NSCNs prepare decisive battle in Zunheboto Nagarealm.com
NSCNs prepare decisive battle in Zunheboto Nagarealm.com
Dimapur, Sep28 [NPN] : In what is reported to be a build up for a major clash between NSCN rivals to decide who stays or goes, people of Zunheboto are bracing themselves for the impending showdown Tension heightened after some fifty heavily armed men of the NSCN (I-M) cadre arrived Zunheboto town Wednesday morning and camped in North Point near Zunheboto College.
Several NGOs and even the administration had appealed to the NSCN (I-M) to vacate the area in order to avoid clash within civilian populated area. The NSCN (I-M) rejected the appeal on the plea that it would remain so long as the rival NSCN (K) continued to occupy its hideout at Amphoto colony.
Youth and menfolk of Zunheboto formed a barrier between North Point and Amphoto colonies in order to prevent the clash between the rival NSCN factions.
At around 6 a.m. Wednesday, some heavily armed NSCN (K) men were prevented by the administration and security patrolling by the IRB from attacking the rivals who were camped at North Point.
The NSCN (K) has reportedly marginalized the earlier dominance of the rival NSCN (I-M) in Zunheboto district but the latter is determined to regain its territorial hegemony.
This was evident when some one hundred heavily armed NSCN(I-M) activists arrived from Lotsomi side Thursday to reinforce the fifty-odd already camped in North Point colony besides occupying Hekiye village. Hundreds of villagers form Hekiye fled to Zunheboto town as a consequence of the village being occupied by the NSCN (I-M).
The NSCN (K) has around two hundred heavily armed men who are spread besides surrounding Hekiye village. On Thursday, NSCN (K) men attacked the rival at Hekiye but there was no report of any casualty, according to official sources.
NSCN (K) alleges Rio-NSCN (IM) link Correspondent Nagaland Post
Tuensang, Sept 30 (NPN): The NSCN (K) has accused the Nephiu Rio-led DAN government of being directly involved with the rival NSCN (I-M) in the current factional clash at Zunheboto.
NSCN (K) leader and supervisor of the CFSB, Mulatonu told this correspondent that the rivals were allowed to take shelter inside the PHED and Industry offices including Zunheboto College since September 28. He said the DAN government did nothing to ask the rivals to vacate the buildings in clear violation of the cease fire ground rules.
He said due to this the administration also became "inactive" in the situation. He also accused the Rio government of keeping mum when the rivals continued to occupy the forest department office that has been turned into their Hebron camp.
Mulatonu demanded that the rivals should be immediately asked to vacate the camp called Hebron. He also demanded that the Government of India take up the matter in evicting the rivals from their Hebron camp.
Mulatonu further attacked the Chakhesang Public Organisation (CPO) for demanding the revocation of the 'quit notice' issued on Tangkhuls from Pfutsero. He said, instead, the CPO should file a case against the rivals for an incident involving Chakhesang girls
Adds NPN: The guns at Zunheboto remained silent on Saturday but public live under constant fear of fresh eruption of factional violence even as the administration continues to plead with factions to leave the town.
It may be recalled that on Friday a four-year old boy was killed and the 19-year old aunt carrying him sustained injury by stray bullets during a faction clash in Zunheboto town.
The one hundred and fifty-strong NSCN (I-M) cadre is holed up at North Point colony including a nearby village and is reported to be led by Maj. Ashang Tangkhul and Maj. Lhokishe. The rival NSCN (K) with an equal number is camped at Amphoto colony and led by Brig. Nikki.
The plea to both factions to leave Zunheboto fell on deaf ears. While the NSCN (K) said it would remain since it was forced to evacuate its designated camp at Suruhuto by the NSCN (I-M), the latter on the other hand demanded that the rival NSCN (K) first vacate the town before it also followed suit. It is also reported that some a 200-strong fully armed group of the NSCN (K) is reported to have reached Mukalimi under Pughoboto sub division and believed to be headed towards the NSCN (I-M) camp located in the area.
