Why McCain Visits Burma Now?

By Nehginpao Kipgen John McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, has been one of the fiercest critics of the Burmese military junta, while lending unwavering support to Aung San Suu Kyi-led… Read more »

By Nehginpao Kipgen John McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, has been one of the fiercest critics of the Burmese military junta, while lending unwavering support to Aung San Suu Kyi-led democracy movement. Why is a man who once called the Burmese military generals “thugs” have decided to visit Burma now? Perhaps equally surprising is that why did the Burmese government issue him visa?This week’s visit comes at a time when both the United States and the Burmese government are interested in improving bilateral ties between the two nations. The visit is more so important for the Burmese government than the senator’s own agenda. Even though McCain has not publicly spelled out the objectives of his mission, his past records have suggested what his intentions are. Although he is not an official envoy from the U.S. government, the nature of his important role in imposing sanctions on the Burmese government and his influential status in the U.S. senate makes the visit a significant one. The high-profile visit also comes at a time when Burma has once again captured headlines in international media. The country’s request for the 2014 chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, two high-profile visits from the U.N. secretary general’s special envoy Vijay Nambiar and U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state Joseph Yun, and the visit to China by the Burmese president Thein Sein, all happened in May, have drawn the attention of the international community. Analyzing his past records on Burma, senator McCain has two primary objectives in his trip to Burma: assessing the ground reality of political developments in Burma after the 2010 election and listening to Aung San Suu Kyi’s view on the U.S. policy toward Burma. McCain in his July 2009 senate floor statement said, “I once had the great honor of meeting Aung San Suu Kyi. She is a woman of astonishing courage and incredible resolve.” The 2008 presidential candidate presumably has no high expectation of making a great stride in this trip. By meeting Suu Kyi, he wants to reiterate his admiration for her courage and dedication for the cause of democracy, and convey the U.S. strong support for democracy and human rights. With the formation of a new Burmese government, McCain plans to assess the ground reality of political developments inside the country. In doing so, he is expected to meet representatives from the government, which is dominated by the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. Since there are over 2,000 political prisoners still languishing in different prisons across Burma, McCain is likely to push for their release and the implementation of more democratic reforms before the U.S. can consider lifting sanctions, the issue raised by deputy assistant secretary of state Joseph Yun in his May 18-20 trip. On the other hand, the Burmese government wants to take this opportunity to show the U.S. government that it has made progress in democratic reforms. The new Burmese government, former military generals in civilian clothes, wants to demonstrate its claim to the international community. This is an important reason why McCain was issued visa in the first place. Indeed, the government has something positive to present to the visiting senator and other critics. President Thein Sein recently reduced all prison sentences by one year and commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment. Thousands of prisoners were released, although only a small number of political prisoners were among the freed. Naypyidaw will argue that it has successfully conducted the first countrywide general election in two decades and has released thousands of prisoners. It will reiterate its demand for the U.S. government to lift sanctions which the Burmese government considers as the greatest hindrance for improving bilateral relationship. It has to be noted that the United States has a leverage to help genuine democratic transition in Burma for two important reasons. First is because of the U.S. unparalleled economic and military power and its pioneering role in championing democracy and human rights. Second is because of the widely acceptance of the U.S. engagement policy by the Burmese people. The senator’s visit should be viewed as a positive development. The U.S. government needs to continue its diplomatic pressure for genuine democratic reforms and protection and promotion of human rights. One effective way of engagement for the senator is to urge his colleagues to confirm the nomination of Derek Mitchell as a U.S. special envoy for Burma. The then-president Bush nominated Michael J. Green as U.S. special envoy for Burma in late 2008, which was never confirmed by the senate. Senator McCain and his senate colleagues should not let president Obama’s nomination slip away. The special envoy, with an ambassador rank, can work more effectively than some occasional visits. Burma decades-old problem is not entirely a question of democracy. The root cause is about denying rights to ethnic minority groups. In the process of engaging Burma, the U.S. government, either democratic or republican party, should involve more representatives and experts from ethnic minorities. After all, the Burmese people themselves best understand the political psychology of the Burmese military generals. Burmese native scholars should be consulted equally, if not more than the Western scholars, in formulating effective U.S. political strategy. The Burmese scholars have the advantage of in-depth empirical knowledge besides theoretical, which the Western scholars often lack. Nehginpao Kipgen is a researcher on the rise of political conflicts in modern Burma and general secretary of the U.S.-based Kuki International Forum (www.kukiforum.com) whose works have been widely published in five continents – Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America. He currently pursues a Ph.D. in political science at Northern Illinois University and can be reached at nkipgen1@niu.edu.

