The Ten Commandments of Armed Forces Special Powers Act

NTIMES 12Dec: The Ten Commandments of Armed Forces Special Powers Act

1. You shall have no other ‘god’ under AFSPA except ‘military rulers’.

2. You shall not make for yourself a strong civilian Government that would repeal AFSPA from the land.

3. You shall not take the name of AFSPA in vain, for AFSPA will not hold anyone guiltless who takes its name in vain.

4. Remember Curfew days to keep it holy. On these days, you shall not venture out from your residence for AFSPA’s hallowed ‘angel’ (bullet) may punish you.

5. Honour your Army Generals and Captains that your days may be long in the land, which you have inherited from your fore-parents.

6. You shall not kill Indian armies even though they kill your people and rape your sisters.

7. You shall not commit even a slightest mistake before AFSPA for that could cost your life.

8. You shall not raise your voice in media about atrocity committed by Indian armed forces.

9. You shall not file case in court against human rights violation by Indian armed forces.

10. You shall not covet your neighboring States’ civilian Governments, development and security.

AFSPA is producing many insurgent groups in Northeast and JK. When AFSPA was imposed in Manipur in the early 1980s, there were only two active insurgent groups operating in Manipur. Today, after 30 years of its imposition, the provocative act of AFSPA has given birth to nearly 40 insurgent groups. There are 6,70,000 military forces in JK just to fight against 600 odd militants. The number of military forces could be more in NEI. Under heavy militarisation, common people are struggling for survival and dignity. The Central Government will never ever impose this inhumane Act in other States of India except in NEI and JK. If AFSPA is not racism, then what is it? AFSPA simply says ‘you are savaged people.’

In other words, ‘you are too ignorant to decide for your life’. Hence, to make us ‘civilize’ and good people, armies keep an eye on all our movements and activities. They interrogate and frisk us. They torture us for silly matters. They bang into our house late at night to check what we are doing. Ridiculous!!! We are forced to live according to what the Indian armed forces think best for us. This is the reason why many people have joined insurgent movements. If there is respect, peace and development in the State then who will like to risk their life in jungle leaving behind loved and dear ones, suck by leeches, bite by snakes, torture by wintry cold and summer storms.

Our Ministers and Defence Minister at the Centre often says that the ‘ground reality’ is not suitable for revoking AFSPA. However, the fact is that this unfavourable ‘ground reality’ is created by this Act. Once this draconian Act is revoked and the aspirations of common people properly understood and addressed, will there be peace in the State.

AFSPA means ‘military rule’. Many people from mainland India criticise military rule in Myanmar but hardly speak out against the harsh military rule under AFSPA in India. AFSPA, instead of helping people’s Government, undermines it in its entirety. So often, the State Government became a tool of AFSPA protecting armies at the cost of civilians. The power of Chief Minister and Cabinet Ministers is curtailed to a ‘toothless tiger’ by AFSPA. The helplessness of Chief Minister is seeing in the imprisonment of Irom Sharmila Chanu for more than 11 years.

AFSPA clearly signifies that there are no qualified local politicians (educated people) to maintain ‘law and order’ in the State. Or if at all there are, then New Delhi undermines the capability of our leaders. Deeper analysis shows that our States are under the control of and run by ‘outsiders’ who are army generals, captains and so on. We are under captivity. We have no freedom. Our life is in the hand of armies. When Indian army officers staunchly oppose any move to repeal this Act, it is quite understandable. Under AFSPA, they are the ‘big boss’ or ‘god’ who controls everything. When a Chief Minister has no power to control over a mere army captain, one ought to feel shame.

Our politicians should feel embarrassed the most. Is it necessary to spend time and energy electing our representatives when they have no power to give us freedom, development and security? Is it not better if a Governor rules us directly so that there is better administration and development in the State? As State’s election draws near, people of Manipur must set an example for others by voting brave men and women into Assembly seat who would dare challenge to revoke AFSPA from the State. It’s high time to have a sensible Government that will protect the life of and give security to each individual—for in essence the Government exists for the wellbeing of its citizens and not its citizens for the Government.

For the sake of peace in the land, security of its citizens and holistic development, AFSPA must go. The sooner, the better.

