Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Northeast (July 13, 2010)

Four reports today:
1) DHD saga and Assam Assembly Linky

The minister said the government was not averse to discuss this issue in the Assembly but not through an adjournment motion. He said before the Centre ordered the National Investigation Agency and the CBI investigation into the scam, the state government had instituted the Justice Manisana Commission to probe the issue and also ordered a special audit by the accountant-general. He said the state government could not be held responsible for the corruption in the council because according to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, the state government can’t intervene in the day-to-day affairs of the autonomous council.

The moment the government came to know about the scam, it instituted the Justice Manisana Commission, Narah said. After hearing the views of the Opposition and the government on the admissibility of the adjournment motion, the Speaker reserved his ruling, which infuriated the Opposition. The Opposition members rushed to the Well of the House and disrupted the proceedings, leading to adjournment for half-an-hour.

Comment: That still does nt explain how Niranjan Hojai could have escaped from the camp.
2) Finally some news on Tipaimukh. I am just happy that GoI has nt shelved the project just to appease Bangladesh. Manipur is a state that needs connectivity, jobs, electricity etc. to drag it from its elitist outlook. And no, the Barak Valley-based terror outfits and green-niks cant dictate everything to the state.

Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh today said Manipur would go ahead with the 1500MW Tipaimukh project despite objections from Bangladesh and environmentalists in the state. “It will be a joint venture. The Manipur government, National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) and Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) signed an agreement on April 28. The NHPC will have a share of 69 per cent, SJVN 26 per cent and Manipur government five per cent,” Ibobi Singh told the Assembly today. The Rs 8138.79crore project will come up at the confluence of the Barak and Tuivai rivers in Churachandpur district and have a dam with a height of 175 metres.

Bangladesh has been objecting to the project because it fears that its rivers could be adversely affected by the dam. Environmentalists in Manipur are also opposing the project, arguing that it would devastate not only the ecosystem of the region but also ruin the socio-economic and cultural life of the people residing near the site. The dam water will submerge a 3.5-km-long stretch of the Imphal-Jiribam highway between the Barak bridge to Makru bridge. Besides, the railway track from Jiribam to Imphal is being realigned. “The realignment work of the track is in progress,” the chief minister said.

To a question from Opposition NCP member Radhabinod Koijam on steps taken to improve the Imphal-Jiribam highway, Ibobi Singh said the surface transport ministry has stopped investing money for repairing bridges on the highway in the area in view of the realignment. “The repair of the weak bridges will cost nearly Rs 10 crore to Rs 15 crore. The government will repair the bridges from its own funds. It will take some time to make the Imphal-Jiribam highway an all-weather road but top priority is being given to its improvement,” he said. The chief minister said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) could not keep the road in good condition because of shortage of funds sanctioned by the Centre. He said there was a free flow of vehicles on the highway after the state government took over the onus of maintaining the road from the BRO.

Comment: I think I posted this a few days back, even if I cant find it easily. Now that the GoManipur has taken over the highway maintenance project, the All Zeliangrong Students' Organisation (AZSO) -- an organization of the Zeme and Rongmei Nagas -- has blockaded NH53, with more "action" promised unless the BRO gets back on the project. And BRO cant do its share because it has limited funds from GoI for Manipur. And one may ask: why is the GoI not doing enough for Manipur? I would like to posit that it is the NSCN and the nagalim issue that is strong-arming GoI. But that would be too naive a take. GoI is not some mealy-mouthed mosquito, the GoI can swat if it chooses to do so. The issue may be that with a plethora of terror outfits creating mayhem at will in Manipur and with limited control from the Burmese side, the GoI may just be going slow to see what the morphology of the "winner" is. Is it PREPAK or KCP or the Ok. Ibobi Singh government? Seditious, such an opinion may be, but I cant logically and coherently explain the inaction from GoI on the woes inflicted on it by the Nagas, by its own denizens (both Manipuris and Nagas), or by the drugs cartel.
3) New terror outfits: I thought I had been working hard on documenting the whine profile of the existing idiots and new idiots arise from nowhere. At the end of the day, as long as extortion and easy money are easier than working hard, terror outfits will have enough excuses to create a whine profile of their own, and have some paid journalist to justify their excuse. Linky

Seven new militant outfits have been formed in Assam in recent times, forests and environment minister Rockybul Hussain told the Assembly today. These nascent rebel outfits are the Liberation Democratic Council of Mising Land, the United Tribal Liberation Front, the United Tribal Revolutionary Army, the Dimasa National Liberation Front, the Gorkha Liberation Army, the Hills Tiger Force and the Santhal Tiger Force.
With the formation of these new outfits, the total number of militant groups operating in the state has gone up to 13. The other militant outfits currently active in the state are Ulfa, the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), the All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic), the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (Multa) and the Harkat-ul Mujahideen.

I like numbers and metrics despite the enormous woe these "statistics" can cause to mankind, so please indulge me.

