deserted. Secondly high price means dis-saving and welfare loss. Thirdly the culture of hoarding, black-marketing and rent-seeking is greatly stimulated. Fourthly inequality and disparity is increased. Fifthly, the feeling of economic insecurity is deepened.
Social aspect:
The welfare loss and the economic insecurity will become a new foundation of social alienation from the mainstream and also from the apparatus of administration. “Credibility-gap” is a great social loss. Mutual destruct is a deadly poison. Very unfortunately a new social re¬grouping is taking shape.
Political aspect: There is nothing wrong when Manipur takes new strategy to be politically strengthened, emotionally consolidated and economically competitive. But any move from any segment to stimulate counter productive forces and seeds of misunderstanding, open defiance and unnecessary hostility needs to be guarded against. The prolonged economic blockade (50 days) is “disturbing and unsettling too much” and looks prompted by a hidden agenda of grand design. Why a small-fight for a big political cause? It appears that the baby is killed in the womb of the mother.
Thirdly, the prolonged economic blockade is bound to add a new dimension to the political immorality of undue harassment and silent torture based on geo-politics. Fourthly, the economic blockade may be ‘misleading light’ in the process of social re-grouping and social equations.
Approach: The approach should be governed by :
a) Flexibility with realism.
b) Kindness with firmness
c) Multiple options.
Solution :
Negotiation is the only means for solution. Even the two World Wars concluded with negotiation. Negotiation requires physical meeting and mutual sacrifice on either side.
The strategy for solution may consist of :
a) Long-term-strategic policy
b) Short-term-measures.
It may be noted that policies and measures are two different things. Of course, they are interdependent and complimentary. They meet at a point. Measures without strategic policy support may not deliver goods. Strategic policy failure is very dangerous. This is, perhaps, what we experience to-day in Manipur. Short-term measures:
The short term measures may consist of :
a) Removal of all bottlenecks in the supply line by any means.
b) Goodwill visits
c) Re-enforcement of security arrangement.
d) Contact, dialogue and consultations with stake-holders including church leaders.
e) Delivery of peace peck
Long term strategic policy may consist of :
1. Announcement of Hill Vision, 2012 (a Vision Document of Development)
2. Acceleration of physical connectivity with top priority on improving National Highway 39- Imphal to Moreh to the standard of 4 lane with street lights and wayside amenities and National Highway 53 also.
3. Strengthening of reporting mechanism.
4. Creation of a Centre for Policy Research, Manipur with Chief Minister as chairman of the governing council.
Reserved provision for 6 months:
5. The Govt of Manipur must maintain reserved stock of essential and str-ategic items for 6 months as in the case of U.S.A.
(This reserved stock is to be used only during emergency-situation).
Politics of venue :
I think venue for talk is not necessarily important as nowadays one can talk through various channels and media. Even mobile phone will do. In a way talk has begun. Message is being sent, communication has been made. Views have been studied. The real and ultimate venue is mind.
What is the use of so-called formal talk in a majestic room with closed mind, cynical outlook and mixed feelings. Our immediate objective is to remove the grievances of innocent people who have not committed any crime. How long the lives of poor people should be allowed to be thoroughly exhausted by “miscalculation’? The earlier the better. It is fine that the ball has started rolling with the visit of a strong team of Ministers. Let us see the game of wit and wisdom. I feel the area of mutual understanding should certainly be based on “strategic consideration” and a “new vision”.
ANSAM lifts 49th day old economic blockades from tomorrow noon Oken Jeet Sandham
Kohima, Aug 10 (NEPS): The 49th day old economic blockades which had been imposed on two national highways of Manipur---39 and 53---by All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) in protest against the Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi’s declaration of June 18 as “State Holiday” will be lifted from 12 noon tomorrow. Disclosing this to a press conference held here at the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF)’s office today, NSF President Pushika Awomi and ANSAM President Paul Langhu said they took the decision of lifting the 49th day old economic blockades imposed on Manipur’s two national highways after consultations with the Naga Hoho, and other Naga Civil organizations keeping in view the immense hardships faced by the people of Manipur. It also stated various central leaders including Prime Minister and Home Minister had already requested the delegation of the Naga Hoho to lift the economic blockades when the latter visited the former.
The student leaders however pointed out that the Manipur Government should try to resolve the controversial June 18 Holiday Declaration and further cautioned the blockade might be resumed if the Government did not attempt to find solution to the problem. It may be mentioned that the ANSAM launched the economic blockades on the two national highways of Manipur---39 and 53---connecting the State since June 22 in protest against Chief Minister O Ibobi’s declaration of June 18 as “State Holiday.” The student organization took the matter as an insult to the aspiration of the Naga people who are fighting to live under single administrative unit. The student body had however did not object the offer of talks by Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi to end the blockade impasse but venue of the talks became the main hurdle throughout. The student body said any talks should be held in four hill districts of the State where Nagas were majority whereas Ibobi Government explained such talks could only be held in Imphal, the State capital. Both sides remained non-committal to their demands thereby the blockades continues for 49 days till date.
The Manipur has been undergoing unprecedented hardships during this one of the longest economic blockades on their lifelines and the Chief Minister for the first time was forced to utilize the abandoned national highway 53---Imphal-Silcher road---to bring in essential commodities. For the record, the Union Home Ministry had used the services of the cargo planes of the Indian Air Force (IOAF) for airlifting essential items including life saving drugs from Guwahati. During the 49th day economic blockade, the ANSAM activists also launched non-cooperation movement with the Manipur Government in the hill districts---Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong---following some of their volunteers were fired upon by Manipur IRB personnel. They had also destroyed over 20 Government offices in the four hill districts during this period. Meanwhile talking to NEPS over phone from Imphal, Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi expressed his happiness on the student body’s decision to lift the blockade and further hoped this would fast return normalcy in the state and restore confidence the love and affection amongst the all sections of Manipur.
Rebels attack rail tracks, northeast cut off (LEADS By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service
Guwahati, Aug 10 (IANS) Separatist rebels Wednesday blew up two railway tracks in restive Assam, cutting rail links between the northeastern region and the rest of India, police said. Police and railway officials said militants damaged two 'vital sections of railway tracks' in separate incidents early Wednesday. One of the explosions took place on the rail track near Bonda on the outskirts of Assam's main city of Guwahati and another near Tihu, 70 km west of here. This disrupted train services between the rest of India and the northeast, a railway spokesman said. 'Repairs have begun but the complete restoration of the tracks is expected to take at least 24 hours,' he said.
'Several long distance trains have either been rescheduled or postponed. Efforts are on to divert train services using an alternative route.' Rebels also blew up a gas pipeline and attacked three power facilities overnight, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.
Police have blamed all the explosions and attacks on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979.
The ULFA had claimed responsibility for blowing up gas and oil pipelines and other installations but denied its role in a market blast Sunday that killed four people and injured nine more.
The militants routinely step up attacks before India's Independence Day, Aug 15. This year there had been about two dozen attacks since the weekend. Four rebel groups in the northeast have also called for a 17-hour general strike to boycott Independence Day. These include the ULFA, the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation, the Tripura People's Democratic Front and the Manipur People's Liberation Front. On Tuesday two policemen were seriously injured when suspected militants attacked a road patrol outside the Nalbari police station in the west of the state. Militants also blew up a state-owned Oil India Limited gas pipeline in eastern Tinsukia district and damaged three power transformers in separate attacks, police said. 'There was a massive fire soon after the blast and since it was located in a remote area it took some time for fire fighters to reach the spot,' said an official from the police control in Tinsukia who wished not to be identified. The blaze was brought under control after about two hours.'There have been about two-dozen explosions targeting innocent civilians, vital installations, and security forces since Saturday,' Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.
'The militants want to create panic but people are coming forward in our fight against militancy.'


Frans on 08.10.05 @ 04:54 PM CST [link]


Tuesday, August 9th

PM meets Naga Hoho delegation: Morung Express


PM meets Naga Hoho delegation Morung Express News August 8
DIMAPUR: The Naga Hoho delegation, presently lodged in New Delhi, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today. Vice President of the Naga Hoho, Keviletuo Kiewhuo, after the meeting, said that the Prime Minister had portrayed a positive outlook on the present peace talks being held between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah). He divulged that Singh was aware of the Naga problem and was trying to work out an amicable solution through democratic methods. Kiewhuo added that the attitude displayed by the Indian leaders they had met over the past few days was very encouraging. The Naga Hoho was also assured of New Delhi’s determination to solve the decades-old problem. Singh told the delegation that the Centre was analyzing the situation carefully and that a step by step process would be initiated to solve the problem.
While expressing serious concern over the present crisis in Manipur, Singh reiterated that a solution had to be arrived at only through peaceful means and that it was not right to open up battle-fronts. It may be mentioned that the Naga Hoho team will be leaving Delhi for Nagaland tomorrow. The team had been in Delhi for quite a few days where they had interacted with various Indian leaders on the sidelines of the Indo-Naga peace parleys.
NISC reaffirms support to Naga movement Morung Express News August 8
DIMAPUR: The Naga International Support Center (NISC), a human rights organization based in Amsterdam has reaffirmed its tacit support to the cause of the Nagas. A press release issued by the NISC stated that the Nagas had always been a free people and that they had not been subject to foreign rule as the pages of history had revealed. Moreover, the Nagas do not claim the land of others, but the reunification of the ancient land 0f the Nagas, the release added. The organization further stated that the Government of India, for the past eight years, was holding peace talks with the Naga Organizations who are capable of withstanding the Indian military while at the same time directly and indirectly embroiling the states in opposition to the reunification of the Nagas.
‘Ibobi Singh government of Manipur is intentionally imposing the arrogant will of the Meitei on the peoples of the hills, particularly the Nagas. How can one reconcile with that?’ stated the communiqué. Further, the NISC has called on both the Nagas and the Government of India to expedite serious peace talks that will benefit both the Indian Government who have to finance 2,00,000 soldiers that occupy Nagaland, and the Nagas who will reap the benefit of long desired peace.
Manipur govt delegation begins talks with ANSAM leadership [BLOCKADE-TALKS]
A state government delegation began talks with leaders of All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM), to end the ANSAM-sponsored ongoing economic blockade on National Highways passing through state, in Senapati district this afternoon, official sources said.
The delegation, led by Manipur Industries Minister N. Mangi Singh, began talks with ANSAM leaders to find an amicable settlement to end the 40-day old economic blockade on NHs, sources said.
Preliminary discussions to end the stir were held between the government side and the ANSAM representatives, sources said without giving further details.
The blockade on highways in Manipur resulted in essential items not reaching Imphal. The blockade was called in protest against the Manipur government's decision to declare June 18 every year as 'Solidarity Day' in memory of Manipuris killed in 2001 when the Centre extended the area of ceasefire with the NSCN beyond Nagaland.
The ANSAM leadership, which had called the 'economic blockade' since June 22, claimed declaration of June 18 as 'Solidarity Day' was against the move for integration of Nagas. [PTI, courtesy : Subscription - outlookindia]

UCM to launch stir from August 14
IMPHAL, Aug 6: The United Committee, Manipur, UCM has announced that it would launch a democratic people’s movement from August 14 onwards unless a definite stance is taken by the state government on the ongoing ANSAM-sponsored economic blockade by August 13 next. Speaking to mediapersons at a press conference today, the UCM organisation secretary, Yumnamcha Dilipkumar, charged that though the economic blockade has lasted over 45 days, the government was still hesitant to take definite steps to bring it to an end. How long are the people of Manipur to continue to bear the hardships caused by the blockade, he questioned. Although the Gauhati High Court has already pronounced the ANSAM sponsored blockade as illegal and unconstitutional, no steps have been taken by the government to crack down on the ANSAM activists, he maintained.

On the other hand, the preliminary talks held between government and ANSAM representatives achieved no discernable resolution, while no date has been set for resumption of the talks, Dilipkumar said, and charged the state government and the ANSAM with trying to pull wool over the people’s eyes. While observing that it was an open secret that the ANSAM blockade was launched to push forward the agenda of Greater Nagaland, the UCM leader maintained that the government of Manipur had been told by the Centre to go soft on the ANSAM agitators so as not to jeopardize the recent talks for extension of the ceasefire between the government of India and the NSCN(IM).

Accusing the state government of being the Centre’s puppet, he reiterated that the ANSAM’s activities were unlawful, and the government should have taken action accordingly. Dilipkumar said innumerable complaints from the public have been received by the UCM regarding shortage of various commodities. On the other hand, particular organisations in Nagaland were extorting Rs. 10,000 each from Manipur bound trucks on behalf of the ANSAM and the NSF, he charged. In this regard, he said the UCM would launch a democratic people’s movement from August 14 onwards if the government does not take decisive steps to end the blockade by August 13. The state government must bear responsibility for all consequences, he said. While welcoming the Centre’s move to airlift essential supplies to Imphal, Dilipkumar wondered how long it would be able to keep it up. He also said that the expenditure incurred in tackling the blockade should be recovered from the ANSAM, or from the Centre. [Imphal Free Press]

Zeliangrong Union expresses unhappiness over Manipur Govt. Kuknalim.com
DIMAPUR, Aug 8: The Zeliangrong Union of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur has expressed profound unhappiness on the Manipur Government for meting out a cold treatment to the Zeliangrong community in many respects particularly when it comes to developmental fronts. Charging the State Government, the Zeliangrong Union said that road linking Manipur and Nagaland through as Tamei-Tenning road falls in the Zeliangrong region both in Nagaland and Manipur had not been repaired till date even to the quarter mark of the standard road.
Calling it sub-standard, the Zeliangrong apex social organisation of the three States of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur came down heavily on the Manipur Government for not implementing the road construction task with sincerity. Tenning is a Zeliangrong dominated town in Nagaland while Tamei, too is dominated by the same community but falls under Manipur state. Linking these two towns by road would mean connecting Nagaland and Manipur by crossing Barak river in Tamenglong district. The Zeliangrong Union while comparing the construction works of both the neighbouring States has said that the Nagaland Government had done their bit in an effort to find more alternative roads, had impressively constructed the road with regard to the Tamei-Tenning road in Nagaland side but the portions in Manipur side is still in a deplorable condition.
The ZU urged the Manipur Government to complete their “home-task” as soon as possible. The WBM black topping too is a sub-standard one while the 16th point hump portion has not been constructed as per standard and grade required, rued the Zeliangrong Union statement. The 17th point falls in Khunphung village under Manipur and Ntuma village under Nagaland of which both the villages has been separated by the Barak and to which these villages should be a selection site so as to construct a Barak river bridge and in the process another river called Maguiki can be avoided, said the ZU statement adding that the Khunphung to Maguiki road should be abondoned to shortened the distance as well as to avoid constructing two bridges on the same river and facilitate movement of traffic and people.
It urged the Manipur Government to take things seriously in this regard”.
The commitment of the work agency is also questionable as unqualified engineer has been entrusted to take work charge” charged the Zeliangrong Union note adding that hanky panky state of affairs had been the reason for the poor standard of road construction. The intervention of the Central Government is necessary in this regard or else Manipur Government would slip-loose the work and later get it abandoned as may be the case in the past several instances, pointed out the Zeliangrong body. It appeals the Government that no bills should be released for the half-baked construction work but thorough investigations should be conducted before clearing the bills and punished the defaulters.

PM-Naga meet fails to end Imphal crisis Kuknalim.com
NEW DELHI, Aug 8: A meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and a Naga delegation on Monday failed to break the ice on the economic blockade in Manipur as the Centre indicated that it might intervene in the talks taking place with the agitating All Naga Students' Association of Manipur (ANSAM). The Naga team was ready to lift the blockade, that entered the 50th day, provided Manipur CM Ibobi Singh apologised for having given a call for observing "Integrity Day". Headed by Naga Hoho general secretary N Krome, the Naga leaders reiterated that the economic blockade was "the only legitimate, non-violent way"they had to protest against the CM's action.
Krome said that while urging that the blockade be lifted, the PM reiterated his resolve to find a solution to the larger Naga issue for which the peace process was underway.
He did not elaborate on the 35-minute talks he had but said that the Naga leadership would return to Kohima to discuss the PM's proposal. Four Manipur ministers were talking to ANSAM leaders in Senapati district, but Krome said there was a deadlock. While letting the Manipur government do the talking, the Centre is closely monitoring the situation. Not ruling out the possibility of intervening in the crisis, the home ministry has been concentrating on monitoring the law and order situation and maintenance of essential supplies.

Centre’s action plan to ensure supplies to Manipur From Our Staff Correspondent Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Aug 8 – With the food stocks and essential items in Manipur running low, the Centre today thrashed out an action plan to make the abandoned National Highway (NH) 53 operational to keep the supply line open to the trouble-torn State. A high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary VK Duggal and attended by Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, top Army, Air Force, CRPF and BSF officials, besides representatives of Food Corporation of India, Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), today identified the NH 53 as the main route to transport food and essential items and NH 39 currently under siege to transport Petroleum Oil Lubricants (POL).
The Union Home Secretary is also leaving for Manipur shortly to review the implementation of the Action Plan chalked out at today’s meeting. Interestingly, the Centre seems to have adopted hands off policy as far as negotiations with All Naga Students Association (ANSAM) is concerned, leaving Manipur Government, the job of talking to the agitators. The meeting today did not focus on the issue and instead confined itself to the logistical matters. Later briefing newsmen, the Home Secretary said that two Manipur Ministers have held first round of discussion with the agitators and might hold discussion with the Chief Minister of State. The first round of talks has ended in Senapati district on an encouraging note, he said. However, Duggal ruled out the possibility of holding meeting with ANSAM during his visit. “It is not on the agenda,” he said, replying to a question.
Asserting that the focus was on keeping the supply line open through NH 52 reopened after a gap of seven year, the Union Home Secretary said that the meeting has decided to maintain the supplies to Manipur at any cost. The Army and para-military forces have been directed the provide security cover and ensure safety and security of the convoys. Assam and Nagaland have also assured full cooperation in keeping the supplies moving. According to the Union Home Secretary, the food stock position was not alarming though the State had about four-five days of stock of POL. The stock position of the LPG was bare minimum. At least 70 odd trucks have reached Imphal yesterday, he said.

Spelling the steps being taken to operationalise NH 52, he said that Army and Central Para-military Forces have been directed to immediately provide assistance to Border Road Organisation (BRO) to improve the roads and bridges. The BRO has been asked to increase the strength of the roads and bridges to take the load of 100 to 200 tonnes from the current 15-20 tonnes. Large convoys are proposed to plied through NH 53 that runs from Silchar district in Barak Valley. The Union Home Minister had last week told the Lok Sabha that Manipur gets about 200 trucks daily. From the date of blockade, till August 2, normally around 8,000 trucks would have brought supplies to Manipur like POL, LPG and food grains. However, only about 700 trucks including petrol tankers have been able to enter the valley.
This has resulted in shortage of essential commodities in the State. All drugs in generic names are available. Some branded products are less in quantity. No serious complaints of shortage have come from hospitals. However, last week Centre airlifted medicines and life saving drugs besides essential food items. Patil further claimed that State Government has been organizing convoys of trucks and tankers to bring POL from Khatkhati in Assam via Dimapur on NH-39. Assam and Nagaland have been providing security to the convoys in their respective territories. Army cleared NH-53 of insurgent on second week of July. However, the next day, a bailey bridge over river Irang was cut. Meanwhile, sources said that the security problem faced by the truck drivers was discussed at the meeting. Following reports of stone throwing incidents and the convoys coming under attack of miscreants, truck drivers were increasingly expressing their reluctance to go to Manipur.