Courtesy: ZK Pahrii Pou

A Response to the UNC’s “Alternative Arrangement outside the Government of Manipur, pending solution of the Indo-Naga Issue”

NTIMES 12Dec: A Response to the UNC’s “Alternative Arrangement outside the Government of Manipur, pending solution of the Indo-Naga Issue”

The United Naga Council (UNC) is the apex body of the Nagas of Manipur, therefore, it has every responsibility to lead and fight for the rights of the Nagas of Manipur in consultation with other apex bodies like the NWUM, ANSAM and its constituent unit members. VI Schedule, Empowerment of ADC Act, Alternative Arrangement or any other issues that are for the interest of their people, the UNC can take up and fight for, after considering what is best for the Nagas of Manipur for the time being i.e, before the settlement of the Indo-Myanmar-Naga Issue.

Therefore, at the moment, the UNC is vehemently fighting for an ‘Alternative Arrangement’ outside the government of Manipur, from the government of India, a demand which is very much within the Indian constitution, and also purely for the Nagas of Manipur. But very recently the UNC has come up with the slogan “Alternative Arrangement outside the government of Manipur, pending solution of the Indo-Naga Issue”, where the sacred Cause of “Nagaland for Christ” is messed up with their demand for ‘Alternative Arrangement’.

Before that too, in a statement of the UNC published in the Sangai Express & Morung Express on 15th July, 2010, they cited page 12 of the Manipur constitution to justify their demand to secede from Manipur state, that provide for the “…right of any section of the Hill People to secede at the end of the five year period, should conditions within the constitution not be satisfactory”.

The 13th Clause of the 16th Point Agreement of 1960 and the United Naga Integration Council (UNIC) signed an MoU with the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) in the year 1972 were cited to justify their demand for Naga Integration.

My dear leaders, those articles, constitution, Mou or documents have nothing to do with the historical and political rights of the Nagas. Don’t you know that on account of such sell-out agreements or documents, Nagas were divided into Nagas and pro-India Nagas and killing amongst the Nagas was started where thousands of Nagas had lost their lives. You fight your demand basing on such so called rights and called your demand as pending solution of the Indo-Naga Issue.

That is too much my dear leaders of UNC. Will it not be appropriate to call your demand as pending solution of the 12 page of Manipur constitution because in it, the right to secede from Manipur state was mentioned and so fighting with that rights, ‘Alternative Arrangement’ is attainable (if what the UNC claimed to have in the page 12 of Manipur constitution was true).

The demand for Alternative Arrangement is not even a pending solution of the 13 Clause of the 16th Point Agreement of 1960 or the MoU signed between the UNIC and AICC, MPPC of 1972, for the two agreements mentioned the rights of the Nagas to be integrated all their areas into a single administrative unit that is far greater than the demand of the ‘Alternative Arrangement’ which is only for the Nagas of Manipur. Yes, UNC is right for citing the 13th Clause of 16th Point Agreement of 1960 and the MoU of the AICC, MPCC and UNIC of 1972 as the legitimate rights of their demand for Integration of all Naga areas into a single administrative unit within the Indian constitution, only it is wrong if they say, it is the pending solution of the Indo-Naga issue.

And if anybody likes any type of solution like the ‘Supra state Body’, it is possible through the 3rd Clause of Shillong Accord of 1975. The 3rd Clause stated as: “It was agreed that the representatives of the underground organizations should have reasonable time to formulate other issues for discussion for final settlement” So, final settlement is pending and anything what we desire within the Indian constitution can be negotiated through this 3rd clause. Therefore, a solution like the type of ‘Supra state Body’ is the fulfillment of the 3rd Clause of Shillong Accord of 1975.

What I meant here is not against the UNC’s demand nor for their demand (if they did not mess up the sacred cause of “Nagaland for Christ” with their demand) because it is none of my business to involve in a business that is within the India constitution. I just think, what the UNC struggles for, are all for the upliftment and betterment of the people, a necessity for the time being to lessen the burdens and sufferings of the people especially the commoners, before the fulfillment of God’s purpose for “Nagaland for Christ” is arrived.

But, it is not right if they say; the demand for a particular area development as the pending solution of the Indo-Naga Issue. There are the Zeliangrong’s demand for “Union Territory”, the ENPO’s “Frontier Nagaland”, the ATSUM’s demand for “Union Territory” and the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) demand for Ukhrul as the “Summer Capital of Manipur”. But none of them say, that theirs is the pending solution of the Indo-Naga Issue because it is not right for any region of Naga people, whether East or West, North or South to take advantage and bargain for their own selfish interest out of the Indo-Myanmar-Naga Issue.

