Saturday, March 28, 2009

North East | Mizoram villagers agree to vote after Guv’s assurance

Aizawl: Residents of three villages of Mizoram near the Bangladesh border have agreed to exercise their franchise after Mizoram Governor Lt Gen (rtd) M M Lakhera assured them all possible help in getting their shares of compensation.

Alleging that they had not been given compensation, three villages of Marpara South, Tarabonia and New Sachan, affected by the ongoing Indo-Bangla border fencing had threatened to boycott the coming Lok Sabha polls until the Governor pacified them on Thursday.

After the Governor’s assurance,the villagers agreed to participate in the polls, official sources said. (UNI)

Tripura to get 30 companies of CPMF for polls

From Our Correspondent

Agartala: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has assured the state government of sending 30 companies of additional central paramilitary forces (CPMF) for conducting Parliamentary elections.

The elections to the two Parliamentary constituencies will be held on April 23.

Speaking to media here on Thursday, Chief Secretary Sashi Prakash said that the MHA had confirmed of providing 30 companies of additional forces for Lok Sabha election purpose.

"The Union Home Secretary has exhorted to conduct the election with the 30 companies of central forces", he said.

The government had demanded for 100 companies of CPMF to conduct the elections peacefully. But the MHA has sanctioned only 30 companies keeping in view of the nationwide elections.

The Centre had sanctioned 35 companies of CPMF in the last Parliamentary elections while the state had received 200 companies of additional central forces in the last Assembly elections.

As of now, about 40,000 forces including BSF, CRPF and Assam Rifles are deployed across the state.

Wildlife parts recovered in Assam

Guwahati: Authorities may have tumbled on a wildlife parts smuggling racket with recovery of several skulls, other parts and skins of different endangered species from a well known astrologer in the city.

The recovery was made during a raid by Income Tax officials in the shop ‘Ratna Kuber’ owned by astrologer Kero Young alias Pallab Das, in the heart of the city on Thursday.

As Income Tax officials started searching the premises for documents relating to tax and hidden cash and jewellery, they stumbled on severed parts, hairs and skins of various animals. With the forest department officials called in to assist the Income Tax team, a huge cache of wildlife parts were seized from the premises.

These included elephant bones, buffalo horns, skin and bones of tiger, skull of some bird species, fur of various animals including tiger and several other such parts. Authorities are now investigating whether Kero Young is related with any wildlife parts trade racket. The Income Tax team also seized various documents used for evading tax, cash and several lakh worth of jewellery and precious stones.

However, the astrologer managed to escape using a concealed exit. He had tried to run away when the Income Tax team arrived but was caught and brought back. (UNI)

Candidates file nominations for polls in Nagaland

Kohima: In the run up for the ensuing Parliamentary and by-elections to four Assembly seats in Nagaland scheduled for April 16 next, candidates have begun to file nominations at Commissioner’s office and respective district Returning Officers.

Sources said that the process began on March 23 while nominations were filed from March 24. Till date two candidates belonging to Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) have filed their nominations for the lone Lok Sabha seat from Nagaland. NPF candidate C. M. Chang and stand-by candidate Kewezu Kenye have filed their nominations before the Returning Officer for the Nagaland Parliamentary Constituency and Commissioner, Nagaland, H.K. Khulu and Assistant Returning Officer, L. Limsong at the Commissioner’s Office, Kohima. Congress candidate, K. Asungba Sangtam is likely to file his nomination by Friday.

On the other hand, official candidate for Indian National Congress (INC), Kewekhape Therie for 17-Chizami A/C filed his nomination papers at Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer’s office, Phek on Thursday to contest the by-poll election. At Tuensang, NPF candidate Kejong Chang and his Stand-By candidate Ayen Chang also filed their nominations on Wednesday for the by-elections to the 54-Tuensang Sadar-II Assembly Constituency before the Returning Officer & Deputy Commissioner. (NNN)

FNR urges Naga underground outfits to renew commitment

Kohima: The Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) has urged all the Naga underground groups to renew their commitment to ''A Covenant of Common Hope'' and cease all military operations.

An FNR communique here today said the move would create an atmosphere conducive to the reconciliation of Nagas at the highest level of all Naga political groups.

The FNR, in the communique, also reminded of the Naga Peace Summits at Chiang Mai in Thailand in 2008, where Naga political groups of NSCN/GPRN (NSCN-K), GPRN/NSCN (NSCN-IM), Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) and Naga National Council (NNC), and a Naga non-political group, along with Naga participants, made ''A Covenant of Common Hope'' before God in the presence of the Quakers and American Baptist Church leaders.

The spirit and purpose of the Covenant was further upheld and strengthened by 37 Naga tribes and other related organisations in September 2008 in Dimapur and more recently by 49 Naga tribes and 12 Naga organisations, including the Church in February 2009 in Kohima, it added. (PTI)

Cong, Opp file nominations for Mizoram LS seat

Aizawl: Candidates of Congress, Opposition-backed Independent candidate and another Independent have filed nomination for the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat.

C Thanchhuma, Deputy Commissioner of Aizawl district and Returning Officer said, "C L Ruala of Congress and two Independents, Rualpawla and Lallungmuana, have filed nominations."

Ruling Congress candidate C L Ruata filed nominations on March 23. H Lallungmuana, an Independent supported by Opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) and Mizoram Peoples Conference (MPC) combine and Rualpawla as Independent candidate have also filed nominations.

Ruala, 74, former minister and a veteran Congress leader had contested Lok Sabha polls in 1977 and lost to R Rothuama of Peoples Conference.

Lallungmuana, 65, former Lok Sabha member and retired Principal of Pachhunga University College contested and won in 1998 Lok Sabha polls by defeating John Lalsangzuala of Congress by a margin of 41 votes.

Rualpawla, who had contested Lok Sabha polls as an Indepndent candidate in 1999 lost security deposit and is likely to represent a sect of Mizo Jews this time again.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) announced that it would field state president Lalawmpuia Chhangte. (PTI)

Lumding-Agartala broad gauge work to complete by 2012

Agartala: The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will complete the on-going broad gauge work of railway track between Lumding-Agartala via Badarpur by March 2012, official sources on Thursday said.

General Manager of NFR Ashutosh Swami during his meeting with the state Chief Secretary Shashi Prakash on Wednesday said that the work for gauge conversion from Lumding to Agartala had already started which would be completed by March 2012.

The chief secretary today told reporters that the Rs 550 crore project had already been announced as national project, so there would be no dearth of funds.

Conversion to broad gauge from Lumding to Agartala had suffered delay due to extremist problems at North Cachar Hills in Assam, Prakash said adding the work had resumed in the disturbed areas.

He said that the railway extension work up to Sabroom in south Tripura district would also be completed by 2012 as final survey was in full swing. He said that the state government would hand over land to the NFR as early as possible to expedite the project. (PTI)

Rebels held

Imphal: Five cadres of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) were arrested on Thursday by the Thoubal district police commandos from different locations in Manipur. (NNN)

Sketch of Assam scribe’s killer released

Guwahati: Assam Police on Thursday released a sketch of the assailant of senior journalist Anil Mazumdar, who was shot dead on Tuesday night, with protests continuing across the state for immediate arrest of the killers.

The sketch was prepared on the basis of the description by Mazumdar’s driver Ramen Kalita, who was the lone witness to the murder.

Mazumdar, executive editor of a vernacular daily Aji was gunned down by an unknown assailant at the gate of his Rajgarh residence here on Tuesday night.

The sketch is based on the driver’s description and how close the resemblance is to the actual culprit can not be affirmed by the police. But we are hopeful that it will help in identifying the killer, Guwahati senior superintendent of police Pradip Saloi said.

The sketch is of a medium built man, about 5.3 inches in height, and 35 years old.

Mr Saloi urged the public to share any information they have on any person resembling the sketch.

''Police would like to solve the case in a single day itself. There has been no lapse in our investigations and we are doing to the best of our capacity and sincerity,'' the SSP said.

Meanwhile, protests continued across the state against the murder of the senior journalist. (UNI)

EC slaps showcause on AGP president

Guwahati: Assam Opposition leader and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Chandra Mohan Patwary was today slapped a showcause notice by the Election Commission (EC) for his alleged remarks on Congress candidate from Tezpur and sitting MP Mani Kumar Subba.

Mr Patwary had last week branded Subba as a ''criminal'' and ''foreigner'' during a press briefing in Guwahati. Taking cognisance of a complaint from the Congress, the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro), also the returning officer, served the showcause, giving seven-day time to Patwary for reply. (UNI)

Advani promises bid for Majuli’s heritage tag

From Our Correspondent

Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and NDA’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani on Thursday promised to strive for the coveted UNESCO ‘World Heritage Site ‘ tag for the world’s largest inhabited river island, Majuli, located in the bosom of mighty Brahmaputra River in Jorhat district under Lakhimpur Parliamentary constituency in Upper Assam.

On the second day of his election tour to the state, Advani air dashed to Majuli, the centre of neo-vashnavite culture and tradition in the region, to pay an unscheduled visit to one of the famous vashnavite monasteries there and also attended a meeting of workers of the BJP and its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

The BJP leader said Majuli occupied a place of immense importance in India’s cultural and tourism map, and the NDA, if voted to power, would put up an all-out effort to secure the much awaited ‘world heritage site’ status for the river island. Majuli’s two earlier attempts for the coveted status failed to cut ice with the UN body.

He lambasted the Congress-led UPA government for failing to solve the serious problem of flood and erosion that is threatening to eat away Majuli’s land mass .The BJP leader visited centuries-old Auniati Satra (monastery) where he had a discussion with Dr Pitambar Deva Goswami, the head of the cultural and religious institution on problems of different monasteries and people living in river island in general. The monastery authority submitted a memorandum to the BJP leader giving details of perennial flood and erosion problem that has been a bane of life in the river island with a population of over 1.53 lakh out of which over 30 per cent are from Scheduled Tribe (ST). The island has over 1.20 lakh voters.

