NEW DELHI, Jan 8: Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Family Welfare, Food and
Civil Supplies, Nido Pavitra has drawn the attention of investors and policy makers
on the urgent need for dissemination of knowledge by interlinking primary, secondary
and tertiary level health centres by IT applications.
Joining the panel discussion on ‘How to enhance technical services in NE and develop
chances of employment’ in the 7th North East Business Summit here yesterday, Pavitra
said that IT can enable health related information in the web, create PPP Model,
help customer contact, allocate patient to different level of health care, provide
electronic forum for patient interaction and build e-prescription system etc. He
asserted that it was high time to explore how doctors and IT personnel can work together
to reduce health care cost, deliver high quality service and cover rural mass.
“NE has an inherent handicap in form of communication bottlenecks with very challenging
topography, adverse climate, lack of trained manpower and non-availability of specialized
human resources. Under such circumstances, we must harness the potential of technological
services, which is now at our doorstep with new promises and hope,” Pavitra said
while adding that IT can be similarly used in PDS and issue and renewal of licenses
by outsourcing in the PPP model that will even result in employment generation. He
viewed that to develop public sector portals or platforms, governments can take the
assistance of forums like the Indian Chamber of Commerce (organizers of the Business
Summit) to internally develop, outsource and provide such services to consumers and
Another important aspect of technology, Pavitra pointed out was the Health Information
Technology (HIT) that can provide an umbrella framework to describe comprehensive
management of health information for secure exchange between consumers, service providers,
government and insurers.
“It will be the most promising tool for improving the overall quality, safety and
efficiency of the health delivery system and will improve health care quality, prevent
medical errors, reduce health care costs, increase administrative efficiencies, decrease
paperwork and expand access to affordable care,” he explained.
Citing IT sectors that can be beneficially utilized in the North East, particularly
in Arunachal Pradesh, the Parliamentary Secretary emphasized on Telemedicine, which,
he said, will help eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical
services for rural communities. In the same line, he pointed Telemonitoring, Telenursing,
Telepharmacy, Specialist care delivery such as Telecardiology, Telepsychiatry, teleradiology,
Telepathology, Teledermatology, Teledentistry, Telesurgery, etc can be made available
through video-conferencing and transmission of data for patients residing in underserved
Incidentally, Telemedicine was introduced in Arunachal Pradesh after a tripartite
agreement between ISRO, NEC and the state Government in 2006 under a project called
‘development of telemedicine network for the NE Region’ approved by NEC. Based on
the agreement Telemedicine was introduced in State Hospital, Naharlagun, District
Hospital, Pasighat, District Hospital, Tawang and R K Mission Hospital, Itanagar
with plans to introduce in four more district hospitals at Aalo, Tezu, Changlang
and Roing. Initially the facilities were functioning well with lots of tele-consultations
and many CMEs with reputed hospitals outside the state. But slowly due to lack of
trained manpower and maintenance of equipments besides lack of funds under the state
budget these became non-functional.
Pavitra expressed concern over such lapses but assured that the government under
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki was specially focusing on sealing the loopholes and improve
the over-all health care system of the state. On behalf of the state government,
he invited investors to venture into the state and invest in these sectors under
the PPP model that was approved by the state Cabinet recently.
“Experts, investors and companies are welcome to implement and execute programmes
and policies of the state government through the PPP model. We assure all cooperation
and support to them in every step,” Pavitra asserted.
Tingkhatra tours Lohit, Tirap & Changlang
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: Minister for WRD,SW,W&CD NewlaiTingkhatra conducted a whirlwind
tour to three eastern districts of the state Lohit, Changlang and Tirap from January
3 to 7 last.
He inspected the construction works of earthen exit road from Dharampur to Kherbari
which will connect seven villages with a total population of around 4500. He also
inspected the spurs built on Nohadihing river at Dharampur to protect Namsai area
from further erosion.
The minister visited Anganwadi centre of Milanagar at Namsai and expressed his satisfaction
over the performance of the Anganwadi workers. Later, he inaugurated an auditorium
at Diyun and held public meeting alongwith C CSingpho, local MLA and Parliamentary
Secretary, Finance & IT. He also attended the 9th Annual Day Function of Mahabodhi
Higher Secondary School, Diyun on January four. He has visited the Anganwadi Centre
of Miao-II under Khagam ICDS Project, Changlang district and remarked that Anganwadi
centres at Miao township were among the best Anganwadi centres in the entire state.
On January 6, Tingkhatra inaugurated CDPO office building at Kanubari and later in
the day he laid the foundation stone for the office of EE (PWD) Kanubari in presence
of CE (PWD) Eastern Zone ToliBasar, CE (WRD) LikarAngu and SE (PWD) Jairampur circle.
On the last part his visit, the minister attended the diagnostic camp cum free distribution
of aids and appliances to the person with disabilities organised by the Department
of Social Welfare in collaboration with Tirap district administration and distributed
sticks, specks, tricycle and hearing aids to the most needy ones.
