By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 20 : The emergence of a new Golden Triangle along the Indo-Myanmar borderland is a cause for major concern that calls for a unified response at all levels, said Khuraijam Athouba at the 54th United Nations Human Rights Council session held at Geneva on September 18.
The World Evangelical Alliance, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs hosted the United Nations Human Rights Council side event entitled “The Crisis in Manipur and Implications for Human Rights in India.”
He made the statement in his inaugural address during an interactive dialogue with independent experts on the 'promotion of a democratic and equitable international order'.
Khuraijam Athouba is vice president of the International Peace and Social Advancement (IPSA) and spokesperson of Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), which is spearheading the people's movement against narco-terrorism amid the current conflict in Manipur that has killed more than 170 people and displaced more than 60,000.
Khuraijam Athouba will attend several sessions during the 54th Session of the UNHRC (September 11 to October 13) in Geneva, Switzerland.
During his inaugural address, Athouba shed light on several issues, particularly the problems of drug trade and mass deforestation for illegal poppy cultivation in the Indo-Myanmar border region including Manipur.
Athouba said there is an "emergence of a new Golden Triangle" in the Indo-Myanmar borderland that has destabilised the security of the region and the lives of the indigenous people.
"In the North East region of India and Western Southeast Asia, there exists unique challenges, from cultural diversity to regional conflicts, underdevelopment, and connectivity issues. However, a more immediate concern is the emergence of a new Golden Triangle along the Indo-Myanmar borderland," Athouba said. The illicit drug trade network and massive deforestation for illegal cultivation of poppy has significantly jeopardised regional stability and the lives of the indigenous young people. The problem of drugs has deprived the youth of participating in any of the decision making processes, he said.
Athouba called on the expert delegations and stressed that the situation in the Indo-Myanmar region calls for a united response at the local, National, and international levels not only to contain narco-terrorism but also to mitigate environmental degradation arising out of mass deforestation, unemployment, and promote non-violent democratic values and equitable international order.
Meanwhile, International Peace and Social Advancement (IPSA) said its vice president, Khuraijam Athouba will be participating in several sessions where he will shed light on the issues surrounding Manipur violence, its roots in narco-terrorism, and the "emergence of the new Golden Triangle in the Indo-Myanmar borderland region."
Athouba and his team is diligently planning a side event within the UN campus during the ongoing session.
This event aims to capture the attention of various international forums and participants, and draw their focus towards the ground realities by presenting an accurate narrative of the situations unfolding in the WESEA region and North Eastern part of India, particularly in Manipur, said IPSA.
IPSA and its associating collective of 8 CSOs are regularly in touch with him to make the best use of his presence at the UN in Geneva, added IPSA.
Manipur is reeling under ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki since May 3, when ATSUM's "Solidarity March" turned ugly in Churachandpur-Bishnupur border area. Men armed with AK-47 Rifles were seen among the protesters taking part in the "Solidarity March".