Saturday, April 04, 2009

We have emotional attachment with Arunachal: Rahul

Arunachal: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who seemed to be a bit nostalgic after his arrival here under East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, on Thursday said his family had a long relationship with the state. ''My family has a long relationship with Arunachal Pradesh and I want to keep this legacy alive,'' the youth leader said in an emotional note while addressing an election rally.

He said the people of this Himalayan state were deeply attached with the Nehru-Gandhi family and hence he always felt excited to meet them.

Recalling Congress' contribution to Arunachal, Mr Gandhi said the concern of the party for this state was still continuing and the Rs 22,000 crore developmental package announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his maiden visit to the state last year bears testimony to it.

''We want Arunachal to develop at par with other states of the country,'' he iterated.

Appreciating the people for their hospitality, Mr Gandhi expressed confidence that the people would continue to support the Congress and help it to form the next government at the Centre.

''Vote for our two Congress candidates so that they would be able to impress upon the Centre for sanctioning more developmental funds,'' he pointed out, adding the Congress government, both at the Centre and Arunachal, would help the state to move ahead towards development.

Lashing out at the opposition BJP, the youth leader pointed out that the announcement made by former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani regarding various projects, including 500-bed referral hospital at Naharlagun, failed to materialise.

But the announcements made by the Congress so far for Arunachal were implemented in toto, he averred. (UNI)


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Naga Integration Issue Assumes Center Stage, NPF for integration of all Naga areas

Mokokchung/Dimapur, April 3 (MExN): Stark to AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s contention yesterday that Manipur’s territorial integrity would be maintained, the NPF today said it is for integration of all Naga areas. Chief minister Neiphiu Rio said the NPF stands for integration, at the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland election campaign in Mokokchung town today. Addressing the Mokokchung gathering, Neiphiu Rio said the Congress’ policies render the Naga political issue impossible to be solved.

He cited Rahul Gandhi’s assuring Manipur “just yesterday” that its territorial integrity will be preserved at any cost. The NPF on the other hand, Rio said, is for the integration of all Naga-inhabited areas as well as ‘recognition’ of the Nagas in Myanmar.

“When it’s time for elections, the Congress put pictures of Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. We respect these personalities but we will not vote for them,” Rio said. He reiterated that the Naga people “do not need Delhi high command, whether independent or not” and that ‘although not independent’, the Naga people can still preserve their identity and that only a regional party like the NPF can do the job.

ANSAM’s advice for Rahul

Yesterday’s utterance of AICC general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi that the territorial integrity of Manipur would be maintained is not received happily by the All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur.

In an “open letter” to the young leader, the ANSAM said to have ‘felt competent’ to advise the upcoming leader that “you are ignorant about what is being said and what is being understood by senior leaders of your party in Delhi”. Gandhi had, at a rally in Lamka (Churachandpur) in Manipur said ‘Manipur territorial integrity will never be altered’.

The ANSAM ‘advised’ the Congress MP to consult with his senior leaders “in this kind of sensitive issue” before dwelling on it “and not indulge in hate campaign against certain communities in negation of the historical aspiration of every ethnic community’s right to live as a people”.

The ANSAM ‘reminded’ in its “open letter” that senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee had written to Lok Sabha MP for Outer Manipur Mani Charenamei calling for “re-examination” of the Common Minimum Programme of the Congress- led UPA coalition because “it does not stand the test of scrutiny in the light of the constitutional provisions under Article 3 & 4”.

Nonetheless, the ANSAM expressed ‘appreciation for the successive Prime Ministers of India trying to solve the Indo-Naga political conflict through peaceful and negotiated means’.

PDA for land and people

Also, the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) has stated the review of the condition of the Naga people and other hill areas in the state of Manipur to be its main objective.

Mani Charanamei, the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) and PDA candidate for the 15th Lok Sabha Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency, during a campaign meeting of the party at Tamenglong district headquarters Thursday.

Addressing a gathering attended by a good number of supporters including many members of legislative assembly (MLAs) from the state, Charanamei stated a win for the party would mean bringing peace and development to the hill areas and called upon the people to choose and vote a candidate that would raise voice for the people of the hill areas. The tribal people, also known as the indigenous people, deserves to live in their own recognized land, stated the candidate and added it was the priority of the party to make this come true.

Also addressing the meeting, Gaidon Kamei, PDA’s general secretary said sixteen prime ministers and twelve presidents of the country have come and gone but that the movement of tribal people continues to remain on their tables. He asserted that the Nagas are not demanding a separate state but unification of all the Nagas in the hill areas.

Another leader, MLA Awangbow maintained that the issues of the hill areas are still lying on the table of the central government ‘as left by Mani Charanamei’.


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Another Murky General Election on the Roll

By Donn Morgan Ng Kipgen

“Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign,
Beneath all uniforms, a single body breaths,
Like ours; the land our brothers walk upon
Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.
“It is the human earth that we defile, Our hells of fire and dust outrage the innocence,
Of air that is everywhere our own, Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange.”

—James Kirkup

(No men are Foreign)

Beware of the Ides of March!! Well, the dangers of them all have began to come, all in the form of the 2009 MP General Election in most parts of the nation. It will stay that way till a new political King, the Queen and real Dauphine (Yuvraj) Rahul Gandhi are all put in the right place. Though the old age universal dictum, “Politics is the last refuge of a scoundrel” might not be applicable in general terms in these days but it does give an outward identities to some semiliterate or soft-spoken political leaders with multiple criminal records as thick as the Guidelines of the Election Commission and their volatile followers. While the world largest democracy rolls out its jaggernaut (Jagannath) in motion for the next “Aryan Parsean” dominated desi-Reich, some unlucky mothers’ sons and daughters would inevitably pay or “sacrificed” their lives and limbs at the cruel hands of politically-motivated armed criminals and even some trigger-happy security personnel in retaliatory or mob control firings. Needless to say, hundreds of armed extremists, mercenaries, terrorists and right-wing or misguided UG outfits would have a money-powered field days. As of now, for an otherwise coveted MP seat, and then onto the ultimate spell-binding PM’s Race Course Office, all the political top guns are oiling their automatic hunting rifles with the magnetic “Gandhi bank notes” instead of the pragmatic “Gandhian Principles of the State Policy” as practically advised in the Constitution of India. Politics has become more of a regulation 5 yrs term’s bloody war of attrition powered by murky sense of political and ethnical enmities, vision of needless revenge or vengeance just for the sake of sheer hatred, money, hollow-pride and an open show of muscle powers. We, the patriotic citizens of India, need to learn from the otherwise peaceful Anglo-American form of modern political rivalry, the honourable thumb’s up to the victors and chivalrous acceptance of painful defeat with full grace and hopeful future.