The river island is under Lakhimpur Parliamentary constituency where the BJP’s ally AGP has fielded the sitting MP Dr Arun Sharma. From Majuli Advani air dashed to address to huge election rallies at Tinsukia and Sivasagar under Dibrugarh Parliamentary constituency in Upper Assam where AGP has fielded sitting MP Sarbananda Sonowal.

The BJP veteran launched a scathing attack on Congress in both the rallies for running a ‘running a government full of criminals and headed by the weakest Prime Minister ever who has succumbed to compulsions of coalition politics.’

"During the NDA regime, the prime minister was the most powerful person and 7, Race Course, (official residence of the PM) was the most important address. But under UPA government, 10 Janpath (Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence) became the most powerful address. For this to change, the people must vote out the UPA and Congress," Advani said.

He lashed out at Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for inducting criminals in his Cabinet under compulsion of coalition politics. "The UPA is crumbling with allies parting ways with Congress one after another .The Left parties left mid-way. Lalu and Mulayam in North and the PMK in the south have also drifted away drifting away from Congress," Advani said.


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Zeliangrong Hoho warns of ‘very ugly consequences’

Dimapur, March 27 (MExN): Following the recent murder of several Zeliangrong people by Dimasa militants in Assam, the Zeliangrong Baudi today warned that the killings will have ‘very ugly consequences’. The apex Zeliangrong organization said that the Naga youths will be forced to protect their people and the land if the recent upheaval goes unchecked by the governments of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

While appealing to the Dimasa community to “come back to their senses”, the Zeliangrong Baudi in a statement today, said the violence and its effect against the Naga community is spreading. On this, the hoho has strongly warned of regional imbalances in the region. ‘The Naga people in NC hills have been settled from time immemorial without any interference from the other neighboring communities; there have always been peaceful coexistence with other neighboring communities respecting one another as good, civilized citizens’, the Baudi said in its statement.

However, the Baudi warned, the aggression of the Dimasa elements against the Naga community will have very ugly consequences “unless the Dimasa come to their senses”. The youths of the community will be forced to protect their own people and the land at this juncture, the Baudi warned.

The Zeliangrong Baudi also warned of regional imbalance in the region if the recent upheaval is left unchecked by the governments of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. Appealing to the Government of Assam to engaged strong political will to deal with the violence, the hoho also sought relief aid and compensation for the affected. Resettlement measures of the effected people must also be activated, the Baudi demanded. The governments of Nagaland and Manipur are also appealed to, to initiate measures to extend all possible assistance and engaged with the Assam government to stop the “unhappy” and ugly upheaval.

Meanwhile, it was informed that altogether nine villages in the North Cachar Hills in Assam, the region of the violence, have been affected. Four Zeliangrong people were killed by DHD (Jewel) militants on March 19 and the 23rd, while many were left injured.

Eh affected villages according to the hoho are Takluaram, Baureneu, Puateujam, Nrimbanglua, Hegualua, Heuwangbaram, Himraichak, N Baureneu and Guiluang.

Villagers of the nine villages are said to have fled their homes and are taking shelter in neighboring villages of Manipur and Nagaland. Immediate relief in the form of food, clothing and ‘life-saving machines’ are required, the hoho said. Relief camps have been set up in Laisong village where more than 400 of the affected people are said to be taking shelter.

The aggression of the Dimasa community is very clear that they want to grab the land of the Naga community and to drive them out from the NC hills, the baudi said. ‘We appeal the Dimasa to come back to their senses and live like civilized humans, respecting other communities’, the Zeliangrong Baudi appealed.

Source: Morung Express

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An interview with NSCN-IM Chairman Isak Chishi Swu at Bangkok

(Interview held on March 10, 2009 by Frans Welman)

Frans Welman: So we are here and in the midst of talks that seem to be delayed all the time. What is your perspective on that? For eleven years there has been talks but every time there is something small, blown out of proportion, which intervenes —

Isak Chishi Swu: Well, regarding the talks we have expressed all aspects of life, the philosophical aspect, psychological aspect, the political aspect and the traditional. We have explained everything to them during these twelve years and they have also understood the position of the Nagas. And because of that they have recognized the uniqueness of Naga History, which means that Nagas were never joined the Indian union and that we are from the very beginning different people, so we maintain that right of self determination

Frans Welman: Yes, that was one step in the right direction for the Nagas and that was some years ago but now we are years further again and what I, to my astonishment read in the newspaper is that this new Home Minister Chitambaram, says unilaterally, oh we can talk but only within the Constitution of India. How do you see that?

Isak Chishi Swu: Yes, a person like him does not seem to know anything about the Nagas and about the talks also because we started talking on the highest level, without conditions and outside India so in a third country. That was the decision taken and we are going according to that, but he is putting condition if he says ’within the constitution’ we did not start talking in that way, so he is completely ignorant.

Frans Welman: But he is still part of the Government of India, he talks on behalf of the Government of India so the whole Government goes along with him?

Isak Chishi Swu: So, the Government of India would have to correct him, otherwise the talks between two nations, we are talking on the basis of two equal entities and on that line we are discussing and we are trying to establish a new relationship between India and Nagalim.

So, on that line we are discussing and if he draws back or somebody at the highest level then it is their mistake. If they go on like that then it will go derailed like this and so they are not realistic, their approach is not realistic we have to say.

Frans Welman: But this is after 12 years of talking they had time enough to become realistic

Isak Chishi Swu: Yes they have been given time enough to understand all these things.

Frans Welman: But then you have a rascal like Chitambaram who suddenly says something else. Conditions? He never heard of that, you know. Just do as we say, that is the essence of what he says?

Isak Chishi Swu: Yes, so that is completely wrong and they have to among themselves also they have to have a good understanding, but they don’t pay attention and it will be delays all the time and on the highest level they have to discuss amongst themselves also and have to become very serious if they want the settlement. It is now 12 years and the longest in the world today, the negotiations, and they should also understand this:

Frans Welman: But if they don’t what will happen then? I am saying this because you told me they were coming up with an interim proposal for a solution

Isak Chishi Swu: They said so and after they did again they retreated. They said they do not have an agenda to discuss, so in this way they are trying to piece things and are delaying the matter like this

Frans Welman: But how do you perceive that then?

Isak Chishi Swu: So, if they want to continue and delay like this and do not become realistic then they have to announce some other step which we cannot spell out now. We shall do it afterwards.

Frans Welman:
I understand, but it looks like that after 12 years and after retreating all the time an ignorant person like myself would think that there could be hardly anything else than that the ceasefire would break?

Isak Chishi Swu: Well, the cease fire might break but from our side we think that we should achieve through peaceful means and we don’t want to have armed conflict anymore, but they are becoming very provocative like the Assam Rifles and the IRB. These people are provocative and are trying to break the ceasefire also, but we are restraining ourselves so far.

Frans Welman: But what you are actually saying is that the Armed Forces, be it the Assam Rifles or anybody else, are trying to disrupt the situation so that Nagas are compelled to break the ceasefire?

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah, yeah, that is what they want to do, but we restrain ourselves because we want to be reasonable and we want to be restricted to the problem so we continue to remind them also

Frans Welman: But the provocation really is that the understanding of the ceasefire by the Assam Rifles and therefore by the Government of India is wrong, because the ceasefire is between two parties

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah, so that is why we address the highest Indian authorities correct these people, but they sometimes just neglect and these people come to take our post, our army post so we will be compelled to retaliate. Then there will be no more ceasefire when they start fighting
Frans Welman: How do you see the future?

Isak Chishi Swu: We are not afraid to fight, but that is not going to solve the problem soon. That will simply delay it. We want to reason and bring the solution soon and we believe that India also, they also have so many problems, so they should solve the problem which can be handled now. And so they must also try to be reasonable

Frans Welman: How do you actually see the future when they are doing all these delaying tactics while playing divide and rule and so segregate the Nagas. How do you see they can actually talk sense to you and sensibility?

Isak Chishi Swu: We still believe that they will also approach the problem realistically and come to understand each other, to have a close relationship between India and Nagalim.

Frans Welman: How do you see that relationship, do you see that as an independent relationship, or do you see that as a relationship within the Indian Union?

Isak Chishi Swu: No, no, no question of a relationship within the Indian Union, but we have been talking about how to have a new relationship. Like two entities and we have started together construction of that and they have started that also and on that line it will be going on, so we believe that they will also hasten.

Frans Welman: But I don’t understand it you know, because when you really talk about this, a new relationship with two constitutions which are to a certain extent overlapping because that would mean that a close relationship would really be well articulated in both constitutions, that relationship right

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah,

Frans Welman: That would mean if that is talked about how then can a Home Minister out of the blue say it can only be within the constitution? It is like an insult!!!

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah, it is completely wrong and so the higher ups will have to correct him and should also tell him that he must talk according to the spirit of the talks.

Frans Welman: Yes, you and I think, that would be a normal thing to do, out of courtesy only because you have an agreement of which normally speaking both parties are being held to keep up. But this is not the case and I have not seen any retraction and how long is it now, more than a week after the publication? I have not seen any kind of excuse, I have not seen a statement of the Government, neither from the Prime Minister also on that the talks can continue and that the light mistake made by the Home Minister

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah the talks will continue and in the next round of talks we shall take up this issue also. We shall question them Frans Welman: Yes, will you also finally be able to talk about the new relationship?

Yes, we continue it, so we shall have to do it.

Frans Welman: What do you expect of it?

Isak Chishi Swu: We are still expecting that they will also understand and if we do not feel they are able to continue then we don’t talk anymore, but still we believe that they will also come to their senses and contribute to the success of the talks.

Frans Welman: You know I am trying to write a book on the decade of ceasefire and peace talks and I called it Between the Giant and the Dwarf. I do not want to diminish the Nagas, but if you have 200.000 armed military on the Small Nagalim soil, then the Giant thinks he can take on the Dwarf any time. And, it is doing that for all that time.

Isak Chishi Swu: From the military side we are not afraid of them and the military themselves realized that the military solution is out of the question that means so it must be through peaceful means, a political solution and they will have to give up that idea!

