Nagalim.NL News

Friday, September 30th

Vatican ambassador to visit Nagaland


Vatican ambassador to visit Nagaland New Kerala Kohima | September 30, 2005
Vatican Ambassador to India, Apostolic Nuncio, will pay an official visit to Nagaland from October 24.
According to official sources here today the ambassador will meet governor Shyamal Datta and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio during his two-day stay in this state capital.
The catholic churches of Kohima are gearing up to receive the ambassador, who will arrive here from Imphal by road, where he is scheduled to touch down first and interact with government officials and church representatives. UNI AS KK AKP1203
One hurt in inter-factional clash Kohima | September 30, 2005nWebindia
One NSCN-IM cadre was injured in an inter- factional fued near Yakur village under Tuensang district. According to reports received today the cadre was injured yesterday in a gun battle between the combined forces of NSCN(K) and Federal Government of Nagaland and the NSCN-IM group. Fire was exchanged for about half-an hour. The situation is tense. The villagers have accused the law enforcing agencies of aiding a particular faction while neglecting other groups, the reports added.
UNI AS KK SY DS1254

Assam follows strike regimen - Airport staff agitation affects air services throughout region, but most states ignore bandh A STAFF REPORTER New Telegraph Guwahati, Sept. 29:
Another bandh, another day lost. Much as people rave and rant about the crippling culture of strikes, life in Assam came to a grinding halt — well, almost — with residents preferring to shut themselves up in their homes rather than face overbearing bandh enforcers. The state actually had to ensure not one, but two bandhs — a 24-hour general strike enforced by an assortment of Left-backed trade unions and a 12-hour bandh called by the People’s Committee for Peace Initiative. The statewide bandh — the third this month — partially affected rail and air services and totally paralysed road transport, business and education. Sonitpur district remained closed for the third consecutive day because of bandhs called by different organisations. A strike by Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees against privatisation of airports heaped more agony on travellers. V. K. Choudhury, regional executive director of the AAI, said Lokapriyo Gopinath Bordoloi international airport operated at “50 to 60 per cent capacity” during the day.
“There was no problem with operations at the airport, but some airlines did cancel their flights,” he said. Guwahati airport handles 30 flights on an average each day. Today, there were only 14 flights to and from the city. “Delhi was connected, barring Jet Airways flights. All flights from Calcutta were, however, cancelled,” Choudhury said. ATR services within the region were normal. Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson T. Rabha said most long-distance trains, including Rajdhani Express, were “regulated” at various places because of the bandh. Some short-distance train services, however, operated normally. “It will take us between two and three days to restore all services,” Rabha said. In Guwahati, police arrested 60 people for enforcing the bandh. Very few residents ventured out in any case and the city wore a deserted look throughout the day. One of the new flyovers witnessed a television shoot instead of the usual hurly-burly of traffic (picture on left).
All business establishments and educational institutions were closed. The Left-sponsored general strike evoked a mixed response elsewhere in the region. In Tripura, all government offices except the state secretariat remained closed despite chief secretary R.K. Mathur officially warning employees of penal steps if they did not report for duty. Only one ATR flight arrived in Agartala from Guwahati. The airport at Singarbil normally handles four-five flights on the Agartala-Calcutta-Guwahati sector. In Nagaland, banks and post offices were closed for the day. Manipur remained unaffected except for cancellation of flights to and from Imphal. Left activists staged a sit-in demonstration in the capital town. Senior CPI leader A.B. Bardhan led the protest. Business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices functioned normally. Mizoram, too, was unaffected by the strike.
Nagalim: National Socialist Council of Nagalim Rolls Pitch for Dialogue Source: The Telegraph India UNPO
Eager to make a positive impression before the next round of talks with Delhi, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) today claimed to be implementing the ceasefire “in letter and spirit wherever we are”. Rh. Raising, kilo kilonser (home minister) in the NSCN (I-M) hierarchy, said over phone that his organisation had always endeavoured to maintain the ceasefire between the Centre and the Nagas, “wherever they are, in the Northeast or in Delhi”. He said the 2001 uprising in Manipur against a “ceasefire without territorial limits” had been rendered redundant by developments since then.
“If the Meiteis have a problem, let them approach the government of India. But as far as the Indo-Naga issue is concerned, that is the Nagas’ lookout, not theirs.”
The NSCN (I-M) will resume its dialogue with Delhi’s team of interlocutors early next month, most probably in Bangkok. The militant leader said contrary to what many might be thinking, the NSCN (I-M) had forged a relationship of mutual trust with the government. He claimed to have addressed a meeting of thousands of NSCN (I-M) members on August 14 in the presence of senior officials, including a deputy commissioner. “The flag was hoisted and nobody raised any objection. That says everything.” Raising indicated that the NSCN (I-M) was working towards a reconciliation with rival groups. He said the outcome of these efforts, however, depended on the progress of the dialogue with Delhi. On the recent meeting in Bangkok between the NSCN (I-M) leadership and a delegation of Church and NGO representatives from Nagaland, Raising said they spoke the “same language of unification”. He said the peace process was at a very crucial juncture and the challenge was to remove differences in opinion on key issues. The NSCN (Khaplang) has been consistently critical of its rival’s approach to the dialogue with Delhi. Raising said both his organisation and the UPA government at the Centre were committed to a negotiated settlement through peaceful means. “I only hope they (Delhi) will abide by what they say,” he said.
GoI urged to involve Kukis in negotiation T. Siamchinthang Morung Express
LAMKA (MExN): The Kuki Students Organisation (KSO), Churachandpur has urged the Government of India to involve all the Kuki revolutionary outfits in any negotiation for a permanent political solution to the problems of the Kukis.
In a representation submitted to the Union Home Ministry which was available to The Morung Express, the student body pointed out the need on the part of the Indian Government to come to terms with all the different Kuki revolutionary organizations and to involve them in any negotiation on the Kuki issue.
While appreciating the cease-fire agreement signed between the Government of India and some Kuki outfits, the representation signed by president of the student body Tonghen Kipgen observed that the facts about the Kukis and their political problems are to be viewed in the right perspective. The release pointed out that the Kukis had fought side by side with the mainland Indians for the independence of the country. The Kuki Rebellion of 1917 and 1919 against the mighty British Empire during the Second World War is also well-known. However, despite all these contributions, the Government of India has done nothing to redress the problems of the Kuki people, the student body rued.
The divisive policy played by the Government meted out to the Kukis has retarded the economic-political growth of the Kukis, it stated, while adding that the full-fledged State of Manipur in 1973 has not benefited the Kukis in any way and it is because of these circumstantial pains and sufferings of the people that have given birth to some revolutionary organisations.
Whither Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act? Morung Express
Nothing has yet been made public about the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958 Review Committee recommendations. Staying in Delhi and with gossips going round, one cannot, however, fail to speculate the nature of the recommendations of the Review Committee. A lot of the gossip has revolved around certain official statements emanating from political bigwigs. Much also has to do with India’s escalation in the fight against ‘terrorists’. One thing that India certainly cannot do is: escalate its counter-terrorist/insurgency policies, and at the same time, say or give the impression that it is cutting down on its legal and other institutional mechanisms against terrorists/insurgents.
Going a little back into time, it must be understood that the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958 was brought about as a ‘military’ response to internal violence of all types in an evolving anti-terror/insurgency doctrine that overwhelmingly was influenced by the need for India to be continually prepared for war from its hostile neighbours. When I say all types of violence, this also included the Left-wing mass movement in Telengana and other areas, which Jawaharlal Nehru, in a speech, termed as an "anti-national campaign, worse than an open rebellion and aiming at total disruption, which would result in widespread chaos". Although the Left-wing militant mass movement was a sore area, as far as the government was concerned, the real threat emerged from ‘rebellion’ in the peripheral East and the West. The escalating violence in these two geo-political and strategically significant regions, for whatever reasons, came to be perceived as a direct challenge to the notion of a hard won independence and the territorial integrity of the new India. The need to face these challenges by all means available was made a matter of national policy. Fighting terrorism/insurgency, thus, was made an important element in the overall national military grand strategy of India and not as policy of engagement with a specific type of violence practitioners.
This also can be evidenced from the fact that the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958, when enacted, was to lapse in six months but it has been continually extended for the last 48 years with its variants formulated in various other circumstances which also means that the counter-terror/insurgency doctrine/policy of the government has seen no innovation since its inception. This overt military disposition right from the 1950s has created a military/bureaucracy enclave who make the final ‘rules’ in counter-terror/insurgency with the political leadership in Delhi having little or no knowledge or say of/in the operational aspects carried out in the field. This acute polarization of India’s anti-terror/insurgency policy will not be an easy structure to demolish in the near future. As far as I am concerned, repealing the Armed Forces Act would require a complete overhauling of the national/internal security institutional, legal and other mechanisms, which I am afraid the government is not in a position to carry out. Not because it cannot be done, but because the policy is so deeply entrenched in the system. Further, with subsequent governments managing to hold on to power in what seems to be ‘coalition politics is here to stay’, the pulls and pressures of political partners will make it extremely difficult for governments to commit political suicide by taking ‘risks’ pertaining to India’s ‘national security’. What inferences do I draw from the above regarding the impending recommendations of the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958 Review Committee? Crudely put, the government will not repeal the Act. At most what the government will do is strike out some portions to say that it is benevolently presenting a more ‘humane’ Act. It might even change the nomenclature, but the fundamentals of a ‘military’ oriented response to terrorism/insurgency will not be compromised. This also falls in line with both the enhanced rhetoric and commitments to the ‘war on terror’ in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in the United States. A number of recent literature coming from research by the Army top brass are emphasizing on ‘joint doctrines’, short, swift and precise military operations to fight different types of conflicts and in varying terrain patterns, smaller, more agile, more responsive and rapidly deployable Special Forces Units, patterned on Units such as the 31 Rashtriya Rifles – an elite counter insurgency force – and such other renewed counter terror/insurgency strategies. Bad news indeed for the states in the North Eastern region.
For us living the North Eastern states all the rhetoric of ‘political dialogues’ are not ‘chill out’ signs. Where will the BSF pulled out from Jammu and Kashmir go? They are definitely not going to be deployed for maritime security duties. One other concern that needs to be noted: there has been a gradual but consistent isolation of the political leadership in the North Eastern states in any move by the Centre to carry out its military policies in the region. There is a general perception in Delhi that politicians in the region are highly susceptible to influence from the protagonists of conflict and hence the Centre derives no dividends in collaborating with them. The recent Bhutan operation reported caught the Assam government off guard making one Assamese security analyst comment that the success of Operation Rhino II was completely reversed by Operation All Clear. Political interventions have always been a ‘far cry’ for the people in the North Eastern states. Not because these have not been carried out but because these have always been on terms set by the Centre in a fundamentally ‘carrot or stick’ approach. Unfortunately for Delhi, both the ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’ do not seem to have worked in the region. And of course, wishing away the problem is only a recipe for disaster.
Police kill six student protesters in Meghalaya GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Police shot dead six student protesters on Friday when a demonstration over college facilities turned violent in Meghalaya, officials and police said.
Police said they opened fire after students tried to break through bamboo barricades during their illegal protest and attacked policemen in Tura, nearly 400 km west of the state capital Shillong.
"Six people have been killed in police firing this morning," Meghalaya state official L.R. Sangma told Reuters. Police said that all the six killed were college students. About 50 people, including students and policemen, were hurt. "The police had to open fire when the students started throwing stones and broke the barricades," a senior police officer, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters by telephone. A curfew has been imposed in the area. Kohima, September 30 : One NSCN-IM cadre was injured in an inter- factional fued near Yakur village under Tuensang district. According to reports received today the cadre was injured yesterday in a gun battle between the combined forces of NSCN(K) and Federal Government of Nagaland and the NSCN-IM group. Fire was exchanged for about half-an hour. The situation is tense. The villagers have accused the law enforcing agencies of aiding a particular faction while neglecting other groups, the reports added. [UNI]

Assam bandh total, peaceful By A Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – Normal life in the state was badly hit today due to the 12-hour bandh called by the People’s Committee for Peace Initiative (PCPI) and a nationwide general strike called by trade unions and employees’ associations. While the PCPI bandh was for demanding suspension of Army operations for creating a congenial atmosphere for talks with the militant outfits, including the ULFA, the national strike was to protest the UPA government’s economic policies. The effect of the twin calls was near total in Guwahati where business and functioning in offices came to a standstill. Business establishments kept their shutters down while private offices were close. Attendance in government offices was negligible. Educational institutions cancelled classes and school examinations were rescheduled. All major markets in the city, except the Beltola weekly market, remained close throughout the day. There were no bandh-related incidents in the city said City Police SSP Nitul Gogoi. However, police arrested 363 persons across the city while they were trying to force people to observe the bandh, he said. Most major public vehicles remained off the roads with only a handful of ASTC “Rhino Service” buses providing some relief to people waiting at bus stands. Most private vehicles were also off the roads. Long distance buses did not ply during the day.

Despite the fact that some airport employees here supported the general strike, airport officials said this evening that all flights of Indian Airlines and Sahara Airlines operated as usual. Only the Jet Airlines flights did not operate. Train services, however, were severely affected with many trains being cancelled and rescheduled today and tomorrow. Among the trains cancelled is the Kanchanjunga Express scheduled to leave Guwahati for Sealdah on Friday. The Saraighat Express that was to depart at 7 pm today will now depart at 6 am tomorrow. The Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express has also been rescheduled to leave Dibrugarh at 10 pm tomorrow instead of 6.15 pm today. The Guwahati-Delhi Rajdhani Express scheduled to depart from Guwahati at 6.15 am tomorrow, will leave at 12.30 pm. Tomorrow’s North East Express will depart at 3 pm instead of 9 am.
Our Correspondents add: Dibrugarh: Normal life in Dibrugarh city was partially hit today due to the nationwide general strike called by different trade unions. Although long route buses remained off the road, air and rail traffic operated normally. Many shops at the city’s main market area had their shutters open while scores of two and four wheelers were seen plying on the roads during the bandh period. Banks, post offices and the educational institutions however remained closed with the other state and Central government offices registering a thin attendance. There have been no reports of any untoward incident from any part of the city during the strike.

Tinsukia: The nationwide bandh called affected normal life in the upper Assam business hub of Tinsukia town. All government establishment including banks and post office remained closed barring the essential services. The educational institutions of the town also observed an unofficial holiday due to the bandh. Vehicular traffic was off the roads although trains ran as per schedule. There have been no reports of any untoward incident during the bandh period.
Teok: The bandh was total and peaceful in Teok. The national highway wore a deserted look, while educational institutions, offices and business establishments remained closed for the day. There has been no untoward incident during the 12 hour bandh period here.
Goalpara: The countrywide general strike was observed throughout Goalpara district peacefully. All financial institutions, Central government offices and business establishments remained close while public vehicles were off the roads. In Goalpara town State Government offices remained open but attendance was thin. Goalpara College teachers abstained from classes and observed sit-in strike.
Bongaigaon: The bandh evoked full response in Bongaigaon and Chirang districts. During the period, shops, markets, business establishments, educational institutions and offices were close. Vehicles were off the roads. Some BRPL employees supporting the CITU remained absent from their duties. The bandh was peaceful.
Bijni: The bandh had a mixed effect and passed off quite peacefully. Offices and schools and colleges were open but as there was no plying of buses no official work as such could be carried out. Few vehicles were seen plying on National Highway 31.
Nalbari: The bandh was total and peaceful in Nalbari district. Business establishments, educational and financial institutions and government offices remained close. Vehicles were off the roads.
Rangiya: Normal life in and around Rangiya was completely paralysed following the dawn to dusk bandh observed here successfully. All educational institutions, offices, banks, post offices and business establishments remained close. All modes of vehicles went off the roads.
Mirza: The bandh passed off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from any part of south Kamrup. All kinds of vehicles remained off the roads. Though government offices remained open, there was no attendance. Business establishments and educational institutions remained close.

Jalah: Normal life in Baksa district and North Bajali was hit due to the bandh that coincided with another bandh called by the All Assam Sarania Kachari Students’ Union. The bandh was total in Jalah, Anchali, Simla, Doomuri, Charaimari, Lakshi Bazar, etc. Vehicles were off the roads and shops and offices remained close. The bandh was peaceful.
Udalguri: The bandh passed off peacefully in Udalguri district today. Even though business establishments were closed and vehicles were off the roads the affect of the bandh was somewhat offset by the BPPF rally here.
Jamugurihat: The bandh was total and peaceful here. Business establishments and educational institutions remained close. The police arrested over a hundred picketers.
Tezpur: The bandh was widely supported in Sonitpur district. Business establishments and offices remained close. Tezpur town wore a deserted look. The bandh passed off peacefully.
Koliabor: The bandh was total and peaceful in the entire Koliabor subdivision. No incident was reported and offices and educational institutions remained close.
Bokakhat: The bandh passed off peacefully in the subdivision with shops, educational institutions and offices being close.
Jorhat: The bandh was successful here without any major untoward incident. Police arrested 85 bandh supporters. Though a few government offices were open, attendance was sparse. No heavy vehicles were seen on the roads.
Sivasagar: The bandh was total and peaceful here.
Tinsukia- The bandh call evoked total response and paralysed normal life in the district. All shops and establishments, financial and educational institutions remained close. Vehicles were off the roads. Attendance in government offices was thin. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere. Police arrested 13 persons at Digboi and five more at Panitola.
Doomdooma: Normal life in and around the tea town remained paralysed due to the bandh and the general strike. All government offices, business establishments, financial and educational institutions were close. Vehicles remained off the roads. No untoward incident was reported.

Dongkamokam: The general strike evoked mixed response in Karbi Anglong district. The bandh was total in Diphu and Bokajan subdivisions putting normal life out of gear. In some parts of Hamren subdivision a few shops and business establishments remained open. No untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the district.

Frans on 09.30.05 @ 05:19 PM CST [link]


Wednesday, September 28th

NSCN rolls pitch for dialogue: Talks likely next month


NSCN rolls pitch for dialogue: Talks likely next month NISHIT DHOLABHAI Kohima, Sept. 27: The Telegraph
Eager to make a positive impression before the next round of talks with Delhi, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) today claimed to be implementing the ceasefire “in letter and spirit wherever we are”. Rh. Raising, kilo kilonser (home minister) in the NSCN (I-M) hierarchy, said over phone that his organisation had always endeavoured to maintain the ceasefire between the Centre and the Nagas, “wherever they are, in the Northeast or in Delhi”. He said the 2001 uprising in Manipur against a “ceasefire without territorial limits” had been rendered redundant by developments since then. “If the Meiteis have a problem, let them approach the government of India. But as far as the Indo-Naga issue is concerned, that is the Nagas’ lookout, not theirs.”
The NSCN (I-M) will resume its dialogue with Delhi’s team of interlocutors early next month, most probably in Bangkok. The militant leader said contrary to what many might be thinking, the NSCN (I-M) had forged a relationship of mutual trust with the government. He claimed to have addressed a meeting of thousands of NSCN (I-M) members on August 14 in the presence of senior officials, including a deputy commissioner. “The flag was hoisted and nobody raised any objection. That says everything.”
Raising indicated that the NSCN (I-M) was working towards a reconciliation with rival groups. He said the outcome of these efforts, however, depended on the progress of the dialogue with Delhi. On the recent meeting in Bangkok between the NSCN (I-M) leadership and a delegation of Church and NGO representatives from Nagaland, Raising said they spoke the “same language of unification”. He said the peace process was at a very crucial juncture and the challenge was to remove differences in opinion on key issues. The NSCN (Khaplang) has been consistently critical of its rival’s approach to the dialogue with Delhi.Raising said both his organisation and the UPA government at the Centre were committed to a negotiated settlement through peaceful means. “I only hope they (Delhi) will abide by what they say,” he said.
Naga Consciousness - Is it? Akum Longchari The Morung Express
At the core of a peoples existence is its collective consciousness and perhaps Nagas must consciously and deliberately take the task to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception that is an alternative to the status quo. This consciousness should be a call for self-realization and re-examination of themselves, their value systems, their culture, their worldviews, their faith and their future as peoples. It should bring to public expression those hopes and yearnings that have been denied so long and suppressed so deeply that one no longer knows that they are there anymore. As Brueggemann would say, "hope is the refusal to accept the reading of reality which is the majority opinion; and one does that only at great political and existential risk." Hence, a people’s consciousness must be in response to the necessity to inculcate a spirit of independence. It must grasp the notion of who they are and their readiness to assume responsibilities that emerges out of this realization, for one cannot be conscious and yet remain in bondage. It is essential that the attainment of the envisioned collective self is a free and dignified self.
Critical consciousness must relate the present to the past and reject attempts by the powers that be to perpetuate a deliberately arrested image of a culture as a static element. Culture when defined in concrete terms presents and demonstrates the historical and political evolution of a people which must be made to live in a real manner. Hence, Naga consciousness must empower them to overcome dependency and transcend the walls build around them. Where does one go from here? Ones thought, behavior and institutions are made to fit into a pattern largely and often wholly determined by others. Originality and forms of thoughts have been dulled to the point where it takes extreme effort to act with reason even in order to follow one’s own beliefs and convictions. This has limited creativity and damaged the ability to act with will, generating a feeling of powerlessness which Steve Biko says "breeds a race of beggars who smile at the enemy and swears at him in the sanctity of their toilets."
Nagas must ask themselves whether they are serious about making change. Are they prepared to free themselves from the chains of bondage that has made them stop thinking? And so how does one address all these questions that define ones existence? Is it therefore not essential to become a living element in that popular yearning which is entirely calling forth for the freeing, the progress and the happiness of the Nagas? Decolonization of the mind with the willingness to accept that there indeed is a future by aiding and empowering each other into consciousness, and to be participants in the making of that history is a fundamental step. The Naga consciousness must lead to understanding; an understanding which is the understanding of differences through dialogue. A dialogue that appeals not out of our minds and dreams alone but out of experiences, which revolves around practical possibilities and realities so that one does not just give in to despair, but develops a hope and a sense of human security.
Imphal-Mandalay bus service remains a dream as Myanmar rejects Indian proposal Thingbaijam Dhamen
IMPHAL, Sept 27: The policy of the government of India to create good diplomatic relationships with neighbouring countries by launching bus services with its neighbours has resulted in bus services between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, but the proposed Imphal-Mandalay bus service is still only a dream for the people of the border state of Manipur as the Indian proposal is held up by Myanmar`s refusal to allow such a bus service in their territory. The Indian proposal was part of the agenda discussed at a meeting on border talks between the two sides recently. The Myanmar side maintained that they had restrictions on the movement of any foreign vehicles in their land and as such they could not agree to the Indian proposal for a bus service connecting the two countries.

The two-day meeting of the heads of the survey departments of Myanmar and India which was held on September 24 and 25 reviewed the reports on work plan for 2005-06 for joint inspection, repair, restoration, reconstruction and maintenance of India-Myanmar boundary pillars based on data and information available with both sides. The meeting agreed on construction of pucca fencing along the stretch of border lying between the border pillar 79 and 81 which is to be taken up by the government of India. The sixth meeting of its kind between the two countries that concluded at Moreh resolved to hold further discussions in the first week of November this year on the same topic for taking a concrete decision on the boundary pillars and to update information regarding the condition of the pillars available with both sides. In the scheduled November meeting both sides will discuss and decide about the border pillars no. 185 and 186 located in the Arunachal Pradesh-Myanmar sector, BP no. 73,101, 114(1), 114(2), 114(3), 115(1), 115(2), 116 and 117 in the Manipur-Myanmar sector and 131,133(1), 113(2), 133(3), 145, 146, 147, 148, 150, 151 and 152 in the Nagaland-Myanmar sector.

Information regarding the status of any other damage/missing boundary pillars in these sectors are to be submitted by the concerned state government authorities of Indian side and by the Myanmar side in the course of discussions at the meeting so that the same may be included in the work plan. For the Indian side, the representatives of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland will put up the required information in the coming meeting. After the heads of survey departments level meeting a joint inspection will be conducted and if during the course of joint inspection, the joint inspection team or teams discover that any other pillars are damaged or missing necessary corrective measures in regard to these pillars will also be undertaken as a part of the ongoing exercise in the above three sectors.
Digitalisation of all the Indo-Myanmar boundary strip maps (i.e. 1-40-40 maps) which was agreed in the fifth meeting of the same level between Myanmar and India held at Yangon, Myanmar from September 22 to 27 last year was also discussed in the meeting. The strip maps have been completed but the quality control and patterning of the maps is yet to be carried out and is likely to be completed by the end of October this year. On completion of the same, soft copies along with hard copies for each map will be send to the Myanmar side through diplomatic channel by the Indian authority. While discussing the proposal of Indian side for finalisation of unsettled 9 boundary pillars nos. 66, 76, 78, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, and 94, the Myanmar authority is yet to give their comments even as the Indian side had already proposed for settlement during the fifth meeting last year. At that meeting the Indian side had asked for the early submission of their comments and observations etc. A 10-member team of the Indian side participated in the meeting and the DC Chandel district along with the ADC, Moreh represented the state.

KMC bans pork in Kohima Kohima | September 28, 2005 Webindia
The Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) has banned the sale of pork due to the threat of swine fever caused by Japanese encephalitis that has hit several parts of the country. In an order issued here yesterday, KMC said strict vigil was being kept on pigs coming from outside the region. It also asked to all local pork sellers not to sale the meat without permission and check up by KMC authorities. The deputy commissioner of Dimapur -- the gateway to Nagaland and Manipur -- had banned import of pigs to the state since last week as reports said ''some of the animals died on their way to Nagaland and some developed sores on their skin after reaching the state''. According to reports, however, some of the dealers were smuggling pigs into the Nagaland due to heavy demand. These were being passed off as local pigs. The ban order of KMC came after detection of several cases of the meat of diseased pigs being sold in Dimapur and Kohima. UNI AS RH rd 1145
New books for tomorrow’s kids The Indian ExpressKARTYK VENKATRAMAN Educational innovation comes to Nagaland well ahead of the National Curriculum Framework 2005 KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 27: While the country debates the new ‘‘stress-free’’ and ‘‘learning as fun’’ approach envisaged in the new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005, Nagaland has stolen a march over the rest. Nagaland’s State Council for Educational Research & Training (SCERT) has already introduced textbooks up to Class IV, which aim at making learning more attuned to the immediate environment, and fun on the whole. Government school teachers are being trained in the new approach. Jack Sekhose, deputy director, SCERT, Nagaland says: ‘‘The new books are based on a ‘new pedagogical approach’ which encourages hands-on learning. Our aim is to change the one-way traffic classroom atmosphere. The classroom stands for the entire environment. It is not just a room.’’ For instance, a botany class can be more effectively when conducted in the open, Sekhose says. ‘‘We have just introduced such an approach in lower classes and we are in the process of bringing out textbooks for the higher classes.’’
This is all a result of the Educational Quality Improvement Programme (EQUIP), a Nagaland project, conducted in 2002-04 in collaboration with UNICEF. The project was independent of the NCERT or the NCF 2005. According to an SCERT report on EQUIP-Nagaland, the project aimed at meeting the long-term objective of the Sarva Shikshak Abhiyan Mass Scale Training Programme for elementary school teachers. Already, 25 foundational programmes have been conducted for the teachers till date. A State Resource Group (SRG) comprising 97 members from different echelons of the school system has been formed, and trained through a series of workshops on the new approach. Broadly, the new pedagogy tries to identify a child-centred method. The need, abilities and interests of the child are considered while outlining learning /teaching strategies. The teacher gives the children the freedom to be involved in the learning process. As the child gets to work on his own, and all children get to participate in the activities, their creativity is enhanced. This, says the SCERT, increases the retention power in children and they look forward to go to school. The activities include — active physical play, imagination play, play involving investigation, exploration and discovery, field trips, group discussions, quiz and songs. All of this finds mention, directly and indirectly, in the NCF 2005.
Naga-style Curriculum reform, • Nagaland’s SCERT introduces textbooks up to Class IV which make learning more context-sensitive, participatory, and child-friendly
• A State Resource Group (SRG) comprising 97 members from different echelons of the school system has been formed, and trained through a series of workshops on the new approach
• activities include — active physical play, imagination play, play involving investigation, exploration and discovery, field trips, group discussions, quiz and songs
Although peace education is not yet a listed subject, it has always been a component of teachers’ training in Nagaland. ‘‘Peace has been scarce here, so teachers are taught peace education in terms of values. We teach them the benefits of peace, in place since the 1997 ceasefire,’’ says Sekhose. ‘‘In the new books, all illustrations and cultural references are Nagaland-centric. Government-approved books all over the country display a stereotype of Hindu family. The Naga cultural heritage is considerable, and must be tapped. Unfortunately, the present generation of school children are getting alienated from their cultural roots,’’ he adds. To bridge this gap, in the new books, like Window To My World, My World and I, Discover Me, the cover depictions are of a Naga village. The illustrations are of a Naga family. ‘‘These books teach a lot of traditional values like the dignity of labour, valour and customs like the ‘‘Feast of Merit’’— the richest man in the village throws a feast for everyone, once he reaches a certain level of prosperity. This helps in reducing the disparity between rich and poor. These traditions are being lost. One must understand that our society is transitional, and students must be prepared for this.’’ Sekhose says that while Nagaland customs and values find a larger mention, the overall national curriculum is being adhered to. For example, history book for Class VIII have more chapters on post and pre-independence Naga history, and strive to build Naga identity alongside chapters on Indian history and freedom struggle.
SCERT Nagaland director V. Kesiezie, who was in New Delhi in early September as member of one of the Focus Groups finalising the NCF 2005, says his department’s initiatives have aroused interest in other states. ‘‘I gave a presentation in New Delhi. This was commended by Prof Anita Rampal of Delhi University and chairperson of NCERT’s textbook writing team for primary schools, while the education directors of Goa and Manipur have shown a keen interest in going through our new textbooks.’’

North East students body takes telecom major BSNL to task over long distance recruitment Dimapur | September 28, 2005 By Jahansher Firoze
Dimapur, Sept. 28 (ANI) : Crossed over rising trend of public and private sectors recruiting staff for their manpower needs from outside the north east region, the North East Students Organisation (NESO) has launched a campaign across the region to stop this drive.
One of the largest public sector employers in the region, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has received a NESO memorandum urging the telecom major to select its manpower needs from the north eastern states instead of hiring people from outside.
In its memorandum, NESO cited its concerns over the rising levels of unemployment in the region, saying that this state of affairs was detrimental for the future of the seven north eastern states.
"The Centre says that violence in the region is worsening the unemployment problem of the region; but we see that it is such attitude of denying jobs available in the region to the indigenous youth of the region which is creating unemployment problem in the region," said N S N Lotha, General Secreatry of NESO.
Citing an example of breach in letter and spirit of assurance by the Centre not to fill in vacancies in the region with applicants from outside the North East, Lotha said that it had discovered that the Central Income Tax authorities had recently filled in 70 of its 78 posts meant for the indigenous inhabitants of the region.
"After we took up the matter, the IT department is trying to negotiate the problem with us", informed Lotha.
Lotha claimed that not only was BSNL recruiting from outside the region, but it was also denying several services meant for special category consumers like students.
He said that NESO and its constituent's organizations have met top officials in all north east state capitals to apprise them of their objection to the BSNL's recruitment policies, and warned that if within a fortnight the situation is not addressed, they will step up their agitation.
"Initially we have asked for preferential employment policy for Grade C and D vacancies", added another student leader from the apex Naga students' organization NSF.
While welcoming the entry of private telecom operators in the region, Lotha however made it clear that they too had to follow similar indigenous employment rules as would be applicable for public sector operators and government agencies.
"We had already received similar assurance from Air Cell", said Lotha.
The student leader said that public sector power company NEEPCO had signed a MoU with NESO on recruitment from the region for its manpower needs in the region.
"We have asked BSNL and Railways for such guarantees for the benefit of the youth of the region", said a Naga Students' Federation (NSF) leader who was also present during NESO media meet.
The NESO also urged the BSNL to improve both its cellular and WLL services in Nagaland pointing that the services not only in Nagaland but also in the entire region did not meet the benchmark set by it in other parts of the country. (ANI)
Tourism infrastructure face bottleneck in Nagaland State to observe World Tourism Day Chizokho Vero September 26 The Morung Express Kohima (MExN): Nagaland is blessed with diverse beautiful landscapes, colourful traditions and cultural heritage. However, tourism infrastructure is still lagging behind in the state. The tourism department maintained that it has not been able to reach its desired goal owing to the presence of many constraints such as lack of adequate infrastructure and travel restrictions in the State. This year’s theme, "Tourism and Transport" for the World Tourism Day on September 27 assumes importance in the context of Nagaland. However, it is not immediately known whether the government will pay special attention to make transportation facilities friendlier to tourists visiting Nagaland. The Nagaland Tourism Association will observe World Tourism Day at Zunheboto where Sumi Hoho president SH Rotokha will be the chief guest. "The roads are slow and inadequate, wayside amenities almost non-existent or where they exists, they lack in quality, cleanliness and hygiene and most places do not have decent affordable lodgings of reasonable standard, " according to the Nagaland State Tourism Policy.
The Policy also stated that in the absence of other means of transportation in Nagaland (like rail, waterway etc) besides road communication, a good network of road connectivity is the basic requirement coupled with adequate means of road communication, such as coaches, taxis and so on to facilitate movement of tourists to different destinations. For this, the tourism department will acquire some tourist coaches, which are adequately equipped to meet the needs of tourists. The Policy also stated that the government, through NIDC, NEDFI etc, will also introduce suitable schemes to encourage private tour operators/transporters to operate tourist taxis, coaches, etc. within the State for hiring of such vehicles by tourists. Stating that the visitors first impression of a place is very much based on the facilities available in its airport, rail and bus stations, the Policy said it will be the State’s policy to provide transport services, information counters, telephone facilities which will contribute in generating a tourist- friendly atmosphere. A tourist information centre has been opened at NST Bust station, Kohima by the Nagaland Tourism Association. With the partial relaxation of Restricted Area Permit (RAP/ PAP) for foreign nationals and issue of Inner Line Permit being made more convenient for domestic tourists by issuing them these permits in Nagaland Houses outside the state besides the district headquarters, it has become much easier to visit Nagaland, the department said. The Government maintained that the importance of tourism in achieving sustainable economic growth and generating self-employment has been gaining momentum in the state for the last few years. The numbers of tourists have been steadily increasing over the years, according to official figures.
Medicines sans frontiers joins war against AIDS
IMPHAL, Sep 27: It is good news for the people of Manipur and the HIV/AIDS affected people in particular. The Nobel prize winning International aid agency, Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF) has taken up steps to provide AIDS treatment as part of its routine health care activities in Manipur.
Known in English as Doctors Without Borders, the Dutch section of the organisation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Manipur AIDS Control Society and obtained from Manipur State authorities to include HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in its existing primary health programmes. In Churachandpur district, the aid organisation would be opening a treatment facility for the general diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.
Following its principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, the clinics of MSF/Doctors Without Borders will offer testing services, prevention, counselling, care and anti-retroviral treatment. ‘It is our intention to support the existing HIV/AIDS activities in Churach-andpur district’ said Ria Temmerman, project co-ordi- nator of MSF. ‘With the support of the State AIDS Con-trol Society, an active local society and People Living With HIV/AIDS networks much has been done in the area of prevention and education. However, treatment and testing facilities are still insufficient and MSF would like to cover this part of the gap’, she pointed out. Figures from Manipur AIDS State Control Society indicates that thousands of patients are in need of immediate treatment, which is minimally available in the conflict plagued State, quoted a report of the MSF.. MSF/Doctors Without Borders will continue to provide basic health services, including the mothers to children transmission, in four clinics with the aim to expand its activities to other rural areas in Manipur State. ‘Due to the law and order situation, many rural health facilities are in a vulnerable state’, Temmerman said, adding that ‘MSF/Doctors Without Borders has visited parts of the most vulnerable areas and supported the populations living there. But much more medical support is needed’. MoU signed with MACS also incorporates MSF/Doctors Without Border s support to the district health facilities and local civic society groups.
Army operation withdrawal in Assam could bring peace Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service
Guwahati, Sep 28 (IANS) The government's decision to call off an army operation against the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) from a wildlife sanctuary could make the fragile peace in Assam hold. Soldiers began pulling out of the 650-sq km Dibru Saikhowa National Park in eastern Assam Tuesday evening following orders from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The month-long operation ended silently like it began on a clandestine note Aug 31 with the army authorities not specifying whether the task was accomplished or not. The decision to withdraw the offensive codenamed 'Operation Balwan' may once again revive the tottering peace process initiated by the ULFA. The operation began following orders from the federal home and defence ministries to crack down on rebel bases inside the sanctuary. The ULFA claimed it had lost at least 15 rebel fighters in the operation although the army maintained it had killed five militants in encounters inside the park.
The operations at Dibru Saikhowa, the biggest since the December 2003 military offensive against the ULFA by Bhutan, came at a time when the ULFA had offered to hold talks with the central government and even nominated an 11-member group of public representatives headed by noted Assamese writer Indira Goswami. The ULFA representatives were expected to hold preparatory talks with government peace negotiators next month in New Delhi to pave the way for the rebel leadership to begin direct talks with the authorities at a later stage. ULFA's mediator Goswami had two weeks ago had verbally communicated to the PMO about the 11-member People's Consultative Group (PCG) nominated by the rebel outfit for holding talks. The PMO reportedly welcomed the ULFA's peace overtures. The operations therefore evoked widespread reaction, with rights groups in Assam accusing both the state and the central government of trying to derail the peace process.
Adding fuel to fire was Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee who announced last week that the ongoing operations would continue as there was no ceasefire with the ULFA and also no formal offer from the rebel outfit for holding talks with the central government.
The ULFA leadership and the PCG threatened to pull out of the talks saying the army operations were not in good taste as the general mood in the state was for peace - the ULFA too did not carry out any offensive during the past month. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi reportedly requested the PMO to stop the operations keeping in mind the public outburst, with civil society groups accusing New Delhi of not being sincere in efforts at holding peace talks with the ULFA. Now with the operations withdrawn, the ULFA would be forced to stick to its offer for holding talks. Policymakers in New Delhi should be sensitive to the ULFA issue and instead of trying to crush the rebels militarily, they should strive to bring the militant group to the negotiating table. 'If the ULFA comes for talks, definitely many more separatist groups would be encouraged to come and join the peace process,' said Dilip Patgiri, a radical student leader and one of the members nominated by the ULFA for initiating talks.

Army operations called off By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 27 – The Army today called off its month-long operation in the Dibru-Saikhowa reserve forest in Tinsukia district in upper Assam. The operation, involving some 6000 troops, was launched last month to flush out banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militants holed up in the jungles. An Army spokesman based at the Narengi Cantonment here told The Assam Tribune this evening that the operation has been called off at 4 pm after the forest was “cleared of all ultras.” He said that the task given to the troops has been accomplished. During the operation, the Army had encircled the entire forest, sealing off entry and exit routes to overwhelm the militants. “The operation has been a total success”, the spokesman claimed. Operation Balwan was launched on August 25 to evict members of the ULFA who were reported to have taken shelter within the 756 sq km forest area. The ULFA cadres reportedly belonged to its 28th battalion, originally based in Myanmar. The operation, that evoked widespread protests in the state for the alleged harassment that the local inhabitants were subjected to, was also slammed by the ULFA. The militant outfit claimed that the operation was a “conspiracy” by the Centre to force the outfit to talk peace. Ever since the operations started, there have been protests from several other quarters as well. Though pressure was mounting on the Army to call off the operation, Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee was emphatic last week while stating that the mission would not be called off unless the objective was met.

The Army spokesman today, however, did not acknowledge that the operation was called off because of the pressure. He said that the operation was winded up after the task of clearing off the forest was accomplished. Six ULFA militants, including the 28th battalion’s officiating commander Achintya Saikia and a woman, were killed during the operation. There is no information of any injuries on the militant side. There were also no arrests, the spokesman said. On the part of the security forces, one armyman was injured and an Assam Police constable killed, he said. The spokesman said that though the operation has been called off, the Army would continue to maintain its presence in the area to “ensure that the militants do not re-enter the forest.” “The Army will be deployed at the entry point to the jungle so that militants cannot enter again,” another Army spokesman, based at the 4 corps headquarter in Tezpur, informed. The Army’s decision to call off Operation Balwan came the very day that the Gauhati High Court directed the State Government to ensure that essential commodities like food and medicine are provided to the villagers residing within the Dibru-Saikhowa reserve forest. The High Court bench, comprising Justice D Biswas and Justice PG Agarwal, hearing a PIL filed by the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samity (MASS) and others today, further directed that the villagers should be allowed to move out sick and infirm persons for treatment. The PIL has stated that civil life in three villages had come to a standstill with acute shortage of civic amenities and movement of food and medicines being obstructed. The Judges directed that the State Government should submit a compliance report on October 5. Lawyer BK Mahajan represented the petitioners.

Frans on 09.28.05 @ 04:05 PM CST [link]


Tuesday, September 27th

Therie terms suspension as "political sports"


Therie terms suspension as "political sports" Kohima 26, 2005 Webindia

Former Nagaland Finance Minister Kewekhape Therie, who was dropped from the Neiphiu Rio ministry and subsequently suspended from the Nagaland Peoples' Front, described his suspension as ''political sports''.
Mr Therie said he was yet to receive any formal communication from the party and appealed to all his well wishers to take the matter sportingly. He said inner party democracy guranteed freedom of expression which is also a fundamental right of a citizen.
''Expressing opinion within the four corner of party forum for improvement of the functioning of the party and government is the right of any party member,'' he said. Reaffirming continuous support to the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government's Common Minimum Programme and declared policy of equi-closeness, Mr Therie said the certificate for his performance can be given only by the electorate, a release said. UNI AS MS AK DS1212
There is a sense of peace in Manipur: Fernandes The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 25: "Plebiscite does not figure in our constitution and if somebody wants it, the constitution needs to be amended." This was stated by the visiting former union defence minister George Fernandes, president of JDU and sitting MP of Lok Sabha at a press conference held at Hotel Imphal today when he was asked by the mediapersons about his views on the plebiscite proposed by an insurgent group in Manipur. He also observed that insurgency will take its own time and expressed his wishes to the NSCN (IM)-GoI talks` success. Speaking on the issue of territorial integrity he conveyed that it is a very sensitive issue that any government should handle with utmost care. When asked about his stand on the territorial integrity of north eastern states in the face of Naga peace talk, he said, "I am for the territorial integrity of the country. This country should not be played with."

Commenting on the allegation made by Gurudas Dasgupta, sitting CPI MP, at a function of the 12th AITUC meet held yesterday, that the NDA was voted out due to its communal politics and bad economic policy, George Fernandes retorted that recently a leader of the Shiv Sena, who was branded as a communal leader, joined the Congress party and was willingly accepted as a secular leader. He said that in the name of secularism the Congress party is carrying out all kind of atrocities. Expressing strong resentment against the Congress leader who called him "kaffan chor" during the coffin scandal, when he was barred from speaking in the Parliament for 2 years, he said that the Congress party is a "bunch of liars who can never speak the truth". George Fernandes who left Imphal for his onward journey to Chennai this afternoon also briefed the mediapersons on wide ranging topics covering his visit, his party, the issues of insurgency and peace talks, and communalism in Indian politics at Hotel Imphal. Stating that the main purpose of his visit was to have fruitful discussions with party colleagues and meet long time friends, George Fernandes asserted that he was not here to discuss any political or specific subjects. He said that based on his interactions with party colleagues and other people he had the impression that "there is a sense of peace in this area and I am happy about it". In today`s press briefing Shiv Kumar, general secretary and spokesman of JD (U) and the state party president were also present.

Army extends operation to Dihing Patkai, more casualties in Dibru Saikhowa
NET News Network

Guwahati, Sept 26: The security forces today launched fresh operation in the Dihing Patkai forest in order to flush out “on the run” cadres of ULFA militants as reports of killing of two more leaders of the outfit poured in from conflict ravaged Dibru Saikhowa reserve forest in upper Assam. Reportedly launched by army’s 3 Corps and manned by personnel of Dinjan base, the operation in the Tinsukia-Arunachal border was launched to prevent escape of ULFA’s 28 Battalion’s members to Myanmar. Some of the top leaders of the Battalion along with cadres have reportedly sneaked out of Dibru Saikhowa area and are currently holed up in Dihing Patkai region.

A source informed northeasttribune.com that repeated wireless message was sent to the holed up militants since the last two days to surrender or face the heat. Meanwhile, personnel of 4 Jat Regiment shot dead two more cadres of ULFA this morning in the Ajuka (South) region of Dibru Saikhowa forest. The slain militants have been identified as self styled SS Corporal Nilim Kumar of Tengakhat and Hiren Dohotia of Raidang in Doomdooma. Huge quantity of arms and ammunitions including AK-56, 303 Rifles, Grenades and ammunitions of AK-56 has been recovered from the duo.

Peace initiative to continue: CM By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 26 – The People’s Consultative Group (PCG), formed by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to pave the way for talks with the Government of India, today called upon the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, to ensure suspension of hostilities to create a congenial atmosphere for talks. Members of the group today met the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum in this regard. The PCG highlighted the plight of the common people in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park due to Army operations and alleged that the basic rights of the people are being violated. The PCG members also said that the Army should be restrained to create a congenial atmosphere for talks. The Chief Minister assured his full cooperation to carry forward the peace initiative and said that he would take up the issue with the Prime Minister’s Office. He said that he would be the happiest person if the deadlock is broken during his tenure to initiate talks with the ULFA. The Chief Minister also said that he has already instructed the District Administration to ensure regular supply of essential commodities to the area and the local MLA has been sent to the area to take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, one of the members of the group told this correspondent that a formal letter from the ULFA on the formation of the group is on the way and the same would be delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office shortly. In the memorandum, the PCG members urged Chief Minister to take appropriate measures at his end and also persuade the Centre to pave the way for peace talks by creating a congenial and conducive atmosphere. It requested the “whole-hearted co-operation” of the State Government for the purpose. The PCG insisted that the Army operation launched in Dibru-Saikhowa is “absolutely untimely, unwarranted and unfortunate.” The operation has also resulted in “massive” violation of the human rights of a vast civilian population, it alleged. It said that for the first time the ULFA has expressed its willingness for dialogue with the Union Government by entrusting the “civil society” to prepare the ground work for facilitating the long elusive talks.

“We hope that you will use your good office as the elected head of government to see to it that all necessary exercises are taken up by the State Government towards augmenting the peace process,” the PCG said. It said that the Army action in Dibru-Saikhowa is a “disturbing development” which, with all the imports and purports, is “not proving to be congenial for any peace process.” The PCG reasoned that although there has not been an offensive or violence on the part of the ULFA in recent weeks and though the outfit has shown willingness for peace talks through the initiative of the PCG, the Army actions can “never help the peace process.” This is the time for all concerned to show restraint, the PCG stated, adding that the Army actions and Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s recent remarks would only indicate “failure to appreciate the latest positive gesture and sincerity shown by the ULFA for initiation of peace process through the PCG.”

Sino-Indian boundary talks begin Assam Tribune
BEIJING, Sept 26 – India and China have adopted formal and informal means to address their boundary dispute as their Special Representatives held talks today aimed at finding a “package” solution to the vexed issue. India's National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo met informally in the eastern metropolis, Shanghai during the weekend before arriving here for official-level negotiations, an official source told PTI. “The two Special Representatives had long and many informal meetings in Shanghai before coming here,” he said, adding the two sides were addressing the issues involved in a determined way.
Even today, the first day of the sixth round of talks, Dai requested for an informal meeting prior to the holding of delegation-level negotiations, which went on for nearly 45 minutes at the picturesque Diaoyutai State Guest House. Prior to the informal meeting, Narayanan and Dai shook hands, exchanged pleasantries and posed for photos, displaying good chemistry between the two Special Representatives who are tasked with a difficult task. Indian Ambassador Nalin Surie, Joint Secretary, East Asia, Ministry of External Affairs, Ashok Kantha and other senior officials are attending the in-camera talks.
Narayanan, who is on his first visit to China, will call on Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member and Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Jia Qinglin here tomorrow. He will also meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing tomorrow. The Special Representative mechanism to address the border issue was created during the June 2003 visit of the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to China. The two sides agreed to appoint a Special Representative each to explore, from the political perspective, the framework of a boundary settlement.
Earlier, commenting on the meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the two sides will discuss the framework for resolving the border issue by starting from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relations in line with the Political Guiding Principles for Solving the Border Issue between China and India. “We believe the two sides will be able to find a solution which is fair and reasonable and acceptable to both sides through equal consultation and mutual understanding and accommodation in the spirit of the political guiding principles,” Qin said.

Assam, Nagaland decide to jointly fight illegal migrants Assam Tribune
KOHIMA, Sept 26 – Assam and Nagaland have decided to fight the problem of illegal migrants and strive to reduce tension in areas where the two states have had long standing border disputes. The decision was taken by officials from the two states at a meeting that took place recently at Numaligrah in Assam. The Nagaland team was represented by additional chief secretary and commissioner TN Mannen while Assam was represented by Upper Assam division commissioner. The officials resolved to share information on movement of suspected Bangladeshi nationals and formation of peace committees in Disputed Area Belt (DAB) that would have members from both states. Although the meeting witnessed heated arguments over the proposal of setting up of a Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) post in Longleng district, the states agreed for a joint field team, comprising DIG and border magistates, to look into any complaint of voilation of interim agreements on protracted border disputes, sources said. The officials also resolved to hold future meetings on border disputes at field level and include cultural exchange programmes during the meets. The protracted border disputes had so far remained unsettled with Assam seeking court settlement and Nagaland urging for an out of court solution. – PTI

Poverty, highways force Meghalaya girls into prostitution Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 26 – Poverty, ethnic and armed conflict in the North-east region, large networks of highways and a porous international border make young girls vulnerable to prostitution in Meghalaya, which has become a supply zone for trafficking in flesh trade. A study conducted by Impulse NGO Network in Meghalaya found that economic impoverishment, being the cause and effect of ethnic and armed conflict in the region, resulted in major displacement of the people forcing children and young women to be vulnerable to physical and sexual exploitation. IIM alumnus and president of Impulse NGO Network Hasina Kharbhih during her study found that highways were one of the main areas in carrying out the business of prostitution in Meghalaya which does not even have any prominent red light area.
The highways have turned into a network for trafficking with clients being mostly truck drivers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states ferrying goods across the country, said Hasina whose NGO is campaigning against human trafficking and working for child rights.

The brothels functioned in the large network of highways, including NH 40 – Jorabat, Shillong, Tamabil, NH 44 –Shillong, Jowai, NH 51 – Tura, Dalu, NH 62 – Dangma and Dakmara. Although the highway brothels are a part of the unorganised sector, she said their modus operandi was pretty systematised with the girls picked up from one dropped at another along the National Highways. With the truck itself sometimes sufficing instead of the brothels, the NGO president said the charges ranged between Rs 150 to Rs 200 per client. Minor girls from rural areas employed as helpers in the tea and food stalls along the highways were trafficked for prostitution and many of them were lured by truckers into fake marriages and better jobs, she observed. The marriages were fake because these girls after getting married were often sold by their husbands into brothels of the metropolititan cities, Kharbhih said. The recent increase in the number of girls from Assam trafficked to Haryana as sex slaves had an important link with the phenomena of highway prostitution, she said. An extremely porous international boundary the region shares with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh, proximity to the infamous ‘golden triangle’ facilitating free flow of narcotics and arms often have a cumulative effect and manifested in trafficking of children and young women. A large number of women and children from Meghalaya and other states of the North-east had been trafficked to as far as Bangkok in Thailand, she said.
Hasina said the ban on felling of timber in the region further compounded the situation in Meghalaya as it was a means of earning a livelihood for a large section of rural population.
“While such a step has been commendable in attempting to save and preserve resources and protect the larger environment, the problem is that there has been no alternative given by the government to the rural population,” said the NGO chief. Stating this as a major factor pushing rural people to migrate to the urban areas looking for employment and better standards of living, she said, prostitution arose as yet another problem due to larger issues of socio-economic conditions.
“Laws might be in place but there is a huge gap in their enforcement and implementation. Lack of sensitisation, corruption and nexus with the traffickers are some of the reasons for the apathy of the police,” Hasina said. Moreover, effective support systems such as public health care, education and political will are lacking to help arrest the problem immensely, she said, adding, the phenomena of globalisation and a larger apathetic community also had detrimental effect on the gruesome situation. “Living under conditions worse than caged animals, the women engaged in prostitution were living lives of bonded labourers and slaves in an otherwise free, democratic, sovereign country like India,” the Impulse NGO head regretted. – PTI

Peace grows in thin soil in India’s restive Nagaland (REUTERS / by Simon Denyer)
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. 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 factionóthe 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.” 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.”

UNLF reacts to Central leaders` views on plebiscite The Imphal Free Press
Imphal, Sep 26 : Reacting sharply to the observations made by three Central leaders on the issue of holding a plebiscite to end the decades old insurgency in Manipur, the United National Liberation Front, UNLF has maintained that the outfit is prepared to abide by the verdict of the people through a plebiscite under the UN aegis so as to resolve the Manipur-India conflict once and for all. The outfit also made it clear that it will continue the armed struggle for even a hundred years, if compelled.

The UNLF reaction came in the wake of negative response on the issue of holding a plebiscite to end insurgency in Manipur by three Central leaders namely Union defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, former defence minister and JDU chief George Fernandes and CPI leader Gurudas Das Gupta, who visited the state recently, almost simultaneously. A UNLF statement issued by its senior publicity officer, Ksh Yoiheiba, said Indian political leaders of both the ruling and the opposition parties are streaming into Manipur, this time around. Soon after defence minister Pranab Mukherjee left Imphal, Gurudas Das Gupta of the CPI flew in followed by former defence minister George Fernandez, it said adding that the purpose of their visits may be different apparently, but the timing and their remarks betrays a common tune - to disorient the people of Manipur from plebiscite. It also said that the visiting leaders gave more emphasis on technicalities rather than trying to understand the core issue of the conflict, particularly its human aspect. On the issue of holding a plebiscite to end the Manipur-India conflict, as proposed by the UNLF, Pranab Mukherjee and Gurudas Das Gupta expressed more or less the same stance of flatly rejecting it as not possible, the UNLF statement said admitting that it is usual for any government and therefore not unexpected. However, George Fernandez, while pointing out constitutional limitations, showed some flexibility in saying that to hold the plebiscite the Indian constitution needs to be amended first as it does not have any provision to conduct such a plebiscite, it said adding that Fernandes`s comment is interesting.

Reacting sharply specifically to Gurudas Das Gupta`s observation, the UNLF statement said the CPI leader made some self-contradictory remarks showing himself to be a bundle of confusions. His reported remark that `as Manipur is a small state it will not survive independently even if it got independence from the Indian Union`, as if Manipur was never independent before, is a contemptuous insult to the people of Manipur, it said. It further said that Gupta should understand that the history of Manipur did not begin with the annexation by India in 1949. Do we have to refresh his knowledge of Manipur`s history as an independent nation for many centuries and that Manipur is the first country in South Asia to hold democratic elections under universal franchise in 1948, the UNLF statement asked.

What is even more ridiculous is Gupta`s dogmatic and outdated formulation that `independence is an imperialist slogan` and that `a small state like Manipur would subsequently fall under the domination of bigger and developed imperialist countries like America`, it further stated. Going by this logic Gupta and his party CPI still do not recognize India`s independence from `British imperialists` as well as that of hundreds of Asian and African former colonies to be `genuine independence`, it went on to add. Commenting on his prognosis that the problem now confronted by Manipur`s peasants would remain unattended to even if Manipur `secedes` from India as an independent state, it expressed regret that a veteran like Gupta should have made such a naive remark as if we would go into `hibernation` after regaining independence (not `secession` because the annexation of Manipur was and remains illegal and unconstitutional). To make it easier for Gupta to understand, our struggle for regaining independence from Indian colonial occupation is an essential stage of our `democratic revolution` to restore genuine democratic rights of our people, particularly of the peasants so as to free them from exploitative colonial and feudal relations, it said. Gupta`s apprehension that the lot of common people and the peasants would worsen in an independent Manipur is unfounded and pretentious, it said.
Gurudas Das Gupta also said that poverty, atrocities and cases like that of Manorama are not something happening only in Manipur, the UNLF said and asked whether Gupta can name another state in India where the Indian military and paramilitary forces have been given power to commit such grave human rights violations in a systematic manner for more than 50 years.

It further asked Gupta if he ever tried to understand that `violence` in Manipur is the effect of Indian state terrorism being used to suppress the legitimate aspirations of the people. Reacting to Gupta`s `concern` about Manipur`s survivability, the UNLF further said it need not elaborate more than saying that many countries, much smaller than Manipur, in Africa and the Asia Pacific have become independent and are very much surviving even better than bigger countries. Today, the world itself has become much smaller and interdependent as a global village, the UNLF observed and said that there is no country in the world, big or small, which is sovereign and independent in absolute terms. As such the size of a country is no longer an important determinant of a country`s survivability as an independent nation, it said. Asserting that human resource is one of the most important factors in contemporary world, the UNLF said Manipur could do even better than India in many areas with its rich human resources. After liberation from India, the states in the so-called `north eastern region`, of which Manipur will be a unit, will survive in interdependence among themselves and with the world community as well, it said countering that the question is not of survival but to end India`s suppression of Manipur`s independent survival. Gupta`s support for total repeal of AFSPA is appreciative but the contradiction is AFSPA was specifically enacted to suppress the liberation struggles - `insurgency` - in the `northeast`, and this `insurgency` in Manipur is not going to end unless and until the legitimate sovereign independence of Manipur is restored, it said adding that so long as `insurgency` is there, the GOI will say they have to continue military operations which entails inhuman repression.

As such the old AFSPA may go, but another one in a new garb will come, and logically, therefore, support only for the total repeal of AFSPA does not hold water. it should extend to ending the colonial military repression itself for which AFSPA is only the legal instrument, it said adding that it is time India had learn lessons from Vietnam, Afghanistan and of course, East Timor.
ASDC (P) delegation meets PM’s High-Level Committee ‘Only autonomous state can solve problems’ From our Correspondent
DIPHU, Sept 26: A two-member delegation of the ASDC (P), comprising Daniel Teron, general secretary and Rabinson Kro, vice-president met the Prime Minister’s High-Level Committee recently at Guwahati and submitted a memorandum urging the Committee to recommend the creation of an autonomous State comprising Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts as envisaged under Article 244 (A) of the Indian Constitution. The memorandum pointed out that the two hills districts of the State were inhabited mainly by hill tribes along with a sizeable non-tribal population. The memorandum stated that Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts of the State were the most backward districts in respect of education, industry, agriculture, road communication and health. The memo also stated that this was the result of ‘perpetual neglect and continued exploitation’ of all the parties that came into power in the State. The memorandum pointed out that because of continued neglect and the step-motherly attitude of all the Governments in power, the tribal areas of erstwhile Assam severed connection with the State except Karbi Anglong and NC Hills. The memorandum, stressing the demand for an autonomous State, claimed that States like Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram achieved substantial progress after attainment of statehood, while the condition of the people of Karbi Anglong and NC Hills districts is deteriorating day-by-day. The ASDC (P) delegation urged the committee to recommend the creation of an autonomous State comprising Karbi Anglong and NC Hills districts, adding that it is high time for the Union Government to grant these districts an Autonomous State and give the ever-neglected people of the hill areas a scope for development. To brief the press about their meeting with the Prime Minister's High Level Committee, the ASDC(P) convened a press conference yesterday and it was addressed by Robinson Kro, vice-president, ASDC (P), Daniel Teron, general secretary, ASDC(P) and Sanjoy Killing, finance secretary, ASDC(P). Addressing the mediapersons, Robinson Kro said that after the reorganization of Assam in 1979, many tribal dominated areas attained statehood. He said that Karbi Anglong and NC Hills still remained with Assam and Karbis were the smallest minority community in Assam in terms of population. Kro said that the Karbis also deserved the same treatment and attention from New Delhi. He said the problems of the Karbis would only be solved if an autonomous state was granted to them under Article 244 (A) which would help the hill people not only to safeguard their ethnicity, culture, but would also give them a scope for development.
AGP demands suspension of Army operation in Dibru-Saikhowa Respect human rights : AGP From our Correspondent
TEZPUR, Sept 26: Appealing to the Central and the State governments for immediate suspension of the Army operation against the ULFA in Dibru-Saikhowa forest in Upper Assam, AGP president Brindaban Goswami has said that general people should not be harassed in the name of operation against the outfit. He took strong exception to the Army keeping 10,000 people under seize in the area cordoned by the Army and termed it as an act of "human rights violation". "At a time when the ULFA has shown interest in settling the issues through dialogue for which the ‘Peoples Consultative Group’ has been formed, the Army operation in Dibru-Saikhowa forest will definitely hinder the peace process", Goswami said. Alleging that the Centre did not have any intention of settling the insurgency problem in the State, the AGP president, talking to mediapersons at Tezpur circuit house recently, said, "My party has always been in favour of settling the issues through dialogue, for which we have been urging the Central and State governments as well as the ULFA to create a platform accordingly."
Welcoming the peace move of the outfit in response to public opinion for a peaceful solution, Goswami said, "If the Army operation continues at this juncture, the situation of Assam will further aggravate." Alleging that the present Tarun Gogoi-led State Government is maintaining a safe distance from the problem "to prove its innocence", he said that the people of the State were observing the activities of the present Government and would throw it out of power in the next Assembly elections. "The inaction of police and the district administration in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park shows that the present government has no right to continue as people’s representative", he said.

Frans on 09.27.05 @ 03:59 PM CST [link]


Monday, September 26th

Fernandes hopeful on Naga Talks


Fernandes hopeful on Naga Talks Newmai News Network September 25 IMPHAL: NDA Convenor and former Defence Minister, George Fernandes today expressed the hope that the ongoing peace talk between the NSCN (IM) and the Centre would succeed, but refused to give any of his commitment to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur while resolving the Naga political issue.
"The Centre is trying to find a solution to the Naga issue by holding talks with the NSCN (IM). The rebel group is also engaging people outside the peace talk for a solution. We hope the peace talk would continue and succeed," Fernandes who arrived in Imphal yesterday on a two day visit to strengthen his party JD (U) told reporters before leaving Imphal this morning. Asked about the question of Manipur’s territorial integrity in the face of the Naga demand for integration of contiguous Naga inhabited areas Fernandes said, "We have not reached that stage (question of changing boundaries). Territory lies in the future. At the moment every body is concerned more with how to bring peace," Fernandes said reacting to a question. Fernandes, however, made it very clear that he was strongly against breaking up of India’s territory. "I am for integrity of the country. The country should not be fragmented," he said in response to a question. The NDA leader also ruled out holding of a plebiscite, as being demanded by United National Liberation Front (UNLF). "You cannot have a plebiscite without changing the constituency. Our constitution does not provide for plebiscite. The constitution cannot be amended casually on the demand of somebody. It will have to be a serious amendment," he said.
The UNLF supremo Sanayaima in an interview in Hong Kong (which was carried as an exclusive by The Morung Express) asked India to hold a plebiscite to end the ongoing armed conflict in Manipur through democratic means. Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee during a press conference held at Leimakhong during his recent visit to Manipur had also flatly rejected the UNLF demand. Responding to a question on the demand for repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act Fernandes said that the Centre should not take any decision hurriedly on the issue. He said that there are various aspects to the issue. The government at the moment is looking into the recommendations of the Justice Jeevan Reddy commission report on what should be done with the act.
NPMHR raise pressing issues before NSCN The Morung Express News September 25 DIMAPUR, SEPT 25 (MExN): The Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) has expressed dismay over the tardy nature of the present cease- fire between the government of India and the NSCN stating that it had failed to produce any substantial development in the political process.
"While the Nagas are committed to a peaceful solution to the Indo- Naga political problem, it is regretted that it is often reciprocated by the devious and insincere attitude of the Indian leaders. In such a trying time, the NPMHR makes its fervent request to all sections of the Naga society to remain firm and united in purpose", stated a press communiqué issued by Kekhrie Yhome and Lanusashi Longkumer Co- Convenor and Convenor respectively of NPMHR (Nagaland sector). Describing the 5th Naga Consultative meet, held recently at Bangkok from September 6-7, as an encouraging time for the Naga leaders to deliberate on the future beyond the present cease- fire, the statement pointed out that NPMHR had put forward many pressing issues which were discussed in a candid manner.
The NPMHR reiterated its concern over the unpleasant developments that had been taking place among national workers over the past eight years of cease fire."There can be no two opinions on the manner in which some of the NSCN cadres have been individually inflicting excessive use of power over the general Naga public. It is an irony that the struggle against the neo- colonial state repression and its war- machines for gross violations of human rights are now being casually perpetrated by certain elements who are supposedly the torch- bearers of the Naga struggle", NPMHR pointed out. Unless these unruly behavior are effective curbed, the NPMHR stated that there was the imminent danger of creating feelings of alienation among the general sections of Naga people, thereby creating confusion and weakening the consolidated support for the movement. Further, the NPMHR also expressed its strong disapproval on the non- regulated taxation on the Naga public and particularly to young Naga entrepreneurs.
"In this regard, we would like to recollect the commitment given by the Ato Kilonser Th. Muivah who said that tax from such entrepreneurs would be exempted, so that they would be given a chance to build a future of Nagaland. He also assured that the GPRN will endorse this measure immediately". In the light of this, the NPMHR has appealed for wider publicity of GPRN taxation policy for public awareness and to avoid unwarranted indulgence by certain irresponsible individuals for personal gains. The NPMHR also drew the attention of the Naga people to the fact that in the past half a century of the Naga struggle "against the brute neo- colonial forces", the Naga men and women had stood side by side in all times.
"Often the Naga women bore the brunt of the most gruesome violations of human rights at the hands of the colonial forces. The NPMHR feels that it is an opportune time for all the Naga citizens to recognize and acknowledge the immense contributions and sacrifices made by the women folks towards our society, and the national movement in particular. We strongly believe that our struggle is not only a struggle for self- determination, but it is also a struggle for a just and equal society", the communiqué stated. The NPMHR pointed out that it would be most unfortunate if tomorrow, after the settlement is arrived at, women having to struggle for emancipation and equality within the society. It therefore appealed for creating equal space for women by removing all unjust discriminatory practices which acts as impediments to the fullest development of Naga women.
Attempted rape victim speaks out The Morung Express News
Dimapur: An altogether new story on the attempted rape and murder of Grace Khing by Vekheto, a head GB has emerged. When The Morung Express met the victim face to face, new facets to the incident were revealed. According to Grace and her family, no settlement on the case has been reached upon thus far. They have also strongly come out against the press release issued by Hewoto, Chairman of the Henito Village Council, Niuland, Dimapur wherein it was stated that the case had been settled for a sum of Rs 1500. According to them, the money forwarded was only the court fee of the Village Council. Grace had to say that Vekheto, who was a father figure to her, had admitted to the act when they had appeared before the Longwensunyu Village Council. Vekheto had reportedly said that he was drunk when he committed the act and that the devil was in possession of him. However, Grace had to say that Vekheto was driving his motorcycle normally and that she would not have accompanied him in the first place if she had found any indications that he was under the influence of alcohol. While showing her tattered clothes which were reportedly ripped off by the perpetrator, she said that there were no other youths with them and that if she had consented to Vekheto’s advances, she would not have displayed her torn clothes and would not be having injuries. She also said that she fought against the father of seven children for more than three hours. According to her, when Vekheto realized he could not overpower her for the purpose of rape, he became intent on killing her in order to protect his image. Vekheto is presently under the custody of the UT-1, NSCN (I-M) as the family members are of the belief that once the case goes to the Police it will gradually be downplayed.
Nagaland govt inks memo for new varsity Kohima | September 26, 2005 webindia
Nagaland and the World Institute of Building Programme (WIBP) have recently signed an agreement for setting up of a proposed Open Global Univesrsity (OGU) in Wokha district of the state. According to official sources here today, the agreement was signed between the commissioner and secretary of higher and technical education Rajiv Bhansal and WIBP president P R Trivedi recently at the office of the former. The headquarters of the univesrsity would be at Wokha district with branch campuses in Dimapur and Kohima. The univesrsity would start within a year and the proposed site had already been selected, the sources said. The university would offer only vocational and job-oriented courses and subjects relating to ecology, environment disaster management, bio-informations, geo-informatics, human rights, eco-tourism, intellectual property rights, media management, pollution control, MBA in insurance management and MBA in Green Business -- a first of its kind course in the country. In the second phase, bachelors' and masters' degree courses in medical labourtory technology, radiology, Emerging technology, physiology, occupational therapy, optometry, nursing, bitechnology as well as medicinal plantation would be offered.
Nagaland director of Higher and Technical Education Edward Lotha informed that the approval of the Nagaland Cabinet has already been secured and the pasing of the Act would be proposed in the next session of the Nagaland Legisltive Assembly. He further informed that the chief secretary of Nagaland had entrusted a committee, consisting of nine members, the task of looking further into the matter, based on the draft act. UNI AS RH SK RK1243
Assam, Nagaland plan to jointly handle on illegal migration Kohima, September Hindustan Times Waving aside their differences, Assam and Nagaland have decided to jointly handle the problem of illegal immigrants. The decision was taken during a border on Friday between the two states at Numaligarh, Assam.Informing the media, Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary TN Mannen, said both the states had agreed that the issue of illegal immigrant was a common problem and hence should be tackled jointly.
Both Assam and Nagaland have also agreed to share any information on illegal migration, he said. The meeting also agreed that the two states would initiate efforts for resolving the long-standing border dispute, for which a joint field team comprising officers of the rank of DIG and border magistrates from both states would attend to complaints by conducting on the spot verification and submit their report to both the state governments, he said. The meeting stressed on the need of formation of peace committees involving all communities on both sides of the border.
During the meeting, Nagaland also expressed its unhappiness over the alleged direct control of operation of the CRPF by Assam and stressed the need for joint control over the neutral force operating in the disturbed area belt, he said. Mannen also expressed unhappiness over the absence of some senior officials of the Assam government and the CRPF at the meeting.25, 2005
Unification and Sovereignty of the Nagas By: Waikhom Damodar Singh
The "Naga Revolt" under the leadership of late Zaphu Phizo was launched in the early 50s under the banner of Naga National Council, a revolutionary party which originated from two simple clubs established in the names of "Naga Club" in the year 1918, one at Kohima and another at Makokching as the "forums" for carrying out social activities for the tribal communities which, later on, had been converted into an organisation known as the Naga Hills District Tribal Council in the year 1945, immediately after the end of the second world war, with the "sole aim" of rendering some autonomy for providing better welfare and development services to the backward natives, the hill tribes of the district. The Naga Hills District then was a district under the erstwhile greater Province of Assam, and it was Charles Pawsay, ICS, the deputy commissioner of the district who established the above Tribal Council as he had great admiration for the local natives and very keen interest for their welfare and development for making them to live as the people of a much better society. Inspite of the simple objectives that the organisation so had in the beginning for improving the socio-economic conditions of the much backward tribes of the district, it became later on the "hub" of political activities of a group of extremists whose attitudes became more seriously changed as soon as Zaphu Phizo, an Angami Tribe born in Khonoma village near Kohima in the year 1900 (the village was called Thibomei by the Meiteis earlier and was once under the territory of the erstwhile independent State of Manipur till it was taken over by the British from Maharaj Chandrakirti Singh under an appeasing policy and had established there their garrison for the convenience of spreading of their power) joined the party after having lived in Burma from 1933 to 1944 and it was only after he joined the organisation that its name of the Naga Hills District Council had been changed into Naga National Council and that it became a much more active political party highly infused with deep anti-Indian feelings and ideas of living of the Nagas as a separate entity of people.Thus leaning more towards the "extremism" preferred and induced by the new leader Phizo, the Nagas of the Naga Hills District issued ultimately a very bold declaration in June, 1947 to the effect that the Naga Hills which was administratively a district under the state of Assam should cease to be a part of India when she attains independence. In fact, the anti-Indian attitudes and feelings of the Nagas of the district cast on them due to the high-handed and much inferior treatment done to them by the plains people, particularly of Assam, had already been brewing up since much earlier time and it was on the occasion of the visit of the Simmon Commission in 1929, which had come to India to study the ground for Constitutional reforms as strongly demanded by her people, that a party of Naga delegates openly expressed their strong anti-Indian feelings to them with fervent request to leave them (the Nagas) out from being considered as a part of Indian people. While such were the extreme and hostile feelings and attitudes that were then amongst the Nagas of the Naga Hills District the hill tribes of Manipur, namely the Tangkhuls etc. remained as quite loyal, simple and peaceful subjects of the state under the ruling of the king. During the period between 1947 and 1956, Phizo tried several times to convince the governments both in Assam and Delhi, of the earnestness of the Naga claim of having of their own independent sovereign country-to show genuineness of this, Phizo even conducted, though an unofficial process, an "unilateral plebiscite" by collecting signatures and thumb impressions from house to house from May to August in 1951, and according to it he claimed that over 99% of the people of the Naga Hills District voted for a separate and independent state of their own.
However, the then prime minister of India, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru vehemently disapproved the move of the few sections of the Naga radicals headed by Phizo. He declared his disapproval in the Lok Sabha by describing that such a demand of the Nagas of the Naga Hills District is "UNWISE, IMPRACTICABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE".

Thus having no other alternative the Nagas under Phizo proclaimed their "Federal Independent Sovereign Government" as a "de facto Government" on March 22, 1956 according to their own Constitution framed by hoisting the Naga National Flag, bearing red, green and white with great traditional ceremony and feasting performed at Phensinyu village in the Rengma Tribe area, soon followed by wide spread of armed violence on a planned scale resorted to by the heavily armed Nagas of the so called Naga Army who later on came to be known as Naga Hostiles. In order to check the outburst of the armed revolution or uprising so taken place in an unassuming proportion the Indian Army was immediately called in who appropriately dealt with the armed uprising and the very alarming and critical situation that had flared up was brought under control. The stern action taken by the Indian Army forced many revolutionary Nagas to go underground. Phizo himself escaped out through Mikir Hills and Shylet (erstwhile East Pakistan) and landed in London and lived under the care of one Reverend Michael Scott as an English citizen till he died there. The subversive activities of the Naga Hostiles then spread in alarming proportion over the areas of the hill districts of Manipur, namely Mao, Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Chandel and later on of Assam and Arunachal. However, since the Naga people had undergone many unimaginable hardships and untold sufferings due to the armed uprising, a change in the attitudes of the Naga moderates led by Dr. Imkongliba Ao, P. Shilu Ao, Jassokie Angami etc. soon took place, in that, they preferred to resolve the issue in peaceful manner by immediately giving up the violent activities and their original plan and claim of "seccession from India", and therefore an agreement was arrived at in the larger interest of the Naga people of the Naga Hills Districts. The Government of India therefore granted the Naga Hills Districts to the status of another full-fledged State (the 16th) of the Indian Union which came into existence with effect from 1st December, 1963 as was inaugurated by S. Radhakrishnan, the former President of India with P. Shilu Ao as the first chief minister of the state. Thus, in due course of time the "flame of insurgency" in Nagaland and the revolutionary spirit and feelings of the majority of her people had died down to some extent but it continued to escalate and burn rather vigorously and on a wider scale affecting large areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal States, particularly after the emergence of a new group of Naga insurgents under the name of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), who walked out from the NNC organisation pioneered by Phizo as they strongly dissented and firmly opposed the so called Shillong Peace Accord signed in between the Government and the leaders of the pro-Phizo group of the NNC on November 11, 1975. The Shillong peace accord had taken place under the initiative of the then Governor of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura combined, Shri Lalan Prassad Singh (LP Singh), a retired ICS officer and formerly Union Home Secretary to the Government of India.

The splitted revolutionary group under the name of National Socialist Council of Nagaland was formed in early 1980 with Issak Swu as Chairman, SS Khaplang, A Burmese Homi Naga Tribe and Thuingaleng Muivah, a Tangkhul tribe, born and brought up in Manipur, Ukhrul district (Somdal village) as vice-president and general secretary respectively as a result of decisions taken in a meeting of the Naga National Council faction held in a place in the border area of Burma sometime in 1975 who sternly rejected the Shillong Accord and had defected from the NNC group challenging the further leadership of Phizo and his later on diverted policy. However disentive feelings started brewing up soon amongst the top leaders of the factional party on the ground that Issak Swu and Muivah were planning to start negotiations for a dialogue with the Government of India within the framework of the Indian Constitution by ousting Khaplang who was surely to oppose the move - it was on this highly suspected ground that a large column of Khaplang's men attacked Muivah's group, killing nearly 150 of them in a "dawn raid" launched in a place in the Nagaland-Burma border area - this incident led to a split of the party of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland into two organisations, one known as NSCN(K) group, and another as NSCN(IM) group. Before the spilt it was believed that the desires of Issak Swu and Thuingalen Muivah were only a rumour but the reality of their secret move had subsequently been proved correct as they had met later on the Prime Minister of India, namely, PV Narashimha Rao, first in Paris and later on in New York in 1995, HD Deve Gowda in Zurich in February 1997, Atal Behari Vajpayee in Tokyo in 2002, and they had since been carrying out the so called "Indo-Naga Peace Talks" saying that the process so taken up by both sides aims to keep a permanent "PEACE" in Nagaland and its adjoining States of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal.

So far so good, well done! one would say most heartily to the NSCN(IM) group for their coming to good senses now, particularly to Muivah for his initiatives taken in this regard as the general secretary of the organisation showing now all the good gestures though a pretty good time have been wasted during which heavy bloodshed and loss of many precious lives had occurred. But what is not fully appreciated is about their rather "reversed" or "diverted" move coloured with more "communal tinge" with which they are very arrogantly pressing the Government of India for building up a "domain" for a people of very much heterogeneous "conglomeration" under the coverage of rather a very superficial and unnatural "appellation" of very recent origin called "Nagas". Their move for "unification" of the different heterogenous groups of hill tribes inhabiting in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal states who speak different dialects of their own and are really of non-congruous groups for the purpose of creation of a greater Nagaland state, be it within the embit of the Indian Union or outside it, may be considered surely to be a futile attempt to make or to work out the arithmetic "two into or plus two to FIVE" which is something not possible at all to work out. So also their demand of sovereignty of Nagaland as an independent country of its own is considered to be something which is not feasible at all from all points of view, particularly from the financial point of view unless it is funded by some International sources which appears again something not at all thinkable, and therefore it is in the context of the above candid reasons that both the aspects of their demand have been "rejected outright" by the Government of India though they are still very vehemently and threateningly insisting for a quick finalisation of the matter saying that the claim of the Naga people is their "birth right" which cannot be denied at all by any force under the sun. It has been said very loudly in the recent Naga rally held at Kohima public ground on 31st August that "unification" of the Nagas is very much permissible under the Constitution of Indian - while all will say "yes to it" provided the move is within its framework still one would like to point out very frankly of the fact that the Constitution of India does not at all provide any "room" for effecting "redrawing of the boundaries of her states" merely based on "communal" or "secular" grounds, what it provides is only for "reorganisation of the areas" of two or more states to be done purely on the basis of "administrative convenience" as had been done very recently in cases of some of the states like Uttaranchal, Jharkhand etc., and that too purely on the "mutual agreements" of the states concerned.

Such being the condition mandatorily laid down then does not "unification of the Nagas" inhabiting in Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal states for the purpose of bringing them under one administrative unit as is persistently demanded for require the "mutual agreements" of all the above state governments who will be involved in the process? - to answer the question one will certainly say a "big YES" again as the agreements to be arrived at only in between the Government of India, the NSCN(IM) group and a few of their supporters - the Hohos, the NGO groups and the students' organisations etc. will not at all fulfill the constitutional requirements highlighted as above. In any case it has been opined by many legal experts that the redrawing of the age-old "territory" or "boundary" of the state of Manipur, at least, cannot be touched by the normal provisions contained in Article 3 of the Constitution of India unless the same is consented by the "majority of her people" which numbers more than some 18 lakhs out of the total population of some 23 lakhs i.e. even if it is hypothetically accepted or assumed that all the non-Kuki hill tribes of the state opt in favour of the move of unification their number cannot exceed at all to go beyond, say, even six lakhs - perhaps this is the point based on which the honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh very thoughtfully had said firmly that disintegration of the boundary of Manipur cannot be done without the due consent of the majority of the people of the state, and also as had already been said earlier by former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee during his visit of Kohima in October, 2003 - the Prime Minister had said clearly before a large gathering of a public meeting held at the State capital that integration of Naga inhabited areas could be achieved only if there is "consensus" among the "states".

Lastly, it may be pointed out that, as of latest, the NSCN(IM) general secretary, Th. Muivah has reiterated in the 5th Naga people's consultative meeting held at Royal Rose Bangkhapi in Bangkok on Tuesday, 6th September that a "solution to the Naga issue cannot be acceptable under the constitution of India or within its Union" though he has hinted that it is acceptable to the outfit a "federation of India and Nagalim" of a much bigger territory outside the ambit of the Indian Union. If this is the clear and firm stand of the outfit then where is the question of disintegration of the areas of the Naga inhabited areas of the states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal within the provisions of the Constitution of India ? Rather their stand, it seems is still sticking to the same original plan i.e. "cessation from the Indian Union" and to exist as a separate independent country of its own as a "defacto right" which cannot be effected at all or allowed to be claimed as their is no provision in the Constitution of India permitting to do so unlike of the Constitution of Russia etc. It is in the context of the above highlighted facts that the Government of India, perhaps, remained absolutely adamant to oblige the NSCN(IM) with their hard pressing demand of "unification and sovereignty of the Nagas" though they (the Government of India) are prepared to go out of their way to grant greater autonomy to the Nagas within the ambit of the Indian Union giving the state hold over all matters except defence, external affairs, currency and communication and also in having its own flag, new nomenclature of the Assembly as "Tatar Hoho", ministers being called as "kilonsers" and a separate constitution of their own "within" the country's existing constitution as a very special case which is something that cannot be found any where in the world - such are the unique specialities that the Government of India has quite agreed to accede to the Nagas who, actually, have been offered "more than" what they normally require to have - this is the strong contention of the Government of India.
Aiyar to open CII’s fourth leadership summit in Delhi:
New Delhi: Petroleum and Natural gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar will inaugurate the two-day fourth Leadership Summit being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the Hotel Maurya Sheraton here on Tuesday and Wednesday. The theme of the summit is “Changemakers” . B Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel, will address a session on “People: The Heart of an Enterprise” on September 28, while Sam Pitroda, Chairman and CEO, WorldTel, USA will address the closing session on the same day. Among the issues that will be addressed are “Changing the World: How can we do it?” where Graham Leicester, Director of International Futures Forum, a body that develops ideas and philosophy about how to make sense of today’ s complex world, will showcase a model of how partnerships in business, government and communities are interlinked to face and solve intractable problems or challenges. In this session, Graham will share some of his learnings on how to make long-term sustainable change in a complex world. R.S.Pandey, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture will speak on Communitisation Before Corporatisation: Insights from Nagaland.

Corporatisation of basic infrastructure is something that India has been attempting and struggling with for many years. While its merits are recognized, there are many roadblocks in its implementation. Pandey will talk about his experience with this issue in Nagaland. To achieve holistic, national development, India needs thousands, maybe lakhs of change agents across the country in diverse fields including civil society, corporate arena, government, etc. We call these change agents - Change makers or fireflies. This session will showcase some of the outstanding work being done in producing sustainable change in our country and the people behind this change. The objective of the session is to draw learnings from these change makers about what motivates them, what they believe are the preconditions for change and how are they able to bring about the desired change. Over the past few years, CII has engaged multiple stakeholders from differing backgrounds in a dialogue to develop potential future scenarios for India. More recently, economic research organizations have been involved in analyzing the emerging scenarios and their implications for India. In this session, these scenarios will be shared with the participants and inputs will also be invited.
Centre releases Rs 392 crore to State for flood relief Newindpress
BELLARY: Chief Minister N Dharam Singh said the Centre had released Rs 392 crore to Karnataka towards flood relief and in this lion share of Rs 139 crore is earmarked for Belgaum district. For Bagalkot Rs 50 crore, Gulbarga Rs 34 crore, Bijapur Rs 24 crore, and Raichur Rs 23 crore released to concerned Deputy Commissioners. Addressing media at JVSL Air Port, he said Rs 392 crore is highest ever relief received from Centre and the State had contributed Rs 50 crore to this. Dharam said he had requested Centre, at the recent meeting of Naxal affected states conference, to sanction funds on par with the Nagaland to curb Naxal violence.

He also urged to depute Central forces, provide high tech gadgets to unearth earth bombs. Dharam said Naxal problem is socio-economic, hence the Government would concentrate more to resolve this problem. It would also take steps to prevent youths from joining naxalism. Development activities on a large scale would be taken in all naxal affected areas, he said. Dharam said the Centre had advised states to form joint task force with neighbouring states. 5th Pay commission: Dharam said once the 5th Pay Commission submits its report, the Government will take action.
Consultative Group wants talks with PM The Morung Express
Guwahati, SEPT 25 (PTI): Demanding talks at the Prime Minister’s level, the People’s Consultative Group, formed by ULFA to initiate the process of dialogue with the government, today urged the Centre to stop all operations against the banned outfit. The PCG also took exception to Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement that no decision had been taken on ceasefire with ULFA, terming his comment as "untimely and unwarranted". "Definitely we want to talk with the Prime Minister," PCG member Arup Borbora told PTI over phone from Guwahati when asked with whom they want to talk with. Borbora, son of former Assam Chief Minister Golap Borbora, said the PCG wants a halt to all operations against ULFA for the sake of creating a conducive atmosphere for talks. "ULFA has not launched any offensive for the last couple of months. Any operation against the outfit will only deteriorate the situation," he said adding the ongoing Army operation against the extremists at Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in upper Assam was "unwarranted". The Defence Minister on Thursday had said "unless and until the ground rules are framed and both sides - Centre and ULFA - agree for a ceasefire, negotiations cannot be held."
Nagaland's tea in reckoning for western market Kulnalim.com DIMAPUR, Sept. 25: Rich, naturally flavoured tea produced at NI Jamir Tea Estate located at Nagaland's picturesque lush green hill of Mokokchung may well end up in the western market for tea drinkers looking forward to beating the chilly winter with a pleasant sip of hot, refreshing tea. Tea produced at the sprawling NI Jamir Tea Estate at Sichung under Mokokchung is to soon go under the hammer at the world renowned Guwahati Tea Auction Centre, where brokers jostle and sniff for the best tea for exports. Mokokchung's tea venture to the world market took wings after drawing favourable response from the GTA's powerful tea brokers' community on its strength and flavour.

Located some 20 kilometres away from the historic town of Mokokchung in the midst of picture postcard green landscape, the NI Jamir Tea Estate has transformed itself into a full-fledged tea factory, feeding on fresh tea leaves plucked from small tea gardens mushrooming all around. No wonder, today it has transformed itself into a state-of-the-art tea-making factory with technical support from the Tocklai Tea Research Centre in Jorhat, and SBI and Radha Tea Company in Golaghat, Assam.
Sungkum Jamir, the proprietor of NI Jamir Tea factory, which could as well give Nagaland its first global tea brand well worth the name, says that they are in touch with the Guwahati Tea Auction authorities as well as brokers, and are trying to explore the market. "We have met Guwahati Tea Auction authority and brokers to explore the market and have decided to send tea produced here," he said. Though his Tea Factory in Mokochung had been producing tea in a small scale for some time, what brought about this new dawn of prospects for his tea brand, was the favourable response from brokers and producers in Assam. While now, no one is ready to take a shot at what price, the tea produced in Mokokchung would fetch, initial tea brokers' report to the SBI indicates that the bidding price band could well cross the general market prices.