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Open discussion against shifting of Modern college

IMPHAL June 5: An open discussion held at the multipurpose hall of Modern College and attended by the coordinating committee of Founders and Alumni and students of Modern College was… Read more »

IMPHAL June 5: An open discussion held at the multipurpose hall of Modern College and attended by the coordinating committee of Founders and Alumni and students of Modern College was held today.The discussion unanimously resolved to urge the State government against the shifting of the college premises. The resolutions include that the 45 year old institution which has produced several contributing members of society must remain at the original place and to further urge the government to revoke the cabinet decision. A memorandum will also be submitted to the Chief Minister in the regard, if the government disregards the plea then protests will be launched with the help of like minded organizations,the release stated.

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Higher Education: For a better Manipur

By Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh, FLS Founder and Managing Trustee,North East Centre for Environmental Education and Research, ImphalEvery year colleges in different Universities across the country are increasing their cut off marks… Read more »

By Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh, FLS Founder and Managing Trustee,North East Centre for Environmental Education and Research, ImphalEvery year colleges in different Universities across the country are increasing their cut off marks for admission to under graduate courses. Students of states like ours are facing difficulty in getting admissions in good colleges like St. Stephen College, Sri Ram College of Commerce due to low aggregate in their marks in Board Exams. Only a few get admissions in reputed colleges and the remaining had to settle for correspondence courses or had to go for some certificate or diploma courses. Students of our state are very good in studies, extra –curricular activities and are well aware of the happening across the country or globe. In spite of all the turmoil in the state as the result of the prevailing situation in the state, students are still not losing their hope to achieve their dreams. We need to give them support, encouragements, appreciation and proper guidance. Not only these, our teachers and education system should change their approach in giving marks or grading system. Our students are second to none but are still facing problems in getting admission after XIIth. Manipur Education Board and Council should encourage teachers to give marks according to what the students deserves. Every year thousands of Manipuri students couldn’t get admission due to low grade in Board/Council Exams. However, the situation is different for students studying in other boards like CBSE, ICSE. Does it mean that students studying in CBSE, ICSE are better than students of Manipur Board/Council? Take example of Manipuri students (not only Manipuri students) studying in Assam Valley School (CBSE) in Assam get admission in colleges easily as compare to students studying in schools of Manipur Board. The only difference is marks/percentage. Every year Manipuri students topped in colleges and university somewhere or the other across the country. We have several Gold medallists and toppers in every field of sciences, arts, engineering, medical and commerce. However, the number could be increased if all the talented students get proper education and this can be achieved if they get admission in good colleges and universities. Manipur Government/Education Departments should hold regular meetings and interaction programmes with teachers, officials of Board/Council and principals to address the situation and problems faced by the students of the state in getting admission for higher education. Encourage students to pursue higher education for better Manipur. Education will bring peace and development to the state.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/-2AMePq16R4/

Higher Education: For a better Manipur

By Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh, FLS Founder and Managing Trustee,North East Centre for Environmental Education and Research, ImphalEvery year colleges in different Universities across the country are increasing their cut off marks… Read more »

By Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh, FLS Founder and Managing Trustee,North East Centre for Environmental Education and Research, ImphalEvery year colleges in different Universities across the country are increasing their cut off marks for admission to under graduate courses. Students of states like ours are facing difficulty in getting admissions in good colleges like St. Stephen College, Sri Ram College of Commerce due to low aggregate in their marks in Board Exams. Only a few get admissions in reputed colleges and the remaining had to settle for correspondence courses or had to go for some certificate or diploma courses. Students of our state are very good in studies, extra –curricular activities and are well aware of the happening across the country or globe. In spite of all the turmoil in the state as the result of the prevailing situation in the state, students are still not losing their hope to achieve their dreams. We need to give them support, encouragements, appreciation and proper guidance. Not only these, our teachers and education system should change their approach in giving marks or grading system. Our students are second to none but are still facing problems in getting admission after XIIth. Manipur Education Board and Council should encourage teachers to give marks according to what the students deserves. Every year thousands of Manipuri students couldn’t get admission due to low grade in Board/Council Exams. However, the situation is different for students studying in other boards like CBSE, ICSE. Does it mean that students studying in CBSE, ICSE are better than students of Manipur Board/Council? Take example of Manipuri students (not only Manipuri students) studying in Assam Valley School (CBSE) in Assam get admission in colleges easily as compare to students studying in schools of Manipur Board. The only difference is marks/percentage. Every year Manipuri students topped in colleges and university somewhere or the other across the country. We have several Gold medallists and toppers in every field of sciences, arts, engineering, medical and commerce. However, the number could be increased if all the talented students get proper education and this can be achieved if they get admission in good colleges and universities. Manipur Government/Education Departments should hold regular meetings and interaction programmes with teachers, officials of Board/Council and principals to address the situation and problems faced by the students of the state in getting admission for higher education. Encourage students to pursue higher education for better Manipur. Education will bring peace and development to the state.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/-2AMePq16R4/

MBC painting competition

IMPHAL June 5: The Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) centre church organized a painting competition on the theme “Think green, live green” today at the church.The competition saw two categories in… Read more »

IMPHAL June 5: The Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) centre church organized a painting competition on the theme “Think green, live green” today at the church.The competition saw two categories in the junior (class I-V) and senior category (class VI-XII). It was organized with the view to ingrain the children with love and concern for the environment.

