Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Year Resolutions for 2009, What is yours?

"Give, and it will be given to you" This is not about money or goods. Read in context it makes the meaning apparent. Luke 6:35-38: “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

This has nothing to do with giving money to be more blessed. It has to do with mercy and grace. It is given to your bosom, the inner man to make you filled. If you give another mercy or grace it will be given to you. If you are a gracious forgiving person in your life when it is necessary, then God will bless you with the same.

Top Seven New Year Resolutions

- T. Zamlunmang Zou

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year resolutions make our top ten list?

01. Spend More Time with Family & Friends: Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. Make plans to meet up with friends and love ones, keep your friendship alive. Give more time with your family to make a lively home.

02. Get Out of Debt: Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Try your best to avoid giving yourself debt. Minimise your expenditure, calculate you daily expenditure, mark the unnecessary expenditures. Buy what you need and not what you want.

03. Learn Something New: Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year’s resolutions to keep.

04. Help The Needy: A popular, non-selfish New Year’s resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out the orphanage home, financially help the needy, you can contribute your used clothes to so many orphanage homes in Delhi.

05. Make New Friend with Eyes wide Open: Making new friends is expanding your world. Remember that you are living with the people of totally different culture, traditions, livelihood, the way of eating food, the type of food we eat are not the same anymore. Try to make news friends with your eyes wide open. Try to befriend with the mainland Indian, try to learn something from them. But remember to preserve your dignity.

06. Work with Dedication: Wether you are working in a private sector or a government sector, try to keep your work at the first place just next to your family. Remember your work is your living generator, think how to love it. Stick to your work as long as it gives you a handsome amount of salary. Dont try to keep on shiftung from one place to another.

07. Remember Thy Creator: The most important resolution. the first and the last to everything is to remember your God. Try to read your Bible everyday, try to maintain your fellowship with God once a day. Try to attend every Sunday Worship services. Try to give back just one-thenth of what God has given you.

Reference: (1-3)

JAC, Manipur rejects govt stand on Pay Commission

Imphal, Dec 30: The Joint Administrative Council (JAC) of the All Manipur Trade Unions Council (AMTUC) and All Manipur Government Employees Organisation (AMGEO) has in a press release said that the statement of the state chief minister saying that the government did not have enough finances to implement the 6th Pay Commission norms is far from the truth.

Quoting a report of the ministry of finance, government of India, the release said that Rs. 2,232.65 crores have been sanctioned for the period of April 2008 till December 3, 2008.

It also questioned the contradicting statements of the chief minister over the exact amount of finances required for implementing the 6th Pay Commission norms and asked for a white paper stating that there are no funds available with the government. -IFP

NE students rally in Delhi over molestation

NEW DELHI, Dec 29 – Students hailing from the North-east today staged a peace rally at Gurgaon, near here in protest against molestation of two girls of Manipur by their land lord and his hench-men. Over 100 students, members of Assamese Students Association, Delhi (ASAD) and Manipur Students Association, Delhi (MASAD), however, had to face the wrath of the locals, who tried to disrupt the demonstration. They tore away the banner and posters, before local Police arrived and controlled the situation.

The demonstrators also included the two victims, who were molested by the goons. The incident occurred on December 12, when the landlord entered the room, rented out to the two girls just two days ago, in a drunken state.

The two girls, who are in their early twenties, were earlier working in a call centre at Chandigarh but came down to Gurgaon looking for jobs. The accused landlord and his son also beat up the two girls. The local Police had initially registered case under milder sections, which was later modified under public pressure. source: assam tribune.


The Kukis' Contribution to Manipur State Integrity

By: Dr. Angam

Introduction: The scene of world's panorama, the tiny state of Manipur in the North East India is never regarded as the least attracted tourist spot. The tourist attraction mainly lies in its natural beauty and this could have brought potential mainstay in the economic bolster of the tiny state. What happened at Jammu & Kashmir had a similar effect to this princely state. The army�s excessive theatre plays against human rights compounded with ultras absolute reigned signal the death knell of foreign attraction. It will be recollected and remembered in time to come as the dark era of Manipur history. Five decades ago, the princely state of Manipur was highly acknowledged and acclaimed by high caliber of the country elite politician Jawaharlal Nehru, who commented as: ��Jewel of the country,� and for the Japanese army, this place was, �a flower on the Hill top,� so as to the Meiteis, it is cherishingly termed as �Sana Leipak,� which means, �The Land of Jewel.�� (Hawlngam Haokip, Goodnews for Manipur, pp. 8, 9).

Dwindling Manipur State Integrity!

The annals recorded of Manipur from its golden eras till the present�s matrix, one would have perhaps agreed along with Avorook Sen and Udayan Namboordiri when they snapped a questions: �What has led to this situation? Governance that has been practically taken over by insurgent outfit.� (India Today, February, 1998, p.48). But today, �Chaos and confusion� erupted and reigned among themselves finding no solution to break the parasite like social sickness

The state and central government were adamant in finding the root causes of brutality to the once tinsel town like Lamka and Imphal city, perhaps due to the old games of �Divide and Rule Policy.� Herein is a legitimate conglomeration, with political whim of �non-compos mentis� orchestrated operations taken by the Indian elite armies under the banner of Assam Rifle, Rastrya Rifle, Central Reserve Police Force, and Indian Reserve Battalion and other on its freedom fighter of yester year�s colonial country. In view of national and state interest, here is the proposed thesis, which the writer will pursue, and shortly christened as, the Kukis contribution to Manipur state integrity.

The Vanguard of Manipur territorial Integrity

Manipur, particularly the present Churachandpur city and the adjoining area in its earlier day was a virgin land. Before the colonialist British regime took the scene in the North East India, patronizing, British East India Company, (from 16th century A.D.) the vast Landscape were under the �Lousal� controlled of the Haokip Kukis. It was neither the suzerainty of the Maharaja of Manipur nor the King of Ava, but of the Kukis. History revealed that while Kamhao (Sukte), was the landlord of most part of tiddim conclave, having mombe as its headquarter, Raja Nehlam Haokip resided (Choose) at Thingbung muol (present mountain range, east of khuga river). The annals of �narrated history or verbatim heilgichte� recorded the living legend around the second half of the 18th century A.D. i.e. 1832-1877. Raja Nehlam had encompassed his pals and had a very good relationship with the King of Ava, which made suspicious and nervousness to Maharaja of Manipur. The ill fate happened, when the then Maharaja, Nar Singh enticed Chassad chief (king) at Imphal for a colossal feast as a traditional ties between the Haokip-Kuki and Manipur Raja family. Yet his intension was otherwise, and the Raja of Manipur, thereby treacherously murdered Him in cold blood in the year 1877.

This evidence has cemented by C.U. Aitchitson, as follow.

The Khongsai or Thado Kukis with other allied clans were gradually driven north into Manipur by the Suktes and Lushais, the migration commencing in the reign of Raja Nar Singh. For the most part they (Kukis) lived at peace with their Manipuri neighbor, being unwilling to provoke hostile attack from the north as well as from the south. Indeed the Manipur Administration armed many of them (kukis) and utilized them as �Sepoy villages� against the Angamis in the north and the suktes and Lushes in the south.� (A collection of treaties�p, 111)

From which, it is learnt that the Kukis were the vanguard of Manipur state for rendering utmost loyalty to Manipur Raja not as subordinate rather as equal powerful allies in the state of Manipur. This historic event of vanguardship and guardianship had been undisputedly displayed during Maharaj Chandrakirti Singh�s campaigned, which to this day is famously known as �Kohima expidition,� 1879, also in 1891. In his second expeditions, Maharaja was conferred �Knight Commander of the star of India� (KCSI) by British Government. (KUKI STUDENTS ORGANISATION, MAGAZINE, 1972-73, Vol 1, Issue-1, p.19)

The Kukis in their Father land

The aftermath of Raja Nehlam Haokip, the cross border within the Haokip clan had taken place, some into the far eastern side of Manipur, inhabiting kabaw valley (now Myanmar). In fact there was no geographical account limiting the Kuki movements, which depict the Kuki full control of the land between Brahmaputra in the west and Chindwin in the east. Patkai hill in the north, Bay of Bengal in the south. As the Chassad family grew larger, by and then, they settled down at Thangting ranges- Songpi, Shijaang kholui, or Thinghangjaang, Teiseng, Vaison, Loikhai, Henglep, Saitu, Laijaang (Present Tamenglong), Lonpi (Manipur south ), Chassad (Manipur east), Maokot, and Sita (to cite few) in the eastern Manipur state.