"With the gardens located at an elevation of some 4,500 feet and above, and with a climate ideal for tea cultivation, tea from Mokokchung will be of a quality and flavour similar to that produced in the hills of Darjeeling", said Samir Phukan, from Radha Tea Company, Golaghat. Sungkum further added that his factory's tea making process and the finished tea produce churned out from his factory received a shot after he had learnt about improved tea making process from experts. Surjya Phukan, an IITian who had done a brief stint at Germany's Deutsche Bank, said that that initially there were some shortcomings to making good tea here, including improper tea leaves plucking. "These were soon set right with training of the tea farmers, technical inputs from experts and investment support from the bank. The organic culture of farming and cultivation here should also boost its image worldwide", said Phukan. Revered for his pioneering role among the burgeoning tea growers of his small hometown, Sungkum Jamir disclosed that what made him take to tea making was the realization of its prospects in his hometown. "I realized tea cultivation is both income generating as well as labour intensive and set on this venture", he added. The success story of Sungkum's tea venture has spread so fast that it has inspired many in the villages around to take up tea plantation. "Over five villages with more than hundred fifty small tea growers are into tea plantations. We realized its prospects and compared it to the diminishing returns we had to face under jhum cultivation," said a tea grower from the same village. (ANI)
Naxalism and civil wars of India The Morung Express
The problem of Naxalism has to be addressed by ensuring effective and sustained police action against the Naxal violence and, at the same time, accelerating socio-economic development of the affected areas.’’ – concluded the first meeting of the Standing Committee of Chief Ministers of the Naxalite affected States of India in New Delhi on 19 September 2005. The meeting chaired by Home Minister Shivraj Patil reportedly decided to make the Inter-State Joint Task Forces functional "very quickly" to facilitate coordinated anti-Naxalite operations. As the first step, the States will appoint nodal officers for coordination with each other as well as with the Centre. Despite its rhetoric on socio-economic development, the Central government and the State governments once again have taken more of a militaristic approach to address the Naxalite problems. The total annual outlay committed from the Centre and States for modernisation of police, which basically means buying more arms or raising more forces for anti-Naxalite operations, is about Rs. 2,000 crores. In comparison, the central government decided to allocate meager Rs. 2 crores per annum per Naxal-affected district for development activities. According to the 2004-2005 Annual Report of the Ministry of Home Affairs, "at present, 76 districts in 9 States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are afflicted with Naxalism. CPML-PW and Maoist Communist Centre-India (MCC-I) have been trying to increase their influence and operations in some parts of three other States, namely, Tamil Nadu, Karanataka and Kerala and also in certain new areas in some of the already affected States".
Raging civil wars Unfortunately, the Standing Committee of Chief Ministers of the Naxalite affected States of India failed to discuss the counter-Naxalite measures, which have been creating virtual civil wars amongst the people living in the Naxalite afflicted States. Bihar has been infamous for the caste wars between the Maoists and the Ranvir Sena, a private army of the upper caste landlords. In the past 15 years, an estimated 1,000 people have been killed by Ranvir Sena in 300 incidents. The Naxalites have, on their part, perpetrated equally chilling massacres. [1] The killings continue. However, unlike the Naxalites, the Ranvir Senas are not banned under the law. The security forces of Jharkhand, which was part of erstwhile Bihar, soon emulated Bihar model for countering the Naxalites. The State police created Nagarik Suraksha Samiti (NSS), a counter insurgency group to confront the Peoples War Naxalites. The NSS have perpetrated a series of killings. The People’s Union for Civil Liberties in its inquiry report of May 2004 held the members of the NSS responsible for lynching to death of about 13 alleged members of the Peoples War Naxalites at Longo in Dumuria block in East Singhbhum district between 7 and 22 August 2003. Prominent NSS members, police officers and Central Reserve Police Force officers posted in the village allegedly masterminded the lynching. The victims were allegedly administered drugs in the food and water served to them that made them drowsy. Police officials, along with NSS members, and some local villagers overpowered them and tied up. The information was then transmitted to the district police headquarters, and after receiving approval of higher authorities, the alleged Naxalites were beaten to death between 5.30 am and 7 pm of 7 August 2003. A photographer, however, managed to take pictures of the victims with their hands and legs tied. The ropes used in tying up the slain youths were found to be the ones normally available with the police. The involvement of police became apparent as the district authorities immediately rushed to the village after the massacre to congratulate the villagers.
The conflict between the Naxalites and the counter-Naxalite groups recently led to the massacre of 15 civilians and injury of six others at Bhelbadari village under Giridih district of Jharkhand by the Naxalites. Over 100 armed Naxalites reportedly raided the village near Bhinwaghati under Deuri police station on 11 September 2005 and indiscriminately attacked the villagers. Those killed were alleged members of the Village Defence Committee, an anti-Naxalite front. The armed clashes between the Naxalites and counter-Naxalites is no longer restricted to Bihar and Jharkhand. A large number of private armies under the guise of anti-Maoist groups have sprung up in Andhra Pradesh. Some of these vigilante groups are Fear Vikas, Green Tigers, Nalladandu, Red Tigers, Tirumala Tigers, Palnadu Tigers, Kakatiya Cobras, Narsa Cobras, Nallamalla Nallatrachu (Cobras) and Kranthi Sena. The Nallamalla Black Cobras, formed after the Maoists shot dead Maktal Congress legislator Narsi Reddy in Mahbubnagar district on 15 August 2005, have been responsible for a series of killings of the alleged Maoist sympathisers. Nallamalla Black Cobras killed Dalit activist, Alladi Ravi in Prakasham district after he went missing on 17 September 2005. His body was found lying at a deserted place in Chimakurthy mandal of Prakasham district on the night of 18 September 2005.
Earlier, an activist of the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Kanakachary was killed in Mahbubnagar district on 24 August 2005. The president of Kula Nirmulana Committee of Prakasham district, Mannam Prasad was killed on 10 September 2005. The Andhra Pradesh police, infamous for fake encounter killings, are reportedly backing the vigilante groups. After the imposition of the ban of the Naxalites following the killing of Narsi Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh government went a step further and decided to raise a Girijan Battalion with a strength of 1,260 tribal people. The battalion would include 10 reserve inspectors, 30 sub-inspectors, 45 assistant sub-inspectors, 277 head constables and 820 constables. This will pit the tribals against the tribals. In the Bastar region of Chattisgarh, the leader of the opposition in the State Assembly, Mahendra Karma has started "Salwa Judum", a peace movement against the Naxalites by the tribals. The Maoists have retaliated with killings.
Positive responsibility of the State Undoubtedly, the violence by the Naxalites and counter-Naxalites violate the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and provisions of the Rome Statute on International Criminal Court. The government must take effective measures to bring the culprits to justice. However, the government cannot also be oblivious to its positive obligation to protect civilians at risk of attacks from the Naxalites. Instead, the security forces have been encouraging formation of vigilante groups, which increases the risks of civilians being attacked by the Maoists. This is also creating civil wars. And all the districts afflicted by the Naxalite movement are inaccessible, poor and primarily inhabited by Adivasis and the Dalits. While the call for accelerating socio-economic development of the Naxalite affected areas is welcome, it is difficult to comprehend as to how economic development will be undertaken in areas which do not have basic infrastructure. Naxalism finds acceptance in these areas because of extreme poverty, unemployment, the collapse of the edifice of the state structure in terms of providing access to basic human needs and atrocities by security forces and forest officials. Land reforms are indispensable to address the Naxalite problems but did not figure in the strategy of the governments to combat the Naxalites. The government continues to treat Naxalism on adhoc basis – as mere law and order problem. The adhocism is clear from the failure to introduce the Draft Forest Rights Bill of 2005 because of the opposition from a few environmental extremists and the Ministry of Environment and Forest. Unless the government takes rights based approach, Naxalism will continue to survive.
Naxalism – the symptom of entrenched discrimination and failure of the State to make fruits of development reach those who need it most – cannot be resolved by military means or creating virtual civil wars. Had the Centre and State governments decided to spend Rs. 2,000 crores per annum for undertaking development programmes including land reforms in the Naxalite affected areas, Naxalism would have gradually vanished.The counter-insurgency operations, which are characterised by human rights violations, and tacit support to vigilantism, will only further intensify the conflict. (This is an analysis from the Asian Centre for Human Rights)
There is a sense of peace in Manipur: Fernandes The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 25: "Plebiscite does not figure in our constitution and if somebody wants it, the constitution needs to be amended." This was stated by the visiting former union defence minister George Fernandes, president of JDU and sitting MP of Lok Sabha at a press conference held at Hotel Imphal today when he was asked by the mediapersons about his views on the plebiscite proposed by an insurgent group in Manipur.He also observed that insurgency will take its own time and expressed his wishes to the NSCN (IM)-GoI talks` success. Speaking on the issue of territorial integrity he conveyed that it is a very sensitive issue that any government should handle with utmost care. When asked about his stand on the territorial integrity of north eastern states in the face of Naga peace talk, he said, "I am for the territorial integrity of the country. This country should not be played with."

Commenting on the allegation made by Gurudas Dasgupta, sitting CPI MP, at a function of the 12th AITUC meet held yesterday, that the NDA was voted out due to its communal politics and bad economic policy, George Fernandes retorted that recently a leader of the Shiv Sena, who was branded as a communal leader, joined the Congress party and was willingly accepted as a secular leader. He said that in the name of secularism the Congress party is carrying out all kind of atrocities. Expressing strong resentment against the Congress leader who called him "kaffan chor" during the coffin scandal, when he was barred from speaking in the Parliament for 2 years, he said that the Congress party is a "bunch of liars who can never speak the truth". George Fernandes who left Imphal for his onward journey to Chennai this afternoon also briefed the mediapersons on wide ranging topics covering his visit, his party, the issues of insurgency and peace talks, and communalism in Indian politics at Hotel Imphal. Stating that the main purpose of his visit was to have fruitful discussions with party colleagues and meet long time friends, George Fernandes asserted that he was not here to discuss any political or specific subjects. He said that based on his interactions with party colleagues and other people he had the impression that "there is a sense of peace in this area and I am happy about it".In today`s press briefing Shiv Kumar, general secretary and spokesman of JD (U) and the state party president were also present.

Common people hit hard by Army action From SC Pathak assam Tribune
TINSUKIA, Sept 25 – What actually is going on inside the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park? This is the question that has been haunting the people of Assam for the past one month since the Army took control of the park on August 31 last and put the two main forest villages, Laika and Dodhia, with a population of about 10,000 under seige. The people of the villages depend on fishing, cattle farming and agriculture and it is alleged that they have been robbed of their fundamental rights by the Army action. Their main mode of transport is the country boats, which have also been seized by the Army and the people have been deprived of their means of travel for the last 15 days or so. The Army moved in to take control of the park after issuing a notice to the Divisional Forest Officer-in-Charge of the park on the plea that a counter-insurgency operation would be launched there and it is believed that the Army had definite information about the presence of a strong contingent of ULFA militants inside the park. At the initial stage of the operation, the Army claimed to have recovered two abandoned camps of the ULFA, but after that, there is no definite information about what actually is going on in the Park and the plight of the people held under seige could not be ascertained. Suddenly, the ULFA claimed that 12 of its cadres were killed inside the National Park and the bodies were thrown into the river. In the meantime, some people of the area were allowed to come to the mainland and they narrated their nightmarish experience following the operations. The Army also recorded the names of those allowed to come to the mainland and they requested the media not to publish their names fearing action by the Army. Interestingly, the district administration has also kept quiet about the whole incident.
According to Army authorities, only three militants including Achinta Saikia, the finance secretary of the 28th battalion of the ULFA, were killed during the operations. It is also alleged that huge amounts of money were recovered from the possession of Achinta, as it is believed that the ULFA collected huge amounts of money recently from the area. The Army also asked the forest personnel to vacate their posts and accordingly, the Forest department withdrew its staff on September 14. Even the members of the People’s Consultative Group, constituted by the ULFA to hold talks with the Government of India, were debarred from entering the National Park. The entire episode had irked the people of the area and a dharna was staged in front of the office of the Tinsukia Deputy Commissioner on September 22.

ULFA won’t be allowed to create trouble in Bengal’ Assam Tribune SILIGURI, Sept 25 – West Bengal government will not allow creation of an Assam-like situation in the State, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee said today. Addressing a public meeting here, Bhattacharjee said the Greater Coochbehar Peoples Association (GCPA) leaders, who had no knowledge of the history and geography of Coochbehar, were out to create trouble with the backing of ULFA and disturb the ongoing process of development in North Bengal. The Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), backed by the ULFA, which had tried to create terror in North Bengal a few years ago, was almost finished, the Chief Minister said. “Their leader, now staying in Dhaka, is trying to revive his organisation, but will not succeed. The ULFA is patronising the GCPA to create fresh trouble in North Bengal which the State government will not allow,” Bhattacharjee said.

Five persons, including three policemen, were killed in violent clashes between GCPA supporters and the police in Coochbehar on September 20. GCPA is demanding statehood for the district saying that the conditions under which the erstwhile princely state was merged with India after Independence had been violated. Referring to the recent police firing in Coochbehar, Bhattacharjee said, “I might have done wrong by asking police to keep quiet towards the hunger strikers.” – PTI
Fernandes warns to tread cautiously on AFSPA NET News Network
Imphal, Sept 25: Former union defence minister and Janata Dal(U) president George Fernandes has caution the central government not to make hasty decision on AFSPA as it is a serious issue that need to be tread cautiously. The Janata Dal(U) president is in a two day visit to Imphal on assessment tour the state unit. He left for Imphal this evening for Chennai. Before his departure, while meeting reporters at Imphal Ashok today, he said, AFSPA issue is a delicate issue and it need to be tacked very cautiously. The government while looking for solution must not make any hasty decision. He added that as an NDA convenor, he feels insurgency is a serious matter and it will take time to solve the problems. Defending the huge deployment of army and paramilitary in the state, he said in fact insurgency is also a form of terrorism. But at the same time he is more concern about how to bring peace in the state. Replying question on the underground UNLF proposal for a plebiscite, the former union defence minister said, constitution does not provide a room for that. Answering cautiously not to spark any unwanted fire, he hope the peace talk between NSCN (IM) and GOI succeed but however on the question of breaking the territorial integrity no one can give an exact answer on that as it lies in the future. It is a sensitive issue. But on the other hand he believes the territorial integrity of the country must not be compromised. Coming back the nodal point of his tour, he said he had specially come to Imphal to Asses the JD (U) state unit. He had several meeting with his office bearers and members for better performances in the election.

Frans on 09.26.05 @ 04:39 PM CST [link]


Sunday, September 25th

Rio misleading Nagas:


Rio misleading Nagas: NPCCKohima, 5:14:52 PM IST webindia
The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has flayed Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for allegedly misleading the people of the state by misconstruing his controversial policy of "equi-closeness" during a party meeting yesterday. NPCC president Hokheto Sumi in a statement here today said Mr Rio, while adressing the CEC meeting of the Nagaland Peoples' Front (NPF), had said that the policy of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government on "equi-closeness" was not in support nor against any underground group, but it was in support of the peace process. "This is nothing but a volte face by Rio. Because he himself had on a number of occasions explained DAN's policy of equi-closeness as the policy of closing in to underground groups," Mr Hokheto said. He alleged that Mr Rio's statement was aimed at misleading the people of Nagaland because at no point of time he had mentioned that equi-closeness was for supporting the peace process. UNI

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

The sitting MP who is now in the state to participate in the 12th All India trade union congress meet reiterated that Manipur is an integral part of India and will remain so. He also said that as Manipur is a small state it will not survive independently even if it got independence from the Indian union. So the slogan for an independent Manipur is destroying the state and is inspired by the foreign countries. Asking if the state is separated from the Indian union and from where the essential commodities will come, Gurudas said that the present economic condition of the state will improve only when Manipur remains as a part of India. The MP also lamented that the security forces` harassment of the people of the state is a matter of shame and said that the demand of the people for total repeal of AFSPA is a rightful demand. the union also supported the demand, he said. He also said that the left parties wanted judicial inquiries to be conducted into the killing of innocent people by the security forces.
Talking about the stand of the left in the present UPA government he reiterated that the left is supporting the UPA government from outside without taking any ministership and closely watching the activities of the congress led government. He said the support was on the basis of a common minimum program agreed with the congress. Stating that in democratic India there were many governments according to the people`s mandate and changes were brought from time to time, the leader went on to say that if the people of Manipur wanted there could be great changes in the state too. Speaking about the role of the AITUC, the MP stated that the union has been focusing on the grievances of the common people and the labour in the country. He also reaffirmed that as a general secretary of the union he will work for the common people and the labour by putting their grievances before the parliament.

Lapang to take up border fencing issue with Centre Assam Tribune
SHILLONG, Sept 24 – Meghalaya Chief Minister, DD Lapang has assured a delegation from Meghalaya’s Indo-Bangladesh border that he would take up with the Centre the ongoing problem of fencing the international border. Talking to members of a combined delegation of the Federal Council of War Mihngi War Jaintia, Hynniewtrep National Youth Front and Federation of Khasi and Federation of Khasi Jaintia Garo People (FKJGP) at his residence here on Tuesday, Lapang also took note of the affected villages on the Indo-Bangladesh border in East and Jaintia Hills districts. Meghalaya legislator who represents an Indo-Bangladesh border Nongskhen constituency, KK Khan, who also met the Chief Minister along with the delegation, told him (Lapang) that they were appreciative of the Centre’s fencing the border but requested the Chief Minister’s intervention to save Meghalaya’s land. Khan asked Lapang to take up the matter of the ongoing Indo-Bangladesh fencing with the Centre and immediately stop all construction work till a fresh demarcation was made.
He said if the fencing continued in the present situation, people would lose their lands. Khan also informed Lapang that the border fencing was an outcome of the Assam accord in which the Centre initially intended to fence only the Assam’s Indo-Bangladesh sector, but later extended the fencing to Meghalaya. – PTI
K’taka move Centre for Naga battalion Sentinel BELLARY, Sept 24 (UNI): Karnataka has urged the Centre to deploy a Naga battalion to curb Naxalite menace, Chief Minister N Dharam Singh said today. Talking to newsmen here, he said a Naga battalion on the lines of the force deployed in Chhattisgarh should be deployed to the State to put an end to Naxalite activities. Singh said the main reason for rise in Naxalites activities in the country is socio-economic problem and hence the Centre has been approached to sanction permission for distribution of forest land to the tribals. Terming as far from truth the reports that Naxal groups are using forest brigand Veerappan’s erstwhile jungle as their headquarters, Singh said no such activities have been noticed. However, strict vigil has been maintained on the Naxal activities in the jungle.
Border fencing to affect 30 M’laya villages? Our Staff Correspondent Sentinel
SHILLONG, Sept 24: At least 30 villages in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills districts are feared to be affected with the fencing work of the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) along the Indo-Bangladesh border from Dawki to Jaliakhola. The people of this area fear that once the fencing work start they will be at the receiving end. Speaking to The Sentinel, a group of villagers said that they will have to let go their ancestral lands if the fencing work is taken up. "We had lost a lot of our land during partition. We will be losers this time too," they lamented. There are thousands of Khasi-Pnar families in Sylhet, Sonamganj and Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh who have relatives living in the Indian side. These families will lose touch with them if the fencing is completed.

Frans on 09.25.05 @ 05:39 PM CST [link]


Saturday, September 24th

AIDS ambush threat to army in North-East


AIDS ambush threat to army in North-East KOUNTEYA SINHA TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2005 10:06:17 AM ]
SHILLONG: Insurgent groups in the North-East are now threatening to use a new weapon against the security forces. The Assam Rifles has received threats from militant organisations of this region that they would let loose HIV infected women to spread the disease among jawans posted in Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura. National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) officials also said that defence minister Pranab Mukherjee had once raised the issue of such a threat in one of the plenary meetings between NACO and armed forces’ officials.

Unsung by all, Jessami defends State's territory Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 23: “It has been for the sake of protecting the land that the people of Jessami village have been fighting the encroachment upon the territory of Manipur by people from beyond Nagaland border for the last many years. The State Government should be more practical when it comes to the question of protecting its territorial integrity.” This was stated by Wejope Lohe, a member of the Village Council of Jessami, while talking to mediapersons. Located at a distance of about 111 kms from Ukhrul district headquarters, Jessami is the border village of Manipur with Nagaland and its people have been at loggerheads with the people of Melori village on the Nagaland side over demarcation of the boundary. Lohe strongly deplored the indifferent attitude of the State Government towards the plight of the people living in the remote area despite contributing their mite in protecting the territorial integrity of the State. It is for the sake of protecting the territory of Manipur that the people of Jessami have been fighting against encroachment from beyond the border, he said, adding that the State Government should be more practical when it comes to the issue of protecting the territorial integrity of Manipur.

He pointed out that the State Government should take up some pro-active role in resolving the border dispute with the neighbouring State of Nagaland before it is too late. Although ‘Choka land’ has been recognised as the political boundary of the two neightbouring States, the villages have their own inter-village boundaries which demarcate one from the other. The people of Melori of Nagaland are claiming that the boundary of Nagaland lies 6 kms within Jessami village. It is said that the Village guards from Nagaland side who are equipped with 303 guns are not allowing the villagers of Jessami to tend their fields located near the border and the crops grown by the Jessami villagers are being destroyed. On the other hand, the hospital building at Jessami which was inaugurated by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh in 2003 has ceased functioning in the absence of any doctor and other necessary infrastructures. The PHC at Kamjong which had also been inaugurated by the Chief Minister has been also laying useless.
NPF legislator K Therie denies suspension
Dimapur, September 22 : Denying receipt of any formal order of suspension from the Nagaland People's Front (NPF), former state finance minister and NPF legislator K Therie on Thursday described his reported suspension from the NPF as "political stunt". In a statement, Therie appealed to all his sympathizers and well-wishers to take the matter "sportingly". The NPF in a meeting on Wednesday had "officially" suspended Therie for anti-party activities.
Therie said inner party democracy had guaranteed freedom of expression which is also the fundamental right of a citizen. "Expressing our thoughts within the four corners of the party forum for the improvement of the functioning of the party and government is the right of any party member," the former finance minister said. In a democracy, it is for the majority to either accept or reject suggestions, he said, pledging his support to the NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government's common minimum programme. Therie, however, said the "certificate" of his performance "could come only from the electorate". [hindustantimes]
Priority to be laid on bridges for NH-53 devt By Our Staff Reporter Sagaing Express
IMPHAL, Sep 23 : With the Centre releasing the first instalment of funds for the development of NH-53, the 36 BRTF, which has its headquarters at Silchar will stress on strengthening and building the bailey bridges at Makru and Barak to carry 24 tonne weight vehicles. Speaking to The Sangai Express the Commandant of 36 BRTF said that the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has recently released an amount of Rs 17.78 crores for the development of NH-53. The first priority will be the repairing and development of Makru and Barak bridges, said the Commandant and added that in the second phase the task of black topping the road will be taken up. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways agreed to release the sum of Rs 17.78 crores after Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh met officials of the Ministry at New Delhi on September 14. With the Centre sanctioning the first phase of the funds, construction work of the highway will be intensified from October, said a reliable source.
The BRTF authority had earlier approached the Centre to sanction Rs 22 crores to develop the road from Barak upto Silchar, but the Centre decided to concentrate on the Manipur stretch first and sanctioned Rs 17.78 crores to develop the stretch between Barak and Jiribam. The amount released is the first phase.
The BRTF has set its eyes on completing the strengthening exercise of the two bridges by November this year. The target is set to strengthen the bridges so that it can carry vehicles weighing up to 24 tonnes.
The next task is to black top the road from Barak upto Uchathon, said the source adding that March next year is the target set for the black topping work to finalise. Funds will not be a problem, said the source and added that the Centre is ready to sanction the next instalment as and when it is required. The Chief Security was also assured that security too will not be a problem as adequate troops will be deployed to sanitise the highway to make it secure and help the development work progress unhindered, added the source. Towards this end the authority has identified 17 sites for CRPF camps to come up on the highway. A sum of Rs 14 lakhs has been earmarked for the construction of each camp, said a source and added that 20 Coys of CRPF will be deployed along the route. The construction work of some of the camps have been finalised, added the source. Even as the BRTF has set its eyes on first strengthening the bridges along the Barak to Jiribam stretch, a number of Jiribam bound vehicles from Imphal were stranded near Ragaolung village as a bridge there has developed some snags. Repairing work of the bridge is on at a full pace but it is most likely that the vehicles will be stranded over night at the spot. Meanwhile a meeting was held at the Kali Mandap at Kalinagar at Jiribam today evening to discuss the development of NH-53.
The meeting decided that the Highway Development Council along with the public will approach the authority concerned to speed up the developmental work of NH-53. Representatives of different organisations who had gone to Jiribam along with the Highway Development Council from Imphal as well as representatives of different communities and social organisations of Jiribam took part in the meeting.
The meeting also decided to welcome any individual or any social organisation which wish to join the Highway Development Council. Addressing the meeting, the chairperson of the Jiribam Municipal Council H Brojen said that it is a good sign that the attention of the people has been drawn towards the development of NH-53. Brojen further said that it would be appropriate to study how much money has been pumped in for the development work as well as to see whether the work is in sync with the amount released.
It is also important to make all understand of the need to develop the said route, he added.
A number of speaker said that since Jiribam has been cut off from mainland Manipur, this had led a large number of people to wonder whether Jiribam is a part of Manipur or not.
Members of the Highway Development Council made it clear that their mission is not only to develop the road but also to ensure that the living conditions of the people living along the highway is improved.
The Council will identify the bad portions of the highway and draw the attention of the Govt.
Lt. Gen Zameer Shah takes charge of Indian Army's 3 CorpsDimapur | September 24, 2005 5:23:46 PM IST Ani
Dimapur, Sept 24 (ANI) : In a major change of guard in the army's Eastern Command, Lieutenant General Zameeruddin Shah took command of 3 Corps headquartered at Rangapahar near Dimapur as its GOC. The outgoing GOC 3 Corps, Lt. Gen. Daljeet Singh, is poised to take charge of the Western Command. Lt.General Shah was commissioned into the 185 Light Regiment on June 9, 1968. Lt. General Shah had served in the region earlier and has vast experience of the region having served in Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. A defence release said that Shah was a keen sportsman with golf being his favorite game. He is also a wildlife enthusiast. Shah wife,Sabiha Simi Shah will spearhead the Spear Army Welfare Association as its new president. The defence release added that she too shares the Lt. General's love for the Northeast and outdoor activities. (ANI)

All is not well with Naga IRB in Chattisgarh Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Sept. 23: The Neiphiu Rio government is facing criticism for sending police personnel from Nagaland to Naxal-infested Chattisgarh without ensuring proper healthcare and accommodation for them. Sources said at least one policeman from the 9 India Reserve Battalion (IRB) of the state police had died after he returned home. Around 70 policemen have returned to Nagaland from Chattisgarh for various reasons. The 9 IRB was sent in June to Barsoor, 450 km from the Chattisgarh capital, Raipur. Recently, the jawans busted a Naxal hideout in deep jungles and killed several of them. However, as one of the jawans said, “We are fighting Naxals along with nature.”
More than 100 IRB jawans are reported to have been admitted to hospitals in that state for various illnesses. While some of them just complained, others threatened to desert the battalion if the state government did not take any action. The jawans alleged that they were not being paid their travel allowance in full. The jawans were reportedly promised Rs 750 as travel allowance but were not paid the amount, the sources added. This is the second allegation by policemen against senior officials for misappropriating TA funds. Last year, personnel of a special Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) battalion deputed in Delhi had made similar complaints against senior officials. Neither an inquiry nor any action has been reported since then. This time round, chief minister Neiphiu Rio is said to have gone into a huddle with his Cabinet colleagues over the matter. However, “no comments” were the only words home minister Thenucho said when asked to comment. (Telegraph)

New GOC for 3 Corps Kohima | September 24, 2005 1:10:30 PM IST Ani
Lieutenant General Zameeruddin Shah has taken over as the General Officer Commanding of the 3 Corps at its headquarters at Rangpahar. Defence sources said here today Lt. Gen. Shah has succeeded Lt. Gen. Daljeet Singh, who will be taking over as the General Officer Commanding of Western Command. Lt. Gen. Shah has had long tenures in the North East having served earlier in Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. He is a recipient of the Sena Medal and Vishist Seva Medal. UNI AS MS AK VC1145
ULFA hand in Asia arms trade: Home
The Home Ministry has received reports that the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is involved in supplying weapons to extremist groups, including the CPI(Maoist). The outfit is known to have bought weapons and explosives from south-east Asia and, in turn, sold them to groups in the North-East. Senior Ministry officials said the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and internal security agencies have pointed to Naxals sourcing weapons from the ULFA.
Security agencies have claimed that Naxals have financially strengthened themselves over the years, adding to their coffers through extortion, their prime targets being contractors and tendu leaf cultivators. Contractors in Andhra Pradesh pay at least five per cent of the contract amount to Naxals as taxes, the Ministry has been told. Besides, ‘‘there are reports to suggest that funds are being laundered through front organisations in the cities that are involved in legitimate business’’, a senior official said. Though the ministry is geared up to carry out police operations against the Naxals in a coordinated manner, there is no move yet to crack down on the front organisations or stop laundering of funds. Ministry estimates say more and more ‘‘dalams’’ now have access to automatic weapons like AK-47 and other personal weapons. While some of these have been looted from the police force, Naxals are increasingly buying weapons too, the report suggests. At the Chief Ministers’ conference on Naxalism, Andhra Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy had claimed that Naxals had established contact with outfits abroad. He also said that they were using very sophisticated radio sets that allowed them to listen in on police communication. Worry zones
• Reports point to ULFA buying weapons in SE Asia, selling them to CPI(Maoist)
• More and more Naxalite dalams have access to automatic weapons, including AK-47s
• Andhra CM YSR Reddy had pointed o Naxals buying superior communication equipment allowing tapping of police lines
Unification and Sovereignty of the Nagas Waikhom Damodar Singh E pao news The "Naga Revolt" under the leadership of late Zaphu Phizo was launched in the early 50s under the banner of Naga National Council, a revolutionary party which originated from two simple clubs established in the names of "Naga Club" in the year 1918, one at Kohima and another at Makokching as the "forums" for carrying out social activities for the tribal communities which, later on, had been converted into an organisation known as the Naga Hills District Tribal Council in the year 1945, immediately after the end of the second world war, with the "sole aim" of rendering some autonomy for providing better welfare and development services to the backward natives, the hill tribes of the district. The Naga Hills District then was a district under the erstwhile greater Province of Assam, and it was Charles Pawsay, ICS, the deputy commissioner of the district who established the above Tribal Council as he had great admiration for the local natives and very keen interest for their welfare and development for making them to live as the people of a much better society.
Inspite of the simple objectives that the organisation so had in the beginning for improving the socio-economic conditions of the much backward tribes of the district, it became later on the "hub" of political activities of a group of extremists whose attitudes became more seriously changed as soon as Zaphu Phizo, an Angami Tribe born in Khonoma village near Kohima in the year 1900 (the village was called Thibomei by the Meiteis earlier and was once under the territory of the erstwhile independent State of Manipur till it was taken over by the British from Maharaj Chandrakirti Singh under an appeasing policy and had established there their garrison for the convenience of spreading of their power) joined the party after having lived in Burma from 1933 to 1944 and it was only after he joined the organisation that its name of the Naga Hills District Council had been changed into Naga National Council and that it became a much more active political party highly infused with deep anti-Indian feelings and ideas of living of the Nagas as a separate entity of people.
Thus leaning more towards the "extremism" preferred and induced by the new leader Phizo, the Nagas of the Naga Hills District issued ultimately a very bold declaration in June, 1947 to the effect that the Naga Hills which was administratively a district under the state of Assam should cease to be a part of India when she attains independence. In fact, the anti-Indian attitudes and feelings of the Nagas of the district cast on them due to the high-handed and much inferior treatment done to them by the plains people, particularly of Assam, had already been brewing up since much earlier time and it was on the occasion of the visit of the Simmon Commission in 1929, which had come to India to study the ground for Constitutional reforms as strongly demanded by her people, that a party of Naga delegates openly expressed their strong anti-Indian feelings to them with fervent request to leave them (the Nagas) out from being considered as a part of Indian people. While such were the extreme and hostile feelings and attitudes that were then amongst the Nagas of the Naga Hills District the hill tribes of Manipur, namely the Tangkhuls etc. remained as quite loyal, simple and peaceful subjects of the state under the ruling of the king. During the period between 1947 and 1956, Phizo tried several times to convince the governments both in Assam and Delhi, of the earnestness of the Naga claim of having of their own independent sovereign country-to show genuineness of this, Phizo even conducted, though an unofficial process, an "unilateral plebiscite" by collecting signatures and thumb impressions from house to house from May to August in 1951, and according to it he claimed that over 99% of the people of the Naga Hills District voted for a separate and independent state of their own. However, the then prime minister of India, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru vehemently disapproved the move of the few sections of the Naga radicals headed by Phizo. He declared his disapproval in the Lok Sabha by describing that such a demand of the Nagas of the Naga Hills District is "UNWISE, IMPRACTICABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE".
Thus having no other alternative the Nagas under Phizo proclaimed their "Federal Independent Sovereign Government" as a "de facto Government" on March 22, 1956 according to their own Constitution framed by hoisting the Naga National Flag, bearing red, green and white with great traditional ceremony and feasting performed at Phensinyu village in the Rengma Tribe area, soon followed by wide spread of armed violence on a planned scale resorted to by the heavily armed Nagas of the so called Naga Army who later on came to be known as Naga Hostiles.
In order to check the outburst of the armed revolution or uprising so taken place in an unassuming proportion the Indian Army was immediately called in who appropriately dealt with the armed uprising and the very alarming and critical situation that had flared up was brought under control. The stern action taken by the Indian Army forced many revolutionary Nagas to go underground. Phizo himself escaped out through Mikir Hills and Shylet (erstwhile East Pakistan) and landed in London and lived under the care of one Reverend Michael Scott as an English citizen till he died there. The subversive activities of the Naga Hostiles then spread in alarming proportion over the areas of the hill districts of Manipur, namely Mao, Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Chandel and later on of Assam and Arunachal. However, since the Naga people had undergone many unimaginable hardships and untold sufferings due to the armed uprising, a change in the attitudes of the Naga moderates led by Dr. Imkongliba Ao, P. Shilu Ao, Jassokie Angami etc. soon took place, in that, they preferred to resolve the issue in peaceful manner by immediately giving up the violent activities and their original plan and claim of "seccession from India", and therefore an agreement was arrived at in the larger interest of the Naga people of the Naga Hills Districts. The Government of India therefore granted the Naga Hills Districts to the status of another full-fledged State (the 16th) of the Indian Union which came into existence with effect from 1st December, 1963 as was inaugurated by S. Radhakrishnan, the former President of India with P. Shilu Ao as the first chief minister of the state.

Thus, in due course of time the "flame of insurgency" in Nagaland and the revolutionary spirit and feelings of the majority of her people had died down to some extent but it continued to escalate and burn rather vigorously and on a wider scale affecting large areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal States, particularly after the emergence of a new group of Naga insurgents under the name of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), who walked out from the NNC organisation pioneered by Phizo as they strongly dissented and firmly opposed the so called Shillong Peace Accord signed in between the Government and the leaders of the pro-Phizo group of the NNC on November 11, 1975. The Shillong peace accord had taken place under the initiative of the then Governor of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura combined, Shri Lalan Prassad Singh (LP Singh), a retired ICS officer and formerly Union Home Secretary to the Government of India. The splitted revolutionary group under the name of National Socialist Council of Nagaland was formed in early 1980 with Issak Swu as Chairman, SS Khaplang, A Burmese Homi Naga Tribe and Thuingaleng Muivah, a Tangkhul tribe, born and brought up in Manipur, Ukhrul district (Somdal village) as vice-president and general secretary respectively as a result of decisions taken in a meeting of the Naga National Council faction held in a place in the border area of Burma sometime in 1975 who sternly rejected the Shillong Accord and had defected from the NNC group challenging the further leadership of Phizo and his later on diverted policy. However disentive feelings started brewing up soon amongst the top leaders of the factional party on the ground that Issak Swu and Muivah were planning to start negotiations for a dialogue with the Government of India within the framework of the Indian Constitution by ousting Khaplang who was surely to oppose the move - it was on this highly suspected ground that a large column of Khaplang's men attacked Muivah's group, killing nearly 150 of them in a "dawn raid" launched in a place in the Nagaland-Burma border area - this incident led to a split of the party of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland into two organisations, one known as NSCN(K) group, and another as NSCN(IM) group. Before the spilt it was believed that the desires of Issak Swu and Thuingalen Muivah were only a rumour but the reality of their secret move had subsequently been proved correct as they had met later on the Prime Minister of India, namely, PV Narashimha Rao, first in Paris and later on in New York in 1995, HD Deve Gowda in Zurich in February 1997, Atal Behari Vajpayee in Tokyo in 2002, and they had since been carrying out the so called "Indo-Naga Peace Talks" saying that the process so taken up by both sides aims to keep a permanent "PEACE" in Nagaland and its adjoining States of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal.
So far so good, well done! one would say most heartily to the NSCN(IM) group for their coming to good senses now, particularly to Muivah for his initiatives taken in this regard as the general secretary of the organisation showing now all the good gestures though a pretty good time have been wasted during which heavy bloodshed and loss of many precious lives had occurred. But what is not fully appreciated is about their rather "reversed" or "diverted" move coloured with more "communal tinge" with which they are very arrogantly pressing the Government of India for building up a "domain" for a people of very much heterogeneous "conglomeration" under the coverage of rather a very superficial and unnatural "appellation" of very recent origin called "Nagas".
Their move for "unification" of the different heterogenous groups of hill tribes inhabiting in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal states who speak different dialects of their own and are really of non-congruous groups for the purpose of creation of a greater Nagaland state, be it within the embit of the Indian Union or outside it, may be considered surely to be a futile attempt to make or to work out the arithmetic "two into or plus two to FIVE" which is something not possible at all to work out. So also their demand of sovereignty of Nagaland as an independent country of its own is considered to be something which is not feasible at all from all points of view, particularly from the financial point of view unless it is funded by some International sources which appears again something not at all thinkable, and therefore it is in the context of the above candid reasons that both the aspects of their demand have been "rejected outright" by the Government of India though they are still very vehemently and threateningly insisting for a quick finalisation of the matter saying that the claim of the Naga people is their "birth right" which cannot be denied at all by any force under the sun. It has been said very loudly in the recent Naga rally held at Kohima public ground on 31st August that "unification" of the Nagas is very much permissible under the Constitution of Indian - while all will say "yes to it" provided the move is within its framework still one would like to point out very frankly of the fact that the Constitution of India does not at all provide any "room" for effecting "redrawing of the boundaries of her states" merely based on "communal" or "secular" grounds, what it provides is only for "reorganisation of the areas" of two or more states to be done purely on the basis of "administrative convenience" as had been done very recently in cases of some of the states like Uttaranchal, Jharkhand etc., and that too purely on the "mutual agreements" of the states concerned. Such being the condition mandatorily laid down then does not "unification of the Nagas" inhabiting in Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal states for the purpose of bringing them under one administrative unit as is persistently demanded for require the "mutual agreements" of all the above state governments who will be involved in the process? - to answer the question one will certainly say a "big YES" again as the agreements to be arrived at only in between the Government of India, the NSCN(IM) group and a few of their supporters - the Hohos, the NGO groups and the students' organisations etc. will not at all fulfill the constitutional requirements highlighted as above.
In any case it has been opined by many legal experts that the redrawing of the age-old "territory" or "boundary" of the state of Manipur, at least, cannot be touched by the normal provisions contained in Article 3 of the Constitution of India unless the same is consented by the "majority of her people" which numbers more than some 18 lakhs out of the total population of some 23 lakhs i.e. even if it is hypothetically accepted or assumed that all the non-Kuki hill tribes of the state opt in favour of the move of unification their number cannot exceed at all to go beyond, say, even six lakhs - perhaps this is the point based on which the honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh very thoughtfully had said firmly that disintegration of the boundary of Manipur cannot be done without the due consent of the majority of the people of the state, and also as had already been said earlier by former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee during his visit of Kohima in October, 2003 - the Prime Minister had said clearly before a large gathering of a public meeting held at the State capital that integration of Naga inhabited areas could be achieved only if there is "consensus" among the "states".
Lastly, it may be pointed out that, as of latest, the NSCN(IM) general secretary, Th. Muivah has reiterated in the 5th Naga people's consultative meeting held at Royal Rose Bangkhapi in Bangkok on Tuesday, 6th September that a "solution to the Naga issue cannot be acceptable under the constitution of India or within its Union" though he has hinted that it is acceptable to the outfit a "federation of India and Nagalim" of a much bigger territory outside the ambit of the Indian Union. If this is the clear and firm stand of the outfit then where is the question of disintegration of the areas of the Naga inhabited areas of the states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal within the provisions of the Constitution of India ? Rather their stand, it seems is still sticking to the same original plan i.e. "cessation from the Indian Union" and to exist as a separate independent country of its own as a "defacto right" which cannot be effected at all or allowed to be claimed as their is no provision in the Constitution of India permitting to do so unlike of the Constitution of Russia etc. It is in the context of the above highlighted facts that the Government of India, perhaps, remained absolutely adamant to oblige the NSCN(IM) with their hard pressing demand of "unification and sovereignty of the Nagas" though they (the Government of India) are prepared to go out of their way to grant greater autonomy to the Nagas within the ambit of the Indian Union giving the state hold over all matters except defence, external affairs, currency and communication and also in having its own flag, new nomenclature of the Assembly as "Tatar Hoho", ministers being called as "kilonsers" and a separate constitution of their own "within" the country's existing constitution as a very special case which is something that cannot be found any where in the world - such are the unique specialities that the Government of India has quite agreed to accede to the Nagas who, actually, have been offered "more than" what they normally require to have - this is the strong contention of the Government of India.
Indo-Myanmar high-level officials meeting today From Sobhapati Samom Assam tribune
IMPHAL, Sept 23 – To discuss the ongoing border dispute along the Indo-Myanmar border, a high-level meeting of Indian and Myanmar officials will be held at Moreh, a commercial Indian border town tomorrow. Sources from the border town said that the two-day director’s level meeting of the two countries will be attended by border survey teams. A ten-member Indian team who came all the way from New Delhi had already reached Moreh on Thursday. The Deputy Commissioner of Chandel district bordering Myanmar will also attend the meeting. The Indian officials particularly those under the office of Additional Deputy Commissioner of Chandel district are busy in arranging the food and lodging of the delegates from two neighbouring countries.
The meeting is likely to settle some of the border-related cases like the frequent encroachment of Indian territory by the Myanmarese authority as well as the replacement of some border pillars which were destroyed or reported missing in the past. Some of the border pillars including pillar No. 66 and 87 which were erected way back in 1969-70 are reportedly destroyed by Myanmarese troops in the recent past. Besides, the report of handing over Tuito bridge at Molcham area and Tuibung bridge at New Somtal area both in Chandel district of the region of Manipur state are also expected to be one among the agenda of the meeting. The two bridges are constructed by the Britishers during the World War II. Border area village chiefs association, representing over 60 villages have been demanding reviewal of the government decision without delay. Molcham village located in Chandel district’s southeastern frontier is reached via Chakpikarong and Mobi villages on Sugunu-Chakpikarong route in Indian border state Manipur.

Court releases student leader, agitation continues From Our Correspondent Assam tribune
TURA, Sept 23 – In a development that could have serious repercussions on the Meghalaya Government by the Shillong Bench of the Gauhati High Court which had imposed a ban on bandhs and all forms of agitations in this State, a subdivisional court has released a senior Garo Students’ Union leader on Thursday shortly after the latter’s arrest. The High Court had imposed a ban on all agitational programmes in Meghalaya and had directed the State Government to deal firmly with agitationists. The court went further by making the Chief Secretary and the DGP of the state responsible should the agitation create an impact on the normal functioning of everyday life. The High Court has been monitoring the day to day events taking place in the three districts of Garo Hills ever since the GSU-sponsored ‘Non-Cooperation Movement’ began on September 14. On Friday, the agitation completed seven days and continues to create a virtual economic blockade. All shops and business establishments are still closed from 5 am to 5 pm and already there is a shortage of essential commodities in Tura and other district towns. Attendance in Government offices fluctuated between normal to low.
On Thursday the Northern Zone vice-president of the GSU, Siljrang G Momin, along with another student union member were arrested by East Garo Hills police from Mendipather market. The two were taken to the subdivisional magistrate of Resubelpara, WP Marak, who granted both of them bail on the same day, much to the astonishment and uneasiness of the police which have been given the task of rounding up the student leaders. While Friday was by and large trouble free, there were problems on Thursday when agitated women protestors barged into the East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner’s office in Williamnagar demanding the release of two students who had been arrested on Monday from the town. Little did they know that the two students had already been granted bail in the morning. The women protestors were later informed by the district officials about it and asked to disperse. To prevent a repeat of the episode, the Mahila unit of the CRPF has been deployed in Williamnagar.
Meanwhile, the Garo Students Union has threatened to further intensify its agitation against the state government following the Meghalaya Government’s decision to promulgate the ordinance on MBoSE. The Meghalaya Governor M M Jacob had alreadfy given his approval to the same on Tuesday. GSU president Andreas T Sangma informed newspersons at Tura on Thursday that the government must withdraw the ordinance and delimit the proposed powers for the MBoSE office at Shillong.

Frans on 09.24.05 @ 07:07 PM CST [link]


Friday, September 23rd

Ousted Therie blames it on Rio Suspended NDF leader calls Naga chief minister a failure


Ousted Therie blames it on Rio Suspended NDF leader calls Naga chief minister a failure OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, Sept. 22: First ousted from the ministry and then dropped by his party like a hot potato, former Nagaland finance minister K. Therie today played the martyr and labelled friend-turned-foe Neiphiu Rio a failure as chief minister. Therie, who was suspended from the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) yesterday, said the state’s financial position was poor and Rio would have to accept the blame for it. “The certificate will be given by the public. By claiming that ‘I am doing well’, one cannot prove anything,” he said over the phone from Dimapur. As an afterthought, Therie said he had nothing “personal” against the chief minister. He claimed to have appealed to his “sympathisers and supporters” within the NPF to take his suspension “sportingly”. On reports that party members had called for a resolution to move Delhi for funds during the central executive committee’s meeting, Therie said: “This shows the dearth of funds,”
The implication was that Nagaland’s financial position had not improved since Rio had wrested the finance portfolio from him. The suspended NPF legislator said he had not met Rio for a one-to-one since May. The NPF’s disciplinary committee recommended his suspension on May 16. Before that, there was considerable pressure on Rio from the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) to drop Therie, whom the insurgent group perceives to be sympathetic towards the rival Naga National Council (Adinno). Therie said the government’s policy of “equi-closeness” to all groups should be implemented “in letter and spirit”.
Both he and Rio were ambitious young Turks in the erstwhile Congress government, headed by S.C. Jamir. Both quit the Congress and played the lead roles in forming the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland in March 2003. The friends fell out after assuming power. Therie said it was ironical that the NPF spoke of intra-party democracy, but chose to unduly punish him for speaking “within the four walls” of the house. This, he said, amounted to infringing on an elected member’s liberty to speak. Therie’s ouster from the NPF comes at a time when the Congress is trying hard to return to power in Nagaland. Some Congress leaders from the state are in New Delhi to lobby for help to corner the Rio government, sources said
Rio misleading the Nagas: Hokheto Oken Jeet Sandham Neps
Kohima, Sept 22 (NEPS): The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) lambasted the DAN Chief Minister for misleading the people of Nagaland by deliberately misconstruing his controversial policy of “equi-closeness” during the NPF’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting yesterday. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio while addressing the NPF’s CEC Meeting yesterday here at his Banquet Hall said the DAN’s “equi-closeness” was not in support or against any group but it was in support of the peace process.
“This is nothing but a volte face of Rio, because he himself had on number of occasions explained about their policy of equi-closeness that it was the policy of closing to underground group,” Hokheto Sumi, President of the NPCC told this writer over phone from Dimapur today. Therefore, his statement on the equi-closeness during NPF’s CEC meeting yesterday was aimed at misleading the people of Nagaland, because at no point of time had he (Rio) mentioned the equi-closeness was for supporting the peace process, he said. Ridiculing NPF President Dr Shurhozelie’s remark that the present DAN Government has outdone the 10 years record of Congress rule within a period of two and half years with regard to development in the State, the NPCC Chief challenged the NPF President to come out with any specific development or program they had initiated during their two and half years rule in the State. There was nothing to prove except for their completion of works that were left unfinished by the previous Congress regime. In fact, they were busy inaugurating to those works left unfinished by the Congress in their first one year of ruling and after that no activity was seen so far, the NPCC Chief stated.
Sumi however lauded the DAN Government for outdoing the 10 years’ accumulated deficit of Rs 260 crore of the Congress regimes by creating a record of over Rs 400 crore deficit in its (DAN) two and half year rule. On Shurhozelie’s statement that the NPF was the only viable regional political party in Nagaland after disappearance of all other regional parties, Sumi informed those disappeared were the breeds of the NPF and therefore they (NPF) would also disappear one day like its breeds. On Rio’s regionalism concept that it was only through the regional party that their traditions, rich culture and heritage and unique history could be preserved and protected, the NPCC asked, “Does it mean that the national political parties like BJP and JD (U), components of his DAN Government, are against our traditions, rich culture and heritage and unique history.” The NPCC chief said by compulsion, the NPF roped in national parties, BJP and JD (U), as they needed help from the BJP-led NDA Government at the Center at that point of time. Now the DAN Chief Minister was talking like NPF Chief Minister. Sumi said the installation of DAN Government was by compulsion and not out of necessity and further called Rio and his cohorts in regional NPF as “opportunists.”
Border: Naga, Assam officials meet today From our Correspondent The Sentinel
JORHAT, Sept 22: A commissioner-level parley will be held between the governments of Assam and Nagaland at Numaligarh tomorrow with regard to the ongoing inter-state border row. The upper Assam Commissioner along with the deputy commissioners of all districts of upper Assam, the superintendents of police of these districts and Forest Department officials will meet top officials of Nagaland to review the latest developments along the border areas. A well-placed source told The Sentinel that recurrent incidents of encroachment, extortion and attack leading to simmering tension would hold centrestage in the talks tomorrow. It may be mentioned here that in a commissioner-level talk held earlier here, a decision was taken to depute a joint team of border magistrates and Forest officials of both States to examine the various allegations which had soured relations between the two neighbours. However, the Nagaland Government has apparently bypassed this agreement as reports of excesses committed by the residents of that State continue to pour in. In recent days, the establishment of Naga villages in reserve forest areas belonging to Assam and the alleged harassment of Assamese residents have further queered the pitch for a resolution of the long-standing border stalemate between the two States.
IM condemns Ngarian attack The Imphal Free Press
Dimapur, Sep 21: The NSCN-IM, Zeliangrong Region has strongly condemned the attack on Indian security forces at Ngarian village by a UG outfit on the night of September 19.
"The Zeliangrong Region,NSCN-IM strongly condemned the brutal attack of the Imphal valley based UG outfit on the Indian security forces right in the middle of Ngarian Zeliangrong village on which many unaware Indian jawans succumbed to injuries while many had been hospitalised in serious conditions," said the Zeliangrong Region of the NSCN-IM in a press statement. The statement then termed the incident as unfortunate by saying, "the proclaimed revolutionary outfit resorted to such unbecoming action within the periphery human habitation causing unnecessary apprehension harrasments mentally and physically."
It then said that "the Gurkha Regiment stationed there attached in the incident is learnt to have restrained from taking retaliatory action and harrasment on the innocent public of Ngarian and surrounding villages."
The statement of the NSCN-IM said that the Gurkha Regiment deserved appreciation, gratitude and applauds from all quarters. The statement then warned any outfit from "intruding into the Zeliangrong Region, Nagalim and converting it into battlefields in the backdrop of the ongoing Indo-Naga cease-fire". The statement of the NSCN-IM, Zeliangrong Region then expressed condolences to the killed and injured Indian security forces "in Jesus Christ."
NPF legislator K Therie denies suspension Dimapur, September 22, 2005 Denying receipt of any formal order of suspension from the Nagaland People's Front (NPF), former state finance minister and NPF legislator K Therie on Thursday described his reported suspension from the NPF as "political stunt".
In a statement, Therie appealed to all his sympathizers and well-wishers to take the matter "sportingly". The NPF in a meeting on Wednesday had "officially" suspended Therie for anti-party activities. Therie said inner party democracy had guaranteed freedom of expression which is also the fundamental right of a citizen. "Expressing our thoughts within the four corners of the party forum for the improvement of the functioning of the party and government is the right of any party member," the former finance minister said. In a democracy, it is for the majority to either accept or reject suggestions, he said, pledging his support to the NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government's common minimum programme. Therie, however, said the "certificate" of his performance "could come only from the electorate". (By arrangement with Newsfile)
NPF Central Executive Committee adopts resolutions Morung Express News September 22
Kohima: The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Nagaland People’s Front, in its meeting held on September 21 at Kohima, adopted a total of 13 resolutions. The CEC, while congratulating Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio under whose leadership the Government has completed two and a half years, lauded NPF ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries for their contributions. It also expressed appreciation to the DAN alliance for effectively playing the role of a facilitator to the on-going peace process and further urged upon the Government of India to pursue the peace process with utmost sincerity ‘as the present trend falls short of the expectations of the people.’
The Naga Hoho and other civil societies were also commended for organizing the Naga Integration rally. The CEC further expressed anguish and anxiety on the unabated prevalence of factional clashes while urging upon the warring groups to cease fratricidal killings. Acknowledgement was expressed upon all law enforcing agencies and the DAN for its ‘unique war-footing initiative’ in development activities on all fronts. While going into raptures over the Government’s various achievements, the CEC expressed regret for the delay in disbursement of post-matric scholarship due to slackness on the part of Tribal Affairs Ministry, Delhi.
Minister for Agriculture Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu (Middle), Parliamentary Secretary R Khing (Right) during the first Central Executive Committee meeting of the Nagaland People’s Front at State Banquet Hall. Kohima onSeptember 21 (MExPix)

Life in the jungles: The switch over from Meghen to Sanayaima Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 22: Very few outside his trusted band of guerrillas have seen Sana Yaima, the most elusive of Manipuri militant leaders. Nitin A Gokhale met the legendary rebel deep in the jungles on the India-Myanmar border a couple of years ago and now again in Hong Kong last week. Sana Yaima’s tale has grown in the dense, cruel jungles of North East India and Myanmar for 30 years. er since Rajkumar Meghen assumed the Meitei name Sama Yaima, picked up a gun and vanished into the forest three decades ago, hardly anyone has seen him.

He has rarely met the media or talked about the underground United Liberation Front of Manipur (UNLF), of which he is the leader for the last 20 years. But for his olive green fatigues, you would think he is an academician. He speaks like a university don, utterly convincing in his arguments, sure of his facts—far removed from the image of a gun-toting rebel. By the time he went to Kolkata’s Jadavpur University in the late 1960s to pursue higher education, his mind was set on becoming a rebel. Those were the early days of the Naxalite uprising and the charged political atmosphere influenced him deeply.
Sana Yaima says living in the tough jungles all over the North East—be it eastern Nagaland, Myanmar’s Kachin area or south-western Manipur—has become a way of life. “I will perhaps feel suffocated if I have to live in an urban setting”.
Except for brief forays to Geneva to represent the UNLF at the UN Sub-commission on Indigenous People and perhaps an occasional trip to South-East Asian countries, Yaima stays with his 2000-strong ‘army’, that includes around a 100 women. Sana Yaima’s wife and their two sons have taken his absence in their stride.

“My wife keeps herself busy in teaching in a mission school. My elder son has done his PhD in remote sensing from Manipur University and the younger is a graduate in computer science,” the UNLF leader says with pride. The distance hurts—he can only meet them in hiding— but “if this is my calling, so be it,” he says. In his early underground days, security forces used to routinely harass his family, barging into the house every night, looking for him. “By now they seem to have given up,” he says. His cadres look up to him as a role model.
nd why not. He is 59 years old, but still treks the tough terrain and prefers to stay with the younger militants.
“In the jungles he is like one of us, not asking for any undue privileges. Even at this age, he lives like we do and endures all the hardships that come with it,” says Chinglen, a ‘staff officer’ at the outfit’s base camp. But the man himself says, “I don’t believe in personality cults”. He points out that though the UNLF is older than most insurgent outfits in the North East, (established on November 24, 1964) “very little is known about us in the media.
This low profile is deliberate,” he says, “We are acutely aware that the media can put you on a pedestal but it can also bring you crashing down faster than you can imagine.
We therefore avoid too much publicity”.
Sana Yaima however believes that the UNLF is now ready to let the world know what it is all about.

“As an organisation our effort has been to first do solid groundwork and then talk about it,” he says. Between 1964 and 1990 UNLF was a social organisation. It took up arms only in 1990 and now has an armed wing called the Manipur Peoples Army (MPA). Because of its roots in social work, UNLF is regarded as a responsible outfit among a surfeit of insurgent groups in Manipur. In fact EN Rammohan, former Director General of the Border Security Force and ex-adviser to the Governor of Manipur, wrote in a strategic affairs journal a couple of years ago: “Of the five major (Imphal) valley underground groups, the UNLF’s ideology is by and large intact. The senior leadership is well educated and has good organisational control. The UNLF took to arms only in the late 1980s. The self-styled chief of this group, Sana Yaima, has royal lineage”.
The legend of Sana Yaima has only become bigger since then. (Courtesy-Tehelka)
Subsidised chopper services in Northeast to continue Newind Friday September 23 2005 00:00 IST
NEW DELHI: The government, on Thursday, approved the continuation of subsidised helicopter services in the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura. A meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the move whereby the amount of subsidy, based on the actual cost of helicopter services minus recoveries from passenger fares, would be met in the 75:25 ratio. The synopsis of the meeting was delivered by Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy said after the meeting.

The Home Ministry would meet 75 percent of the costs while the rest would be borne by the state governments, he said. However, the cabinet set the ceiling of flying hours every month at a maximum of 100 hours. In the case of Dauphin helicopters, the ceiling would be 100 hours. For the MI-17 helicopters, the ceiling would be 80 hours in Arunchal Pradesh, 60 hours in Meghalaya, 50 hours in Sikkim and 40 hours in Tripura. Assam and Nagaland are the only two of the eight northeastern states with rail links. Connectivity to the region is hampered by limited air services and even the frequency of the available services is low.
Governor visits Ukhrul John K Kaping Kangla
Ukhrul, Sep 22 : As a part his programme to physically inspect development activities being undertaken in the hill districts of the state, the Governor Dr SS Sidhu today paid a visit to Ukhrul district by road to oversee all-round development in the district. This is his second visit to a hill district of the state, the earlier one being to Senapati recently. During his visit, the Governor was accompanied by state health minister L Nandakumar and several government and district level officials.
The Governor was accorded a warm welcome at Ukhrul district headquarter by several leaders of civil society organisations, NGOs and district level officers of the government. The Governor, while interacting with the people and public leaders explained that he came to the district to get first hand knowledge of the problems being faced by the people of the district, particularly in the areas of education, water supply, health, road communication networks among others. The Governor noted down the problems being faced by the Ukhrul public in the field of education like lack of teaching staff at Tolloi higher secondary school which has been running without its principal since the year it was upgraded to higher secondary from junior school level.
When apprised about poor power supply in the district, the Governor advised officers of concerned departments to examine the matter. He also inspected the district hospital at Ukhrul with state health minister L Nandakumar. The Governor was much concerned about the increasing number of HIV/AIDS infected persons in the district and advised associated local NGOs working in the field to provide necessary infrastructures. He further instructed the health minister to start construction work of the new 50 bedded district hospital at the earliest. On the way to Ukhrul district headquarters, the Governor distributed relief materials to the physically handicapped and orphans donated by the Indian Red Cross Society, Manipur branch and also inspected the health camp organized by the directorate of health services, government of Manipur at Lambui village.
Pranab to ULFA: Back gesture with substance, the Indian Exprss
Bad weather today prevented Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee from flying to the forward areas of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh along the China border. But he said he was returning to Delhi convinced that border disputes with Beijing were being resolved in an atmosphere of bonhomie.
But he didn’t sound so hopeful on another front in the North-East—the proposed ULFA talks with the Centre through a People’s Consultative Group. He said ground rules for the talks were not laid out and that there could be no dialogue if ULFA’s ‘‘gesture is not backed by substance’’.
‘‘It is difficult to predict what these ground rules may be, since everything is still only at the informative level. Who will talk terms and conditions? The ULFA has made no indications of this and unless it does, the Government cannot respond,’’ Mukherjee said. On the Sino-Indian front, he indicated that the soon-to-be officialised Nathu La trade route was one of the most reassuring signs that the ‘‘massive expansion in trade’’ would enhance the will to solve existing border and security issues. ‘‘There are three important indications of improving security relations. One, both sides have agreed to resolve all outstanding issues. Two, the joint statement signed in April emphasises our new strategic partnership. And three, the massive expansion of trade,’’ he said.
Operations to continue against ULFA: Mukherjee Newmai News Network Guwahati: Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has put aside any possibility of the Army going soft against the proscribed ULFA in view of the nascent peace initiative undertaken on behalf of the outfit by some individuals. Talking to media persons at the Rangiya Army base today in Assam, the Defence Minister said that the on-going Army operation in Assam was in tune with the counter-insurgency strategy of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Army, operating under the Defence Ministry is only a tool to execute it and that the Army could not stop because of pressure from some group of individuals."
The minister referred to the pressure mounted by the People’s Consultative Group (PCG), which was formed by the ULFA to prepare ground for possible negotiation with the Government of India (GOI) , to stop the on-going Army operation especially the one inside Dibru-Saikhowa National Park along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in Tinsukia district of the state.The Army has laid a siege to the national park suspecting that many of the top Ulfa leaders has been taking shelter inside the Park. This has forced Ulfa to mobilize its sympathizers associated with the PCG to launch a public campaign against the Army operations. Mukherjee , however, appreciated the ‘individualistic’ peace initiative to broker talks between the Ulfa and the GOI while disclosing that the effort was yet to acquire an official status. Refering to the 11-member PCG formed by the Ulfa , he said "I have read about the PCG only in newspapers. It is yet to be taken up at the level of the government or the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA).
Many businesses, offices shut down due to exhorbitant UG demands The Imphal Free Press
Imphal, Sep 22: Even as a good number of central security forces together with the state`s own constabularies are engaged in countering the insurgent organisations operating in the state, and despite non stop counter insurgency operations by them, the activities of the undergrounds seem to be on the increase in the last few months. After the closing down of the transport agencies ferrying goods from outside the state and the closure of Dharmasala at Thangal bazar due to heavy monetary demands by underground groups, it is now the turn of the shops at Gambhir Singh shopping arcade to pull down shutters. Beginning today, the arcade has virtually shut. Many other small business establishments and educational centres at Thangal bazar are also reportedly being harassed with heavy monetary demands.

According to reliable reports the closure of the shops is related with the inability of the shopkeepers to meet these monetary demands. It may be recalled, the state taxation department office located at the Kabo Leikai PDA complex on the southern side to the 2nd MR has been shut because of mass earned leave taken by the staff of the office since August 25 again over monetary demands by underground organisations. The office employees were constantly troubled by telephonic warnings to raise the amount that had been demanded. In the Kangpokpi area of the Sardar hills a particular underground organisation operating actively in the area has imposed public curfew since the last nearly one week in the night time starting from 8 pm. According to a reliable source from the area, cadres of the outfit responsible for the imposition of curfew also conduct regular patrolling in the area, even at the Kangpokpi bazar during the curfew hours, and threaten those who violate the curfew. Some residents of the area also said that simultaneous patrolling in some areas was also being conducted by the security forces deployed there with an apparent understanding with the armed organisation.

People of the area remain confined inside their homes after dusk for fear of the brutal consequences of violating the curfew. Yet another report said that the taxation office at Bijang, Churchandpur had also shut down due to monetary demands by a particular underground group operating in the area. A reliable source said that the amount that the particular outfit is demanding from the office is Rs. 70 lakhs. The district forest office at Churchandpur has also closed down for similar reasons. Agencies dealing in domestic cooking gas located in Imphal have also shut down businesses from yesterday due to reported heavy demands from underground organisations.

As per reports available, the agencies had decided to stop distributing refilled cooking gas cylinders in the face of fresh monetary demands from various underground organisations. They are likely to remain shut till an agreement is reached between the UGs and the agencies. Even as there were the reports of such closures of various establishment in the state out of which in some cases the police registered cases, still there was no apparent action taken up by the state government.
Army operations to continue: Pranab From Anujata D Talukdar Assam Tribune
RANGIYA, Sept 22 – Making it absolutely clear that there would be no immediate scaling down of Army operations against the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in the state, Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today that the Army would complete the task of wiping out insurgency in the state. He said that there is no question of a ceasefire by the Army unless the latest peace process takes a more concrete shape and a formal ceasefire agreement is inked. Mukherjee, who today winded up his three-day visit to the region, said during a press conference here that there is no question of a unilateral ceasefire by the Army “unless the ground rules are determined and both sides agree to a ceasefire.” Making it clear that the Army would not call off its campaign against the ULFA militants in the Dibru-Saikhowa reserve forest in upper Assam, he said that the Army would complete the job assigned to it. “It is not possible,” he said.

“No decision has been taken in respect of any ceasefire between the ULFA and the security forces. Somebody simply may make a proposal that we would like to talk. That does not mean that automatically ceasefire would be restored. Ground rules have to be prepared. Who will talk, what would be the terms and conditions of talks. Unless all these ground rules are laid down it is just not possible for the government to respond to it,” Mukherjee stated. “The Army is not deployed on their own. They are brought in when the civil administration and the Central paramilitary forces fail to control the situation. Once the Army is given a definite task, it has to complete it,” he asserted.
He said that while the latest initiative to bring about peace in the state is welcome, there is no positive action by the ULFA. “Gesture I welcome. But gesture must be backed by substance.” He, however, refused to spell out what the substance would be. The government has not even formally discussed the ULFA terms for talks. “It has never been discussed in the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS),” he disclosed. A member of the CCS, he said he is not aware of the status of ULFA’s talks offer. “Some negotiations have been initiated and we always welcome these individual initiatives. It is not that I do not want it. Unless ground rules are determined and both sides agree to have some sort of ceasefire, ceasefire cannot be implemented in that fashion.” He said that where militant groups have entered into peace agreements with the Centre, the Army has suspended operations in those areas. “Problems are still there and it is not my claim that we have been able to eliminate them totally. But in many areas we are in the process and somewhere we have been able to enter into arrangements with some groups who have agreed, through negotiations, to surrender, to give up violence, lay down arms and in those areas we have also suspended operations.” Referring to reports of problems being faced by the civilians in the Dibru-Saikhowa operation, Mukherjee said that such inconveniences could not be wished away. “This is the tragic part of it. Unfortunately, it cannot be avoided. But we will try to reduce the inconvenience of the people as much as possible,” he said.

“I have no problem if we find some way out, some solution. But it has to be credible and there must be some sort of ground rules. Some group has been appointed by somebody and they will dictate the terms without government having any knowledge, how can it be possible,” he asked about the ULFA-appointed People’s Consultative Group (PCG) demanding a halt to operations in Dibru-Saikhowa.
Asked whether the Union Government is contemplating joint operations with countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh against militants, Mukherjee said that it is the prerogative of those countries. Every country is sovereign, he pointed out. Mukherjee said that the Army is taking utmost care to ensure that there are no human rights violations during counter insurgency (CI) operations. “Whenever there have been violations we have taken stringent action,” he said. “But we must keep in view that they (Army) work in extraordinary and unnatural situations.” The armed forces are sensitised on this issue. In his address to the officers and men of the Rangiya-based Red Horns Division earlier, Mukherjee exhorted the Army personnel to take care that there are no rights violations during CI operations.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen JJ Singh, who accompanied the Defence Minister, said that not a single case of human rights violation has been reported this year in the North East or Jammu and Kashmir. In his address to his men, Mukherjee said that the government is well aware of the problems being faced by the soldiers. “We intend to provide better facilities to you,” he promised. He said that relations with China have been improving and the country is striving for good relations with all its neighbours. “We want peace to prevail but should not let down our guard,” he said. “India has no aggressive intentions but we will not tolerate any infringement of our territory,” he told the armymen in chaste Hindi. The Minister said that the government would provide the latest weaponry and equipment to the Army. Modernisation is being given full emphasis. Defence procurement procedures have been streamlined and made transparent. Work on the indigenously designed light combat aircraft (LCA), Tejas, and the advanced light helicopter (ALH) is progressing satisfactorily, he said. A separate department has also been set up under the Defence Ministry to look after the welfare of the ex-servicemen. Some two lakh residential quarters for servicemen are also being built, he said. Mukherjee, who earlier visited Manipur and Nagaland, was scheduled to meet troops deployed in the Kameng sector (Arunachal Pradesh) at Bumla this morning. Bad weather, however, forced the cancellation of this trip. “It is unfortunate but I will go there next time,” he said.
Ground rules must for negotiations with ULFA: Defence Minister Dibru Saikhowa operation will not hamper peace process: Gogoi NET News Network Guwahati, Sept 22:
Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee today said that groun d rules had to be formed before any kind of peace negotiation is initiated between the banned ULFA and the Centre.
"Unless ground rules are laid down, the Centre cannot respond. Somebody has to make a beginning and prepare the ground rules," Mukherjee told reporters at the Army 21 Mountain Division headquarters in Rangiya. Asked to elaborate on the ground rules and who would initiate the process, he said, "It is for the union Home ministry to finalise the details". Stating no decision has been taken with regard to the ceasefire with ULFA so far, Mukherjee said he had "no idea about the ongoing peace process as the matter has never been discussed in the Cabinet Committee on Security." Welcoming any individual initiative to bring the ULFA for peace talks, the Defence minister said, "Unless and until the ground rules are framed and both sides - Centre and ULFA - agree for a ceasefire, negotiations cannot be held".
Referring to the People's Consultative Group (PCG) formed by ULFA to do the spadework for formal talks with the Centre, he said, "this is a group formed by the ULFA but the PCG cannot dictate terms to the government. The gesture must be backed by substance." Regarding ongoing Army operations against the group at Dibrusaikhowa in Tinsukia district, which were severely criticised by ULFA when it had offered to sit for peace talks, the Defence minister said, "the Army is only doing its duty and some inconveniences here and there are bound to happen in any kind of security operation." "The Army is not deployed on its own but has to move in only when the civil police and the paramilitary forces fail", he added. On allegations of human rights violations by the troops, Mukherjee said the Army had been given instructions to apply utmost restraint during its security operations and any individual violation was strictly dealt with and punished. Meanwhile, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said that there was no indication from ULFA that it would declare ceasefire and stop its operations prior to the proposed peace talks with the Centre. "I requested the ULFA a year ago to declare ceasefire but they have not responded. I wanted the ceasefire for the talk process to start", Gogoi told reporters here. "The initiative for talks has already taken place. Our plea is that efforts should continue to the negotiation table. It should not stop", he said. Replying to a question whether he would write to the Centre for also initiating ceasefire as "it has to be from both sides", the chief minister said, "if the ULFA responds to my call for ceasefire, then I will write". "I am quite hopeful we will be able to come to some sort of understanding", he said. To queries if the ongoing Army operations against the ULFA at Dibru Saikhowa in Tinsukia district despite ULFA coming forward for talks would hamper the peace initiatives, Gogoi said he did not think so.
Asked why the state government, which heads the anti- insurgency Unified Command Structure, was not halting Army operations against ULFA under the present circumstances, he said, "we head the policy part of Unified Commnad and the Army is the head of operations".

Frans on 09.23.05 @ 05:22 PM CST [link]


Thursday, September 22nd

NSCN (I-M) for firm undertaking


NSCN (I-M) for firm undertaking Kuknalim.com NEW DELHI, SEPT 20: The NSCN (I-M) has sought a firm assurance from the Centre on the integration of all Naga-inhabited areas before the next round of talks that are likely to begin in October, a top Naga source said. The Nagas have told the Centre that they were willing to engage the governments of Assam and Manipur to find a way out of their opposition to any move to take away Naga-inhabited areas of their states, the source said.
The NSCN (I-M) has also indicated that it would be willing to compromise on other demands. ‘‘Besides integration of Naga-inhabited areas, we have told the government that we are willing to consider an amicable compromise on other points,’’ the source said. NSCN (I-M) general secretary T H Muivah, who is in Bangkok will come to India as soon as the dates are decided, the source said. ‘‘But we want a firm assurance on the integration,’’ the source added. On whether they have considered pulling out of peace process, he said unless the Centre came up with a firm assurance, they would be left with no option but to renew the struggle. The Nagas had last year submitted a 30-point charter to the government. Their key demands include integration of Naga-inhabited areas, raising of a separate Naga force which will work with the Army to protect the border of Nagaland, and a ‘‘special federal relationship’’ with India.
The Naga peace talks that began early this year had hit a major hurdle during the blockade of Manipur by the Naga student organisations. As a result, when the ceasefire between NSCN(I-M) and the Centre came up for renewal on July 31, the Nagas proposed a one-month extension. After negotiations, it was extended by six months, instead of the intended one year. [SUDHI RANJAN SEN, IndianExpress]
NPF suspends former minister Kohima Hindustan Times
September 22, 2005Former Nagaland finance minister and MLA K Therie was officially suspended on Wednesday by the Nagaland People Front (NPF) "for an indefinite period".
Senior NPF leaders said that the suspension was announced on the basis of the disciplinary action committee (DAC) report submitted on Wednesday. Therie, a former finance minister, had been issued a show-cause notice by DAC in June. His reply to the notice was however "quite unsatisfactory", the leaders said.There was however a window of opportunity for the expelled legislator. "The ball is now in Therie's court," his party leaders said. "If he is willing to come back, and gives us an assurance that he will not indulge in such anti-party activities again, his suspension may be revoked". On the other hand, the party has also held out the threat that the suspension could, if the situation demanded, be followed by an expulsion order. (By arrangement with Newsfile)
Manipur ambush greets Pranab on N-E visit RAJAT PANDIT TIMES NEWS NETWORK [
DIMAPUR: In his first-ever visit to the simmering cauldron that is the North-East, defence minister Pranab Mukherjee received the news that at least eight Army soldiers had been killed in an ambush in Churachandpur area of Manipur on Monday night (an agency report put the toll at 14). That set the tone for his visit across Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh over the next three days. But Mukherjee, who received a detailed briefing on the internal security situation in the entire region at the Eastern Command HQ in Kolkata earlier in the day, was optimistic that negotiations with some insurgent groups, and operations against the others, were on track.
One area of focus during his visit, of course, is the 54-year-old Naga separatist problem. After 12 rounds of talks earlier this year, the ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) was extended for only six months, a departure from the usual one-year extensions since 1997. Holding that there had been "no tangible progress" in the talks, Naga leaders are reiterating their demand for "Greater Nagaland", which involves integration of Naga-inhabited regions of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal. But these states, Manipur in particular, are totally against any such move by the Centre. "Yes, the ceasefire has been extended by only six months but that does not mean it will not be extended after six months. Some progress has been made in the talks but the issue is very complex and so naturally it will take time to resolve," said Mukherjee. "We are engaged in dialogue. That itself is a positive development. There is a groundswell for peace and development for some sort of settlement," he said, adding that no timeframe could be set for the process.
The minister admitted the situation in Manipur was "bad". But, he said, "We are trying to normalise the situation but there are various groups and their interests are divergent". The Army, incidentally, has launched a drive to exterminate militant strongholds in Manipur along the Indo-Myanmar border. There are 20 underground outfits active in the state alone like the People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, United National Liberation Front and People's Liberation Army.
Robbers nabbed The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 21: Two highway robbers looting and extorting money from inter-state passenger bus services along national highway-39 were nabbed by the Nagaland police from a place between Vishwema and Khuzuma under Khuzuma police station, an official report from Kohima said.
As per the report, the two persons identified as Thongngam Raising, 38, self style major of NSCN (IM) son of Longar of Poi village of Ukhrul district and Soju Paomei, 21, son of late Paotei Paomei of Pasul village of Senapati district were nabbed on September 17 last with the money they had looted from two or three vehicles on the national highway in the last few days.
The Kohima police have registered a case and investigation is on, the report added.

Conflicting voices over NH-53 development Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 19: Even as the Highway Development Council has announced its plans to tour NH-53 from September 21 and mobilise the village chiefs and villagers living along the route to develop the highway, the Zeliangrong Youth Front, (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) has urged the village elders, headmen/chiefs to abstain from enrolling themselves as members or office bearers of any organisation/associations floated under the name of developing the highway. In a statement, the Highway Development Council said that as per the decision taken on September 11, a meeting was held today wherein it was decided that a team comprising of representatives from different social organisations will tour the highway and see the development work being taken up there. The team will inspect the infrastructure such as the retaining wall, side drain, culvert etc and present a picture to the Government on their return. Discussions to develop the highway will be held with the village chiefs of villages lying along the highway as well as with civil societies of the area.
All willing persons who have submitted their names for the tour have been informed to gather in front of Hotel Excellency at 7 am of September 21 and to bring with them blankets, mosquito nets, plates etc. On the other hand, the Zeliangrong Youth Front has issued a statement stating that it has been the demand of the people to develop NH-53 for long. The main factor hampering the development of the route was the frequent interference from armed groups operating along the highway, said the statement and added that two bull dozers and a JCB were burnt down as the BRTF refused to cough up Rs 2 crores demanded by the armed groups. Engineers and staff of BRTF were also kidnapped often.All this while, the people who are shouting for the development of NH-53 now were nowhere in sight, charged the ZYF and said that the people will extend their cooperation to the BRTF and the Govt to carry out the pending work. Others should not interfere, it warned.
NPMHR rejects verdict of Ato Longphang Addie Chiphang
UKHRUL, Sep 21: Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Ukhrul Unit and other prominent women’s organisations have rejected the verdict issued by the Ato Longphang (a customary court of Northern Tangkhuls) and Tangkhul Region, GPRN/NSCN, in a rare case where a minor girl has been accused of stealing 8016 carats of gold. In a joint statement, Ukhrul Unit of NPMHR, president of Kamphason Shanao Long, advisor of Tangkhul Shanao Long other social organisations of Ukhrul district charged that the justice dispensed by Ato Longphang and Tangkhul Region of GRPN/NSCN was fraught with discrepancies. A minor orphan girl identified as P Kahaowon of Hango Kaphung was accused of stealing a camera, coins, 10 pieces of gold over and above 8016 carats of gold by one K Yarchipem of Phungreitang, the master of the house where she stayed as a helper last year. The case was initially handled by Tangkhul Region of GRPN/NSCN but later referred to the customary court. The statement jointly released by the rights group and the women’s organsiations charged the Ato Longphang with trying to penalise the helpless orphan girl solely on the basis of the charges levelled against her by the complainant without investigating and verifying the facts. Pointing out the alleged discrepancies in the proceeding of the case, the statement said that the girl was summoned by the chief judge of the customary court in his letterhead even before the case was actually filed by the complainant. The deputy chief judge also imposed fine to two other relatives of the girl for not attending the courts, when the fact is that they were not given any summon letter. The rights body and the women’s organsiations asserted that the relevant court documents were never given to the accused girl, contravening in the actual practice of serving it to both the parties and dictating the girl to plead guilty. Without mincing words, the joint statement also charged the Tangkhul Region GPRN/NSCN with detention of the minor girls for 47 days illegally and taking statement under duress, thus again contravening the universal practice of trying by juvenile court. The statement further alleged that the girl was subjected to physical and mental torture, while in detention and threat to life by the house owner, which is an offence in the eye of the law. The rights body and the women’s organisations also questioned the legality of keeping 8016 carats of gold (16 kgs) by an individual. The rights body and the women’s organisations categorically that the statement has been issued jointly as ‘ they were unable to bear the discrimination meted out to the poor orphan girl by the justice dispensing authorities’ and appealed for referring the case to a competent law court.
Indian Government Cautioned Over Corruption in Social Security Scheme Rahul Kumar OneWorld South Asia 21 September 2005
NEW DELHI, Sept 21 (OneWorld South Asia) - India's ambitious project to eradicate rural poverty – the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) – has come in for criticism from experts for its potential to invite corruption that can bring down the project. Experts point out that the Indian government should modify the massive scheme before it is implemented. At a discussion organized by a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) - South Asia Partnership-India (SAP-India) – in New Delhi, experts said though it had the potential to re-activate rural areas, the government will have to tread with caution because of the failure of similar schemes earlier. Another suggestion that came up was that the government could merge the existing rural development schemes for improved efficacy and better monitoring. India's first guaranteed social security scheme, which was announced by the government last year, has led to heated political, economic and rural-urban discussions across the country. The NREGA seeks to provide a legal guarantee for at least 100 days of employment for the rural poor. It plans to do this through infrastructure-creating programs under which minimum wages will be provided to at least one able-bodied person in every rural household. Currently, minimum wages differ widely in different states in India. These vary from Rs 25 (US $0.65 ) in Nagaland to Rs 134 (US $3) in Kerala for a day's manual work. The scheme provides an unemployment allowance if the government is unable to provide the job.
Both the houses of the Indian Parliament approved the scheme in August 2005 but the debate rages. Speaking at the discussion, former editor and advisor to the government Prem Shankar Jha said the Act does not generate employment but seems to provide unemployment doles to the people. He said: "Currently the government plans to spend around Rs 60,000 crore (US $13.70) on the project, and this is a huge amount of money. It could have conducted a pilot project in one village in each state to test the efficacy of the project. This would help the government erase drawbacks in the scheme. It also has not done a cost-benefit analysis of the project to see whether this scheme will provide the desired benefits to the poor and the marginalised." The project has been under fire from many quarters including economists who says that the government has not yet spelt out how to generate the money for this project. Jha also took up the argument and said: "The government simply says that the money can be arranged because the Indian economy is growing at a rate of seven percent. But experience has shown us that the GDP and such development schemes cannot be linked."
Rebutting the claim about the money, the director general of CAPART, an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Rural Development, Kamal Tauri said: "We have to respect the intentions of the government as it wants to revive Indian villages and provide security to the rural poor. Money will not be a problem for a country the size of India therefore we should try to come out of the 'where is the money syndrome' and instead try to improve upon the Act." Defending the act, Tauri said: "We cannot stop globalization, liberalization and the opening up of the economy and its effect on the people. But by strengthening the rural base we can empower people in rural areas. Enterprises cannot create employment and remove poverty in villages but entrepreneurship can remove poverty and that is what this program can do. Also, the government does not plan to impose new taxes for this scheme."
Tauri added that nearly 29 departments are presently engaged in rural development in India and the new scheme should not create yet another department as it would add to red tapism and corruption. Recalling the words of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Jha said: "Earlier it was estimated that nearly 85 percent of the money meant for the poor would end up in corruption. Now the Planning Commission of India says that 95 percent of this money goes in corruption. We have to be careful in implementing this scheme so that only the poor and the marginalized are benefited." Experts point out that the scheme has not taken ground realities into consideration because the states have to implement the scheme while the federal government has to generate the funds for it. This will create a diarchy which is not going to work. Defending the government's stand, the Union Minister of State for Planning, MV Rajashekharan said: "There is always a scope for improvement in developmental planning. This scheme aims to benefit the poorest of the poor and is the first of its kind to provide them with much needed guaranteed social security. We should also not see this initiative in isolation but in conjunction with other schemes like the Health Mission, the Horticulture Mission, Rural Electrification and Bharat Nirman Yojna – all of which are for the overall development of rural India."

Plebiscite not possible, territorial army battalion for state: Pranab The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL,Sep 21: In what could be termed as a negative response to the proposal of the underground United National Liberation Front, the Union defence minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that the matter of holding a plebiscite towards bringing an end to the decades old insurgency in Manipur will not be possible if the intent is to disintegrate the country. The defence minister was addressing mediapersons at Leimakhong Army headquarters during his brief one-day visit to the state today with a purpose to interact with troops of the Indian Army. He also asserted that any dialogue to end insurgency in Manipur or in other parts of the country should be done within the framework of the Indian Constitution. About eight different underground groups operating in Manipur have offered for holding dialogue and the government has agreed to suspend operations against them, Pranab Mukherjee said adding that it was done after consultation with the state government and at the moment both the Central and the state governments are discussing the conditions of the dialogue to end the insurgency problem. But the question of holding a plebiscite in Manipur is not possible as we all belong to India and live within the territory of India, Mukherjee said. On the Naga issue, the defence minister said that the government of India has been holding dialogue with NSCN(IM) to bring a solution but could not make speedy progress due to the complexity of the problem.
Answering queries by the mediapersons on the Manorama killing episode, Mukherjee said the Army Court of Enquiry which was set up to look into the killing of Thangjam Manorama had already completed its findings, but the portion of allegation of rape in the enquiry is still pending as civil authorities have failed to submit the semen stained clothing worn by Manorama. All the involved Army personnel in that operation are ready for DNA test and the delay of the enquiry reports was due to the lack of evidences and materials which are still in the hands of the civil authority, Mukherjee added. To yet another query, the defence minister said there is no question of intrusion in the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur territory, and there has been no dispute over the bridge at Moreh connecting with Myanmar. If there be any dispute, the matter will be solved immediately through dialogue between the two countries, he stated. The defence minister also announced that four territorial army battalions will be raised, one each in Manipur, Nagalnd, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir. He also said that the government is actively considering to allow Manipuri women to enter the said battalion as the women of the state have extraordinary courage, strength and will power.
The defence minister further clarified that his visit is not related to political and civil administration but with the purpose of interacting with troops operating in the state. Detailing the role to be played by the media the minister said the media should impart right information to the public so as to create positive atmosphere for maintenance of peace and tranquility and towards bringing development. Encouraging the efforts being made by the Army in maintaining peace in the state, the defence minister said the Army is not only involved in the counter insurgency operations but also in protecting the borders. He also sought cooperation from the people for bringing peace and normalcy in the state.
The defence minister was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen JJ Singh and several national mediapersons. After having a formal interaction with the troops at Leimakhong Army Headquarter this afternoon, the defence minister left for Tejpur in Assam canceling his proposed visit to Aizwal due to bad weather.

UNLF throws plebiscite challenge: Is India bold enough to let people of Manipur decide their future, asks Meghen Nitin Gokhale in Hong Kong
“Is India, the world’s largest democracy bold enough to let people of Manipur decide their own future?” This is the question that RK Meghen alias Sana Yaima, leader of the oldest rebel group in the North East has asked Government of India. “Is New Delhi prepared to go beyond the usual approach of offering talks within the ambit of Indian Constitution in dealing with the demand for Manipur’s independence,” Sana Yaima, Chairman of the banned United National Liberation Front (UNLF), queried in an exclusive interview with Tehelka last week. Sana Yaima who slipped out of Manipur and met Tehelka at Hong Kong, said his outfit is willing to discuss peace with Government of India if New Delhi accepts that only people of Manipur can decide their future.
“India is world’s largest democracy and if its leaders believe in democracy, they should let the people decide which way they want to go,” Sana Yaima told Tehelka, the only Indian publication that he granted access to during a short, secretive trip to Hong Kong.
“Plebiscite under UN supervision is the only correct approach to seek resolution to this conflict,” Sana Yaima, who has been underground for 30 years, said. “We have adopted a new approach asking for UN mediation and plebiscite since our earlier demand to recognise our right to sovereignty was not acceptable to New Delhi. Without a UN-supervised plebiscite, talks cannot be trustworthy,” he said, citing example of the Indo-Naga talks which have gone on for eight years without any substantial progress. The four-point formula that UNLF has mooted includes:
A plebiscite under United Nations (UN) supervision to elicit the opinion of the people of the State on the core issue of restoration of Manipur’s independence. Deployment of a UN peace- keeping force in Manipur to ensure the process is free and fair. Surrender of arms by the UNLF to the UN force, matched with the withdrawal of Indian troops. Handing over of political power by the UN in accordance with the results of the plebiscite. When pointed out that the Government is bound to reject these conditions outright, Sana Yaima, whose outfit has been fighting nearly 50,000 Indian troops in the jungles of Manipur for the past six months, said he is willing to go to any reasonable length to explore the possibility of peace with India.
“If New Delhi even accepts in principle that the 4-point proposal that we have mooted can be discussed to begin with, we are willing to come a step forward,” Sana Yaima said. “Ultimately, we are a democratic organisation and only people’s will will be our final arbitrator,” the UNLF chief said.
However, he made it clear that the Government of India’s response has to be substantive and needs to be stated publicly. Sana Yaima, appearing quite different from his usual imposing figure in battle dress, feels that the Government of India’s policy towards insurgent organisations in the North East is dominated by a militaristic attitude and hence it cannot break away from the mentality of treating the issues in the region purely from a law and order point of view.
“Although Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a sincere man, even his promise of reviewing the AFPSA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) has not been kept. After he himself had admitted that the Act is repressive, military commanders continue to defy him and say that the military cannot work without the AFPSA. Isn’t that contradictory?” he asks.
The UNLF chief asserted that the military considerations continue to dictate Government of India’s policy towards groups fighting for self-determination in the North East. “How else does one explain the fact that India is dealing one by one with different groups? NSCN (IM) has been rendered ineffective with pro- longed talks. They are now trying the same tactics with ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom). Even in Manipur, Prime Minister Singh’s assurance that the AFPSA would be reviewed in six months has been utilised by the Indian Army to launch an operation against us. As many as seven brigades are engaged in an offensive against us for the past six months. And yet, they have not been able to reach our base camp,” Sana Yaima said. He admitted that UNLF is not fighting a conventional battle against the Indian Army. But Sana Yaima insisted the UNLF, which he said had around 2,000 armed cadres, was not on the run. “We are not fighting pitched battles against the invading Indian forces, but that doesn’t mean we are running away. If at all we are running away then they should be able to come to our base headquarters. So far they haven’t done that,” he said.
The UNLF chief called upon the Indian leaders to think beyond clichés. “Ours is a human problem, not a law and order problem. In the past year, the people of Manipur have shown that their voice cannot be suppressed. The agitation against AFPSA was in fact the manifestation of a deeper resentment against Indian occupation. There is a qualitative change in people’s mindset that now sees all Indian promises as empty gestures. When earlier we had set a condition that sovereignty of Manipur should be the core issue for any discussion, we were told it was not acceptable. That is why we have mooted the new four-point proposal. If New Delhi is serious about resolution of the Manipur problem, it has to show boldness and res-pond to us. If it does not, we will understand that Government of India is not interested in any solution,” Sana Yaima said.
“There is no middle point where we can meet with India because we were a sovereign independent country before India annexed Manipur in 1949 and we just want to regain that sovereign independence,” he said. Manipuris, he said boast of two thousand years of history as an independent kingdom until the Maharaja was forced to agree to the State’s accession to India in 1949.
Sana Yaima made it clear that neither he nor UNLF as an organisation is tired of the ‘liberation struggle.’ “If necessary, we will continue our struggle for another hundred years because it is the very fundamental right that we are fighting for, the national right that we are fighting for, so we cannot afford to get tired,” he said. He however made it clear that the UNLF’s fight is against the Indian Government and not again-st the people of India. “We have much to learn and benefit from the people of India but they must be made aware about our problems and our concerns. The families of all Indian soldiers who die in a fight against us must start asking question of the Government why they die as they do,” he said. Sana Yaima, a liberal at heart also admitted that the current ethnic divide in Manipur does not augur well for the future of the State.
A product of Calcutta’s Jadavpur University, Sana Yaima says: “As a majority community, the Meities must be prepared to accept their past mistakes and be ready to make sacrifices in the future. There is no denying the fact that injustice was done to the smaller enthnic communities during feudal times. There are more than 40 different communities living in the present geographical area of Manipur. Our future is inter-link- ed. That is why, the policy of ‘ethno-exclusivity’ adopted by NSCN(IM) is dangerous for Manipur and we oppose it totally.” He lauded the people in the Imphal valley for refusing to get provoked by what he called the NSCN(IM) tactics of pitching Nagas against Meiteis by backing measures like economic blockade. “The NSCN (IM) is taking political advantage of the artificially created divisions among different communities. But it will not serve their cause. In-stead all ethnic communities of today’s Manipur must unite even while recognising each other’s right of self-detrmination. If necessary, a new name can be given to this entity. But we are so intertwined with each other that new demarcations are not possible. Both the government of India and the NSCN (IM) must understand this. If they don’t, there would be unprecedented developnets in the region,” Sana Yaima predicts sending a clear signal that just talking to one group may not resolve the issues in the northeast. (Courtesy Tehelka)
PM assures speedy industrial development of NE Assam Tribune
SHILLONG, Sept 21 – Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has assured a delegation of the Confederation of Industries of Meghalaya (CIM), who called on him in New Delhi recently, that he would sympathetically consider several issues raised by the Confederation for the speedy industrial development of the north-eastern states, according to a PIB press release. The various demands raised in a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister included issues such as the extension of the NE region Industrial Policy beyond March 31, 2007, so as to attract further investment. There was a need to amend the existing policy by extending the Transport Subsidy Scheme, Interest Subsidy Scheme and the Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme till March 2007, the memorandum pleaded.
Besides, all new units set up in the region should continue to enjoy Excise Duty exemption beyond March 31, 2007 and the cut-off date for eligibility for income tax exemption for industrial units be extended up to March 31, 2012, it demanded. The CIM delegation also urged the Central and State Governments to give top priority to the availability of adequate power so that the tempo of industrialisation is maintained. There was a need to attract private investors for setting up of power plants besides expediting the commissioning of power plants. Proper incentives must be given to attract private sector investments. Further, the banks and other financial institutions need to speed up the appraisal and disbursement process and to adopt a more liberal approach to industrial finance in the region, by providing timely and adequate working capital to the units, the memorandum stated. It was also stressed that the Government of India take steps to prevent infiltration and restoration of peace and harmony in the North East.
ULFA demands halt to killing of cadres Assam Tribune By A Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 21 – The Army, in its ongoing operations in the Dibru-Saikhowa reserve forest, killed a top ULFA leader, Achintya Saikia, in an encounter last evening. The killing comes even as Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee insisted that there are no plans to scale down the Army operations in the forest, a demand that has been made by the banned militant outfit. Meanwhile, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, repeated the demand that the Army be withdrawn “immediately” from the area. An Army spokesman who said that the militant was the officiating battalion commander of the ULFA’s 28th Battalion besides being the outfit’s finance secretary confirmed the killing of Achintya Saikia this afternoon. The 28th battalion of the ULFA is the most active unit in upper Assam. A woman militant, identified only by her first name, Jahnavi, was also killed along with Saikia. The killing of the top ULFA member came the very day when the Defence Minister reiterated that there would be no scaling down of operations against the ULFA cadres believed to be holed up inside the Dibru-Saikhowa reserve forest near Tinsukia in upper Assam. Mukherjee, who is touring the North East, told press persons at Dimapur yesterday that the operations against the militants would go on. The ULFA, which has made some peace overtures recently, had demanded that the operations in the forests be called off. Operations in the area started on August 31.