Meanwhile, "2nd Lt" Kavito of the NSCN (K), who was injured during Friday's clash with the NSCN (I-M) at Zunheboto, succumbed to injuries at Bethel Hospital, Kohima, on Saturday.
In a condolence message, Commander of Operation Blueland, NSCN (K), "Brig" Niki described late Kavito as a "brave and loyal officer", who had always played national duties above everything. He further conveyed condolences to the bereaved family and expressed gratitude to the doctors and staff of Bethel Hospital for their "dedicated care".
NBCC dons the mantle of peacemaker again Kuknalim.com The Telegraph)
DIMAPUR, Sept 29:: Undeterred by cold vibes from the NSCN (Khaplang) and the failure of its previous initiatives to unite warring groups, the Baptist Church in Nagaland has donned the mantle of peacemaker once again...
The Nagaland Baptist Churches’ Council today unveiled a “step-by-step guide” to peace and “reconciliation” between militant groups fighting separate battles for what is supposed to be a common goal. The 40-page booklet, aptly titled Healing and Reconciliation, was released at a meeting of representatives of various organisations, including the influential Naga Hoho.
Church leaders said they would meet the NSCN (K) leadership on October 5 in a bid to convince the militant group to join the peace bandwagon.
The NSCN (K) perceives the Church as being partial towards the NSCN (Isak-Muivah). It hasn’t helped that Delhi has been engaged in a dialog-ue only with the NSCN (I-M).
The Baptist Church’s reinvented campaign to unify the two groups and others fighting for a slice of the peace pie is seen as the most significant one since the Atlanta Convention in 1997. Known to have more than a passing interest in the “Naga cause”, the American Baptist Church had organised that convention.
Top NSCN (K) and Naga National Council leaders attended the Atlanta conclave, but it did not lead to a breakthrough because of a boycott by the Isak-Muivah group. The NSCN (K) could spoil the initiative this time.
Acknowledging that the road to peace would not be a bed of roses, the Baptist Church’s roadmap states that the success or failure of the initiative will depend on how much the Naga factions are willing to compromise. “All the factions might not agree with one another so easily at first, but to begin with, they should acknowledge one another and stop killing one another.” The roadmap suggests “political discussions” among the warring groups and “honest soul-searching”.The Chu-rch intends to organise a series of roundtable talks at the level of kilonsers (ministers) of various militant groups.
“What Nagas urgently need today is restoration of trust and relations. Restoration requires confession (of mistakes), however painful it may be,” the roadmap says.
However, the Church may not be party to the proposed talks. “The NBCC is not obliged to participate as a party to the political discussions, but is willing to facilitate the ground for the factions to come (for talks),” the 40-page booklet states. (The Telegraph)
Students can lead a revolution: Imkong Kuknalim.com
Excellence Awards conferred on merit students
DIMAPUR, Sept 29:: Minister for School Education Imkong L. Imchen on Friday observed that students had it to lead a revolution in Naga society, saying they could rise above petty politics and work for betterment of the State...
Terming education as a weapon that could be used for constructive purposes in the society, Imkong said, "The art of politics and governance is quite different from the art of education."
The minister was speaking as chief guest at the Excellency Awards function organized by the Ao Students' Union, Dimapur (ASUD) at Imliyanger Memorial Centre (IMC) here.
He reminded the achievers of the Excellency Award of their responsibility towards the school 'dropouts' who, he said, needed to be brought back to the mainstream of the society. The chief guest also asked the students to do their mite to ensure that the 'dropouts' did not feel they were a burden on their families as well as the society.
"Nagas are known to be a family with diverse cultures and traditions. But they are practically not united due to the practices of tribalism," he added.
Imkong, however, said, Nagas needed to retrospect on their "mistakes and change their mindset" to foresee a "flame of unity."
He also called upon the student community in particular and Nagas in general to face life as a challenge to be counted in the society.
The chief guest later donated Rs. 50,000 to the union.
Others, who also spoke at the function, included president of the Ao Senso Telongjem, Dimapur, I. Temjen Jamir, Education and Statistical Secretary, NSF, Mar, and the sponsor of the cash awards, Imlitemsu, chairman, Eastern Christian College, Dimapur.
