TODAY -

Zeliangrong people pledge to protect land and natural resources
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Tml, March 08 2018: The Zeliangrong people have pledged to protect and safeguard the land and natural resources in 'Zeliangrong areas'.

This affirmation was adopted during a public meeting held at Luangba (Nungba) on March 3.The public meeting was jointly organized by Zeliangrong Baudi, (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland), Zeliangrong Youth Front (ZYF) and Zeliangrong Student's Union (ZSU) under the theme 'Protection of land and natural resources'.

Former All Zeliangrong Student Union (AZSU) president Pamei Tingenlung, former president of Naga Women Union Aram Pamei and social worker Ashinpou Gangmei attended the public meeting as resource persons.

ZB-AMN president Athuan Abonmai said that Zeliangrong people and their land are inseparable.

He stated that even though "artificial boundaries" have separated the Zeliangrong people and placed them in the States of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland the Zeliangrong people continue to protect their ancestral lands.

"Land is the highest asset for Zeliangrong people", Athuan said while adding that no individual has the right to claim or sell or mortgage the lands of Zeliangrong people and if anyone attempts to do so then the Zeliangrong people will not accept such activities.

Athuan Abonmai appealed the Zeliangrong people to remain alert from those individuals or groups who try to sell or mortgage the lands of the Zeliangrong people.

Meanwhile, in the public meeting, many Zeliangrong leaders including village chairmen, villagers, student leaders, church leaders and civil society organization leaders attended.

Four resolutions were adopted during the meeting which decided that the village chiefs/chairmen, land owners and villagers in collaboration and consultation with the leaders of Zeliangrong civil society organizations particularly Zeliangrong Baudi, Zeliangrong Youth Front and Zeliangrong Students' Union will protect and safeguard the land and natural resources of Zeliangrong people, which have been inherited from the ancestors.

Another resolution stated that "no village, chief, chairman, land owner, organization or individual is authorized to sale or lease or issue/grant permit any portion of village land to any company/agency or any outsider without the consensus decision of Zeliangrong people".

The public meeting then said that the "Zeliangrong people strongly condemn the self style organizations particularly Rongmei Naga Youth Organisation (RNYOM) and Rongmei Students' Organisation Manipur (RSOM) who claimed to exist and function under the RNC/RNPO and RNYO for giving away the so called permit without any authority and rights to carry out oil exploration, 2D Seismic Survey and other activities in Zeliangrong areas to M/s Asian Oilfield Services Limited for the period of one year with effect from December 1 without the knowledge and consent of the village chiefs/khunbus/ land owners, villagers.

The public meeting then declared that the "unauthorized permit given to M/s Asian Oilfield Services Limited by the two organizations (RNYOM and RSOM) is invalid with immediate effect".

"The plans to drill and explore oil and gas without prior consent of the indigenous people of Tamenglong district should be immediately stopped", it asserted.

It added that all the "MoUs or agreements or contracts signed for production sharing and exploration licenses given by the Central Government and State Government to oil companies like Oil India Limited, Jubilant Energy and Asian Oilfield Services Limited should be revoked immediately".

It decided to urge the Central Govt and NSCN-IM to translate the Framework Agreement into a final solution at the earliest.


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