Siakia, the Army spokesman informed, was killed in an encounter near Ajuka village near the forest at about 4 pm. He said that the encounter between soldiers of the 2 Mountain Division and ULFA militants ensued after the troops were fired upon. In the retaliatory fire, the militant commander and the woman cadre were killed. The troops recovered a pistol, two satellite phones and two bags full of incriminating documents from the spot of the encounter. The spokesman described the encounter as an “unprecedented success” and said that it has dealt a blow to the ULFA. ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, in an e-mailed statement this evening, repeated the demand to call off the Army operations and said that Saikia and the woman cadre preferred death to surrender. He said that there is no reason why the ULFA should declare a ceasefire. “Asking us to declare a ceasefire is wrong. In 1990, when the ULFA vice president Pradip Gogoi was proceeding to Guwahati in a bid to implement the organisation’s decision to resolve the issues through negotiations, he was arrested and taken to the Nazira Army camp in a gunny bag like a pig. He was given electric shocks there. Hirakjyoti Mahanta was also brutally killed. This time when we are trying to take forward the talks process and have sent Achintya Saikia to ensure discipline among the lower rung cadres, he was pushed towards death,” said Rajkhowa, describing such acts of the Army as inhuman and gross injustice. He demanded immediate halt to all such activities of the Army. Meanwhile, Pranab Mukherjee is expected to discuss the ongoing operations against the ULFA in detail when he meets with the top brass of the Tezpur-based 4 Corps tomorrow. His latest statement has already given a morale booster to the Army that has been much criticised for the alleged harassment of the common people in the 765 sq km reserve forest during the operations. Mukherjee is scheduled to address a press conference at Tezpur at noon tomorrow.

Frans on 09.22.05 @ 01:48 PM CST [link]


Wednesday, September 21st

No truce with ULFA, no silver bullet for Naga problem, says Pranab Mukherjee


No truce with ULFA, no silver bullet for Naga problem, says Pranab Mukherjee :- Webindia Amritsar September 21, 2005 3:19:40 PM IST

Dimapur, Sept 21 (ANI) : Rejecting prospects of any unilateral cease-fire and suspension of ongoing counter insurgency operations against the ULFA, Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here, addding that it was "premature" to make any comment on the issue. He also said that there was no silver bullet to solve the 'complex' Naga problem. But in the same breath he also praised the recent announcement by the ULFA to form a People's Group for initiating peace process with the Centre. However, he was unambigiuous in his remark that as of now there was no truce as such. Mukherjee who is touring the army's forward base in the eastern region of the country with the army chief, General JJ Singh and several senior commanders of the Eastern Command, as part of stock taking of the situation in the country's eastern borders, also admitted that the Naga issue was a complicated one with lots of inherent challenges. While treading a cautious line on the virtual gridlock in the Naga talks, the Defence minister pointed that there was no silver bullet to solve the protracted problem. The Defence minister remarked,"No readymade solution is available".
Indicting that the two sides are trying their best to put some loose ends together, Pranab Mukherjee said that the very fact that the two sides were engaged in sustained talks exibited willinges on both sides to resolve the problem. He said the two sides were exchanging suggestions so as to reach some sort of "acceptable settlement" and that the ground situation should be appreciated. Responding to a query that the powerful Naga armed group NSCN (I-M) had only relucatantly greenlighted the truce agreement for six months only thereby injecting cloud of uncertaintly over the eight-year-old truce, the Defence minister pointed that there was a strong groundswell of support in favour of peace and ceasefire despite speculations of breakdown of truce and talks.
He said that this groundswell of support was responsible for consolidating the process. Throwing light on the degeneration of security environment in Manipur, the veteran Union Cabinet minister said that the very fact that military forces were deployed was per se an indication that not everything was hunky dory in that state. "Had the situation been good, it could have been resolved by the police. The very fact that the army has been deployed is an indication that the situation is not normal," he added. Mukherjee is set to hold a closed-door meeting with the 3 Corps Commanders and GOC Nagaland on the current situation in the state as well as in Manipur and onging CI operations along Indo-Myanmar border. (ANI)
Before talks, NSCN (I-M) wants assurance on integration of Naga areas Wednesday September 21 2005 Newindpress
NEW DELHI: Unlike previous rounds, the NSCN (I-M) has put the Centre on notice and sought a firm assurance on the integration of all Naga-inhabited areas before the next round of talks that are likely to begin in October, a top Naga source said. The Nagas, however, have told the Centre that they were willing to engage the governments of Assam and Manipur to find a way out of their opposition to any move to take away Naga-inhabited areas of their states.
The Nagas have also indicated that they would be willing to compromise on other demands. ``Besides integration of Naga-inhabited areas, we have told the government that we are willing to consider an amicable compromise on other points,'' a top Naga source told this website’s newspaper.
Sources said NSCN (I-M) general secretary T H Muivah, who is in Bangkok will come to India as soon as the dates are decided. ``But we want a firm assurance on the integration,'' said a source.

On whether they have considered pulling out of peace process, he said unless the Centre came up with a firm assurance, they would be left with no option but to renew the struggle. The Nagas had last year submitted a 30-point charter to the government. Their key demands include integration of Naga-inhabited areas, raising of a separate Naga force which will work with the Army to protect the border of Nagaland, and a ``special federal relationship'' with India. The Naga peace talks that began early this year had hit a major hurdle during the blockade of Manipur by the Naga student organisations. As a result, when the ceasefire between NSCN (I-M) and the Centre came up for renewal on July 31, the Nagas proposed a one-month extension. After negotiations, it was extended by six months, instead of the intended one-year.
Pranab hints at extending Naga truce SHIV AROOR Indian Express
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 20: Arriving in the region today for the first time since he took over as Defence Minister, Pranab Mukherjee opened his two-day tour by hinting that the ceasefire with NSCN (I-M) may be extended beyond the agreed six months. He, however, maintained silence on the ongoing operations against the ULFA in Assam’s Tinsukia forests. Admitting that the North-East issue was ‘‘complex, with no readymade solutions’’, he said: ‘‘There is a groundswell of encouragement among the local populace for peace and development. The environment is conducive to some sort of settlement, though it is impossible to put a timeframe for any such milestone. The fact that the ceasefire (with NSCN I-M) was brought down from one year to six months does not imply that it will not be extended at the end of the six months.’’ Sidestepping questions on the Army operations against the ULFA, he said, “There is no ceasefire with the ULFA so far, so it is premature to comment. We are looking at larger political consensus for political dialogue with all groups.’’
On the Naga issue, he said: ‘‘There are groups with divergent interests. This is what makes the problem complex. Our Home Minister is trying his best to arrive at a solution agreeable to all and I, as Defence Minister, have assured full support from my side,’’ he said. Army chief Gen J J Singh is accompanying Mukherjee on his tour here to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Mukherjee will visit Leimakhong in Manipur on Wednesday, headquarters of the Army’s 57 Mountain Division. ‘‘The situation in Manipur is bad, there is no doubt. If it was good or normal, we would not need to deploy Army there. But there have been perceptible improvements,’’ he said. Earlier, while speaking to reporters on his special aircraft from the Capital to Kolkata this morning, Mukherjee said: ‘‘The incident that took place in Churachandpur, where militants engaged in actions seems to be sending a signal ahead of my visit. But I am here to visit troops in all forward areas.”
Nagaland CM-led Peace Corps calls for end to Naga talks gridlock: New Kerala
By Jahansher Firoze, Dimapur: Amidst reports of virtual gridlock in the long-drawn-out Naga peace process, Nagaland’s powerful DAN alliance government-constituted Consultative Committee for Peace (CCP) has vowed to continue to play the role of a facilitator in the ongoing peace process between the Government of India (GoI) and the NSCN (I-M). Strongly indicating its commitment to throw in its expertise, resources and depth of good will generated in the Naga society towards solidifying the peace process despite visible signs of wear and tear in the process, the CCP adopted a resolution on Monday vowing to continue to play the role of a facilitator to the peace process by creating a “conducive atmosphere for an early solution to the Naga political issue”.

The CCP also issued a fresh appeal to the Government of India (GoI) and the strongest Naga armed organization, the NSCN (I-M), to exhibit more urgency, transparency and sincerity while conducting the ongoing peace process between them. At a closed-door meeting of the CCP held at the residential office of the chief minister Neiphiu Rio in Kohima on Monday, the CCP further urged the Centre and the NSCN (I-M) to expedite the peace process. It may be mentioned that the CCP spearheaded by the chief minister Neiphiu Rio and comprising of influential Naga personalities, had been contributing considerably to the ongoing peace process between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M) by facilitating various civil society organizations and NGOs to firm up consensus on various critical issues crucial to the success of the peace process. The CCP also reiterated its previous appeal to all Naga underground factions to abide by the ceasefire ground rules, to halt fratricidal killings and to unite and work for ushering in peace. In yet another significant resolution unanimously passed at the CCP meet, the peace committee further pledged to maintain equi-closeness (read play a nonaligned role) with all Naga underground factions. An official said that this was one of the six resolutions adopted by the CCP. Praising the positive role played by the print and electronic media over the years in consolidating the peace process, the CCP appreciated the role of the print and electronic media and appealed to them to disseminate correct, unbiased, positive and optimistic reports. The DAN government-constituted peace group also appreciated the contributions of the influential tribal hohos, churches, civil societies, various political parties and NGOs to the peace process and appealed to them to strive for strengthening the peace process in the larger interests of the Naga people. Further, the CCP congratulated the Naga Hoho, other NGOs and the civil society for organizing the August 31 Naga Integration Rally at Kohima in which all “participants across the length and breadth of Naga homeland expressed their unequivocal support to the integration of Naga homeland”. The Kohima rally had drawn over one hundred thousand Naga integration supporters from all across Naga-inhabited areas of Nagaland and Manipur and organizers had billed it was one of the biggest rallies ever held in a Naga territory.
‘Peace process will take time’ Morung Express News September 20
DIMAPUR : Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, today said that some progress had been made in the Indo-Naga peace talks although he pointed out that the issue was complex and no readymade solution could be found to such a vexed political problem. He was addressing media persons at the Army’s 3 Corps headquarters, Rangapahar after arriving from Kolkata. He was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff JJ Singh besides other high ranking army officials. This is his first visit to Nagaland as Defence Minister. Mukherjee said that peace in Nagaland had fostered a conducive atmosphere for people in general. He said the main purpose for his visit to Nagaland was to hold interactions with troops who are engaged in protecting the international border. He also said he was unable to meet political leaders of the State because of time constraints while stating that he had been associated with Nagaland for the past 35 years in various capacities in the government as well as in the Congress party. Replying to Pramod Mahajan’s earlier statement during the former’s recent visit to Dimapur wherein he had stated that the UPA government was derailing the peace process, the veteran Congress leader said, "What is necessary is to appreciate the acceptable solutions among the contesting parties." The Defence Minister has also welcomed the gesture of ULFA forming a citizen’s committee to initiate peace process to end decades-long violence in Assam but pointed out that the militant outfit should first cease their hostility to create a conducive atmosphere. "The formation of the citizen’s committee is a welcome step but it is premature to make comment at this stage as how the things will emerge", the Defence minister told.
The Defence minister arrived here on a three-day visit to north-eastern states to take stock of the ground situation in forward posts by holding review meetings with the army officials. On September 21, he will visit Leimakhong and address the troops there. He will also hold talks with the Inspector General, Assam Rifles (IGAR-South). On the same day, Mukherjee will leave for Aizawl where he is scheduled to inaugurate an Army recruiting office followed by his visit to Tezpur where he will be briefed about the security scenario by the GOC, 4 Corps. On Sepember 22, Mukherjee will hold meetings with Army officials at Tawang and Tenga in Arunachal Pradesh.
NSCN(IM) to open more rehabs Masangum September 20 Morung Express Jalukie (MExN): Elated by the success of "Operation Salvage", a rehabilitation center at Heningkunglwa, the NSCN-IM said that more such centers were in the offing in other parts of Nagaland. The organization yesterday announced that two more rehabilitation center for drug addicts, one in the Ao region and another in the Tangkul regions were on the anvil. "The government is in the process of opening up more centers in other parts also", said V Horam, Deputy Kilo Kilonser yesterday while addressing the inaugural function of the Men’s Volley Ball Tournament being organized by inmates of Operation Salvage.
Few months back, the success of Operation Salvage, which the NSCN-IM had likened to call as the social-based pilot project of the GPRN, had prompted the establishment of similar center in the ‘Union Territory-1’. The GPRN credited the unprecedented success of Operation Salvage to its Tatar, David Parei. V. Horam said that all the centers would be following the same pattern of self reliance and management, modeled on Operation Salvage. He also said that the centers would be institutions for learning towards self development as well as a new beginning. Expressing concern over the rise of drug addictions and AIDS cases in Nagaland, the Organization said that it was dreadful to imagine what the future holds for the Naga nation when the dreams of resourceful youths were being shattered and rendered to a state of hopelessness. "With the active cooperation from the people, NSCN shall continue to work for total transformation of our society", said V. Horam, adding this effort was with the sole vision of salvaging the Naga youths from doom.
PRANAB-ULFA DIMAPUR, SEP 20 (PTI) Outlook India
Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee today welcomed the gesture of ULFA forming a citizen's committee to initiate peace process to end decades-long violence in Assam but asserted that the militant outfit first cease the hostility to create a conducive atmosphere. The formation of the citizen's committee is a welcome step but it is premature to make comment at this stage as how the things will emerge, the Defence minister told newsmen here at Army's 3 Corps headquarters after arriving from Kolkata. However, he insisted that the militant group must cease hostility to create a conducive atmosphere to initiate a peace process. The Defence minister arrived here on a three-day visit to north-eastern states to take stock of the ground situation in forward posts by holding review meetings with the army officials. Stating that he had been associated with Nagaland for the past 35 years in various capacities in the government as well as in the Congress party, Mukherjee said the peace talks with the major Naga outfit NSCN(IM) was moving in right direction but pointed out that the issue was a complex one and no readymade solution could be found to such a vexed political problem. Noting that people in Nagaland have been urging for peace and settlement of the Naga problem and that the atmosphere was conducive, the Minister said it was not possible to say precisely what type of solution would emerge as the government has to take into consideration views and opinions from all shades of people to find an acceptable settlement. On Manipur situation, he attributed the deteriorating law and order problem to numerous underground groups operating in the state with different motives. However, he said, the Home ministry was trying to restore normalcy in the state.
When asked about the playing of volleyball matches between the members of armed forces of India and China in border area, Mukherjee said there should be more and more such activities to build confidence between the two neighbours. After a briefing by the GOC of 3 Corps Lt Gen Daljeet Singh here tomorrow morning, Mukherjee will leave for Leimakhong in Manipur where he would address the Jawans. Accompanied by the Chief of Army Staff Gen J J Singh, the Defence minister will then proceed to Aizawl in Mizoram and from there he will visit the forward areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Defence sources said.
In Nagaland, the return of touristsKARTYK VENKATRAMAN Posted online: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 0000 hours IST
KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 20: It was only five years ago that the Union Home Ministry decided to relax the restrictions on the entry of tourists into Nagaland. Already, the hotels in the Naga capital are booked to capacity. The biggest draw is the five-day ‘‘Hornbill Festival’’ held annually, for the last 5 years, from December 1. There’s a group of five Western backpackers alighting from a bus and proceeding to the travel agent’s office. ‘‘It used to be a rare occurrence, but not anymore. It seems as if it were Manali, Kulu or Kodaikanal,’’ says an oldtimer. Nagaland may not be half as publicised as Kerala, but eight years of ceasefire between insurgents and the Centre have seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting this North-East Indian state. According to the Department of Home, Nagaland, in 2001, a year after the restrictions were relaxed, 618 Restricted/Protected Area Permits (RAP/PAP) were issued by the state and the Union Home Ministry. This number has been steadily growing — 659 RAP/PAP in 2002, 743 in 2003, 1,086 in 2004, and 414 in 2005 till date. According to the Home Ministry regulations, foreigners have to apply for an RAP/PAP well in advance of visiting Nagaland. This permit is issued either to married couples or to people in groups of four or more. However, domestic tourists need to avail of an Inner Line Permit to enter Nagaland. While travel in the state is restricted to Dimapur, Kohima, Mokokchung and Wokha districts it doesn’t seem to deter tourists. Nagaland is projecting three upcoming events as its main draw this year — the Handicrafts Sale and Exhibition (October 10-15, Dimapur), the Royal Gold Cup Soccer Tournament (November 7-11, Kohima), and the year-end Hornbill Festival held at Kisama near Kohima. According to K.T. Thomas, assistant director, Department of Tourism, the main attractions here are eco-tourism and culture-based tourism. ‘‘Many Western tourists come here expecting to see the so-called ‘original’ Nagaland, with semi-naked tribals and their customs. What they find is a modernised society. So, at the Hornbill Festival, we give them a flavour of old and new Nagaland,’’ says Thomas. Every square-inch of the state seems fit for tourism with its plunging valleys and misty green hills. Spread over 16,527 sq km, 16 out of the 32 tribes and many sub-tribes — that come under the generic term ‘‘Naga’’ — reside in the seven districts. Each tribe has its own distinct culture and lifestyle. At the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, these 16 tribes have recreated their villages. Thomas says that there has been a marked rise in the tourists, both foreign and domestic. ‘‘We need more hotels that can cater to international tourists. Today we have only three such hotels in Kohima. In fact, the question is whether we are capable of accommodating all those who wish to come for the Hornbill Festival. The hotels are already booked to capacity.’’ Another important need is investment by the private sector. ‘‘We need better roads, water supply, more flights. The taxi fares are on the higher side. A lot of regulations will have to be brought in to streamline tourism here. Also, the government should start issuing RAP/PAP to individual tourists and even to groups of less than four persons.’’ The sightseeing attractions in Kohima are: the Kohima War Cemetery (World War II), and the Kohima village or Barra Basti, said to be the second-largest village in Asia. In Dimapur it’s the ruins of the ancient Kacheri kingdom and at Mokokchung, shawls, handicrafts and a glimpse of the Ao Naga tradition. This is one place where a tourist won’t be starved of choice. So don’t miss out, the whole world is coming to visit!
• It was only five years ago the Union Home Ministry decided to relax the restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists in Nagaland. Today its hotels are booked months in advance.
• Eight years of ceasefire between insurgents and the Centre have seen an increase in the number of tourists
• The state and the Centre issued 618 Restricted/Protected Area Permits (RAP/PAP) in 2001. This number has been steadily growing — 659 RAP/PAP in 2002, 743 in 2003, 1,086 in 2004, and 414 in 2005 till date
Woman found in hotel pool still in coma Express India Express News Service Police say they want to quiz the victim, daughter of a politician, to find if there was foul play. New Delhi, September 20: A 32-YEAR-OLD woman from North-East who was allegedly found drowning in a swimming pool at a South Delhi five-star hotel a week ago is still in coma. The incident had raised many questions about the sequence of events that led to the incident Police sources quoting hospital doctors said that the victim could have had a heart attack as her heart was not working when she was brought to the Vasant Kunj hospital. Officers said they were waiting for the victim to regain consciousness so that they could record her statement and also find out if there was any foul play or if it was a case of sexual assault.
The victim, Masino, belongs to Nagaland and is the daughter of a prominent politician. She had been staying in a rented accommodation in Vasant Vihar with her three-year-old son for the past several months. Masino and her husband are separated. On September 13, the victim went to a hotel in RK Puram with a friend Senti for swimming. Senior police officers said she had been invited to the hotel by a friend. ‘‘She had come to the pool as a guest member on invitation by a friend from New Zealand who had been staying at the hotel for the past several days,’’ said a senior officer. The officer however said the foreigner was not at the pool when the incident occurred. Senti told the police that Masino got into the swimming pool and after some time she noticed the victim losing control. Senti raised an alarm when she saw Masino drowning. She was brought by lifeguards and given artificial respiration. Masino was immediately rushed to Spinal Injuries Centre in Vasant Kunj, the police said. The doctors there said she had suffered a heart attack. A senior doctor said the victim is suffering from a medical condition called brain hypoxia wherein the brain does not get enough oxygen. Her maternal uncle who is staying in Delhi was informed about the incident who in turn informed the victim’s family in Kohima. ‘‘We have not received any complaint from the victim’s side. Neither has her friend made any allegations of negligence against the hotel staffers,’’ said a senior police officer.
Treat addicts as patients, not outcasts’Express News Service Kolkata, September 20: Alcoholism and drug addiction are on the rise in Kolkata, and an increasing number of youth are falling prey to such diseases in the city. Although prevalent among most age groups, chemical dependency is predominant among able-bodied young and middle aged people. According to experts, drug addiction and alcoholism are defined as “an illness in which there is a pre-occupation with the chemical, and a loss of control over oneself over its consumption, as a type of dependence that could harm a person’s health and interfere with his ability to work and get along with other people”. People are driven to this sort of dependency due to economic, physical, mental, spiritual and cultural factors. Tobacco, Alcohol, Cannabis (Ganja, Charas and Siddhi), Opiates (Opium, Heroin and Brown Sugar), Barbiturates, Amphetamines, Cocaine, Solvents and Caffeine are the most commonly abused drugs in and around Kolkata. Newsline focuses on detoxification and rehabilitation centres that addicts can get themselves admitted to, in order to fight chemical dependency.
Kripa Foundation for the Chemically Dependant
Established in 1989, this rehabilitation centre is at the forefront of the drive against chemical dependency. Since it was set up, more than 5000 patients have been successfully treated at the centre. The rehabilitation course offered here is of six months duration. Patients have to pay Rs.4,500 for the first month, and Rs.3,000 from the following month. The centre can treat 65 patients at a time, and 64 patients are presently admitted in the programme. “We have 80 per cent success rate with our patients. The programme consists of counselling, meditation, education on chemical dependency and group communication, besides other aspects. We have an in-house psychiatrist and counsellor at the centre,” said Sandeep Mitra, a lecturer at the centre. With every dependant, there is a co-dependant suffering from distress. Kripa offers a Family Systems Therapy Programme to deal with this. It is based on individual and group interactions. “We are getting an increasing number of patients who are school students. They take to ganja and sniffing adhesives out of curiosity, and become addicted to the substance,” pointed out Mitra. Office: 139 B, Rashbehari Avenue.bilitation centre: Gangarampur, Boy’s Town Bus Stop.phone — 2464 3836
Mukherjee's visit just about averts running into choppy water By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Sep 20 : Even as Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to address the media tomorrow at Leimakhong, the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union has decided to boycott all function, press releases, defence sponsored programmes and civic action programmes handed out by the Defence Ministry with immediate effect. Outlining the reasons for its stand, the scribes body said that a Major of 5/8 Gorkha Regiment snatched away three digital cameras of two vernacular dailies yesterday at RIMS, when the reporters had gone to cover a story in connection with an incident at Bishnupur. However following a letter of regret from the office of GOC Hqs 57 Mountain Division, AMWJU decided late this evening to relax its stand of boycotting handouts and programmes of Defence Ministry. The matter wil be put up before the 3 Corps Commander as he is the over all Commander of the troops deployed in Manipur, said a statement. AMWJU will also seek the details ot the measures intiated for its demand which must be intimated within one week. A memorandum addressed to the Union Defence Minister said that as the first step, AMWJU has resolved to condemn the incident in the strongest words, to boycott all function, press releases, defence sponsored programmes and civic action programme carried out or handed out by the Defence Ministry and to refrain from taking back the cameras in good condition until appropriate action is taken up against the guilty personnel within one week and an assurance from the 3 Corps Commander that such incidents will not be allowed to be repeated. Detailing the incident, the memorandum said that at about 10 pm of September 19, a Major of 5/8 Gorkha Regiment who had brought some injured personnel of the Regiment to RIMS hospital snatched away three cameras from the reporters of Matamgi Yakairol (2 cameras) and Poknapham (1 camera). The reporters were on duty to cover the list of injured personnel who were brought to the hospital after the incident at Bishnupur, said the memorandum. A Major of the Regiment asked a group of journalists who had converged at RIMS to delete the pictures they had taken. Later the Major snatched the cameras from the reporters and even threatened to smash them when asked by one reporter to switch off the camera as it was in on mode. AMWJU urged the Union Minister to take the mater seriously and do the needful.
Mukherjee happy with truce but concerned with State Newmai News Network
Dimapur, Sep 20 : Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said no “readymade solution” (of the decades-old Naga political problem) is available (as of now) although he appreciated the ongoing dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM). In a brief interaction with mediapersons on his arrival at 3 Corps Headquarters, Rangapahar near Dimapur, the Defence Minister admitted that the Naga issue was a complex one though he said both Government of India and NSCN (IM) were engaged in dialogues to find out some positive outcome. Welcoming the peace process, Mukherjee said “the ceasefire has been extended for six months and certain progress have been made.” He appealed to all concerned to create a conducive atmosphere for finding a settlement. To a query on the fate of the peace process after expiry of the current ceasefire, the Defence Minister said the truce could be extended thereafter. Mukherjee also expressed deep concern over the ongoing security scenario in Manipur. “Manipur situation is bad and deployment of Army personnel is itself an indication that the situation is not good,” he said adding “we have to rationalize the situation”. He said the Defence Ministry as well as the Home Ministry was taking measures for tackling the ongoing unrest in Manipur. The Defence Minister, who is on a three-day visit to the North-East, will leave for Leimakhong, Manipur on September 21 where he is scheduled to address the security personnel besides holding an interaction with the Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South). He is also scheduled to visit Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and hold meetings with top Army officials on the security scenario.
The Defence Minister was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff, General JJ Singh, GOC 3 Corps Lt Gen Daljeet Singh, senior officials of the Defence Ministry and a battery of mediapersons.
St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Centre and Relief Services
This rehabilitation centre was established on March 19, 1986, and was inaugurated by Mother Teresa. The founder, the late John Pathickaden, revived the Alcoholics Anonymous Programme in Kolkata in 1983. He also introduced the Narcotics Anonymous Programme to the city in 1987. The centre is now run by the founder’s wife — June Pathickaden — called ‘Auntie June’ by patients. The centre offers a six months (or more as the case may be) live-in treatment programme for chemically dependants. The main components of the programme are — intensive treatment in an inpatient setting with a highly structured programme, individual counselling, group therapy, reality therapy, work therapy, occupational therapy, stress management and AA/NA meetings.
The fees for the programme are Rs.2,500 per month. The centre can accommodate 25 patients at a time. At present, there are a total of 10 patients recovering at the centre. “We have so far treated more than 1500 patients in the live-in programme with a moderate success rate. Patients have come to us from West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Delhi, Punjab, Jharkhand, Mumbai, Bhar and Uttar Pradesh,” said June Pathickaden. “We have also educated and trained more than 180 persons in the field of chemical dependency. Besides this we have conducted workshops and awareness programmes in schools, colleges, companies, hospitals and jails,” she added. The rehabilitation programme is based on the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous. Cognitive Behavorial Therapy, and Group Therapy form the core of the programme. Counselling sessions and spiritual therapy are also provided. “We teach the patient’s family members to create a crisis situation, by asking him to leave home. It is only when his security instincts are threatened, does the patient come to us voluntarily. The next step is getting the patient to overcome his denial phase. Finally, we teach him how to become a responsible and useful member of society,” said one of the counsellors, himself a former alcoholic.
“We are taught to take one day at a time here, and the programme has really helped. It helps us to get to the bottom of the problem. We get to know ourselves, and realise that alcohol and drugs were just a cover for a deep-seated problem,” said a recovering alcoholic, a former bartender at a city hotel. The centre also arranges counselling programmes for family members, and after care prgrammes in the form of home visits by staff, and weekly feedback reports. It also refers patients to agencies and organisations for job placements.
154, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Keorapukur.
Telephone — 2402 4603
Calcutta Samaritans’ Rehabilitation Centre
This rehabilitation centre was established by Calcutta Samaritans in 1979. Subsequently, a facility for female patients was set up in 2002. Since its inception, the centre has successfully rehabilitated about 3,500 alcoholics and drug addicts. The centre has a detoxification unit, and the detoxification programme for patients lasts for three weeks. This is followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation programme, which is of four months duration. The charges for the programme are Rs.6,000 per month, but the economic condition of the patient may be considered for negotiating to a lower fee. The thrust behind the programme is psycho-spiritual therapy for chemically dependants. The day is divided into three 8 hour periods — for work, rest and recreation. The emphasis is on a disciplined life, by following a specific time-schedule. One to one counselling sessions, and group interactions are a vital part of the rehabilitation programme.
“We have facilities for 45 male patients, and 15 female patients at the centre. However, we are in great demand, and at present we have 66 male patients, and 9 female patients. We get patients from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds. Chemical dependency has become a major social crisis. Most of our patients belong to the 15-23 age group,” said Tanmay Kanjilal, warden at the centre. The centre also lays a great deal of emphasis on the patient’s relationship with, and acceptance by family members and society at large. To this end, it organises social integration counselling and workshops for family members.
Office : 48, Rippon Street. Rehabilitation centre : Arunaday Midway Home, 17 Kumarpara Lane, Narendrapur.
Telephone : 2229 9731/ 5920
Baul Mon
Set up in 1979 by Dr. Satyajit Dasgupta, Baul Mon is a reputed detoxification centre, that alcoholics and drug addicts can visit before going in for a comprehensive rehabilitation programme. Since this centre was set up, it has successfully treated more than 3000 chemically dependant patients. “While we do not have a drug/alcohol rehabilitation programme here, we have an excellent detoxification facility — the first step in the process. We specialise in dealing with the initial withdrawal symptoms of addicts and alcoholics. Once the detoxification is done, we refer our patients to various rehabilitation centres,” said Debika Roy Chowdhury, a psychiatric social worker at Baul Mon. The detoxification programme for alcoholics lasts for a minimum period of one month, while for drug addicts, it lasts for a minimum period of 14 days. The centre charges a fee of Rs.300 per day. Patients have to pay an extra charge for blood tests, and other medical tests. “The dormitory in our centre can accommodate 20 patients at a time. Presently, we have 14 patients undergoing detoxification here,” said Roy Chowdhury. Along with detoxification, the centre also provides counselling sessions for the patients, which are conducted by the in-house counsellor. The family of the patient is also involved in the process, through family counselling sessions at the centre. Meetings are held every Tuesday and Friday for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.
11 killed in rebel ambush Violence on eve of Defense Minister’s Manipur visit Newmai News Network September 20
IMPHAL: Manipur’s banned Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) ambushed an army convoy killing eleven personnel and wounding five others in a major attack in Bishnupur district late last night.
Reports said nine of them died on the spot while one each succumbed to injuries at the Bishnupur hospital and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal. Two of them are in serious condition and they are being operated upon at the RIMS hospital today.Any army source admitted the casualty and said it was a well planned ambush. The attack was carried out by about 15 militants. The KYKL claimed responsibility for the ambush and said the second operation command of the outfit carried out the attack. Reports said that militants fired from the hilltops while a three vehicle convoy of the 5/8 Gurkha Rifles was returning to their post located at Ngariyan after their routine road opening patrol at the surrounding areas. One vehicle hurtled down the gorge and most of those who died were traveling in the first vehicle. The driver of the 2 ton truck was also among those killed.
Following the incident a massive search operation was launched and the operation continued today. Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh expressed concern at the incident as it came on the eve of the visit of Defence Minister, Pranab Mukherjee to Manipur tomorrow. The Union Minister, who is on a tour of the North east will be arriving by helicopter from Nagaland tomorrow morning at Leimakhong army camp. "The law and order situation remains a serious concern of the state government. Due to the prevailing situation Manipur government could hardly take up any development activities. The government is redeploying the security forces to check rebel activities," Ibobi Singh told reporters at his office. Asked if his government requires additional central forces he said that the centre had provided enough forces and with the existing strength the government was seriously trying to improve the situation. The government does not need more forces, he said. In another incident gunmen of the Peoples United Liberation Front (PULF) shot dead two persons in different places in Thoubal district last night. The outfit shot dead Md Nasubali alias Kalu, 45 of Thoubal at Yhoubal Phoudel. A spokesman of the outfit said Kalu was given capital punishment for dealing in drugs. The other person identified as Tampakmayum Habibur, 24 of Yairipok Singda was gunned down near his home. The PULF spokesman accused the man of extorting money from the public by posing as a member of the outfit and also working against the outfit in collaboration with the Assam Rifles.
WRITE-WING Sisyphus syndrome in ManipurR. Rungsung Morung express
For years, a state like Manipur having a population of much less than a district of U.P. or West Bengal had been in India Political arena as a junior team without any trophy or a consolation certificate. Politicians after politicians played the role of king Sisyphus who was condemned to roll a heavy stone up a steep hill only to have it roll down again as it nears the top. The stone gather no moss but instead the stone became scratched with poke marks and look ugly and rough. Manipur polity is, in reality, a game of hide and seeks not knowing who will find what and for whom the game is played. The gamesters met at the corner and baulked at one another and they further went to Delhi with the begging bowl to feed people at home. Its rulers (Meiteis or tribal) had dumped scores of public projects which had run down the drains mixing with mires and silted at the bottom of Loktak Lake.
Most of the elected or all members lacked committed sense of people’s welfare with their minds morally turpitude and see only money through three (3) legged chair. On the other hand some public and coterie feel good and happy in the hope of getting unmerited and undeserved money for doing no works when your or his or my elected representatives sit in the power chair. Who cares? I or you or he or they die today or tomorrow! For whom the government is tolling the bell? Here in Manipur the ones who know how to steal live better and are well-off. Whatever the condition(s) we are in today none or nobody can safely escape from the turmoil since we are in the same room having the same temperature and bearing the same heat, hot or cold. No use of raising finger accusing and pointing at one another. Knowing the reality what Manipur today is, it would be good to know who is who and what is what wherein the reality shows that valley people do not have a single resource to sustain themselves whereas hills are abound with many mineral resources unexplored. And yet Valley people are kings and hill people are slaves to nourish valley people. So the battle cries of valley people to shackle tribals with the calling of names. This is their modus operandi. Over and above all, the valley underground movement plus Naga issue have created more complications and entanglement goes deeper wherein tribals feel unsafe and Valley people, like buffaloes, are wallowing in the field chewing the cud. One out of many instances was that Rs. 5 crore from Tribal Welfare Fund was utilized/ diverted to the construction of Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal that hosted the 5th National Games. Out of tribal funds Imphal valley is shining which they call "Manipur is shining-Manipur Sana Leipak (golden land)". Sweet to hear? Whatever mindset the valley people have against the Nagas we have only one clear mind that at all cost Nagas must be united for the good of all. In this very matter the Meiteis have to answer a very authentic question related to history that says: "Tangkhul is the elder brother of Meitei". As such the meiteis have to admit it and affix "Meitei Naga" like other Nagas. Nagas welcome you. Better redeem the lost entity. If not, we better keep silent. One does not see nor know the reasons about the Meiteis being so furious and angry with the Nagas. For the uncertain tomorrow it would be best to follow the right path and seek the good neighbor. Creating turbulence will cause harm and futile. Nagas will not fall back nor will ever flinch from its course to destination. The talk for peace with practical application in words and in deeds is the only way to peaceful co-existence. Why should we blame New Delhi without doing our homework’s?
KYKL ambush toll rises to 11 The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Sep 20: Another soldier of the Gurkha Rifles injured in yesterday`s ambush by the KYKL succumbed bringing up the total casualties to 11. The condition of the other injured personnel are are now stable, according to PRO defence officials. Soldiers of the 5/8 Gurkha Rifles were returning to their camp after the day`s highway patrolling in three vehicles when they suddenly came under heavy fire from about 20 KYKL guerillas lying in ambush at a spot along a steep ascent at Upper Ngariyan Village in the Tamenglong district, but only 8 km west of Bishnupur police station.
According the source, there were retaliatory fires and search operations have since been launched, although there have been no major results so far. He also said there were no loss of weapons of the ambushed patrol party. The post mortem of the deceased personnel were conducted at Bishenpur district hospital today under strict vigil of the Army. Even police were not allowed to entered the hospital campus freely. Out of the eleven personnel five were killed at the spot, four sucumbed to injuries on the way to Bishenpur from the ambush site, one on the way to RIMS hospital and remaining one at RIMS emergency ward at around 11 pm, according to reports. All the injured army Jawans are being treated in various hospitals in Imphal. Two of the injured were serious but the conditions are now stable. The police is yet to established detailed facts and circumstance of the incident as there is an apparent lack of co-ordination between the police and Army, another report added.
Tense in Bodo area following killing, calls bandh on Sept 21, 23 By: Lonie Brahma Choudhury Kokrajhar (Assam), Sept 20: Tension and fear psychosis prevails in the entire Bodo belt following the killing of two surrendered National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) by suspected NDFB who are under ceasefire with the govt of India since 1st June yesterday evening at Taraibari under Kokrajhar police station in the district. The incident happened around 5.30 pm Monday when three surrendered NDFB Lakhan Basumatary, Bistu Basumatary and Mwitha Mushahary in two motor bikes were moving towards the area came under attacked by the waiting militants. While Bistu was gunned down on the spot, the militants took away Lakhan. His dead body was recovered today morning in the nearby Harinaguri forest. Mwitha who was in the same bike along with Bistu managed to flee. According to Mwitha they have been receiving threatening called by NDFB area commandant B Gwmwisa since one month now. ‘He was demanding 10% of the total amount sanctioned by DRDA for work of the Choraikhola-Dangdupur road under taken by three of us, which later came down to 5%. One week back he threatened us of killing as we had informed the development to the police.
A spokesman of NDFB from Athiabari camp however denied the charge saying the outfit is not behind the incident. ‘The NDFB has been wrongly charged. The killing is not done by NDFB. Western Area commandant of NDFB B Chila told the Kokrajhar media over telephone that the outfit is not behind the killing and wrongly dragged. ‘Since the ceasefire with the govt of India we are maintaining cordial relationship with all including the surrendered NDFB, he said and appeal all to stay away from such baseless killing among the community. On the other hand the surrendered NDFB has demanded security to the surrendered members. ‘The surrendered members must be provided security beside the killer must be brought to book at any cost, demanded Bikash Basumatary of the coordination committee for surrendered NDFB. ‘We will not remain silent if we are targeted again, he added The committee also demanded ex-gratia of 5 lakh next to the kin of the dead. The committee has also called for 12-hours Kokrajhar district bandh on September 21 followed by BTC bandh on 23rd September.
The intellectual and conscious citizen of the region fear of another fratricidal killing in the community and appeal all to maintain peace and harmony among all.
Nagas' demand for integration : A historical perspective – IV By Usham Dhananjoy Singh Sangai
Among the Naga leaders who stood against the separatist movement of the Nagas and who stood for the integrity of Manipur the names of R Khathing, L Solomon etc may be mentioned.
Major Ralengnai Kha-thing popularly known as Bob Khathing was born on 28.2.1912. He was the second son of late Harming of Ukhrul. He graduated from Cotton College, Gauhati in the year 1939. He was Headmaster, Ukhrul Mission ME school in 1940. In 1941 he was called to Military Service during the 2nd World War. In 1942 he joined King's Commission, 19th Hyderabad Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant. He then become Local Captain Manipur Sector V Force. He left the Army as Major to become Minister in charge of Hill Administration and Manipur Rifles in the Interim Council w.e.f. 12th Sept 1947 (FN), then in the caretaker Govt as Minister in charge of Hill Affairs from 18.10.48 to 28.11.48. He was returned from Sadar Hills Constituency with a thumping majority as an Independent Candidate. The Ministry under the Chief Minister of Priyobrata Singh was formed from the forenoon of Monday 29.11.1948 under section 11 of the Manipur State Constitution Act 1948. R Khathing was Minister in charge of Hill Affairs. R Khathing undertook an extensive tour of hill areas of Manipur in order to explain the new administrative set up and ensure the smooth extension of the jurisdiction of Hill People's Regulation as well as the Hill Bench of the chief court. During that period, two major incident disturbed the peace and tranquillity of Manipur - Athiko Daiho BA, a tribal leader of Mao area got excited with the prospects of independent. He at first decided to declare his Mao area independent. In actual fact he instigated a rebellion by instigating the villagers not to pay tax etc. R Khathing, the Minister in charge of Hill Affairs was not amused with Daiho's idea. So he reacted firmly, depute a Magistrate with Assam Rifles. A Daiho and others were arrested and put into the jail.
Another rebel whom R Khathing had to deal with was one L Tawna, an ex-serviceman from Senvon Village near Tipaimukh. Tawna started a civil movement for integration of Parbing and Tipaimukh area of Manipur with Lushai Hill District. L Tawna was the president of Mizo Union, Manipur. He proposed a meeting of Mizo Union at Saikot on 24.7.1948.
The meeting being in the nature that would bring dissatisfaction among people endangering public place and tranquillity of the State, the State Council issued a prohibitory order banning the holding of such a meeting or assembly or procession of 5 or more persons for a period of one month from 22/7/1948. In order to deal with the uprising, Priyobrata Singh, the Chief Minister and R Khathing, Minister Hill Affairs visited Senvon, Parbung and Tipaimukh on foot.
TC Tiankham, the other tribal Minister in the interim council also helped them since he was from Churachandpur area. Anyhow, the three Ministers were able to persuade Tawna to give up his confrontational attitude and instead accept a Govt's job. L Tawna was a non-matriculate when he joined Army. He did his Army first class certificate of education and Army special of Education while serving in the Army. Those qualifications made him slightly above matriculate standard. So he became eligible for the post of Sub-Deputy Collector. He was offered and he accepted. Once in Govt service, Tawna's mouth and activities were sealed. Thereupon, the movement died its natural death. Tawna retired subsequently as Sub-Divisional Officer (Lt. Colonel H Bhuban Singh - 'Major Bob Khathing 20-21, Imphal 1992). When the Assembly was dissolved in 1949, he joined back the Army and then ultimately to NEFA service as Political officer in the Indian Frontier Administrative Service. During the Chinese invasion of India in 1962 he was the Liaison Commissioner in the rank of a Brigadier in the Army. He was then sent to Nagaland as the Chief Secretary in 1967. In 1972 he was sent as Ambassador of India to Burma. He died of heart attack on 12th January 1990.
Another Naga leader who stood for the integrity of Manipur and who fell to the bullets of the assassin was L Solomon, a Tangkhul from Tuinem village, Ukhrul district Manipur. He was born on 22.7.1928 and was a graduate. He was a member of Manipur Territorial Council 1962 and became a Cabinet Minister from 1-7-1963 to 12-1-1967. Again he became a member of Manipur Legislative Assembly 1967 and a Cabinet Minister from 19-2-1968 to 20-3-1972 under the 3rd Koireng Ministry.
(He was Deputy Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly from 16-8-63 to 15-11-1965. He was a member of the Manipur Public Service Commission MPSC during 1978-1984).
Commenting on the activities of Naga Integration Council, he once said: 'The Naga integration was first started by some leaders of Nagaland. Some frustrated Manipuri Naga leaders were utilised as weapons. These Manipuri Naga leaders were Ex-MPs or Ex-MLAs; they shouted that they would not part even an inch of land to Nagaland. When the Manipur Legislative Assembly passed a resolution demanding Statehood, they were members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. Among the four Naga leaders of Naga Integration Council, one belonged to Tangkhul one to Kabui, one to Mao and another was Anal. Some months ago and in November 1970 they tried to meet the Prime Minister. All of them were defeated in the last general election. Some of them were active Congress workers. They were expelled from the party for indiscipline, they are very frustrated people. While the Congress Ministry was installed in Manipur, they were hankering after the Ministerial berths, they used to say that if they were given ministerial berths, they would do their best to keep the integrity of Manipur in tact. Now they are joining the movement for the integration of Nagas. The Nagas of Na-galand spearheading the Naga integration movement are giving shelter to these frustrated Manipuri Nagas. They had carried them to New Delhi and kept them in five star hotels. Further they tried to mould their mind-set and even threatened with dire consequence in order to obtain these objectives. (Source: Shyamkanhai- Manipur Leigak Lon Amasung Leigak Pathapki, Itihas p 99).
Reacting to the memorandum dt 26th July 1968 submitted to Shrimati Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India, from the Naga Integration Committee Manipur, Imphal, L Solomon said that there were no valid grounds for integrating the Naga areas of Manipur with that of Nagaland. The statements given by the members of Naga Integration Committee were not valid. He said: 'In Manipur there are three major tribals of Nagas. They are: i) Tangkhul ii) Mao and iii) Kabui.
These tribes have their own respective languages, they speak Manipuri when they committed with one another, there are no other common/link language. Forty per cent of hill tribes knows Manipuri, they therefore could communicate with one another without much difficulty. In Nagaland, they speak a dialect of Assamese also known as Nagamese. This language is spoken as the common language of the Naga of Nagaland. One percent of the Nagas of Manipur do not know this language.
Manipur State was in existence as a sovereign State from time immemorial, the hill areas of Manipur was never a part of Nagaland. Kohima was under the suzerainty of the Maharaja of Manipur. When the British came, they amalgamated Kohima with Assam for administrative convenience.
There is a cultural bond between the hill tribes and the people of the valley. History records that there was no enmity between the two. Naga inhabited areas cannot be separated from Manipur in consideration of the special relationship from time immemorial. Without good communication and link languages it is impossible for the Nagas of Manipur to integrate with the Nagas of Naga-land. Foodstuff are available in plenty in Manipur. Without good communication, without common language and without valid reasons for living together the innocent Nagas of Manipur should not secede from Manipur.” (Ibid pp 101- 102)


Frans on 09.21.05 @ 03:03 PM CST [link]


Tuesday, September 20th

Human rights abuse draws concern NPMHR


Human rights abuse draws concern Morung Expess DIMAPUR, SEPT 19 (MExN): The Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) today issued a statement expressing concern over some of the recent developments taking place in the State. Issued by Nepuni Piku Secretary General, NPMHR Secretary, Dr. Lanusashi Longkumer Convenor, NPMHR Nagaland sector, and Phamring Anal Co-convenor, NPMHR South sector, the statement lamented the incident of suspected drunken driving leading to collision between a Tuensang bound passenger bus and a Bolero belonging to ADC (J) Mokokchung, Khalong, near Garampani, Karbi Anglong (Assam) on the 15th of September 2005. It denounced the unimaginable rage perpetrated on the innocent passengers by the officer’s two armed bodyguards who were also said to have been in an inebriated condition alike the said official. The incident saw the killing of Peter Yimchungru, a churchperson (CASA) and causing severe injury to the bus conductor besides creating a siege causing immense mental and emotional trauma to the innocents. The NPMHR condemned the abuse of power and demanded that a detailed, impartial and judicious enquiry be undertaken by the State government so that future recurrence of such abusive rage is contained.
The NPMHR also expressed its sympathy and solidarity with the family of the deceased and contended ex-gratia payments would not be sufficient enough unless the scourge of abusive power by public servants was checked along with appropriate penalty. Observing the frequent incidences of waylaying and arbitrary killings of innocent civilians by miscreants, the Naga rights vanguard averred that it was high time that the State Government initiate appropriate measures to restore the confidence of the people by removing the feelings of alienation through prompt and rational actions such as improving communication facilities and prudent monitoring of development projects/targets.
It also took serious note of the incident of the killing of Leidilhoulie Yhome, a four year old from Kohima Village by his own father in the presence of the deceased child’s step-mother on September 5, 2005. "This contemptible incident reflects the emerging attitudes and often abusive treatment of many (a) parent to their helpless innocent children behind the closed door in our present day Naga society" stated the NPMHR while adding that the State government and the community have the responsibility of educating and promoting ‘the rights of children’ and it being a part of basic human rights enjoyed by children around the globe,. Furthermore, the NPMHR appreciated the State’s agencies for initiating public consultations on different sectors of socio-economic, political and cultural life to ascertain the needs and choices of the Nagas. It, however, added that consultations have to go beyond symbolism to a more vigorous,democratic process which would allow more space for peoples’ participation on various areas affecting them. It also took note of the recent eviction drives undertaken by various State agencies to remove illegal encroachers from Government-owned land. The NPMHR appealed to the government to initiate a study on the issues of employment, retrenchment and rehabilitation pertaining to the past State-run projects which have run into difficulties besides, the imperative need to put into place a clear cut policy on the issue of ‘internally displaced persons/peoples’ issues caused by relocation of rightful land tillers/owners in the larger interest of the public. It cited the instance of large infrastructure-developmental projects, ‘so that livelihood issues regarding those displaced are attended to reduce humanitarian crisis which regenerates conflict’.
CCP appeals to naga factions to abide by ceasefire ground rules: New Kerala Kohima: The Consultative Committee for Peace (CCP) has appealed to all naga underground factions to abide by the ceasefire ground rules and to stop factional killings. According to official sources here, the CCP, constituted by the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government to expedite the peace process to bring unity among the factions, had a meeting at the Chief Minister's residential office yesterday. The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and adopted six resolutions.

Appreciating the contributions of tribal hohos, churches, civil societies, political parties and NGOs to the peace process, the meeting appealed to them to work cohesively for strengthening the peace process in the larger interest of the nagas. Lauding the government of India and both the factions of the NSCN for maintaining the ongoing ceasefire, the CCP urged the Centre and the NSCN-IM to be sincere to the peace process.
Peace committee meeting held Morung Expess
DIMAPUR, SEPT 19 (MExN): The Consultative Committee for Peace met today and adopted a six point resolution. The meeting held at the residential office of the Chief Minister reiterated its stand of maintaining equi-closeness to all the Underground groups and playing the role of facilitator to the peace process by creating a conducive atmosphere for an early solution to the Naga Political issue. The CCP also congratulated the Government of India and the two UG groups of the NSCN for maintaining the on-going ceasefire. The CCP also urged the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) to show more urgency, transparency and sincerity in the on going peace process, and to expedite the peace process. The CCP appreciated the contributions of the Tribal Hohos, Churches, Civil Societies, the various political parties and NGOs to the peace process and further appealed to all of them to work together unitedly for strengthening of the peace process, and for the greater interest of the Nagas.
The CCP also appreciated the role of the print and electronic media in the service to the people and appealed to them to give correct, unbiased, positive and optimistic reporting. The CCP appealed to all groups of Naga undergrounds to abide by the ceasefire ground rules, bring to a halt fratricidal killings, to come together and work for common goal of all patriotic Nagas that is peace with honour. The CCP has also congratulated the Naga Hoho and other NGOs and Civil Societies for successfully organizing the Naga Integration Rally at Kohima on 31st August 2005, wherein, it mentioned that all participants across the length and breadth of Naga home land expressed their unequivocal support to the integration of Naga home land.
Pranab Mukherjee embarks on two-day North-East visit New Delhi Una
Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday left for a two-day visit to the North-East States to review the security scenario there with top Army officials. The Defense Minister is expected to visit Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. According to official sources, Mukherjee will arrive at the Indian Army's 3 Corps headquarters this evening. On September 21, he will visit Leimakhong and address the troops there. He will also hold talks with the Inspector General, Assam Rifles (IGAR-South). On the same day, Mukherjee will leave for Aizawl where he is scheduled to inaugurate an Army recruiting office followed by his visit to Tezpur where he will be briefed about the security scenario by the GOC, 4 Corps. On Sepember 22, Mukherjee will hold meetings with Army officials at Tawang and Tenga in Arunachal Pradesh. He will return to Tezpur on the same day and stay there overnight. The Defense Minister will thereafter leave for Hyderabad on September 23.

Consultative Committee for Peace meeting held
KOHIMA, Sept. 19: The Consultative Committee for Peace had its meeting on the 19th Sept. in the residential office of Chief Minister and adopted the following resolutions.
1. The CCP reiterates its stand of maintaining equi-closeness to all the Underground groups and playing the role of facilitator to the peace process by creating a conducive atmosphere for an early solution to the Naga Political issue.
2. The CCP congratulates the Government of India and the two UG groups in the NSCN for maintaining the on-going ceasefire. The CCP also urges the Government of India and the NSCN(IM) to show more urgency, transparency and sincerity in the on going peace process, and to expedite the peace process.
3. The CCP appreciates the contributions of the Tribal Hohos, Churches, Civil Societies, the various political parties and NGOs to the peace process and further appeals to all of them to wok together unitedly for strengthening of the peace process, and for the greater interest of the Nagas.
4. The CCP also appreciates the role of print media and TV in the service to the people and appeals to them to give correct, unbiased, positive and optimistic reporting.
5. The CCP appeals to all groups of Naga undergrounds to abide by the ceasefire ground rules, bring to a halt fratricidal killings, to come together and work for common goal of all patriotic Nagas, that is peace with honour.
6. The CCP congratulates the Naga Hoho and other NGOs and Civil Societies for successfully organizing the Naga Integration Rally at Kohima on 31st August 2005, wherein all participants across the length and breadth of Naga home land expressed their unequivocal support to the integration of Naga home land.

(DIPR) Conflicting voices over NH-53 development Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 19: Even as the Highway Development Council has announced its plans to tour NH-53 from September 21 and mobilise the village chiefs and villagers living along the route to develop the highway, the Zeliangrong Youth Front, (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) has urged the village elders, headmen/chiefs to abstain from enrolling themselves as members or office bearers of any organisation/associations floated under the name of developing the highway. In a statement, the Highway Development Council said that as per the decision taken on September 11, a meeting was held today wherein it was decided that a team comprising of representatives from different social organisations will tour the highway and see the development work being taken up there. The team will inspect the infrastructure such as the retaining wall, side drain, culvert etc and present a picture to the Government on their return. Discussions to develop the highway will be held with the village chiefs of villages lying along the highway as well as with civil societies of the area.
All willing persons who have submitted their names for the tour have been informed to gather in front of Hotel Excellency at 7 am of September 21 and to bring with them blankets, mosquito nets, plates etc. On the other hand, the Zeliangrong Youth Front has issued a statement stating that it has been the demand of the people to develop NH-53 for long. The main factor hampering the development of the route was the frequent interference from armed groups operating along the highway, said the statement and added that two bull dozers and a JCB were burnt down as the BRTF refused to cough up Rs 2 crores demanded by the armed groups. Engineers and staff of BRTF were also kidnapped often.All this while, the people who are shouting for the development of NH-53 now were nowhere in sight, charged the ZYF and said that the people will extend their cooperation to the BRTF and the Govt to carry out the pending work. Others should not interfere, it warned.
VHP for common civil code in country Tuesday September 20 2005 12:43 IST Newindpress
MYSORE: All India Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishat (VHP), Mohan Joshi said on Monday that the VHP would launch a massive campaign against religious conversion across more than two lakh villages.
‘‘Educational institutes and orphanages run by Christian organisations has become big business in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and other states,’’ Joshi alleged. Addressing the media here, he noted that conversions were against the sovereignty of the country, and Parliament and State Assemblies should soon effect a law to ban it. Criticising American evangelist Benny Hinn’s convention held in Bangalore recently, Joshi said that such events gained momentum after the UPA coalition took charge at the Centre. More than 4,000 foreign Christian missionaries are involved in conversion activities across different states. He said that according to a 2001 census, there were about 2.34 Christians in India. They had been given adequate representations as five chief ministers in Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh belonged to the community, he said, ridiculing the demand for more representation. He came down heavily on Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh for his proposed move declaring 50 per cent reservation for Muslim students in Aligadh University. The AP Government had also declared 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in education and services. The UPA coalition is planning to extend such steps throughout the country, and such measures would create more caste divisions, he warned. He urged the Centre to abolish the minority commission and effect the Common Civil Code law. No democratic country in the world had ever given special rights to minorities, he added.
The Quiet Revolution The Rediff Special/Kin Bing Wu, Venita Kaul and Deepa Sanka India's elite educational institutions have been producing first-rate scientists, engineers, and managers who helped India's information technology sector take off during the 1990s. Far less visible is the more recent, quiet revolution in India's elementary education that, if successful, will equip an entire younger generation with skills to improve productivity and reduce the burden of disease, high birth rates, hunger, and poverty, while changing societal attitudes toward gender, caste, tribe, and disability. What India has accomplished is no small feat -- especially given that its population grew from about 840 million to nearly one billion between 1991 and 2001, with the number of children between the age of 6 to 14 rising by 35 million to 205 million.
Over roughly the same period, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in primary education (grades 1) rose from 82 per cent to 95 per cent, and in upper primary education (grades 6) from 54 per cent to 61 per cent (see table). Available government data suggest that in that age group, the number of children not in school fell sharply from about 60 million in the early 1990s to 25 million in 2002, and this decline is continuing. While specific numbers in such a large federal system may be viewed with caution, the rough magnitude of the progress appears to be in little doubt.
Educating the masses
After primary education was made a national priority, enrolment --especially for girls -- showed dramatic gains.
1993
2002

(percent)
Primary education (grades 1-5 for ages 6-11)
Total gross enrolment ratios1
Among boys
Among girls

Upper primary education (grades 6-8 for ages 11-14)
Total gross enrolment ratios
Among boys
Among girls

Secondary education (grades 9-12 for ages 15-18)
Total gross enrolment ratios
Among boys
Among girls

Tertiary education (postsecondary to postgraduate for ages 19-24)
Total gross enrolment ratios
Among boys
Among girls
82
90
73


54
62
45


32
39
24



5.3
6.8
3.6
95
98
93


61
65
56


36
39
30



9
10.3
7.5
(percent of GDP)
Total public spending on education and training
Total public spending on elementary education and training 3.6

1.7 4.1

2.1
(dollars)
Public spending per elementary student
(constant 2002 prices)
25
44

Sources: Data from India's Ministries of Human Resource Development and Finance; and World Bank estimates.

1Gross enrolment is the ratio of the number of children enrolled in primary education, regardless of age, to the population of the age group that corresponds to the nationally defined ages for primary schooling. A gross enrolment ratio in excess of 100 per cent typically reflects the inclusion of underage as well as overage students who have entered school late or repeated grades.
The expansion of primary education -- driven by major policy changes along with higher demand for schooling stemming from economic growth and globalisation -- took hold all across India. Historically, India's southern and western states had always been far ahead in education of the large northern states, which accounted for most of the out-of-school children. Over the past decade, however, many poorly performing states began to make real overall advances -- the primary GERs in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh were well over 90 per cent, although the ratio remained at 74 per cent in Bihar. The southern states, the states on the east and west coasts, the Himalayan states, and the northeastern states -- except for Assam and Nagaland -- were either approaching universal primary enrolment or had already achieved it. Increased access for girls and children of disadvantaged groups accounted for much of the improvement. The overall GER for girls was 92 per cent and over 95 per cent for children of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes -- the most disadvantaged groups, which make up 18 and 9 per cent, respectively, of all primary school-age children.Given the momentum built up over the years, India will, in all likelihood, meet the education Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education -- which calls for all children of primary school age to participate in the school system and complete primary school. This article explores India's quiet revolution.
From elite to all India's education development since Independence can be divided into three phases.
Phase 1: Educating the elite to build national capacity. From Independence in 1947 through 1986, education policy emphasised building national capacity for self-government and self-sufficiency through elite education. The states were mainly responsible for financing and providing education, which led to mixed results as commitment varied between states. Initially severely constrained, public spending for education rose from below 1 per cent of GDP in 1950 to 3.4 per cent in 1986.
Phase 2: Making primary education a national priority. In 1986, the Government of India (known as the Union Government) launched the landmark National Policy on Education, which resulted in a series of pilot projects on a large scale. Following the World Conference on Education for All in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand, India opened up to external assistance for primary education. The most extensive external partnership, involving the World Bank, the United Kingdom, the European Commission (EC), the Netherlands, and UNICEF, was the District Primary Education Program in 18 large states, covering about half of India's 600 districts with low female literacy rates. The program created active partnerships between the government and civil society organisations and strengthened coordination in the areas of planning, training, and research. Financial management and procurement systems, procedures, and checks and balances have been put in place, making it possible to scale up in the next phase. Between 1993 and 2002, total public spending on education rose steadily from 3.6 to 4.1 per cent of GDP, higher than the average spending of 3 per cent of GDP among low-income countries. Elementary education expenditure rose from 1.7 to 2.1 per cent of GDP, accounting for over 60 per cent of the growth in public expenditure on education in this period. As the economy grew about 6 per cent annually over this period, resources increased in both relative and absolute terms and spending per elementary student rose from $25 to $44 despite higher enrolment. The Union Government's share of total public expenditure on education rose to about 15 per cent, with the states covering the remainder (see chart).
Phase 3: Universalising elementary education. In 2001, India launched the National Programme of Universal Elementary Education, known in Hindi as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), and amended its Constitution to make quality elementary education a fundamental right of every child. The program is designed so that by 2007, all children, including children with disabilities, will have completed primary schooling, and by 2010, upper primary schooling -- a much stiffer requirement than the MDG of universal completion of primary education by 2015. The SSA program combines centrally set targets and norms for planning and costing with decentralised management, bottom up planning, community mobilisation, and social audits. With the Union Government contributing 75 per cent and the states 25 per cent, SSA funds annual work plans submitted by states and districts to meet the targets.
To ensure that central funds are not used to substitute state spending, SSA obliges the states to maintain spending for elementary education in real terms at the 1999 level and to match growing central funds above this level. The expected incremental SSA cost of $3.5 billion for 2004 would add another 9 per cent per year to the total resources for elementary education. Three external partners (the World Bank, the United Kingdom, and the EC) contribute $1.05 billion to the Union Government's share. SSA finances civil works, salaries for additional teachers, alternative schools in sparsely populated areas, bridge courses for dropouts, innovations, teacher training, school and teacher grants, and community-based organisations to provide on-site support. To tackle gender and social inequalities, SSA subsidises the cost of providing free textbooks to all girls and all students of scheduled castes and tribes, special facilities for girls (such as early childhood education centres for alternative sibling care and girls' toilets), and grants to districts to support students with disabilities.
SSA also funds a national component for capacity building, technical support, monitoring and evaluation, financial management, dissemination of good practices, and media campaigns. The program is designed to emphasise participation, transparency, and public accountability. It requires that every state take a baseline household census of children to ascertain their age, gender, social, and education status. Once the Project Approval Board agrees to the states' and districts' annual work plans, funds are released to the states for implementation. The funds are overwhelmingly spent at the community level, and their sources and uses at the school level are required to be posted publicly.
Since its 2001 launch, SSA has focused its efforts -- with initial signs of success -- on enrolling children who have never enrolled and in bringing dropouts back to school, while at the same time taking in new age groups and improving the quality of educational inputs. SSA is complemented by another national program, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, that provides daily school meals to all primary school students, thereby providing not only the needed nutrition but also incentives for poor children to enrol in and complete school. SSA enjoys non-partisan political backing, as evidenced by major budget increases under both the present and previous Union Governments. The prime minister of India is the chair of SSA's National Mission, ensuring the highest-level attention.
Risks and challenges As India has vastly expanded enrolment, it now needs to reduce high teacher and student absenteeism, lower repetition and dropout rates, and improve student achievement. In 2002, an early assessment of public school student achievement in grade five suggested huge differences within and across states.
India tends to reward rote learning, and there are no international benchmarks for judging education standards. At the national level, periodic assessments of student achievement are planned. It is vital that the test instruments be valid, reliable, and well designed. Participation in international comparative assessments should be used to improve and strengthen the technical capacity for measuring quality. Some states are taking steps to focus on quality. Madhya Pradesh has a system of tracking each child's achievement in each subject for diagnosis, remedial education, and teacher training, and the results of state-wide examinations at the end of grades 5 and 8 are reported to the state legislature, putting the focus on learning outcomes. Meanwhile, sustaining improvement in the teaching and learning process, increasing the time-on-tasks, and devising specific strategies to address special needs are essential. Multigrade classrooms, common in rural areas, require far more learning materials and teachers than are currently provided. With 17 official languages and more than 300 spoken languages and dialects in India, tribal children need help to overcome language barriers.
Lessons for others? Could India's experience help guide other countries striving to reach universal primary education? Five lessons come to mind.
First, successive Union governments have provided strong leadership in defining national goals and setting time-bound targets -- elimination of gender inequities, full participation of disadvantaged groups, universal completion of elementary education, and establishment of minimum standards for inputs across and within states.
Second, to advance these national goals, India's Union government -- aided in part by external assistance -- not only sustains massive transfers of resources but also requires the states to commit resources to meet the goals through the matching fund mechanism.
Third, SSA combines central leadership with decentralised planning and implementation. It provides ample flexibility to design locally specific strategies. It encourages partnerships with non governmental organisations and requires community oversight to ensure transparency and sustainability.
Fourth, investment in school meals has raised enrolment and helped retention, while providing much needed nutrition to poor children.
Fifth, substantial efforts were put into institutional development and capacity building while the education programme was rapidly expanded. This approach provides room for innovations (such as the provision of alternative schools, which brought flexibility to a rigid system, and the use of community-based teachers) and enables successful models to be developed for large-scale implementation.
References: Government of India, 2001, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan: A Programme for Universal Elementary Education Framework for Implementation (New Delhi).
_, various years, Economic Survey (New Delhi).
_, various years, Selected Education Statistics (New Delhi).
Govinda, R, 2002, India Education Report, Oxford University Press (New Delhi). Kremer, Michael, Karthik Muralidharan, Nazmul Chaudhury, Jeffrey Hammer, Halsey Rogers, 2005, Teacher Absence in India: A Snapshot, Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming. World Bank, 2004, Elementary Education Project Appraisal Document, Report No 27703-IN (Washington).
Kin Bing Wu is the Lead Education Specialist, Venita Kaul is a Senior Education Specialist, and Deepa Sankar is an Education Economist in the World Bank's South Asia Human Development Department. Wu and Kaul are co-task team leaders of the World Bank project supporting SSA. The article first appeared in Finance & Development, June 2005, Vol 42, No 2, published and copyrighted by the International Monetary Fund.
Ukhrul rights group alleges NSCN court of being biased Sothing W A Shimray Morung Express
UKHRUL (MExN): In a rare case where a minor girl was accused of stealing 8016 carats of gold, the Naga People’s Movement for Human Right Ukhrul unit along with the President of Kamphasom Shanao Long, advisor of Tangkhul Shanao Long and other social activist of Ukhrul District charged Ato Longphang Court (customary court of the northern Tangkhuls) and the Tangkhul region of GPRN/NSCN of serious discrepancies in dispensation of justice. The accused, P. Kahaowon of Hango Kaphung was accused of stealing a camera, coins, 10 pieces of gold and above all 8016 carats of gold from the master of the house, K.Yarchipem of Phungreitang, where she stay as helper, last year. The case was initially handled by the Tangkhul region of GPRN/NSCN but was later referred to the customary court.
The statement handout of the right’s group and women’s organization charged the Ato Longphang Court of trying to penalize the helpless orphan girl solely on the basis of the complainant without investigating and verifying the facts. Citing discrepancies in the proceedings of the case, it was stated that the girl was summoned by the Chief Judge of the customary court in his letterhead even before the case was filed by the complainant, and the Deputy Chief Judge of imposing fine to two other relative of the girl for not attending the court where in fact they were not given any summon letter. It also said that relevant court documents were never given to the accused girl contravening the actual practice of serving it to both the parties, and dictating the girl to plead guilty. Without mincing words, the statement also charged the Tangkhul region of GPRN/NSCN of illegal detention of the minor girl for 47 days contravening the universal practice of being tried by a Juvenile court and taking statement under duress. The statement further said that the girl was resorted to physical and mental torture in detention, even threat to life, by the house owner, which is an offence in the eye of the law. At the same time, it questioned the legality of keeping 8016 carats of gold by an individual. The handout categorically pointed out that the statement was made as they were unable to bear the discrimination meted out to the poor orphan girl by justice dispensing authorities and appealed for referring the case to a competent court.
Perspective POLICY/DEVELOPMENT ANALYSIS, PEOPLE AND HUMAN INTEREST PERSPECTIVE A colorful innings in politics Former Manipur Chief Minister and present Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing talks about his personal life to Witoubou, Editor of Newmai News Network.
Witoubou: What has been the driving force behind your colourful innings in politics?
Rishang: The main driving force behind my activities is the Holy Scripture from the Bible. Jesus Christ told his followers that people should love one another as He has loved us. We have to serve our fellow beings with love because serving others is serving God.
Witoubou: But politics is a game of betrayal and in trying to grab power, you yourself had taken on your opponents and betrayed your fellow politicians while trying to topple many past Governments. How can you say of love for fellow beings now? You sound contradictory.
Rishang: Yes, toppling game is very a much part of politics. I did it because I felt that my programme were better than my opponents. I wanted to save the people. I wanted to rescue the people from drowning in the deep sea. So I did not want to leave my people to incapable hands. So keeping this in mind, I tried to grab power. I’m not power hungry but I want to serve my people with my good and useful programmes.
Witoubou: What has been your greatest achievement as a public leader?
Rishang: In spite of my many enemies, the poor people from the rural area have great love and affection for me. And I feel that this is my greatest treasure and achievement. People want to listen and hear whatever I say. Whatever I say has touched a person’s heart. So this is another achievement of mine. I can at least win the confidence and regards of people whenever I interact with them. I consider this is a sort of consolation for me.
Witoubou: Who has inspired you the most?
Rishang: I happened to join politics on the eve of India’s achievement of Independence. In 1945, I was in Calcutta. That was the time when many leaders including Jaya Prakash Narayan were in jail. And these leaders were Socialists and they were for the poor and the have nots. These leaders inspired me most. That was the reason I got attracted to the Socialist Party at that time.
Witoubou: You were also at one time associated with Jawaharlal Nehru. Don’t you rate him?
Rishang: Yes, after coming to Parliament, I came in contact with Nehru, Maulana Azad, and other prominent leaders. When I looked at them, all of them were transparent and there was a keen desire from core of their hearts to sacrifice for the country. These leaders never had thought for themselves and their vested interest. Nobody talked of corruption or entertained thoughts of corruption. Fortunately, this had a profound effect on me and this has remained forever in my thought and mentality. This remains as a driving force in my activities in public life.
Witoubou: Tell me your transit point from Socialist Party to the Congress Party (INC).
Rishang: When I went to Jawaharlal Nehru and told him that I wanted to identify my nationalism with the Congress Party because at that time A.Z Phizo’s movement was there, Nehru held my hand and said, ‘come and join’. Nehru then said to his colleagues, ‘Let him remain as an associate member of Congress Party’. In 1980, Indira Gandhi asked me to lead the Manipur Government. Then I asked her how I could become the Chief Minister of Manipur as I belong to a small minority community. Then Indira Gandhi said, ‘No, in democracy to win the confidence of the people is important and that is the only way’. So I became the leader.
Witoubou: Did you at any time tell your long association with Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to Sonia Gandhi?
Rishang: Yes, I have told her about my close association with Nehru and Indira Gandhi a few days back in New Delhi. I told her how I joined the Congress Party and how the political atmosphere was at that time.
Witoubou: So these made you to remain loyal to the Congress Party but your opinions had also been ignored by your colleagues, isn’t it?
Rishang: Well, whatever may be the case; I will never allow anybody to destroy the Congress Party. The Congress led Government here can do whatever they like to do. Even if they don’t want to listen to me or accept my opinions, I would not mind. But I will not allow anyone to break the Congress party. I remained a Congressman alone twice. One was during Yangmasho Shaiza’s time and the other was during Radhabinod’s time. I was all alone – a lone MLA and a lone Congress man in the Assembly.
Witoubou: Well, who is your political mentor?
Rishang: I would consider Jaya Prakash Narayan and Pandit Nehru. They would remain as my mentors.
Witoubou: Had not you been in politics, what field of life you might have trodden?
Rishang: I find it hard to say. But I’m sure I would be serving people in one way or the other.
Witoubou: But you were a humble school teacher?
Rishang: When I had just passed Matriculation, one Dr Cook asked me to finish my graduation. He also told me that he would sent me to America to do my graduation and come back to serve as school teacher at Jorhat in Assam. But I did not follow Dr. Cook’s request. After my graduation I went to Ukhrul to become the first graduate headmaster in Ukhrul area in a Junior School in 1949. Then in 1952 I fought the elections for the Lok Sabha seat. That was how I joined politics.
Witoubou: Other than yourself, which Chief Minister of Manipur of past and present you think as an ideal one?
Rishang: Well, I don’t find anybody as ideal Chief Minister. This doesn’t mean that I was the best Chief Minister. No Chief Minister of Manipur, past and present have lived up to the people’s expectation. Instead, all of them have built houses in New Delhi, Calcutta etc.
Witoubou: Can you single out anyone from the past and present MLAs who can be considered as an ideal and exemplary figure?
Rishang: Politicians with high degree and qualifications do not make good politicians. Today, we have many MLAs who hold Ph.D degrees, University degree etc but this long tail of qualifications is not going to help them. We hardly find any good MLA in Manipur. More than qualifications or degrees, the skill to work, the will to sacrifice, honesty, and sincerity are more important to make a good politician because politics in its true sense is service to the people. One has to consider oneself as the father or a parent of all the people. Spirit of sacrifice is very important. I don’t accept high degrees and university degrees to be the yardstick to grade a politician. You need special skills to become a leader.
Witoubou: Kindly define politics in your own version.
Rishang: Politics is a game of sacrifice. Politics is service to the whole people. There should not be any narrow outlook when you are in politics. Politics becomes dangerous when you think of your own family, your own clan, your own community. So we should avoid thinking in narrow terms.
Witoubou: Do you feel that there has been any threat to your life from some angles?
Rishang: Yes, I have many enemies. If anybody comes face to face to confront me, then I will try to convince him. But if anybody is hiding in the jungle to shoot me then, I pray to take care of me.
Witoubou: If there is an offer for Governorship of any State, will you accept the assignment?
Rishang: No, no no. I will never accept to become a Governor even if I’m offered the post. You know, Governors don’t have any work. It is only an ornamental job. The Governor’s main task is to go and inaugurate this and that thing. Anything the Governor says has no value. Whereas even if I don’t become a Minister or Chief Minister people will listen to me so long as I’m doing social work.
Witoubou: Have you at any time harboured the thought to become the President of India?
Rishang: No, I have never harboured such things.
Witoubou: Suggest a panacea to check the ethics of today’s politics.
Rishang: Today, you speak something and do something else. So speaking and working should go hand in hand. Then only things will improve. Honestly and sincerity should come to the fore in every politics.
Witoubou: But in politics, it is said that an honest and a humble man is not a good politician. To be in politics one has to be shrewd and cunning.
Rishang: That is true in the case of Manipur.
Witoubou: Well, tell me your daily routine.
Rishang: I normally get up at 5 am. Sometime I want to go for a morning walk around my compound but the visitors are already full in my house. I sleep at 11 pm everyday. I sleep only for six hours.
Witoubou: Any sort of meditation?
Rishang: I regularly read the holy Bible before I go to sleep and in the morning. That is my meditation.
Witoubou: You are now 84 years old but you still have the look of a 50 year young man, so your food habit must be the factor.
Rishang: I’m a small-eater. I eat very little. If there is meat curry, I just take one small piece of it with little rice. I’m a non-vegetarian, but I mostly eat vegetables. But I eat enough fruits. I eat lots of bananas. I have liked bananas from my childhood. Fruit is a major part of my food. Daily I must eat not less than five bananas. Morning and evening I eat bananas. I am fond of it. I think these bananas keep me healthy.
Witoubou: Any drinks or that sort…?
Rishang: I don’t smoke or drink. I never take wine. I don’t chew tobacco or pans. I avoid all these things.
Witoubou: The first graduate headmaster at a young age with very good looks. So kindly throw some lights about your romantic life.
Rishang: I’m morally sound. I am not after women. I am very conscious with keeping my character clean. I keep a good distance from women in that way. I felt conscious to stand in front of a cinema hall even in my early days because people would say ‘Look he is standing in front of a cinema hall’. So I don’t want such name. I controlled myself from indulging such thing.
10 Army personnel feared killed in KYKL attack The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sept 19: In an attack by suspected cadres of the underground KYKL 10 personnel of the 5/8 Garhwal Rifles posted at Bishenpur were reportedly killed. Two of the Army personnel were confirmed killed and another six were injured in the encounter at upper Ngaryan hills range some 15 km south west of Bishenpur district this late evening. Police sources said that bodies of eight more dead soldiers were lying at the spot. Army officials were unavailable for comments.
The proscribed KYKL claimed that the attack was carried out by its army wing Meeyamgi Yawol Lanmi under the second special operations command and the cadres involved in the attack had returned safely to their base camp. A spokesperson of the said outfit also claimed that in the attack at least nine personnel of the security forces were killed and seven suffered casualties.

According to reports, the personnel of the 5/8 GR on their routine patrolling along the Ngaryan road were suddenly attacked by the suspected cadres of KYKL when the troops reached upper Ngaryan area. The attackers reportedly used heavy and sophisticated weapons. The security forces also retaliated the attack and there was an heavy exchange of fire from both sides which lasted for about half an hour, from around 7 pm to 7.30 pm. As the Bishenpur police could not immediately rush to the spot the exact number of personnel killed in the attack could not be officially confirmed. However first information report said that atleast eight personnel died at the spot.

Seven injured personnel were evacuated at once from the spot and were given first aid at the Bishenpur district hospital but one of them expired there. After the remaining injured personnel were evacuated to RIMS emergency ward one more personnel succumbed to his injuries. Doctors attending on the injured personnel stated that the condition of one more personnel is serious. However, other were stated to be out of danger. A late report said heavy reinforcement of security personnel reached the spot for search operations in the vicinity.

Kuki ceasefire The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 19: The Kuki National Organisation has said that it had entered a ceasefire with the government of India in August 2005 seeking to resolve the problems of the Kuki people within the framework of the constitution of India. A statement issued by PS Haokip, president KNO said the organisation stands to honour the ceasefire with the central government and is anticipating speedy progress in reaching a suitable solution.
Stating that the Kuki National Army, Kuki National Front (Zougam), Kuki National Front (Military Council) and United Socialist Revolutionary Army, have now formed the armed wing of KNO, the statement also said that all Kuki organisations willing to be part of the movement to find an amicable solution with the government of India are welcome to join the organisation.
Senior ULFA leader nabbed in Rajasthan NET News Network Sangai Express Guwahati, Sept 19: The banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) received a major setback today after Rajasthan state police arrested one of its dreaded leader Biju Chakraborty from Amber Jaipur area this afternoon. A police source from Rajasthan informed northeasttribune.com that Chakraborty who was staying in a rented house since the last three months was found possessing a 9mm pistol and a cash amount of rupees of three lakhs. The source further informed that Chakraborty's wife Polly was also arrested along with the ULFA leader. The duo were reportedly running a readymade garment shop in the region since the last three months. Chakraborty, who was the Operational Commander of ULFA's dreaded 109 Battalion was later made in charge of 27 Battalion making him responsible for lower Assam including Guwahati. The arrested leader hails from Rankuchi village of Tihu in lower Assam’s Nalbari district. Meanwhile, Rajasthan police have taken the outfit leader into remand and plans to hand him over to Assam police very soon.

NDFB justifies armed struggle to get ‘freedom’ ‘The bloodshed was not in vain’ From our Correspondent Sentinel
NALBARI, Sept 19: Justifying the bloodshed during the NDFB’s struggle to get "freedom" for the Bodo people living in Assam, the outlawed organization, after its announcement of ceasefire with the Government of India, said that "Lives of innocent people have to be sacrificed in any such freedom struggle against the government." In a well-attended public meeting organized by the NDFB at Barama in Nalbari district recently, B Sanmkhour, ‘secretary general’ of the outfit assured the Bodo people that, "Freedom will at last come to the Bodo people after the NDFB’s struggle for long years."
In the public meeting presided over by Ram Das Boro at Barama HS School, the ‘secretary general’ claimed that the Bodos have already been recognized as an "active" community in the world. During his address, Sanmkhour referred to some events of the world history where a lot of human lives had to be sacrificed on the way to attain "freedom".
"The NDFB has arrived at the ceasefire agreement with the Government of India after a 19-year-long struggle for amicable solution to the problems of the greater Bodo community and to bring peace and progress in ‘Bodoland’ areas", he mentioned. Speaking on the origins of the various tribes of the north-eastern region, he claimed that the Bodos are the origin of Dimasa, Sarania, Deuri and Rabha tribes. He also appealed to the intellectual section in particular and the people in general to cooperate and offer suggestions for solution to the problems of the Bodo people.
B Bengrai, spokesman of the NDFB, addressing the public meeting, said that they would have to sit with political parties here to prepare for the talks with the Government of India. "The NDFB, which started the arms struggle to attain freedom, has now realized the adverse effect of such struggle and hence they announced ceasefire," he said. B Suchranggra, ‘chief staff of army wing’ of the NDFB, B Detsung, ‘finance secretary’, B Bodosa, ‘commandant’, B Dintilang, ‘deputy chief’ of NEFB, Ramesh Das, president of Sarania Karchari Students’ Union, Tulsi Manas Rabha, adviser of All Rabha Students’ Union Assam, Gangadhar Ramchiary, former president of ABSU (Ramchiary unit), Ajit Boro, former MLA of Barama and Jogen Chaudhury, former vice-president of PTCA were among others who spoke on the occasion. Earlier, B Bodosa, ‘commandant’ of the outfit explained the objective while many grassroots cadres attended the public meeting.
Meet today to welcome NDFB truce From our Correspondent Sentinel
GOREWSAR, Sept 19: To welcome the ceasefire declaration of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), a meeting will be held on September 20 at Naokata Milan Higher Secondary School Playground in Bagsa district. Maya Ram Kachari, retired teacher, Naokata Milan ME School will preside over the meeting, while the programme will be inaugurated by Anjali Daimary, lecturer, Barama College. The central leaders of the NDFB will be present in the meeting as distinguished guests. The other delegates to be present in the meet are Lachit Bordoloi, chief advisor of the MASS, Bhraman Baghary, convenor, central committee, Peace Forum and Prabin Boro, president, AASU, among others.


Frans on 09.20.05 @ 02:40 PM CST [link]


Monday, September 19th

Pranab to visit Nagaland on Sep 20


Pranab to visit Nagaland on Sep 20 Newmai News Network

Kohima, Sep 18: Union defence minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to arrive in Nagaland on September 20 on a day`s visit to the state. According to reports, the Union minister is coming to Nagaland on an official visit and will fly directly to 3 Corps headquarters at Rangapahar, Dimapur.

However, the state government seems to be completely in the dark about Mukherjee`s proposed visit to the state. When contacted, home minister Thenucho, expressed ignorance about the visit of the defence minister. Similarly, some top bureaucrats were also ignorant about the visit although they did not rule out the possibility of such visit from past experiences. Although Mukherjee`s proposed visit is yet to be known, it is being speculated that he is coming to the state in view of the possible breakdown of the ongoing ceasefire between the Centre and the NSCN (IM). Another section of the people are speculating that the visit could be related to an Indo-Myanmar meeting.
Defence Minister to visit State Kuknalim com
KOHIMA, Sept. 18: Union defence minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to arrive in Nagaland on September 20 on a day`s visit to the state. According to reports, the Union minister is coming to Nagaland on an official visit and will fly directly to 3 Corps headquarters at Rangapahar, Dimapur.

However, the state government seems to be completely in the dark about Mukherjee`s proposed visit to the state. When contacted, home minister Thenucho, expressed ignorance about the visit of the defence minister. Similarly, some top bureaucrats were also ignorant about the visit although they did not rule out the possibility of such visit from past experiences. Although Mukherjee`s proposed visit is yet to be known, it is being speculated that he is coming to the state in view of the possible breakdown of the ongoing ceasefire between the Centre and the NSCN (IM). Another section of the people are speculating that the visit could be related to an Indo-Myanmar meeting. (NNN)
FGN worker abducted Sangai Express
Kohima, Sept 18: A major of Federal Govt of Naga-land (FGN) was reportedly abducted by NSCN (IM)’s Kohima town command from new NST bus station in Kohima in broad day-light on Saturday, accor-ding to delayed reports recieved here. According to reports, the FGN cadre, identified as one Wezhepe Chakhesang, was also armed with a small weapon at the time of the incident but he was over-powered by the NSCN (IM) cadres. The NSCN (IM) town command reportedly claimed that the abduction was made as per order issued by NSCN (IM)’s GHQ. Police and the Cha-khesang Public Organiza-tion made efforts to res-cue the cadre but without any success. Infor- mation received late eve-ning said, the cadre was taken to NSCN (IM)’s GHQ. NNN
Disaster Management gets a boost Kuknalim com
DIMAPUR, Sept. 18: Non-routine and extraordinary events require non-routine and extraordinary responses, said Bidhu Shekhar, Superintendent of Police, Dimapur. The response to such events requires special skill and attitude, he said. The IPS officer was explaining types of disasters, the nature of impact and measures to tackle such disasters at the inaugural session of the 3 day-long training programme on Disaster Management Course on fire, first aid, search and rescue operation at Central Training Institute, Civil Defence and Home Guards, Toluvi near here.

Success in tackling such eventualities would depend on the quick response with special skills of preparedness of the government and administration, he said. Emphasizing that quick and professional response, which he said, are the most vital components in disaster response and disaster mitigation, would differentiate between life and death. According to Shekhar, about 60 per cent of landmass is prone to earthquakes of various intensities, while over 40 million hectares is prone to floods and 68 per cent of the total area is susceptible to droughts. In the last decade, on an average 4500 people lost their lives and about 30 million people were affected by disasters every year, the SP said, adding, that the loss in terms of private, community and public assets has been astronomical.

He said Government of India’s latest approach to disaster has been translated into national disaster framework covering institutional mechanism, disaster prevention strategies, early warning system, disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and human resource development. As part of the Government’s approach, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been constituted at the national level as the apex agency for disaster management and that State Governments have been asked to constitute State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), he informed. The department of Relief and Rehabilitation has been designated as the department of disaster management at the state level. The SP advised the 94 trainees, representing various departments of Dimapur district, to undertake the training seriously and to generate awareness to others in the community to achieve the ultimate goal. Besides training, rehearsals and mock drills— considered as important aspects of disaster preparedness—would also be held during the three day-long training. Hekali Zhimomi, Deputy Commissioner Dimapur, who is the chairperson of Dimapur District Disaster Management Cell emphasized on the need to re-activate the Cell and make it functional.
NSCN cadre arrested Security forces encounter militants Newmai News Network September 18 Imphal: A combined team of the Manipur’s Thoubal district police commandos and Assam Rifles today had an encounter with militants near Nongpok Sekmai under Yairipok police station in Thoubal disitrict. The encounter began at about 9 am and continued till noon. However, there is no report of any casualty on either side. A search operation was launched. Police said some unknown persons shot dead a youth in Imphal West last night. The gunmen entered the house of Konthoujam dhamen (25) at Mutum Phibou Mayai Leikai at about 6.30 pm and shot him dead in his own bed. The identity of the killer is not known. In stepped out vigil in Imphal city police yesterday arrested a cadre of the NSCN (IM) identified as S.K. Samson from Paona Bazar, according to police source Police claimed to have recovered demand notes from his posession.
Burmese Import: A Shot in the Arm for Wood-based Industry Hrishikesh Saikia Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com) Guwahati, September 19, 2005
In a trade initiative that is expected to give a fresh lease of life to the struggling plywood industry of Assam and the North-east India besides providing a new impetus to formal business transactions between India and Burma, the Government of India has given the nod for import of soft Burmese wood. The move comes in the wake of hectic lobbying by the soft-wood industry of India and subsequent approval by the high-powered committee of the north-eastern region to allow import from Burma. Kitply Industries of India has signed an agreement with Myanmar Timber Enterprise, Ahlone, Yangon, for import of teak and Gurjan. Consignments of soft wood, mostly teak and Gurjan have already left for India and some of them are currently at the Moreh (Manipur) border trade point.
A highly-placed source in the Plant Quarantine Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, told this correspondent that one lakh cubic feet (CFT) of soft wood from Burma, the quarantine verification for which has already been completed, is scheduled to reach the North-east later this week.
Following the Supreme Court's ban on timber felling in 1996 in view of the grave threat it posed to the North-east's forests and environment, the thriving plywood mills of the region had to down their shutters. Most of the 70-odd factories were located in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya, which used to account for about 60 per cent of India's total plywood production. As the new agreement covers all the six wood-based industries in the region, they will be in a position to meet their demand for wood from Burma. The new initiative should boost the wood-based industries in the region, given the name that Burmese teak has all over the world for its quality.

ZU election Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 18: The election of the Zeliangrong Union, Senapati Zone would be conducted on September 20 at ZU Senapati office at 11 am, judicial secretary of ZU (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) K Poushinglung informed in a statement and asked all the concerned village chairmen/chiefs to be present at the occasion.

Jamboree details: Persons willing to participate in the Bharat Scouts and Guides’ 15th national Jamboree at Haridwar of Uttaranchal are informed to obtain further details from the office of Manipur State Bharat Scouts and Guides within September 20. Teachers’ meet: A get-together cum conference of the primary school teachers serving under District Council, Tamenglong would be held on February 23 at 8 am at the office complex of the Council. Chief Executive Officer of District Council, Tamenglong RK Ragaisin has asked all the teachers concerned to attend the said conference without fail.
NCLM official to visit NE The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sept 18: As a part of his field tour of the country`s east and north-east to survey linguistic minority institutions and academies in India, the commissioner, national commission for linguistic minorities under the ministry of social justice and empowerment, government of India, KK Sethi, retired IAS, is scheduled to arrive at the state capital on October 1 for a three day visit of the state.
During his visit to the state he will hold meetings with the state chief secretary, education secretary and concerned officials of the minorities and other backward classes to discuss the development and welfare of linguistic minorities in the state.
According to a tentative programme received by the state government regarding his visit, the commissioner will reach Allahabad by train on September 21 and then Ranchi on September 22.
He will then go to Jamshedpur and after that he will proceed to Itanagar in Tripura on September 24. After holding meetings with the concerned officials of the linguistic minorities of Tripura he will proceed to Kolkata for his onward journey to the north east India. On September 28 he will arrive at Aizawl, Mizoram by air from Kolkata. After holding meetings with the related officials of the Mizoram state government, he is scheduled to arrive at Silchar, Assam by road from Aizawl.

After staying two days at Silchar he will arrive at Imphal on October 1. He is scheduled to leave Imphal on October 3 for his further visit to Kohima, Nagaland for holding a series of meetings with the concerned officials of the Nagaland state government. His official tour will conclude at Kohima.
During the three day stay at Imphal, the commissioner KK Sethi apart from his official meeting with the state`s related officials, will go to Moreh and Churachandpur for sightseeing. After getting an intimation from the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment to the state chief secretary, the state government is likely to declare him a state guest during his stay at Imphal and provide adequate security and accommodation. It may be noted that KK Sethi was appointed as the commissioner of the National Commission for Linguistic Minorities (NCLM) by the president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam after initiation of the said commission in the parliament.
Indo-Bangla border fence work moves at snail's pace by Pramod Kumar Singh
Monday September 19, 2005, New Delhi: Delay in land acquisition by the West Bengal Government on the Indo-Bangla border, has slowed down border fencing project being carried out by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). The delay has led to cost escalation and pushed the completion of the fencing work by at least one year.
The project, vital to check the unhindered infiltration by the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, was to be completed by March 2006. "With this rate, even 2007 is not a realistic target," said a senior Home Ministry official. Central agencies are involved in erecting barbed wire fencing of the Phase-II project in the West Bengal sector involving nine bordering districts. According to the statistics available with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the West Bengal Government has provided only 8 km of land at or more than 150 yards from the International Border. Further acquisition of 65 kms more land in nine bordering districts of the North 24 Pargana, Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda, Dakshin Dinajpur, Uttar Dinajpur, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar districts is moving at a snails pace.

If that was not enough, the fencing work has left a lot to be desired. Over 463-km long area passing through the bordering districts is yet to be fenced. Though a total of 108.3 km falls under difficult terrain and riverine which can not be fenced. Although, India has already fenced 1,948 km and has set an ambitious target to complete fencing 3,286 km of the 4,096 km-long border by March 2006. The Government had decided to erect fences within 150 yards (135 Metres) of the zeroline along certain stretches of the International Border between India and Bangladesh. It was necessitated in the wake of renewed concerns about the influx of ultras from Bangladesh and Myanmar into the North-Eastern part of the country which recently saw an upsurge in extremist violence in Assam and Nagaland.

