CSD releases book on AFSPA recommendations

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IMPHAL, December 16: A book entitled “United Nations and Human Rights in Manipur” was released today at the Regency Hall of Classic Hotel organized by the Centre for Social Development

The book has been edited by Shukhdeba Sharma Hanjabam, Homen Thangjam, U Nobokishore and Chaoba Takhenchangbam.

The book release function was attended by Keishamthong MLA Dr Laishram Ibomcha as chief guest, Dr RK Ranjan as president and Prof Arambam Lokendra as the guest of honour.

Addressing the function, CSD, secretary U Nobokishore said the book is a collection of the recommendations from UN Special Rapporteurs, Universal Periodic Review of the UN and other recommendations regarding complete repeal of AFSPA.

He continued that there has been a steep rise in human rights abuse since the late 1990’s in the state.

He continued that several international agencies including the UN have already asked India to scrap the act on numerous occasions.

He said in 1997, the Naga People Movement for Human Rights had filed a case with the Supreme Court demanding the repeal of AFSPA, however the Supreme Court had issued only a ‘Dos and Don’ts”.

He continued the Centre considers the entire NE region and the J&K as terrorist and has as such ignored the pleas for the repeal of the AFSPA.

He said, India’s Human Rights record was reviewed under the second round of the UPR of the UN Human Rights Council on May 24, 2012.

During the review, 80 governments spoke and a draft report of the review adopted by the working group on UPR on Moay 30, 2012 listed 169 recommendations, however the government of India could not respond immediately and deferred it till the Plenary Session of the Human Rights Council in September 2012, he said.

He continued the General Assembly of the United Nation will be held at New York in March 2013, however the Indian government is trying to block any mention of AFSPA during the assembly.

After the ceremony of releasing the book, a panel discussion on “Reviewing the Human Rights and Political realities in Manipur” was also held.

The discussion moderated by Prof Arambam Lokendra featured panel deliberations by correspondent Seven Sisters Post, Yumnam Rupachandra, academic and social activist Dr Dhanabir Laishram and environmental activist Yumnam Jiten.

Yumnam Rupachandra spoke on media coverage of human rights violations in the state and said there was a need to introspect on whether the media has really made the masses aware about human rights.

In his deliberations, Dr Dhanabir Laishram spoke at length on the context of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, its imposition in Manipur and other states in the North East region and Kashmir and the impact of the Act on democratic processes and citizenship.

Yumnam Jiten’s presentation was structured on the linkages between environmental decisions that are taken in a democracy without the involvement of citizens as stakeholders.

The panel discussion also saw an interactive discussion after the panelists had presented their viewpoints.

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