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Call for 2nd House in NE State Assemblies

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Dec 13 - The first-ever three-day North East Indigenous Peoples� Parliament (NEIPP), which was concluded in Imphal on Saturday, recommended �constitution of a second House in the State Legislative Assemblies in Northeast India with indigenous communities as constituencies�.

The NEIPP, which aims to resolve all issues and threats that challenge the survival of the indigenous peoples of the NE, made the recommendation while discussing the fundamental rights (political and economy) issues during its sessions, attended by representatives of about 30 different Indigenous communities of NE States.

The communities are Aimol, Baite, Boro, Chiru, Chothe, Deori, Dimasa, Garia, Hmar, Jamatia, Jiantia, Kabui (Rongmei), Karbi, Kharam, Khoibu, Koireng, Kom, Kuki, Liangmei, Maring, Meeyong, Meitei, Meitei Pangal, Mishing, Moran, Reang, Paite, Purum, Tangkhul, Vaiphei, Zeme.

The NEIPP was organised by Coalition for Indigenes� Rights Campaign (CIRCA) in association with Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha and Assam Meitei Apunba Lup.

Stating this, coordinator of the NEIPP, Ningthouja Lancha, said that the Parliament also recommends �to extend support to all existing movement that seek to address demographic concern of the region, specially caused by influx of illegal immigrants in Northeast India�, besides recommending that indigenous people and tribes of NE should also seek all necessary constitutional and legal measures to check and control migration into NE India, specially illegal migrants from neighbouring countries.

He said that the Parliament also recommends quality school education �in their own mother tongue at affordable cost� while discussing the issue of fundamental rights � culture, education and language, considering the dropout rate in schools, loss of indigenous knowledge and disappearance of cultural landscape of indigenous and tribal communities in NE India. He cited the problems being faced by a smaller community in Tripura.

The NEIPP also recommends suitable amendments of the provisions of the Chapter on Citizenship contained in Articles 5 to 11 of the Constitution with corresponding amendments of the Citizenship Act 1955, he added.

On the economy and development front, the NEIPP also recommends to urge the Government of India to seriously re-look into the existing policies and institutional mechanism concerning (to safeguard) the rights of tribal and indigenous people of NE besides safeguarding �the existing land ownership and other resources�.

On the human rights and human security, it recommends implementation of second Administrative Reform Commission (Dated 25/6/2007) in its 5th report on public order and that of Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee (2004) with respect to Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 in the region.

As per NEIPP recommendation, a working Committee was also formed and the committee has been entrusted to invite and mobilise the other indigenous communities for selecting representatives from their respective community to be member of the committee for the NEIPP.

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