Some other clans who were close kins to Haokip were also residing at various places, such as, Jampi (Sithlhou), Dullen, Joupi, Aisan (Doungel), Leikot (Kipgen) etc. in the north of Manipur. Senvon (Singson), Leisen, Parbung, Phengjol, Patpi, and Khopuibung in the the south of Manipur. Behiang and Singngat, Muallum in the southern tip of Manipur were also inhabited by the Zou tribes, Hmar in Tipaimuk areas, Paite in Thanlon areas, Vaiphei in Kailam ranges, they all were living in close relationship with their neighbours. The Gangte in Saichang areas and prominent places like �Mualpi, Sailhem, Songbem, Songlhuh Lasan, Twithang were earlier inhabitant of Singsuan clan.� (Tualchin Neihsial, Guite Kuala�a lutna, p. 24)

Christianity was not yet introduced into these remote areas. But by sheer luck the 19th century A.D. brought few dedicated missionaries who came into two fronts, one from the southern Manipur other from the North. Those new waves of the Gospelization brought the regions into a new era of history.

Age Old ties between Kuki Chiefs and Manipur Rajas

Pu, Semthong then married to Pi, Hoikhochin, the daughter of his uncle (songphute chanu). He established himself, the ablest chief in his family history as well as the history of the Haokip. The man, known for his witty remarks and valor with his nobility had prepared the royal acceptance as one of the great courtier in His Highness, Maharaja Churachand Singh. Under His Leadership and chiefship, the villager obtained highly praised. He was given a royal entourage, whenever a Durbar had to be held in Raja-Palace, Imphal. He was given a white Horse, to offend the royal highness meeting, devising, and socio-political atmospheres of the time, along with Political agents of the time.

Prior to the disruption of the British colonialist design on the Kuki Country, which the Kukis accounted it as their independence movement and maintained it as the second Kuki War of Independence, (PS Haokip, Zalengam, p.7), the first being, �The sepoy mutinee, wherein the Great leader who partook the struggle was interpreted him as �Kuki Raja Mangjahau�� (Helkholam, In Defence of Kuki, KSO, Megazine, 1972-73, vol 1, Issue 1, p. 5). The tiny princely state of Manipur was waging war or tribal wars with suktes (kamhao) and Lushei (Poites). To seal off the possible entrances of these intrusion, the king of Manipur curbed out, �Village sepoy,� taking due advantage of the Kukis openness and integrity, posting at different place to check the invaders or intruders.

The Raja of Manipur codified with the Kuki chiefs, to strengthen the age old relationship, issued out, 17, Double gun to Pu, Semthong, 1 Double gun to Pu Tongjalet and other chiefs got their due share to outstand the onslaught immanency of the Suktes and Poi�s intrusion. Pu Semthong Haokip was a great hunter and wild sport lovers. Time and again, he frequently brought the tusks of wild elephants, skins and teethes of lion and tigers presented the raja as trophies. It is an elderly recorded that, once, the Raja was presented a young Tiger, by Pu Semthong Haokip and His teams, the most brave one in the Raja Palace fled in fright, which made the teams child like laughter. The relationships were unscathed and unshattered till their last breathes. They became like one mother�s begotten sons. It was this loyalty and comradeship, that Pu Semthong decreed, the name Suongpi be named �Churachandpur� in commemoration of his royal friend, Maharaj Churachand Singh in the later year.

Manipur Princely State and the World War-I

The First World War was a shocking event in the history of the entire world. The repercussion waves reached even up to the peaceful hillocks in the princely state of Manipur. Compulsory recruitment of British Labour corps was made to serve the British stationed in France (Chinkhopao, Churachandpur-District, 1995, p.36). While this event has known to some as tuitaw galkap, for the Kukis in a larger park embraced it as-�the first kuki war of independence,� (P.S. Haokip, Zalen Gam, 1996, p.10), which was the opine of many kukis� scholars and researchers �the second kuki war of independence.�

The misconception of Pu Vumkhohau would not be great significant as per his indignation toward the term Kukis. It was an open rebellion culminating into the true reputation of one �egoism� and a shame to scholar like him in his misgiving to history. The comment of J.H. Hulton sufficed the worth of the thadou-Kukis who said, �I have seen the thadou, the more I have respected him and the better I have like him, for puck, intelligence, straightforwardness and cheerfulness, he stands high among his neighbours.� (Vumkhohau, History of Zomi ( Chin) Race, 1990, p.19)

In this great struggle for the preservation of Fatherland, the thadou speaking group and Zou speaking group partook to defense the advancing sporadic attacks of well armed British sepoy. One of the main reason for not responding the labour corps�s recruitment was due to the Old religious belief that, �The God of the Fore Father (Pu-Sa Pa-Sa) would not accompanied the lad that gone across the great ocean. Therefore the only option was, �better death with dignity in the Fatherland than in foreign land with self heaping shame. �The second reason was, �never in the life of a man, Kukis would not be coerced to do a manual job, which was regarded, the abstraction of one�s liberty and independence, better death than interred into estrange slavery.�

Manipur in the Post World War-II

The world war I came to ceded by 20th May 1919, with a larger lost of wealth and arms even men from the British side. As recorded by L.W. Shakespeare that 86 villages had been destroyed that crystalline the waging effort of Kukis� Heroes (P.S.Haokip, Zalen�gam, p. 10). The war with the Kukis brought more understanding from diverse angles. Dr. Crozier acted as a Government medical officer had came out with amore burdening vision to work among the Kukis. He started the first missionary dispensary and leper asylum at kanggui mission station on 7th November, 1919, (Kim Vaiphei, The Coming of Christianity in Manipur, p. 24).

In the political scene of South Manipur, the tide of enormous campaign against the British armies was waged. However, the two paramount chiefs, Pu. Semthong Haokip chief of Songpi and Pu. Tongzalet Haokip, Chief of Teiseng admittedly accorded with other Kins and relatives at Loikhai-Aggreement, on which Pu Tongjalet was the one who initiated the thwarting efforts by cutting mithun�s tail had later shrinked back knowing the British forces could not be evaded easily. Both are being the knightly reserved battalion had greatly shocked, the accords signatories (J. Haokip, Manipur�a Gospel leh Kukiho Thusim, 1984, p. 20). Some of their contemporary�s chiefs called them �a coward and womanliest acts� in abstaining from the independence war effort. However, in the present retrospection, Pu Semthong Haokip and Pu Tongjalet Haokip were wiser enough then their contemporary chiefs.

The ballad that insulted to Pu Semthong Haokip was: �Phung golla lang nadasah, chahtoi nou boh in bong in lunggin toi Sumthong.� The interpretation could be �You have been given a great difficulty to all your tribesmen, be broke like Chah trees, O respected tender Semthong.�

Another ballad had composed on Pu Semthong behest. �Veicha dalang saikon�a chen nih nasuhkhai ham mo, songpipa Semthong.� It nearest meaning �When on waging war the British army, you songpi chief have continually dress like a royal Durban attire.�

The ballad insulting, Pu Tongjalet Haokip run as; �Lamtuol cheng selmai satkon manglai long�e na ti me, teiseng Tongjalet.� It means �Don�t you promise to wage war against the British By cutting mithun�s tail, O Teiseng Tongjalet.

Another ballad for Pu Tongjalet: �Teiseng Tongjalet in bon mitin penna chassadpa, mang lamkai ja bol,� which says, �That, evan Teiseng Tongjalet himself prompts Chassad Chief who is the eldest of Haokip Clan, to wage war was against the Bristish, while he abstained from it.�

The wiser Haokip�s Chiefs got an invitation from the then S.D.O., B.C. Gasper in the year 1921 asking what treatment be given, owing to allegiance loyalty to him while others resisted the British force. He got the said, Landlord ship of Thangting ranges and Khuga valley, the vast land comprising-Khuga river in the east, Koite River, in the north, Thangting range in the west, Paldai in the south. Across the Koite River, it belonged to Pu Semthong duly recognized by the then British political agent at Imphal as well as the Raja of Manipur.

Manipur State Merger

History can never be erased. The meiteis in general and the Kuki in particular would not forget the discord about Manipur State Merger agreement. While the din of noises thronged the heart of Imphal city, calling attention to Raja Buddhachandra to sign the merger agreement, even threaten their king in consequences, the Kukis chiefs and warriors helped him guard his royal palace to oust the vox populi demand of signing merger accord. Who sold out Manipur princely state to the then Indian Union? Was it not Manipuri/meiteis? The Lhangsam in its editorial column noted that, �In the 1949 state merger issue it was the Kukis Chiefs who send 250 warriors to guard the palace gates to keep away Maharaja Buddhachandra from signing the merger agreement, which clearly indicates that the Kukis were the undoubted masters of Manipur Hills� (Lhangsam, September, 2003, vol.I, No.2).