The recent US Presidential Election of 2008 - 09 had shown us to the fullest that general election and high-voltage politics could be conducted and exercised without killings, bombings, personal enmity, and ending with honourable handshakes. How many American Presidential party-workers and voters lost their lives and limbs or how many Constitutional actions were initiated during the campaigning, voting and vote-counting? Officially none, even atleast for hawk-eyes’ media boys. Yes, there were socio-political war of words and hostile show of statesmanship from the ticket campaigns (esp the Democrat party) even from the primary phase itself but things were strictly non-personal and hotly fought within civilised political ethics. Indeed, there might have been some inevitable anti-social activities, or even some acts of politically isolated violence, in the US Presidential and British General Elections, but they apparently did not merit a space or column in their national news media.

Tact and diplomacy are the two primary cogs in the golden wheel of political statesmanship which pull, at times push, a highly developed nation and great politico-military nation in all recorded socio-political generations. The recent surprising appointment of Senator Hillary Clinton (New York) as the Secretary of State by US President Barack Obama after being given a multiple bloody noses by the former First Lady in sharp battles for Democratic Presidential Election Ticket war which was won as narrowly upto the last primaries was a master stroke for the New Man in the White House’s Oval Office. President Obama, hard pressed as he was, knew the best person, tried and fully tested with first hand experiences for the job of the American “Home and Foreign Minister’s” post, ie. The Secretary of State, and thus, in comes Mrs Clinton.

President Obama has done a President Lincoln who appointed hostile Democrat leaders like the Secy of War W Stanton and, of course, the highly independent Secretary of Treasury who helped him won the American Civil War (1861-64) with a semi-retired and hard-drinking lowly Brig General named Ulysses Grant from wilderness to win the war. The much-detested Gen Grant went on to become a US President. Hundred years later, Gen Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower emulated President Grant by becoming a US President despite his much-maligned personal relationship with his war-time private secretary, namely Ms Kate Summersby, a war-widowed British general staff officer’s aide. Ten years later, Lt John F Kennedy replaced his former Commander-in-Chief, Gen, Ike, with “tainted” assistances from all corners with murky personal lifestyle—the Americans public knew that he had political and magnetic leadership qualities and the Americans, like the Britishers, fully understand who has the God-gifted minds and talents to represent them at the world’s top most socio-political stage. Now, do we have that mindset, political ethics, loyalty and absolute trust to elect the right perso n(s) for the right job in India? Do our top political leaders have the right qualities for the right jobs or are there MP candidates who have the natural qualities and professional experiences to become the Indian Home, Defence and Foreign Ministers? Would there be a forgive-and-forget political principles to form a united Union Ministry with a patriotic sense of collective leadership in the next Govt of India ? Could there be a council of Ministers and MPs who have no high profile criminal records nor being booked under the NSA nor a day in a lock-up for openly committing a case of Felony? None, dare we presume, as of now and as in the past. The mighty law-makers just can’t be officially law-breakers in the past. The Nation needs a new “criminal-free” Government. Period.


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After Rahul, Sangma to campaign in Churachandpur

Lamka, Apr 3: After Rahul Gandhi had pulled a huge crowd in yesterday’s election rally at Tuibuong ground here, now NCP has decided to counter Gandhi scion’s campaign by fielding party secretary general PA Sangma for his party’s Outer Manipur candidate LB Sona. Confirming the date for Sangma’s visit LB Sona today said, “Sangma is expec- ted to arrive here before 12 noon on April 7 to address a rally of the NCP at Lamka Public ground.”

Interacting with The Sangai Express on the sidelines of formal launch of his election campaign at its office here today, Sona claim- ed that his prospect of wining the Outer seat is grow- ing by the day.

“Our efforts will definitely be getting a better crowd,” he added, apparently in reference to Rahul’s rally.

With a mere 13 days left for campaigning, Sona in his address to party workers exhorted for a concerted effort to make their cause reach every household within the constituency.

MPP on a mission, proclaims O Joy

IMPHAL, Apr 3 : Th Chaoba of Manipur Democratic Alliance (MDA), comprising of the MPP, NCP, MSCP and NPP, is being fielded in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency on a mission based on five points by the alliance, said O Joy of MPP.

MLA Joy was speaking at the elections of campaigns of Th Chaoba held at Laipham Khunou Makha Leikai under Heingang A/C and Kwakeithel Thounaojam Leikai under Keishamthong A/C today.

Joy said that the people should adopt a collective stand not to elect Congress or CPI candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.

Reacting to CPI dubbing MPP as ‘paper tiger’, Joy compared CPI to a dog’s tail.
It was during the tenure of Parijat as Agriculture Minister that he went scrambling for fertilizer and that MLAs were sent to jostle for fertilizer besides the seizure of a huge quantity of fertilizer by Army enroute to Moreh, Joy asserted.

Expressing surprise over the assurance of Rahul Gandhi that the territorial integrity of Manipur would not be compromised, the veteran MPP leader claimed that it was MPP that persuaded the State Legislative Assembly to take a resolution against the election manifesto of the Congress party published during the time of Assembly elections in Nagaland which endorsed unification of Naga inhabited areas.

People should decide on the contrasting statements made by Congress leaders while speaking in Manipur that the territorial integrity of Manipur would be safeguarded and that Naga inhabited areas should be unified while speaking in the neighbouring State, Joy said.

MLA Ng Bijoy spoke on the efforts of Th Chaoba during his stint as Union Minister to develop NH 150 in Manipur, establish gas bottling plant, opening of SAI centre, establishment of Special Area Games centre, opening of Sports Academy having 19 streams, establishment of food park and towards extension of railway to Manipur.

Meinya, Nipamacha, Khetarani file papers

IMPHAL, Apr 3: Dr Meinya of Congress, Wahengbam Nipamacha of BJP and L Khetarani of Rashtriya Bahujan Congress Party today filed their nomination papers to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha election for the Inner Manipur Parliamentary seat.

The three aspiring candidates submitted their nomination papers to the Deputy Commissioner of Imphal West who is also the Returning Officer of election to the Inner seat.

Including them, so far 6 candidates have filed their nomination papers for the Inner seat.
The aspiring candidates who have already submitted their nomination papers include Dr Nara of CPI, retired IPS officer A Rahman and Nongmaithem Homendro. The latter two filed their nomination papers to contest in he election as independent candidates.

Dr Meinya submitted his nomination papers at around 11.45 am today.

Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, MPCC president Gaikhangam, Ministers and other Congress workers accompanied Dr Meinya while coming to submit his nomination paper.

Talking to mediapersons at the occasion, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh exuded confidence that Dr Meinya would emerge winner by getting atleast 1 lakh votes over his nearest rival.

Congress would like to fight in this election against many candidates. The candidates should also be those who are not contesting in the election only in name sake but prominent figures, the Chief Minister added.

When asked whether AICC president Sonia Gandhi would be coming to Imphal in connection with the election, the Chief Minister said that the exact timing of her visit has not yet been finalised, although she had given her assurance of coming for the election campaign.

After coming out from filing his nomination papers, Dr Meinya told mediapersons brusquely ‘to look at the election manifesto’ when asked about his priorities areas.

‘Lets ensure my election’, he added.

