My uncle Angelius Paiza Shimrah was my hero

Comrades pay tribute to Angelius Shimrah The Morung Express

Comrades pay tribute to Angelius Shimrah The Morung Expresse
DIMAPUR, APRIL 29 (MExN): The mortal remains of senior NSCN (IM) leader Angelius Paiza Shimrah who died in the early morning hours of April 29 was received by the Collective Leaders at CHQ, Hebron and accorded with full military honors by the Naga Army. “In this grievous hour at the untimely demise of Late Angelius Paiza Shimrah from amidst us, in whose destiny untold pain and sorry upon his loved and close ones is felt, the GPRN deeply mourns. The loss of a man in that of his stature deprives not few but the Nagas at large, a man with elements of a being encompassing qualifying qualities; that of a leader, a statesman, a patriot, a compatriot, a comrade, a teacher, an instructor, a father, a brother and that of a friend”, a condolence message issued by the MIP stated.
During the funeral service conducted by Rev Sekshim Kasar, General Secretary Council of Nagalim Churches, where more than a thousand people congregated, attended by representatives of Naga Hoho, NSF, NPMHR and other NGOs besides all rank and file of the NSCN (IM), several leaders reflected late Shimrah’s life as that of a man of moral and principled integrity and bade him farewell, informed the MIP.
The Chairman Isak Chishi Swu recalled his experiences with Late Shimrah as a person who never faltered nor failed in his dedicated services, of which no compatriot at any time was ever dissatisfied. He lamented that, we being mortal beings on our life’s journey, are destined to depart from this world some day as our deceased patriot. It is indeed a great loss for us all to have lost a dedicated, devoted and committed leader, he said. “The vacuum caused by his departure will be very hard to fill”. Citing, late Shimrah’s commitment, devotion, dedication, tolerance, perseverance and patience as a symbol of true Naga patriot, the Chairman reflected on how late Shimrah, though was not given any assignment for two-three years when he initially joined the national service persisted on with his resolve to serve the Naga nation. “We are ceaselessly indebted to his selfless sacrifices deserving respect, honor and thankfulness”, he added.

(Left) Iaasc Chishi Swu, Chairman and (Rigth) Th.Muivah, General Secretary speaking at the funeral service of senior NSCN (IM) leader Late Angelius Paiza Shimrah at CHQ, Hebron.
The General Secretary Th Muivah lamented at the loss which had been God’s plan. He grieved that Shimrah’s departure was a huge loss to our nation for he was a personality presenting the strength of the nation. He said, “a person like him, who can write, think and act is very few to find. His loss to us is like the fall of a huge supporting pillar to our Naga nation”, Muivah said that during times of hardships, crisis or difficulties late Shimrah was a person who responsibly faced the challenges to bring the nation through. “He was a person who proved himself well, practically. It was because of a person like him who stood as our strength, not that we were proud or afraid. He was a person with a combination of all experiences who stood the trials of life’s insurmountable challenges. A person like him who is hard to find among a million has left us alas. May we meet in our after life”, he concluded.
The Convener, Steering Committee Qhevihe conveyed that his earliest association with late Shimrah was during 1979 at Eastern Nagalim. He observed that late Shimrah never wavered in his committed duties nor was any comrade dissatisfied with his services throughout his career in the national services, till his last. The Convener asserted of being the living witness and said that late Shimrah thought, spoke and worked completely for the Naga nation. Working with the Steering Committee together while late Shimrah was the Secretary, Qhevihe conveyed that he had never come across any weaknesses in him. “Among Nagas, he is also one unique gifted patriot in whose loss we are unfortunate. May our Almighty God bless the Nagas with someone like him again”, he concluded.
Kilo Kilonser A. Puni who also spoke at the funeral service recalled their association in Eastern Nagalim. He mentioned their return from China via Lainung village during which villagers addressed him (late Shimrah) as ‘Longvibu man’ meaning a great successful warrior. “His loss has been a great loss to our nation”, he mourned. He testified that late Shimrah was a humble and noble person who even washed the plates of his subordinates. He was a God fearing person who could be trusted by every one at any time, he added.
RH Raising, Secretary Steering Committee testified and upheld that though late Shimrah had expired physically he remained alive and will remain alive with us as his foot prints, finger prints and history subsisted on. He reflected that late Shimrah was a person that with stood national trials and authored historical events. He played crucial roles in the 1978 ‘martial law period’, the 1988 ‘national crisis’, operation Salvation and Oinam post attack which were historic events in the Naga history. He also bravely participated in the first confrontation with the Indian army led by then Captain VS Atem at Namthirok, though he was in the civil set up.
The GPRN expressed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and prayed that the Almighty God console the aggrieved at their time of distress and pain.
Admission of guilt first step towards healing, says NSCN (K) The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 29 (MExN): The NSCN (K) Military Spokesman Isak Sumi has termed as unfortunate, the “faction-centric mindset and egoistic attitude of Naga leaders”, pointing out that this has percolated down to even the workers at grass root level and that such “emphasis on narrow factional and group agendas has led to increased decline of visions and dreams for an integrated Naga community as one people and nation”.
“To erase scars of wrongdoings, wounds should be treated first, to heal wounds justice should be delivered and justice could be ensured only after seeking truth and perpetrators are held accountable”, the Military Spokesman stated in a press note received here.
Pointing out that forgiveness, reconciliation and unity has became a mere convenient phrase of the anti-peace elements, in order to escape the wrath of Nagas, unity and reconciliation is being preached at the roof top, at the same time devious disruptive plans are steadfastly enforced underneath by these same peace preachers. “IM Chairman Isak Chishi Swu’S proclamation of “Peace and reconciliation” was immediately followed by murder of two innocent Konyak youths, inhuman torture and subsequent murder of Vikuto Sumi at Hebron under the nose of Isak and Muivah, killing of innocent Angami youth of Selouphe Village, kidnap and murder of two innocent children at Senapati and numerous armed offensives against FGN and NSCN that resulted the loss of lives of several Naga patriots”, the Military Spokesman alleged.
The NSCN (K) termed this “contradiction” on the part of the NSCN (IM) as exposing “disorder and anarchy in the IM’S chain of command” while at the same time explains their “practice of double-standard and diabolic stratagems to be-fool the Nagas”. “For the followers/cadres are being incited to commit anti-peace offensives at will without botheration of their leaders’ public proclamation”, the NSCN (K) alleged while adding that “such betrayal of people’s trust and hope for peace and unity by IM is no longer uncommon”. “Skepticism and doubt has deeply ingrained in the souls of the peace loving Nagas whenever there is slogan for peace, for every peace initiative were packaged with more bloodsheds”.
“Once reconciled and united, sectional monopoly of rich dividends arising out of internecine turmoil (fishing in troubled waters) would halt and common interest would prevail. This thriving section in order to further their greed for power endows more division and hatred”, the statement alleged adding that meanwhile innocent Naga bloods are spilled all over simply to enrich their coffers and to widen area of their domination”. “Unaccounted sufferings of the Nagas for more than half a decade under foreign rule and censored from the world gradually progressed to attain Political attention both from India and international communities, unfortunately certain section grabbed this opportunity to further their interest, one hand they claim to champion the Naga cause on the other they take it as an opportunity to build worldly kingdom of their own”, the NSCN (K) alleged on its rival.
Pointing out that to “ensure continuity of this Mafiosi trend of self-styled operation in guise of Nationalism”, Indian constitutional machineries are being harnessed to the fullest advantage by compromising the basic ideology and principle of the Naga’s struggle in lieu of comforts and dispensations offered pre-mediately by GOI. “Honorable solution out of Indian Constitutional bindings has become the biggest mockery, Indian elections in India dominated Naga areas has become the best possible avenue for various Naga underground groups to make fortunes, but decades and generations of sacrifices to liberate the Nagas from alien conquest is now being drowned in the Indian sea of wealth, manipulations and corruptions”, the NSCN (K) further stated. Making the point that sectarian interest has prevailed upon common Naga interest, it stated that people’s aspiration was now relegated to a mere tool to further individual whims. “Where were we yesterday? Where are we today? And where shall we stand tomorrow? If we continue to silently observe these unfolding events without muttering a single word of protest”, it stated. “Why condemn creation of Nagaland Statehood within Indian Union or Shillong Accord, when we are performing nothing better or greater, rather we have become drunk with the allurements, the present Indian system provides. Shame on us that we take pride in asserting ourselves as patriots or freedom fighters when we are partaking and promoting our aggressor’s rule over our own people all for the benefit of oneself”.
NSCN (IM) seeks extension of deadline Senapati Child Murder Case The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 29 (MExN): The Fact Finding Committee and several other NGOs had a joint meeting collective leadership of the NSCN (IM) at Hebron yesterday. The meeting which was attended by Senapati District Students Association; Senapati District Women’s Association; Presidents of the fives tribes of Senapati District besides the Committee was chaired by Thuingaleng Muivah, the general secretary of the NSCN (IM).
It was revealed that the collective leadership assured the delegates from Senapati that justice would be delivered and asked for an extension of deadline for two weeks.
Reportedly the NSCN (IM) had reasoned that more time was needed to investigate the case as both the groups admitted that there might be someone big behind the whole crime.
Saying that some information collected so far was too delicate to disclose at this stage, the Chairman of the Fact Finding Committee, Solomon Veine said that a very big gang who called themselves Star Gang was suspected to have a hand in the crime.
It was further disclosed that the NSCN (IM) had apologized for the security lapse which resulted in the escape of one of the suspects, Adai Puimei.
The delegates from Senapati, apparently satisfied with the investigation so far, decided to agree to the request of the NSCN (IM) and extend deadline by two weeks. However Solomon added that if there was no result, the societies of Senapati would be back at Hebron, “We will not remain silent spectators”, he added.
The Fact Finding Committee further requested the NSCN (IM) not to hide anything from them and intimate them on everything that happens.
Moreover on request, it was disclosed that the committee had been allowed to meet the other suspects who were still in the custody of the NSCN (IM).
NSCN (IM) ideologue passes away The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 29 (MExn): PA Shimrah (Angelus Shimrah) passed away at around mid-night on April 29 at his residence in Dimapur after a prolonged sickness. He was born in 1944 and joined the Naga national movement in 1976, which was led by Naga National Council (NNC) at the time.
Shimrah held the post of Cabinet kilonser before he passed away. He did his Master of Economics and English from Bangalore before he joined the movement. Angelus Shimrah was a senior leader among the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN). He also was the convenor of the steering committee of NSCN. He led a team of Nagas to Papua New Guinea to study the famous Bougainville peace process and was part of the team involved in the peace process that has been in negotiations for the last nine years.
Besides, Late Angelius served the NSCN (IM) in various capacities as a Foreign (Alee) Secretary, Kilo Kilonser, Secretary of Steering Committee (two terms), Cabinet Kilonsers, etc. He had also contributed and mobilized the Naga cause in Europe and had also been a part of the Nagalim Constitutional Drafting Committee along with Anthony Raven, a constitutional expert.
NSCNs mourn demise of Naga leader The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 29 (MExN): Chairman of the NSCN (IM), Isaac Chishi Swu condoled the death of Angelus Paizu Shimrah, who he stated, was a great man of integrity. In the press release, the Chairman said that it was a day of sorrow for everyone because a respected comrade and a veteran leader had gone from their midst. Isaac further continued that the deceased was a man who upheld the revolutionary philosophy and principles and to him the cause of the people was precious and above all else. Adding that every Naga could be proud to have such a leader who would not compromise on the truth, Isaac prayed that the departed soul rest in peace.
Meanwhile, A.Z.Jami, the Convener of the Council of Kilonsers NSCN (K), expressed deepest grief and sorrow on the news of the sudden demise of former colleague Angelus Shimrah in Dimapur in the early hours of April 28, 2007. Conveying condolence to the bereaved family, friends, well wishers, the NSCN (K) leader stated that the deceased had been a fine gentleman, learned, outspoken and a man of integrity.
Further Jami added his personal opinion that Late Shimrah had died without exercising his potentials for the society due to certain technical reason. He further prayed for solace to be granted to the bereaved family in their hour of devastation.
Naga Hoho condoles The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 29 (MExN): The General Secretary of Naga Hoho, Neingulo Krome, in a letter of Condolence to the wife and children of Angelus Paiza Shimrah stated that he was deeply shocked and pained to hear of the demise of “one who had so much more to give to his people”. Saying that he himself had been aware of Shimrah’s ailing health for quiet sometime, Krome consoled the family saying that the Almighty God knew best.
Krome further added that of what little he had come to know of the deceased, he did know about his commitment and conviction for the freedom of the Naga people for which he gave his everything, whatever his shortcomings and weaknesses.
Conveying heartfelt condolences, the General Secretary continued that he would cherish the short but very historic association with Shimrah in March 2006, when they traveled to Papua New Guinea and Bougainville on a Study tour on Peace and Reconciliation, during which period they had been room-mates.
Krome wished the departed soul peace, in the belief that he had fought a good fight adding that he would always be an inspiration for many more to come.
Kohima to link with Myanmar The Morung Express
New Delhi, April 29 (PTI): After successfully launching dedicated freight corridors linking four metros, India is now teaming up with neighbouring countries to develop global railway corridors to cut down travel time.
“India is now following a policy of international corridors. In the first step, it is trying to link the railways of India and Myanmar over a distance of 330 km,” a top railway ministry source said. “This will also give us a link between India and Southeast Asian states including China. The exercise will cut traveling to one-fourth the time taken by sea route,” the source added.
The eastern international corridor will link Kohima in the northeastern state of Nagaland with Myanmar. It will lead to railway routes connecting India with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos on one hand and with economically developed southeastern China and Russia on the other.
India is already assisting the railways of Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh in developing infrastructure for running or connecting inter-state railways to boost their internal traffic and to link them internationally.
On the western side, the sources said that India is counseling Pakistan and others to develop rail links to the Middle East, thus boosting trans-shipment of goods and services in the strategic region.
NSCN (K) condemn execution The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 29 (MExN): The NSCN (K) has condemned what it termed as the ‘inhuman execution’ meted out to one of its cadre Akaho Assumi of Qhelhozhe village alleging that the latter was abducted by the NSCN (IM) from Dimapur while on medical treatment and tortured to death in an extremely horrific manner.
“The mortal remains of the deceased bore testimony of brute and inhuman tortures at the hands of savage elements. Such practice of inflicting mortal torture on the victims and resultant death is nothing new to the IM hoodlums”, stated Akato Chophi, Supervisor, UT-1 NSCN (K) in a press note received here.
Alleging that the “victim’s limb was broken, ribs ripped apart, one eye removed with dagger and entire chest was burned with petrol and finally, most obviously after the victim succumbed to his injury, several rounds of bullets were shot all over the body”, the NSCN (K) wanted to know whether “such heinous act” was a supplement to Isak Swu’s proclamation of “peace and Reconciliation”?. “If words have failed to convince the Nagas of the real intent and motive of the IM, we ask the Nagas to judge the IM by their actions. No where in our history has the Nagas suffered silently and bitterly then under the “rule of IM terror”, the NSCN (K) Supervisor stated while also paying their highest tribute to Late Akaho Assumi.
“His sacrifice exemplifies and amply portrays the perilous circumstance the Nagas are, in the face of adversaries both from within and alien”, the NSCN (K) stated.
Death pours out unsung honour for late Angelus John K. Kaping The Muring Express
Ukhrul The life of a person manifests itself in his death; more so for Lt. AP Shimrah, Kilonser of GPRN/NSCN (IM), who was given befitting tribute by several leaders of Naga organisations at a condolence service in his honour, which was organized at the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) ground today at 8:00 am.
It seemed that “Nagas have lost the Nagas’ Ambedkar”, a man to be considered to that of a “fountain-pen”, said different leaders including one Louis Ngasainao, an Inter Churches Forum leader, as thousands bid a melancholic adieu to the departed soul of the Naga National Hero, lt. Angelus Paiza Shimrah, who passed away on 29th April 2007 at 2:00 am at Zion Hospital, Dimapur after a prolonged illness.
In the service, top ranking leaders of NSCN (I-M) including A Puni, Kilo Kilonser (Home Minister), Council of Kilonser expressed shock and grief over the sudden demise of AP. Shimrah and termed the vacuum created by his untimely demise is irreparable. TNL President Stephen Angkang also expressed that such a loss of great men, whose once-inked sentence is sharper than the sword brings an irreparable loss to the Naga Nation.
The UNC Secretary Azang Rongmei and Tangkhul Hoho Vice President, Somipam Lungleng categorically emphasized the most valued nature of selflessness of Lt. AP Shimrah, whose sincerity is proved that he is the only NSCN (I-M) Official who does not even had his own house for shelter unlike other Officials.
Rh. Raisingh a senior and member of Steering Committee of the NSCN (I-M), termed the departed leader as a “man of decision”, while VS. Atem, an Emissary to the Collective leadership regarded the deceased leader as a ‘perfectionist’ and a ‘strategist’ right from the beginning till the end and that he had a unique talent of “Quali-serious-tactics”.
Q Tuccu, a steering member asserted lt. AP. Shimrah as an “Iron man”.
He insisted to replace the dying body of AP. Shimrah by another NSCN (I-M) cadres if possible. Tongmeth Wungnao, Education Kilonser NSCN (I-M) also expressed deep sorrow and grieved over the loss of the real quality, personality, selflessness natured of the departed leader. Read out in their condolence messages.
Among the leaders of the Ukhrul District Civil Societies including to those of NPMHR (South), TNWL, TKS, TSL, TMNL, RKL, Paoyi Students’ Union, HSL, Hunphun Hangva et al, also expressed deep profound sorrows over the untimely demise of Lt. AP. Shimrah and extended silent share in grieves of the bereaved family members. Also the Condolence messages from the two Supremos of the NSCN(I-M) Isaac Swu and Th. Muivah were conveyed through VS. Atem, Emissary to Collective leadership praising the supreme sacrificial life spent by AP. Shimrah and the leaders pained in emotion by loosing such a selfless person and a confident like AP. Shimrah. It is also learnt from the Condolence service that AP. Shimrah, Kilonser of the NSCN (I-M) was 64, he joined the NSCN during 1976 and had re-entered his service for exactly 30 years, 4 months and four days. He is survived by his beloved wife Zingnimla Shimrah and six sons. Sources disclosed that the mortal remains of the departed hero will be buried at his native village, Paoyi whixh is 26 km away from Ukhrul main town.
Kuki rebels held in Nagaland OUR CORRESPONDENT The telegraph
Kohima, April 29: After being pursued in Bengal and Assam, militant groups of Manipur are now feeling the heat of a crackdown in Nagaland.
Five members of the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) were arrested at Kashiram Bustee in Dimapur town, the state’s commercial hub, last evening. The arrested militants include the “finance secretary” of the militant outfit, Thanglem Haokip alias Athang. The rest are “lance corporal” Chungminlum Singsit alias Bobuay, David Singh, Paojang Hangsung and Seikam Chongloi.
It was the second setback for the outfit in Dimapur. Two KRA members were traced to a rented house at Thahekhu a few days earlier.
Based on information provided by the five who were arrested yesterday, the police busted KRA hideouts at Khatkhati in Assam and another one about three miles away. Two vehicles, a silver-coloured Scorpio and a black Bolero Invader were seized.
Taking advantage of the ceasefire between the Centre and the two factions of the NSCN, members of several militant groups of Manipur and Assam have been hiding in Dimapur.
The NSCN (Isak-Muivah) recently asked the KRA to stop extortion and “tax collection” on the national highways.It also warned the Kuki group against harassing Nagas.
In an unrelated incident, militants suspected to be from the NSCN (Khaplang) killed an unidentified person at Science College this morning.
Start paying attention to northeast, Rio tells industries The Hindu
New Delhi, April 30. (PTI): Drawing a comparison with Israel whose economy is growing despite violence, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has asked the business community to to set up industries in the restive northeast by taking advantage of its natural resources and strategic location.
“Despite all these opportunities, the issues of law and order and insurgency are often cited as prime reasons for lack of investment in the region. Let me, however, draw your attention to a country like Israel,” Rio here at a function here recently.
“It has its share of problems and is considered to be the centre of a global flashpoint. However, its economy is developing in an amazing manner. In fact it is becoming the world leader in many technologies.”
Therefore, he said, it is time Indian industries start paying attention to opportunities in the northeast.
Referring to his State in particular, Rio said the peace process in Nagaland will complete 10 years soon and there is a genuine attempt to resolve problems through negotiations and dialogue.
“The peace process is an outcome of the longing and desire of the people for permanent peace. What is required today is to sustain this peace process through development,” Rio said.
“While peace is vital for economic growth, development is also another dimension of peace,” he said, adding investments in the northeast should therefore be seen both as business opportunities and an investment for India’s future.
Nagaland: ‘Peace’ under Terror Bibhu Prasad Routray Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
The near decade-long ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the six year old ceasefire with the rival Khaplang faction (NSCN-K) continue to hold in Nagaland, in an environment of endemic fratricidal clashes, pervasive extortion and rapid consolidation of the insurgent sway over every segment of society and Government. New Delhi’s response, surprisingly, remains stubbornly conventional, failing to question the rationale behind the countless rounds of peace talks, a move that undermined political processes in the State, and ceding to the insurgent group a position of dominance in the State, even as fratricidal violence, extortion and intimidation remain entrenched in the day to day lives of the people.
For a State under a ‘ceasefire’ with both the principal insurgent groups, Nagaland still registers higher levels of insurgent violence than many of the States with an ‘active’ insurgency, and the situation appears to be progressively worsening over the years. According to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), insurgency-related fatalities have increased from 97 in 2004 to 99 in 2005, to a further 147 in 2006. Incidents of insurgent violence have registered an increase from 186 to 192 between 2004 and 2005, and sharply to 309 in 2006. Institute for Conflict Management’s open source documentation of insurgency-related fatalities totalled 56 in 2007, till April 20.
Virtually the entire volume of fatalities are concerned with the network of intimidation and the turf wars between IM and Khaplang factions, with the Security Forces (SFs) obvious and mute spectators, accounting for very few of the violent engagements or fatalities. In 2007, for instance, of the total of 56 fatalities, 43 (77 per cent) have been insurgent cadres, and the remaining 13, civilians. Insurgents accounted for 57 per cent of the total fatalities in 2004, 71 per cent in 2005 and 79 percent in 2006. Only three SF personnel have been killed in Nagaland since 2004.
Of the 56 fatalities thus far in 2007, 43 have occurred in a total of 24 factional clashes. The toll includes 22 NSCN-IM cadres, 18 NSCN-K cadres and three militants from the Naga National Council (NNC). Clashes have occurred in seven of Nagaland’s 11 Districts: Mon, Mokokchung, Zunheboto, Phek, Peren, Kohima and Dimapur.
The war of attrition continues with scant regard for the ceasefire ground rules, which stipulate that the insurgents stay in designated camps, bans their movements in uniform and with arms and prohibits extortion. The NSCN-IM’s writ runs supreme in most parts of the State, though the NSCN-K remains dominant in the Districts of Mokokchung and Dimapur. While NSCN-IM’s well-oiled ‘finance department’ engages in wide-spread ‘tax-collection’ activities, its ‘home department’ virtually runs the administration in the State. Its ‘crime suppression department’ ensures control of its areas of dominance, administering a selective ‘justice’ over various ‘offenders’. Cadres move unhindered in the townships and country-side, enforcing the insurgent group’s diktats. Intelligence reports indicate that the cadre strength of the NSCN-IM has increased from 800 to about 2,500 since the July 1997 ceasefire announcement.
Internecine clashes have remained the principal instrument of seeking or defending dominance for the two groups in various parts of the State. For the NSCN-K, which is yet to start a dialogue process with the Government of India (GoI) since its April 2001 ceasefire agreement, violent engagements with its rival also help send periodic reminders to New Delhi that any ‘deal’ with the IM faction would have no permanent positive impact on the Naga conflict. Fratricidal engagements also serve as opportunities to inflict costs on each other, upsetting the cadre strength and wearing down stores of weapons and ammunition. The lack of progress in NSCN-IM’s protracted dialogue with the GoI, currently in its 10th year, has only provided added incentive to both factions to continue with their ‘war games’.
Unconstrained insurgent activities have resulted in the occasional civilian backlash. On April 22, 2007, subsequent to the abduction and torture of three Sumi tribesmen by NSCN-IM cadres, a large mob of about 5,000 people attacked the Wungram Colony, home to several of the NSCN-IM’s leaders in Dimapur, destroying 47 houses and several vehicles. The houses of NSCN-IM’s ‘steering committee member’, Rh. Raising, tatars (‘parliamentarians’) Samson Jajo, Nithungla and Kamlang, and three leaders of the group’s armed wing — Hangshi, Ramkating and Markson — were gutted in the incident. Over 300 civilians belonging to the Tangkhul tribe, from which NSCN-IM’s top leadership, including its ‘general secretary’ Thuingaleng Muivah, is sourced, were displaced from the Colony and have since taken shelter at the nearby police station at Chumukedima and the group’s camp in Hebron, near Dimapur town.
Such occasional, desperate and rarely fruitful mass interventions notwithstanding, insurgent factions in the State continue to hold sway across wide areas of the State, and engage in continuous efforts to extend their areas of dominance. The Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, is on record claiming that such clashes are a part of the ‘political problem’ ‘between India and Nagaland’, thus indicating that these would continue as long as the ‘conflict over Nagalim (greater Nagaland)’ is not resolved. The Chief Minister’s refrain closely echoes the NSCN-IM’s position that the factional violence is due to the GoI’s failure to restrict the movement of NSCN-K cadres. The GoI, on the other hand, insists that the clashes between the insurgent outfits are a law and order problem. About 10 months ago, on June 20, 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a seven-member Congress Party team from Nagaland at New Delhi, that the conflict between the insurgent Naga factions was a ‘law and order problem’ which the State’s Home Department has to solve on its own, instead of blaming Delhi.
The Nagaland Police, however, has not been involved in any significant cases challenging the dominance of the insurgents, while the Central Para-military Forces (CPMFs) have failed to take effective steps against the flagrant and rampant violations of the ceasefire ground rules.
Myanmar, with which India shares a 1,640 kilometre-long unfenced border, remains vital to the capabilities of the Naga outfits, especially the NSCN-K. The group’s ‘general headquarters’ is located in the Sagaing Division of Myanmar, bordering three Indian states: Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. On April 27, 2007, official sources in New Delhi said that Myanmar has promised to step up military action against all Indian insurgent groups operating from its territory. However, assurances made by the 18-member Army delegation led by Brigadier General Tin Maung Ohn can, at best, be termed as routine and insignificant, and are not expected to have any decisive impact on the potential of the insurgent groups. Sporadic military offensives in the Sagaing division by the Myanmarese Army have taken place since the mid-1980s, but have only temporarily displaced the various insurgent groups from Manipur, Assam and Nagaland. Once the Myanmarese Army personnel have vacated the areas, the groups have simply gone back to reclaim their facilities. Moreover, a fairly cosy relationship exists between lower-rung Myanmarese military personnel and the insurgents, and the latter are often warned in advance of imminent raids, allowing them to minimise damage.
Little change is anticipated in the situation in Nagaland in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, with elections to the State Legislative Assembly due in 2008, insurgent violence can be expected to grow and expand into newer areas. With both the State and the Union Government frozen in their commitment to a policy of inaction, the civilian population in the State will continue to bear the brunt of insurgent lawlessness.Copyright peacejournalism. Neplal.
India should stop arming Burmese military junta Mizzima News by Mungpi www.mizzima.com (Interview with Former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and Canadian refugee, immigration and human Rights lawyer David Matas.
April 29, 2007- Former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific (2002-2003), Hon. David Kilgour, and Canadian refugee, immigration and human Rights lawyer David Matas, who is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, visited India to raise the issue of the Chinese government’s continued executions on the Falun Gong Practitioners for their organs.
The two dignitaries had widely traveled across the world covering more than 30 countries to put a stop to the ongoing dreadful practice of the Chinese government to Falun Gong Practitioners. During their trip to India, the two dignitaries, who are also prominent supporters of democratic changes in Burma, met a number of Indian leaders and raised the issue of India’s relationship with Burma. Kilgour said India being the largest democratic country in the world and an immediate neighbour of Burma, should concern itself at the deteriorating political scenario in Burma. He said, India, in view of its long term interest, should stop arming the Burmese junta but take a stronger and tougher stand in support of democratic changes in Burma.
During their few days stay in New Delhi, they met Burmese reporters including Mizzima’s Assistant Editor Mungpi, and talked about their views on India’s stand towards Burma.
What has brought you to India? Kilgour: David Matas and I filed a report and we have now done a revised report on the terrible practice of taking organs from Falun Gong Practitioners in China.
By our best estimate, about 41,500 transplants, that is kidneys, livers and so on, that were done over five years of persecution of Falun Gong, cannot be explained by executed criminals, the brain-dead, accident victims or by donated organs. So, we are not saying that these 41,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for their organs, because you can take more than one organ from a person, but many thousands of Falun Gong Practitioners have been treated in what we call a new form of inhumanity against human kind and crime against humanity.
And the reason we have travelled to India is, we are trying to get the government of China to stop doing this, to stop doing it now. Not just before the Olympic Games. We know they are going to stop before the games, but they have got to stop it now because people are dying, probably, every day. And what people don’t understand is, if you are a criminal and you said you committed a murder or something or people say I need a kidney or I am going to die, so I will go and get a kidney from an executed murderer, but for one thing, I think there are sixty eight offences that you can get capital punishment in China. So, we think that people in India or any where know that many of the people that are being killed for their organs are Falun Gong Practitioners, who are never been before a court, they have never been convicted of anything, they are simply sent to a work camp, where they work as forced labour, making part of exports, by the way. They are tested medically every three months to see how their organs are and then some body comes from New Delhi or Ottawa or Winnipeg, and there is a computer match and the computer match says that Ms. so and so in the camp over here got a match-able organ and then she dies, she is killed medically with out conviction of nothing, and she dies and her organs are taken and this terrible practice continues. I don’t think any other nation on earth has ever done it, but it is simply unimaginable this could be happening in the twenty first century.
Mattas: Well, I mean your question is right over here and what we are trying to do here is what we have been doing in different countries around the world. We have been, the two of us, to over thirty countries now and what we are trying to do is mobilize concern, trying to get the practice to stop by trying to create awareness among people of the practice. We are meeting with media, with academics, with parliamentarians, with civil servants, with medical professionals, and we are trying to get all these various sectors and civil societies engaged in raising the issue.
Apart from the Falun Gong’s case, were you able to utilize your trip to India to raise the Burma issue? Kilgour: Well, I have just received an email from Guy Horton. As you all know, Guy Horton spent five years doing this study – ‘Dying Alive’. He has lobbyed hard with the government of Canada, with United Nations trying to raise the issue with the Security Council.
As you know, Burma got on to the Security Council on November 15. It didn’t last very long, it was thrown out by the veto wielding countries China, Russia, and for me most astonishingly by South Africa, I don’t know why South Africa did that. I am delighted that Arch Bishop Tu Tu criticized the decision saying it was completely against the history of South Africa.
But, I think it is fair to say that Guy Horton’s concern about what’s going on in the Bay of Bengal gas fields, and as you know China has now been given access to the Bay of Bengal gas fields. It is obviously up to the government and people of India to decide whether their policy has been working with Burma. But I can tell you, I raised the issue the other night with some very influential people in the city to see whether India could take a stronger stand in dealing with Burma. We are told that there is insurgency in the border, there are incursions, and things are going on, but for what is with my reading, the government of Burma is that you don’t get much by being nice to them, you really got to be tough, tough as nails with them. And the way they treat their own people, the number of villages, I think its 2300 villages that Horton documented, I think all of that shows that the only thing those people will respect is that some body who is stronger than they are, who refuses to put up with nonsense, especially violence. I hope that the government of India will look at its policy again towards Burma, in the light of what’s just happened with those gas fields.
The other day, you met India’s former Defence Minister George Fernandez, were you also able to meet other leaders in India? Kilgour: Well, yes, we met a lot of leaders. Here in New Delhi, we met leaders in the legal profession, and the medical profession in Mumbai. And we are planning to meet a lot of leaders in the country as we can, and I can’t tell you how strongly respected in Canada they are. A million Canadians originated from India. This country, because of its democracy, because of its rule of law, because of its independent courts, many of us feel Canada’s strategic relationship should be with India in this part of the world.
Going back to Burma, I think it is fair to say that Canadians are increasingly concerned about what’s been going on in Burma. We are aware of the river projects and gas field projects and the continued mistreatment of the people, terrible mistreatment. And the fact that Aung San Suu Kyi is now under 62 years, we are worried about her, I think many of us are hoping this will be the year she will be released from house arrest. We had a meeting of the forming of the parliamentarians for Burma about a month ago, and we had parliamentarians from Burma including Prime Minister in exile Sein Win, ministers came from here New Delhi, we had members of parliament from Singapore, and I think we all are taking that this is the year things have to change in Burma and that this talking has been going on for a very very long time and that if the senior general thinks that he can just carry on this way forever, then I very much hope that this year will prove him wrong. One point I should add is that Canada still gets much of its heroin from Burma. If I am not mistaken, one Canadian dies of an overdose of heroin every two days. So, that what Burma is sending to Canada in terms of heroin is costing the lives of many many Canadians and I think that’s another reason why Canadians are extremely concerned about the nature of government in we call it Burma. We are not going to call it Myanmar.
Now that the government of India is supplying arms to the Burmese military junta, a few days ago, a top General arrived in New Delhi to give a list of weapons that the Burmese junta wants India to supply to them. Are you aware of this? Kilgour: No I wasn’t aware of that and I am very sorry to hear that the government of Burma, as every body knows should not be the government of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party was elected massively in the election in 1990. And what’s happened in Burma has been a tragedy of probably the few greatest proportion in the world. The people of Burma are such wonderful people. My wife’s father helped supply Burma during World War II. What you said know that the Generals are trying to get arms from India is deeply saddening. I think the Canadians are deeply saddened as to why India would supply a single piece of arms to Burma. It is beyond me. That government has no help for whatever it is, nothing but the bad things associated with it and for a country the size and importance of India to help that government in anyway is, speaking personally, saddening. I was telling some leaders in this country the other day that Canada has enormous respect for India, and we want India to take its full place in the world in every sphere economically, diplomatically and so on but I hope that they [India] will re-assess any idea of selling arms to the [Burmese] regime.
As you know, people in their own homes are restricted, and are hunted like rabbits, women are raped, and children are beaten and killed and minority people in Burma are treated terribly. It has to stop. And one way of stopping it would be for the government India to say that look no more. This has to stop and India is the largest democracy in the world and we insist that you become a democracy and we insist that you have proper elections and who ever wins the elections that should be the government of Burma. Now, I also know as you do, that China is extremely unhelpful on this and they are trying everything they can, what ever they can to try to make it hard for democracy and Burma is one of a number of countries there are of course many others like Sudan, and North Korea. Zimbabwe is another, wherever there is absolutely intolerant brutal dictators the government of China is seems to be egging them on. It’s got to stop. All of us who believe in democracy, who believe in human dignity and believe that human rights are in-divisible, have to stand up on these issues and let’s start by standing up to Burma.
For speedy political change in Burma, the role of the international community is very much important but without the participation of neighbouring countries it will not be effective as is expected. So, what is your opinion on this? Kilgour: Well, you will know this better than I do that the foreign minister of Malaysia went to visit Aung San Suu Kyi, representing the ASEAN countries, and he was told he could not see her. Well, if the senior generals and the junta turn down the ASEAN representative saying that he can’t see this Nobel Peace Prize Winner, who the world loves and admires, and we all care deeply about, what does it say about the regime, and if ASEAN denied Burma the chance to be the leader for a year, so the neighbours are increasingly taking with the rest of us that Burma has to become a democracy and if the people of Burma want to elect generals so be it but if they want to elect Aung San Suu Kyi or somebody else they should have the opportunity of doing it. A multi-party democracy is sweeping the world except for a few countries and you know who they are as well as I do and Burma if its going to re-gain its place and respect in the world it has to go for democracy. Let me just remind you one fact, that I am told that right after World War II, there were more planes landing in Rangoon then in Hong Kong. I wander what the ration is now, by trying to stay out of the worlds except that they buy arms, the government has hurt its people enormously in every single way and we got to stop it, all of us, especially the government of India has to join in this year to try to make this the year of democracy for Burma.
Matas: My uncle during the World War II served in the British Army in Burma, so have I got a strong connection with Burma and I use to hear a lot of stories about Burma. To hear the plight of the Burmese people for me is personally very sad and it’s something that does not reflect to the world of the Burmese people and the potentials of the Burmese state.
It is understandable that the trade sanctions imposed by the international community sometimes worsen the suffering of the people, but our point is there should be at least an arms embargo against the military junta.
Kilgour: Absolutely, I mean there must be an arms embargo against the junta, I would like to see Ivanhoe, which is a Canadian company leave Burma, I have been indicating that to the senior management of Ivanhoe. It’s terrible that a Canadian company should be operating in Burma in this circumstance. Yes, we got to get all the Canadian companies out of it. If you can imagine the Canada pension plan, which all Canadians pay, they buy shares of companies and they actually bought shares in somebody’s company that is doing business in Burma and that has to stop. I think you can see increasing pressure in Canada to get all Canadian companies out of Burma until democracy is restored in Burma.
Matas: In a large measure, what we are seeing in Burma is autocracy, a group of people in power out to enrich themselves. Sanctions in that situation should be targeted to the leaders of the junta from travel, in terms of international bank accounts, and in terms of what they personally can import. And you can have sanctions that are targeted in that way that can have an impact on the autocracy at the top with out harming the people as a whole.
Kilgour: I absolutely agree with that. Why should the senior general be allowed to give diamonds at his daughters wedding, which we all saw? I mean that’s exactly the point David is making, you can get rich by drugs or by stealing money from the people, I mean it’s intolerable. This is got to be the year that Burma joins the family of nations, and Canada should take a role on that and India can take a far bigger role then Canada. But I sense the other night talking to a former diplomat for India that some how there is a worry about Burma. And I couldn’t help saying to myself that what is India worried about Burma for? How can a country with the resources and people and so on in this country be worried about a few generals who lead very few other then themselves and their daughters’ diamonds, I suppose you could say. Why can anybody have any fears of this kind of tyrants?
How do you view the current India foreign policy on Burma? Kilgour: Well, as I was suggesting, I would like to see that, especially in the light of what’s happening in the Bay of Bengal, I hope the government of India would re-examine its policy towards Burma. And speaking as a citizen of the world, I hope they would know that India can play a key role in this just as they can play a key role in Nepal and then other places, especially from the stand point of the rule of law and democracy and dignity of people. So, that’s India’s role in this sector, to become the leader of the democratic developing world.
Are you saying that India will benefit more from a democratic Burma? Kilgour: It will benefit, for one thing the skirmishes on the border will stop instantly. There will be no more buying arms, killing people, shooting children all of these terrible things happening in Burma would stop. And then, because one thing we do know about democracy is, democracies don’t go to war with each other, they don’t make lives miserable and so that’s one of the other arguments for democracy in Burma. And there would be peace in the region and Burma would become a member of peaceful family of nations. Instead of sending heroin, hopefully to countries like Canada in large quantities all of this would stop, it would just be diminished.
You just mentioned that Canadian Parliamentarians are hoping that this is the year for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to be released. Can you tell me more about it. Why do you think so?
Kilgour: Well, because I have some good reasons to believe that the senior general in Burma was is in-charge of things when the terrible attack took place and she [Aung San Suu Kyi] was almost killed. But fortunately she wasn’t but certainly a lot of people are worried enormously about his involvement in that earlier attack and that I hope he didn’t have an involvement in that raid but everything I know suggested that he did have and that a lot of people were killed and Aung San Suu Kyi might well have been one of those who were killed. If anything happens to Aung San Suu Kyi, the world loves her, we admire her, we read her books and we know how much courage she has and what’s she is been through, and we are worried about her health and we are worried about how she’s been treated. When the Foreign Minister of Malaysia, representing ASEAN, can’t see her, I mean, what does that say. That says that the senior general thinks that he can get away with anything. And if he thinks that, there is a terrible implication. So, I have been an admirer of her [Daw Suu], all of us have been, we love her and we think she is the person who fights for democracy in the most difficult of circumstances.
Matas: Well, I agree with what Kilgour says. She is a model this is what we look forward to in democracy. People are prepared to stand for their rights. And she is the Burmese Mahatma Gandhi and she follows the tradition of Gandhi and so India who identifies with Gandhi should identify with people who take up his tradition and support her as a modern day incarnation of Gandhi.
What would you like to say on Canada’s policy of taking Burmese refugees for resettlement? Kilgour: Canada took 800 refugees last year. I was in the reception when they arrived in Ottawa, there were about 120. Can you imagine some of the people had lived in a refugee camp for more 15 years? And the government and the minister of immigration have decided and we are going to take happily another 2,000 in Canada. The Burmese refugees have done well in Canada. And we are very happy to have them.
Matas: Yea, I am familiar with this movement, and its significant not only for Burma but it is significant in terms of Canadian and global refugee policy because this group was brought to Canada as a group historically and typically when refugees are resettled in those individual refugee determination and there’s a case by case examination whether an individual circumstance justify protection but in this case the whole group was determined to need protection without individual determination, which is obviously a lot more efficient, and in this context they are real so it made sense it was cost efficient provided the global form of protection. I mean this Burmese refugee experiment was important not just for Burma, but for development of refugee policy in Canada in general.

Frans on 04.30.07 @ 09:56 PM CST [link]


Letter of Condolence and spirit for Angelus Shimreh

A Naga International Support Center, NISC, www.nagalim.nl
A human rights organization
Press Release

Amsterdam, 30 April 2007

Letter of Condolence and spirit

Deeply shocked by the sudden demise of Mr. Angelus Paiza Shimrah early yesterday morning at Dimapur, on behalf of the Naga International Support Center I condole Zingnimla and her children and the NSCN which he served from 1976 as well as the Naga Nation as a whole. I remember how we met just outside Dimapur when he was a member of the Steering Committee where we reviewed problems and prospects concerning the Nagas. Later when on his way to Rome to connect with the Vatican’s Justice and Peace office we went around some of the country side of the Netherlands to visit cattle farms. He showed a keen interest in automated milking and talked to farmers who showed us about their agriculture, husbandry and management of farming. On a lake nearby we sat down and frankly talked about convictions and how to achieve what the Nagas stand for. We recorded the conversation on tape and may publish a transcribed version of his legacy.
I remember Angelus as a soft spoken thoughtful friend who, with respect to the history of his people, as a member of the Steering Committee then, was regarded as an architect of policies. Pure at heart he weathered storms, also when he had to take stern against action amongst some in his own organization. Angelus was a man of principles, a fair man, a forgiving man, a man too who knew all of us have fallacies; Nagas and himself not excluded. No one can be trusted at all times, and again he included himself.
I hope his untimely death serves a purpose, the purpose of not just remembering an outstanding Naga, but one who is an example for the next generations, the young at heart who under occupation cannot built a future yet, they are in limbo and are prone to act out. .It is those generations who are due to take over from where he had to leave off. They are in dire need of the examples he gave us all, but would too shy to take credit for.

On behalf of the Naga International Support Center
Frans Welman
nisc@nalim.nl“>nisc@nalim.nl
http://www.nagalim.nl

Frans on 04.30.07 @ 07:52 PM CST [link]

Sunday, April 29th

Naga Leader passed away:By R S Mayori Naganation.com

Naga Leader passed away:By R S Mayori Naganation.com
Mr P A Shimrah (Angelus Shimrah) passed away at around mid-night on 29th April 2007 at his residence in Dimapur after a prolonged sickness. He was born in 1944 and joined the Naga national movement in 1976, which was led by Naga National Council (NNC) at the time.
Mr. Shimrah held the post of Cabinet kilonser before he passed away. He did his Master of Economics and English before he joined the movement. Mr Angelus Shimrah was a senior leaders among the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN). He also was the convenor of the steering committee of NSCN. He led a team of Nagas from Nagalim, who recently visited Papua New Guinea to study the famous Bougainville peace process, in which the NSCN (I-M) believes can be used as a model to study for the solution to the Naga conflict. He was also one of the leaders involved in the peace process that has been in negotiations for the last nine years.
His sacrifice for the Nagas struggle will not be forgotten. He has been to jail for many years for the cause of the Nagas. He has endured hardships by spending 30 years in the deep forest for his belief in Nagalim. His service to the nation is worth mention in the record of the history of the Nagas. It is believed that many leaders will be in attendance at the funeral service of Mr. Angelus Shimrah in Ukhrul District
LETTER OF CONDOLENCE

Dear Zingnimla and Children,

I am deeply shocked and pained to hear of the sudden demise of Mr. Angelus Paiza Shimrah early this morning at Dimapur. No doubt, I too am aware of his ailing health for quite sometime now, but which is not beyond control as far as human reasoning is concerned…? The only thing is… that life is not in our hand and our Almighty God knows best and we mortal sinners have no moral authority to question. Nevertheless, it is not fair for “death’s cruel hand” to snatch away the life of a person who has so much more to give to his people.

In this hour of grief and sorrow, words are not sufficient to express the feelings of my heart. I just want to say that, although I do not know him intimately, I do know of him, about his commitment and conviction for the freedom of the Naga people for which he gave his everything, whatever his shortcomings and weaknesses … people may say of him.

And as I convey my heartfelt condolences to you and the children, I want you to know that I too will always remember and cherish my short but very historic association with him in March 2006, when we traveled to Papua New Guinea and Bougainville on a Study tour on Peace and Reconciliation, during which period we were room-mates.

May God grant you the strength and courage to put up with this unthinkable loss and face life with greater determination for which he fought for?

To Angelus P. Shimrah, may your Soul Rest in Peace in knowing that you have fought a good fight for all of us who believe in Freedom and that you will always be an inspiration for many more to come.

Sd/-
Neingulo Krome
General Secretary, Naga Hoho.
Dated Kohima the 29th April 2007.
Fact Finding Committee to meet NSCN-IM leaders today John Basho Pou Poumai.com
Senapati, Adai Puimei, one of the main accused in the kidnapping and murder of two Senapati school children Moheni Martin and Hriinii Hurbert, escaped in the evening of April 24 from the custody of NSCN (IM) headquarter at Hebron in Dimapur. Two other main suspects in the crime are Brown Tangkhul and Manikho Mao along with suspects whose names are being withheld to avoid untoward communal violence in Senapati. Adai Puimei escaped as a result of a security lapse on the part of the NSCN (IM), said Veino Solomon, chairman of the Fact Finding Committee on the murder of the two children whose skeletal remains were found at the foothills of Viewland Colony in Senapati by two other kids who were hunting birds there. The committee consisting of tribes` presidents and women’s bodies will call on NSCN (IM) tomorrow to discuss the latest development even as the deadline given to the outfit ends on April 29.
The Senapati District Women’s Association is also gearing up for a sit-in dharna at Hebron to pressurize the outfit for speedy deliverance of justice to the parents of the two children and public at the earliest, and befitting punishment to those culprits who were behind the heinous crime.
The NSCN (IM) has set up a separate special task force led by Johnny, one of the investigation experts of the outfit, for the investigation into the crime. Meanwhile, S Lungnila, mother of Brown Tangkhul said in an appeal carried by the Imphal Free Press today that her son Brown Tangkhul was innocent and not involved in the crime. She said that Brown`s confession was a forced and dictated confession. Is it a real and right trial to bring justice, she asked in the appeal.
The committee was also not happy with the Manipur state government for not doing their duty and not keeping their words. Veino Solomon said that the committee would not correspond with the state government unless the state officials did it officially to satisfy the public. MExN
KRA leader, 4 others held Staff Reporter Nagaland Post
DIMAPUR, APRIL 28 (NPN): Two activists of the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) including its finance secretary were arrested along with three of their accomplices by a special operation team of Dimapur Police on Friday.
The five were traveling in a Scorpio (NL-07-1205) in the town on Friday when police nabbed them.
Police said several incriminating documents including the agreement for suspension of operations between security forces and Kuki National Council (KNC) and demand notes issued to various government departments in Manipur were also recovered from their possession.
Police also raided the private residences of the KRA finance secretary, identified as Thanglem Haokip alias Athang (35), at Kashiram and 2 ½ Mile areas and seized a Bolero Invader along with the incriminating documents and mobile handsets. The other KRA activist was identified as “lance corporal” Chungminlum Singsit alias Bobuay (32) and the accomplices as David Singh (22), Paojang Hangsing (38), and Seikam Chongloi (33), all from Manipur.
KSU appreciates Rio Nagaland post
DIMAPUR: The Konyak Students’ Union (KSU) has expressed appreciation to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio’s visit to Mon on April 20 and 21 during which, he inaugurated the 6th NAP Battalion Hq at Aboi town and the existing 6th NAP Hq at Tizit which was proposed to be IRB Battalion cum Training Centre. The union has also expressed hope that the chief minister’s visit from Tobu to coal mines at Tiru will benefit the community.
However, the union lamented for not having been informed about the visit by the district administration and the NPF . It said during such visits, the district administrations were normally busy and have little time to highlight the general problems of the district and therefore, the NGOs were the right forum for highlighting these problems, it said.
It said political parties were more interested in their organizations and so it was felt that a coordination meeting chould have been convened before the chief minister’s visit.
The union said despite its disappointment, it acknowledged and lauded Rio’s effort to uplift the district through various developmental works. It said Rio’s “sincere effort to pull out the backward tribe and mainstream us with the rest of the Nagas is indeed laudable” . The Union also said it invoked God’s hand for providing wisdom to the chief minister while piloting the ‘strive torn people’ of Mon district in particular and the Nagas in general.
The people are speaking By: Monalisa Changkija Kangla Editor of Nagaland Page)
Even though our Governor has taken over charge only recently, there is no doubt that he has correctly read the writings on the wall when, in his appeal for restoring peace and harmony after the unfortunate incident at Dimapur on April 22 last, he stated: “The outburst of public anger was a result of the pent-up feelings of the people due to the highhanded activities of certain individuals and organizations. This is yet another reminder to us that violent activities only lead to more violence.” And “The vicious pattern of violence in the society is a ause for serious concern”.

What happened at Dimapur last Sunday shouldn’t have happened at all and the strongest of condemnatory terms are inadequate to describe the horror every right-thinking persons feels about it but such an incident was waiting to happen and this is no time to pussyfoot around the several reasons why it happened much less try to justify it’s occurrence and the total failure of the district civil and police administration to contain it unconvincingly. Without mincing any words, let us concede that this incident happened and the district civil and police administration failed miserably to contain it simply because the state Government cannot see the tree from the woods, cannot differentiate between what consists of law and order situation and political situation, has ambiguous policies on critical issues and it’s emphasis is more on style than substance on any issue. Considering what the people of the state of Nagaland have had to forcibly endure for decades, it is to the credit of our people that these pent-up feelings have not seen worse outbursts of anger a long time ago.

The “highhanded activities of certain individuals and organizations”, as our Governor has so rightly stated is the very core and cause of the people’s pent-up feelings, which unfortunately our state Government either pretends does not exist or probably finds it more convenient to shove under the carpet. But by doing so, it only invites more trouble for itself, as also adds to the people’s pent-up feelings and aggravates it. By doing so, the state Government may believe it is meeting the goals of its short-term aspirations but it is only adding fuel to the people’s ire and creating roadblocks between the people and our long-term aspirations. By deliberately confusing itself about what consist law and order situation and political situation, our state Government has abdicated its responsibilities of providing, facilitating and ensuring safety and security of life, limbs and property thus making a mockery of its espousal of ‘peace for development and development for peace’.

After all, there can be no peace or development when individuals and groups of individuals seek to dominate the majority with their agenda of vested interest. To cite a few examples, the UNDP clearly defines human security as “Freedom from Fear and Freedom from Want” and the Government of Canada is also clear about human security and states it in terms of “Freedom from “pervasive threats to people’s rights, their safety or their lives”. Considering our beleaguered political history and economic realities, what is human security for our state Government? After all, the ultimate goal of development is to build human capabilities and enlarge human choices and to create a safe and secure environment where citizens can live with dignity and equality. Moreover, the critical links between governance, human security and human development cannot be ignored. Our state Government not sufficiently understanding this critical link is probably the main problem why it cannot see beyond its sloganeering posture of ‘peace for development and development for peace’. While it is true that reportedly only two tribes were involved in the April 22 incident at Dimapur, and the incident cannot be condoned, but to merely shrug it off with a ‘tribalism’ colour would also be acting like the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the sand. Besides the people’s pent-up feelings, what the Government needs to dwell on and delve into are the reports of large amounts of arms and ammunitions found following the incident, which is a threat to human security.
Obviously this discovery cannot be perceived from the prism of tribalism. Although only two communities are reported to be involved in the April 22 incident at Dimapur, clearly the people are speaking, which our Governor has taken note of, but what about our state Government? It’s not as if our people haven’t spoken in the recent past particularly at Phek and Zunheboto.

NE Summits — A Perspective There are ambiguous opinions about the NE Summits held thrice so far in the past few years. The third was held at Delhi on April 10 & 11. The point of contention is on the issue of venues for such summits and with reasons too. On the other hand, there are also opinions that the metropolitans are the right venues for such ventures. Having attended the recently concluded NE Summit at Delhi, one can appreciate both opinions and perhaps arrive at the conclusion that once-a-year NE Summits in India’s metropolitans are inadequate to attract public and private investments to the Northeast and there is an urgent need to hold such summits collectively in this region, as also in individual states regularly too, as each Northeastern state has unique potentials to offer, which would not only accrue great profits to public and private investments but more importantly, change the pace of the development process here and the realities of the people of this region. This cannot be over-emphasized against the background of the Look East Policy on which India is banking heavily to make incursions into the Asian markets. But perhaps more pertinently India is single-mindedly striving to achieve a double-digit economic growth and wrest the economic leadership position from China. The fact is India must prove its unassailable leadership on the economic front to emerge as the undisputed economic powerhouse of Asia and for this India must look east and to look east it must look towards its Northeast first. This of course is easier said than done because this region, only recently acknowledged as key to India’s economic aspirations, has been sorely neglected for decades and it definitely is not proving easy to tame this ‘wild east’.

Of course, NE Summits must be continued to be held several times a year in different metropolitans of the country to attract varied and various kinds of investments but it is also imperative that our powers-that-be, especially of the bureaucratic types, are made to understand that the people of this region can no longer afford for them be ‘big frogs in their little puddles’. If we opine that the rest of mainland India must change their mindset and attitudes towards the Northeast, it is equally imperative that the Northeast also undergoes similar changes and more importantly get rid of the victim mentality — and of course the commission and kickback mentality. Let’s have no doubts that investors genuinely looking at the Northeast know that they do so not merely for profits but also for the benefit and in the interest of the country, and definitely not to enrich a handful of people in the corridors of power, whether elected or selected.

Once investors within and without the country come into the Northeast, equations are bound to change drastically so the question we need to ask of ourselves is whether we are ready, willing and welcome the equations that would change or whether we wish to see the status quo in this region for the rest of our lives. Talks in the town have it that Gegong Apang was recently unseated as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh not so much because of political machinations, as much as for economic machinations. But then when big players move into anywhere in the world, equations change, as witnessed in numerous countries across the globe and this is bound to happen in the Northeast too but are we ready for it? This is the real issue we need to grapple with if we are serious about the entry of investors into the Northeast.

The other issue that we must have no illusions about is that investors are not timorous about insurgency, as is made out to be simply because what is happening in the Northeast is not so much insurgency as much as simple thievery, which is pervasive overground, underground and middleground and they are very well aware of it. Leaving aside the fact that the very term insurgency needs a proper definition and description, if investors are hesitant to entry into this region because of the kind of ‘insurgency’ prevalent here, it is understandable because it is simply not in the fitness of things for some to work and some others to demand the fruits of that work. Things are pretty clear but it is for us to muster the courage of conviction to call a spade a spade and face reality. Only then NE Summits would bear the expected fruits.

Frans on 04.29.07 @ 06:11 PM CST [link]

Saturday, April 28th

Army bothered by direction Naga situation is taking The Morung Express

Army bothered by direction Naga situation is taking The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 28 (MExN): The Army is bothered by impact and toll the Naga political situation is starting to have on the people and on this, strongly urges the people to stand united against the rampant killings, extortion and blackmailing that has become the order of the day in Nagaland. The Army stated that if the people raise a united voice, the undergrounds will have no choice but to listen to the voice of the people.
An appeal released by the PIB (Defense Wing) observed that the recent happenings in the state stir the mind over the issues afflicting this picturesque land of the Nagas: the factional clashes in Satakha are a case in point which has not only claimed the lives of warring underground cadres but also that of innocent civilians. It mentioned of a gruesome incident on March 28, when three innocent civilians lost their lives to a misfired rocket that the undergrounds had used. Eight other civilians were injured in the rocket explosion. The explosion took place at Hoishe village.
“Factions are involved in fratricidal killings all over the state. Even the innocent civilians are being eliminated based on remotest suspicion of their being member of the rival faction. Extortions have become rampant in the name of waging freedom struggle for national cause” the Army stated adding that for the undergrounds there is no consideration for peace, development and prosperity for the common masses. The Army also observed that the cadres are starting to realize the grim realities and the futility of the ongoing war where none but the bloods of their own kith and kin are being spilled. “These young cadres are no more ideologically motivated to wage aimless struggle” the army stated. It cited the instance of a 19 year old underground cadre deciding to call it a day from the “national struggle,” and later joining the mainstream on April 7 in Satakha. “Like him, many are waiting to follow suit but are not able to muster enough courage to do so due to fear and retribution which can be meted out to them or to their families if they quit their organizations” the Army stated.
However, the Army affirmed, the truth cannot remain hidden for long. Recruitment by these factions is carried out under coercion or under monetary allurement. The young cadres are from the underprivileged strata of the society and they are “included” in the factional fights, it stated. “These young cadres are not well-equipped to face the rigors of the day to day life in the jungles and situation gets further aggravated during inclement weather” the Army observed.
All these complex issues of killings, extortions and blackmailing need to be deliberated by all the right-thinking and responsible citizens of this beautiful state, the army expressed. “We cannot remain mute spectators to the events happening around us and let these forces spread havoc around us under false illusions. We must stand courageously and act firmly. We should say no to forced recruitment of our young boys and girls as they are the leaders and makers of our future” it appealed. The Army also made a call to the people to refuse free movement of cadres with arms and resist extortions. “If we raise our voice collectively and without any factional bias or tribal boundaries, these factions will have no choice but to listen to the voice of the public because ultimate power lies in the people of Nagaland. This will usher the era of peace, joy and happiness in Nagaland. Let us work towards achieving that” it stated.
K to stay away from talks Sangai Express
Dimapur, Apr 28:The Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) is hell-bent on not to hold political dialogues with the Govt of India so long as the latter continues peace-talks with the rival Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN. The cease fire between the Govt of India and the NSCN-K has been extended on Thursday for another one more year but the road to the negotiating table is still not in sight.
Talking to Newmai News Network this afternoon over phone from Mon district of Nagaland, NSCN-K top leader A.Z. Jami said that unless the ongoing peace talk between the Govt of India and the NSCN-IM is wound-up the NSCN-K will never enter into the dialogue process with the Govt of India. NSCN-K Kilonser A.Z. Jami reasoned that his outfit does not want to get things complicated and so it will not hold talks with the Govt of India so long as the latter is in the process of dialogue with the NSCN-IM.
Calling the NSCN-IM as the terrorist group, A.Z. Jami said that whatever settlement may be the outcome of the ongoing talks between the “terrorist group” and the Govt of India, the NSCN-K will be at the negotiating table as soon as the talk of the rival faction gets over. “Let them (NSCN-IM) have whatever solution they like to have but we will only start the dialogue with the Govt of India the moment the Isak-Khadao group (NSCN-IM) winds up,” declared A.Z.Jami.
A.Z. Jami was once the Kilonser (minister) of the NSCN-IM in the Ministry of Information and Publicity (MIP) before defecting to the Khaplang faction of the NSCN few years ago. A.Z.Jami had also held numerous fat portfolios of the NSCN-IM when the leader was in the outfit. NNN
The ‘Un-Great’ escape Editorial Sangai Express
The report that one of the main accused in the brutal murder of Hriini Hubert and Muheni Martin, Adai alias Gaithuilung escaped from the custody of the NSCN (IM) at Camp Hebron on April 24 has thrown up a number of disturbing questions. How did Adai manage to escape from such a fortified camp as Hebron is something only the NSCN (IM) leadership can answer. As far as we know, Camp Hebron is highly fortified with sentry checks and round the clock vigil by armed cadres of the outfit and it is a little difficult to digest that a man who has been subjected to intense interrogation for the past many days should be able to sneak through such a tight security. The latest report has also posed a question on the sincerity of the NSCN (IM) and how far they are committed to crack the case. Nine accused are reported to be in the custody of the NSCN (IM) with some of them being captured before the skeletal remains of the two kids were discovered. This means that some of the suspects have been at their custody for more than three months and thereby the question, what progress has been made in the investigation of the case ? As Adai is reported to have escaped right from the den of the outfit, what action has been taken up against the cadres concerned for the glaring lapses. There is something amiss and it is this confusion that has to be cleared or else the very credibility of the outfit, which is fighting for the cause of the Naga people, will come under a cloud. Not surprisingly, the Fact Finding Committee formed in connection with the case has not taken the matter lightly and an ultimatum has been served on the outfit to come out with an official statement on the escape of the suspect. There is nothing great about the escape. On the other hand it has given room to entertain the thought that it could have been stage managed.
Justice delayed is justice denied and it is also important to bear in mind that if the case remains unsolved and goes the way of the Lungnila Elizabeth murder case, then the only gainer would be the murderers and no one else. Moreover it would also encourage others with similar mindset to go ahead with their devilish designs. The expectations from the NSCN (IM) is huge and we hope the outfit is able to deliver and live up to the expectations of the people. The responsibility is also huge for it is not only a question of booking and punishing the culprits but also about the credibility and image of the NSCN (IM). Unfortunately, the escape of Adai, if we can call it that, has already thrown a cloud of doubt over the commitment of the IM group to solve the case and this is what is worrying. An outfit which has been waging a bush war against the Government of India for decades certainly need to win the trust and confidence of the people and we are more than inclined to believe that the IM group has reached its present status because of the faith reposed on it by the people. However if cases like the murder of Hriini Hubert and Muheni Martin come a cloud of suspicion and distrust then the hard won faith and confidence of the people will surely erode. If the IM group has not been able to make any headway in the case, then it should have the moral conviction to say so. If any of the accused in its custody are found innocent, then this too should be made public. In short what the people want, particularly the Fact Finding Committee want, is transparency and it is a mystery why the IM group has decided to adopt the bureaucratic nature of the Government of India and sacrifice transparency.
FGN clarifies on kidnapping reports The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 28 (MExN): Observing that kidnapping for ransom by “some sectarian groups” have become a fashion, the FGN clarifies on the reported kidnapping of one Kekhweru Chakhesang, president of Commercial Union, Phek.
A note from “Lt.” KK Lasuh, FGN stated that the person was not kidnapped by the FGN Naga Army, on April 27 as “wrongly reported by some vested persons” as appeared in the local media. The note clarified that Kekhweru was summoned by the FGN and “willingly” appeared. He was summoned “for mutual understanding” on the “normal contribution” to be given to the Naga Army. The matter was settled and he went back “happily” on Friday evening.
“The normal contribution is bound to give by all Naga citizens to the national government” the FGN claimed and that all Nagas have “equally responsible (sic) to bear the paramount and gigantic task of building Naga nation through moral support and financial assistance.” The “well-wishes” should not be termed ‘ransom’ and anyone “willing” to visit the camp cannot be called kidnapping, it stated. Even while calling it “contribution,” the note however cautioned that “any Naga who is intentionally refusing to cooperate and rejecting to give contribution is against national government will invite trouble” at own risk.
Child murder suspect escapes from Hebron Fact Finding Committee to meet NSCN-IM leaders today John Basho Pou The Morung Express
Senapati Adai Puimei, one of the main accused in the kidnapping and murder of two Senapati school children Moheni Martin and Hriinii Hurbert, escaped in the evening of April 24 from the custody of NSCN (IM) headquarter at Hebron in Dimapur. Two other main suspects in the crime are Brown Tangkhul and Manikho Mao along with suspects whose names are being withheld to avoid untoward communal violence in Senapati.
Adai Puimei escaped as a result of a security lapse on the part of the NSCN (IM), said Veino Solomon, chairman of the Fact Finding Committee on the murder of the two children whose skeletal remains were found at the foothills of Viewland Colony in Senapati by two other kids who were hunting birds there.
The committee consisting of tribes` presidents and women’s bodies will call on NSCN (IM) tomorrow to discuss the latest development even as the deadline given to the outfit ends on April 29. The Senapati District Women’s Association is also gearing up for a sit-in dharna at Hebron to pressurize the outfit for speedy deliverance of justice to the parents of the two children and public at the earliest, and befitting punishment to those culprits who were behind the heinous crime.
The NSCN (IM) has set up a separate special task force led by Johnny, one of the investigation experts of the outfit, for the investigation into the crime. Meanwhile, S Lungnila, mother of Brown Tangkhul said in an appeal carried by the Imphal Free Press today that her son Brown Tangkhul was innocent and not involved in the crime. She said that Brown`s confession was a forced and dictated confession. Is it a real and right trial to bring justice, she asked in the appeal.
The committee was also not happy with the Manipur state government for not doing their duty and not keeping their words. Veino Solomon said that the committee would not correspond with the state government unless the state officials did it officially to satisfy the public.
Restore Peace and Harmony among All Communities: AICC Appeals Pakistani Christian Monitor
New Delhi, April 27, 2007 (All India Christian Council) Rev. Dr. Joseph D’souza, All India Christian Council (aicc) President, and Dr. John Dayal, aicc Secretary General expressed sadness over the recent violence in Nagaland and appealed to all sections of Naga society to restore peace and harmony. The Nagaland Post reported on 23rd April 2007 that nearly 30 houses in Wungram Colony in Purana Bazar, Dimapur, Nagaland were destroyed and six vehicles belonging to Tangkhul tribes were set on fire on 22nd April 2007. The victims were mostly women and children. They were sent to a relief camp in the Nagaland Armed Police Training Centre in Chumukedia. According to sources, on Saturday there was an assault on an auto driver who belongs to the Sumi community. The attackers were allegedly members of the Tangkhul community. The violent incident near Purana Bazar High School proved to be a flash point.
Dr. Sam Paul, aicc Public Relation Secretary said, “The All India Christian Council condemns any such communal clashes, especially those targeting the innocent women and children. It is especially sad when Christians are in conflict. The Christian love, care, forgiveness must prevail among the Christian communities.” “The All India Christian Council also appeals to churches and Christian denominations to look into all possible ways to restore, maintain, and increase peace and harmony among all sections of the society,” Dr Paul.
Rio calls Centre to remove tourism barriers of NE— UNI New Kerala
Kohima, Apr 28: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has appealed to the Centre for removing the ‘barriers’ of the North East region to promote tourism and the Centre’s Look East policy.

The Fourth Sectoral Summit of the North-Eastern Council (NEC) to review tourism and hospitality industry of the region began yesterday in Gangtok. DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, also Chairman of NEC, along with Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni and other state ministers discussed the potentialities offered by the region.

”The problems that affected THE tourism industry in NE are poor road and rail infrastructure, inadequate air connectivity, restrictions on foreigners’ visit and insurgency,” Mr Rio stated.

He said the main focus of discussion would be how to overcome the impediments of the tourism and hospitality industry.

Mr Rio also called for more equitable distribution of the funds being operated by DoNER and NEC, as also in the location of national or regional institutions. Pointing out on the need to sustain tourism initiatives, Mr Rio hoped to build at least one Hotel Management Institute in the state. ” The Summit will come out with practical suggestions and resolutions to convert the NE region into a real tourist paradise, he added.
Indo-Burma biannual army meet Mithu Choudhury & Mungpi Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)
April 27, 2007 – An 18-member Burmese Army delegation arrived in Tezpur, Assam yesterday, to attend the Indo-Burma biannual meeting.
The Burma delegation led by Brig Gen Tin Maung Ohn earlier visited Rangapahar in Nagaland and Kolkata between April 23 and 25.
During the ongoing visit, the delegation will interact with senior Indian Army officers and call on the General Officer Commanding Lt. Gen. R.K. Chhabbar of the Gajraj Corps and discuss various issues including cross border insurgency, smuggling and border management.
On the first day of the meeting in Tezpur, Indian Army officers reiterated the need for the Burmese Army to cooperate in flushing out Indian insurgents, who are holed up in the jungles of western Burma.
In return, the Burmese Army delegation requested for technical assistance from the Indian Army.
At the meeting in Rangapahar, Nagaland, Indian Army officers agreed to train a Burmese Army team in the Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School in Vairengte, Mizoram, as assistance in return for Burmese cooperation to root out Indian insurgents from its soil.
In a separate visit to New Delhi on Monday, the Burmese Army’s quartermaster general, Thiha Thura and Lt-Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, arrived with a military “shopping list” and met Indian counterparts Lt-Gen Sudhir Sharma and Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt-Gen Deepak Kapoor.
Tin Aung Myint Oo, who oversees all military supplies to Burma’s armed forces, during the meeting, presented the Indian Army brass a list of military hardware that Burma reportedly wants India to supply. Tin Aung Myint Oo, was said to have requested for more supplies of infantry weapons and ammunition in return for Burma’s help in flushing out Indian insurgents sheltered in its soil. The list also includes small arms like assault rifles, light machine guns and side arms. The liaison biannual meetings are held to review and strengthen bilateral relations and discuss issues of mutual interest between the two armies. The next meeting between both sides will be held in Burma.
Present Urgent Needs for the Poumai Naga By: RB Thohe Pou The Tangkhul.com
The Poumai Naga is one of the oldest and major Naga tribe, which is located in Senapati District, Manipur and four villages in Phek District in Nagaland. The Poumai Naga is well known to the entire tribal areas in Manipur and Nagaland since antique due to its Pouli (Poumai Earthen pot) and Poutai (Pou salt) production. The Poumai Naga also recognized as a separate tribe in 2002 and now to bring all kinds of development in Poumai area is totally depending on our unprejudiced and sincere hard work of our Poumai leaders…
We know that we are deficient in many aspects but who will be responsible?
Who are practically working for the development of the Poumai Naga society?
We need to contemplate on the present need for the development. Why we are still lacking? How can we bring more development?

Unless we find out the practical solution – it will always remain untouched all the problems. The road transportation can be one of the most important attributes to bring pragmatic developments in Poumai Naga dominated areas. The availability of good road transportation is indirectly affecting the present economic condition, depletion of forest, indigenous agricultural practices, health of the people, trade and commerce, mindset of the people etc.

The Poumai Nagas have very rich land resources but it is still untapped. We have also great potentiality to practice truck-farming but due to pathetic condition of the road transportation especially in the central and eastern parts of Poumai villages – it is very difficult to cultivate vegetables and fruits for commercial purpose.

At present only 9.4% of the total households is using cylinder gas for cooking and other purposes. With the availability in good road transportation, it is also possible to reduce the deforestation for firewood consumption because people can obtain cylinder gas from Maram Bazar or Senapati.

Shifting cultivation and cutting the forest for firewood are the two main factors leading to depletion of forest in Poumai villages. If we have good road transportation – the present indigenous agricultural practices also can be improved.

Many people used to die in Poumai villages since the sick persons are difficult to carry on foot without the road transportation. Once the road transportation is availability in the areas, there is also great potentiality to elevate the present trade and commerce. Unless there is good road transportation availability in the areas, even the mindset of the people also cannot alter. To have good road transportation – we need the political leaders who will work for the Poumai Nagas.

In Poumai Naga community, the Poumai Masou Me (PMM) and Poumai Tsiidoumai Me (PTM) can play a very important task in bringing better road transportation and other developments if they are sincerely working without any biased. They also have the authority and power to deal with any political leaders to bring development in our villages.
OUR HEARTS GO OUT FOR WUNGRAM COLONY VICTIMS

The Naga Support Group (UK) pays respects to those Nagas who had been persecuted and murdered by Indian state since its occupation of Nagalim. These noble Nagas suffered and died so that our nation can live in unity and dignity. God bless them.

Today the Republic of Nagalim is engaged in a delicate negotiation with India to bring to fruition the freely determined wishes of the Naga people to be independent. This unquenchable thirst for freedom is given to us by God and it is in complete harmony with the right of self-determination as enshrined in international law. In this crucial hour, with dedication and faith in our living God, the Naga Nation is looking forward to establishing a friendly relationship with India based on mutual respect for each other’s national rights. So many people around the world are wishing luck and praying for the success of the peace process between the governments of India and Nagalim.

In the context of this unequivocal devotion towards achieving permanent peace by making the 1997 Indo-Naga Ceasefire bear healthy fruits, it is absolutely disgusting to know that some Sumi brothers allowed themselves to be carried away by raw emotions and that monster called communalism on 22 April 2007 at Wungram Colony in Dimapur. During our decades of association, Sumi and Tangkhul communities have nothing other than love and respect for each other. It is very shocking to witness that some Sumis tried to destroy the time-honoured brotherhood. NSG-UK denounces the unbelievable act of utter madness. Nagalim needs UNITY.

KUKNALIM In God’s grace, Professor Timothy Kaping
President NSG (UK)
India, Myanmar discuss insurgency, arms smuggling IRNA
New Delhi, Issues relating to cross-border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management were discussed at the 30th bi-annual liaison meeting of army officials of India and Myanmar in Kolkata, capital city of West Bengal state. The meeting mainly discussed cross-border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management of northeastern states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh which shared an international border with Myanmar, PTI reported here today quoting a Defense Ministry spokesman.
The jungles in Myanmar were used by underground outfits as hideouts, he said.
This was the second round of talks between military officials of the two countries after the one held at Rangapahar in Nagaland. The meetings, he said, were held twice a year to review and strengthen friendly relations and discuss issues of mutual interest between the two countries.
An 18-member Myanmar Army delegation, led by Brig Gen Tin Maung Ohn, visited the Hq 3 Corps, Rangapahar, and the Eastern Command Hq at Fort William during the visit between April 23 and 27. The Indian delegation was headed by Lt Gen K S Shivakumar.
The next border meeting would be held at Myanmar, the official said.
Insurgency, arms smuggling dominate Indo-Myanmar meet Zee News Bureau Report
Kolkata, April 28: Issues relating to cross-border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management were discussed at the 30th bi-annual liasion meeting of Army officials of India and Myanmar here.

The meeting, which concluded yesterday, mainly discussed cross-border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management of North-eastern states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh which shared an international border with Myanmar, a Defence ministry spokesman said today.

The jungles in Myanmar were used by underground outfits as hideouts, he said.

This was the second round of talks between military officials of the two countries after the one held at Rangapahar in Nagaland.

The meetings, he said, were held twice a year to review and strengthen friendly relations and discuss issues of mutual interest between the two countries.

An 18-member Myanmar Army delegation, led by Brig Gen Tin Maung Ohn, visited the HQ 3 Corps, Rangapahar, and the Eastern Command HQ at Fort William during the visit between April 23 and 27.

The Indian delegation was headed by Lt Gen K S Shivakumar.

The next border meeting would be held at Myanmar, the official said.

Feasibility study for india-myanmar rail link completed The Morung Express
NEW DELHI, April 27 (Agencies): The ministry of external affairs has, through Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), carried out a feasibility study for India-Myanmar rail link. The report is currently under bilateral consultation.
Replying to a question raised by Milind Murli Deora, MP from Mumbai South in the Lok Sabha yesterday, the Union minister of state for railways R Velu stated that the expected expenditure as per the study on construction of new rail link between Jiribam-Moreh in India and Tamu-Kalay-Segyi in Myanmar was estimated to cost Rs. 4280 crore.
He said the link would provide substantial benefit to bilateral trade between India and Myanmar. No specific time frame had been set for these projects.
Mention may be made that India`s rail network is one of the largest in the world. But it was only in 1990 that for the first time Manipur figured in India`s railway map when a railhead was set up at Jiribam, the border town in Manipur, neighbouring Assam. For 14 years thereafter no rail construction took place inside the state. It was only in late 2004 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the Jiribam-Tupul line that railway construction in Manipur began. The Centre declared the 97.9 kilometre long Jiribam-Tupul railway track with an estimated cost of Rs. 727.56 crore as `National Project` and targeted its completion by March 2010. The Asia Times Online, a Hong Kong based online newspaper recently published a report from Jay Prakash Batra, the chairman of both the Indian railway board and the International Union of Railways based in Paris saying that the rail link with Myanmar could help India reach China and then right up to Russia, since Myanmar was getting a rail link with China. Indian officials in Delhi pointed out that transporting goods via rail would be faster than by sea and the amount of freight that could be carried by rail would be more than by road besides cutting transport costs, it further reported. With the Indo-Myanmar rail link, the officials pointed out that goods could be transported from Delhi to Hanoi and it was expected to transform the economy in India`s northeast as well. A 350 km long distance needs to be bridged to connect rail link India with Myanmar. Out of this, roughly 150 km lies in Indian territory.
Anti-ULFA body intensifies agitation against violence The Morung Express
Guwahati, April 28 (UNI): An anti-ULFA organization today launched an agitation to protest the banned outfit’s subversive activities and demanding the whereabouts of the civilians who had been kidnapped by the ULFA. Asom Public Works (APW), an anti-ULFA organization comprising the family members of those who were either killed or kidnapped by the outfit, demonstrated a token hunger strike at Dispur Last Gate here. Nearly 200 families of about 12 districts of the state, who have bore the brunt of the ULFA atrocities, participated in the demonstration demanding the whereabouts of the victims kidnapped by the outfit. The stir comes a day after the six ‘missing’ ULFA cadres’ wives withdrew their 35-day indefinite fast following an assurance from the Chief Minister. The striking women had been demanding the whereabouts of their husbands who have been missing since the ‘Operation All Clear’ launched by the Indian Army and the Royal Bhutan Army in Bhutan in December 2003. The Chief Minister, in a letter to the women, said the government would abide by the verdict of the Gauhati High Court, which is hearing a case related to the ‘missing’ ULFA cadres. Contending that the activities of the ULFA have been detrimental to the welfare of Asom and its people, the APW has been constantly protesting the violence perpetrated by the ULFA rebels. In fact, some of the top leaders of the organization, including its director Abhijeet Sarma, have alleged that they have been receiving threats from the ULFA to put off the campaign launched against the outfit. In January last, the APW had conducted a poll across nine districts of the state on the sovereignty demand of the banned outfit. A staggering 95.539 per cent votes were cast against the demand of the ULFA. More than 12,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Asom in the last two decades.
KRA cadre involved in kidnapping UNC president in 2001 held The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, April 27: A hardcore Kuki Revolutionary Army, KRA activist allegedly involved in the kidnapping of president of the United Naga Council, UNC, KS Paul Leo in 2001 was arrested by the Manipur police recently.

Police arrested the militant identified as Jamminlen Touthang alias Mimin alias Ricks, 27, son of Onjamang Touthang of Molkon village of Seikul police station in Senapati district on last Wednesday (April 25) and during the investigation process it came to be knowm that he was involved in the kidnapping of the UNC president, a source said Friday.

The president of the UNC, Manipur was kidnapped by miscreants on April 17, 2001 from Keithelmanbi area and police were on a search for the kidnappers after a case was registered under 400/120-B/365 Indian Penal Code, IPC and 25 (1-B)A. Act. of Kangpokpi police station of Senapati district.

Jamminlen was a former self style corporal of Kuki National Front, KNF (MC group) who later defected and joint KRA and was arrested in connection with a case registered under Imphal police station under 400/384 IPC on Wednesday from Imphal area.

Later, on interrogation of the arrested militant it was revealed that he was involved in the case registered with Kangpokpi police station of Senapati district against the kidnapping of the UNC president and another case registered with the Saikul police station of the same district related with an encounter between KNF (MC) and a combined force of KRA and NSCN(IM) at Molvak jungle on April 20, 2001.The arrested militant will be produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate Imphal tomorrow for judicial remand.
Imphal police station has asked all the concerned police stations who registered cases against him to furnish details of the investigation reports of the cases registered with them, the source added.
Top ULFA militants held at city entry point Huge arms haul in city By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
Guwahati, April 28: The City Police today seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition here today from Jalukabari rotary point and arrested three persons, including two top ULFA leaders.
Police said three ULFA rebels — Sashanka Barua alias Ananta Gogoi, Mani Gowala and Rakhi Phukan — were arrested during a frisking operation at Jalukbari around 11.30 am. The trio were travelling on a red Maruti van (AS01-H-3508) from Dhupdhora to Guwahati, the police said.
A search of the car led to the seizure of the weapons concealed in the padding at the rear leading to the arrests.
A huge cache of arms, which include two M20 pistols, four magazines, eight Austria-made hand grenades, 4.5 kg RDX, 190 live bullets of AK rifle, two switches of programmable time devices (PTDs) and an IED remote control, were seized from their possession along with seven letter pads of the ULFA, Rs 11,000 cash and other incriminating documents.
Police said Sashanka Barua is the organizing secretary of the ULFA’s 28th Battalion, the main strike force of the outfit. A top intelligence source said he operated from Titabor and was able to recruit a lot of fresh faces into the ULFA in upper Asom. Baruah, one of the main organizers of the ULFA, came to lower Asom about 45 days ago. He was also looking into the works of the ULFA’s 109 Bn.
Rakhi was earlier arrested during the Operation All Clear in Bhutan in 2003. The duo, along with driver Mani Gowala, will be produced before the CJM court tomorrow. Police suspects the militants were planning a major attack in the capital city. The Maruti Van was owned by Sasanka. In Tezpur, Sasanka’s wife ‘lieutenant’ Renuka Gogoi alias Punya Prabha Gogoi and her 19-year-old daughter were also arrested at Kotonga near the anti-insurgency Unified Command Structure command 4 Corps. The police said they were staying in a rented house since last December. Rs 30,000 in cash and a laptop were seized from them. Another daughter of Ananta, a school student, was absconding, the police added.
Paresh Baruah denied US visa! By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 28: ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Barua is not only one of India’s most wanted men but is also a designated terrorist, according to the US State Department. Now his namesake, a senior scientist working for the Oil India Corporation, has been denied a US visa, according to a report released by the website of Khaleej Times. The scientist, currently posted in Asom, recently applied for a visa for a training course in Houston. While Barua’s two colleagues selected by the OIL for the training course were quickly issued visas, his application was put on hold. The report said the US consulate in Kolkata is waiting for a green signal from the State Department in Washington before granting a visa to the Ulfa chief’s namesake. An official in the US Consulate said: “When the name of an applicant matches that of someone who is not qualified for a visa, permission from the State Department is required. A visa will be issued when the identity of the applicant is confirmed. This is a worldwide regulation.” Scientist Barua got into trouble in the past as well because he shares his name with the Ulfa military chief. In the 1980s he was arrested by Assam Police on the suspicion that he was the rebel leader. But he was released when the police realizing that he was merely the leader’s namesake.
Myanmar to step up fight against rebels Sentinel
guwahati/Kolkata, April 28: Myanmar has promised to step up military action against all Indian rebels operating from its territory, an Indian official said following security talks between the neighbours. Myanmar made the promise after a series of meetings between visiting Brigadier General Tin Maung Ohn and senior Indian Army officers, the official said.
“The Myanmar Army has assured us (they will) step up the fight against militants from the NE states, ” said the Army commander, who asked not to be named. The meetings were held in Guwahati.
Another officer, Lieutenant General Paramjit Singh, described Yangon’s decision as “a breakthrough” as in the past, Myanmar has acted against just one group the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland’s Khaplang faction.
On the other hand, issues relating to cross-border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management were discussed at the 30th bi-annual liasion meeting of Army officials of India and Myanmar in Kolkata.
A Defence ministry spokesman said today the meeting mainly discussed cross-border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh which shared an international border with Myanmar.
The jungles in Myanmar were used by underground outfits as hideouts, he said. This was the second round of talks between military officials of the two countries after the one held at Rangapahar in Nagaland.
The meetings, he said, were held twice a year to review and strengthen friendly relations and discuss issues of mutual interest between the two countries.
An 18-member Myanmar Army delegation, led by Brig Gen Tin Maung Ohn, visited the Hq 3 Corps, Rangapahar, and the Eastern Command Hq at Fort William during the visit between April 23 and 27. The Indian delegation was headed by Lt Gen K S Shivakumar. The next border meeting would be held at Myanmar, he said. (Agencies)

Frans on 04.28.07 @ 09:55 PM CST [link]

Friday, April 27th

NSCN blames Centre for clash OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph

NSCN blames Centre for clash OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, April 26: Two days after blaming “vested interests” for the April 22 arson in Dimapur, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) yesterday squarely accused the Centre and its “systematic divide and rule policy” for the riots.
Sumi youths went on a rampage in Dimapur’s Tangkhul Naga Colony in Purana Bazar in retaliation to the torture of three youths allegedly by NSCN (I-M) activists.
Some of the top NSCN (I-M) leaders live in the disturbed colony.
The incident has triggered panic among l ocals in the area and dented claims of Naga unity.
The ministry of information and publicity of the outfit said in a statement last night that the incident demonstrated the Centre’s policy to weaken the Naga people’s aspiration for sovereignty.
The outfit said “incitement of tribalism and kindling ethnic cleansing” sentiments within the Nagas have been instrumental in Delhi’s proxy war to subdue the Naga political movement.
“The systematic assimilation into Indainised mindset through grants-in-aid, employment, and other assurances has hypnotised ignorant Nagas, who don’t identify themselves with their own ethnic cultures and history today,” the statement said .
The NSCN (I-M) said adverse elements have manipulated the incident and turned it into a community issue.
It also questioned the district administration’s failure to control the situation.
“The arbitrary administrator’s authority, authenticity and responsibility become questionable.”
But the Nagas will stand their ground resolutely against all divisive elements, the outfit said.
“Nagas are committed to peaceful resolution by respecting and honouring India’s interests but not at the cost of our inalienable birthrights. It is up to India to prove its honoured commitments to peace,” the release said.
The secretary of the collective leadership of the NSCN (I-M), Samson Jajo, said the leaders have discussed the Purana Bazar incident.
Jajo, however, said the NSCN (I-M) would not play any role to defuse tension, since various NGOs were already at work to reconcile the warring parties.
Both Sumi and Tangkhul tribal Hohos have termed the incident as “unfortunate” and decided to disown anybody who tried to incite communal tension in the future.
Sumi Hoho president H.S. Rotokha also said some people were trying to separate the two tribes by fanning communalism.
Naga leaders have discussed the causes of the ethnic violence and were trying to reach a consensus regarding its resolution.
“And I think it can be resolved,” Rotokha said.
Ceasefire with NSCN(K) extended for one more year By Sanjay Kumar Daily India News
New Delhi, Apr 26: The ceasefire between the Central Government and National Socialist Council of Nagaland was extended for one more year here on Thursday. During a brief meeting between the Home Ministry officials and the NSCN(K) representative, the deal to extend the ceasefire for one more year was signed.

“First we entered into a bilateral agreement with the Indian government in 2001. For further extension of the ceasefire agreement we met in New Delhi today,” said Kughalu Mulatonu, a senior NSCN (K) functionary.

When asked about the recent violation of the ceasefire agreement by the group, the NSCN(K) leader denied any such happening.

“Ceasefire really got extended for one more year. Unlike the NSCN(IM) group, we don’t blackmail the government for the extension of the ceasefire for three months or six months or nine months and come to Delhi. When we come to Delhi we come for the extension of one year and go back,” said Kughalu Mulatonu.

On the recent bloodshed between two factions of the Naga groups, Mulatonu justified it saying that there was no ceasefire with NSCN(IM), which he calls is a terrorist group having links with the Islamic terrorist organizations.

“The ceasefire exists between the Government of India and the NSCN(K), secondly there is no ceasefire between the NSCN(IM) and the NSCN(K)”.

NSCN(K) leader said peace is not possible in Nagaland unless and untill sovereignty is granted to teh state and teh state is rid of the “terroist” elements.

“Until and unless we do away with the terrorist living on the Naga soil, how can people have peace, how can people have peace, restore peace. We are fighting the terrorists to bring peace in Nagaland and give peace to Nagaland”, uttered NSCN(K) functionary.

He termed the ongoing peace process between the centre and the NSCN(IM) as an hogwash and a futile exercise.

“If people can’t solve one problem in ten years, if people can’t spell out the contours of the talks even after more than fifty rounds of talks then what people of Nagaland should expect from them”, Mulatonu said.

For more than two decades, the two Naga factions have been engaged in fratricidal battle. Recently, the NSCN(K) has issued “quit notice” to the Tankhul community, a tribe the leader of NSCN(IM) Thuingaleng Muivah belongs to.

So far, more than hundred lives have been lost in the factional clashes. Last week, a Tankhul locality was burnt down by the rival faction.

Sumi, Tangkhul bodies for reconciliation Thangkhul.com
Topic: North East News DIMAPUR, APRIL 26 (NPN): The Sumi and Tangkhul communities have resolved to “forgive and forget” the April 22 incident at Wungram Colony, Dimapur, and to rebuilt and strengthen the relationship between the two tribes. A joint meeting of the Sumi community of Purana Bazar and Tangkhul community of Wungram Colony, under the aegis of Western Sumi Hoho (WSH) and Tangkhul Hoho Dimapur (THD), held Thursday afternoon at WSH office also resolved that any future conflict and misunderstanding that might arise between the two communities, should be settled by leaders of the two communities “but should not at any cost communalise the issue.”

A joint press release issued by WSH president Hokiye Yepthomi, Tangkhul Hoho president S Joseph, GB, Purana Bazar, Khenito Awomi and GB, Wungram Colony, Sunny Hungyo informed that in the meeting, both the communities further appealed to the general public to desist from any anti-social activities that might hamper the “fabric of Naga society.” The three resolutions were unanimously agreed upon by members of both the communities during the meeting in the presences of Western Sumi Hoho and Tangkhul Hoho Dimapur officials, after the two sides admitted and accepted the “mistakes and forgiveness of one another.” After a series of deliberations on the April 22 incident by all members present in the meeting, the Tangkhul community of Wungram “admitted the mistakes committed by the Tangkhul boys to the Sumi boy and sought apology and forgiveness,” the release said. Likewise, the Sumi community of Purana Bazar also expressed “profound and heartfelt regret to the huge damage done on Wungram Colony and sought apology and forgiveness,” it added.
AR cautions NSCNs on ULFA Correspondent Nagaland Post
SHILLONG, APRIL 26: The Assam Rifles has cautioned Naga insurgent outfits including the NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K) not to extend any support to the ULFA in the wake of offensive operation against the latter in Assam.
“‘We have warned both the factions of the NSCN not to provide any shelter to the United Liberation Front of Asom in the state,” Inspector General of Assam Rifles (North) Maj Gen K S Sethi told reporters here today while admitting that the ULFA maintained a close link with the NSCN (K).
Asked about the presence of the ULFA cadres in Mon and Tuensang districts of Nagaland, the IGAR said, “there is no large scale movement of ULFA in the districts. Whenever we got any information of their presence, the Assam Rifles have acted against them.” Sethi also denied the presence of other militant groups from Manipur and Asom operating in Dimapur, the commercial hub centre of Nagaland. Terming the allegations and counter-allegations by both the NSCN factions against the Assam Rifles, he said the Assam Rifles had remained neutral to both the warring factions.
On the recent arson at Wungram colony in Dimapur, the IGAR said the incident was purely a law and order situation. “Two columns of 31 Assam Rifles were already at the spot, but the district administration did not ask us to swing into action,” he said.
Meanwhile, Director General of Assam Rifles, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh today said Myanmar has assured India to flush out Indian insurgents operating from its soil.
“In our last visit to Myanmar, we had made some breakthrough with the junta agreeing to flush out Indian insurgents,” Singh said on the sidelines of the two-day high level Assam Rifles Commander’s Conference, which started here today.
He, however, refused to divulge further details It might be mentioned that for decades, insurgent groups like the ULFA, NSCN (K), UNLF, PLA, PREPAK, KNA and others have set up their operation bases and training camps in Myanmar’s mountainous region between the Arakan range and the Irrawady. India shares 1,664 km of border with Myanmar.
Our reflection- Nagaland Post Opinion
The Naga National Council (NNC), which was a political body and the national institute, compromised itself conditionally into Indian state union under the infamous Shillong Accord, and entered into peace/transit camps. This sell-out betrayal of trust reposed upon them by the Naga people through the 1951 May 16 plebiscite hammered the final nails on its coffin, and the subsequent entry into transit peace camps.
Delving into the dawn of fratricidal killings, the accordists may explain why they had to kill so many innocent Naga people who denounced the treacherous Shillong Accord. It was the birth of NSCN that the Naga political aspiration was resuscitated and rescued. Today it is through the efforts of the NSCN that the uniqueness and political situation of the Naga people is acknowledged by India. It is through the NSCN that we have embarked into a formal unconditional political dialogue with India at the highest level, in a third neutral country.
Today, as the talks have reached a crucial juncture, the adversaries are out to undermine the legitimate rights of the Nagas through incisive divisive stratagems. Hence, yielding to the manifestations of our enemy’s policy of divisionism or surpassing beyond all domestic matters, defending our inherent identity and rights will determine our spirit of nationalism. When any social issue crops up in between individuals among Nagas, which is sinisterly manipulated and diverted into tribal lines by adversaries to disintegrate the Naga family i.e. the political aspirations of the Nagas, Thomas should try not to incite communalism in tune with antagonists’ desire as such incidents/issues are purely social problems not associated to any tribe in particular but the individual perpetrators and victims involved, and the concerned authority who executes the customary laws of the Nagas, under whose jurisdiction a crime or offense takes place. The NSCN does never harbor divisive elements but aims at strengthening Naga brotherhood bonds and in safeguarding the integrity of our nation and hence, associating divisive elements to the NSCN is unfounded. Let us reason with rational conscience and extend positive contributions than search for destruction avenues to create communal dissentions and discord. Our actions today will mould out future destiny and so we have to prudently cultivate positive mind-sets with vision for a better and brighter tomorrow. Following the maxim “to err is human, to forgive is divine”. Let us give our past mistakes a healing touch and take civilized approaches than spawning hatred, division and vengeance in between brothers of a family.
MIP, GPRN, NSCN-IM
Myanmar to crack down on Indian rebel bases Times of India IANS

GUWAHATI: Myanmar is set to begin a military offensive following New Delhi’s request to crack down on rebel bases. New Delhi had asked Mayanmar to evict Indian separatists from its soil, said Indian officials said on Friday.

“The Myanmar army has promised to step up the fight against militants from our northeast states based in their country,” an Indian Army commander said on condition of anonymity.

