TODAY -

CRAM shares views
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 09 2015 : On the occasion of the World's Indigenous Peoples Day, Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM) has shared its views on the threats faced by the indigenous people of the State.

In a statement, CRAM said that this year's theme, 'Post 2015 Agenda: Ensuring indigenous people's health and well-being' is highly relevant in Manipur, where indigenous people are struggling hard to safeguard their land and inherent rights, self-determination and self-determined development over their land and resources.

The body said that the pursuit of development without justice amid the neo-liberal policies of globalization, privatization and corporatization associated with militarism in Manipur has undermined indigenous people's physical and spiritual health.

CRAM pointed out that the aggressive introduction of large scale unsustainable development projects such as Mapithel dam, Tipaimukh dam, Chakpi dam, Loktak Project and other mining and oil exploration plans have already led to land alienation, submergence of villages, destruction of prime agriculture land, forest areas and other survival sources of indigenous people of Manipur.

The Mapithel dam in particular, where the Government and project authorities commenced blocking Thoubal river from January 2015 is a clear instance of undermining indigenous people's rights and represents a symbol of development injustice and unsustainability of development processes, it added.

CRAM further observed that the current 'State sponsored' influx of non-indigenous population in Manipur, abetted by aggressive development process and efforts to subdue the political rights of indigenous people of Manipur are matters of serious concern.

It further said that formation of specific regulations or legislations to protect indigenous people's rights, especially to prohibit transfer of indigenous people's land to non-indigenous people and regulate their entry in Manipur is an urgent need.

Any delay would only lead to minoritization and subsequent marginalization of indigenous people, as visible in several regions and States across India's North East, CRAM said.

The extensive militarization and continued human rights violations and denial of justice while responding to subdued indigenous people's movement for political rights in Manipur must be reviewed in compliance with international human rights standards.

CRAM further said that the prolonged call of indigenous people of Manipur to repeal all emergency legislations, such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 as also recommended by various human rights bodies must be translated to reality at the earliest.

CRAM also urged the Government of India to accede and ratify the ILO Convention No 169 on Indigenous and Tribal People.


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