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JAC - Against Anti-Tribal Bills ~ Press Release, June 2, 2016

Thursday, June 2, 2016

/ Published by VIRTHLI
Press Release
Lamka, June 2, 2016

In continuation of its fight against the marginalization, subjugation and exclusion policies of the Manipur Government against the indigenous tribal populace, a I5-member team of the Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC) will be leaving Lamka tomorrow morning for a public awareness campaign at Thanlon against the decades of anti-tribal policies and stands of the State Government. Although a similar program was also planned for Parbung around the same time, the same has been postponed for a later date after considering the convenience of the surrounding villages.

The JAC would like to reiterate that the three anti-tribal bills, viz. the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2(115: the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) 11(11, 2015: and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 have nothing to do with the Inner Line Permit Systems (1LPS) which is currently enforced in the tribal states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland to regulate entry of outsiders into these states with the intention of protecting the tribal lands and their unique way of life. The three anti-tribal bills, on the other hand, directly infringe on tribal identity, tribal land rights and tribal livelihood and are mere cunning tactics to grab tribal lands by the communal Manipur Government, a shrewd tactic to take over the rights and entitlements of the hill tribes. [Transcript by Virthli]

With the sole aim of implementing these anti-tribal policies, the communal Manipur Government has agreed to set up the Manipur Population Commission and the Manipur Land Reforms Commission shortly which will only add more teeth to the three anti-tribal bills. Moreover, the simultaneous demand of the dominant Meitei community to be included in the Scheduled Tribe list after decades of being included in the General, Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Classes lists speak volumes about their ill intent to usurp all possible benefits and privileges from the tribal people of Manipur.

It is indeed crystal clear that the tribal people of Manipur have a very bleak future within the framework of the Manipur Government.

Let every Manipur tribal know that the ongoing Tribal Movement is a movement for our identity, our land rights and our livelihood, a movement for our very own survival. Let us stand united in our collective fight for our future, and not be swayed by the divisive policies and tactics of the communal Manipur Government and its cohorts. [Transcript by Virthli]

With the Almighty on our side, we truly believe that we shall overcome some day. 

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