Sunday, September 25, 2011

Barak Valley students’ memo to Mizo CM

KARIMGANJ, Sept 26 – The ACKHSA and MYSA have submitted a memorandum to Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla demanding protection of non-Mizo people residing in the State of Mizoram.

The memorandum informed the Chief Minister that non-Mizo people who are living in Mizoram for last 40 years are being harassed by some NGOs like Young Mizo Association, Mizoram Business Organisation, etc. In view of developing situation in Mizoram, ACKHSA and MYSA sought protection of non-Mizo and urge the Chief Minister to take effective steps to restore normalcy in the State so that victims of physical and mental torture can resume their business and sundry works.

The student organisations also requested the Chief Minister to see that trade licences and inner line permit of non-Mizo, which have been snatched away, are returned soon and that adequate security is provided to them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mizoram sympathises with Sikkim quake victims

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla today expressed his sympathy to the people of Sikkim affected by the devastating earthquake that rocked the Himalayan state on Sunday. In a letter to his Sikkim counterpart Pawan Kumar Chamling, Lal Thanhawla said he was deeply saddened by the loss of lives and damage to property that the recent earthquake had caused. He hoped that under his (Chamling s) Chief Ministership, rescue and rehabilitation process would go on unabated. Mr Lal Thanhawla pointed out that the Mizos sympathised with the quake-affected people and were willing to extend all possible help to them.

Mizoram cm extends helping hand to quake-hit Sikkim

Aizawl, Sep 23 (PTI) Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla today sent a letter to his Sikkim counterpart Pawan Kumar Chamling extending all possible help to the people of Sikkim and condoling the deaths due to sunday's powerful earthquake. In his letter, Lal Thanhawla expressed his condolences for those who had lost their loved ones in the quake and said that rescue work would be carried on smoothly under the able leadership and guidance of Chamling. The Mizoram chief minister also said that the state government and the people of Mizoram were ready to render any assistance possible for the people of Sikkim.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One dies in Mizoram landslides

Aizawl, Sep 22 : At least one person was killed, several houses damaged and many roads blocked following incessant heavy downpour since yesterday.

A heavy mudslide buried two of three villagers who were on their way back home after collecting crabs.

Official sources said Zarzosanga, who was spared by the mudslide, managed to pull out one of his friends Hruaitluanga from the mounds of mud. Their friend Lawmvela, who hailed from Parbung village in Manipur, remained buried in the mud.

Leaving the seriously injured Hruaitluanga behind, Zarzosanga rushed to their village Sailutar (in Serchhip district) and sought the help of the villagers. After working for the whole night, the villagers retrieved the body today, the sources said.

IIMCs to award degrees

New Delhi, Sept 21 (PTI) Government is working towards upgrading Indian Institute of Mass Communication to award degrees and a draft Bill is being finalised in this regard, a top official of Information and Broadcasting Ministry said today."A draft Bill is being finalised so that it can be presented before Parliament and enacted at the earliest so that IIMC is empowered to grant degrees," I&B Secretary Raghu Menon said.Speaking at the IIMC's 44th convocation function here which saw 318 students being conferred PG diplomas in journalism and advertisement and public relations, he said government is in discussion with the state governments of Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala for opening regional centres of IIMC.Two new regional centres of IIMC at Aizawl, Mizoram and Amravati in Maharashtra have started functioning from this academic year.They are at present functioning from temporary campuses provided to IIMC by Mizoram University and the Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University but the Institute will be going ahead with the construction of its own permanent campuses at these places, for which land has been identified, he said.Menon said the Indian media and entertainment industry, which is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, is registering a positive growth after a slowdown during the global recession.23 students of PG diploma courses 2010-11 in Hindi, English, Oriya, radio and TV journalism and advertisement and public relations were also given awards on the occasion.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Deepak Sura steals the show

The Services Sports Control Board boxers contested nine of the 13 finals spread across various weight categories and won eight titles, their only loss coming in the 70 kg final. Over to Nandakumar Marar.

SSCB's Manjeet (right) lands a punch on Neeraj (Chandigarh) in the final of the 63 kg category. Manjeet won the bout on points.

Mizoram's Lal Dinmawia (bantam weight) received the Best Boxer award, while Maharashtra's Kallicharan Kharare (feather weight) was named the ‘Best Loser' as the under-16 boys from Haryana, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh vied for top honours with the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) pugilists in the 27th National Junior Championships recently.
SSCB contested nine of the 13 finals spread across various weight categories at the Balewadi indoor stadium in Pune and won eight titles, its only loss coming in the 70 kg final, where Deepak Kadian went down to Deepak Sura of Haryana on points (13-15).
SSCB's champions were Ankur Banswal (46 kg), P. L. Prasad (48 kg), Naveen Kumar (50 kg), Sandeep Badri (52 kg), Manjeet (63 kg), C. Dadu Singh (6 kg), Sandeep Sharma (75 kg) and K. N. S. Rathore (80+ kg).
Deepak Sura gave up cricket to become a boxer upon watching the action from the ringside for the first time. According to his father Sukhbag Sura, Deepak took to boxing when he was in Standard IX and he hopes to represent India in major championships some day. “My role is to provide Deepak the backup; he has to do all the punching,” added Sukhbag.
With Akhil Kumar and Vijender Singh as their icons, the kids in Bhiwani and Sonepat are now familiar with boxing. Deepak enrolled himself in the Universal Boxing Academy in Hissar to further his career in the sport under coach Rajesh Sheoran.
That Deepak chose boxing ahead of cricket — which offers a lucrative career — does not bother Sukhbag. “Children today have many choices. There is money in cricket, but money isn't everything. If boxing continues to fascinate Deepak, he may end up realising his dream of representing India one day. The prestige associated with boxing in India is more valued in our society,” he explained.
SSCB's C. Dadu Singh (welterweight champion) initially faced some resistance at home for choosing boxing. “My father felt boxing was dangerous for children and he asked me to think again (over my decision),” said the Manipur lad, who played football and trained in judo like most kids from the north-east.
“The army unit I joined had facilities for boxing,” said Dadu Singh, a trainee at the Army Sports Institute (Pune). He underlined his dominance in the ring in Balewadi, unleashing a flurry of punches to his opponent Akshay Rawal's head in the 66 kg final before the referee stopped the contest.
Dinmawia is a good example of the natural boxing talent available in the north-east. Four other boxers from Mizoram — N. Lalbiakkima, Ronusanga, C. Lalchhanthuanga and Lalramtana — won bronze medals in the championship after entering the semifinals.
The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) is attempting to spread its target area by planning coaching clinics in states on a zonal basis.
“India's first world champion, Zoram Thanga, was from Mizoram. The performances of the Mizo youngsters are due to the work done by the Sports Authority of India centres there. We want to assist the state coaches, update techniques and prepare better teams by conducting zonal clinics,” informed Brig Muralidharan Raja, Secretary-General of IABF.
“We are trying to involve the National coach, G. S. Sandhu, now part of the AIBA Coaches Commission, and the Cuban coach, B. I. Fernandez, in the zonal clinics that are being planned,” he added.
46 kg: Ankur Banswal (SSCB) bt Amit Pangal (Haryana) 11-4
48 kg: P. L. Prasad (SSCB) bt K. Shyam Kumar (AP) 16-10
50 kg: Naveen Kumar (SSCB) bt Rakesh (Haryana) 10-6
52 kg: Sandeep Badri (SSCB) bt A. Silambarasan (TN) 11-7
54 kg: Lal Dinmawia (Mizoram) bt Arun (Uttarakhand) 17-8
57 kg: Deepak Pahal (Haryana) bt Kallicharan Kharare (Maharashtra) 9-8
60 kg: Sukhdev (MP) bt Sanjay Thapa (Uttarakhand) 8-7
63 kg: Manjeet (SSCB) bt Neeraj (Chandigarh) 10-9
66 kg: C. Dadu Singh (SSCB) bt Akshay Rawal (Uttarakhand) RSC
70 kg: Deepak Sura (Haryana) bt Deepak Kadian (SSCB) 15-13
75 kg: Sandeep Sharma (SSCB) bt Deepak Sheron (Haryana) 9-2
80 kg: Gurwinder Singh (Punjab) bt Jay Sayena (Uttarakhand) 18-11
80+ kg: K. Navneet Singh Rathore (SSCB) bt Rishabh Purohit (MP)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chin Refugees Robbed, Their Shelter Burnt Down in Malaysia