Frans Welman: They have to give up that idea, but already 12 years they are dwelling on that idea yes, because from 1995, this is when the generals spoke and this led to the ceasefire they are only trying to derail the talks, or stall the talks. It is something to become mad about you know

Isak Chishi Swu: We shall stress that to them also in the next round of talks that delaying tactics will not serve the purpose and they also have so many problems within themselves also and so it is better to solve as soon as possible, settle first we shall remind them

Frans Welman: Does the Hindu character have any role in this? I mean the people in Government are all Brahmans and they think that the tribal people like the Nagas are less than dalits that they find it difficult to talk to people who are so low. Does it play any role?

Isak Chishi Swu: I don’t know how far they believe in, rely on their God. Of course on our side we believe that a miracle would happen, any time and Indian will also change their mind … through our God but if they believe in their God or not I don’t know

Frans Welman: I am saying this because the Brahmans are the highest of the highest in the land of India considering socially speaking and religiously speaking, so that means, literally, that they look down on other casts. They are the highest caste and the dalits cannot even walk in their shadow, tribals, not even Hindus but Christians for that matter, they would normally not talk to at all.

Isak Chishi Swu: But they cannot practice that in the International Community. They do that only to themselves, but internationally they cannot use that practice

Frans Welman: That is true perhaps,on the other hand internationally Nagalim is considered to be part of India

Isak Chishi Swu: No, never and India themselves recognized the uniqueness of Naga history to the whole world and even the British people said that is correct, so international community understands now the position of the Nagas and the Indians themselves have spelled it out

Frans Welman: If the International Community really understands this it would also recognize the nationhood of Nagalim. It would have done that and it could still do it

Isak Chishi Swu: It will take time so we need lobbying everywhere, all over the world we need lobbying and make the nations understand our position and because of them we have our support centers like Society for Threatened Peoples, Iwgia, Kwia, we have a Naga American Council office in Washington DC and The Naga International Support Center, Mr. Frans Welman, in the Netherlands. We have a support Center in South Korea also and in London also Mr. Timothy and with the parliamentarians for self determination, PNSD. That is why the International Community must also understand us carefully

Frans Welman: Yes, to carefully understand that, even if it is understandable as you say and they have understood, it is another step to recognize a nation with a a country which is now considered to be a domestic problem by the International Community, a domestic conflict.

Isak Chishi Swu: So, it cannot be called domestic because we have never been part of India from the time immemorial. We were different people and we don’t have anything in common whatsoever, so the International Community must also come to know it.

Frans Welman: The United Nations do not recognize you as a nation

Isak Chishi Swu: Not yet…., but we have attended UN conference, we have attended the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples under the sub-commission for Human Rights and Boutros Boutros Gali himself circulated through the world that there is a human rights situation in Nagaland

Frans Welman: You are still in the same boat as Timor was before. Timor was part of Portugal, later of Indonesia and it took Timor quite a long time to become sovereign too, they were also part of the UNPO. And Timor was not recognized by the International Community but only after much pressure and so what has to be done internationally?

Isak Chishi Swu: Lobbying, we continue to lobby and we are a member of UNPO. There is a unanimous resolution by the UNPO to send the secretary general of UNPO to lobby for us in UN and so we have 58 nations in UNPO; all are speaking for us informing other people and in this way the UNPO would have to take up also as their responsibility

Frans Welman: Do you want the UNPO to lobby perhaps for a third party participation in the talks?

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah

Frans Welman: Because when I mentioned the Giant and the Dwarf you cannot expect a Giant to be talking to a Dwarf on an equal level if there is no medium in between, because they just wipe you out. They can do anything they like if they want to

Isak Chishi Swu: We are active in the USA also we have our Naga American Council in Washington DC. That office is working hard to contact the president. We submit our report every three months and send it to the Security Department in USA so they know everything about the Nagas

Frans Welman: But are you out to find ways and means for a third party in the talks, to expedite the talks or to make them more credible since the Indians then cannot go back on their word as all is written down? Because one of the complaints you have is that Indians go back on their word even when they have agreed to something

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah, that is why we need a third party intervention. That is very important; because the Indians will say something and will lie so that is what we need, third party intervention

Frans Welman: So that is a resolution of the Government of Nagalim, third party resolution?

Isak Chishi Swu: From the very beginning we discussed this. When we discussed with the Prime Minister of India we decided to start the talks at the highest level, without any condition and the venue would be outside India so in a third country and the third party intervention we shall discuss later on when the time comes. So, now the time has come.

Frans Welman: Now the time has come you think. Do you think they will oblige?

Isak Chishi Swu: We have to tell them!

Frans Welman: Yes, you have to tell them, but do you think they will oblige, because whenever there were talks there were only a short press release sometimes, but never what has been in the talks has been made public, not even to the Indian public

Isak Chishi Swu: But of course Michael van Walt used to be there always. He is actually not a third party but in that sense he used to be there, as a kind of witness that the time has come to discuss and third party intervention has become essential.

Frans Welman: And that has been decided by the Government of Nagalim?

Isak Chishi Swu: Yeah, yeah

Frans Welman:
Thank you very much

Source: and IMAGE Telegraph

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Missionaries of Charity leader sees mission among broken humanity

By Sunil Rosario and Anne Nigli | KOLKATA, India (UCAN) -- The newly elected head of the Missionaries of Charity (MC), Sister Mary Prema, says she will continue the work of their founder, Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, to show God's compassion to "broken humanity."

The German-born nun, elected on March 24 to lead the congregation, said she felt "unworthy of the office" held by Sister Nirmala Joshi for the past 12 years and by Blessed Teresa earlier.

Interviewed the day after her election, Sister Prema said she felt humbled at taking up leadership of her congregation's mission of serving "the poorest of the poor."

"With God's strength, I will do this work and be part of this mission," she said.

The nun was elected at the end of the congregation's general chapter which began on Feb. 1. It earlier elected Sister Nirmala for a third term, but she reportedly withdrew because of ill health. Her third term would have required papal approval also since the congregation's constitution allows only two six-year terms for the position.

The chapter of 163 delegates from across the world then elected Sister Prema, who for the last six years was part of Sister Nirmala's team of councilors. The chapter is a mandatory gathering of nun delegates every six years to discuss the congregation's work and future.

The new leader said that MC members are "entrusted with a grave responsibility to take to Jesus broken humanity."

"The cry of the poor is to be satiated daily as we have to give God's compassion to all people," she said.

The nuns are called to work "for unity at all levels and to make the Church present in our world today, through humble means and works of love," she said.

Sister Prema said she had "a very clear call of Jesus" as a young woman, to work for the poor. Malcolm Muggeridge's 1971 book on Mother Teresa's work, "Something Beautiful for God," made her aware of the Missionaries of Charity.

She met Mother Teresa for the first time in 1980 in Berlin, Germany. When they met again, the young German expressed her desire to join the congregation.

According to a priest closely associated with the congregation, Sister Prema is an able administrator.

Archbishop Lucas Sircar of Calcutta, who presided over the election in a secluded MC house 30 kilometers away from Kolkata, said Sister Prema was elected "on the first ballot with a two-third majority."

Blessed Teresa founded her congregation in 1950 and began her work among the poor in the city, formerly called Calcutta. She died in 1997 and was buried inside the MC motherhouse in Kolakata.

The chapter delegates returned to the motherhouse on March 25 and had a thanksgiving Mass at Blessed Teresa's tomb. Sounds of clapping, joyous singing and congratulations could be heard outside the walls of the convent, which was closed to visitors.

A handwritten notice saying "no visitors" was posted at the entrance. A nun at the door explained that the convent had no space for more visitors as nuns "have come from all over."

Nuns who attended the chapter have begun returning to their missions scattered around the globe.

MYANMAR Church-run center gives 'Hope' to HIV/AIDS patients

MYITKYINA, Myanmar (UCAN) -- For people who fear that infection with HIV means an illness followed by death, the Hope Centre lives up to its name.

The center, which the Columban Sisters run with the help of Myitkyina diocese, helps people recover from illnesses related to AIDS, brought on by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and look to the future. It is located in a suburb of Myitkyina, capital of Kachin state, which borders China in northern Myanmar.

Rosaline, one of 22 people currently staying at the center, tested positive for HIV in June 2007.

The 42-year-old Catholic woman's shock turned to anger and despair after her husband, who she says gave her the virus, abandoned her to it. She found herself alone at home, as her nieces who also lived there went about their work. But even when they were home, they made Rosaline stay in her room if guests came over.

"I feel very angry and sad when thinking about my family," she said tearfully. "One caregiver from the Hope Centre came and visited me. When my health worsened, I was moved to the center last October."

Her fellow residents are Buddhists, Catholics and Protestants, most of them women, from around Kachin state.

Rosaline began antiretroviral treatment (ART) but had a rough start.

"As I was very weak, malnourished and had no resistance, I got a headache and fainted on the spot," she recalled. "I could not even swallow rice, so the nuns fed me rice gruel."

The center provides medical treatment, three nutritious meals a day and seasonal fruit for snacks. Each new patient also receives new materials such as blankets, a pillow and a mosquito net. Besides this, however, the Columban nun, Franciscan nun, two nurses and one social worker on staff help residents develop a positive outlook.

"We counsel them not to become depressed but to live with hope in the future," Lucia Maran Joi Nau, a staff member, explained. "We arrange embroidery and weaving for them as professional skills, and concentrating on this work encourages them."

Some people have recovered well enough under the center's care to return home. Hope Centre helps them with a small start-up capital for home businesses using the skills they have learned.

One of the male patients, Joseph, 32, recounted how he developed a high fever that two or three clinics could not treat successfully. A friend advised him to go to Myitkyina, where he tested positive for HIV and was sent to Hope Centre.

"I have been here about four months and am still taking the ART medicines," he said, describing himself as "like a normal person now."

The Baptist man, who says he does not know if he contracted HIV from a sexual relationship or a used hypodermic needle, expressed gratitude for the nuns and their work through the center, "which has saved my life."