Myanmar’s decision to crack down on Indian rebel bases was made by Brigadier General Tin Maung Ohn who was leading an 18-member Myanmarese army delegation to India.

The Myanmar team, during the last five days, held extensive meetings with India’s army and paramilitary commanders in the northeastern states of Nagaland and Assam.

“This is the first breakthrough, with Myanmar deciding to take proactive action against those (Indian militants) that already exist in their country,” Paramjit Singh, director general of the Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force engaged in anti-insurgency operations in the northeast, told reporters.

New Delhi has mounted pressure on Yangon to launch a military offensive against Indian militant groups – mainly the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the United National Liberation Front (UNLF).

The ULFA, a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland in Assam, is on the run since the Indian Army launched a crackdown in January after the group killed 80 people.

“The ULFA militants have sneaked into bases in Myanmar. If the military junta there launches an operation, it would be easier for us to deal with militancy here,” the commander said.

At least five major militant groups from India’s northeast, where numerous tribal and ethnic groups are fighting for greater autonomy or independence, have training camps in the dense jungles of Sagaing in northern Myanmar.

“There are at least 20,000 guerrilla fighters in Myanmar belonging to various groups of the northeast,” said Kughalo Mulatonu, a rebel leader of the S S Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K).

The NSCN-K, a rebel group fighting for an independent tribal homeland in Nagaland, operates out of Myanmar with the outfit’s general headquarters located in Sagaing.

Myanmar had earlier pledged that the junta would not let Indian rebels operate from its soil. The country last year launched a military operation against the NSCN-K, killing at least a dozen rebels and overrunning several of their bases. India and Myanmar share a 1,640-km long unfenced border, allowing militants from the northeast to use the adjoining country as a springboard to carry out hit-and-run guerrilla strikes on Indian soldiers. The rebels say they are seeking to protect their ethnic identities and allege that the central government has exploited the resources in the region rich with mineral, tea, timber and oil. Over 50,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in the northeast since India’s independence in 1947.
Myanmar soon to launch an offensive to evict Indian separatists
Guwahati, India, April 27, IRNA Islamic Republic News Agency
Myanmar will soon launch a military offensive to evict Indian separatists from its soil following New Delhi’s request to crackdown on rebel bases in that country, Indian officials Friday said.
“The Myanmarese army has assured us to step up the fight against militants from the northeastern states based inside their country”, an Indian army commander said requesting not to be named.
Myanmar’s decision to crackdown on Indian rebel bases was made by Brigadier General Tin Maung Ohn who was leading an 18-member Myanmarese army delegation to India.
The Myanmarese team during the last five days held extensive meetings with Indian army and paramilitary commanders in the northeastern states of Nagaland and Assam.
“This is the first breakthrough with Myanmar deciding to take proactive action against those (Indian militants) that already exist in their country”, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, director general of the Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force engaged in anti-insurgency operations in the northeast, told journalists.
New Delhi has mounted pressure on Yangon to launch a military offensive against Indian militant groups, mainly the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the United National Liberation Front (UNLF).
The ULFA, a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland in Assam, is on the run after Indian army launched a crackdown in January after the group killed about 80 people.
“The ULFA militants have sneaked into their bases in Myanmar. If the military junta there launches an operation it would be easier for us to deal with militancy here”, the army commander said.
At least five major militant groups from India’s northeast, where numerous tribal and ethnic groups are fighting for greater autonomy or independence, have training camps in the thick jungles of Sagaing in northern Myanmar.
“There are about 20,000 guerrilla fighters in Myanmar belonging to various groups of the northeast”, Kughalo Mulatonu, a senior rebel leader of the S.S. Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), said by telephone.
The NSCN-K, a rebel group fighting for an independent tribal homeland in Nagaland, operates out of Myanmar with the outfit’s general headquarters located in Sagaing.
Myanmar had earlier pledged that the junta would not let Indian rebels operate from its soil.
Myanmar last year launched a military operation against the NSCN-K killing at least a dozen rebels and and overran several of their bases. India and Myanmar share a 1,640 kilometer (1,000 mile) long unfenced border, allowing militants from the northeast to use the adjoining country as a springboard to carry out hit-and-run guerrilla strikes on federal soldiers. The rebels say they are seeking to protect their ethnic identities and allege the federal government has exploited the resources in this mineral, tea, timber, and oil-rich region. More than 50,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in the northeast since India’s independence in 1947.
New China-Burma road open Myo Gyi Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)
April 27, 2007 – The near 100-kilometre new road connecting China and Burma was opened yesterday. Known as the Ledo Road , portions of it dates back to World War II.
Officials from the two countries, local ethnic leaders and representative of Kachin Special Region I and II attended the inaugural ceremony of the road held in Karpaiti, Kachin. The road stretches from Tengchone in Yunan province in the extreme south-western region of China, to Warshaung in Kachin state, Burma . The 96- kilometre asphalt road which cost 200 million Yuan has been under construction since 2004. Road building equipment from Yunan and 6,000 Chinese workers were on the job. By Chinese standards the road is in the grade II category.
A trip along the old Warshaung Road, not negotiable in the rainy season, took eight hours. Along the new road it will take only three hours from Tengchone to Warshaung.
The ceremony was attended by the Chinese delegation led by the vice-governor of Yunan province while the Burmese delegation was headed by the commander of Northern military Command General Ohn Myint. The road is a part of the 225 miles Ledo Road constructed in 1941 by Western Allies to connect Kuming, China and Ledo in Assam, India for sending supplies to the Chinese as an alternative to the Burma Road which was cut off by the Japanese in 1942. It was renamed Stilwell Road i n early 1945 at the suggestion of Chiang Kai-shek because it was built on the directions of General Stilwell.
B’desh to crackdown on Indian rebels Staff Correspondent Sentinel
SHILLONG, April 26: Bangladesh has assured New Delhi that it would not allow Indian separatists to use its territory to carry out anti-India activities, said PK Mishra, Inspector General of the Border Security Force (BSF) at the Asom-Meghalaya frontier.
“The BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) assured us that no Indian separatist would be allowed to operate from their soil,” Mishra who returned from Chitagong today after a four-day high-level biannual border coordination meeting, told The Sentinel over telephone from Agartala.
“We have asked them to take strong action against Indian separatists and destroy 176 camps and hideouts located inside Bangladesh,” the BSF commander said.
“BDR has launched a crackdown against Indian militants in Bangladesh. They (BDR) had never before been so cooperative and transparent,” Mishra said.
He headed a 15-member BSF delegation to the meeting with BDR deputy director general SM Golam Rabbani leading the Bangladeshi side.
“A list of 72 wanted Indian insurgent leaders and 79 sympathisers residing in Bangladesh were also handed over to the BDR delegation for taking immediate appropriate action,” the BSF official said.
Frontier guards of the two countries agreed in the meeting to step up border patrolling and ensure more confidence building measures (CBMs) and share information about insurgents and criminals.
Mishra, however, said border fencing works could not be completed in 235 patches along the border with Tripura, Asom, Mizoram and Meghalaya following objection by the BDR.
“Due to terrain problems and markets and government establishments falling within the 150 yards from the border, fencing had to be constructed close to the border lines. We have convinced the BDR that the fencing is not a defence protection, it is only to curb movement of militants and criminals and check infiltration.”
Regarding illegal cultivation of Indian land by Bangladeshi nationals at Harinagar and Kinokhal of Silchar in Asom, BDR was requested to instruct Bangladesh farmers not to forcibly enter Indian territory.
“The leader of the BDR delegation made a mention of killing of unarmed Bangladeshi nationals by BSF and Indian nationals,” the official said. BDR also requested the BSF delegation to allow Bangladeshi officers get specialized training in India. Meanwhile, the matter of two abducted kids from Shillong — Harsha and Sachit — was also taken up during the meeting.
Myanmar hints tough action against ultras Staff Correspondent Sentinel

SHILLONG, April 26: Myanmar has assured India of flushing out Indian insurgents operating from its soil, Director General of Assam Rifles, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh said here today.
“In our last visit to Myanmar, we had made some breakthrough with the junta agreeing to flush out Indian insurgents,” Lt Gen Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the two-day high level Assam Rifles Commander’s Conference which started here today.
He, however, refused to divulge further details. It may be mentioned here that for decades, militant groups like the ULFA, NSCN-K, UNLF, PLA and PREPAK, KNA and others have set up their operation bases and training camps in Myanmar’s mountainous region between the Arakan range and the Irrawady.
Admitting that the issue of flushing out Indian militants figured prominently during the meeting with the Myanmar top officials, Lt Gen Singh said, “We appreciated past actions by the Myanmar government on the insurgents, the assurance given this time on matters related to Indian insurgents is no more ambiguous.”
He also said that they have specific information about the movement of the 28th Battalion of the ULFA on its soil. About the reports that fleeing ULFA cadres are being helped by the NSCN(K) in using Nagaland territory to sneak into Myanmar, Inspector General of Assam Rifles (Nagaland) Maj Gen KS Sethi said, “The movement of the ULFA in Nagaland is not as it is projected. Maybe in one and two’s, but not on large scale because we are also operating against the ULFA men.”.
“We have categorically told both the factions of the NSCN that we will have to open fire if their cadres are sighted with the ULFA,” he said.
ULFA wives withdraw fast-unto-death By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 26: The fasting wives of the six missing ULFA leaders have decided to withdraw their agitation after a written assurance from the Chief Minister to the effect that the State Government will try its best to solve their problems and sincerely look into the issue of missing ULFA leaders. Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today visited the women being treated at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital and handed them a letter of the Chief Minister assuring them of all cooperation from the government’s side on getting information on the ultras ‘missing’ since the Bhutan operation in 2003.
The fasting wives were shifted in critical condition to the hospital after they refused to take food as the government expressed concern about their deteriorating health.
Gogoi in his letter said that he ‘was deeply worried about the health of the women and their children’ and assured in the letter that the government would give information, if any, about their husbands.
It may be mentioned here that the Chief Minister gave such assurance verbally on previous occasions as well, but the agitating wives of the ULFA leaders did not pay heed to it. Meanwhile, 184 families of the victims of the ULFA violence will begin a two-day sit-in demonstration from today at the Last Gate demanding whereabouts of their missing kin.
ULFA free to talk about devp, not sovereignty: CM My team cannot be complacent: Gogoi By Wasbir Hussain Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 26: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today ruled out any immediate reshuffle in his ministry, but stated that there is no room for complacency in work among ministers and bureaucrats. He said that his party and Government were open to unconditional support from any political party, except ‘communal forces’.
In a lengthy interview to this writer ahead of completing a year in office next month, Gogoi said: “My Government’s aim is to improve Asom’s economy and deliver goods to the people. The work culture has improved to some extent but we cannot be complacent. This applies to me, my ministers and the bureaucracy as a whole.”
The Chief Minister said that the annual fund flow to Asom from all sources now stands at Rs 2,500 crore, and it has become a challenge to effectively spend it on projects. “The yearly fund flow to the State has increased manifold over the past decade or so, and with this the work load of the State machinery has increased a lot. We have to keep up to the challenge of changing Asom’s economic profile,” he said.
Gogoi listed education, agriculture and health as his Government’s key focus areas. “We are doing well in all these three sectors, but there is scope for improvement. I have been telling my ministers and bureaucrats to upgrade skills,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the State has been receiving a lot of enquiries from potential investors in sectors such as cement, paper, hotels, jathropa cultivation etc. “We are confident Asom is going to be a major investment destination and we are happy that the Centre has come out with a new North-east Industrial Policy almost in the manner we wanted,” Gogoi said.
Asked whether investors would eventually shy away from the State in view of the security situation, the Chief Minister said: “The security situation is well under control and we are sincere about working out a negotiated settlement to the insurgency problem that we are faced with.”
The Chief Minister said: “I have said before that the Government cannot discuss on the ULFA’s demand for sovereignty because this is something which it cannot concede. The ULFA is welcome to enter into talks with the Government and have discussions on things like more autonomy for Asom or on anything that concerns the State’s overall development.”
Replying to a question on speculation in the media about a section of the AUDF wanting to join or back the Congress, the Chief Minister said: “We are open to any unconditional support from any party except communal forces.”
Manipur insurgency turning to terror : DGP Sentinel
IMPHAL, April 26: The nature of insurgency in Manipur has, as elsewhere in the North-East, shifted to acts of terrorism, extortion and coercion of the public, the Director General of Police, Y Joykumar said in a report on the achievements of Manipur police during the year 2006 and 2007 upto February as published in “Manipur Today”.
More than 20 underground outfits are operating actively in the state. Seven of them, including the feared People’s Liberation Army (PLA), United National Liberation Front (UNLF), People’s Revolutionary Army of Kangleipak (PREPAK), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) etc operating actively in the valley areas were listed as unlawful organizations, as per a report of the union home ministry 2006-07 published recently.
“Differences of interests among underground outfits can assume a communal tinge since they are normally formed along the ethnic lines,” the DGP observed stating that due to competing social, economic and political interests among the various communities in the state, ethnic tensions and strifes often come to the fore without much notice.
As per the achievement report released on Khongjom Day, as many as 917 extremists belonging to various underground outfits were arrested and 116 extremists killed, while 182 assorted weapons were recovered along with 2006 assorted ammunition, 80 hand grenades, 11.4 kgs of explosive and 14 W/T sets. Apart from this police and security forces recovered Rs 5,05,512 from the UGs. During the period 91 persons, including extremists belonging to various underground groups, were detained under National Security Act (NSA) and 22 extremists belonging to various outfits surrendered to the government authority. Investigation of cases have shown a remarkable improvement during the period as altogether 2482 cases were disposed of, the report added. The achievement is in spite of the continued pressure on the state police to perform their duties, Joykumar said, stating that the state continues to be plagued with insurgency problems that have the propensity to disturb its security environment.
The porous Indo-Myanmar border has not only facilitated easy infiltration of the insurgents, but also helps in setting up of safe havens across the border where the outfits can train and regroup. The UGs are now in possession of sophisticated arms and weapons, IEDs etc which they use at will to terrorize the public and attack the security forces. The state police in spite of all these, with the help of the Army, Assam Rifles, Central Paramilitary Forces, has been able to restrain and curb the activities of the UGs, to a great extent. The thrust areas in the counter-insurgency operations remained neutralization of the UG groups and security of vital installations, the DGP mentioned. However, the DGP finally mentioned that overall security scenario, though improving, is still a matter of concern as the people in general continue to remain under constant threat from various UG groups operating in the state. (Agencies)

Frans on 04.27.07 @ 03:47 PM CST [link]

Thursday, April 26th

India’s divide-and-rule policy resurfaces, says NSCN-IM The Morung Express

India’s divide-and-rule policy resurfaces, says NSCN-IM The Morung Express

Dimapur, April 25 (MExN): The NSCN-IM states that ‘India’s’ divide and rule policy has resurfaced, amply exemplified by the April 22 rampage at Wungram colony, Dimapur where a drunken misdemeanor was manipulated into a serious communal issue by adverse elements.
An MIP note stated that the ‘deliberate systematic policy of assimilation and divide and rule by India to weaken the Naga peoples’ aspirations have been unyielding despite its refutation” the NSCN-IM stated. It said that “the incitement of tribalism and kindling ethnic cleansing in-within Nagas has been the instrument in its proxy war to subdue the Naga peoples’ national movement” it stated claiming that “the media have been maneuvered to disseminate psychological campaigns by instigating divergent dissensions.”
One such demonstration of the divide and rule policy was the Sunday incident. It reminded that inebriated Naga youths engaged in a brawl. Following this, hundreds of people belonging to the victim’s tribe was incited into uncontrollable vandalism and arson leading to destruction of properties and entire homes of innocent people belonging to the perpetrators (of the youngsters’ initial incident) community. The April 22 rampage happened right under the noses of the Dimapur administration, Assam Rifles and the IRB and the police, the NSCN-IM stated. They could do nothing more but watch without making any effort to normalize the situation. “The occurrence has left hundreds of innocent women, children, men and dotage victims homeless and inflicted, traumatizing physical and mental sufferings” the NSCN-IM lamented.
Where takes place a crime, the criminal should be identified and punished for the crime committed and no crime is permissible in any society. But any crime that may take place should not be identified with an entire community of the criminal for that/no community, in any way, is or would be responsible for socially detested acts and crimes, the note stated. The NSCN-IM also had a word for the media: “during any volatile circumstances when crises or sensitive social disharmony is eminent, if the media does not (project) events in its correct perspective, the impacts would incline towards negative outcomes, thus negating its ethical credibility.” Stoking the situation in interpretation and presentation may aggravate the situation in impulsive uncontrolled emotions against all civility and human co-existence, the organization reminded. Further, adversaries have found the wisest and still ‘safest technique’ “that is indirect assault.” In such a situation, the NSCN-IM stated, the only weapon to safeguard common aspiration is to meticulously ponder the logic, reason and merit why “the Nagas had to undergo such a situation.” It is unfortunate that the Nagas have “failed’ to read between the lines of the Government of India’s so-called friendly policy, it observed. “Divisive stratagems using the bait of pelf, power, possessions and developments have alienated some renegade Nagas from rescuing our rich cultural, possessions and traditional heritage will-associated with our proud identity as a people, overlooking our selfless sacrifices in defending our dignified existence. Nagas will stand its ground resolutely against all divisive elements against our inalienable rights” the NSCN-IM affirmed.
‘Give our wounded past a healing chance’ The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 25 (MExN): The NSCN-IM makes an appeal to “give our past mistakes a healing touch” for the truth that ‘to err is human and to forgive is divine.’ Rather than spawning hatred and division between family brethren, a brighter, better tomorrow would be the outcome should a “rational conscience” be used, it explains.
The NSCN-IM called for “reason with rational conscience” and positive contributions rather than search for destructive “avenues” to create communal dissentions and discord. “Our actions today will mould (sic) our future destiny and so we have to prudently cultivate positive mindsets with vision for a better and brighter tomorrow. Following the maxim to err is human, to forgive is divine,’ let us give our past mistakes a healing touch and take civilized approaches than spawning hatred, division and vengeance in between brothers of a family” an MIP note stated.
On the NNC the NSCN-IM pointed out that it had compromised itself ‘conditionally into Indian state union’ under the Shillong Accord and entered into transit peace camps. “Delving into the dawn of fratricidal killings, the accordists may explain why they had to kill so many innocent Naga people who denounced the treacherous Shillong Accord. It was the birth of the NSCN that the Naga political aspiration was resuscitated and rescued” the NSCN-IM maintained adding that through its effort the uniqueness and political situation of the Nagas is acknowledged by India.
Meanwhile the NSCN-IM clarifies to an article appearing in a section of the local media on April 25, ‘No Brigadier in NNC,’ that “the NSCN-IM when referred to NNC implied of the new NNC that did not join the Transit peace campers.” That the NNC does not have “brigadiers” as asserted because “Brigadier” Siesou and his personnel do not hail from their fold but “the new NNC” an NSCN-IM note stated adding that the claim that Ayo is “colonel” is also false against his status of being “2nd Lieutenant.” He is physically handicapped due to his hearing problem and weak eye-sight renders him unfit for ‘their false rank claims,’ it asserted. So the article is nothing but to defame the “brigadier,” it added.
Community leaders meet over Sunday incident ‘Fiery Sunday blown out of proportion’ The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 25 (MExN): The Sumi and Tangkhul communities today decided to bring together the leaders of Wungram colony and Sumi leaders of Purana bazaar to a negotiating table on April 26, 2007 at 2:00pm to amicably resolve the existing issue between them.
The decision was taken during a joint meeting of the Tangkhul and Sumi frontal organization at Western Sumi Hoho office following a serious deliberation on the recent upsurge of communal violence at Wungram Colony that took place on April 22.
Terming the incident as ‘unfortunate’, the meeting also decided to disown anybody from the two communities who incite communal situation in the future and appealed to all other communities residing in Purana Bazaar area to maintain peace and communal harmony. In a bid to hammer out the actual episode that led to the fiery incident of April 22 and prevent further occurrence of such unwanted upheaval, it was further decided to select 5 members from each community to represent at the meeting slated tomorrow and resolve amicably the tragic unrest.
Speaking at the meeting Sumi Hoho president, H.S. Rotokha also termed the incident as unfortunate and sensed misgivings by some people who are trying to separate the two tribes by inflaming such communalism and shared his sympathy to the displaced families.
It was revealed that the meeting had long discussions where every member expressed what they felt in their mind. Terming the various inputs as natural when a crises of such a magnitude had taken place, a source revealed that no decision could be chalked and hence the meeting tomorrow. Though the source added that everyone was not of the same opinion, the problem should be resolved and not left pending. “And I think it can be resolved,” he added on a positive note.
The Sumi frontal organizations were represented by the Sumi Hoho and Western Sumi Hoho while Tangkhul Naga Long (Tangkhul Hoho), Tangkhul Hoho, Dimapur, Tangkhul Shanao Long and Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long represented the Tangkhul community.The meeting was chaired by WSH president, Hokto.
Also MIP Kilonser, A.Z. Jami said that the NSCN (K) was not willing to comment on the Wungram incident at the moment because they had nothing to do with the incident. Terming it as a very sad episode, Jami said that the incident had blown up, as it was hard to control the mob but he said that the NSCN (K) would merely wait and watch out for the turn of events.
The Secretary of Collective Leadership of NSCN (IM), Samson Jajo said that the meeting of the Collective Leadership had discussed the Sunday incident at Wungram and decided that the situation must be controlled as soon as possible. Acknowledging that some sensitive issues had cropped up, the meeting expressed that the need of the hour was to put a stop to the situation. Jajo however said that the NSCN (IM) would not play any role to defuse the situation since the different NGOs were working on the reconciliation between the two parties involved. Samson also sought to clarify the news item which appeared in The Telegraph that mentioned that three boys were picked up the NSCN (IM) and tortured at the Wungram colony which started the incident, saying that the report was completely false.
He further reasoned with the people that the incident which sparked the whole tragedy must not be blown out of proportion but a fight between some youngsters and hence such incidents should not be repeated.
Civil society flay Fiery Sunday tumult The Morung Express ‘Shameful, and has dishonored the Nagas’ image’
Senapati April 25 (MExN): The Naga civil society voices its resentment and revulsion at the April 22 rampage at Wungram colony, Purana Bazar in Dimapur. Various organizations make known their condemnation of such incidents as the one that shook the state last Sunday.
Zeliangrong Baudi (Hoho) The Zeliangrong Baudi also minced no word as it termed the Wungram incident as “disgraceful” and has dishonored the image of the Naga people. Such mob action would only breed more hatred and communal contention, the Hoho reminded.
A note from the Hoho’s president Dennis Elung stated that rampage was shocking committed by a mob of a particular community, the first of its kind in the Naga Society.
“The fact is disgraceful and unfortunate for the Nagas to experience it in this crucial time when Nagas are in the Peace process. The motive of the arsonists/vandals in committing such act should be condemned by all as such greed and hatred will breed communal contention and disintegration” the Baudi stated. The unprecedented incident occurred within and among the Nagas, has affected the image of the Naga Christian nation and reasons however logical can never justify such act of terrorism, it stated.
“No right thinking citizen or human being can accept reasons or excuses for committing premeditated rampage. It is neither human nature nor beast but of evil scheme planted in the hearts. Therefore both the communities are appealed to restrain it from furthering its course of evil action by finding possible best and sustainable solution so that the matter is put to check within” the Hoho further stated and advised the Naga people against resorting to such “primitive fashion of forceful invasion of others villages, land or property, which is no more acceptable in the present society.”
The Hoho reminded again: “Violence only beget violence, revenge beget revenge.” Appreciating the Tangkhul community for their forbearance and tolerance in the face of loss and pain as witnessed on the ‘Fiery Sunday’ the Hoho acknowledged that forbearance is forgiveness of the hurting hearts which is the true spirit of Christianity. It also stated that Sumi community, as one of the Naga people, should be proud of for their contributions to the Naga nation. The Hoho appealed to all the Sumi Christian associations and Sumi Hohos to initiate steps to restore and comfort the hurting community in the spirit of Christ while the rest of the Nagas join hands in bringing normalcy “which will be beautiful to behold our Nagas picture of integrity and love as one nation before the world.” The Zeliangrong people express their consolation for the effected community and pray for comfort and joy amidst the suffering and loss, it added.

UNC, ANSAM, NWUM, NPMHR (South) “…this mayhem have shocked and pained the Naga society. Down the ages, darkness of dirty ‘ism’ must be done away. This very sensitive and tragic event should be a wakeup call for all Nagas of the danger on what negative trend of community conflict can damage the cohesion of Naga struggle internally besides portraying a faulty image of the Naga nation in front of the whole international community” civil society from the south cautioned.
A note issued jointly by the UNC, ANSAM, NWUM and NPMHR (South) stated that such barbaric act of violence as the one on the fateful Sunday is only exploiting the structuring process of peace in the Nagas’ land. “Igniting fire from an individual petty and silly issue (into an ethnic) conflict is absurd it expressed in the backdrop of the Naga people unceasingly rendering all efforts to build and evolve understanding among the Naga brethrens.
“It is also a time to resolutely retrospect, introspect and reason consciously to bury the feelings of hatred, jealousy and vendetta for the good cause of the peoples struggle. Without prejudice, Nagas throughout our homeland should collectively put efforts to find amicable understanding and dismiss misgivings once for all to respect human values and work out mechanism to prevent such happening to take place in future” the organizations advised the people.
The southern civil society also appealed to all sections “of sensible society,” individuals, villages or tribes not to casually take the law into own hands to solve a problem. “Justice of any kind must be done according to the law of the land or under the customary law. We value to end violence and live together united as one family,” it added.

Tangkhul Hoho, Nagaland
The Tangkhul Hoho while appreciating the peace pledge arrived at to diffuse the issue appealed to all to shun violence and practice true Christian tenets. While taking note of the cause of the incident where drunken misdemeanor of youngsters turn the issue into an unprecedented event, the Hoho stated that whatever the case may be the April 22 arson was condemned. The Hoho in a note from its president Joseph Shingnaisui strongly condemned the ‘uncivilized behavior’ and razing of houses leading to the displacement of a considerable number of families. “This kind of acts is beyond imagination and which is against the culture of the Nagas” it reminded.
The Hoho also extended its sincere gratitude to the various governmental agencies, the Naga Hoho, the Naga Council, NBCC, NOW, the Church, tribal Hohos, NGOs and institutions and individuals as well as well-wishers for not only rendering selfless service in evacuating the affected but also in arranging relief and provisions and in cash and kind.

The Naga Students’ Union, Pune
The Naga Students’ Union, Pune, also vehemently condemned the burning of houses at Wungram colony. The union felt that the consequences of action of individuals should not be faced by a whole community of men, women and children. “It reflects that we the Nagas are yet to learn tolerance and respect for humanity and we are very tribilistic in our approach” the NSUP stated in a note issued by its president Chongphe Angh Phom. The union strongly condemned the incident and at the same time appealed to the competent authority to rehabilitate those affected, at the earliest. It also requested all to maintain vigil so that such incidents do not occur in the future.

The Naga Christian Forum Manipur
The Naga Christian Forum Manipur termed the as a shame and contravention of the Christian belief of accommodation to friends and foes alike. A note from the executives of the forum stated that the incident is a great shame and loss of the health of society. It was pointed out that the culture of a Christian society calls for charitable attitude, speech and action towards ones’ neighbors including enemies. “It is a matter of great shame and loss of the overall health of the society. Any unchristian mindset and behavior whoever exhibits deserves condemnation by the society,” the forum stated.
The NCFM also called for serious introspection and initiation of a process for healing and urged the “responsible for the cause and equally those responsible for the extreme reaction” to seriously introspect if there had been anything in their being that could be the primary reason that have given birth to one of the most undesirable trend n the Naga society today. “This will start the process of a long term healing so that this is not repeated” the forum explained. Also calling for humility, understanding and love the forum urged that ‘all relationships, differences and grievances be maintained and settled through the spirit of humility, understanding and love becoming of a modern Christian society.’
Assam Rifles Jawans shoot mob… with cameras The Telegraph
Legend has it that emperor Nero played the fiddle as Rome burned. Many centuries later, a group of Assam Rifles personnel requisitioned to control mob violence in the Nagaland town of Dimapur has been accused of video recording the “event” from the safety of building terraces as an entire colony went up in flames.
“Is the Assam Rifles playing the role of Doordarshan?” a caustic Nagaland government is understood to have asked Delhi. Ostensibly unnerved by the sight of a mob baying for blood, the Dimapur administration sent an SOS to the 31 Assam Rifles Battalion around 1.30 pm that day. The paramilitary force allegedly not only responded to the call late, but sent a team that was armed with video cameras instead of the usual tools of their trade.
Perched on terraces of buildings around the colony, the uniformed personnel allegedly shot videos of the mob setting houses and vehicles ablaze. “We are very unhappy about how the Assam Rifles is functioning and Mr Kumavat (special secretary of internal security in the ministry of home affairs) knows it. They were acting like Doordarshan,” Nagaland chief secretary Lalhuma told The Telegraph from Kohima.
The Assam Rifles refuted the allegations, saying the civil administration did not requisition any of its units to subdue the mob. The public relations officer (defence) for Nagaland, Lt. Col Bhargav, said the media was being “misinformed” about how the paramilitary force operates. “Whenever there is a violation of ground rules (of the ceasefire), we ensure they are warned and flushed out,” he said.
The officer skirted the controversy over jawans using video cameras to record the mob violence, saying it was “a separate issue”. The Assam Rifles, which calls itself “Friends of the Hill People”, has 46 battalions in the Northeast. Lalhuma said the Assam Rifles need not be anybody’s friend or foe. “We want a force to maintain peace.”
On why the police were being spared the criticism despite being just as inactive during the mob frenzy in Dimapur, another official said it was “a delicate situation with more than 5,000 people gathering in the colony”. The Assam Rifles is suspected of not stopping the mob because the buildings that were targeted belonged to top NSCN (I-M) leaders.
AR refutes ‘no-action’ story on Sunday rampage The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 25 (MExN): Reacting to a news item in The Telegraph, “Jawans shoot mob… with cameras” on April 25, the Assam Rifles today issued a strong refutation that the contention made in the article, including statements of some senior functionaries, are ‘totally baseless, motivated and bereft of any truth.’ A release form the AR clarified that the sudden turn of events at Wungram Colony, Dimapur on April 22 started off with an ‘unlawful assembly’ which soon turned violent. Being purely a law and order problem, it was required to be dealt or addressed by the State Police and civil administration, the AR stated.

“Despite that, two columns of 31 Assam Rifles led personally by the CO were immediately mobilized as a pre-emptive measure to monitor the situation and be ready to intervene. When IGAR (North) was contacted by the Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner, he was informed that AR troops are mobilized to act / intervene as required and the State government was free to employ them if they felt so, subject to a formal requisition and after the resources at their disposal had been pressed into service to quell the mob” the AR stated. Accordingly, the Assam Rifles columns were in place by 11:45 am. However, none of the companies of Police, IRB or CRPF which were already in place were used nor was any requisition made for AR troops, which is a mandatory legal requirement for employing PMF in aid to civil authority.
“Assam Rifles as a PMF as per laid down procedure comes into play in such public situations only when Police forces are unable to control and a written requisition is made to employ/deploy PMF or Army. The statement that AR troops had been requisitioned is highly incorrect and objected to” the AR stated. Despite every one being aware that the forces at the disposal of the State were not first utilized (as clearly brought out in the article also) nor any requisition made by civil administration to employ AR forces in such a delicate situation, the contention that “AR is suspected of not stopping the mob because the buildings that were targeted belonged to top NSCN (IM) leaders” is a figment of imagination, fallacious, malicious and clearly motivated, it pointed out.
‘Ugly’ Wungram incident portrays Nagas in ‘poor light’ Newmai News Network
Imphal The United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR-South), All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga Women Union, Manipur (NWUM) have deeply lamented that the Wungram Colony arson of April 22 have portrayed the Naga community in the poor light in front of the whole world.
“Down the ages, darkness of dirty ‘ism’ must be done away. This very sensitive and tragic event should be a wakeup call for all Nagas of the danger on what negative trend of community conflict can damage the cohesion of Naga struggle internally besides portraying a faulty image of the Naga Nation in front of the whole international community,” rued the Naga frontal organisations.
Issuing this statement to Newmai News Network tonight, UNC, ANSAM, NPMHR-South Sector and NWUM while echoing of the ugly incident of Wungram Colony in Dimapur which burnt down more than 30 houses and unaccountable household of properties by a mob, have said, “when the Naga people are sleeplessly rendering our efforts to build and evolve understanding among the Naga brethrens, such barbaric acts of violence are exploiting the structuring process of peace in our land. Igniting fire from an individual petty and silly issue to ethnic conflict is absurd.
The statement further said that without prejudice, Nagas throughout “our homeland” should collectively put efforts to find amicable understanding and dismiss misgivings once for all to respect human values and work out mechanism to prevent such happening to take place in future.
It is also a time to resolutely retrospect, introspect and reason consciously to bury the feelings of hatred, jealousy and vendetta for the good cause of the peoples struggle, said the joint statement of the UNC, ANSAM, NPMHR and NWUM.
The Naga bodies then appealed “all sections of sensible society, individuals, villages or tribes not to casually take the law into our own hand to solve any problem. Justice of any kind must be done according to the law of the land or under the customary law,” adding, “We value to end violence and live together united as one family”.
Scary Sunday Editorial The Morung Express
The deliberate and brutal attack carried out by mob elements at Wungram Colony, Purana Bazaar Dimapur on Sunday April 22 targeting homes and property belonging to a particular community has left a bitter trail of misgiving in its wake. Violence in whatever form or manifestation, whether through mob fury, armed cadres, police high handedness, individual recklessness etc. cannot be condoned under any circumstances and needs to be out rightly condemned. For the Naga people, it is a cause for deep shame and disappointment that society has for whatever reason started producing citizens capable of such acts of violence along tribal lines. As Christians it is required that one has the highest respect for all life and in protecting life itself, which is the need of the hour. Rather than beget hatred, this tragic incident should be used to strengthen the Naga people’s resolve towards harmony and peaceful co-existence. The aggrieved community members on their part should display wisdom and maintain outmost restrain and not provoke the situation but to remain calm.
For the Naga people as a whole, it is a loss of face in the eyes of the world and exposes the underlying ‘tribalism’ that lurks beneath the surface, waiting to explode anytime. Like communalism that threatens the very social fabric of Indian nationalism, tribalism too in the Naga context cannot be simply brushed aside as a mere aberration and requires urgent attention of civil society groups in order that a cure be found to this deadly disease, which is posing a threat to the peaceful coexistence of Nagas tribal based society.
While it is time for the Naga people to speak up loudly against violence and hate speech of any form, it is of utmost importance that people are educated against casting aspersions along tribal lines. Perpetrators whoever commits any crime should be personally held accountable rather than trivializing the issue along tribal lines. No tribal hohos, organizations and even the Naga underground groups should stand by nor harbour such kind of communal elements in any manner. Rather, every Naga irrespective of tribal lineage should in a united manner, voice their disapproval against the increasing level of violence that is threatening to destroy the social fabric that sustains peaceful co-existence of the people.
The failure of the State machinery to respond to the crisis of April 22 comes as no surprise and only confirms the worst fear that public faith in law enforcing agencies is slowly waning. The poor level of public confidence on the state machinery to ensure their safety and the latter’s complete inability to respond to such crisis situation is a cause of concern and needs to be rectified. The April 22 incident was clearly a case of lawlessness and confusion. Both the district administration and police in the State need to be properly trained and sensitized on dealing with such untoward crisis such as mob violence and riots. What is cause for even more worry is that crime and violence are no longer uniquely underground problems but rather it has penetrated public space and therefore requires immediate interventions by the people themselves who undoubtedly remain the most powerful factor to bring about a sense of reasoning and moral changeover in a society ridden by hurt and mutual animosity.
Protest over factional clashes Kuknalim.com
KHAIBUNG, April 25:: Sending out a strong message that guns and bullets could not bring peace in Naga society, thousands of placard-holding people, including women and school children, voiced their resentment and protest against frequent clashes between the NSCNs in a peace rally-cum-bandh organized by Ghaspani-II West Villages Union (GWVU) at Khaibung Local Ground, Ghaspani, Dimapur Wednesday. Perturbed by the continued factional violence in the area, the protestors from more than ten villages under GWVU joined the rally, carrying placards that read “Don’t turn our area into battlefield”, “We need peace”, “We need reconciliation”, “Bullets bring no peace”, etc. The rally-cum-bandh was organized in the wake of the recent factional clashes between NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K) in which two youths and an elderly woman were injured and two underground cadres were killed in a village.

The villages were reportedly troubled by the underground factions’ demand for more than 150 kg of rice and 50 kg of pork and their cooking within a time frame. Such conduct on the part of the NSCNs also made the villagers apprehensive of even going to the church and paddy fields and also sending their wards to schools. Participating in the rally, former executive secretary of Kuki Baptist Association Rev. T. Hansing expressed sorrow over the fact that there was no respect for human rights due to the gun culture in Naga society. He said corruption, killings and extortion in Naga Society were making the poor innocent people suffer physically, mentally and economically. The Reverend pointed out that loss of lives and property during factional conflicts only fuelled the simmering fear psychosis among the innocent people.
“Are we going to have peace, depending only on the government which has failed to do so?, he questioned, adding, “Guns and bullets can’t bring peace. It can come only through God.”

Quoting the old adage “one servant cannot serve two masters”, the head GB of Heqheshe village, Yetoyi, said although Nagas had “six governments”, yet they continued to suffer for the last five decades due to the orgy of hatred and killings. While saying “the public are stronger than guns or bullets”, he said the public should remain neutral in a situation when they were meant to support any factions. The convener of GWVU, Zenith Belho, who also addressed the rally, took a serious note of the underground factions killing each others in the name of “sovereignty and freedom.”

He rued the fact that killings and violence were going on even after several years of the ceasefire between the NSCNs and the Government of India. Belho called for a ceasefire among the Nagas for peace in the State.

While acknowledging the sacrifices made by both the factions for their causes, GWVU also submitted a memorandum to the NSCNs and the SDO (C), expressing its sadness over the frequent factional clashes in the villages of the area. The memorandum furthrer raised a crucial question: “Will this current trend of fratricidal killings not prove expensive and detrimental to the unity of the Nagas and their struggle to survive as a nation?” (NPN)

The divide and rule policy of India resurfaces- Nagaland Post
In what appears most inflict-ing upon the Nagas during the bi-lateral process of negotiation expedite a lasting solution to the protracted Indo-Naga political conflict, the insincerity of India has resurfaced. The deliberate systematic policy through subtle interplay of assimilation and ‘divide and rule’ by India to weaken the Naga people’s aspiration have been unyielding, despite its refutation. The incitement of tribalism and kindling ethnic cleansing within Nagas has been the instrument in its proxy war to subdue the Naga people’s national movement. The media have been maneuvered to disseminate psychological campaigns by instigating divergent dissensions and discords deviating Naga people’s attention away from crucial issues.
Unfortunately, one such demonstration resurfaced recently on April 22 at Wungram Colony Purana Bazar, Dimapur through the exploitation of an incident where an inebriated Naga youth happened to engage in an unprovoked brawl with an innocent Naga youth belonging to a different tribe leading to the latter’s injury and abuse. Following this incident, adverse elements manipulated the incident and sinisterly diverted it into a communal issue. This led to inciting hundreds of people belonging to the victim’s tribe into erratic and uncontrolled arson and vandalism, leading to destroying of properties and entire homes of the innocent people belonging to the perpetrators tribe. The incident that took place right under the Administration’s (the Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur, Indian Army- Assam Rifles and the puppet Nagaland state’s armed forces- IRB and Police) watch-manship’s nose without much efforts to control or normalize the unfortunate situation, otherwise which would have been reigned. This occurrence has left hundreds of innocent women, children, men and dotage victims homeless and inflicted traumatizing physical and mental sufferings.
Where there takes place a crime, the criminal has to be identified and punished for the crime committed. No rime is permissible in any society. But any crime that may take place should not be identified with the entire community of the criminal, for that no community, in any way, is or would be responsible for socially detested acts and crimes. When a state that proclaims guardianship of another nation but remains a mute spectator to a situation developing hostile upon innocent inhabitants, the arbitrary administrator’s authority’s authenticity and responsibility becomes questionable. One can clearly conclude and perceive the adversary’s tireless effort to thwart the just aspiration of the Naga people, conspicuous of the continuous attempt to sow seed of misunderstanding and hatred amongst brothers.
The divisive elements incited by external forces in-within the Naga family with the intent to disunite the Naga people, thus subduing the people’s determined aspirations by creating communal divide in within has continued in all inhuman callousness. The adversaries agenda is the, when the Naga family is fragmented then the integrity of that people and its land vis-à-vis its political aspiration is subsequently undermined beyond rescue. The Nagas are perched at a juncture where we have to critically apprehend the deviational forces or it will inherit us our own self defeat. The disharmonious elements out to distract and divert our attention away from crucial issues have to be overcome and isolated or else it will annihilate our future hopes and aspirations. Nagas have to logically assess our priorities that our dignity as a people for which we have long aspired and sacrificed and rationally addressed domestic issue in all civility.
During any volatile circumstance when crisis or sensitive social harmony is eminent, if the media does not project events in its correct perspective, the impacts would incline towards negative outcomes, thus negating its ethical credibility. For stoking fuel into dying embers may aggravate the situation into impulsive uncontrolled emotions against human co-existence. As the media plays a crucial in such conditions, it should dispense its role in a positive and humane manner so that the welfare and well being of the people are protected from impartial and negative consequences. As the past cannot be re-done, we could at the least embark on peaceful remedial initiatives so that the ugliness of the past may subside behind better amicable resolutions to all mistakes and reconcile for better associations of brotherhood in the days ahead.
Once upon a time, it was a direct assault but now the adversaries have found the wisest and still safest technique, policy or tactics that is the indirect assault. In such situation, the only weapon to safeguard our common aspiration is to meticulously ponder over the logic, reason and merit why the Nagas have to undergo such a situation. It is unfortunate that the Nagas have failed to read between the lines of the Government of India’s so called friendly policy. The systematic assimilation into Indianized mindset in the form of developments, grant-in-aids, employments, mechanical life and other assurances has hypnotized ignorant Nagas in identifying themselves with their own ethnic cultures and history today. Naga people’s aspiration is sought to be diverted and submerged into tribal and sectarian conflict orchestrated and permeated by selfish stooges in coordination with adversary’s machineries (their pay-masters). Divisive stratagems using the bait of pelf, power, possessions and developments have alienated some renegade Nagas from rescuing our rich cultural, customary and traditional heritage well associated with our proud identity as a people, overlooking our selfless sacrifices in defending our dignified existence. Nagas will stand its ground resolutely against all divisive elements against our inalienable rights. Nagas are committed to peaceful resolutions by respecting and honouring India’s interests but not at the cost of our inalienable birth rights. It is upto India to prove itself in upkeeping its honoured commitments to peace in maintaining its image as the largest democratic nation in the world.
Ministry of Information and Publicity, NSCN (IM)
Nagaland Post Reactions to april 22 incident- Nagaland Post
It is a shocking surprise to wit-ness an act of open vandal-ism in broad day light committed by some Sumi irate mob, first of its kind in the Naga Society. The fact is disgraceful and unfortunate for the Nagas to experience it in this crucial time when Nagas are in the peace process. The motive of the arsonists in committing such act should be condemned by all as such greed and hatred will breed communal contention and disintegration.
The unprecedented incident occurred within and among the Nagas has affected the image of the Naga Christian Nation. Reasons however logic can never justify such act of terrorism. No right thinking citizen or human being can accept reasons or excuses for committing premeditated rampage. It is neither human nature nor beast but of evil scheme planted in the hearts.
Therefore both the communities are appealed to restrain it from furthering its course of evil action by finding possible best and sustainable solution so that the matter is put to check within. Our Sumi brothers or any other Nagas brothers under no circumstances should resort to primitive fashion of forceful invasion of others Villages, land or property, which is no more acceptable in the present society. All sorts of force solution is no solution but division. And all problems or crises however big can be settled amicably by reasoning together. We Nagas cannot go well without upholding brotherhood, forbearance, and integrity. No right can be obtained by means of vicious act of violence. Violence only beget violence, revenge beget revenge.
We appreciate the Tangkhul community for their forbearance and tolerance at the face of lost and pain. We belief forbearance is forgiveness of the hurting hearts which is the true spirit of Christians. We Nagas must uphold Christian principles above greed or material possession. We count the Sumi brothers to be one. Nagas should be proud of their contributions to the Naga Nation. His Excellency, Isaac Chishi Swu, with all his commitment and wisdom to lead the Nagas to freedom, can mean nothing if there is disintegration within our land and people. Let our common vision be to create civilization, identity and reflex it to the world.
This should be the binding factor rather than material possession or separate tribal identity. We therefore appeal to all the good will Sumi Christian associations and Sumi Hohos to initiate steps to restore and comfort the hurting community in the spirit of Christ. We also appeal to the rest of the Nagas to join hands in bringing normalcy in the society, which will be beautiful to behold our Nagas Picture of Integrity and love as one Nation before the world. The Zeliangrong People expresses their consolation to the effected community and prayed for comfort and joy amidst suffering and lost.
Dennis Elung, President, Zeliangrong Baudi (N).
Echoing of the ugly April 22, Sunday Wungram Colony Dimapur incident which razed to ashes more than 30 houses and unaccountable household of properties by a mob of thousand miscreants is unprecedented. This mayhem have shocked and pained the Naga society. Down the ages, darkness of dirty ‘ism’ must be done away. This very sensitive and tragic event should be a wakeup call for all Nagas of the danger on what negative trend of community conflict can damage the cohesion of Naga struggle internally besides portraying a faulty image of the Naga Nation in front of the whole international community.
When the Naga people are sleeplessly rendering our efforts to build and evolve understanding among the Naga brethrens, such barbaric acts of violence is exploiting the structuring process of peace in our land. Igniting fire from an individual petty and silly issue to ethnic conflict is absurd.
Without prejudice, Nagas throughout our homeland should collectively put efforts to find amicable understanding and dismiss misgivings once and for all to respect human values and work out mechanism to prevent such happening to take place in future. It is also a time to resolutely retrospect, introspect and reason consciously to bury the feelings of hatred, jealousy and vendetta for the good cause of the peoples struggle. We also appeal all section of sensible society, individuals, villages or tribes not to casually take the law into our own hand to solve any problem. Justice of any kind must be done according to the law of the land or under the customary law. We value to end violence and live together united as one family.
K.S. Paul Leo President, United Naga Council (UNC)
Paulhring Langhu President, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM)
K. Marigold Vice-president, Naga Womens’ Union Manipur (NWUM)
Phamhring Sengul Convenor, NPMHR South
The incident that occurred on Sunday, April 22 noon at Wungram colony Dimapur is outrageous. It is hard to believe that such tragedy occurred between modern Naga Christian society.
As per media reports, the immediate cause of the tragedy is negligible however, if there were other causes that have accumulated in course of time, that opens another chapter, love your neighbor as yourself. With no bias, favoritism, inclination, one sidedness to any and taking oneself in the shoes of the shocked and traumatized innocent children, women and aged, I feel a deep pain in the heart and soul, mind and body. A dull and empty feeling must have crept into the soul of the young innocent; ignorant and unable to reason the reality they witnessed.
All said and done, avenged and destructed, how long can we be happy and contended by avenging an eye for any eye?
It is a total disgrace to us (Nagas). I for one, bow my head and countenance in shame and in disgrace before this small world. I appeal the world would not conclude our unique history for the act and deed committed on a holy Sunday.
Vitho Zao Midland, Kohima
‘Wungram fiasco a shame to Nagas’ Sangai Express Newmai News Network
Imphal, Apr 26 : The United Naga Council, Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR- South), All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga Wo-men Union, Manipur (NWUM) deeply lamenting the Wungram Colony arson of April 22 have said that it portrays the Naga community in poor light in front of the whole world.
“Down the ages, darkness of dirty ‘ism’ must be done away with. This very sensitive and tragic event should be a wake up call for all Nagas of the danger on what negative trend of community conflict can damage the cohesion of Naga struggle internally besides portraying a faulty image of the Naga Nation in front of the whole international community,” rued the Naga organisations.
Issuing this statement to Newmai News Network today evening, UNC, ANSAM, NPMHR-South Sector and NWUM while lamenting the ugly incident at Wungra, Colony in Dimapur where more than 30 houses were burnt besides loss to many household properties, said, “when the Naga people are sleeplessly rendering our efforts to build and evolve understanding among the Naga brethrens, such barbaric acts of violence are obstructing the structuring process of peace in our land. Igniting fire from an individual petty and silly issue to ethnic conflict is absurd.”
The statement further said that without prejudice, Nagas throughout “our homeland” should collectively put efforts to find amicable understanding and dismiss misgivings once and for all to respect human values and work out mechanisms to prevent such happening in the future.
It is also time to resolutely retrospect, introspect and reason consciously to bury the feelings of hatred, jealousy and vendetta for the good cause of the peoples’ struggle, said the joint statement
of the UNC, ANSAM, NPMHR and NWUM. The Naga bodies appealed “all sections of sensible society, indivi-duals, villages or tribes not to casually take the law into our own hand to solve any problem. Justice of any kind must be done according to the law of the land or under the customary law,” adding, “We value to end violence and live together united as one family”.

India Myanmar army talks in Kolkata Drimi Chaudhuri Hindustan Times
Kolkata, A delegations from the two armies of India and Myanmar met at Eastern Command Head Quarters in Fort William on Wednesday evening, the eastern neighbour looked for more support from India in forms of arms and intelligence inputs. While an 18-member Myanmarese delegation, led by Brigadier General Tin Maung Ohn, was in the city to discuss these issues, another 10-member delegation was doing the same at New Delhi.
According to sources, the Myanmarese Army is looking hardware and maintenance support from Indian Army in handling the Kachin rebels and other insurgent outfits operating in different parts of Myanmar, which shares an international border along Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The Myanmarese team, which is on a four-day visit to Eastern Command from April 23 to 27, arrive din the city on Wednesday afternoon after visiting 3 Corps Head Quarters at Rangapahar in Nagaland. While the first round of discussion was held at the earlier venue, a more detailed discussion took place at the Fort William meeting.
Sources said that besides arms and ammunition, including INSAS rifles, grenade launchers and small arms, along with armoured vehicles, Myanmarese Army also sought technical support from the Army. “Following the discussion at Rangapahar, a Indo-Myanmar joint exercise is imminent. A team from Myanmar would receive training at Counter-Insurgency &Jungle Warfare School of Vairengte in Mizoram. It is likely that 3 Corps would help by providing insurgency management training,” a senior MoD official informed. The meeting further included exchange of intelligence inputs on insurgent outfits and the scenario in smuggling of arms and drugs, sources said.
Wing Commander RK Das, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman in Kolkata, however, refused to comment on the content or the outcome of the meeting. “The Indian side at Fort William was led by Eastern Command Chief of Staff Lieutenant General KS Sivakumar. Issues of discussion included cross-border insurgency, smuggling of arms and drugs, border fencing and management. With Myanmar sharing border with four Indian states, many of the North East undergrounds outfits use Myanmar as hideout, causing serious concern to both nations,” he said. He added that these liaison meets are held every six months to review and strengthen relations, besides discussion on issues of mutual interest. The next meeting between two sides would be held in Myanmar, he said.
Unrest rising in Garo Hills over Commission’s report
From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
TURA, April 25 – Garo Hills, particularly the East district, could soon witness a string of agitations given the unhappiness with the report of the Justice D N Baruah’s Commission of Enquiry by the student and social organisations on whom the blame for triggering the riots of September 30, 2005 has been attributed. Nine people lost their lives in twin firing incidents at Tura and Williamnagar on that day.

A delegation of the Garo Students’ Union met Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang at Tura Circuit House on Wednesday and pressed for constituting a fresh enquiry for Williamnagar. The student body pointed out that all NGOs from East Garo Hills had rejected the Baruah Commission long before it winded up its probe as allegations of being “biased” were levelled against the Commission.

Lapang has remained non-committal to the demands of the student body and said he can do little as it is a judicial matter. The only assurance he reportedly gave to the student delegation was to discuss their demand in the State Cabinet.

The GSU, anticipating such a lukewarm response from the Chief Minister, has called for a public rally at Williamnagar on Friday to decide its next course of action.

Though the rally is being held in Williamnagar there are signs the agitation could spread to other regions in the weeks to come should the government continue to remain silent on the issue that has become a rallying point among most Garos.

The State Government could do a lot to sooth the injury of the people by ordering a fresh probe, feel some people, while others point out that a lot of taxpayer’s money have been spent on the two probes which has done little to bridge the gap between the government and the people of Garo Hills. Politicians have fallen out of favour with the people on account of this issue.

Meanwhile, Lapang laid the foundation of a new school building at Hawakhana in Tura on Tuesday. Funds to the tune of Rs. 10 lakhs have been released from the CM’s Urban Development Fund for the building. The school established in 1962 has been functioning from a dilapidated building all these years.

Lapang also inaugurated a youth convention at Ampati on Wednesday and encouraged the party workers to help mobilise the youth for the coming 2008 elections to the State Assembly where a rejuvenated opposition NCP is keen to take on the ruling Congress.

Frans on 04.26.07 @ 09:11 PM CST [link]

Wednesday, April 25th

NNC blames I-M leaders for Wungram violence The Sangai Express

NNC blames I-M leaders for Wungram violence Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 24: Naga National Council (NNC) has categorically stated that incident of beating up and torturing a Sema youth by cadres of NSCN (I-M) which triggered the April 22 violence from the Naga civilian is not unexpected and unfortunate, but it is the people’s long patience and tolerance burst out into action.It has been long since that people have been shouting peace and appealing to stop killing and violence, but it has always fallen into the dead ears of the NSCN leaders, NNC members Thomas said in a statement.

‘The violent activities in Nagaland are in fact not an accidental event but intentionally generated by the NSCN leaders’, Thomas charged. He said in 1978, NNC told them not to form socialist form of Government which would lead to violence and bloodshed among the Nagas. But instead of heeding to the advice, they adopted violent action and killed Naga national leaders and army officer who opposed their socialist ideology.

They also burnt down many villages and granaries in eastern Nagaland and caused to die thousand village from starvation. Even on April 12, 2005, IM armed men burned down 24 houses and granaries in New Pangsha village and one granary at Thang Nyuking village.

Therefore, the formation of the NSCN was not a mistake and misunderstanding and the killing is not a mistake but intentionally committing wrong against the Nagas, the statement said.

Thus, the violence started from the eastern Nagaland has spread to western and southern parts of Nagaland and many become have come victims of these violence activities, the statement added.

Recalling a statement issued by the joint secretary of MIP and published in Nagaland post just three days ahead of the April 22 violence, Thomas asserted that despite knowing fully well that ‘violence begets violence and it would not lead to the desired goals’, the NSCN leaders went on committing more violence and killings. So the Sunday riot and violence on April 22 will not be the end, but it will continue until and unless the ‘duel leaders’ abolish the NSCN set up. Charging NSCN leaders with defiling the words of God by refusing to obey Him in spite of the slogan for Nagaland for Christ, the NNC member asserted that the anti-social and anti-national activities being committed by the NSCN leaders is nothing but a mockery to Nagaland for Christ. The peacemakers among the Nagas also failed to speak out the truth, therefore they cannot afford to bring peace among the Nagas, the statement added.
Pained NPMHR reminds of a way called ‘Dialogue’ The Morung Express
KOHIMA, APRIL 23 (MExN): Expressing pain and anguish at the April 22 incident at Wungram Colony, Purana Bazar, Dimapur, the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights NPMHR expressed conviction that all forms of misunderstanding can be addressed through dialogue and understanding.
“the NPMHR is convinced that all forms of misunderstanding and misgivings can be addressed through mutual dialogue and understanding. The NPMHR appeal to the most refined humane nature to exercise restraint in the face of any provocation that might cause tensions” a message from Nagaland chapter convener Atoho Kiho stated.
The NPMHR also took strong note of the “inefficacy and incompetence” of the law-keeping agencies, which the organization said “is a lamentable tragedy.” Considering that the rampage lasted for more than 6 hours, it is confounding that the police forces could do nothing more than stand by as mute spectators, it lamented. “The state government must take note of this act of omission and take immediate steps to impart effective knowledge and skills to the law-enforcement personnel to deal with such situations in the most humane manner possible,” the NPMHR said. It also, while acknowledging the emergency steps taken by the state authorities in evacuating and providing shelter to the victims, urged the government to embark on sustainable approaches to prevent such occurrences.
The NPMHR also lauded and expressed support to the effort rendered by Western Sumi Hoho, Western Sumi Kukami Hoho and Tangkhul Long to restore normalcy and harmony through mutual understanding and consent.
“The NPMHR empathizes with sufferings of the people entrapped in the fallout” the message shared and called for support and goodwill to build a society founded on mutual trust and amity.
Jawans shoot mob…with cameras Kuknalim.com
DIMAPUR, April 24:: Legend has it that emperor Nero played the fiddle as Rome burned. Many centuries later, a group of Assam Rifles personnel requisitioned to control mob violence in of Dimapur has been accused of video recording the “event” from the safety of building terraces as an entire colony went up in flames.

“Is the Assam Rifles playing the role of Doordarshan?” a caustic Nagaland government is understood to have asked Delhi. As many as 47 houses and several vehicles were destroyed in the violence on Sunday, triggered by the alleged abduction and torture of three Sumi tribesmen by militants of the NSCN (Isak-Muivah). The mayhem took place at Tangkhul Naga Colony, where several leaders of the militant group reside. Ostensibly unnerved by the sight of a mob baying for blood, the Dimapur administration sent an SOS to the 31 Assam Rifles Battalion around 1.30 pm that day. The paramilitary force allegedly not only responded to the call late, but sent a team that was armed with video cameras instead of the usual tools of their trade.

Perched on terraces of buildings around the colony, the uniformed personnel allegedly shot videos of the mob setting houses and vehicles ablaze.

“We are very unhappy about how the Assam Rifles is functioning and Mr Kumavat (special secretary of internal security in the ministry of home affairs) knows it. They were acting like Doordarshan,” Nagaland chief secretary Lalhuma told The Telegraph from Kohima.

The Assam Rifles refuted the allegations, saying the civil administration did not requisition any of its units to subdue the mob. The public relations officer (defence) for Nagaland, Lt. Col Bhargav, said the media was being “misinformed” about how the paramilitary force operates.

“Whenever there is a violation of ground rules (of the ceasefire), we ensure they are warned and flushed out,” he said. The officer skirted the controversy over jawans using video cameras to record the mob violence, saying it was “a separate issue”.

The Assam Rifles, which calls itself “Friends of the Hill People”, has 46 battalions in the Northeast. Lalhuma said the Assam Rifles need not be anybody’s friend or foe. “We want a force to maintain peace.”

On why the police were being spared the criticism despite being just as inactive during the mob frenzy in Dimapur, another official said it was “a delicate situation with more than 5,000 people gathering in the colony”.

The Assam Rifles is suspected of not stopping the mob because the buildings that were targeted belonged to top NSCN (I-M) leaders. The houses of NSCN (I-M) steering committee member Rh. Raising, tatars (parliamentarians) Samson Jajo, Nithungla and Kamlang and three leaders of the outfit’s armed wing Hangshi, Ramkating and Markson were gutted in the incident. (Telegraph)
NBCC on Fiery Sunday: ‘Went too far’ The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 24 (MExN): The April 22 rampage in Wungram colony, Purana Bazar was a case of taking public response too far, Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) said and has advised raising ‘the level of thinking.’ Expressing profound unhappiness at the “Fiery Sunday” incident, the NBCC through its Director of Peace Affairs, Dr Kari Longchar, stated: “The angry outrage felt by the community of the person beaten by the three young men is understood by the public – but the response and retaliation went too far.”
No one has gained from what happened except those whose interest may be best served if Nagas do not rise above the present level of thinking and motivation, the NBCC reminded. The council has called upon the Nagas to exercise restraint and choose to resolutely assist one another to pave the way forward. “We express our grief and sympathy for the victims of the tragedy and appeal to all churches and public to express love in action the council appealed.
NSCN (IM) says it is on Mission of Peace and reconciliation in Phek The Morung Express
Phek, April 24 (MExN): In view of NSCN (IM) Cadres camping at Phek Town, the Operation Commander, Chakhesang Region, Captain Vedeta Nienuh, had disclosed and clarified the reasons of his Cadres entering at Phek Town. Captain Nienuh, said that his cadres coming to Phek Town neither bore an intention for confrontation nor to disturb the atmosphere of the Town. However, he said that the NSCN (IM) had merely come with an assignment, a “Mission of Peace and Reconciliation”. As per the directives of the higher authority the present cadres numbering approximately 40 in numbers were being deployed at Phek Town so as to spread out the ‘Aims & Objectives’ of the Government under its Mission ‘Peace & Reconciliation’ and further take the opinions of the general public, Capt. Nienuh asserted. Therefore, Nienuh conveys his humble appeal on behalf of the Government to the dwellers of Phek Town not to have any misconceptions about their camping at the Town, rather he urged the general public to co-operate with the Mission and strive together in the long run so as to achieve the long pending destiny of the Nagas. The Captain further clarified that the news item which appeared in the local daily a few days back of cadres camping at the Church compound was a false report; “how can we occupy the holy places and disturb the spiritual atmosphere when we are under the Mission of ‘Peace & Reconciliation’?” Capt. Nienuh Continued. Though he confirmed that it true that some reinforcement battalions were being encamped somewhere near the Town so as to assist the present posted cadres at Phek Town if necessity arose.
Captain Nienuh in another disclosure issued a notification to the general public wherein he warned that anyone found intoxicated or carrying out unwanted activities after 7:00 pm would be imposed stern action against both the users and the sellers. The notification added that action would be initiated to such defaulters even during the day if any person created problem in an intoxicated state. In this connection, Nienuh urged all the citizens of the Town, specially the wine users and the sellers to be well aware of this notice and to comply with the directive so as to avoid any untoward incident in the Town.
“The Captain further added that he would be grateful if people turned up openly for meaningful talks with their concerned officers instead of propagandizing in a cowardice corners. Being the Operation Commander Chakhesang Region by God’s grace, besides an inhabitant of the Town I will always try my best to deal with the people’s sentiments” Capt. Nienuh firmly stated. “My last humble appeal to the dwellers of the Town is that please do co-operate with us as long as Mission proceeds. May Almighty bestow His abundant blessings upon each one of us through this Mission”, Capt. Nienuh concluded.
About 100 NSCN (IM) cadres led by one Captain Resuh, Company Commander Chakhesang Region was reported to have arrived at Phek Town on April 22 at around 3.00 am.
According to the sources, the said cadres were encamped somewhere within the jurisdiction between Khomi and Losami Village some 20 kilometers away from Phek Town a few days back before they entered Phek Town. The sources had earlier informed that the cadres had occupied Phek Town Baptist Church (PTBC) compound, NST stand, Jericho-I colony (Officers Hill). The Local sources have reported that the new development has left the residents of Phek Town alert and mentally tense though no confrontation between the rivals has arisen till now.
Relief by Ukhrul societies Correspondent Nagaland Post
IMPHAL, April 24: Civil organizations in Ukhrul district of Manipur have resolved to provide relief to those affected by the April 22 arson in Wungram colony Dimapur and also to appeal to the NSCN (I-M) and Naga Hoho and ANSAM to take steps to ensure that such unfortunate incidents do not occur in future.
A meeting of the civil organizations based in Ukhrul district held today at Tangkhul Nagalong Hall in Ukhrul decided to contribute money and material as relief to the more than 250 odd residents of Wungram, mostly women and children who are being temporarily housed in the NAP Training Centre in Chumukedima, Nagaland.
The meeting was chaired by the president of the Tangkhul Nagalong, Stefen Angkang and leaders and important functionaries of the various civil organizations based in the district attended, an official report said.
Reports received here said the incident was sparked off by an assault on an auto driver belonging to the Sumi community on Saturday, allegedly by some members of the Tangkhul community, near Purana Bazar. In the subsequent rampage and arson, the agitators burnt down nearly forty houses. Independent Naga MLAs in Manipur had also held a meeting Monday in Imphal and discussed on the matter.
The meeting also reportedly expressed sorrow and disappointment over the eruption of conflict in Dimapur and described it as an “unfortunate” incident.
Nagas caught in Trap of vicious circle:By R S Mayori Thangkhul.com
Wungram Colony, Purana Bazar, Dimapur Torched Down was the headline in every paper of the regional dailies of Northeast. Many people looked at the angle of the Tangkhuls as the target. The victim of this episode is the Tangkhul tribe and the aggressor as the Sumis or a bunch of rowdies from Dimapur
This incident prompts me to write an article based on my analysis as well as an extract from the forum. The forum of Tangkhul.com carries a thread call “Why is Tangkhul hated everywhere?”. It started off with an argument of –
What do you think of it that many people and other tribe hates Tangkhul? What is your idea that we are becoming a target? Why are we targeted left and right? Why the Kukis are against us why do meiteis hates us why do Khaplang group targets us?
Do any one of you know why? We can all have a brain storming session here “Why is that Tangkhuls are targeted every where?”.
The topic further stretched down and suddenly to fit into it’s place Wungram colony was set on fire by a group of people. Which led to the connection of this article and The point laid across the table by some of the participant regarding the incident are –“ It was orchestrated and was the brainchild of Khaplang. more to do with Factional problem, but yeah, they culled the communalists from the ilk of the separatists and communalists and used them as a tool. Was successful too I must say, makes one wonder what guide these people, on what principal their lives are based on.. to be held sway by the whims of some political leaders.”-
“The Khaplang group had targetted the Tangkhuls in Dimapur last year and the recent development in Dimapur, burning the house by the Sumi tribe is not appreciable. The simple reason from Autorickshawala to burning the houses are unbelievable.

Definitely the Tangkhuls are the most targetted tribe in Dimapur by some groups/tribes but lets not assume that everywhere all the tribes are against the Tangkhul because DIMAPUR is only the most sensitive place at present.”
“Yes we are all heading with the Wungram colony tragedy along with this topic. Now if we look at the way Khaplang have spread the propaganda, NSCN(IM) main leadership is ISAK not MUIVAH, but then how comes the Khaplangs are targetting Tangkhuls not sema? simple it’s easier to isolate Tangkhul than the sumis. No.2 Kilo kilonser is Mao, Education is Konyak, only Chaplee is Tangkhul and Mr Muivah the GS. If you look at all the structure..Tangkhuls are not worth the target but it’s GOI’s propaganda and other Nagas fall into that trap.”-
The discussion was certainly a debate itself where I have made an every effort not to edit or add to any of the argument they have placed. From the words that have been extracted and add is mainly for the others who have not participated there to have a look at it.
An incident or tragedy in the Naga family always leads to our struggle and history. We need to retrospect our history again and again. As a small instance in 1946 NNC emerge as the super power to fight for the Nagas rights. During the height of the NNC the Sumis (Semas) were the strongest, many Sumis gave up their life and join the struggle. During those days Sumis have many capable leaders like General Kaito, Sughato, Khugato and many more like the Tangkhuls today. To isolate the Sumis the Indian intelligence agencies started the propaganda that Sumis are cheap, criminals and the like. And the Nagas happily accepted these rumors as we are fond of spreading rumors and gossips.
This carried on, which is alive in our brain till today. Have anyone of us given a thought that no tribe is perfect and free from all this so called unwanted things. If Sumis have criminal youths, the Ao, Angami, Lotha, Konyak and Tangkhuls do have it. If Sumis are cheap, there are many other tribe which can be proved cheaper than many Sumis. The point is Nagas should not accept the propaganda blindly and it’s time for us to raise questions seriously. Why is it that all this things are happening?
Today, The Tangkhuls are the target because Tangkhuls are fore-front in the struggle. The tactic is to isolate the Tangkhuls and the same policy of false propaganda. The main aim of this propaganda is to crush the national movement, to kill the spirit of nationalism within the younger generation of Tangkhuls. If the spirit of the Tangkhuls dies down naturally the movement also burned out. The attacked on Wungram colony is not an attack on the Tangkhuls in-fact it is an attack on our identity and our struggle for our rights. The enemy took hold of the situation and ignites the fire to give a different scenario and to instill a fear psychosis (which is important in counter insurgency policy) among the people. It is to hoodwink the people that Sumis have done it, and create more riffs between the Nagas, perfect copycats of the British policy of Divide and Rule. It is high time for all of us to remember that it was not the Sumis nor was it an attack on the Tangkhuls but it is an attack to all the Nagas. The down fall of Tangkhuls will be a defeat for all the Nagas. Let us not run into the trap again which was set before us during our father’s time, and they all have got trap.( Early part of 450’s to 60’s) It’s high time we keep our ears open and kept on questioning “Why” Never stop questioning if you want to build a strong Naga Nation. Kuknalim.
TNL holds discussions Wungram incident Thangkhul.com
Ukhrul, April 24 (Agencies): In the wake of the Dimapur Wungram Colony incident where a violent mob charred some around 28 houses including concrete buildings belonging to the inhabitants of the colony, starting out of the quarrel and beating-up of a youth by three drunken youths from the Wungram colony on April 22, the Tangkul Naga Long (TNL), the apex Tangkhul Social Organization yesterday, organized a serious public discussion at TNL Conference hall at Ukhrul main town at 10 am. The meeting evoked deep shock, pain and grief over the incidents which ‘resulted in an ugly scene’. The massive TNL public meeting discussed various views and suggestions and the Ukhrul denizens from across the district also mourned and shared sympathy with the victims of the violence. The TNL convent further resolved to immediately mobilise and send relief aids` to the victims.
Apocalypse now?? In Focus Morung Express
I think to myself, “No, this is not possible.” As I write this I still don’t have the details, I know only a fraction (or is it?) of what has happened. I don’t know who is involved or what perpetrated it. On second thoughts, those are not important. That it happened is what is most important.
Even as my pen tries to catch on to the next word I am still not convinced or don’t want to be convinced of this horrible calamity that has befallen on us by us. It seems like a dark cloud has hidden the sun from us and all of us now reel in the darkness, helpless and not knowing where to place our next step or what the next step will bring about.
I try to convince myself that this is not true but for how long can I deny reality, for how long can we all deny it… we’ve been doing it since the time we learned to differentiate who an Angami, an Ao, a Chang or a Chakhesang was.
There are only questions that inhabit my mind now. It chokes. Is this the legacy you leave your children? Is this how, when you leave this world, your future generation is going to find this place? Are the children of tomorrow to be born right into the battle field??
Nagas, rather that’s redundant now. Who are we now if we cannot identify ourselves in unity under that banner? We take pride over the fact that we descended from the same ancestor both on the religious level as well as historically. We call ourselves NAGA brothers, but this is not what brothers do. We talk of peace. We search frantically for it. But it’s grown more elusive over the years. Before the old wounds can be healed, new ones are inflicted.
Many may dismiss me as an ignorant, politically illiterate adolescent. And that I am. I do not write to invoke political explanations. All I know and all I am concerned is, “where is the human in us?”
What has happened?
Why has it happened?
Today it may be between them, tomorrow it might be between us.
Don’t let insanity take over our whole race lest we perish at each others hands.
peteyiese@gmail.com“>peteyiese@gmail.com
New Delhi
DCC chiefs slam DAN’s ‘incompetence’ The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 24 (MExN): Taking strong cognizance of the April 22 incident, the presidents of all the District Congress Committees in a meeting April 24 at Congress Bhavan, Kohima, slammed the DAN-Government for failing to control the situation and restore normalcy “thereby creating fear psychosis in the minds of the people and threatening the peaceful coexistence.”
“The Congress Party has been insisting that law and order is a State subject but the DAN Government has been shifting the responsibility that law and order is a political problem” stated the Congress in a release issued by Wokha unit president KR Murry. “It is not surprising that the district administration vested with enormous powers to tackle law and order situation has failed to act in the recent incident and allowed it to go out of control” it stated.
There is complete break down of law and order situation in the State after DAN-Government took over and they do not have any moral right to claim they are running “people’s Government” and “people are the best judge” to their achievements, the Congress maintained adding that under the DAN, innocent people are now victims of killing, extortion, kidnapping, which have become a daily affair.
The DCC presidents also appealed to both the affected parties to restrain themselves from further escalating the situation.
South Assam rebels join hands OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Silchar, April 24: An unlikely alliance could signal the emergence of a new subversive force in the south Assam insurgency scene. Two militant outfits — the United Democratic Liberation Army and the Pancharam Reang-led faction of the United Liberation Front of Barak Valley — active along the Assam-Mizoram border in Hailakandi district for the past few years, decided last week to join hands and wage a joint offensive.
Sources in the Central Reserve Police Force, which has been deployed in the disturbed district to quell sporadic militant activity, said the alliance between the two rebel groups was an attempt to add teeth to their offensives. The force has alerted the state police in the wake of the development. The terms of unification indicate that the United Democratic Liberation Army will shed its identity and merge into the better organised and stronger United Liberation Front of Barak Valley’s Pancharam Reang faction.
The other faction of the United Liberation Front of Barak Valley, led by Parameshwar Reang, is lying low at the moment, CRPF sources said. They said the force apprehends a surge in militant activities in the form of renewed extortion and abduction attempts, and attacks on security and government establishments. The headquarters of the unified group is suspected to be tucked away in the inaccessible and thickly forested Kalapahar on Hailakandi’s border with Mizoram. From this enclave, the armed cadre are fanning out into Gutguti, Riflemara, Tiapunji and Nandagram to collect “taxes”. The rebels, who have been demanding local-level autonomy and more financial grants for their areas, do not possess much modern arsenal.
They mostly collect arms on payment from local gun-runners as well as from the Dima Halam Daogah’s Dilip Nunisa faction and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah).
According to intelligence inputs obtained by the CRPF, its quick response teams are on round-the-clock alert to foil any subversive attempt by the unified outfits. The United Liberation Front of Barak Valley, floated six years ago, reportedly intends to expand its reach into two other districts of south Assam — Cachar and Karimganj.
The group comprises 80-odd full-time cadre, who have mostly been drawn from the impoverished Reang tribe. Reangs also make up the majority in the United Democratic Liberation Army, which has some Bengali Muslims in its ranks as well.
Burmese General “shopping for weapons” in India Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)
– A senior Burmese Army General met the Indian Army brass in New Delhi on Monday for parleys regarding sale of military hardware to Burma, according to a report in an Indian daily.
According to The Indian Express, an English daily newspaper, the Burmese junta’s quartermaster general, Thiha Thura Lt-Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, who oversees all military supplies to Burma’s armed forces, met his Indian counterpart Lt-Gen Sudhir Sharma and Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt-Gen Deepak Kapoor.
Tin Aung Myint Oo, reportedly requested for more supplies of infantry weapons and ammunition in return for Burma ‘s help in flushing out Indian insurgents holed up along the 1,600 km porous Indo-Burma border.
The report said, the Burmese general’s “shopping list” included, “small arms like assault rifles, light machine guns and side arms.”
However, the Indian Defence establishment was not immediately available for comment on the visit of the Burmese leader.
India’s External Affairs Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Burma in January assured supplies of military hardware and training to Burma’s armed forces. And the deal was cemented during the visit by the Burmese naval chief Vice Admiral Soe Thein to India in early April.
Since the late 1990s, India has increasingly engaged the Burmese junta in bilateral trade and sale of armament. The upswing in bilateral relationship between the two countries began with the visits of Burmese junta head, Senior General Than Shwe and Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam’s reciprocal visit to Burma.
Following the visit by India’s Navy Chief, Admiral Arun Prakash in January, India supplied two BN-2 ‘Defender’ Islander maritime surveillance aircraft and air-defence guns to Burma.
India while supplying military hardware to Burma in return has demanded the cooperation of the Burmese Army in flushing out its Northeastern insurgents reportedly based in Burma.
Indian insurgents including the United Nationalist Liberation Front (UNLF), the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the National Socialist Council of Nagalim – Khaplang faction (NSCN-K) and the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), are said to be operating from the jungles of western Burma.
MANITRON officials released even as UNLF allege irregularities The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Apr 24: The four officials of the Manipur Electronics Corporation Ltd, including its general manager, who went missing since April 6 were released unharmed by the underground United National Liberation Front, UNLF today, but the outfit has raised serious allegations of massive irregularities and corruption in the corporation.

Briefing media persons somewhere in Churachandpur district today, a spokesperson of the UNLF`s Central Special Force claimed to have discovered huge misappropriation of funds in the supply of video projection systems to 15 government schools by Manitron, apart from several other instances of thievery on the part of concerned ministers, MLAs and officials.

According to the spokesperson, Manitron was supposed to supply one Sony video projection system (home theatre systems) each to three high schools and 12 higher secondary schools of the state. The actual items supplied, however were ordinary television sets, costing less than a tenth of the amount.

Apart from this, the cost of the items were grossly inflated in the bill, by means of which a huge amount of around Rs. 40 lakhs was siphoned off.

The spokesperson informed that the items to be supplied were specified as complete home theatre sets, including 157 cm monitor, at a cost of Rs. 1,68,260 per set. However, only 52 cm television sets costing Rs 13,000 were supplied.

As per the UNLF spokesperson, the cost of the theatre set along with a 2 kva servo stabilizer came to Rs 1,76,760, but in the proforma bill, this price was inflated to Rs. 2,76,760. The actual total cost, however was just Rs 21,500.

Apart from this, in the proforma bill, a sum of Rs 33,211 each was quoted as 12 per cent sales tax (on the Rs. 2,76,760 quoted price), and Rs 8303 as octroi duty.

The spokesperson informed that other than Jiribam higher secondary school, other schools had not yet been supplied the items. However, the items procured for supply have been seized and are in in the custody of the unlf, the spokesman said.

He also said misappropriation of funds were discovered in the supply of computers and accessories to the State Council of Education Research and Training in the year 2006.

He informed that the SCERT had paid Rs 20,80,060, but only Rs. 12,80,060 worth of items were actually supplied, that too inferior items, which were below specification.

He said out of the money paid by the SCERT, an amount of Rs. 6 lakhs was paid to one Profullo, mpp candidate from Wangkhei Assembly constituency in the last elections for unspecified reasons, while Rs. 2 lakhs was misappropriated by the MANITRON officials.

In addition to this, the spokesperson charged that out of Rs 1,80,46,365 sanctioned as additional central assistance for supply of computer sets, furniture, 4 kva diesel generator sets, projector, audio system, TV, air-conditioning with power distribution, and internet connection for 15 schools of the state, the MANITRON chairman, Bijoy Koijam misappropriated 15 percent, amounting to Rs. 30,00,000.

Again, out of Rs 3,02,75,521 awarded by the 11th finance commission, for setting up EFC school computer training centres at three schools in each district of the state under the science and technology department, Bijoy Koijam had siphoned off, 20 per cent or around Rs 60,00, 000, he charged.

The spokesperson informed that MANITRON general manager, Th Saratkmar and the other officials namely Th Santosh Luwang, K Bijoykumar and L Dorendro, had been summoned as part of its investigations, and disclosed that they would be handed over to their respective families.

He also accused the state ministers and mlas of using departmental staff as their tools for siphoning off huge amounts of funds meant for development.

He said the While stating that the central special force has been close watch on education and health related activities, he said its investigations into such cases of excessive corruption in contract works of government departments, and action taken against the wrongdoers.

All departments would be investigated in association with fraternal organisations, he informed.

The spokesperson also informed that another case of misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs. 1,77,778 for supply of scientific equipment to the SCERT has been detected. The items were never supplied, but the amount stolen by means of akash bills, he stated.

In the related documentation, Sharma Brothers, Paona Bazar, was named as the suppliers. On the other hand, the bill was dated April 27, 2006, while the supply order was given by the director, SCERT only on June 22, 2006, he said, adding that it has been confirmed that some persons had siphoned off the amount through akash bills.

Cong to strive for peace, devp in Karbi Anglong: Ingti
From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
DIPHU, April 23 – “The Congress party will do its level best to bring economic development and in this direction National Rural Guarantee Act (NREGA) is doing commendable job by providing job opportunities to each and every household members”. Addressing a mammoth gathering of Bithung Rengthama Mondal Congress-I Committee (MCC) workers’ rally at Tumpreng LP School playground on April 20, Biren Singh Ingti, Member of Parliament (MP), said this as the chief guest.

Ingti further said that during the last five years of the Congress rule, the government could not do sufficient development works because of several constraints which we are committed to do now. “The Congress will do all possible work, irrespective of caste, creed, religion to bring peace, prosperity and development of the people of Karbi Anglong,” he added.

The workers’ rally organised by Bithung Rengthama MCC(I) was attended by several dignitaries of Bithung Rengthama MCA constituency apart from Dr Mansing Rongpi, MLA, Baithalangsu, Joyran Engleng, chairman Karbi Anglon Autonomous Council (KAAC), Sing Toron, Mongol Sing Timung, Prodip Rongpi, and D Uphing Maslai, executive members (EMS) of KAAC.

In this rally under the leadership of Tuliram Ronghang, president, Bithung Rengthama MCC(I), 732 workers of different political parties like BJP, ASDC, CPI(ML) and independents joined the INC.

Joyram Englang, chairman, KAAC, in his speech said that “due to lack of leadership, the workers of different political parties have joined the INC with a hope that the Congress will bring peace and development in the district.”

Dr Mansing Rongpi, MLA, said that organisation is a mediater between government and people and if the organisation is strong, the Government becomes stronger and the INC as an organisation is doing commendable job as a result of which 732 workers of different political parties joined the party, Rongpi added.

Tuliram Ronghang, president, Bithung Rengthama MCC(I) in his presidential speech lambasting the ASDC and CPI(ML), said that the misrule and treacherous attitude of the ASDC and CPI(ML) leaders to their loyalists in particular and people as a whole of this hill district, has forced them to join INC.

The chaotic rule of ASDC and CPI(ML) is over and the two political organisations resemble oar-less boat due to absence of their leadership,” Ronghang added.

“The Congress party is committed to bring peace and development which will speak for them,” Tuliram said.

The Bithung Rengthama MCC(I) also submitted a memorandum to Birensing Ingti, MP, placing several demands for the development of Bithung Rengthama MAC constituency.
Indo-Myanmar biannual liaison meeting Nagaland Post
DIMAPUR: An eighteen member Myanmar Army delegation led by Brig Gen Tin Maung Ohn has visited Headquarter 3 Corps, Rangapahar. During the meeting with Indian Army delegation headed by Maj Gen Mahavir Singh, Chief of Staff, 3 Corps, various issues were discussed including cross border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management.
A release issued by Captain Ruchika Sharma, OIC Media Cell stated that the states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh shared an international border with Myanmar and the deep jungles of the neighbouring country are being used by various undergrounds outfits as hideout. The liaison meeting is held twice a year to review and further strengthen the friendly relations and discussion on issues of mutual interest between the two armies. The next meeting between the two sides will be held in Myanmar.

Frans on 04.25.07 @ 02:41 PM CST [link]

Tuesday, April 24th

Blame game over arson. Centre chides rebel factions for clashes in Dimapur Kuknalim.com

Blame game over arson. Centre chides rebel factions for clashes in Dimapur
Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA/NEW DELHI, April 23The blame game over yesterday’s arson in Dimapur began with the NSCN (I-M) putting the onus on “vested interests” and the Centre pulling up both factions for not behaving properly. Sumi youths went on a rampage yesterday in Dimapur’s Tangkhul Naga Colony in Purana Bazar in retaliation to the torture of three youths allegedly by NSCN (I-M) activists. Some of the top NSCN (I-M) leaders live in the colony.
Dimapur district administration today clamped Section 144 CrPC to prevent further trouble.

NSCN (I-M) leader Kraibo Chawang told The Telegraph over phone that the Dimapur incident was manipulated by vested interests. He said the Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim was looking into the incident. The NSCN (Khaplang) has also condemned the incident and requested the people to exercise restraint. Kughalu Mulatonu, a senior leader of the outfit, said the arson in Dimapur should not have happened and expressed solidarity with the affected families.
However, the Centre, expressing concern at the communal flare-up, believes that the incident is a fallout of simmering anger among the people over ill-treatment by rebel groups. Some unsavoury incidents in the recent past involving the NSCN (I-M) are said to have contributed to the arson on Sunday. New Delhi believes the incident was a fallout of people’s reaction to the excesses by the NSCN. “We blame both factions.”
Nagaland home minister Thenucho, along with senior officers, today visited the displaced families at Chumukedima near Dimapur and the colony at Purana Bazar. Sumi and Tangkhul Nagas are a majority in the NSCN (Khaplang) and the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) respectively and with Sunday’s incident, the NSCN (I-M) apparently stands to lose ground if tension is not stemmed. Neither police nor paramilitary forces deployed in the region were able to curb the arson where more than 30 houses were torched in Tangkhul Naga Colony. Nor could they prevent rebels from moving around the town with arms.

“We have observed that the state police did not act either in Dimapur or in Zunheboto recently,” said a home ministry official.

Assam Rifles personnel, too, were allegedly watching the clashes in silence, saying they were there only for “environmental security”. However, enforcing ceasefire ground rules squarely lies on the Assam Rifles as the paramilitary force’s inspector-general is convenor of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group and the Ceasefire Supervisory Board. (Telegraph)

NGOs take peace pledge Nagarealm.com
Dimapur, April23 [NPN] : A special emergency meeting of the Dimapur district administration with NGOs including Naga Council, Western Sumi Hoho, Tangkhul Hoho, Dimapur; and Western Sumi Kukami Hoho, held at the official residence of DC Dimapur here on Monday resolved that all parties involved or affected by Sunday’s incident of arson at Wungram Colony would maintain peace and not allow the situation to aggravate further.

A joint resolution signed by DC Dimapur, KN Ngullie; Tangkhul Hoho, Dimapur president, John; Western Sumi Kukami Hoho president, Zalipu Sumi; Western Sumi Hoho president, Hokiye Sumi; and Naga Council president Savi Liegise said the members resolved to stand by the resolution in the interest of public peace and harmony. Further, the members resolved that efforts would be made for collecting relief from well-wishers in order to meet the immediate needs of the affected and displaced victims.

The meeting, convened by the DC, was also attended by Naga Hoho Speaker HK Zhimomi, women leaders Hukali and Mrs. Tiala Sapuh and also parliamentary secretary Hewoto Awomi.

AWO, AYO flay NSCN (I-M) Nagarealm.com

KOHIMA, APRIL23 [NPN] : The Angami Youth Organization (AYO) and Angami Women Organisastion (AWO) have condemned the recent “barbaric and inhuman treatment” meted out to three Angami youths by some NSCN (I-M) men led by one ‘Maj’ Meidi Tangkhul, which resulted in the death of Vilasielie of Razhape village and grievous injury to Pelesavi and Meguzetuo.

AYO in a press release said the quarrel which took place at Seluophe village on April 15 between some inebriated Angami youths and another Mao youth was a matter that could have been settled by the village authorities. However, Vaprahü Chakhesang and Adahrhü, Mao, secretary of Seluophe Village Council and president of Seluophe Youth Organization respectively, reported the matter to the NSCN (I-M) requesting the latter to “intervene and disciple the erring youths,” the release said.

“The initiative of the two village leaders resulted in the NSCN (I-M) apprehending the youth, beating and torturing them which led to the loss of one life and maiming two others,” the release added. While saying it would not remain a “mute and deaf spectator to atrocities, torture and killing of innocent public by national workers,” In a separate press release, AWO general secretary Thepfülhukhono Peseyie and vice president Kevileno Luho expressed anger and anguish over the April 16 incident involving NSCN (I-M). “We strongly condemn the act of Commander Major Meide Tangkhul and his other colleague responsible for the brutal killing of Vilasielie and torturing of Menguzetuo and Pelesavi,” AWO said.

The women organization conveyed condolences to the bereaved family members and prayed for early recovery of the injured. Both AYO and AWO also extended full support and co-operation to the demand of the Chakhroma Public Organization from the authorities of the NSCN (I-M).

Congress calls for imposition of ‘Presidential Rule’ in Nagaland By Oken Jeet Sandham – Asian Tribune –
Kohima, 24 April (NEPS): The Leader of the Opposition I Imkong has demanded today imposition of the President’s Rule in Nagaland following the total breakdown of law and order situation in the State. Talking to media persons here in his official residence on Monday, the Leader of Opposition lambasted the DAN government in the state for its complete inaction when the violence erupted in Wungrum Colony in the heart of Dimapur throughout the entire day on Sunday. Over two dozen houses were razed to the ground while dozens of houses destroyed during the mob rampage.
Leader of Opposition I Imkong addressing the press at his official residence in Kohima on Monday. Also seen is KV Pusa, MLA
Terming the incident as “very unfortunate,” Imkong said had the government tried to intervene timely, the violence in Wungrum Colony in Dimapur would not have reached such devastating proportions. “That is why we made a wake-up call to the government to maintain law and order,” he stated.
The Leader of the Opposition also said this DAN Government had the notorious track record of claiming that all factional killings that had taken place in the state were not law and order in nature. Although such incidents were very much a law and order problem, he said the incident in Wungrum Colony in Dimapur on Sunday had no relation whatsoever with the factions. “That was why we are demanding imposition of President’s Rule in the State,” he asserted and said “This is a total breakdown of law and order in the State.” – Asian Tribune –
April 22 mayhem unfortunate and ugly – Rio The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 23 (MExN): Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today termed as “most unfortunate” the incident which took place yesterday at Purana Bazar, Dimapur, where properties were destroyed by a mob that went on a rampage. “I regret to mention about the ugly incident which took place yesterday at Purana Bazar, Dimapur, wherein properties were destroyed and damaged in acts of vandalism which was most unfortunate,” Rio said while addressing the state consultation programme as part of YES campaign in Kohima today. There is no place for such acts of violence and vandalism in a civilized world, and such unwarranted and barbaric acts of violence must be condemned, Rio said. From time immemorial the Naga customary law was capable of resolving any conflict or dispute amicably, even to the extent of a murder cases, the Chief Minister reminded and appealed to all concerned to restrain all acts of violence and resolve differences through “our rich traditional customary institution.” “We must let good sense and reason prevail and preserve to co-exist and live in harmony as a people,” Rio added. Nagaland Home Minister Thenucho today also expressed regret at the whole incident that unfolded on ‘Fiery Sunday’ and at the same time expressed his gratefulness to the various NGOs and individuals who attempted to bring the situation under control. Thenucho, in Dimapur to assess the situation, expressed pain at the sufferings of the people especially the women and children. Also regretting the damage to properties he said that though materials may be destroyed ‘the future still remains.’ The minister appealed, at a meeting in Chumukedima, to the people to step forward and help the affected people. Also expressing their sorrow over the Sunday incident, independent Naga MLAs in Manipur today sat down to discuss the matter. After the meeting the MLAs appealed to all the “Naga brothers and sisters irrespective of their tribes” to refrain from such violence in order to maintain peaceful co-existence among the Naga brothers”. Sharing in the pain of the aggrieved, the MLAs further appealed all the Naga civil societies, Naga mothers, churches and the Naga general public to come forward and start working for maintaining a harmonious society. Mention may be made here that humanitarian aid came swiftly from the Catholic Church. Civil society from various communities, also commenced providing relief sooner did the situation began calming down. (With inputs from Newmai News Network)
Violence subsides but tension high in Dimapur The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Apr 23: Restrictions on the assembly of four or more people has been imposed under Section 144 CrPC in Dimapur town while the district administration held several rounds of discussion with the leaders of Tangkhul and Sumi communities to bring normalcy in the trouble prone two villages and its surroundings.

The DC, Dimapur has issued prohibitory orders in Dimapur and security forces are being kept on the alert round the clock in Diphupar village area and Purana Bazar (Wungram Colony) under Dimapur east police station in order to prevent further escalation of violence and to maintain peace and protect the life and properties in the said two areas, a report from Dimapur said today.

No further untoward incidents were reported today even though a tense atmosphere prevailed, the report said adding that police, CRPF, IRB and army have been deployed round the clock in the surroundings of the two villages. Security forces conducted frequent flag marches in the areas pointed out to be sensitive areas by the district administration, the report added.
Meanwhile, church authorities in Dimapur are providing relief for the more than 250 odd residents of Wungram, mostly women and children who were evacuated to NAP Training Centre in Chumukedima. Reports recalling the eruption of violence said that the assault on an auto driver belonging to the Sumi community on Saturday, allegedly by some members of the Tangkhul community, near Purana Bazar was the flash point for the outbreak that led to the burning down of several houses including at least 25 RCC buildings in Wungram colony. Other houses were mostly thatched houses and several lakhs rupees worth properties including eight vehicles were damaged in the violence.

Wungram colony in Purana Bazar within Dimapur town is mostly inhabited by top ranking NSCN(IM) functionaries belonging to the Tangkhul community. Among top ranking NSCN(IM) functionaries residing in the colony are the outfit`s army chief Hangshi, convenor Steering Committee Rh.Raising, Khayao Huray and several others whose houses were destroyed by the mob, which the police assisted by Assam Rifles found hard to control.

The orgy of violence which erupted since Sunday continued for around seven hours and the mob also reportedly recovered and destroyed two AK-47 rifles, one shot gun along with some live ammunition found in one of the houses. A box containing a large number of live grenades was also recovered from the house of a church functionary and was later destroyed by the irate mob. A report disclosed that there were around 63 live grenades in the box. Another report said that the violence erupted owing to the assault on one Abobi, 20, son of Ikisha of Purana Bazar, Dimapur.

The victim alleged he was assaulted by three Tangkhul youths when he disclosed to them that he was a Sumi. The outrage of the Sumis was further intensified when the assailants allegedly told him that “Sumis are Khaplangs,” the report went on to say.
Sunday`s incident reminds one of a similar situation in 2005 when irate members of the Sumi community prepared to storm Wungram colony following the brutal killings of two Sumi youths, allegedly by NSCN(IM) members belonging to the Tangkhul community.

However, violence at this scale did not occur at that time.

Newmai News Network adds from Dimapur: In a positive development with regard to Sunday`s violent incident in Dimapur, civil organisations from the Tangkhul and the Sema communities today held a joint meeting in Dimapur. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the Dimapur district administration. The meeting resolved that they will urge the Nagaland government to address the plights of the affected people. Security forces personnel were still deployed in Wungram Colony even as an uneasy calm prevailed today. CRPF, IRB and police personnel were heavily deployed. Nagaland home minister Thenucho, state additional chief secretary TN Mannen, Nagaland DGP J Changkija visited Wungram Colony today.

Meanwhile, more detailed reports have come in today with regard to Sunday`s violent incident at Wungram Colony. It has been confirmed today that altogether 39 houses were burnt while nineteen vehicles (all four wheelers) and a scooter were consumed by the fire on Sunday. It has also been said that properties worth crores of rupees had been destroyed by the fire. About Rs 2 lakh in cash was also burnt in the incident, according to reports.

