CCpur, Aug 9
In connection with the celebration of United Nations (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous People across the globe, the day was also observed at Churachandpur and Ukhrul districts to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population under the theme ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Land.’
The event that witness several tribal leaders calling and expressing the need to protect the land of Indigenous people also marked the beginning of a post card campaign against 2D Seismic Survey and Oil exploration in Manipur, particularly in the hill areas.
Joseph Lalrothang, president of Hmar Inpui claimed that indigenous people in North East India often experience racial and cultural discrimination.
“They are denied their rights to land, livelihoods and to organise or represent themselves. The local communities are experiencing social unrest in connection with the oil and gas exploration plans and other natural extraction in their territories,” he said while adding that the entry of extractive industries has had serious impact on the basic rights of the people, threatening their land and resources.
Another speaker, Thangbiaklian Hangzo said, although international bodies and treaties recognize, acknowledge and seek to protect the rights of indigenous peoples in the strongest way possible, unfortunately the rights ILO Convention 169 and UNDRIP were not ratified by the Indian Government, implying that these provisions does not directly apply as official legislation by the Indian Government within its territory.
Instead, the Indian Government adopted terms like Scheduled Tribes to denote what International bodies called indigenous people and provided certain protective mechanism to ensure the welfare of the indigenous people, he claimed.
“In Manipur, we have the mechanism of Article 371 C in the Indian Constitution which gives certain legislative system to protect the interest of the tribal/indigenous people which seldom works in our favour. On that basis, we have the Autonomous District Council of which its insufficiency which we do not need to deliberate here,’ he claimed.
He further alleged that, owing to these factors, the indigenous tribes face constant threat in terms of custom, culture, administration, judicial system and land rights from dominant communities.
President of Mizo Peoples Convention Manipur, Vanlalrinliana laid stress on the importance of ‘Chin-Lushai Conference’ held at Fort William Calcutta but expressed regret that the British had not completed the process of unifying the Zo descendants. Nevertheless UNDRIP 2017 has espoused the same which is one good news of the indigenous Zo descendents, he added.
Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long (TMNL) and PASDO in collaboration with Kahumtang Shimva also observed the 23rd International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at Kahumtang, Sunday School Hall at Ukhrul.
The theme of the year “Indigenous people’s migration and movement as a result of loss of their lands, territories and resources” was elaborated by Hungyohung, senior human rights activist.
Meanwhile, Gajendra Prasad Mohanty, Director PASDO delivered a short speech about the negative impact of many Tangkhul youths migrating to metropolitan cities.
Phokmi Rephung, Advocate & Themreishang Siranao, Advocate she lights on The Manipur Agricultural Produces and Livestock Marketing Bill 2018 & the Manipur Peoples Bill.
Later, Daneil Ramsan, senior Advocate led a public interaction where many questions were raised during the session.
On the other hand, the Tuisenphai Village Authority, Youth Forum for Protection of Human Rights in Manipur, the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur, Youth Action Committee for Protection of Indigenous People’s celebrated the World’s Indigenous People Day at Tuisenphai Village today.
Jiten Yumnam, secretary of the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur, Nitinril Shaiphu, village chief of Tuisenphai, Majabung Gangmei, social activist and Gopen Kh spoke on the occassion.
CCpur, Aug 9