Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD) Press statement
3rd October 2014
A demonstration expressing solidarity to the courageous stand of the international boxer Laishram Sarita against injustice and condemning bribery and favouritism in sports was held today, 3rd October 2014, in front of the office of the Indian Olympic Association in New Delhi. In fact Sarita had dominated the semi-final bout against her South Korean opponent Jina Park, at the recently held 17th Asian Games, at Incheon in South Korea. But the judges had favoured the host country and had awarded the bout to her opponent. Sarita had applied for a protest but it was rejected on certain alleged technical grounds. The Indian officials had failed to help in her fight for justice. But Sarita continued with the protest and refused to accept the bronze medal awarded to her. During the medal ceremony she took the medal by the hands and hung it around the neck of Jina who have been awarded silver medal. The organisers took a dim view of Sarita’s action and initiated for a disciplinary action. Finally Sarita was forced to either accept the medal or face the consequence of some harsh disciplinary action. The issue of injustice, bribery or favouritism in the sports in general and irresponsible attitude of the Indian officials have been covered up.
Today’s demonstration was organised at a short notice by the Manipur Students Association Delhi. It was attended by about hundred persons, mostly students from Manipur. The demonstration raised the banner demanding ‘Justice to boxer Laishram Sarita: down with bribery and favouritism in sports’. Several placards were raised condemning bribery and favouritism during the boxing boutand lack of responsibility by the Indian officials.At the same time, two joint memorandums were submitted via the internet to the President of the Indian Olympic AssociationMr. N. Ramachandranand the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Youth Affairs and Sports Shri SarbanandaSonowal. Hard copies of the same memorandums will be submitted to the respective offices tomorrow.
The joint memorandums demanded the Indian Olympic Association: (1) To tender an apology to the Indian contingents in general and Sarita in particular for having failed to assist her in the time of need; (2) To immediately institute an official inquiry to investigate the matter and to take up disciplinary action against those guilty Indian officials; (3) To take up immediate appropriate initiatives to defend Sarita from any disciplinary action by AIBA or OCA or any other organisations; (4) To take up immediate appropriate initiatives to internationally expose the injustice that was done to the Indian boxers at Incheon and to take up disciplinary action against those guilty officials.
The joint memorandums were endorsed by: Alana Golmei, General Secretary, Northeast Support Centre & Helpline; AngambaMoirangthem, President, Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur; Anthony Moiranthem, President, Manipur Students Association, Pune; Dr. George T Haokip, General Secretary, Institute Alternative India; Dr.LaifungbamDebabrata Roy, President, Centre for Organisation Research & Education Manipur); Dr.MalemNingthouja, Chairperson, Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur); IsanChandam, Secretary General, Students League Manipur; JitenYumnam, Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur; Mr.Lc. Jinine, North East Human Rights Defenders Committee; OinamBijendro Singh, UCAL Badminton Association Delhi; Raju, Advisor, Manipuri Young Mind Association Delhi; SapamBanipraksh, Vice-President, Manipur Students Association Delhi; Sarajuddin,President, Manipuri Students’ Federation; SomorendroKhangembam, General Secretary, European Manipuri Association, and; TabaDoni, President, Arunachal Students’ Union Delhi.
After the demonstration, MSAD organised a felicitation programme for Sarita and Mary Kom. While Sarita attended the programme, Mary Kom could not respond to the short notice, as she have been engaged with prior appointments elsewhere. The whole programmes of the day was successful because of the active role of the volunteers, sympathisers and the financial donations by Bhakta Kumar, Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur), Jiten Yumnam, Johnny Irengbam, Rahul L, Manipur Young Mind Association Delhi, Somorendro Khangembam and Students League Manipur.
Manipur Students’ Association Delhi
3rd October 2014