Meanwhile, about 300 people mostly children and women folks were still sheltering at Chumekedima police complex near Dimapur today. They had been brought there yesterday. Meanwhile, expressing their shocks and sorrows over the Sunday incident of Wungram Colony in Dimapur, the independent Naga MLAs in Manipur today sat down in a place in Imphal to discuss the matter, according to MLA N Awangbow. After the meeting the independent Naga MLAs appealed to all the “Naga brothers and sisters irrespective of their tribes to refrain from such violence in order to maintain peaceful co-existence among the Naga brothers”.

The Naga independent MLAs in the Manipur Legislative Assembly further appealed to all the Naga civil societies, Naga mothers, churches and the Naga general public to come forward and start working for maintaining a harmonious society. Terming the April 22 Wungram Colony incident as a tragic and unfortunate, the Naga independent MLAs shared the pains and suffering of those affected people who are being put up at the “designated shelter” in Dimapur.

NSCN(K) denies surrender report The Imphal Free Press

imphal, apr 23: The underground nscn(k) has categorically denied that any of its cadres belonging to the Zeliangrong region had surrendered to the nscn(im) during the last few days.

Reacting to news reports in this connection carried in some sections of the media that five nscn(k) cadres along with six members of the NNC held by a brigadier had surrendered to the NSCN(IM) with large quantities of arms and ammunition, the information and publicity in-charge, Nscn(K), said in a press conference this afternoon that the reports were totally baseless. The spokesman said the nscn(k) Zeliangrong region has investigated the report immediately today and confirmed that there was no such incident of surrender of their cadres to the nscn(im) yesterday or in the last few days. The spokesman further said the nscn(im) by informing concocted stories to newspapers was attempting to tarnish the dignity of the nscn(k). This clearly shows that the nscn(IM) is violating the ethics of journalism, he said and blasted the nscn(IM) for using newspapers as their weapons. Such unfortunate activities must stop, the spokesman said.
He said in fact the nscn(im) was in a poor position now as, owing to its blunder as to its final destination, the general Naga public have realised its failure in every sphere and hence have started non-cooperation against the nscn(im) now. At such a juncture, it is impossible for nscn(k) cadres to surrender to the NSCN(IM), he declared. He added that the people of the region would be the witness as to the truth behind the NSCN(IM)`s claims. He also said it would be better if some Naga ngos do investigation over the claims of the nscn(im), so that confusion in the minds of the people is removed.
Further the spokesman also appealed to the media to carry reports only after full confirmation from the authorities concerned, or from the spot to avoid public confusion and doubt.

Congress optimistic of landslide victory in coming election North East Press Service
Kohima, Apr 23 (NEPS): The Congress today expressed confidence that they would win the ensuing crucial Nagaland general elections by a landslide victory and were optimistic they would form the next Congress government in the state.
Speaking to the press here at his official residence on Monday, Leader of Opposition I Imkong said they expected to win 40 to 45 seats in the coming elections and further disclosed that they would field candidates in all the 60 constituencies in the state. Asked what would be the Congress’ slogan in the ensuing election in the state, Imkong said a draft committee for the election manifesto has already been formed and that it would be out next month.

Asked if he foresaw any violence in the coming general elections in the State, Imkong expressed trust on the Election Commission that the latter would provide sufficient security at the time of election. “We hope there would be a free and fair election,” he said and added “Of course, the coming election would not be like the last one.” He also disclosed that the Congress would not have any pre-poll alliance in the coming election in the state.
Naga civil society pained by Fiery Sunday storm The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 23 (MExN): A mournful Naga civil society today gathered in pained contemplation, shame, shock and regret over the April 22 mayhem. The meeting held this afternoon at NAP complex Chumukedima, saw representatives of frontline Naga civil society including the Naga Hoho, express vehement condemnation, appeal for restoration of a wounded Naga pride and regret. In the midst of the shock and grief, one message cried out: “We are one people, let brotherhood and good Christian sense prevail”.
A Western Sumi Hoho representative during the meeting said that they came to express their sadness and pain. Representatives from the Western Sumi GBs Association, Sumi Hoho and others were also in attendance. Home Minister Thenucho (along with senior state officials) also addressed the meeting. “Mon duk laga kotha kobole ahise. Bishi mon duk ase,” (We came here to share you words of sadness; our hearts are pained” said the representative. It was added that efforts are on to normalize the situation. A Naga Hoho representative said, “We should not allow this kind of situation to happen again” and asked the district administration and the Home Minister to take care of the affected people. A Western Sumi GB Hoho representative also said that they are cooperating with the district administration and appealed the people not to think in terms of tribe or on tribal lines. He said that they would help the affected community and also expressed regret and pain over the whole incident. Sumi representatives also said that the incident was a shock and out of the blue, so unimaginable that such happened.
Speaking at the meeting Chakhroma Public Organization president T Shuya cautioned that such upheavals as the ‘Fiery Sunday’ would not fade without serious repercussions. “Each and every Naga should refine ourselves and we Nagas being Christians, we should be rational for tomorrow will always have repercussions” he reminded reflecting the minds of the gathered leaders. He also called against communalizing the issue, for, today ‘it is a particular community’ tomorrow ‘it would be another’ that will fall prey to tribal madness. The Nagaland Peace Centre also expressed its sadness and pain about the mob incident. NPC Executive Director, Lhusi Haralu and Chairman, N Theyo, while expressing sadness and pain over the incident, termed the whole incident as ‘unfortunate’ and added that ‘those who have lost their homes which they toiled for lifetime to build, lost it in no time’.
The executive in a press note expressed its gratefulness to the NGOs, individuals and the church leaders who risked their lives to rescue the children and women to safety. The Nagaland Peace Centre condemned such acts of violence as that took place on the fateful April 22 Sunday and prayed to Almighty God for peace so that recurrence of such tragedy could be avoided in future. The NPC also prayed to God for peaceful relationship to prevail among the citizens.
A public appeal In a related matter a meeting held today, 3:00pm at Dimapur DC’s residence appealed to all affected parties to maintain peace and not aggravate the issue any further. The meeting, attended by the Naga Council, Western Sumi Hoho, Western Sumi Kukami Hoho and the Tangkhul Union while affirming to stand by the resolution, also resolve to organize relief efforts to meet the immediate needs of the affected/displace people. The DC also, in a note, appealed to the public, leaders and organizations, the church and business sections, to contribute/donate relief aid either in terms of cash or materials to the affected. The Naga Council and the Naga Women Hoho, Dimapur are authorized to approach individuals and organizations for the donations, an appeal from the DC stated.
Congress demands PR; resignation of Rio, Thenucho Morung Express News
Kohima Opposition Congress today, referring to yesterday’s incident at Dimapur, demanded resignation of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and the Home minister, Thenucho, and imposition of President’s Rule in the state on account of “total breakdown of law and order in the state.”
Talking to media persons at his official residence today, Opposition leader, I. Imkong, along with other senior Congress leaders, however, said it would await the return of Nagaland Governor K. Sankaranarayanan to submit a formal demand to the latter for imposition of President’s Rule in the state. Imkong insisted that the Chief Minister and Home Minister should resign as yesterday’s incident has justified that there is total breakdown of law and order. “This is a law and order issue and it can never be called a political problem”, Opposition leader said.
Describing yesterday’s incident as most unfortunate, he said it was ‘very disappointing’ that the state government’s machineries were just watching the lawlessness taking place. He also demanded that the government wake up and stop the lawlessness in the state.
Meanwhile, Imkong also disclosed that an eight-member Congress delegation had taken its demand for a CBI inquiry into the Transport Subsidy scam…

…and a Vigilance Commission probe into the Saijang construction scam to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi when they met them last week at New Delhi. The delegation also met Oscar Fernandez and Mani Shankar Aiyer. He said the high command has given a positive response and he expressed hopes of an early inquiry. The delegation also apprised the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi about the law and order situation in the state. The party high command has also assured that the situation in the state would improve after the change of chairman of Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG). On being asked about the party preparation for the forthcoming elections, Imkong informed that the party would be contesting in all the 60 constituencies and that selection of candidates is already under process.
“We are prepared to go for election any time from now, “said Imkong. Maintaining that Congress will form the next government, he said the party would be satisfied with winning 40 seats. On being asked about the main slogan of the party, Imkong said that it will be drafting the manifesto and the same will be completed by May. A drafting committee has already been appointed, said MLA Congress Takamasa. Imkong was also hopeful that the Election Commission will provide enough force in ensuring free and fair election.
‘More to Wungram storm than youthful tiff’ Morung Express News
Dimapur, April 23 (MExN): Sources involved in the April 22 Wungram incident, today disclosed that there was more to the whole tumult than the beating up of a local auto driver which they claimed was merely the immediate cause of the whole matter taking a violent turn.
The source who did not want to be named stated that the situation had been festering for some time now with the residents of Wungram colony harassing the general public especially the people of Purana Bazaar, who were their immediate neighbors. The source informed that the road leading to the Wungram would be blocked after 6 pm by the residents and anyone entering it would put through heavy checking and thus regulating movement within the area. In this regard the residents of Purana Bazaar had served residents of a particular community in Wungram colony with a memorandum to vacate the area within seven days.
It was revealed that the several meetings and discussions held by the administration and the various NGOs have failed to address the real issue and bring about reconciliation between the two parties involved. There seemed to be a lack of specific strategies and steps to bring about a long-term solution to what can be termed a serious threat to peaceful co-existence which seemed to be far from over. Taking note of the volatile situation, one member of an NGO said that though the situation was under control at the moment, the numerous interest and different views involved in the situation prevented anyone from giving any assurance of the future.
In an effort to seriously review and deflate the prevailing tense situation, the Western Sumi Hoho will be meeting with the Purana Bazaar public today and a GB of the colony said that they would abide by the decision taken by the Hoho in tomorrow’s meeting.
AYO warns against atrocities on innocent public The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 23 (MExN): Vehemently condemning the ‘barbaric and inhuman’ treatment perpetrated on three Angami youths by one NSCN-IM “Major” Meiti and his cadres on April 17, Dimapur, the Angami Youth Organization has strongly cautioned the “national workers” that it would no longer remain a silent spectator in the event of atrocities, torture and killings of innocent public. A release from its president Kezhaser Angami and general secretary Seyiekhrielie Nagi stated that the April 17 incident was an anti-climax of a petty quarrel resulting in the death of one Vilasielie of Razhaphe Village while his two friends Pelesevi (from Razhaphe) and Menquzetuo (from Seluophe) were severely assaulted. “The quarrel which took place at Seluophe Village on April 15 between some inebriated youths and another person, was a matter that would have been easily settled by village authorities.
However, the secretary of Seluophe Village Council and the president of Seluophe Youth Organization respectively, reported the matter to the NSCN (IM) requesting them to intervene and discipline the erring youth. The “initiative” of the two village leaders resulted in the NSCN (IM) apprehending the youths, beating and torturing them which led to the loss of a life and maiming two others, the AYO stated. “The Angami Youth Organization will not remain a mute spectator to atrocities, torture and killing of innocent public by national workers. The AYO firmly stands by the demand of the Chakro Public Organization from the authorities of the NSCN (IM) and extends its fullest support and co-operation in demand for justice” it added.
Where do we go? Editorial the Morung Express
We live in a time where insanity has become the ruling norm. Though there is an air of complacency and indifference, it will be fair to say that people are tired and quite fed up with the direction that Naga society is headed. The rich get richer while the poor, poorer; there is lack of democratic accountability, complete absence of self-governance and hence good governance does not figure in and the ongoing political conflict, which is taking its toll on people. Then there are the every day headaches of having to face power shortages, corruption at every level of society and the tragic consequences on human life caused by the political chasm which has so affected the patterns of relationship and understanding.
Where do we go? Or Where are we going? These are questions that keep burdening the heart, a heart that yearns to see Nagas live together in dignity, exercising their independence with confidence and respect for others. The heart is anxious because Nagas seem to be in a vicious cycle in which the principalities of what constitutes evil is causing the break down of society. By principalities of evil, it implies the everyday happenings such as suspicion, distrust, hate, jealousy, disrespect and so on. In a time where majority of the people are just so caught up with survival issues, while those leading seem to only care for themselves, we must seriously ponder, where are we going as a people?
Naga history is embedded with a rich legacy and yet the rich history in itself is not sufficient for the building of the future. It does help lay the foundation and it needs to do so in a way that will build an understanding, an understanding in which our future is guided by a value-based vision. Similarly, the histories of the different peoples that constitute the Naga nation is filled with stories of many ordinary men and women who strived for the well being of the people in extra-ordinary ways; and yet today, we do not see those men and women. Where are they? And where are we going?
The present generation of Nagas needs to start assessing and taking initiatives that involves a commitment to truth. It is time that we renounce the course of negativity and embraces the earnest and practice commitment of straight honest talk through dialogue. This process must keep at its center the greater public good and interest, which means ending the influence of narrow interest representing the powers that be. The dialogue should lead to the articulation of Naga values with an emphasis on a return to ethical values and willingness to question right from wrong as well as to act selflessly by giving up narrow self-interest. It implies transcending parochial institutions and civil religion with the view of getting truthful about the issues that affect our lives. Our self-realization calls for a conscious move away from the adversarial and conceited politics that needs to be replaced with a commitment for statesmanship, which at its core has the will to listen act upon the issues and aspirations of the people. If present Nagas are to have a future of hope, the responsibility lies on us not to just live quietly, but to actively pursue the values that will make us live!
Sankaranarayanan to attend celebration Special Correspondent The Hindu
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nagaland Governor K. Sankaranarayanan will visit the State to attend several functions from April 22 to 30.
He will also visit the Guruvayur temple. The Governor, who was a member of Kerala Assembly and Minister, is scheduled to attend the 50th anniversary of the Assembly on Friday.
The Governor attended the Santhi Mohotsavam of Prajapita Brahmakumaris Iswareeya Vidyalaya at Palakkad on Sunday. He will visit the Guruvayur temple on Monday and later attend a civic reception accorded to him in Palakkad. Mr. Sankaranarayanan will take part in the anniversary celebrations of N.J. Nair Trust at Palakkad on Tuesday. He will also inaugurate the Narayaneeya Mahotsavam at Thuravoor Mahadeva Temple, Cherthala. The Nagaland Governor will address the Navathi celebrations of the head of the Mar Thoma Church Philippose Mar Chrysostum at Thiruvalla on Wednesday. Mr. Sankaranarayanan will attend the 125th jayanthi celebrations of Brahmasree Shubhanandagurudeva Thiruvadikal at Cherukol, Mavelikara, on Thursday.
He will address the Calicut Chamber of Commerce on April 28 after a civic reception at the Aseervad auditorium. The next day, he will attend a reception to cooperator C.V. Ramachandran in Palakkad. Mr. Sankaranarayanan will leave for Mookambika temple on April 30 after attending a function at Jubilee Medical College, Thrissur.
Fresh fighting jeopardises ceasefire in Nagaland Times of India

KOHIMA: With renewed fighting among rival Naga underground factions fresh tension is once again mounting in the state with the people asking the government to actively intervene and urging the armed groups to vacate the populated areas. A fresh bout of internecine clashes has been reported from different parts of the state, resulting in not only casualties to cadre of both factions of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), but civilians too.
The state witnessed escalation of clashes during the past fortnight with reports of major clashes received from Zunheboto and Medziphema and skirmishes at Kohima and Dimapur, resulting in death of at least a dozen militants of both the NSCN group. However, each group accused the other of being responsible for the fighting and of receiving patronage from security forces.

The state government has expressed its limitation in direct intervention by police personnel, but claimed to have engaged NGOs and churches in pursuing the underground groups to stop fighting and adhere to the ceasefire ground rules.

Best of relations with northeast states: Gogoi Hindustan Times
Despite differences between the seven northeast states on the boundary issue they have “best of relations” with each other, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said. “We have differences and disputes over the boundary. But inspite of that we are moving as brothers,” he told reporters in Shillong on Monday night adding it would take time to find a solution to the problem.
“Nobody can say how long it will take … But we are trying to solve the dispute amicably,” he said. Assam has border disputes with Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland with most of them alleging that the bigger state was encroaching their territories. Except Meghalaya and Mizoram the other states have approached the apex court. Asked if he would take up the matter with his Meghalaya counterpart DD Lapang, Gogoi said discussions did take place and would be done again. “We involve local leaders and district councils… We are moving in the right direction.”
CORE expresses ‘profound concern’ on escalating violence Newmai News Network
Imphal The Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE), Manipur has expressed profound concern on the escalating violence among the “indigenous and tribal peoples in the Eastern Himalayan territories of India”.
Co-ordinator of the committee Kinderson Pamei and its convenor Bikram Lairenlakpam while issuing a statement to Newmai News Network said that the reported attack and torching of certain “colonies” belonging to one “indigenous community” by some groups on Sunday at Dimapur, Nagaland was one more unfortunate instance reflecting the conflict that is characterised by unrestrained public hostilities fueled by narrow political agendas of a leadership that seriously needs review by all of responsible civil societies in this region.
“It has been widely reported that though the incident was apparently ignited by the beating of an auto-taxi driver, it instantly transformed into a tragic communal reactionary fuel that has resulted in a state of terror, with over 200 families particularly the women and children being forced to flee and seek shelter, and the irrecoverable loss of homes and properties”, lamented the CORE, adding, “it is apparent that the mere beating of a taxi driver could not ignite a violent reaction that is so nakedly communal in character and in a completely insane proportion that we have witnessed in Dimapur unless there is more than merely meets the eye. What exactly triggered this response may be traced, without prejudice, to a long series of actions, allegations, positions, threats and instigatory or punitive exercises by various interest groups and/or individuals. Ever since the cease-fire between the Indian government and one of the factions of the Naga peoples’ armed opposition groups led to peace-talks, over the past decade, we have witnessed one consistent factor. That factor is that armed clashes and vendetta-like hostilities, including assassinations, kidnappings and other forms of physical violence between different armed groups and certain indigenous communities seems to remain a common character of this uneasy truce in Nagaland”.
The committee then said that during the recent months, a quit notice was served and re-served by a group against one indigenous community, leading to a great deal of public concern and debate including various calls for restraint and reconciliation. All these public voices seem to have not only fallen on deaf ears but the whisper propaganda campaigns and racially discriminatory public remarks have gone on unabated. CORE had made a public press release (dated 30 August 2006), in response to this most damaging trend we are seeing in our region, urging for peaceful reconciliation and co-existence, reminded the committee. CORE reiterates that every human being is entitled to a life of dignity. CORE also appeals for restraint from coercive activities to propagate one’s own narrow, even extreme, agenda and interest. We calls upon all right thinking people to come out of ghetto living, fortress mentality and to shoulder the responsibility of indigenous peoples collectively and to make a corrective measures to contain the racist and communal political agenda that has been introduced within our communities.
Flow of arms, drugs hitting NE hard Nagarealm.com
GUWAHATI, April22 : Unabated flow of arms and drugs have become a serious problem in the Northeast and that needs immediate attention from the concerned authorities. This was observed by Binalakshmi Nepram, an activist working to raise awareness on the Arms Trade Treaty on Sunday at a people’s consultation organized by Citizens Collective.
It may be mentioned here that last year, 153 member States of the United Nations General Assembly had reached a landmark decision by voting in favour of taking the first steps towards a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), to ensure comprehensive and effective regulation of international transfer of conventional arms. The States would be submitting their views to the UN Secretary General by April 30 on the feasibility, scope and parameters for a legally binding ATT.

Nepram said that the Northeast, which is home to over 220 tribes and various communities, was at present home to over 57 armed rebel groups, their activities making the region one of South Asia’s most disturbed areas. “ The proliferation and mushrooming of militant outfits in the region form a complex matrix,” opined Nepram, asserting that with no legal binding on controlling arms circulation, war weapons or small arms in common jargon, were in wide circulation across the globe and used by a cross section of insurgent groups in the Northeast.
Delving into the genesis of insurgency in the Northeast, Nepram maintained that from two armed groups about 50 years back that of the Nagas led by Angami Zaphu Phizo and the Manipuris, whose seminal seeds was sowed by Hijam Irabot Singh, followed by the Mizo insurgency in the 1960s to the United Liberation Front of Asom in the late 70’s, the insurgencies had a character of their own, as they all fought for secession. “ However the 1990s saw the ushering of a new phenomenon in the region and that was the taking up of arms by many other ethnic communities within the State boundaries demanding autonomy within the Indian Union,” observed Nepram, adding that more armed groups meant more small arms influx in the region.

Identifying the probable small arms route in the region, Nepram said that around 57 types of small arms were found to be in use whose origins were traced to countries like China, Pakistan, Belgium, Thailand, Russia, USA, UK, Bangladesh, Myanmar and of late Israel. “ What is happening in the Northeast is a cusp between guerrilla warfare, revolution and of late terrorism,” Nepram said. Earlier, welcoming the dignitaries, Dr Subhram Rajkhowa, said that if the world unitedly voiced for regulation of arms, the sorrows and trauma experienced by people on account of proliferation of small arms would be wiped away. Speaking on the occasion, Justice A.H Saikia of Gauhati High Court said that the ATT was the need of the hour, as it would give enormous strength to the movement for controlling arms race. [Assamtribune]
Three ULFA cadres shot dead in city By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 24: Three cadres of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) were killed in an encounter with a team of the Assam Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at the Adingagiri Kalishola hillock under Jalukbari police station along the Asom-Meghalaya border here around 1.30 am last night. According to sources, acting on a tip-off that a group of suspected militants were hiding in a makeshift camp on the hillock on the outskirts of the city for last 15 days, a police team went to raid the hideout last night.
The ULFA militants opened fire at the approaching policemen, and in the 30-minute-long gun battle that followed, three militants were killed on the spot. They have been identified as Udhav Deka alias Sanjeeb Kalita (Naokata, Goreswar), Parameswar Deka alias Mrigen Dutta and Ganesh Kalita alias Goutam Sarma (Nalbari). Police recovered an M-20 pistol, a grenade, five live cartridges, 500 grams of explosives, plastic jars and incriminating documents from the slain militants. A senior police official said that this group of militants could have been involved in the abduction of Executive Director of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) Dr PC Ram from the city on the night of April 17. The police also claimed that the abducted official was handed over to another group of militants hours after his kidnapping from the city. Police, however, claimed that the official was alive in the captivity of militants who demanded Rs 21 crore as ransom for his safe release. Meanwhile, the police have also recovered two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from Adabari area in the city this morning.
Army gets device to track servers sending ULFA e-mail Sentinel
DINJAN, April 24: The Army is contemplating on tracking the statements being sent by the ULFA via e-mail. Mentionably, the banned group has been sending statements, including its monthly newsletter Freedom, via e-mail to journalists. The Army is of the view that, if tracked, the server from which the mails are sent can be found. A senior Army official told The Sentinel at Dinjan Military Station here that the Internet protocol address and TCP setting can lead one to the senders. And the Army is also contemplating on using a sophisticated programme called ‘eraser’ for this purpose. Eraser is a secured data removal tool, which allows anyone to remove sensitive data from hard drive by overwriting it with carefully selected patterns. Now, the Army has such a programme with which they can easily find out the data deleted from hard drive even after format or reformat. The Army has planned to track destination of e-mails and then retrieve the data from a remote server. Meanwhile, after the ULFA lost several of its cadres in upper Asom in recent offensive by the Army, the outfit is facing severe financial crisis. People who were earlier worried about ULFA’s extortion papers, are now defying the rebel group’s diktat. The rebel group is now planning to hit the economy of the industry by bandhs, protests and agitation programmes. Top Army intelligence sources said that the banned group has directed some pro-ULFA groups to carry out this agitation. The source also pointed that the series of agitations called by the People’s Committee for Peace Initiative in Asom (PCPIA) is also a part of the ULFA design.

Frans on 04.24.07 @ 08:21 PM CST [link]

Monday, April 23rd

Anger over torture of tribal youths spawns arson in Dimapur Nagarealm.com

Anger over torture of tribal youths spawns arson in Dimapur Nagarealm.com

Kohima, April22 [TI] : After thriving on public support for long, the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) has suddenly found itself on the wrong side of people power. An outpouring of public outrage against the militant group’s alleged arm-twisting tactics today led to arson on the streets of Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub, and left several houses gutted. Property worth lakhs of rupees was destroyed. Hundreds of Sumi youths went on the rampage in retaliation to the torture of three Naga boys last night by militants suspected to be from the NSCN (I-M). The mob set over 30 houses ablaze and damaged property at the Tangkhul Naga Colony in Dimapur’s Purana Bazaar. The three Sumi boys were allegedly picked up last evening and tortured in the same colony, where most of the top NSCN (I-M) leaders reside. Those behind the retaliatory mob attack said the boys were brutally tortured by NSCN (I-M) members.

A witness said the Sumi youths stormed the well-fortified colony despite militants firing blank cartridges to scare them away. Most residents of the area fled the area immediately. Policemen, paramilitary personnel, fire service personnel and NSCN (I-M) were mere spectators to the riot. The rampaging youths warned them not to intervene, saying they were there to “flush out” members of the Tangkhul community. Thuingaleng Muivah, the general secretary of the NSCN (I-M), is a Tangkhul tribesman. Sources in the Dimapur administration and the police said they were “prevented” from entering the area. The mob seized three AK 47 rifles, a shotgun and a large quantity of ammunition from several houses. Dimapur superintendent of police Didu Shekhar said the police were trying their best to bring the situation under control. The reason why the three boys had been tortured has not been confirmed. A source said they may have been targeted for being alleged sympathisers of the NSCN (I-M)’s rival faction, led by S.S. Khaplang. NSCN (I-M) activists allegedly tortured to death another youth at Selophe near Dimapur last Tuesday. The source said today’s incident was the “direct fallout” of last Tuesday’s incident as well as the recent bombing of NSCN (Khaplang) general secretary Kitovi Zhimomi’s residence at Amiphoto Colony in Zunheboto. The Sumi Hoho was the first to issue a statement condemning the NSCN (I-M)’s role in the Zunheboto incident.

Mob fury singes Tangkhul Colony• Anger over torture of Sumi youths spawns arson in Dimapur Kuknalim.com

DIMAPUR, April 22:: After thriving on public support for long, the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) has suddenly found itself on the wrong side of people power. An outpouring of public outrage against the NSCN-IM’s alleged arm-twisting tactics today led to arson on the streets of Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub, and left several houses gutted. Property worth lakhs of rupees was destroyed. Hundreds of Sumi youths went on the rampage in retaliation to the torture of three Naga boys last night by men suspected to be from the NSCN (I-M). The mob set over 30 houses ablaze and damaged property at the Tangkhul Naga Colony in Dimapur’s Purana Bazaar.

The three Sumi boys were allegedly picked up last evening and tortured in the same colony, where most of the top NSCN (I-M) leaders reside. Those behind the retaliatory mob attack said the boys were brutally tortured by NSCN (I-M) members. A witness said the Sumi youths stormed the well-fortified colony despite militants firing blank cartridges to scare them away.

Most residents of the area fled the area immediately. Policemen, paramilitary personnel, fire service personnel and NSCN (I-M) were mere spectators to the riot. The rampaging youths warned them not to intervene, saying they were there to “flush out” members of the Tangkhul community. Sources in the Dimapur administration and the police said they were “prevented” from entering the area. The mob seized three AK 47 rifles, a shotgun and a large quantity of ammunition from several houses. Dimapur superintendent of police Didu Shekhar said the police were trying their best to bring the situation under control. The reason why the three boys had been tortured has not been confirmed. A source said they may have been targeted for being alleged sympathisers of the NSCN (I-M)’s rival faction, led by S.S. Khaplang. NSCN (I-M) activists allegedly tortured to death another youth at Selophe near Dimapur last Tuesday.

The source said today’s incident was the “direct fallout” of last Tuesday’s incident as well as the recent bombing of NSCN (Khaplang) general secretary Kitovi Zhimomi’s residence at Amiphoto Colony in Zunheboto. The Sumi Hoho was the first to issue a statement condemning the NSCN (I-M)’s role in the Zunheboto incident. (The Telegraph)

The Morung Express Adds: DIMAPUR, APRIL 22:: Tragedy struck Wungram Colony at Purana Bazaar Dimapur around 12 noon today when several houses were set on flames by an angry and uncontrollable mob that refused to allow assistance to douse the flames. Several houses along with all the belongings were razed to the ground as helpless fire brigade personnel looked on. The only route that led to the colony was sealed off by the mob that was blocking the entry and exit of the area. It all began last night around 7:00 pm when three college students from Wungram Colony were coming back after having a few drinks, when an auto passed them and shouted out at them. Thinking it was a friend they shouted back. This led to an exchange of words which culminated in a fight between the boys and a non-local auto driver, who was then beaten up. In the course of the fight the rear view mirror of the Auto was smashed. In this confusion, the auto owner, identified as a local, stepped in; and was later beaten up by the three students. Some 30 to 40 minutes later, a mob of more than 100 people gathered at the said colony but some elders and the NSCN (IM) Town Commander had asked the crowd to go back to their houses saying that the matter would be discussed the following day.

A total of 28 houses were reportedly destroyed in the incident with 13 houses burnt down and 15 houses damaged by the mob and eight vehicles damaged. Around 250 women, children and old men who were stranded inside the colony were finally evacuated late in the evening in three buses after long and intense negotiation by organizations like Naga Hoho, Western Sumi Hoho, Naga Council, NBCC, NDO etc. who were reasoning with the mob to allow them to exit the area.

The police, administration, IRB, CRPF and the Army present on the scene were unable to contain the highly volatile situation as they remained mere spectators of the whole occurrence. Terming the incident as a disgrace to the Nagas, an eye-witness on account of anonymity vehemently recounted the inaction of the police and administration saying that they were functioning with zero efficiency merely waiting for reinforcement which was taking eternity to reach.

When asked about what was being done to contain the situation, Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur, K.N. Ngullie stated that they were trying to control the situation even as the smoke bellowed uncontrolled from the burning houses. A top official of the Police justified the inaction of the police saying that they had been thinking of the long-term consequences and continued that the matter was not skin deep. One church leader who did not wished to be named expressed his displeasure at the District Administration opining that the administration should take a stronger stand against the prevention of such incidents. The 250 odd residents of Wungram, mostly women and children who were evacuated have been taken to NAP Training Centre in Chumukedima. The Catholic Church headed by Bishop Joe Mukala and Sisters from Holy Redeemer provided relief for the victims with food and some immediate needs. Commissioner T.N Mannen who arrived at the NAPTC at 9: 10 pm termed the whole incident as madness saying that if such instances continued Nagas would never be able to live with one another. He said that he could not comment on the part played by the district administration because he had not been present in the spot but he personally opined that a proper inquiry would be required to look into the whole incident. Regretting that such a gory incident had taken place on Sunday, Mannen said that he would meet the Chief Minister tomorrow and brief him on the whole matter. The Commissioner further appreciated the different NGOs and Church leaders for bringing the incident under control and on an individual level, appealed to everyone to come forward and provide relief, assistance and support to the victims of the Wungram arson. Chief Secretary Lalhuma who arrived at the NAPTC Auditorium around 9:55 pm, refused to comment on the matter but merely stated that they were assessing the situation at the moment.
Fiery Sunday shocks Dimapur The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 22 (MExN): Tragedy struck Wungram Colony at Purana Bazaar Dimapur around 12 noon today when several houses were set on flames by an angry and uncontrollable mob that refused to allow assistance to douse the flames. Several houses along with all the belongings were razed to the ground as helpless fire brigade personnel looked on. The only route that led to the colony was sealed off by the mob that was blocking the entry and exit of the area.
It all began last night around 7:00 pm when three college students from Wungram Colony were coming back after having a few drinks, when an auto passed them and shouted out at them. Thinking it was a friend they shouted back. This led to an exchange of words which culminated in a fight between the boys and a non-local auto driver, who was then beaten up. In the course of the fight the rear view mirror of the Auto was smashed. In this confusion, the auto owner, identified as a local, stepped in; and was later beaten up by the three students. Some 30 to 40 minutes later, a mob of more than 100 people gathered at the said colony but some elders and the NSCN (IM) Town Commander had asked the crowd to go back to their houses saying that the matter would be discussed the following day.
A total of 28 houses were reportedly destroyed in the incident with 13 houses burnt down and 15 houses damaged by the mob and eight vehicles damaged. Around 250 women, children and old men who were stranded inside the colony were finally evacuated late in the evening in three buses after long and intense negotiation by organizations like Naga Hoho, Western Sumi Hoho, Naga Council, NBCC, NDO etc. who were reasoning with the mob to allow them to exit the area.
The police, administration, IRB, CRPF and the Army present on the scene were unable to contain the highly volatile situation as they remained mere spectators of the whole occurrence. Terming the incident as a disgrace to the Nagas, an eye-witness on account of anonymity vehemently recounted the inaction of the police and administration saying that they were functioning with zero efficiency merely waiting for reinforcement which was taking eternity to reach.
When asked about what was being done to contain the situation, Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur, K.N. Ngullie stated that they were trying to control the situation even as the smoke bellowed uncontrolled from the burning houses.

A top official of the Police justified the inaction of the police saying that they had been thinking of the long-term consequences and continued that the matter was not skin deep. One church leader who did not wished to be named expressed his displeasure at the District Administration opining that the administration should take a stronger stand against the prevention of such incidents. The 250 odd residents of Wungram, mostly women and children who were evacuated have been taken to NAP Training Centre in Chumukedima. The Catholic Church headed by Bishop Joe Mukala and Sisters from Holy Redeemer provided relief for the victims with food and some immediate needs. Commissioner T.N Mannen who arrived at the NAPTC at 9: 10 pm termed the whole incident as madness saying that if such instances continued Nagas would never be able to live with one another. He said that he could not comment on the part played by the district administration because he had not been present in the spot but he personally opined that a proper inquiry would be required to look into the whole incident. Regretting that such a gory incident had taken place on Sunday, Mannen said that he would meet the Chief Minister tomorrow and brief him on the whole matter. The Commissioner further appreciated the different NGOs and Church leaders for bringing the incident under control and on an individual level, appealed to everyone to come forward and provide relief, assistance and support to the victims of the Wungram arson. Chief Secretary Lalhuma who arrived at the NAPTC Auditorium around 9:55 pm, refused to comment on the matter but merely stated that they were assessing the situation at the moment.
NNC brigadier, others defect to NSCN(IM) Nagarealm.com
TAMENGLONG, April22 [IFP] : Six activists of NNC led by one brigadier of the outfit and five cadres of NSCN (K), altogether 11 cadres with 13 different types of weapons, have left their respective organizations and joined the NSCN(IM). According to the convener of the Zeilad Region, GPRN, NSCN (IM) six activists of the NNC led by brigadier Chici Thapa joined the NSCN (IM) with nine weapons. The weapons were one US carbine, one SLR, one D/14 Japan make, one M-21 semi rifles and five action rifles.

The five NSCN (K) cadres also joined the outfit with two AK-56 rifles, one M-21 semi rifle and G-3 rifle, he added. They joined the outfit on April 19 last and a reception function of their joining NSCN (IM) was held yesterday at general headquarter of the outfit at Phek district of Nagaland, he added.
Rio ends his two days tour of Mon district Kuknalim.com
NAGINIMORA, April 22:: As a part of his two-day tour of Mon District, the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio arrived at Naginimora at around 3 pm to inaugurate the Sub-Treasury Office and the new ADC Office Building at Naginimora town…

A short function at the new ADC Office followed the inauguration of the two buildings where the Chief Minister called on the people to be equally responsible for progress and not merely depend and wait on the government to bring development. Earlier in the function, the President of Konyak Union, Naginimora Unit gave the welcome address and presented the Chief Minister with a bouquet, muzzle loading gun and the traditional loin cloth and also presented all the Parliamentary Secretaries with a the traditional Loin cloth and a bouquet.

The KU, Naginimora further presented the Chief Minister with a memorandum for NST buses from Naginimora to Mon and Naginimora to Dimapur and also for improvement of the neglected water supply by the PHE Department. Following the function, the CM proceeded to unveil the foundation stone of United Christian Higher Secondary School, Naginimora. Rio said that as the only private Higher Secondary Institution in the entire Mon District, he could see a lot of scope for the Higher Secondary School to grow. The Chief Minister and his entourage then made their way to the Tiru to inspect the Tiru Coal Mine. (MExN)

Attack on Tangkhul community at Nagaland
Mob torch over 30 houses at Wungram Colony, Dimapur Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, April 22: A large number of people belonging to the Sema tribe turned into a mob and set on fire over 30 houses at Wungram Colony, Dimapur today. Wungram Colony with about 200 houses is inhabited by the Tangkhul community and following the incident all the menfolk are reported to have fled while the women and children have been shifted to the Nagaland Armed Police Training Centre at Chumukedima. According to a well placed source, a number of NSCN (IM) members, including some of its top ranking cadres are settled at Wungram Colony.

Sources from Dimapur said that tension reigned in the area after some Tangkhul youths suspected to be kiths and kins of NSCN (IM) members thrashed a Sema auto-rickshaw driver severely breaking his teeth. Enraged by the incident a large number of people from the Sema community gathered near Wungram Colony early morning today and demanded that the culprits be handed over to them. Even as the people were demanding that the culprits be handed over to them, words started doing the round that the culprits had been taken to Hebron, said sources.

The gathering soon turned into a mob and they started ransacking vehicles, some of them belonging to NSCN (IM) functionaries. Thereafter the mob started setting the houses on fire.

At the time of filing this report, over 30 houses have been gutted in the arson, said a source from Dimapur police station (East). During the mayhem, the enraged mob prevented the police, fire brigade and even the media from entering the area. Three AK 47 rifles were recovered from one of the gutted houses. Later the Sema community resolved that no Tangkhul will be allowed to return to Wungram Colony and settle there.

Prohibitory order under CrPC 144 was imposed today evening. Wungram Colony is located about 5 kms from Dimapur towards Kohima. There is no report of any human casualty.

Newmai News Network adds from Dimapur : The commercial hub of Nagaland, Dimapur is burning literally and socially. Though it does not amount to a communal clash, nevertheless, a huge mob from a particular Naga community (tribe) burnt down 30 houses and six four wheelers belonging to a separate Naga community (tribe) in Dimapur today. On hearing the built-up tension at Wungram Colony near Purana Bazar in Dimapur media persons who went there to get a first hand account of the incident saw a furious mob armed with assorted weapons storming the Wungram Colony and burning down houses including concrete buildings.

IRB, Assam Rifles and police personnel were present at the spot but the mob prevented them from doing “their duties”.
The mob comprising of more than a thousand strong people of a particular community and carrying different types of weapons barged into Wungram Colony and set on fire the houses.

Four fire brigades rushed to the colony but the mob did not allow them to proceed further. The fire tenders were forced to return. However the fire tenders and fire fighters stationed themselves nearby the colony. Wungram Colony is a village set up by a particular community. The mob started storming the colony from 6-7 am but the act of setting the houses on fire began at around 11.30 am. Reports said that all the menfolk of the Wungram Colony have fled while the children and womenfolk have been taken to a safer place by the security personnel.

The mob ransacked the houses before putting them on fire and recovered 3 AK 47 rifles with one shot gun along with ammunition. The recovered weapons were damaged. Bursting of LPG cylinders and bombs were also heard as the fire engulfed the houses. The incident was prompted by an alleged case where an auto-rickshaw driver dropped some passengers near Wungram Colony last evening when three boys from the area came out and reportedly asked the auto-driver as to which community/tribe he belonged. It was alleged that as soon as the driver disclosed his tribe the three boys then told him they were from a particular tribe and started assaulting him.
Ghaspani declares bandh to protest factional clashes The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 22 (MExN): The west villages under Medziphema sub-division will be staging a peace rally and bandh against the continued factional clashes and highlighting the plight of the people who have suffered civilian casualties and damage to properties. The bandh/protest rally is being held under the aegis of Ghaspani-II West Villages Union on April 25th within their jurisdiction. A note from the union’s president Khekiho Ayemi and general secretary Mhiesisato Vupru informed the public that the Ghaspani-Punglwa road starting from Sirhi Kuki village to New Moava and Molvom-Jharnapani road will come under the purview of the bandh. No vehicular movements will be allowed except for magistrates on duty, army, police, the Press/Media, medical personnel and health patients. Students and office-goers hailing from the area either studying or working at Medziphema town are also requested to show their solidarity “by not attending to their respective works/activities” on the said date.
The rally procession will start at 8:00 am from each respective village and converge at Khaibung local ground at 9:00am. The bandh will come into force from 5:00am till 5:00pm. “The rally/bandh has been necessitated owing to the continued factional clashes, despite numerous appeals, in the past few months resulting in not only injury of villages but damage to properties and burning of houses and granaries of member villages of the union. The clashes have also created apprehensions among the farmers and school-going children” the note reminded. It also appealed to the public to bear with the inconvenience that might be caused by the bandh and also extend their valuable support and cooperation.
Zeliangrong body irked by disturbances The Morung Express
Imphal, April 22 (NNN): The Zeliangrong Union of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland (ZU-AMN) has been irked by the disturbances meted to the construction agencies along the Khangsang-Tamenglong road by some elements.
Following this development the apex Zeliangrong body has fervently appealed the concern elements not to disturb development works in the area. Given the situation where the people in the Tamenglong district have been facing hardships ever since Manipur attained statehood, the ZU-AMN said that atleast better means of transport will reduce the plight of the general public in the district to a certain extent. General Secretary of the Zeliangrong Union of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland Kalotdi Kamei informed NNN this evening that the Khongsang-Tamenglong road is the life-line of the district for majority of the people. The ZU-AMN then stated that after having had noticed the hardship faced by the people in the district Governor of Manipur Dr SS Sidhu had initiated the handling of the said road to the BRTF last year in which the work agency has started the work few months ago.
With this the ZU-AMN appealed that no organisations/individuals serve any monetary demands on the work agency for having had taken up the job.The Zeliangrong body then said that Tamenglong District is a nature-paradise but owing to the bad road system and poor communication facilities things are dashed at the bottom for worse. The union on humanitarian ground entreat everyone to extend helping hands in making the district progress and developed.
Poppy threat to Arunachal Pradesh The Morung Express
LAZU (ARUNACHAL PRADESH), APRIL 22 (NDTV): Vast areas in Arunachal Pradesh are now under poppy cultivation and slowly the fields are turning commercial.
The poppy pods are cut with a blade and the latex is collected in a can, which contains opium. Each of the cans sell for Rs 100 and when smeared on cloth, it fetches Rs 400 right at the spot.
When it’s traded it sells for Rs 80,000 a kilogram inside India and internationally the price fluctuates. Arunachal’s Tirap, Changlang, Lohit and Upper Siang districts are the region’s poppy belts. The first three districts border Myanmar while Upper Siang shares its border with China.
Central enforcement agencies visit these fields once a year to destroy poppy plants.
Poppy fields destroyed This year they destroyed more than 800 hectares with the help of school children since villagers refused to cooperate.
‘’Especially in districts of Tirap, Changlang, Lohit and Upper Siang. These four districts are doing poppy cultivation,’’ says M Sarania, Spdt, CBN. ‘’Recently we uprooted standing crop. The problem there is that habitually they are addicts. Without opium they cannot survive’’.
‘’Whatever opium they are cultivating they consume, a little they sell or barter with their fellow tribes,’’ Sarania said. Traditionally the tribes are opium addicts and grow poppy for local consumption. But what’s alarming is some of the fields are slowly becoming commercial.
Biggest opium growing country The Morung Express
With Myanmar as one of the biggest Opium growing and heroin manufacturing countries next-door, it’s just a matter of time before the drug lords gain control of these fields.
These areas are already under total control of NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) militants.
‘’In cultivation of opium there is no involvement of militant but the problem is open poppy cultivation just across the border in Myanmar so if we stop cultivation here it freely comes to India and these poor people buy it from there so Myanmarese traders benefit from that, ‘’ added M Sarania. The British had induced opium addiction in the North East to gain control over the tribes and ran their opium empire. Even today North East continues to be the worlds’ drug corridor with Myanmar producing opium and Manipur cultivating cannabis to allow poppy fields to spread in this region means proliferating the drug trade. Weak implementation of the law makes it even favourable for operators to expand their lucrative trade.
North-eastern states chalk out road map for economic, infrastructure development ASHOK B SHARMA Financial Express
NEW DELHI, APR 22: Chief ministers of the north-eastern states have drawn up road maps to boost not only the region’s industry, but also the rural economy. The north-eastern leaders urged for more emphasis on infrastructure development with a view to integrating their economy with the rest of the country, as well as with neighbouring Bangla-desh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal.
North-eastern India consists of eight states—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Tripura is the second largest rubber producing state in the country. According to state minister for industries, commerce & information technology Tapan Chakraborty, about 35,000 hectares are under plantation and about 18,000 tonne rubber are produced annually. He urged entrepreneurs to set up rubber-based industries. The state government has launched a rubber mission and has planned a rubber park with all common facilities. The state government has also launched a bamboo mission with the expectation for further investment in export-oriented cane and bamboo handicrafts. Tripura produces major fruit crops like pineapple, orange, jackfruit, litchi and spices like ginger, turmeric, chilli, black pepper and cinnamon, with ample scope for setting up of processing unit, said Chakraborty and added that the state produces about 7.8 million kg tea each year.
Tripura has set up growth centre project on the outskirts of the state capital—Agartala. Infrastructure at land customs stations for trade with Bangladesh is being upgraded. The state is power-surplus, outside 6-hour peak period and the power tariffs are among the lowest in the country. There is a long-term potential for exploration of natural gas and the state announced an information technology (IT) policy with special incentives to the industry concerned.
The Meghalaya chief minister, DD Lapang is also eager to boost trade relations with Bangladesh. He said that his state produces citrus fruits, flowers, spices, bamboo, boulders and has good reserves of coal, limestone, clay, granite and quartz. Byrnihat railhead has become a hub of industrial activity with setting up of an export promotional industrial park. Two railhead projects are being proposed at Kasi and Garo hills. A scheme is under implementation to connect Garo hills with Umroi airport in Shillong. The state has industrial estate in all district headquarters.
Lapang said “The state government is acquiring 182 hectare land at Mendipathar in East Garo Hills for setting up of an industrial growth center. There is great scope for IT industry, tourism and traditional medicines.” Mizoram governor MM Lakhera said the state is backward in terms of infrastructure development, yet there are distinct prospects for boosting trade relations with Myanmar. Mizoram has potential for generating around 3,100 mw hydro power, on river Chhimtuipur alone it is estimated to generate around 530 mw power. The state has prospects for industries based on electronic, IT, bamboo, timber, fruits, textiles, handloom and handicrafts, plantain fibre, hill brooms, tea, rubber, coffee and minerals. Nagaland governor K Shankarnarayan also projected prospects for hydro power generation and pointed to the rich deposits of coal, dolomite, limestone, graphite, marble, lead, zinc, natural gas and crude oil alongwith scope for food processing and tourism industry. Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh complained about shortage of power in the state and hoped that the situation will be made better on the completion of some power projects. A food park is being set near Imphal. He urged for boosting trade relations with Myanmar.
Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio called for marketing of high quality organic fibreless ginger, turmeric passion fruits, banana, citrus, pineapple produced in the state. He said Nagaland produces hottest chilli, tallest rice plant and the tallest Rhododendron. Nagaland has a good reserves of chemical grade limestone, coal, marble, decorative stones, nickel cobalt chromium and bamboo. Exotic flowers grown in the state are finding ready markets outside the country.
Sikkim has come out with its new industrial policy. The state is a major source for timber, forest produces, copper, zinc, lead, coal, dolmite. Quartzite, graphite and talc main crops grown are rice, wheat, maize, large cardamom and ginger. It has potential for hydro power generation.
Sun Rising in The East By Nirendra Dev Channel Times
Mumbai, For long, eastern India has been designated as the laggard region in terms of adopting newer technologies including IT. But there has been a major change in the scenario during the last four-five years with the region making a bid to catch up with the rest of the nation.

In retrospect, it was only in the late seventies and eighties that militant trade unionism in the gateway state of West Bengal and administrative slackness in Bihar that kept corporate houses wary. The business establishments at various layers being the initial adopters of IT, the technology boom was only seen in hubs like Bangalore, Hyderabad and outskirts of Delhi like Gurgaon. Our interactions with partners reveal that these changes are owing to many factors. The principal factors among them being the shift in the government policy in West Bengal, change of government and a visibly improved official apparatus in Bihar.

Augmenting all these is the Prime Minister s look east policy. The response from the channel from across the region is that there has been change in the policies of almost all the state governments for the better. In other words, the ground feeling is that the government functionaries know that they can refine the welfare of the people through IT.

Eastern India, comprising Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal, Assam and seven other states, has been lately witnessing steady demand for IT products and infrastructure facilities like networking, not only from the respective state capitals but also from the upcountry markets.

Partners like Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Datamation in Guwahati finds tremendous growth in demands for PCs, printers besides the proliferation of notebooks and digital cameras.

In fact, in some northeastern states there has been an overwhelming 100 percent growth and resellers are already talking about post-sales service, warranty replacement woes, etc. In Orissa, unlike earlier, all three key distributors Ingram Micro, Redington and Neoteric have established their offices and people no longer have to run to Kolkata for meeting various IT needs.

Resellers in Bhubaneshwar strongly voice their opinion about the varying prices for the same product. It creates confusion in the channel community and there is also a possibility that some vendors are overcharging resellers in this state, they complain. This is more detrimental as Bhubaneshwar is a major hub for Orissa and any such issue will harm the growth of the business for further penetration in the state. Among the products that are doing well in Orissa are laptops and camera phones. The brands that are strong in these two categories are Lenovo, HP, HCL and Samsung for laptops and Nokia, Sony for camera phones.

D-Link seems to be one of the preferred brands for networking although there are bigger players like Cisco as well. In the lesser known district town of Angul in central Orissa, the partners are able to push 40 desktops a month, the demand being mainly from the home and SOHO segments.

In effect, people see a general turn around in the attitude and as a result vendors are also pumping in money with greater emphasis on hunting for prospective partners. However, there are certain inherent issues which ought to be studied in their totality. Recently in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong, partners could not capitalize on a Rs 1.5 crore project for a microprocessor based traffic signal system as the order was passed on to Webel Mediatronics, a company owned by the West Bengal Government. The biggest dampener is the payment cycle, and ironically the smaller the states are the more is the trouble. Some states in the region like Nagaland or Manipur are perennially in financial crisis since 1990 when the government of India brought in a significant change in funding pattern following Ninth Pay Commission report. “With the government of Nagaland it is in terms of Rs 10 lakh and pending for years as the state is never out of financial crisis,” laments Guwahati-based Mukesh Singh of Anku Computers.

True, the channel cannot do much about it. But the industry and the government coming together can help tackle these issues and use the opportunity for greater IT penetration both for improving the quality of life by enhanced e-governance initiative as well as making fast buck by the vendors. Enhanced focus from vendors on this region can enable the cities and smaller towns here to develop their own market and win new and retain existing customers. And I do see things already moving in that direction.

Under the Prime Minister s Office Look East policy the government is encouraging greater IT penetration under various schemes under North Eastern Council (NEC) and also eyeing to foster better working relations with southeast Asian countries. Vendors are also moving in, even as I see partners and small time sub-distributors trying to leverage the opportunity by doing among other things, plunging into tie ups with channel partners in larger cities like Kolkata and Bhubaneswar. As the traditional phrase goes, there is truly a goldmine.
Assam: No End to ULFA Bibhu Prasad Routray Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
The military offensive that began on September 24, 2006, in Assam’s northernmost or Upper Assam Districts and the adjoining State of Arunachal Pradesh, after the Government of India called off a six-week ceasefire with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), blaming the militant outfit for stepping up violence and extortion, is said to have achieved ‘significant success’. Till April 15, 2007, 48 ULFA cadres had been killed (including 20 top militants of ULFA’s ‘28th battalion’), 81 arrested and another 88 had surrendered. Given the fact that the group’s fighting cadres are estimated to be no more than 500, the neutralisation of 217 of these can be considered a serious setback. Regrettably, there are several indications that the fighting days of ULFA, active since 1979, are far from over. The Upper Assam Districts of Tinsukia, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh have been the traditional hunting grounds of the ULFA, especially its ‘28th battalion’, which is headquartered in Myanmar. While the group’s top leadership and bulk of its fighting cadres are sourced from these Districts, the bordering and densely forested areas of Arunachal Pradesh serve as a link between Assam and ULFA’s camps in Myanmar. ULFA’s cadres, traversing the thickets and mountains between Myanmar and Assam, have used Arunachal Pradesh to set up a chain of transit bases and also escape routes in the wake of security force operations in Assam. ULFA’s January 2007 operations targeting Hindi-speaking migrant labourers in the Upper Assam Districts were mainly carried out by the ‘28th Battalion’ temporarily based in the Manabhum Reserve Forest in Arunachal Pradesh. ULFA’s other surviving unit, the 709th battalion, led by Hira Sarania, remains active in Central and Lower Assam Districts, including Kamrup in which the capital Dispur and adjoining city of Guwahati, are located. The battalion, however, is no longer considered to be an operationally significant entity. The objectives of the current military manoeuvres, simultaneously targeting areas under frequent militant attacks and the principal militant routes, in the words of the Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, were to “clear separatist bases in the jungles and to restore normalcy and instil confidence among the people”. To this effect, a total of 140 companies of central para-military forces (CPMFs), consisting of about 14,000 personnel, were engaged in operations along with battalions of the Assam Police. Army para-troopers were being air-dropped at different points of the Manabhum Reserve Forest in Arunachal Pradesh. Troops are being backed by a fleet of helicopters for reconnaissance missions, to track the militants located in forested and other remote areas. Sophisticated jamming devices have been used to block ULFA’s communication signals. The Army also claims to have cut off ULFA’s supply lines for rations, medicines and weapons. Achievements of the rather elaborate ongoing military exercise have been significant, in terms of elimination of senior cadres of the 28th battalion. On April 10, 2007, troops killed eight ULFA cadres, including two women, in an encounter near Lathou in the Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh. The dead included two top ULFA leaders: ‘Corporal’ Jun Bhuyan and ‘Sergeant’ Pranab Rajkhowa of the ‘28th Battalion’s C company’. Previously, on March 30, Himesawr Borsaikia alias Rameshwar Borsaikia, ‘commander’ of the ‘C company’ of the ‘28th battalion’, along with another cadre, Bapu Moran, was killed in the Manabhum reserve forest area in Arunachal Pradesh, near the inter-state boundary with Assam’s Tinsukia District. On April 13, 2007, hardcore ULFA cadre Pradip Gogoi was shot dead at Nagaon Tiniali in the Tinsukia District. A day later, on April 14, ‘sergeant major’ Jaan Hazarika alias Arup Arandhara alias Bhadu, was arrested by troops of the 7/11 Gorkha Rifles in the Khouji area of Tinsukia District.
Even before the successes of the ongoing military manoeuvres, ULFA’s sporadic activities, largely consisting of blasts on oil pipelines in deserted areas and the killing of unprotected and unarmed migrant workers, provided substantial indications of the group’s largely diminished ability to carry out ‘high-quality’ attacks. This indicated significant reversals in an outfit that has not only been in business for nearly three decades, but is also known to have been backed up by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan and the Bangladeshi Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), for a considerable period. This has lent credence to the assertions by the security forces (SFs) that, while ULFA has weakened over years, the current operations would incapacitate it even further. ULFA’s meek reactions to recent strikes against its interests underline the SF claims of declining insurgent capacity. In the only incident of its type, on April 16, 2007, suspected motorcycle-borne ULFA militants hurled a grenade at stationery Army vehicles at the sub-divisional township of Namsai in the Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh. The grenade missed its target and hit an auto rickshaw injuring one person.
Carrying out recruitment drives, largely involving hunts for potential fighters through existing cadres using a combination of threat and enticement, has been the conventional ULFA response to the depletion of its strength during military operations. ULFA is known to have carried out several such drives in the Upper Assam Districts this time as well. The Army, however, maintains that it would be operationally difficult to replace the neutralised trained cadres with new recruits.
Indeed, of late, ULFA has been forced to rely on a brand of young recruits lacking in adequate preparation and insufficiently trained to use sophisticated weapons and explosives. While accessing high quality weapons and explosives appears to be a limited problem for the outfit, due to its ‘contacts’ in Bangladesh, its mostly ill-trained cadres have been constrained to use low capacity hand grenades and crude explosives, failing to engineer attacks on high value targets. This has been a matter of great frustration for ULFA’s sponsors in the ISI and the DGFI and has also led to situations where semi-trained or untrained ULFA cadres have themselves been killed while carrying crude explosives, most recently in the April 8 incident, when an ULFA operative was killed after the explosives he was carrying detonated when his motorcycle collided with an autorickshaw in Guwahati’s Kumarapara locality.
It will, however, be premature to predict the end of ULFA. The group clearly has its back against the wall, but is adopting survival tactics which are yet to be neutralised by an effective strategy of response. It is using local businessmen to channel revenues from extortion to the outfit’s top leadership, as was revealed with the April 4, 2007, arrest of Debendra Lahoti, a resident of Nazira town in the Sivasagar District. Lahoti was channelling extortion revenues into the militant group’s coffers on instructions from the group’s ‘B Company’ ‘chief’ Ram Singh. Several other businessmen in the District are also suspected to be involved in similar rackets, though arrests are yet to be effected. The Police are, however, in the process of gathering evidence. Similarly, ULFA is also known to be using newly formed groups like the All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) to carry out extortion in the tea estates in the ‘tea districts’, including Golaghat. The AANLA – believed to have been armed by the ULFA, and which claims to be fighting to safeguard the tribal culture of the plantation workers – is said to have 100 cadres working in about 40 tea estates. It passes off a major chunk of the monies it extorts to the ULFA in return for arms and training support. Assam Police’s reported inability to control such extortion has led several business houses and trade bodies, including those representing the tea industry, to approach the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directly in March 2007, seeking greater protection. ULFA has also been ‘outsourcing’ its operational activities in recent times. While it has been customary for ULFA’s cadres to avoid direct confrontation with the security forces, the group is now hiring unemployed youth and even school children to lob grenades, distribute extortion notes and collect ransom. For example, ULFA hired the services of two dacoits, paying them INR 50,000, to carry out two explosions in Jorhat District on March 15, 2007. The explosions damaged power transformers on the outskirts of the District headquarters.
In a major embarrassment to the Police, on April 17, 2007, ULFA militants abducted Food Corporation of India (FCI) Executive Director and head of FCI’s Northeastern region, P.C. Ram, from Guwahati’s Ulubari area and, on April 19, demanded a ransom of INR 210 million. The Police learned of the abduction only after Ram used a mobile phone in ULFA’s possession to call up his son who, in turn informed the Police. The failure to create an adequate security net for senior Public Sector officials in the most protected town of the State underlines the lack of Police preparedness in dealing with the long-standing insurgency. Ram’s driver, who was also abducted, has since been released. Freak incidents like these, however, neither represent an augmentation of the outfit’s strength, nor underline its ability to sustain its low-scale random operations. ULFA’s survival tactics, unless aided by an ill-conceived political move to again relax the operational pressure on the outfit and allow it to regroup, are expected to remain just that – tactics that ensure bare survival. Alarmist statements emerging from high echelons of the Army and other official sources linking ULFA with the jehadi elements in Bangladesh mirror similar claims by the ULFA’s top leadership and are, at this stage, declarations of uncertain intent, and are yet to be reflected in operational arrangements on the ground. Similarly, the MHA’s ‘assessment report’, which has found ready mention in many newspapers, linking ULFA with the ‘Muslim groups’ such as Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA) and the Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam (MULFA) vastly exaggerate the realities of such ‘tie ups’. MULFA ceased to exist within the first year of its formation in the mid-nineties, and MULTA has never, in the history of its existence since 1996, posed any significant threat to Assam and its people. These are, at worst, notional groups at this juncture, and building their operational capacities to a level where they can contribute measurably to an ULFA resurgence. Assam has recorded a measure of improvement in militancy-related fatalities in recent years. Compared to 315 fatalities in 2004 and 254 in 2005, 242 people died in militant violence in 2006. While this has been termed as an achievement by the MHA, militancy-related incidents actually increased from 267 to 398 and further to 413 over the corresponding years. Clearly, ULFA’s intent remains unaltered, though its operational capacities have evidently suffered a measure of decline.

Frans on 04.23.07 @ 03:16 PM CST [link]

Sunday, April 22nd

Jamir hints at return to State politics Correspondent Nagaland Post

Bid to promote Assam-Nagaland unity By A Staff Reporter Assam tribune
GUWAHATI, April 20 – The People’s Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam (PCPIA) and the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) today decided to work jointly to foster understanding and strengthen amity between the people of Assam and Nagaland. Addressing a joint press conference after a joint consultative meeting at the Swahid Nyas Bhawan here Chief Coordinator of the PCPIA Lachit Bordoloi and his colleagues Dilip Patgiri and Birinchi Neog and NPMHR secretary general Dr N Venuh and his colleagues Atoho Kiho and Elias T Lotha described today’s meeting as the beginning of a historic process.

They said that they would work for developing the people to people relations in the two States. Building mutual confidence among the people of both the States is what matters the most for them, they said. The PCPIA will send a delegation to Nagaland to further interact with other democratic organizations and civil society towards the end of May next in an effort to facilitate peace and harmony in the region.

Further, both the PCPIA and the NPMHR also decided to initiate the process of re-establishment of the traditional ties of friendship between the peoples of Assam and Nagaland. The initiative is being launched in the areas along the inter-state boundary between the two States, stated the PCPIA and NPMHR office-bearers. At the meeting both the organizations also decided to work in tandem to promote people-to-people dialogue in the region so as to facilitate the attainment of the hopes and aspirations of the people of both the States. In reply to a question, they said that border disputes between the two states were the creation of the governments and there might be some instigation on the part of the Central Government too in this matter.

PCPIA office-bearers observed that the Greater Nagalim demand was connected with one organization and in general, the people of Nagaland were not connected with it and it would be premature to comment on the demand at this juncture.
Referring to the demand, the NPMHR office-bearers said, “True Nagas will not speak that way.”

Both the organizations also expressed solidarity and support to the peace processes of Assam and Nagaland. The NPMHR leaders expressed support and solidarity to the on-going hunger strike of the six wives of the missing ULFA leaders and the PCPIA members. Both the organizations also called upon the Union Government to demonstrate humane attitude and show its sincerity to restore peace in Assam “by immediately listening to the voices of the people as expressed through the hunger strike.”
“If Nagaland and Assam become peaceful, peace will prevail in the entire NE region,” they observed.
Jamir hints at return to State politics Correspondent Nagaland Post
KOHIMA, APRIL 21(NPN): After Goa Governor Dr. SC Jamir’s recent interview with a news magazine, speculations are doing the rounds that the former Congress veteran who has also the distinction of having served as the chief minister of Nagaland for four times, might come back to state politics. The latest issue of Eastern Panorama (EP), published from Shillong, which carried an exclusive face-to-face interview, quoted Dr. SC Jamir as saying “Yes, I am a governor yet I am a political animal and a politicians never retires. I cannot snap my political activities even though I am a governor.”
Jamir’s statement assumes significant as the assembly elections in Nagaland is slated for February 2008. Asked about the difference in functioning as chief minister and governor, Jamir said chief ministers are always confronted with problems of the state, but one “fine satisfaction” has always been that “whenever we are able to solve some difficult problem or been able to help somebody, at least, that happiness keeps us going. Everyday is an examination day for the chief ministers and when we cross the hurdle we are elated for the day.”
“Being a governor is no doubt a dignified position. It is ceremonial and we do have our own limitations. Our main duty is to ensure that every state safeguards the Constitution of India. As politicians, whenever we speak in public gatherings, it becomes very exhilarating and acts like a tonic. But as a Governor, we need to speak in measured language. One has to tread most carefully,” the former chief minister added. Asked what had actually gone wrong in the northeast during the last sixty years, the Goa Governor said “we cannot just blame the Government of India because immediately after achieving our freedom, the Government of India was completely engaged in healing the wounds caused on account of partition of the country. Even during the British regime this area was kept isolated. The leaders of mainland India had no opportunity to visit this area and so naturally it was like out of sight out of mind. We were neglected.”
Jamir said in the intervening period, many issues had cropped up, some of which could have been resolved a long time back.
PM: Act as agents of change TIMES NEWS NETWORK

NEW DELHI: Unfolding the agenda for reforming the babudom, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that in the era dominated by phenomenal economic growth citizens should be central to all government activities. Addressing the country’s top bureaucrats after presenting the first-ever Awards of Excellence in Public Administration to two IAS officers,
Rajeev Chawla and R S Pandey, Singh said the years of economic reforms and strong growth impulses of the economy had changed the old notion of governance and bureaucracy.

“The government is no longer seen merely as a law enforcer or a controller of basic services and public goods; people expect the government to facilitate development,” he said. Dropping clear hints that the babus would have to take a backseat in the new scheme of things, he said, “Civil servants have to shift from being controllers to facilitators and from being providers to enablers.” Counselling them to reinvent themselves and adjust to the changed scenario, Singh said, “They need to master new technologies and new styles of functioning.”

Dwelling on reforms in the administration, the PM said while for some people it meant a lesser role for the government in the country’s affairs, it would actually imply allowing people to play a bigger role in decision making.

“I view the reform of government as a means of making citizens central to all government activities and reorganising government to effectively address the concerns of our people,” he said.

Calling for an innovative approach to address the challenge of making the bureaucracy more efficient and result-oriented, the PM proposed introducing ‘agents of change’ who could work as catalysts for speeding up reforms in governance. He defined the ‘agents’ as “public-oriented personnel of outstanding calibre and would be strategically located to engineer reform”. Advocating changes in the government machinery and work-style and orientation of the officials, he called upon the civil servants to play an ‘enlightened role’ in bringing about this kind of transformation.
The awards were given to Rajeev Chawla, a secretary in the Karnataka government, and R S Pandey, who is the secretary in the Union steel ministry. The awards, which comprised a medal, scroll and cash of Rs 1 lakh, were given to them on the second Civil Service Day. Singh had announced the institution of the awards last year to acknowledge the outstanding and exemplary performance of civil servants.
Chawla, a 1987 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, was chosen for the award for implementing ‘Bhoomi’, a computerised system for delivery, updating and safe storing of land records in Karnataka. A 1972 batch officer of the Nagaland cadre, 57-year old Pandey won the award for his initiative in enabling participation of the user community in the management of public institutions and services in the north-eastern state. Pandey was earlier chief secretary of Nagaland

A mixture of lies and mischief- Nagaland Post
A recent press statement of Imkong Imchen, Education Minister of the puppet Nagaland state wherein he said that spending more than rupees 71 lakhs from Nagaland fund for the students of Manipur state in the last HSLC and HSSE examinations was as per decision of the cabinet is not only baseless but ridiculous. He thinks that he is living on earth and others are on a fairy land. He is the Education Minister and what he put up in the cabinet is discussed in the cabinet.
If he had possessed integrity at cabinet member or for that matter, the Chief Minister he would have opposed even at the cost of his ministership for the rightful cause of his people. But he had thrown the sentiments of the Nagaland people into the dustbin and now he is trying to absolve himself from the criminal charges by giving Criss-cross explanations. But that will not work. Let us see how long he will be protected by the terrorists. In the same manner, T. Mannen, Commission Secretary of Nagaland state, the associate member of the Delimitation Commission of India is trying heart and soul to do what is dubiously unjust and discriminatory.
He is shuttling between Kohima and Delhi to influence the Indian and Delimitation authorities with whatever he can to fulfill his and his community’s interests in selfish motives. But a time will come to reckon all these misdeeds. Again, V.K Nuh, general secretary of CNBC, the Baptist Christian Organization of the entire Naga areas, had recently invented another “Christian Principles” or a Baptist doctrine. In his press statement, recently, in relation to the current issue of delimitation exercise for assembly seats of Nagaland, he said that the Nagaland state Government’s proposal to maintain ‘status quo’, whereby the rights and entitlements of someone are being enjoyed by others and the shares of someone are usurped by others, are the “Christian Principles” or Christian doctrines.
For instance, some Naga tribes have got one assembly seat for a population of a little more than twenty thousands only, whereas my Phom people have got one seat for a population of much more than forty thousands. Can such practice be justified by “Christian Principles” as maintained by V.K Nuh? If Nuh as a Christian leader cannot practice truth, justice, equality and kindness to downtrodden and backward people, then he should step down from the reverend post he holds so that people may practice true “Christian principles”.
Also in the delimitation issue, some people are talking about “peace process which is actually untenable in the issue. There may be peace process between IK and GOI or NSCN (K) and GOI, but does in no way interfere in the delimitation process. Delimitation and peace process are quite different issues. They cannot be clubbed together for achieving someone’s interests. Equal divisions of the segments of the Nagas for equal representation are most important matter even before or after the settlement of the Naga political problem. There should be no confusions. Namching Phom, Central Council Member, NSCN (K).
PWD Tamenglong not functioning but drawing crores: NSCN(IM) The Thangkul.com The Imphal Free Press
Tamenglong, Apr 20: The government has released a sum of Rs 1.20 crore to Public Works Department, PWD Tamenglong division last month on March 31 under non plan without the work order, said Lungchaibi Gonmei, convener of Zeilad Block Zeliangrong Region GPRN/NSCN(IM).

Last year in the month of March, the same department drew a sum of Rs. 1.60 crore without implementing any work in the district while the general public suffered and lagged behind in development, expressed the convener strongly condemning the department.

the department also drew in the name of Asing Kabui, special contractor, a sum of Rs. 1.20 crores under SPA scheme for filling pits on the road from Kaiphundai to Tousem by Dindai Joseph, executive engineer, Pantising assistant engineer, N Sarat Singh SO (computer) and Premchand SO. The convener said that they had demanded financial statement so many times and given warnings to them, but they remained silent till today.

The head of the department Dindai Joseph, executive engineer, Pantising assistant engineer, N Sarat Singh SO (computer) and Premchand SO had been absent since 2 to 3 years but instead of taking action against them the government again released the money, the convener said.

Meanwhile, on visiting the department, the staff said that the office was paralyzed. To take even a single signature of the head of the department they had to carry the file down to Imphal which created a lot of extra work and burden for them, the convenor said.

The social organizations, NGOs and other organizations should not remain silent while the department is misusing the developmental funds, said the convener urging all the social organizations, NGOs and other organizations to give cooperation to them while carrying out their work in the interest of Tamenglong district in particular.

Delimitation panel members to visit State Nagarealm.com
DIMAPUR, APRIL20 [NPN] : A three-member panel of the Delimitation Commission will visit Nagaland from April 25 to 27 to hold consultations with leaders of recognized political parties and representatives of tribal hohos and Naga Hoho on several issues relating to readjustment of Assembly constituencies (delimitation) in the State, at the Conference Hall, Police Officers’ Mess, Chumukedima, Dimapur.

The Delimitation Commission members will include Dr. M. Sarangi, Deputy Election Commissioner (Delimitation)-cum-OSD to chairman, Delimitation Commission, Shangara Ram, secretary, and S. K. Mendiratta, legal advisor. During their three-day tour of Nagaland, the committee members will focus mainly on two issues — allocation of seats for Assembly constituencies in various districts and composition of Assembly constituencies as per the guidelines of the Delimitation Commission in such a way as to maintain the integrity and compositeness of the various tribes, according to a release issued by T. N. Manen, State Election Commissioner & Ex-Officio Member, Delimitation Commission of India.

The Delimitation Commission members will discuss the above issues with the representatives of political parties on April 25 at 3:30 p.m. and representatives of tribal hohos and Naga Hoho on April 26 at 10 a.m. They will also hold talks with associate members on April 26 at 3 p.m. before leaving for Delhi on the morning of April 27. State Election Commissioner Manen has requested representatives of all tribal hohos, leaders of recognized political parties of the State and all the associate members to attend the meeting positively as per programme mentioned above. Only five representatives from each tribal hoho and Naga Hoho will be allowed to attend the meeting on April 26. The deputy commissioners of all the 11 districts will also attend the hearing representing their respective districts, Manen added.
Sun Rising in The East By Nirendra Dev Channel Times column
Mumbai, For long, eastern India has been designated as the laggard region in terms of adopting newer technologies including IT. But there has been a major change in the scenario during the last four-five years with the region making a bid to catch up with the rest of the nation.

In retrospect, it was only in the late seventies and eighties that militant trade unionism in the gateway state of West Bengal and administrative slackness in Bihar that kept corporate houses wary. The business establishments at various layers being the initial adopters of IT, the technology boom was only seen in hubs like Bangalore, Hyderabad and outskirts of Delhi like Gurgaon. Our interactions with partners reveal that these changes are owing to many factors. The principal factors among them being the shift in the government policy in West Bengal, change of government and a visibly improved official apparatus in Bihar.

Augmenting all these is the Prime Minister s look east policy. The response from the channel from across the region is that there has been change in the policies of almost all the state governments for the better. In other words, the ground feeling is that the government functionaries know that they can refine the welfare of the people through IT. Eastern India, comprising Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal, Assam and seven other states, has been lately witnessing steady demand for IT products and infrastructure facilities like networking, not only from the respective state capitals but also from the upcountry markets.

Partners like Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Datamation in Guwahati finds tremendous growth in demands for PCs, printers besides the proliferation of notebooks and digital cameras. In fact, in some northeastern states there has been an overwhelming 100 percent growth and resellers are already talking about post-sales service, warranty replacement woes, etc. In Orissa, unlike earlier, all three key distributors Ingram Micro, Redington and Neoteric have established their offices and people no longer have to run to Kolkata for meeting various IT needs.

Resellers in Bhubaneshwar strongly voice their opinion about the varying prices for the same product. It creates confusion in the channel community and there is also a possibility that some vendors are overcharging resellers in this state, they complain. This is more detrimental as Bhubaneshwar is a major hub for Orissa and any such issue will harm the growth of the business for further penetration in the state. Among the products that are doing well in Orissa are laptops and camera phones. The brands that are strong in these two categories are Lenovo, HP, HCL and Samsung for laptops and Nokia, Sony for camera phones.

D-Link seems to be one of the preferred brands for networking although there are bigger players like Cisco as well. In the lesser known district town of Angul in central Orissa, the partners are able to push 40 desktops a month, the demand being mainly from the home and SOHO segments.

In effect, people see a general turn around in the attitude and as a result vendors are also pumping in money with greater emphasis on hunting for prospective partners. However, there are certain inherent issues which ought to be studied in their totality. Recently in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong, partners could not capitalize on a Rs 1.5 crore project for a microprocessor based traffic signal system as the order was passed on to Webel Mediatronics, a company owned by the West Bengal Government. The biggest dampener is the payment cycle, and ironically the smaller the states are the more is the trouble. Some states in the region like Nagaland or Manipur are perennially in financial crisis since 1990 when the government of India brought in a significant change in funding pattern following Ninth Pay Commission report. “With the government of Nagaland it is in terms of Rs 10 lakh and pending for years as the state is never out of financial crisis,” laments Guwahati-based Mukesh Singh of Anku Computers.

True, the channel cannot do much about it. But the industry and the government coming together can help tackle these issues and use the opportunity for greater IT penetration both for improving the quality of life by enhanced e-governance initiative as well as making fast buck by the vendors. Enhanced focus from vendors on this region can enable the cities and smaller towns here to develop their own market and win new and retain existing customers. And I do see things already moving in that direction. Under the Prime Minister s Office Look East policy the government is encouraging greater IT penetration under various schemes under North Eastern Council (NEC) and also eyeing to foster better working relations with southeast Asian countries.

Vendors are also moving in, even as I see partners and small time sub-distributors trying to leverage the opportunity by doing among other things, plunging into tie ups with channel partners in larger cities like Kolkata and Bhubaneswar. As the traditional phrase goes, there is truly a goldmine.
PM asks civil servants to be sensitive to minorities Indian Catholic
NEW DELHI (ICNS): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked the bureaucrats to be sensitive to the concerns of minorities and other weaker sections, while assuring that his government will ensure that women and minorities are properly represented in the Government
Addressing the 2nd Civil Services Day, Dr Singh said, “As a Government committed to appropriate affirmative action for all disadvantaged sections, we will ensure that Constitutional commitments are fulfilled and that women and minorities in particular are properly represented at all levels in Government.”

He said the civil servants “should be particularly sensitive to the concerns of weaker sections, particularly scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities and women and children. As more and more women join our civil services, we must pay special attention to improving work practices and administrative procedures which take into account their special problems involving twin roles as active members of the labour force as well as home makers.”

The Prime Minister said the challenge “before us is to change the role of civil servants in society, without diluting quality and commitment to national goals and concern for standards and retaining the regard of society.”

He said the All India Services in particular, have to preserve their “all India” character. “They need to carry grassroots experience to the Centre and a national perspective to the States. They need to play a unifying role even while serving in states,” he said.

“Nothing should be done to erode the cohesion of our country. In an era when our polity is getting increasingly fragmented, the responsibility on the All India Services of maintaining a national outlook has definitely increased and not diminished,” Dr Singh said.

In a globalised world that demands better services and government response, “people expect the Government to facilitate growth and development.” In this context, Dr Singh said, “civil servants have to shift from being controllers to facilitators and from being providers to enablers.”

He said the government will make it easier “for the honest and motivated among you to be duly recognised and rewarded while the dishonest are punished.” The government has already brought out major changes in Performance Appraisal formats for officers.

Dr Singh also gave away the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration to Rajiv Chawla, secretary, e-governance, Karnataka and RS Pandey, secretary, Ministry of Steel, Government of India and former Chief Secretary of Nagaland.
India, China discuss contentious border issue at 10th round of talks The Morung Express
New Delhi, April 21 (Agencies): India and China began another round of talks to resolve their decades-old border dispute, an official said. India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (15,200 square miles) of its territory in Kashmir, while Beijing claims 90,000 square kilometers of Arunachal Pradesh.
This is the 10th round of talks between the two sides since India and China appointed special representatives in 2003 to speed up a resolution to the boundary dispute, a legacy of their brief but bitter 1962 conflict. A formal ceasefire line was never established after the 1962, but the border has remained mostly peaceful after agreements were signed in 1993 and 1996. The Indian delegation at the talks was led by National Security Advisor M.K.Narayanan while China’s Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo headed Beijing’s team, said an Indian Foreign Ministry official who wished to remain unnamed.
“The preliminary discussions (on Friday) will be followed by another round of talks Saturday in Ooty,” the official said Friday referring to a popular holiday resort in southern Tamil Nadu province. In April 2005, India and China signed an agreement setting out the “guiding principles” to arrive at a border settlement pact. During a visit to New Delhi in November, Chinese President Hu Jintao said both sides would accord priority to resolving the border row.
Diplomatic ties between the two economic rivals have increased in recent years with the exchange of many bilateral visits and two-way trade touching two billion dollars a month, India’s trade minister Kamal Nath told reporters in New Delhi on Friday. Sources said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh plans to visit China this year.

Frans on 04.22.07 @ 06:06 PM CST [link]

Saturday, April 21st

Naga Solidarity Group appeals- Nagaland Post

Naga Solidarity Group appeals- Nagaland Post
Sensing the volatility of the political situation and the fragility of the peace process, the Naga Solidarity Group after serious deliberation made these observations:
1. After 10 years of ceasefire and political talks between the Indian State and Nagaland, the Indian Government has failed to win the confidence of the world community.
2. The Indian state has not steadfastly addressed Naga people’s sovereignty which is shown in its insincerity to tackle Naga’s human and political rights. This is now the germinating point for further instability and escalating violence for which the Indian Government will be held solely responsible;
3. The international community will not tolerate acts of intentional and needless discrimination. Consistent with the United Nation’s resolution against systematic annihilation of any ethnic group or race, the Naga Solidarity Group, in the strongest terms, opposes any policy aimed at ‘ethnic cleansing’ of any Naga tribe. This resolution applies to both the Indian state and any Naga group that is responsible for ‘ethnic cleansing’, as they will be brought before the International Criminal Court;
Over time, all Naga national groups have contributed to the problem by making serious human mistakes which have cost the people dearly. These groups are asked to initiate corrective steps and to seek forgiveness from those whom they have wronged; Sovereignty for all Naga people must remain the focus. In order to legitimize the Naga political rights in the world community, Naga national groups are encouraged to resolve their differences through peaceful means all the while maintaining this focus.
Dino Latiri, Italy, Thomas Labadie, FranceRosalinda Cameron, USA
Jacob Grebel, Germany, Thomas Johansen, Denmark, Julie Rickart, UK
Klaartje Koenig, The Netherlands, Marcus Betz, Germany, Carlotta Bellini, Italy
Sophia Kennell, Switzerland, Konrad Simons, Austria, Elizabeth Kapu, Zimbabwe
Danny O’Sullivan, UK, Brian Cuthburt, Australia Jacqueline Holmes, Canada
Ricardo Torres, Chile Georgette Brown, USA Esteban Arelleno, Mexico
Juan Guitterez, Columbia Seiku Young, Hong Kong Lena Ulrich, Germany
Natasha Katz, Belarus David Anderson, USA Michelline Formby, Rwanda
Connier Mahoney, UK Arturo Mannet, Switzerland Mustapha Sowah, Sierra Leone
Cynthia Oo, Hong Kong Katie Ehrisman, Argentina Chutima Goldman, Thailand
Paul Dobson, South Africa
On Behalf of theNaga Solidarity Group

Frans on 04.21.07 @ 08:40 PM CST [link]


‘NSCN-IM committed to peace proclamation’ The Morung Express

‘NSCN-IM committed to peace proclamation’ The Morung Express
KOHIMA, APRIL 21 (MExN): The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) said that the rival faction, NSCN-K, is taking undue advantage of its chairman, Isak Chishi Swu, proclamation on peace and reconciliation.
Referring to the recent killing of its several functionaries by the rival NSCN-K at Kohima, Mokokchung and Dimapur, a high functionary of the organization, who didn’t want to be named said that its cadres have been maintaining total restraint, respecting the reconciliation proclamation of its president, however, the cadres of the rival group have taken advantage of this restraint and is on the killing spree. “We still respect and honour the proclamation of the president. However, we may be compelled to counter-back in self-defence and to safeguard the Naga cause,” the functionary said. “We are on restraint, yet, Naga people should know who is doing what,” the Official also added. The leaderships of the NSCN-IM has decided to suspend all military offensive against its rival group some months back as a peace and reconciliation offer, but was rejected by the latter, official also added.
Meanwhile, a town commander of the NSCN-IM also said that there has been strict orders for total restraint from their higher ups. He disclosed that they have been given order not to commit any offensive against the rival group unless they are first attacked upon, since the reconciliation proclamation made by its president.
But there is a general air of uncertainty amongst the cadres of the NSCN-IM as the rival group continued to haunt down their comrades, he said. A commander also said that they are totally handicapped by the order, whereas the NSCN-K cadres are on a killing spree and cautioned that patience is running out amongst the cadres due to the offensive activities of the rival group.
‘Nagas destructing Nagas’: NBCC Kuknalim.com
DIMAPUR, April 19:: The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has said both the “overground” and “underground’ Naga political organizations who were supposed to wield power and authority have lost their respective capacities to control the multi-headed monster of corruption and lawlessness.
“The result is the destruction of Nagas by Nagas, which now seems unstoppable,” said NBCC in a press release issued by director, Peace Affairs, Rev. L Kari Longchar, and citied the recent killings in Mon, Zunheboto, Athibung, Kohima, Dimapur, Medziphema, Sirhima, Bade, Mokokchung and other places, as “clearest manifestations of the takeover of our society by the same monster.”

While hinting that the earlier distinction between the Naga “underground” and “overground” have become blurred because leaders of both the groups seemed to share the same values and interests, NBCC however said the leaders alone cannot be blamed.

“We all have helped in our different ways to bring about the present moral, spiritual and political bankruptcy resulting in the birth of the monster,” the release added. NBCC said bold, honest acceptance of moral responsibility of the kind shown by the Biblical Jonah was the urgent need of the hour: “Throw me into the sea and the storm will calm down. I know it is my fault that you are caught in this violent storm.” (Jonah 1:12) Meanwhile, NBCC disclosed that the Church was developing a modality to get the people to help the “leaders” so that if the leaders wisely respond to the people, the way will be shown to them to achieve honourable reconciliation together.
“With reconciliation and acceptance of one another, the search for a political settelement acceptable to all Nagas will become productive,” NBCC said.

NBCC said it believed that the best service the Naga churches could give to Naga leaders “at this dangerous hour” was to provide a trusted platform to the people to encourage them to ‘freely express what they believe is true and right’ so that ‘the voice and the conscience of the public’ would be heard by the leaders. It may be mentioned the NBCC Peace Committee met on April 18 and 19 at Kohima to review the recent spurt in factional-related killings.
Rio’s Mon road show in pre-poll mode Minphong Konyak Aboi (Mon) | The Morung Express
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio’s official tour of Mon district ahead of the Assembly election early next year looked every bit an NPF road show aimed to bolster the party’s chances in what is believed to be a crucial assembly segment for the party. Rio accompanied by his number two Noke Konyak, Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Wangnyuh Konyak and other Cabinet colleagues laid the foundation stone at Aboi today for the new 6th NAP battalion. Seen as a historic event for the locals in the area, hundreds gathered despite the inclement weather to witness and bless the new endeavor for the development of Aboi in particular and Nagas in general. The present Battalion at Tizit will shift to Aboi when construction will be over, which is informed to take some time. After inauguration of the foundation stone at Aboi this morning, the Chief Minister’s entourage left for Mon on way to Tiru to visit Tiru Coal Mine.
While appreciating the generosity and farsightedness of the people, Rio conveyed that the DAN Government “does not speak much but works more for the poorest and the depressed.” “We are a regional party, the party of the people rooted to their identity”, Rio said in his address. Elucidating the government’s achievement on the development front, Rio said that the present government had created the 11th and 12th IRB battalions providing employment for young Nagas. He added that the battalion at Aboi too is intended to create job opportunities for many, adding that the government aimed to uplift Mon district. Regretting the absence of Nyeiwang, local MLA Aboi, who is presently under treatment at Delhi, Rio termed the Aboi project as “Nyeiwang’s brainchild” pointing out that he had come to fulfill the ardent wish of Nyeiwang. He urged the people to thank the government but mainly Nyeiwang for this great achievement
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio along with Lok Sabha MP Wangyuh Konyak and other ministerial colleagues after inauguration of the foundation stone for the 6th NAP battalion at Aboi, Mon district on Saturday. (MExPix)
Talking on the occasion, senior Minister Noke Konyak, thanked the people of Langmeang and Ngangching villages for providing their ancestral land for developmental purpose. Talking about the work done by DAN government, he said that when regional party is in power it works for the region. “During Vizol’s time lots of additional fund directed to uplift the grass root levels of the Backward Section, like Backward Fund, 33% Reservation, VDB Fund, Compact Area Fund, etc, were introduced to boost and create a balance between the different sections of Naga society,” he said. In the state-level, he said that it is the regional government that has introduced the grant of pension to MLAs, MPs, which has been adopted by other states in the country. He further added that the ‘Regional Government’ had also created DUDA, declared the Year of Farmers, Youth and Women Empowerment, created 11th and 12th IRB battalion etc, which should be proof enough to show that regional party is the party of the people.
Earlier, State DGP Changkija thanked the DAN government and the people of Langmeang and Ngangching villages for making it possible to lay down the Foundation Stone. He conveyed that the government has been generous to the jawans by providing funds, rations, equipments etc., wherever approached. “I thank the government for providing fund for the establishment of New 6th NAP battalion Head Quarter at Aboi though government fund is in great constrain,” he said. Meanwhile he also urged both the battalion and the neighboring villagers to maintain a good rapport so that development and goodwill will arise out of this historic undertaking.
Today’s programme was chaired by Deputy Commissioner Mon. Angh of Langmeang Village, Chairman Village Council Nganching and Vice Chairman Aboi Town Committee thanked the DAN government for realizing their great dream. The programme was followed by cultural presentations.
Survival comes before integrity for Senapati`s border villages Sapam Aruna laii shirafei/chingmai khunou(senapati dist) Kangla
Visiting Laii Shirafei village, located on the state`s border with Nagaland, all the rhetoric we hear in Imphal about protecting Manipur`s integrity souinds strangely hollow. This, may it be said, is not because of any animosity that the people of this village may feel towards their fellow Manipuris, but because of the simple needs for sheer survival.

Long neglected by successive governments in Imphal, and handicapped by poor connectivity with the rest of the state, the people of Laii Shirafei have been looking towards Nagaland for meeting their basic needs, for education for their children, healthcare for their sick, markets for their products, even husbands for their girls. Moreover, with better roads and a better power situation, their Nagaland neighbours, particularly the villages of Chizami, Lasami and Zhamai, offers models of prosperity to aspire for, on the one hand, and envy on the other.
All in all, the situation obtaining in the village provides powerful support to the argument that Manipur`s integrity can be assured only when the state government actively and conscientiously try to meet the needs and aspirations of all sections, particularly those living in the remote and interior areas, rather than shouting about integrity and unity from the rooftops in Imphal.

Laii Shirafei, village council chairman, at thaizei, points out that for years, no one in the state capital has given their village a second glance, let alone taken care of their needs.

`We have developed close ties with our Nagaland neighbours primarily for the sake of survival,` he says. Offering a contrast between the situation in their village and that of their neighbours across the inter-state boundary, he says, at night, our neighbours` homes are aglow with electric lights, while we have to make do with podons.
With extremely poor roads connectivity to other parts of the state, and no efforts from the state authorities to provide market outlets, Laii Shirafei, located some 52 km from Tadubi, sends most of its local products, including potatos, cabbage, vegetabes, poultry, pigs, fish from the Langi river, handicrafts to markets in Nagaland. `Our local products are much in demand in Nagaland, because of better soil conditions here, and they are even sold in Kohima,` thaizei says.

It is also a fact of life here that the village womenfolk look for husbands mostly in Nagaland, because Nagaland men are on average better-off that their local suitors, something which is attributed to the measures taken up by the Nagaland government for the welfare and prospertity of its citizens. For some reason, Nagaland women on the other hand are reluctant to marry into households on this side of the boundary line, quips thaizei. The village possesses a lone lp school, where there are just two teachers for the 82 students enrolled. It has no school building, and classes are often held combined with those of a private school. There are no health facilities to speak of, and villagers routinely take those who fall sick to Nagaland for treatment.

Chingmei Khunou, another village in the same area, but somewhat bigger, faces much the same situation. The village, with a population of 4,600, has a UJB school which teaches upto class V. For further schooling, the children of the village head to Senapati, Kohima and Dimapur An interesting wrinkle here is that when the All Naga Students Association, Manipur, insisted this year that Naga students should appear their matric examinations under the Nagaland board, many of the students belonging to Chingmei Khunou ended up appearing in the examinations conducted by both the Nagaland board and the Manipur board. Villagers informed that the ANSAM`s insistence placed students and their parents in a quandary, as it was felt that it might affect their careers. Finally, many students decided to appear for the examinations of both the two state boards. Villagers also said the ansam paid fares and provided fooding for students to appear under the Nagaland board in Nagaland, but most families and students are not satisfied.

There is a phc at Laii Khunjao for their health needs, but the doctor posted there is usually to be found doing private practice at Senapati bazar. The nurse posted there also turns up only occasionally. The roads linking the village to the rest of the state are strictly fair-weather, and completely impassable by vehicles whenever it rain. Most of the village`s products, including the well-known Mao potatoes are mainly sent to Dimapur and Kohima. Sending their products to the rest of the state is difficult because of transport problems, and the frequent general strikes, bandhs and economic blockades make it unattractive.

Centre blamed for Asom-Nagaland differences Nagarealm.com
Guwahati, April20 [NPN]UNI) Rights activist groups of Asom and Nagaland today held the Centre and state governments responsible for creating differences between the people of the two states and joined hands to resolve the disputes. They decided to create coordination between the different democratic and civil society organisations in the two states and to also approach the underground factions if the need arose.

Representatives of the People’s Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam (PCPIA), a conglomerate of 27 groups actively pursuing the resumption of peace talks between the government and the ULFA, and the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) met here and decided to take steps for strengthening of age-olsd bond between the people of the states. The two bodies stressed on the historical ties between the people of the entire North-East region and said they had lived in perfect harmony for centuries. Chief coordinator of the PCPIA Lachit Bordoloi said the disputes that cropped up had been created by third parties, who stood to gain by creating division among the people of the region. He said, ”The governments have also at various points of time tried to divide the people by imposing boundaries and instigating them.”

He alleged that the row over the boundary between the two states was largely created by the government, saying that even the borders fixed by separate commissions appointed by the government differed. ”The people along the border areas live in perfect harmony. The government is itself unsure where the actual border should be drawn as the people have no disputes between them,” Mr Bordoloi added. The PCPIA and the NPMHR, in a joint statement issued after the meeting today and signed by Mr Bordoloi and Dr N Venuh, secretary General of the NPMHR, informed that the PCPIA would send a delegation to Nagaland in May to interact with like-minded groups there. Mr Bordoloi said they would also get in touch with the militant factions, including both the factions of NSCN, for facilitating resolution of the disputes as the outfits had earlier shown interest in the matter. The members of NPMHR also called on the 12 activists of the PCPIA who had been on a hunger strike since April 6, to press the government for resumption of peace talks and as a mark of solidarity for the fasting wives of ‘missing’ ULFA leaders. They also expressed concern over the deteriorating health condition of the ULFA leaders wives, who had been on a fast-unto-death since March 21, demanding the whereabouts of their missing husbands since December, 2003.
Top NSCN (K) man nabbed Nagarealm.com
Imphal, April20 [TSE] : Imphal East District Police have arrested the finance in-charge (Imphal) of the outlawed NSCN (K) from Paomei Colony, Sangakpham during a search operation launched today. According to SP of Imphal East K Kailun, the operation was launched based on specific information. The arrested finance in-charge of the NSCN (K) is identified as Ason alias Bimol Hungyo (22) s/o Ningam Hungyo of Pungpun village of Ukhrul district. One 9 mm pistol along with a magazine loaded with two live rounds of ammunition and a polythene bag containing three receipt books and 80 blank demand letters of the outfit have also been recovered from the possession of the arrested underground activist, the SP disclosed in a statement, adding that each of the receipt books contain respectively 79, 79 and 68 leaves. During the course of preliminary interrogation, Ason disclosed that he joined the outfit in 2001 under one Winner and had undergone military training at eastern Nagaland. At present, he is working as the finance in-charge of Imphal area to collect fund from tribal people mainly Nagas to drive fund for purchasing arms and ammunition under the command of one kilonser Joseph. His army no is 3036.