The ASUD Excellency Award winners include Aienla Longchar, Takutila M. Ozukum, Imchalemla, Bendangnaro Ozukum and Imlisanen, who received cash award of Rs. 5000 along with certificates in the matric and degree category, Dr. N. Moa Imsong and Dr. Jungmayangla Longkumer received Rs. 7000 each in the doctorate category. (NPN)
Student shot by 11 IRB jawans NagaREALM.COM
KOHIMA, SEP29 [NPN] : A 16-year old class ten student of Naga Bazar Baptist School suffered head injury when one jawan of the 11 IRB fired from close on the head. The victim was rushed to Naga Hospital and is in a critical condition. Hospital sources said 16-year old Lumtiplung Kamei was bleeding profusely from the head as his brain box has been badly damaged and brain matter oozing out. The incident occurred on Thursday night while the victim among six others were returning home at around 10.30 pm. after attending a late night party. On reaching Naga Bazar the boys were challenged by a patrolling party of the 11 IRB. It was reported that when challenged the boys responded that they were going home in an arrogant manner and this angered the jawans.
As a result a verbal argument ensued between the boys who were in an inebriated condition and the IRB jawans. The IRB jawans then chased the boys and rounded up three of them at gun point above the panchayat hall.One of the three managed to escape and later the second did the same.
During that time, one of the enraged jawans fired from point blank range at Lumtilung. The bullet, after hitting the victim, pierced the wall of a house belonging to one Mhabemo Odyuo and smashed a glass frame in the sitting room. However there was no one in the room at that point of time.
After the firing incident, the IRB jawans conducted random house-to-house search by forcibly banging on the houses and kicking and breaking open the gates and doors, sources said.The irate jawans also beat up six local youth without any reason.
Meanwhile, SP Kohima Martin Pienyü said the IRB jawan who fired the shot was immediately arrested and a criminal case registered against him. He vowed due punishment and that no one was above the law of the land. The SP also urged the public to allow the police to conduct proper inquiry.
Meanwhile, the Zeliangrong Hoho, Naga Bazar panchayat, Naga Bazar Youth Organization (NBYO) and the Rongmei Youth Club, Naga Bazar have condemned the Thursday's night incident at Naga Bazar Kohima.
The Zeliangrong Hoho said "this is not the first instance the trigger-happy IRB jawans have displayed their brutalities, but on many occasions the so-called elite force has drawn criticisms…for their inhuman behaviour towards innocent public..."
Various organizations and the Naga Bazar panchayat have urged the authority concerned to take stern and immediate action against the erring personnel.
NSCN(K) issues final warning to Tangkhuls in Nagaland The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 29: The Government of the People`s Republic of Nagaland, ministry of information and publicity, in a press release circulated in various media houses today issued their final reminder to all Tangkhul "criminals and perpetrators" to leave Nagaland without much fuss so as to let the peace loving Nagas realize their dreams. The statement said the warning was final and "once and for all".
The statement alleged, "Tangkhul criminals or parasites, inspite of serving repeated quit notices from different Naga tribes, for their criminal and subversive activities, are far from mending their ways." Apart from this, Tangkhul terrorists have renewed their killing campaign zealously as "is evident from the recent spate of killing all over Nagaland", the statement said alleging that the killing of an innocent child and injuring of a pregnant woman at Zumhebotto on September 29 were the latest casualties of Tangkhul terrorists` campaign.
The statement was issued in consonance with the resolution adopted by the council of kilonser, GPRN, following the formal implementation of the `quit notice` served to Tangkhuls. the NSCN/GPRN will henceforth, term the terrorists as Isak-Khodao (I-K) gangs rather than Isak-Muivah (I-M) for all purposes as stated in their earlier press releases, the statement went on to say. Therefore, the statement further said, "all concerned, particularly the media are hereby informed to adopt to this political arrangements and act accordingly as this ostracized tribe (Tangkhul) will have no bearing in the Naga freedom movement having connection with the Nagas."
