Naga imbroglio: the illusion of peace By Monalisa Changkija The statesman Nagaland Page
Naga imbroglio: the illusion of peace By Monalisa Changkija The statesman Nagaland Page
“What now?” is certainly uppermost in the minds of those watching the Naga scenario within and without the state. And, possibly there would be at least two answers to that depending on various factors. But for those who have lived with the Naga political movement for decades, the answer is pretty simple: “Nothing”.
“Nothing” because the impasse of the talks between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) for well nigh nine years is quite reminiscent of the “talks”, especially after the 1964 ceasefire between the Government of India and the then undivided Naga National Council. For one, the leaders of the Naga political movement, both past and present, want nothing short of sovereignty, which needless to say India would never concede to. And people here today have no illusions about that.
Moreover, the other factions would not accept a settlement short of sovereignty,. In such a scenario, factional feuds would intensify and killings would continue to rock the Naga people, as they have been doing in the past weeks. This, of course, may be fine with the Government of India but it still cannot rest easy because the Naga political movement continues to fester without solution. And against the background of India trying to emerge as a world power, it cannot afford to have a messy backyard, especially when that backyard is crucial to India’s Look East Policy.
“Nothing” because the talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) may have created an illusion of peace, as fights between the Indian Army and the Naga factions have almost ceased for nine years but factional feuds are taking a turn for the worse, as was recently witnessed at Zunheboto and Peren districts. Ordinary people continue to be the victims of the crossfire. And as along as gunshots ring out, they continue to live and relive nightmares.
“Nothing” because the talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) do not address the issue of the turf war between the latter and its arch rival NSCN (Khaplang), which is what is generally perceived here to be what the factional feuds are all about. It is pertinent to underscore that the Government of India is negotiating only with one Naga faction and that faction does not have the support of all Naga people, much less the other Naga factions. The point is unless one of the Naga factions emerges “victorious” over the others, factional feuds would continue because turf wars are always a contest to gain unambiguous and unchallenged “leadership”.
So while the talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) would continue, the outcome is dependent on what is generally said to be the “ground realities” here.
Factional feuds, no saviours And the ground realities here are anything but pretty. The factional feuds waged unwaveringly by the NSCN factions against each other in various parts of Nagaland have not only created an atmosphere and environment of terror but also suggest that till the war for supremacy between them is settled, obviously through the barrel of the gun, people here cannot hope for the kind of peace they would like to experience at least once in their lives.
For one, neither faction appears to have any interest in heeding either the Centre or the state government of Neiphiu Rio vis-à-vis factional feuds. Moreover, despite years of appeals by all kinds of Naga NGOs, including the Church, both the factions have continued their factional feuds.
The question is whether these NGOs ever had any kind of influence over the NSCN factions in the first place, as is often portrayed by the Indian mainland media. In fact, it is generally perceived by the people here that most of these NGOs are “compromised” hence their role and whatever influence remains at the level of press statements, resolutions, appeals and endless meetings that never seem to arrive at any conclusions. An unpalatable truth, nevertheless.
Naga would not and do not look up to these NGOs as their “saviours”, or even hope, from factional feuds, extortions and all that go on in the name of “Naga sovereignty”. This is not to suggest that these NGOs have no role to play vis-à-vis the ground realities here because some of them do communicate to the Naga factions the voice to the people, which acts as a reminder to the Naga factions that the people cannot be separated from the Naga cause, or even their fight for supremacy.
The heart of the matter is that the talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) actually have no bearing on what exist between the NSCN factions and its manifestations, which consist of the ground realities of the people here. To an outsider, the riddle of the lack of solution to the Naga issues may be complicated or simple, especially with the long-running talks between New Delhi and the NSCN (I-M).
State govt: not ‘law and order’ To put it simply, the fight of both NSCN factions against India has been reduced to the secondary position. The primary battle appears to be that against each other. Against this background the question is: dare the people hope?