Kampar, Malaysia (Source: Google Map)
11 September 2011: A group of six Chin refugees working in a farm were robbed in their sleep by a gang of 'unknown' thugs in Kampar, Perak State of Malaysia in the early morning of last Monday.
The Chins, Bawi Thang from Matupi, Ling Bu, Näng Khäng, Ling Ling, Bawi Näng and Zo Hlei Thang from Mizo Community, were forced to sit down and threatened to give all their belongings by a group of thugs with weapons, according to one of the victims.
"The door was knocked in the middle of the night, and we thought it was the Malaysian authority on patrol trying to arrest us. On answering, one of our friends was beaten up with hoes," one of the victims told the Voice of Chin Refugees.
The victim said four of them managed to escape and run away while the thugs were busy shouting at and beating up Niang Khaing inside their shelter.
A total amount of 250 Malaysian Ringgits and mobile phones were taken away, according to the victim, who is currently living with one of the Matu Community leaders in Kuala Lumpur.
Later in the morning, their shelter, farm tractor and other vehicles belonging to their employer were set on fire.
The Malaysian police are known to be investigating the incident after their employer made a report to the authority.
One of the Chin community leaders said the Chin refugee men are physically in good health but still mentally distressed and tired.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

25 Years of Peace in Mizoram Since Mizo Accord

The Mizoram Assembly today unanimously adopted an official resolution expressing happiness over 25 years of peace and tranquility in the state since the signing of the Mizo Accord.

State home minister R Lalzirliana said that the Mizo Peace Accord was the most successful one in the country as real peace followed its signing and Mizoram became one of the most peaceful states in the country.

During a discussion on the resolution, moved by parliamentary affairs minister Lalsawta, ruling Congress members praised Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla for sacrificing his chief ministership in 1986 for the sake of peace.

Lalduhoma of the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) urged all political parties not to use militant groups during elections to ensure that peace in the state was not disrupted.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mizoram To Restrict Entry Of Burmese Nationals

People entering from Burma into Mizoram state in northeast India are being screened by Mizoram authorities. Entry will be granted up to 16 kilometers of the Indo–Burma border.
Indo-Myanmar-Border-Road-en1-300x236The Telegraph, an Indian newspaper reported on 13 June that the mizoram government worried over the unending influx of Burmese nationals across the Indo-Burma border into Mizoram, has been told by the Centre to restrict entry of people within a 16 kilometers radius of the border areas.
New Delhi has issued an alert to Aizawl because the Union Home Ministry is alarmed over unchecked infiltration of Burmese nationals, particularly Chins and Burmese Mizos, into Mizoram in search of jobs and to escape the junta’s oppression.
The newspaper added that the Indian central government has relaxed the norms for the movement of Burmese nationals up to a radius of 16 kilometers from the international border with Mizoram, to enable the people of both countries to trade in local produce, particularly food and edibles.
Recently, India’s central authority notified the Mizoram government that if any Burmese national intends to travel beyond the limit of the radius, he or she will have to obtain permission from the Centre.
And the Centre has directed the Mizoram police and the Central Intelligence Department to instruct the Mizoram State Foreigners’ Registration officer to check travel permits of nationals from the neighboring country.
Sources in the Young Mizo Association, the biggest NGO in Mizoram estimates that Burmese nationals mostly Chins and Mizos are being hosted by Mizo people in Mizoram because of the similar cultural and historic background.
Traders from Burma will be affected if the Mizoram authorities restrict entry to only 16 kilometers from the Indo-Burma border to Mizoram. - Khonumthung News

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

PC gives assurance for displaced Mizos rehab

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has assured that the issue of displaced Mizos in Tripura is being looked into.

In his letter to state Home Minister R Lalzirliana today, Mr Chidambaram said he had received a memorandum submitted by NGOs and political parties of Mizoram demanding rehabilitation of the 80 Mizo families driven out of their homes in Sakhan hill range in Tripura by Bru militants in 1998, and assured that the rehabilitation issue is being looked into.

The state government had called off the fourth phase of Bru repatriation scheduled for June 7, demanding rehabilitation of the displaced Mizos. Lalzirliana, who announced the governments decision, said that the government also submitted separate memorandum to the Union home ministry.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Delhi alert on Myanmarese

Aizawl, June 14 : Worried over the “unending ingress of Myanmarese nationals across the Indo-Myanmar border into Mizoram”, the Centre has again issued a reminder to the state government to stop the movement of people within a 16km radius of the border areas.

This is the second time since last January that New Delhi had to issue an alert to Aizawl as the Union home ministry is alarmed over the unchecked infiltration of Myanmarese nationals, particularly Chins and Burmese Mizos, into Mizoram in search of jobs and to escape the junta.

The Centre has relaxed the norms for the movement for Myanmarese nationals up to a point in a radius of 16km from the international border with Mizoram to enable the people of both countries to trade in local produce, particularly food and eatables.

