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Manipur Tribals’ Forum, Delhi Pess Note, 3 June 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

/ Published by VIRTHLI
Manipur Tribals’ Forum, Delhi
Dated: 3 June 2016

The so-called “all-party delegation” from Manipur which are supposed to land in Delhi today, the 3rd June, 2016 failed to show up yet again. They were reported to be coming to meet with the Central leadership to push for assent to the three anti-tribal bills passed by the Manipur Assembly on 31st August, 2015. The “delegation” were to come at the behest of the majority valley community of Manipur and does not represent the tribal people and tribal interests. The Manipur tribals have been agitating against the three bills, demanding for justice to the 9 martyrs and political solution for the last 9 months. However, the voices and cries of the tribals were never heard by the Manipur Government as well as the political parties which are part of the delegation. On the other hand, when the valley people agitated for only three days, the Manipur Government and the political parties immediately decided to send a delegation to Delhi. This clearly reflects the biased attitude and scant regard the Manipur Government and political parties have for the tribal people. This also shows that the Manipur Government as well as these political parties represent only the voices and interests of the valley people and not of the tribals.

The MTFD, in close coordination with tribal student bodies in Delhi had made arrangements to greet the delegation on their arrival at the IGI airport, Delhi with placards like "We'll finish what our Martyrs started", "Manipur tribals: Silent no more", "Kill the anti-tribal Bills", "India, hear our cries", "Manipur MLAs: Blood on your hands", etc. However, while it was confirmed that some of the members of the delegation had boarded their flights in Imphal, none of them show up at the airport in Delhi. Cowards!!
MTFD would like to point out that the so-called "all-party delegation" is a misnomer as the delegation does not have representation from tribal parties like the Naga People's Front (NPF). Therefore, calling the delegation "all-party delegation" is a blatant lie and an attempt to mislead the Central government. Moreover, the decision to send the so called "all-party delegation" to New Delhi was taken in the absence of tribal parties like the NPF.

As for the three bills, MTFD is of the firm belief that since they are unconstitutional in terms of statutory procedure as well as substance, the question of giving assent to them does not arise. To do so would amount to surrendering to a blatant blackmail and would set a very dangerous precedent and encourage such antics in the future. MTFD, therefore, appeals to the Central government not to give assent to the bills and urges the Central leadership to immediately find a permanent solution to the problems of Manipur tribals.

As part of its consistent stand against the bills and demand for justice for the tribal people in Manipur, and specifically in protest of the "all-party delegation" in Delhi, the MTFD will hold a massive protest rally at the MTFD Campsite, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 4 June 2016 (Saturday), starting at 2 pm. Thousands of tribal people of Manipur in Delhi and supporters from elsewhere are expected to take part in the protest rally.

MTFD reiterates its unwavering commitment for the tribal cause and would not give up until justice is done and our problems are resolved once and for all.

Romeo Hmar

Maivio J. Woba

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