In connection with the election manifesto of the Congress party, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said that since it is a Parliamentary election, there would be no separate election manifesto of the party for Manipur. The election manifesto published at the National level would be translated in Manipur.

Nonetheless, he assured that he would look into inclusion of issues related to Manipur, if it is required.

On the other hand, Wahengbam Nipamacha of BJP told mediapersons after filing his nomination paper that BJP would give priorities on improvement of roads and bridges, law and order and protection of integrity.


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Sonia’s date with Manipur likely in April second week

IMPHAL, Apr 3 : Following her son’s foot- steps, AICC president Sonia Gandhi is likely to visit the State to campaign for the Congress in the second week of April. Speaking to The Sangai Express an important member of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee said that though no date has been fixed for the high profile visit, AICC leaders have informed that Sonia Gandhi will visit the State some time in the second week of April to campaign for the party for the Parliamentary election.

Significantly, the JAC formed against the killing of Dr Th Kishan and his two subordinate had called a general strike tomorrow to co-incide with the visit of Sonia Gandhi. A vernacular daily had reported that Sonia Gandhi would visit the State on April 4.
However the JAC has called off the proposed general strike after it came to light that Sonia Gandhi will not be arriving tomorrow.

So far, Sonia Gandhi has not commented on the gruesome killing of the SDO and his two staff by some cadres of the NSCN (IM) as well as on the hunger strike agitation launched by Irom Chanu Sharmila demanding the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State.

Meanwhile the Congress man who spoke to The Sangai Express said that a two day meeting of the Election Committee of the Cong- ress to chalk out minute details ahead of the election began at the Congress Bha-wan today. In the meantime, Congress candidate in the Outer seat Thangso Baite said that LB Sona of the NCP would not affect his vote bank in Churachandpur district. LB Sona and Baite are from Churachandpur district. In a positive tone, Bai- te said that he would garner the maximum vote from the seven Assembly segments of Thoubal district which fall under the Outer Parliamentary Constituency.

BJP takes pot shots at Congress, MPP

IMPHAL, Apr 3: Going on the offensive against the Congress and MPP, BJP today charged that the two parties have failed to live up to the expectations of the people of the State.

Talking to reporters today at the State BJP office, BJP Zonal Organising Secretary for North East States, P Chandrashekhar Rao said that the Congress led SPF Government has totally failed to implement developmental works in a proper manner in the State. Expressing concern over the erratic power supply in the State, the BJP leader promised that his party would to do the needful to handover the Loktak Hydro Power Project to the State to ensure regular power supply to the people.

Claiming that MPP is in disarray ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Chadrasekhar said that the regional party is in confusion regarding their support in Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency. In Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency as well, he said that the party has changed its candidate, which according to him shows a clear mental dilemma within the party. The MPP had at first announced the name of Prof N Mohendro as its candidate in the Inner seat but later opted for Th Chaoba.

Regarding the commitment of the BJP towards people of the North East, he said that the NDA would construct North East youth hostels in all major cities of the country if the NDA coalition comes to power at the Centre.

Chadrasekhar Rao also promised to construct NE Bhavans in major cities, so that people hailing from the region, especially those who have travelled to these cities for medical treatment can stay without any hassles.

Responding to a question regarding the territorial integrity issue and controversial AFSPA, the organising secretary said that the people of the State should live together with better coordination and communal harmony. As Manipur is already a tiny State and the population of each tribe is small, BJP has always been in favour of not breaking the integrity, he added.

Regarding AFSPA, Chandrasekhar asserted that his party is against the misuse of any ‘special power’ given to security force. He said, “We brought Judicial and Police Reforms during our time, and we will discuss the matter of AFSPA as well take suggestions from experts.”

The BJP State Unit also introduced six former NCP workers who have recently joined BJP to the media in the press conference. NCP Manipur Unit general secretary Y Iboyaima, NCP Manipur Unit former general secretary K Jadumani, NCP candidate in Tamei A/C in the last Assembly elections Athuan Abonmei, NCP candidate in Kumbi A/C Kh Nabakumar, NCP Student Wing general secretary Y Suresh and member W Firstson have joined BJP.

Jadumani and Iboyaima while addressing the reporters said that they decided to shift allegiance to the BJP as the prospect of the NCP to grow as a National party is poor. Moreover the NCP does not have a clear vision, they contended, explaining that in some States they may go along with a certain party while in another State they oppose the same party again.

The BJP has named former Chief Minister W Nipamacha as its candidate in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.

Ukhrul warms up to Adanee’s campaign

IMPHAL, Apr 3: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has formally launched Parliamentary election campaign of its candidate - D Loli Adanee for the Outer Manipur Constituency, in Ukhrul district today.

as a part of the campaign launch, ‘BJP and its Support Group’, Ukhrul organised a public meeting at Tangkhul Nagalong ground in the district headquarters while at its Wino Bazar office the candidate himself hoisted the party flag.

At the public meeting several district level BJP representatives and supporters of Loli Adanee addressed the gathering.
To name a few, former Hill Areas Committee Chairman Dr M Horam, ex-president of Tangkhul Naga Long Solomon Ningshen and former MLA DP Pamei also canvassed support for the BJP nominee with the assertion that electing Loli Adanee would be the right choice.

Heavy downpour failed to dampen the campaign mood as a large number of people congregated at the campaign venues.

In his address, Adanee affirmed to lead the district people towards socio-economic prosperity with the assurance to establish international trade routes along the indo-Myanmar border which the district shares.

“Ukhrul has a long and strategic international border with Myanmar, and I will ensure that international trade routes along this stretch of the border is opened up to facilitate trade link with South East Asian countries,” Adanee stated.

Lamenting that prospect of international trade link in other parts of the State is being overlooked through concentration of trade activities only at Moreh, the BJP nominee also assured to increase and improve financial institutions such as banks in the district so as to promote economic growth and generate employment opportunities.

Pledging egalitarian development in the State irrespective of hills or plain, he assured personal commitment to ensure that shares due to the hills are extended/provided.

Stressing on necessity for a peaceful environment to accelerate developmental activities, he urged the people to strive for creating conducive atmosphere that would expedite implementation of welfare programmes.

Adanee also said he will speak for solution of the protracted Naga issue.

former Minister Prof Ga-ngmumei Kamei proclaim- ing that Adanee has generated widespread support in all the districts of manipur questioned pre-sent incumbent Mani Cha- renamei’s activities and co-mmitment in the five years he was chosen to represent Outer Manipur Constituency.

Further accusing the MP of betraying the Zeliang-rong people, Prof Kamei alleged that Charenamei declined appraisal to prevail upon the Government for recognition of the Zeliang-rong tribe in its true nomen- clature rather than the present suffix of Kabui or Kacha Naga attached to the tribe. He also castigated the MP of allegedly creating division among the Zeliang- rong tribe besides staunc-hly opposing inclusion of Tamenglong district in the rail-line network.