Naga Solidarity Group appeals- Nagaland Post
Sensing the volatility of the political situation and the fragility of the peace process, the Naga Solidarity Group after serious deliberation made these observations:
1. After 10 years of ceasefire and political talks between the Indian State and Nagaland, the Indian Government has failed to win the confidence of the world community.
2. The Indian state has not steadfastly addressed Naga people’s sovereignty which is shown in its insincerity to tackle Naga’s human and political rights. This is now the germinating point for further instability and escalating violence for which the Indian Government will be held solely responsible;
3. The international community will not tolerate acts of intentional and needless discrimination. Consistent with the United Nation’s resolution against systematic annihilation of any ethnic group or race, the Naga Solidarity Group, in the strongest terms, opposes any policy aimed at ‘ethnic cleansing’ of any Naga tribe. This resolution applies to both the Indian state and any Naga group that is responsible for ‘ethnic cleansing’, as they will be brought before the International Criminal Court;
Over time, all Naga national groups have contributed to the problem by making serious human mistakes which have cost the people dearly. These groups are asked to initiate corrective steps and to seek forgiveness from those whom they have wronged; Sovereignty for all Naga people must remain the focus. In order to legitimize the Naga political rights in the world community, Naga national groups are encouraged to resolve their differences through peaceful means all the while maintaining this focus.
Dino Latiri, Italy, Thomas Labadie, FranceRosalinda Cameron, USA
Jacob Grebel, Germany, Thomas Johansen, Denmark, Julie Rickart, UK
Klaartje Koenig, The Netherlands, Marcus Betz, Germany, Carlotta Bellini, Italy
Sophia Kennell, Switzerland, Konrad Simons, Austria, Elizabeth Kapu, Zimbabwe
Danny O’Sullivan, UK, Brian Cuthburt, Australia Jacqueline Holmes, Canada
Ricardo Torres, Chile Georgette Brown, USA Esteban Arelleno, Mexico
Juan Guitterez, Columbia Seiku Young, Hong Kong Lena Ulrich, Germany
Natasha Katz, Belarus David Anderson, USA Michelline Formby, Rwanda
Connier Mahoney, UK Arturo Mannet, Switzerland Mustapha Sowah, Sierra Leone
Cynthia Oo, Hong Kong Katie Ehrisman, Argentina Chutima Goldman, Thailand
Paul Dobson, South Africa
On Behalf of theNaga Solidarity Group
Where angels fear to tread By: Oken Jeet Sandham Kangla
Where angels fear to tread? It sounded nice when the Government of Manipur moved the Court and obtained arrest warrants against the NSCN-IM’s Kilo Kilonser (Home Minister) Puni and Deputy Kilonser Kraibo Chawang with regard to the kidnapping and the subsequent murder of the two Senapati children Hriini Hubert and Muheni Martin. It also obtained the arrest warrants against the two of the three suspects in the crime Brown and Manikho. Interestingly, the whole exercise, according to Manipur Government, was done with the instructions and advice of the Union Home Ministry.

For quite some time, the issue of the abduction of the two minors remained relatively quiet and many were still confused if they were still alive. It was also reported that the suspects in the crime had been in the custody of the NSCN-IM.

Unfortunately the recovery of the skeletal remains of the two children had taken many by surprise. Nobody believed initially that such a degree of crime on the children would take place although child kidnapping and murder has become a phenomenon, threatening the entire society in Manipur today. And no one, at any cost, should allow our children to be preyed upon and in fact our underground organizations should unwaveringly protect the interest of the children and show their humane touch to the citizens especially our children. It is extremely painful even to imagine that a child is kidnapped for ransom but it is simply unimaginable taking away the lives of the innocent children after the ransom has been paid.

Just before the recovery of the skeletal remains of the two minors in Senapati district, a drug addict in Imphal had murdered a child after taking away his gold earnings. The residents of the locality took to the streets demanding arrest of the culprit but the next day, the proscribed RPF caught the culprit and executed summarily after producing him to the publics. However, many analysts expressed certain reservation on such execution, saying killing the killer is not proper without observing the laws of the land. Arguably, it is a valid point but broadly speaking nobody would support and hardly have any mercy for any child killers for whatever reasons.

In the Senapati incident, the NSCN-IM has claimed that the three suspects are in their custody and further investigation is on, while promising the Senapati publics for early judgment.

At the same time, the Manipur Government has also claimed that they have arrested some suspects and explained their inability to pursue the matter further as the main culprits are in the custody of the NSCN-IM. But confusion arises when they have secured arrest warrants against the two leaders of the NSCN-IM and also the two suspects. Because the outfit (NSCN-IM), as expected, came out against such decision even terming it as trying to sabotage the “Naga peace process.” “Why did the Manipur government straight away issue arrest warrant against us,” asked Kraibo Chawang, deputy kilonser of the outfit. Things should be officially done and that matter should be discussed officially and not just simply issuing arrest warrant to get the accused, he added. He even said the matter would be tabled in their next round of talks with the Government of India.

The outfit’s explanation needs examining critically. The Manipur government knows the government of India is currently holding peace talks and maintaining truce with the NSCN-IM. That was why they had to hand over 13 NSCN-IM persons including then Kilo Kilonser (Home Minister) AK Lungalang to the Chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group Lt Gen (Retd) RV Kulkarni after their arrest in Manipur some years back—of course, as a goodwill gesture to the ongoing the peace process. As such, they, instead of listening to the instructions and the advices of the Union Home Ministry for issuing arrest warrants against the NSCN-IM leaders, should have insisted that they (Home Ministry) handle the matter and prevail upon the leaders of the outfit to hand over the suspects being kept in their custody to them in view of the ceasefire and peace process they have with the outfit.

We know the law and order is State subject but what happened in Nagaland where both NSCN factions continue indulging in bloodiest factional clashes and killings and even publics were killed including the ex-DGP. The state government could not take any action against the culprits even after their claim of executing persons like ex-DGP as they continue to clarify that such actions do not come under the purview of the existing ceasefire ground rule. Now the state government (Nagaland) is saying factional clashes and killings are political issue and action against them could not be initiated because of the ceasefires they (factions) have with New Delhi. Whereas the Center is saying prevailing factional clashes and killings in the state is a law and order issue, hence the state subject.

One might say the current ceasefires are confined to Nagaland. Theoretically true but in reality it is not. The recent Manipur general election has the telltale story. In one way, it is also a sign of weakness on the part of the government of Manipur for failing to present the true picture of the prevailing situation in the Hill areas of the state. Therefore, it will be only appropriate for the government of Manipur to take the matter as a responsible state government with the Government of India. This is perhaps the NSCN-IM leaders meant to say “official level.” Whether the NSCN-IM is obeying the order of the Government of India is a different matter but certainly New Delhi can play convincing role and even discuss the matter in their next meetings. The Manipur government should first wait that response and they should not be easily browbeaten by Delhi. There are many ways to settle the present crisis. Otherwise, even going with the weapons of arrest warrants will have no meaning as one can see the helplessness of that state (Nagaland) on many stages. It will be like treading where the angels fear to tread.
The Cancerous Conscience Nagarealm/com
The Kuki students protest in Delhi on March 23, 2007 against the abduction of more than 400 Kuki villagers near the Indo-Burma border, destructive menace posed by planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in villagers frequented routes, paddy field and forest in the hills of Manipur, and the massively silenced hurdles the villagers are made to bear in their abnormal life bring forth yet the same old denials of truth, which already failed to find a space in our society, by and large, today.

When truth failed to occupy that special space, justice for the wrong done ought to be indeed unexpected. Of course, truth will remain truth but justice turns injustice. The expectancy of such a deserved and demanded justice also withers as time passes, which is precisely what the perpetrators of crimes and their acquaintances sought. Look at the denied justice to the rape victims of Tipaimukh.

Doing right what has been done wrong has become a far cry. Probably, the tugging at the other end, opposite the conscience of humanity is far too stronger and greater. We may ask, could this really be happening and be possible? Why not, after all this is Manipur, the land of shambles, isn’t it?

The protest rally of March 23, 2007 held in Delhi that turned violent resulting in the serious injury to more than 20 participant students, around 20 Delhi police personnel, detaining of more than 130 student protesters by the state police, the brutality and inhumane treatment of the protesters of both sexes by the police personnel, sexual assault and molestation of women protesters, the vengeful tactics applied by the police personnel in dispersing and arresting the students, the ugly face of racism that controls the state machinery, false charges forcefully labeled on the detainees – all reflects the seriousness of things gone wrong in a state and non-state governance. The governed are forced to face the brunt of all the things ugly.

From the psychological perspective of distraught victims the peaceful protest turned violent can be attributed to a long endured frustration and muffled voice, at last shouting to be heard. Enough is enough! We want to be heard of our sufferings. Yet in spite of the number of hospitalised and arrested protesters during the rally (could as well be recorded as the largest by people from the Northeast region in the capital of India), apprehension is reserved on whether justice would be delivered still. As ever expected, the government will remain unmoved and would continue to be a mute and silent spectator.

Nevertheless, the rally, however, reflects what is being felt of the government indifference and deliberate ignorance to the plights of the victimised peoples in the hills of Manipur. And as we cry out against the brutality and cases of molestation of women by the policed state in the capital city during the protest rally, we also need to be concerned of the unnoticed but same brutality that is being confronted in the far-flung hilly areas of Manipur both by the policed state and non-state actors. How do we try justifying the unvoiced violence the people in those areas are going through? There can be no word of justification. It does not even come near to our humane conscience.

Disturbing voices passed along talked of a recent visit of an MLA, along with the CM of Manipur, to the seriously injured hospitalised protesters at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in Delhi. It has been quoted that this MLA (who incidentally was in Delhi during that time, for an official visit probably) while speaking to the injured actually blamed the students for the high-handedness they received from the state police during their protest. He was also reported to allegedly call the hospitalised students as terrorists. If the unarmed and innocent protesters, of a just cause for an abused people, were so easily tagged as “terrorists”, what labeling would be most appropriate for the armed state and armed non-state actors, and the peoples’ own irresponsible representatives and corruption infested government? Who are now the deserving terrorists?
Moreover, in an interview with the Asian News International (ANI), the MLA when asked of the circumstances that led to this ugly incident replied by squarely blaming the students for their excessive behaviour during the protest. It was also said that the MLA advised the students to concentrate more on their studies, for which they are in the capital city, and not to destroy their career by participating in protest rally and demonstrations.

I have to admit, the MLA is right to a certain extent in his concern. At the same time, it would be advisable to go beyond that point of concern, where every issues is in shambles with no available solution to the pitiable condition the people are made to live through years and years. Bravo to our elected public leaders for creating such a pathetic situation for us.

Would the fatherly conscience of the elected representatives fare well when faced with such an innocent question as to what they are doing in the face of the lurking threats to their own people’s survival? Are they busy flipping and playing with some dirty money, again?

What has subjected the bright-careered students to come out to the streets in protest against the inhumane treatment their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters are facing at home? If they had not voiced their concern through such protest rally, would an armed struggle or just a mere receiving of a degree from some colleges or universities save their people from different forms of discrimination? If not them, then who is going to ask for justice? What significance does their careers and achievements make when their people and land are left to rot and vanish? If we put up an argument saying that it is not the job they should be involved in, then whose job is it anyway? Does those entrusted with the “job” do what they had to do?
The protest rally was, as I see, a social awakening to revolutionalise our dying and ailing society. There is a need to question the accountability of our elected representatives and also to hold them responsible for not doing what they ought to do for long time gone.

Is it not a discriminatory excuse saying that victimised villagers in the remote areas are to be blamed for the state of affairs they are currently confronting? Do we lamely put it this way that they are getting what they fittingly deserved at the first place? Do we tell the poor, lecturing them that they are so because they are merited to be? When does the poor’s thumb impressions become important? Why are ballot boxes filled up and for what reasons? What is being expected from those elected representatives? We cannot just let life go on this way forever. Should we? How long should we? So many answerable but unanswered questions lurking around. I am reminded of the Black Eyed Peas number – where is the love?

Conscience, conscience, where are you? Let us glimpse a bit of you! At least to dream on for the far, far away justice we longingly craved. [Elf Hmar]

BSS in job to help ex-BLT, NDFB sink differences Our Correspondent Sentinel
KOKRAJHAR, April 21: Representatives of the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS), the All Bodo Women Welfare Forum (ABWWF), the ABEF, the DUBHA, the DUBAA and ex-BLT leaders, in a meeting held here yesterday, empowered the BSS to act as a buffer between the NDFB and the ex-BLT and arrange a patch-up talks between the groups so as to bring back peace in the Bodo community as a whole, and in Bagsa district in particular.
The meeting decided that NDFB cadres should stay only in the designated camps set up for them by the Government so as to maintain peace. The meeting, held with BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary in the chair, was attended, among others, by ABSU president Rwngwra Narzary, Brajendra Kumar Brahma and others. It may be mentioned here that there had been clashes between NDFB cadres and ex-BLT members leading to the death of a cadre of the former in Bagsa district recently. Tension prevails in Bagsa after the incident.

Frans on 04.21.07 @ 08:39 PM CST [link]

Friday, April 20th

Rio plea for ceasefire extension The telegraph

Rio plea for ceasefire extension The telegraph
OUR CORRESPONDENT Kohima, April 19: The Nagaland government has appealed to the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) to extend their ceasefire, which expires on April 28.
The consultative committee for peace of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government asserted that the people desire peace in the state. Extension of ceasefire with the NSCN factions would be able to deliver peace and progress, it added.
The committee also observed that factional clashes in the state were occurring because the Naga separatist groups were not staying in their respective designated camps.
The committee wanted such designated camps identified immediately and the militants asked to stay in their respective camps. It requested the Centre to prepare an implementing mechanism without delay so that the truce ground rules could be implemented in letter and spirit.
“The committee observes that though there is a monitoring mechanism for ceasefire ground rules, there is no such implementing mechanism for the same,” the committee headed by chief minister Neiphiu Rio stated.
The committee strongly condemned the fratricidal killings, appealing to the underground groups to stop all forms of violence. The committee also strongly protested all forms of extortion, illegal tax collection and abduction and other such activities and asked the people to condemn such activities.
Lauding the efforts being made by civil society, the Church, NGOs, the administration, police and paramilitary forces in maintaining law and order, the committee appealed to one and all to do their utmost towards maintaining peace and tranquillity in the state so that the peace process in the state does not get hampered in any way.
The Kuki Movement for Human Rights, in a letter to Union home minister Shivraj Patil today, made an appeal, stating, “Please save hundreds of human lives of Molvom and Bungsang villages from the NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K) factional battles.”
The letter, issued by NGO chairman T. Lunkim, said the two Naga factions had been fighting in the Kuki-inhabited villages for the past few years.
These include recent battles in Bungsang and Serima Kuki villages on April 11 and 16 respectively, in which two civilians were injured and seven houses razed.
He said a large number of activists from both the factions in Serima, Molvom and Bungsang villages were fully prepared for a showdown.
Claiming that some of the villagers had fled while others were being held hostage, he criticised the security forces for remaining silent on the matter.
The Kuki Movement for Human Rights appealed to the Centre to immediately intervene to save thousands of innocent lives and property of the villagers.

JOINT STATEMENT OF PEOPLES COMMITTEE FOR PEACE INITIATIVES IN ASSAM (PCPIA) AND THE NAGA PEOPLES’ MOVEMENT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (NPMHR)

The Peoples Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam (PCPIA) and the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) had a joint consultative meeting at the Sahid Niyash Conference Hall, Guwahati on the 20th of April 2007, to foster understanding and strengthen amity between the people of Assam and Nagaland.

The PCPIA will send a delegation to Nagaland to further interact with other democratic organizations and civil society towards the end of May 2007 in an effort to facilitate peace and harmony in the region. Further, the PCPIA and the NPMHR decided to initiate a re-establishment of traditional ties of friendship between the peoples of Assam and the Nagas. This initiative will be launched in the areas along the common boundary.

The consultative meeting also decided to work in close partnership with each other to promote peoples to peoples dialogue in the region so as to facilitate the attainment of peoples hope and aspiration. Peoples Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam (PCPIA) and the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) express solidarity and support for the Peace Process of Assam and Nagaland. NPMHR pledged support and solidarity to the on-going Hunger Strike by six wives of “missing ULFA leaders” and members of the PCPIA.

Peoples Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam (PCPIA) and the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) call upon the Government of India to
demonstrate humane attitude and show its sincerity by immediately listening to the voices of the people as expressed through the hunger strike.

Sd.(Dr. N.Venuh) Sd.(Lachit Bordoloi) Secretary General, Chief Co-Ordinator, NPMHR PCPIA.
The wizard of Tezpur The Telegraph
He eats live lizards and snails for the main course, snacks on tree leaves and jumps from highrises for his daily workout — all this to earn a place in the Limca Book of Records Meet Uttam Das, a 28-year-old “stunt artiste” who lives and breathes for his dream to make it to one of the record books some day. Das developed a fascination for the “world of thrills” when he was working at a private nursing home in Tezpur.
“I ran away from my home in Biswanath Chariali after my father abused me for failing in the matriculation examination in 1993,” he said. At 15, the AXN fan jumped from the three-storeyed building of the nursing home “without suffering any bruises”. “Then I consumed a lizard and remained unconscious for 24 hours.” After recovering, he began “practising” eating various poisonous creatures to “develop a taste for them. “I can live on 7 kg of earth for two days and tree leaves for a whole week,” he said.
His “18-course menu” includes live lizards, frogs, earthworms, snails, cockroaches, rats, millipedes, centipedes, caterpillars, poisonous snakes, bricks, blades, glass, soaps and a few other “unconventional” items. Now, he is waiting for a call from Zee TV’s popular reality show, Shabaash India. “I have already sent video recordings of my eating feats for this purpose,” he said. On his “unique selling point”, Das said he has 21 “tricks” up his sleeve.
“In addition to eating a variety of things, I can lift a 60-kg weight with my teeth, jump from great heights, keep myself afire for 42 seconds and even ride a motorcycle blindfolded.”
Das’s one-and-a-half-year-old baby Monalisa also eats tree leaves. “In fact, she has been living on leaves and milk alone,” said the proud father. “Even the doctors who have examined me have marvelled at my digestive powers,” he said. “They have certified me and my daughter as totally no-rmal and healthy otherwise.”
How does he manage to pull off these “wild” feats? “With tremendous courage,” is his confident reply. And this Tezpur youth is ready to stop at nothing till he gets recognition for his courage. “I shall strive for a place in the record books even if it takes me another 20 years to do so,” Das said.
Music awards
There is good news for modern Manipuri song artistes. A group formed by veteran singers and lyricists in Imphal has announced annual cash awards for the best singers in as well as outside Manipur.
“We have decided to give Rs 50,000 as awards to the best singers of modern Manipuri songs, especially those who are promoting the art in Manipur and in other parts of the country,” said singer Hamom Naba Singh, who is also the chairman of the award committee. The award has been instituted by Apunba Manipur Matam Eshei Kanglup (Amik), an organisation founded by late Nongmaithem Pahari Singh, better known as the “king of modern Manipuri songs”.
Folklore meet
It is said that the essence of any culture lies in its folklore. Handed down orally from one generation to the other, it is also a tradition that is fast vanishing from most societies.
In a bid to save this rich heritage from extinction, a two-day workshop on Northeast folklore was organised recently at the Balmukund Development Government Music College, Imphal. Experts from Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram took part in the conclave. Bendang Nangshi, a noted Ao writer from Nagaland’s Mokokchung district, spoke on the folklore of his tribe, whereas Ruth Lalremruati from Mizoram University presented a paper on Mizo myths and folktales.

Ulfa tells govt to back fast – There’s little we can do: CM The Telegraph A STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, April 19: The banned Ulfa today made a veiled threat to politicians and political parties, asking them to back the fasting wives of six missing militant leaders or face the “consequences” if the women come to any harm.
The Ulfa statement comes on a day when the women completed a month of fasting, meant to pressure the government into revealing the whereabouts of their husbands. Several Ulfa members went missing in Bhutan during the military flushout operation in that country in December 2003.
It is suspected that the “missing” militants were captured and turned over to India.
“We call upon all the politicians of Asom to be united and uphold this mass demand and compel India to take firm steps. Otherwise, if something unwell (sic) happens to the people observing fast, these politicians and their parties will have to face the consequences,” Ulfa said in the latest edition of its bulletin Freedom, a copy of which was emailed to The Telegraph.
Pursued by the army in Assam and beyond — after Arunachal Pradesh, the focus has shifted to militant bases in Nagaland — Ulfa has been trying hard to gain attention and public sympathy by highlighting the fast by the six women.
“The politicians of Asom must not drag their feet on the issue. It is better to take prompt action so that the situation does not worsen….We appeal to international human rights commissions and democratic masses to pressure the government of India for restoration of peace and let the people of Asom live,” Ulfa said.
The fasting women are in preventive custody at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. They have been charged with attempted suicide.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi said there was little his government could do if the wives of Ulfa militants refused to end their fast.
On why the government was hiding information, if available, about the Ulfa militants who are missing, Gogoi said, “Whatever information we have pertaining to the allegations about certain Ulfa members going missing after the operation in Bhutan, we have given to Gauhati High Court. What more information can I give when the government does not have any more information?”

Frans on 04.20.07 @ 11:58 PM CST [link]

Thursday, April 19th

NSCN-IM issued 7-days deadline Punishment demanded for youth’s death The Morung Express

NSCN-IM issued 7-days deadline Punishment demanded for youth’s death The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 19 (MExN): The NSCN-IM has been issued by various civil organizations a 7-day deadline to submit an action report on the April 17-18 torture and the subsequent death, of one youth in Dimapur. Two of the deceased’s friends who were also assaulted by the cadres are currently recuperating under medical treatment.
The youth, Vilasilie Angami, aged around 27 years, died due to severe injuries inflicted on him by one “Maj” Meide along with two other cadres at Bade village. Vilasilie was taken into “custody” with two of his friends over a quarrel the three had with a person, around Sunday late evening. The person, identified to be one Chacko Romeo, reported to the NSCN-IM cadres against Vilasilie and his friends, leading to the incident. The “reporter” is said to be missing since the uproar and concerns are being raised by organizations over his welfare. According to officials from the Chakhroma Public Organization, the “Defense” Kilonser of the NSCN-IM, Zarsie Pochury, has assured punishment to the three erring cadres. The organizations led by the CPO demanded that investigations should be undertaken and the action-taken report should be submitted within 7 days with immediate effect. A CPO official said that the demand has been accepted with the assurance that the three cadres would be awarded befitting punishment. The official also informed that initially the NSCN-IM authorities had decided only on termination of “Maj” Meide’s “service.” However, following the rejection of this decision and intense pressure from the aggrieved and the public, the NSCN-IM assured that all culpable cadres would face appropriate action.
The Naga Council Dimapur, the Western Sumi Hoho and the Chakhesang Hoho Dimapur and other likened civil organizations also expressed solidarity and support to the demands, the official informed. Mention may be made here that throughout April 18, various civil organizations and public from Selouphe and neighboring villages had set up a road-blockade of the road leading to the NSCN-IM’s HQ, Hebron Camp. The body of Vilasilie was placed on the road by the angry public demanding that the cadres be produced to the public. Until and unless the culprits are produced, the body was not to be shifted or buried. However around late night, the NSCN-IM authorities acceded to the public’s demands after which the deceased was taken to his native village, Razuphema, under Dhansiri Sub-division, for burial.
The deceased’s two friends who were also tortured are identified as one Menguzetuo of Seluophe village and Pelesavi of Chiechama village. Both are undergoing medical treatment. The deceased died of his injuries on way to Dimapur after being released on a “compromise” reached between the victims’ parents and the NSCN-IM, it was informed. Meanwhile, the organizations have expressed expectation that the NSCN-IM would put to action their assurances that the erring cadres would be awarded appropriate punishment within the 7-day dateline.
Sumi Hoho displeased with NSCN (IM), State govt. The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 19 (MExN): The executive committee meeting of the Sumi Hoho including all the Sumi frontal organizations held its meeting on April 18 and expressed unhappiness against the NSCN-IM cadres for causing much inconveniences and hardship to the Natha New villages. The cadres have occupied the entire village since April 13, 2007 till date, sending villagers fleeing in fear of being caught in crossfires in the factional fighting. The meeting expressed strong reservations over the ‘cold attitude’ of the State government towards the suffering public, due to the presence and continuous factional conflict.
The meeting also strongly condemned the damage caused to the house and property of the private residence of N Kitovi Zhimomi, Ato Kilonser NSCN (K) at Amiphoto Colony on April 15 by NSCN-IM cadres. It stated that such senseless action on private properties and attacking kin of any Naga national leaders should be condemned by all.
In a press communiqué issued by HS Rotokha, president Sumi Hoho and Aheto V. Yepthomi, general secretary, Sumi Hoho, it was informed that the meeting resolved to apprise the Government of Nagaland that the tormented village and area should be immediately visited and Natha New villagers be suitably ‘helped’ by the Government of Nagaland. The Sumi Hoho further resolved that the damage so caused to the house and properties be immediately and properly assessed and compensated reasonably and also that the wounded civilian (s) be given financial assistance for their medical expenses.
Lawlessness heightens; NSCN-K kills 2 rival leaders Kunalim.com
KOHIMA, April 18:: Nagaland teetered on the brink of lawlessness as the Khaplang faction of the NSCN gunned down two leaders of the Isak-Muivah group to avenge the seven casualties inflicted by rival militants four days earlier. Public anger and frustration over the continuing saga of tit-for-tat killings was stoked by the death of a civilian youth in another incident involving militants. People poured onto the streets of Dimapur, the state’s commercial hub, and blocked the highway leading to the NSCN (I-M)’s council headquarters after news spread about the youth’s death following an assault by militants today.

Carrying the youth’s body, the protesters demanded that the NSCN (I-M) members responsible for the incident be turned over to them for instant justice. The chastened militant group, which operates from Camp Hebron near Dimapur, promised an “impartial inquiry”.

The Khaplang group, on the other hand, gloated about how it was trying to end “terrorism” in Nagaland. Its first target was Vihoto Sumi, the NSCN (I-M)’s former “central administrative officer” for the Sumi region. Ironically, the militant leader was on his way to a funeral service when NSCN (K) bullets felled him at Police Colony in Dimapur. Another team of hitmen shot dead the NSCN (I-M)’s “deputy secretary” Maotoshi Ao in Mokokchung town, about 150 km from the state capital, this morning. The NSCN (K) later issued a statement saying that the attacks on rival leaders were “part of a campaign to cleanse Nagaland”.
Both factions of the NSCN have been at each other’s throats since the parent group split, but fratricidal killings have increased during the period of ceasefire in Nagaland. The NSCN (K) argued only yesterday that the ceasefire agreement was with Delhi and not between the factions.

On Sunday, NSCN (I-M) militants fired mortar shells and rockets at the residence of Kitovi Zhimomi, general secretary of the rival faction, in Zunheboto town. Six NSCN (K) members died in the attack and another was killed near Kohima the next day. Chief minister Neiphiu Rio convened an emergency meeting of the Consultative Committee for Peace. As on previous occasions, the meeting merely appealed to the factions to shun violence and foster peace and unity. The NSCN (K) responded by calling the Rio government a “puppet” of the NSCN (I-M).

A strong statement from the London-based Naga Solidarity Group heightened the drama in Nagaland. It warned Delhi and the militant groups against making any attempt towards “systematic, ethnic cleansing” of any Naga tribe. (Telegraph)
NSCN-IM ‘ASO’ opines on mistakes and blame The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 19 (MExN): Maintaining that “a person not willing to admit his silly mistakes is committing the greater mistakes,” Robin Tongsin, “ASO” of the NSCN-IM MIP feels it is not political or organizational differences but the unwillingness to admit mistakes and the tendency to blame others which is causing Nagas’ unrest today.
According to an opinion in a note from Tongsin, the turmoil in the Naga nation today is neither due to differences between organizations or ideologies but the “rigidity” to admit mistakes as well as the tendency to blame others. “…in this Naga world of today, falsification of facts and false propaganda, hatred coupled with killings etc have become like a stable food to us” he stated.
“The main cause of this, I believe, is neither the differences of organizations we belong to nor the different political ideologies we imbibed. But it is due to the rigidity to admit our mistakes and our tendency to blame others for the mistakes committed by us” he stated. The “ASO” also mentioned a couple of articles in the local dailies “distortion of revolutionary philosophy” and “IK terrorists’ misadventure” which he stated are instances of the point made above.
“It is very pleasant to identify someone’s mistake but when we do so, t boomerangs back at us in the same amount for no one in this world is eluded of mistakes; when we point out somebody’s fault, it should be also remembered that our faults are being exposed” he reminded.
NSCN-IM condemns killing Dimapur, April 19 (MExN): The NSCN-IM condemns what it stated is the ‘dastardly assassination’ of two of its cadres in separate incidents at Mokokchung and Wokha, April 18-19. According to the NSCN-IM MIP “section officer” Moatoshi of Kinunger village was abducted from his residence and later shot dead “by some Khaplang gunmen” on Wednesday. Then this morning, Leacy Khutovi of Woji Old under Ao Region was killed by two unidentified persons in his residence “in the presence of his family members.” These acts of renegades should be condemned by one and all, the MIP note stated reminding that the merciless killing “not only affects the organizations but also renders a family fatherless and a wife widow.” Paying highest homage to the fallen cadres, the NSCN-IM also extended its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed that the Almighty God would grant them solace as well as rest to the departed souls.
Letter to the leaders of GPRN/NSCN- Nagaland Post Column
We the Nagas were lucky to have such charismatic leaders in our society who works selflessly for the liberation of the people. Our political issue has been an important view in the international level, and is being in a good process with your dedicated works. I really thank God and praise Him for giving such charismatic leaders in our society. Through this column, sir, I would like to share some few hints about our national workers and leaders in our present situation.
The situation is very critical and corruption among leaders has been the order of the day. They work as leaders for the nation, while on the other hand, they are involved in doing many evil things in the eyes of the peoples. Many leaders and national workers are crazy after money and they lack the quality of leadership. Leaders of today do not work for the nation but for their own self benefits. Though our government is a people’s government, cadres have effort many plots, vehicles and constructed building which is far bigger, costlier and far better than any other state or union ministers.
This is not fair in the eyes of the public as our government is a people’s government and a public contribution government. Though many prayer meeting and fasting programme have been conducted constantly, this becomes fruitless and meaningless. So, in my opinion in order to be a good leader, sincerity and honesty is a must to lead the public. Today, as the situation has worsened day by day, only few leaders who work sincerely can be found in our society.
Many leaders can be tempted easily by money. So let us not go on with all these evil things, but let us look forward to brighten the future for our next generation. If we want cooperation from the public and make our people as one, let us try to erase all these evil things from the minds of our leaders or workers. We are fighting for our rights but all these cannot do for it. So, respected sirs, kingly see through all these matters and try to overcome evils through your effort.
Kazheche Shephe Senior citizen of Nagaland
Naga truce watchmanunder glare – Cloud on Kulkarni tenure OUR SPECIAL
New Delhi, April 18: Concerned over the fratricidal war between the two NSCN factions in Nagaland, the Centre is unlikely to extend the tenure of the chairman of the ceasefire monitoring mechanism, Lt Gen. (retd) R.V. Kulkarni.
“The situation will improve after he is replaced; the orders must have been issued,” a senior Congress leader from Nagaland quoted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying. If Gen. Kulkarni is replaced, it will be the first major development since the last round of peace talks with the NSCN (I-M) here, early this month.
In March, soon after home secretary V.K. Duggal’s retirement, speculation was rife that former Andhra Pradesh director-general of police Swaranjit Sen would replace Gen. Kulkarni. Sen’s crackdown on the Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh was cited by sources as one of the reasons for his possible post-retirement posting in the Northeast to rein in the insurgents there.
A delegation of Congress Legislature Party, led by leader of Opposition I. Imkong, had called on the Prime Minister on Monday. A senior state Congress leader said his team did not raise the issue. Singh mentioned it in passing though he did not name who would replace Gen. Kulkarni, he said. Gen. Kulkarni, however, said he did not know of any such development. The home ministry has been tightlipped on the issue. Gen. Kulkarni has been under fire mainly from the NSCN (K), which accuses him of being biased in favour of the rival NSCN (I-M) faction.
Earlier, the NSCN (I-M) had made it clear that it would not talk to the new chairman of the ceasefire monitoring mechanism who would replace Gen. Kulkarni, if the Centre made the appointment without consulting the outfit. In a letter written by NSCN (I-M) leader V.S. Atem to Duggal, the outfit asked the Centre to clarify its position on reports about the replacement. The outfit suspected the Centre of having a “hidden agenda” in replacing Gen. Kulkarni. The retired general has been in Nagaland for the last five years and his tenure ends in August. The home ministry has reportedly expressed concern over the prevailing situation in the state. Congress leaders apprised Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi of the situation. CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
IGAR (N) advises villagers to stay neutral from feuding UGs /Newmai News Network
Dimapur, April 18: Visiting the NSCN factional clashes ridden villages of Medziphema in Nagaland today Inspector General of Assam Rifles (North) Maj. Gen. KS Sethi appealed the villagers to be neutral to all the underground factions. The Assam Rifles officer was interacting today with the village elders of the Bungsang and Molvom villages at Medziphema in Nagaland where the factional clashes have been going on off and on these few days.

The Assam Rifles Major General while expressing optimism on the ongoing peace talks between the Government of India and NSCN (I-M) then stated the peace talks had “reached a height” and that “even a solution is possible”.

He also stated that “the Government of India, especially the Ministry of Home Affairs, is much concerned about restoring peace in Nagaland and therefore, peace must prevail here,” .

The Assam Rifles officer also said that although there have been a constraints of the security forces personnel since they are being made to carry out their duties under the ceasefire ground rules we had been able to “curtail” the movement of armed underground elements in Nagaland.

KS Sethis urged the villagers to be neutral to the underground factions and take steps collectively to rein in the movement of the armed activists inside their villages to avert clashes. Further, the IGAR insisted on furtherance of the existent ceasefires and unity among the various tribes of the Nagas for their prosperity. On the Zunheboto clash, the Inspector General Assam Rifles (N) said Assam Rifles had sent about 900 personnel to the affected areas for restoring normalcy and that the situation was under control though tense. Sethi then disclosed that the Khaplang group has been trying to enter Dimapur.
”We have already informed this development to Nagaland Government”, said the IGAR.

Kuki body’s SOS to Centre Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, April 18: Concerned with the casualties suffered by Kuki villagers due to escalation of tension/stand-off between rival groups of the NSCN in Nagaland, the Kuki Movement for Human Rights has drawn the attention of the Central Government to intervene and save the life of the Kuki people. In a letter addressed to the union home Minister, the rights body highlighted the frequent clashes between the armed cadres of NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) in kuki inhabited villages in Nagaland in the last few years causing panic and uncertainty amongst the the Kukis.

Pointing out that gun-fights took place as recently as April 11 and 16 at Serima Kuki village, the KMHR representation quoted reports of two civilians being wounded in the clashes and currently hospitalised besides burning down of seven houses.

Since yesterday (april 17) cadres of NSCN (IM) occupied Molvom Kuki village while the NSCN (K) activists are holed up in the nearby Bungsang Kuki village with full preparations to engage in a bitter gun battle, said the rights body. Alleging that Indian Army is remaining as silent spectators, the KMHR informed the Centre that the Kuki villagers are fleeing their homes with some unlucky ones detained as hostages. The rights body fervently appealed to the Central Government for prompt action to avert human casualties and save properties of the villagers.
Malik questions invite to pro-Indians NASEER A GANAI Greter Kashmir on line

Srinagar, Apr 18: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front declined New Delhi’s invitation on Wednesday for the third roundtable conference on Kashmir being held on April 24, thus virtually rendering the exercise ineffective in the absence of pro-freedom groups.
Displaying the invitation which he said was handed over to him by the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, the JKLF chairman Yasin Malik told reporters at a news conference here that he failed to understand the logic of inviting pro-India groups who don’t question Kashmir’s accession to India to the roundtables.
“When New Delhi could talk to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (that fights for separate homeland for Nagas) why in Kashmir it has different yardsticks? In Nagaland there are other parties as well which participate in elections, there is a Chief Minister and others but they are not included in talks.”
“One fails to understand why in case of Kashmir everybody should be on board irrespective of his or her beliefs and political ideologies,” Malik wondered as he made it clear his party won’t attend the roundtable in New Delhi. Malik, who recently returned from Pakistan, also announced his “Safar-e-Azadi (Journey for Independence)” from May 6. He said the 5-6 months journey, starting from Daksum village of south Kashmir’s Islamabad district would take him and his colleagues to far off places of the Valley.
“The campaign is named ‘Peace in South Asia: Kashmir First and Kashmiri First.’ Through this sustained campaign our objective is to pressurize India and Pakistan to involve Kashmiri ideological leadership and the Mujahideen into the peace process,” he said.
“And if after the campaign the Indian and Pakistani governments fail to respond (to) the popular demand, then an agitation will be launched,” he warned. “If anything untoward happens during those agitations, the governments of both the countries will be responsible.”
The people of Kashmir, according to the JKLF chief, have every right to know and be part of the process apparently aimed at deciding their future. “Everyone here wants to know whether the peace process is for resolution of the dispute or it’s a process to dissolve it. And if India and Pakistan presume they could settle on a dissolving process then they should also understand that peace will elude South Asia,” he said. Malik said different tactics like corruption and the massive suppression have had failed to fatigue the Kashmiris and “kill the popular sentiment for freedom.”
“(The sentiment) is there and it’s so deep that those who swear by the constitution of India even try to cash on it…And I tell you (the) spirits haven’t died down. New generation is coming up and they will not bear all this and could turn even into Fidayeen (suicide attackers). Recent examples clearly show it,” he said. On demilitarization, Malik said the issue has been politicized so much that it has lost its meaning. He said if India was serious about demilitarization, it could achieve it in 24 hours. “They have to involve the Mujahideen leadership and with it the demilitarization will take place within 24 hours,” he added.

Nagaland on alert after six die in clashes Gulf Times

GUWAHATI: Hundreds of security forces were deployed yesterday in the restive northeast state of Nagaland after six people were killed in gunfights between rival separatist groups, police said.
Three people were shot dead yesterday in retaliation for the killing of three others on Monday, police said. The outbreak of violence between two rival factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) occurred despite a ceasefire between the government and the separatists.
“Security forces have now been fanned for area domination to bring the situation under control. We are still not out of the woods,” L L Doungel, deputy inspector general of Nagaland police, said by telephone. The official said heavily-armed militants of the Isak Muivah faction of the group (NSCN-IM) clashed with the rival Khaplang group. At least half a dozen Khaplang rebels were injured in the attack.
“In one incident NSCN-IM militants attacked and killed three members of the rival Khaplang group. In retaliatory strikes, cadres of the NSCN-Khaplang faction killed three of their rival members,” Doungel said.
“Armed NSCN-IM rebels shot dead three members of the rival faction and then attacked the residence of Kitovi Zhimomi, the general secretary of the Khaplang faction,” another senior police official said.
“They (NSCN-IM) also shot at the legs of a civilian and set ablaze five houses belonging to local villagers in an incident near Dimapur,” Kughalo Mulatonu, a senior NSCN-Khaplang leader, said.
Both the groups have observed a ceasefire with New Delhi for the past year, but are now engaged in a fratricidal war for territorial supremacy.
“The attacks are nothing but a gross violation of the ceasefire ground rules and vindicates our stand that the Nagaland government is in hand in glove with the NSCN-IM,” Mulatonu said.
“The frequent clashes do not bode well for the future of ongoing peace process. People in general want peace and an end to all forms of bloodshed and killings,” said N Krome, president of the Naga Hoho, the apex tribal council in Nagaland.
Tribal leaders allege that the government has failed to restrain the two NSCN factions from attacking each other.
“There is a ceasefire on and no one should be allowed to roam around with weapons. It seems the government has failed to control the situation,” Krome said.
“We are doing our best to reach out to the two sides and help bridge the differences in the interests of peace in the region,” he added.
Authorities have warned of harsh action against the NSCN-IM.
“We have sent reinforcements to Zunheboto and Dimapur to ease tensions and bring the situation under control,” a police official said. Violent insurgency in Nagaland has claimed around 25,000 lives since India’s independence in 1947. Tribal separatist groups in the state demand the creation of a “Greater Nagaland” to unite 1.2mn Naga tribals living in the region. But the demand, which would involve slicing off parts of three neighbouring states is strongly opposed by New Delhi. Meanwhile, six tribal separatists from the neighbouring state of Meghalaya have surrendered after fleeing their camps in adjoining Bangladesh, officials said. A government spokesman said the six militants, including two women, from the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), surrendered before Border Security Force (BSF) officials at Panisagar.
“The rebels abandoned their Bangladeshi hideout and sneaked into north Tripura on Monday before they surrendered,” BSF spokesman B K Thakur said. The HNLC rebels would be handed over to a Meghalaya police team. “We were forced to leave Bangladeshi soil after security forces of that country launched a massive operation against the outlawed and armed miscreants,” the HNLC guerrillas said after the surrender.
“We have also learnt that the Bangladeshi security forces have launched an operation against the Indian militants taking shelter in their territory,” Thakur said, quoting reports from across the border. A total of 25 militants of various outfits have deserted their camps in Bangladesh and surrendered before authorities since March 12. – Agencies

Centre urged to revamp Naga truce ground rules The Hindu
Kohima, April 19 (PTI): Expressing serious concern over the NSCN factional violence, the Consultative Committee for Peace (CCP), a government constituted mechanism to facilitate the on-going peace process in Nagaland has urged the Centre to revamp the ceasefire ground rules with proper identification of designated camps for militant groups.
The CCP in its meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio observed that the factional fightings between two rival groups of NSCN escalated in recent past because the underground groups were not staying in the designated camps. The meeting held yesterday here demanded that the designated camps be identified immediately and the underground cadres be asked to stay inside the camps by the Centre with a clear cut ceasefire implementing mechanism without delay so that truce could be implemented in letter and spirit.
CCP observed that “although there is a monitoring mechanism for ceasefire ground rules, there is no such implementing mechanism for the same,” a press communique issued by Principal Secretary Home and CCP Member Banuo Z Jamir said today.
The frequent factional fighting amongst the Naga underground groups in civilian populated areas was one point of serious concern raised during the CCP meeting. The meeting, which took place at the Chief Minister’s residence, strongly condemned the killings and appealed to the underground groups to stop the senseless bloodshed and all forms of violence.
The CCP also made an appeal to the Centre and the NSCN (K) to consider further extension of ceasefire between them which is to expire on April 28, 2007. It also strongly voiced against all forms of extortion, illegal tax collection and abduction and said that such activities must be condemned by all. While appreciating the efforts being made by the civil societies, churches, NGO’s, civil administration, police and paramilitary forces in maintaining law and order, the committee further appealed to one and all to do their utmost towards maintaining peace and tranquility in the state so that the peace process in the state is not hampered in anyway.
The CCP also observed that the issue of delimitation of assembly constituencies was being used by some people to launch agitation on tribal lines thereby affecting adversely the law and order situation and the ongoing peace process. Requesting all sections of the Naga society to respect the unanimous resolutions passed by the state assembly political parties and the decision of the cabinet on this issue, the committee made an appeal to refrain from any form of agitation on the issue as everybody would be given an opportunity to be heard by the Delimitation Commission before finalising the delimitation exercise.
Rio seeks support for power plan OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, April 18: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio today released the source book for the Nagaland Empowerment of People through Energy Development project, titled Adding Value to Shifting Cultivation, Nagaland. Addressing the gathering, Rio said the project was a novel concept, through which his government would seek to empower the people of the state, especially those in the rural areas. The venture is expected to cost nearly Rs 5.32 crore, of which Rs 1.5 crore will come from the state’s coffers.
The state plans to install a total of 364 hydrogers for the scheme, of which 196 have already been procured. Micro-hydro projects have been launched in 20 site models. Rio, however, said the success of the venture would depend on the response it evoked from the public.
“The government is only a facilitator and so the participation and sense of ownership must come from the people,” he said, urging the officers to motivate and instil a sense of confidence in the people. “The government’s policy on information technology, with community information centres at the district and sub-division levels and all its expensive gadgets and financial investments would be a futile exercise without power,” Rio said.
He said power thefts and problems related to transmission cost the state exchequer Rs 50 crore annually. The new project could mitigate this, and at the same time augment power supply. In Meghalaya, the government, today allayed apprehensions that power supply to industrial units should not be at the cost of domestic consumers, adds PTI.
Deputy chief minister, in-charge of power, Mukul Sangma, told the Assembly that the government’s priority was to improve the energy scenario in the state. Sangma said the government would soon encourage investment in sector.
ULFA behind FCI’s NE head kidnapping, demands 21 crore Newmai News Network
Guwahati The banned ULFA has been behind the abduction of the FCI executive Director, PC Ram on April 17 evening and has demanded Rs 21 crore as ransom to secure his release.
Confirming this claim, the Assam police today said that the hands of ULFA militants behind the kidnapping of FCI’s head of operations in the northeast PC Ram is visible and added the banned outfit has demanded Rs 21 crore for the release of Ram. The police also claimed that they have recovered the office vehicle of Ram from Rangia on Wednesday evening. Director General of Assam Police RN Mathur told that Ram’s son has received a call on Wednesday from the abductors demanding Rs 21 crore for safe release of Ram. “We are told by Ram’s son Pravin that the abductors had demanded the amount for his release,” said the DGP.
“The callers identified himself as ULFA cadre and demanded the amount of Rs 21 crore as ransom. We are investigating the matter,” said Mathur.Senior Superintendent of Police (City) SN Singh today said that there are clear evidence of ULFA’s involvement in the abduction and said that the Rangia police have recovered the official vehicle of Ram (registration no. AS01V 1353) parked in front of the State Bank of India branch at Rangia town.
“The vehicle was locked and it was standing there since 4 pm. Local people intimated this to the Rangia police and the vehicle was recovered accordingly,” he said and added that the driver and Ram has still been missing. “Ram called up the family member in Delhi and Guwahati from BSNL and Aircel phone numbers. The two numbers have been used by suspected ULFA cadres,” Singh said while adding that as per the information the captors must have kept the duo somewhere in and around Barama in Bagsa district. Ram called up his son Pravin Goutam in Ghaziabad on the midnight of Tuesday and informed that he has been kidnapped. Similarly Ram called up his adopted daughter at his Srinagar residence on Wednesday from these cell phones and told her about the abduction. He had also asked them not to worry.
“Based on information, police team had also conducted some raids last night at Barama but we have not received anything so far. Our investigation is on and we hope to make some breakthrough soon,” said Singh. Meanwhile, the executive director (Vigilance) of the FCI who rushed to Guwahati from Delhi on Wednesday evening to take stocks of the situation and held series of meetings with the staff. On contacted, General Manager (NE zone) of the FCI RP Singh only said that the whole machinery is activated and that they have been cooperating with the police to get the abducted officer released soon.
Looking beyond the chicken’s neck Surekha Sule Column The Morung Express
The economy in the North East is still largely based on subsistence-oriented farming. There is plenty of frustration arising out of inability to meet modern aspirations.
What are the options for people to engage in productive work and earn more money?
Think of the North East (NE) and thoughts that spring up in the mind are about ULFA, the Naga insurgency, killings, abductions, bomb blasts and floods. The reasons can be found easily. It is a media-made picture of this far flung part of India, almost as if nothing good is happening here. People in the NE too feel alienated from the mainland India and utterly neglected by New Delhi.
It has been observed that the economy in NE is largely based on subsistence-oriented farming. Still, absolute food security is not a problem except among extremely distressed people like the Bangla-speaking Muslims and Meishing tribals living in the disastrous flood prone areas. However, livelihoods problems are aplenty here, with inadequate cash incomes and frustrations arising out of inability to meet modern aspirations. In future, farm incomes will most likely prove to be grossly inadequate to even meet the subsistence needs and there is a pressing need for timely action towards livelihoods enhancement for a majority of the people.
Some donor agencies have been looking at the NE for interventions that would improve the situation. The Sir Ratan Tata Trust, jointly with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) initiated IWMI-Tata Programme (ITP) some six years ago. The ITP was to research the questions of water and land in the NE and the link to livelihood enhancement. Last year, the Trust gave a mandate to ITP to ‘incubate ideas’ in the NE for interventions which could later be translated into reality through grants.
Dr Sanjiv Phansalkar, ITP Director, says this mandate opened a front for researching the region. Considering the shortcoming of the researchers from the mainland who do not know or understand the NE that well, Phansalkar decided to tap into researchers in the NE itself. First a consultation was organized in Guwahati during 3-4 October 2006 inviting leading educational and social institutions such as IIT-Guwahati, leading environmentalists, and social sector functionaries. Here many macro issues such as recurrent flood problems, environmental degradation, dam and displacements and terrorism were discussed in emotionally charged sessions. However, nothing concrete came up on enhancing livelihood options for the people.
Thereafter, Santanu Ghosh and Mayuri Hazorika from Phansalkar’s team went on a long tour traversing the length and breadth of the NE. They meet a cross section of people, identifying who is working where, what are the kind of issues, what are the things dominating the public agenda, what is on the minds of people and so forth. They list a large inventory of issues people have been talking about. But concrete ideas for livelihood enhancement did not emerge. Instead, everywhere people talked of social strife, alienation, tribal/land alienation, encroachment of forests, environmental issues.
After looking at secondary research (published work) and preparing a concept note, Phansalkar – a seasoned development professional himself – undertook a different research approach, and involved a team of members local to the NE. This team interacted with people over their current livelihood activities and whether these needed to be improved. This engagement finally produced results that earlier attempts did not. Several new livelihood possibilities did emerge out of which, six water related options were considered since ITP’s core competency lies in water and land.
These were 1) popularisation of Systems of Rice Intensification (SRI) 2) popularising intensification in mostly single cropped regions 3) intensification of fisheries in private and common water bodies 4) intensification of production in the backyards of homes 5) strengthening of the livestock sector and 6) popularisation of orchards.
According to ITP researchers, SRI in ahu (Jan-May) season in most of the places and in sali (kharif, June-Oct) season in regions which are not affected by floods has an excellent potential in enhancing livelihoods. There is excellent potential for intensification of fisheries in riverine regions. Piggeries offer excellent opportunities for strengthening livelihoods for the tribal and the socially backward people in mid-lands and in hilly regions. Development of orchards has a good potential in much of the hilly region. Systematic effort for redesigning habitat has huge potential for stabilising livelihoods of the flood prone people. Finally, wherever security concerns are manageable, there is potential for developing eco-tourism and ethnic tourism in the region. “It is perhaps more prudent to launch support to a portfolio of appropriate options for a region among these rather than restricting to only one,” opines Dr Phansalkar.
These ideas emerged out of overall interactive process after consultation with local people during field work conducted by local organizations/activists. So it was not as if some external agents like ITP with external perspective came up with six livelihood options that need to be ‘pushed’ in NE, says Phansalkar. In conducting this research, ITP decidedly did not take people from reputed research organisations but picked up people who work on the ground in NE and told them what ITP was looking for. This was done on three grounds. First, they are closer to the reality and are in a far better position to understand the intricate details of the social-regional complexities which exist in that region. Such embedded research exploits the researchers’ familiarity. Second are language and the various dialects in which only local people can best communicate. Third is to create process of buy-in; i.e, if some development oriented action is to be taken, then the people obviously need to buy into the idea. Involving the local people, getting ideas from them and putting into back into the process was helpful. Phanasalkar says “we were not worried too much about the purity of research methodology which can follow after getting the first cut of robust and very close to the ground picture of the whole place.” He designed the central framework and shared it with them. The final structure was interactively decided after they commented on what will work and what not. 21 studies were done, and virtually all of them by the people there. ITP also looked at other work done in NE like Entrepreneurs Associates in Kohima, Nagaland which is helping Naga youth to start small businesses, Rural Volunteers Centre (RVC) in Akajan, Dhemaji, Assam which is helping flood affected communities to manage lives despite devastating floods, Dabalipara Fish Cooperative in Barpeta, Assam which is helping community to manage logistics and market, Treadle pump intervention in NE by International Development Enterprises which promotes and mass market treadle pumps through a supply chain, Sipajhar Diamond Club Community Centre, Darrang, Assam which helps SHG formation and in micro credit, Dongs by Bodos in Assam which has been an age-old traditional water management system, International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) horticultural project in Meghalaya and lastly Tata Tea’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) project which runs a programme for community upliftment in their tea estates. After those studies and analysis, it emerged that there is substantial amount of resource slack (untapped resources) which could be use to create livelihood options for the people. A simple illustration: scores of Assamese have backyards where they grow all food items like yams, papaya, banana, arecanut, coconut, etc., only for domestic consumption and do not make full use of the potential resource for cash income through its sale. A large number of plantations like pineapple, kiwi and livestock rearing are possible in the backyard. So using up the resource slack is first important issue.

The challenges However, implementation is where the challenges lie and this was documented by the ITP project. It is well known fact that the NE region has absolutely hopeless infrastructure. The last eight slots out of 28 states ranked by infrastructure facilities are occupied by 8 NE states. It takes five hours to travel 60 km even for a fairly decent vehicle. “Here there is no way one can produce in NE and sell in Delhi,” says Phanaslkar. So the options should be for products that are demanded locally. But then if there is local demand then why was it not met through local production if it was possible? “Trade is certainly not controlled by the local people but is in the hold of Marwari communities. Also the rent-seeking (bribing by police and extortion by other elements) is rampant and infrastructure is bad. If one wants to sell in the Guwahati market, one has to pay to Police and certainly to extremist outfits,” observes Phansalkar. The people in control of trade and the extremists groups seem to have an understanding. Thus local people have no way to capture local market, even if they are able to produce. There are other issues regarding productivity. For one, there is a tradition of free grazing after kharif which means there is no second cropping. Secondly, the people’s own mindset has been such that if there is enough after a kharif rice crop, then why take on a second crop? This is subsistence-oriented farming and there is absence of a market-oriented production tendency. Also, even if one wants to produce beyond household consumption to sell in the market for higher cash income, one does not know how to produce because of lack of skills, technology and information. So ITP’s observation is that while there is demand for food and food related items in any 20 km radius, it is either met through outside supplies or people go without it. The challenges may be many, but the ITP research did result in a deeper understanding of the livelihood problems in the NE. Researchers conceptualised the NE into three geographic regions: Upper Assam, Lower Assam and Hill States. Each of these regions was again seen as high lands or hilly lands, mid-lands and riverine flood prone lands, thus giving nine sub-regions. The project came out with sub-regional papers which looked at the social and economic situation of the sub-region, summed up past livelihoods enhancement efforts in the region and undertook an ex-ante assessment of the selected six livelihoods options. Any agency that wishes to intervene can now look at these options after deciding in which region and among which communities they want to work. “Of course selection out of these six options is not the last word and there may emerge other suitable options,” admits Phansalkar. However, Phansalkar and his team have set a fine example of embedded research worth emulating by research fraternity in India. Surekha Sule is a freelance journalist and environmentalist based in Mumbai, and a Media Fellow of the Ministry of Water Resources of the Government of India
Door to peace talks closed, says ULFA Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 19: Even as Asom Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today appealed to the ULFA to sit for talks with the Government, the banned militant organization said the recent killing of eight of its cadres by security forces in Arunachal Pradesh has closed the door to the peace process.
“The mass slaughter of our cadres, including two women, has practically closed the doors for peace,” the ULFA said in the latest edition of its mouthpiece Freedom e-mailed to the media here today.
The e-mail alleged that the killed ULFA cadres were not carrying any military weapon, but were sleeping when they were woken up, tortured and killed.
It regretted that the Centre always “stands in the way of the peace process for which the ULFA cordially prepares the environment. People of the State must realize its double standards”.
“These operations are only to stop the mass upheaval of protests against the authorities, but we warn them that such arrogance cannot solve the political conflict,” it claimed. PTI

Frans on 04.19.07 @ 10:56 PM CST [link]

Wednesday, April 18th

Six killed in NSCN group clash in Nagaland Times of India

KOHIMA: In a clash between the two rival groups of the NSCN, at least six NSCN (K) cadres were killed at Nagaland’s Zunheboto town, police said on Monday. Intermittent exchange of fire took place at Amiphoto colony of the town on Sunday, killing six members of the Khaplang faction after both groups came closer with sophisticated weapons.

One civilian also sustained bullet injuries during the clash, they said. NSCN (I-M) activists also occupied the residence of NSCN (K) general secretary Kitovi Zhimomi when his family members went to attend the church services during morning hours. The factions blamed each other for initiating the attack even as people of Zunheboto appealed to the armed cadres to vacate populated areas and confine themselves in their respective designated camps.

Nagaland on alert after six killed in NSCN attacks Source ::: IANS
kohima • Hundreds of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in Nagaland yesterday after six people were killed in clashes between rival tribal separatist groups, both of whom operate ceasefire with New Delhi.
“Security forces have now been sent to the area to bring the situation under control. We are still not out of the woods,” said L L Doungel, deputy inspector general of Nagaland Police. He said armed militants of the Isak Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) clashed in two separate places with cadres of the rival group headed by S S Khaplang.
“In one incident, NSCN-IM militants attacked and killed three members of the rival Khaplang group. In retaliatory strikes, cadres of the NSCN-Khaplang faction killed three of their rival members,” Doungel said. The official said a group of armed NSCN-K rebels on Monday attacked and killed three NSCN-IM cadres near Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub. On Sunday, NSCN-IM rebels raided a village near Zunheboto town, about 180km north of state capital Kohima, killing three rival cadres. “Armed NSCN-IM rebels shot dead three members of the rival faction and then attacked the residence of Kitovi Zhimomi, the general secretary of the Khaplang faction,” another senior police official said. At least half-a-dozen rebel cadres of the Khaplang faction were injured in the attack.
“They (NSCN-IM) also shot at the legs of a civilian and set ablaze five houses belonging to local villagers in an incident near Dimapur,” Kughalo Mulatonu, a senior NSCN-Khaplang leader, said. Both the NSCN factions are operating a ceasefire with New Delhi — the NSCN-IM is holding peace talks after the group entered into a truce in 1997. The NSCN-Khaplang is yet to begin formal talks with New Delhi although the group signed a ceasefire pact with the central government in 2001. The two warring factions are engaged in a bitter fratricidal war for territorial supremacy with at least 200 cadres killed during the past five years.
Indian troops quell factional fighting The Peninsula
Hundreds of Indian security forces have been deployed in the restive northeast after six people died in gunfights between rival separatist groups.

Police say three people were shot dead Tuesday in retaliation for the killing of three others on Monday in the northeastern state of Nagaland.

Violence between two rival factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland broke out despite a ceasefire between the government and the separatists. Tribal separatist groups in Nagaland have been demanding the creation of a “Greater Nagaland” to unite the more than one million Naga tribal people living in the region. The groups is said to be seeking territorial supremacy in the state. Violent insurgency in Nagaland has claimed around 25,000 lives since India’s independence in 1947. AH/MR
CCP demands revamp of CF ground rules The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 18 (MExN): Observing that many of the factional clashes in the State were occurring due to the underground groups not staying in their respective designated camps, a Consultative Committee for Peace (CCP) meeting held today wanted that such designated camps be identified immediately and the UG cadres be asked to stay in their respective designated camps.
The committee also requested the Government of India to come out with an implementing mechanism without delay so that the ceasefire ground rules could be implemented in letter and in spirit. “The CCP observes that although there is a monitoring mechanism for ceasefire ground rules, there is no such implementing mechanism for the same”, stated a press communiqué issued by Banuo Z Jamir, Principal Secretary, Home and Member Secretary, CCP.
The frequent factional fighting amongst the Naga underground groups in civilian populated areas was one point of serious concern raised during the CCP meeting. The CCP meeting, which took place at the Chief Minister’s residence, strongly condemned the fratricidal killings and appealed to the underground groups to stop the senseless bloodshed and all forms of violence. In the meeting, the CCP also made an appeal to the Government of India and the NSCN (K) to consider further extension of ceasefire between them which is to expire on April 28, 2007.
The CCP also strongly voiced against all forms of extortion, illegal tax collection and abduction etc adding that such activities must be condemned by all. While appreciating the efforts being made by the civil societies, churches, NGO’s, civil administration, Police and paramilitary forces in maintaining law and order, the committee further appealed to one and all to do their utmost towards maintaining peace and tranquility in the state so that the peace process in the state is not hampered in anyway.
The CCP also observed that the issue of Delimitation of Assembly Constituencies was being used by some people to launch agitation on tribal lines thereby affecting adversely the law and order situation and the ongoing peace process. Requesting all sections of the Naga society to respect the unanimous resolutions passed by the State Assembly, political parties and the decision of the Cabinet on this issue, the committee made an appeal to refrain from any form of agitation on the issue as everybody would be given an opportunity to be heard by the Delimitation Commission before finalizing the delimitation exercise.
IGAR (N) review situation in Ghaspani area Dimapur, April 18 (MExN): The Inspector General of the Assam Rifles, North (IGAR-N) Maj Gen KS Sethi today visited the 42 Assam Rifles at Ghaspani to review the prevailing situation in the area and assured the public that the Assam Rifles will maintain peace and tranquility in the area.
A press release issued by the PI Cell of HQ IGAR (North) stated that the IGAR (N), during a meeting which was attended by the SDO of Medziphema, chairman of the town council and GBs of eighteen villages along with presidents of youth organisations, assured that the Assam Rifles is closely monitoring the developments in the area and that the Assam Rifles would leave no stone unturned to ensure peace and tranquility in the region and no threat to the life and security of the civilian is caused.

The release stated that the Major General of Assam Rifles opined that all civil agencies must put their best foot forward to help the cause of peace in Nagaland, which is the only way to ensure a wave of development in the state. The released further stated that Maj Gen KS Sethi inaugurated a medicine distribution camp at 42 AR camp area and expressed his optimism that such activities of which are beneficial to the people and which can ameliorate the pressing needs of the locals will be increased in the days to come.
Kuki Human Rights appeal to Home Ministry DIMAPUR, APRIL 18 (MExN): The Kuki Movement for Human Rights (KMHR), in an open letter to the Union Minister (Home) today, made an appeal stating “Please save hundreds of human lives of Molvom and Bungsang village from the NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) factional battle”. The open letter issued by the Chairman of the KMHR, Dr. T. Lunkim, stated that the two Naga factions had been fighting in the Kuki inhabited villages since the last few years including the recent ones in Bungsang and Serima Kuki village on April 11 and 16 respectively resulting in the wounding of two civilians and razing of seven houses. Citing news reports of large number of cadres from both the faction in Serima and Molvom and Bungsang villages in full preparation for a showdown, the letter added that the Indian Army were silent on the matter and some of the villagers had fled while others were detained as hostages. In the light of such a tense situation, the KMHR appealed to the Central Government looking after Home Ministry, to immediately intervene to save hundreds or even thousands of innocent lives, and the house buildings along with properties of the two villages.
NSCN-IM cadres charged for murder Public demand handing over cadres for justice The Morung Express

Dimapur, April 18 (MExN): One youth was killed at Singirijan, Dimapur last night reportedly by cadres of the NSCN-IM, on the pretext of being a drug-addict. The latest killing by the undergrounds this time led to vehement outrage with incensed public and villagers of Singirijan and Touphema placing the body of the youth in front of the NSCN-IM’s Hebron Camp and refusing to remove it until the cadres are produced to the public for justice, sources said.
There are conflicting reports regarding the motive behind the latest murder. A source said that the dead youth, from the Angami community, was shot because he was a drug-user. However, another public member said that the youth (unidentified till filing of this report) was heard ‘shouting’ tribal remarks against a particular Naga community to ‘go back’ and for this, NSCN-IM cadres appeared and killed him. The murder is informed to have committed in the Government Primary School area either late midnight of April 17 or in the wee hours of April 18.

Another source also gave a different version of the motive. It was informed that the youth was “arrested” earlier, along with three other youths by NSCN-IM cadres for reasons yet unknown. Over time the three got into a tiff with the cadres leading to the youth being shot. Later, the NSCN-IM authorities are said to have offered the explanation that “he was shot because he was a drug-addict.”
Still, another version said that the youth died from severe injuries inflicted on him by the cadres and not shot. The three youths are said to be from Touphema village. Whatever the reasons, the protesting public members, till late afternoon today set their demands to the NSCN-IM that the cadres responsible for the murder be produced immediately to face public action. The body of the murdered youth would not be removed until and unless, the culprits are produced before the public, it was informed. The police could only offer vague details of the incident, although police teams were dispatched to the scene of murder as well as to the protest site.
Former ‘CAO’ of the NSCN-IM laid to rest The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 18 (MExN): The funeral service of former “CAO” of Sumi region, NSCN-IM, Vihoto Chishi who was shot dead yesterday was held at the residence of the deceased at Thahekhu village, Dimapur today. Mourners thronged the service where eulogies were heard from cross sections of the people. After the service, his mortal remains were laid to rest at his residential plot. Late Chishi leaves behind his wife and four children.
Seen in the picture is the funeral service for Vijoto Chishi who was shot dead yesterday by unidentified gunmen, at Dimapur. Meanwhile, the NSCN-IM laments the “foolish act of mislead” who, an MIP note stated, would not gain from killing unarmed/non-combatants but only disapproval of the Sumis and the Nagas in general. The organization mourned the demise of the former “CAO” whose life was “snatched away from us by unscrupulous elements for their selfish ends.” The organization stated that such dastardly act merits no space in the society and deserves outright condemnation.
Late Chishi joined the movement in 1994, serving in the Naga army, and as Khapur-I 1995-96, as “FA-I” till 1998 and as “under secretary” 1999-2002. He also served as “dy. secretary” till 2005 and finally as “CAO” of Sumi region till 2007, the MIP note mentioned. He worked with dedication and selflessness till his last breath and fought against all odds in his commitment for the Naga cause, the NSCN-IM stated. His sacrifices will remain a “role model” for the Nagas to “follow suit” the NSCN-IM stated, hailing the fallen comrade. The NSCN-IM conveyed its deepest condolences to the bereaved family and prayed that God Almighty grant them solace and also keep the departed in peace.
Condolence for Vihoto Chishi Dimapur, April 18 (MExn): The NSCN (IM) Sumi region today expressed their shock over the killing of Vihoto Chishi, former “CAO” of Sumi region, on April 17 evening at Dimapur. A condolence received here from the “CAO” of NSCN (IM) Sumi region, Huvito Yepthomi, while expressing shock over the killing, stated that the ‘deceased was a senior and a devoted “national worker,’” who had rendered his service towards the sacred cause of the nation till his death. The message further expressed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members and further prayed for the departed soul to rest in eternal peace.The convenor of “Sumi national workers,” NSCN (IM), in another message, expressed grief and shock over the killing of Vihoto Sumi. It regarded the deceased as a sincere, dedicated and senior devoted “national worker.” “The deceased has rendered his services towards the bonafide cause of the nation till his death and sacrificed his life as a brave man” it stated.
The message added that the selfless and tireless services rendered by Vihoto Chishi shall be remembered and honoured in the history of the Nagas. The release further, on behalf of the convenor and the Sumi “national workers”, conveyed its condolences to the bereaved family members and prayed that God grants peace to the departed soul.
‘Talks reached a height’: IGAR Staff Reporter Nagaland Post
Medziphema, April 18 (NPN): The Inspector General of Assam Rifles (North) Maj. Gen. KS Sethi said the ongoing talks between the Government of India and the NSCN (I-M) had “reached a height” and that “even a solution is possible”.
“The Government of India, especially the Ministry of Home Affairs, is much concerned about restoring peace in Nagaland and therefore, peace must prevail here,” the IGAR said.
He was interacting with the elders of Bungsang and Molvom villages, Medziphema; affected by the latest spate in factional violence. Maj. Gen. Sethi claimed despite the circumstantial constraints of the jawans as they were required to operate under ceasefire, the Assam Rifles had been able to “curtail” the movement of armed underground functionaries in the State.
The IGAR advised the villagers to remain neural with the factions and take steps collectively to discourage movement of armed activists inside their villages to avoi clashes. Further, he insisted on furtherance of the existing ceasefires and to work for unity among the various Naga tribes for peaceful co-existence. On the Zunheboto clash, the IGAR said Assam Rifles had dispatched around 900 personnel to the affected areas to restore normalcy and claimed that the situation, though tense, was presently under control.
The IGAR also disclosed that NSCN (K) activists were currently trying to intrude into Dimapur and that he had forewarned the state government that “this area is soon going to be hot.”
Further, the IGAR advised the villagers to take maximum advantage of the Sainik School at Punglwa in Peren district. Some of the village elders also expressed their deep concern over the clashes and called for cessation to the hostility. A host of senior officials of the Assam Rifles and about fifty village elders participated in the interaction. Earlier, the General was briefed about the security scenario by senior officials of the Assam Rifles.
Abetting inter-tribal conflicts deepening rift – NSCN (K) The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 18 (MExN): Adopting “colonial style of conquest” by abetting and fuelling inter-tribal misunderstandings and causing full scale conflict has resulted in greater division and chasm amongst the Nagas, the NSCN-K states. “Perhaps, IM gang would perish if the Nagas becomes united and most notably certain section at the helm of affairs in the IM would (lose) ground to common goal and interest of the Nagas” a note from the NSCN-K military wing observed.
According to the NSCN-K the NSCN-IM supplied weapons and trained the Changs to attack the Konyaks over a boundary dispute between the two Naga tribes, as a result precious innocent lives of these tribes were “unnecessarily made to perish. Similarly, Tikhirs were provided with “militia aid” to wage war against Yimchungers and currently devious policies are being formulated to create conflict situation between the Zeliangs and Sumis, it asserted.
“NSCN is being targeted for breaking this ominous silence, our effort to empower the people to rise in democratic revolt against such un lawful suppression is definitely a threat to IM’s existence, every Naga have every right to express one’s opinion in determination of Nagas fate as one Nation and people but these adverse elements out of their lust for power, wealth and worldly cravings is fully determined to enslave the Nagas with whatever it takes and as long as it goes, but for how long?” it queried. It also pointed out that properties and assets of NSCN functionaries including the Ato Kilonser’s are being made a “scapegoat” in venting their frustration in their ongoing intrusion effort at Zunheboto. “Several houses are being razed and blameless public terrorized around Ghaspani area, seven houses belonging to Kukis of Sirihma village was burnt down in revenge of high casualties and injuries sustained at the hands of People’s Army, NSCN, recently” it asserted.
“Despite all such provocations, People’s army is only focused in sustaining our national struggle and we shall not wage war against personal properties, assets or villages and tribes unlike IM gang” the NSCN-K asserted adding “in the nature of popular revolution as ours” is expected to be guided by “certain morals, philosophies and principles based on the broader interest”. However, steering the “revolution” solely for the purpose of promoting only the elite section at the centre stage undermine the real intent and purpose of the struggle.
Unite and reason, denounce violence– NSCN (IM) The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 18 (MExN): Unity is imperative for a common future which is essential for a dignified existence as a people. And the key towards attaining the goal is by denouncing all forms of violence and in unity, the NSCN-IM states.
According to a note issued by “Jt. secretary” of NSCN-IM MIP, Ghukato Assumi, Nagas should awaken to the sensitivity of the conflict and begin taking initiatives to integrate “emotionally, culturally and geographically.” Otherwise would mean doom “in our shallow and narrow minds,” he stated. “As violence begets violence which will not lead to the desired goals, we should reconcile and reason to enforce meaningful peace, fraternity and brotherhood” the NSCN-IM stated reminding that it is not external but internal elements manipulated by antagonists for crushing the people which is destroying “our hopes and aspirations.”
The NSCN-IM reminded that much suffering has been witnessed through the policy of ‘divide and rule’ adopted by India to subdue the Naga peoples’ aspirations for self-determination. “But has India or the Nagas gained anything out of the more than fifty years of conflict?” the note queried stating that thousands of innocent Indians serving in the Indian Army have lost their lives or have been maimed in the process of their forced occupation of “Nagalim.” Likewise, thousands of Nagas have been killed, maimed and tortured, women molested and raped, churches desecrated and defiled and human rights violations continue unabated, it added.
“There is no other option but to transcend the past and the present, thus extricating communalism, parochialism and regionalism and to face the reality of the future. Being aware of the predicaments but continuing to succumb to divisive elements of suppression will ultimately prove to be our common nemesis” the NSCN-IM warned. “We have to shed away hatred, hostility, suspicion and bitterness and embrace peaceful co-existence. A safe environment should be ushered in for confidence and trust-building. It is time we renounce the course of negativity and uptake commitment of straight honest negotiations through dialogue” it asserted.
UNC president resigns in Manipur Kuknalim.com
IMPHAL, April 17:: Two months after it sent six representatives to Manipur Assembly, the United Naga Council suffered its first casualty — its president. K.S. Paul Leo, president of the apex body of the Naga community in Manipur, has resigned from office, the speaker of the UNC general assembly, Samson Ramei, said today. Though Leo has cited “health” grounds as the reason for his resignation, sources said ramifications of UNC’s actions before the Assembly elections, held in February, may have forced him to take the decision.

The UNC had sponsored 11 Independent candidates from Naga-dominated Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Chandel districts in the elections.

Though the results were hailed as a “success” by the UNC, sections of the Naga community “were not happy” with the controversy that dogged the electioneering and the selection of candidates in the four districts. Besides, the UNC’s “failure” to ensure that all the eight Naga Independent MLAs worked together for a “common interest” has been cited as one of the possible reasons for Leo’s resignation.
Immediately after the election, the apex organisation reportedly asked two Naga Independent candidates to work in tandem with the six MLAs sponsored by the UNC.

The apex organisation had also announced that its MLAs would sit in the Opposition . However, during the election to the post of Manipur Assembly’s Hill Areas Committee chairman last week, UNC legislator Khasim Ruivah filed his nomination for the post. However, he withdrew from the contest later. Thangminlien Kipgen of the National People’s Party was elected the chairman.

“Leo could have taken the decision to quit owning moral responsibility for the developments,” a source said. Leo is not available for comments. The general assembly of the tribal organisation is yet to accept his resignation. It has convened its general assembly on May 26 to discuss the matter. (Telegraph)
Many killed in NSCN factional clashes Newmai News Network

Dimapur, Apr 16: There have been intense gun battles between the NSCN factions in various parts of Nagaland killing scores of the cadres belonging to the NSCN-K in the last 48 hours.

Today, in a heavy exchange of gun fire one NSCN-K “Sergeant Major” was shot dead while another cadre was seriously injured. Reliable sources informed Newmai News Network in Dimapur that two civilians also got hurt in the clashes between the cadres of NSCN-IM and the NSCN-K today. The incident took place along National Highway-39 betwen Kohima and Dimapur at a place called Medziphema.

Further reports said that about 65 cadres from NSCN-IM attacked a group of NSCN-K at Serima village near Medziphema at around 8 am today.

Reports also said that the two civilians were from the Kuki community and they were treated at Civil Hospital, Dimapur.

The deceased “Sgt Major” of the Khaplang faction has been identified as Kihoto Chophy, son of Kivito Chophy of Kuhoboto.

In another clash today at Jail Colony area of Kohima at around 10.30 am three cadres were seriously injured but it could not be ascertained which factions they were from.

Meanwhile, fear psychosis has gripped Amiphoto Colony and its adjoining areas in Zunheboto district of Nagaland today following yesterday`s (Sunday) clash in which the NSCN (IM) killed six NSCN (K) cadres. Sources said on Monday that Assam Rifles and IRB personnel were out to disperse the cadres from the areas.

However, NSCN-K MIP Kilonser A.Z.Jami informed Newmai News Network over phone from Mon district of Nagaland tonight that only three cadres from his outfit were killed and two injured and rubbished the news reports in Dimapur based daily newspapers in today`s edtion which mentioned that six NSCN-K cadres were killed. AZ Jami who was former NSCN-IM`s MIP Kilonser but defected to the NSCN-K two years ago, has said tonight that Ato Kilonser (prime minister) of the NSCN-K Kitovi Zhimomi has lodged a complaint against the rival faction to India`s Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) today with regard to the seizure of his house in Zhunheboto. Kitovi`s house was seized yesterday by the NSCN-IM cadres in the clash in Zunheboto district. AZ Jami also said that the NSCN-K will file a complaint against the NSCN-IM to the Government of India in this regard.
Five NSCN-IM cadres join NSCN-K The Moung Express
Dimapur, April 18 (MExN): Three NSCN-IM cadres belonging to the Huthrong Brigade of Senapati namely, “Sgt.Maj.” Selemba Sangtam, “Sgt.” Akabo Sumi and “Corpl” Chungsiba Sangtam joined the NSCN-K “to work concertedly for the Naga cause” a note from the military wing of the NSCN-K stated. They deposited one LMG, five 5 magazines and several rounds of ammunitions. Also, “Sgt.” Samuel of GHQ and “Corpl.” Among also joined the NSCN-K and deposited 9mm pistol with several rounds of ammunitions, it added.
“The cadres from Huthrong Brigade revealed the clandestine involvement of IM group in the kidnap and murder of two innocent school children Muheni Martin and Hriini Hubert” it stated adding that the cadres joined owing to discriminations and injustice meted out to non-Tangkhuls besides, high-handedness and “lack of transparency.” “Such diabolic practice is a common and routine affair in the IM, for which the Nagas has lost confidence” it added.
Meanwhile, the NSCN-K has reacted to the statements of Keditsu Angami “CAO,” Angami Region of the NSCN-IM over the recent killing of one Rokovituo. The “CAO” known for his habitual deception and is therefore expected to deny treacherous designs he masterminded to counter act NSCN, activities, refuting the “established evidence of the service rendered by Rokovituo to the IM and specially under his patronage demonstrates arrogance, pride and egoistic character who doesn’t have any concern for others except himself” a note from BC Angami, “commander”, Angami region of the NSCN-K stated.
“It is to be noted that, before awarding capital punishment, family members and community of the deceased were also notified but no such denial as published by Keditsu were brought to our notice, they only pleaded for clemency” it stated adding that the statement of Keditsu should therefore be treated as ‘complete fallacy with malicious intent to deceive the Nagas,’ it added.
realizing reality- Nagaland Post Opinion
All Naga people irrespec-tive of tribe or region have a common political aspiration. For this sole cause Nagas have been struggling against occupational forces for more than five decades now. Today, Indo-Naga political negotiations are underway.
The uniqueness of our history and situation, and our cause as a political issue has been acknowledged by India today. But do we (India & the Nagas) envision an amicable, acceptable and honorable settlement to out protracted political imbroglio? As long as double standard attitudes and policies of approach bereft of respect for each other’s rights exist, it is doubtful that pragmatic solution will materialize.
Much has been experienced and suffered through policies of ‘divide and rule’ adopted by India to subdue the Naga peoples’ aspiration for self determination. But has India or the Nagas gained anything out of the more than fifty years of conflict? Thousands of innocent Indians serving in the Indian Army have lost their lives or have been maimed in the process of their forced occupation of Nagalim.
India spends Crores and Crores of Rupees each year, funding their ambitious forced Military occupation of Nagalim, whereas millions of Indians living below poverty line go hungry or hundreds die out of hunger in its mainland. The arbitrary aggression of Indian Army upon the Naga people and its land has also inflicted heavy casualties upon the latter. Thousands of Nagas have been killed, maimed and tortured, women raped and molested, churches desecrated and defiled, and the traumatic stories of human rights violation by occupational armies continues unending.
But, though all sorts of inhuman atrocities, divisive machinations, psychological or physical military campaigns to douse the Naga people’s aspirations were undertaken by India, the Naga people’s determination continue to grow undyingly stronger day by day. India should clearly realize their past mistakes. The more undiplomatic tactics India employs, it will further alienate the Nagas away from them leading to establishment of not friendly but only hostile neighborly relationship. Nagas should also awaken to the sensitivity of the issue and begin taking initiatives to integrate emotionally, culturally and geographically, or we will be doomed to drown in our own shallow and narrow minds. As violence begets violence which will not lead to the desired goals, we should reconcile and reason to enforce meaningful peace, fraternity and brotherhood. It is not external but internal elements manipulated by antagonists for crushing Nagas that is destroying our hopes and aspirations.
There is no other option but to transcend the past and the present, thus extricating communalism, parochialism and regionalism, and to face the reality of the future. Being aware of the predicaments but continuing to succumb to divisive elements of suppression will ultimately prove to be our common nemesis. Proactive initiative to contain divisive elements guided by a vision for a future inspired by values of shared humanity is the need of the hour.
Negative attitude should be supplanted by constructive initiatives with purpose for an envisioned common future.
Reconciliation is a crucial factor in the process of building and sustaining a nation. The ways of the past has to be stopped once and for all and renewed non-violent approaches reintroduced and civilized dialogue established. The Nagas must involve a process of departing association with antagonistic ideologies and in in-stilling new values.
We have to shed away hatred, hostility, suspicion and bitterness and embrace peaceful co-existence. A safe environment should be ushered in for confidence and trust building. It is time we renounce the course of negativity and uptake commitment of straight honest negotiations through dialogue.
We have to unite in purpose for an envisioned common future essential for the dignified existence of a people seeking to be independent by understanding to constructively address the issues. It is only in the face of difficulties and hardships that the true mettle of ones patriotism is to be tested. Man wins laurel in conflicts but his greatness comes out only in the moments of crisis.
In this defining moment of history, Nagas have to awaken to the sensitivity of the issue with moral courage and political will and decisively face up to reality and acknowledge one’s own self destructiveness. The only key to attain our goals is by denouncing all forms of violence and anti-national principles and to unitedly take up the common task in rescuing our political aspirations.
GHUKA TO ASSUMI Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Information & Publicity, GPRN, NSCN (IM)
Distortion of revolutionary philosophy- Nagaland Post Opinion
The prolonged rivalry between the NSCN and renegade group led by Isak and Muivah and frustrated effort of IM gang to crush the NSCN for the last two and half decades coupled with fruitless bargain with GOI, has forced the IM to adopt the last measure of offence.
Genocidal strategy upon the Khiamniungan tribe and the Kukis by the IM in the past is being re-oriented and systematically applied as is seen in the latest wave of bloody campaign across Nagaland.
Targeting innocent civilians and sympathizers, family members of NSCN workers, destruction and plunder of properties, arsons etc, aimed at demoralizing the morale of National workers amply exposes desperate survival offence of the IM, who are on the brink of collapse politically.
This trend of ideological bankrupt struggle explains their narrow sectarian ambition, hegemonic supremacy over territories and people using terror tactics rather then facilitating broad based ideological and political framework shows their urge for materialistic prosperity and “rule of terror”.
Adopting colonial style of conquest by abetting and fuelling inter-tribal misunderstandings and causing full scale conflict has resulted greater division and chasm amongst the Nagas, for instance, this IM gang supplied weapons and trained the Changs to attack the Konyaks over boundary dispute between the two Naga tribes, as a result precious innocent lives of these tribes were un necessarily made to perish, similarly Tikhirs were provided with militia aid to wage war against Yimchungers and currently devious policies are being formulated to create conflict situation between the Zeliangs and Sumi brothers.
Perhaps, IM gang would perish if the Nagas becomes united and most notably certain section at the helm of affairs in the IM would loose ground to common goal and interest of the Nagas. NSCN is being targeted for breaking this ominous silence. Our effort to empower the people to rise in democratic revolt against such unlawful suppression is definitely a threat to IM’s existence. Every Naga has every right to express one’s opinion in determination of Nagas fate as one Nation and people but these adverse elements out of their lust for power, wealth and worldly cravings is fully determined to enslave the Nagas with whatever it takes and as long as it goes, but for how long?
It is only natural and expected of IM gang to unleash terror on the innocent public when ever their survival is at threat, several villages were burnt to ashes in Noklak and Mon areas besides cold-blooded murder of Khimnungan and Konyak people when they failed in their attempt to forcefully dominate these tribes in recent times, similarly innocent Sumi public was murdered when they retreated from Zunheboto in the year 2006.
Likewise properties and assets of NSCN functionaries including Ato Kilonser and senior Kilonsers are being made a scapegoat in venting their frustration in their ongoing intrusion effort at Zunheboto. Several houses are being razed and blameless public terrorized around Ghaspani area, seven houses belonging to Kukis of Sirihma village was burnt down in revenge of high casualties and injuries sustained at the hands of People’s Army, NSCN, recently.
Despite all such provocations, People’s army is only focused in sustaining our National struggle and we shall not wage war against personal properties, assets or villages and tribes unlike IM gang.People’s movement in the nature of popular revolution as ours is expected to be guided by certain morals, philosophies and principles based on the broader interest, will and participation of the people, on the contrary, steering the revolution solely for the purpose of promoting only the elite section at the centre stage undermine the real intent and purpose of the struggle.
Military wing
NSCN(K)
Incredible India Rajinder Puri Outlook India
Consider the state of the nation. Then consider the political response to issues that confront it. India does not need miracles. India itself is a miracle: it survives. Consider the state of the nation. Then consider the political response to issues that confront it. Begin with the north-east. The entire region is bleeding from separatist insurgencies that started decades ago.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) was founded in 1986. NDFB seeks a sovereign Bodoland. Within India it has links with the United Liberation Front (ULFA) which seeks a sovereign Assam. Outside India, NDFB has links with groups in Myanmar. Among other things, it propagates ethnic cleansing of Bodo areas.

ULFA was founded in April 1979. It has grown so strong that recently it could extract obedience from the Assam government over the issue of the National Games in Guwahati. It is most active in the wealthy tea-growing and oil-producing areas of Assam. Since 1990 ULFA has been linked to Pakistan’s ISI which has given it arms and training. ULFA leaders receive sanctuary in Bangladesh. This year, 172 persons have already died in terrorist-related violence in Assam.

Nagaland has the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) which demands Naga sovereignty. It was formed in 1980. It is split in two — NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K). Both outfits have governments in exile, receive foreign arms, and raise funds from drugs. In 2007 an estimated 46 people were killed in Nagaland’s terrorism-related violence.

Manipur has two major separatist insurgent groups. The United National Liberation Front (UNLF) was founded in 1964 and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1978. Both seek independence for Manipur. The Manipur PLA seeks to unite the entire north-east under one revolutionary front. This year 99 people were killed in terrorism-related violence in Manipur.

In Meghalaya and Mizoram there are insurgent groups seeking separate statehood or autonomy. This year insurgent violence resulted in 24 people killed in both states.

Tripura has two main insurgent groups. The All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) seeks autonomy for tribals and expulsion of Bengalis from the state. But the other group, the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), formed in 1989, seeks independent Tripura by armed struggle for liberation from �Indian neo-colonialism and imperialism�. This year, 14 lives were lost to terrorism-related violence in Tripura.

To retain the fiction of normalcy in insurgent areas the government for decades has allowed the army to operate alongside the normal civilian democratic process. This unnatural arrangement leads inevitably to army excesses. It alienates the army from citizens. Meanwhile the government’s sporadic negotiations with insurgent groups make no headway. The government has no clear idea about the least it can accept, or the most it might concede. This abnormal normalcy has led to political parties colluding with insurgents for votes. Consequently, extortion and crime have spread. Insurgent groups have penetrated the government. Last week Outlook reported how Maoists obtained the minutes of a top secret meeting chaired by the PM.

However, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni announced last week that tourism will be promoted in the north-east by lifting curbs in restricted areas for tourists. Will the insurgent groups show restraint in dealing with them? Did Ms Soni discuss these measures with Home Minister Shivraj Patil before announcing them? Is Mr Patil in touch with the army and our intelligence agencies? Is anybody really in charge?

The various Maoist groups have created a Red Corridor across one third of the districts in India’s heartland: their writ runs in the Corridor.
This year 178 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence. There is endemic insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir. This year 184 people were killed in terrorist-related violence in J&K. That is, an estimated 693 people have already been killed in India�s terrorist-related violence in 2007. All these figures are taken from the South Asian Terrorism Review, headed by Mr KPS Gill.

Most insurgent groups, regardless of ideology or stated objectives, cooperate with each other and with the LTTE of Sri Lanka. Most are known to have received arms and expertise from Pakistan, sanctuary in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Authentic official sources have confirmed that in the mid-1990s China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was aiding and directing Pakistan to provide arms and training to insurgent groups in India’s north-east. Has China’s use of Pakistan as its proxy for destabilizing India ended?

One cannot say. What one can say is that this month the Indian police, quoting warnings by America’s CIA, tightened security for the Dalai Lama. According to the police, the CIA had warned of an attack by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) against the Dalai Lama, directed by a foreign organization. LeT’s links with Al Qaeda, and the latter’s links with China’s PLA, have been confirmed in the past. In light of this, one must ask: what interest can Al Qaeda have in eliminating Dalai Lama unless a Chinese angle is involved?

And, what is the government doing about Kashmir? It continues discussion with Pakistan without any idea about its final objective. Simultaneously, it promotes SAARC in a manner that effectively kills the prospect of an EU-like South Asian Union ever emerging. It may be recalled that in Europe the NATO security treaty preceded the European Common Market. In South Asia, Pakistan and Bangladesh have defence treaties with China which are obviously directed against India. By allowing China and other powers to enter SAARC as observers, the government has succeeded merely in consolidating a billion-plus population market for them to exploit, while India wrestles with security problems created through SAARC neighbours.

Indian politicians are themselves busy dividing society. The government is obsessed with caste-based reservation in higher education while it ignores primary education. On April 10 HRD Minister Arjun Singh conceded that India was “still quite some distance away” from providing eight years of education to every child. For votes the government is tearing castes and communities apart: consider the government’s poll-inspired gestures appeasing Muslims, compounded by the BJP’s hate-Muslim policies. This, while the government is lifting curbs on Special Economic Zones without addressing the concerns of farmers: they continue to commit suicide.

Governance has collapsed. Law and order have disappeared. Corruption is rampant. A discredited CBI is wrestling with the Volcker case, the Bofors case, the Naval War Room case, and the Scorpene Submarine case. All these cases involve the government itself. And it is happening under a government with questionable legality. If the flawed Office of Profit Law is struck down by Supreme Court when Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi’s petition challenging it comes up, 50 to 100 MPs could be unseated. The UPA government could lose its majority. The judgment is expected before the presidential election in late July. It could rock the system.

India does not need miracles. India itself is a miracle: it survives.
Centre all out to make NE region a tourist hotspot Newmai News Network
Imphal
To further boost the tourism industry in the North East Region, the Union Government along with North Eastern Council (NEC) and Development of North East Region (DoNER) are on a war footing preparing to implement the various assessments for the development of the region with regard to the tourism.
The fourth sectoral Summit of the NEC to review tourism and hospitality industry in the North East is slated to take place at Gangtok, Sikkim on April 27 and 28 where DoNER minister and NEC chairman Mani Shanker Aiyer and Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni will be addressing the event.
The fifth summit on air connectivity will take place at Aizawl, Mizoram on May 18-19 while the sixth summit on rail connectivity at Agartala, Tripura on June 15-16 and the seventh summit on education, sports, art and culture will be held in Imphal, Manipur on July this year.
Earlier, the first sectoral summit to review on power sector programmes in the NE Region was held at Pashighat, Arunachal Pradesh on January 16-17 with Mani Shanker Aiyer on the chair. The second summit on road sector programmes was held on February 8-9 at Shillong, Meghalaya while the fourth sectoral summit to review commodity boards, APEDA, inland water transport, flood and erosion control and irrigation programmes was held on March 9-11 at Guwahati, Assam. As the South Asia’s biggest business to Business Travel & Tourism Expo (SATTE-open world-2007) organised by the South Asian Travel and Tourism exchange is slated to take place at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from April 19 to 22, it is going to open a window for the North Eastern Region’s tourism to occupy a major slot in the economy of the region.
In the travel and tourism fair, the theme pavilion of the North East will feature all the eight North Eastern states in the 4-day Expo and in that connection Ministry of Tourism, GOI has informed to all the secretaries of NE states to participate along with the representatives of Tourism industry viz, travel agents and tour operators. The Union Ministry is said to have already hired a space of 300 square meters by allocating 35 square meters to each state and would bear the expenditures including electricity and water charges for the pavilion of the NE region. The trade show in India seems to have grown into the biggest attracting nation wide attention, support and attendance inviting tour operators from over-seas as international buyers. Up-till now the SATTE has hosted over 3750 tour operators from over 40 countries worldwide from Americas, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, China, Japan and Australia. Unlike last year where 12 countries participated in the tourism show, this time atleast 30 countries are expected to participate in the expo.
Ulfa rebels on the run after crackdown: army Nagaland Post
GUWAHATI, (IANS): The Indian Army on April 14 claimed to have killed 48 guerrillas of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) since a massive military crackdown began in Assam in September, also choking their supplies and communication network.
“The Ulfa has suffered heavy casualties in the ongoing operations losing 48 rebels in separate encounters since September, with as many as 14 of them gunned down in the past two weeks alone,” army spokesman Lt Col Narender Singh told IANS.
The military operations began on September 24 after New Delhi called off a six-week ceasefire with the Ulfa blaming the group for stepping up violence and extortions. In continuing raids by soldiers of a mountain division based in eastern Assam since the offensive began, 64 Ulfa rebels were apprehended and 32 more surrendered before the authorities.
The ULFA, which is fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979, is blamed for a string of bombings and attacks in January, killing about 80 people, 61 of them being Hindi-speaking migrant workers. The army claims its stepped-up offensive and vigil have choked the supply routes of the Ulfa with the rebels under pressure. “The supply lines of the Ulfa for carrying rations, medicines and weapons have been literally blocked with continuous patrol and pressure mounted on the outfit,” the army commander said. The army also claimed to have cracked the Ulfa’s communication signals by using sophisticated jamming devices.
“The Ulfa is on the run and their backbone is almost broken with continuous pressure from our troops. We have broken their communication signals with the ULFA in total disarray now,” Singh said. Intelligence reports earlier said the Ulfa had shifted its base from Assam to the jungles in adjoining Arunachal Pradesh, while many have sneaked into camps located in neighbouring Myanmar after the army offensive. “Even the Myanmarese junta have stepped up the heat against the Ulfa by launching a crackdown in selected areas,” an intelligence official said requesting anonymity. On Tuesday, eight Ulfa rebels, including two women guerrilla fighters, were killed in a raid inside a densely forested area in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Ulfa in a statement on Wednesday said there could not be a military solution to the conflict. “Only a political dialogue can resolve the problem,” Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said.
However, the Ulfa last month had rejected the Assam government’s offer for unconditional talks and warned of stepped up violence, including using human bombs to attack selected targets.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had offered unconditional peace talks with the Ulfa, aimed at ending close to three decades of insurgency in the region. The Ulfa said direct talks could be possible only if New Delhi agreed to discuss its core demand of sovereignty or independence, and release five of its jailed leaders.
‘Influx will turn State into another Kashmir’ By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, April 12 – Leading intellectuals of the State, who gathered at a meeting at the Paltan Bazar Srimanta Kristi Bikash Samiti Naamghar here on Tuesday, expressed their serious concern over the continuous influx from neighbouring Bangaldesh. They also warned that if allowed to continue unabated, this influx would ultimately turn Assam into another Kashmir in the near future.