In the present political scenario in this state, truth seems to wrap up and thrown in the deep blue sea. The princely state is disintegrated by some vested selfish organization in the name of Nationalism and self-determination. June 18 has become the apartheid tragedy in this political game, while September 13 had been totally discarded. The ratio of the death tool taken in these two incidents indicated that both the political clods of the separatist design to Manipur state disintegration. If June 18 can be potentially seen as heroic memoirs and had such a celebrated attention, then, September 13 is no less significant. Therefore, Manipur state government seems to acknowledge and consider the former of greater significant discounting the later as though the oozing blood of 87 Kukis innocents were brutally and inhumanly chopped off in Nagalim not in Manipur! This literate ignorance will further dissimilate and segregate Manipur national and state integrity rather than amended when it is amendable. Who will be the loser? Time and history will reveal the truth, if this delicate issue of September 13 is not carefully accounted by the present government. The Great and Mighty Kukis are at the brink of their breathe and the foul smell might entirely alter the ever thinning relationship and fragile trust between the Meiteis and Kukis in near future. It might become beyond toleration and which could be an Achilles� heels of Manipur capsizing trauma in to the deep blue sea of social chaos and unbridgeable. "Manipur mapan da leiba nataraga manungda leiba ichin-ineo eikhoi loinamak hangnase:" Who are the sons of Manipur and who sided with Manipur State Integrity?

The writer is a United States based research scholar. He can be reached at

Heal Dimapur takes the city by storm

Dimapur : “This is history in the making,” commented an elderly woman attending for the very first time the Heal Dimapur prayer meet on Tuesday. Heal Dimapur concluded the year’s last prayer meet with a fresh call to pray united prayers and to a lifestyle of repentance. Over two hundred gathered at the super market complex in front of Hotel Saramati including a few elders and young children. Speaking at the meet one of the core members reminded, “This is a spiritual warfare,” referring to the prayer movement. And therefore it is essential that people unite together in prayer regardless of the different denominational affiliations.

Heal Dimapur is inspired from II Chronicles 7:14 in the Scriptures that says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” This passage is also the foundation of what heal Dimapur hopes to achieve- that is the healing of the land.

“We need to pray in unity and we need to turn away from our sins,” a core team member reminded. “And as Christians we are the people of God, and when we do these two things we believe God will keep his word and heal the land. That is the vision of Heal Dimapur.”

Speaking with conviction the core member said, “Whatever problems we see in the natural world is because behind those problems there are spiritual problems, therefore we need to deal with the spiritual problems first if we want to see healing. There are a lot of people tackling the problems in the natural world but what we (Heal Dimapur) want to do is to go behind the scenes and tackle those unseen spiritual invisible forces. So what we are doing is spiritual warfare.”

He however reminded, “Spiritual warfare is not an end in itself. Spiritual warfare in itself does not bring transformation, what brings transformation is only the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the gospel that will bring transformation and change. Through prayer we want to pave the way for the gospel to come in and bring about transformation and change in this city.”

The passion at the prayer meet was evident as the gathering cried out in prayers for the healing of the land. “I am amazed to see so many young people who are so concerned for Dimapur,” said a passerby who later joined with the congregation. He added, “It is heartening that the young people are coming forward and initiating this movement, we all want to see healing come to Dimapur.”

The gathering, divided into two groups went for prayer walks around the super market complex. As they went along singing and worshipping and lifting hands in prayer, many people including the residents of the area looked on with curiosity.

“These young people of Dimapur are taking the city by storm,” said a senior citizen who watched the young people from across the road. On being asked his opinion about this movement he said, “I don’t know what this is going to achieve, but I have been inspired looking at their passion and concern over the negative things happening in our society.” “I hardly pray, but looking at them, I was inspired to pray. I hope we see brighter days for Dimapur town,” a shopkeeper at super market observed as prayer walks were said by the youths. Another attending the prayer meet for her first time said, “It was refreshing, I’m glad I was here.”

After the prayer walks the groups assembled together and said thanksgiving prayers. Heal Dimapur further informs that the next meet will be on February 6, 2009. During the month of January the core team members will be attending a prayer retreat for which the team requested prayers from all. Earlier Heal Dimapur expressed gratitude to Deputy Commissioner Dimapur, the Media, Crescendo, Mezzaforte Sound and everyone for their support.

Heal Dimapur does not belong to any one church or organization and has a core team of 7 members coming from different churches and ministries. It is a movement where concerned people have come together to pray for the healing of society. The core team is instrumental in organizing and mobilizing Christians in Dimapur to pray for the healing of the land.

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The Timeliness in the History of the Nagas

Standing at the threshold of the year 2009, we are in what might be called a “Post-Ambivalent” year in the life of the Nagas. The bygone cynicism and skepticism toward “Naga solidarity” will simply be a sad chapter of our national saga. Naga-Land today is no longer characterized by the past mind-set of cultural and political exclucivism. From all the Naga communities, as witnessed and attested on September 25, 2008, by 37 Naga tribes and other apex bodies, at the Sumi Baptist Church, Dimapur, the commanding mood of the Naga nation is created by the people. Coupled with this is the affirmation to Naga reconciliation by all the “Naga groups” and its leaders. This is historical. There is no turning back! Indeed, “The Timeliness in the History of the Nagas” is our newest song.

One important point should be written as our foot note: the FNR couldn’t agree more with the critics that soccer matches played, hoisting of white flags in homes, using car stickers, voluntarily, the United National Choir singing in churches, etc. have not deterred nor sealed violence. FNR has taken up the activities knowing fully that these are only means towards strengthening the reconciliation process in the Journey of Common Hope. To be sure, reconciliation is a process requiring tireless planning, executing, energizing and much more. The FNR is clear about this one thing: that the “FNR is not the only entity working for Naga reconciliation and as such we do not have a monopoly on reconciliation. FNR acknowledges the various individuals, Hohos, organizations and the Church for their undiminished commitment to the Naga reconciliation, unity and peace.”

Moving away from the footnote, we now move out into where violence and tears, and sweat, and screams, and curses, and bitterness, and suspicions, and anger are still real. There is no way on earth that the element of our personal reconciliation with God, our prayers and piety can be the exclusive quality of being a Christian.

A sign of demise of theology in our contemporary context is, Christians often cringe and withdraw. Can the “Queen of Sciences” (During the Middle Ages theology was given the highest honor in the world of academia) live up to its honor by knowing and living that the good news of Christ’s message must sometimes be made in agony, in the circles of hardships, danger, blood and death; and in being with the “rebels,” and the tax collectors, outcasts and sinners? Are we forgetting the Cross of Christ for ‘one’s respectability’ through our silence? Have we ever pondered that our “politeness” to safeguard the purity of the Gospel from “meddling in politics” may well be the greatest pro status quo political statement ever made?

In recent history, Nagas have been deeply wounded by the conflicts. Many people have become apathetic, while some are caught up in the vicious cycle of hatred, anger, and revenge, many simply walk away. Still, some say, “all efforts towards Naga reconciliation are futile.” During the Guatemalan conflict in South America, a priest wrote these lines: “I can deal with persecution by the military and the state. But the fact that some of my fellow people are against me hurts me more deeply than anything else.”

The most painful hurts always come from within. Jesus suffered that despair also. In the darkness of the grave He embraced the despair that existed among His own followers, and among His own people, in His own body. We are tempted to run away and say, “I don’t want to be connected with that body because it is still broken and it’s too much to deal with.”

But we are called to be a community in solidarity. We are called to be together, in a fellowship of the wounded and broken to proclaim the “acceptable year of the Lord.”

The year 2009 must renew the people living in Naga-Land. The Cross of Christ is a powerful reminder to us that from a place of despair God speaks to us about hope. From the place of disappointments, of broken relationships, of hopelessness, Jesus emerges to accompany us as we journey on. Even though we are often downcast, Jesus always speaks of hope. And this hope is different from optimism. Optimism arranges reality in a way that enables us to say things will get better based on chances. The hope for the Nagas is built upon the promise that whatever happens, God will stay with us at all times, in all places. God is the God of life. We are called to be a people of hope. Together, we can face our despairs. Together too, we can find the Risen Lord, emerged from the tomb of despair, ready once again to love us first. In embracing us, Jesus gives us hope we need to live the life He has given us, in this world of ours.
Let the year 2009 be for us to share and experience this hope.


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The Zoramthanga Cabinet on May 30 made a landmark decision to separate the judiciary from the executive

The Gauhati High Court’s interim order of June 13 that directed the Mizoram government not to arrest or deport any Indian national under the Inner Line Permit(ILP) Regulation evoked state-wide protest in Mizoram. After an all-party meeting convened by State Home Minister Tawnluia, a state-wide protest day was organised on June 26 against the HC order. Later on August 27, the High Court issued final judgment on the British-time law in favour of Mizoram.