Yes, it is a fact that the Nagas of Manipur suffered a step-motherly treatment from the Manipur government, the majority Meiteis. The Nagas of Manipur would have been fortunate if they were included in the state of Nagaland when it was formed because at that time if the NPC leaders were serious and wanted, it could had been done without much problem. But as unfortunate as they were, they now lagged far behind the Naga brethren of Nagaland state, and also they are today looked as ‘outsiders’ by their own fellow brethren of Nagaland state (not by all). (Except the Nagas of Manipur have one advantage over the others i.e. as they are in dominant of the present biggest Naga underground group, they have the might to accumulate wealth through unjust means, and somehow with those wealth they (the UG men) manage to keep their life standard almost on par with the Meiteis and the Nagas of Nagaland state).

Therefore, today, many Nagas of Manipur think that, neither can they trust anymore the Manipur government, the majority Meiteis nor can they expect much from the state of Nagaland. So, with such thoughts in mind, forgetting that such are only a temporary situation, they are desperate to go for any type of solution bargaining for their own taking the name of the Naga Issue with the Government of India, caring neither for the rights of the Nagas nor the price the Nagas had sacrificed for.

They are after only a solution for Naga issue what is possible. First the slogan was ‘Solution not Elections’. At that time, many Nagas thought that, a solution means ‘Naga Independence’. When the leaders realized that they could not negotiate a solution outside the Indian constitution, they demanded again ‘Integration of all Naga areas’ with the slogan ‘No Integration, No Solution’. Now, the leaders as well as many Nagas begun to realize that at the present situation (with only one faction), Naga Integration is not possible. So, there is no more ‘Integration Rally’ in any part of Nagaland except the noises of ‘Alternative Arrangement’ in Manipur by the Nagas of Manipur.

Therefore, now, ‘Alternative Arrangement’ is what many Nagas hope for a possible solution for the Nagas. But still I have doubt for you because there are many Naga villages under the dominance of other communities of Manipur though all of those villages and their land belong to us. For example: the Sadar Hills area, the Nagas under Churachandpur district, Bishnupur district, Jiribam sub-division and other places. What if other communities of Manipur stiffly oppose those Naga areas to be included into the map of your ‘Alternative Arrangement’, and if it becomes impossible, will you again opt for a smaller possible solution leaving those Naga areas to the rule of other communities.

You may mark my above words, if you are possible to achieve your ‘Alternative Arrangement’ outside the government of Manipur, and do not leave even a single Naga village living in our own Naga land to the rule of other communities. I am not challenging you my dear leaders but as I, myself am a Naga National Worker I have concern for my people where you will lead them to, because you won’t bother for the rights of the Nagas, you are only after a solution.

By comparing the Meiteis and other advanced Naga tribes, let us not curse ourselves. Let us be thankful to the Almighty God for what we are today. Simply jealous and trying to become equal with other advanced tribes alone is not right. Making loud noises in our own place and demanding our own share in the name of Indo-Naga issue is a shame. The important thing is, let us have concern for our Naga brethren who are more backward than us, work to uplift them before we try to become equal with the most advanced tribes. Let us travel far and near to the four corners of Nagaland and take our political stand.

Let us reach to the Nagas of Eastern Naga tribes in the present country of Myanmar, to the Nagas in the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and share our political vision with them.

Let me share with you an example: That, nonetheless, the prevailing not so pleasant relationship between us and our neighbors is out of the result of the unnecessarily created misunderstanding and will be just temporary, but then, the recent statement of Mr. Ibobi Singh Chief Minister of Manipur that “there are neither Naga nor Kuki in Manipur state but only Manipuris”, and the statement of the Assam government spokesman and Minister Hemanta Biswa Sama that “there are only some Zeme Nagas in North Cachar Hills district who were only encroachers”, are somewhat a challenge to us.

The NSCN IM and UNC promptly reacted and in their separate press statements condemned the statement of Mr. Ibobi Singh and other languages of various political parties of Manipur when they spoke up with threatening words against the Nagas while reacting to the so called ‘Supra state Body”.

But then, both the NSCN IM and the UNC failed to condemn the statement of the Assam government and defend our brethren Zeme’s cause. It might be as they were too preoccupied with the alternative arrangement issue, and so it was not intentionally done, I believe it. Even then, this is what I have been worrying and saying where will you lead our people to.

May not be intentional but it was a sign of having less concern for the other Naga area especially the backward areas or a proof that the much talk about the ongoing peace-talks or the demand to solve the so called pending solution is not being aware by all Naga areas, if not at present the Naga issue is being taken up separately for some particular areas only.