Press Communique Dated: 09/08/2005

The Ibobi Singh’s dictatorial and unilateral declaration of June 18 as “Manipur Integrity Day” sparked off an Economic Blockade by the All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) since June 20 2005. All the Naga civil society including the Naga Hoho, the apex body of the Nagas and the Naga Students Federation (NSF), the apex Naga students’ body have endorsed the civil non-co-operation movement launched in the Naga areas. The Nagas had launched the civil non-co-operation movement with dual objectives i.e., to impress upon the Government of India for expediting the 2nd Indo-Naga Peace Process and to express the Nagas’ disagreement against Ibobi’s communal declaration because it is directly going against the interest and spirit of the Nagas’ aspiration to live under one political administrative system or Integration of the Naga areas. The Manipur and the Union Governments’ inaction and indifferent attitudes towards the situation even after 50 days had taken an ugly turn considering the highly charged up and tense environment prevailing in the State. The Manipur and the Union Governments’ failure to revoke the declaration has made the situation in the state uncontrollable and volatile as the Meiteis had started committing direct violence against the Naga civilians in different parts of the state. The following incident of direct violence on the Nagas will succinctly illustrate the whole charged up and tense environment in the state.
One Naga woman identified as Teshang Phun, a mother of one, was brutally assaulted by Meitei youths on August 6 Saturday while she was shopping at a vegetable market in Langathel, a Meitei dominated sub-division under Thoubal District, Heirok Constituency in Manipur State. The woman, aged 40, belongs to the Maring Naga community, was purchasing food stuff when a group of Meitei youths accosted her in the middle of the market and enquired if she was a Naga. Then the youths reportedly began abusing her verbally that it was Nagas like her who were causing problems to the Meitei people and that she had supported the Economic Blockade called by the All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) for which "she now has to face the consequences". The Meitei youths then started assaulting her with naked fists, bamboo walking sticks and cane sticks. The assaulted woman is reported to be in critical condition and is presently admitted at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal.
Moreover, in those areas in Manipur dominated by the Meitei community, Nagas were being systematically targeted by the Meiteis. It is reported that assaulted Naga victims were being blamed for causing hardship to the Manipuri people by supporting the Economic blockade called by Naga organizations. Sources said these incidents of hate-attacks could not be reported due to lack of communication linkage and remoteness of the places where it is occurring. It further added that the latest incidence of attack on a Naga woman by the Meiteis ever since the economic blockade was launched was not an isolated case. Recently, tyranny of the security forces was also orchestrated by mercilessly beating up 24 Naga women, which includes 4 pregnant women, in the aftermath of the peaceful protest launched on 8th July in Senapati District against the shooting of a Naga man and critically injuring many peaceful protestors. Such crude measures of the Indian Armed Forces have been time and again perpetrated against the innocent Naga peoples since 1950s.
The question is, if such a peaceful means of protest is answered with such brutal firing and shooting, what are the means left for the people to express their feelings and aspirations? Isn’t such retaliation by brute force against the peaceful protestors a violation of the human rights? Where is the Union Government Commitment to the on-going peace process with the Nagas? Does peace process means shooting and killing the Nagas? Is this not a time that the Manipur government revoke the declaration? Have not the GoI moral and the Constitutional authority to direct the Manipur government to revoke it? Was it not too communal when the Manipur government declares that day as a state holiday? Do the non- Meiteis wanted that day as a Manipur Integrity Day? The answer is a very big “NO”. In the run up to the present crisis, the Fourth Estate i.e., the media in India has been reporting regularly. However, the Medias have never taken the task to the GoI and the Manipur government. Instead, some Medias have started blaming to the Nagas. This is a no surprise to the Nagas for the Nagas have been facing suppression more than 50 years.
The Naga Students’ Union, Delhi (NSUD) and the Nagas living in Delhi unequivocally condemned the assaults on a Naga Woman by the Meitei youths in strongest term and reiterates its stand once again in support of the civil non-co-operation movement launched for Integration of all Naga areas in the Naga areas by the Naga Hoho, NSF, ANSAM, Naga Mother Association, NPMHR etc. We, on behalf of the Naga students and the Nagas living in Delhi fervently call upon the democratic peoples in South Asia and the World to look into the problem in earnestness so as to save the Naga people and the tribals from the attack of the majority in the Northeast. In the endeavour to express the democratic aspiration of the Nagas and the adverse situation in which the Nagas are located, the Nagas in Delhi call upon the Medias (Print and Visual) to kindly assert its rights by giving out a maximum and correct information to the rest of the peoples, the situation in which the Nagas faces at present. Your kind work of dissemination of the above incident will surely help democratise the State functionaries and machineries for redressing the problem created by the Manipur state.
Thanking you in anticipation. Yours sincerely “Kuknalim” (S.SEBASTIAN KAMEI) President, NSUD
NH-53 uplift top priority for Manipur From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
IMPHAL, Aug 8 – In view of the frequent road blockade along the National Highway 39 passing through the ‘sensitive’ Senapati district, inhabited by Naga and Kuki communities, development of the 222-km Manipur sector of National Highway 53 has become a priority agenda for the State Government. For this, two BRTF battalions have been assigned the repairing works of NH-53 popularly known as Jiri Lambi after the All Naga Students Association Manipur (Ansam) economic blockade. 25 BRTF based in Imphal is looking after the 141-km double-lane Imphal to Barak sector which have 18 major and minor bridges inbetween the route while 77-km single-lane Barak to Jiribam sector is the responsibility of 36 BRTF, based at Silchar in Assam. According to the Commander of 25 BRTF MA Raza, three bridges, Makru, Hamilton near Kaimai and Barak, have been identified as the weak bridges for the traffic on this National Highway. Almost all the bridges on this route were not repaired for the last eight years due to law-and-order situation. Blowing up of the bridge on Irang river along NH-53 by the blockade supporters in the night of July 19 has aggravated the difficulties more, forcing the transporters to suspend the entire trafficability and communication with the state capital. However, 25 BRTF in consultation with the state works department mobilized the resources and completed the repairing works under security cover. Thus, a new bridge on the river Irang was installed on July 26.

But it couldn’t directly open the traffic through NH 53 as only those freight vehicles not exceeding the tonnage of 10 tonnes each will be allowed to pass the Barak bridge, BRTF sources said, adding that, however, it may be extended upto 15 tonnes each after the bridges are adequately strengthened. But Chief Minister Ibobi assured that things will be alright within ten days time and appealed to the transporters to continue their job as his government will be compensating them. The issue of road blockade will be eased once the railway head reaches the state capital, Ibobi further said. A huge convoy of vehicles has been stranded at Jiribam since the past few days in view of the situation. Manipur Governor SS Sidhu is presently inspecting the overall situation along the route. He left along with state officials this morning to to take stock of the situation at Nungba. He will be staying tonight at Jiribam and will come back tomorrow. The BJP team led by its MLA M Bhorot in the meantime suspended their NH-53 inspection programme in view of the 12-hour-long Naga area bandh in the four hills districts today. The bandh has been called by ANSAM in protest against the assault of a Maring woman at Langathel on Sunday by members of a particular community. The bandh was concluded at 6 p.m. today without any major incident. The woman has been identified as Teshangphun (40) of Lamlong Khullen, Langathel.
Trucks attacked with petrol bombs on NH-53 The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug. 8: The governor of Manipur, Dr. Shivinder Singh Sidhu today proceeded the entire length of national highway-53 by road to personally inspect the condition of the road and bridges, and arrived at Jiribam late this evening at around 8 pm, a report said. The Governor had left Imphal after some minutes delay from the scheduled timing after getting a green signal that the line was clear. The Governor’s trip, it may be mentioned, had been in doubt following reports that a truck had got stuck at Saibon, located between Makru and Kaimai, effectively halting traffic on the road.
In the meantime, the goods laden trucks coming towards Imphal on NH-53 with security escort were attacked with Molotov cocktails at Awang Khunou despite the tight security deployment for the movement of the Governor.

A truck carrying LPG cylinder caught fire after getting hit by a petrol bomb, but no major damage was caused after the escort party and the truckers rushed and extinguished the fire. The vehicle was loaded with LPG cylinders meant for MM Gas Service, Imphal. In the meantime, the Governor, Dr SS Sidhu who was inspecting the conditions of the road and bridges on this highway in view of its heightened importance in the wake of the ANSAM-sponsored blockade, will halt this night at Jiribam electricity rest house and is scheduled to return back to Imphal by chopper tomorrow. In the meantime, all the goods laden trucks which were stranded at Saibon bridge since yesterday morning started proceeding towards Imphal from the wee hours of today. All the trucks were expected to reach the state capital this late evening. A total of 124 goods laden trucks had left Jiribam for Imphal on Saturday last. However not all of them could reach Imphal yesterday as the traffic on the highway was disrupted when one of the trucks got stuck at the Saibon bridge.
Chandel decry assault of women By Our Staff Reporter Sangai
IMPHAL, Aug 8 : The Chandel Naga Peoples' Organisation and Naga Students' Union, Chandel have strongly condemned the assault of four Maring women by some miscreants at Langathel yesterday. In a statement the two bodies said that the four women had gone to Langathel to buy essential items and there they were accosted by some men who beat them up. One of the women, Teshang Maring suffered serious injuries and was later referred to Shija Hospitals.
The miscreants also used abusive and provocative words againsr the four women, claimed the statement and added that the miscreants blamed the Nagas for the economic blockade which has made the prices of essential commodities sky rocket. Clarifying and setting the record straight over the imposition of the economic blockade, the statement said that ANSAM imposed the blockade to expose the weakness of the State Government and its discri- minatory attitude towards the tribal people in general and the Nagas in particular. The innocent people should not be targeted for the divisive policies played by the State Government, said the statement and added that the people should be more vigilant and educate the people of the intention of the politicians to gain political mileage.
The economic blockade launched by ANSAM is not against any community and should not be painted with a communal brush or anything of that sort, said the statement. CNPO and DSU also appealed to all right thinking persons and organisations to condemn the assault of the four women. The 12 hours bandh called by ANSAM to protest the assault of the women was called to educate the people not to be carried away by the wrongly ‘tutored’ minds, said the statement. The two bodies also demanded fitting punishment of the miscreants according to the law of the land.
The 12 hours bandh also passed off peacefully at Chandel, said the statement adding it was total at Chandel.
Angry farmer storms Manipur secretariat NET News Network
Imphal, Aug 8: Agitated farmers today stormed the gate of Chief Minister O.Ibobi Singh and the old secretariat office housing FCS minister office demanding fertilizers for crops in the wake of scarcity owing to economic blockades. According to report, farmers belonging to Kakching areas of Thoubal district came in buses and trucks this morning to Imphal. After alighting nearby the chief minister gate, the farmers comprising women and men gathered at CM bungalow gate and demanded fertilizers for their dying crops. Police swiftly intervened and pushed back the farmers to a safe distance and were allowed to depute representatives to meet chief minister. Later led by Kakching MLA, L.Tomba and six other farmers met the Chief Minister. Ibobi had reportedly assured the farmers that special instruction will be given to FCS officers stationed at Jiribam to arrange for sending fertilizers loaded trucks on priority basis at the earliest. However, the farmers had reportedly demanded that five truckloads of fertilizers, which had arrived yesterday at Imphal, be given to them. But this demand was not entertained. Later in the evening, the same farmer team marched down to old secretariat housing FCS minister Ph.Parijat office demanding his appointment. It may be mentioned that Parijat had just returned from Jiribam where he had gone for overseeing supervision work for ferrying in goods including essential food items. Police later listed out four representatives to meet FCS minister.

Unified Command interested in military solution: ULFA NET News Network
Guwahati, Aug 8: The banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Monday has denied its hand in Boko explosion, which left four dead and held “Unified Command Structure” responsible for the “barbarous” act. Making its stand clear, the outfit informed that “ attacks in crowded places, hospitals, educational institutes and religious places were never in its protest agenda on the eve of Independence Day”.
In an e-mailed statement sent by the Chairman of the outfit, Aurobindo Rajkhowa, warning has been declared by the outfit to maintain vigil against any such attack in future. “ Sunday’s incident is an indication of Unified Command Structure’s initiative to find a military solution to the ongoing turmoil in the state,” read the statement. It may be recalled that this is the second denial from the outfit since Saturday, when a caller identifying himself as Paresh Baruah held state police responsible for the explosion in city’s Paltan Bazar area on Saturday evening. It may be recalled that four persons including a woman were killed when a time device planted in a bicycle near a bookshop in Boko exploded last evening.
The victims were identified as Sukhdev Sarma, Silva Marak, Robin Choudhury and Netrar Agarwal.

AASU warns Patil NET News Network
Guwahati, Aug 8: The All Assam Students Union (AASU) today warned the central government and the Union Home Minister not to play politics of religion or language in the name of illegal migrants in the state.
Reacting to Home Minister Shivraj Patil statement in Parliament on August 3 that Bengali speaking Indians are harassed in the name of detecting illegal migrants in Assam, the AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya reiterated that like religious minorities, all Bengali speaking people including those who came to Assam before 1971 will be safeguarded by the student organization.
Adding substance to Bhattacharya’s declaration, AASU President Sankar Prasad Roy said that if necessary meetings will be held with Bengali speaking people to bring back confidence among them.
Meanwhile, the student organization urged the state government to pay pension to teachers in the state without provincialisation of colleges. “ Provincialisation will usher in politics to colleges,” warned Bhattacharya. He also cited example of West Bengal where teachers are paid pensions without the colleges being provincialised. Finally, the student organization took pot shots at the critics who holds AASU responsible for the degradation of education system in the state, “ It is only after provincialisation of schools in 1976 the education system in Assam started degrading,” pointed out Bhattacharya.
Meanwhile, a delegation of AASU led by Bhattacharya left for New Delhi this afternoon to access situation and create public opinion for the benefit of the state.
Rebel bombings rock Assam for fourth day By Indo-Asian News Service
Guwahati, Aug 9 (IANS) Rebel bombings continue to rock Assam with four more explosions blowing up a gas pipeline, two road bridges and a power installation, officials Tuesday said. A police official said militants late Monday blew up a pipeline carrying natural gas to tea factories near Tingkhong in eastern Assam's Sivasagar district, 390 km from the state's main city of Guwahati.
"The pipeline was severely damaged disrupting supply of gas to nearby tea garden factories," said A. Das, a police official. In separate incidents, anti-India rebels bombed two road bridges in the eastern district of Tinsukia.
"Both the bridges were considered vital as the route was used for movement of army soldiers," said a senior police official in Guwahati. In yet another incident late Monday, unidentified rebels damaged a power transformer in downtown Guwahati although there were no casualties. The four blasts are the latest in a series of explosions and attacks by militants in Assam since Saturday with police blaming the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for the violence "There have been about 16 attacks so far and the ULFA is responsible for the blasts," Assam Inspector General of Police Khagen Sharma said. "The main idea is to terrorise people and create panic ahead of Independence Day (Aug 15)."
Four people were killed and nine wounded in an explosion at a crowded market Sunday. Besides, a gas and two oil pipelines as well as a rail track were blown up in separate incidents. There have been separate attacks on army and paramilitary soldiers and an explosion over the weekend at a government officers' housing colony.
The ULFA Monday night owned up bombing gas and oil pipelines and attacks on security forces, but denied its role in the explosion Sunday at the market in Boko village, 40 km from Guwahati.
"We shall never target public places and innocent civilians," ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said in a statement received by IANS. Experts of the state-owned Oil India Limited (OIL) are working overtime to repair the two pipelines blown up by militants over the weekend.
"Production is going on although our storage capacity is going down with general operations turning critical due to the two blasts," Gyanjit Kumar Talukdar, OIL's group general manager, said over the phone from Duliajan in eastern Assam. The Assam government Tuesday announced cash rewards for people who help police in spotting explosives or the presence of militants in public places. "The attacks are nothing but acts of desperation," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said. The ULFA is a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979. More than two-dozen rebel outfits in the oil-rich northeast are fighting for secession and routinely boycott Independence Day celebrations, observing it as a "black day".
Protest bandh remain total in Ukhrul Sothing W.A Shimray August 8
UKHRUL (MExN): Ukhrul wore a deserted look today following the twelve hour bandh called by the ANSAM in the entire Naga hill Districts of Manipur. Shops and educational institutions remained closed; vehicles remained off the road and attendance in government offices was negligible. However, there were no reports of any untoward incident. The 6 am to 6 pm total bandh was called in protest against what was considered as one of the most unprecedented happenings in the history of Manipur where a Naga woman was beaten up by two Manipuri men on 6th August at Langathel under Kakching police station in Manipuri’s Thoubal District. The victim was identified as Kh.Teshangphun aged 40 and w/o Kh.Motar of Lamlong Khullen.
The incident happened when Teshangphun along with three other women from her village went to Langathel to sell baskets at around 12 noon. They were accosted by two Manipuri men identified as Moirangthem Ingoucha and Puyan Jeevan. The two reportedly charged the woman blaming them for the recent price hike in Manipur arising out of the on-going ANSAM’s economic blockade and started beating her. She was rushed to the Thoubal District Hospital by the local Meira Paipis (women society) and was later shifted to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal at the initiative of the Tengnongbal MLA K. Korungthang. She was later shifted to Shija Hospital, Imphal today. Sources from Thoubal said that the two men were arrested by the District police. Langathel is situated 17 kms from Thoubal town. Interestingly, Thoubal is the home District of O.Ibobi, the Chief Minister of Manipur. Fearing communal flare up already tensed by the on going economic blockade, different organizations from Thoubal district are trying to contain the issue by striking a compromise with the victim’s family. Meanwhile, the ANSAM blamed the government for causing the incident blaming it on the government’s delaying tactics in solving the economic blockade imbroglio. "All responsibilities should be borne by the Chief Minister", ANSAM representatives said. The ANSAM took the stand that it was against idea of settling the issue at the family and village level as the issue had effected the whole Naga populace.


Frans on 08.09.05 @ 03:06 PM CST [link]



Jimmy Carter lauds Singh on Naga Peace talks


Jimmy Carter lauds Singh on Naga Peace talks Kuknalim. com

Former U.S President Jimmy Carter, praised the Indian Govt. headed by PM Manmohan Singh as well as the NSCN leaders for the initiative taken to work towards a peaceful and lasting solution to the Naga political problem. Carter has been aware of the Naga people's struggle and following with interest the dialogue between the Govt. of India and the NSCN(IM). Carter wished success to both parties in reaching an honorable solution. (Source NPN)
Manipur blockade continues Newsfile Hindustan Times
Kohima, August 8, 2005Even as the Centre air lifts supplies to Manipur, which is reeling under an economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM), the organisation is continuing to prevent Manipur-bound trucks from passing through Naga dominated areas of the state.More than a 100 trucks continue to be stranded on the Assam-Nagaland border as ANSAN activists turned back Manipur-bound buses. Nagaland police teams escorting truck convoys have meanwhile been attacked by activists who have smashed windshields of dozens of trucks.
Indian Air Force (IAF) cargo planes on Saturday airlifted 40 tones of essential commodities from Guwahati to Imphal. The goods were airlifted following instructions from the Union Home Ministry. AN 32 cargo planes of the IAF flew eight sorties from Guwahati to Imphal to transport 20 tonnes of sugar, 10 tonnes of edible oil and dal till late afternoon. Official sources in Kohima said that the Centre would airlift one month's stock of essential commodities to the state. The Centre's instructions to air lift supplies came after Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil assurance to the Lok Sabha. The Union government asked the director general of Assam Rifles at Shillong Lt General Bhupinder Singh to transport the supplies. ANSAM has imposed the blockade since the night of June 19, forcing the government to now use National Highway No 53. The bad condition of the highway, however, has prevented the government from restoring normalcy in terms of essential commodities in the state.
Following the arrival of supplies, Food and Civil Supplies Director TH Ratan told media persons that the commodities would be distributed to all the nine districts through the deputy commissioners concerned. He however said that the supply was far from adequate.
Spikes on 39, weak bridges on 53, haunt truckers The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug. 7: Several goods-laden trucks and other vehicles heading towards Imphal along the blockaded NH-39 suffered tyre punctures after running over iron-studded logs strewn on the road surface, as supporters of the ANSAM sponsored economic blockade came up with ingenious means of impeding traffic on the road. Apart from the goods trucks, at least four passenger buses travelling on the highway also suffered tyre punctures on the way from Mao to Lairouching this morning.

In another development, traffic on NH-53 has again been disrupted after a truck reportedly got stuck at a bridge lying between Makru and Keimai. Reports said after 49 out of 124 goods carrying trucks that departed Jiribam yesterday afternoon had crossed the bridge, one of the trucks got caught at a weak point on the bridge surface, effectively putting a stop to all traffic on the road. Till late this evening all the remaining vehicles remained stuck at the spot, reports said. In the meantime, despite suffering innumerable tyre punctures apart from facing a barrage of stones and sling shots along NH-39, 22 goods laden trucks had arrived this evening at around 4.10 pm at Imphal Kangla Fort. Several trucks received heavy damage apart from the drivers getting hit by stones and slingshots.

Talking to IFP this evening after reaching Kangla Fort, the truckers said that they left Assam gate, Dimapur yesterday afternoon at around 2 pm escorted by the Nagaland police and as soon as they entering Nagaland, blockade supporters began attacking them. Late yesterday evening, for no known reason, the Nagaland police stopped the entire 22 truck convoy and taking advantage some youths armed with sharp weapons attempted to puncture the fuel tanks of the vehicles. As a result, one of the trucks sprung a leak in its fuel tank. However the truckers managed to plug the leak and proceeded towards Imphal, the drivers disclosed. They were attacked with stones and sling shots in every single populated area along the highway, the drivers said. After reaching Khuzuma yesterday late night, their escort was taken over by the personnel of Manipur Rifles and police commandos.
The vehicles encountered iron nails strewn on the road surface from the Makhan area onwards and almost all the trucks suffered tyre punctures as a result, they said. Some inter-state passengers buses were travelling ahead of the trucks, and also suffered tyre punctures. At least two buses had all six tyres punctured, they disclosed. As today was Sunday, there all the workshops were also closed. So they have a hard time to repair the punctured tyres but they were able to reach Imphal, the drivers said.
Their security escorts also fired two rounds of tear gas to disperse some women folk who tried to disrupt the traffic, they added. The trucks reaching Imphal include seven oil tankers carrying petrol and the rest are carrying other essential items.