August 6, 2008 will be well recorded in the history of Mizoram politics as this day saw the formation of the United Democratic Alliance under the leadership of former chief minister and Mizoram People’s Conference patriarch 86-year-old Brig T Sailo. Apart from T Sailo’s MPC, the UDA had Lalduhoma-led Zoram Nationalist Party and farmers’ organisation Zoram Kuthnathawktu Pawl led by Thanbanglova under its fold.

On August 28, the state government announced last pay recommendation based on one-step-up policy with high hope that this would ultimately appease all the agitating government employees. The hope proved false as the employees’ agitation went on till the announcement of the State Assembly elections on October 14. Making a complete U-turn, the Zoramthanga Cabinet on September 1 created three new districts Hnahthial, Saitual and Khawzawl. People of Hnahthial had been undertaking massive agitations demanding the district whereas Saitual and Khawzawl made no such stirs. The creation of the new districts was seen as the election-oriented move of the MNF. September 2 witnessed a sad incident for Mizoram as the Indian Reserve Battalion personnel were ambushed by Hmar militants in Mizoram’s soil leaving four IR personnel killed. A mind-boggling financial racket known as Chiahpuam bank will also red-mark the year in the history of Mizoram. The pyramid financial scam crashed with the disappearance of the kingpin H Lalmuanpuii on November 2. The arrest of the kingpin on November 8 did not prove a solution to the scam that involved around Rs 30,000 lakhs. The case is still on.

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi visited Mizoram on November 21, 25 and 28 respectively for election campaigns. (UNI)

Movement against human rights violation gains momentum in Manipur

Imphal: Its the new forms of expressing anguish and campaign against human rights violations in Manipur.

The state of Manipur, hit in the recent past by various cases of violation against human rights including human trafficking of women and children, has taken to mass awareness of the people regarding violations of human rights rather than protest or raise voice in the aftermath of the incident.

And interestingly this has been done in the form of painting and photo exhibition competitions besides photo exhibitions on human rights violation including trafficking of women and children. On the occasion of the International fortnight observation against crime and violence on women and children, the Women Action for Development (WAD) on December 7 had organised a one day state level painting competition on the theme of "Child trafficking" at the Rose Garden, Khuman Lampak which was reportedly participated by over hundreds of students from class VII-X.

Speaking to the media, spokesperson of the WAD while disclosing the objective of the competition maintained that such observations would spread awareness among the people on the increasing violence against women and children. Further reminding of the trafficking cases that have hit the state in the recent past, the spokesperson opined that such competitions could aware the people of such cases which includes harassment, forced prostitution and even trafficking of children and women, stated the reports. (NNN)

Manipur militants want clean educational institutes

Imphal: Joint Task Force (JTF) Human Resource, jointly formed by the militants United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) in order to monitor any flaw in various institutions including educational institutions, has informed to award punishment to any person polluting these institutions in Manipur.

In relation with their task the JTF rounded up 15 students of Kanan Devi Memorial School on Monday and awarded a light punishment, ten canings each, on charges of assaulting the school bus driver and an attempted assault to one of the teachers.

Speaking to media persons somewhere in Thoubal district the commander of the JTF Lamjinba informed that the incident took place on December 11, 2008 when 17 students assaulted the driver who tried to prevent an assault to one of the teachers of the school at Khurai in Imphal East district.

The commander further revealed the incident started from the school the same day during the ongoing pre-final test for class 12 standard of the school.

The families of the 15 (fifteen) students had been informed to compensate the injured driver who has been hospitalized after the severe beating before or on January 5, 2009, informed the militant commander and has directed the other two students who were not present on Monday to surrender by January 2, 2009. Lamjingba informed that appropriate form of punishments would be provided to any one polluting learning institutions and that the JTF will continue their task to track down such flow from time to time.

Accident killed one in Kohima

Kohima: At least one person was killed while eight others seriously injured as the truck in which they were traveling capsized along the Nagaland Secretariat Road, Kohima on Monday at around 1:30 pm.

Sources revealed that the deeper truck (NL01-A-7484) carrying firewood from Kohima to Secretariat along with seven labourers and one of their in-charge overturned before reaching the destination. (NNN)

Militant nabbed

Imphal: Troops of Assam Rifles on Monday nabbed a cadre of People United Liberation Front at Singga, Thoubal district.

The militant was identified as Md Sanayai and was handed over to Yairipok police.

Meanwhile, two youths, shot dead by a combined force last evening at Leimakhong, were identified as Salam Jingo (36) of Sagolband and Soibam Baocha (24) of Sega road, police said. (UNI)

Human rights activist meets Irom Sharmila

Imphal: Proclaiming that hunger striker Irom Chanu Sharmila who has been fast-unto-death agitation, has chosen the right path of democratic protest, Dr. Sandeep Pandey, National co-ordinator of National Alliance for People’s Movement referred to her as the living Gandhi.

Stating further that Sharmila has been eight years into the hunger strike, Dr. Pandey also called upon the people of the state to support her stance.

Visiting the ‘iron lady’ on Monday evening at the Jawahar Lal Nehru (JN) hospital in Porompat, Imphal East where Sharmila is under custody of the state government on charges of suicide attempt and is being nose fed, Dr. Pandey held that the one of the prior duty of the state government was to solve the problems of the people of the state and bring peace. Enforcing draconian law such as the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, AFSPA in the state would only add to the problem of the state, observed the noted human rights activist and opined that political dialogue could help solve the problem.

It is sad that the Union and Manipur governments are still silent on this draconian law of AFSPA in the state, lamented Dr. Pandey.

Extending his support in the fight against AFSPA, Dr. Pandey reminded that seven members from the National Alliance for People’s Movement had participated in the 5 days fasting organised by the Manipur Forward Youth Front (MAFYF) sometimes back. (NNN)

2008: A year of political upheaval in Mizoram

Aizawl: The year 2008 saw a storming comeback of the Congress in Mizoram after ten years of hibernation.

2008 witnessed a series of political activities and developments in Mizoram throughout the year. In the administration, it saw non-stop agitations of government employees who were demanding pay parity.

As the year started, Mizoram was greeted by acute rice shortage particularly in the rural areas following the cyclic gregarious bamboo flowering locally referred to as Mautam that hit the state the previous year. The bamboo flowering, which occurred every 48 years, resulted in the multiplication of rats that attacked standing rice.

Church organisations, NGOs and global agencies came to the rescue even as the ruling Mizo National Front, which happened to be an offspring of previous Mautam in the late 1950s, was scathingly attacked as failing to combat the famine despite central fund of Rs 125 crore for the purpose. Fortunately, there was no starvation death following the Mautam famine. According to official reports, as many as 1,41,825 families in rural Mizoram were more or less affected by the Mautam.

Mautam issue went on to become one of the major poll planks of the Congress in the run-up to the December 2 State Assembly polls.

May 15 was a red-letter day for the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee as the John Lalsangzuala-led Mizoram Congress Party came back to the parent party after three years of rebellion. Subsequently, the two MCP legislators elected with the support of ruling MNF, resigned.

Khandu lodges protest with Gogoi over checkgate demolition

Itanagar/Lakhimpur: The demolition of a checkgate erected by Arunachal Pradesh in Assam’s Lakhimpur district by police and forest department personnel on Monday led Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu to lodge a protest with his Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi.

Official sources said the demolition in Lakhimpur took place in the presence of an executive magistrate while people from Arunachal Pradesh armed with bows, arrows and sticks attacked a forest department office there. Three of the attackers have been arrested.

Khandu told reporters in Itanagar that about 100 policemen from Assam forcibly entered Gumto village on the inter-state border early on Monday and took away valuables of the villagers after beating them up and ransacking their homes.

Stating that he had requested Gogoi to ensure that such attacks did not recur, he said Home Minister Garban Gamlin will visit the area tomorrow to take stock of the situation. The decade-old Assam-Arunachal boundary problem has become the bone of contention for the people living in the border areas as they were always being targeted by Assam officials in the name of eviction. Many such incidents of harassment were being reported in earlier years with the state government appealing the neighbouring state for corrective measures but without any positive results.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal Kiren Rijiju in an emergency meeting with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram strongly protested and lodged a complaint against the act of perpetrators by the officers of Assam Police for commiting crime against the innocent people of Gumto Village.

The BJP MP asked the home minister for immediate intervention of the Centre to take necessary action against the erring officials including Lakhimpur DC, SP, divisional forest officer, ADC, ADSP and circle officers involved in the demolition drive.

Mr Chidambaram, however, assured Mr Rijiju that a report would be sought immediately and necessary action would be initiated, sources informed.