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MBC painting competition

IMPHAL June 5: The Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) centre church organized a painting competition on the theme “Think green, live green” today at the church.The competition saw two categories in… Read more »

IMPHAL June 5: The Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) centre church organized a painting competition on the theme “Think green, live green” today at the church.The competition saw two categories in the junior (class I-V) and senior category (class VI-XII). It was organized with the view to ingrain the children with love and concern for the environment.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/H23oXHl7PQY/

MBC painting competition

IMPHAL, June 10: The painting competition under the theme “Think Green Live Green” was organized by the MBC Centre Church on Sunday, 5th June in connection with the World Environment… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 10: The painting competition under the theme “Think Green Live Green” was organized by the MBC Centre Church on Sunday, 5th June in connection with the World Environment Day celebration. The result of three categories are here below:-Sub junior: 1st position- Baby Brianna Woleng, 2nd position- Calvin, 3rd position- Mayosing. Junior: 1st position- Rahul Yumnam, 2nd position- Babloo Chetan Sood, 3rd position- Kowarson Saka, Senior:       1st position- Y. Ricky, 2nd position- Tomuilin Maring, 3rd Position- Tochanme Keishang.

The Prize distribution will be held at MBC Centre Church on June 12 at 7a.m.

The judges of the painting competition were Elizabeth Thaisu wife of DD Thaisu, minister YAS & Edu, L Anil (artist), N. Shimreichon, K. Shangningden and Ajay Kumar Sood, proprietor MM World, MajorKhul.

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NSCN claims NNC hand in cadre killing

DIMAPUR, June 5 (Newmai News Network): Inspite of the ongoing Naga reconciliation process engaged among the Naga underground organisations, one NNC/FGN (Non-Accordist group) has killed one NSCN-IM cadre in Nagaland… Read more »

DIMAPUR, June 5 (Newmai News Network): Inspite of the ongoing Naga reconciliation process engaged among the Naga underground organisations, one NNC/FGN (Non-Accordist group) has killed one NSCN-IM cadre in Nagaland yesterday.According to the NSCN-IM one Nechizo, “Naga Army” (NSCN-IM`s armed wing) hailing from Thehephu village falling under Phek district,Chakhesang Region was killed by the NNC (Non Accordist) on Saturday.”This is certainty not a good precedent set by the NNC and NSCN will not take things lying down if this is an open provocation,” the NSCN-IM statement said. “Nevertheless,for the short service rendered by Nechizo the Naga nation and NSCN will ever remember him.The fact his service to the nation was nibbed at the bud at the hands of the unrully organization is a matter of regret.But in his death let meny more young Nagas like the national service.We condoles his dead and expresses out deepest sorrow to the bereaved family members. May God whom we trust and sustain us comfort them at this hour of grief and sorrow,” the NSCN-IM said tonight. Saturday`s killing had come after the Naga leaders had conglomerated in Kohima from May 13 to participate in the 3-day prayer programme for the Naga reconciliation.Organised by Naga Shisha Hoho Prayer Group, leaders of the Naga Hoho, the United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Students` Federation (NSF), Naga Motherrs Association (NMA), Naga Women Union Manipur (NWUM), Eastern Naga People`s Organisation (ENPO), Eastern Naga Students` Federation (ENSF), Naga People`s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) and of course, Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) participated in the 3-day event.The Naga underground leaders had also attended that programme. The programme under theme, `call for the Nagas to pray for redemption` was held at Naga Shisha Hoho Prayer Centre Pruzie, Kohima.This programme had come at a time when the Naga reconciliation process initiated by Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) has been a blow-hot-blow-cold state of affairs.As recent as last month, there had been media war and occasional clashes between NSCN-K and NSCN-IM.In the month of March, NSCN-IM leaders Th Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu had arrived in Dimapur for the `highest level meeting`. However, the meeting of Naga top leaders involving Th Muivah, Isak Chisi Swu and S S Khaplang and also leaders from NNC could not take place due to some `technical` problem. After camping in Dimapur for about two weeks, Muivah and Swu went back to New Delhi. However, inspite of these developments the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) does not lose its patience. The Forum for Naga Reconciliation is instrumental in halting the three Naga underground groups from the fierce factional clashes that were witnessed in Naga areas until the early part of 2008. The Dr Wati Aier led FNR after its formation had engaged numerous football matches involving the three warring Naga underground groups and Naga civil society bodies. Several conclaves convened by FNR had also been held both in Nagaland and abroad.

