TODAY -

UNC voices stand against proposed Draft Bill
Source: The Sangai Express

Senapati, August 31 2016: The United Naga Council (UNC) has termed the attempt of the State Government to pass a "similar Bill" in the Manipur Assembly as "nothing but another manifestation of State Government's apathy towards the rights and concern of the tribal people" of the State.

While re-affirming its strong opposition to the Government's attempt to pass a "similar Bill that led to the killing of 9 tribal people last year while protesting the 3 anti-tribal Bills and resolutions", the UNC in statement stated that attempt of the Government to pass a new Bill (Manipur Regulation of Non- Local Bill 2016) in the forthcoming Manipur State Assembly session without resolving the outstanding issues that involved the loss of nine "precious lives and untold miseries clearly indicates the Imphal valley centric Government's intention to completely suppress and silence the voice of the tribal people of the State".

Given this reason, the UNC posited its earlier stand that the State Government's concern is "limited only to the valley people and not the indigenous tribal people" .

The UNC stated that the tribal people of the State will oppose any Bill that would affect the hill areas unless the Manipur Assembly is democratised.

"How can we expect any Bill passed in Manipur Assembly to be democratic when the tribal representatives are under-represented against the Constitutional guideline of Article 332 ?" it questioned.

According to the UNC, the root cause of many problems in the State lies in the "fact that the value of one valley vote is equivalent to 3 tribal votes".

The UNC demanded that the Government of India addresses "this critical issue" in order to achieve its goal for lasting peace and development in the region.

The UNC also expressed its apprehension that the indigenous tribal people will continue to be "suppressed and will be further marginalised" despite Constitutional safeguard such as Article 371-C, Manipur Legislative Assembly ( Hills Areas Committee) Order 1972, Manipur Autonomous District Council Act 1971 Reservation Rule etc.

if the above pressing issue is not addressed or resolved.

"If the communal Government of Manipur is concerned and serious about the collective interest of all sections of the population in the State, then it must first address the historical injustice meted out to the indigenous tribal people of the State and one must cease only catering to the wants of the valley people.

"Therefore, any Bill or resolution that is detrimental to rights over land, history, identity, culture and time honoured institution of the indigenous tribal people is introduced and passed shall never be accepted under any circumstances," the UNC stated.


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