Governor’s NH-53 inspection trip in doubt after report of bridge collapse The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug. 7: The Governor of Manipur, Dr Shivinder Singh Sidhu is scheduled to leave Imphal tomorrow morning by road along national highway-53 for inspecting physically the conditions of the road and bridges on the route. The trip however is in doubt after reports that a bridge lying between Makru and Keimai collapsed partially this morning while a loaded truck was passing over it.

Sources said the Governor’s schedule may be cancelled if no green signal is received regarding the condition of bridge whose partial collapse this morning reportedly resulted in a stoppage of traffic.
However till the filing of this report, there has been no confirmation of the condition of the bridge from the authorities at the spot. As such, all preparations for the Governor’s trip, including security arrangements are continuding in full swing today along the NH-53, official source said today adding that the Governor is scheduled to return to the state capital by chopper from Jiribam.
Meanwhile, a team of the BJP, Manipur Pradesh, led by MLA Meinam Bhorot Singh will also leave Imphal for Jiribam on NH-53 to look into the present conditions of the road and bridges.

The team will be accompany by a media team and the entire route from Imphal to Jiribam will be covered by video for submission to the central BJP leadership. A detailed report of the same will also be prepared, a source at the BJP office said today. Central BJP leaders in turn are expected to table the report along with the video recording before Parliament during the current session, the source added.

Centre making uncomfortable queries on Irang bridge collapse The Imphal Free Press

NEW DELHI, Aug 7 (Agencies): The Centre is trying to ascertain how the bridge over Irang river on National Highway-53, an alternative lifeline to Manipur, was cut off allegedly by activists of NSCN(IM) despite a clearance certificate given by Army authorities that the road was secure. The Army battalions which acted as road opening party, have been asked by the defence ministry to explain how the bridge was brought down at their leisure using primitive measures including a saw to cut down the bridge, informed sources said. The Centre asked the Army to secure the highway as this road is infested by insurgent groups, including the NSCN(IM), NSCN(K), and UNLF after the All Naga Students Association, Manipur, had blocked NH-39 to protest the Manipur government’s decision to declare June 18 as Integrity Day. Manipur is connected to the rest of the country by NH-39, which passes through Nagaland and higher reaches of Manipur before entering Imphal valley.

The NH-53 connects Silchar in Assam to Imphal passing through Naga-dominated Tamenglong district in Manipur. Besies the presence of insurgents, the condition of the highway is bad in patches.
The local Army stations informed the higher-ups that the road had been cleared by the very next day, the bridge over Irang river was found collapsed. On the preliminary investigation into the colapse, it was found that the Bailey bridge over the Irang river had been cut off with bigger hexa blade fitted saw, which takes a lot of time. Due to plying of heavy vehicles, bridges on NH-53 at Makru and Barak were damaged, but were repaired by Border Roads Organisations and opened for heavy vehicles from August 2. Further strengthening of bridges on NH-53 for sustained and regular movement of traffic is still continuing. Loaded vehicles with gross weight not more than 10 tonnes were plying on Imphal and Jiribam route. This was effectively leaving a space of only three tonnes to be carried by a truck as the vehicle itself weighed seven tonnes.

In the meantime, the Union defence minister, Pranab Mukherjee, has been quoted as saying that the Jiribam route is still not safe, as it passed through terrorist infested areas, and a search is on for new alternatives.Pranab Mukherjee was speaking to mediapersons at Kolkata today. ‘This blockade, unfortunately, has been a long one. Whenever there is an agitation in any part of the north-east, the first casualty is the communication system. They do not understand that this affects the common people and not the policy makers,’ Mukherjee said. He said, however, the Centre was in constant touch with the Manipur government in a bid to have the problem resolved.

Rebel bombing in India's troubled Assam kills 4 08 Aug 2005 06:55:33 GMT Source: Reuters

Family members of a bomb blast victim weep at a hospital in Guwahati, the major city of India's northeastern state of Assam August 7, 2005. Bombings by rebels in Assam on Sunday killed four people in an increase of violence ahead of independence day on August 15, police said. Picture taken on August 7, 2005.
REUTERS/UTPAL BARUAH (Adds strike in Manipur)
GUWAHATI, India, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Bombings by rebels in India's northeastern state of Assam on Sunday killed four people in an increase of violence ahead of independence day on Aug. 15, police said. Rebels triggered a bomb hidden in a bag at a bus stop in Boko, near Guwahati, the state's main commercial hub, killing two people on the spot. Another two died in hospital. In a separate incident on Sunday, rebels also bombed an oil pipeline in the state. Police said the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was behind the blasts. The separatist group has warned of more violence if New Delhi ignores an offer of talks made last week. India's Independence Day has been a favoured day for attacks in the past.
"There is no doubt about ULFA's hand behind the blasts. The modus operandi is the same in all the attacks and similar to previous attacks," Khagen Sharma, Assam's intelligence chief, told Reuters.
The ULFA is fighting for freedom from New Delhi for an estimated 26 million people in Assam, accusing the Indian government of taking away the state's mineral resources and ignoring the local economy. In the neighbouring blockade-hit state of Manipur where Naga tribesmen are campaigning for a separate homeland, tribal students called a 12-hour general strike on Monday after a Naga woman was beaten by people from a rival ethnic group.
"Not a single vehicle was allowed to move through Naga areas, shops and offices are closed, completely disrupting normal life," said a senior police official from Imphal, Manipur's capital.
Naga tribesmen have been blocking vital roads in Manipur for nearly two months, demanding all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast be united into a "Greater Nagaland".
"The government is purposefully delaying finding a solution to our issues," said Paul Langhu, president of the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM).
"We want to resolve the issue through peaceful means, but the government is provoking us using all sort of methods."
On Sunday, police commandos opened fire on peaceful Naga protesters in an attempt to clear the highway to move a convoy of hundreds of goods-laden trucks, wounding several of them, on the border between Nagaland and Manipur. New Delhi fears any move to split the state, where a third of the three million-strong Naga tribe live, would lead to bloody protests like those in 2001 when 18 Manipuris were killed. Manipuris oppose any division of their state, one of seven states in India's northeast racked by separatist insurgencies. AlertNet news is provided by

CS, DG in Delhi for talks Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 07: Following the summon by the Union Home Ministry, Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh and DGP AK Parashar reached Delhi today, where intensive discussion is scheduled to be held tomorrow with the Union Home Secretary VK Duggal. The meeting will focus on the economic blockade underway as well as the active support and participation extended by the Naga Students' Federation to the ANSAM sponsored economic blockade. The meeting will also discuss the developmental works being taken up by the BRTF on the Imphal-Jiribam line in the backdrop of the economic blockade. Security coverage on NH-53 to enable the free flow of freight trucks as well as to accelerate the developmental works taken up along this route will figure in the talk with the Union Home Secretary. The meeting will also focus on the need to ensure that essential commodities are available to the people as well as fuel for trucks to transport the goods.

Towards this end, officials of the Food Corporation of India, officials of the Ministries concerned and top officials of oil corporations are expected to take part in the meeting tomorrow. Top ranking civil and police officers from Nagaland have also been summoned to Delhi to talk things over with regard to the economic blockade. The meeting will come ahead of the proposed visit of VK Duggal to Imphal to over see the situation here. New Delhi is also expected to talk with the State Government over the issue amid talks that Governor SS Sidhu has made a veiled attack on the decision of the Chief Minister to declare June 18 as a State holiday, which precipitated the current impasse. A few days back, Home Minister Shivraj Patil had assured the Lok Sabha that the security force would be pressed into service to ensure that there is no disruption to the free flow of goods. Patil's assurance came even as Nagaland CM, Nephiu Rio had earlier stated that 100 pc security could not be guaranteed to trucks in Nagaland heading for Manipur
CPI National Executive to take note of Naga integration
GUWAHATI, Aug 7 : The CPI National Executive Meeting scheduled to take place in Delhi on August 10 will review the situation arising out of the 45 day long economic blockade in Manipur by all Naga Students Union of Manipur (ANSAM), party's national executive member Pramod Gogoi said here today. Mr Gogoi is leaving for Delhi tomorrow to attend the national executive meeting.
Mr Gogoi held the ruling Congress at the Centre responsible for its failure to take necessary steps to resolve the blockade causing hardship to the common people in the state. He alleged that the 45 day long blockade begining on June 19 was instigated by the NSCN (IM), which was fighting for the cause of the integration of Naga inhabited areas in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

The ANSAM had started the blockade to protest the decision by the Manipur government to observe June 18 as State Integrity Day. In 2001 the then BJP led NDA Government extended the area of ceasefire with the NSCN (IM) beyond Nagaland to Naga inhabited areas of Manipur. The Meities in Manipur opposed the same as they viewed it as an acknowledgement of the demand by the NSCN (IM) to integrate the Naga inhabited areas. The CPI supported the Manipur government's decision to observe June 18 as State Integrity Day. According to Mr Gogoi, the CPI would also review the post-IMDT situation in Assam at its National Executive Meeting. The supreme court struck down IMDT of 1983 in a recent verdict. The IMDT was applicable in Assam only to detect and deport illegal migrants. Mr Gogoi criticised the Centre for its failure to set-up special Tribunals under the Foreigners Act of 1946 to expedite the process of detection. Mr Gogoi said CPI would demand some guidelines from the Centre so that genuine Indian citizens were not harassed in the process of detection and deportation of illegal migrants. The National Executive meeting of the CPI would be followed by a three-day National Council Meeting beginning on August 11.
UNLF hails KNC
IMPHAL, Aug 8 : The proscribed UNLF has heartily welcomed the formation of the Kuki National Council, a common platform for the Kuki National Front, Kuki Revolutionary Army and United Kuki Liberation Front. In a statement, the outfit congratulated the leaders of the three organisations for their “wise statesmanship and leadership reflected in the significant achievement.” UNLF said that the for-mation of the KNC has come at the right time when the situation in Mani-pur demands unity at all levels and added that the unity move is a good ex-ample for revolutionary or-ganisations to follow. The outfit also appealed to the KNC to safeguard the unity at all costs and against external insinu-ations as well.
KNF rejects KNC
IMPHAL, Aug 8 : A faction of the Kuki National Front has today clarified that it is not a constituent part of the Kuki National Council. In a statement, the secy, DIP of the outfit, LH Ste-phen said that the said Council is the handiwork of some elements and would not bring any good to the society.
The KNF also warned that those ta-king the name of the Front will be severely dealt with and added that the Coun-cil is formed by a group of spent force. The KNF is the only legitimate body which can speak and represent the Kukis, claimed LH Stephen.
Economic blockade of Manipur Sangai By Lt Col. H. Bhuban Singh (Retd)
To-day, on this 9th day of August 2005, the ‘Economic Blockade’ of Manipur has entered into its fifty-first day. Any demonstration, any agitation, any bandh, any strike etc, which are peaceful, are aimed at a drawing the attention of the target institution for some wrong committed. For example, students of a college will resort to strikes, when their science teacher is posted out without a replacement, in order to force the school authorities and its higher echelons, like Directorate of Education to cancel the posting or to provide a replacement science teacher. But in this economic blockade, the target institution turned out to be the people of Manipur for an act committed by Government of Manipur (GOM), which declared 18 June 2005, as a State holiday, for a cause which appeared to be repugnant to All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM). But GOM have become such a bunch of block-heads, that they have adopted the good old adage of ‘no action by itself is a reaction’.
At the same time, the people of Manipur have displayed their exemplary power of resilience to face the hardships, such that they refused to react violently, to the utter dismay and contrary to the expectation of the blockaders who are itching for a fight. This is a fine example of non-violent courage of the people of Manipur, right in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation, who spiritually exhausted the booted kickers belonging to British Army and compelled the mighty British to leave India peacefully. ANSAM and their cohorts like NSF (Naga Students’ Federation) got so frustrated with the failure of their mis-aimed action that they are now in Delhi to find a solution. Why? Don’t they know that Delhi has little (almost nothing) to do with the blockade? These student bodies are to interact with GOM here in Imphal, unless they have some hidden agenda which require going to Delhi. This has created a doubt in our minds that the epicentre of economic blockade is Amsterdam, as found out by the recent BlP Parliamentary team which visited Manipur recently.
The Constitution of India lay down that internal security is the responsibility of State Governments. GOI comes into picture only when there is an external threat. If Manipur is attacked by Myanmar, the responsibility to defend Manipur (read India) falls on the Union Government of India. Any internal law and order matter occurring inside a State is to be dealt by the Stale Government. Blockade is one such problem to be dealt by the State GOM of Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, regardless of the highway being classified as national. The word ‘national’ is meant for funding, execution and maintenance of NH.
Famous dacoit Veerappan, though he harassed the Governments of both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, was caught dead by Special Task Force of Tamil Nadu under Jayalalitha. Central assistance in logistics for the operation was provided but the Centre was not involved in physical terms. Intervention of the Centre will come only when law and order situation goes out of hand such that direct intervention of the Central Government was deemed necessary. Though it is not nice to remind ourselves again, since it may look like opening up past wounds, but the imposition of President’s Rule in Manipur during prolonged Kuki-Naga clash of 1990s, is a fit example of Central intervention.
Another way for Central Forces to come into play is when a State Government seeks for Central aid. In a democratic country, the dominant agency is always civil power and troops can not open fire without the explicit written orders of the magistrate on duty. Of course the prevailing situation in Manipur under AFSPA-1958 is different. Therefore, the blame for continuation of the on-going economic blockade till to-day should lie squarely on the ineptitude of Ibobi Government and no one else. But, our mental frame seems to be to blame Delhi for everything.
A judgment of Gauhati High Court passed recently, ‘had given powers to GOM to deal with the blockaders under the existing law of the land. In any bandh call, our local youngsters who burnt tyres on NH passing through. Yaiskul area were beaten up, arrested and confined to police stations for the rest of the day and released late at midnight. So Manipur, under Ibobi seems to treat some people more equal than the rest of the citizens.
Looking pragmatically, there are hundreds of NHs in India, stretching to several thousands of kilometres of roadways and innumerable bridges. GOI cannot afford to deploy one platoon of security force at each bridge site and put a sentry for every fifty metres of roadway length. Even the deployment of Indian Army of 23 lakh soldiers (third largest army of the world next to China and United States of America) cannot cover all the NHs. Moreover, the Indian Army cannot be used on such frivolous exercise of stringing them all over the National Highways. Granted that the Indian Railways have their own Railway Protection Police Force, but then, they have their separate areas of operational responsibilities and also move in the running train as mobile security for limited distances. Now, of course we are beginning to have armed anti-hijacker teams in international airline flights in the sky also. What do we do then? Nothing, at present. Keep using NH-53. Let us hope that Chief Minister Ibobi will respond to the wake-up call. Manipur is a part of democratic India. Sovereignty and supreme power lies with the people. So a people responsive Government has come at some stage. Till then the people of Manipur have to learn to wait in the sprit of good old Meitei proverb, which translated says ‘If you son is bad, wait till he grows up and if your husband is bad, wait till he dies’.

Home Ministry to intervene in Manipur blockade crisis Ani
New Delhi, Aug. 7 (ANI): The Chief Secretaries and Directors-General of Police of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland will hold meetings with Union Home Secretary V K Duggal in the national capital on Monday to work out a strategy to cope with the situation and to ensure continuous flow of essential commodities in the wake of the economic blockade launched by the All-Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM), from June 20.
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh is also likely to visit New Delhi after August 15 to requst the Centre to end the deadlock and hold talks with the Naga student groups under its supervision.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent a green signal through Joint Secretary (North East) Rajiv Agarwal that it was willing to talk to the agitating students "if required". Home Secretary Duggal is expected to visit Manipur in this regard over the next 10 days. Earlier, the Home Ministry had turned down requests for Central intervention and had said that the issue concerned Nagaland and Manipur and the two States should work out a political solution themselves. Meanwhile, several tonnes of foods and essential items are being airlifted to Manipur as the State is completely cut off from the mainland. The price of a cylinder of cooking gas has shot up to Rs 700 while a litre of petrol costs Rs 80. Life saving drugs and medicines are also being flown to Imphal from Guwahati with the help of Assam Rifles and the Indian Air Force.
Around 1,000 trucks have ferried essential supplies to Manipur under police protection since the blockade was imposed. Manipur has been cut from the rest of the country since the blockade began. The Imphal-Guwahati NH 39 and Imphal-Silchar NH 53 are completely deserted since the starting of the blockade. Naga student's body ANSAM launched their economic blockade against Manipur government's decision to declare June 18 as a holiday to observe "state integrity day."
Meanwhile, the United Committee, Manipur, UCM has announced that it would launch a democratic people s movement from August 14 onwards if the State Government fails to end the ANSAM-sponsored economic blockade by August 13 next.
UCM organisation secretary, Yumnamcha Dilipkumar, charged the Government of not making sincere efforts to bring an end to the blockade. (ANI)
ULFA terror run continues Our Bureau Sentinel
JORHAT/DIBRUGARH/TINSUKIA/ GUWAHATI CHHAYGAON, Aug 8: With barely a week left for the Independence Day, the proscribed ULFA continued its terror run for the third consecutive day today by triggering multiple blasts at many places in the State. A major catastrophe was averted today when security personnel defused an electronic timer device in the heart Jorhat, minutes before it was set to go off. The bomb was planted near a drain which ran across the boundary all of the Jorhat Government Girls HS & MP School near the busy Barua Chariali traffic point. The classes were on when the bomb was discovered around noon. The police immediately cordoned off the area and called out the bomb disposal squad which neutralized the timber device at around 2.25 pm just a couple of minutes before it was set to explode. One detonator, four cells and half a kilogram of RDX were recovered along with a timber from the spot. Bomb expert GK Kachari, who defused the timber device, said that the incendiary device was powerful enough to rattle a 100-metre radius. The casualty would have been the maximum had the bomb gone off.
Meanwhile, the police said that it was the handiwork of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom. In another major offensive late last night, suspected ULFA militants triggered two IED blasts in the Pulibor area of the State’s cultural capital, partially damaging two transformers, one in front of Chirotia Gaon and the other at Deka Gaon. Power supply to about 400-500 consumers has been affected as a result of the blasts last night. 21 people have been picked up for interrogation in this connection. In another incident late last night, suspected ULFA militants blew off a 8 inch gas pipeline of the Assam Gas Company passing through Panitola TE, 22 km from the outfits’ ‘c-in-c’ Paresh Baruah’s ancestral home in Tinsukia. Consumer gas supply to Domdooma came to a halt as a result of the blast. AGC workers hope to restore the supply by tomorrow. A couple of blasts also rocked Lankashi and Tejigaon (Kakopathar) in the district. The Tejigaon blast took place around 12.30 pm today. No casualties have been reported from anywhere so far.
Meanwhile talking to The Sentinel, DGM, OIL, Gyanendra Kumar Talukdar said that workers are trying their best to restore the gas supply to NEEPCO, Kothalgoorie, which was disrupted after a pipeline was blown off near Duliajan yesterday. Sources said that the whole of upper Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh would plunge into darkness if the restoration work is not completed by tomorrow. In another attack twin blasts rattled the ASEB control room at Narengi in the city today around 7 pm. Details are awaited. Meanwhile, a massive manhunt has been launched by security forces in the Boko region after the powerful blast at Boko Bazar yesterday in which three persons were killed and 14 others injured. State Home Minister Rokibul Hussain visited the blast site and the family members of the victims this afternoon. Local public organized a rally followed by a silent procession today to protest against insurgency.
ULFA denies hand in Boko blast By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 8: The banned United Liberation Front of Asom has denied its hand in the Boko blast in which three persons were killed and twelve others injured yesterday. In a telephonic conversation with The Sentinel today, a man identifying himself as the ‘c-in-c’ of the outfit, Paresh Barua, denied any involvement of his organization in the Boko blast and stated that "killing of innocent people is not our objective."
Expressing deep sympathy for the bereaved families, Barua alleged that the ‘agents’ of the ‘Indian occupational force’ always lay the blame on the ULFA for homicidal violence in order to besmirch its image. On the other hand, the self-styled ULFA supremo claimed responsibility for several explosions and ambushes triggered across the State recently. The Sivasagar ONGC pipeline blast, the gas pipeline blasts at Duliajan and Makum, the ambuscade on CRPF personnel in Tinsukia and Udalguri etc were accomplished by ULFA, acknowledged the ‘chief’. He further said that the ‘occupying forces’ have been going all out in their propaganda war to neutralize the successful operations of ULFA. Describing August 15 as meaningless for the people of Assam, Barua said that the State has been subjugated and the people deprived of their rights by the Indian machinery. The ‘chairman’ of the outfit, Arabinda Rajkhowa has also denied any hand of the outfit behind the yesterday’s blast at Boko. In a release sent to the press, Rajkhowa said that the outfit had no intent to attack public places and kill innocent people. "The Boko blast is a handiwork of the unified command structure," he alleged.