Dalai Lama confers main Kalachakra initiation
BODH GAYA, Jan 8: Buddhist spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama conferred the main
Kalachakra initiation for World Peace today at the preaching ground here. Dalai Lama
is delivering discourse on Buddhism and the path towards enlightenment from the day
one of his arrival in the holy land of Bodh Gaya on December 31, 2011 last.
The Kalachakra initiation, also locally termed as “Dungyur Wangchen” symbolizes Time-Wheel
which traditionally revolves around the concept of time and cycles; from the cycles
of the planets, to the cycles of our breath and the practice of controlling the most
subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment. Conferment of Kalachakra
Initiation would go on upto January 10 where blessing for life empowerment “Tse Wang”
would also be conferred by His Holiness.
The 32nd Kalachakra initiation by Dalai Lama at Bodh Gaya till today recorded the
highest number of devotees in any Kalachakra. The Kalachakra organizing committee
under the chief patronage of Pema Khandu, Tourism and RWD Minister, Arunachal Pradesh
is doing all-out effort to smoothly organize the mega event.
Earlier, on January 7, the Minister had a coordination meeting with the district
administration and the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee in order to sort out
problems faced by the pilgrims.
People from all walks of life, religious tourists from outside the country besides
participants from Himalayan region thronged Bodh Gaya in lakhs to have a glimpse
of Dalai Lama and to listen to his preaching.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
will be arriving here tomorrow to attend the puja.
SMS bags 2nd position in state level quiz
PASIGHAT, Jan 8: Siang Model School (SMS), Pasighat bagged second position in ‘Arunachal
Maha Quiz Challenge Session-I held in Itanagar on December 29 last. The quiz team
comprised of Nitmem Padun, Pakpi Doye and Jaya Limbu students of class X.
The exciting and competitive event was based on general knowledge covering various
fields like current affairs, science and technology etc. The SMS team received a
trophy, medals and certificates along with cash prize.
Meanwhile, local MLA and Education Mnister Bosiram Siram while congratulating the
students for bringing laurels to the school has also credited the teachers and parents
for their medal winning performance..
The Deputy Commissioner Talem Tapok said that it is a reward to the quizzing culture
inculcated in students in the school. ‘I am sure more recognition will follow’, he
The school authority also expressed satisfaction over the students’ performance.
Kargu Gamgi inaugurated
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: The Donyi-Polo Kargu Gamgi was inaugurated at Zirdo village in
Dari circle by reknowned priest-cum-orator Tabin Karlo on December 31 last.
While addressing the believers of Donyi-Polo the chief guest emphasised on preservation,
protection and promotion of indigeneous faith in the society.
President Kargu Gamgi Committee Zirdo Kanya Rumi asked the members present to preserve
their own rich cultural heritage for posterity.
ZPM Dari circle Bini Zirdo advised the gathering to maintain the age old tradition
and culture and urged the women folk to play active role in educating the children
to embrace the precious heritage in the form of belief and worship.
Momar Riba, Retd Principal, ASM Zirdo-Jime Boi Rumi appealed to the people to follow
their ancestral religion.
The main attraction of the programmes were folk dance, folk song and unique internal
decoration of the Gamgi by tying up bunches of paddy, millet etc.
Earlier, the day long programme started with inauguration of Kargu Gamgi followed
by Donyi Polo prayer song and mass prayer.
Many priests, social activists and large number Donyi-Polo believers of Galo community
from various villages including Dari, Jime, Chisi and Dali attended the programme.
AoL’s YES course gets underway
WAKRO, Jan 8: A six days YES course of Art of Living (AoL) for the students of government
secondary school, Wakro was inaugurated in presence of AoL Teacher Rama Maa today.
While inaugurating the programme, Ripunjoy Das, a senior correspondent of Assam based
English daily exhorted all the students to make the most of the six days course saying
that the Art of Living YES course is well known for success among the youths.
Explaining the need to keep one-self physically fit through yoga practice and mentally
balanced by proper training of the mind through meditation, he said the course will
ensure your spiritual uplift. All the boarders of boy’s and girl’s hostel of the
Govt seconday school have been invited to attend the program sponsored by ASSET with
assistance from the 26 Maratha Light Infantry.
Col H.S.Chouhan, CO 26 MLI assured that all help and assistance will be provided
for the successful conduct of the programme and further assured that the Army will
always render all assistance for progress and development of the youths and general
ASSET was all praise for Capt Abhilash Panicker and Lt Col D N Mallick for providing
assistance for grand success of the programme.
Viewing the condition of the govt school hostel mess ASSET also contributed sufficient
ration items for the remaining months of the current academic session.
Das, accompanied by crew members N.N. Sharma, Pronib Das interacted with the Apnes
and Girl’s of KGBV and explained them about the functioning and role of print media.
Chairman ASSET in a brief meeting later at Anugrah informed the media team in details
about the unconditional tremendous support received from Itanagar based print media
and the Army. The team was also informed about programmes and projects taken up by
ASSET in gratitude to Media and Army.