Columban Sister Mary Dillon, with helpers from Myitkyina, carried out home visits and helped arrange blood tests for three years, from 2004, before establishing Hope Centre in 2007 to serve the urgent needs of people living with HIV and AIDS.

It is one of at least eight Catholic Church initiatives to provide care for these people, a ministry for which the Myanmar Church has set up a working team. Such care extends to school fees for patients' children and, when necessary, funeral arrangements. The Church also organizes annual observances of World AIDS Day Dec. 1 and conducts training to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, and the discrimination affected people face.

Joi Nau, 63, said she has been working with Sister Dillon for several years and is very happy to see patients recovering from AIDS-related diseases.

When Hope Centre began, "because of lack experience we were losing some patients," she said. "But now everything is improving, and I believe we'll be able to help more patients and save more lives."

She sees the center as "giving hope to those who have no hope and see no future."

Rosaline has come a way along this road. Now she believes she might recover, and if she does, she wants to volunteer at the center to help others make a similar journey.

INDIA Archbishop questions credibility of commission investigating attacks

MANGALORE, India (UCAN) -- A government commission investigating attacks on Christians in Karnataka last year is taking a "prejudiced approach," says the leader of the Catholic Church in the southern Indian state.

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore, in a March 21 press release, charged that witnesses testifying on the anti-Christian violence that occurred in September were asked "confusing" questions. The commission, he added, also allowed media persons into its sessions, who drew unverified conclusions from proceedings.

The prelate was responding to news reports that a priest who testified on March 11 had said that the Church promotes "idol worship" to attract Hindu converts. The reports led to a media debate.

The state government headed by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian people's party) set up the commission headed by B.K. Somashekhar, a retired judge of the state High Court, to investigate attacks on 24 churches in September 2008.

Hindu militants were said to have vandalized churches and prayer halls, destroyed bibles, prayer books, crosses and crucifixes, and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament.

Hindu radical groups often accuse Christians of converting Hindus through force and allurement.

The commission began its probe in the second week of January and is expected to submit its report in six months. The sittings were completed in Mangalore and Udupi districts, where most of the attacks took place.

Father Joseph Menezes, pastor of Bangalore's St. James Church, was one of the witnesses, and the priest mentioned in the news reports. He was attacked and some statues in his church destroyed.

Speaking to UCA News on March 24, the priest said he became a "scapegoat" as he was asked to give only "yes or no" answers. "They asked me if the Bible permits idol worship, I said no." The commission asked him if churches have statues and "whether Hindus are attracted to these."

"I said yes," said the priest. "It was their conclusion that the churches keep idols to attract Hindus and convert Hindus."

Father Menezes, 51, said the entire interrogation used the same method. "I was confused and harassed by highly prejudiced and carefully drafted questions," he admitted. Some media persons present there reported it "as they wanted," he added.

Father Adolph Washington, public relations officer of Bangalore archdiocese, told UCA News all the commission members were Hindus, and some are reportedly members of Hindu radical groups.

Somashekhar is assisted by six other people, who accompany him at the hearings but have no power to make decisions.

He was not available for comments.

Archbishop Moras said the commission takes a "prejudiced approach" and makes baseless conclusions. It does not crosscheck "the real teaching and practice" of the Catholic Church and creates "misunderstanding and discord between Hindus and Christians." He insisted that the Church does not worship idols.

The prelate also said Christians know their constitutional right to "profess, practice and propagate" a religion of their choice. "The Church will continue to proclaim her faith without hurting the faith or sentiments of the people of other religions."


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1730 ''''Backdoor appointments'''' in five years in Mizoram

There were as many as 1730 ''backdoor entries'' into different departments of the state government during the last five years, the Assembly was told today. In a reply to Zoram Nationalist Party legislator K Liantlinga, Personnel & Administrative Reforms Minister H Liansailova informed the House that there had been 1730 appointments for the government jobs without advertisements and bypassing departmental promotion committee (DPC). He also disclosed that there were 41 appointments with advertisements but without DPC.

Three veterinary doctors, nine accountants, nine cashiers, 36 coordinators, 17 data entry operators, one PA to SSA project director, 35 project assistants, 52 group D officers, three riders, two assistant engineers, seven junior engineers, 80 upper primary teachers, 1363 education volunteers, one sub-inspector, five ASI(M)s, 41 constables and 66 medical officers were appointed without advertisements and DPC, the minister said.

The minister also stated that there were 41 appointments with advertisements but without DPC during the previous ministry.

Replying to a question wheather the Congress government would ''violate'' the MoU signed with the Central Government that prevented the state government from creating new posts, Liansailova said, ''There are existing rules to be followed. Depending on the requirements, we will create new posts according to the rules.'' Source: Nagaland Post

Chhulkhat Chhuak Unau Pathum IAS Ni Thei Lalthara - Lalsawta - Lalnunmawia

An Farnu Dr Lalhmasai leh an mahni hringtu nu Pi Laithangpuii ho-in( L - R Lalthara, Lalnunmawia, Pi Laithangpuii, Dr.Lalhmasa-i, Lalsawta )

Mizo zingah mai pawh ni lovin India ram chhungah hian unau pathuma IAS Officer ni thei hi sawi tur an tam vak lovang. Reiek khua Pu Ngama (L) leh Pi Laithangpuii-te fapa pathum L

althara, Lalsawta leh Lalnunmawia-te unau chuan Indian Administrative Service (IAS) hna ah an tling veka, an farnu Dr Lalhmasaii Chuaungo pawh hian Mizoram University hnuaiah Reader & Head, Department of Education-ah hna a thawk mek bawk.

Lelte-ah pawh kan rawn thailan tawh angin PuLalthara IAS, tuna Nagaland State-a Additional Chief Secretary chelh mek hian 1975-ah IAS hna a inziaktlinga, hemi hma hian IPS hna hi 1974-ah pek a lo ni tawha, IAS a exam theih na chhan hi hetih lai hian a kum hi IAS atan a la tlem vang a ni. IAS ni tur hian kum 21 a nih a ngai, PuLalthara hian hetih hunlai hian a la pha lo a ni.

Harsatna hrang hrang atanga lehkha rawn zir chhuak PuLalthara hian zirna lamah Reiek Primary School atanga bul tanin Middle School pawh an khuaah bawk hian a zir chhuak a, St Paul’s H/S atangin Matrict a pass hnuah Shillong lamah mahni in chawmchawpin lehkha a zira, College akal chunga lehkha a zir chhungin a unau dangte Reiek leh Aizawl lama lehkha zir mekte chu Shillong-ah chahtla in lehkha an zir ho a ni. A nau Lalsawta nen hian chhunlamah hna thawkin zan lamah College an kal thunga, hetia harsa taka an zir hnu hian Pathian malsawmna dawngin 1974-a UPSC exam-ah kan sawi tawh angin IPS hna pek a nia, 1975-ah UPSC exam nawn lehin IAS hna hi pek a lo nita a ni. Nagaland Cadre a nih angin Nagaland ngar ngar-ah sawrkar hna hi thawkin, Nagaland District hrang hrangah te thawk kualin Bawrhsap hnate chelhin, tunah chuan Nagaland Sawrkar Officer zingah mipui hriat leh ngainat ber zing ah a inhlang chho tawh a, Pathianin rem a tih chuan kumin April thla bawr chho vel hian Chief Secretary kaichho tura ruahman mek a ni. Kohima Mizo Kohhran-ah Presbytery Member niin, 2006 khan Shillong-ah Kohhran upa atan ngemngheh a ni.

Pu Lalthara nau Pu Lalsawta Chuaungo hi 1981-ah IAS ah a inziak tling a, IAS hna a hmuh hma hian 1979 kumah UPSC kaltlang thoin Indian Account & Audit Service (IAAS) hna pek a ni a, hun enge maw chen he hna hi a thawh hnuin IAS-ah hian a tling chho leh ta a.

Ani pawhin Reiek atanga zirna rawn tan chhoin harsatna avangin a lehkha zirte chu hlothlawh a ngaih avangin a chawl a, a u Lalthara’n Shillong lamah a hminga sawrkar han thawh tur a hmuh hnuah Cherrapunji lamah pawl 9 & 10 a zira, Assam Board hun lai khan HSLC hi First Division-ah a tling chho a ni. Shillong-ah inhlawhfa chungin lehkha an unauin an zir chho a, harsatna hrang hrang karah vawiin ni hi lo thleng chho an ni.

IAS a nihna hi West Bengal Cadre a nia, Ranchi-ah leh khaw dang dangah te hna hrang hrang thawh tir a nih hnuah nikum 2008 khan Mizoram sawrkar-ah Secreary hna rawn zawmin, tuna hian Planning etc. a chang mek a, Aizawl Upper Republic-ah a nupu Pi Ngurkhumi leh an fa mipa hlir 4 te nen an khawsa mek a, an fapa lian ber Solomon Lalnghakliana chuan BA,BD a zir chhuak tawh a, Kohhran rawngbawlna kawng hrang hrangah a inhmang mek a ni.

Unau zinga naupang ber Lalnunmawia, tuna Gujarat State-a IAS hna vuan mek hi a u te zarah IAS a nih ve thu Lelte-in a kawmin a sawi thung. ‘Ka u te’n harsa takin lehkha an zira, mahni inchawmin, thi leh thau pawlhin hlawhtlin loh hlauin an zir chhuak a, kei erawh hi chu ka u te thawhchhuah sa ringa, harsatna em em pawh awm lova lehkha zir chho hian an mahni ang ka nih loh chuan a va zahthlak dawn em ve le tiin ka inngaihtuah a, chu chuan tan nasa takin min pe a ni’ a ti tawp.

Reiek khuah pawl 9 thleng a zira, a ute angin a thiam thei pawl ah a tang lo, Shillong atanga Matrict a zawh hnuah, St Edmand’s College atangin BA (Hons) a zir chhuak a ni.