Especially because the Rio-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition state government perceives the factional feuds as something out of the purview of “law and order”, which is a state subject. Recently the Nagaland Government has opined that it is helpless vis-à-vis the factional feuds unless the ground rules of the Ceasefire between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) are reviewed, revised and changed. This perception came to pass after the state Government remained a mute spectator to the factional feud between the NSCN factions at Zunheboto, which finally ended only after Sumi women led the public to unequivocally tell the feuding groups to end the battle in their town.
This and similar instances over the past years indicate that there is hope for the people and it lies in their hearts and minds. The Naga public must be mobilized to speak their convictions and unambiguously convey their mind to the factions. Either that or commit the crime of silence against themselves and remain prisoners to the factional feuds, which do not portend an early end.
Till then, the answer to the question “Now what?” is likely to remain “Nothing”. (The author is Editor, The Nagaland Page published from Dimapur)
NSCN-IM says one,do otherwise – NNC The Morung Express
Dimapur, Nov 19 (MExN): The Naga National Council is convinced that the NSCN-IM ‘may say something’ but do the otherwise’. The NNC through ‘National Worker’ LP Lushing Khiamniungan stated that the NSCN-IM called for public meeting at Phulungtung village, Khiamniungan region in November 2003 and “gave a political lecture” that Nagas are sure to ‘achieve their independence before the Christmas of 2003’ and therefore asked the villagers for support but not from the NNC.
The NNC acknowledged as ‘true’ that in 1976-1978 Th. Muivah and Isak Swu said that the NNC is the only authentic political organization of Nagaland and it should be upheld by all Nagas unwaveringly from the Naga national stand. “The NNC is safeguarding the sovereign existence of Nagaland; the NNC raced up and down situations but it never deterred by setback here and setback there. But they told a lie again in 1980 that the NNC has failed. Through these very words they deceived many young Nagas and caused the bloodshed among the Nagas” the NNC stated.
Further the council acknowledged as true that under the leadership of Muivah and Isak “the Accord” was condemned in 1976. “But they killed the high-ranking Naga army officers and NNC/FGN leaders who rejected the accord. Now Muivah and Isak are holding on the negotiating table with Indian leaders by upholding the Indian passports steadfastly and they are vociferously talking to accept the fundamental principles of the Indian constitution” the NNC asserted. “Therefore, the leaders of so-called NSCN may speak terrible lies (sic) that ‘the accord is the root cause and genesis of present bloodshed among the Nagas’ but their actions speak the truth to all the Nagas and to the whole world” the council added.
Nagaland English dailies better than others – AZ Jami The Morung Express
Dimapur, Nov 19 (MExN): According to NSCN-K Kilonser AZ Jami Nagaland English newspapers are a lot better than mainstream Indian English dailies: the former are more informative and readable while the latter are “bulky and voluminous normally filled up with non-issues and non-essentials”. He is a “Libra Scorpio”, Jami explains and for this he has an inquisitive mind “to know who is who and what is what”.
“When we go through Indian national dailies though they are bulky and voluminous, they are normally filled up with non-issue and non-essentials. The pages are filled up with useless things and miss what they call ‘Taza taza khapar’” the Kilonser stated in a write-up far put from the usual NSCN-IM bashing. According to Jami, citing an instance, Delhi-based papers ‘know and write only for Delhi and ignore important issues and happenings in remote corners of the country’. Even if they are informed, “they deliberately ignore and neglect” he explains and pointed out that that “their majesticity and dignity do much harms to them silently”.
On the other hand, Nagaland English papers are more informative and readable. “We could read and learn from them the important news around the world and the burning issues here and there. We can certify that in many respects the Nagaland-based English papers are unbiased and (unprejudiced) to a great extent unlike many papers throughout the world which are mouthpieces of different organizations and parties” he explained. Jami has appealed to the editors and publishers of local papers to remain neutral and be more non-partisan “racing” towards perfection as well as maintain regular linkages “with what modern people talk about ‘E-mail’ and ‘Internet.’ ” “This is the second time I am raising this complaint that the news compliers are somewhat careless. They sometimes do not care for the spellings and punctuations which common people fail to understand the real meaning or intention of the writer. On the whole I should say that Nagaland-based English dailies are better than Indian national English papers” he added.