The media team lauded ASSET saying, “It has been a wonderful experience visiting
Apna Vidya Bhavan. The sincerity and dedication put in by the team is simply excellent
and great. We assure to contribute our bit.”
Earlier Dr Tana Takum, SMO from WHO-NPSP also addressed the Wakro students and informed
them about the functioning and role of World Health Organization in addition to highlighting
the success achieved in arresting and eradicating small pox and polio from the world.
He guided them saying there is no short cut to success and that the only way is persistent
Good gesture: ASSET decided to extend financial assistance to one Subodh Das of Tinsukia,
whose wife Doli Das has been suffering from ovarian cancer.
It is worth mentioning here that Subodh, a taxi driver in profession, enjoys warm
friendship with the people of this part of Arunachal Pradesh for his generosity
and helping attitude. Many patients from these remote and difficult areas who travel
down to Tinsukia and Dibrugarh seek the assistance and services of Das who is always
found willing to help such needy people.
Meanwhile, Chandralesh Chouhan, chief of Army Wives Welfare Association, visited
Anugrah and appreciated ASSET for the welfare measures taken up with commitment for
the needy especially for the education of the children in rural areas. Chandralesh,
on behalf of ASSET, will hand over a sizable amount to Subodh in a simple function
tomorrow for treatment of his ailing wife.
ASSET also lauded filmmaker Kunal Verma (Gurgaon), Pushee Bhalla (Gurgaon), Eldho
David, O.S.Chandran (Chennai), Bapenlu Kri, Er R.K. Singh, and friends who contributed
generously for humanitarian activities.
EPS organizes cleanliness drive
Itanagar, Jan 8: The Environment Protection Society (EPS) carried out a cleanliness
drive at market places of Naharlagun township today.
The society members also shared few words with the vendors and the local people living
around the markets area. They made them aware of the ill effects of living in an
Meanwhile, EPS appealed to the department concerned to build a good public toilet
at Naharlagun market. It said that leakage in the present toilet has created a unhygienic
atmosphere causing inconvenience to the public and visiting tourists.
VKAJ organizes exhibition on ‘Samartha Bharat’
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: Vivekananda Kendra Arun Jyoti (VKAJ) orgnized an exhibition on “Samartha
Bharat” on the occasion of “Samartha Bharat Parva” here recently.
Banner and posters reading the latest achievements and uniqueness of our country
were put up in the exhibition stalls. Books based on Swami Vivekananda’s life and
message, history and culture were also exhibited.
The motto of this “Samartha Bharat Parva” was to generate awareness among masses
about the greatness of our motherland.
VKAJ, Itanagar also conducted one day personality development camp at Kali mandir,
Students of Govt. Higher Sec. School, Polo Colony and Kendriya Vidyalaya No.-1, Nahar-lagun
participated in this camp.
The main motto of the camp was to develop personality and to unfold the potential
within them. The students were inspired by the ideas and thoughts of Swami Vivekananda.
The students were motivated through various programmes such as yoga, patriotic song,
group discussion and an interactive session on “Concentration and discipline” by
Dr. Mika Umpo.
Chakma-Hajong issue: Ball now in Centre’s court
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: The Diyun PS attack incident has once again brought Chakma-Hajong
issue to the forefront. This issue has caught the imagination of large number of
indigenous tribals of Arunachal Pradesh. The struggle between Chakma-Hajong refugees
and tribal has led to lose of lives in both sides. A total of 2, 748 families of
Chakma-Hajong refugees consisting of approximately 14, 888 persons settled in the
then NEFA area between the year 1964-69. They were initially settled in 10, 799 acres
of land in three districts of state.
Most of the refugees migrated to India from their place of origin, Chittagong Hill
Tract, Bangladesh either because of religious persecution carried out by then East
Pakistan govt and construction of Kaptai dam. At that time government of India without
any consultation with indigenous tribal, let them settle in the then NEFA area. A
letter written to U. Chakma political officer, Pasighat on 7th July 1964 by PN Luthra
the then advisor to Governor of Assam under whom NEFA area was governed, clearly
shows that Chakmas came to Arunachal on their own even before approval of the local
administration. The five-point letter was written by Luthra in response to earlier
one written by U Chakma to Development Commissioner regarding the rehabilitation
problems of Chakma refugees.
In the point number 4 of the letter, he wrote to U Chakma: “You have also referred
to certain difficulties and sufferings of the refugees; I regret to point out that
these would not have happened if action about the move of the refugees was taken
strictly in accordance with our instructions. You will recall that the move of the
first batch of 490 people was initiated entirely on your own and before the administration
gave approval.” This letter clearly negates the claim by Chakmas that Govt of India
under the then prime minister Indira Gandhi with consultation of local administration
had allowed them to settle in Arunachal.
