NPMHR observes World Indigenous People Day

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IMPHAL, August 9: The Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights observed the International Day of the World Indigenous Peoples today at Kohima along with solidarity members and other participants, under the banner “Bridging the Gap: Implementing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”; 

In a press statement, the NPMHR has stated that it draws attention to the fact that the promotion and conservation of traditional knowledge and wisdom is pertinent to the continuity of a harmonious world for resolving conflicts and misunderstanding and for sustaining a good life and living; the proposals of State-centered initiatives like Nagaland Special Development Zone will hugely impact the traditional way of life of many Naga communities, encourage land alienation, and drastically change demographic equations; the perpetual militarization of our peoples by Indian armed forces and the continuing  military-legal paraphernalia perpetuating brute military governance through the Disturbed Area Act and Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958, is a concern for mental health of a nation and an outright breach of human rights; the processes involved in accessing natural resources, which include Oil and Chromites, as the present cases are, by existing governments, does not follow international norms set for local standards like Free, Prior and Informed Consent, thereby spelling misunderstanding and discreet crony capitalism; policies and developmental projects need social audit and wider public consultation before implementation.         

It said during the observation, the NPMHR had also called for respect, promotion, and preservation of indigenous knowledge, and thus call into attention the revitalization of our knowledge systems by reclaiming our own languages and institutions; review and issue moratorium on all Exploration and Exploitation of mineral resources  in Naga areas, including;  Oil exploitation in Wokha District (Nagaland) and Tamenglong District (Manipur), Chromites extraction at Ukhrul and Chandel Districts (Manipur) and other mineral resources, while exploring a comprehensive review of policies and framing a right-holder approach to just benefit sharing; mitigation of militarization and excess violation of human rights, including the present Ukhrul standoff; complete overhauling of Nagaland Special Development Zone, which is detrimental and dangerous for Nagas’ way of life and control over their land and resources; continued support of Naga public in particular and solidarity groups in general, in sustaining our rights and rightful place. 

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