A U Lalsawta ang bawkin UPSC a exam hmasak in IAS hna pek hmasak a nia, kum hnih zen zawn a thawh hnuah UPSC exam-ah IAS hna hi 1987-ah pek a ni. IAS a nih hnu hian NEC hnuaiah Shillong-ah kum 1996 - 2001 chhung khan Deputation-in a rawn awm a, hemi hnu hian Gujarat lamah kir lehin Distict hrang hrang ah hna hrang hrang thawkin a awmleh tawh a ni. A nupui Pi Lalhruaitluangi nen hian fapa 3 leh fanu 1 neiin tun Krismas hman zawh tak kha Zoram lamah rawn hmangin Serchhip, Reiek leh Aizawl lama chhungkhatte an rawn tlawh kual a ni.


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Nagaland | NPSC: NSF sets deadline for Rio

Dimapur, March 26 (MExN): The Naga Students’ Federation has demanded probe by an independent judicial commission, into embattled NPSC and that its report to be made public within a 40-days time. The federation, in a representation addressed to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, also demanded termination from service the “officials proved guilty”. The NSF demanded that an “independent judiciary inquiry commission” be instated for total investigations into the recent NPSC answer script-swapping scandal.

The report of the commission must be submitted and made public within 40-days time, the letter said. The “officials proved guilty”, in the NPSC scam, should be immediately terminated from service, the students stated.

Further, the recommendations for “total revamping on NPSC”, by the high-power committee approved by the government must be immediately implemented in totality, the NSF said. The Naga Students’ Federation expressed dismay at the ‘unabated trend of corruption prevailing in the state’, and ‘more appalled in the recent Nagaland Public Service Commission swapping of answer script’.

“Despite, being monitored and anticipated of having a mark confidential system of management and high class of professionalism within the set up of the NPSC, the recurring and recent exposure of ‘mal-management and classified corruption of the commission had cast a gloomy future for the younger generation”, the NSF said in its representation to Rio. Assuring deeper commitment to continue fighting for justice, the NSF said the latest NPSC scam “is the chance for us to act together and cleanse the corruptive trends prevalent, least it be left away as an ‘unfortunate incident’”. - Morung Express

Governor can remove NPSC members: EUUN

Dimapur, March 26 (MExN): While restraining from making any direct request for action, the Governor of Nagaland is reminded of statutes under the Constitution of India vesting provisions for removal or suspension of tainted state agencies’ members. The Educated Unemployed Union of Nagaland today wrote to the Governor of Nagaland. The union highlighted a number of Articles in the Constitution of India on which the governor can act against tainted (Nagaland) public service commission members. The union cited a number of articles in the Constitution of India pertinent to the governor’s appointment of the chairman and the other members of a state public service commission.

Under Article 317 (1), the union cited, the chairman or any other member of a state public service commission may be removed from office on ground of misbehaviour. Article 317 (2) states that the governor may suspend the chairman or any other member of a state public service commission in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court until the president has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court on such reference.

Further, the EUUN said, under Article 317 (3), the president may by order remove the chairman or any other member of a public service commission from the office if any of them is (a) adjudged as insolvent; or (b) engages in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or (c) is in the opinion of the president, unfit to continue in the office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.

According to article 317 (4), the EUUN explained further, ‘if the chairman or any other member of a public service commission is or becomes in any way concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of the Government of India or the government of a state or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit or emolument arising there from otherwise then as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company, shall be deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour’.

“…you are well aware that the NPSC being an autonomous body created by an act of the Parliament is obliged to function as per the code of conduct and rules and regulation provided in the constitution of India” the union stated to the governor. “But, unfortunately there has been frequent scam after scam and the latest one being the swapping of answer scripts. If this trend of unfair means in the system of recruitment continues, then the best qualified persons will remain unemployed with their quality education which is a must for true social development and future in the dark” the union cautioned.

The EUUN has urged the Governor of Nagaland “to keep on looking into the whole matter” and take necessary action as per the law and in the interest of the younger generation. - Morung Express

Cong says NPF-DAN govt ‘deviating’ from its failures

Dimapur, March 26 (MExN): The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has issued a rebuttal to the statement from the NPF’s Associate Press Secretary Shilumar issued on March 25 in the local dailies. “As NPF-DAN Government have done nothing for the people of Nagaland though they received hundred and thousand of crores from Delhi, they developed a strange habit of diverting and deviating whenever the Congress Party raises their failures and misdeeds,” stated a press note issued by R. Paphino Chairman Media Cell, NPCC.

The Congress alleged that along with corruption and “showing lethargic attitude towards the general public”, the Chief Minister had himself been issuing “irresponsible and baseless comment saying that they cannot challenge the monetary power and military means of the Central authority (Delhi)”. The statement reminded that the NPCC had termed Rio’s comment as highly anti-Constitutional as he was holding a constitutional post as Chief Minister of a State and taking oath under the provisions of the Constitution of India. “Rio’s unfounded tirade against the military forces has revealed his strong anti-Government posture. Therefore, the NPCC has sought clarification to the people what Rio really means by such untenable remark?”

On the Assistant Press Secretary “trumpeting on NPF-DAN achievements”, the Congress stated that the data and facts issued by the NPCC was correct and accurate and alleged that the NPF leaders were “dull and hard-headed” and confusing the general public. As far as the NPCC’s statement issued by Dr. K. Hoshi on March 22, 2009 was concerned, the NPCC stated that the NPF (Shilumar) should read between the lines. “Because we specifically mentioned that the NPF-DAN leaders have used money and armed elements in 2003 and 2008 elections to grab power but the NPF party has mis-interpreted our statement with pervasive intention to mislead the people.”

On the NPF-DAN “achievements” the NPCC questioned what it described as “bad roads, dry drinking water, dark power supply, non-payment of February, 2009 salaries to its employees, embezzlement of crores of public money, raising palatial buildings, owning business firms and immovable properties, luxury and expensive car, uninterrupted shopping spree in the Malls and International branded stores and chains, swelling bank accounts by the people in power or what else?”

Source: Morung Express

NSCN (I-M) Kyong region issues ‘Azha’

NSCN (I-M) Kyong region has issued various “Azha” (directive) in the greater interest of the public of Wokha town and Kyong region after seriously considering and evaluating the situation of the region.
NSCN (I-M) Kyong region CAO, Renthungo in a press statement asserted that vehicles plying in and around Wokha town without proper number plates and moving in suspicious manner would be frisked without any warning, and that such vehicles caught without valid documents would be seized.
CAO Kyong region has directed the public to stop roaming in Wokha town and its vicinity in military fatigue as it was unnecessarily creating fear psychosis in the minds. Further, the statement maintained that the directives were issued in the back drop of recent disturbances created by some “anti-social” elements in Kyong region. NSCN (I-M) Kyong region has informed the public to cooperate, so that it would enable them to check the growing “anti-social” elements while maintaining peaceful atmosphere in Wokha town and Kyong region.
Meanwhile, NSCN (I-M) Kyong region has cautioned that it would not be held responsible for any consequences if anyone fail to comply with its directives.

Source: Nagaland Post

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Campaigning for Lok Sabha polls gains speed in Manipur

IMPHAL, Mar 26: With the 15th Lok Sabha election for the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency fast approaching, electioneering in the tribal dominated Constituency has gained momentum in a calm manner unlike for the Inner Manipur Parliamentary seat. Since the Government is observing Suspension of Operation with almost all underground outfits based in the hills, there have been no reports of violence incidents in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency covering hill districts like Senapati, Chandel, Ukhrul, Tamenglong , Churachandpur and parts of valley districts of Thoubal and Imphal East.

So far, major political parties like Congress, BJP, NCP and the regional People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) have fielded their respective candidates for the Outer seats.
While the ruling Congress party has nominated Thangso Baite as its candidate for the Outer seat, BJP has fielded Loli Adanee to contest for the same seat. NCP and PDA have also followed suit with nomination of LB Sona and sitting Independent MP Mani Charenamei as their respective candidates.

While NCP’s candidate LB Sona, who is being supported by Manipur People’s Party (MPP), Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) and National People’s Party (NPP), filed his nomination papers yesterday, PDA has opened its district unit offices.

Talking to The Sangai Express, general secretary of PDA Gaidon Kamei, who is also the party spokesman said “So far no interference have been made from any underground group in the hills in the electioneering activities. We are campaigning in a very peaceful manner. The main factor for this, we believe, is their (UG groups) entry in the peace process with the Government”.

“With tranquil prevailing , we hope that the election to the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency scheduled on April 16 will be free and fair,” Gaidon added.

He, however, conveyed that the official election campaign of Charenamei will be kicked off in a fitting manner at Senapati district headquarters next Wednesday.

“Besides the eight Independent Naga MLAs who are supporting our candidate, thousands of people drawn from the district and beyond will attend the function,” he informed.

In similar manner, election meetings will be held at the district headquarters of Tamenglong on April 2 , at Ukhrul on April 4 and at Chandel and Churachandpur on the following days, he said while expressing optimism that Charenamei will be victorious in the election.

It may be noted here that the eight Naga Independent MLAs in the Manipur Legislative Assembly, namely Marung Makunga , Khashim Ruivah, K Raina, Danny Shaiza, Wungnaoshang Keishing , Awangbow Newmai M Thohrii and Khangthuanang Panmei, who have recently set up the Independent Legislature Forum (ILF), have already resolved to support Charenamei.

With exception to Thohrii and Panmei, the other six Naga MLAs have been elected with the support and backing of United Naga Council (UNC) which is spearheading the Naga integration movement.

World Vision India makes up for Government failure

Newmai News Network | Imphal, Mar 26: With a view to bring about development in rural areas that have been allegedly long ignored by the Government of Manipur, World Vision India, Sadar Hills Area Development Under Senapati- Manipur) in partnership with Village Development Committee have initiated a series of work for children pecially under 18 years of age with funding from the United States and other countries like Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, etc.

In this regard, the World Vision India also gifted the Sadu Lampak Nepali village in Sadar Hills a football and volley ball grounds Wed-nesday and inaugurated the same.

