JCILPS demands new Bill, gears up for renewed stir

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Imphal, August 09 2017: The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has demanded the State Government to pass a new Bill in place of the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015 which would be acceptable to all sections of people and enforce it within the current year.

Speaking at the International Day of World’s Indigenous People 2017 held today at Keishampat Kei-sham Leikai Yumjao Lairembi community hall, JCILPS convenor Arjun Telheiba declared that they have decided to get ILPS or a similar mechanism enforced in the State within this year.

For JCILPS, it is ‘do it or die’, he asserted.

The State Government should draft a new Bill by the next month.

In the meantime, JCILPS would launch a renewed mass agitation.

“It does not mean JCILPS has any penchant for agitation.

It is only a reminder to the Government to discharge their duties”, Arjun Telheiba said.

The Government should constitute a bill drafting committee within the current month and the committee should consult all stake holders including the Hill Areas Committee.

The committee should come up with a Bill which would be acceptable to all sections of people.

The popular movement may intensify or subside depending on the Government’s response, he said.

The United Nations and many other international organisations have different interpretations for the indigenous people, and the Government of India may have its own interpretation.

Generally, indigenous people are a group of people who have been living on their ancestral land with its natural resources with distinctive culture and identity.

Meitei, Meitei Pangal and hill people of Manipur can be grouped together as indigenous people.

The UN guarantees right to self-determination to all indigenous people.

After the controversial merger of Manipur into the Indian Union in 1949, then Chief Commissioner Himat Singh abolished the Inner Line Permit System on November 18, 1950, opening a floodgate of influx into the State.

There has been no let up to the influx till today.

As a result, the State has encountered serious challenges both politically and economically.

“Given these realities, all the indigenous people need to unite together and work collectively for a constitutional safeguard to protect ourselves from incessant influx”, said the JCILPS convenor.

JCILPS former convenor H Ibotombi Khuman, COHR chairman Phulindro Konsam, MAPI Council president N Bimol, MU Reader Dr Thiyam Bharat, Anjuman Manipur coordinator Alhaj MV Muheiyuddin, Arts and Cultural Committee of Chothe Tribe chairman Y Maipak Chothe, Chiru Union Manipur spokesperson Angam Zatung and Kom Socio-Cultural Development Organisation president L Khupler Kom attended the function as presidium members .

JCILPS co-convenor Ksh Somorendro said that the International Day of World’s Indigenous People is being observed in commemoration of the first conference of the UN Working Group of Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held in 1982.

A resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 23, 1994 declared August 9 as the International Day of World’s Indigenous People.

In the name of development and modernisation, Government of India has been exporting its surplus population to Manipur apart from militarising every nook and corner of the State, Somorendro said.

Indigenous peoples of Tripura, North East, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Adivasis of central India are facing severe threats to their survival, Somorendro remarked.

He said that the International Day of World’s Indigenous People was being observed with the main objective of protecting the indigenous people of Manipur by way of enforcing ILPS or a similar mechanism.

Source: The Sangai Express

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