Frans on 08.09.05 @ 12:10 AM CST [link]


Sunday, August 7th

Firing reported near NH 39 in Manipur


Firing reported near NH 39 in Manipur NDTV Correspondent

,(Imphal): A day after the Centre decided to airlift essential supplies to Manipur, things seem to have eased a bit in the state. The Manipur police today managed to send a convoy carrying essential supplies for the state. There are also reports of firing at Senapati district in Manipur, a Naga-inhabited area near National Highway 39 that connects Imphal to the rest of the North East. Reports suggest that there was a crossfire between Manipur forces and Naga groups.

Grave situation The state has been hit by a six-week-old economic blockade by a Naga group. The price of a cylinder of cooking gas has shot up to Rs 700 while a litre of petrol costs Rs 80. After acknowledging the gravity of the situation, the Home ministry airlifted 45 tonnes of essential items to Imphal. Rajeev Aggarwal, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, said the government has made arrangements to airlift essential commodities to Manipur with the help of Assam Rifles.
"The state government has been advised to distribute the material to areas facing shortage," Aggarwal said. He said though there were no serious complaints of shortage of medicines, life saving drugs and medicines were being sent.

Long standoff Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh has said the blockade of the national highways since June 22 by the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) may end soon. After a long standoff, ANSAM has finally started negotiating with the Manipur government's delegation. Ibobi Singh added that the two sides were now close to a breakthrough. "It's a very sensitive issue, but we are very close now," he said.

Bigger crisis Despite the Chief Minister's optimism that talks with the Naga students are making headway, the Centre feels it is now time to intervene. The centre has convened a meeting of top officials from Manipur, Nagaland and Assam to review the blockade. The restraint against coming down heavily on the blockade stems largely from an apprehension that it could trigger off a bigger crisis. It could rekindle the demand for Greater Nagaland, which envisages carving out areas from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Exercising restraint The police and security forces have also been cautious in their handling of the situation and have opened a new highway route. "It is not as if we have surrendered. We are continuing to bring in our supplies and move convoys when we require. We have moved five convoys recently," said A K Parashar, Director General of Police, Manipur. While the state government claims there is no problem, a queue more than a kilometre-long at a petrol station conveys a different picture. Naga student's body, the ANSAM launched its economic blockade on June 22 - of the Imphal-Guwahati NH 39 and Imphal-Silchar NH 53 - to protest against the Manipur government's decision to declare June 18 as a holiday to observe "state integrity day."
Zeliangrong bodies ask SF to behave on NH-53 Sangai Express Newmai News Network
Dimapur, Aug 6 : The Zeliangrong Union (ZU) and All Zeliangrong Students' Union (AZSU) of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland have warned of dire consequences if the security forces deployed along National Highway-53 in Tamenglong district continue to harass the general public. The ZU informed Newmai News Network that it welcomes the deployment of security forces along NH-53 but expressed displeasure over the manner in which the security personnel incon- venience the general public in the area. The AZSU alleged that villagers living in Tamenglong district particularly those living along NH-53 have been used as forced labourers by the security forces in clearing jungles and other hard works without paying any wages. AZSU leader Ningthao-dai charged that earlier passenger buses coming from Imphal used to reach Tamenglong latest by 2 pm but these days the vehicles reach the district headquarters after dusk causing immense hardships to the people. The ZU alleged that 13 security check posts have been put up between Imphal and Tamenglong adding that there was no need for that number of check posts and termed it as an “unnecessary exercise”.
The ZU asked “Is the Government trying to sensitize the Nagas of Tamenglong district since the demand of the Nagas is on the offing?”
Side by side, the AZSU leader Ningthaodai stated that they were fighting the Government of Manipur and not the Central Government so “why deploy Central forces to counter the economic blockade.”
Hurling a volley of allegations, the ZU charged that during the Kuki-Naga ethnic clashes in the early 90's no security force was deployed for the safety of the general public along NH-53. But today to counter the economic blockade imposed by the Naga students maximum security forces have been deployed as if there have been revolutions/wars along the two national highways.” The ZU said that deployment of security forces would not solve the problems but rather it would create counter forces as “for every action there is equal and opposite reaction.” The ZU urged various social organisations based in the Manipur valley to study minutely with regard to the intention of the Manipur Government saying that it doubt whether the State Government is genuinely interested in solving the present imbroglio.
“Is the State Government for creating more problems so that the word ‘dis’ to be added as prefix to the word ‘integrity’, asked the ZU statement.
Succour drops from the sky Eight cargo planes bring in 40 tonnes of essential commodities By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Aug 6 : Following the assurances of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on the floor of the Lok Sabha two days back that essential commodities would be air lifted to help the people cope with the crippling economic blockade, four cargo planes carrying 40 tonnes of essential commodities landed at the Tulihal airport from Guwahati today morning. Each plane took two sorties each to transport the 40 tonnes of essential commodities. The planes belonging to the Indian Air Force were pressed into service at the instructions of the Union Home Ministry through the DG of Assam Rifles.
The commodities transported by four AN-32 cargo planes included 20 tonnes of sugar, ten tonnes of lentils, ten tonnes of edible oil and life saving drugs. The cargo planes touched down at the Tulihal airport today at 9.30 am and the goods were then loaded onto trucks of the Food and Civil Supplies Department and were later taken to the FCS godown at Sangaiprou. A well placed source said that the air shipment today is not the final adding that essential goods will be air lifted regularly by the Indian Air Force till such time that the State has enough stock of essential commodities to last a month.
Speaking to the press, FCS Director, Ph Ratan said that the four cargo planes of the Indian Air Force lifted the essential commodities from Guwahati at the instructions of the Union Home Ministry through the DG of Assam Rifles.
The goods will be kept at the FCS godown for the moment, said the Director and added that the same will be allotted to the respective DCs to be distributed to the people later. To a question from the media, the Director said that this is the first time that essential commodities have been air lifted to Manipur. The Director also admitted that he does not have any idea whether there will be any such exercise in the future or not. Ratan also said that he does not know when the next consignments will arrive. Each cargo plane could cary five tons of goods per flight. Each of the four plane had to sortie twice to take the total weight of the goods transported to 40 tonnes today.
Following today's exercise, the Indian Air Force and the Food Corporation of India have agreed to co-operate and help each other out. Meanwhile, an official source informed that ever since the economic blockade was enforced, not a single grain of rice or sugar has been lifted from the FCI godown at Dimapur. This is because an underground outfit had demanded a sum of Rs 10 lakhs from the godown, added the source. The official source added that 50 FCI trucks loaded with rice and other items are expected to reach Imphal tomorrow from Guwahati. The Executive Director of FCI, New Delhi; Senior Regional Manager, FCI, Dimapur and the Regional Manager visited Imphal a few days back, said the source and added that the main purpose of the visit was to discuss the possibility of lifting the State's share from the FCI godown at Silchar instead of Dimapur. Jiribam also has one FCS godown.
UCM dangles stir threat By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Aug 6 : Besides accusing the ANSAM and NSF of making money on the sly from the economic blockade, the United Committee Manipur has warned that it would launch intense agitation if the blockade impasse lingers. speaking to reporters at the Kekrupat office this evening, UCM secretary organisation Yumnamcha Dilipkumar demanded that State Government take and declare its definite stand on the ANSAM agitation within August 13 failing which the body would start democratic movement from the very next day. Compiling records of damages to public properties during the course of the ANSAM agitation including torching of goods carriers and dislocation of Irang Bridge, the secretary said their is no way ANSAM should not be declared as an unlawful organisation. Referring to the recent High Court ruling against the blockade, he further questioned what is holding back the Central and State Governments from dealing with the situation appropriately.
Declaring that the blockade is partisan, Dilipkumar accused the NSF and DESAM activists of levying large sums of money per vehicle for permission to pass through blockade strongholds. These permitted vehicles shift the loads at Kalapahar Ground and the fresh trucks after coughing up Rs 1000 each proceeds towards IT Road and kangpokpi, charged the UCM secretary. Dilipkumar further said that a good number of organisations and individuals have urged them not to treat the issue with kid gloves but to act tough. UCM also appreciates the Central Government for finally realising the gravity of the situation and deciding to airlift essential commodities, said the secretary. He, nevertheless, hastened to question how long the Govt of India will carry on with the task of air lifting goods if the blockade impasse remains unsolved. Expressing strong resentment at the failure of the State Govt to end the blockade which has completed over 45 days dilipkumar contended that ANSAM and NSCN (IM) are liable to replenish dent to the State exchequer in sustaining food supply. He also suggested seeking compensation from the Central Government as the other alternative source to make up for losses incurred by the State Government in procuring food items with additional deployment of security force personnel. Asserting that UCM cannot remain a silent spectator when the common people are facing severe hardships, he said such prevailing circumstances had compelled the body to resort to the proposed agitation.
Delhi may discuss blockade with SPF Sangai Express
New Delhi, Aug 6 : The Centre is likely to do some tough talking with Manipur Government over the continued economic blockade of National Highway 39 by a Naga outfit even as essential commodities to the State have been airlifted by Indian Airlines and Indian Air Force. Highly-placed sources said Home Secretary VK Duggal is expected to visit the State next week and express Centre’s concerns over the continued blockade by All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) since June 20.
The sources said Duggal has also called Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur next week to review the situation arising out of the blockade. The Centre has received a report from State Governor SS Sidhu in which he had made a veiled attack on the decision of the State Government to declare June 18 as a State holiday to mark “Integration Day” and remarked that “the crisis could have been avoided.”
The Ibobi Singh Government had declared the day as a State holiday last year in memory of 14 people who were killed in “integrity agitation” of June 2001 in Imphal. Joint Secretary in Union Home Ministry Rajeev Agarwal today told reporters that the State Government was already holding talks with the agitating students and “if necessary, the Centre will also hold talks.”
He said while the NH-39 continued to be blocked, the Centre, with the help of Border Roads Organisation, had opened NH-53 to facilitate essential commodities like petrol, gas and medicine to reach Manipur. Agarwal said more than 1000 truck carrying petroleum products and food grains have reached Manipur through National Highway-53. Asked whether there was some shortage of essential drugs, he said “the State has informed us that while there was no short supply of generic drugs, there was a scarcity of branded drugs, which have been now airlifted through Indian Airlines.”
The Joint Secretary, while admitting of short supplies of some essential commodities, said “there is no report of human misery.”
He said the Centre was also keenly monitoring the talks between the ANSAM and the State Government and was also hopeful that some solution would emerge soon. Agarwal said three air sorties had been made by Indian Air Force from Guwahati to Imphal today with 45 tonnes of essential items. PTI
Centre to discuss blockade issue with Manipur
NEW DELHI, Aug 6 – The Centre is likely to do some tough talking with Manipur Government over the continued economic blockade of National Highway 39 by a Naga outfit even as essential commodities to the State have been airlifted by Indian Airlines and Indian Air Force. Highly-placed sources said Home Secertary VK Duggal is expected to visit the State next week and express the Centre’s concerns over the continued blockade by All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) since June 20.
The sources said Duggal has also called Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur next week to review the situation arising out of the blockade.
The Centre has received a report from state Governor SS Sidhu in which he had made a veiled attack on the decision of the State Government to declare June 18 as a state holiday to mark ‘Integration Day’ and remarked that ‘the crisis could have been avoided’. The Ibobi Singh Government had declared the day as a state holiday last year in memory of 14 people who were killed in ‘integrity agitation’ of June 2001 in Imphal. Joint Secretary in Union Home Ministry Rajeev Agarwal today told reporters that the State Government was already holding talks with the agitating students and “if necessary, the Centre will also hold talks”.
He said while the NH-39 continued to be blocked, the Centre, with the help of Border Roads Organisation, had opened NH-53 to facilitate essential commodities like petrol, gas and medicine to reach Manipur. Agarwal said more than 1000 trucks carrying petroleum products and foodgrains have reached Manipur through National Highway-53.
Asked whether there was some shortage of essential drugs, he said: “The State has infomed us that while there was no short supply of generic drugs, there was a scarcity of branded drugs, which have been now airlifted through Indian Airlines.” The Joint Secretary, while admitting of short supplies of some essential commodities, said “there is no report of human misery”.
He said the Centre was also keenly monitoring the talks between the ANSAM and the State Government and was also hopeful that some solution would emerge soon.
Agarwal said three air sorties had been made by Indian Air Force from Guwahati to Imphal today with 45 tonnes of essential items. – PTI
I-Day run-up faces hiccupsBlast in city, one hurt By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 6: Suspected ULFA militants triggered a blast in the busy Paltanbazar area of the city at 5.30 p.m. today. A person sustained minor injuries in the explosion of the programmed time device (PTD). According to police, the bomb went off at the taxi stand which is attached to the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) bus stand and the Guwahati Railway Station. Eye witnesses said that an unclaimed school bag was seen in the area about half-an-hour before the blast. After informing the bomb disposal squad, the police cleared off the area by evacuating the people and removing the taxis from the stand. But the bomb went off before the squad’s arrival.Talking to The Sentinel Guwahati SSP Vijay Krishna Ramisethi said that security has been tightened in the city. "Had the police not evacuated the people, the casualty would have been higher," he added.
Target DGP office, VIPs: ULFA By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 6: Once again intent on welcoming the Independence Day in its brand and style, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has planned to carry out a series of subversive activities throughout the State. In a message intercepted by the Meghalaya Police Intelligence, it has come to light that one Ranjit Hazarika, a senior leader of the outfit’s 109 battalion operational in lower Assam, has been directed to launch attacks in Guwahati, Nagaon and Mankachar from August 7. Significantly, he has been asked to target the DGP office located at Ulubari in the city.
Hazarika has also been directed to target VIPs. According to sources, the ULFA might plant bombs in the buses parked alongside the roads, specially those parked nearby the DGP office.
Meanwhile, a red alert has been sounded throughout the State and security measures have been beefed up. In most of the districts, high-level security meetings of the army, para-military, police, senior forest, railway, OIL and Telecom officials were called yesterday wherin it was agreed that maximum alert should be maintained in the run up to the Independence Day. Security arrangements in the city have also been tightened. According to sources, the police has intensified its checking of vehicles and patrolling around the city. Security measures have been beefed up around the soft targets like the Sarpara LPG bottling plant, Guwahati railway station, Guwahati Refinery etc. To avert any untoward incident, water-tight security has been arranged in the area covering the office and residence of the DC and SSP. However, it may be mentioned that despite the security cover, the ULFA held a meeting at the Umananda island on July 28 where several top ranking leaders were present. If a confessional statement of arrested ULFA cadre Ramen Medhi is to be believed, then the outfit has amassed 10 time bombs, 10 hand grenade and 10 PTEDs (programmable time explosive device) in the city.
Flogging an immigration lawWITH EYES WIDE OPEND. N. Bezboruah During the last few weeks after the striking down of the IM(DT) Act by the Supreme Court for being a bad and unconstitutional law, there have been quite a few seminars on what the post-Supreme Court-verdict situation could be like and what it ought to be like. Not only is there a lot of unwarranted euphoria over the apex court having struck down the black law, there is also a great deal of naivety in the discussions about how the minorities are likely to react and about how they ought to react to the scenario without the IM(DT) Act. In the first place, most of the speakers never bothered to explain what they meant by the word "minorities". Most of them appeared to make no distinction between the real minorities (who have to be Indian citizens to have that status) and the illegal Bangladeshi migrants who came after March 25, 1971. Besides, how could anyone expect the highly political pro-Bangladesh lobby to behave in a predictable and/or desirable manner or to tell us very honestly what it intends to do in the coming months and years? An element of surprise has been the hallmark of its style of functioning, and it has not spared the people of Assam any mischief in the past two decades and more. Are we then being pragmatic when we expect this lobby to change its spots just because the Supreme Court struck down a very handy (for this lobby) immigration law? The time for us is to keep our mouths shut and our eyes and ears wide open. But no, we have to celebrate a Supreme Court verdict that has scrapped a bad law 22 years after it has done all the harm it could. And yet, ironically enough, I have also heard a few speakers dwell on how mature the Assamese have become now!
This is just one aberration that has enabled the enemies of Assam to get a fairly clear picture about what our intentions are. What is utterly inexplicable is that not even the most educated souls or former MPs seem to have any notion about what the objective of an immigration law is. Most of them probably believe that it has no more than a cosmetic purpose. Or have they been conditioned by 22 years of the IM(DT) Act to believe that any immigration law more purposeful than this utterly useless one is downright Draconian? The objective of an immigration law (for any civilized country) is to control illegal immigration. Ironically enough, it is countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, largely populated and governed by immigrants, that are the strictest of all about implementing their immigration policies through their immigration laws. For most of them, the immigration policy is that immigration in those countries has reached saturation levels, and therefore they will allow only very limited legal immigration and exercise their choice in taking in only such people who are likely to be assets to the nation in question. Immigration laws of most civilized countries are ruthless and very unkind to illegal migrants. This is my perception of the objective of immigration laws of civilized countries after looking at 40 such immigration laws. There is no denying that the objective of keeping out all illegal migrants has failed in many civilized countries. Even in the US, there is illegal immigration from Mexico and Cuba, but every effort is made to keep out illegal immigrants. But there is no immigration law like the IM(DT) Act that actually protects the illegal migrant and makes it virtually impossible for such illegal migrants to be thrown out. Most other countries that have problems of illegal immigration do not have concerted attempts by their neighbours to annex a part of the country. We do. Our politicians know it, but pretend that they do not. And that is our real danger: that our real enemies should be our own politicians.
Given the objective for immigration laws, there is just no scope for them to be kind or humane. If we are looking for kind or humane immigration laws or laws that will help add to illegal vote banks, we might as well not have immigration laws, border fencing and the Border Security Force at such expense. We might as well leave our borders unattended and let people from the poorest of poor countries flock here. We can claim exclusive rights to humanitarian considerations and let our land be taken over. But as I said earlier, I have not come across a single civilized immigration law that is kind or humane. It is not the business of immigration laws to be so, just as it is not the business of the law for rape to be humane to the rapist. This is why it amazes me to hear former MPs make an appeal for humanitarian considerations in the matter of reintroducing the Foreigners Act in Assam. The question is: what humanitarian considerations? Assam has already made very generous humanitarian considerations in extending the cut-off date for accepting migrants from Pakistan or erstwhile Pakistan to March 25, 1971. Under Article 6 of the Indian Constitution, this cut-off date is July 19, 1948 for the rest of the country. In other words, we have extended the cut-off date for the same kind of migrants by almost 23 years. Is that not adequate human consideration for just one Indian State? Or must we extend this human consideration to the point where annexing Assam and the Northeast to Bangladesh becomes a cakewalk? Is it at all proper that our former MPs should be airing such anti-national proposals?
There are others who seek some form of protection of the so-called minorities in our immigration law. Now that the Foreigners Act is back, they want a device to bring in a measure of the protection that the IM(DT) Act was providing to the illegal migrants generally also referred to as the minorities. I confess I have never heard of anything more preposterous in my three score and eleven years. Nowhere else in the world are nations as obsessed with the minorities as we are. They are there with the majority and their rights are protected as well as the rights of the majority. No one gives them more rights in a democracy than the majority, since that would amount to a negation of the democratic principle. We do. We also give the word "minority" a special meaning that has to do with one religion alone, regardless of nationality. Anyway, if the minorities feel insecure in just one Indian State to the exclusion of the others, there can be a special law to protect their rights. But a nation does not go about enacting a new immigration law for just one State for the purpose of protecting the minorities. It is just not the function of an immigration law. All said and done, therefore, our lawmakers have nursed the most fantastic expectations of an immigration law and flogged it needlessly just because they were not sure of what the immigration law of the land was supposed to do. And by having a second immigration law for Assam alone they were sabotaging the first immigration law. After all, if there is a single State in the country from which an illegal migrant cannot be expelled, it encourages illegal migrants to rush to the other States as well. This is because when there is a crackdown against illegal migrants in the other States, all that the illegal migrants have to do is to go to the State with a lax law, stay there until the crackdown gets over, and then get back to the State they had initially sneaked into illegally. One can only hope that our lawmakers have learnt their lesson, and that there will be no further attempts to flog the immigration law in order to protect the minorities.
While on the subject, it is perhaps worth reminding the people of Assam that the NDA Government had so amended the citizenship law for Assam that it now gives citizenship rights to the children of even those illegal migrants who came to Assam up to 2004! So what the Supreme Court did in the matter of striking down the IM(DT) Act will come to nought if we have a citizenship law that completely undoes the force of the immigration law (the Foreigners Act of 1946 now) and the Assam Accord taken together. Soon after the Supreme Court had struck down the IM(DT) Act, I had said that there was no cause for euphoria since we had won only a small battle. These aberrations of our unthinking lawmakers (including those of the NDA) have left many more battles to be fought and won to save Assam and the Northeast. The time to get ready for more legal battles against a mischievous citizenship law is now - while the iron is still hot after the apex court’s verdict on the IM(DT) Act. But more about all this later.