CAG slams Nagaland government The Statesman
The Controller and Auditor General of India (CAG) regularly publish detailed reports on the states of the finances of each state as well as public undertakings and failures in accountability and uprightness. This week we look at excerpts from the report for Nagaland. (Details at http://cag.nic.in/html/cag_reports/nagaland/rep_2005/)
This Report includes two chapters containing observations of audit on the Finance and Appropriation Accounts of the Government of Nagaland for the year 2004-05 and five other chapters comprising three performance audit and 22 audit paragraphs dealing with the results of audit of selected programmes and schemes and financial transactions of the Government including its commercial and trading activities. A synopsis of the findings of the performance audit and the more important paragraphs are presented in this overview.
According to existing arrangements, copies of the draft audit paragraphs and performance audit are sent demi-officially to the concerned Secretaries to the Government by the Accountant General (Audit) with a request to furnish replies within six weeks. Besides issuing reminders, the Secretaries are also invited for discussion before finalisation of this Report. Despite these efforts, no reply had been received in respect of 10 paragraphs as of November 2005.
Allocative priorities and Appropriation The overall saving of Rs.581.85 crore was the net result of excess of Rs.28.82 crore in 19 cases of grants and one case of appropriation and saving of Rs.610.67 crore in 56 cases of grants and two cases of appropriations. According to Article 205 of the Constitution of India, it is mandatory for the State Government to get the excess over a Grant/Appropriation regularised by the Sate Legislature. However, it was noticed that excess expenditure of Rs.2011.27 crore reported during 1991-92 to 2003-04 except 1992-93 and 1993-94 had not been regularised. No action had been taken by the Government (Finance Department) for regularisation of the excess as of November 2005. According to rules, expenditure should not be incurred on a scheme/service without provision of funds. It was noticed that expenditure of Rs.47.96 crore was incurred in seven cases without any provision in the original estimates/supplementary demands.
Out of 78 controlling officers, expenditure of Rs.136.26 crore in respect of six controlling officers remained unreconciled. Performance Audit
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched by Government of India in December 2000 as a cent per cent centrally sponsored scheme with a view to provide road connectivity through all weather roads to all unconnected habitations for a population of 1,000 persons and above by 2002-03 and with population of 250 persons and above, for hilly states like Nagaland by 2007. The audit of works of construction of roads under PMGSY revealed failure to meet targets by 46 per cent (851.61 km new road constructed against the target of 1,576.03 km), allocation of funds (Rs.15.78 crore) in violation of guidelines upgradation works, and extension of undue benefit to contractors (Rs.1.67 crore). Inadequate planning, non-adherence to guidelines in determining priority criteria, inadequacies in contract management, irregularities in execution of works, financial irregularities and inadequate quality control measures led to non achievement of the objectives of the programme.
Working of Nagaland State Transport Nagaland State Transport (NST) was established as a department of the Government of Nagaland in December 1964 to provide a well co-ordinated, reliable and affordable transport service to the public both inside and outside the State. Underutilisation of fleet, low vehicle productivity, delay in tariff revision, excess expenditure on purchase, overstaffing and inefficient ticket management led to the department suffering sustained losses to the tune of Rs.60.79 crore in 2000-05 which accumulated to Rs.164.63 crore as on March 2005.
Food Security, Subsidy and Management of Foodgrains Food security entails procurement of foodgrains from the farmers at the minimum support price, storage and distribution to the targeted beneficiaries through fair price shops. Procurement of foodgrains within the State serves the twin objectives of providing price security to the farmers and ensuring food security to the people. The Government of Nagaland is involved in operation of various food grains based schemes introduced by the Government of India under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) launched in June 1997. Under this, three main schemes viz , Below Poverty Line (BPL), Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Annapurna Scheme for the senior citizens apart from Above Poverty Line (APL) had been implemented by the State. Due to delay in identification of beneficiaries, short lifting of foodgrains, delay/non-distribution of foodgrains, non-issue of ration cards, undue benefit to millers by allowing less recovery of atta from wheat etc., the basic objective of benefiting the poor and vulnerable sections of the society could not be achieved satisfactorily. (To be continued)
State geared up for Hornbill festival Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, Nov 19:: The countdown begins for the much awaited Hornbill Festival, which is barely eleven days away, the state is all geared up to celebrate the 7-day festival in a grand manner...