Though Bangladesh has been assuring New Delhi that it will not allow terrorist groups to use its territory for launching subversive activities against India but the facts available with the Indian security agencies speak otherwise. Begum Khaleda Zia's Government has done precious little in this regard. New Delhi favours fencing as a good defence mechanism to prevent infiltration of the Bangladesh nationals. Dhaka has been crying hoarse about violation of the 1975 Joint India-Bangladesh Guidelines for Border Authorities. Delhi, on it's part, has been asserting that there has been no violation in this regard. To the contrary, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) have been consistently misinterpreting a paragraph in it to oppose erection of fence on the border. The BDR is misinterpreting para 8 (e) of the guidelines to emphasis that fence is a structure having defence potential. The BDR has also been indulging in unprovoked firing to prevent fencing work within 150 yards of the International Border by the Indian authorities to push in Bangladeshis and gangs of smugglers
This issue has been discussed with the Bangladesh Government at various levels including meetings between home secretaries and director generals of the two border guards, a MHA official said.
(Source : Press Trust of India)

India to import soft wood from Myanmar Morung Express
IMPHAL, SEPT 18 (MExN): India has decided to import soft wood from Myanmar for revival of the crisis-hit plywood industry in the North East. The Centre’s move came following approval of the High Power Committee of the north-eastern region. A huge consignment of soft wood (Teak and Gurjan) comprising one lakh cubic feet (CFT) is supposed to reach this region within this week. The Ministry of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Division has already cleared the consignment after quarantine verification. It may be recalled that after the Supreme Court ban on cutting of trees in the North East, the wood based industries scattered in various parts of the region have been facing serious problems. But the new agreement is likely to give a boost to the industries in the region. According to available information the six wood- based industries in the State have been covered under the new pact. Now all these industries will be able to import teak and Gurjan wood from Myanmar to meet their requirement.
Mrinal Sarma, senior officer of Ministry of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Division, said that the new agreement would give a new life to the crisis-hit plywood industries which remained closed for the last couple years due to shortage of raw materials. "According to the agreement another consignment of 2500 CFT will reach the region very soon", he said. In this context, he informed that now-a-days plant quarantine certificate is mandatory for export and import of forest products and therefore all the consignments have to undergo plant quarantine test. Immediately after the ASEAN car rally, trade relations between India and Myanmar have been improving. To keep the momentum going, the Indian Commerce Ministry has taken a slew of measures to boost export and import. Sarma informed that ‘Burmese’ teak has a good demand across the world for its quality and therefore the industries in the region would be able to woo the customers. "We are optimistic that lot of wood based industries would come up in the North East after the new development", he added. Meanwhile, M/S Kitply Industries have signed a pact No-01/ 2004/2005 (D) (BT) with the Myanmar Timber Enterprise Ahlone, Yangon to import of teak and Gurjan from Myanmar.
Assam bodies against insurgency operations Newmai News Network Guwahati: The All Assam students’ Union (AASU), Assam Unnati Sabha, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samity (MASS), Moran Students’ Union and a host of other organizations have warned the state and central governments to stop the ongoing counter insurgency operations against the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in Dibru Saikhowa National Park.
"The people of Assam are peace loving and want the ULFA problem to be solved peacefully at the earliest", said AASU general secretary Tapan Gogoi. "If a terrorist outfit like the ULFA could show its willingness for a peaceful solution by forming the people’s consultative group, why was the chief minister, ‘like Dhritarashtra’, maintaining double standards while on one hand welcoming the PCG and on the other hand allowing the army operations to continue", Gogoi asked. Speaking on the issue, chief minister Tarun Gogoi said that he had already appealed to the centre to propose ceasefire to the ULFA. "The ceasefire needs to be from both sides and only then we can expect some positive result", Gogoi said. Meanwhile, representatives of the Moran Students’ Union and the Motok Yuba Chatra Parishad yesterday after acquiring permission from the army went into the nearby Laikasamua village and had discussions with the villagers. Entry into nearby villages has been restricted since August 31. The villagers have reported nine youths who have been taken in by the army for enquiry missing.
34 AR busts KYKL camp at Kharan hills The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sept 18 : Troops of the 34th Assam Rifles busted a temporary camp of the proscribed KYKL located at Kharan hills in Senapati district under Yairipok police station this morning at around 8.30 am. While fleeing from site the cadres of the outfit were involved in a brief encounter with the Army which ended with no casualties on either sides. According to the villagers of the Kharan hills, this morning a column of the army was seen proceeding from the Satta Khambi hill located north east of the Kharan village. On seeing the army marching towards the village, the cadres of the KYKL who were taking shelter in a house at the eastern side of the village for the last nearly one month came out and opened fire towards the army column resulting in a brief exchange of fire between the two sides.

As most of the villagers were gathered at a house of a person said to be the pastor of the village who had died, there were only a few people near the UG camp site. After the cadres of the outfit shouted to the villagers to leave the vicinity, the villagers ran from the site and took shelter at the houses located on the outskirts of the village. After the brief encounter, the UGs left the place for the thick forests surrounding the village and escaped in an unknown direction. The Army thereafter entered the village and conducted a house to house search operation. The army also searched the house where the KYKL cadres had taken shelter but found only cooked food and utensils there. According to a villager since the last nearly one month around 30 cadres of the KYKL had been camping at a house located at the far eastern corner of the village which was abandoned by the house owner since a long time.

During the UGs` stay in the village, they remained inside the house in the night time and in the daytime they were not in the village. The UGs never demanded anything other than utensils for preparing thier food. Except for the villagers near their shelter, others did not even know that some UGs were taking shelter there. This morning suddenly the army troops intruded and the encounter happened. On seeing the army coming, the armed cadres of the outfit warned the villagers to shift from there, the villagers disclosed. The cadres then started firing towards the army and had an exchange of fire with them for about 30 minutes. An elder of the village namely Nungam recalling earlier incidents of encounter between the security forces and the UGs said that this time they were lucky as the villagers were not tortured or harassed by the security personnel.

In the earlier incidents, villagers were assaulted by the security forces on the charge of giving shelter to the underground outfits in the aftermath of the exchange of fire. It may be noted that this is the third time the security forces clashed with UGs in this village. In all the clashes many houses were damaged by the gun shots. The security forces also destroyed properties belonging of the villagers and houses were ransacked. But this time all such incidents did not take place and the security personnel were also very cool to the villagers. However, the security personnel were still at the village and one could not say what would happen next, the villagers said. When mediapersons left the village heavy re-enforcements of the Assam Rifles including DIG AR were marching towards the village and the helpless villagers were waiting with fear. Earlier, when media teams were moving towards the village personnel of Thoubal police commando were seen on the way waiting for a green signal to enter the village. They had however turned back leaving the mediapersons to proceed to the spot on foot.

Assam oil fire still burns, OIL reprimanded By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service
Guwahati, Sep 19 (IANS) Anti-pollution experts Monday said the five-day oil well fire in Assam that continues to rage would not pose major health risks, but warned Oil India Limited (OIL) that it had to revamp its disaster management mechanism. A 20-member team of the Assam State Pollution Control Board visited the fire site at the well near Dikom, 520 km east of Assam's main city Guwahati.
The well, owned by OIL, India's main exploration firm, was damaged last Tuesday, causing oil and natural gas to escape from the site in a remote tea-growing area of Assam. The gas ignited Thursday afternoon. The cause of the oil spill that led to the fire is not known as firefighters are yet to douse the blaze with the intense heat preventing them from moving closer to the area.
'We do not see any major health risks or environmental degradation as a result of the oil well fire. There are layers of carbon soot on trees and nearby tea bushes and any loss caused by the fire would have to be compensated by OIL authorities,' said Jawaharlal Dutta, chairperson of the Assam State Pollution Control Board. The expert team, however, warned OIL not to take the fire as a routine happening in oil fields. 'We are not going to take things lightly and OIL authorities need to immediately strengthen their surveillance mechanism and have a thorough re-look at their disaster management drills to avoid recurrence of such fires in the future,' Dutta told IANS from the fire site.
An OIL spokesperson said two more experts from the Texas-based Boots and Coots International Well Control reached the fire site late Sunday to assist two of their counterparts already working in the area.
'The fire is continuing to leap and is generating intense heat preventing us from going near the well to cap the spill that has been fuelling the fire,' OIL group general manager J.K. Talukdar said over the phone from the company headquarters in Duliajan in eastern Assam.
The four-member experts from Boots and Coots were unable to start work as they require more equipment to douse the blaze. 'We are expecting some major heavy equipment transported by road to arrive at the fire site by this week,' Talukdar said. Some 5,000 people, most of them tea plantation workers, were evacuated soon after the oil spill as a precautionary measure, but are now returning home, the OIL spokesperson said. The well blowout Tuesday had forced OIL authorities to shut down operations at the Dikom oilfield that produces about 1,200 kilolitres (6,000 barrels) of crude daily.
A barrel of oil in the international market sells at $70 dollars. India produces about 30 million tonnes of crude annually, with Assam accounting for five million tonnes of the total.
Gunning down of 8 Karbis KRA denies hand, dares police to unearth truth
GUWAHATI, Sept 18: The Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) has strongly opposed the news reports published in all local and metropolitan newspapers blaming it for gunning down eight Karbis, including four women on September 14. The KRA has said that the allegation was baseless and was intended to tarnish the image of Kuki Revolutionary Army, said a press release. The outfit has said that the KRA was not formed to kill innocent Karbis since it believed that solution to the Kuki problem does not lie in murder and mayhem. The KRA said that the organization was formed to work for the settlement of Kuki problem with New Delhi. It said that KRA would never resort to killing of innocent people no matter what the circumstances were.
It dared the Bokoliahat police to unearth the truth for the public and the media on who the actual perpetrators of such heinous crime were. The KRA release said that rumours like this would fan an already suspicious ethnic climate in Assam. It said that the Kuki people living in Karbi Anglong want peace between the Kukis and the Karbis. It warned that for any untoward incident arising as a consequences of this incident, the Bokoliahat police would have to bear responsibility.
Goreswar people resent class boycott by teachers From our Correspondent
GORESWAR, Sept 18: Strong resentment persists among the guardians and the public in Goreswar due to boycott of classes by the teachers of Betna MV school since August 29. Almost 200 guardians and teachers of the area gathered in the school premises on August 30 and requested the teachers to stop the class boycott programme in the greater interest of the students. However, teachers representatives like Rameshwar Das, Biren Sarma, Phanidhar Deka, Jogen Daimary, Paren Boro, Ananda Ram Boro, Hari Chandra Boro, Prafulla Swargiary and Sachi Prabha Deka rejected their overtures which infuriated the guardians. They in turn locked the door of the school office. Later, the same day, a general meeting was convened with Binay Kumar Deka, president of the managing body, in the chair in the presence of more than 200 people.
The meeting decided to accept some key proposals. Among them, a temporary office for the head master and others. The meeting also decided to use the help of educated unemployed youths of the region to continue the classes temporarily. The public meet has also given full power to the authorities concerned and the SDO of Rangiya subdivision over the matter.

Frans on 09.19.05 @ 01:43 PM CST [link]


Sunday, September 18th

NSCN-IM condemns Imphal militants’ actions


NSCN-IM condemns Imphal militants’ actions Morung Express News Dimapur: According to the GPRN/NSCN (IM), the Peoples’ Liberation Army and the United National Liberation Front are creating havoc among the Naga population in Chandel district, Manipur. The NSCN has stated that both organizations are Imphal valley based militant groups under the umbrella organization of Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF).
A press communiqué made available to the media and issued by Sahini, Secretary in the MIP of the GRPN has cited incidents wherein land mines and other explosive material were planted by the Imphal based underground outfits. Residents of Satsang village in Chandel district had been forewarned not to venture out of their village, said Sahini. "On September 7, at the village, a dog escorting its master Moshil and his sister Toshil, on their way to attend daily chores, tripped over a land mine planted by the aforementioned militant outfits. "The massive explosion killed the dog, and the brother and sister were both knocked down without fatal injuries," Sahini recounted. He has also made mention of another explosion which occurred at Choktong village, Chandel district on September 10 and the indiscriminate firing on a Tata Sumo by Kuki National Army cadres at Sinam village where a Naga woman was injured. The Tata Sumo was reportedly on its way to Moreh. In this regard, Sahini has petitioned : "The Naga people appeal to the world community to do necessary investigation and undo such inhumane acts of terrorizing (the) innocent public which contravenes international norms of human rights to peaceful living and help prevent further recurrences."
IAS officer appointed to probe killing kuknalim.com DIMAPUR, Sept 17: The Governor of Nagaland has appointed DK Bhalla (IAS), Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Nagaland as a ‘One Man Inquiry’ to investigate into the causes and course of events of Sept 15 where the Nagaland Police bodyguards of Moangkaba Imchen, ADC (J) Mokokchung had fired on passengers of the Tuensang bound Network Travels bus which resulted in the death of Peter Yimchunger and serious injury of Basanta Chetri, handyman of the said bus who later succumbed to his injuries.

A notification issued by P Talitemjen Ao, Chief Secretary to the Government of Nagaland states that Bhalla has been directed to probe the circumstances under which the firing had taken place and who was responsible for the firing including the person/persons who ordered the firing. The Commissioner and Secretary will also look into the state of affairs under which the ADC was provided with armed Police bodyguards and the background as to how the arms and ammunition were issued to such bodyguards. Further, Bhalla has been instructed to look into the issue of the reported inebriated state of the Police personnel and the ADC. The inquiry report is to be submitted within seven days time from the date of issue of the notification. (The Morung Express)
NSF condemns killing Morung Express Dimapur, Sept 17 (MExN): The Naga Students Federation (NSF) while condemning and holding the ADC (J) Mokokchung responsible for the Tuensang-bus killing on September 15 stated that the judicial officer had other court cases pending against him for criminal activity and was also put under suspension. In a release issued by the President of NSF V Phushika Aomi and Speaker WH Maring, the Federation alleged that the officer was suspended after a case of criminal activity in November 1994 and also had other court cases pending against him. While calling for the severest punishment apart from dismissing him from responsibility, the NSF also urged the Government of Nagaland to dismiss the law-breaking officer along with his bodyguards, Imo Ao and Havildar Temjen Ao, immediately. "The officer concerned who by the virtue of his post and responsibility is supposed to have protected innocent lives, instead ordered his bodyguards to kill, (and) thus vividly exposed his criminal attitude" it stated. The Federation further forewarned that it would not remain a silent spectator till the Government takes punitive action against the culprits and that it was seriously looking forward to deliverance of Justice at the earliest, failing which the students community would take up its own course of action.
Kilonser responds Morung Express News September 17 Dimapur: In response to the AZ Jami’s press interview which appeared in a local daily on September 16, Kilo Kilonser of the NSCN (I-M) Rh. Raising has commented, "We do not believe in mudslinging politics. "I appreciate the personal comments made by AZ Jami. However, it should be known that the worth of a man is naturally measured by the yardstick of his achievements and not otherwise."
He has also talked of Jami’s leaving the NNC camp to join the Isak-Muivah faction and his subsequent entry in the fold of the Khaplang faction. "Today he left us to join the Khaplang group on this and that pretext, and people wonder where he will be tomorrow again," Raising added. He further said that AZ Jami should not overrate Khaplang and himself. "It is wise on their part to reduce themselves to their own sizes. Even if we are forced to part with each other on ground of the heinous political sin of S.S Khaplang’s abortive coup attempt, we are ready to forgive everyone provided that they realize their past. However wide and deep the wounds may be, we believe it can be healed through mutual understanding, interaction, admission of mistakes and spirit of brotherhood. I believe a time will come when we are united and the day is not far off," Raising said.
NSCN on Wildlife Sanctuary Preserve Morung Express Dimapur, Sept 17 (MExN): In spite of repeated past endeavor carried out by the concerned department to evict illegal and unscrupulous encroachers it has proved to be futile. Hence, viewing the importance to preserve the lone Zoological Park at Rangapahar, the joint meeting of Steering Committee Executive and the Cabinet was held on 16/09/05 and resolved to preserve the Wildlife Sanctuary at any cost. The house resolved that any further attempt to encroach the proposed sanctuary would be viewed as an intrusion to common property of the Nagas. The NSCN has therefore , warned the encroachers and advised them to evict themselves at the earliest time possible or face the consequences which will be dealt firmly with iron hand. The Press Release issued by the Cabinet Secretary GPRN said.
RESOURCE Peace Processes and Negotiations in NE Speech of Bharat Bhushan during Seminar on "Accords and Agreements, Peace Processes and Prospects of Civil Society Peace Initiatives in the North East Region" on September 8 at Guwahati.
All of you know more about the problems of the North East than an outsider like me. That you have chosen to listen to an interloper like me is a matter of tremendous pride for me and I am thankful for this gesture by the organizers.There are five parts to my presentation, so be prepared to be bored.
First, I will briefly trace how the Indian state deals with insurgencies and its strategies have changed over time.
Second, I will talk about cease-fire agreements and their political benefits.
Third, I will examine the role of civil society in sustaining cease-fires and peace processes and illustrate this with the example of the Nagas and the NSCN (IM).
Fourth, I will briefly delve into the possible misuses of prolonged cease-fire agreements.
And, lastly, I will talk about the pre-conditions for successful and unsuccessful peace accords.
Changing attitude of the Indian state to identity politics:
Despite taking public pride in the plurality and rich ethnic and cultural tapestry of the country, the Indian state has tended to see identity politics and the insurgencies it gives birth to as a threat to its unity and integrity. Suppression and political accommodation have been the two ends of a spectrum of strategies used by the Indian State to deal with such movements. Each strategy reflects a certain notion of the State. Suppression carries within it the idea of a strong and unitary State, which takes its role as the sole repository of violence far too seriously. The strategy of political accommodation premises itself on the notion of a State that is magnanimous and willing to move towards innovative and dynamic political structures. Political accommodation is not "pandering" but is a manifestation of the innate inclusiveness of democracy. The State in India has not uniformly opted for military suppression in dealing with insurgencies. It may be the strategy of first choice in situations where the "battle" can be easily won. Such assessments have often been proved wrong. Yet suppression as a strategy of conflict resolution did succeed, although at considerable cost, in Punjab. However, what cannot be denied is that over time there has been substantial political crafting and adaptation in the strategies used by the Indian State in dealing with insurgent groups. This is evident from the special Constitutional provisions for Kashmir under Article 370, the signing of the Kashmir Accord with Sheikh Abdullah in 1975, the carving out of new states from an undivided Assam, the slew of special provisions for the North Eastern states set out in Articles 371A, 371b and 371C, the creation of autonomous districts and hill councils and the Northeastern Council, the cease-fire and peace talks with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland as well as the suspension of operations agreement with the Karbis, Dimasas, Garos, Bodos and other groups in Tripura and elsewhere in the North East.
All these accords, agreements and processes may have their shortcomings. But what they indicate is a shift from using sheer force and suppression to political accommodation of insurgencies.
These strategies have evolved because there are limits to military suppression in dealing with insurgencies: there is fear of political alienation of the population, a need to maintain the integrity of the electoral process and democratic representation, the fear of civil society, and most importantly, the army and the paramilitary forces have often told the government that political problems require a political solution. While there is a definite movement towards political accommodation of insurgencies through dialogue, the expectations of the State and the insurgent groups often differ from the peace process. These expectations get moderated thorough the process of cease-fire or suspension of operations against each other and the political dialogue they leads to. When a golden mean is reached in terms of each side’s expectations, a peace accord or settlement is signed. The question then is: how to get to that golden mean?
Ceasefire or Suspension of Operations (SOO) Agreements:
One of the first steps in dealing with an insurgency is to get its leaders to sign a cease-fire agreement or a Suspension of Operations (SOO) agreement. Such agreements have been signed by the government in the North East with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) and the NSCN (Khaplang), the Achik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC), the Nayan Bashi-led National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT-NB), the Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) of the Dimasas, the United Peoples Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) of the Karbis and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). There are also some cautious overtures being made to the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) but they have not resulted in anything as yet. While the agreements with the NSCN (IM) and (K) are called cease-fire agreements, all others are referred to as Agreed Ground Rules for Suspension of Operations.
The primary aim of these agreements is to reduce violence in the insurgency affected area by preventing the two sides from attacking each other. These agreements insist on certain ground rules to prevent recurrence of violence. Thus there is an agreement that the insurgent group’s cadre will stay in camps, that the cadres are prevented from moving about with arms or in uniform, that the insurgent outfit should not undertake any new recruitment and that it should refrain from extortion, etc.
In those cases where the demands of the insurgent group are within the Indian Constitution, these SOO agreements also bind the insurgent groups to respect the law of the land. A mutually agreed Joint Monitoring Group is also set up through these agreements to maintain the suspension of operations and monitor the adherence to ground rules.
It is important to understand what cease-fire and SOO agreements can achieve and what they cannot.
SOOs do not lead to demilitarization, peace accords do. SOOs only facilitate the implementation of ground rules for checking violence. Demilitarization through SOOs is something that even the insurgent groups do not expect. Often there are rival groups opposed to the peace process and the insurgent groups themselves may want the presence of security forces so that those opposed to the peace process do not gain ground control while they are confined to camps.
SOOs also do not mean a surrender of arms by the insurgent groups. Surrender of arms by the insurgents takes place as the last step in the peace process. SOOs also do not mean acceptance of the insurgent group’s demands. So one should not have unrealistic expectations from a cease-fire or SOO agreement. What then do SOOs achieve? They are the first confidence building measure between the two sides in conflict. These agreements facilitate three important things:
1. They reduce mutual suspicion of the two sides and allowing them to reach the comfort level necessary for a dialogue.
2. They have a moderating influence over the underground rebels who are forced to become "reasonable" as they assess what is possible and what is not after interaction with the representatives of the State.
3. They allow the insurgent groups to involve larger population and body of opinion in the peace process as the cease-fire allows them to take the help of civil society and local intellectuals for peace.
Cease fire and SOO agreements help start a process of building trust which ultimately leads the underground leaders to begin thinking that their demands can be met through dialogue. Their initial negotiating positions may be unrealistic. They may begin with demanding complete sovereignty or a separate state. However, what is amazing is that once they choose the political path of dialogue, they continue talking even when sovereignty is ruled out or the difficulties associated with the formation of a separate state are pointed out to them. The most crucial role in taking the peace process forward is played by the third and the largest party to the conflict – the civil society. Only if the civil society supports the peace process between the insurgents and the State, can the process be sustained. Otherwise it cannot survive. SOO and cease-fire agreements provide the opportunity to insurgents to seek the opinion of civil society. This is evident in the way the All Bodo Students’ Union, the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Bodo women’s organizations, etc. went with the peace process initiated with the Bodo Liberation Tigers. The civil society in Karbi Anglong is also encouraging the pro-talk faction of the UPDS to continue talking to the government. It is also no accident that the ULFA has to go through an Assamese intellectual and novelist in trying to assess the prospects of a peace process. And this is even before a cease-fire agreement has been signed.
What this shows is that there are three and not two parties to these conflicts – the State, the insurgent groups and the civil society. As a cease-fire or an SOO agreement is signed, the civil society assumes a supreme position – its approval or disapproval decides who is right – the underground or the State.
The civil society must, therefore, exercise its responsibility with great care and total integrity. It must oppose violence and must not have double standards. Killing of innocents, school children, innocent bus or train passengers, people going about their business by insurgents must not be judged using a different scale than the violence perpetrated by the security forces. Claiming that the killing of non-combatants in the case of the insurgents is only a mistake while in the case of the State it is repression will not do. The civil society cannot accept arguments for violence by insurgents with a nudge and wink and hope that its views on violence by the State would be taken seriously.
The civil society is like the judge before whom both sides are arguing their case on a day-to-day basis. Whichever side the civil society chooses is the winner because it holds the veto of peoples’ support from the beginning of the insurgency to the day a settlement or an accord is signed.
Role of civil society in the peace process – the Naga case:
In the case of the cease-fire between the NSCN (IM) and the government of India, one can venture to suggest that the biggest contribution in sustaining the peace process has been made by the Naga civil society organizations. In fact it has been a dialectical process – the civil society strengthening the peace process and the peace process in turn giving an unprecedented voice to the civil society. Today, Naga civil society organizations can criticize and give a direction to the peace process. A decade ago people would have been assassinated for being critical of the underground. Today that is no longer possible and the Naga solution is not even in sight. This has become possible because of the cease-fire and the cessation of violence. When I met Thuingaleng Muivah recently I asked him whether there was any tension today between the Naga civil society and the NSCN (IM). I would like to quote his answer in full. He said, "The basic principle that we belong to the people should never be overlooked. We operate in their name for the benefit of the nation. Without the people we have nothing. The involvement of the people therefore is most essential and eventually decisive. "In the last seven years, the most pleasing thing that has happened is the growth of Naga civil society. New intellectuals, new voices have come up. They debate with us, often question us and make suggestions about how to move forward. I am not unhappy even when they are critical. In the ultimate analysis it is people who should decide their own fate. "Through civil society I claim that we have understood people’s aspirations and their desire for peace better. In this way we are often made realistic in dealing with the people and the government of India." Here is an insurgent leader who has carried a gun for nearly five decades singing the praises not only of the critical opinion of the civil society but also of the moderating influence it has had on him and the NSCN. Would this have been possible a decade ago? I think not. There is much that other insurgencies and civil society organizations in the North East can learn from the Nagas. For the first time there is recognition by the NSCN (IM) leadership that for the peace process to continue and for lasting peace itself, the approval of Naga civil society is necessary.
What has the NSCN (IM) done?
Setting aside its initial suspicions, it has encouraged two processes of peace making:
1. The consultation between the armed militants and the Naga and the non-Naga civil society organizations.
2. The dialogue between Naga civil society organizations, the Indian government and non-Naga civil society organizations.
Moving away from the phase of armed struggle, the NSCN (I-M) is now attempting not only to keep the Naga people informed of their negotiations but as its General Secretary Muivah put in an interview: "I asked the people for help -- to give us the benefit of their suggestions and criticisms so that we avoid making mistakes. After all we are responsible to the people and we can neither move ahead of them nor leave them behind."
The civil society organizations playing a contributory role to peace making in Nagaland are primarily the Baptist Church, the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights, the Naga Mothers’ Organization, the Naga Hoho or the supreme tribal body, the Naga Students’ Federation and the tribal and state organizations of Nagas from Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Church orgnizations in Nagaland have been working for reconciliation among the various Naga factions. There has been so much fratricidal killing within the Nagas that unless there is reconciliation within Naga society, the peace process stands little chance of sustaining itself. The Church continues to make this effort although even the process of forming a reconciliation committee has seen some ups and downs lately. The Naga Mothers’ Organization is another civil society group that has been meeting the underground groups in Bangkok and in Myanmar urging them to unite and seek durable peace with New Delhi. The Naga Mothers Organization has also been urging the United Naga Council of Manipur to seek reconciliation with the Meiteis.
There have been consultation between the Naga civil society organizations and the NSCN (I-M) in Bangkok and, earlier this year, even in Delhi and Dimapur. These consultations not only committed the NSCN (IM) leadership to greater transparency in the peace negotiations but also urged them to work for reconciliation within Naga society. A joint declaration by the civil society organizations gathered in Bangkok way back in 2001 emphasized "the need for deepening the healing, understanding and forgiving process in Naga society, traumatized and damaged physically, mentally and morally during the past decades of conflict and struggle."
This was an important development. It sought to underpin the peace negotiations with the consent and support of Naga civil society. And this process of interaction between the leaders of the armed insurgency and the civil society is today a continuing process.
At least two dialogue processes have been organized between Naga civil society organizations and the Meitei intellectuals and organizations to make the dominant ethnic community of Manipur understand the Naga problem. They have not been very fruitful as yet but who knows, they might succeed one day. Outside the state, several other organizations and individuals have been playing a peace building role. These include media organizations and human rights organizations such as "Other Media", South Asian Forum for Human Rights. They have helped set up the Civil Society Initiative on the Naga Peace Process which has examined in detail the cease-fire and the allegations of its violations. These are good beginning and bode well for increasing the understanding between the Nagas and the rest of India. Rita Manchanda’s study of Naga women’s role ("We do more because we can. Naga women in the peace process") is a seminal work which records how women’s organizations have helped sustain the peace process. It has a memorable quote from Neidonuo Angami of the Naga Women’s Organization where she says," Both sides can decide to break the cease-fire. But for whom after all are they talking – for us. We are all stakeholders in peace."
He was not overstating the case. Lasting peace in Nagaland will come only if the peace process is backed by the civil society both in the Naga areas and outside it. What the Nagas have achieved is not only the involvement of their civil society but also of the civil society organizations in the rest of India which is gradually learning to appreciate the complexities of the Naga conflict and their desire for honourable peace.
Prolonged cease-fire agreements: All this is fine but the picture would be incomplete unless one also examines the reverse side of the process and asks: What happens if a cease-fire is a prolonged one? Can it become counter-productive? A cease-fire agreement is a means to an end. A delicate balance is needed between not hastening the pace of the peace process and making the cease-fire an end in itself. The process must not be hurried – enough time must be allowed to the insurgent groups to consult the people and take them along. If they don’t do that then whatever accord is signed will not find wide acceptance. The cease-fire also needs to extend over a certain period of time for another reason -- For controlling rival factions opposed to the peace process as well as other political forces inimical to the peace process. This is an immense challenge and it should not be automatically assumed that everyone wants peace as there are vested interests in continuing the conflict also.
However, there is always a danger that once a cease-fire is declared people may forget what the magnitude of the conflict is – as its dimensions are no longer in focus. A prolonged cease-fire can create a false sense of "balance" in the situation. This an illusion and anyone who takes comfort in it is fooling himself. A cease-fire or an SOO agreement must not, therefore, lead to complacency or be used as part of a deliberate wear-them-out strategy. If there is an opportunity to settle a conflict, then the State must seize the opportunity to resolve it. A greater responsibility also devolves on the State because although the two parties to the conflict sign the cease-fire or SOO agreement as equal partners, this parity is illusory. The reality is that the State is the stronger force. The dialogue for cease-fire and the peace process itself becomes an unequal one – because whatever the insurgent leader says is a firm commitment and whatever the representative of the State says is subject to ratification. The "equality" in the partnership must, therefore, reflect in the mindset and conduct of the State’s emissaries. Successful and unsuccessful accords:
Lastly a few words about what kind of accords succeed and which do not. I think there are some clear principles a successful accord must follow.
No accord that is based on the misconception that the insurgencies in India’s North East are about development or the lack of development can succeed. The lack of development can certainly breed an insurgency but people fight for justice and not for material gains. While nobody wants to die in vain, no one dies for a swimming pool in his house or for three bedroom bungalows instead of a thatched hut. Rebels tend to have bigger causes. They are related to a sense of injustice, wanting control over the destiny of their people and finding better ways of fashioning and administering their future according to their own genius. Only those accords succeed which identify the real underlying causes of the insurgency. Thus no accord with the Nagas can succeed which denies them the right to decide their own future or explore the possibility of living in a single political unit instead of being spread over four states of India. The Assamese may not like it but the Bodos and the Karbis may still feel done down by the policies of Guwahati, just as the Assamese may harbour feelings of injustice against New Delhi. The point is that it is important to address the sense of injustice rather than throw money at the problem in the name of development. If the foundation of an accord is dishonest, then no matter how it is worded, it cannot succeed. Any accord in which a word or a sentence is subject to two different meanings or interpretations also cannot work. The Akbar Hyderi Accord singed with the Nagas in June 1947, two months before Indian Independence, is a case in point. It was a fraudulent document meant to cheat the Nagas. So it did not work. Every settlement or an accord has to be a document of self-respect and cannot be one-sided. The Shillong Accord is dishonest because it is one sided – the Nagas were expected to surrender their weapons and the State only accepted the surrender. Such an accord cannot survive. An insurgency is not made of weapons but of wounded self-respect and a deep sense of injustice. An accord or a settlement is also not signed with the leader of an insurgent group. It is signed to satisfy the sentiments of the cadre of the insurgent group. If their sentiments are not satisfied, immediately a new insurgency begins. Even the ink does not have to dry for this to happen. We have seen this time and again in the North East.
Accords in which the real leaders are kept out also cannot work. The State often tries to create groups that would surrender with much fanfare and accept rehabilitation packages but the insurgency continues with the same ferocity as earlier. Those who want to give up violence must of course be encouraged to do so and enabled to do so. However, we have seen how in some parts of India fake surrenders have become a business. An accord in which the manner of surrender of weapons is not honourable will not work nor would an accord that does not have a long-term vision about the rehabilitation of insurgent cadre. The longevity of an accord is determined by how a society treats its surrendered militants. Finally, it is also wrong to suggest that peace accords favour only one side. If only one side gains then there would be no accord. A peace accord is only a partial accomplishment of the objectives that the insurgent group fights for – it is a political compromise. In a democracy, honourable political compromises are not bad. They are in fact desirable. Peace accords and cease-fires are attempts at finding these acceptable compromises. (The writer is Editor of The Telegraph in Delhi)

Tremor rocks northeast, creates panic By Indo Asian News Service
Guwahati, Sep 18 (IANS) An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale shook the northeastern region Sunday, causing panic in the states of Assam, Manipur, and Meghalaya, officials said.
An official with the seismological centre in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, said the epicentre of the quake, which occurred at 12.56 p.m., was plotted along the border between Manipur and Myanmar. Police and residents in the region said people panicked and rushed out of their homes.
'Our multi-storey building shook vigorously and we ran out in panic,' said Pranjal Kumar Bhoralee, a resident of Assam's main city Guwahati. There were no reports of damage or casualties so far, officials said. The seven northeastern states - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura - are considered by seismologists as the world's sixth major earthquake-prone belt. They have experienced some of India's worst jolts, including one measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale in 1897 that killed 1,600 people. Assam had experienced a massive temblor measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale Aug 15, 1950 that claimed some 1,500 lives.

Myanmar timber to revive plywood industry in NE By Surajit Khaund Assam Tibune
GUWAHATI, Sept 16 – India has decided to import soft wood from Myanmar for revival of the crisis-hit plywood industry in the North East. The Indian Government move came following approval of the High Power Committee of the north-eastern region. A huge consignment of soft wood (Teak and Gurjan) comprising one lakh cubic feet (CFT) is supposed to reach this region within this week. The Ministry of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Division has already cleared the consignment after quarantine verification. It may be recalled that after the Supreme Court ban on cutting of trees in the North East, the wood based industries scattered in various parts of the region have been facing serious problems. But the new agreement is likely to give a boost to the industries in the region. According to available information the six wood- based industries in the state have been covered under the new pact. Now all these industries will be able to import teak and Gurjan wood from Myanmar to meet their requirement. Talking to this correspondent here today, Mrinal Sarma, senior officer of Ministry of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Division, said that the new agreement would give a new life to the crisis-hit plywood industries which remained closed for the last couple years due to shortage of raw materials. “ According to the agreement another consignment of 2500 CFT will reach the region very soon”, he said. In this context, he informed that now-a-days plant quarantine certificate is mandatory for export and import of forest products and therefore all the consignments have to undergo plant quarantine test. Immediately after the ASEAN car rally, trade relations between India and Myanmar have been improving. To keep the momentum going, the Indian Commerce Ministry has taken a slew of measures to boost export and import. Sarma informed that ‘Burmese’ teak has a good demand across the world for its quality and therefore the industries in the region would be able to woo the customers. “We are optimistic that lot of wood based industries would come up in the North East after the new development”, he added. Meanwhile, M/S Kitply Industries have signed a pact No-01/ 2004/2005 (D) (BT) with the Myanmar Timber Enterprise Ahlone, Yangon to import of teak and Gurjan from Myanmar.
US troops appreciate joint training NET News Network Aizawl Sep 17: US troops participating in the 3rd Ind-US joint training at the Counter-Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) in Vairengte have said they appreciate the training as it would be very useful for anti-terrorist operations. While interacting with journalists from Aizawl for two days in Vairengte on Thursday and Friday, Lt Peter Alimerez of the 1st Bn 294 Infantry, Guam said the tactics that they are learning are new to them and with the facilties that the school provides, it was an excellent training exercise that would give them an edge when dealing with counter-insurgency and terrorism.
"The facilities are top-notch and the tactics are new. The lessons are also very in-depth and they would certainly give an advantage when we need to carry out counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations," Lt Almirez said. The 7 US army officers and 35 troops that are undertaking the joint exercise with the Maratha Light Infantry would be used as trainers when they get back to US soil. The joint exercise, codenamed Ex Yudh Abhyas, is aimed at increasing the understanding between the two forces. Brigadier Rakesh Sharma, who took over command of the CIJWS on APril 1 this year, said nearly 3.5 lakh persons have been trained out of this School since its inception in 1970. Of these, approximately 400 are foreigners from neighbouring countries as well as from the African and American continents. A total of 27 countries have made use of the facilities available at the CIJWS till date. Personnel from the Mongolian and Uzbek armies would be coming for training later this year.
"Low intensity conflicts are becoming global in scope and the fight has evolved from the rural to the urban areas. In view of this, the School has adopted many tactics that would avoid collateral damage as far as practicable," Brigadier Sharma explained about the School's tactics. He added that the excellent training provided by the institution is greatly appreciated by the countries that have sent its army and police personnel for training here and other countries have also shown interest in the School. The facilites and training provided by the CIJWS is not found anywhere else in the world and the officers and personnel of this School are proud of the fact that they belong to an exclusive institution that has no contemporary in the world. Chief minister Zoramthanga, who gave a lecture to the two countries' troops on Friday said though he may not be the competent authority military-wise to tell them what to do, he is politically competent to tell them how to deal with insurgents and terrorists as he had been an underground outfit leader for twenty years. He said a tactic called the "carrot and stick system" needs to be employed in the political process when dealing with anti-social elements such as insurgents and terrorists. "I am not the competent authority to tell you how to conduct a military operation, but as a politician and as a former rebel leader for twenty years, I believe I have enough experience to know how to deal with insurgents and terrorists through the political process. In this system, we need to use the 'carrot and stick' system where we sometime cajole these people while we sometime threaten them," Zoramthanga said. Bringing out neighbouring Manipur as an example, Zormthanga said the Manipur government had not done enough to pursuade its numerous underground groups to come overground and said its government needs to apply the carrot and stick system with enthusiasm. According to him, insurgents and terrorists cannot survive without the people s a result of attempts to isolate them as much as possible should be made. The School's motto,"Fight the guerrilla like a guerrilla" is being applied with enthusiasm as a result of which the school has placed much importance to the ability to "identify, acquire and neutralise the terrorist in the split second that the terrorist reveals himself", said Brigadier Sharma. The CIJWS prides itself as it is the most relevant training institution today as it trains personnel for what it terms as "Today's War", which is terrorism and insurgency through its experienced, committed and capable instructional staff.
American oilfield fire fighting group arrives NET News Network Guwahati, Sep 17: Experts from the America based oilfield fire fighting group" Boots and Coots have reached the Dikom oilwell of the state owned Oil India Limited (OIL) to douse the fire which has engulfed the oilwell. Despite 36 hours of hard work, the fire fighters have not managed to douse the flames of oilwell. Two experts from Boots and coots and seven from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Mumbai have reached the oilwell this afternoon. Nearly 30 fire tenders are working round the clock to douse the fire, which broke out on Thursday. Dikom well produces about 85 kilolitres of crude oil everyday. There was spillage in the well since this Wednesday. As per an estimate oil spillage if continued for nearly twenty fours hours results in losses to the tune of Rs one Crore. Already this spillage has cost Rs 4 Crore to OIL. Senior OIL officials said that there is no disruption in the supply of crude oil to refineries. Drilling in other oilwells is not affected. " We are hopeful of dousing the fire in another 48 hours," he said. Dibrugarh Deputy Commissioner, H. Bora told northeasttribune.com that more than 2000 people residing in the vicinity of the oilwell area have been evacuated to safe places. " We have initiated disaster preparedness measures and are ready for any exigencies. ONGC has also rushed its disaster management team to the site," he added .
US policy on Burma in the Katrina context Love is a Many Splendour Thing
By Prof. Kanbawza Win Prof. Kanbawza Win (Dr. B.T.Win): Incumbent Dean of Students of AEIOU Programme, Chiangmai University, Thailand. Senior Research Fellow at the European Institute of Asian Studies, Under the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium. Earlier Consultant to National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma. Editorial Consultant, “Asian Tribune.” Hurricane Katrina has painted the real picture of the mass suffering of people and for the first time the Americans have witnessed it, while in Burma, the people have been used to this scene as it was repeatedly played again and again for one and half decades of Burmese Military Rule. The only difference is that there is no television camera to beam it to the world for this man made Katrina. The pangs of Katrina if compared to the agony of the Burmese people is equal, for over 3 million people fled the country with one million refugees in Thailand alone (subjected to persecution) and hundreds of thousands of ethnic people are in forced labor as the latest report of the Amnesty International indicates.
President Bush authorized the dispatch 40,000 troops and we witnessed the soldiers helping the people everywhere in the disaster hit area. However, in Burma whenever the people see the soldier approaching their way, they just sprint off knowing that trouble is ahead for they will either loot, rape or forcibly recruited them to be used as porters, as the latest reports of Amnesty International indicates. Here, in America we behold the soldiers giving medical aid to the people but in Burma it is just the opposite and in one occasion in 1988 the soldiers went into the Rangoon General Hospital, shot up the nurses and doctors, a scene, which no Burmese could ever forget. Such is the general character of the Burmese soldiers if compared to an American GIs.

Unlike the Katrina victims there is no relief of any sort, for the poor 3,000 Burmese workers suffered in Tsunami floods in Thailand. Worst many of the families did not even dare to claim the bodies of their loved ones lest they would be arrested and deported back Burma where they will be persecuted or die of starvation. The compassionate and sympathetic NGOs, such as the World Vision that tried to help them were arrested and persecuted. The most paradoxical aspect was that the Burmese workers were even prevented from performing the last rites for their beloved ones. When I was in Phuket area I attended that ``hush hush`` ceremony in the midst of the rubber plantation, where they cried their heart out without anybody hearing. I asked them, what do they wish for in times like this and according to the Buddhist believe, they unanimously replied that in the next life they should be born away from the tyrannical Junta. Because they construed that all these inhuman suffering fell upon them because of the Burmese military regime. But the worst fate was suffered in the coastal regions of Burma where there is no sort of relief, as the military government would not allow any of the international relief to come to their aid. The suffering images of the people beam directly over the television in the Katrina hurricane made the American realize of what the Burmese people are going through. The Burmese army, when it took power in 1988 firing into the crowds killing some 10,000 in six major cities is the same Junta that is ruling Burma. The continuous carnage has been going on for one and a half decades up till now, and nobody heard the clarion call of the Burmese people. Is it time to lend their ears to a pathetic call of the 50 million plus people of a far away country with an entirely different culture? Burma needs America Since "May Flower" carrying the Puritans landed in 1620 seeking, "freedom," has been the cornerstone of American values as it permeates in every aspect of the American society, which is guaranteed in the constitution and protected by the judicial system. This was followed by self-reliance, equality of opportunity, hard work and competition. President George Bush's speech to the Czech Republic last November said `We share the common values of freedom, human rights and democracy,' that was very much echo by the Burmese people both inside and outside the country. Unwittingly the US has won over the hearts and minds of the people of the world particularly the Burmese in this aspect of universal values and now it is left for the US administration to follow up with actions.
Even though "values” is one of the more contentious and frustrating parts of the foreign-policy debate, it has played a pivotal part in themselves and in their influence on the conduct of a nation's affairs. And the Burmese are just waiting of how these values will transcend on to Burma. The people of Burma seem to remember George Washington words, "Observe good faith and justice toward all nations… worthy of a free… nation to give to mankind the magnanimous… guided by an exalted justice and benevolence."

Burma can be considered as the onset of what Samuel Huntington calls the "third wave" of global democratization. The global trend towards democracy is both exciting and gratifying to peoples everywhere, especially to the Burmese who value freedom, but freedom in third world countries are shallow, fragile, and in need of support. Even if Burma gets federal democratic government it still needs to institute the rudiments of democratic institutions. Effective control over the military may need to weigh every policy and action. Political parties lack substantial organization and resources, meaningful ties to major interest groups and grassroots constituencies, and the political skill and experience to govern effectively. Also lacking, typically, is the cultural and civic infrastructure that sustains democracy: a strong positive commitment to democracy that is widely shared among elites and citizens; a variety of democratic associations and interest groups that are autonomous from the state and can hold it accountable; a vigorous, independent, and pluralistic mass media. If so, why should the America bother with Burma? Why spend American energies and resources to promote democracy in Burma? Are just some of the legitimate questions to ask? With the extinction of communism and the waning of the Soviet threat, what should be the purpose of American national interest lie? This debate is as old as America itself, and has been of particular prominence since the US became a global power at the start of this century. This explicitly means not only completing the agenda for strategic and conventional arms control agreements, but also halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction and promoting democracy in the world including Burma.

There are compelling reasons to reject this cold calculus of "realpolitik." One reason is moral. It has to do with what most distinguishes the United States as a people and a nation – the American commitment to political and economic freedom, to openness, pluralism, democracy, and the rule of law is paramount. This is what the Burmese admired and are requesting for help at least just to get their freedom. The US in concert with its democratic allies, has enormous power to aid and empower the struggles for democracy around the world especially Burma. The Burmese people has seen that the American diplomatic pressure apparently played an important role in facilitating the transition to democracy in South Korea 1987, by dissuading President Chun Doo Hwan from unleashing massive repression against the widespread popular mobilization for democracy. Who can forget that it was US criticism of Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship that finally conceded to the presidential "snap election" that unraveled his grip on power? In Chile, when substantive pressure was threatened by the 1985 multilateral loan abstentions -- the dictator quickly lifted the state of siege. The American Administration deserves praise and gratitude from democrats worldwide for forcing Noriega out of power in Panama and Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Both the Administration and the Congress are to be applauded for greatly increasing funding to promote democracy and to support new and emerging democracies. We think that it is now the turn of Burma to be helped. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, meeting her Burmese counterpart U Nyan Win, in New York with member countries of ASEAN just looks at him directly and chided for the need to speed up political and human rights reform. But this is not enough, and will have to be followed up by concrete actions. Ms Rice words will just fall on deaf ears of the Junta as they are bent on keeping the power to themselves - no matter if millions of Burmese people died of starvation, Aids and diseases.
There are several reasons of why the American should be interested in Burma. There are international issues that relate to refugees then there are the questions of illegal labor, health and HIV, and prostitution and worst of all the country was run by narco related economy. All of these have effects on the countries around Burma and so Burma is no longer isolated case. In July, a report by the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, painted a bleaker picture -- that Burma is the main source of all strains of HIV that have spread across Asia, from Kazakhstan on one end to southern Vietnam, on the other. In some northern parts of the country, HIV infection rates were ''as high as 77 percent,'' the report revealed, and added further that heroin routes originating from Burma and crossing the region have been the ''greatest contributor of new types of HIV in the world''. This will get worst with no help from Global Fund.

American Policy Towards Burma Current U.S. policy toward Burma authentically reflects American political values and is morally validated by the long record of human rights outrages by the Burmese regime. Overall US policy objectives in Burma remain unchanged: the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo, Hkun Htun Oo and all political prisoners; the re-opening of all NLD party offices and the start of a meaningful dialogue leading to genuine national reconciliation and the establishment of democracy. The US policy goals include the establishment of constitutional democracy, respect for human rights and religious freedom, the repatriation of refugees with monitoring by UNHCR, the return home of internally displaced persons (IDPs), cooperation in fighting terrorism, regional stability, a full accounting of missing US servicemen from World War II, combating HIV/AIDS, eliminating trafficking in persons, ending forced labor, and increased cooperation in eradicating the production and trafficking of illicit drugs. In fact US officials persistently requested meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo. The Junta prohibited US and other diplomats in Burma from visiting them either. It also published a series of newspaper articles attempting to intimidate diplomats, including American Embassy personnel, who visited NLD headquarters or met with other pro-democracy leaders. It is understood that the United States will continue to maintain extensive sanctions including an arms embargo, bans on new investment and imports, an asset freeze, and a prohibition on the exportation of financial services to Burma and the provision of financial assistance to the military regime. The Department of State maintained visa restrictions on the Junta members; Government ministers and other senior Burmese Government officials; military officers above the rank of Colonel; all officials of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA); civil servants above the rank of Director General; and managers of state-owned enterprise and this will remain. Until there is significant progress toward political transition and genuine respect for human rights or until a democratically elected government in Burma requests that they be lifted. In 2004-2005, the US provided $2 million to address the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Burma by funding international non-governmental organizations to undertake prevention and care activities. It also seeks greater commitment to more effective prevention, treatment, and care programs, including for pregnant mothers and high-risk groups. In addition, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria - which receives one-third of its funding from the American government - has made grant commitments totaling $35 million over two years to fight the three diseases.
Pressure from the United States and other nations has not yet eased repression in Burma, and therefore will have to work out more aggressively. While people can differ about some aspects of the sanctions debate, there is no denying that the aim is to compel the regime to change. The most important aspect was that it must not make it impossible to provide humanitarian aid to the Burmese people who are really in need. The country is indeed suffering a humanitarian crisis, including an uncontrolled HIV/AIDS epidemic, a deteriorating health care system, and growing malnourishment and the outdated education system. There is a clear consensus that it needs help from the outside world to meet basic humanitarian needs. But this not indicates that sanctions stands in the way. Indeed, UN agencies like UNICEF and UNDP along with a number of non-governmental organizations are present in Burma. It must be through the military that aid should be channeled. The only restriction they impose is that no aid can be channeled through the Burmese government and the military sponsored agencies. It is not the international community’s fault that aid does not reach to the desired needy people of Burma but rather a series of Burmese military government's policies that stunt development and impede the relief of suffering. So much so that Global Fund stop the funding and hurt the people. Hence the cause of Burma’s humanitarian emergency is not a lack of aid but that of the military regime that is hampering the aid. There are additional issues about the private sector, about how it will or will not operate-questions about how to change a centrally planned economy into a more open one. Burma is not a communist economy but a centrally planned one nevertheless, and one that has had a stormy relationship with the private sector. The Junta’s dismal economic policies have resulted in widespread poverty and the flight of most foreign investors. But Washington must ask itself whether current policy meets two other tests. Firstly, does it have any realistic prospect of success in altering the character of the Burmese regime? And secondly does it jeopardize the US strategic and foreign policy interests in Southeast Asia, particularly as they relate to China and ASEAN? The most important external pressure exerted on Burma is China. China has moved into Burma in a way that has upset the other neighbouring countries. China has built a great deal of infrastructure-road infrastructure, airport infrastructure, bridge construction, and China has modernized the Burmese army in terms of equipment. The Chinese have also moved into Burma economically. Northern Burma is tied to the Yunnanese economy. For officials in Washington, Burma is something of a foreign policy free good comparable to Cuba and in contrast with China or North Korea. Beijing’s increasing military, political and economic prowess may create a situation that would leave the United States without stable or reliable allies in this vital region, which is essential to America’s economic stability and national security. The people of Burma are ready to help the Americans in their pursuit of international terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons and they expect the American to help them in throwing off the tyrannical Junta who does not care for the spread of AIDS and the gap between rich and poor

Burmese Doubts President George W. Bush speech at his second inaugural address pledged that "all` who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you." And not only in spirit: "We will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary."The Burmese ethno-democratic forces were encouraged and invigorated by those words coming from the leader of the free world, and the Greatest superpower. However, the president did not utter a word about Burma on his trip to Southeast Asia.
The Burmese people knew that American government has a long and sometimes questionable actions of encouraging opposition groups, only to stand by and watch tanks or helicopters mow them down. In 1956, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles pledged to the opposition in Hungary "to all those suffering under Communist slavery, let us say you can count on us." But we witness thousands of Hungarians were slaughtered. In 1991, during the first Iraq War, the first Bush administration pursued a "murky" policy by encouraging the Shiite Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein, but never help them when the Shiites were slaughtered, and the Bush policy was roundly denounced as morally bankrupt. Now Bush II has pledged in an open forum "all who live in tyranny and hopelessness." How will it apply to the Burmese scene is still to be seen. We just hope and pray that President Bush is not just perpetuating the legacy of broken promises. Supposing Taiwan decides to declare its independence, will the United States"defend our friends by force of arms." If so, will it even serve the US national interest? Bush has expanded the National Endowment for Democracy, which helps opposition groups across the globe. It provides training, funds, and other support to them including many Burmese opposition parties. Sometimes, we ploy with the imagination that President Bush didn't really mean it and is just a throwaway speech, a chance to rattle on about lofty principle and encourage the democracy promotion project. Imagine he intends to adhere to real politik with countries where the US have an interest in stability. Bold pronouncements and faltering action is what the Burmese are afraid of the Bush administration. Is it right to encourage and fund opposition groups, to pledge openly that the United States will stand with them, and then to step aside when it matters? Take, for example, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. These are just some of the thoughts, which an average Burmese harbors and the Bush administration has to prove it otherwise in the wake of Katrina tragedy.
Burmese Military Version The Burmese military is determined to retain power at any cost even killing millions of people directly or indirectly by diseases. It may civilianize but it will not have a civilian government it does not control. The Military it has expanded in numbers and armaments have increased-some US$2 billion worth of new arms since 1988. It has effectively neutralized a large part of the ethnic nationalities opposition. There have been about 17 cease-fires that are fragile, but now the military is not losing troops except on Karen front. The Communist Party has disintegrated. Hence the military is in a strong position. The NLD is in a weaker position than it has been in the past. The military is out to destroy the National League, to isolate Aung San Suu Kyi from the League and to make sure they never come to power. The military thinks it has the moral authority to interfere in society in a way that would suits their need. It intervene in the media, control what you read, what you say, with whom you associate in all aspects. It affects the economy, civil right, human rights and it means. The military believes that it is the only group holding the country together. ``The monarch of all I survey attitude``. A self-fulfilling prophecy. It has destroyed all the other groups that might have done so. Then it believes that foreigners are out to divide the country. Historically this is substantiated as the British supported the Karen; the Americans the KMT; the Chinese the Burma Communist Party; the Thai four or five different groups to create buffer states between conservative Bangkok and radical Rangoon; the Bangladeshis supported the Rohingyas, and the Nagas and Mizo operated on both sides of the India border. So they say look, all you guys are out to destroy us. The NGOs operating inside Burma are just meddling in their affairs and letting the cat out of the bag. Who knows they may be looking just for a pretext to destroy Burma, hence thy put on restraint to them.
But times have changed. None of the separations are viable. The ethnic nationalities now, don't want independence but they want some form of federalism. The military is stuck in an earlier view of Burma-a view of two generations ago. It also believes that the ethnic nationalities want to split off and become independent and it doesn't really trust them. But the most important aspect is that the military really believes that the National League for Democracy is a tool for foreigners. In so far as there is foreign support for the National League for Democracy, the argument makes some sense to the military. No doubt Daw Suu is tough, strong, brave and very determined to do what she thinks is in the interests of the country and what she believes in, but the military doesn't believe in that. It seems that the military has changed its position. It has now become an ideology. One has had a different set of ideologies over time. When the military came to power in 1962 the economy was then in the hands of foreigners and socialism was the natural way to get the Burmese back into control of the country. There was a parallel development in Tanzania. Then there was an odd combination of Buddhism and Marxism; the focus was then the Burmese Socialist Party. It was rigidly socialist. All of that failed and now the Burmese military has created itself as the ideology holding the country together. If one read the Burmese language press, one will get the feeling that the military is now calling itself the cohesive intellectual and ideological focus of that society. And it is rewriting history to demonstrate that this is true. It believes that civilians have been corrupt, incompetent, and should in no way control society any longer. It believes that the role of economic development in the private sector is to enable the government to continue its control. There is nothing inherent in the private sector or in a liberal market economy of value in itself. It is a means for the military to retain power. It very strongly feels the threat of retribution if it relinquishes power-the Pinochet syndrome. The military feels the threat of losing the perquisites of power from which it now benefits.

Ethnic Nationalities The ambiguity in the date for the resumption of National Convention deliberations, so trumpeted by the Junta, is symptomatic of the confusion the process has generated abroad, where the demand for hard information and precise dates is heard. The insistence on clarity is, of course, a political weapon used by those excluded from the constitutional drafting process inside and outside the country. The "Divide and Rule" policy over the ethnic nationalities has been successful as some of them enter ceasefire with the Burmese army while other continues to fight. The Ethnic Nationalities became the main criteria of eventually establishing a civilian administration, following years of military rule is simply that if the convention should fail and no agreements are reached, the prospect of renewed armed conflict cannot be excluded. There is thus a lot at stake for the people of the country, as well as to the ethnic nationalities. It is known that the 28-armed groups have put forward 18 separate papers on aspects of power sharing between their regions and the central government. But most of the ethnic delegates are more experienced guerilla fighters than constitutional lawyers and of course many of them did not reflect the people's wishes. However, they are still under the umbrella of ENSCC and some main ethnics such as the Karen, Shan and Chin are still fighting the military government. While the West and the Burmese Diaspora insist that Daw Suu and the NLD must be a part and parcel of the that the convention, the ceasefire ethnic nationalities at the convention see the crucial question as being how they will share constitutional authority with the armed forces, hence, to the ethnic leaders, the offer of - 25 per cent of the seats in any future legislature to be held by the armed forces, and other measures to protect the autonomy of the armed forces as well as its concerns for the integrity of the state - is a deal worth doing, at least as the next step in Burma's journey to constitutional government. For them half a loaf is better than none. In addition Burma's neighbors have a stake in the outcome for stability in the country's border areas is critical for the security of the wider region. As long as the threat of the break-up of the Union of Burma is posed by potential insurgency, many people inside and outside the country will concede the need for a strong, authoritarian government. On the other hand the NLD believe the military is out to destroy them, and wants to split Aung San Suu Kyi from the National League from Democracy. Not surprisingly, the National League for Democracy calls for continued sanctions, but not now on all humanitarian assistance, as long as the SPDC organizations do not benefit. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi since then has modified her position on humanitarian assistance. The League has responded to the military by creating a set of confrontations with the military to gain support. All this created very strong international and national support for the NLD. The economy is very weak but unlikely to collapse. The NLD is sustained by international support; but the more international support it gets, the more it is accused of being the axe-handle of foreign imperialists out to destroy the country. Hence this was the backdrop of the current Burmese scene. By the end of this year there is every possibility that the rubber stamp National Convention will be completed and if successful the pro democracy forces led by NLD will be acutely marginalized. The dictatorship of the Burmese army will become legitimate government and will have more teeth and force.

Federal Democratic Republic The American devotion to democracy is one of our greatest (if most intangible) assets in world affairs. This is only one respect in which the commitment to promote democracy abroad has real political and strategic -- not just moral, idealistic -- ramifications.Freedomwill not be completely secure anywhere in the world so long as it quashed or threatened in any part of it. Burma, a remote country in Southeast Asia is struggling for democracy and federalism. This is truer today, in a shrinking world, than ever before. But it has always been the case that despots and tyrannies have seen democracies as a threat to their own hegemonies of power, and have tried to undermine them. As long as there are military and ideological challengers to free states, democracy will not be completely secure. A more democratic world will be a safer, saner, more prosperous, receptive, and friendly world for Americans. Democratic countries do not go to war with one another. Democracies do not sponsor terrorism against one another. They do not build weapons of mass destruction to use on or threaten one another. So what kind of Burma do the Americans want? Democratic countries form more reliable, open, and enduring trading partners with one another. They offer in the long run better and more stable climates for investment. They are more environmentally responsible because they must answer to their own citizens who organize to protest the destruction of their environments. They are better bets to honor international treaties, because they value legal obligations, and because their openness makes it much more difficult to breach them in secret. Precisely because within their own borders they respect competition, civil liberties, rights of property, and the rule of law, democracies are the only reliable foundation on which we can build a new system of international security and prosperity. We want our beloved country Burma to be in that category. By the same token, the absence of pressure can be taken as a sign of tacit support from which an authoritarian regime may draw strength and this is what the Junta's apologist are striving for. Americans take pride in being democratic and believe it is the best form of government. And they know that a world free of corrupt, abusive, cynical, and unpredictable dictatorships will not only be a better and more decent world, but also a safer one. Even those who do not want or admire democracy may reconcile themselves to it if they believe there is no other way to remain in power, or to increase the international standing of their country. It is by now widely accepted that the democratic requirement for membership in the EEC was "an important incentive for the consolidation of democratic processes in the Iberian Peninsula," Greece, and now Turkey. Some African regimes are liberalizing now not only because of indigenous pressures but because they rightly perceive the climate of international opinion. This kind of pressure should be maintained formalized and escalated in the case of Burma. All aids, with the exception of emergency humanitarian aid, should be conditioned on respect for human rights and movement towards democracy. Implementing stringent sanctions is the most effective policy in seeking political change in Burma. Like many other military regimes in Southeast Asia’s history, power and access to riches go hand in hand. The same is true for Burma, except military control is even more formal. The Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings (UMEH) and the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) are the two major industrial conglomerates controlled by the military, and they have managed to dominate many of the key economic sectors of the country. The junta’s domination of the economy is intended to enable it to outflank any sort of pressure to share political power. For a regime whose power is based on the repression of human rights and political aspirations of the people, economic growth and prosperity is seen as an alternative source of legitimacy. Economic sanctions and campaigns against foreign investment in Burma have effectively prevented this strategy for political legitimacy from succeeding in Rangoon.
Moreover, sanctions create pressure against the SPDC’s base of its political power by threatening the military leadership’s relationship with the middle and lower level officer corps. In an army where forced conscription and child soldiers are common, maintaining control means keeping the loyalty of the officers. Economic sanctions reduce the size of the "economic pie" from which the SPDC can slice pieces for its patronage networks, and creates additional hardship for low- and mid-level military families. Furthermore, when the economy is weakened by sanctions, pressure grows on the Burmese army to rely increasingly on seizures of land and property, and forced labor projects—mostly agricultural—to supplement the incomes of officers. Economic repression in these areas creates additional popular resentment against the military, and builds support for political change. The dearth of foreign investors also has a psychological effect that strikes at the Burmese army's perception of self as highly competent managers of national affairs, creating further pressure for change from the general populace and, potentially, from within the military. Sanctions have forced the Western Companies to force out and the Junta reliance on the Chinese firms is increased. Rather than a negative, this trend should be viewed as positive, since it serves to increase resentment of the general populace, as well as nationalistic Burma Army officers, against the leadership of the SPDC that is making policy. Steinberg points this out, when he says, "If the Burmese perceive that Chinese control is too great, they may take out their anger against their own government…" If Chinese economic investments are threatened, and international opinion continues to move strongly against the SPDC, it cannot be discounted that behind-the-scenes Chinese government pressure may be forthcoming to improve political conditions as a way to defuse building anti-Chinese pressure. Extension of economic sanctions also provides critical bargaining leverage to internal Burmese democrats, led by the NLD. In a bargaining situation where the NLD has only principles and popular support (one which is ignored by the regime, and the second which cannot be mobilized without casualties), the power to reduce the burden of international sanctions is a significant bargaining chip. Most observers agree that Aung San Suu Kyi’s words matter greatly in Western capitals, and influence North American and European policy toward Burma.

Global Village Burmese people has hope that the UN would one day act to end their sufferings under the repressive military regime in Rangoon has proved to be wrong, even though it is heartening to hear the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's opening speech at UN Summit in New York when he comment that “Burma is a country where political freedoms continue to be unacceptably restricted.” But the Security Council did not even mention Burma. Now the honest has fallen on the US. As the world shrinks and international exchanges intensify, "Freedom" will not be completely secure anywhere in the world, so long as it quashed or threatened in any part of it and in this aspect Burma is a major threat to the world. But it has always been the case that despots and tyrannies have seen democracies as a threat to their own hegemonies of power, and have tried to undermine them. As long as there are military and ideological challengers to free states, democracy will not be completely secure. A more democratic world will be a safer, saner, more prosperous, receptive, and friendly world for Americans. The world will not be safe where most people are getting poorer and persecuted poverty further exacerbated by global warming and global trade alike. The democracy movement of Burma both inside and outside the country today is still weak, fragmented and overburdened.
Hurricane Katrina has amply demonstrated that we are in one world no matter whether one is big or small a minor or a super power. In a remarkable role reversal, some of the world's poorest developing nations are offering help. El Salvador offered to send soldiers to help restore order, and offers of aid have come from Bosnia, Kosovo and Belarus. The former Soviet republic of Georgia has donated $50,000 to the Red Cross, and beleaguered Sri Lanka, which has received $133 million in tsunami relief from the United States, has donated $25,000 to the Red Cross and even North Korean express their sympathy. The leaders of Cuba and Venezuela, both at odds with the United States, pledged support. Cuban President Fidel Castro offered to send 1,100 doctors, each carrying emergency medical supplies amounting to tons of relief aid. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered to send fuel, humanitarian aid and relief workers to the disaster area. French President Jacques Chirac, one of Europe's most outspoken critics of Bush, dispatched a handwritten note to the White House expressing his "deep distress." French, Italian, German, Russian and Chinese officials have offered millions of dollars in aid. All these demonstrate that there is love. In the case of Burma, US can do a lot other than half-hearted sanctions (allowing the American Oil Companies to work in Burma). The U.S. must develop a proactive policy to deal comprehensively on Burma. The U.S. needs to expand efforts to de-legitimize the Burmese Junta internationally and must work with allies to apply economic and political pressure on the junta. The U.S. should support stronger action at the United Nations as expelling them from the UN or taking the problem to the Security Council. It should toughened multilateral sanctions, in concert with the ILO and call for governments to critically review their relationships with Rangoon. Given the flood of heroin entering the US from Burma, the administration should invoke a national security exemption (citing the Government Procurement Agreement) with regard to the World Trade Organization to fend off future attempts to overturn selective purchasing laws. Grassroots activists will certainly continue a concerted campaign of trade-related tactics to target US, European, and Asian companies invested in Burma, and the US government should not put obstacles in their way, based on misguided appeals to free trade One of the first steps the US should take is to increase resources for cross-border humanitarian assistance (food and medicine) to the internally displaced population while marshalling greater international attention to the plight of the ethnic peoples of Burma. Washington should also proactively work with the Royal Thai government to broaden its definition of a refugee, allow Shan camps to be established, and ensure that no involuntary repatriations occur. US policy correctly urges a tripartite dialogue between equals—the Junta the NLD, and ethnic leaders. As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wrote that dialogue should be aimed at achieving a “negotiated settlement acceptable to major political forces in our country". The main issue for U.S. foreign policy towards Burma is to use more forceful political economic and military leverage to accomplish a sustained dialogue leading to a just settlement. In this aspect it is to be noted that the Junta will never negotiate unless from the position of strength. So the US must strengthen the ethno-democratic forces in several ways including showering resources to the multi ethnic unified forces to stand up to the onslaught of the Burmese army. Daw Suu has amply said that the question of sanctions could be easily thrashes out once the NLD and the Junta sits down and talks but the Junta refused. Hence to bring these men in uniforms to the negotiation table the ethno-democratic forces needs a certain amount of leverage and a fang to show that it can bite. Other than the moral aspect the NLD inside Burma cannot do much because of the severe restrictions. The choice is now on the peripherals and the Burmese Diaspora. In the meantime the EN groups has grown and it seems that soon they will be in a position to take the initiative as they infuse more intelligentsia community into it. It is still to be seen of how they will co-operate with the numerous Burma groups.
The US must spend more, to assist new and struggling democracies and to support the development of democratic institutions in government, politics, and society. All three forms of aid for democracy -- development assistance, political assistance, and short-term economic relief -- are urgently needed in the struggling countries and Burma is not the exception. All require higher levels of funding than this country has been willing to commit in recent years. Hurricane Katrina has amply demonstrated, not only the sufferings of an average Burmese but also by the international response to the tragedy of a superpower, which we are all in the global village. We as human beings are bound by the strings of love, for after all "Love is a Many Splendour Thing" With not so much effort it is high time for the American to show love to the persecuted people of Burma and lead the international community to a more holistic life .- Asian Tribune -

Frans on 09.18.05 @ 02:28 PM CST [link]


Saturday, September 17th

Drugs and arms trafficking boom in India’s North-east ‘Drugs originating from Burma’


Drugs and arms trafficking boom in India’s North-east
‘Drugs originating from Burma’ Hrishikesh Saikia Mizzima News www.mizzma.com) September 16, 2006
Two biggest seizures of contraband ganja in less than two weeks from Tezpur (Assam) and Dimapur (Nagaland), along with sophisticated Kalashnikov rifles in the first case, have once again brought to the fore the flourishing of the illegal narcotics trade together with arms trafficking in the North-east. In the second seizure at Dimapur a record 14,000 kgs of ganja valued at Rupees 35 million in the international market were seized and four persons arrested. It is the second largest seizure of contraband drugs in Nagaland. The consignment was carried in two trucks, when they were intercepted at Saat Mile in Dimapur. The two incidents not only point to the unabated smuggling of banned drugs to the North-east and also through the North-east to other parts of India like West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, etc., but have also the rather disquieting fact that the drug mafia are operating an illegal arms racket as well at the same time,” police sources said.
The startling seizure is indicative of the fact that the illegal arms business, along with narcotics, has been thriving in the North-east. The consignment seized in Assam was hading for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from Imphal via Dimapur, the sources said. “It was most likely to be part of an international drugs and arms racket, covering Myanmar and Bangladesh,” they said. It may be mentioned that several north-eastern States have been used for long as a major conduit for smuggling of banned narcotics due to the States’ proximity to the notorious ‘golden triangle.’ It is a well-established fact that much of the smuggled narcotics to the North-east and other parts of India originate in Burma (Myanmar). Drug-addiction among the youths has also been a major problem in the north-eastern States, especially Manipur and Nagaland.
According to police, Moreh (Manipur), Dimapur (Nagaland) and Changfai (Mizoram) along the India-Burma border have emerged as three major centres for transportation of drugs. “Most of the drugs originating in Burma find their way to other States of India through this route,” the sources added. On September 5, 9,326 kg ganja valued at valued at 4.66 crore were seized along with sophisticated AK-47 rifles from miscreants dressed in Army fatigue near the Kolia Bhomora bridge on the Brahmaputra at Tezpur. The incident is significant in that it is the first time that drugs and sophisticated weapons like Kalashnikov rifles have been seized together in the region. Of the seized arms, two were genuine AK-47 rifles while five were fake AK-47 rifles. There were 12 rounds of live ammunition.
The consignment was carried in three vehicles, which were painted in olive green in Army style. Of the 12 arrested persons, eight are from Manipur and the rest from Bihar and Jharkhand. Significantly, one of the arrested persons was a former Border Security Force (BSFD) personnel. All of them even had their hair closely cropped. The vehicles were old ones auctioned by the Army. The raid was carried jointly by Assam Police and sleuths of the Revenue Intelligence, Guwahati Division. Refusing to view the seizure as an isolated incident, police sources said that smuggling of drugs and arms are often inter-related and go together. It is also likely that certain militant groups might be taking advantage of the illegal narcotics trade for supply of their arms and ammunition. On the seizure of fake Kalashnikov rifles, police feels that since those are much cheaper, some militant outfits, which are hard-pressed for money, might prefer those to genuine weapons.
The incident also marks the second time in recent times that drugs have been seized from olive-green vehicles and persons in Army fatigue. A few months back, narcotics were seized from two such vehicles near Sonapur in the outskirts of Guwahati. As Army vehicles are seldom subjected to police checks, miscreants are taking advantage of the situation to camouflage their vehicles in olive green ad posing them as Armymen.
Indian Army, Air Force takes interest in Naga Youths Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Sept. 16: They are known to be tough, committed and fearless, characteristics that shone through when a handful of them faced the most daunting challenge of their lives on the icy heights of Kargil. The number of Naga youths who choose to enrol in the armed forces has, however, always been a source of concern. To correct the imbalance, the army has now begun training these hardy youths to get into the armed forces. Of the several Nagas who recently underwent pre-recruitment training, Mon-based Tongong Konyak was the only one to get past the Services Selection Board for a short-service commission. But army officials reckon even a solitary recruit is not bad for starters.

“I have been recommended and hope to be in Chennai by October,” said Tongong today after meeting governor Shyamal Datta and the inspector-general of the Assam Rifles (North). “The IAF will be selecting candidates on the spot for the first time and it augurs well for the region,” a senior army official said. During his recent visit to Shillong, the IAF chief pointed out that officers from the Northeast constituted not more then five per cent of the air force ranks. But the equation finally appears to be changing for the army in Nagaland, notwithstanding opposition from militant groups and other organisations. Chief minister Neiphiu Rio has been supporting the Sainik School in Peren district. The Nagaland government and the Rajya Sainik Board have even put up a huge hoarding with the slogan, “Join the Armed Forces”, in the heart of Kohima. The hoarding depicts Naga heroes of the Kargil conflict and a group of young officers expressing jubilation. If that is not motivating enough, the laudatory comments of army veterans might spur Naga youths to join the armed forces. “I worked with Nagas and their agility in areas like Kargil was amazing,” said retired colonel Ravindra Nath.

Ganja smuggler thrown out of NSCN (IM) Newmai News Network
Dimapur, Sep 16: The NSCN-IM has suspended Pungti Jobson who was arrested by the Nagaland police two days ago in Dimapur for smuggling ganja worth more than Rs. 4 crores, according to a Dimapur based newspaper. Pungti Jobson is a deputy secretary of defence of the NSCN-IM.
The daily newspaper said that the NSCN-IM disowned and condemned the disgraceful and heinous act of Pungti Jobson and his accomplices.
The NSCN-IM further stated that Pungti Jobson has been suspended immediately from the outfit on account of his involvement in the `anti-national and anti-social` act of felony, stated the newspaper. "Such deeds which are contrary to the ethics and principles of the GPRN also endows shame on the Naga people as Christians and needs censorship by all and sundry," said the newspaper. The NSCN-IM statement has further informed that the outfit has set up an inquiry commission to probe into the case so as to unearth the ganja trade racket and apprehend the criminals involved in the business.
Naga leader takes charge of Manipur Congress Newmai News Network Imphal: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee today accorded a warm reception to the newly elected president of the party at a simple but well attended function at he party head office in Imphal. Besides the chief minister and former MPCC president Congress ministers, legislators and party workers attended the programme. Gaikhangam, a Naga leader, was elected from Nungba assembly cosntituency of Tamenglong district. He is currently the minister for Power and Information and Public Relations. Though he is yet to resign from the council of minister Gaikhangam formally assumed charge from today. The MPCC hailed the party high command’s decision to make Gaikhangam the state unit president. Chief Minister O.Ibobi Singh expressed the hope that under the able leadership of Gaikhangam the party would grow further and the relationship between the Congress legislature party and the organsiation would improve further. He said during his term as the president he could not participate in organsiational works due to his engagement in important state issues. Gaikhang expressed his gratitude to the part high command and chief minister for selecting him as the president. He said that with cooperation from the party workers he would try to fulfill aspirations of the AICC PRESIDENT and party leaders in Manipur. ‘I would not let down party workers and the party," he said. With his assuming the charge of the president Gaikhangam is expected to resign from the post of minister. Earlier Ibobi Singh told the gathering that his government is committed to keep reservation in government job and admission for the Muslims inhabiting in Manipur. He said that a Cabinet decision has already been taken a three member commission constituted to look into the reservation modalities. The chief minister said the government feels the sentiments of the Muslims and it is determined to improve the conditions of the weaker sections of the society. He said that things would have to be closely examined before taking any decision so that future controversies could be avoided.
Four NSCN (K) cadres held The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 16: A team of Imphal East district police arrested four activists of the underground NSCN (K) during a cordon and search operation conducted at Paomei Colony yesterday morning and recovered several incriminating documents and demand letters of the outfit. The arrested militants have been identified as Saionii Lakhamai alias Dean, 35, son of Row Lakhamai of Karong, Senapati, Robin Rangsanami alias Naching, 20, son of Tolongjiba Rangsanami of Natang Village, Senapati, Rockson Lannamai alias Kackson, 30, son of Khu Lannamai Khamsong village and Leishikham Kunrah Tangkhu alias Akham, 24, son of Sharei Kunrah of Nungbi Khullen Ukhrul district, they were reportedly arrested from a rented house belonging to one D Rongmei, 52, wife of late Konjengbam Iboton Singh of Kadangban presently residing at Paomei Colony, police source added. The police also recovered 35 demand letters of the outfit signed by S/S chairman (Shepou Maramth Region). The demand letters were from the possession P Sany and Rockson Lannamai and one receipt books of NSCN (K) from the possession of Salonii Lukhamai. The police source further said that preliminary interrogation to the arrested persons by the police, the arrestee Salonii Lakhamai reportedly joined the NSCN(K) in the year 1985 through one Reihrii Paomai of Senapati district and trained at Eastern Nagaland in the same year under Army No. 7924 and he is now holding the rank of S/S second Lieutenant. Robin Lannamai reportedly joined the outfit in the year 1995 and trained at Thimba Khunou, Senapati district and his is now holding the rank of S/S Sgt. Major and Rangsangnami is a private. Laisikham Kunrah Tangkhul reportedly was joined NSCN(K) in the month of April 2001 through one S.P. of Ningbi village of Ukhrul district and he is now holding the rank of S/S L/Corporal and now working under the command of S/S Lainmon P Sany of NSCN(K).
Meanwhile, an activist of the PREPAK (VC) group identified as Oinam Sanayaima alias Yaima, 23 son of O. Jillanganba of Keibul Chingmai Mayai Leikei was apprehended by a combined team of the Bishenpur police commando unit and 11 GR from Moirang Khunou bazar today at around 12:45 pm.

Lift ban on forest department recruitments: Central govt official The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sept 15: The director general of forest and special secretary, government of India, J.C. Kala, IFS, has urged the state chief minister to lift the ban imposed on fresh recruitment of employees in the state forest department so as to rectify the existing problems faced by the department. J.C. Kala, who along with his officials from Delhi visited the state held a two day review meeting on continuous bamboo flowering. The two day review meeting was held at the state guest house on September 14 and 15. The meeting was also attended by the state chief secretary and concerned officials of the state forest department including principal conservator of forest, Seiboi Singsit, IFS.
The visiting director general of forest before he left Imphal for Delhi this afternoon, briefed the media at the forest office headquarter about the review meeting. Kala said the two day meeting reviewed the case of continuous flowering of bamboo plants and prepared plans to meet all eventualities besides initiating action to bring an end to bamboo flowering. Action in this regard is to be taken up by the state government after identifying priority areas. Recalling past incidents, Kala said bamboo flowering was first detected in Mizoram and was remembered as a dark era in their history by the Mizo people as it brought famine and scarcity of food grains in the state.
Citing the nature of bamboo flowering, Kala said bamboo flowering occurred once in 40 to 50 years in the areas with massive bamboo growth. There are various reason for the flowering, he added. JC Kala further said that the north east region is a unique belt for bamboo forests and it is necessary for the concerned ministry to initiate a long term plan for the protection from bamboo flowering. The two day review meeting discussed details for identifying reserve sites of bamboo flowering. Kala also suggested that the concerned state forest department must gear up for protection as well as identification of reactivity by making proper plans to take central assistance from the concerned ministry or from the union home ministry in the form of natural calamities relief. Meanwhile, state principal conservator of forest and wildlife, Seiboi Singsit, IFS, answering to queries during the short briefing said that the state government has already submitted a proposal to the concerned union ministry recently to convert the existing Keibul Lamjao National Park into a Natural Heritage Park and expansion of the Manipur Zoological Garden at Iroisemba to 50 hectares area. Regarding the continuous felling of trees in interior parts of the state particularly in the areas bordering Nagaland, the principal conservator of forest said that there is lack of field staff in the department to control illegal felling of trees.
Is peacebuilding good for indigenous people? Jarem Sawatsky has served as peace and conflict educator, consultant, facilitator, trainer in various local and international settings. He is currently a PhD student in the UK researching traditional communities conceptions of healing justice around the world. Today’s article is part of a series to be continued) Morung Express COMMENTARY
Since the 1970’s there has been a huge growth of the peacebuilding movement in all its various forms: restorative justice, conflict resolution, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), conflict transformation. The rhetoric of peacebuilding sounds good: empowering people to participate in responding to their own conflicts; creating processes of encounter; avoiding the various pitfalls and failures of the western legal tradition; decreasing violent conflict while at he same time increasing justice relationships. More and more, these peacebuilding endeavours point towards a kind of kinship of values, vision and practice with indigenous communities and their conceptions of justice. In my home country of Canada, there are even some aboriginal people that speak so strongly of this kinship that they argue that restorative justice is interchangeable with aboriginal justice. "We have always done restorative justice," they say. And indeed, internationally restorative justice and conflict resolution praxis have been fruitfully used as part of the healing path for cultures and peoples that have experienced crime but also genocide, apartheid and other forms of ethnic violence and systemic racism (e.g. South Africa, Rwanda, New Zealand). Yet not all indigenous movements are convinced that these "new" fields are helpful. In Canada, the police recently introduced a restorative justice initiative referred to as, Community Justice Forums or Family Group conferences, which are very loosely based on an indigenous Maori initiative in New Zealand. Gloria Lee, an aboriginal Canadian, called these "yet another form of state control and cultural manipulation." One justice worker from Nagaland said that NGOs and conflict resolution are the "biggest threat to peoples movements".
So are these new more friendly disciplines of peacebuilding - restorative justice, ADR, Conflict resolution – a help or a hindrance to indigenous movements? Do they help to redefine unjust relationships or do they further entrench them? Ultimately, that is a decision for indigenous communities to decide for themselves. I am not from an indigenous community but am, however, a sympathetic "peacebuilder" with some experience working with and listening to indigenous communities. I am deeply concerned that peacebuilding is being co-opted by governments to extend state control. Insofar as peacebuilding becomes a state-control movement, it ceases to help a marginalized people to redefine unjust relationships. I believe we are in desperate need of redefining this relationship. I am interested in how peoples are enabled to rediscover identity, embrace the beauty of creation and walk humbly together on a healing path. It clearly is a matter of survival. Peacebuilding in its various forms offers both barriers and opportunities for the (re) discovery of this path. In this 4 part series, I will be presenting guideposts for "peacebuilding practice that help redefine unjust relationships." I believe these suggested guideposts or litmus tests may be helpful for indigenous communities and for proponents of peacebuilding to consider when monitoring, assessing and, better yet, creating peacebuilding activities. Hopefully this will be of service in discerning appropriate use of peacebuilding by the indigenous communities. This series will be fruitful if it sparks meaningful dialogue and action in communities discerning what are appropriate uses of peacebuilding practice and theory.
GUIDEPOST #1: Peacebuilding Practice That Redefines Unjust Relationships Must Be Context-Driven, Not Process-Driven Early in the evolution of conflict resolution an article on mediation was published entitled "Have Process Will Travel: Reflections on Democratic Decision Making and Conflict Management Practice Abroad (Moore, 1993)." The belief of the author was that the mediation process was a universal way of bringing people together to resolve problems. Mediation trainers often say, "It is the process that makes the difference not the facilitator." Such statements hide the truth that all processes are embedded in cultural understandings. Mediation assumes people will speak directly about issues, that individuals are decision-makers, that it is possible and preferable for a mediator to be neutral, and that power can be and should be balanced. These are all culturally-based assumptions that do not fit with the cultural worldviews I have discovered in various indigenous communities
Both western adversarial justice systems and foreign policy initiatives tend strongly toward imposing top-down processes of handling disputes. This top-down prescriptive style – the process-driven style - is the way of the oppression. A grassroots, bottom up, elicitive style is more the way of liberation. If peacebuilding is to be of service to indigenous communities it must come not as set of processes and techniques but as a principled way of entering into and affirming local ways of knowing and ways of addressing conflict. The processes that arise, if they can be referred to as processes, must arise from local culture and context rather than being imported from outside. The Canadian police’s introduction of the Community Justice Forum (CJF) is a good example of a liberating practice turned on its head. While there are many positive characteristics of CJFs, it is a top-down scripted model of addressing conflict. When peacebuilding is context-driven, scripts, prescribed processes and foreign processes must be discarded to give space to local peace practice. Liberating peacebuilding practice does not start by assuming to know what others need. Rather it works with local people to articulate and address their needs in ways that are meaningful for them. Process-driven approaches to healing begin by prescribing stages of grief (a preset process). Context-driven approach focuses on working with those in conflict zones in naming their own experience, creating their own ways of addressing those harms and, of course, listening to their story. This is not a call to find a way to "go back to the good old days". Rather it is a recognition that the fertile soil out of which comes the seeds of change is already present in the context. Culture is the seedbed of change and dealing with conflict. The oppression experienced by many indigenous communities has been stifling, like a concrete slab on fertile land. In many cases the culture has not been given space to grow and develop so that it can respond to the ever-changing world. Importing foreign ways of responding to conflict further undermines local ways of knowing and brings about disempowerment. When local maize production fails, importing western surplus grain does not help the maize farmers and makes the local children sick because their stomachs cannot process the foreign substance. We must learn to start with the context, the culture, so that it might be fertile and vibrant, so that it might be a seedbed of change.
GUIDEPOST #2: Peacebuilding Practice That Redefines Unjust Relationships Is Design-Oriented, Not Forum-Oriented If peacebuilding is context-driven rather than process-driven, then it follows that peacebuilding must also be design-oriented rather than forum/process oriented. In the last 5 years the Canadian restorative justice movement has become fixated on Community Justice Forums. At a recent Canadian Restorative Justice conference, 90% of the training workshops focused on training for Community Justice Forums. This shows the deep bias towards forum-orientation – "make me an expert in the latest process."
If peacebuilding practice is to be context-driven, we must shift from being professional experts of process to collaborative facilitators of local justice design. To do this peacebuilding practitioners must become fluent in relevant local issues and worldviews, not just resolution skills and processes. If justice is to be experienced in the lives (culture, issues and relationships) of participants, it must be designed together with participants. The Canadian government is in the process of trying to bring "resolution" to aboriginal peoples who were stolen as children from their communities and forced into residential schools to "civilize" them. In these schools aboriginal people experienced every kind of abuse. Originally, the government tried to use the courts to settle these cases. Essentially the government was saying, "Sue us, we’ll defend ourselves and let the courts decide what’s fair." Eventually it was clear this path lead nowhere good. Trying to be flexible without actually changing, the government developed various preset alternative dispute resolution processes for purposes of compensation. Healing from residential schools abuse is unlikely when the beginning point is programs or preset processes for determining restitution. That is a forum-orientation. Rather healing is like learning to move within the current of a river – it requires listening, adjusting, changing, and experimenting. It requires an ongoing design-orientation. Practitioners or programs that claim to have the solution or the best process will not be of best service to indigenous peoples. Work with people who are committed to entering the current, exploring change and developing ways of approaching conflicts that satisfy the emerging needs and perspectives of the people involved. For the various forms of peacebuilding to be helpful to indigenous communities there must be a shift from a process orientation to a context orientation, from a forum orientation to a design orientation. The seedbed of change is already present in the context. Our job, like that of a discerning gardener, is to find ways to return a healthy and sustainable balance to the soil. Transplanting foreign plants won’t do. Overcoming the land with foreign fertilizers won’t do. What is needed is to find ways to sustain and enable the life-giving practices already present in the culture. Your culture is the seedbed of change.
Significance of the word Urra Uvie Kaka D. Iralu Morung Express
The political slogan with which the NNC launched the resistance movement for the defence of our motherland was URRA UVIE. Urra Uvie is an Angami word, meaning "Our land is ours" or "Our country is ours." The whole Indo-Naga-Myanmar conflict is because of these two words "Urra Uvie." Urra Uvie is a simple political statement with profound significance and also serious ramifications and implications. Therefore every Naga citizen must understand why "Urra" must be "Uvie."
1. Urra is Uvie because land ownership rights to our land is an alienable right bestowed on us by God himself who is the creator of the whole universe. Acts 17:26 spells out this right very clearly when it says: "And He (God) made from one (Adam) every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation" As such our right to our lands is not subject to India and Myanmar’s sanction or approval. In fact it is not even subject to the UN’s sanction or approval. Here Nagas are not asking sovereignty and independence from India or Myanmar or even the UN. All that we are asking from the UN is that this world body recognise Naga sovereign rights to their lands. As to India and Myanmar, all that we are asking them is that they withdraw from their illegal occupation of our lands.
2. Biologically speaking, we came naked from our mother’s wombs into this world. In that journey and descend, we did not come to earth with even a handful of soil or the tiniest bottle of oxygen. Naked we came and occupied the foreordained demarcated geographical boundaries that were allotted for our habitation. It is therefore a sacred religious duty to defend our God apportioned lands from foreign aggression and occupation of our lands. The Jews understood this profound truth and the duty to that truth when from their Babylonian captivity they wrote these words: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we set down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion…If I forget thee, oh Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning, If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy" (Ps 137:1-6) Now what the Jews were saying amounts to this:
1. It is with the right hand (For most people) that we earn our living. Hence the Jews were saying: If I forget thee oh Jerusalem, then let my right hand forget its ability to work and let me starve to death.
2. It is with the tongue that one expresses one’s deepest thoughts of patriotic feelings or expressions of love for one’s country. Here the Jews were saying: If I forget thee oh Jerusalem, then let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth and let me be forever silenced from ever expressing any patriotic feelings for my land and country.
I have never come across any greater patriotic expression than these words expressed by these Jews in connection with their love for Jerusalem their capital city. In the context of Nagaland, the Indo-Myanmar-Naga conflict is not over the Nagas trying to grab somebody else’s lands. It is also not over Nagas building their houses in somebody else’s land and having a land ownership dispute with others. The issue is over the profound and rightful claim that Nagaland belongs to the Nagas- URRA UVIE.
Now if we are to surrender our lands to others we will become refugees in our own lands. With the passage of time, our children will have no national identity or national country to call their own. The surrendering of "Urra Uvie" is as serious as that. Therefore, if any Naga father surrenders Urra Uvie, he will be guilty of existential treason against both God and his own country. Such a father is unworthy of fatherhood. Many a times, Indian leaders have told me that peace, development and co-operation are the hallmark of any modern nation. They have often told me "You got to think about your children’s futures." My reply is: "It is precisely for our children’s future that we are refusing to surrender Urra Uvie." This is because if "Urra" is no longer "Uvie" then there can be no true peace or true development when we become refugees in somebody else’s lands. In this context, I would also like to add that we do not need one paisa from India or Myanmar for our economic development. The moment they leave our country, we will dig up our own mineral wealth and build our own economy with the assistance and co-operation of other countries. In fact we are even ready to export our oil and other mineral wealth to India as payment for all their small economic developments that they have build in our lands. In conclusion allow me to reproduce some of A.Z .Phizo’s writings under the captions; "Our objectives" and "Our responsibility":
1. Our international objectives are to be a man among men and to be a nation among nations. 2. We shall not allow fear or emotional feelings to sway us from our purposes. That which we must do we shall do it. We shall not allow even helplessness to deter us from shouldering our responsibilities however helpless at time it may appear… we shall do what we must do: and nothing can stop us…. We have a mission and that mission is to maintain sanity in all the situations if that is humanly possible. But when the situation is war as at present, and if there is no other alternative, then we shall have to become insane to break the evil barriers." (From the original text by A.Z. Phizo, England, 1984). As for those so-called Naga leaders who are now trying to sell our history and heritage for their own personal short term economic benefits, they will bring curses upon themselves and their children.
Assam oil blaze yet to be tamed by US experts By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service Saturday September 17, 12:45 PM Dikom (Assam), Sep 17 (IANS) The oil well fire in Assam grew bigger overnight with authorities Saturday confirming that US experts and local firefighters would take at least two more days to tame the towering blaze. A spokesman for Oil India Ltd (OIL), the country's main oil exploration firm, said the fire that broke out Thursday was still raging near Dikom, 520 km east of Assam's main city Guwahati. 'It would take a few more days to bring the fire under control as we are trying to get the machineries sought by the US experts to the site,' OIL group general manager J.K. Talukdar told IANS.
There was an oil spill from the well Tuesday accompanied by spewing of natural gas that led to ignition two days later. Two leading US experts from Houston-based Boots and Coots International Well Control, Inc., a company dealing with oil and gas well blowouts and fire, arrived at the site Friday to douse the flames and cap the leaking oil well. 'The two-member US oilmen saw workers using dredgers and excavators dig a huge tank overnight and are going to fill the trench about 9,000 kiloliters of water,' OIL spokesman Prasanta Barkakati said. 'They would be using the jet cutting technique by which water sprayed at a very high pressure from the tank was expected to suppress the gushing crude spill that was fuelling the fire.' Witnesses said the fire was soaring high and reported lakes of oil in an area dotted with rice fields. 'There are thick layers of crude in rice fields and drinking water sources like ponds and wells in an area of about two to three kilometres from the fire site,' said Tarini Bora, a community leader in Dikom. Locals have also complained of stomach ailments and watery eyes. 'People living in and around Dikom, most of them tea garden workers, are suffering from stomach upsets and eye irritations and we suspect this to be due to pollution from the fire and oil spill,' local youth leader Rokeshwar Nath said. More than 5,000 people were evacuated and lodged at makeshift shelters with civil authorities providing food and medicines. 'We do not see any health related risks or environmental hazards due to the fire,' OIL official Talukdar said. There has been an estimated production loss of about 6,000 kiloliters of crude with operations at the Dikom oilfields shutdown since Tuesday due to the well blowout. India produces about 30 million tonnes of crude oil annually, with Assam accounting for five million tonnes.