Frans on 08.07.05 @ 02:54 PM CST [link]


Saturday, August 6th

Manipur crisis continues despite Patil's assurance




Manipur crisis continues despite Patil's assurance



Imphal, Aug 5 (IANS) Manipur's people are seething with anger as they accuse New Delhi of ignoring a 45-day highway blockade that has triggered an acute shortage of essentials, medicines, cooking gas cylinders and fuel. The state of 2.4 million people, bordering Myanmar, is virtually under siege with the Nagas holding Manipur to ransom since June 20 by calling an indefinite economic blockade.
"The patience of the people is being tested to such an extent that very soon violence might erupt with commoners like us taking the law into our own hands," warned youth leader Dhiren Singh in the state capital Imphal.
"Only if the state goes up in flames will the central government react. Otherwise New Delhi will remain silent and do nothing to break the deadlock," Singh told IANS. A litre of petrol is selling anything between Rs.75 and Rs.85 and that too is not easily available. A cooking gas cylinder is being sold for a whopping Rs.750, as against the usual price of between Rs.280 and Rs.290. The National Highways 39 and 53, the two arterial land routes through which Manipur gets supplies of essentials from outside the state, mainly from Assam, have remained blocked with truckers refusing to ply their vehicles for fear of attacks by supporters of the blockade.
Under pressure from the opposition, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil Thursday told parliament that all steps would be taken to ensure that supplies of essentials reached Manipur immediately.

"Why could the central government not take this step of ensuring supplies to Manipur before? Does it require political intervention to react? Why does New Delhi take so long to react," asked T. Brajeshwar, a community elder. Despite Patil's announcement, there are no immediate indications for an end to the impasse until Friday afternoon with army and paramilitary authorities yet to get any official instructions to clear highways. The All Naga Students' Association of Manipur (ANSAM) had called the economic blockade, preventing trucks carrying essentials and other supplies from entering Manipur. All vehicles from the rest of India have to pass through Nagaland and Assam to reach Manipur. There is also a strong presence of Nagas along the highway linking Manipur via Assam.

The blockade by ANSAM was to protest Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh's decision to declare June 18 as State Integration Day and a holiday to mark a mass uprising by the majority Meitei community four years back. At least 20 people were killed and hundreds wounded on that day in 2001 during a protest against the central government's decision to extend a ceasefire with the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) beyond Nagaland and to cover Manipur. New Delhi later revoked the ceasefire extension directive. Chief Minister Singh's announcement irked Nagas as they say the decision was against the wishes of the tribal people who are keen on accepting the NSCN-IM proposal for merging Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur into a proposed "Greater Nagaland".

There are some 500,000 Nagas in four districts of Manipur.Attempts by the Manipur government to break the blockade failed in recent weeks with the central government virtually directing army and paramilitary soldiers not to use force while trying to clear the highways.This has been seen as an attempt to appease the NSCN-IM with whom a ceasefire has been on since August 1997. [Syed Zarir Hussain]



All Naga Students'' Association of Manipur (ANSAM) running a blockade .... AUGUST5 Manipur is at a standstill. It is now a state that has been under siege for more than six weeks with the All Naga Students'' Association of Manipur (ANSAM) running a blockade on NH-39 and NH-53, the two lifelines of the state. Many would blame Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh for the mess. It was his government's announcement of making June 18 the State Integration Day and a holiday to commemorate the popular uprising by the Meiteis that day four years ago, it was to commemorate the sacrifices made by 18 youth in an agitation to press for withdrawal of extension of the ceasefire with NSCN(IM) to the state in 2001.

This declaration triggered off the ANSAM blockade, it began on the midnight of June 19. The ANSAM's point is that the state government's declaration goes against the “spirit'''' of the demand for integration of Naga areas. The Nagas are all backing the NSCN(IM) idea of integration of all Naga-inhabited areas, whether in Assam, Manipur or even beyond the Indo-Myanmar border.

“It's the duty of the state government to ensure that the highways are free but he has miserably failed. It amounts to violation of the basic rights of the common man,'''' fumes Chaoba Singh, a former Union minister, who now heads the state unit of the BJP. All efforts to reopen traffic on NH-39, that links Manipur with the rest of India through Nagaland, have failed miserably with the Manipur Chief Minister failing to convince his Nagaland counterpart, Neiphiu Rio, to help him out. The two in fact ended up in a blame game with Rio reportedly justifying the solidarity extended by various Nagaland-based NGOs to the ANSAM bandh as a “brotherly gesture to the Nagas''''.

With NH-39, that links Manipur with Assam through Nagaland, remaining blocked since June 19, movement of essential items, foodstuff, fuel, life-saving medicines etc, has stopped. On any normal day, at least 400 trucks ply between Assam and Manipur. The other highway, NH-53, that links Manipur with Guwahati via Meghalaya and the Barak Valley in south Assam, however, was first opened after large-scale deployment of troops on July 18, to be closed again within 24 hours as suspected NSCN(IM) cadres damaged a vital bridge on the Irang river, about 120 km from here, by using a gas welding device. [Kiran Chaube, indiadaily]



NSF flays IRB action

KOHIMA, Aug 5: The Naga Students' Federation (NSF) today condemned the Indian Reserved Battalion's (IRB) ''provocative actions'' against the student volunteers, who were enforcing economic blockade on NH 39. In a release, issued by NSF vice-president Imchatoba Imchen and social and cultural secretary Worthing Horam, said the Nagas' ''struggle to defend their birthrights cannot be crushed by any brute force''.It said the IRB personnel, who are also Nagas, acted more like enemy.

Maintaining that it was pointless to confront fellow Naga brothers and sisters, the NSF said the IRB action was trying to save their ''selfish positions'' at the cost of Nagas by ''exploiting their ignorance.'' Regarding the blockade, it said the volunteers have only been showing their resentment through democratic means against the ''oppressors'' and also to express solidarity with the fellow southern nagas whose birthrights were being threatened by the Manipur government. The NSF also questioned the seriousness and commitment of the Nagaland government on the Naga integrity issue in the wake of its contradictory actions. It appealed to the Naga police personnel to exercise self-restraint and cooperate with it for the cause of the Naga children.

UNI

India airlifts food, medicines to blockaded Manipur

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - India airlifted tonnes of food and medicines on Saturday to the remote northeastern state of Manipur where tribesmen campaigning for a separate homeland have blocked roads and cut off supplies for nearly two months.

Naga tribesmen living in Manipur began the blockade on June 19, leading to a severe shortage of food and fuel in the state's capital Imphal.

The Nagas are demanding that all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast be united in a "Greater Nagaland". A third of the three million-strong tribe live in Manipur and two other northeastern states, and the rest in neighbouring Nagaland.

Manipuris strongly oppose the division of their state.

On Saturday, four Indian Air Force (IAF) cargo planes brought about 40 tonnes of medicines, edible oil, sugar, pulses and other supplies to Imphal after the state sought federal help, a senior official said.

"The air force carried out a civic action at the request of the civil authorities and under instructions from New Delhi," an IAF official told Reuters.

Eyewitnesses said hundreds of soldiers in full combat gear surrounded the airport as flights landed and handed over the consignments to civil officials.

Hundreds of goods-laden trucks are stranded on Manipur's highways and a fuel shortage has caused long queues in several parts of the state.

Naga tribesmen have intensified their blockade despite the fact that leaders of a rebel group -- the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) -- and Indian officials extended a seven-year-long ceasefire by another six months last weekend.

"Our movement will continue till our main demand in resolved," said Paul Langhu, chief of a Naga students' union that heads the agitation in Manipur.

The Nagas have been fighting for freedom since 1947, when India got independence from Britain.

More than 20,000 people have died in nearly 60 years of Naga insurgency before the ceasefire came into effect in 1997.

Manipur echo in Nagaland OUR BUREAU the telegraph

Kohima/Imphal, Aug. 4: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio is facing the same predicament as his Manipur counterpart following a clash between police and students early this morning. Continuing protests against the decision of the Manipur government to declare June 18 as state integration day, nearly 40 activists of the Naga Students Federation enforced a blockade on National Highway 39. The activists pelted stones on a convoy of 30 goods-laden trucks, shattering the windshields near Phesama checkgate and damaged a police vehicle. An argument ensued between the police and students in which two students were held.

The trucks from Assam were provided security escorts by Nagaland and Manipur police. The police said a jawan of the Indian Reserve Battalion was injured when a stone hit him in the head. The students alleged that IRB jawans assaulted one of their activists who fell into a nullah. “This government is playing a double game to remain in power,” said NSF president Phushika Awomi. Awomi said the IRB had assaulted the NSF “volunteers”. The police, however, did not agree. Kohima superintendent of police Martin Pienyü said his men were exercising restraint and did not even take action against the students who were throwing stones. “We found 10 petrol bombs and catapults,” he said. Drivers said they faced trouble at several places inside Nagaland and Senapati district of Manipur. The IRB personnel reportedly fired in the air while the convoy was passing through Senapati district to scare away blockade supporters who hurled stones at the passing trucks.

The Nagaland government is keeping silent on the issue. Though Rio has promised adequate security to the truckers, there have been no words of advice for the students. The Nagaland chief minister has instead accused the Okram Ibobi Singh government of treating the minority communities in a stepmotherly manner. The Naga Hoho has extended unequivocal support to the NSF’s economic blockade as the issue has turned into one for demand of integration of Naga areas. The NSCN (I-M) claimed it was not involved in the blockade but has extended “moral” support to the All Naga Students Association of Manipur and the NSF. Home minister Thenucho was unavailable for comment.

SUDDEN DISQUIET: BLOCKADE, MANIPUR

In Manipur, it’s either the militants’ way or the national highway Blockade by Naga students forced CM to ask Army to clear it, no sign of more forces despite assurances from Home Minister in Parliament IMPHAL, AUGUST 5: Twenty-four hours after

Home Minister Shivraj Patil announced in Parliament that security forces have been asked to end the blockade of the national highways in the state, Manipur was still waiting. In fact, the Government’s indifference can be gauged from the fact that NH-53, believe it or not, has been under the control of various underground outfits for over seven years. Ask any Army officer about how the security forces finally ‘recovered’ and reopened NH-53 that links Imphal with the rest of India — via Assam’s Barak Valley and Meghalaya — from the grip of militant groups, you get a chilling account. The security forces in Manipur, where there are over 20 different underground armed outfits, have no hesitation to admit this fact. ‘‘The NH-53, from Jiribam to Kaiphundi, had been under underground domination for over seven years,’’ says Maj Gen GG Dwivedi, GOC of the 57 Mountain Division engaged in counter-insurgency operations here. The question that no one is willing to answer is why no action was taken for such a long time. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), a wing of the Army that was supposed to maintain the 225-km stretch between Imphal and Jiribam, had stopped work when a superintending engineer and several other personnel were kidnapped by militants in October last year. That had made the Army admit that ‘‘the fear of extortion and kidnapping had prevented construction activities on this vital lifeline.’’

But it was only when the All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ANSAM) launched an economic blockade on the two highways — NH-39 and NH-53 — on June 19 that everybody woke up to consider reopening of NH-53. And that too happened only when Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh found that it was not easy to ensure safe passage of traffic on NH-39, which links the state with Assam through Nagaland, because various groups in Nagaland had already extended their support to the ANSAM blockade. So, he had to make a formal request to security forces to clear NH-53. It took three days for the Army to clear the 21-km stretch between Jiribam and Kaiphundi, during which at least 15 IEDs were neutralized. That the highway was under the ‘control’ of the NSCN(IM) — which is supposed to keep its cadres in designated camps under the ceasefire ground rules — is clear from a statement made on July 26 by Brigadier J P Alex, commanding a brigade in the area. He claimed his troops had ‘‘pushed back’’ the NSCN(IM) cadres from the Keithelmanbi-Oinamlong stretch with no casualties on either side.

Brig SS Rana of the 57 Artillery Brigade too has claimed to have ‘‘pushed back’’ cadres of the NSCN(K) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF) from a 40-km stretch between Jiribam and Kaiphundi, neutralizing 49 IEDs on the route. Similarly, Assam Rifles has said it had smashed an NSCN(IM) hideout located about 30 km from its operational HQ at Nungba. Thanks to pressure from the Chief Minister, the security forces have now set up 15 new posts along the 225-km stretch of NH-53 between Imphal and Jiribam. ‘‘With the BRO pressing into service over 500 labourers and the Army and Assam Rifles extending support, NH-53 is now free from the grip of militants,’’ says Lt Col S D Goswami, Defence PRO here. Even before the present operation to clear NH-53, the Army was operational in three of the state’s five hill districts — Churachandpur, Bishenpur and Chandel — taking six months to clear the ‘‘liberated zone’’ declared by the armed rebels. The Army also destroyed 35 IEDs laid along the roads in that operation and claimed that the UNLF had suffered a lot in this operation. Also cleared was Henglep, a town that was under siege of another outfit, MPLF, for six years. Such was the situation that the administration had virtually withdrawn. It was only after the Army cleared the ‘‘siege’’ that the administration started functioning.

Same old fiddling The blockade of Manipur defies the idea of an integrated India Regional sensitivities. This is the official reason, proffered by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, as to why the Government of India remained in deep freeze even as Manipur remained under siege for over 40 days. But surely there is nothing particularly new about the simmering tensions in the region over the demand for a Greater Nagaland? Surely it is the job of the home ministry to remain alert to the possibility of these tensions spilling over and creating a situation of breakdown? And surely regional sensitivities cannot be cause for inaction?

Take the current situation caused by the economic blockade of Manipur imposed by the All-Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM). There were several moments in the genesis of this particular stand-off when the Centre could have intervened effectively to tamp down incipient hostilities. It could have, for instance, advised Manipur Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh, not to go ahead with his spectacularly misguided project of announcing June 18 as ‘state integration day’. How can the official government of a state be allowed to actually celebrate a moment in its history when the legislative assembly was torched in the name of regional pride? This is a foolhardy attempt to play with the emotions of the people, on both sides of the divide. There must, after all, be a more benign way for the Meities to convey their disquiet over the Naga peace process.

Then, again, once the blockade occurred, the Centre should have been swift in dismantling it before the ANSAM dug itself in. Now other disgruntled interests, like the Kukis, have also discovered how useful a blockade can be, and are threatening to follow suit. It was with great difficulty that the army could finally secure NH-53, connecting Imphal with Guwahati. If action had been taken promptly, the situation could have been under control by now and Manipur’s citizens could have been spared their present ordeal. The blockade of Manipur defies the idea of an integrated India and reveals, once again, the lethargy of the Centre to issues relating to the Northeast.

Naga rebels, government extend ceasefire, doubts linger Indian catholic

New Delhi (ICNS) -- India’s northeastern region seems heading towards grim days after a rebel group in Nagaland and New Delhi managed to extend their 8-year-old truce only for six months. The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and the government have agreed to extend the truce for only six months after it ended on Sunday, July 31. Earlier the two groups extended the truce on a yearly basis after they agreed on a ceasefire. The latest agreement came after a two-day talk in Amsterdam that ended July 30. The two sides then issued a joint statement reaffirming “the need to extend the ceasefire and to intensify the peace process.”

NSCN-IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah represented the Naga group while government’s special emissary K Padmanabhaiah represented India. Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State for Programme Implementation and the leader of the ministerial group negotiating with the NSCN (I-M), was also present in Amsterdam The statement noted that the ceasefire has been extended for six months since the Naga group plans to hold “extensive consultations” with the Naga people who are spread in several states in the region. The NSCN-IM is reportedly unhappy over the Indian government’s failure to address its main demand -- unification of all Naga areas in the region.

The group wants to create a Greater Nagaland or Nagalim, incorporating parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur state where Naga people live in large numbers. The governments of these states have rejected the demand. Manipur faced several days of unrest after non-Naga people protested the Naga plan. The latest round of peace talks began last December after Muviah arrived in India along with his group’s chairman Isak Chisi Swu. Until Muviah left for Amsterdam on July 4, the two sides had held at least 13 rounds of talks. Swu had left in February. Before the Amsterdam talks began, several groups had expressed doubts over the ceasefire extension as the Naga demand for unification deadlocked the negotiations. Now, Muivah has decided not to return to India immediately but go to Bangkok instead, reports the Kolkata-based The Telegraph newspaper. The rebel leaders now plan to hold consultations with various Naga groups in the Thailand capital, before deciding to come to India for further peace talks. The NSCN is the oldest of about 30 rebel groups in the troubled region. Unlike in the past, the ceasefire extension has brought little cheer in Nagaland.

Padmanabhaiah told The Telegraph that the government was willing to extend the ceasefire by another year. “But then the NSCN (I-M) leadership felt that it wanted to consult various shades of Naga opinion. So they said in the first instance they would agree to extend the ceasefire only by six months,” he added. But the developments in Manipur seemed to have upset Muivah. The Nagas of Manipur have blockaded Imphal Valley in protest against the Ibobi Singh government celebrating “state integrity day”. They see it as an affront to their demand for a unified Naga homeland.
Muivah said on telephone from Amsterdam that he had wanted to restrict the ceasefire to only three months. “But the government representatives felt that would be interpreted as a deadline for a solution. There could then be additional problems at the end of three months. However, it is not as if we agreed to six months because of their fears. We wanted to give ourselves enough time for wide-ranging consultations,” he insisted. Muivah said he had told the Indian negotiators that the situation in Manipur “encompasses all Nagas” and not only those living in the hill districts of the state. He suggested that the issue “should be resolved through dialogue but the venue for talks should be New Delhi and not Manipur.”

Earlier, an NSCN-IM leader announced in Dimapur that the outfit is committed to peace and would do whatever it takes to continue the talks. The Naga outfit has also accused the government of violating the agreement by killing several of its cadres in the past few years. An NSCN (IM) statement accused the Central and state security forces of ‘deliberately’ trying to undermine the ceasefire agreement signed in 1997. It also listed the number of its members killed in the past few years in the region.

Governor to inspect NH-53 on Aug 8 IAF to transport 20 tons of essential items including medicines, rice and fuel today By Our Staff Reporter Sangai
IMPHAL, Aug 5 : One day after Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil assured the Lok Sabha that essential commodities may be air lifted to help the people of Manipur cope with the economic blockade, the Indian Air Force is set to transport 40 tonnes of essential commodities to Imphal tomor- row morning. On the other hand, to get a first hand account of the developmental works being taken up along NH-53 by the BRTF, Governor SS Sidhu is set to tour this route on August 8.
Speaking to The Sangai Express a well placed source said that the goods to be brought in by air tomorrow include rice, sugar, lentils, fuel and life saving drugs. The quantity of life saving drugs was tentatively put at 700 kgs. The latest development comes in the wake of a fax message received by Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh yesterday evening, from the Union Home Ministry, to submit a priority list of goods that may be air lifted.
The goods were to be transported today, but due to some factors it was postponed to tomorrow.
The consignment is expected to reach Tulihal airport tomorrow morning at about 8, said the source.
Starting tomorrow, essential commodities will be transported by air to ensure that the State has sufficient stock of essential commodities to last a month. Meanwhile a well placed source said that the Governor will tour NH-53 for an overall review of the law and order situation and the developmental works along this route. The Governor will personally assess the security measures being taken up along this route in the backdrop of the dismantling of the Irang bridge some days back, added the source. He will also study the developmental works being taken up by the BRTF to make this route pliable for goods laden trucks. Giving details, the source said that the Governor will have his lunch at Nungba, spend the night at Jiribam and come back the next day by air to Imphal.
The State Government has also put forward its best foot to complete the work of opening NH-150. The task of opening this highway has been entrusted to the 36 BRTF.
At the moment security cover is given only along a 40 km stretch of the highway from Churachandpur. The developmental work along this stretch is nearing completion.
Efforts are on to deploy more troops beyond this stretch, said the source adding that the State Govt has taken up plans to connect this route with the Jiribam Tipaimukh road, said the source.

Students meet CM
IMPHAL, Aug 5 : A student delegation comprising of AMSU, DESAM and MSF representatives today called on Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh to demand the unconditional release of two student activists arres-ted in connection with the Pebam Chittaranjan Mangang self immolation case. According to MSF president, the CM assured the student delegates of taking up necessary steps to release Khomdram Sanamacha and Lei-shangthem Meiraba at the earliest. The joint student team during their meeting this afternoon also pre-vailed upon the CM to find an early solution to the ANSAM blockade, con-veyed the MSF president.