Parliamentary secretary incharge of Tourism Kaito said that the state was making all effort to make a difference to this year's Hornbill festival with the inclusion of the first-ever national beat contest and film festival in the state, apart from the usual festivity at the Naga Heritage Complex, Kisama.
The state music task force is organizing the national beat contest from December 1-7 at the Kohima Local ground while the Union Broadcasting Ministry, film division, will organize the film festival from December 2-6 at the State Academy Hall.
The Union Broadcasting Ministry is sponsoring Rs. 2 crore for the film festival while the Union Tourism Ministry is sponsoring another Rs. 15 Lakh for the Hornbill festival in addition to the state's earmarked budget of Rs. 30 Lakh for the festival.
The state government is trying to rope in atleast one Union minister, possibly DONER Minister for the inaugural function of the Hornbill festival.
Some members of Parliament have also indicated their desire to come to the state during the festival. But their visits are yet to be confirmed due to the coincidence with the next Parliament session. Meanwhile, preparations are going on in full swing for the much-touted Hornbill festival and according to Kaito, the tentative date for completion of the ongoing ground works such as repairing of Morungs and footpaths is November 25. Atleast eight different departments and bodies of the state government are engaged either directly or indirectly in organizing the festival.
On the new additions expected this year, Kaito said the Tourism department has asked various tribes to introduce new traditional activities and items during the festival. Moreover, the department is also trying to encourage and promote traditions through giving recognition to identified traditional tribal chieftains and prominent Naga leaders as guests of honour to various sessions during the 7-day long festivial.
On problems such as lack of accommodation in the state for hosting large number of tourists and transportation to the Heritage complex, the parliamentary secretary incharge of Tourism said the department was tying up with the district administration of both Kohima and Dimapur to make sure all the hotels and lodgings were made available to the visitors with every possible facility.
The state government too was working out all possible means to provide smooth transportation to visitors and tourists alike, he said. Kaito further revealed that the state government was expecting atleast 100 participants, both government and private sectors, this year and that handlooms and handicraft and exotic Naga cuisine would be highlighted through thirty food and tea stalls apart from the Morungs. The Hornbill festival named after the famous and endangered bird 'Hornbill' was introduced as a state festival in the year 2000 with an aim to promote tourism in the state through highlighting the rich culture and tradition of the state.
And with the festival gradually gaining popularity, the inflow of tourists to the state during the festival too is picking up as was aimed. According to official statistics, 200 foreign and 1500 domestic tourists attended last year's Hornbill festival. This year, the figure is expected to shoot up to about 1000 foreign and 20,000 domestic tourists.
Kaito also revealed that plans were afoot to further develop the Naga Heritage Complex, including acquisition of more land, establishment of permanent structure for accommodations such as lodge and dormitory and creating trekking routes to Dzukuo valley. (NPN)
ULFA regrouping, says Assam police Newmai News Network Guwahati
Despite the Army operation in Assam, the banned ULFA has started regrouping itself and has successfully set up some camps in Bhutan’s Kawaimari near Deothang. Sources in the Special Branch of the Assam Police informed that the 7th Battalion of the ULFA had established camps in Kawaimari and that the neighboring villagers have reported about movement of armed youth in the area.
“With the intensified counter insurgency operations in Upper Assam districts, the 7th battalion of the militants had set up the camp in Kawaimari,” sources said. “We are aware of their movement. Operations are on and the security forces had gunned down the commander of the 1st camp of the 7th battalion Dipak Deka on Friday night,” said the sources while adding that the documents recovered from the slain militants had further cleared the existence of the 7th battalion in Kawaimari.
