Sunday, May 16, 2010



Census 2011 begins in Mizoram today

Census 2011, the seventh census after independence, begins in Mizoram today covering all the eight districts, S K Chakraborty, Deputy Director of Census Operations, New Delhi announced in Aizawl yesterday.Chakraborty told a press conference that 2,354 enumerators and 392 supervisors would conduct the census and the National Population Register would also be prepared in the state along with the rest of the country.All the district magistrates of the eight districts have been designated as Principal Census Officers.The first phase of the census during which houselisting, housing census and collection of data on National Population Register would be completed by September this year and the population enumeration would be taken up during February next year, he added.

Congress opposes move to rename Dimapur

Taking a clear stand on the issue of renaming of Dimapur, the Congress party in Nagaland has opposed the change in the nomenclature of Dimapur as proposed by chief Minister Neiphiu Rio led-DAN government. Making their stand loud and clear on the issue of renaming of Dimapur by chief minister Neiphiu Rio-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government; the opposition Congress party has unanimously resolved to oppose the renaming of Dimapur stating that the place is of historical importance, and hence it is not the question that the name has been given by the minority or majority. Talking to NETV, Nagaland Congress Legislative Party Leader Tokheho Yepthomi said that they will try their best to protect the name of Dimapur. Referring to Nagaland Legislative Assembly Speaker’s statement over the proposed renaming, Tokheho said the DAN government had not consulted the opposition members on the issue. He alleged that Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie gave a wrong statement. The Congress also denied that the matter was discussed in the Assembly or that a consensus could not be arrived at. The decision to oppose the issue was taken during a recently held CLP meeting. Congress MLA Hewoto Awomi asserted that it was not a question of “minority” or “majority” but about historical fact and added that it was the duty of the government to protect the minorities. Further, he clarified that besides addressing the Naga political problem; there was no discussion among the legislators for renaming of Dimapur as stated earlier by chief minister, Neiphiu Rio. He also said that the party, together with the citizens of Dimapur, will take action if the government decides to rename Dimapur. According to a section of historians, the name Dimapur comes from the Kachari dialect. However, etymologically, di means "river", ma means "big" and pur means "city". Dimapur, once the capital city of the Dimasa kingdom up to the 13th century, has reminiscences of the Dimasa kingdom scattered around it. Therefore, the state government’s decision to rename Dimapur is also likely to evoke strong protests from the Dimasa community. The government argues that the name “Dimapur” did not originate from any Naga language and hence it needed a Naga name. The Kachari Tribal Council has warned the state government that it would oppose such a move tooth and nail, stating that the Kacharis have been kept in dark about the proposed renaming of Dimapur,. They said that renaming of Dimapur would tantamount to erasing the history of the Kacharis. Among the Naga tribes, the Angamis claim Dimapur as theirs, though mostly the Sumi Nagas inhabit in and around Dimapur. The Nagaland government has already started renaming colonies, wards and villages in and around Dimapur which have non-Naga names. The government however got the backing of the Naga Hoho. In such circumstances, whether the government succeeds in its move to rename Dimapur or not will remain to be seen in the near future.


With all supply lines of essential goods and lifesaving drugs cut off for over 38 days, Manipur literally becomes a state under siege. Most vehicles have stay off the road due to unavailability of petrol and diesel, hospitals, both govt. as well as private are shutting down due to lack of oxygen and other lifesaving drugs. Clearly the impact of the 38-days old economic blockade on the two national highways into Manipur is huge with people getting desperate. Despite the hardships of the 38-days old economic blockade, people of Manipur, both in the hills as well as in the valley are in protest and counter protest mode. One group is protesting against the state government decision to ban NSNC-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah’s visit into Manipur while a larger chunk of population is hailing the government’s decision and are protesting against the center’s arrogance of giving permission to Muivah to visit the State without consulting the state government. While the protest both in the hills and plains go on, huge hardship is being faced by the people of Manipur with chronic shortage of essential good, lifesaving drugs and so on. Appealing to Manipur government to make available petrol and diesel to school buses and school vans, the All Manipur Students’ Guardian Organization said the students are not going to their schools due to the unavailability of fuel. The Parent’s organization also expressed its sorrow over the May 6 Mao incident where two students were killed and observed one-minute silence to mourn the deaths. The parents also appealed to the ANSAM and other civil societies to call off the economic blockade that still lay the state under siege.

Tension runs high in Langpi, Assam, Meghalaya ministers hold meet

Tension is running high in disputed Langpi area of Assam-Meghalaya border since Friday after four Khasi people from Meghalaya were killed by bullets of Assam Police in an unfortunate incident. Meanwhile, ministers of Assam and Meghalaya visited the area on Saturday and appealed to the people of both sides of the border to maintain calm. They also held a meeting at Langpi and discussed the situation. Tension is simmering in Langpi area of Assam-Meghalaya border since Friday after four Khasi people from Meghalaya were killed in clash with Assam Police there. In the unfortunate incident, at least nine civilians and seven Assam Police personnel were injured. Amidst the tension, Assam minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman and Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma visited the area and met the villagers. Meghalaya home minister HDR Lyngdoh also visited the area. In order to resolve the issue, the two sides announced that a joint meeting at the chief ministers’ level will be held shortly. On the other hand, the Meghalaya home minister assured to announce a probe into the incident. It is to be mentioned that Meghalaya chief minister Dr Mukul Sangma had hinted the involvement of a third force behind the incident.


At least 17 people were killed in clashes between police and Red Shirt protesters in Thailand on Saturday. Tensions still running high Saturday, with protesters yelling and screaming as they stood behind barricades of tires, spikes and bamboo poles. The Thai capital has become an urban fortress under siege and beset by gunfire, tear gas and stone-throwing that boiled over after Thai authorities set a new deadline to seal off the Bangkok intersection where protesters have gathered by the thousands for the past month. Thai troops are clashing with anti-government protesters in the capital Bangkok; on a third day of violence that has killed at least 17 people. Plumes of smoke are rising from sections of the city Centre, where the protesters, who want the prime minister to resign, are barricaded in a camp. Some 150 people have been injured since violence broke out in the Thai capital on Thursday evening. Troops have set up roadblocks to prevent further protesters from entering the camp. On Friday, troops fired live rounds, tear gas and rubber bullets in clashes with the protesters, who threw petrol bombs and stones at the soldiers. Violence escalated on Thursday after a renegade general who supports the protests was shot in the head by an unknown gunman. Explosions and sporadic gunfire can be heard around the protest site in central Bangkok despite the fact that the government says the situation is under control. Barricades of types are still burning. In some places police and telephone boxes have been attacked. But in other areas the protestors are camped outside smart hotels and shopping centers where no damage has been done. Some parts of the city center look like a day old-war zone with small groups of protestors still harassing troops. Authorities have ruled out negotiations with the red-shirt protesters. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged both protesters and the authorities to avoid further violence. His office said he "strongly encourages them to urgently return to dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and resolve matters peacefully". The US has also urged restraint and encouraged the two sides "to find a way to work peacefully through these differences". The Thai government says the situation is under control and insists its soldiers have only fired in self-defense. The Bangkok authorities have cut off water and electricity to the camp in a renewed effort by the government to reclaim the city Centre after a two-month stand-off. Around a third of the city is now under emergency rule, but while there are pockets of fighting in that area, life beyond the barricades seems to be going on as normal, correspondents say. The protesters want Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections.