4th Lamjing Meira Day held : Movement to protect indigenous people recalled in details
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 08 2019: The 4th Lamjing Meira Memorial Day was observed today at the Lamjing Meira Ching (Awaching), Imphal East district.

Performance of religious rites and rituals, offering of floral tributes and a public meeting were the main features of the commemorative function.

A Thang-Ta contingent paid general salute to Lamjing Meira Sapam Robinhood before thousands of people paid floral tributes to his photograph.

A blood donation camp was also organised at Awaching.

Later in the evening, lamps were lighted at Ananda Singh Higher Secondary School and Minuthong where Robinhood fell injured.

Speaking at the public meeting, JCILPS co-convenor Jeetendra Ningomba said that JCILPs was set up in 2012 to give an edge to the people's sustained demand for protection of indigenous people by way of implementing ILPS or a similar mechanism.

There was massive pro-ILPS movement in 2015 and students took out a rally at Minuthong on July 8 the same year.

As police resorted to firing rubber bullets and mock bombs to drive away the students, 16 year old Sapam Robinhood of Lairikyengbam Leikai sustained severe injuries and he succumbed to the injuries.

Robinhood was a student of Ananda Singh Higher Secondary School.

The last rites of Sapam Robinhood were held at Awaching on September 3, 2015 and people fondly gave him the title of Lamjing Meira, Jeetendra said.

Cornered by the sustained and massive people's pro-ILPS movement, the State Government passed the Protection of Manipur People's Bill 2015, the Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Manipur Shops & Establishments (2nd Amendment) Bill 2015 on August 31, 2015.While the first Bill was withheld by the President of India, the other two Bills were kept frozen.

Before the three Bills were passed in the State Assembly, JCILPS signed an MoU with the State Government on August 25, 2015 on setting up of the State Population Commission, Manipur Land Reform Commission and implementation of the agreement signed between the State Government on one side and AMSU and AMSCOC on the other in 1980.Even though the Protection of Manipur People's Bill 2015 was withheld by the President, the State Assembly passed the Manipur People Bill 2018 on July 23, 2018 and it is still lying in the custody of the President, Jeetendra said.

In the meantime, the issue of CAB 2016 surfaced in January this year which demanded a thorough revision and reorientation of the demand for ILPS.

Subsequently, MANPAC was formed by over 80 civil organisations of the State and JCILPS convenor Yumnamcha Dilipkumar was appointed convenor of MANPAC.

Whether it is JCILPS or MANPAC which is at the vanguard, there is no suspension of the mass movement for protection of indigenous people from the influx of non-local people, Jeetendra claimed.

Yumnamcha Dilipkumar said that the commemorative function should serve as a perfect opportunity for all the people to reflect on the cause of Robinhood's death and chalk out future course of action.

The State Government should lobby hard for the Manipur People Bill 2018 which is now in the custody of the President of India and make its position known to the people of Manipur, he asserted.

If the President of India is determined to reject the Bill, an intense and sustained movement would be launched for another more powerful Bill which can effectively protect indigenous of Manipur, their land and rights, Dilipkumar said.

It is matter of grave concern that the ruling parties/MLAs are engaged in a protracted power struggle.

Allowing Central leaders to play with an issue which otherwise should be settled within the State sounds rather foolhardy, he remarked.

He said that the present political situation reminds of the turmoil seen in 2001.In the midst of power struggle among the MLAs of the State, the Central Government imposed President's Rule and one misadventure of the Central Government put the entire State on flames which gave rise to the June Great Uprising, he recalled.

He then asked who would be held responsible if the Central Government imposes President's Rule in the State taking advantage of the protracted power struggle, passes CAB 2016 and indulges in other unwanted misadventures.

In the meantime, the incumbent State Government has been churning out volumes of false propaganda to create distrust among CSOs and undermine public issues and mass movements, said the JCILPS convenor.

But such tactics of the State Government will never be able to deter CSOs.

Before the Lok Sabha election, JCILPS opposed CAB 2016.However, as JCILPS is not involved in electoral politics, it did not ask people to support or oppose any particular political party.

But a false propaganda was floated in social media claiming that CSOs were bought over by the Government thereby creating suspicions among the CSOs and the masses, Dilipkumar decried while asking all concerned to come forward with evidence of the Government buying silence of CSOs over CAB 2016, if they have any.

The whole movement for implementation of JCILPS or a similar mechanism has been put in total disarray after the Government of India brought out CAB 2016.Nonetheless, mass movements would be launched soon after classifying short term goals and long term objectives, said the JCILPS convenor.

He then called upon all the indigenous people to promote unity as well as healthy work culture.

The public meeting was also attended by COHR Chairman Phulindro Konsam, MU CSSEIP Reader Thiyam Bharat, MAPI Council president N Bimol, Kom Union Manipur general secretary T Achung Kom and MMWO advisor Jackie Masood Maibam as presidium members.

Meanwhile, volunteers of Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) paid floral tributes to the photo of late Sapam Robinhood and observed 2 minutes silence as a token of respect to the departed soul.

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