“The outfit had also made some changes in the organization. The Enigma group of the ULFA, which was in operation earlier, was assigned for intelligence gathering these days,” said the sources. “The 7th battalion had been working in close coordination with the 27th and 28th battalion of the ULFA lead by Biju Deka and Prabal Neog respectively,” the sources said and added that recently the three battalions have exchanged some of their cadres also. “The Enigma group was under the command of Bhaskar Das at present. The Militants had also formed a new wing called Espionage under the leadership of Saranga Patowari alias Akas Thapa,” he said.
Political Passover The Morung Express Editorial
The continuing war of words between the ruling Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) and the Opposition Congress over the prevailing law and order situation is turning out to be another spectacle similar to the Office of Profit circus, which ended with both political parties failing to register any points on the score-sheet. The latest missives over factional violence and the continuing media bite to stamp their political positions on an issue that actually would have demanded a collective effort only goes to show the poverty of ideas of the political class. While the respective party campaign on the issue only gets louder, for those in the audience (the public), the message is getting shriller and more confusing with each passing day. Everyday brings forth new clarifications, condemnations, castigations so much so that the two political parties are reducing their self-worth to the lowest level of political depravity.
It would be much more advisable for the two political party to actually address the problem of factional clashes—whether one terms it as law and order or political problem—as it has come to impact on public peace and social order. While the Opposition Congress party should not merely criticize but come out with positive suggestions, the ruling NPF party likewise on its part should stop defending its political prestige on something which is indefensible—the security and life of its citizens. Even if it is accepted that the Naga underground issue is a political problem requiring political intervention and resolution, over-ground politicians cannot in any manner willfully allow lawlessness to continue and thereby disturb peace and order. The NPF should realize that factional clashes have now become turf wars with a visible presence in civilian areas as a result of which it directly affects peace and order in populated areas. This is the crux of the present problem—the infiltration of armed violence into civilian areas.
Both the Congress and the NPF will do well not to politicize the current factional clashes so as to avoid further fragmentation of the political landscape. As elected representatives of the people, their first call of duty should be to respect the sentiment of the people and this without doubt means restoring peace in a divided land. It is therefore of outmost importance that sincere efforts be made to bring the warring underground factions to a common platform. For this to happen, the political parties must also work within a common framework on this particular issue. The stalled Joint Legislators Peace Committee should now be given a chance to work. The sincerity of the Opposition Congress to partake in such an initiative will also be on test here.
Whether one calls it law and order or political problem at the end anything that infringes on the Right to Life must remain a matter of serious concern. To avoid Zunheboto like situations even in the future, the crux of the problem has to established first and appropriate measures taken. In this case, the problem arises because of militarization of civilian areas. Both the Congress and the NPF should jointly take up with New Delhi, the laxity in the ceasefire mechanism and put pressure on the concerned authorities to take precautionary steps to ensure that armed cadres are moved back into their respected designated camps and in the process help in demilitarization of public inhabited areas.
Never said to bring settlement to Naga issue but pave way for new dispensation Nagarealm.com
Kohima, Nagaland Minister for Planning and Urban Development and the president of the major ruling NPF, Dr Shurhozelie made it clear that the DAN Government had never said to bring settlement to the Naga political issue. "What we have been saying all along is we will play our part to facilitate the peace process and in the event of any political settlement being made, we will pave the way for the new dispensation," he told "Asian Tribune" here on Friday. The Minister rubbished the statements of the Congress that the DAN would bring solution to Naga problem within three months if they were voted to power. The same thing the Congress president Hokheto Sumi had been telling and such nature of his political stature was simply exposed. He was even "comparing me as a frog while he as a bull." "I never know I am too small before him." He pointed out. "But I want to remind him that the frog is running the Government."