Even though decades have passed still Govt of India is yet to come out with any
solution to end this problem. The attitude of Govt of India whose policy to let the
Chakma-Hajong refugee settle in Arunachal is quite dubious. One hand, they talks
of preserving the rights of indigenous tribal of Arunachal and on the other hand,
they are advocating for granting Arunachalee citizenship to these refugees. People
familiar with this issue believe that Govt of India has soft corner towards the Chakma
refugees. “After partition in then East Pakistan area (presently Bangladesh), Chakma
played a major role in collecting information for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW),
the external intelligence agency of India. Even during 1971 Bangladesh liberation
war, they played a crucial role. Govt of India can never go against interest of Chakma,”
stated one expert. The expert further added: “If Chakmas are not given their rights,
Govt of India’s image will be tarnished at international politics. And if they start
giving special attention to Chakma then indigenous tribals of Arunachal will feel
alienated. The situation is quite complex and it will be interesting to see how Govt
of India deal with this emotive issue.”
Also under Chin Hills Regulation Act 1896 and Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation
Act 1873 the state of Arunachal has been given special protection. Under Bengal Eastern
Frontier Regulation Act 1873, non- APST people need inner line permit to enter the
state and there is restriction in buying properties within the state. These are constitutional
provisions and if Govt of India starts advocating for giving rights to Chakma-Hajong
refugees on the line of local tribal, then it will be breach of Constitution.
The ball is now in the court of Govt of India and they needs to find a lasting solution
acceptable to both people of Arunachal Pradesh and Chakma-Hajong refugees.
Woes of people of Nari
RUKSIN, Jan 8: Nari administrative sub-division under East Siang district appears
to have grown from some perspectives in the last four decades, but in real sense,
the very meaning of development has not yet touched the 30 villages spreading in
four circles, namely Nari, Seren, Koyu and Kora.
Talking to this correspondent, some leading citizens of the area including some Gaon
Burahs have alleged that the villagers are still deprived of basic amenities like
link roads and other means of development. The ADC office at Nari is reportedly not
functioning properly and the local people are suffering a lot in their official works.
“Though there is an office of Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) here, it has still
not benefitted the people. Our villagers are compelled to go to Pasighat, located
at 80 km distance for obtaining documents like Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC)
and Caste Certificate. We are not feeling that our area has got a full-fledged ADC
headquarter as many departmental offices are yet to be established”, rued Goto Riba,
Gaon Burah of Nari-I segment.
The people are frustrated because the state government is not paying attention towards
the hardship faced by the villagers. Construction of approach road from Nari to Seren
circle, establishment of a police check post, sub divisional office of agriculture
and horticulture department, PWD division office at Nari are some of the long pending
public demands. Tako Dabi, the local MLA, who has been representing the constituency
for several consecutive terms has allegedly failed to serve the people with “good
governance” during the past decades.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Nari TS Mibang said: “The authority has not yet
empowered/authorised me to issue documents like PRC or caste certificate.”
Moreover, he has not been conferred drawing and disbursement power to conduct financial
management in the office. The ADC also pointed out towards vacancy of post of Extra
Assistant Commissioner and a circle officer in the office.
It is worth mentioning here that Nari circle was established in 1972 which was subsequently
upgraded to SDO headquarter in 1996. Later, on July 25, 2009, Nari Sub division was
upgraded to ADC headquarter with up gradation of Koyu circle to EAC headquarter besides
creation of a new circle at Kora.
Contingency workers of NPT continue to strive without salary
MIAO, Jan 8: The force of 64 contingency staff serving under Namdapha Project Tiger
(NPT), Miao withdrew its indefinite tool down strike called in protest against non-payment
of their hard earned salaries, revised arrears from October 2010- March 2011 and
bonus of 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Since August, these 64 contingency workers were rendering their duties without salary.
To add salt to their wounds the grocery shops in Miao township have denied giving
rations to these workers as they could not clear their credits. Under such circumstances
there were no options left but had to register their protest democratically through
tool down strike. But Conservator of Forest-cum-Field Director S.J Jongsam on the
initial day of the strike met the leaders of the agitating employees and APWU members
and requested them to withdraw their strike keeping in view the peak season for tourists.
He assured of taking up their demand with competent authority and to redress their
grievances within a month.
Jongsam tried to escape salvos from his workforce by admitting that the National
Tiger Conservation Authority under Centrally Sponsored Scheme had already released
a sum of Rs. 75 lakh against the approved APO of Namdapha Tiger Reserve in November,
2011 vide letter No. 4-1(23)/2011-PT; dated 4-11-2011 as first installment of the
total approved amount but the specific fund is yet to be released from Itanagar.
He further informed that no approved item of AOP could be taken up under this establishment
owing to non-release of funds though mere couple of months is left for implementation
of work in this financial year of 2011-12. The CF-cum-FD Office has however requested
the competent authority through several letters to release the amount at the earliest
so that salaries can be given to the suffering workers. Keeping in view the flood
of tourists to Namdapha; the world acclaimed 15th Tiger Reserve of India, the contingency
workers decided to withdraw their strike but were strictly clear about their decision
of forging ahead with tool down in case 6 months of salary including January is not
paid to them within the stipulated period announced by the Conservator of Forest-cum-Field
Since Namdapha Project Tiger do not have any regular staff the entire affairs of
the park is being managed by contingency workers that includes drivers, electricians,
elephant mahouts, plumbers, boatmen, cooks, computer operators, wireless operators,
patrolling camp helpers, elephant grass cutters, night chowkidars, sweepers, peons
and protection staff. The entire safe keeping of elephant, ferry, vehicle and above
all the tourist lies in the hospitable attitude of the contingency workforce who
deserves better treatment, at least on humanitarian ground.
