IMPHAL, Dec 10 - With a vision to resolve all issues and threats that challenge the survival of the indigenous peoples of the region, the first-ever three-day North East Indigenous Peoples� Parliament began here today under the aegis of NE-based bodies � Coalition for Indigenous Rights Campaign (CIRCA), Manipur, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha (ASM) and Assam Meitei Apunba Lup (AMAL).
Representatives of about 20 indigenous communities of NE are taking part in the Peoples� Parliament which is scheduled to discuss various issues including challenges and survival of each tribe, human rights and security, economy and development, population influx and identity crisis, land and resources, water and big dams, culture, education and languages and political issues.
Speaking at the opening session of the parliament, Stephen Angkang, former president of Tangkhul Naga Long hoped that such a gathering will help in identifying the common issues and problems for discussion.
Dr Devsekhar Sharma, former principal of DM College, Imphal hoped that the meeting will provide a platform for networking among the different communities in the NE.
In his speech, Convenor of the parliament Matiur Rahman representing ASM, said, �We assemble here to exchange our views on different issues and challenges faced by us and to find out a common mechanism for a solution. North East has its distinct history.�
�In this Peoples� Parliament we will discuss all threats and challenges and find out the procedure for solution�, he added.
The Peoples� Parliament envisions a common platform to protect and defend the distinct social, cultural, economic and political identities from various forms of demographic invasions and cultural forces through a collective and unified effort in the line of United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) 2007, according to the organisers.