TODAY -

Intl Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples : STDCM reiterates ST status demand
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 09 2020: Miffed by the Government's failure to take up necessary steps to ensure constitutional protection of the Meetei/Meitei community, the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM) has once again reiterated their demand to recognise the indigenous Meetei/Meitei community as a Scheduled Tribe.

Reminding the Government that the United Nations has been observing August 9 every year as the 'International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples' to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population, STDCM lamented that the Meetei/Meitei group of indigenous people of Manipur has no protection to save their own race, culture and interest till today.

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples was first pronounced by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in 1982 .

This year, the theme is "Indigenous Peoples' Languages" .

The UN is also holding a virtual event on the theme "COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples' resilience" tomorrow (August 10), said STDCM.

STDCM has also been observing the day since 2014 demanding protection of all indigenous people of the State including the Meetei/Meitei community.

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the day was observed today through WhatsApp with a discussion on the local theme "Meiteis/Meeteis-the unrecognised indigenous people of Manipur" .

The online discussion also remembered and dwelt on the 'United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)' which the UN General Assembly adopted in 2007 .

When the United Nations is recognising the rights of the indigenous people by adopting and observing such a day, it is very unfortunate that the Government of India and the State Government have not taken up any positive step to grant constitutional protection to the Meetei/Meitei community, said STDCM.

Reminding this year's theme (Indigenous Peoples' languages) of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, STDCM asserted that protecting and promoting the indigenous peoples' languages is impossible if the very indigenous peoples who speak the languages are not protected.

The Meeteis/Meiteis are the indigenous people of Manipur since time immemorial and they should be provided protection under the Constitution of India.

The State Government should do the needful to protect the Meeteis/Meiteis by recognising them as a Scheduled Tribe community, said STDCM.


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