Gogoi urges Centre, ULFA to declare truce By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 16 – The State Government today made an appeal to both the Central Government and the ULFA to declare ceasefire to create a congenial atmosphere for a negotiated settlement of the ULFA insurgency. Disclosing this at a press conference here this morning, Chief Minster Tarun Gogoi said that ceasefire should be a two-way affair and the State Government today decided to make the appeal to both the ULFA and the Central Government to go for ceasefire for the sake of making headway in the process of talks that had started of late. The State Government will do whatever is necessary to facilitate the advancement of the process, he said. He however, refrained from making any comment on the ULFA threat to withdraw from the process of talk following the alleged killing of about 12 of its cadres by the security forces in the Dibru-Saikhowa forest areas about two days back. The Chief Minister also apprised the media persons that the State would be earning a revenue of Rs 40 crore annually in terms of royalty from the Margherita coal being used in the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) proposed 500 MW power plant at Bongaigaon. This for the first time that the coal of the State is used to produce power and this happened due to the initiatives of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The NTPC is making an investment of Rs 2,750 crore to set up two-units (250 MW+250 MW) of the power plant, the Chief Minster said.
He also told the media persons that good progress had been made in matters of setting up the gas cracker project in the State and things relating to the project were being sorted out shortly. The State Government has sanctioned about Rs 80 crore for the two flyovers for which the foundation stones were being laid today at Bhangagarh and GS Road Six Mile. The work on the three medical colleges proposed by the State Government will start in October next, he said. He denied the allegations that the State Government was reluctant to hand over the case relating to the murder of NRI businessman and BJP member Pratul Deb to the CBI. The State Government recommended handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation five months ahead of the Gauhati High Court directive to do so, he claimed. He alleged that despite his Government’s recommendation for handing over the case related to the murder of BJP leader Jayanta Dutta of Dibrugarh to the CBI it could not be handed over to the Central investigating agency because of BJP’ s LK Advani’s opposition. Advani, as the then Union Home Minister had rejected the idea, claimed Gogoi. He also denied having any role in the recent split in the regional Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). “ I am not involved in it, though I am happy with the developments concerning the AGP. I do not cherish love to any of the leaders of the AGP— Brinadaban Goswami and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta,” he said.
There is no difference between the two. During their tenures scams like the Veterinary LoC took place, they encouraged insurgency and did not pay any heed to resolve the problem of unemployment and it was during their tenure in power that the, incidents of secret killing took place. All those developments during their tenures pushed the State back, Gogoi claimed. He rated the BJP in a similar manner. The arrest of BJP Golaghat district leader Mrinal Saikia in an explosive case recently is a pointer to the involvement of the BJP in violent activities. He also claimed that both the AGP and the BJP had no genuine interest in developing the State.

Myanmar timber to revive plywood industry in NE By Surajit Khaund Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 16 – India has decided to import soft wood from Myanmar for revival of the crisis-hit plywood industry in the North East. The Indian Government move came following approval of the High Power Committee of the north-eastern region. A huge consignment of soft wood (Teak and Gurjan) comprising one lakh cubic feet (CFT) is supposed to reach this region within this week. The Ministry of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Division has already cleared the consignment after quarantine verification. It may be recalled that after the Supreme Court ban on cutting of trees in the North East, the wood based industries scattered in various parts of the region have been facing serious problems. But the new agreement is likely to give a boost to the industries in the region. According to available information the six wood- based industries in the state have been covered under the new pact. Now all these industries will be able to import teak and Gurjan wood from Myanmar to meet their requirement. Talking to this correspondent here today, Mrinal Sarma, senior officer of Ministry of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Division, said that the new agreement would give a new life to the crisis-hit plywood industries which remained closed for the last couple years due to shortage of raw materials. “ According to the agreement another consignment of 2500 CFT will reach the region very soon”, he said. In this context, he informed that now-a-days plant quarantine certificate is mandatory for export and import of forest products and therefore all the consignments have to undergo plant quarantine test. Immediately after the ASEAN car rally, trade relations between India and Myanmar have been improving. To keep the momentum going, the Indian Commerce Ministry has taken a slew of measures to boost export and import. Sarma informed that ‘Burmese’ teak has a good demand across the world for its quality and therefore the industries in the region would be able to woo the customers. “ We are optimistic that lot of wood based industries would come up in the North East after the new development”, he added. Meanwhile, M/S Kitply Industries have signed a pact No-01/ 2004/2005 (D) (BT) with the Myanmar Timber Enterprise Ahlone, Yangon to import of teak and Gurjan from Myanmar.
Declare truce: Gogoi to Centre, ULFA By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, Sept 16: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has appealed to the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Centre to announce a bilateral ceasefire so as not to allow the rebel group’s peace overture get derailed. Talking to newsmen in the city today, Gogoi said that no peace talks with rebel groups had ever taken place without a ceasefire which, in the case of the ULFA, should be a two-way one so as to make the talks bear fruits. He said that his Government would send a proposal in this regard to the Centre soon. On the ULFA’s demand for suspension of Army operation against its cadres, Gogoi evaded a direct answer and said that the operation would come to a halt only when the formal ceasefire was announced. Coming down heavily on both the factions of the AGP, the Chief Minister said that there was no ideological difference between Brindabon Goswami and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. "Their’s is a power struggle. Both of them are desperate to make it to Dispur," he said. On Brindabon’s accusation that Gogoi was behind the AGP split, Gogoi asked: "Do I have a fling with Mahanta? Why should they drag me in their power politics?" He said that the AGP was not a regional force but a group of ‘self-seekers’. "For all the misdeeds, including the secret killings and various scams during the AGP tenure, both Goswami and Mahanta are equally responsible," he added. On Pratul Deb abduction and murder case, Gogoi said that before the Gauhati High Court asking the CBI to inquire into the case, the State Government had requested the Centre to hand over the case to the CBI. "We requested the Centre to hand over the inquiry into the killing of BJP leader Jayanta Dutta in Dibrugarh also to the CBI but the then Home Minister LK Advani rejected the request," he said. On potable water problem in the city, the Chief Minister said that the State Government and the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) would float a joint venture on the lines of the Delhi Jal Board with 50:50 investment. According to him, the GMC received Rs 8 crore and Rs 18 crore from the State Government in 2004 and 2005 respectively for potable water.

Frans on 09.17.05 @ 01:59 PM CST [link]


Friday, September 16th

NSCN-IM suspends erring member


IM suspends truant cadre Newmai News Network
Dimapur, Sep 16 : The NSCN-IM has suspended Pungti Jobson who was arrested by Nagaland police two days ago in Dimapur for smuggling ganja worth more than Rs 4 crores, according to a Dimapur based newspaper.
Pungti Jobson is a depu-ty secretary of Defence of the NSCN-IM.
The daily paper quoted the NSCN-IM disowning and condemning the disgraceful and heinous act of Pungti Jobson and his accomplices.
The outfit further stated that Pungti Jobson has been suspended immediately from the outfit on account of his involvement in the ‘anti-national and anti-social’ act of felony, stated the newspaper. “Such deeds which are contrary to the ethics and principles of the GPRN also endows shame to the Naga people as Christians and needs censorship by all and sundry,” said the newspaper. The NSCN-IM statement has further informed that the outfit has set up an enquiry commission to probe into the case so as to unearth the ganja trade racket and apprehend criminals involved in the business.
NSCN-IM suspends erring member Morung Express News September 15
Dimapur: The NSCN-IM has, in the strongest of terms, condemned and disowned the ‘disgraceful and heinous’ act committed by Pangti Jobson and his accomplices. He has been immediately suspended from the organization on account of his involvement in the ‘anti-national and anti-social’ act of felony. A release issued by Saheni, Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Publicity has stated, “Such deeds which are contrary to the ethics and principles of the GPRN also endows shame to the Naga people as Christians and needs censorship by all and sundry.”
Saheni has further informed that the GPRN has set up an enquiry commission to probe into the case so as to unearth the ganja trade racket and apprehend the criminals involved in the business.
Reflections: Behind those gates COMMENTARY Morung Express
As darkness falls, the town looks like a forbidden city. All businesses are closed. It is hurting the economy of Nagaland... How can outsiders have the confidence and security to invest in Nagaland?" "A. Chang Olivo
Nagaland News has been dominated by news of the Integration of all the Nagas. Recently, Nagas had a historic Integration Rally in Kohima. If we look at our Naga culture and life, we differ very much from one tribe to another, one village to another, one language to another and one region to another. In midst of all these differences, we look for a common ground to be one People and one Nation. My recent trip to Dimapur, Nagaland, made me wonder who are those living behind the huge gates. Do these people know their neighbors? In Los Angeles, we see those huge fences and gates mostly in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu and San Marino. Those are the people mostly in entertainment business. Most of them are harassed by curious visitors or the paparazzi. They have no privacy for their life and family. They hide behind those fences and gates for security and privacy. ked a few residents in Dimapur why most homes are gated. Everyone had the fear of someone breaking into their homes and endangering their lives, or of neighbors stealing the border land. They were all living in fear behind those huge fences and gates. They don’t know who their neighbors are. As darkness falls, the town looks like a forbidden city. All businesses are closed. It is hurting the economy of Nagaland. How are we going to move forward like other states in India or the rest of the world? How can outsiders have the confidence and security to invest in Nagaland. How are we going to create jobs for the young people and the next generation when business can’t function?
Young people have nothing to keep them occupied after the sun sets. They have no jobs, no entertainment, no evening colleges or training centers. To numb their boredom, they drink, smoke and do drugs. To support such lifestyle, they commit crimes. It is hard to find eligible young Nagas especially men, who don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. Our society and culture, which were known for their generosity, even to strangers, are vanishing right before our eyes. We don’t know our own neighbors. Family structure is breaking down. Nagas are not a society that has classes or caste but now we can see the classes of the rich and poor. Freedom, peace and unity start from your own kitchen. Talk to your children. Teach your children what is right and wrong. Be responsible parents. It is a great privilege to be parents but you have the responsibilities to guide your children into the honor of hard labor, respect, honesty and peace. Have a family dinner together. Spend quality time with your children. From your own kitchen, cross over and get to know your neighbor across from you, beside you, and behind you. Have a neighborhood get together once or twice a year. Share a meal; share a conversation with your neighbors. Your neighbor may even be from different tribe, region, village or clan. When American Baptist Missionaries left Nagaland, Naga tribes who already had received the gospel, reached out to most of the eastern tribes. Those early Naga missionaries reached out to the eastern tribes financially to start a church and sent their own people to serve among them. Where has that brotherhood gone today? The advanced tribes should reach out to the advancing tribes. Tribalism in churches and society will hurt our growth and unity. Reach out to your brothers, sisters or churches that are from advancing tribes. Support them with what you can--materially, mentally, spiritually or emotionally.
We are talking about integration, but with so much fear within our own community, how are we going trust each other and proceed towards the goal of one people and one nation? Who is going to believe and support our cause? It takes one person, one tribe, one village at a time, to bring peace and unity. We have a small community of Nagas and North East Indians in California. We don’t distinguish ourselves as Chang, Angami, Khasis or Assamese. We gather together as brothers and sisters from Nagaland or N.E. India. Sometimes, we talk, wishing that in Nagaland they have the same kind of brotherhood and sisterhood as we have here. More unity and less tribalism. We don’t care which tribe is visiting California, we care as fellow Nagas and open our homes to them. This does not mean that we do not love our own people. I am proud to be a Chang--and I would say I love Tuensang more than other towns, but this pride does not mean that I look down on other tribes or regions.
We need to trust each other, learn to love, accept and forgive each others faults and mistakes. Integration of all Nagas will not come through violence or bloodshed. Take the example of great leaders like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela for a better and peaceful Nagaland. The greatest revenge you could give to your enemy is through love and forgiveness. We shouldn’t only look to the leaders for unity, peace and development. Common people should also rise up to the occasion. You may be a housewife. You can communicate about love and peace to your children and husband. You may be a teacher. Educate your students about the benefit of living in unity and loving peace. It is not only for our generation but for the generations to come. You may be in administration. Govern with wisdom for the betterment and peacefulness of all Nagas, not only your tribe or constituency. So, here I humbly urge my fellow country men and women to strive for Peace and unity, accepting each other through love and forgiveness. We don’t need to hide in fear behind those gates in our own land, with our own people. We don’t need to shut everything down by sunset and lock ourselves up in fear. If we live in fear from each other in our own land, how are we going to demonstrate to the world, our desire to live in unity and peace? Rise up to the occasion and make a difference in someone’s life, church, village, town or tribe. My country people, "FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS YOU ARE BORN".
Naga Woman who is also a Mother U A Shimray Morung Express
Not long ago, the Naga Women’s Union, Manipur (NWUM) celebrated its Decade Anniversary at Chandel district. The anniversary theme is "Women and Peace". In today’s new world order, women play crucial role in reconstructing the social system based on human value and participation. The traditional patriarchal social setting dictate women to bend little lower and male to rise their head higher. The concept inevitably constructs the attitude of "weaker section" and "stronger section", "decision-making" men and "obeying" women. Also, terminate "unwanted fetus" and rare only the "masculine population". So far, many people fail to understand the women systematic passionate intervention in the society. Women perspectives are often undermined in the claw of patriarchal mindset. Such intervention also needs to translate it into realism, not just a transiting phrase of addressing as "House-wife" to "Home-maker".
Our Home, Our Mother The Holy Bible says, "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge the grooms are filled with a rare and beautiful treasures" (Proverbs, 12:3). Home is the happiest place on earth. Everlasting phrase always hang "Home Sweet Home" in the doorstep. Home is also the heart of society. In fact the moral strength of the society is directly determined by the value state of the family. Contemporary social scientists have regarded the family as the cornerstone of society. In Naga society, family is not only the social, cultural and religious unit but also the foundation of Naga value system and discipline.
Indeed, in Naga family, woman who is also a mother is the main backbone of the whole domestic affairs. I vividly remember my mother putting me in the Aluminum tub and bathing me. She cleans my whole tiny naked body from head to toe. She said, "God hates children who are dirty. He loves those who obey their parents". Since my childhood days, I am closer to my mother than my father. I always approach my mother first whenever I need new clothes, new exercise book and pencil even to tie my shoelace or button my shirt. I first inform my mother when I get involved in the fight with my friends before I get good spank from my father. For problem, I go to mother. She listened. This is one instance in the society of the importance of a mother and women in home making. Nurturing one home is not an easy job but it involves tremendous wisdom, passion and compassion. Naga society traditionally follows patriarchal system and father is the head of the household. However, mother has no lesser role to play in the family. She occupies an important place in the society. The traditions "expect" women be obedient and humble; also expect to perform the role of wife, mother, child bearer, food producer and household manager. Mother is the first to rise before the crack of dawn and start a day’s works like looking after children, caring the sick, cooking, store food, feed domestic animals, fetch water, cleaning and washing.
I believe Nagas’ patriarchal norm does not reflect the notion of "birth of a male child being auspicious, man as the bread earner and protector of the society" (Although, the concept of male preferences may vary from individual to individual). The fact is many of the Naga parents prefer their first-born child to be female. In the Naga family, there is a requirement of the eldest child to play certain role, which is vital for the good of the household. The daughter(s) are considered to be more competent, obedient and helpful to their parents in the discharge of duties. On the other hand, boy(s) are generally preferred as the customs and tradition implies that the lineage of a clan and family is through male. Weaving traditional clothes are one of the important activities. The young girls usually work collectively as ‘cloth workers’ guild in a particular place. In olden days, Morung (dormitory) is the place where such weaving knowledge and skills were imparted to each and every individual. Such essence of collectiveness helps to develop new designs in the shawls. The beautiful Naga shawl is the sole product of the Naga women’s creativity and wisdom. Her role and contributions in the society are always in sustainable form. This is because mother’s association with the social ethos begins at the family. Through her well maintenance of the family, the Naga society is able to sustain its customs and values. Nevertheless, mother is the first who teaches her children social etiquette and moral conduct in the society. As said, mother performs multi-role as wife, mother, child-bearer and household manager giving enormous tasks. Her life is a juggling act as they try to fit in a range of tasks and responsibilities. Unfortunately, mothers’ "invincible" works are neither acknowledge nor recognised.
Naga Women’s Intervention In olden days, inter-village head hunting was inevitable circumstances. When men had to wage wars, women took the responsibility of giving provision and supplies for the warriors. There is a belief that certain women possessed a spirit associated with wealth and richness. Women also played a vital role in saving the lives of their men. Women were like an "Ambassador" who would volunteer to act as a mediator between the warring villages. These women enjoyed full diplomatic immunity. Nobody could lay hands on her. She was called the "peace-maker", the bearer of torch of peace of the Naga inter-village head hunting war. They boldly used to enter the battlefields and intervened in the fighting of the warriors and stopped the fight between the two enemy villages. Indeed, keeping the essence of home making, we see Naga women playing a crucial role in the present social transition. Since the days of ‘head-hunting’ till now, women’s role in the socio-cultural aspects is immense. Women’s intervention in the socio-cultural sphere is not a new concept in Naga society. Today, we see Naga women doing tremendous work to revitalise the losing customary laws and traditions. Their involvement begins right from their individual capacity as a "lady" of the household. They quietly render great services and fulfilled her duties unostentatiously. In the midst of rapid changes in Naga social scenario, it is noteworthy to mention that new social elements are creeping into the society. To substantiate, it is worthy to mention a few: drug peddling, smuggling, corruption and political hatred. In fact, in the olden days the prevalence of crimes such as rape, forgery, corruption and others were rare, if not obsolete. But our fast quantum leap of so-called social development has made the Naga people to abandon or lose their certain social values and dignity.
In such a state of confusion, women’s intervention cannot be sidelined. The present Naga women’s organisations not only work hard to revitalise social values but maximise the imposition of value system in the society. There are many examples where the Naga women organisations took the lead in social movements. Several women organisations have emerged right from the village level to form apex Naga women organisation. Today, the apex organisations like Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA), Naga Women’s Union, Manipur (NWUM), etc are spearheading the various Naga women associations. The NMA with their theme "Shed No More Blood" have been actively involved in negotiating and mediating for peace and justice for the Nagas (also in the Naga society). Naga women associations have organised rallies and demonstrations for the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act. Today, the NMA and NWUM are actively participating in the on-going peace talks between the Government of India and the Naga insurgents. As a concluding remark, it shall not be out of place to mention that the Naga women’s role in the Naga society has strong historical, social and political implications. At the same time, women’s intervention should always look at in a positive aspect. Women have more affinity to the socio-cultural and economic activities. Because of such close interaction enable them to develop better sense of consciousness. This unrewarded tradition of Naga women, if encouraged may help to build a better Naga society. Also, sense have self-pride and self-dependence even when the Nagas have become thoroughly "modernised". Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, "To awaken the people, it is the women who must be awaken. Once she is on the move the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves".
Dr Lotha asks youth to choose the correct path Sentinel
WOKHA, Sept 15 – Nagaland Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Excise, Dr TM Lotha, called upon the youth to be specific of their future and for which they had to choose the correct path.
Addressing 21st annual session-cum-youth conference here at Wokha Village Baptist Church, the minister said the Christian youth in the State had great responsibilities as a believer because God wanted to use their “energetic, enthusiastic and intelligent assets” for the future younger generations.

Dr Lotha referred to people’s saying that the “youths are the future of the society and they are going to live for tomorrow and not the old men and women.” If that was so, he further asked, “What type of life and what type of future you want to live in? The answer lies with you,” the Minister told the youth, adding, the God had opened everything for them. “Therefore the choice is yours,” he pointed out.
Dr Lotha also said the Nagas lacked responsibility in many areas and further pointed out that they seemed to be one-sided. “We only know how to claim our rights and are very assertive and never knowing that we have our responsibilities and duties towards the society,” he stated. “This is the reason why our Naga society has faced many problems.”
NE girls in metros forced into prostitution: NGO Morung Express Guwahati, Sept 15 (Agencies): Gullible young girls from the northeast are being forced into prostitution in the metropolises after being lured by organised syndicates promising them glamorous careers and lucrative jobs, a rights group has said. "The situation is extremely serious with smart operators flooding the northeast hunting for good looking young girls for modelling assignments or jobs in call centres with good salaries," said Hasina Kharbih, chairperson of Impulse NGO Network, a rights group working in rescuing women trafficked from the northeast.
"But in reality, many of these women were pushed into the notorious world of prostitution." Impulse activists recently rescued at least four young girls from Mumbai. "The girls were from Meghalaya and Assam and were lured by agents who promised them good modelling roles and handsomely paid jobs in call centres," Kharbih told IANS.
"We were told by these rescued girls that there were more women from the northeast in the flesh trade racket who were trapped with such baits." A new craze for careers in modelling among teenagers in India’s northeast region, spurred by television and newspaper advertisements, is being cited as reasons for traffickers wooing unsuspecting girls into their net.
"Northeastern girls are generally fair and have good features, akin to Nepali women, who until recently were much sought after by pimps for flesh trading," another rights activist said. "Today northeastern girls are in demand in the flourishing prostitution racket in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and even Bangalore and Pune." Most of these girls, trapped by organised rackets, come from middle class families.
"Seedy operators also scout for good looking girls from poor families. We have come across and rescued girls belonging to families living below the poverty line who were sold to the traffickers," Kharbih said. The Impulse network, headquartered at Meghalaya’s state capital Shillong, has rescued 12 girls this year from New Delhi and Mumbai - all of them belonging to poor families.
Goswami hopeful of ULFA-Centre talks Morung Express
New Delhi, Sept 15 (ANI): Noted Assamese author and ULFA mediator, Mamoni Raisom Goswami said that she was extremely hopeful that the talks between Centre and the insurgent group next month would be a success. Goswami said that the ULFA was setting up an eight-member team comprising human rights activists and lawyers to hold the initial round of talks. "This is the first time after 26 years, probably this type of positive sign is being seen and this is the reason why I am so hopeful," said Goswami said in an interview in New Delhi. Earlier in January, ULFA had said that it was ready to hold talks with the Centre. Though no terms have yet been spelled out,
Goswami said that the increased action by the army, mistrusted by the villagers, who accused it of human rights abuses were a major concern. "They retaliate only when the army operations get too severe. Only yesterday I have got a telephonic call from Jerai that most of their villages were surrounded by the army. People are bit unhappy about it, that when peace talks are going on why this thing should be there?" she said. Formed in 1979, the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is fighting for an independent state of Assam and has also accused the Centre of economically exploiting the state and neglecting the local economy. More than 15,000 people have been killed in the insurgency in Assam in nearly three decades.
Assam Chief Minister for ULFA-Centre ceasefire NET News Network
Guwahati, Sep 16: The Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today insisted for ceasefire between Centre and the proscribed ULFA and said that talks should continue because that can bring a congenial environment in the State and both the parties should enter into a ceasefire to bring peace in the State”. However, he refused to comment anything regarding the State government’s formal conveying of message to the Centre. He today also denied any role of his party in the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) split and reiterated that both Mahanta and Goswami are indulging in the tussle because of their personal ambitions, which is causing political instability in the state. Gogoi further said that neither Mahanta nor Brindaban could be hold responsible alone for the various incidents that took place during the AGP regime be it the veterinary scam or the secret killings as they both were integral part of the Government then.
“Both AGP and AGP (P) cannot be called regional party instead they should be called ‘vested interest party”, said Gogoi. “They are the people who even deceived the student fraternity with whose support they rose to power”, alleged Gogoi informing that the present president of AGP Brindaban Goswami was the Education Minister then. Regarding the Pratul Dev’s murder mystery, Gogoi informed that it was he who sought for the CBI enquiry even before the High Court ordered the same and the Bharatiya Janata Party who was at the power in the Centre did nothing in this respect. The Chief Minster also informed the press about the setting up of National Thermal Corporation to facilitate the State with better power facilities within 2010 besides coming up with a company on 50:50 share basis with the Guwahati Municipal Corporation for the improving the water problem in the State. Meanwhile, State Planning and Development minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma who was also present in the press meet informed, “ Three new Medical Colleges would be set up very soon and foundation stone for few over bridges would be laid down”. In another development, General secretary of newly formed AGP (P), Hemanta Kalita under the leadership of two-time Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, lambasted Brindaban Goswami for terming the AGP (P) as a political wing of Congress and said that the political career of Goswami speaks volumes about his divide and rule policy. “It was Goswami who divided the AGP for the first time in 1991 and since then he has been consistently trying to create an environment of hatred among the party members”, alleged Kalita.
Bodo Students launch agitation over ban on Dohkna NET News Network
Kokrajahar, Sep16: The influential All Bodo Students’ union (ABSU) today staged a protest dharna in front of Surupeta Circle office in Barpeta district over the imposition of ‘Churidhar’ dress over traditional Dokhna on Bodo girls’ students by the BHB college authority. The student organization also called for a 12-hour lower Assam bandh on Tuesday next if the college authority does not allow the students to attend class in dhokna. On Monday the Bodo students wearing prescribed uniform colour Dokhna were again forcefully driven out from the classroom by the principal of the college.
The male students too boycott the class following the incident. ABSU president Rwngwra Narzary said even after repeated request the BHB college authority neither refused to listen the sentiment of the Bodo people nor tried to resolve the problem peacefully. Some chauvinist people are behind the whole incidents. Mention may be made that a joint meeting of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and ABSU was held few day back in Barpeta and announce a joint statement saying the ethnic community should be given the right to preserve own dress and wear it but the college authority remain adamant to the decision of churidar as dress code.
“In a state like Assam with diverse ethnic group, colour should be the basis of uniform but not the dress and lawfully ABSU would strongly oppose the senseless decision of the college authority for adopting the churidar as the only option for uniform dress. Churidar is not the dress of the Bodos and it cannot be the dress of Assamese people either,” said ABSU secretary Goutam Mushshary. “We have got full right and preserve our own culture, custom, language and tradition as being the indigenous community and nobody can stop us from wearing our traditional dress. This is our right and we will fight to achieve it till the end,” added the ABSU leader.
On the other hand the Bodo students of Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon colleges have joined the protest with ABSU in condemning the same and threatened to enforce similar stringent dress code of Dokhna for all female students studying in their respective colleges and launch a movement for enforcing the same in the colleges of BTC region in case the BHB college authority fails to respond positively soon. The Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS) and All Bodo Women Welfare Federation (ABWWF) has also 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 and requested the BHB college to allow the students to attend the class in prescribed colour dokhna.
Declare truce: Gogoi to Centre, ULFA By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, Sept 16: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has appealed to the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Centre to announce a bilateral ceasefire so as not to allow the rebel group’s peace overture get derailed. Talking to newsmen in the city today, Gogoi said that no peace talks with rebel groups had ever taken place without a ceasefire which, in the case of the ULFA, should be a two-way one so as to make the talks bear fruits. He said that his Government would send a proposal in this regard to the Centre soon. On the ULFA’s demand for suspension of Army operation against its cadres, Gogoi evaded a direct answer and said that the operation would come to a halt only when the formal ceasefire was announced.
Coming down heavily on both the factions of the AGP, the Chief Minister said that there was no ideological difference between Brindabon Goswami and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. "Their’s is a power struggle. Both of them are desperate to make it to Dispur," he said. On Brindabon’s accusation that Gogoi was behind the AGP split, Gogoi asked: "Do I have a fling with Mahanta? Why should they drag me in their power politics?" He said that the AGP was not a regional force but a group of ‘self-seekers’. "For all the misdeeds, including the secret killings and various scams during the AGP tenure, both Goswami and Mahanta are equally responsible," he added. On Pratul Deb abduction and murder case, Gogoi said that before the Gauhati High Court asking the CBI to inquire into the case, the State Government had requested the Centre to hand over the case to the CBI. "We requested the Centre to hand over the inquiry into the killing of BJP leader Jayanta Dutta in Dibrugarh also to the CBI but the then Home Minister LK Advani rejected the request," he said. On potable water problem in the city, the Chief Minister said that the State Government and the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) would float a joint venture on the lines of the Delhi Jal Board with 50:50 investment. According to him, the GMC received Rs 8 crore and Rs 18 crore from the State Government in 2004 and 2005 respectively for potable water.
Bodo bodies oppose maximum satellite autonomy to Misings ABSU: MAC exploiting non-Mising communities From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, Sept 16: The Undivided Lakhimpur District Committee of the ABSU has alleged that the Mising Autonomous Council (MAC) has been exploiting the Bodo and other non-tribal people politically and economically. Talking to this correspondent at Silapathar in Dhemaji district, president of the Undivided Lakhimpur District committee of ABSU (ULD/ABSU) Dambaru Daimary said that the maximum satellite autonomy to the Misings has created new problems to non-Mising communities because the satellite autonomy concept has made other people minorities.
The exclusion of Deoris, Thengals and Sonowal-Kacharis from the MAC has made the Bodos and Hajongs minorities. He also said that the undivided Lakhimpur district units of the ABSU, the All Bodo Women’s Welfare Federation (ABWWF) and ex-BLT Welfare Association (DUBAA) and other tribal bodies have decided to oppose the maximum satellite autonomy to the Misings and urged the State Government to reconsider the matter. Secretary of ULD/ABSU Simangsa Basumatary, while speaking to this correspondent, said that the Government has excluded 68 non-Mising villages belonging to non-tribal communities, besides exclusion of all the Deori, the Thengal, and the Sonowal-Kachari villages, but not a single Bodo and Hajong villages have been excluded despite pressure from various Bodo organizations. ‘‘If the Government of Assam can exclude other tribal and non-tribal villages, than why not Bodo villages,’’ he questioned.
Basumatary said that the MAC which is being run with the fund of the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) has also blocked the advantage of panchayati raj. As per Clause (U) of Section-II of the MoS of the MAC and core area, 6,38,977 population from 1,239 villages belonging to Sonowal, Deori and Thengal-Kachari have been excluded from the Council. As a result of which, the Misings in core area becomes majority by 90 per cent, Basumatary said, adding that the Council provided only five seats open for all in five constituencies out of 36-member council, but there is no reserved quota for other tribal people as that of the BTC. Under such circumstances, the Bodos and other tribal people of the Council would be the worst sufferers. The ABSU said that land rights is a major subject but the Council reserved the rights of sale or purchase of their land in the Council to which they are going against such exploitation. The situation is quite explosive in Dhemaji district following the fresh threat of mass movement and the TMPK’s appeal for cooperation to implement the maximum autonomy concept on the other.


Frans on 09.16.05 @ 10:19 PM CST [link]


Thursday, September 15th

Naga leaders reiterate on integration and reconciliation


Naga leaders reiterate on integration and reconciliation Morung Express News DIMAPUR: The Naga Hoho, Tribal Leaders, Women Hoho, and Student Leaders today held a meeting at the Naga Council Office today. The meeting reviewed the resolution that was recently made with the collective leadership of NSCN- IM during the 5th consultative meeting at Bangkok. Addressing to gathering Savi Legesie, President Naga Council, Dimapur highlighted some of the resolutions made during the consultative meeting. He said that the General Secretary of the NSCN-IM Th. Muivah had reiterated that they would stand true to the Nagas but without the masses’ cooperation, he said that they will not be able to realize the desired results.
During the recently concluded meeting at Bangkok, Th. Muivah was reported to have admitted the involvement of some of their cadres with various State leaders for political gain, for which he lamented. When asked by the members representing the Nagas about the taxation patterns that is presently enforced in Nagaland, the General Secretary assured that taxation would be streamlined and also that no tax was being levied on new entrepreneurs. The President of Naga Hoho, Horangtse Sangtam at the meeting urged the Naga leaders to be firm in their stand. He put forwarded challenged the leaders that if the Nagas can make a cease fire agreement with the Government of India then why should not an understanding among the Naga leaders of various political factions be reached at.
Adding to it, H.K. Zhimomi, Speaker of the Naga Hoho, appealed to all the Nagas to be patient and added that the issue (integration) was not a simple one but was the biggest- a political one. The Naga Hoho clarified that they were not in favor of any particular under ground faction but the peace process to resolve the Naga political issue.
Rio allocates Rs 11 cr for scholarships OUR CORRESPONDENT the Telegraph
Kohima, Sept. 14: The Neiphiu Rio government has decided to release Rs 11 crore from the state exchequer towards post-matric scholarships following non-release of funds from the Union tribal affairs ministry. The government was forced to take the decision after students boycotted classes yesterday in protest against the government’s inability to give scholarships. The All Nagaland College Students Union had also threatened to call a statewide bandh on Friday. Following today’s decision, higher education minister Shürhozelie Liezietsu appealed to the students’ union to call off the agitation. “The amount has been cleared by the government and when the students’ demands have been met, there is no point in agitating,” he said.
Students from Nagaland, studying in 125 institutions within the state and 516 institutions outside, benefit from the centrally-funded scholarships. Chief minister Neiphiu Rio blamed the Centre for its “deliberate attempt” at harassing students from Nagaland. There were alleged irregularities in payment of some scholarships which has delayed the release of funds, a source said. Rio said there was no point in holding back scholarships of 31,000 students for the sake of an inquiry. While the Rio government is trying to save the situation by releasing funds from the state exchequer, Congress leaders, including Opposition leader I. Imkong, met Union minister for tribal affairs P.R. Kyndiah in Delhi and asked him to expedite the release of funds. “How can the Centre release funds when the government has not produced a utilisation certificate previous year?” a Congress source asked.
Ganja seized Source: The Sangai Express
Dimapur, September 14: Nagaland police seized 14,000 kgs of contraband ganja from two trucks (NL-010-5416 and AS-25-7257) coming from Manipur at 7th Mile, Dimapur, in the wee hours today and arrested four persons in this connection, reports NNN. This is said to be the second biggest seizure of ganja in Nagaland. The biggest seizure was made by the North Police Kohima. The international market value of the consignment is reportedly Rs 4.2 crore. According to police, the contraband, destined for markets outside the State, was neatly packed in several gunny bags and concealed under pieces of pine timbers.

The accused were later identified as Kangba Talo, son of Kangoi, Pungti Jobson, son of Tubia, M Daniel Poumai, son of Maikho and S Sosii Poumai, son of late Eapuni, all from Tadubi in Senapati district of Manipur. The drivers of the two trucks, however, managed to give a slip when the vehicles were being frisked by the police personnel. Police seized two small vehicles in which the four accused were travelling. The two trucks were also seized.
Cannabis worth Rs.150 mn seized in Nagaland:- (IANS)
Dimapur (Nagaland) | September 15, 2005 2:55:14 PM IST
Cannabis worth Rs.150 million ($3.4 million) has been seized from four people, including a tribal separatist, near here, police said Thursday. Two trucks loaded with about 15 tonnes of cannabis were seized Wednesday near Dimapur, Nagaland's commercial hub, a police spokesman said. The drug consignment originated from the adjoining state of Manipur. "The trucks containing the drug consignments were being escorted by a person who claims to be a rebel leader of the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and three more people. We have arrested all the four accused," Dimapur police chief Bidur Shekhar told IANS. Intelligence officials said this is the single biggest haul of drugs in the northeast in recent years and could possibly unravel links between militants and drug dealers.
The NSCN-IM has been operating a ceasefire with New Delhi since 1997 and is holding peace talks to bring an end to close to six decades of insurgency in the region. "The cannabis was neatly packed and wrapped in plastic bags and placed in the trucks with sacks of dry fish on top of the packets to give police the slip," Shekhar said. "We are interrogating the accused to find out where the consignment was destined," the police official said. Farmers in the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland grow cannabis in remote areas although there is a government ban on such cultivation. Police in Assam last week seized 10 tonnes of cannabis in a similar raid on three trucks. Twelve smugglers, dressed as border guards, fled after being challenged.
"Some rebel groups in the northeast have taken to trading in drugs to raise funds. This is a disturbing trend and we need to focus on this aspect seriously," an intelligence official said.
Police register biggest ganja haul in Nagaland Morung Express News
DIMAPUR: In the biggest ever ganja haul in Nagaland, Police personnel today seized two truckloads of contraband ganja near the Saw Mill, 7th mile, Dimapur. The trucks bear registration numbers AS-25 7257 and NL-010-5416.The total weight of the seized cannabis has been put at 14, 000 kg. Pungti Jobson, Deputy Secretary, Defense Ministry, NSCN-IM and a first class PWD contractor by the name of Daniel Poumai besides two others going by the names of Banul Poumai and S Sosii Poumai have been arrested in this connection. All of the four hail from Tadubi, Senapati district, Manipur. The consignment was neatly packed in bundled plastic sheets and cleverly concealed under logs of wood. Shreds of dried fish were sprinkled on top of the bundles in an attempt to reduce the stench of the ganja. This was done so as not to arouse suspicion. According to Police, Daniel and Jobson were in a Maruti 800 car bearing registration number MN-O1K- 5832 and a Maruti Zen bearing registration number NL-O1-C-4592 respectively, while escorting the two trucks. All four vehicles are in the custody of Police. Police investigations into the case are on.When contacted, Kilo Kilonser (Home Minister) of the NSCN-IM Ahao Raising said that the culprits should be given stringent punishment as they were maligning the image of the outfit for their personal gains. He further added that the NSCN was carrying out operations against such nefarious activities. According to reliable sources, the marijuana consignment was meant for a ganja kingpin by the name of Paki Mia and was probably coming from Senapati district, Manipur. A kilo of premium ganja, such as the one seized today, costs about Rs 1200 per kg in Dimapur. The same will fetch about Rs 5000-Rs 6000 in Delhi, according to sources.
NSF against raising age bar for retirement Morung express
DIMAPUR, Sept 14 (MExN): Taking serious note of information that some organizations were prompting a move to raise the age limit for superannuation from the present 57 years to 60 years, the NSF has strongly warned any organizations as well as the Government from taking such a step. NSF President V Pushika Awomi, made it clear that the federation would not tolerate any alteration of the present age status while reminding that there was a clear Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NSF and the Nagaland Government as a result of an agitation by the former in 1991. "It should also be clear that the NSF undertook the issue of superannuation purely to safeguard the interest of our increasing number of unemployed youths" Pushika stated.
The NSF also reminded that "raising even a year on the age of superannuation would reduce thousands of unemployed Naga youths under the over-aged category thereby invalidating their qualifications for any government service". It also stated that the first MoU was based on two system of retirement – 33 years of service or 57 years of age "whichever is earlier". However due to the CANSSEA’s writ petition, the Court gave a ruling to it for an option for which the government service body chose the years of age as the basic clause for superannuation. "However over the years it has been proven that this option has resulted in numerous cases of age-tampering and manipulation of birth certificates". NSF will now submit a representation to the Government in this regard and public opinion would be sought as to whether the years of age or the years of service should ‘prevail.’
UNLF against ban on digital films The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Sep 13: Terming films as one of the most popular performing art forms and a medium through which propagation and promotion of culture, customs and traditions and identity of a particular community or group can be done extensively, the underground UNLF has said that imposing complete ban on filming and exhibition of films made in digital format will not be a right step.

Spelling out its agenda on digital film making and the existing new trend being practised in the making of such films, the UNLF in a statement issued by its senior publicity secretary Ksh Yoihenba stressed the need for making constructive changes in making of digital films keeping in view the promotion and propagation of our culture, customs and identity.

It also expressed strong concern over increasing adoption of foreign culture and customs in digital films being made nowadays which are completely irrelevant to the rich customs and traditions of the Manipuri society.

Most of the celluloid and digital films made in Manipur are either adopted or picturised in line with Hindi films made in Bollywood, which has had a severe impact on the Manipuri society, the UNLF statement said and further stressed the need for making constructive changes in the making of such films and appealed to film producers, directors, script writer and artists to desist from copying other cultures.

Even though a lot of changes are needed in making digital films, imposing a complete ban on it however is not advisable as it would not bring a solution and instead amount to a great loss for the Manipuri society.

Instead of hindrances, we should rather allow our creative film producers to flourish and make original films of their own.

Keeping in view the increasing threat being posed to the Manipur society by outside influence particularly through entertainment medium, the UNLF also stressed the need for formulating a unique cultural policy for Manipur, not separately for digital films and video albums. This however has to be done with collective thinking of experts in the field and the general public, it added.

Regarding the ban to be imposed in filming and exhibition of digital films from September 16 by the underground KCP(P), the UNLF said it would be wrong to impose a complete ban, but the particular outfit needs to be appreciated for taking such a step.

Massive fire at Assam oil well; Russian experts summoned (LEAD) Ians By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service
Guwahati, Sep 15 (IANS) A massive fire broke out Thursday at a crude oil well in Assam that was spilling oil for the past three days and fire fighters were battling to put out the towering blaze described by oil experts as the worst ever in the region. A spokesman of the state-owned Oil India Limited (OIL), the country's premier oil exploration firm, said they have summoned a team of Russian oil experts to control the blaze and plug the flow of oil gushing out of the well near Dikom tea garden, about 520 km east of Guwahati.
'This could be the worst ever fire with the blaze rising at least 35 to 40 feet creating a thick blanket of black smoke in the area,' OIL spokesman Prassanta Barkakati told IANS on telephone from near the fire site.Fire fighters were having a tough time trying to move closer to the well with the fire raging rapidly. 'The fire is visible from a distance of about five kilometers with the smoke almost blanketing the sun,' police official B. Das said. Police said hundreds of tea garden workers and villagers living in and around the oil well have fled to safer areas.
'There is panic in the area as there is a fear that the fire might spread due to a gentle breeze sweeping the area,' Das said. At least 25 fire engines have arrived at the location with the fire breaking out in the well at around one p.m. Thursday. 'We have requisitioned several fire engines from nearby areas and also from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) to put out the blaze,' Group General Manager of OIL, J. K. Talukdar, said. 'A team of foreign experts are arriving Friday to completely kill the well so that the leakage is stopped.'
Witnesses said the gushing crude oil had spilled over to the tea garden.
'Along with crude, natural gas was coming out of the well and hence the intensity of the fire,' Talukdar said. OIL officials have asked locals not to remain near the area fearing health hazards.
'Oil well fires create health hazards because the smoke contains many ingredients such as soot, liquid, aerosols, mercury, sulphur, nitrogen, dioxins, and furans. The particles can be carried by the wind,' said T. Sharma, a retired OIL engineer. 'If the fire is not put out soon it could endanger both the local people and the wildlife. The tea garden is likely to be hit as the heat generated from the oil well fire and the crude spewing onto the plantation could affect the tea leaves.' India produces over 30 million tonnes of crude oil annually with Assam accounting for five million tonnes.

ULFA may walk out of peace talks From Our Staff Correspondent Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Sept 14 – In what may turn out to be a major setback, the ULFA has threatened to walk out of the peace process in the wake of the Army allegedly gunning down 12 of its cadres, including two top leaders, at Saikhowaghat. The ongoing Army operations have evoked sharp reactions of the People’s Consultative Group (PCG) and one of its convenor, Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami got in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to convey the displeasure of the outfit.
Dr Goswami told newsmen here that it has been reported to her that the Army killed at least 12 cadres including two senior leaders in operations. The heavy exchange of fire is reported to be on in which the Army allegedly used mortars, the mediator said. The Army action has led to sharp reactions among the ULFA leadership and they have threatened to withdraw from the peace initiative. “At a time when the peace process is on how can the Army launch such actions,” they have asked, she said.

Meanwhile, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that they are not aware about the killings as alleged by the outfit. “Though we are aware about the ongoing operations against the militants in border areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, there are no reports of such killings,” sources said. However, reports from the State prompted the MHA to check with the Army. But the Army has also denied killing of 12 cadres in the past two days, sources said. Officials suspected that the reason behind the hue-and-cry could be that some top leader of ULFA may be holed up in the area and may be trapped because of the operations. The Ministry nonetheless is keeping a close watch on the developing situation.

Our Staff Reporter adds: The People’s Consultative Group (PCG) formed by the ULFA to pave the way for talks with the Government of India, has threatened to resign in the wake of the reported killing of 12 cadres of the outfit in the Dibru-Saikhowa reserve forest area in Upper Assam.
The group has taken serious note of the reported killing of ULFA cadres in the reserve forest area and expressed the view that such incidents at this juncture would jeopardise the peace process. The Group pointed out that the ULFA did not resort to any kind of violence in the last few weeks and the Government must reciprocate by suspending operations to create a congenial atmosphere for the talks.
One of the members of the group, Hiranya Saikia said that if the Government does not stop operations, there is no point for the group to continue. After years of preparations, the ULFA finally announced its willingness to come for talks but actions of the Army would jeopardise the entire process. He said that on one hand, the Chief Minister assured full cooperation to the group to take the peace process ahead but on the other hand, cadres of the ULFA are being killed without any provocation.

Strike affects normal life in Manipur From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
IMPHAL, Sept 14 – Ten Manipuri Muslims, mostly women, sustained injuries when police tried to disperse a group of strikers using tear gas shells and smoke bombs at Hatta Minuthong on Wednesday morning. The injured have been admitted to neaby hospitals. Normal life in the state has been paralyzed partially due to the 24-hour general strike of the All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation (AMMSO).Demanding a separate reservation policy for the Muslim community, the students’ body in the state has been imposing the strike which is scheduled to conclude Wednesday midnight.The strike was quite successful in Lilong, Haoreibi and Sangomsang in Imphal West and Thoubal district. Functioning of government institutions as well as business establishments were also affected due to strike as most of the employees and general public failed to turn up for their normal business at their respective destinations including market places. All forms of transport services except the air service were suspended during the day.

“Chief Minister Ibobi should consider our demand if Congress really cares for the problems of minorities,” Abdul Haque, a prominent Muslim leader told this correspondent. A confrontation was also erupted between the strike supporters including the Muslim womenfolk and police commandoes at Sangomsang area, about 12 km south of Imphal under Thoubal district following the blocking of National Highway 39 at Sangomsang area at around 7.30 am on Wednesday.

Positive development assam Tribune editorial
Formation of a people’s consultative group by militant outfit United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to clear the way for talks with the Government of India is definitely a positive development and both the ULFA and the Government should adopt a give and take policy for an amicable solution to the problem of insurgency, that has been affecting Assam for more than 25 years. As a fall out of the initiative taken by noted writer Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami, who has taken the lead to bring the ULFA to the negotiation table, letters between the Prime Minister’s office and the militant outfit were exchanged and finally the ULFA formed the group to hold initial talks with the Government of India. Dr Goswami will act as a facilitator of the group, which includes journalists, one lawyer and others. On his part, the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi assured all possible cooperation to the group to pave the way for bringing the ULFA to the negotiation table, but at the same time, he was non-committal on the possibility of the Government declaring a unilateral cease-fire to create a congenial atmosphere for talks with the ULFA.

The group members, in their first meeting, decided to seek the opinion of cross sections of people of Assam on the issue of talks, which is a positive development, as success of talks would depend largely on the support of all sections of people of Assam. The group has called upon the people of the State to send their opinion, but at the same time, the group should try to approach prominent persons of the State to seek their opinion instead of waiting for the people to voluntarily send the same. The group decided to meet the Chief Minister to discuss the issue and one hopes that Gogoi would keep his promise of extending all possible help to the group including fixing appointments with the senior officials of the Prime Minister’s office to expedite the process. Of course, the Chief Minister will definitely like the talk to start before the next Assembly polls due early next year as this will give a big boost to the electoral prospects of the ruling party considering the fact that the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) has also come forward for talks with the Government of India during the tenure of the present Government and a cease-fire agreement between the Government and the NDFB has already been signed. The group also criticised the reported statement of the Director General of Assam Police, who asserted that the operations against the ULFA would continue. Of course, the Police will have to continue operations till the Government decides to go for a cease-fire, but at the same time, the Government officials must refrain from making any public comment which may affect the peace process.
The success of the peace process will depend on the sincerity of both the Government of India and the ULFA and it remains to be seen what guidelines the ULFA offers to the group to hold initial talks with the Government. The group can at best clear the hurdles in the way for talks, but sooner the ULFA leaders themselves come for talks is better for the entire State. The ULFA should also not adopt an adamant attitude on pre-conditions, as it might be difficult for the Central Government to publicly announce that it would talk on the issue of sovereignty and both Government and the ULFA should sit on the negotiation table without any pre-condition. Though there have been demands by some organisations for suspension of operations against the ULFA for creating a congenial atmosphere for talks, it will be difficult for the Government to do so till the ULFA gives an assurance of not indulging in any kind of violence during the suspension of operations.
8 Karbis shot dead From our Correspondent Sentinel
DIPHU, Sept 14: As many as eight people, all Karbis, were shot dead by suspected Kuki militants at Kangburatisso village in the Thekerajan area under Diphu police station, 18 km from Diphu town, in the trouble-torn Karbi Angloing district last night. The dead were four men, three women and a one-month-old baby. Security forces rushed to the spot today and hunt is on for the fleeing militants. It may be mentioned here that there had been such clashes between the Karbis and the Kukis in the hill district earlier also.



Frans on 09.15.05 @ 04:04 PM CST [link]


Wednesday, September 14th

Naga people forced to work for Burma junta


Naga people forced to work for Burma junta Kuknalim.com
RANGOON (Burma), Sept 13: Naga people living on mountains along the Indo-Burmese border regions of Sagaing Division, have been subjected to various kinds of human rights abuses including forced labour practices. A Naga villager told DVB that villagers have been forced to work in stone quarries for road building projects and carry army supplies without being paid a single ‘pya’. He added that villagers are not only forced to work for the Burmese army, they are forced to volunteer in the building of Buddhist pagodas in Leshee Township. The majority of Naga are either Christians or animists or both.

Local Naga farmers also lost hundreds of their working water buffaloes during the raining season due to the outbreak of an ‘unknown’ disease. They went down to lowland regions to buy new buffaloes and when they took the animals back to their villages, Burmese soldiers seized them from them on they way. Only who afford to pay 300,000 kyat could reclaim their animals. At the same time, the local authorities of Leshee Township, led by a man named Hla Tun, have been misappropriating money reserved for the salaries of local school teachers. The children are unable to continue to resume their education as some of their teachers haven’t received their salaries more than six months.
(Democratic Voice of Burma)
Delhi seeks investment in mining Investor meet in Nov. Telegraph
A STAFF REPORTER Guwahati, Sept. 12: The Union ministry of mines is organising an investors’ meet for the first time in the Northeast to attract private investment in the mining sector. The event, to be attended by representatives of private companies with business interests in the mining sector and senior officials, is slated for November 17-18 in Shillong. The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries is helping the ministry of mines organise the meet. “Unless investors come here to have a look at the mining sector in the Northeast, nobody will know the rich reserves that are lying untapped,” said K.P. Lall, adviser to the Union ministry of mines. He said the new millennium had seen significant transformations in the global and national mineral sectors, facilitating large private investment (both foreign and domestic) in these industries. “The Northeast, however, has remained aloof, to an extent, from these national and international developments owing to various socio-economic reasons and the region’s geographic location. However, in the new world trade regime, the corridors of trade have extended beyond international boundaries and there is no difference between domestic and international markets. The Northeast holds tremendous potential for growth of mineral and mineral-based industries,” Lall said.
Officials representing the northeastern governments will discuss the latent potential of the sector and finalise a policy framework, including incentives for private players. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has estimated that Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland have 909 million tonnes of coal reserves. The GSI has also found 8,793 million tonnes of limestone in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur. Assam has the potential to set up a granite polishing industry at Bura Mayong in Kamrup district, based on the granite deposits. A mini-cement plant can be set up at Lanka in Nagaon district utilising the limestone deposits at New Umrangsho in North Cachar Hills district. The meeting will identify infrastructure bottlenecks and reassess the role of the DoNER ministry, the ministry of mines and state governments in tiding over these problems. Lall said the participation of Bangladesh and Myanmar in the meet would depend on clearance from the ministry of external affairs. “We are pursuing the matter to ensure their participation.”
There are 14 mines in the Northeast, of which 12 are limestone and the other two are copper mines in Sikkim. Of the 12 limestone mines, five each are in Assam and Meghalaya and one each in Nagaland and Manipur. The GSI, the Indian Bureau of Mines and the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd will present an overview of the national mineral sector, while the DoNER, coal and power ministries will discuss their role in the socio-economic development of the region.
Naga delegates back home Sangai Express
Dimapur, Sept 13 : The Naga delegations who had been to Bangkok to attend the 5th Naga Consultative Meeting have returned to Nagaland. About 70 Naga leaders participated at the meeting. NSCN-IM general secretary briefed the dele-gations with regard to the ongoing peace process between the Government of India and the outfit.
Reports said that Naga leaders representing their respective Naga tribe expressed their opinions and suggestions on the Naga issue. Views were also exchange among the Naga leaders. From time to time the Nagas have been holding consultative meetings. Early this year the 4th Consultative Mee-ting was held at camp Hebron with various Naga tribes from Manipur, Naga-land, Assam and Aruna-chal attending. Th Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu addre-ssed that Hebron meeting.

Naga teams back from Bangkok The Imphal Free Press

Dimapur, Sep13 : The Naga delegations which had been to Bangkok to attend the 5th Naga Consultative Meeting have come back to Nagaland. About 70 Naga leaders participated in the meeting. The NSCN-IM general secretary briefed the delegations with regard to the ongoing peace process between the government of India and the NSCN-IM.
Sanayaima challenges India to practise democracy Agencies UNLF leader RK Sanayaima
HONG KONG, Sep 13 : The leader of a rebel group in India's Northeast challenged the world's biggest democracy to live up to its name and let the people of the troubled State of Manipur choose for themselves if they want independence. Sanayaima, Chairman of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), said there was no room for peace talks with New Delhi without UN mediation, nor any middle ground short of a plebiscite on the restoration of Manipur's “sove- reignty”. The UNLF was established in 1964 and has been waging an armed struggle since 1990 for independence for nearly two million people in the lush valleys and forested hills of Manipur on India's border with Myanmar.
“Whether we remain with India or whether we become a sovereign, independent Nation : let the people decide,” Sanayaima told Reuters in his first ever interview with foreign media. “I think if India is the largest democracy in the world then they should accept the challenge.”
The softly spoken underground leader, sporting a goatee and glasses, was speaking on a trip to Hong Kong shrouded in secrecy. Refusing to say how he left Manipur or where he was going next, he requested this story be issued only after he left the city. “If necessary, we will continue our struggle for another hundred years because it is the very fundamental right that we are fighting for, the National right that we are fighting for, so we cannot afford to get tired,” he said.
Sanayaima, who turns 58 next week, said he decided to speak out “to reach out to the outside world, so that this Indian occupation is put to an end.”
India's Home Ministry spokesman was not immediately available to comment on Sanayaima's remarks.
India has stationed around 50,000 soldiers in Manipur, but there is widespread popular resentment against the military's powers to arrest and kill suspects. The rebel leader said his force would be prepared to lay down arms if the Indian Government agreed to a UN-monitored plebiscite in Manipur, withdraw its armed forces and allow UN peacekeepers into the former princely State. “For us, without the involvement of any third party, particularly the United Nations, the peace process cannot be trustworthy,” said Sanayaima, who only uses one name. Late last year the Indian army launched a major operation in Manipur, and said it had inflicted heavy losses on both the UNLF and other rebel groups there. But Sanayaima insisted the UNLF, which he said had around 2,000 armed cadres, was not on the run.
“We are not fighting pitched battles against the invading Indian forces, but that doesn't mean we are running away. If at all we are running away then they should be able to come to our base headquarters. So far they haven't done that,” he said. He said New Delhi had yet to respond to his proposal for a plebiscite, first made in January. Nor has the UNLF responded to the Indian Government's overtures for talks, he said.
“The Indian Government sent some feelers for talks. So far we have not responded,” he said. “The peace talks that the Government of India has had with other groups in the region have not produced any satisfactory resolution of the conflicts.”
Manipur is one of seven States in India's Northeast, home to more than 200 tribes. The remote area, ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, has been racked by separatist insurgencies since India gained independence from Britain in 1947. Sanayaima said India was likely to try another offensive in the coming dry season, in a conflict which has cost more than 10,000 lives. “There is no middle point where we can meet with India because we were a sovereign independent country before India annexed Manipur in 1949 and we just want to regain that sovereign independence,” he said. “After that we can become a good and friendly country with India. And ... we have many things to learn from India.”
Manipuris boast of two thousand years of history as an independent Hindu kingdom until the Maharaja agreed, allegedly under duress, to the State's accession to India in 1949.
Sonia inducts Naga leader in place of Ibobi Newmai News Network
September 13
Imphal: The AICC high command Sonia Gandhi named Gaikhangam, a Naga leader and senior minister in the O. Ibobi Singh led Secular Progressive Front to replace Ibobi Singh as the president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). The selection of Gaikhangam was intimated through a fax message by AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi sent to the Congress Bhavan the state unit’s head office in Imphal last night. Gaikhangam is representing Nungba assembly constituency under Tamenglong district and he is the vice president of the MPCC. He is also a minister in charge of power, information and public relations. With the announcement of his name Gaikhangam is likely to resign from the ministry. The announcement came after Ibobi Singh met the party president last week in Delhi. Ibobi Singh reportedly proposed the name of Gaikhangam, who is known to be a close confidant of the chief minister as his successor.
Earlier the MPCC took a one line resolution declaring that anyone named by the party high command would be accepted as their leader. The decision was taken after several contenders showed their determination to fight it out for the post. Ibobi Singh’s term as the president of the party ended about a year back. A party source said Gaikhangam would resign from the ministry and he would be assuming office in the next few days. The MPCC is yet to organize a felicitation programme to welcome the new president. Gaikhangam said he will resign after finishing some urgent official works. He said that his primary responsibility as a new president of the ruling party is to strengthen and streamline the functioning of the MPCC.
Letters to the Editor Morung Express
Upgrade Naga Integration and Manipur Integrity issue
• Sir-The Naga Integration and Manipur Integrity issue had been talked about and enough press releases, statements by civil societies, individuals and by the apex bodies of Nagaland and Manipur had appeared in the news media. The State Assembly in Manipur and Nagaland had passed resolutions time and again for Naga integration and Manipur integrity to convince the central government and gain people’s support. It has penetrated deep into the minds and bodies of the people and emotion is covertly at high tempo. How long this fluid situation is to continue is a conjecture. Some people considered the matter will remain explosive in one form or the other, so long as the NSCN (IM) and Government of India (GoI) peace and settlement process of the protracted 58 years of the Naga issue remains unresolved. What is this Manipur integrity (MI) and Naga integration (NI) is all about. The Nagas consider that NI would effect betterment of the Nagas with uniform rules, regulations and laws for one people one nation. Whereas, in Manipur there are mix and different rules, regulations and laws for two different sects of people namely valley people and the hill people.
The Meiteis consider disintegration of Manipur would create a vacuum and the position they enjoy today may be degenerated in the future. The Nagas claim that by blood they are one and the Meiteis claim by history, the Nagas and Meiteis are one. The Naga Hoho vice president Keviletuo Keihuo in his chief guest speech on the 27th August Martyrs Day held under the aegis of the United Naga Council (UNC) at Mao gate, Song Song village, Senapati District had stated that the Meiteis and the Nagas are different people and have to live in separate territories but will be good neighbours.
Truly, the whole world is a global village, but everywhere the different sects of people have its own land boundaries and demarcations. The effectiveness of these differences in Manipur is clearly laid by the fathers of the law makers that the valley Meiteis are tabooed to encroach by way of purchase of tribal lands. Since this is the line of differences of the world order, it is not far to seek, that the Meiteis and the Nagas of all hues will have to support its own people’s opinion. However, this should not be construed that the Nagas hate the Meiteis nor the Meiteis hate the Nagas. In fact if a conflict ensued between the brown Indians and any of the yellow Mongoloids race of Ahoms, Arunachalis, Nagas, Meiteis and Kuki Chin Mizo tribes, it will not be the brown people to come to the rescue but the Mongoloid race of the North East (NE) will be the first to speak and be in the forefront for its yellow people. Therefore bickering between the Meiteis and the Nagas on MI and NI should be "upgraded" to open discussion with facts, as the famed former Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) secretary general and the present Naga Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome had called upon the then deputy chief minister Chandramani Singh to sit across the table instead of speaking fires behind the scene at Delhi years back, in his speech at the anti 18 June 2005 declaration as Manipur Integrity day and holiday by the Government of Manipur at Senapati on the 16 June 2005 rally.
The most pertinent matter at this stage may have to be, how to safeguard Imphal valley and the adjoining areas and Nagaland/Nagalim which are landlocked territories. The tragedy with the Meiteis is they have false pride. They think unusually tall, talks big and loudly against its neighbours at New Delhi and on anyone if it were not in their line of thinking. Going beyond the ground realities, they think that no power on earth could disturb them, with enough food production in the valley. But as the universal Bible says, man does not live by bread alone but by every word that he speaks. The highlanders whom the Meiteis think mutes, when they imposes chaka bandh of the state’s National Highways, not for the like of it but out of compulsion, the valley inhabitants used to be in disarray, groan and have to eat their words and bark at New Delhi for not coming to their rescue. On speaking of Manipur integrity, the Meiteis have always been on the defensive, damage control exercise and the decades of continuous lip services as "promise" to look into. Whereas in the valley region projects works and appointments are declared and taken up simultaneously.
As a political furtherance, Panchayati Raj in the valley are strengthened with wide powers and implementing fund are being okayed recently. On the other hand the much talk about "autonomous" hill district councils are not having election for the last so many years due to loggerhead on its power and functions. The writing on the wall of Manipur is terrifying with bandhs here and there everyday as if the people have had lost confidence with the government. This is a bad omen as the Bible says. The NSCN (IM) is in hot pursued and told that diplomatically they are gaining ground but for New Delhi’s obvious practical difficulties it is taking its own time. But in the meantime the NSCN (IM) had indicated that they are not going back on some fundamental points. The question of Naga Integration had met with stiff opposition from the Meiteis with strong backing of the CPI and CPM who are fast turning into a bourgeoisie capitalist party beset with corruption and the so called classless communist ideology is a farce in Manipur. The United Committee Manipur (UCM) should be shrewd to caution the Meira paibis and clubs not to take the Naga MP(s) and MLAs and other leaders participation in the
Naga integration rally at Kohima on 31-08-2005 as a social issue. It is the electorates and the Naga people to decide whose MLAs/MPs are to recall or take up action on the Naga integration or Manipur integration issue. Any wrong moves and rumours may arise sporadic violence and blood shed among the Meiteis and the Nagas.
S. Ashikho, President, Tadubi Twon Committee Senapati District, Manipur
Patrick A Kolakhe, Secretary, Mao Tribe Ex Naga National Workers Shepoumaramth Region Organisation
Awang Kassom condition pathetic Nripeshwar Sharma Kangla
IMPHAL, Sep 13: Among the villages located in the remote areas of the state which had been neglected by the state government authorities Awang Kassom and its surrounding villages under the Chingai sub-division of Ukhrul district top the list. The people of these villages are living with even no basic development activities from the state government side besides basic minimum needs for living.

Looking at the field of health care activities in the area, there is only one PHSC centre at Awang Kassom village which is being run at a room rented by a villager. The state government had finished the building for the centre last year but it is yet to be shifted and the formal inauguration function has not been held. The PHSC has no medical officers and nurses required for the centre and only one helper is providing his services to the centre since 1987 on contract basis. HA Ruichumhao has been working as a helper at the centre for more than 18 years with a nominal payment of Rs. 100 per montha, and the authorities are yet to consider his regular appointment in the state health department.

His pay was increased from Rs. 50 per month only from this year. Before this, right from the beginning of his service he had been getting only Rs. 50 per month. Moreover, most of the time his payment was made annually. According to the villagers, one medical officer namely Dr Manik Rehman and a staff nurse said to be posted at the PHSC came to the centre once in a blue moon. At other times no staff or doctor is visible at the centre. Meanwhile, even as the villagers see electric wires passing through their villages, the people are yet to get the benefit of power supply.

When some projects like those under the north eastern region community resource management project for upland areas taken up by Ukhrul district community resource management society and International Fund for agricultural development (IFAD) under the funding of DoNER and NEC stopped, the hope of getting electric supply in the village vanished from the minds of the villagers.
Another basic problem faced by the people of the area is unavailability of safe drinking water. There are no other sources of water in the area except collecting from the gorges and small streams at the foothills of the surrounding hills. Villagers have to go a long distance for collecting water for all purposes. In order to solve the problem of drinking water, the villagers have many times requested their local MLA, A Aja and concerned authorities of the public health department but all their efforts have gone in vain, the villagers lamented.

The local MLA and the authorities had given assurance for the procurement of pipes so that water can be brought down from uphill to the villages but when the people demanded it as per their assurance, the authorities stated that there were no funds for providing the pipes. There is only one government UJB school at Awang Kassom having around one hundred students but the school has no proper basic infrastructure. Recalling that the school was built by villagers in 1975 with the amount contributed by the villagers and some help from the state government, they lamented that since then no authorities of the government had even looked after the condition of the school building.

The most important infrastructure for a school, the benches and desks, were unseen at the school. The day to day requirement for teaching students like stationary materials, chalk, dusters, chairs had to be bought by the money contributed by the villagers. The school has classes from nursery to V. The brick walls of the school building were supported by wood as they are ready to fall down as they have been neglected for many years. Myanmarese citizens come to the village for doing business there. They reach the village after passing through Chingai from Somara, a village in Myanmar located at the border between India and Myanmar. The main bread earning occupation of the people of the area is cutting pine wood and selling them at Kohima in Nagaland through Jessami. The pine wood logs are sold at Rs. 3 to 3.50 per piece by the villagers which is a meager amount compared to their labour.
Nagaland BJP snubs Congress remarks
KOHIMA, sept 13 (MExN): The BJP, Nagaland unit, has looked right through the recent allegations made by the Congress against it. "The statements of the Leaderless and divided State Congress are only further exposure of the Party’s in depth anguish, panic and frustrations after losing the people’s mandate," a release issued by O Mozamo Ngullie, Spokesman, BJP Nagaland has stated. Ngullie has stated that the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the State BJP had further aggravated the ‘frustrations and discouragements’ of the Congress Party as it was a grand success and turned out to be a ‘Mega Show’ as rightly termed by the opposition Congress. While saying that the propaganda of the State Congress in branding the BJP as a Party against the Minorities and Christians in particular had become a futile exercise, the BJP has further blamed the Congress for obstructing the candidatures of Christians such as GG Swell and PC Alexander for the post of President of India. The Congress has also been blamed for turning a blind eye to the recent arsons and attacks against churches and Christian institutes. Referring to the murder of Graham Staines, Ngullie questioned as to why the Congress failed to disclose the name of the Congress MLA who led Dara Singh to murder Staines. The BJP has also stated that the ‘Bed Rock of Naga Society’ attitude should not come in the way of the Naga Peace Process. While referring to the Prime Minister’s package to Nagaland as announced by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Ngullie has stated, "Contrary to the Party’s claims, the Congress led UPA government had stalled even the Prime Minister’s Special Development Package meant for the people of Nagaland by failing to release the funds meant for the same Prime Minister’s package."
Missionaries trying to create Christian belt : BJP New Kerala
Ranchi: The Bhartiya Janata Party today alleged that missionaries were trying to create a Christian belt in the country through largescale conversion of the poor in the name of spreading education and health services. Addressing a press conference here, senior BJP leader and Jharkhand state unit President Yadunath Pandey alleged that the missionaries were trying to create a Christian belt from Nagaland to Nagpur. ''The missionaries, who are enticing poor people for conversion in the name of education and healthcare, are no less than the mythical demon Taraka, who tried to kill Lord Krishna by trying to breastfeed poisonous milk to him,'' he said. Mr Pandey said the 'vices' of the missionaries should be stopped to prevent any attempt to create another nation. ''Conversion is a big problem in the nascent state of Jharkhand also and the state government is taking measures to check the menace,'' he said. The BJP leader said the missionaries in the state were resorting to divide and rule policy and 'instigating' the poor tribals and non-tribals to fight among themselves.
UNLF leader Sanayaima challenges India to practice democracy The Imphal Free Press
HONG KONG, Sep 13: The leader of a rebel group in India`s northeast challenged the world`s biggest democracy to live up to its name and let the people of the troubled state of Manipur choose for themselves if they want independence. RK Sanayaima, chairman of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), said there was no room for peace talks with New Delhi without U.N. mediation, nor any middle ground short of a plebiscite on the restoration of Manipur`s "sovereignty."

The UNLF was established in 1964 and has been waging an armed struggle since 1990 for independence for nearly two million people in the lush valleys and forested hills of Manipur on India`s far eastern border with Myanmar. "Whether we remain with India or whether we become a sovereign, independent nation: let the people decide," Sanayaima told Reuters in his first ever interview with foreign media. "I think if India is the largest democracy in the world then they should accept the challenge."
The softly spoken underground leader, sporting a goatee and glasses, was speaking on a trip to Hong Kong shrouded in secrecy. Refusing to say how he left Manipur or where he was going next, he requested this story be issued only after he left the city. "If necessary, we will continue our struggle for another hundred years because it is the very fundamental right that we are fighting for, the national right that we are fighting for, so we cannot afford to get tired," he said. Sanayaima, who turns 58 next week, said he decided to speak out "to reach out to the outside world, so that this Indian occupation is put to an end."
India`s Home (interior) Ministry spokesman was not immediately available to comment on Sanayaima`s remarks. India has stationed around 50,000 soldiers in Manipur, but there is widespread popular resentment against the military`s powers to arrest and kill suspects. The rebel leader said his force would be prepared to lay down arms if the Indian government agreed to a U.N.-monitored plebiscite in Manipur, withdraw its armed forces and allow U.N. peacekeepers into the former princely state.
"For us, without the involvement of any third party, particularly the United Nations, the peace process cannot be trustworthy," said Sanayaima, who only uses one name.
ARMY OFFENSIVE
Late last year the Indian army launched a major operation in Manipur, and said it had inflicted heavy losses on both the UNLF and other rebel groups there. But Sanayaima insisted the UNLF, which he said had around 2,000 armed cadres, was not on the run. "We are not fighting pitched battles against the invading Indian forces, but that doesn`t mean we are running away. If at all we are running away then they should be able to come to our base headquarters. So far they haven`t done that," he said.
He said New Delhi had yet to respond to his proposal for a plebiscite, first made in January. Nor has the UNLF responded to the Indian government`s overtures for talks, he said. "The Indian government sent some feelers for talks. So far we have not responded," he said. "The peace talks that the government of India has had with other groups in the region have not produced any satisfactory resolution of the conflicts."
Manipur is one of seven states in India`s northeast, home to more than 200 tribes. The remote area, ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, has been racked by separatist insurgencies since India gained independence from Britain in 1947. Sanayaima said India was likely to try another offensive in the coming dry season, in a conflict which has cost more than 10,000 lives.
"There is no middle point where we can meet with India because we were a sovereign independent country before India annexed Manipur in 1949 and we just want to regain that sovereign independence," he said. "After that we can become a good and friendly country with India. And ... we have many things to learn from India."
Manipuris boast of two thousand years of history as an independent Hindu kingdom until the Maharaja agreed, allegedly under duress, to the state`s accession to India in 1949.

Naga New Year Festival POSTED BY MYANMAR.ONE

Every year in January. NAGA New Year is celebrated. This year, the Festival will be celebrated in Layshi, Sagaing Division, Union of Myanmar.It is the tradition of the NAGA people to share joy and happiness with friends and guests on this auspicious New Year and Thanksgiving celebrations to mother nature for granting bountiful harvest for all year round.Myanmar is a land of diverse topography and national races. High up on the mountains of North West Myanmar are the proud national group, known to the world as NAGA, one of the over 100 different national residents of the Union of Myanmar.
The NAGA Hills, as commonly referred to, have steep slopes and deep ravines. Cold wind blows during the winter months. Summer months are not hot but cool. Streams leap over huge boulders or hiss quietly along. The climate may be harsh for the NAGA people and those of the brethren Myanmar nationals, but the NAGA New Year Festival in the NAGA Hills will give each and every visitor to Myanmar an experience which is closer to nature, and an experience to cherish.
This year's NAGA Festival will be celebrated during the 2nd week of January 2006. The exact dates will be announced soon. The venue of the Festival is Layshi in Sagaing Division, which is accessible from Mandalay to Homalin by plane; an adventurous upstream to Htamanthi by boat or car and to Layshi by car.Further information on NAGA Festival 2006 will be posted on website soon.

Manmohan to hold talks with Bush today Assam Tribune
NEW YORK, Sept 13 (PTI) — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here today with a heavy agenda covering meetings with US President George W Bush, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and other world leaders who have assembled for the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session. Singh, who flew in from Paris after a successful summit with French President Jacques Chirac, will meet Bush this evening (0415 hours IST tomorrow) at the American leader's request. This will be their second meeting in less than two months after they signed a historic deal in Washington during the Prime Minister’s visit under which the US offered to resume nuclear fuel supplies to Indian reactors.
The two leaders are likely to review progress on the agreement between the two countries under which both sides are expected to take follow up steps in implementing the deal. Meanwhile, after a two-day successful visit to France, the Prime Minister secured French support for India’s civilian nuclear programme. Singh, who would be addressing the UN General Assembly tomorrow, was given a ceremonial farewell at Orly Airport before he boarded the special Air India flight for New York along with his delegation that included External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran. Prior to his departure, he met India Studies scholars at his hotel. French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin hosted a dinner in his honour last night.
Army operation against ULFA ultras brings untold miseries for Tinsukia villagers
Villagers caught between devil and deep sea From our Reporter
TINSUKIA, Sept 13: More than 10 thousand people of four villages of No.1 and No. 2 Bongaon, Laika and Dhodia are nearly in house arrest due to an operation carried out by the 2nd Mountain Division of the Army against the ULFA, since August 31. This has resulted in widespread anger and protest from various quarters. Earlier, they were under similar pressure from the ULFA ultras. Yesterday, leading organizations, including the All Assam Moran Students’ Union, the Assam Mottock Yuba Chattra Parishad, the All Assam Tea Tribe Students’ Union, the All Assam Tai Ahom Students’ Union, the AJYCP Tinsukia District Committee, the Tinsukia District Women Coordination Committee, Dibru-Saikhowa Bio-diversity Protection Committee presented a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Tinsukia DC to intervene in the matter. It may be mentioned here that due to the ongoing operation since the last 14-day, villagers have been forced to stay indoor most of the time. The villagers are facing food and medicine shortage. The Army is even checking supply of food stuff in the village in order to stop supply of ration to the ULFA group hauled inside the forest reserve. It may be mentioned here that two shopkeepers of Guijan Ghat Badal Chakroborty and C Chand arrested on charges of supplying ration to ULFA cadres.
Just three days back, an 8-year-old girl Kajaluati Mili daughter of Bhadreshwar Mili of Laika Phansidia died due to lack of proper treatment. Villagers here have alleged that due to lack of a boat, the father of the ill-fated child could not cross Laika Nalla for taking permission from the Army authorities in Pamuah for taking the child outside for treatment. Since the entire area is cordoned by the Army, the poor villagers, particularly the fishermen and those whose livelihood is based on animal rearing are not able to carry on with their day-to-day activities. Source have revealed that due to the restriction of movement by Army, several villagers of Bongaon are reportedly missing. Yesterday, in a press meet at the Moran Students’ Union office, villagers of Bongaon alleged that the inhuman torture heaped upon villagers this time round has even exceeded those carried out during the time of Operation Bajrang and Operation Rhino. The villagers have also said that the Army has asked for labours from each household in constructing a temporary Army camp at Laika Pamuah Gaon. Each household has also been asked to contribute bamboo towards the camp. The villagers revealed that from Laika Phansidia village alone, Mahabir Mili, Chamanoi Danotee, Karne Kuli, Ajoy Mili, Babu Murah, Babul Pegon, Sonaahar Pegu are missing. They also questioned that many more must have been missing from other villages. On the other hand, the Army has also seized more than 300 boats in Bongaon and Guijan area, according to sources. Yesterday, the AASU has submitted a memorandum to the district administration urging it to take necessary step so that innocent villagers are not harassed in the name of operation against ULFA. They have further demanded supply of sufficient food, medicine and other necessary items to these villagers. Meanwhile, according to reports, the district administration, got wiser after the event and has finally accorded permission to run boat services in the Bongaon area


Frans on 09.14.05 @ 02:25 PM CST [link]


Tuesday, September 13th

Dr Lotha asks youth to be specific for future


Dr Lotha asks youth to be specific for future Asian Tribune
By Oken Jeet Sandham - Asian Tribune - Asian Tribune – Wokha, 13 September, (NEPS): Nagaland Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Excise, Dr TM Lotha called upon the youth to be specific of their future and for which they had to choose the correct path. Addressing 21st Annual Session cum Youth Conference here at Wokha Village Baptist Church, the Minister said the Christian youth in the State had great responsibilities as a believer because God wanted to use their "energetic, enthusiastic and intelligent assets" for the future younger generations. Dr Lotha referred to people's saying that the "youths are the future of the society and they are going to live for tomorrow and not the old men and women." If that was so, he further asked, "What type of life and what type of future you want to live in?"

"The answer lies with you," the Minister told the youth adding the God had opened everything for them. "Therefore the choice is yours," he pointed out. "If you want to become good men, that can be done or if you want to be bad men, the choice is yours," he said adding, "God has given you the liberty to choose and you cannot blame anybody."

Dr Lotha also said the Nagas lacked responsibility in many areas and further pointed out that they seemed to be one sided. "We only know how to claim our rights and are very assertive and never knowing that we have our responsibilities and duties towards the society," he stated. "This is the reason why our Naga society has faced many problems." Recalling of the past hard working cultures, the Minister regretted that present youth failed to inherit the qualities their forefathers left. Informing the gathering as to how Japanese, Korean, and Chinese people had advanced in various fronts due to their hard working, he called upon the youth to rethink and start afresh to compete themselves with the fast changing world. So that they could live and develop themselves as responsible citizens with dignity, he added.
State wide boycott of colleges today Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Sept 13: The All Nagaland College Students Union (ANCSU) has called for boycott of functioning of all colleges in Nagaland today in protest against the delay in disbursement of post-metric scholarships to college students by the central Govt. Another boycott would be called on Sept 16 if todays' boycott failed to yield positive results. Earlier Chichamo Ngullie, president ANCSU, had met the Chief Minister and said that the CM had assured that the disbursement of scholarships would be arranged. The president has asked all student leaders and head of institutions to extend their support for the cause.
Arrested African an insurgent kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Sept 12: One of the three Africans arrested in Nagaland is a member of an insurgent group in Nigeria, police investigating the case have found. Nigerian Chedozie Martin has told the police that he is a leader of an outfit called Massob, which is fighting “for the actualisation of an independent homeland called Biafra”.
The trio had entered Nagaland without carrying Restricted Area Permits, mandatory for foreigners visiting the Northeast. They were found in possession of two fake passports, a small pouch containing brown sugar and a diary that mentioned three recent hawala transactions amounting to $15 million, $12 million and $11 million. Martin said he had come to India to set up a “Massob Asian network”, sources said. Dimapur police have informed the intelligence bureau as well as the ministry of external affairs about the development. The sources said investigating agencies in Delhi are finding it difficult to co-ordinate with the Nigerian embassy as “almost every other day there is a Nigerian apprehended somewhere in the country for drugs and money laundering”.
Two blank identity cards of the Massob outfit have also been seized from the accused. The police have also found that the arrested Nigerian had links with the international “419” gang, which operates through the Internet to extort and kidnap people.
Naga Integration Movement: A Historical Perspective By: U A Shimray pusbished in Kangla on line Before the free India formally induct her Constitution, Manipur has already drafted Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947. In Constitution drafting, Maharaja of Manipur, Bodh Chandra Singh, invited Hill representatives including Athiko Daiho and Tiankham however; they demanded to incorporate a clause- “the right of any section of the hill people to secede at the end of the five year period, should the conditions within the Constitution not be satisfactory.” The Chairman of the Constitution Making Committee F.F. Pearson drew the personal attention of the Manipuri Maharaja to the dissension of the Hill people. However, it was not followed accordingly. The Constitution introduce as- “extend to the whole Manipur State inclusive of the Hill Areas saving that it shall not apply in any matter where a specific reservation of powers is made to any Authority in the Hills under the provisions of the Manipur State Hill (Administration) Regulation, 1947 (Chapter I: 2)”.
The Naga National League (NNL) headed by Athiko Daiho, in September 1946, was organised to consolidate Nagas of Manipur in order to bring together Naga people separated by colonial boundaries. In colonial period, the political department of the British Crown administered Naga areas of Manipur. The Manipur Maharaja and his durbar administered the valley areas. The Naga league categorically assert that they will not remain in Manipur since the Manipuri Maharaja had never conquered Nagas and declared that it would be impossible for the Nagas to preserve the best of their culture, tradition, customary laws and political practices. The movement expressed their strong desire to merge with the Nagas Hill district of Assam (now the present Nagaland state) through the boycott of the preparation of the electoral rolls in the Naga areas and the election to the first Legislative Assembly of Manipur in 1948.

Nagas protest against the dissection of the Naga Hills and sullen to the political arrangement of Manipur. A campaign led by the Naga League was launched during the Chief Ministership of Capt. Priyabatra Singh. The symbolic expression was “No House Tax Payment” to the Government of Manipur, but they decided to pay the tax to the Deputy Commissioners of the Naga Hills District in Assam. The Manipur Government took severe action against the revolting people, in which three persons were killed, four others received serious bullet injuries and Athiko Daiho and N. Modoli were arrested and imprisoned at Dum Dum Central Jail, Calcutta on 27 August 1948. The United Naga Council and Mao Naga Council resolved to observe 27 August as “Martyrs’ Day”.
The Naga People’s Convention (NPC) held at Kohima in 1957 pressed for integration of Naga areas. This was followed by Mokokchung Convention held in 1959, wherein the Sixteen-Point memorandum was adopted. The Clause 13 of 16-Point Agreement stress for the consolidation of contiguous Naga areas. In support of the Naga unification, Nagaland State Legislative Assembly have passed Resolutions, first on 12 December 1964 as, “It is hereby unanimously resolved that the Government of India be urged for the integration of the Naga areas adjoining the State of Nagaland to fulfill the aspirations by the Naga peoples’ Convention held at Mokokching in 1959.” The second on 28 August, 1970, the third on 14 September, 1994 and the latest resolution re-affirmed on 18 December 2003.
The Naga Integration Committee (NIC) of Manipur made an effort to the cause. On 26th July 1968, the NIC submit a memorandum to Smt. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India stating for the integration of Naga area of Manipur with the state of Nagaland. The NIC’s memo wishes to integrate of all Naga areas within one administrative unit. It further states that integration would definitely strengthen the hands of the administration of the state of Nagaland and the solution of the present trouble there would become much easier. First Convention of the Naga People of Manipur under the Sessional Chairman, James L. Kilakhe and Secretary Peter Pheiray was held at Mao (Gate) on 16th May 1970. The Convention unanimously resolved that, “the Naga people move to live together in one state has undoubtedly been motivated by genuine patriotic urge.” Convention acknowledges the Naga Peace Mission’s inclusion the Naga areas of Manipur into Ceasefire agreement is but recognition of the facts. The Convention outrageously condemns the delegation of few Nagas to New Delhi in demand of statehood for Manipur in the name of the Naga public. The resolution state that, “(T)he plain people and their Naga agents’ plea that on granting statehood to Manipur, the Nagas will cease their demand for integration into Nagaland State exposes only their political immaturity and utter incapability to measure the depth of Naga political mind. The talk of granting District Autonomy makes no sense at all. The Naga unilaterally uphold the sanctity of the16-Point Agreement.”
The Naga Integration Central Committee (NICC) under the leadership of Rev. Savino and T. Chuba, with its Headquarter at Kohima deliberated to work for early integration of all the contiguous Naga areas. The NICC meeting appointed Action Committee Members including Rani Guidiliu, Rishang et al. In the Executive Committee of the NICC on 21st October 1970 resolved to observe “Naga Integration Day” throughout Naga areas in the 20th November.
The NICC delegation including Chairman M. Savino, Rishang Keishing (Ex-MP, Gen. Secy, NICC), T. Haralu (Vice-Chairman, NICC), N. Theyo (Ex-Minister), Mason Riame (Joint Secretary, NICC), Kongsui Luithui (Joint Secretary, NICC), James L. Kilakhe (Joint Secretary, NICC)5, P. Shilu Ao (Ex-Chief Minister), K. Envey (Ex-Minister), NG Mono (Ex-MLA), D. Athuibo (Ex-MLA), TH Ngullie (MLA), Tokheho Sema (MLA) and M. Vero (MP) submitted Memorandum to Smt. Indira Gandhi on 9 November 1970. The memo says, “(T)he movement of the Naga integration of Naga territories, as a matter of fact, is nearly as old as the freedom movement in India. The movement gained momentum under the leadership of Rani Guidiliu which was in essence against the British Government who kept the Nagas divided into Naga Hills, Manipur and North Cachar of Assam…”
The General Meeting of the NICC was held at Shajaoba (Mao), Manipur on 22nd January 1972. The NICC emphasis and appeal to the Government of India and the Naga leaders to lose no time in resuming the negotiations, since protracted uncertainty and insecurity can only have the most harmful effect on the material, mental and moral well-being of the Nagas, as well as on the whole North Eastern region of India. Also, the resolution congratulates the Meiteis over their achievement of Statehood. And also appeal to lend their full support to the Nagas’ demand for the integration of all contiguous Naga areas.

What Went Wrong…
In spite of Nagas’ demand for integration, the state re-organisation upgraded Manipur into full-fledged state of the Indian Union in 1972. The upgradation strengthens the electoral politics in Manipur. NIC entered Manipur politics. This electoral politics bring new political paradigm vis-à-vis weakening the Naga integration movement. In other word, NIC entering into active politics of Manipur state eventually divert its aims and objectives.
The NICC also actively participate in the Nagaland State’s electoral politics. An eventual capitalisation of state politics deteriorate Naga integration movement resulting some members compelled to abandon NICC out of frustration whereas other continue their individual political game in the name of integration. The “intention” was clear in the NIC’s resolution of 23 March 1972 at Imphal, directing it’s MLAs to join the Ministry of United Legislative Party of Manipur and also to participate District Council election. This was followed by the political shift with the merger of some members of NIC to the All India Congress Party. The Joint Agreement for the merger on 4th August 1972 condition that, “the Congress Party does not oppose Naga Integration Movement and does not consider Naga Integration Movement as anti-party, anti- national, anti- state and unconstitutional activity.”
On the other hand, the 16-Point Agreement between the NPC and GoI (under the Ministry of External Affairs) open a new political corridor for the absorption to the Indian Constitution. With this agreement, the Nagaland Statehood Bill was introduced on 28 August 1962. The Bill entered as the Thirteenth Amendment of the Indian Constitution. The article was inserted namely 371(A)- Special Provision with respect to the State of Nagaland and accommodate many aspects of the 16- Points submitted by the Nagas delegations led by the Dr. Imkongliba. For instance, “no Act of Parliament in respect of- religious, social practices, customary law and procedure, ownership and transfer of land and its resources…” Unfortunately, the 16-Point Agreement was not adequately honour by the GoI. The important issues like “Naga areas under the Ministry of External Affairs”, “Consolidation of Contiguous Naga Areas” and “Transitional Period” are totally ignored by the government.
The Indian State has shown marked resilience in trying to accommodate the Naga revolt within the ambit of the Indian Constitution- for instance, creation of Nagaland State and the drawing of the Naga people into the democratic process being major success points. However, the pertinent issues raised by the Nagas remain unresolved. On the other hand, the success of creating Nagaland is eventual backlash political division among the Naga society. At the same time, encourage the Nagas to take part actively in the state’s electoral politics either in Manipur or Nagaland. The Indian policy to divide Nagas is crystal clear so that the unification movement is arrested and weakens the Naga insurgency. Another misfortune to the integration movement is upheaval of insurgency politics that took the Naga civil society movement for the Naga integration as pre-mature politics based on Indian Constitution. At that moment, the Naga political movement is totally overshadowed by the concept of “sovereignty”. Also, the wisdom of Naga civil societies and integration protagonist simply drown itself into the electoral politics.

Remarks
Ongoing Naga ceasefire and political talks opened a new political dimension based on ethnic politics and hegemony in the region. The recent introduction of “territorial politics” and revivalism of Naga civil societies’ demand for the Naga integration now play significant role in region’s politics. In other words, the old map, which the British had introduced, has become a major bone of contention between the different ethnic groups.
Naga unification process has already originated when the British unilaterally divided Naga Hills into Manipur, Assam and Burma with a vile motive of dividing them so that they might not be able to revolt against the British. This was done at the time when the Nagas were politically weak and disunited to resist their will and power. Indeed, Naga integration movement is not recent construct politics but have long historical struggle. But the Indian policy to keep the Nagas divided is clear. On the other hand, Naga civil societies could not sustain to the best due to the internal differences. At the moment, the Meiteis’ factor to the Naga politics vis-à-vis Naga politics “conditioning” the Meitei community puzzles government of India. The fact is the “conditioning politics” threatens the ethnic-co-existence in the region.

Naga integration/unification is an “unkind” word at the moment. And this is grossly misinterpreted in the present ethnic conflicts. The historical facts of the integration movement initiated by the Naga civil societies are misread overwhelmedly in the modern media. For the Nagas, unification and peace process is indispensable political agenda. Indian recognition “uniqueness of the Naga history and political situation” is important political steps. It is understandable that “uniqueness” and integration is nothing to be anomaly but shares the same political statement. The 31 August 2005 Kohima rally for Naga integration is one historic moment for the Nagas. It again manifests the spirit of Naga to living together. If, the GoI is sincere enough to the Naga issue and Naga understand Indian commitment to the peace then the solution is not that far. However, one observation is that whenever, there is popular government in Nagaland and Manipur the word Naga integration can be troublesome.
Ukhrul `dry district` kangla John K. Kaping

Ukhrul, Sept 7: Ukhrul could be now be declared as a "dry district" under the NSCN slogan, "Nagaland for Christ". The Tangkhul Wung Region (WTR) in its code name "Operation for Nagas Peace" has almost controlled anti-social elements especially those involved In the sale and manufacture of liquor in Ukhrul town covering the areas Hundung, Ukhrul Rayo Tang locality, Ukhrul Phungcham and Ukhrul Meizailung where the highest sale and manufacturing of local liquor (Leiyi) is reported apart from being areas of highest proliferation. Viewing the condition at present in Ukhrul regarding alcohol consumption and sale, Ukhrul can be almost declared a, "dry district". The so called local made liquor (Leiyi) cannot be found anywhere as before due to the, "Operation for Nagas Peace" keeping strict vigil. Major H. Shadang and Abraham, caretaker (GPRN) and gaurd commander (NSCN) respectively when contacted by IFP somewhere in Ukhrul district disclosed that the main target and objective of the government of the GPRN is to stop the illegal sale of liqour as it ruined scores of promising upcoming younger generations.

