Friday, July 9, 2010

Northeast (July 9, 2010)

PS: Btw, if you had nt noticed it already, we have our first co-contributor. First of hopefully many reports on items of interest here :).

Five reports today:
1) On ULFA matters: Linky

Sources said that the stand of the Government of India on the issue of talks with any militant group is very clear. To start the process of talks, the militant groups must abjure violence and all talks must be held within the framework of the Constitution of India. The ULFA leaders have not so far announced their willingness to come for talks within the framework of the Constitution of India and the Centre would start the process only after receiving a formal communication from the top leaders of the outfit, sources added.

Sources further clarified that as the top leaders of the ULFA including the chairman of the outfit, Arabinda Rajkhowa are under judicial custody, the Government cannot release them. However, they can obtain bail from the court if the State Government does not oppose their bail plea and so far no such decision has been taken, sources added.

Estimate of ULFA's strength:

The ULFA has around a hundred cadres in Myanmar and strict instructions have been given to them not to come into Assam without specific instructions. Despite the crackdown in Bangladesh, at least 60 to 70 cadres of the outfit are still in that country, but they are not in a comfortable position as before as they are forced to live in constant fear of being apprehended by the security forces.

2) Linky

India, Myanmar pact likely

NEW DELHI, July 8 – India is likely to sign Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with Myanmar next month. According to sources the agreement is designed to end the free run enjoyed by some of the militant outfits of the North-East in Myanmar. The Ministry of Home Affairs has finalised the text of the agreement and after being endorsed by Myanmar, it could be signed as early as next month, sources said. The proposed treaty has enabling provisions that will help both countries expediting criminal investigations, judicial proceedings, gathering evidences and assisting each other during investigations, sources said. It would also pave the way for examining witnesses in each other’s countries, including in jails, he added.

India has proposed reimburse the expenditure incurred by the neighbouring country looking for militant leaders. A clause in the proposed Treaty has a provision for ‘cost compensation that would allow Myanmar to seek expenses incurred on ‘special investigations’ carried out by it on India’s request. Sources said cost compensation is part of normal mutual legal assistance treaty but India has put emphasis on the provision to ensure that Myanmar undertakes special investigations into cases concerning insurgency-related activities in India, the official explained.

The agreement with Myanmar comes close on the heels of a similar agreement signed with Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh signed the mutual legal assistance treaty on criminal matters, agreement on transfer of sentenced persons and agreement on combating international terrorism, organised crime and illegal drug trafficking. It was after signing of this agreement during Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina’s visit, that Dhaka facilitated the arrest of several of the top ULFA and NDFB leaders, who were operating out of the country. Sources said India has now accorded top priority to signing of the Treaty with Myanmar, where militant outfits of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland have set up camps. India and Myanmar shares 1,650 km border considered very porous.

Comment: It was also because of the lack of such a Treaty with Bangladesh that we are still unable to obtain access to Anup Chetia. The signed Treaty cant be used with a back-dated time-stamp lest it complicated legal and political matters. But I do believe that we will eventually get Anup Chetia, as things improve on other fronts.
3) Another case of Northeast-itis: Linky (Not posted here in full)

Besides Taj Mahal, Arunachal is India too!
For those who are itching to ask the question, no, Arunachal has no simmering hostility towards India. We are very well-adjusted thank you. Yes, the ignorance of those who ask ‘if Arunachal is in Shillong’ gets on our nerves. And frankly, we would recommend some changes in the national school curriculum so that the kids around the country know more about India other than Taj Mahal. On the whole, India has succeeded in forging a relationship with Arunachal. So she can pat herself on the back for getting this one right. So far.

4) (From a shady website, so no linky, sorry!)

Agartala to be green by 2012

Agartala, 7 July: Following sustained pressure from civil societies, the Tripura government has decided to plant 3500 saplings in Agartala city this year and targeted planting 10,000 various carbon dioxide absorbing trees by 2012. Talking to mediapersons here today state Forest Minister Jitendra Choudhury said there was a hue and cry from different sections due to tree-felling in the city because of road expansion and other developmental activities in Agartala, so the government had decided to bring the entire city under complete green cover by next three years. "It is indeed difficult to protect all aged trees in this urbanised world and Agartala cannot be an exception, but our policy is very clear that compensatory forests will increase the level of carbon dioxide consumption and ultimately reduce global warming,'' Choudhury said. Choudhury said last year the Tripura forest department had brought 11,170.32 hectares of land under plantations, including 22.53 lakh bamboo saplings, besides creating 297 water bodies spread over 445.5 hectares of land.

5) Linky
We have had one ISI agent caught in Tripura, two chinis caught in Arunachal Pradesh and one more chini with a NSCN (K) link caught in the Assam-Arunachal border. I have hardly seen any news of these in the mainstream media. Hello, get over aarushi, get over soumya viswanathan, get over bunty aur baabli, focus on the news folks. Duh, I need more brick wall, I have broken enough.

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