Khandu said a one man commission appointed by the Supreme Court is currently going into the inter-state boundary dispute and the Assam government should ensure that such incidents do not take place in the future. In 1999 an agreement was signed between then Assam chief minister Hiteswar Saikia and his Arunachal counterpart Gegong Apang that no checkgate would be set up on the border in Assam territory, official sources in Assam said. (PTI)

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UN General Assembly isn’t the right forum

By Nehginpao Kipgen

In a vote of 80 to 25 with 45 abstentions, the UN General Assembly on 24 December 2008 adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations by the Burmese military regime. The resolution called for the release of over 2,100 political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

The world’s highest body criticized the military regime’s political road-map “are not transparent, inclusive, free and fair, and that the procedures established for the drafting of the (country’s new) constitution resulted in the de facto exclusion of the opposition from the process.”

The General Assembly also expressed concerns over “continuing practice of enforced disappearances, use of violence against peaceful demonstrators, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.”

The Burmese military, to nobody’s surprise, categorically rejected the resolution by accusing the Assembly of making a “blatant interference” in its internal political process. The regime in a direct challenge to the international community said it is not bound by the resolution.

The Burmese Government’s representative told the Assembly that the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has made a significant political progress and the country is on its way to having a multi-party general election in 2010, the fifth stage of the seven-step roadmap toward a democratic transition.

The absence of international community’s coordinated approach was again witnessed. Of the 10 ASEAN members, in which Burma is also a member, 4 members - Brunei Darussalam, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam - voted against the resolution. Other 4 members - Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand - abstained from voting; Cambodia was not present for the vote.

While western countries, including the United States, supported the General Assembly’s motion, Burma was once again defended by two of UN Security Council permanent members – China and Russia.
India voted against the resolution, while Israel and Japan voted in favour of the resolution. Zimbabwe, a country which is also under the radar screen of the United Nations, unsurprisingly defended Burma by voting against the resolution.

Resolutions in the UN General Assembly are largely symbolic and are not binding. Successive resolutions have been passed and statements have been released since 1991 by different UN agencies with little or no impact on the military regime.

This resolution of the General Assembly, like in the past, will gradually die down after making some news headlines. One significant consequence though is that the Burmese democratic movement is still a concern to the international community.

The UN Security Council on 11 October 2007 issued a Presidential Statement calling for the military regime to release all political prisoners and “create the necessary conditions for a genuine dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all concerned parties and ethnic groups in order to achieve an inclusive national reconciliation with the direct support of the United Nations.” That too was not followed up with any concrete action.

UN resolutions and statements have not deterred the military from pursuing its agenda. UN special envoys come and go without achieving any substantive results. Effective UN intervention would happen when a binding resolution can be passed by the Security Council.

Article 41 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter states that: “The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures…...”
For any Security Council binding resolution to happen, the support of the five permanent members is necessary. This is why the Burmese military leaders have been vigorously wooing the support of China and Russia by strengthening economic and military ties, among others.

Without Security Council’s endorsement, resolutions and statements by the different UN agencies, including the General Assembly, would remain a paper tiger. The good offices of the Secretary General also has limited roles, and the Secretary General himself is as frustrated as anyone.
If there is no change in the veto power system, a unilateral action could be one other option to look into. If neither of the two actions are initiated, the international community should explore other possible pragmatic strategies.

The UN General Assembly is not the right forum that can deliver change in Burma.

Nehginpao Kipgen is the General Secretary of US-based Kuki International Forum ( and a researcher on the rise of political conflicts in modern Burma (1947-2004).

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CBI branch coming up at Imphal

IMPHAL, Dec 30: A branch office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be opened in the State shortly, informed a reliable source. The CBI branch office which is most likely to be located at Lamphelpat here would be headed by a Superintendent.

The branch office will also have sub-ordinate officers like Deputy Superin- tendents, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Assistant Sub-Inspectors, prosecutors and the necessary staff.
The Union Government has already approved the proposed CBI branch at Imphal. The new initiative is aimed at expediting disposition of various criminal and corruption cases, disclosed the source. The CBI branch office which is planned for expansion in the next couple of months would also handle cases in Nagaland. It is also likely that the same branch office would cover Mizo-ram.

It is expected that once the CBI branch office at Imphal is materialised, the central investigating agency might take up suo moto cases with regard to killing people by security forces in alleged fake encounters which have become daily occurrence in the State, conveyed the source.

At present, the CBI is handling some sensitive cases such as the kidnapping and killing of baby Lungnila Elizabeth and the murder of Manoj Sethi who dealt in fabrics and clothes at Imphal. More recently, the case relating to the killing of the Imphal Free Press sub-editor Konsam Rishikanta was also handed over to the CBI. The Congress led SPF Govt handed over the case to CBI after a prolonged agitation by journalists of the State in November this year.

Konsam Rishikanta was found shot dead near the second home of Sangai at Langol on November 17.

Source: The Sangai Express

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Muslim extremists claim Jesus Christ would have been locked up in prison

IF JESUS were alive today, he would be behind bars, Muslim extremists are claiming. A post on claims that the Son of God would be locked up under anti-terror laws, and would have been extradited to Palestine by the British government.

Last night Bishop Joe Aldred, chairman of Birmingham’s Council of Black Led Churches, described the rant as “political opportunism” and urged communities to work together against extremism.

The radical website is run by Anjem Choudary, aged 41, the former UK head of banned Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, and is popular with young Muslims in the Midlands.

Choudary, who once called for the Pope to be assassinated, was secretly filmed at an Alum Rock youth centre in February, preaching hatred against “unbelievers” and calling for violent Sharia law to be introduced on the streets of Birmingham.

At the bottom of the rant on the website, Choudary encourages readers to get in touch with him, and even leaves his mobile phone number.

The message, posted just days before Christmas, says: “We can envisage that if alive in the UK today, Jesus would undoubtedly have supported the struggle of the indigenous people in Afghanistan and Iraq, as opposed to the capitalist driven US-led alliance.

“As such, and being a Syrian or Palestinian refugee in the UK, he would also have been subjected to a loyalty and allegiance test to ensure that he put Britain and its Prime Minister Brown before God. He would also have been, no doubt, interned under Britain’s new terrorism laws.

“Or maybe he would have been kidnapped by MI5 or Special Branch to be flown on one of their notorious rendition flights, then held hostage and tortured like so many other Muslims in Guantanamo Bay.”

Radical preacher Choudary was a central figure in al-Muhajiroun, which was established by his Islamist mentor Sheikh Omar Bakri.

Earlier this year the Sunday Mercury exposed secret footage of a speech Bakri made calling for the beheading of British servicemen, which is thought to have inspired last year’s terror plot in Birmingham.

The website goes on to claim that Jesus was a Muslim and would have been branded a radical by the British government.

“Jesus was indeed a Muslim and like the Muslims today, called mankind to obey the law of God as opposed to the law of man,” it reads.

“Just as the Muslims in the UK insist that their allegiance is to God alone, similarly Jesus asked his people to obey his Lord as opposed to weak men like Gordon Brown and George Bush, who follow nothing but their own whims and desires.”

Bishop Aldred said he believed religious groups could not be divided by radicals.

“I am immensely proud that here in Birmingham I work with colleagues who are leaders of all the major faiths present in this city,” he said. “We get along in honest friendliness, and encourage our followers to do the same.

“Simply by being people of faith, we have more in common than what divides us. And there is so much that we can achieve in cooperation with one another than we ever could in perennial antagonism.

“We must never give in to political opportunism masquerading as religious truth, from wherever it comes.”


Women on the frontline

By: David Buhril

Women in the hills of Manipur have been silently braving the frontline of conflicts and all sorts of human rights violations that affects them directly as well as indirectly. In any conflict situation, women and girls becomes more vulnerable even when the entire community suffers the consequences of the spillover of the conflict.
It is estimated that close to 90 per cent of current war casualties are civilians, the majority of whom are women and children, compared to a century ago when 90 per cent of those who lost their lives were military personnel.

In Churachandpur district of Manipur, women and girls, no doubt, are the most affected by the decades of violence and instability both from the state as well as non-state actors. The appalling statistic of women as victims is also the same in Chandel district. Very recently, with the state sponsored military operation that was designed to flush out the militants from different parts of Manipur, women ultimately emerged as the silent bearer of the burden brunt. They composed the larger number of affected people who were displaced, traumatised, rape, and molested. Unfortunately, the record also shows women and girls who were also maimed and paralysed by landmines. After many breadwinners in the family have fallen prey to weapons of civilian destruction, be it small arms, landmines and IEDs, women took the responsibilities of shouldering the role and responsibilities of the head of the family. Imagine the situation of woman like Rami, wife of (L) Hrangkunglien, who was killed on December 29,2005 in Thanlon sub-division after stepping on the landmine. Rami is now compelled to play the role of a father and mother to her six young children. Rami also lost one of her sons, Alfred Lalditum (14) to landmines in June 2006 on the same date that his father died. That reduced her children to six from seven. There are many other women who are nursing, if not the absence, their handicapped husband and children. They are assuming the key role of ensuring family livelihood in the midst of chaos and destruction. In the midst of absence and patriarchal ignorance. Societal ignorance. Government’s ignorance. And everyone’s ignorance. But they are the pillar of the life that follows.