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AMWJU decree

IMPHAL June 5: The meeting of editors and standing committee of the All Manipur Working Journalist’s Union held today under the chairmanship of AMWJU president A Mobi has unanimously decided… Read more »

IMPHAL June 5: The meeting of editors and standing committee of the All Manipur Working Journalist’s Union held today under the chairmanship of AMWJU president A Mobi has unanimously decided not to entertain any press releases which is contradictory to the norms laid down by the Press Council of India.A statement by general secretary Surjeshwor appeals to all organizations not to issue statements which are against the PCI regulations, it stated that some outfits have issued releases which cannot be published following the PCI rules.AMWJU further states that the workings of the media should be left independently and none should impose dictates on the freedom of expression of the media.Withoubou Newmai, S Surjeswar, N Jonish, A Dhananjoy (IFP) and Dhamaendro Wangkhemcha were appointed as vice president, as general secretary, as joint secretary, as treasurer and press club secretary of the standing committee respectively.

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Elected representatives felicitated

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today at Ibodhou Naothingkhomba Pakhangba Shanglen, Thangmeiband.

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Elected representatives felicitated

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today at Ibodhou Naothingkhomba Pakhangba Shanglen, Thangmeiband.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/DxAt-1Z-DAg/

Elected representatives felicitated

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today at Ibodhou Naothingkhomba Pakhangba Shanglen, Thangmeiband.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/DxAt-1Z-DAg/

Accommodation Heals

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other… Read more »

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other to reach a democratic consensus. The civilized norm of the modern world being the latter option, the need is to explore its possibilities, wherever conflict has come to stay, at least until a more perfected mechanism is evolved. For the moment, we can only foresee all putative future conflict resolution mechanisms as derivatives of the democratic system, the latter being known for its resilience and almost infinite accommodative capacity. But it must be acknowledged that often the most vocal advocates of democracy have regressed into the logic of an atavistic past where only force mattered. The objectionable interventions in the Middle East and West Asian have said this eloquently. It is a matter of pessimism that war still seems unavoidable even in the days of democracy. A qualification needs however to be added here. In the UNDP Human Development Report, HDR, 2002 with the theme “deepening democracy in a fragmented world”, one of the many interesting patterns of national behaviors that evolved from empirical data on wars in the second half of the 20th Century is, no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other. Quite obviously, these nations have discovered an alternative ground on which to thrash out vexed issues. The indication is also, democracy is a versatile medium for this meeting of minds and resolution of conflicts.Even in our situation, there have been very strong tendencies on very many occasions to return to the former method of conflict resolution, which basically has a one-line philosophy made famous by Joseph Conrad’s fictional character, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness – exterminate the brute. But, as in this story, the scale to decide which is the “civilized” and which the “brute” between the exterminator and exterminated, becomes extremely blurred. But the values of democracy, with its insistence on giving each and every one a say, regardless of numerical or physical strength, have generally managed to keep this tendency in check. There have been occasions when this inner moderation snapped, as in the case of the Naga-Kuki feud, Meitei-Meitei Pangal mayhem, and Kuki-Paite fratricide, but it would be reasonable to presume that many more would have been prevented by this inner cord. For indeed although our society seemed at certain junctures to have reached points of explosive of ethnic violence, nothing so catastrophic have happened so far. This however does not mean the dark forces of violence have been successfully subdued for all times. We still continue to sit on a dormant volcano which can with provocation come alive again. And provocations there have been and there will be by those who either do not understand or believe in the healing power of accommodation and mutual respect that democracy recommends.There have also been plenty of talks of a dialogue between the civil societies of the different communities that are at loggerheads. This is welcome, but a dialogue devoid of a willingness to accommodate can possibly lead nowhere. A dialogue or a discourse is not simply about convincing the opposing party to surrender to the will of the other party, but of discovering, or rediscovering as the case may be, of common grounds on which to build the foundation of the future together. This spirit has never been conspicuous in all the vociferous claims for the need for understanding and good neighbourliness. By democracy we do not necessarily mean only the number game. This is a necessary ingredient, but it is far from being a sufficient condition. Equally important, it is also about justice, and in evolving this understanding of justice, the premium must be on reason and creative insights into what is common good. Here concept of freedom is also important. Without individual freedom, the aggregate of which is what constitutes freedom of larger social grouping, including the nation, there can be no democracy. But again, as philosopher Isaiah Berlin said, freedom cannot be without any conditions. Absolute freedom for the wolves translates into death for the lambs. Freedom then can make meaning only if it is moderated by reason and a commonly legislated rational law.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/vqa7n6XT0eE/

