Zomi Council felicitates MDCs
Source: The Sangai Express / S Singlianmang Guite

Lamka, October 04 2010: The Zomi Council, an apex body of the Zomis on Saturday hosted a path breaking seminar cum felicitation in honour of the district's newly elected MDCs at Mualnuam village in Thanlon sub-division in their attempt to critically analyse the existing ADCs as a viable local body as well as to revive the age-old tribal ethos of emphasizing on the hills, which in recent days has been dubbed as 'interior'.

Of the twenty-six MDCs in the district, twenty-one of them attended the seminar that was hosted in their felicitation under the theme, 'when politics decide your future, decide what your politics must be.' Safeguarding rights of the native tribal and the way forward to serve their interest was the dominant argument that was witnessed all along the three sessions of seminar, and the discussions thereafter.

Vice President of Kuki Inpi Manipur, Jangngam Haokip in his speech stressed on the need to narrow down the tribal-divide on the lines of nomenclature, which merely was assigned by others or of own creation, for a common objective which he dubbed as the corner-stone of the tribals' political survival.

The Chairman of Churachandpur ADC Langkhanpau Guite said the seminar was a necessity to prepare the MDCs to effectively realize their responsibilities.

He also hailed the Zomi Council's effort to resurrect the emphasis on hill areas.

'Our forefathers have ruled the land from these interior areas, the ZC is therefore doing the right thing taking this meeting here despite the odds,' he commended.

The President of Zomi Re-unification Organisation, Thang Lian Pau, who made a rare appearance in public also exhorted the MDCs to be sensible in serving the public.

'For five years at the least, do remember that you represent the people and not the parties or their high-commands,' he said.

A social activist and former law practitioner Chinlunthang presented a paper on 'Power and functions of MDC vis-�-vis Protection of Tribal Rights,' while an eminent scholar Vungzamoi and Chief of Bureau (NER) The Bengal Post, Rajeev Bhatacharya presented a paper each on 'Local self-government in Manipur (Hill Areas): The road ahead' and 'Role of Media in Conflict Resolution' .

The Chairman of COPTAM, Letpu Haokip also delivered a keynote address in the run up to the seminar.

Others who have addressed the gathering included incumbent Chairman of Zomi Council, President of the UZO, former Chairman of the Zomi Council, leaders of various CSOs of the Zomis, the designated conveners and panelists.

Many of the speakers who spoke at the occasion emphasised on the need to hold more such seminars in wider consultation with other ADCs.

Tuivai Area Development Committee had on the concluding night presented a traditional gift comprising local chillies bundled on leaves to all the attending MDCs as a souvenir while the entire residents dine alongside them at a grand feast hosted in the evening.