Replying to another question by AGP legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita, Hussain said from 2001 to 2010, 1,703 militants, belonging to different outfits like Ulfa and the NDFB, were killed in encounter with security forces in the state. The decade also saw 2,043 militants of Ulfa, 899 militants of the NDFB and 102 militants of the Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) surrender before security forces. Besides, 10,242 rebels belonging to various outfits were arrested in the state. During the same period, 26 civilians were killed during encounters between security forces and militants, 205 civilians fell to militants’ bullets while 1,548 were injured, Hussain added. The minister said between January 1, 2001 and June 21, 2004 families of 792 civilians who were killed in insurgency-related violence had been paid a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each by the government. From June 22, 2004 to October 3, 2009, families of 701 civilians were paid a compensation of Rs 3 lakh each. Between October 4, 2009 till date, families of 20 civilians have been paid a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each.

4) This was reported earlier in the telegraph, but I am amused and appalled at how it was grown in stature in the last few days. The uneasiness of coexistence is very bothersome. One has to understand this uneasiness in figuring where NLFT and Biswamohan Debbarma stands. Enough ammo for another report, later.

On June 29, Congress legislator Sudip Roy Barman had proposed during the just-concluded budget session of the Assembly that Agartala airport be renamed after Tagore. Chief minister Manik Sarkar immediately welcomed the suggestion and said it was a “very good proposal”. Next day, the matter was tabled in the Assembly in the form of a private member’s resolution and passed by the House almost unanimously. However, Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawal, the president of Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura and a former rebel leader, refused to support the resolution on the ground that he had earlier pleaded for renaming of the airport after Tripura’s last king, Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya.

With the conclusion of the Assembly session on July 2, the issue seemed to have been swept off the public agenda but murmurs of dissent came to the fore even from leading Bengali intellectuals. Journalist and author Swapan Bhattacharya penned an article in a local daily protesting against the proposal to rename the airport after Tagore. “Tagore had received his first recognition as a poet from Tripura’s King Bir Chandra Manikya (1863-1896), had considerably benefited from the royal bounties to the extent that Tripura’s Manikya kings had provided annual grants to Visva Bharati in Santiniketan. But in today’s Santiniketan, there is absolutely no trace of Tripura, nothing is named there after this state or its magnanimous rulers,” said Bhattacharya, lashing out at the resolution.

The controversy has now taken a new turn with a group of indigenous intellectuals, students and teachers threatening to launch an agitation unless the state government withdraws from its “misguided enthusiasm” of renaming Agartala airport after Tagore. “The airport should either remain as it is or be renamed after Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya,” a statement circulated by Prof. Sunil Koloi of Tripura University, who is also the secretary of the newly-floated Tripura Tribal Professionals Association, stated, while stressing that the association had full regards for Tagore. Koloi said unless the state government kept in mind the sensitivity of the indigenous people, a “statewide sustained agitation” would be launched. In terms of procedural formalities, a copy of the resolution passed by the Assembly will now be dispatched to the Union ministry of civil aviation for the renaming. However, transport minister Manik Dey said, “We have not yet taken any decision.”

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At July 13, 2010 at 7:55 AM , Anonymous Al said...

Hi, a couple of things, one is not related to NE issues:

1. The people of the NE region should name their airports and monuments after their own favorites instead of the favorites of people in New Delhi or Calcuttla, like Tagore.

2. http://sify.com/news/eu-asks-india-to-co-chair-anti-piracy-group-news-national-khnqadfjdib.html

I saw this above news item that India is being diffident it taking up this co-chairship which is currently on a platter. Does India want China to be the official leader of anti-piracy in the horn of africa? Is it in India's interest to allow china to assert leadership in those waters?

The bigger question is whether this anti-piracy group is gaining credibility at India'
s expense or is it the other way around?

At August 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can Ramu remain calm, if somebody point at his son and say that the child is Sam's son? understood! right?

So,if Airports and monuments belong to Tripura, then it should also be named after the great kings/persons of Tripura, not Tagore or any other outsider of Tripura.

It is very clear, Tagore is a great man but, when it comes to property of tripura, it can not be simply named after him. The royal family have done many things for the people of Tripura and they have done great things in Tripura. The properties of Tripura should be named after them.

for example:

if we name the Tripura airport as " Veerapppan airport", does it make any sense. what do veerappan have anything to do with Tripura. Tourist will start wondering, if Veerappan has had donated or designed for the construction of the Airport. So,now did Tagore donated anything for the construction of the Airport? wake up people!

Let people/tourists know the history of Tripura through this. Let the property of Tripura be atleast named after the Great people/Royal family/Fighters etc of Tripura. Let the history and culture of Tripura live and expand beyond imagination.

At August 28, 2011 at 2:20 PM , Blogger Pax-Indica said...

The problem with the Manikya dynasty vs. Tagore is a game that two can play. Even if both the erstwhile King and Tagore would have given it a walkover/pass.

But what is the percentage of "native" Tripuris in Tripura and those of Bengali (East or West) origin today? What was it in 1975? 1968? What was it in 1946? What was it in 1901? The unmistakeable bottomline is demography, which decides destiny. Unfortunately, these are the very facts that take a while for people to get used to.


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