Conveying that no political party, with the exception of Mani Charenamei’s People’s Democratic Alliance, encompassed the Naga Integration issue in election manifestos, Prof Gangmu-mei contended that Naga- land Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and the latter’s Private Secretary had already expressed scepticism with regard to realisation of naga Integration. Identifying Rio’s Private secretary as an important functionary of the Naga People’s Organisation, Gangmumei opined that repetition of the Naga integration issue by the Private Secretary at an election rally of Mani Charenamei in Senapati district recently tantamount to mocking and undermining sentiment of the Naga people.


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Gender game on Mizo pitch

The married woman is the muse for poll strategists in Mizoram as party candidates rack their brains on ways to woo the huge female electorate, which is likely to determine the May 2 verdict in the state. Women voters outnumber men by more than 9,000 in Mizoram and it does not take a social scientist to understand that poll parties cannot afford to ignore their woes.

On top of every party’s poll agenda is the promise to change the customary laws to empower women and remove discriminatory divorce clauses.

In Mizoram, all that a man needs to do to divorce his wife is mouth three little words, “ka ma che”, quite like the Muslim talaq.

Once divorced, a woman is allowed to take with her only hmeichhe thuam (personal belongings) and her clothes.

If the cause of divorce is a charge of adultery against the wife, then she is not allowed to take with her even the clothes she is wearing.

In October last year, the state government issued an ordinance to enact the Mizo Divorce Law, which overrides the customary law that does not give Mizo women any right over family property or her children after separation from her husband.

According to the ordinance, if any one of the couple wants a divorce, he or she must approach the court and submit a petition. Summary divorce is illegal.

Mizo women, under the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl, have been fighting for the amendment of the customary laws for the past 40 years.

The cries for change have now become a campaign issue for the Lok Sabha polls, with both the Congress and the Mizo National Front-People’s Conference combine vowing the rectify the glitches.

Women are more than pleased.

“It will be wonderful if married Mizo women are saved from their indignity in cases of divorce,” said a Mizo woman working in a state government office in Aizawl.

As campaigning gathers steam, with hillside meetings and assemblies in the valley, the parties are getting their scripts ready on women’s empowerment.

Though posters are much more visible in other states, the occasional blaring of the loudspeaker lets you know of the poll fever in this state.

It is a four-cornered tussle for the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat, with 629,155 voters.

While 73-year-old C.L. Ruala, a former minister in the Mizoram cabinet and three-time MLA in the Assembly, is the Congress candidate, the MNF-PC combine is backing 65-year-old Church leader and former college lecturer H. Lllungmuana.

The two other candidates in the fray are Rualpawla, an Independent supported by a religious party, Israel National Front, and Lalawmpuia Chhangte, another Independent.

Fresh from an Assembly election win after having wrested power from the Mizo National Front, the Congress is exuding confidence.

State Congress leader and chief minister Lalthanhawla told The Telegraph that the party would stress on modernisation of farming, broadening of horticulture base, increasing the literacy rate, and setting up of industries and power houses.

He feels that his party will score a third victory in a row, given Ruala’s inimitable performance in the Assembly and village council polls.

Congress candidate C. Silvera won the Lok Sabha polls for three consecutive terms in a row since 1989.

“We will come up trumps this time too, as we have the people’s surging goodwill behind us,” Lalthanhawla said.

With 42 years of work beh-ind him, Ruala said his experience would keep him in good stead.

The MNF spokesman F. Aithinga, on the other hand, hopes to reverse the Congress tide, banking on a rerun of Lallungmuana’s 1998 win.

Poll gazers, however, have observed that the party which is in power in the state usually wins the parliamentary elections too.

Judging by this trend, K. Zabiaka, a poll observer in Mizoram, said the state ruling party’s candidate generally stands a chance of emerging victorious.

But going by Lallungmuana’s popularity ratings, it will not be cake walk for the Congress this year.


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Friday, April 03, 2009


Employment News issue dated 04.04.09 contains several attractive advertisements from some of the leading PSU/GOVT. Departments as below:-

1. United Bank of India requires 1000 Probationary Officers, Specialists Officers and 500 Probationary Cash-cum-General Clerks.
2. Maharashtra Public Service Commission requires Associate Professors.
3. Public Service Commission, Uttar Pradesh notifies Combined State/Upper Subordinate Services Examination, 2009.
4. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University invites applications for various Academic Programmes.
5. National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research needs Engineers.
6. HSCC (India) Ltd. invites applications for recruitment of Dy. Manager, Asst. Manager and Jr. Draftsman.
7. University Grants Commission notifies National Eligibility Test for Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship-June, 2009.
8. NMDC Limited invites applications for the posts of Dy. Manager and Assistant Manager.
9. Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha offers admission to various courses.
10. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research declares the result of the Joint CSIR-UGC test for Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship.
11. Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board declares the Provisional Result of National Eligibility Test-2007.
12. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi requires Assistant Professors in various disciplines.
13. Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, New Delhi invites applications for admission to Ph.D Programmes.
14. Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh invites applications for Postdoctoral/Postgraduate Courses and Ph.D Programmes.
15. RRB, Chandigarh declares the results of written examination held on 14.09.08 and aptitude test held on 15.12.08 to 15.01.09 for the post of Asst. Loco Pilot.
16. National Research Centre for Orchids invites applications for the posts of Research Fellow, Research Associate and Sr. Research Fellow.

Employment News issue dated 04.04.2009 contains advertisement for job vacancies of more than 57 Govt. Departments.

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Manmohan Singh’s global economic re-engineering wins support at G-20

London, April 2 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s suggestion to substantially increase the existing resources for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found acceptance among the world leaders of the G-20 nations, as IMF emerged the biggest beneficiaries at the London summit on Thursday.

“The IMF has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the G20 summit. The resources it has to help troubled economies will be increased to 500bn dollars,” stated a BBC report in the evening.

“An overdraft facility will also be increased to 250bn dollars (in the IMF''s currency, so-called Special Drawing Rights) that the world''s poorest countries can call on,” the report added.

Earlier, during the official dinner hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had advocated 500 billion dollars for the IMF.

“We must declare our resolve to increase the resources available with the IMF substantially, by around 500 billion dollars over the next two years. This can be done initially through bilateral arrangements, an expansion of the NAB and other borrowing by the Fund. However, we should also signal that these are interim steps pending an increase in Fund quotas. The next quota review, normally due in 2013, should be advanced as much as possible, and we should aim at a doubling of IMF quotas at the very least,” Dr. Singh had stated at the dinner.

“We should also agree on a fresh allocation of SDRs (special drawing rights) of around 250 billion dollars. This would provide the developing countries with about 80 billion dollars of usable resources at a time when liquidity is exceptionally tight,” said Dr. Singh had added at the dinner. (ANI)


Don't repeat past mistakes: PM tells leaders on protectionism

V S Chandrasekar
London, Apr 2 (PTI) As world leaders grapple with differences on how to overcome the economic crisis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the industrialised nations not to "repeat past mistakes" of resorting to protectionism and favoured sharing information and bringing tax havens and non-cooperating jurisdictions under close scrutiny.