A very old man who is very voracious drinker from his early life and accustomed to the traditionally used local liquor said that the controlling alcoholism in the district is a good step for the people in moulding the students who are the pillars of tomorrow. During the operation just in 40 days more than 70000 litres of local liquor and 15000 tins containing liquor were seized and destroyed, said the caretaker and guard commander adding that the task is an intensive war to stop any type of consumption of intoxicants amongst the people. To build a national goal all these things must be cleared up in the whole of Ukhrul district, they said assuring that within a short time it will be cleared. Meanwhile, the WTR has issued an order on September 5 to all the concerned Tangkhul villages and the house owners directing them to be very conscious and verify properly that all their tenants are not indulging in any illegal activities. The house owners must verify the tenants before accommodating them and prostitutes must be avoided, it said.

`Rs. 20 crores collected by UNLF this year` The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 12: The investigation of the arrested cadre of the UNLF who was nabbed by the Imphal east police commando unit yesterday, it was revealed that the outfit had collected a huge amount of more than Rs. 20 crores from almost all the government departments within the current year. The hard core activist of the UNLF identified as Maibam Sharat alias Suresh alias Chaoren Meitei, 40, son of late Shamu of Kongpal Kongkham Laikai was arrested yesterday. He is a self styled lieutenant of the UNLF and a member of central committee of the outfit. In an interaction with mediaperson at his office chamber, SP Imphal east L Kailun said that the police recovered one 128 mega byte pen drive from the arrested cadre. The drive stored all the data and information regarding the revenue statement of the outfit.

The SP said that some of the information stored in the pen drive is yet to be analysed as most of files were locked with passwords. Only some of them could be opened so far, he said adding the files so far opened were mostly related with the expenditure and money collected from the government departments. The police have found out a list of the amount the outfit had collected department wise from one of the files. Almost all the departments had provided monthly or yearly contributions according to the statements in the files. In one of the files which was displayed to mediapersons, a detailed statement of the arrangements made in the state food and civil supply department in connection with the transportations and appointment of contractors was contained. The money collected from the transporters as well as the names of the contractors and officials of the department were also found in the file.

The SP also said that another file stored in the drive clearly stated the internal expenditure of the revenue section of the unit the cadre belonged to. According to it the monthly statement in the unit was around Rs. 45,000 and said that as per police investigation, the unit under the arrested cadre had only around 10 cadres. He further observed that the statement shows that the UNLF had been providing maximum amount to its cadres for fooding, lodging and other required aid. L Kailun went on to say that the UNLF used e-mail, mobile phones and landline telephones while communicating among themselves, as revealed by the arrested cadre. In the meantime, two activists of the proscribed KCP were also arrested by the Imphal east police from Nongmeibung near Kusum oil pump this morning at around 10.30 am.

The police recovered two powerful hand grenades of Chinese and German make with one detonator from them. One Marvel brand scooter bearing registration number MN-1M/ 3740 was also seized from them. The scooter was hijacked by the two cadres for their use. According to the police, the two cadres were moving there with an intention to do something violent in the area. The two activists were identified as A Nnugshi Singh alias Ibomcha, 35, of Sekmaijin of Thoubal district and Haobijam John Singh alias James, 20, of Keibul Lamjao of Bishenpur district.

3 Nigerians arrested in Nagaland Assam Tribune
KOHIMA, Sept 12 – Three Nigerians have been arrested in Nagaland for travelling with ‘illegal’ travel documents and possessing brown sugar, the police said. The three were initially arrested for entering the state through the Chumukedima check gate yesterday without the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and face deportation, police said.

Dimapur Superintendent of Police Bidhu Shekher on verification of their travel documents found that one of them was travelling on someone else’s passport. Two fake passports and 15 gram of brown sugar were recovered from their possession, the police said. The three claimed that they had come to meet someone in Kohima to hand over a “gift” (money), the police said adding investigation was on. –PTI

KYKL clarifies on MUSU president`s statement The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 12: Reacting sharply to the abducted MUSU president Kh Ashokumar`s video recorded statement made in the custody of RPF/PLA, which was broadcast in the local television channel ISTV, the underground Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, KYKL has said that the statement was not made from his heart but under duress. A statement issued by the secretary, publicity and research, KYKL, Lanngamba Mangang, recalling the September 6 MUSU incident and chain of events in the aftermath of the incident, said Ashokumar`s statement could not be termed a substantial one as no established law courts accepted statements taken from culprits under custody. Although the entire event relating to the abduction of MUSU president could not be taken seriously, the outfit however is compelled to clarify on the matter as Ashokumar`s statement has relevance to KYKL and some of his statements were based on facts, the statement said. Responding point by point to what the MUSU president had said in the video statement, Lanngamba clarified that Ashokumar had no relation with the outfit. However, being a MUSU president and students leader, the outfit put forward some proposals to him related with quality education as the outfit`s Operation New Kangleipak has been actively working in this vital sector.

Admitting that the MUSU president shared ideas, met STFs of the ONK and established contact through telephone relating to bringing up of quality education, his relation with the outfit however was never a personal one nor was he asked to perform the outfit`s task. Ashokumar did inform the outfit that the RPF/PLA had approached MUSU to organize a literary meet on September 24 and 25 in connection with the raising day of the outfit and had asked what could be done on the matter, Lanngamba`s statement said adding that suggestion was given to the MUSU president that it would be better not to organize the function in Manipur University. Citing reasons, the statement said organizing a literary meet related with the raising day of the underground RPF/PLA would make the police keep an eye on innocent students and any faulty step could hold up the entire process of conversion of the dying Manipur University into a central University. Once MUSU started organizing such a function other underground organisations would also ask for the same and MUSU would not be able to organize all such functions. The outfit never took serious attention of celebrating raising days, and the KYKL always tried to organize it in lowest profile, it said adding that the outfit wants other fraternal organisations to do the same.

Making its stance clear, the statement said holding a literary meet on the raising day of an underground organisation is like organizing raising day of the organisation and every civil society or individual having linguistic competence will understand the term meaningfully. Using force on a student union, which indeed is no match to an underground organisation, for failing to organize a literary meet is violation of democratic rights of the students and is against quality education. Ashokumar in his video recorded statement said that MUSU could not organize literary meets as approached by RPF/PLA as KYKL imposed a ban on holding such functions, Lanngamba`s statement said and asked as to why harassment is being given to students. Asking as to what a MUSU president could do in the middle of PLA and KYKL, it went on to say that the matter is related to the relationship between the two outfits and does not concern the MUSU.
A PLA officer stationed outside Manipur did inform a KYKL functionary about holding a function in Manipur university, but due to lack of knowledge on the matter, our officer assured to respond after getting details from home, the statement. The statement went on to say that KYKL has no power to obstruct the organizing of raising day function of any underground organisation inside Manipur university campus. however, the outfit wants the students body to concentrate only on bringing up quality education rather than organizing functions for several underground organisations round the year. Asserting that the KYKL believes in the people`s verdict, the statement further said that final conclusion of the incident be left to MU, MUSU and the people. Such a conclusion should be arrived at in a free and fair manner and not at the behest of a particular organisation. if not the KYKL would stand tooth and nail against it.
ULFA talks team seeks people’s suggest ions
The 11-member People’s Consultative Group (PCG), which was nominated by the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) last Thursday, has decided to seek suggestions from cross-section of people of the state to frame the ground rules for the proposed talks between the ULFA and the government. Eight members who met here last evening for the first time felt that the people’s opinion is ‘‘a basic necessity’’ for framing the ground rules. ‘‘Although we are yet to receive any guidelines from the ULFA or the government, seeking public opinion is a basic requirement at this stage,’’ Arup Borbora, a member of the group, said. Borbora said the group will soon meet Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and seek the state government’s cooperation in carrying forward the peace talks. The issues that are likely to come up during the discussions with the CM include asking the government to declare a ceasefire in consultation with the ULFA. Another member of the group and Guwahati-based editor Haider Hussain said the people of Assam have to play a crucial role in taking forward the much-awaited peace process. Three members — Indira Goswami, Ajit Kumar Bhuyan and Brajen Gogoi could not attend the meeting, because they were away from Guwahati.
Call to route gas pipeline from Myanmar through NE By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 12 – The proposed Indo-Myanmar gas pipeline should be routed through the NE region of the country instead of Bangladesh as had been proposed when the pipeline was conceived. This is a view expressed by several experts who took part in a recent seminar held at the Institution of Engineers here. Reiterating the view, Prof Tarakeswar Kataki, former head of the Department of Applied Geology, Dibrugarh University, said here that while the pipeline through Bangladesh would provide direct employment to about 1.3 lakh of persons in India, its diversion through the NE region would help generate 3.5 lakh of direct employment in the country. Besides, it will help the country earn revenue at the rate of around Rs 130 crore annually, while the Bangladesh route will make the country earn only an amount of Rs 60 crore per year as revenue, said Kataki. In its turn, the Indian Government will have to pay an amount of Rs 70 crore to Bangladesh Government per year for allowing the passage in case the pipeline is routed via the neighbouring country. Moreover, in that case, the pipeline will remain vulnerable to the saboteurs engaged by the forces inimical to India, he said. No doubt, the capital expenditure for laying the pipeline through the NE region will go up by around Rs 1,275 crore if it is laid via NE region. As, in that case, it will be two times longer than what it is proposed to be via Bangladesh.

However, the diversion will benefit the six NE States of Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, besides helping the growth of North Bengal and Kolkata in West Bengal. The point that the NE region of the country has several potential gas reserves also holds a perspective here. On the other hand, its alignment via Bangladesh will be benefiting only Kolkata and some other parts of West Bengal within the Indian territory, argued Prof Kataki. Reasoning, Kataki said, gas is an online business. It has the relevance to power, industry, domestic, agriculture and automobile sectors, among others. Bangladesh stands to benefit in case the pipeline is routed through it, in a number of ways like revenue earning, investment and royalty. But if the pipeline is routed through Arakan (Rakhine) province of Myanmar and then put through Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and then through North Bengal before reaching Kolkata, it will have tremendous positive impact on the economy of the NE region of the country, he said. For, he reasoned, Myanmar is located south of Mizoram. The exit point of enormous reserves of the gas lies on the southern part of that State. Natural gas has now emerged as the most popular and economic fuel all over the globe. It is environmentally clean and economically cheap. It can be used directly on line without refining processes. India will have to import LPG to meet its domestic requirement of the fuel. The gap between supply and demand of natural gas in India is such that the deficit in supply will stand between 4MMT and 9 MMT in 2011-12. But the country has very prospective productive gas reserves in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura and Assam. These States are located just near the potential reserves of Myanmar and Bangladesh. The recent discovery of 20 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in Myanmar off shore, south of Mizoram is significant. There is no other option left to Myanmar but to sell the produce of these reserves to India. India is planning to bring the gas thus procured to Kolkata via Bangladesh through an about 850 km-long pipeline. And this point needs to be deliberated by all the patriotic people of the country. Here is a chance to usher the NE region of the country into progress. Genuine steps to avail the chance effectively will help bringing an end to the feeling of alienation of the region’s people. Hence, this opportunity should not be missed, Kataki said.
Your time has come- be a part of ULFA-Government dialogue NET News Network Guwahati, Sept 13: The People’s Consultative Group (PCG) appointed by United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to kick off peace process with Central government today announced its e-mail, Short Messaging Services (SMS) number and postal address where people can connect and submit their suggestions and opinions based on which a peace module would be designed by the group for the next month dialogue. PCG for the convenience of every segment of society has asked the net savvy citizens to mail their opinions in pcg@yahoo.co">pcg@yahoo.co.uk whereas 9435061746 is the Cell number where suggestions can be sent through SMS. Others can drop their suggestions in the office of Parag Das Tathya Kendra, Jyoti Nagar, Bamunimaidan. Guwahati-21. Assam. India. PCG will continue receiving suggestions and opinions till September 25, 2005. The group which had its first brainstorming session on September 11 decided to build public opinion based on feedback ranging from common people to democratic organizations.
Indo-Myanmar border trade By Dr. A. Surenjit Singh Sangai
Informally from time immemorial, the people along the international border between India and Myan-mar (formerly, Burma) were always having some kind of trade relations between them. Myanmar is one of those countries which seem to have been favoured by nature. Its area is 6,76,552 sq km. It soils is rich, producing rice and other food crops in abundance. There are vast forests containing a large variety of trees from which valuable timber is extracted. The ground yields petroleum and many minerals and precious stones including rubies, saphires, jade etc. Therefore, Myan-mar has been beautifully described as an Eastern Paradise of immense riches. The Govt of India had already decided to have border trade with Myan-mar as a policy of establishing good economic relationship since 1994. The Indo-Myanmar Border trade agreement between India and Myanmar was signed on 21st January, 1994 to facilitates a congenial trade practice. The border trade at Moreh (India) and Tamu (Myanmar) was opened on 12th April, 1995. The trade is conducted in accordance with the laws, regulations and procedures in force in both countries. Necessary provisions are made available to enable the buyers of either country to inspect and take delivery of goods at the customs posts in the country of the sellers. Though the trade is to be conducted in freely convertible currencies or in currencies mutually agreed upon by the two countries under Article-III of the agreement, the trade is functioning mainly under barter trade mechanism.
The formalities in the trade: 1. An Import Export Code (IEC) number is to be obtained from the office of the Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade, RG Baruah Road, Guwahati. The sample application form is available with the Export Promotion Cell/ Commerce Cell of the State Directorate of Commerce and Industries. A sum of Rs 1,000 only in the shape of Demand Draft is to be accompanied with the application form and the amount should be drawn in favour of the Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade payable at Guwahati. 2. A contract is to be executed between Indian and Myanmarese traders specifying the items to be traded/ bartered along with the values. 3. Under the simplified norms of documentation system, the required documents for border trade are invoice, packing list, certificate of origin, phytosanttary certificate from the Plant Quarantine Office, Moreh in case of agricultural items. The Certificate of Origin is to be obtained from the Federation of All Manipur Importer Exporter Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Room No. 4 of Hotel Nataraj, near Central Bank of India, MG Avenue, Imphal or the Associated Manipur Chamber of Commerce near Dharmasala, MG Avenue, Imphal.
4. In case the items are under the Negative list of Export-Import Policy (1997-2002), licences are to be obtained from the office of the Director General of Foreign Trade, Govt of India, Ministry of Commerce, Udyok Bhavan, New Delhi. In order to carry on the border trade profitably by both countries, 22 items have been identified and declared as exchangeable items by the agreement. These items are:
1. Mustard/Rape seed, 2. Pulses and Beans, 3. Fresh vegetables, 4. Fruits, 5. Garlic, 6. Onion, 7. Chillies. 8. Spices (excluding nut-meg, mace, cloves and cassia), 9. Bamboo, 10. Minor forest produce (excluding teak), 11. Betal Nuts and leaves, 12. Food items for local consumption, 13. Tobacco, 14. Tomato, 15. Reed Broom, 16. Sesame, 17. Resin, 18. Coriander seeds, 19. Soya-bean, 20 Roasted Sunflower seeds, 21. Katha and 22. Ginger.
For free movements by the residents of the two sides, Indo-Myanmar Travel passes are issued for visit upto Kalewa/ Kalemyo in Myanmar and upto Imphal on Indian side. These passes on the Indian side are issued by DC Imphal/ DC Thoubal/ DC Chandel or SDO Moreh. Each travel pass entitles a person entry to both side for a maximum period of seven days allowing the holder to carry foreign exchange of $50 (US Dollar 50) per day. Under the Dawn to Dusk Entry pass system, the Indians have to pay Rs 10 or 60 kyats to the Myanmar authority as Entry fee for every individual while crossing the border but for entry on Indian side, no entry fee has been charged or asked by the State Govt considering the economic condition of the Myanma-rese residents along the border. In order to solve the problems of traders, the State Govt have constituted a Counselling-cum-Grievances Redressal Committee headed by the Secretary (Commerce & Industries), Govt of Manipur as chairman incorporating officials from Govt of India, Ministry of Commerce, Army, BSF, Police, Forests, Taxation, etc. The Deputy Commissioner, Chandel, SDO Moreh and SP/Chandel are also members of the committee. Complaints may be submitted to any of the committee-members. The volume of trade as per record from the Land Customs Station, Moreh with effect from 12th April, 1995 upto 15th September, 1997 was to the tune of Rs 99,06,32,896 of which the value of export of Indian items into Myanmar was Rs 56,78,88,009 and its corresponding import was Rs 42,27,44,887. The main items of exports were wheat-flour, bicycle and its parts, bleaching powder, fenugreek seeds, Ani seeds, Cumin, Soyabari, dry chillies, Agarbatti, Suman Rose Powder, Pea, Garlic, Stainless Steel etc. The main items of imports were Betal nuts, Turmeric, Red Kidney beans (Rajama), Kuth roots, Grams, Resin, Reed-brooms etc. Promotion of Indo-Myanmar Border Trade:
i). The State Govt will have to take positive steps to optimise the advantages offered by the opening of the border trade with Myanmar at Moreh in Chandel district.
ii) An Export Cell in the Directorate of Commerce and Industries will be the nodal agency which, interalia, will:
- educate, train and guide traders/entrepreneurs in international trading.
- conduct and export potential survey.
- undertake measures to promote trade-motivated industrial activity
- optimise use of agricultural/ horticultural/ forest resources across the border.
- facilitate setting up of trade centres with integrated and in-house basic facilities.
Suggestion for increasing the approved list of exchangeable items:
The officials as well as traders have suggested to increase the 22 items in the list of exchangeable commodities since most of these items except say five items are found to be viable and profitable on import of Myanmar's origin. The following items are proposed for inclusion, 1. Cardamon (small), 2. Coconut oil. 3. Ground nut seeds and oil, 4. Peanuts, 5. Rice, 6. Silk cocoons and yarns, 7. Teak (Raw cotton and mats), 9. Bamboo caps and bamboo bases household items, 10. Poppy seeds, 11. Plastic granules/ materials, 12. Paraffin wax, 13. Cashew nuts, Mace (Javitri), Nutmeg and Cinnamon, 14. Gems and Jewellery items, 15. Agar-wood, 16. Myanmar's origin stationary items, Toilet soap, washing powder, cosmetic etc. 17. Animal skin, skin hides and 18. Third country product/ items like blanket, dress materials, specified items of electronic goods etc.
Some suggestions for improvement:
1. Banking: As per Border Trade Agreement between India and Myan-mar the Border trade at Moreh would be serviced by UBI on the Indian side. On Myanmarese side, the banking arrangement at Tamu would be serviced by Myanmar Economic Bank (MEB). So, far, UBI's contributor in development of border trade is not upto the desired level and its needs improvement.
2. Road: Road is the golden path of the trade. The existing road between Imphal and Moreh needs major improvement. The road is too narrow and its should be double-lane road. It should be broadened and kept black top-ped throughout the year. Improvement of road communications from Pallel to Moreh particularly Teng-noupal to Khudengthabi is a must.
3. Communication: Improvement of telephone/Fax service at Moreh is required immediately. The plan for laying of optical fibre line between Imphal and Moreh may be taken up expeditiously to meet the urgent need of the traders. Fax services are required immediately. The present postal service at the border town of Moreh also requires strengthening or prompt delivery of documents. Speed-post facilities should be introduced.
4. Model town: Construction of a model town at Moreh is highly required in view of the development across the border in Tamu. Moreh town is required to improve the existing outdated market.
5. Transportation: At present, means of transportation is private carriers on the road like bus, trucks, Tata sumo, etc. Uninterrupted transport service is required for which proper security arrangement along the roads and proper maintenance of roads is a must. Construction of railways line upto Moreh may also be kept for long-term plan. The system for issuing of transport pass system by the Taxation Department is to be introduced for accelerating and improving the easy movement of import cargos.
6. Law and order: The law and order situation is highly unsatisfactory. Govt should put improvement of law and order problem as top priority. Insurgency problem and frequent looting of bus and trucks along the road between Imphal and Moreh and in the Moreh town itself should be effectively checked.
7. Black marketeers: Particularly black marke-teers should be checked and liquidated. Abundant quantities of Heroin no. 4 is smuggled and brought from Myanmar illegally by black-marketeers. It causes drug problem. Among the black-marketeers, many have contact with police personnel for this business. And all the police stations starting from Moreh to Imphal, collect huge amount of money from the smugglers and small traders particularly who are coming from Moreh by bus/ truck etc. The collected amount is entered in their own pockets. Therefore, all the black-marketeers as well as corrupt police personnel should be checked immediately.

The task before us Sangai Express
Manipur is passing through troubled times with different power players pulling in different directions and there have been times too when Government officials have been put to extreme pressure by two contending parties over a contract work or a supply order. The presence of so many armed groups, some matured enough to know its own ideologies and discipline its cadres, while others are nothing much more than a bunch of rag tag armies, invariably means immense pressure on all the institutes functioning in the State. The media too is no exception to this. However one status that the media enjoys is the freedom and the rights granted upon those engaged in the profession of disseminating information and at times guiding public opinion. During the last many years we have seen the media in Manipur having a say on many issues, ranging from the prolonged imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the corruption in the Government Department, the shenanigans enacted by the political netas, the social ills, such as drug smuggling and drug abuse etc. However as one underground outfit recently noted, the media has been keeping a safe distance from criticising or praising the acts of the armed groups, except on some occasions when someone is abducted for money along NH-39 or during such incidents as the Jiri massacre when passengers were fired upon and killed some years back. Or as in the case of The Sangai Express when Manoj Kumar Sethi was killed. Then too, the criticisms were of the more muted kind and hence there is a question that is lying in front of all of us engaged in the profession of journalism. Why is it that the media as a whole has been largely silent on the activities of the underground outfits ? Forget the armed groups, the media too hesitates to openly state its stand against any policies enunciated by the numerous student organisations and some pressure groups.
One reason why the media has been shying away from criticising the policies and actions of the armed groups is of course the all pervading fear that has enveloped the Manipuri society. At times it could be because of the belief that the truth is so precious that is has to be surrounded by a body guard of carefully moulded words. At other times the very term constructive criticism is an extremely subjective matter for what is constructive to some may be seen as detrimental by another. It is also true that the media in Manipur has allowed itself to become an extremely soft target. Remember the saying during the Emergency declared by the late Indira Gandhi. Today it is said that when the media was asked to kneel during the emergency it actually crawled. Maybe the media in Manipur is today going through such a phase, and what we need today is some brave stand. By brave stand we do not mean any confrontationist mood, but a bold stand that needs to be adopted. We have shown this stand when it came to the question of protecting the territorial integrity of Manipur. With a little determination and with conviction and a firm belief in our profession, perhaps the time has come for the Fourth Estate in Manipur to study inward and see where our weakness lies. Only when we realise our weaknesses can we operate from a position of strength and gather enough guts to call a spade a spade. Let a new beginning dawn. This is the message from The Sangai Express.
UPDS team meets George on ‘Karbi State’ From our Correspondent
DIPHU, Sept 12: A delegation of the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) led by its general secretary Harensing Bey recently met former Union minister and present NDA convener George Fernandes, MP PA Sangma and some other Members of Parliament to mobilize support for their organization’s various demands particularly formation of a separate political unit under Article 3 of the Constitution, a press release of Somindar Karbi Amei informed. The UPDS team apprised him of the "failure" of the present political system under the autonomous council. "Powers vested on the autonomous council are not enough to protect and safeguard the interest of the indigenous people of Karbi Anglong. As such, the people of the district have been lagging behind in all aspects — educational, social and economic — of civilization leaving the people with no other choice but to demand a separate State", the UPDS told Mr Fernandes. The press release further alleged that continuous "exploitation, political discrimination and step-motherly attitude of successive State Governments towards Karbi Anglong are also behind the suffering of the people of the hill district." However, Fernandes, after a threadbare discussion with the UPDS leaders, assured them that he along with some other MPs would visit the district soon. He also promised to talk to various political and non-political organizations to get their opinions regarding the demand of a separate State.
Development a far cry in North Jamuguri From our Correspondent
ITAKHOLA, Sept 12: The people of the greater North Jamuguri area of Sonitpur district have been facing acute hardship due to various problems regarding development of the area. According to sources, the area wears an unkempt look owing to the apathy of the State Government. It has been alleged by the residents of North Jamuguri that the State Government has not taken any steps to facilitate proper communication in that area. The roads linking Chamdhar and Dhalaibill, Dhalaibill and Murhadol, Rangachakua and Chaibari via Halinga are in a dilapidated condition which restricts plying of any vehicle during the monsoons. According to sources, the deplorable condition of the roads which is evident through the presence of innumerable potholes makes it impossible for the travellers to commute. It has been further alleged that though the Centre has released funds under the DRDA scheme, yet no construction has taken place so far. In is to be mentioned here that the condition of the public auditoriums are worse than the roads. The Xahitya Xabha Bhavan here stand as a testimony to it. According to reports, the foundation stone of the Bhavan was laid in 1983, but due to alleged misappropriation of funds, it still lay incomplete. The members of the Axom Xahitya Xabha branch here have appealed to the administration to allot funds for completion of the auditorium. But no effective steps has been taken so far. Through the Government had declared that the construction of the NH-52 would be completed by the Border Roads Organization by March 31, 2004, yet the road lay incomplete which points at the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned. However, a large number of signboards have been put up on the road, alarming the drivers about the unsafe condition of the road. It may be mentioned here that the residents of the area have approached the Government to take immediate action for the development of the area.

Frans on 09.13.05 @ 04:45 PM CST [link]


Monday, September 12th

Clashes claim two lives in Athibung


Clashes claim two lives in Athibung TheNahvind times
UNI, Kohima, Sept 11: Two NSCN-IM cadres were killed and two were injured when rival factions of the outfit engaged in a gunbattle at Athibung town in Peren district, about 180 km from here, yesterday.Official sources said about 40 NSCN-IM cadres entered the Athibung town to flush out 50 to 60 NSCN-K cadres in the town.
In the ensuing gunbattle four NSCN-IM cadres were injured. The injured cadres were immedately shifted to Dimapur but two of them succumbed to their injuries on the way.
The situation remained tense in the area as the people of the locality fled away after hearing the gunshots and took shelter in a police post.
Rocket launchers and other heavy weapons were also used in the shoot out.
The district authority deployed Nagaland armed police and indian reserved battalion jawans after the incident to prevent further clashes.
First Naga joins elite Army officer's training academy
DIMAPUR, Sept 11: In yet another milestone for Naga youth aspiring to join the Indian Army as a Commissioned Officer, Tongong Konyak has qualified...

for entry into the elite Officer's Training Academy (OTA).

His one-year intensive academic and military training for the one-year programme leading to his commissioning into the army as a Lieutenant is to begin soon.

Tongong Konyak's achievement is likely to go down well in his native place, Mon, which is officially acknowledged as one of the most underdeveloped region in the state.

Army officials have said that Tongong's achievement was rare and deserved praise from all quarters because he was the first Konyak youth to have made it to the selection grade of the OTA.

It may be mentioned that Tongong's feat comes in the wake of another inspiring achievement from a lady from Nagaland who became the first Naga lady officer in the Army after passing out from the OTA this year. (ANI)
GPRN clarifies on Tikhir Tribe and dialect
Morung Express News
September 11
DIMAPUR: The GPRN clarifying on the press release issued by K Yimtsu Yimchumger, Regional President,Yimchunger Region NNC/FGN, has stated that the particular tribe of Yimchunger comprises of six home dialects namely Langa (Yimchunger), Tikhir, Makury, Chirr, Phelongre (Sangtam) and Longphuri and that the NSCN (IM) never ignored the works of the British nor advocated separation of tribes from one to another.
A rejoinder issued by K Joseph Tikhir executive Officer TACA/GPRN, clarified that the Tikhir tribe was a tribe and not a home dialect and the tribe as well as the dialect of Tikhir existed from time immemorial "long before NNC and FGN nomenclature was propounded."
It also maintained that the Tikhir people joined the Naga national struggle during the early 1950s under the banner of the then Naga National council led by Lt. SK Kiusumong Tikhir. It stated that in 1964 fifteen Tikhir personnel had gone to "Pakistan Trained Act" and then in 1967 forty seven Tikhir personnel had gone to "China Trained Act". With regard to these above factors the release cautioned that "self vested and preconceived statement should not be brought in the society as every Naga knows their own historical identity."
Nigerian 'rebel leader' arrested in northeast India
Guwahati, Sept 12, IRNA India-Nigeria-Drugs Islamic republic news agency
Three Nigerian nationals, including a self-proclaimed rebel leader, were arrested by Indian police in the northeastern state of Nagaland on charges of possessing drugs and traveling with forged passports, officials said on Monday.
One of the arrested Nigerians was holding a forged Gambian passport and the two others did not have any valid travel documents, Diampur district police chief Bidur Shekhar told IRNA by telephone.
"One of the arrested persons claimed he was a Nigerian separatist leader belonging to the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)," Shekhar said.
MASSOB is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland in Nigeria.
"We are interrogating them to find out if they have any links with rebel groups in the northeast," the police chief said.
The northeast is a cauldron of separatist insurgencies with some 30-odd rebel armies fighting for demands ranging from secession to more autonomy.
The three Nigerians arrived in Dimapur Friday and were on way to state capital Kohima to meet a local Naga tribal man.
It seems that they were part of a big money laundering racket with bank accounts and transaction details in countries like the United Kingdom, Russia, and Belarus, the police official said.
Meanwhile, police in Assam state were interrogating five Afghan nationals arrested last week from the main city of Guwahati.
"The arrested Afghan nationals did not have any valid travel documents and they were believed to be involved in some seedy deals in the state like making forged driving license and passports," an Assam police official said.
HUMAN UNITY-I Limits To Legitimacy Of Right To Cultural Self-Determination
Human unity is no longer an idea preached by a few great souls. It provides a theme which is, under various titles, widely discussed in seminars and lectures. The RK Mission Institute of Culture recently decided to introduce an elaborate course on that theme spread over a number of months. This surely is something special. It may well leave us wondering. Why should the common man, who is mainly interested in matters concerning his family and intimate friends, be expected to seriously pay attention to the subject of human unity? Has something happened in recent times to warrant such an expectation? In fact, a strong justification for attention to this subject can be derived from at least two developments in contemporary history, both of which have the same message.

Remedies
This common message relates to the future of mankind. Looming large before us is the threat of a global disaster from man-made causes. As the causes are man-made, humanity has a special responsibility to devise remedies. Hence the need for a broadly coordinated programme of action and a sympathetic movement of thought all over the globe.
Sixty years have passed since those terrible days marked by the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by nuclear weapons of mass destruction. There had been innumerable wars and local military operations earlier, but none as portentous as what was allowed to happen in August 1945. Hiroshima signalled the opening of a new chapter in history carrying with it a clear warning about the possibility of a future war which might truly mark the end of human history. Less spectacularly and yet very definitely a second road to disaster has been disclosed, particularly since the 1970s, by scientific studies conducted in areas related to ecology and the environmental sciences. If the human race does not perish through war, the earth may still cease to be hospitable to human life through the joint effects of global warming and environmental pollution unless fundamental changes are made in the foundations of our industrial civilisation.
These global perceptions have opened up new perspectives of thought, unknown or unclear to social scientists of an older epoch. Theories centred on conflicts between nations and classes, which dominated earlier thought, have not lost their relevance now. But they have to be strongly supplemented by other ideas which stress human unity based on a recognition of the reality of a common peril to the future of mankind as a whole. It will be a gross error to ignore local needs. Yet human unity emerged today as a historical necessity. To strive and achieve a practical reconciliation between local needs and the global objective is the proper task for our time.

Obstacles
Is this an impossible goal? Sometimes it so happens that we set before ourselves an objective and then discover that we do not have at our disposal the necessary instruments for its realisation. Are we in such a situation in the present case? It does not appear to be so. The last half a century has witnessed a very remarkable scientific and technological revolution, which has brought different parts of the world closer to one another as never before. If human unity is the goal, the material instruments for achieving it appear to be ready at hand. What then is lacking? What are the obstacles to achieving the goal we have indicated above?
To raise that question is to ask for an inquiry into the causes of global conflict. While the human identity of an individual can be considered his ultimate identity, for practical purposes he is identified by his affiliation with some narrower group or groups. Problems arise from a lack of adjustment between his wider and narrower identities. In that sense, conflicts in human society can be viewed as manifestations of a kind of crisis of identity.
In the first place, one has to admit the inevitability of the group affiliation of the individual. The human child, unless abandoned at the moment of its birth, grows up as member of a group, normally a family. it also comes to belong quite naturally to a particular linguistic group and quite often, though not always, a community defined by some kind of a religion. Thus individuals with few exceptions grow up as members of a fragmented humanity.
Secondly, individuals do not simply accept their affiliation with parent groups as a matter of unavoidable necessity, but this affiliation tends to acquire a deep sentimental character. This results from a variety of causes. The individual derives from his group affiliation a sense of security which he is apt to lack when he is left alone. Moreover, the group has its own culture and every individual normally gets used to expressing himself through it. This has a further consequence. Just as the individual has his own ego, so too the group develops a collective ego.
Not all communities and nations are equal in size and power. Some occupy a dominant position and others are less strong. It is common enough to find weaker communities fighting to affirm their right to cultural and political self-determination while those that are strong and “power-hungry” are bent on extending their dominion. From this emerges two contrasted ideas of unity. One of these is represented by the imperial model of an ordered world held together by a self-appointed guardian, a superpower. The other stands for the idea of a pluralistic union of diverse faiths and cultures.

Contrast
All of us are familiar with the motto, unity in diversity. In India, most of us accept that oft-quoted saying as beautiful and wise without question. However, such unquestioning acceptance does not take us very far. The contrast between the hegemonistic and the pluralistic views of social unity requires us to look at the matter more closely. We have to try and understand the limitations of each of these two views.
How far and in what ways is it legitimate and wise to concede the demands of diversity? Experience suggests that there are limits to the legitimacy of the right to cultural self-determination. Extremist wings of secessionist movements in Kashmir, Nagaland and Sri Lanka demand the right to establish independent states in areas where they have some influence. Are these demands always right and commendable? To what extent are they really acceptable? To divide this partitioned subcontinent further may arguably multiply its problems. An increase in their number will add to the burden of unproductive military and administrative expenditure in an already impoverished region besides creating a host of new bases for ambitious foreign powers.
(To be concluded)

By AMLAN DATTA


Frans on 09.12.05 @ 11:16 PM CST [link]


Sunday, September 11th

Nagaland becoming IT savvy:-


Nagaland becoming IT savvy:- Kohima webindia

As normalcy is returning to Nagaland, youngsters in the State are exploring new avenues in the field of education, with more and more students opting for computer studies. The youth in the region are flocking the computer centres in large numbers to keep themselves abreast with the rest of the country. Their interest in academic and professional pursuit demonstrates their desire to chart a different career for themselves.In the past few years many computer centres have opened up in the State, which offer a number of courses to the students. Kiran, a computer instructor, said: "We are offering many courses to the students, including basic courses, diploma courses, advanced diploma courses, as well as master diploma courses."
Students are also thrilled at the prospects of learning the basics of computer, and other professional courses and software.
"Today, we can't think of a world without computers. In offices, homes, schools, colleges, they are everywhere. So, I am hoping that this computer course is going to be beneficial for me in the coming days," said Johny, a student. Another student, Sandhy, said, "I like computers because they give us valuable information and education. We can learn many things with the help of a computer."
The growing inclination of the youth for these courses can also be attributed to the efforts of both the State and the Central government, who are working towards restoration of peace in the region. Also, in keeping with its effort to educate the youth about computers, the State government has made computer literacy essential for any one who wishes to take up a government job. Ajay Sethi, who owns a computer centre, said, "Due to the peace process people are free to move around and avail better facilities. They are moving into various employment opportunities. The government is assisting in many ways. Prime Minister himself has offered this peace package and job opportunities for 25,000 youths, which we expect, will do well for the youth of Nagaland and it will stop the insurgencies in many ways."
Recently the State government with the help of the Central government had opened a regional computer institute to train youth in the IT sector. And with multinational companies showing interest in the State, it is hoped that Nagaland will see a high growth in the IT sector. Certainly, after years of uncertainty, the youth of Nagaland are now moving towards a bright future now. The geographical proximity of North East to the ASEAN nations can attract investment from the eastern neighbours. An IT savvy Nagaland with its high literacy rate can help transform north-eastern India. (ANI)
NSCN (K) reacts to rival’s allegations Newmai News Network September 10
Imphal: The NSCN (K) strongly reacted against the claim by the rival action NSCN (IM) that its three cadres were injured in an encounter between the two groups at Irang village near Singda about 14 kms from Imphal yesterday morning. The NSCN (K) also denied the allegations that the group terrorized villagers of the area. The CO of NSCN (IM) NP battalion Lt Col. Chinaoyo told a group of media persons who rushed to the encounter side that the encounter lasted about three hours and three cadres of the NSCN (K) were injured in the gunfight. He also claimed that six bombs planted by the NSCN (K) and a huge quantity of ammunition were recovered after the encounter was over.
He said that an NSCN (IM) group led by him rushed to the village on getting information that a large number of NSCN (K) cadres were terrorizing the villagers by forcibly taking way their hens etc. without paying any money from the villagers. They also beat up villagers, the leader charged. Reacting strongly to the allegations Felix spokesperson of the NSCN (K) Zelinagrong region told media persons at a place in Imphal East district today that no one was injured in yesterday’s incident. He said that there was no encounter as the NSCN (K) cadres left the area on request by the villagers who informed that members of the NSCM (IM) cadres were also present.
He said that the NSCN (K) cadres withdrew because if there was a clash between the two groups the villagers would be caught in the cross fire and the NSCN (K) did not want such a thing happen. Similarly the NSCN (K) withdrew from Tamei area before the Christmas in the interest of the villagers. He however said that the NSCN (K) is always ready to take on the rival group if they find them in jungles where no villagers are there. The spokesman said that the bombs and ammunition recovered by the NSCN (IM) could belong to their own organisation.
He even questioned from where the NSCN (IM) got the lethal guns, G-111 and G-iv rifles used by them yesterday, hinting that the NSCN (IM) did not have such sophisticated weapons. He asked the villagers of Ireng Khul to give names of villagers and dates on which there were assaulted within three days as alleged by NSCN (IM). He also appealed to all Naga villagers not to seek help from any armed group in settling disputes over land or the post of village chiefs. He accused the NSCNB (IM) of taking bribes for settling such disputes.
Naga groups trade charges
Imphal, Sept. 10: The two factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland issued contradictory claims about yesterday’s gunbattle between two groups of militants at Manipur’s Ireng Khul village in Senapati district, reports our Imphal correspondent. The NSCN (Isak-Muivah) claimed that three activists of the rival faction were injured and several bombs as well as ammunition recovered after the clash. But the other faction maintained that no “encounter” had occurred.

Official reports said two groups of militants belonging to the rival factions exchanged fire at the village, near Imphal, yesterday. [telegraphindia] Posted by: admin on Sunday, September 11,
TML rally protests Army excesses Morung Express
Tamenglong, Sept 10 (Agencies): A protest rally against the excessive conduct of 35 AR was organized yesterday at Tamenglong by the Zeliangrong Women`s Union. The rally attended by more than 2500 rallyist most of them women took off from Tamenglong mini stadium and converged at Tamenglong market shed, where the rally members submitted a memorandum to the Union home minister through the DC Tamenglong. The memo demanded, immediate transfer of Commandant, 35 AR, the hard earned Indo-Naga peace must be upheld and be fruitful from all quarters, peace in our land and respect for women. It also demanded adequate compensation for the injured women victims of the brutalities and excessive acts of the jawans.
The memo was signed jointly by Pai Ng Newme, vice-president, Zeliangrong Women’s Union and Lu Nambonliu Moita, general secretary, ZWU, the same copy was given to the chief minister of the state, outer Manipur MP Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, MLA 53 A/c Tamenglong, SP Tamenglong and Convenor, Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights. All shops and establishments in the district headquarter remained closed today. Placards reading "Kicking a woman is an act of cowardice", "respect your mother" etc were held by the rallyist. Meanwhile, the DC Tamenglong termed the incident as unfortunate and said that he equally shared the concern of the Zeliangrong Women’s Union.
Should Restricted Area Permit be relaxed in Nagaland? Tsanchingla Imlong Morung Express
Nagaland is a growing tourist destination and every year there is growth in the inflow of tourists. It is indeed agreeable that tourism can boost our economy and provide employment for our many uneducated unemployed. But a nagging question arises, are we ready to face the consequences of what tourism has to usher in? This is not to say that tourism should be banned or curbed, but we need to be aware of the negatives of tourism and promote positive tourism. People are becoming more aware about Nagaland through multimedia that is: the Internet, printings, publishing, visual and audio. We cannot expect to stay hidden forever. Tourism is certainly going to grow but we need to know how we intent to promote tourism here in Nagaland. Tourism has had a positive effect in Nagaland. Cultures and traditions have been revived, there is a growing effort in preservation of forest, banning of hunting etc; these are some of the positive effects of tourism. RAP or the Restricted Area Permit in Nagaland has been a boon over the years. If RAP were to be removed totally, tourists can go wherever they wished in Nagaland, encroaching on the privacy of the villagers, credulous activities, etc.
Nagaland with its fragile bio-system, are we ready to tamper with that? Mass tourism has been the cause of many tourist destinations losing their natural beauty and appeal. Initially, everything was good, business was booming, tourists were flocking by the dozens, but they were not ready for the consequences that followed and no remedy for what they had lost: Nature. RAP acts as a check against mass tourism. It deters backpackers who have nothing substantial to offer to the income generation.
Further RAP enhances genuine travelers. The RAP will not deter genuine travelers; instead it will enhance their desire to visit a protected area. Mass tourism leads to imbalance in the bio-system and the eco-system. It leads to devastation of our towns and villages and making them into concrete jungles, over population and pollution. We have to look at ‘low volume: high income’ type of tourism. RAP can become a brand of its own. Tourists are intrigued by it and instigate desire to visit this protected area. They are not dissatisfied either because they realize that Nagaland is where nature is at its best. RAP should not be removed but should be more relaxed. If a single tourist wants to visit Nagaland, they have to go through many formalities. Their RAPers are sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and at times they are approved after a length of time but at times they are rejected.
To cite an example, I had applied for a RAP for an elderly lady that wished to visit Nagaland. Normally for a group of 4 or married couple, RAP formalities takes 1 week at the maximum. But for this particular RAP, it was submitted at least a month before her date of arrival and send to MHA. The RAP was nowhere in sight till the date of her arrival so I had to call her and stop her from entering Nagaland. She had applied for a 10 days permit and finally when the permit arrived she had only 5 days left to tour Nagaland. Thus, she left not having visited the places she initially wanted to. This proves that there are genuine travelers that want to visit Nagaland and at the same time it also shows that RAP should be more relaxed whereby, single paying person or couples whether married or not and groups of three should be given permit by the Home Department, Government of Nagaland.
Visiting all over Nagaland takes time and the 10 days permit given at one time is not enough for a traveler to explore Nagaland. Although the permit is extendable by another 10 days, it causes a lot of inconvenience to the tourist as well as to the tour operators who have to travel all the way back to collect the extensions. Hence, RAP should be relaxed for at least 20 days at a stretch. Many opinions have been given regarding RAP on its removal and retaining it. We have to study carefully and take into account all the shortcomings and the advantages of the RAP and then only can we say that tourism is growing positively in Nagaland. We must keep in mind that Nagaland, with all of its nature’s blessings can be wiped out if we are not cautious in our endeavor to make tourism a sustainable means of income generation.
KYKL suprised at action taken by a matured group The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Sep 10: The underground Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, KYKL has said that the outfit was amazed over hearing the news regarding the abduction of MUSU president on September 6 by cadres of a matured underground organisation. Recalling the September 6 incident and the chain of events that followed after the abduction of the MUSU president, a statement issued by the KYKL`s publicity and research secretary, Lanngamba Mangang said the outfit was even more surprised to learn that two local dailies namely Matamgi Yaikairol and Mannaba as well as a local television network ISTV, refrained from publishing and broadcasting the truth behind the story even as MUSU functionaries identified the groups involved in the assault of their leaders and the vandalism. Asserting that the media has a great role to play in giving true and unbiased reports to the public, the statement said distortion of the truth means that such media organisations no longer serve their purpose. Publishing the news at the earliest about the MUSU president`s abduction was like saving the life of the abducted person and vice-versa for those trying to distort the fact, the KYKL statement said terming the latter as self violation of the freedom of press. As such the outfit ordered closure of the three media organisations for failing to perform as per the ethics of the freedom of press. Soon after getting appropriate explanations, the outfit lifted the ban imposed on Mannaba and Matamgee Yakairol. However, the outfit had to go ahead with the ban imposed on ISTV for its failure to broadcast the true facts of the incidents. Showing solidarity to the ISTV, the All Manipur Working Journalists Union and Editors Forum Manipur resolved to stop one day`s publication of newspapers on September 8, snatching people`s right to information, which should not have been done in any circumstances. The outfit also offered apologies to the general public as well as to the journalist fraternity for its role in the matter which led to newspapers stopping one day`s publication, it said.
Admitting that the outfit had gone against its commitment given to AMWJU in 2001 regarding imposition of ban on media organisations, the statement also apologized for its immature action and assured that such incidents will not recur again. Asserting that the outfit honours the freedom of press and gives highest regard to the journalist fraternity, the statement went on to say that the ban imposed on two local dailies and a TV channel was done in support of the line that press perform their duties and responsibilities freely and without any disturbances. Appealing to the journalist fraternity to work freely and honour ethics of the press, the outfit further asked AMWJU and EFM to strengthen their positions.
People's Democracy (Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Vol. XXIX No. 37 September 11, 2005
ASSAM On Supreme Court’s Verdict On IMDT Act Noorul Huda
EVER since the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 and establishment of a sovereign republic, the problem of influx of thousands and thousands of Bangladeshi citizens into Indian border states of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and West Bengal has arisen. In the beginning, because of joy and enthusiasm exhibited by people of both countries at the creation of a friendly neighbour, nobody took objection. Several years passed by but when in June 1975, prime minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in the country and in August 1975 when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the legendary leader and founder of Bangladesh was assassinated, the period of bonhomie between India and Bangladesh seemed to have suddenly ended. Indira Gandhi and her party, the Indian National Congress (INC) were roundly defeated in the parliamentary election in 1977 and a new party, Janata Party, led by Moraji Desai formed a government at the centre. Those were very uncertain and troublesome years for the new state of Bangladesh too and the friendship and goodwill generated between our two countries seemed to have gradually evaporated. After the lifting of the emergency in 1977, the Left Front, under the leadership of the CPI(M), came to power in West Bengal and in the following year in Tripura also. In Assam too, the Left parties viz CPI(M), CPI, RCPI, SUC and the naxalities, though contesting limited number of seats in the 1978 state assembly elections, scored impressively by winning in 25 constituencies out of a total of 126 seats. In Guwahati Municipal Corporation too, the Left and democratic forces won in a sizeable number of constituencies and an independent personality was elected as mayor of Guwahati in 1979.

NELLIE MASSACRE
In such circumstances, the chauvinist and reactionary circles, both domestic and foreign, in the state of Assam got mortally afraid and in the middle/third quarter of 1979, began the most violent chapter in the history of Assam, with the clarion call of ‘Bideshi Khedao’ (drive out the foreigners) from Assam. This violence continued for approximately six years up to the signing of Assam Agreement in 1985. In February 1983, during the ill-fated Assam assembly elections, nearly 3000 innocent and very poor Muslims (all Indian citizens) were massacred in broad daylight in a single day in the village of Nellie under the district of Nagaon, not very far off from the capital city of Guwahati. To this day, though 22 years have elapsed since the ghastly occurrences, nobody has claimed responsibility and neither the ruling governments, successively led by INC or AGP, nor the AASU or any other opposition party had ever cared to demand judicial probe or independent enquiry into such a shameful episode.

It is an extraordinarily mysterious case where such a large number of Indian citizens were killed cold bloodedly in a single day and millions of our rational thinking citizens, in or outside Assam chose to keep completely silent for 22 years. Since the CPI(M) and some other Left-minded and progressive intellectuals had dared to oppose the violent and chauvinistic Assam agitation, they were hounded, abused, and socially boycotted and more than fifty CPI(M) and trade union and youth activists were cruelly tortured and done to death. This kind of sordid chapter ended with the formation of a regional party, the Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) in October 1985. They swept the assembly polls in December 1985 and established the first regional party government in Assam. Its precursor, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) which spearheaded the violent agitation, entered into a tripartite agreement in August 1985 with the government of India led by prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi and chief minister, Hiteswar Saikia-led Assam state government. Two years before the Assam Agreement i e in 1983, the Illegal Migrant Determination by Tribunal Act (IMDT) was enacted in the parliament to protect genuine Indian citizens from harassment because at that time, it was felt that the Foreigner’s Act 1946 was not adequate for the purpose of protecting genuine Indian citizens belonging to the minority communities, both religious and linguistic. It is extremely interesting to recall that those who had signed the Assam Agreement in August 1985 viz the leadership of AASU and AAGSP did not deem it necessary to protest or raise any objection to the provisions of IMDT Act 1983. On the contrary, they had virtually approved the Act.

AGP’S VACILLATING POSITIONS
Even during the first five year tenure of AGP rule in Assam, the same leadership who had led the violent Assam agitation during 1979-85, did not exhibit any seriousness to check the influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh from across the porous borders, nor did they raise any hue and cry about the inadequacy of and shortcoming and defects in the IMDT Act 1983 for the purpose of identification, detection and deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh nor had they exerted pressure on the government of India to seal the international Assam-Bangladesh borders by erecting suitable fencing and adopting other necessary measures. It may be pointed out that the then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, during 1984-89 period appeared to be quite friendly with the leadership of AASU-AAGSP who had later converted into the AGP. Some pressure on the central government could have carried the day.
Only when the AGP lost power in the 1991 assembly elections, and the Congress (I) catapulted to power in Assam, and in the centre, the AGP leadership and the AASU began raising slogan of difficulties and problems the complainants were facing under the IMDT Act in the matter of identifying, detecting and deporting the illegal migrants from Bangladesh and gradually, they came round to denouncing the IMDT Act 1983 and demand for its repeal. And much later, they started claiming that the Foreigners Act 1946 was good enough for the purpose and that since IMDT Act was applicable to the state of Assam alone, it should be scrapped forthwith and further, since the Foreigner’s Act 1946 was an all India Act and was applicable to the entire country, it should be made operative in the state of Assam too for the purpose of tackling the illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

SONOWAL AFFIDAVIT
In striking down the IMDT Act 1983, the Supreme Court of India, led by the chief justice, Lahoti and two other eminent justices, have relied heavily on (a) the pleadings and averments contained in the affidavits sworn by Sarbananda Sonowal, MP and erstwhile AASU leader, who was the writ petitioner, (b) Law Commission’s quotations from Assam Governor Lt General (Retd) S K Sinha’s report to the President of India dated November 8, 1998 and (c) Report of General Secretaries of Indian National Congress of the north-eastern states to the General Conference of NE Congress (I) Committee dated July 3, 1992.
The affidavits sworn by Sabananda Sonowal contain the following averments (a) that the rights of residents in the state of Assam have been materially and gravely prejudiced by the operation of IMDT Act 1983; (b) that the IMDT Act 1983 is wholly arbitrary, unreasonable and discriminates against a class of citizens of India making it impossible for Indian citizens in Assam to secure the detection and deportation of foreigners from Indian soil. The IMDT Act 1983 has completely failed to meet the standards prescribed in the Foreigners Act 1946. Even those provisions of IMDT Act 1983 which afford some protection to genuine Indian citizens are not being properly enforced due to extraneous political considerations; (c) that the presence of illegal migrants has changed the whole character, cultural and ethnic composition of the area. IMDT Act creates a situation whereunder it has become virtually impossible to challenge the presence of a foreigner and to secure his detection and deportation or even deletion of his name from the electoral rolls in Assam; (d) that the huge number of Bangladeshi nationals who have crossed over to India, have occupied vast tracts of land in sensitive international border areas which has very serious implication for national security; (e) that there has been a sharp increase of Muslim population in Assam; (f) that the IMDT Act 1983 virtually gives the illegal migrants in the state preferential protection in a matter relating to the citizenship of India; (g) that because of ethnic linguistic and religious commonality between the illegal migrants and many people on our side of the border, it enables them to find shelter and makes their detection difficult. Some political parties have been encouraging and even helping illegal migration with a view to building vote banks. These immigrants are hardworking and are prepared to work as cheap labour which makes them acceptable and some corrupt officials are bribed to provide help; (h) that the prophecy that except Sibsagar district the Assamese people will not find themselves at home in Assam is becoming true; (i) that according to former union home minister, Indrajit Gupta, there were 10 million illegal migrants in India out of which the figures for West Bengal, Assam and Tripura are 5.4 million , 4 million and 0.8 million respectively; (j) that in the case of Muslims, their growth rate in Assam was much higher than the all India rate; (k) that the illegal migrants coming into India after 1971 have been almost exclusively Muslims. Pakistan’s ISI has been active in Bangladesh supporting militant movement in Assam resulting in mushrooming of Muslim militant organisations; (l) that because of large-scale migrations from Bangladesh, the spectre looms large of the indigenous people of Assam being reduced to a minority in their home state, their cultural survival will be in jeopardy, their political control will be weakened, and their employment opportunities will be undermined; and (m) that the silent and invidious demographic invasion of Assam may result in the loss of the geo-strategical vital districts of lower Assam. Influx of these illegal migrants is turning these districts into a Muslim majority region. A demand for merger with Bangladesh may be made. International Islamic fundamentalists may provide a driving force for this demand. Loss of lower Assam will sever the entire landmass of the northeast from the rest of India. According to the judgement of the learned Supreme Court, Ashok Desai senior counsel of the petitioner stated that the whole demographic pattern of Assam has undergone a change and the local people of Assam have been reduced to a minority in their own state on account of large influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh. He also submitted that under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution, the people of Assam have a fundamental right to conserve their language, script and culture. The enforcement of IMDT Act has no doubt facilitated to a very large extent the illegal migrants from Bangladesh to continue to reside in Assam, who on account of their huge number affect the language, script and culture of the local people. The learned bench, however refrained from expressing any conclusive opinion on this submission of the learned counsel.

UNSUBSTANTIATED POSITION
If we now analyse the averments contained in petitioner Sarbananda Sonowal’s affidavit to the Supreme Court, we shall find that Lt General S K Sinha’s report to the centre dated November 8, 2004 during his tenure as governor of Assam expressed grave concern at the unabated influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to Assam, which in his opinion threatened to reduce Assamese people to a minority in their own state, illegal migration was the core issue behind the Assam student movement, and also the prime contributory factor behind insurgency in the state, and such illegal migration greatly undermines our national security and mentions about the long cherished design of Greater East Pakistan/Bangladesh making inroads into strategic land link of Assam with the rest of the country, can lead to severing the entire landmass of the northeast.
Though the governor’s report was allegedly prepared after thorough inspection of border areas and districts, discussion with Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh and talks with political leaders, these are mainly speculative in nature, based on unreliable and unconfirmed newspaper sources. Neither the Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh nor any other political leaders had ever substantiated the claims made by governor S K Sinha’s report to the president. On the other hand, after being leaked to the press (which was improper and unethical to say the least), the elected government of Assam had later contradicted the contents of the report. The apprehension that the Assamese people would be reduced to a minority in their own state has never been raised by any responsible quarters and it is a myth and completely subjective and somewhat ridiculous claim that illegal influx of foreigners from Bangladesh was the prime contributory factor behind the outbreak of insurgency in Assam. Till now, no responsible authority has connected outbreak of insurgency with influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants. The governor, Lt General S K Sinha should have known that insurgency in its worst form broke out in Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur long before the problem of illegal influx of Bangladeshis in Assam or the north-eastern region cropped up. He has also talked about long cherished design of greater East Pakistan/ Bangladesh without adducing a single thread of proof or evidence. We wonder as to what method the erstwhile governor and distinguished Lt General (Retd) had adopted to suspect the border areas; which agencies were entrusted for such inspections. There is no evidence to show that the governor had met recognised political party leaders in Assam to ascertain their views. Only because the governor, Lt General (Retd) S K Sinha had adorned the highest rank in the army, his statements cannot be treated as gospel truth, without proof or evidence. Indeed his views on infiltration of Bangladeshis in Assam appear to be extremely biased and one-sided.


Frans on 09.11.05 @ 05:56 PM CST [link]


Saturday, September 10th

Book on ''Naga Nationalism'' released by Naga MP


Book on ''Naga Nationalism'' released by Naga MP: New Kerala
New Delhi: The Shillong Accord signed between the Indian government and Naga leaders during the Emergency in 1975 was not a 'peace accord' as claimed by both the sides but a 'betrayal of aspirations of Naga people that led to the formation of National Socialist Council of Nagaland(NSCN), says a book released here today.
The book,''Let Freedom Ring: Story of Naga Nationalism'' authored by A S Shimray as his doctoral thesis on 'the Naga national movement documents India's response to the NSCN, particularly, the role played by 'intelligence agencies in the name of bringing about peace in the troubled land'.
Edited by Supreme Court lawyer Nandita Haksar, the book traces that intelligence agencies were responsible for the creation of Nagland as a separate state which, 'infact, was an attempt to divide the Naga people in different states. This followed the use of security forces to "crush the movement'.

The book, published by Ashok Bhuti of Delhi-based Promilla Publishers and formally released by Naga MP Mani Charenamei also analysed the relationship between the NSCN and various international orgnaisations including the peace negotiations with the Indian governmentv representatives in India and abroad. The author, Mr Shimray, who is a political scientist and analysed the Naga movement without sacrificing the rigours required of a scholar, died of cancer recently.
NSCN factions clash, two killed Dimapur, September 10, 2005 Hindustan Times
Two National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) cadres were killed in a gun battle with rival NSCN (Khaplang) cadres at Athibung town in Nagaland on Saturday. This is the fifth incident of factional clashes involving the two sides at Athibung since last April. Convenor of Ceasefire Monitoring Cell, 'Brigadier' Phungthing Shimrang of the NSCN-IM confirmed the deaths of the two NSCN (IM) cadres. They were however yet to be identified, he said. Senior NSCN (K) leader Singson meanwhile has claimed that the incident occurred when 40 NSCN (IM) cadres attacked an NSCN (K) group with rocket launchers and other sophisticated weapons. The clash, sources, said lasted for about three hours. According to Singson the Saturday's clash could have been averted if the law-enforcement agencies and the Chairman of Ceasefire Monitoring Cell and Ceasefire Monitoring Board, Lt Gen (retd) RV Kulkarni had intervened. (By arrangement with Newsfile)
Tribal girls make Muay Thai history A STAFF REPORTER The Telegraph
Guwahati, Sept. 9: L. Jandhobi of Manipur and Bandangjungla of Nagaland became the first Indian women to qualify in the international Muay Thai examinations conducted by the Muay Thai Institute in Bangkok. The two took the test recently and came up trumps. Three Thai masters, Chu Deng, Jae Panom, Let, and a Canadian master Kirbi Thib-eault had trained the Indian duo along with other trainees at the Bangkok academy. While Jandhobi has already fought in World Muay Thai meet in Almaty, Kazakstan, in 2003 and won a bronze, Bandangjungla won a bronze in the World Muay Thai Championship in Bangkok in 2004.
Manipur finish third Manipur Muay Thai players stood third in the sixth National Amateur Muay Thai meet held from 26-29 August at Sree Kanteerava Indore stadium in Bangalore with a total medal tally of 16, reports Atom Samarendra from Imphal. Players of the Manipur Amateur Muay Thai Association, led by Md Alauddin Shah as coach and A.K. Mustafa as team manager, arrived yesterday. Chattisgarh emerged as champion with 26 medals while Karnataka won the runners-up title. Manipur bagged eight gold, five silver and three bronze medals.
The gold medallists are: Senior Male - Kh. Momocha (pin weight), Md Sohaj Khan (lightfly weight), S. Suraj (fly weight), Md Badrul (bantam weight), S. Ningtamba (feather weight), Th. Manaoba (light weight). Junior Female - N. Bidyarani Devi (light weight). Children Male - N. Michael Jackson.
The silver medallists are: Senior Male - Ch. Pahari (light fly weight), L. Malemnganba Meitei (bantam weight). Junior Male - Md Basiruddin Shah (cotton weight). Junior female - N. Sarita Devi (paper weight), N. Valentina Devi (light fly weight). The bronze medallists are: L. Sanjoy (senior male fly weight), S. Diana Devi (junior female pin weight) and Ansar Mustafa (children, male).
Nagaland Congress lashes out at Mahajan Morung Express News
Kohima: The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee has expressed its dismay over what it has termed as ‘the irresponsible and misleading statements’ of Pramod Mahajan, General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party during his visit to Dimapur on September 8. "The NPCC understands his total frustration about the sorry state of affairs of the BJP at the National level, which is collapsing like a house of cards," stated a release issued by Taka Masa Ao, MLA and spokesman of the NPCC. Masa has remarked that Mahajan’s allegations against the UPA Government were figments of his imagination. It is nothing but an outburst to gain cheap political mileage and which has totally exposed his ignorance about the ongoing political dialogue, the release further stated. While saying that it was the then Congress Prime Minister Narasimha Rao who had declared for the first time that the Naga political issue was a political problem and it should be approached through human approaches, the spokesperson has said that it was the then Congress Government who had successfully facilitated the two Ceasefire agreements between the GoI and the NSCN (I-M) in 1997 and with the NSCN-K in the year 2000. Reposing its faith on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the NPCC has stated that it was after the UPA Government had come to power at the Centre that the political dialogue had been upgraded from the bureaucratic level to the political level with the constitution of a Ministerial team to negotiate with the leaders of the NSCN-IM. "If at all, the Peace Process is derailed as stated by Mahajan, the Nagaland public should be informed as to how it was derailed and why," Masa has stated.
On the problem of illegal influx of Bangladeshis, the MLA has questioned Mahajan on why he had not undertaken any steps in solving the problem when he was a Minister at the Union Cabinet.
While stressing on the utilization of the Rs 365 crore peace bonus that the centre had gifted to Nagaland, the NPCC has decried that the White papers tabled by former Nagaland Finance Minister Kewekhape Therie and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio were not satisfactory as the facts and figures do not tally. The NPCC has further stated during the NDA’s Government’s reign at the Centre there had been numerous atrocities committed against minorities in different parts of the country such as the burning alive of Graham Staines and his sons.
BJP says it is not anti-Christian Nagaland unit adopts resolutions Morung Express News September 9
Dimapur: National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party Pramod Mahajan today asserted that the Party was secular minded and that it had no bias against minorities. Addressing the BJP silver jubilee celebrations at Town Hall, Dimapur today Mahajan said that the dubbing of the BJP as an anti-Christian party in Nagaland was the mischievous propaganda of its enemies. Mahajan said that Congress politicians had maligned the image of the BJP by using religion as a political tool. Donning the role of an astrologer, he said that serious peace talks on the Naga issue would be brought up in the year 2007, months before the general elections. He highlighted on the need of peace and development in Nagaland so as to usher in employment opportunities for the youth of Nagaland. On the recent hike in fuel prices, the BJP leader said that India could not control the rise of fuel prices in the international arena. However, he was of the firm conviction that the tax levied on fuel could be minimised. He informed that the Central government was presently imposing a tax of 65% on fuel prices.
Meanwhile, the Nagaland unit of the BJP, after having deliberations on the political and economic issues pertaining to Nagaland and the North East region adopted some resolutions today. While fully supporting the on going peace process and the dialogue presently taking place between the Government of India and the NSCN, the Nagaland BJP has asked the United Progressive Alliance to expedite the peace process. It has reiterated its demand for early withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State of Nagaland and the North East region as per the equivocal demand of the people. The Nagaland unit has further called for a stop to atrocities committed on minorities and Christians in the country. While rallying for the cause of Naga integration the Party State Unit has said that it supports ‘any peaceful movement initiated for the Integration of all Nagas.’ The BJP has also appealed to the Congress (I) led UPA government at the Centre to release the funds under the Prime Minister’s Developmental Package so that the ‘developmental Process in the State is not halted and hampered.’
The lighter side of Mahajan Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Pramod Mahajan, while engaging in hard talk against the Central government today, gave extensions to the acronym UPA as ‘Ulta Pulta Alliance and Unprincipled Alliance which evoked peals of laughter from the congregation assembled at Town Hall, Dimapur today. He was addressing the crowd which had come together to celebrate the nation wide Silver Jubilee ceremony of the BJP. Referring to the Prime Minister and the National Congress President he remarked that Sonia Gandhi had full authority without responsibility while Manmohan Singh had full responsibility without any authority. Making reference to the Naga shawl which had been gifted to him, he said that the people of Dimapur had presented him with such an accouterment as they did not need such clothing at a hot and humid place. On the seven Naga BJP legislators of Nagaland, Mahajan said that seven was an auspicious number as one BJP legislator could serve the people of Nagaland every day of the week
Integration Rally: Not a rally against any community Morung Express News Senapati: Show cause notices served to the four Naga MLAs of Manipur for joining the Naga Integration Rally at Kohima on August 31 has sent ripples across the Nagas living in Senapati District irrespective of their representatives or not. "As representatives of the Naga people to the state legislature and Lok Sabha ,our MLAs and MPs should be the first to lead us in any movement connected with the aspirations of the Nagas", said a public leader (name withheld on request), "Hence, their joining the rally was a good gesture and we must appreciate them".
Poumai Masou Me in a hand-note signed by its general secretary said, "As representatives of Karong Assembly Constituency where the majority of the voters are Nagas, Henry Paotei’s joining the rally is most welcome and I appreciate him for acknowledging the aspirations of the Naga people and the bold step he undertook."
Referring to the show cause notice served to him by his party, he stated, "Whatever the party’s constitution may bind, it is upto them but people’s representatives must respond to the call of the people." Lolly, a senior student leader wondered what article or clause in the constitution of the political parties based in Manipur has anything to do with the rally and said that the rally was not against any individual or community but a solidarity show for the Naga’s longing to live as one people in one administrative unit. Many people from different aspects of life shared the same view that neither government of Manipur nor the political parties have anything to do with the rally. Isaac Caasi, a church leader said that it is their (MLAs and MPs) duty to join the rally because they represent the Nagas.
TOP DRAW B. Henshet Phom
Looking for solution to the problems in Nagaland Morung Express
Some years back, a prominent scholar from North East India commented that the "state planners of the north eastern states just dance at the drum of the New Delhi". Similarly, some of the social critiques of India also remarked that "in India plans and policies for rural development are framed in Five Stars Hotel". These kind of remarks clearly portray the reality of the social scenario of India, of which we have also become a part.
The above mentioned remarks also make us to understand the fact that we have an irrelevant system of governance. It is not wrong that we are all compelled to jump and dance at others’ tune. No matter how best the policies and programmes our state government would take to the Center, if it is rejected, then it remains rejected. Our politics are forced to be influenced so much by the mainstream politics. Even in social living we are so much influenced by the dominant culture.
It is time that the Nagas realize our true selves. We must start a conscientious living. We must not loss our originality while trying to learn from others. It is observed that Nagas are quick to copy from others, but fail to understand the substance of the matter. We must be conscientious in thought and action.
For example, it is seen that Naga people are very fond of using the dictum, "Forgive and Forget". But we need to have a second thought on this statement. My question is, can we forget things ? Yes, human being may forgive others for the wrong done to us, but can we forget it ? We may try not to think of it, but we cannot forget it. Thus, to me this statement sounds beautiful but not realistic.
Similarly, it is observed that the popular statement of Aristotle; "Man is a social animal" is not an exclusive truth. Because man alone is not a social animal. Man may be called a rational or cultured animal, but apart from man those from animal kingdom and insect world like wolves, elephants, boars, bees, ants etc too live in society.
As such, we cannot keep on harping- Forgive and forget, man is a social animal etc. etc in every social gathering. We must not speak anything just because others are speaking. We must first understand the basic truth or substance of the matter before we adopt it into our parlance.
Now on the more practical issues; Nagas love to speak of Dignity of Labour in many of our youth gathering. Some of us interpret the term as hard working and are seen encouraging our youngsters to take up the job of cobbler, porter (modia), tailor, barber etc. But have we talked about enhancing their wages too ? Here lies the point whether they will take up the job or not. If we do not raise the wage, even if they take up the job, they cannot do it with pride. Hence only when we increase the wage to the job will the Dignity in the Labour arise.
Therefore, we must realize that dignity of labour embraces more than hard working. It also includes selecting the job based on one’s talent, innovating the profession, doing the job with pride and more importantly, getting the right wage for the job.
In some western countries the salary of a carpenter is higher than that of a Lecturer. And the charge a hair cut is equivalent to Rs.1600 of the Indian currency. Many beautiful young people joyfully drive aged people in wheel chairs from old age homes for evening air in the street. They are doing these jobs with dignity and pride, because they are well paid. A look at this kind of system makes us to have a re-look at our own system. Just like the wise decision of the DAN government in passing a bill on money lending, a proper regulation on the payment of salary and wages suited to our own situation need to be passed.
Wealth of our state should be justly distributed. We must not make it the fate of Nagaland to be a state, where few people enjoy maximum from our common wealth, when majority suffers. It is urgently felt that
"Right to Work" must be made a Fundamental right. Government should be made responsible to give employment to our youth, be it in government or private sector. It should be made the right of our young people to demand compensation if the government fails to give them proper employment facility. Because we are all citizens of the same state with equal rights and obligations.
And in the next plane, one problem which everyone talk with great concern in Nagaland is the issue of illegal immigrants. In many of the remote district headquarters and sub-division of Nagaland, 80% of the shops are owned by those immigrants. Consequently, all the money of the local people are drained into the wealth house of the outsiders. And it is observed that their sole motive is to extract maximum profit at the expense of the innocent customers. I see no sense of social concern in many of their attitudes and mentality .
I am of the opinion that even the system of issuing Inner Line Permit (ILP) need standardization. Along with ILP, a kind of work permit with proper professional tax system need to be introduced. If certain percentage of income (professional) tax is levied from their income, then government too get its (our) due share out of their earning in our land. And if they do not agree to abide by the procedure then the ILP must not be issued to them. As such if a proper system is regulated, then the problem of immigration may also be turned into a boon.
One reason why our land is in turmoil is because of the irrelevant system of government imposed upon us. The other reason may be the failure on the part of the Nagas to grasp the crux of the issue. If only we understand the sunbstance of the matter, then the solution to many of our socio-economic or political problems is just within us. And my strong assertion is that whether Nagas live within or without India, Nagas must have a system of government suited to their own life situation. And I believe, India will allow it if they truly love and care for Nagaland.
The problems I have highlighted are not exhaustive, but just a lid opener to our mountains of problems. And the solution I have shared is not final but just a provocation of our thought to lead us to seek the right solution to our problems.

NSCN (IM)-NSCN (K) clash at village near Singda The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 9: A heavy exchange of fire between the NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) was reported in Irengkhul some 6 km from the Singda under the Sapermaina police station of Senapati district this morning. The villagers had left their homes and were taking refuge in villages nearby Singda area, a report said. The report also said that in the exchange of fire that started at around 4 am this morning and which continued till around 6 am there were some casualties on both sides. However the report could not confirm the casualties. On getting information security personnel have reached the spot, the report said.

Two more ART centres on card Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 09: Two more centres for providing free Anti-Retro Viral (ART) drugs to HIV/AIDS infected people under National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in Manipur are likely to come up soon, one each at Ukhrul and Churachandpur districts. Disclosing this, a reliable from Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS) informed that efforts are being taken up to set up ART centres at Ukhrul and Churachandpur districts.

With these two more centres problems being faced by the people living with HIV/AIDS might to be solved to some extent, the source said with optimism. The ART drugs is being presently made available to HIV/AIDS infected persons free of cost from the two centres at RIMS Hospital, Lamphelpat and JN Hospital, Porompat. The said drugs prolonged the life span of the patients by improving their immune system. The source informed that out of 1,26,036 blood samples tested in Manipur till date, 20,297 persons have been confirmed of HIV positive as against 31,391 blood samples tested in Nagaland out of which 1903 persons have been infected with the dreaded virus. Although the rate of HIV/AIDS infected cases in Manipur is more than Nagaland, NACO has been providing 500 ART vaccines each to the two neighbouring States, the source complained. Moreover, unlike in Nagaland where the vaccine is being provided free of cost to all the people who would like to avail the facilities, in Manipur the ART facility is given only to those whose CD 4 Count is below 200, the source added. Many HIV/AIDS patients in Manipur are still facing lot of hardships in trying to get the life-saving drugs, the source said, adding that in order to solve this difficulties, efforts are being made to procure more ART drugs from NACO.

AIDS meet ends Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 09: The two day workshop on ‘HIV/ AIDS Awareness amongst Media Personnel’ organised jointly by Ashangbam Communication and Manipur State AIDS Control Society concluded at MACS conference hall today. Eight papers on the theme of the meet were presented during the session. The papers included ‘Prevention of Parents to Child HIV Transmission’ by PPTCT State Unicef consultant Dr H Priyokumar, artiste/columnist Narendra Ningombam on ‘traditional Media and AIDS’, Executive Editor of Manipur Mail daily N Ibochouba on ‘The role of Media in Preventing the Spread of HIV: Media’s Campaign in the Changing Scenario of HIV/AIDS’ and DDK Imphal’s Programme Executive Khogendra Akoijam on ‘Role of Electronic Media in the Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Manipur’.

After intense question from delegates and subsequent discussions the workshop entrusted a panel headed by Clinical Psychologist of RIMS M Akshyaykumar to frame recommendations. The discussion session on the workshop papers was held with retired news Editor of AIR Imphal Seram Mangi as the moderator.
Mahajan slams UPA govt for Sonia link Express India Press Trust of India
Posted online: Saturday, September 10, 2005 at 1505 hours IST Updated: Saturday, September 10, 2005
Kohima, September 10: Even as the BJP continued to face one internal crisis after another, Pramod Mahajan chose to ignore these developments and instead attacked the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. The UPA government came under attack from the senior BJP leader for having a "foreign ideology with a foreigner lady".
Winding up his two-day visit to Nagaland, Mahajan directed his jibes mainly at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He described Manmohan Singh as a perfect example of a man "full of responsibility without authority" and Sonia Gandhi as "full of authority without responsibility".
He made the comments while addressing the inaugural function of the year-long silver jubilee celebration of the Nagaland state unit of the BJP at Dimapur yesterday. Mahajan also termed the Congress and Left alliance as "opportunistic and unholy which posed a grave threat to the country”.
On the influx of illegal Bangladeshis in the state, Mahajan said if stringent measures were not taken, Nagas would become a minority in their own state within ten years. Mahajan congratulated the state BJP for making a considerable impact in the state's political scenario. The BJP has seven MLAs in the 60-member state Assembly. He also paid tributes to BJP leader N C Zeliang.
Three Assam BJP leaders arrested for letter bombs By Indo Asian News Service Guwahati, Sep 10 (IANS) Three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Assam have been arrested on charges of sending explosive-packed letters to newspaper offices, police said Saturday. The trio, including a district unit president, Mrinal Saikia, were sent to five days police remand to ascertain the motive behind sending sealed letters to newspaper houses packed with explosives and fuse wires, a police official said. 'We are interrogating the three and trying to find out their motives,' the official said. According to reports, two language newspaper offices in Jorhat district informed police about receiving the packets from some unidentified people. The packets contained the 'bombs' and leaflets of an unknown organisation - Fighters for Preservation and Protection of Assam.
'We immediately responded and laid a trap and found a group of people with an identical packet stuffed with some detonators trying to hand it over to another newspaper office,' the police official said on telephone from Jorhat. Saikia had unsuccessfully contested as a BJP candidate in the 1999 parliamentary elections. 'The other two arrested are also senior BJP activists,' the police official said. 'The detonators were powerful and could have led to a disaster. We are trying to find out if they had any plans to blow up the offices.' Police also seized a crude bomb from Saikia's vehicle. The leaflets have communal overtones with the so-called Fighters for Preservation and Protection of Assam urging locals to wage a war against illegal Bangladeshis. The BJP state unit had 'temporarily' removed Saikia from the party. The Congress party has demanded a ban on the BJP for trying to create violence and foment communal tension in the state. 'We want a thorough probe into the matter before we make a statement,' a senior BJP leader said.
'ULFA talks offer will not stop army operations' By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service Guwahati, Sep 9 (IANS) Authorities in Assam Friday said there would be no scaling down of anti-insurgency operations against the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), despite the outfit offering talks with New Delhi. 'Security forces are alert as ever and there is no question of being slack or complacent while dealing with militants,' Assam police chief P.V. Sumant said. The statement comes in the wake of the ULFA nominating a team of representatives to begin preliminary talks with the Indian government.
'There is no ceasefire yet and so we cannot scale back operations. But the move by the ULFA for initiating talks is a positive development and we should all give them a chance to bring peace,' the police chief said. Sumant said the overall law and order situation in the state has shown considerable improvement in recent months with rebels facing heavy reverses at the hands of security forces.
'The stepped up offensive by our forces apart, people in general have started rejecting the rebels. There were many instances when locals refused them food and shelter,' he said. 'The public upsurge against militancy has come as a big blow to the rebels.'
Some 13,000 rebels belonging to various militant groups have surrendered before authorities in Assam since the first batch of ULFA guerrillas surrendered in 1992. 'Some 8,000 militants have surrendered in the past seven years alone, of which about 900 ULFA and National Democratic Front of Bodoland rebels surrendered arms just after the Bhutan operations in December 2003,' Sumant said. Meanwhile, Assam Police have imported several sophisticated explosive detection gadgets, besides equipping its nearly 50,000 constabulary with modern weapons and advanced communication systems. 'Now we can claim that our state police force is at par with any other force in the country in terms of modern weapons and efficiency,' said Sumant.
6 including three NSCN (K) arrested NET News Network
Imphal, Sept10: In a successful search operation, police netted three cadres of underground RPF/PLA and three cadres of NSCN (K) along with a 9mm pistol during early morning raid in Uripok Sorbon Thingel today. Among three PLA cadres arrested, two are said to be directly involved to the abduction of Manipur University Student's Union president Kh.Ashokumar Singh. The RPF/PLA cadres are identified as self style Sgt.Major Laishram Lincoln alias Nicolai alias Nao Khomba alias Thoiba(35) of Naoremthong Khulem Leikai, Tongbram Nungshangba Singh alias Bimol(34) of Uripok Sorbon Thingel and Gurumayum Nimaichand Sharma(31) of Nagamapal Singjubung Leirak. According to police, Lincoln joined the outfit in 1993 and is working as assistant secretary while Bimol joined in 1993 and Nimaichand in 1998 and all of them are working in Division IV. Nimaichand is said to be the younger brother RPF/PLA chief of army staff G.Jame. The three NSCN (K) cadres are identified as Chujanglung Daingmei(23) of Khoupum Thanagong at present Nagamapal Singjubung Leirak, Panmei Kalingong alias Kaling(21) of Lamsang Chingkhulong village and Lungkinlakpou Kamei(18) of Khoupum Luwang Khullen. One 9mm pistol and one magazine with five live rounds was recovered from Kaling. According to police statement, with hot heel to trace the abducted MUSU president Ashokumar, the early morning raid in three places of Uripok areas including Sorbon Thingel, Singjubung Leirak and Tourangbam Leikai was conducted by combined team of Imphal West and Imphal East commandos from 3.30 am till 7am today. As the police team had entirely cordon off the areas, three persons at around 5.30 am were seen trying to get away scaling a wall from the scene and after a chase the three were overpowered and arrested and upon preliminary interrogation, the three identified themselves as NSCN (K) cadres.
In another adjacent locality of Uripok in Singjubung, three hard-core members of RPF/PLA including one sergeant major of the outfit was arrested. In a desperate attempt to give slip the police, the three jump into a pond and try to escape but were arrested. Upon interrogation later on, among the three two Lincoln and Bimol are said to be directly involved to the abduction to MUSU president Kh.Ashokumar Singh from Manipur university campus on September 6 last. Based on theirs confession, police also swooped upon areas of Naharup Pangong in Imphal East where Ashokumar is said to be kept in the custody of the outfit but were not fruitful in their rescue effort. The police are also conducting searches in suspected areas at present. In the meantime, the where about of the abducted MUSU president Kh.Ashokumar Singh still remain elusive till today since September 6 last. But in a positive development, a video clip dispatched to local cable today shows MUSU president speaking in connection with the September 6 incident maintaining that it was an unfortunate episode and should not have happened. He regrets that he could not control the situation at that hour.

Frans on 09.10.05 @ 11:27 PM CST [link]


Friday, September 9th

Naga summit in Thailand sets out to chart a coherent peace strategy:


Naga summit in Thailand sets out to chart a coherent peace strategy: New Kerala
Dimapur : The ongoing Naga summit hosted by the NSCN (I-M) in Thailand, is expected to draw a broad policy roadmap that will define the nature of positioning that the NSCN (I-M) would take in its future political dialogue with the Centre. The hi-profile meet is also set to discuss threadbare on the aftermath of the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM the powerful Naga students’ organization in the Naga hills of Manipur on Manipur and the impact it had in the valley. While in Manipur the economic blockade obviously did not go down well, here in Nagaland the blockade is widely perceived as a successful legitimate, civil dis-obedience movement which had prompted Manipuri society to rethink on several past offers from Naga groups to engage in dialogue on the Naga integration issue.

Over 70 heavyweight Naga delegates from several influential Naga civil society, students, rights groups from Nagaland and Naga areas of Manipur like the Naga Hoho, the NSF, the NMA and the Naga Church have turned up at the summit level Naga meet in Thailand. The meet held under the banner of Naga People’s Consultation on the peace process would likely reiterate emphatically that solution to the Naga problem would not be possible without integrating all Naga areas into a single political entity. It may be mentioned that to inject momentum to the ongoing Centre-NSCN (I-M) political dialogue, albeit an uneasy one for New Delhi, the NSCN (I-M) had espoused a hard-line position during the last round of talks in Amsterdam. NSCN (I-M) negotiators had sent a strong political message back home and to New Delhi by reluctantly agreeing to extend the ongoing truce for six months only. The inherent message in its new ceasefire deal with the Centre was quite conspicuous : That it is open to all other options including resorting to armed campaign if there was no tangible progress on its political demands or aspiration on the Naga integration issue.

The Thailand meet also assumes added significance because of the fact that such a high profile Naga meet is being held abroad soon after top brass of the NSCN (I-M) left the country in the wake of any tangible breakthrough in its series of political talks with New Delhi during their stay in the country.
Non-progress on several outstanding political issues particularly on the Naga integration issue, had prompted the NSCN (I-M)’s top brass to leave the country with frustration citing ‘health ground’ and ‘personal engagements’. Sources said that the NSCN (I-M) had over the past few months shown growing reluctance to hold further talks in New Delhi citing the original precondition of the cease-fire and political dialogue that talks would be held in a third country. New Delhi’s own constraints to take a more favorable public stance towards the Naga integration issue in the face of stiff resistance from Manipur, has further distanced the two sides from reaching a final meeting point. The NSCN (I-M)’s influential leader Th. Muivah has used the Thai platform to reiterate the organization’s maximal position that solution could not be found within the ambit of the ‘Indian Constitution’. The Thailand meet which would be a brainstorming session for the Naga leaders from the NSCN (I-M) and the powerful Naga civil society network, will have discussed these crucial developing issues. It is expected that the meet would discuss on developing a more coherent and co-operative policy between the Naga civil society on such issues as possible dialogue with Manipur over Naga integration issue.
Mahajan accuses UPA Government of derailing Naga peace process Thannganing Hungyo September 8 Morung Express
Dimapur (MExN): The Bharatiya Janata Party has lambasted the ruling United Progressive Alliance government of not being sensitive to the problems of the Northeast. General Secretary of the BJP Pramod Mahajan, said in a press conference which was held at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur today that the Congress led regime’s behaviour towards the region was ‘discriminatory in nature’ and accused the Central government of having a ‘step-motherly’ treatment towards the seven sister states. On the issue of integration of all Naga inhabited areas, Mahajan stuck to the BJP’s earlier stand. He said that a consensus had to be taken up with leaders of all the states which have Naga populations if the map of the region was to be redrawn. Accusing the Congress-led government for derailing the Naga peace process, he said that had the people of India elected the BJP to power for another term, permanent peace could have already become a reality in Nagaland. For the last 15 months, the peace process has been lagging behind and is unsatisfactory, Mahajan remarked. While stating that the UPA was not serious in its approach to the problem in Nagaland, he asked the Center to expedite the peace process. He also asked all segments of Naga society, whether overground or underground to take earnest initiative towards the peace process. Mahajan also enquired of Manmohan Singh’s government as to where the special package initiated by the BJP had disappeared after the UPA came to power. While reaffirming the BJP’s support to the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government, Mahajan said that the party was fully committed to the Common Minimum Programme of the NPF led government. He was optimistic that the DAN would complete its five-year term and by bringing progress to the state would renew its mandate. While naming terrorism, naxalism and illegal immigration as the three dangers to the internal security of the country, Mahajan said that Nagaland had become a victim to illegal influx of Bangladeshis. He said that effective steps had to be taken to contain this menace. Mahajan said that to root out this problem, the Central government had to accept that the problem existed. When asked to give a solution to the vexed issue, Mahajan said that illegal immigrants should be disenfranchised to stop them from exercising political powers. He said that this could be a first step towards eradicating the problem as deporting 20 million illegal immigrants was too huge a task. On the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act enforced in Nagaland, he said that the army and the police were not the only answers in the Northeast as the region was facing multi-dimensional problems. Mahajan came to Nagaland in place of Central BJP Vice President Venkaiah Naidu as the latter is engaged elsewhere. He will be leaving today.
NSCN (I-M) punishes Morung Express
Imphal, Sept 8 (MExN): The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M) has stated that punishment has been meted out to its erring cadres for the September 3 Pallel Khulak incident. According to a press release issued by D Joy Rudolph, Executive Officer, Khurmi Region, these cadres have been punished and are still in military custody of the outfit for further military action. Earlier, five persons had reportedly beaten up two Naga youth at Pallel Khulak, Manipur while they were returning home from Tuisimi village. One of those assaulted happened to be an NSCN cadre. Later, the same cadre returned to the spot with two of his accomplices in search of the five who had assaulted him. Not finding them, they assailed a person by the name of M Ajit Singh who happened to be in the vicinity, Joy has stated. The NSCN has, in this regard, stated that the perpetration of such an act is not justifiable. The outfit has further apologized to the victim and his family members.
NSCN regrets assault on innocent villager at Pallel The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 8: Expressing deep regret and condemnation at the incident that happened at Pallel Khullak on September 3 in which one innocent person was assaulted by its cadres, the NSCN Khurmi region has expressed their apology to the victim and his family members.

Stating that the government of the people`s republic of Nagalim (GPRN) is a people`s government it said in a press release that the problem faced by any Kuki, Meitei, Pangal, madrassi, Panjabi, Naga, etc. living in and around Nagalim is the NSCN`s concern and responsibility the outfit deeply regretted and condemned the incident at Pallel.

The press handout issued today by the executive officer, central administered area, Khurmi region, stated that in the aftermath of the September 3 incident at Pallel Khullak, a fact finding team of Khurmi region was assigned to ascertain the nature of the incident.

After a thorough investigation, the statement added that it was learnt that two Naga youths returning home from Tusimi village via Pallel khullak on a motorbike were stopped all of a sudden by five youths and were beaten up without any reason. The incident was witnessed by the local people of the area and they provided first aid to the one of the injured youths.

Unfortunately one of the youths beaten up happened to be a NSCN cadre and infuriated at the treatment meted out to him he along with two fellow members of the outfit went back to the spot and finding none of the assailants there assaulted M Ajit Singh who was innocent person.

The action was not justified in any manner, the statement said adding that it is totally wrong on the part of the NSCN cadres to commit such offence. The cadres were punished and they are still in the outfit`s custody for further action.

Further, NSCN Khurmi region appealed to all that Pallel is home to different sections of people and so any incident in and around Pallel should not have bias. It also appealed for discouraging such motives and asked for every related matter of the NSCN to be reported to the Khurmi Region office for further rectification and action.
Tri-Nation Gas pipeline may cripple Northeast insurgency Morung Express The brief visit of the articulate Union Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to Dhaka to further explore possibilities to give shape to the proposed multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project to import natural gas from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh, will go down well in the insurgency-struck region of the Northeast. The perception among policy analysts in the region is discernible and unanimous: that the project could help positively reverse the current fragile ties between India and Bangladesh and boost prospects of reducing and containing, if not annihilating for good, the capability of various insurgent groups in the region to wage their violent campaign in the Northeast from safe shelters across the border in Bangladesh. India and Pakistan’s shared goal to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline deal, notwithstanding several internal and external constraints, have to a great extent demonstrated the force of trade and commerce to positively influence and consolidate peace processes. This happened because of the growing realization both here and in Pakistan that such a mega project with tremendous financial spin-off for a state like Islamabad and similar benefit for New Delhi would inevitably act as a catalyst to further consolidate the improved relationship between India and Pakistan.
Similarly, the growing consensus here among the strategic community is that Dhaka should be brought under the growing net of Indian sphere of influence with optimism that it would be more co-operative in addressing India’s concerns despite its often-irritating transgressions and complicity hurting Indian interests. The pressing need for such a ‘reaching out’ policy is imperative because of the long-term security stake for the northeast region: Dhaka has often been accused of having covertly or overtly hosting swarms of insurgents from the Northeast, the most infamous being the ULFA of Assam, NLFT of Tripura and Bodo militants and encouraging poor Bangladeshis to cross over to the greener pastures in India’s northeast. Secondly, while India’s relationship with China is on the upswing there is also growing security concern over stepped up engagement by China-Pakistan axis with Dhaka in diverse areas from commerce to security and efforts to rope in Dhaka under its sphere of influence through Myanmar; Just as there is equally growing alarm in New Delhi over the rising influence of China-Pakistan axis in Nepal’s polity and military set up ever since its monarchy seized power.
While it is understandable that Dhaka had tried to inject pre-conditions upon New Delhi like request for transit for trade with Nepal and import of hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan during the latest discussion to concretize the gas pipeline project, there is a strong current of opinion in the region that sooner than later Bangladesh will have to make way for the tri-nation gas pipeline because of the anticipated financial spin offs involved which could be worth several hundred million dollars for Dhaka in the first few years itself as transit fee. Besides, it will only be at Bangladesh’s economic disadvantage, if not peril, to force New Delhi to explore the costlier alternative option of laying the pipeline through the other Northeastern states – India has already expressed its intent to bring gas from Myanmar in the near future for its growing energy need no matter whichever way the pipeline is laid and however daunting, longer and costly the alternative option might be. Infact, Indian oil giants are even exploring for increasing its activities in Myanmar to meet its growing energy needs. The proposed gas pipeline, espoused by a group under the banner of Mohona Holdings in 1996, was given the go ahead in principle by the governments of the states of West Bengal and Tripura as well as Myanmar. The proposed pipeline would enter Bangladesh through the Brahmanbaria border from the northeastern state of Tripura and reach West Bengal through the Rajshahi border. Political and defence analysts in the Northeast concur that if India should engage in trade offs with Dhaka to give life to the tri-nation gas pipeline project then it too should ask Dhaka to seriously and effectively address other non-economic but more serious issues like its security concerns and influx problem in the region.
It is quite clear that the Northeast particularly the states of Assam and Tripura had been victim of protracted violent campaign waged by proscribed armed groups using Bangladesh’s territory for logistics and as staging ground. India has repeatedly raised the issue of several top leaders of the ULFA including its top brass Paresh Baruah taking shelter in Bangladesh. The Indo-Bangla relationship had slumped to one of its lowest points only recently when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to keep away from the proposed SAARC summit in Dhaka on security grounds which led to abrupt cancellation of the meet. The fall out from the deteriorating Indo-Bangla relationship had been increased skirmishes between the border patrol forces of the two nations, often unprovoked, and allegations of inciting violent campaigns in each other’s territory by the other.
Union minister Aiyar’s talk in Dhaka to explore further to give life to the tri-nation gas pipeline should be carried forward for reasons other than meeting India’s growing energy needs. Observers in this part believe that if New Delhi could progressively inspire Dhaka to address its security concerns and connect it with incremental incentives for Dhaka like addressing Bangladesh’s concern on trade imbalance against it and going ahead with the gas pipeline project, the mutual benefits from such trade offs would be mutual particularly loaded heavily in favour of Dhaka. For Bangladesh, the minimum initial tangible steps that it could take to forward its immense potential to benefit from improved relationship with India, is to sincerely listen to India’s repeated accusation that powerful forces within its establishment or some powerful extremist groups inside the country are harboring armed groups like the ULFA to wage violent campaigns in India’s northeast. Any concrete step by Dhaka to dismantle the camps of these militant groups or actions to prevent these armed groups to operate from its territory is certain to go down very well in India. On the back of improved relationship between India and Myanmar leading to talks at strategic level, both sides are now co-operating to contain and pro-actively combat cross-border violent militant activities. The growing opinion among policy analysts in the region is that it is inevitable that in the near future Indo-Bangladesh co-operation on such critical issue as security would inevitably have to be developed and addressed to the satisfaction of each side - obviously to the benefit of the northeast - if hi-visible, mega projects with massive financial stake for both the parties concerned such as the proposed gas pipeline project, takes off.
Road Trip to Mon Kuknalim.com
All that I knew of Mon District and her people were only through stories related in colourful books published by Mapin and Prestel. Mon was like a shy dark lady tucked away in a corner in all her colourful mystery. She seemed so far, unreachable, remote. She fascinated me. So when my uncle Shancho Odyuo, an engineer of the Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development (NEPED, India-Canada undertaking) invited me on a road trip to Mon I agreed in a flash. Shancho Odyuo is an energy specialist and he has been working with power generating machines called Hydrogers, which generates 200w to 8-kilo watts of power by the simple water force of even a small stream. The Mission of his project is to improve the economic condition of the villagers by giving them cheap, affordable and free power. It is an encouraging project and I had to witness how the villagers would react. We started the journey on the 29th of July. We had planned to take the smooth straight Assam highway but we had to opt for the Wokha/Mokokchung route due to the Karbi Anglong bandh in Assam. It wasn’t a total shame; we got to cover a lot of Nagaland. The cool serpentine roads of Nagaland were a welcome treat. There were four of us, my uncle Odyuo, his daughter Ajano, Piecko the driver and me. The weather was sunny and cool (27 degrees C approx) all the way to Mokokchung. Laden with eats and juice we started from Kohima at 7 am. We passed through Angami, Rengma, Lotha, Sema and Ao areas. A very interesting chain if you observe carefully. We bought Kemena roti (sticky rice cakes) in Botsa, the salesman said, “O, fiftay hobote”(that’ll be 50 bucks), then in Wokha we had lunch, the hotel lady asked “Machu han arro thalibo?”(More chilli curry?), in Mokokchung we bought bananas, the saleslady said,”Tin karuni twelbe hoboti” (12 bananas for 10 bucks). The accents varied but their essence remains basically the same. Each of them surviving by marketing jhum organic products from the fields.