The general public of Miao Sub-Division have expressed deep pain at the state government
for not being sincere towards protecting and developing Namdapha. The Singpho Development
Society and Federation of Singpho Youths have urged the government to release the
funds immediately so that the helpless contingency workers can be paid their hard
earned salary and welfare works carried out.
Namdapha; the 15th Tiger Reserve of India and pride of the state spread over 1985
sq km has only two dozen frontal staff with 8 foresters, the number which cannot
live up to the expectation of the state. In line with Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary, there
have been announcements on several occasions pertaining to creation of Tiger Protection
Force for Namdapha Tiger Reserve but regrettably nothing substantial has so far come
to notice. If at all the State Government, National Tiger Conservation Authority
and Project Tiger are in truth solemn about saving Namdapha, manpower ought to be
multiplied. By doing so, the unemployed youths in the buffer zone will get lifetime
opportunity to contribute in building Namdapha in its truest tradition. The splendid
tiger reserve is not only known worldwide for co-existence of four species of big
cats namely Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard and Snow Leopard but it houses costly
orchids in abundance. The tiger estimation exercise initiated last year confirmed
existence of tigers which came as a blessing. But shockingly, the outcome of the
exercise did not get the needed follow up action.
The 64 contingency workforces ensure the security and fashioning of Namdapha Tiger
Reserve. Therefore, they need to be paid timely so that their family members at home
are not starved and children can go to school. Their cries need to be heard. Justice
needs to be delivered.
Chakma-Hajong refugee issue: An academic understanding
An Emotive Issue
The issue of settlement of refugees in this protected territory has always been a
challenge for the judiciary, policy makers and the researchers. This is a challenge
as it involves the rights and status of both the contesting parties. The Government
of India accepts this as a highly emotive issue in the state of Arunachal Pradesh
that is agitating the attention of various sections of the local people. The ‘emotive
issue’, which gave rise to a paradoxical situation, has political, legal, social
and demographic ramifications. Invocation of international legal protections and
covenants by the refugees is contested by the natives, who claim to have equal legal
protections as the indigenous people of the area.
India’s lack of a specific legislation pertaining to refugee protection adds another
twist to this situation. The natives perceive that ‘transporting’ of the refugees,
particularly the Chakmas and Hajongs in this protected territory is a deliberate
policy of the government with an aim to assimilate local culture with mainstream
India by diluting the population composition. On more than one occasions, leaders
of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union, the apex students’ body of the State, had
exhibited what can be termed as ‘anti-Indian tendency’ by seeking to look beyond
‘Mac Mohan Line’ in search of ‘lost brothers’. For the Chakmas, it is the question
of their life and liberty, and their ability or inability to share fully in the benefits
of the community in which they reside.
The Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh claims that
the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh are constantly being denied the citizenship
rights by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh in defiance of the order of the Supreme
Court and the Central Government. The State government has failed to establish the
rule of law and provide constitutional protection to the Chakmas and Hajongs, who
remained stateless for more than 30 years without a country. The Government of India
argues that around 35,000 Chakmas and 1,000 Hajongs were given valid migration certificates,
which were indicative of “legal entry into Indian and willingness of the government
to accept the Chakmas as future citizens”. The Indira-Mujib Agreement of 1972 determined
that India and not Bangladesh would be responsible for all migrants who entered India
before 25 March 1971.
Many question the logic of granting citizenship to ninety ‘Tibetan refuge’ families
of Shyo village living in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh in 2002 even when
the Chakmas and Hajongs refugees, who “were taken to the North East Frontier Agency
(NEFA, present Arunachal Pradesh) by the Central Government with a view to permanently
settle them there”, are yet to be provided with Indian citizenship.
The Supreme Court of India, by a writ of mandamus, ordered the state of Arunachal
Pradesh that the application made for registration as citizen of India by the Chakma
or Chakmas shall be entered in the register maintained for the purpose and shall
be forwarded by the Collector or DC who receives them under the relevant rule, to
the Central Government for its consideration.
It has been argued that throughout the course of administrative and political events
Arunachal Pradesh has been enjoying a special status under which no person or persons
other than the indigenous people have the right to settle in Arunacjhal Pradesh permanently.