Already, people and cultures of the countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia and states like Kashmir were tormented by similar influx of people of other religions. Assam has become the latest victim of this phenomenon and now this has been posing a serious threat to Assam and the culture of its people.

A planned campaign is launched to encroach upon the land of the sattra institutions of the State and the number of the encroachers is proliferating at a tremendous pace. This has been rapidly reducing the Hindus to minorities in the State. The encroachers have already killed some of the sattradhikars of the State. The indigenous women are also not safe in the areas dominated by these people, said the intellectuals while addressing the meeting.

The speakers at the meeting also resented the fact that despite a High Court order to evict the encroachers from the sattra land, the State Government had displayed inertia in this regard and alleged that a conspiracy was on to make Assam a part of greater Bangladesh.

They also criticized the ongoing process for delimitation of the Assembly constituency as a part of a grave conspiracy to rob the indigenous people of their hegemony over State politics.

To combat the menace, they suggested unity of the Hindus of the State, saying, only this could work as the panacea to the influx-related affliction of the State.

In addition to this, the speakers also laid stress on adopting an appropriate work culture by the indigenous people, besides mounting pressure on the Government to effectively check the influx problem. The meeting, which was presided over by former Commissioner and Secretary to the State Government Dr Rohini Kumar Barua, was addressed by former Director General of the National Museum Dr Rabin Dev Choudhury, former editor of The Sentinel DN Bezboruah, former editor of the Dainik Asam Dhirendranath Chakravorty, former Vice Chancellor of Tezpur Univiersity Dr Kishori Mohan Pathak, former Dibrugarh Univeristy Vice Chancellor Kamaleswar Bora, chief of the Srimanta Sankar Sangha Karuna Kanta Kalita, Asam Sattra Mahasabha president Bhadra Krishna Goswami, NE Haridev Sangha secretary Kanteswar Kalita, Eksaran Bhagawati Samaj president Dayal Krishna Bora, Advocate Kuntala Deka and noted writer Atulananda Goswami, among others.

AMSU`s anti-foreigner campaign begins The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Apr 17: A campaign for the protection of indigenous people of Manipur to be organized by the All Manipur Students` Union, AMSU kicked off today as part of the 27th Mitkap Thokpa Numit (Realisation Day) observations of the student body today. The objective of the campaign is to spread awareness among the public on the need for enforcement of inner line permit system to check influx of foreigners in Manipur. The Mikap Thokpa Numit is observed every year in memory of two student leaders, P Lukhoi and H Lokendro, who made the supreme sacrifice in the course of the anti-foreigners agitation in 1980 in Manipur.

“As the trend of larger racial groups dominating and assimilating the smaller groups in the world is not a new thing and one that is sure to extinguish the indigenous people of Manipur from this soil,” the general secretary of AMSU, MS Helun Lupho said while announcing the campaign at the public meeting held at Pishum Chinga Macha Martyrs memorial complex, Imphal today. He also cited the example of Tripuris in Tripura where they have become minority in their own soil.

“The campaign will be in the form of street corner meetings, poster campaigns in every nook and corner of the state as well as seminars and symposia,” Lupho added. The public meeting today also resolved to press the state government to implement the agreements reached with the AMSU in 1980 and 1994 for expulsion of outsiders from Manipur, with 1951 as the cut-off year.

Six killed in NSCN group clash in Nagaland Times of India

The AMSU observed its 27th “Realization Day” with rich floral tributes and homage at the martyrs` site located at the Pishum Chinga Macha, Imphal. Two students namely Potsangbam Premananda alias Lukhoi and Huidrom Loken Singh lost their lives in the anti-foreigner movement spearheaded by the AMSU on April 17 and 18, 1980. Students, womenfolk and public in their hundreds converged at the memorial site from early morning today to pay floral tribute and homage to martyrs site. Today`s function was attended by ex-president AMSU, RK Itocha, as chief guest, while Birendra Chingakham, current AMSU president, presided over the occasion.

Other former AMSU presidents, namely Bheigyachandra Samuphaba, Y Phuilkanta, Ksh Umesh, S Prakash, Y Priyokumar, and P Irabot, brother of P Lukhoi, and H Tollaba, father of H Lokendro attended as special invitees. In his address, the chief guest called for selection of the right path to bring a solution to the existing foreigners` issue, for which he appealed for better understanding, realisation and awareness among the public. Birendra Chingakham, in his speech, also emphasized the need for realisation on the part of the public, and called for their cooperation.

Frans on 04.18.07 @ 10:36 PM CST [link]

Saturday, April 14th

Delimitation a manipulation of leading tribes – NSCN (K) The Morung Express

Delimitation a manipulation of leading tribes – NSCN (K) The Morung Express

Dimapur, April 13 (MExN): The “peaceful” atmosphere of Nagaland is being ‘disturbed’ by the “hagglings and wranglings” over the delimitation issue when it is found that there are grave injustices and “extreme selfishness” on the part of some “leading” Naga tribes, the NSCN-K maintains.
A note from NSCN-K Kilonser AZ Jami pointed out that “if one is to go by the Indian system of representation and governance, one finds dishonest acts of grave injustice and extreme selfishness on the part of some leading tribes among the Naga tribes in retaining unjust shares.” The matter “in most cases” are not based on justice and equality but firmly rooted in injustice and “beastly selfishness” Jami asserted adding that there is no reason why Nagaland alone should be exempted from the delimitation exercise. The article 371 (a) of the Indian constitution and clause 7 of the 16-point Agreement does not empower any authority to exempt the state from the exercise neither any claim for exemption is to be made, he explained.
On the census debate, Jami wondered if there are any Nagas to ‘assert” that the 2001 census figures are ‘exaggerations and duplication’ and that if it is thought that a full-fledged state with a population of only 20 Lakh “is too much for them.” “If someone says that there are anomalies or irregularities in the 2001 census figures, then the figures of the previous censuses, 1974-1991, were stifled, suppressed and manipulated by people from a particular tribe who held entire reins of Nagaland state” the kilonser asserted adding that if the 60 seats were justly divided among the tribes “no single tribe howsoever big can have 10 seats out of 60.” Further, if the 2001 census was found to be anomalous, why did not the state government go for revision during 2002-2003, the NSCN-K queried.
Pointing out that Nagaland is a Christian state, Jami held opinion that “Naga Christian pioneers are more aggressive and selfish and have learnt the ways of trickery.” He advised that Nagas should “shed away” the “elements of savagery” and rather cultivate “brotherhood, friendliness, accommodativeness, justice and equality” as Christians. Only then Nagaland would “be a pleasant place to live in,” he added.
BJP wants church to stay Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, April 13:: The Nagaland unit of the BJP has opposed the Assam government’s decision to demolish the 162-year-old heritage Baptist Church at Panbazar in Guwahati, to make way for a parking lot.
Ato Yepthomi, president of the Nagaland unit of the BJP, said the Assam government’s decision has not only hurt the sentiments of Christians but also the people of the entire northeastern region.

“Such a step by the Congress government speaks of its partisan attitude and questions its secular credentials”, Yepthomi said. He said the Nagaland unit of his party would strongly oppose the move. He said the 162-year-old church was a national heritage, which needs to be preserved. “It is surprising that the Christian community and other church leaders in Assam and Nagaland have kept quiet over the issue so far”, Yepthomi said. “The BJP appeals to all the Church leaders in Nagaland and the Northeast to put pressure on the Congress in Assam to stop the atrocities against the Christian community.”

He also sought the intervention of the Nagaland Congress to stop the demolition of the church. The BJP also suspects foul play, as the Council of Baptist Churches of Northeast India in Guwahati is not aware of the government’s decision. The council is the apex organisation of Baptist churches in the Northeast. Yepthomi also asked the churches and Nagaland Baptist Church Council and other Christian communities to oppose the move.(Telegraph)
Nagaland gears up for defense equipment base The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 13 (MExN): Indian Armour, a defence equipment firm based in Faridabad is all set to establish a base in Nagaland sometime by the end of this year. The resolution was taken after the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio met with Anil Kant, the CEO of the company and the official signing of the MOU will be done in Kohima in the beginning of next month.
Lanu Yaden, Director of the Tactical and Combat Gear (TAC Gear) of the company, in a telephone conversation with The Morung Express said that this new venture would create employment opportunities for the naturally-talented Naga boys and girls. He added that though the employees would need to go through some initial training he expressed confidence that the local youngsters would excel with their inherent artistic abilities and excellent command over the English language. The Indian Armour company had initially planned to set up the base in Malaysia which had made a very good offer in terms of land, cheap electricity etc but the company had reconsidered the decision as it seemed illogical to set up the base outside the country. Now the company has decided to acquire some 50 acres near Dimapur considering the availability of primary infrastructure and accessibility of the region.
Commenting on the decision of the company to set up such a base in a region which gave out the perception of threat, Lanu Yaden said that Nagaland was known for insurgency but it was at least not known as a terrorist state, where the innocent people were targets. “We admit that we have a legitimate problem which needs to be solved but you cannot hope for development to be brought from outside” Yaden continued. Saying that Nagaland was in a “Catch-22 situation” Yaden took the example of the state of power in Nagaland which was in a feeble condition because there were no private investors and there were no private company investing in Nagaland because there was no power. He implied that Nagaland needed very much to get out of this vicious cycle and do everything to make the state commercially and economically viable.

Indian Armour Company exports its products to US-based Armour Holdings and it is probable that the armoured vehicles and bullet-proof vests manufactured in Nagaland will be exported for use by the allied forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Defense equipments now have a world wide market demand with the rise in terrorism and the need to protect the solders and the base in Nagaland is expected to cater to the rising demands in this part of the globe.
The unspoilt relic of the Naga life Bonnie Konyak Moya/Kiphire The Morung Express
Nestled in the middle of nature’s serenity, detached from the materialistic chase, hidden from its other counterparts, flourishes the village of Moya, some 60 kilometers from Kiphire town. This Yimchunger village, despite its daily struggle for survival, brings out the distinct sense of the unadulterated Naga living, complete with all the pride, arrogance, humor and the hospitality. A trip to this isolated haven was akin to an experience on the ‘time machine’ transporting me to a world that once had belonged to the Nagas and was now, fast fading.
Cultivating corn and beans in its rocky hills, the villagers challenge nature for their survival and find satisfaction in the simplicity of their lives. The concept of market has not found popularity in the lives of these proud people who are reluctant to sit in some nearby towns and sell their products. Hence there is little motivation to increase the productivity of their crops and the added problem of transportation facility deters any such efforts. It is the land of a people who make do with what is available, a people who have learnt the art of improvising instead of complaining, a people who are unaware of what they don’t have and unaffected by it.
An unforgettable experience was that of the Maga Customary Court, Moya Village around which the all the activities of the village revolve. Cases are discussed, decisions passed and punishment executed in the court by the council members and GBs who have a strong hold over the village affairs. A tiny enclosure made of wood is the “jail” erected right in the middle of the village where the guilty are made to spend a few hours in a very uncomfortable position.
The court also seemed to be the usual place for merrymaking and celebration, though any place, anytime and any excuse for a celebration was welcomed by these fun-loving people. Local beer made of corn and Burma Rum from across the borders are the beverages commonly served at such a time and the villagers sing haunting folk songs, the words of which always seemed to fit that moment in time. Another popular entertainment was the Chinese songs and dances which had been learnt by some of their elders who had been in China for training during the early years of the Naga freedom struggle. The sight of the early leaders contented in a life of anonymity, the beliefs they once bleed for tucked away into memories, seemed symbolic in the undisturbed quietness of those hills. In the modern sense of civilization, Moya village lacked most of the facilities that make up a cultured society. The 6-bedded, Primary Health Centre which was inaugurated last year is an empty building with no furniture, medicines or staff; there is no landline telephone connection or mobile network; no high school for the children to pursue higher education etc; yet in everyway, Moya was an epitome of the ideal society, untouched as yet by the mad rush, unscathed until “development” seeps into these last remnants of Naga legacy.
Enigmatic scenario of Naga struggle In Focus the Morung Express
What is supposed to be is not. The clear and unambiguous political objective had been laid down by the Naga patriot under the aegis of the NNC since its inception comprising the leaders of the present NSCN (K) (IM) and FGN. The prior stand was to free Nagaland since Nagaland has never been a part of Indian in any way, at any point of time. The enlightenment of the fact that Nagas were sovereign independent, in its own capacity and were culturally, traditionally and ethnically far different from that of Indian, boost our leaders to create a common platform ushering in a new era of the freedom struggle, but what is support to be is not when NNC became two and three respectively. I should say that the deviation from the parent body is one of the most painful past of our history. In fact, realization of the impossibility to stick on the main principle when deviated, a little bid impossible to realize our goal when divided and a little bid skeptical to stand against the mighty Indians who are decorated with sophisticated weapons and unceasing flow of human resources, could have motivated the Nagas toward strong-integration by forgetting the differences, whatsoever. The whole page of India’s history portrays the fallen and risen kingdoms either because of disintegration or integration respectively. Because of the adamant step many of the precious lives have been lost at the hands of the Indians and equally at the Nagas hand. While speculating the overall stock of situation, it became less easy to imagine how many precious lives are yet to lose either at the Indians hand or at our own Naga’s hand if at all modern tradition is allowed undefended.
So far as my prudent knowledge is concerned both parties ponders upon working for Naga sovereignty, identity, self-reliance and international popularity. Who knows the world may be mocking us when more parties of the same family are vocalling the same tune but standing on an opposite edge. In order to do away the danger of mockery, the parties should form a common edge. If any solution harboured by one party is not acceptable to their counterparts or the Naga populace, what is the use of that solution? Surely from that very day itself or at least the next day of the solution, Naga country may transformed to bonfire which is but dangerous and worthless. And to speak frankly, when all the leaders, intellectuals and wealthy men are washed, will it be possible for a school going kid, or a mere labourer or a haggard man to shoulder the responsibilities of a newly sovereign nation? Broadly speaking human value is more useful than sovereignty and imagination shall definitely lost its source of income? The escalation in the rate of killing evince that Nagas population may extinct before too long. Above all trials and tribulations, I would gladly join the nationalist movement if mean to spill my blood for my dearest Nagas but never for giving and taking the blood of my own Naga brothers. In breaking the silence to do good things is never too late. Naga Nationalists should have a very big heart in this aspect by sacrificing what is best which an easy task is in fact since you are already in the sacrificing field.
To prevent the Nagas from the reign the terror, the Nagas can ask, are you struggling for leadership? If yes, it is a blunder. National interest should prevail over self-interest, if any, because while struggling for self-interest we may forget our national interest. The ground reality is that, selfish interest is more of you, your family, your clan, you tribe etc, which is but momentary, whereas, national interest is for me and everyone which can only be draw with a colorful pen in the history of the Nagas.
If one is to fight for political freedom, what should be an alternative role? Is not political freedom bears the same meaning as freedom from economic strain, social, finance, educational, and other socially useful aspects? Where do you think our electronics factories be set up and how? Where do you want the iron and steel factories be set up and why? What are the investments or are Nagas capable enough to manage overall realities on the Nagas soil as an independent entity? I should say the present problem is not worth a problem when compared to a problem which is advancing in days to come when we remain dull and apathy.
In conclusion, if Naga political dialogue is to be represented with the blessing of the Naga populace, every detail should be made known. The dialogue for peace is mainly base on bringing about the Naga solution whatsoever. Therefore Nagas should be consulted before taking any steps. The dialogue should be such that it flows the spirit of the Nagas as a whole so that Indians are deterred and are readily convinced. Any settlement or outcome of any undertakings should not deny any section or tribes in the nation’s mainstream. The status of a tribe should not be demolished in any way. Politics is dirty when it aims at distorting the facts so as to further one’s selfish interest and prejudice the other or to gain support to a particular tribe/tribes. Lastly but not the least I wish the national functionaries, apex Naga organizations and well-wishers all the best in their endeavor in bringing an amicable solution fitted to all sections of Naga society.

L. Chuba Yimchungrü
Kohima, Nagaland
Oil cartel eyes Nagaland; factional strife in guerilla struggle Submitted by Bill Weinberg World War 4 report
Canada’s Canoro Resources has signed an agreement with India’s parastatal Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) to explore for crude in the jungles of Nagaland, a state in the country’s remote northeast, where large swaths of territory have been controlled by separatist guerillas for decades. Nagaland Industry and Commerce Minister Khekhiho Zhimomi said the predominantly Christian state of two million has the potential to yield some 600 million tons of crude. “Nagaland is literally sitting on a multi-million dollar oil reserve,” the minister said. Exploration work undertaken by ONGC in 1994 was suspended following threats from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM). This time Zhimomi says things will be different: “We have the full support of the local people this time while executing the agreement with the ONGC. We hope there should be no problems now.”
Canoro is now a partner at the Kharshing oilfield in Arunachal Pradesh, and has long sought to expand operations into Nagaland. “Despite being geographically located in one of the most prospective areas, there has been virtually no exploration activity in Nagaland for over 12 years and limited activity prior to that,” a Canoro statement said. Zhimomi pledges oil exploitation will bring economic strides for Nagaland. “There is no point in not letting the resources be tapped,” he said. “By striking oil, we would not only be earning revenue, but at the same time such ventures would ease the spiralling unemployment problem in the state.”
Nagaland is also rich in coal, limestone, nickel, cobalt, chromium, magnetite, copper, zinc, platinum, marble and granite. The government recently adopted the “minor minerals policy” to make exploration work possible in the region. (Indo-Asian News Service, April 11) The deal comes against the backdrop of renewed peace talks beween the government and the NSCN-IM—and fresh clashes between rival Naga guerilla factions. Clashes in March between the NSCN-IM and the rival NSCN-Khaplang faction left several fighters dead. (Press Trust of India, March 26) Last year, the NSCN-IM expressed skepticism about proposals for renewed talks. “India is trying to test our patience by prolonging the peace process,” RH Raising, a senior NSCN-IM leader, told Reuters. “Such attitude of the Indian government will put at risk all peace initiatives in the region.”
The talks were largely stuck over NSCM-IM demands to integrate all Naga-majority areas into a single state with broad autonomy powers. “We are sincere and committed in our efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the Indo-Naga problem, whereas India is committed to peace talks only in letter and not in spirit,” Raising said. If the “casual attitude” of New Delhi officials continued, peace talks would prove futile, he warned. More than 20,000 were killed in the conflict before the guerillas and the government agreed to a truce in 1997. The ceasefire has held, but the two sides have failed to find a political settlement to the rebellion that began in 1947. New Delhi considers peace with the Nagas crucial to a broader peace in the northeast—seven states connected to the rest of India by a thin strip of land and home to dozens of insurgent groups. (Reuters, Oct. 23)
‘Human Approach’ Editorial the Morung Express
The Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) while reaffirming its support to the ongoing peace process has come out with some interesting pointers on the prevailing political situation. No one will disagree on the statement coming from the party that the unabated factional clash taking place in the State is ‘un-nationalistic’. And everyone will agree that unless there is an immediate stop to such killings, the emerging situation will only awaken more feelings of anger and reprisal. Moreover, fratricidal killing is clearly something that the peace loving Naga people do not deserve. The desire of the Naga people for complete cessation of all hostilities is a clear mandate, which the different Naga political groups will have to honor sooner or later.
But till then, there is also going to be the serious dilemma when two groups from the same family engage in bitter feud. And it is this Catch-22 situation, which the present State government is confronted with every time there is a factional clash. Because of this, there is also so much hue and cry amongst the political parties on whether the situation arising out of this is a ‘political’ or a problem of ‘law and order’. The ineffectiveness of the ceasefire ground rules signed by the NSCNs with the Government of India also adds to the confusion.
One of the flaws in the current ground rules is that it remains a limited agreement without taking into consideration the political side of the Naga underground situation. While it is clearly stated that movement of armed cadres should be strictly restricted to the respected designated camps, this clause has become a mockery against the backdrop of the turf wars between the hostile Naga groups. There is therefore a clear case for a thorough review of the ceasefire ground rules, which the Government of India if it is sincere on peace, should not ignore. The recent visit of senior Home Ministry officials to Nagaland and their meeting with the NSCN groups will hopefully bear fruit on this front because even here the stand of the Naga public is clear, which is to keep armed cadres out of civilian populated areas.
Coming back to the State, NPF President Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu, while making his presidential address on the occasion of inaugurating the party’s central office building, commented that the Naga problem is basically political and a human problem which can be solved only through political and human approach. In terms of a clear cut policy while dealing with the spate of factional clashes, taking a ‘human approach’ cannot be merely derided. This is something that emerged last year during the height of the factional clashes in Zunheboto. Whether it was a well thought out policy not to intervene in order to avoid more aggravation of the situation or whether it was pure failure of the government, at least the positive that has come out of this unpleasant experience is the advantage of following a non interventionist approach.
However for the government machinery, this ‘human approach’ to handling factional clashes should not be a substitute towards performing its basic duty of protecting the lives and property of the public, which will continue to demand proper attention of law enforcing agencies. The government should fully explore the vast options available for intervening in a non-confrontationist manner. For this, the active participation of tribal hohos and other public mandated groups will remain fundamentally important if at all the present DAN government’s ‘human approach’ in dealing with factional clashes is to remain both acceptable to the Naga public and also successful towards its stated objective of peace and understanding.
Indian border states on alert to thwart avian flu Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com )
April 14, 2007 – An outbreak of bird flu in Burma and Bangladesh has prompted India’s Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to direct its northeast border states to monitor their areas bordering the two neighbouring countries. Trans-border movement of livestock has been banned.
The Health Ministry directive has been conveyed through the respective veterinary and animal husbandry departments of the states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, government officials in Manipur said on Friday. “The higher ups in the military, security forces and other concerned departments have been asked to monitor illegal trans-border movement of livestock including, poultry, its products, and pigs from Myanmar into the state” says Th Dorendro, Director, Manipur Veterinary and Animal Husbandry department. Other government departments like Home, Health, Forest and Wildlife, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) and Finance have been asked to take active roles in executing the necessary preparatory tasks as precautionary measures to contain the disease.
Manipur Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh had even issued an office memorandum to form a monitoring committee on April 12 where it directed the Finance Department to arrange funds required to control and contain avian influenza in Manipur. Similarly the State Veterinary Department in Nagaland is undertaking an action plan to prevent and control the disease. The virus is sweeping Bangladesh and Burma. The department has solicited people’s cooperation in conducting sero-surveillance work and other necessary steps to fight the disease in the event of an outbreak in Nagaland. Authorities have started awareness campaigns at regular intervals by distributing information leaflets and making announcements in the local media. Attention is being given to districts bordering Burma.
“Villagers are advised not to import poultry and pigs from Myanmar as a precautionary measure,” a government official said over telephone from Kohima. However in the case of Meghalaya, Deputy Commissioners’ of districts along the border have been instructed to be more vigilant and the Indian Border Security Force has been asked to assist district administrations in preventing smuggling of chicken and poultry products into the state. According to A Kabir, Deputy Director (Administration), Meghalaya State Health Services, was in constant touch with the national institute of communicable diseases as well as the Union Health Ministry.
“So far no case of the disease has been detected in our region as all the tests results are negative,” Dorendra said. A total of 1,472 Avian Sero samples including migratory birds collected in the past couple of months from across the state tested negative in Manipur. The situation, as of now, does not warrant panic, nonetheless, a ban on import of livestock especially chicken and eggs from Burma through the border town of Moreh has been put in place as a preventive measure against bird flu, Dr Rajendra, a veterinary expert said.
Earlier these samples were sent to an outstation laboratory like High Security Risk Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal for necessary tests, but now the doctors are going regularly with the samples by air for immediate test results. Meanwhile, Meghalaya is on alert in Khasi and Jaintia hills bordering Bangladesh following advice and communication from the Union Health Ministry, New Delhi and Indian High Commission in, Dhaka.
India expands ties with Myanmar The Peninsula Qatar Source ::: IANS
new delhi • India is steadily deepening economic and strategic relations with Myanmar, convinced that this is the best approach to engage with a military regime despised by the West.
Despite intense American pressures to change tracks, India is pressing ahead with work aimed at building or developing roads in Myanmar, besides setting up a hydroelectric station and a communication and IT project. Keeping in mind the Indian insurgents who use Myanmar’s long and rugged border with India as a sanctuary and the influence of China on the military junta, New Delhi feels only economic links will finally help that country and its people.
Indian officials are also convinced that the military rulers only entrench themselves more and more every time the US and other Western powers put pressure on the junta in the UN and other world bodies. The most ambitious of New Delhi’s ventures is a link between ports on India’s east and Sittwe Port in Myanmar that would further connect Mizoram through river transport and road. This is the $100m Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project. It is expected to provide an alternate route for transport of goods to northeast India.
The other project is upgrading the 160km long Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo Road in Myanmar across Manipur. The Border Roads Organisation completed this in 1997. India decided in 2006 that the road needed to be resurfaced and repaired. India is also building more roads in Myanmar, which is woefully poor in infrastructure and communication, and a highway from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand through Bagan in Myanmar.
Besides, New Delhi is setting up an IT Park a Mandalay in Myanmar and two e-Learning centres in Yangoon and Mandalay. It is also conducting an e-governance project to train Myanmar government officials. A hydroelectric project is coming up with India’s support on river Chindwin in Myanmar’s northwest, parallel to Nagaland and Manipur. All this is to the intense dislike of the US, which in 2003 enacted a Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act to apply sanctions against the military rulers in its quest for democracy there.
Backing the US are other Western nations, including the European Union. American officials argue that India, as the world’s largest democracy, ought to put pressure on the Myanmar administration, not give it oxygen. Indian officials say while they too would want Myanmar to be a democracy, they don’t share the American assessment that isolating the military junta is the way to go about it. On the contrary, each time the US mounts stifling pressure on Myanmar in the UN, China comes to Yangoon’s rescue and ends up tightening its embrace of the regime — something that goes against Washington’s interests.
Sharing India’s broad perspective about Myanmar is Asean, which had included Yangoon as a member despite some opposition from within the grouping. Of course, Beijing actively courts Myanmar. India shares a nearly 1,700km long land border with Myanmar. Four of its states — Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh — border that country.
Jharkhand seeks higher royalty for coal, iron ore From correspondents in Jharkhand, India,
Jharkhand has sought a 20 percent share in the centre’s profits from coal and iron ore, saying delays in the revision of royalty on minerals mined from the state were causing it a loss of Rs.35 billion annually. The demand was put forth at a two-day meeting of the Inter State Council of Mineral Resources (ISCMR), which began Thursday at the Indian Institute of Coal Management (IICM), Ranchi. The meet is being attended by the chief secretaries of 14 states, which include Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Goa, Nagaland and Orissa. Jharkhand Chief secretary A.K. Chug demanded a 20 percent royalty on profits made from coal and iron ore mined from the state. Jharkhand officials believe if this demand is accepted by the central government, the state will earn an additional Rs.35 billion per annum. At present, Jharkhand gets Rs.11 billion as royalty. Chhattisgarh representatives supported Jharkhand’s view. The representatives of different states are discussing royalties paid on different minerals by the central government. The delegates also talked about the low rates paid on iron ore despite a boom in the steel industry.
Government to government: The distasteful Burma-India embrace
There are reasons why New Delhi has changed its tune with regard to Burma, but this makeshift relationship is full of problems. by | SOE MYINT MIZZIMA
The Indian position towards Burma is characterised by a paradox. Across the political spectrum, civil society and media, there is support for the Burmese democratic movement. People sympathise with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who lived and studied there when her mother was the first Burmese ambassador to New Delhi in the 1960s. But in the past decade or so, the position of the Indian government has not reflected this support. Successive governments after 1994 have engaged with the generals, who continue to ruthlessly suppress Burmese democratic aspirations.
India and Burma have had close ties through history, from traditional cultural connections to intimate political relations in the modern era, going back to the struggle for independence from British colonial rule. India was the first nation to extend active support to Burma’s pro-democracy movement. New Delhi also condemned the regime in Rangoon for refusing to hand over power to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) following the party’s victory in the 1990 general elections. In 1995, the Indian government honoured Suu Kyi with the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. Burmese refugees and activists have been allowed to stay in India, though the Indian government does not extend them any material or financial support.
Things changed dramatically in the second half of the 1990s, as the Indian government began to avoid making critical and controversial remarks on developments in Burma. Although individual parlia-mentarians and political parties continue to reiterate their commitment to the pro-democracy movement, state policy has taken an altogether different direction.
Since 1998, India has extended more than USD 100 million in credit to the Burmese regime, including for upgrading the Rangoon-Mandalay railway line. In addition, it has contributed USD 27 million to the building of the 160-kilometre Tamu-Kalewa highway in Burma’s Sagaing Division. India has also emerged as Burma’s second largest market after Thailand, absorbing 25 percent of the country’s total exports, and hopes to double bilateral trade to a billion US dollars per annum in the next few years. India is also providing training to Burmese armed forces personnel and helping build border infrastructure. As a part of its energy strategy, it also plans to buy natural gas from Burma’s reserves. This would benefit the military regime millions of dollars annually. The Indian government rolled out a red-carpet welcome to Senior General Than Shwe when he visited India in October 2004. Top Indian dignitaries, including the president, vice president and military generals, have made state visits to Rangoon in recent years.
Realism… This engagement with the military junta stems from a multiplicity of factors. Modern-day Burma happens to pose a strategic challenge on India’s eastern flank and at its maritime frontiers. Beijing’s increasing influence in Burma and what can be called the Indo-Burmese region has India worried. By building ties with the junta, New Delhi can limit China’s presence in the Indian Ocean and prevent Rangoon from becoming a Chinese toehold in that area. More importantly, China’s past support to various insurgency groups in India’s Northeast, and the fact that Burma serves as a base for many of these insurgents, has also forced the Indian government to befriend the military government. Burma’s inclusion in ASEAN in 1997 made it convenient for New Delhi to include the country in its official ‘Look East Policy’. Burma was increasingly seen as the launching pad by which to enter Southeast Asia and access the markets there. Moreover, Burma, as a part of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), is a vital partner for regional projects in which India is involved. There is also a strong perception that interaction with Burma can hasten economic development in those state of the Indian Northeast that share a border with the country.
It is no one’s case that India should reverse its current policy, but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should, at the very least, make it clear to Burma’s generals that he stands firmly with the democratic aspirations of the Burmese people. The present Indian strategy can be said to have its advantages, as it provides some space for people-to-people relationships across the border. However, let us keep in mind that tourism, trade and business links tend to be restricted to the elite sections in Burma, which are invariably connected to the present ruling military establishment. For its part, the Burmese regime is mainly interested in playing the diplomacy card between China and India, and between the Western countries and Burma’s neighbours. It has thus been adroit in ensuring that the international community suffers its brutal and repressive rule. On the one hand, the military junta uses its relationships with India and China to tell its Western critics that it has the support of the world’s two most populous countries. On the other hand, it dangles the China card in front of India to gain support for its rule. A close relationship with India helps enhance the generals’ image, both inside and outside the country. Moreover, it is important for trade purposes, for the balance of trade between India and Burma is hugely in Burma’s favour. It also dilutes the regime’s dependence on China.
…or myopia It is debatable, however, whether India’s so-called strategic interests have been served after more than a decade of being cosy with the Burmese generals. Even as India maintains friendly ties with the junta, the relationship faces practical problems. Border trade between India and Burma is largely dominated by smuggling, including of drugs and arms. The border regions of the Indian Northeast adjoining Burma are plagued with political instability, drug trafficking, HIV/AIDS, arms smuggling and insurgency. It is an open secret that some Northeastern rebel groups have their bases and training camps in Burma. While it is not certain whether shelter has been provided with the consent of top military leaders in Rangoon (and now the new capital Nay Pyi Daw), there is little doubt that the local Burmese military commanders and intelligence officers are hand in glove with the insurgents. Indeed, the presence of insurgents has served as a fine bargaining chip for the generals. It helps them to build a better relationship with New Delhi as well as to demand the suppression of Burmese pro-democracy and ethnic activists residing in India, whom the regime rejects as ‘outlaws’ or ‘insurgents’. In recent years, the government of India has cracked down on the Chin National Front (CNF), which is a part of Burma’s movement for democracy, human rights and self-determination.
New Delhi has been seeking help from Rangoon to flush out Northeast insurgent groups such as the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) and the United National Liberation Front (UNLF). Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee’s recent visit to Burma on 19-21 January is the latest attempt to seek such assistance. Though India continues to request cooperation from the Burmese side in counter-insurgency operations, the generals have at best been lethargic. Upon pressure from New Delhi, they attack the NSCN-K camps in Burma, but show little interest in cracking down on the other insurgent groups. In trying to work with Rangoon, Indian policy makers forget that many of the problems they face are linked to the nature of governance in Burma, which precludes a sustained and co-operative bilateral relationship. There is no space for dialogue, freedom of speech and political expression in a country where the foremost pro-democracy leader and Nobel Laureate remains under strict house arrest. It is estimated that around 1000 political prisoners, including members elected to Parliament in 1990, are detained in jails across Burma.
The India-Burma relationship is also complicated by the sizeable presence of the refugee community across the border. The constant flow of refugees from Burma into the Northeastern states of India has been a growing concern for inhabitants of the region. Fear of torture, rape, summary execution, imprisonment, forced labour and forced relocation by the Burmese army has led to a large exodus over the years. The refugee population in India is comprised of mostly the ethnic minority nationalities of Burma and is concentrated in the four Northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. At present, around 1800 Burmese refugees and asylum-seekers live in New Delhi. Most of them are recognised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as refugees. But the rehabilitation of Burmese refugees in India has been a major UNHCR failure. The UNHCR has implemented a phase-out programme, cutting the already meagre subsistence allowance on the logic that refugees should earn their own keep in India. However, the majority of Burmese in New Delhi have no access to remunerated work (see Himal November 2006: “Refugees and Agency”).
Here, the case of 36 Burmese prisoners incarcerated without trial for more than half a decade in the Andaman Islands deserves attention. The episode exposes the reality behind the India-Myanmar government-to-government embrace. The Indian government arrested and illegally detained Burmese activists for six and a half years, and it is only now that they are being put on trial in a Calcutta court (see “The victims of Operation Leech”, below). The case will reveal whether the Indian democratic system stands in solidarity with the aspirations of the Burmese people. Even while being critical of India’s Burma policy, the Burmese democracy movement must introspect about its inability to capitalise on India’s initial support and the continuing empathy of its intelligentsia and political classes. Many political leaders in India are convinced that Burma’s movement for democracy and human rights is West-centric. The movement has neither organised a strong public campaign within India nor has it been able to convince sympathetic Indians that it is independent and value-based, and needful of the support of the Indian political classes and civil society.
In the long term, India’s national and security interests would that demand Burma be a democratic, economically strong and modernised nation state. India-Burma relations must be based on the common aspirations of the peoples of both countries. They must benefit the masses, not merely a few military generals and their associates in Burma. Burma will sooner or later become a democratic nation, and once it does, it would be extremely unfortunate if the Burmese people perceived India as supportive of the ruthless dictatorship. The recent People’s Movement in Nepal is an encouraging sign for the people of Burma. India, especially its political parties, played an effective role in extending solidarity to the Nepali people. It is to be seen if India’s political class will extend this principled support to Burma in its quest for democracy.
Army chokes ULFA supply lines to Myanmar The Morung Express
GUWAHATI, APRIL 13 (AGENCIES): The United Liberation Front of Asom cadres based in Myanmar jungle are staring at a very tough time during the coming monsoon (rainy season), thanks to Indian Army that is keeping constant vigil on the two known supply lines of essentials and medicines to ULFA camps in Myanmar from Assam via Arunachal Pradesh.
According to a security source, the two supply routes are from Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Upper Assam Assam to Myanmar via Arunachal Pradesh and the other route is from Sonari -Sapekhati in Sivasagar district Assam to Myanmar via Arunachal Pradesh. Every year, the ULFA supplies essentials and medicines to its Myanmar based camps just before on set of the monsoon during which it becomes impossible to pass through the thickly forested routes to Myanmar through the so called `ULFA haven’ amid Arunachal Pradesh hills. The medicines are very essential given that the area in Myanmar where they are based is highly prone to malaria. The ULFA usually adopts some villages in poverty-struck areas western Myanmar by providing rations and medicines to poor villagers in lieu of their help in respect of carrying loads and providing strategic inputs. However, this year the army have maintained constant vigil over the two vital supply lines to ULFA bases in Myanmar putting the outfit cadres holed up in Myanmar in a spot. The army also mounted vigil on Lohit river course in Arunachal Pradesh that is also used by the ULFA for movement of its men and materials. It may be mentioned that Thursday’s Army operation that resulted in death of 8 ULFA cadres was carried out on the bank of Lohit river. The security force believes that its strategy to disrupt the supply lines to ULFA camps in Myanmar would pay rich dividends as hit by shortage of essentials and medicines, the ULFA cadres will not be left with much options but to surrender to escape the onslaught of monsoon inside thick hostile jungles. It is feared that the ULFA would mount its attacks in urban areas of Assam including the state’s capital city here to divert attention of the Army. However, the Army is no longer interested in altering its strategy and focus on its operations in urban areas which can well be taken care of by police and paramilitary forces. To distract the Army from the focus of the ‘ULFA haven’, the banned outfit has been almost regularly triggering blasts in urban and semi-urban areas in the state. The militant group enginnered an explosion at Rupaisiding under Doomdooma police station of Tinsukia district of Thursday night injuring at least seven persons.
Fear and panic gripped non-tribal migrant workers in N-E The Morung Express
Guwahati, India, April 13 (Agencies): Fear and panic has gripped non-tribal migrant workers in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya after an influential tribal body served quit notices asking them to vacate the state by the month end or face action. “We are passing sleepless nights and feeling greatly unsecured after the threat. Like me, many people working here are in a quandary,” Harsha Gurung, a middle-aged Nepali-speaking daily wage earner, said. Gurung, originally hailing from Nepal, has been working in coalmines in Meghalaya since the past 12 years. The Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Peoples (FKJGP), a group that claims to fight for the rights of the indigenous tribal people of Meghalaya, have set May 1 as the deadline for Hindi, Nepali, and Bengali speaking migrant workers to leave the state. “We are not going to spell out what course of action we would take once the deadline expires. But something is going to happen and we shall throw them out,” Emlang Lytan, president of the Federation, warned. There are an estimated 12,000 migrant workers, most of them working in the many coalfields in Meghalaya, bordering Bangladesh.
“These migrant workers are a bunch of criminals who have been indulging in lootings, murders, and even raping our tribal women,” Lytan said. A number of other tribal organizations and individuals have backed the Federation’s demand to free the state of migrant workers. “The migrant workers are cutting into local jobs and unless we take stern measures now, things would go out of hand,” L. Lyngdoh, a tribal community elder, said. The local government have appealed for restraint and assured the migrant workers not to panic.
“We are committed to providing adequate security in the coal belt so that the workers are safe,” a senior police official said requesting not to be named. In the adjoining state of Assam, the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in January killed about 60 Hindi-speaking migrant workers. There is growing fear that the indigenous population would soon be overwhelmed with unabated influx of non-tribal people to the state.Meghalaya is a predominantly Christian state of 2.3 million people. The Khasis, the largest tribe in the state, accounts for about 8,79,000 The Jaintias and the Khasis put together make about 1 million. In November, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), a constitutional body to protect and preserve traditional customary laws and culture, announced cash rewards to tribal mothers to bear more babies aimed at doubling its population to two million. “There is a great fear that the Khasi and the Jaintia tribes could get wiped out if we do not encourage bigger families from now onwards and hence a systematic campaign launched by us”, H.S. Shylla, the Council’s chief, said.

Frans on 04.14.07 @ 05:03 PM CST [link]

Friday, April 13th

NSCN-IM rejects Manipur Government’s arrest warrant The Morung Express

NSCN-IM rejects Manipur Government’s arrest warrant The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 12 (MExN): Reacting to the Manipur government issuing arrest warrants against two NSCN-IM’s functionaries over a murder case, the outfit laments that the Manipur government is vying to exercise it judicial hand beyond administrative boundaries which, an MIP note asserted, is “contrary to international laws.”
“That the instruction and advice by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs to a state of their union of such directive, shows their dishonorable and disrespectable commitment to the Indo-Naga unconditional political peace process. That the inalienable legitimate rights of the Nagas be recognized and not infringed or encroached upon deliberately” the MIP note stated.
“The Naga people have since time immemorial been executing out legal laws in the customary law of our land. Therefore any crime committed under the jurisdiction of Nagalim is to be tried under the Naga customary law” the organization asserted while highlighting village local courts and their systems. The Naga people have a popular government with the NSCN-IM being, the note claimed, “the legitimate government of the Naga people,” which is engaged in dialogue with the GoI. “When crime takes place under Nagalim national jurisdiction and the investigation and trial under process, the issue of arresting GPRN authorities by an external entity is illegal, null and void” the MIP stated.
The NSCN-IM lamented that the Manipur state government “out of its inefficiency and contravening international legal norms” is trying to “escape its failures” and frustration by tainting the “GPRN’s mage” it stated adding that they (Manipur government) have employed all attempts to derail the peace process by “falsifying facts.” Now it is left to the GoI in demonstrating its respectability or “dishonorability” but the Nagas will remain committed to the peace-process but not at the cost of their inalienable rights, it added.
NSCN(K) cadres slay rival IM man Source: The Sangai Express
Kohima, April 12: In continued factional clashes of the NSCN one “Sgt Maj” of the NSCN (I-M) was killed at Bungsang, near Medziphema in Nagaland today, reports NNN.

Reports said that the cadres of the NSCN-IM and the NSCN-K engaged in a gun battle this morning in which one “Sgt Major” of the NSCN-IM was killed.

According to the reports the incident took place at around 7 am.

The deceased officer of the NSCN-IM hailed from the Tangkhul community, according to the reports received but the exact identity of the slain militant is yet to be known.

The clashes could have escalated further had it not been for the intervention of the security forces.

The Assam Rifles personnel reportedly neutralised the clashes which had lasted for about 15 minutes.

The series of the ongoing clashes between the NSCN-IM and the NSCN-K have claimed numerous lives the NSCN-IM and the NSCN-K have claimed numerous lives in the last three months or so.

There was a relaxation of clashes in this Good Friday/Easter Sunday holidays but today’s incident was the first after week’s gap.

The Nagaland districts of Peren, Zunheboto, Kohima, and even in the outskirt of Dimapur have been witnessing the faction clashes in the last three months while in Manipur Tamenglong district has been the worst hit in this regard.
NSCN (I-M) Mao Region condemns killing The Morung Express

DIMAPUR, APRIL 12 (MExN): Condoling the deaths of CAO K Athiko and Raza Peyu K Adahrii Mao of the NSCN (I-M), who were abducted from Para Medical Colony, Kohima and subsequently killed by NSCN (K) members on March 24 last, K James Kriichena, Leacy of Shepourmath region, NSCN (I-M), has “on behalf of all the Mao National workers and my family members,” condemned the killing. According to a condolence message, the deceased were on their way to Camp Hebron to attend a fasting programme. Kriichena stated that the two worked selflessly “for the nation” and sacrificed their lives for the cause of humanity. “We remember you with our tears of silence for your selfless and dedicated works for the nation.” The condolence message asked that their souls rest in peace in the hands of the Almighty and that the bereaved family members be blessed abundantly.
Pragmatic steps build possibilities Editorial The Morung Express
The journey towards reconciliation is a long process that needs to weather many seasons of transitions and therefore demands the utmost will and courage to keep the process going. To sustain the continued process of understanding and reconciliation it is essential that pragmatic steps are taken at regular intervals. Such pragmatic steps must hold clarity in intention and concreteness in implementation with a visionary approach.
Due to severe nature of distrust and pain that have been caused, especially in situations of protracted armed conflict, it would be erroneous to assume that understanding and reconciliation would be bridged within a short span of time. It must be understood that the pathway to reconciliation cannot jump stages. The process demands that it goes through every stage, no matter how painful or difficult it may be.
Practical steps are what sustain the process. Often one will find that a process gets lost in slogans and rhetoric. Of course any process needs to define its values, which act as a guidepost in directing the path, but this does not mean getting stuck in sloganeering. The key is to ensure that practical and concrete steps which affirm the values of the process are made deliberately, to strengthen the process. A process without consistent concrete steps is bound to falter and perhaps even be usurped. One serious obstacle is that, because of the violence of the past, relations are based on antagonism, distrust, disrespect and possibly, hurt and hatred. It is hardly a step for optimism, no matter how effective or perfect the process in itself may be. There is therefore a pressing need to evolve practical steps that address negative relationships and assumed perceptions that feed on dehumanization. Hence a nation seeking reconciliation needs to develop effective working structures in its pursuit to build bridges of understanding; understanding which is the understanding of differences.
Since democratic values demand a working structure in which differences are addressed constructively, these structures require a minimum level of fairness, cooperation and interrelationship and they serve the purpose for building constructive communication, empowering confidence and developing trust. These structures need to be independent and must be dynamic in its origin so that it will be in a position to adopt and adapt to the fast changing nature of the process.
Reconciliation applies not simply to political leaders, governments and armed factions; it applies to the whole nation. The relationship at question must be addressed between whole communities and societies. It is the entire nation that has to begin to reorient themselves from the adversarial relation of conflict to a more respect centered relation of cooperation.
Reconciliation is urged for pragmatic reasons and it is through practical and concrete steps that it can be realized. History reveals that reconciliation is not a luxury, it is a necessity. While democratic frameworks result in resolving differences, reconciliation addresses the relationships between those who will have to implement just solutions.
Struggle for Political Identity of Tikhirs and the Nagas In Focus the Morung Express
Nagas are the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland. It consists of various Tribes that speak different languages. It has its own custom, tradition, culture and originated places which vary from tribe to tribe. Since time immemorial every Naga village was considered as a country and popularly known as head hunters which defended their country. With the invasion of the British and Japanese into Naga area, the idea of religious belief and education system was brought to the Nagas. It is regretted to say that it is not widespread all over the Naga inhabited areas where Tikhirs too are the victims of it. But Nagas as a whole has undergone various changes with the introduction of schools and religious institutions people came closer and formed the idea for the formation of state where political consciousness was developed on the basis of tribe.
Due to the late coming of educational system in Tikhir area it is lagging behind. It is believed that during the late 1940’s only the educational system had reached our land and by that time Nagas as a whole were at a high transformation stage – politically, socially and economically.
Tikhirs were under darkness for many years and not known to the rest of the Naga family. Today Tikhirs are sowing seeds whereas other Nagas are enjoying the fruits that they had sowed and going for alternative measure. A big has made hindrance for the Tikhirs. Like other Naga tribes, Tikhir has its own distinct culture, tradition, custom, language, originated place, historical background and territory.
Tikhirs are mainly inhabited in Tuensang and Kiphire district. Politically Tikhirs are divided into three constituencies having minority in each constituency. Administration is also run under different heads where people cannot come closer and vice versa. Today due to the above mentioned disparities, the struggle for identity has become a key issue for Tikhirs which naturally creates conflict with the ones who dominate us politically, socially, economically. But no one is ever ready to compromise his/her identity at any cause for it has its own existence since time immemorial.
In today’s scenario dominating one group of people by others or particular tribe has become a part of history in Naga politics. Hunger for power gave birth to political injustice, social discrimination, and economic inequalities and finally led to tribalism. It automatically developed a sense of conflict, tension and jealousy which is a problem for one and all. Unless and until peace and harmony is achieved, all round developmental activities cannot take place and provided there is no social, political and economic discrimination.
In the context of Tikhirs there is no one to raise their voice during the Naga political development taking place due to the lack of education. Today it has become a major phenomenon for Tikhirs. Political identity is the need of the hour without discrimination on any basis which will definitely add another fruitful peace and harmony in Nagaland inspite of all its political shortcomings. Asu K Tikhir
2 NSCN ultras surrender From Our Bureau Assam Tribune
DIBRUGARH, April 12 – Two militants of both NSCN factions have surrendered along with arms before civil authority and 29 Assam Rifles in Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh. The surrender ceremony was held before Deputy Commissioner Hage Batt. The surrendered NSCN (IM) cadre Kanto Sema, 37 was a self styled second Lieutenant of the banned outfit hailing from Wokha district of Nagaland.

During the ceremony, he handed over one Chinese made 9mm automatic pistol and one magazine to the authority. The other surrendered militant Keanu Mech of NSCN (K) was a self styled Sgt from Dimapur and had been recently deployed at Nampong to carry out operations in the area. He also handed over a 9mm automatic pistol and one magazine at the time of surrender, the Assam Rifles said in a press release.
Protestors storm Ibobi’s bungalow Correspondent Nagaland Post
IMPHAL, APRIL 12: Police fired tear gas and resorted to lathi charge to control a large mob, led by a local MLA, which stormed the chief minister’s bungalow Thursday evening, demanding immediate booking of the culprits behind the killing of two local youths hailing from Heirok in Thoubal district.
A protestor was hurt while several others were beaten up by the police. Most of the protestors were women.
The bodies of three youths including the two from Heirok were recovered Thursday morning at Songbung under Sappermaina police station in Senapati district.
Police believed the three were strangled to death as there were several rope marks on their necks.
The two slain youths from Heirok identified as Laishram Thouba and Huidrom Arunkumar, were earlier abducted on the night of March 30 from Laimayum Leikai in Thoubal district by some unidentified people who came in a Tata Sumo.
The identity of the third youth was yet to be established.
A joint action committee formed on April 10 had earlier imposed a statewide general strike to protest the government’s failure to give a deadline to trace out the two missing youths.
Police are yet to establish the motive behind the killing of the three youths.
‘Influx will turn State into another Kashmir’ A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, April 12 – Leading intellectuals of the State, who gathered at a meeting at the Paltan Bazar Srimanta Kristi Bikash Samiti Naamghar here on Tuesday, expressed their serious concern over the continuous influx from neighbouring Bangaldesh. They also warned that if allowed to continue unabated, this influx would ultimately turn Assam into another Kashmir in the near future. Already, people and cultures of the countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia and states like Kashmir were tormented by similar influx of people of other religions. Assam has become the latest victim of this phenomenon and now this has been posing a serious threat to Assam and the culture of its people.
A planned campaign is launched to encroach upon the land of the sattra institutions of the State and the number of the encroachers is proliferating at a tremendous pace. This has been rapidly reducing the Hindus to minorities in the State. The encroachers have already killed some of the sattradhikars of the State. The indigenous women are also not safe in the areas dominated by these people, said the intellectuals while addressing the meeting.

The speakers at the meeting also resented the fact that despite a High Court order to evict the encroachers from the sattra land, the State Government had displayed inertia in this regard and alleged that a conspiracy was on to make Assam a part of greater Bangladesh.

They also criticized the ongoing process for delimitation of the Assembly constituency as a part of a grave conspiracy to rob the indigenous people of their hegemony over State politics. To combat the menace, they suggested unity of the Hindus of the State, saying, only this could work as the panacea to the influx-related affliction of the State. In addition to this, the speakers also laid stress on adopting an appropriate work culture by the indigenous people, besides mounting pressure on the Government to effectively check the influx problem. The meeting, which was presided over by former Commissioner and Secretary to the State Government Dr Rohini Kumar Barua, was addressed by former Director General of the National Museum Dr Rabin Dev Choudhury, former editor of The Sentinel DN Bezboruah, former editor of the Dainik Asam Dhirendranath Chakravorty, former Vice Chancellor of Tezpur Univiersity Dr Kishori Mohan Pathak, former Dibrugarh Univeristy Vice Chancellor Kamaleswar Bora, chief of the Srimanta Sankar Sangha Karuna Kanta Kalita, Asam Sattra Mahasabha president Bhadra Krishna Goswami, NE Haridev Sangha secretary Kanteswar Kalita, Eksaran Bhagawati Samaj president Dayal Krishna Bora, Advocate Kuntala Deka and noted writer Atulananda Goswami, among others.
Imphal boils as bodies of kidnapped found Newmai News Network
Imphal Violence ridden Manipur saw another gloomy day following the recovery of 3 strangulated dead bodies in the National Highway 39 in which two persons had been identified as that of two kidnapped persons from Heirok. The JAC formed in the matter has called a 24-hour Manipur bandh starting from 5 am of April 15.The JAC which met the state Chief minister and state chief secretary could not bring amicable solution, hence the call of Manipur bandh.The JAC demanded that the state govt. should book the culprits into the killing. Among the three dead bodies two had been established the identities as that of L.Thouba and Arunkumar, who were kidnapped since March 30.
Police lathi charge agitating women folk in front of the CM bungalow gate (NNN)
As soon as the identities of the dead bodies were made known this afternoon, people particularly from Heirok gheraod the Chief Minister’s official bungalow demanding justice to be done with regard to the killing amidst shouting and crying and ensued scuffle between police personnel and the mob. Some relatives of the deceased and some other protesting women were injured due to the lathi charged meted out by the police personnel.
Another mob reached the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) morgue this evening where the dead bodies were brought for post mortem. The Joint Action Committee against the kidnapping of Thouba and Arunkumar, local MLA of Heirok AC, M. Oken and relative this afternoon identified the dead bodies in the morgue. Earlier in the morning, according to the police, three unidentified male dead bodies were found lying one after another near Mangpijang village of National Higways-39 under Saparmaina police station in Senapati district by the patrolling Army party around 7 this morning and reported the same to the police which later brought to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) morgue for identification. The caused of the dead looks to be of strangulation and beating with the marks seen on the dead bodies, said the police.The police then observed that tthree hree persons must have been killed in one location and later dumped on the National Highway-39.The dead bodies are presently lying in the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) morgue.
The third dead body is yet to be identified. It is worth noting that the JAC had called 24 hours general strike just yesterday demanding to know the where about of the two missing person from the state government. The JAC called a 24 hours general strike in Manipur on April-10 till yesterday morning by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) against the kidnapping of one L. Thouba Singh and H. Arunkumar demanding prompt action from the state government. The JAC had also staged a protest rally in an around Imphal city particularly near the government complex’s secretariat this afternoon demanding safe release of the the two abducted persons among others.
The two abducted persons, L. Thouba Singh son of L. Gopa Singh and H. Arunkumar Singh son of H. Ningthem Singh, both hailing from Heirok Part-II is said to have been kidnapped by some unknown armed persons on March 30 last during local festival known as Thabal Chongba.
The JAC apart from protest rally also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister in-charge
citing that two persons had been kidnapped by unknown Tata Sumo borne gunmen on the fateful night around 10 the way from Heirok Part-II, Laimayum Leikei. The JAC also mentioned that no one has claimed as yet to the kidnapping incident till date either from underground groups or from security forces including the state police.
Arunachal forest haven for ULFA Newmai News Network
Dinjan The dense forest cover in the Manbhum reserve forest of neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh has become a transit route of the Ulfa militants who keep on sneaking into Assam from Myanmar to carry out various subversive activities in the state.
The 136 sq km forest, declared a reserve forest in 1937 was the haunt of tigers and panthers. However, the militants are now taking maximum advantage of the dense forest cover to avoid intensified army operations against them.
The terrain is generally flat except for the Northeastern portion which is hilly. There are some rivulets but most of them have turned into swamps as the rivulets keep on changing their courses.
Sources at the 2nd Mountain division of the army based at Dinjan in Dibrugarh district said that the militants could reach the Myanmar border through Diyum, Miao, Jairampur and Na Mpong areas after scaling down the Manbhum river.
“The flat terrain of the Manbhum has lots of khutis (temporary cattle shed) and the militants use those as their shelter to take rest at night,” said the sources while adding that the locals also help the militants by giving shelter in those khutis as they could earn some extra bucks from the militants. The encounter between the Gorkha regiment and Ulfa cadres that took place at around 5 am on April 9 at Teklibam area under Namsai sub division in Arunachal Pradesh also proves the fact. The eight militants who were gunned down in the encounter were taking shelter in those khutis, the sources added.
“The eight cadres who were killed on April 9 were on their way to Assam from Myanmar. After entering the Assam border, the militants basically take the Dhola and Sadia routes to enter various districts,” said the sources.
“We have also recovered some incriminating documents and note books from the possession of the eight slain cadres and we hope that the note books would give vital leads about more hideouts of the militants in the region,” added the source.
“It is difficult to scale down the dense forest for us while searching for the militants but we have identified the routes which they use and intensified the vigil accordingly,” said the sources
Editors meet ULFA leaders’ wives By A City Correspondent Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, April 12 – Editors of the leading dailies of the State and eminent citizens including noted writer Mamoni Raisom Goswami on Thursday appealed to the Government to take notice of the fast unto death protest of the wives of the missing ULFA leaders whose condition was deteriorating day by day. The wives of the missing ultras had been on a fast unto death since March 21 demanding information about the whereabouts of their spouses. They were arrested by the police and admitted first at MMC hospital and later shifted to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). The team of Editors who visited the fasting women at GMCH noted with concern that the health of the protesters was worsening and observed that unwanted situation might arise if the Government does not intervene at the earliest. The Editors urged the Government to come up with a solution that would be acceptable to all the parties.

Meanwhile several political parties including the opposition Asom Gana Parishad has criticized the Government for being indifferent to the demands of the protesters who had been on indefinite hunger strike from April 6 at Lakhidhar Borah Khetra at the initiative of Peoples’ Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam. Brindaban Goswami, leader of the AGP said that in the wake of Government indifference towards the demand for peace and resumption of the peace talks, there is the need to launch a mass agitation.
Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Asam Unnati Sabha (AUS) have warned the State Government against playing politics with the humane issues like the disappearance of the ULFA leaders Government during the later’s drive against the militant outfit. It has condemned the arrest of the wives of these ULFA leaders by the Government while they were on an indefinite fast. The Government should instead respond to the demand raised by these ladies for tracing out their husbands, said the AASU and the AUS in a statement here.

If the Government drags the matter any further it will have to assume the responsibility for all the consequences, warned the AASU and the AUS. Our Udalguri Correspondent adds : Eight ULFA men have been on indefinite hunger strike since April 10 last at Mangaldai district jail in support of the wives of those untraced ULFA leaders who were on indefinite hunger strike since March 21 last. This was disclosed in a press note issued today by second lieutenant of the banned outfit from the Mangaldai district jail,

Bodies of missing Heirok youths found, bandh called on Sunday The Imphal Free Press

imphal, april 12: Police resorted to lathicharge and fired one round of tear gas in front of the chief minister`s bungalow to disperse a group of people from Heirok who tried to storm the bungalow gate this evening in connection with the discovery of the dead bodies of two missing Heirok youths today at Sombung village under Sapermaina police station. A 24-hour Manipur bandh beginning from 5 am of April 15 (Sunday) has been called by the JAC formed in connection with the disappearance of the two as talks between the chief minister and representatives of the JAC led by local MLA M Oken failed to bring an amicable solution. However, essential services will not be under the purview of the bandh, the JAC said.

“As the state government is putting pressure on us to receive the bodies despite the JAC`s strong demand for finding out the culprits and booking them under the law, we have decided to call the bandh,” Basanta, advisor of the JAC told journalists as he emerged from the talks with the CM.

They had decided to receive the bodies only after the one point demand is fulfilled by the state, he said.The dead bodies of the two missing youths along with another dead body were found abandoned Thursday morning at Songbung near Mopijang village some three kilometers away from Sapermeina police station along the NH-39 in Senapati district. The two slain youths from Heirok in Thoubal district went missing since they were abducted by some miscreants on March 30 and people of the locality had been urging the state authorities to trace them out for the last few days. Police source said the dead bodies which were apparently strangled to death were retrieved from a drain on the side of the NH-39 this morning at around 7 am. Troops of the Territorial Army conducting patrolling on the highway detected the three dead bodies, police said. There were several bruise marks all over the bodies of the slain youths and there were also strangulation marks on the necks.

Police also opined that the bodies were abandoned there after being killed somewhere else.
Later, the families of the two missing Heirok youths identified the dead bodies as those of Laishram Thouba and Huidrom Arunkumar, both residents of Heirok part II Laishram Leikai.

However, the identity of the third body could not be immediately established as no one turned up to claim the same at the RIMS morgue where Sapermeina police deposited it for identification.

The two Heirok youths were abducted on the night of March 30 from Heirok part II Laimayum Leikai in Thoubal district by some unidentified people who came in a Tata Sumo, while they were on the way to take part in a thabal chongba. Since the disappearance of the two, the people of Heirok under the banner of JAC Against the Kidnapping of L Thouba Singh and H Arunkumar Singh had been pressurizing the state authorities to help trace out the youths within a time bound period. They even imposed a statewide general strike as the Manipur government failed to give a deadline for tracing out the two. Agitated public stormed the chief minister`s bungalow gate at around 5.30 pm this evening shouting slogans demanding immediate booking of the culprits involved in the killing. Police could not control the group which came from the Nupi Lal complex side as they started running towards the bungalow after reaching the traffic point near the bungalow. When the agitators started rocking the western main gates of the bungalow, the police used tear gas and later lathicharged to turn the group towards the Nupi Lal complex, where they remained confined till the representatives of the JAC and local MLA M Oken came out from the talks. A protester was hurt by the tear gas and several others including women agitators were beaten up by the police.

The chief minister, O Ibobi Singh led the government side in the talks with eight members of the JAC including the local MLA who led the JAC. The chief minister was assisted by his cabinet ministers, Phungjathang, Gaikhangam, MLA K Ranjit, chief secretary Jarnail Singh, state DGP in charge Y Joykumar, DIG range-II A Romenkumar and other top officials of the state home department. Rajiv Borah.

How sincere and committed our MLAs are? Skyrocketing prices in Asom By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 12: Hike in prices of essential commodities hits everybody, and as such the Government and the people’s representatives have much to do to keep prices under control. Of late, Asom is reeling under skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and scarcity of food items that are made available under the public distribution system (PDS). But do the Government and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the State play their part to check the hike in prices? That Asom Government utterly failed in this particular area has been proved when the prices of essential commodities are virtually left at the mercy of unscrupulous traders and a trader-politician lobby that is active behind the curtain. The MLAs, on the other hand, did create a ruckus in the recently-held Budget session, but when the time came for them to do something concrete, they simply turned their backs to the burning problem.
It is still fresh in the mind of the people of the State that the MLAs literally stalled the proceedings of the House in the recent Asom Budget session on the issue of price hike, and compelled the Speaker to agree to lead a delegation of the State Assembly to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister, the Food Minister and the Petroleum Minister. During the Opposition’s query, Asom Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dr Nazrul Islam informed the House that the withdrawal of the six per cent railway freight subsidy, hike in rail fares etc were behind the stiff hike in prices in Asom. On that very day, the House took a decision to send a delegation of the Assembly to the Centre to persuade the Prime Minister to restore the rail freight subsidy for Asom and the North-east and take other measures that might check the rise in prices of essential commodities. The delegation of the House, to be led by Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai, had Opposition leader Brindabon Goswami, P & D Minister Prithivi Majhi, Agriculture Minister Pramilarani Brahma, AGP Legislature Party chief whip Chandra Mohan Patowary, BJP leader Mission Ranjan Das, Left leaders Dhrupad Borgohain and Ananta Deka, AGP-P president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, BPPF leader Karendra Basumatary, AUDF leader Aditya Langthasa, NCP leader Dulal Chandra Ghose, Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque, Independent MLA Pranab Kalita, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bharat Narah, Education Minister Ripun Bora and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dr Nazrul Islam as its members. But surprisingly, barring Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dr Nazrul Islam, Prithivi Majhi, Pramilarani Brahma, Brindabon Goswami and Chandra Mohan Patowary, none of the other members of the delegation attended the meeting convened by Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai in the State Assembly today to set the modalities which the team would have to follow and the memorandum to be submitted to the Prime Minister and other ministers at the Centre. This is even after sending invitations and WT message to each and every member of the House committee. This attitude of the MLAs has at least exposed that most of the people’s representatives in Asom are the least bothered about affairs concerning the people whom they represent, and all the ruckus and uproarious scenes they create in the State House apparently for the interest of the people are nothing but calculated moves to get media hype that matters more their interest than the common men’s plight.

Meghalaya’s non-tribal migrant workers get quit notice
SHILLONG, April 12: Fear and panic has gripped non-tribal migrant workers in the northeastern state of Meghalaya after an influential tribal body served quit notices, asking them to vacate the state by month end or face action.
“We are having sleepless nights and feeling greatly insecure after the threat. Like me, many people working here are in a quandary,” Harsha Gurung, a middle-aged Nepali-speaking daily wage earner, told IANS.
Gurung, originally hailing from Nepal, has been working in coalmines in Meghalaya since the past 12 years.
The Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Peoples (FKJGP), a group that claims to fight for the rights of the indigenous tribal people of Meghalaya, have set May 1as the deadline for Hindi, Nepali and Bengali speaking migrant workers to leave the state.
“We are not going to spell out what course of action we would take once the deadline expires. But something is going to happen and we shall throw them out,” warned Emlang Lytan, president of the federation.
There are an estimated 12,000 migrant workers, most of them working in the many coalfields in Meghalaya, bordering Bangladesh.
‘‘These migrant workers are a bunch of criminals who have been indulging in looting, murders, and even raping our tribal women,’’ Lytan said.
A number of other tribal organisations and individuals have backed the federation’s demand to free the state of migrant workers.
‘‘The migrant workers are cutting into local jobs and unless we take stern measures now, things would go out of hand,’’ said L. Lyngdoh, a tribal community leader.
The local government has appealed for restraint and asked the migrant workers not to panic.
‘‘We are committed to providing adequate security in the coal belt so that the workers are safe,’’ a police official said.
In the adjoining state of Assam, the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in January killed about 60 Hindi-speaking migrant workers.There is growing fear that the indigenous population would soon be overwhelmed with an unabated influx of non-tribal people to the state.
Meghalaya is a predominantly Christian state of 2.3 million people.The Khasis, the largest tribe in the state, accounts for about 879,000. The Jaintias and the Khasis put together make about one million.
In November, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), a constitutional body to protect and preserve traditional customary laws and culture, announced cash rewards to tribal mothers to bear more babies, aimed at doubling its population to two million.
‘‘There is a great fear that the Khasi and the Jaintia tribes could get wiped out if we donot encourage bigger families from now onwards and hence a systematic campaign has been launched by us,’’ said H.S. Shylla, the council’s chief.(IANS)

Northeast has the finest ethno-cultural mosaic- SS Sidhu Sentinel
IMPHOL, April 12: Manipur Governor Dr. S S Sidhu has said the North East Region has the finest ethno-cultural mosaic in the world.
Manipur Information Centre officials here today said,‘‘The Governor was speaking on investment in the North East,the crucial question of air connectivity in the Plenary Session 2 of the 3rd North East Business Summit held in New Delhi recently.’’
The region has tropical vegetation, exquisite scenic beauty, unexplored resources, rich bio-diversity, rare varieties of flora and fauna, distinctive cultural identity and rich heritage, he said.
The Governor, further described the region led by Manipur as the ‘Power House’of Indian sport.He also mentioned that reasonably high standard of salubrious climate, strong tradition of self-governance at village level particularly among hilly people and huge potential for trade and related services with ‘Look East Policy’ are among the assets and strengths on the region.
Dr. Sidhu stated that insurgency in varying degree prevails in four states of the region excluding Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.25 lakhs youths in the North East are unemployed, he added.
He said the region has poor infrastructure in terms of communication, road transport and power.The region has 12 operational airports at Agartala, Aizwal, Baghdogra, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Guwahati, Imphal, Jorhat, Lilabari, Shillong, Silchar and Tezpur. Airports that can quickly become operational with limited repairs are at Kamalpur, Along, Daporizo, Ziro and Tura.
Six airports at Rupsi, Shella, Kailashaha, Khowai, Passighat and Tezu can become operational with dornier type aircraft after strengthening of runway and extensive repair. Green field airports are to be developed on priority to serve the capitals of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim, he further said.He also mentioned that the Committee appointed by the Ministry of DONER posed two models for development of air connectivity in the region.
They are Public Private Partnership models joint venture airline allowing the private operator majority share holding of 74 per cent and North Eastern Council to hold 26 per cent stake, and Reverse Bidding Agreement (minimum subsidy route).(UNI)

Frans on 04.13.07 @ 03:34 PM CST [link]

Wednesday, April 11th

Canadian, Indian firms to hunt crude in Nagaland Hindustan Times

Canadian, Indian firms to hunt crude in Nagaland Hindustan Times

A Canadian company and an Indian exploration firm will soon begin looking for crude oil in the jungles of Nagaland in the northeast, a state haunted by decades of insurgency. Agreements with Canoro Resources Ltd of Canada and Oil and the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) have been signed and the calendar of activities will start soon, Nagaland Industry and Commerce Minister Khekhiho Zhimomi said. The predominantly Christian state of two million has the potential to yield some 600 million tones of crude oil, according to preliminary government estimates. “Nagaland is literally sitting on a multi-million dollar oil reserve. The state’s economy would definitely witness a massive turnaround if oil is struck,” the minister told IANS.
ONGC, India’s premier oil exploration firm, began exploration work in Nagaland in 1994 but had to withdraw its operations following threats from the separatist Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and several other tribal groups. “We have the full support of the local people this time while executing the agreement with the ONGC. We hope there should be no problems now,” Zhimomi said.A similar deal was signed between the local government and Canoro. “In northeast India, we believe the thrust belt running through the state of Nagaland to be a highly prospective area to explore for hydrocarbon deposits,” Les Kondratoff, president of Canoro Resources Ltd, said in a statement from Canada.
Canoro has been engaged in exploration work in the oil-rich northeastern part of India since the past decade. The Canadian firm is now part of the Kharshing oilfield in Arunachal Pradesh that they began exploring in 1995. “Despite being geographically located in one of the most prospective areas, there has been virtually no exploration activity in Nagaland for over 12 years and limited activity prior to that,” the Canoro statement said. “Nagaland’s geology is very similar to the thrusting and folding found in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, an area very familiar to Canoro’s management and technical team,” it added.
Despite a narrow industrial base and poor economic conditions, the tribal Nagas until recently refused the vast natural resources to be tapped. “There is no point in not letting the resources be tapped. By striking oil, we would not only be earning revenue, but at the same time such ventures would ease the spiralling unemployment problem in the state,” the minister said. Nagaland is also rich in coal, limestone, nickel, cobalt, chromium, magnetite, copper, zinc and platinum, besides marble and granite. The government recently adopted the ‘minor minerals policy’ to make exploration work possible in the region. A violent insurgency dating back to India’s independence in 1947 has claimed over 25,000 people lives in Nagaland, which borders Myanmar.

ONGC in Nagaland re-entry – Mizoram hills next stop for oil and gas giant A STAFF REPORTER The Telegraph
Guwahati, April 10: The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has decided to resume drilling operations in Nagaland after a 13-year hiatus and make its debut in another northeastern state, Mizoram.
The oil and gas behemoth has also drawn up plans to revamp its ageing facilities in Assam and hire two foreign consultancy firms for technical support. The larger goal is to increase the company’s crude output from 1.33 to 1.9 metric tonnes by the end of Eleventh Plan.
R.S. Sharma, who took over from Subir Raha as chairman and managing director of the ONGC in May last year, told The Telegraph that the company’s biggest challenge at the moment was to resume operations at Champang in Wokha district of Nagaland.
The Nagaland government barred drilling operations in Champang on May 2, 1994, in the wake of objections by the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) and some other organisations, including the Naga Students’ Federation.
The ONGC has now struck a deal with the Nagaland government, making it a stakeholder in oil and gas exploration. Sharma declined to give details of the agreement.
Apart from resuming work in Nagaland, the company is aiming to start deep drilling in Mizoram. Sharma said the plan was based on extensive feasibility studies. “Optimism is the philosophy of our business and it is with this philosophy that we are venturing into Mizoram,” he added.
Assam is in the scheme of things, too. The ONGC has drawn up a “renewal package” that entails investing nearly Rs 2,500 crore in revamping its ageing facilities in the state and going for technology induction with an estimated additional expenditure of around Rs 2,000 crore.
There will be comprehensive replacement, revamp and expansion of equipment and other infrastructure. Advanced process control and communications systems will be implemented along with better health, safety and environment management.
Sharma called on chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday to apprise him of the ONGC’s plans for Assam and seek better security arrangements.
The chairman and managing director was assured of the services of a security battalion comprising local youth. He reciprocated by offering two vans equipped with cancer-detection equipment. The special vehicles are worth Rs 70 lakh. A.K. Hazarika, director (onshore) of the ONGC, B.C. Nayak, executive director (security), and B.M. Singh, executive director (asset manager, Assam), accompanied Sharma to the meeting with the chief minister.
Rio invites Industries to invest in state Kuknalim.com
DIMAPUR, April 10:: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio Tuesday wooed the industries to invest in north-east, Nagaland in particular, stating the region has all the potentials for an economic boom, provided the industries were willing to come. Addressing the 3rd North-East Business Summit in New Delhi, Rio assured that DAN government was prepared to provide all necessary incentives under its own industrial policy. He also assured that State government would take all steps to create a conducive environment for industrial investment. The Chief Minister pointed out the progress made by Nagaland in the last forty-three years after it attained Statehood and said the economy of the State was growing by leaps and bounds. On extension of the North East Industrial Policy for another ten years, Rio said the ball was now in the court of the Indian industries to take full advantage of this and come in for investment in the State.
“The Indian industry and the Indian business community have always been dynamic. The Indian corporate giants have been assertive enough to become the major players in the world’s iron and steel industries. It is time the Indian industries started playing attention to the opportunities existing in the north-east,” Rio said. Pointing out the slogan of his government – “peace for development and development for peace” -, the chief minister said north-east should be seen both as a business opportunity and an investment for India’s future. (NPN)
8 hardcore ULFA militants killed in Arunachal encounter The Morung Express
Dibrugarh, April 10: Eight hardcore ULFA militants, including two women cadres, were killed in an ongoing encounter with security forces in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam’s Tinsukia district today.
A senior Army official told here that troops of 7/11 Gorkha Rifles had launched an operation in Tekelipam area of Lohit district in Arunachal since early morning and in the ensuing encounter eight ULFA militants, including two women cadres, were killed.
The dead include two top ULFA leaders Corporal Jun Bhuyan and Sergeant Pranab Rajkhowa of 28th Battalion`s `c` company, the outfit’s strike force.
Bhuyan was responsible for the banned outfit’s operations and activities in Tinsukia district.
The killing of these top leaders was a major success for the security forces and a blow to the ULFA, the official said. The General Officer in Commanding (GoC) of 2nd Mountain Division Maj Gen N C Marwah has rushed to the 7/11 Gorkha Rifles Base at Kakopathar to review the operation. The encounter was still continuing in the remote jungles of the district, the official added. Meanwhile, noted author and peace talks facilitator Indira Goswami today urged for renewal of talks between the centre and the ULFA and expressed her willingness to take the necessary initiative in this regard. Goswami said in Guwahati that the Nagarik Shanti Mancha, a recently formed forum of prominent citizens and intellectuals, floated by her, was preparing a draft to take the peace process forward. Noted political scientist Hiren Gohain and social activist Suchibrata Roychowdhury was helping the Mancha to prepare the draft and a meeting will be held in this regard tomorrow to discuss and give a final shape to it, she said. The final draft would be soon sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she added. The Jnanpith Award winning writer said the only way to solve the insurgency problem in the state was through dialogue and “we must renew the peace process”. “I will continue to raise the core issues and problems of Assam on any national and international forum”, she added.
Fernandes assures to solve grievances of Arunachal Pradesh The Morung Express
Itanagar, Apr 10 (UNI): Union Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes has assured to look into the grievances of Arunahcal people, who have been feeling neglected by the ruling UPA government at the Centre. Talking to reporters here last night, Mr Fernandes said the Congress-led UPA government was committed to the development of North East. He said huge funds had been pumped into the region for the welfare of the people. On state government’s repeated plea for relaxation of protected area permit (PAP) to facilitate flow of foreign tourists and replacement of derogatory Dafla word by Nyishi as unanimously resolved in the assembly three years ago and sent to the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry, the Minister assured to take up the nomenclature issue soon. On relaxation of PAP, he said every state in the North East had different set of rules, which could not be undone or redone at one go. The Centre had always been concerned on how to maintain the tribal character and their rich culture while promoting the region as an important tourist hub. There was no harm in people coming and going but the identity of the people must be maintained, he added.
‘’But, it would lead to chaos, if the outsiders acquire property or settle down. Thus, the precaution,’’ he added. About rectification of anomalies in the Statehood Act, 1986, he said the matter was complex with wider ramifications and implications, citing the example of Nagaland, Sikkim and Mizoram. Therefore, such issues could not be taken up in isolation, he clarified.
On reopening of border trade with China, Mr Fernandes said neither the issue of sensitivity could be overlooked nor the country’s security concerns neglected despite New Delhi’s keenness to develop trade and commerce with the neighbouring countries.
Assam’s missing women and the sex trade The Morung Express
Calcutta, April 10 (BBC NEWS): The biggest problem in India’s north-eastern state of Assam is separatist militancy. But it faces another, less well known issue. Thousands of its women, old and young, have gone missing over the past 10 years.
A recent police report says 3,184 women and 3,840 female children have gone missing in the state since 1996.
That’s around two females a day on average.
The report was compiled by Assam police and their research branch, the Bureau of Police Research and Development.
The local police are far too busy, according to Assam police intelligence Chief Khagen Sarmah, fighting insurgents.
“Our counter-insurgency commitments affects our normal policing duties like checking trafficking.”
“Too many policemen are involved fighting the insurgents rather than following up on other crimes,” Mr Sarmah said.
‘Good looking women’
The Assam police recently rescued some girls working as call-girls around Delhi or used as “sex slaves” by wealthy landlords in states like Punjab and Haryana.
Most of them are from camps of internally displaced people dotting Assam, particularly the Kokrajhar district.
Many people in Assam have fled the area due to the fighting
That area is home to nearly a quarter of a million people who were displaced in the late 1990s.
Nearly 800 people died in ethnic fighting in Kokrajhar and adjoining districts between Bodo tribes people and non-Bodo communities over a decade long period from 1994.
The police survey revealed an organised racket of “recruiters” who lured good-looking women with job offers outside the state.
“We arrested some recruiters but could never put an end to the rackets fully,” said police official Anil Phukan. The modus operandi is simple: good looking women in the displaced peoples camps are offered jobs.The parents are paid a few thousand rupees in advance, and told the daughters will send back money once they start working. Once they go away, that rarely happens.

Money matters
Jam Singh Lakra of the Jaipur relief camp near Kokrajhar town says: “At least 20 girls have gone away with the jobs from our camp, not to return again.”
“We did identify a few recruiters and one got beaten up. But somehow the girls kept going away.”
Most families are cagey about the missing girls but some do speak up. Tuilal Mardi of Tablegaon village says “My parents accepted the offer and sent my sister away.”
“They got a few thousand rupees but she never came back or sent any money.”
Women’s rights activist Paula Banerjee, who works on problems of displaced women says: “Ethnic conflicts all over the world results in massive displacement of women and that gives rise to heavy trafficking – the situation in Assam is no different.”

Local pornography
But not all the missing women of Assam have been taken out of the state. Some show up in local pornographic films. Mala Newar in Kokrajhar was known to her teachers as a “decent, well behaved girl” in school. That was until one of them spied on her husband’s mobile phone last month and found a video clip featuring Mala in the nude having sex with a stranger.
Enquiries in Kokrajhar revealed that Mala and some other local girls were used in a pornographic films racket run by a local leader. A hotel in the town was used for the filming. The girls were first lured into the hotel with job offers, then offered soft drinks laced with sedatives.
They were then filmed in the nude and blackmailed into doing sex scenes for the camera.
Not all missing girls in Assam are from displaced peoples camps, though.
Indrani Bora and Ritu Borgohain are smart, educated English-speaking girls from the Assamese capital, Guwahati, who got jobs in a holiday complex in Gurgaon near Delhi seven months ago.
But both say they got slowly got drawn into a call girl racket run by the complex owner.
An officer who led an Assam police team to rescue Indrani and Ritu explains.
“All across hotels and resorts in places like Delhi and Bombay, you will find hundreds of girls from Assam and other north-eastern states working as waitresses or customer executives.
“Some do get drawn into the call-girl trade.”

Hunger driven
The Calcutta Research Group, in its recent study on conflict-induced displacement says that the displaced people in Assam live in acute poverty.
The situation has led the women in particular to desperately seek work elsewhere; even if the offers come from dubious people.
“This is because the government officials running the camps never created viable livelihood options,” says Uddipana Goswami of the Calcutta-based Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSS).
Ms Goswami has worked on the displaced camps in Assam.
“Many displaced women have such exquisite craftsmanship but nobody ever tried to convert that into income alternatives,” she says. Paula Banerjee says trafficking ignores borders therefore solutions cannot be left to local agencies alone.
“This is not a local or even a national problem.”
“This reflects the global reality, so intervention by international organisations may help check trafficking.”
(Names of the girls have been changed to protect their identity.)
Manipur tribal students threaten stir Correspondent Nagaland Post
IMPHAL, APRIL 10: Tribal students have given the Manipur Government a fresh deadline of April 17 for implementation of their various demands.
“If the State Government fails to respond to our ultimatum within the deadline, we will be compelled to launch several forms of agitation from the next day,” Apau Haokip, spokesperson of All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), told journalists at Imphal Tuesday.
One of the prominent demands of ATSUM is decentralization and delegation of more powers to the district level officers of the Tribal Development Department in the hill districts of Manipur.
Apau alleged that both tribal and poor people of the hill districts were made to spend lots of money to get their works done by the Tribal Development Department in Imphal whereas their needs could be fulfilled by the district level officers.
He said the State Government had repeatedly failed to fulfill its assurances made to representatives of the student body at consultation meetings held on several occasions.
“The student body is also demanding revival of the Scheduled Tribe Cell in the Manipur University, which has remained defunct for the last many years due to non-appointment of its officer-in-charge,” he said. The ATSUM spokesperson said out of the 145 teaching staff in the Manipur University, only two professors were from the scheduled tribe which was against the State Government’s reservation policy of 35 per cent for the ST, adding the figure did not even match the 7.5 per cent reservation for ST under UGC norms. According to Apau, only 47 of the total 295 non-teaching staff are from the Scheduled Tribe. He claimed although the State Government had agreed in principle to open at least one residential school in every block in the hill districts of Manipur and Rs. 15 crore was sanctioned for upgrading 10 selected schools of the hill districts to residential schools on experimental basis, yet nothing had happened in this regard till date. It may be recalled that ATSUM had earlier set April 10 as the deadline for the Manipur Government for implementation of the tribal students’ demands. The government held talks with the student union on Monday and agreed to take up steps to settle the issues within April17.
NE Chief Ministers woo investors Our Spl Correspondent Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, April 10 – The Chief Ministers of the North Eastern region tried to put their best foot forward, while acknowledging that problem areas remained. Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi addressing the Summit briefly touched on his Government’s achievements like holding the 33rd National Games, laying of the foundation stone of the gas cracker project, the ASEAN Car Rally among others. He also praised the Congress leadership including former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

Asserting that Look East Policy would be a boon for the region, Gogoi, however, cautioned that the Policy itself might not work for North-East unless the infrastructure is upgraded and technical skills honed in.

He said the perception outside was wrong and businessmen themselves should visit the region. “Outside perception that the region is trouble prone is absolutely wrong. Today there are over 9-10 flights out of the region. In fact, barring the metros, the number of flights in the North-East is perhaps highest in the country,” he said.

Gogoi also admitted that rural connectivity and unemployment were problem areas. He further informed that State Government was focusing on agriculture sector. The rural economy has to improve,” he said.

Meghalaya Chief Minister, D D Lapang held that because of the activities of underground outfits from Assam and the local underground outfit ANVC, the Garo Hills area has acquired a bad name amongst intending investors. Hardly any investment has taken place in this region of Meghalaya during the last five or six years. He was referring to the security environment in the three Garo Hill districts.

However, Lapang gave an impressive view of the industrial scenario in his State. Meghalaya have set up the ‘single window’ system for speedy clearances of industrial proposals. During the last financial year we exported goods worth Rs 184 crore mainly to Bangladesh.’

The cement factory at Cuttack in Bangladesh runs on limestone dispatched from Meghalaya through an aerial ropeway. Currently Lafarge Surma has requested for permission to transport limestone from Meghalaya for 2 million tonne cement project proposed to be set up in Bangladesh,” he divulged. Chief Minister of Manipur, O. Ibobi Singh, poured out his woes to the investors, listing problems faced by the State one after another. An IT Park in Hyderabad consumes 10 MW of electricity, while the entire State of Manipur has to make do with 12 MW of power. It is not possible to set up any projects in Manipur unless power situation improves.

He also lamented that the 33,000 km East-West Corridor terminated in Silchar. Why was the Project not extended right up to Moreh. In case of natural calamity, Manipur would remain cut off from rest of the country. How can entrepreneurs come to Manipur when it remained cut off,” he asked. There is no rail head, no road, so how they will bring raw material,” he questioned. He traced the root cause of the State’s problems to unemployment and lack of employment opportunity. The Chief Minister also questioned the rationale behind the Inner Line Permit System. When a extremist affected State like Jammu and Kashmir does not have this Protected Area Permit, why should it remain in force in the North-East, he asked, demanding its withdrawal.
Saving Manipur— I By Dr Mohendra Irengbam Sangai Express
A political firestorm
As we know a political firestorm has been sweeping Manipur to dismantle its age old boundaries by neighbouring Nagas. The eye of the storm is for the moment dormant. But we should keep our finger on the pulse with a deadpan half smile.
An air of uncertainty still hangs over Manipur. What if the Congress Government changes? It is hard for us not to feel a modicum of concern, like the fist of an Old Testament God coming to smash through the stained glass of a church. We still wait to face the music.
In an age defined by irony and the fatalist Islamophobia, when Muslim university boys in the UK target Hindu girls to make them pregnant and blackmail them to become Muslims and have Muslim babies to increase Muslim population, there is a valiant need to watch our backs.
Meitei and Naga duel The political duel between the Meiteis and Nagas has become vitriolic blurring the line between our boundaries. There have been Naga insurgent attempts to erode the cultural and geographical boundaries of Manipur into a valley devoid of peaks. This is trash that gives me a belly laugh. The time has come for slow winnowing of facts until just the grittiest chaff could be thrown in the faces of the stultified by stopping radical Naga expansionism and their progressive diversionist policy to polarise Nagas of Manipur. The time has come for us to plough the unpleasant furrow of Manipuri nationalism.
Importance of contemporary history
In the post-war era, the contemporary history is essential to the creation and reinforcement of a collective identity for Manipuris. We need an increased share of a common language viz. Manipuri (spoken by 85%) and willingness to celebrate a plural and secular society. We have to forge ahead in the larger interest of Manipur for Manipuris. How does this account stack up with current history?
Pre-Hindunised Meiteis drank wine and ate meat just like other tribal people of Manipur as is still in vogue among the Scheduled Caste Meiteis such as Sekmai, Khurkhul, Phayeng and Chakpa (chakcha yuthak man- aba). But this fraternal old history does not help to integrate Nagas with Meiteis. Integration is not one sided. Love between a man and a woman must be mutual.
Shelving of old history The oft-repeated old history of Manipur being 2,000 years old should be mothballed for the time being. Old history depends on the interpretation. Whether it was the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 or The First war of Independence depends on who is interpreting it.
Some Nagas make derisive remarks about the Khongjom War heroics as Meitei fabrications. M Horam, a Naga in his foreword to the Meitheis, reprint January 10, 1975 (page ix) writes: “….that the prince who accepted Hinduism as the Meiteis’ state religion was a Naga who took the title of Gharib Niwas and ruled Manipur for 40 years.” The Visnupriya Manipuris still claim with enough evidence that they were the original Indo-Aryan settlers of Manipur with Brabubahan and Chitra- ngada as their ancestors.
Nomenclature of Hao
Some Nagas might flare their noses in disbelief and take it as poppycock. In equal measure, while reading his statement Muivah does sound a bit loopy when he comments that “I lived in Ukhrul. I was born there; my forefathers were born and lived there. This land belongs to us. We are not living in the land of Meiteis.”
Now I am going to make a statement on oath but as an agnostic: ‘I confirm that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The Meiteis were the original inhabitants of Manipur settling in the fertile dry land of Kangleipak. They did not come from anywhere. They were just there as the Burmese were in Burma. The Nagas migrated into Manipur, wherever they came from (I am not bothered) and thus settled in the hills as the valley was full. Can someone find an anthropologist who could provide sound evidence that I am not telling the truth?
The often quoted ethnographical monographs of Meiteis and Meiteilol or Manipuri, first researched by Lt Col McCulloch (married a Meitei princess, 1816-1885) and followed up by TC Hodson, who later became a Professor of Anthropology in Cambridge are well known. Indeed there are some similarities between Meiteilol and Tibeto-Burman language and between Meiteirol and other… tribal dialects of Manipur. That does not mean that Meiteis came from the Tibetan border or North West China as some philologists claim; no more than Nagas descended from Meiteis. Nor did the Bengalese migrate from the Indus valley just because their language has a lot of similarities with Sanskrit. Is it not also possible that the Tibeto-Burman language originated from Meiteirol! Size does not matter; English spoken in tiny England is not only spoken worldwide but every language has English words coined in it as in Hinglish. — to be contd

Frans on 04.11.07 @ 02:48 PM CST [link]

Tuesday, April 10th

Militancy and Political Trends in North East Rahul Bhonsle Decritics org

Militancy and Political Trends in North East Rahul Bhonsle Decritics org

The North East remains a complex miasma of politics and violence as militants continue to blow hot and cold. A review of activities in three states, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur in March will indicate these trends.
In Assam, ULFA activities resumed during the month with the focus on Upper Assam districts of Dhemaji, and Sivasagar. Guwahati witnessed a bomb blast on 16 March in the busy AT Road. The intensity of counter insurgency operations in Assam is evident with over 30 ULFA cadres arrested and 19 killed during the first two months of the year. The rebirth of ULFA in 2007 has been assisted by bases in Arunachal Pradesh particularly in Tirap and Changlang districts which are the two eastern most districts of the state in close proximity of Upper Assam, ULFA’s stronghold and the Myanmar border. Located on the Indo Myanmar fault line, these districts provide the ULFA easy access to both the areas. The 28th Battalion, the operational wing of the outfit active in Upper Assam is located here. Apart from this other groups also have hideouts in the jungles. The Army will have to launch Operational All Clear II to neutralize the ULFA in this area.

ULFA held the State Government responsible for breakdown of the talks in an article in the organisation’s news paper, Swadhinata. The ULFA also asked the government to hold a plebiscite on its demand for sovereignty. ULFA has been accused by Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor), a U.S. based strategic forecasting organisation, of contributing $6 million (Rs 26.4 Crore) to support candidates in Bangladesh backing both the Awami League as well as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. (Indian Express, 3 March 2007). While the amount may be beyond ULFA’s funding capability even if provided by the ISI, there are grounds to believe that the group would have invested in leaders in Bangladesh to ensure that it receives favourable treatment in Dacca whichever party comes to power. Reports indicate that ULFA top leadership is ensconced in posh colonies in Dacca and are supported by the Director General Forces Intelligence or DGFI in Bangladesh as well as the ISI. Stratfor has also accused Paresh Barua, the ULFA commander in chief of being a, “wealthy racketeer” having businesses worth approximately $110 million across India, Bangladesh and the Gulf. While Barua is said to be under the influence of the ISI and is stridently against talks with the government, Rajkhowa is supposed to represent a softer face of the outfit.
The ULFA, in a message on the so called “Army Day” of the organisation indicated that it would not give up violence before talks with the government. It claimed that it was undertaking a freedom struggle against colonial injustice by Delhi. Prominent statements were given by Paresh Barua, the Commander in Chief and Arabinda Rajkhowa the Chairman. The issue of handing over cadres by Royal Bhutan Army to Indian authorities after Operation All Clear in December 2003 was also raised by the ULFA as the Guwahati High Court ordered the government to submit original documents of the period.
The perils of insurgency in Assam are impacting development and investment in the state. The Oil and Natural Gas Commission had proposed to upgrade the infrastructure comprising of old pipelines, crude gathering stations and other drilling machinery worth Rs 4000 Crore. The ONGC’s plans have hit a road block as it is not able to muster enough security cover to operate in the remote areas.
Two rounds of talks were held between the NSCN (IM) and the central government interlocutors during the month. The first round was held on 3 March. This was followed up by a fresh round in New Delhi on 29 and 30 March 2007. The key issue discussed was increase in frequency of clashes between the two NSCN factions IM and Khaplang. The Khaplang group is reported to have kidnapped cadres of the IM which has raised the ire of the IM leaders who are likely to ask the government to clamp down on the K faction claiming that it is not likely to have the requisite power to act due to the cease fire. The Naga position on Nagolim would also be clear after the Naga leadership has had opportunity to discuss these issues with the people during the recent visit of the NSCN (IM) leadership to Nagaland.
The NSCN (IM) was also facing pubic protests over reports of kidnapping and killing of two youth, Muhenii Martin and Hriini Hubert of Senapati district, allegedly by two of its cadres. The people of Senapati district were extremely agitated and sought interrogation details of the two suspects. The NSCN (IM) confirmed that suspects were in custody but did not disclose further action.
The Congress Party returned in majority in the Assembly elections in Manipur winning 30 of the 60 seats, increasing its tally over the previous elections by 10. The complexity of issues in Manipur was evident when election results were announced at the beginning of the month. Issues of development and credibility of the candidates appeared to be upper most in the minds of voters rather than aspects such as Nagolim or repealing the AFSPA. Thus United Naga Council (UNC) which had supported integration of the Naga hill districts of Manipur with Nagolim could win only six of the eleven seats it contested. In other areas it had to face a tough contest. As indicated by A. Bimol Koijam of the Centre for Study of Developing Societies, Khantuanang Panmei who was forced to renounce participation in the elections by the NSCN (IM) contested from Tamenglong and won with a large margin. Koijam ascribes these diversities to the factor of stability. People in Manipur as per him want stability and hence have been voting for the party which is in power in the centre. Thus parties which evoked regional sentiments such as the Manipur People’s Party also did not fare well during the elections.
Rahul K Bhonsle is a veteran soldier and security analyst based in South Asia, specializing in strategic risk prediction, future warfare and human security. His web site is www.security-risks.com and can be contacted at rkbhonsle@gmail.com“>rkbhonsle@gmail.com
Arunachal: Coping with refugees Hindustan Times
Dorjee The problem in Arunachal Pradesh is that of the influx of Chakma-Hajong refugees. The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) is spearheading a movement against the settlement of these refugees in the state.
Chief Minister Mukut Mithi has recently expressed concern that the demography of the areas having Chakma-Hajong people as settlers has completely changed as their number increased to more than 60,000 in recent times. He has extended all support to AAPSU on the issue.
The move has the support of almost all the political parties of the state.
However, the Chakmas denounce this misinformation campaign terming it as an attempt to create xenophobia in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Chakma Hajong refugees enjoy the support of ISI, Bangladesh based Shanti Bahini and Bodo Security Forces.
Another issue which has created problem in this state is the demand for ‘Greater Nagaland’, which means if implemented certain areas of Arunachal Pradesh will become part of Nagaland.
Arunachal Pradesh echoes the voice of Manipur and Assam that the Centre should not disturb other states while trying to find a solution to the Naga problem. The National Socialist Council for Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah), after a recent meeting with the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in New Delhi, has reiterated their demand for a “Greater Nagaland”. On January 24, 2003, NSCN(I-M) leaders Isaac Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, re-stated their demand that the Naga-inhabited areas in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, be brought under one administrative unit, implying the formation of “Nagalim” meaning “Greater Nagaland”.