In a recent notification to Aizawl, the Union home ministry made it clear that if any Myanmarese national intends to travel beyond the limit of 16km radius, he or she will have to obtain permission from New Delhi.

The Mizoram government in a follow-up to the Centre’s directive, has authorised the superintendent of police, CID, in Aizawl to also act as the Mizoram State Foreigners’ Registration officer to check the travel permits obtained by the nationals from its eastern neighbour. The influx of the Myanmarese people across the 404kmborders it shares with India is a big headache for Mizoram.

Police sources in Aizawl today said there were over 5,5000 Myanmarese nationals are working in shops and as domestic help in Mizoram.

From time to time Mizoram police had launched drives to detect and deport illegal migrants from Myanmar and even detected over 300 infiltrators.

The Mizoram government is concerned that these illegal migrants were involved in drug peddling and prostitution.

Burmese tightrope

By Shankar Roychowdhury

India must look away for a moment from the turmoil in the country’s western vicinity and spare a glance eastwards towards the “other border” as well, the one which India shares with another significant neighbour, Burma. Burma, formed part of Britain’s Indian empire till 1937 when it was declared a separate colonial entity. There is little ethnic or cultural connectivity eastwards, between the dominant Indo-Gangetic civilisation of India and that of the Irrawaddy heartland of Burma. In Burma, the traditional Indian presence has been of petty traders and subordinate-level bureaucracy of British Burma who did not endear themselves to the locals. Memories linger and, surprisingly, Indians even now are not generally well regarded.

The internal political and civil structure of Burma is fluid and complicated. There is Tatmadaw — the Burmese defence forces — in total charge of all aspects of governance, through the State Peace and Development Council (SDPC), which is a military junta of 11 generals, serving as well as retired, whose political fortunes fluctuate with their internal equations. With an estimated strength of 450,000 to 500,000, the Burmese Army is predominantly a light infantry force. Reputed as capable and professionally competent, it is combat-hardened by long experience of almost unbroken counterinsurgency and jungle operations against separatists almost since independence in 1948.

But its record of human rights has been severely criticised by the Western countries, particularly the United States, which regards the SDPC government as a rogue regime and is putting pressure on India to dissociate and condemn the country’s military junta. Burma carries the reputation of an enigmatic and somewhat prickly hermit kingdom which prefers to keep to itself. Inside the country, 19 major and minor ethnic groups are in distinctly uneasy diversity amongst themselves. The predominantly Christian tribal minorities along Burma’s mountainous, densely jungled outer periphery bordering Thailand, Laos, China, India and Bangladesh, are in almost permanent mutiny against the ruling Burman majority in the central heartland, who profess Buddhism and constitute 69 per cent of the population. The 1,643 km of porous, densely- jungled border shared by the two countries is comparatively loosely controlled, particularly on the Burma side and slow-burning; separatist tribal militancies of various persuasions against both New Delhi and Yangon smoulder across the entire region. Two-way traffic in border crime, drugs, weapons and other categories of smuggling have reinforced these insurgencies into a fairly major narco-conflict drawing sustenance from the Golden Triangle, in which Burma is the geographical pivot.

On the Indian side, the Indo-Burma border is, as usual, the relatively “forgotten frontier” in comparison with its western counterpart. Inter-sectoral priorities for allocation of resources are lower in the east and the Assam Rifles, that constitutes the Indian border guarding forces here, faces the usual paucity of troops. This, coupled with extremely difficult terrain and debilitating climate, makes effective border management tenuous, though still relatively better than on the Burma side.

Ethnic and cultural commonalities between the Naga, Mizo and Kuki tribes on the Indian side of the border in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, and those inhabiting the contiguous western and northwestern border regions of Burma add to the complexities of the situation, typified by the anti-India Naga insurgent group, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) in Nagaland and Manipur, which operates in India but is based in Burma and headed by S.S. Khaplang, a Hemi Naga from that country.

Relations between India and Burma are relatively low-key but on a generally even keel. India has no military problems with Burma and the focus is towards establishing a viable Indian politico-economic presence in the country. However, Burma is an area of well-entrenched Chinese interests and influence, and Indian interests must contend with strong adverse factors, which transcend purely economic or corporate rivalries. Nevertheless, it remains a geo-political imperative for India to engage as closely as possible with Burma’s military dictatorship to progress its own entry into the region.

Association with an authoritarian military government whose record of human rights has been internationally criticised draws the disapproval of the US and the West, besides that of the growing internal movement for democracy within Burma led by student and liberal activists, centred around the personality of Aung San Suu Kyi. Her party, the National League for Democracy, swept to an overwhelming victory in the national polls in 1990, which was disregarded by the military rulers who placed her under house arrest in 1992. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1991, and many of her followers have escaped to India where they have been accorded sanctuary and are attempting to carry forward their movement from exile.

India for its part has to keep channels of communication open to both, the junta government and the democracy movement, using official as well Track II channels. It is an unenviable tightrope and for the present India has chosen to be pragmatic, becoming Burma’s fourth-largest trading partner (after Thailand, China and Singapore), besides involvement in major infrastructural projects in that country, including the 160-km Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo road, completed in 2001 and funded totally by India, and the ambitious Sittwe-Kaladan river-Lawngtlai multi-mode sea-river road transport corridor scheduled to be completed in 2013, connecting Sittwe port in Burma with National Highway 54 at Lawngtlai in Mizoram.

However, for India, the real cloud on the horizon is Burma’s nascent nuclear programme. Burma as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty reached an agreement with Russia in 2007 for acquiring a 10-megawatt nuclear reactor for research purposes and generation of nuclear power. This cannot be a reason for concern in any manner, but there are more diffused reports of a clandestine nuclear weapons partnership with North Korea, with which Pakistan’s rogue nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan’s nuclear network is also allegedly associated. If true, this would definitely be a matter of concern for India, which hopefully has the means and capabilities to keep itself informed and prepared vis-a-vis such developments next door.

Meanwhile, it is to be hoped that the Burmese junta has taken note of the Arab Spring far away in West Asia, and may be considering options to ease the internal conditions within the country.

* Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury is a former Chief of Army Staff and a former Member of Parliament

Thursday, June 9, 2011

India’s Help Sought For Burmese Cause

By Nava Thakuria
Burma (Myanmar or Brahmadesh) may have officially transformed into a democracy after the 2010 November general election, but the ground realities for the poor Burmese remain the same. And the outcome is the continuous fleeing of Burmese to neighbouring India, Bangladesh and Thailand. If the earlier exodus was of pro-democracy political activists, now more and more common Burmese are leaving the poverty stricken country.
For India, the burden of refugees primarily from Chin State of Burma is carried by Mizoram. With its around10 lakh population, the Burma and Bangladesh bordering Indian State gives shelter to nearly 80,000 migrants. Leaving aside two thousand Burmese recognized by the UN High Commission for Refugees and staying in New Delhi, the rest are scattered in Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
“The people outside Burma start believing that the country has changed after the polls. But in reality, the election was fought and won by mostly the military men. So even after the military brand State Peace and Development Council, which ruled Burma for decades, is dissolved and the Parliaments are functioning, the common people are suffering a lot,” said a Burmese youth, now staying in Indian bordering town Saiha.
The youth, who migrated from Chin to Mizoram few months back for a better life and presently working as a daily labour, also added that there are serious crisis of food in Chin State after the phenomena of bamboo flowering last year. The Burmese government in Nay Pie Taw remains reluctant for the relief and rehabilitation of Chin people.
“When some parts of Mizoram also faced the bamboo flowering in early 2010, there were constant flow of relief from New Delhi and also international aid agencies. But for our people in Chin, neither the government initiated to send relief nor it allowed the outside aid agencies to serve the people in distress,” asserted the educated youth, who wanted anonymity, during an interview with this writer at Aizawl recently.
Pu Kim, a Burmese political activist who is recognized by the UNHCR and now based in New Delhi, argues that the so-called change of Burma for democratization is useless, as the military clout remains powerful and the judiciary has still no jurisdiction over the armed forces in the country.
“Many historic political events may take place in Burma in the last few months including the November election, release of pro-democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, running Parliament sessions at Nay Pie Taw and the demolition of the SPDC, but these changes are seemingly not adequate for the people and hence many of them have fled the country,” commented Mr Kim, while speaking to this writer from New Delhi.
Meanwhile the pro-democracy Burmese activists and their well-wishers around the world have appealed to the Indian Union government for taking an initiative ‘for restoration of peace, justice and human rights in Burma’ as well as in its adjacent Northeast India. They also urged New Delhi to continue supporting the Burmese peoples’ struggle for democracy and human rights in their country. Among other requests to the Indian government, allowing the UNHCR to establish its office in Mizoram (or somewhere in the Northeast) for the benefit of thousands of Burmese refugees taking shelter in the region, also included.
The appeal came alive in a memorandum submitted to the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on May 24, 2011 by a pro-democracy group Burma Centre Delhi. The memorandum conveys important messages on the recent historic political events which occurred in Burma such as 2008 (Nargis) Constitution, November 2010 Election, release of Burmese democracy movement leader Suu Kyi, convention of Nay-Pie-Taw Parliament and demolition of the State Peace and Development Council and installation of the New Regime, the military controlled civilian uniform type.
But India does not have a refugee policy and hence it often emerges as a major challenge for both the authority and the civil society groups in a situation like that of Mizoram. For the Chin people, Mizoram emerges as a place of their choice, as both Chin and Mizos share similar religious identity and food habits.
Moreover they are almost look alike and Mizo people in general embrace the Chin as their brother and sisters. But in some occasions, when few Chin youths were found involving in petty crimes, the majority Mizo civil society groups get irritated. Even the most influential Young Mizo Association had warned the Chin people to leave Mizoram as they were polluting the Mizo society.
The resentment of Mizo civil society had compelled a senior Burmese political leader to tender apology in front of the people of Mizoram.
Addressing a consultation meeting on the ‘implication and consequences of regime change in Burma’ after the November 2010 elections at Aizawl on May 6, Dr Tint Swe, a former Burmese MP seek apology for all anti-social activities carried out by a section of Chin people.
The senior member of National League for Democracy (led by Suu Kyi), Dr Tint Swe also claimed that the recently concluded election in Burma has not brought any changes to the common people and they are still ruled by the same group of military under the camouflage of a democratic regime. Hence he urged the government of India and the citizens of Northeast to continue supporting the Burmese peoples’ struggle for real democracy.
Organized by Burma Centre Delhi in collaboration with Chin Human Rights Organizations, Aizawl and Grassroot Development Network, Mizoram and hosted by Zo Indigenous Forum the consultation meeting was attended by various civil society groups, journalists and activists of the region.
Addressing the gathering, Vanlal Ngaia, Chairman of Mizoram Committee for Democracy in Burma reiterated that the regime change in Burma does not seem to bring any change in the condition of pro-democracy activists and general people of Burma. “The only change we have seen is the military uniform into civil dresses. Therefore people preferring for democracy around the world should work persistently for full restoration of true democracy in Burma,” he added.
Muanpuia Punte, vice-president of North East Students’ Organization commented, “The people of Mizoram have a deep relation with Burma as our Chin brother and sisters live there. My understanding is that Mizo, Chin and Kuki are the same people with same religious and linguistic identity. That is why we feel pain when our Chin brothers face problem and suffer under the regime of Burma.”
He also added that both the Burma polls and its 2008 Constitution were criticized and condemned by the UN, the EU and Burmese pro-democracy campaigners for adopting undemocratic norms and rejection of democratic principles and human rights.
Dr. Alana Golmei, advocacy coordinator of BCD also urged the people of northeast to have a closer people to people contact and work together for peace and human rights in the region and Burma. She further said that both the Burma polls and its 2008 Constitution were criticized and condemned by the UN, the EU and Burmese pro-democracy campaigners for adopting undemocratic norms and rejection of democratic principles and human rights. So, she added, no change is taking place in Burma after the technically new and elected government as the human rights
situation in Burma remains the worst.
The memorandum to Indian premier particularly mentioned about the presence of nearly one hundred thousand Chin Burmese population in India where Mizoram carries the larger burden of refugees.
“Though India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, it hosts and accommodates large number of refugees under the protection of the UNHCR. Since India has not yet ratified or acceded to this law, the Burmese refugees in Delhi are treated under the Foreigners Act without clear state’s policy which results in risking their lives as they are vulnerable to insincere and unfair conduct of the concern officials,” said the memorandum.
It also insisted that New Delhi should engage the Burmese Government as well as Suu Kyi and other ethnic groups of Burma. Burma is ethnically diverse and the failure to address the legitimate rights and aspirations of Burma’s ethnic groups is a root cause of instability and dictatorship in Burma, it asserted.
The copy of the letter was also sent to the Union Home Ministry, National Human Rights Commission of India, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with the New Delhi based embassies of United States of America, Republic of Canada, Australia, Czech Republic, Norway, United Kingdom and Indonesia.
Other resolutions included supporting the Global Arms Embargo against Burma and proper impact assessments before implementation of developmental projects in the region in line with Free, Prior and Informed Consent-FPIC. It also maintained that any current and future Indian investments in Burma should be both fair and responsible such that local participation in those development projects in Burma is ensured.
About the author:
Eurasia Review

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Initiative for Upliftment of Burmese refuges by IIT Delhi students


I am writing to you on behalf of a student group in IIT Delhi namely SIFE IIT Delhi (, seeking collaboration in public outreach of our community endeavors.

