Tribal students on ADC Act
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, April 20 2010: After remaining mute for so long over the ongoing impasse of the present form of the Autonomous District Council Act and elections, the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) today urged the government of Manipur to do things which are best for the tribal people of the state.

The All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) said that since the last few years it has been preferring to concentrate on the issues of education, tribal reservation and other 'unavoidable and emergency' issues that concern the tribal people of Manipur and prefers to leave any issue related to electoral politics to other sister organizations and those who are in the field.

"However, we are now compelled to make this statement after careful thoughts considering the delicateness and urgency of the present imbroglio over holding of elections of the Manipur Autonomous District Councils in its present form with the hope of positive outcome and appeal to those concern including the state government and civil society groups to ponder upon the act or react immediately in the larger interest of the tribal peoples of Manipur", asserted the ATSUM.

The ATSUM said that the state government of Manipur definitely has its reason and compulsion for holding of District Council elections that has been denounced by the tribal people of Manipur and the state Hill Areas Committee (HAC) for more than 20 years with the demand for giving more autonomy and power under the 6th Scheduled provision of the Constitution of India.

However, the ATSUM said that various tribal based civil societies have every reason to oppose holding of election under the 3rd Amendment Act of 2008 of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act' as there is no doubt that the said amendment has 'some confusions' as well as unsatisfying points and clauses.

ATSUM then expressed its apprehension that polarization of the issue among the tribal people of Manipur along the lines of those who are in favour of holding the said elections and those who are against it.

In this kind of precarious situation, the only way out is, acording to ATSUM is that the state government should take a little more time to have wider consultation and discussion to chalk out ways which are best for the tribal peoples of Manipur.

"ATSUM has put lots of efforts to bring the tribal people together for a common cause and we would not like to see their polarization on community or ethnic lines as we have seen and experienced in the past," cautions the tribal students' body.