Statement of centre for research and advocacy Manipur, citizens concern for dams and development, citizen’s action for social empowerment, Awang Sekmai new market development association on celebrating the world’s indigenous peoples day, 9 August 2014
Theme: Defending our Land, Water, Forest, our Rights and Future
Affirm indigenous peoples right to self determination over our land, water, forest and all natural resources of Manipur as inherent for our physical and spiritual survival, rights and future.
Express concern with the continued application of emergency laws, such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA, 1958) to subdue the right to self determination of indigenous peoples of Manipur, which derogates “right to life” and “right to justice remedy”. The AFSPA, 1958, responsible for serious human rights violations, continues to be enforced in Manipur despite peoples’ and the United Nation’s call for its repeal.
Express our concern that vast tract of prime agriculture land and forest are acquired to sustain militarization process in Manipur, in subduing indigenous peoples’ political rights and to advance corporate interest of Multinational corporations. We condemn all efforts to expand the Leimakhong Army base and to further conscript more than 1000 acres of prime agriculture land in and around Sekmai area.
Seriously note the development processes in Manipur, incompatible to the aspirations of indigenous peoples and failing to recognize their self determination over their land and resources, such as Government of India’s pursuance with multinational corporations, to construct the 1500 MW Tipaimukh Dam, the Chakpi Dam etc and to drill oil and gas from Manipur etc without indigenous peoples free, prior and informed consent.
The World Bank and ADB financed infrastructure projects such as Trans Asian Highway, the Trans Asian Railways etc aimed at facilitating the expansion of India’s neo-liberal policies in Manipur will further impoverish indigenous peoples and aggravate development injustice and violation of peoples’ rights.
Express concern that sand mining in Sekmai River, pursued by powerful elites with tacit state patronage led to water scarcity, destroyed environment and rendered their agriculture land uncultivable and unproductive.
Express our concern that series of development policies incompatible to the rights and needs of indigenous peoples has been introduced aggressively. The Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006, the Manipur Hydroelectric Power Policy, 2012, the New Land Use Policy, 2014, the Manipur Tourism Policy, 2011 etc has been introduced which will increase land alienation, expropriation of community land and resources
Expressing solidarity with the ongoing movement in Manipur to stop state sponsored infusion of non indigenous populations in indigenous territories of Manipur and to formulate appropriate legislation towards protection of indigenous peoples’ right and land, their livelihood sources and future.
Called on the Government of India to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007, especially to recognize indigenous peoples self determination over their land and resources and to recognize communities’ rights over their land and resources, their traditional practices and way of life.
Further called on the Government of India to end all human Rights violations on indigenous peoples in Manipur and repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and end all land grabbing for militarization. Further, repeal all policies such as Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006, the Manipur Hydroelectric Power Policy, 2006, New Land Use Policy 2014, aimed to facilitate corporate expansionism in Manipur.
Called upon the Government of India to stop Oil Exploration Jubilant Energy, to stop the proposed 1500 MW Tipaimukh Dam, the proposed Chakpi HEP project and ongoing Mapithel dam construction in Manipur
End all forms of state sponsored implantation of non indigenous populations in Manipur and formulate specific policies to stop unregulated infiltration of non indigenous populations in Manipur.