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JAC Declaration ~ November 4, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

/ Published by VIRTHLI
Lamka, November 4, 2016

On August 30, 2016, the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) made an appeal to the Hill Areas Committee that comprised of all the tribal MLAs to abstain from the Special Session of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly wherein the three anti-tribal bills, namely- the Protection of Manipur People's Bill, 2015; the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reform: (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015, and the .Manipur Shops and Establishments: (Second Amendment) Bill. 2015 were intended to be passed. However. the appeal went unheeded.

On September 1, 20I5, the joint meeting of tribal apex bodies Kuki Innpi, Hmar lnpui and Zomi Council had unanimously given an ultimatum to the Hill Areas Committee to convene a meeting at the earliest and take appropriate steps to either repeal the bills or insert exclusion clause in the bills within 10 days. However, no response in any form was received from the Hill Areas Committee.

On September 3, 2015, ATSUM declared a ban on entry for all tribal MLAs in the tribal areas until they resign in protest against the three anti-tribal bills.

On September 6, 2015, ATSUM held a joint meeting at DSS, lmphal with the Hill Areas Committee. The 11 tribal MLAs who attended the joint meeting were requested to resign on moral grounds.

On September 7, 2015, the emergency meeting of the Joint Action Committee Against Anti Tribal Bills (JACAATB) unanimously resolved to support the above 10 day ultimatum given by the tribal apex bodies and agreed to impose public boycott on all the tribal MLAs/members of the Hill Areas Committee if no desirable response is received from the Hill Areas Committee by midnight of September l0, 2015, or if they do not tender their resignation. No response of any kind was received from the Hill Areas Committee.

On September 12, 2015, the JACAATB sent a media team to verify rumours of the resignation of some tribal MLAs. However, the team failed to get any satisfactory response from the tribal MLAs.

On September 12, 2015, due to absence of any intimation or communication to the tribal apex bodies. ATSUM or the JACAATB from any of the tribal MLAs regarding their resignation, the JACAATB unanimously resolved to declare public boycott, till further notice, on all the current tribal MLAs who refused to feel the pulse of the tribal populace and declined to resign in spite of the mounting pressure from the general public to do so.

The boycott on the following tribal MLAs who still refused to listen to the cries of their fellow tribals still stands -

D. Korungthang - 42 Tengnoupal (ST)
Janghemlung Panmei - S3 Tamenglong (ST)
Victor Keishing - 43 Phungyar (ST)
Gaikhanngam - 54 Nungba (ST)
MK. Preshaw - 45 Chingai (ST)
Dr. Chaltonlien - 55 Tipaimukh (ST)
Yamthong Hackip - 46 Saikul (ST)
Vumzagin Valte - 56 Thanlon (ST)
Francis Ngajolqua - 49 Tadubi (ST)
T. Manga Vaiphei - 57 Henglep (ST)
Nemcha Kipgen - 50 Kangpokpi
Phungzathang Tonsing - 58 Chumchandpur (ST)
Ngamthang Haokip - 51 Saitu (ST)
T.N. Haokip - 59 Saikot (ST)
Z. Kikhonbou Newmai - 52 Tamei (ST)
Ginsuanhau - 60 Singngat (ST)

On July 15, 20l6, the joint meeting of the Outer Manipur Tribals' Forum a conglomerate of Hmar Inpui, Thadou lnpi Manipur, Mizo People Convention, United Naga Council and Zomi Council and JACAATB resolved the following:

- Re-affirm the boycott of all tribal MLAs and the lone tribal MP of Manipur, and uphold the ban on their entry or organizing activities in the tribal areas or Manipur. The joint meeting also resolved to brand nny individual or organization who aid, cooperate or stand with the boycotted tribal MLAs as anti-tribal, and shall be at their own risk. (Resolution No. 3)

- Boycott the Congress Party in all tribal areas of Manipur, and the Party shall not be allowed to have any activities in all tribal areas and their office will be locked down with immediate effect. Any political party, whether national or regional, who work against the interest of the tribal peoples will meet the same fate as that of the Congress Party. (Resolution No. 4)

The following organizations and churches have made public appeal and declaration to stand for free and fair election in the upcoming Manipur State Assembly Polls in 2017:

- Churachandpur District Christian Goodwill Council on June l8. 20I6
- Tribal Youth Council Manipur on June 2l, 2016
- Manipur Tribal Lawyers' Forum on June 21, 20l6
- Hmar Students' Association on July 29. 2016
- Kuki lnpi Manipur (as per Haipi Declaration dated July 26-29, 20l5) on August I8, 20l6
- Evangelical Baptist Convention on October 11, 2016
- Zomi Council on October l5, 20l6
- All Manipur Christian Organization on October 28. 20l6
- Manipur Baptist Convention on October 28. 20l6
- Election Commission of lndia

Taking into consideration the resolutions, public appeals and declarations made by various organizations and tribal apex bodies made during the past few months, the JACAATB would like to declare on this day, the Fourth Day of November, Two Thousand and Sixteen on the occasion of the Dedication of the Rebuilt Salpha Pumbuk that:

1 No individual, group or organization including underground groups shall engage in any form of violence, unlawful activities, corrupt practices or intimidating tactics that goes against the spirit of the norms laid down by the Election Commission of India to canvass votes in the upcoming State Assembly Elections as per the wishes of the general public.

2 Any individual, group or organization engaging in such undesirable activities shall be prepared to face the collective ire of the public, and they shall also be held responsible for any untoward incident arising from such activities.

3 The responsibility of ensuring a free and fair election lies with each one of us; it is the duty of each and every tribal individual to ensure a free and fair election wherein every single tribal voter, using his or her conscience and untampered reasoning, and placing the tribal cause above his or her own personal or organizational desires and needs, votes to safeguard tribal land, rights and identity.
4 It is the duty of all right-thinking tribal electorates to refrain from casting their votes in favour of the boycotted tribal MLAs who still choose to turn a blind eye to the cries and sentiments of their tribal electorates even after more than one whole year of unrelenting protests.
5 The duty of publicizing the Declaration rests with all tribal organizations including philanthropic organizations, churches, student bodies; and it is their obligation to ensure the implementation of the Declaration within their respective communities and areas of jurisdiction.

The JACAATB would like to humbly appeal to all right-thinking individuals, groups and organizations to support the Declaration and stand firm on the tribal cause, the fight for tribal self-determination which is much above that of mere electoral politics.

Information and Publicity Department

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