Flogging a dead horse
It is now more than 40 days since June 18 came and went and while the economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur is still in force, the parties on either side of the June 18 divide seem to have missed out on the all important point. ANSAM has launched its agitation on the premise that the Government should revoke its decision to declare June 18 a State holiday while the other side, such as the United Committee Manipur, has made it clear that the Government should not revoke its decision on June 18. The stand and wisdom taken by either side on the issue is understandable but so far there is nothing to indicate that both sides have actually understood the finer points of the contentious issue at hand. June 18 has come and gone and there is no way that the Government can now revoke its declaration for the simple fact that June 18 has not been included in the Government Gazette of State holidays. This in other word means that the June 18 declaration expired the moment the clock's hand struck 12 O'clock midnight of June 18. This again means that the debate surrounding the June 18 declaration will amount to flogging the dead horse. It would have made matter more clearer if ANSAM had demanded that the State Government should not continue with the status granted on June 18 in the coming years and likewise it would have made sense if the votaries of June 18 declaration had demanded that the State holiday be included in the Government Gazette from next year. It would have made more sense if ANSAM had imposed the economic blockade before June 18, the moment the Chief Minister announced the June 18 declaration in the early part of June. However none of this has happened and this more than makes it clear that the issue may have something much more to do than with the status granted on June 18.
It is but expected of a Government of Manipur to stand by the territorial integrity of Manipur and however much we would like to pillory the Chief Minister for allowing the matter to fester for so long, Mr Okram Ibobi Singh did not commit such a heinous crime as ANSAM would like the world to believe. A Government is there in the first place to protect the interest of the State which it governs and as much as Mr Nephiu Rio will go to protect the interest of Nagaland and the Naga people, we also expect Ibobi Singh to protect the interest of Manipur and the Manipuri people. Our stand on the matter is clear. The debate over June 18 has gone on endlessly and meaninglessly for the fact stands that the status granted on June 18 by the Chief Minister has expired now. There is no point in holding the people to ransom over an issue which is no longer there. Or if the debate is to have any meaning, then the two sides should look beyond 2005 and talk about the coming years and forget about the question of revoking the Government's declaration or not. At the moment, the ice seems to have been broken and we would like both ANSAM and the Government to see where and how a solution can be worked out. The people have suffered long enough.



Manipur to knock UN door NET News Network
Imphal, Aug 6: Forum for Citizen for Security and Essential Commodities (CSEC) will be submitting a charters of memorandum to UN High Commission on Human Rights and others on the rights to food and essential commodities during the present crisis in Manipur. The CSEC in a statement circulated to the media today states during the one day workshop held in Imphal on June 5, deliberating on the situation arising out of the ongoing economic blockades imposed by ANSAM and other civil bodies on two national highways- 39 and 53, the CSEC said guided by objectives to fight scarcity of foods and other essential items, escalation of prices and to discourage all armed or unarmed groups from using the denial of food to any population as a pressure tactics to bargain for any interest groups it had resolved to make recommendations to UN, PMO office, Manipur Governor and Chief Minister, MHRC and Naga civil society. The CSEC in its recommendation to UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food - to apprise on acute scarcity of food and to invite special rapporteur to Manipur during his forthcoming visit to India in August end. As observed by Supreme Court, the CSEC urged Government of India to deal the blockades with urgency, judiciously and effectively and to for providing highway protection force on national highways including improvement of roads, shifting of FCI godown at Dimapur to Jiribam in Manipur, increase trade items and its volumes coming from Myanmar.

The CSEC has also urged state government to take legal action against to those groups blocking flow of food and others items reaching Manipur. The recommendation includes on food, medicines, roads, fertiliser and oil products. On the recommendation to Manipur Human Rights Commission, it had urged to take up the matter and take necessary action for the protection and promotion of the rights to food and others essential items. Lastly it had urged the civil society groups of North East region (particularly Naga society), encompassing ethnic communities, should abstain from using pressure tactics to pursue any form of demand by denying any community of their most basic rights to food and essential items.

Indian Air force plane lands in Manipur NET News Network
Imphal, Aug 6: Eight Indian Air Force cargo plane carrying forty metric tones of food grains touched down at Imphal Tulihal airport today to regulate free flow of essential commodities supply to the people owing to the 49 days old indefinite economic blockades on both national highways by ANSAM. The All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) have been imposing economic blockades for the last one and half months demanding revocation of June 18 holiday described as Manipur Integrity Day by the state government as it hamper to the very idea of integration of Naga inhabited areas into a single administrative units or Greater Nagalim. The state government had declared June 18 as holiday to pay homage to the 18 persons who fell to security bullet while demonstrating for safeguarding territorial integrity of Manipur in the backdrops of NSCN (IM) and GOI cease fire extension to Manipur without territorial limits.

As for the day, the first IAF-AN 32 cargo flight touched down at Tulihal airport at 10.45 am this morning carrying twenty metric tones of sugar from Guwahati. Seven more IAF cargo plane made theirs landing carrying medicines, pulses and edible oils till this evening. The arrangements have been made with instruction from Home Ministry and the ferrying of good done through Director General of Assam Rifles. According to Th.Ratan, director FCS who received the consignment at the airport today said for the food grains received today will be sent to respective DC's of the nine districts for distribution to the people. And for the moment all stocks will be deposited at FCS godown at Sangaiporou. Though he maintained that all food materials received today will be not be sufficient he was hopeful that more flight will be coming. He also added that fifty good laden FCI trucks will be coming in to Imphal latest by tomorrow. It can be mentioned that the airlifting of food items comes in the wake of Home Minister Shivaraj Patil assurances to Lok Sabha that essential commodities will be provided to the people of Manipur to cope economic blockades. Regarding the matter Manipur chief secretary Jarnail Singh received fax messages from Home Ministry yesterday to sort out priority list of items to be airlifted. In the meantime, Manipur governor Dr.Shivender Singh Sidhu will be touring NH-53 on August 8 to oversee the development work taken up BRTF authorities as well as security aspect along Imphal-Jiribam road stretch. He will return to Imphal the next by Imphal-Silchar flight, according to report.

Umananda island seat to ULFA meeting NET News Network
Guwahati, Aug 05: Although security forces are keeping no stone unturned to make any attempt of militant’s to disrupt the forthcoming Independence Day in the state unsuccessful, few startling discoveries about ultra’s movement and strategy have become matter of great concern for the security bosses. Guwahati, the Mecca of security agencies in the state, if reports are to be believed stands most vulnerable to militant’s attack on the eve of I-Day. After the confession of an arrested ULFA cadre Romen Medhi that 10 numbers of PTD, grenades and Time devices have been sneaked into the city to carry out subversive activities, more volatile information have reportedly rocked the city police. On July 28, the proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) had reportedly held a very important strategic meeting in Umananda Island near Guwahati straight under the city’s security noses to chalk out strategies for the forthcoming I-Day. The island is also seat to one the most venerated temple of the state, Umananda Temple. The report gained strength because Romen Medhi during his interrogation reveled that ULFA’s self styled Lieutenant Biju Chakraborty was also present in the city during that period along with his sister Tulika Medhi another hardcore cadre of the outfit.

As a consequence of the meeting, elaborate security arrangement has been made in and around vital installations in the city including Deputy Commissioners Office, Deputy Commissioner’s residence and Senior Superintendent of Police residence. An intercepted message in Meghalaya also indicates that a ULFA group under the leadership of Ranjit Hazarika of dreaded 109 Battalion is planning to carry out subversive activities in Guwahati, Nagaon and Mancachar area bordering west Garo Hills in Meghalaya. The militants are suspected to target VIP’s on move and Petrol pumps. Taking no chances, district administration in coordination with concerned departments has already started crackdown on vehicles with tinted glass and unauthorized use of Red lights in the city. It may be recalled that recently ULFA while flaying Centre’s procrastinating attitude towards the peace process reiterated that the outfit would carry on with revolutionary work “without waiting for government’s response”.

Meanwhile, suspected United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militants today lobbed grenades at a CRPF camp this evening at around 6:30 injuring five persons including a CRPF Sub Inspector at Tongla town. The whole area was engulfed in darkness as load shedding was on. Identity of the four injured excluding the CRPF personnel is yet to be ascertained. The injured CRPF personal is T.S Negi.

India airlifts food, medicines to blockaded Manipur

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - India airlifted tonnes of food and medicines on Saturday to Manipur where tribesmen campaigning for a separate homeland have blocked roads and cut off supplies for nearly two months. Naga tribesmen living in Manipur began the blockade on June 19, leading to a severe shortage of food and fuel in the state's capital Imphal. The Nagas are demanding that all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast be united in a "Greater Nagaland". A third of the three million-strong tribe live in Manipur and two other northeastern states, and the rest in neighbouring Nagaland. Manipuris strongly oppose the division of their state. On Saturday, four Indian Air Force (IAF) cargo planes brought about 40 tonnes of medicines, edible oil, sugar, pulses and other supplies to Imphal after the state sought federal help, a senior official said. "The air force carried out a civic action at the request of the civil authorities and under instructions from New Delhi," an IAF official told Reuters. Eyewitnesses said hundreds of soldiers in full combat gear surrounded the airport as flights landed and handed over the consignments to civil officials. Hundreds of goods-laden trucks are stranded on Manipur's highways and a fuel shortage has caused long queues in several parts of the state. Naga tribesmen have intensified their blockade despite the fact that leaders of a rebel group -- the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) -- and Indian officials extended a seven-year-long ceasefire by another six months last weekend.

"Our movement will continue till our main demand in resolved," said Paul Langhu, chief of a Naga students' union that heads the agitation in Manipur. The Nagas have been fighting for freedom since 1947, when India got independence from Britain. More than 20,000 people have died in nearly 60 years of Naga insurgency before the ceasefire came into effect in 1997.

ULFA not to attack civilians on Independence Day Ians Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service Guwahati, Aug 6 (IANS) The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Saturday promised not to target civilians during the Aug 15 Independence Day celebrations in Assam this year.

"Let us hope the Independence Day passes off peacefully. We have no intentions to target anything that affects civilians," said Pradip Gogoi, vice chairman of the ULFA. Gogoi is currently in jail and was talking to journalists outside a local court in Assam's main city of Guwahati where he came to face trial on charges ranging from murder to sedition. The announcement of a peaceful Independence Day has come as a relief to the security forces, with the ULFA last year having triggered a powerful landmine blast at an Independence Day parade in eastern Assam's Dhemaji town where 20 people were killed, most of them students. "The Dhemaji incident last year was an accident," Gogoi said.

The ULFA is a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland in Assam since 1979. The outfit earlier this week threatened to step up its armed campaign if New Delhi ignored its offer of peace talks. The ULFA has offered to hold talks with the Indian government if its main demand of 'sovereignty' or independence is discussed. There were two attacks by the ULFA this week targeting security forces in which a paramilitary trooper was killed and seven critically wounded in separate incidents. The latest incident occurred late Friday when suspected ULFA rebels lobbed a hand grenade at a paramilitary camp, wounding two soldiers.

"We also have no reports this time of the ULFA planning attacks aimed at causing civilian casualties in the run up to the Independence Day. But we are apprehending some stray attacks on security forces," a senior Assam police official said requesting anonymity. Security forces are on alert across the state, guarding vital installations, including oil refineries, railway stations and other government buildings. Militants in the insurgency-hit northeast have for years been boycotting India's Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations to protest New Delhi's rule over the vast region rich in oil, tea and timber. The run-up to the events has always been violent, with rebels striking vital installations, including crude oil pipelines, trains and road and rail bridges, besides targeting federal soldiers. The ULFA is among one of the powerful rebel outfits in a region where more than 30-odd guerrilla groups operate with demands ranging from secession to autonomy and the right to self-determination. The ULFA is yet to announce a boycott of the Aug 15 celebrations this year.

Frans on 08.06.05 @ 10:45 PM CST [link]



Reunification NISC press release


A Naga International Support Center, NISC

www.nagalim.nl

A human rights organization

Press Release


Amsterdam, Monday August 5 2005



Reunification of Nagas



Before the British arrived and partially colonized the land of the Nagas, no superior invading power had ever conquered them. Even the British took close to sixty years to subdue only about one-third of the Naga people. They called those remaining unconquered the Free Nagas and defined the area they were living in as Excluded Areas. Just because the British failed to take into consideration the wish of the Nagas to be free again once they had left, does not mean that the Nagas have no right to be free. No matter what surrounding peoples claim, no power has ever conquered the Nagas, not the British, not the Indians, not the Meitei, not the Ahoms or Assamese, neither by the Burmese. In order to be realistic, it is high time that this is recognized. This is the only way towards a solution, for Nagas do not claim any land belonging to any other peoples, only reunification of what has belonged to the Nagas from time immemorial.



India divided the Nagas and created Naga areas; first by officially establishing the international border between then Burma, now Myanmar and later by creating Nagaland state and other states that have a sizable population of Nagas. The Government of India for the past eight years has been engaged in official peace talks with the Naga Organization that is capable of withstanding the Indian military while at the same time directly and indirectly creates the turmoil that is now embroiling the states in opposition of reunification of the Nagas. Chief Minister of state Ibobi Singh is intentionally creating the current trouble in Manipur with the aim of imposing the arrogant will of the Meitei on the peoples of the hills, particularly the Nagas. How can one reconcile that with the quest to come to a solution?



The Naga International Support Center calls on both the Nagas and the Government of India to expedite the commencement of serious peace talks that will both profit the Indian People, who have to finance the 200.000 soldiers that occupy Nagaland and the Nagas, who will reap the benefit of long desired peace.



For more info: www.nagalim.nl get in touch through nisc@nagalim.nl">nisc@nagalim.nl



Frans on 08.06.05 @ 10:42 PM CST [link]

Tuesday, August 2nd

Protest beyond frontiers NORTHEAST ECHOES


Protest beyond frontiers NORTHEAST ECHOES / PATRICIA MUKHIM The Telegraph


The economic blockade called by the All Naga Students Association of Manipur along National Highway 39 has forced truckers to abandon the route. A few trucks wait for security escorts near Kangla Fort in Imphal before hitting the highway. Picture by Eastern Projections
Powerful countries like the US have been severely criticised for imposing economic blockades and trade embargoes on countries they consider rogue states. Iraq suffered a food embargo some years back on account of the irascible acts of Saddam Hussain. The blockade resulted in the deaths of thousands of children in Iraq due to starvation and under-nourishment. Intellectuals from across the globe have condemned the US imposition, as the ordinary citizens of Iraq should not have paid for the crimes committed by their ruler. An embargo of any sort is reprehensible and goes against the norms of global interdependency. But an embargo on food and food products to a country, whose very survival hinges on those products, is criminal.
The All Naga Students Association of Manipur, Naga Students Federation of Nagaland and other Naga organisations have imposed a similar economic blockade on Manipur to protest against the state government. This indefinite blockade has been going on for a month now. To say that Manipur, or to put it in more precise terms, the people living in the valley of Manipur, have been badly hit by this embargo is an understatement. Frantic messages have gone out from the civil society requesting all to bring an end to the blockade.
Soaring prices
Rice is selling at Rs 80 per kg. Other essential commodities are available on a limited scale, but at prices that a common man could hardly afford. Petrol and diesel have dried up and commercial activities have never been so badly hit. Recently, the security forces tried to organise an alternative route for goods-laden trucks to come to Manipur through Tamenglong. But even that bridge was blown off. Following the episode, a public interest litigation was filed with the Manipur bench of Gauhati High Court. The court has served notices on all the Naga organisations responsible for the embargo to show cause why their actions cannot be termed as illegal and unconstitutional.
Indeed, what is happening in Manipur is no longer an isolated case affecting only that state. It has now become a national crisis and should be treated as one. If what the Naga organisations have done becomes a model for other states to settle scores with their neighbours then this country would have to make new laws to deal with such situations. Barring Assam that is connected by a railhead, which also links Dimapur, the commercial capital of Nagaland, to Guwahati, all other states of the Northeast are landlocked. People and goods have to move via Assam. Now if Assam were to adopt the stance of the Nagas, what would happen to people living in all the other six states? This is just an example of how a state, which is more favourably positioned in terms of connectivity, could hold its less fortunate neighbours to ransom.
The Naga protest may be genuine enough but the means used are certainly inhuman. Perhaps the Nagas need to wear the moccasins of the Meiteis at this juncture and see how much their action has hurt the ordinary citizen and the poor who have no knowledge about the issues that their leaders are fighting for. At present, the only route open for people to leave the Imphal valley in case of an emergency is the air route. This is a mode of travel that only the affluent can afford. Ordinary citizens depend heavily on road transport. They have been restrained from travelling out of Manipur for almost two months now. Meanwhile the students unions of Manipur have appealed to the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, to come to their rescue. Obviously the people of Manipur are disillusioned with the Indian government. That a blockade, which was imposed on June 19 this year, could still continue, is proof enough that the Centre is handling the issue with kid gloves merely because it is talking peace with the NSCN (I-M). But peace or no peace, no national government should allow one group or state to put such pressure tactics on another state no matter what the provocation might be. A marooned Manipur is crying out for help, but help is hardly forthcoming. Essential medicines have run out of stock and starvation is staring people in the face. Curiously, none of the other states in the region seem to be concerned about this appalling situation. All the seven states have a common platform for action in the form of North Eastern Council, but they have chosen to ignore the matter.This does not bode well for the region. Mizoram is perhaps the only state that has appealed to the Naga students to call off their economic blockade, possibly because it affects their kith and kin in the Churachandpur areas.
Economic terrorism has now become a new means of coercion. Therefore, methods to deal with this new method of terrorism needs to be developed. At the moment, a solution seems hard to come by. Repairing the not-so-frequented National Highway 53 that links Imphal with Silchar appears to be the only way out. But the highway also passes through Tamenglong, a district inhabited by the Zeliangrong Nagas, and which therefore, is within the purview of the blockade, and hence risky. This highway has a couple of weak links that need to be strengthened. If this artery is well guarded by security forces, then people of Manipur can still hope to replenish their empty larders.
Women’s role
At this juncture one wishes to question whether women’s groups from Nagaland and Manipur, who have invested a lot in the peace process, have any role at all to play in breaking this irrational impasse. Women have been the traditional peacemakers. It was because of the efforts of the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) led by its then dynamic president Neidouno Angami that the Naga peace process progressed beyond the usual rhetoric. The NMA’s Shed No More Tears campaign was silent, yet effective. For the first time, the NSCN (I-M) and other warring parties sat up and took notice of an initiative started by women. Surely the NMA and the Naga Women’s Union of Manipur could take the lead in bringing an end to a situation that could result in great hardship for the common citizens, particularly for the women, who have to keep their home fires burning.
To punish a government by using a method as brutal as that of stopping essential commodities from coming into the state is barbaric, to say the least. At present, negotiations are the only way out of a political stalemate. Ultimatums and deadlines do not work because they are methods adopted by bullies and in the long run, such tactics are bound to backfire. It is time for the rational forces to take control of the situation and find a resolution that is acceptable to all the states of the region. The region needs a common platform, where a common recipe for action can be discussed.
No talks without CM: ANSAM From Sobhapati Samom
IMPHAL, Aug 1 – All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) has turned down the talks offered by the Government of Manipur. “There is no question of holding talks with the Government if the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of the State are not going to participate in the talk,” sources close to ANSAM said here today. The decision not to hold the talk with the government representatives was reportedly taken during an executive meeting of the student body, the sources added. ANSAM has resolved that it would not hold talk with the Manipur Government since the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary are not in the said delegation. In its reply to the State Government’s letter No. 1/25/2005 – CM dated July 29, 2005 and addressed to Binod Kispotta, secretary to the Chief Minister of Manipur, ANSAM today stated: “While appreciating your willingness to resolve the issue pertaining to the non-cooperation movement launched by ANSAM, the proposed meeting of the government delegates and ANSAM without the Chief Minister is not favourable to us.”

General secretary of ANSAM Robert T Maram said they once again compelled to reiterate the stand that the talks be held with the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of Manipur in order to arrive at an amicable understanding at the earliest possible time. The government had earlier decided to send a three-member team to negotiate with the student body. Sources said that the three-member team which was to be deputed for the talk are PHED Minister Govindas Konthoujam, Commerce and Industries Minister N Mangi and Hill Areas Committee Chairman Songchinkhup. A spokesman of ANSAM said that an emergency executive body meeting was convened today afternoon to discuss the latest government proposal wherein it was resolved to hold talks only with the Chief Minister.
Members present at the said meeting were unanimous in declining the session with government representatives as nothing conclusive can be reached in the absence of the Chief Minister, Robert said.