Under the Constitution of India, Arunachal Pradesh has been given special status
and the ethnicity of the State had been protected by declaring the entirety of the
area of the State as Scheduled area to be administered under Part X read with the
Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Jawaharlal Nehru, who favoured a policy
of retaining a distinctive identity of the tribals while integrating them into national
mainstream, envisaged Panchshell (five principles) for tribal development. The principles
envisaged by Pt. Nehru were, however, ignored while settling the Chakma and Hajong
refugees in this territory, and the local authorities (traditional tribal Village
Councils) were never consulted. The government report notes that the “settlement
got started on the basis of the report of U. Chakma the then Political Officer, Pasighat
which was highly biased against the indigenous people”. His bias attitude is reflected
in a file noting on Settlement of Miao-Bijoynagar Valley, wherein he advised that
“too much importance and indulgence should not be given on “tribal reactions” and
so-called tribal policies which encourage pampering and spoils the tribals”.
The existing traditional laws are such that no any member of a tribal community is
permitted to settle down in the territory belonging to other community. Therefore,
settlement of non-natives/foreigners in the tribal territory defeats the very essence
of such customary laws.
By the Foreigners Protected Area Order, 1958, the territory of Arunachal Pradesh
was declared as protected area. The civilian authority may, by an Order, may prohibit
any foreigner or any class of foreigners from entering or remaining in the area,
and impose restrictions on the acquisition of land or any interest in the land within
the area. The Gauhati High Court by its ruling, dated 30th April 1992, held that
the state government has within its jurisdiction to direct the Chakma families, the
foreigners, to shift to vacant land as they have no right to seek a permanent place
of abode in that area. The court relied upon a ruling of the Constitution Bench of
the Supreme Court of India, which held that the Executive Government has unrestricted
right to expel a foreigner.
The White Paper, issued by the Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, maintains that the phenomenal
growth of the population of the Chakma and Hajong refugees may cause “disaster to
the natural eco-system carefully nurtured by the local tribal people through the
ages”. The State has alleged that the Chakmas are indulging in “heinous crime of
murder, arson and loot; encroachment of Reserved Forests, manufacturing of arms and
ammunitions, and training of the youths in underground activities”.
An Elusive Solution
The half a century old issue of settlement of refugees in Arunachal Pradesh eludes
permanent solution probably because the issue has assumed ethnic and political propositions.
The Government of India has repeatedly failed to find an amicable solution acceptable
to all stake holders. Every party, whether national or regional, takes refuge in
the ‘refugee issue’ whenever any political exigency arises. There are reports that
the Chakmas are enrolled in the electoral rolls with tacit support from the politicians
of the area. If the Chakmas are granted political rights, resourceful refugees may
get themselves involved in local politics in order to advance their political and
The solution to the problem seems not forthcoming as the issue has been highly ‘ethnicised’.
The Government of Arunachal Pradesh, instead of looking for proper policy framework,
has often been successful in giving it an ethnic colour by placing the refugee in
direct conflict with ethnic communities. The Central government, on the other hand,
is not politically committed to come to the rescue of either indigenous communities
or the refugees. There have always been half-hearted attempts by the Government of
India to find a way out of the imbroglio.
The apex students’ union (AAPSU) had gone to the extent of exploring Arunachalees
ethnic connections across the border. The Union’s actual intent may be different
but the fact that it is trying to internationalise the issues shows the natives’
utter desperation. It is trying to attract the attention of country and international
communities to the fact that the presence of thousands of refugees is a threat to
the very survival of native communities.
India, as a responsible member of international community and signatory to various
Covenants and Declarations, may not be in the position to ignore the reports of human
rights violations. Even the Supreme Court of India has expressed concern over the
allegation of human rights violation. It is the responsibility of every civilized
society to ensure the availability of basic facilities for fellow beings.
Indigenous communities contend that while it may be justified to protect the legal
and human rights of the refugees but it is more significant to save the indigenous
tribals from deprivation and discrimination. The presence of refugees not only threatens
the existence of indigenous people but it is a serious threat to the cultural traits
of these people.
It is interesting to note that the Confidential Report on Chakma-Hajong Refugees
problem, prepared by a Group of Ministers of Government of Arunachal Pradesh, has
indicated that there should be problem in granting citizenship to the Chakma and
Hajong refugees. The Committee recommended that the refugees should be restricted
to designated places and the provisions of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873
need strict application. The Committee, therefore, indirectly hinted that Chakma-Hajong
Refugees may be allowed to stay in the State but with adequate protection-both legal
and political- to the indigenous communities. This may be the most viable solution
available considering the rights and interests of both refugees and indigenous communities.
However, there has to be a strong political will to bring about logical solution
to the problem of Chakma-Hajong refugees. Any attempted solution has to keep in mind
the presence of various refugee groups and legal and illegal immigrants in different
parts of the State. There are Yobins and Nepalis in Vijoynagar; Tibetan refugees
in different designated camps; Mishings and Adivashis in Lohit and Siang; and thousands
of illegal Bangladeshi in various parts of the State. They have their own histories,
legal standing and ethnic connections. The recent attempt by the Government of Arunachal
Pradesh to grant Permanent Residential Certificates to some of these groups has received
violent protests. Therefore, the apprehension of AAPSU that “if the refugees are
settled permanently after granting permanent citizenship it is bound to open a flood
gate and invite similar demands from Tibetan refugees, Bangladeshis, Nepalis and
others for permanent settlement in Arunachal Pradesh”, has to be addressed first
if any durable solution is expected.