The NSCN(I-M) has staked claim to the four Manipur districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Senapati and Tamenglong, and Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Congress(I) government in Arunachal Pradesh, wants the Centre to convince the Naga leaders to set aside their demand for more territory.
Khandu to be next Arunachal CM Hindustan Times
India’s longest serving Chief Minister Gegong Apang steps down and proposes Khandu’s name as the new CM. The problem in Arunachal Pradesh is that of the influx of Chakma-Hajong refugees. The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) is spearheading a movement against the settlement of these refugees in the state.
Chief Minister Mukut Mithi has recently expressed concern that the demography of the areas having Chakma-Hajong people as settlers has completely changed as their number increased to more than 60,000 in recent times. He has extended all support to AAPSU on the issue. The move has the support of almost all the political parties of the state. However, the Chakmas denounce this misinformation campaign terming it as an attempt to create xenophobia in Arunachal Pradesh. The Chakma Hajong refugees enjoy the support of ISI, Bangladesh based Shanti Bahini and Bodo Security Forces.
Another issue which has created problem in this state is the demand for ‘Greater Nagaland’, which means if implemented certain areas of Arunachal Pradesh will become part of Nagaland.
Arunachal Pradesh echoes the voice of Manipur and Assam that the Centre should not disturb other states while trying to find a solution to the Naga problem. The National Socialist Council for Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah), after a recent meeting with the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in New Delhi, has reiterated their demand for a “Greater Nagaland”. On January 24, 2003, NSCN(I-M) leaders Isaac Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, re-stated their demand that the Naga-inhabited areas in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, be brought under one administrative unit, implying the formation of “Nagalim” meaning “Greater Nagaland”.
The NSCN(I-M) has staked claim to the four Manipur districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Senapati and Tamenglong, and Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Congress(I) government in Arunachal Pradesh, wants the Centre to convince the Naga leaders to set aside their demand for more territory.
Apang ousted; Khandu to be new Arunachal CM The Morung Express
New Delhi, April 9 (PTI): Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang has stepped down as the second-longest serving chief minister of the country on Monday in the face of dissidence by a majority of ruling Congress MLAs. State Power minister Dorjee Khandu, a Monpa Buddhist of Tawang, was elected the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party. He is likely to take oath as the new Chief Minister later on Monday evening.
The change of guard came about at the end of a week-long tug-of-war for power. As many as 27 of the 33 Congress MLAs in the state had revolted against what they called “corrupt” and “autocratic” functioning of Apang and moved the Congress high command seeking his immediate replacement. Congress high command met top party leaders to sort out the issue on Thursday night and summoned the Apang and state Congress President Omen Deuri to Delhi to explain their side of the story. Apang, who met the Congress high command on Friday, had reportedly denied any rebellion among the MLAs.
The dissident group, which was camping in Delhi to hear the verdict of the party high command, had meanwhile elected Khandu as their leader and forwarded his name to the party president through the Congress in-charge for Northeast Oscar Fernandes.
Sonia Gandhi had advised Apang and the state party chief to summon a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party for a virtual trial of strength for Apang and Khandu. At the meeting, hardly five to six Congress legislators reportedly expressed support for Apang, who has ruled the state for a total of 23 years. Emerging from the meeting, Dasmunshi told reporters that Apang himself proposed Khandu’s name. Later, Apang accompanied by Khandu and Fernandes went to Raj Bhawan and submitted his resignation.
Akuonuo says,“Thank you” Morung Express News
Dimapur In a telephonic interview with The Morung Express, Miss India finalist Akuonuo Khezhie expressed her gratitude to the Naga people for all the support that was given to her during the contest. “Whatever little I could achieve was because of our people. Thank you so much for all your support. I wish I could have got the crown for you.” she said.
She also thanked the Naga people for enabling her to win the ‘My Miss India’, Sony Entertainment title.
Akuonuo also said that she has learnt much from the contest, and that the contest had opened her eyes and “see how the real world moves.” She also added that “as Nagas, we must stress on equal opportunities, as there is still so much discrimination towards us”. And that she said was what she found disappointing in the contest. Sources revealed that one of the winning contestants had made a passing remark with racist overtones directed towards her.
Sources further said that during the pre-judging round, which was held on the day of the contest, Miss World 2000, Priyanka Chopra, who is also a former Miss India, said publicly to Akuonuo, “You deserve to win. You are the only person who spoke from the heart”. But the irony was that the names of the 10 finalists were already pre decided by the organizers before the actual contest even began.
Nevertheless, Akuonuo is taking everything in her stride. ‘At the moment, all I can think of doing is to come home to Nagaland, and relax”, she said. Due to her winning the subtitles, Akuonuo has had to sign contracts with The Times of India and Pantaloons for a period of 3 years. Interestingly, Akuonuo was the only sub-title winner who was not in the top ten.
Deanne Pandey, the official fitness expert of the pageant, whose husband is popular Bollywood star Chunkey Pandey, today made known that Akuonuo had lost some four kilograms during her stay in Mumbai, as she could not get to terms with the diet offered there. Speaking to The Morung Express, Deanne said the Naga lass had to be put on the drip on one occasion.
She revealed that Akuonuo was very upset with the way things worked out during the contest but added that she had a very good body and “she speaks very well.” Deanne, who voted Akuonuo for ‘Miss Fresh Face’ said, “She’s got a lot of scope.”
For her, the Kohima girl has a chance of winning even the ‘Miss Asia’ contest. Akuonuo was also one of the favourites of Munish Purii, National Director, Pond’s Femina Miss India, Dianne said.
Naga model excels in Gladrags contest Dimapur, April 9 (MExN): Naga model Ethiel Konyak made it to the top 15 at the Gladrags Megamodel Contest 2007 held in Mumbai on April 7th last. She bagged the Miss Congeniality sub-title.
STAR ONE will telecast the contest on the following dates:
First Curtain raiser 13th April 1800-1900 hrs Second Curtain Raiser 14th April 1800-1900 hrs
Main event 14th April 2200-2400 hrs Main Event (Repeat) 16th April 00.30-0230 hrs
Main Event Repeat 22nd April 1500-1700 hrs
A Tourist in Mon Abraham Lotha Column the Morung Express
When foreign tourists sign up to visit Nagaland to experience cultural tourism, their first choice of place to visit within Nagaland is usually Mon district to see the exotic Konyaks in their unspoilt natural state (‘Naked Nagas’) popularized and romanticized by anthropologists such as Fuer-Haimendorf and Hutton in the early part of the 20th century. For me, I had heard much about the Konyak Aoleang festival and boundary insanity like the one at Lungwa. So I decided to visit the area during the Aoleang festival with these interests in mind.
From Dimapur, I took the Sumo taxi. I had seat number ten and that meant we were packed like sardines. The old man on the extreme left of the back seat played traditional Konyak songs on the cassette recorder that he had been carrying very carefully. Two men explained the social context of the songs. “In the old days, unmarried girls would gather in the dormitory in the evenings. Then young men would come and serenade and try to woo their lovers. Men also sang songs to each other, but most often it is to the young women that men come and sing to win the love of the young girls,” they explained to me. Then the older men in the Sumo teased the two girls who were sitting in the middle row. Some lovemaking innuendos were also said in reference to the songs. Everyone joined in the laughter. The girls took the jokes in good spirit. “Nowadays, the deacons in the churches have banned such behaviours and as a result, it doesn’t happen anymore,” said one of the travelers. “Those days were satan days,” commented another. “But what is happening now is even worse,” he added. So I remarked, “Now it is double satan.”

I didn’t know what to expect in Mon. It was 17 years since my last visit. Unlike last year, there was no common Aoleang celebration at Mon this year. Instead, people were having celebrations in their own colony. So I decided to see the celebrations in different villages. I chose Lungwa and Shangnyu.
The road to Lungwa was better than I had thought. There were lots of road construction works going on along the way. Most of the vehicles we met on the way were trucks belonging to the Border Roads. Except for a few spots, the major stretch of the road to Longwa is mettled. At some places the BSNL people were laying fiber optic cables. It took us two hours and twenty minutes to reach Longwa.
As luck would have it, when we turned into the village, there were many people gathered in front of a house. I thought the Aoleang celebrations were going on. But, no, they were about to pull the new logdrum up to the morung above the road. All the men folk seem to be involved in pulling the logdrum. I was excited. This is only the second time (the first time in Chomi) that I have taken part in pulling a logdrum. I introduced myself to the people and they were very welcoming. Some of the kids saw me with the camera and they said, “Foreign, foreign.” “Nai, Kohima pura ase,” I told them. I took plenty of photographs. Finally when the pulling of the logdrum began, I also joined for some time.
It would take another few hours to get the new logdrum into the morung so I decided to see the morung. In one corner, a few people were busy cutting meat and cooking. So, here was some remnant of traditional culture still being practiced by the people. The morung was still being used. I was glad to see the woodcarvings inside the morung even though they were less than I had expected. Naga woodcarvings have been of interest to me so I was glad to see the woodcarvings in places where their symbolism and meanings are alive. One person came and asked me if I had seen the carvings outside. He took me out to the eastern front of the morung where there was a huge woodcarving piece. It was shaped in a curve with many symbols engraved on it. Mistaking me for an antique dealer, the man, Mancham, told me that the village was going to sell that woodcarving piece. I asked him who was going to buy it, and how much they were willing to sell it for. He didn’t tell me the price. Should that piece be sold? I asked myself. Why shouldn’t they keep it in the morung even if it rots away? Or would it be better, instead, to preserve it in a museum or other institution?
Then I went to the Angh’s house. His name is Longam Konyak. Some of his family members were there smoking opium when I went in. After about five minutes, the Angh came in. I greeted him. “Don’t go empty handed when you go to meet an Angh. It is our custom,” my Konyak friend from Mon town had instructed me. After giving him the small gift we sat down and chatted – about the village, his household.
The best example of British arrogance and insanity (also not understood by India and Burma) is the arbitrary border drawn between India and Burma. The border between India and Burma runs through the entire length of the Angh’s house. The hearth and the pillars in the middle of the house divide the house into India and Burma. It is ridiculous. More Nagas should visit this place to see how Nagas were not consulted by a colonial power in the mappings of nations.
I then proceeded to meet the Deputy Angh, who is also the Chairman of the village. It seems he had been waiting for me but by the time I reached his house he had left for Mon for an urgent meeting but he left word with his men for me to sleep in his house. As I had to get back to Mon, I went and joined in pulling the logdrum for sometime and then returned to Mon.
Next I visited Shangnyu. The main celebration for the Aoleang festival was to be held that day. Because of that many were dressed in the traditional attires. We passed by one of the houses where a man was getting dressed. He wore a nice necklace so I asked him if I could take a photograph of him. “Yes, but you give me money” he said. I told him, “You are dressing for a festival and it is not a Naga custom to charge money for a photo during a festival” I told him. He finally allowed me to take his picture after someone in his group admonished him.
We proceeded towards the playground. One boy of about 9 years old brought a necklace with wooden skulls and wanted to sell it. “Five hundred rupees” he shouted. Immediately I knew that this kid learned this from the tourist culture.
We then passed by one of the morungs. I decided to go in and have a look. There was nothing spectacular or unusual about the morung. The usual logdrum, a few carvings on the beams but other than that, the morung was not even traditional because it was constructed in concrete with tin roof. As I was taking a picture of the logdrum, one man came and said, “The morung in charge said to pay Rs. 100 or Rs.200 for taking picture of the morung.” “But I am not a foreigner. I am a Naga and have come to see your village and your festival,” I told him. “Then you can collect from the foreigners and give us,” he said, mistaking my friend from Darjeeling for a Western tourist. “But there are no foreigners” I replied. I had been to other Konyak villages and been inside many morungs, and people were very happy to show us around the morungs; in Wangti the villagers even beat the drum for two different styles of beating. But I had never encountered such cheap commercialization of Naga culture as in Shangnyu. So I walked out of the morung with a bad taste.
As we went to the site of the famous woodcarving piece, the escort told us to meet with the Angh, explain the purpose of our visit, and pay some money for the upkeep of the heritage museum. The Angh was not feeling well so we only met his wife. After signing the register, the Angh’s son took us to see the famous woodcarving. We signed the register and were taken inside the museum.
The Shangyu sculpture, a huge and unique piece of woodcarving measuring about 18 feet long and 12 feet tall at the top end is attributed to a mythical man called Honnu. He had exceptional skill in hunting and carving and he attributed the skill as a gift from god. Since Honnu did not like to work in the fields, his father banished him to the forest. And it was in the forest, helped by some supernatural beings, that Honnu carved this sculpture.
The woodcarving piece itself is very impressive. It stands about eighteen feet long and at one end about twelve feet tall, all carved out of a single piece of wood. Engraved on the wood are replicas of two rainbows, two gibbons dangling from the branch of a tree, some human heads, a snake, a cock, replicas of two tigers (one of them only the lower portion of the body), a woman (in heat?), a couple making love, two warriors with erect penis that are bigger and longer than life size ones (they are apparently the star attraction among the engravings), and a few one or two other figures that are difficult to decipher, and on the other side, a miniature wooden vat, and some human heads. There are also other artifacts in the room such as brass gongs, mithun heads, buffalo heads, wooden figures, even an Angami headdress, two elephant tusks, a big gun, and some antique daos.
Apparently Shangnyu village is getting many foreign tourists who have more money than domestic tourists, and the villagers, including the kids, are developing the bad habit of asking money for anything. It is true that some tourists don’t have any respect for local people. When they see an ‘exotic’ Konyak, they will go up to the face of the person and click, click, click their cameras with big lenses and then go away. Since such instances happen regularly during the tourist season, the ‘exotic’ Konyak will naturally feel demeaned. But then one of the main reasons tourists come is to Mon is to see the ‘exotic’, formerly-naked Nagas and every tourist –foreign and domestic – is not so sensitive and ‘civilized.’ There is the problem of walking a fine line here. In this regard local tour guides have a lot of responsibility to inform the Nagas as well as the tourists.
There were other villages that I visited but for now I shall go on to give some suggestions to the Tourism department and the Naga villages frequented by tourists.
Suggestions:
1. The State Government with the North East Zone Cultural Centre and the Shangnyu villagers have done well to preserve the piece well as a heritage. Instead of just “any donation” (some unsuspecting tourists were told to ‘donate’ a certain amount), the villagers could do well to charge a certain amount as an entrance fee that even domestic tourists can afford and also place a box inside the museum for goodwill donations. I have no problem in paying some kind of fee for the maintenance and upkeep of the heritage museum, but the fee system has to be done better. The Angh’s son was honest enough not to receive the donation. “If I get it, I will spend it anyhow,” he said and was happy that the donation was given to his mother. I actually wanted to find out the arrangement for the management and utilization of the donations – if all the donations were going to the Angh or to the Village Council or a Trust – but couldn’t because the Angh was not well.
2. Asking money from tourists should be discouraged. It will only give a negative image of us. Instead of following tourists all over the village to sell an item, we should encourage the people to set up small shops where replicas of important artifacts or newer artifacts can be sold. This will also give some sort of self-employment to the people. Some kind of mechanism has to be put in to check selling of important heritage artifacts, e.g. the woodcarving piece lying outside near the eastern entrance of the morung where the new logdrum is kept at Lungwa. Villagers need to be conscientized about the value of these artifacts.
3. The Anghship is an important institution among the Konyak Nagas, and the Anghs, as chief of the village(s), are held in great respect by the people. For most tourists, the Angh is just another object of curiosity. Some of the tourists will not be respectful of the Anghs and this important Naga institution. At each Angh’s house that tourists visit, the Angh can designate someone to be a tour guide. Instead of asking donations from tourists, some kind of nominal (entrance) fee can be charged for a tour of the Angh’s house. The Anghs’ dignity should be maintained; they should not be made into cheap tourist objects. If tourists want to meet with an Angh, besides the tour of the Angh’s house, it should be done only with some sort of an appointment or permission. In such cases, as in the Konyak custom, tourists should be encouraged to present the Angh with a gift, however small, as a token of respect and honor.
4. We should educated our people to be genuinely courteous and welcoming to the tourists. After all, don’t we Nagas pride ourselves to be hospitable people? This same hospitality should be extended not only to the tourists – foreign and domestic – but also to the tour guides. Remember, the tour guides are the ones who bring the tourists (and their money) to our society. Nagas tend to give a preferential hospitality to Western tourists and be indifferent to domestic tourists and tour guides. This kind of bad habit should be stopped. Our hospitality should have no color barriers.
5. If there happens to be a festival going on, such as the Aoleang, it would be a very Naga custom to invite even the tourists to share in the community meal. Those are some of the ‘exotic’ experiences that they will live to tell.
6. Tourists may read about the Nagas before they come to Nagaland, but don’t expect them to know all about our customs and culture. If some of them over step their boundary, explain to them politely there and then. In that way, there are no grudges harbored. Many of them will be thankful for informing them of our customs.
7. To the Naga tour guides and hotel operators, I’d suggest them to go at least to Bangkok (cheaper than going to Bombay or Delhi from Nagaland) and learn how the hospitality industry in Thailand operates. As of now, our claims for Nagaland as a tourist haven are rather pretentious.
PM’s pledge for NE Nagaland Post
Lepetkata (Assam) April 9 (IANS): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh Monday pledged New Delhi’s support for rapid industrialisation of the north-east, saying the region requires investments to help ease its spiralling unemployment problem.
“Rapid industrialisation and development of the northeast has been the topmost priority and unshakeable commitment of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government,” the prime minister said here. Manmohan Singh was speaking at a massive public rally at Lepetkata, 520 km east of Guwahati, after laying the foundation stone for a Rs.5461 crore gas cracker project – the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd. “This is a historic day for not only Assam but also for the entire northeast. This project would herald an era of economic growth, peace and prosperity for the region.
“This gas cracker project would open up new productive employment for the youth of Assam. I am told some 100,000 people would get direct or indirect employment opportunities,” he said. He added that the north-east could become a potential investment zone with the central government announcing a new industrial policy for the region.
“We have raised capital investment subsidy to 30 percent in the new northeast industrial policy. India is marching ahead and we want the northeast to prosper in terms of economic growth and industrialisation,” Manmohan Singh said. The gas cracker project is to be implemented by the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) with 70 percent equity participation in five years time. The remaining 30 percent equity would be shared equally among Oil India Ltd (OIL), Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) and the Assam government. The mega project is being set up at Lepetkata.
“Some 8,500 people would get direct employment while some 100,000 people would get employment opportunities as a result of investments in downstream plastic processing industries and allied activities,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS. According to preliminary estimates, at least 500 plastic processing industries are likely to come up in the region when this project becomes operational. “There would be plastic parks in the area as part of the project and would surely benefit the people of Assam in a big way,” Gogoi said. The petrochemical complex would comprise a cracker unit, downstream polymer and integrated off-site utilities plants.
A clarion call for Christians’ principles- Nagaland Post
Much difference of opinions and strong stances has been taken by various stake holders of Naga tribes and districts with the issue of Delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the recent days and weeks. As a senior citizen and conscientious member of the church in Nagaland, I feel it is my bounden duty as a citizen to share my concerns without malice and gains for any political mileage. Without going into the details of the statehood history and its consequent ramifications upon the socio-political life of the Nagas, it is common knowledge that the statehood has ushered in many good things for the Nagas and also wrought havoc into our ethic, principles and cultural values of our people. Introduction of electoral politics has eroded our value systems to a large extent. Greater collective welfare which was held supreme by all the citizenry have been relegated to the rear and greed, selfish interest, immediate political gains and ambitions took the better of us.
The constitutional exercise of Delimitation of Assembly Constituencies undertaken in every 25 years in India, to which Nagaland is no exception, is a classic example of how our selfishness has overtaken our greater common welfare. The last delimitation exercise carried out in 1973 witnessed political machination and manipulation. Innocent and voiceless people were deprived of the rights and entitlements. Going by the present trend of the Delimitation exercise, it appears that the situation is not going to be different if census 2001 is taken as the yardstick for determining the delimitation because there seems to be a pre contemplated manipulation by some sections of Naga society during the enumeration of 2001 census for delimiting constituencies. The census 2001 which suffers from gross anomalies and negates completely the rationale of biological birth rate cannot be used as the bench mark for delimiting the representation of the public.
The right decision taken by the Government of Nagaland to reject the census 2001 on accounts of anomalies is commendable. This is in the true spirit of upholding Christian principles and tenets. Nagas being mostly Christians, every citizen is called upon to uphold Christian tenets and principles. Whenever, any deviation from these principles take place, we should not remain as silent spectators. The delimitation exercise, which attempts to be fair and just should be rightly implemented in letter and spirit and not based on fallacious and erroneous statistics of population which are demeaning, shameful and unbecoming of a Christian.
The state proposal to the Government of India to increase the existing 60 Assembly Constituencies which was provided under the framework of the erstwhile 3 hill districts when Nagaland was declared the 16th state of the Indian Union on 1st December 1963, to that of 80 Assembly constituencies in the present 11 districts of Nagaland is reasonable and justified for the present state leadership to pursue the dispensation. Should the Delimitation Commission of India impose its arbitrary will to the contrary of the State Government and public aspiration, by delimiting constituencies on the basis of 2001 census, it will be detrimental to the progress of vibrant and healthy democracy and will not be acceptable to any right conscientious democratic citizen. Rev Dr. V.K. Nuh
Secretary General, Council of Naga Baptist Church, Kohima.
Investment best answer: Aiyar• NE Business Summit Kuknalim.com

NEW DELHI, April 9:: Major investment in the North-East is the best answer to the problem of insurgency in that region, according to Minister for Development of Northeastern Region Mani Shankar Aiyar. Addressing a press conference here Monday on the eve of the two-day Third Northeast Business Summit here, Aiyar said, “Any significant investment will reduce security problems in the northeast. Major investment is the best answer to the problems of insurgency in that region.”
Inviting the private sector to invest, he said that a very substantial part of the region is free of security problems. The business summit, to be held here April 10-11 and being organised by the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) and the Kolkata-based trade body Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), will showcase the strengths of the northeastern region and present significant business opportunities. Several union ministers, chief ministers of northeastern states and other stakeholders are expected to participate. The summit will be inaugurated by Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Elaborating on the investment opportunities in the northeast, Aiyar said the infrastructure sector has the best potential.
“The infrastructure sector holds the highest capacity for corporate participation. Road construction is a major area. In the next five years, around Rs. 50,000 crores will be invested for road construction in the northeast,” he said. Aiyar added, “Thai companies successfully constructed roads in that country in terrain similar to the northeast. Those companies have now become major global companies. In the same way, Indian companies and even small companies in the northeast can grow by investing in road construction in the northeast.” The Minister said that air connectivity with the northeast had improved significantly with as many as 226 flights operating in a week.
“However, intra-northeast air travel remains a problem. We are awaiting a report from a committee that went through this problem and action will be taken on the basis of that report.” As for rail connectivity, Aiyar said that the railway ministry was paying special attention to the region. About other sectors, he said the power sector in the region holds a lot of potential for investment. (Agencies)

Mamoni’s move to revive ULFA talks By A City Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, April 9 – Eminent writer and Jnanpith Awardee Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami has expressed her willingness to work for re-starting the peace process between the Central Government and the proscribed ULFA once again, this time through ‘Nagarik Shanti Mancha’, a nascent forum consisting of social representatives, headed by Goswami herself. “The draft of plans to renew the peace process will be finalized within a few days,” said Goswami talking to a group of reporters today. Reacting to the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s denial to hold talks on the issue of sovereignty she said that instead of nullifying the possibilities of peace talks, all the peace-loving forces must try to find out the silver lining. “There must be some way out of this problem and that is certainly through dialogues,” she said adding, “intellectuals throughout the world are of view that peace cannot be brokered through gun barrel and many eminent writers conveyed this message through me to the country in the recent SAARC writers’ conference.

“I will continue raising the core issues of Assam, including its problems on any national or international forum,” she maintained.
On the issue of fasting ULFA wives in the city she said that it is a tragic incident and Chief Minister should visit the ladies and make his government’s stand clear on their demands.”

Magisterial inquiry ordered into Kwakeithel killings The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, April 9: The state government today instituted a magisterial inquiry into the shooting of three youths by Manipur police commandos on Friday morning at Kwakeithel. The state police authorities have also effected the transfer of six police commandos who were involved in the incident. In turn, the families of the deceased claimed the bodies of the three youths which have been lying at RIMS morgue since the incident.
The steps were taken in line with an agreement signed between government representatives and the JAC formed in connection with the incident last night at the office chambers of the IFCD minister Phungzathang Tonsing, who is in charge of the duties of the chief minister.

The state government during the talks also assured that appropriate action would be taken against the police personnel involved in line with the findings of the magisterial inquiry.

In compliance with the MoU, the state home department this afternoon issued an order asking the district magistrate, Imphal west, A Ibocha Singh, to conduct an inquiry into the facts and circumstances leading to the death of the three youths, and to suggest remedial measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents in the future.
The inquiry is required to be completed and the report submitted within a period of one month.

In a related development, the director general of police, Manipur also issued an order transferring six personnel of the Imphal west police commandos who were involved in the incident, including the OC, Imphal west police commando unit, Th Krishnatombi, who will now take over as OC, Imphal east police commando unit. The other personnel, namely constables P Lokendro, S Rohitkanta, A Langamba, Yuro Theko, and D Samson Maring, have also been transferred to the Imphal east commando unit. The OC, Imphal east police commando, inspector Ksh Manihar, replaces inspector Krishnatombi as OC, Imphal west CDO. In the meantime the bodies of the three slain youths namely Sapam Paka Singh, 25, of Changangei, Taorem Bobo, 26, of Changangei Uchekon, and H Thangkhenmung, 30, of Sangaiprou were collected by the family and representatives of the JAC this morning from rims morgue for conducting the last rites.

It may be mentioned, in the wake of the shooting of the three youths at Kwakeithel Heinou Khongnembi Laishram Leikai on Friday morning in what was described as an encounter, the JAC had called a 11 hour state-wide bandh on April 7 in protest. In the meantime, the Threatened Indigenous People`s Society, TIPS, has issued a statement strongly condemning the shooting of the three youths as an unacceptable excess on the part of the police, and appealed to the concerned authorities to take appropriate steps to ensure that such excesses do not recur.

PREPAK disowns arrested cadres The Imphal Free Press
imphal, apr 9: The central committee of the underground PREPAK has clarified that none of the four high ranking cadres claimed to have been arrested at Imphal airport and in Kolkata on April 7 were connected to the party.
In a statement, the PREPAK central committee said all four were members of a gang led by one Shanti who has been relieved of his party-related duties for anti-party activities and indiscipline.

The statement went on to warn all concerned not to associate with the gang that Shanti has constituted in violation of party directives, and said anyone continuing to do so would be dealt with severely without further warning. It however said the restrictions against Shanti can be removed if he adheres to party discipline. It may be mentioned, the Army authorities, in a statement yesterday, had claimed that the four persons held on Saturday in Kolkata and Imphal in a coordinated operation between the Army, the Manipur police, military intelligence, and the Kolkata police were high ranking cadres of the Shanti faction, which it described as a splinter group of the PREPAK. The statement identified the two held at Imphal airport as Y Sanjay Singh, finance secretary and Laishram Ibolbi, political secretary, of the faction, and other two, who were arrested in Kolkata as Leishamba alias Rakesh, fighting group commander, and RK Dhaneshwar, defence secretary and chief of organisation committee.
In the meantime, another statement issued by one Tiger on behalf of Chinglemba Mangang, PREPAK finance secretary, said all four were civilians who had no connection to the party.

Sanjoy is a student studying computers in Kolkata, while L Ibolbi is a simple tailor, the statement said, adding that Leisemba alias Rakesh had also left the party in the year 2000. It said the accusations against the four appear to have been levelled by some vested interests, and said the party would not tolerate such efforts to harm its reputation.

Frans on 04.10.07 @ 04:46 PM CST [link]

Monday, April 9th

Protests over non-implementation of Delimitation Act heats up Kuknalim.com

Protests over non-implementation of Delimitation Act heats up Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, April 8:: Protest over the non-implementation of controversial Delimitation Act 2002 or Readjustment of state assembly seats appeared to have reached its peak Saturday as the public of Peren, Wokha, Longleng, Kiphire districts and Tseminyu sub-division of Kohima…

district took the issue to street in the form of mass protest rally in their own respective headquarter. At Tseminyu, the rally which began at 10:00 am stretched to 2:00 pm as various speakers outpoured their discontentment against the manipulative tactics of the state government and the Associates Members of the delimitation commission, while demanding that the last Nagaland Legislative Assembly resolution to maintain status quo in regard to the implementation of Act, or readjustment of assembly seats be done away with and the Act be implemented in letter and spirit. The protesters’ placards and banner said it all as they took the matter to the street pointing out that the manipulative tactics of the State government and the Associate members is a total discrimination and injustice against the minor tribes. In a representation submitted to Justice Kuldeep Singh, Chairman of the Delimitation Commission through Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Tseminyu during a protest rally on Saturday, the Rengma Hoho said that they are holding the public rally against the blatant injustice done to the Rengma by the unscrupulous actions of the Associate Members and member of the delimitation Commission for Nagaland state depriving the tribe of the entitled assembly constituency seat.Rengma Hoho also rejected the alternative proposal sent by State government, and demanded that the Act be fully implemented in letter and spirit and the Commission proposal for creation 47 Tesophenyu and 48 Tseminyu assembly constituencies.

“The alternative draft proposal which dropped the proposed 47 Tesophenyu assembly constituency from the list of new draft proposal for Kohima district was arranged and prepared by the other tribes without the knowledge and consent of the Rengma Hoho. Thereby, depriving us of one seat which is entitled to the Rengmas”, said the representation signed by its President, Kegwanye Lorin and General Secretary Zukeya Woch, adding that the populations of 53,000 Rengmas were placed under 12 Tseminyu AC alone, whereas the 8 Angami AC has only 25, 618 populations. It is a total injustice, the representation stated. Similar reports of mass protest rally were also received from Longleng, Kiphire, and Wokha districts yesterday. Source said that all the rallies have written a representation to the Delimitation Commission Chairman through their respective deputy commissioners for the implementation of the Act in toto.

In Peren district, where there are two assembly constituencies, each seat has about 45,000 voters. “It is a disgrace to have only 2 MLAs for 90,000 people”, said Idialung Thou, the Jt Secy. of the JAC, adding that the people of the district has been deprived of their right for too long, and this time they are not going to let go the opportunity. He also urged upon the people to support the issue without favouritism or dragging in the party colour.

It is also learnt that 11 MLAs from Peren, Kiphire, Longleng, Wokha and Tseminyu will leave for New Delhi on Easter Sunday to meet the Delimitation Commission. The students’ union of Lotha, Rengma, Sangtam, Phom and Zeliangrong tribes has also threatened to call a dawn to dusk total bandh in their respective jurisdiction on Monday to voice against the state’s government refusal to implement the Delimitation 2002 in letter and spirit and for immediate revoking of the Nagaland legislative assembly resolution of maintaining of status quo over the delimitation issue.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Delimitation Commission, Kuldeep Singh was reported to have stated that the Associates Members of the Commission from Nagaland are not extending cooperation for smooth implementation of the Act. It also alleged that the members are reporting one thing to the Commission, while speaking different things back at home. “Such partial attitudes of the Associates members, who are all from the major tribes is a clear case of discrimination and injustice”, said Nillo Rengma, Ex- Minister, who also spoke at the Tseminyu rally. (MExN)
Naga Student in Delhi have New President.By R. S. Mayori Naga Nation
The Naga Students’ Union Delhi had their election on 7th April 2007 for the tenure of 2007-2008 at R K Puram Sector-12, Nagaland House. Naga Student Union Delhi got a woman president for 2007-2008 tenure for the first time in the history of NSUD
The Election Commissioners, NSUD Election 2007, took the privilege of announcing results of the winning candidates of “Executive Council” NSUD for 2007-2008 tenure at around 5:30 pm.
There were three candidates running for the post of president and Ms Thejasenuo Meyase won the election over Living Stone Maram over a slight margin. NSUD is having a woman president for the first time in the history of NSUD. Ms Thejasenuo was the ex-president of the Angami Students’ union in 2005. The rest of the candidates were declared un-opposed, Vice president Ms Savanai T. H. Veronica from Poumai, General Secretary Leivon Robert Lamkang, Social and Cultural Secretary Lucy Ngouri, Games and Sports secretary Ms Zhoi Lohe and Public Relation Secretary is Humbumthing Aristo Zimik.
The ceremony of oath taking was followed by blessing of the executive members by Mr. Bernard Makang. The function came to an end with a dinner party in the Nagaland house. The Delhi seniors congratulate the incoming post holder members for a successful tenure of 2007-2008.
Banana Republic Editorial Sangai Express
We are sure if this had happened in other parts of the country, say in Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal, New Delhi would have responded to the situation differently. It is more than clear, that as long as it serves the agenda of the political mandarins at Delhi, the North East region can go to hell or rot there. How else does one explain the farce that is being enacted in connection with the kidnapping and murder of the two school going kids, Muheni Martin and Hriini Hubert ? The two kids were kidnapped on December 14 last year and the cries and appeals for their safe release culminated in the discovery of their skeletal remains on March 27, that is after more than hundred days. As things stand today, three main suspects are in the custody of the NSCN (IM) at Camp Hebron and despite the deadline set by the Core Committee formed in connection with the kidnapping and later murder of the two children, the outfit has already sought seven more days to complete their “investigation.” What is pathetic is the way the State agencies have been left groping in the dark. That the State police utterly failed in dealing with the case is something which has been stated time and again, but their contention that they are facing major handicaps since the suspects are in the custody of the NSCN (IM) merits some consideration. This was precisely the reason why the State Government had to approach New Delhi to pile the pressure on the NSCN (IM) to hand over the suspects to the State agencies to proceed with the investigation of the case. That the outfit is not ready to listen to the case of the State Government is now amply clear and this in a way makes it more than obvious that the IM is running a parallel Government and New Delhi is happy to let the status quo exists.
As an armed outfit which has been waging a bush war against the Government of India for decades, we can understand the logic of the NSCN (IM) in trying to portray the image that it is a also a Government in itself but how does one explain Delhi’s stand on this point ? The murder of the two boys is not only a question of some criminals letting their baser instinct get the better of them, but is also a direct challenge to the morale and collective conscience of the people of Manipur and this is precisely the reason why the people demand that justice should be delivered. New Delhi is obviously not ready to understand the sentiments of the people over the issue and everything indicate that they are ready to play footsie with the NSCN (IM) as long as the peace process or, whatever they call it, is not jeopardised. If a similar case had happened in say, Andhra Pradesh and the suspects were in the custody of the Maoists, can Delhi afford to behave the way it is currently behaving ? We are more than sure that Delhi would react differently for it cannot afford the world to see parts of Central and Southern India become a Banana Republic. As for the North East, particularly Manipur, Delhi cares a damn. And our question stands, “Of what use is the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell headed by a high ranking Army officer, albeit retired ?”
Northeast Echoes PATRICIA MUKHIM The Telegraph
Makeover, at what cost? Monday The Assam Government’s initiative to create new townships around Guwahati in accordance with the draft masterplan crafted by the Guwahati development department (GDD) is commendable. Guwahati is bursting at the seams. Shopping malls have sprung up amid mounds of rotting garbage and stench. Drainage around the city is either nonexistent or in an appallingly unhygienic condition.
Come monsoons and citizens have to wade through the slushy waters that spill over into the thoroughfares. Many of the residential complexes that have mushroomed have no garbage disposal facility. This is apparent from the huge piles of trash that litter every nook and corner of Guwahati. Moreover, reckless tapping of groundwater threatens to turn Guwahati into a desert zone. Hence, the masterplan unfolded by GDD minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will hopefully cater to basic civic amenities, which will turn Guwahati into a modern urban township for which citizens pay their taxes.
Church woes In a city with a burgeoning number of vehicles coupled with a humungous influx of floating population, parking lots are a dire necessity. Hence, the Tarun Gogoi government is setting its sights on a couple of vantage spots for parking space. Unfortunately, this well laid out plan encroaches into previously occupied area, including church property.
The Assam government has, by a sleight of hand, directed one of the oldest Christian churches in the region to hand over its land to build a car-parking lot. Established in 1845 by American Baptist missionaries, this church is an important landmark of the Panbazar Mission Compound, if not a heritage site.
Now the church is sought to be razed to rubble to accommodate the much-needed parking lot.
What do you call such a plan if not an outright sacrilege and assault on the secular character of the Indian Constitution? How can a place of worship be a trade-off for a modern amenity? Would chief minister Tarun Gogoi have the daredevilry to order the demolition of a Hindu temple or a Muslim mosque, for instance? Would this not affect his votebank?
Christianity is a non-aggressive faith and is not organised along political lines. Its ideology is to build peace and goodwill among all mankind. In the Northeast and elsewhere, Christianity has focused on providing healthcare and education. Like all other religions, Christians do evangelise because that is part of their mission and people convert to Christianity not because of any inducements but because they are touched to become a part of it. The Mission Compound, located on the south bank of the Brahmaputra that cuts across the city, is also the headquarters of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI), the largest Baptist group in southeast Asia, with a membership of more than a million people.
Sacred space Baptist Christians of Guwahati and those on a temporary sojourn in the city worship regularly in the church and in an auditorium in the compound. They belong to different ethnic groups of Assam and the nearby states of Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya.
Currently, the membership of the 162-year-old church stands at 641. The numbers are growing and a new church building is, in fact, needed to accommodate the growing numbers. Besides the church council offices, the other buildings include the Lewis Memorial Hostel for college students, established in 1919, which accommodates nearly 60 students from all over the Northeast. The hostel auditorium is used throughout the week for worship and other religious and training programmes.
Within the campus is the Christian Literature Centre, one of the oldest bookshops in the region, a conference centre complex, including a guesthouse and canteen, staff quarters, shops and offices of various para-church organisations, including the regional office of the Christian Medical Association of India and the Emmanuel Hospital Association. The council also runs five hospitals in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya. Notably, the campus also houses Snehalaya, a shelter for streetchildren run by Don Bosco, a Catholic group. Ironically, the government of Assam has “identified” this entire occupied area as “vacant” and ordered the council to hand over both plots to build a multi-storeyed car parking lot vide order number RSS 398/2005/83, dated February 15, 2007 and addressed to the Northeast India Baptist Council.
While it is agreed that land is a precious commodity and a rapidly diminishing resource in Guwahati, the government order smacks of religious disrespect and gross intolerance. Is this because Christians are the least likely to protest and make an issue out of the government diktat? Or is Tarun Gogoi so lacking in foresight that he does not see what repercussions might arise out of a senseless decision such as the one under discussion? In all probability, Gogoi was bulldozed by his right-hand man Himanta Biswa Sarma, on whom he appears to rely very heavily.
Passive ethos Except for Tripura, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, all the other northeastern states have a predominantly Christian population.
This population has been rather long-suffering and passive even when Christian missionaries were persecuted in different parts of this country. Perhaps the Christian ethos — live and let live — has always guided the thinking and action of believers.
One has hardly encountered any confrontation between Christian groups and the powers that be. Is that why they are being treated like dumb animals?
Compare this to what Badruddin Ajmal, the perfume baron, had threatened to do to expose the inimical stance of the Assam (Congress) government towards Muslims in relief camps of Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon. Ajmal said he would take about 500 Muslims to Uttar Pradesh to expose the loathsome manner in which they have been treated by the government. Obviously this is a political ploy to spoil the Congress’s chances in Uttar Pradesh. Following the Uttar Pradesh adventure, Ajmal said he would take his acolytes to New Delhi to meet the President and the Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Gogoi has, of course, not responded to Ajmal’s threats. But Ajmal represents a new breed of fundamentalists who would use religion to score political points.
Perhaps the patience displayed by Christians is taken a sign of their weakness, hence the oppressive order.
Sensitive issue In a multi-ethnic state like Assam and a pluralistic country like India, religion is one issue that needs to be handled with sensitivity. Can a piece of land which is already being used very purposefully by a certain religious group to promote, above other things, micro-economic activities for women and youth, be identified for public purposes? What does the law say about such issues? Are there precedents in any part of this country?
These are important questions because what the Assam Government has just done could add to the mounting conflict in a region that is already torn by ethnic strife. The last thing we need at this juncture is a religious backlash. It is rather strange that a Congress government should trample upon minority rights and go against the very grain of the party ethos.
While we do not subscribe to the notion of pandering to minorities for the purpose of earning votes, we do expect a modicum of respect for the sentiments of minority groups, which are not inclined to be fundamentalist. Gogoi needs to take a second look at the controversial order. (The writer can be contacted at patricia17@rediffmail.com“>patricia17@rediffmail.com)
Tea board bid to promote small growers in State By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, April 8 – The Tea Board of India has been providing a number of subsidies to the small tea growers to promote their ventures. It needs mention here that small-scale tea growing has become a social movement in many parts of the State, which is plagued by a burgeoning unemployment problem. According to knowledgeable circles, the Board is providing subsidy at the rate of Rs 38,000 per hectare to the small tea growers developing plantations in the traditional areas. It is also providing subsidy at the rate of Rs 69,000 per hectare to these growers if they resort to plantation in the non-traditional areas like, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, said the sources.

The subsidy is provided to the growers in the form of reimbursements in instalments. However, to avail the subsidy, the growers must own the land on which the tea is grown. And to prove their landownership rights, they must possess valid documents.

Moreover, the land should be suitable for growing tea and the Tea Research Association’s Tocklai Experimental Station, Jorhat or the institutions like the Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, etc., should certify the suitability of the land for the purpose, said the sources.

However, only about 2,927 small tea growers of the State are registered with the Tea Board despite the claim made by the small tea growers that their number is over 42,000. Here, the problem arises as many of the small tea growers do not have the valid documents against the land on which they are growing tea, said the sources.
Since 1989-90 fiscal, the Board has provided subsidy to 2,619 small tea growers for plantation.

The Board is now encouraging small tea growers’ self-help groups for purchase of vehicles, weighing scales, construction of leaf-sheds and purchasing plastic crates/leaf carrying bags.

Though for purchasing of trucks 50 per cent subsidy is paid, the self-help groups should have a provision for procuring and storing 1,000 kg of green leaf per day during the peak season – that is, between July and September, said the sources. The leaf-sheds should be so planned that for every 2,000 kg of leaf harvested by the societies or the self-help groups, there should be a shed. The Board provides cent percent of the cost of the leaf-sheds or Rs 30,000, whichever is lower.

The Board also provides 25 per cent subsidy for pruning machines. The norm in this case is that there should be one pruning machine per 10 hectares of the holding. There is also a provision of cent percent subsidy for fabrication of racks to accommodate leaf carrying plastic crates, the sources said. Big planters: Nevertheless, the Board also provides subsidy to the big tea planters for re-planting at the rate of Rs 52,000 per hectare. This subsidy is payable in three instalments in a period of three years after completion of the re-plantation. Moreover, for rejuvenation and infilling of old plantations of over 25 years of age, the Board provides subsidy at the rate of Rs 16,000 per hectare in three instalments after completion of pruning and infilling. There is also the provision of another subsidy for rejuvenation pruning, infilling and inter-planting at the rate of Rs 22,000 per hectare payable in three instalments in three years after completion of the process.

Machinery subsidy to the tea planters at the rate of 25 per cent of the total cost of machinery and civil construction within a maximum limit of Rs 25 lakh is also there. This subsidy was introduced in 2003-04 fiscal for the tea planters of the country. In Assam, this subsidy was provided to four factories in 2003-04, to 77 factories in ’04-’05, to 122 factories in ’05-06 and to 127 factories up to January 2007 (during the 2006-07 fiscal). The Board has so far spent an amount of around Rs 2,500 lakh on this subsidy meant for quality upgradation of machinery, said the sources.
PM for improving road connectivity in NE The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 8 (MExN): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today reiterated the Centre’s commitment to improving the road connectivity between the North Eastern states. “The Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North East will construct new roads and help improve existing roads. It will connect state capitals, district headquarters and remote areas. In the first phase, we will be covering 1310 km of roads by investing Rs 4618 crore”, the Prime Minister stated while laying the foundation stone for a 2nd Bridge over river Brahmaputra, in Guwahati today.
A copy of the Prime Minister’s speech received here stated that the new bridge over Brahmaputra will serve the people of Assam as well as the States of Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. “It will provide a new path towards progress and prosperity”, he said adding that the construction of the bridge will reduce the overall travel time and distance between the North East region and rest of India.
The Prime Minister also stated that the Bharat Nirman programme was launched under which the Centre is investing in rural roads, telephones, safe drinking water and electricity in every village. Improved road connectivity will help in taking your agricultural produce to markets and create new possibilities of employment, and reduce poverty. With this objective in view, UPA Government is investing thousands of crores of Rupees in road construction, he further stated.
He also disclosed that the Centre was planning to implement an ambitious programme of Rs 2,20,000 crores till 2012 for improving the National Highway network. Several stretches will be improved to 4-lane or 6-lane width across the country. Most of these works will be taken up on a Public Private Partnership basis, Manmohan stated.
One killed in blast as PM arrives in Guwahati Guwahati, April 8 (PTI): One person was killed and 14 others were injured in a bomb blast carried out by suspected ULFA militants in Kumarpara here today minutes before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in the city to lay the foundation for a bridge over the Brahmaputra river. The blast occurred near a mosque in Kumarpara, Additional Superintendent of Police Rajen Singh said.The bomb was hidden in a motorcycle in the busy area and exploded at about 5.45 p.M. One person died on way to the hospital while 14 others were seriously injured. The site of the blast was not on the route scheduled to be taken by the prime minister on his way to the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Amingaon to lay the foundation stone for the city’s second bridge over the Brahmaputra. It was also not on his route to the Raj Bhawan where would halt overnight. The entire area was sealed off and combing operations launched by secuity forces. Security across the city was further intensified, officials said.
ULFA reiterates plebiscite demand The Morung Express
GUWAHATI, April 8 (AGENCIES): The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) today reiterated its demand for a plebiscite on the issue of sovereignty of Assam and assured that the outfit would abide by the verdict of the same. The ULFA also called upon the people of Assam to celebrate the ensuing Rongali Bihu in a subdued manner.
In a statement issued to the media on the occasion of the foundation day of the ULFA, the chairman of the outfit, Arabinda Rajkhowa said that the outfit was for a political solution to the conflict and formed the People’s Consultative Group (PCG) to hold initial parleys with the Government of India to pave the way for direct talks. The ULFA chairman said that the Government of India did not want a political resolution to the conflict and refused to talk on the issue of sovereignty. He asserted that any talk with the Government must be held only on the issue of sovereignty of Assam and said that sovereignty is the birth-right of the people of Assam. He said that the people of Assam had to sacrifice a lot in the last 27 years. He paid homage to the sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for freedom. He said that human rights organizations and others extended support to the struggle of the ULFA in the last 27 years and hoped that they would continue to do so. Meanwhile, the ULFA chairman said that the people of Assam should celebrate the Rongali Bihu in a subdued manner to express solidarity with the wives of the ULFA men missing since the operations in Bhutan. The wives of the missing ULFA men have launched a fast unto death while, members of the People’s Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam also resorted to fast unto death demanding that the Government should declare the whereabouts of the missing ULFA men. He said that the people of Assam should teach the children about the significance of Rongali Bihu during the celebrations.
ULFA firm on sovereignty, wants negotiated solution Nagaland Post
Guwahati (PTI): ULFA today asserted its stand on ‘Assam’s sovereignty’ but at the same time expressed its desire for a peaceful negotiated political solution to the state’s problem.
ULFA Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in his speech on the occasion of the outfit’s 28th Raising Day, said the outfit would continue with both “armed and political struggle” to establish Assam’s sovereignty. The ULFA leader in his speech, a copy of which was e-mailed to the media here, further said that the outfit had suggested a plebiscite on the issue of sovereignty and “we are prepared to accept whatever the result will be and so should the Indian government”.
“We took the initiative for peace by constituting Peoples’ Consultative Group (PCG) which held three rounds of talks with representatives of the Indian government but no progress was made”, Rajkhowa said.
“We, however, still want a political settlement to the issue though within the context of sovereignty”, he asserted. He also expressed the outfit’s solidarity with the wives of missing ULFA leaders who had launched an indefinite hunger strike from March 21, demanding information about their husbands, release of jailed central committee leaders and holding of talks for peaceful solution of the problem, but were arrested and subsequently hospitalised on March 30. Rajkhowa also urged people to extend their support to the agitating women and thanked several organisations and intellectuals for their support to their cause.
PM promises rapid industrialisation of India’s northeast By IANS
Lepetkata (Assam) April 9 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday pledged New Delhi’s support for rapid industrialisation of the northeast, saying the region requires investments to help ease its spiralling unemployment problem. ‘Rapid industrialisation and development of the northeast has been the topmost priority and unshakeable commitment of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government,’ the prime minister said here.
Manmohan Singh was speaking at a massive public rally at Lepetkata, 520 km east of Assam’s main city Guwahati, after laying the foundation stone for a Rs.54 billion gas cracker project – the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd. ‘This is a historic day for not only Assam but also for the entire northeast. This project would herald an era of economic growth, peace and prosperity for the region. ‘This gas cracker project would open up new productive employment for the youth of Assam. I am told some 100,000 people would get direct or indirect employment opportunities,’ he said. He added that the northeast could become a potential investment zone with the central government announcing a new industrial policy for the region.
‘We have raised capital investment subsidy to 30 percent in the new northeast industrial policy. India is marching ahead and we want the northeast to prosper in terms of economic growth and industrialisation,’ Manmohan Singh said.The gas cracker project is to be implemented by the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) with 70 percent equity participation in five years time. The remaining 30 percent equity would be shared equally among Oil India Ltd (OIL), Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) and the Assam government. The mega project is being set up at Lepetkata.
‘Some 8,500 people would get direct employment while some 100,000 people would get employment opportunities as a result of investments in downstream plastic processing industries and allied activities,’ Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS. According to preliminary estimates, at least 500 plastic processing industries are likely to come up in the region when this project becomes operational. ‘There would be plastic parks in the area as part of the project and would surely benefit the people of Assam in a big way,’ Gogoi said. The petrochemical complex would comprise a cracker unit, downstream polymer and integrated off-site utilities plants.
The products from the proposed project would be 220,000 tonnes of polythene, 60,000 tonnes of polypropylene, 55,000 tonnes of raw pyrolysis gasoline and 12,500 tonnes of fuel oil per year.
As part of Assam’s aggressive policy to give a fillip to industrial activities, it was agreed to grant exemption from entry tax on capital goods, works contract tax during construction period, sales tax and VAT (value-added tax) on feedstock for 15 years from the date of commencement of production. The project was proposed as a part of the historic Assam Accord of 1985. The project was gathering dust since 1991 when New Delhi issued a letter of intent (LoI) to the Assam Industrial Development Corp, a government undertaking. In February 1997, the LoI was transferred to the Reliance Assam Petrochemicals Ltd (RAPL) – a joint venture company of Assam Industrial Development Corp and Reliance Industries Ltd. APL was granted various concessions to implement the project. But the deal with RAPL was shelved in 2005, with Reliance virtually backing out of the project citing technical reasons like non-availability of sufficient feedstock. The prime minister, during his two-day visit, also laid the foundation stone for a second bridge over the Brahmaputra near Guwahati Sunday. He will leave for New Delhi later Monday.
Blast in city mars PM’s visit By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, April 8 – Even when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his high-level entourage were in town amid a thick security blanket, a blast killed one person and injured several others at a site only about a kilometre from the route that his cavalcade was to take. The blast took place at FA Road connecting the arterial AT Road with Kumarpara Chariali grievously injuring one Inamul Haque, who died while being taken to the hospital. Seven persons were injured, who have been admitted to the MMC and GMCH Hospitals.

According to police the blast took place at 5.35 pm and it blew off the rear portion of a black Honda Unicorn bike in which the bomb was being ferried. It has been suspected that the bomb went off after the bike hit a speed breaker at high speed. Some window panes of nearby structures and billboards were damaged by the blast. Among the injured were Gaisuddin Ahmed, Manowar Ali, Manirul Haque, Ajay Sarkar, Amarjit Pandit, Billal Ali and Sikandar Ali. When contacted at the blast site, a top official of the police revealed that it would be premature to point the needle of suspicion at the ULFA for today’s blast. He also refused to confirm that the dead person was driving the bike. It may be mentioned that the site of the blast is close to some other places where several more bombings have taken place in recent times.
3 more youths gunned down in Manipur Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
IMPHAL, April 8 – After gunning down of three youths by police commandos, three more youths were killed in two separate insurgency-related incidents in Manipur.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead two of them near Singjamei bridge over Imphal river in Imphal West district around 8.30 on Friday night while troops of 7 Assam Rifles gunned down a UG suspect Oinam Amu (32) of Keirenphabi Maning Leikai in broad daylight. The deceased in the Singjamei killing have been identified as G Meghajit alias Gandhi and S Premjit of Moirang.

Both Gandhi and Premjit were reportedly called out from their respective houses, said sources. AR troops on the other hand recovered one AK 56 rifle and a magazine containing 17 live rounds from the slain cadres. Manipur Police commandos busted four camps of proscribed Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup in Keibul Lamjao area inside Loktak Lake in Bishnupur district on Friday night. A huge quantity of combat fatigue, utensils, gas stove, battery and other essential items of daily use were recovered from the outfit’s camps. However they couldn’t nab a single cadre of the outfit during the operation.

According to L Kailun, Superintendent of Imphal East district, the Friday night operation was conducted following the disclosure of an arrested KYKL self-styled corporal identified as Th Borajao alias Biseshwor (27), a resident of Wangoo Sabal Mayai Leikai. Borajao was arrested by a frisking team of Imphal East district police commandos in Imphal East district around 11 am on Friday. As revealed by the cadre, a joint operation was immediately conducted in Keibul Lamjao area under the command of Additional SP of Imphal East district, he said in a statement issued here. On March 22, troops of 7 Assam Rifles had busted a similar camp of the same outfit at Keibul Lamjao area in Manipur’s Bishnpur district.

Meanwhile, police commandos and Assam Rifles personnel also arrested one underground member each of proscribed PLA, KCP and KYKL from Lamphel Sanakeithel area in Imphal West district and Thoubal area. The arrested PLA man has been identified as K Thoiba (28) of Heingang while the KCP cadre was R K Khelen (35) of Lalambung and M Ibomcha (22) of KYKL of Ningel. Police recovered one 9 mm pistol, 2 live rounds, nine rocket propelled bombs from the possession of the PLA cadre Thoiba, police sources added.

Frans on 04.09.07 @ 03:24 PM CST [link]

Sunday, April 8th

Govt pacify people over delimitation storm The Morung Express

Govt pacify people over delimitation storm The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 7 (MExN): Breaking its silence on the delimitation storm, the state government today issued a statement highlighting that the reasons for the ongoing exercise. The statement while elaborating the reasons also assured to the people that before finalization of the issue, the Delimitation Commission will have consultations with the people and the public will have sufficient time and ‘plenty of opportunity to ventilate their views.
The Parliament had passed the Delimitation Act 2002, amended in 2003, for constituting the Delimitation Commission to affect readjustment of each state into territorial constituencies for elections on the basis of the census as ascertained in 2001. However this was to be without increasing the number of seats of assembly or parliamentary constituencies assigned to each state, the statement issued by Nagaland Chief Secretary Lalhuma stated. The Nagaland legislative Assembly passed a resolution in 2003 urging the Center to amend the Act to keep Nagaland out of the purview of the delimitation exercise as in the same lines of J&K, till the ongoing Naga dialogue is concluded and Nagaland’s seats are increased as resolved in 1999. A meeting of all recognized political parties was also held on August 5, 2004 and decided to request the Center to exclude Nagaland from the Act. A request that fresh census be carried out in those areas where growth rate is more than the average rate in the state, be made, the government said.
The state government also observed that the growth rate projected in the 2001 census was “abnormally and phenomenally” high in some areas. Against the decadal national growth rate of 23%, some districts in their rural areas showed a decadal growth of more than 100%, it stated. The lowest growth rate registered at Kohima at 43%. “Whereas a higher growth rate may be logical in the urban areas due to urbanization, a high growth rate exceeding 100% in rural areas is found to be quite untenable” the government observed. The state cabinet in 2005 had also observed the abnormal growth rate in some areas of the state will have serious repercussions in matters of delimitation of constituencies. Hence the 2001 census was rejected and requested the Center to carry out a fresh census.
In view of ‘several requests’ from both government and non-government agencies, the delimitation commission tentatively agreed that inter-district transfer of seats may be avoided and that delimitation be confined within each district to remove ‘inequalities in population’ between the constituencies with respective districts, it stated. For this purpose the commission had given a working paper to form the basis for discussion among members and associated members. The state government considered this as a major victory and decided to carry out adjustment of assembly constituencies within each district” the government stated.
However, adjustments within the districts is left to the “wisdom” of the people and is to be implemented only after consultations with the people, under the supervision of the DC of the respective districts, it reiterated. Most of the districts have brought out their proposals for readjustments which will be forwarded to the commission, it assured.
“In view of this aspect and the above mentioned points, the state government appeals to all sections not to agitate but to understand the stand of the state government which has been trying its best to reach an amicable solution to the problem of delimitation” the statement appealed.
Protestors march to DC’s residence Noel Manuel & Morung Express News
Dimapur Around 200 representatives from the Purana Bazar B Village marched to the residence of Dimapur Deputy Commissioner KN Ngullie Friday morning to protest against the arrest of their chairman L. Temjen, who was taken into custody on Wednesday night for allegedly destroying a government fencing wall of the department of geology and mining. The protestors prayed outside the residence of the DC, asking for justice to be delivered, after planting placards outside his official residence as part of a silent procession.
The DC was reportedly away for Church services at the time of the incident.
Ngullie, when contacted today, said that there is no law in the land under which a village can be constructed on government land. “They must realize this and encroaching upon government land will be dealt with according to the law.”
The DC also expressed disappointment in the manner in which the protests were being carried out and alleged that most of the protestors apparently do not belong to the area. “We are trying to identify the protestors and more arrests will be made soon,” he said and added that the government fencing wall should first be repaired before any further dialogue can be initiated.
But according to some villagers, the DC’s action is “illegal” as they claim that village elders were attending the inauguration of the new building of ‘Purana Bazar B’ government primary school at the time when a mob destroyed the wall of the Geology and Mining department. Another argument villagers put up was that the department did not touch the properties belonging to TA Ngullie, an ex-minister, “who made bogus pattas”, but instead evicted 18 houses “illegally.”
Head GB of the village, Kiron Mech, an octogenarian, was also arrested on March 13 last year but was released the next day. Mech said the village was established in 1942, and added that he had never been informed of the plans of the Geology and Mining department to set up a facility in the area. Infuriated villagers on Good Friday said responsibility would rest on the DC if their chairman suffers “even a single scratch” or if even a single document snatched from them goes missing. Prior to the arrest of the chairman by Police, 5 “civilians” forcibly broke open a box containing 40-year-old documents of the village and made good with the papers, residents said. In the failure of immediate release of the chairman or documents, the villagers have threatened to intensify agitations.
Don’t disgrace ‘Nagaland for Christ’ – FGN to “youths” The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 7 (MExN): If “youths” live a life of indulgence in anti-social activities, “your” slogan ‘Nagaland for Christ’ would be a deceit; the FGN reminds “the youths.”
Taking note of the recent kidnapping and subsequent murder of two school-going children from Senapati, the FGN through its Midan Peyu of Shepoumaramth region asked “the youths” to learn to “love our people” and do go good. “All youths have in their knowledge that the Nagas proclaimed Nagaland for Christ. But if the youths involve in the violent activities or anti-social elements, you shout ‘Nagaland for Christ’ would be only a deceit and lie unless you abandoned your violent activities and anti-social activities” the FGN advised. “Therefore the crime committed on the two boys would be the last and let our youths learn from it to love our people to do good for our people” it stated.
The Midan Peyu recalled that late NNC leader AZ Phizo dreamed of a Nagaland free from “no political party, no social class distinction, no complain for economic maladjustment, no pauper, no homeless person, no property ownerless family, no liquor bar, no opium den, no dancing hall, no brothel no law for death sentence, no law to imprison a person, no land tax of any kind, one murder case occurred in 5 years, one rape case in 30 years, one suicide in 20 years, no kidnappings, no dacoit case, no abduction of women etc.”
However, in the recent years, the Naga people are experiencing heinous crimes being committed “by our young people.” The FGN cited the instance of kidnappings for ransom such as the one witnessed in the Elizabeth Lungnila murder case three years ago and the recent adduction and subsequent killing of two children Moheni Martin and Hrinii Hubert.
FGN concerned over rising young criminals Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Apr 7: Expressing serious concern over the rise in criminal activities among the young people in Naga society during the past few years, Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) has termed it as an unfortunate trend. In a statement, Midan Peyu of FGN, Shepouma-ramth Region H John Vekhe observed that Naga leader AZ Phizo was proud of saying about the fair social and political system of the Nagas. But unfortunately for the past few year, the nagas people have been experiencing heinous crimes committed by the young people such as killing, torturing and kidnapping for ransom. The kidnapping and killing of Lungnila Elizabeth three years ago and two boys, Moheni Martin and Hrinii Hubert on December 14, 2006 for ransom were the most heinous crimes ever occurred in Nagaland, the statement said, adding that the day on which the funeral services of these young children was conducted would remain as a sorrowful and tearful day in the history of the Naga people. Just as Phizo was proud of the fairness society and culture of the Naga, the statement exhorted that the Naga youth today should also be proud of their fair culture, tradition and its values, and should preserve it at all cost.
‘All the youths are bou-nd to check anti-social acti- vities in our region and work against anti-social activists whatsoever be the anti-national elements or indivi- dual who are disturbing the sanity of our region and who breeds barbarism and terrorism’, the statement said. The statement further said ‘ all youth should have in their knowledge that Nagas proclaimed Naga-land for Christ. So if the youths involve in the violent or anti-social activities, the shout for Nagaland for Christ would only be a deceit and lie. Therefore the crime committed on the two boys should be the last and let our youths learn from it to love our people to do good for out people’.
Azha discharged: In consideration of his request of Eno Ch David, Leacy member s/o Eno Chimok Shimphum village, Shepoumaramth Region has been charged from the National service on ground of ill health with effect from April 3, informed Midan Peyu, Shepoumaramth Region, Federal Government of Nagaland H John Vekhe informed in a statement.
Village expels culprit for kids’ kidnapping, murder The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 7 (MExN): The Viewland Village Authority at Senapati, Manipur has resolved to expel the culprit involved in the sensational kidnapping and murder of two kids in Manipur, and also his entire family including the next kin from the village.
A press release issued by the chairman of the Viewland Village Authority, OK Sang, without naming the culprit, stated that the Viewland villagers during its special session of General Meeting on April 3 resolved to deal with the matter seriously so that ‘the law of the land and security of the citizen shall prevail upon all’ and added that the culprit shall ‘be dealt by the laws of the village as per the paucity of the action of the person concerned’.
Besides the expulsion of the culprit and is family including the next kin from the village, the release stated that the immovable belongings or properties of the accused shall now become village property and that any claim for the property from any corner stands null and void.
The release also stated that the villagers resolved to condemn the cowardly act of killing the two innocent boys after kidnapping them for ransom in the strongest term. The release stated that the keeping of the dead bodies of the boys at the village premises shocked the villagers and filled them with apprehension. “It is to be recollected that, their dead bodies were placed at the village premises which shocked the public with confusion and apprehension. The house term the act as a case of defamation and blasphemy,” the release stated. Further, the release stated that the members present at the meeting convey their ‘deepest concern to the bereaved family of Hriinii Hubert and Moheni Martin with sincere prayer that God almighty will console them even at this moment of sorrow and grief’.
PM launching two mega projects New Kerala By Syed Zarir Hussain,
Guwahati, April 8: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives in Assam on a two-day visit Sunday to launch two mega projects – a bridge over the Brahmaputra river and a whopping Rs.54 billion integrated petrochemical project. He will lay the foundation of the Rs.2.38 billion three-lane bridge over Brahmaputra river near Guwahati in the evening.
“This bridge has been a long-standing demand of the people of Assam and I am happy the prime minister will be laying the foundation stone,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS.

The 1.4-km-long bridge is part of the much-hyped North South East West Corridor, the largest ongoing expressway project in India that proposes to have four to six lanes and is being implemented by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The total length of North-South Corridor from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and the East-West corridor from Silchar to Saurashtra is about 7,300 km and is to be completed by 2009. On Monday, the prime minister will lay the foundation of a gas cracker project at Lepetkata in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district. The project is expected to help provide a major boost to this industrially backward northeastern state. Popularly referred to as the Assam Gas Cracker Project, but re-christened the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymers Ltd, it is to be implemented by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) with 70 percent equity participation in five years.

The remaining 30 percent equity would be shared equally among Oil India Ltd (OIL), Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) and the Assam government. “We hope nearly 100,000 people will get employment opportunities, either directly or indirectly, as a result of investments in downstream plastic processing industries and allied activities,” Assam’s Industry and Commerce Minister Pradyut Bordoloi told IANS. According to preliminary estimates, at least 500 plastic processing industries are likely to come up in the region when this project becomes operational.

The feedstock for the petrochemical project, natural gas and naphtha, is to be provided by OIL, ONGC and the NRL. “We are already promoting a plastic park in the area and the project would surely help turnaround the economy of Assam,” the minister said.

The petrochemical complex would comprise a cracker unit, downstream polymer and integrated off-site utility plants. The products from the proposed project would be 220,000 tonnes of polythene, 60,000 tonnes of polypropylene, 55,000 tonnes of raw pyrolysis gasoline and 12,500 tonnes of fuel oil per year. As part of the Assam government’s aggressive policy to give a fillip to industrial activities, it has agreed to grant exemption to entry tax on capital goods, works contract tax during the construction period, sales tax and VAT on feedstock for 15 years from the date of commencement of production. — IANS
Hot question on the world famous Naga King Chilly- Nagaland Post
Everyone will agree with the fact that our Nagaland is blessed with a unique Flora and Fauna which we are slowly exploring and gaining more knowledge of its potential. Due recognition has been given as in the case of Chumukedima’s pastor Melhite’s new genus of rice which has found a place in the Guinness World record. More recently, the Naga King Chilli or more popularly the Naga Raja Chilly was in the news as a contender for the title of “World’s Hottest Chilly” and seeking a place in the Guinness World record. It was reported in the top dailies that the world’s official hottest chili is now the “Bhut Jalokie” which is just another news for the Naga King Chillie claimed as a nature produce of Assam’s Tezpur district, a few question arises at this point and it would serve a great purpose for Nagaland if we can get reliable and accurate answers to these questions.
1. Is the Naga Raja/King Chilly, originally a nature of Nagaland, which is being propagated to Assam or the other way round? Are there any documentaries available to this effect?
2. Which part of Nagaland is conductive to the cultivation of Naga Raja/King Chilly? Which place of Nagaland are the natural habitats?
3. Where do the Naga Raja/King Chillie supply come from? What is the nature and extent of harvest?
4. What is the origin of this particular Chilly? Who was the first to cultivate in Nagaland? Is it native to Nagaland or brought from elsewhere?
5. In the Kohima area, it is referred to by various name such as (a) Kedi Chüsi (b) Raja Chüsi (c) Chünhe Chüsi (d) Chüdi-Chüsi (e) Kambura/Gaonbura-Chüsi (f) Bur-Chüsi (g) Kotsa/Kutsiemia Chüsi…..what are its other names? Which is its most appropriate or popular name?
6. Which places other than Nagaland and Assam have been known to be favourable for a cultivation of Naga Raja/King Chilly?
7. Is any organization or department/ministry involved in the observation of event regarding the Naga Raja/King Chilly issue?
The knowledged people of Nagaland are requested to ponder on this questions and invited to send in any replies or answers to the above queries. Any response is highly anticipated and will be greatly appreciated.
(Chüsi-Angami word for Chilli) M.K Naga E-mail: m_kaye@rediffmail.com“>m_kaye@rediffmail.com
Gas cracker project to create 1 lakh jobs By Ron Duarah Assam Tribune
DIBRUGARH, April 7 – Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Bijoy Krishna Handique today claimed that the gas cracker project will kick start an economic revolution in Assam and her sister states in the region and that one lakh job opportunities “may be in the pipeline in the next seven to eight years.” He said the mother cracker unit, being set up as Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Limited (BCPL) has received the wholehearted support of the people and wanted this cooperation to continue. Dibrugarh Additional Deputy Commissioner in charge of revenue, Nareswar Upadhyaya said “55% of the required 3,000 bighas of land for BCPL has already been handed over to Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) till today and the remainder will be handed over before April 15.” He refuted allegations of any scandal relating to payment of compensation money, and that everything has been done following a meticulous documentation process, including detailed video recording of property of the displaced families. He informed that till today, 128 families have been paid a total of Rs 12 crore as compensation and that the remaining compensation dues are being paid expeditiously and systematically.

Meanwhile, Handique said all the Industrial Training Institutes in Assam have been specifically asked to introduce plastic engineering as a course. Expert trainers from the Central Institute for Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) are likely to be associated with this ambitious scheme to build up a pool of technologists and entrepreneurs, to gain from the gas cracker. “The Rs 6,000 crore that will be invested in building up BCPL is one part of the scenario, the downstream industries that are expected to come out would entail investments ten times this amount and spring up massive employment potential,” he said. The Union Minister said the entrepreneurs would be financed on easy terms by SIDBI, and that all the districts of Assam would have plastic parks for setting up downstream projects. He added that he has requested GAIL, the operating partner in BCPL, to set up a permanent mini plastic park at Lepetkata. This would help potential entrepreneurs to see the vast potential of plastics. He said that a recent international survey has shown that the global per capita consumption of plastics per annum is 25 kg, that of India 4.5 kg, 35 kg in China and 1 kg in India’s northeast. He hastened to add that people have a notion of carry bags alone as plastic products, whereas plastics are used in a big variety, and that due importance has to be accorded to cleaner disposal and recycling of the material. The Union Minister sought the help of the media and NGOs to carry out a campaign to create awareness about downstream projects of the gas cracker, saying this is the only way to derive maximum gains from such an industry.
ULFA: talks on sovereignty or plebiscite By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 7: On the 28th foundation day of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said, in principle, the rebel group wants peaceful political solution to the problems of Asom, and it was with that in view the rebel group chose a mediator and formed the People’s Consultative Group (PCG), but the Government of India, showing this or that pretexts, continues to stay way from the peace process.
In an e-mail to The Sentinel today, Arabinda Rajkhowa said: “The oppressed people of Asom have no alternative but to opt for peaceful negotiations with the Government of India. We want peaceful political solution to the problems of Asom, but the Government of India tells us to go forward for peaceful talks. We want sovereignty of Asom should be the main agenda for peace talks, but the Government of India maintains that there can’t be any talks on independence of Asom, and that indirectly means that the Government of India is not sincere in peaceful political solution to the problems of Asom. If the Government of India can’t sit for talks on the sovereignty of Asom, it should opt for a plebiscite, we are ready to accept the people’s verdict, whatever that might be”.
On the search for the definition of the word ‘Asomiya’ by a number of bodies in Asom, including the Axom Xahitya Xabha (AXX), Rajkhowa said that the cry for safeguards for Asomiya proved it beyond doubt that the identity of indigenous people in Asom was at stake. He appealed to all castes, communities and ethnic groups in Asom to stand united in the fight against the oppression. He demanded the release of the jailed ULFA leaders and Anup Chetia, now in Bangladesh.
Speech of the Chairman on the 28th Foundation Day of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) 7 April 2007

Revered Freedom loving people of Assam,
Today is the 28th foundation day of the United Liberation Front of Asom. ULFA was formed with the determined aim of re-establishing a Sovereign Independent Assam, presently under Indian colonial occupation. The objective of our national liberation struggle is to free the indigenous peoples from Indian colonial oppression and exploitation, the ultimate goal being to establish a society on the principles of scientific socialism. Assam belongs to all the indigenous peoples of Assam. But the divisive and oppressive Indian subjugation has deprived us of our common heritage of the Sovereign rights over our land. It is with these solemn national and social objectives that ULFA was formed on this day 28 years ago.

During the past twenty-seven years, the peoples of Assam have suffered immeasurably because of Indian colonial repression and exploitation. Over Ten Thousand sons and daughters of Assam have embraced martyrdom, many a women have been raped and even raped-and-killed, hundreds have become disabled, many more remain ‘disappeared in custody’ while hundreds still languish in colonial jails inside Assam or elsewhere. Despite all these sufferings the peoples of Assam as a whole have been supporting the national cause by sending their beloved sons and daughters to join the liberation struggle, and by sheltering and protecting us to continue the struggle until final victory. On this occasion, I on behalf of the United Liberation Front of Asom, bow my head in veneration and salute the entire indigenous peoples of Assam.

For us today is the day for reaffirming our commitment and faith in the national liberation struggle. On this solemn day, we remember with tears those heroic sons and daughters of the soil who have made the ultimate sacrifice in carrying out their duties for our Motherland.

At this hour of reflecting on our national resolve, we offer our deep sympathy and condolence to those who have lost their near and dear ones at the hands of Indian Occupation Forces.

With the firm resolve of “Either Freedom or Martyrdom”, our cadres have been fulfilling their commitment of carrying on the freedom struggle overcoming incalculable sufferings and overwhelming odds with total dedication and devotion. I take pride in saluting them.

Many patriotic organisations and intellectuals of Assam have raised their voice against the atrocities and human rights violations committed by the Indian Occupation Forces, and they are victimised for their bold stand. Moreover, organisations like PCPI have united in a common platform in asserting our national rights urging for a peaceful resolution of the Assam-India conflict by democratic means. On behalf of my organisation I congratulate all of them on this auspicious day.

We are proud of the five mothers who have added a new dimension to the democratic struggle of our people by resorting to ‘fast unto death’ since 21 March 2007, seeking the whereabouts of those who disappeared in Bhutan while in custody of Indo-Bhutan joint forces, political solution of the Assam-India conflict and the unconditional release of the Nationalist leaders of Assam. We extend our solidarity to these brave mothers and also salute them for their courage and example. We also thank all those who have extended support, directly or indirectly, to this bold historic stance in the process of our national liberation.

Our revolutionary salute to our beloved Advisor Bhim Kanta Burhagohain, Vice-President Pradip Gogoi, Publicity Secretary Mithinga Doimary, Cultural Secretary Pranati Deka, Ramu Mech and Mrinal Hazarika and many others now in Indian jails. We also salute our comrade Anup Chetia with two of his associates now being detained in Bangladesh prisons, and demand their unconditional release.

Our fraternal neighbour Naga people and their organisation NSCN have been helping us within their limits since the inception of our organisation till today. We gratefully thank the comradeship and encouragement we have received from them. Similarly, we thank our Manipuri brothers of the UNLF and RPF with revolutionary salute for their unfailing and continuous help and support for the freedom of the whole region. We also extend our revolutionary greetings to the fraternal KLO and TPDF who have been closely working with us for the common cause of freedom and independence.

We are also grateful to those International Human Rights Organisations, individuals and well wishers for all the help and support they have been giving to the ULFA thus far and would like to request their continued support in taking our struggle to a successful end.

My esteemed people, Indian rulers are trying to malign the ULFA as a ‘terrorist organisation’ for spearheading the struggle for regaining Assam’s Sovereign Independence and thus destroy the confidence you have in it. They are desperately churning out evil propaganda against the ULFA so as to deprive us of any moral support internationally. On the pretext of ‘anti-ULFA drive’ India is conducting a sub-conventional warfare and deliberately committing genocide in Assam. The Indian Occupation Forces have been torturing people in the villages and towns of Assam daily. Over and above these dirty games they are playing up ethnic sentiments to divide and weaken the democratic unarmed movements.

Despite all these subterfuge the freedom fighters of Assam, with or without arms, have been taking the resistance movement forward step by step. The Indian Army’s claim that ‘the ULFA is finished following the war in Bhutan’ had to accept now that ULFA is a force to reckon with by declaring unilateral ceasefire on 13 August 2006 for 20. The streets of Assam are echoing with voices from the various organisations, intellectuals and politicians that the peaceful solution on the restoration of Assam’s sovereignty be accepted. This has proven beyond doubt that the ‘Sovereignty restoration’ is the core issue to end the Assam-India conflict. The people of Assam want a peaceful political solution. On this basis from 21 March 2007, five freedom-fighter mothers have taken to the ultimate democratic means of fast unto death. Over the years people of Assam have resorted to various democratic means to get a solution as per the wishes of the people. But, it is the typical character of the Indian Occupation Forces to ignore any such demands.

What sort of bitter experience makes the people angry is reflected by the action path of these five ladies as if a long suppressed anger has erupted like a volcano! The ‘fast unto death’ resolve has proved the point. The ULFA need not explain what makes a son of the soil an armed fighter. The oppressive action against the democratic movements has said it loud enough.

My fellow citizens, twenty seven years ago at the moment of birth of the United Liberation Front of Asom, the prevailing politico-economic and social situation was analysed in detail and we came to the conclusion that the colonial rule and the exploitation thereof was the main factor in pushing the Assamese nation into oblivion. We also arrived at the realisation that apart from the Assamese people the entire indigenous peoples of the region were facing the same fate under Indian colonial rule. Therefore we realised that all the indigenous peoples need to struggle together and that only a united struggle can achieve victory was evident then and now as well. Whatever the Indian media publishes or the local politicians or intellectuals in the Indian pocket say, the undoubted truth is that the survival of the Assam nation is the core issue in the conflict here. At one pole are the indigenous peoples of Assam and on the other is the Indian colonial rule. This is what we refer to as the Assam-India conflict. Nowhere in the world in an independent State, the survival of an independent Nation is threatened as here in Assam. But, the Assam Literary Guild and the Assam Provincial Assembly finding it difficult to define the term ‘Assamese’ proves how seriously the Assamese indigenous identity has been undermined. When the majority and well established Assamese identity is under threat, how grave would be the threat to other indigenous groups is abundantly clear. These people living in Assam from time immemorial having to fight for survival and getting oppression in return from the authorities that be proves the dire state in totality. The colonial policy of divide, exploit and rule has been put in place across the milieu. The protests against such a deplorable state is also manifested in different forms. The threatened peoples despite their individualistic movements have not been able to get anywhere in the colonial existence to live peacefully, prosper and lead the life they want and the indigenous population has no security of existence, property and their political rights have not been granted. They have become prisoners of doubts, mistrust and conflicts between groups. This state of affairs under the colonial rule is making our nation and other ethnic groups suffer immeasurably. To free ourselves from this suffering we must fight united against our common enemy. This land of Assam is the common habitat for several races and ethnic groups, this land is our common property. No one should lay claim to a specific area exclusively as their own. No one needs to be controlled by another. The answer to permanent peace and progress lies in living together with equal rights and prestige. To achieve this we need a united stand to struggle in unison. The exclusive individual struggles over the last 27 years have distinctly proved that only a united struggle can bring success. Therefore, on this auspicious day I appeal to all the peoples inhabiting in Assam to join the mission for the restoration of Assam’s Sovereign independence, with or without arms, or both.

Respected compatriots, history stands proof that Assam is historically an Independent country. Some conspirators with the idea of merging Assamese identity with India are trying to mislead the people that Assam has always been a part of India and that there is no valid justification to claim an independent Assam. I would like you to know that the struggle for independence has been going on Twenty-five days just after the signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo on 24 February 1826. On 20 April 1826. Dhonojoy Gohain and Gomdhor Konwor started the first independence movement against the British. Four years later in 1830 the second independence war was waged under the leadership of Pyolee Phukon. Maniram Dewan was hanged only because he wanted to regain Assam’s independence. The struggle did not end there. More importantly, the united peoples of Assam wanting a Sovereign independent Assam is recorded at the mega assembly at Khasi Darbar Hall held on 21,22 and 23rd March 1945 where the indigenous peoples from the plains and hills of Assam took a resolution – “ As Assam and her surrounding tribal regions have never been part of India and because the races and ethnic groups especially the tribes of this region racially and culturally are distinct from Indian races, hence, this Assembly strongly believes that Assam and her tribal regions must not be left with either India or Pakistan or any other country at the proposed division, but, made an autonomous region in which the neighbouring hill States be included.”

Gynanath Bora the President of the 1968 session of the Assam Literary Guild in his book “Should Assam stay with India?” commented that ‘being within India, Assam is slipping back. If Assam has to progress and prosper we need to think in terms of establishing an independent Assam.’

In the same vein, in the 1950 session President Ambikagiri Raichoudhuury of the Literary Guild commented, “Assamese need the total freedom to develop with their own philosophy which is impossible with a majority drawn from diverse background.” Late Nibaran Bora who was put behind bars on the 15 August 1947 hours after Indian independence produced facts and arguments in 1978 that the losing of Assamese identity inside India which could not be refuted by India. What an irony that while Assamese women are being raped and murdered in the villages and towns of Assam, ten thousand Assamese progeny has laid down their lives to establish their birthrights, the current President of the Assam Literary Guild is saying, “The Indian constitution has given us the right to live a good life.” “Assam has been from the ancient time a part of India.” What a servile outlook! One can not kill off the historical rights of independent Assam and it is not possible for India absorb her into oblivion.

Since Indian colonial rule began on 15 August 1947, there is no doubt that the indigenous peoples are facing extinction. It is not only the collective rights of the indigenous peoples over the resources that have been snatched away by Indian colonial rulers; even basic human rights have been denied. One should know that Assam is not seeking Sovereign Independence on mere historical background alone; this is just the historical basis for our sovereign existence. Our struggle encompasses the liberation of our peoples from Indian colonial oppression, persecution and economic exploitation so that we can march ahead towards economic freedom and prosperity as masters of our own destiny. Our peoples should be highly alert on this aspect as the enemy is using disinformation to confuse them.

Compatriots!
India is repeatedly saying, “Military action has been launched against the ULFA because of their violent activities”. In reality this is a war launched against the people of Assam. In the past 27 years the occupation army has killed more innocent peoples than killing our cadres. This is the reason we call this a total war conducted by the Indian Occupation Forces. The genocide at Kakopathar-Makum, murdering of peasants at Darrang Dipila Sok, after murdering the family of Uma Gogoi at Sibosagar Mahmora Borbil and then blowing up the house with the dead bodies, murdering of Babul Ingti’s aged parents and his brother at Lokhra of Guwahati, the aged parents of Babul Boro at Boko, the aged parents of Dristi Rajkhowa of Goalpara, the whole family of Mithinga Doimary of Boroma, the brother of martyr Joyonto Talukdar, brother of Sasha Choudhury and Biju Deka, etc. were murdered and none of them were armed and trained ULFA cadres. They have also labelled many other innocents as ULFA cadres after murdering them. To stop any protest from the near and dear ones of the slain, they falsely accuse the dead of possessing arms. The public is also misled by such disinformation and no protest results after such news. Khargeswar Talukadar of Borpeta, the protest marchers at Duliajan, the villagers of Ponkarajabari were not ISI trained armed cadres. But they were shot dead like wild animals. Can any ruler other than an occupation force kill its ‘own people’ like wild animals? Such cruel repressive policy justifies our armed struggle to regain our sovereignty. So long as the Indian State does not agree to resolve the Assam-India conflict politically, there is the need to continue the armed struggle and struggle we must. This is the direct result of repressive Indian colonial policies. Armed struggle does not necessarily mean discarding of unarmed struggle. We use the arms to defend ourselves and the liberation movement from the armed attacks of the fascist Indian power. The aim of our armed struggle is to bring about a peaceful political solution to the conflict. I felt the need to remind our citizens of these events so that they understand how India is conducting an unjust war against the people of Assam. This is the reason behind the conflict turning into a confrontation.

However, on principle the United Liberation Front of Asom desires a peaceful political solution of the Assam-India conflict. As we also desire a political solution, as the entire people of Assam does, we took the initiative to engage a go-between and entrusted the like minded PCG to prepare the ground for ‘direct talks’. We sent our first letter to the Indian Prime Minister on 1 May 2005. On 24 September 2005 the PCG was constituted and sent for the first discussion on 26 October 2005. The second discussion took place on 7 February 2006 and the third on 26th June 2006. As we do not have any conspiracy behind seeking to establish our rights, we wanted to resolve the conflict politically and directly in association with some patriots of Assam. But the Indian Government has been using all efforts to trap the leaders of the United Liberation Front of Asom in accepting the Indian Constitution. We are talking about peaceful resolution of the conflict and India has been insisting on ‘peace negotiation’. There is a wide gap between these two concepts. India wants to negotiate their ‘peace’ with a ‘package of economic development’ while the reality demands a peaceful resolution of the conflict. As we desire a peaceful resolution of the conflict once and for all, we asked for the core issue of restoration Assam’s Sovereignty to be on the agenda. But India deliberately avoided mentioning the core issue and insisted on a discussion on ‘core issues like development…’ India’s senior politician and Educationist Ajij Kuresi has said, “To bring peace to Assam, there is no restriction in the Indian Constitution to discuss Assam’s sovereignty restoration.” But the Indian policy makers did not heed such expert opinion and has been repeating what has been said before. This proves that India is not sincere to end the conflict politically. Therefore, we read that the door to a peaceful resolution of the conflict has been closed on the Indian side. But India says the door (to ‘peace negotiation’?) is still open. By such misleading and deceiving statements India’s dubious position on conflict resolution is not difficult to gauge. Despite this realisation the oppressed people of Assam has no alternative but to tread all the avenues for a peaceful political resolution of the conflict. We have stated that if India cannot sit for discussion on Sovereignty restoration then let us have a plebiscite under the United Nation’s supervision to decide the issue. We are prepared to accept the verdict of such a plebiscite if India also does the same. In 1991 Macedonia from Slovac Republic, in 1998 East Timor from Indonesia, in 1999 Bougainville from Papua New Guinea gained independence through plebiscite. India should accept this democratic challenge if she has to ride on her accolade as the ‘largest democracy in the world.’

A Sovereign Independent Assam is our birthright. Every patriotic Assamese must remain alert to counter all sorts of tricks and conspiracies to prevent us achieving this right. I call upon each and everyone of our citizens to take part in any possible way you can to bring a successful conclusion to our struggle.

To all the comrades of the ULFA, risking your lives you have overcome many adversities to reach where you are today. You have given courage to the freedom loving people of Assam. Your good work has drawn attention of the world to what ULFA stands for as a political entity and to our rights to a Sovereign Assam. You must remember that the enemy has used our mistakes as weapon to destroy our national struggle. Therefore, you must be ever alert to carry out each mission without any fault. This alertness is the key to advance our struggle to its destined goal. I urge upon you to advance the cause with unparalleled enthusiasm and sacrifice, ever more.

“Let the struggle of the people of Assam grow stronger!”
“Let the chained exploited people of Assam be free!”
“Down with Indian colonial occupation of Assam!”
“Long live the United Liberation Front of Asom!”
“Victory to our motherland, Assam!”

Frans on 04.08.07 @ 03:02 PM CST [link]

Saturday, April 7th

‘Use your potential to become good citizens of the society’: Ramakrishnan Kuknalim.com

‘Use your potential to become good citizens of the society’: Ramakrishnan Kuknalim.com

KOHIMA, April 6:: Deputy Commissioner, Kohima, R. Ramakrishnam (IAS) said that students should be responsible members and utilize their potential to become good citizens of the society.
Exhorting the gathering after inaugurating the school building of the Government Middle School, PWD Colony, Kohima this morning, the Deputy Commissioner said that communitisation has benefited the society in many ways and the completion of the school building in time under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) depicts the involvement of the community in promoting wards.

The Deputy Commissioner said that the purpose of the SSA is striving for more enrollments and he expressed happiness over the good number of students, a total of 434 enrolled in the school. He urged upon the people to reap the benefits of the SSA and also said that the school can always be recommended for upgradation if the necessary criteria are fulfilled. He further assured that he will look into the construction of more rooms and providing computer education and donated Rs. 25,000/- to be utilized either for constructing a toilet for teachers or for clearing liabilities.
Convener, Construction Committee, Avio, presenting a report on construction of the building said that under SSA, the construction of the School building, boundary wall, water supply and electrification was completed at the cost of Rs. 4,53,660/-. He thanked the Chairman of the Managing Board and the teachers for their cooperation and support in timely completion of the project.
Vote of thanks was tendered by Chairman, PWD Panchayat, K. Puro. The programme was chaired by WEC Chairman, Thapi Semy. (DPRO, Kohima)

Insurgency affecting fruit exports from NE Kuknalim.com
NEW DELHI Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) General Manager Pravin Gupta has said that insurgency was a major roadblock in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. Nagaland in increasing exports of fruits from the North-eastern region. He said cold storage facilities either did not exist or those that did were extremely inadequate, and similar was the position in respect of marketing arrangements.

Gupta said out of APEDA’s total exports, North East’s share was a dismal 0.003 per cent last year, which was in marked contrast to the true potential of the region. “It has been found that a large proportion of exports from the region take place through illegal routes to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar,” he said. Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland share a 1,643 km border with Myanmar while the international boundary shared by Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram with Bangladesh stands at 1,880 km.

Gupta said to educate enterpreneurs of the region, the agency plans to launch various market development initiatives and send exporters to foreign exhibitions and fairs.
Gupta said the agency will also start various quality and R&D programmes in the North East.

At a recent NEC meeting in Guwahati, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh had asked APEDA to initiate steps for improving exports from the region.– PTI

Angry crowds confront police after commandos shoot three, Encounter claims police, fake says public; Bandh 5am to 6pm today The Imphal Free Press

imphal, apr 6: Three youths were slain by a team of the Imphal west police commandos in controversial circumstances this morning at around 9:55 am, at Kwakeithel Heinou Khongnembi Laishram Leikai, provoking strong public protests. Police claimed the three youths attacked a frisking party with grenades, and were shot in retaliatory fire, but family and neighbours of the victims, refusing to accept the police version, blocked the Tiddim road at Changangei for some hour today. A state-wide bandh has also been called from 5 am to 6 pm tomorrow over the incident. A police statement, describing the incident, said the three youths, who were heading towards Kwakeithel bazar along the Haobam Marak road, were signalled to stop by a police frisking party near Kwakeithel bazar, but the riders turned and sped towards Akham Leikai.

As police gave chase, one of the pillion riders hurled a hand grenade, which fell in a nullah and did not explode. The statement said the police continued the chase, firing in the air and shouting at them to stop. The statement said at Kwakeithel Heinou Khongnembi Puthabi, the pillion rider sitting in the middle took out another hand grenade and hurled towards the police party, and the latter retaliated in self-defence. The youths were hit and died on the spot, it said.

The Honda Activa on which the youths were riding, and an unexploded grenade was recovered from the spot. Another unexploded grenade was also recovered from Kwakeithel Akham Leikai, the statement said.
Local sources however said the youths were fired upon by the police team for failing to stop when signalled to do so. The sources said one of the three youths was hit in the gunfire, while the other two were nabbed alive. The latter were shot dead in police custody, the sources claimed.

The three deceased are identified as Sapam Paka Singh, 25, of Chanangei, Taorem Bobo, 26, of Changangei Uchekon, and H Thangkhenmung, 30, of Sangaiprou. Denouncing the police act, local residents of Changangei blocked the Tiddim road near Imphal airport till late this evening.

There were brief confrontations between the slogan-shouting public and the police who attempted to clear the road for traffic. Local womenfolk also forced the OC of the Nambol police and a constable to apologize after the latter allegedly threatened to beat up an elderly woman.

The local MLA RK Anand also visited the spot. The respective families meanwhile refused to claim the dead bodies which are still at RIMS morgue. A cousin of the deceased S Paka said the latter was a drug user, but not involved with any underground group. A joint action committee has also been formed in connection with the incident, and it has called a Manipur bandh against the incident from 5 am to 6 pm tomorrow. The JAC is also pressing for constituting a judicial enquiry, the dismissal of the police personnel involved, and payment of ex-gratia to the families of the deceased. It was also decided not to claim the bodies of the deceased until an agreement is reached with the government on these demands. The JAC has also convened a meeting for various civil society organisations of the state tomorrow at 1 pm at the Malom Tuliyaima Awangge Ibudhou Pakhangba community hall to discuss the further line of action. The Siamsinpwlpi, Imphal block has meanwhile condemned the killing of the three youths, and demanded that the concerned authorities look into the matter and stop the high-handedness of the police.

Police still clueless as other angles to Senapati killings surface The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Apr 5: Police are still clueless about the motive behind the murder of the two Senapati school boys even as evidence and circumstances indicate the two kids, Hriinii Hubert and Moheni Martin, may have been murdered somewhere else and abandoned at the top of the hill near the Viewland village where the skeletal remains were found, within a short period after the abduction. Police are also investigating the suspect Manekho`s link with the family members of deceased Moheni Martin to establish the reason behind the abduction of the children. Police has unconfirmed reports that Manekho attempted to avail loans from the bank where K Daili Mao, the father of deceased Moheni Martin, worked.

A highly placed police source said that the police investigation into the case has made remarkable progress and collection of most of the materials which could be used as evidence in the case is underway. Police are facing difficulty in establishing the cause of death of the two children as their remains were detected after the bodies were completely decayed, including the stomach parts, a senior police officer who did not want to reveal his name disclosed.

The stomach, which usually helps in detection of the cause of death in many cases, was in a state of decay beyond analytical observation, he said. It was earlier observed that the children could have been pierced with some sharp weapons.

The investigators are yet to send the clothing and other exhibits collected from the spot where the dead bodies were found and the remains of the bodies for forensic test as the same are being dried in a dark room as drying the clothes in the sun may damage some of the evidences required for forensic examinations. If the forensic expert could establish the pierce marks on the clothes, the only evidence for the cause of death would be murder by stabbing.

