TODAY -

CORE, FIPA urge Govt on fishermen's rights
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2013: The Center for Organisation Research and Education (CORE) and Forum for Indigenous Perspective and Action (FIPA) expressed disappointment over the alleged forceful dismantling of floating huts of floating hut dwellers/fishing communities of Manipur the State by the State Government at Langolshabi Area, Loktak Lake on February 23 and 28 .

The Loktak Development Authority (LDA), under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, commenced the destruction of phumdi-huts from Loktak Lake on February 23 & 28 defying the Guwahati High Court Order of January 25, 2012 prohibiting clearance of phumdihuts from Loktak Lake and subsequent contempt notice on February 16, 2013 to desist from causing further eviction in Loktak Lake, said a joint statement issued by CORE and FIPA.

Inspite of the stiff resistances of the peoples and the Guwahati High Court Order, 3 huts and 11 huts were either dismantled or burnt down, it alleged adding that the LDA's eviction drive was carried out despite absence of any order for carrying out such eviction and having failed to provide to the affected communities.

Condemning the alleged gross violations of human rights and contempt for the judiciary thereby making a mockery of democracy and the justice system of our great country, the joint statement appealed the LDA and the Government of Manipur to stop all forms of Eviction and other forms of inhumane and undemocratic acts in Loktak Lake targeting the fisher folks/floating huts dwellers of Loktak Lake.

"The Government of Manipur and the Government of India should respect, at least if not the democratic ethics that governs the country, the Guwahati High Court Order of January 25, 2012 and repeal the Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 .

CORE and FIPA also demanded immediate review of the Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project commissioned in 1984 besides appealing the Government of India to initiate a full and impartial investigation and prosecute all officials of the Loktak Development Authority, the Manipur Police involved in forced eviction in Loktak Lake and for violating the Gauhati High Court Order of January 25, 2012 .

It further reiterated and emphasised on the need for respecting peoples' rights as per the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 in all development initiatives in Manipur and Ramsar Convention in management of Loktak and other wetlands.


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