Accommodation Heals

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other… Read more »

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other to reach a democratic consensus. The civilized norm of the modern world being the latter option, the need is to explore its possibilities, wherever conflict has come to stay, at least until a more perfected mechanism is evolved. For the moment, we can only foresee all putative future conflict resolution mechanisms as derivatives of the democratic system, the latter being known for its resilience and almost infinite accommodative capacity. But it must be acknowledged that often the most vocal advocates of democracy have regressed into the logic of an atavistic past where only force mattered. The objectionable interventions in the Middle East and West Asian have said this eloquently. It is a matter of pessimism that war still seems unavoidable even in the days of democracy. A qualification needs however to be added here. In the UNDP Human Development Report, HDR, 2002 with the theme “deepening democracy in a fragmented world”, one of the many interesting patterns of national behaviors that evolved from empirical data on wars in the second half of the 20th Century is, no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other. Quite obviously, these nations have discovered an alternative ground on which to thrash out vexed issues. The indication is also, democracy is a versatile medium for this meeting of minds and resolution of conflicts.Even in our situation, there have been very strong tendencies on very many occasions to return to the former method of conflict resolution, which basically has a one-line philosophy made famous by Joseph Conrad’s fictional character, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness – exterminate the brute. But, as in this story, the scale to decide which is the “civilized” and which the “brute” between the exterminator and exterminated, becomes extremely blurred. But the values of democracy, with its insistence on giving each and every one a say, regardless of numerical or physical strength, have generally managed to keep this tendency in check. There have been occasions when this inner moderation snapped, as in the case of the Naga-Kuki feud, Meitei-Meitei Pangal mayhem, and Kuki-Paite fratricide, but it would be reasonable to presume that many more would have been prevented by this inner cord. For indeed although our society seemed at certain junctures to have reached points of explosive of ethnic violence, nothing so catastrophic have happened so far. This however does not mean the dark forces of violence have been successfully subdued for all times. We still continue to sit on a dormant volcano which can with provocation come alive again. And provocations there have been and there will be by those who either do not understand or believe in the healing power of accommodation and mutual respect that democracy recommends.There have also been plenty of talks of a dialogue between the civil societies of the different communities that are at loggerheads. This is welcome, but a dialogue devoid of a willingness to accommodate can possibly lead nowhere. A dialogue or a discourse is not simply about convincing the opposing party to surrender to the will of the other party, but of discovering, or rediscovering as the case may be, of common grounds on which to build the foundation of the future together. This spirit has never been conspicuous in all the vociferous claims for the need for understanding and good neighbourliness. By democracy we do not necessarily mean only the number game. This is a necessary ingredient, but it is far from being a sufficient condition. Equally important, it is also about justice, and in evolving this understanding of justice, the premium must be on reason and creative insights into what is common good. Here concept of freedom is also important. Without individual freedom, the aggregate of which is what constitutes freedom of larger social grouping, including the nation, there can be no democracy. But again, as philosopher Isaiah Berlin said, freedom cannot be without any conditions. Absolute freedom for the wolves translates into death for the lambs. Freedom then can make meaning only if it is moderated by reason and a commonly legislated rational law.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/vqa7n6XT0eE/

Accommodation Heals

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other… Read more »