Police during the spot investigation said no blood stains were found at the ground in the surrounding area or at the spot itself. Even though the children were killed long back, if they were killed at the spot and heavy bleeding occurred, then the blood would have been absorbed in the soil and would remain there for a long time, according to experts.

The exhibits are likely to be sent within two to three days, he disclosed. Apart from this the post mortem report is also likely to be submitted by the doctors shortly. “We are expecting the medical report by Monday,” he went on to say. Going into the history of the days since the abduction of the two children it was suggested that Manekho, one of the prime suspects in the case, was seen moving near the house of K Daili Mao since morning at around 8 am on the day of abduction of the two children (December 14 last year). Simultaneously, when the families of both children and villagers started searching for them, Manekho was found missing.

Later, on the same day he was abducted by some persons said to be cadres of an outfit. Later, it was reported that NSCN(IM) had taken him into their custody. Police registered the case over the disappearance of the two children on the next day after the families lodged a complaint. When the police made enquiries about the circumstances leading to the disappearance of the children, the family of K Daili said they suspected Manekho Mao and Brown Tangkhul. But police could not arrest them for interrogation as Manekho was already in the custody of the NSCN(IM) and Brown was not found at his home. Police raided the house of Brown at Senapati on December 16 last year after three days of the abduction and on the next day registered a case. Later it was reported that he was in the custody of the NSCN(IM).

Reliable reports collected by the police said that Manekho applied for a loan at the bank where K Daili Mao, the father of Moheni Martin, was working as manager. Even though Manekho`s name was included in the list of applicants who could avail loan, he could not get it as he could not produce a guarantor. He reportedly insisted on Daili to disburse the loan anyhow but in vain, another angle to the sordid crime revealed.
On the possible cause of death it was stated that since the two children were not too small to know the faces of the abductors, their release would not have been safe, police suggest. However, as far as investigation into the facts and circumstances leading to the abduction and murder of the two children is concerned, police have not been able to go further as their findings have to be supported by the disclosures made by the alleged culprits, the senior officer finally said.

Extortion spree by Naga ultras in Margherita SC Pathak Assam tribune
TINSUKIA, April 6 – Two districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Tirap and Changlang that are adjacent to the Margherita subdivision of Tinsukia district were hotbeds of NSCN (Khaplang) militants earlier, but presently the other NSCN faction led by Issac-Muivah has also been equally dominating these two district.
It is a well-known fact that both the factions of NSCN are running parallel governments and extorting money from the businessmen, traders and government servants. Both the groups have of late extended their activities to the neighburning areas of Margherita subdivision.

In the foothills of Patkai mountain range, the Tirap area is rich in coal, petroleum, tea and Naga militants are eyeing the resources for long and have increased their subversive activities here. Moreover, the presence of some Naga villages in this area too boosts their plans to extend the areas of their proposed greater Nagalim. The presence of Naga militants and their extortion activities have been becoming the latest headache of the Assam police as this falls under Lekhapani and Margherita police stations of Tinsukia district. The Naga militants extort money from the traders, small industrialists, tea cultivators, contractors, employees of Coal India, Oil India posted in the areas. Furthermore, some illegal coal miners used to get protection by paying good amount of protection money which encouraged the militants to try for more. To make the scene worse, the militants have started terrorising the areas by attacking petrol tankers and killing people. A few days back suspected NSCN(I-M) militants attacked two petrol tankers that were going to collect crude oil from Kharsung with sophisticated weapons on the road at Namphai forest reserve under Lakhapani PS of Assam killing two persons and it was believed that the attack was for denial of payment of demand money. For the same reasons, militants also assaulted and looted valuables from some farmers of the area some weeks ago. It may be mentioned here that the area is also known to be a stronghold of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) which uses the area as gateway to Arunachal Pradesh or Myanmar. But due to the intensive anti-insurgency operations launched by both Army and police in the aftermath of mass killing of labourers from Bihar by the ULFA militants since January last, ULFA militants are presently lying low in this area. The security forces, it seems are not taking any strong action against the Naga militants most probably due to the ongoing ceasefire. But if the state government does not take proper measures, urgently the situation might spiral beyond control.

Arunachal leadership crisis deepens Our Spl Correspondent Assam tribune
NEW DELHI, April 6 – Is the long innings of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Gegong Apang finally over? It may be, if his detractors are to be believed. AICC has asked him to rush to Delhi along with State Congress president to the Capital. When Chief Minister Gegong Apang and PCC chief Omen Deuri arrives in New Delhi this weekend, the Party High Command may show him the door, asking him to step down. The Congress High Command’s action came after days of deliberations to resolve the deepening crisis in the State. Party said that Union Minister of State for Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes and Congress president, Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, held a meeting last night to settle the leadership issue.

“The High Command has summoned Apang and Deuri to Delhi for discussions. Hopefully we will have a new Chief Minister soon,” State Agriculture Minister and a dissident leader Tsering Gyurme told newsmen. Apang lost the trust of his MLAs and lost confidence of CLP when 29 of the 33 Congress legislators in the 60-member Assembly passed a resolution opting for a leadership change. The dissident MLAs have projected State Power Minister Dorjee Khandu as Chief Minister. Adding to Apang’s woes dissidents claimed that they also had the support of two NCP MLAs, a legislator from the Arunachal Congress and 11 independents. To AICC’s discomfitures, the rebels have hinted at switching parties lock, stock and barrel, if their demand was not met.
“We are expecting a decision from the high command within a day or two,” Gyurme said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister and spokesman of the group Tako Dabi said, “We have many grievances against Apang but we do not want to disclose them right now. We have no confidence in Apang’s leadership”.
Apang became Chief Minister for the fifth term after assembly elections in October 2004, after a brief hiatus. Rebels claimed that they were very upset with Apang’s style of functioning. They have alleged that Apang seldom consults them and their status have been relegated to that of ‘yes man’. However, disillusion over portfolio distribution and attempts to promote his son Omak Apang were also some of the reasons behind the open revolt by the MLAs.

The Party High Command itself was not too happy with Apang’s open defiance of the Central Government. He literally brought about a constitutional crisis when he awarded contracts to set up power plants to private bidders like Reliance and JP Group snatching from Government-owned NHPC. It took all of Union Power Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde’s might to somehow retrieve some of the projects from the reluctant Sate Government. However, Apang did not relent and succeeded in awarding some of the power projects to the private players.

Then there is the issue of setting up North East Water Resources Authority, a pet project of Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. The Project has failed to move even an inch despite pressures from the PMO, mainly because of the objection by Apang. While Chief Ministers of all other NES have supported the Prime Minister’s proposal, Apang has refused to relent. A series of meeting convened by the Minister of Water Resources has failed to break the logjam.

Under the circumstances, it is unlikely for the High Command to bail out Apang. Though top AICC leaders are going through the motion of talking to all concerned including the rebels holed up in a five star hotel here, Apang’s fate seems more or less sealed. The only supporter backing Apang is PCC president and former CWC member, Omen Deuri. She was instrumental in having Apang installed as the Chief Minister in place of Mukut Mithi. However, with no love lost between Congress High Command and Apang, she may find the going tough this time around.
Naga Nation – nationtourists pay a call on one of the most isolated people in world By AFP 7 April, 2007 Malay Mail
High in the mountains of northwestern Myanmar, tribes of former headhunters dress themselves in tiger fangs and bear claws to celebrate their new year after the mid-January harvest. The members of the Naga tribes living in Myanmar are among the most isolated people in the world.

But for a handful of intrepid travellers, their villages have become an alluring if unlikely tourist attraction. The 100,000 Nagas in Myanmar have little contact with the outside world, even with the 1.2 million Nagas living across the border in India. Myanmar’s government only opened up to the outside world two decades ago, and until a few years ago, this region was completely off-limits to foreigners because of rebel movements and lack of transportation.

But over the last 10 years, the Nagas have begun using their New Year ceremony to receive small groups of well-heeled tourists who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars a night to sleep in a dirt-floored hut for the chance to have an authentic tribal experience. This year, some 45 tourists, mostly from Western countries, made the trek to the village of Lahe where hundreds of Nagas donned their traditional finery for a two-day ceremony ringing in their new year.

Known historically for their tattoos and their tradition of headhunting, the Naga warriors at the ceremony don’t exactly look like welcoming hosts. For the Nagas, this is the only time of year when their 49 clans, which sometimes speak completely different languages, gather to celebrate together. Some younger Nagas have studied in India and use English to communicate between clans. The warriors drape themselves in the fangs, claws and skins of their trophies, with headdresses made of fur and adorned with the long feathers of hornbills, while women and children in handmade red cloth parade nearby.

They raise a pole at the centre of a field near a ceremonial hall built to hold a feast. At night, they light a bonfire to give thanks for the just-ended harvest. The spectacle is like witnessing a National Geographic special which tourism officials say is why travellers are willing to spend thousands of dollars to join the event.

“We are definitely seeing travellers looking not just for new experiences, but for the real thing,” said John Koldowski, a spokesman for the Pacific-Asia Travel Association in Bangkok. “These people are really searching for something that hasn’t been spoiled,” he said, not just in Nagaland but in small communities around Asia.
Truly remote locales like the Naga villages in Myanmar attract only a trickle of tourists, said Win Tin, managing director of the Journey Nature and Culture Exploration travel agency in Yangon.

His agency provides a trip from Yangon for about US$1,300 to join the festival, including the journey by plane, boat and jeep to the ceremonial site. The price tag is expensive because transportation and communication is so difficult, Win Tin said. Some of the money goes directly to the Nagas, which has helped them make small improvements in their living standards, he adds.
“If we look overall, the Naga new year festival is not only good for their tribe, but also good as a source of business,” he says.

“Their lifestyle has changed a little as more visitors go there. In the past, they didn’t wear clothes and they had little sanitation. Now, they have more awareness of their health. But I don’t want this festival to become part of mass tourism because I don’t want it to have any negative impact on their tribe, nature and culture,” he adds. PATA’s Koldowski says high costs are one way that countries can protect the culture of isolated communities like the Nagas, noting that the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan imposes steep visa fees for the same reason.

“You can see theatre, dance and cultures and so forth in the capital of any country, but this is one subgroup that is real,” Koldowski says. This kind of journey is not for the fainthearted. Getting to Lahe requires a flight to the town of Hkamti – the Naga’s biggest settlement – then a three-hour trip upriver on a fishing boat, followed by a six-hour drive in a military four-by-four vehicle.
Although Myanmar has signed ceasefire deals with many of the rebels over the last decade, insurgents still roam these mountains, including Naga fighters battling for their own state in neighbouring India. Myanmar only allows tourists to visit two Naga villages because of safety concerns, and soldiers escort the travellers along the entire route, Win Tin says.
15 Thai cos keen to invest in NE By A Staff Reporter Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, April 6 – To explore the North East market, several leading Thai companies have come forward to invest in the region. Disclosing this at a press conference here today, MK Saharia, chairman, Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), North East Initiative, informed that ICC has so far received queries from 15 Thai companies covering different sectors. “They are keen on investing in infrastructure, IT and tourism sectors”, he said.

To woo more investments in the region, the trade body is organizing a mega ‘Business Summit’ in New Delhi from April 10 with a two-day programme. The summit will have a series of discussions covering aviation, tourism and food processing sectors in which top business firms will take part. Giving more details in this regard, Saharia, said that the summit would lay emphasis on the tourism sector in the region. “ Despite vast tourism potential, we have not been able reap the benefit and, therefore, we have decided to keep a special session so that the companies can come to the region”, he added.
Replying to a question about the Restricted Area Permit (RAP), he said that everything would be discussed in details. “The RAP has affected the growth of tourism and we will demand for removal of RAP”, he said, adding that the power sector is also one of our thrust areas.

Commenting on the border trade with South East Asian countries, Saharia observed that the summit would highlight the problems faced by the traders during export and import. “The Indo-Myanmar trade pact which was signed in 1994 needs immediate review in order to increase the volume of trade between North East and Myanmar. Moreover, the traders of the region have been demanding inclusion of more items in the list of trade to explore Myanmar, we will draw attention of the concerned minister during the summit”, he added.

3 killed under contrasting claims, bandh called today Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Apr 6 : Under contradictory claims, three youths in their late twenties were shot dead by Imphal West District Police Commandos at Kwakeithel Heinou Khongnembi Puthabi at around 9.45 am today. While the police claimed that the three youths were killed in self defence as they hurled hand grenades at the pursuing commandos, the local people debunked the police claim by asserting that the youths were unarmed and were killed in cold-blood. In protest against the killing, the JAC formed in connection with the incident has also called a Manipur bandh from 5 am to 6 pm tomorrow. The victims have been identified as Sapam Paka alias Brojen (27) s/o S Gosai of Malom Tuliyaima Awang Leikai, Waheng-bam Bobo (28) s/o Rajen of Changangei Ucheckon and Thangkhenmung alias Thamung (27) s/o Vungkham Hangzo of Paite Veng.
According to a statement issued by the SP of Imphal West District Clay Khongsai, a team of Imphal West District Police Commandos was on frisking and checking duty at Kwakeithel Bazar near the house of (L) Kullabidhu Singh when they saw three persons coming on a Honda Activa from Haobam Marak side towards Kwakeithel Bazar in a suspicious manner. The police party signalled them to stop but the riders turned and sped towards Kwakeithel Akham Leikai. Immediately, the police party chased them but one of the pillion riders threw a hand grenade towards the police party. Luckily the grenade did not explode and fell into the roadside nullah.
The police party further chased them by opening blank fire in the air and warned them to stop, said the SP added that instead of stopping the youths continued to race and when they reached Kwakeithel Heinoukhongnembi Puthabi, the pillion rider sitting in the middle took out another hand-grenade and hurled it towards the police party. The police also retaliated in self defence and they were hit and expired at the spot.
During spot inspection, one Honda Activa black in colour bearing registration number MN-1Q/3132 and one unexploded hand-grenade were recovered from the spot. Another unexploded hand-grenade was also recovered from the nullah at Kwakeithel Akham Leikai, the SP informed.
However, debunking the claim of the police, the local people claimed that all the three youths were shot dead by the police commandos in cold blood.
Giving the accounts of eye witnesses, Leimarol Leishem Yaipha Thouram Kannalup, Kwakeithel Heinoukhongnembi Nongshaba Lambi (Puthabi) Meira Paibi accused the police commandos with killing the three youths in cold-blood. In a statement, the women’s body said that the police commandos who were in a vehicle came chasing after the three youths riding a Kinetic Honda and shot at the last pillion rider killing him on the spot. After the Kinetic Honda broke down, the police commandos picked up the two youths and subjected them to thorough body search and were made to remove their shirts. It was only after they were made to put on their shirts again, that the police commandos made them to lie down on the black-topped road and shot them dead.
On seeing the two youths struggling for lives, the Meira Paibis ran towards them to do whatever they could to save their lives, but the police commandos resorted to blank firing to dissuade any person from coming nearby, the women body charged, while condemning ‘such brutal nature.’
According to information culled from the site of the incident, after the three youths did not stop their Kinetic Honda and sped off towards Kwakeithel Akham Leikai where the office of the AMUCO is located, the police commandos chased them and started opening blank from in front of the gate of MLA of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa A/C RK Anand.
But as the youths did not stop, the commandos directly fired at the person who was pillion riding at the back. After the pillion rider was hit, the Kinetic Honda skidded at Heinoukhongnembi Puthabi area. The injured pillion rider succumbed to the injuries there.
The hand-grenade which the police claimed to have been hurled at them but missed and fell into the road side nullah was recovered from the nullah running in front of the house of one Kshetrimayum Manjuri Devi of Kwakeithel Akham Leikai. The hand-grenade was found wrapped in a handkerchief red in colour. Normally, bomb experts were called in to remove the hand-grenade or any other explosive materials, but today the police commandos did not felt such need and were seen picking up the hand-grenade with their bare hands.
Among the slain youths, Paka was working as a salesman in a garment shop at Paona Bazar. He was pillion riding at the extreme back. The bullet that hit him from back side of this head is found to have been exited through his mouth. Boba was pillion riding in the middle. There were bullet marks on his head, chest and near the thigh joint. Slain Thangkhenmung is said to be married man and father of one child. His father is a Paite while his mother and wife are both Meetei. The Honda Activa belonged to him. There was on fatal bullet mark on his forehead. All the three bodies have been picked up and kept at the mortuary of RIMS. The family members of the three slain persons have refused to take back the bodies. It is said all of them might be drug abusers but do not have any connection with any underground organisations. Soon after the incident, a large number of women- folk came out to protest the killing and blocked the Tiddim Road at Malom Tuliyaima. But the police personnel arrived and dispersed them. After the police team left, the agitating womenfolk came out and resumed the road blockade in the afternoon.
A JAC has also formed in connection with the incident and a memorandum highlighting the demands of the JAC submitted to the Chief Minister. The memorandum was handed over through Minister Th Debendra. The demands of the JAC include instituting a judicial inquiry, termination the service of all the guilty police commandos and payment of ex-gratia to the bereaved families. Along with announcing its decision of launching various agitations in pursuance of these demands, the JAC has also called a State-wide bandh from 5 am to 6 pm tomorrow. Meanwhile, Siamsinpawlpi Imphal Block (Paite Students’ Welfare Organisation) has also come out strongly against the alleged high handedness of the police commandos in killing of the innocent three youths. The student body has also appealed to authority concerned to look into the matter for taking up necessary action.

Bodo bodies’ appeal to restore peace process Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
UDALGURI, April 6 – “Peace should be restored in Bodoland Territorial Council area and anyone involved in the Medaghat incident on March 26 last should be punished. The Government of India should come forward to solve the pending NDFB imbroglio at the earliest and Hagrama Mohilary, chief of BTC administration and the leaderships of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) must sit together to minimise differences between BPPF (H) and the outfit in the greater public interest.” This was the summary of the crucial but constructive joint parley of the Bodo organisations of the region held at Udalguri circuit house on April 1 last.

Held under the auspices of Udalguri district Bodo Sahitya Sabha, the joint parley was chaired by its president Rabiram Ramchiary. Other Bodo organistions like BPPF (H) faction, BPPF (R) faction, All Bodo Peace Forum, All Bodo Cultural Forum, All Bodo Women’s Justice Forum, National Democratic Front of Boroland, All Bodo Farmers’ Association, Udalguri district Bodo students’ Union and All Bodo Women Welfare Forum participated in the parley and appealed to all concerned to restore peace in the region. The joint parley also condemned the Medaghat incident of March 26 last where the NDFB liaison office was ransacked and an NDFB cadre was killed on the spot. The parley was attended by Kamala Kanta Mochahary, secretary of Udalguri unit of BSS, Bhramon Baglari of ABPF, Doleswar Boro, former president of BSS, Kartick Ch Boro, president of Udalguri district committee of BPPF (H). M Gerema, agriculture secretary of NDFB, Sailendra Brahma, principal of Udalguri College, Salindra Mochahary, MCLA of Rowta constituency, Maheswar Boro, MLA of Kalaigaon LAC, Jihusua Daimari, secretary of BPPF (R) Udalguri district unit Bimali Daimari of all Bodo Justice Forum, Nirupoma Basumatary, secretary of All Bodo Women Welfare Forum among many others. The joint parley appealed to both NDFB and BPPF (H) to restrain themselves.

Frans on 04.07.07 @ 05:17 PM CST [link]

Friday, April 6th

Anger transforms into sorrow as little ones laid to rest; NSCN(IM) says more involved The Imphal Free Press

Anger transforms into sorrow as little ones laid to rest; NSCN(IM) says more involved The Imphal Free Press

SENAPATI/IMPHAL, Apr 4: Thousands of slogan-displaying protesters rallied in Senapati, Ukhrul and Bishnupur districts on Wednesday to urge the concerned authorities to bring justice in the murder of two school kids at Senapati and other crimes against children, even as the funeral service of the two children was performed with a mass peace procession in Senapati district headquarters today.
Meanwhile, the NSCN (IM) has reportedly extended its self imposed deadline on the completion of investigation. The outfit also claimed that some more alleged culprits in the custody of the NSCN(IM) reportedly confessed involvement in the crime against the two school kids Moheni Martin and Hriinii Hubert, according to members of the core committee.

Authorities of the core committee on the abduction of the two school kids said that they received a message from the NSCN(IM) authorities that out of the eight alleged culprits involved in the abduction and murder of the two kids five have so far confessed their involvement in the crime.

However, the outfit did not mention the particulars of the alleged culprits stating that declaration of the names of the alleged culprits may lead to communal riots in the state. They also informed the members of the core committee on the extension of their investigation period which expired today stating that the investigation has become more complicated. The representatives of the civil organizations along with the core committee were also informed of the need for holding a meeting with the NSCN(IM) leadership and they are likely to proceed after Good Friday, the core committee informed. More than 5,000 women as well as students converged from different places of Manipur to march down the streets of Senapati district before the funeral ceremony was performed today. Displaying placards “Criminals have no place to live in this decent world,” “Punish the guilty,” “We will fight till justice is done,” etc. the protesters mourned with the families of the two children.
The burial service of the two school children, Moheni Martin and Hriinii Hubert was held with tearful rites. The last rites were organized by the core committee on two missing kids attended by thousands of tearful Senapati residents. Those public faces who came to share the sorrow and pains of the two bereaved families were DD Thaisii, MLA, M Thohrii, MLA, Dr.Loken, MLA, M Oken, MLA, K Ranjit, MLA, Dr.Prem Singh, DC Senapati, DGP Y Joykumar, Nishit, SP Senapati, and representatives of various organizations, teachers, students, friends and well wishers. The last rites were performed by Rev. Dominic Lumon, DD, Archbishop, Imphal flanked by priests and nuns. Many others church pastors, catechists, church leaders were present at the ceremony. The father of Hriinii, A Aro, representing the two families told the gathering that the children were full of promise, brought love to the family and were once a constant hope and joy of the family.
“But their lives are brutally cut short and hope shattered,” he said.

He went on to say that though the children are missing since December 14 last year, they always hoped they would return to them one day alive. A representative of the Naga People`s Organization apologized to the family and the public for its inability to bring the kids alive although “we tried our best”. DC Senapati, Prem Singh, IAS expressed his wish that the incident be the first and the last in the district.

MLAs who attended the funeral ceremony representing the state government informed the gathering that state government has been doing its best to book the culprits, reiterating that the chief minister was communicating with the Centre to insist on the NSCN(IM) to hand over the culprits to the Manipur government. They also appealed to the public that such inhuman acts can be put to an end only when the public united irrespective of community lines and fought together.

The last rites were performed at around 10 am after the dead bodies were taken to their families for their last visit. The bodies were then taken to the public gathering at Mini Stadium where thousands of weeping men, women and children were waiting.
There was a sea of mourners rushing towards the bodies to have a final glance of the two skeletal remains, but they were kept away from the coffins that were kept covered. Guns were fired into the open blue sky of Senapati in the Naga customary way of seeing off the dead. The funeral started with a song “What a friend we have in Jesus” in unison followed by invocation prayers led by Rev. Vumthang Sitlhou, general secretary, MBC. The various events that led to the finding of the two kids were read out to the public along with condolence messages which had poured in from representative of various social organizations and individuals at the service. Rev. Dominic Lumon, Archbishop of Imphal in his funeral sermon consoled the two parents and relatives that the departed souls would be safely in the hands of Jesus in Heaven.

Veino Solomon, chairman of the core committee thanked various social organizations for their solidarity and support in their search for the two missing kids. He lauded the women power and their die-hard support and initiatives taken up by the women`s organizations of various tribes.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students of several schools located in Moirang area of Bishnupur district carried out a rally protesting against crime against children. They carried placards with slogans like “Respect children`s rights”, “Save us”, “Stop children trafficking”, and “Stop child killing and child rape”, “Respect human rights” etc. The rally began from the campus of the Moirang Multi-purpose Higher Secondary School and after covering the streets of Moirang turned back from INA complex and concluded at the starting point.
Before the rally started a meeting was held with Moirang MLA Manindra as chief guest.
Suspects have confessed, IM conveys to Core Committee Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Apr 5 : Three individuals suspected to be involved in the gruesome murder of 10 year old kids– Muheni Martin and Hrinii Hubert of Senapati have confessed to their involvement in the crime, conveyed NSCN (IM) to the Core Committee. The three suspects in the custody of the IM group are Manikho, Brown Tangkhul and Adai.
Talking to The Sangai Express today, chairman of the Core Committee, Solomon Veino informed that the three suspects now in the custody of NSCN (IM) while confessing to their crime have also disclosed that many persons were involved in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of the two kids. The same information was conveyed to the Core Committee by NSCN (IM) through telephone today. The outfit has also learnt of the particular persons involved in kidnapping the kids and disposing their bodies later, said Solomon.
However, the UG outfit has asked the Core Committee to extend the time for investigation by another 7 days. To a question whether Core Committee representatives were allowed to meet the suspects at Hebron during their visit there, Solomon replied in the affirmative.
Members of the Core Committee are also expected to go to Hebron either on April 10 or 11 to meet the leaderships of the NSCN (IM). Meanwhile the Union Home Ministry has asked the State Government to file regular FIRs against all the suspects named.
A reliable source informed The Sangai Express that the Home Ministry has also asked the State Government to take up necessary process so that warrant of arrest may be issued against the suspects named in the case. Following the intimation from the Centre, Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh has instructed the State DGP to do the needful.
Decayed bodies found at different spots The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Apr 5: Two badly decomposed bodies, one a woman and the other also suspected to be a woman from the clothing found on it, were recovered by the police from different areas of the state late today. One was found from a bush at Awang Leikinthabi under Sekmai police station while the other which could not be immediately confirmed to be a woman was found lying at a gorge along the NH-39 some one kilometer away from Karong towards Mao.

The dead body at Awang Leikinthabi has been retrieved and deposited at RIMS morgue for identification. The deceased seems to be a Nepali aged around 35 years. The other body which Senapati police got information was lying in the gorge is yet to be retrieved as police could not proceed to the spot as it was already dusk.
However, reports said the badly decomposed body could not be immediately identified but women`s clothing covered the body. The body will be retrieved tomorrow, police said.
Arrest’ of killers hits Naga talks OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
New Delhi, April 5: The “arrest” of the alleged killers of two schoolboys, Muheni Martin and Hriini Hubert, in Manipur by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) now threatens to be a thorn in the ongoing Naga peace talks. Martin and Hubert were killed in cold blood allegedly by Manikho Mao, Brown Tangkhul and one Adai, all of whom are in the NSCN (I-M)’s custody. The Centre has warned the outfit to leave law and justice to government agencies and immediately hand over the culprits to the police.
“Talks and ceasefire fall within the ambit of law and that we are not on the offensive does not mean that they can do what they want,” said a home ministry source.
Both Nagaland and Manipur directors-general of police have been asked to coordinate and secure the release of the accused. Problems over involving the ceasefire monitoring group chairman Lt Gen. (retd) R.V. Kulkarni arise because the ceasefire is only in Nagaland, home ministry sources added.
Reacting to the Centre’s “repeated references to law of the land”, the outfit said this very issue was the bone of contention for the Nagas. The accused would be “punished if found guilty”, said NSCN (I-M) leader Phunthing Shimrang. He refused to reveal details of the trio’s whereabouts.
An expected fallout of the development is the Centre’s unwillingness to change the ceasefire ground rules. Another result could be a more confrontationist attitude of both the sides in the next round of talks, dates for which have not been announced yet. Martin and Hubert were kidnapped on December 14 last year and killed despite their families reportedly paying ransom. Their bodies were recovered on March 27.
NSCN-IM moots fiscal reforms OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Kohima, April 5: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has chalked out plans to implement a “fiscal reforms policy” during its “budget session” for the fiscal year 2007-08. The session is being held at the outfit’s council headquarters at Camp Hebron near Dimapur.
Delivering his address, outfit chairman Isak Chishi Swu today called for devising the broad outlines of the fiscal structure. He pointed out that for a long time, the NSCN (I-M) has sacrificed a long-term plan for a short one and wanted this trend to be avoided.
“We must find a way to restructure our fiscal policy with vision while meeting the demands of the day,” Swu declared. He expressed displeasure over widespread financial irregularities, blaming these on mismanagement by those functionaries assigned in towns and other areas, particularly the collectors.
The outfit continuously receives complaints that its funds are embezzled. He asked members of the outfit to strictly curb such malpractices, which he said was a source of great trouble for the Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim (GPRN).
“As the people’s government, we depend on the contribution of our people. It is our duty to effectively ensure transparency in our financial transactions,” the NSCN (I-M) chairman said.
Swu also commented on the peace talks with the Centre, saying these were moving in the “right direction”. He exuded optimism t hat the Centre would be “equally serious” about solving the Naga political problem.
“The political talks with the Government of India, I must mention, are moving in the right direction. The latest round held in New Delhi ended on a positive note. We believe the government is equally serious about settling the Indo-Naga issue,” he said.
The ongoing budget session of the GPRN/NSCN will also discuss the ongoing Naga political talks with Delhi. He added that the emotional bonds between the NSCN (I-M) and the people must not be diminished by selfish and individualistic pursuits.
“NSCN is for Christ and so personal aggrandizement at the expense of the national interest shall not be tolerated,” he added. The outfit’s chairman also lamented that “the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to the Nagas is our obsessive dependence on India for our sustenance”.
“What alarms me most is our ignorance and inability to explore the possibility of surviving on our own economically. Clearly, we need to identify the prime areas where we could thrive on our own. It is high time that we break out of this non-performing zone and educate our people on the importance of self-sustenance,” he observed.
“Local entrepreneurs, particularly in agro-based products and other indigenous arts and crafts, must be supported and encouraged through a nominal taxation policy,” Swu said.
Boost in Indo-China relations reflected in RKM language populace Joydeep Thakur The Statesman
KOLKATA, April 5: With the sudden boost in Indo-China relations over the past few years, the School of Languages at Ram Krishna Mission Institute of Culture in Golpark has witnessed a 100 per cent increase in students, including government officials from Nagaland and Indian Airforce officers, willing to learn Chinese. Vice principal of the school, Dr Dibyajyoti Mukherjee said even in the year 2004 the number of students studying Chinese in Sol was just 47. But there was a sudden spurt in this number and now it is 125 which is more than 100 per cent increase in just three years. “Even a few years back 14-15 students in a class were considered as a good turnout by the school authorities. But now we have to consider more than 100 students and turn down the late comers”.
Apart from the 125 general students who are studying the language there is also a batch of nine students from Nagaland. They are officials of Nagaland government and are presently undergoing a crash course of the language specially designed for them. A team of officers from the Indian Air Force may also soon come to the institute to learn the language and preliminary discussions have already been held in this regard. Sometimes Chinese citizens in Kolkata have also joined the institute to learn Mandarin which is the official language in China. Chinese citizens in Kolkata generally speak in Cantonese.
Dr Mukherjee said there is a lot of demand for candidates with a knowledge of Chinese specially as interpreters and translators in the tourism sector and in the business houses. Several posts in the government sector, including the foreigner’s registration office, are also lying vacant as there were no candidates with a proper knowledge of the language. There is still a huge gap in the demand and supply and it is not before another two to three years that this supply could be fulfilled. He however added that as Chinese is one of the hardest language and it is a pictorial language the drop out rate is also very high. Nearly 50 per cent students who join the institute with a dream of getting job leave the course midway when they find it too hard to continue. Teachers are also very hard to get in this language as very few candidates were interested in this language even a few years back. “There are only two teachers in the institute at present and both are retired central government officials who had learnt the language as a part of their duty during the Chinese aggression in the 1960’s”.
Changpang questions oil deal The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, APRIL 5 (MExN): Oil and Natural Gas Company has been censored from any petroleum-related activity by the Changpang Village Council. Making public the Changpang Declaration dated March 24 last, Chairman of the village council, Longsihthung Kithan, stated for and on behalf of all the Lothas residing within the jurisdiction of the Village Council area of Changpang: “Under any circumstances we will not permit ONGC or its other companies to carry out any kind of work in our land”.
Having learnt of the Nagaland Government granting the mining lease to ONGC from the company’s website and a newspaper report, Kithan declared, “This is against our will and determination in accordance to our firm and unchallengeable decision 13 years ago when ONGC was forced to leave Changpang.” The then State Government withdrew the temporary consent for trial production to ONGC. Instead, the village council wants the All Lotha Resource Management Cooperative Changpang (ALRMCC), comprising of all the landowners “who were hitherto lying scattered and misused by various agencies for their benefit.” The cooperative became functional in 2006.
“The main reason for our backwardness was the lack of knowledge of the viability and economic feasibility of our natural resources,” Kithan noted. “For the last 13 years we have been working out effective means to produce our own valuable natural resources effectively and in such ways that will benefit the socio-economic up-liftment of the people of Changpang and the Nagas as a whole.”
The objective of the cooperative is to find out an effective corporate body that will assist the commercial production of petroleum by improved technology, hi-tech human resource and capital investments for future purposes along with a planned economic strategy as well as restoration of the eco-system, according to the village council.
Referring to the RIO conference which makes “Social License” a legal binding on the government and the implementing agencies, Kithan stated, “As the chairman of the village council, it is my responsibility to create a sustainable development in the village using natural resources. Petroleum is a depleting resource. Moreover, we live in a fear that ONGC will create gas flares, unnatural destructions as they have done in Borholla, create scenes of insecurity in the minds of the people and finally plan out strategies, means to relocate the villagers in new areas, and carry out operations without our knowledge and involvement. Our fears are not baseless and cannot be denied.”
…and that the NSACS-NGOs relationship be strengthened – there is much too big a “communication gap,” like Health & Family Welfare Secretary Imkonglemba pointed out in his address at the meeting.
Imkonglemba, also the chairman of NSACS executive body, said that many of the AIDS-based implementing NGOs are yet to submit even their annual reports (implementation and fund). Implying this to be a major cause of the “communication gap,” he said improvements in the implementation should be made. “It should be a partnership. An action plan with NGOs should be improved. Your performance will be determined by your reports” he said with the observation that it would be improper if at all the NSACS decides to ‘terminate’ grants “if you do not fulfill your commitments.” He reminded that ‘every NGO’ is answerable and accountable to projects implemented. He also made a serious observation for the 40-50 NGO representatives attending the meeting to wonder on: “In Nagaland we talk so much about resources. The Kingdom of God is within you!”
Making a brief reference to the media reports highlighting fund-misuse in the NSACS, the Secretary said that this “shows the concern of our many stakeholders” and added “if we understand reality, people do not understand.” In regard to the issue of the NSACS Projector Director, he simply said “this is the prerogative of the government” and no more.
On a more coherent level, various NGO representatives highlighted their grievances in the question-hour. Many of them sought ‘moral’ support from the NSACS (to which the Secretary promptly assured them “moral support is already given”). President of PPF, Abemo Lotha while highlighting the plight of PLWHs in accessing ART doctors, sought the inclusion of more PLWH networking and organizations in policy-making of the NSACS. He implied that Positive People are being sidelined from the central implementation and policy-making process. More Positive People should be accommodated in the process and rather than only those who are from Kohima, PLWHs from all the districts should be included, he said. He also requested for an ART doctor for Dimapur care center to which he was assured that the process for the same is already on.
On the sidelines of the meeting, an NGO chief, on condition of anonymity disclosed there is little accountability in the whole campaign both from the NGOs and the NSACS side as well. “After the ‘Missing 2 crore case’ (where one person was charged of fraud) people are suspicious now. Otherwise everything was running smoothly” the NGO functionary said. Several others, who attended the meeting, also refusing to be named, opined that departmental policy-makers and the NSACS should show more transparency. “Is there any level of transparency? Here is none at all!” one executive asserted. Several others agreed that the NGOs should not be blamed if any allegations of corruption or misuse of funds arise. “People always blame the NGOs but we are only implementing organizations. To be honest, we are not sure if even ¼ (one-fourth) of the funds from NSACS trickle down to the NGOs,” one said during lunch break.
But on the implementation side? Bethesda Director WC Humtsoe, on the other hand when queried on the whole gamut, expressed some satisfaction. “All the actual works are done by the NGOs. And it has achieved a lot due to the intervention of the service-providers” he said. Project Manager of Kikhre Foundation, Bazo on her part expressed concern at the reservation of certain sections in regard to the projects. She said NGOs are only service-providers and that if the programmes are to be successful the system should be in place and finally, the services should be availed. The presence of doctors in hospitals cannot be expected if there are no patients approaching or stepping forward to avail the doctors’ services, the two opined.
Meanwhile as the NGOs and the parent agency ponder over the issue of internal transparency, possible corruption and institutional accountability towards the affected and infected HIV/AIDS and likened communities, classified information revealed that the NSACS has proposed an estimate of Rs. 24 crore for the Phase-III programme. The details have been submitted. However, it has yet to receive any word of approval from the NACO for now.
The Government replies

DIMAPUR, APRIL 5 (MExN): Replying to the Changpang Village Council’s declaration of forbidding ONGC or its other companies “to carry out any kind of work in our land”, Additional Chief Secretary (Geology and Mining), Lalthara, today said none would be able to extract oil without the help or approval of the State. Confirming the grant of license to ONGC, he told The Morung Express that the Chairman of the Changpang Village Council was flouting rules. However, he also added that “the door is always open for discussion.”
Tribal confederation formed Delimitation rally on April 7, bandh in 4 dists on April 10 The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 5 (MExN): The delimitation exercise has created a lot of confusion and hola-bola: the news papers are filled with news about villages and constituencies, parties and groups expressing for or against delimitation of assembly constituency/readjustment. However, the most remarkable feature of this imbroglio would indeed be the formation of the Joint Action Committee on Delimitation Implementation and the latest CoPSLRZSU-ODI (Confederation of Phom, Sangtam, Lotha, Zeliangrong and Rengma Students’ Union on Delimitation Implementation).
A press release received here from the secretary of the newly formed CoPSLRZSU-ODI, T Longlang Huckpan, stated that the confederation was formed today after a consultative meeting of the Phom, Sangtam, Lotha, Zeliangrong and Rengma Students’ Union at Hotel Japfu in Kohima. The release stated that the meeting was called to deliberate on the issues pertaining to the ongoing imbroglio on Delimitation Act, 2002.
Giving a brief highlight of the meeting, the release stated that besides the formation of the CoPSLRZSU-ODI, the release stated that the members of the meeting agreed to fully support and participate in the April 7 rally which is called by the Joint Action Committee on delimitation implementation. The release also informed that the members resolved to call for 12-hour bandh in four districts of Wokha, Peren, Kiphire, Longleng, icluding Tseminyu area on April 10.

The bandh has been called in order to protest against the ‘so-called decision of the state government to maintain status quo of the existing constituencies in the state and also in order to further the demand for total implementation of the Delimitation Act.
The release added that the meeting decided to fully support the total implementation of the Delimitation Act 2002 (amended in 2003) in letter and spirit.
The release stated that the members of the meeting agreed to congratulate the Joint Action Committee on Delimitation for their successful trip to Delhi to meet the Delimitation Commission of India and also appreciated and honoured all those legislators of the ‘gaining tribes’ who have come out openly to support the total implementation of the Delimitation Act and further ‘called upon everyone to support the movement’.
The CoPSLRZSU-ODI is headed by the Secretary General of NESO, NSN Lotha as the Chairman while the Vice Chairman is the president of AZSU, Mirhu. The Secretary is T Longlang Huckpan while the Joint Secretary will be a representative from the USSC. The Executive members consists of the presidents of the Phom, Sangtam, Lotha, Rengma Students’ Unions and also the president and general secretary of the AZSU, added the release.
AFSPA reaches ICJ Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Apr 5: The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurist (ICJ) has took notice of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s request to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act, said a release of Human Rights Alert issued by its programme executive. In its e-bulletin on ‘counter-terrorism and Human Rights circulated in March this year, the ICJ apprised the Central Government to repeal the Act, the rights body said.
The Human Rights Alert conveyed that in ICJ’s concluding observation on India’s report on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimi- nation urged the Govt of India to repeal AFSPA of 1958 and to replace it by a ‘more humane act’.
The UN panel further observed that under the act, members of the armed forces are granted broad powers, including the authority to kill, to search and arrest suspects without a warrant, said the rights body while reminding that these concerns were also raised in February at a hearing held by the ICJ Eminent Jurist Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights.
Apart from the Indian context of the issue, modalities of containing acts of terrorism and other related issues in numerous Asian countries were also deliberated upon during a hearing conducted by the ICJ in New Delhi on February last, it said. Rights activists from Manipur also presented their case during the ICJ deliberation, added the HRA release.

Police still clueless as other angles to Senapati killings surface The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Apr 5: Police are still clueless about the motive behind the murder of the two Senapati school boys even as evidence and circumstances indicate the two kids, Hriinii Hubert and Moheni Martin, may have been murdered somewhere else and abandoned at the top of the hill near the Viewland village where the skeletal remains were found, within a short period after the abduction. Police are also investigating the suspect Manekho`s link with the family members of deceased Moheni Martin to establish the reason behind the abduction of the children. Police has unconfirmed reports that Manekho attempted to avail loans from the bank where K Daili Mao, the father of deceased Moheni Martin, worked.

A highly placed police source said that the police investigation into the case has made remarkable progress and collection of most of the materials which could be used as evidence in the case is underway. Police are facing difficulty in establishing the cause of death of the two children as their remains were detected after the bodies were completely decayed, including the stomach parts, a senior police officer who did not want to reveal his name disclosed. The stomach, which usually helps in detection of the cause of death in many cases, was in a state of decay beyond analytical observation, he said.
It was earlier observed that the children could have been pierced with some sharp weapons.

The investigators are yet to send the clothing and other exhibits collected from the spot where the dead bodies were found and the remains of the bodies for forensic test as the same are being dried in a dark room as drying the clothes in the sun may damage some of the evidences required for forensic examinations. If the forensic expert could establish the pierce marks on the clothes, the only evidence for the cause of death would be murder by stabbing.

Police during the spot investigation said no blood stains were found at the ground in the surrounding area or at the spot itself. Even though the children were killed long back, if they were killed at the spot and heavy bleeding occurred, then the blood would have been absorbed in the soil and would remain there for a long time, according to experts. The exhibits are likely to be sent within two to three days, he disclosed. Apart from this the post mortem report is also likely to be submitted by the doctors shortly. “We are expecting the medical report by Monday,” he went on to say. Going into the history of the days since the abduction of the two children it was suggested that Manekho, one of the prime suspects in the case, was seen moving near the house of K Daili Mao since morning at around 8 am on the day of abduction of the two children (December 14 last year).
Simultaneously, when the families of both children and villagers started searching for them, Manekho was found missing. Later, on the same day he was abducted by some persons said to be cadres of an outfit. Later, it was reported that NSCN(IM) had taken him into their custody.

Police registered the case over the disappearance of the two children on the next day after the families lodged a complaint.
When the police made enquiries about the circumstances leading to the disappearance of the children, the family of K Daili said they suspected Manekho Mao and Brown Tangkhul.

But police could not arrest them for interrogation as Manekho was already in the custody of the NSCN(IM) and Brown was not found at his home. Police raided the house of Brown at Senapati on December 16 last year after three days of the abduction and on the next day registered a case. Later it was reported that he was in the custody of the NSCN(IM). Reliable reports collected by the police said that Manekho applied for a loan at the bank where K Daili Mao, the father of Moheni Martin, was working as manager. Even though Manekho`s name was included in the list of applicants who could avail loan, he could not get it as he could not produce a guarantor.

He reportedly insisted on Daili to disburse the loan anyhow but in vain, another angle to the sordid crime revealed. On the possible cause of death it was stated that since the two children were not too small to know the faces of the abductors, their release would not have been safe, police suggest. However, as far as investigation into the facts and circumstances leading to the abduction and murder of the two children is concerned, police have not been able to go further as their findings have to be supported by the disclosures made by the alleged culprits, the senior officer finally said.

Inconsistences lead to incongruous demands – II By RS Jassal Political Cleavage – UG outfits Aericle Sangai Express
Hills: Except for the NSCN (IM) who can change the events in four hill districts especially Ukhrul, others can disorient foliage in their respective areas of influence i.e., NSCN (K) in Tamenglong, Senapati & Chandel segments. HPC in Hmar areas of CCpur Manipur, NC district of Assam, ZRA in CCpur Manipur, Kuki’s, Chandel, Moreh, Tengnoupal & Sadar hill areas.
Valley: It looks like that candidate related affects may occur. PLA in Bishenpur, Moirang, Kakching, KYKL, KCP & PREPAK in both the main districts of Imphal East & West. In addition to PULF in Thoubal and one to two odd constituencies in Imphal East. Since main political parties have to field their candidates all over the state in hills & valley so anyone particular UG group influencing all the constituencies will be unnecessarily a loud and shallow talk since ethnic confrontation, approach on territorial integrity / disintegration of Manipur is too glaring to be overlooked.
Politics of support
NSCN (1M) experience in Nagaland & hill districts of Manipur has given them almost sweeping hold on the candidates supported under the cover of political bargaining with GOI & Govt. of Nagaland. They got access to MLA/MP development funds so other UG outfits in Manipur also are trying it out & things may twist & tilt the power scale. With this background, see the ethnicities at strife and conflicts – Dimasas- Hmar’s, Naga – Meitei’s, Paitie-Kuki’s, Bodo – Assamese, Karbi – Assamese, Paomei’s – Mao’s, Tripuris Bengals’s, Kamta – Puries, Assamese & so on. It has further eclipsed various UG outfits in inter and intra strife which appears to be difficult to undo like NSCN (IM) – (K), KNF – KNO & so on. Almost all major UG groups are having their base in northern Burma and Bangladesh with opportune safe havens in the tropical jungles of Arunachal Pradesh touching valleys of Assam, they move to/fro as when SF’s swing into action against them as – is the special case with ULFA. In Manipur valley & hills, UG outfits though at conflict philosophy due integrity/disintegrity of state territories, some valley UG groups do not hesitate to seek shelter in hills when forced by operations of the SF’s, mindless of even paying huge cash for such favours. Astonishingly ULFA was reportedly engaged in funding of some political leaders in recent election activity in Bangladesh too! Whose money is that after all? People’s or cut from developmental funds (Indian tax payer’s money) from MLA’s/ MP’s fund and extortions at gun point. This is the form of complexity of situation – self created and of self inflicted injuries. Some well meaning intellectuals in Assam & Manipur have reasonably mentioned in their writings that people are themselves to be blamed for the present imbroglio. Indian societies & communities having gone through various political philosophies i.e., uplifting social order through communism or through capitalist approach or Ram Manohar Lohia Praja socialism in the first four decades after Independence have finally chosen from all such systems and new political thoughts have emerged i.e., Championing Mahatma Gandhi’s thought of socialistic pattern starting from gram level. That is how formations of Govts. at Centre /State in coalition patterns have come into existence faring pretty well i.e., economic upliftment of mas-ses a central theme. Innumerable weapons arsena-lled by major UG outfits in the NE, their fluctuating demands from independence to redrawing of political boundaries within constitutional norms, strong ethnic revivalism in their own fashion were not he-ard of during British rule. 16th May 1951 tailored plebiscite, interim period of 10 years (1949 -59) with varying interpretations led to further confusion & complicities. Even Mahatma Gandhi is wrongly quoted by some Naga political analysts that they were at liberty to decide their future after 10 years – passage of interim period. Reasonably interpreted what he meant was to select systems of governance and not secession as Nagas were used to live & work under village states from time immemorial. Even if liberal interpretation is allowed, NPC (Naga People’s Convention) in their three sittings in sixties at Kohima, Mokokchung & Khensa to suspend hostility, accepted interim government 1961 – 63 and finally accepting 1st Dec 1963 in culmination i.e., formation of Nagaland, might have been possible if 75 % & above views so collaborated to make this happen. But it is conveniently ignored.
Pakistan offering military support to Nagas UG’s through then East Pakistan led to sending first & the last gang of 1000 strong to CHT Hills which proved a tenuous experience & the NNC/NFG changed tactics & sent four gangs to Yunnan (China) for training & fitment, which again became highly encumbrance for the same. Ideological differences in loyalties to Christianity & military support from Communism gave divide line among UG outfits which is still continuing as letter ‘5’ in NSCN is suggestive and many Naga intellectuals do not approve of it. Communist ideology abridged though and Nagaland for Christ they cannot co-exist. And now K factor has found deep roots to influence IM and NNC/NFG vision because of their strategic proximity to Nagaland. Division among UG outfits finding no congenial solution to problematic issues is aggravating this situation leading to open control of election which was never on their original agenda. Nagas have tried cancellation of State Election during 2001 which gave Jamir Govt. come back to power unopposed in Nagaland thereafter issued edicts “No Political Solution – No Election” and now ‘Only independent candidates UNC sponsored to Fight’ but with inherent faith in democracy matured Naga thought always vote with exception of a few of course. Such dictates of UG’s outfits are causing big hiccups in arresting evasive peace. Ethnic divide is now dominating the scene and more and more demands like Dimasas for Dimarji are coming up. As seen from above, one does not have to be a serious analyst to assess there is no threat of secessionism from Indian Union as it was sometimes back. And it is a continuous battle of survival for majority as well as minorities at mutual conflicts finding themselves in helpless situation if they do not obey UG dictates to good or bad.
R.V. Mingthing feels banned literature created by Phizo, Adino and other writers of NFG be allowed/ access to all people in India & Nagaland to read, religious conflicts between important Churches and revival of primordial be not allowed to create dissent among tribes & communities but essence be taken to draw moral & ethical strength and leaders who matter must sink their differences and work for upliftment of the masses who have no access to modernity. Economic upliftment, politics with human face & concern for downtrodden if adopted will bring people together. He told the author how happy he was to meet Zoramthanga, the CM of Mizoram in the month of June 06 (his associate of NFG days) the way he was bringing up the rural sectors with impartially to the entire region. How World Bank is assisting their developmental projects to improve communications and economic activity. He wonders when Nagaland leaders will sink their differences and Manipur gets out of the present imbroglio, tightening state in the twisting bind. Thus Phizo gave political awakening to Nagas; Thungti Chang provided territorial strength to Nagaland and yet maintained regional identity and Mingthing – K Shimary upholding the relevance of religion to bring people together & warns not to get engrossed in formalities but draw courage to inject moral & ethical strength in the new generation. With this background, when present situation in Nagaland & Manipur is viewed, one cannot ignore the proliferated activities of UG outfits, some with vision and most of them with no vision and are at conflicts with one another and many within themselves.
It is no denying the fact that elections are considered as yard stick to judge the political march of any nation. It may be called referendum on agenda of different political parties. In our once troubled states of Punjab and current Kashmir, people have been governed by constitution even without holding elections for years together. Nagaland experienced unique elected government even with boycott of election at the call of NSCN (IM). Coalitions have filled up void to govern collectively even with differing ideologies, UG outfits have shown deep interest in influencing voters/candidates & participating in Govt.. forming activity in one way or the other. Hence elections are welcome. — to be contd

Bangla to crack down on ultras Assam Tribune
NEW DELHI, April 5 – Seeking to address New Delhi’s concerns over presence of North-east insurgent camps in Bangladesh, its caretaker government today said it will not allow any anti-India activity. Foreign Adviser Iftekar Ahmed Chowdhury said an assurance in this regard has been conveyed to India. “We have assured the Indian authorities that under no circumstances, to the extent possible on my part, that we will allow our territory to be used for any activity against India and we will ensure that this is not done,” he told NDTV.

Asked whether he agreed that anti-India militant groups have been operating from Bangladesh, Chowdhury said, “It is not for me to talk of what had happened in the past. But, as I have said, this government, the caretaker government, has given all kinds of signals to India saying that we will not permit this, to the extent possible on our part.”
When referred to Indian intelligence reports which suggest that ULFA chief Paresh Barua and other top leaders are in Bangladesh, he said security agencies of the two countries, including border forces, have been in touch and are exchanging information.

“I am sure we will be able to resolve any situation of this type in between us in a way that is amicable to both parties.”
India has been conveying its concerns with regard to presence of North-east insurgent camps and leaders in Bangladesh and pressing Dhaka to take action against them. – PTI

Frans on 04.06.07 @ 03:11 PM CST [link]

Thursday, April 5th

Senapati mourns loss of Moheni, Hriinii Nehemiah Rong The Morning Express

Senapati mourns loss of Moheni, Hriinii Nehemiah Rong The Morning Express
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Senapati Hundreds came out to mourn Moheni Martin and Hriinii Hubert here today condemning the inhuman act of kidnapping and killing of the two innocent children in a funeral service organized by Core Committee on the two missing kids. K. Ranjit Singh, MLA, Dr. Loken, MLA, M. Oken, MLA, D.D. Thaisii, MLA, K. Raina, MLA and M. Thorhii, MLA, DGP O Joykumar, Dr. Prem Singh IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Nishit Kumar Ujjwal, IPS, Superintendent of Police, Senapati, Francis Ngajokpa, Ex-MLA, His Grace Most Rev. Dominic Lumon, DD, Archbishop of Imphal, religious priests, army officers, social and tribe leaders, students, Senapati public and family members were present at the funeral service.
The mass often broke to tears by the speeches and songs. As classmates of Moheni and Hubert stood to read poems and sing ‘God Be With you till We Meet Again,’ people present broke into tears. Some lines from the poem read, “your seats will remain vacant; we are waiting for you each day that you may show up one day; sometimes we quarrel not knowing that someday we will be torn apart this way.”
Ex-MLA Francis Ngajokpa along with his wife also took part in the programme. Some three/four years ago Elizabeth Lungnila, daughter of Francis Ngajokpa was kidnapped for ransom and her lifeless body was found dumped in a gunny bag. In today’s funeral Ngajokpa, on seeing the two coffins was seen inconsolably weeping with tissue papers covering her nose.
Earlier speaking at the occasion Veino Solomon, President, Core Committee, said that the society is under threat due to the presence of anti-social gangs. “We should eliminate such gangs. This kidnapping and murder case of Moheni and Hriinii should not be politicized, no one should create communal tensions,” he said and urged the public to strengthen unity to find all the culprits involved and award them befitting punishment. K.Ranjit Singh MLA said that kidnapping and killing for ransom should be strongly condemned and the Government of Manipur under the Secular Progressive Front had been putting all efforts to book the culprits. He asked the Government of India to direct the NSCN (IM) to handover the culprit to them. He also said that although the law may take time, no one can escape it. N. Loken, MLA, M. Okendro MLA also spoke and expressed their deep sorrow to the bereaved families and at the same time maintained that all must join hands to stop such acts in the State.

“This should be the first and last. As a citizen in the civilized society all must try to ensure that such demonic incident never take place again in the district and the region,” Dr. Prem, Deputy Commissioner, Senapati said while extending his condolence to the bereaved families. K.S. Paul Leo, President UNC said that the day of reckoning has come to think and check such killing which is a crime against humanity. He asked the people to unite to tackle such crime in the society and extended his condolence to the family members. Grace Shatsang, President, NWUM said that the kidnapping and killing of the innocent kids is traditionally and culturally not acceptable in the society. She said, “Public cooperation is our responsibility.” Alew Patrick, on behalf of the NPO, apologized to the students’ community for not being able to bring the two kids alive. He challenged the public to be bolder enough to share related information to the organizations and authorities concerned while carrying out their investigation. He said once the tribal people especially the Nagas are known for their simplicity and straightforwardness but it was so sad to come to harsh reality that the prime suspects and killers were Nagas themselves.
He said it is the time that people must be courageous enough to spell out the truth and the information they know about the case.
Isaac President, SDSA called upon the people to set the minds clear and fight a good fight to remove such perpetrators from the society who indulge in such devilish acts. Poundingla spoke on behalf of SDWA. She said that the women have been staging sit-in-protests since the time kids went missing and are continually praying for the kids and families members. ‘Women Demand Justice,’ she said. Other speakers were Tangkhulong President, Stephen Angkang, CNPO, President Gilbert. Both the speakers while sending condolence message said that such kidnapping and killing should not be tolerated. James Rungsung, Vice-President, Zeliangrong Central union also spoke on the occasion and extended condolence message and urged one and all to leave no stone unturned to trace the culprits involved until justice is delivered.
Full Guard of honour was paid by the Manipur Rifles. Wreaths were laid by various organizations and individuals. The last rite was performed by His Grace Most Rev. Dominic Lumon, DD, Archbishop of Imphal. Later the mortal remains of the Moheni and Hriinii were laid to rest in peace near NPO building at the heart of Senapati town as a symbolic significance that in death they become the sons of the Senapati people. With inputs from Newmai News Network
8 suspects in NSCN-IM custody Dimapur, April 4 (MExN): The NSCN-IM has ‘arrested’ eight persons suspected to be involved in the recent murder of two school-going children in Senapati.
According to latest information, the eight were apprehended by the Senapati command of the NSCN-IM. Details on when and where the murder suspects were apprehended were not made available at the time of filing this news report. Sources said five of the eight accused have already confessed to involvement in the killing of Moheni Martin and Hruni Hubert, both 10 years of age.
The NSCN-IM functionaries are reported to have said that there are still more to be “arrested.” Details in regard to the ransom that was paid to the alleged abductors (about 4 lakhs) last December and whether or not the arrested persons are NSCN-IM cadres as being alleged by certain sections, was not disclosed.
NPF reaffirms support for peace process Karaiba Chawang The Morning Express
Kohima Nagaland People Front (NPF) today reaffirmed its support to the ongoing peace process and commitment to work for a negotiated settlement towards the protracted Naga political problem, and termed the unabated factional clash as un-nationalistic. NPF President and Minister for Planning and Coordination, Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu, while making a presidential address at the inaugural function of its new central office building said that Naga problem is basically a political and a human problem which can be solved only through political and humane approach.
“We remain as the northern Star because we formed this party based on principles that are safeguarding the interest of the people. Our fundamental principle is to work to strive for a negotiated settlement of the Naga political problem”, Dr Shurhozelie said.
The NPF President also recounted instances where regional parties suffered under the hands of the government of India for ‘speaking out the truth on Naga political issue.’ He, however, drew containment that the truth has now prevailed and the latter has recognized it as ‘unique history’.
They do not claim any credit for it, but it is a victory of their principle. They have no regret for what they had suffered in the past for saying the truth because the truth is now recognized by the people, said Dr Shurhozelie. Coming down heavily on the undergrounds groups for feuding, the NPF President said that although the Naga problem has been branded as a unique history, the unabated fratricidal killings in Nagaland among the different groups are unfortunate. This amounts to factions’ refusal to listen to the voice of the people for whom they claim to have made sacrifices, Dr Shurhozelie said.
“Killing amongst them is a total deviation from that main principle. Because killing amongst them is neither for sovereignty nor for the Naga people and we do not understand the reason why they are fighting among themselves”, Dr Shurhozelie said.
Asserting that the NPF wants a political solution, and in the event of any political solution arrived at, as a ruling party, it would give way for any alternative arrangement. He added that the DAN government is playing a mediator role between the conflicting parties. Elaborating the various strategies adopted by the NPF led DAN government towards facilitating the ongoing peace process like the CCP, State Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, who addressed the gathering of party men and women as chief guest, strongly urged and appealed to all underground groups and over-ground citizens of the State to eschew all forms of violence and learn to live together unitedly.
Rio iterated the call for adopting forgive and forget policy, reconciliation and to follow the healthy spirit of accommodating one another, which he emphasized as the only way for Nagas to have a brighter future and to survive together as a people.
“If we are not prepared for this, our future will be doomed and posterity and history will never forgive us”, Rio said. “Peace for development” is the most important policy and strategy the DAN government has adopted in furthering the search for a solution to the Naga political issue, and good governance is the process through which we plan to achieve this strategy, Rio stated.
Although, the final solution to the political issue is still eluding the Nagas, there has been considerable improvement in law and order problem during the last four years, Rio reiterated, and attributed this achievement to the ‘open door policy and brotherly approach’ to all underground groups, coupled with their policy of equi-closeness.
“Therefore, I am of the view that in spite of the final peace still eluding us we have done reasonably well in the pursuit of our main agenda of securing an honourable and negotiated settlement of the Naga political, and in implementing our policy of peace and development”, Rio said. Rio also went on to add that NPF, which is the off-shoot of the 1963 Democratic Party, has always been maintaining the flexibility and adaptability to the changing needs and situation of the State and upholding the identity of the Nagas, but without changing its core identity of regionalism. So the present coalition government, led by the NPF is the seventh non-Congress government in the State. However, the difference now is that regionalism is taking firmer roots in the State, and this government is not only completing its full tenure, but also has the brightest chance of coming back to power, Rio further added.
Swu for fiscal transparency The Morning Express
Dimapur, April 4 (MExN): Chairman of NSCN-IM Isak Chishi Swu in his remarks on ‘fiscal policy’ during the “Budget Session of the Fiscal year 2007-2008” of the NSCN-IM at Camp Hebron maintained that the endurance of any nation is determined primarily by its economic stability and a responsible society with sound economy and inquisitive mind is behind humanity’s greatest achievement in any field.
“Nations possessing these three essential elements are recognized instantly for they are the masters in their own affairs” he asserted. However, Swu lamented that “the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to the Nagas is our obsessive dependence on India for our sustenance.” “…what alarms me most is our ignorance and inability to explore the possibility of surviving on our own economically. Clearly we need to identify the prime areas where we could thrive on our own. It is high time that we break out of this non-performing zone and educate our people on the importance of self sustenance” he observed.
He set the following points of the members to “ponder upon”. Firstly, the NSCN-IM needs to have a broader outline when it comes to “fiscal structure” and “we must find a way to restructure our fiscal policy with vision while meeting the demands of the day.”

Secondly, a mechanism to control pilferages “for effective governance” must be found “because we have had the history of financial irregularities owing to mismanagement by those assigned in towns and other areas, particularly the collectors, whereby, embezzlement of Government money is constantly reported.” This is causing a huge toll on the “government treasury” he said and called for strict control over the malpractices by competent authority. Thirdly, goals must be set and the Chaplee ministry must see to it that they are met and that “as people’s Government” it is its “duty to effectively reflect transparency in our financial transactions.”
Further, due consideration must be given to the overall economic status of the people he said. “Local entrepreneurs particularly in agro-based products and other indigenous arts and crafts must be supported and encouraged through nominal taxation policy. While depending on the support of our people, NSCN must also ensure that the nation building process continues. Inviting eminent economists and experts in various other fields must be considered from time to time to meet the demands of the future” he said. Swu commenting on the Indo-Naga talks with the government of India said that it is moving in the “right direction” and held optimism that the GOI is “equally serious” for solving the Indo-Naga conflict. “The political talks with the GOI, I must mention, is moving in the right direction. The latest round held in New Delhi ended on the positive note. We believe the GOI is equally serious in settling the Indo-Naga issue”
Rio, Shurhozelie spell out DAN’s achievements Chizokho Vero The Morung Express
Kohima Both Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Planning Minister Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu today sang sweet tune on the sphere of developmental activities and achievements of the DAN government during the last four years and further announced to follow many more other programmes during the ensuing years.
“We have indeed a very long list of achievements to our credit during the last four years. Just like a very drop of water that makes up the mighty oceans, or every grain of sand that makes up the giant continents, every department and every individual has contributed in our collective achievement,” maintained Rio while speaking at the inaugural programme of Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) central office here. Rio stated that the consolidation and stabilization of the finances of the state has enabled regular and steady release of funds for better implementation of development programmes. He also talked on passing of Nagaland Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2005. The Governor of Reserve Bank of India has complimented the state “for our sound fiscal management”, he said adding that the Accountant General of Nagaland has recently commented on Nagaland‘s budget for 2007-08, saying that “it is a positive phenomenon, reflecting an improvement in terms of fiscal management of the state.”
With the election year in hand, the Chief Minister challenged the party workers “to work very hard so that we come back to govern the affairs of our people.”
“We have a vision for our people, to motivate them, and help them to become productive, prosperous and responsible citizens and to survive as a vibrant society and a strong people,” Rio said.To turn this vision into a reality, in this noble venture be of greater service to our people, Rio sought cooperation of the legislators and all concerned to collectively strive for a better tomorrow. “Naga people have seen maximum developmental activities during the last four years with many more other programmes to follow during the ensuing years, “said Planning Minister Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu.The Planning Minister said that helicopter service will be introduced shortly in the state, the process of which has been completed. The Centre has agreed to revive Tuli Paper Mill and for which a sum of Rs. 500. crore has been sanctioned, Dr. Shurhozelie said.
The Centre has agreed to construct railway line from Dimapur to the capital and also the construction of railway along the foot hills is under the active consideration. The UGC has granted for the establishment of an Engineering College and an Institute of Management attached to Kohima campus, he said. The new Assembly Complex is under completion, the Minister said adding the Nagaland is going to host North East Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference from the new complex from May 3-5 this year.
The Referral Hospital was handed over to Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research. (EHA & CMC, Vellore & Nagaland Govt). This will become functional by this year and to start medical college from this institute is on the card, the Minister said.
Other areas of developmental activities pointed out by the duo included, creation of three districts-Peren, Longleng and Kiphire, completion of first phase of Indira Gandhi Stadium, completion of the first phase of Naga Hospital, construction of Sainik School at Punglwa, establishment of the Regional Institute of E-learning and IT at Kohima, upgradation of five high schools to higher secondary, taking over three colleges of Peren, Longleng, Kiphire including Kohima Arts College, opening two private universities, setting up of Nagaland State Commission for Women, to reserve seat for women in Municipal and Town Council elections, arrival of Deccan Airlines to Dimapur, enhancement of household allocation of VDB grant, years of youth empowerment, construction of market complexes, creation of Department of Under Developed Areas for backward districts, creation of women development department, great improvements in condition of roads, increase in LADP fund, Nagaland University HQ at Lumami under completion, obtaining GOI’s sanction for raising of two IRB, completion of Police HQs building and Raj Bhavan, launching of State Bamboo Mission, declaration of years of farmers 2006-07, completion and inauguration of Industrial Growth Centre and Export Promotion Industrial Park, decision of GOI to sep up Central Institute of Horticulture at Medziphema, providing funds to small and medium towns, communitisation of all elementary schools in Nagaland, etc.
“Our roads are overflowed with new vehicles including the latest models. Why because we have improved the circulation of money, we have improve the economy of the state. Therefore, these are all signs of economic boom in the state,” said Dr. Shurhozelie.
He also claimed that under youth empowerment, many of the youth are getting employment opportunity not only in the country but also in foreign countries.
“No government in the past had done such much as we have done during the last four years. I am sure Naga people are highly appreciating all these achievements. If anyone is not appreciating these achievements, we can leave it to the posterity to judge them,” the planning minister added.
Anger transforms into sorrow as little ones laid to rest; NSCN(IM) says more involved The Imphal Free Press

SENAPATI/IMPHAL, Apr 4: Thousands of slogan-displaying protesters rallied in Senapati, Ukhrul and Bishnupur districts on Wednesday to urge the concerned authorities to bring justice in the murder of two school kids at Senapati and other crimes against children, even as the funeral service of the two children was performed with a mass peace procession in Senapati district headquarters today. Meanwhile, the NSCN (IM) has reportedly extended its self imposed deadline on the completion of investigation. The outfit also claimed that some more alleged culprits in the custody of the NSCN(IM) reportedly confessed involvement in the crime against the two school kids Moheni Martin and Hriinii Hubert, according to members of the core committee. Authorities of the core committee on the abduction of the two school kids said that they received a message from the NSCN(IM) authorities that out of the eight alleged culprits involved in the abduction and murder of the two kids five have so far confessed their involvement in the crime. However, the outfit did not mention the particulars of the alleged culprits stating that declaration of the names of the alleged culprits may lead to communal riots in the state.

They also informed the members of the core committee on the extension of their investigation period which expired today stating that the investigation has become more complicated. The representatives of the civil organizations along with the core committee were also informed of the need for holding a meeting with the NSCN(IM) leadership and they are likely to proceed after Good Friday, the core committee informed.
More than 5,000 women as well as students converged from different places of Manipur to march down the streets of Senapati district before the funeral ceremony was performed today.

Displaying placards “Criminals have no place to live in this decent world,” “Punish the guilty,” “We will fight till justice is done,” etc. the protesters mourned with the families of the two children. The burial service of the two school children, Moheni Martin and Hriinii Hubert was held with tearful rites. The last rites were organized by the core committee on two missing kids attended by thousands of tearful Senapati residents. Those public faces who came to share the sorrow and pains of the two bereaved families were DD Thaisii, MLA, M Thohrii, MLA, Dr.Loken, MLA, M Oken, MLA, K Ranjit, MLA, Dr.Prem Singh, DC Senapati, DGP Y Joykumar, Nishit, SP Senapati, and representatives of various organizations, teachers, students, friends and well wishers. The last rites were performed by Rev. Dominic Lumon, DD, Archbishop, Imphal flanked by priests and nuns. Many others church pastors, catechists, church leaders were present at the ceremony. The father of Hriinii, A Aro, representing the two families told the gathering that the children were full of promise, brought love to the family and were once a constant hope and joy of the family.

“But their lives are brutally cut short and hope shattered,” he said.

He went on to say that though the children are missing since December 14 last year, they always hoped they would return to them one day alive. A representative of the Naga People`s Organization apologized to the family and the public for its inability to bring the kids alive although “we tried our best”.

DC Senapati, Prem Singh, IAS expressed his wish that the incident be the first and the last in the district. MLAs who attended the funeral ceremony representing the state government informed the gathering that state government has been doing its best to book the culprits, reiterating that the chief minister was communicating with the Centre to insist on the NSCN(IM) to hand over the culprits to the Manipur government. They also appealed to the public that such inhuman acts can be put to an end only when the public united irrespective of community lines and fought together.

The last rites were performed at around 10 am after the dead bodies were taken to their families for their last visit. The bodies were then taken to the public gathering at Mini Stadium where thousands of weeping men, women and children were waiting. There was a sea of mourners rushing towards the bodies to have a final glance of the two skeletal remains, but they were kept away from the coffins that were kept covered. Guns were fired into the open blue sky of Senapati in the Naga customary way of seeing off the dead.

The funeral started with a song “What a friend we have in Jesus” in unison followed by invocation prayers led by Rev. Vumthang Sitlhou, general secretary, MBC. The various events that led to the finding of the two kids were read out to the public along with condolence messages which had poured in from representative of various social organizations and individuals at the service. Rev. Dominic Lumon, Archbishop of Imphal in his funeral sermon consoled the two parents and relatives that the departed souls would be safely in the hands of Jesus in Heaven.

Veino Solomon, chairman of the core committee thanked various social organizations for their solidarity and support in their search for the two missing kids. He lauded the women power and their die-hard support and initiatives taken up by the women`s organizations of various tribes.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students of several schools located in Moirang area of Bishnupur district carried out a rally protesting against crime against children. They carried placards with slogans like “Respect children`s rights”, “Save us”, “Stop children trafficking”, and “Stop child killing and child rape”, “Respect human rights” etc. The rally began from the campus of the Moirang Multi-purpose Higher Secondary School and after covering the streets of Moirang turned back from INA complex and concluded at the starting point.
Before the rally started a meeting was held with Moirang MLA Manindra as chief guest.
NSCN (K) ridicules IM’s clarification By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Apr 4: Dismissing denial by the NSCN (IM) that it is not involved in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Muheni Martin and Hriini Hubert, the rival NSCN (K) has claimed of unearthing evidences that clearly suggest role of IM activists in the ghastly episode.
Recalling that failure of the IM leaders to crack the case for over 100 days despite asserting on Decem- ber 17 that the culprit/s would be produced within 10 days of kidnapping of the boys is a clear indication of IM’s lack of commitment to the people’s aspiration and sentiment, publicity and information secretary in- charge of the NSCN (K) Ze-liangrong Region reminded the rival faction that the kids’ skeletal remains were recovered from Senapati – considered to be one of IM’s strong-hold.
Moreover, due to intense investigation by the NSCN (K) the public were made aware regarding involvement of IM cadres and sym- pathisers in the case, the secretary ridiculed contention of the IM that cited ‘Meitei sources’ behind the revelation.
Dragging in ‘meitei’ is merely an attempt to paint the issue with communal tone as a cover up exercise of the IM leaders to keep under wrap its misadventure, he observed while speaking to newspersons somewhere in Senapati district today.
Reacting to news report wherein an important IM functionary (kilonser) expressed that NSCN (K) ac- tivists might be behind the murder of martin and Hu-bert, the secretary descri- bed the speculation as not only figment of imagination but yet another facet of IM leaders’ clamour for wealth by patronising kidnapping of innocent children for ransom.
demanding proof from the IM group regarding aspersion cast against the NSCN (K) organisation, he affirmed that in case such wild allegation could be substantiated there would be neither delay in producing the guilty nor laxity in initiating befitting punishment.
In addition to slamming the IM leaders as liars with particular reference to only three suspects currently held in IM’s custody contrary to previous declaration of four individuals detained in the IM camp, he also made a startling revelation that two prime accuse in the case had already been eliminated by the NSCN (IM) to prevent the duo from exposing the whole truth.
Identifying the slain persons as Adai – secretary to a Zeliangrong Region’s CAO of the NSCN (IM) – and Theimi said to be a close associate (officer) of a top kilonser, the secretary asked the IM group to proof him guilty by producing Adai and Theimi.
From Muivah to care-taker (chowkidar) of Hebron all IM functionaries and cadres are morally responsible for the unfortunate demises of Muheni Martin and Hriini Hubert, he maintained.
Appreciating swift and prompt action of the RPF/PLA in executing Bungthoi as punishment for the brutal murder of Chinglenkhomba recently, the secretary opined that had the NSCN (IM) resorted to such ‘instant justice’ when the Lungnila Elizabeth incident took place the cruel fate befallen upon the two innocent Senapati kids could have been averted.
maintaining that culture of kidnapping/abduction for ransom in the North Eastern region was introduced and continuously pursued by the IM group, he also charged the rival faction of demeaning value of media by feeding confusing information on the ongoing peace talks that had consumed nearly ten years without any substantive breakthrough.
Referring to recent report of the IM regarding one Manikho abducting the kids and handing them over to another person called brown only to retract that Brown is not involved in the case, followed by the same outfit informing that brown had fled from Hebron, the secretary construed that such flummoxing stance adopted by the IM leaders is to save a Tangkhul individual (Brown) by sacrificing Manikho.
Insistence of the NSCN (IM) that the real culprit/s would be produced within seven days is yet another attempt to pacify the people from sustaining the ongoing agitation as such a mass movement would be detrimental to aspiration and agenda of the IM, he observed. Alleging the NSCN (IM) of being dominated by communal elements, he pointed out information fed by the rival group of the two boys being reportedly seen in Tamenglong district contrary to which their remains were found close to Senapati district headquarters as another glaring example of the NSCN (IM) trying to create enmity between the people of Tamenglong and Senapati. Drawing comparison with the boys’ murder to the Lungnila Elizabeth case wherein prime accused James Kuki was released from Hebron on parole, the secretary reiterated NSCN (K)’s allegation of the IM group receiving substantial amount from the ransom money. Regarding the NSCN (IM) contention that a former manipur Police commando personnel who later joined UNLF organisation is being detained in connection with the Lungnila Elizabeth case, the NSCN (K) prevailed upon the rival group to identify the said individual for public knowledge. Conveying of an individual named Nando of the KCP being detained in connection with the Lungnila Elizabeth case and questioning motive of dragging the UNLF, the secretary asked the NSCN (IM) to stop misleading the general public by contending that its (IM) investigation on the Lungnila case is being impeded due to non-compliance by the Manipur Government for handing over the jailed individual. Doubting NSCN (IM)’s ethos, he questioned why leaders of the IM group had declined intimation of the CBI to interrogate James Kuki. Moreover, after freeing James Kuki the same individual is being utilised to black-mail prominent politicians of manipur, he alleged.
NSCN-K advises against ‘downplaying crimes’ The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 4 (MExN): Asserting that the genocides and acts of terrorism committed ‘particularly’ upon the Naga people by the NSCN-IM under the Collective Leadership are conspicuous and well-known to the people and God, the NSCN-K advises against playing down the “crimes of the I-K men.”
According to a note from Yato Konyak, “Under Secretary” of “Home Affairs” NSCN-K, in spite of these crimes, many people tries to hide the truths and downplay the crimes of the NSCN-IM. These are by way of using the terms “undergrounds” or “underground factions.”
“Don’t say ‘undergrounds’ or ‘factions.’ If it is I-K (I-M) say I-K, if it is FGN/NNC, mention the organization directly or if it is GPRN/NSCN spell out the name of the group” the note advised. “Naga people, don’t play hypocrite. Make your words clear and unambiguous. Don’t play on the lives of men” it added. The note further mentioned that on December 14 last year, two school children Moheni Martin and Hruni Hubert, both 10, were kidnapped from Senapati by one Manikho Mao and a Brawn Tangkhul for ransom. They received an undisclosed amount of the ransom but later the two children were killed. The NSCN-IM then took away “their cadres’ at Hebron Camp where the accused and their accomplices are hiding, the note stated. Once the accused are handed over to the appropriate authorities they would spill the beans so because of this fear the NSCN-IM are hiding the killers, it maintained adding that this is a repetition of the shooting of Dr Moangwati in Dimapur years back.
The NSCN-K also mentioned several instances stated as committed by the NSCN-IM. These included the killing of two Konyak youths in January, the Kiphire massacre of a family, the landmine explosion where the chairman of Chalkot village was killed and the recent killing of a person at Aolichen and several other instances. These acts are violation of the ceasefire ground rules, the issue of which was raised in Mon on March 24 by the NSCN (K) with the Government of India, however AK Goyal, Director of “Indian Intelligence Bureau” “angrily told Mulatonu not to raise such issues involving I-K terrorists’, the release stated. The release further alleged that the GOI and its intelligence wings knows of these developments but is “deliberately hiding the crimes of the terrorists” it added.
NSCN(K) rejects rivals denial in Senapati murder The Imphal Free Press

imphal, apr 4: The Khaplang group of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland has dismissed the rival nscn(im)`s denials of its involvement in the kidnapping and murder of the two Senapati school children as a tissue of lies, charging that the rival group has already killed two persons to conceal its complicity in the crime. Addressing a press conference somewhere in Senapati district, a spokesperson of the nscn(k), Zeliangrong region, two of the persons involved in the kidnapping, identified as Adai and Theimi, have already been killed by the NSCN(IM) for fear that they may implicate other cadres of the group in the crime.

He said Adai was a former CAO (central administrative officer) of the NSCN(IM) for the Zeliangrong region, while Theimi was an aide to a top kilonser. The spokesperson challenged the NSCN(IM) to produce the two if they had not been killed. The NSCN(K) spokesperson also strongly questioned the ambiguous statements made by the rival group regarding the suspect it claims to have in its custody. Affirming the involvement of the two persons currently said to be in the NSCN(IM) custody, namely Brown and Manikho, the spokesperson said Manikho had done the actual kidnapping and the children were later handed over to Brown Tangkhul.

`The IM group is now saying that Brown is not involved, and again that he has fled from Hebron,` the spokesperson said, adding, `this is nothing but an attempt to protect Brown.` The spokesperson reiterated that high level leaders of the NSCN(IM) were aware of the kidnapping from the beginning, and has been trying to misguide the public in a bid to cover up their own crime. He also maintained that the NSCN(K) had come to know of the nscn(im) involvement through its own investigation, and not through Meitei sources, as claimed by the nscn(im), adding that the mention of Meitei sources was just an attempt to deflect public anger.

Rejecting out of hand the rival group`s counter-allegation that the nscn(k) might have been involved in the kidnapping and murder of the children, the spokesperson challenged it to produce proof, saying the NSCN(K) is prepared to surrender the culprits before the public if it is able to do so. He further maintained that the NSCN(IM)`s promise to complete its investigation within seven days is nothing but an attempt to mollify the ongoing public agitation

After Hrinii Hubert and Moheni Martin were abducted on December 14, the NSCN(IM) had announced on December 17 that it would trace the culprits and punish within ten days, he pointed out. On the contrary, after over a hundred days, the children were found dead, that too in an area dominated by the nscn(im). Referring to the Lungnila Elizabeth case, he pointed out that the nscn(im) had earlier described James Kuki as the main accused, but after releasing him on parole, he was described as just a suspect. The spokesperson also challenged the nscn(im) to deny that it had received Rs 6 lakhs out of the Rs 10 lakhs obtained as ransom for Lungnila Elizabeth

He also ridiculed the NSCN(IM) claim that the government of Manipur`s refusal to allow the NSCN(IM) to cross examine an ex-police commando, and collaborator with the unlf who had been arrested by the Manipur government had hampered its investigation into the Elizabeth murder case. He went on to point out that Nando, who is currently in jail after being arrested by the Manipur police is linked to the KCP and not to the UNLF. Further stating that the NSCN(IM) had refused to hand over James Kuki when asked to do so by the CBI, the spokesperson charged that James Kuki is currently being used by the NSCN(IM) to blackmail some top politicians of Manipur. The NSCN(K) appreciated the step taken by the rpf in administering capital punishment to the killer of Chinglenkhomba and said if instant justice had been delivered in the Elizabeth case, the kidnapping of the two children might not have taken place.
Unity : A frank appraisal Editorial Sangai Express
During the last few years, particularly after the massive rally organised by the All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation in 1997, unity amongst the different communities of Manipur has become the statement of quite a large number of civil society organisations and today we see many campaigns being carried out by different organisations to champion this cause. The 1997 rally was staged in the backdrop of the peace process between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) wherein the concept of a Greater Lim was perhaps for the first time articulated openly by the Naga rebel group. Much water has flowed down the Nambul river since then and the ghost of the 2001 uprising continues to haunt the collective psyche of the people, especially the Meitei community. Today Manipur is undergoing one of the most tumultuous periods in her history with different communities pursuing their own interest and in the process putting the entity known as Manipur on the scaffold. With different interest groups and communities pulling the social and moral fabric of the State in different directions, the call for unity amongst the different groups of people gains credence. Any call for unity should be understood in its truest sense and there should be no room for any doubts or misinterpretation. This is where we find the observation of social worker Holkhothang Haokip extremely relevant. Mr Haokip, during the Sajibu Khudol Tamba Egee Khongul Liba function at Sugnu on April 3 noted that the threat of a Greater Lim would not have come about if the idea of unity and brotherhood between the people of the hill and valley was floated some 20/30 years back. We feel that this observation has some extremely significant meaning, especially for the Meitei community.
What is unity and what do we mean by the term brotherhood between the hill and valley people is a question that merits a clear understanding. Looking at the observation of Mr Haokip from a slightly different angle but which can be seen as complementary, we feel the question, “Would unity and the concept of brotherhood between the hill and valley people gained so much currency if the Greater Lim question had not arisen ?” is apt. Why wasn’t the voice of unity and brotherhood raised when there was no threat to the territorial integrity of Manipur, courtesy the fantastical idea of a Greater Nagaland, is the question we would like the Meitei community to ponder over seriously. In as much as we stand by the territorial integrity of Manipur and the universal dharma of unity and brotherly co-existence, we feel this question merits importance of the highest order. To be brutally frank, we feel, Mr Haokip was right in observing that the threat of a Greater Lim would not have come if the call for unity and brotherhood was raised some 20/30 years back. However this does not mean that we are too late and nothing can be done. In fact a lot still remains to be done and the first step would be to sincerely look inwards and study whether all of us really mean and stand by unity as it should be understood. If unity is a slogan to be raised only to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur, then its very purpose and aim will stand defeated. Unity and brotherhood should come with no strings attached and once this is achieved everything will take care of itself, including ensuring the territorial integrity of Manipur.
DAN will retain power: Rio Kuknalim.com
KOHIMA, April 4 Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio Wednesday predicted that NPF led DAN government would retain power by winning the next assembly elections in the State.

“Although several State party governments were formed in the past – Vizol in 1974 and 1977, JB Jasokie in 1980, SC Jamir in 1980, KL Chishi in 1990 and Vamuzo in 1990 – none of them could complete a normal tenure,” Rio said in his address after inaugurating the central office of NPF here.

Claiming that Nagas were more inclined to NPF today, Rio believed regionalism was on firm footing in the State and therefore, the NPF led government would not only complete the current term, it also has the brightest chance to come back to the saddle after the next general elections, expected early next year.

The Chief Minister said inauguration of the new office building of NPF was a sign of the growing strength and confidence of the party. He appreciated all his colleagues in the ministry, legislators, party functionaries, DAN allies, government officials, business community, NGOs, civil societies, churches and public, who all have been contributing towards effective functioning of the government for the last four years.

Earlier, giving a brief history, origin and growth of regional parties in the State, Rio said the NPF, being a regional party, had always maintained the flexibility and adaptability to the changing needs and situations of the State and upheld the identify of the Nagas but without changing its core identity for regionalism. “Thus NPF can also be said to be the longest and only serving State party in Nagaland,” Rio said. He further highlighted the various developmental activities taken up by DAN government in the last four years. (NPN
)Revolt against Gegong Apang Nagaland Post
Itanagar, April 3 (IANS): Arunachal Pradesh is heading for a leadership change with the country’s longest serving chief minister Gegong Apang facing a bitter political revolt from within his ruling Congress party lawmakers. The wily Apang, who became chief minister for the fifth term after assembly elections in October 2004, virtually lost the trust with 29 of the 34 Congress legislators in the 60-member assembly formally supporting a leadership change.
Joining the bandwagon of revolt against Apang are two Nationalist Congress Party and seven Independent MLAs. “In all, 38 MLAs are seeking a change in leadership and wants Dorjee Khandu (power minister) as the new chief minister of the state,” Tako Dabi, water resources development minister and one of the pro-change leaders, told IANS. Congress legislators have been angry for quite sometime over Apang’s alleged “dictatorial policies” and disgruntled over “portfolio distribution” in the council of ministers.
“Apang was trying to rule Arunachal Pradesh like his own fiefdom and hardly consulted us while taking major policy decisions,” a minister in the Apang-led cabinet said by telephone from New Delhi. The chief minister denies the allegations and is trying to put up a brave front.
“I don’t think there is any problem. Everything needs to be done democratically,” Apang said.
A group of about a dozen MLAs are camping in New Delhi since the past one week and have met top leaders of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), including party president Sonia Gandhi.
“Indications are that the change of guard would take place within this week with Khandu replacing Apang as the new chief minister,” another senior Congress leader said on conditions of anonymity. There were murmurs of revolt soon after the election results were announced in October 2004 with some Congress legislators openly challenging Apang’s loyalty to the Congress. Political instability is the hallmark in Arunachal Pradesh with legislators switching parties and loyalties at the drop of a hat.
Apang engineered a mass defection of the Congress in 2003 and formed a non-Congress government and later merged with the BJP to install the first saffron-ruled state in the northeast. But just before the elections, Apang and his BJP ministers made a dramatic switchover back to the Congress before winning the assembly polls.
Peace efforts elude Manipur students Ibobi faces quota cloud The Telegraph
Imphal The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur, has threatened to resume its agitation if chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh fails to implement their demand for 50 per cent reservation for the tribals. The chief minister had signed the agreement more than six months ago.
President of the students’ union John Pulamte today announced that the union would resume its agitation from the next day if they do not receive any positive response from the government by April 8.
“The mode of agitation and the course of action would be decided by Thursday. We are now giving the state government time to respond positively,” he said.
The union is demanding 50 per cent reservation for tribals in all advertised posts for graduate teachers, people’s involvement in running the affairs of education in the hills, revamping the tribal development department and extension of services of contract teachers for hill schools.
On September 20 last year, the union suspended its economic blockade after it signed a memorandum of understanding with the government. Pulamte complained that the government has done nothing till today despite the memorandum and repeated assurances.
Apao Haokip, assistant general secretary of the students’ union, said after failing to reserve 50 per cent seats for tribals in the advertised posts, the government had promised to fill 17 per cent of the total vacant posts of graduate teachers with tribal candidates. However, the government has failed to fulfil the commitment, he added.
The services of more than 1,300 teachers appointed on a contract basis last year for hill schools expired on March 31 this year. The government has also not cleared their salaries for the past six months. The students’ union also expressed resentment over the manner in which the state tribal development department was functioning. It sought a positive response from the government to revitalise it.Pulamte said the students’ union had decided to resume the agitation as the government failed to redress the grievances of the people in the hills.
Ulfa shuts Assam Nagaland Post
GUWAHATI, April 4 (IANS): A dawn-to-dusk general strike enforced by the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to protest alleged police atrocities on the wives of six militant leaders brought normal life in Assam to a standstill on Wednesday.
A police spokesman said shops and businesses, educational and financial institutions remained closed, while public and private transport remained off the roads. The 12-hour strike began at 6 am. The bandh completely paralysed life in upper Assam districts of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sibsagar, Golaghat and Jorhat and in all lower Assam districts. There was not much impact of the bandh in three districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj in the Barak Valley.
“Normal life has been hit by the ULFA strike although there are no reports of any untoward incidents so far,” a police official said. Train services were also hit with the railways either cancelling or rescheduling some of its services.
The ULFA called the strike to protest against the arrest last week of five wives of ULFA leaders who were on an indefinite hunger. Police later shifted the fasting women to hospital on medical grounds. The five women were demanding information from the government about their husbands whose whereabouts were not known since the 2003 military offensive by Bhutan against Indian rebels in the Himalayan kingdom. Both the central and the state government say they have no information of the ULFA leaders and were not in their custody.
“We do not have any information so far,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
The ULFA on Tuesday also launched a grenade attack in Guwahati wounding nine people.
Garo leader ‘tortured’ to death in Bangla The Morung Express
Shillong, April 4 (Telegraph): A Bangladesh-based Garo tribal leader, Chalesh Ritchil, the Medha Patkar of the Modhupur reserve forest — was allegedly killed by “joint forces” comprising the army, Bangladesh Rifles and police two weeks back. Today, the Asian Centre for Human Rights, which has made the claim, appealed to the Meghalaya government to take up the incident with the Union ministry of external affairs.
The rights panel has also appealed to the heads of the delegations participating in the 14th Saarc summit to look into the matter. The Garo leader’s death was reportedly kept under wraps by Bangladesh police until several NGOs in Bangladesh and the indigenous tribal population of Modhupur, which includes Garos and Khasis, rose in revolt.
Sources in Bangladesh said the Garo leader was “brutally killed” by the joint forces, for “leading a campaign against the construction of an eco-park” which would have led to the eviction of 25,000 indigenous Garos and Khasis who have been living in the area for over 300 years.
After the declaration of emergency in Bangladesh, forest department officials restarted the construction of the controversial boundary wall for the eco-park. The Garo community, under Ritchil’s leadership, protested again. On March 18, Ritchil was arrested by plainclothes security personnel from Kalibari under Muktagacha subdivision. A day later his body, with “torture marks”, was handed over to family members.
Open Letter to Chief Minister Manipur Subject: The truth of the fact of 400 Kukis taken into Myanmar
Hon’ble Sir,
The Kuki people are grateful to your Honour for your help rendered immediately to the cause of the KSO Joint Protest Rally and the unwanted consequences, to which you have helped at Delhi.
Promise has been made that the truth of the factual abduction of over 400 innocent Kukis taken into Myanmar be made straight. Accordingly the fact finding commission composed of KSO, HTC and KUMHUR, has found out the following facts.

1. The incident is to be understood in the backdrop of –
(1) Illegal occupation of Chandel and Churachandpur Hill Districts of Manipur State by the valley based UGs ever since your honour started ruling in Manipur State.
(2) Landmining the hill areas, killing innocent people.
(3) Forced the innocent people as forced labourers. In other words the villagers are used as good as slaves, and kept at the disposals of UGs and Indian Army.
(4) Chiefs are not respected even though their lands are forcibly occupied. Some Chiefs are murdered.
(5) Mass women raped at Parbung and justice has not been done so far.
(6) S.P. Pu Tolkhanpao was ambushed and killed, near Moirang.
(7) I.G. Pu Thangthawm ambushed and mercilessly killed at Oinam Bazar.

All these are established facts, the hill people have been enduring patiently, but not cowdowned, for the sake of the integrity of the State and to maintain the cordial relationship of the citizens.

2. Now the truth of the factual happenings of T.S. Laijang grouping centre on March 13, 2007 morning at 5:30AM (IST) are as follows –
(1) About 400 innocent Kukis have been forcibly taken to Lallim/Namunta, Myanmar. At Lallim in Myanmar, two buses full of the abducted people have been sent away not telling towhere they are taken.
(2) At this point the Myanmar Army intervened and arrested UNLF leaders, one named as Ma-ngang, another Paokeh, but released them later. The abducted people are left at Lallim/Mamunta in Myanmar.
(3) The left and unprotected abducted people scattered in fear and over 497 have sneaked back to Moreh border town, temporarily fed and sheltered by the HTC, churches, Kuki Women Union and KSO etc.
(4) In the meantime the UNLF made a feast by killing two pigs at Molcham brought together people and also the Media personnel are invited there on March 18, 2007, asked certain people (whose names are kept in fear of life) dictating them what to say, and say only what has been dictated to them to the media personnel, thus made the public confused. This is a made-up story.
(5) The abducted people are now in Moreh without food and shelter. Anyone willing to know the truth can see the unfortunate/innocent, whom forced to suffer like this.

3. The most immediate need to save hundreds of human lives are-
(1) To give rice (food) and whatever is needed for the unfortunate people who are treated like garbages.
(2) Temporary shelters, tarpaulins enough for the families stranded at Moreh town.
(3) Clear all UGs and landmine bombs from all the areas of the two Hill Districts namely (a) Chandel and (b) Churachandpur within 2 months. (4) Resettle all the villagers in their own villages peacefully and provide them food for two years 2007-2008 because their food provisions looted and they missed (Jhuming time February-March) for 2008. Anything falls short of the above stated facts can be construed as the ruling Government’s intentional negligence and pretending not knowing all this sufferings, killings, treating human beings as garbages. If this ever happens the endurance and the patience may not be forever, and the Government will be fully responsible.

Jointly submitted by L. Touthang, President Kuki Students’ Organisation GHQ
Jangmang Haokip, President Hill Tribal Council Moreh, Chandel District
T. Lunkim, Chairman Kuki Movement for Human Rights
‘Sino-Indian border situation has changed for the better’
Assam Tribune
SHILLONG, April 4 – The situation along the Sino-Indian border has changed for the better and the two countries were now collaborating in key areas like energy, a senior IAF official has said.

“Both China and India are growing economic powers and together buy energy sources. Thus I do not think there will be any more military battle (between them),” said Air Marshal P K Barbora, the chief of the IAF’s Eastern Air Command which operates along the border with China in Arunachal Pradesh.
Interacting with visiting reporters recently at the Command’s headquarters here, Barbora, the first officer from the North East to head an IAF Command, recollected the Chinese agression in the North East in 1962.
“It had been a setback but since then the situation has changed for the better,” he said. Listing his priorities, Barbora said his main aim would be to protect the borders to ensure that the “people of the North East have a good night’s sleep”. – PTI

‘No immediate solutions to NE problems’ From Our Correspondent Assam tribune
KARIMGANJ, April 4 – Leading social scientist and former director of the Centre for Himalayan Studies, North Bengal University, Prof Bani Prasanna Misra made a prognosis that he did not find much hope for ending of present turmoil of the North-east because the problems were multi-dimensional involving issues related to ethnicity, social evolution, demography and history.