"An issue of vital concern to developing countries is the rise of protectionist sentiment in the industrialised world. This phenomenon is not surprising, given the downturn in economic activity and the rise in unemployment," Singh said in his remarks at the official dinner hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to leaders of the G-20 summit here last night.

"However, it will be a test of leadership whether we can persuade the public that we must not repeat past mistakes. We know that the Great Depression was as deep and prolonged as it was because countries resorted to protectionism which triggered protectionary responses, leading to a downward spiral," the Prime Minister said.

Asserting that the leaders of the developing countries have struggled to overcome the doubts and fears of their public to persuade them on the merits of integrating with the global economy, Singh said "these hard worn gains will be destroyed if industrial country markets are not not kept open in these difficult times." PTI

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Rahul Gandhi to campaign in Arunachal

Itanagar: Star campaigner and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Rahul Gandhi will address a party rally at Pasighat in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh today. Party sources here on Wednesday said the youth leader would be accompanied by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning V Narayanswamy.

Around 25,000 party supporters and general public are expected to participate in the rally to be organised at Gandhi market ground,sources said. Other prominent leaders, including Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Nabam Tuki, would also address the rally.

Meanwhile, Mr Tuki, along with AICC secretary and incharge of Arunachal Pradesh S Bapna, have left for Pasighat to oversee the arrangements being made in view of the visit of Rahul Gandhi. (UNI)


Patil’s visit affects normal life in Itanagar

Itanagar: Traffic movement, along National Highway 52(A), was disrupted following a maiden visit of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to this Himalayan state on Wednesday.

Traffic movement along the highway, the only lifeline for the people of Banderdewa, Nirjuli, Naharlagun and Itanagar, was restricted for more than three hours as no vehicles were allowed to ply on the road by the administration. Hundreds of vehicles were seen waiting at various locations from 1430 hours to 1740 hours, during the President's visit to the first ever convocation of North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology at Nirjuli.

''It's really disgusting how a highway could be closed for a common man in the pretext of security arrangement,'' said an aggrieved citizen.

Alternate arrangements should be made by the administration to ease the traffic movement, he added. Traffic snarl was witnessed in the evening along the Highway after movements of vehicles were allowed.

President stresses on knowledge-based education: Underscoring the need for value-based education, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Wednesday called for a concerted effort from all quarters, saying that development and progress become sustainable only when people receive the benefit of education.

'' Education is essential for preparing a population that is not only knowledgeable and skilled, but is also aware of its responsibilities and willing to contribute to the growth of the nation,'' she said while addressing the first convocation of the North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST) along with its silver jubilee celebration at Nirjuli on Wednesday. She said education should be a process that imparts knowledge and values, develops the personality of the individual and opens up new opportunities. (UNI)

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Rahul slams opposition for ‘alienating’ some citizens in Mizoram

Aizawl, April 2 (PTI): AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi today slammed opposition parties for “alienating” some citizens of the country. While addressing an election rally here, he alleged that the opposition parties believed “certain types of Indians from certain parts of India are more Indian than the others”. The Congress, on the other hand, believes that every Indian has the same value and “our strength comes from respecting different cultures, religion and people”, Gandhi said.

He emphasised that there must be space in the country for every citizen irrespective of which part of the country or which religion, creed or caste he belonged to. Describing Mizoram as one of the most peaceful states in the country, he said the people of the state are happy due to the “long-lasting peace made during the tenure of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi”.

Thanking the people of Mizoram for giving resounding victory to the Congress in the state Assembly elections in December and the recent village council elections, the party star campaigner appealed to them to ensure the Congress win in the coming Parliamentary polls too. Gandhi asked the people to vote for Congress’ C L Ruala. “In order to ensure development in the state, the Congress must also come to power at the Centre,” he added. -PTI


43 NGOs engaged in combating AIDS in Mizoram

Aizawl (UNI): As many as 43 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are engaged in the ''Targeted Intervention Projects'' covering the entire state of Mizoram in battling the killer AIDS.

Working under the Mizoram State AIDS Control Society, the NGOs are targeting the high risk groups like injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, homosexuals, truck drivers and migrants.

Directors and project managers of the NGOs held a review meeting of the projects here today wherein it was underscored that the performances of the NGOs were satisfactory.

Mizoram State AIDS Control Society is regarded as one of the best performers under the National AIDS control organisation, particularly in the Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre.

According to report given by Lallianzuala, consultant (UNICEF), 60-70 per cent of the HIV infected persons were not aware they had been infected with the virus. About 50 per cent of persons, who are aware they are HIV+ve, do not take anti-retroviral treatment, the report added.

During 2008-2009, tests were conducted on 13,935 expecting mothers and 18,361 high risk and other groups.

It is reported that 174 new cases of HIV+ve with tuberculosis were discovered from the test, and 53 HIV+ve mothers were delivered, of which 52 newborns were given Nevirapine to prevent infection from their mothers.

Besides the 25 ICTCs, test can be conducted 24 hours in all the Primary Health Centres in addition to the seven private hospitals in Aizawl namely, Greenwood, Nazareth and Aizawl Hospital. (UNI)

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PDA for protecting Hill People of Manipur, ‘Land and People are Inseparable’

Dimapur, April 2 (MExN): The Manipur based regional party People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) has called for a firm commitment to protect the lands, forest and mineral resources of the Hill People of Manipur, ensure the democratic rights of the people, preserve the identity of the marginal nationalities with due respect to their aspiration and to facilitate the fulfillment of the same,...

like the Naga Unification and that of other indigenous people of the State. This is as per the PDA manifesto for the coming parliamentary elections, stated a press note from the office of the PDA.

Pointing out that emergence of regionalism was a “healthy and constructive force to protect the regional and local interest”, the PDA maintained that this will bring about transparent socio-economic development while expressing its concern over the social inequality between the advance majority sections of the society and the backward hill people. “Fund flow from the Tribal Affairs Ministry under Article 275(1) of the Indian Constitution should reach the tribal people settle in the valley districts of Manipur”, the PDA states while adding that it will strive for the good governance.

With specific reference to the protection of lands and mineral resources, the PDA states that it shall to protect, safeguard and ensure proper management of the lands, forests and mineral resources of the hill people of Manipur. “Land and Forest and Tribal/Indigenous people are inseparable”, the PDA affirms. The PDA manifesto also mentions on the issue of Naga unification and other indigenous people of Manipur and peace process. “The unification of the Nagas and that of other indigenous people of the state shall upheld”, it states while affirming that it stood for solution of all political problems in the region and the Indian Sub-Continent through peaceful means. “And that it supports the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process which calls for a strong political will”.

The PDA also affirmed that it will strive for the improvement of Roads and Transport system in Manipur. Link roads from one District H. Qrs. in the hill areas of Manipur on the status of State Highways will be constructed wherever required, the PDA states. Inter District Bus service should also be opened at the earliest for the welfare of the people in the hill and rural areas of the state.

