IMPHAL, May 22: As part of the nation wide protest for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Just Peace Foundation also organized an event called the Children’s Parliament on AFSPA at Hotel Imphal.
According to a release of the foundation, the participants for the Children’s Parliament on AFSPA was were selected after rigorous screening program from several applicants in Manipur University on 19th May 2011.
The release further added that the house had unanimously pass on that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 which should not have been enacted in the first case and whose time have elapsed long back must be repealed in all its totality, immediately. The parliament was modeled on the existing parliament of the country with the treasury bench and opposition and a speaker.
The program was also attended by over 150 participants from various civil societies, parents, families, friends and several women members from United RTI Women’s Group.This Children’s Parliament is one of the first of its kind against AFSPA in the North East. The idea is to learn on the current trends of violence under AFSPA from the children’s perspective and also to voice children’s concern to an important public issue affecting their life.
The release further added identified the schoold student participants as Anamika Heirangkhongjam,15, from Nirmalabas High School, Chinlemba Naganbam, 17, from DAV Public School, Thingbaijam Thabahanbi Chanu,17, from Royal Academy of Science, Langoljam Kirankumar Meitei, 15, from C.T. Higher Secondary School, Mayang Imphal, Leisangthem Lamyanba Meitei, 18, from Millennium Institute of Science Imphal, Arambam Tingku Devi,14, from Lamding High School, Wangjing Bazaar, Oinam Bikash Singh,18, from DM College of Science Imphal in the treasury bench and on the opposition bench Miranda Thoudam, 15 , from Sainik School Imphal, Pangei. And the whole program was anchored by Konsam Lamyanbi Chanu, 17, from Human Resource Development Academy, Ghari.
While, Yambem Laba, Former Member Manipur Human Rights Commission attended the parliament as the speaker, the release added.
Meanwhile, a SOLIDARITY MARCH FOR THE REPEAL of AFSPA AND RELEASE OF IROM SHARMILA, was also carried out in the southern city of Bangalore organized jointly by the PUCL( Bangalore) with National Alliance of People`s Movement (Karnataka), Alternative Law Forum, New Socialist Alternative, People`s Solidarity Concerns, Kashmir Youth Intellect, Centre for Social Concern(St. Josephs College), Maraa, Sangama, Aneka, Pedestrian Pictures, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, Student Christian Movement of India (Bangalore), Stree Jagrutu Samiti, Slum Jagattu, Sichrem, Vimochana, People`s Democratic Forum and many other human rights and communal harmony bodies organised the Bangalore event on Sunday.
The ,march was held at the Town Hall to Mahatma Gandhi Statue, MG Road, Bangalore from 5pm to 7pm.
A press release has stated that the draconian act of AFSPA has been implemented in North eastern states of India since 1958 and in Jammu and Kashmir since 1991. It was on May 22, 1958, that the AFSPA was promulgated in the north east as an ordinance. This law is more draconian than its predecessor ordinance used by the British to suppress the Quit India Movement. It gave extraordinary powers to members of the armed forces, to arrest without warrant and shoot to kill on the basis of suspicion; and no legal action can be taken up against the armed forces without prior sanction from the Centre, the release stated.
Irom Sharmila has been on hunger fast for more than 10 years now demanding repeal of AFSPA . She has been force fed through her nose by the Government, arrested with charges for attempt to commit suicide, criminalized as a high security prisoner, denying her access to family, friends, supporters and the media, it further stated.
Various movements in the North East and Kashmir and human rights groups across the country have consistently demanded the repeal of the Act. AFSPA is not only opposed by the civil society groups but also by the Government’s own commissions and committees appointed to look into the matter. The Committee to Review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, headed by Justice B. P. Jeevan Reddy in 2005, the Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Dr. Veerappa Moily in 2007 and several others have recommended its repeal.
Internationally, UN bodies including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the U N High Commissioner for Human Rights and recently the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders have urged for its repeal, it added.
The release further maintained that the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) hereby calls to all democratic forums, human rights groups , people’s movements and all concerned citizens to initiate various public protest actions from May 22 to August 18, demanding repeal of AFSPA and immediate release of Irom Sharmila.
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