Delivering the Pramesh Bhattacharjee Memorial Lecture at Karimganj College recently, Prof Misra dwelt in details on the problems arising out of the functioning of democracy in multi-cultural milieu, theoretical solutions envisaged by philosophers and political scientists and experiments and experiences of other societies confronted with the problems of multi-culturalism, assertions by the autochthons and resultant minority resistance. He opined that nowhere a resolution or permanent solution of the problem can be made and it would continue to be so as long as liberty of the ‘ancient would get primary over the liberty of the modern.’

‘The Bordoloi sub-committee report of 1947 on North-eastern areas did not visualise full ‘absorption’ of the hill areas and their political and social amalgamation,’ said Prof Misra while speaking specifically on the North-eastern situation. That is why autonomous hill districts came into existence, he said, adding that the plain tribals were visualised as potential targets for assimilation and measures were taken to ensure the process. In 1950s, a strategic assimilation was made of the immigrant Muslims of the Brahmaputra Valley, he said, to rive definite numerical edge over others. However, introduction of Official Language Act, 1950 disrupted the process and besides hastening the dismemberment of Assam created deep resentment amongst the Bodos and the Bengalis. He added that, resultant reaction took the form of Anti-Foreigners Movement which started in late 1970s, spectre of which had been still looming large over the entire NE. He observed that where a ‘soft state’ dealt with aspirations charged with emotions the role of politicians would be reduced to the status of brokers between the government and the people.

In his final observation, Prof Misra observed that in resolving the problem of the NE region administrative action should be fortified by political consensus. He said, here the Indian federation is faced with a challenge which deserved to be modulated by progressive extension of cultural secularism and withdrawal by the state from all cultural survival projects so that neither envy nor pride could be generated at any level. ‘Though all of us have undoubtedly an overworking identity for most occasions, let us not forget that we all have multiple identities and we make use of them as credit cards to suit our needs,’ he asserted.

The function was presided by LM Saklabaidya, MP.

Meet on RTI: Right to Information Act empowers every citizen to know the functioning of public authority, through implementation of various schemes. This was stated by Sankar Dey, secretary Silchar Press Club in a public information campaign on Bharat-Nirman at Udharbond recently. PIB had organised the campaign. Addressing the meeting, Sankar Dey said that the RTI Act is an important Act. The act was passed in 2005. Through this Act, every citizen has a right to seek information from public authority. The government has started many schemes for the welfare of the common people. But these schemes have not reached them till to-day. He requested everyone to avail this act to know about the implementation of various schemes in their area.

AJ Laskar, assistant project officer, DRDA said that 100 days employment is guaranteed under the NREGA. He said that Cachar district is not a NREGA district. However, several schemes have been implemented by the DRDA for the uplift of socio-economic conditions of the rural people. He hoped that all villages would be developed in due course.
Addressing as resource person on the prime minister’s new 15-point programme for the welfare of the minorities, S Paul, senior planning officer said that there is inequality in the society. This inequality is on the basis of caste and communities. To remove these inequalities the Central government has started the PM’s new 15-point programme for the welfare of the minorities. He hoped that people belonging to minority communities would be benefitted from this scheme.

NR Paul, asstt executive engineer PWD (Roads) and resource person on Bharat Nirman said that necessary steps have been taken to provide all weather roads to all villages having a total population of 1000 or more within 2009. He said that 28 proposals for construction of new roads under PMGSY have been approved during 2006-07. Twelve more new roads are also under process of sanction during this year, he added.
Dr S Das SDM&HO and resource person and NRHM said that the NRHM has been started in Udharbond area too. Health care facilities have been provided to the rural people. The ASHAs have been appointed under the scheme. Dr Das requested the people to avail services of the ASHA. He also requested pregnant mothers to avail facilities under Janani Suraksha Yojana Scheme. Mihir Kar Purkayastha, founder, Cachar Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, D Das, SDE, ASEB, Udharbond also spoke on the occasion.

Shopkeeper beaten: A shopkeeper was badly beaten for asking one of his customers to clear his outstanding dues. The shocking incident took place at Ghugrakuna village under Nilambazar outpost. One Surajit Das of the village took goods on credit from Rinku Deb’s grocery shop. As Surajit showed no sign of clearing the outstanding dues, Rinku Deb reminded the former to repay his dues as year end was approaching. When asked to repay, Surajit simply denied to have taken any goods on credit. This flat denial led to verbal altercations between Surajit and Rinku. Surajit eventually left the place but returned after sometime with some hoodlums and vandalised the shop. Rinku Deb was physically assaulted and received serious injuries as a result. When locals rushed to Rinku’s rescue, Surajit and his band of hoodlums left in hurry. Injured Rinku Deb was taken to Nilambazar Primary Health Centre for treatment. Rinku Deb has since lodged an FIR at Nilambazar OP.

Bandh, Government and the People By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
ULFA has remained blind to the plight of scores of widows and orphans whose lives are in a shambles just because they had to pay the price of a ‘revolution’ now orchestrated from Bangladesh. GUWAHATI, April 4: The ULFA today called a 12-hour bandh in protest against the handling of the wives of missing ULFA leaders by the State police. The police had arrested the wives of the missing ULFA leaders, who were on a fast-unto-death to know about the whereabouts of their missing husbands, and confined them at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital in view of their deteriorating health conditions. All these are ‘atrocities’ in the eyes of the ULFA. But the banned outfit, as usual, has chosen to see and exploit situations of only one kind, such as the case of the wives of missing rebels, and has remained blind to the plight of scores of widows and orphans whose lives are in a shambles just because they had to pay the price of a ‘revolution’ now orchestrated from Bangladesh. So the outfit created a fear psychosis in the minds of the general public by triggering blasts in Guwahati and upper Asom in the run-up to today’s bandh.
However, despite being aware of the fear factor that precedes and marks every bandh called by the ULFA, the Tarun Gogoi government remained a mute spectator to the making of that fear factor. It is as if the government had no clue as to how the bandh effect could be neutralized except for a mere circular.
It is a fact that banking plays a vital role in the movement of people and their business. The government must have ensured that the banks operated normally under full security cover, and that the bank employees reached their respective offices under safe conditions. Did the government talk with the bank authorities, assuring them of full security cover during the bandh period, and then ask them to keep their branches open for the public so that there would be at least some movement of people, to begin with? That could have prompted the rest of the people to also come out of their homes and go about their business, thus defeating the very purpose of the bandh.
Did the government ever thought it necessary to talk with the Sadau Asom Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) so as to ensure the presence of government employees in their offices after having worked on a convincing security arrangement? Not that we know of. The SAKP is not an anti-national organization to support the ULFA’s bandh call. A mere circular, just for the sake of formality, directing that all government offices and services throughout the State should function normally during the bandh period is a big joke, given the attitude of the people towards bandhs — as extended holidays. Does the government think that such a circular can at all be effective in countering the ULFA fear factor in the minds of the general public? What did the government do to provide security to its own employees and arrange for their safe transportation? Did the government even think of talking with bus, autorickshaw and rickshaw associations so as to evolve a mechanism to ensure normal movement of vehicles and people under full security cover?
As a matter of fact, today, during the bandh period, the ministers and bureaucrats must have been within the safe confines of the Secretariat, working hard through the day, and should have relieved the security personnel on VIP duty to provide security to ordinary citizens.
As for the ULFA’s so-called revolution, it is nothing but a multi-crore business house operating from Bangladesh. It overlooks the annexation of Asom — the outfit’s actual homeland — by Bangladesh. Therefore, as an outfit whose voice is not its own but that of the ISI and Bangladeshi forces, the ULFA should not be under a wrong impression that the people of the State are supporting its multi-crore business house in the name of Asom’s liberation. The fact remains that people are just afraid of the ULFA, given the outfit’s choice of soft targets — even children — and the government’s inability in providing security to ordinary citizens.
What is the bottomline then? By not ensuring security to ordinary citizens and a smooth functioning of banks and other establishments, the government also contributed to the ‘success’ of today’s bandh. It is such bandhs that not only disrupt normal life but also lead to the State’s daily financial loss running into crores of rupees. Who is going to compensate for all that? Then just think about the poor daily wage-earners losing their meagre daily earnings during such bandhs. Who will compensate for them? The government or the ULFA?
Meanwhile, when contacted, SAKP secretary Basav Kalita told The Sentinel that the government’s directive to the district administration in regard to today’s bandh did not make any sense. “The government should provide transportation facility to the employees coming from remote areas. Besides, security cover should be given at the offices in remote areas during the bandh period,” Kalita said, adding that if the government does not take these initiatives, then the directive to take action against those abstaining from office does not make ‘any sense’.
However, Chief Secretary PC Sarma told The Sentinel: “We have taken all possible measures from our side. The Rhino buses were plying on the road. We also asked the private bus associations to continue their bus service during the bandh period.” He also said the government cannot force the banks, private institutions and other establishments to remain open during the bandh period. He, however, said that enough security was provided during the day.

Frans on 04.05.07 @ 05:34 PM CST [link]

Tuesday, April 3rd

Hebron talks fail but funeral to take place Wednesday; Devil sign 666 in suspect`s house intrigues The Imphal Free Press

Hebron talks fail but funeral to take place Wednesday; Devil sign 666 in suspect`s house intrigues The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Apr 2: Even though no agreement was reached at the talks between representatives of the Senapati-based civil organizations and top leaders of NSCN(IM) Monday, the organizations have decided to perform the last rites of the two kids on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Christian sign of Satan, “666” on a wooden sculpture of a man has become the talk of the town in Senapati. However authorities were tightlipped about a Devil worship angle to the tragic kidnap and murder episode. On the other hand, the state police has sent intimation to the monitoring cell of the NCSN(IM) through the Union ministry of home affairs asking it to hand over the suspected culprits to the state authorities.

Meanwhile, people, mostly womenfolk and school students, staged dharnas at various places in the state particularly at Senapati and Imphal today also.

The team of representatives of the civil organizations of Senapati led by Veino Solomon, held talks with the NSCN authorities at Hebron in Nagaland today. During the talks the representatives of the civil organizations insisted that the NSCN(IM) agree to the five point demand put forward by the representatives. However, the NSCN(IM) informing that a cabinet of the GPRN had already resolved on a decision on the matter declined to sign the paper.

Instead, they reportedly told the representatives that the GPRN had decided to complete the investigation conducted by them within seven days. Even as the representatives insisted on making public the findings of the investigation from time to time, the NSCN authority rejected the proposal stating that they could not review the decision of the cabinet as publishing of the investigation report was not included in the cabinet decision. With the NSCN authorities remaining firm on their decision no amicable agreement could be reached and the representatives of the civil organizations left Hebron and are likely to reach Imphal tomorrow, a report said.

The representatives of the civil organizations left Senapati with a draft 5-point demand from the outfit. The demands urged NSCN(IM) authorities to hold consultation with the members of the core committee on the abduction of the two school kids before announcement of punishment to the culprits and meeting with the core committee at least once in a week during the investigation period and relay of the progress of the investigation. They also pressed the NSCN(IM) to conduct investigation at the top level led by a person not less than kilo kilonser of the outfit.

On the other hand, Senapati police OC when contacted by IFP said that officially they were in the process of disposing the dead bodies which are still in their custody. Keeping the same for a long time in their custody would amount to a health hazard for the surroundings “but we are not doing so considering the sentiments of the people,” he said. He conceded that the sentiments of the people were greatly hurt and police and security forces are on alert to check any outbreak of mob trouble. The officer in-charge also went on to say that as the coffins containing the dead bodies are being kept at the corridor of the station foul smell is emanating out of the decayed bodies, and office work at the station was being affected and there was need to dispose the same at the earliest. Meanwhile, around 3000 women and school students of three schools at Senapati started an indefinite sit-in protest from today at Senapati public ground. A dharna was also staged at Khurai along the Imphal-Ukhrul road where around one hundred women and school children participated.
Tribe Hohos send SOS to Delhi Delhi hoodwinked by Assc Members?
Rengma Hoho highlights grievances to Justice Singh The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 2 (MExN): The Delimitation Commission of India is not aware of the current readjustment exercises and the consequent tumult arising in Nagaland over the delimitation and that the Nagaland commission is acting on its own covertly? Contrary to the readjustments going on, the Associated Members and Member of the Delimitation Commission of Nagaland did not brief the Delimitation Commission of the ongoing process of delimitation in the state but only pressed the DCI to maintain status quo asserting that the Naga civil society, including tribal Hohos, have “all agreed” to the status quo.
This startling revelation came to light when a delegation of Rengma Hoho officials Delimitation Commission of India met with DCI chairman Justice Kuldeep Singh on March 28 at New Delhi. The Rengma Hoho had also submitted a memorandum to the Commission that the Delimitation Act 2002 should be fully implemented in Nagaland. The delegation pointed out to the commission that seat readjustment within the district without transferring seats from one district to others, is infringement of the Act itself. And the ongoing process in Nagaland is not delimitation process at all but major tribes’ manipulation of the delimitation process to continue to retain seats beyond their entitlement by depriving the rights and entitlement of minor tribes in Nagaland, the Commission was informed.
On this, the Commission reportedly told the Rengma Hoho delegation that the Associated Members and Member of the Delimitation Commission of Nagaland did not brief the DCI about the matters highlighted above. The members of the Delimitation Commission of Nagaland had only pressed the DCI to maintain status quo “which was agreed upon by all Hohos, public organizations.” The DCI was also apprised of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly undertaking a resolution to that effect. The Rengma delegation, on its part made clear to the Commission that the Rengma Hoho is not in agreement to the resolution to maintain status quo but stands for complete delimitation implementation in Nagaland. The DCI reportedly assured the Hoho that “justice would be done.”
The Rengma Hoho was also invited to a meeting on March 21 by Minister Dr Shurhozelie, to discuss delimitation for Kohima district. At the meeting it was found that NPF party leaders including ministers and MLAs of Kohima had already worked out a new draft ‘proposal’ for Kohima’s 7 constituencies including Tseminyu Assembly Constituency, in a meeting held on the 19th. The Hoho was told that the meeting was simply to endorse the proposal. No Rengma leader was invited/included while the proposal was being prepared on the 19th. It was only then that the Hoho came to know of the draft and on this, refused to comply for endorsement and rather demanded complete delimitation. Further, a meeting attendance roll was passed around for signatures. However, it was later discovered that the “attendance roll” actually the back of the draft paper. The Rengma Hoho, meanwhile, is outraged and has rejected the status quo stand of the NLA.
Phom Peoples’ Council demands Delimitation in Toto
the Phom Peoples’ Council (PPC), the apex tribal body of the Phom tribe has in clear terms demanded for the full implementation of the Delimitation Act 2002 (amended in 2003) as per Working Paper—I in the district of Longleng according to the 2001 census. In a representation to the Chairman of the Delimitation Commission of India, the PPC vehemently objected to the resolution passed by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly on August 20, 2005 seeking ‘exemption of Nagaland from the Delimitation Act 2002’ as also the 14th session of the 10th Nagaland Legislative Assembly to effect minor readjustment within the district. “This is clear violation of our constitutional right and directive and methodology of the Delimitation Commission”, the PPC stated in its representation signed by N. Metpong, President and P. Manpong, General Secretary. The PPC also stated that it objects in Toto the Associate Members from Nagaland to the Delimitation Commission of India, which is purely one sided and undemocratic, it stated. “No member is represented from the tribes or district which genuinely stands to gain Assembly seats from the Delimitation Act 2002”, the PPC stated.
The PPC while making it clear that it was strongly opposed to the present readjustment of Assembly constituencies within the district and renaming of 49 A/C Tamlu as Yongnyah, stated that it supported the representation earlier submitted to the Delimitation Commission by the Joint Action Committee representing the tribal hohos of Longleng, Wokha, Kiphire, Peren and unit hohos of Kohima and Dimapur district.
‘Avoid constitutional, law and order crises’
the Kohima based tribal Hohos of the three districts of Longleng, Peren, Wokha and Tseminyu sub-division of Kohima district has unanimously decided to give unconditional support to the Joint Action Committee on delimitation at a meeting today and appealed to the Delimitation Commission to implement delimitation in letter and spirit as enshrined in the Act, adding that failure to implement the Act will be a mockery to democracy and “inviting law and order problems which will lead to a constitutional crisis”, it stated. In a press communiqué signed by Lotha Hoho President (Kohima) N Ngullie, Phom Union Kohima President NM Puchem, Rengma Public Union Kohima President SK Rengma and Zeliangrong Union Kohima President K. Mark Guing, the hohos demanded from the Member and Associate Members of the State Delimitation Commission, to implement the Delimitation Act 2002 (as amended in 2003) without any bias according to the tribal population of 2001 census figure.
NSCN-IM deny hand in children murder case The Morung Express
Dimapur, April 2 (MExN): The NSCN-IM has denied allegations that it is involved in the recent abduction and the subsequent murder of two children from Senapati. The two school-children Moheni Martin and Heiinii Hubert were abducted from Senapati last December and their bodies were recovered only a few days back.
A MIP note from the NSCN-IM termed the allegations as ‘false.’ Even while lamenting that “every issue that crops up” is always placed on the NSCN-IM to ‘stain its image,’ the MIP note observed that “such crime was not even expected of Khaplang members though suspicion of their involvement is not ruled out.” Denouncing “all inhuman acts of killing” and condemning them, the NSCN-IM asserted to bring the culprits to justice. “But as truth prevail over all falsifications, Meitei sources or any other adverse elements’ usual misleading propagandas will not succeed in sowing apprehensions, as black will remain black and white as white” it stated while making a ‘commitment’ to deliver justice.
In regard to the “misapprehensions” upon the NSCN-IM in the Lungnila Elizabeth murder case, the MIP note stated that “in no way justice is being obstructed.” “The GPRN affirms that just action will be served upon the guilty as and when the acts of crime committed are unearthed and authentically established” it asserted reminding that in a judicial system penalization cannot be based on impulses, external pressure, assumptions and suspicions. In the murder case, the NSCN-IM informed, one James Kuki was apprehended as suspect. During probe, the main culprit, stated as an ex-Manipur Police Commando and a collaborator of the UNLF, was apprehended by the Manipur government.

The accused is still under the Manipur government’s custody, it stated. Following the arrest of the “main culprit,” the NSCN-IM had requested the Manipur government “for cross-examination and interrogation” which was denied. Due to these “technicalities” the murder case of Elizabeth faced “setbacks to be solved” and now it is up to the Manipur government to hand over the accused to the NSCN-IM for “adjudicating the case,” to deliver justice to the victims or own responsibility for obstructing justice, it asserted.
So far the Manipur government has neither granted access to the accused b the NSCN-IM nor has it come out with any result from their investigations in the case despite the accused murderer being in their custody, the MIP note stated. “Therefore, the GPRN obstructing justice does not arise” it added.
Children no more safe; Senapati women demand justice Morung Express News
Senapati Women folks of Senapati today held a sit-in-protest here in the main town, demanding justice for the kidnapping and killing of two innocent school children Moheni Martin and Hubert Hriinii. School children of Brooke Dale, Little Angel English School and St. Anthony’s School also participated in the protest. School children held placards, some of them read, ‘We want Security.’ ‘Will I be the next?’, ‘Punish the guilty,’ ‘Capital Punishment for the killers,’ ‘The criminals have no place in this decent world,’ ‘Handover the culprit to the public,’ etc.
Women of Senapati sit in protest at the rally as pictures of Moheni Martin and Hubert Hriinii (right) document their pain at the abduction, and sebsequent murder of the two children.
Since the day skeletal remains of the missing kids were discovered, Senapati town remains tense and the women folks have taken the lead to mobilize public support. It may be recalled that on March 29 the women rallied demanding justice and to book the culprit and hand them over to the people. The women called upon the overground and underground to deliver justice on time. ‘Until and unless the people involved are found out and befitting punishment given, justice is at stake. Therefore, all culprits involved are needed to be found out and let the public know them and the final punishment could be carried out after people’s consent,’ said one of the women present in the rally. ‘Our children are not longer safe. They are now afraid to go and come in. Once our society lived in peace but now we are living in fear due to the presence of some anti-social people carrying out their criminal jobs,’ rued another woman. The women decried such dastard and bestiality act. The NSCN (IM) must now show their credentials to the people as the main culprits are in their custody, some women opined. Sources informed that the three suspects Manikho, Brawn and Adai are already in the custody of NSCN (IM) and the Core Committee and public leaders are meeting with the former group at camp Hebron for the submission and signing of an agreement.
The Government of Manipur has assured the public to book the culprit within ten days time and carry out the investigation with the highest level of professionalism and the ex-gratia to be paid under the existing norms in the State. An Imphal-based newspaper reported that the State Government is asking Delhi to tell the NSCN (IM) to hand over the suspects to carry out further investigation. This time the Senapati women have taken the matter more seriously and are relentlessly rendering their tireless effort in carrying out rallies and sit-in-protests since the kidnapping of the kids first came to light last year. Women shared the pain and agony of the Lungnila Elizabeth’s murder case and expressed the displeasure over the freeing of James Kuki, the kingpin, without any credible reasons given to the general public for his release.
The sources said that a ball of stone with a human face carved on it was found in the gutted down house of Brawn at Viewland colony. In the front side of it was 666 number imprinted and behind with a code SKA. Sources revealed that some loud bursting sound was heard at the time of burning the house. It has become the talk of the town.
Murder of Hriini Hubert and Muheni Martin IM gives 7 day promise to crack case By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Apr 2 : In protest against the brutal killing of Muheni Martin and Hrinii Hubert after being kidnapped for ransom, an indefinite protest session has begun in Senapati district from today even as the NSCN (I-M), in whose custody three of the murder suspects are being kept, has given the assurance of making public the finding of its probe into the case within seven days.
According to a reliable source, in view of the mounting pressure, the Cabinet of the proscribed NSCN (I-M) has taken a resolution to the effect of expediting the probe and making public its findings and to disclose the identities of the culprits within seven days.
The resolution of the Cabinet was conveyed to the representatives of the Core Committee during a joint meeting with the leaders of the NSCN (I-M) at Hebron Camp of the outfit located at Dimapur today. The representatives of the Core Committee were also informed that a directive had already been issued to Revolutionary Court of the outfit yesterday to execute the same judiciously. Apart from this assurance, the joint meeting which lasted for four hours, however, could not arrive at any conclusion on the other demands of the Core Committee. Following this a mass public meeting is likely to be held at Senapati tomorrow to discuss the matter, the source informed. It may be noted that the Core Committee had earlier given 10 days time to NSCN (I-M) to produce the culprits. Meanwhile, an indefinite protest session has begun from today at Senapati demanding punishment of the killers of the two innocent students. On the first day of the protest session which was held from 10 am to 6 pm today, students from various schools of the district and their mothers took part in the protest. The protestors demanded both the State Government and the UG group to produce the culprits and to give them befitting punishment and to make public the findings of the investigation/interrogation of the suspects. Placards inscribed with slogans like ‘Don not shelter and defend the killers’, ‘Criminals do not have place in this world’, ‘We want justice’, ‘Hand over culprits to the public’, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’, ‘Will I be the next victim?’, ‘No more kidnapping’, etc were seen being used by the protestors.
The protest session being launched under the aegis of Senapati District Women Association is being supported by many social organisations and people living in different parts of the districts like Rereikhumai Taphou, Mount Everest, Phyamai Taphou, Namthan Rongmei Taphou, Kuki Taphou, Oinam Taphou, Saranamai Women Society, Emesiiphro village, Taphou Makeng, Punipfsomai, Medical Colony, Revenue Colony, PWD Colony, Agriculture Colony, Horticulture Colony apart from students of Brookdale School, St Anthony School and Little Angel School.
According to police sources, the investigation process into the case has been hampered as the suspected killers are in the custody of the NSCN (I-M). Consequently, the State Government has sought the assistance and intervention of the Centre to secure the release of the suspects from the custody of the outfit. However, another suspect identified as Gulong who has been in the police custody has been released on bail on medical ground. Integrated Women Development has strongly condemned the killing of the two innocent kids being kidnapped for ransom and pledged support to the agitation being spearheaded by the Core Committee in this connection.
Komrem Baptist Churches’ Association, Tarung has also come out strongly against the brutal killing of the two innocent children by their kidnappers even after taking the ransom amount from their parents. Family members said that the funeral service of the two kids may be held tomorrow at 9 am and urged all to attend the same.

-De Facto or De Jure Source: IMPHAL FREE PRESS

The bones of two innocent primary school boys lay unclaimed in Senapati, ironically for the cause of justice. The agony the parents and families of the boys must be undergoing cannot even be imagined. And it has been an extended agony for them, climaxing in untold the tragedy they are facing now. The boys were kidnapped on December 14, 2006 and their whereabouts or fate remained unknown till March 26 this year, when their skeletal remains were discovered in the vicinity of Senapati town adjacent to a new village called Viewland. And now, because justice remains denied in the case, the dead children are still being deprived the last rites as per their parents’ religion. This is a plea then for the justice mechanism to speed up to allow the souls of the dead children to rest in eternal peace, and to give the torture their families are going through some respite. It is difficult to imagine how anybody can ever come to reconcile such a colossal loss, but the families must at least have the consolation that their children have finally been paid all earthly dues. In a way, the angst of the families are perhaps a test by fire to come to see that in the deaths of Hriinii and Moheni is a supreme sacrifice made to atone the sins of others. May their young wasted lives, and those of so many other innocent children sacrificed on the altar of a society whose conscience has been dwarfed by prolonged exposure to a culture of violence, result in a renewed commitment by one and all to end crime against children.

The shocking deaths of the two boys have also thrown the spotlight on another vexing unresolved problem – just what are the relations between de jure and de facto governments supposed to be. There can be no denying today that the people are expected to negotiate and maintain the fine balance between the two. It is also common knowledge that there exist a great number of de facto governments, all of which collect taxes, run their own justice dispensing mechanisms, legislate law through diktats and decrees etc. While the relation of the de jure government with most of them is clear for it never recognized them to be parallel governments regardless of whether this is a reality, in the case of the NSCN(IM) and to an extent the NSCN(K), the matter has been made a lot more complex. This is so because in the ceasefire agreements which these two organisations entered with the Union government and the peace parleys they are holding subsequently, the state governments have been totally left out. To put it to the point, the states (most pertinently Nagaland and Manipur) are at a total loss as to how the matter is to be dealt with. It is almost as if the Union government has given de jure status to the de facto governments the latter two were running, so that the states virtually and almost by the legal norms have to treat them as parallel governments.

This became adequately clear in the manner chief minister, Okram Ibobi, spelled out his government’s plan of action with regards to the three suspects in the kidnap and murder of the two Senapati boys, all of whom are now reportedly in the custody of the NSCN(IM). Ibobi is left with the only option of requesting the Union government to have the NSCN(IM) hand over the three to his administration. Niphiu Rio in Nagaland has had similar problems when he too had to request the Union government to exercise its influence to end an open war between the two NSCN factions in Zunheboto, as if his own administration was powerless, or not authorised to handle the situation. This calls for a re-look of the Ceasefire Ground Rules by the parties concerned, most notably the Union government. Surely, it cannot be in its or the states’ interest in the long run for the state administrations to be belittled in the manner they have been. But in the meantime, even as the Union government re-examines the issue, let justice in the case of the murder of the two Senapati boys be done first. Let the guilt of the suspects be established beyond all reasonable doubts preferably by the legitimate establishment, and suitable and exemplary punishment awarded. Let the Union government also take note that another case, that of the kidnap and murder of Lungnila Elizabeth, remains unresolved because of a similar ambiguity of administrative jurisdictions.
JAC claims DAN misled Commission Correspondent Nagaland Post
Kohima, April 2 (NPN): In what is seen as a strong indictment against the DAN government on delimitation, the Delimitation Commission of India has charged the State government with misleading the Commission on the issue and asked for a detailed explanation from the State government. A seven-member Joint Action Committee (JAC) of tribal hohos of Wokha, Kiphire, Longleng, Peren and Tseminyu sub-division claimed that the Chairman of the Delimitation Commission of India Kuldip Singh made the indictment on the State when the delegation members met him in New Delhi on March 28. The JAC claimed that during the meeting, Singh disclosed that the State Member and Associate Members of the State Delimitation Commission did not speak for the tribes and districts which stood to gain additional seats. The JAC also claimed that Singh had disclosed that even the tribal legislators of the five districts and sub-division remained silent on the matter. The JAC further disclosed that Singh reportedly told the delegation members that the State government and the Associate Members had insisted only on the tribal population as per the 2001 census to determine distribution of seats and which had been agreed to by the Commission since similar requests from Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya were also agreed to. The JAC submitted a memorandum to Singh with a proposal based on the average of Census 2001 tribal population of 17,74,026, which is 29,567 population per assembly constituency. As per the proposal, Mokokchung and Zunheboto districts will each lose two seats, Mon and Tuensang will each lose one seat while Wokha, Dimapur, Peren and Kiphire will each gain one and Longleng two seats. The JAC comprised of hoho leaders E Konpemo Ovung, Idailung Thou, B.S Ngalang, Thsesong Yimchunger, Tsapikiu Sangtam, Yansathung Jami, and Dennis Zeliang. It also requested Mr. Singh for “just implementation” of the Delimitation Act, 2002, as amended in 2003. Earlier, the JAC in a separate representation addressed to the State Member, Associate Members and State Election Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of the five affecting districts, rejected the ongoing exercise for re-adjustment of assemblies constituencies within the districts and demanded total implementation of delimitation in Nagaland as per the 2001 Census population figure. “Democracy is all about equal representation of the people and the people can be equally represented only when the ratio of population per assembly constituency seat is proportionately distributed. No Naga is superior or inferior to the other. All Nagas should have and should be given equal opportunity in all aspects,” the representation stated. It also pointed out that it was the bounden duty of the State government, State Member of Delimitation Commission, Commissioner, Nagaland; and the Associate Members to carry out the delimitation exercise in letter and spirit for “just implementation” of delimitation in the State as per the Act. Further, the JAC presented the same proposal it had submitted to the Chairman of the Commission based on the average scale of tribal population of 2001 Census and urged the authorities to consider its proposal.
Urbanization alarming: Minister Staff Reporter Nagaland Post
Dimapur: Minister for Urban Development, Dr Shürhozelie Liezietsu said the urbanization process in Nagaland is alarming considering the urban infrastructure deficits. He said that since Nagaland achieved statehood the total population had increased by 5.3 times in terms of absolute number while urban population had increased by 18.4 times which is remarkable. He also said that while the decadal average national urban population growth rate is just about 21.40 percent that of Nagaland is 69.44 percent which is alarmingly very high. The minister said this while inaugurating the millennium market at Dimapur on Monday.
Dr Shürhozelie said that though urbanization process is relatively recent phenomenon in Nagaland, an increasing share of its population is now living in urban areas mainly due to rural-urban migration in search of employment opportunity and better livelihood. In this regard, the minister stressed “by this current trend, half of our population will be living in towns and cities in the next couple of decades and this reflects the magnitude of challenges that lies ahead.”
While highlighting that urbanization is a relentless process which has to be factored in all developmental thinking and processes like investing in infrastructure and improving the quality of life, he said that rapid urbanization has not only outpaced infrastructure development, but has also brought about “terrible” downside of proliferating slums, increasing homelessness, growing urban poverty and crime, relentless march of pollution and ecological damage. In this regard, the minister said that “integrated framework” is needed to improve the quality of living for ordinary people. Dr Shürhozelie said that in the context of the Look East Policy, state-of-the-art urban infrastructure is pre-requisite for the private and corporate sector players but expressed regret that the present traffic in Nagaland is moving at snail-pace and load shedding every alternate hour. He further said “vehicular growth has been recorded very high and is expected to grow even more whereas our roads and parking facilities has not really increased. The city of Dimapur particularly occupies a strategic location and could be truly a gateway to the South Asian countries.”
He also urged the Nagas to usher in an era of responsibility to move forward the progressive path of development. Earlier in the inaugural function, the invocation prayer was pronounced by Rev N. Tzudir, pastor of DABA, short speeches were delivered by Tovihoto, chairman of DMC, K. Nzimongo Ngullie, deputy commissioner of Dimapur, and MLA Atomi Zhimomi and vote of thanks was proposed by Dr S.C Deorani, principal secretary for Urban Development who also chaired over the function.Later the market complexes at Purana Bazaar and Chumukedima were also inaugurated the minister.
AR Recruitment rally underway in Kohima Morung Express News
Kohima Several youth from different parts of the state today turned up at the open recruitment rally into Assam Rifles which got underway here at the Kohima Local Ground.
During the rally, the aspirant candidates will go for physical test, medical test and documentation. A total vacancy in this rally stands at 145. Flagging off the rally, Brig. HGV Singh, SM, Commander 5 Sector Assam Rifles termed the rally as “big opportunity for the young boys of Nagaland.”
He said that Assam Rifles has been rendering commendable services for the north eastern states and the troops from this area are amongst the best. Also stating that the Assam Rifles is the oldest central police organization of the country, Brig. Singh said that it has earned laurels both in peace and war. He urged the aspirant candidates to participate with confidence and determination to serve the nation. Brig. Singh said that while embarking on the life of discipline, adventure and challenge, they must remember that there are no shortcuts.
He maintained that only strongest and fittest who meet the criteria will be selected in the rally.
“However, who are not selected during this rally should not lose heart and should continue trying to explore their potential,” he added. Kohima Deputy Commissioner R. Ramakrishnan, IAS and Lt. Col. SI Jakhalu (Retd), secretary, Rajya Sainik Board also spoke on the occasion. Col. Gautam Ganguly, CO 26th Assam Rifles was also present on the occasion.
A Cry for Acceptance, Unification and Reconciliation Mhaphüvi Naleo Column The Morung Express
Nagas cannot afford to be proven wrong because of our likenesses or differences. More than any other reason, we are brothers and sisters of the same family. We cannot expect every action or idea to be uniform. So it is for this reason our diversity colors the beauty of our nation. This beauty cannot be replaced by any other input or ideology except to remain united, accepting one another, respecting one another and forgiving one another in the midst of all the differences
Oh what a pity for those like minded people. The famous Aristotle’s saying, “Birds of the same feather flock together” has finally become a reality where a community becomes exclusive. These breed of people cannot accept the views of others but are always craving for their own selfish gain. They become oppressive and are doubtful of others’ accomplishments. Therefore, what is proven right is that, Unity in Diversity is correct. This community accepts, respects and has love for others inspite of their differences. It is the most stable and secured community.
Nagas cannot afford to be proven wrong because of our likenesses or differences. More than any other reason, we are brothers and sisters of the same family. We cannot expect every action or idea to be uniform. So it is for this reason our diversity colors the beauty of our nation. This beauty cannot be replaced by any other input or ideology except to remain united, accepting one another, respecting one another and forgiving one another in the midst of all the differences. No one can break or separate us from this God-given community, and should never be broken. This is our stronghold and identity as a nation (not to forget her geography).
Now it has been more than half a century, and we are still demanding this right from the Indian Republic. There has never been a time that we have given up or failed in our pursuit for this cause. We are rightly demanding what is ours. The world is also alarmed and has heard our cry for justice. Recently in our local daily news, people from different countries of the world (appeared as Naga Solidarity Group) have supported us by saying that “Naga people’s right to a peaceful solution and to live as a sovereign people is undeniable.” We feel proud that we are respected and there are people who empathize with us. It is also a comfort and blessing to hear that many pastors and churches in America are praying for Nagas for this right cause. But why is it that they are not working along with us to solve it at the earliest? Why do they still remain silent or seem to be deaf to our just plea? Are we still barbaric to run our own course of history? Are we too small to become an independent nation? Is it because we do not have enough arsenals, jets or technology to compete with others? The answer is no, never ask us that way.
In all of their support for us, their unison voice is to be united and reconciled within yourself. Without doubt, God demands the same from us. It is not an individual struggle, a clan struggle, a village struggle, a tribe struggle or a group struggle. It is a call for NAGAS’ STRUGGLE. A struggle where everyone participates for a glorious future. No one can claim to be superior or inferior for this hope but everyone has equal share and responsibility. So no one is exempted whether freedom fighters or government officials or church leaders or the general public. To bring unification, acceptance and reconciliation is everyone’s responsibility. Without this, how do we see our future? Do we expect another civil war for the mighty group to win? God forbids, never dream or think of it again. Enough is enough, no more tears and no more bloodshed.
It is high time to think deeply and avail the privilege. It is the opportune time when we can prove ourselves worthy to be a sovereign people: There needs to be transformation within the revolution: not only fight for the right but also to live as a human being – life of peace, truth, acceptance, respect, unity, love, etc. so that we not only solve the problem but also live a better life. Those grudges and misperceptions must be bargained as Dr Wati Aier stated for a “just peace” in our society, We cannot afford to let these things kill us again anymore. We are not blind people who hit everyone who come in our way. We are a unique people placed uniquely before God. We know who are our brothers and sisters. Therefore, it will be unwise on our part to consider our own brothers and sisters as not one of us. Mistakes are made but foolish is the man who does not learn from it.
For sure it will not be that easy to arrive at a given consensus and have a constructive debate when we have already pushed ourselves to the extreme periphery. But without a common political unification and acceptance, the problems still remain unsolved. In spite of the many obstacles and differences, it is only through unification, acceptance and reconciliation which will bring lasting peaceful existence. Pluralism will only complicate our cause. It can never bring concreteness, substance and bonding in one spirit. No matter what it strives for, it only pleases the surface area. To be honest, it is difficult to picture Nagas to be an independent nation without unification, acceptance and reconciliation, because it will only lead to a civil war where the hearts of many generations will be torn into pieces.
So where to go now? Where do we start? Who should be responsible? Let us come out of our misperception and be accountable for this big cause. As a Christian populated state, we cannot think of other better ideologies but to remain faithful to the biblical teaching. Without God it is also hard to think of unification and reconciliation. Before we forgive each other, we must ask God to forgive us and lead us with a testimony.
No one is exempted from this cause. The church needs to pray hard and try to eliminate the evils in our society. We have to work without wavering till we see transformation in our society. State ministers and bureaucrats need to seriously examine their responsibility as leaders. We are tired of listening to very good sermons especially on development, and law and order in the state when in reality there is full of favoritism, corruption and insecurity of the people. Development is your work but what about just and pure democracy in governance. Is there no such thing in your agenda/program? Whatever it may be, we now stand on the threshold to decide our future either of victory or suffering for some more decades. Let us take the privilege of creating a just and peaceful atmosphere in our state and not forgetting to participate in the acceptance, unification and reconciliation of all Naga brothers and sisters. It’s high time for us irrespective of all groups, government bodies, organizations, NGOs and all sectors of unions to join together for this cause. We are all equally responsible as our freedom fighters.
The top pastors of the United States are praying and have concern for us, saying that it is a God-given privilege to be united; accept and reconcile within ourselves. Shall we be more serious than those who empathize with us? It is our responsibility and we cannot rely totally on others to solve our problems. No doubt, there has been lots of progress in peace talks thus far but we cannot be satisfied with its progress only. What do we lose if we can give a testimony to the world community that unification and reconciliation are always attainable? They are serious. Their support for us is not a joke nor to please us. Are we serious about it?
Shalom Bible Seminary, Sechüma
Testing time for Ibobi as Manipur fails to rest Women protestors marching towards CM bangalow this afternoon for submitting a memorandum Newmai News Network
Imphal It is another testing time for the three weeks old Secular Progressive Front (SPF) government headed by chief minister O Ibobi Singh with the ever increasing unrest atmosphere in Manipur. Even as the Senapati kids’ murder issue is reining the roost in the state, protestors today confronted with the Manipur police commandos along the National Highway 39 near Manipur University gate in Imphal. The police had to use tear-shells to disperse the irate protestors.
Strongly opposing the construction of National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Kiyamgei Loukon in the south of Imphal city, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) against the construction of NIT on their land went berserk this morning by spilling mobil oil and burning of tyres along the National Highway-39 which had prompted the Manipur police commandos to fire tear gas shells and rubber bullets injuring at least eight persons.
Another group of protestors still tried to march into the chief minister’s official residence this afternoon against the killing of one Ch Onil last night in the heart of Imphal.
Joint Action Committee (JAC) against the killing of Onil marched till the chief minister’s residence and submitted a memorandum demanding the culprits to booked and award befitting punishments. Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has already been biting his tail as he is facing the heat from the people with regard to the kidnapping and the subsequent murder of two school-going kids in Senapati. With the reports that the culprits are now in the custody of the NSCN-IM in Dimapur, the chief minister has been pleading the Union government to pressurize the Naga outfit to hand over the culprits to the state government. However, facing the extreme social unrest has been synonymous with O Ibobi Singh. In the year 2003, security forces personnel had arrested Thangjam Manorama Devi, raped and then killed in the outskirt of Imphal in which the Manipur valley erupted whereby forcing the state government to clamp indefinite curfew. The unrest lasted for about two months but Ibobi Singh and his SPF government survived.
Then came the Naga students two months long economic blockades along the only two lifelines of Manipur giving food scarcity in Manipur.But Ibobi Singh managed to get out of the intense situation and the All Naga Students Association,Manipur, ANSAM, who was demanding to withdraw the Manipur Integrity Day in the state holiday list, called off its agitation after 52 days.
Insurgency in Manipur By Lt Col H Bhuban Singh (Retd) Sangai Express
Chairman Mao Ze Dong once remarked that insurgents were like fish and they needed water (meaning the people) to sustain a revolution. Confucius, a pre-Christian era Chinese philosopher said:
“By gaining the people, the Kingdom is gained, By losing the people, the Kingdom is lost.”
Now, the people, or a nation or even a community is not an inert object. It is very much like a living thing. If you bully the people too much, it will withdraw, sulk and revolt. It can feel pain, can feel happy and can feel proud if successful and victorious.
Manipur was a very peaceful place before Independence, when there was British Rule through Maharajas. Rule of law existed everywhere except for some idiosyncratic ways of Maharajas which were dictated by religion and self-ego, like ban on cow-slaughter, total prohibition of liquor for Hindu Meiteis, public whipping of cow-thieves in market places, requirement for women to cover their heads in front of Maharaj as, no public hanging of any condemned man during the month of Kartik (Mera), which is the sacred month of offering Tarpan to departed ancestors etc. So strict was the ban on cow-slaughter that Maharaja Bodhchandra Singh refused in 1942, the request of the Viceroy to allow cow-slaughter for successful war effort, which was personally conveyed by Sir Andrew Clow, the then Governor of Assam, who came to Imphal and met the Maharaja at his Palace Durbar Hall. The far-sighted and intelligent British did not insist on cow-slaughter but quietly withdrew perhaps because (as I think) they felt that bull-dozing their way on cow-slaughter and antagonizing the Maharaja (which meant annoying the entire Meitei population) would have caused more damages to the total war-effort. I saw some of these things, which I had narrated above with my own eyes, as I was big enough and was a college student, when Independence arrived. Meitei Manipuris are very orthodox people. We are the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji. So orthodox were we that when my uncle H. Amuba Singh and my aunty went to Nabadwip on pilgrimage in mid-1930s, they took sufficient quantities of chengpak (sun-dried flattened parboiled rice). They lived on chengpak, molasses (chini) and water only since they did not like to eat the impure food prepared by Bengalis, who were the kiths and kin of our Lord Mahaprabhuji! During our school-days, we were not permitted to take lunch without bath. We always put Tilak on our faces. Now, very few do. Though Mangoloid in appearance, we thought we were as good Indians as anyone else. So, we accepted our Indianness in totality.
Meanwhile, the Nagas were gaining ground. Simon Commission visited Kohima in 1929 and met about one dozen members of Kohima Club and submitted a memorandum requesting the Commission to put Naga Hills District directly under the British Crown. This visit and submission of memorandum were arranged through the kind courtesy of Mr. I.R. Hutton, the then Deputy Commissioner of Naga Hills District of Assam. It looks to me that James Hutton plan on Naga Hills, was to do a Ceylon (now Sri Lanka then a part of India) and get Naga Hills District out of British Indian Empire. When Indian Independence was imminent, this same Kohima Club transformed itself into Naga National Council (NNC) in 1946, at the behest of Mr. Charles Pawsay, the then Deputy Commissioner. Pawsay was rewarded and became Sir Charles Pawsay. Thus, a mere club became a National Council or Parliament, if you like and a nation was born. Mr. A.Z. Phizo declared Naga independence on 14 August 1947, one day ahead of India.
The Nagas were egged on to revolt and take up arms, by the British and American agents. This made the Nagas bold. Phizo ran away to Britain and died a fugitive. In 1957, Tuensang Frontier Agency was sliced off from the erstwhile NEFA (North East Frontier Agencies) and got merged into Naga Hills and this new district came to be known as Naga Hills and Tuensang District, but still a district of Assam. While the hostiles kept the Naga pot boiling, the moderates deigned to become good Indians, if Government of India could make Naga Hills and Tuensang District a full-fledged State of India. Possibly, the moderates were sincere and really desired to become good citizens of India. Or more probably, the British used the moderates to gain as much politically for the Nagas as possible, while they (British) interfered obstinato. Nagaland was granted statehood in 1963. Manipur one of the oldest of Princely States (as old as Maharana Pratap Singh’s Udaipur) was left out. To usher peace, in the new State, they even proposed a Peace Committee under the leadership of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan.
The Peace Committee ended in a fiasco when Reverand Michael Scott was forcibly deported from India as persona-non-grata. Whenever the Statehood case of Manipur was brought up, the Delhiwalla’s pet reply was always “You cannot compare yourself with Nagaland. It is a special case”. Ultimately Manipur gained Statehood in 1972 – a good nine years later.
That was a rude awakening for the pious and docile Meiteis. They saw that obstinacy was rewarded. As a result, according to what I visualize, insurgency came and reached the Manipur Valley in early 1960s, as if to say that we could also be as obstinate as the Nagas.
Almost immediately after the Naga Statehood, came the establishment of United National Liberation Front (UNLF) in November 1964. Then, the Revolutionary Government of Manipur (RGM) was formed by the fall of 1968. The Peoples’ Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) was set up in October 1977. People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was raised on 25 September 1978. Now, there are as many as 17 or 18 insurgent outfits in Manipur, each having their limited objectives, which are expressed on tribal or community lines. — to be contd

BPPF (H) hampering peace talks with Centre: NDFB
From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
NALBARI, April 2 – The militant outfit NDFB and the Hagrama Mahilary-led BPPF is heading towards a conflict following the Medaghat killing, which is causing great concern among the peace-loving Bodo people. A tense situation has been prevailing in the entire BTAD area due to repeated clashes between NDFB cadres and former BLT men. While the NDFB is organising a peace rally at Medaghat where a NDFB cadre was killed allegedly by former BLT men on March 26, the BPPF (H) in advance organised a mamoth counter-rally at Barama yesterday.

Addressing the gathering, BTC chief Hagrama Mahilary demanded the government to restrict the NDFB cadre in designated camp to stop their attrocities on the common people.

Meanwhile, the NDFB which is under a ceasefire agreement with the Central government, said that the Hagrama Mahilary-led BPPF is hampering the on-going peace process between Centre and the NDFB leadership.
Talking to this correspondent over telephone, the Agriculture and Natural Resource Secretary M Gerema held BTC chief Hagrama Mahilary responsible for the delay in the much-awaited peace talks. Pointing fingers at the BTC executive member Hitesh Basumatary as the main culprit for the attack on the NDFB’s public liaison office of Medaghat, the outfit said that some Bodo leaders have no concern for peace, legitimate rights and development of the long suffering Bodo people and instead are mongering after power and money.

Gerema further alleged that while the public and injured NDFB cadres identified the names of the culprits and the number of vehicles that were used in the attack, the BTC chief is sheltering those persons. The NDFB leader further stated that the BPPF(H) also formed another terrorist outfit Bodoland Royal Tiger Force (BRTF) with the former BLT men and the youth of BPPF(H).

On the other hand, the arrest of a NDFB cadre Lakra Narzary by Gossaigaon police yesterday also created great sensation in the BTAD area. Meanwhile, a day long bandh was observed at Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon yesterday in protest against his arrest.

NDFB rally calls for peace with ex-BLT Our Correspondent Assam tribune
BARAMA, April 2 – People today gathered at Medaghat in Baksa district in NDFB-sponsored peace rally demanding an end to the ongoing conflict between NDFB and ex-BLT men over the killing of an NDFB cadre at its Medaghat liaison office recently. The people urged upon the Bodo leadership to refrain themselves from fratracidal killings in the interest of permanent political solution to the Bodo problem. Peoples from ten different districts, representatives from different Bodo organisations including All Bodo peace Forum, Bodo Women’s Justice Forum, BPPF (R), ARSU ad top brass of the militant outfit NDFB joined the peace rally.

NDFB leadership also took out a protest rally from Barama Girls’ High School and submitted a memorandum to the Baksa deputy commissioner demanding immediate arrest of BTC executive member Hitesh Basumatary who was allegedly involved in the Medaghat killing. The processionists also carried a cut out of Hitesh Basumatary hanging on a post.

Addressing the rally, NDFB general secretary B Swimkhar said the NDFB has been fighting for political rights to Bodos freeing them from exploitation over the last 20 years. During 1991 to 2005, mistrust and fratracidal clashes among the Bodos rocked entire Bodoland and now when the NDFB came into a ceasefire agreement, the situation has rapidly turned difficult. When we are demanding state govts to give appropriate punishment to those involved in Medaghat killing, BTC chief Hagrama Mahilary is trying to add fuel to fire only due to the involvement of his EM colouring the entire incident. It is very informative for the people’, Swimkhar stated. Stating that Mahilary should show transparency by arresting the culprits of Medaghat killing. The NDFB leader said Hagrama was trying to mislead the Boro people. Reacting to the pre-mature statement of the BTC chiefs Swimkhar said that “as we want lasting peace in Bodoland we should try to unit the Bodo people for peace and mutual understanding. He, however, admitted that all ex-BLT men and youth wing of BPPF are not guilty. Only some miscreants among them are trying to derail the peace process.
Speaking in the meeting, chief adviser of All Bodo Peace Forum Bhraman Baglary called upon both NDFB and ex-BLT to maintain peace and amity to resist any subversive incidents.

Later talking to this correspondent, general secretary of NDFB B Swimkhar said peace talks between NDFB and Central Government is yet to pick up due to lack of centre’s sincerity. ‘As we declared ceasefire for an unconditional talk, centre now has set pre-condition demanding a charter of demands from the outfit’, he added. Swimkhar stated that the Central Government should resume the process of talks without pre-condition. Denying the charge of violation of truce ground rules by NDFB cadres, the NDFB leader demanded the government to take stern action through law if there is any allegation. He said that ex-BLT men in BTAD are extorting huge numbers from the development schemes of different blocks.

I will try my best to integrate NE people with mainstream: Borbora staff Correspondent Sentinel
SHILLONG, April 2: The newly-appointed Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Eastern Air Command, Air Marshall PK Borbora, pledged to go an extra mile to remove the feeling of ‘alienation’ felt by the people of the north-eastern States.
In an interaction with the media at the Eastern Command headquarters in Shillong today, Borbora, who called himself ‘the son of the soil’, lamented that the people’s sense of being alienated is perceived on the feeling that the government does not go by its commitments, and this makes things to go on simmering. “As a man who will head the command, I will do my best to bridge the gap to integrate them (people of North-east) with the mainstream,” Borbora said.
“For so long, the North-east has got fragmented and between these developments, the feeling of being ignored has driven a wedge that stops the North-east from contributing to nation-building,” stated Borbora adding: “Those days are now gone since the Centre has looked at the North-east with a different set of eyes.” In stating this, Borbora listed the numerous flaws, sentimental and emotional aspects that stop officers in the armed forces from reaching the top of the ladder.
“There should be reason as to why the Goalpara Sainik School has produced only one NDA graduate in 20 years,” said Borbora. It is worth mentioning that Borbora is the first person from the north-eastern region to reach the coveted position in the IAF.
When asked on the turmoil in different parts of the North-east, Borbora said: “It is the Government’s wisdom to follow its policies. The tribulations and the reasons for conflict vary from place to place, and so it requires a different yardstick to address those problems.”
The AOC-in-C also ruled out any possible threat or war with China in the near future. In spite of China’s development of defence technologies and their transfer to Pakistan, Borbora said the situation has changed in recent times where no country can launch a war for a piece of land.
“In fact, India and China are joining hands on energy resources,” Borbora said, citing that with the two countries being growing economic power, anything procured for defence will be ‘for deterrence and not for aggression’. Borbora formally took charge as the AOC-in-C today.

Frans on 04.03.07 @ 04:50 PM CST [link]

Monday, April 2nd

Militants steal cops’ thunder – Manipur seeks Delhi intervention in kidnap-murder case OUR CORRESPONDENTThe Telegraph

2 April 2007 Monday
Militants steal cops’ thunder – Manipur seeks Delhi intervention in kidnap-murder case OUR CORRESPONDENTThe Telegraph
Imphal, April 1: Manipur police and Naga militants are engaged in a tug-of-war for custody of the three men who allegedly kidnapped and killed schoolboys Muheni Martin and Hriini Hubert.
Under fire for failing to save the boys, the government faced more flak and embarrassment when reports confirmed that the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) had caught the main accused before the police could even figure out their identities. Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has now sought Delhi’s help in getting custody of the accused. “I have urged Delhi to intervene in the case and hand over the prime accused, now in the custody of the NSCN (I-M), to Manipur police for interrogation,” he told the media today.
Ibobi Singh said he was sure Delhi, which has a ceasefire agreement with the NSCN (I-M), could end the impasse by talking directly to the outfit’s leadership.
The chief minister’s anxiety stems from the tense situation in Senapati district, where the incident occurred. The distraught parents of the victims have yet to accept the bodies, found in a gorge not far from their homes on March 27. Martin and Hubert were kidnapped on December 14 last year and killed despite their families reportedly paying ransom. Superintendent of police Nishit Kumar Ujjwal said over phone from the district headquarters that Martin and Hubert’s parents had refused to accept the bodies unless the killers were brought to book. “The deadlock persists. The bodies are at Senapati police station. Negotiations with the NSCN (I-M) are under way,”
Two members of the militant group visited Senapati on Friday to speak to representatives of NGOs campaigning for “justice” to Martin and Hubert, who were students of Class III in the same school. The men who allegedly kidnapped and murdered them — Manikho Mao, Brown Tangkhul and Adai — are at the outfit’s headquarters, Camp Hebron near Dimapur.
All three accused are Nagas. A source said Senapati-based NGOs were encouraging the NSCN (I-M) to “punish” the accused rather than bank on the police and the judiciary to mete out justice. The militant leaders who visited Senapati went back after assuring the NGOs that there would be a “proper investigation” and the culprits would be “punished as soon as possible”.
There are conflicting claims about the identities of the persons behind the crime. While a senior NSCN (I-M) functionary said Brown and Manikho were the masterminds, another leader from Camp Hebron reportedly told the victims’ parents that Manikho was the only culprit. On the other hand, the Khaplang faction of the NSCN accused members of the rival Isak-Muivah group of kidnapping and murdering the boys.
Rejoinder to NSCN (K)- Nagaland Posy Opninion
The Khaplang terrorists of Lotha region should stop prattling and making a fool of themselves in the interest of the Lothas. Let me remind you that a wise man talks less to avoid exposing his ignorance and weakness. It is very interesting to see that you claim to work for the Lothas but on concocted allegations issuing threat to innocent people and business community. It reveals your evil mindset that is fit for the gutters. How can you claim to work for the people when you are not even in their district? You have to be with them to know their problems and lend a helping hand when needed. Maybe your gang has remote control.
The GPRN have been sacrificing for the people and care for them. When terrorists like you sneak around like wolves in sheep clothing, the peace loving people informs us. They have realized that we are for them and have bestowed confidence upon us. Joseph Lotha, supervisor and Chichamo Lotha , secretary-in-charge Lotha region of NSCN (K) renegades are experts in concocting stories like they do in their write ups. Maybe your idea of working for people means sneaking around at night like criminals resulting in the murder of dedicated and innocent people like Late Nchumbeni Lotha of Tsungiki Village on March 27,2007.
The Lothas are disgraced by your usage of foul and abusive language while casting false aspiration against your own tribesmen Wobemo Lotha, region secretary GPRN. It is a clear revelation of your uncivilized mindset. It is a clear indication that you have been brainwashed by criminal elements. If not, then one does not use foul words for public consumption. With your present set of mind, how can you lead people and how can they follow you?
If you have sufficient knowledge, you will understand that the Lothas and Tangkhuls belong to the same linguistic family. A clear sign that they came from the same forefather.
Lotha region GPRN(NSCN-IM)
People best judge for DAN’s performance: Dr Shurhozelie North East Press Service

Kohima, Apr 1 (NEPS): Nagaland Minister for Planning and Urban Development Dr Shurhozelie said the DAN government in its four years of rule had done lot of developmental works in the state. “Our people are the best judge for the performance of the DAN government during its last four years of rule in the state,” the minister said. Talking to NEPS here, the minister agreed to the opposition Congress’ claim that major projects like IG Stadium, Referral Hospital and Police Headquarters were started during their time. “There is no dispute on this but the question is if the Congress remained in power, these projects would remain as a white elephant,” he stated.

Dr Shurhozelie recalled that late Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone of the IG Stadium and for many years, it remained like that if not no progress was there in the stadium. It was only after the DAN ministry came to power, Rs 10.50 crore was pumped in 2003 and completed the First Phase of the Stadium. “Our contractors also worked day and night and in October 2003, a Civic Reception of the then NDA Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was held at this very ground,” the minister added. “Buoyed by the developments in the stadium, the Prime Minister gave Rs 18 crore to complete the Second Phase.”

The minister also denied the opposition charges that it did not take up any major projects in the state. He said the government started Sainik School Project in the state and completed it in record time and admission already started for the academic sessions. “We have initiated many projects and many are also in the pipelines,” he disclosed.

Dr Shurhozelie also said he started small programs for town development, as in the past, there was nothing for the town. The RD department was only for the villagers and the VDB used to get their shares, while leaving nothing for the town dwellers. At the same time, heavy migration to the towns increased and the urbanization became very fast. “To mitigate this problem, I have taken up some programs for the development of towns in 2005-6 and provided Rs 2 crore,” he stated. “In the meantime, we received so many demands.’

Again for the current financial year (2006-7), they got Rs 8 crore. “In order to do justice, we have also selected 66 towns that included all district HQs, SDO HQs, EAC HQs,” he said. He however pointed out that EAC HQs should be having population of 2000 and above but in some cases they had to consider like in the case of Alongtaki that had no town, so they included Longchem.

To avoid misappropriation of funds, the minister said they had prepared a guideline and also asked all the 66 selected towns to set up Local Development Committee (LDC). “It is only a small amount as some may get Rs 10 lac or 5 lac,” he said. “But once it is judiciously used, it is big amount.”

Assuring that he would not put his hand as the LDCs had been empowered to prepare their projects for the approval, Dr Shurhozelie said he asked the Committee to use the funds judiciously as “it is their pride only.”
The Morung Express
Both the NSCN-K and NSCN-IM claim the slogan “Nagaland for Christ.” How can they lift up that slogan alongside statements that threaten others because of ethnic or political affiliation? How can they claim to stand for Christ when they are willing to kill others who bear the name of Christian? How can they claim to be following or speaking for Jesus as their Lord when Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “Love your enemies,” and “Forgive seventy-seven times.”
I have listened to factional leaders over many years. I have read countless denunciations, page after page of accusations, and interpretations of the Naga story that make one’s own side out to be those remaining steadfast to the cause and the other group being the blood-thirsty betrayers. I’ve seen enough evidence, and the Home Minister’s tally also bears witness, that there is blood on all hands.
As a brother in Christ and a minister of the Word of God, I would humbly challenge all who are serious about claiming “Nagaland for Christ,” to begin to act Christ-like, or at least act like one who desires to follow Christ. To do so will lead to words of confession and sorrow not words of threat and arrogance. To do so will lead to offers of forgiveness not proffers of self-justification. To do so will lead to “seeking peace and pursuing it” as in Psalm 34.14 charges us, not seeking political advantage and domination. We need to see leadership for a moral makeover that goes far deeper than whether one drinks alcohol or not. We need to see leadership for a moral makeover to seek “the things that make for peace” (Luke 19.42).
Nagaland – A Collage Nagaland Post
This morning as usual, before I started my day’s work at office I opened our online dailies. It has become a ritual for me to first read the news about Nagaland and the state it is in. Being away from home, the websites provide the much needed information. I must admit our State is in a sad condition. Nagaland for me has become a collage of contradictions and deceits outlined with religious sentiments, morality and non-stop bloodshed in the name of liberation.
For the benefit of those who do not know what collage is- Collage is an assemblage or an artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface often with unifying lines and colours The result will vary depending on the images or the colour composition used, but on the whole it’s a piece of art and it’s beautiful. The word Nagaland used to conjure beautiful images of people, places and virtue. Sadly today it only invokes a vague memory of those happy days when as a child I used to think of Nagaland as paradise.
I say Nagaland is in a sorry state not only because of the insurgency issues, corruption or the inability of our churches to portray itself as the body of Christ but also Nagaland is in a sorry state because of the people. We tend to forget that we are part of the whole collage; we form the Nagaland collage with our unifying custom, tradition and sadly our selfish ways. We tend to forget that if we keep ourselves out of the whole composition there will be a part missing and being apart (or a separate piece of image) we cannot call ourselves a collage. I am illiterate about Nagas history, the agony that our grandfathers went through under the Indian Army, nor do I know about our present so-called ‘freedom fighters’ nor am I aware of their ideology or what are they really fighting for.
But, one thing I know-Nagaland is deteriorating. Many Naga students who are studying outside Nagaland and for those who have found a job in the cities do not want to go back to Nagaland, reason- there is nothing in Nagaland, “corruption he bhorta”, “aru underground khan kot jabo”, there is no value for virtue and even those who are good soon falls prey to the norms of the day. It’s heart breaking to acknowledge these statements as true, because it is. What good is it if our own land becomes the predator? There is corruption, back door policy, murder, bloodshed and theft everywhere. No modern society is exempt from these social evils. But, the difference is, in other parts of the country there is progress and development. There is chance for hardworking people to get on to the next available higher official position, whereas in Nagaland, one has to be a Minister’s relative, Director’s in-laws or be a part of any insurgent group to get a job. “Get a government job!” that’s what my parents keep telling me, “atleast you’ll have security in the future”. The thought that the Government would secure my future gives me a very insecure feeling. Our “freedom fighters” seem to be struggling for freedom not for people but for themselves.
They seem to have taken the term “freedom fighter” literally and not conceptually. They will fight against anyone who opposes them, anyone who gives a critical stand against their action, they will fight against anyone who has the gut to be free in speech, action or in written form.
Yes, they are “freedom fighters”- they fight freedom. Ironic though, Nagas should be grateful to the numerous insurgent groups for providing employment to the many uneducated and educated but unemployed youths. Sadly “Insurgent Associate” or “I am working in an Underground Company” or “I just shifted to this Insurgent Company as the offer was better” does not hold any office of regard or respect these days. Gone are the days when people were proud to be part of such Insurgent group. I still proudly tell my friends that my grandfather was actively involve in freedom struggle because he forsake his family, went underground, was tortured by the Indian army but never stole or deceived his fellow villagers. But, these days nobody openly acknowledges that one of their family members is an underground activist. When asked what their occupation is, the common response would be, “Oh! He is into some business but it’s not working out that well.” “You know na, these days Government and Underground threats”.
I wonder why we have to justify their stand or occupation. Why is it so hard to tell others that a particular relative or cousin or sibling is an underground activist? Although people from the same locality, town or village know about who is into what and their job profile, nobody dare say they are underground activist. My dear fellow youths, it’s time to think and act. We cannot act unless we think. We say there is nothing in Nagaland but the truth is, there is so much Our Land has to offer us. Have you ever wondered why we think of Nagaland whenever the weather gets too tough in cites, why we think of Nagaland every time natural calamites strike somewhere in the world?
For so many petty and unknown reasons we think of Nagaland because it is our land and it’s where we belong. Do I care whether we are part of the Indian Territory or whether we become a separate Nation? I’m afraid the answer has drastically changed from Yes to No over these years.
But I care when my people kill each other and treat each other with distrust. Considering the amount of killing happening it won’t be long before Nagas become a lost race.
I care if Nagas become a remnant of relationship turning sour among families. Nagaland is a beautiful collage and spectator sees us as a whole. But on closer look we, as an individual image should also try our best to keep the beauty of this whole composition. Let us not distort it with our hatred and dishonesty. Let us not take Nagaland to the similar fate of Dorian Gray, the protagonist of Oscar Wilde’s only novel ‘The picture of Dorian Gray’-who remain youthful and beautiful but with every crime and deceit his portrait became more and more distorted.
Until atlast when he saw his true self in his portrait he could not take it anymore and kills himself. Pier Paolo Pasolini, a gay Italian self professed atheist and filmmaker once said, “If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself.
I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has nostalgia for a belief.” I don’t want “belief” to be nostalgia. I believe there is hope for Nagaland because there is unrest in the hearts of many Naga youths today. I am an unbeliever of Government, Freedom fighter’s ideology and Church policy but I am a believer of my people, the innate compassion and wit of Nagas. And, I also believe Nagas as a race of courage, honesty and optimism.
Chubala Jamir, Hyderabad
Manipur seeks custody of accused From Sobhapati Samom Assam Tribune
IMPHAL, April 1 – Manipur government has been pressuring the Central Government in New Delhi to hand over three persons involved in abduction and murder of two boys to the state authority after getting them released from the custody of the NSCN-IM. Chief Minister O Ibobi told this to the media in a brief interaction on the sidelights of a function held here on Sunday afternoon. The proscribed NSCN-IM had admitted that three persons believed to be involved in the kidnapping and gruesome murder of two school boys, Hriini Hubert and Muheni Martin in Senapati town were under their custody.

Deputy kilonser of the ministry of information and publicity of the outfit, Kraibo Chawang had informed local media that the three persons in their custody were Monikho Mao, Brown Tangkhul and Adai. Meanwhile the rival underground NSCN-K has alleged that NSCN-IM was directly and indirectly involved in the kidnapping and murder of the two Senapati school children. Mention may be made here that the skeletal remains of the two school boys were recovered last Tuesday from a Senapati jungle after they were kidnapped on December 14 last year. A senior spokesman of the NSCN-K alleged that NSCN-IM cadres and sympathisers had kidnapped the two boys and subsequently killed them after collecting ransom from their parents even after the dead bodies of the children were found.

He also contended that the boys were killed as they would have revealed the nscn-im’s involvement in the kidnapping had they been released alive. He further charged that even after the murder of the children, the nscn-im tried to provoke communal tension by giving a false indication to the public that the kidnappers had taken the children towards a Zeliangrong village in the Makhan area. While talking to mediapersons in Senapati district the NSCN-K leader claimed that NSCN-IM has been encouraging the culture of kidnapping of children for ransom, recalling the episode of the kidnap and murder of Lungnila Elizabeth, daughter of then Manipur minister Francis Ngajokpa. Though the NSCN-IM had the main suspect in the Lungnila Elizabeth case, James Kuki, in its custody, it had not delivered justice, he pointed out, and charged that the NSCN-IM had taken the lion’s share of the ransom received from the minister. He called upon the Naga public to constitute a fact-finding team to investigate and take the statements of the alleged suspects.
NDFB raises voice against disruptive forces Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
UDALGURI, April 1 – A situation of peace and serenity among the Boro people started to prevail at the initiative of the NDFB after they signed the ceasefire agreement with the Government of India. The Boro people who had to face fear and uncertainty for the last four-five years due to fratricidal killings have started to heave a sigh of relief. This was stated in a leaflet published by ministry of information and publicity of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) here on Thursday at Udalguri.

Reacting sharply to the public liasion office attack at Medaghat in Baksa district on March 26 last, the NDFB leaflet accused Hitesh Basumatary, EM of BTC administration of being behind the ‘gruesome incident’ where an NDFB cadre was killed and several others injured. The NDFB also said that it has proof that Hitesh Basumatary was directly involved in the incident at Medaghat. At the end of the National Highway bandh called by the BPPF (H) on March 21 in protest against the deservation of Kokrajhar constituency, Hitesh Barumatary along with his groups of goons entered into the NDFB’s public liasion office at Medaghat and threatened the NDFB cadres with dire consequences unless they leave the place, the NDFB leaflet alleged.

Criticising the ruling BPPF (H), the NDFB said, peace has been elusive and short lived due to the antagonistic and mindless activities of some power-drunk Boro leaders who have no concern for peace, legitimate right and development of the long-suffering Boro people except hankering after power and money.
Appealing to the Boro intellectuals and organisations, the outfit observed that some fifth columnists are working among the Boro people who claim themselves to be the saviours of the Boro people but in reality they are working against peace and unity for the fulfillment of their ulterior motives. It is time for all intellectuals, Boro organisations having identifying with the cause of the Boro nation in particular and Boro people in general to identify those Boro leaders who in the guise of the wolf in the sheep’s skin are leading the Boro people towards uncertainity.

Condemning the Medaghat incident, the NDFB urged all the Boro people to condemn it unanimously. The leaflet also criticised BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary for trying to shield the heinous crimes committed by Hitesh Basumatary. The NDFB also held the State government and Union government responsible for being inactive against the anti-social forces in the region.
Now, fencing along Indo-Myanmar border Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, April 1: In the wake of North-east militants sneaking into Myanmar and setting up their bases in the neighbouring country, the Centre has decided to put up fences along the Indo-Myanmar international border. Besides militants, this will also prevent smugglers and other antisocial from moving across the border. At present, heroin is being smuggled inside the country from the infamous golden triangle after sneaking through the porous international border.
The border areas create problems for security forces in tackling insurgency and smuggling activities despite heavy presence of men in uniform along the border. The north-eastern region shares about a 1,643-kilometre border with Myanmar.
The 25 Border Roads Tasks Force (BRTF) stationed at Imphal would take up the task of barricading the international boundaries shared by Chandel, Churachandpur and Ukhrul districts of Manipur. In Asom too, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) will take up the matter.
Since the two countries have not taken up proper survey of the boundaries owing to protracted disputes, the forces are yet to take up the fencing exercise.
Recently the two neighbouring countries signed an agreement to conduct joint survey, and constant interaction is on in this connection.
Following a two-day deliberations on the matter, representatives of the Survey of India and the Surveyor of international boundary along with their Myanmarese counterparts resolved to conduct a joint inspection, restore, repair, reconstruct and maintain boundary pillars. A senior official of the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the MHA had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for survey work along the international border. If authorities of the two countries complete the survey work, the fencing will begin by May. The same fencing structure erected along the Indo-Bangladesh border with rolled barbed wires would come up in the Indo-Myanmar border, the official said.
Centre blamed for delaying solution Sentinel
IMPHAL, April 1: India wants military solution to the conflicts in the north eastern region and not a political solution they always talk about. This is clearly revealed by the increasing militarization in the region, speakers at the annual general assembly of the United Committee Manipur, UCM held today said. Prof Arambam Lokendro speaking as an invitee at the UCM‘s general assembly, held today at the MDU Hall, Imphal, observed that deployment of security forces in the north eastern region has been increasing in the last few years. In Manipur, in 2005 India deployed one armed security man for every 60 heads of the Manipur population but now there is one security man for every 16 heads, he said.
Speakers at the general assembly also called the people in the north eastern region of the country in general and particularly the civil societies to be aware of the ‘hidden agenda‘ of the Indian government to achieve Indianisation of the region through the use of military power.
People must understand what India is doing to create conflict among the communities of the region, and adopt a united stance to prevent the elimination of the indigenous people of this region through various policies which are taken up in the name of development, they observed.
The assembly reaffirmed the stance of the UCM to meet all challenges to Manipur‘s integrity squarely, and also endorsed the steps taken by the UCM central committee for undertaking development work in the interior areas of the state.
Today’s meeting also unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the murder of the two Senapati school children, and the gruesome killing of Laishram Chinglenkhomba of Khagempalli on March 12 last. Sapamcha Jadumani, founder president of the UCM, called for public vigilance against the increasing trend of crimes targeting children, and raised the question of complicity of the NSCN(IM) in the Senapati killings. Pointing out that the NSCN(IM) had claimed to have the people responsible for the crime in its custody, he questioned why the group has stayed silent for so long, and why the suspects in its custody have not been interrogated to find the truth. He recalled that in the case of the kidnapping and murder of Lungnila Elizabeth also, the main suspect James Kuki was supposed to be in the custody of the NSCN(IM), but till date there has been no clarification of his actual role in the crime. (Agencies)

Frans on 04.02.07 @ 04:29 PM CST [link]

Sunday, April 1st

No solution even from thousand talks – FGN The Morung Express

No solution even from thousand talks – FGN The Morung Express

Dimapur, March 31 (MExN): The FGN states that since “the Naga people bestowed their immutable mandate” on the NNC, any other entity that defected from it “has no historical background and also betrayed the mandate of the people.” With this mandate, the FGN stated in a note issued by Midan Peyu of Sumi region, V Phutoi Zhimomi, the NNC is writing the “national history,” while “leading the nation towards it final achievement.”
“It is a matter of fact that the Indo-Naga conflict could be solved through peaceful means but not without the historical background; the Naga national history was written and still writing by the Naga National Council on the platform of the NNC while leading the nation towards its final achievement,” the FGN asserted. The Nagas have learnt “more accurately and exactly” why Isak and Th. Muivah committed a political blunder, the FGN noted and it is clear that there will be no solution “even from thousand talks between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India.
The mandate of the NNC cannot be forced away and any entity that broke away from it has no historical background and also betrayed the mandate of the people, it stated. “This is the main reason that Isak and Muivah cannot solve the Indo-Naga conflict without the people’s mandate, it asserted. The FGN also stated that the unique history of the Nagas is recognized “because at no point of time the NNC betrays its history in this running history of Nagaland as God our Lord is guiding and protecting the NNC” and that the Indo-Naga conflict is “still a pending case between the NNC and the Government of India.”
By ignoring the NNC, the conflict cannot be solved. The talks are only creating more bloodshed in Nagaland and “destroying the image of the largest democratic county, India which has been witnessing by all of us during the past ten years.”
NSCN-K Lotha region reacts to IM rejoinder The Morung Express
Dimapur, March 31 (MExN): The NSCN-K of the Lotha region has reacted to a rejoinder by Woben Lotha “secretary” of the NSCN-IM, Lotha region against Chichamo “secretary in-charge” of the former. A note from the NSCN-K stated that the act of the NSCN-IM is an “unjustifiable and illogical act comparable to an ill spite” against “genuine and true Naga nationalist.”
Advising the Lothas not to “judge according to appearance and consider righteous judgment,” the note stated that the responsibility for any untoward and ‘unbecoming act’ towards the Lothas either on innocent public or NSCN-K cadres would fall on Woben Lotha. Chichamo is and has been a sincere and dedicated “national worker” who is “pursuing and monitoring Naga national policies in coordination with the authorities of the NSCN/GPRN” the NSCN-K stated adding that he has “an outpouring support” from “every nationalist.”
Kuki bodies comes out with truth about abuction The Morung Express
Dimapur, March 30 (MExN): Three Kuki civil societies on March 30 came out with the ‘truth’ about the abduction of over 400 innocent Kukis by the UNLF , and straightforwardly came out with the sufferings and plight of the Kuki people at the UNLF and other underground insurgents active in the area compounded by the apathy of the government.
An open letter addressed to the Chief Minister of Manipur, O Ibobi Singh by the president of the Kuki Students’ Organisation, L Touthang, the Hill Tribal Council Morseh, Chandel District, Jangmang Haokip and the Chairman of the Kuki Movement for Human Rights, T Lunkim stated that the ‘fact finding commission composed of KSO, HTC and KUMHUR’ into the abduction of the Kuki villagers incident has found out the truth behind whole episode.
The letter stated that the factual happening of TS Laijang grouping centre on March 13, 2007 was that about 400 innocent Kukis have been forcibly taken to Lallim/Namunta, Myanmar.
The letter stated that the Myanmarese army intervened and even arrested the UNLF leaders taking the abducted villagers but the rebels were later released by the army, The abducted people were left at Lallim/ Mamunta in Myanmar.
The abandoned abducted people scattered in fear and over 497 have sneaked back to Moreh border town and are being temporarily fed and sheltered by the HTC, churches, Kuki Women Union and KSO etc. the letter stated.
The release alleged that the subsequent news report about the abduction and the confusing reports about the safety and whereabouts of the abductees that appeared in the new media were just a fabricated story orchestrated by the underground cadres.
“In the mean time, the ULF cadres made a feast by killing two pigs at Molcham, brought together people and also the media personnel on March 18, 2007, asked certain people (whose names are kept in fear of life) dictating them what to say, and say only what has been dictated to them to the media personnel, thus made the public confused. This is a made up story.” The release stated.
Further the release stated that the abducted people are now in Moreh without food and shelter, and at the same time pointed out that the immediate need for the abductees are food, shelter, security and resettlement.
The release asked the government of Manipur to provide rice and tarpaulins for shelter for the unfortunate people who are stranded at Moreh town and treated like garbage.
The release also asked the chief minister to clear all underground cadres, landmines and bombs from all the areas of Chandel and Churachandpur districts within two months. Further the release demanded peaceful resettlement of the abducted people in their own villages and provide them food for two years i.e. 2007-2008 as compensation for the looting of food provision and missing of cultivation period.
The release pointed out that anything which falls short of the above stated facts can be construed as the ruling government’s intentional negligence and pretending ignorance of all the suffering, killing and sub-standard treatment meted out to the villagers. Further the release warned that if such thing ever happens again, then the endurance and the patience of the people may not be forever, clearly implying retaliation from the people, and in the event of such occurance, the release stated that the government will be fully responsible.
Kukis: Between the lines of torment and apathy
The open letter to the Manipur CM by the KSO, HTC and KMHR highlighted these ‘facts’ about the life of the Kuki people under Manipur state.
• Illegal occupation of Chandel and Churachandpur Hill districts of Manipur state by the valley based UGs ever since Ibobi Singh started ruling the state.
• Landmining the hill areas, killing innocent people.
• Forced the innocent people as forced labourers. In other words the villagers are used as good as slaves, and kept at the disposal of UGs and Indian Army.
• Chiefs are not respected even though their lands are forcibly occupied. Some chiefs are murdered.
• Mass women raped at Parbung and justice has not been done so far.
• SP Pu Tolkhanpao was ambushed and killed, near Moirang.
• IG Pu Thangthawm ambushed and mercilessly killed at Oinam Bazar.
“All these are established facts, the hill people have been enduring patiently, but not cow downed, for the sake of the integrity of the state and to maintain the cordial relationship of the citizens” states the Kuki bodies to the Manipur Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh, while listing the facts about the plight of the people at the hands of the UGs and the apathy of the Manipur state government.
Hmar outfit warns Congress MLA in Mizoram The Morung Express
Aizawl, March 31 (UNI): Manipur-based Hmar National Assembly (HNA) today warned Congress MLA R Lalzirliana following his allegation that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) had given them AK-47 rifles.
An HNA statement here said, ‘’Lalzirliana has told the Mizoram Assembly an outright lie, which was contempt to the House as well as to the people of Hmar and unless he is able to provide witness, he will be responsible for any consequence.’’ Lalzirliana had alleged that the Mizoram government had handed over 12 AK-47 rifles to the banned-outfit at Zilthawchhuah, a Manipur village near Mizoram border, on January 13. The arms were transported in a Bolero car with registration number MZ-01B-3645.
The HNA will leave no stone unturned to reveal the truth to the people, the statement said, adding, ‘’The vehicle went to Parbung (Manipur) from Aizawl on January 13 which can proved by the Assam Rifles check-gate on the road.’’ Meanwhile, Home Minister Tawnluia yesterday submitted a petition to the Assembly Speaker to constitute a ‘House inquiry committee’ to probe into the allegation.
‘’I was not aware of the ‘giving of 12 AK-47 rifles to Hmar outfit’ until Mr Lalzirliana mentioned it in the House. The police immediately investigated into the allegation but, an inquiry committee is necessary because the people of Mizoram should know the truth,’’ he said.
Adding fuel to the issue, youth wings of the three opposition parties, MPCC, MPC and ZNP, came out with a joint press release today, lashing out at the HNA statement.
The HNA leaders were summoned by the MNF government through its CID personnel on the night of March 29 following which the statement was made, the joint press release said, adding the meeting included the outfit’s president Thansung, the vehicle owner and driver.
The press release also said the MLA had more information, which he did not disclose in the House, such as the registration number of the police van through which the arms were passed on to the Sumo and the name of the police officer involved.
Expressing solidarity with the MLA, the release warned that if any negative consequence befalls him, because of revealing the truth, the HNA would be held responsible.
Body seeks details from IM By Our staff reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Mar 31: The Senapati district-based Core Committee established in connection with the kidnapping of Muhini Martin and Hrinii Hubert has asked the NSCN (Isak-Muival) to disclose investi- gation proceedings so far culled from the four prime suspects said to be in the custody of the rebel organisation. Chairman of the Committee Solomon Vieno con- veyed to The Sangai Express that a ten point charter of demand was submitted to the NSCN (IM) leaderships on March 26.
“We wanted to know the explicit proof and evidences that the four accu- sed had committed for which we provided a deadline of ten days to reveal progress of the investigation,” Solomon said while pointing out that it was the Committee’s main demand. Mentioning that IM lea-ders had asked the Com- mittee for extending the deadline to 30 days, the chairman expressed such insistence is creating an impasse/deadlock. The last rites of the murder duo which was scheduled today had to be postponed as a token of protest against the NSCN (IM)’s intimation to extend the deadline, he said. On the otherhand, appeal was made to the KNF (P) group to provide details of investigation, if any, to the Core Committee regarding report of two persons being detained in the custody of the armed outfit.
The two persons named as Haopu and Boboy were reportedly taken into custody of the KNF (P) as suspects in the kidnapping and murder case of the Don Bosco School, Maram students.
solomon also stated that some irate women attempted to take the mortal remains of the two boys to the Dimapur camp of the NSCN (IM) with the intention of keeping the skeletal remains there until and unless the Naga rebel group shares details of progress made in its investigation.
However, the agitated womenfolk had been pacified against taking such steps and it likely that the funeral service might take place on April 2 or 3, he said besides adding that to discuss the whole outcome a public meeting participated by representatives of various civil society organisations was held today. It may be noted that deputy kilonser of the NSCN (IM) Kraibo Chawang had informed of three suspects currently held in its custody and of the trio ‘partially confessing’ to committing the crime. Moreover, some days back State authorities had assured Senapati district public of bringing the perpetrators to book within 10 days apart from extending Rs 2 lakhs each as ex-gratia to families of the victim boys.

NSCN(IM) promises `justice` within 10 days amid more confusion in Senapati The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL/SENAPATI, Mar 31: Two representatives of the GPRN (NSCN-IM) headquarter, Hebron arrived yesterday at Senapati and held talks with the leaders of the civil organizations including the core committee against the abduction of the two kids of Senapati Don Bosco School in an undisclosed location, according to a highly reliable source.

The two NSCN representatives reportedly told the representatives of the civil organizations that they had decided to speed up investigations with regard to the involvement of the two persons, Manikho and Brown Tangkhul, who are in their custody, and award them punishment according to their findings within 10 days.

Agreeing with the assurance given by the NSCN (IM) the representatives of the civil societies have even agreed to receive the bodies.

Meanwhile, the Senapati police may approach the concerned district magistrate for the disposal of the skeletal remains of the children if they remain unclaimed till tomorrow.

“We are considering initiating a process for the early disposal of the remains on coming Monday,” Senapati OC Asm Shimray told IFP over phone.

But a sudden development took place when the families of the two kids informed the organizations that they were told over phone from Hebron that NSCN (IM) had confirmed the involvement of Manikho in the abduction and killing of the two children, but not yet confirmed the involvement of Brown Tangkhul in the incident.

Confused over the contradiction in the statements received by the families and assurance by the two representatives, another marathon meeting of the civil organizations was held at the UNC office at Senapati. The meeting, however, concluded without any concrete decision in the late evening.

During the meeting period, many people, mostly womenfolk and school children, remained sitting in the hot sun at the Senapati ground waiting for a satisfactory announcement from the leaders of the civil organizations.

Some representatives at the meeting expressed their willingness to perform the last rites of the two children but some others wanted to wait and see the implementation of the NSCN(IM)`s assurance before the last rites.

They also reportedly felt that as they had been waiting for more than three months they should not be hasty in taking a decision and should have patience to wait for 10 more days after which the outfit has assured justice in the case, the report said.

The people sitting the whole day under the hot sun finally dispersed after they were informed that the meeting could not arrive at a concrete decision.

In the meantime, police sources said that even as the people were gathering at the public ground security personnel were on vigil to prevent any outbreak of untoward incidents.

K slams rival on boys’ murder By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Mar 31: Alleging involvement of important functionaries of the rival NSCN (IM) group in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Muhini Martin and Hrinii Hubert of Sena-pati district, the NSCN (K) contended that top IM leaders had deliberately concea- led the fact that the two kids were already death.
Speaking to newsper-sons somewhere in Sena- pati district today, secretary in charge of NSCN (K)’s information and publicity wing opined that recovery of skeletal remains of the two boys some 100 days after they were kidnapped and despite announcement by the IM group to produce the culprit/s within 10 days of the boys’ disappearance unarguably suggest that the Naga rebel group was well aware of Martin and Hubert being killed.
concealing the truth was deliberately done to by the IM group to confuse the ge-neral public and to keep un- der wrap its anti-people activities, the secretary said.
Alleging involvement of important IM leaders in planning the kidnapping and elimination of the innocent boys, he observed that the rival faction planned to foment communal tension between the Zeliangrong community and Poumais by planting false information that the missing boys were detected in a Tamenglong district village, Senapati district’s Makhan village and at such areas where Zeliangrong people reside.
Further alleging the IM group of being the pioneers of kidnapping for ransom cases in the North Eastern region, the secretary also questioned how could the IM leaders deny involvement in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Lungnila Elizabeth.
Elaborating on his assertion, he contended that ra- ther that punish James Kuki despite taking into their custody the kingpin in the Lun- gnila Elizabeth case, the IM group received Rs 6 lakhs out of the Rs 10 lakh ransom amount. Terming NSCN (IM) as propagator of communal politics, creating enmity between various ethnic groups and disregarding human value through reliance on monetary gains only, the NSCN (K) functionary disclosed that the rival faction had attempted to black-mail Gaikhangam and Ngamthang by accusing MLAs of being invol- ved in the Lungnila Elizabeth case. Contending that with the huge amount collected as ransom money from the public the IM group had purchased tons of arms and ammunition, he also asked the rival faction to abandon ‘Nagaland for Christ’ adage as the recent incident do not justify such revered obligation. Insisting that the IM group initiate a joint fact finding team and allow interrogation of the suspects claimed to be in the cus- tody of the NSCN (IM) in case the armed outfit intent to deny involvement in the ghastly incident, the secretary however contemplated that there might be no suspects as had been claimed. Dismissing imposition of bandh in Ukhrul district recently on the kidnapping case as flimsy and eyewash, he contended that IM group has stooped to such a low that all its resources are being channelised towards monetary gains only as was evident in the intervention in the recently held State assembly elections and siphoning off of development funds of MLAs. ridiculing NSCN (IM) leaders of frequently claiming the ongo- ing talks as progressing smoothly, positively and forward moving, he cautioned all concerned to be aware of such misleading information. Asserting that NSCN (K) would not tolerate any attempt to destroy or undermine the Zeli-angrong identity, the secretary informed that for- mation of bodies like Liangmai Naga Council, Zeme Naga Council/Youth Front etc would not be endorsed. Prohibi-ting convening of the proposed meeting of Rongmei Na- ga Council at Tamenglong on April 7, he warned that tho-se found defying the ban would be dealt with accordingly.

BPPF rally against NDFB atrocities From Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
MUSHALPUR, March 31 – A huge silent peace rally was taken out at barama today under the banner of bppf (h) to press for an end to ndfb atrocities and extortions. Hagrama Mohilary, BTC chief flagged off the rally. People from all sections of society joined the rally carrying festoons and banners with slogans like ‘restrict NDFB to their designated camps’, ‘we want peace’, ‘No peace no BTC development’, and ‘Stop NDFB atrocities and extortions’. Later, a public meeting was held at Barama Girls’ High School playground under the chairmanship of Maneswar Brahma, MLA, No. 62 Barama constituency.

Addressing the mammoth gathering Hagrama Mohilary said that NDFB atrocities will not be tolerated. He criticised the NDFB leaders for their violence-provoking statements following the incident at Medaghat on March 26. The BTC chief added that the party will carry on demonstrations in the district headquarters and sub-divisions demanding the restriction of NDFB cadres to their designated camps and observance of cease-fire ground rules.

The meeting was attended by Chandan Brahma, Minister Transport, Emmanuel Mushahary, EM, BTC, B Narzary, EM, BTC, Biswajit Daimary chairman, ARTFED, Sibu Chanda, president, Labour Wings, Assam State, representatives of Adivasi Sewa Samity, BTC region, Nath Jogi Sanmilani, BTC region, Hindibhasi Juba Chatra Parishad, All Gorkha Students’ Union, Shiv Sena, Baksa and Barpeta districts, Religious Minority Council besides a host of MCLAs.

Movement of vehicles was paralysed for more than three hours on No. 31 National Highway during the rally and meeting.

Concern over extortions Assam Tribune
GUWAHATI, March 31 – The State government is deeply concerned about the reports of continuing extortion by the ULFA in some areas of the State and consequently has been taking strong measures to curb this menace, said an official press release here. It also said, owing to the special emphasis being laid on neutralising the main culprits of the extortion regime of ULFA, coupled with a well conceptualised strategy of actions against the network of ULFA linkmen, the menace of extortion has drastically come down.

The apprehension of ULFA linkmen, the taking up of suo motto cases of extortion by the police, and the meetings of the district administration and police with members of the trading community, chambers of commerce, and other people affected by extortion, has enabled the government to effectively counter the extortion activities of the militant groups, it claimed.

NDFB peace rally at Medaghat tomorrow Our Correspondent Assam Tribune
NALBARI, March 31 – The National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), which is in a truce with the Central government, is organising a peace rally at Medaghat near Barama in Baksa district on April 2 next.

The NDFB is going to organise the huge peace rally only to prove its ground support after the killing of an NDFB leader at Medaghat by the former BLT men. All top central leaders except its chairman will attend the peace rally. Besides representatives of all Bodo organisations like Bodo Sahitya Sabha, and Bodo Students Union, Bodo Employees Federation, Bodo Primary Teacher’s Association, Bodo Abadari Afat, Bodo Harimu Afat, Bodo Women Welfare Federation, Bodo Women Justice Forum, All Bodo Peace Forum will attend the rally.

It may be mentioned here that a tense situation has been prevailing in the entire BTAD following the killing of NDFB leader Bir Swargiary at Medaghat. In a memorandum submitted by NDFB to the Baska deputy commissioner, it alleged that BTC executive member Hitesh Basumatary and his gang Ansumi Boro, Dantal, Ramen Boro, Obri, Ganesh, Bhadwr, Daorao Brahma, Kamala Kanta Lyhary, Champak Boro, heavily armed with sophicated weapons stormed in and burnt down the office killing one on the spot and injuring three other cadres critically.

Anomalies :The Deputy Commissioner of Nalbari Mahtab Uddin Ahmed in an order suspended the licences of 16 Kerosene hawkers of Chamata area on March 29, following complaints of large scale anomalies.

According to the official sources, the Deputy Commissioner in a bid to check the artificial scarcity of kerosene oil, ordered an inquiry in Nalbari district. Following the inquiry, several anomalies were reported against these hawkers. The Deputy Director of Supply, A Islam informed that Nalbari district has 483 hawkers and all of them were directed to properly distribute the kerosene for the benefit of poorer section

Centre blamed for delaying solution in Manipur The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Mar 31: India wants military solution to the conflicts in the north eastern region and not a political solution they always talk about. This is clearly revealed by the increasing militarization in the region, speakers at the annual general assembly of the United Committee Manipur, UCM held today said.

Prof Arambam Lokendro speaking as an invitee at the UCM`s general assembly, held today at the MDU Hall, Imphal, observed that deployment of security forces in the north eastern region has been increasing in the last few years.

In Manipur, in 2005 India deployed one armed security man for every 60 heads of the Manipur population but now there is one security man for every 16 heads, he said.

Speakers at the general assembly also called the people in the north eastern region of the country in general and particularly the civil societies to be aware of the `hidden agenda` of the Indian government to achieve Indianisation of the region through the use of military power.

People must understand what India is doing to create conflict among the communities of the region, and adopt a united stance to prevent the elimination of the indigenous people of this region through various policies which are taken up in the name of development, they observed.

The assembly reaffirmed the stance of the UCM to meet all challenges to Manipur`s integrity squarely, and also endorsed the steps taken by the UCM central committee for undertaking development work in the interior areas of the state.

Today`s meeting also unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the murder of the two Senapati school children, and the gruesome killing of Laishram Chinglenkhomba of Khagempalli on March 12 last.

Sapamcha Jadumani, founder president of the UCM, called for public vigilance against the increasing trend of crimes targeting children, and raised the question of complicity of the NSCN(IM) in the Senapati killings.

Pointing out that the NSCN(IM) had claimed to have the people responsible for the crime in its custody, he questioned why the group has stayed silent for so long, and why the suspects in its custody have not been interrogated to find the truth.

He recalled that in the case of the kidnapping and murder of Lungnila Elizabeth also, the main suspect James Kuki was supposed to be in the custody of the NSCN(IM), but till date there has been no clarification of his actual role in the crime.

Noting that talks between the government of India and the NSCN(IM) are still going on, Jadumani also cautioned the public to stay vigilant to foil any strategy adopted to bring about the disintegration of the state.

Senior ucm member H Kula, said the fact that large sections of hill voters refused to vote for the UNC sponsored candidates in the Assembly elections makes it clear that the people were against the NSCN(IM). He congratulated the Naga public for standing by Manipur`s unity and integrity.

He also observed that the nscn(im) sponsored move to force students in the hill districts to abandon the Manipur board failed miserably.

The UCM president, K Lanngamba, tabled the annual report 2006-07 at the meet.

Frans on 04.01.07 @ 02:55 PM CST [link]

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