The regional party also reminded that the time was here to set up a separate Hill University for the 5 hill districts of Manipur be taken up to ensure proper educational and academic enhancement and to fulfill the long standing aspiration of the students community in the hill areas of Manipur. The PDA also states that it will strive for setting up of a Hr. Sec. School at every sub-divisional Hqrs. This Party will take up efforts for effective health services for the people of the hill areas especially for rural poor. A community Health Centre on the status of Hospital should be opened in each sub-division by the State Government, according to the PDA manifesto.

The PDA states that it will strive for the realization to increase four Assembly Constituencies as recommended by the Delimitation Commission of India for the Hill areas of Manipur as per 2001 census. PDA will also strive for the realization of the creation of a 46 member Legislative Council (Vidha Parishad) for Manipur with one third representative for women and unrepresented communities. It will also work to increase an additional seat of the Lok Sabha for the state of Manipur.

Also it will take up steps to enact law for setting up Tribal Advisory Commission like that of other Commissions on Women, Human Rights and others.

On human rights the PDA will work for strengthening of the State Human Rights Commission; withdrawal of the draconian laws, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958; to check State and non-state sponsored terrorism and extra-judicial killings besides give political prisoner status for revolutionaries of various groups when arrested or imprisoned.

On environment and ecology, the PDA states that water management of the lakes and rivers shall be undertaken on scientific lines besides all negative effects of developmental projects should be rectified. The PDA is opposed to the Tipaimukh Dam and the similar types. With regard to tourism and border trade, the PDA states that the RAP should be relaxed or abolished to attract tourist and merchants from across the world.


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The Institution of Chieftainship in Kuki Society

- By George T. Haokip

The concept of chieftainship has taken place among the tribal society in the early stage of evolution of their group life. Inter village rivalry or tribal was common in the past. Every one was enemy to each other and the stronger rule over the weak. In such circumstances the need for a strong single authoritative figure was essential to lead them in defending the village.

The need to solve tribal problems be it social, economic or political gave birth to the concept of chieftainship to maintain justice, protect them from external threat, to administer the village and to protect and preserve the established customs of the villagers. The Kuki chieftainship therefore was a historical requirement and his duties was manifold one of which was defence of the villagers. In due course of time he came to be recognized as the village chief. Village chief is a person belonging to younger branches of the family clan and another type is hereditary chief who is the head of the clan. In this regard Scelumphere writes:

‘Each of the clan has one great Rajah, supposed to be the main branch of the original stock...’

The Kuki traditional form of governance is based on chieftainship. Every village was like Greek city-states. Each village has got a chief Haosa which the Mizo called it Lal, it is hereditary. He is the owner of ancestral lands and is traditionally the repositories of all powers of administration dealing with the village. His rule is autocratic but not despotic.

Primogeniture Succession

Chieftainship goes by hereditary succession and this is strictly observed. The first born child mi-upa succee-ded as the village chief and inherited his father’s proper-ty. In case, the eldest son is incapable the next eldest son would automatically succeed. But, if the chief happened to be without any male issue the succession pass on to the nearest male issue of the eldest surviving bro-ther of the deceased. Succession by youngest son however is practised among Lushai and Hmar Kuki tribes. In any case, a daughter cannot become heir to the father.

Supreme Administrative Head

The Kuki chief enjoyed enormous powers. He possessed executive, legislative, judicial and military power. His word was law within his Chiefdom and his decision were final. He appoints important posts in the village. The decision of his Upas without consulting the chief cannot be taken as final. The chief has right to dismiss any upa if found incapable. The Kuki chief also enjoys numerous legislative powers. Matter relating to issuing of ordinances, framing of rules and regulation were made by the chief. Villagers who disobeyed were severely punished or expelled from the village. He decides all civil and criminal cases and assumed important judicial roles. He was the supreme judge in deciding all civil and criminal cases of the village.

The village court of justice is composed with the chief as chairman and the council member of the village council. He was also Chief­in-Command of the village army. The success or failure in war with other tribes or villages entirely depends on the chief’s capability. His duty and responsibilities as Commander-in-chief of the village were described by W.W Hunter (1973:60) as:

‘He shall direct in war, he is last in the advance and rear most in the retreat. The messages and errands of Lal are done by his favourite slaves; they are his ambassadors in war. To collect his people or, in fact, to authenticate any order, the chief’s spear is sent by a messenger from village to village. Should the message be hostile one, the messenger carries dao to which a piece of red cloth is attached.’

Privileges of the Chief

Kuki chief is owner of the land within his boundaries and were entitled to receive customary title and tributary privileges. He was paid for the following reason:

1. In due recognition of the chief’s authority and legitimacy over the land ownership,
2. In recognition of service rendered by the chief,
3. In gratification for which they got privileges of enjoying the amenities of village life,
4. As a mark of respect, and
5. To honour head of the clans by the younger chiefs in case of the clan chief.

Payment and tribute received by the village chief

1. Changseo : It is yearly payment of 1 to 5 baskets of paddy by every family for cultivation of the land.
2. Chaoman : When a villager is to migrate he has to pay the migration tax, failing which his property or housework may be confiscated or retained by the village chief.
3. Selkotkai : When a villager sold his cattle outside the village he has to pay the chief a tax of Re 1.
4. Louman : Any outsiders cultivating in the chief land has to pay louman periodically.
5. Gamsan : It is payment to the grief for the lease of the land.
6. Jineiman : Villagers pay marriage tax to the chief on their marriage. The bride too pays in case she marries an outsider.
7. Toltheh : Anyone who commits serious crime was fined a jar of rice beer and a pig is killed at the chief shouse.
8. Kihahsel : It means Oath-Taking. The villagers take oath such as biting of Tiger’s or bear’s tooth, drinking of water poured over from barrel of the gun to show allegiance of being subject to the ruler.
9. Khuotha : A one day free labour to the village chief by the villagers.
10. Khuomuol : The villagers build a resting place like in the outskirts near the entrance of village gate where enemies’ heads are displayed.
11. Sahnit : A particular day is observed and the villagers are confined to their home in the events such as occurrence of unnatural death and day mourning was observed. It is also observed in the events of the outbreak of epidemics.
12. Samel : Villagers gave to the village chief the hind leg of the animal killed in hunting.
Village Council: The village councillors and the chief constituted the village court, Haosa Inpi, the highest court of justice where cases were tried according to customary laws. The chief in council consist of Semang (Comparable to the democratic Prime Minister of today), Pachong (Defense Minister), Lhangsam (Foreign Minister with responsibilities of publicity and communication). The modern type of police force was absent in the village. The chief and upas were vested with all the political, military and judicial power. The form of administration in the Kuki society begins from village level to the nation. It comprises Haosa Inpi (Lower House) and Upa Inpi (Upper House).

Upas: The village council members, upas were appointed by the chief and their duty was to give advice to the chief. Practically the chief would never try any Cases without consulting his upas. They are selected from the villagers who have tact and wisdom. Besides, they should be well verse in upas customary laws and usages of the paople. The upas are appointed from different sections of the people. The chief council was made sure that every section of society is represented. The chief summoned his upas to discuss matter of political importance when receiving proposals from emissaries. He is also accompanied by upas on his official visit to other village. The upas were given due respect in the village and were exempted from payment of taxes to the chief.