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other to reach a democratic consensus. The civilized norm of the modern world being the latter option, the need is to explore its possibilities, wherever conflict has come to stay, at least until a more perfected mechanism is evolved. For the moment, we can only foresee all putative future conflict resolution mechanisms as derivatives of the democratic system, the latter being known for its resilience and almost infinite accommodative capacity. But it must be acknowledged that often the most vocal advocates of democracy have regressed into the logic of an atavistic past where only force mattered. The objectionable interventions in the Middle East and West Asian have said this eloquently. It is a matter of pessimism that war still seems unavoidable even in the days of democracy. A qualification needs however to be added here. In the UNDP Human Development Report, HDR, 2002 with the theme “deepening democracy in a fragmented world”, one of the many interesting patterns of national behaviors that evolved from empirical data on wars in the second half of the 20th Century is, no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other. Quite obviously, these nations have discovered an alternative ground on which to thrash out vexed issues. The indication is also, democracy is a versatile medium for this meeting of minds and resolution of conflicts.Even in our situation, there have been very strong tendencies on very many occasions to return to the former method of conflict resolution, which basically has a one-line philosophy made famous by Joseph Conrad’s fictional character, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness – exterminate the brute. But, as in this story, the scale to decide which is the “civilized” and which the “brute” between the exterminator and exterminated, becomes extremely blurred. But the values of democracy, with its insistence on giving each and every one a say, regardless of numerical or physical strength, have generally managed to keep this tendency in check. There have been occasions when this inner moderation snapped, as in the case of the Naga-Kuki feud, Meitei-Meitei Pangal mayhem, and Kuki-Paite fratricide, but it would be reasonable to presume that many more would have been prevented by this inner cord. For indeed although our society seemed at certain junctures to have reached points of explosive of ethnic violence, nothing so catastrophic have happened so far. This however does not mean the dark forces of violence have been successfully subdued for all times. We still continue to sit on a dormant volcano which can with provocation come alive again. And provocations there have been and there will be by those who either do not understand or believe in the healing power of accommodation and mutual respect that democracy recommends.There have also been plenty of talks of a dialogue between the civil societies of the different communities that are at loggerheads. This is welcome, but a dialogue devoid of a willingness to accommodate can possibly lead nowhere. A dialogue or a discourse is not simply about convincing the opposing party to surrender to the will of the other party, but of discovering, or rediscovering as the case may be, of common grounds on which to build the foundation of the future together. This spirit has never been conspicuous in all the vociferous claims for the need for understanding and good neighbourliness. By democracy we do not necessarily mean only the number game. This is a necessary ingredient, but it is far from being a sufficient condition. Equally important, it is also about justice, and in evolving this understanding of justice, the premium must be on reason and creative insights into what is common good. Here concept of freedom is also important. Without individual freedom, the aggregate of which is what constitutes freedom of larger social grouping, including the nation, there can be no democracy. But again, as philosopher Isaiah Berlin said, freedom cannot be without any conditions. Absolute freedom for the wolves translates into death for the lambs. Freedom then can make meaning only if it is moderated by reason and a commonly legislated rational law.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/vqa7n6XT0eE/

Chief Minister on a new high after Race Course Road meet with PM

NEW DELHI, June 4 (MIC): The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called a high-level meeting with Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh and senior central ministers and top officials today… Read more »

NEW DELHI, June 4 (MIC): The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called a high-level meeting with Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh and senior central ministers and top officials today at 10.30 am at his official residence, Race Course here to review implementation of national projects, besides several critical infrastructure and health and education ventures. The Chief Minister was accompanied by the chief secretary, Manipur and special secretary, Planning.After detailed discussions lasting over one hour, it was agreed that the JN Institute of Medical Sciences should be supported for completion within 2014-15. Pending approval of the revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Rs. 867 crores, the Planning Commission agreed to release allocated SPA funds of Rs132crores for this project. Approval to the revised DPR would be expedited. The state government was advised to submit the revised DPR for the Capital Project. The progress made in respect of the State Assembly and High Court Complexes was appreciated. The Planning Commission also agreed to consider favourably the revised DPR estimated at Rs. 841.83 crores. The Chief Minister of Manipur expressed concern regarding the slow pace of implementation of the Railway Line project Jiribam- Tupul-Imphal. Noting that the target date for completion of the Railway Line upto Tupul had already been re-scheduled to 2012, the Chief Minister requested the Railways authoruties to induct additional manpower and equipments for ensuring that there would be no further slippages. On the suggestion of the Member (Engg) of Railway Board, the Border Road Organisation was advised to strengthen all weak bridges on NH-53 by December 2011, so that the Railways could bring in all required heavy equipments required for the tunneling work. The Railways also agreed to supplement equipment and manpower and assured that the Railwayline upto Tupul would be completed by 2014, and upto Imphal by 2016. The Chief Minister also re-iterated the importance of expediting upgradation of NH-53 as it was the second lifeline of Manipur. The union minister of Defence A.K.Antony, on behalf of the BRO, assured that the ongoing work for double-laning and black-topping of NH-53 would be completed by 2013. It was also decided that the ministry of Defence would advise the BRO to outsource the critical portions of NH-53 to reputed engineering companies for expediting completion and ensuring quality work. The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the ministry of Road Transport & Highways to clear pending DPRs submitted by BRO in the coming week, and also develop a new proposal for converting NH-53 to a world class road, befitting a road leading to international borders.The state government’s proposal to have an alternative alignment of NH-39 to by-pass sinking areas and link Manipur to Assam through Peren, Nagaland was appreciated. The secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways informed that both proposals were proposed to be included in ‘Phase A’ of the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme, and approval of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure was being obtained. The Prime Minister advised the ministry to bring the two issues to the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure within June 2011 for approval. As regards the proposal to seek Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assistance for Augmentation of Water Supply for Imphal city, by drawing water from the Thoubal Multi-Purpose project, the Planning Commission reported that it had given in-principle approval to the project which estimated at Rs. 687 crores, for funding as an Externally Aided Project. It was agreed that besides posing it to JICA, Planning Commission would also consider funding the project through plan financing. The state government’s proposals seeking support of the ministry of Human Resource Development for establishing Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas in all nine districts was considered favourably. The union minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal agreed to bring up a Note for consideration and approval of the Central Cabinet to relax the existing guidelines and assist Manipur to set up additional KGBVs. He also informed that the ministry had approved setting up of four additional KGBVs (residential schools for poor and vulnerable girls) in educationally backward blocks of the state, taking the total to five KGBVs. Similarly, the Ministry would bring up another Note for the Union Cabinet to approve setting up of new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas at Ukhrul and Kangpokpi.The Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region(DoNER) B.K.Handique agreed to expedite approval to NLCPR support for Construction of 300 school buildings in the five Hill districts at an estimated cost of Rs.137.77 crores. In connection with the request of the State Government for release of Special Advance Plan Assistance of Rs. 300 crores, the Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh called on Pranab Mukherjee, union finance minister separately. After brief discussion, it was agreed that issue of cash reserve would be cross-checked and State Finance department would separately meet the secretary, Expenditure to work out the details.