Meanwhile, representatives of the United Committee Manipur (UCM) held extensive discussion with the Governor SS Sidhu and Chief Minister Okram Ibobi on the prevailing situation arising out of the ongoing economic blockade. A five-member delegation accepted an invitation from the Governor for a meeting and briefed Dr SS Sidhu on the difficulties faced by the general public due to the ANSAM-sponsored agitation, a statement said.The Governor was also urged to intimate the Centre on the ground reality as negligence at the current juncture might lead to the situation going out of hand, said the statement.While the UCM delegates highlighted to the Governor of NSCN-IM instigating and actively enforcing the ANSAM blockade Dr Sidhu conveyed of detailed report of the Manipur situation being sent to the Central leader
Naga students camping in Delhi
DIMAPUR, Aug 1: The agitating All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has shifted its mobilisation venue to New Delhi even as its agitation crossed forty days...According to sources, a team of ANSAM and Naga Students Federation (NSF) met Union home minister Shivaraj Patil on Monday in New Delhi after camping in the capital for the last few days. The student bodies have also met with central leaders including AICC president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on resolving the present crisis in Manipur through peaceful means. "We have been trying our best to talk with the state government but since the government did not reciprocate out efforts we have no other option but to go to the Central leaders," the ANSAM leaders said.The leaders blamed the Manipur government for the crisis and accused it of imposing its own terms and conditions. Meanwhile, leaders of ANSAM from Tamenglong district have requested the security personnel to refrain from harrassing passengers travelling between Imphal and Tamenglong town.(NNN)
ANSAM shifts focus on Delhi Newmai News Network
Dimapur, Aug 1 : The agitating All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has shifted its mobilisation venue to New Delhi even as its agitation has crossed more than forty days now.
According to a highly placed source, a team comprising of ANSAM and Naga Students' Federation (NSF) met Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil this afternoon in New Delhi.
The sources informed Newmai News Network that the combined Naga students' team had been camping in New Delhi for the last few days and had met scores of Central leaders including AICC president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The sources informed that the leaders of the student bodies met Shivaraj Patil at 2 pm today and deliberated on the present imbroglio in Manipur.Disclosing the reason for camping at New Delhi, the sources said that the Naga student leaders had decided to seek the help of the Central leaders to resolve the present crisis in a peaceful manner as the "Manipur Government had closed all the doors and venues for bringing a solution to the prevailing situation."
We have been trying our best to talk with the State Government but since the Government did not reciprocate our effort we have no other option but to go to the Central leaders," said a leader of ANSAM today adding "instead the Manipur Government is trying its best to impose its own terms and conditions on us which we cannot accept."
Meanwhile, leaders of ANSAM from Tamenglong district have appealed to the security personnel to desist from harassing the passengers travelling between Imphal and Tamenglong town.
The student leaders alleged that they have received lots of complaints from the general public that security force personnel have been harassing the passengers.The student leaders threatened to take up agitation if the security personnel continue to harass the passengers along the said route.
Students stage mass sit-in-protest all over Sangai By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Aug 1: Responding to the call of AMSU, MSF and DESAM to counter the communal politics allegedly being played by the Government of India among the people of the North Eastern States, many young students came out of their classrooms and staged sit-in-protest demonstrations in front of their respective schools today.Braving the hot summer sun, a large number of students took part in the protest demonstration which was held from 10 am till 4 pm. The young demonstrators held placards and shouted slogans denouncing the ‘divide and rule policy’ and cried for a conducive atmosphere of peace and harmony in which they could live and learn.
As announced by the three student bodies earlier on July 30, such protest demonstration would continue for the next three days. Students from primary to the University level would be taking part in the demonstration to be held in a phase-wise manner.
The name of some of the schools located in and around Imphal whose students participated in the protest today are St George School, Wangkhei; Kids High School, Deulahland; St Peter School, Kwakeithel; Black Bird English School, Thangal Bazar; Radhesana English School, Keishampat; North Point English School, Man-tripukhri; Shishu Nistha Niketan, Mayai Lambi, Kanhai Hr Sec School, Sagolband, Thangmeiband Lilashing Khongnang Khong H/Sl, Thangmeiband, etc.
NSCN (K) lays out condition for talks Newsfile Hindustan Times Dimapur, August 1, 2005
Barely two day s after the Centre's extension of the ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the Khaplang faction of the outfit on Monday said it will not hold any talks with the Union Government of India till it revealed the outcome of its talks with the NSCN (IM) and the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government in the state.Senior NSCN (K) leader Kughalu Mulatonu asked Isak Muivah to clarify why the NSCN (IM) had agreed to extend the ceasefire when he himself had declared in New Delhi that NSCN (IM) would not sign further ceasefire agreements with the Government, till its demand for a greater Nagaland, or Nagalim, was met.
"Muivah should tell the people why the ceasefire has been extended despite the Government of India's refusing to accept the integration demand," Mulatonu said.He said the ruling DAN government led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was "sponsoring" the NSCN (IM). "The DAN government has wanted to meet us a hundred times but we refused because they are backing the NSCN (IM) with crores of rupees?" Mulatonu asked.
Naga tribals intensify stir despite truce
GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Tribesmen campaigning for a separate homeland in India's restive northeast blocked vital roads and stopped hundreds of supply-laden trucks on Monday, saying a new truce with New Delhi was not helping them. On Saturday, Naga rebel leaders and Indian officials extended their seven-year-long ceasefire by another six months to push for a peaceful solution to a decades-old revolt in the mainly Christian Nagaland state. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) (NSCN-IM), which is fighting for the freedom of three million Naga tribesmen, said it had extended the truce with Delhi to "give peace a chance".
But a powerful Naga students group said it would continue blocking roads into the neighbouring state of Manipur until its demand that all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast be united into a "Greater Nagaland" is accepted. "We will continue with our agitation. We are not concerned with the extension of the ceasefire as it isn't helping us," said Ngachonmi Chamroy, spokesman of the All Naga Students Association Manipur. Talks between Delhi and the NSCN-IM have been deadlocked over the question of "Greater Nagaland", as India fears a repeat of bloody protests in 2001 over the issue from other ethnic and tribal groups. A third of the three million-strong Naga tribe live in neighbouring Manipur and two other northeastern states. Naga groups living in Manipur began blocking roads with logs and boulders and threatening truck drivers in June, as they intensified their agitation for "Greater Nagaland". The blockade has led to shortage of food and fuel in Manipur's capital Imphal. "We are perhaps facing the worst phase in our lives. There is shortage of food, cooking fuel and children can't go to school," said Bimala Devi, a housewife there. Last month, angry Nagas set ablaze more than a dozen government buildings in Manipur. The Nagas have been fighting for their own homeland since 1947, when India got independence from Britain. More than 20,000 people have died in nearly 60 years of Naga insurgency before the ceasefire came into effect in 1997.
OLD CONFLICTS The Telegraph
It is not uncommon for peace talks to hit roadblocks; the challenge is not to lose the way ahead. The jolt to the truce with Naga insurgents is not entirely unexpected. That the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, led by Mr Isak Chishi Swu and Mr Thuingaleng Muivah, was upset with the progress of the talks had been known for some time. The group has now made its unhappiness known by agreeing to extend the ceasefire in Nagaland by six months only. This is a major departure from the practice followed over the past eight years, when the ceasefire was always extended by a year. But it could be wrong to see this as a negation of the peace process. Occasional strains notwithstanding, the ceasefire testified to both sides’ commitment to a peaceful solution to the five-decade-old insurgency. More important, it reflected — and fostered — the common people’s hope of a lasting peace in Nagaland. Both the Centre and the NSCN are morally obliged to the ordinary Nagas not to betray this hope. Both sides must take the differences in their stride and work even harder to narrow them down. Stalling the peace process is not an option for either side.
True, the NSCN’s position on the “integration of all Naga-inhabited areas” remains the most important bone of contention. There are no easy solutions to the problem, as the areas are spread over Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh as well. None of these states will like its territory to be curtailed. In fact, the issue has sparked violent protests in Manipur and caused the latest ethnic tension between the Meiteis and the Nagas there. There is even a strong suspicion that the recent agitation by the Naga students in Manipur had been covertly supported by the NSCN. While considering the NSCN’s territorial demand, New Delhi cannot but keep in mind the possible fall-out in Manipur. It cannot be the government’s policy to buy peace in Nagaland at the cost of that in another state. At the same time, it is true that the territorial boundaries of the northeastern states have always reflected the ethnic aspirations of the people. They have changed over time and may change again. The important thing is to try and find solutions that would be acceptable to contesting communities. But, unless this happens peacefully, the territorial ambitions can throw these areas back into the old days of tribal conflicts. The Naga truce is thus crucial to the entire region.
K ridicules truce extension Source: The Sangai Express
Dimapur, August 01 (NNN): Barely two days after the ceasefire between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India was extended for another 6 months, the rival faction NSCN (K) today said it will not hold any talks with the Government of India so long as it (Government) does not reveal the outcome of its talks with the NSCN (IM) and as long as the 'terrorist-sponsored' DAN Government is in power in Nagaland. Expressing astonishment over the extension of the truce, senior NSCN (K) leader Kughalu Mulatonu asked Muivah to clarify before the Nagas on why the NSCN (IM) had agreed to extend the ceasefire when he (Muivah) himself had openly declared in New Delhi that the NSCN (IM) would not sign further ceasefire agreement with the Government of India if its demand for integration was not met. "Muivah should tell the people why the ceasefire has been extended despite the Government of India's denial of integration," Mulatonu said.

The NSCN (K) viewed such development as an attempt by the Government of India to mastermind more 'terrorist activities' in Nagaland. "This is ridiculous because at one hand the Government of India is unleashing terror in Nagaland and on the other hand, it is taking all efforts to get a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council," the NSCN (K) leader said. The NSCN (K) also minced no words in criticizing the ruling DAN Government of Nagaland led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for allegedly sponsoring the NSCN (IM). Mulatonu alleged that it was due to DAN's alleged nexus with the NSCN (IM) that the NSCN (K) has not met the Government barring once in 2003.
"They (DAN Government) wanted to meet us a hundred times but we refused because they are sponsoring the NSCN (IM) with crores of rupees. How can we meet a Government when its Chief Minister is himself funding terrorism in the State?" Mulatonu countered.
The Khaplang faction of the NSCN entered into a ceasefire pact with the Government of India some years back, but formal dialogues between the two entities are yet to start even today.
Governor rejects Nagaland Municipal Amendment Bill
Kohima : Nagaland Governor Shyamal Datta has reportedly rejected and returned the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Bill, 2005 presented to him for his approval under Article 200 of the Constitution of India. Official sources said Mr Datta, through a message addressed to the secretary of Nagaland Legislative Assembly signed on July 21 last, stated that he had gone through the Bill, which envisages the power to vote the nominated members and seeks to withdraw the powers from the ex-office members of the municipalities.

" Nominated members cannot have the power to vote as laid down in Article 243-R of the Constitution, " he said adding that with regard to the ex-officio members, the Department of Law and Justice has opined that the Constitution does not intend to disentitle them from voting.
" The Bill does not address a major lacuna in the parent legislation. The Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001, fails to make provision for reservation of seats for women, " he observed.

He maintained that Article 243-T of the Constitution makes incorporation of provision for reservation of not less than one-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every municipality that is mandatory for women. " Our municipalities should function better with a fair representation of women, " he suggested. Meanwhile, in exercise of the powers conferred under Article 200 of the Constitution the Governor returned the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Bill, 2005 to the assembly with the request to the house to reconsider framing the Bill in such a way that it fulfils the requirements laid down under Articles 243-R and 243-T of the Constitution.
Sources further said the Bill as returned by the Governor for reconsideration by the house along with his message would be laid on the table of the house on August 18, the first day of the monsoon session.
Assam rebels threaten violence if ignored
GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Separatist rebels in Assam warned on Tuesday of more violence if New Delhi ignored their latest offer for talks. The warning came two weeks ahead of India's Aug. 15 Independence Day, a target for rebel attacks in the past. In 2004 Assamese separatists bombed an Independence day function in the state killing 22 people, mostly children. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered to talk to the rebels last December, but only if they gave up violence first. The rebels, fighting for an independent Assam, say they want to talk without pre-conditions and wrote to Singh last month. "If the central government does not respond to our offer, we shall have no other alternative but to step up our campaign," the United Liberation Force of Asom (ULFA) said. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi reacted cautiously to the threat, saying security was being tightened ahead of Aug. 15.
"Every Independence day and Republic day, they (the rebels) issue these threats and we take necessary security steps. This time also we are keeping a strict vigil," Gogoi told reporters in New Delhi. He said the government was ready for talks but added that the rebels had to show some sign of softening their stand.
"There must be a two-way traffic," Gogoi said, referring to the rebel's refusal to shun violence as a precursor for talks. ULFA says New Delhi exploits the resources of the oil-and-tea rich state of 26 million people while doing little to develop Assam. More than 15,000 people have been killed since the group launched its armed struggle in 1979. The rebels have blasted oil pipelines, targeted government buildings, kidnapped tea garden executives and triggered explosions on trains and in public places during their campaign. The seven far-flung states of northeast India are home to more than 200 ethnic and tribal groups and are beset by at least two dozen other insurgencies. (Additional reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee in NEW DELHI)
ULFA threatens offensive over talks delay IANS By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service
Guwahati, Aug 2 (IANS) The separatist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Tuesday threatened to step up its offensive if New Delhi failed to respond to the northeastern rebel group's offer for peace talks. "We cannot just sit tight with the hope of getting a positive response from the Indian government for holding peace talks. We shall have no option other than intensifying our armed struggle," Arabinda Rajkhowa, chairman of ULFA, said in a statement received by IANS. The ULFA is an outlawed rebel army fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979. There were a series of formal letters exchanged between ULFA and the Indian government since January to work out the modalities for holding peace talks to bring an end to violent insurgency in Assam. The ULFA chairman in early July sent a formal letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offering to hold talks if the government agrees to discuss the outfit's core demand of 'sovereignty' or independence.
The ULFA letter was in response to a formal invitation for talks by Singh two months ago. "There was a lot of urgency shown by the government to get a formal letter from us for holding talks. But once we delivered the letter, the authorities have shown no urgency and that probably reflects the doubtful and insincere attitude in holding negotiations with us," the ULFA chairman said.
"We are ready for a mutually acceptable solution." The ULFA had recently demanded the release of at least 10 jailed leaders as a precondition for talks. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had offered to release some jailed ULFA leaders if the outfit agreed to sit for talks with New Delhi. "New Delhi must try and grab this opportunity to break the deadlock with the ULFA. The peace initiative should come from the government without delay," an analyst said. "The government of India should not try and frustrate the ULFA at this stage when the general mood in the state is all for peace."
The warning by the ULFA to step up its offensive is being viewed by security forces very seriously as the outfit is known to target vital installations in the run up to Independence Day Aug 15. Last year, the ULFA triggered a powerful blast during an Independence Day parade in eastern Assam that killed at least 20 people, most of them students taking part in the parade. "We wish there is some breakthrough before the Independence Day or else we are worried, with intelligence reports indicating massive plans by the ULFA to create terror ahead of Aug 15," a senior Assam police official said.
ULFA won’t wait for Centre’s response NET News Network Guwahati, August 1:The proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) while flaying Centre’s procrastinating attitude towards the peace process reiterated that the outfit would carry on with revolutionary work “without waiting for government’s response” The ULFA chairman, Arabinda Rajkhowa through an e-mail informed that the Centre is maintaining “mysterious silence” after the initial urgency to procure letter from ULFA. The release also informed that the outfit agreed to talk with Centre on the issue of sovereignty only after proper consultation with the constitutional experts. “According to these experts there is no legal hurdle on the part of the Government to initiate talks on sovereignty with the outfit,” the statement informed. Meanwhile, the outfit’s advisor Bhimkanta Buragohain alias ‘ Mama’ who was produced in the court today rued before the media that government is not giving ample importance to ULFA’s response to talks.
Peace centre against tax collection, killings
Dimapur, Aug 1 (MExN): The Nagaland Peace Centre (NPC) Kohima while welcoming the extension of ceasefire between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) for another period of six months, appealed to the Indian military forces to refrain from employing force tactics and also National workers to ‘diminish’ activities such as tax collection, killing and abductions. The organization hoped that a peaceful cooperative attitude would be maintained to usher in better understanding between both the sides involved.
The NPC in a press release issued by its Chairman N.Theyo and Executive Director Lhusi Haralu while appreciating the Collective Leadership of the NSCN (IM) for coming to India for political talks, expressed its desire that both the sides cooperate and work in such a way that the prospect of peace would be strengthened instead of consolidating the ‘sanction of military force’. It implied that the military forces should cease employing force tactics while the National workers should also ‘diminish’ activities such as tax collection, killing and abductions. It also recalled the initial efforts of Indian leaders like former Prime Ministers Deve Gowda, late P V Narashima Rao Atal Bihari Vajpayee as well as present Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, saying that it was their continuing effort to prolong the ceasefire with the hope that a solution would be arrived at to solve the vexed Naga political problem. Appealing to both the NSCN (IM) and the GOI to pursue only peaceful policies, the NPC implied that non-violent means would be fruitful in ushering stability and peace in Nagaland and that both sides should protect the Naga people "from the cruel hands of Ceasefire violators", whoever they might be, it stated.


Frans on 08.02.05 @ 02:49 PM CST [link]


Monday, August 1st

Rio, Imkong welcome ceasefire extension


Rio, Imkong welcome ceasefire extension Morung Express News July 31
DIMAPUR: Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio and leader of the Opposition I. Imkong have both welcomed the decision to extend the ceasefire between the Government of India and NSCN (IM), which was arrived at yesterday following two days of talks in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. Welcoming the extension of the ceasefire Rio said that the decision was in line with the wishes of all sections people and Naga civil society. The State Cabinet had earlier recommended for extension of the current ceasefire which was to expire today. Rio also urged both parties to pursue the peace process with more sense of urgency and greater sincerity. He affirmed that the DAN Government was committed to continue playing the role of facilitator to the peace process.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, I Imkong talking to The Morung Express said that he was happy with the decision that both sides had reached upon. “I hope something concrete will be arrived at. The peace talks should be expedited”, Imkong said. The senior Congress leader however expressed disappointment over the ceasefire being extended for only six months and not a year. NSF President V. Pushika Awomi giving his reaction said that the students’ body would stick to its earlier resolutions it had taken with regard to the current peace talks and asked the Government of India to be sincere in its efforts. The NSF reiterated on its demand for the integration of all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas. Former General Secretary of the Naga Hoho Dr John Lotha while welcoming the latest ceasefire extension however viewed that ceasefire extensions was questionable if New Delhi was not sincere in its endeavor of finding a mutually agreeable solution.
Expressing his views on the extension of the ceasefire, a senior Defense personnel speaking on condition of anonymity said that negotiations under a peaceful environment remained to be the only workable solution. “Both parties should strive and make this six months of ceasefire creative and seek some permanent solution to the age old problem”, he said. The army man further remarked that the extended period of six months would allow security forces to consolidate their civic programs. As reported earlier, the Joint Statement issued after yesterday’s talks reaffirmed the need to extend the ceasefire ‘to intensify the peace process in order to arrive at mutually acceptable solution as early as possible’. The full text joint statement further stated that ‘as the NSCN intends to hold extensive consultations with the people, the ceasefire is formally extended for a period of six months where after it will be extended further’. The NSCN delegation comprised of its Chairman Isak Chishi Swu, General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, a top leader Angelus Shimrah and Ninghor Raikham, secretary, NSCN-IM.
Political parties welcome ceasefire
DIMAPUR, July 31: Several political parties in Nagaland including the Congress, BJP and major DAN constituent – Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) – have welcomed the extension of ceasefire
between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM).Welcoming the truce extension, Congress leader, I Imkong, however, said he expected the ceasefire would be extended by at least one year. Imkong, who is also the leader of Opposition in Nagaland Assembly, appreciated the maturity and wisdom of both the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) and said by extending the truce the two sides have fulfilled the desire of the Naga people.He said the Nagas had always wanted that ceasefire should continue so that a solution could be hammered out through negotiations.
Appreciating the Government of India and the NSCN (IM), the BJP said the Nagas need peace, without which all-round development could not be achieved.Party’s state unit president MC Konyak said "Nagas are on the path of progress in all fields and hence they longed for peace and tranquilly which could come only through ceasefire."
The NPF said it was glad to know that the truce had been extended by six months.A release issued by NPF press secretary R. Papinho said the party strongly felt that a conducive and congenial atmosphere was required for both the parties for a solution to the decades’ old political problem, adding "creating ceasefire is the positive step towards that objective." The party hoped the agreed decision would serve its meaningful purposes. (NNN)