Since November 2010, our team has been working closely with the Burmese refuge community in Delhi. India being a neighboring country hosts a large and growing number of 100,000 Burmese refugees. Even with Burma attracting international attention and the President of the United States acknowledging the plight of the Burmese community settled in West Delhi, there are very few Delhites, let alone Indians who know of their existence. A nearly 10,000 strong community continues to exist in the obscure margins of our lives without anyone taking much notice.

Each day is a challenge for them - be it the lack of legal protection, work permits, education or the challenges of discrimination, abject living conditions, and poor health conditions. Ignorance of their cause amongst the Indians has been a major factor. Their continuous struggle to survive in this home away from home, made us dedicate ourselves to this cause. Under the name of Project Aarambh, we are making a fresh attempt for the cause of overall development of the Burmese refugees.

Our project looks to economically empower these people through sustainable income generation. We have been working with women based small handicraft entrepreneurial units in the refuge community, promoting their traditional arts – wherein we have even collaborated with DASTKAR ( We have also established a platform for the community (Placement Cell) to get sustainable far pay work in the unorganized sector. Besides that, our efforts have included initiatives for holistic development such as health camps and awareness programs.

We seek your collaboration in order to increase the awareness and sensitivity regarding this issue in the city, and also to improve the effectiveness of our efforts. Public outreach will be instrumental in fulfilling these objectives. Please find attached a brief article on our activities : and a flyer about our project :

Kindly let me know, how we could best take this forward.

Thanking you

Abhishek Jain
+91 9717577473
President, SIFE IIT Delhi

About SIFE IIT Delhi

SIFE (Student In Free Enterprise - is an international non-profit organization that aims to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities and become socially responsible business leaders. SIFE IIT Delhi ( is the student chapter of SIFE in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Established in July 2010, it comprises of a team of 23 dedicated students working under faculty supervision, and has now grown into one of the most dynamic student initiatives while working on its inaugural project.

SIFE IIT Delhi is one of the most comprehensive extra-curricular activities involving components from societal knowledge and community sensitivity to building sustainable social enterprises to management skills. In the long run it aims to create a pool of student leaders who use their technological and business skills to make the world a better place.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Myanmar national murdered

KOCHI: A Myanmarese worker was found murdered in the room, where he was staying in the city. The Palarivattom police have arrested another Myanmarese in this connection.

According to the police, Joseph, 27, who was found murdered on Thursday early morning, had met Thomas, 31, at a Bible College in Bangalore, where they were both studying theology. Together they moved to another Bible College in Thiruvalla for higher studies a couple of years ago. They were working as part-time employees at a hotel in Palarivattom during vacation. The two were staying at Palarivattom along with three others from West Bengal and one from Mizoram, all employees of the hotel. Under a sudden provocation, Thomas smashed Joseph's head with concrete blocks and iron bar. The incident occurred at 2.30 a.m. The roommates panicked and fled on seeing the attack. They were later questioned by the Palarivattom police for gathering information about the crime.

Even though Thomas confessed the crime, the police are yet to form a clear idea on what made him do it. The body of Joseph was shifted to General Hospital here for autopsy, and his relatives were alerted. Thomas was produced before Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate court.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Myanmar national murdered

KOCHI: A Myanmarese worker was found murdered in the room, where he was staying in the city. The Palarivattom police have arrested another Myanmarese in this connection.

According to the police, Joseph, 27, who was found murdered on Thursday early morning, had met Thomas, 31, at a Bible College in Bangalore, where they were both studying theology.

Together they moved to another Bible College in Thiruvalla for higher studies a couple of years ago. They were working as part-time employees at a hotel in Palarivattom during vacation.

The two were staying at Palarivattom along with three others from West Bengal and one from Mizoram, all employees of the hotel. Under a sudden provocation, Thomas smashed Joseph's head with concrete blocks and iron bar.

The incident occurred at 2.30 a.m. The roommates panicked and fled on seeing the attack. They were later questioned by the Palarivattom police for gathering information about the crime.

Even though Thomas confessed the crime, the police are yet to form a clear idea on what made him do it.

The body of Joseph was shifted to General Hospital here for autopsy, and his relatives were alerted. Thomas was produced before Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate court.

Chin: Refugees Abandoned By Thailand

Thailand wants to close the refugee camps for over 100,000 Burmese refugees, who have fled the country over the past twenty years

Below is an article published by Council on Foreign Relations:

According to reports by AFP and other news agencies, Thailand’s National Security Council head, Tawin Pleansri, told reporters after a meeting of the council that Thailand wants to close the refugee camps for over 100,000 Burmese refugees, who have fled the country over the past twenty years. Most of the Burmese refugees live in camps on the western Thailand-Burma border; their housing is basic, but it is better than living in eastern and northeastern Burma, where they are prey to regular campaigns of attacks and even mass rape by the Burmese military, and retribution attacks by armed ethnic militia groups. In one comprehensive report, a group focusing on Chin State in Burma documented the use of rape as a weapon of war by the Burmese military.
Thailand has never really wanted to house the Burmese refugees, but over successive administrations Bangkok has tolerated the refugee presence. Undocumented Burmese also frequently enter Thailand itself, providing a source of cheap and easily exploitable labor for many Thai companies. Now, however, Bangkok appears willing to use the fiction that Burma had a real election last fall to repatriate these refugees, most of whom will return against their will. Though the election last year may improve the quality of governance in Burma marginally, it was hardly a free or fair poll, or suggestive of the kind of dramatic change on human rights that would make it safe to return refugees.
There are other reasons for Thailand’s suddenly harder line. Leading Thai company Ital-Thai is in the process of making the largest-ever Thai investment in Myanmar, at over $13 billion. And overall, the government of PM Abhisit has tried to foster rapprochment with its neighbor. Too bad that over 100,000 refugees are going to be treated as a pawn in this relationship.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mizoram: Complaint To Stop Forcible Eviction Of The Myanmar Origin From Phaibawk Of Vaphai Tract Group In Champhai District Of Mizoram