Besides, they were given priority to select the jhum site before all the others. Also, when a case is tried a fine of a pig salam was usually fine on the loser of the case. The chief and upas used the animal for their entertainment. The chief also accompanied upas on his official visit to other village. The chief runs his business through the help of upas.

Chieftainship : An Analysis

The Kuki chief enjoys enormous powers. His was the guardian of law and the absolute owner of the village and the land within it. His word was law. He can appoint and dismiss or expel anyone in the village. There was sufficient room for a Kuki chief to become tyrannical but in practice he was governed by the customary laws. The chief acted for pragmatic and useful purposes. The village chief has ordinarily never used his right to deny a resident member of the village, his fair share of plot. He had to protect the interest of the villagers by providing security socially, politically and economically.

His role was to settle dispute, provide care and protection of the villagers. In recognition to his service he enjoyed various tributaries.

These tributaries privileges were understood a material ethics of obedience and not exploitative. It therefore would be wrong to equate Zamandari system with Kuki chiefship. The chief was the land protector and not dictator. He was distributor of the land for jhuming purposes. The Kuki chief act on with love like a father in the family. He was the source of customary laws, and the mechanism by which customary laws were interpreted and enforced. In short, the Kuki chieftainship was not exploitative.


The institution of chieftainship is the perennial source of Kuki custom and tradition. It is also their unity and integrity. For the Kukis it is their culture and identity which nothing can replace it. Some theorise it as God’s blessing to the Kukis as Israelite kings were to their people. Their political system too is base on chiefship. It is the pivot around which all their administration and others evolved. The Kuki chiefs were able to protect the interest of the Kukis more than the other chiefs. He plays a unifying role in the society by providing leadership and solidarity. Various Act such as the Manipur Village Authority Act, 1956 the Manipur Hill Area (Acquisition of Chiefs Rights) Act, 1967 the Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reform Act, 1960 which empower the State Government to extend the Act to any of the hill areas of Manipur was considered as threatening to the traditional tribal system. The Acquisition of Chiefs Rights Act 1967 aimed at abolishing the rights of the chiefs over land has received wide scale protest. Despite various attempts to abolish the institution of chieftainship, it still survives. The forces of imperialism and Christianity have failed to abolish this institution.


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MPP, NCP, NPP, MSCP float front in Manipur, Nine to fight for Manipur Outer seat

IMPHAL, Apr 2: LB Sona of NCP and Th Chaoba of MPP who are set to contest respectively for the Outer and the Inner Parliamentary Constituencies of the State in the upcoming Lok Sabha election have been declared as the common candidates of the alliance of Manipur People’s Party (MPP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), National People’s Party (NPP) and Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP).

Addressing a press conference jointly in connection with the formation of Manipur Democratic Alliance of the MPP, NCP, NPP and MSCP at he office of MPP here this afternoon, MPP president Dr L Chandramani and NCP president Radhabinod Koijam observed that the formation of the alliance is a dream come true for a new Manipur.

Looking at the problems of corruption, daily incidents of violence and killing, unemployment, influx of outsiders, etc which are afflicting the State today, the need for electing representatives who can solve all these problems in public interest has become all the more essential today, the two leaders noted.

They admitted that lack of co-operation and co-ordination among the Regional and the National parties in the State had been the root of their failure in the past elections. However, to reverse this trend in the upcoming 15 Lok Sabha election, MPP, NCP, NPP and MSCP have come together and decided to fight in the election jointly along with formation of an alliance by fielding LB Sona for the Outer and Th Chaoba for the Inner as the common candidates.

While appealing to the people to cast their votes in favour of the two common candidates of the alliance so that Manipur can also take action participation in the developmental process, Dr Chandramani said that the upcoming 15 Lok Sabha election is an important election that would decide the fate of the country and the State.

Radhabinod said that NCP is political party committed to regional issues. So it has no confusion of any sort in taking full participation in the formation of Manipur Democratic Alliance with other parties working for the regional causes. There is no system in the present Government of Manipur. It is just like a ‘Chowkidar Government’, Radhabinod said, adding that the public should open their eyes and elect the right candidates in the election this time.

Questioning why the Government of Manipur is allowing opening up of designated camps of the NSCN (IM) in Manipur, he asserted that Mani Charenamei, who is the MP candidate for the Outer seat is openly campaigning for the election in the interest of Nagaland.

In support of Mani Charenamei, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Planning Minister PR Galeeng are conducting election campaign in Manipur without giving any knowledge to the Government of Manipur. The people of Manipur should understand the real motive behind such election campaigns, Radhabinod said.


Nine to fight for Outer seat

IMPHAL, Apr 2: With none of the nine candidates who submitted their nomination papers withdrawing their papers till today, the last date for withdrawal of candidature, all the nine candidates would be fighting for the Outer Manipur Parliamentary seat.

The candidates in the fray are Thangso Baite of INC, Loli Adanee of BJP, LB Sona of NCP, M Jamkho-ngam Haokip of RJD, Thangkhogin of Lok Jan Shakti, Mani Charenamei of PDA and Independents–– Valley Rose Hungyo, Rose Mangshi Haokip and Lamlalmoi Gangte.


BJP kick starts poll campaign of Loli Adanee
Tangkhuls, Maos, Marams, Poumais cheer

BJP flag being hoisted to mark the start of the election campaign of Loli Adanee
IMPHAL, Apr 2 : In recognition of his stature as a pan-Naga leader, people representing all Naga sub-tribes in Manipur turned up to give their blessings to BJP candidate in the Outer seat, Loli Adanee during the kick off campaign for the election which was held at Senapati district headquarters today, a day after PDA candidate Mani Charenamei started his campaign.

Tangkhuls, Maos, Ma-rams and Poumais, to name a few turned up in hordes for the start of the campaign trail of Mr Adanee.

State unit president of the BJP Dr H Borbabu kick started the poll campaign of Mr Adanee during a public meeting held at the Senapati public ground today.

Spelling out the agenda of the BJP as well as his own priorities, Loli Adanee said that efforts would be made to resolve the issue of militancy in the North East region through political dialogues and talks and added that he welcomes the tripartite SoO agreement reached with the UPF and the KNO.

No efforts will be spared to bring the other groups operating in the State to the negotiating table, he declared.

Pitching in for protection of human rights, Mr Adanee said that he will meet any instances of human rights abuses perpetrated either by the security forces or non-State actors.

Stating that there has been no positive response from the Government of India on the agitation launched by Irom Chanu Sharmila to revoke AFSPA from the State, Loli Adanee said that if elected, he would pressure the Centre to revoke the controversial Act.

Reminding the gathering that the voters of the seven Assembly segments of Thoubal as well as voters of Jiribam AC are yet to receive their rights to contest in the Lok Sabha, though they can vote, Mr Adanee said that he would do all his best to correct the lacunae and grant the people their democratic rights.

