TODAY -

Tribal Seeks to Protect Their Lands
- CoPTAM , UCC , CDSU -

Imphal, April 24, 2011



MANIPUR CHIEF MINISTER has now something to reckon. In a significant move, a one-day awareness programme on 'Current Tribal Issues in Manipur' was jointly organised by Committee On Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (CoPTAM) and United Chief Council, Churachandpur (UCC) in association with Churachandpur District Students' Union (CDSU) on April 9, 2011 at Synod Hall in Lamka, Churachandpur.

The resource persons and the papers presented were: Mr. R. Sanga: Proposed Manipur (Village Authority in Hill Areas) 2nd Amendment Acts, 2011; Prof. Laldena: Proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council, 4th Amendment Act, 2011; and Dr. Tualchin Neihsial: Tribal land Protection in Manipur. What Next?

An insider says the seminar was really an opener for the tribal people especially the village chiefs who constituted a bulk of illiterate. The awareness is said to add an insightful knowledge of tribal rights and other related issues.

The seminar attended by various tribal chiefs, tribal Leaders, intellectuals, church leaders, student leaders, social workers, civil society organisations, and representative of elected Council Member and ADC Churachandpur strongly came out with a historic declaration which is ought to pierce the ears of Ibobi and his party men.

The declaration is reproduced as follows:

D E C L A R A T I O N

This august gathering of Tribal Chiefs, Tribal Leaders, Intellectuals, Church Leaders, Student Union/Association Leaders, Social Workers, Civil Society Organisations, and representative of elected Council Member, ADC Churachandpur on this Day, the Ninth April Two Thousand and Eleven Anno Domino at Synod Hall, Lamka have detail deliberation on the Proposed:-

(i) Manipur (Village Authority in Hill Areas), 2nd Amendment Act, 2011.
(ii) Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council, 4th Amendment, Act, 2011. and
(iii) Issues on Tribal Land Protection.

AND unanimously CONCLUDED that,

(i) the proposed Manipur (Village Authority in Hill Areas), 2nd Amendment Act, 2011 posed direct threat to the existing traditional tribal Chieftainship institution and tribal right over land. It is premature to abolished Chieftainship without giving Constitutional safeguard to the traditional institution.
(ii) the proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council, 4th Amendment, Act, 2011 failed to address the core issue of giving legislative, judiciary and financial power to the Autonomous District Council. The ADC will still be devoid of true autonomy.

AND therefore unanimously DECIDED to OPPOSE, in toto,
the proposed Manipur (Village Authority in Hill Areas), 2nd Amendment Act, 2011 and Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council, 4th Amendment, Act, 2011.

AND unanimously RESOLVED that,

the Government should rather provide Statutory Constitutional Protection to Tribal land, culture, customs, values and traditional institutions such as Chieftainship rather than piecemeal Amendments.
(i) the Government should speed up the process of Political Dialogue with various tribal armed Organisations, who had chosen peaceful means to arrive at a durable, honourable, and mutually beneficial resolution to the age-old tribal grievances.
(ii) the Government should address core tribal issue to arrive at a permanent solution rather than making piecemeal attempts.
(iii) all Tribes should join hands together to fight for protection of tribal rights without giving communal colour to the struggle.
(iv) all elected tribal Representatives (MDC, MLA & MP) are requested to stand united and take up current tribal issues on TOP Priority basis.
(v) CoPTAM and UCC should continue to educate the public on the alarming threats; voiced explicitly our displeasure to the Government and adopt any forms of petition, prayer, and protest, if and when necessary.




* This Press Release was sent by Bruce K. Thangkhal . The sender can be contacted at khaalnou(at)gmail(dot)com
This PR was webcasted on April 24 2011 .


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