TODAY -

5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation
- 2nd April 2024 : Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network -

*

 5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation
5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation



Indigenous Women of Northeast India Unite for Peace, Healing and Co-Existence:
5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation successfully concludes with participation of leaders from different states of the Region.


In an effort to bring about peace and healing. Indigenous women groups invited by the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace and Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network have come together and shared traditional ways for conflict resolution, reconciliation and peacebuilding as practised in different states of Northeast India. This ground-breaking initiative aims to amplify the voices of lndigenous women, who have long been at the forefront of community resilience and conflict resolution in the region.

The initiative was first initiated in 2015 in Imphal by Manipur-born Binalakshmi Nepram, whose prayer aimed to unite together women from across Northeast states to start the process of understanding one another and help mitigate common issues that women face in the region due to decades of conflict.

The 5th Northeast Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation sought to foster collaboration, advocate for gender-inclusive peacebuilding, and champion the rights of lndigenous communities of Northeast India.

With a rich tapestry of cultures, traditions, and languages, Northeast India is home to 272 plus diverse lndigenous communities. However, the region has also faced its share of challenges, including conflict and social marginalization. Against this backdrop, the 5th Northeast Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation emerged as a beacon of hope, resilience, and solidarity.

The Congregation was attended by eminent women leaders from different states of Northeast India such as Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Assam. The participants from varying backgrounds and fields including women activists, lawyers, scholars, media persons and clinical psychologists made valuable contributions to bring peace and harmony in the region. The congregation also had conflict survivors who shared their testimonies.

The convening started with a beautiful invocation on Pena Seihou "Maikei Taiba" by Pena Artist, Ms. Donna Ngairangbam at the inaugural followed by statements by eminent women leaders from Northeast India. Some of the important remarks by women leaders are shared below.

 5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation
5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation





Ima Lourembam Nganbi, President, All Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) reiterated that the Government should take full responsibility to take care of the people who have been displaced and forced to leave their homes in order to escape from conflict situation and should make all possible efforts to bring them back and ensure their safety and rehabilitation. The Government should control people who are using divide and rule policy in the region.

Ms. Mayalmit Lepcha, President, Sikkim Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association shared that women of Northeast India have a huge responsibility to bring all our people together and play an instrumental role in restoring peace and protecting innocent people.

Ms. Limasenla Longkumer, a human rights lawyer from Nagaland mentioned that many of our people do not know their basic rights. Hence, there is need for a lot of advocacy work and legal awareness. She stated that nobody is above the law. She also commented that customary law failed to deliver justice to our women.

Ms. Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty from Assam, who is a well known personality in the field of journalism, strongly shared her views on connecting each other and making collective efforts for peace and reconciliation. She urged all women to come together, hold each otherís hands and listen to each other without being judgmental. She gave a wonderful suggestion to all present to wear each otherís weave to connect with one another.

 5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation
5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation



The congregation also adopted the following important resolutions at the historic convening:

RESOLUTION OF 5th NORTHEAST INDIA INDIGENOUS WOMEN PEACE CONGREGATION HELD ON 26 MARCH 2024

o We acknowledge the work done by many of the strong Indigenous women who came before us in the first four Northeast India Women Peace Congregations held in 2015, 2016, 2020 and 2023 to lead conflict-resolution, peace-negotiation, and humanitarian efforts to address the wars, conflicts and violence against 45 million people in region.

o We recognize the historical contribution of over 116 years of Indigenous women's non-violent peace movement in the region and the need for women across 8 states of Northeast India to come together to help find pathways towards peace Indigenous ways of healing, justice and conflict-resolution mechanisms to address conflicts by involving Indigenous Peoples of Northeast India.

o We also acknowledge that violent conflicts continue to be engineered in the Northeast India region with devastating impact on communities, especially on the poorest of the poor, the marginalised and those living in border zones where homes have been burnt and thousands displaced.

o The Congregation also acknowledges how transnational criminal & armed networks have been operating in our region and indulging in narcotic drug production and trafficking, gun-running and human trafficking which has resulted in human rights violations of the Indigenous population in the Northeast affecting not just the health and wellbeing of people but also security of the region.

o Relief and rehabilitation must be given to all affected by the violent conflict and living in displaced camps. Work must be done to provide critical humanitarian resources, livelihood opportunities, and to give psycho-social support to survivors and affected communities.

o Take special care of children and youth in their education and elderly affected in armed violent conflict. Peace scholarships and other related support must be given.

o Engage Indigenous peacemakers and inter-faith organizations in bringing peace, healing and harmony.

o We call upon the government of India, all state governments in the Northeast, Northeast Council and other bodies to bring a resolution to conflicts and help in peace and development.

o Peace talks must be encouraged and a Mechanism for Truth and Reconciliation Commission (MTRC) be formed to guide and calm war-torn communities in order to ensure long-term peaceful co- existence.

o Include and involve Indigenous women of Manipur and Northeast India in the 17 plus peace talks. negotiations that are currently happening. We reject any peace talks without Indigenous women.

o Call on all to Lay Down Arms. Start immediately disarmament and demobilization of armed elements to ensure that civilians are not taking law into their own hands.

o Ensure that all the non-state armed groups who are demanding contesting homelands and under suspension of operations as well as those still operating within the state and region adhere to the Geneva Convention and rules of war and not commit human rights violations. o All state and security forces which are operating must do so to protect the lives of every citizen without any partisan policies. This must include gender inclusive security sector reforms and community policing.

o We hereby recognize the rights of Indigenous People to their land, sovereignty, governance, self- determination, education, life ways and religious traditions.

o Stop disinformation campaigns and distortion of history. Include the "History of Northeast India" in the curriculum of our nation.

o Establish a State Diversity Policy as well as a "National Diversity Policy to help in a renewed understanding of each of 272+ indigenous groups and building of the region which will ensure peace, stability and strength in the Northeast.

 5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation
5th Northeast India Indigenous Women's Peace Congregation



For any questions, please contact
nongdren(DOT)cafi(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network (MWGSN) was founded on December 24, 2004 in an attempt to help women in Manipur and other armed violence affected areas whose lives have been affected because of the gun killings of a family member, whether it be by state, non-state actors or unidentified gunmen. For more details log on to www.womensurvivorsnetwork.org.

Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace (NEIWIP) is a network of women-individuals, groups and organizations that are working for peace in the Northeast region of India. NEIWIP brings together women from all over Northeast states to create and carry out an action plan for building peace, providing justice and political rights in the region ruptured by years of conflict.

Mr. Arambam Nongdren
C/O Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network/Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace
Langthabal Mantrikhong, Thong Ahanbi, Old Palace Road
Imphal West-795003, Manipur, Northeast India


* This info was provided to e-pao.net by Arambam Nongdren who can be contacted at nongdren(DOT)cafi(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on 03 April 2024 .



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