Another separate statement of the organization said that NBCC`s statement through Rev. Zhabu Terhuja, general secretary of the NBCC, carried on September 27 in the local dailies needs serious consideration. It said, the statement clearly said that the `quit notice` issued to Tangkhuls from different sections of the Nagas is "unchristian" and "Short sightedness" and genocides (including hardcore and long sufferers in the Naga freedom movement) committed by the Tangkhul led I-K terrorists in "Christianized and farsightedness".
Therefore, "the motive and the intentions of NBCC leaders are to be kept under scanner and their (NBCC) proposed meeting with NSCN leaders hangs on uncertainty", the Government of the People Republic of Nagaland, ministry of information and publicity said.
India presses Myanmar over insurgents Nagarealm.com
Last week's interior-secretary-level talks between India and Myanmar are said to have left Indian officials smiling. While both sides are reluctant to elaborate on details of the counterinsurgency cooperation that was agreed on, it appears that Myanmar has said it will look into an Indian proposal to crack down on anti-India insurgents operating from its soil.
It was the 12th in a series of talks of its kind. At it India and Myanmar agreed to set up a mechanism to strengthen bilateral cooperation on security-related issues, drug trafficking and border management. At a meeting in Yangon last October, the two sides had agreed to share intelligence.
An institutional mechanism has now been set up to take further this sharing of intelligence to tackle cross-border insurgency and related problems such as drug trafficking, gun-running and other criminal activity. The two sides have also agreed to joint interrogation of those lodged in each other's jails who were engaging in activities that threaten the security of the two countries.
In the run-up to last week's meeting, reports in the Indian media indicated that Indian officials were going to press Myanmar to launch an operation similar to the one carried out in 2003 by Bhutan against anti-India insurgents taking sanctuary there. In December 2003, the Bhutanese security forces launched "Operation All Clear". They cracked down on some 30 camps of Indian insurgent groups, such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, and the Kamtapur Liberation Organization.
These are insurgent groups operating in India's conflict-ridden northeast that had set up training camps in Bhutan. Scores of insurgents were killed or taken into custody during the military operations and some were handed over to the Indian security forces. But many of the insurgents relocated to Bangladesh and Myanmar. Bases were simply shifted to these countries.
Delhi has been hoping that Yangon will launch similar military operations to flush out anti-India insurgent outfits that have set up camps on Myanmar's soil. India and Myanmar share a porous 1,643-kilometer-long border, and insurgents from the Indian states of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Tripura routinely cross it for sanctuary and training in camps they have set up in Myanmar.
New Delhi has repeatedly raised concerns regarding the existence of anti-India insurgent camps operating on Myanmar's side of the border. In fact, getting the cooperation of Myanmar's security forces was among the main reasons behind the shift in India's policy from all-out support of the pro-democracy movement to courting the junta that rules Myanmar.
Delhi has received limited cooperation from Myanmar from time to time in counterinsurgency operations. In 1995, for instance, Myanmar and India launched "Operation Golden Bird", a pincer attack that trapped scores of Indian insurgents transiting through Myanmar into India. In December 2001, scores of UNLF cadres, including some top leaders, were arrested by Myanmar's army. In the past, the security forces of the two countries have co-coordinated counterinsurgency operations. When India launches operations against insurgents on its soil, it has alerted Myanmar's forces, who then step up combing operations in areas bordering India to capture fleeing insurgents.
When Myanmar smashed ULFA camps along the Chindwin River in 2004, India sealed its border in that area. India cracked down on Chin rebels last year and removed the headquarters of the Chin National Front in Mizoram. In January this year, the armies of Myanmar and India coordinated operations against the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang. India has also provided Myanmar's security forces with military equipment and training to fight the insurgents.
But analysts say that cooperation from Myanmar's military in cracking down on Indian insurgents operating from its soils has been erratic. Furious with India for honoring Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the movement for democracy in Myanmar, with the Nehru Award for International Understanding, the military released many insurgents captured during Operation Golden Bird. UNLF cadres were released within months of their capture in 2001 when India alleged that two Pakistani nuclear scientists with suspected links to al-Qaeda were in Myanmar.
