IMF says no to 6th Schedule in Manipur

NTIMES 17Dec: IMF says no to 6th Schedule

IMPHAL, Dec 16 : opposing any move to implement Sixth Schedule in the hill areas of Manipur, International Mei-teis’ Forum has cautioned that no demand should be made or conceded that pose threat to the State’s territorial and emotional integrity. Addressing a press conference at Manipur Press Club here today, Forum’s founder member RK Rajendra opined that both the sixth Schedule sop to the Nagas and homeland demand by the kukis are detrimental to interest of the common people.

While it is beyond doubt that the meiteis are the majority community, the recent reported development on Sixth Schedule status for the nagas and homeland demand by the Kukis amount to not only undermining existence of the Meiteis and their history but also suggest that the majority community should remain silent and tolerate all the activities of other communities. Asserting that the Government of India would be held responsible in case there is any untoward incident arising out of these demands, Rajendra ridiculed inclusion of Manipur’s reserved forest land and protected area forests as ancestral land of the Nagas and Kukis.Forum activist Dr Mano-ranjan Khuman commenting on the issue maintained that the Naga nomenclature is a recently coined reference for history of Manipur clearly define the other indigenous communities as Tangkhuls, Zeliangrongs and anals etc. Moreover, the term Kuki came into being only after the occupation of the erstwhile independent kingdom of Manipur, he affirmed. Highlighting that ins- pite of the valley areas being the most populated locations 92 percent of manipur’s total geographical area are hills, Dr Ma- noranjan questioned whether the tiny hill-locks adjacent to the valley pockets would also come under the Sixth Schedule provision.

He further suggest-ed that declaration of the entire State of Manipur as a hill state and permitting all the indigenous communities to reside at any place of their choice would facilitate peaceful co-existence of all the communities. TSE

UNC says no to 6th Schedule, sticks to AA stand outside GoM

NTIMES 17Dec: UNC says no to 6th Schedule, sticks to AA stand outside GoM

IMPHAL, Dec 16 : Even as speculations are rife that the final outcome of the ongoing GoINSCN (IM) political dialogue could be the extension of the provisions of the 6th Schedule to the hill districts of Manipur, the United Naga Council has today asserted that such an arrangement would not be acceptable to the Nagas of Manipur. Speaking to some media persons at Mao today, UNC president L Adani said that their demand is an Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur, outside the Government of Manipur and pending a final settlement to the Indo-Naga political dialogue.

Elucidating, L Adani said 6th Schedule comes within the Government of Manipur while the demand for an Alternative Arrangement is out- side the Government of Manipur and added that this is not something lower than the 6th Schedule. The Alternative Arrangement demand, outside the Government of Manipur, has been raised to protect our identity, safeguard our dignity and our rights, said Adani and added that the Government of Manipur has abysmally failed in ensuring this. Adani added that the question of sovereignty does not arise under the Alternative Arrangement demand.

“The demand for Alternative Arrangement is outside the Government of Manipur but within the Constitution of India,” he elaborated. “We are a civil society organisation and there is a National movement to protect and uphold the basic identity of the Naga people. The Alternative Arrangement is a demand for the Nagas of Manipur pending a final settlement to the bigger issue,” added Adani. Without naming any particular organisation, Adani said that “the mandate of the Naga people has been given to them. However if the 6th Schedule is sought to be portrayed as the solution, then it would not be acceptable to the UNC and the Naga people.”

To a question on whether the reported proposal (6th Schedule) put forward by the Union Home Minister to Chief Minister O Ibobi is acceptable or not, Adani made it clear that 6th Schedule cannot be the solution. Our demand has gone beyond the 6th Schedule, he added. “Even though local self Government may sound acceptable, we know that it would never be extended in its full spirit, so our demand is something outside the Government of Manipur,” said Adani further.

Justifying the demand for an arrangement outside the Government of Manipur, Adani said that under the present condition, the Nagas of Manipur have not been able to exert their own identity. Socially, economically and politically the Nagas have been deprived of their rights under the Government of Manipur, he said and added that even on the matter of rights over land, the State Government is trying to extend the provisions of MLR and LR Act to the hill areas. In the State Assembly, which has a strength of 60 members, the tribals, including the Nagas, account for 20 of them, said Adani. Even here, the Naga MLAs are divided along party lines.

On the other hand, the rest, the 40 are from the majority community, he said and added that the 40 MLAs work for their community cutting across party lines. This in effect means that the Nagas have no representatives to work for their interest in the Manipur Legislative Assembly, he asserted. TSE

Sixth Schedule sop likely outcome of GoI-NSCN (IM) talks

IMPHAL, Dec 14 : There is strong possibility of the ongoing parleys between the Government of India and NSCN-IM culminating with the Sixth Schedule offer to the latter. According to an informed source, the Centre had asked Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh if he or the State Government has any reservation on the proposal to offer Sixth Schedule to the NSCN (IM) as a solution to the decades old Naga political issue. In the aftermath of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde soliciting comments from the Chief Minister on the proposed offer to the Naga rebel group, Congress MLAs have reportedly discussed the matter among themselves.

Even though solution eluded meeting of the Congress Legislature Party, mem- bers present unanimously decided to rope in services of subject experts for minute deliberations on provisions of Indian Constitution‘s Sixth Schedule, confided the source. Although the CLP meeting witnessed heated exchange of words amongst some party MLAs, Chief Minister Ibobi Singh will be leaving for the national capital at the earliest for further discussion on the issue with the Union Home Minister. The development assumes significance as Ibobi Singh speaking at the recently held Congress party convention at Hapta Kangjeibung had declared that in solving a particular issue the solution should not be the genesis of new problems. AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi was also present at the said convention.

When contacted Manipur University‘s Political Science Professor Ksh Bimola Devi told The Sangai Express that hasty implementation of the Sixth Schedule in the hill districts will not serve the real purpose. Suggesting minute deliberation on the pros and cons of Sixth Schedule prior to its implementation, she said whether or not Sixth Schedule will benefit people at the grassroots should be the focus of any relevant discussion on the issue. Pointing out that after about 20 years the State Government recently revived the Autonomous District Councils in the hill districts, she said on top of the administrative power conferred on the ADCs, implementation, in case, of the Sixth Schedule will further empower the ADCs.

Opining that there is need for assessing performances of ADCs with regard to benefits extended to people at the grassroots level, Prof Bimola emphasised that possible outcome of implementing the Sixth Schedule should be studied before its actual implementation. As per recommendations of the Bordoloi Committee, the Indian Constitution grants legislative, executive and financial powers to the Sixth Schedule but the financial power remains technically non-viable as governing councils depend on both the Central and State Governments. Moreover, the legislative and executive powers are limited within the confines of the district concerned, she explained while opining that due to poor resources in the hill districts the governing councils will continue to depend on the Government even after implementation of Sixth Schedule.

As the guiding principle of Sixth Schedule is to ensure that the benefits reach people at the grassroots its implementation also entails that ADC chairmen and members should be politically conscious and sincere for effectiveness of the Sixth Schedule provisions, the MU professor said. On the possibility of Sixth Schedule consequently leading to consequently leading to demands for creation of new States, she said such a demand is technically infeasible and that firmness of the State Government is essential in case such a situation arise. The fact that Sixth Schedule in already in force in Assam’s Bodo areas but the Bodoland District Council not raising separation demand indicates resoluteness of the Assam Government, Prof Bimola observed. TSE