We can do or go for anything what is best for the Nagas, whether phase-wise or whatever it is, if it is in consultation with all areas of Naga people and for the interest of the whole Naga Nation. But, what if you go to the Nagas of Assam, to the Nagas of Arunachal Pradesh and to the Nagas of Eastern Naga tribes in Myanmar and ask what they understand about the latest Naga issue (the so called pending solution) being taken up in our area, and if they answer in the negative.

Today, if we ask to the leaders of some major tribes like the Angami, Sumi, Konyak etc. about the detail of the points put forward by the NSCN IM in the ongoing peace-talks with the GoI, will they be able to tell you? I don’t believe. The Naga masses: some expect Naga integration, some expect alternative arrangement i.e. a separate state for the Nagas of Manipur, some even expect full Naga sovereignty and some work to harvest together the economic packages. Which one is right and what is Naga’s right? People are being misled and made confused in this way; even then this is what you think right and are adamant.

We had learnt from the history or have seeing enough of that are happening around the world, where a single party or a group of people were allowed to establish their rule in any place were all proved disastrous for the people. In such a type of establishment, suppression, oppression, killings, division and hatred will go on unending until those dictatorship rulers were overthrown and justice is done.

Let no party, group or tribe from among the Nagas become too ambitious and mischievous and try such despotic rule on the Nagas. The best for the Nagas is to take the example of the America war of Independence, where thirteen colonies of America met and took decision together, fought together and won their Independence. Let no some leaders whether underground or overground take decision and impose their decision on the Nagas, we have to first free ourselves from such dangers at all cost.

Let all Naga tribes take decision together what is best for the Nagas. Decide now, therefore, which is better for us. Shall we choose “unity first” for the love of the Nagas or shall we again be stubborn and stick to “Solution first” and ruin ourselves.

My suggestion: First we must work to bring all Nagas together in a way where all Nagas can fight together to achieve our common goal. So that the victory is of all the Nagas, for all the Nagas and by all the Nagas – that should be the formula and the foundation for the building of our Naga Nation.

Courtesy: Lt. Colonel Z. D. Akho, Naga Army

Prime Minister of India puts bomb under 14 year old Peace talks between India and Nagaland

NTIMES 12Dec: Prime Minister of India puts bomb under 14 year old Peace talks between India and Nagaland

It is known that the Government of India acknowledged the ‘unique History and situation of the Naga Peoples which means the Naga Peoples neither when under the British nor before their colonial time had had any relation with the peoples of India; not economically, socially, culturally, linguistically nor religiously.

The Government of India also knows that the Nagas, though living in tribes and separated through mountains and valleys, are one in spirit where it concerns their nation. India has a long history with the Nagas where this tenacious spirit is concerned. India knows that Nagas do not give up their right to self determination, but fight for it with determination. So, when in the state of Manipur on December 4, 2011, what moved Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to guarantee the integrity of the state of Manipur where he knew that this was deadly against the reunification of Naga areas?

The Naga areas are known to have been separated by the international border between Myanmar and India and again by small parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam but a larger part of Manipur. Together with Nagaland State the Sagaing District of Myanmar these four states together are the nation Nagaland.

This is not the first time that India talks peace on the negotiating table while undermining these talks for peace elsewhere. How can the Indian leaders be trusted? How can the Indian population trust its leaders who do not make its policies public but continues to wage war and spends tremendous amounts of public money to subjugate peoples who have every right to pursue their right to the internationally acclaimed right to self determination?

The Naga International Support Center calls on the Government of India to

– defuse the bomb which has been placed to undermine the peace talks
– to solve the long standing conflict by talking genuinely and with sincerity
– to befriend the Nagas and other Indigenous Peoples so a future relationship between the two nations can be intimate and fruitful, yet independent
– to make its policies on the Northeast in general and on the Indo-Naga conflict in particular public, so democratic accountability to the public will take root
– to publish both human losses of the Armed Forces of India as well as the human losses inflicted on the Nagas
– to release all political prisoners who have not committed terrorist crimes but fought for the right to self determination

Consequently too the Naga International Support Center appeals to the Indian media: journalists, editors, TV producers, filmmakers, writers to do a little research on the cost of the Indo-Naga war related to approximately 60 years with an average of 200.000 men and women still stationed in Naga areas, to asses the daily operations like cost of camps and their maintenance, transport, fuel, equipment, weapons.
The Naga International Support center invites you all to publish what might come to a staggering but unaccounted for amount of public funds and what might be an unbelievable number of casualties and loss of human life.

A Naga International Support Center, NISC
A human rights organization

Press Release, Amsterdam, 12 December 2011
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