Dr Shurhozelie said Hokheto put all the lies to him and this had come to what Bernard Shaw once called it: "He knows nothing thinks he knows everything." "Such political careers are common," he averred. The Minister disclosed as to how they had even tried to bring unity amongst the Naga underground factions by sending their people to meet them one after another, besides making fervent appeals to all of them---be it NSCN-IM or NSCN-K or NNC/Federal---to come together. "But as a State Government, we can’t impose everything on them because they (NSCN-IM and NSCN-K) are now having direct contacts with the Government of India," he pointed out.
Dr Shurhozelie also said they as opposition party welcomed the ceasefire agreements when they were signed between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM in 1997 and later with the NSCN-K in 2001. "We take it to be positive steps taken by our national workers," he mentioned. "And when we come back to power in 2003, we have decided to support this ongoing peace process and we put it even in our manifesto and still continuing with the same objective."
"We also keep appealing to both the conflicting parties (the two NSCN factions and the Government of India) to come to negotiate for early political settlement," the NPF chief stated, adding, "We will continue to play our role till settlement to the Naga political issue is arrived at and when they are going in the right direction, we are 100% in their support." [Oken Jeet Sandham, Asian tribune]
NSCNs spar over assassination order Nagarealm.com
DIMAPUR, NOV18 [NPN] : Following the demand of the Sumi Hoho asking the NSCN(I-M)to explain the reasons for ordering the assassination of former Sumi Hoho president Huskha, on or before November 25, both NSCN factions stuck to their respective stands over the issue.
Earlier, reacting to the charge made by former NSCN(I-M) officer, major Lhokishe(who has now joined the NSCN-K) that he was given the personal order to assassinate Huskha, NSCN(I-M)deputy C-in-C maj.gen Markson rubbished the charge. In a release issued today, the MIP, NSCN (I-M) said the allegation made by the NSCN (K) was entirely "false and fabricated".
"Such allegations are falsely invented to inculcate and generate distrust, doubts, suspicion and to alienate the masses away from our aspired national objectives," it said. Further, the NSCN(I-M)release accused the rival faction of manipulating "traitorous defectors" as sources for "deceptive information aimed at deceiving and misleading the Nagas". Stating that it did not "randomly engage in targeting innocent people, public leaders or civil societies"as done by the NSCN(K) , the NSCN(I-M) charged the former of resorting to "cheap and sinister ways" to tarnish its image.
It said truth "cannot be twisted or the public carried away by lies of unprincipled, instable and corrupt defectors." In another statement, Lhokishe has accused NSCN(I-M) deputy C-inC maj.gen. Markson of indulging in "fallacious propaganda in order to disown and deny so meticulous a mission hatched in utmost confidentiality in person to person". Lhokishe said the refusal to carry out the assassination order "should not be the pretext to deny the plot".
To buttress his claim, Lhokishe said he was never accorded the official status of being issued "service pistol" in the past "except for this particular assignment." Throwing an invitation for an open platform, if Markson "is a commander of integrity and a man of words" Lhokishe said the issue be addressed in presence of apex Naga organizations and civil societies to the "series of clandestine plotting" which could be discussed and adjudged to fulfill the Naga people's "curiosities and suspicions."
Lhokishe also said his former "senior army officers" in the NSCN(I-M) "could provide vital testimony" as to his sincerity and devotion while serving under the NSCN(I-M). Terming Markson's statement that he defected because of his "personal instability" Lhokishe said it was a "mockery to 20 years of dedicated and trusted service I rendered under his commandership." He also clarified that although three senior NSCN (I-M) functionaries including deputy kilonsers Vitoi and Hekheto and tatar Kihoi were witness to his meeting with Maj Gen Markson on November 1 at Ghathashi, they were not aware of what transpired between him and Markson.
Layman’s thoughts on Naga political movement- Nagaland Post
1. We understand the Nagas are a homogenous group of people with common origin, history and culture, speaking different dialects but same temperament, attitude and appearance, scattered over different political and administrative units but yearn for unity and integration and aspire to live under one political and administrative umbrella.