(Dr. Bath teaches in the Department of Political Science, Rajiv Gandhi University
and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Tender cane shoots still at sale
MIAO, Jan 8: During the coordination meeting under the chairmanship of additional
deputy commissioner, Miao Tayom Mara in connection with the protection of Namdapha
National Park held at Miao Circuit House in November last which was attended by prominent
public leaders, administration, police and NPT officials, it was unanimously resolved
to ban sale of bamboo and tender cane shoots in the weekly markets of Miao administrative
sub-division with immediate effect. But six weeks after the coordination meeting,
the authority concerned is yet to issue the order banning sale of bamboo and tender
cane shoots. The sale of cane shoots and dry fishes are perpetrated openly defying
every rules and local sentiments. During the coordination meeting it was also decided
to deploy strike forces in vulnerable entry points to check flood of these illegal
items from reaching the township with the help of local police force but nothing
is being done to implement the resolutions drafted. Namdapha Project Tiger Office
was entrusted with the task of spreading awareness among general public to discourage
hunting, poaching, deforestation and poisoning of streams and rivers but no steps
whatsoever in this direction has so far been taken. The general public of Miao sub-division
and especially those in the buffer zones of the national park are highly hopeful
that steps will be taken to minimize the threats posed.
AAPBSU demands solution to Indo-China border issue
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: All Arunachal Pradesh Border Students’ Union (AAPBSU) appealed to
the government of India to take up India-China border issue with Chinese counterpart
for permanent and concrete solution.
Due to unresolved India-China border issues, the people of border area witnessed
many disputes between the two countries in the recent past. It also condemned the
concern authority of Chinese government for denial visa to senior IAF officer hailing
from Arunachal Pradesh without valid reason.
The union further said that Chinese government is claiming Arunachal Pradesh for
the last many years, and despite demolition of bunker in Tawang and repeated denial
of visa to Arunachal People, the government of India is not taking up any major step
to resolve the issue.
It also urged the central government to deploy sufficient security forces along the
Indo-China and other international border within Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, taking serious note over the repeated eviction drive carried out by Assam
forest officials in Arunachal Pradesh, the union appealed to the state government
to initiate immediate action in the matter and also urged the state government to
take up the international border issue with central government as early as possible.
Association demands apology
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: Claiming that case filed against T. Amo SP Changlang was fabricated
and baseless and to malign the hard earned reputation of the efficient officer, Paktu
Ao Youth Welfare Association today demanded apology from complainant of the said
case following acquittal of Amo by the court.
Condemning the case filed against him, the Association said that Amo was not only
brilliant student but also an efficient police who have clean image and excellent
records. Further it demanded police department to initiate disciplinary legal action
against those police personnel responsible for defaming and harassing a reputed police
St. Mary’s Parish Youth meeting
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: The Youth of St Mary’s Catholic Church held their annual meeting
under the chairmanship of Fr. Tom Karthik, SDB, the Parish Priest, at Church Hall
Peter Dongche, president highlighted the various achievements of the Youth Association
in the year 2011 which included training to youth on various musical instruments,
successful organization of the visit of Don Bosco relic on May 14, social service
to repair the damaged road leading to MLA cottage etc.
The meeting also highlighted the future plans and programmes for the year 2012.
Present in the meeting wereTaw Tebin, General Secretary APCU, Michi Paku, president
Don Bosco Alumni, Michi Chalo, joint secretary, Parish Council, Vishal P. Nabam,
Advisor APCU, Chairman Don Bosco College and School Welfare Committee, Yumlam Kaha,
APCU Youth Secretary among others.
Reservation sought for APST students
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: In a representation to the Chief Minister on Friday, Arunachal
Pradesh Scheduled Tribe Students Union sought 30 percent reservation for APST students
in NEE I, NEE II, NEE III of NERIST. The Union also demanded full representation
of local youths in Arunachal Cricket Association to represent BCCI affiliated and
sponsored games in national level. APSTSU further sought Education Minister for creation
of physical education teachers and Arts Carpentry teacher in secondary and higher
secondary schools in the state.
Meanwhile, the union said that Chief Minister took positive response with assurance
to look into matters. It also informed that the Education Minister had assured to
consider their genuine demands.
Union seeks action against assaulter
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: Condemning the reported physical assault on engineer Lotu Gadi
of Hydro Power Development, Tawang recently, Kardu Kardi Students Union (KKSU) today
sought authority concerned to take action against the assaulter. In a release, the
union expressed its displeasure over the incident and urged the police to arrest
UAEA to go ahead with bandh
ITANAGAR, Jan 8: Unemployed Arunachalee Engineers’ Association (UAEA) today reiterated
its stand to go ahead with its proposed 12 hours Capital bandh called on January
10 next in protest against alleged failure of the authorities to fulfill its demands
on Assistant Engineer (civil) examination episode conducted by Arunachal Pradesh
Public Service Commission.