The deserted Lungthulien village, Tipaimukh, in February 2006, was not a desired place for refuge at night. It was visibly dormant with fears and tears. The remaining souls who did not flee to Mizoram fumed with anger and helplessness. The question and concern for security suddenly becomes a big quest. That is when I found myself making new room for regrets. Sometimes helplessness is regretting. One breadwinners I met shiver in anger. He told us he could not even think of leaving the village because the family was too poor. Two of his daughters were raped. He was always reduced to tears. His wife and children watched him in utter surprise. Surprise that the family’s pillar was melting. Gasping for words in the big space where everything seem to be absent. The absence in that space compelled me to interrogate whether I am still man or human. When, whatever little I was and I am fades to a corner, where I was further reduced to become smaller, the remainder was all that I could summon to wrap the being I must be. The little remainder in the little man was put to test. The mighty man is a strong myth. And man is a mite. That corner, pregnant with the absence of everything, is a place I did not desire to belong. However, that is reality for them as well as for me. The villagers gruesome experience weakened me like nothing ever before. The self is too small. Too little. Too lonely. The mighty David and Goliath, although famed for their courage and bravery, have thousands of martyrs standing behind them. Achilles too. But what about our suffering women? They turned back to find themselves alone.

When the strong weary arms with revealing veins were uncontrollably drying their eyes, the bearer of the lost rib, woman again, towered with hope and strength. I saw that in Tipaimukh villages. The Eves of David and Goliath. In that situation, where hope fades, she was the only visible being one can find to rely on. He was true, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Man cannot. He will never be alone. I wonder how and why man dare call her a “weaker” creature. She was designed with His own hands. She was breathed to life with the one rib out of sleeping Adam. She was a creation of the best rib in His own hands. In Lungthulien, when the 36 ribs turned brittle, the last one that was stolen after the week lorded with the Word, it was her. I don’t know if it was another Columbus wrong findings again to call her weaker, but what I have, for few good times, experienced has negated and deconstructed the notion and belief of the existence of “weaker sex.”

When hopelessness and anger had silenced him, the “weaker sex” surfaced to represent the voice and identity of the Tipaimukh Adams who were victimised on all front. If all the might, strength and courage are stuffed into what “man” is, I tell you, she is a man. She owns that. She fanned her man alive with strength and courage. Clothed him from the naked absence of everything. Man never realised that he was naked. She made him regained his lost senses and reason. She is not just a wife with the womb. She is life in herself. When loss multiplies in abundance, innocence raped, and blood flows to only dry, she came to the rescue. She speaks out. She fed us. She bears all the pain to speak more. Words will find them soon. For any man is her son. The stolen rib is stronger.
However, the absence of women at the peace-negotiating table or in any decision-making process is undeniable even when they are in the frontline of all forms of victimisation. There are reports and cases of them getting harassed and victimised by the authorities in their quest to get the promised compensation and other Leviathan’s promises that was made for their departed loved ones. Then, there are hundreds of women and girls who were displaced by the threats, tensions and insecurities that gripped their villages. As a rule of thumb, more than 75 per cent of displaced people are women and children, and in some refugee populations they constitute 90 percent. This displacement further exposed women and girls to various unwanted environments where they continue to step into another chapter of conscious and unconscious victimisation.

The talk about peace, justice, rights, etc are a mute tirade for the suffering women who are further disgraced and humiliated by the State as well as the perpetrators. The space for respect of women is lost. The State as well as different institutions again failed in the confidence building process and other healing process that ought to wrap the aftermath of their sufferings. When progress and development are transforming the lives of women in different parts of the world, our women are transformed to a reduced state where they suffer as victims and are also burdened with the changing role and responsibilities, that of the head of family.

There is a demanding need to examine conflict from a gender perspective. These conflicts weaken social relations and decreases communication and cooperation between the victims as well as the state and other institutions. Suffering women in Manipur, as a group, are structurally disadvantaged, have less access to resources, and have to carry the burden of reproductive work too. Their rights are often given less weight than those of men and they are marginalised in decision-making processes. Today our suffering women require empowerment gained through their rights at least as victims. They need collective support. You and me. The government. Church and other NGOs. Media. And they need hope. All the more there is a need to stress and ascribe importance to women’s human rights, coping strategies in conflict by taking into account security and protection of women. War and conflicts touched women’s life and shatter them. It never lifts them.

Tribal Politics in Indo-Myanmar Frontier Region

By: T.Siamchinthang

The use of tribal names as political party names could serve as a fragmentation factor of the society. The Paite National Council (PNC) from the Saikal area in Mizoram sent a member to the Mizoram Legislative Assembly. Mizoram State is a melting pot of the Zo people. The population of Mizoram are the descendents of Ciimnuai, Lai, and Bochung.

Other Zo people such as Sho or Mru(Myo) also settled in Mizoram. Will the PNC member in the Mizoram Legislative Assembly be concerned only with the affairs of the Paite? The name suggests so. If each other clan groups formed a party such as the Hmar, Sailo, Zahau, Lai, Hualngo, Haokip, Mara, Chawngthu, Lakher, Khumi, Matu, etc. the Mizoram political landscape will look like a land divided into endless people.

One clan will be suspicious of the other. Every clan would fight for their benefit and there could be no progress,economic or otherwise.

This applies also to the Zomi National Congress in the Tedim district, which competed in the 1990 general election.

Would the ZNC member in Burmese Parliament concern with the people who designated themselves as "Zomi" only?

That is the problem in Manipur. The authorities recognized each tribal group. In Churachanpur or Lamka district the authorities recognized the
Paite,Vaiphei, Hmar, Mizo, Thado or Kuki, and Zo, etc. as tribal groups.

Other smaller tribal groups or clans sought recognition thereby making themselves different from other groups so that they could be recognized by the Indian government as tribal groups. In the Lamka district the Paite and the Thado or Kuki are the most numerous tribal groups.

The Paite and the Kuki parties therefore were elected to the Manipur
Legislative Assembly year after year.

After becoming members in the Legislative Assembly any fund available for development projects in the district were given to the people who elected them. Whereas the Paite and the Kuki people generously benefited from grants from the central government, the smaller communities Vaiphei, Lusei, Hmar, etc.went empty handed. Because of this the Paite dominated the Lamka district that created animosity against the Paite by smaller communities.

The Paite simply wrote directions in the hospital and public places in Paite dialects although the Paite dialect had not been recognized as the common language. Even the name Lamka was a name recognized by all tribal groups, however the name was slowly changed to Churachanpur, the former name of the government quarter,because the smaller communities hate the dominance of the Paite group and refused to call by the Paite name. The Paite also used Zomi exclusively for themselves and the word Zomi is identified to mean those who are called Paite.

Similarly the Thado, who adopted the Bengali name Kuki, always attempted the recognition of their dominance since India's independence. None of the other tribal groups adopted the name Kuki and refused the Thado dialect as the common language although the Thado consistently promote the Thado dialect o become the common language of the Zo people in Manipur. The communal war between the Paite and the Kuki was the outcome of this pervasive tribal chauvinism of the Paite and Kuki groups.

Not only the communal war between the Paite and the Kuki, the Naga took advantage of the fragmentation of the Zo people and they knew the Kuki position in the Zo community. Therefore the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) launched a civil war against the Kuki, driving the Kuki out of their habitatfrom the northern districts of Manipur rendering over 100 000 Kuki landless and homeless. It was understood that had the Kuki not adopted a foreign name and had sought cooperation with other Zo groups, they would not have been harmed by NSCN.

Dairy Development in hill districts of Manipur

New Delhi, December 29 2008: THE COMMISSIONER of Animal Husbandry and Diary, Government Manipur I S Laishram here today said that the Intensive Diary Development Programme (IDDP) would be extended in all five hill districts of Manipur namely Ukhrul, Chandel, Churachandpur , Tamenglong and Senapati districts.

The cost of the project was about Rs 30 crore.

It was finalized today in a meeting held at the Krishi Bhawan here with the Union Joint Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Dilip Rath.

Laishram accompanied the Managing Director of the Manipur Milk Producers Union Th Santikumar in the meeting.

Laishram said that the five hill districts would be covered under the phase III of the programme.

Under the IDDP Phase I, the Central Diary Plant at Porompat was developed.

The four valley districts namely Imphal East , Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur districts were already covered under the IDDP Phase II.

He further stated that the pattern of funding would be 100% grant-in-aid basis from the Central Government to the State Milk Federation or District Milk Union.

