TODAY -

OMTF, JACAATB revoke strike call
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 31 2016: The Outer Manipur Tribals Forum (OMTF) and the Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills (JACAATB) reviewed their joint decision made earlier on August 28 and resolved to withdraw the general strike called from midnight of September 1 to midnight of September 5 in response to requests from various quarters.

The OMTF, a conglomeration of Hmar Inpui, Thadou Inpi Manipur, Mizo People Convention, United Naga Council and Zomi Council, and the Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills (JACAATB) have conveyed appreciation to the indigenous tribals in Manipur for the solidarity they had shown in the observance of the first Tribal Unity Day in all the tribal areas in Manipur.

The main event was held at Lamka where a historic Declaration was made that will surely have far-reaching implications in the days ahead.

However, the OMTF and JACAATB will continue to keenly observe the situation and actions of the Government of Manipur, and would like to request all tribal people in present Manipur to be alert and be prepared for any eventuality in the days to come.

The indigenous tribal peoples in the present State of Manipur were a self-governed and self-administered people even before and after the British colonial regime till the princely State was merged with the Indian Union in 1949 along with the tribal areas without their consent, through deception which the tribal peoples continue to protest.

Since then, tribals were marginalized, victimized, discriminated, dominated, and suppressed leading to degradation and obliteration of tribal history, identity, culture, and rights to land and resources, reads the declaration made today.

The present Manipur boundaries came into existence only after several Boundary Commissions were instituted by the British at different periods of time, viz., Manipur-Burma Boundary, Manipur-Chin Hills, Manipur-Assam, Manipur-Lushai Hills and Manipur-Naga Hills, which maliciously segmented the tribal lands.

In fact, the tribals were never a part of the so-called '2,000 glorious years of Meitei Kingdom' and were not a party to the infamous Manipur Merger Agreement, 1949. Taking advantage of the undemocratic representation in the State Legislative Assembly, the communal Government of Manipur repeatedly passed anti-tribal Bills and resolutions favoring the dominant Valley community, it said.

It further declared that any Bill or resolution that is detrimental to the rights over land, history, identity, cultures and customs of the indigenous tribal peoples introduced and passed in the Manipur Legislative Assembly shall never be accepted under any circumstances.

It reaffirmed that the tribal MLAs and MP of the Indian National Congress Party (INC) and any political party who work against the interest of the indigenous tribal peoples and carry out any form of political activities affecting the tribal territory of Manipur shall be considered as anti-tribal.

The indigenous tribal peoples living in the present Suite of Manipur commit to promote solidarity, strengthen harmony and improve mutual understanding in the true spirit of brotherhood.

The indigenous tribal peoples commit to defend and fight collectively for any eventuality that undermine the rights and interests of indigenous tribal peoples.

The declaration was signed by OMTF convenor Gaidon Kamei and JACAATB chief convenor H Mangchinkhup.


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