Hon’ble Justice Shri K.G. Balakrishanan
Chairperson National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg New Delhi, PIN 110001
Tel. No. 23384012 Fax No. 23384863
Subject: Complaint to stop forcible eviction of the Myanmar origin from Phaibawk of    Vaphai tract group in Champhai district of Mizoram.
Dear Justice Balakrishnan,
I am writing to seek urgent intervention of the National Human Rights Commission to stop forcible eviction of the Myanmar origin settling in Phaibawk of Vaphai tract group in Champhai district of Mizoram by the Police officials and the Vaphai VC (village Council) and YMA (Young Mizo Association). Please find enclosed family ordered to eviction at Annexure I and their children who were at the school in Annexure II
The authorities have ordered Burmese origins belonging to 23 families settling in Phaibawk area under the Vaphai village council area of Champhai district, who are not on the electoral rolls (voter’s list), to leave Mizoram by April 9. The reason is villagers in Phaibawk of Vaphai tract group in Champhai district had requested for a separate voting booth to the local authorities said by a news report.
These entire household have ration card and the Vaiphai Store keeper (Pu Rinpuia) asked the Phaibawk villagers to submit their Ration Card for issuing of new card, but those who do not have Voter ID were asked to leave their village by the Police officials according to the locals.
The eye witness said that “Champhai Police Officer-in-Charge came to us last Sunday and told us those 23 Burmese families not on the electoral rolls will be driven out of the village. Although 143 members from 23 families will not be allowed to live in the village, but the rest 43, who are children attending schools, will be allowed to continue their schooling.
Although the Vaphai VC (village Council) and YMA (Young Mizo Association) had tried to destroy the houses of those who are not on the electoral rolls in the village, Champhai OC has banned them from staying on reports by the Khonumthung News.
It is not a very fair manner that these children were allowed only to attend the school without their parents who will feed them and they will not have security and will become target and vulnerable to sexual and physical assault. It has violated the rights of the child, please take the action urgent and give their child their rights to live with their parents and their right to continued education.
Zo Indigenous Forum appeals to the NHRC to intervene by taking following measures:
  • Direct the State government of Mizoram to immediately halt forcible repatriation.
  • Direct the State government of Mizoram to initiate appropriate action against those individuals or organisations that were responsible for forcible repatriation of the Chin refugees under relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code;
  • Create a separate division within the NHRC to deal with the refugee problems in India;
  • Invite the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to submit its comments and views to the NHRC on the issues raised in the complaint;
  • Take any other measures that the NHRC deems fit for protection of the refugees;
Looking forward to your urgent intervention.
With kind regards,
Yours sincerely
C.LALREMRUATA                                                                                                 Director                                                                                                                                               +91-9862373371/8575186174
Source: Indigenous People Issues & Resources

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Burmese Army deserter stabbed in Mizoram

A deserter from the Burmese Army was stabbed by Enga while seeking refuge from Chin state in Puicheri bock of Sairang, Mizoram in northeast in India. He was admitted to the civil hospital in Aizawl capital of Mizoram with serious injuries on 13 March.

Zaw Lin (22) son of Mr. Sein Maung and Mrs. Tin Tin Kyunt was stabbed with a knife following a quarrel with Enga. He was seriously injured in his back and left hand.

“I am working as a mason and my employer sent us to gather firewood in the jungle. I requested Enga to help gather firewood so as to finish early but he refused. And then he took the firewood collected by me and prepared to return home. Suddenly he came back and stabbed me,” said Zaw Lin.

Enga escaped but the local authority and police are searching for him.

Zaw Lin was recruited into the Burmese Army, in Insein Township of Rangoon the former capital of Burma by the junta military in 2002 and he was posted in the Light Infantry Battalion (304) of Matupi, the second capital of Chin state from 2003 after military training.

Zaw Lin told Khonumthung News that he managed to escape from the Burmese Army in Matupi town to Lawntlai district of Mizoram and was ekeing out a living with odds job.
From Lawngtlai district, he shifted to Sairang village near Aizawl, this year and got a mason’s job.

“I arrived just two weeks ago in Aizawl and got a job as a mason. I am dejected because of not knowing the local dialect lying in the hospital. I am being cared for by the son of my employer, but I cannot communicate with him, because of the language problem” said Mr. Zaw Lin.

It learnt that Zaw was operated upon on 25 March and he is recovering.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Myanmar: new President sworn in, junta disbands

Yangon: Myanmar's new president was sworn in on Wednesday, officially launching a new administration to replace the military junta that has ruled the country for the past two decades.
Thein Sein was sworn in as Myanmar's new president in a ceremony held in Naypyitaw, the country's capital since 2005. He replaces Senior General Than Shwe, Myanmar junta chief since 1992, as the new head of state.
Vice Presidents Tin Aung Myint Oo and Sai Mauk Kham were also sworn in to their posts.
Myanmar: new President sworn in, junta disbands
"The State Peace and Development Council will be immediately dissolved after the swearing-in ceremony," Than Shwe said in a noon announcement on state-controlled television.
The new cabinet lineup was announced, including a host of ex-military men, many of whom were cabinet members under the junta, starting with General Thein Sein, who was former prime minister.
Major General Hla Min was named the new defence minister, Lieutenant General Ko Ko as home minister, and Major General Thein Htay became minister of border affairs.
The new foreign minister was Wunna Maung Lwin, information minister was Kyaw Hsan and finance minister was Tin Naing Thein, all former military men.
Myanmar has been under the junta's rule since 1988 when the army crushed a pro-democracy movement, killing up to 3,000 people.
The junta held a general election on November 7 that voted in a new government, led by the pro-military Union Solidarity and Development Party.
The polls were widely criticised by western democracies for excluding opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest at the time of the election, and her National League for Democracy party that won the previous election of 1990 by a landslide.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

India offers help to quake-hit Myanmar

Ahmedabad, Mar. 27 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday offered "every possible help" to a quake-struck Myanmar where over 75 people have died and over 100 have been injured.

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake, which struck on Thursday, caused extensive damage to hospitals and buildings in the country.

In his condolence message to the chairman of State Peace and Development Council of Myanmar, Singh said, "On behalf of the people and government of India, I convey my heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Myanmar on this tragic natural disaster."

"As your Government rallies to provide relief and other assistance to people in the earthquake affected region, I would like to assure you that India stands ready to render any assistance that your government may require of us,” he added.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mysterious disease kills 5 in Mizoram

Guwahati, Mar 26 : A mystery disease has killed five persons in a remote tribal village in southern Mizoram. A forum for the tribe has rapped local authorities for delayed response to the epidemic-like crisis. Officials in southern Mizoram's Lunglei district confirmed the death of five persons at village Thanzamasora during the past fortnight. They suspect the cause of the disease to be acute respiratory infections including pneumonia, but are not very sure.

Thanzamasora is a Chakma tribal dominated village.

Underlining the seriousness of the issue, the Mizoram Chakma Development Forum (MCDF) on Friday sought Lunglei deputy commissioner M Zohmingthangi's intervention. It also asked the medical officers concerned to provide immediate medical facilities to prevent the epidemic from spreading.