Addressing the gathe-ring, L Michael, committee development coordinator of World Vision India asser-ted that the programme of the organisation was to change the living standard of the people pecially those in the rural areas. The World Vision enters those places that have been long ignored by the Government of the state nor set foot on it, added Michael. He further inform-ed that the organisation entered the Sadar Hills of Manipur in 1996 and started developmental works a year later with special emphasis on education of youths.

Informing further that World Vision India was a Christian NGO with a vision to develop knowledge and education of the youths and provided infrastructure for the same, L Michael also stated that the NGO also gives out free plastic water pipes, vegetable seeds, awareness on agriculture and the likes. He also informed that World Vision gives awareness on child rights, trafficking, all for the development of rural areas.

Meanwhile, one of the villagers asserted though their village was just about 14-15 kms away from Imphal no concerned MLAs or state officials have approa-ched them to enquire about their living condition. How-ever, thanks to World Vi- sion and their plastic water pipes, the village does not suffer from water scarcity as it used to and even the condition of inter village roads have improved a lot, the villager exclaimed.

Also addressing the gathering, Vinod Raisaly, custom relation service of Guwahati programme moni-toring office asserted that it was for the Nepalis to give up their old ways of life of rearing sheep, goat and cows and turn to education for development. He also assured the village of help from the World Vision India.

S Seijang Hoakip, also addressing the gathering as guest of honour stated the time for change was here and that education was the change. He also urged upon the people of the village to send their children to school.

On the other hand, infor-ming of the condition of the Sadu Lampak village and the neighbouring areas, a villager stated all the essen-tial needs such as communi- cation, transportation, elec-tricity and mid-day meal were now available in the area except the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) with was hampering the water supply of the said area. All the ponds have dried and cracked but thanks to World Vision India, the area has sufficient drinking water, the villager added. And as for the mid-day meal, the villager informed the children were being paid in cash instead of meal.

Exam concludes, results likely in May

IMPHAL, Mar 26: The annual Higher Secondary Examination, 2009 (class XII examination) conducted by the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur which began on February 27 concluded today and the results of the same is likely to be out by first week of May.

During the course of the examination, in all 15 students have been expelled from various examination centres for using unfair means.

On the last day of the examination today, Chairman of the Council Ningombam Ibohal personally conducted a special inspection round of the various examination centres.

Speaking to mediapersons on the sideline of his special inspection visit, Ibohal observed that monitoring of the examination centres of the examina- tions conducted by the Council or the Board in Manipur along with formation of inspection teams would continue to be relevant as long as there is no teaching-learning process in the State.

In this regard, the related authorities of the Government had been already been requested for taking up necessary measures. But the same have not been implemented, Ibohal lamented.

It is an undeniable fact that until and unless there is improvement in the existing system of school education of the State, more and more students would seek to enrol themselves in schools affiliated under the Central Board of Secondary Education, Ibohal noted, while emphasising on the need to improve the system of education in schools under the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur and the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur to arrest the unhealthy trend of student exodus.

Replying to a question, the Council Chairman said that the public notion of looking at the examination as some sort of entertainment programme which was apparent few years back is no more today. This is a healthy development, he added.

The Chairman further assured that in view of the Supreme Court ruling that the results of any examination should be declared within 45 days of the completing the conduct of the examination, the Council would make efforts to declare the results of the class XII examination by first week of May.

Source: The Sangai Express

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nupa kikhen / kikaak na atawm sem thei nading?

-James Zo Mang

Inam sungah nupa kikhen na ang uoang san tawh ang kibang aa, nupa kikhen ding pen, ancim hawp ding siangin baih akisazaw hileh ang kilawm ta in, ziani biekinn sungaa puontuol kaang te sil in, Pasien mai le thuzui mi te mai aa, sie pawlkhat te’n kiten na ibawl pieh te uh, anipi kia ciengin kimu kia leih, ana kikhen zo na hita pilpial cidan in, inam sungah nupa kikhen nate angbaih zieuzieu, auong teteh dan in omta hi. Tua ziekin bangziek aa Nupa kikhen na tamza in uoangsan ta ahei? Cithu ilungngai ton ding uhi.

Model wedding cerebrate

Zii bangza tawh kikhen/ Pasal bangza tawh kikhensa/ alawmnu agai/ inn khan sungaa nupa bangaa kum bangza omton sa, etc te ahilam zong kithei napi in, thei giagua ma tawh sie minpuo pawlkhat in, Pasien mai le pawlpi mite mai ah siengtho kiten na ci’n model wedding cerebrate ikibawl pieh ziehzieh uhi. Abawl khiel zong om aa, thei giagua aa bawlpieh zong om hi. Thei giagua aa bawlpieh te in bang ziek aa ibawl pieh uh? Gam lavawt lo, lungsan san kulvawt lo hi. Khatna ah, Nupa te siengtho / siengtho lo cipen Pasien le amau te kikaal thu ci’n Pilat mangpa bangin khut kisawp zieu hi. Nina ah, kei kahi leh, kei le kei sie kikhanh tawm, pawlpi picing aa sem sie zong hilel singin, tuo ziekin a). Letsong ( sum ) ka nga thei na ahi poleh, b). Min / mark deihna cileih ikhiel ding vuoi? Angaihmaw penpen tawh gente leih ( laisiengtho sung ah zong nangen te hi ) numei kizua te’n sum anga nading ahi popo leh, adaw tak thopthop guol dan ci mai ding hi. “ Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands.” ITim.5:22 NIV.

Kikhen na baih zieuzieu?

Bang ziekin kikhen na kibaih sah zieu zieu ahei? Cithu dawhna adawng dingin kituot leih, kiten na atam leh kikhen nazong atamding angaina hi ci’n baihno tahin ahiding dan khatin kidawng thei ding hi. Atahtah in, kiten na abawl pieh sie akici te tungah tamthu atawm le atam kingaleh kilawm hi. Bang ziek? Sie akici te’n biekinn sungah siengtho kiten na baihno tahin bawl piehin, abawlpieh nupa tezong baihno tah in kikhen kia zieuzieu cidan ahi ziek hi.. Cinop na-ah, kiten na daubawl, baihsah zieuzieu ihi ziekun kikhen nazong kibaih zieuzieu hileh kilawm hi.

Nupa kikhen zieuzieu nading permit pie?

Tam bang kikhen nate ancim/ bucim hawp za aa aki baihsah nading in koi te in, direct / indirect in permit pie tawh kibang ahei? Cithu ngai sun kia leih, ama le ama sie kipie, lamgei pan aa khangkhie sie, sum sui le min sui sie te cileih ikhiel khading vuoi? Tua tepen laisiengtho sang kalo, aka tezong, lamgei laisiengtho sang lah po aa, hla 4,5,6 po tawh bang lukhu ahei? angkhu thei zieu te hi aa, Pasien thu ( Theology ) gen nai lo in, leitung thu le mihing hinkhuo peizie zong thei kicien lo, ham bielbuol, gen bielbuol, awng bielbuol “ Bang gen kahei cizong thei cien lo pi in, sie asem nuom “ 1 Tim. 1: 7. aci te, (“ Mite’n thuman angai noplo hun, amaute deihna beh azui nop hun, amau te zaknop thu te bek agen ding sie aciel thuopthuop hun ang tung ding hi”.2 Tim. 4:3-4 Tedim laisiengtho ) akici sie te ma hipi pen leh kilawm hi. Tam dan ziekin nupa akiteng ding te pen, akiten masang un, akikhen kia nading permit neisa tawh kibang leh kilawm hi. Atah tahin ( Kiten na abawl pieh thei ding, Siengtho pumpi apie thei ding, Sawm aa khat nethei ding, misi vui thei ding etc cite Pasien in atuom vilvel aa anatel nathu laisieng tho sungah akicien in nagen hi. Isreal mi zosie in naban sepsah lo hi. Aki ban septhei thu hilo hi.)

Nupa kikhen na atawm thei nading in?

Tambang aa nupa kikhen kikaak na abai zieuzieu nathu bang cibang in, kemcing thei kia in, cidam thei kia ding? cithu ingai sut kia ciengun, Khatna ah, lamgei sie teng, angkawl ding kisam ding hi. Nina ah, akiteng ding te mama in, Pasien muna I en zo taphiel sih zongin, mimu na etlawm ciengding bek ihanciem ding uh kisam hi. Thumna ah; lamgei sie tepo sum tawh nenol sawm natawh kiten na pawi te ibawl sawm lo dinguh kisam hi. Liina ah, Tanglai Pasien zah / tel Kamsang te in, kamsang zuau te aniel, acipkaw bangin, Pasien nasem tahtah kahi aci pawlpi picing aa Pasien nasem te in, lamgei sie, ama le ama sie kipie tawm etc sie te ihilcien, icip kaw ding uh kisam tading hi. Angana ah; Lamgei siete nasep na thuzui mipi te in, tha ipieh lo dinguh, iniel tangtang ding uh kisam hi. Guhna ah, Akiteng nupa te in kiten na eibawl pieh sie te maitang dingbek et dingin kilawm aa, sie ten zong biekinn sungaa kiten na ibawl pieh te akikhen kia na tungtaang ah mawpuoh na kanei hi cithu kithei ding kisam hi. Sagina ah; siengtho kiten na lipkhap sah leih, kikhen kikaak nazong ilipkhap sahlo phamaw aa, tuo hileh kikhen/ kikaak na ang tawm thei pan ding hileh kilawm hi.