In a release, it said despite high level review enquiry committee constituted by
the Governor, APPSC is going ahead with viva voice and did not respond to the
association’s demand so far.
The Association said, during the bandh call paramilitary, ambulance and pharmaceutical
and district administration would be exempted from the purview of the bandh.
Earlier UAEA submitted two points memorandum to the Governor demanding re-conduct
of the examination and resignation of the Commission chairman.
Highlight the plight of Chakmas
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the issues regarding the
reporting of incidents by your esteemed daily. The news titled, "Chakma refugees
ransack Diyun PS; AAPSU expresses concern" dated 8th January, 2012 is untrue as far
as I have enquired. The news has been highlighted through one perspective only. Only
the opinions of the AAPSU has been taken into account of. AAPSU has been against
the Chakmas in Arunachal since its formation. Therefore, just by publishing their
version of the story is not appropriate according to the ethics of journalism and
Time and again they have tried to malign the image of the Chakmas in Arunachal through
various means; sometimes by making them as thieves; by calling them as refugees;
treating them as inferiors and so on. For instance if the same instance would have
happened somewhere and not in the areas resided by Chakmas in Diyun, I think the
biker would have been given the same treatment or more severe. And as far as Police
Station is concerned, the Police were not ready to arrest the accused despite repeated
appeals from the Chakma community. Hence, they have demanded through collective action
that the accused be arrested. There was no ransacking of Police Station as has been
published in the news report. The police should have acted impartially by arresting
the accused person instead of trying to dominate the Chakmas.
The Chakmas are also very hardworking and peaceful community. It is true that the
Chakmas had to migrate to Arunachal in 1968 due to the construction of a huge dam
at Karnafuli river at Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) of Bangladesh. Its been more
than forty years since then and they are still stateless even though they become
citizens of India legally. Also, the Supreme Court of India passed an order in 2002
saying that the Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh must be given citizenship as they are
legally citizens of India. By religion, they follow Buddhism which teaches non-violence
and compassion as the path of life. It is due to these teachings of the Buddha that
the Chakmas in Arunachal are staying peacefully through perseverance despite so much
of hardship and hostility.
Therefore, I shall highly appreciate your concern and effort to publish news through
the true lens and not just merely what a group which is so anti-Chakma say. I will
be highly thankful to you all if you can help in highlighting the deplorable plight
of the Chakmas in Arunchal Pradesh in the absence of basic amenities; dysfunctional
schools; huge rate of educated unemployment; lack of transportation facilities; lack
of banking facilities; Land erosion by the Dehing river; improper and inadequate
healthcare facilities etc.
Thanking You in anticipation
Hydro projects and people of Assam
Hon'ble Minister Chidambaram suggested of investment in tourism and hydro power in
Arunachal Pradesh. People of Arunachal Pradesh are fully convinced; no other alternative
of development is in sight. Large percentage of population in Arunachal Pradesh wants
to see good roads, flow of tourists and mega dams. They fully understand the meaning
of such important developments and its impact on their life. They are fully aware
about adverse impacts of such developments also.
Opposition to such developments in Arunachal Pradesh by people of Assam with support
from a section of people from Arunachal Pradesh is not convincing. People of Assam
should remember they have oil & tea industry, suitable land for agriculture. People
of Arunachal are missing all such benefits. Infrastructure like road and railway
came in Assam about 100 yrs ago because of oil & tea whereas there are no proper
roads in Arunachal Pradesh even today.
People should understand, dams do not fail as they are being built against safety
of many factors. Health of dam can easily be read with the help of instruments in
place which is statutory requirement. In case any dam is unsafe on any reason during
construction and its use after completion, competent authorities abandon the dam.
People opposing dam should not worry about failure of dams in Arunachal. They should
encourage people in Arunachal to avail benefit of natural resources available in
People of Assam & Arunachal should remember, few rivers passing their states have
origin in China where series of dams are in construction stage. I must say, flood
of any magnitude on failure of dam in China will also be regulated through dams in
Arunachal Pradesh and safety of people in both states.
People of both states must understand that many dams in J&K, Himachal, Uttarakhand,
Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Nepal & Bhutan are being constructed but no opposition by
people of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Hope to see people are welcoming dams in Arunachal Pradesh and a beautiful future
of hard working people around.
The Constitution entitles people belonging to Scheduled Caste to certain benefits
for their upliftment, but they still lack access to proper education, good health
employment opportunities and basic housing facilities. Local governments in most
states have initiated several pro-poor programmes to provide them a decent standard
One such intervention is the e-Housing project in Kerala designed to ensure transparency
and efficiency in giving housing allowance to the scheduled castes. It offers provision
for making online application, processing and sanction of housing assistance.
So far, 1423 houses for the target group have been completed and a total of 2000
beneficiaries have opened postal savings bank and an amount of Rs 5 crores has been
disbursed through the system.
e-Housing project has completely changed the disbursement for housing construction’s
scenario in Kerala. The beneficiaries feel confident as this service is extended
exclusively for their needs. It has sped up application processing and sanctioning
of disbursements so that beneficiaries can make payments and build houses on time.