IMPHAL | July 3
A public meeting on oil exploration in Manipur held in Sagang under Churachandpur district has resolved not to cooperate with the oil companies by not providing NOC and to stand against any further exploration in Sagang and the state.
Speaking in the meeting Pu Pongthang expressed his concern on the dependency on the agricultural land by a farmer. “If the agricultural lands are taken away by the multinational oil companies then there is no alternative livelihood. People will be compelled to migrate from their native lands”, he said.
He further continued, “It is very unfortunate to hear the Asian Oilfield Service Ltd approaching the villager and the land owner to obtain N.O.C for the said oil exploration and also the action of highhandedness by the oil company entering into the agricultural land of Khaidem Village without not being informed to the owner of the land.”
“Villagers are being misinformed by assuring job. The villagers should not get carried away by the sweet poisonous word of the oil companies who came here to suck the wealth of the people and the state and will not allow and co-operate the oil companies to continue their survey in Manipur”, Pongthang asserted.
D.K Livon spoke on the need to protect the agricultural land from getting destructed by the oil exploration in Manipur. He highlighted that the people should not forget that why the two women War broke out in Manipur.
One War was fighting against the British to stop exporting of rice from Manipur. Likewise the oil companies coming in Manipur is not the sign of development but trying to make the people displaced and migrate to other places which will lead to loss of identity and culture, he maintained.
If the agricultural land where the villagers are dependent on is once taken away then it will never come back instead the place will be left only with ashes. Many unknown diseases will hit the population like the people of Bangladesh is now facing due to the mining of natural resources like coal, limestone and uranium in Meghalaya, he added.
Livon also pointed out that the negative impact from the oil exploration will destroy the nature and the forest, water and the agricultural land in which the indigenous people are dependent.
He appealed to the people to give support to work collectively by not issuing N.O.C to the oil companies.
Md Boinao, member of YFPHR was also present in the public meeting as a resource person and shared his views.
The meeting was chaired by Pu Pongthang (Church Elder), Pu. Akhup (Village Elder) and. Achung Kom (Sagang Sangsherphai), which was participated by villagers of Sagang Khunou village, Sagang village, Lengseitampak village, Nungthangtampak village, Theikakbi village, Lalumbung village, Lukhumbi village and Women Helping hand Group, Sagang at Sagang Youth Club Hall.
The meeting was also participated by women group, youths, Meira paibi, church elders and other activist of the area.