Nupa kikhen kia tawm mama:

Thu zui mi kiten na-ah, Pasien mai le Pawlpi mite mai aa kiten na in apicing, adeih huoi pen kiten na ahi ma bangin, RC, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc pawlpi picing lahaa, Pasien maile pawlpi mite mai biekinn sungaa kiten na anei te enlei, akikhen kia tawm mama cithu imuthei uhi. Bangziek? Khetpaw hamtawh genleih, kitenna abawlpieh Sie te amaankaan ahi banah, siengtho kiten na anei nuom te in, amaankaan deihin, pawlpi tungah lai khang masa in, Pawlpi sie tele upate in, Pasien mittawh hinai lo, mihing mit mama tawh en in, biekinn sungaa siengtho kiten na bawlpieh dingin kilawm / kilawm lo cithu deihtah in, kisit siem, kikan siem masa hi. Kiten na hun atun masang hun bangtan khat la in, akiteng ding tegel tung taang ah, “ka lawmnu/ka lawmpa hii”etc cia akankuot nuom te dingin, tangko na kinei masa hi. Tam bang teng dimdiem zaw ciengaa, kilawm kisa aa kiten na kibawl pieh tepen, apicing kiten na ahi zui in tuobang nupa te sungah akikhen kia tawm mama cithu imu uhi

Nupa kikhen tungtaang Laisiengtho in bang cigen?

Tun, Nupa kikhen te tungtaang Laisiengtho in bang naci gen ei? Cithu I en kia ding uhi. “ Koi po in, angkawm lopi aa, azii akhul aa, ziidang anei leh aangkawm ahi aa, akhul sa numei akinun pi kia zong angkawm asuoh hi” Mt: 19:9. ci’n kicien tahin nagen hina pi’n, kiten na abawl pieh sie pawlkhat te in, tamthu gen tavanuh lo ihi uhi. Mate.19: 6 na“ ni(2) hinawn lo in khat hita hi” cipen beh gulngawngsa tawlme bangin kimet/ kitu linlien hi. Mate. 19:6-9 na thupen atuom tuoh hilo, tanggen, tanglak thei ding laisiengtho mun hilo cithu phawk huoi mama hi. Tam tepen laisiengtho thu thei kicien lo sie te ii zahzie hithei ding hi. Gentena; Zawma. 13:1 nalien igen uhtawh kibang hi. Ameng 1 napen7 dong tawh akizom khenkek aa bekgen theiding ahilo mun te nahi tuok hi. Tua ziekin nupa siengtho kiten na ah, “ Ni hinawn lo in khat” cicieng pen, kiten na pawi hunsung teng beh ding hi aa, athupizaw ahi sidong kitul ding, kikhen kia thei lo ding aci na “ Koi po in, angkawm lopi aa, azii akhul aa, ziidang anei leh aangkawm ahi aa, akhul sa numei akinun pi kia zong angkawm asuoh hi” Mt: 19:9 nathu pen, cien tah aa hilcien leh thei sah siem ding kisam mama zawlai leh kilawm hi.

Nupa kikhen zieuzieu na in bang ei susie?

Nupa kikaal kikhen na atam ziekin bang teng ei susie ei? Cithu atomkim in gen ding hileih, I Christian upna le zuina ei Susie aa, tua in, inam le igam sung ei susie in inam le igam in nat (cidamlo) law hi.

Thu khup naa: BC hun nuo et kia leih, minam sung, gamsung ah nu le pa khielna, aangkawm na te ang uoang san ciengin, minam le gam in nat law, thuohlaw, samsiet law cithu ithei uhi. Kikhen na atam ciengin angkawm na tam cina hi aa, tuo in, inam, igam cidam nading susie nahi gige leh kilawm hi. Igam le inam sung cidam nading in, kiten nale alangkhat aa om ahi “kikhen kia lo ding” cithu alang ni aa kemcing zo dingin, Pasien in iminam tungah thupha eipie ta heh. Amen.( “ Ni hinawn lo in khat “ Mt. 19:6 - Koi po in, aangkawm lopi aa, azii akhul aa, ziidang anei leh aangkawm ahi aa, akhul sa numei akinun pi kia zong aangkawm asuoh hi” Mt: 19:9).


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We, the People and Our Land:The Need of Geo-political Consciousness among the Zou people

-S. Thangboi Zou

Who are we?: Who are ‘we’ or who are the Zou? Okay, there is nothing wrong finding out once and again who we really are, what we are and what are some exciting and unexciting facts about us as well, though it seems unnecessary, at least, for this moment - present fast globalised society. Several clans and sub-clans both in India and Burma or other parts of the world (If one really exists) compose the Zou tribe. For this matter, one is not so sure of the fact that who the ‘real’ Zou are and who are ‘imaginary’ Zou, who are the ‘pure’ Zou and who are the ‘diluted’ ones or ‘the duplicate’.

As for me, there is no real, no pure or no cocktailed Zou as far as this composite trait of the Zou is concerned: a group of people, speaking almost the same language, follow the same custom and tradition, organized (though poorly organized) under one social and political umbrella. In fact, the tribe Zou is no particular one’s inheritance or father’s property as such, but composed of some close and crossed clans and dialects. The Zou language is a beautiful blend of more than four dialects: Haidawi, Khuangnung, Thangkhal, Gun-gal, Khodai, etc. Lamka-Zou could also become another distinct dialect of Zou as it has a close affinity not only with the rest but also with other sister tribes which is why some people jokingly called ‘Zou-Thai’ dialect. Thanks to the persons who had ingeniously invented and propagated another ‘Zou dialect’. One cannot be denied of or forced to use any of the mentioned dialects/ascent basing the standpoint on the concept of originality. We cannot call a group as original and the rest duplicate or anything. It would be a naïve to do so. The Zou language is still in the process of dynamic evolution, which means that a lot more variety is yet to come or assimilated into our language. Any person can be called Zou as long as he or she chooses so, provided his or her identity reveals it. Simply, a person may claim the identity of Zou tribe even if he or she does not speak any of the Zou dialects but belongs to one of the so called - Zou clans. ‘Blood is thicker than water’ and identity is one thing we can’t afford to ignore as long we live as human beings.

Our Land – the Grand Inheritance

George (1881) gave dramatic description on the value of land: “Land is necessary to all production, no matter what the kind of form; land is a standing place, the workshop, the store house of labour; it is to the human being the only means by which he can obtain access to material universe or utilize its power. Without land man cannot exist. To whom the ownership of land is given, to him is given the virtual ownership of men who must live upon it”.

While not overlooking our identity, let us turn our attention to the geographical area where we live and flourish. Viewing the spatial extent of our inhabited area, we could have realized that Almighty God has been so kind and loving to us for bestowing us such a wonderful, rich and vast extent of land. Such vast area extending down the southern two districts of ManipurChurachandpur and Chandel bordering Myanmar, where the majestic Imphal (Gun-lui), Khuga (Tuitha), Tuivel and Tuining are draining the entire region and forming rich alluvial valleys that spread below and around the huge sentry-like undulating hills and the great monsoon showers its heavenly downpour to give bumper crops to the people, this is the land of ‘milk and honey’ – Zougam, the land inhabited by the Zou people. All the great ancient civilizations of the world such as Egyptian, Harappan, Roman, Greek, Chinese, etc. flourished near or in the river banks. This rightly indicates that economic prosperity goes side by side with natural prosperity. Not to sideline the hill areas, we are lucky to be bestowed with thick jungles with abundant woods, timber and other plant species with various medicinal values; and wonderful lateritic soils where we, though not advisable, still carry on jhum culture.

According to a figure given by Paunou (Zopatong: Jan-Mar 2007, pp 3,4), the Zou villages settling in and around the Khuga River are around 30 in numbers. They fall under Churachandpur and Singhat sub-divisions. The Tuivai stream running almost parallel to the Myanmar border sustains about 14 Zou villages. Some of the prominent villages along the Tuivai are Singat, Behiang, Tangpizawl, Zabellei, Hiangtam, etc. There 5 and 6 villages in Tuivel and Tuila kuol (peripheral area) respectively. Tuining valley sustains about 12 villages while the Tuipi (Barak), Mawngkai and Tuila pang (bank) together cover 11 villages. The Tuivel bank has only 6 villages. The Guun and Kana valleys support around 18 Zou villages out of which Sugnu-Zoveng, Singtom, Sachih and Paldai are some of the larger villages. There are around 9 localities in Lamka town area. The total population of Zou in India according to 1991 census was 15,887 and 20567 in 2001 (Census of India, 1991 &2001). We share only 2.8 % of all ST population in Manipur. About 61 % of the population is literate where male population accounts for 73% and female 53% only. We stood 8th position in terms of literacy of all Scheduled Tribes of Manipur. Politically, Singat is the one and only Assembly Constituency we have in Manipur. In fact, it is the only compact area where we are settling. Of recent, due to out-migration from rural to urban areas our population in the urban areas has increased extensively that we are ranking the third place in terms of number of population in Lamka town.

Nevertheless, we also find a good number of Zou settlements in Myanmar too. In fact, roughly around 30% of the Zou population is found in India and the rest 70% in Myanmar. It is estimated that the Zou population in Burma is around 50 to 60 thousands The Zou are mostly found in Northern Chin State and in the Kabaw Valley of Western Sagaing Division of Myanmar. They are also one of the official ethnic tribes in Myanmar. The Zou in Burma called themselves ‘Zo’, which is supposedly a generic term used for the Chin-Kuki-Lushai people (

People in the dwindling Land: deep Introspection

Glancing at the vast Tuining, Khuga, Kana, Behiang and Guun valleys, we could see how rich and stupendous is the land we posses. These valleys are more than less the extension of the Imphal valley, which serves as the rice bowl of Manipur. The same way, these valleys of ours could also be definitely called our rice bowl. However, this might have been a true statement of 10 or 20 years ago, and no more now! Can we just pose a plain query to ourselves that if we still own those mentioned great valleys. If the answer is ‘yes’, then, how big in size? How many hectares of land and forests had been owned by the Zou once upon a time in these particular valleys, and now how much of them are still in our hands and how many of our villages have been transferred to ‘other’ people? This question calls for a genuine answer. Has it not been clearly visible to our own eyes that so many Zou chieftains have sold out their forefathers’ lands?

There were times when we were self-sufficient in our land thanks to the abundant resources. Our grandfathers and mothers, let alone our forefathers, had never fell short of anything they required. They toiled hard, reaped plenty, partied, jollified and enjoyed life to the fullest. They inherited bountiful ‘treasures’ (land) to us – their sons and daughters. However, within no time the world has changed so much so that, we cannot seemingly update ourselves with the changing environment. Before we could possibly realize, we have been hard-pressed from all directions and have been shrunk to a small size just left to be pushed out of the existing space. Now, the resources of livelihood have almost exhausted and we are living at this present pathetic condition. Indeed, it is our own making. No?

