IMPHAL, September 18: Concerned with the present turmoil in the state due to the demands for separate districts by different sections of the society, civil societies of the state have joined hands and submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, yesterday.
Terming as normal practice of any democratic government to accommodate views and opinions of its citizens, in regard with the district re-organization exercise which the government has decided to initiate, the civil society organizations have offered their collective opinions to the government.
Citing that the state is now communally very sensitive, the organizations have opined that creation or formation of a district on the basis of specific community, religion or language could be considered as a potential threat in the near future to the territorial integrity and communal harmony of the state. It could segregate the region on community basis. The memorandum has as such requested the government not to carry out district re-organization exercise on the basis of community, religion or language.
Even though no part or region of Manipur is inseparable, it has further maintained that it may be impossible to erase every difference among the people of the state; however administrative differences among its people should be avoided at the best of level.
The Memorandum has requested the government to consider initiating steps to introduce uniform Land laws and land reform act applicable in the whole of Manipur. Under the act any bonafide citizen of Manipur should be legally permitted to settle in any part of Manipur according to their convenience.
It has further stated that since the area of the state is only 22,327 sq kms and division of the state into too many dsistricts may be imprudent, however as many sections of the society are emerging with demands for the formations of districts, it has requested the government to consider fixing a tentative maximum limit in the number of districts.
It has further requested the government to press its machinery in full service to let the people feel that there is effective and responsible government capable of protecting lives and properties, during the different forms of agitations including protracted economic blockade on the National Highways and total general strikes in pursuit of their demands by any section.
It has further urged that the basic objective of district formations should be purely for reaching out the benefits of the government services to its citizens conveniently and from the government’s point of view it should be for administrative convenience.
It has also urged the government to effectively control the culture of holding the whole people of the state at ransom by any community in their pursuit to achieve their demand and that any sectarian agitations by any section or community should not cause violation of the fundamental rights of other people.
It has also appeal for the state government to initiate the process for establishing Manipur Legislative Council, where communities of small size in population could be accommodated in law making institution.
While requesting the government to consider instituting a mechanism to insulate common people from the hardship and impacts caused by the protracted economic blockade, it has also suggested that any commission or omission in the process of shifting of those villages inhabited by minor communities in the process of district re-organization should be avoided. It has further suggested the government to hold referendum for ascertaining the views and opinions of the villages inhabited by minor communities likely to be affected at the time of district re-organization.
The memorandum signed by leaders of various organizations including secretary general HERICOUN L Ratankumar, general secretary Komren Development Organization Haopu Kom, president Student’s Guardian Organization RR Chothe, president Young Horizon Manipur Th Ratan, general secretary Parenting Forum Manipur M Romesh, president MEEKHOL AK janaki, president USER Manipur Jogesh Maibam, general secretary Workers Union Joy Khuman, general secretary Kharam Students Union Ashom Kharam, general secretary AMADA Ph Phoni among other.