According to Soe Myint, editor-in-chief of Mizzima News and author of Burma File: A Question of Democracy, Myanmar's military has "not done much" to crack down on Indian insurgents on its soil. They are operating freely in the Sagaing division and in Naga areas in Myanmar, he says.
Indian intelligence officials say that while Myanmar has expressed a willingness to remove insurgent camps on its territory, there is a section among its military that continues to support these camps as they stand to gain from the lucrative arms-narcotics trade that these insurgents are engaged in. "Myanmar is doing something about India's concerns but not enough," is the general reading in India's Home Ministry of Yangon's help in countering insurgency.
Indian officials are now saying they want Myanmar to do more to address India's concerns with regard to anti-India insurgents with bases in Myanmar. Soe Myint says these concerns have acquired a new urgency with the recent attack on members of the Assam Rifles (an Indian paramilitary force) in the border town of Moreh, when the Indian insurgents who carried out the attack fled back to camps in Myanmar.
Indian intelligence sources say that Myanmar is likely to carry out the Bhutan-style crackdowns on Indian insurgents operating on its soil, but these are unlikely to be as comprehensive as those carried out by Bhutan. The relationship between India and Myanmar's military junta cannot be put in the same category as that between Delhi and Thimphu, they point out, adding that even Bhutan has been negligent about follow-up action against the Indian insurgents on its soil resulting in the re-emergence of their bases in southern parts of the country. The crackdown on the insurgents could be carried out this winter.
India's counterinsurgency operations in the northeast cannot succeed unless its neighbors deny insurgents sanctuary on their soil. Bhutan has cooperated with India in this regard. Bangladesh denies that there are Indian insurgent camps on its soil despite Delhi providing it with evidence on the location of these camps. Myanmar's cooperation falls between that provided to India by Bhutan and Bangladesh. Unlike Bangladesh, it admits there are training camps on its soil but has yet to crack down on them as did Bhutan three years ago. This winter Delhi will be hoping that Yangon will follow Thimphu's example.
[Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist/researcher based in Bangalore.]
Peace process with ULFA dies a speedy death Nagaland Post
NEW DELHI, SEPT 30 (IANS): With the Indian Army deciding to come down heavily on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and increasing its forces along the borders with Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh, the peace process has for all practical purposes died a speedy death.
For now, the Indian government feels that a high-intensity campaign against the rebels looks inevitable because the ongoing operations are not enough to corner the outfit - more so after the ULFA-nominated People's Consultative Group (PCG) pulled out of the dialogue process.
"We repeatedly briefed negotiators about the ULFA's intentions, that the rebels were divided over the talks. We have now decided to resume operations and prevent the insurgent group from crossing over," said a defence ministry official. Ministry officials maintained that the number of personnel deployed along the Bhutan border would be increased to about 12,000 from 5,000 in a phased manner by next year while the number of border posts is also being increased to 132 from 35. In December 2003, the Indian Army along with the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) launched joint military operations and smashed nearly all the 30 rebel camps. At that time the ULFA, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the Kamtapuri Liberation Organisation (KLO) had entrenched themselves in well-established camps in Bhutan.
The latest army action began over last Sunday after the ULFA killed a policeman and a tea garden manager despite the efforts of facilitators to bring the rebels and the Indian government to the negotiating table.
So far three rebels have been killed and five arrested. Senior home ministry officials also hinted that the military junta in Myanmar had this time around decided to go along with India's request to hit out at the rebel bases that have for long used Myanmar as the staging ground for anti-India operations. The visit of Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt to Yangon last week overlapping with the calling off the ceasefire was precisely for seeking help to flush out the rebels.
With the army launching its offensive, one way out for the ULFA leadership is to give a written commitment to join the talks directly and not negotiate through a committee of Assamese civil society personalities, as they have done for nearly a year now.
But the rebels have insisted on the release of five of their top leaders now serving sentences in Indian prisons before they join the talks directly.