One is not destined to lag or fall behind others in any work of life. So aren’t we. Viewing based on personal experiment, we can safely declare that we virtually lag behind others in the socio-economic spheres of life. This statement bears of true testimony when referred particularly to our rural social and economic status. Many of our sister tribes who were displaced into our land and settled next to our villages just yesterday, have fared much far ahead of us in all works of life. No wonder, we are the natives who have been living since our fore-fathers’ time. While, not very few of our villages have seen centenary most have crossed golden jubilee so far. We have been over-taken in the race of progress by someone who came in to the picture just recently. The real factor behind this could be lethargy, lack of opportunity, lack of diligence, lack of vision or not in the least, lack of moral and ethical conduct on our part. Almost all of them seem to be appropriately fitted to us. A big chasm has found itself between the old and new generations today in our Zou social context. We might talk big of the past glory as well as the achievements that our forefathers - not we - had made. We do talk boastfully of the great Zougal which they fought valiantly to defend their land from outsiders (British). Little did ever come to our mind that they were fighting for us, for their sons and daughters who are now not only enjoying it but also wasting the fruit of their hard labour. We have to ask ourselves this crucial question: are we doing justice to our fathers’ inheritance and intending to treasure it for our sons and daughters tomorrow?

Introducing Geo-Politics

Do we ever have a political vision? In the first place, can we have a light glance of our geo-political vantage? We have quite mentioned in length the geographical extent that we are being ‘inherited’. However, due to our ignorance about the real value of land and its treasures-resources, we are in the process of loosening our grip without developing any second thought to save it for our descendants. Almost all politics of the world have their underlying geographical implications, concisely termed ‘geo-politics’. We relatively have a strategic geographical advantage to unite ourselves into a strong political entity, thanks to our compact settlement in Singhat area/subdivision. Mackinder, a British Geographer, propounded the famous ‘Heartland Theory’ where he divided the world into three main parts: Pivotal area or Heartland, Inner Cresent and Outer Cresent. He termed the core of Eurasian (Europe & Asia) continent as the Pivotal/Heartland area. He considered this area as the natural fortress because of its vast size, central location and resource potentialities. He says, “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland, who rules the Heartland commands the world Island, who rules the World Island commands the World” (Taylor, 2000, p.54). Here, we want to infer the idea that geographical locations naturally give rise to a favourable political as well as economic ‘landscape’ for a group of people. As a matter of fact, we the Zou have this opportunity which is imaginably envied and begrudged by many.

We are fortunate to live in the border areas with Burma. Behiang is our village that has the potential to develop into a medium-scale trading hub between India and Burma. Business infrastructure, especially, proper road connectivity from Lamka via Singat to Behiang is a pre-requisite to realize this beautiful dream of ours. The second important thing is, we need to settle in an around the areas (read village) as much as we can. Migrating out from our areas for certain reasons - although genuine – will be a disadvantage that could cost us dearly in future. Here, we are not trying to glorify a village life, mentality or its backwardness, but we are attempting to throw lights on the importance of settling together in compact order so that one can enjoy any sort of social, economic and political bounty coming out of it. This region (read Singat) too is our one and only political region from where we elect and send a member to represent us in the State’s Assembly – no matter if he/she whole-heartedly represents and work for us or not. That is the good reason why we could shout aloud that we are specially blessed. But also, we feel equally apprehensive to say that we might have been the wrong people in the right place!!

Possessing a land is not the end in itself, but a means to an end. One needs to find ways to living it, ways to taking good care of it, developing and preserving it for generations. The past as well as present conflicts of the world have been over land and land alone. People do not want to part with a single inch of their land; instead, they do dare to sacrifice their life to save it. The present outcry in West Bengal, Gujarat, Imphal, etc. are all over lands - where some people are planning to set up a special economic activities in the area and the land owners are deadly against it. While supporting the move to develop a particular areas through the initiatives of private/public entrepreneurship, we are not blindfolded of the people and their imminent hardship they are to face had their lands been taken over by the former arbitrarily. Arguments against and in favour of it is bound to occur. Let us side with none to be politically correct!! Even such a situation of developmental activities (Khuga Project) and its consequences have occurred in our place. The wide difference of the price of our lands and others that we’d mentioned were so high and so awful to note. Our land that was our only source of living and our only place of living - our beautiful ecological niche - have been compromised with a little notes of rupees.

So sad! Let us present it with an illustration. Mr. Lalboi Zou (name changed) and his family owned a 3 acre size of land somewhere around Khuga valley. However, according to the Govt. official record it was only 2 acres. Since his land had been affected by the Project he was entitled to get Rs. 80,000 as compensation from the Govt. But he actually got only Rs. 60,000 (Rs. 20,000 taken away by the dealer/middleman) and that too, after two years from the date of announcement. Besides, there are the “land-keepers”-the UGs, to claim their share of the cake from that meager amount. Lalboi and his family have been unable to plow their paddy field for the past two consecutive years already before getting a single paise as compensation for the loss of their land. What a justice! The net amount obtained by the family for the cost of their inherited land was not even sufficient to buy a half plot of land somewhere in the town or its peripheries. The same size of land in Gujarat or West Bengal could not have been settled with less than 1 crore rupees. We are not kidding, for heaven’s sake.

Nevertheless, we do not mean to cause worry to anyone. A day will surely arrive when the cost of land will be as high as skyscrapers in our place too. Rather it is just that, if we would ever own any piece of land when the price of it would be such high, is a cause of concern. All politics have their origin from and over land. People, as we said, are ready to sacrifice their lives over their land than to lose an inch, while, we people seems to be ignorant about the value of our inherited land. Should our politics be stable, strong and lasting, then we ought to start paying attention from our land including all that is inside, in the first place. George (1881) said that without land man cannot exist. We now say, ‘without our land our politics cannot exist’. It cannot continue to survive without our land too. We fear that we might end up our present era as a history of distress-migrants, scattered and confused.

Who is responsible for the realization of this socio-economic and political imagination? In fact it is all in everyone’s hand, whether concerned or not. It will all depend on how much we take steps forward and get equipped with the knowledge/technology to explore our man-power and natural resources and use them for our wealth creation which will ultimately usher in the so much prized economic and political development in our land – for the people. May be we have not arrived this ‘visionary’ stage, but soon and sure we will come to this point one fine day. So, this is the reason why we need to retain our very land.

Secondly, development bus will also be escorted in to our land by other people – outside investors. In fact, we cannot just invent development by ourselves. Someone has to come inside to introduce and initiate it to us while our duty is to welcome them and try to learn from them, if necessary. Notwithstanding a lengthy talk of protectionism in regard to our land, we do not mean to emphasize the ideology of closed economy/society or Isolationism as a whole. No, never! Policy of isolation has already been shot down by the idea of globalization. No one, including us, can live alone, but need someone to share and fare with. Ushering in outsiders for investing their capital does not mean that we shall be robbed of our lands and properties. We would rather be made wealthier. This underscores the logic that our geo-politics should not be compromised with the proposed ‘geo-economics’. This should take into account the importance of certain limitation on every step we move. Nothing excess is good.

Let’s play a saved game

Today, who is responsible to save our so called geo-politics from vanishing, make our geopolitics vital and strong again, and finally make it insurmountable giant for any possible aggressor? Is it the common people? To some extent they may be. However, it is the village authority or Chieftainship, who have owned lands from their ancestors have the first obligation to save their tracts of lands – vast or small. They are the real property owners in our Zougam and we the villagers or the common people are their subjects, in strict sense of terms. It may be wisely advisable that they do not dispose of their lands to ‘other’ people. In the second place, the politicians and social leaders carry the large share of duty towards our ‘gam’. Politicians are definitely the MLA (s) we have to give voice on our behalf in political affairs. The social leaders consist mainly of those personalities in UZO, ZYO, ZSP and other organisations in our name. Social leaders, in wide purview, also include our religious leaders who also have divine obligation to save their people and the land they live as well. On this regard, the UZO leaders have done a good work rushing to Delhi camp in order to clear the cloud of recent issues of delimitation which Singngat A/C was supposed to be affected badly. We wish them to play again the same role in the same vigor when the need arise. Our politicians should be on their guard against playing power-crazy-politics.

Money can do everything in this world, except raise the dead body up or give eternal life. When our nam leaders get transformed from a selfless, dedicated and humble sheep to selfish and gluttonous beasts, it is certainly the people and the land that start to bear the brunt. In this regard, the siren of the accidents at Ngasuan Lui and Behiang are still fresh in our memories. They are yet too soon to forget. No doubt, this is the fruit of our misdeed (mismanagement). It is high time that we do love our land and people with utmost devotion. If one proclaims to love his land (Zougam), he/she would love everything in it and see that all important infrastructures and lifelines - road connectivity, education, health systems, welfare of the people, etc. - are maintained. But the selfish and voracious leaders would not concern about what happens, who dies or who lives, as long as they fills their belly. We are scared to have any such personality in our society. They love neither our land nor the people as such. True nationalism implies the love for both land and the people together.

The educated youths shoulder great deal of responsibility to save our land. A saying goes, ‘youth are the pillar of the nation’. To become a strong nation (Zou) we have to be able to present ourselves in all works of life. We need to undergo diverse line in education. The youths have to be aware and informed of various issues pertaining to socio-political and economic matters outside and within our community. We will not be able to save our land with the barrel of cannon alone, but mostly with brain power and wisdom. For all these, we need to cultivate unity within us and revitalize our social bodies – UZO, ZSP, ZYO, Churches, etc. Above all, we lack the most important thing – fear God. Have we ever cared at all to give thanks to our God Almighty for bestowing us such blessed lands?

(This article is extracted from Silver Jubilee Souvenir of the ZSP Shillong)

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