Imphal | September 19 (Newmai News Network) : The State Coordinating Committee of the Hmar Students Association, Manipur (HSA-SCC), has expressed its great disappointment over the “indifference” shown by the state government towards the “genuine issues” of the tribals of Jiribam concerning the upgradation of Jiribam Subdivision to a full-fledged revenue district.

According to the HSA-SCC, the Tribal Rights Demand Committee, which was “mandated” by all the tribal civil society organisations of Jiribam to take up the plight of the tribals, has been spearheading the tribal issues of Jiribam.

The committee has submitted a number of memorandums to the Chief Minister on various occasions wherein the plights of the tribals and alternative arrangements rather than a full fledged revenue district were spelled out.
“Inspite of all these efforts no positive response has been received from the Chief Minister so far,” the HSA-SCC said.

The apathy of the Chief Minister and his government has led the HSA-SCC, Manipur to question the heart of the state government towards the genuine plights of the tribals of Jiribam, it added.

The HSA- SCC, Manipur also questioned the continued silence of the state towards the tribals’ concerns “while the various wings of Jiribam District Demand Committee (JDDC) have been pressuring the government to declare Jiribam to a full-fledged revenue district.”

It also recalled that, “JDDC was founded by  a particular section of Jiribam’s diverse communities without consultation” with all the stake holders in the demand for district.   The tribals are not a part of the JDDC since their interests and concerns had never been entertained, the Hmar further body claimed.

According to the HSA-SCC, the 11-point Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between JDDC and the State Government in the year 2011 “clearly overlooked the rights and privileges” of the tribals.

“If the proposal to upgrade Jiribam to a full-fledged district is to be based on the MoU, it would tantamount to robbing and effectively nullifying the constitutional rights and privileges of the tribals,” HSA-SCC stated.

The HSA-SCC then asserted that the move to nullify tribals’ rights on the pretext of upgradation of Jiribam to a full-fledged revenue “can and will never be” accepted by the HSA-SCC, Manipur.

“It would also tantamount to total disregard for the tribal communities of Jiribam who are also sons of the soil and citizens of India.   In the absence of proper consultations with tribal communities, such insensitive moves would only create a chasm between the otherwise peace loving citizens of Jiribam,” the Hmar body also stated.

“Therefore, it is the wish of the HSA-SCC, Manipur that the state government addresses the genuine demands for an alternative to the present move to upgrade the subdivision to a full-fledged revenue district as per the MoU of 2011 and initiate the construction of a democratic  platform wherein the tribals may voice their needs and are also respected as per their constitutional rights,”  the HSA-SCC expressed.

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