"Apart from the five who died many others are sick but there is total lack of healthcare services. A medical team distributed some medicines but this is not enough. Worst, the superstitious villagers believe that deaths are due to black magic cast upon them. At least 13 families have already fled the village and more families are likely to flee if the situation is not brought under control immediately," said MCDF president Hemanta Larma.

He added, "Although the situation is taking a serious proportion, there is delayed response from the authorities. There seems to be some problem as Thanzamasora village is under the administrative control of Lunglei district but healthcare services falls under the chief medical officer of adjoining Lawngtlai district."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

At least 25 dead in Myanmar quake 25,  2011

At least 25 people were killed and twenty injured in the strong earthquake that struck Myanmar near the Thai border last evening. Dozens of buildings were also destroyed in the Quake.

Tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok, almost 800 kilometres from the epicentre, Hanoi and parts of China. The US Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 6.8 on the richter scale.

A Myanmar official said many more casualties are feared in the town of Tarlay, close to the epicentre.

Five monasteries and 35 buildings collapsed in the town. The official confirmed that 10 men, a boy and 13 women had been killed in Myanmar when the quake struck.

Twenty people were injured in Tarlay in the district of Tachileik, the main road into the area was closed after being damaged in the quake. Across the border from Tachileik, Thai authorities said a 52-year-old woman was killed in Mae Sai district after a wall of her house collapsed.

Terrified residents across the region fled their homes, tall buildings swayed and hospitals and schools were evacuated during the tremors.

The quake had struck 90 kilometres north of Chiang Rai and 235 kilometres north-northeast of Chiang Mai, Thailand's second city and a popular tourist destination.
Its was epicenter close to the borders with Thailand and Laos. Thailand's also experienced six large aftershocks following the initial quake.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Navy captures Myanmarese poachers

Indian naval ship Batti Malv intercepted three boats with Myanmarese poachers off the Interview Island on the Andaman Islands last Tuesday and marine police apprehended 23 poachers, a Defence press release announced on Monday.

A preliminary investigation has revealed that the poachers had planned to extract sea cucumber and sea shells, for which their boats were equipped with deep-sea diving and harvesting gear.

The large quantity of diesel, drinking water and food items seized indicated their “intentions of prolonged poaching activity in Indian waters.”

Sea cucumbers weighing about 25 kg were found during a search of the boat.

“The warship sighted the suspicious boats and approached them at high speed. On sighting the ship, the poachers attempted to flee using the cover of darkness. However, the ship pursued the boats for over two hours on the high seas and finally apprehended the poachers. ,” the note said.

Opium worth Rs 36 lakh seized from Burmese trader in Mizoram

Opium weighing 818 grams with a value of Rs 36 lakhs was seized from a Burmese trader by Mizoram authorities in northeast India on Wednesday.

Special branch police in the state capital of Aizawl were tipped off that the carrier was transporting drugs on the No. 2 Indo-Burma Trade Road to Aizawl. They seized the drugs in the Thuampui Block of Aizawl in the evening, reported Mizoram’s Aizawl Post.

The dealer has been identified as Lallianmawi, the son of Luankham, from Saihmun Village in Falam Township of Chin State. A case against Lallianmawi for trading in drugs was filed at the Bawngkawn Block Police Station of Aizawl.

The Mizoram Narcotics Department said the opium seized was a large haul.

Other Burmese traders have recently been detained for involvement in drug peddling and smuggling, including a Burmese man arrested with opium worth Rs 10 lahks by Mizoram authorities on February 15.

With the news of Burmese drug traders being caught in Mizoram, the people of the state have a growing resentment of the presence of Burmese settled in Mizoram as illegal refugees, said a Burmese youth in Mizoram.

"We (Burmese) people are always arrested in cases, so they (Mizo people) dislike us. It is worrying that our people are involved in incidents of drug trading, murder, theft, and alcohol production in the state.”

The Young Mizo Association, a large non-government organization, recorded last year that nearly 100,000 Burmese people are staying as refugees in the state without legal refugee status.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

China to launch construction of rail line to Myanmar This Year

BEIJING: China is set to begin construction of a railway line to Myanmar this year. The move is expected to help Beijing in its competition with India in acquiring infrastructure development and other business contracts in Myanmar.

China has also entered into an agreement with the Russian government to resume freight train services on a railway line, which was closed down six years back due to differences among its stake holders. The 100-km railway line connecting Hunchun in China with Makhalino in Russia is scheduled to reopen next May.

Construction of the rail line to Myanmar has been delayed due to elections and some political problems in that country.

"We originally wanted to start as soon as possible but because the (new) Myanmar government has just been formed and because of their internal problems, we have had to wait," Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Tuesday "We want to start construction this year," he said.

One of the challenges facing the new line would be mismatched gauges in the two countries. The two governments have signed an agreement to sort out this problem. China is offering several sweeteners like help in establishing power grids, telecommunication networks, oil and gas pipelines and ports.

Myanmar faces wide ranging sanctions from Western governments and is keen on getting assistance from Beijing. The country saw its first election in 20 years in November but it has been condemned by critics as government controlled voting exercise.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

China Is Your Special Friend

March 3, 2011: The new democracy in Myanmar is very much the same old military dictatorship. The recent elections were rigged and the parliament is full of supporters of the generals. Thus the military has gotten 23 percent of the government budget for the next year. The generals expect to get more for their money, mainly because North Korea just lost a lot of its weapons customers with the overthrow of several Arab dictatorships. As a result, Myanmar can demand more for less from a desperate North Korea. The trade has been going on since 2007, when diplomatic relations were resumed with North Korea, and a barter trade (rice from Myanmar for weapons and other goods from North Korea) established. This avoided problems with international embargos on North Korean arms exports. Cargo ships coming from North Korea had cargos described as "cement" and "general cargo." These ships were unloaded in heavily guarded, military controlled, port areas.

The extra cash for the military is going to pay for new weapons from China and Russia. Later this month, Russia is expected to begin delivering 20 MiG-29 fighters that were ordered two years ago. Indian firms will provide maintenance and technical support. India has long used MiG-29s and has built an infrastructure to support this aircraft. While most Indians do not approve of the generals running Myanmar, they do appreciate the cooperation of the generals in defeating tribal separatists and communist rebels in India's northeast. India is also building a road to connect with Myanmar in the northeast, to encourage trade and help build the economy in the thinly populated area that borders China and Myanmar.

China has replaced Thailand as the largest foreign investor in Myanmar. The Myanmar generals see China as their economic savior, and China is eager to have an ally so close to India. Increased maritime trade with Myanmar is but the beginning of a process that will lead to Chinese warships eventually operating out of Myanmar ports. This is a nightmare for India, which is trying to make nice with the Myanmar generals, in an attempt to halt the growth of Chinese influence, and presence, in the area.