2. We also understand that Nagas have been struggling for over half a century for our inalienable right to self-determination and freedom, going through untold suffering under Indian and Burmese political and military action; and in the course of events amongst the Naga brothers due to differences in ideology and factionalism
3. Knowing the futility of further arms struggle and rivalry among ourselves we abhor factional killing, which should immediately be stopped.
4. Now we strongly believe that the time have come for all the Nagas to bury seeds of division and hatred in the true spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation for a sustainable peace and permanent solution to the Naga political problem.
5. Therefore the aspiration of the Nagas for freedom, peace, unity and integration and negotiation political settlement of appropriate status can never and should not ever be sacrificed at the altart of (petty) political differences, blackmailing, ransom like pressure tactics, personal ego, selfish and sectarian interest. Shiloh Kath, Dimapur
Chandel villagers scamper as AR explodes bombs The Imphal Free Press
MOREH, Nov 19: Several hundreds of villagers settled in the four neighboring villages of Cheljang, Ibol, Holjang and Bokendro under Kheljang block of Chandel district have started deserting their villages following the continuous explosion of powerful bombs at their villages by the personnel of Assam Rilfes since the last few weeks.
According to a joint press statement issued by the chairman of Dingpi Area Peace Committee, Namkhojang Guite, Khenjoi Area People`s Development Committee, Thanglet Haokip and Border Area Development Development Committee, Kangam Haokip, the villagers of Cheljang, Ibol, Holjang and Bokendro under Khenjoi block of Chandel district bordering Myanmar have been frightened frequently by explosion of several powerful bombs at these villages since the last few weeks. As a resulted of the fear psychosis this has created, many villagers, mainly women and children have started fleeing their respective villages to safer areas as the Assam Rifles has so far exploded around 5000 powerful bombs in the said villages which has disturbed the peaceful harvesting season. The statement also further mentioned that the AR officials there have failed to cooperate with the village authorities, and appealed to the state government for timely intervention so that the villagers can return to their villages without any apprehension.
Modern Manipuri politics: An insight By R Yangsorang Contd from last Saturday Sangai Express
Local revolutions do occur, however, and these intra-party fights are the most bitter in politics. Also at party headquarters on most days are a loyal band of party workers. Holding no special positions, they show up faithfully to do the chores, swap political gossip, and offer opinions to anyone willing to listen to their bosses who love talking and to have an audience with them. Their reward is sometimes a minor job on a public payroll, more often just the fun and excitement of mixing the mighty and feeling useful at the nerve center of political activity here and there in Manipur.
Durability: All the members of the party will not feel as strongly as others about all issues on which the party takes a stand. Some members may even be opposed to the stand of the party on matters of relative unimportance. But they find it advantageous to stay together so that when an election is won, most of the members find most of their views being advanced by the elected members of the party. Once formed, political parties tend to stay in existence a long time, especially those that have won enough support to be considered major parties. Issues may arise on which the members sharply disagree, but they make an effort to live with their differences, knowing that their party will help them to progress in those areas where they are in substantial agreement. Moreover, parties tend to stay responsive to viewpoints that have the support of large number of voters. Very often, most parties temper their previous positions to keep up with the public, rather than cling to unpopular positions and forfeit any chance for success at the polls. There are parties, however, that adhere to a position regardless of the lack of broad popular support. — To be contd
ULFA move unfortunate: Pradyut By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Nov 19 – Successful holding of the National Games is a matter of prestige for the entire civil society of Asom, and all sections of people must unite to ensure that the games are held smoothly, said the Power and Industries Minister, Pradyut Bordoloi, who is also the chairman of the publicity and media committee of the games. Reacting to the call given by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to boycott the National Games, Bordoloi said, “I do not understand why the ULFA gave a call to boycott the Games and I strongly believe that sports should not be viewed with sectarian outlook.” He said that the boycott call was very unfortunate, as the Games would give proper exposure to the young talents of the state to national and international level competition.