With army operations under way, the rebels have responded by saying all Indians living in Assam would have to pay a compulsory tax. Clearly, the talks process has suffered a serious setback and the northeastern region, which witnessed a relative calm in the last couple of months, is bound to see another escalation in violence in the coming weeks and months.
Aspiration of the unrepresented communities of Manipur By R Yangsorang
Contd from previous issue Sangai Express
As a result of which, there was an improvement in the road network in the valley, and all the district headquarters started shining with modest infrastructures, leaving the ethnic minorities as cheerful people so long as they had enough to eat and drink, but without basic amenities. The idea was wrong. No village or town can be developed without Governmental support. When hundreds of crores of rupees were pumped into the state’s developmental programmes, the unrepresen-ted lots also wanted to get their villages developed. Coming to the very point of ethnic aspiration and to uncover what it will look like really is rage. They are feeling the kind of rage which is a mixture of anger and hopelessness when they are unable to enjoy all those privileges and facilities the select few are getting.
It cannot be an irresponsible statement that speaks of hatred. Their aspiration also includes big brother’s role of the political personalities and their self-less service which will earn their respect and love. They want the kind of leadership for the progress and growth of all communities of the state of Manipur, and hence a leader of even national standing. As a matter of fact, there are some from bigger communities who are not without the feeling of great sympathy and great admiration for the minorities for their courage and hard-work for sustenance of livelihood. These people are reasonably sympathetic for the problem and suffering of other people, but unfortunately, they are not the policy framers of the state, and they are less influential.
During the last 33 years of its attainment of statehood, it underwent experiences which would have all but shattered a state with less inner strength, being unable to register progress in many areas. In the political sphere, the traumatic experience at the birth of a new state within Indian union was that of explosion of the state which led to communal carnage of unprecedented proportions resulting in hundred deaths and rendering thousands homeless in 1993. The hasty creation of autonomous hill district councils in 1973 without adequate preparation and provisions of safeguards of the minorities led to greater mistrust between the hills and the plain, and on the one hand between the minorities and bigger tribes. And not less than four brief communal clashes but eventful clash-es occurred successively to blacken the history of the state. When it had been riven by old feuds and one scam after the other always, the future of the state was sombre. In the mayhem, the unrepresented tribal minorities were always the victims finding it hard to survive with no hope of their future.
To show certain degree of solidarity with the underprivileged of the state, separate fund can be allocated in the state’s bud-get for the development of their dialect, folk-Iores and folk-songs; for their health-care; for construction of village roads; for supply of safe-drinking water; for construction of village youth club’s building; for construction of community hall and playground; for adult literacy; for setting up of village museum; for external excursion; for village information centre; for rearing of cattle, poultry and piggery; for improvement of handloom products; and for development of their culture and customs. This is all because of the fact that the Tribal Sub-Plan’s developmental schemes have failed to cover them effectively is well known. Against all the odds, the state of Manipur must march ahead and make progress, gaining ground for the prosperity of all communities. —Concluded
Concern over breakdown of talks By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – State CPI-M secretary Uddhav Barman today expressed concern and resentment over the breakdown of the peace process between the ULFA and the Central Government. However, he expressed the hope that both the parties would continue their efforts to create a congenial atmosphere for the early resumption of the process. Honouring the popular desire, the party wants direct talks between the ULFA and the Government, without any pre-condition, he said.
Meanwhile, several leading citizens have also made an appeal to both the Central Government and the ULFA to come forward for a direct talk to settle the issues without much delay.
Talking to this newspaper, the State CPI-M secretary, who also represents the Sarbhog Constituency in the State Legislature, reminded both the Government and the ULFA of the fact that the people of the State were eagerly awaiting a peaceful solution of the two and half-a-decade-old insurgency problem. The people want peace and development in the State, he said.
Describing the resumption of the Army operations against the ULFA as an unfortunate development, Barman said that reluctance of the ULFA to send formal letters despite unilateral suspension of the Army operation and its periodic extensions by the Central Government, had contributed to this annoying development.
