`Manipur People`s Manifesto` drafted ahead of polls

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CSOs join hands with political parties to identify state issues

IMPHAL, March 6: A one day state level consultation comprising of several Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and several political parties of the state following minute discussion on various issues confronting Manipur have drafted a ‘Manipur People’s Manifesto’ for the Lok Sabha election of Manipur.

The consultation was jointly organized by Human Right Alerts (HRA) and Wada Na Todo Abhiyaan, an apex body of around 300 NGOs across the country.

Dwelling into the objective of the consultation, Executive Director of HRA, Babloo Loitongbam, divulged that “It is important that before the election we need to identify what are the concerns of the people and what are their expectation. We have deliberated many issues which needs serious attention during a round table meeting thrice and finally decided to take a consensus opinion”.

He further informed that a public movement would be mobilized to pressurize the political party to include the ‘People’s Manifesto’ as part of their party manifesto.

Similar consultation will also be organized at the regional level in Guwahati on March 15 followed by a national level consultation in Delhi on March 27.

The consultation was attended by around representatives of 40 CSO including NESO general secretary Prakash, Prof Y Muhindro of the ST demands Committee, Ima Momon of SAKAL, Deven Sharma of North East Dialogue Forum Manipur, Rajkumar Nolinikanta, President Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Sangnaidar of SLFM etc.

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) and third front (comprising of 10 political parties excluding BJP and Congress) also attended the consultation.

The Manifesto consists of 30 demands which included repealing Armed Forces Special Powers Act; not to compromise the inter-state and international boundaries of Manipur; appropriate legal and administrative safeguards should be provided to protect the rights of the indigenous population, in particular i.e their rights over the natural resources including land, water, forest, mines and minerals.

It also consists right to check uncontrolled immigration posing serious demographic threat to the indigenous population and their right against exploitation and human trafficking, particularly checking exploitation of women and children.

Other key demands are to expand the policy discourse on Minority in India to include the concept of the national, racial and ethnic minorities and to provide them protection under the frame work of the International Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination ratified by the Government of India in 1968, to establish Manipur Child and Woman Welfare Fund to promptly provide interim relief to the victims of violence,to enact central legislation to ensure that universal access is made a legally enforceable right for all PLHIV, to declare the Hepatitis-C epidemic a “public health emergency” and necessary befitting remedial measures should be taken on a war footing and framing a “State Drug Use Policy” s through an inclusive process.

Both the ruling Congress and the BJP were absent from the consultation.

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