India's Naga tribals intensify stir despite truce Source: Reuters
GUWAHATI, India, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Tribesmen campaigning for a separate homeland in India's restive northeast blocked vital roads and stopped hundreds of supply-laden trucks on Monday, saying a new truce with New Delhi was not helping them. On Saturday, Naga rebel leaders and Indian officials extended their seven-year-long ceasefire by another six months to push for a peaceful solution to a decades-old revolt in the mainly Christian Nagaland state. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) (NSCN-IM), which is fighting for the freedom of three million Naga tribesmen, said it had extended the truce with Delhi to "give peace a chance".
But a powerful Naga students group said it would continue blocking roads into the neighbouring state of Manipur until its demand that all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast be united into a "Greater Nagaland" is accepted.
"We will continue with our agitation. We are not concerned with the extension of the ceasefire as it isn't helping us," said Ngachonmi Chamroy, spokesman of the All Naga Students Association Manipur. Talks between Delhi and the NSCN-IM have been deadlocked over the question of "Greater Nagaland", as India fears a repeat of bloody protests in 2001 over the issue from other ethnic and tribal groups . A third of the three million-strong Naga tribe live in neighbouring Manipur and two other northeastern states. Naga groups living in Manipur began blocking roads with logs and boulders and threatening truck drivers in June, as they intensified their agitation for "Greater Nagaland". The blockade has led to shortage of food and fuel in Manipur's capital Imphal.
"We are perhaps facing the worst phase in our lives. There is shortage of food, cooking fuel and children can't go to school," said Bimala Devi, a housewife there. Last month, angry Nagas set ablaze more than a dozen government buildings in Manipur. The Nagas have been fighting for their own homeland since 1947, when India got independence from Britain. More than 20,000 people have died in nearly 60 years of Naga insurgency before the ceasefire came into effect in 1997. Naga rebels agree to extend ceasefire
Naga rebels agree to extend ceasefire Daily times
GUWAHATI: Indian negotiators and leaders of a powerful separatist group in the northeastern state of Nagaland have agreed to extend for six months a ceasefire aimed at ending nearly six decades of violence, a rebel leader said Sunday.
The extension of the deadline, due to expire Sunday midnight, was agreed by the two sides during talks in Amsterdam, the senior leader of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) told AFP. It was announced in a joint statement late Saturday after the two-day Amsterdam meeting between NSCN-IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah and India’s chief peace interlocutor K Padmanabhaiah. The statement said both sides “reaffirmed the need to extend the ceasefire and to intensify the peace process.”
“As the NSCN-IM intends to hold extensive consultations with the people, the ceasefire is formally extended for a period of six months, whereafter it will be extended further,” it said. afp
Naga factions challenge Muivah's authority Ajai Shukla
Sunday, July 31, 2005 (Khonoma):Reuters
The NSCN-IM, the most powerful Naga underground faction led by Thuingaleng Muivah, has extended its ceasefire with New Delhi for the eighth straight year - an extraordinary achievement of military tenacity and diplomacy. But beneath the surface of the scenic capital Kohima, the bloodletting continues as other Naga factions like the Khaplang NSCN or NSCN (K) and the relatively smaller Naga National Council (NNC) challenge Muivah's claim that he speaks for all Nagas.
Shillong Accord
In the Khonoma village, Muivah's tough talk makes little impression. Few places symbolise the history of the Naga independence struggle like the Khonoma village.
Starting from the 1850s - when Khonoma warriors fought back and halted the entry of the British into the Naga hills - to more than a century later when a Khonoma villager, AZ Phizo, launched an armed uprising against India, the Angamis of Khonoma have played a leadership role amongst the Nagas.
It was from Khonoma that Angami Zapu Phizo's NNC gave the call to arms in 1955.
They also paid a heavy price in lives, but by 1975 with Phizo exiled in London, NNC leaders here signed the Shillong Accord, making peace with Delhi. But Muivah and Isak Swu, backed by China, branded them traitors and rejected the accord. Their fighters who went on to form the NSCN hunted down scores of NNC fighters, men like Ulhalu Vupru, now the Gaon Burha or headman of Khonoma.
Face off
Soon, the NSCN itself split with a faction led by Khaplang suspecting Muivah of dealings with Delhi.
Today, this face off has a tribal dimension with Khaplang's Konyak tribe facing off against the NSCN's Tangkhuls, Muivah's tribesmen from Manipur. For the K-Group, the ceasefire is with Delhi. Here in Nagaland, it exchanges bullets daily with the NSCN-IM.
Blood and tribal feuds are never forgotten in Nagaland and Ulhalu has a question for Muivah. After labelling as traitors the architects of the Shillong Accord, why is he talking peace with Delhi without bringing the other factions on board? "I believe only in the NNC, the Naga National Council. Some factions claim that they are bigger and stronger, but I believe only in the NNC," said Ulhalu.

Internal reconciliation
Naga society, led by the Baptist Church, and the Naga Hoho, that rules on Naga matters, say that without an internal reconciliation between different tribes and factions, a peace settlement with Delhi will unleash vicious bloodshed like after the Shillong Accord.
"We are saying that the different factions must come together - whether they agree or disagree. But they need to listen to one another and try and understand one another. That is the most important level of reconciliation," said Reverend Zhabu Terhuja, Naga Baptist Church Council. While New Delhi watches from afar, an internal time bomb ticks within the Nagas. For old warriors like Ulhalu and other factions with guns, the old wounds are still festering and the old disputes still alive.
NCP cautions against provocative rumours The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Jul 31: In view of the highly sensitive situation prevailing in the state due to the indefinite economic blockade, Nationalist Congress Party, Manipur Pradesh, urges the people to be careful and thoughtful in their expression since “all it takes is a single spark for a complete blow up”.
Referring to some pamphlets with harsh words that were distributed in the neighbouring Nagaland, NCP spokesperson N Radhakanta appealed that such acts should not be done either in the state or in the neighbouring state. He cautioned the people to abstain from instigating communal tension in the hills as well as valley. Stressing the danger of rumours, he highlighted that the state government should open a special cell to control rumours with communal undertones.
In a get together of the NCP and media persons, N Radhakanta expressed that dragging the names of chief minister and specially the chief secretary by the BJP Parliamentary team regarding the involvement of NSCN-IM in the present economic blockade was very unfortunate. Terming the quoting of the chief secretary by the BJP team as unfortunate, he said that at this critical juncture effort to politicalise the issue should not be made. He further said that the visit of the MPs was a welcome one but some of their statements clearly show their escapist tendency. Expressing serious concern over the month old economic blockade, NCP spokesperson said that the party can only make appeals to the government, both at the centre and state, to find a solution and end the blockade at the earliest. He added that NCP is keeping all party programmes on hold since the main priority is the blockade.
Opining that the national highways are not for an individual or a state, Radhakanta said that the central government should provide special protection for the national highways. He maintained that the state government should take initiative to pressurize the Centre to come up with a policy to ban any kinds of blockade on the national highways in the country. He added that NCP would contribute all possible help in this effort. Regarding the 2 MPs and 11 MLAs who submitted the memorandum to the PM, the spokesperson said that undertaking such actions in their personal interest is ethically wrong as it goes against the interest of the people and if they signed under duress, it is equally wrong since they represent the people and succumbing to pressure show lack of integrity. The spokesperson expressed that the present crisis in the state is solely due to the vested interest of some political leaders for vote.
The get together was held at the residence of Nationalist Mahila Congress Manipur Pradesh president L Ranita’s residence and was attended by party members including general secretary RK Chandrabir, vice president Fajur Rahim, senior party leader A Tondon and secretary U Ruhinikumar.

Meet denounces blockade of any form as illegal Source: The Sangai Express Imphal, July 31: A public meeting held at the ground of New Age Club, Singjamei Thongam Leikai today to discuss present situation arising out the ANSAM-sponsored indefinite economic blockade along the National Highways demanding revocation June 18 declaration, has denounced the imposition of blockade of any form along the lifelines of the people as inhumane. After a serious deliberation of the present deadlock, the meeting arrived at four different resolutions unanimously.
The first resolution strongly condemned the action of the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) in targeting the vehicles passing through Nagaland for transporting essential commodities.

The second resolution categorically stated that the agitators should pay the compensation for the damages caused in consonance with the ruling of the Gauhati High Court that the ANSAM-sponsored indefinite economic blockade is illegal. The third resolution demanded that the Government of India should provide adequate security arrangement along the National Highways passing through Manipur just like the security coverage given to the Amarnath Jatris in Jammu and Kashmir under the National Highway Act, 1956. The fourth and last resolution of the meeting urged the Government of India for developing the three National Highways, namely 39, 53 and 150 at par for better connectivity with rest of the world. The meeting which was held along with a sit-in-protest demonstration was organised under the aegis of New Age Club. Speaking at the occasion social worker Laitonjam Ranbir said that the ruling of the Gauhati High Court that imposition of indefinite economic blockade along the National Highways is illegal is not enough to dissuade the agitators to call off their stir.

Instead the people should join hands together for filing a suit for a similar ruling like the one passed by the Mumbai High Court for imposing fine on the bandh callers/ agitators. He also expressing the desire on the part of the Government for announcing a special package for the drivers/transporters who are carrying on with the service of transporting essential goods along the National Highways against all odds. Taking part in the discussion, AMUCO advisor Dr Dhanabir Laishram observed that the movement for Naga integration has come about because of the instigation made by ‘Father of the Nation’ MK Gandhi to Naga leader Phizo back way in 1897.
It is really unfortunate that the Naga brethren have failed to see the sinister designs of the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) for inciting communal clashes among the people of the North Eastern States. Meanwhile, Wakat Meephams continued to be held at different parts of the State giving a clarion call to all the public leaders for joining hands together in resolving the issues besetting the State. At Khurai Lamlong Bazar, Lamlong Keithel Nupi Lup and Union of Social Welfare Upliftment, Khurai organised a Wakat Meepham while at Keishamthong Bazar it was held under the aegis of Nambul Mapal Meira Paibi Lup today.

Employees urged to donate for NH-53 Source: The Sangai Express Imphal, July 31: Amid appeals for alternative means to ensure adequate stock of food-grains Youth Front, Khekman (Thoubal district) has called for the constitution of a committee to look after development of national Highway 53. The Thoubal district body appealing to Government employees to donate a day’s wage towards development and improvement of the Imphal-Jiribam stretch of the highway desired that Manipur Government monitor related activities through formation of the committee and opening a bank account where the public can also make financial contributions.

Detailing on necessity to maintain NH-53 in a proper manner for loaded vehicles to ply without any technical interruption the Youth Front contended that vehicles passing through Nagaland State face great risks on life and property taking into account violent methods applied to enforce the economic blockade. On the other hand, Development Joint Committee, Kwakta describing ANSAM’s agitation as challenge to humanity observed that defiant posture maintained by the student body would not lead to any positive development but plunge the people irrespective or community or religious affiliation into deeper morass. Expressing strong resentment at inability of both the Central or State Governments to break the deadlock the Committee demanded cargo flight service to procure consumer items.
Contending that the current situation ha already reached the crisis point, the body wondered what compulsion is restricting the Government from utilising chopper/flight services to replenish the food stocks. If choppers could be promptly pressed into service to suppress insurgency there is no reason why similar measures are not adopted in ensuring availability of essential commodity to ameliorate hardships faced by the common people, questioned the body.

ANSAM dampener to talks hopes, says CM must come to Spt The Imphal Free Press
Senapati, Jul 31: Contrary to the reports that the agitating All Naga Students' Association, Manipur, ANSAM would hold talks with the Manipur government at Senapati on August 1, the Naga student body today stated that there is no question of holding talks with the Manipur government if the chief minister and the chief secretary of the state are not going to participate. The ANSAM held its executive meeting today in an undisclosed location and resolved that it would not hold talk with the Manipur government since the chief minister and the chief secretary are not in the said delegation.

In its message sent in reply to the Manipur government's letter No.1/25/2005-CM dated 29 July, 2005, addressed to Binod Kispotta, secretary to the chief minister of Manipur, the ANSAM today stated "while appreciating your willingness to resolve the issue pertaining to the non-cooperation movement launched by ANSAM, the proposed meeting of the government delegates and ANSAM without the chief minister is not favourable to us." The ANSAM reply to the Manipur government, of which a copy was made available to Newmai News Network this evening, signed by the student body’s general secretary Robert T. Maram, further stated," we once again reiterate our stand that the talks be held with the chief minister of Manipur and the chief secretary of Manipur in order to arrive at an amicable understanding at the earliest possible time." Meanwhile, ANSAM spokesman Ngachonmi Chamroy reacting angrily to some media reports, said that "there is no question of preliminary talks---if there is going to be a talk that should be a serious and main one."
Chamroy said that the government should not try to impose its own terms and conditions on ANSAM if it really wanted to resolve the imbroglio. "Reports which said that a ministerial delegation to hold meeting with us without the chief minister is a unilateral decision of the government and we cannot accept such unilateral decision of the government, which should not try to impose such decision on us," declared the ANSAM spokesman.
ANSAM turns down Govt proposal to talk with representatives Talk only with CM : ANSAM Newmai News Network
Senapati,Jul 31: Contrary to reports that the agitating All Naga Students’ Association, Mani- pur ( ANSAM ) would hold talks with representatives of the Manipur Government at Senapati on August 1, the Naga student body today stated that there is no question of holding talks with the Government if the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of the State are not going to participate in the talk.
The decision not to hold the talk with the Government representatives was taken during an executive meeting today at an undisclosed location. ANSAM has resolved that it would not hold talk with the Manipur Government since the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary are not in the said delegation.
In its reply to the State Government’s letter No.1/25/2005—CM dated 29 July, 2005 and addressed to Binod Kispotta, secretary to the Chief Minister of Manipur, ANSAM today stated “while appreciating your willingness to resolve the issue pertaining to the non-cooperation movement launched by ANSAM, the proposed meeting of the Government delegates and ANSAM without the Chief Minister is not favourable to us.” Today’s ANSAM reply to the Manipur Government, of which a copy was made available to Newmai News Network this evening and signed by the student body general secretary Robert T Maram, further stated, “we once again reiterate our stand that the talks be held with the Chief Minister of Manipur and the Chief Secretary of Manipur in order to arrive at an amicable understanding at the earliest possible time.” In addition to this, ANSAM spokesman Ngachonmi Chamroy in a furious tone while reacting to some reports, said that “there is no question of preliminary talks—if there is going to be a talk that talk should be a serious and the main one.”
Chamroy then said that the Government should not try to impose its terms and conditions on ANSAM if it (Government) really wanted to resolve the imbroglio. “Reports which said that a Ministerial delegation will meet us without the Chief Minister is a unilateral decision of the Government and we cannot accept such unilateral decision of the Government and the Government should not try to impose such decision on us,” added the ANSAM spokeman. Our Staff Reporter adds : The Government had earlier decided to send a three member team to negotiate with the student body.
A reliable source informed The Sangai Express that the three member team which was to be deputed for the talk are PHED Minister Govindas Konthoujam, Commerce and Industries Minister N Mangi and Hill Areas Committee Chairman Songchin- khup. Speaking to The Sangai Express ANSAM general secretary Robert T Maram said that an emergency executive body meeting was convened today afternoon to discuss the latest Government proposal wherein it was resolved to hold talks only with the Chief Minister. Members present at the said meeting were unanimous in declining the session with Government representatives as nothing conclusive can be reached in the absence of the Chief Minister, Robert said. Moreover any talk with Govt representatives will confuse the Naga people, reasoned Maram and added that the decision of the executive body will be faxed to the CM.
UCM meets Governor, CM to discuss situation By Our Staff Reporter Sangai
IMPHAL, Jul 31 : Representatives of the UCM held extensive discussion with the Governor and Chief Minister on the prevailing situation arising out of the ongoing economic blockade yesterday.
According to a UCM statement, a five member delegation accepted an invitation from the Governor for a meeting and briefed Dr SS sidhu on the difficulties faced by the general public due to the ANSAM sponsored agitation. The Governor was also urged to intimate the Centre on the ground reality as negligence at the current juncture might lead to the situation going out of hand, said the statement. While the UCM delegates highlighted to the Governor of NSCN (IM) instigating and actively enforcing the ANSAM blockade Dr sidhu conveyed of detailed report of the Manipur situation being sent to the Central leaders. Dr Sidhu, said UCM was also urged to take strong initiative in developing and improving NH-53 as well as NH-150 as NSCN (IM) frequently creating nuisance and harassing transport operators on the State’s lifelines necessitates preparedness to prevent people of Manipur to live at the mercy of the underground organisation. During the meeting with the CM the UCM team is informed to have insisted on O Ibobi Singh to take all possible measures for expeditious end to the current impasse as well as to dispense his duties in the true spirit and ethics of holding the office. Reiterating involvement of NSCN (IM) in the ongoing blockade the UCM referring to GoI-NSCN (IM) ceasefire extension also asked the CM to be wary of ‘double standard’ policy of the Central Government. While pledging to the CM of UCM’s commitment and determination to preserve the age-old brotherly ties amongst different section of the society the body also asked the CM against revoking declaration of June 18 at State Integrity Day/Holiday, added the statement.
AMUCO rationalises concept of integrity By Our Staff Reporter Sangai
IMPHAL, Jul 31 : Delving forth on the essence of integrity, the All Manipur United Clubs' Organisation today said that the integrity of Manipur means territory, people and the ties that bind the people together living within the territory.
In a leaflet issued to the press ahead of Integrity Day on August 4, AMUCO said that the concept of Manipur integrity will be lost without territory and likewise, integrity will lose its meaning if the ties that bind the people are snapped. Only territory will not guarantee integrity, it observed.
AMUCO asserted that it is not the Government of Manipur which can protect the integrity of Manipur and added that the territory of Manipur can be altered by an Act passed in Parliament. The State Assembly does not have the authority to oppose the Act passed by Parliament, it said and added that this is ample proof that the Government of Manipur cannot protect the integrity of Manipur.
The integrity of Manipur has been protected by the ties that bind the people together for ages. However after Manipur merged with the Indian Union in 1949, the danger of breaking up Manipur has come to haunt the people and this has given rise to distrust amongst the different communities living in Manipur, added AMUCO. The seeds of distrust were sown by the politics of divide and rule and in their bid to capture power and enjoy its perks, the people were divided along communal lines and ethnicity by the politicians to win the election, said the leaflet. On top of this, successive Governments since 1949 has made the State economically dependent on India which has a direct connection with the division amongst the people, it observed. As it became apparent that the Manipur Government cannot protect the integrity of Manipur, the people, cutting across community staged a huge rally on August 4, 1997. Since then August 4 has been observed as Integrity day, said AMUCO.
The June 14, 2001 Bangkok Declaration was another proof that the Government of Manipur cannot protect the integrity of Manipur, added AMUCO and recalled the 66 hours general strike called by AMUCO from June 15 that culminated in the mass protest on June 18, that led to the loss of 14 lives.
Unfortunately some organisations which sprang up in the name of the people were instrumental in getting the Govt involved in observing June 18 from 2002, charged AMUCO.
Since the Govt has been using June 18 as a weapon to befool the public and today the sacred June 18 has become something of a tool for the State Govt and the Centre to sow the seeds of distrust and animosity amongst the people of Manipur, charged the statement. A number organisations, ostensibly working for the welfare of the people have also been wittingly and unwittingly helping the Govt to pursue its agenda. On the other hand some group of people who do not want to respect the age old ties that bind the people together have also jumped in and are helping the Government of India in keeping the people divided, added AMUCO. The agenda of dividing the people and sowing the seeds of animosity among-st the people of North East was hatched by the Government of India a long time back. It is with this intention that the Indian Govt has been talking about remap-ping the entire North East States by chopping and adding the land. The statement further said that though protecting and developing the National Highways is in the Union list, the Indian Govt has always been a silent spectator whenever any group of people imposed a blockade on the highways down the years. This is because the Indian Govt is intent on dividing the people along every conceivable lines. To defeat the agenda of the Indian Govt, the people of the North East need to work towards formulating a policy of voluntary unity. It is under this voluntary unity, that the integrity of Manipur will be ensured, it added. The rally on August 4, 1997 and the June 18, 2001 incident more than show that the people of Manipur are committed to protecting the integrity of Manipur. The time now is to study which direction to take to ensure the integrity of Manipur, said AMUCO and added that the best path to take is the way shown by the late Hijam Irabot. A system of governance where the people are treated equally, where there is no exploitation of any sort, a self reliant entity, are the recipes for the integrity of Manipur, said the statement. All the people of Manipur must be treated on an equal footing and there should no division of any sort, it mooted. AMUCO also urged all to participate in the Integrity Day function to be held on August 4 at MDU Hall from 10 am.
Call off Manipur blockade: NESO ‘We won’t allow IM(DT) avatar’ By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 31: To end the economic blockade to Manipur by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur branch and backed by the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) has demanded of the Manipur Government to take initiatives to find an amicable and all acceptable solution to the problem. The Naga students in Manipur have been agitating against the Manipur Government’s declaration of June 18 as a State holiday vis-a-vis Manipur State Integrity Day, which, the NSF thinks, will disturb the cohesiveness of the people of Manipur. The NESO has also urged the NSF to suspend its economic blockade taking the plight of the people into consideration. The NESO also u