Several leading citizens of the city have made an appeal to both the Central Government and the ULFA to give up violence and settle the issues through direct negotiation as soon as possible. They have also made an appeal to the Prime Minister of the country to give up anti-ULFA Army operations.
In a joint statement, former Vice-Chancellor of Dibrugarh University Kamaleswar Bora, Dr Bhuban Mohan Das, Save Guwahati Build Guwahati president Dhiren Baruah, noted sports personality Suren Ram Phookan, former JB Law College principal Promod Barman, former Pragjyotish College principal Bhupen Singh, noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika, noted social workers Ranendra Ram Baruah and Jonaki Pathak, businessman DP Bhattacharjee, industrialist Projeet Guha, physician Dr Bidyut Goswami, Gauhati High Court Advocate Prasanta Barman, SGBG vice presidents Ajay Dutta and Madhab Talukdar, SGBG general secretaries Krishna Baruah, Satyen Doloi and Kailash Sarma, have said that the ULFA problem should be solved politically.
Development of the State has been the casualty for the past several years and today the State’s people are of the belief that violence is not a remedy to the problems facing them. For the State, the main need of the hour is peace and development, they said.
ULFA blows up Assam gas pipeline By IANS Saturday September 30,
Guwahati, Sep 30 (IANS) Separatist guerrillas have blown up a natural gas pipeline in the northeastern state of Assam, the latest in a string of attacks after New Delhi called off a six-week ceasefire last week, officials said Saturday.
A police spokesperson said militants suspected to be from the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) late Friday triggered a landmine explosion at a gas pipeline belonging to state-owned oil exploration company Oil India Ltd (OIL).
The incident took place near Salmari in Dibrugarh district, about 510 km east of Guwahati.
'It was a 10-inch gas distribution pipeline and our workers were on the job throughout the night to repair the damaged facility. The extent of the damage is yet to ascertained,' OIL spokesperson Phanindra Dev Choudhury told IANS from the company headquarters at Duliajan in eastern Assam. ULFA rebels earlier Friday carried out a grenade explosion at a busy marketplace in eastern Assam's Tinsukia town and critically wounded six shoppers.
On Thursday, seven people, including two paramilitary troopers, were injured in another explosion by the rebels in the oil township of Digboi in eastern Assam.
The ULFA is stepping up attacks after New Delhi Sunday called off a six-week ceasefire and resumed military operations against the outfit.
Peace talks between ULFA representatives and the Indian government formally broke down last week after the People's Consultative Group (PCG), a civil society team appointed by the rebels to mediate for talks, pulled out of the peace process criticising New Delhi for calling off the truce.
The ULFA is a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Assam during the past two decades.
Rs.300 bn investments to turn around Assam economy By IANS
Guwahati, Sep 29 (IANS) Four top Indian corporate honchos are expected to invest a whopping Rs.300 billion in the development of rural infrastructure, promoting agriculture, setting up power plants, IT parks, and bio-diesel facilities in Assam. Reliance Industries, Tata Group, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) and Videocon Industries Ltd have agreed in principle to invest in Assam either independently or in partnership with the state government.
'I have met Mukesh Ambani of the Reliance Industries, Ratan Tata, V.N Dhoot of Videocon, and top managers of IL&FS in Mumbai earlier this week and the response has been overwhelming with all these giants willing to invest in the state in various sectors,' Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS.
Gogoi led by a team of industry officials was in Mumbai on a two-day business summit to showcase the state and attract investments. The Reliance Industries has expressed interest in developing rural infrastructure, promoting agriculture, and setting up power plants, besides a bio-diesel facility in Assam. 'The investments in the rural infrastructure and agriculture sectors would help change the economic face of Assam and if the plans materialise then the income of our farmers would double in no time,' the chief minister said.
'Reliance would even buy the produce and farmers will have no problems for a market.'
A jubilant Gogoi said most of the deals were almost finalised and just required formal endorsements. 'We were able to sell the state and at least 80 percent of the assurances would materialise soon,' he said. The Tata group is interested in constructing budget hotels, a big mall in Guwahati that would exclusively deal with the latest electronic gadgets available in the world, setting up a manufacturing unit of advanced building materials, besides investing in the IT sector and educational institutions.