As we rolled on in a Bolero, I noticed that the roads were not as bad as I had imagined. We quite forgot about the roads ‘cos we were so busy identifying the names and species of trees. My uncle taught us a lot about Botany. For the first time I opened up my senses to be in tune with the environment. I could smell wet grass and earth as we crossed small streams, I could see so many varieties of trees, Hollock-Terminalia myriocarpa, Khokon-Duabanga Grandiflora, Pine, Alder-Alnus, Cedrella etc. Our forest resources are awesome. At some stops we could hear birds calling. This was true Nagaland in her real beauty. It’s a shame most of us are so busy living in cities and towns. My 16-year-old cousin Ajano, learnt so much about Nagaland along the way. I know a lot of adventurous Nagas take road trips often, but a big chunk of young Nagas are missing out on something so beautiful and informative. Most state schools organize study tours in India and abroad but Nagaland has so much more to offer her students. Wont it be embarrassing if a student on a foreign excursion was asked about the flora and fauna of Nagaland and he goes……’zip’ He may ramble some names from his text book but would he be able to make Nagaland come alive to that foreigner? Maybe once in a while westernization needs to take a back seat. Maybe once in a while modernization in the Naga context needs to take place. In no time we reached Mokokchung. It was my first visit. Mokokchung reminded me of the small towns along the way to Darjeeling. We filled the tank with fuel at a local gas station, whereby we encountered an incident. Piecko the driver misplaced the fuel tank cover. Apparently he placed it on the spare tyre of someone’s gypsy and the tank cover had happily rolled along with the gypsy. After running along the road for 15-20 minutes, a sheepish looking Piecko appeared with the missing tank cover.

We saw a lot of Ao villages, Lungkhum, Chuchuyimlang, Changtongya etc. Somehow I felt quite close to my Ao friends as I saw their villages gleaming on hill tops. We passed through Tuli paper mill. The temperature began to rise as we neared Assam. The flora changed from Pine and Alder to Bombax and Neem. We stopped to take pictures of the Tuli tea gardens just before reaching the Assam border. We passed through Amguri, Sibsagar and Sonari. Four hours after leaving Tuli we finally reached Tizit town of Mon. As we stopped at a gas station we were greeted by a drunken brawl, which I believe offers local entertainment to the sleepy town of Tizit. The Tizit plywood factory was puffing away languidly as we climbed towards Mon. The weather was warmer than expected and Mon, more beautiful than imagined. The sun was just about setting and the Konyak villagers were returning home after a hard day in the fields. I could smell the paddy fields in the twilight and it gave me a rustic feeling of content. We stopped for the night in Tuimei village, as that was the first village my uncle was to work with. We were introduced to the young and modern Ang of the village; he was flanked by his secretary and the Village Dobashi. The people were polite and pleasing. The Ang had built a modern house beside his traditional hut. The house was clean and well maintained; the toilets to my relief were clean with proper walls and doors. Much better than some of the villages I had been to. Tuimei village is just beside the state highway leading to Mon town (20 km from Mon). There is a lot of economic scope for these villagers. They know that the hydrogers will provide them free power, which they can utilize in 101 ways. The Ang’s son spared us his room for the night. The room was well decorated with old CDs, pokemon tazos and Bollywood posters. It felt like walking into an Aishwarya Rai shrine. As I laid down to rest I was face to face with Ms. Rai, who was vacuously oblivious to the ironic fact that her face graces a Konyak Ang’s home. Power cuts are very frequent and during the short hours of power, the Ang’s family would enjoy watching hindi movies and gospel videos on their CD player that sat proudly next to the traditional wood carvings. Small modern pleasures they enjoy after a hard day in the fields. Looking forward to the next day I prepared for bed. The chirping crickets outside, the dim flickering light of the oil lamp and its smell lulled me to sleep in no time. 5 am and the household started teeming with activity. One has to get up early in a village…even visitors, it’s embarrassing to sleep late when everyone is up and about. After washing up I ventured into the huge kitchen, abuzz with morning activities. With strong tea to kick start our day, we trekked down the jungle following a stream in order to locate an ideal place to install the hydroger. If a small stream can produce hydropower of about 3-4 kilowatt imagine how much more power larger streams and rivulets will produce. At such rate, all the villages of Nagaland will have energy. So, for those people exasperated with the State Govt. be assured that there are Govt. workers dedicated to the development of rural Nagaland, all is not lost. After surveying the site, killing a meter long snake, slipping on wet stones, sliced by sharp blades of grass, we finally emerged from the jungle. All that made me wonder how Tarzan’s Jane survived the jungle or for that matter how David Livingstone did what he did. Much to our pleasure the Ang’s officials quenched our thirst with cool and fresh cucumbers, which we ate without skinning or slicing. It’s sweet juice dripping down my throat, I literally relished on the vegetable and for once I did not reach out for the tissues in my pocket, for which I was slightly embarrassed as I saw an old villager take out his dagger, neatly skinned his cucumber, sliced it and had it like a gentleman. I saw the resourcefulness of these villagers as one of them hastily started splitting the bamboos he had collected in the jungle. These bamboo splittings would be transformed into a beautiful basket by the end of the day. People know the Konyaks as backward tribes, but as I interacted with them, I noticed their intelligence and diligence. One old fellow insisted I take his picture for posterity, telling me that in a few years he’d be long gone but his picture would be a blessing for my children and me. He proudly posed with his dagger and pineapple, which he later gifted to us. I was touched at his far sightedness. They are humorous and kind people not the proud fierce race they are known as. Many times I got lost following their jokes much to their amusement, as they lapsed into metaphors.

As we walked up towards the village for breakfast, we heard little voices singing gleefully and the owners of those sweet voices emerged from behind a fold of trees. They were three little girls (aged around 8-9) and their grandmother with a baby on their way to the fields to work. Innocent pretty girls oblivious to the world’s worries. I have nieces their age playing with barbies and going for barbecue parties. But these village girls are so happy where they are, satisfied with their simple and hard life, carrying their little baskets with things they would need in the field. I wondered how their life would be like ten years hence; maybe one of them might become an officer. I hoped so much that they grow up into young ladies with vision and ambition. Taking their pictures thrilled them to bits. Its moments like these that make one want to make Nagaland a better place. In honor of our visit the Ang of Tuimei, our host, sacrificed one of his goats and served us a delicious lunch. The household help (both male and female) scurried around serving lunch. After the meal, my uncle asked me to witness the interviews. We were introduced to the Women leader of Tuimei village; her name was Nongle, probably in her late twenties. She was dark and beautiful; her fine features took me aback. I soon learnt that the women folk of Tuimei village were benefiting from the financial help they received from NEPED. Traditionally Konyak women cannot own property but changes are taking place. With the money they received from NEPED they purchased a plot of land and are cultivating bananas and beetle nuts. They are proud owners of an active field. The new proposed hydroger will help the women folk earn more by giving them power to run juicers and sell fresh fruit juice along the highway. With time running out, we had to leave the village. The Ang gifted us Konyak shawls and woodcarvings, for them it is a shame not to offer us anything for us it is an honor to receive from them. After the photo sessions and warm goodbyes we moved up to Shangnyu village. On the way we stopped to refill my uncle’s pockets with tamul (beetle nut with leaf) I saw a sight that interested me, the owner of the paan shop was an old Konyak warrior from an era that is slowing dying with him. Buying tamul and taking his pictures pleased him immensely. I wanted so much to know about his young exploits and war stories but we had to move on. So we left him smiling at us without any words spoken. It took us about an hour to reach Shangnyu village on the way we came across a pride of old Konyak warriors on their way from the fields taking rest by the roadside. We requested them to have their pictures taken, they agreed in exchange of tamul. By that they meant pocket money…. these people speak in metaphors and they are smart. They know that the popularity of their culture is international and it works in their favor if they can manage to earn a few rupees or dollars here and there. They were of the same peer group and from the same era of headhunters judging by their brass necklaces and tattooed faces. One could tell that photography was not new to them. They knew how to pose and what profile to present. While we as Nagas feel proud that our culture is popularized internationally through photographers and writers, it is sad that these village people benefit so less out of it all. After squeezing some rupees into their hands we continued on to Shangnyu. The road became mushy and inaccessible so for about 3 kms we trekked up to the Ang of Shangnyu’s hut. The Ang of Shangnyu on hearing our arrival hurriedly donned his royal necklaces of bones and turquoise. We entered his hut to find him fiddling with his pipe and tobacco. He explained how hard he tried to get the PWD to repair the village roads, how they are cheated and given only a fraction of the money donated by foreigners and such other complaints. He proudly told us about his son joining the IRB, about his first wife in Tizit and the political hunchos he is related to. We went to the mini museum where they keep a huge old relic, a wooden carving with its own legend. Much to my disappointment there were no human skulls around. We met the grand old patriarch of the present Ang, wobbling along with his cane. The Ang’s position passes on from father to son. The walk around the village was a delightful experience. We bought sweets for the local children, who were in their shorts playing football. Shangnyu is a beautiful village but we still had Chui village to visit so we moved on.

Chui village was quiet and deserted. The ailing Ang of Chui was in his house but he managed to come to the door for photographs. I had seen him healthier and regal in books but before me stood the same person, shriveled up and old. The books we read tell us and show us about the glorious days of the Angs that are no more. They are glorified and mystified, but I captured them in their ordinary everyday lives without their royal paraphernalia and officials. Just old warriors slowing succumbing to age. I was reminded of the ‘last of the mohicans’…how parallel their lives were. The Angs will go on from father to son but its true spirit will die out with these old Angs with the tattooed faces. It is sad that they are neither respected nor discarded. I was told that even in the 70’s and 80’s the Angs and their officials were respected and they did move about with dignity and pride, strictly following protocol. Life moves on, the world progresses and change is the only constant. Much to our disappointment there were no human skulls on display (however I was told that in the most interior villages one can still see the skulls on display). We did see the monoliths still standing with an eerie air about them. It was on these stones that severed heads were placed after a battle. With the advent of Christianity certain traditions died out. The human skulls that were believed to add strength to the village were all buried under stones. A few yards beside it stood the shiny church of Chui. As Christianity grew stronger, feuds between villages lessened. My uncle did some more work related surveys in Goching village after which we proceeded to Mon. We visited Mr. Shingwong, EAC and his wife. He was kind enough to arrange accommodation through his friend Major of the 20 Assam Rifles. We relaxed in the Assam rifles guesthouse suite, had a lavish shower, had dinner served by the attendants and were provided power back up. We easily fell asleep in such comforts.

The Konyaks are gentle and intelligent. Dusky in complexion and charming. It is said that when they started making hand made guns, the British saw it as a threat and exploited them with opium. This only tells us about the efficiency and sincerity of these people. I am glad that I got to interact with the villagers in their everyday lives and not with the town folks. Through the eyes of a Naga girl, I can see that they are at parity with the rest; I am not here to advocate any cause, but simply to let the young Nagas know that we are all one. Getting to learn about the other tribe will only be a blessing for you. It’ll be a first step in healing tribalism. This trip has been a real treat for me. We long to visit Dharamshala, Manali, Ladakh etc….but why not try out Mon, Tuensang, Phek, Wokha, Khonoma etc.? What have you have to lose?
Sophia Kikon has done her Masters in Multi Media and is presently pursuing a course in Print Journalism & New Media from the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore. She has contributed extensively to kuknalim.com's Picture gallery.

Join politics and test your popularity, say Assamese to ULFA Yahoo Ani
Guwahati, Sept. 9 (ANI): The United Liberation Front of Asom's (ULFA's) latest violent episode killed one and wounded eighteen in Assam's Kamrup district. All the victims were local people who were out shopping in the market. Though violence by ULFA is nothing new, the incident has been condemned by the Assamese intellectuals, who have asked the banned outfit to shun violence and join mainstream if they are at all interested in serving the society. Over a period of time common people have become soft targets for the separatist outfit. Whether it is the Dhemaji blast last year or other blasts that followed - most of the victims of these heinous acts have been common citizens of Assam. In this situation they are bound to question the motive of the ULFA, which claims to represent the Assamese people. "We have not done anything wrong. Why we should be made victims. There is no reason and rationale to hurt us. Even small children are victims. They are seriously injured. What will happen to them," said an injured. Noted Assamese film director Santwana Bardoloi also expressed anger over the issue and said that present situation in the State is a result the continuing violence by the ULFA. Bardoloi, who is a recipient of the National Film Award in 1997 for her film, 'Adajya', believes that the outfit should test their popularity in the electoral arena to find out if it really represents the Assamese society. "Life has changed. Guwahati was one of the safest cities in the whole of India. It's no longer like that. And I would like ULFA to come to some kind of terms and join politics and work for the states," said Bardoloi. Bardoloi is also unhappy with the divisive politics being indulged in by ULFA, and says that by resorting to violence the ULFA has disturbed the peaceful ambience of the state and the Assamese way of life. She states that Assam has been part of the national mainstream for ages and it is difficult to even think of having an identity separate from the Indian nationhood. "If they keep on talking on sovereignty. It is very difficult. It's unimaginable for some of us. How can you have an independent country inside our country? So rest of the North East may not like it. So how can you have land locked area, which is an independent country inside one country? And I do not think its practical. Most of us do not believe. If they give that up it would be much easier for the centre to take care of it," Bardoloi said. Over the years the ULFA has tried to regiment the life of the Assamese society and tried to dictate people's taste and choice. This is unacceptable to people like Bardoloi, who blames the ULFA for the decline of the Assamese film industry. Now, crowds don't throng to the Assamese theatre, as audiences do not turn up due to fear of violence. Last year the entire cross section of Assamese society came out on the streets demonstrating against ULFA's policies. (ANI)

ULFA announces consultative group By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 8 – The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) today announced the list of a nine-member “people’s consultative group”, that will hold preliminary talks with the Government of India to pave the way for formal talks between the ULFA and the government. In a statement emailed to the media today, ULFA chairman, Arabinda Rajkhowa said that the consultative group has been created with like-minded people who would pave the way for talks for political solution of the “Assam-India conflict”. The group formed by the ULFA includes engineer Mukul Mahanta, journalists Ajit Bhuyan, Haider Hussain and Diganta Konwar, doctor Brajen Gogoi, advocate Arup Borbora, adviser to the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad Dilip Patgiri, adviser to the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti Lachit Bordoloi and sports organiser Hiranya Saikia.
The ULFA chairman said that noted litterateur Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami and former football player Rebati Phukan would act as facilitators of the group and they would maintain links between the government and the consultative group. Meanwhile, talking to this correspondent, Haider Hussain said that the ULFA commander in chief Paresh Baruah called him yesterday and requested that he should be a part of the team to be constituted by the ULFA to hold preliminary talks with the Government of India. “As the people of Assam want a solution to the problem, I agreed to be a part of the team. The success of the team will depend on the sincerity of the Government of India and the demands to be raised by the ULFA,” he said. He also revealed that he is yet to receive any guideline from the ULFA.
Dilip Patgiri said that said that the decision of the ULFA to engage the society as a whole for preparing the ground for talks with the Government of India is a positive step and a mature decision on the part of the outfit. He said that he is yet to receive any guideline from the ULFA on the issue of talks but “I believe that the job of the group would be to finalise the modalities and to prepare the ground. Ultimately, the leaders of the ULFA would have to sit in talks with the government.”
The All Assam Students’ Union has also welcomed the decision of the ULFA to form a consultative group and hoped that the Central Government would respond positively.
Its time to study government view on Sovereignty, says Ajit Bhuyan NET News Network Guwahati, Sept 8: Time has come to study Central government views and analysis on core demands of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) including sovereignty, said Ajit Bhuyan one of the nine members Peace Consultative Group (PCG) constituted by the outfit for initiating dialogue with Indian government. A leading intellectual and Editor of vernacular daily 'Aji', Bhuyan welcomed the outfit's move as a big breakthrough saying, " ULFA's decision to initiate the peace dialogue and subsequent declaration of the peace consultative group has succeeded in breaking a longstanding deadlock". Speaking on constituent of PCG, the senior journalist said that some very senior, experienced people with sacrifices behind them have been rightly chosen to represent the cause. " Now, the group should sit down immediately to chalk out strategies for the ensuing dialogue". Bhuyan was imprisoned twice during the regime of both Congress and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) for voicing against Human Rights Violations. He is presently on tour to France and US with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and is expected to return by September 17 next.
ULFA names its peace representatives NET News Network
Guwahati, Sep 8: The proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) today announced the list of the members that would represent the “Peoples Consultative Group” (PCG) on behalf of the outfit for the path breaking peace initiative dialogues with the Centre to be held in the mid October. It may mentioned that peace mediator Mamoni Raisom Goswami yesterday informed about the probability of a 8 member delegation of the outfit meeting the Centre to initiate the peace process.
The list disclosed by the outfit features as many as 9 names, which includes the names of Mukul Mahanta (Bureaucrat), Ajit Bhuyan ( Editor, Aji), Hyder Hussain ( Editor, Asomiya Pratidin), Brajen Gogoi (medical practitioner), Arup Borbora (Advocate, Gauhati High Court), Dilip Patgiri (president AJYCP), Lachit Bordoloi (Adviser, MASS), Diganta Konwar (Journalist) and Hiranya Saikia (Sports organizer). The release further informed that the 9 member Peoples Consultative Group would be introduced to the Union Government by noted writer and peace mediator Mamoni Raisom Goswami.

Frans on 09.09.05 @ 01:46 PM CST [link]


Thursday, September 8th

Fifth Naga meet at Bangkok begins on positive note


Fifth Naga meet at Bangkok begins on positive note Kuknalim.com KOHIMA, Sept 7: NSCN (IM) leader Thvingaleng Muivah has appreciated the Centre's commitment for an honourable and peaceful negotiated settlement of the Naga conflict and called for a national understanding to enable the Nagas to move forward in the making of the Naga nation. Inaugurating the 5th consultative meeting of prominent Naga leaders in Bangkok yesterday to discuss the peace process, Th Muivah said the recognition of the uniqueness of Naga history and situation by the Centre has laid the basis for any future negotiated settlement. Asserting that Nagalim does not belong to anyone but to the Naga people alone, he said any solution under the Constitution of India would not be acceptable but a possible Federation of India and Nagalim wherein the Naga people will have the supreme right to decide over their future could be considered. Over seventy members from Nagaland participated in the meeting, which was hosted by the NSCN (I-M). According to press release issued by A Akaho Assumi, Deputy secretary of the ''Ministry of Information and Publicity'' of the NSCN (I-M), Muivah called upon the Nagas to come forward to shape the future of the nation and said a rational understanding be arrived at in order ''to deliberate and come forward to the making of our nation''. (UNI)
Continuation of ceasefire depends on people’s will 5th Naga People’s Consultative Meeting Morung Express News September 7
DIMAPUR: An open statement issued after the conclusion of the 5th Naga People’s Consultative Meeting on the Indo-Naga Peace Process at Bangkok stated that the "will of the people" shall ultimately prevail for any continuity or non-continuity of the Ceasefire. The meet held from September 6 – 7, 2005, in the backdrop of the ongoing Ceasefire, between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM), extensively discussed on the progress made and the challenges to be met.
In an open statement issued after Wednesday’s session the Consultative Meeting acknowledged that much had been achieved during the last 8 years of talks and the fact that Naga leaders have gone all out to demonstrate their sincerity and commitment to resolve the political conflict through peaceful means. The consultations attended by Naga civil society organizations however expressed the firm opinion that the outcome of the Political talks so far, was far from satisfactory. "And should the "talks" continue without making substantial progress, the "will of the people" shall then ultimately prevail for any continuity or non-continuity of the Ceasefire", the open statement pointed out. "Therefore, the Government of India also must accelerate its decisiveness to resolve the Indo-Naga Political conflict by exhibiting its "political will", lest the very purpose for which the ceasefire was signed is negated, which has become a serious concern of all", it stated. Meanwhile, the Consultative Meeting also appreciated the continued efforts of all Nagas towards strengthening the peace process and further called upon every civil society organizations, churches and individuals to re-enforce themselves with greater preparedness and responsibilities towards consolidating peoples collective potentials for nation building and meaningful political settlement.
Naga summit in Thailand sets out to chart a coherent peace strategy Yahoo Dimapur, Sep 8 (ANI) : The ongoing Naga summit hosted by the NSCN (I-M) in Thailand, is expected to draw a broad policy roadmap that will define the nature of positioning that the NSCN (I-M) would take in its future political dialogue with the Centre. The hi-profile meet is also set to discuss threadbare on the aftermath of the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM the powerful Naga students' organization in the Naga hills of Manipur on Manipur and the impact it had in the valley.
While in Manipur the economic blockade obviously did not go down well, here in Nagaland the blockade is widely perceived as a successful legitimate, civil dis-obedience movement which had prompted Manipuri society to rethink on several past offers from Naga groups to engage in dialogue on the Naga integration issue. Over 70 heavyweight Naga delegates from several influential Naga civil society, students, rights groups from Nagaland and Naga areas of Manipur like the Naga Hoho, the NSF, the NMA and the Naga Church have turned up at the summit level Naga meet in Thailand. The meet held under the banner of Naga People's Consultation on the peace process would likely reiterate emphatically that solution to the Naga problem would not be possible without integrating all Naga areas into a single political entity. It may be mentioned that to inject momentum to the ongoing Centre-NSCN (I-M) political dialogue, albeit an uneasy one for New Delhi, the NSCN (I-M) had espoused a hard-line position during the last round of talks in Amsterdam. NSCN (I-M) negotiators had sent a strong political message back home and to New Delhi by reluctantly agreeing to extend the ongoing truce for six months only. The inherent message in its new ceasefire deal with the Centre was quite conspicuous : That it is open to all other options including resorting to armed campaign if there was no tangible progress on its political demands or aspiration on the Naga integration issue.
The Thailand meet also assumes added significance because of the fact that such a high profile Naga meet is being held abroad soon after top brass of the NSCN (I-M) left the country in the wake of any tangible breakthrough in its series of political talks with New Delhi during their stay in the country. Non-progress on several outstanding political issues particularly on the Naga integration issue, had prompted the NSCN (I-M)'s top brass to leave the country with frustration citing 'health ground' and 'personal engagements'. Sources said that the NSCN (I-M) had over the past few months shown growing reluctance to hold further talks in New Delhi citing the original precondition of the cease-fire and political dialogue that talks would be held in a third country. New Delhi's own constraints to take a more favorable public stance towards the Naga integration issue in the face of stiff resistance from Manipur, has further distanced the two sides from reaching a final meeting point. The NSCN (I-M)'s influential leader Th. Muivah has used the Thai platform to reiterate the organization's maximal position that solution could not be found within the ambit of the 'Indian Constitution'. The Thailand meet which would be a brainstorming session for the Naga leaders from the NSCN (I-M) and the powerful Naga civil society network, will have discussed these crucial developing issues. It is expected that the meet would discuss on developing a more coherent and co-operative policy between the Naga civil society on such issues as possible dialogue with Manipur over Naga integration issue. (ANI)
NSCN harps on ‘federation’ - Bangkok meet rejects solution under Constitution OUR BUREAU The Telegraph Kohima/Dimapur, Sept. 7: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has reiterated that a solution to the Naga issue cannot be acceptable under the Constitution or within the Union of India. However, during the “5th Naga people’s consultative meeting” held at Royal Rose Bangkhapi in Bangkok on Tuesday, NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah pointed out that a “federation of India and Nagalim”, could be acceptable to the outfit. Sources said Muivah praised Naga National Council president A.Z. Phizo who had given the axiom Ura uvie (Our land is ours). Addressing the more than 70 members from Naga NGOs, Muivah said: “Nagalim does not belong to anyone but to the Naga people alone.” He said in the federation of “India and Nagalim”, Nagas will have the supreme right to decide their future. Chairman Isak Chishi Swu was not present at the meeting attended by Naga Hoho, Naga Students Federation, Naga Council Dimapur and church leaders among others, sources said. In his message, Swu appreciated the concept of consultations and said no mistakes should occur at this “crucial juncture”. The NSCN (I-M) has maintained that peace talks are at a crucial juncture and any mistake could prove costly. Naga Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome was the moderator at the meeting. Hoho leader Keviletuo Angami and other leaders from Nagaland and Manipur also spoke on the occasion, the sources added. The meeting assumes tremendous significance as the NSCN (I-M) has agreed to extend the ongoing truce with the Centre for only six months unlike in the past when the truce was extended for a year. The meet also assumes significance as this is the first time that a high profile Naga meet is being held abroad. The NSCN (I-M) top brass left the country as they found no tangible breakthrough in their talks with New Delhi during their stay. Convener of the steering committee, the highest policy making body of the NSCN (I-M), Qhevihe Chishi Swu, lauded the role played by the Naga people during the recent economic blockade imposed by ANSAM in Manipur and for supporting the Naga integration rally in Kohima.
Nagaland worried about Bangladeshi influx Dimapur, The Hidustan Times
Government of Nagaland is on the lookout for illegal Bangladeshi migrants who may have shifted to the state from Assam after the scrapping of the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983 by the Supreme Court. "We strongly suspect that illegal migrants have taken shelter in Nagaland," State Commissioner TN Mannen has said. A meeting of the border Magistrates of Dimapur, Wokha, Mokokchung, Longleng and Mon has also been called on Tuesday to discuss the issue, Mannen said. "We have also asked deputy commissioners of districts to stay in touch with villages for first hand reports," he said.
According to intelligence reports, meanwhile, between 50,000 to 60,000 illegal migrants have settled in Dimapur alone. The State Government would take up the issue of Bangladeshi migrants with officials of the Assam Government. The two sides are to meet soon though the venue and exact date for the meeting has not been fixed, Mannen said. As for the border dispute with Assam, he said Assam should take into consideration "local and ground realities" for an early and amicable solution to the problem. The State Government, he said, was in constant touch with the peace committees constituted in the disputed belt along Assam-Nagaland border. (By arrangement with Newsfile)
NSCN (I-M) hosts Naga summit in Thailand: Calcutta Telegraph
Dimapur: Over 70 heavyweight Naga delegates from several influential Naga civil society groups from Nagaland and Naga areas of Manipur like the Naga Hoho, the NSF, the NMA and the Naga Church are participating in a summit level Naga meet in Thailand hosted by the NSCN (I-M) to chart future roadmap and generate consensus on policies to be adopted in the ongoing talks with New Delhi. The hi-profile meet termed as the Naga People’s Consultation on the peace process “the 5th such meeting - got underway on Tuesday at the Royalo Rose Bangkhapi in Bangkok. The meet assumes tremendous significance against the backdrop of the NSCN (I-M) agreeing to extend the ongoing truce with the Centre for only six months unlike in the past when year after year the Centre-NSCN (I-M) truce was extended for a full year at a stretch. The meeting also assumes further significance because of the fact that such a high profile Naga meet is being held abroad for the first time soon after top brass of the NSCN (I-M) left the country in the wake of any tangible breakthrough in their series of political talks with New Delhi during their stay in the country.

Addressing the gathering of powerful Naga civil society network, the NSCN (I-M)’s general secretary Th. Muivah rejected any solution within the ambit of the Indian constitution pointing that Naga integration and solution could not be within the ambit of the ‘Indian constitution’. Muivah said that Nagas could only come as close as possible to a sort of federation with India and Nagalim as separate entity where Nagas would have the full right to decide over their future. NSCN (I-M)’s deputy spokesman A. Akaho Assumi said that Muivah also appreciated the role of the founding father of the Naga movement for independence A.Z. Phizo recalling that the latter’s clarion call ‘Ura Uvie’ (Our Land is ours) had laid the foundation for Naga cause and galvanized the entire Naga people to fight for their rights. NSCN (I-M)’s chairman Isak Chishi Swu who could not make it to the meet, in his sober message praised the Naga leaders for holding such consultations. He said that such consultations among the Naga people was contributing to the healthy growth of ‘our community and Naga nation’. Convenor of the Steering Committee, the highest policy making body of the NSCN (I-M), Qhevihe Chishi Swu lauded the role played by the Naga people during the recent economic blockade imposed by ANSAM on Manipur. He also lauded them for supporting the Naga integration rally staged in Kohima. Senior representatives from the Naga Hoho, NSF, NMA, NPMHR, United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women Union Manipur, All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur, Dimapur’s influential organization the Naga Council as well as prominent Naga Church leaders and professionals from various streams of life spoke at the conclave. Among the influential speakers were the Naga Rights activists Neingulo Krome and church leader Rev. L. Bizo.

Naga bridge on Bangkok base - NSCN lines up integration conclave NISHIT DHOLABHAI The Telgraph
Kohima, Sept. 5: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has decided to hold a consultative meeting with different NGOs in Bangkok this week. NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah will meet leaders of Naga Hoho, Naga Council, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and other NGOs on Thursday and Friday, sources said. The move has come a few days after a Naga integration rally was organised in Kohima by several organisations, which was termed as an “epoch-making event” by the Hoho. “Whenever there is some issue, we have to have consultation with our people. This is one of those meetings where we will discuss the future because when we say solution, it should not be detrimental to the interests of either India or the Nagas,” NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser (home minister) R. Raising told The Telegraph.
Several Naga leaders have left for Bangkok from Nagaland and more will leave tomorrow. However, among the prominent absentees will be representatives of the Tuensang Mon Public Organisation. The organisation did not attend the integration rally and is opposed to Hoho president Horangse Sangtam. That, however, has not stopped others from proceeding to the Thai capital. Before leaving for Bangkok, Naga Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome said Hoho leaders would let the NSCN (I-M) leaders know about the “success of the integration rally”.
The Hoho leader said the rally highlighted the aspirations of the Naga people to stay under one administrative unit. He said this should be communicated by the NSCN (I-M) to the Centre. Krome was critical of a recent statement attributed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre will maintain the territorial integrity of Manipur. He said this amounted to playing hide-and-seek with the Nagas as the Centre has maintained that it is serious about resolving the Naga problem. Sources said the NSCN (I-M) was strengthening its units in Bangkok and Amsterdam in order to give a thrust to the Naga issue. As a result, some of its leaders may be “transferred” to these locations. “We have foreign relations and this is known by the government of India and whatever is happening, we are communicating it (to the Centre),” said Raising. Asked if the flurry of activities meant that there was some solution on the anvil, the NSCN (I-M) leader said there was bound to be a solution sooner or later. Both the Centre and the outfit are looking for a solution based on objective reality, he said. “We don’t want violence”. Raising termed the United Committee, Manipur (UCM) a “liar”, making a reference to the UCM’s criticism of the Naga MPs and MLAs from Manipur for attending the integration rally. He said the UCM was not understanding the Naga problem and integration did not mean that the Nagas would attack the Meiteis in Imphal Valley. The Naga Hoho also flayed the UCM’s statement.
Sham slur on Naga govt OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, Sept. 7: The Nagaland government has been allegedly recruiting hundreds of employees to the rank of lower division assistant, flouting all official norms for more than 10 years. Sources said the government has been consistently violating provisions of the Compulsory Notification of Vacancies Act, 1959. An official of the rank of additional chief secretary said every year 300 vacancies arise at the lower division assistant level. “All these are filled up through ministers,” he alleged. Examinations to fill up vacancies at the civil secretariat are to be held by the Nagaland Public Service Commission. While no examinations have been held for the past 10 years, the posts were filled up by successive governments. Even today, the practice continues.
“These backdoor recruits can actually rise to the level of secretary,” the senior official said. Those who have been ad hoc recruits for the past five years feel it is their legitimate right to be regularised and move court if they feel threatened. As a result, the practice continues unfettered. The government does not have an idea of its total number of ad hoc employees. Sources said a notification was circulated to all the government departments to notify vacancies and then recruit ad hoc employees years ago. However, the notification and the law are allegedly thrown to the winds by a nexus of bureaucrats and ruling politicians. “No department informs us before getting an ad hoc employee,” complained an official in the department of labour and employment. It is the nodal department taking care of the seven employment exchanges and two rural employment bureaux. The state has 46,521 unemployed youths registered till March this year. Out of them, 4,806 are graduates and 18,976 under-matriculates. These unemployment cardholders, however, rarely get placements unless they have the “right contact”. From September 2004 to March 2005, the exchanges listed only four persons who got jobs. However, the sources alleged that names of those employed have not been deducted from the unemployment list so that the figures remain high. This helps the government get more central aid, sources said.
No one can dictate the Konyaks: KU Shahkai Konyak September 7 Morung Express
Mon (MExN): Konyak Union President Tingnei and Vice President Naowang in a joint statement stated that no one can dictate the Konyak community whose stand was unshakeable. "The Konyaks know and see the arrogant and dictatorial attitude of some Naga leaders which may prove disastrous and dangerous for Naga unity," continued the KU officials. The KU also maintained that they regretfully see the ‘wrong movements of some responsible Naga NGOs whose aim is shallow and empty’ and are blindly supporting wrong ideologies unmindful of the outcome. The KU termed it as a ‘foolish act’ their participation in the integration rally. The KU further stated that the NGOs, instead of ‘standing to correct the wrong movements of the nation’, had become ‘inflammable fuels which would only add flame to the Naga political movement. The above statement come in the wake of a statement issued in a leading local daily by a person going by the name of Y Konyak. In this regard, the KU has summoned Y Konyak of Dimapur for explanation and justification of his statement wherein he had taken the name of the entire Konyak community in support of the Naga Integration rally which was held at Kohima on August 31 last. The KU has stated that it suspects some people with vested interests for bringing out such a ‘mischievous’ article. Further, the KU has requested the Editor of the concerned daily to produce the statement given by the said person to the KU branch, Dimapur at the earliest for identification of the person concerned.
Jandhobi, Bedangjungla pass MuayThai Exams from MuayThai North East Press Service
Bangkok, Sept 7 (NEPS): L Jandhobi of Manipur and Bandangjungla of Nagaland have successfully passed International MuayThai Exams that were recently conducted in MuayThai Institute, Bangkok. Three Thai Masters---Mr Chu Deng, Mr Jae Panom, Mr Let---and, one Canadian Master--- Mr Kirbi Thibeault---had trained both of them with other trainees from other parts of the world in the MuayThai Institute, Bangkok. Jandhobi and Bangdangjungla became the first Indian ladies who had
successfully passed MuayThai Exams from the internationally renowned MuayThai Institute, Bangkok. It may be mentioned that Jandhobi had already fought in World MuayThai Championship in Almaty, Kazakstan in 2003 and got bronze medal while Bandangjungla in World MuayThai Championship in Bangkok in 2004 with bronze medal
Cong whip on Naga MLA OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Imphal, Sept. 7: After the Opposition Federal Party of Manipur (FPM), it is the turn of the ruling Congress to target one of its legislators for attending the recent Naga integration rally in Kohima. A memorandum was today sent to party president Sonia Gandhi, seeking action against Wungnaoshang Keishing for “joining forces against those who are trying to break up Manipur”. The Kohima rally had been billed as the biggest show of Naga solidarity. PCC treasurer Sagolsem Achouba Singh, who presided over the meeting that decided to move the Congress high command against the legislator, described his participation in the Naga rally as a betrayal of Manipur. The Wangoi Congress block committee later submitted a copy of the memorandum to the PCC.
There was, however, no word from the PCC on the subject. A Congress leader said Keishing’s presence at a rally espousing the integration of all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas of the region was against the spirit of the UPA government’s common minimum programme, which states that the existing boundaries of the northeastern states will be safeguarded. “It has caused confusion within the party,” he said. Apart from the Congress MLA, four Naga leaders from Manipur attended the Naga Hoho-organised rally in Kohima. They are Lok Sabha member Mani Charenamei, FPM legislators Henry Paotei and Samuel Jendai and BJP member Danny Shaiza. Charenamei has always been vocal in his support of the campaign for Naga integration. The FPM cracked the whip on its “errant” duo following a diktat from the United Committee of Manipur, which came into prominence while spearheading the June 2001 uprising in the valley against Delhi’s attempt to extend its ceasefire with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) beyond Nagaland. Manipur is one of the three northeastern states — the other two being Assam and Arunachal Pradesh — that stand to lose parts of their territories in the event of Delhi acceding to the Naga community’s demand for integration. The UCM has warned political parties that they will be declared “anti-people” if action is not taken against the legislators who attended the rally in Kohima and spouted pro-integration slogans. The FPM, which is the largest Opposition party in the state, has asked its two legislators to reply to the showcause notices within 10 days. The BJP leadership is expected to meet in a day or two to discuss what kind of action should be taken against Shaiza. A party leader said the central leadership had been apprised of the issue.
India to boost horticulture in North East states Fresh Plaza A Centrally sponsored scheme on technology mission for integrated development of horticulture in the north eastern region has fixed an outlay of more than Rs 85 lakh (€ 155.356) for the tenth plan.
Among the eight NE states, Mizoram recorded the highest percentage of increase in area brought under horticultural cultivation, followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, official sources said. Citrus fruits like orange and lemon occupied the largest area cultivation followed by banana, passion fruit, pineapple, apple and litchi. Since horticultural products are perishable, immediate marketing and sales or alternatively storage, processing, packaging and preservation are required for the states' economy, they said adding these measures are expected to solve to a great extent this technology mission. Under this scheme, suitable infrastructural facilities were created for the production of crops and women farmers were being given support through technical training to make them self reliant, they added. Among the spices, there was an increase in ginger cultivation, followed by large cardamom, black pepper and turmeric. Besides, medicinal and aromatic plants and flowers were also cultivated, the officials pointed out. It is expected that the programme drawn for horticultural expansion will immensely benefit the fruit producers in Mizoram, they said.
Major breakthrough in ULFA peace talks From Our Staff Correspondent Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 – In a major breakthrough in the ULFA peace process, the outfit has conveyed its willingness to nominate an eight-member delegation of eminent citizens from the State to prepare the ground rules for the negotiations. The development has granted a fresh lease of life to the peace process that was deadlocked over the core issue of sovereignty. The process of negotiations is formally expected to get under way by the first half of October. An early morning call by ULFA Commander-in-Chief Paresh Barua to Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami today led to a flurry of activities that is likely to set a new course in the peace process. Barua conveyed that the ULFA was willing to nominate a group of “like-minded” people to sit for preliminary talks with the Government of India.

The chairman of the outfit, Arabinda Rajkhowa, later called to confirm the decision and requested Dr Goswami to get in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Desperate calls were made to National Security Adviser, MK Narayanan, who was busy with Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit.
Later in the afternoon, the professor managed to talk to the NSA Adviser and conveyed ULFA’s offer. Narayanan was said to be positive about the developments and reportedly conveyed that the process could be started formally only after the Prime Minister returns from his US visit later this month.
“I got an impression that the talks between the group and Centre may start by the first week of next month,” said Dr Goswami. ULFA leaders reportedly said that they are not going to come for the talks initially and instead the group of prominent citizens would hold talks with the Government of India to explore the feasibility and prepare the ground for direct talks between the two.
Dr Goswami said that she has conveyed to Narayanan that the outfit has met the pre-condition set by the Prime Minister that it has to shun violence before coming for talks. The Outfit has not indulged in any violence in the State including bomb blast during the Independence Day Celebrations in Assam, which indicates that they have kept their word,” She said. The talk process is expected to get underway only after the ground rule for the ceasefire is prepared. Dr Goswami however said that she was not in a position to say right away the terms of reference set by the Outfit for the group of citizens.
What is clear, however is that ULFA members would not be present in the initial rounds of negotiations. The deputed group would prepare the ground before formal negotiations gets underway.
The ULFA has requested Dr Goswami to be part of the delegaton. She has accepted the offer but at the same time, she said that she would like to disassociate herself from the process in the next stage, that is when the formal talks begin. However, a clear picture is yet to emerge, as the outfit is yet to clarify whether they still insist on release of 10 of their detained cadres languishing in prison. They have not mentioned about the core issue either.
ULFA mulls 8-member ‘team’ for talks with Centre Staff Reporter & our Correspondent sentinel
GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI, Sept 7: The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has decided to form an 8-member team for talks with the Central Government soon. But interestingly, the team will consist of ‘like-minded’ people who are not attached to the outfit. This has been disclosed by Dr. Mamoni Raisom Goswami who is acting as the mediator between the banned outfit and the Centre. Speaking to The Sentinel, Dr. Goswami said that ULFA Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah and Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa today talked to her over the telephone and requested her to discuss the ‘proposal’ with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). She also said that the 8-member team would be hand-picked by the ULFA. Dr Goswami said National Security Advisor NK Narayanan has told her that the discussion for setting of the ground rules for the talks would be held in the first week of October. She is hopeful that she will be able to talk to the Prime Minister directly tomorrow. "This is the last chance to solve the problem once and for all. The Government will not get a better opportunity than this as the outfit has itself expressed willingness for talks. The Government should grab it with both hands. It has to take things very seriously now. It is not only a matter of the talks, but it also involves the sentiments of thousands of people back home who have seen enough of bloodshed," said Dr. Goswami. She also said that the ULFA has not carried out any violent activities on the Independence Day this year, which is suggestive of a positive sign on their part. When asked whether she was requested to join the talks, Dr. Goswami answered in the affirmative and said that she had not taken any decision regarding it.
‘Exclude Bodo villages from MAC’ From our Correspondent Sentinel
KOKRAJHAR, Sept 7: The undivided Lakhimpur district committee of the ABSU, BSS, ABWWF, Ex-BLT Welfare Society and local intellectuals have demanded exclusion of Bodo villages from the Mising Autonomous Council (MAC). The group of Bodo organizations also threatened launching of a movement in case the State Government fails to fulfil their demand. In a fax message to local media here, the president of undivided Lakhimpur district ABSU, Damburu Daimary, said that the ABSU and its allied organizations, including ex-BLT Welfare Association, through a joint meeting held on Monday last at the premises of Bordoloni Primary BSS, discussed at length the maximum autonomy to the Mising Autonomous Council. They felt that maximum autonomy to the Council will be beneficial only for the Mising population while the Bodos, Sarania Kacharis, Deoris and Tengal Kacharis will be deprived of all facilities.
The press release, issued by the president of ULD/ABSU, said that the Mising leaders were trying to gain support from the Bodos and other tribes of the Council for consensus on maximum autonomy. Daimary, in the release, said that the undivided Lakhimpur district ABSU, BSS, ABWWF and Ex-BLT Welfare Society had already submitted a memorandum to the North Assam Commissioner through the Lakhimpur DC against the inclusion of Bodo villages in the MAC. They said that they have no objection for the maximum autonomy concept to Misings but the interest and safeguard of other tribal people of the Council need to be protected.
ULFA, Centre get set ready for dialogue NET News Network Guwahati, Sep 7:In one of the most significant developments in the recent history of Assam, the biggest militant outfit of the state, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is likely to meet Prime Minster Manmohan Singh in mid October to initiate peace dialogues. Informing this to northeasttribune.com, noted assamese litterateur Mamoni Raisom Goswami said that the delegation would comprise of 8 members and the outfit’s C-in-C Paresh Baruah and chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa would jointly do the selection. It may be recalled that one of the preconditions laid down by the outfit to initiate talks was that the 10 of its jailed members of the 16 member central executive council should be released so that they can participate in the outfit’s central executive meeting to discuss Centre's invitation for talks.
Free legal cell for HIV/AIDS patients Sangai Express By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 6: With the main objective of ensuring justice to people affected/infected with HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Law Network and Manipur Network of Positive People have jointly set up a free legal AIDS cell during a function held at the conference hall of the Manipur Network of Positive People today.
The legal cell would be catering to the need of the HIV/AIDS infected/affect-ed people to ensuring that justice is done to them on issues related to discrimination in society, denial of property inheritance in the family, right to education, negligence in treat- ment either at hospital or at home and other basic human rig-hts. The legal cell would also act as a platform for spreading legal awareness among the HIV/AIDS infected/affected people.
The cell would function from the office of the Mani-pur Network of Positive People located at Yaiskul Hiruhanba Leikai. Rakesh Meihoubam of Human Ri-ghts Network and Manipur Network of Positive People president L Deepak Singh spoke on the topics of ‘Human Rights law network’ and ‘Need of kno-wledge on human rights’ during the inaugural of the legal cell.
AIDS workshop: Asha-ngba Communication, Wa- ngkhei Ashang bam Leikai, Imphal would be organising a 2-day workshop on HIV/AIDS awareness among media personalities on Sep 8 and 9 at the conference hall of Manipur State AIDS Control Society, Lamphel-pat. The workshop is being organised under the sponsorship of MACS Experts in the field of HIV/AIDS and mass communication wo-uld be reso- urce persons of the workshop.

Tri-nation gas pipeline might help disable northeast insurgency Nagarealm
Dimapur, Sep 7 : The brief visit of the articulate Union Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to Dhaka to further explore possibilities to give shape to the proposed multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project to import natural gas from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh, will go down well in the insurgency-stricken region of the northeast. The perception among policy analysts in the region is discernible and unanimous: that the project could help positively reverse the current fragile ties between India and Bangladesh and boost prospects of reducing and containing, if not annihilating for good, the capability of various insurgent groups in the region to wage their violent campaign in the Northeast from safe shelters across the border in Bangladesh. India and Pakistan's shared goal to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, notwithstanding several internal and external constraints, have to a great extent demonstrated the force of trade and commerce to positively influence and consolidate peace processes. This happened because of the growing realization both here and in Pakistan that such a mega project with tremendous financial spin-off for a state like Islamabad and similar benefit for New Delhi would inevitably act as a catalyst to further consolidate the improved relationship between India and Pakistan. Similarly, the growing consensus here among the strategic community is that Bangladesh should be brought under the growing net of Indian sphere of influence with optimism that it would be more co-operative in addressing India's concerns despite its often-irritating transgressions and complicity hurting Indian interests. The pressing need for such a 'reaching out' policy is imperative because of the long-term security stake for the northeast region: Dhaka has often been accused of having covertly or overtly hosting swarms of insurgents from the Northeast, the most infamous being the ULFA of Assam and Bodo militants and encouraging poor Bangladeshis to cross over to the greener pastures in India's northeast. Secondly, while India's relationship with China is on the upswing there is also growing security concern over China's stepped up engagement in diverse areas with and efforts to rope in Dhaka under its sphere of influence through Myanmar.
While it is understandable that Bangladesh had tried to inject new conditions on New Delhi like request for transit for trade with Nepal and import of hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan during the latest discussion to concretize the gas pipeline project, there is a strong current of opinion in the region that sooner than later Bangladesh will have to make way for the tri-nation gas pipeline because of the anticipated financial spin offs involved which could be worth several hundred million dollars for Dhaka in the first few years itself as transit fee. Besides, it will only be at Bangladesh's economic disadvantage, if not peril, to force New Delhi to explore the costlier alternative option of laying the pipeline through the other Northeastern states " India has already expressed its intent to bring gas from Myanmar in the near future for its growing energy need no matter whichever way the pipeline is laid and however daunting, longer and costly the alternative option might be. Infact, Indian oil giants are even exploring for increasing its activities in Myanmar to meet its growing energy needs.

The proposed gas pipeline, espoused by a group under the banner of Mohona Holdings in 1996, was given the go ahead in principle by the governments of the states of West Bengal and Tripura as well as Myanmar. The proposed pipeline would enter Bangladesh through the Brahmanbaria border from the northeastern state of Tripura and reach West Bengal through the Rajshahi border. Political and defence analysts in the Northeast concur that if India should engage in trade offs with Dhaka to give life to the tri-nation gas pipeline project then it too should ask Dhaka to seriously and effectively address other non-economic but more serious issues like its security concerns and influx problem in the region.
It is quite clear that the Northeast particularly the states of Assam and Tripura had been victim of protracted violent campaign waged by proscribed armed groups using Bangladesh's territory for logistics and as staging ground. India has repeatedly raised the issue of several top leaders of the ULFA including its top brass Paresh Baruah taking shelter in Bangladesh. The Indo-Bangla relationship had slumped to one of its lowest points recently when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to keep away from the proposed SAARC summit in Dhaka on security grounds which led to abrupt cancellation of the meet. The fall out from the deteriorating Indo-Bangla relationship had been increased skirmishes between the border patrol forces of the two nations, often unprovoked, and allegations of inciting violent campaigns in each other's territory by the other. Union minister Aiyar's talk in Dhaka to explore further to give life to the tri-nation gas pipeline should be carried forward for reasons other than meeting India's growing energy needs. Observers in this part say that if New Delhi could progressively inspire Dhaka to address its security concerns and link it with incremental incentives like addressing Bangladesh's concern on trade imbalance against it and going ahead with the gas pipeline project, the mutual benefits would be mutual particularly loaded in favour of Dhaka.

For Bangladesh, the minimum initial tangible steps that it could take to forward its immense potential to benefit from improved relationship with India, is to sincerely listen to India's repeated accusation that forces within its establishment or some powerful extremist groups inside the country are harboring armed groups like the ULFA to wage violent campaigns in India's northeast. Any concrete step by Dhaka to dismantle the camps of these militant groups or actions to prevent these armed groups to operate from its territory is certain to go down very well in India. On the back of improved relationship between India and Myanmar leading to talks at strategic level, both sides are co-operating to contain cross-border violent militant activities. And the opinion among the policy analysts in the region is that it is inevitable that Indo-Bangladesh co-operation on such critical issue as security would inevitably have to be addressed to the benefit of the northeast if hi-visible, mega projects with massive financial stake for all the parties concerned such as the proposed gas pipeline project, takes off. [ANI]

Frans on 09.08.05 @ 05:29 PM CST [link]


Wednesday, September 7th

Naga bridge on Bangkok base - NSCN lines up integration conclave


Naga bridge on Bangkok base - NSCN lines up integration conclave
NISHIT DHOLABHAI The Telegraph
Kohima, Sept. 5: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has decided to hold a consultative meeting with different NGOs in Bangkok this week. NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah will meet leaders of Naga Hoho, Naga Council, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and other NGOs on Thursday and Friday, sources said. The move has come a few days after a Naga integration rally was organised in Kohima by several organisations, which was termed as an “epoch-making event” by the Hoho.
“Whenever there is some issue, we have to have consultation with our people. This is one of those meetings where we will discuss the future because when we say solution, it should not be detrimental to the interests of either India or the Nagas,” NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser (home minister) R. Raising told The Telegraph. Several Naga leaders have left for Bangkok from Nagaland and more will leave tomorrow.
However, among the prominent absentees will be representatives of the Tuensang Mon Public Organisation. The organisation did not attend the integration rally and is opposed to Hoho president Horangse Sangtam. That, however, has not stopped others from proceeding to the Thai capital. Before leaving for Bangkok, Naga Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome said Hoho leaders would let the NSCN (I-M) leaders know about the “success of the integration rally”.
The Hoho leader said the rally highlighted the aspirations of the Naga people to stay under one administrative unit. He said this should be communicated by the NSCN (I-M) to the Centre. Krome was critical of a recent statement attributed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre will maintain the territorial integrity of Manipur. He said this amounted to playing hide-and-seek with the Nagas as the Centre has maintained that it is serious about resolving the Naga problem. Sources said the NSCN (I-M) was strengthening its units in Bangkok and Amsterdam in order to give a thrust to the Naga issue. As a result, some of its leaders may be “transferred” to these locations. “We have foreign relations and this is known by the government of India and whatever is happening, we are communicating it (to the Centre),” said Raising. Asked if the flurry of activities meant that there was some solution on the anvil, the NSCN (I-M) leader said there was bound to be a solution sooner or later. Both the Centre and the outfit are looking for a solution based on objective reality, he said. “We don’t want violence”. Raising termed the United Committee, Manipur (UCM) a “liar”, making a reference to the UCM’s criticism of the Naga MPs and MLAs from Manipur for attending the integration rally. He said the UCM was not understanding the Naga problem and integration did not mean that the Nagas would attack the Meiteis in Imphal Valley. The Naga Hoho also flayed the UCM’s statement.
Consultations underway in Bangkok Morung Express
DIMAPUR, SEPT 6 (MExN): General Secretary, NSCN Th.Muivah gave a thorough update on the Peace process with New Delhi during the 5th Naga Peoples consultation which commenced today at the Royal Rose Bangkhapi, Bangkok-Thailand. More than 70 members participating from the various Naga civil society organisations such as from the Naga Hoho, students, women, tribe representatives, professionals, Human Rights representative, Church leaders, Dimapur Naga Council, Senior citizen Forum including officials from the GPRN and Naga army were present. This was informed through a press report issued by A. Akaho Assumi, Deputy Secretary MIP GPRN on behalf of the Naga Peoples Consultation Bangkok. "Nagalim does not belong to anyone but to the Naga people alone", Th. Muivah exhorted the delegation. Th. Muivah also praised the visionary leadership given by the late NNC President, AZ Phizo whose clarion assertion ‘Ura-Uvie’ (Our land is ours) laid the foundation and today Nagas ‘owe our existence to their right decision’. Responding to the issue of Naga integration, NSCN General Secretary commented that Nagas position had to be clearly stated and that the people will not accept any solution under the Constitution or within the Union of India but can come as close as possible to a sort of Federation of India and Nagalim, wherein the Naga people will have their Supreme right to decide over their future. The Ato Kilonser vividly stressed on the fundamental interconnectedness of the ‘land, people and politic’ of the Naga struggle.
A letter from the Chairman of the NSCN, Isak Chishi Swu was read out to the Naga delegation wherein he expressed his appreciating ‘the concept of consultation among our people, which is a contributing factor for the healthy growth of our community and nation.’ Swu could not participate in the consultation due to some unavoidable circumstances. The introductory session was moderated by Keviletuo Kiewhuo, vice-president, Naga Hoho while the following session was moderated by Neingulo Krome, General Secretary Naga Hoho and Paul Leo, Convenor, NPMHR. Qhevihe Chishi Swu, Convenor Steering Committee NSCN gave the welcome address to the congregation by appreciating the role play by the Nagas during the recent non-violent civil non-cooperation in the Naga areas currently administered under Manipur state and the successful holding of the mammoth Naga integration rally at Kohima on 31st August. Response speeches were delivered from the representatives of Naga Hoho, Naga Students Federation, Naga Mothers Association, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, United Naga Council, Naga Women Union Manipur, All Naga Students Association Manipur, Dimapur Naga Council, prominent individuals and church leaders.
FGN commemorates 42nd Indo-Naga Cease fire MOrung Express
KOHIMA SEPT 6: The Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) today commemorated the 42nd Indo-Naga cease-fire day at the Chedema Peace Camp organized by the Chitchat Committee, FGN.
L. Kaiso, Kedallo, FGN, delivered a short speech on ‘significance of the day’ in which he stated that the day has been observed as thanks giving day to God since 1964 as the dawn of peace in Nagaland brought through the guidance of God under the NBCC. He stated that the indo-Naga cease-Fire is historically very significant and is now into the 42nd year of its life following ten years of war between India and Nagaland with the mediation by Nagaland Peace Mission that was set up through a resolution passed in the 3rd convention of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council at Wokha in February 1964. He also said that this was the first of international Cease-Fire agreements signed by the Federal Government of Nagaland and the Government of India on 24th May 1964.He also mentioned that more than one thousand precious lives were lost in Naga resistance against Indian aggression.
He furhter stated that the proposal "A solution within the Indian Union, outside the Indian Constitution" so placed on the table of the Federal Tatar Hoho (FTH) was deliberated and debated at length and that the FTH in session had faithfully turned down the proposal on the ground that Nagas belong to a sovereign independent nation and were not demanding or fighting for any political status with the Indian union. Gradually, talks were elevated to Prime Ministerial levels of the two Governments. He said that there were six rounds of Peace talks at New Delhi which was remarkably one step forward for peace in the conflict but yet India has been denying genuine peace in Nagaland for more than six decades and that India has no right to occupy Nagaland. He noted positively that India being a large democratic and civilized country there is no way that they could still ignore the national rights of the Nagas as Nagas have a right to be a nation and a people. A short speech on the history of this day was also delivered by Vilhouthie Rhiepfu, President, Angami Region Council.A special number was presented by the Chedema peace Campers and scripture reading and prayer by Maj. Duopulie, Razou Peyu, AR, FGN. Rev Kari Longchari made offered a prayer for ‘Peace in Nagaland’. Today’s programme concluded with a mass prayer for the Naga people.
NPC reaffirms cause for peace in Nagaland Chizokho Vero Moring Express
Kohima (MExN): Nagaland Peace Centre (NPC) today reaffirmed its commitment to strive for the cause of peace in Nagaland as it gave a clarion call to the people to inculcate a sense of unity. Observing a Thanksgiving Service in commemoration of September 6, 1964 Peace Day at the Peace Centre Central office at D. Block, NPC chairman N. Theyo said "On this occasion, let us all reaffirm and commit ourselves to strive untiringly for the cause of peace in Nagaland." He appealed to the Nagas to retrospect on the situation that prevailed in Nagaland prior to 6th September 1964. "We recall how we were subjugated and oppressed by the military operations of the Indian Army.
There was bloodshed and people suffered untold hardship and misery. The need of the hour was peace, and Nagas cried out for the restoration of peace. A great hope emerged as God in his own wisdom and mercy made the Indian leaders come up with a political engagement through a peace talks," Theyo said adding such grounds have resulted in the signing of the cease-fire on September 6, 1964 between the Federal Government of Nagaland and the Government of India. "The much desired dream of the Nagas was realized and Nagas were delivered to this precious gift of peace and also the restoration of their physical, mental and emotional health" the leader said as he prayed that "God will continue to guide us to the right path to the peace" reminding that people were still waiting for the final solution. He also expressed hope that God would forgive the people and give them opportunity and blessing again. Rev. Chen Rengma one of the speakers at the occasion in his speech also said that there were people all over the state expressing their desire to live in peace for the cause of which some even laid down their lives.
"In everyday area of our life there is the search for peace and its pursuits. It is a requirement which is the most demanding task of the people like you and me who have committed for the pursuits of peace to be prevailed among the community" he said while affirming that Nagaland is a Christian majority state in India but has witnessed relentless violence, bloodshed, corruption, mistrust, injustice and factionalism. "Is there no answer to our situation? Is peace and reconciliation possible in the midst of such conflicting situation?" he questioned echoing the sentiments of the people ‘who keep asking why such a situation was taking place recklessly in a Christian state like Nagaland’.
Recalling the cease-fire agreement between the Government of India and the Naga national movement which was considered to be a period where there would be no more war he said, contrary to people’s expectation, there were several cases of killing, torturing and extortion which is not a genuine experience of peace for those who have lost their love ones and suffered. "This is why it is said,’one person’s peace is another’s violence; justice for one person may entail violence against another," Rev. Rengma added. He also called upon the people to carry the flag of peace and seek a purposeful life together in Christ. NPC member H. Hesso also spoke on the occasion. The NPC members also observed a 2 minute silence for all who died in the Indo-Naga conflict. Responsive readings were made led by Lhusi Haralu, Executive Director, Nagaland Peace Centre. Earlier, Rev. Dr. V.K. Nuh had said the invocation. Rev. Dr. Neiliezhu Usou said the benediction.
Pramod Mahajan to visit Nagaland :- webindia
Dimapur, 2005 3:24:56 PM IST Senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan is to visit Nagaland soon. Mahajan will participate in the party's silver jubilee celebration due to be held at Dimapur from September 9. Nagaland BJP general secretary Ato Yepthomi informed that during Mahajan's visit to Nagaland, he would call on the chief minister Neiphiu Rio, meet NGO leaders as well as party leaders and workers.
Several other prominent BJP leaders from across the country are due to attend the celebration. (ANI)

FPM makes position clear on show cause Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 05: Setting the record straight, president of the Federal Party of Manipur today said that the show cause notices served on its two MLAs for attending the Naga integrity rally is not because they are Naga MLAs but for violating the Constitution of the party. On the other hand Samuel Jendai, one of the two MLAs, said that till 4 pm of today he had not officially received the show cause notice from the party president, raising doubts over whether the show cause notices have actually been issued or not.
Speaking to The Sangai Express Dr L Chandramani said that the show cause notice signed by him were sent to the two MLAs, Samuel Jendai and Henry Paotei through the office peon of the party, late this evening. He however added that he does not know whether the show cause notice have been received or not as he has not yet seen the record book of the messenger. The show cause asked the two MLAs to reply why they should not be suspended or expelled from the party for anti-party activities by attending the Kohima rally where Samuel Jendai is believed to have also addressed the gathering.
Ten days time have been given to the two MLAs to file their replies.
Making the position of the FPM clear, Dr Chandramani said that the show cause notice was issued not because the two MLAs are Nagas but because they had violated Article 2 (4) of the party's constitution.
This Article clearly lays down that FPM will protect the territorial integrity of Manipur and this issue was also included in the election manifesto of the party in the 2002 general election. The two MLAs were elected on the manifesto and constitution of the party and their participation in the Naga integrity rally at Kohima as well as the signing of the memorandum endorsing the formation of a Greater Nagalim is anti-party, explained the president.

The FPM will stand by its constitution and the territorial integrity of Manipur, asserted Dr Chandramani.

The course of action will be discussed and recommended by the party's disciplinary committee and the final decision will be taken by the central committee of the FPM, he said. BJP meeting: The State unit BJP has convened a meeting on Sep 10 to discuss the participation of its MLA Danny Shaiza at the Naga integration rally as well as for appending his signature on the Lim memorandum.
NNC keeps white flag aloft NISHIT DHOLABHAI the telegraph
Chedema, Sept. 6: Having rejected the gun culture decades ago, the Naga National Council refuses to bring down the white flag that flutters atop the peace camp for the past 41 years. The party, founded by the legendary A.Z. Phizo, strongly believes that the Nagas attained nationhood long ago. The leaders of the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN), the militant wing of the Adino Phizo-led NNC, observed the 42nd ceasefire day or “peace day” today. The party commemorated the 1964 ceasefire agreement with the Centre and pledged its commitment to the 1975 Shillong Accord signed with New Delhi. The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) is the most vocal opponent of the Accord which, it claims, compromised the interests of the Nagas.
The NNC maintains that the Accord saved the Nagas from suffering at the hands of the army. Criticising the NSCN (I-M) without naming it, the NNC’s Angami regional council president, Vilhouthie Rhiepfu, said it was fruitless for Nagas to reject the Accord. Speaking in local Angami, Rhiepfu criticised the factional fighting and extortion drives. The FGN leaders stood by both peace pacts that took 11 years to materialise. Over a hundred senior people gathered at the hall for a solemn function. Fresh paint shone on some old battle helmets hanging in a hall as septuagenarian leaders recounted tales of the Nagas’ persistent efforts. Kedallo (vice-president) of the FGN, L. Kaiso, said the 1964 ceasefire was “international” and signed by “two nations”.
He claimed the battle was won when the Centre backed off from calling them “Naga rebels” and instead, included the words, “Federal Government of Nagaland” in the ceasefire agreement. While children sang songs praising the elders’ sacrifice, rich tributes were paid to the Nagaland Peace Mission which had mediated between the NNC and the Centre. A veteran NNC woman leader suggested displaying photographs of NPM members — Rev. Michael Scott and Jaiprakash Narain — in the hall where the deliberations took place. “We are grateful to those people, and especially to church leaders for bringing peace to Nagaland,” she said. The church leaders had negotiated with the army to stop atrocities on villagers, she added
Nagaland celebrates 1964 ceasefire Chedema (Kohima), September 6, 2005 Hindustan Times
A "Peace Day" was observed on Tuesday to commemorate 40 anniversary of the ceasefire between the "Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN/NNC)" and the Government of India as part of the 41st Indo-Naga Ceasefire Day celebration at Chedema Peace Camp. Vice President of the FGN (Kedallo), L Kaisa speaking on the occasion said September 6, 1964 was a Thanksgiving Day "for it is on this day that peace dawned in Nagaland under the banner of the Nagaland Baptist Council of Churches (NBCC), after 10 years of war between India and Nagaland". "However, India continues to deny genuine peace to Nagaland after five decades," he said. Saying Nagas have their right to be a nation and a people, he placed faith in the use of peaceful means to solve problems, however complicated it may be. He stressed that India being a democratic country should no further ignore the national rights of the Nagas. The President of Angami Regional Council, Vilhouthie Rhiepfu said that though today there were "many educated Nagas" who could have helped in furthering the Naga cause, they were instead opposed to it. "The Shillong Accord should not be an excuse for the Nagas to blame and oppose the Naga nation initiative, but if India does find an excuse in the Accord, then it should be the one to be vocal about it". Lhouvitsü of the FGN chaired the meeting.
Dying for a place to live Telegraph
As if the destruction caused by floods every year was not enough, hordes of illegal migrants are settling in the hilly areas of Guwahati after being assured by politicians of land, electricity, water supply, proper road and transport facilities. The promise of an address to these homeless, however enticing, comes at a huge price. Living in the hills of a city that witnesses floods every year is a certain invitation to death. Several of these people die miserable deaths, trapped in massive landslides, losing the homes for which they had taken the risk in the first place. All the district administration does during floods is to clear debris after the landslides have already occurred or remove the silt that runs down from the hills and clogs the drains. It is high time the Assam government set up an inquiry commission to look into the problem and invited foreign experts to suggest solutions. J.N. Bhattacharya, Guwahati
Haj blues The Assam State Haj Committee was re-christened the Joint State Haj Committee — covering Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram— through a government notification. Apart from the minister in charge of Haj affairs of Assam, who is the chairman of the committee, it has 17 members, including the executive officer, who acts as the secretary. While Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya have one member each, Assam is represented by two ministers, one MP, one member each from the districts of Goalpara, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh, three from Guwahati and five, including the chairman, from Nagaon.
The Haj Committee Act 2002 stipulates that the state committee should have 16 members — three Muslim members from the state legislature or Parliament, three from local bodies, three experts in Muslim theology and law, five representing Muslim voluntary organisations in the field of public administration, finance, education, culture and social work, the chairman of the State Wakf Board and the executive officer of the state committee.The rule book also stipulates that after publication of the names of the members of the state committee under section 19, the state government should convene within 45 days the first meeting of the committee to elect the chairperson from among the members. In the event of its failure to elect a chairperson, the government can nominate one member from the committee to hold the post of chairman. I doubt if this norm was followed in forming the present committee. Besides, there was no reason to include members from Nagaland and Mizoram as only one pilgrim went for Haj last year from Nagaland and none from Mizoram. While the chairman’s district has four other members on the committee, districts such as Cachar, Karimganj, Darrang and Jorhat, among others, have been totally ignored. More importantly, the executive officer should be from the civil service and not a police officer, as is the case at present.
The most regrettable fact is that though the state committee received sizeable funds a couple of years ago for the construction of a Haj House in Guwahati, the state government has failed to allocate a plot of land till date. But the government was quick to allot lands to a so-called “strong” minority organisation in and around Guwahati. This is nothing but votebank politics of the Tarun Gogoi government. When the minister in charge of Haj affairs-cum-chairman of the Joint Haj Committee, known to be a favourite of the chief minister, failed to locate a piece of land, the people had no other option but to believe that all the assurances politicians mouth at the camps for Haj pilgrims are mere lies. If he cannot keep his word, the chairman should at least stop making a mockery of the pilgrims, and Muslims in general, by turning the “farewell” meetings into political shows.
Tabiul Hussain, Guwahati Terror build-up The political scenario in Arunachal Pradesh has once again turned volatile with chief minister Gegong Apang facing allegations about links with Naga militant groups. No concrete proof is there regarding the ruling party’s alleged nexus with militants, but one thing is for sure — the scourge of terrorism has already afflicted the hitherto peaceful land of Arunachal Pradesh. Militants from almost all the neighbouring states are taking shelter in the deep jungles of the state. But some indigenous militant outfits, born and bred in the state itself, have also started spreading terror. Though the government has full knowledge of the activities of these groups, it has yet to take any action against them. The state government should immediately take strong action against the outfits spreading terror in the state. If that is not done, this beautiful land will turn into a killing field.
Pinky Tage, Itanagar River sutra The Wah Umkhrah (Umkhrah river) of Meghalaya used to be clear, clean and vast not long ago. Residents of the areas in the vicinity of the river would fetch water from it and wash their clothes there. It also used to be a popular fishing spot. The river is now a veritable drain. Residents of Jaiaw, Mawlai, Raitsamthiah, Wahingdoh and Polo Ground dump their garbage into the river. All drainage and sanitary disposal systems are being emptied into the river, erasing every trace of aquatic life. Worse still, parasites, insects and worms are spreading water-borne diseases. To keep our houses neat and clean, we dump all the rubbish in the river or on the roadside without a second thought, perhaps not realising that we are polluting our environment and exposing ourselves to health hazards. To prevent this menace, people staying near the river should take the responsibility of not allowing anyone to throw garbage into the river and pollute it. Rivers are the prime source of water and we should make a collective effort to prevent their pollution. Deiti Haimdor Jana, Shillong
A brief story of the first Naga Baptist Senkatoshi Morung Express The people were barbaric; there were no good means of communication; and the place too was far away, but they carried on their ‘mission’ regardless. They were the American Baptist Missionaries who entered into the raw Naga areas for the dissemination of ‘gospels’; they succeeded it through thick and thin. It was Rev. S.W. Whiting who did the first uphill task. On this day i.e., September 7, 1851, a man from Merangkong Village (Mokokchung district) named Longjanglepzük was Baptised in Sibsagar by Rev. S.W Whiting. He met Longjanglepzük while wondering at a place called Nariza in Assam who was later impressed and converted to Christianity. The American Baptist Missionaries regarded it as an opportune time to spread the truth of ‘gospel message’ across. They kept their faith on Longjanglepzük, and with much enthusiasm the missionaries gave a new name called "Langsang Francis Wayland". But worse to come for the American Missionaries when Longjanglepzük was killed in a hostile attack by a combined force of nine neighbouring villages; it has to be noted that there was a raging practice of ‘head hunting’ during that time. Unfortunately the ugly incident occurred while he was on a visit to his native village.
As told by an elderly person sometime in the past, Longjanglepzük used to live in Assam since his childhood and that he did not know neither of the blood-feud nor the head hunting practices. When his native village came under attack he came out of his home to witness the event which he had never seen before. As a result he became vulnerable and fell prey to the foes. Since then, for about 15 years till Dr. Clark came into contact with the Ao Naga tribe, the missionaries could not find any outlet to carry the ‘message’ through. Though the first ever Missionary’s plan ended in its embryo, undoubtedly it laid the foundation of the missionary’s activities in Naga Hills. I was told by a friend of mine that in memory of Late Longjanglepzük, every year on 7th September, special programmes like singing competition, poem recitation, dramas etc., are being held at his native village. I have had a chance to read a poem in which a local poet offers eulogy to Late Longjanglepzük in these words :
1851 was a golden year, Longjanglepzük stood first in this ‘dark world’ Selected the shinning one among the spectra. Owing to his premature death in 1853, Longjanglepzük could not contribute much to the progress of gospels, but he was perhaps the first Naga man who committed to serve His yoke.
Paan is very good for your health if you don’t take it. Why do we take Paan? Here’s why people chew this little bundle of oral cancer. In the first place, people chew Paan because treatment for oral cancer is cheaper than that of HIV/AIDS. Also it’s safer than downing a mug of Zutho. Zutho can be extremely dangerous because it induces a person to believe he is Superman, capable of taking on the entire universe. Of course in the end, after the hangover’s ebbed, he wakes up to realize some people have presented him with a pair of naturally black Ray Bans along with a dental set full of permanent gaps. Secondly, people chew the quid to mask bad breath acquired from brushing the teeth according to how many times the solar eclipse takes place in 3 years. Dentists call this phenomenon ‘Brushoclipso’. It means a person, after ignoring Golgate toothpastes for long (at least 1 year on average) suddenly discover there’s a thing called ‘toothbrush’ to attack eeeky oral bacteria. Not because the germs are bad but that there won’t be much space left in the mouth to chew Paan if the bacteria increases. So they brush!
Thirdly, instead of torturing the entire body working out in Gyms, one conveniently can have a portable Gym consisting only of the mouth, to exercise and save time and energy. The perks? One gets to enjoy TV or books while at the same time lose teeth…er... lose Weight. Moreover there’s no need for expensive equipments. Just 15 rupees worth of 350 bundles will do. In the fourth instance, chewing paan is a kind of missionary work. Meaning, if people stop stuffing paan, there won’t be people left with oral cancer for our Naga dentists to treat. Our Dentists won’t prosper in their profession and won’t be able to pay their children’s school fees if we don’t help them by chewing paan. So we chew! Finally, Paan force our parents to exercise their vocal chords by way of reprimanding us for chewing it. Because spitting all over the place comes naturally that often times, Mom’s beautiful German lilies are reduced to deep red. Furthermore, walls and carpets get extra spots of designs which unfailingly have good old daddy turning purple red. And perhaps give him a massive heart attack?
The writer is in the Deptt. Of Mass Com. & Journalism, Nagaland University Al Ngullie
Black Sep to remember slain Kukis By A Staff Reporter Kangla on Line
Imphal, Sept 6 : As in previous years since 1993, the Kuki Inpi Manipur is to observe September 13 as Black September in commemoration of the 104 Kuki villagers killed by the NSCN(IM) in 1993 at Tamei during the height of Naga-Kuki ethnic clashes. Recalling the incident that occured on this day, the KIM in a statement said NSCN(IM) served quit notices to Kuki villages of Tamei subdivision under Tamenglong district asking them to vacate their villages by September, 1993. to escape the imminent danger, two Kuki villages, Joupi and Jalengphai, immediately left their homes well in advance but were waylaid near Tamei and 87 men were instantly killed.

On the same day, the NSCN(IM) militants numbering around 500 equiped with sophistiated weapons attacked Gelnai Kuki village about 6 kilometres from Tamei along the IT road. A fierce encounter took place with the villagers defending themselves for about four hours. During the pitched battle 90 percent of 190 houses were burnt down, leaving only 20 houses standing after the devastating fire.
During the two separate incidents, altogether 104 Kukis lost their lives, which was the highest number of persons killed on a single day during the period of NSCN(IM) ethnic cleansing war against the Kukis, the statement said asserting that altogether 889 Kukis were killed, 350 villages burnt down and uprooted besides leaving 50,000 homeless during the NSCN(IM)`s ethnic cleansing. The KIM also appealed to all people concerned to observe September 13 this year also as Black September Day at all levels throughout the state. Commemorative services will be observed at alsl cost at every level and Lhang Inpi (areas) of KIM, it added. It also asked Chin-Kuki people, in particular, to observe this day by hoisting black flags on their house-tops, fasting, holding prayer meetings and offering gifts for the memorial fund.

India, China to sign MoU on intelligence sharing Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, Sept 6 – India and China will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in intelligence sharing and exchange of security-related information during a five-day visit of Home Minister Shivraj Patil to that country beginning tomorrow, reports PTI. An approval in this regard was given by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here today. The MoU is to combat crimes like terrorism. Patil's five-day visit is a bilateral tour at the invitation of Chinese Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang. On his first official visit to China, he will hold talks with Zhou and is likely to meet Premier Wen Jiabao there.

Patil will also visit Beijing Police Training Academy and meet Shanghai Mayor. The issues to figure in the talks are cooperation in fight against terrorism, disaster management and public security. “The visit of the Home Minister is part of the process of continuing high-level bilateral exchanges and will contribute to the further development and diversification of bilateral relations in accordance with the Declaration of June 2003 and the Joint Statement of April 2005,” the Indian Embassy has said in a press statement in Beijing.
NE trade exchange with Singapore takes off NET News Network
Guwahati, Sep 6: Singapore, one of the participants in the ongoing Enterprise North East 2005 at Guwahati today expressed interest in promoting joint ventures with Northeast based companies. Buoyed by the response Northeast showcased academic institutions like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to Singapore. The IIT, Guwahati has already signed an MOU with the National University of Singapore (NUS) for research collaborations and also made provision for the admission of the students from ASEAN countries into its various implemented programmes. Exchange of IIT faculties with other universities of Singapore have also been finalized. Deputy High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore, Lee Lorling informed that Singapore expertise in preparing the master plan for the basic infrastructures like industrial park, airports and township planning and were also responsible for the planning of the IT parks in Hyderabad and Bangalore. She further said," Hospitals in Northeast can also be as good as any other Indian cities following the tie up with Singapore”. Lorling however pointed out that for joint ventures and trade relations connectivity between the two countries has to improve explaining that on an average in a week more than 200 flights fly between Singapore and China while between India and Singapore only 100 flights fly. IIT professor, Dr Subhash C.Mishra opined that students from Singapore and other ASEAN countries could pursue their studies in IIT Guwahati, which is acclaimed centre of excellence in the world. " Northeast has several academic institutions which offers wide range of courses and is a forum for state of art computational and experimental teaching and research facilities," he explained.
Tourism Malaysia keen to boost NE tourism By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 6: The Tourism Malaysia is very keen to promote tourism potential of the North-east India. This was stated by Dipankar Chatterjee, chairman of the north-eastern committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), while talking to The Sentinel today. "The government should grab the offer made by the Malaysians for the benefit of both the countries," he said. Chatterjee said this in the sidelines of the conference on ‘India-ASEAN: Building Bridge to the Future,’ at the Assam Administrative Staff College here today. The conference, marked by the participation of the ASEAN countries, is part of the CII-sponsored Enterprise North East 2005, currently undergoing at the Assam Engineering Institute ground here. "The rich natural resources, including oil, of the North-east, which is geographically and culturally very close to other ASEAN countries, are enough for border trade," he said. The 6-day trade extravaganza is aimed at forging tie-ups between the local entrepreneurs and those of ASEAN countries in various sectors. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, while addressing the conference, welcomed the investors from ASEAN countries into the State.
The conference is being attended, among others, by Lee Lorling, Deputy High Commissioner of Singapore, To Ngoc Thach, Councillor of Vietnam embassy, Bhupesh Kumar, marketing manager of Tourism Malaysia and Neeraj Verma, managing director of the Assam Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Jayanta Madhab, economic advisor to the Chief Minister. Professor SC Misra of IIT, Guwahati said that IIT Guwahati had signed an MoU with the National Institute of Singapore as part of its faculty exchange programme, which was to be followed by such collaborations with several other institutes of the ASEAN countries. He stressed the need for more collaborations in IT sector and a biotechnology network among the ASEAN countries.Later, Mr Gopal Singh, Deputy General Manager of the CII based at Delhi, talking to The Sentinel, said that the development of local entrepreneurship needed support from the Central Government for qualitative improvement of products and making the them cost effective. The CII is going to move the Centre very soon in this regard, he said.
Bodo organizations’ unification move bites dust Hagrama Mulling New Mantra? From our Correspondent sentinel
KOKRAJHAR, Sept 6: The re-unification move of some of the front-ranking Bodo organizations and individuals received severe blow following the move of Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the BTC Hagrama Mohilary to form the new Kokrajhar district committee of the BPPF parallel to the committee headed by Rabiram Narzary. The president and secretary of Kokrajhar district unit of the BPPF Kishore Basumatary and Rabiram Uzir respectively in a press release issued here alleged that a secret meeting of Hagrama-led BPPF faction was held at Amola Bhavan, Kokrajhar recently at the initiative of Sobaram Basumatary, Executive Member, BTC. The release also alleged that Hagrama-led Kokrajhar district unit of the BPPF was formed keeping the existing committee of the district unit of the party in dark. Terming the development as unfortunate, the release also criticized the role of Mohilary in this regard. "At a time when the Bodos are trying their best to bring unity amongst the Bodo leaders, Mohilary move has created confusion among the masses," the release alleged, adding that the action of Mohilary is totally undemocratic. "Such step would only create bitter relationship among the Bodos," the release regretted. It may be recalled here that various front-ranking organizations of the Bodos, including the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) have been trying to bring together different factions of Bodo leaders fighting with each other right from the last BTC polls. Following the request of Hagrama Mohilary, the ABSU leadership had even expressed their willingness to mediate between Hagrama and Rabiram. Meanwhile, Kokrajhar district unit of the BPPF has appealed to all sections of the Bodos to come out openly and raise their voice for unity among the Bodos.

Frans on 09.07.05 @ 02:54 PM CST [link]


Tuesday, September 6th

NSCN(IM) leaders to meet Naga NGOs in Bangkok


NSCN(IM) leaders to meet Naga NGOs in Bangkok
KOHIMA, Sept. 5: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has decided to hold a consultative meeting with different NGOs in Bangkok this week. NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah will meet leaders of Naga Hoho, Naga Council, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and other NGOs on Thursday and Friday, sources said. The move has come a few days after a Naga integration rally was organised in Kohima by several organisations, which was termed as an “epoch-making event” by the Hoho.
“Whenever there is some issue, we have to have consultation with our people. This is one of those meetings where we will discuss the future because when we say solution, it should not be detrimental to the interests of either India or the Nagas,” NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser (home minister) R. Raising told The Telegraph.
Several Naga leaders have left for Bangkok from Nagaland and more will leave tomorrow.
However, among the prominent absentees will be representatives of the Tuensang Mon Public Organisation. The organisation did not attend the integration rally and is opposed to Hoho president Horangse Sangtam. That, however, has not stopped others from proceeding to the Thai capital.

Before leaving for Bangkok, Naga Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome said Hoho leaders would let the NSCN (I-M) leaders know about the “success of the integration rally”.
The Hoho leader said the rally highlighted the aspirations of the Naga people to stay under one administrative unit. He said this should be communicated by the NSCN (I-M) to the Centre. Krome was critical of a recent statement attributed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre will maintain the territorial integrity of Manipur. He said this amounted to playing hide-and-seek with the Nagas as the Centre has maintained that it is serious about resolving the Naga problem.

