Friday, July 15, 2011


In a move to energise the liberation movement for Manipur, United Front of the armed organisations operating in Manipur, seven militant organisations have joined hands under one roof. In a move to give a boost to the liberation movement in Manipur, seven prominent underground organisations have decided to join hands 'to regain the lost sovereignty of Manipur. A joint email statement of these underground groups said, leaders of KCP, KYKL, UNLF, RPF, PREPAK, PREPAK (PRO) and UPPK had a very high level conclave where it had formed a 'co-ordinating committee' of the seven organizations and elected RPF president Irengbam Chaoren as the committees convenor.According to the statement, India has been ceaselessly exerting its maximum effort in imposing its grip in the region and hence the need to fight together against the former has become a matter of necessity. It said the co-ordination committee will work out modalities for the seven underground organisations of Manipur to work together. The statement further said that the coming together of these militant groups was the result of the general public pressure who have been asking the outfits to fight under the same roof. Finally, the statement said that unity is courage. Unity is strength and appealed to the people for supporting the liberation movement. The signatories of the joint statement include N.Oken, general secretary of KYKL, Irengbam Chaoren (president of RPF), L. Paliba (chairman of PREPAK-PRO), Lanngamba Luwang (chairman of UPPK), N Nongdrenkhomba (chairman of PREPAK), Kh Pambei (Acting chairman of UNLF), Ksh Laba Meitei (president of KCP). The statement covers four slogan-“Unity is Strength”, “Unity is courage”, “Let the Freedom Movement Comes to Light” and “People of the Land stand victorious”


With the objective of amplifying the voices of people living with HIV/AIDS in Manipur, a round table conference organized by the World Vision along with victims of HIV/AIDS was held on Wednesday at Imphal. The HIV/AIDS victims charged the government of of neglecting the welfare of people living with HIV/AIDS in Manipur. Manipur, which has the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in India has more than 40,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. They face the constant problems of frequent stock out of ART, non-availability of proper testing and treatment facilities, lack of support for women and children affected with HIV/AIDS, lack of means to tackle co-infection of Hepatitis C with HIV/AIDS and so on. With the objective of highlighting the apathy from the government, a round table conference organized by the World Vision along with PLHIV of Manipur was held on Wednesday in which grievances of the PLHIVs in Manipur were highlighted. One of the urgent issue that was highlighted was the lack of interest shown by the Central and Manipur government shown towards children and women living with HIV/AIDS in Manipur. At the conference, the long pending of the HIV and AIDS Bill was also criticized while urging for its immediate passing in the Indian Parliament. At the conference held to amplify the voices of PLHIV, various problems faced by PLHIV were highlighted. While highlighting the immense hardships faced by PLHIV in Manipur, the conference called for appropriate steps from the government on the frequent stock out of ART medicine in various ART administering centre in Manipur while urging for the immediate removal of 2nd Line ART treatment eligibility procedure from Control of State AIDS Clinical Expert Panel. It may be mentioned that Manipur is experiencing a rapid rise in PLHIVs from poorer section of society dying from Hepatitis C which is mainly due to the absence of testing facilities and non providence of cheaper treatment facilities. Another major concerned is the administration of lethal drugs like Stavudine and Tenofovir by the state run ART centres in Manipur despite the WHO banning the concerned drugs a long time back.


In the wake of recent allegations of the Manipur government of inducing shortage and price rise of fertilizers by farmers, the Agriculture Minister has clarified its stand. The minister attributed this scarcity to the unavailability of Manipur’s quota of fertilizer due to failure of the Namrup fertilizer plant. Due to the non-availability of subsidized fertilizers and sky high prices of fertilizers in the market, farmers in Manipur are going through immense difficulties in sowing paddy despite favorable rainfall and timing. It has been alleged that the current difficulties by farmers are a creation of the Manipur government along with their dealers who are selling off subsidized fertilizers to unauthorized agents who are selling fertilizers at very high price to the farmers. On Wednesday, the Agriculture Minister of Manipur has clarified that the prevailing fertilizer crisis was not created by the state government or its dealers but it is an outcome of the breakdown of Namrup fertilizer plant in Assam where Manipur government gets the major chunk of its allotted fertilizer. Speaking to NeTV, Agriculture Minister, Ph Parijat also informed that the government has already taken steps to check the prevailing price rise within the next 4 days while assuring that dealer and agents will be dealt according to law if found selling fertilizer at high price. According to the agriculture Minister, every necessary step are being taken by the state government to check the scarcity of fertilizers and its price while assuring fertilizers will be made available to farmers at the earliest. Ph Parijat further informed that the Union Government has sent extra fertilizers in the wake of shortage of fertilizer which will be reaching Manipur within the next 2 days.At the moment, farmers in Manipur are buying a bag of urea at a rate of Rs 1400 onwards which is normally sold within Rs 520 per bag. The distribution of subsidized fertilizers to the farmers has long been stopped for which the dealers have claimed supply shortage while the market is flooded with fertilizer, however, at a very high price.


After days of uncertainty and fear of a major law and order breakdown in the three districts of Garo Hills following opposition to the proposed civic polls, the Meghalaya Government has halted the entire election process calling for a “reschedule” of the polls while a visibly elated Joint Action Committee of Garo NGOs has withdrawn their weeklong stir that was suppose to begin from Friday morning onwards.
Under pressure from student and social organizations who had announced a week-long shutdown, Meghalaya government today deferred the municipal elections, slated for next month. This is the third time in a year that the government has been forced to defer the municipal elections which were to be the first civic polls since Meghalaya attained statehood. The protesting organizations contend that the election to municipalities will lead to erosion of powers of the traditional bodies like the tribal village chiefs. Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh on Wednesday held a series of meetings at Tura with elected representatives, political parties, the protesting organizations before reviewing the law and order scenario in the three districts of Garo hills with senior officials of the administration. After the meetings, the government decided to defer the election apprehending law and order problems due to the protests. The Urban Minister was accompanied by her colleague, Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh, and C&RD Minister Saleng A Sangma. Prior to the decision to halt the scheduled elections, the ministerial delegation held a series of meetings with the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police from the three districts of Garo Hills to ascertain the ground situation. It was only after the delegation was briefed on the impending problems in the run up to the polls that the government felt it necessary to ‘reschedule’ the elections to the four municipalities. The organisations included the Garo Students Union, All India Garo Union, Federation of Khasi and Jaintia, Garo People and other like-minded NGOs. The Joint Action Committee, a conglomerate of social and student organizations, had called for a seven-day shutdown in the three districts of Garo hills from July 15. The government had earlier notified the polls to the Baghmara Municipal Board and Williamnagar Municipal Board in Garo hills for August 6 and 15 respectively. The Gauhati High Court had directed the state government to hold the municipal elections in the state before September. The state government had earlier made two attempts to hold the first ever civic polls in the state in the four municipalities of Garo hills but had to abandon its plans after the election authorities were compelled to postpone the polls twice in two months since September last year in the wake of large scale violent protests. Ever since statehood in 1972, Meghalaya has never conducted civic polls and nominated administrator of the State Government governs the Municipality Boards.