The State Government would borne the expenditures for cost of land for chilling centres, dairy plants, liquid nitrogen plants, cattle feed storage go-downs, establishment of cattle/buffalo farms; provision of water and electricity connection; and salary of project implementation and monitoring staff.

The project would be implemented by the Manipur Milk Producers Union in view of their expertise and professionalism.

The Centre would release the fund directly to the implementing agency for speedy and timely implementation of the project.

The objectives of the Intensive Dairy Development Programme (IDDP) are development of milch cattle; increase milk production by providing technical input services; procurement, processing and marketing of milk in a cost effective manner; ensure remunerative prices to the milk producers; generate additional employment opportunities; and improve social, nutritional and economic status of residents of comparatively more disadvantaged areas.

It may be mentioned that the role of dairy development in increasing milk production, improving the nutritional standards of the people, generating direct and indirect employment opportunities and improving income level in rural areas, especially for small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers has been well established.

The implementation of Operation Flood (OF) programme undertaken by the Centre had revealed that linking of milksheds /milk production areas to the urban markets pays rich dividends through increased availability of milk to the urban consumers and remunerative return to the rural milk producers through cooperative infrastructure.

During Operation Flood implementation period, the dairy development activities in the non-operation flood, hilly and backward areas which have comparatively lesser potential for milk production were carried out by the State Governments under the State Plan Schemes.

However, due to limited resources of the State Governments, the Central Government felt that there was a strong need on the part of Government of India to support efforts of the State Governments in taking up dairy development activities in these areas.

Accordingly, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying under the Ministry of Agriculture had launched a scheme entitled 'Integrated Dairy Development Project (IDDP) in Non-Operation Flood, Hilly and Backward Areas' on 100% grant-in-aid basis during the 8th Plan period and later on, it was renamed as Intensive Dairy Development Programme (IDDP).

The proposal to further continue the scheme in the XIth Plan period had been considered by Government of India.

Source: Hueiyen News Service / Manipur Information Centre

NE youths in Delhi suffer harassment at work

New Delhi, December 29 2008: A HELP centre for northeastern youths living in Delhi and neighbouring areas says every week it receives three to four complaints about people being harassed at work and given the pink slip without prior notice.

The Northeast Support Centre (NSC) is flooded with complaints, particularly from those working in the BPO and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) sectors in places like Gurgaon and Noida in the national capital region.

"The support centre has been receiving three-four complaints about northeastern youth being asked to leave their job by the management without any notice every week.

Educated but in search for better opportunities and far away from home, they don't know who to turn to and approach us," Madhu Chandra of the NSC told IANS.

This reflects a disturbing trend for the hundreds of northeastern youth coming to the capital every year looking for better opportunities.

The Delhi-NCR area has nearly 85,000 people from the northeast.

More than 4,000 northeastern youth take admission to various undergraduate and other courses in Delhi University alone every year.

Chandra said they have registered two sexual harassment cases this year.

But the number of complaints of people being asked to leave their job without any notice has been phenomenal.

This, however, is not a recent trend.

Girija Vyas, chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), said the commission had written to the BPOs after receiving a number of complaints from northeastern women.

"Last year the commission has taken notice of a number of northeastern women being harassed by the management and asked to resign without notice in BPOs.

We had thereafter written to the BPOs asking them to frame proper guidelines and strictly implement them.

"However, these problems have started cropping up again.

We will have to take a serious look at it," Vyas told IANS.

While the management in most of the BPOs refuse to comment on the issue beyond refusing the allegations, some former employees from the northeast confirm them.

"Initially my team leader was very nice to me.

He helped me settle down in the new environment and used to crack jokes, but after some time there was a strange change in his behaviour," said Lesly Singha from Mizoram who was given the pink slip from a BPO in Gurgaon three months ago.

"The last straw was when he started asking me come down to his place when his wife was not around, following which I gave him a piece of my mind.

Since then he made my life hell�my report started looking bad and finally I was asked to leave.

And I couldn't do a thing," she said.

In December last year, the NSC received a complaint from a girl from Manipur working as a receptionist in a private company in Gurgaon that her boss molested her in office.

One of the main problems in curbing the continuing problem, according to Chandra, is that mostly people don't want to register their complaints.

"Most of these youngsters for whom this is the first time away from home don't want to register their complaints because they think it would be an invitation to more trouble.

"Strangers in a new place, they would rather let the situation be and live in peace than take up the matter, go to the police if necessary and bring the wrongdoers to book," he said.

"This however doesn't help in putting an end to this problem.

Sexual harassment and harassment at the hands of landlords similarly continue to be a big issue with northeastern youth because they generally don't want to register FIRs," Chandra added.

Lansinglu Rongmei, who hails from Nagaland and is a lawyer based in Delhi, said no one - not the members of the Parliament from the northeastern states or even the NCW - wants to take up such issues seriously.

"Until these youth come forward to take up their own cause, nothing is going to change.

The awareness drives are there, but you have to realise that only you can ensure that you are not exploited - just like the two Manipuri girls who decided to speak up after being molested by their landlord in Gurgaon this month," she said.

Source: Hueiyen News Service / From Agencies

India looked at military option after Mumbai carnage

New Delhi, Dec 28 (PTI) India considered using its military might against terrorists operating from Pakistani soil as the year, which also saw the Navy flexing its muscles in the international waters to check piracy, came to a close.

Though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh categorically stated that India did not want a war with Pakistan, the government had looked at the military option in the wake of the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks.

As the armed forces geared up along the western borders and the Line of Control, the Navy projected its strength when it went pro-active against the audacious pirates off Somali coast in November.

The Navy's sinking of a pirate vessel sent out a strong message to the world of India's resolve to root out the menace that has threatened sea lanes vital for global trade.

A government decision on October 23 gave powers to the Navy to act against the sea bandits, who had hijacked over 100 ships this year, and in the two months since then, the warships have successfully repulsed three attacks on merchant vessels and nabbed 23 pirates.

The IAF, on its part, showcased it strategic reach by flying Su-30 MKI air superiority fighter jets and IL-78 air-to-air refuellers to NATO air exercise 'Red Flag' in the US to pit its pilots and machines against air forces of the US, France and South Korea in September, and came out with flying colours. PTI

NE News | Assamese-origin girl lends name to asteroid

GUWAHATI: An asteroid has been named after an 18-year old Assamese-origin girl Nandini Sarma for winning the first place in a science project which advocates garlic as a replacement for syntehtic chemical food preservatives.

The asteroid, discovered on November 21, 2000 by the Lincoln Laboratory Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) team in Socorro, USA, has been named as 23228 Nandinisarma.

LINEAR, a programme of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in collaboration with US Science Service and with the approval of International Astronomical Association has named the asteroid as an honour to her for winning the first place in the 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her microbiology project.

Nandini, an American citizen, has been conducting research to find solutions to common health hazards and her prize-winning research focussed on natural food preservatives. She has proved that garlic can effectively replace synthetic chemical preservatives.

Nandini, currently visiting her grandparents at Pathshala in Barpeta district, said she was happy with the honour. Her father Girish is the chief scientist of a US company. (PTI)

Pro-talks faction sets deadline for ULFA

Guwahati: The pro-talks faction of the ULFA which is comprised of cadres and leaders of the ‘Alfa" and "Charlie’ companies of the outfit’s 28th battalion has set December 31 as the deadline for the top leaders of the outfit to take a decision to hold dialogue with the Government of India.

The leader of the pro-talks faction of the ULFA, Mrinal Hazarika said over the last six months the pro-talks faction had rounds of discussions with people from all walks of life in Assam including social leaders, intellectuals exploring ways for a solution to the vexed insurgency problem.

"On the basis of our parleys with people, we have appealed to the top leaders of the ULFA to come forward for unconditional peace talks with the Government of India bowing to the wishes of the peace-loving people of the state. They have to take a decision by December 31, else we will be forced to take our own decision," he said.

About 150 cadres from pro-talks faction of the ULFA are now lodged in truce-time designated camps run by the State Government. The pro-talks leader had declared unilateral truce about six months back to ‘prepare ground’ for peace talks between top ULFA leaders and the Centre.

The faction have toiled to mount public pressure on the ULFA led by its fugitive commander-in-chief Paresh Barua and chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, both of them are suspected to be taking shelter in Bangladesh. But the response from the ULFA was not positive so far. \ In fact, the ULFA announced that the pro-talks faction leaders had been expelled from the outfit’s primary membership.

This has created a stalemate. And government of India’s stand to hold ‘unconditional talks’ only with the top-rung leaders of the outfit has further complicated the matter for the pro-talks faction.

NSCN (I-M) calls for concerted public campaign

Kohima: Chairman of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) Isak Chishi Swu on Sunday said a free nation of Nagas could only be established through conscious effort of the people concerned.

In his message to the Naga people and the ‘Naga national workers’ through some electronic means during a programme to commemorate his 50 years in ‘national service’ at Central Head Quarters of NSCN-IM (Hebron camp), Isak said the fighting of Nagas is principle based, so also the ongoing negotiation (peace talks) is principle based. "Any solution that betrays the principle is not a solution at all," he quipped while reassuring that "NSCN will never enter into any agreement against the will of the Naga people and also that we will not it take decision at the expense of the rights of the Naga people."

A brief autobiography of the NSCN leader released on the occasion maintained that everyone, friend and foe knows well that the case of the Nagas is unique and NSCN represents the issue. Realizing the futility of solving the political problem through military means Indian leadership sent feelers to the NSCN for political dialogue, he said, adding that they (feelers) too understand well that Khaplang or NNC do not represent the issue. He also pointed that 'dead organisations and wrong leadership' can never represent the Naga people.

"People from some quarters claimed India has stopped killing Nagas, but this defies the ground reality", he said while blaming that the enemy is still killing the Nagas through the persons of Nagas. "The enemies have invaded and occupied the mind and heart of many Nagas," Isak Chisi Swu said. He also maintained that "solution will neither come from the east nor from the west. It will come only from our firm stand for the principle."

General Secretary Th. Muivah in his speech read out by Emissary to the Collective Leadership, 'Lt. Gen. (Retd)' V. S. Atem on the occasion despite the unhappy happenings the NSCN will stand for the reconciliation process and at the same time will be vigilant to see that the reconciliation process is not mishandled or exploited.

He also expressed optimism that the Naga people now and the generations yet to come would be proud of Isak for his ‘unsparing sacrifices’ and the kind of leadership given to the ‘little but tough Nagas’ throughout the perilous years of the past. (NNN)

Militant gunned down in Manipur

Imphal: A militant was gunned down at Govajang under Chandel district in the state on Sunday.

The troops of 31 Assam Rifles (AR) of 26 Sector tracked the movement of a person at Govajang village and retaliated, when he opened fire, sources said.

The deceased was identified as SS Lt Bimol Singh of People's Liberation Army (PLA), sources said, adding one .38 Auto colt pistol with a magazine and four live rounds were recovered. The body and seized items were handed over to Moreh Police station, the sources added. Meanwhile, police was engaged in an encounter with two armed miscreants at Kwakta under Bishenpur district, the sources said, adding there was no report of any casualty. (UNI)

Culling ops on in Assam

Guwahati: Culling operations continued in some areas of birdflu-hit Assam on Sunday but resistance by local people hampered the effort of the authorities to create 'bird free zones' in some areas. Official sources said here that culling operations continued in new areas of Nagaon and Chirang districts with the respective Deputy Commissioners issuing instructions to ensure that the operations did not get hampered. Though the district administration had embarked on an awareness drive to educate the people about the perils of avian influenza and, villagers and poultry farmers opposed culling operation alleging that the compensation offered was not adequate. (PTI)

Tea exports hit a plateau; blame it on economic meltdown

Guwahati: The global economic meltdown has hit tea exports from India, much to the worry of the industry that is already reeling under over supply of tea in the market world wide.

Addressing a conference of tea planters at Gymkhana Club in Jorhat , the President of Tea Association of India (TAI) Shashank Prasad on Saturday informed that upward trend of tea export from the country had been stemmed during the last two months because of the global economic recession.

"Though tea export till October this year reached 156 million kilograms, a little higher than comparative figure for the year 2007, the trend has hit the plateau in the last two months due to global melt down that has reduced exports to the UK, Europe and Russia," he said.

"Since the domestic tea prices remained under pressure as an obvious fall out of declining exports in the recent past, there was oversupply in the domestic market, which created a glut. Revival of the fortune of Indian Tea and Specially of Assam Tea depended a lot on our export performance, for which we must free ourselves from the shackles of complacency acquired during our heydays," he added.

The planters were also concerned that ‘over supply’ of tea has outstripped the demand in the global market that stand in the way of realization of remunerative price for Indian tea. The Indian tea production in 2008 is expected to reach 965 million kilogram, a little higher than the last year’s production.

However, there is a silver lining -- the demand for Orthodox tea has increased in West Asian and Russian markets. The planters consider the recent grant of geographical indication (GI) to Assam Orthodox Tea will be a major boost for efforts to build and popularize Assam Orthodox Tea brand in the global market. The Government of India has already put in place a orthodox tea production subsidy scheme to encourage planters to go for bulk production of orthodox tea in Assam. "Special Purpose Tea Fund was introduced by the Union Government to provide financial assistance to the cash-starved Tea Industry for undertaking replantation and rejuvenation on a large scale to improve quality of the product.

Unfortunately, utilization of the scheme still remained below the desired level. I request the Assam Planters be aggressive in availing of the fund to replace ageing tea bushes with new ones," Prasad said.

‘State Govt employees can’t hold us to ransom’

Itanagar: Hardening his stance about fresh demand pay package demands by State Government employees, Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu today said the employees cannot hold the state to ransom.

Asserting that the offer given to the employees on the 6th Pay Commission recommendation is not negotiable, Khandu said Arunachal Pradesh is the first one among North-Eastern states to announce implementing the pay package for its employees despite limited resources.

Khandu's comments came in the backdrop of fresh demands by the employees' body demanding arrears from January 2006, after the Chief Minister consented to implement the pay package from January next and pay arrears from July 2007, official sources said. He said it was time for the people to reciprocate the efforts by central and state governments to take the state to the top rungs instead of bogged down by "narrow interests". Besides appealing to the Prime Minister for a hefty 'green and peace bonus', for its eco-friendly move and enforcing law and order, the state government has sought funds from the 13th Finance Commission to bear the additional salary burden and meet its non-plan revenue gap. The Chief Minister, n a tour to East Siang district to inspect damages unleashed by recent flood, announced a host of schemes for Mebo area which included sanctioning Rs 18 crore for drinking water supply in Mebo and adjoining areas. (PTI)

More security forces deployed along India-Bangladesh border

Agartala: The Border Security Force(BSF) has deployed 500 additional security forces through two special aircraft, in the areas bordering Bangladesh in the wake of tension along India’s western border.

BSF sources on Sunday said altogether 750 personnel were called back here during the past two days, adding they were earlier deployed in the states where Assembly elections were held.

The BSF had brought back all three battalions of BSF, who were sent for the just concluded election in six states to step up vigil along Tripura-Bangladesh border, according to sources.

BSF Tripura Frontier’s spokesperson A K Singh told UNI that Union Home Ministry had enhanced security measures along international border following terrorist attacks in Mumbai and subsequent debate over Bangladesh’s role in propagating terrorism in the Northeast.

Mr Singh further informed that there were at least 117 insurgent camps in Bangladesh, used to train terrorists against India.

In the last Director General (DG) level meeting of border security forces of both the sides held in Delhi from April 9 to 11, a list of 117 hideouts was given to Bangladesh.

"After talking tough to Pakistan for an immediate and visible action against terror outfits based on its soil, the Ministry of Home Affairs uttered strong words against Bangladesh" Mr Singh said.

Conceding that there was evidence to suggest involvement of Bangladesh-based outfit HuJI in October 30 Assam serial blasts, the Ministry sought to put Dhaka on notice to get cracking on terror bases of Indian Insurgent Groups and their leaders operating from its territory.

Punching a hole in the neighbour’s ‘repeated assurances’ of curbing such activities, BSF officials said, "It is regrettable that many of the Indian insurgent leaders continue to use Bangladesh as a safe haven."

The officials also pointed out the presence of Ulfa top brass Paresh Baruah, Arabinda Rajkhowa and Anup Chetia, besides ATTF leader Ranjit Debbarma, NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary, in Bangladesh.

Moreover, Ulfa, NDFB, ATTF and NLFT trained their cadres on the soils of Bangladesh, they stated.

Senior BSF and intelligence officials had held a series of meetings with the commandant level and field officers of the Indian border guards to apprise them of the possible threats from across the border.(UNI)

Rhino killed in Kaziranga

Guwahati: In yet another rhino poaching, a full-grown female one-horned herbivore, of highly endangered species, was killed near Kaziranga National Park with its horn taken away.

Forest officials said the female rhino which had strayed out of the park alongwith two males last week, was shot dead by poachers at Kameri Chapori under Numaligarh forest beat office on the outskirts of the Park three days back.

The decomposed carcass of the animal was dug out today by the police after the villagers informed them of foul smell. rea. The poachers escaped with the prized horn of the rhino which fetches a high value in the international market. The forest personnel had traced the two male rhinos who had strayed out of the park and lured them back. (PTI)

Engineering, business schools

Guwahati: An engineering institute and a business school are coming up in Assam, with Governor Shiv Charan Mathur hoping that they would fill the void in educational infrastructure. (PTI)

-The Shillong Times