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Holistic approach needed to preserve environment: CORE

IMPHAL, June 4: The Centre for Organization Research and Education (CORE) in a statement has expressed its serious concern regarding the environment of the state today stating that despite many… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The Centre for Organization Research and Education (CORE) in a statement has expressed its serious concern regarding the environment of the state today stating that despite many years of efforts exerted through the many government departments, and much expenditure, the natural environment and natural heritage of Manipur’s hills and valleys and the rural and urban areas have deteriorated continuously and rapidly.Noting the theme of the World Environment day “Forest-Nature at your service”, the statement said that humans are committed to safeguard this natural heritage for the well being of the future generation. The environment does not consist of only the forest but it consists of the wetlands and nonliving beings and entities, the hills and valleys, rivers and water ways and all of them should be equally preserved, the statement added.It maintained that the newly drafted Manipur State Policy for climate change will be an empty exercise without a holistic approach that thoroughly examines the issues of rural and urban development strategies, energy and water, communication and transport infrastructure, human habitat, agricultural lands, wetlands and forests.It points out the necessity for the Manipur government and all its implementing agencies to undertake urgent comprehensive assessment of Manipur’s environment and the pertaining ecological issues with the full and meaningful participation of civil society, to ensure every development project and programme is planned and implemented carefully.

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2012 December set as completion deadline for delayed sewerage project: PHED

IMPHAL June 4: Superintending engineer of the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), Th Lokeswor in charge of the urban division announced in a press meet held today at the… Read more »

IMPHAL June 4: Superintending engineer of the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), Th Lokeswor in charge of the urban division announced in a press meet held today at the Manipur Press Club, that the sewerage project presently underway will be completed within December 2012.The SE said that the department has been doing its best to complete the works under a stipulated time and with a concern of the public’s welfare.“ The project is taken up in the interest of the public, whatever excavations done to fit the pipelines have been carefully monitored and done so as not to cause public inconvenience, the department is assessing the implemented works on a daily basis and we request the public to bear with us for some more time”, he said.Detailing mediapersons regarding the sewerage project, he further said that the project officially started in 2003, but due to unavoidable circumstances, the implementation started from 2006 onwards. The laying of primary lines around Imphal city has been completed at least upto 85 percent while around 60 percent of laying of secondary pipelines is complete, he further added. He also stated that the French government has mainly provided the machinery and the technical know how for the sewerage project.“The French engineers come annually to check the progress of the works and provides technical assistance, every part of the project is monitored by them, the implementation is done under their supervision and there is no question of the project being carried out against the engineering norms “. He added that the cost of the project is revised at a total of Rs. 217.6 crores and the project will further be extended to other towns of the state as Churachandpur, Bidhnupur, Moirang and Loktak.“This project is the first in the North East and the works will extend to other districts in the near future, the contractors and the PHED has to be co ordinated, the law and order situation in the state sometimes causes a delay to the ongoing works, the target for completion though set on 2012 March cannot be met, but even though with the slight delay, the project will be completed within December 2012, the Chief Minister has also intimated his interest in the completion of the project at the earliest”, he said.The SE also announced that the works taken up at the RIMS road by the department had been completed on March 28, and the current ongoing construction along the road is the matter of either the PWD or MAHUD.The sewerage project is implemented to carry out treatment of waste disposal for the urban areas of the state and so as to further dispose off the waste material without incurring any health hazards to the public in the process.