Sources said the NSCN (I-M) was strengthening its units in Bangkok and Amsterdam in order to give a thrust to the Naga issue. As a result, some of its leaders may be “transferred” to these locations. “We have foreign relations and this is known by the government of India and whatever is happening, we are communicating it (to the Centre),” said Raising. Asked if the flurry of activities meant that there was some solution on the anvil, the NSCN (I-M) leader said there was bound to be a solution sooner or later. Both the Centre and the outfit are looking for a solution based on objective reality, he said. “We don’t want violence”.
Raising termed the United Committee, Manipur (UCM) a “liar”, making a reference to the UCM’s criticism of the Naga MPs and MLAs from Manipur for attending the integration rally. He said the UCM was not understanding the Naga problem and integration did not mean that the Nagas would attack the Meiteis in Imphal Valley. The Naga Hoho also flayed the UCM’s statement. (Telegraph)
Rally rap on Naga MLAs from Manipur ATOM SAMARENDRA Imphal, Sept. 5: The Telegraph Two of the five elected representatives of Manipur who took part in the Naga integration rally in Kohima on August 31 have been served showcause notices by their party. The Federal Party of Manipur (FPM) today asked Henry Paotei and Samula Jendai to show cause within 10 days why they should not be suspended or expelled from the party for violating Article 2(4) of its constitution by participating in the Naga rally. The notices come in the wake of the directive issued by the United Committee, Manipur (UCM), asking political parties of the state to take action against those MLAs who had taken part in the rally. It said any party failing to do so would be taken as being anti-Manipur. The UCM, which had led the June 2001 uprising in the state against the extension of the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) ceasefire beyond Nagaland, said the representatives’ pro-integration rhetoric were a negation of the state’s efforts to protect its territorial integrity. Initiating the first step in this respect, the FPM adopted a resolution to this effect yesterday in a meeting attended by its MLAs and functionaries at the residence of Irengbam Hemochandra, the party legislator from Singjamei constituency. The FPM’s spokesperson L. Ibomcha Singh said the party’s disciplinary action committee would decide the action to be taken against the two MLAs after they furnish a reply. The party’s central committee, however, would take the final decision.
Jendai said he is yet to receive the showcause notice and would not like to comment without going through its contents. Paotei was not available for comment. The participants at yesterday’s meeting also resolved to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to make a firm commitment in Parliament to safeguard Manipur’s territorial integrity. The others Naga legislators of Manipur who took part in the rally were Denny Shaiza of the BJP and Wungnaoshang Keishing of the Congress. Independent Lok Sabha member from Outer Manipur, Mani Charenamei, had also attended the rally and addressed the gathering.
SBI's paradigm for green economy in Nagaland draws Intl.attention
Dimapur | September 05, In the wake of rapidly declining role of government(s) to intervene financially in public services and development programs, it is inevitable that financial institutions are bound to emerge as the biggest player in public life. In Nagaland too, one of the largest public sector banks in the world the State Bank of India (SBI) is slowly but certainly spreading its wings to its non-traditional business sectors like agricultural sector and raised the Credit-Deposit (CD) ratio to 27 per cent from 13 percent in just two years despite constraints such as poor recovery rate. Higher CD ratio reflects higher loan allocation against the size of deposit. Some of the projects financed by the SBI in the state are quickly transforming into paradigms for introduction in underdeveloped or violence-stricken zones of the country like the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.
The success story of its Jalukie Passion Fruit Project being implemented through a cluster of local SHGs under the banner of UCOS has suddenly drawn interest from both the PMO and the Union Finance Ministry as well as development agencies in Western hemisphere as a paradigm worth duplicating in underdeveloped regions dependent upon agro economy for their salvation. SBI DGM Surjya Phukan, who will soon leave the state on promotion as General Manager SBI, told ANI that its agri-credit programs touched passion fruit project in Jalukie and Peren, Maize Cultivation project in Jalukie, Small Dairy Units in Dimapur under KOMUL, Bee Keeping farmers in Tuensang district and small tea growers in Sichung under Mokokchung. "204 passion fruit farmers in Jalukie, 300 maize crop farmers, 104 small tea growers in Sichung and 50 Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Tuensang into bee keeping were some of the initial beneficiaries of our new approach to Nagaland", said SBI GM Phukan. Significantly, unlike its traditional role of financing feasible projects, here in the state the SBI is walking the extra mile to ensure that what the farmers produce do not go waste: it has linked up the farmers with buyers by scouting markets across the country and zeroing in on long-term buyers.
And the impact has been inspiring : First generation passion fruit producers in Peren district now only have to dispatch their produce to Exotic Fruit Juices (P) Ltd. At Mao Gate in Manipur to get their payment delivered to a SBI account by the buyer. Similarly the maize farmers in Jalukie under SBI scheme has a ready market in the shape of the buyers, Ekta Agro house in Guwahati. Interestingly, home grown tea would soon go under the hammer at the world renowned Guwahati Tea Auction. "For the first time, after improving the quality of homegrown tea from Mokokchung using improved processing methods courtesy the Tocklai Tea Research Centre in Jorhat Assam, tea produce from Mokokchung would be sent to the world renowned Guwahati Tea Auction", said the GM Phukan. He added that after improved methods were used in developing better quality tea in the state brokers at the Tea Auction had endorsed the tea from Sichung as of 'good quality brand with high potential' which could fetch more than Rs. 120 per kg. To further boost tea cultivation prospects in the hill districts of the state the SBI has financed a tea factory in Mokokchung district to set up modern machines and to meet its working capital besides promising to finance more tea growers.
Phukan, an IITian, also said that the honey produced by bee keepers in Tuensang have ready buyers in CK Udyog Jorhat, a honey processing company. Aimed at generating economic opportunities as well as sustaining the growth potential of its current projects, Phukan said that in a major departure from its defined role the SBI Nagaland has embedded two teams of technical personnel for supporting the ongoing projects in Tuensang and Jalukie. "Besides, we have supported 64 SHGs managed by women in Tuensang, Noklak and Sangsanguy areas targeting drug affected and HIV infected families", informed the GM. Giving a roadmap of the SBI's expansion plan in the state, Phukan said that the state would soon have three more ATMs " one in Mokokchung, another in Dimapur and yet another in Rangapahar. Three branches in Nagaland have been converted into Core Banking Solution Branches " namely, Dimapur Evening, Kohima Bazar and Lerie Branch. "Three more are to be covered under this nationwide network", he added. Core Banking Solution network also called Anywhere Banking helps a customer holding an account in any CBS Branch to meet his banking needs like converting a cheque or drawing money from his account from any other another CBS Branch wherever the latter might be located. The SBI is also all decked up to expand a new intervention program introduced in the state on trial basis with implication in the rural sector : under a scheme drawn up by the Centre it has extended soft loan for farmers through the Village Development Boards (VDBs).
"We have financed 17 selected VDBs out of which 14 are of recent origin. This is likely to be expanded further so as to cover more VDBs", the SBI GM said. Further, the SBI will also increase its activity in housing projects in the state, take up more EDPs for potential women entrepreneurs, enhance business hours, introduce modern banking amenities like internet banking and e-pay facilities. Towards this end, the SBI GM has urged the state government to assist the SBI in improving the recovery rate in the state. He also lauded the SBI staff and their camaraderie and passion to improve banking services for what had been achieved by the SBI till date as one of the largest and fasted growing banks in the world. (ANI)
Change Teaching Methods: Nagaland Governor Kohima, September 5, 2005
Nagaland Governor Shyamal Datta has called upon teachers of the state to be more dedicated in their service to build a better society. Speaking to teachers at the Durbar Hall in Kohima on the occasion of Teachers' Day, Datta urged teachers to examine the academic background of students while teaching in the classroom. Most students from classes VIII to XII were not sure about what they wanted to do in the future, he said. Students in the area also did not read enough, the Governor said.
Stressing on the need for Vocational Courses, Dutta said that rather than stick to the traditional methods, the pattern of teaching should be changed from time to time. The Governor called upon the teachers to improve communication between teachers, students and parents in order to address their problems through discussion. Teachers must have a "common vision" to make society better and also to build the human resources to cater to the needs of society, the Governor said. (By arrangement with Newsfile)
Significance of the cease-fire declaration on September 6, 1964 Morung Express
INTRODUCTION The Nagaland Baptist Church Council neither proposes any political agenda nor works for a political goal since it is the prerogatives of the different bodies of the Naga National workers and the Naga people. However, NBCC asserts the natural validity and legitimacy of Naga political rights for self determination. NBCC advocate the use of peaceful means in the Naga struggle and achieving their aspiration. Accordingly NBCC initiated the Peace Mission, and Cease-fire agreement was declared on September 6, 1964 between the Government of India and the Federal Government of Nagaland creating the historic platform of Indo-Naga Peace Talk. Upon the similar foundation, the peace process between NSCN (IM) and the Government of India is presently in process.
I. THE POSITION OF THE NAGAS 1. Before the advent of the British into Naga country, the Naga territory remained independent and un-administered by any foreign power since time immemorial. The Nagas ruled themselves. The British Government arrived and occupied a part of Nagaland in 1880 A.D. bordering the eastern side of Assam called the Naga Hills comprising several tribes. After about 4 decades of British occupation of the Naga Hills, the British wanted to arrange the administration in India and to study about the same. A Commission was detailed to India called the Simon Commission which arrived in Nagaland in 1929. The Naga leaders submitted a memorandum stating that Nagas be left alone as before the advent of British but not with the Indians if Britishers leave India soil.
2. Based on this memorandum, the Naga Hills was put as "Excluded Area" from British-India under Constitutional Act of 1935. This excluded area was looked after directly by the Governor of Assam since 1936.
3. Thereafter, the Nagas declared themselves as independent people on 14 August 1947, ahead of one day from declaration of India’s Independence on 15 August, 1947. This Independent Declaration was made out of the British Government statement on 6th of December 1946 which read as follows:
"Should a Constitution come to be framed by the Constituent Assembly in which a large section of India’s population had not been represented, his Majesty’s Government would not contemplate forcing such a Constitution upon any unwilling part of the Country." (No.7 & 8 are at p/2 and p/4 of the Constitution of India by Durga Das Basu 5th Edition February 1965) This led to the adoption of 8 resolutions by Constituent Assembly of India in its session on 22 January, 1947 whereof Resolution No.2 reads as follows:-
"Wherein the territories that now comprise British India, the territories that now form the Indian States, and such other parts of India, as are outside British India and the States as well as such other territories as are willing to be constituted into the Independent Sovereign shall be a Union of them all."
4. Again the Naga Hills people/excluded area people conducted a National plebiscite on 16th May 1951 within British administered territory where 99.9% voted for the Sovereignty of Nagaland affirming the 14th August 1947 Independent declaration. Declaration of Independence and the National Plebiscite has been taken under the initiative of Naga National Council.
5. As the Naga plebiscite further strengthened the people’s mandate to Naga National Council and the Naga Tatar Hoho, that is the Naga Parliament, and adopted the Constitution of Nagaland, which brought together the Free Nagas and NNC and established the Federal Government of Nagaland on 22nd of March 1952. The Free Nagas are those Naga tribes who were never ruled by British or any other foreign rule but ruled by themselves under Honking Government.
6. In the meantime both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru made these commitments:
Mahatma Gandhi the father of the Nation stated like this when he met the Naga delegation on July 19, 1947 in New Delhi.
(1) "Nagas have every right to be independent. We did not want to live under the domination of the British and they are now leaving us. I want you to feel that India is yours. I feel that the Naga Hills are mine just as much as they are yours, but if you say ‘it is mine’ then the matter must stop there. I believe in the brotherhood of man, but I do not believe in force or forced unions. If you do not wish to join the union of India nobody will force you to do that."
Jawaharlal Nehru declaration: (2) "We want no people in the territory of India against their will and with the help of armed forces. We want no forced marriages or forced unions. This great Republic of India is a free, friendly and an affectionate union of the states of India."
II. POSITION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (GoI)
After the Indian Independence in 1947 the GoI maintained that Nagaland shall never be allowed to secede from India on the following grounds.
1. All British ruled territories including Nagaland were handed over to India by the British Government during their departure.
2. Nagaland is an integral part of India.
3. Except a few negligible percentages of the Naga rebels, Naga people want to be with India.
4. The Naga People’s Convention had made a 16-point agreement with GoI in 1960 and accepted Statehood under the Indian Union in 1963.
5. Reaffirming their will and decision, vast majority of the Nagas are participating in Nagaland State elections eagerly under the Indian constitution.
6. Naga rebel organizations must be banned and their activities should be curbed by all means.
7. The question of Sovereignty and Independence of Nagaland does not arise.
III. WAGING WAR IN NAGA SOIL.
The GoI had authorized Assam State and NEFA Administration to take joint police action to deal with the offenders (Nagas) (Deccan Chronicle July 31,1955). By 1956 Assam State alone spent Rs. 85,855,266/- by 1956 and sanctioned Rs. 39 millions in 1957-58 in Assam State budget. (The Statement April 20, 1956). On perceiving the rampant destruction of the Nagas, NNC organised Naga Home Guards and fought against the Assam police. Empowered by the Assam maintenance public order Act, the Police fought against the Nagas but could not subdue them. So the Indian Army troops moved into Tuensang by October 1955 and the war with the Nagas started from then (B. N. Mullik: My Years With Nehru p. 308). "The war brought heavy casualties on both sides. But the casualty list and the saga of suffering has been much more painful to the Nagas" (Kaka D. Iralu. Nagaland and India - The blood and Tears p.31)
IV. WHY NBCC IS INVOLVED IN NAGA ISSUE
From 1953, raids, fines, arrests, imprisonments, killings, burning of villages, terrorizing activities upon innocent public with legal protection of the Assam maintenance of public order Act and Disturbed area Act by GoI continued to be meted out. The Police and Security non-commission officers were authorized to arrest or shoot and kill the suspected. The law prohibited holding of meetings or assemblies and shouting slogans with the penalty of two years imprisonment. Forced labour for transportation of materials for military construction of new roads and buildings were enforced. By 1955, 10,000 Nagas were beaten and tortured including 1,564 women, 26,598 houses and 515 granaries were burnt and 1811 men maimed through torture. In the later period killing of more than 1,00,000 Nagas and destruction of huge properties were inflected. In October 1956 horror and nightmare of the people multiplied as two Divisions of Indian army moved to Nagaland. NNC also formed Federal Forces and the first retaliation took place in March 24, 1956. Schools were closed down for years together with the Army occupying the school buildings. After the Armed Forces Special Power Act of 1958, Nagaland was in the hands of the army, as the Act had given unlimited powers to them. The implications of this Act amounted to Indian soldiers being empowered by law to kill on suspicion, burn and destroy as they like. And under this legal umbrella they even started to rape and torture innocent villagers with impunity. The innocent public bled, cried, suffered and died but the world never heard their cries of agony. Almost every Naga family was desecrated and almost every Naga village was burned down to ashes.
Following the burning of villages, a mass exodus of helpless villagers fled into the jungle for their lives almost naked and foodless. The former Chief Minister of Nagaland S.C. Jamir wrote in 1974 thus: "Most of the villages and granaries were burned down and people preferred to run away and hide in the jungle for safety". Starvation, hunger, diseases and deaths among the dispersed increased and thus many perished in the jungle habitats. Indian Army shot the village elders when they refused to supply them with Naga ladies. The mighty Indian armed forces even raped the mad, paralyzed women. Women and girls were arrested everyday kept in their custody and usually raped by the Army officers. Some were kicked to death after raping. Thousands of Naga women were paralyzed, maimed and died. They had committed many shameless crime and evils including committing sodomy on the innocent boys. Inhuman treatment was meted out upon the captured Naga soldiers destroying their vital parts including testicles. The captured Naga fighters were injected to death by the Indian military doctors. Indian Armed Forces are considered to be one of the disciplined forces in the world but it is unfortunate that their excessive cruelty and atrocities left a permanent scar on the impression of the common Nagas about Indian army. (Nagaland and India-the blood and The Tears by Kaka Iralu P. 543 pages are the records of many unbelievable records B.N. Mullik: My years with Nehru 1948-64).
Rev. Dr. V. K. Nuh on September 6, 2004 Cease-Fire Speech stated:
"I can well remember how dark those days were, when no foreigners were allowed to witness the situation in the early part of 1955. While the whole world was busy in their own affairs, Nagaland was converted into a prison cell."
Nothing can be more unfortunate for a person who has been completely cut off from his/her family’s love and care, and nothing can be more tragic than a person who has been tortured to death. Perhaps in the history of wars, Nagas had suffered the most when their villages were burned to ashes and the entire population hunted down like animals in the jungles except for some few traitors here and there, hardly any true Naga lived in towns and villages.
Thousands of children were born abnormal owing to the mental tortures and psychological depression of their mothers and parents. Many innocent people were beaten to death or burned to death. Hundreds of Naga women were treated in the most shameful way. Defenseless Nagas were tortured in the heat as well as in the cold. They were not even allowed to go for nature’s call, and so many Nagas were left to the mercy of the most cruel and inhuman personnel of the India Armed Forces. Yet, no one dared to neither protest nor beg for his /her right even on humanitarian ground.
V. CEASE-FIRE Viewing the seriousness of the situation, the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) had a convention at Wokha from February 2-4, 1964. In it, a resolution was passed to bring about a peaceful settlement between the Government of India and the Federal Government of Nagaland. Consequently, a Peace Mission was formed with Mr. B.P. Chaliha, the then Chief Minister of Assam, Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan a veteran freedom fighter and Rev. Michael Scott a popular missionary from England. They came forward and took up responsibilities sincerely and made many contacts with both sides. After many selfless efforts, they got positive response even from the Federal Government of Nagaland. They met at the Peace Mission at Sakraba in Phek district, after which an agreement was signed on the 24th of May 1964.
Thus a Cease-Fire between the two Governments was agreed upon. With the Peace Mission as go between, contacts were started and a Cease-fire Agreement was declared on September 6, 1964. We remember how Naga people rejoiced over the dawn of peace in our land. Naga people must remain grateful to those who worked so hard for this historic day in time of need. Most of them are no more with us today. It would be inappropriate not to mention the names of these people; Rev. Longri Ao, Rev. Kenneth Kerhuo, Rev. Shihoto Swu, Rev. Ahamo, Rev. Kevizelie, Rev. Kijung Ao, Rev. V. K. Nuh, Rev. Kho-u Savino, Rev. Hazeding Lungalang, Rev. Ashuli Mao, Rev. Rusulo, Rev. Manem, Rev. Dupor Vasa, Rev. Ayutemjen, Rev. Litsase, Rev. Phanipphang, Rev. Toniho, Rev. Mankup, Rev. L. Mhasi, Rev. Yankey Patton, Rev. Neiliezhü Usoü, and Rev. Y. Chingang. There are many others. Besides we remember Dr. Aram, Miss Marjoria Sykes as peace observer team.
During the 1964 Cease-Fire six rounds of Peace Talk was held with the Prime Minister by the FGN delegation but Peace Talk was dead locked without any outcome and Cease-Fire was abrogated by GoI on August 31, 1972. The next Cease-fire declared between NSCN (IM)-GoI in July 31, 1997 and more than 40 rounds of Peace talks were held at Prime Minister Level and we are yet to see the concrete outcome. NSCN (K) also signed Cease-fire with GoI in April 28, 2001. Peace Talk has not yet begun. Issued by NBCC Office August 17, 2005
Govt-NDFB peace talks yet to get under way By R Dutta Choudhury Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 5 – More than three months have passed since the ceasefire agreement between the Central and State governments and militant outfit National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) came into effect, but till date talks on substantive issues are yet to get under way. Highly placed official sources said that allegations of extortions by the cadres of the NDFB are also causing concern, while the outfit is yet to submit the lists of its cadres and weapons to the government as per the ceasefire agreement. Sources said that immediately after the ceasefire agreement came into effect on June 1, the first meeting of the joint monitoring groups was held in Guwahati and the NDFB was told that it can establish three designated camps in the districts of Kokrajhar, Bagsa and Udalguri. The Government agreed to provide logistic support for the setting up of the camps and the personnel of the SSB were to provide security to the camps as the State Police does not have adequate number of personnel to spare for the job. The NDFB was asked to provide the list of its cadres and it was also directed by the Government that all the cadres should come into the camps by July 1. But unfortunately, the designated camps are yet to be set up and the cadres of the NDFB are still roaming around openly. The Central Government has received allegations of large-scale extortion by some cadres of the NDFB in different Bodo dominated areas of the State and it is also alleged that development projects of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) were affected because of extortion bids by the NDFB, who allegedly demanded money from the contractors. The SSB personnel, posted along the Assam-Bhutan border also reported the matter to the Central Government, following which, the Centre has directed the Government of Assam to take strict action to stop such activities of the NDFB. The Union Home Secretary, during his recent visit to the State, also directed the State Government officials to look into the matter. According to intelligence reports, the NDFB also recruited new cadres even after the cease-fire agreement, giving rise to speculations on whether the outfit came into the cease-fire agreement only to strengthen itself. The next meeting of the cease-fire monitoring group is scheduled to be held next week and the Government representatives will raise these issues in the meeting. Commenting on the delay in starting of the formal talks, official sources said that it would depend on the NDFB. Sources revealed that the militant outfit would first have to submit its list of demands, on the basis of which formal talks can begin. But till date, the NDFB has not submitted its list of demands and “the Government is still not aware of the demands of the NDFB.” It may be mentioned here that the NDFB leaders, in the public meetings after the cease-fire pact, reiterated demand for sovereign Boroland. Sources also revealed that the NDFB chairman Nabla Daimary has not yet come to Assam even after three months of the cease-fire agreement and official sources said that according to reports available with the security agencies, he is still in Bangladesh.
It may be mentioned here that the NDFB, in response to an appeal by the State Government, announced a unilateral cease-fire and expressed its willingness to come forward for talks with the Government of India, which resulted in the signing of the cease-fire pact, which was signed on behalf of the NDFB by its general secretary Govinda Basumatary.

JOB GUARANTEE FOR THE RURAL POOR By E.C Thomas
The new employment guarantee scheme provides an indispensable lifeline to the millions of poor in the rural areas of the country. This social security measure, for the first time makes the right to work a fundamental legal right - a new, radical deal for India’s poor. The Parliament has approved the National Rural Employment Bill, 2005 seeking to provide 100 days assured employment every year to every rural household in 200 districts. This landmark legislation was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 23 and the Rajya Sabha on August 24, 2005. The Bill drafted after wide consultations fulfills a major promise of the UPA’s National Common Minimum Programme. The legislation has received wide support among political parties, social movements and the public at large.
Intervening in the debate on the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh argued for rationalizing subsidies, improving the investment climate and accelerating the pace of industrialization to maintain the economic growth of seven to eight per cent to fund schemes such as Rural Employment Guarantee. He described it as the "most important piece of legislation" in independent India. It marked a new beginning in the efforts for social equity and justice. He hoped that in the next four or five years it would cover all rural districts. Dr. Singh said this legislation will give bargaining power to the poorest of the poor and help those belonging to the Scheduled Casts, Scheduled Tribes, landless class and women. We are offering a modest, gainful employment that will fetch Rs. 500 per month for a family. This will bring landless families in the social safety net," he said.
Replying to the debate, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh assured the members that village panchayats would play a pivotal role in the implementation of the National Employment Guarantee Scheme and money would not be a constraint in accomplishing the commitments made by the UPA Government in this regard. Initially, the scheme would be implemented in 200 districts across the country, which would be extended to 600 districts. One third of the proposed jobs would be reserved for women. The Centre has taken responsibility to providing financial assistance to the scheme and the States only had to implement it. The minimum wage as applicable in various States under the Minimum Wages Act 1948 would apply to the programmes. However, the Centre would step in to ensure a minimum rate of not less than Rs. 60 a day in States, where it was lower.
The minimum wages offered for manual work in states currently varies from Rs. 25 in Nagaland to Rs. 134 in Kerala. The Bill also provides for unemployment allowance if the job, under the scheme, is not provided within a specified period. The minimum daily wage has been fixed at Rs. 60. The UPA government has already made available about Rs. 10,000 crores for implementation of the scheme in the current financial year.
Background Productive absorption of under employed and surplus labour force in the rural sector has been a major focus of planning for rural development. In order to provide direct supplementary wage employment to the rural poor through public works, many programmes were initiated by the Government of India, namely, National Rural Employment Programme (NREP), Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY).
Currently, Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) is being implemented all over the country with the objective to provide supplementary wage employment in rural areas, create durable rural infrastructure and to ensure food security. Though the SGRY is providing some relief to the rural poor, its reach has been inadequate in view of the dimension of the unemployment in rural areas.
It has been indicated in the statement of objects and reasons annexed to the Bill that the scale of employment generation under SGRY in 2002-03 and 2003-04 was barely adequate to provide on an average 20 days of employment to each Below Poverty Line (BPL) household in the rural areas. Secondly, there is no guarantee that employment will be available to the rural households on demand as SGRY is an allocation based programme. The situation of unemployment has been compounded by the absence of any social security mechanism. The legislation constitutes a pioneering endeavour to secure wage employment for the households in the rural areas as a guaranteed entitlement on this scale. It takes into account the experience of 30 years gained under the Employment Guarantee Scheme in Maharashtra. Considering that a programme of this kind is being contemplated on such a massive scale for the first time, it has to be necessarily implemented in phases so as to eventually cover all the rural areas of the country, subject to the economic capacity of the Central and State Governments.
Provisions Some of the salient features of the legislation are: The State Government shall, in such rural areas in the State and for such period as may be notified by the Central Government, provide to every household guaranteed wage employment in unskilled manual work at least for a period of one hundred days in a financial year in accordance with the provisions made in the legislation. The one hundred days of employment under the legislation will be provided at the wage rate to be specified by the Central Government for the purpose of this legislation. Until such time a wage rate is specified by the Central Government for an area, the minimum wage rate fixed by the State Government under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 for agricultural labourers shall be considered as the wage rate applicable to that area. If an eligible applicant is not provided work as per the provisions of this legislation within the prescribed time limit, it will be obligatory on the part of the State Government to pay unemployment allowance at the prescribed rate.
A Central Employment Guarantee Council at the Central level and State Employment Guarantee Councils at the State level in all States where the legislation is made applicable will be constituted for review, monitoring and effective implementation of the legislation in their respective areas. The Standing Committee of the District Panchayat, District Programme Coordinator, Programme Officers and Gram Panchayats have been assigned specific responsibilities in implementation of various provisions of the legislation at the Gram Panchayat, Block and District levels. The Central Government shall establish a fund to be called ‘National Employment Guarantee Fund’ for the purposes of this legislation. Similarly, the State Governments may constitute State Employment Guarantee Funds. Provisions for transparency and accountability, audit, establishment of grievance and redressal mechanisms and penalty of non-compliance are also envisaged.
Analysis The key to this legislation lies in the word ‘guarantee’. India abounds in schemes for the poor – all too often instruments for the State to display its munificence whenever political expediency demands it. A guarantee seeks to take this power away from the hands of the politicians and their pretenders. It makes it a right, something that people will expect and demand, something they can complain about, or in extremes, sue the government to get. It has the potential to profoundly alter the way bureaucrats treat the people they are supposed to serve. The Employment Guarantee Scheme will be different from the many employment generation programmes. It is because they were implemented as programmes, subject to budgetary constraints and rules and regulations to suit implementing authorities. They were not statutorily assured and judicially enforceable rights/entitlements of free citizens of the country. With the present Bill, the state fulfils the right of the poor to a livelihood.
Conclusion The implementation of an employment guarantee will require money, but it saves social and economic costs of poverty. Most official estimates place the annual expenditure at Rs. 40,000 crores to Rs. 50,000 crores for expansion to the whole country in five years. In a democracy, the poor majority can justifiably demand a one per cent share of the GDP, of a country which has a six to seven per cent growth rate. With one of the lowest tax to GDP ratios in the world, the question of whether we can afford it is almost farcical. There is a genuine fear of large scale corruption in such programmes. But we cannot forget that these arguments are most often citied as reasons for not implementing programmes for the poor. The Bill would have to been seen against the background of the improved Right to Information Act, which would enable social audits and greater public scrutiny of the programmes. It will ensure greater accountability of panchayat bodies and the district administration as well. For example, muster rolls will no longer be secret, and budget and works will be public knowledge. All this will ensure that only those who really need work will be employed, and only those schemes required by the community are taken up.
“Look towards East” policy to open international market NET News Network Dimapur, Sept 5: The Nagaland handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd. Dimapur is organising a 5-day district level festival on exhibition cum sale of handloom and handicraft sponsored by Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India at Dimapur Club from September 5 to 9. The exhibition was inaugurated by Director, Industries & Commerce, Er. G. Keppen Rengma today. Rengma in his speech stated that Nagaland has the potentiality to export handlooms and handicrafts to the international market based on its rich heritage and culture of various tribes which will give State resources. Keeping in mind these potentialities, the State Govt. has introduced a policy of ‘Look Towards East’, which will enable the State to open a new market route to the neighbouring countries like Myanmar and its adjoining Far East countries for trade.
Rengma further stated, “ Our State has readily available abundant raw material, skilled labour and artisans and I appeal to the local entrepreneurs, craftsmen and weavers for quality production which will have international market value with high demand in production”. The Director also opined that the State Govt. could play a vital role as facilitator to local entrepreneurs to generate employment and revenue for the State by exhilarating the opening trading centres like Longwa at Mon, Pangsha at Tuensang, Mimi at Ohek etc, which is bordering and other countries. Altogether 20 stalls by various local entrepreneurs are displaying their products for exhibition and public sale.
Centre's aid sought to set up security posts on NH-53 b Our Staff Reporter IMPHAL, Sep 5 : The State Police Department has submitted a proposal to the Union Home Ministry to sanction Rs 5 lakhs to enable the police to set up security posts along NH-53. Speaking to The Sangai Express a well placed source said that the proposal was submitted to the Centre following the sensitisation of the route by the Army and handing over the security charge to the CRPF. Police Headquarters approached the Centre to set up the security posts to house the CRPF personnel following the assurances given by the Union Home Secretary that the Centre will spare no efforts to develop and protect the highway.
The security posts are to be built by the Manipur Police Housing Corporation and along with the DC of Tamenglong altogether 18 sites have identified for the security posts to come up, said the source.
On the other hand, the BRTF has been pressed into action to ensure that the bridges located between Barak and Jiribam are strengthened so that it can bear the weight of 24 tonner trucks.
The BRTF is likely to submit an Action Plan for the bridge strengthening exercise to the State Government within this month. Even though plans are afoot to replace the bailey and Hamilton bridges between at the Makru valley and Barak valley with RCC bridges, the existing bridges will be strengthened to carry the carry the weight of 24 tonner trucks as building RCC bridges will take time.
Discussions are also underway to tackle the difficulties likely to be faced while converting the Barak to Jiribam stretch into a double lane, said the source. Earlier the Governor had expressed belief that the bridges on this route will be able to bear the weight of 20 tonner trucks by Nov.


Frans on 09.06.05 @ 04:08 PM CST [link]


Monday, September 5th

Border trade beckons Naga villages


Border trade beckons Naga villages Newmai News Network

Kohima, Sept 4: Once they displayed business sense by donating money to Myanmar villagers to construct roads. Villagers of Meluri area of Nagaland have got wiser, shifting an entire village in a bid to make most of potential international border trade. Early this year, some villages on the Indo-Myanmar international border donated money to Myanmar villages to construct roads. Results are showing and 10 km of Myanmar territory from the international border is motorable.

Going a step ahead, people of Avangkhu a hamlet of 20-odd houses, have shifted lock, stock and barrel close to the international border. "It makes sense business will begin shortly and the land near the international trade centre belongs to Avangkhu," said legislator Yitachu. A team of senior officials from the Union Commerce ministry paid a visit to the area in April to assess the prospects of the international trade centre. Yitachu claimed that this area was the only viable route for trade with Myanmar. Partly true, admit observers, as the international trade centre at Longwa in Mon district has slim chances to prosper in absence of road in Myanmar.

On the contrary, there is an 18-km North East Council (NEC) road under construction from the border to Phongkhungri. A Rs. 12 crore project, the council has already sanctioned Rs. 6 crore for the road.
Avangkhu is eight km from the border and they have begun constructing a new settlement by shifting four km closer. Hope is on long-term business prospects. People in the area know that a ferry service on the Chindwin river ferries people from Yangon to Thimanti. This small town is about 100 km from Leshi sub-division in Myanmar that is just 25 km from the border. It will be a 14-hour road from Dimapur to Leshi, sources said For those willing to shift, there are other benefits, too.

As the villagers shift, they will be closer to the terrace fields and will save time and resources in agriculture besides earning an advantage in business. Relocation of villages was not so common here though forming new ones is popular. In the last five years alone, 39 new villages have been formed in Nagaland to make a total of 1083 village development boards. VDBs get grants from the state government. Meanwhile, another village Yisi in Meluri area under Phek district has also decided to shift from its current location. "They will take advantage of better communication and roads," said the legislator. Yisi used to be a big village with 600 houses.
Over the years, due to lack of infrastructure villagers formed 14 new hamlets.

Wise villagers relocate to gain from border trade
KOHIMA, Sept 4: Once they displayed business sense by donating money to Myanmar villagers to construct roads. Villagers of Meluri area have got wiser shifting an entire village in a bid to make most of potential international border trade. Early this year, some villages on the Indo-Myanmar international border donated money to Myanmar villages to construct roads. Results are showing and 10 km of Myanmar territory from the international border is motorable. Going a step ahead, people of Avangkhu a hamlet of 20-odd houses, have shifted lock, stock and barrel close to the international border. "It makes sense business will begin shortly and the land near the international trade centre belongs to Avangkhu," said legislator Yitachu. A team of senior officials from the Union Commerce ministry paid a visit to the area in April to assess the prospects of the international trade centre.

Yitachu claimed that this area was the only viable route for trade with Myanmar. Partly true, admit observers, as the international trade centre at Longwa in Mon district has slim chances to prosper in absence of road in Myanmar. On the contrary, there is an 18-km North East Council (NEC) road under construction from the border to Phongkhungri. A Rs. 12 crore project, the council has already sanctioned Rs. 6 crore for the road. Avangkhu is eight km from the border and they have begun constructing a new settlement by shifting four km closer. Hope is on long-term business prospects.

People in the area know that a ferry service on the Chindwin river ferries people from Yangon to Thimanti. This small town is about 100 km from Leshi sub-division in Myanmar that is just 25 km from the border. It will be a 14-hour road from Dimapur to Leshi, sources said For those willing to shift, there are other benefits, too. As the villagers shift, they will be closer to the terrace fields and will save time and resources in agriculture besides earning an advantage in business. Relocation of villages was not so common here though forming new ones is popular. In the last five years alone, 39 new villages have been formed in Nagaland to make a total of 1083 village development boards.

VDBs get grants from the state government. Meanwhile, another village Yisi in Meluri area under Phek district has also decided to shift from its current location. "They will take advantage of better communication and roads," said the legislator. Yisi used to be a big village with 600 houses. Over the years, due to lack of infrastructure villagers formed 14 new hamlets. (NNN)

Cong for fresh civic polls in Nagaland Assam Tribune
KOHIMA, Sept 4 – Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee has demanded fresh elections to local urban bodies after Gauhati High Court quashed the appointment of the chairman and the deputy chairman of Chumukedima Town Council. The party said as the High Court quashed two government notifications pertaining to appointment of town council chiefs, the state government should immediately declare null and void elections to all chairmen and deputy chairmen of local urban bodies and order fresh municipal polls in the entire state. The court had in a judgement on August 23 quashed the government notifications which allowed the nominated members to vote in the elections of chairman and deputy chairman. But the constitutional provision does not allow this.

Earlier, the Governor Shyamal Dutta had returned the Nagaland Municipal Act without giving his ascent, pointing out that the bill did not take into consideration the provision of 33 per cent seat reservation for women and granted voting rights to the nominated members of municipal and town councils, which were ultravires to the Constitution. Leader of the Opposition I Imkong of Congress said that he had written to the chief minister demanding countermanding of elections of all chairmen and deputy chairmen of municipal bodies and asked the government to hold fresh polls in the state. Copies of the letter were submitted to the governor and the chief secretary.

Except Mokokchung, elections to Kohima and Dimapur municipal councils and 16 town councils were held in November last year. Official sources said the amended bill is likely to be introduced for consideration and passing during the next session of the assembly. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio last month told the state assembly that the government would follow the existing act till the amendment was passed by the house. – PTI

Emotional Integration Source: Leader writer: RK Lakhi Kant Kangla on Line
Integration has become a slogan which is being voiced in all the corners of the state today. It has become a very relevant point at this moment when the tension between the communities residing in the state has reached an all time high. The throats of all the people who are shouting for it are even hoarse with the effort. Integration is a very high ideal and a beautiful word in the context of the situation in Manipur in the present time but this refined word has become almost an empty sound as there is no emotion behind the cry for it from various quarters. People are crying for peace and harmony between Nagas and Meiteis specifically and the other communities in general but the cries are more passionate than sublime. Emotion in our relationship with each other can be brought about only if we are right thinking and sincere. Emotion is a tender and inner feeling which cannot be coaxed by coarse methods. The ways we can employ in making our relations emotional are many i.e. through political, historical, social or cultural based dialogues between the communities.

The main point in this present tension between communities in the state is not a question of which side is successful in deriving how much out of their stated positions but the answer to our problems lies in how we would be able to live with each other peacefully without harming each others’ interests. We may even wonder how the communities in Manipur especially the Nagas and Meiteis have arrived at such a point in time where each is forgetting its long historical and social binding with the other. Throughout our relationship through the thousands of years we have never faced such a predicament. The relations have been smooth and harmonious for ages. One may then wonder why this danger of a schism between the two people has cropped up. The answer is difficult to find as these are times when falsely motivated groups have overlapped our customs and traditions with their own ideas and the people in general have started believing in these false propaganda thus completely distorting the real nature of the harmony that has prevailed in Manipur since a long time between all the communities. We have a history of peaceful brotherhood between the two communities and it is only vested interests who have brought us to this point of disintegration. If we are swayed by these loosening ties and separate from each other in the end we would both stand as fools with our follies.
Today our sovereignty and freedom is not threatened from outside forces or a different people. We are not guarding ourselves against a foreign nation. The problem is domestic and is a matter to be settled within the family. Our integration should not be fractured by the outside forces. We want to take the help of the Central government but we have nothing to take from them. The matter must be solved by our own people. This will also make us grow in stature in front of the other Indians. All this can happen if the ingredient of emotion is ahead of our passions in our dealings with each other. We must not lose the shared history that our forefathers have presented to us.

Reassessing the British Era Source: IMPHAL FREE PRESS Posted: 2005-09-01
It is amusing, but indicative of a serious flaw in the interpretation of a historical saga that two opposing sides of a conflict should be using the same saga to prove contrary points. While defenders of Manipur integrity show no doubt that it is the “divide and rule” policy of the British colonisers which had fractured close fraternal bonds between communities in Manipur, predetermining in this sense the present day political turmoil, Naga integration campaigners too suffer from no sense of academic flimsiness in their claim that an integrated Naga country was arbitrarily cut up into pieces in keeping with the ulterior motives of the same colonial masters. Well, the same saga cannot possibly mean both these conflicting views at the same time. It has either got to be one or the other, or else neither. We are inclined to believe the third option is closer to the truth. The dominant recourse of historical interpreters in Manipur that sees all its present day problems as a legacy of such a “divide and rule” policy, falls quite in line with a once dominant, (but now accorded diminishing importance) ultra-nationalistic historical narrative of the Indian nation as such, hence finds a degree of acceptability. It is only when the same logic begins to be transferred to the equation of the state’s affair vis a vis the Indian Union in the post Independence era that eyebrows are raised. The root of the Naga’s rectilinear historical vision is different. It basically has to do with the phenomenon of nascent nationality formation. Such a newly formed awareness of a community that awoke only recently from a pre-modern era, will also have to be necessarily built not on a foundation of written records but myths and folklores and other rudimentary community memories, none of which can be an accurate gauge of reality. In short, no written records have been available to the Nagas to discipline imaginations on what they conceive is their history which supposedly dated back to “time immemorial.
Whatever else the British were, they were supremely efficient colonial revenue managers. If they were for instance, diamonds and gold to be prospected in the Naga Hills, or Manipur, let us have no doubt the history of these places would have been totally different. The British did not even fully bring the Naga Hills under its administrative umbrella, categorizing a larger section it into partially excluded and excluded territory. In other words, the British did not bother to set up a revenue management administrative network (which is exactly what a colonial administration is about) in much of the Naga Hills, precisely because there were no worthwhile revenue to be had. Their presence in these hills was basically strategic, namely to control the Angamis who periodically raided and created havoc in Upper Assam where the British already had tremendous interest in the lucrative tea gardens. To make it a boasting point that the British never conquered the Nagas would be only a half truth, and akin to boasting that the Americans also never conquered the Nagas. There was absolutely no need or motive for such a conquest at all. In Manipur, it was very nearly the same story. The British took the opportunity of a palace intrigue to intervene in the erstwhile kingdom’s affairs and post a permanent presence there on strategic considerations of controlling a bridgehead to its other colonies in South East Asia, and not because they coveted any exploitable wealth. The Second World War experience, in which Imphal and Kohima proved to be the turning point of the Japanese campaign in the Pacific region, proved the accuracy of the foresight of the British. There must have been “divide and rule” strategies here and there to neutralize pockets of oppositions, but never a sustained, sinister and long term ones, not because the British were incapable of it, but because there would have been no need or justification for the colonial economy to expend resources in doing so. In Manipur, if the British introduced a separate political administrative mechanism for the hills, its chief reason is not likely to be “divide and rule”, as it is the wont of so many fiery speech makers to allege, but because under the then monarchy, there would likely have been no clear-cut mechanism for making the benefits of the government reach the backward hills. Our intent is not to prove the innocence of the British colonisers from dirty politics, but more to deflate some hot airs from our own egos, so that we can see our situation on more realistic terms, and from such a standpoint proceed to solve our problems. We must learn to call a spade a spade, even if we ourselves are guilty of being a spade.

Incomprehensive Peace Source: The Imphal Free Press Posted:
The incomprehensive nature of the ceasefire agreement between the Government of India and the NSCN(IM) is loudly evident in the continued and unobstructed taxation (extortion) by the underground organization in the areas that it is in operation. It is anybody’s guess that arms stockpiling as well as recruitment drives would still be on too, otherwise where would be the need for the extortion money. The ceasefire has not meant a freezing of any of these activities, which incidentally form the core of any insurrection. So the question is, what exactly is the nature of the peace the ceasefire is said to have ushered in, for all the known activities that makes an insurgency an insurgency, except open hostility between the insurgents and the government forces, are still on in this particular theatre. We are not at all suggesting that the ceasefire be called off but that these aspects be first taken care of by the Union government. The responsibility of meeting the consequences of such a ceasefire must be born by the government and not left to be shouldered by the people. As of today, it is extremely unfair and beyond logic that the people, rather than the government, is being made to bear this extremely high cost of the ceasefire.
We can suggest one thing for a start. Let the Union government pay the monetary price for the kind of peace it seeks, literally. Let it come to an agreement with the NSCN(IM) as to what the annual budget of the latter is, and then pay the amount to it, on the condition that the underground organization makes a complete halt to extortion. Let this be an inalienable and strict condition of the ceasefire. We would make the same recommendation should the Government of India decide to go into a truce with any other underground organization as well. Not only would this be fair to the people coming within the extortion net under cover of the ceasefire, but in the present scenario, also defuse some of the friction that a larger section of the people in Manipur have developed with the NSCN(IM), and to an extent with the community it represents.
For it cannot be denied that the brunt of this extortion is born by Manipur trucks on NH-39 on merchandises meant for Manipur, and hence all the burden ultimately end up being shifted to the consumers in the state. The Union government has been allowing this to go on for much too long, and it is for reasons such as this that wild allegations that the Centre has been, as a policy, fishing in the troubled waters in the northeast, is sticking on an increasing number of minds.

It is true there are a number of other underground organizations, especially in Manipur, indulging in brutal extortions, killing people for not parting with their money etc, but these are still outlawed organizations, and their activities are to be monitored and checked by the law. That the law has not been succeeding in keeping their activities in total check is another matter, but the fact is, extortion here is illegal and legal penalties are still strong deterrents for both the extortionists and their so called “contributors”. In the case of the NSCN(IM), the ceasefire and the so called peace has blunted the law in all practical aspects, making it almost seem as if it is the law which is tacitly or openly endorsing the extortion activities. Why has the Union government not put two and two together yet to realize that such perceptions can do no good to the cause of comprehensive peace in the region in the long run.

It simply cannot allow the people to be fleeced under cover of what it calls peace, and then pretend incomprehension when there are violent protests against the manner the peace game is being played. We would even say such insensitivities, deliberate or otherwise, was a strong factor in the violent explosion of emotions in June 2001 in Manipur against the extension of the NSCN(IM) ceasefire without territorial limits. The anger, it may be recalled, was mainly directed against symbols of the Indian state, for it was this state, or those at the helm of it, who refused to see the inner infringements caused. In the case of Manipur, it is not just a case of resentment against extortion by any underground organization per se, but against a campaign that seeks its destruction, run on money extorted mainly from its own consumers – a case of “my money being used against my own core interest.”

Delimitation Trouble Source: IMPHAL FREE PRESS Posted: 2005-09-05
With the impending delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies countrywide, Manipur can expect another round of rancorous venom spitting. It is no consolation that Nagaland is faring no better, with various political parties already coming forward to appeal to the government of India to spare the state from this round of delimitation exercise, citing their apprehension of bitter public unrests. In Manipur the issue is a little more clear-cut, for the divisions are not so much on lines of tribes and villages and clans, but between reserved and open seats, or interpreted topographically, the hills and the valley. The point of discord is the 2001 population census in the state, which showed a surprising population explosion in the Senapati district at a rate that beats even the alarmist, and now disproven, Malthusian prediction that population expansions follow a geometric progression, destining food production to lag progressively far behind resulting in starvation nightmares. Effort to crosscheck the doubtful figure through another limited census exercise in the district was predictably disallowed by the population, as the issue had become entangled in the embittered hill-valley power equation by then. And so the state would be going into the delimitation process on the basis of this disputed population figure, thanks also to lazy and inefficient census enumerators who left so much unanswered questions. To be a little cynical, it also perhaps mean future human headcounts in Manipur in future would have to be done through aerial and satellite surveys as these cannot be upstaged by petty politics.
As articulated so consistently and insistently by some political parties, the consequence would be the valley losing three of its traditional constituencies because of the new population ratios. In the current situation when the fire of Manipur integrity and Naga integration are still raging, this can mean additional dynamite. This is of course if good sense is not allowed to prevail. We are with those who believes that if good, intelligent, senses prevail, harvests can be reaped from even extremely bad situations. As for instance, the opposition to a delimitation exercise as per the 2001 census can mellow down. Let the issue be more academic than political so that the clarification to the doubts become essentially a concern that future academic projections and policy guidelines can go asunder. As much as inflated population can multiply benefits, it can also multiply problems. We are not presuming that the 2001 population figures, although surprising, are wrong but that the doubts needs to be put to rest at some point or the other, perhaps during the next census. In the meantime the realignment of constituencies must be allowed to take place, and if the valley has to give up the three constituencies now, so be it but with the condition that these new constituencies remain unreserved.
This will for one thing ensure nobody loses their right to franchise or right to contest in elections. The state already has a huge problem of disenfranchisement of a section of the population in the Thoubal district. In fact we feel there ought not to be any apprehension even if all the constituencies in Manipur were to be unreserved, for ethnic affinities being what it is, to fear a Meitei can win the Tipaimukh, Tadubi or Chinghai Assembly constituencies in the foreseeable future, would amount to nothing short of a phobia. Beyond the foreseeable future, perhaps it would be in the rightness of things for everybody to be looking forward to more meaningful and democratic relationships. A speaker at one of the many open discussions that Imphal gets to see so frequently these days was making a very interesting suggestion of ending the practice of demarcating ethnic districts and opting instead for administrative districts. Given the current situation of hostile ethnic divides, this may be asking for too much just as yet. But the idea is worth a thought at least for the longer term state policies. Given a political vision focused on common good, who knows the delimitation process can set the ball of un-ethnicising political territories rolling. At such a time maybe issues such as a Sadar Hills district would also face no hurdles.

Ramu Mech’s brother salutes legal system ULFA sees Handique death as a preplanned murder NET News Network
Guwahati, Sep 4:Terming the deportation of ailing senior ULFA leader Ramu Mech to AIIMS for eye treatment as a victory of law, elder brother Puling Konwar expressed that at last they have got their legal due and if any one deserve credit for this then it is the legal system. Konwar speaking to a section of media persons said, “If situation demands then Ramu should be taken to abroad for treatment and if required we will generate money through public donation”.
It can be mentioned that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday while briefing the media announced the decision but Justice R.B Mishra of Gauhati High Court (GHC) had already ordered the treatment of Mech in AIIMS on its verdict on Sep 2 last after taking into consideration all the medical reports of Mech. The ruling of GHC came after CJM court repeatedly upheld the need of immediate special treatment to the ULFA leader. In the meantime, the 5 members medical board constituted to monitor the health developments by the Government of Assam under the subjugation of Superintendent of Guwahati Medical College Hospital notified about the seriousness of Mech’s health.
“It is unfortunate that even after 17 rulings by various courts, seriousness of Ramu’s deteriorating health condition was neglected by the authorities”, said Nakibul Zaman, lawyer of ULFA cadre. Ramu Mech as per the sources is likely to be taken to AIIMS, New Delhi by tomorrow’s Air Deccan flight scheduled to leave at 2:10 in the afternoon. It can be mentioned that Mech, suffering from loss of vision, was arrested in May 2002 from Aditya Nursing Home, Sivsagar and different courts have repeatedly ordered urgent treatment for 17 times but he could be treated only thrice due to lack of escort facilities from the police. Meanwhile, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Sunday again reiterated Robin Handique’s death as a “ Pre planned murder”. Launching attack on DIG (prison) for his remark that Handique was provided with all medical care, the outfit through e-mail expressed surprise at the government move to keep Handique at army’s 4 Corps in Tezpur and sending Bhim Buragohain to Guw ahati jail.
“ An ailing Handique was forced to travel across Assam in the back of a truck speaks about government’s sincerity about his health,” pointed out the mail.

Frans on 09.05.05 @ 01:30 PM CST [link]


Sunday, September 4th

PRESS STATEMENT NAGA HOHO


PRESS STATEMENT NAGA HOHO (Dated Kohima, 2nd September 2005)
Despite the unrelenting and obnoxious statements, often coupled with deliberate action of contempt against Nagas by United Committee Manipur (UCM) and others from the Imphal valley organizations and other elements, the Naga Hoho has never responded with ill feelings or sense of being intimidated in any way. Rather, we have always extended our hands of friendship, which were made to “grope in the dark”; although we always appreciated the difficulties they have and patiently continue to look forward to positive reciprocation. But these efforts are seemingly read from very negative perspectives, which now threaten to even disturb the prevailing good-will and neighbourly relationship, if not guarded in time.

The recent emotional outburst against the Naga MLAs and MP for participating in the Naga Integration Rally held at Kohima on 31st August 2005 by the UCM can be seen as one of the “coffin nails” to the Naga-Meitei bond of friendship if not corrected before it goes in too deep. When even non-Nagas were participating in the Integration Rally, why should Nagas not participate, and least of all our leaders?

As a first step, the Naga Hoho will only advice the UCM not to go beyond the precipice, but rather consolidate themselves, take their community into confidence and help strengthen our neighborly relationships. Nagas have always lived together emotionally and physically and are only trying to remove the artificial and geo-political boundaries, which have reduced our humanity, and have not sacrificed our past generations for nothing.

The Naga Hoho once again thank every person that have made the Integration Rally a “dream come true” and to the thousands that thronged the Capital City Kohima from every nook and corner of Naga areas in Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and even Burma (Myanma). The Naga Hoho will pursue this manifestation of the Naga people in whatever way possible and imperative.
Sd/- Neingulo Krome General Secretary, Naga Hoho. Kohima, Nagaland.
Nagaland Public Service Commission under fire Dimapur, September 3, 2005 Hindustan Times The Naga Students' Federation (NSF) has demanded that the state public service commission offer a detailed explanation and tender a public apology for "errors" it committed in the recently conducted Nagaland civil and allied service examinations, and the graduate teachers' examination prior to that. The NSF urged the Vigilance Commission to make public its investigation into the functioning of the NPSC. The federation has demanded that the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC) clarify the measures being taken by the commission to address issues raised by candidates. "The voice of the people would be heard in more than just press releases", the union said, "if the issues were not addressed in the right manner".
It said the number of errors detected by candidates in question papers was "staggering". "If three weeks were insufficient for the NPSC to come up with a question paper in this age of technology, then no amount of time would be enough," the NSF said.

Congress questions Rio’s stand on integration
DIMAPUR, Sept 3: In its role of a sensible and efficient Opposition, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress, the Opposition party in Nagaland, has not let any opportunity to go in vain that can put the ruling DAN government or the state Chief Minister, who is none other than a former Congressmen, in an embarrassing situation. This time, once again, it was the turn of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, to face the Congress salvo because of his stand and the message he sent to the Nagas back home who in a large number from the nook and corners of Naga areas gathered at Kohima to pledge to live as one people in a unified homeland on August 31. Rio in his message to the Nagas from New Delhi sent concurrently while attending the Indian National Integration Council meeting, said: “Integration of all Nagas is the road to solution of the Naga political problem,” adding, “integration is the legitimate birthright of the Naga people”. “The question is that, can the Chief Minister of Nagaland have two different integrations? The one he participated in Delhi and the other that he encourages and claims to be his birthright as Naga,” asked the Pradesh Congress.

The national party said it was surprised to go through the statement made by Rio. Viewing his statement that integration is the legitimate birthright of the Naga people, Hokheto Sumi, president, NPCC, wondered as to how the Chief Minister can have two different integrations – “the one he had participated in Delhi and the other he encourages and claims to be his birthright as Naga”.

At a time when thousands of Nagas from Naga-inhabited areas were voicing their strong desire to the Government of India and others that Nagas want to live together in one land as one family in Naga Integration Rally at Kohima on Wednesday, the state Chief Minister was busy participating the Indian National Integration Council meeting addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi. The party also seriously resented Rio’s statement, that a hundred per cent security could not be provided to the Manipur-bound vehicle, made during the ANSAM-sponsored economic blockade.

NPMHR for a Unified Naga homeland 31st August 2005, Kohima press release
The Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) taking the opportunity of this mammoth gathering (Integration Rally) of the Naga peoples reaffirms our strong commitment towards striving for the unification of all Naga areas. NPMHR believes that the unification of all Naga people and their ancestral lands into one political entity is a natural fundamental necessity. NPMHR acknowledges that the present physical barrier imposed upon the Naga people and their ancestral homeland is one of the main causes of our physical and emotional separation. This environment has further accentuated the emergence of divergence in ideas, perception and of division (conflict). Therefore in order for the Naga people to determine our future together we must come together physically, emotionally and spiritually with a united purpose. Any political settlement arrived at between the Government of India and the Naga people must involve removing the arbitrary state imposed boundaries that stand in the way of the Nagas exercising their natural and inherent rights as one political entity. It is imperative that unification of Naga homeland must form the minimum basis for any lasting settlement to take place. Our land is our life and we owe it to our generations to come to prudently solve it without compromising the ancestral heritage left to us by our ancestors. NPMHR firmly believes in the unity of land and people. NPMHR reaffirms the right of the Naga people to live as one geo-political entity and that the unification of Naga areas is inalienable towards Nagas exercising their sovereign rights as any respectable nation and people on earth. Kuknalim! Nepuni Piku, Secretary General NPMHR.
"Violation of human rights in any part of the world is a threat to the human race as a whole and protection and promotion of human rights anywhere is a concern of all."

Mani for debate on integration The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Sept 3: Khaidem Mani, president, All Manipur Bar Association, has suggested that an open debate on the issue of Manipur`s integrity and Naga unification should be held to settle the stalemate peacefully. Addressing mediapersons at AMBA as a social worker, Mani said that an internationally or nationally reputed news agency like BBC or NDTV should organise the debate and it should be held anywhere in India except the north east. He further stated that there should be 10 participants each, who are experts in the fields, from both sides and they should have authenticated books and documents to support their arguments. The public in general and the media in particular should be the judge and the decisions of the judges should be binding upon both sides. He observed that this will bring a permanent solution and confrontations can be avoided. Referring to some excerpts from Nagaland daily Morung Express wherein Nagaland home minister and Manipur`s outer MP made remarks about dividing the land of Nagas without their consent, Mani raised certain questions to the leaders of Naga integration on the name, location, size, language, ruler, population, people, etc of the "unified and undivided land of Nagas".
Stating that it is ethically and morally wrong to speak against another community, he observed that Manipur`s integrity is not a threat to any state or community but Naga`s unificationss threatens the neighbouring states and communities. He said that the NSCN (IM)-GOI talk is welcome but disintegration of Manipur or any other states should not be a part of it.

Mani kick starts Lim debate Source: The Sangai Express Imphal, September 03: Taking serious note of the remarks made by Nagaland Home Minister Thenucho and Manipur MP Mani Charenamei during the Naga integration rally held on August 31 at Kohima, All Manipur Bar Association (AMBA) president Khaidem Mani Singh has posed a series of questions on the movement for Naga integration. Addressing a press conference at the AMBA office located within the Cheirap Court complex today, Khaidem Mani demanded to know the name of the nation/land, if the Nagas have had ever lived as one in their history, the geographical area covered by it, the boundary and the official language spoken.
He also wanted to know the names of the kings who ruled over the Naga people in such a nation, the total population and number of tribes or communities who lived in such a political entity. Khaidem clarified that these questions have been posed not in his capacity as AMBA president but as an Indian citizen and social worker who has deep concern for the territorial integrity of Manipur. He also advocated an open debate on the topic of ‘Manipur territorial integrity versus Naga Integrity: Which one is justifiable?’.
The debate may be held anywhere outside North East and 10 speakers each from both the sides should be selected with an internationally acclaimed media organisation as the third group, Khaidem proposed. He expressed optimism that such debate could not dispel any sort of animosity and tension existing among the Nagas and non-Naga people. However, he hastened to add, that ‘fortunately there has been no communal tension among the ethnic groups settling in both the hill and the valley areas of the State’, and gave the credit to the various social and voluntary organisations working in Manipur for this. ‘We have nothing to say against Naga sovereignty, but the process of Naga integration should not affect existing territorial integrity of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh’, Khaidem said. NSCN (I-M) and Govt of India can carry on with their peace talks, but it should not be at the cost of the territorial integrity of the neighbouring States, he stated categorically.
Debate on integration issue Manipur Intellectual moots discussion at neutral venue Newmai News Network September 3
IMPHAL: Noted personality of Manipur and well known human rights activist and legal Advocate Khaidem Mani Singh has called for an intellectual debate on the Manipur and Naga integration issue. Talking to media persons at his office this evening, Khaidem Mani Singh has suggested that the best way to solve the impasse over the integration issue is to have a good debate comprising of ten intellectuals each from both the parties at a neutral venue, say New Delhi. The human rights activist said that the persons who should judge such debates should be media persons or intellectuals from mainland India or even from some international media groups or organizations.
"This is to bring peaceful solution to the impasse", said the activist. He further pointed out that if the result of the debate goes in favour of Naga integration then the process for a unified Naga Homeland should go ahead without any protest. "And in the event of the result going in favour of the group who are against the breaking up of Manipur then the movement for Naga unification should stop immediately," said Khaidem Mani. "My initiative is to deal with things without giving any room for whipping up communal tension", said the noted human rights activist. Elaborating on the technicalities of the Naga integration movement, Khaidem Mani said that Naga unification or integration amounts to breaking up of the States of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. Similarly maintaining Manipur’s territorial integrity would amount to going against the aspiration of Naga integration. "This is an extremely sensitive issue and an open debate in good faith by concerned people is the only solution for a peaceful ending," said Khaidem Mani. Khaidem Mani who is also the President of All Manipur Bar Association (AMBA) has said that he was not clear regarding the demand made by those leaders who are spearheading the Naga integration movement. He said, the Naga leaders had been maintaining that the British had put/divided the Nagas into different States of India or country (Myanmar). "But what I want to ask is the name of that Naga Kingdom or country that they had been living in a unified Naga kingdom before the British divided them". He further asked, about the common language of that undivided Naga kingdom. "Who was the King or the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister of that undivided Naga country before the British rule in India?" Khaidem Mani however clarified that his point of view should not be interpreted on communal lines but as an after thought with a desire to clear the problems peacefully.
NPSC owes detailed apology: NSF Morung Express News September 3
Kohima: The Naga Students Federation has stated that the recent examination conducted by the Nagaland Public Service Commission has become another point of reference for the people of Nagaland to decry the incompetence of the premier recruiting agency in the State of Nagaland. "The number of irregularities detected by the aspiring candidates in the question papers of the NCS and Allied Services mains examination and the graduate Teachers examination prior to that are simply staggering, especially considering that the NPSC has done pretty little to allow the public to repose faith in them," a press release issued by the NSF stated. While stating that the NPSC should ‘recognize and appreciate’ that the measures it had taken in this regard was only a small fraction in the whole process of restoration of justice, the student body has asserted that three weeks was ample time for the State recruiting agency to come up with a compatible question paper. Further, the NSF has said that any mistake committed by the "Professional Company" under the contract of the NPSC to set question papers is the sole responsibility of the latter. In the light of the above development, the NPSC owes a detailed explanation and apology to the public at the earliest. Clarification should be made in the context of pre-emptive measures being taken by the NPSC to address issues being raised by aspiring candidates through the press media as well as to ensure that such irregularities do not happen again in the future," the NSF release added. The NSF has also urged the Vigilance Commission to publicize the progress of its investigation into the NPSC scam in whatever way it deemed fit so that ‘such a revelation does not hinder the process of investigation.’
Public outcry after women die after injections Hindustan Times Kohima, September 3, 2005 Sensation prevails in the Thonoknyu area in the Nagaland's Tuensang district after elderly women died after allegedly being given injections by the local primary health centre (PHC) doctor, in what is being considered another pointer towards the dismal health facilities in the state. Khiungsushü Tikhir, wife of the headman of Tuensang town and Tsünungshü Tikhir, the second victim are said to have died "within 10 to 15 minutes" after being administered injections by Dr GK Sharma at his official residence in Thonoknyu. According to the sources the women went into convulsions and died after some 10 to15 minutes later. Not satisfied with the doctor and a staff nurse of the PHC being arrested by the police, the town's people have forced local administration to hold up the salaries of the PHC staff. Tuensang police has meanwhile confirmed the report and said the doctor and the nurse have been forwarded to judicial custody. Thonoknyu town is a remote town located 96 km from Tuensang town with no state transport bus service and extremely poor communication facilities. The lone PHC in the area caters to ten villages in the region.
NH-39 to see new security measures Security escorts to be provided to trucks everyday from today Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 02: The State Government has decided to provide security escorts to essential carriers of goods including petroleum product carriers along NH-39 every day with effect from tomorrow. Earlier security escort was provided on alternate days on this route. Disclosing this, a source informed the press that this was conveyed to transporters during a meeting convened by IGP (LO-II) A Romenkumar at the Police Headquarters today morning. A number of police officers including DIG Range I Dinokumar, CO of 1st IRB Laxmi Prasad hhetry and Imphal West Additional SP Th Radhyeshyam were present. The Deputy Manager of IOC and the IOCL (AOD) MKK Pegoo were also present. Representatives of the Manipur Truck Owners' Welfare Association, Manipur Drivers' Welfare Association and All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers' Union were also present at the meeting. During the meeting, the IGP informed the transporters that anti-social elements have been troubling goods laden trucks as well as empty trucks leaving Manipur to lift goods from outside the State in between Sekmai and Sapermeina along NH-39. With a view to neutralise the activities of the anti-social elements, a new security strategy will be put into place, informed Romen, said the source further. To enable empty trucks to leave Imphal and lift goods from outside the State, the transporters were told to report at Kangla one day ahead or before 5 am of the day of departure. The empty trucks will leave at 6 am and will be escorted upto Mao and from there security will be provided by Nagaland police. The same team will escort back the loaded trucks from Mao gate at 2 pm till Imphal, said the source further. The OC of Sekmai police has also been instructed to ensure that no empty truck proceeds beyond Sekmai without security escort, said the source and added that the OC of Mao police too has been directed to see that no loaded trucks leave Mao Gate without security escort. Yesterday a large number of empty trucks were made to turn back towards Imphal by some gun wielding men near Sekmai on the ground that no vehicles should ply on NH-39.
The documents of some trucks were also seized by the armed persons. According to a reliable source, the documents of about 100 trucks have been seized along NH-39 and the owners are having a hard time trying to get back the impounded documents. Given the circumstances a number of drivers are reluctant to take the NH-39 route, said a source. After crossing Mao, each truck has to pay hefty taxes to an underground outfit and what is more the drivers are also subjected to a lot of hardship and inconvenience along the way on this route, said the source further. The Government seems oblivious to the plight of the drivers they said and added that the Govt should concentrate on developing NH-53 first.
DIALOGUE Should prohibition be lifted? Morung Express
Prohibition in Nagaland is just a paper act…it can never succeed and no one can have a holier than thou art attitude…correct me if prohibition has restrained alcoholism Atongla Rothrong
Reporter, The Morung Express
The enormous task of changing our attitude and approach towards a progressive mindset and also to disagree with various problems distressing our society is very much in the mind of everybody today. But can anybody pinpoint as to which problem is the worst of all? Doubtful, I should say. Was it just yesterday or was it in the last decade that Nagaland was declared a dry state? Conceded that Nagas are voracious drinkers and many cases of alcohol abuse have been heard of. Then what of the numerous cases of rape, drug abuses, robberies and killings? Like minded people would agree that the cases cited are the main threats faced by our people today. Nagaland was declared a ‘Dry State’ and a ban was imposed on the sale and manufacture of liquor in Nagaland by the government under the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act ’89. Prohibition in simple words means banning the manufacture, distribution, sale and consumption of intoxicants. Drinking has been considered a social evil and is cursed upon. Wine is often described as ‘liquid fire’. Just like the fire destroys everything to ashes so does intake of liquor masticates through not only our physical health but also the mental and moral values. Nagas as written in the pages of the local history and said through the ages are accustomed to drinking since time immemorial and today’s generation are practicing it in the open especially during the Local festivals. Then why is it that we are making a hue and cry about the lifting of the prohibition act. The prohibition act prevailing in the state has not worked out in a very effective manner. In spite of the Prohibition which is still in force, the sell of illicit liquor in local bars is found in abundance. Even though the import of foreign liquor is restricted, there has been surplus in the supply of locally made beers, which the law-keepers have failed to look into. One should keep in mind that for the success in implementation of the act the co-operation of all the section of people is essential.
Enforcement of any kind of prohibition has so far not yielded any positive results in the world. It is therefore not surprising that during the recent Assembly Session the Committee on Estimates (CE) recommended measures for the government to take, for the ‘effective implementation of partial prohibition’ in the State. The Committee in its 79th Report on the Estimate of the Excise Department (Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act-1989) has stated that limited numbers of licenses for sale of liquor, only during limited time and day may be issued. However this should be made after proper verification of age of applicant and location of shop. For effective implementation of partial prohibition, the Committee also recommended that reputed hotels and restaurants may be issued with licenses to sell, consume within the hotel precincts, while the quality of alcohols should be strictly checked and controlled, dry days should be strictly observed and those not adhering to rules should be imposed with fines or their license seized. Further the report also suggested that the volume/quantity of consumption of liquors be strictly regulated by issue of orders to the proprietors, owners and sellers in the hotels/restaurants. It also suggested that shops selling alcohol should be warned against selling to minors and failure to abide would lead to fines or cancellation of licenses. The proposal also suggested that identity card may be issued for consumers after properly verifying their age while restrictions be made for the volume/quantity purchased by an individual or hotel in a day. Other restriction for implementing partial prohibition was that, liquor shops should not located anywhere near school, church or office premises.
The Committee also recommended that unruly behavior emerging out of drunkenness, drunken driving and disruption of public safety be checked and dealt with strict actions. It also suggested that law enforcing agencies should see to it that the armed forces did not sell above the prescribed limit/quota. The random out flow of liquor should be strictly checked, restriction to drink in public places etc should be strictly enforced and unauthorized sale and use should be dealt with stringent measures, the report stated. It was also suggested that the revenue earned should be used for generating employment and also to promote awareness programs on the evil effects of liquor. It was also suggested that the panchayat, area council members, youth of the locality be authorized to help the authorities in checking illegal sale and use of alcohol. The above recommendations should be welcomed and partial lifting of liquor prohibition can be experimented with. The Committee has put in place sufficient a check in order to curb any untoward incident if at all prohibition is partially lifted. If one is to go deep into its research it is known that when there was no prohibition in the State, only a few wine stores existed but with the coming of Prohibition Act one can find shops, Restaurants and even private residences dealing in the lucrative business of wine selling at such high cost. It is common knowledge that when it comes to economy Nagas are zero. The State Government should, instead of losing crores of rupees annually, withdraw the prohibition act and make the most of the revenue to generate resources for the local economy. It can only be through an effort of all like minded individuals, and Social Groups by organizing programmes to reach out to those who are abused because every individual has a mind of their own. "Nagaland for Christ" was declared and being a Christian state and letting liquor co-exist does not sound well and also is not appreciated by the masses. Our society has deteriorated rapidly where our younger generation has become the victims of intoxicating substance especially of liquor. Consumption of liquor has already ruined many happy homes and had impoverished many rich and prosperous families. It has also ruined many of the young promising careers. As for the Church bodies, a civilized citizen should be able to comprehend that ‘Nagaland for Christ’ is the slogan that our State stands by. But the church should also be rational in the matter of the prohibition act. Proverbs 9: 17-18 says; "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave’. So if an individual wants to indulge in it let it be, maybe the good job on the part of the Church would be by providing the alcohol victims by organizing alcoholic anonymous(AA) programmes and counseling and thereby bringing them closer to God. Correct me if prohibition has restrained alcoholism? It will be an offense to our understanding if someone comes up with a constructive reply. If the prohibition act persists then the State Government should have an alternative for those indulging in alcohol via extra-curricular activities. A survey done says that more than 50% of the youths who are drug addicts presently were alcoholics before but due to the prohibition and high cost of liquor they had opted for drugs and we do know that drug users are one of the sources of spreading HIV/AIDs. As a norm, Nagas have the attitude of aping the west and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the drug users of Nagaland start to sell their blood to support their habit, like the drug addicts of Cambodia. It is highly likely that HIV prevalence in Nagaland will rapidly increase. So it would be better if the Government deviate from the prohibition act and delve into matters more serious.
If at all the Act is lifted then the quality of liquor will be far better than the ones that are available in the black market now. I moreover believe that the cravings would naturally subside for people in general go in for things that (here alcohol) are hard to find within their environment. Further, due to accumulating of mega bucks through the so called illegal business, the dealers resort to adulterating the refined bottled liquor which eventually results in early damage of health. The option to reduce the frequency of the alcohol consumption or to make it legal is a combination of two. For people who take alcohol is no different than any other person, it’s just that the choice of dependency is different. Prohibition act in Nagaland is just a paper act after all. We, see hardly anyone in a drunken brawl in the neighboring States where there is no prohibition but here in Nagaland where prohibition act is said to be prevailing it not a new sight to encounter drunkenness. Point taken that some people take alcohol or are unable to stop or unwilling to stop them. Coming to the end of my dialogue, as far as the mega potential of tourism industry is concerned- we are doing our best to enhance tourism in our State and if prohibition is a constraint for the flow of tourists than there is every reason to consider partial lifting of the Act. Prohibition Act can never succeed and no one can have a holier than thou attitude. If one wants to survive longer, that’s their decision, freedom should not be denied to anyone because in my opinion, concern is right and action is wrong. Under no authority can a State say no to this, except perhaps in a communist State.
Yes, alcohol is available and some people drink but it is also true that bootleggers can be arrested, liquor bottles seized, smashed, set to flame—at least something is done. There is less evil. Prohibition has made the business of liquor illegal. The law is there. This is a good thing in itself.Dr T Jamedi Longkumer
College Lecturer
The recent debate in the media regarding the prohibition issue has been most interesting and thought provoking. Let me start by examining the accusations made against prohibition. It gives me no pleasure to say this but some have smeared and blackened the face of prohibition to such an extent that it is no longer recognizable. Here I hope to attempt the unenviable task of cleaning up.
Some people have reasoned that prohibition has given rise to "other evils" like bootlegging and the drug menace besides other. The argument is put across in such a way so as to blame prohibition for giving birth, nurturing, and encouraging these evils. Let me first tackle the bootlegging accusation. It is well known that bootlegging is a problem, an evil everywhere—prohibition or no prohibition. There will always be anti-socials and criminal elements in a society who would take to the business even if there is no prohibition in the state: (some say lifting of prohibition would end bootlegging) bootleggers would still thrive. The possibility of evading taxes and making large profit is always an appealing proposition to the demon of greed in man. Thus in a no-prohibition scenario we would have not only the so-called legal liquor store but also the non-legal outlets. Such a state would be worse than any present prohibition predicament—at least now we have one less tentacle of the evil octopus. No! I am not saying that the presence of bootlegging is a preferable option—bootleggers must be arrested, there must be retribution for their crime. I am just saying that it is not correct to blame prohibition for the presence of bootlegging. The second accusation against prohibition is that it is responsible for drug addiction problem in the society. Forgive me, but seriously I find this accusation is misplaced. For, in the first place the drug problem was not and is not an isolated Nagaland—centred phenomenon. It came from Southeast Asia like an unstoppable tsunami during the 1980s and enveloped the whole of North east and in fact the whole of India. Prohibition did not invite it; it came on its own, in its own time. Many young people out of curiosity tried it, got hooked, wasted their lives and died. It is sad but I fail to comprehend on what basis it is argued that there would have been less drug-related casualty if there was no prohibition. Take for instance the situation in our neighbouring sister states—the dimension of drug problem is as serious as everywhere, prohibition or no prohibition. So there is no way we can blame prohibition for the drug problem in the society. In fact, I think prohibition played a crucial role in controlling and limiting the fire from being blown to greater proportion. Please do not crucify prohibition for everything you can think of.
Some quarters have expressed the fear that prohibition can be an impediment, a major hurdle for tourism promotion in the state. The question to be asked here is, is our land, our heritage so poor? Do we have to depend on alcohol to attract tourists? This fear is unfounded. Our culture is so rich; nature has endowed us with much beauty that if properly packaged and harnessed Nagaland could easily become a tourist hotspot. We have so much to offer and share with the world; let’s stop worrying about liquor and cease using the argument as a rationale for lifting the prohibition. Some people have questioned the "performance" of prohibition, questioned its success. It is true that prohibition has not produced the desired results but does it imply that it is useless, a failure? Yes, alcohol is available and some people drink but it is also true that bootleggers can be arrested, liquor bottles seized, smashed, set to flame—at least something is done. There is less evil. Prohibition has made the business of liquor illegal. The law is there. This is a good thing in itself. Of course, this law is not foolproof to aberrations, anomalies and violation in the same way as for instance, the law against theft and murder cannot stop all acts of theft and murder from happening. Because some dead-conscience people flout the law of the land; does it mean that the law is useless? If we follow this line of argument then obviously we will have to conclude that all laws are meaningless, which is not the case as a matter of fact. Laws serve two purposes. Firstly, it is expected to deter acts of crime (deterrence), and secondly, punish the offender. The authority of law is the basis of civil society. It maintains and gives the semblance of sanity to brute man. Imagine the scenario in a free for all society—it will be chaos and violence everywhere. Thus law may not create a perfect society but it surely makes for a civil society. So, as of today, prohibition may not have transformed our society from the evils of alcoholism, but at least we have taken a step in the right direction. Now the question arises as to whether an act of legislation is enough? No. Mere legislation is not the answer. It can at best be only a stepping stone in the search for a solution to the problem. The failure of our people lies precisely in not understanding this truth. We became content with prohibition law in place. We thought that the final solution had been arrived at. We did not think nor acted beyond prohibition. Prohibition cannot solve the problem. It is meant to be a tool only. But sadly our effort and the missionary zeal displayed in the demand for prohibition ended with the passing of an Act in the legislative Assembly. Where is our will to struggle on? Reform is not a one-time action but a continuous process and each step along the path has to be built upon or else the structure will collapse. After prohibition, we rejoiced, sat and relaxed. Let us wake up from our slumber and do something. The government must perform its responsibility of implementing the law at all (its) level of authority. The civil society, the Church, the NGOs must be vigilant in spotting the problem areas and the problem people and in taking care of them. If we sincerely implement this two pronged approach, we would surely achieve much of what we started for.
Prohibition was demanded because the need was felt. Is the need still there? To protect lives, homes, society? Yes. Anything that is evil that has a destructive influence has to be fought against with all available resources and means at our command. If only our leaders had the vision and the courage to impose prohibition starting from the beginning of the 60s or the 70s, our state and socity would have been stronger, more vibrant, cleaner and productive. Some say that we Naga have been gifted with a natural and inherent appetite for alcohol and that it is wrong to go against. I think such a point of view is nothing less than a poor attempt at rationalizing the evil. However, even if this is true, don’t you think that we need to sublimate, spiritualize and discipline this passion? Such appetite can be redirected toward greater purpose rather than for mere gratification of fleeting desires. I may be wrong but I sense that the church seems to be getting a little bit unnecessarily jitterly about the prohibition issue. The church stood at the forefront in the fight against alcoholism and it must continue to do so. It must not shy away. We are proud of what the church has done for the well-being of the society. We salute and applaud the church. We also honour the Mother’s Association, the students’ federation and our politicians who ultimately passed the bill. What has to be understood here is that alcoholism is not "just" an individual problem but it is also a social problem. This is the reason why "social action" is necessary to fight against alcoholism. And in doing so nobody is trying to police anybody’s conscience. In fact the conscience cannot be policed around even if we desire to do so. But the conscience can be made to grow healthy, beautiful, strong and pure if provided with the opportunity and vice versa. Prohibition as a social action is an effort in the direction, aimed at creating a healthy environment for the development of healthy individual for the greater good. Prohibition hopes to facilitate this attainment by making scarce the opportunity for degeneration. It is therefore important that we do not lose sight of the greater picture in fighting the battle against alcoholism. The battle has a greater and higher purpose not merely the "prohibition" of liquor. The important question is, "is prohibition for good or bad?" I don’t know how people can even feel that prohibition is not for a good cause. Of course there are loopholes in the system and failures in implementing but a beginning nonetheless has been made. The journey has begun and good willing in his grace and in his strength the destination will be reached. May be a day will come in the future when we shall no longer require a paper law to fight for the good cause but as of now, we need the crutch for we have just barely started learning how to stand up.
KNA cries foul Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Sep 3 : The Kuki National Army has accused the State Police Department of violating the cease fire signed between it and the Centre on August 10 this year by shooting dead two cadres of the outfit on September 1 at Litanpokpi. In a statement the outfit said that the gunning down of the two cadres by the Imphal East police commandos violated the ceasefire. Refuting the official report that the encounter ensued after the KNA cadres opened fire at the police, the statement quoting eye witnesses said that the police commandos shot at three cadres of the KNA near a pharmacy at Litanpokpi. Two of the cadres died at the spot while the other managed to escape. Except for the two 9 mm pistols recovered there were no other weapons with the slain cadres, clarified KNA. It is not true that the cadres armed with only two 9 mm pistols opened fire at the police team armed to the teeth, reasoned the outfit and added that the official report reeks of the same blatant fabrication furnished by the police when two cadres of the KNA were shot dead at Iroishemba on August 27.
Despite the cease fire the gunning down of KNA cadres in two separate incidents within the span of a week inevitably induces the notion that the State police is tinged with communal motivations, charged the KNA. The outfit demanded the release of its two arrested cadres and to hand over the police commandos involved in the killings to the KNA and compensation of Rs 5 lakhs each to the family members of the slain cadres.


Frans on 09.04.05 @ 05:15 PM CST [link]


Saturday, September 3rd

Naga political leaders face the heat


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Indo-Naga Peace Talk Naga realm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Frans on 09.03.05 @ 07:31 PM CST [link]


Friday, September 2nd

Rally epoch-making, says Naga Hoho


Rally epoch-making, says Naga Hoho
Dimapur, September 1, 2005 The Naga Hoho has described the August 31 integration rally in Kohima as an "epoch-making event" in the history of the "Naga people's cry for justice and freedom" attended by over 1 lakh people. A press release issued by Naga Hoho publicity secretary P Chuba Ozukum thousands of other people failed to make it to the programme on time after they were held back by security forces. "This itself shows the insincerity on the part of security forces towards solving the age-old Naga political problem," the release said.
The Naga Hoho reiterated its commitment to draw a roadmap for Naga integration and thanked the political leaders from both the ruling coalition and the opposition for attending the rally. More than 50,000 people had gathered in Kohima to reiterate their demand for a greater Nagaland, or Nagalim that would include all areas inhabited by Naga people. The move is opposed by states such as Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam as the states would lose large chunks of heir border areas if such a demand was accepted by the Centre

Nagaland Congress traps Rio between Lim and sovereignty The Imphal Free Press
Kohima, Sept 1 : The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) ridiculed the statement by Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio during the National Integration Council meeting in New Delhi on August 31 that "integration of all Nagas is the road to solution of the Naga political problem".

Critiquing Rio`s view of integration as the legitimate birthright of the Naga people, a press release issued by NPCC president, Hokheto Sumi, wondered how the chief minister could have two different integrations ? `the one he had participated in Delhi for India`s integration and the other he encourages and claims to be the birth right of Naga`.The party also took noted Rio`s statement during the ANSAM-sponsored economic blockade that a hundred percent security could not be provided to the Manipur-bound vehicles.The party said though it was understandable that anything could have happened at that point of time without the knowledge of the government and the chief minister, yet it amounted to a direct encouragement to untoward incidents hence improper and irresponsible on the part of a legal government?
The NPCC said it did not take up the issue at that point of time as the situation would have aggravated.

Tax imposed as bonafide Govt: IM Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 30: The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) which is currently holding peace talks with the Government of India has claimed to have opened its foreign embassies in the Europe and South Asian countries. The Naga outfit has also further claimed it is collecting taxes from the people by virtue of being a bona-fide Government. In an exclusive interview with The Sangai Express, deputy kilonser (MoS Home) of the NSCN (I-M) V Horam informed that offices of the foreign embassies of the Government of the underground outfit have been set up so far in at least 8-9 European and South Asian countries.

When insisted on naming some of the countries where the said foreign embassies have been opened, the deputy kilonser, however, only repeated that they have been opened in the European and South Asian countries. To another query on the names of the countries which have recognised the Government of Republic of Nagalim of NSCN (I-M) as a bonafide Government, Horam said ‘We are still struggling’.

On collection of taxes from the people, the deputy kilonser said it is being done by virtue of being a bonafide Government. He disclosed that NSCN (I-M) has been collecting Rs 20 as house tax annually from every household within the Naga territory besides another 2 percent from the salary of every Government employee.
Maintaining that the tax being collected from the trucks is in the form of goods tax, Horam informed that this particular issue always came up during the peace talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M). But the NSCN (I-M) leaders always explained to the Indian leaders that the taxes are being collected as there is a Government, he said. Horam informed that the next round of the ongoing peace talks might be held at Bangkok.

However, a definite date has not been finalised, he added.
When asked whether the report of death of James Kuki, the kingpin behind the kidnapping and subsequent brutal murder of Baby Lungnila Elizabeth, was true, Horam said that after James was released on parole he has been coming to sign at the register after every three months. The Kuki Inpi, Nagaland was the witness at the time of releasing James Kuki on humanitarian ground to enable him to undergo medical treatment, he disclosed. NSCN (I-M) has not received any request either officially or unofficially from the side of the CBI for questioning James Kuki in connection with the investigation of the case, he said, adding ‘We come to know this matter from the newspaper reports’. When questioned why James Kuki has not been convicted till date, the deputy kilonser said that the case is still pending.
UCM demands disciplinary action against MLAs Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 01: Taking a serious note of the participation of MP Mani Charenamei, and MLAs Wungnaoshang Keishing (Congress), Samuel Jendai, Henry Paote (FPM) and Danny Shaiza (BJP) in yesterday's Naga Integration congregation at Kohima, the United Committee Manipur has demanded a public declaration on what course of disciplinary action the respective party leaders would initiate against them. The Kohima session was a direct affront to the territorial integrity of Manipur and Mani Charenamei, undermining the contribution (poll) of Kukis, Meeteis and Meetei Pangals in getting elected to Parliament, by pronouncing his participation and speech as a Naga representative is akin to creating division among the people of Manipur in addition to stoking communal tension, observed UCM. Reminding that these political organisations had made pledges to protect the territorial and emotional integrity of Manipur, the UCM said that failure to issue a convincing statement would culminate in declaring the involved parties as anti-people (Manipur) political bodies.

In a statement UCM called upon the people to be ready to defeat the sinister designs of the adversaries and added that any organisation or individual posing challenges to the UCM aspirations to strengthen the bond of friendship and brotherhood among the North East people would be considered as anti-Manipuri. Moreover, the fact that the rally/meeting failed to generate overwhelming response despite being organised by leading Naga NGOs with support of Churches and Nagaland’s public leaders irrespective of political affiliations has an inner meaning that should be reflected upon, maintained UCM. Pointing to contradicting attendance figures in different newspapers and absence of Konyak and Angami tribes from the meeting, UCM said this is a victory of fraternity in the North East region.
Naga Hoho terms August 31 rally as epoch making Morung Express News September 1
DIMAPUR: The Naga Hoho has termed the Integration Rally which was held yesterday at the Kohima Local ground as an epoch making event and one of the biggest rallies in the history of the Nagas, which it stated, symbolized the aspirations of the Nagas to live as one people in their cry for justice and freedom. In a statement issued by P Chuba Ozukum, Publicity Secretary of the Naga Hoho, it hailed the event as another breakthrough in the history of the Nagas’ struggle for their inalienable rights. Referring to the 1951 Plebiscite as well as the visit of Late U-nu and Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Ministers of Burma and India respectively in 1952, the Naga Hoho informed that more than one lakh people irrespective of arbitrary boundaries and divisions gathered to show their oneness for living under a single political ‘roof’.
The Hoho stated that regardless of the media quoting different numbers and implying on the turnout as being below expectations, apart from those who participated thousands more, of people had retracted to their homes for the reason that the rally finished before they could reach the destination. It further stated that the rally could commence more than half an hour behind schedule due to the fact that the Assam Rifles had conducted frisking between Khuzama and Mao Gate on the delegation coming from the southern region. "This itself shows the insincerity on the part of the security forces towards solving the age-long Naga political problem", the release stated while criticizing the action of the security forces. The Naga Hoho also expressed its appreciation and gratitude to the Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio, Home Minister Thenucho and their ministerial colleagues, the leader of the Opposition I Imkong and his colleagues, Naga MPs, Federating tribal Hohos and mass-based civil societies, District Administration, security personnel, Kohima Municipal Council, volunteers from different tribes, the Media, non-Naga communities, Transport departments, private bus owners and educational institutions for their cooperation. The Hoho also expressed its gratitude to the Mokokchung Chancel Choir, Naga Boys from Jorhat, Vekutalu and Thunonulu and all the participants in the rally without which the event would not have been successful.
UCM reacts; calls for action against Naga MLAs Newmai News Network IMPHAL: The United Committee Manipur (UCM) has today urged political parties of Manipur to take action against those Naga MLAs, who participated in yesterday’s integration rally organized by the Naga Hoho in Kohima to express solidarity for a unified Naga homeland. In a statement the UCM warned that if the political parties failed to announce their respective stands on the conduct of the four Naga MLAs, the UCM would declare them anti-people and launch a movement against them.
"Lok Sabha MP Mani Charenamei is representing all communities including Meiteis, Kukis and Meitei pangals. But he was speaking for a particular community—his own community Nagas. This is an attempt to create ethnic enmity and spark off an ethnic skirmish", the UCM stated. Mani Charenamei, Naga MP in the Lok Sabha elected from Outer Manipur and four MLAs attended the rally. The four MLAs, according to UCM are Wungnaoshang Keishing from the Congress party, Henry Paotei, Samuel Jendai and Danny Shaiza from the BJP.
"The Chief Minister and Congress President O. Ibobi Singh, Thounaojam Chaoba Singh, BJP Chief and L. Chandramani Singh leader of the Federal Party of Manipur should make their positions very clear on the MLAs participation in the Naga integration rally", the UCM pointed out. Reminding that the State assembly had adopted several resolutions for safeguarding the territorial integrity of Manipur and that all the parties had declared they would protect the State boundary, the UCM cautioned that if the respective parties did not take action against the Naga MLAs the people of Manipur would not remain silent.
"If the parties fail to restore the confidence of the people on the issue of Manipur’s territory the people of Manipur would declare them as anti-people", the UCM stated while making a call on the people of Manipur to fight against forces that were trying to break up Manipur into pieces. "The UCM regards different communities settling in the North East as brothers and sisters, but the UCM will treat any one who tries to break up Manipur as enemy of the people of Manipur", it stated. The UCM in its statement further pointed ‘as significant’, the fact that only a few thousand people turned up for the rally and also the opposition expressed by some ethnic groups from Nagaland to the rally. Kicking off the month long Hijam Irabot birth anniversary CPI leader and Agriculture Minister also criticized the Lok Sabha MP from Manipur for addressing the gathering and supporting what he termed as the campaign to break up Manipur. He said, since Mani was elected from Manipur it was unbecoming of an MP to say things against the interest of the State, Parijat said. None of the political parties here in Manipur, other than CPI, have so far reacted to the Naga MP and MLAs from Manipur taking part in the August 31 Kohima rally.
Call for a unified homelandLand and its people can never be separated Morung Express
I thank God for this moment to stand on behalf of the Naga youth at this historic gathering. Representing the Naga Students’ community to express the genuine desire of the youths whose inherent rights need to be protected at any cost. The NSF wishes to reaffirm its principal stand on unification of Nagas homeland. Population and specific boundary is pre-requisites for any sovereign Nation, thus for Nagas, land and its people can never be separated. The NSF stands firm that the young generation shall not endorse or accept for any solution without integrating the contiguous Naga area. The youth shall never give up the struggle till the wishes of the Nagas become a reality. Kuknalim V. Phushika Aomi, President, NSF
Rio calls for religious tolerance at National Integration Council meet Kuknalim.com NEW DELHI, Sept 1: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has emphasised the need for religious tolerance and to maintain the secular character of the country. Addressing the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here on Wednesday, which was presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Rio criticised various laws passed by certain States in the name of regulating religious conversion, which he thought was aimed at preventing voluntary conversion to Christianity.
He observed that these measures amounted to infringement of citizens' fundamental right to profess and propagate the religion of their choice as guaranteed by the Constitution. He welcomed the initiative taken by the Centre to reconstitute the National Integration Council to safeguard the interests of the minorities. Restating that India was known for its secularism and tolerance, he said that of late the secular image had "taken a beating at the hands of certain religious fundamentalists."
He said the tribals and lower castes of the majority community were denied fundamental rights to freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Constitution. He also expressed his appreciation for the Right to Information Act, 2005. — UNI
Strength of NPF party vitalb for DAN govt: Dr. Shurhozelie Chizokho Vero September 1 Morung Express
KOHIMA (MExN): Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) President Dr. Shurhozelie Lizietsu today asserted that the DAN government was doing well and expressed confidence that the coalition could deliver the goods to the people as long as the party remained strong. "It is party government. We know that some of our party men have been playing negative roles to weaken the party all the time. But nothing will happen as long as we leaders who are sitting in this room remain steadfast,"
Dr. Liezietsu told during the NPF Central office bearers meeting at Hotel Japfu on Thursday. Dr. Liezietsu, who is a senior Minister in the present government, also stressed the need to maintain a team spirit within the party. "When team spirit prevails, there is no need to talk about party discipline," he said adding that constitutional provision for party discipline is included only for those who fail to keep the team spirit and go out of the way to damage the party. Dr. Liezietsu also challenged the party leaders to look forward with a positive attitude and continue to work in the interest of the party so as to enable the government to deliver the goods to the people. Nagaland Home Minister Thenucho informed the meeting of what the Associate members of the Delimitation Commission from Nagaland recently conveyed to the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on the stand of Nagaland while urging Patil to take the initiative in amending the Delimitation Act 2002, so as to exempt Nagaland from its purview.
"I hope he will do justice," Thenucho said and further reiterated that the government would put its best efforts forward to safeguard the peoples’ interest. We will do our best to bring justice, he added. Thenucho further said that if the delimitation exercise took place in Nagaland, it would create law and order problems and that the sentiments of the people would be disturbed.
ESSU thanks GPRN, NSCN (IM) Morung Express
Kohima, Sept 1 (MExN): The Eastern Sumi Students Union has expressed appreciation to the GPRN, NSCN (IM) for releasing unconditionally the three accused persons Inato Sumi, Kisheto Sumi and Ayeto Sumi, all belonging to Aghunato who were under their custody in consequence of the misfortune that they themselves had created . The union, while expressing happiness to the GPRN for their mature decision, also acknowledged the GPRN, NSCN (IM), for setting the trio free from the charges and ‘allow them to live a human life, free from any tension and fear psychosis’.The union’s President I. H. Hekato Achumi conveyed this in a release.
Letters to the Editor An Open Letter to ANSAM Morung Express
For 52 long day’s people of Manipur had borne the brunt of your wrong doings, hoping you will come to your senses. However your statements carried in the media show the contrary. You have become more emboldened by the appreciation which came from the PM of the country, the CM of the State, besides a host of the other NGOs for your wisdom to suspend the blockade. There is an old saying "Ta-khat, Ta-khat-laga Kirak-Tare" which says, "if the going gets tough, one get used to it." Peoples got used to what you and your compatriots did to hurt them the most. It makes them more determined to face the difficulties. You are a part of the people of the State, you must be aware that for more than 500 years, the peoples of Manipur were in perpetual state of war before the British came in the region. At one point of time the Burmese defeated the people and tried to exterminate the whole population known in history as "Chahi Taret Khuntakpa" (Seven year devastation). Yet the people fought back and drove the Burmese upto Mandalay. That was history.
Today we live in a democratic world. All of us acknowledge that democracy is the best. There is no alternative. It gives you the opportunity to change the government whenever it is not popular just by voting. The power is in our hands. The charm of democracy is so much so that even authoritarian dictatorial countries like North Korea takes the name of democracy. Democracy has no problem with the difference of language, religion or ethnicity etc. Indeed, India has more then 1000 ethnic groups/community of which Manipur’s share is a little less than 3 dozen. But the beauty of democracy is that ethnic consideration is no hurdle in the process otherwise there would have been at least 1000 different states in India. To demand a separate State on the consideration of ethnicity is obsolete and redundant. It will not help anyone – the claimant or others. Finding a past fault or a mistake against anyone is vindictive, and is not going to solve any problem.
Manipur is the home of 33 or 34 odd indigenous communities, spreading across the whole length and breadth of the State. There is not a single area of a sq. km. of inhabited land anywhere in the State which is exclusively inhabited by a single tribe or a linguistic community. It is like a mini-India where different linguistic and religious communities live together. Coming to your democratic economic blockade of the highways – your intention to tell the world that: (i) You were right in blocking indefinitely the national highways to pressurize the government to concede to your demand/You were seeking justice and making efforts to resolve the issue. But it was the State govt. who failed to reciprocate your goodwill gesture and hence the State government was entirely responsible for the sufferings of the peoples. (ii) It is the birth-right of the Nagas to live together under one administrative unit and the Manipur Government has come in the way.
(iii) The Nagas are one ethnic community who are forcibly disintegrated by the State and the Centre. Now, as for your 1st contention: There are certain accepted norms to pressurize a government. But your action of enforcing indefinite economic blockade on the national highways making the people suffer is neither democratic nor an accepted means to pressurize the Govt. It is like the terrorists taking the peoples into ransom. For the 2nd contention: Your idea of the birth-right is misunderstood. Let us not forget that we live in a democratic society. The people’s representatives take the charge of the State or the country. There is no ethnic State or authoritarian government like in Islamic countries or a Nazi Germany based on religion or an exclusive nationality.
Manipur is the home of many small ethnic or linguistic community of not less than 30 such community. If a group started claiming that they have the birth-right to claim that a particular area belong to their forefather and hence it is their land, then there will be no peace and instead it will cause mutual suspicion and hatred among the peoples, which no civilized society can tolerate and more so no meaningful government would agree to it. As for the Naga being one ethnic community: I am afraid your idea of Naga ethnic community is a political one. Linguistic groups like Anal, Chiru, Chothe, Maring, Monsang, Moyon etc. who inhabited mostly in Chandel district belong to Chin-Kuki ethnic group, against whom NSCN(IM) had a violent clash in the name of Nagalim. But these Chin-Kuki ethnic groups are taken as Nagas, which shows that the Naga is a sort of a social club or an organization formed for a purpose which is questionable. Interestingly the President of All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) belongs to a tribe which is a non-Naga but to the Chin-Kuki family. Let me remind you that today we live in a democratic world. There is no identity crises whatsoever in our society. Religion, language, custom etc. are no bar to live together in a democratic society. Therefore let us not confuse ourselves of ethnicity, nationality and identity. They are no anti-thesis to democracy, development and peace. This is what is happening around the globe. The democratic world which we see as role model. Let us not forget that any divisive move will only increase our miseries. Tactics like indefinite economic blockade should never and ever again be resorted to. Instead we must change our mindset, putting a side our empty egos for the sake of our children. Why cannot we emulate civilized societies like that of the Chinese, Malay; Tamils in Singapore or the French, Germans and Italians in Switzerland which are hardly a few hundred years old, instead of trying to be highwayman and allow our children to grow in a peaceful atmosphere. Noboshyam Heigrujam
Singjamei, Imphal, On email
Manipur’s Fifth Column Source: IMPHAL FREE PRESS
Caesar’s wife must be above reproach. What is perfectly legitimate for the common men and women on the streets to do, may not be so for people of position – not just them but also their spouses, children and close confidants. It is a principle in practice everywhere, including Manipur although haphazardly. According to our information, even a candidate for membership to the Manipur Human Rights Commission, was rejected because a child of his was a rank holder of an insurgent organization. The principle of course has not been applied in so many other cases, but that is another issue. At this moment we are concerned by the open campaign against Manipur’s core interest by certain members of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly. In particular the participation in the Kohima rally organized by the Naga Hoho for a Greater Nagaland. While we have every sympathy for Nagas in Manipur wanting to be with Nagas of Nagaland, as a believer in Manipur, we have everything against allowing anyone to use the weight of the Manipur Assembly or the Manipur government in whatever concei