The BJP candidate also promised to devolve power to the grass roots level and added that the district councils, panchayats, zilla parishads and local bodies would be strengthened.

Efforts will also be made to ensure that there are no highway bandhs or any disturbances with the active support of the civil societies, said Mr Adanee and added that stress would be put on developing agro-based activities to bring about development.

Ethnic rights will also be protected, he said.

Employment for the youths also featured high on the agenda of Loli Adanee when he announced that promoting the economic well being of his people is important. Towards this end, it is imperative that the Indo-Myanmar border trade is improved.

To improve the conditions of the people living in the interiors, pressure will be mounted on the Centre to let the benefits of AIR (FM) reach them, he added. Loli Adanee also assured that the hill people that he would try his best to extend the provisions of the 6th Schedule to the hill districts of Manipur.

State BJP unit president Dr H Borbabu also addressed the meeting.


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Gandhi scion kicks off poll campaign of Thangso Baite, Rahul Gandhi bats for Manipur integrity

IMPHAL, Apr 2 : Negating the announcement at Sena-pati on April 1 that sitting MP from the Outer seat Mani Charenamei voted for the UPA during the trust vote motion in Parliament, since the Centre had agreed that it would drop the clause of the Common Minimum Pro-gramme which said that the territorial boundaries of the North East States would not be redrawn, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi today proclaimed that no changes would be effected in the political boundaries of the North East States.

Striking the right chord with the people of Manipur, the Gandhi scion during the kick off election campaign of Outer Congress candidate Thangso Baite at Churachandpur district headquar- ters and attended by about 4000 people today said that there would be no compromise on the territorial sanctity of Manipur and added that the Congress and the UPA would work in the interest of the people.

Rahul, who landed at Churachandpur on a helicopter amid tight security was accorded a red carpet reception by the people and a host of Congress leaders including Chief Minister O Ibobi, MPCC (I) president Gaikhangam and others turned up to receive him.

The Chief Minister and Gaikhangam greeted the young Congress leader with a traditional head gear.
Asserting that the Congress led UPA Government has initiated a number of projects for the welfare of the poor and common people, Rahul Gandhi said that the successful implementation of the NREGA is testimony of the priority of the UPA during its five years stint at the Centre. Under the NREGA villagers are provided 100 days of employment in a year.

The passing of the Right to Information Act is another feather in the cap of the UPA, he declared.

Addressing the gathering, Rahul Gandhi said that the many developmental pro-jects seen in Manipur is a result of the close co-ordination between the Congress led SPF Government here and the UPA at Delhi.

Mentioning the achievements of UPA during the last 5 years, Rahul said that Manipur University has been upgraded to the status of a Central University and added that a series of measures to combat HIV/AIDS have been initiated in the State. Kangla has also been handed over to the people during the time of the UPA Government, he added.

Appealing to the people to support the Congress candidates in the Inner and Outer seats so as to ensure the victory of the UPA at Delhi, Rahul said that only the UPA can bring peace and prosperity to the country.

Reiterating that the State Govt will not brook any attempt to compromise with the territorial integrity of Manipur, Chief Minister O Ibobi, while addressing the meeting said that the Oppositionhas been whipping up non-issues.

It was the Congress led SPF Government which lifted the Disturbed Area Act from seven Assembly segments which in turn led to the lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, said the Chief Minister and added that once the law and order situation becomes normal then AFSPA would be lifted from the entire State. The Opposition is merely trying to whip up the issue just for electoral gains, he added.

Despite the myriad of problems besetting Manipur all the communities are living together peacefully, said Ibobi and mentioning the list of achievements of the SPF Government, he said that Kangla has been handed over to the people and a National Sports Academy has been set up. The Chief Minister also urged the gathering to vote for the Congress candidates in the two seats so as to strengthen the UPA at Delhi and ensure development.


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Thursday, April 02, 2009

G-20 meets, India warns against protectionism

From M K Razdan | London, Apr 1 (PTI) Looking for supply of "oxygen of confidence" to the battered global economy, divided leaders of world's top 20 rich and emerging economies will meet here tomorrow with India calling for a more concerted effort to deal with the crisis and warning that the world would go into a downward spiral if "we give in to protectionist pressures".

US President Barack Obama, who will be at the centrestage when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders gather at London Docklands amidst massive security, today sought to rally the participants by stating that the challenge can be met together and dismissing reports of divisions among them as "vastly overstated".

Obama's optimism, however, flew in the face of sharp differences highlighted by the tough stand taken by France and Germany on some of the key issues with French President Nicolas Sarkozy insisting today that the Summit should agree to crack down on tax havens and evolve a tough new regulatory mechanism on global finance.

Sarkozy claimed endorsement for this stand from German Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom he had spoken. PTI

PM, Obama concerned over growing terror hold in Pak, Afghan

M K Razdan
London, Apr 1 (PTI) Setting the tone for their first meeting, US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today voiced deep concern over the growing hold of terrorist elements in Pakistan and Afghanistan with the Indian leadership getting increasingly worried over the dangerous situation in its neighbourhood.

Singh, who will meet the new American leader here tomorrow immediately after the conclusion of the G-20 summit, said that "the epicentre of terrorism" was in Pakistan and "the world community has to come to grips with this harsh reality".

While he had not studied Obama's recently-announced strategy to stabilise Afghanistan and Pakistan, now known as "AfPak" plan, Singh expressed the hope that "whatever the world community plans to do they will pay adequate attention that terrorism ceases to be a problem in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan." The Prime Minister's remarks come in the backdrop of the audacious terror strikes in Lahore during the past one month, including Monday's attack on a police training school, about 15 km from the border with India, which is now deeply concerned at the "really dangerous situation" so close to it.

Recognising that terrorists were making frontal attacks on the security forces, India has stepped up its vigil. PTI

Clashes, arrests mark first day of G-20 protests

Prasun Sonwalkar
London, Apr 1 (PTI) Angry protestors clashed with police, stormed into a Royal Bank of Scotland branch and smashed its windowpanes today as thousands converged here to vent anger over economic meltdown and climate change on the eve of the G-20 Summit that brings top world leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, together.

The RBS is one of the beleaguered banks that has been rescued by millions of pounds of state funds. Protestors also demonstrated before the Bank of England in thousands, raising slogans such as 'Swindlers List', 'Financial Fool's Day' and 'Storm the Banks'.

A security officer was injured when a protestor hit him with a large pole, while at least eight people were arrested in various parts of London. No serious injuries were reported.

The protests were mainly prompted by anger at bankers' role in the global economic meltdown, resulting in job cuts and major losses in value of savings and pensions. Protests were also held outside the US embassy against the Iraq war.

Some protestors stormed into the RBS branch and smashed windowpanes while others spray-painted "class war" and "thieves" on the side of the building. Central London was jammed as protstors swelled in numbers.

The largest demonstration was held outside the Bank of England, where four protest marches converged.

A group of officers was forced to retreat behind metal crowd barriers outside the bank, apparently because of the crush of the crowd in front of them. PTI

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