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Roberoy JAC blocks Ningthoukhong stretch of NH 150

IMPHAL, June 4: As the deadline set for the government to produce the culprits involved in the heinous killing of four year old Ningthoukhong boy expired today, a large number… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: As the deadline set for the government to produce the culprits involved in the heinous killing of four year old Ningthoukhong boy expired today, a large number of people came out to the streets at Ningthoukhong Bazar and blockaded the Tiddim road (NH-150) thereby preventing commuters to cross Ningthoukhong area in Bishnupur district today.It may be recalled, the JAC formed against the killing of four year old Ningthoukhong boy Roberoy had set a 48 hours dateline on June 2 for the state government to produce the culprits involved in the killing of the minor.Womenfolk and locals blockaded Tiddim road at Ningthoukhong area from 11am today. After some hours, traffic along the highway resumed following deployment of heavy security forces at the area.In an ugly fracas between the agitators and the police during the road blockade, a police officer who was detailed for controlling the situation showed off his service revolver and acted as if trying to kill Thiyam ongbi Rabina, mother of late Roberoy, thereby exposing the ugly face of police brutality while dealing with sensitive issues of the public in the state.The incident happened when Roberoy’s mother, who was filled by emotions, asked the police to shoot her if they could not produce culprits involved in the heinous crime. Immediately after police officer’s action, Rabina fainted and fell on the ground. The Roberoy JAC has expressed strong condemnation to the excessive action of the police officer.Speaking to mediaperson, a JAC spokesperson said action of the police officer to Roberoy’s mother has angered the Ningthoukhong locals and as such demand stern action against the misbehaving police official.The JAC also said intense agitation will be followed till the culprits involved in the killing of minor boy are booked.

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Com. minister stresses on introduction of mechanised production in handloom and handicraft sector

IMPHAL, June 4: The commerce and industry minister, Y. Irabot Singh stated that the department of handloom and handicraft is likely to introduce modern mechanized system of production in order… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The commerce and industry minister, Y. Irabot Singh stated that the department of handloom and handicraft is likely to introduce modern mechanized system of production in order to meet the growing demand of handloom and handicraft products of the state all over the world.The minister who was attending an award distribution function of outstanding craftpersons and subsidies under the schemes of modernization of handicrafts and assistance to individual artisans held today at the Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen also stated that despite huge demands of quality products of handloom and handicrafts products of the state, the massive global demand could not be met owing to the slow hand woven process.But the department is likely to introduce modern mechanized forms of production to assist the present demand for surplus production, said the minister adding the handloom and handicraft products of the state are in high demand all over the world and that handllom products of the state are regarded as No.1 in the country.Further speaking as the chief guest of the function, he also stated that lack of raw material in abundance is another factor which has is a hindrance to massive production of the handicrafts and handloom products, for which the minister has observed the need of coordination among the different related departments to overcome the bottleneck of getting raw materials, which could be beneficial to the state economy too, the minister added.Further touching upon the silk found in the state, the minister maintained that the state sericulture department, in collaboration with a Japanese firm had implemented various projects in the state to develop the silk production in the state, however due to the law and order situation in the state, the Japanese firm had to leave the project mid-way.He further added that recognizing the importance and quality of the Manipuri silk, the government of India under the Special Plan Assistant (SPA) fund has earmarked a sum of Rs. 61.11 crores to develop the sericulture project including the new variety of silk.He also added that the kind of silk which is golden in colour and which is in high demand around the world is found in the state. However he also added that both the golden colour silk and the local simple silk are both in high demand globally. The minister further added that the government is planning to established a silkyard at Loitang khunou.Sukumar Haobam a senior design consultant, while speaking as guest of honour stressed the need to encourage self employment programme among unemployed youths in the absence of employment opportunities.Further S Birendra Singh, functional manager, Handicrafs, commerce and Industry deft, stated that once a craftsman wins state award, he/she is eligible to implement the scheme of Guru Sishya parampara under office of the dv. Com (H) govt of India.He also stated that As many as 188 numbers of outstanding Crafts persons have won the state Awards in the state while 17 crafts-persons could get the National Awards and 13 Crafts-persons got National Merit Awards till date.The state awards have been implemented in the state since 1979-80, in order to promote and push the morals of the Craftspersons.During the function 10 artisans were awarded as outstanding artisans of 2009-10 while another 10 artisans were awarded as outstanding artisans of 2010-11. the award for the 2009-10 carried a citation and Rs 10,000 each while that of the 2010-11 carried as citation and a sum of Rs. 15, 000 each.

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