'Tata assured me they would train 200 students from engineering colleges in Assam annually in different fields, besides campus recruitments from our colleges and universities for his group of companies,' said Gogoi. IL&FS and the Assam government has decided to have a joint partnership in developing Guwahati, road construction works, solid waste and sewerage management, IT and power generation.
Videocon Industries Chairman Dhoot, on the other hand, has expressed willingness to set up a cement plant, invest in the power sector, and textiles. 'We have assured all the companies that the state shall provide support like allocating land and help process papers without any bureaucratic red tape to execute the projects immediately,' Gogoi said. The chief minister's office would personally monitor implementation of the projects. 'I shall personally look into all things to ensure that the companies do not have any problems in their ventures,' Gogoi said. 'I have assured all the company heads that we shall provide all security and other help without fail.'
Still un-addressing root cause of northeast By: Oken Jeet Sandham Kangla on line
Many seminars have been organized on the northeast insurgency, ethnicity and territories. The venues of such seminars have been in the northeastern
States of India bordering Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Bhutan and also to Delhi and even foreign countries. Organizers of such seminars include the American Consulate, the Indian Home Ministry and various national and international agencies.
Earlier, we mostly focused on the insurgency problems and how to crush the insurgency. Multi-pronged strategies under the Unified Command Structures were applied in many northeastern States to crack down the militancy, while providing simultaneous developmental packages especially in rural areas to win over the hearts of the common men. But the situation has changed in Nagaland and also most of the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur after New Delhi’s ceasefires with both the NSCN factions.
On the other hand, the tactics of the underground outfits in Manipur and Assam have changed dramatically. They have moved from the jungles to the urban areas and even set up their mobile networking bases with highly sophisticated communication facilities. Many of them have developed excellent rapport with the civil societies including student organizations and woman groups. In Manipur, some organizations like KYKL, RPF have seriously involved in social reforms to become closer with publics.
In the meantime, the UNLF had thrown the “plebiscite bomb.” The organization challenged Indian authorities to prove it is world’s largest democracy by conducting a “plebiscite” in Manipur under UN Supervision after withdrawing their forces. The leader of the outfit, RK Sanayaima, said he would abide by the outcome and that will decide the fate of Manipur. Whether one likes it or not, the issue has been openly and intensely discussed among the public over months without even interference from the State Government. Interestingly, the majority of the public are reportedly in favor of a “Plebiscite” to resolve their issue.
The fast transitional phase had really made things so complicated as people seemed to be easily carried away by these organizations. It also worried the authorities in the State as well as the Center and the Indian Army had to adopt various strategies to suppress the waves of surge. The covert truce pacts the Indian Army had entered into with most of the hill-based Kuki militant organizations in Manipur could be one of the main reasons to prevent the waves of surge of the valley-based militant groups in the State as by doing so they (Indian Army) would be able to mobilize their forces to target only the valley-based militant cadres entrenching in various parts of the State.
Interestingly, State Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh denied that such truce arrangements, which came into effect from August 1, 2005, were done with his knowledge. In other words, the State Government, in most of the cases, was completely kept in the dark for many months of the Indian Army’s covert truce deals with the hill-based militant organizations. But the question is how sane such covert trice deals are when the State Chief Minister---who himself as Chairman of the Unified Command Structure, comprising of Army, State Forces, CRPF and Assam Rifles---is kept in the dark.
Therefore, in most of the seminars, the speakers, who are mostly from universities, media houses, NGOs, hardly addressed the root cause of the issue. They gradually drifted into confusion. By inviting professors from foreign universities to speak on our issues of the northeast or for that matter, some professors from some Indian Universities will not help find solution either.
They might have prepared their papers well but one mere illiterate MLA can change the whole course with his five-minute histrionics with the villagers. Most of their papers are not “actually relevant” to the northeastern insurgency.
Frans on 09.30.06 @ 10:17 PM CST [link]