TODAY -

World's Indigenous Peoples Day Observation

10th August 2016



The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRAM), an indigenous peoples human rights organization promoting sustainable development and human rights of indigenous peoples of Manipur, organised a two day observation of the WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY from 8th to 9th August 2016, with a theme “Uphold indigenous peoples rights over their land and resources in Manipur”.

The first day was organised at Riha Village Ukhrul Dist with the Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organizers (MDAVO) with a focus to protest the land, forest and river in Mapithel Hill and Valley and to express resentment and concerns with the plan of IFCD, Government of Manipur to commission Mapithel dam in September 2016. The protest meet at Riha village was attended by village representatives affected by Mapithel dam along the Mapithel hill and valley.

Mr. Dominic Kashung, Chairman, MDAVO presented the Key note address. MS Aram Pamei, Ex-President, Naga Women Union, Mr. Joseph Hmar, President, All Tribal Students Union Manipur, Mr. Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, CRA, Manipur, Mr. Phulindro Konsam, Chairman, Committee on Human Rights deliberated on violations of Mapithel dam. Mr. Roshan Jajo, Secretary, MDAVO also deliberated on impacts of Mapithel dam. Headman of Riha Village, Mr. Wungreisung shared how villagers of Riha and others affected by Mapithel dam finds it difficult to sustain with their limited land after most of their land and forest are submerged by Mapithel dam.

He further lamented how the Government of Manipur considered the dam affected peoples as animals and as sub human. Mr. Ng Khathing, another headman of Thoyee village stressed the need to hold the Government responsible for the destruction of land, forest and water sources in Mapithel hill and valley uncared of peoples’ rights and lives. The Government’s refusal to listen and act on the rightful demands of affected communities indicates Mapithel dam is unjust and there is lack of democratic practices and further express his worry that the Mapithel dam break will further cause suffering and hardship on communities in Imphal Valley as well.

Ms. Aram Pamei, Ex-president, Naga Women Union shared how the Government has violated indigenous peoples’ rights over their land and resources and undermined their right to free, prior and informed consent. Mr. Joseph Hmar of ATSUM, in his sharing condemned the politics of division, confusion among indigenous peoples instead of responding to affected peoples call for democratic rights and a just solution to adverse impacts of mega dams.

The participants of the protest meet at Riha village resolved to reject the plan of the Government of Manipur to commission Mapithel dam, to stand united and resist all plans to commission the dam, to urge upon the Government of Manipur to let the Thoubal River flow free by releasing all waters from Mapithel dam reservoir. And further to urge the Government to recognize indigenous peoples rights over their land and resources.

A protest rally to stop commissioning Mapithel dam was held by the participants of the protest meet at Riha village. The second day of the IP day observation was held on 9th August 2016 at Ithing Sendra, jointly organized by Sendra Youth Club, United Club of Thanga and CRA, Manipur.

Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, CRAM presented the Key note address. Mr. Phulindro Konsam, Chairman, Committee on Human Rights, Mr. Dominic Kashung, Chairman, MDAVO, Mr. Roshan Jajo, Secretary, MDAVO, Mr. Moirangthem Ibosana also deliberated on impacts of developments in Loktak lake. Ms Meipakpi Moirangthem, Ms Sija Khwairakpam, Ms Kabita Khwairakpam, Ms Moirangthem Mona and Ms Mona Laishram, who are presently in relief camp at Ithing, shared on the experience of forced and merciless eviction of 3rd August 2016 by the state government at Sendra Ithing. At least 21 peoples were injured during this eviction, many of them injured with rubber bullets, tear gases as well as lathi charged by the Manipur Police.

Mr. Moirangthem Ibosana who is victim of recent eviction share inhuman act of state armed force. He narrates how state goverment has done recent eviction without proper notice. Mr. Dominic Kashung, Chairman, MDAVO, share how they have been struggling with impact of Mapithel Dam as well as false promised from the state authority. Mr. Roshan Jajo, Secretary, MDAVO shared series of violation with the Thoubal multipurpose project. Mr. Phulindro Konsam, Chairman, Committee on Human Rights deliberated on violations of Loktak Project and privatisation at Loktak Lake.

The Protest participants resolved to STOP FORCED EVICTION IN LOKTAK WETLANDS, UPHOLD INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS OVER LAND, REPEAL MANIPUR LOKTAK LAKE PROTECTION ACT, 2006 and DECOMMISSION 105 MW LOKTAK PROJECT. The meeting participants also resolve to promote indigenous peoples rights and self determined development over their land and resources and to urge upon the Government to recognize indigenous peoples human rights and to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 in all decisions impacting the land and lives of indigenous peoples. Sanaton Laishram President CRAM

CENTRE FOR RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY, MANIPUR
SEGA ROAD HODAM LEIRAK, IMPHAL, MANIPUR - 795001
cra(DOT)manipur@gmail(DOT)com; Website: www.cramanipur.org Tele: +91 – 385 – 244 4478. The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur is an indigenous peoples’ organization for sustainable development and human rights in Manipur and India’s North East.


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Centre For Research And Advocacy, Manipur who can be contacted at cra(DOT)manipur(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on August 11 2016

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