February 27, 2011: A bomb exploded in the capital, wounding four people. No one took credit for it.

February 19, 2011: Tribal rebels in the east killed four civilians, during an encounter with troops.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Locals cultivate poppy on 1000 acres in Chin state

25 February 2011: Instead of normal farming activities 1000 acres of land are being brought under poppy cultivation by local people in Northern Chin state, Burma.

“The poppy field was cut down by local people; it will be burnt down in May, 2011,” said local on condition of anonymity.

Local authorities have been collecting taxes from cultivators regularly in the region for the past few years, so local people cultivate poppy which leads to more income than jhum (shifting) cultivation.

“Local army and police collect tax. The army collected one kilogram per household into poppy cultivation, but the police have no fixed taxes. They collect anything between 10,000 to 30,000 Kyats per household” said a local.

Similarly, Cannabis, also known as marijuana (locally called Kanza) is being planted in farm land to get more income in Tonzang Township, Chin state, an area which is mostly controlled by rebel groups from Northeast India.

Presently, one viss of opium is Kyat 6 lakhs locally and the opium is being collected to be sold to Chinese drug traders from Chin state. Some sources say that opium is being turned into heroin in Tamu Township in Sagaing division.

Indian rebel groups paid taxes to the local junta authorities to cultivate poppy in this area last year.

The first attempt at poppy cultivation was said to have begun in the period of Ne Win, former Burmese military ruler. But the project failed due to the intervention of a Chin students group and now the authorities seem to have resumed Ne Win’s, policy in Burma , which still remains the second largest opium producer in the world after Afghanistan. Khonumthung News

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guerrilla leader and kin killed in Mizoram

Silchar, Jan. 13 : Guerrilla leader Atabur Rahaman and his cousin Aklasuddin were found murdered at separate places in Mizoram’s Kolosib district yesterday.

Both the bodies were bullet-riddled and their hands were tied with long ropes. Rahman’s body was found in a hamlet in Panbangkhal village while Aklasuddin’s body was found in the Bilkwathtlir area.

Police sources in Hailakandi said Mizo passersby saw the bodies yesterday morning and informed the nearby Kolosib, Bilkhathlir and Bhairabhi police stations.

Rahaman, who escaped from jail twice in 2003, was the head of United Democratic Liberation Tigers. The outfit has been responsible for many killings, kidnappings and extortions in Hailakandi district.

It comprised Muslim and Bru youths who joined the gang to eke out a living. Intelligence sources said the gang comprised around 75 criminals.

Atabur, a resident of Jhalnacherra village in Hailakandi, joined the United Democratic Liberation Army in 2003 and was trained in guerrilla warfare. He left the outfit after differences with its chief Dhanyaram Reang and formed the United Democratic Liberation Tigers in 2004.

The official sources claimed that after the deployment of the army’s 33 regiment in Hailaklandi to contain terrorism, members of the outfits had been lying low and most of them were hiding in Dholai block of Cachar district.

Security forces in Cachar claimed that internecine rivalry between the two groups had led to the gruesome killings.

15 Reang families repatriated

Silchar, Jan. 13 : The third phase of repatriation of Bru refugees to Mizoram from refugee camps in adjacent Tripura started today after a gap of two months.

Official sources in Aizawl said at least 15 Bru families were transported to the Mizoram-Tripura inter-state boundary in a bus under adequate security arrangements. The refugees were allowed to pass into Mizoram through the Mamit border.

It was a joyous homecoming for this batch of refugees, who had left their homes in Mizoram in 1997, in the wake of an ethnic clash between Mizos and the minority Reang community in October that year.

The repatriation process will continue for the next three days, and more Bru families are expected to cross the border and go back to their homes during this period, the sources added.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Police to re-arrest Mizo girl attackers

Guwahati, Jan. 4 : Police are initiating action against the accused in the December 28 Mizo girl assault case by clubbing the two FIRs lodged by two different parties.

The police today said they have to club the two FIRs lodged separately by the caretaker of the guesthouse where the girl had put up, and women’s organisations, to initiate action against the accused.

“The second FIR, lodged by the women’s organisations, was registered under non-bailable sections and we are looking for the three persons we arrested earlier, as they are absconding. Now we will club both FIRs to initiate further action,” said a police officer probing the case.

The 23-year-old girl from Mizoram, who was in the city to attend a wedding, was assaulted when she knocked on the door of one of the accused at Nabagiri under Chandmari police station for directions, after apparently losing her way while returning to the guesthouse.

But instead of helping her, the woman, along with two other women and an unidentified man, hit the girl, accusing her of being inebriated, sources said.

The three women — Juri Das (the BJP office-bearer, since suspended, who also runs a city-based NGO), Monimala Das and Mini Das — were arrested on December 29 based on the caretaker’s FIR. They were, however, released on bail the same day.

This angered local activists, who lodged a fresh FIR on December 31 demanding re-arrest of the three women, who were seen beating up the Mizo girl and snatching her mobile and purse, in video footage of a local TV channel.

“Three days have passed since we lodged the fresh FIR, but no arrests have been made so far. We suspect the police’s role and think they are deliberately delaying arrests,” said writer and social activist Maini Mahanta. “If strong action is not taken against those involved, we will launch a public protest and if necessary, will sit on a dharna,” she added.

Apart from Mahanta, those who signed the FIR included Manisha Behl and Anurita Hazarika of North East Network (NEN), Sumitra Hazarika of Nirjatan Birodhi Aikya Mancha, social activist Akhil Gogoi and few other city residents.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Govt lifts PAP in three NE states

NEW DELHI: In a New Year gift to Manipur , Mizoram and Nagaland, the government has decided to do way with the requirement of Protected Area Permit (PAP) for foreigners visiting the three states.

The three north-eastern states were excluded from the Protected Area Regime notified under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, for a period of one year beginning January 1, 2011. However, the foreign nationals entering Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland would still be required to register themselves with the foreigners registration officer (FRO) of the district they visit, within 24 hours of their arrival.

Incidentally, the citizens of some countries, primarily Pakistan and China, would still be required to seek prior approval of the Union home ministry before visiting any of the three north-eastern states.

Also, foreign visitors would still need to apply for PAP to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian Missions/Posts have also been authorised to issue missionary visa to foreign missionaries visiting these three States as per the extant guidelines of the government.

While doing away with the PAP for foreign visitors to the state is unlikely to boost international tourist arrivals in a major way, the move is expected to go a long way in addressing the feeling of alienation among the people of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.