Bordoloi pointed out that when Manipur hosted the National Games a few years back, all sections of people of the state joined hands to ensure success of the Games and even nine underground outfits operating in the state joined hands to extend their cooperation to make the Games a success. The Minister asserted that the Government would go ahead with the preparations of the Games despite the call by the militants, and said: “ I am sure that all sections of the people of the State would come forward spontaneously to make the Games a grand success.” He asserted that the Games would not be bogged down with such threats and all out efforts would be made by the Government for smooth holding of the Games with the cooperation and goodwill of the people of the State. The Games would be the biggest ever sports meet ever held in Asom with the participation of 10,000 sportspersons and such threats by any organization would not be allowed to affect such a meet.
Bordoloi said that 90 per cent of the Games infrastructure was ready and the remaining work would be completed by the National Games Secretariat on time. “There might be some minor problems on the way but we will be able to overcome the same with the goodwill of the people of Asom,” he added. Meanwhile, former international athlete Tayebun Nessa expressed the view that the call to boycott the National Games would affect the future of the athletes of the state, and said that the ULFA should reconsider the decision. Veteran sports journalist and organizer Premadhar Sarma also expressed the view that such a call by the ULFA “cannot be supported”.
Early talks with NDFB demanded By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, Nov 19 – The All Boro Peace Forum has expressed serious concern over the delay in holding of formal talks with the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), and demanded that the Government should start the process of political dialogues without any pre-condition before the expiry of the term of the ceasefire agreement on November 30. In a release here today, the Forum said that the executive committee of the Forum discussed the issue and decided to hold a mass rally at Barama on December 18 to register its protest against the attitude of the Government on the issue of talks with the NDFB.
The Forum said that the demand of the Government for a charter of demands from the NDFB before the formal talks was nothing but an attempt to delay the entire process. It said that the Government should start the process of political dialogues with the NDFB without any further delay particularly at a time when the outfit came forward for a political solution of the problem on its own. The Peace Forum said that the Government was trying to suppress the people rather than finding a political solution to the problems and the recent “unprovoked” killing of two NDFB cadres in Karbi Anglong was a part of the attempt to derail the peace process.
Bodo Peace Forum to press for peace
Massive rally at Kokrajhar today to demand release of arrested cadres
By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, Nov 19: With the truce between the Government and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) seemingly running into rough weather in the wake of the death of two of the banned outfit’s cadres in Karbi Anglong, the All Bodo Peace Forum (ABPF) is preparing a slew of programmes to press for its demand for holding immediate peace talks with the outfit for lasting peace in the State.
Condemning the alleged casual attitude on the part of the Government of India towards the peace negotiation, the ABPF said it is unfortunate that the current ceasefire between the Government and the NDFB would expire on November 30 “without any meaningful talks to find out a peaceful solution to the Bodo national problem.”
The forum, while expressing doubt that the charter of demands the Centre has demanded from the NDFB is nothing but “an excuse to shrug off its responsibility towards a permanent solution to the Bodo national problem”, said the Government of India should show sincerity by immediately initiating the preliminary political dialogue with the NDFB without any precondition.
Concerned over the prevailing situation, the ABPF, in its emergent central committee meeting held yesterday, decided to stage a massive public rally at Barama in Baksa district on December 18 to pursue its demand for immediate holding of talks.
“Peace loving people from various districts of the State are expected to participate in the rally to protest against the Government’s apathy towards the Bodo problem,” said ABPF advisor Bhramon Baglari in a statement here. The meeting also condemned the killing of the two NDFB cadres in Karbi Anglong recently. It may be mentioned here that the NDFB, in a recent statement, threatened to pull out from the ceasefire if such killings continued in the State. Meanwhile, the Kokrajhar district unit of the ABPF is holding a peace rally at Kokrajhar tomorrow in protest against the arrest of two NDFB cadres — B Khobdang and M Bagdao — yesterday from the Kokrajhar designated camp. “The arrests have been made by the police at the instigation of some Bangladeshi immigrants who wanted to communalize the situation,” said Baglari. The ensuing peace rally is being organized to call upon the people to maintain peace and harmony in the region and also register its demand for the immediate release of the arrested duo, he added.
Frans on 11.20.06 @ 01:38 PM CST [link]